Director of Student Service and Facilities Dominic O’Keeffe today apologised for the document circulated at a sports clubs auditors meeting earlier this week. Mr O’Keeffe said that ‘this document should not have been produced and I wish to deeply apologise to those who have seen sight of or received it directly or indirectly’.
Mr O’Keefee went on to say that the document answered multiple questions posed from the yes campaign. This is in reference to the current campaign being run to have a referendum on the student levy this semester. The objective of this campaign is to have the current levy timeline extended to facilitate the extension of the student centre.
On Monday evening Sports Club auditors were invited to a GDPR session where they were presented with a document that outlined the cuts to services that would be affected if the student levy was not continued past its current expiration date in 2023. The current levy, which was intended to cover the construction of the new student centre in 2013 has also been used to cover the operational costs of the centre and student activites. The document shown to Club captains claimed there would be a €2 million shortfall if the levy was not extended.
UCD Student Union Barry Murphy said that ‘UCDSU condems the use of threatening analogies to encourage students to support the upcoming student centre levy referendum’. He believed that it was foolish for the yes side of this forthcoming campaign to highlight the negative outcomes of not supporting the campaign, as opposed to highlighting the potential benefits. Murphy said that the Union was all for ‘progression and improvement of facilities for students, but that has to be done properly’.
Among the services the document claimed would need to be cut were to cover the deficit include an end to free gym membership for students, societies support staff being made redundant, rental fees being charged to societies for officer and meeting rooms alongside overall events support being eliminated.
Updated at 14:38 with comment from UCD SU President Barry Murphy.
By Aaron Bowman – CoEditor