Students' Union

What is the Students' Union?

The Students’ Union (or SU) is the main representative body for all the students in Trinity, of which there are about 17,000 of you. We represent you in a big way, on College Board, University Council, and other administrative committees. We also look after you in lots of small ways – we provide condoms, study advice, spaces for you to hang out in, and a whole host of other services to enjoy.

Where’s House 6?

You can find it just to the left of Front Arch when you’re coming in to college – it’s home to the SU offices, as well as the CSC (Central Societies Committee) and some society rooms, like LitSoc, QSoc the LGBT Society, and DU Dance.

What’s a Sabbatical Officer?

A Sabbatical Officer is one of the five elected representatives of students – there’s the President, the Education Officer, the Welfare & Equality Officer, the Communications & Marketing Officer, and the Ents Officer, all of whom you can find a little bit more about by clicking on the ‘Officers’ tab on this website!

What do I do if I'm having academic issues?

No matter what it is, for academic issues you should get in touch with the Education Officer. You can find their details here. You should also get in touch with your tutor, who’ll be able to help you out a little. You can find information about who your tutor is and their contact details on your my.tcd.ie portal.

I want to include something in the weekly email, how do I do this?

If you have something you want to advertise, like a deal for students or a job opening you’ve heard about, get in touch with the Communications & Marketing Officer on communications@tcdsu.org.

How do I bring an item before Student Council?

If you have a motion or a discussion item you’d like to bring to Council, the call for submissions opens the week before the Council takes place – you can find Council dates in your SU diary. Get in touch with the Chair of Council or the Secretary on chair@tcdsu.org or secretary@tcdsu.org, and they’ll be able to tell you more.

Welfare

I’m running out of money, what can I do?

The SU provides welfare loans of up to €300. The only stipulation is that you have to pay them back before you graduate college – the Welfare Officer and Education Officer can hand them out, so if you’re having money problems, get in touch with them.

How to get an extension for my assignment?

First and foremost, if you want an extension, you need to contact your tutor. They’ll act on your behalf as a liaison between your course and your lecturer.

Secondly, get in touch with your course heard – this is important, as they’re the only one who can green light an essay extension.

Finally, if you find yourself struggling with an essay, and it’s having a negative affect on your health, get in touch with your S2S peer mentor, the Counselling Service, or the SU Welfare Officer.

How do I change my tutor?

To change your tutor, the best thing to do is go to the Senior Tutor, with your reasons prepared, and ask for a change. Their details can be found here: https://www.tcd.ie/Senior_Tutor/

I require a separate examination venue, how do I avail of this?

Grounds are needed if you wish to avail of a separate exam venue – you’ll often be asked for a certificate from the Counselling Service, Health Service or Disability Service. Contact your tutor well in advance of the exams so they can organise this for you. There’s nothing they can do if they don’t have the time.

Note: mental health very much counts as a reason for an exam venue!

Where can I get free condoms?

You can pick up some condoms for free from the Education Officer or the Welfare Officer in House 6. We also have free tampons if you need to pick up some.

You can get free condoms and lube from the Students’ Union offices in House 6 all year around. Just bring along your student card!

If condoms aren’t your thing, well then fret not! There are many different kinds of contraception. Check out www.thinkcontraception.ie and see what works for you.

I may be pregnant!

If you need someone to talk to, then the Welfare Officer is always available. If you don’t want to talk to the Welfare Officer, they can put you in contact with people who can help. You can freetext LIST to 50444f or a list of services in the area of unplanned and crisis pregnancy.

Positive Options (www.positiveoptions.ie) offers details of support services and information about crisis pregnancy. 

Emergency Contraception:

Emergency contraception is a secondary form of contraception – it is used when other forms (e.g. a condom) have failed or not been used at all. It is effective up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. If you need emergency contraception (i.e. the morning-after pill) then it can be prescribed and dispensed to you by the Student Health Centre. 

When you go there, tell the receptionist that you need to get the morning after pill and you will be seen immediately. Visit www.thinkcontraception.ie/emergency for more information and FAQs about Emergency Contraception.

If you need the morning-after pill at the weekends, please contact your local GP. 

