The sixth Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) took place this evening in the Stanley Quek theatre in TBSI.
A strategy for providing support for off-campus students was passed tonight by TCDSU. The strategy plans to address issues based around three central issues; financial hardship, representation and support, and tackling isolation.
Proposals include a €5000 bursary, improved student spaces, and an SU committee tasked solely with off-campus issues. Suggestions filed under financial hardship would see a bursary of “roughly €5000” be provided alongside the Senior Tutor’s Office in order to supplement off-campus students forced to travel or seek accommodation for placement.
“Tackling isolation” would “foster a sense of community among all students who are off-campus”. This proposal cites the success of the space in St. James’s Hospital. Following this, the SU is committing to refurbishing the D’Olier Street building foyer, with a kitchenette and new seating, and is working on a space in Tallaght. Alongside this, Ents events would see increased online sales of tickets, as well as physical copies of relevant SU publications being brought to off-campus locations.
Representation would be addressed by the introduction of an “Off-Campus Committee,” which would be tasked with alerting the SU to off-campus issues. In addition, sabbatical officers would be tasked with going off-campus twice a term in order to hear from students at the various off-campus locations.
A motion to increase involvement in the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) was also passed today at Council.
Proposed by Kieran McNulty TCDSU President, and seconded by Dale Whelehan, Education Officer, the motion would require at least two sabbatical officers to attend each meeting, unless “there is an urgent reason to stay behind in TCD”. The motion noted that attendance of sabbatical officers at USI National Council has lowered in recent years.
Representing over 354,000 students across Ireland, the USI is a “democratically governed confederation which shall represent and campaign for the rights of students without bias, fear or favour” with meetings every six weeks.
A motion to remove Jack Cantillon from the Board of Trustees due to non-contact was pushed forward to next Council, while a motion to fund an S2S internship programme was changed to discussion item.
This original proposal suggested a two year pilot program, with a proposed budget of €49,685 to cover the annual salaries of two interns and associated employer contributions. The proposed programme would see a graduating volunteer taking a paid internship for the year, managing other volunteers and providing a student perspective for existing staff within the S2S.
Meanwhile, a number of discussion items were also brought forward to Council.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has awarded its “Honorary Membership” to the Academic Secretary, Patricia Callaghan.
The membership was proposed by Dale Whelehan, TCDSU Education Officer. Speaking at Council tonight, Whelehan said: “Honourary membership of the union is for outstanding contribution to student life” and that Callaghan provided “dedication and loyalty to enhancing teaching and learning in Trinity.” Whelehan recognised her contribution to her recognition of “prior learning” and coursework policy, as well as her role as policy advisor to the Vice-Provost Chris Morash.
Whelehan also remarked that Callaghan was “heavily involved in bringing Trinity education into the 21st century,” referring to Callaghan’s involvement in the Trinity Access Programme, Trinity Education Programme and the Careers Advisory Service.
McNulty also announced that a referendum on the provision of a student centre in Trinity, as called for by the Capitations Committee of College, will take place on March 22 – 24. McNulty also outlined what facilities the proposed student centre would entail.
Additional reporting by Sam Cox, Oisín Vince Coulter and Dáire O’Driscoll.