Trinity students living in Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court – which are both owned by private companies – are no longer required to vacate, the College has announced, backtracking on last night’s directive that told them they must leave the complexes.
The College has also expanded the criteria under which students are allowed to remain in Trinity accommodation, with international students who face “real barriers to travel” now exempt from the clearout.
An email sent to residents this afternoon – Provost Patrick Prendergast, Head of Accommodation Neal Murphy, Registrar of Chambers Philip Coleman and Roja Fazaeli, the warden of Trinity Hall – says keycards will no longer be de-activated “for the moment to facilitate students to the maximum extent possible”.
Meanwhile, an update on the coronavirus section of Trinity’s website says that “in respect of students resident in Kavanagh Court and Binary Hub, we recognise that these properties are not owned or managed by Trinity College but by private providers”.
“Therefore we are not in a position to manage the situation for students residing in Binary Hub or in Kavanagh Court and our email of yesterday should be read as strong advice to return home if that option is available to them rather than a requirement that they do so.”
The update comes after Provost Patrick Prendergast told Sinn Féin housing minister Eoin Ó Broin that students unable to make travel arrangements to get home can extend the deadline for moving out of their correspondence.
In an email published on Twitter, Prendergast also said that Trinity “will not ask for evidence” from students who feel they meet the criteria required to be allowed to remain on campus.
Trinity is also not guaranteeing compensation for students living in Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court, Prendergast said. “We believe that private-providers should also do this but of course that is ultimately a matter for the accommodation providers.”
Last night, in a message seen by The University Times, Prendergast told Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne: “No one will be moved if they don’t have a home in Ireland to go to, and those that remain we will be able to look after much better.”
In the email correspondence published by Ó Broin, Prendergast wrote: “I appreciate you contacting me and your concern for the welfare of our students.”
Update: 15.47, March 17th, 2020
At 3.41pm, Trinity sent an email to residents informing them that keycards will no longer be de-activated “for the moment to facilitate students to the maximum extent possible”. This article has been updated with this new information.