Trinity alumni demand College’s fine on TCDSU be rescinded

Alumni For Trinity cite shame over College’s threats towards the student body

Newly formed group Alumni For Trinity has come out in support of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) in light of the 214k fine imposed by College earlier this week. 

The group has published a statement on X laying down a series of concerns.

Alumni For Trinity describes College’s decision to impose a fine on the union for financial losses incurred from “disruptive” protests as anti-democratic and contrary to the “supposed ethos of Trinity College Dublin”. 

The group demands the fine be rescinded on the grounds it is “punitive to the extreme”. 

Crucially, they declare that if the fine is enforced, its members commit to permanently cease donations to College as “it does not act in students’ best interest”, advising other alumni networks to follow suit. 

“[The fine] betrays the Provost’s own election manifesto and the University’s stated commitment to fostering an environment of free expression – which must include the right to protest and picket.” 

On Monday, the Provost sent an email to the entire student body highlighting “significant concern” over TCDSU’s disruptive protests throughout the academic year. The Provost, quoting a private email sent to her by Molnarfi, shared her concerns regarding the union’s promise to cause “serious financial and reputational damage” to College if the increase to Master’s fee rates were not removed. 

Referencing this email, Alumni For Trinity said: “Publishing correspondence from TCDSU is acting in bad faith.” They say that College’s threats are not representative of “confident leadership”. 

Citing outrage and shame over these decisions, the alumni group asserts the unreasonableness of threatening “student leaders over legitimate protests” of major political concern.

Another point of contention contributing to the strife between the union and College has been the Provost’s stance on Gaza. TCDSU have repeatedly called on the Provost to issue a statement in solidarity with Palestine and cut ties with Israeli-funded institutions, which Doyle refused to do. 

Alumni For Trinity state: “At a time when students in the US are being suspended and arrested for exercising their right to protest Israel’s war on Gaza, it is deeply concerning to see Trinity adopt a hostile threat to the students’ primary organising body.”

“We are ashamed that the Provost would intend for Trinity students to splinter, and blame each other for these financial burdens rather than stand and protect each other”, they continued. 

The statement concludes by emphasising that until the fine is rescinded, Alumni For Trinity members refuse to “engage and financially contribute to a college that has such little appreciation of its students’ worth”. 

This statement joins those of several Trinity academics and Irish politicians who have come out in support of TCDSU this past week.

Gabriela Gazaniga

Gabriela Gazaniga is the Deputy Editor of News Analysis and is currently in her Junior Sophister year earning a degree in Law.