GSU pass motion to support DCU student facing deportation

The Council also passed motions to campaign for student housing and on student visa issues

A motion passed at the first Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) Council mandates the union to support DCU student, Shepherd Machaya, who is currently facing deportation to his native Zimbabwe. The motion was carried unanimously and proposed by Sarah Hughes, a class representative of the GSU.

DCU student Shepherd Machaya has been studying at DCU under the University of Sanctuary scheme. Machaya was recently issued with a deportation order and is subject to pending deportation this Sunday, October 21. A petition opposing the order has received over 8,500 signatures at the time of writing.

A second motion passed at GSU Council mandates the union to campaign for better student accommodation. Proposed by GSU President Oisin Vince Coulter, the motion mandates the GSU to campaign alongside other students’ unions and other housing activist organisations. Speaking in favour of the motion, Vince Coulter said that postgraduate students are particularly affected by the housing crisis as “students don’t have a great deal of money” and that “international students don’t have the option of living at home”.

The final motion carried at the GSU Council was also raised by President Vince Coulter. Referencing his recent case work in support of students attempting to renew their visas, Vince Coulter proposed a motion for the GSU to campaign for student visa application reform. Vince Coulter criticised the current online booking system operated by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INIS), referencing the recent story by the Irish Times in which bots were used to clock immigrants from making visa appointments. He also stated that the “current system doesn’t particularly work” and that the issue affects Trinity postgraduate students the most, as they are “one of the most international postgraduate student communities in Ireland”.

The first GSU council meeting took place in the Ui Chaidain theatre in the Arts Building.