By Sam Griffin
The construction of the proposed €50,000 Labyrinth looks set to go ahead after Students’ Union president Ed Leamy acknowledged the project would most likely proceed with or without the support of the Union.
Reservations about the project were voiced at last week’s Class Representatives Council meeting, especially in regards to the Students’ Union contributing €10,000 towards the Labyrinth.
Concerns had centered on the cost of the development, with many students arguing the Labyrinth was too expensive. However, at the CRC meeting Leamy countered these arguments stating the development would constitute a tiny portion of the SU annual budget and is relatively low in comparison to other Union costs.
He said: “When we consider we’ve spent €20,000 on extra security for Toxic Tuesday, it’s not a lot of money. I think we should do this. We need to look at the longevity of the project and we must decide on it sooner rather than later.
“What we students should realise is that it is not a religious thing. It is a place for quiet reflection and thought and hopefully it will serve some good to all on the DCU campus.”
Leamy went on to say that the Students’ Union had a budget of €1.5m for the academic year and that spending less than 1% of this on the Labyrinth should not be considered a waste of money.
Sallyann Downes of the Labyrinth Committee, who recently went to Edinburgh as part of a fact-finding mission, also spoke in favour of building the Labyrinth, describing it as a “positive thing” and stated the cost should not be a reason to oppose the construction.
“Research has been done and they’ve found the best way to do it. In the scale of things it’s here so long, when you put it into perspective it’s not that much money. The maintenance costs will be low and materials are low cost.
“It will be the first labyrinth on a university campus in Ireland and has the potential to draw international students.” She urged those at the meeting to have an open mind when voting.
Later Ed Leamy read out a letter from Dr Claire Bohan, Director of Student Support in DCU, who said the Labyrinth would allow the college to cater for those who need calmness, not balls and parties, and said it would be “a thing of lasting beauty” for the campus.
Rónán Ó Dálaigh of the RAG Society queried whether the project was likely to go ahead with or without the Union’s support. When it became clear this was a possibility, Ó Dálaigh warned there could be negative repercussions if the SU didn’t vote for the project, as students would feel the Labyrinth was being forced on them.
No vote was taken on the issue as it was decided that class reps needed time to explain the developments to students. A vote will take place at the next Council meeting.