We have worked very hard at UL Student Life since we took office during the pandemic to try maintain and enhance the national message around being careful and responsible during COVID-19 to our fellow UL students. During this time we have done our utmost to champion students’ rights on accommodation fees, health campaigns and agitating at the highest level around the academic delivery and mental health supports, all specifically as a result of COVID-19.
The events which took place on Maguire’s Fields on 09-11-2020 have been brought to the attention of UL Student Life. A large gathering took place between 11pm and 12am. The nature of said gathering consisted of anti-social behaviour on, and vandalism done to, a multi-million euro state of the art sport facility. UL Student Life are deeply dissatisfied with and condemn the events that took place last night leading to significant damage to Maguire’s Fields – one of many projects as a result of the “Leave a Legacy” referendum, which ensured the funding of various projects around campus through the student levy, for students.
Members of the UL and Castletroy community have an expectation of mutual respect, not only for each other, but for our campus, our infrastructure, and the wider community – including its amenities – as a whole.
It is utterly disappointing to witness the lack of regard for and respect given to student funded projects here on our campus. Previous student officer teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that these projects became a major success, again, to the benefit of our student body. The facility will now have to be thoroughly inspected due to the significant amounts of broken glass left behind as a result of the gathering.
Further to the above, large gatherings and anti-social behaviour of this kind are in complete violation of COVID-19 restrictions. Unsolicited events and gatherings that take place, such as the gathering last night, directly impede UL Student Life’s ability to represent students and advocate for more social interaction, more physical engagements and more club & societal activity.
As we prepare to enter a second semester of online education, UL Student Life’s ability to advocate for physical and controlled engagements is more important than ever before. Those who part-took in the disgraceful and irresponsible behaviour last night have now created the conditions for stereotyping all students. This is deeply unfair and selfish. So long as large, unjustifiable gatherings like this take place, we will be unable to return to normality. As individuals in our current society we each have a collective responsibility to contain the spread of COVID-19.
We would once again appeal to all students to respect the university, its rules and its facilities. Students who refuse to obey these requests may be subject to disciplinary action under the student code of conduct. If we work together, we have a better chance of having a real university experience this academic year, not an entirely virtual experience. The choice is all of ours. We all belong to the pack, we must protect it. Think with responsibility, act with caution, live with COVID-19 sensibly.
Cían Ó Caoinleáin Peadar Collins Alison Fitzgerald Chelsea Joyce
Student President Welfare Officer Academic Officer Communities Officer