TDCSU has issued a letter of support in solidarity with the Buttery sit-in protest organised by Students4Change (S4C) tomorrow at 1pm, which aims to highlight its “classist policy” of not allowing students to bring in their own food.
In the letter posted to the union’s Instagram page, TCDSU said: “It seems obvious that students should be allowed to eat their own food in all college spaces.”
It highlights how “students have been repeatedly asked to leave the Buttery unless they had bought their lunch there”.
With the student population increasing by 5,000 in the last 5 years, they say “it’s nearly impossible to find a place to sit and many of us resort to eating on the floor ” during lunch hours.
The letter goes on to argue that with the Buttery being the main canteen on campus, “students should be able to sit down and eat their prepared lunch if they have one without being forced to pay for a Buttery meal”.
“The main priority of College, and Trinity Catering, should be creating a vibrant, inclusive student community,” they continued, “not turning away its own students in favour of earning some extra commercial revenue.”
The post concluded by encouraging students to partake in tomorrow’s sit-in demonstration and “refuse to buy anything during that time.”
The boycott, organised by S4C via Instagram, is an “act of peaceful, civil resistance” which aims to shed light on College’s discriminatory, elitist and classist policy of kicking students out of catering places for bringing their own food”.
In the statement via Instagram which announced the sit-in, S4C says they have “concrete reports” that management has been informing catering staff to remove students from the Buttery if they are seen to be eating their own food.
A later post confirmed they have communicated with the trade union representatives for workers in the Buttery, and that they have extended their support to the boycott.
S4C noted that “catering workers and security employees may be instructed, within their contracts, to do things against their conscience, such as asking us to not eat our own food or asking us to leave”.
“In this case, we will politely refuse to comply and not insult or harass workers.”
S4C is a Trinity-based left wing organisation composed of both students and staff. It is chaired by TCDSU President-elect László Molnárfi.