UCC student ‘tried to sleep in college library’

Speaking at the Cost of Living demonstration in the city centre on Saturday, Sinéad Roche, Communications and Engagement Officer with UCC’s Student Union, said that every year there are students who struggle to find affordable accommodation.
UCC student ‘tried to sleep in college library’

Sinead Roche, UCC Students Union speaking at the event. The first major pre-Budget cost of living protest was held in Cork on Saturday Sept 17 (Grand Parade 2pm) organised by the Cork Cost of Living Campaign. Thousands attended the protest march. Pic: Larry Cummins

UCC Students' Union have reported that one student was trying to sleep in the college library last week, as the student accommodation crisis is reaching “a breaking point”.

Speaking at the Cost of Living demonstration in the city centre on Saturday, Sinéad Roche, Communications and Engagement Officer with UCC’s Student Union, said that every year there are students who struggle to find affordable accommodation.

However she said that this year there are countless students “on the brink” as the cost of living continues to rise, and the student accommodation crisis in particular is at a “breaking point”.

She shared that in the first week back to college for non-first year students last week, there were multiple incidents which illustrated the extent to which students are struggling to find somewhere affordable to live.

“This week alone, in my union we’ve had a student try to sleep in the library, one student who couldn’t find a place in any hostels, and an international student who arrived in Ireland to find their room was shared, which was not told to them. That is only for this week alone,” she said.

“The fact that 19% of purpose built student accommodation is publicly owned while private student accommodation complexes are shooting up all over the place charging astronomical prices is a disgrace… sky high rents are forcing students to commute long distances or into unsafe and unfavourable living conditions, some are even forced to give up their spot in college altogether,” she added.

Ms Roche said that students are under “huge financial restraint” with unaffordable student accommodation, as well as the rising cost of living, and having the highest student fees in the EU.

She said there are students enrolled in university who cannot come to lectures because they cannot afford their commute or they try to work during their lecture hours to pay their rent, bills and fees.

Ms Roche called on the government to implement and enforce rent controls and freezes, ban evictions, and invest in more purpose built student accommodation.

“Students unions nationally are unified in their demand that we need to see the €3,000 student contribution charge abolished, and see education publicly funded, now,” she added.

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