Maynooth student centre: We were robbed – what should we do about the €150 levy?

Text of Socialist Party leaflet given out at today’s protest organised by Maynooth University Students Union

In 1999, a student referendum introduced a new ‘special capitation fee’ of £40 per year per student to initiate and provide 50% of funding for the development of student sports, social, and recreational facilities. In 2015, students consented to the levy rising to its current €150 a year for the development of three projects: a student centre, a sports and community engagement cluster, and an arts and cultural quarter.

Collectively, we pay close to €2,250,000 in levies a year. Yet, knowing fully that they would cancel the project, the University still took that money in the last month – even having the audacity to claim that the levy wasn’t contingent upon a student centre project. Incredibly, they still want us to pay the €150 going forward & even want a levy increase. This is completely unacceptable. It shows disrespect, dishonesty, and unfair treatment by the college of all the students on Campus.

The levy must be scraped! Students should demand a refund or should demand that the college right this gross injustice by immediately delivering the following:

  • more working microwaves that are properly maintained
  • more printers for students more seating accessible by staff and students all over campu
  • more parking spots for students

We need action now, including the development of our promised student centre, of accessible and affordable student accommodation to answer to the government’s cost of living crisis forcing students to face extremely precarious conditions. There is more than enough wealth to properly fund all aspects of our education, the Government is benefitting from inflation and their revenues are bulging.

Build up the pressure!

Today’s action must only be the start. Next week, on Thursday, 13 October at 11.11am, students are walking out in all third-level colleges around the country to demand action on the key issues they face. We should mobilise again in bigger and better numbers to continue the fight on the levy – for our needs, not college greed – and for all our demands mentioned above. If you think that’s what we should do, organise a students’ action group to continue to democratically discuss our demands, tactics & methods, and build for an escalating campaign that can win real change!

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