NCAD students occupy director office and read demands

The simmering student revolt that started this spring in Amsterdam and spread to the LSE in London has now reached Dublin. Austerity has meant the acceleration of the EU neoliberal plan to turn universities into over packed and pressured factories churning out little human units optimised for industry.

Overcrowding is the norm, and the number of college workers has been cut at the same time as the attacks on the public sector have demoralised those workers. But to date students have been surprisingly quiet in resisting austerity as a group, presumably resigned to the inevitably of emigrating in the search for a better life elsewhere.

In the last couple of days things have been brewing up in NCAD which faces much the same issues as all the other colleges and some unique ones. Earlier today dozens of students went into the directors office and took turns reading out a protest and set of demands to NCAD Director Declan McGonagle.

They videoed themselves doing so and we'd recommend you view the video at https://youtu.be/13VvtX6XPXQ

McGonagle refuses to enter into discussion with the students because he doesn't want to enter into discussions with them as a body (where their numbers somewhat make up for his power over them). The students are having none of it and tell him they want a report on progress on the demands by Tuesday or they will escalate their protests.

The test of the letter they are handing in during the
video is below

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For the attention of: Declan McGonagle
Director of NCAD

It has become evident that the administration's primary concern at present is the management of revenue, rather than the education and welfare of its students. This shift in the college's ideology has left current students abandonded and alumni disillusioned about the value of their degrees and the future of contemporary art in Ireland.

In light of the irresponsible actions and policies of the current management of this college, we demand the following changes be implemented immediately, in order that our art and design education may meet its most basic requirements:

The reckless recent increase in student numbers by 75% is impossible to justify without appropriate additional facilities for students, and for the staff struggling to teach them. Either these resources must be provided or the number of prospective students must be decreased to meet the available resources.

Make the necessary provisions for the 2016 Graduate Exhibition, in which two years will be graduating simultaneously, by increasing space, time and resource facilities for affected students.

Evidence these plans to the students by the end of term.

Provide proof that the € I 00 studio and material levies are contributing to studio and material costs or reverse the fee and reimburse affected students.

Reverse the sudden and underhanded inflation in the MAADW fees from €2850 to €3900 (causing three out of seven students to drop out this year). Make no further increases to postgraduate fees.

Reverse the appalling decision to introduce a fee for our college doctor, and guarantee that the college counselling and doctor service will always be available for free for students.
Set a concrete date for the reintroduction of the furnace to the glass department and demonstrate the feasibility of this.

There has been an enduring failure to provide an adequate MFA studio space. NCAD must source an appropriate space and commit to a long-term lease by the end of the current rental agreement.

Relocate the Registrar's office out of the student space in TAA back to the administration floor, as his presence causes detriment not only to the students learning and workspace, but also raises problems in allocating spaces for the Graduate Exhibition.

Meet the wage and running costs of NCAD Student Union punctually and on a fixed pre-agreed budget .

We, the student body of NCAD, will deliver these demands en masse to your office on Friday 20th of March at I pm.lf these conditions are not met, we will escalate our campaign throughout and beyond the college.
Signed
Student of NCAD

 


WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )

  


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