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The College Tribune 26th January 2010

The Difference is we’re independent

Students taking money for Granted l Students “buying more booze than books” l

Issue 7 Volume 23

The roof is on fire

Campus events and bars see fall-off Karina Bracken

A report due to be released today is claiming that many students spend more money on socialising than studying. The Economic and Social Institute Research Institute (ESRI) is finally set to publish its ‘Study on the Costs of Participating in Higher Education’. The report, commissioned years ago by the Government and the HEA, and has been under embargo until now. Information has surfaced, with data lifted from the study, claiming grant aided students are “buying more booze than books”. Students receiving maintenance grants were allegedly spending €132 a month on their social life and only €32 on books for college. “Books were cited by most students as causing significant and sometimes unexpected financial strain.” However, the information went on to explain, “that students who receive the full maintenance grant of €3,250 a year may be spending more than a third of this on alcohol and cigarettes”. The study includes quotes from students who question the viability of student financial hardship: “They’ll say they have no money, but then they go out drinking all the time.” UCDSU President Gary Redmond believes that this does not represent the full picture of those on grants. “Put this in perspective for a student living away from home.” “On campus in UCD you’re paying €5,000. So even if you were to spend every single cent of your grant on campus accommodation, it would

only cover three quarters of it. This doesn’t take into consideration your deposit, energy costs or any other expenses.” Redmond cited the fact that the Union is seeing more students facing severe financial hardship. “The report also says that not enough money is going to the most vulnerable students.” Furthermore, the information is most likely to be outdated as the study was carried out years back. “The report was supposed to be published a number of years ago. It’s my opinion that it has been deliberately held back by the Minister [for Education] and the HEA when they were trying to introduce fees,” Redmond believes. The recession is affecting students’ earning capability and hence their means for expenditure. “In the current financial crisis, students also don’t have part-time or summer jobs. So they don’t have as much disposable income for socialising.” “The Ents officer this year has seen a fall-off in the numbers attending events... and the bars on campus have also been affected. It is the same across the country,” Redmond added. The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) reiterated Redmond’s sentiments, stating that they disagreed with the assertions and questioned the source. “In fact we’re far more concerned by the fact that the inadequacies in the grant are causing severe student hardship”. In December, the USI raised this issue with the government in a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Science.

INSIDE Analysis, pg 5

INSIDE

Two units of the Dublin fire brigade were called to UCD on the 13th of January following the outbreak of a fire in the area of the Science block that is under construction. Aided by a basket crane, the fire brigade successfully brought the blaze under control and stopped it spreading to the rest of the building. No one was harmed in the incident which was apparently a result of an overheated boiler.

Students’ sex-lives under fire Eileen Gahan An article claiming that female college students are only interested in casual sex has provoked criticism among UCD students. “A new breed of she-wolf is prowling for no-strings sex,” stated Alison O’Riordan in last week’s Sunday Independent. The article stated that the majority of young women in their twenties shun meaningful

www.ucd.ie/tribune

l Female students “drunken, lairy and promiscuous” l UCD students criticise article relationships for casual sex. The assertion was supported by a number of anecdotes from anonymous students of both sexes. The first was a UCD student who spoke of her “f**k buddy - whenever we’re bored on campus or drunk we just end up with each other.” The critique of student sexual behaviour continued with stories of a young woman performing oral sex for €5 and another student who was “left with her knickers around her ankles” after casual sex at a party.

O’Riordan claims that students are under intense pressure to behave this way. Promiscuity is expected from young women who “behave like porn stars” and “degrade themselves for the attentions of a boy”. This led to the conclusion that “pretty much every girl in her early twenties in Dublin seems only to want casual sex”

INSIDE Continued, pg 2


2

News

College Tribune

January 26th 2010

Vox Pop

Do you think students are too promiscuous nowadays?

University staff consider work to rule l

All-out strike unlikely Niall Dolphin

Unions representing Ireland’s third-level employees have deemed that strike action is unlikely in response to pay cuts. IFUT and SIPTU are instead considering industrial action in the form of non-cooperation and work to rule. UCD staff members, together with universities across the country, are set to see their annual income cut by, on average, about seventeen per cent. This is due to last December’s budget which introduced substantial pay cuts for public sector workers. This marks a complete turnabout from the government proposal in September 2008 which promised a six per cent increase in wages for University staff. Mike Jennings, General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), revealed that the agreement between unions and the government never saw the light of day. “This agreement was never applied. However, it was applied to

l

Students heckled previously

union members in the private sector.” “Public sector workers lost about twenty per cent of their income between the pension levy, changes in the PRSI system and budget cuts. It can be argued that University staff have seen their income fall by a total of twenty six per cent when everything is taken into account,” continued Jennings IFUT recently held a ballot for its members concerning strike action against pay cuts. A two-thirds majority is required for industrial action to take place, but this majority was not reached as only 62 per cent of members voted in favour of action. Members will have a chance to vote again as IFUT plan to request that each University group ask their staff to ballot. Action will be decided upon when the results of these ballots are made available. Jennings believes that a strike by IFUT’s members is unlikely; however he believes that “inevitably there will be targeted industrial action. This will more than likely involve the refusal of lecturers to do administration work. We want to affect stu-

dents as little as possible so it is unlikely that lectures will be cancelled.” UCD Sociology lecturer and head of SIPTU’s educational section, Dr Kieran Allen spoke about SIPTU’s plans to fight the pay cuts. “Over the last year, UCD staff have seen their income drop by seventeen per cent. We are totally opposed to this. We should not be the people who bear the cost of the economic crisis.” A meeting was held with union members and plans were drawn up for non-cooperation. “The exact details have yet to be agreed on what will happen. We are not ruling out a full scale strike but it is more likely a ‘work to rule’ policy will be implemented with staff members only partaking in their most important work,” commented Allen. Public sector unions held a twenty-four hour strike on November 24th last year, causing most universities to close. There were a number of reported incidents of heckling those who crossed the picket line.

Ryan 2nd year Arts Yes I do; sure they’re all in and out like a fiddler’s elbow. I think everyone should just wait until they’re married.

Eoghan 3rd year Commerce No I don’t think students are too promiscuous these days. I think students are generally safe and careful and as long as you’re not messing around with someone’s feelings, it’s all good.

Amanda MA in Anglo Irish Literature and Drama

William

Well, every girl has a slutty friend... Or two. But in general I think students do what they want. Whether that is too promiscuous, I couldn’t say. It would also depend a lot on age though.

I don’t know about that. I would say it’s been over exaggerated by the media; it’s definitely not as bad as what they say.

3rd year History

The College Tribune

The Difference is we’re independent

LG 18, Newman Building (Arts Block) Box 74, Student Centre, UCD Email: collegetribune@gmail.com Tel: 01 716 8501 Editors: Cathy Buckmaster Philip Connolly Design: Philip Connolly News Editor: Karina Bracken Turbine Editor: James Grannell Sports Editor: Colman Hanley Dep. Sports Editor: Eoghan Brophy

Music Editor: Jim Scully Arts Editor: Katie Godwin Features Editors: Sisi Rabenstein Eileen Gahan Fashion Editor: Aoifa Smyth Photography Editor: Barry Hennessy Irish Editor: Eoin Ó Murchú

Contributors; Niall Dolphin, Christina Finn, Ian Mulholland, David Tracy, Laura McGlynn, Conor McKenna Katherine Creagh, Ashling Maguire

Fiona Kennedy, Aine Keegen, Cathal O’Gara, Aoife Hamill, Kathleen Henry, Noreen Maloney, Caoimhin Millar, Mark Hobbes, Ryan Cullen, Frank Black, David Murphy, Danny Wilson, Caragh Hesse Tyson, Aisling Kennedy, Roe McDermott Jennie Moles, Erika Meyers , Treasa Dalton, Amy Walsh Special Thanks; Huw and Mark at NWM, Amy and Chantal at Universal, Danielle, Colm and Rory at MCD, Colin Glesson and Caitrina Cody, Asya, Maximillian Connolly, Eddie Buckmaster and Corah Lanigan, Jim Henderson, Dan Oggly, Jordan Daly, Simon Ward, Roe McDermott, Carol Parrington, Dan McDonnell

The College Tribune Wants You If you are interested in writing for this newspaper please do not hesitate to contact us, no experience is required collegetribune@gmail.com


College Tribune

News

January 26th 2010

3

Back to black Monday

News in brief Compiled by Karina Bracken

Former UCD employee jailed A former UCD library assistant was sentenced to two years in prison last December. Sean John Drummond pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 19 young boys while teaching at a national school in Limerick in the 1960s. Drummond was placed on the Sex Offenders Register last June after he pleaded guilty to 36 separate charges arising out of incidents involving boys as young as seven. A few years ago he retired from his position in the James Joyce library. Montrose closes until March The Montrose Hotel, adjacent to UCD and the N11 flyover will be closed for business from now until March. The management decided to shut the hotel for “renovations” and they “hope to reopen in the future”. Staff staged a sit-in when they learnt of their fate at the beginning of January. The situation was resolved when they were promised that their positions would be reinstated in January. Boards.ie crashes after hacking Boards.ie, which hosts a popular UCD forum among others, was attacked by hackers last Thursday. This caused the site to temporarily suspend its operations and shut down. The website stated that “an unauthorised source” from outside Ireland had accessed its database server. It also admitted that the “part of the database which includes our members’ usernames, email addresses and obfuscated passwords was accessed.” “This particular attack was completely unprecedented despite our rigorous security measures and while we have no idea if this data will be used for any malicious reasons, we felt it vital to tell you this immediately,” continued the website. Boards.ie says it is changing all user passwords and has notified Gardaí. The site is up and running again, but it has asked all members who use the same username/email and password on other sites to change passwords as a precaution. Students from 139 countries in Ireland Over 12,000 students from 138 countries other than Ireland are studying at Irish universities, institutes and colleges this year, according to figures released by the HEA. This represents 8.3% of students. “These figures show that the Irish higher education system is increasingly recognised internationally for the quality of its teaching and research,” said the HEA. The U.S. has the most students here with their number at 2,570, Britain is half that at 1,309 and there are 1,104 Chinese Students. After these the number of students in order from highest to lowest is Malaysia (987), Canada (601), Germany (535), France (524), India (440), Italy (291) and Poland (235). The figures cover the seven Irish universities, the teacher training colleges, the National College of Art and Design, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Institutes of Technology and Dublin Institute of Technology.

l

Gardaí and students face-off Colman Hanley

Anti-social behaviour reared its drunk, ugly head on campus once again last week. On the first day of the new semester, it became apparent to the Gardaí that some students had not made New Year’s resolution to give up drinking. The campus residences at Merville were particularly affected with the Gardaí forced to take one rowdy student into custody. The incident occurred in the late hours

of the evening between nine and eleven pm. A man in his early twenties was apprehended by the Gardaí in the Merville area and taken to Donnybrook Garda station for questioning. Gardaí confirmed that a fire extinguisher had been let off in the Merville apartment complex and that a man was later cautioned and released without charge. The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Gardaí also tackled a riotous crowd of students, according to one witness. “Having driven into Merville, I saw up to fifty lads pushing and shoving in the car parking

l Student taken into Garda custody area. The Gardaí were on the scene and the security guards were trying to keep some order.” “There was extra security there, in comparison to what is there normally at that time in the evening. Both security and the Gardaí were trying to keep some sort of order and control of the situation,” stated the student. As a result of the incident in Merville, both the pedestrian and drive-through gates were shut early. The Merville resident also claims that one young male was thrown out on the road

and “nearly hit” by a passing taxi through campus. Furthermore, they cited unconfirmed reports from others that an ambulance and a fire brigade were called to the scene. The first Monday, or ‘Black Monday’, of the semester is traditionally characterised by the drunken and aggressive behaviour of some students celebrating their return to college. Ongoing anti-social behaviour problems have also caused the number ten to again curtail its bus services into the Belfied at night.

