by Ciara Browne
In Ireland, 88% of students worry about money and over 40% stress about the subject of money constantly, with nearly half the student percentile struggling to afford their living expenses, according to a new survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) and Spunout.ie. 71% of students plan to work part time in order to pay their costs, followed by a mixture of support from parents (59%) and the SUSI student grant (40%).
A combination of factors, including the pandemic, housing shortages and job shortages have made accommodation a growing cost and concern for students. Sheila’s hostel, a budget hostel on Wellington Road that mainly caters to tourists, has reported that over 100 students are now residing there due to housing shortages in Cork. Students on practical courses such as medicine, nursing, and childcare are now a higher risk category as they will be on placement but not paid for the duration, with students on placement not able to work in other paying jobs due to Covid restrictions. Students who have been receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) got their last instalment on the 7th of September 2021. It has been reported that one in 10 PUP recipients were students, leaving many students now struggling.
Alongside this crisis for students, there have been reports of a different type of housing crisis. Student residents on Glasheen road, alongside other areas with high student populations in Cork, are suffering from conflicts with residents. UCC students have been celebrating Sophomore Week, which was launched by UCC to allow second year students the chance to mix after losing the opportunity to do so last year. As we are stepping forward to normality, students have returned to the streets partying and attending house parties. Footage of the antics have been sent to UCC and to the guards by the residents group and President John O’Halloran has been asked to consider more expulsions for students who have no respect for the residents and their homes.
Catherine Clancy (member of the Magazine Road and surrounding areas residents group) interviewed President John O’Halloran of UCC, after the antics and disrespect UCC students showed. As reported in the Echo Live, Mrs. Clancy said there had been “chanting, singing, public drinking, urinating as well as defecating on the pavement and glass bottles smashed and thrown. As residents, (they) are very upset by this. It is very serious”.
UCC students have had a rough start to the year, which is expected for students all over Ireland. In particular, it has been difficult for first and second year students. Students of UCC have reported being stressed about being to lectures on time, trying to find the correct room, and many have said that should they arrive 5-10 minutes late, they will not walk into the lecture.
Students are being asked to consider and look into UCC’s Student Assistant Fund (SAF) to help with money issues they may be experiencing.
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