#weareUCD is a campaign involving members of the UCD community, students and staff, which aims at building a sense of belonging, collegiality and respect across the UCD campus.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

UCD is a big place – in term time, the Belfield campus has a population of over 25,000, the same size as a large metropolitan area. Getting used to the size of the University can be challenging for incoming first years, but there are some good strategies for survival.


  1. As in most big towns or cities, Belfield is actually made up of a lot of smaller ‘villages’ which are much easier to negotiate and where you can become a part of a smaller group. The easiest ‘village’ to identify with is your class, where you’ll begin to recognise faces and names. If you live in a campus residence, you have another easy space to get to know people
  2. A good rule to remember is that most people look a lot more confident on the outside than they feel inside. It can be easy to believe that everyone else is having a much easier time than you are, chances are they are also feeling a bit insecure and are trying to find their feet at university. At first just exchange a few words with people you sit beside in class, in a queue for lunch or at the bus stop; that person may be very glad you did and you never know where it will lead.
  3. Find a club or society where you can do something you enjoy – sports, drama, art, walking, films, debating, trampolining,  – it can be as quiet or as active as you want. Become a volunteer, there are lots of a causes and organisations that need volunteers to benefit our community—across UCD and beyond.  These are all great ways to make new friends and to feel part of UCD life.
  4. Keep attending all your classes –  it will not only help you do a lot better in your degree but local and international research on first year university students shows that those who keep up with their classes are happier and have a much better change of completing their degree than those who have low attendance.
  5. Ask for help as soon as soon as you need it. There is a Student Advisor connected with your programme who you can talk to, or speak to an academic or a member of the Programme Office that you feel comfortable with.  Above all, don’t suffer in silence, there are a lot of people in UCD that want you to settle in and to succeed.
  6. Don’t get fooled by movies about university life, it’s not going to be a round of frat parties. But it’s not going to be boring either. UCD is a place where you’re going to change a lot, think differently about things, meet people from around the world and from around the corner. Find your ‘village’ and you’ll soon be part of the UCD community.  


As part of the UCD community you spend a good part of the day communicating with friends, family, classmates and staff. In face-to-face communication you’re well used to the broad ‘rules’ that govern these social interactions, which help you maintain good relationships, make new friends and be perceived as an likable individual with value and integrity.

Increasingly communication takes place via online media and this form of interaction also has its own communication rules, frequently referred to as "netiquette. Online, as in real life, it can take a long time to get past making a social blunder. The internet has a very wide reach and a long memory so a simple online mistake or an act of thoughtlessness can have wide-reaching negative implications that could take you years to deal with.  The netiquette rules below can help you avoid such online mistakes.


Netiquette Rules

  1. 1.   Protect yourself online
  • Remember that your posts are public. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t be happy to see printed in a newspaper or broadcast on radio and TV.
  • Be aware of the longer-term consequences of what you post online. Any messages or images that you share will leave a digital footprint that is pubic, permanent and searchable (even if deleted). What you put online will be there and visible for a long time to friends, family and future employers.
  • Protect your own online security –sharing personal information and images leave you vulnerable to those who purposefully use the Internet to exploit and profit from others.
  1. 2.   Be decent online
  • Be kind, courteous and treat others online with the same respect you would like to receive. Apply the same standards and values online that you apply in the rest of your life, particularly in the areas of racism, sexism, hate speech and bigotry  
  • Refrain from personal abuse. If you want to disagree with someone, argue constructively as you would face-to-face, don’t use an online platform to name-call or humiliate someone, especially when you aren’t willing to identify yourself. 


  1. 3.   Stay on the right side of the law:
  • Posting photos of others online without their knowledge and permission is not only unacceptable behavior, it also breaches Irish and European Data Protection Laws.
  • Posting intimate images of yourself and/or others online leaves you very personally vulnerable, is exploitative of others and is often a reason for personal regret later. Posting intimate images of others without their permission can leave you with a criminal conviction. [1]
  • Bullying, stalking and harassment online represents abuse, can do huge psychological damage to the victim of that abuse and could leave the perpetrator open to prosecution.


Social media allows friends, families and work colleagues to stay in easy contact, increases social interactions and provides a real window on the wider world. Most internet users automatically apply the same sensible, responsible, respectful behavior to their online life as they do in all other aspects of how they socialize. In this way, by nature, they automatically adopt good netiquette. Think before you click and enjoy your online life!

[1] A recent report (Sept 2106) of the Irish Law Report Commission recommends the enactment of two new Irish criminal offences to deal with posting online of intimate images without consent. The first is to deal with the intentional victim-shaming behaviour of posting intimate images without consent, often done after a relationship has broken down (so-called “revenge porn”). The second new offence also deals with posting intimate photos or videos and is to deal with a new type of voyeurism, often called “upskirting” or “down-blousing”.