Leftist students for social progress.

Category: Fees

List of Demands – Protest 22nd of September 2021

  • Apologize to students for the unclear and late communication concerning the re-opening plan, which conveyed a lack of care for students’ needs and a preoccupation with increased revenues.
  • Provide more in-person lectures through using TCD’s unused real estate properties to hold classes provided the Covid-19 regulations allow, or alternatively, refund students for the loss of their in-person tuition and the educational experience that they paid for in 2021-2022, per module. Return or Refund!
    • All lectures below 150 should be in-person. All tutorials should be in person. 
    • Do the best to ensure that timetables do not have in-person and online classes mixed on the same day.
  • Work together with the TCD Students’ Union, Graduate Students’ Union, IFUT and lecturers to find a solution for handing over copyright of recorded lectures to lecturers, so as to enact a democratically-approved policy of courses being recorded for inclusivity, mental health reasons and for students with extenuating circumstances who otherwise can’t come back on-campus.
    • This should be a personal choice, especially with the unavailability of accommodation and many students  commuting, and should require no justification. This will also reduce stress for on-campus facilities.
  • Students living in Trinity-owned accommodation should be allowed to have overnight guests and host guests as per government policy. 
  • Library capacity to operate at close to full capacity and students shouldn’t have to book in, the same for sports clubs and societies. They should also follow their pre-covid opening and closing hours, and time allowed to spend in the library should not be limited.  
  • Free repeats for those who failed last year due to the difficulties associated with Covid-19. 
  • Refund of the student contribution fee from last year for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Increase mental health spending to fix 40+ days wait times at the counselling services.
  • As a compensation for the disregard of students during the pandemic, TCD should give us access to ALL recorded lectures and materials from our respective Schools, so as to make up for the loss of our education (due to its decline in quality due to online learning) with access and opportunity for more education. 

This list of demands was written collectively by Students 4 Change, TCDRU, TCD F2F and the feedback of students. It also incorporates the demands of TCDSU as listed in their press release on the 14th of September and that of the postgraduate demands as outlined in the GSU press release on the 19th of September. 

In-Person Lectures or Refunds!

The new government policy‘s implementation in Trinity College Dublin for the re-opening of third-level education is disappointing. It is about time that we demand either a proper University experience or refunds like students in the U.K did (see e.g. UCL, UoM rent strikes, occupations and other direct action in addition to legal action).

In fact, there should have been last year too such demands, but no protest movement or radical union was there to fight for the cause.

We have created a petition outlining these demands on Uplift.ie.

We demand that:

Due to the approach to the Covid-19 regulatory framework for education that Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is taking, many students will not be able to access in-class lectures due to their large class sizes. We, as TCD students, are asking for provisions to refund a part of the student contribution fee for those affected by the continued substitution of in-person learning for digital learning.

Our reasoning is as follows:

The current regulatory framework says that “larger lectures can happen within limits linked to reducing the size or capacity of very large lecture halls” and does not consider larger lectures necessary in-person activities due to public health advice and leaves it up to institutions to “determine how best to do this in their own context”. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has considered the health advice as it applies to their situation and announced that large lectures above 150 will not be held in-person and some lectures between 50 and 150 are up to the “discretion” of individual Schools.

If TCD has considered the current public health advice and deems that many students will not return to in-class learning, then a partial refund for students makes sense. Students have been milked for money for way too long for education.

More facts and statistics:

The last 18 months have been very hard on third-level students, both academically and mental health-wise. A survey conducted in March 2021 found that more than 90 per cent of students are struggling with loneliness, stress and are feeling disconnected with the system of online learning. This is not to mention the frustrations felt by many students as they were required to pay large sums of money for a University experience which was of much lower quality due to online learning.

To many, the news of this reopening plan comes as a disappointment, and students feel neglected by the government as their hopes of a full return to campus are crushed, especially as UCD is fully re-opening.

The fair alternative is the partial refund: Students have been milked for money for way too long for education that is of worse quality, and have been consistently promised a return to in-person learning, which they look forward to – as such, they deserve it.

Sign the In-Person Lectures or Refunds petition here!

In addition, the following are action point(s) which you can take to help the campaign:

  1. Share this site and petition into your course group chats, so as to spread awareness of the issue and encourage people to give their signatures to the petition.
  2. Share this site and the petition on your social medias, as posts and stories, with the hashtag #InPersonLecturesOrRefunds.

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