Orientation chaos looms for 2010


Serious scheduling conflicts have arisen relating to next year’s Orientation Week. A calendar anomaly means that all incoming first years will only find out they have a place in UCD on the first day of Orientation.
The 2010 Orientation Week will conflict with the publication of the first round of the CAO offers, due to the late occurrance of the 2010 June Bank Holiday.
OrientationNext year’s holiday will take place on 7th June, which means that the Leaving Cert cannot begin until the following Wednesday, 9th June. The calendar issues will then have the knock-on effect of pushing the Leaving Cert results – and consequently the CAO first round offers – back by one week.
As the current academic schedule for next year stands, this means that CAO offers will be released on the first day of Orientation Week.
University representatives met last week to try and resolve the scheduling issues. One of the suggestions considered was to move the start of term, and thus Orientation week, back by one week. This would, however, cause difficulty with the Christmas exam period: exams are scheduled to end on 17th December next year; should the term be pushed back by one week, exams would then not end until Christmas Eve.
Further suggestions were to hold some examinations on Sundays during the Christmas exam period, but the University is bound not to hold exams on Sundays, and has previously pledged that no student shall sit more than three exams in two days, a pledge only honoured by the inclusion of a Sunday moratorium.
It is understood that UCD is the only university affected by the late offers next year, as other universities hold exams in the first weeks of January rather than December examinations.
The scheduling issues will also affect the allocation of campus residence places to first year students. At present, students can only apply for places in campus accommodation three days after they accept their CAO offer. This would mean that incoming first year students could only apply for campus accommodation two working days before the beginning of term, and would be unlikely to have been allocated a place before the first day of lectures.