Shape up or ship out l Incompetent staff warned l Tenure produce criticised Karina Bracken Irish Universities should be able to relieve incompetent professors and lecturers of their posts, according to Peter Sutherland, former EU Commissioner and chairman of the bailedout global investment bank, Goldman Sachs. Sutherland believes that universities should have the power to sack incompetent academics. He said that Ireland would have to catch up with America and other EU countries that have learned to deal effectively with underperforming staff. Sutherland accused Ireland of being out of line with most developed countries on this issue. He criticised the system in which tenure was granted upon appointment to a position. “This is an anomaly that appears even more bizarre now, given the lack of job security that currently characterises the private sector.” Sutherland stated that underperforming staff undermined Irish competitiveness. “Ireland’s universities must have the same flexibility to recruit, reward and terminate contracts that is the norm in the UK and US. This is surely an acid test of our commitment to public sector reform as a whole,” he said. Sutherland criticised the lack of flexibility in

determining pay for academics, as he believes that those engaged in research and are very good lecturers receive the same salary as those who do no research and whose teaching is sub par. He is also in favour of introducing some sort of fee scheme or graduate tax. Furthermore, Sutherland warned that the government is in danger of “dumbing down” higher education by not funding it properly. Sutherland proposed that UCD and TCD should amalgamate to form one big university, as sustaining both institutions was proving too costly. He dismissed the notion that it is possible to have seven world-class universities in Ireland. “As chairman of the London School of Economics I have some insight into the cost of running such entities and the ferocity of the competition and, personally, I don’t see how Ireland can afford this. We can have seven universities but they can’t all be comprehensive world-class research universities with undergraduate education, postgraduate training and research.” The controversial innovation alliance between Trinity and UCD was welcomed by Sutherland, but he wondered to what extent it would be successfully supported by the Government.


4

News

College Tribune

January 26th 2010

Out of our league l

UCD ranks considerably lower in Shanghai leagues

l

Rankings slated as “puerile” Cathy Buckmaster

Confusion emerged recently after the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the Shanghai league tables, placed UCD considerably lower then the Times Higher Education (THE) League Tables. According to the commonly quoted THE rankings, UCD is placed 89th in the world’s top universities. However, the Shanghai table lists UCD’s place as between 303 and 401. TCD is similarly placed much lower, ranking between 201 and 302. The Shanghai rankings are published and updated annually by the Center for World-Class Universities and the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. More than 1000 universities are actually ranked and the best 500 are published on the web. The Shanghai rankings use six indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the

size of an institution. Mike Jennings, General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), plays down the importance of league tables. “I don’t think a serious academic plays a blind bit of notice to those indices to tell you the truth. I think they’re pretty puerile. I don’t think they represent a coherent measurement of the worth of a university.” “Is anybody seriously telling me that if you were to compare UCD to NUIG, that it reflects the quality of education? Nobody for a moment believes that. Those indices have had their validity questioned time and time again, because it’s no coincidence that nearly always technological and English-speaking universities - particularly American universities - miraculously come out on top. They’re skewed that way,” he explains. Jennings believes that the universities who rely on the league tables for validation are misguided. “I’m fond of saying that when you can’t measure what’s valuable, you end up valuing what’s measurable.” “They try to squeeze things into a form where they can be measured and calculated. Education isn’t like that. It isn’t something you can just write up on a scale. They’ve got more to do with the marketing dept rather then the education ethos.”

Promiscuous students panned for casual sex l

Continued from front page Eileen Gahan

Furthermore, “intimacy is all but gone from sex for young people,” wrote O’Riordan. “It paints students in a very bad light, particularly young women,” says UCDSU Women’s Officer Jaqueline Brennan, who provides information for students about safe sex. Brennan questioned the use of anecdotes to denote a consensus about students participating in casual sex. “It’s letting a minority speak for the majority, because the fact is the majority of students simply do not behave like this. I am honestly completely dumbfounded as to why the Sunday Independent would print such drivel.” UCD students reacted to the article’s assertions in a similar way. “It’s a pretty ridiculous generalisation to make,” according to Laura, a 3rd Year Arts students. “Maybe some girls do act like that. I know girls would get drunk a lot but I’ve honestly never come across anyone who just

has heaps of one-night stands”. “It just makes girls out to be sluts and encourages guys to look down on them. Not only is it a lazy stereotype but it perpetuates sexual double standards,” believes Laura. Gavin, an English graduate, queried the broad-sweeping statements. “Obviously they don’t know that many girls in their early twenties. If they were a real newspaper they would have been more specific about where exactly they are pulling this from”. Nick, a 2nd year Law student, reasoned that “It’s hard to say if every girl in a city only wants casual sex instead of a relationship. I don’t know how this writer came to that view but I think it’s pretty unfounded.” “I think it’s up to you what you want to do, as long as it’s safe,” said 2nd year Nursing student Caoimhe. “But it’s unfair to tar all with the same brush. Everyone is different”.


College Tribune

News

January 26th 2010

What we spend our money on Student income shows

2008 Average monthly expenditure levels of full time students Living with parents All other Students Expenditure ture

Mature

Non Mature Mature

Non Ma-

Direct spending

443

276

Indirect spending N/A

N/A

Total Spending

Subsistance (total of food, regular bills)

97

182

539

458

117

82

261

153

133

86

126

79

97

70

78

62

alcohol, tobacco)

136

161

113

136

Total

482

399

1118

887

Other regular expenditure (total of loan repayments, clothing/toiletries/mobile)

Transport

gender inequality

lMales earning more than females lGirls have higher participation rates

Accomodation, of which:

(parental subsidy)

5

Social Activities (total of entertainment,

Karina Bracken Gender equality is still not a thing of the present, according to the ESRI report ‘Study on the Costs of Participation in Higher Education’. Startling figures in the report reveals that female students receive significantly lower income than their male counterparts, from both family sources and paid employment. On average, male full-time undergraduate students receive a greater monthly income of €232 from their families compared to the €190 a month received by full-time female undergraduate students. Male students earn on average €288 from employment, while females earn €52 less at €236. The report did not explain the discrepancy and whether it was due to different hours worked. Perhaps no surprise, female students (36.2%) are more likely to be in receipt of a maintenance grant than their male counterparts (32.3%). However the report also demonstrates that the gendered difference in student incomes does not reflect participation levels in higher education.

Females are more likely than males to attend college. In 2006/7, 47% of females compared to 44% of males went on to higher education after leaving school. A bizarre statistic reveals that girls are six times more likely to repeat their Leaving Cert or take time out before college than boys, with 27.3% opting to resit compared to 4.6%. On the other hand, males are five per cent more likely than girls to be “not interested” in college or “wanted to earn/couldn’t afford” college. Furthermore, males are more likely to drop out of university at 14.8% to 10.4% of females. The disparity in male and female incomes reflects a trend in the wider world, where salaries are not equal for both genders. The report also shows that students receive income from a variety of different, and sometimes combined, sources. The following represent the percentage of students that receive a certain type of income: Family and work 28%, work only 25%, “other” 17%, state 11%, state and family 8%, just family 8% and a combination of state, family and work 3%.


6

Focus

College Tribune January 26th 2010

Concerns raised over abolition of NUI l

Graduates worry about degree status

l

Calls for UCD and Trinity to combine Philip Connolly

Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe’s sudden decision to scrap the National University of Ireland (NUI) could spell serious problems for its graduates. The bill to establish a new higher education agency is being drafted and legislation will be published in June. O’Keeffe expects it to be passed by the end of the year and come into effect shortly after. The government plans will lead to increased political interference in universities, former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald has warned. The former NUI chancellor appealed to O’Keeffe to reconsider the establishment of a new amalgamated qualifications and quality assurance agency, which was announced along with the abolition of the NUI. “Political involvement in the quality of degrees through control by a statutory agency carries obvious dangers, because in relation to higher education governments sometimes actively pursue nonacademic objectives of an economic, or alternatively populist, character,” Fitzgerald said. Meanwhile, the University Senate said the dissolution of the NUI would be damaging to Irish higher education. “Its name is well established. Its degrees enjoy a high level of recognition nationally and in-

ternationally. The announcement... has caused understandable anxiety.” The NUI has four constituent universities: NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCD and UCC. It also has five recognised colleges for which it makes awards: the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; the National College of Art and Design; the Institute of Public Administration; Shannon College of Hotel Management; and Milltown Institute. The degrees of the nine constituent colleges will still be degrees of the NUI even though the body may not exist long after 2011. Concerns have also been raised that the move will damage the 102-year-old NUI brand, which has strong international recognition. Mike Jennings, head of Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), called the Minister’s approach in to question: “Apparently they called in the Chancellor of the NUI at 11 am, and announced the abolition that afternoon. That just shows the ignorance of the approach.” “At the stroke of a pen they are calling into question all NUI degrees. Obviously there is concern from graduates about the status of their degrees. If you hold a degree from an institution that technically no longer exists, that is going to raises questions in an international job market. It never even occurred to Batt O’Keefe to

consult anyone about this.” “The reality is that there isn’t enough money in the system, and no amount of housekeeping is going to change that,” believes Jennings, referring to whether this move will save the Department of Education money. UCD President Dr Hugh Brady, who is the NUI vice-chancellor, said they would seek clarification on the form of legislation that O’Keeffe had in mind for the universities. “We are confident, however, that it will be possible to work with government to come up with a solution that protects the integrity and international reputation of the NUI degree,” he said. The dissolution of the NUI was “not primarily financial” but would generate net savings in the region of €1 million, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dick Roche told the Dáil. “Rather, it is a matter of being unable to support the continuation of NUI to carry out its remaining functions, the bulk of which will now most likely be performed by the constituent universities themselves,” Roche said. The current system is “neither strategic nor sustainable,” he added on behalf of O’Keeffe. The decision to abolish the NUI is strongly supported by senior Department of Education officials anxious to establish a united qualifications and quality assurance agency for higher education.

The new funding model could lead the way for the merging of some universities including the big two - Trinity College Dublin and UCD. The National Strategy Group for Education is to recommend the ending of funding based on student numbers and move to a system that promotes efficiencies and improved performance. Ireland’s top seven colleges are collectively in the red to the tune of €32m, according to latest figures. UCD and UCC are the worst offenders in terms of their spiraling debt with current deficits of €13m each. Both universities have recently agreed a debt-cutting programme with the HEA. As part of the deal, if the colleges can reduce their overall staff costs by 3 per cent a year, then they can begin making appointments to vacated positions thus ending a resented moratorium on staff recruitment. “Under law, universities are not permitted to accumulate deficits, but in recent years they have and some more than others. An agreement has been made with UCC and UCD to allow them to bring their debt under control while enabling them to fill senior posts. They can do what they like and appoint who they like as long as they reduce their budgets by 6 per cent by the end of next year,” the HEA said. There are hopes that the move will enable

all seven universities to be in a position to reduce greatly or eliminate their accumulated current deficit by 2013. Peter Sutherland Chairman of Goldman Sachs spoke in Dublin last Friday and said that Ireland can not afford seven universities if it hopes to have any worldclass institutions. “Surely seven is too many if we’re talking about comprehensive world-class research universities with undergraduate education, postgraduate training and research. Personally I can’t see how Ireland can afford this.” Mr Sutherland also said that Trinity and UCD should combine to create a worldclass institution. He added: “We would have a top-20 or even a top-10 player to compete in the big leagues and, if so, wouldn’t that be the best thing for Ireland?” The abolition of NUI could also spell serious problems for the Irish language. At present the NUI insists that students enrolling on most of its courses have English, Irish and a third language. But, in future, those decisions will be taken by the individual universities. President of NUI Galway Professor Jim Browne said last night that Irish would continue to be an essential matriculation requirement but other universities may choose to weaken the requirement.

Newman Fund Students are invited to apply now for a grant from the Newman Fund. The Newman Fund is a sum of money which derives from ‘capitation’ funds coming to the Student Consultative Forum and is administered by a committee of the Forum. It is designed to fund activities which are not organised by the recognised clubs and societies in the University; any individual or group of students may apply for financial support for their project.

