Limerick Student Walkout will take place on Thursday, October 13 at 11:11 am, and will see students all over Limerick walk out of their lectures to raise attention to the accommodation crisis.
According to the USI cost of college campaign, there is an expected shortage of 20,000 student beds by 2024
By I Love Limerick correspondent Ellie McCarthy
A national student walkout has been planned by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in a bid to draw attention to the ongoing accommodation crisis that students are facing.
The Limerick student walkout is set to take place on Thursday, October 13 at 11:11 am, which will see students all over the country, including here in Limerick, walk out of their lectures.
Once students leave the lectures, they will gather on the grounds of their colleges for a demonstration to highlight the lack of accommodation.
It is no secret that the accommodation crisis is affecting new and old students, with some even sleeping in fields and tents.
The USI is the national representative body for the 374,000 students in third-level education in Ireland. In the words of the body, they aim to remind college authorities and politicians that students aren’t an endless money pit.
According to the USI cost of college campaign, there is an expected shortage of 20,000 student beds by 2024. They have also declared failures by the 2023 Budget as they did not address the growing student accommodation crisis.
While the Budget 2023 stated that students will receive a once-off reduction in fees, it does not remove the barrier of the already high cost of college in Ireland.
The government has shown no commitment to solving the shortage. The USI demand an eviction ban and the establishment of housing as a constitutional right.
Along with these asks, they also want to see students’ rent capped and for the government to utilise public funds to subsidise the building of affordable student accommodation.
Students are being exploited as they are in a vulnerable position. Many are paying sky-high rent for basic rooms, others are sleeping on couches, in cars, or commuting upwards of five hours to get to college. The USI have shown they are not backing down and will not be silenced on the issue.
2022 is the first academic year where students will be on campus full time since the covid-19 pandemic, meaning student accommodation is a far worse issue this year than anything previously seen due to the rise in numbers of students looking to move for college.
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