Covid-19: DCU warns students over parties in campus accommodation

Move follows a party in ‘serious breach’ of the college’s Covid-19 rules

DCU campus in Glasnevin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

DCU campus in Glasnevin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

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Dublin City University (DCU) has issued a warning to students living in on-campus accommodation, following a party in “serious breach” of the college’s Covid-19 rules.

The warning came following a party in a student apartment on November 11th in the College Park Residences. One source confirmed the gathering was hosted by a short-stay renter on the north Dublin campus and that people from outside of the college were also in attendance.

They said fireworks were set off inside the apartment and that the fire alarm sensors in the apartment had been covered. Campus security was alerted to the gathering after a fire alarm in a hallway went off, the source said.

In an email sent on November 13th, the management of the campus accommodation warned students that there had been “a serious breach of Covid-19 protocols in the residences”.

Universities will have to deliver the majority of tuition online for up to three weeks. Photograph: iStock
Long-term student residents, who live on campus full-time, would be fined and issued “one final warning” if found in breach of college rules, an email from management of the campus accommodation said. File photograph: iStock

“A short-stay booking resident, who is in breach of the terms and conditions in relation to gatherings, or any health and safety issues, will not be welcome back to make another booking to stay in campus accommodation,” the email said, adding that any future breaches would be reported to the university’s disciplinary committee.

Short-stay residents are students who book campus accommodation on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis, due to reduced in-person time on campus as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Final warning

Long-term student residents, who live on campus full-time, would be fined and issued “one final warning” if found in breach of college rules, the email said.

In a further email, residences management said “our main concern would be congregations of students together within apartments, who are not practising social distancing and not adhering to our regulations around visitors”.

Visitors are not permitted into student residences in the current academic year under DCU’s contract for those living in campus accommodation, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The contract states “any attempt seen to be in breach of these policies will result in a fine of €50 (per non-resident) being levied against the occupier for each and every instance”.

A DCU spokesman said, “To date a small number of students have been fined for breaches of Covid-19 regulations and have been blocked from making further short-term bookings in campus residences.

“As we exited Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, we are very aware of the on-going challenges of Covid-19 and we are communicating on a regular basis to students the rules and regulations,” he said.

Shauna Burdis, a DCU student who rents on the short-stay scheme, said she is now worried to go back and stay in the accommodation block where the unauthorised party occurred. “You don’t know who’s coming in and out of there now . . . and I think it’s really selfish of them in case there’s other people who are vulnerable.”