Going out is a central part of the College experience – particularly when you’re in first year. Trinity Hall allows freshers an unprecedented amount of freedom, and they normally take full advantage of that.
Unfortunately for residents around Halls, this means plenty of drunken students making a lot of noise and generally disturbing the peace most nights of the week.
Naturally enough this massively irks many residents, and this week they loudly voiced their objections in the Journal. College’s plans to build an extension to house 300 more students was “totally unacceptable”. The rough and rowdy behaviour of Halls residents was bad enough as is, the residents argued.
But it’s worth noting that Halls isn’t some respawn point for drunken students to radiate out of, on their way to Dublin’s clubs and bars, while making as much noise as possible and leaving a trail of destruction between Halls and the Milltown luas stop.
Halls is the place where hundreds of students sleep, study, make friends, relax, and eat. It’s a roof over the heads of hundreds of young people.
Instead of stopping students – who are already navigating a pricey housing market – from having more affordable homes in Dublin, residents would do better to pressure College into making more efforts to keep students quiet and respectful of the fact that they are living in a residential area.
As Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President Eoin Hand pointed out this week: “The reported issues of anti-social behaviour and the proposed redevelopment at Trinity Hall are separate matters.”
Residents should not have to put up with drunken, disorderly students outside their homes. But there’s no denying that students need more accommodation, and it is wrong for residents to try to impede the development or extra student beds.
Instead of lambasting the Halls expansion, Rathmines residents should seek constructive engagement with Halls and Trinity to address student rowdiness. Measures have already been put in place to alleviate this problem – the bus from Halls to the Milltown Luas stop, for example. Reasonable solutions like this one are possible. A happy middle ground will require some creativity on the part of College and a more accommodating attitude among students.
Residents need not throw 300 bedspaces out with the bathwater.