Students of Maynooth University walked out of lectures in protest yesterday for the second time this month, due to a halt in construction of their Student Union (SU) building, which is funded through an annual student levy.
Yesterday at 11:11 AM, students marched from the John Hume Building at Maynooth University to the President’s Office at Riverstown Lodge on South Campus.
At the president’s office, SU president, Niall Daly handed over their #WheresMyLevy petition, which held 4,000 signatures to the University Executive.
The petition demands that Maynooth University publicly states its commitment to delivering a Student Centre. It also demands that the university uses transparency with the SU in how they’re spending the student levy.
A few weeks ago, over 1,000 people joined Maynooth’s protest, when the termination of the build was first announced. This was the largest gathering in history for a protest at the university.
Yesterday the turnout increased. Daly estimated around 1,500- 1,800 students were present at the highest peaks of the day. The protest was attended by students from all over colleges in Ireland, university staff members, and alumni.
Daly told the College View that if there is no action regarding the petition given to the University Executive, the students union “have developed a whole escalation ladder”. He added that “the strength of the next action relies on us being able to keep it confidential until after we have negotiated again”.
There has been no response from the university so far.
Students held posters with phrases like “wheres my levy?”, “Maynooths pull out game is strong”, and “millions of euros spent in student money and what did we get?”.
The protest also covered the issue of parking in Maynooth. Students that attend the university pay for parking, but due to the lack of spaces in the student car park, they must use pay and display areas or face clamping.
Students chanted in regards to parking on the day “students want spaces, not excuses”.
Maynooth SU is not prepared to allow student issues to go ignored. DCUSU stands in solidarity with Maynooth, along with other colleges such as TU Dublin and UCC.
Image credit: Ross Boyd & Abigail Carry