Maynooth Students’ Union and Free Education for Everyone are to protest the presence of Fine Gael Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton as she gives a presentation on careers in the European Union later this afternoon.
In a letter to NUIM President Professor Philip Nolan, MSU outlined its reasons for protesting Minister Creighton’s appearance at the university. The statement on the MSU Facebook page outlining the contents of the letter is as follows:
Maynooth Students’ Union is protesting the visit of the Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton on Monday March 12th, 2012.
In a letter to the President of the University, Professor Philip Nolan, Maynooth Students’ Union [MSU] outlined the reasons for their decision to boycott the visit.
The letter states: “All students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, have been affected by the last budget’s hike in fees and its cuts to the student maintenance grant. Support for postgraduate students was all but completely erased. Maynooth Students’ Union cannot welcome onto campus any Minister who supported that budget.”
The letter continues: “This Government is running a country in which every single day another 110 graduates emigrate. This is devastating families, and yet the Minister has the audacity to come to Maynooth, point to Europe and say “Jobs are that way.” ”
“The Student Contribution has increased €750 over the last two years. This year, things got so bad in Maynooth that we as a Students’ Union had to introduce food vouchers for students. We have a record number of students dropping out of college due to financial pressure. It’s an absolute disgrace, and we simply can’t let it get any worse.
We are aware that the cabinet is considering increasing the Student Contribution by €500 per student over the next two years. Any increase in this charge is going to result in an increased reduction in the retention rate, with parents losing jobs and part-time work unavailable to defray the cost for students themselves. It is completely unacceptable.”
“It is most unfortunate that Minister Lucinda Creighton TD has decided to visit, as this government has shown no compassion whatsoever for students’ well being.”
“We cannot applaud any member of this cabinet while our students and graduates remain so vulnerable and will not be attending her visit.”
FEE spokesperson Lorcan Myles applauded the Union’s stance on the forthcoming visit and said that FEE would protest against “any Government TD on campus who advocated the savage cut backs that are being implemented by the current government and that any student who feels at all about the current attack on students should attend”.
The protest is due to start around 3.30 this afternoon with Minister Creighton due to arrive for 4pm at the Íontas building. Report and pictures to follow.
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