The issue of University Times’ funding came under scrutiny at tonight’s Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council this evening. During a Local Issues session with questions answered by TCDSU President Shane De Rís, it was questioned whether the organisation should “discuss reducing or cancelling the UT [University Times] Editor’s salary”.
De Rís noted that it was “a conversation we are all having”, and he further said that “all sabbatical officers are under review”. He pointed out that “by the constitution, we are only required to pay salary but they get accommodation on top of that and accommodation is very expensive”.
Members of Council also issued statements in support of the University Times stating that, “UT plays a really valuable role in the oversight of the SU”. However, it was suggested that it would be beneficial to “[move] towards UT becoming self-sustaining”.
Rory Codd, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) Convenor, also questioned moving to a model which was more independent of the SU. This was also acknowledged as a viable option by De Rís.
In concluding the discussion, Shane De Rís noted that “we can’t go on like this from year to year”.
This comes less than a month after TCDSU published its budget that included a €70,000 deficit. While over €30,000 was attributed to campaigns, the student newspaper also ran a loss of €16,569. This did not include the cost of salary and accommodation of the Editor of the paper.
Speaking to Trinity News, Editor of the University Times, Eleanor O’Mahony, said: “As we have said before, The University Times really is taking this matter seriously, and we understand the implications for TCDSU’s finances and the work it does on behalf of students. The University Times also, however, does extremely important work for students and in the context of tonight’s council discussion about student services, it’s important to note that The University Times should be considered a student service too, and traditionally has been. It was great to see students stand up for the paper and the important role it has to play. That said, it’s worth noting again we have already cut one of our print issues this year to save money, and are in the process of considering making fundamental changes to the newspaper’s finances.”