A recent development in UCD’s license to reside has been the introduction of point 23 which states that residential assistants can now bring cameras into residences. This first became an issue last year when security guards started to use cameras in houses. The issue was then raised with last year’s executive. The change was imposed without any notice to students, help residents or the Students’ Union.
The licence changed from Friday 31st August and was shown to the SU to Monday 3rd September when the new point was added. This is in keeping with the terms of the licence which can be changed at any moment.
The Students’ Union are consulting the Student Legal Service on the best way forward. They are also consulting students in all residence blocks before launching an official campaign against the move. Welfare officer, Mícheál Gallagher told the College Tribune, “we are managing the situation very closely”. He also added, “rest assured if this is not resolved satisfactory then there will be a campaign” calling the move “hugely unethical”.
SU President, Rachel Breslin also voiced her concerns regarding the matter, stating, “Personally as President and as a resident for three years I have great ethical and moral concerns around the introduction of CCTV in students’ homes in Residences”. She also assured the Tribune that action would take place in contacting residents and this year’s executive adding, “I think it is important to do this speedily so that we are fully understanding and representative of students’ views on this and can take action from there”.
This move again raises questions regarding the rights of students living in residences. It also questions how comfortable students will now be living in on-campus accommodation with Mícheál Gallagher saying “If I knew that someone could come into my house…I would not live in residence, I wouldn’t be comfortable”.
– Rachel Carey