USI “concerned” about lack of clarity for higher education

Following guidance yesterday from government that higher and third level institutions should “consider enhanced protective measures”, the union has expressed concern by the ambiguity of the statement

Yesterday, government officials announced their new “Framework for Restrictive Measures in Response to Covid-19”, introducing a five-level plan to classify Covid-19 restrictions according to different risk rates across the country. 

Alongside the publication of their new five-level plan, government included additional restrictions for Dublin, stating that “higher and third level institutions should consider enhanced protective measures”, as many are expecting to reopen in the next few weeks. 

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President Lorna Fitzpatrick has criticized the ambiguity of the statement, as no further details have yet been announced on what “enhanced protective measures” should be implemented by universities and colleges. 

This has caused some confusion among student bodies.

Speaking to Trinity News, USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick stated: “USI is concerned about the lack of clarity within the plan released by government in relation to the enhanced protective measures for colleges in Dublin.”

“We have no idea what those measures are going to be or look like which is very unfair for the students who are due to be going or returning to these colleges over the coming days,” Fitzpatrick continued. 

She added: “Urgent clarity is required on this point by government.”

The whole country remains in level 2, with Dublin having extra restrictions on household gatherings and wet pubs. Dublin has not yet progressed to level 3 of restrictions. 

Continuing students are to commence classes on September 28, the first day of face-to-face classes for students since March 12, when government announced the closure of all schools and colleges to limit the spread of Covid-19. 

Freshers’ week is to run alongside the first day of classes for continuing students, with classes for continuing students starting from October 5.

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.