The disruptive and anti-social behaviour of DCU students in the locality at night has prompted angry residents to meet with student leaders.
Local residents met with the Students’ Union and university staff to outline their concerns after TD Róisín Shorthall contacted the local superintendent on their behalf about the continuing problem.
Tormented residents complained about students’ behaviour that included kicking bins over, urinating in gardens, loitering and damage to property and cars. Locals living in the direct vicinity of Shanowen were annoyed at noise levels from student apartments as it has affected their night’s sleep before work the next morning.
These are not the first complaints to be made about the anti-social behaviour of DCU students. In previous years residents have vented their frustrations on The Joe Duffy Show on RTÉ Radio One.
Student behaviour also played a factor in the cancellation of DCU’s infamous weekly student night, Toxic Tuesday.
Speaking to The College View following the meeting, SU President Aaron Clogher said: “DCU-held events such as the Halloween ball don’t seem to be a big issue. From talking to residents, the problem seems to be midweek when people are coming back from a night out in town around 4am.” He said that residents are “genuinely scared” when they have to confront the students about their behaviour.
Last year, the SU launched the ‘Shush’ campaign to monitor student behaviour after on-campus events. It involves students being chaperoned off-campus and across to Shanowen by the entertainment crew.
Clogher has stepped up this campaign following his recent meeting with local residents.
The external security company hired by the SU will extend their remit to the Shanowen area following late-night campus events, in a bid to keep the peace and minimise disturbances caused by students.
“If it is highlighted that our particular nights are causing the problems then our bar licence comes into question and we don’t want a situation where we have no bar on campus. I think to be fair to residents at the meeting they thought that closing the bar wasn’t the answer. It’s managing our events”, said Clogher.
The Garda presence is to be stepped up on late nights for the rest of the academic year and students will be disciplined when residents report issues of concern in the area.
Clogher stressed that the “problem of anti-social behaviour has not gotten any worse in recent months but it has just come to a head where residents felt it was time to officially complain”.
He pointed out that many of those attending the meeting argued that college students are “meant to be our best and brightest but we are not showing it at times”.
Nicola Leddy from DCU’s Office of Student Life said that the behaviour “is an embarrassment to every single student. One student represents the entire university. We want to get out the impact that student behaviour has on our neighbours. There are elderly people and families living in the surrounding areas.
“These people are trying to live their daily lives and we would like to see students pull away from the image that it is cool and hilarious to do these things to their neighbours”, she said.
Ciara Moore and Garrett Lavin
Image Credit: FlickrViaCreativeCommons