€9,200 training saves on last year

It’s a big budget for a big event, but the €9,200 price tag on this year’s class representative training still saved thousands on last year’s weekend.

A record 264 Students’ Union class representatives turned up for the two- day event, which took place at the four star Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk.

The Union pulled off the event at €34.38 a head, giving a total cost of 55c per Trinity student. This is down from last year’s €58 cost per attendant, which totaled a budget of over €16,000.

Two security guards were employed to supervise the event at the insistence of the hotel. Students’ Union Education Officer Rachel Barry commented that this was “standard procedure for any large party, whether it’s a student training weekend or a medical conference.”

“We got security purely because of the size of the event. There is no way the four of us could be giving presentations and looking at the security side of things at the same time,” commented Barry, in reference to the four sabbatical officers that were present at the training weekend.

Last year, the Students’ Union booked out the four star Carlton Hotel to the tune of over €16,000 for its class representative training. During the event, students caused damage including broken furniture, broken lampshades and stained carpets, and blood stains were reported to be in the walls of a room belonging to a member of the Oversight Committee.

“Everyone was so well behaved this year,” said the Education Officer. Barry commented: “There were no incidents, in fact the hotel staff rang me last Wednesday to say that they were extremely happy with how the event went and would welcome us back next year. The hotel asks any big group to employ extra security.”

Union officers Ryan Bartlett, Louisa Miller, Rachel Barry and Chris O’Connor gave instructive talks during the weekend on topics including an introduction to Students’ Union Council, tips on organizing events, negotiation skills and how to address student concerns. The weekend also included talks by its sponsors, Tifco Hotel Group and Marathon Travel. By getting in sponsorship money and deals, the Union was able to save around €4,000 in costs.

Students’ Union President Ryan Bartlett said: “I think it is very easy to show that the training event is great value for money, a well trained class rep who communicates effectively with college immeasurably improves the college experience for their class.”

“In 2007 there were 3 SU councils that were cancelled due to low turnout, this has not happened since the event moved off campus and the average attendance has risen ever since,” Bartlett said.