USI calls on LYIT to retract “threatening” letter

The Union of Students in Ireland has condemned a letter sent to students at Letterkenny Institute of Technology threatening sanctions if a portion of their registration fees is not paid this week.

The letter demands that €500 of the outstanding fees be paid by the end of this week.

Many students are still awaiting the processing of their grasnt applications by County Donegal VEC, which cannot bring in extra personnel to clear the backlog because of the recruitment freeze in the public service.

In a statement, the Union of Students in Ireland says the college is threatening a number of possible sanctions against students whose fees are not paid, including the withholding of exam results, the disabling of computer accounts and library cards, and even withdrawl of access to medical facilities.

At present, many LYIT students are still waiting for their student maintenance grant applications to be processed by Co Donegal VEC, which cannot bring in extra personnel to clear the backlog because of the recruitment freeze in the public service.

The VEC recently indicated to USI that it would not be finished processing student grant applications until early next year.

USI President Peter Mannion says it is wholly unfair that the education of students in Letterkenny will suffer because of the Government’s failure to implement an efficient student grant system.

The Director of Letterkenny Institute of Technology has rejected claims that the college is threatening students who have not paid their reguistration fees for the current year.

Paul Hannigan says a similar letter is sent out every year. He says the college recognises that there are issues with grants, and any students in difficulty should contact the admissions office to discuss their case.

He says the college has a responsibility to collect the fees.