—UCD Residences refuse to confirm they will renegotiate
—Gallagher will bring issue to Governing Authority if no progress is made
UCD Residences have refused to confirm to the University Observer that they are willing to renegotiate the Licence to Reside, following a petition requesting its renegotiation being handed over to Residence staff.
UCD Students’ Union’s (UCDSU) #RESRIGHTSNOW campaign concluded last Thursday, November 21st, with a public demonstration that saw a group of students march on the UCD Residences Merville Offices to formally submit a petition of 1,000 students’ names demanding the renegotiation of the Licence to Reside.
A member of Pulse Security was at the Merville Offices to accept the petition and, acting as a representative for UCD Residences, told UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher that they were willing to enter negotiations on the points that were raised by the campaign.
“[The campaign] culminated on Thursday with a public demonstration in which we marched from the Students’ Union to Merville Residences and the petition was handed to a representative of UCD Residences who accepted it and have indicated that they are willing to enter negotiations,” said Gallagher.
When contacted for a comment on the possibility of UCD Residences entering discussions with UCDSU in relation to the Licence to Reside, a University spokesperson refused to confirm that they will be renegotiating any aspects of their policies.
Gallagher said that he is confident UCD Residences will be open to negotiations, but will be approaching Governing Authority with the issue if no progress is made before December.
“I’ll be pushing this now over the next few weeks to see what results I get. If I don’t see any results before December, I’ll be bringing it before the Governing Authority of UCD.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of renegotiating the Licence to Reside, Gallagher feels the campaign made progress for students’ rights on Residences and that feedback from the student body in relation to the campaign has been positive overall.
“The campaign was received very well and I’m happy with the execution of the campaign… By and large, students said it’s about time something like this was done. They were very pleased with it.”
He continued, “I got elected last March on the mandate that I was going to bring more campaigns to local issues on campus and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
The #RESRIGHTSNOW campaign was launched by UCDSU to help improve the rights of students living on campus. The current Licence to Reside agreement that students must agree to in order to obtain campus accommodation sees them reduced to having less rights than private tenants.
The Licence to Reside agreement between students and UCD Residences permits Residential Assistants (RAs) to enter students’ apartments without notice and also allows them to film inside the apartments. Both of these stipulations included in the Licence to Reside violate basic tenant rights contained within the Irish constitution.