Leftist students for social progress.

Month: March 2022

Students Win Against 10% Fee Increase

Board of @trinitycollegedublin is discussing a 10% increase at the moment. We were not many at the protest today, but we will build until our numbers grow. Let’s unite with staff in opposition to the commercialization of academia and let’s protect our communities.

This fee increase will hurt the most vulnerable and presents a further barrier to accessing education. Students are being evicted because they can’t pay rent. Students are struggling to pay for groceries. Students are being left behind. The pandemic has only compounded this issue.  Rent hikes, the student contribution fee, and international fees, all of which have gradually but greatly increased over the past decades, have made it so that students and their families (who may have also suffered unemployment because of Covid-19) struggle to pay College-related expenses. Many take up part-time jobs or student loans, but even this is not enough. In our College, during the pandemic, more than 250 students were in rent or fees arrears.

We must organize in grassroots groups, political associations, trade unions. Corporatization must be resist. We cannot and will not yield.

Students4change COMMITTEE AFTER PROTEST, BEFORE HEARING NEWS THAT 9 board members dissented and the fee increase proposal was scrapped.

University Times article here.

Students4Change Welcomes TCDSU’s Decision To Remove Apoliticism from the Constitution Following Lobbying

We are very pleased to announce that the Union Forum of TCDSU has accepted a proposal written by our Chairperson László Molnárfi and LGBTQ+ Rights Officer of the union Jenny Maguire to modify the apolitical clause in the upcoming constitutional referendum. Clause 1.4. in the TCDSU’s Constitution is a bureaucratic barrier to represent students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds, and has consistently been used this year, last year, and before by reactionary Oversight Commissions and Sabbatical Officers to refuse to support grassroots protests and other direct action. Essentially, it has been used as a wildcard for the union to avoid taking action – see them not supporting many S4C protests as evidenced by the Union Forum minutes from 11th of October, the fact that time was spent discussing whether or not to get rid of the CETA and Migrant Rights motion at the second Council of this year and the fact that the proposer of the Irish Times Boycott motion at Council was told to raise it as a long-term policy motion rather than a Council motion. All of this stems from a fear of being political. We, however, have to be political. For example, the right to free education is a policy that conservatives have traditionally opposed, and there is no way of advocating for it without opposing conservatives, their people, their policies and their parties.

With the new constitution, this will now change and the union becomes more political. The version that Union Forum is putting forward has changed 1.4. This is directly due to lobbying by Students4Change with our Students 4 SU Reform campaign and the aforementioned proposal linked here to get rid of apoliticism that was submitted to Union Forum . The new wording, which will go to referendum as part of the new constitution, is that the union cannot endorse a political party or candidate. This is opposed to the old, vague wording of not allowing the union to engage in any political ideology.

This removes a barrier to represent students and will allow our union to be more political. This is one step towards reducing the bureaucratic impotency of the union. Vote yes on this change and onwards towards repolitizing, reforming and radicalizing our unions!

Statement to University of Sanctuary – Trinity’s 2.6 million euro investment into the arms-industry – 15th March 2022

Dear Professor Lorraine McIlrath, 

I am László Molnárfi, Chairperson of Students 4 Change, which is an independent, open-forum, democratic alliance of progressive students from Trinity College Dublin. We stand for more democracy, openness and transparency within College, and for public education for all. 

I am writing to bring to your attention, as Chair of Universities of Sanctuary in Ireland, an issue which I believe requires attention. 
One of Students4Change’s campaigns is Students 4 Peace, which brings together students fighting for pacifist and humanitarian principles, and for Irish neutrality. Namely, one of our goals is making Trinity College Dublin divest from war-related stocks. We have found out through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that as of 2020, Trinity College Dublin invests ~2.6 million euros into Arms and Weaponry manufacturers, such as BAE systems, Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company through its endowment fund.

One of these companies, Lockheed Martin, ‘is proud of the significant role it has fulfilled in the security of the State of Israel’, producing F-35 fighter jets and other weapons which have been used in the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians by the Israeli government. The complicity of Trinity in the bloodshed around the world caused by the international arms trade needs to stop, as seen not only with the latter example but also with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and countless conflicts around the world. Unfortunately, these investments at the moment stand opposed not only to Trinity’s values as a university, which includes ethical awareness and engaging with issues of global significance in a way that improves society for the better, but also against its pledge as part of its University of Sanctuary status.

These arms and weaponry manufacturers view the migration of refugees and subsequent border security as an opportunity to make money, being at odds with the idea of supporting refugees. Divestment would send a strong message that we as a society do not see the arms industry as legitimate businesses to do trade with, due to the immense human and environmental devastation they cause the world. Divestment campaigns like that from fossil fuels prove that divestment is a viable action that universities can take. It is possible to divest from war-related stocks and take up ethical investments in their place.

I believe that all Universities of Sanctuary should not just be at the forefront of sustainability and institutional environmental divestment, but also at the forefront of promoting peace, human rights and Irish neutrality. I am raising these concerns as at the moment, it seems that Universities of Sanctuary is not considering these matters. I believe that this needs to change and that the organization should push its member universities towards divesting from the war-industry. 

I simply fail to understand how Trinity College Dublin – or indeed any university on the island with such investments – can be considered to be a place of sanctuary in light of these facts. As a final thought, if the organization does not address these concerns with adequate attention, I do not understand what makes the accreditation of being a University of Sanctuary different from that of, to take an example, a company greenwashing its image. It is therefore with the spirit of living up to the award’s name that I ask for urgent action in this matter from you. 

Thank you for your attention,

Best Regards,

László Molnárfi

Students 4 Change


Picture1.pngis an alliance of Marxist and Anarchist students from Trinity College Dublin focused on the housing crisis in relation to student accommodation, Irish neutrality, SU reform and other matters of student politics. Go on our website students4change.eu, follow us on social media or email us at [email protected]!

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