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“Rowdy Students” Make Front Page News

     Anti-social behaviour by UCC students has once again made headlines in local news. The issue most recently came to light in a front page article on Saturday’s Evening Echo.  “We’ll March on UCC Says Locals, Angry over Rowdy Students”, is the headline of the article which covers a recent meeting organised by the Cork University Residents Forum.

     Two meetings were held by the Forum last week in the Lough Community Centre and Bishopstown Community Centre respectively. The purpose of these meetings was to update local residents on the details of a newly drafted formal complaints procedure agreed between the Residents Forum, UCC authorities and the Gardaí. The overwhelming theme of the meetings however was alleged “unruly behaviour by students living near UCC”

     The Echo claims that around 100 people attended the meetings discussing issues including “late night disturbances, drunken behaviour, vandalism, litter and parking problems.”

     UCC Community Liaison, which is organised through the Accommodation Office “works to create a safe secure environment for UCC students and ensure that a harmonious relationship is maintained between students and the wider community.” They do so by responding to complaints by residents and encouraging students to be aware of noise levels and that they may be living near “older residents who have very different lifestyles.”

     In the case of official complaints being made to the Community Liaison, action is taken immediately and if necessary the complaint will be forwarded to the student disciplinary committee which has the ability to evoke formal disciplinary procedures.

     Maura O’Neill, UCC accommodation officer who was in attendance at the Cork University Residents Forum meetings revealed that following on from this complaint process, 28 UCC students have been sanctioned with community service by the college’s disciplinary committee in the last year.

     Community Liaison argue that “With over 7500 students living in rented accommodation, the level of complaints from residents in regard to student behaviour is thankfully low.”  Maura O’Neill stated that the process “appears to be working” as the sanctioned students have not re-offended.

Audrey Ellard Walsh