Vet Students Carol Service

Recent successful applications have included: European Architecture Students’ Assembly Postgraduates’ Ball Newman Community Games UCD Community Musical Seachtain na Gaeilge

The next meeting of the Committee is on February 17th so applications should be lodged before February 10th, 2010. Application Forms are available in the Forum Office. All applications or queries should be emailed to: Elizabeth.cronin@ucd.ie or sent by post to the Forum Office, Student Centre, UCD.


Focus

College Tribune January 26th 2010

7

Forward to the future While many of the class of 2010 will no longer be here in ten years time, Amy Walsh sets out to discover: What will UCD look like in 2020? It is not an easy task to forecast the future of UCD. Although long term plans exist to shape the campus of 2020, they are not concrete. Despite this, the proposals and suggestions offer an intriguing insight into what UCD may look like in a decade. In 2004 the college authorities launched the New Campus Development Plan 2005-2010-2015. One of the most notable aspects of this plan is the development of the “Gateway project”. The controversial proposal to develop the new entrance to UCD was initiated with an international architectural competition which saw the appointment of the German architectural firm Ingenhoven Architects. The Gateway project envisions a campus which will be barely recognisable from the one we know today. This master plan outlines a massive structural refurbishment of UCD. The most visually arresting feature of Gateway is the proposed N11 entrance. Gateway planners envisage that “the main built structures will sit along the N11 comprising of three parallel rows of buildings. The sequence of buildings will share a common curved roof which will provide continuity and enclosure for the Gateway Plaza and atrium spaces”. The Gateway Plaza “will form the heart of the overall project encompassing a distinctive entry point into the campus as well as an attractive open-air atrium which will encourage activity and interaction”. The Gateway entrance will be linked by a

mall to the central spine of the campus at the Newman Building. The completion of the Gateway Complex would see a mall, a medical centre, art gallery, hotel and new retail and dining facilities in UCD. That’s not to mention an art-house cinema and exhibition centre. Gateway is designed to “invite its neighbouring communities and businesses to use new and existing facilities for learning, the arts, innovation and commerce on a year round basis, increasing the engagement of the University with its communities”. The construction of the Gateway project was expected to commence in 2009, however students have yet to see many advances in construction. Another feature of the development plan is to “provide a coordinated and sustainable commuting, parking and transportation regime”. The future focus on transport and access facilities concentrates on plans for a pedestrian friendly campus, serviced by public transport. This will include a rapid transit system onto the campus linking Belfield to the city centre via the Dart at Sandymount and the Luas in Sandyford. A continuous woodland corridor will surround the campus, incorporating walkways as well as jogging and cycling tracks. These facilities will work towards providing future generations “with a sustainable, healthy, and living campus”. Those interested in the area of energy development hope to see a carbon neutral campus. Plans include the insulation of

buildings and a move towards ensuring that all vehicles coming onto the campus are low-emission, electric or hydrogenpowered. The realisation of this “green dream” will include ‘plug-in’ facilities for electric cars and the active promotion of cycle and electric motorcycle use. The new Student Centre precinct is located between the current Student Centre and the Sports Centre. Construction is already underway. This “new dimension in leisure, relaxation and performance” is expected to be completed by September 2011. The “multifarious Student Centre” promises “state-of-the-art facilities for debating, drama, society rooms, presentations, cinema, media, meetings and a significantly developed student health service”. Other notable features include a 50m swimming pool, with “an extensive relaxation zone and fitness suite”. As for the student experience, UCD is developing an interactive and dynamic 24/7 “living” campus. The numbers of students who live on campus will be doubled to 5,000. In conjunction with this, specific facilities in the Roebuck Castle area are in the pipeline for students living in residencies. These facilities include late-night food outlets, a social centre and recreation amenities which will see a more holistic, living campus. As with the Student Centre, work has already begun on the new Science Centre. This centre will see “the strategic integra-

tion of science with related disciplines”. Furthermore it will “enable UCD to play its full part in supporting the government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013”. Other plans include the development of the Sutherland Law Building which is due for completion in 2011 and the proposed Humanities Complex. Academia is also set to look very different in 2020. Inevitably teaching methods will adapt to incorporate changes in culture and technology. There may be more of an emphasis on project generated learning, group based learning and a decline in the classic model of lecturing. Other important academic considerations include providing more places for growing numbers of graduate students, an increase in the number of graduate students taught at PhD level and more undergraduate students exposed to research projects. Principal of the UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies, Professor Mary Daly, foresees a “much more interactive environment” where “group dynamics and interactive learning” are encouraged. “Some of the classes may well be delivered online”. However it seems to be unlikely that lecturing would ever become entirely virtual. These ideas compliment plans to develop and create innovative teaching breakout spaces and maximise the potential of proposed campus facilities for teaching purposes. Professor Daly welcomes the idea of renovating the Newman building. In reference to the future of the arts in

UCD, she believes that “one of the challenges for the arts programme would be to maintain its centrality to UCD”. This may be achieved by building “better links between creative art as it happens and the critique, research and study of it”. President of UCDSU, Gary Redmond hopes that in 2020 we will still have a publicly funded third level education system in Ireland. “I think it’s extremely important to invest in our educational future. Not only for today and tomorrow, but for the long term future as well. Also by 2020 the Government will have the insight to realise that the grants system is not up to scratch. The current structure that is in place to meet the needs of the most vulnerable students is not enough. We need to invest more in education and continue to grow for the future of Ireland”. There is no shortage of grand designs in UCD. The realisation of the Campus Development Plan would see most of the underlined proposals completed by 2020, but are these plans a reality? Many of the proposals were conceived at the height of the boom and there is a sense that they may be exceeding their sell by date. The ambiguity that surrounds UCD’s future is suggested by the Principal of the College of Human Sciences, Professor Brigid Laffan. “What is unknown as we speak is the impact of the economic crisis, on all of us, on students, on their prospects”. It is perhaps ambitious blue prints, as well as the reckoning of reality, that will shape the future of UCD.


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Features

International

College Tribune January 26th 2010

A world torn asunder Caroline O’Conner and Donagh Humphreys of the UCD Overseas Volunteers talk to Eileen Gahan about how the poverty of Haiti is the true cause of the current crisis

“It’s like one of Dante’s Circles of Hell” volunteers on the ground have said of the situation in Haiti following the recent earthquake. With the death toll expected to rise to 200,000 people and vital supplies of food, water and medicine not reaching victims the U.N. has called this the worst crisis they have ever dealt with. Yet the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in this Caribbean country has been caused by far more than a natural disaster. “It’s poverty that is causing these deaths, not the earthquake” said Donagh Humphreys of the UCD Overseas Volunteers, who spent some time working in the country last July. Haiti is the poorest country in the America’s and one of the fifteen poorest countries in the world. The UCD Overseas Volunteers have worked there since 2005 and Caroline O’ Connor, the Manager of UCDVO, was one of a group of twelve who arrived back from Haiti only one day before the earthquake struck. Caroline and Donagh spoke to me about their time in the country and the extreme poverty that has left it so unable to cope with the current crisis. “We left Haiti on the Saturday and arrived here on the Monday and the earthquake hit on the Tuesday” Caroline tells me. “We have been working in the town of Gros Morne, with missionaries, the Religious of Jesus and Mary, who have been out there for twelve years.” Fortunately the town where Caroline and Donagh were based was not directly affected by the quake. ‘We were in contact with then the day after to make sure everyone was o.k. and no-one was directly affected. They felt the earthquake but no one was hurt.” However Caroline tells me that no-one in Haiti will remain unaffected by the quake.

The town is going to be affected by this. Already there have been 5000 refugees so there is a knock on effect.” Donagh explains how the awful conditions in the country are hugely magnifying the catastrophe of the earthquake. “The roads there are unimaginable. You can’t fathom how bad they are. The worst, bockety country road in Ireland is a first class road over there. We can see on T.V. that the problem is distribution of aid. The aid is there, it’s just not getting to the people. The port is unusable, the airport is unusable. People have to realise that Haiti was in a dire state before the earthquake.” Donagh emphasis the role this terrible infrastructure has in increasing the death toll in Haiti by telling me about a series of huge floods, caused by tropical storms, that hit the island in 2004, affecting both Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic. “The death toll in the Dominican Republic at that time was 12 or 13. It is not a wealthy country but in comparison to Haiti, where 8000 people were killed in those floods, it is a shining light. That just shows the scale of what you’re facing even before a disaster strikes.” Donagh goes on to describe the living conditions he encountered in his time as a volunteers in the country. “I didn’t realise before I arrived, despite all my research, how poor people are there. One of the first thing you notice there is the clean clothes people are wearing because they take great pride in their appearance. You even see brand labels, but that is all very deceptive because all these clothes have been donated.” “You may see a guy in Nike trainers but you don’t realise at first that he lives in a house with ten children and a galvanised roof. He doesn’t know what Nike is. Most

people there live on about two dollars a day.” Haiti’s economy is primarily agricultural yet most are unable to earn a decent living in farming. Although there is an excess of crops such as rice and mangoes grown, Haiti is unable to export them due to lack of storage and transport facilities. Poor

‘It’s poverty that is causing these deaths, not the earthquake’ infrastructure even means that is often cheaper for Haitians to import rice rather than buy what is grown in their own country. Donagh also points out that even if they could export their crops they would not get a fair price for them. The Haitian people also suffer from serious health problem with almost 50% of deaths caused by preventable and treatable illness such as respiratory illnesses like T.B., meningitis, cholera and typhoid as well as HIV/Aids. Donagh describes how of many of the hospitals are simply without the facilities to treat these illnesses. “The hospitals concentrate on injuries. If you are hit by a car you are taken to the hospital and treated there, but if someone contracts a disease they can’t go for treatment. They don’t have the medicine and machinery to treat disease.” The current desperate state of Haiti is even sadder when compared to its extraordinary beginning. The country was founded as a result of a successful slave revolt in

1804. Inspired by the ideas of liberty and equality that arose after the French Revolution, these African slaves declared themselves free, and their country independent of France. It shows a remarkable spirit and ambition to better their lives that can still be seen in many parts of the country today. Caroline describes the welcome of the UCDVO team as ‘The warmest I have ever received, and I have travelled quite a bit. The people were just so open and willing to engage with us. Not only that but they were as curious about us and our culture as we were about them’ The UCDVO teams also encountered a wonderful sense of community spirit in the areas where they were working. ‘The way they shared everything was extraordinary, you just don’t see anything like that here in Ireland’ says Caroline. “Even if a child just has a biscuit he will share it with the others, and that comes so naturally to them, they don’t need anyone to tell them.” The volunteers were involved in a number of projects such as construction of houses, tree planting and running summer camps to encourage children to remain in school. They were delighted with how the Haitian people worked with them on these projects, describing it as “very much a partnership.” “They have a massive community spirit. When I arrived in the village where I was working every one had a role in the community. It’s a little bit sad to see because unfortunately there wasn’t anything for them to do. Even if there is no infrastructure at least there is a sense of community.” explains Donagh. Caroline also feels that not enough effort is made to allow the Haitian people to do things for themselves. “There is a constant history of foreign intervention in Haiti

and even now the relief efforts are making very little effort to engage the Haitian people.” It is these numerous foreign interventions and corrupt governments have contributed to the current level of poverty in Haiti. The U.S. backed Doc Governments of Francois Duvalier or ‘Papa Doc’ and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, ‘Baby Doc’ who ruled from 1957 to 1986 stole millions from their own country. However, aided by former U.S. President Bill Clinton who was named U.N. Ambassador to Haiti, the more recent democratically elected government, led by President René Préval, have found it a little easier to attract foreign investment to the country. Donagh praises this development. “There is more of an understanding now in the government that they need foreign investment as well as foreign aid. The political leaders have realised they have to play the game the way the game is, whether the rules are fair or not. There may be questions about whether this was the right way to bring them out of poverty but capitalism means money coming into the country and the rising tide lifts all boats.” The UCDVO have been busy fundraising for Haiti since they heard the news of the quake and so far they have raised over € 50, 000. They have encountered an enormous response on the streets of Dublin and Caroline says that they were sorry to leave Grafton Street at the end of a days collecting because people were still donating up to fifty and one hundred euro to aid the earthquake victims. They have also set up an online donation system. Anyone wishing to donate money to the UCDVO for the victims of the Haitian earthquake may do so online at http:// www.mycharity.ie/event/haiti_earthquake_fund/

