Postgraduate Updates: Notice to Vacate Lockers

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2022 (08/11/22)

A Chairde,

I hope you are all keeping well — read on for a few postgraduate updates!
 
Notice to Vacate Lockers

If you are still using a locker in the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room, we ask that you remove your items by Friday, November 18th. All unclaimed items will be removed on Friday.

The lockers will be cleaned by TCDSU and made available to postgraduates to rent in the coming weeks.


Coffee Morning

Join Trinity Ents for a gentle coffee morning in the Postgraduate Common Room on the first floor of House 7 next Wednesday, November 16th at 11am. There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and orange juice!


Trinity Careers Service

The Trinity Careers Service is delighted to announce that both the 5 & 10 ECTS module on Careers, Employability and Work-based Learning are back and will start for PhD students in January 2023.

They are holding a hybrid Information session on the 15th of November 12-1pm.  All Welcome!

Both modules are open to students in Years 2-4 of a full-time PhD (Years 2-6 part-time PhD) across all disciplines. For further information, handbooks and guides for students and supervisors, please see: www.tcd.ie/Careers/students/pgfocus/phd-modules.php

If you have any queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Postgraduate Student Assistance Fund

Applications for the Postgraduate Student Assistance Fund are open online from Monday 24 October until 1pm on Friday 25 November. If you have any queries on the fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apply here: www.tcd.ie/seniortutor/students/postgraduate/financial-assistance
 
Transition Fund

The TCDSU Transition Fund is accepting applications until the 18th of November. Trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students can apply to this fund to facilitate their transition. For more information, including the link to apply, check here: www.tcdsu.org

If you have any questions you can contact Chloe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Niko at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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TCDSU Statement on Upcoming Assessments & Mitigation Measures

Wed, 17th Nov, 2021 (17/11/21)

TCDSU Statement on Upcoming Assessments & Mitigation Measures

Throughout the semester, TCDSU has consistently asked for clarification on what end of term assess-ments will look like. We are disappointed to see that upon the release of exam timetables last Friday 12/11/2021, students have still not received this clarification from Trinity. Students need clear com-munication about the supports that are available to them during the exam period, and the College’s contingency plans in light of concerning increases in COVID-19 case numbers. In light of rising COVID cases and recent reports that up to 60% of those hospitalized by COVID are vaccinated, students are understandably worried about unforeseen changes to upcoming assessments and a lack of mitigation measures.

Following the completion of exams, many students will be returning to their family homes across the country and internationally. There is a serious potential public health risk posed by students unnecessarily attending exam centres. TCDSU has consistently lobbied for the introduction of more nontraditional forms of assessment such as take home and open book exams. Trinity students have spent the best part of the last 18 months learning and being assessed online. These online forms of assessment can include broader assessment types and are often more accessible for students with disabilities, students with living with those who are high-risk, as well as students with caring responsibilities.

Over the past number of weeks, I have written to the Senior Lecturer (Dean of Undergraduate Studies) asking the following questions about the examinations session this semester, and how it might impact students.

I have asked what the protocol is for students scheduled to sit in-person exams who test positive for COVID or are deemed a close contact by the HSE in the days leading up to their in-person exams. In these instances, I have been assured that students will be instructed to defer these exams to a later sitting.

I have asked that if students must defer exams that they be provided with clarification on when the deferred sitting will take place. While it might be most convenient for Trinity to schedule deferred semester one exams during the August reassessment session, this is often not ideal for students. Receiving results in late August / September causes significant problems for certain cohorts of students, such as those applying for Erasmus & international exchanges, summer internships, and postgraduate studies.

As we see further restrictions introduced across the country, Trinity needs to ensure that measures are taken to avoid unnecessary disturbances to the assessment period, while protecting both its staff and its students.

TCDSU is calling on Trinity to reinstate the mitigating measures that existed during previous exam sessions during the pandemic.

These measures protect students who, for a variety of reasons, cannot complete their exams under the current circumstance. Ultimately, these measures allow students and staff to comply with the prevailing public health guidelines. The re-implementation of such measures would be a significant statement from College: one that states that not only do they value the academic success of students, but their welfare, and the welfare of those closest to them. Last year, less than 10% of students elect ed to avail of the automatic right to defer assessment. Any concern that the reinstatement of such mitigating measures would be abused is deeply unfounded.

