Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have rescheduled their referendum on the Sports Centre Levy to February 1.
According to an email from TCDSU sent to students, the TCDSU Electoral Commission (EC) was made aware of “some confusion about the content of the referendum”. They have extended the campaigning period “to ensure that voting can be conducted fairly”.
Voting was originally scheduled to open on January 30 at 9am, but will now open on February 1 at 5pm until February 3 at 5pm. Students will receive an email link to vote in the referendum.
The referendum will decide whether to make the unions’ support for the charge conditional on the abolition of all booking, equipment and class fees in the centre. TCDSU’s representatives on the College Capitations Committee would be mandated to oppose the continued collection of the Annual Sports Centre charge until College ceases all booking fees and equipment charges.
The proposed amendment requires a 60% majority vote in order to pass. Should it pass at referendum, it would become a Long-Term Policy of the Union and can only be removed with another referendum.
Trinity Sports Union (TSU) have urged students to vote no in the referendum “to safeguard student sport at Trinity”. Liam Bean, Chairperson of TSU argued that the proposed changes “will inevitably result in less access and capacity for student sport, higher charges to student sport clubs and an increase of commercial activity”.
The proposer of the referendum, PhD student Lórien MacEnulty, described TSU’s opposition as “unsubstantiated speculation”.
“Students currently pay from the total contribution charge a sum of €120 called the Sports Development Charge (SDC), which contributes massively to Trinity Sport’s income. The problem is that Trinity Sport is still immensely underfunded, and increasingly, students and sports clubs find themselves shouldering its financial strains, strains that College itself refuses to ease despite its financial capacity to do so.”