Haiti Earthquake appeal

Anyone wishing to donate money to the UCDVO for the victims of the Haitian earthquake may do so online at http://www.mycharity.ie/event/haiti_earthquake_fund/


College Tribune

Features

January 26th 2010

Behind the Iran curtain

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After fleeing arrest and torture, Ali Seifi speaks to Charles O’Donnell about his experiences growing up in Iran and the daring escape he made out of his homeland Generally the natural passing of a man who is 87 years old is not an event that would likely cause too much commotion. But when it is a greatly admired clerical reformist in Iran at the beginning of a period of planned protestation, it was bound to cause a stir. The death of reformist cleric Hossein Ali Montazeri, in the month of December last, started the ball rolling, and what followed was weeks of demonstrations and brutal police retaliation. The Iranian regime has become more desperate since the hotly disputed legality of the elections last June, and has turned more to violent measures in quietening its people. Ali Seifi is a film student who now lives in Ireland. After having to escape Iran, in order to flee continuous arrestment and torture, he now can share his personal story and the situation in Iran at the moment. “We can’t compare the Shah to the Ayatollah. Under the Shah people had certain freedoms, even though he was still a dictator. The Ayatollah first pretended that he was against dictatorship and oppression. But when he came to power, he continued the oppression and made it even more extreme.” Yet in terms of comparisons the will of the people seems strong and is growing. If history teaches anything, that is, if a protestation is not dealt with early, the protest will only grow and grow. An interesting concept that often appears when the advances of society are discussed is that of the influence of technology. And this is one of the key differences between now and thirty years ago. The role of the internet and mobile phones has acted as a medium to highlight events but also to motivate them too. “Now the time has changed. People back then didn’t have mobile phones. Now the foreign media cannot hide from it. At the moment millions of websites are filtered or closed by the Iranian website, so people are transferring media through e-mail.” It seems any Orwellian fears of technology being used as a means to extend state control will certainly be on hold for some time to come. For now, technology is the revolutionist’s newest weapon. Seifi’s family were always politically active.

During the fall of the Shah they played their part in the resistance. But not long after the dreams of freedom were crushed, by the rule of the Ayatollah, had Seifi’s family life changed forever. After constant harassment and arrest form the authorities, Seifi’s father fled Iran. And the consequences as a result were shocking. “They were working for an underground party. They were distributing leaflets. They arrested my father, but he escaped To Turkey and then to Germany. My mother was

jailed because of my father’s escape.” He was only four years old at the time. Throughout his childhood his mother and only brother were regularly arrested and imprisoned. At what should have been the exciting and liberating age of eighteen, for Seifi, turned out not to be so. It was then when Seifi began to get politically active within the university scene. “I was about eighteen when I was first arrested. Me and my brother were arrested many times. We were tortured. Four months was the longest time I was arrested for.” A question concerning why he wanted to leave must sound absurd to him, but he answers it with a sincerity that recognised the reality that many Iranians still face. “We have never had an option to choose how we live. We can’t even choose the clothes we want to wear. We don’t have basic human rights. The women are not free; the young men are not free. We are always under pressure by the Iranian regime.” He then tells me his story of his escape out of Iran. A journey that would take three and half months before he found a home; a journey he shared with his mother and his only brother. It was a story of facing

the unknown, of an extended period of fear and insecurity, all in the hope that he could find some type of freedom. “We escaped our country illegally. We were so afraid living there that we had to leave. They always threatened us to never do it again or attend the university. We were hidden in our country for two months before we made for the border.

“We have never had an option to choose how we live. We can’t even choose the clothes we want to wear.” We had to leave my grandfather behind; he couldn’t come with us.” “The human traffickers brought us to Turkey. We lived in a house for two weeks, too afraid to leave it. We didn’t go anywhere. We came with a plan, we had fake passports. We then went to the airport and then to some country, the Czech Republic I think. After that we came here: I wanted to go to Canada, but I ended up here.” It seems the role of the international community in Middle East politics is very sensitive right now. There is a certain will that they should stay out of it - an argument that runs along the lines that only the country themselves can sort out their problem. Seifi feels, however, that the International community does have a role to play. Seifi reckons that if the International community acts tough right now, they could bring the present regime to its knees. “The root of terrorism in neighbouring countries is supported by the Iranian Government. Iran is a threat with nuclear policies. I think

the best way to deal with Iran is through sanctions on their oil. They must close the Iranian embassies. They must not recognise this government.” “Ahmadinejad was not elected by the people. He is not accepted by the Iranian people. Why do they still have an embassy in Ireland and other countries? Why do they allow Ahmadinejad come to the UN? He admits he wants nuclear weapons and to wipe out Israel. They must say to the Iranian government if they want a relationship they must respect human rights.” I ask him about what the perception of Obama in Iran is at the moment: “At the moment I haven’t seen anything from him. At the marches the people chant Barack Obama are you with us or with the Mullahs (name for clerical rulers). His policy of appeasement is not addressing the human rights issue in Iran.” So will the fall of this regime bring freedom to its people? Seifi is still sceptical. “We don’t have the freedoms that you do. For us it is never a choice between good and bad, it I only ever a choice between real bad and not so bad. I think this regime is about to fall, but I do not think I will be going back just yet. Not until Iran is a proper democracy that will be free.” So it seems Seifi and many people from Iran are under no illusions about presidential opponent Mousavi, but with a dignified pragmatism he realises it is their

only choice for betterment. Before the interview is finished he shares a glimpse of some normality he had growing up. And that universal existence of children playing football on the streets unaffected by the world around them, was an experience he was glad to recall. “Football is the sport all the kids play. They play with plastic balls on the street. Me and my brother always loved playing football. Anything that entertains the Iranian people in this way the Government doesn’t mind.” After many years of separation within his family, they are all reunited now in Ireland. But he is one of the ‘lucky’ ones, if such an expression can be excused for being so absurd. Seifi finishes the interview with a powerful message that cannot help but stress the responsibility we all should carry in the fight for human rights across the world. “I want to say to the International community that human rights are not just confined to one’s own country: they are for the whole world. We must care about what is going on in other countries, we must help each other. Many women and many men are raped in Iranian prisons. This is happening all over the world. But people don’t seem to care about it, and still European countries have strong ties with this Government.”


10

Features

National Science

Art for Art’s sake?

College Tribune January 26th 2010 As the Irish economy struggles to stay afloat, Niamh Hanley speaks to several young people working in the Irish arts scene in the hopes of investigating if it can progress in an increasingly difficult climate as the hopes of many are dashed The Lives of Others is set in East Germany of the 1980s, a hostile atmosphere for artists, who were frequently targeted as enemies of the state. Closely observed by the secret police, artists were often placed under surveillance. Halfway through the movie, a high-ranking official boasts the success of conditioning artists that were imprisoned under the regime. While the current economic crisis cannot be compared to the restraints which artists faced in Stasi Germany, it is nevertheless evident that as unemployment increases, the figure of the artist is viewed with more suspicion. The nation’s airwaves were filled with irate callers to Joe Duffy’s Liveline when the issue of the tax-free status of artists was raised. If the artist was viewed as a subversive enemy under totalitarian regime, in financially straitened modern Ireland they are often seen as a ‘spongers’ by some. And yet while the Celtic Tiger saw salaries soar in most industries, artists continued to earn relatively little. So, in these economically-straightened times, what place is there for artists, and how can they survive? More intriguingly, what place is there for young people who seek employment in the arts? Always a difficult industry to break into at the best of times, the arts are heavily affected by the recession. As government and business funding is reduced or abandoned altogether, the sector seems to have no possibilities of expansion. Bank of Ireland recently closed its Arts Centre in Foster Place, frequently a site for poets and musicians to introduce their work to Dubliners. The building has since been taken over to host the privately owned National Wax Museum. Independent theatre in the capital has also been affected, as several well-known theatre companies have dissolved in the face of crippling debt. Even the Abbey, the state-subsidised national theatre, has fallen victim to the economy. Several productions have been revived in attempts to save money, using previous commissions and original sets. Where then is the new, the innovative, where the next generation can make their mark in the Irish arts scene? Oscar Wilde wrote that “All art is quite useless”, yet in the business of money received by the state, the arts are far from useless. If the new Ireland is counting its pennies, the arts has brought more than its fair share to the table. In November 2009, the Arts Council released a report confirming that its funding of organisations to the tune of €76m supported more than 3,000 arts jobs. Moreover, these organisations generated a turnover of €192m, and €54m of this was directly returned to the state in the form of taxes. The reality of the situation is, however, that many artists who had previously relied on state funding will not receive their expected amount in 2010, and some may receive no funding at all. But while the established artist faces difficulties, many graduates are uncertain as to what the future holds if they want to create a career for themselves in the arts. Niamh McCabe knows more than most what it takes. A UCD graduate of Archaeology and Economics, she took the

Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, and is now an officer with the Arts Council. Hers is the path welltravelled, of voluntary work and actively seeking an opportunity in the industry. “Experience, whether it be paid or unpaid, allows you to increase your understanding of the unique dynamics of the sector as well as making important contacts.” To this end, several organisations have been established in the capital by young people seeking an outlet for their collective artistic energies. Prominent among them is Exchange Dublin. Exchange Dublin was opened in July 2009 by a group of individuals seeking to found a non-profit arts space for young people. Its current site in Temple Bar hosts an exhibition space and a venue for performances and discussion. Many arts groups meet and are catered for here, not the least of which is Exchange Words, coorganised by Gareth Stack, who graduated from Trinity in 2008. Stack’s involvement in creative writing and stand-up comedy led him to put himself forward at the first public meeting at Exchange, and his role evolved from there. “We’re an open group meeting weekly, who have so far put on three events at monthly intervals; featuring a mixture of spoken word theatre, standup comedy, poetry and more experimental work. We’ve also helped out with other initiatives like the enormously successful ‘Milk and Cookies’ storytelling group.” Concerned with keeping the group as accessible as possible, Stack documents all developments on the Exchange website. He acknowledges the help of state-funded initiatives, such as the local library writing group, in furthering his personal development. “In terms of the performing arts, it does seem like there are a variety of initiatives of worth. However often access to and participation in these initiatives is effectively exclusive to a clique of kids that have come up through youth theatre programmes; rather than writers and performers from outside the theatre world.

