CSC clarifies restrictions on societies ahead of Freshers’ Week

The organisation has sought approval from College for indoor events, but has not yet received an answer

Today, the Central Societies Committee (CSC) announced plans for the first year Freshers Week, commencing next Monday 20 September.

In an email circulated to societies, the CSC outlined how society activities could proceed next week, clarifying the restrictions at a “treasurer’s general meeting” this evening. 

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Freshers’ Fair stands are permitted to operate from 10am to 3pm. The CSC will allocate each society a random space around Front Square, approved by College Estates and Facilities, will be rotated.

Each society can set up one table each, provided by the CSC. The CSC are to clarify if gazebos are permitted over society stands.

The CSC announced that it had received approval from College to have two rather than one society personnel to manage their stand at any time, as had previously been announced.

The CSC have also received approval for some society “giveaways” at the Freshers’ Fair stands, provided hand-sanitization procedures are in place and physical contact between people does not occur. However, society-produced publications, non-pre-packed food and soft drinks, and alcohol are not permitted to be distributed at fresher stands. 

The CSC specified that it was a College policy prohibiting the distribution of publications by societies, rather than their own rules.

The same rules apply to the Freshers’ Fair taking place at Trinity Hall on Saturday 18 September.

Indoor society events, classed as “social activity”, are not currently permitted by College. However, under national restrictions, from September 6, “organised indoor events” are permitted with 60% of the venue’s normal capacity, provided that all attendees are fully vaccinated or immune. 

From October 22, national-level restrictions on social events are to be scrapped.

Committees may request access to society rooms to pick up materials for freshers’ week.  

The CSC said that it had submitted a proposal to College for indoor society events to be allowed, in approved spaces, where societies adhere to certain guidelines. 

CSC Chair Ben McConkey confirmed at the meeting that the proposal includes the provision that all attendees must be fully vaccinated with societies checking vaccine passes. 

Asked when societies would hear about the permitting of indoor events, the CSC was not able to provide a timeframe for College accepting or denying their proposal. McConkey said that indoor spaces must be surveyed by Estates and Facilities and other “infrastructure” must be put in place.

However, the CSC said that it would provide guidance for societies on the issue of vaccine passports, in the event that indoor events are permitted. 

McConkey also said that if indoor events are permitted, the CSC will not privilege large societies in the distribution of available spaces. 

Yesterday (September 13), the CSC launched a booking system for societies to book the 29 gazebos around campus for outdoor society events. 

The gazebos seat 18 people each, but the CSC said that societies could have more in attendance at outdoor events, using the space around the gazebos. The CSC did not specify a limit on attendees at outdoor society events on campus. 

Societies may run outdoor classes, such as fitness classes, but approval must be sought to have non-student instructors on campus.

Also at the meeting, Eoghan Quinn was elected as ordinary committee member (OCM) to the CSC executive.

Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson is currently a Deputy News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Sophister English Literature and Jewish and Islamic Civilizations Student.