If you have no money for obtaining the morning after pill, student loans up to €100 can be taken out from the Welfare Officer (welfare@tcdsu.org)

Termination of pregnancy:

If it has been more than 72 hours after you have had unprotected vaginal sex, then the morning after pill is ineffective. Currently, it is illegal in Ireland to undergo an abortion. If you need someone to talk to you can contact the Welfare Officer who will refer you to relevant Trinity services or you can get more information at www.positiveoptions.ie

What is an STI?

An STI is an infection which has been transmitted from one person to another through sexual activity.

Don’t worry, it’s a lot more common than you might think, and most of them are very manageable these days. To protect against STIs a condom must be used each and every time you have sexual intercourse. To be fully protected, dental dams and condoms must be used during oral sex.

STIs break down into 3 rough categories:

  1. Parasites: Creepy crawlies like pubic lice (crabs) that live on you – these are passed on through skin to skin contact and sometimes through contact with infected bedclothes etc.
  2. Bacterial infections: These are caused by bacteria and include Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Syphilis. Problematic but curable – these can generally be looked after and dealt with.
  3. Viral: Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes – these all fall under the viral category. In general these can only be treated, not cured. And in HIV’s case, it can develop into AIDS. HPV (Genital warts) can lead to illnesses like cervical cancer.

A lot of STIs have NO symptoms until it’s too late, e.g. chlamydia can cause infertility in women but can have no symptoms until its late stages. Up to 85% of men and 50% of women have no symptoms

To be sure you’re 100% STI free  please get tested for STIs. Remember to get your status checked – our Student Health Centre provides an STI screening service. Contact them on (01) 896 1591 to find out details on the service.

For more information check out the contacts page for details on other STI testing, check out the information below.

There are free drop-in clinics all around Dublin:

  • St. James’ Hospital Guide Clinic
  • www.guideclinic.ie
  • Monday 9 am (tickets @ 8 am)
  • Tuesday & Thursday 1:30 pm (tickets @ 8:30 am)

Gay Men’s Health Service

Dublin Aids Alliance:

  • 53 Parnell Square West
  • 2nd Wednesday of month 1 pm

Letsgetchecked.ie

 

For more information on clinics, check out www.dublinaidsalliance.ie

Education

I need more time for my essay, what do I do?

First and foremost, if you want an extension, you need to contact your tutor. They’ll act on your behalf as a liaison between your course and your lecturer. Secondly, get in touch with your course heard - this is important, as they’re the only ones who can green light an essay extension. Finally, if you find yourself struggling with an essay, and it’s having a negative affect on your health, get in touch with your S2S peer mentor, the Counselling Service, or the Welfare Officer.

I have to miss a compulsory tutorial/lab, what do I do?

If you’re going to miss a compulsory tutorial or lab, the first port of call is your course handbook - many courses have a number of them you can miss without incurring a penalty. If you have already reached the quota of tutorials/labs you have missed, contact your tutor and talk about your options. Also, always contact the lecturer of the class you’re missing - it’s polite to do so.

What are the library hours?

ou can find the hours for the library on their website – www.tcd.ie/library

I have two exams on the same day!

There’s little that can be done about changing an exam once it’s scheduled – the College have over 1,500 exams to schedule during the exam period, and it’s unfortunate when two are put on the same day. However, contact your class rep and the Education Officer, and they will advocate on your behalf to try and change it, and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

If I’m sick, or can’t attend an exam, what do I do?

Tell your tutor, especially if you’re sick in the weeks coming up to an exam. There are cases where you may be able to sit the exam another time – your tutor and the Education Officer will be able to tell you more.

I failed an exam – what happens now?

You have plenty of options when it comes to this. First and foremost, get in touch with your tutor – they represent you in academic affairs, and they’re the first port of call for anything exam related. You can appeal the results of an exam, sit the supplementals in late summer, or defer your exams until another year as well. There are lots of options – remember that we all fail an exam at some point, and it’s by no means the end of the world!

Accommodation

What is the Accommodation Advisory Service?

The AAS is a free-to-use service run by Trinity Students’ Union which assists students in finding suitable accommodation around Dublin. Our drop-in service runs through August and September and again in January, but we work all year round to help students with accommodation issues.

We advertise available accommodation in House 6, the Students’ Union building in Trinity College, and on our website which is available for Trinity Students to view. If you would like to advertise accommodation, please fill in our listing form in the Accommodation section of the site.

How do I advertise a property?