“it does seem like there are a variety of initiatives of worth” I know comedians in general feel completely excluded from the theatre world.” Stack himself has made little or no personal income on the back of his involvement in comedy. “There’s a sort of virtuous circle in Ireland, where TV appearances and competition victories land you paid spots in comedy clubs. Right now I’m working for free. Because of the limited size of the audience here, pretty much every Irish comedian plans to move to England at some point; and I’m no different. It’s just a reality of the business that even moderate success here doesn’t provide a living.” The Exchange system, therefore, may not yet provide an income to those involved in it, but signs indicate that the artists of the future may be nurtured by such col-

lectives. Indeed, some have taken the decision to set up an arts business in this spirit. Claire Hennessy, who graduated last summer, is a co-founder of the Big Smoke Writing Factory in Dublin’s Hatch Street. An experienced creative writing teacher, despite being only 23, and with nine young adult novels under her belt, she is evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit present among young creatives. While acknowledging that the timing of the new business’s set-up was “horrendous” – clashing with edits for her new book and her final exams – she maintains her situation came about due to both luck and a shared will on the part of her three co-founders to establish their own creative writing school. “I don’t necessarily recommend finishing a degree at the same time as starting up a business – you need a certain brand of insanity for it to seem like a good idea – but I do think it’s a good idea to try to stay in touch with an area you’re interested in even as you’re in education.” Unlike Stack, she is content to sit out the current economic crisis in Ireland while she continues to teach and write further novels. “Some days I do feel like the only twenty-something in the country who

“The hours you end up being paid for are a fraction of the hours you actually put in. You need to love it” isn’t dying to emigrate, though!” The issue of emigration is, of course, ever present in the current climate, and Niamh McCabe recognises the potential loss to the Irish arts scene that this poses. “I do however feel that there is an opportunity at this time to emphasise the benefits of the arts in aiding the wider economy with transferable skills such as creative thinking and the use of ‘culture’ in other industries.” For Claire Hennessy, arts work involves sacrifices of both time and money: “The hours you end up being paid for are a fraction of the hours you actually put in. You need to love it. You probably need to sacrifice something in order to make it work for you, but you get to love your work.” And in the doom and gloom of an economic crisis, this is surely a good thing. As McCabe notes: “Art is many things, but perhaps above all it is an expression of where and who we are. It is always necessary. It has often been noted that in times of economic hardship creativity and cultural output increase, and hopefully we will be able to support this activity this time around.” www.exchangedublin.ie www.creativecareers.ie www.milkandcookiesstories.com www.bigsmokewritingfactory.com


College Tribune

Features

January 26th 2010

Politics

Private Practice

Gaeilge

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With the recent debates concerning privacy and politics, 3e news anchor, Caroline Twohig, chats to Cathy Buckmaster about dealing with politicians, freedom of speech and the issue with confidentiality Since the dawn of reality TV, the public have developed an insatiable curiosity for the public figure. Blogs and social networking also ensure we have an unhealthy knowledge of the thoughts, opinions and actions of others. However, this sense of entitlement to the information of public figures has created controversy; where is the line of privacy drawn? In Ireland, the most recent example of public interest, going past the point of comfort, was seen with TV3’s reports about Minister Brian Lenihan’s terminal cancer and more recently with the Iris Robinson affair. The question remains, does the public have a right to know this information. However, we must also wonder, is withholding it an act against freedom of speech. Caroline Twohig, 3e’s new news anchor, has worked on TV3 as a production assistant, Ireland AM as a researcher and now 3e as their news anchor. On the matter of freedom of speech, Twohig feels the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland hasn’t limited news reporting. “The recent story in the Dáil where they used a curse word shows that you can have freedom of speech in Ireland. You can’t censor what’s said in the Dáil. That was able to be aired without complains.” “I’m sure there were some complaints but I think that goes to show we have freedom of speech and there’s not too much censorship impacting on our news stories. I myself as reporting or writing have never felt that I couldn’t say something.” However, Twohig goes on to explain that sometimes the shows themselves choose to censor aspects they consider too sensitive. “In relation to Haiti recently, we have not used certain pictures because they’re just too graphic.” “I think that’s more of an editorial decision then the BCI though. I think some of these pictures are just too sensitive to show at six o’clock in the evening. That was more of an editorial decision; I have never felt that the BCI have impacted hugely on anything I had to report.” When working in the news media, dealings with politicians is unavoidable. Twohig explains that politicians can be difficult. “I wouldn’t be in the

field a lot now but I was when I was working for TV3 news. I found contacting and talking to politicians quite daunting a lot of the time.” “There’s a lot of power there and you have to be quite respectful but also get the answers that you want and try get the answers that people want to hear. I found that daunting but a challenge.” “I find the press officers can be difficult. If they don’t want to talk to you, there’s no way. You can be ringing them, trying to do your job but sometimes if they don’t want to talk to you, it’s just not happening. They can make your life very difficult. That would be my experience anyway.” News reporters are often conflicted about reporting on sensitive issues about public figures. Twohig explains how this difficulty occurred for her while working on a story. When I was researching for Ireland AM, I had to speak to the father of a young man who was killed in a knife attack. I asked him if he would like to

“It was one of those stories people were going to talk about at the water cooler. People wanted to hear about it” come on the show but it was literally days after the funeral.” “I was conflicted in myself; I felt very bad and I was very apologetic but we were trying to highlight knife violence and we just wanted a spokesperson. That was very hard for me. I think I was in tears after I got off the phone.” “I apologized profusely and explained this platform is here if he wanted to come onto the show. He politely refused but that was the most conflicted thing I ever had to do in relation to news or even researching.”

In regards to the recent media coverage about Iris Robinson, Twohig didn’t think it was an insensitive move and sympathizes with the media’s choice to take such an interest because of the public attention. “In relation to Iris Robinson, I think the British media went bigger on that but it was a story people were interested in.” “It was one of those stories people were going to talk about at the water cooler. People wanted to hear about it. So, Irish news stations hopped on that train and got the details. It’s also to do with Politics so it is important to people who want to know about it. In relation to that story, there was a hunger for it among the public.” The issue of privacy in the media has been a hot topic for some time, with social networking, availability of photographs of celebrities’ everyday life and the fast pace at which information is transmitted these days, it seems that there is nowhere to hide for those in the spotlight. In December of 2009, police confiscated the cameras of tourists taking photos of the Queen and in 2008 the paparazzi in Los Angeles were fighting a court battle for their right to stalk celebrities. 2009 was also the year of sexting, when nude photos of many young celebutaunts were passed around the internet like a virus. Measures have been taken to reduce the imposition of the paparazzi in many countries; in Norway, Germany and France, they require the permission of the person photographed, to publish the photo and many states in America have cracked down on trespassing and stalking offences and creating more ‘photo-ops’ to provide good press opportunities. The question remains whether these can be dealt with more seriously, as invasions of privacy and impediments to a celebrity’s human rights or is the proliferation of private information and photographs simply another part of the job-description. The 3e News with Caroline Twohig takes place on weekdays at 6pm.

‘An Clog Deireanach ag Bualadh’ Is iomaí caint a dhéantar le linn na seachtainí úd ag tús an tseimeastair faoi na slite éagsúla inar caitheadh tréimhse na Nollag. Tá scéalta difriúla le cloisteáil; uathu siúd a chuaigh thar lear, nó uathu siúd a bhí sáite i gceantar tuaithe éigin mar gheall ar an drochaimsir, mar shamplaí. Níor chuala mé fós, áfach, éinne ag caint faoi ghné reiligiúnach an tsosa. Chuaigh mise ar Aifreann Oíche Nollag, mar a rachaidh mé arís Domhnach Cásca, is dócha. Seachas comóradh báis nó dhó le linn na bliana, líonann sin mo quota den Chaitliceachas don bhliain. Sa chaoi sin, táim cosúil le go leor Éireannach óg a fhásann aníos i teaghlaigh Chaitliceacha atá réasúnta traidisiúnta. Go dtí deireadh na bliana seo caite ba rud sách réabhlóideach a bhí sa ghníomh seo, ag dul i gcoinne tola

na dtuismitheoirí nó daoine eile níos sine, b’fhéidir. Glacadh leis, ach is beag teaghlach a d’aontaigh leis go hiomlán. Anois, áfach, ó a tháinig an Ryan Report amach i Mí Bhealtaine, chomh maith leis an Murphy Report ag deireadh Mhí na Samhna, tá dream iomlán nua, ach níos sine, ag teitheadh ó na heaglaisí. Ní féidir an-iomarca béime a chur ar an méid a tháinig chun cinn sna tuairiscí úd. Níl an foclóir agam (i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla) le cur síos a dhéanamh ar an déistin a spreag na fíricí iontu i measc an phobail, agus an tslí nár taispeánadh meas ceart do na híobartaigh fiú. Tá brón orm, mar Éireannach agus mar pháiste de chuid na heaglaise Caitlicí, as an méid a tharla dóibh. Tá brón orm. Nílim in ann a shéanadh, áfach, nach bhfuil íobartaigh níos folaithe d’éagóir ollmhór seo na heaglaise ann. Is iadsan na tuismitheoirí, daoine níos sine, dao-

ine níos dílse ná sinne féin, a chreid, ní hamháin sa chreideamh Caitliceach, ach i dteagasc iomlán na heaglaise, na sagairt fhimíneacha úd san áireamh, ar ndóigh. Anois, nuair atá meas don eaglais iomlán imithe, agus gan eaglais ionaid shoiléir ann, cá rachaidh na daoine nua-chaillte seo? Má tá clog na heaglaise ag bualadh don uair dheireanach di féin, ag fógairt bhás chreideamh na hÉireann go ginearálta, cá gcaoinfear an caillteanas seo? Agus mura mbeimid in ann dul chuig institiúid áirithe, fiú foirgneamh áirithe, gach bliain chun an bás seo a chomóradh, ba chóir dúinn na caillteanais seo go léir a chur ina gceart anois. Ach níl aon reilig bheannaithe fágtha. Orna Mulhern


WOMEN’S WEEK 1-5 February

Monday 1 February: 10am, Coffee Morning, Student Centre, in aid of Rape Crisis Centre and Homeless Girls Charity. 4pm, Self-defence classes upstairs in the Student Centre, instructed by international Tae Kwon Do champions. Tuesday 2 February: 10am, Coffee Morning, Student Centre. 1pm, Prof. Ivor Browne introduces Sahaj Marg Meditation Practice, Health Sciences Centre, with tea/coffee provided, all men and women welcome. 7pm, Off The Rails fashion workshop with stylist Cathy O’Connor and make-up artist Emma Farrell and in conjunction with A-Wear, Astra Hall, Student Centre. Wednesday 3 February (Blue Day): 10am-2pm, Campus-wide charity collection. 10am, Coffee Morning, Student Centre, in aid of Action Prostate Cancer. 1pm, Self-defence classes, Blue Room, Student Centre. 2pm, ‘Wax Your Sabbat’: de-fuzz your SU officers for a good cause, Student Centre. 8pm, Casino Night, Student Bar. Thursday 4 February: 10am, Coffee Morning with Bodywhys representative providing information on eating disorders and body image, Student Centre. 1pm, Women in Society Open Forum, with the Equality Society and USI, Blue Room, Student Centre. 10pm, Cathy Davey, Student Bar. Friday 5 February: 10am, Coffee Morning, Student Centre. Rape alarms available throughout the week. For more information, please visit www.ucdsu.ie or email the SU Women’s Officer, Jacqueline Brennan, at women@ucdsu.ie.


College Tribune

Features

January 26th 2010

Travel

13

On top of the World

As a volunteer overseas, Sarah Henderson tells of freezing temperatures, interesting food, driving old Russian tanks and shooting AK 47’s in the land of Genghis Khan

Working in an educational non-governmental organisation in Mongolia with VSO, driving old Russian tanks, shooting AK 47’s, dog sledding and ice skating on a frozen river was never where I imagined myself to be twelve months earlier, sitting in class studying law. Mongolia is situated in Central Asia between Russia in the North and China in the South. Ulaanbaatar, the capital city where I am located, is the coldest capital in the world with temperatures regularly hitting -40 and not rising above freezing for over four months of the year. Three months living in the country has proved to be a steep learning curve; three weeks of in country training including language classes, security briefings and learning about what VSO is doing in Mongolia. Then, placement began at the Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA). Mongolia is not the easiest place in the world to get to; it’s not most people’s average travel destination. You either fly via Russia, China or South Korea on a one of their national airlines – Aeroflot, Air China or Koreans Air.

