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Interesting little piece from Aidan Rowe on an Irish nationwide university speaking tour of a Canadian speaker from the mass student strikes in Quebec in 2012. If anyone would like to help organising at your university level, or know anyone who would be, link is at the bottom of the piece. 

In 2012 the attempt by the government to Quebec to introduce a 75% fee hike was defeated by the organisation of a mass student strike that lasted over 6 months. That fee increase was part of the global process of imposing the privatisation and commodification of education. Since the victory, organisers of the strike have been being doing speaking tours to aid the process whereby “youth and students everywhere are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to organize as a means to defend education as a social right”. In September this tour reaches Ireland where we need to hear how a sustained and militant student movement that can win is built. We want you to help in ensuring a really good turnout for all of the Irish dates of the tour.

Poster for speaking tour that starts this September.

Poster for speaking tour that starts this September.

There are two purposes to the tour. Firstly so that we Read the rest of this entry »


Padraig McCarrick gives us the lowdown on the new depths to which JobBridge is plummeting to…

Last week we saw the JobBridge National Internship Scheme post an ad for a 9 month ‘internship’ for a primary school teacher. The advertisement goes to say that ‘interns’ (read as exploited teacher) will “receive formal/informal training in the following classroom management, self evaluation and classroom evaluation, Interactive white board skills, I.T. skills to enhance classroom teaching, acquire knowledge of suitable I.T. resources. Whole school development training in Literacy and Numeracy. On completion the intern will have attained skills in I.T. use of interactive white board in classroom, be able to access relevant, suitable resources.”  For this, an unemployed teacher will receive €50 extra on top of their weekly social welfare payment for doing the exact same job as fully employed teachers with the exact same qualification.

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– Aisling Gallagher writes about her recent experience of having her delegate status revoked at USI Congress because she voted for two pro-choice motions. Aisling is Women’s Officer for NUS-USI and a student at Queen’s University Belfast. This post originally appeared on Aisling’s personal blog here

Last week I went to Ballinasloe for USI Congress 2013 as part of the QUBSU delegation. We were all student councillors, elected at the start of the year. We weren’t elected separately as delegates for the Congress (there is never as much interest within QUBSU about attending USI in comparison to attending NUS-USI), but rather expressed our interest and as councillors were all allowed to attend. This is the first important thing to remember. We weren’t elected. Our mandate came from our election as councillors, months ago, in October.

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In a new departure here’s a round up of the week with added hyperlinks. 

Warning: ambitious careerists may now be disguised as “progressives.”

Warning: ambitious careerists
may now be disguised as “progressives.”

Hopefully you’ve had a productive morning, well found an Easter egg at least.  We’ve had our busiest week so far at the Irish Student Left Online. While we’d love to claim all the credit some thanks must go to the Union of Students in Ireland who really made life easy for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Can a video by itself justify a post? Well we think it can. Champion of getting questions answered Vincent Browne is interviewed by Niall Dunne of  Campus Television Network  of UCD about the state of student politics. 


More controversy from Congress: UCD walk off congress floor in pro-austerity direct action campaign launch, Joseph Loughnane gives us the lowdown…

The UCD delegation to the USI Congress walked out in protest at the fact that they couldn’t speak against a motion that proposed that the Union of Students in Ireland starts to work with other anti-austerity campaigns. You would be forgiven for thinking that I made this up, I wish I had.

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Róisín Jackman of Queen’s University Belfast writes about the controversy surrounding the removal of QUB Students’ Union delegate Aisling Gallagher, The NUS-USI Womens’ Officer,  from her delegation for claims that she voted against her Union’s mandate on abortion services twice. Róisín raises  questions about the legitimacy of these mandates and questions the democratic structures of the student movement. Business as usual some would say. Read the Trinity News story here.

Contentiously at this year’s Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Congress, a delegate from Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union was stripped of her delegacy rights and barred from participation at Congress.  This was the result of her voting in favour of two motions which the Executive Management Committee (EMC) argued equated to her breaking QUBSU mandate. She initially received a warning having voted in favour of a pro-choice motion and was stripped of her delegacy after voting in favour of a motion instructing the USI Welfare Officer to lobby against agencies giving out misinformation to individuals who may seek abortions. Read the rest of this entry »

How’s your congress going? Or did you ever wonder what goes on at USI congress? Well you probably didn’t but ISLO gives you a quick run down of some things to look out for. Words by Eoin Griffin, inspiration drawn from years of observation. Many thanks to everyone at MSU and USI for making it possible.  Also thanks due to Thobias.

USI is the representative body for 250 000 students on the island of Ireland. It’s pretty much a big deal. It’s highest decision making body is congress which takes place annually sometime around Easter. Delegates from the 4 corners of the country descended on Ballinasloe this week for  a bit of debate and represntin’  well that’s what they say anyway. To find out more follow the twitter hash tag #usi13 or ask your SU for a report on it. Read the rest of this entry »

In his debut for the Irish Student Left Online Garrett Mullan adds to the ongoing debate about USI  citing his own experiences of Students’ Unions in both England and Ireland. This piece is reposted from Garret’s own blog over here.

In 1999, two years after tuition fees had been introduced in Britain.  I stood with a slate of candidates on a platform that we would use the student union resources to campaign against tuition fees. I had already been campaigning against their introduction since before they were introduced by the Labour government. Read the rest of this entry »

The USI's idea of effective protest.

The USI’s idea of effective protest.

– Sarah McCarthy writes about her experiences of engaging with her students’ union and the Union of Students of Ireland (USI).

We’ve had two articles here on the ISLO concerning UCD’s Disaffiliation from the USI. While I have a number of more theoretical and comparative points I’d like to contribute to this debate, the last article makes me think it would be useful to explore what engaging with our SU’s and the USI actually looks like. I’ve had a relatively high level of engagement with the NUIG students’ union during the near three years I’ve been at University. I’ve been in Free Education for Everyone (FEE) since I began, was a class rep for two years, and ran for the position of Welfare Officer last year. This article essentially outlines the highlights of the experiences I’ve had during that time, in order to illustrate that we lefties don’t moan about our SU’s and the USI for no good reason.

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