Netizen 24 IRL: TCD students occupy landmark building in protest over fees

Diposting oleh On 06.16

TCD students occupy landmark building in protest over fees

Students in Trinity College Dublin are occupying a landmark building in protest at the introduction of a new fee structure for supplemental examinations.

A group of about 50 undergraduate and postgraduate students entered the Dining Hall in the university’s Front Square at 10am on Tuesday. Students are demanding that proposed supplemental examination fees be scrapped; that affordable rental options be introduced and that student fees are not increased.

The move represents an escalation of the campaign which began in response to a Trinity College proposal in January to introduce additional fees of €200 per repeat examination with a cap of €1,000.

Students subsequently voted against the measure in a referendum where 82 per cent voted against the implementation of supplemental fees.

A statement issued by the students on Tuesday said “Despite this, the College Board have decided to ignore the voice of the students, and implement Supplemental Fees at a flat rate of €450. Last year College signed a student partnership agreement which established students as stakeholders. Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam fees is evidence of their continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare.”

“We have escalat ed our actions to an occupation of Trinity’s historic Dining Hall. We have a body of students in the Dining Hall who have secured the building. The occupation is to show College that we will no longer stand for the commercialisation of students.”

One of the occupying students, Conchuir Ã" Raidaigh said students were committed to remaining in the building until their demands are met.

“We have brought supplies for long term occupation. We’re willing to stay for as long as it takes for our demands to be seriously considered with concrete commitments in place,” he said.

“We have support of the both non-academic staff unions and strong backing from academics and fellows. This is now more than just a simple fee reversal, it has become part of a struggle for all students and staff against hawkish corporatisation in 3rd level.

“Plans for escalation are in place if the board doesn’t come to the table and consider our demands. We’re joining movements like UCU strike and occupations in the UK and hope this is the beginning of a national movement against the neoliberal takeover of education.”

Students are organising a rally in Front Square at 1pm on Tuesday an students, staff members, alumni and the general public have been invited to attend.

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