Comment & Analysis
Nov 24, 2023

Editorial: College Should Offer Hybrid Classes Amid the Current Crisis

While College should be commended for the concern it has shown for students' safety amid the ongoing riots, this compassion must be extended to ensure their academic success does not suffer.

By The Editorial Board

Amid disruptions caused by the riots in Dublin city, College issued an email at 11.18pm on Thursday evening that students who are late to class tomorrow “will not be negatively impacted” as a result. 

No guidance was issued to students who will be able to attend due to disruptions to public transport services, or students who feel unsafe re-entering the city centre. It is unclear whether there will be an online option for these students, whether lecture notes will be distributed after classes, or whether end-of-year essays and exams will test students on content from these classes.

As of this evening, public transport services within the city centre have been suspended. Videos and Garda reports indicate extensive damage to infrastructure — damage that is unlikely to be repaired by tomorrow morning. No mention was made of the provision of parking spaces to accommodate students affected by these disruptions. 


Even students who are physically able to attend classes may feel trepidation about travelling into the epicentre of unrest. Most remain uncertain about whether the ongoing violence will develop over the coming days and students should not be expected to wrestle with this unknown simply to ensure their academic success does not suffer. 

Moreover, all students are likely to have seen racist, anti-immigrant and homophobic rhetoric circulating on social media this evening. Students should not be expected to travel into a city where they may not currently feel safe. 

College’s provision of beds, food and other supplies for students affected should be commended, but this concern must be extended into further consideration. It is not just students’ physical safety, but also their mental wellbeing, which must be provided for.  

The pandemic created provisions for hybrid classes, which should be reinstated over the next week until the violence has settled, public transport services have resumed and students feel safe returning to campus. 

For the rest of the teaching term, all lectures, labs and seminars should be made available both online and in-person, to ensure that no students’ grades are negatively affected by the current crisis.