NUACHTÁN SAOR IN AISCE VOL.19 Issue 10. 06 MAR 2018
Student Independent News
SU President lives Elections set to take place off direct provision on Thursday budget for one week 8 March By Martha Brennan Following the lead of his DCU counterpart, current NUI Galway Students’ Union President Lorcan Ó Maoileannaigh spent one week living on the meager allowance given to those in direct provision last month. He finished with just €4.20 in his pocket. He quickly learned how hard it is to try to live on just €21.60 for a week and tweeted about his experience online throughout the seven days. The SU president wanted to show how limiting such a restrictive allowance is for people in direct provision and did the exercise as part of NUI Galway’s Equality Week. “I thought it was really important to use my platform to get the message out there,” Ó Maoileannaigh told SIN. “Too often people live in their own bubble which makes it near impossible to empathize with unfamiliar situations, so I wanted to experience living like this first hand.”
By Sorcha O’Connor
The SU president said it was near impossible to do anything social or extra-curricular and that even though people in direct provision receive their meals, the allowance doesn’t take into account countless daily-life occurrences. He tweeted early on in the week that when he came down with a head cold he couldn’t afford to purchase Nurofen in the pharmacy because it would cost him 16% of his weekly spending money. “You can’t even afford to get sick,” he tweeted. Ó Maoileannaigh also struggled when he needed to make a trip to Dublin- the cost of one return ticket was nearly two euro over his whole weekly budget. “Travel was the biggest struggle,” he said. “If someone in direct provision here in Galway wants to go to Dublin to the Irish Refugee Council they have to save up. They can apply for expenses afterwards with proof of purpose of the trip but this is still a relatively arbitrary process”. In all, more than 4,300 people, including 1,600 children, are in direct provision in Ireland and
Protests against Direct Provision held in Dublin.
are living off of the minimal allowance across the state’s 34 accommodation centers. For those who need weekly prescriptions or need to pay for children’s school books and activities the money doesn’t go far. By the time simple household products, such as washing powder, are bought another dent has been made in the budget. The Irish Refugee Council and the Free Legal Aid Centre have called for the payment to be increased but the cries have so far fallen upon deaf ears. Students’ Unions across Ireland’s universities have been coming together in protest against the contentious scheme and Ó Maoileannaigh president is hoping that by stepping into the asylum seekers shoes like this, we can try to understand a little better just how much these people are struggling. “Doing something like this brings an element of realism to the current situation in direct provision centers in Ireland,” he said. “But I know that a one-week experience living off the allowance is only the tip of the iceberg”.
Current Students’ Union president Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh has urged students to get out and vote this Thursday. Students will be asked to elect a new president and two new vice presidents. The role of Welfare Officer has been changed to Welfare and Equality Officer after a referendum held in early February. Ó Maoileannaigh reminded students that the vote is vital for ensuring you are represented by the person you think best to take a stand for you on university and national matters. “The SU elections are extremely important as you are deciding on who is going to represent you at a university and national scale. Those elected next year will negotiate with the university in relation to support services, capital projects and fees,” he said. He explained that the work of the elected officers does not just take place on campus as they approach local politicians and other elected officials to effect change for the student body and society as a whole. “Your officers meet TDs, Councillors and other elected officials and ensure that the student voice is heard at all levels of society. Our constitution reads that the Students’ Union is there ‘to promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society’,” he said. “It’s important that you have your say in who represents you!” Candidates for president are John Molony, Ashwin Ravichandran, Megan Reilly, and Fiachra Mac Suibhne. Georgia Feeney, Clare Austick, Aisling Fallon, and Colman O’Connell are running for the position of Welfare and Equality officer, while Louis Courtney, Stephanie Koennecker and Cian O’Shaughnessy are running for Education Officer. Their campaigns kicked off on Sunday night and will carry on through until this Thursday when students can take to the polls from 9am on Thursday morning. Results will be counted on Friday with the winners of the election announced later that day.
2 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
“The frequency of microplastics was one of the highest that has ever been found.”3 Participants wanted for NUI Galway chronic health study4 Relay for Life returns to NUI Galway 5 Feminism isn’t a VIP club6 LINKEDIN 101: the student guide6 STUDENTS' UNION ELECTION SPECIAL 7 Candidates for Students' Union President 8–10 Candidates for Vice President: Education Officer 11–12 Candidates for Vice President: Welfare Officer 13–14
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
Welcome to the Election Special of SIN! We didn’t let Storm Emma or any Beast from the East stop us in our tracks, so as well as all our usual student and campus news updates, fiery opinions, fashionforward advice, star-studded stories, and a superb sporting roundup, we caught up with all the candidates for the upcoming Students’ Union election this Thursday 8 March. You can find our election pull-out with all their Q&A interviews with us and make up your mind who deserves your vote. Aine Kenny also spoke with Dr Steve Conlon who has researched the student movement extensively, and outlined the progress young student politicians have effected countrywide – an interesting read to say the least!
Meanwhile, Martha Brennan talked to current Students’ Union President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh to learn more about his week living on the budget of someone living in Direct Provision. His money didn’t stretch far and he was left with just €4.20 in his pocket by week’s end. He explained to Martha just how difficult the challenge was and how he hoped his experience could highlight the issue further. Elsewhere, Claire VanValkenburg is not only back with her column Clarifications, but she also covered the shocking finding that 73pc of Atlantic fish had digested micro-plastics. Find out more on the next page. Mark Laherty spoke with Niall Ó Tuathail who had a fitting message for students with the week that is in it. He believes that students’ political voice is one that can really make a difference, although they may not realise it. This issue we also take a look at the Times Up movement, we address Mary Lou’s Tiocfaidh Ár Lá faux pas, and have a say on the importance of treating your body as the temple it is. There’s also so many interviews with NUI Galway talent, be they sports stars or music maestros – it’s an edition of SIN with something for everyone. Hope you enjoy, Until next time,
Black gowns are a vital piece of the Times Up jigsaw
NET NEUTRALITY AND THE FCC: a disaster in the making
FEATURES EDITORIAL: CONNELL MCHUGH
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL: MICHAEL GLYNN
Time to say goodbye to coconut oil?
HOW TO STYLE: The Crop Jumper
Visiting Paris on a student’s budget
The best brunch spots in Galway
SIN meets NUI Galway student, actor and playwright Cathal Ryan
The semester is really flying by and we are on week eight already. This fortnight we have a jampacked Features section again this fortnight. Clarifications is back with her take on feminism. Mark Laherty caught up with Niall Ó Tuathail of the Soc Dems, and we also hear about the effects of microplastics on the marine life off our coastline. This week we also have a special features pull-out for the student elections. Be sure to check it out and ensure you are well informed ahead of the elections. If you are interested in getting involved in writing a news or features piece get in touch on Facebook or email email@example.com.
REVIVING THE DEAD: the issues with celebrity holograms and CGI
No filter is enough to hide ugly Snapchat update
All-Ireland club finals day preview
Hey there lovely readers, we have got a fantastic issue of SIN ready for you once again, and boy is it a good one! Starting off in the Arts and Entertainment Section we have an interview with Performing Arts student Cathal Ryan about his Theatre Week play written and directed by him, Dead Set. Following that we have an interview with former Arts student Tom Freeman, member of NUI Galway band Conman and local Galway band The Clockworks, read in to find out about the man. A thought provoking piece follows all this with an article on the usage of holograms and CGI to “resurrect” dead celebrities, is it right? Radio fans out there will be excited about the next offering which looks into the growing popularity of podcasts and what this means for the future of radio. And to cap it all off we have a review of the latest Marvel smash – hit, Black Panther.
NUI Galway athlete photo-call shows “diversity in our University”, says athletic director
Russian curler fails drug test to be stripped of bronze Olympic medal
“Train through it” mentality leads to long-term injury, says Galway physio
EDITOR: Sorcha O’Connor firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves
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Find us online: www.sin.ie
OPINION EDITORIAL: TEODORA BANDUT Welcome to Issue Ten! There is a lot going on around campus this week with the Student Elections – be sure you voice your opinion… Sorry, I had to. This issue Martha Brennan tackles the issue of the black gowns worn on the red carpet this award season, have they made a difference to anyone? Gary Elbert also talks about the importance of remaining active to help you be the best you you can be. There is plenty more for you to enjoy, so grab a cuppa and test your views. If you are interested in writing an opinion piece or have any strong feelings on any subject, get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE EDITORIAL: AMY McMAHON Spring has sprung and we have yet another great issue of SIN for you. We are focusing on Seachtain na Gaeilge and showing our grá this issue. Make sure to check out Aoife O’Donoghue’s article on what to do in Galway to get your Gaeilge on, not to be missed! Brig Fox is back with her Lost Looks, forever reviving vintage fashion. Miss Fox also gives her two cents on how to style the crop jumper look, essential for this spring in between weather. Tarryn McGuire also talks us through the possible death of the coconut oil fad. A little bit shocking, but fret not as she has alternative products at the ready! Amanda Leeson tells us all how to get your hands on Kim Kardashian West makeup dupes, for as low as €6. So settle down, get comfy and enjoy!
SPORT EDITORIAL: GRAHAM GILLESPIE You wouldn’t know it from the weather but we are now in spring, and we are also already eight weeks into the semester. With student stress levels set to rise as we near exam time, hopefully this issue’s sport section can help you take a break. In this issue we have two interviews as I speak to Irish soccer international and first year student Aislinn Meaney, while Luke Gannon chats to Carna physiotherapist Veronica Lydon. Martha Brennan also spoke to a number of NUI Galway athletes as NUI Galway Sport had a photocall in the quadrangle. Amy McMahon meanwhile updates us on the curious case of the Russian curler who failed a drugs test. Mark O’Connor previews the forthcoming All – Ireland club finals. Finally we have two opinion pieces with Gary Elbert reflecting on the fractious relationship between some of the biggest names in Irish sport and the media, while David Raleigh looks at whether the Champions League has a competitive balance issue. If you want to write for SIN contact sport. email@example.com. Happy Reading.
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March 06 2017
“The frequency of microplastics was one of the highest that has ever been found.” Ocean plastic study leaves us wondering, what now? By Claire VanValkenburg Lorna Shaughnessy didn’t move to Galway just to be a lecturer in the NUI Galway Spanish Department, she fell in love with the rugged Connemara landscape and crisp ocean waves crashing against the Burren. Now, years later, she is concerned about the increasing amount of plastic she sees washed up along the Galway shoreline. “This is such a precious resource,” said Shaughnessy. “We can be fooled into this sense of timelessness and timeless beauty, but it’s not timeless unless we take care of it, unless we value it.” An NUI Galway study published last month found 73 percent of deep sea fish had microplastics in their gut. Researchers used sodium hydroxide to break down the biological material of 233 Northern Atlantic fish and filtered out microplastics that were left behind. “My initial reaction was certainly surprise,” said Hannah Brownlow, an NUI Galway undergraduate in Zoology and Animal Science. “The fish we looked at were caught in a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean, far from any coastal areas and yet the frequency of microplastics was one of the highest that has ever been found.”
According to Alina Wieczorek, lead author of the study and PhD candidate from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, humans don’t eat the fish that were studied, but they can work their way up the food chain and onto our dinner plates. “Common predators of these fish are dolphins, sea birds, tuna and swordfish. We do eat those but so far there hasn’t been many studies on trophic transfer because it’s very hard to carry out these studies, to follow the plastics,” said Wieczorek. For Wieczorek, this study is an opportunity for industries and individuals to become more aware of the harmful effects of plastic. “For us it was very important to stick to the main message that the microplastics are found in such remote areas rather than scaring people without actually being able to prove anything,” she said. “We just did a simple microplastic abundance study, it’s too early to infer too much from that.” Concerned citizens like Shaughnessy are looking for alternative solutions. She said the biggest problem she sees is plastic water bottle use by NUI Galway students. For Shaughnessy, this study is an opportunity for NUI Galway to take the lead in being Ireland’s first plastic water bottle free campus.
An analysis of the color, length and type of microplastics found in deep sea fish. Source: Frontiers in Marine Science journal, Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic.
“It would be wonderful to be the first campus in Ireland that wasn’t selling plastic bottles of water, now that’s a very utopian vision,” Shaughnessy said. “The biggest obstacle immediately is loss of income to retailers and caterers on campus, and I’m very aware of that, but I think we have to at least limit the number of one-use plastic bottles of water.” Among other solutions, she suggested implementing water bottle filling stations that would have a small usage fee. “Surely it’s not rocket science,” she said. Like Wieczorek, Shaughnessy believes our relationship with plastic needs to change. “We’ve become so utterly dependent on plastic, we can’t even imagine our daily life in our own homes without it,” she said. Shaughnessy reminisced about her childhood days going grocery shopping with her mother in Belfast, and remembers the simple ways that bread, eggs, and milk used to be sold. She said we have become accustomed to a packaged lifestyle and that we should go back to “pre-plastic” ways. “Imagine a non-plastic day, it would start immediately,” Shaughnessy said. “What are you going to brush your teeth with? How many of us have a wooden toothbrush? There are wooden toothbrushes out there, but how many of us have them?” According to Shaughnessy, being aware of our plastic use is important, but governmental sanctions will be a vital step to changing our consumptive culture. “It’s not what we do as individuals, or what we achieve that’s going to make a difference, it’s the consciousness reason,” she said. “There has to be individual responsibility but until we have real political commitment we are a drop in the ocean.” Wieczorek said change can happen on both an individual level and a political level. “Consumer choice drives industry. There will be a shift in the industry to target the consumers. If it’s driven from both sides, that’s where you get change.” Brownlow takes an educa-
tional approach. She said that people should be made more aware of the harmful effects of the products they consume. “In terms of where we go from here, I think it is important to look at the source of these microplastics and how we can prevent them from ending up in our oceans. The majority we found were fibers which probably came from synthetic clothing being washed in washing machines. But there is also a concern about microbeads which can be found in certain cosmetics such as face and body washes.” The delicate beauty of Galway Bay is, as Shaughnessy said,
timeless but delicate. While we might be faced with uncertainty in knowing how to approach the problem, the microplastics study is vital to drawing attention to our consumptive culture. “I’m not saying it’s straightforward but we have to start thinking outside the box,” said Shaugnessy. “In the absence of government measures coming down the road can a university at least find some leadership?”
Microscopic images of microplastics found in the gut contents of deep sea fish. Source: Frontiers in Marine Science journal, Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic.
4 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
The bell for Round Two rings as charity boxing returns despite Maynooth withdrawal By Graham Gillespie After last November’s grudge fight night against GMIT, the Students’ Union and the NUI Galway Cancer society have lined up another night of white collar boxing in the Galmont Hotel set to take place on March 16. 24 students will put on the gloves and step into the ring on a night which will raise money for the charities Amach LGBT Galway, Draíocht, Domestic Violence Response Ltd., the Irish Cancer Society and the Simon Community The night will be an all NUI Galway affair with the competing boxers all having no previous experience, although the NUI Galway Muay Thai club will also be staging two fights with more experienced fighters. Maynooth University were initially meant to be involved on the night also, but as co-event
organiser Sean O’Dea mentions they had to pull out. “Whatever way the dates were falling with availability in the Galmont there was no night that would suit both colleges really, so Maynooth were like ‘look we don’t want to half commit to it,’” he told SIN. Sean O’Dea was quick to note that it was not difficult to find willing volunteers, as several wannabe pugilists put their names forward; “I literally put up a form on Facebook and 100 and something people threw their names in the hat.” “We chose the fighters proportionally, approximately two thirds of the applications were boys and one third of the applications were girls, so two thirds of the fighters are lads and one third of the fighters are girls,” O’ Dea explained. The fighters are currently being put through their paces by Ough-
terard trainer Stephen Molloy, who has experience training the Irish national team and is the father of Kieran who recently became a senior National Champion. O’Dea described Stephen Molloy as a “serious trainer to have on board”. The boxers will have been training for five weeks doing two sessions of two hours a week by the time March 16 comes around, and the participants’ preparations are said to be going smoothly so far. “You would be surprised, people come along very quickly. It takes a while for things to click, but by week four or five everything starts clicking into place and you can really see huge improvement,” commented O’Dea. O’Dea will be hoping to build upon last semesters fight night against cross city rivals GMIT, which he thought went pretty well. “It was definitely different like, coordinating it was a bit
more difficult with the two colleges, but I think overall it was a success,” he said. However, he still believes there are ways they can improve the event this time, with him referring to how the timing of the night is particularly important. “It was week 12 last semester, so the timing wasn’t great, but you
learn from these things. People were in exam mode so they were a bit cautious to cut into their study time.” O’Dea finished by saying; “everyone really enjoyed the experience last time though so I don’t think there was any regrets thankfully”. The NUI Galway Charity Fight Night will take place at
8pm on March 16, and tickets can be bought from the NUI Galway Students Union office for €15 for students, and €25 for non – students. All proceeds will go to Amach LGBT Galway, Draíocht, Domestic Violence Response Ltd., the Irish Cancer Society and the Simon Community.
