This month’s student council happened in a bit of a wibbly-wobbly fashion. Items from the agenda were moved left and right. To sum up- half of the council took place one day and the other half on another day! But don’t worry, I’ve got everything for you right here, in one place so let’s begin-
It started with the biggest item of the evening. A presentation was given by Melda Slattery from PR & Communications to show council the process of how the TU Dublin logo came to be what it is and what went into designing it. We also received answers to popular questions such as why does the logo not have a crest? When looking at the TU Dublin logo next to all of the other university logos across Ireland, we can see how it stands out. When placed among the other TUs across Europe, a standard logo with a crest would not have suited. Of course, at the end of the day, the decision is still yours; whether you like it or not but having said that, this logo is here to stay. But this presentation at least allowed councillors to learn about the process and answer a few queries. From there, it was back to our regularly scheduled program.
USI’s Dublin Region Officer attended and gave council its usual update;
- The student-led think in around direct provision was successful.
- As did SHAG week where they spread information around contraception, protection from STIs, consent and access for abortion care.
- USI also assisted the nurses who had been striking, by attending their protests and fighting alongside them.
- An Irish language conference was held on the 1st of March, in Maynooth.
- A disability conference will take place on the 10th of April.
- Annual USI Congress will be held from the 1st to the 4th of April this year.
USI will also be holding a formal campaign around the issue of student fees. #FundtheFuture and the current action planned is a student walk out on the 21st of March.
There were also a handful of motions during this council. The first one concerned keep cups on campus. The motion proposed to have adequate washing facilities installed around campuses so that students can keep their keep cups (and other reusable cups) clean. The aim of this being to help encourage students to use keep cups instead of single use plastic ones. This motion was passed.
The second motion was around the issue of Aramark which is known for their working conditions in direct provision. The motion mandated that the President lobby TU Dublin to end contracts with Aramark across its campuses, so as not to support the company. After a lot of debate, such as concerns around costing the jobs of those who work with Aramark at the campuses, the motion ended up passing.
The third motion also focused on Direct Provision but this time in a different way. It mandated that the President lobby to make TU Dublin a University of Sanctuary, as at the present time it is not one. If you are not familiar with University of Sanctuary, it means that the university facilitates and aids those students who live in Direct Provision. This motion also passed.
The final motion of the night was, yes, around Direct Provision again. This however focused on a policy- to put a policy in place wherein they union would inform students about direct provision, oppose the system, support a campaign to end direct provision, and avoid supporting any companies that profit from it. This policy also came with a lot of heavy debate around it. One of the arguments from those speaking against the policy was that one cannot end direct provision as asylum-seekers need a place to go. Therefore, instead, the focus should be on getting better resources within direct provision. Those speaking in favor argued that the best way to eradicate the system would be to abolish the current one and bring in something new and better in its place. In the end, the policy was passed.
Ahh what’s student council without a little debating here and there? Those, however, were the highlights from the February student council (s). So until the next one in March!