Education

Anonymous student-run Twitter account highlights accommodation crisis in Limerick

student accommodation crisis UL Confessions

UL Confessions features posts from students asking if they can sleep in buildings on campus

By Jodie McCormack                                                                                       

Students have taken to an anonymously run Twitter account to highlight the accommodation crisis in Limerick.

UL Confessions is managed by an anonymous administrator who allows students to send in messages, which are then posted on the account. 

In a recent poll of almost 800 people 37.1% of respondents said they were still without accommodation. 

While the majority of UL Confessions posts are light-hearted jokes about the university and nightlife, the accommodation crisis in areas surrounding the university has seen content take a darker mood.

On September 28, one anonymous submission asked, “Where’s a safe place to sleep on campus 1 or 2 nights a week? I can’t keep commuting every day. Is there somewhere quiet in a building that’s locked at night?”

Other issues raised by student submissions concerned marks for in class attendance marks difficulties securing on campus parking given the increase in traffic as a result of those forced to commute.

One tweet read, “2% reduction in final grade for every tutorial missed and no option for online – I feel like I’m being punished for not finding anywhere to live.”

Erin Lally, a final year UL student, had found a room to rent but at the last minute her landlord informed her he had found a working professional to take the room instead – despite knowing she was a student when the lease was agreed. 

She said of her experience, “I’ve been staying at a friend’s house, and it’s been an hour walk in-and-out of college, so it’s been way harder to get to college and be there every day like I should be.”

“I’ve been looking for rooms ever since I was let down, but everything I find is a trek away from the college, upwards of €700 a month, and you’re only allowed to stay there Monday to Friday.”

Erin added, “It’s put a serious strain on me, it’s been very hard to function without accommodation. It’s really taking a toll to be honest, and definitely on my college work too.”

When contacted about the accommodation difficulties facing students in Limerick a spokesperson for UL “University of Limerick is very mindful that the availability of high quality, conveniently located and affordable accommodation is essential for students to thrive, and for the university’s continued academic, social, sporting, and cultural prosperity.”

“UL-managed accommodation is available to 16% of our student population, the highest percentage of any Higher Education Institution in Ireland.”

“UL will continue to work together with government, our partners in Limerick and the wider sector nationally to develop more long-term plans for student accommodation in Limerick. UL is very active in this space and will continue to work to identify solutions for our students and staff.”

The spokesperson continued, “Demand for student accommodation is high and consistent with last year. The demand has been exacerbated by a national housing shortage, a pattern of private landlords leaving the student rental market and a drop in ‘digs / homestay’ type accommodation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Earlier this month, University of Limerick announced the purchase of 20 new A-rated accommodation units in Rhebogue, 2km from the Plassey campus. The housing will provide an additional 80 beds to UL students, available from August 2023.

Find out more about University of Limerick accommodation.

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