Participants wanted for NUI Galway chronic health study By Áine Kenny The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is launching a new research study involving people with chronic pain and at least one other long-term condition. The new treatment programme will be online-based, and is supported by Health Research Board. This study was designed by expert psychologists and physiotherapists. The aim of this study is to help people who are managing multiple chronic health conditions at once. This new study will involve an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial and eight online sessions. The online sessions can be completed in the participant’s own home. The study is open to people all over Ireland, and will take place in the coming months. GPs and other health professionals around the country are being asked to refer suitable people to the study. Having multiple chronic conditions is known as multi-morbidity. According to NUI Galway, research has shown that having multimorbidity is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in physical and mental functioning, a decreased quality of life, and a greater risk of mortality. This new ACT trial will be based on the emerging clinical science that mindfulness and psychological wellbeing can help manage chronic health conditions and multi-morbidity. The free ACT online sessions will focus on the values and goals that are unique to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity in their daily lives. Mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques will also be used in the online sessions, to
help identify and challenge negative thinking patterns. People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend a clinic or visit NUI Galway at any stage. The study is tailored for people who want to learn effective ways of managing their health conditions. Participants can continue to visit their own physiotherapist and access their usual medical services while taking part in the study. Dr Brian Slattery is the coordinator of this study at the Centre for Pain Research in NUI Galway. He said that psychological therapies are beneficial to people who suffer from chronic conditions, but there is problem with gaining access to such treatments. “In this trial, we will offer an online programme to people all over the country, with any combination of conditions, to try alongside any existing treatments they are already using,” he explained. “Researchers have begun to administer studies online in the hopes of providing accessible, cost-effective, and self-managed treatments to participants,” said Dr Slattery. “Online interventions allow users to access treatment when and where they choose, and allow researchers and healthcare practitioners to reach a larger and more diverse group of people,” he added. Dr Slattery pointed out that this isn’t the first time NUI Galway has carried out online research. “Online studies providing support for people with health conditions are becoming more frequent. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway has studied a number of online programmes similar to this, however, this is the first one focusing on multimorbidity,” he explained. The research coordinator added that the Centre for Pain Research
is currently conducting another online study, concerning teenagers who have arthritis. He said that the number of people suffering from chronic pain is relatively high. “Chronic pain is a highly prevalent condition, with previous research by the Centre for Pain Research estimating the incidence in Ireland at about 35.5% of the adult population.” It is also becoming more common for people to suffer from multiple conditions at once. “Multimorbidity is increasingly becoming an issue facing health services, and is now considered the norm rather than the exception in primary care,” he said. Dr Slattery also claimed that ACT therapy can be quite successful in treating chronic health conditions. “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy promotes psychological flexibility, in this case, the idea of separating yourself from your health and its symptoms, by recognising and accepting negative thoughts and feelings, identifying personal values, and committing to actions which achieve those values,” he explained. “ACT has been studied in relation to a number of chronic conditions, including chronic pain, depression, diabetes, posttraumatic stress, and has shown encouraging results.” Dr Brian McGuire is the study supervisor and also has high hopes for this research. “This is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with multimorbidity,” he said. For further information and suitable patient referrals, please email painresearch@nuigalway. ie and visit: www.nuigalway.ie/ centre-for-pain-research/
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March 06 2017
Niall Ó Tuathail to students: “You are incredibly powerful and you don’t know it” By Mark Laherty Founded by three sitting TDs in July 2015, the Social Democrats had high hopes of a breakthrough in the last general election especially since one of those TDs, Stephen Donnelly, made a splash with his performance in the television debate featuring all seven party leaders in the Dáil. But the party came back with no more than the same three TDs who went into the election. Worse yet, Donnelly left the party in September 2016 and joined Fianna Fáil. However the party has refused to throw in the towel and rejected overtures from Labour to form some sort of alliance in the Dáil. The Social Democrats presently have a small office in Westside next to the Blue Note. The party’s local politician Niall Ó Tuathail says that it was swiftly set up in preparation for what looked to be a Christmas 2017 election. Speaking to SIN, Ó Tuathail outlined the goals of the Social Democrats - investing in the basic public services that everyone needs like housing and education, making sure there’s a strong economy, and having more transparency and less corruption in government. “Ireland is kind of strange. We don’t have a big centre-left party that does those things. Most other European countries do have a big centre-left party and Ireland has never had that. So we’re trying to build that,” he said. Some have concerns that the party hasn’t distinguished itself from other left parties. The Irish Times wrote that the
party “battled to forge a distinct identity for itself in the Dáil in competition with other left-wing parties and an array of Independents.” However Ó Tuathail told SIN the party is firmly focused on their own goals and learning about what the Irish people are looking for from their local TD. “Most of the work is getting out and having one-on-one conversations with people,” he said. “It’s about knocking on someone’s door on a Thursday evening and saying ‘Hey, we’re the Social Democrats. Do you have any questions for us?’” “Obviously, social media is more and more important. It’s a very helpful way for us to get people from kind of knowing about us to actively supporting us. And the traditional media… we’re trying to get our word out through the press as well.” Asked for his one message to the students of NUI Galway, Ó Tuathail said; “You are incredibly powerful and you don’t know it. “Even just making sure you’re registered to vote and getting out and voting, that’s an incredibly powerful thing,” he explained. His aim is to encourage the active engagement of young voters, and show students that politicians will do something for them. “I will never get into this thing of saying ‘Oh, young people don’t vote.’ Anyone who says that to me, I say to them ‘Well, what do you do to inspire them to get out and vote?’ If I’m a 20-year-old student, what’s the difference for me between any of the parties?
“I need to be so good and different and mental. They just do bits and pieces here positive and speak to what you want and and there,” he said. need that it encourages you to get out He said “nothing will change” until and vote.” there is a shift away from the Fianna Fáil/ Ó Tuathail also emphasised the Fine Gael dominance. importance of volunteer work to supÓ Tuathail wants to bring “big ideas port a political party and help them gain that we know work from the Scandinaground on the Irish political landscape. vian countries,” ideas that “we know are He believed students could play an active going to improve people’s lives and make role in this process. sure there’s a bit more fairness and equal“You have no idea how much a volun- ity and can drive forward the economy.” 1 egaP ma 82:01 01/8/61 dxq.dnatSEVILA ALIVEStand.qxd 16/8/10 10:28 am Page 1 teer in a campaign makes a difference. We were 1,500 votes short last time in Galway West here – not very close but not far away from getting elected. Another ten volunteers would have been the difference between winning and losing,” he said. “If your group of friends decide to get involved in an election campaign, you can make the difference between who’s going to win or lose in an election campaign,” he continued. “I ran Stephen Donnely’s election campaign back in 2011 and he won by 30 votes. Literally every single volunteer was the difference between winning or losing.” Ó Tuathail acknowledged that Donnely’s move from the Social Democrats to Fianna Fáil was “difficult”. “It was hard for us as a party. He’s a fantastically talented person and it was a pity to lose him. I don’t know if he believed the party could grow to lead a government. And that’s the difference - I disagree. I don’t think that you can really change Ireland by going into Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. I think the party culture in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is very incre-
He was quick to clarify that he wouldn’t be simply implementing policies from other countries; “You have to do something for the Irish context,” he said. Ó Tuathail’s manner is self-assured and hopeful. Critics may continue to dismiss the Social Democrats as a rudderless ship that has lost its captain but if he builds some more support, it seems possible Ó Tuathail can help to build Ireland’s first successful centre-left party.
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Relay for Life returns to NUI Galway By Graham Gillespie The fourth annual NUI Galway Relay for Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society is set to take place on Thursday March 15. Relay for Life is a 12 hour event that will begin at 6pm on March 15 and end at 6am March 16. At time of writing, the exact location is unconfirmed but the event will take place on the NUI Galway campus. The relay aims to raise cancer awareness and also raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society. NUI Galway Cancer Society are hoping to build on the success of last year’s event which raised €10,000, and the NUI Galway relay has generated over €21,000 since it began in 2015. The event itself involves teams made up of five to 20 people, and one person from each team must be running on the track at all times. Before that however, the relay begins in a very special manner as PRO of NUI Galway Cancer Society Lidia Shafik told SIN.
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“You have the survivors’ lap, where “We have a lot of promotion going on we invite cancer survivors to come and so we are hoping to have an even bigger they start off the whole relay by doing turn out and raise even more money. a lap,” explained Weeh always ot yawlLidia. aG IUN fo tnediserP t yb yhave llaunso namany dedrsponsors. awA Each team will also be doing some- Dunnes [Stores] gave us €500 this year r a l u c i r r u c a r t x e l l a f o t n e m g d e l w o n k c a n i s t n e duts thing to fundraise around the track on and we are still working on getting so .gnirLidia. eetnulov the night. much more,” revealed “They are either doing a bake sale or Lidia also explained how the money they have drinks set up, or some of them raised will be used by the Irish Cancer ot stneduts yawlaG IUN rof ytinutroppo euqinU are really creative like there was a whipped Society. tnelast mtiyear,” mmosaid c yShafik. ratnulov rieht“The rof Irish noitiCancer ngocerSociety eveihdo ca two cream game Shafik continued; “[This year] we main things. The .seimain tinuthing mmoiscthat ot a lot have a lot more games going on. We have of the money is going towards research this big giant Jenga thing coming in and funding in hope of getting a cure. The aunninflatables a eht tacoming detarin, beso lec tsecond nemevthing eihcisa that suothey igitsalso erpprovide A we havelthese we’re going to need a lot of space”. practical support for .cancer ynompatients”. erec Other activities will include competiTo get involved in the 2018 NUI Galtions, film screening and the candle of way Relay for Life, people can contact hope ceremony. Lidia believes that those the NUIG Cancer Society Facebook page thinking of participating will have an or they can sign up using the link on the enjoyable time. Facebook event page. People can also “There will be a lot of fun, a lot of sign up at the SocsBox, or at Smokey’s games, and a lot of laughter,” she said. every Thursday from 11am – 2pm. Work has also been done on the proThe cost is €10 per person with an inimotional side in an effort to improve tial €10 registration fee. Food and a Relay the event. for Life t-shirt are included within the cost.
ta yadot enilno ylppA ei.yawlagiun.ecapsruoy.www
Reward Recognition Celebration Awarded annually by the President of NUI Galway to students in acknowledgment of all extra-curricular volunteering. Unique opportunity for NUI Galway students to achieve recognition for their voluntary commitment to communities. A prestigious achievement celebrated at the annual ceremony.
Apply online today at www.yourspace.nuigalway.ie
6 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
Feminism isn’t a VIP club Many women are told from a very young age to be a certain way, think certain things, and perform certain actions. People who identify as women feel the ramifications that stem from opposing these expected norms. It’s true that someone of any gender who is ‘different’ may feel judged but when you are presented with certain roles you must play that have severe consequences when you stray from them like how some women feel pressure to choose between a career and a family - the judgement manifests itself into a need to justify your every action. I could write about what feminism is, but you can google that. Instead, I’d like to write an ode to what feminism isn’t. The word ‘feminist’ has become a sort of slur, spat between the teeth of lads when they spot a girl wearing a flannel, blue jeans, and no makeup on a night out.
By Claire VanValkenburg
Clarifications is a column featuring raw, unapologetic commentary on all things gender. From women’s rights, to dating culture; enjoy as Claire VanValkenburg discusses the topics everyone is afraid to talk about.
“She must be a feminist,” they say. As if feminism has a look. As if women must actively perform feminism consistently and constantly in order to label themselves as such.
Feminism isn’t an appearance. What if I’m wearing the shortest skirt, smacking my gum and swaying through the streets? Feminist. What if I’m garbed in sweatpants, stained with ice cream from last week’s episode of The Bachelor? Feminist. Beanie? Feminist. Nudist? Feminist. It matters not what she puts on her body, it’s her mantras and morals. It’s her definition, why don’t you go ask her.
Feminism isn’t a swear word. Saying “I am a feminist,” shouldn’t come with any sort of stigma. All genders, all races, all classes, all beings of every sort should be able
The word ‘feminist’ has become a sort of slur, spat between the teeth of lads when they spot a girl wearing a flannel, blue jeans, and no makeup on a night out. “She must be a feminist,” they say. As if feminism has a look. As if women must actively perform feminism consistently and constantly in order to label themselves as such.
to say the word ‘feminist’ without side glances or uncomfortable shuffles in response. We shouldn’t feel a need to censor ourselves when it comes to believing in equality. Any defining feature of one’s identity is the start of a conversation, let us embrace that opportunity.
Feminism isn’t universal. “But Claire, how could you say that? Women should come together under one idea! The world works on definitions!” Sure, but that one idea should be broad enough to encompass anyone willing to fight for the goal. Nay, it should only encompass the goal. Feminism isn’t a disagreement about what equality is. It isn’t a statement of what women should or shouldn’t be. It is designed, and meant to be, a statement of simply being. A statement of existing where 100% of the population has equal access and opportunities, regardless of gender identity. If for you this means shifting any guy who comes along, wonderful. If for you this means speaking up about abortion rights and campaigning for easier access to contraceptives, great. Feminism isn’t pointing at a group of people and saying they can’t be feminists. The simple fact is that women’s rights are human rights are equal rights. And feminism isn’t (and shouldn’t) be attached to stigma, or hate, or marginalization. This is not a game of us versus them, my friends. Feminism should be for everyone; wholly, completely, and irrevocably.
LinkedIn 101: the student guide By Tarryn McGuire Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is a business and employment orientated social networking system that is owned by Microsoft. With over a quarter of a billion users, it has come to light that the fastest growing demographic on the site is now students. A solid resume just isn’t enough anymore and so over 30 million students have now created their own LinkedIn profile to create a professional online presence. By joining LinkedIn, students can create a network of useful connections, keep up to date with connections and companies, and can research companies and opportunities that appeal to them. Signing up is completely free, just head to the website and create your own profile. It is important that you complete a full profile in order to stand out from the crowd. When recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates they use key words to refine their searches. It is important to use the right lingo for whatever job sector you have an interest in. Find examples from job descriptions that you’re going after, or profiles of people who have the job you want and scatter these key words throughout your summary and skills and expertise section. LinkedIn is the place to find and be found. The site has well over a million and a half student jobs and internships. Did you know that more than 9 in 10 companies use LinkedIn to recruit new employees? If you’re not on LinkedIn, you may as well not exist in the working world. To get you started, here are some must-dos for students and new-grads on LinkedIn.
1. Upload a professional profile picture Make sure the photo you take looks professional. Don’t worry, it can be taken on a mobile phone as long as it’s of high-quality and taken against a plain background. Wear a nice shirt, flash a smile and make sure you fit nicely in the frame. Profiles with a picture get 14 times more views than those without.
2. Write a punchy headline Your headline should be short, memorable and professional. There are 120 characters available to tell people what you’re excited about now and the cool things you want to do in the future. For example: “Honours student seeking marketing position.” Check out other profile headlines to give yourself some ideas!
3. Describe yourself in a summary Describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, and what you’re hoping to do in future. Be concise and confident about your goals and qualifications. It should be conversational in nature and less formal than a CV but still professional. You should use keywords and phrases that recruiters might search for. Go with terms that are well known (e.g., ‘product management,’ ‘graphic design,’ ‘data analysis’). Less is always more, so try to aim for about four paragraphs, don’t try to overdo it. List some previous jobs, demonstrate your skills and achievements, and add and update projects you have worked on in college.
4. Show off your experience List all the jobs you have had, including part-time ones. Elaborate on what you accomplished in each job and you can even include photos and videos from your work. 66% of companies hire based on experience. Always include volunteer activities if you have them, under “Volunteer Experience & Causes.” 41pc of LinkedIn recruiters say they consider it on par with full-time paid work experience. It’s also a great profile addition as it tells people something unique and personal about you; it reveals your passions and rounds you out as a human being.
5. Complete additional profile sections tailored to career starters. Make sure to list all (relevant) part-time or unpaid work, including contracting or internships, you want people to know about. You can list organizations you’ve been involved with or support as well. If you earned a prize or recognition whether in or out of school or college, you can list it under “Honours & Awards.” You can also list classes, languages, certifications, or team projects that demonstrate the skills you’ve worked hard to acquire. Don’t forget to list all of your education in the education section, include your course and any study abroad or summer programs. Don’t be shy — LinkedIn is an appropriate place to show off your achievements and experience!
6. Build a strong network so it’s there when you need it. This is one of the most important parts of creating your professional online presence.
Start by adding classmates, tutors, family, friends, and work colleagues past and present. Over time you can broaden your connections to include a larger set of family friends, co-workers, people you meet at conferences, etc. When you send a connection request, if it’s not someone you know well or have worked with, be sure to personalize it. Many people generally reject requests otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask managers, professors or classmates who have worked with you closely to endorse your skills or write you a recommendation for your profile. This will give you extra credibility to your strengths and skills.
7. Claim your own personal LinkedIn URL For many people, their LinkedIn profile shows up very high in a Google search, typically in the Top Five. To boost the professional results that appear when people search for you online, change your LinkedIn profile settings to ‘public’ and, also in settings, create a unique URL. This is also a handy link to use on your resume, bio on other social media like Twitter, and email signature. You are now ready to set up a top-notch LinkedIn account. You can make an investment in your future by connecting with people and companies and finding jobs and opportunities. You can even start contributing to the website yourself. Like Facebook, you can share posts and comment and like articles, making yourself more visible on the website. Just remember, this is a professional social media site and if you wouldn’t say something in an interview, don’t say it here.
Young people “passionate about resolving issues” a force to be reckoned with By Áine Kenny
College campuses around the globe have long been hot-beds of political movements, from Kent State’s anti-war protests to more recent marriage equality campaigns in Irish third-level institutions. Graduate historian, academic researcher and associate lecturer Dr Steve Conlon has completed academic research on the history of the Irish student movement and its role in the public sphere. Ahead of NUI Galway Students’ Union elections this week, he explained the powerful political role students have played to effect social change in Ireland to SIN. “Students get involved in political issues because they care. Young people are not apathetic, they are passionate about resolving issues,” said Dr Conlon. “What I found while doing my research is that students want the groundwork done while they are in college, and they want to enter an ‘adult’ world where there are not as many injustices.” Dr Conlon also detailed how important the individual unions are as a platform of discourse and discussion, dismissing claims that campuses no longer foster an environment of debate “The Students’ Unions offer a platform for people to discuss issues on campus. This can be done through debates, guest speakers and fundraisers. The debates can be political or
academic, and the guest speakers can be people who are personally affected by the issues,” he said. “Referendums organised about the stance a students’ union should take on a social issue gives a legitimacy to the campaigns. Also, they are very important in allowing people to dissect an issue and to engage in debate. “There is a sense nowadays that colleges have become a place where beliefs cannot be challenged, but I don’t think this is true,” he added. However the former DCU lecturer had a few sticking points about the student movement, admitting that sometimes they overshadow others who are also striving for social change. “Students are given a disproportionate platform compared to their peers who are not in full-time education, perhaps because they are louder. Student movements need to recognise that privilege - a lot of youth groups who engage in politics are not deemed as ‘legitimate’ as students, they are viewed with a type of suspicion,” he explained. “There are also a lot of youth groups doing great practical work out there, like Christian youth groups combatting the homelessness crisis on the ground, which shouldn’t be ignored.” Dr Conlon also thought that the student movement needed to listen to “dissenting voices” more at times.
“The movement needs to take a step back and listen to dissenting voices. However, if a referendum is held on campus about a social issue, the losing side cannot just cry wolf. Once two sides engage in this political mechanism, they have to accept the result.” “There might be students who have to work after class, or they may have to go home to care for a sick loved one, and their voices are not heard,” he pointed out. He believed that the privilege of being involved and active in student politics should not be overlooked. The researcher also warned against the further disenfranchisement of those with opposing views, as current social justice issues will not be on the agenda forever. “In the next two years, the student movement will suffer an identity crisis, because there will be no more referenda for them to campaign about,” Dr Conlon warned. “Student movements also educate young people about social injustices while they are studying, then they graduate from college and move on,” he said. “But that empathy won’t leave them, and they will end up supporting these causes in the ballot box. It isn’t just about the here and now - the younger generation will eventually become that older generation who vote.” However Dr Conlon acknowledged that Students’ Unions were very successful in registering their students to vote in recent years.
“In the early 2000s, student movements were less successful in getting students registered as times were good because it was the Celtic Tiger, there was no reason for them to engage, but now that there has been a referendum on marriage equality and there will be one on reproductive rights, students are registering,” he said. “Whether they turn up to the ballot box on the day, that is hard to know. I think the biggest challenge for student activists is making sure their students are continuously engaging with these issues.” However things look positive in this regard according to Dr Conlon reflecting on the student effort for marriage equality in 2015. “The USI ran a very professional campaign, they were highly organised, made submissions to the citizen’s assembly, and they spoke to the media,” he said. “There was a strange attitude at the time towards young people’s participation in politics, a lot of people though they would sit this one out… this wasn’t the case with students.” He predicted that this would carry through into the vote on the Eighth Amendment. “In the marriage equality referendum, students probably brought the Yes vote up a percentage point or two, but that referendum was won quite comfortably. “However, the referendum on the Eighth will be a lot closer, so that could make the difference, and students will be significant if they turn out to vote.”
SU ELECTION SPECIAL 2018
FORLÍONADH TOGHCHÁN CML
STUDENTS' UNION PRESIDENT
SU ELECTION SPECIAL
Ashwin Ravichandran Why are you running for election?
I like to lead and manage things and I thought to modify and implement changes for the students being a common student I can’t do that.
What is the one thing you want to achieve over everything else?
