Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) will be covering the costs of workers pay that has been disrupted by the Take Back Trinity campaign.
Last night saw students occupying the Dining Hall in the latest direct action protest against the introduction of a supplemental exam fee, with the occupation beginning at around 1pm.
In a statement to Trinity News, TCDSU President Kevin Keane said: “The Union is fully compensating workers who have been forced to stop work as a result of the occupation. This is a student movement, and we stand by all of our students, including those who have lost earnings as a result of our action.”
In a statement, the #TakeBack Trinity campaign said: “The occupation is to show College that we will no longer stand for the commercialisation of students and to protest any increase to accommodation fees, postgraduate or international fees and for the provision of full academic year rental.”
The occupation follows the blockage of Front Arch and the entrance to the Book of Kells and the Long Room on Friday and Monday, which received coverage in the national media, as well as a protest outside a Finance Committee meeting and an online protest in the form of negatively reviewing official Trinity social media accounts.
The last time a Trinity building was occupied in protest was in 2009, which approximately 70 students gathered in the Berkeley library to express their anger at the reduction of library opening times.
The #TakeBack Trinity campaign launched a petition last night, calling on the provost to “scrap the unfair €450 fee for Supplemental Exams”. It states that “Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam fees is evidence of their continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare” and “our university should put the welfare of students at the center of everything that it does”.
The petition is advertised on takebacktrinity.ie, the official website for the campaign against Trinity supplemental exam fees.
Vice Provost Chris Morash defended the fees in an email to students, saying: “It is worth noting that the decision was taken to make the system fairer rather than to generate money. In fact, this set of measures will cost the university around €200,000 every year.”
“This decision was made as part of a set of measures which will be of great benefit to students; the ability to pay per-module for repeating the year,” he said in the email.