Science lectures may continue online after Reading Week due to admin issues

Students in a second year Biology lecture were told last week that “it’s just not feasible to start making a second timetable for all of the sciences”

Some science lectures may continue online after Reading Week due to admin issues.

Students in a second-year biology class last week were told that they, and potentially all science students, will not see an increase in in-person classes after reading week.

The announcement was made in the September 13 introductory lecture for module BYU22201: From Molecules to Cells II, which is taken by all senior fresh biology and biomedical sciences students.

“In-person lectures commencing after reading week, for this class group at the moment, that isn’t planned,” said module coordinator Dr Emma Creagh in a recording of the lecture seen by Trinity News.

This is despite Trinity’s “two-phase approach” to the semester that will see social distancing requirements scrapped from November 1.

Freshman Biology Teaching Coordinator Dr Glynis Robinson then suggested this was a broader policy across science and maths saying “the administration of chemistry, physics, biology and maths all re-doing their timetables and finding rooms to fit their groups would defeat half of us in the end”.

“It’s just not feasible to start making a second timetable for all of the sciences. We’re talking about a thousand students to be re-timetabled. It isn’t possible, unfortunately.”

Creagh concurred, saying: “It’s taken half the summer to get the timetables working the way they are.”

She added, however, that “second semester will look different.”

“Look, everything’s unfair. We’re in a pandemic. I’m sorry. We tried our best to accommodate you guys. We’re going to have you back in [classrooms] as soon as we can.”

This news comes after Provost Linda Doyle specifically promised more in-person teaching to the senior fresh biology class, in an email seen by Trinity News.

In response to a query from a second-year biology class representative, Doyle said: “Following Reading Week, we will loosen restrictions in line with public health guidelines and the semester and year taken as a whole will be much better”.

Doyle continued: “I know this is not exactly the answer you want, but I can say it is going to get better as the semester progresses”.

A senior fresh biology student who was in the class, speaking to Trinity News, commented: “It’s very disappointing to hear that as plans currently stand we won’t be having more in person teaching after reading week.”

“I believe that it is College’s responsibility to provide adequate timetabling resources so that we can be timetabled to be back in person as soon as possible, given College’s commitment to a tw- phased return to in person teaching.”

They continued: “Also, it is important that we’re back to more face-to-face learning as soon as is allowed because of its benefits for both our mental well-being and our learning experience.”

Many schools within Trinity have found themselves unequipped to comply with College’s promised levels of in-person teaching. Even the plans as they appear on paper have drawn disappointed reactions from many students.

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy is the Editor-in-chief of the 68th edition of Trinity News. He is a Computer & Electronic Engineering graduate, and a former Assistant Editor, Online Editor, and Deputy Online Editor.