I would like to create an accommodation team. The Students’ Union will be the middle person between landlord and student tenant to save students the hassle of searching for accommodation by themselves, creating contracts with landlords and local agencies.
Briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto.
No more than one repeat exam per day, free snacks and tea or coffee for students studying long hours, free mentors for first and second year students, and bring back Christmas Day, our day.
What is the main issue for students on campus in your opinion?
Accommodation is the major challenge for students. I am working with accommodation office and have sorted it out
for 30 to 40 students. I have shared my number to accommodation office to help students
How do you intend to spend the budget given to you for student services?
Depends on the important and requirements will plan in advance.
Anything else you would like to add?
Students can directly call or email me at any time, I am more than happy to help.
Megan Reilly Why are you running for election?
The simplest answer I can give you is that I am really passionate about representing students and I think I can do a really great job of it. I’ve been in the union for the last few years and know it inside out, but I have to say I am not unaware of its flaws and where the union could do better – so that’s what I wanted to bring to it. The other thing is that I’ve managed to achieve so much this year but I feel that I am not finished. There was so many opportunities this year where I wanted to be able to continue it, and I still do, there is projects I’m working on and a lot of the stuff from what I see is coming from a leadership point of view, so the things I could do if I was leading the union.
What is the one thing you are hoping to achieve as President over everything else?
The thing that I would hope to strive towards is to create a better sense of community on campus among students. I think it is great as it is but we could make it friendlier and we could make it more open to students who are on the fringe of it, and that includes physical and intangible things as well.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
Something I am working on at the moment, which I think might take a while because sometimes university processes are quite slow, is to get better seating on campus. This was a part of my manifesto last year
as well to get nap or recreational spaces as well, so it would be to make the campus a bit less cold. You see people sitting on the floor and things like that. What we did this year was secure additional funding to put in more sofas and things like that, but I know recently Maynooth University got some nap spaces in their library through an innovative fund, so I have identify places we could do it and in a way have started working on it. It isn’t specifically worded as nap spaces on my manifesto, it’s recreational places, because as I said people sit down on the ground in the concourse, and have nowhere to relax. The other things that are part of my main three are part-time jobs for students and accommodation. The part-time job aspect is that in the Students’ Union, people come to us looking for jobs, so I think we should have a database and be the ones to ensure that people on campus are hiring students as much as possible, or just helping students find jobs in the city. Then the accommodation crisis in the city, we all know how bad it is, I’ve seen it first-hand this year as Welfare Officer. The course there is to have a forum where NUI Galway students are able to discuss their problems, and just to make sure everyone is aware of their rights so if a landlord has broken the law or done something really bad to them, they have an avenue to bring it towards, and basically work with the university to alleviate the problem as much as possible. Another thing for me is Irish in the work of the union. I’m not a fluent Gaeilgoir myself but I think with every themed week that we do and we are great at the marches, there is always so much Irish included in it, but I don’t see why there couldn’t be an Irish Mental Health themed event or a SHAG Irish event so I’d love to see that included. Then something I was talking about with a community of students on the fringe, so for Access and part-time students, making
sure they’re more aware of what is going on in the university, and that they know and feel included in the community. The last bit I will mention is better food options on campus, because it is difficult to get food on campus after 5pm that is not pizza. I think that a lot of people are staying late on campus for a number of reasons and I think we should be working through the SU commercial services to provide healthy, good alternatives for more people other than pizza and cold food.
What is the main issue on campus for students in your opinion?
The one I see as the most pervasive is the financial strain put on students to attend college and I’ve seen it so much this year through being Welfare Officer, with people who can’t afford to live basically, or they’re forcing themselves to do too many hours in their part-time job and it’s affecting their studies. I think it is two-fold. So I have stated in my manifesto that I’m against the contingent-loan scheme, and I will continue to lead a union that fights for funding for public education, and on top of that pushing for an increase in student services. If the university wants to up the intake of students from non-traditional and international backgrounds, we need to make sure that that is matched euro by euro with student services and resources for those student who need support. That would have been a big one for me this year, just not seeing the support for students when they’re trying to up the intake of students.
How do you intend on spending the budget given to you for student services?
The union have a lot of ongoing services and some that Lorcán has only started newly, but maybe they need to be refreshed a little bit. Like giving out free condoms and tampons, we need to continue doing that. I think the union could give out more information on various things, like doing different guides on
mental health or equality issues, and also using the budget to let people know that we are a listening and referral service, and that we represent all the students, no matter where they are or what they are studying, and they can come to us in their time of need.
How will you encouvrage people to interact with the Students’ Union?
I have a lot of feelings on this issue. I think not every student is going to interact with the union in the same way, like obviously; you might have someone who walks in the door once ever to get an SU card or a locker, or you might have someone who is at the Welfare Crew every week. I think that is ok. My feeling about the union is you don’t have to be, I don’t want every student banging down the doors, but just that people know we are there in the background, sitting in fancy university meetings in the quad fighting for them, or reminding the high-up management of the university that it is all about students or that the majority of this university is made up of students. I’d always like more engagement and I think the social media this year has been really great and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of that, like the Snapchat and Instagram, and how we can get real-time feedback from someone who is just on their phone on a platform on which they are already interacting, they don’t have to do anything different or approach us. Everyone’s own way of seeing the union is ok but to know that we are always there in the background working away.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It is always one that people do but just to encourage people to vote, it’s the time of year you get to hear what people want to do on campus and see change, and choose who they want to lead. It’s a great opportunity and I’d just encourage everybody if they can look at the candidates and vote.
Fiachra Mac Suibhne Why are you running for election?
The reason I am running is that I helped out Diarmuid Ó Curraoin last year with his campaign and found talking to students I saw the issues students were facing and I felt that I was in a position to help them. I wouldn’t be a traditional Students’ Union head, I’d very much just be a normal student, and I just really am passionate about making students’ lives that bit easier.
What is the one thing that you are hoping to achieve as President over everything else?
Without a shadow of doubt, if I could reform the approach the university, staff, students, the entireuniversity as a whole takes to mental health. At the moment if you have a physical ailment you can go to the health unit and you’ll be seen very quickly, within half an hour, it’s a brilliant service for physical ailments. But the services for if you have an issue with mental health aren’t nearly as good, and it isn’t approach on the same level. So I would absolutely love to reform that entire system, not only expand the services that you’d be seen a lot more quickly, and expand on the attitude about mental health, that it will be a common thing for students to say, “Yes, I’m struggling with this but I’m going to counselling for one day a week and will be fine in a few weeks,” and the same as saying “I’ve a broken ankle”. It’s even to break the stigma – although stigma is the wrong word because there isn’t the same stigma around it as there was even three or four years ago. But just to push it forward and really reform how everyone thinks about it, to offer Assist training to everyone and to push that the suicide prevention training so that it’d be a common thing you have, almost like saying I got my pool lifeguard cert when I was 15 or 16, a common thing like I got my Order of Malta first aid training in T Y. Saying “I got my Assist training” wouldn’t be a very common thing to say, even though it is a normal thing.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
One of things that came up a lot last year when I was engaging with stu-
dents, I found out what was annoying them the most. That is just the most important, what annoys students. One thing that came back an awful lot was that there is not an awful lot of places on campus for you to sit around without having to pay for something. In the Bialann, you have to pay for something, the college bar you have to pay for something, Friars, Zinc, everywhere you have to pay for something. There is not enough places that you can just talk, or go on your laptop or sit on your phone, or just chill out for ten or 15 minutes. At the moment, the lobby in the library is where most people hang out and that really isn’t good enough. I’d like to expand with chill-out rooms and the like. The next point then is that we absolutely have to look at the repeat fee for exams. An awful lot of colleges like Maynooth, if you fail one exam you pay €80 and that increases then, you pay by exam. Whereas in NUI Galway it is a flat fee. If I was lucky enough to get elected, if students choose me as their president, in my first meeting with University President I would raise that with them, saying, “look, listen, if this is the system you want to approach, if it is not something that can be changed, we need to offer more support to students to pay for this, a flat fee for 295 is just not good enough and not fair. If one person has one bad exam, they fail an exam by one or two percent, or if someone fails seven or eight exams, they pay the same and to me that just makes no sense, that is just baffling to me. Capping is standard across universities, but the flat fee is absolutely not standard. When it was announced it was said this was in line with other universities, and that is just untrue. I know the Students’ Union this year managed to expand the library opening hours at the weekends around exam times. I don’t have the data to hand exactly what the uptake was on that, but I would love to expand the opening hours during the week, nothing too drastic just another hour or two in the evening. Come 10:30pm or 11pm exam week, the Reading Room is wedged you can’t get a seat and there is a demand for it. So even just an hour or two in the evening would make an enormous difference to students.
What is the main issue on campus for students in your opinion?
This one is a tricky one, because it is subjective to each and every student, each and every student would have a different issue given your course, where you’re coming from, or if you’re living at home or accommodation. So what I’d love to do with that is to engage with students to figure out exactly what the issue is for different groups of students, it is not enough that the issue would just address the needs of the extremely academic, or those who like to go out a lot, or living in accommodation. It sometimes can be a little bit like that, so I’d like to have a more inclusive kind of union where every different type of student, even those who wouldn’t traditionally engage with the union at all, wouldn’t know where the Bailey Allen is, I’d love to get talking to those students too to find out what kind of issues they’re facing. Normally, people say not enough parking spaces, not enough plugs in the library, these are things that come up. But what really drives me is talking to students who aren’t shouting about their issues, who wouldn’t engage with canvassers, they wouldn’t snap the SU or go on our Instagram. I’d really love to get students who don’t come in or are only here to get their degree, I’d love, love, love to talk to those students and hear what their issues are.
How do you intend on spending the budget given to you for services to students?
One of the main things I’d love to do is expand Mental Health, and at the moment there is a massive budget for the Health Unit and that should remain as it is, it is a brilliant service. Having said that, I’d love to expand the budget for the Mental Health service. At the moment there is only a small place on Distillery Road and get more services for those kinds of students, for students who would need it. I know the SU this year did enormous work getting two extra microwaves in Smokey’s and one up in the Engineering building and theyre getting a second one. But they haven’t got one in Friars yet, so we would keep lobbying Friars, and if it did require that a purpose microwave unit had to be built I would like that to be done, because it is not fair on those who spend all their time in the Cairnes building.
How will you encourage people to interact with the Students’ Union?
The first thing is that Lorcán, Andrew and Megan did incredible work with the Snapchat and Instagram and that has been 100pc getting more students to engage. Even last week because of the snow, every single student found out about that, and it wasn’t from e-mail or Facebook, but it was from Lorcán updating the Snapchat and Instagram videos. Great work has been done on that and I’d like to keep expanding on that, pushing on that. Having said that, one initiative I want to bring in is that every Monday or Wednesday, given time, that the three sabbatical officers whoever they may be would have open office hours, and bring their office down to Smokey’s between 2-4pm and have a massive sign up saying “What annoys you most?” And have students have come up and say the one thing that annoys them and then that can be addressed. Even among my own classmates and friends, I hear them say a gentle “Oh that’s annoying” or “that’s frustrating” but they’re not sure what the avenue is. So if every Wednesday 2-4pm the officers are their to listen to your complaints or about what is making you angry, I think that is a way to find out what on-the-ground, normal students are thinking or feeling. Once you know what those issues are you can engage on that and sort out those students, get their e-mail and follow up with them.
Anything else to add?
A big thing I’d like students to know is I am not a traditional SU head at all. I’m very much a genuine, normal student and I’m just trying to make students’ lives easier, that is what I am passionate about, I wouldn’t have been big into SU politics, didn’t have a clue what the SU was when I was in First Year, and I am just a normal student and I’m passionate about making students’ lives easier.
STUDENTS' UNION PRESIDENT
FORLÍONADH TOGHCHÁN CML
STUDENTS' UNION PRESIDENT
SU ELECTION SPECIAL
John Molony Why are you running for election?
One of the big reasons is that I am from Cork and I had never been to Galway when I was younger, so when I first came here everyone was so friendly and I really fell in love with the city straight away. That is something I wanted to give back and I feel I really engaged with the student body when I came here. It would be a great opportunity to represent the people as well, seeing as I feel like I’’m from the city now and give something back to the city. Another thing is I never really felt connected with the Students’ Union as a normal student until the elections and that, but I feel they find it difficult to reach out to the student body. So I want to bridge that gap and make the Students’ Union more established than just something above the students themselves because at the end of the day we are all students working in there. I’d like to shed light on the darkness there, and just make us more familiar to everyone else.
What is the one thing you would like to achieve over everything else?
One thing I really want to achieve is more mental health awareness. Although the NUIG services are very good as it is, I think everyone could agree they could be better. I have seen the effects of mental health first-hand and I’d love to be the president who would make a dent in the problem in the college and reduce the stigma a bit really, just by hosting events. It kind of ties in with my point earlier with engaging the students and the Students’ Union together, getting more involvement and participation in these events. There is a statistic that one in four adults have experience mental health problems this year, and another one that 500 people a year in Ireland on average actually commit suicide, and that is three times more than road deaths in Ireland. The highest rates of that are men between the ages of 20 and 24 – it’s
a ridiculously high statistic and it is quite scary. I still feel in the college a lot of people have mental health issues, so just to reduce the stigma a bit, and saying it isn’t a big deal to go talk to someone about it.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
I think Lorcán and his team did brilliant this year and full credit to them, with the water fountains and more microwaves, and the library hours. A big thing for me is promoting healthy living, so number on that is more microwaves. I have been informed that there is only one in the Engineering Building and the queue for that at lunchtime is ridiculous. Just for engineers, a lot of them wouldn’t leave the engineering block or venture into the Bialann, so having more facilities for them so they can cook their own food at home, which would be bringing healthy meals in, so for them to be able to bring their food in would help. Also I’d like more loyalty schemes for healthy options in the college. For the salad in the Bialann having a stamp system for a free one in five or a discount. The SU give out free condoms and that but what about free fruit? I feel that every now and then there is fruit left in the RR, but it could be something to promote healthy living. I feel that the sports facilities and gym membership aren’t really good enough. In the Kingfisher you’re only able to get 12-month membership and for a lot of people it doesn’t suit them and we are only here for nine months. The big universities like UL all have free gym membership but it is over €250 for the year for the Kingfisher for a facility that is always over-crowded. I feel it really doesn’t encourage them to join the gym having to pay up front, instead of monthly which could be €25 or something like that. Lorcán has made some ground on keeping the library open a bit longer so I’d like to hammer the nail in there and
have it open for even longer. My friends in UCC say their library is open until 12am. It might not suit everyone to go to the reading room and there is only a limited amount of seats. Also computer labs only open until 10pm which might discriminate against students who don’t have their own laptops, or even if their laptop is broken. As well as that, more seating and more beanbags, there really isn’t enough for 18,000 students. There isn’t enough facilities to relax and have a chat. Then of course repeat fees. They went up to €295, and that is almost a 50% increase, and I think every can agree it is very unfair when you look at universities and they pay by module. A friendlier repeat system would go back to my mental health point as well, as mental health is often affected by repeat exams and I know the college promote mental health awareness so it is kind of unjustifiable when it is the repeat exams that stress people out mentally. Reducing the waste in the college is another thing, they are really bringing it in and just more of that and go an extra step further than that.
What is the main issue for students on campus in your opinion?
It’s kind of like asking a mother who her favourite child is, there isn’t just one issue for every single student. Everyone is going through something different, whether it is fees or going to work after college or a transgender person campaigning for rights, everyone has a niche so I can’t really specifiy what the main issue is because there is just so many. I would be willing to lobby any issue as best I could.
How do you intend on spending the budget given to you for student services?
I can only compliment Lorcán and his team how they managed the budget this year, the essential services are running very smoothly. I suppose there isn’t one thing specifically but carry on the
services there at the minute, but try to be efficient and maybe make savings, putting ourselves in a position to expand.
How will you encourage students to engage with the Students’ Union?
A big thing I said earlier is that I feel the average student may not engage with the union but what they may not realise that they are students themselves and they are lobbying for students constantly and representing the students. A lot of presidents focus on just winning the election and going from there but my focus is to continue campaigning after the election, not for myself, but for the union and the students of NUIG. I want to increase the invisibility of the union and that they will be a familiar face who a student can turn to when they have a problem. So a big thing would be more of a turn out at charity events and things like the Teddy Bear hospital and showing that the SU is not just a big organisation but they are there to help students, and even for student elections less than 10pc turn out for elections, so to try get students to engage more. I feel there are a lot of shadows over the SU and not
a lot of people know what is going on, and I think Lorcán has done a really good job with the Snapchat. There is an e-mail sent out every week, but how many people read it? I want to bridge that gap.
Anything else you would like to add?
The housing situation is quite dire, rent is going up and not many houses are nice to live in. But a lot of students don’t want to complain if there is mould on the walls etc, and landlords kind of put the fear into students. They don’t want to take the risk of being evicted so a big thing I’d like to introduce is if a student has a problem with a landlord, they could approach the SU and then the SU could approach the landlord, and lobby in a more professional manner. There is just one more to do with the health unit. You have to go there and book an appointment and then come back. I think an online portal would be a good system, so someone who is sick can log on online and it gives them their appointment instead of leaving and coming back. I is unfair if a student is sick or has a lecture they’re not sure what time they have to come back at.
Louis Courtney Why are you running for election this year?
I am running for election because I believe I will be able to make a difference. I know that’s a very cliché thing to say but I do mean it. I’ve seen firsthand my friends, my fellow students who are under exam stress, financial issues and I just think it’s terrible. I have been under the pressure of being on the verge of not passing an exam and it’s not nice. I truly believe I have some valid points and some great ideas that will relieve some massive pressure from the guys and girls in NUI Galway and I will make it a better place. So I do feel very strongly about this. I am studying medicine and when I began I did so with the intention of learning from the lives that surround me so I feel as though this is my calling, not just the post itself but the ideas and values behind it. I feel that I’m a good person for this role.
What is the one thing you are hoping to achieve as Education Officer over anything else?
The main thing I want to do in this role is I want to do what they do in the likes of the Dublin colleges, such as UCD. Here you have to repeat another year of college if you fail by a percent or two, for example some people get an average of 48% in my course, when 50% is the pass mark, that’s what I’ve seen. You can’t just carry it over to next year,
so they fail you for the year. But what I want is that if they do fail a subject, I want them to be able to repeat it the next year with their new subject also.
Briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
I would like to reduce the repeat fee definitely, I think, 295 euro I believe it is, is an exorbitant figure. No-one should really have to pay that. What also doesn’t make sense to me is the fact that if a student fails one subject they have to pay the full sum and those who fail maybe three or four have to pay this also. I’m not saying that the latter student should have to pay more, but I’m saying that there should probably be a set fee per exam failed. I’m talking more along the lines of maybe 30-40 quid per exam as this would pay the extra fee of printing the paper, this would also pay the person who has to correct the exam. I’m looking for efficiency. The other key point in my manifesto is that I’m going to get rid of having more than one exam on any one day. How many times have we heard a student panic telling us that they have their two hardest exams on in the one day. We’re meant to be looking after the students. I understand that there is a set exam period but allowances should be made. I know from personal experience that I’ve had my most two feared exams on in the one day last year and I passed the two of them by the skin of my teeth.
I do question whether or not I would’ve gotten a higher grade in them if they had been separated. I’m interested in having an extra two exam hours in the day - so having an exam scheduled from 6-8. The fourth point in my manifesto is to improve the relations between the educational officer and the students
How will you communicate with students who may have problems with their course or with their grants?
