Approximately 80% of Trinity students want the eighth amendment repealed, according to new polling carried out on campus and online by SamePage on behalf of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU).
Polling was divided into three categories, which were TCDSU campaigns in general, student space on campus and the eighth amendment. Of the 710 Trinity students who filled out surveys between November 20 and December 1, the majority stated that the repeal of the eighth amendment was the most important campaign run by TCDSU. Approximately 75% of students want TCDSU to continue campaigning for abortion rights.
The majority of students who support the repeal of the eighth amendment also feel that there should be some restrictions. Although 38 students voted for the law to “remain the same,” only 11 voted for the abortion cases to be “none”. Students could update their responses any time over the two weeks the polling was active, and some students that responded that they wanted abortion “legalised without restrictions” subsequently voted for restricted abortion cases.
The second and third most important campaigns to Trinity students were found to be fees and higher education funding, and mental health. According to TCDSU President Kevin Keane, “these are issues that the union has worked extensively on in recent years,” adding that the SU “look forward to continuing those campaigns”.
According to a press release from TCDSU, campaigning against direct provision is low in importance to many students, however, it was noted that although some topics, like international student support, is not important to many people, it may be of very high importance to some people.
With regards to student space on campus, a lack of study space was found to be an issue for many students. Polling found that 73% of students want to see more 24 hour study space as a matter of urgency, as many students struggle to find to a space some of the time.
Keane stated that: “The polling clearly indicates that students are crying out for more access to 24 hour study space. This bolsters our campaign to develop the Hamilton Library into a 24 hour library.” He stated that he will be engaging with the librarian service in the new year to advance the project.
In addition, space to relax was also found to be lacking by students. 57% of students report that they often struggle to find a place to relax between lectures. While the majority of students do use student space on campus, they do want to see more corridor couches over reading rooms and campus cafés.
The campus cafés are the most popular place for Trinity students to meet a friend, seconded by corridor couches. Corridor floor space was selected by 15% of students, often when there were no couches free.
Incentives were used to entice students to give their opinion to the SamePage polling service. These incentives ranged from free notebooks from the SamePage stand on campus to a free holiday to Munich with Ryanair. The polling of Trinity students will continue throughout the year.