TCDSU must pressure College to implement “no detriment”, say petition founders

Campaigners call on TCDSU to keep lobbying Trinity on the issue

The creators of the original petition calling for a “no detriment” policy to be implemented have called on Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to carry on the campaign.

The no detriment policy, which Trinity have declined to implement, would have meant that as long as students receive a passing mark, their overall average grade would not be brought down by upcoming assessments.

Gráinne Sexton, posting in the “TCD No Detriment Policy” Facebook group on behalf of herself and fellow campaign founder Amber Davy, said that they “do not believe we have the power to mobilise again and effectively force College to reconsider the implementation of No Detriment” as students who are currently completing course work,

However, the post stated that they are “calling on the Students’ Union to take a firm stance on the issue and lobby College to review the implementation of a definitive No Detriment policy”.

The post further encouraged members of the group to make representations to TCDSU to lobby for the policy.

Sexton wrote: “We are sorry we can’t do more. When we sat down and considered the way forward, we realised that it would ultimately be futile to keep pressuring College.”

While rejecting the no detriment policy, Trinity’s University Council has approved several less radical measures designed to “ease pressure” on students completing assessments during the coronavirus pandemic.

The approved measures include allowing students to defer assessments until the end of the summer and granting discretionary powers to the board of examiners to consider final year students’ overall profile of marks throughout their time at Trinity when marking their work from this term.

Students who attempt assessments but find that they are not able to perform as expected will also be able to apply for a deferral until the end of summer and Students will also be allowed to progress into the next year having failed some modules in this term, provided they meet the overall pass mark for the year.

In an email to all students Trinity’s Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell wrote that it would not be possible to implement a no detriment policy under the Trinity system due to the fact that “students do not have a running grade point average”.

Mitchell added that “using grades just from third year as a basis for degree awards would not be academically appropriate or provide a fair comparison across students, not least because many students will have completed this year in a university abroad”.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.