Well, obviously social media is a huge part of everyone’s lives today. I would have a Facebook profile, a Twitter profile and an Instagram profile. But I believe that it should be more personalised as well. I believe that people will see myself on the internet but I’m a very social guy, I have no issue with meeting up with people regularly to discuss any issues they have, organising sessions each week where we can meet faceto-face, it would be much like a walk-in place or if they want to meet more quietly, I’ll meet them in a different place to deal with their certain issue. I would be setting up a network to discuss problems with course administrators directly. I’m going to meet all the heads of faculty within the first two weeks of college next year so when a student comes to me with a problem, I should already have the answer. I would also organise talks at the beginning of the year, so everyone knows their student
campaigners. There would be events also so that students would know that I’m there. Some students don’t even know the role exists. I actually do know that because a few of my mates had financial difficulties and they didn’t even know there was someone out there campaigning for them. Students who need financial aid are obviously key. I really believe that some of them have the heart and passion for learning and something like that shouldn’t be a factor in them packing it in. I want the right amount of funding for the right people, so I’d be giving a speech to every lecture hall by the first two three weeks. I want them to have a face to the name, I don’t just want them to see my face on the internet, which they will do. But I want them to see my face and they’ll actually know my voice.
How will you strengthen the communication between students and their lecturers and encourage students to express issues that they may have?
My answer is basically everything I’ve said in response to the previous questions.
Do you have any opinion on the BA Connect where a full year of college, including placements and modules, doesn’t go towards final
grade students receive?
From what I’ve read about it, it does seem to be an interesting enough endeavour. I assume it’s supposed to give a student a taste of what will be involved with a career. So I do think it’s a good idea but I question the fact that they don’t really gain any merit from it with regards grades etc. I would certainly be looking into giving some sort of percentage validity in the exam essence. I would like to reward the students who perform well on this BA Connect with a 30-40% overall on their grade.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m very excited for the campaign and I’m putting my heart into it. This matters to lots of people and I would encourage them to vote for who they see would be the best candidate for them. I’m very glad I’m here for I believe that it’s me but I would be lying if I didn’t say that if I hear the other candidates on what they hope to achieve, I want what’s best for NUI Galway.
Stephanie Koennecker What is the one thing you are hoping to achieve as Education Officer over everything else?
Well, I would say the one thing I am hoping to achieve is to help improve the quality of teaching and the academic and educational facilities in the university.
Why are you running for election this year?
I’m running because academics and education is something I feel strongly about and I also think it would help to enhance my career prospects. I have a lot of experience in the university with a number of personal setbacks which upset my education so I’m hoping that my experience will help and that I can pass on my experience to students.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in you manifesto?
From talking to a number of students on the concourse, some of the issues they brought up concerned a proper qualification for fully-trained lab assistants, and more power sockets in the library, particularly on the top floor. There’s the need to look into the situation of off-campus exams and exam buses; I have been told by a number of students that while the buses are available, you have to pay for them and they can
be overcrowded and this can be a problem. I want to investigate more into the BA Connect scenario which I will touch on later.
How will you communicate with students who may have problems with their course or with their grants?
Well I have been on this side myself with a number of personal issues and so if a student came to me with an issue to do with their course, I would arrange to meet with them and discuss it with them and advise them in every way that I can. And if necessary liaise with their lecturer regarding personal problems. I would take every issue that would come to me, that they bring, seriously and I would look into it.
How will you strengthen the communication between students and their
lecturers and encourage students to express issues that they may have?
I would promote the importance of encouraging students to talk to lecturers and to make people aware of it. Perhaps arrange staff and student liaison meetings across different departments. And I would also pass on the message to class reps to encourage people.
Do you have any opinion on the BA Connect where a full year of college, including placements and modules, doesn’t go towards final grade students receive?
I don’t think it’s good that a full year doesn’t count towards the final degree grade because work placements are very important for students to gain work experience that could lead to a job upon gradu-
ation. So it doesn’t seem fair to me that a whole year of college, including work placements and modules does not count towards the final grade.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
This might be of relevance - I was a mentor to first year students for two years so I am aware of the number of many issues that students face during the course of their education. Particularly with first years adjusting to college life. The transition from school to college must be the big one and many students can face a number of issues so as a mentor, I was often asked questions by students on various issues. I’ve also experienced a number of setbacks in my own education which had an effect. As the Education officer I hope I can bring this experience to help with their own education.
VICE PRESIDENT: EDUCATION OFFICER
FORLÍONADH TOGHCHÁN CML
VICE PRESIDENT: EDUCATION OFFICER
SU ELECTION SPECIAL
Cian O’Shaughnessy hoping to achieve as Education Officer over everything else?
Why are you running for election?
A: I’m running for Education Officer to represent the students in NUIG and for the changes that I see would benefit them and that I hope they would like to see. I started studying Law because I have a passion for education and I would really like to fight on the behalf of the students in NUIG and for their interests. I understand the financial hardship that is student life. I know many students have to deal with many issues regarding exams and find no solutions, I have as well. I want to represent those people and I want to solve these problems and help in any way possible. I am more than capable of doing this.
What is the one thing you are
Well, I know students that are in our university, I know them personally, who suffer financial hardship. You have a case where requirements remain the same year-on-year, but the cost of living is constantly rising. I’d like to help those who fall through cracks to find support. It’s not only what they need but what they deserve. If a number of children in a household is factored in usually, why isn’t it for this? Two students, I can think of in this circumstance, are in two different situations because of the course they did, what they studied. I know it would be difficult path but that’s what I would pursue. Year-onyear our student life is growing more and more difficult and I hope to fix this.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
I want to highlight the role of Education Officer and create a dialogue between various bodies and the university such as the colleges, the various schools, and even to inform students as to where one of the best places are to discuss their issues. Say from my own experience, I broke my nose going into the exams at semester
one this year - boxing in Dublin - and so I went to the college doctors and I was told I could either defer all of my exams or be able to sit them as a temporary special needs. I chose the latter and after I’d sat the first exam, because I wasn’t sleeping with the pain and I was on some painkillers, my result was just terrible. I went to the lecturer and asked if I could re-sit the exam and I was under no allusions that I had done shockingly bad. But I was informed that I could take it up with the Head of Law school and then the Head of Law told me that if I failed the exam they could help me but seeing as I didn’t fail it, I couldn’t re-sit it, but if I’d gone to them beforehand, they would’ve shown me flexibility and I would’ve been just been able to defer that one exam which would have been ideal. I’d like to highlight this. As well as that, I’d like to continue the line of the current Education Officer in opposing fee increases. Everyone should get the same education, regardless of background or financial issues and situations.
How will you communicate with students who have problems with their course or with their grant?
As far as grants go, for students who
experience financial issues I would inform them of the working funds available to them; SUSI, financial aid fund, the Tús scheme. Those searching for a job locally, as far as getting work goes I would direct them to the career development centre and certain facilities that are open to them that can ease problems. I just don’t think this relationship is being highlighted enough.
How will you strength communication between students and their lecturers and encourage students to express issues that they have?
I know, in person, that approaching a lecturer with an issue can be daunting. There is a go-between for the student and the lecturer, the Class rep, and I would encourage and promote this relationship further. From my own experience, I feel that since I find approaching even class reps would be hard, research is needed to improve this. I would encourage students to avail of who represents them and foster the relationship between the class rep and the lecturer, and their schools.
Do you have any opinion on the BA Connect where a full year of college,
including the placement and modules, doesn’t go towards the final grade?
Looking at it from an outsider, I understand that students would want to see results from their efforts and the efforts they put into something. They may feel frustrated, but in terms of placement, would anyone really feel comfortable with a company or business body, with no experience, grading a student’s work, because in doing so it could go one of two ways? Although I feel that students can get something equally important from that work which also looks good on a CV. That being said, I’m not in that situation, I’m not close with anyone who’s undertaking those courses. I would be open to hearing from anyone with this issue, I am always open to listen.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I would just like to say I take this role seriously. I’ve represented many things in my life. First of all I’d say is my country with boxing for Ireland abroad. From that experience, I consider I would do all I could to represent students to the best of anyone’s abilities. Furthermore, I would encourage every student to vote, regardless of candidate. If they’re so willing, vote Cian!
VOX POP: What do NUI Galway students expect from an SU President? By Connell McHugh
‘If the president could boost engagement I think that would be a really positive thing’ It’s that time of the year again. On Thursday 8 March, the Students’ Union elections will take place. The position of Students’ Union President is always highly contested with nominees making several different promises to secure the votes of the student body. Every student holds different values and wants different
things from an SU president, ranging from more activism, to more student events and realistic manifestos. SIN looked to the students of NUI Galway to gauge their expectations for the incoming president.
events on campus would be a good thing too if they could organise them.
Dave Hughes, MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis student
Rachel Moran, Nursing student
Louis O’Hara, Public and Social Policy student
An SU president should be friendly and approachable and they should be easy to get in contact with. There’s a real problem with accommodation at the start of each year so they should be able to help that in some way. They should also respect how students have voted in previous college referendums. More
they need to just be able to represent the students in a way that we can all be happy with. It’ll be hard for them to make everyone happy, but they need to try their best. They have to try to stand up to the college if they want to make any changes that will affect us too.
Jack Leech, Arts student
As a nursing student, I would want them to somehow help out with any issues regarding placement. Some people are given really short notice about where they are going for placement and it can be really inconvenient. Other than that, I would just want them to be able to follow through with whatever they say in their campaigns. If they have ideas that obviously aren’t going to happen, then there’s no point in saying them just for votes.
Most people on campus don’t really care about the students’ union or student politics, so if the president could boost engagement I think that would be a really positive thing. The government will have to tackle student fees soon enough so that is something that the president should be able to handle and tackle properly.
Kate Brennan, Commerce student
I’m not really sure what I expect from an SU president. No matter who it is,
I expect a students’ union president to be capable of representing the entire student body. They need to be active with students in finding out their concerns and they should voice these concerns appropriately. Communication is essential between the president and students.
Clare Austick Why are you running for election?
I am running for the position of Vice/ Welfare and Equality Officer because I’m driven quite strongly to help provide care for others and I’ve been involved with the Student’s Union for a number of years now. I’ve been a class rep for two years and as a current part-time equality officer on the committee, I’ve loved everything that they’re fighting for and representing students, voicing their concerns and initiating campaigns. I’m determined to be a voice for change for all students by making their NUI Galway experience as meaningful as possible for them.
What is the one thing you are hoping to achieve as Welfare & Equality Officer over everything else?
There are so many things I’m hoping to do next year, but I want to continue
to support all students through emotional, academic and financial services. I want to implement and I will continue to build on the promotion of sexual and mental health while highlighting visibility through campaigns. I will continue the campaign for universal desire for learning which is making learning tools more user-friendly, more accessible for all students, in particular for those who have a hidden or physical disability, a mental health condition, students whose first language isn’t English, mature students who are getting back to education and for students who are parents who have missed classes due to family commitments. I want to create a clothes bank initiative for students who cannot afford new items of clothing - any surplus items of clothing will be donated to the homeless. I want to create a food bank initiative where students can receive food donations from local shops, supermarkets. I also want
to create a handbook with the relevant details and information on all aspects such as; services, contact details, clubs, societies, facilities, and so on.
Briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto.
Care and accessibility are my other main points. I want to care for students by promoting self-care and personal well-being, and reaching out to them. I want students to know that they’re not alone and they can always ask me for a helping hand. Sometimes life gets a little tough, we all have struggles, we’ve gone through a difficult time in our lives, I want to distribute empower cards around campus. Have a more relaxing waiting areas, more beanbags in the library foyer, and all around campus. I also want to hold more de-stress activities around exam time and this semester such as more pet farm and puppy days. I will continue to be accessible to eve-
ryone whether they are on the main campus, a smaller one off-campus, on placement, or erasmus. I want to establish an online forum welcoming suggestions and ideas which will then be answered.
How will encourage people to see you as someone that they can approach with any problems?
I would make sure that any important information or services is accessible to every student. Let them know that I’m always there to listen and talk. I will go the extra mile to be any kind of help. By making myself accessible, so that students know that their Welfare & Equality Officer is there to provide a confidential listening and referral service as well as providing advice and soliciting information such as accommodation, childcare, study, health, finances and personal well-being.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve learned a lot this year in my role as Equality Officer. I truly understand the issues students encounter on a daily basis and this role entails long hours of hard work and dedication. I am willing and fully prepared to commit to making NUIG welcome and inclusive for all students. I want everyone who’s reading this to know they are not alone. You are strong, you can do anything. You have value and you are so so important. I want to build strong, empowering communities so that we can reach our goals and I want to do this all together.
Aisling Fallon Why are you running for election?
I am a Masters student currently studying on the MA in Culture and Colonialism and I would be absolutely honoured to be your next Vice President/Welfare and Equality Officer in NUI Galway Students Union for the upcoming academic year. I am running for this specific position because our student’s welfare and the promotion of equality across campus here at NUIG is particularly close to my heart. As a student studying here since 2010, when I first began the Access Programme, a vital initiative which provides students who, for various reasons didn’t make it to third level through the traditional route of the CAO, I have gratefully experienced first-hand the transformative effect that receiving an education at NUIG can have on one’s life, but I have also experienced how tough the journey through academia can be. Throughout the first three years of my study I suffered with crippling anxiety and my academic and social life suffered hugely. However, four years on I am the strongest and most confident I have ever been; I am the current Auditor for the Philosophy Society, am one of the founding organizers of the mental health campaign “Couch Conversations” kindly funded by PleaseTalk.org, and I have immersed myself within numerous volunteering opportunities across campus which has allowed me to communicate
with students and understand the issues that students encounter on a personal level. This shift in the trajectory of my life and student experience, is due to the pivotal moment of when I decided to reach out to services within the college like the SU and ask for help. Particularly due to my own personal background then, I am a huge advocate for education but I am even more passionate about helping other students with the non-academic problems and issues that might arise for them throughout the course of their own academic journeys. We are all human, and by that very fact it is inevitable that life will often present us with that unwanted hand of less than ideal circumstances, and I believe that due to my own first-hand experience with welfare issues and because I am so driven to help our students, to listen to our students, and to fight for what our students actually need, I am a worthy candidate for the position and I would be delighted to help our students in any way that I can during times of difficulty or uncertainty.
What is the one thing you hope to achieve over everything else?
One thing that I hope to achieve as Welfare and Equality Officer over anything else is to bridge the ongoing gap between student and services. Albeit, we have some outstanding support systems here on campus, that I myself have benefitted from first hand, such as: The Student Counselling Service, the Disability Student Service, the Chaplaincy, The Student Assistance Fund, to name but a few. However, from speaking with students across campus I have learned that within these student services there is still often a discrepancy between what student’s need and what they actually receive. My role
as Welfare Officer will be to support our students and to connect them with the appropriate services that can help them during times of difficulty. Therefore, it is paramount for myself as Vice President/ Welfare and Equality officer to ensure that the services we have in place on campus are equipped to provide students with the necessary resources that they actually need, so that we can adequently support them during the selection of their programme and throughout their stay at NUIG. Intertwined within my aim to bridge the ongoing gap between student and services, is not only to improve on the resources that we currently have, but I also hope to create a clearer and more vivid awareness of the services that are already in place. After having spoken to many students across a wide variety of disciplines, I learned that many of them sometimes weren’t aware of some of their entitlements as students of NUIG, and often weren’t aware that some of services were entirely applicable to them. Ultimately, I believe that working closely with the student services to ensure the availability of adequate services for students during times of distress and also working to further the awareness of the services currently available to our students, will allow our students to have a more enjoyable and meaningful student experience here at NUIG.
Briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto
As mentioned above one of my main aims as Vice President/ Welfare and Equality officer is to bridge the ongoing gap between student and services. There is however two particular services that I will work tirelessly to make significant improvements within, namely the Student’s Counselling Service and the
Student Assistance Fund. Firstly, the Student Assistance Fund provides our students with what is often an elementary source of income that allows us to continue our studies a little more comfortably. However, over the duration of the last 5 to 6 years the rate of assistance has reduced significantly and has had negative and stressful effects on many of our students. The pressure of nnecessary Finance issues and concerns that our students deal with is unacceptable. As Vice President/ Welfare and Equality Officer I will have the opportunity to sit on the Financial Aid Fund Committee and I will fight on behalf of our students until this is changed. The Student Counselling Service is a vital service on campus and it does great things for our students, but after having spoken to students and representatives at NUIG about their experience with using the SCS I believe that it is still lacking due to inadequate funding. Mental health and well-being is a huge issue across campus and I am committed to reducing the SCS waiting times and also to changing the policy on the SCS appointment system which I believe are currently capped at a certain amount of visits. It is hugely important that when looking at such vital and important services such as the SCS and their appointment policies we remember to always take into account the individual and their particular circumstances, generalizations of appointments and the like really isn’t good enough. It’s impossible to correctly pre-estabilsh a student’s needs in these circumstances and so I will work tirelessly to change that. Finally, I don’t believe in extensive manifesto’s that provide students with hugely false promises before the candidate has had adequate time to learn
about the student’s actual needs, and so I propose a listening tour should I get into office. This will allow me to visit different departments and to find out what the student body actually needs, rather than making any unnecessary assumptions on something so personal. Your voice matters! I promise to listen to the student voice always, and fight tirelessly on your behalf.
How will you encourage people to see you as someone they can approach with any problems?
Proximity is Power. That is to say, proximity as described as “nearness in space, time, or relationship”. What I mean by this is that, should I be elected, throughout my time as Vice President/ Welfare And Equality, I believe strongly in the power and necessity of proximity, I promise to be present and immersed within the student culture at NUIG, so that during my time in Office I will always remain true to your essence and voice your concerns. The closer in proximity I remain to the student body, will allow them to get to know me and I to know them on a more relational and personal level. Through this exchange of real communication I believe that the students will be able to see how willing and more than delighted I am to help and to listen to them with any problems that they might have.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would just like to offer students my email address so that if they have any current concerns or visions of how the SU should approach the upcoming academic year please contact me. I would be so delighted to hear from you! A.firstname.lastname@example.org
VICE PRESIDENT: WELFARE OFFICER
FORLÍONADH TOGHCHÁN CML
VICE PRESIDENT: WELFARE OFFICER
SU ELECTION SPECIAL
Why are you running for election?
Why are you running for election?
I have been in this university for four and a half years, and my goal would be to try to give back to the university. My goal would be to make the university more accessible for the average student, especially the Students’ Union, encourage people to get interested and involved in the Students’ Union, and see what we can provide for the average student.
What is the one thing that you are hoping to achieve as Welfare and Equality officer over everything else?
