Page 1


PG 2: Welcome from Your SU President PG 2: Your Constitution PG 3: Your Executive PG 3: Your SU Staff PG 6: How Your SU Works PG 7: Introduction To USI PG 8: Your Union Services PG 9: Your Clubhouse


PG 11: Getting Around PG 12: Map PG 14: Student Travel PG 15: Dublin Bus Timetables PG 16: Irish Rail Timetables PG 19: Bus Eireann Timetables

YOUR WELFARE PG 22: Alcohol PG 24: Drugs PG 28: Contraception PG 30: STIs PG 34: Unplanned Pregnancy PG 35: Sexual Orientation PG 36: Mental Health PG 37: Stress Management PG 40: Student Finances


PG 42: Club Profiles PG 45: Society Profiles


You did it. It’s finally over. You never, ever have to do the Leaving Cert again. I’m Rob. I’ll be your Students’ Union President for the next 10 months. Welcome to college. And welcome to Maynooth. You’re about to spend three or four years dealing with tough assignments, exam pressure, landlords who never mow the lawn and they will be some of the best years of your life. Maynooth is about 50:50 students to residents and has seven pubs, a seminary, two massive supermarkets, four pizza places, a University and nowhere to park. It’s the strangest and best town in the world. Then there’s college life. College life is more fun than you could ever believe. Exams arrive faster than bad news on a Sunday, but move at about the speed that ice melts. Study for these. If you live in Maynooth, buy something to keep you warm at night because most student houses suck. If you commute then I recommend regular therapy to help ease your soon-to-exist hatred of Irish Rail and Dublin Bus. Bring your student card when you’re going out - some pubs only serve students on the big nights and want proof. And then there’s us, your Students’ Union. We’re like your life coach, your events manager and your lawyer rolled into one. We have our own bar, we give out free condoms (just drop in) and we represent you to the University at all times. If you ever have problems with a lecturer, with your department, if you see something that you think could be done better, if you’ve been unfairly clamped, if you’re depressed or feeling lost, or if you hate your course, then we’re the guys you call. We’ve been around the block a few times and we know all the tricks. We work for you, we’re paid by you and we are here to help. Rob Munnelly (01) 708 6249

The current constitution of Maynooth Students’ Union was ratified by via referendum during March of this year. The document contains the rules and regulations of our Students’ Union, including the duties of your various elected representatives and the manner in which students are elected to those roles. The constitution can be read at:


At the core of your Students’ Union are your Executive committee (simply referred to as the Exec). The Executive committee consists of four sabbatical officers and seven part-time officers. These officers are students who have been elected by the student body to represent them in specific roles, corresponding to a list of constitutional duties them must fufill. The Exec meet at least once per week. Of the eleven members of the Exec, the four sabbatical officers work full time (9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) and are paid a wage for their services. The remaining seven officers work for you on a part-time, unpaid basis while also juggling their studies as full-time students. Below you will see your elected Exec for the 2011 / 2012 academic year, excluding the President. You may notice that there are less than the aforementioned ten other officers featured. This is due to your Union currently being engaged in transitional period between our old constitution and new constitution. You can read more about how this transitional period has effected your Exec on under ‘How Your Union Works’ (PG 6).

Of your four sabbatical officers, one is the President of the Union (Rob, just to the left there). The other three officers are the Vice Presidents of the Union, with the order of succession amid the Vice Presidents decided by the President at the beginning of their term. The three Vice Presidential positions are the Welfare & Equality Officer, the Services, Events & Communications Officer and the Clubs, Societies and Union Development Officer. Below are your three Vice Presidents for your first year in here in Maynooth, alongside their contact details. A breakdown of the duties they each fufill can be found within the MSU Constitution (linked down to your left) or via our Orientation Welcome booklet.

Fiach O’Neill

Keith Broni

Naoise Ó Cearúil

Vice President for Welfare & Equality

Vice President for Services, Events & Communications

Vice President for Clubs, Societies & Union Development

(01) 708 6808

(01) 708 6436

(01) 708 4712


Below are the four part-time Exec officers that have been elected thus far for the 2011 / 2012 academic year. Two of the positions, the Finance Offier and the Entertainments Officer, are in their final year due to the change in your Union’s constitution last March. The duties previous held by both of these roles have been placed under the brief of the Vice President for Services, Events & Communications, although this year all three will be sharing the various responsbilities. Also of note is that the Theology Faculty Representative position is an old position with a new titl., The role was previously titled the St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Representative (or St. Pat’s Rep for short).

