The new Student Centre is set to officially open Thursday in a ceremony headed by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Kenny is due to arrive in UCD at 11am on November 27th for a short tour of the Student Centre, followed by the opening ceremony which will involve speeches from the Taoiseach, UCD President Dr Hugh Brady, Vice President for Students Martin Butler and the Chair of the Governing Authority of UCD, Dermot Gallagher.
The new Student Centre has been open and available to students since August this year, however the official opening was delayed so the Taoiseach Enda Kenny could be available for the ceremony. Student Centre Manager Dominic O’Keeffe said about the timing of the ceremony: “We were dictated by the Taoiseach’s Office. The request would have been made about a year ago so you’re just given a date. We looked for a date; we had a date sometime in early October, I think we had a fixture window in the first two weeks of October, but this is the date he came back with. So what do we do, tell him ‘No we don’t want you now’? You’re just given a date, that’s all it is.”
Part of the Taoiseach’s tour of the Student Centre will include an introduction to many students who are involved in UCD’s extracurricular life, with introductions to Auditors from the most active societies including L&H, Dramsoc, Music Soc, the LGBT Society and more, in addition to Sports Club Captains and representatives from UCD’s student media outlets. O’Keeffe explained that the Taoiseach will meet mostly students on his tour rather than staff, as the life of Student Centre is down to the activities of student clubs, societies and teams: “It’s a celebration of student endeavour, and contribution, and honourship… I’m very happy to have it. It’s great. It’s six years in the works so happy days, done and dusted. Now the next part, the fun part.”