Author: Daniel Waugh

USI calls on all Political Parties to Commit to Mental Health Reform before the General Election

Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland. The Union of Students in Ireland is calling on all political parties to commit to mental health reform and suicide prevention before the General Election. The number of students reporting mental health issues has increased, but as a result of hiring restrictions most colleges can’t afford to hire extra counselling staff to meet the demand.   Research by USI found that 73.1% of students said the high cost of college causes them anxiety or stress; 71.7% of students regularly feel down – 36% of students feel down every day; and a...

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USI launches its #MakeASmartVote road show, visiting 16 college campuses across Ireland encouraging Students to Vote

The Union of Students in Ireland launched its #MakeASmartVote road show this morning outside Trinity College at 9am and will visit a total of 16 college campuses between now and the 25th February before the general election, encouraging students to vote and telling them what the main parties are promising students and young people in their manifestos, and urging them to vote for a party that prioritises education. The road show will visit all major colleges over the next ten days, including NUIG, UCC, DCU and Maynooth. “Young people in Ireland understand that their vote is their voice. We are engaging with young people through social media and on our road shows, encouraging them to use their vote wisely.” Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said, “We expect to see a huge percentage of students voting in the General Election. Irish students have experienced the positive effects of using their vote during the Marriage Referendum and since then have become extremely politically aware with a real hunger for progression and change.” On Monday 15th USI will visit Trinity and Maynooth University. On Tuesday 16th they will visit Athlone and DKIT. On Wednesday 17th they will visit Sligo and LYIT. On Thursday 18th they will visit GMIT and NUIG. On Monday 22nd they will visit Tralee and Waterford. On Tuesday 23rd they will visit UCC and...

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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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