The publication of the first UCD Students’ Union diary has been published, without collaboration with the university diary.
A similar diary was published by the university, as has been for several years. This raised questions about the necessity of publishing two almost identical diaries, and the financial burden caused by it.
Around 8,000 copies of the Freshers’ Guide and Diary were published for the 5,000 Freshers that started in UCD last week.
UCDSU Campaigns and Communications Vice-President Pat de Brún expressed hope that the Students’ Union would publish a guide for all 20,000 students.
The guide contains information about the SU’s various campaigns and support services, in addition to a diary for the academic year.
Questions have been raised over the necessity of having two student guides and diaries.
When questioned about publishing a second student diary, de Brún emphasised that the Students’ Union is separate from the university.
The Students’ Union diary serves the purpose of making first-years aware of the SU’s existence and the work that it does. It contains information about social events and campaigns, whereas the university diary contains rules, guidelines and information on various services in the campus. Yet there is an overlap in areas such as support services and university life.
De Brún declined to comment on the cost of the diaries, as the SU budget is not yet available, and defended the decision to publish a diary rather than a handbook. He claimed that such a move would make a profit in the long run: “In the long-term, the advertising revenue will be higher if the document is one that people will keep for the year.” However, it is understood that the diary did not make a profit, unlike last year’s Fresher’s Guide, which was published with a profit of around €7,000.
The diary also contains information on union campaign weeks, such as Women’s Week and LGBT week, which are highlighted in the guide to create awareness of the events.
De Brún believes that the information will be more widely read now that it is in a ringbound format, rather than the fully bound and more compact diary which is issued by the university. De Brún told The University Observer that the university’s diary has “very little practical use”.
The University Observer would like to clarify that Mr de Brun’s comment “I would like to see this idea kept on and eventually the Freshers’ Guide will be known as the SU diary and guidebook,” in the print copy of the newspaper were inaccurate. The University Observer is happy to clarify this.