It took me around 28 hours to complete my Belfast - London – Seoul – Ulaanbaatar trip. The alternative is to take the Trans Siberian train from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar. It is about a five day trip and many VSO’s take this trip on the way home. Simply put, Mongolia is cold. This year has been particularly bad. In fact, it has been the worst winter in 200 years, also known as the Tsud, with temperatures at night hitting -40 and below and during the day hitting -30. It is the coldest place most ex-pats have ever lived but you adjusting quick to the layering and de-layering that occurs any time you want to leave anywhere. As well as being very cold it is also very dry and the average traveller goes through massive amounts of moisturiser and lip balm to try and keep from drying out. The other challenging aspect of Mongolia for many foreigners is the food. Typically most Mongolians live on Mutton, Potatoes and Carrots during the winter and dairy products in the very short summers. Luckily in Ulaanbaatar we have a wide

range of interesting restaurants from hot pots to pizza places and from Indian to Chinese you can find most dishes with a Mongolian twist. There is also the monthly English blockbuster that is shown at the Ulaanbaatar movie theatre. This month it is Avatar, last month we had 2012. There isn’t much choice but it is nice to keep slightly up to date with what is popular at home. There are also numerous outdoors activities to participate in here in UB. The first ski resort in Mongolia was built this year twenty minutes from the city center. There is also dog sledding, ice skating and ski-mobiling available on the frozen river Tuul just outside the city. And for the boys, you can drive old Russian tanks and shoot AK 47’s, machine guns and rifles about 40 minutes away from the city. There is also a lot of travel further afield as Mongolia is a fascinating country with a lot of

beautiful scenery and wildlife. I am here through Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) who run a Youth for De-

velopment (YfD) program aimed at 18-25 year olds. They offer twelve month volunteer placements in one of 40 developing countries around the world where you work alongside local people and build their skills to allow them to be the agents of change in their own country. VSO will pay for your training, travel to your new country, a small living allowance while you are there, medical costs before and during your placement and they provide basic accommodation. With the current economic situation being so poor, and the number of graduate jobs being drastically cut, the opportunity to gain work experience with a well respected organisation, get your expenses covered and do something worthwhile for a year is invaluable An application form can be found at www.vso.org.uk/volunteer/ youth.

Cardiff on a Shoestring With the Christmas break leaving many students in financial turmoil, Sisi Rabenstein scouts another cheap City Break on a hope and a prayer The capital of Wales is filled with little gems like Cardiff Castle, the glitzy waterfront and their brand spanking new shopping centers. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Britain is unbelievably cheap for everyday essentials such as vodka, chocolate and jeans in comparison to our very own overpriced capital and Cardiff is no exception. For example the price of a pint of lager (Euros) in Dublin, depending on the pub, is around €5.50 and the same pint in London would cost around €3.70, but in Cardiff, with no offers on, pints are around €2.90. However, believe me, there’s always offers. Losing out to Liverpool, England and Stavanger, Denmark for ‘Capital of Culture’ in 2008, seems to have galvanized the city into creating more culturally interesting buildings and areas than ever

before. New futuristic architecture can be seen throughout the city center and the aforementioned Cardiff Bay waterfront area is fast becoming a lovely little place to visit, especially ‘Mermaid Bay’. Perhaps more famous for their men’s choirs and The Lostprophets, Cardiff has a decent music scene, from the bigger venues, like the ‘Wales Millennium Centre’, to the more cutting edge, like ‘Barfly’ or ‘The Coal Exchange’. Getting to Cardiff is not as easy as say London, but it can be done by car and ferry, time consuming but fun for smaller groups or much more easily by

flight. Prices can be as low as €40 one way if you book well in advance and are flexible about times. As usual, I recommend hostels, you won’t be in your rooms for much of it anyway.


14

Opinion

College Tribune

Comment

&

January 26th 2010

Debate

One’s privacy is another’s transparency

Last week my annual declaration of interest form from Wexford County Council arrived. All elected persons are required to provide any information relating to any interest that they or their spouse has that may be influenced by their membership of a local authority. The only property my wife and I own is our family home.

I’ve no difficulty volunteering this information including mortgage details in relation to this, although there’s no legal requirement to do so to that extent. I think everyone has a right to privacy but there’s also an obligation on my part to accept the right of the electorate to transparency and accountability. There’s no point in supporting lofty principles unless you practise them. But our society has failed to strike a balance between what can be sometimes two competing rights, privacy and accountability. Every week news stands are packed with the latest celebrity gossip. The usual suspects give us the low down on their private life. These people often make information public exclusively through

a paid agent. But that’s a million miles away from accountability. A glimpse of a celebrity’s private life is entertainment not accountability. It’s a great shame that we only discuss these issues when media outlets err as TV3 did so insensitively in the case of Brian Lenihan or as the print media did when they wrongly reported the circumstances of the death of Liam Lawlor. However rushing headlong to strengthen the rights to privacy of people in the public eye would be regressive. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of Ireland is responsible for protecting citizens whose privacy has been invaded. What’s interesting is that the BCCI will accept a complaint by anyone in relation to any breach of privacy by any Irish broadcaster on anyone. Is there anything more fundamentally democratic and open than that? Following the TV3 affair, it was suggested that changes would be made to restrict the right to broadcast and in some cases publish details of a person’s private affairs. What worries me is that one person’s privacy is another person’s transparency.

I’m concerned that if laws are tightened, editorial decisions will be made with a solicitor hovering in the background advising what can be published or broadcast. Legal advisors will be there to protect the interest of the media outlet against claims of breach of privacy. In the case of any proposed law until a judge pronounces on it we don’t really know its affect. Tribunals were challenged by wealthy individuals. Costs rocketed while inquiries dragged on. I wonder what lengths Flynn, Lowry, Haughey, Ahern and others would have gone to protect their secrets from being revealed in the past, armed with a stronger right to privacy than at present? How would a stronger right to privacy impact on getting to the bottom of the crookery in the banking sector? Talking of crooks, would crime journalists have their hands tied in revealing the excessive lifestyles of those who destroyed the fabric of our many marginalised communities? For many who exist in these deprived crime damaged suburbs, this can sometimes be the only accountability they know they’ll ever see as monies collected

University College Dublin

President’s Awards for Excellence in Student Activities You are invited to make a nomination for the President’s Awards for Excellence in Student Activities. The award scheme aims to provide recognition for those students who excel in extracurricular activities of a kind which make UCD a more exciting, interesting and humane place to live and to work. Nomination Forms: available from Forum Office (Ext. 3100), Students' Union and Services Desks. Any member of the College - either student or staff - can make a nomination. They should write, giving the nominee’s name and a short explanation of why they believe the nominee is worthy of an award. It is not necessary that the person nominated is aware of the nomination. Nominations, preferably typed, should be sent to:

The Director The Student Consultative Forum Student Centre They should be in an envelope marked ‘STUDENTS AWARDS’ and should reach the Forum office before: Wednesday 17th February, 2010

by CAB are not re-invested in the communities trashed by these individuals. You cannot differentiate between citizens in terms in terms of livelihood and protect politicians above other citizens. Any tightening of privacy law will protect wrong doers. When the state rebalances rights there’ll be winners and losers. When my declaration is lodged this week, once more it will lie unheeded in the local media. That is entirely their right, in the greater scheme of things it’s of no enormous consequence, but it’s not my right to decide that. However if privacy laws are tightened, you can never quantify the value of something you never get to see. Joe Ryan BA, M.Sc Cllr. Ryan is a Labour Party councillor in Wexford Borough. Ryan holds a BA in Zoology from TCD and a M.Sc in Mariculture, Dundalk from RTC. He was also a secondary teacher at Wexford CBS and served as Deputy Mayor of Wexford Town for 2007-08.


College Tribune

Editorial

January 26th 2010

Tribune

15

Editorial

In a league of their own

Another year, another set of league tables, another dispute between different rankings, those who stand by them and those who slate them. Many universities pride themselves on their standing in the tables but when the reasoning behind the indicators used in the decision process are broken down, a clearer picture is painted. Elements such as how many staff win awards and the numbers of articles published in journals are among such deciders. As well as this, it is also evident upon investigating the indicators that the leagues are skewed to English speaking colleges meaning that non-English speaking countries don’t stand a fighting chance of topping the list. It is also very apparent that more importance is places on science and technology than the humanities when judging a university’s superiority. How can the public be expected to learn from lists that are so painfully biased. Yet, this revelation makes it so much easier to disregard the absurdly vast differences between various sets of leagues, such as, UCD placing 89th in one and past 300th in another. Despite this however, press releases and online posts ensured the general public were made aware of UCD placing in the top 100 the first time round whereas there hasn’t been a peep about the shanghai league tables. Another indication why we can’t trust these rankings. Education cannot be convoluted into a neat list. Hundreds of determining factors ensure different institutions have varying positive elements which ensure quality of education. It would be ludicrous to ascertain from them that one college provides more educated students than another because of its number on a list. As a result, one must wonder why the higher ups in these colleges so blatantly attempt to change elements of a university so as to fit the demands these rankings denote. While UCD have a budget deficit of twelve million, they spend vast amounts of money on new facilities, aesthetic refurbishments and the globalization of the college in general; a clever marketing ploy on the college’s part at a time when there is no shortage of college goers.

NUI R.I.P.

The National University of Ireland (NUI) body was founded in 1845, under the auspices of ‘Queen’s College’. Its original name demonstrates how far the organisation, and this country, has come. Ireland was in dire straits in 1845. It was facing its biggest ever humanitarian crisis in the form of the Great Famine and was still struggling under a dominant and repressive English rule. Fast forward 155 years later and the political, social and economic landscape of this country have changed dramatically. While today we face tough and uncertain times, our situation is no where near as bad as when our first university body was set up in 1845. The national economy is flailing but record numbers are taking up places in higher education institutions. Ireland is moving away from manufacturing and production to a highly educated professional workforce. There is some foreboding in the fact that members of the NUI were only notified of its disbandment the morning on the day that the rest of the country found out. Surely some discussion beforehand would have soothed the worried reactions that such an immediate action is bound to cause. If we are to sustain our economy for years to come we must safeguard our higher education institutions. It is too early to say whether the dissolution of NUI will be a good or bad move. The government have a duty to work to ensure that the transition to a new system is as smooth and pain-free as possible.

Sex on tap?

The highly patronising, holier than thou tone of Alison O’Riordan’s recent article in the Sunday Independent is almost enough to make someone consider taking a vow of celibacy just to prove her wrong. The piece reeked of pseudo moral outrage and mock horror at the fact that some students have casual sex. There is a point to be made. Some students have casual sexual encounters without regard for their health or physical safety. Young women and men have been subjected to a culture that is increasingly sexualised, which gives them skewed perspectives of what sex should be. However O’Riordan is completely wrong in her assertion that all female students, particularly in Dublin, are promiscuous and only searching for casual sex. You cannot slap a negative label on a whole generation of young women on the throwaway statements of a few. The suggestion that charging for oral sex is common practise is disgusting and irresponsible. The article perpetuates an awful stereotype and further makes impressionable students believe that this kind of behaviour is normal. The Sindo should be ashamed.

