Trinity groups urge students to contact College Board to oppose supplemental fees

Numerous groups in Trinity are urging students to contact members of the College Board prior to their meeting this afternoon to oppose the introduction of supplemental fees.

Speaking to Trinity News, Manager for the Option 2 campaign, Laura Beston, said that this was a “grassroots movement” which came about “as a result of the preferendum last week regarding supplemental fees”. “With the support of a variety of different students movements we are attempting to make Trinity Board listen to what the students want before their meeting with the Finance Committee relating to supplemental fees on Wednesday,” she said.

The campaign are working with Students Against Fees (SAF), People Before Profit (PBP) and other groups to “make students aware that they have power to make those in charge sit up and listen, and all in a very simple and effective way”.

This follows the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) preferendum last week where 34% of students out of a total valid pole of 3,504 voted for Option 3, which read: “TCDSU should not support the introduction of supplemental exam fees but should advocate for modular billing.”

“Whilst Option 2 did not win the preferendum it was obvious with a 3,800 voter turnout and Option 3 coming out on top, followed by Option 2 that students feel passionately about the issue of supplemental fees,” Beston continued. Both of these choices in the preferendum were to oppose the introduction of supplemental fees, with Option 2 differing in that the Union would not support its introduction regardless of a cap to the fees or the introduction of modular billing.

The group are providing a sample PDF that students can use and personalise, as well as a list of Board members to contact. “The students have spoken and we want to make sure that they know how to get their message across. After students have sent their email we would encourage them to share the PDF with five other friends encouraging them to do the same,” she said.

Beston concluded: “This is an incredibly time sensitive issue and we must make Board listen to what the students want. Supplemental fees are exclusionary and elitist and will not be tolerated.”

On January 23, Chris Morash, Vice Provost of College, visited the TCDSU Council to discuss the proposed changes. At the Council, Morash had stated that supplemental fees would cost €200, with a cap to these of €1000.

Seana Davis

Seana Davis is a fourth year Geology student and News Editor of Trinity News.