Deirdre Ní Dhubhthaigh

Maura Garrihy

Alan Coyne

Ruaidhri Boland

Irish Language & Cultural Affairs Officer

Theology Faculty Representative

Entertainments Officer

Finance Officer

However, your Exec aren’t the only ones working tirelessly to better your college experience. There is also a small but highly dedicated team of staff working alongside your elected representatives to ensure the continued maintanance and growth of your Students’ Union. Check our their names, titles and contact information below!

Ian Russel

Mary MacCourt

NUIM Student Activities Officer (01) 708 3669

Students’ Union Secretary (01) 708 3669


Mary Banahan Students’ Union Secretary (01) 708 68190

Niamh O’Brien Students’ Union Accountant (01) 708 6070

Each year, a First Year Representative is elected from within the new batch of first year students to become the voice of the freshers on the Exec committee. It’s a unique position to be in, considering you’ll have only been in college a mere four weeks prior to getting elected by your peers;.Only first year students have the right to vote for their First Year Rep. However, if you feel you’ve managed to win over your year-group within that first month, then running for the position of First Year Rep is a golden opportunity for students to learn first-hand the ins and outs of how the Students’ Union election process works. Win or lose, you’ll definitely make a lot of new people and have a lot of fun on the campaign trail. And there are of course a lot of perks to victory, such as getting into all SU events for free! But in terms of their actual duties, the First Year Rep is constitutionally mandated to work alongside the Exec to ensure that your Union is catering for the needs of the university’s latest batch of fresh faces. Any issues raised with the First Year Rep can subsequently be discussed at the weekly Exec meeting and an appropriate plan of action can be formed. If you are interested in running for the position of First Year Representative, pop into your Students’ Union building (check out the map on PG 15 if you can’t remember where it is. Although, you did get this handbook there, so...) and pick up a nomination form when they become available (usually after the second or third week of term). You’ll need to get 60 signatures from the student body to receive a nomination, but don’t get detracted by that; the usually method of collecting signatures is simply to ask everyone you walk past to put their name and student number down on your form. It’s very rare that people will refuse, considering the form is just to get your name on the ballot paper and in no way locks them into voting for you over another canadidate. If this sounds like something you’d like to pursue, then pop into your Students’ Union for a chat about the role; our current Exec has two former First Year Reps as members!

As mentioned previously, your Students’ Union is going through a transitional period due to a change in constitution. There are still five posititions on the Executive Committee to be elected for the 2011 / 2012 academic year. Outside of the First Year Representive position, these roles are the: + + + +

Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy Faculty Representative Science & Engineering Faculty Representative Social Science Faculty Representative Postgraduate Representative

The election of these positions will take place in conjunction with the election of the First Year Representative for the 2011 / 2012 academic year.


As already described, your Students’ Union consists of a Executive committee of elected representatives. They work for you, with each focusing on a different aspect of your college experience. However, it’s expected that you’ll aid the Exec by alerting them to any issues you’re facing as a student. Although you can get in contact with each individual Exec member via their previously listed e-mail addresses, the best way to go about having your voice heard is by becoming an active member of Union Council, which you can read about below. Maynooth Students’ Union is also a member of the Union of Students’ In Ireland (USI), which you can read about on the opposite page.

Union Council & Class Representatives Union Council acts as the governing body of the Students’ Union, where students can publicaly critique and mandate their elected representatives on the Exec. Basically, this is where students can direct their Exec to fight for or against any issue they feel affects the student body. All students are automatically members of Union Council and are welcome to attend each meeting. However, you need to become a Class Representative to be automatically entitled to speaking rights as the meetings. A class rep is a person that you elect from your own course group that will represent you and all others in your course’s year group at Union Council. The key duty of a class rep is to be the person in any given class that fellow students can go to if they encounter any problems in college, be it issues with the course, issues with services or issues with personal health. The class rep will then in turn bring the problem or issue to Union Council or direct you to the relevant person, such as the Vice President for Welfare and Equality, the Academic Advisory Office or the Admissions Office. There are a variety of subcommittees which make up a part of Union Council which class reps are encourged to apply for membership of. These include the Events Committee, which will have influence over the booking and promotion of the types of entertainment held within the SU. Becoming a class rep is simple. You just need to pick up a Class Rep Application Form from your Students’ Union and subsequently fill it with the signatures and student numbers of ten students from your course group. The number of class reps per course group depends on the size of that course group. If there are more applicants than there are positions, a mini-election will be held before your peers (traditionally swiftly before the beginning of a lecture). Why should you become a class rep? Well, outside of it allowing for you to have direct influence over the actions of your Students’ Union, you can also gain great respect amind the lecturers in your department. It also looks great on CVs and postgraduate applications. And last but not least, you’ll get a free Maynooth Students’ Union Class Rep ‘11 / ‘12 hoodie! This year we will be hosting a Class Rep Training Weekend on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of October. Being held outside of Maynooth as an overnight event, this training is a brilliant opportunity to learn additional information about the inner workings of the Students’ Union while also meeting a huge number of like-minded people!

