Out in the cold: Students refused entry to DCU Ball

Out in the cold: Students refused entry to DCU Ball
November 2008
The College View
By Cian Ginty

A number of students have complained about ID requirements for the DCU Halloween Ball, although the Student Union says the need for ID was advertised sufficiently.

The Students’ Union highlighted that the need for state ID was publicised on tickets and posters for the event.

However, a number of complaints were received by the College View from students who were not aware that DCU ID cards alone would not be accepted.

“I assumed DCU ID would be ok as I’ve never used anything else at a DCU ball but the guys on the door wouldn’t even look at it and were trying to turn me away. In the end all I had to do was tell them my age (23) and one guy said ‘go on then, bring ID next time’,” said one student.

The SU also received student complaints but said the number of them was “tiny” in relation to the total 1,600 tickets sold for the event which was held in the Academy in the city centre.

“The day after the ball we had a few complaints which is understandable if people were disappointed. However, compared to the amount of tickets sold the number of complaints was tiny,” said DCUSU Niall McClave.

He pointed out that apart from being stated on tickets, ID is a legal obligation that people should be aware of.

“The requirement for ID was on the ticket and on the posters. We sold 1,600 tickets for that night and had 1,570 people through the door. That’s a pretty normal rate of no-shows that we would have at any ball, even if there had been no ID problems, so I think the message got out there to most people,” he said.

“Besides, having ID is not a requirement of the Union or of the Academy, it’s a legal requirement and people should know this.”

DCU have issued redesigned identity cards with advanced security features to this year’s first year students.

The SU confirmed that although the new ID cards do not display any date of birth, a yellow strip indicates if the bearer is under 18 years.

They also said that the university will be issuing more of these cards in the coming years.

Previously, a student’s date of birth was printed on their ID card if they became a member of the college bar, but all students automatically become members now.

McClave said that he does not see the need to advertise entry requirements better for future events.

He said: “I feel our advertising of the ID requirements was adequate and was the same as any other event ever held off campus, for some reason this event seemed to throw up trouble we’ve never had before but we put the requirement on both the tickets and the posters.

“People wouldn’t expect to show up at any nightclub in town without proper ID and get in, the same laws apply to our events.”

The SU President added that while off-campus events would not become a norm for DCU, their purpose is to also cater for students who do not live on campus.

He said: “We hold at least one ball a year off campus, at most we will hold one a semester off campus. The events off campus cater for a whole raft of DCU students that don’t live on or near the campus.

“We tend to have a completely different crowd at the events off campus and we do this to cater for them.”

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