Institute of Technology Tralee students’ union cancels library sit-in

SU protest was over restrictive library opening hours, agreement reached with management after social media spotlight

IMG_6972The students’ union in Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) have cancelled their planned library sit-in over the short opening hours of the library. As it stood, the ITT library opens from 9am to 8pm Monday to Wednesday, opens until 6pm on Thursday, 5pm on Friday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturday. ITT SU say that these opening hours are not reasonable and aim to extend the library closing time to 9pm. A tweet sent out by ITT SU’s twitter account had described the library opening hours as “the worst in the country”.

The Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) had lent their support to the sit-in, with vice president for the southern region Cian Power traveling to the campus to support the protest. The protest was planned to manifest itself through students remaining in the building and engaging in quiet study until the desired closing time of 9pm.

ITTSU were able to meet with college authorities at 3pm today to extend their library hours. The library will open until 9pm Monday to Thursday from Monday 12.

“Proper library hours are absolutely essential for academic success,” USI president Kevin Donoghue said in a statement. “Studying allows a student to reflect upon, review and absorb what was taught in lectures. It also provides students with the opportunity to develop study habits, time management skills and self-discipline. Good study facilities can only be fully utilised by enabling good study times. USI would like to congratulate IT Tralee Students’ Union on resolving this matter successfully in a decent and satisfactory manner.”

The students’ unions of other ITs had tweeted in support of the sit-in and users on social media adopted the hashtag #LetUsStudy to show solidarity.

Last month under the government’s new capital invest plan, €7.5 million was allocated for the development of the new Kerry Sports Academy at ITT, half the cost of the project. Commenting on the allocation, Kerry TD Jimmy Deenihan said that “the projects committed to are very much dependent on the choices that this Government and the next make to continue the recovery.” Money to complete the project has also been raised through funding from Kerry GAA and the JP McManus Benevolent Fund.

Meanwhile,  provost Patrick Prendergast will today launch in the Science Gallery the Library of Trinity College Dublin Strategy 2015-2020 during an event on the future of the library mediated by John Bowman. Last year the 24 hour room was extended into a 24 hour Kinsella Hall. The tower was renovated in this way in order to address BLU library problems with overcrowding around exam season and to address demand from students.

Matthew Mulligan

Matthew is Editor for the 62nd volume of Trinity News. He is a Sociology and Social Policy graduate and was previously Deputy Editor of tn2 Magazine.