The five UCD Students’ Union sabbatical officers met with UCD President Hugh Brady last week for the bi-annual discussion of UCD’s agenda for the year.
The meeting involved discussions on the library, accommodation, health insurance, the health centre, the UCD Ball and Fashion Show, a job placement scheme, the student services charge and the budget reform committee.
When asked about these issues, SU President Paul Lynam told The University Observer that the SU was pushing to have the library open seven days a week, stating that it is a “top priority of the Students’ Union”. Lynam also mentioned that there was discussion over how best to fund these extra hours, but as of yet, no decision has been made on this issue.
A discussion of the Residences fiasco that occurred at the start of the academic year, in which students were temporarily live elsewhere while their rightful accommodation was being renovated, was also discussed. “We had a more detailed meeting with the head of res and commercial services today, we also wanted to look at the prices of res, and also the possibility of instalments for res.”
Speaking in relation to student health services, Lynam told The University Observer that the SU has requested that the option to avail of health insurance should be included in the registration fee. The Union, said Lynam, has “re-emphasised the necessity of keeping counselling free,” and that “in a time of cutbacks and austerity measures, the health centre is so important for a student’s health.” Lynam also spoke of the SU’s desire to have the Health Centre open during lunch time hours.
Lynam added that he would like to see a transparent breakdown of the student services charge, so that students know what their money is being spent on: “We just want to have it breaking down more transparent, so the students know exactly where their money is going.”
A proposal to have the SU involved in a Budget Review committee was also raised at the meeting: “We just wanted to involve ourselves in all things associated with all charges that may come to students, in terms of post-grad charges, masters charges, in advance, so that we don’t have situations where we have to roll back, and campaign against them, but be part of the process and see how fair and transparent it is.”