Supermarket and clubs and society facilities wanted in new student centre

A low-cost supermarket and increased facilities for clubs and societies are the two things students most want to see incorporated into the proposed student centre, a survey by The College View has found.

Some two in five students feel the most important thing for the student centre to have is a low-cost supermarket, while 12 per cent feel specialised facilities for clubs and societies are most required.

Of those surveyed, a quarter said they were not affiliated with any DCU club or society. However, Students’ Union President, Aaron Clogher revealed this figure is actually much higher overall, with just 5,000 memberships in a university of 12,000 students.

As DCU President, Brian MacCraith revealed to students during last month’s Class Rep Council meeting, ‘student experience’ is soon to be incorporated as a University strategy.

According to Clogher, this strategy is going to be “about making sure that when students leave here that they have had a positive experience”.

The SU have already submitted their proposals for the centre, which they hope will help enhance students’ experience, to the University. They include, amongst other features: space for class reps, a media suite and commercial outlets including a cinema and bar.

Almost half of those surveyed said they were happy with facilities currently offered at DCU, however despite this, the SU will seek next semester to secure funding from students for the new centre.

Clogher could not confirm whether a levy would be collected were the centre planned, however he said “in terms of developing the whole facility in general I think it’s good for the students to contribute”.

Clogher said the current facilities are “not ideal… even the Old Bar itself has to be divided into two to facilitate the amount of different activities we have going on… that building is a bar, it wasn’t made for what it’s being used for so what we’d like to do is make more space.”

The SU President outlined the next step was for the SU to work with the University to “try and get the architectural plans started and drawn up in time for the referendum in semester two”.

Of those surveyed, just under half commute to the University from their Dublin home, while just 11 per cent currently live on campus.

Despite proposals for the development of additional on-campus accommodation some 38 per cent said they would either ‘probably not’ or ‘definitely not’ live on campus.

While many agreed living on campus would make things easier for them, two in five said rental rates for the accommodation offered at DCU are financially prohibitive.

100 anonymous students from all faculties and schools took part in the survey on life at the university and plans for the new centre.

Sarah Bermingham

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