Students block Front entrance and Book of Kells in protest

Students are protesting the implementation of a €450 flat fee on supplemental exams.

Photo by Sarah Meehan

Students are currently blocking the entrances of the Book of Kells and Front Arch, as well as chanting at the Nassau Street entrance, protesting the implementation of a €450 flat fee on supplemental exams.

Joined by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) representatives, including Education Officer Alice MacPherson and Disabilities Officer Laura Beston, students are chanting, “students, united, will never be defeated,” and “take back Trinity,” and “no ‘ifs’, no ‘buts’, no education cuts,” among other slogans.

A press statement from the “Take Back Trinity” protesters said: “For a long time, supplemental exams were the only respite in an otherwise completely unaffordable education. Such a system has benefited the college community, as it has allowed a vast number of students a second chance at their education at no extra cost. ”

“Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam fees is evidence of their continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare. Just last year, College signed the Student Partnership Agreement, which promises to promote democracy and ensure that students are stakeholders in decisions that College make. Not only does the Board’s decision conflict with this agreement, it is completely contradictory toward promoting accessibility to all in Trinity.”

The protest is the latest in a series of protests by the student body and TCDSU  in the wake of the announcement of the fee on Monday.

On Tuesday, an ‘emergency meeting’  was held to discuss plans to resist the introduction of the proposed fees. Students called for significant and impactful action against the implementation of fees.

On Wednesday, before and during a meeting held by the Finance Committee, a crowd of 100 students protested outside House One where the meeting took place, organised by the SU with several current officers and officers elect addressing the crowd. Students then targeted the official social media pages of Trinity such as Trinity College Global by posting one one star reviews. Several students appeared to have their Facebook accounts deactivated following this. Both the Trinity College Global and Book of Kells Facebook pages turned off reviews in response.

“We will continue to protest until our demands are met. We will escalate our protests until our demands are met,” the protesters said in a press statement today.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.