TCDSU call for an end to restrictions on overnight guests in College accommodation

The current policy “disproportionately limits the rights and autonomy of student residences”, says the union

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has today released a statement calling for the reform of the current overnight guest policy in Trinity Halls and on-campus accommodation. 

At present, students living in Trinity Halls may not sign in an overnight guest to stay after 11pm of the same day, with this cut-off time being extended to midnight  for students living in  on-campus accommodation and Pearse Street.

In today’s statement the union called on College to immediately change this policy, likening it to the 1960s-era ‘in loco parentis’ policy adopted by College in which they legally acted as the guardian of student residents who left their family homes. 

“The policy of not letting students sign in guests after 11pm at Halls, and 12am on campus disproportionately limits the rights and autonomy of student residents. It is a paternalistic, dangerous and double-standard policy”, the union said.

The statement claimed that the policy “does not treat students as adults capable of making their own decisions”. 

“Someone might need to sleep at a resident’s place, such as in cases where they miss their public transport and cannot get home. Rejecting them from a safe place to sleep is unacceptable”, the union added.

These rules do not apply to lecturers and Fellows living on campus, who do not need to sign in an overnight guest. This has prompted TCDSU to call this a double-standard between College’s staff and students.

In the statement the union encouraged residents  to sign up to the TCD Renters’ Solidarity Network, a “grassroots campus residents’ action group” which aims to “coordinate campaigns around the collective issues [residents] face”.

“We aim to campaign to challenge the restrictive and paternalistic overnight guests policy, advocate for free laundry machines, and stand up against unaffordable rents. As well as this, we can use this group for Palestinian solidarity such as flag drops”, the statement concluded.

Today’s statement comes two months after TCDSU staged a blockade of the Book of Kells entrance, protesting a 2% increase in College accommodation prices. In October, following the protests, College agreed to implement a rent freeze for the 2024/2025 academic year.