Students left confused by changes in residence administration

 
 

Students who were booked in accommodation in Roebuck Halls were informed upon arrival that their accommodation was unavailable and they would need to seek temporary accommodation.

The University Observer understands that students who booked accommodation in phases one and two of Roebuck were not accommodated, as students who had booked rooms in the unfinished phase three were accommodated in phases one and two. Phase three is scheduled to be ready in the third week of term.

A student living on campus told The University Observer that the students affected, many of them first years, were informed of the situation by email. “Their Licence to Reside says the 6th, so you can see why they were confused,” the student said.

It has also come to the attention of The University Observer that students who rejected rooms, but then changed their minds, have been able to reclaim their rooms, despite the fact that it may have already been allocated to someone else.

The student went on to say: “I think that there were really big issues with the SIS, that it was live the whole time. Someone was getting a room, and then someone else was picking the same room.”

UCDSU Welfare Vice-President Scott Ahearn described the situation as “a massive mistake on Residences part,” and cited lack of communication as the reason.

This year a former convent at Muckross, near Donnybrook, was added as a UCD residence. “There’s no photos online, it’s a convent,” Ahearn said, adding that the rooms at Muckross were “not even big enough to fit a table in,” labeling them “a disgrace”.

Many students who arrived to check in on the first day of Orientation Week were unaware that they would require their student cards before collection. It is the understanding of the The University Observer that these students were not provided with a place in which to store their luggage when they were directed to the other side of campus to collect their student cards.

This year saw a change to the system of allocating on-campus rooms. The former distance scheme of allocation was scrapped in favour of a “first come, first served” system. Ahearn explained how “first years used to have more priority. The waiting list was the 15th June, so many missed out on the opportunity altogether.”

The change to the allocation system has also resulted in a number of students needing to move to Dublin for the academic year, missing out on on-campus accommodation as a result of Dublin and surrounding students being eligible for on-campus accommodation.

Ahearn believes that the management of UCD Residences was aware some rooms were not going to be ready on time, yet still did not adjust the date on the License to Reside issued to those students affected.

Ahearn also said: “They only gave them a list of B&Bs. That’s not the level of support they should have been given.”

Ahearn stated that funding issues were behind the overhaul to admissions this year: “It’s about time that money is not the number one drive of this university.”

A spokesperson for UCD stated that “UCD Residences have apologised for any delays and inconveniences experienced by students while checking in to their accommodation, and have thanked students for their understanding.”

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