Education officer answers for absence on exam results day

 

—On exam result day, Carroll’s email sends automated response, “I am receiving a large amount of emails… there may be a slight delay in my response” UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Undergraduate Education Officer, Adam Carroll, was challenged at the last sitting of UCDSU Council, on January 27th, by a class representative in attendance in regards to his absence from campus during the release of semester one examination results on Wednesday, January 22nd. Carroll was out of the country when the results were released and was not directly available for student queries until the Saturday of that week. When approached by the University Observer for comment, Carroll stated that he had been on a family holiday that had been organised before he took up the position of Undergraduate Education Officer. When asked if he believed his duties as Undergraduate Education Officer had been fulfilled, he stated, “All of my duties were covered by my sabbatical officer colleagues and all queries [presented personally, by email, and telephone] were dealt with within 24 hours. I am satisfied that services provided to our student members were not affected at all. ” UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher, stated that Carroll’s absence was perfectly within his rights. “I know that the Undergraduate Education Officer is ultimately an employee of UCD Students’ Union and he is entitled to a number of annual holidays. I respect his employment rights and to be able to take his annual leave.” He also stated that he didn’t feel it was irresponsible of Carroll to have taken his annual leave during such a time and to have been out of country on the day exam results were released. “He very effectively had delegated out his responsibilities to the Graduate Education Officer and the Welfare and Equality Officer and they were more than able to handle any of the queries that came in between them.” As it stands, there are no set days of the year for which all sabbatical officers must be present. When asked whether certain days of the calendar year should be set aside for all Students’ Union officers to be present, Gallagher stated, “I think organisations should be flexible enough so that if any employee is absent for unforeseeable reasons such as sickness, that the rest of the organisation can adapt and not crumble.“ Although Carroll was elected to office during March of 2013, Mr Gallagher claimed his holiday had been booked in September of that year, by which date the academic calendar for the current year had already been released. Mr Gallagher claimed, “ He received four emails in the week that he was away, so it wasn’t an insurmountable number.”

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