Academic Registry takes “responsibility” for exam cloakroom chaos

Students sitting exams today were told that they had to drop bags off in a “mandatory cloakroom”, leading to huge queues in the RDS

Academic Registry has taken “responsibility for the bag-drop facility setup and the breakdown in comms [sic] with the SU” in a Tweet this afternoon. The statement follows widespread chaos and confusion about a “mandatory cloakroom” for students’ belongings in the RDS exam venue.

The Tweet from Academic Registry also noted that “new safety concerns were raised last Thursday as to the space for bags and them being left unattended. That this was not correctly communicated with students is wholly on us.”

A second Tweet said: “We’re currently working with exams staff onsite to better provide a rundown of what to expect when heading to examinations and will forward on more information as we have it.”

This is in spite of a separate, now deleted Tweet from this morning where Academic Registry alleged that Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) were notified about the changes to the cloakroom on Thursday, leading to much criticism of the Union on social media.

Students faced a wait of up to 45 minutes today on the first day of exams to drop their belongings off, after announcements in the RDS venue that using the cloakroom was mandatory. In previous years, students left their belongings outside the exam hall. Academic Registry have said that the move is in order to meet health and safety regulations, and advised students to drop off their belongings 45 minutes prior to their exams.

Extra staff will be placed at the cloakroom tomorrow to combat delays.

Senior Sophister History Student, Joe McCallion, who was sitting an exam this morning, said: “I was in my car the majority of the time, but I went to go to the toilet about 9am and couldn’t believe the queue. I messaged classmates who had their stuff and were queuing, and I told them to just throw everything into my car. One classmate arrived late so I just waited for her so I could catch her and get her to put her stuff in the car so she wouldn’t be under any more pressure. And then I arrive at my table and everything is there except a chair. The queue went from the marquee right back into the exam hall itself. [It] didn’t even feel like a queue, more like a crowd.”

In a statement to Trinity News, TCDSU President Shane de Rís said: “We have been actively working to resolve the queuing issues with the cloakroom in the RDS. Major health and safety issues were raised with the bag-drop system as it operated at Christmas and the cloakroom was introduced by Academic Registry to address this. The wait times experienced this morning are unacceptable and the SU have arranged to double the staffing of the cloakroom for the remainder of the exam period and a more efficient system has been organised.”

Niamh Lynch

Niamh was Editor of the 65th volume of Trinity News. She is a History and Politics graduate.