Trinity said campus rent increases were never on the agenda despite reports and students protests

Sonja Tutty

Trinity rent increase was never on the agenda, but is still likely to happen said Trinity’s head of Public Affairs and Communications.

The 4 per cent rent increase in Trinity’s student accommodation was never on the Financial Committee’s agenda, but will have to happen at some stage.

“There is a strong feeling that student accommodation has to pay for itself.” he said. “It is not on any agenda, but [Trinity] believes it is an important principle.”

While the spokesperson said the rent increase was not on the agenda, Trinity’s paper The University Times reported, “A proposal to increase the cost of Trinity’s accommodation by four per cent, which had featured on a Finance agenda seen by The University Times…”

This proposed rent increase caused student upset and led to a USI led protest in Trinity on February 20.

Trinity Student Union (TCDSU) President Lauren Beston told The College View, “The decision to withdraw the increase from the upcoming Finance Committee is clearly linked with the protest and student mobilization that has been happening on campus.”

But despite being removed from the agenda, Beston is sure rent will still be increased. “It is highly likely, in fact, almost certain that rents will rise due to the language that the college have used.” She said referring a quotes from Thomas Deane, a media relations officer in Trinity.

She went on to say that students should be made aware of rent increases, and that they should be taking action. But, she is hopeful that by the time discussion in Trinity starts in May, a new government will have formed.

“If the rent increases do go forward we will, along with grassroots groups on campus, escalate our actions as far as necessary. As this meeting will not take place until May we would hope that a government will have formed and will encourage assistance from the relevant minister and parties with policies that reflect what the students demands are.”

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Dublin Region Vice President, Craig McHugh told The College View that these rent increases are in response to a lack of third-level education funding. But, universities need to be spending more time trying to address the lack of funding rather than putting more of the cost burden on students.

“Realistically, this will do nothing to help the institutions funding issues.” McHugh added, “All it will do is put students down and kick them while they are down.”

Sonja Tutty

Image Credit: Sonja Tutty