A GROUP of students who began a snowball attack have sparked anger across the university. A group of approximately 30 students congregated on the concourse following the heavy snowfall on Thursday, 5th February and began to hurl snowballs at passersby. A number of complaints have been made by motorists who experienced the attacks describing how students opened their car doors and threw snow in their faces.
The snowball attack escalated into a series of vicious encounters, knocking cyclists from their bikes and causing damage to passing cars. The Quinn School of Business was the main building affected as the group of students entered the building, throwing snowballs at students and staff members. The extent of the attack forced staff at the Quinn School to lock the doors in an effort to prevent further trouble.
Students at lectures in the Newman Building experienced similar encounters when the group of students hurled snowballs into the theatres; hitting both students and lecturers while damaging lecture equipment. “It was disappointing because at the start it was all friendly, throwing a few snowballs but at a point it got out of hand,” explained Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán O Deá. He expressed concern at the situation adding that “people didn’t know when to stop, I think people just got too much into it.”
The university has acknowledged the anger which sparked as a result of encounters involving the group of students, asserting that “several complaints have been received in relation to snowballing at Belfield.” It was further added that “the gardaí were called but were not involved in the incidents in question.”
The prolonged snow fall forced the university to close early with all buildings closing at 5pm. The university confirmed that, “following information bulletins from Met Eireann announcing heavy snow throughout the afternoon… the university, in line with advice issued by the AA and the gardaí to the wider Dublin community, wished to enable staff and students to arrive home early to ensure their best possible safety”.
Mr Ó Deá affirmed that it “was a combination of things as to why the buildings were shut, genuinely it was probably safer for people to get home as early as possible with the weather, UCD was so dangerous and slippy.” Mr Ó Deá is confident that disciplinary actions will be taken against students who were involved in the various encounters around campus.