Author: Daniel Waugh

National Forum and USI Launch Teaching Hero Awards

Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education today launched the 2016 “Teaching Hero Awards”. The awards are a collaborative effort of the Forum and USI. The Teaching Hero Award is the only student-led national teaching award in Ireland. This year’s theme of “Inspiring and Innovating” asks students to identify third-level teachers who have engaged with new ideas and practices to enhance their learning experience. The inaugural awards in 2014 saw students and staff from every higher education institution in the country share a platform to celebrate...

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USI launches their SHAG week campaign to promote getting tested and consent as figures show a rise in STIs and sexual assaults.

  The Union of Students in Ireland launched its SHAG week campaign across the country in 6 different colleges (NUIG, NCI, IT Carlow, GMIT, DKIT and IADT) this week with two key messages – to get tested and to ask for consent, after a survey published in December 2015 showed an increase of STIs in Ireland by 4% and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre reported an increase in rapes and sexual assaults.   The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said the victims of recent rape and sexual assault went up to 303 in 2015, from 221 in 2014, but only 1 in 10 are reported. This figure is only for the Rotunda hospital where the sexual assault treatment unit (SATU) is located which covers the Dublin and Leinster area.  There are 6 units in the country – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Donegal, Limerick and Mullingar.     The report showing the increase in STIs in Ireland was published 2nd Dec 2015 by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the HSE. This report was prepared by Gillian Cullen and Dr Derval Igoe and showed that in 2014, there were 12,626 notifications of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Ireland, an increase of 4% compared to 2013. The most commonly diagnosed STI was Chlamydia, with 6,695 notifications in 2014. The burden of STIs remains greatest among those aged 15 – 24 year olds.   “USI’s SHAG week campaign has two core messages – for students and young people to go get tested and to ask for consent.” Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said, “We are...

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Queues of Students gather outside Garda stations across Ireland to Register to Vote before General Election

Queues of students are gathering outside Garda stations across Ireland to register to vote for the General Election, just after the announcement from the Taoiseach on the dissolution of the Dáil. The Union of Students in Ireland and other groups have registered over 80,000 new student voters over the past two years and hopes to register thousands more before the general election on the 26th February. Students from NUI Galway, Maynooth University and IT Tralee took the time to register at local Garda stations in a continuation of the student movement voter registration drive which has seen a huge...

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The Union of Students in Ireland Stands in Solidarity with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland on their Strike over Underfunding

The Union of Students in Ireland is standing in solidarity with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland who are taking industrial action on February 3rd and striking because of underfunding in the sector. USI said that underfunding ITs and understaffing classes will have a negative effect on students. Institutes of technology will face the threat of ongoing disruption as a result of industrial action by academic staff concerned over cuts to third-level funding and staffing numbers. “Understaffed classes and underfunded Institutes of Technology mean a poorer standard of teaching and in turn a poorer standard of learning.” Kevin Donoghue, USI...

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USI launch the ‘Say Something’ card after survey shows that 16% of Students experience unwanted sexual experience

The Union of Students in Ireland will launch the ‘Say Something’ card in R Block, IT Tralee at 1pm on Tuesday the 2nd February. The ‘Say Something’ card was developed by USI from research funded by Cosc and the Department of Justice and Equality. The research examined students’ experiences of sexual violence and harassment while in college and found that 16% of students experienced an unwanted sexual experience. The survey was completed by 2,590 Irish students and 162 International Students. 11 per cent of the Women who responded noted that they had been subject to unwanted sexual contact. In addition to that, 5 per cent of Women recorded that they were the victims of rape and a further 3 per cent were victims of attempted rape. In over six in ten cases (61% for Women, 68% for Men) the perpetrator was believed to be under the influence of alcohol. “We hope that these statistics will shed new light on the area of violence, including physical and sexual harassment.” Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said “We hope this card will be an aid to students who find themselves in the position where they’re victims of violence and don’t know what to do next. We want to reverse the culture of victim blaming in Ireland and instead of blaming the victim, we want to help, support...

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