USI will be having an online personal safety campaign on the 16th September that will be sharing tips on personal safety for students on nights out, harm reduction for drugs and alcohol and talking about the importance of consent. National Suicide prevention day is taking place on the 10th September where USI will be sharing information on support services and the importance of language used when talking about suicide.
USI will be launching our voter registration campaign #GenerationVote, at the start of September to coincide with many colleges starting back at that time. Over the last 5 years, USI has registered over 95,000 students to vote. The campaign will aim to register as many students as possible in colleges across Ireland, as well as educating people about their right to vote, and how important it is to engage with the process of voting.
USI is working with SIPTU (the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union in Ireland), to develop a Postgraduate Working Rights Charter. This charter will be offered to Institutions across the country in order to best inform postgraduates of their rights while working and studying. The campaign will launch on October 2019.
USI is working with Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League), a national Irish Language organisation on the issue of Irish in the education system in order to boost the number of speakers. This year we will continue working on the restoration of the ‘Gaeltacht grant’ for student primary school teachers in order to make teaching courses more accessible. The grant was cut in 2012 as a result of the recession but has yet to be restored. The grant covers the cost of attending a two-week long course in the Irish speaking areas of Ireland to improve their proficiency in the Irish language. This is a mandatory course and costs €1500 to attend.
The ‘Break The Barriers’ campaign is a year-long campaign that USI members have created for USI members which were launched this month. Education in Ireland has become inaccessible for many – between the high costs of fees at €3000 a year for domestic students (and much higher for international students), insufficient support grants and some of the most expensive accommodation in the EU27. The campaign is currently in a phase of lobbying targeted at the Government ahead of the Budget, students will also protest on the streets on October 3rd to highlight the harsh realities students are facing in Ireland, which will be followed by more action the month after.
You can follow and support online using #BreakTheBarriers.