As the campaign for change continues to gather momentum, there has been incredible support from all sectors of the university and the wider community.
The NUI Galway Student Union voted to officially endorse the campaign at a meeting on Tuesday night and Rebecca Melvin, the Student Union Equality Officer will address the crowd at the demonstration. The campaign has also received the backing of 26 student societies, staff, alumni and members of the public who plan to turn out on Friday to show their support.
We have now reached a critical juncture where the university management will decide whether to listen to the wishes of the university body or continue to reject those demands and follow its own well plotted course of promises and talking shops.
The university president is expected to announce a new ‘task force’ to review gender issues in the university. He is also expected to try to deflect the responsibility for taking action by emphasising that this is a national issue.
However, will he recommend that the academic council promote the women who were deemed eligible in the last two rounds?
Will he grant all the outstanding appeals for the 2014 round of promotions to Senior Lecturer, to create gender balance for that round?
Will he set clear targets for the task force?
Whether or not he decides to do this could well depend on how many people stand up and make their voices heard on Friday.
Like any efficent bureaucratic body the university management is very adept at claiming that
– Its not its responsibility to do anything
– It will do something in the future
– It cannot do anything “legally”
– It will have a review to talk about doing something
– It will talk about doing something until it all blows over and everyone forgets about it
Will you stand for these excuses and empty promises or will you turn out on Friday to demand immediate action?
The immediate promotion of the women deemed eligible in previous rounds is an incredibly easy step for the university to take to begin the process of achieving gender equality.
Why is it so reluctant to do so?