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UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) will hold a protest on campus at 12PM outside O’Reilly Hall on Monday 14 February to call upon the University management Team (UMT) to reciprocate the love that students feel for their university by addressing student concerns that have consistently been raised over the last number of years.

We are asking students and staff to come along to demand urgent action from management on:

- Sky high rents

- Protecting our student support services

- Ending exploitation of postgraduate workers

- Putting students and staff first

None of these problems are of students’ making and UCDSU will be bringing this reality to the fore over the next ten days. UCDSU knows that students want only the best for their place of study and want UCD to be seen as a world-class university. However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that this love is not reciprocated by the UMT. Consecutive decisions have been taken across a number of key areas that have been significantly out of kilter with the realities facing students who come to study here, many of whom make it through college in spite of policy set out by UMT, not because of it.

UCDSU is concerned that a continuation down the path of commercialisation, etched out by the UMT over the last number of years, poses an existential risk to the student experience. This is backed up by the Union’s own research and regular engagement with the student body and entities that together strive to make UCD such a unique and special place.

Given the day in question, the protest will have a Valentine’s Day theme.

Wear Red!

As campus life hopefully starts to move beyond the pandemic, this is a chance to set a vision for the kind of relationship we want to have with UCD now and for the students of the future.

Come along, bring your classmates, your friends from your sports or society circles and make sure you are wearing red on the day, so that we can say with one loud voice “It’s not me, it’s UCD.”

Please keep an eye on our socials as well as around campus for the latest information about the protest and how you can get involved. We will be dropping into your lectures to chat about this, as well as holding roadshows across campus and a placard-making session.

It’s not me, it’s UCD

Sky high rents

We need affordable, cost-rental accommodation on UCD campus. No more rip-off studio apartments, UCD Students need accommodation that fills their basic needs at an affordable price point. The practice of increasing rents on the cheaper accommodation units to finance mortgage repayments on the most expensive is a backwards distribution of wealth from the least to the most affluent. Prices that lock out students from low and middle income backgrounds is a hallmark of a discriminatory strategy that takes no account of the basic requirement of access to adequate accommodation. Current Residential Masterplans must be scrapped and replaced to take account of the need for accommodation as an equality, diversity and inclusion issue.

Protecting our student support services

Student support services are the backbone of UCD, but that isn’t reflected in the priorities of the University Management Team. We need a fully costed and ambitious plan to protect and enhance our support services, particularly those with a role in student mental health. Lengthy waiting times for essential services such as counselling reflect a University not willing to invest in basic student welfare requirements. Management needs to support the staff members who work tirelessly to assist students with a co-ordinated scaling up of recruitment and retention of staff across all support units.

Ending exploitation of postgraduate workers

Postgraduate students are faced with inadequate (or often non-existent) compensation and protections for their work. A timeline for full recognition of all those undertaking teaching activities as employees is essential-linked to guarantees of collective bargaining rights and public pension contributions.

The invaluable role of postgraduate workers must be supported with the same basic expectations all employees should be afforded. The right to maternity & paternity leave, sick