Actions by management in the Technological University of the Shannon to take a dedicated student space away from the Students’ Union will affect their ability to look after the welfare of their students and should be stopped, says the Union of Students in Ireland.

Without notice or discussion, TUS SU was informed that university management is taking away the student space on the Athlone campus that is currently used by the Students’ Union to store and distribute free period products, condoms and exam packs, as well as for other student-focused campaigns.

The Students’ Union received an email that the college is converting the space, saying the decision is final – this follows a recent move by the university to take away a student space on the TUS Moylish campus in Limerick.

USI President, Chris Clifford said: “This a vital space for the Students’ Union on the Athlone campus and they will not stand by and let this happen, especially not with the way the college has gone about it. It is completely disrespectful for the college to think they can just take a space that is used for vital welfare resources like condoms and periods products, without any dialogue or discussion with the local SU.

“Is this what they think of the work that the SU does for the students in their college? USI Vice Presidents joined last week’s protest against this move, and we will continue to support the local officers in opposing both the taking of this space and the way the college went about it.”

TUS SU Deputy President for the Midlands, Darcy Lawless said: “Our students are really angry at this move by the college. We use this space to provide students with free period products, free contraception, free exam packs and lots of other essential services, such as storage space for students that have been evicted. This serves as one of our most important spaces to support students in this cost of living and housing crisis and we have been working on plans to make the space better for the students that need us. TUS management has already taken student space on other TUS campuses, but we are adamant we won’t let this happen on the Athlone campus. Enough is enough.”