UCD students feel that they’re not being given the same rights as private residents while staying in UCD’s on-campus accommodation.
This is according to UCD’s Student Union, who say that the rights of students are not being respected.
President of UCD SU, Micheál Gallagher, said: “What is occurring on campus at the moment is unacceptable with students being made to feel that they are not residents but rather a nuisance to campus authorities.”
As a result a campaign has been launched with the slogan “Stand up for students’ rights on residence” and the hashtag “#ResRightsNow” is being used on Twitter.
Among the complaints put forward by students is the fact that those in positions of authority can enter the apartments whenever they wish, and that cameras are used in the on-campus student apartments.
There has also been anger over the number of fines and their monetary amount that can be incurred through staying in the UCD accommodation. Students have said that they are excessive.
On the UCD accommodation website, it states that fines of €50 will be imposed for poor hygiene in your apartment. Fines of €100 are charged for transgressions such as unauthorised gatherings, unauthorised overnight guests, and unauthorised objects in the building, such as bikes. TheJournal.ie reported that “UCD Residence retained over €100,000 during the previous academic year.”
According to The University Observer, UCD’s student newspaper, the inclusion of Clause 23 in the licence agreement recently means that authority figures, when investigating an incident, have the right to enter students’ apartments and record, as long as they inform students that they are being filmed.
There is a current accommodation crisis around UCD, leaving students with few other choices for accommodation due to a bias toward student residents. The student newspaper investigated and found that while “posing as a student applying for a property viewing, The University Observer was only offered viewings for three out of the 82 holdings that were applied to.”
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, UCD SU Welfare and Equality Officer, Cian Dowling said: “Many students are desperate to live on campus and as such will sign anything to be close to campus.”