The Union of Students in Ireland joins with the vast majority of students in Ireland, including most in Limerick, in expressing distress at the scenes posted on social media last night.
USI has heard from many students today who are disappointed and upset by the incidents that took place in Limerick yesterday evening.
Like every sector of Irish society, the last year has been an incredibly difficult one for students who have been studying from home, not meeting friends and family, lost jobs, and lost thousands of euro for accommodation they could not use.
Therefore, it is upsetting and disappointing for students, USI and Students’ Unions across the island to see the public health guidelines being broken in such a manner by a small minority of students.
USI notes the statement from the Irish Universities Association thanking the vast majority of students who are abiding by the public health guidelines and reiterating an appeal to all students to continue to abide by the guidelines.
USI and its members also call on all students to stand together with the vast majority of their friends and peers who are doing the right thing in these difficult times. It is hard, but there is an end in sight.
However, USI is again reiterating its calls for higher education institutions and Government to work together to play their part in reducing the risk of events like this happening by ensuring students can get out of contracts and get refunds for accommodation.
It is not good enough to ask students not to go back to campuses, live in student accommodation or mix with other students, but not support them in this by ensuring they are not out of pocket for doing so.
USI is calling on Government to show its support and regard for students by passing our Student Accommodation Bill and proving clarity on the remainder of the academic year.
The students that have contacted us have been playing their part and they expect Government to do likewise.
NOTE: University of Limerick’s UL Student Life is not a member of USI. Therefore, USI will not comment on specific matters in relation to last night in Limerick.