Title: News In Brief
SU announces plans to refurbish student bar
UCDSU Ents Vice-President Jonny Cosgrove has unveiled his plans for an overhaul of the Student Bar.
Crowd barriers for the front of the stage have been bought and erected. In previous years, these were rented from an outside company, but the decision was taken this year to include them in the Ents budget.
Cosgrove said: “It’s something that’s been talked about for a few years. It does take away an act during the year, but it will benefit next years Ents officer, even the year after.”
During the first few weeks of term, there was a temporary smoking area set up outside the bar, and plans are being put in place to construct a more permanent outdoor area: “For summer term, we’re looking at having benches out there, kind of what we lost with the Pit.”
A graffiti artist has been commissioned for the shutters in the bar: “We’re looking, not just to brand the bar, but you come in and the shutter won’t be just shutters, it won’t look so naff.”
Cosgrave also revealed plans to put UCD specific memorabilia on the walls, such as signed gig posters of big acts that have come through the bar.
Finally, laser terminals are to be installed in the bar by second semester. “It’s something people have been asking for for years. There’s nothing worse than having to walk in the lashing rain around to the restaurant to get your money out.”
Cosgrave cites the changes as being necessary for the comfort of students: “My end is trying to make the bar a little bit more hospitable.”
Redevelopment plans in place for recreational area
UCDSU President Paul Lynam and Campaigns and Communications Vice-President Pat de Brún have applied to redevelop the area beside the SU shop in the James Joyce Library building.
The redevelopment is to be taken from the Capital Fund with the profits collected from the student bar outlets. A grant of €35,000 has been applied for the redevelopment.
Lynam said: “Myself and Pat de Brún sat down at the start of this year and said we want to do something similar, we looked for possible spaces and we thought that outside the shop can be vastly improved upon.”
During his tenure as SU Education Officer in 2008, Lynam and the then Communications Vice-President Dan O’Neill applied to the capital fund to redevelop recreational areas in Science, Arts, Agricultural Science and Newstead buildings.
Lynam added: “You’re looking at a whole redevelopment, proper comfortable leather couches going in, plug sockets going in, improved wireless.”
The works are likely to be completed by semester two.
De Brún to conduct campus-wide survey
UCDSU Campaigns and Communications officer Pat de Brún has announced that he will run an extensive survey of the campus.
“The survey is about gauging the opinion of what the priorities of the students are; what they want the SU to do, what they see as the most important services, what they see as the most important things their class reps do,” said de Brún.
The survey will cover a range of topics relating to the Irish national education system, from third-level fees to school specific issues.
A similar survey has been run before, only using email, which generated 2,500 responses: “We want this to be a more accurate sample of student opinion, so I’ve decided to roll it out online again, but to also have people on the concourse for a week.”
He continued: “We’re going to have focus groups, such as final years, graduates, international students, where they’ll be brought in and questioned over a long period of time in more depth.”
De Brún hopes that the survey will provide a bridge between student concerns and SU priorities: “It’s difficult to know what we could learn from it, but as long as we accurately learn student opinion. That’s the most important thing. Things such as gauging whether it’s more important for students that the library is still open on a Sunday, or [if it] is more important that there are more books in the library.”
De Brún says that the results of the survey will be incorporated into SU priorities for the Semester Two: “It’ll be rolled out, [at] the end of this semester, and it’ll be a guide for us to act as a mandate for the second semester.”