Students and staff who have remained in residence after College’s closure have been told to register with a phone app that will allow Trinity to track who is living on campus at any given time.
College instructed students to vacate its accommodation last week, but allowed some – who met specific criteria – to remain, in a move to limit the spread of the coronavirus on campus.
Yesterday, those still on campus received an email instructing them to download SafeZone, an app College says will “ensure that we know who is in College residence at any given time”.
SafeZone is an app that allows users to summon security or safety assistance using their mobile phone or laptop.
Yesterday’s email, signed by Registrar of Chambers Philip Coleman and Neal Richmond, Trinity’s head of accommodation, said the move will “help ensure your own well-being, and to manage the public health of all in residence”.
Residents will have to show the app to security when entering College, and it will automatically check them out when they leave campus.
Coleman and Richmond added that the app will “help us to respond to any changing public health dynamics and with due regard to specific numbers”.
The decision to instruct residents to download the app was taken at yesterday’s College Board, which took place over Zoom amid the ongoing closure of Trinity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Please be assured that the SafeZone is GDPR compliant”, Coleman and Richmond wrote.
The email also encouraged residents to follow public health advice on hygiene and social distancing.
Last week, Trinity ordered all students living in its accommodation to vacate, prompting uproar by giving residents just days to clear out.
Irish students were given just 24 hours to vacate their apartments, while international students were told they should “aim to have left their Trinity accommodation” within 48 hours of the announcement.
The following day, this newspaper reported that many international students were scrambling to find a way home – with several reporting huge “stress and anxiety” and many hitting out at the College. One asked: “What the hell were they thinking?”
Trinity drew the ire of both Lorna Fitzpatrick, the president of the Union of Students of Ireland, and Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Laura Beston for the short notice and lack of consultation with students.
Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court – both of which are privately operated – have not issued a vacation order as of yet, despite Trinity naming those residences in their initial email concerning vacating accommodation.
College later backtracked, admitting that it was not in a position to order students to vacate the luxury complexes.