Convenor hits out at university’s ‘red tape’

The outgoing Computing and Engineering convenor has hit out at those in power in DCU for losing sight of students’ best interests.

Ian Kavanagh described DCU as “full of red tape”, expressing his belief that the people with the decision-making power have lost sight of the students’ best interests.

Kavanagh expressed his frustration at the little authority and capacity for change the position brings. “If I wasn’t met with a stone wall then I was passed off onto somebody else; I suppose you could say I was made their problem,” he told The College View.

As the newly elected student faculty convenors prepare to assume their positions, Kavanagh described his year as a great experience but said he won’t miss the reluctance of the college to allow convenors to invoke real change.

Kavanagh believes the Students’ Union’s role must be re-evaluated: “I think the role of Convenor along with the whole SU and how they interact with the college needs to be looked at”, he said, adding: “the theory behind the SU is good but there are some flaws in how the system works, including the outdated and defunct CRC (Class Rep Council)”.

He also condemned the university’s decision to remove a certain first-year engineering module against the advice of final-year engineering students.

Fionnuala Moran, Humanities and Social Sciences Convenor, did not encounter the same problem in her faculty. She said she found the staff of the college to be helpful: “Because my faculty has suffered the most from cuts in the past few years, the staff have really taken on board any suggestions for improvements,” she said.

Moran acknowledged that it was hard to achieve changes in the space of the year, and said that she will be speaking with the incoming convenor about following up on issues she has been tackling, such as lobbying with the library for more e-books for law students.

Business Convenor Alan Prendergast said he wouldn’t necessarily recommend the job of convenor to final-year students.

“It’s ideal for a second-year student who has a mixture of experience and they have the time to do it as well,” he said.

He also explained that he would have liked to introduce a faculty ball as convenor, but suspects it’s something newly-elected Business Convenor Jack Butterly will bring to fruition.

Katie O’Neill

Image Credit: Nicola Leddy

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