Around 30 students have gathered around Sfera con Sfera, the golden ball sculpture outside the Berkeley Library, in the latest protest against the introduction of a €450 flat fee for supplemental exams.
The low-key direct action was advertised on Facebook within the last hour, promising a “very chill and relaxed” protest. Students sit around the circumference of Sfera on Sfera, marking the protest boundary with textbooks. Banners drape the sculpture, with words such as “Take Back Trinity,” and “No Fees. Education is Priceless”.
The direct action follows several quiet days from the Take Back Trinity protesters. After a series of protests in the last two weeks, including a two day occupation of the Dining Hall and numerous protests at the Book of Kells and Front Arch, Provost Patrick Prendergast stated that he would consider alternatives to the €450 supplemental exam fee.
The provost met with Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin Keane and Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) Shane Collins twice earlier this week to discuss the fee, as well as proposed increases on campus accommodation rent and non-EU and postgraduate fees. Collins told Trinity News that “productive discussions took place and we will be in a better position over the coming days to identify what may be possible”.
The College Board is expected to meet on March 28, when further discussion of supplemental exam fees is likely to take place.