By Ciara Fitzpatrick | Feb 3 2009A DECISION to release a second Freshers’ Guide two months after the date originally planned has been defended by the Students’ Union (SU). The handbook, which was due to be released at the end of November, is now expected to be available to students on Monday, 2nd February.SU Campaigns and Communications Officer, Dan O’Neill denied that it was a mistake on his part that he was unable to publish the Freshers’ Guide on time saying, “I produced a good freshers’ guide with a lot of detail in it. Now [the second edition] is a new trial thing, it’s never been done before so if I produce it at all, it’s a massive step forward because you know in the past, there has only been one guide which I personally think isn’t enough.”Rejecting the assertion that students have been let down due to the delay of information on college life that will be supplied in the Freshers’ Guide, Mr O’Neill said he is confi dent that he has “done as much as any previous Campaigns Officer in UCD so I really don’t think I can be faulted on the handbook because there’s going to be another handbook out.”The second volume of the Freshers’ Guide was planned as a trial scheme, according to Mr O’Neill, as in previous years, a single, larger volume had been distributed among the student body during Freshers’ Week at the start of the semester.`Mr O’Neill refused the suggestion that publishing the handbook before the end of the fi rst semester would have been more benefi cial to students. “The most important thing for me here isn’t sticking to a rigid timeline with regards to getting a magazine out. For me, what’s important is the students and I’m going to prioritise what I think is best for the students”.Mr O’Neill claimed that he had decided to focus on university-wide financial cutbacks that were introduced this year, instead of compiling a second edition to the Freshers’ Guide. “I don’t feel I’d be doing my job if I was focusing on doing a magazine and ignoring those cutbacks,” he explained. “I think it was much more appropriate to issue a good exam guide before Christmas and use the Christmas break to focus on getting the info in the magazine this semester.”The number of copies available of the Freshers’ Guide is expected to be approximately 8,000. Mr O’Neill was keen to stress that the fi gure is an estimate but stated that the advertisements in the magazine itself will cover the majority of the publishing costs.