The Union of Students in Ireland is far from a Union, thumb rather it is a bureaucratic monster that sucks the life and vibrancy out of a movement that has the potential to effect real change in governmental policy relating to the third level education and how it is managed.
For years now we have been plagued by weak leadership. Their idea of challenging the governments implementation of ever increasing fees has been to take us all on a merry walk around Dublin once a year at the end of which we put away our banners and head back to the college of conformity.
Woe betides any student who deviates from the accepted USI pattern of protest. These radicals will soon be met with uncompromising condemnation from their supposed leaders.
This was the case in November 2010 wh
en students who protested outside and occupied the department of finance were beaten off the streets by heavy handed Gardaí. These students were charged by mounted police and battened by the riot squad as they sat on the ground. They were dragged off the streets by the hair of their heads and intimidated by snarling dogs. What was the response of our Union of students in Ireland? Condemnation; not of the Gardaí, ed but of their members, malady the students of Ireland. Is that what we elect them for?
Of course we don’t elect them though, do we? The vast majority of students have no idea how these “representatives” are elected and play no part in the process. The vast majority of students play no part in congress. This institution is neither democratic nor accountable.
They talk about their seat on the HEA. It’s worthless! They might as well sit by UCD lake feeding the swans for all the good it does. What’s more sickening is their talk about reform from within. This will never happen, it has never happened. The only way to force this odious institution to reform is to leave it and lead ourselves.