Students’ Union Entertainment Officer, Stephen Darcy, has been harshly criticised for the non-appearance of advertised acts at the recent Cheesefest. 5ive and all but one member of S Club pulled out hours before the event took place.
Members of the student body then criticised Darcy for a sparse line up, which consisted of the Vengaboys, and one member of S Club, Bradley, who performed for free. Darcy maintains that the criticism aimed at him was misplaced, as a member of S Club had to cancel due to a family bereavement and the two remaining members of 5ive could not attend as one had just undergone root canal surgery.
Darcy explained that he was personally affected by the news: “I was the most disappointed person in UCD that day. It felt like I let the students down”. Since the event, he has received complaints and insults directed at both himself and the Ents Crew with several students “having a go” at him on the night.
“There is a person at the end of UCD Ents, all of their negative comments do go somewhere and I was the one. I’m not looking for sympathy, I signed up for this but I didn’t realise how much it would actually affect me until it was actually happening . . . even if they’re directing a bit of criticism towards Ents it does come back to me personally. I do take it to heart and I’ll do everything I can to make sure everyone’s happy.”
Darcy chose not to discuss the e-mails and Facebook comments he has received from students, but did go on to say that they “are still up there for anyone to see”. In the wake of the negative comments, he states that he has since received mostly positive feedback, following replies being sent out to all students who commented on the matter.
The Entertainment Officer is quick to dispel the idea that students feel they can say anything to their elected representatives, despite a similar situation occurring prior to last year’s UCD Ball. “I hope it doesn’t become a trend that it’s ok to publically abuse someone or an organisation that is in place to do the best for UCD students. I ran for election to do the best I could for the students and it’s slightly disappointing to get a reaction like that.”
Darcy has described the incident as “one that I wholeheartedly regret” and will make sure to implement measures to prevent further problems in the future. Ultimately, he notes that, “the positive feedback and the general goodwill of the UCD students really came through for me over the weekend that followed”.