It goes without saying that students who are not from Dublin or the surrounding area must avail of student accommodation if they want to attend DCU or any other university in Dublin such as UCD or Trinity. This necessity is already over-priced, but are the living conditions students receive worth the extremely high amount charged? For some people yes, but for many students this is not the case.
This applies to the accommodation in the DCU St. Patrick’s campus in particular. The annual rent for a bedroom on St Patrick’s College campus is €5,238 per year, which is paid in two instalments. However, many students have claimed that despite the rise in price of accommodation there is no improvements in living conditions in the facility.
On arrival to ‘House Three’ I was shown the tiny, cramped kitchen which is shared by 60 people. It was explained to me that at peak cooking times, around 6pm, some occupants may have to wait an hour before they can cook their food. I also learnt that residents only receive one shelf in the cupboard and one shelf in the fridge to store their food, which can be stolen rather easily.
Another problem the residents face is having to share a bathroom with eight other students on their floor. The bathroom contains two showers, one toilet and one sink. In my friend’s case, only one of these showers works properly.
When spending the night in the facility, you realise how paper-thin the walls are, making concentrating on an assignment or even sleeping impossible when the noise levels in the building from the other housemates are high.
From just one night, it was evident that the ridiculously high price some students have no choice but to pay does not provide them with the pleasant living conditions that it should. Although student life is not supposed to be particularly glamorous, in my opinion nobody should be subjected to those cramped, unhygienic and noisy living conditions after paying such a large fee.
The price of mediocre student accommodation, such of that on the St. Patricks campus, should be greatly reduced or the amenities should be improved so that students are getting value for the money that themselves or their parents are paying.
DCU need to urgently re-evaluate the facilities for their occupants. Moving away from home and learning how to live independently is a difficult enough process for students and having to return home every day to such meagre living conditions makes this new journey much more difficult for them.
Image by JJ Rhatigan