By Caitriona Murphy
The planned Trinity College Student Centre has received a setback after the Trinity Foundation cut its proposed funding in half. The plans were close to the point of being finalised before the cut was announced in what Students’ Union President Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem called a “massive kick in the face”.
The primary source of funding for the centre is a proposed student levy which will come to a figure of around €500 million over a number of years. College will then provide €10 million with the Trinity Foundation originally providing a further €7 million. However, the Foundation stated this week what they would be forced to reduce their contribution to €3.5 million, leaving students to pick up the rest of the bill.
Furthermore, College was then pressurising students to underwrite the money that the Foundation were proposing should they not be able to pay even the €3.5 million. However the Provost Dr. John Hegarty assured Trigoub-Rotnem the College would cover this amount should the situation arise.
The setback comes after Trigoub-Rotnem delivered a positive report just at the third SU Council. He will now have to return with these new figures as the student referendum on the issue draws closer. The referendum will be held in conjunction with the SU elections in February, if it passes a vote in the next Student Union Council.
“It was pretty bad (the Foundation) left it to this very last moment” said Trigoub-Rotnem. “It puts us in a very difficult position.”