DIT Students’ Union have launched a campaign after understaffing has led to cuts in student services.
The campaign entitled #SaveOurServices is in response to slow moving recruitment and staffing practices in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) leading to staff shortages across all libraries, health centres and other student services.
President of DITSU Pierre Yimbog said that some DIT libraries are so understaffed that they “may close with no notice if staff call in sick.”
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have backed DITSU as they protest the “severe and recurrent staffing shortages across their college” which have now had a “detrimental impact on library opening hours”.
Síona Cahill, USI President said that cutting library opening hours will have a “huge impact on students who need these services most”.
Yimbog said DIT’s Health Centre is also being affected. He said the delays have “led to its closure on a couple of occasions in the past three years and most recently, this summer, there was no receptionist, so the Health Centre could only take emergencies.”
Vice President for Welfare at DITSU Rebecca O’Donovan said it takes, “nine months to a year to fill a full-time position in DIT”.
She said that because of how long it takes for a contract to be issued from the DIT Human Resources department, who are also, “low in staff” that when a contract is eventually issued the, “chosen candidate has gone elsewhere.”
The SU held a protest on October 17th outside a meeting of DIT’s governing body.
The aim was to impact the college’s main decision body to increase staffing and finish the refurbishment of student services.
Staff shortages have also caused a delay in the refurbishment of a €20,000 student space in Cathal Brugha Street campus in particular which has taken over two years already.
A ‘sit in’ was held on October 24th by the SU in Cathal Brugha street. O’Donovon said the sit in was held to demand A formal apology from DIT for the students of Cathal Brugha Street, and a commitment that the refurbishment will be made a priority and will be completed by November.
She said that “Cathal Brugha Street ranked the lowest in DIT student satisfaction survey last year” and that and that the SU has been ignored, “sent on a goose chase” and given false assurances about this issue for too long.
This comes after the recent announcement of DIT joining two other IT’s to form Ireland’s first technological university next year.
Second year food science student Lorna Molloy told The College View: “It’s disappointing how basic college services cannot be carried out with the expectation of Ireland’s first technological university going ahead next year.”
Image credit: Mikey Walsh