One thing I am very passionate about is the services we provide to students. I would love to improve the mental health services and disability support services. There has been an increase in numbers for the disability support service, there is a large number of students increasing their involvement in it and so increasing the amount of services they need. However the university hasn’t provided funds or staff to accommodate these students. My goal is to work with the university to improve the services in disability services and mental health.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
One thing I want to focus on is women’s rights. I want to focus on the Ask for Angela campaign. I feel we should offer courses to bar staff to be aware of what Ask for Angela means, and teach the female student body, so they can be ready if they’re in a difficult situation. I also want to work on the situation with spiked drinks which has become prevalent. A test to check if your drinks has narcotics in it only cost €1.50 but yet no pub in the university or in Galway sells them. My goal would be to have a campaign and work with the board of commerce to come up wth a policy to convince bars and restaurants to sell these packets at the bar with drinks. So if you’re a girl or a boy who is uncomfortable with your drink, while buying a drink you can also buy a packet, and I hope it would be used as a deterrent and reduce the amount of drink spiking that occurs. Another passionate one I am proud of is blood and bone marrow drives. A blood drive was on during RAG week and we all know what happens during RAG week. So I think as we have a large student population of healthy men and women, that we should be con-
tributing more. I think we should have more blood drives in the university, one every three months. I am hoping we can give back – we already have many students doing medicine – we could give back to the health services in this country. I also think we should take a step further. I think a great contribution would be to have a bone-marrow drive once a year. Individuals can sign up and have DNA samples taken from their cheek and if they want they will be put on a register, and they may be called upon to save someone’s life with a blood disorder. Not only would this be a great charitable deed you would also get financial incentive of €400 so I am hoping it would encourage students to participate and I am hoping it would make NUI Galway contribute to saving them.
How will you encourage people to see you as someone they can approach with any problems?
I feel like as Welfare & Equality Officer I think it is a big responsibility and I’d make sure to have opening hours, which the Welfare Officer already does, but maybe take initiative to run workshops and visit societies and clubs, ask the student body what they are interested in as I am the treasurer of a society myself, Impact, I completely understand that I need to take more initiative with minority groups in the university.
Anything else to add?
I am proud that equality is part welfare. It will give the officer more background to improve the standards in the university to make sure people are happy and that they will be supported.
For the last couple of years I have been yur regular student, and then I have also volunteered with the SU. Then this year I also started working with them at the SU desk and I think from havig all those experiences I have been able to see how things work in terms of how students are well-represented and well-supported but also where we ccould be doing better. So I think there are areas we can improve the student support and I want to take what I’ve seen and learnt and apply it and I want to apply this to help the students and being a leader the students need, I want to be there solely for them and for their needs, even if it is just continuing traditions we already have, running fun events to campaign positive health and sexual health. It may just be making these more regular. As well as that giving more attention to students who don’t feel like they’re a part of the campus or feel a little bit ignored.
What is the one thing you want to do as Welfare and Equality Officer over everything else?
Nearly every single student is involved in extra-curricular activities, if they’re in a club or maybe a society committee, or do volunteering whether it is on or off campus. Everyone is doing something outside of their course, but we are not getting the same recognition for it. You could have a student that requires 40 or 50 hours a week and then are still maintaining 25 hours of being in their club or going to matches, or working on a society committee as an events manager and organising events. I want to get these students recognition so when they finish college and go into a job that there is recognition of that work that they’ve done. I want to work with the college to set up and ECT accreditation system to award students for the hours they have contributed, and even though this might take a while, I still think we can start it by adding an added page to their transcript, where it documents the hours the hours they’ve done, giving students support while they’ve done all that work through college and having them recognised for that.
Can you briefly outline the other key points in your manifesto?
One thing that I’d love is to bring to spiking test kits into the union. These would be strips or straws that people can use on a night out, and you pop them in a glass and it changes colour if you have been spiked with them. It ensures the safety of students on a night out. Spiking unfortunately has increased in Galway and even in other parts of Ireland, and these would be free to all students. I would also like to bring in a Welfare vending machine. From working at the desk, I’ve
seen that students don’t like to come up to ask for free things like condoms or Tompax, so I’d put a vending machine either side of campus where students could go to the discrete area, scan their SU card, and still get a free pack.
How will you encourage people to see you as someone they can approach with any problems?
I think the biggest thing s about these students, especially Welfare and Equality, it is someone students can go to talk and get support. It is a listening and referral services, but sometimes people don’t want to come to you because you are the person upstairs in the office. So my biggest thing, which I hope to show during election week, is visibility. I am the type of person who is always on campus, I practically live there, and I’d like to think if people see me in Smokey’s with a cup of tea that they can come over and stop for a chat, that I am that approachable person. I am that person they can put a face to the name.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I think it is important that the Welfare and Equality Officer is someone students feel has their back. They will be the one to the financial aid committee and fights for you to get your grant, theyre the ones where to go when you fiind yourself in a crisi situation and get you the help you need. They are the ones you go to when you think everything is falling apart and they can help you put the pieces back together. They can help you get life back in order. You need someone who isn’t biased, someone you can trust, and is approachable and these should be are the things that people should be considering when they choose their Welfare and Equality Officer. It isn’t always about the fun events, the President can do those, but this is a supportive role and it is important that people feel they can trust that person.
March 06 2017
Black gowns are a vital piece of the Times Up jigsaw By Martha Brennan So far, this year’s entertainment award ceremonies have been far less colourful than usual- but they have been a lot more interesting. The latest protest occurred at the BAFTA awards, where countless celebrities adorned black clothing as they strutted down the red carpet. The bleak colour scheme was used as a tool to unify Hollywood’s finest. A colour concentrated on darkness but inspiring hope to illuminate. Since the start of the year the women of Hollywood have tirelessly campaigned to bring the #MeToo campaign full circle and have transformed the plea to a demand with the #TimesUp movement. Mirroring the Golden Globes on this side of the Atlantic, over 190 women from the film industry signed and published a letter asking attendees of the BAFTA’s to wear black clothing to the event. With around $21 million raised for the American Times Up legal defence fund, British and Irish actresses were hoping to spread the campaign this side of the pond. The celebrities wrote that they wanted to “use our power as communicators to shift the way society sees and treats us”. The aim was to use the uniform as a demonstration of solidarity and to redirect focus from the women’s outfits to their voices. Indeed, at the awards far less attention was focused on what was covering the women’s bodies. Few were asked who they were wearing, there was no best dressed, many wore long sleeves or high necks, some even opting for gloves and wraps. The red carpet was a sea of black and the women, who are usually framed as competitors on the red carpet, looked as unified as the men usually do in their tuxedos. It was a small stance that has garnered massive attention.
However, many have disagreed with the celebrity’s means of protest and some with the Times Up movement in general. It’s been accused of being limited in scope, a group of powerful, wealthy, mostly white women wearing beautiful black gowns instead of beautiful colourful gowns. Indeed, many of us at home watching the event couldn’t help asking; what good does this do for me? What will Angelina Jolie strutting around in an expensive black gown do to help the average woman? The one who gets her backside squeezed on the bus or gets her looks commented upon at school or work. Who can’t walk down the street without her legs covered or have a few drinks without feeling vulnerable. What about the women fighting to get into board rooms? Those who break their backs at work and simply expect to be paid the same as their male counterparts? All of us, who are fighting so very hard to be seen as an equal in a world where men dominate. Where crude comments are denounced as locker room talk and women are shamed for standing up for themselves in a court room. It angers us, of course it does. But sometimes we are so masked by our anger that we don’t appreciate the small gestures that are starting us on our way to equality - such as celebrities wearing plain black dresses to the biggest events of their careers. Many of the actresses brought female activists as their dates on the night, and these women got to talk to reporters and have their voices heard. Isn’t this a start? Aren’t we all talking about it? Aren’t these women being heard? Along with the film industry letter before the BAFTA’s, a letter written by female activists working with the movement was
attached. They wrote, “We know that these conversations are not new and that these stories are not exceptional but the women in the entertainment industry that have spoken out have helped push issues such as sexual harassment into the public consciousness in an unprecedented way” and this is true. If one unknown woman had spoken out about Harry Weinstein she might have been ignored, but when a list of powerful women spoke out together, he was shamed. There is power in numbers. And there is even more power in celebrity. By these women speaking out and making their male counterparts uncomfortable, like they have succeeded to do at the BAFTA’s and Golden Globes, we have made progress. The women admitted themselves in the BAFTA’s letter that “perhaps Times Up seems a million miles away to you- started by a group of women with privilege but the truth is, we are all workers and whether or not we’re in the spotlight or the shadows, our voices matter”. So instead of brushing off the small action they took on the red carpet, we should celebrate that while we haven’t changed the reality, we have started to change the mood, with the help of some very powerful people on our side. As Shonda Rhimes said of the movement: “If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, than who can?” Right now we are at a crossroads, where we can either use these small gestures to help us or we can laugh at them and ignore the efforts. I’m choosing to say yes to the Times Up Movement, with the hope that, as the women wrote, “if we truly embrace this moment, a line in the sand will turn to stone”.
Actresses take to the Golden Globes red carpet earlier this year dressed in all-black gowns.
Mary Lou, I hope your day won’t come By Amy McMahon “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam”. A proverb meaning “a country without a language is a country without a soul”. A proverb most of us have grown up learning in school, but one considered to be true for our country. Ireland is the land of culture. We are our language, we should show our grá for Gaeilge and above all not turn it into a weapon. Looking at you, Mary Lou. The new Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was given the title unopposed and told the Irish people “up the Republic, up the rebels and tiocfaidh ár lá” when making her acceptance speech. The speech received a standing ovation of 2000 people in the RDS in Dublin. The phrase that’s got everyone talking was apparently unscripted and was not seen to be on the prompter. This begs the question: did McDonald intend to use the IRA slogan and was advised not to, or was she caught up in the moment? Either way, it doesn’t paint a reassuring picture for the kind of Sinn Féin leadership McDonald intends to introduce as she aims to reunite Ireland. Following much controversy, the day came when McDonald was forced to address the “tiocfaidh ár lá” exclamation on The Late Late Show last month. Host Ryan Tubridy questioned the leader on what exactly she meant by it. Dodging the question as best as she could, McDonald told the Irish viewers she was focusing on a “new Ireland” and her new visions for the future of Ireland. “And I know for some people that sounds like a harking to the past, for me it absolutely is not,” she said. “I’m a new leader of Sinn Fein and it’s about the future, it’s about moving to the future,” McDonald continued. A leader so focused on the future she quotes the past? Backwards thinking at its best. How can an Irish woman completely aware of the past horrors and struggles our nation has faced still use a send off so tied to the hardship? “Tiocfaidh ár lá” is a slogan associated with so much pain, distress and an Ireland no one wants to return to. Using such a phrase in order to describe a “new Ireland” is alarming and disturbing. The Irish language should not be a weapon. The Irish language should not bestow fear in its people. The Irish language should not bring back terrible memories of worse times. Tip-toeing around the connotations is pathetic. If you are bold enough to use such a phrase, weaponizing our language, own up to it. Before her speech at the Ard Fheis I believed Mary Lou McDonald could make a change to our government. I always considered her to add a youthful, open-minded view to Irish politics. My opinions have changed. I do not think McDonald should introduce these kind of politics to this “new Ireland” she has planned. Frankly, it won’t bring anything new to the table. We need new voices with new ideas on how to actually work towards a better Ireland. We need someone that values our language and would never try to turn it into a weapon. Gaeilge is the emerald gem our country proudly wears keeping our culture alive. “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam”. Our political leaders should believe in this proverb, ensuring the enduring life of the Irish language, never using it as ammunition.
SU ELECTIONS WILL YOU RUN?
✓ Oifigeach na Gaeilge ✓ Societies Chair ✓ Clubs Captain ✓ Mature Students ✓ Five College Convenors
✓ International Students ✓ Gender and LGBT+ Rights ✓ Disability Rights ✓ Postgraduate Taught ✓ Postgraduate Research
Nominations Open: 10:00am Thursday 21st March 2018 Nominations Close: 5:00pm Wednesday 28th March 2018
Election Day: Thursday 12th April 2018 www.su.nuigalway.ie
March 06 2017
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otaging our health and wellbeing. Do we really want to spend the best years of our lives namely our twenties and thirties in poor physical condition never coming close to optimising our athletic potential? Of course we don’t. How we treat our bodies affects how our mind works. The fountain of youth can handle the onslaught of poor lifestyle choices only for so long. Everybody starts somewhere. In a country swelled with nefarious influences, questionable governance and relentlessly depressing weather the onus is on us, on you to protect yourself and avoid that victim narrative that some poor souls end up embracing. If we push ourselves we can push each other. As Samuel Beckett once said: “Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.”
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On 14 December 2017, the FCC’s Republican majority approved Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut net neutrality protections. The FCC overturned the regulations on internet freedom that was established under the Obama administration in a threeto-two vote. Net neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: it preserves our right to communicate freely online. Thanks to it, the internet is seen more as a utility rather than a service. It enables and protects free speech. It means that internet service providers should provide us with open networks, and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online. The Internet without net neutrality isn’t really the Internet at all. Without net neutrality, consumers will essentially be expected to pay extra for a something that we already pay for. Tech experts expect ‘bundle deals’ to become the norm if net neutrality is axed. You might pay for a social media bundle, which has Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, but you’ll have to pay separately for an entertainment bundle, which has YouTube and Netflix, and pay separately once again for the office bundle just to access your email inboxes.
If net neutrality is killed, it will give broadband companies unlimited power over what you can see and access on the internet, which is a huge threat for free speech and opinions. Broadband companies will have the ability to censor you if they don’t agree with you, slow down certain sites that they don’t like for political reasons. or they could completely shut them off from being accessed. Net neutrality is also crucial for small business owners and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation. It is thanks to net neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. But without net neutrality, ISPs will exploit their gatekeeper position and destroy the Internet’s fair and level playing field. Without net neutrality, the next Google or Facebook will never get off the ground. During a press conference after the vote, democrat and supporter for protecting net neutrality, Mignon Clyburn, had this to say: “The fight to save Net Neutrality does not end today. The agency does not have the final word. Thank goodness for that. I don’t know if this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress or overturned by a future commission. But I do believe that its days are numbered.” For all of our sakes Commissioner Clyburn, I hope you’re right.
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ness that truly test your will. Smashing that hyper resistance guarantees an enhanced glow of satisfaction upon completion. “I’m not a runner” a person once said to me. He was able bodied, in the fullness of his health. He had somehow convinced himself that he couldn’t walk fast before breaking into a low paced running pace. Several weeks later he was a runner completing his first 10km run. Running is easy. You pick point A and point B and you run from one point to another. You feel like a legend after and as you keep doing it you get faster, you get stronger and you feel better. The same mental processes that make us delay facing up to that assignment, that revision or that presentation are the same processes involved in sab-
By Owen Kennedy
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NET NEUTRALITY AND THE FCC: a disaster in the making
head on. To recognise that part of our brain, of our consciousness that wants us to waste time, to remain idle to put off what needs to be done. Resistance is a direct threat to our development to our quality of life and to our future. Many people spend their lives slaves to the powers of resistance. They never come close to fulfilling their potential. That nagging feeling of unfulfillment and vague dissatisfaction never leaves their being. They want more but tell themselves they don’t know how. Commitment to a consistent exercise and diet routine is the best gift you can give yourself. It constructs a solid foundation of core strength and determination that can make you feel bulletproof. And it’s those days where the couch seems to have superglued you to its warm spectacle of nothing-
Training is well underway for the NUI Galway 8k run on Saturday, 10 March. I am helping coordinate regular running sessions open to all levels and to students and non-students, and we run from the Kingfisher Gym Mondays and Wednesdays at 6.30pm. Some colleagues and friends have expressed an interest in joining us on our training days and it is puzzling to see some not follow up on that interest or struggle to maintain consistency. Of course, on the other hand it is perfectly understandable especially for the beginner athlete whose levels of resistance are very high. That’s what inactivity can do. It dulls the senses. It makes inertia normal. The thought of effort can strike fear and taking oneself out of your comfort zone is of course quite difficult. A comfort zone becomes a protective
layer of delusion appealing to human nature’s long ingrained tendency for self-destruction. We can confuse challenge with threat and myriad defence mechanisms instantaneously crop up urging us, demanding us not to push ourselves. What’s the point? Oh, I cannot be bothered. That’s not for me. I must get fit first before I go running. I’m too busy right now to improve my health and wellbeing. The brain creates several conflicting but compelling reasons not to challenge ourselves, to delay that moment of potential transformation under a cloud of excuses. Resistance to exercise is inevitable. Resistance to all necessary duty is a fact of life. It’s the reason why a 2000-word assignment sits on your desk while you scroll through news about the Kardashians or watch a two minute You Tube video of squirrels on a surfboard. The trick with resistance is to assault it
By Gary Elbert
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Osclófar Ainmniúcháin: 10:00rn Déardaoin, an 21 Márta 2018 Dúnfar Ainmniúcháin: 5:00in Dé Céadaoin, an 28 Márta 2018
Lá an Toghcháin: Déardaoin, an 12 Aibreán 2018 www.su.nuigalway.ie
March 06 2017
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Time to say goodbye to coconut oil? By Tarryn McGuire When it comes to natural ingredients, the use of coconut oil in beauty routines has truly blossomed, not to mention its popularity in cooking and baking. However, it turns out that lathering the stuff on your face can do more harm than good. Beauty bloggers may be obsessed with it, but skin experts believe it is not all its cracked up to be. They are warning against using it as a substitute to other creams as it can clog the pores and result in skin issues. Although coconut oil does help to hydrate the skin, it can actually trap the moisture underneath the skin and can cause spots to appear. Now don’t get me wrong, coconut oil does possess a unique combination of essential fatty acids that penetrate and moisturize skin in a way few ingredients can; natural antioxidants help protect from environmental stressors; and vitamins firm, moisturize, and brighten the skin. But despite its many strengths, coconut oil isn’t for everyone. Oily skin types in
Boots Essentials moisturising cream for all skin types.
particular may battle with it. So breakoutprone skin should beware but what about other skin types? Experts are still hesitant to recommend it, including Dr Williams, Dermatologist and Medical Director of Eudelo. “It can be used if there is no alternative available,” she says. “However, we have many more sophisticated moisturisers for dry skin available these days which combine synergistic emollients and humectants, so I would always prefer to use these.” Coconut oil has been used in skincare routines for centuries because of its hydrating effects. However, keep in mind that 300 years ago, we didn’t have the same sophisticated, high-tech skincare we have today. In the world of skincare, ‘natural’ does not automatically mean better. So, if you’re looking to deeply moisturize your skin without risking occasional breakouts, here are some affordable coconut oil alternatives that are super friendly to all skin types!
hydrating ingredients. It leaves your skin feeling hydrated all day as well as providing UV protection. Win win! Keep your eyes peeled as Boots currently have this product on offer for €5.99.
Ziaja (pronounced ‘Ji-Ya’) Avocado regenerating day and night.
It’s as refreshing as a high-end product, but costs less than a packet of cotton buds. It’s lightweight, oil-free and easily absorbed, too. Suitable for day and night due it’s consistency and the soothing extract of cucumber. Priced at €3 from Boots, it’s a student’s dream.
Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream SPF15.
At €8.99 the quality of the Botanics range is excellent. The moisturiser contains lots of oils, shea butter and
With over 1000 products in the range, these creams are hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. This brand is one of my all-time favourites, it’s the kind of pharmacy brand that uses top ingredients but at budget friendly prices. The brand is already a huge success in its native Poland and have just recently launched in Ireland. I find these creams for about €3 in polish shops as they are a polish brand, or you can find them in certain chemists for about €7.