At today’s (17/11/21) meeting of the Continuity of Student Learning and Activities working group (COL-SAG), the Senior Lecturer tabled a memo regarding contingency plans for assessment. These plans included the potential reintroduction of the automatic right to deferral, a deferral session that isn’t in August, and a full scale return to online exams, should the government impose a nationwide lock-down.

Although this memo was a step in the right direction, these plans should have been discussed a long time ago. Students deserve to know what plans are in place for assessment. We are currently three weeks away from the start of assessment and the only communication students have had with regard to exams has been patronising remarks made in last week’s college-wide covid communication. It should never be viewed as being a ‘pity to have to defer’ exams in the middle of a pandemic. Trinity owes it to their students to tell them what provisions are being put in place to support them during exams, and they must do this imminently. Mitigation measures must be reinstated and students must be granted the automatic right to deferral. Students whose exams fall during the contingency dates for exams must have their coursework deadlines adjusted appropriately to prevent further disadvantage.

These decisions must be made and communicated to students imminently. All students should feel fit to sit their exams this winter. No student should be disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control. Trinity must implement mitigation measures now.

BEV GENOCKEY, EDUCATION OFFICER
ON BEHALF OF THE TCDSU SABBATICAL TEAM 2021/2022

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Statement from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) on face-to-face teaching and return to campus.

Tuesday, 14th September, 2021 (14/09/21)

Face to Face Teaching Press Release: 

Statement from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) on face-to-face  teaching and return to campus.  

Dear students, we hear you loud and clear.

Your Union has and continues to sit on a number of covid related committees throughout the  past year, between the President, Education Officer & their predecessors. At these commit tees we have consistently reiterated students’ desire for maximised in person teaching, and  the return of student life on campus(es).


We worked to get a number of concessions from the college added into the Return to Cam pus document; unrestricted student access to campus, in-person graduations, & outdoor  student spaces. We have successfully lobbied the college to increase the number of residents  permitted in each apartment building to double the number residing in that apartment.  

As student representatives, we have consistently been balancing students’ desire for in-per son teaching, with other students’ covid-related anxieties. While many students wished for a  full return like that of other Universities, there were also many students who were anxious  about returning to campus in a safe manner.  

Our priority is making sure that your voices are heard:

  • We are lobbying for library capacity and opening hours to be increased
  • We are advocating for lectures to continue be recorded and the accommodating of  students with extenuating circumstances that stop them from fully returning to campus
  • We are reopening our 11 student spaces for both social activity and to accommodate  students with back-to-back in person and online classes
  • We are asking that College fulfill their promise by affording all students an element of  in-person teaching

Trinity’s Return to Campus plan was not just the product of student’s desires, but rather the  balance of desires from different stakeholders such as public health experts and IFUT Reps.  This document was justified to us based on public health guidelines in society at large, the  predicted peak in cases over the first weeks of semester, and the fact that education provid ers are legally unable to ask for vaccine status.

Although the original plan was conservative, every student was promised an element of  in-person teaching, along with constant review of restrictions as the weeks went on. With the  release of timetables in recent days, it has become apparent that this plan is not being carried out as promised. Students were told that classes of less than 50 people would take place  in-person, however, various schools have since announced that this term will be entirely  online. This directly contradicts the College’s commitment to constant revision of guidelines.  Additionally, there have been very few attempts made to rotate in-person attendance to facilitate on-campus learning, as was specified in this document.  

These constant contradictions and lack of communication are not simply good enough. Stu dents were told that it would be necessary for them to be in Dublin this term for in-person  teaching, many have signed leases only to learn that all of their classes will be taking place  online. This is not the dream we were sold.

As your Union, we will continue to lobby for student interests and push for clarity from the  college. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. We’ll be holding a Return to Campus  Town Hall this Friday at 1p.m, you can find the link in the linktree in our social media bios.

Le Meas,  
Trinity College Dublin Student’s Union (TCDSU)

Leah Keogh, President  
Bev Genockey, Education Officer
Sierra Müller-Owens, Welfare & Equality  
Aoife Cronin, Communications & Marketing Officer
Greg Arrowsmith, Entertainments Officer

Read more: Statement from Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) on face-to-face teaching and return...

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