When you fill in one of our listing forms (found below), we’ll advertise it in our building and on our website (completely free!). We constantly have students looking for accommodation throughout the year, so we’ll look to put them in contact with you. 

At that point, we stay out of it. It’s up to landlord and tenant to sort out the finer details of the arrangement and ensure that both sides will be happy. That said though, we’re always here as a point of contact if you have any questions!

If this is your first time renting out accommodation, we recommend that you do your research first. Sometimes tensions do arise between a landlord and a tenant, so it’s better that both parties are informed beforehand.

  • Always meet the tenant before agreeing to anything. If you don’t get along, it will make things a lot more difficult throughout the year.
  • Agree on a rent. Set it from the beginning. Make it clear how much they will be charged per month and what that will include (Will they get food? Are bills included? Are they paying for Christmas months? Etc.)
  • Sort out the finer details. If there are things that annoy you or if there are rules in the house they should comply with, tell them now. Things that aren’t aired out can fester and lead to avoidable arguments. Neither side wants that.

How do I search for accommodation?

First things first, do not panic. Not getting a room offer in Halls or elsewhere is not the end of the world, remember that only a small percentage of students going into first year will be staying in Halls.

The SU has produced on Living in Dublin (found in the Accommodation section), you might find it useful when looking at areas to live, expenses other than rent and what to look for when viewing a property.  This may be especially useful to you as you're starting first year and might not be too familiar with the city. There's a map of the postal codes in Dublin and we also go into a bit of detail about the different post codes. The reason we do it this way is most of the websites use the postcodes as search terms.

Digs/Lodgings:

We have a list of host families who have rooms (and in some cases full board) available to students. Digs are traditionally a little cheaper than private rented accommodation. Digs generally cost between €80 - €120 per week and vary in what they include (many include bills, meals, laundry etc. within this price). Make sure to clarify what the cost includes. 

Private Rented Accommodation:

There are a number of places online that you can search in order to view properties in all areas of Dublin including, and to get a reasonable idea as to what prices you should expect for private rented accommodation:

Signing a lease / agreeing to rent a place.

Here are important things to remember if you are signing a lease:

  • ALWAYS VIEW A PLACE BEFORE PAYING A DEPOSIT.
  • Plan an afternoon/evening of viewings. Try to have at least 5 or 6 viewings planned for any one day as inevitably some will cancel or be gone before you get to view them. 
  • Always meet the tenant before agreeing to anything. If you don’t get along, it will make things a lot more difficult throughout the year.
  • Agree on a rent. Set it from the beginning. Make it clear how much they will be charged per month and what that will include (Will they get food? Are bills included? Are they paying for Christmas months? Etc.)
  • Sort out the finer details. If there are things that annoy you or if there are rules in the house they should comply with, tell them now. Things that aren’t aired out can fester and lead to avoidable arguments. Neither side wants that. 
  • If there are any questions you have, you can always check out our contact list below. Don’t hesitate to contact any of them.

I need a roommate!

If you don't have any school friends going to Trinity you might want to team up with some roommates so that you can find accommodation together. You can both search and place an ad on our AAS website to help find someone to live with. You can join our Facebook group (TCDSU Accommodation Support) to meet new people who are also looking for accommodation, otherwise you can search for roommates on the TCDSU Freshers' page. Alternatively, you can search on the Daft roommate database.

I’m having problems with my landlord!

Don’t panic! There are plenty of free resources to help you out when it comes to finding out who is liable for what and legal queries.

Deposits:

The landlord must return promptly any deposit paid by the tenant. The deposit may be retained or deductions made where there are

  1. Rent arrears.
  2. Costs incurred to repair damage above normal wear and tear.

It is illegal for a landlord to hold tenant’s goods in lieu of money owed.

A tenant risks losing their deposit if they break a lease without grounds. If you feel that your deposit has been unfairly withheld, you can make an application to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). 

Inventory of Contents:

Your landlord must record, in your rent book or letting agreement, details of furnishings and appliances provided. It is desirable (though not compulsory) to also record their condition as this can help prevent disputes about damaged or broken items. Check the inventory list to make sure that it is accurate – this could save trouble later on.