Master’s Open Day 24 March 2018
20 FA SH I O N & L I F EST Y L E
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
Lost Looks: 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll By Brigid Fox
icon? Really? Although Presley’s styles in the glamour of the 70s may not have been his best look, Elvis brought some real class and style in the 50s. In the time post-World War II when Americans incomes were notably better, getting the look of your favourite musician was (and still is) a desired pastime. For teenagers in the 50s that meant Presley. Known for his long slicked hair, oversized suit jackets and considered the “master of wearing leather jackets” by Arthur Van de Laak, this fashion reflected rock and
Rock ‘n’ Roll was a phenomenon like no other. Loved by teenagers as the music of a generation and loathed by parents and religious figures alike, it brought rebellion and sex appeal, not forgetting some pretty slick hairdos. It gave a song to a voiceless generation and has stayed that way ever since. Socially, musically and fashionably, this genre was a game changer in every sense of the word. With its rhythm and blues origins and inspiration from the 1940s, rock and roll took on many similar attributes. Much of its musicians were criticised for its apparent and blatant ripoff of African American artists like Fats Domino and Big Joe Turner. Although admittedly this may be somewhat true, fifties rock and roll musicians like Elvis Presley openly accepted the claims: “[They’ve] been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know.” But indisputably rock and roll brought its own style and purpose to music. The King Elvis Presley is one of the biggest contributors to this genre both in his music and fashion sense. Best known for number one hits like “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and “Burning Love”, Presley took the world by storm and his fashion looks were no exception. Now I know what you’re thinking about, that big white bedazzled jumpsuit with the questionable jewelled belt, a fashion
parents and priests during this time towards Elvis and his unintended label as a “sex-hibitionist” by David Anderson pushed this rebellious nature even further making him an irreplaceable figure and influencer in this generations youth. Chuck Berry is another musician from the 50s who along with Presley earned his spot in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1985. Berry’s impact in rock is much different to that of Elvis focusing on the anger and misplaced emotions of young people especially
Now I know what you’re thinking about, that big white bedazzled jumpsuit with the questionable jewelled belt, a fashion icon? Really? Although Presley’s styles in the glamour of the 70s may not have been his best look, Elvis brought some real class and style in the 50s. roll completely. Relaxed, carefree and rebellious. Music to a teenagers ears (literally). His worldwide adoration didn’t stop at music as teenagers began to copy his style, swagger and rebellious streak. In an article Elvis Presley- King of Fashion Trend Setting he made ordinary looks, like crew neck t-shirts and loose fitting shirts into a fashion statement every teenager had to have. Outrage from
in the face of social injustices and racism. Sporting once again oversized suit jackets and loose fitting pants often with eccentric colours and vibrancy, Chuck Berry made his own imprint on fashion. The musician Buddy Holly brought a more geek-rock look to the scene than the previous artists. Still popular today for his hits “Everyday”, “Peggy Sue” and “Oh boy”, Holly’s style showed a
different side to this music. Famous for his clean cut, spectacled and tidy demeanour along with some colourful plaid suits, Holly’s look showed a versatile sense of rock and roll fashion that made his style such a classic. Cool and carefree are the key elements in creating this 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired outfit. The leather jacket is an obvious nod at Elvis Presley who can be seen fashioning many colours and variations of the material. As he is world renowned for his style in this genre many of this looks characteristics reflect it again, such as the black high-waisted jeans. The ripped design from these Next jeans adds a modern twist to this rock design. With inspiration from Chuck Berry’s oversized jackets and Holly’s love for patterns, a red and grey checkered shirt work well with this look. An added bonus to complete this style would be the inclusion of the “wet” hairstyle along with some black eyeliner and red lipstick to add a more feminine look which is still very 50s. The Rock ‘n’ Roll era was a time of rebellion and refusal; refusing social norms and reforming what it means to be a teenager in an adult world - something all of us can relate to. Once again this seamless connection between musical genres and its impact on the cultural and fashion world join together, proving the two are not as apart as considered and that this fluidity through music and style still remains truthful today.
HOW TO STYLE: The Crop Jumper By Brigid Fox
First Look: Blue
Second Look: Red
The simple and versatile crop top has survived many years of ever changing fashion trends. From 90s stars like Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani to models now like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, crop tops have never been left behind or forgotten. As clothing styles reinvent themselves, the crop jumper has become a new fad for any lover of short clothing. Perfect for cosying up on cold mornings or for trying something new on a night out, the crop jumper gives a whole new look to a familiar style. The two jumpers in this style piece are from Missguided for €21 with the first look and from Boohoo for the amazing price of €13 for the other.
• Black knitted
• Soft Knit off
croptop, Missguided, €21 • Oriental Satin Woven A Line Mini Skirt, Boohoo, €24 • Black 2 straps sandals, Missguided, €15 • NYX Professional Cosmic Metals Metallic Lip Gloss Shade Dark Nebula, Boots, €10.50
the shoulder crop jumper, Boohoo, €13 • Blue denim floral embroidered mini skirt, Missguided, €36 • Red Faux suede ankle boots, Pretty Little Thing, €50 • Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick shade Its redding men, Boots, €8.99
March 06 2017
Visiting Paris on a student’s budget By Nicole Mullan
Ryanair Sale. The words hopped onto my screen in bold, italic font luring me in, urging me to investigate. Flights to Paris for twenty-five euro. Twenty-Five euro? Bargain. The French book on my desk urged me on. I needed a break from study. A trip to France would help improve my fluency after all. Looking beyond the stress of upcoming exams, the promise of a delightful summer formed in my mind. Paris was the city I most longed to see and this time I could afford it. The sale was to end at midnight that day. This left me with six hours to consult my parents and try to convince at least one friend to hop on the bandwagon, to do something adventurous and come with me. Most of my friends thought I was crazy, a fallen soldier to the exam stress, dreaming unrealistic thoughts. This was real. This was happening. Watching the plane’s seat numbers get snatched up before my eyes, I rushed to fill in all the details. I hit the confirm button and booked the flights. It wasn’t until I opened the kitchen cupboard to a measly half-eaten packet of crackers and the crust of a week-old loaf when the aftershock hit. What had I just done? It was the best decision I could have made. I had the trip of the lifetime. Paris did not disappoint. We only booked our accommodation about three weeks before arriving because the trip itself was such a spontaneous decision. In Paris, accommodation can be very expensive but after having researched extensively, we found a lovely hotel at a reasonable price near Notre Dame. We did a hop on hop off tour around the city which brought you to most of the tourist spots. It will cost you €34 but you can also get a package deal which offers a boat trip on the Seine River. We took the boat trip at night so that we could see the Eiffel Tower lit up, and at that time other boats pass by that play jazz music which really added to the atmosphere. Paris is a very romantic city, but you don’t have to be in a relationship to appreciate its beauty.
It has no shortage of things to do while there. If you are a lover of arts, Paris is for you. There are streets filled with stalls selling books and art work at cheap prices. Anybody could spend a week in the Louvre alone. It was spectacular and you can get in for free with an EU passport. We were also treated to street entertainment such as hip-hop dancers, bubble exhibitions and mime artist displays. We also visited Napoleons’ tomb and an army museum. For anyone with an interest in cosmetics ‘Musée du Parfum’ is a must see; you learn about the process of making perfumes and how it has developed over the years. We left smelling of the sweetest fragrances you can imagine. If only airports allowed you to take home liquid substances in bulk! Travelling to Disneyland on our last day brought out the inner child in us all. The waiting lines for the rides can be long. Get tickets for the fast queue if you can afford it. There was a Disney parade with music and all the characters you loved from childhood. My friends and I are big kids at heart and seemed to be enjoying the parade more than some of the youngsters. Then, as they were closing off certain entrances, I overheard a woman say in French “I’m here to see Johnny Depp.” My friends didn’t speak French and they wondered why I was getting so excited. It was only then, that I noticed red carpets and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” logo plastered around the park. We had somehow stumbled upon the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere and became wedged among some of the stars’ biggest fans. Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp, both only a few feet away, blocked merely by a barrier. I couldn’t believe our luck. Although Valentine’s Day has just passed, a romantic trip to Paris could be the perfect treat. A cheap trip elsewhere could be ideal for all the singletons longing to escape for a few days. Adventures bring stories to your life. Obviously being a student, money is precious, but if you have the spare cash and can find a cheap hostel with some friends then why not jet off? Je regrette rien.
NÓS MAIRE ACHTÁLA
Shady business: have Penneys overstepped the mark copying Kim? By Amanda Leeson We have to admit Penneys are killing it recently with their makeup releases. The products are ultra pigmented and are praised by beauty bloggers. However, Penneys have been criticised for having their dupe products looking very similar to the original and the latest release from the high street giant is pretty much an exact match for the Kim Kardashion West products. Kim Kardashion West is well known for her iconic makeup looks so it’s only fitting she created her own range of products to enable followers to get her look. KKW Beauty launched late last year, but for us Irish followers it’s hard to get your hand on the products without spending an arm and a leg. This is where Penneys steps in. After already launching dupes for Kylie Jenner’s lip kits, Penneys have now turned their
attention to older sister Kim’s products. Recreating three beauty products that feature in the makeup line. Most beauty bloggers and influencers are looking forward to the contour sticks and double-sided contour brush, brush on one end with a beauty blended on the other. The KKW products retails for $48, while you can grab yours for €8 in Penneys. Another fan favourite is set to be the highlight palette. Kim K is setting prices for a killer highlight at $52, but you can buy your blinding highlight for just €6 in Penneys. Complete the look with a low cost lush lippy. You can buy a set of four for €8 in Penneys, much nicer on the bank account than the KKW price of $45. While these prices are hard to say no to, we can’t help but wonder what Kim thinks of them copying her products. Many products from the all new Nudes range are available in all good Penneys near you now!
22 FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
The best brunch spots in Galway By Olivia Hanna From Monday to Friday there’s only one thing students look forward to, a weekend worth of lie ins. After a week of long lectures and late nights of studying, weekends provide a welcome reprieve from the stress of college life. But after catching up on a few extra hours of sleep, the next best thing about Saturdays and Sundays is filling up with a delicious brunch. Brunch is the obvious hybrid of breakfast and lunch, a sweet or savory meal in the early afternoon, but it has also become synonymous with relaxed conversation and mimosa consumption. A lot of students go home on the week-
ends, but hopefully this round-up of Galway’s best brunch spots is enough to entice you to stay in town a little while longer.
Tribeton Located by the docks, Tribeton is a not so hidden gem. It’s tucked away, but its large size and brightly colored exterior make it easy to spot when you go looking. Step inside to uber-chic loft and enjoy both a delicious meal and a great snap for your Instagram story. Tribeton’s offerings include a delightful full Irish breakfast, pancakes drenched in gooey caramel sauce, and an impressive selection of poached eggs. Quench your
thirst with freshly squeezed orange juice or one of their many cocktails. Tribeton, 1-3 Merchants Road Brunch offered Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Ard Bia The food at Ard Bia is the definition of comfort. It includes the standard offerings: pancakes, French toast, avocado toast and the ‘Ard Bia fry’. All the ingredients are locally sourced, and dishes are designed to comfort both the body and the soul. After, take a stroll down The Long Walk to make room for one of their delicious pastries, especially the baked cheesecake.
Ard Bia, Spanish Arch, The Long Walk Brunch offered Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Caprice Esthetes will be drawn to Caprice just by looking at their gorgeous interiors, but it isn’t just a facade. Caprice offers up mimosas, bellinis, and fresh orange juice to complement their menu that ranges from wild mushrooms on toast, to a buttermilk chicken burger. Perhaps one of the unique features of caprice’s brunch is their brioche French toast, thick slices of toast coated in maple syrup that will satisfy for hours. Caprice Cafe, 1 Church Lane Brunch offered Sundays 11:00 am - 5:00pm
Dela This particular eatery stands out from the crowd. Not only was it voted as Hot
Press Ireland’s Brunch of the Year 2016, but it has a seasonal menu with unique items such as their green herb falafel wrap, and their breakfast burrito. Dela Restaurant, 51 Lower Dominick St. Brunch offered Tuesday - Sunday 11:30 am - 3pm
Biteclub Biteclub is, without a doubt, one of Galway’s chicest eateries. Dine surrounded by neon lights and get served by one of the uniquely outfitted staff. Their brunch menu includes their take on the full Irish, French toast, Eggs benedict, a falafel wrap, and their delicious braised beef cheek tacos. Wash it all down with one of their imaginative cocktails (boozy Butterbeer anyone?) or slushies. Biteclub, 36 Abbeygate Street Upper, Brunch offered Sundays from 12 4:30pm
French toast for four By Amy McMahon Did you buy too much bread in lead up to the “Beast from the East”? Fret not, we have a delicious and easy recipe to help use up all of that bread. INGREDIENTS:
• 1 egg • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon • 60ml of milk • 4 slices of bread
METHOD: Beat the egg in a shallow dish. Adding in the vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the milk. Dip the bread into the mixture to coat both sides evenly. Cook bread on greased pan on a medium heat until both sides have browned. You can add cream, Nutella and berries to make this dish even more heavenly. Enjoy and bon appetit! Not in the cooking mood? Take a look at Olivia Hanna’s piece above on the best places for brunch in Galway.
Cultúr na hÉireann i nGaillimh By Aoife O Donoghue Galway is well known around the world for having the true spirit of Ireland running through its veins. When you stroll through the city centre, the streets are reminiscent of a thriving Irish culture. Bodhrán-wielding buskers frequently fill the air with lively music, and it is not an uncommon sight to see Irish dancing on the junction between Mainguard and High street. An Ghaeilge is also dotted across the city, with street signs and shop fronts proudly displaying our native tongue. The culture can be contagious, so if you find yourself wanting to get immersed, here are a few suggestions as to how.
Take classes: Áras na Gael on Dominick Street are a fantastic resource for Irish speakers or those who want to get more involved in Irish culture. They frequently hold music lessons for Irish instruments like the concertina or bodhran. They also regularly hold Sean Nós dancing classes if you’d like a more active cultural experience.
Go kick-about: If you feel like it’s been too long since you’ve thrown on a pair of football boots, why not get in touch with Gaeil na Gaillimhe CLG? They are currently the only GAA club in the city that is run solely through Irish. They have a ladies’ and mens’ teams and welcome new members.
Cúpla focal le do cupán tae: Several businesses around the city offer a bilingual service, whether through Irish on the menus or the staff having the language. Some of the pubs like The Crane, Neachtains and Monroes have Irish speakers working there, as does An Cúpan Tae café at Spanish Arch.
Head to a trad session: Live music abounds in Galway, often every night of the week. One of the best known and loved venues for trad sessions is The Crane Bar on Sea Road, where amateur musicians gather and play downstairs, while upstairs there is a performance every night at 9.30. Tigh Cóilí and Taaffes on Shop Street also offer fantastic music, with sessions in Tigh Cóilí at 6.30 and 9.30 and at 9 in Taaffes.
C U LT Ú R
March 06 2017
SIN meets NUI Galway student, actor and playwright Cathal Ryan By Michael Glynn The theatre in NUI Galway has always been a real treat, be it the GUMS musical productions or the various plays and projects produced by the students, particularly the annual Theatre Week. One person who has been involved in pretty much every part of theatre in NUI Galway that you could name is Performing Arts student Cathal Ryan, writer and director of Dead Set, which ran for Theatre Week in the university last month.
it makes references to Dramsoc and it makes references to theatre in Galway in general, so it was perfect for NUI Galway theatre week. The story of it is about an amateur dramatic group who have a tradition every year that after the show they take down the set and they bring it out and they have a few drinks on stage. The premise of the show is that that tradition means a lot more to some people than it does to others.
Tell me about Dead Set.
You usually take the main stage, has this been an entirely new experience or have you dabbled in writing before?
Dead Set is a site-specific show, so I wrote it about and set it around the BOI Theatre, and
I wrote last year’s fresher play Swipe with Shane McCormack but when we were
FILM REVIEW: Black Panther By Brigid Fox Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Panther, the first from its universe to hit our screens this year gave many critics and cinema goers plenty to discuss. Directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, it presented the first black protagonist in this Marvel’s universe film collection. Although Black Panther’s character has been around since the mid 1960s, audiences flocked to its weekend debut to see this Panther in action, making “social history” according to film critics. Foreseen to be a groundbreaking and revolutionary film for its cinematic diversity and delivery its no surprise its weekend box office debut broke records even surpassing fellow Marvel characters like the infamous Deadpool in 2016. From this, the energy surrounding this character and film began to rise and rise. But, did it meet these extraordinary expectations? Sort of. This action packed sci-fi film tells the story of T’Challa also known as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) following the death of his father after Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa must return to the hidden and scientifically advanced nation of Wakanda and take his place as king. Running the risk of being exposed to the world, T’Challa faces both internal and external threats in his role as ruler and protector. The film itself gave everything a solid action and superhero movie should. The casting was exceptional with strong male and female roles that gelled well together on screen. The setting and context was different from other marvel superhero films seen since 2008 and that should be welcomed. This film brought you away from the usual busy city streets and dingy alleyways of the mainstream superhero hide outs and brought colour, sound and culture. Although occasionally the CGI got a little Sims-ish, overall the setting was interesting and unique but not spectacular and in no way perfect. The dialogue was again, well structured and expressive, everything a fine film should have. While admittedly some of the speech may have been slightly cringeworthy and a case of “you’ll only get it if you were on the internet three years ago”, all in all it qualified as a good superhero origins script.
The general plot was nothing ground breaking but relatively entertaining, which is what you want out of any superhero/action movie. With the success of the previous Marvel made films and their ability to appeal to the emotions of a character and audience fittingly, Black Panther is no exception. It gives an honest portrayal into the inner unrest and fears of the new king and his concerns over his nation Wakanda.
writing that it was more just two of us having the craic and trying to come up with jokes whereas this show is kind of a darker comedy and so the process had a lot more thinking behind it. But yes, it is my first time directing.
How did you find the experience? It’s good, even opening night there, I don’t know what it was, it’s a completely different type of nervousness, I suppose. When you’re acting you’re worried about giving the performance and remembering lines and just not regretting any decisions. Whereas being a writer and putting on a show you’re kind of presenting it with a degree of confidence, like “this is good, that’s why I’m putting it on”. When you’re an actor you’re only a small part of the production whereas as writer and director I was putting a lot of myself into it. Like even last night the actors were walking around before the show like shaking their hands, getting warmed up, and I found myself naturally joining in, it was like going back to the status quo.
Will writing be something you pursue or will acting always be your go-to? I enjoy writing but l was saying to somebody last night, when I wrote Swipe it was an idea I had in my head and I put pen to paper and then the concept of Dead Set like having a site-specific show in a theatre with no set and just the actors it was an idea I had. So I’ll never go out of my way to write or sit down and try to come up with an idea, because acting is my thing and that’s what I want to follow but when I get an idea, I write, and I love writing but as I say I don’t think I’ll ever go out of my way to come up with an idea. The other interesting thing about Dead Set is the cast, I went for all mature students for this one. From day one of writing I always wanted to go for mature students, when I came up with such a specific concept I knew that was exactly what I wanted. The play itself is so simple and genuine, it’s just four people having a chat, there is quite a nostalgic element to it. Instead of putting grey in people’s hair and drawing on wrinkles I thought I’d actually just get people to suit it better and I felt it gave something that was new.
