Conor Anderson - UCDSU President

UCDSU President Conor Anderson took to the ‘UCD No Detriment Policy’ Facebook group on October 30th to update the students that the Covid-19 Assessment Guidelines were no longer in place. Anderson explained the reasoning: “UCD believes you all have been prepared for an online semester, and so do not need any special accommodations.”

Students flooded the comments with pleads for action, stressing that this trimester was not a normal one. Many noted it has been even harder and more isolating than the first. Multiple students pointed out the hypocrisy in UCD’s reasoning, as the university spent the summer “advertising 40-60% and 75-100% in-person teaching for undergrads and postgrads respectively.”

No sweeping policy was implemented in the first wave of the pandemic. Instead, the “Covid-19 Assessment Guidelines” were introduced. It was revealed, however, that the guidelines were advisory but not mandatory, with some colleges such as the School of Law electing not to adhere to them. Students still struggled immensely and did not get as much compensation as expected.

Anderson and UCDSU Welfare Officer Ruairí Power met with a member of management on Tuesday, November 3rd. Anderson followed up in the group on Wednesday: “As I suspected, the preliminary opinion on the possibility of a broad accommodation is ‘absolutely not’”. Again, management claimed that students should have been prepared for a trimester of this nature and that the emergency situation earlier in the year no longer applies. Anderson and Power objected to both points made and their objections are to be fed back to the University Management Team but, according to Anderson, “that looks to be where we are at”.

Anderson ended the post advising all who are concerned to utilise the extenuating circumstances available as a precautionary action, keeping the students in a better position, whatever happens, by the end of the trimester.

Medb McBrearty – Reporter