Students in uproar over €20K union rebrand at University of Limerick

Anthony Geoghegan

Reporter:

Anthony Geoghegan

The logo of ‘UL Student Life’ intended to encourage student engagement according to the newly-elected president Ciara ‘Jo’ Hanlon

The logo of ‘UL Student Life’ intended to encourage student engagement according to the newly-elected president Ciara ‘Jo’ Hanlon

THE REBRANDING of the University of Limerick Students’ Union to ‘UL Student Life’ has been met with a backlash.

Students past and present blasted the announcement on social media and demanded answers for the sudden name change.

A total of €20,000 will be invested for the rebrand, with the figure allocated from over two years in a marketing budget, and some of that money has not been spent yet.

Newly-elected UL Student Life president, Ciara ‘Jo’ Hanlon insisted: “Student fees were not used, capitations were not used, students did not pay for this rebrand.”

The ULSU remains in the University's constitution, therefore, a referendum vote from students wasn’t required, with the new brand ‘UL Student Life’ introduced as an umbrella term for both the broader student body and representatives.

Ms Hanlon believes that the students’ lack of understanding and engagement of the process was an issue.

“Last year we went to the student executive, and it passed, we brought it to the student council and the clubs and societies committees, and it passed there, students passed this rebrand.”

The reason for the name change came from a research study on student engagement conducted by fourth-year business students.

“Students came to us with this saying; students didn’t feel affiliated with the term ‘union’ they felt it was too political and had too many political connotations with it,” Ms Hanlon explained.

Former vice-president of the Postgraduate Students’ Union, Declan Mills believes that the branding wasn’t the primary issue of the union.

”If you ask people working in branding or marketing to solve your engagement problem, of course, they are going to treat it as a problem of branding, because that is what they provide the cure for.”

”It doesn’t mean that they have correctly identified the disease,” he added.

Ms Hanlon concluded: “UL Student Life provides a fresh foundation to build and improve student engagement. The hard work is now up to us.”