TCDSU held an Education Campaign Meeting this evening in advance of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Rally for Education on 19 October. The meeting, led by SU President Kieran McNulty and Education Officer Dale O’Faoilléacháin, aimed to generate ideas as to how the SU can get students involved in the USI march and in the SU’s campaign against third-level fee increases.
McNulty opened the meeting by giving a brief background to the rally being held by USI, discussing the Cassells Report, and the various funding plans currently being considered by the government, including the introduction of a student loan system.
McNulty also referenced the fact that College is supporting the SU’s participation in the rally and their campaign against any increase in college fees. He also noted that College are looking at the possibility of rescheduling lectures in order to encourage and facilitate students’ attendance of the march.
A number of suggestions were put forward by students at the meeting, including announcements by class reps during lectures, an Ents night following the rally, and reaching out to Trinity societies to promote and participate in the event. The SU also intends to create a report arguing against the introduction of fees, and will begin a social media push ahead of the rally, following the election of SU Class Reps.
There were a number of questions raised at the meeting over the differences between the stance of the SU and USI, with McNulty clarifying the disparity by saying that while TCDSU is against any increase in student fees, USI has “a slightly different stance.” He continued on to say that the aim of the march is to push for more government funding for third level education, regardless of what decision is taken in regards to funding options going forward.
Speaking to Trinity News, McNulty said he was happy with the ideas that had been put forward at the meeting, and hoped to use the ideas to “pull out all the stops” in the run up to the USI march.