Sshh..."a campaign on our terms"
The latest Student's Union campaign with regards to the promotion of good relations between students and residents in South Belfast, particularly the Holylands area, has been open to criticism from many. 'Sshh' stands for Silent Students (a big ask) Happy Homes. Of course the aim can't be condemned, its the action that's been taken that raises questions. Giving lollipops to drunk students to keep them quiet at night...seriously? Patronising takes on a whole new meaning in this context.
It has been said that this is a simple PR exercise to ensure the executive looks to be making a stand against rowdy students - without actually doing very much at all. A few leaflets and free lollipops are surely not going to solve this allegdly huge problem.
When questioned about the seemingly childish nature of the campaign, Deputy President Peter Quinn acknowledged this, saying its simply the foundation for more union intiatives in the future. "Its a gimmick, we know that. The point was always to have a campaign on our terms. This simply draws attention to the situation and can be seen as the start of something bigger. We hope to go on from this and do more to tackle the problem."
He also said there has been good feedback from the Resident's Association, although there were no statistics to back this up. Whether you think its a novel idea to build relations or a ridiculous waste of time and money is up to yourselves. The executive have the rest of the year to prove themselves, in the meantime student toothache may surpass resident earache!