UCD STUDENTS' UNION HOST SECOND RALLY AGAINST THE CAMPUS RENT INCREASE, WITH STUDENTS AND STAFF
AT 12 O’CLOCK TODAY, UCD STUDENTS AND STAFF WILL RALLY AT THE QUAD AREA BEHIND THE STUDENT CENTRE TO CONTINUE THE PROTEST OF RECENTLY ANNOUNCED RENT INCREASES ON CAMPUS
Date: Wednesday 4th March 2020
Where: Quad area behind UCD Student Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4.
When: 12 pm
The decision to increase campus rents by 12% over three years and to introduce premium rents across new accommodation was decided by a UCD management body with no student representation. One month later, they continue to ignore the student demands to stop the rent increases.
The rally will be attended by both students and staff who oppose the decision.
Joanna Siewierska, President, UCD Students' Union said;
‘UCD Management continue ignoring our demands to stop this rent increase and believe it is a necessity for our campus.'
This decision is symptomatic of the university’s priority to attract more international fee-paying students and maximising the income that can be extracted from them, in order to fund campus investments. The accommodation that is currently being built is double, en suite bedrooms and studio apartments, which will be even more expensive than the current student accommodation. The new accommodation will also be subject to a premium rate of rent and further increases by 4% each year.
The decision to increase campus rents is also contrary to the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and it will have a particularly adverse effect on student groups who are already underrepresented in higher education.
National data clearly shows that people with disabilities, Travellers, and single parents are disproportionately affected by poverty. Therefore, appropriate supports are necessary to ensure equality of opportunity for them to access and progress through education. The university is committed to protecting students from direct and indirect discrimination – through it’s EDI policies, through commitments under the HEA Performance Compact and its statutory duty under section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.
It appears as though these commitments have been ignored completely when taking the decision to increase rents of on campus accommodation. The Students’ Union will continue escalating our actions until Management engage with us appropriately and meet our demands.