UCD PRESIDENT, Dr Hugh Brady has granted €20,000 to the Students’ Union (SU) to create new recreation areas in the Newstead, Newman, Science and Agricultural Science buildings. This funding is in addition to the €35,000 the SU were awarded from the Student Capital Fund
to spend on leather couches and outdoor benches to improve recreational areas across campus.
SU Education Officer, Paul Lynam, who worked in tandem with SU Campaigns and Communications Officer, Dan O’Neill applied for the funding as they felt that the improved areas will be of huge benefit to students. In addition to the installation of new couches, LCD television screens and new water fountains will be put in some of the new recreation areas.
Explaining how they completed research for the funding application, Mr Lynam stated that he and Mr O’Neill “got a camera and went for a day and just took photos in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College (TCD) and we just looked around their recreation areas.”
A proposal was then drawn up, and applications were made to both the Student Capital Fund and to Dr Brady. Mr Lynam emphasised Dr Brady’s support for the project, saying that the SU “give him full credit for it. It was our initiative and he liked the idea. He saw the importance of it. Students should try and stay on campus as long as they can.”
Despite a range cuts made in student services for budget reasons this year, such as the Student Health Service and the Arts Programme Office, Mr Lynam believes that the new recreation areas are “money well spent.”
Mr Lynam emphasised that the money received from both Dr Brady and the Student Capital Fund was allocated exclusively for use to refurbish recreation areas. When questioned about why the funds weren’t used for other services, Mr Lynam explained that the “€20,000 we applied for from Dr Brady was for the recreational areas, so we couldn’t use it for [other services]… and it wasn’t for us to use it [for purposes other than refurbishment].”
He also stated that the university should not cut corners because of a bad economic climate, saying, “Countries in recession don’t stop funding museums or the Third World.” The renovations have been met with a positive reaction from students and Mr Lynam has described the student body as “delighted”. He is confident that these areas are essential so that “students have an area to study, to get peace and quiet and to chill out and relax.”
It is expected that refurbishments for both the Newman Building and Science Building will be completed next week.