Bursar of UCD, Dr Gerry O’Brien, has called for an independent review into the mishandling of UCD Residences at the beginning of the semester. It was announced that this would happen at Students’ Union council and was announced by SU Welfare Vice-President Scott Ahearn.
The building of the new Roebuck catered accommodation was not completed on time for the new academic year. This resulted in students intending to move into this accommodation facility during Orientation week being accommodated in the original Roebuck Castle accommodation, and students from Roebuck Castle being accommodated in B&Bs.
Students were also not allowed to move into residences without their student cards, which caused massive disruption during orientation week due to around 3,000 students having to queue for their card on the one day.
Ahearn, expressed his anger at the situation, saying: “what Residences did, is that they destroyed the first experiences for many students coming to UCD. The initial problem was the money came first, before students.”
UCD Residential Services accepted responsibility for the confusion, but denied responsibility for the displacement of students.
The cross review that the Bursar has requested hopes to review all problems with Residences this year, including postgraduate students being placed in apartments with first years, the online booking system, and the student card policy. “The Students’ Union and myself are going to be heavily involved, I will be making sure that they won’t be forgetting what happened,” said Ahearn, before adding: “I’m urging students to go out and make your voice heard, and send the message home that what happened this orientation week was not acceptable.”
However, Head of Residential Services, Richard Brierley, denied any knowledge of the Bursars’ Review, saying: “I am not aware of a specific request for an independent review on the Roebuck 2 development. The development has provided the residents with fantastic facilities and the feedback from them is extremely positive. We do however continually review all aspects of our operations.”
Brierley said that the process had already started, with consultation sessions to focus on online booking and check-in procedures. Brierley said that this was “with the view to ensuring that we are more responsive to our current and future customers’ needs. This process will include representation from residents and also from a wide variety of University stakeholders to ensure the opportunity is optimised.”