As the new government takes it’s seats, further cuts to our courses, grants and increases to the fees are likely. It is nothing short of a joke that the USI leadership can claim that an increase of the fees of €500 to €2000 a year was a victory.
I believe education is a right, not a privilege and students should stand their ground against government attacks. Ireland has a rich history of student activism that we must revisit. The pensioners took the most effective stand against the government in the last two years, the government knew that they would not back down until their demands were met. If pensioners can fight back, students have no excuse.
-For decision making student assemblies which any student can attend and vote in. Members of the student union executive will be bound by the decisions of the assembly. Assemblies will be held every two weeks.
-For a short SU bulletin to be produced every week and distributed in print and online widely. Members of the SU executive will have to briefly explain their official activities for the previous week.
-For an active and campaigning union. Managing the unions facilities should only be one part of the SU’s work. We need a broad active campaign to fight for students’ rights and a decrease in fees both locally and nationally. If pensioners can fight off the cuts, student have no excuse. We have to fight to win!
-For a framework to be put in place for the replacement of class reps. Often though no fault of their own, class reps can’t fulfil their duties properly. A framework must be put in place where new reps can be elected without causing bad feeling or embarrassment to any party.
-For links with other unions and organisations. To win against this government we need to find allies in those who are also fighting cuts. Primarily this means engaging with the college staff (teaching and otherwise) and not the college management.
-For a more accessible SU office. Many students find the SU office is secluded or finds it unapproachable. As much student union business as possibly should be done in more visible and open spaces.
-Proper recycling facilities. Currently the only recycling bins on campus have been provided by concerned students. The SU should promote more environmentally friendly practices throughout the college
I am a socialist and environmentalist. I am involved in the Free Education for Everyone Campaign and the Irish Anti-War Movement. It is my strongly believe that people power is key to reversing the wrongs done to students and others in society. We need strong voices that will stand up to government cut not hose who wish to fill up their Cvs.