UCD’s Student Legal Service (SLS) has this week launched their annual ‘Know Your Rights Week’ campaign. The SLS, who have been actively campaigning this year against the onerous Licence to Reside for UCD Residences, believe that informing students of their rights is extremely important.
The week will see the SLS running numerous events, from a training session for all volunteers on landlord and tenant law, a special address for all students on the Irish prison service from former Governor of Mountjoy, John Lonergan, a trip to the Four Courts for first year volunteers and a stand in the Student Centre manned by volunteers who will be available to offer legal information to anyone with questions.
Chairperson of the SLS Patrick Fitzgerald says: “Know Your Rights Week seeks to engage all students with the law. We cannot separate law from our lives: it affects us on a daily basis whenever we enter a lease, buy a coffee or drive a car. However, there is a tendency within society to see the legal system as outdated, elite and inaccessible.”
His main aim for the week is to open up the law to all students across all faculties on campus. “UCD Student Legal Service seeks to remedy this by trying to make law accessible to students of all disciplines in a clear and comprehensible manner.”
The Student Legal Service is having one of its busiest years yet, having broken records for the society in terms of membership numbers as this year marked the first time the society were given a stand in the Freshers’ tent. They were also involved in Orientation Week, particularly for first year law students, as well as launching their new website, and running weekly free and confidential legal information clinics in the Student Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Fitzgerald hopes that with all these changes this year for the society that “Know Your Rights Week will be another step in making the society an intrinsic part of student life in UCD and in progressing our aims as a society of increasing awareness of the law.”