Vice Provost asks schools to flag obstacles preventing a full return to campus

TCDSU President announced progress on the open letter calling on schools to re-timetable after reading week

Schools are being asked to “flag obstacles getting in the way of a full return to campus”.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Leah Keogh has announced an update on the Open Letter sent by the sabbatical officers last week.

On Friday, TCDSU called on the heads of schools to maximise in-person teaching available to students after reading week, and to re-timetable to that end.  

In the open letter, the union expressed “deep concern” regarding timetables for the second half of the semester, saying: “there is no plan to re-timetable… and little will change in the way of students’ current experience.”

“We 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 continued.

This evening, Keogh said: “I brought the issue to College Board this morning as a matter of Urgent Business.”

According to Keogh, Vice Provost Orla Shieils “has sent a form to all heads of schools, asking them to flag any obstacles getting in the way of a full return to campus”.

“Additional spaces and funding for TAs is being sourced where necessary”, she continued.

“School commitment is trickling in”, Keogh said, explaining that TCDSU has “had contact from seven heads of Schools, committing to maximise in-person teaching for their students”.

TCDSU has also asked for “sight of what teaching will look like” for each student by November 1, and have been “assured” that they will receive information soon.

Keogh added: “We have scheduled subsequent meetings with the provost and vice-provost before timetables are released next Thursday. ”

Speaking to Trinity News this week, a spokesperson for College said: “Trinity will definitely be using all teaching and learning spaces at full capacity with no social distancing after reading week”.

“This will also apply to the library”, the spokesperson added. 

Country-wide restrictions are due to ease on October 22. Reading week for second, third and fourth years is due to begin on October 25 with a full return proposed for November 1. 

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.