After days of condemnation from politicians and students, DIT have receded their policy to Garda Vet all prospective Access Programme students, writes Nikki Murphy and Dan Grennan.
In response to this week’s controversy over new Garda vetting requirements for the Dublin Institute of Technology Access Foundation Programme, DIT has revoked the new policy.
In a statement issued on his behalf by a DIT spokesperson, Head of Admissions Frank Costello has said “there will not now be a requirement for Garda vetting at application stage.”
The statement went on to say that Mr. Costello himself “will be meeting with the programme committee to identify mechanisms to ensure that programme participants who express an interest in further study in certain areas, such as clinical practice, work placement, coaching or peer mentoring is a requirement, will be facilitated at an early stage to complete the vetting process to ensure access programme participants have a seamless transition into their degree programme of choice."
The outcome has been reached from days of campaigning by Senators Lynn Ruane and John Dolan and Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, as well as many past students of the AFP programme.
Pressure has been on DIT over the last few days to revoke this new policy on the grounds of it being “a specific form of discrimination against people from disadvantaged communities,” according to Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance.
At the news of the revoking of the policy, Boyd Barrett said "It is brilliant news that this disgraceful and blatantly discriminatory proposal has been abandoned. Of course serious questions remain as to how DIT could ever have come up with such an outrageous plan. Well done to Nicola Murphy and Dan Grennan in particular for highlighting this issue. It shows the value of good student journalism".
Senator Lynn Ruane said of the news “The college should be commended for taking on the decision to roll back on the Garda vetting. Obviously it made absolutely zero sense to Garda vet that cohort of students. It is almost similar to class profiling which is completely wrong. I’m glad the college decided to keep this route of access open to all students and this was a huge barrier. I am absolutely delighted to see it changed.”
Ruane added “I would like to congratulate everyone who has been highlighting it over the last few days and all the students who have contacted the college as well. It shows when people get behind something you can change something and I think it’s a positive message for students.”
DITSU president Boni Odoemene was asked for comment and said “This is excellent news! The DIT Students' Union is happy to hear that the DIT will be reverting their decision to input mandatory Garda Vetting as an application requirement for Access Student Applicants. This was an issue in which we were concerned about. So it is good to hear of its reversal.”