PULSE Security have been criticised by students over remarks and intimidating behaviour experienced during the past fortnight. Students have made up to 100 complaints about the new security team to the Students’ Union (SU) since the first week of the semester.
A “massive amount” of student cards have been seized by security staff, according to Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá, adding that he had “heard figures of up to 800 student cards”. Mr Ó Deá continued to state that students do not have an issue with student cards being taken off those who are drinking on campus, however he is concerned for those who feel they have been “essentially bullied” by Pulse staff members.
Arguing that the reports of intimidation by security staff are “uncompletely unacceptable”, Mr Ó Deá stressed that he “wouldn’t like to see any situation where a student card was taken whereby students felt like they were being bullied or harassed in any way”.
Stating that he has seen “minor incidents where staff have said sly remarks”, Mr Ó Deá feels that while a security presence is necessary, “another issue to be raised is that a lot of the security personnel hang around in groups of five or six which is also kind of intimidating”.
Particularly concerned for first year students, Mr Ó Deá believes that “it’s a frightening time for many students starting off in college and this doesn’t help at all… it’s a very big deal, especially for a security company on campus who are here to make you feel safe”.
Describing the problems as “very disheartening”, Mr Ó Deá spoke of similiar issues encountered with the previous security contractor, ISS and stated that he feels there is “an oversight by college as (the problem)
A UCD spokesperson denied any knowledge of compliants made against security personnel, but acknowledged that “UCD services confiscated 70 student cards on the first day of term when there was an exceptional increase in activity on campus due to the Freshers’ Ball”.
Mr Ó Deá described himself as shocked that the Safety Office had not received any formal complaints from students at the time of going to print, however he stated that he urges all students to report “even the most minor situation where a remark was said or something happened that could be perceived intimidating”.
Pulse security were implementing university regulations, according to the spokesperson, who added that the security team receive daily briefings from the UCD Duty Manager to review daily operations.
Pulse security began working in the Belfield campus on September 8th, and began stewarding all areas
of campus on September 20th.