TCDSU Council votes to campaign to make process for returning off-books students less “invasive”

The Education Officer will be mandated to lobby the senior lecturer and senior tutor for changes to the Fitness to Study letter of certification

The students’ union has voted to mandate lobbying to adapt the process for students returning from off-books to be less “invasive”.

This evening at the first Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council, members voted to mandate the education officer to campaign for the improvement of the fitness to study letter or certification. 

The motion noted that students may need to go off-books for medical reasons throughout the academic year, and to achieve this, students must submit a fitness to study letter of certificate from their GP to the Senior Lecturer. 

The motion said that it regrets “the off-books procedure can feel invasive to students and create undue stress due to its comprehensive and overly prescriptive questions”.

Speaking at Council this evening, School of Maths Convenor Ruaidhrí Campion, who proposed the motion, described some of the questions asked in the Fitness to Study letter as “invasive and unnecessary.”

The motion was seconded by the Welfare Officer Chloe Stauton.

The Fitness to Study letter asks a range of questions, from the treatment a student returning is receiving, to if the specialist believes the student is fit to return to College. 

With the passing of this motion, the Education Officer is mandated to campaign to the “Senior Lecturer, Senior Tutor and any other relevant parties for improvement of the Fitness to Study letter of certification and to review and adapt the Off-Books application so that the questions are not as invasive”.

The first Council of the academic year is taking place this evening in The Stanley Quek, located in the Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI).

Earlier in the evening, a motion was passed to update the terms of reference for both the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Implementation Group (Trinity BDS).

Additional reporting by Ellen Kenny and Kate Henshaw.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.