DEPARTURES FROM GALWAY COACH STATION DESTINATION DUBL I N A I R POR T E DUBL I N C I TY CENTR CORK EXPRESS L I ME R I C K E X P R E S S C L I F D E N C O MM U T E R L O U G H R E A C O MM U T E R B A L L I N A S L O E C OMMU A T H L O N E I T C OMMU T Black Panther is a solid action sci - fi flick. Good cast and a coherent script. It gives the audience something different from the usual Marvel universe movies and for that it will be remembered. Its entertainment value was there and it is definitely a worthwhile film to watch but cinematically it was nothing breathtaking. However, for its diverse set of actors and Marvel’s first on screen black protagonist, it is a milestone for many people and audiences. With that in mind, Black Panther and further diverse characters are sure to make more regular appearances in this universe from now on.
NO. DAILY DEPARTURES XPRE SS 15 E EXPRESS 15 5 5 6 8 TER 8 ER 8
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24 A RT S & E N T E RTAIN M EN T
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
SIN meets NUI Galway music man Tom Freeman By Michael Glynn
What happened next? Did you stay going solo?
Through Rock Soc, Music Soc, the university orchestra, or just by meeting people through chance, NUI Galway has always had a way of nurturing the latent talent within those studying here, one such talented musician is Tom Freeman, a recent NUI Galway graduate.
Yeah, a little bit but you know deep down I always just wanted to be in a band, but I think it’s quite important that you find people who want to play the same things as you and if you can’t find them all the time then maybe you’re better off starting on your own.
So, you’ve been involved with music in NUI Galway since you set your foot in the door, what enticed you to start? I suppose I just kind of heard about it and I was just getting into playing music on my own, I think the Open Mic with the Music Society was the very first thing I did, and I think they’d advertised that everyone who played got a free refreshment from the college bar afterwards, so I kind of went off on my own and I did it, I was able to play in front of people I didn’t know.
Then you started Conman? Yes around second year I found someone who was kind of the same wavelength as myself, we had similar ideas for songs and we just liked playing together, that was Des Conroy, which is where we got the name, Conroy and Freeman together.
Did it stay just the two of you? Yeah we would play and then Karl Healy from the Rock Soc asked us if we wanted to play a gig, and I almost told him that we were only acoustic and then he said that it was in the Róisín Dubh so we said we’d do the gig – then we had about a week to find a bassist and a drummer. We
got Dylan Chambers on the bass and James Walsh on the drums.
How did you meet? I actually met Dylan at the Witless competition in first year and I had no idea he played bass but kind of through a friend of a friend I found out so I just kind of asked him on the basis of “look we really just want to play this one show, can we have you for the one night” and he said no bother I’ll help you out and then he just stuck on.
You’re playing with The Clockworks now, how did that come about? Correct, huge Clockworks fan, I actually met them in first year at Witless, I think that night at Witless in first year was like my introduction to the music scene in Galway, everyone in the band that I’m still playing with I met that night. Clockworks were there, Field Trip were there, Bob Skeleton were there, even some of them were like bands that hadn’t even started yet.
I enjoyed the Clockworks, they were probably my favourite in Galway, and then some time passed and I saw they were getting a bit more attention, they started releasing some singles out, so I started trying to make more of their shows and got to know the three boys, Seán Connelly, James McGregor and Damian Greaney.
And eventually just got the offer? Yeah they said that their current bassist was focusing on Music Technology down in Cork and he wouldn’t be able to commit enough time to the band.
So are both bands still going strong? Conman has taken a bit of a back seat, we’re kind of focusing on the writing and stuff like that and the other boys have some external commitments that impede on Conman a little bit. Whereas with the Clockworks, we all have our day jobs, after that we’re all 100pc focused on the band, we’ve a way to make money, then we’re totally in the band.
Any projects/gigs coming up? With Clockworks we just released “Rumours in the Stockroom”
which is our fifth single released, that just came out. We are recording two more tracks in the next month and they’ll be released maybe before summer. We’re playing the Róisín Dubh on Friday 16 March and that’s going to be our homecoming gig cause we’re going to London, Dublin and Cork before that. It’s going to be upstairs, a nice and intimate gig. Tickets for the Róisín Dubh are available for €5 and can be purchased either online through the Róisín Dubh or by contacting The Clockworks through Facebook, not a gig to be missed.
REVIVING THE DEAD: the issues with celebrity holograms and CGI By Connell McHugh One of the simple facts of life is that we all die, but in 2018 it seems like that too is off-limits for some of the world’s A - list celebrities. With hologram technology and CGI becoming more advanced, it is possible for dead singing icons and actors to be portrayed on stage and screen. From Tupac Shakur to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and more topically Prince, it seems as if these talented individuals will continue to live on, but perhaps more realistically than is ethically correct. The Super Bowl saw Justin Timberlake, one of the most talented performers of his generation, take to the stage for the half-time show. TMZ had reported days previously that he was going to use a hologram of Prince so that the two could perform together onstage at Prince’s home of Minneapolis, where the Super Bowl was taking place. It was set to be an homage to the late singer who died in 2016. However, as anybody who watched the half-time show could tell, Prince’s hologram made no appearance. Prince’s former fiancé had tweeted out her issues with the idea of Prince being portrayed as a hologram and said in an interview with the Associated Press: “Prince had told me ... don’t let anybody do a hologram of him for religious reasons, so I just posted that if this happened it’s kind of messed up and not cool.” The issue of people being shown in holographic form raises a question that is difficult to answer: who owns the dead? The main legal issue is the right of publicity to be associated with a particular artist. Yvette Joy Liebesman, an assistant professor at St. Louis University Law School, said in an interview with
RFT Music: “So, if you’re putting out an album like Natalie Cole doing a duet with her father who’s been deceased for many years... obviously she has the rights somehow through her mother or her father. Obviously it wasn’t hard for her to get the permission to do this. Most of us aren’t that lucky if we want to do something like that.” Justin Timberlake perhaps never would have had the legal standing to bring Prince on stage with him. In 2012, when the hologram of Tupac Shakur performed with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella, his mother gave express permission to Snoop and Dre to use her son’s image. The two then donated money to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation as thanks. Following Shakur’s ‘performance’ at Coachella, Marilyn Monroe was set to make a return in 2013 in the form of a hologram tour by Digicon Media. Her estate sent a cease and desist to the tech company as it infringed upon the Monroe’s intellectual property. Contrastingly, Roy Orbison’s estate gave the green light to Base Entertainment to tour a holographic version of the ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ singer. ‘Roy Orbison In Dreams – The Hologram Tour’ will reach Dublin’s 3arena in late April. Could Elvis be next? Michael Jackson? Amy Winehouse? While it may appear to be an advancement in technology that should be welcomed, the whole area of celebrity holograms seems to have a general air of greed about it. Michael Jackson is the highest earning dead celebrity for the fifth year in a row. He earned $75 million in 2017 according to Forbes’ top earning dead celebrities of 2017 list. If his hologram was to go on tour, the earnings would be astronomi-
cal. The tour could potentially be in several venues at once, increasing the profit. With actors, there is more room to manoeuvre as their wishes are generally more known compared to singers. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was shooting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 when he passed away. As was Paul Walker for the seventh entry into the Fast and Furious franchise. Actors, in taking on roles, sign agreements which allow movie studios to use their brand to promote films. It is nearly always written into their contracts. Both actors were brought to the screens using CGI and special effects. They both had started filming the movies, and the technology was only used to complete their stories. The Star Wars franchise used technology to digitally create Peter Cushing for Rogue One, which raised some eyebrows. The team behind the film decided to revive over recast, but perhaps they should have re-cast. Film studios need to trust the audience to understand that actors are actors, not the characters they play. Kathleen Kennedy, producer for the franchise, has assured fans that Carrie Fisher will not return for Episode 9, instead opting for the simpler write-off. This area of entertainment is well and truly part of our world, despite it sounding like something that should be kept in a Black Mirror episode (Black Museum, anyone?). With more money being invested into singers and film franchises, it will continue to be part of the mainstream entertainment industry. While on a surface-level it seems like a positive thing, the dead still do not have a say. The most ethical thing is to let the dead be dead and enjoy the entertainment that is made for our time.
C U LT Ú R
March 06 2017
No filter is enough to hide ugly Snapchat update By Aileen O’Leary The Snapchat update version 10.26.0.15 has left outraged users scrambling to find ways to uninstall the update, scratching their head wondering where they can find their own story never mind their friends’. Advertising has also expanded with companies like McDonald’s now using 10 second spaces between your friends’ stories to promote their products. However is
social media’s purpose not to bring together a community of your friends and family and sharing moments and creating new ones? It isn’t about blasting the same message on a loop over and over again until it sinks in. Alas, it seems to be the case with social media sites that after they secure a following and build up a large community they tend to become money hungry. Updates tend to feature more advertorial aspects than
helpful ones. A look at Snapchat’s rating on the app store shows that it has dropped to a staggering 1.8/5 despite having millions of users worldwide. The general consensus amongst the 11,891 ratings so far is ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.’ Commenters were clearly put out deeming the update as “absolutely disgraceful update”. One said they “did everything in my will not to update the app as I do love the old version” and another joked
they had their “basic human rights stripped” when the app updated automatically. Of course, users had asked for an update, but only a maintenance update to make the app run faster, become more stable, and less likely to crash. Instead they have received something entirely different. The whole concept of discovering new influencers to follow or new brands or online sites is just smoke and mirrors for Snapchat trying to make as much money
as possible. If Snapchat keeps going in this direction it will become a relic like Myspace or Bebo, and a new developer will come up with a better platform the same way Facebook did. Apps come and go so quickly these days. Vine shot to popularity and now it’s known as the app the jumpstarted major YouTubers’ careers and is no longer available. Celebs will jump from platform to platform just like influencers when they know that the ship
is sinking. A lot of influencers have already left for Instagram and are using Instagram stories instead. Kylie Jenner sent shockwaves through the online community when a she tweeted she was no longer using the app as often as she used to, and cost Snapchat a hefty $1.8billion on the stock market. It is only a matter of time before Snapchat is buried in the ground. Snapchat must find a balance between users and advertisements if it wants to last.
Podcasting has become more popular than ever, but is it replacing traditional radio? By Áine Kenny I first started listening to podcasts during my Leaving Cert, when my English teacher told my class to listen to Serial to understand the narrative form and how it can be used in different ways. This podcast narrated by Sarah Koenig immediately hooks in the listener. Something about the way the story was told just brought me back, week after week. I looked at the top charts on iTunes and downloaded the most popular ones. Now, I listen to podcasts more than I listen to music. There is something for everyone in the podcasting world, which is why they have taken over from traditional radio for some. There are fictional podcasts like Welcome to Nightvale, detailing a mysterious desert town in America where every conspiracy theory seems to be true. There are feminist podcasts which deal with women’s issues and intersectionality in fun, colourful ways, like Stuff Mom Never Told You and Unladylike. The reigning Irish podcaster at the moment has to be Blindboy Boatclub of the Rubberbandits. His Limerick lilt and quick quips have listeners in stitches, but he also tells interesting historical stories, and touches on poignant issues like mental health. But what makes podcasts different from traditional radio? And are they taking over? I would argue that the two exist in the same vein but are not necessarily detracting from one other. The form of podcasts is quite free flowing and not strictly confined to segments like radio is. This results in the “podcast hug”, as Blindboy puts it. There are also a lot more story form or fictional
podcasts out there compared to what is offered by the main radio stations. Additionally with podcasts, serious crime, issues surrounding race, sexism, reproductive rights and mental health are freely discussed, and they don’t have to adhere to strict Broadcasting Authority of Ireland laws. There is simply more diversity in the podcast world. Podcasts aren’t perfect though. A lot of them are made initially by amateurs, who are creating content as a hobby. It is very difficult to make money from podcasts, as most would only have three advertisements in each show, and it is hard to get a sponsor starting out. This means it is difficult for startup podcasts to buy good equipment and improve their sound quality. There is also another problem with podcasts which occurs when hosts try to emulate radio too much. This is evident in This American Life, which is a public radio show and a podcast. This takes quite a traditional segment form, and the stories are great. However, a lot of the contributors speak with this sort of false sincerity which Americans seem to crave from TV and radio presenters. This does not translate well to international listeners, so this tone of voice could drive people back into the arms of national radio. While podcasts may have started off emulating radio, I think they have grown into something different. Their style and themes are different to that of traditional radio, leading to separate audiences. I don’t think traditional radio will lose listeners because of podcasts - but they need to seriously rethink their style and content in order to draw in new listeners. Maybe they could take a leaf out of a podcaster’s book?
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SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
First year student Aislinn Meaney making her mark in the Irish national squad By Graham Gillespie Since the start of the college year Aislinn Meaney has made two major step ups in her life. First she moved away from home and into NUI Galway to start her college degree, something that nearly everyone reading this has probably experienced. Her second step up was altogether much rarer. On January 18 of this year, the Clare woman donned the green jersey and made her senior international football debut for Ireland in a friendly against Portugal. It’s doubtful there are many others you can meet on the concourse that have represented their country at the highest level. “It was a sense of accomplishment really,” said the Galway WFC player on what she felt when she learned of her senior call up. “It’s where I wanted to be and I knew I wanted to get there eventually”. Meaney was in unfamiliar territory in her senior debut in another way too as she found herself playing right back, a wholly new experience for someone who is naturally a right winger or striker. “I actually never played there before. That was my first introduction to playing in the defence, so
it was completely new to me,” she explained. It was also instantly clear to Meaney that despite having played for youth international teams growing up, this was different to anything she had previously experienced. “There was a few things that would be similar enough (to youth international set ups) like the training and that kind of thing, but it’s definitely a new level of professionalism. It’s much quicker, it’s more physical, and it’s taxing on the mental side of things as well,” she reflected. The Ennis native first took up football as a child playing for Lifford Ladies, and by 16 she was playing for their senior side. It was then when she attracted interest from Women’s National League team Galway WFC. After passing the trial with flying colours, she joined the squad for pre-season and made her league bow with her new club at just 17. The first couple of years were a challenge for Aislinn as she was still only in secondary school. “I was coming from Clare and I was still in fifth year at the time. There was three or four of us coming up from Clare to Galway training and the first few years it was tough enough. I was in my Leaving Cert
cycle then so it was tough trying to fit training in while getting study done” remembered Meaney. That may have been daunting, but Meaney said her time with the Irish youth set up helped prepare her to play for a club away from Lifford Ladies; “playing with the international teams throughout my teenage years would have definitely helped because you’re always mixing with a new bunch of girls. The experience I had behind me definitely helped me to fit in and feel comfortable”. The new season starts on March 11, and when she spoke to SIN Meaney said she and her teammates were “flat out” since Christmas in pre – season. “We’ve been training three or four times a week with football sessions and gym, a bit of yoga as well. It’s been really picking up so we’re all really excited and buzzed to start the season” said the 19-year-old. The first year Arts student was also in a confident mood ahead of the new season believing they can build on last year’s 6th place finish. “We started making progress towards the end of the season, but it’s was a positive one because we know that the talent is there and we know we can go all the way. So hopefully we can prove it to ourselves, and come home with some silverware.”
She was also positive about the league in general which has a new team this season in Limerick. This can only be a good thing in Aislinn’s eyes “Adding a new team means more competition for us and it means more games. It’s a big positive for women’s soccer in general because it’s more people getting involved”. Meaney now also plays for the NUI Galway intervarsity team. Unfortunately, they had to deal with a devastating penalties loss to Waterford IT recently in the Kelly Cup after a 3 – 3 draw. Aislinn is choosing to look on the bright side however by refocusing her efforts on trying to win the Lyndon Plate at the intervarsity tournament, which begins in UL this Thursday. She would admit herself that since she has gotten to college, there has been times where it has been difficult to juggle her football with her academic and social life. “It can be difficult at times because you’re training full time and you’re studying full time. You’ve assignments due and you want to meet your friends, so you got to make that sacrifice sometimes. You have to know what to prioritise at certain times,” she said. On the other hand, she was also quick to point out that accommo-
dating coaches at both her college and club teams have helped make life easier. “I’m lucky that the coaching staff is very understanding. They know I’m training for both teams, so they’re not pushing for me to be in one place rather than the other.” Looking ahead, Aislinn said she would consider trying her hand at playing professionally after she finishes her Arts degree. “Playing on the senior team you see some of the girls are playing professional football in the likes of England and America, so you kind of get a taste for it in that sense”. “It’s definitely something I’d consider because that life is very enticing. I’d love to try it out” she continued. In the more immediate term, Aislinn’s main aim football-wise is to get involved in the Irish senior team’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers, especially as Colin Bell’s outfit have made an excellent start to their campaign sitting joint top of group 3 with European champions the Netherlands. There will be yet another leap to make for her to play competitive senior international football, but Aislinn Meaney has succeeded in taking the next step in the past so there’s no reason why she can’t do it again.
All-Ireland club finals day preview By Mark O’Connor Will a young and upcoming Na Piarsaigh side be able to topple reigning hurling champions Cuala? Can a young yet experienced Corofin side reclaim their place at the pinnacle of club football in Ireland? On the 17 March 2018, two clubs will walk away with the most prized accolades that a club player can win whilst also gaining bragging rights for their particular code for the year ahead. This is more than just a medal and bragging rights, this is the unrivalled pride of one stepping foot on the hallowed grass of Croke Park to do battle on St. Patricks Day and representing one’s club. In the hurling final, we see current champions Cuala of Dublin bid to win back to back Tommy Moore Cups and become only the fifth team ever to repeat in the history of the competition. Despite Cuala being the kingpins of hurling over the last two years, Limerick side Na Piarsaigh come into the game as slight favourites after a Ronan Lynch inspired
victory over Ulster champions Slaughtneil. Although Lynch typically carries out most of his duties at inter-county level by floating between the half-forward and corner-forward line, it is at midfield where he excels at club level. Lynch will be expected to do the majority of scoring for Na Piarsaigh when the pressure will be dialled to a maximum. This Na Piarsaigh side may have a lot of flair in the way they play hurling but it’s their toughness that inevitably sets them apart. Few teams would have been able to slug it out with Slaughtneil for 60 minutes, never mind the fact that the Shannonsiders played the majority of the second half with only 13 men. Full Back Mikey Casey was along with Lynch, another key facet of this victory over the Ulster side and will have to be in similar form if he is to stop Dublin football All – Star Con O Callaghan from running rampant for Cuala. Cuala advanced to Croker through a 1-17 to 0-10 rout over
Galway side Liam Mellows. O’Callaghan was man of the match in that semi-final and has been in inspiring form all season, so he will be looking to continue this form on the 17th. Aside from O’Callaghan, Cuala will look to inter-county star Darragh O’Connell at midfield in order to thwart the energy and class of Na Piarsaighs midfield. This Cuala outfit is an extremely athletic one and the longer this game progresses they will begin to gain more and more of a foothold on Na Piarsaigh. Too often we’ve seen the ‘underdogs’ shine on the big stage and drive to glory, this is a talented Cuala side and are more than capable of keeping ‘Tommy’ in the capital. If Cuala start slowly in a similar fashion to the Mellows game, then Na Piarsaigh could have this game wrapped up early but Cuala are champions for a reason and are more than capable of an upset. Verdict: Na Piarsaigh In the football final, we see Nemo Rangers of Cork face off against Galway and Connacht champions
Corofin. Nemo will feel particularly confident heading to ‘Croker’ having beaten last year’s winners Dr. Crokes in the Munster final and dispatched of an impressive Slaughtneil side after extra time. Nemo are very much a who’s who of Cork football and despite the presence of Paul Kerrigan, Evan Cronin and former Kerry inter county star Tomas O Se, it is Luke Connolly who is the name on everyone’s lips. A Sigerson Cup winner with UCC in 2014, Connolly has been scoring for fun at club level this season and he is arguably the most in – form forward in the country having scored ten points in the Crokes win and added a further 2 – 5 in Portlaoise against the Derry men. The 25-year-old has struggled to contribute at inter-county level over the last few years in what has been a disappointing period for the Rebel County, yet he could possibly be a catalyst for a change in fortune come this summer. Corofin will be hoping to improve dramatically from the semi final in
which they only managed to score 1 – 06 against a rather poor Moorefield side in comparison. The defensive system that this Corofin side apply is based mostly around Kieran Molloy. Molloy can frequently be seen galloping through the centre but prospect of marking Nemo’s Paul Kerrigan could potentially limit the NUI Galway student’s ability to do so. Up top is where Corofin experience their weakness and although they do a lot of the simple things right, they will rely heavily on inter-county star Michael Lundy to get anything out of the game. Ian Burke will also certainly cause a headache for the men from the Rebel County until March 17. In reality, it seems as though this Nemo Rangers side will have too much for this Corofin defensive unit. Expect the class of the Cork men to shine through from the outset, and unless we see a heroic performance from the Corofin defence Nemo Rangers should be looking to win by six or seven.