Letters

Dear Editors, I am writing in relation to an article, which was printed in the other campus newspaper, The Observer. The article in question related to mature students and their social role within the University. It seemed apparent however to anyone who would undertake even a quick scan of the afore mentioned article that The Observer, far from living up to its name, has decided to fabricate issues for the sake of print space. I am confident in this bold assumption, because any true observation of the situation would show, that mature students are in no way isolated from the rest of the student body. I myself as an undergraduate have never had a moment’s hesitation in talking to mature students. In fact when I posed the question to a number of people, I found that students on the whole have no qualms with mature students in particular. There are, I admit, many differences be-

tween the average undergraduate and the mature student. However, I believe these differences are natural and often beneficial to both parties. In relation to socializing, it is to be taken for granted that many mature students would feel somewhat uneasy about a night on the town with some of their younger contemporaries. The same however could be said of students who don’t drink or who might not particularly enjoy the club scene that’s often part of such nights. The fact is that UCD is a college made up of thousands of students of all ages, everyone bringing something different to the atmosphere of the university. To single out mature students, as being so wildly different from the rest of us is ludicrous. Embracing the diversity would seem a more mature option than pointing out what’s so different. Name and address with the editor

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Inside

It’s Satire Stupid!

o t O N Say drugs Kids

Study proves abortion brings out the inner child Recent findings reveal 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot Ulster says HO Cold wave linked to temperatures Jedward fans are firmly behind the boys Study shows death is hereditary Funny cattle are laughing stock Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers

Social study reveals behavioral issues Our survey says . . . In the aftermath of Black Monday it is suggested that UCD students from different faculties may not only differ on an academic level but perhaps also biologically. UCD College of Life Sciences have based the hypothesis on the vastly varying effects that Black Monday’s traditional unnecessarily excessive amounts of alcohol has had on students from across the University’s Schools. This study could confirm and explain the stereotypes that have existed here for some time. Students from different faculties were observed on Black Monday by researchers disguised as various pieces of nightclub decor. Faculties with the most divergence form the norm were The Quinn School, The School of Agriculture and The School of Computer Science. As more alcohol was consumed, Quinn School students became more loud and obnoxious - though it was concluded mostly bark and less bite. The male Quinn Schooler’s egos made promises their bodies just could not keep and females were oblivious

to any wardrobe malfunctions. Homosexual tendencies came to the surface among both sexes with much female hand holding and close dancing and male hugging and ass grabbing. Unfortunately, the study of Agricultural Science students had to be abandoned due to researchers fearing for their lives. It was observed however, that male students became aggressive and rough - uprooting trees on campus, fighting, and rioting on the dance floor to the sound of the Sawdoctors. The morning after, one student was spotted sporting a lampshade. No Computer Science students were out socialising on Black Monday. The elusive students are suspected to have been having a gaming night where they gather in a dark room and pretend to be wizards. There is great excitement about the next stage and even David McWilliams has expressed his interest. We at The Turbine plan to keep a close watch on events.

UCD sex trade in inflation shocker Check your closet and gird your loins, boys! There’s a pack of shewolves on the prowl in UCD and they’re not in disguise. There was uproar last week when one Sunday paper shockingly revealed that “students have SEX!” The astute journalist in question exposed the seedy (pun intended) truth that UCD students were charging €5 for a blow job. A fiver represents a steep rise, not only in nether regions, but in inflation also. It appears that UCD’s females have learned to hike up things other than their skirts. Just over a year ago it was reported that female students would get on their knees for

a single cigarette. Now it seems these students have taken lesson in selfworth... and upped their charge. An engineering student who spoke to the Turbine expressed his utter devastation. “Everyone knows that paying for it is the only way engineering students will ever get laid.” Another Ag Science student lamented: “How will I keep my willy warm in winter now? And all the sheep so far away at home!” All is not lost, Business and Legal student Saoirse Hardman believes that she can use her education to her advantage. “This is really is outrageous and shameful... girls could get so much more than a €5 for a blow job.

If a guy is really desperate, I could get like €20 a pop. Although, make it €50 for an engineering student.” A UCD spokesperson said that the university is “seriously considering incorporating this into our new “sex-terisation” project. It will involve modules such as ‘Credits for Casual Sex’, ‘Bonuses for Blow Jobs’ and a new extra-testicular activities scheme. “We’re even considering inviting Iris Robinson to lecture a module called ‘She-Cougar: Older Women and Younger Men.’ We think she will be particularly enticed by the many fine young gentlemen that hang around the toilets in the Arts block.”


Sport

College Tribune January 26th 2010

17

the college tribune

Sport

The College Tribune 26.1.10 ucd.ie/tribune/sport

Super League It’s football… but not as we know it College is back, so is Superleague, and at half time so too is the cold weather that chills the stood at 3-2 nether regions of sports writers who to our itchy have favoured fashionable above prac- friends. tical clothing. Sundays 2:00pm fixture At this point it would seem imporbetween Scratch Arse and Just Jeff was tant to address the caretakers of Astro a dogged, hard fought out battle, ending 1. Note the lack of a net on half of the ultimately in a five all draw. pitch, means the ball goes over the cage, Scratch Arse were under pressure from which in turn means certain reporters the outset, struggling to get men on their have to fetch it, three times. This, for side as they began with just nine men a smoker, causes many issues and thus against the formidable eleven of Just Jeff. ought to be addressed as soon as posThis was presumably due the ineffective sible. Thank you. nature of the anti-itch cream prescribed Anyway, the second half saw Just Jeff to the team. return with vengeance. They thundered Just Jeff opened the scoring after thirteen through the pitch, scoring the opening minutes, when Tim Connolly landed the goal of the half, followed soon after by ball in the back of the net after some ex- another. Both teams fought through the cellent play from his teammates, proving second half in a relentless succession of that Just Jeff were simply, just great. goals, which ended in a draw. Scratch Arse got their first score just three Another great day for the Superleague, minutes later when Eoin Lynagh planted you’d wonder why more people don’t the ball following some extraordinary, or- come watch the games? Though I do ganized play from his team. Scratch Arse think I may have seen Iris Robinson followed this goal with two more in quick lurking in the bushes, obviously looksuccession. ing for a young man who can handle his They seemed to be itching for a win, not balls with skill. 12:43 Page 1 BNAG COLLEGE TRIBUNE AD:Layout 1 07/09/2009 allowing Just Jeffs early numerical superiority get the better of them. The score James Grannell

Down the Line After another successful rugby weekend gone-by, Ben McCormack reviews the action and talks Six Nations. Two Irish teams have home Heineken Cup quarter-finals and pundits are touting them as Paris bound, that is apart from Hook and Jones. Hook believes this because he is too proud, while the other has the knowledge of a coffee bean. But what if they are right? Munster and Leinster have had relatively easy passages through the pools thanks to encounters against sub-par French teams. However, the struggle to overcome ‘weak’ teams from the English Premiership is a massive headache for Munster who must face Northampton once more. The leading French teams have also shown a clear desire to reach the Stade de France on May 22nd. Toulouse strolled through their pool, while Stade Francais are another threat to Irish hopes. Clermont Auvergne though appear to be the in-form French side, and as Leinster’s

next opponents, they will come to Dublin very confident. Big performances from Leinster’s young players, including UCD’s Kevin McLaughlin, will be required to reach the semi-finals. Last weekend’s pool games will leave Declan Kidney with a lot to ponder, the debate over Sexton or O’Gara will continue as both were excellent and average in equal measure. Ulster’s 28-10 away to Bath pushed Andrew Trimble, Isaac Boss, and Chris Henry into the Irish spotlight, while Connaught’s form in the Amlin Cup must not go ignored, Seán Cronin could be in with a shout of some Six Nations action. Finally, we finish on a reflective note for London Irish who exited the Heineken Cup painfully. Place kicker Chris Malone failed to take his chances, particularly the one afforded to him by Rob Kearney at the end. They have no one else blame but themselves. Still waiting for the invitation to the big dance, you’ll have to wait another year to be successful ‘Irish’ team boys.

Bord na Gaeilge UCD www.ucd.ie/bnag

Tuilleadh olais/ Further De etails: Clár Ní Bhuach alla, O

ifigeach Gaeilg e, Bord na Gaeilge UCD, Guthán: 01-716 -8208 Ríomhphost: ra nganna.gaeilge@ ucd.ie


18

Sport

College Tribune January 26th 2010

Taking another swing at it

With the Ryder Cup approaching, Paul McGinley talks to Colman Hanley about his Celtic Manor hopes and the success of Irish golf “After seventeen years on the tour, it’s been my poorest year ever.” As he admitted himself, 2009 was not the most successful year for Paul McGinley. He was one of the few Irish golfers to achieve no individual success last year, his best finish only being tied eighth in the Volvo China Open. McGinley admits that his form last year was puzzling. “I’m still sort of unravelling as to why I had such a poor year. As golfers, ninety percent of our money is gained in by finishing high in a tournament. What was really unique about me, I didn’t have any big finishes and when you don’t have any big finishes you know it turns into a poor year very quickly.” “Normally you always record a first, a second or a third place finish, two or three times a year, that is what boosts up your ranking points. Unfortunately, I didn’t earn any big cheques or any big points and that is why I struggled. I didn’t have any peaks and the peaks are what determine your year.” The one major positive for McGinley though, was his success in captaining the Great Britain and Ireland team to success in the Vivendi Cup. “It certainly was the highlight of the year for me. It was just disappointing that the highlight was me not actually playing, it was captaining. Having said that, I got a very big buzz from being captain and I really enjoyed it.” The Vivendi Cup proved the general opinion of many that McGinley will make a fantastic Ryder Cup captain in the future. McGinley admits he took to the role well, but maintained that he hoped that any future in this year’s Ryder Cup would be as a player, not the assistant captain role for Colin Montgomerie that he is tipped for in Celtic Manor. “Well, I’m not assistant captain, that is going to be discussed when the campaign

Sorenson Shows Irish Tennis Louks Good

is over because I still have intentions of making that team. The Vivendi was the first time I was ever made captain, I didn’t know what kind of captain I would be.” “I had very strong views on teams that had been involved in the past, why they were successful, and why they were not. A lot of things came very natural to me, the management and the plan that I had in place was quite natural because I have experience from the past.” Rory McIlroy was one of the players to praise McGinley for his leadership role, and the Dublin born golfer was keen to repay the compliment to the Hollywood born golfer. “I thought Rory deserved to win the Order of Merit as he was the outstanding player in Europe last year.” But in spite of McIlroy getting the main attention, it was an ex-UCD scholar that gained McGinley’s highest praise, “For me, Shane Lowry winning the Irish open,

as an amateur, was the performance of the year.” After an operation over the Christmas on his knee, McGinley is hopeful that his fortunes will improve in 2010. “I had been carrying that injury for a while, it was the sixth operation on my knee, a legacy of my GAA career.” He exclaims. “I wasn’t able to play injury free for the second half of the season anyway this year for me, but even so I was very embarrassed and disappointed about the year I had and I’m very keen to put that right this year, and hopefully I’ll go on to have a better year.” With at least the assistant captain job to Colin Montgomerie appearing to be assured for McGinley, 2010 looks set to be eventful for the Dubliner. You would be foolish to count him out of making the Ryder Cup team yet.

RTÉ Tennis reporter and author of Ireland’s Olympians Niall O’Flynn talks to Eoghan Brophy about the future of Irish tennis Last week, 25 year old Irishman Louk Sorenson, became known to the wider population by qualifying for the Australian open. He then became the first ever Irish player to reach the second round of a Grandslam after defeating Thai player, Yen-Hsun Lu. While not known to the wider tennis audience, RTÉ’s Niall O’Flynn claims his talent was evident to those ‘in the know’. “For the best part of three decades, Irish Tennis has done nothing on the international scene but has been relatively successful in the Davis Cup,” according to RTE reporter Niall O’Flynn. “In the last couple of years Ireland has recorded significant wins over Egypt and Morocco. Both nations were tough opponents, but Louk Sorenson was the key ingredient in both of those Irish wins. He’s a very good player, currently ranked 287 in the world, and that is now set to rise.” And while Sorenson’s success has captured the headlines, O’Flynn reminds us that we can’t forget Sorenson’s Davis Cup teammate, Limerick’s Conor Niland. “He was extremely unlucky not to qualify. Having progressed to the final qualifying round match, he won the first set 6-1 and held a 4-3 lead with break of

serve in the second set against Brazilian Ricardo Hocevar. We almost had the extraordinary situation of having two Irishmen in the opening round.” Despite the exits of Sorenson and Niland, the Irish interest is not finished in Australia. O’Flynn mentions some of the future stars. “John Morrissey and Sam Barry will compete in the boy’s event, while Amy Bowtell will take part in the girls’ competition.” “I predict we won’t have to wait 25 years for another player to win a grand slam match. The current generation of ten to fifteen year olds will be better than anything we’ve seen before. The system is better than it has ever been.” And the system is what’s most important. We all know names like John Joe Nevin, Kenny Egan and the late Darren Sutherland, all came from the High performance centre for Boxing. Tennis is following in the same lines with the national academy in DCU. O’Flynn has researched the Irish Olympic success with his book Ireland’s Olympians and stresses the importance of systems. “It’s money in medals out; players in successful players out. You need lots and lots of very good players and you need the right system. You need to follow the Irish boxing high performance system.”

