After weeks of long and arduous negotiation, our Students’ Union is on the verge of securing the refund of monies owed to the student populace by the University. The Union should be praised for recognising the impropriety of UCD’s actions, in inflating the Student Centre Levy by five per cent, and taking action to correct it on our behalves.
The real credit though, should be the fact that in securing a refund, the Union and University have chosen to invest the money in student welfare and community initiatives, rather than offering each individual student a cheque for €7.50.
While printing 22,000 cheques might have been a more visible and public reprimand for the University, a refund of €7.50 to each student wouldn’t make much difference to the everyday lives of most who would receive it. Indeed, the cynic amongst us would postulate that the Students’ Union could have capitalised further by offering a ‘3 Drinks For €7.50’ deal in the campus bars on the day that the cheques would have been issued. But they haven’t, and they won’t, because the majority of the money will go where it is really needed – the Student Welfare and Assistance Funds, among others.
Having seen this week that some students are still waiting on the first instalment of their Maintenance Grants from local county councils, eight weeks into term, it is now more than ever that UCD needs a fund to help those struggling to make ends meet.
Although €7.50 each might not seem like a substantial sum, the combined refund being issued by the University will be in excess of €150,000 – an amount that can certainly be put to good use in helping the neediest, and in restoring community to a demoralised campus. What we must take away from this is that UCD Students’ Union are working on behalf of the most needy and vulnerable students, and should be acknowledged and applauded for doing so.
We’re sad to say that Eoin Brady has had to step down as co-editor of our otwo supplement. In the recent months, we’ve come to look forward to, and immensely enjoy, all of Eoin’s work for the newspaper. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Eoin for the hard work and dedication he has shown over the course of the first four editions.
Eoin, your sparkling wit, style and intelligence are surpassed only by your talent for writing. Thank you for taking on the role of otwo editor – it has fitted you brilliantly. You have always brought humour and fun to the Observer office and the newspaper has been so much the better for your contribution. I hope that you will continue to write for us as often as you can, and I sincerely wish you all the best in your studies.