Leases for Fixed Periods:

A formal lease or letting agreement is usually for a fixed period (e.g. the academic year). You cannot be asked to leave during that time unless you are in rent arrears or in breach of your tenancy obligations. If you are in rent arrears, you must be notified by the landlord in writing. If you have not met your rent arrears within 14 days, then the landlord may issue you with 28 days notice of termination. You are entitled to formal notice of any claim that you have broken the tenancy conditions and to be given time to set things right. Tenants should be given the original lease and the landlord keeps a copy.

Rent Increases:

Landlords can only raise the rent to the open market rate. The landlord may also only raise the rent once in a 12 month period unless there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation. If the property has been found through the accommodation office the rent is set for the entire Academic year and cannot be raised.

Privacy:

As a tenant you are entitled to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of your home. Your landlord is only allowed enter with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement with you. If the property is put up for sale, ask the landlord to agree viewing times with you. If your landlord repeatedly enters your flat without your permission contact the accommodation office for advice.

Visitors:

You are entitled to have friends to stay over on an occasional basis but you need the landlord’s permission if a new person is to move in.

Noise:

You should check with your landlord if there are set conditions about parties and noise. Remember the landlord has duties to other tenants and neighbours. If noise from other tenants or neighbours is causing a nuisance to you, tell your landlord. 

Standards :

Your landlord must, by law, ensure that your home complies with certain minimum standards, for example:

  • Free from damp,
  • In good structural repair,
  • Hot and cold water,
  • Adequate means of heating and ventilation,
  • Appliances in good working order,
  • Electrical wiring, gas, pipes in good repair.

If your home does not comply with these standards, report it to your local authority or the Private Residential Tenancies Board. An inspection will be carried out and the landlord ordered to do any necessary repairs. Contact the Accommodation Advisory Service, Threshold, the Private Residential Tenancies Board or your local authority for further advice. 

Repairs:

The landlord is obliged to carry out repairs except where damage beyond normal wear and tear has been caused by the tenant. Contact the landlord in writing if repairs are not being completed. If the landlord fails to make repairs in a reasonable time then the tenant can have repairs carried out and be reimbursed by the landlord.

Visit www.threshold.ie for full details on your rights as a tenant in private rented accommodation. Contact the accommodation office for further information on your rights in a student apartment complex.

Useful contact information

TCDSU Accommodation Advisory Service:

  • (01) 646 8440 
  • (01) 646 8437
  • accommodation@tcdsu.org

TCDSU Welfare Officer:

  • welfare@tcdsu.org

Threshold Housing:

  • Threshold are a national housing charity. They can offer advice on seeking accommodation, dealing with problems during your tenancy and how to end a tenancy. They’re completely free and a great first point of contact.
  • 1890 334 334
  • www.threshold.ie

Private Residential Tenancies Board:

  • They are the greatest source of information when it comes to tenancy disputes. You can also submit a tenancy dispute to them to aid in dealing with it, but it requires a minimal fee and can take up to 12 months for a dispute to be sorted out.
  • www.prtb.ie

Free Legal Advice Centre:

  • FLAC offer free legal advice to everyone. They have free drop-in centres across the country and are great if you’re looking for legal advice with regards to tenancy. You can find their centres and contact details on their website.
  • www.flac.ie

Online Bookshop

What is a SU Online Bookshop?

SU Bookshop is a place where TCD students can sell/trade/donate their old college books. Simply register on the site, upload an ad for your old college book(s) and start selling. This means that as soon as the ad is live that particular course textbook is ready for a buyer straight away.

What type of books can I sell on the Bookshop?

You can advertise any book that is academic related material and used in Trinity College Dublin. Any ads uploaded for non academic related material will be quickly removed from the ad listings on the site.

How much does it cost to advertise my books for sale on the Bookshop?

There is no cost.

How long will my ad remain live on the site?

Your ad for your third level book(s) will remain live for 10 days after uploading the ad. You may then renew or remove your ad, however statistically you are far more likely to sell your book before that time runs out!

How do I receive payment from the buyer for my book?

This is completely up to you. If you are selling the book to another student in the same college as you, or to someone living close-by, the simplest method is simply have the buyer collect the book and pay in cash. If you are buying or selling book(s) from/to someone from another part of the country or you aren’t comfortable meeting a buyer, you can simply post the book(s) to them and arrange to receive payment through other means such as PayPal, etc.

© Trinity College Dublin Students' Union 2017