Additional controls have been implemented by University College Dublin (UCD) in an attempt to ensure students are following Covid-19 health regulations and restrictions such as the employing of Covid-19 Compliance Officers.
It is understood that the security officers are working throughout the campus but focusing on student residences to ensure compliance with the newly implemented Level 4 regulations. UCD residences have emphasised that overnight guests or mixed social gatherings are prohibited during this time stating, “At the moment, for example, no overnight guests are permitted and social spaces, games rooms and gyms within the residences remain closed”. The security team is reportedly monitoring residences to ensure that these rules are obeyed and will take necessary action accordingly. It is not yet known what punishments will be implemented if these rules are broken.
Speaking to the College Tribune, a current resident of Merville Accommodation, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that security was stringently enforcing Covid-19 policies inside apartment blocks. She observed security officers raising voices and knocking vigorously at a neighbour’s door before forcing entry. “It’s an invasion of privacy as they can enter our dorms at any given moment; there is tension on campus at the moment due to stricter measures”.
This follows a recent trend of universities taking on a more proactive role in the fight against Covid-19. Earlier this week, Kerstin May, President of the University of Limerick, was shown patrolling both on and off-campus residences and buildings with Gardaí in an attempt to remind people of the public health regulations. President May stated that her active efforts were in order to demonstrate “shared responsibility for community welfare through direct visibility” and to “help with the message that for students, behaviour in the general community is directly linked to their status as a UL student”. UL currently has a code of conduct for students and residents which contains punitive action if Covid-19 policies are breached.
The College Tribune reached out to UCD Estates but did not receive a comment at the time of publishing. Any comment received will be added to this article accordingly.
Eve Moore – Reporter