When the students elected László Molnárfi as TCDSU president, he promised to bring the union back to its “grassroots.” The reason for his running, he said in an interview last year, was that he had seen the union and the school “let down” the students. The student body, since László was elected, has not had much go in their favour. Class sizes are rising, the cost of living crisis bitterly persists and the administration insists there is nothing it can do. However, no one can say that László is not fighting, just as he promised to do.
College, on the other hand, has insisted that lack of funding prevents action. They dispute the narrative that they are “making millions on accommodation”. The newly elected Students4Change (S4C) chair, Ella Mac Lennan, takes the opposite view that the “real” issue behind the decline in student prosperity is simply “Trinity’s greed”.
These issues point to an obvious miscommunication between College and its students, yet the students still have cause to be angry with the administration. College has the power to mend this gap in communication, yet it has decided not to, time and time again. Out of the 15 committees making up the Trinity administration, 11 have not reported meeting minutes to the public in 7 years, while one of the committees, the Gaeilge committee, have never reported minutes in its entire history.
Furthermore, College has made a point of not providing students with details regarding their financial decision-making. This means that many of the issues plaguing the students at Trinity could be fiscally impossible to solve with the current budget, but the administration would rather have László and the rest of the SU and S4C committee blocking the Book of Kells entrance instead of conveying this fact to the students.
The S4C committee and László himself have already made a point to address College and demand transparency. Yet, it is time for a concentrated, university-wide effort to demand that the College be honest with its students. Otherwise tourists will likely have to continue to skip the Book of Kells on their Dublin tour.