Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) have voted to campaign for the removal of the time limit on overnight guests in Trinity accommodation at council this evening.
TCDSU will also campaign for College security to allow guests to wait for residents, who have signed them in, inside the Front Gate area “rather than leaving them outside which is dangerous”.
The motion, proposed by TCDSU president László Molnárfi and seconded by SS Political Science and Geography Class Rep Siubhán Stockman, aims to amend policies regarding guest sign-in to make the service more accessible to students and guests both on campus and in Trinity Hall (Halls).
Students currently face restrictions when living in either location, with guest sign in prohibited after 12am on campus and 11pm in Halls. Such restrictions are not applicable to staff living on campus, with TCDSU describing this as “an unjust disparity” between staff and students.
The motion noted that: “Cases where the friends of students who missed their public transport have had nowhere else to go, and College policy meant that they could not sleep on campus or Halls residences on the couch, but had to walk alone at night or not been able to go home, putting themselves in danger.”
Speaking at Council this evening Molnárfi said: “I really don’t know why we haven’t taken action on this before.” He labelled the policy “so paternalistic” and “also dangerous”.
He also noted that the practice is a “double standard” with staff not having the same conditions applied.
Motion seconder Niko Evans noted that “for the exam period, we are not allowed to sign in guests” and “if a noise complaint is made against a resident they will immediately have their guest privileges removed permanently”.
In a statement to Trinity News Molnárfi said: “College needs to change their policy which endangers students, is paternalistic, and a double standard.”
“I would encourage College to take note of the serious discontent this policy has generated amongst student renters who have little rights yet are paying extortionate rates to live on campus and Halls.”
This motion follows statements released by the TCDSU condemning the “paternalistic, dangerous, and double-standard” of the overnight guests policy.
The statement released on November 17 encourages students to sign up to the TCD Renters’ Solidarity Network, a “grassroots campus residents’ action group to coordinate campaigns around the collective issues we face”.
In his statement to Trinity News, Molnárfi referenced the organisation, saying that they “have set up the TCD Renters’ Solidarity Network, so [they] will use collective action to force College to change this policy if we do not receive a positive reply”.
“In the North and in the UK, students went on rent strike, costing their universities millions of euros. If they could do it there, so can we here”
With over 1,800 students living at Halls or on campus, students are classed as licensees restricting their rights in comparison to those of official tenants.
The motion follows similar action by TCDSU to tackle issues related to student housing, such as the blockade of the Book of Kells in protest of the 2% increase in accommodation prices. Following this blockade College agreed to freeze rents in Trinity accommodation for 2024/25.