TCDSU council votes to introduce sports and student parent bursaries

The Student Sport Bursary and Student Parents Bursary will each receive €20,000 from the HEA fund

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) council has voted to create two separate bursaries for student parents and students who wish to access sports.

Both bursaries will receive funding of €20,000 from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) fund to offer financial support to students.

Both funds will be distributed annually over a five-year period starting in September 2024.

The motion to introduce a student bursary was proposed by TCDSU President László Mólnárfi and seconded by Student Parent Officer Sheila Keegan.

Speaking at council, Keegan said any student parent that joins Trinity “really needs our support”.

She noted the struggle parents have to balance their own academic obligations with childcare and their children’s lives.

“Coming to college is complicated anyway but as a student parent there are other things happening,” she said.

Speaking to Trinity News ahead of council, Mólnárfi said a bursary “ is crucial in a university setting as it recognizes and supports the unique challenges faced by individuals balancing academic pursuits with parenting responsibilities”.

The motion to introduce a student sport bursary was also proposed by Mólnárfi and seconded by Citizenship Officer Ella Mac Lennan.

The bursary was proposed following last year’s failed referendum for the union to stop supporting College’s sports levy, an annual €120 payment to Trinity Sport Union (TSU) unless all booking fees and equipment charges are abolished.

The referendum proposed by the union failed to pass with a 68% opposition after concerns were raised by TSU that abolishing the fee would lead to less access and capacity for student sport.

The motion noted that while the referendum was defeated, “raised considerable attention

to the issue of extra equipment, club subscription and court use costs which have

a negative effect on the ability of underprivileged students to engage in sports”.

Council also voted to increase support for Professional Masters of Education (PME) students.

Proposed by Mólnárfi and seconded by Education Officer Cat Arnold, TCDSU will establish official links with the Association of Secondary School Teacher’s of Ireland and support its campaign to ensure second-level teachers receive increased pay.

The motion notes that “the union has a duty to support P.M.E students’, the motion states, ‘and the best way to do that is through solidarity and combining [union] forces with ASTI”.

The motion praises work carried out by the ASTI, noting a motion passed in 2022 to campaign for student second-level teachers to be paid for the hours worked by students during their second year of study. 

The ASTI is the main second level teacher’s union in Ireland, representing 18,800 teachers. The union’s aims include the promotion and protection of teacher’s interests, maintaining and improving teachers’ conditions of employment, and uniting and organising all second level teachers. 

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor

Madison Pitman

Madison Pitman is a Deputy News Editor and is currently in her second year studying Law with a minor in Political Science.