Mixed feedback for DCU Students’ Union

Over three quarters of DCU students are satisfied with DCU Students’ Union so far this year.

350 students were asked how they would rate the performance of the Students’ Union so far this year. 11% said ‘excellent’, 28% said ‘very good’ and 38% said ‘good’. 15% of students rated the SU fair, while only 8% rated them as poor.

First year Law and Society Student, Maria told The College View the SU are “hard working, friendly, provide great entertainment for students and I felt welcome here from week one”.

General Nursing student, Siobhán Cloake commented; “All members seem very friendly and helpful. I wouldn’t be afraid to approach them if I had an issue. They made the settling in process less daunting because we knew we had someone to go to if we were finding it tough.”

Third year Communications student, Patrick Flanagan offered the SU some friendly advice. “I think the DCU SU role as an access point for students to DCU life has been excellent. I feel there may be too much emphasis on society and club support and would like to see more general activities and events available to students as individuals, thought with increasingly tight budgets this cannot be easy.
“The SU is very well established this year, I hope that can continue in the coming years and the SU can become an even stronger embodiment of DCU students.”

Many students believe the SU have DCU students’ best interests at heart, with one student commending Education Officer, Aaron Clogher; “Aaron especially seems to go out of his way to be accommodating in any way possible to people who have problems with student life.”

However another student commented that they didn’t “see enthusiasm in the people who work there [the SU], a lot of them look bored.”

Shauna Kilbride, a third year Children’s and General Nursing student told The College View she was particularly impressed with the SU’s mental health and drink awareness campaigns this year.

First year Communications student, Caoimhe O’Carroll thinks DCU SU are exactly what an SU should be. “I’m sure there are things they themselves think could be done better but for the average student, it’s exactly what we need.”

Not all students had positive feedback for the SU; many feel they don’t know those in the SU.

One student described them as “a contact on my email address. The emails they send are effective but that’s as far as the relationship goes. It’s an obvious point that’s been mentioned before, I know, but it’s true. I’m sure they’ve tried to fix it, but it wasn’t enough” and suggested the SU should have a show on DCUfm for students to become familiar with them.

One student described the sabbatical officers as being “stuck in their offices” and “not visible”. Another put it down to the location of the SU offices. “It’s a bit hidden up the top corner of the Hub where no one really goes. It should be at the centre of campus life.”

A mature student, who declined to give their name “as I might receive a solicitor’s letter as it is how DCU SU leaders harass anyone who challenges them” was less than impressed with the SU.
“DCUSU seem to think that the odd juvenile social event or theme night is what students want. Well maybe if you’re in your teens. Everything revolves around making money(which can be understood),but seriously the price of tickets are way to high. Freshers week is just dire, the same lacklustre thought put into events.”

They continued: “I now avoid the student Union area unless getting my travel card etc. I have found when I have been there it seems to be the same faces and cliquey groups. The majority of students care little for the students unions because they have very little relevance to their time in DCU. I have been given the wrong information by Union members re repeating exams and modules. Luckily I checked with DCU staff who are more helpful to students than the union member ever have been.”

One student believes the SU are laying the foundations and there is a need for continuous improvement over a long period of time.

Aoife Mullen

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