Breaking into the ranks in tennis has to be done at a young age, but O’Flynn believes it can be done in Ireland. “I don’t think you have to leave Ireland to achieve success, but you do have to be part of a good training group.” “I’d be very surprised if more than 10% of the top Irish players come from anywhere other than the national academy. In many cases the national academy means residential. Players at the age of ten have been sleeping there and some of the younger ones hit the courts at seven in the morning.” Ireland has been there before. Louk Sorenson’s father, Sean, and Matt Doyle lead Ireland into the top 12 nations in the world. But with Sorenson’s success in Australia and the young talent coming through, O’Flynn is confident that Irish tennis can make a name for itself again. “We will have individual players who will do quite well. Ireland play Turkey in the Davis Cup in March and I expect a large crowd at that one, the likes we’ve never seen before.” Sorenson and Niland will be back representing Ireland at that stage. There homecoming after the individual success will give a great boost to tennis population in Ireland.


Sport

College Tribune January 26th 2010

UCD Football Freshers reach final, hurlers suffer defeat

Last week saw UCD men’s freshers side achieve great success in Gaelic football as they reached the final of the All Ireland Cup following their victory over NUIG by 1-14 to 0-12 in Saint Lomans Park, Mullingar. Sadly, their hurling counterparts fell at the semi-final stage to University Limerick (UL). The footballers start to the match provided a crucial factor in the game as they took a 1-2 to 0-0 lead in the opening ten minutes, David Larkin scoring a goal and a point, and Niall Kilroy adding a further score. However NUIG soon started to comeback, but In an important week for UCD’s despite their domination of the rest of the first half, they failed to freshers, Colman Hanley talks to capitalise on their chances. UCD GAA Executive Dave Billings UCD’s performance level imabout ucd’s up and coming talent proved in the second half, but they still made errors in possession of the ball. But strong performances in midfield from John Heslin, topscorer David Larkin in the forwards and Alan Carr in the backs eventually steadied things for UCD. In the end, they ran out to win by a five point margin. For UCD’s GAA representative Dave Billings, both teams have shown great potential and Photograph by Barry Henessey achieved quite a lot already. Niall Kilroy, one of UCD freshers leading scorers, evades his man “They played very well, especially as NUIG are a very good side. weeks too. First year is very im- a team which contains several of will be for further success. UCD Freshers Footballers vs It was our first competitive game portant here in the college, we put the Armagh squad that won the Elsewhere, UCD senior foot- NUIG: R Farrell, A Carr, C Lenesince the quarter-final win over in a lot of resources into Gaelic All-Ireland Minor competition ballers were cruelly beaten by han, M Furlong, A McAnespie, C Queens about two months. The football, hurling, camogie, and all last year. With no date set for the DIT in the O’Byrne cup shield Dias, C Carty (S Nerney), J Hesteam is going great and coaches our games, just so that everyone final yet, the fresher footballer’s by just one point last Friday. lin, M O’Regan (B Hanamy), M Billy Sheehan and Stephen Galla- can get out playing and under- next fixture looks set to be their The match, which saw both Brazil (P O’Hara), E Tiernan (C gher are putting in a huge effort.” stand the ethos of the college.” championship clash against UCC side choose experimental sides, Bolton), D Larkin, N Kilroy, L “The hurlers were unfortunately With these resources put into in Cork on Thursday 28th of Jan- served as preparation for UCD’s Smith, D Kingston. well beaten by UL, but they can Gaelic games, it comes as a wel- uary. Their hurling counterparts Sigerson cup clash vs DCU. That Scorers: D Larkin 1-4, Kingston be proud of the effort they put in, come reward that the footballers will also begin their champion- is scheduled to take place on the 0-6, J Heslin 0-2, N Kilroy 0-2 especially as they were at a dis- have reached the final where they ship campaign in two weeks time, third of February. advantage having not played for will now face UUJ in a few weeks, so expectations for both squads

Cup Joy and Heartbreak for UCD Basketball After a busy start to the year, UCD Marian’s, Conor Meany talk’s to Mark Hobbs about the club’s National Cup progress

There were contrasting fortunes for UCD Marian basketball club Senior’s and Under 20’s in their National Cup semi-finals. The 20’s faced Belfast Star in a low scoring, tight affair, eventually winning 47-42 at the Neptune basketball club. Reigning champions UCD eventually overcame a slow start that saw them fall 8 points behind, displaying an impenetrable defence and a spirited team effort. Conor Meany was quick to praise the resilience of the team. Peter Herron’s impact was singled out as being pivotal having scored two three pointers once sprung from the bench. The result enhances the students’ already enviable record, reaching their fourth consecutive final at this age level. Marian are no strangers to their upcoming opponents in the final, as they will face Maree in a rematch of last year’s final, a game they won 57-56. Coach Niall Meany was unable to hide his pride at the achievement, saying “We’re delighted to be back in the final. It’s a testament to the hard work the lads have been putting in and a great show of character particularly against Star in the semi final.” Marian’s seniors however proved not so fortunate when they faced Killester, going down to a disappointing 72-53 defeat. Experience told in the end, and the UCD side with an average of just 21

could not quite mount a serious challenge. Meany was straightforward in his appraisal of the teams performance; “They did a good job of taking us out of our comfort zone and we didn’t execute like we should have offensively as a result and never got a good run going throughout the game.” Killester’s defence was organised and tough and they restricted the students in their scoring opportunities, while Jermaine Turner made life difficult in attack for the eventual victors. It was not all doom and gloom though in the UCD camp, Meany pointed to the performance of nineteen year old Daniel James, as a sign of the potential and talent that the team possesses, and ascertained that success is not too far away for the side. When questioned on whether he felt the disappointment would affect the team’s league ambitions he replied, “I don’t think so, we would hope that getting to the cup semi and seeing the atmosphere and the big games will help us focus on our challenge of making the playoffs and getting to another situation like that.” So while the senior team’s National Cup hopes are extinguished for the year, much is left to play for in the Super League and the exploits of the young talent at the club bodes well for an exciting and successful future.

19

Colman Hanley’s Sportsbag Good start to 2010 for UCD Cycling The opening round of the 2010 Irish Winter League in Bree, Co Wexford saw three UCD Cycling Club riders participating. Last year’s club scholarship student, Rory Beirne, was joined by newcomers Ashley Hemmingway and Colin Keogh, all competed in the Senior category. Bobby St Ledger, from the Cork club 021 Racing claimed the victory in a time of 1 minute 48.870 seconds. Colin O’Leary (Wolf Sport) was the runner up with a time of 1:50.048. UCD’s Ashley Hemmingway finished third in a time of 1:50.107. Seasoned UCD riders Rory Beirne finished 7th in a time of 1:55.067 while Colin Keogh was 11th in 1 time of 2:00.355. All three UCD riders are looking forward to another strong showing in Round 2 which takes place on the weekend of 30/31st January in Cloon Wood, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. Meanwhile UCD mountainbiking Sports Scholarship student, Cait Elliott, will start as favourites to retain her Intervarsity Cyclocross title when the championship takes place in St Anne’s Park in Dublin on the 7th of February. The event will be staged as part of the National Senior Cross Country Championships and reigning National Cross Country and National Marathon XC Champion will be hoping to add to the national titles she has already won while competing for UCD. The road season kicks off at the end of February.

UCD Women set for Futsal Finals Preparations are underway for UCD’s women’s soccer team and their trip to Galway this weekend. After wins in qualifying over DCU, DIT and Blanchardstown IT, they will be competing in the indoor futsal finals tournament against some of the other top Irish colleges. UCD will be looking to players Louise Quinn and Geraldine Buttle to repeat their goalscoring form in qualifying reclaim the title they won two years ago when the tournament too place at Sligo IT. Elsewhere, the women’s B team is set to clash with Trinity away on Thursday, while the men’s travel to Cork to play UCC on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the Colleges and Universities competition.


Par for the course

After the open

Paul McGinley speaks to the College Tribune

The future of Irish tennis

Report Page 18

Interview Page 18

the college tribune

Sport

The College Tribune 26.1.10 ucd.ie/tribune/sport

Harlequins 18 UCD 6 Photography by Ian Mulholland

UCD coast to victory over Antrim Colman Hanley Belfield UCD 4- 21 Antrim 3- 10

UCD continued their preparations for the 2010 Fitzgibbon Cup with a convincing win over Antrim, an eleven point haul from Captain Maurice Nolan being the stand-out performance for the students. The win was UCD’s second win in a week, having beaten UCC in the league semi-final on the Wednesday prior to the Walsh Cup clash with the Glensmen. UCD started the game on top, Liam Ryan netting in the first minute after notching onto a long

free into the square. However despite UCD’s early domination on the game, they were pegged back to just one point on eighteen minutes when Aaron Hamill netted for Antrim after a long ball into the forward line by half-back Barry McGill. However this was the closest Antrim would get to the students, as UCD registered 2-4 in the final seven minutes of the first half, the goals coming from full forwards Ciarán Lyng and Peter Atkinson. PJ O’Connell managed to capitalise on further UCD problems under the high ball when he netted, but nevertheless, UCD still enjoyed a healthy 3-10 to 3-4 lead at half-time. On the resumption, Antrim attempted to stage a fightback by registering two quick points. However UCD soon quenched any hopes of a comeback by scoring four points in a row, three from skipper Nolan. Atkinson got his second goal of the game soon af-

ter, receiving the ball in the right corner, running infield and lashing the ball past Antrim keeper Ryan McGarry. The game ended in a stroll for UCD as David O’Connor (2), Ryan (2), Nolan (3) and Atkinson added further points to the students’ tally, and seeing them run out as easy fourteen point winners. After the game, UCD coach Willy Cleary expressed his happiness about the result. “We had two games this week, and two wins vs UCC and Antrim, so I’m happy enough with that. The backs were dodgy at times today, but they improved as the game went on. But then the game got a bit messy as we were ahead by so much, but sure these things happen.” “We’ve been back training since the third of January, we’ve won these two games, but to be honest, the fourth of February and the first Fitzgibbon Cup game vs DIT is the day we’re waiting for.” David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan, who was involved in

Dublin hurlers senior victory over Antrim in Croke Park during last summer’s Championship, echoed the sentiments of his coach. “It was a good start to the Walsh Cup today, and with the win against UCC midweek, it’s all good preparation for the Fitzgibbon Cup”. Dotsy agreed that the next round of the Walsh Cup against Wexford this weekend coming would be further welcome preparation, though he admitted he hoped to pick up some silverware in tonight’s (Tuesday) league final against University of Limerick. UCD: M O’Sullivan, E O’Shea, S Cummins, Ó Gough, D Lyng, D Kenny, D Langton, J Boland, N Pendargast, D O’Connor, M Nolan (c), L Ryan, D O’Callaghan, P Atkinson, C Lyng. Scorers: Nolan 0-11, Atkinson 2-2, Ryan 1-2, C Lyng 1-2, O’Connor 0-3, Boland 0-1.

Philips Arena, Deramore Park By Colman Hanley UCD suffered a disappointing defeat in Belfast having started so promisingly. 22 minutes into the game, UCD took a 3-0 lead, outhalf Niall Earls kicked a penalty. Four minutes later, Earls extended UCD’s lead to 6-0 when he dropped a goal. However, UCD were dealt a major blow when Harlequins opened their account after a fantastic individual try from Michael Allen. Richard Reaney made the conversion to give Harlequins a 7-6 halftime lead. Harlequins superiority continued into the second half as on 51 minutes, Roger Kirkwood sprint up the left wing led to Quins second try. Quins failed to score the conversion, leaving the score at 12-6. The game remained in the balance until the last quarter, Michael Heaney registering two late penalties on 68 and 75 to deny UCD a losing bonus point. UCD remain in seventh place in Division two, 22 points off leaders Lansdowne, but only eight points off second place DLSP.

The College Tribune Vol 23 Iss 7  

The College Tribune Volume 23 Issue 7 26th January 2010

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