Societies hope to run a mixture of in-person and online events in the upcoming term

Speaking to Trinity News, societies claim they are hoping to hold some in-person events with social distancing measures in place

Earlier this week, Dublin University Business and Economic Society (DUBES) announced that they would be holding all speaker events online in September, due to social distancing protocols. 

This came after College announced they would be holding a “hybrid” learning program in the Michaelmas term, with all large scale lectures moving online.

Other societies have spoken to Trinity News this week to explain their plans on how they will operate in a post-lockdown environment. 

Speaking to Trinity News, auditor of the College Historical Society (the Hist) Brid O’Donnell said that they will be taking a “hybrid” approach to events in September. O’Donnell claimed that the society’s wide range of activities will pose some “unique challenges” when operating in a Covid-19 society. 

She stated: “For our flagship events including our weekly Chamber debates and guest events, we are prepared to hold them online over Zoom. An alternative option is to hold smaller in-person events that compile with social distancing rules and are live-streamed online”. 

“Whether an event will be strictly online or live-streamed will be decided closer to the specific event and will depend on government and college guidelines,” O’Donnell added. 

O’Donnell continued to explain how competitive debating has “quickly adapted” to being held online. 

“Last weekend, we ran Trinity’s first online Intervarsity Debating Competition, the Trinity Open 2020 Online, in collaboration with the Phil”, she stated. “It was a great success and debating training will continue to be held online for the foreseeable future.” 

O’Donnell added: “However, we do plan to run physical rounds of our Maiden’s Debating Competition as much as possible and we will endeavour to have a wide range of social activities for our members both on-and-off-line.”

Speaking about how social distancing measures would be implemented in the Hist’s events, O’Donnell stated that they will be following government health guidelines, and will ensure all events and activities are held safely.

Trinity has been closed since 26 March at 6pm, when government originally closed all universities for two weeks to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Law Soc spoke to Trinity News regarding how they plan to operate with social distancing measures in place in the upcoming term. 

Elizabeth Ring, who is secretary of the society, said: “We cannot predict what measures will be in place on campus by the time we return to college, but Law Soc would ideally like to host guests in Dublin and present them with the Praeses Elit award in person.”

“We are hoping that social distancing guidelines will allow for a small audience to attend these events, but if this is not possible then we hope to live-stream our events to our 5000 Facebook followers,” she added. “Of course, some guests may be unable to travel because they fall under a vulnerable category, in which case we are more than happy to conduct our interview and awards presentation over Zoom.” 

She expressed how the society plans to golf as many in person events “as possible” with social distancing measures in place. 

College is to reopen on 28 September 2020, with social distancing measures in place. While College stated they are committed to having as much in-person learning “as possible”, only small classes and tutorials will be held on campus. 

Speaking to Trinity News, Front of House and Design Coordinator Seirce Mhac Conghail explained how DU Players have been working on many different ways of holding events and reopening the theatre in a non-traditional Michaelmas term. 

Mhac Conghail stated: “Nationally things are so delicate and prone to change, so most of the work, while rigorous and enthusiastic, is still only hypothetical.”

DU Players have already been holding events and operating shows throughout the lockdown period. This includes a weekly podcast soap opera and an online festival, which is being held from the 17 to 20 of June.

Mhac Conghail said: “Keeping up our activity and engagement has been driven by the need to sustain our society as a community more than anything else. Players at its core is a community, and we also happen to make some cool plays”

“So when we get back to college, it is fully our intention to continue with every aspect of Players, in a manner that’s safe for our members and follows government and college guidelines,” Mhac Conghail added. “Our building will be open and active at a reduced capacity with enforced social distancing and added hygiene measures. We hope to hold events, and will probably run a blended term of online and in person events.”

The Central Societies’ Committee released a statement to Trinity News this week explaining how they are planning to support societies’ through what the new challenges social distancing measures will have on the social aspects of College. 

“The CSC is working to ensure societies are best equipped and supported for the challenges ahead. Given the wide array of situations we might be in, come September, we are developing a robust set of contingency plans to facilitate society life regardless of what that may look like,” the statement, which was signed by secretary Benjamin McConkey read. “Over the past few weeks, we have been meeting with societies to understand what their needs might be and to help us tailor our support to the specific challenges they’re facing.”

It continued: “We have had great feedback and ideas from the society community and are delighted with how continually active societies have been during this tough time.”


DUBES stated earlier on this week that the CSC has provided access to their premium Zoom account for societies. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.