USI Lobby Day organised to address issues facing students across Ireland

The event aims to give students a direct platform to speak to politicians regarding the issues facing students, and to seek their support for the USI “Cost of College” campaign

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will be holding a student lobby day in the Buswells Hotel on March 2. 

The event will take place from 11am to 4 pm, with registration available through a link posted in the instagram bio. 

Demands are outlined on their website, and include the abolition of the student contribution charge, improving funding for the higher education sector, including the reform of the SUSI grant, and providing a minimum wage to match the living wage. 

The campaign also outlines its demands relating to accommodation, seeking to reduce rents, establish subsidised or affordable purpose-built student accommodation in Dublin, while ensuring that those renting are protected while renting property or when in digs, while continuing the eviction ban on students. 

Speaking to Trinity News, the USI Vice President for Campaigns, Ross Boyd said: “The Lobby Day is being organised following a lack of response from the government to the issues students face. The €1,000 reduction in the Student Contribution Charge was announced as a one-off, as were other measures that were introduced, such as the extra SUSI payment. There was also nothing for students in the cost-of-living measures announced last week.”

“Our aim with this Lobby Day is to ensure that we have the support of TDs on the Cost of College campaign. We want to remind them directly that we are watching closely to ensure they support our calls to tackle the student accommodation crisis and the cost of college for all students, including international, postgraduate, creatives and those on placements.”

As part of the campaign, the USI has published a list of TDs who have given support to the campaign, allowing students in every consistency to know “who supports them and has committed to acting on these important issues.”

Boyd emphasised that he wants students to get involved in the campaign, saying:“We want students to directly engage in this action. They are the ones with lived experiences, and so we very much encouraging students to take part in the day, whether that is at the event in Dublin, or locally by getting in contact with their TDs”.

Where students are unable to travel to Dublin for the campaign, the USI encourages students to contact their local TDs via email, phone, or by sending a USI Cost of College postcard, available at university students unions.