Kavanagh Court closes all communal spaces

The announcement came following reports of student parties and “abusive behaviour towards staff”

Kavanagh Court has today announced that it is closing all communal spaces, including its games room, rooftop terrace, and study spaces. This comes as a result of “an unacceptable level of disregard, paired with abusive behaviour towards staff”. 

Non residents will no longer be permitted to enter the building. 

Kavanagh Court, which is owned and operated by Uninest student accommodation and partly leased for use by Trinity’s accommodation services, announced these measures via an email sent to all residents. 

Kavanagh Court expressed regret at the announcement, stating: “We tried not to do this, we tried to believe that the students would have respect for their households, their roommates, and the staff working here.”

A student living at Kavanagh Court told Trinity News that the restrictions were “unintentionally poised to harm the mental health of all its residents”.

“The students who are being respectful of the restrictions can no longer pop up to the roof for a quick break of air, study in the common room for a short time for a change of scene, or exercise in the gym to balance their physical and mental health.”

She said that she felt Kavanagh Court was punishing the whole community for the behaviour of a small number of students, and encouraged residents to send an email asking that they reconsider the restrictions. She said that it was important to maintain a safe living space, but that “the consequences should be on those who broke the rules”.

A number of previous warnings had been issued reminding students that house parties were prohibited.

In an email sent on Saturday October 3, Trinity’s Assistant Junior Dean, Gerard Ekembe said that they were aware of a number of breaches of the rules around parties. The email said “you know who you are, and you must be reminded that your actions are putting the other residents at risk”.

This was followed by another email on Sunday, which said that more parties had been organised, and that students had displayed “disrespectful behaviour towards staff members”. 

The email reminded students that Covid-19 is a “lethal disease”, and that “by breaching the rules that have been put in place, you are clearly endangering the lives of the other residents”.

The email continued: “Perhaps your personal wealth will allow you to strive in your life independently of your university achievements. However, many of your peers have poured their everything to be successful at the end of the year.” 

Accommodation at Kavanagh court is available to students at a cost of €260 per week.

Students were then told to consider that further breaches of government regulations around gatherings would lead to “eventual Garda investigation”.

The email asked that students try to enjoy themselves within the government regulations, and said that if they felt isolated College “will not let you down and will bring about all that is in its power to help you”.

Finally, the email confirmed that “those who have breached the rules and organised parties will certainly be sanctioned”.

Students were reminded that these rules did not exclusively apply to parties, but all social gatherings: “Gatherings of more than six people from more than three houses are forbidden. They are forbidden also if you live on different floors.”

This post was updated at 6:53pm on October 5. An earlier version quoted the email from Kavanagh Court as saying “gatherings of more than three people from more than six households ae forbidden”. In fact, the email said that “gatherings of more than six people from more than three houses are forbidden”.

Patrick Coyle

Patrick Coyle is a News Analysis Editor for Trinity News, and a Junior Sophister student of English Literature and Spanish.