Distress caused by Exams Hotline blunder

Originally published in Volume V, Issue 1 on 22nd September by Edward Melvin. Students’ Union Education Officer, Charlie McConalogue, suffered the embarrassment of giving an incorrect result last week, as a second year Social Science student was told she had failed her examination, even though she had passed. The ‘Exams Hotline’ was the brainchild of this years’ Students’ Union. It was established in order to give the results of repeat examinations to students who would not have been able to collect their results from the College, or who had since changed address. The hotline ran from 10am to 5pm, from Thursday 10th to Friday 18th September, and employed seven people on a rota basis to man the phone lines. Students were required to give their name and examination number in order to receive their provisional results. The error which occurred was made by the Education Officer Charlie McConalogue himself. He answered an exam enquiry call, and realised that he was acquainted with the student in question. According to Mr. McConalogue, he was “100% sure” she was doing an Arts course in UCD. Upon finding that her name was not on the Arts result list, he informed her that she had failed. The student subsequently managed to come to UCD in person, and decided to confirm the result, whereupon she discovered that she had passed her Social Science repeat examinations. Mr. McConalogue accepted full responsibility for the mistake. He stated “There is always the possibility that we can make an error. The college itself is constantly at pains to tell people that these are provisional and can change.” He also stated that the student in question, despite being very disappointed at first, regarded the error as understandable and, being a friend of his, accepted his apology. “It was an unfortunate misunderstanding on my part,” he said, and added, “of course, we can all make mistakes.” The Students’ Union intend to run the Exam Results Hotline after the summer examinations at the end of this academic year. Mr. McConalogue stated that “the response was quiet enough at first, but later during the week, we received a much higher volume of calls.” The hotline dealt with over three hundred enquiries, mostly from the students who would not have otherwise been able to obtain their results until a much later date. Mr. McConalogue added “it seems to be a good idea, and was a very successful service overall. We made one mistake in three hundred calls, so I would have to say that we are generally very happy with the service, it worked out well.”