TCDSU calls on schools to maximise face-to-face teaching post reading week

TCDSU publish open letter asking schools to rearrange student timetables following revelations that timetables and overall student experience will see little change

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have released an open letter calling on the heads of schools to maximise the amount of in-person teaching available to students after reading week.

TCDSU expressed concern about the release of student timetables for the second half of the semester, due to come out on October 15. 

TCDSU claims they have been made aware that although post reading week, room capacity increases will allow for more in-person teaching, student timetabling will effectively remain unchanged.

“We have recently learnt that there is no plan to re-timetable for the second half of the semester, and little will change in the way of students’ current experience.” 

In a separate statement, TCDSU explained that they have read through many testimonies given by students on the subject of how individual schools have thus far approached timetabling.

The open letter, in which students can show their support for a full return to in-person teaching, has 464 signatures at the time of publication. 

TCDSU has said: “Our job at TCDSU is to represent the student perspective, and in this instance it appears that students would be in favour of re-timetabling for the second half of the semester.” 

The union also emphasised the patience demonstrated by students, reminding schools that up to now, students have been asked to “hang tight” until the end of reading week. The letter also pointed out that Trinity was the first university to close and the last open during the ongoing pandemic. 

TCDSU explained to schools that should Trinity fail to facilitate face-to-face teaching post reading week, they anticipate extreme backlash across the student body, as well as from government, and across the media. TCDSU have told schools that they will be joining students should this backlash occur, as “College has had months to plan for this.”

The open letter continued to say that TCDSU “strongly believe that by November 1, only classes over 500 and those that have always been taught online for pedagogical reasons  should be online.”

The letter ended by saying: “You have four weeks to do this, it is not too late to act.”

This article was updated to amend the number of  student signatures given to the open letter

Jamie Cox

Jamie Cox is current News Analysis Editor for Trinity News and previously served as Higher Education Correspondent. He is a Junior Sophister Ancient and Medieval History and Culture student.