VERDICT: Nemo Rangers.
March 06 2017
NUI Galway athlete photo-call shows “diversity in our University”, says athletic director By Martha Brennan A small sea of green covered the quadrangle here in NUI Galway last Thursday. They were of various backgrounds and genders, the only students on campus wearing shorts on a cold February day. Floating around in small groups chatting they impatiently waited for their call from the university’s Athletic Director Mike Heskin. Many were kitted out already with matches awaiting thvem off-campus. The student athletes waited happy to be gathered together and to be recognized for their work by the university. There was Ireland gear and Galway jerseys, cheerleading uniforms and Tae Kwon Do robes. The sports the athletes played varied. There were rowers, soccer players, golfers, runners, All-Ireland boxers and swimmers to name a few. Members of the basketball team were represented as well as the football team, hurling team, rugby team and more. Many have represented Ireland at an international level and a lot play at an inter-county or inter-provisional level. They all differed in interest but had one binding thing in common, they are the best that the University has to offer to the sporting world. Heskin summoned his prodigies for a group photo-call for three reasons. One was to show just how much the NUI Galway sports department can do, two was to show off the new gear that was recently handed out to sport scholarship receivers and three was to show just how diverse the various athletes of NUI Galway are. “Showing the diversity in the university is the aim,” Heskin told SIN at the event. “There’s a lot more to our university than GAA. We want to show people our world champions as well, our national representatives, our inter-provisional athletes”. Heskin smiled as he was interrupted by the captain of the women’s rugby team. The girls had a match out in Dangan and they needed to go.
When it was explained that the photographer was busy with the University President and would be out shortly the captains reply showed just how seriously the students took their sport: “Fine. But we’re getting the picture taken first and we’re gone”. After the students took a group photo in their various college, county, Connacht or Irish jerseys, whoever was present from NUI Galway’s 90 sports scholars took another photo in their new NUI Galway scholarship gear. Even though Connacht rugby players Karen Douglas and Ellie Delaney aren’t on the scholarship program, they said that they were happy to be recognized at the event. “Our girls teams actually perform better believe it or not, even though you wouldn’t hear about it as much,” Ellie laughed. “It’s nice to have so many sports represented here, especially our female athletes- it’s great to see everyone come together,” her teammate added. Rowers Nuala Landers and Sadhbh O’Conner, who represented Ireland at the European championships last summer, commented on what it was like to see the individual athletes come together in the college. “It’s amazing to see how many students have represented Ireland,” said Nuala. Sadhbh added that; “Our sport is kind of a minority sport, which is the same for a lot of people here, so it’s nice to be recognized in some way.” The medicine and science students are on the university’s scholarship program which Nuala said really aids the student athletes. “It’s really helpful, from physio to help with scheduling. The rowing club is really amazing,” Sadhbh said of the program. “It’s good to have that bit of support and also to know the effort we put in is appreciated”. The captain of NUI Galway’s basketball team, Patrick Lyons, had a different view of the scholarship.
“I’ll admit, the scholarship isn’t the greatest in Ireland but it is definitely evolving and changing. And it’s good that the department is doing this today,” he said. “It’s good to show people that there is more than just typical Irish sports out there. Our club is actually one of the most successful.” The basketball team are preparing to compete in the All-Ireland semi-final, and Patrick hopes that this will be recognized. “We don’t play at a tiddlywinks level you know. Around nine of us play at a national level. Basketball is a sport of an international level,” he explained. As the athletes quickly scattered off to their various classes and practices, the colleges marketing staff and athletic department exclaimed how delighted they were with the photos and turn out. It’s great to see the university showing how varied NUI Galway’s sporting talent is but Patrick Lyons summed up one thing that the university cannot lose focus of. “The most important thing for student athletes is that we’re put in the best position possible to achieve success in both sport and the classroom” he said. “Recognition is only one small thing.”
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 10
OPINION: an analysis of the strained relationship between Ireland’s sports stars and the media By Gary Elbert Attention of late has turned to relationship ruptures between sports figures and organisations and the media whose role is to cover them. MTK Global’s pugnacious boycott of Irish media along with high profile spats with Joe Schmidt and Jim Gavin, and Martin O Neil’s utter refusal to address his courtship with Stoke City are certainly worthy of analysis. Some observers see these rifts as components of an overall trend where traditional media interest and power are in terminal decline. It is not original to state journalism as we know it is in great difficulty. These recent events testify to the ongoing difficulties.
A changing landscape of content creation and indeed monetization of content essentially means that from a business and promotional standpoint it makes abundant sense for organisations like the IRFU, MTK Global and the Dublin football brand to decrease engagement with traditional media interests and increase its own direct production of promotional content featuring items that promise higher levels of access and enhanced insight. This seems eminently achievable while also ensuring a homogenisation of the content and extermination of critical voices while satisfying public interest appetites. Cast an eye upon the English Premier League. This is a hyper stylised production often lacking in actual sport-
ing quality amongst its lesser teams and featuring interactions with media trained players fluent in a large handbook of clichés and gifted in the art of saying nothing. Yet despite its generalised dullness in terms of its interview content the EPL remains a corporate and financial juggernaut. MTK and the IRFU may be worlds apart in terms of the socio economic background of their sport’s participants but both organisations can cast a look across the southside of the Liffey to Crumlin and analyse from a mixed martial arts superstar and a man who ceased all meaningful interaction with the Irish media in 2014. Mcgregor broke that silence last year only to promote his hagiographic movie; a move
eagerly lapped up by a media utterly devoid of fresh content and enigmatic public personalities, starved of genuine individuals with something interesting to say. McGregor himself it can be argued has failed to capitalise financially. His online promotional tool ‘Maclife’ becomes easily forgettable once the main man isn’t scheduled to fight while his online training plan is absurdly overpriced. Yet the key is its McGregor who’s in control of his content and he continues to flourish despite negative press from organisations he has long ignored. A distance between sporting figures and traditional media interest seems inevitable. For now, our rotting from the inside legacy media organisations still retain some
pull despite dwindling readership figures. The comical tension between Martin O’Neill and Tony O’Donoghue for example offer a symbolic physical representation of a growing problem perhaps. And O’Neil’s blatant disregard for the Irish job while negotiating with a relegation threatened English team deserves the opprobrium of the press, yet he has remained unanswerable in its aftermath. It would seem managers like O’Neill and Schmidt and Gavin desire utter submission from media commentators. They operate from the same mindset as Alex Fergusons days as Manchester United manager which demanded complete omerta almost. If that submission is not forth coming the growing options for private promotion
masquerading as information mean the media as we know it faces a permanent side–line. Of course, being on the sideline is of course is where the media belong. The problem is in the future nobody will be listening to what they say or write about afterwards. The day is coming when the stars and the audience will no longer need the medium of the press to access information at all. In fact, that day has already arrived but remains in its early stages. These recent spats may just be a conglomeration of inevitable mini conflicts between competing but similar interests or they may represent a further example of Irish mainstream media’s ongoing terminal decline as a respectable and more importantly, neutral entity.
Russian curler fails drug test and is stripped of bronze Olympic medal By Amy McMahon
Every cent spent in SU outlets stays on campus No other outlet on campus can say that!
Fanann gach uile cent a chaitear in asraonta CML ar an gcampas - Ní féidir le haon asraon eile atá ar an gcampas an méid sin a rá!
Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí
Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium in the Winter Olympics 2018. Formally charged by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Krushelnitsky is likely to be stripped of his mixed doubles curling bronze medal won alongside his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova. The banned substance meldonium was also taken by Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, leading to a 15-month long com-
petition ban. 168 Russian competitors entered the Olympic games despite the country’s condoned doping programme. This statesponsored doping programme has caused much controversy, but Krushelnitsky’s team mates believe the athlete is innocent. Meldonium is typically taken by athletes to increase speed and strength and wouldn’t necessarily be considered useful or needed for curling. “We were all shocked when we found out,” said Viktoria Moiseeva, a fellow team mate.
“Of course, we very much hope it was some kind of mistake. With us, it’s not faster, higher, stronger; it’s about being more accurate. I can’t imagine what kind of drugs you could use in curling … so it’s very hard to believe.” “I spoke to a person who previously headed the anti-doping laboratory, and he said that curlers don’t need meldonium,” said Russian Olympic delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov. He accused the media for running “misleading” reports. Krushelnitsky claims he was spiked. He susvpects another team mate that was not chosen for the Olympics may have done it at a training camp before flying to South Korea. According to the Russian curling federation president Dmitry Svishchev, all Russian curlers tested negative on 22 January before travelling to South Korea for the games. Svishchev said: “It’s a strange story. It raises a lot of questions.” He believes only “a crazy person” would take banned substances right before a competition, especially the Olympics.
March 06 2017
“Train through it” mentality leads to long-term injury, says Galway physio By Luke Gannon Veronica Lydon of Carna believes it is essential that athletes make a conscious effort to pay more attention to their body’s “whispers” in the year ahead.
Fourteen years in business, Lydon offers a wide range of treatments and classes such a medical massages, yoga classes, the use of hammocks for deeper stretching and the use of her newly installed sauna.
Even just ten minutes of “gentle stretches” in the morning and evening could be the difference between an injury free campaign and a season spent on the side-lines due to injury. “Athletes need to stop running from their pain. It’s crucial that they put in the work to resolve minor issues before they turn into major ones.” She believes that flexibility and recovery work are the most neglected aspects of today’s athletic training culture. Having quit her job working in an office for the US department of Agriculture, Lydon began studying physiotherapy at Brazosport College, Houston, Texas. A “late bloomer” to university life at the age of twenty eight, the native Irish language speaker finally discovered “exactly what [she] was put on this earth to do”.
Lydon has worked with army amputees, athletes, cancer patients, elderly people, babies and horses. In all her years of experience there is very little she hasn’t witnessed. In recent years, Lydon has seen the emergence of a “run it off” or “train through it” cult emerge. This defiance of injury she believes is what leads to long term injuries. She preaches the importance of stretching and myofascial release either by means of physiotherapy massage or
foam rolling. In her opinion, this work is every bit if not more important than today’s strength and conditioning training regimes. Even just ten minutes of “gentle stretches” in the morning and evening could be the difference between an injury free campaign and a season spent on the side-lines due to injury. “Athletes need to stop running from their pain. It’s crucial that they put in the work to resolve minor issues before they turn into major ones,” she said. Lydon also insists that eating a nutritious diet is another crucial component to injury avoidance. She is fearful of the negative chemical effects energy and sports drinks are having on the human body. As far as she is concerned, H2O is more than enough fuel for the tank. She accepts that certain supplements like protein shakes can be of use to people building a significant muscle mass. However, the ridiculously high quantities of sugar present in the ever growing industry of energy drinks, coupled with the new strenuous training methods of the 21st century are a deadly combination which turns one’s body into an active “volcano”. In regards to ageing, there is no work we can do to prevent the clock ticking on. No living organism can avoid biology albeit, there are many healthy daily habits that one can incorporate into their routine in order to postpone these mobility deficiencies for as long as possible.
“Yoga is fantastic. There are 100-year-olds doing Yoga. You don’t have to be doing handstands. Six or seven stretches a day are more than enough,” Lydon suggested. Lydon went on to state that everyone regardless of age, gender or physical activity should always “honour what you put into your body. Be kind to your body and it will be kind back”. On meeting with Veronica in her idyllic Connemara beach house, she also expressed some concerns over the physical health of students to SIN. The student life is undeniably of a sedentary nature. Sitting in a classroom or lecture hall all day followed by study in the evenings has led to poor posture in many youths. This posture can then manifest numerous muscular strains particularly in the neck, shoulders, back and hips. Due to being seated for the vast majority of the day, we fail to engage our core when we walk around and subconsciously substitute this necessary activation by unnecessarily using our upper bodies to complete what should be a free flowing and loose movement. In many cases however, the basic task of walking can be a motion filled with tension and a lack of comfort. In order to break this terrible cycle, students need to take more care with everyday tasks, like for example the weight of their schoolbags. They should also make a conscious effort to improve posture.
Simple habits can ensure the avoidance of muscle tightness. A ten minute stretching regime first thing in the morning or the decision to do homework whilst sitting in the lotus position rather than being hunched over on a chair leading to unnecessary neck and back strains could be life changing. It’s also important for students to eat healthy and stay hydrated through water consumption rather than sugar consumption. For aspiring physiotherapists, Lydon highlights the importance of finding your niche. “There are so many avenues to explore,” she said. Having dreamed of being a team physio, she soon discovered that this was not the genre she was destined to pursue. “Unless you want to be a medical physiotherapist working in a hospital, then you have to be a people’s person. This is as close as you are going to get to someone,” she explained. She would also encourage students to try and get some hands-on experience or to go and observe the various branches of physiotherapy. This hands-on experience is also a very important ingredient to uncovering where your true therapeutic passions lies. “I’m more than happy for people to come here for work experience so they can see the various types of physiotherapy,” she said. For more information and class times go to www.Veronica-Lydon.com.
Does the Champions league have a competitive balance issue, and is it only going to get worse? By David Raleigh Thomas Muller latching onto Arjen Robben’s through ball provides a hard low ball across the box that is met by an incoming Robert Lewandowski, who subtly finishes the ball into the back of the net. That is the final goal, as German champions Bayern Munich ruthlessly finish off Turkish side Besiktas in a 5-0 rout in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. Out of the total eight first leg ties played out three have finished with a score line of 4-0 or more. Porto were crushed 5–0 by Liverpool in front of their own home fans, while premier league leaders Manchester City proved too strong for Basel in Switzerland defeating them 4–0.
Although it would have been an upset if any of these sides had lost their tie, with the sheer scale of the score line we must ask the question whether there is a competitive balance issue in the Champions League? Is the gap between the top leagues in Europe and the secondary leagues in Europe widening? What is concerning in terms of a competitive balance issue is the fact that the three teams who suffered the huge defeats are heavyweights in their own country. Both Besiktas and Basel are current champions of their respective leagues. Porto are currently leading the Portuguese league with a five point cushion, yet they were all simply outclassed by their opposition. It’s evident from watching the ties that the gap in talent and ability
between each team was massive. For a Champions league last 16 round where Europe’s elite clash against one another, having three ties that are essentially over in the first leg must give rise to a competitive balance issue. It’s evident that the gap between Europe’s top five leagues and the remaining leagues is widening. The elite teams from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France are all expected to progress onto the final stages of the competition. For teams from countries such as Turkey, Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland anything past the group stages or last 16 is a bonus. Not only do we see the best sides and players go up against each other in the Champions League, we also
see the weakness of Europe’s secondary leagues when compared to the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Proving this point, Basel manager Raphaël Wicky described the gap between his team and Manchester City as “two worlds”. The last team from outside Europe’s big five leagues to finish in a Champions League final were eventual winners Porto in 2004. A repeat of that fairy tale in today’s age seems highly unlikely. With the tide of money flowing towards England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany the imbalance is set to continue. With teams such a Basel coming up against Manchester City who have assembled a squad estimated to be worth 800 million euro, the task is always going to be difficult.
The recently published Deloitte Football Money League just emphasized the financial gap between the big five leagues and the rest. No club from outside Europe’s top five leagues made it in the top 20. Only two clubs, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg from Russia and Benfica from Portugal had managed to make it inside the top 30. This meant Premier League clubs such as Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion who have never even played a game in Europe’s premier competition ranked higher than regulars in the Champions league such as such as Porto, Ajax, Olympiacos and Anderlecht. With the tide of revenue flowing into the big five leagues it looks as if the gap between the two worlds of European football will only get bigger.
The NUI Galway Sports Unit celebrates our sports teams
Pictured are the NUI Galway Ladies Hockey team who defeated NICS in the Irish Challenge Cup Semifinal recently at Dangan sports grounds.
NUI Galway men's senior Rugby management team enjoying their victory over AIT at Dangan sports grounds.
Pictured is the NUI Galway 1st year soccer team who lost the final of the Liam Spillane cup.
Pictured is NUI Galway Senior Football captain Damien Comer after his side were defeated in the Sigerson Cup final against UCD.
Pictured is the NUI Galway ladies senior camogie team who recently captured the Purcell Cup.
Senior Ladies Football Scholarship student Olivia Divilly on the move in their recent tie against UL.
Conor Ó Beoláin on target for the NUI Galway Archery club at the Irish Student National Championships.
Pictured is the NUI Galway Judo Club which took home 16 medals – 5 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze – during the All-Ireland University Judo Championships recently held at UCC.
Pictured are the NUI Galway Ladies Senior Soccer team who lost the semi-final of the All-Ireland cup.
Pictured are the NUI Galway Ladies Junior Rubgy team who were recently crowned Connacht Champions for the third year in a row.
President’s Cup Update
Pictured are some members of the Frisbee club would participated in the fifth round of the President's Cup at the NUI Galway Kingfisher.
Players chase after the frisbee during the fifth round of the President’s Cup.
Participants braved the beginning of the ‘Beast from the East’ to participate in the fifth round of the President’s Cup on February 28th from noon in the NUI Galway Kingfisher, and everybody enjoyed the frisbee sporting event. The next activity to gear up for is the 5K Fun Walk which will take place March 6th at 1pm. We look forward to seeing everybody on the day.
CAN YOU VOTE in the 8th Amendment Referendum on the 25th of May 2018?
An mBeidh tú in ann Vótáil sa Reifreann ar an 8ú Leasú ar an 25 Bealtaine 2018?
Are You Registered? Find Out On checktheregister.ie
Do you still live where you are registered?
Collect form RFA2 or RFA3 from the Students’ Union
Bring ID to the Garda Station (or Smokey’s Café 11am-2pm Tues 13th March) & get it stamped
Post it to your local authority before 8th May 2018
Will You Vote To Repeal the 8th Amendment on the 25th of May 2018? An mBeidh tú ag Vótáil ar son Aisghairm an 8ú Leasú ar an 25 Bealtaine 2018? www.su.nuigalway.ie
More information from / Tuilleadh eolas ar fáil www.su.nuigalway.ie