Staff enter UCD residences unannounced, survey finds


Survey results have shown that more than half of students living on campus accommodation have experienced accommodation staff entering their apartments or rooms without their permission.

The survey, which was conducted by the Student Legal Service (SLS) at the beginning of March, also found that almost 35 per cent of students had requests to maintain or fix something in their apartments ignored.

Head of training and outreach for the SLS, Doireann O’Daly, said that the aim of the survey was to give a voice to students who were unsure as to what their rights are.

“Generally there’s a lot of students who come to us with queries, such as the shower’s broken and the heating’s not turned on in various residences,” she explained. “They can’t force the authorities to come and help them so what are we meant to do. They have licenses…there’s very little power against them.

“There’s a huge difference between a lease and a license. It’s a license to reside so you really don’t have many rights and that’s what you have in UCD.”

She called the license to reside on campus “barbaric,” referring to the lack of obligation UCD have towards residents and the conditions they must accept before moving in.

“You have no choice, you have to accept this [the license] when you go into UCD so it’s one-sided completely,” she said. “It’s at UCD’s sole discretion…to evict you if they feel that you don’t deserve to be living there.”

O’Daly felt that the survey reflected the living standards experienced UCD accommodation but felt that the results would provide a basis for a more comprehensive survey in the future.

“With regards numbers and statistics, it didn’t really come out in our favour,” admitted O’Daly. “In hindsight, we should have just done UCD [but] it’s an idea for next year for the SLS to do that, that’s really why as there’s no one really giving a voice to students in residences.”

Almost 150 students from across the campus were surveyed about their experiences living on and off campus. Other results of the survey showed how only 25 per cent took an inventory when they moved into campus accommodation and only 40 per cent have a copy of their written agreement.

The SLS have sent a letter with the results of the survey to UCD accommodations with the results last week.

The University Observer attempted to contact UCD accommodation about the results of the survey, but had not received a response at the time going to print.