College Tribune Volume XXVI Issue 4

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COLLEGE TRIBUNE Volume XXVI 23rd October 2012

Issue 4 Independent Student Media Since 1989 Taking back the streets



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Students protest against library lockouts and Sunday closures Thomas Cullen Deputy News Editor


CD students held a protest march against Sunday closures and access restrictions that have been implemented in the James Joyce library. The march took place on Thursday 18th October and included protests outside both the library and the Tierney building which houses the university’s administrative offices. The protest was part of a campaign that is led by students against the closure of the library on Sundays for the first seven weeks of the semester due to budgetary cutbacks. The protest was also held on behalf of students who have been barred access to the library for not having fees paid on time despite the circumstances being outside of their control, due to delays on receiving grants or difficulties in affording to pay the full fees amount. The organisers used facebook, flyers and posters around campus to inform people about the event. UCD Students’ Union were not directly involved in organising the event, although the sabbatical officers marched in support of the protest. The students involved gathered outside the student centre at 1pm on the day of the protest and marched on the library using banners and a megaphone to gather people’s attention on the issue. The students then seated themselves in the front of the library before a decision was made to march on the Tierney building, where the protesters where denied access by security. Throughout the event various speakers including UCDSU President Rachel Breslin, former SU employee Elizabeth Coote and International Students Coordinator Karl Gill spoke to the crowd about the effects that the restric-

tions where having on students. Second year student Niall Dunne who helped organise the protest spoke to the College Tribune about the march stating that “there was a lot of passion there and people felt strongly about it. This is only the beginning. Until the library services are put back to normal, and students are able to use them, regardless of their financial situation we are not going anywhere. This is a university at the end of the day, an education institute. If they can’t give us fundamental services such as a library then they can’t call themselves an education institute. So we have to fight.” Question’s where also raised during the protest over the Students’ Union’s involvement in the march. Niall Dunne commented on the SU’s involvement, saying “it’s great that the union got behind it, Rachel said a good few words and obviously seemed very passionate about it. They could have done more organising, but I have to respect them for coming out, it’s a big improvement on last year and hopefully they stick with it and keep building.” “The union are here to represent student interests on campus, and this is a massive interest for students. We really need the likes of the campaigns crew to be the ones out here leading the campaign and out here organising it, because that’s their area of expertise at the end of the day,” he continued. SU Education Officer Shane Comer also spoke to the Tribune about the importance of the protest, saying that “The library is the key resource of any university. It is great to see that the students came Continued on page 3


UCD SU budget discussion back on the table Ronan Coveney News Writer


he UCD Students’ Union budget is set to be discussed again this Thursday at the meeting of the Students’ Union Council following concerns that it was passed without time for members of council to review the document and consult with students from their constituencies. No copies of the Students’ Union budget for the year were available for Union Council Representatives prior to it being approved by the Students’ Union Council at the first meeting of the Council for this term on Thursday 11th of October. The budget for the year ahead was shown during a presentation made by Gerry Mc Nally from Mc Nally Business Services who have been providing financial services and advice to the Students’ Union

over the past number of months. Speaking to the College Tribune about the matter Masters Union Council Representative in the school of Arts Stephen Stokes said: “I always believe that student government, needs to be...I suppose as proactive and transparent, so I would say yes, that it would be ideal if that [the prior publication of the budget] could have be done.” Meanwhile a number of Union Council Reps contacted the College Tribune to complain, feeling that they should have received such an important document before council so they could review and fully debate before approving it. Speaking to the College Tribune about the situation UCD Students’ Union President Rachel Breslin said that “it wasn’t the best way to

go about it....I think that that’s a very valid point [in] that the budget should be sent around before council.” She continued, “I think what I’m going to do this week is send around the budget again because this had been brought to my attention, and put it as an item for discussion and if it’s contentious then we’ll take another vote.” Breslin did defend having the vote on the budget, saying, “I think it was still right to vote on it because it’s going to be sent around and it’s out in the public now anyway.” Meanwhile the Students’ Union accounts have been sent to external auditors Grant Thorton before they can be signed off on, after which Breslin stated it was her wish to release them.