As the coming year approaches and the next set of Trinity Student Union officers dream up their big, world-changing ideas, which bare absolutely no relation to the University or its students, it seems like a good time to look back on the union’s past actions and to inform students of their options.
The USI’s Annual Money Grab
Firstly, I want to layout the choice which, although never advertised, is available to all students. Do you want to fund the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the union to which all other student unions on the island belong?
Each year, each of the 374,000 third level students in Ireland are automatically charged a fee of €8 to be a member of the USI. This provides the uberly useless organisation approximately €3 million each year, allowing them to organise and take part in numerous protests of varying ridiculousness. In short, your money is used to allow deranged, utopian fools to disrupt the city and impede the transport of people with actual jobs.
If you are a student of Trinity College Dublin, simply email the academic registry your request to have the membership fee removed from your annual balance. You will then have saved eight euros for each of your remaining years at the college and will likely be credited the fee from the year previous. I would imagine that students in other colleges and universities would have a similar process available to them.
BDS on campus
Among the numerous inappropriate stances of the union is its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Regrettably, the union is comprised of people with little if any concept of geography and an inflated sense of self-worth. Thus, we arrive at the position in which we find ourselves… an Irish student union with a view on foreign policy in the Middle East. In fact, the enlightened souls in our Union have decided to dedicate an entire week to their hatred of Israel, ‘anti-apartheid week’. Of course, the union’s higherups are presumably still working of trying to spell apartheid.
Beyond the simple impropriety of the union’s stance, it must be said that they are simply wrong. They have chosen to condemn and only functional democracy in the region. The only nation with has any sort of equality under the law for women, homosexuals and all ethnic and religious minorities. These self-propertied champions of equality would see any semblance of Western liberal values erased from the region if the state of Israel were to disappear.
The union supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). This is a movement founded by Omar Barghouti, a man who has been denied entry to the U.S. and who opposes a two-state solution in favour of total Palestinian rule of the region. Perhaps it would be less suspect had the union decided to boycott other, more monstrous countries, but it didn’t. Perhaps it is the most extraordinary coincidence in the history of the world, that our union seeks to boycott, condemn and has devoted an entire week to the hatred of the only Jewish state in the world and remains untouched by anti-Semitism.
Equality at all Costs.
The union’s policy positions are best summarised as lengthy shriek demanding more things be afforded to the many at the expense of the few, or at the expense of the Taoiseach’s magic money tree, both of which are equally economically tenable. Free university education. Free homes. Free aborts. Free everything! But not for the middle or upper classes, oh no. For these are the privileged, the ruling class, the bourgeoisie. These people do not truly need what they have or at least they need it less so than others. Furthermore, they have gained what they have through engagement in a cutthroat capitalist system kicking others to the bottom on their way to the top. Or at least this is the axiom which undergirds the policies of the union.
But who am I to judge the pure intentions of the union? Afterall, they simply wish to design a fairer system. To that end, it is best that we do not mention the fact that the unions officials have demonstrated little to no competence in the world aside from being elected by equal incompetent people. It would also be best to steer clear of the fact that throughout history societies have continued to experiment with new economic systems, yet all wealthy nations remain capitalist and that those with higher levels of socialisation typically rely on wealth generated by natural resources.
Nonetheless, our brave advocates push-on, reliably ignoring all detail, never wavering in the face of facts. Take for example, the basis upon which people climb the capitalist ladder. IQ and conscientiousness. Yes, perhaps it seems cold, but it is effective. One cannot argue the case that they would rather be in a plane piloted by someone not selected on this basis nor likewise in the case of surgery. Yet as I say, they push-on. Continually endeavouring to have competence sacrificed at the altar of equity.
So, as the year begins, we must all remember to observe the practice of placing one’s fingers in one’s ears and humming loudly (even if only metaphorically). Much as one might do in the face of belligerent uninformed children. Only in this case they are belligerent uniformed sociology students.