Over the years, UCDSU hasn’t had the best reputation among students. Known for creating egos and the infamous “hacks”, it’s quite easy to make fun of our Students’ Union. Often seen as a clique, the only way in was to sign a sheet of paper to run for some title that’ll look decent on your CV. To this day, it is still a hack factory. You can see the president’s oompa loompa’s file out of the small corridor in their uniform; SU branded hoodies with pizza crumbs on their fronts. Yet, especially in the last two years, there seems to be a greater effort for the SU to break down these walls. One of the most notable ways they’ve done this is by the amount of on-campus events they are hosting, particularly their Mind, Body + Soul event.
Only in its second year, the free event has gained great popularity among all students. From tie dying workshops to comedy gigs to puppy cuddling, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The last activities of the day took place outside the student bar at 4pm, the first day being a live reggae band and the following a comedy gig. Both drew in crowds with a friendly atmosphere. Of course, once you get to the bar, you’re stuck there! Swinging pints and chatter about the event could be heard from every corner in the bar as well as outside. It was a common sight on both days to see not only the student union staff and volunteers in the tie dye t-shirts, but also other students rocking the gear.
The union’s entertainments manager, Paul Kilgallon, explained the reasoning for the event being condensed from a three day event to a two day one. He said that this was so they could have higher quality activities as opposed to a high quantity of filler activities. This allowed it so that every hour there was always something interesting happening. One hour, the petting farm was a big hit, and the next hour there was a large queue of students for shisha. It’s a great move for UCDSU, as it is a prime example of how they are trying to make UCD a community as opposed to just a college. Even a few Trinity students came by to pet a llama!
The wall between students and the SU is slowly coming down. If they continue to produce as high quality on campus events such as Mind, Body + Soul, maybe in the future the clique will fade. They will no doubt still have those daft hoodies though.