College is set to increase the number of left-handed desks in lecture halls and classrooms around the campus following a motion put forward by the Student Council.
Siobhán Carroll, class rep for Senior Freshman European Studies, proposed the motion at the Student Council meeting on November 11th. Her proposal was seconded by Student Union Education Officer Hugh Sullivan. The motion was voted on and passed. Once a mandate has passed, it becomes policy for the next 2 academic years.
The notes from the Council meeting read “that one in every 10 people is left-handed and presently there are not sufficient desks for this amount of students”. The mandate was put forward by Ms Carroll asking that College “ensure that 10% of desks in all classrooms around college are suitable for left-handed students by the start of Hillary Term.”
Carroll was approached by a Senior Freshman student complaining about the lack of left-handed desks. For over 90% of the student body that make up the right-handed population, the inconvenience felt by left-handed students trying to write sideways goes unnoticed. Ms Carroll noted that while right-handed students who find themselves sitting at a left handed desk simply have to change seats, the inadequate amount of left-handed desks forces left-handers to stay sitting at these right-handed desks, leading to an hour of discomfort trying to take notes.
On recent inspection in the Arts Building, Mr Sullivan found that the majority of classrooms contained less than the four desks needed to accommodate the number of left handed students per room, with some classrooms lacking any left-handed desks whatsoever.
Referring to his recent inspection of the Arts Building, Sullivan said “the point is that there’s about 9% too few left handed desks and all college needs to do is buy about 300 left-handed desks and distribute them throughout the Arts Block.”
This is not the first time that the lack of resources available to left-handers has come to the attention of the Student Union Council. In 2007, then Education Officer Rob Kearns put forward a motion to introduce left-handed desks. As such, many left-handed desks can now be seen around campus, however this number is not enough to cater to the large number of left-handed students and Education Officer is hopeful that the extra desks will be brought in as soon as possible.
“I can’t say when this’ll be done unfortunately but myself and Cathal are both working on it”.
According to Sullivan, SU President Cathal Reilly will be bringing this issue to the next Site & Facilities meeting where he shall begin the process of getting it implemented.
Sullivan himself has been in contact with the Buildings Office who is says have been “favourable in principle” to the idea but as of yet have “committed to nothing”.
With registration figures suggesting that over 16,500 students registered to attend Trinity this year alone, the move by the Student Union will be welcomed by the estimated 1,700 left-handed students in the College.