St. Pat’s students voice concerns over graduation location

By Hayley Halpin

Final year St. Pat's students concerned about graduation location this coming November.

Final year St. Patrick’s College students are voicing their concerns regarding which campus they will graduate from later this year through a petition that has been set up online.

The petition is asking for students based on the St. Patrick’s College campus to support the final year graduation being held on the grounds of the Drumcondra campus this year. As of writing this, the petition has received 365 signatures with an ultimate goal of 400 signatures.

DCU, St. Patrick’s College, CICE and Mater Dei Institute officially incorporated in September 2016. Final year students of the academic year 2016/17 were the last to enroll in the colleges in question. Students in the years below enrolled as DCU students, as the colleges prepared for the incorporation.

The majority of final year St. Patrick’s, CICE and Mater Dei students have never taken classes based on the Glasnevin campus.

“In my role, as a Students’ Union Vice President and as a future student next year in DCU, I’ll be returning back as a primary school teacher 4th year, I think it’s only fair that those students based on St. Patrick’s Campus for their entire degree that don’t have any other lecture on any other campus at all should be afforded the opportunity to graduate on that campus,” DCUSU VP for Education and Placement Manus McLoughlin said.

The College View asked the graduation department of Registry whether it has been decided which campus St. Pat’s students will graduate from this year. They stated that nothing has been decided as of yet. They could not provide further information as the Academic Calendar 2017/2018 which determines Graduation dates has not been published.

Registry’s statement was also confirmed by Grainne Mooney,  spokesperson for DCU President Brian MacCraith: “Logistical planning of the Autumn 2017 graduation ceremonies is still underway and no decision has yet been made in relation to the graduation ceremony for the Bachelor of Education programme.”

McLoughlin said: “In fairness to the heads of staff and any figureheads in DCU, nothing has been decided and I’ll make sure people are aware of that. It’s just the fear of it being in the Helix. It’s the worry that they’ll have to graduate up there.”

“It seems like such a petty thing but when you’re forced to amalgamate with another university and then you’re forced to graduate on another campus it just creates this negative perception we already know exists, do you want to add fuel to the fire is my question,” he said.

McLoughlin noted that there is “uproar” on campus at the minute. “It’s not as such a Students’ Union fight as much as it is a student’s fight. This is really coming from the students.”

Many of the students that signed the petition spoke out about why they did so.

Final year St. Pat’s BA student Naoise Ní Chinneide said Glasnevin is an unfamiliar setting and on graduation day St. Pat’s students would like to be somewhere they know.

“I wouldn’t be happy about graduating from the Glasnevin campus, personally I’ve had no lectures on that campus before and the only time I’ve been there was for the open day when I was in 6th year,” she said.

Final year St. Pat’s student Ann Marie Doyle said: “ This year’s 3rd year BAs and BEds were the last year ever to apply to St. Patrick’s College. I am now a DCU student. However, I never asked to be.”

“To take our graduation away from everything we’ve ever known would be an extra step towards stripping away what makes Pat’s, Pat’s. We are not ‘the new DCU’. We are students caught in an integration we were not consulted on,” she said.

Hayley Halpin

Image: StudioAdd