UCD President Andrew Deeks has responded to the complaints raised by the Common Room Club in comments to the Tribune. President Deeks said that while he understood the complaints of the Common Room members, he has received a measure of support from a number of staff members for the new UCD Club currently under construction.
President Deeks said ‘There is a desperate shortage of teaching and academic spaces’ in the Newman building and it would take a full semester to turn the spaces that the Common Room is currently occupying into teaching space. This means that if the Common Room vacates the space as scheduled then it would not be until semester one in the 2019 academic year.
This is however disputed by staff in Newman. An analysis was done by staff in the Newman building revealing that at no point over the last six weeks of term were all the teaching spaces occupied across campus. This has led them to believe that there is, in fact, no basis for the removal of the Common Room from Newman.
President Deeks also took the opportunity to explain the costing of the new Club building more completely to the Tribune. Deeks said that the money that has been invested into the Club has all been drawn down from loans and grants on the basis of the business plan that has been put forward with the Club. This means that the money that has been put into construction could not have otherwise been invested into student or campus services.
A large part of the business proposal for the Club is for it to provide catering facilities to the O’Reilly Hall, enabling it to be used more regularly by third parties for conferences and events. This would transform it into a more regular source of income for the University which Deeks insists could then be used to support the ongoing development of the University.
President Deeks also took the opportunity to address the concerns of the Students Union with the project, saying that they would be aiming to reintroduce the Student Union seat on the capital project committee which oversees the construction of all major projects on campus.
By Aaron Bowman – CoEditor