A group of students have launched a petition calling for a change of date for Trinity Ball, due to concerns that it falls too close to exams.
The students behind the petition have asked that the date be changed to the last day of exams. The ball is currently set to take place on April 12th, the last day of teaching, leaving one week before the start of exams.
Over 200 students have signed the online petition so far. The text accompanying the petition says: “This year, Trinity has decided to hold the annual Ball a week before our exams. For many of us, and especially our final year students, this will mean NO Trinity Ball – as given the choice between a good degree and Trinity Ball, a lot of students will opt out of the tradition that is Trinity Ball in order to study.”
It goes on: “Since the academic year ends a month early this year, one would have expected the Ball to be held the weekend that the examination period ends. But alas, this is not the case. For some reason the college has decided to hold the event – that every student at Trinity looks forward to all year long – at a time that will prevent in many students from attending.”
Speaking to The University Times, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Ents Officer David Flood said that the date of Trinity Ball is set by the College Board and that it is not possible to be changed. The date is set every year for the year ahead.
“Trinity Ents has absolutely no say or choice in when the ball is on and we cannot change the date of it. It absolutely sucks that it is the Friday week before exams start and that everyone cannot attend their ball. But it’s because of the restructuring of the year that this problem has arisen. College are going off the tradition that the ball is the last day of term”, Flood said.
Under the Trinity Education Project, students across College saw major changes to the academic year structure, with Christmas exams introduced. Students will have 10 weeks of class in their second term, with one reading week and one week for studying between the final week of class and the beginning of exams.
All exams will be held over the course of one week. In previous years, students had a 12-week term, with three weeks afterwards to study before a three-week exam period. Only some students had Christmas exams.
College has tried to diversify the range of ways that students are assessed, encouraging lecturers to use continuous assessment and project work more to lighten the load of exam time on students.
Trinity Ball is traditionally held on the Friday of the last week of term. Under the new year structure, the ball will be held just before revision week, allowing students one week before exams start. Good Friday has in previous years forced the date of Trinity Ball to be rescheduled to a different week.
Trinity Ball is famous for being Europe’s largest private party. Tickets for the ball typically sell out on the day due to popularity. It is organised between Ents and the production company MCD, with MCD having most control over the selection of acts.