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The Editor, The University Observer, Student Centre, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4.
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As I am sure most of your readers have noticed, there has been an exponential increase in the presence of security in Belfield of late. At all times of the day, and even more so at night, teams of security personnel patrol the campus, focusing on areas such as the bus terminus, the library, and the student bar and also sitting in unmarked cars at some other locations.
While no one would fault the university for providing security and ensuring students’ safety, I strongly feel that the level of personnel present is completely unnecessary. I can only speak for myself (although I’m sure others would agree) when I say that I feel somewhat intimidated by security, as they eye me up and down strolling through the campus.
Students are often stereotyped as being mischievous, committing petty offences for the fun of it. For the majority, this stereotype is true. Plenty of students have taken traffic cones, signage, posters, etc and kept them as trophies, as souvenirs of their carefree days. If we were to ask some of UCD’s staff, even its President, I’m sure they would also admit to this tomfoolery when they were students themselves. It is part and parcel of student life.
However, I’m sure that this increase in security will prevent students from acting like students. UCD can be a dull place at the best of times, but with extra security now a permanent fixture, I fear it will become even more so.