Union General Meeting A Union General Meeting (UGM) can be called to overrule a decision made by the Exec or even Union Council regarding the Students’ Union’s stance or conclusion on any given issue. A UGM can be called by the President of the SU, the Exec, Union Council or 10% of the student body by way of petition. UGMs are very rare; at the very least, none of your Exec committee can recall a UGM being held within their time in college.

Referendum A referendum is the greatest decision-making method of your Students’ Union. It can be called by the same groups as the UGM and results in a paper-ballot vote on a particular issue facing the student body. For the election to be valid, 15% or more of the student body must cast their vote.



As well as acting as a representative body for you and your peers both within Maynooth and on a national level, your Students’ Union also provides you with a variety of different commerical services. These are listed below.

Your Shop (Arts Block) / Londis (John Hume) Your Students’ Union runs two on-campus shops in order to cater for your needs. Both shops sell the likes of chocolate bars, soft drinks and other snack foods to keep those energy levels up throughout the long college day. And the best part of both of these Union shops? All profits made by both the Londis and Your Shop get reinvested into the maintenance and development of your Students’ Union and therefore get reinvested in you. Our Londis, which is located at the left of the main entrance to the John Hume building, offers tea, coffee, sandwichs and muffins at very reasonable prices, creating a cheap lunch alternative to certain other quite expensive food venues nearby. The Londis also acts as a miniture supermarket for students living on campus, providing them with a variety of popular student meals, again at very reasonable prices. Your Shop, which is located between the Arts Block and the Engineering Building, focuses less on foodstuffs and more on stationary and services. Offering you pens, pencils and notepads in a central location, the shop also offers the cheapest printing on campus and a binding service for undergraduate theses. It also offers to unique advantages over any other shop in Maynooth; it sells official NUI Maynooth branded items (t-shirts, hoodies, caps, mugs, umbrellas, bags, etc) and houses the Maynooth SU Second Hand Bookshop, where you can buy and sell second hand books at your convenience. ‘Like’ Your Shop & Londis on Facebook at to keep up-to-date with the latest deals and offers.

Chill Café & Deli (Students’ Union Building) Chill is a cafe and deli which opened within your Students’ Union building last year. Since it’s opening it’s become the most popular place to sit in and eat on campus, providing students with freshly prepared sandwiches, sizzling paninis, succulent smoothies and smooth milkshakes. Chill is also soon to be debuting its own pizza and coffee brands. On top of providing meals perfectly suited to lunch, once the semester begins Chill will begin what is being referred to as Chill After Dark. Chill After Dark will be a series of late night events hosted by Chill, which looks set to include quiz nights, movie nights and acoustic performers. Add Chill and Chill After Dark on Facebook ( to keep up-to-date with the latest deals, offers and events.


Your ClubHouse Bar & Venue (Students’ Union Building) Your Students’ Union also runs their own bar on campus. Originally called the Pulpit, the Students’ Union bar is one of the best places in hang out at any time of the day in Maynooth. There are daily specials available, as well as a good selection of pub grub. The Venue, which is a large performance space attached to Your Clubhouse, will also play host for a variety of different acts during the year. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s what’s happening in Your Clubhouse during Freshers’ Week 2011 (19th - 23rd September):


Getting from A to B can be pretty frustrating when you’re uncertain of the best route to take. This can be especially true for students starting out in college who commute to campus. Over the following pages we’ve detailed the various methods of transport which will get you to and from Maynooth, their frequency and their prices. Take a gander, contrast and compare and decide which mode of transport best suits you budget and timetable. So you’re on campus. But, eh, where is everything? Maynooth is very different to secondary school; lecture halls are stretched across two campuses and there are literally hundreds of hidden little rooms. This is all well and good when you’re in the mood for exploring, but not when you’re in a rush to get to your next Psychology module. So on the following page we’ve provided a handy map of campus, and below we’ve provided a key to the various abbreviations you’ll see on your timetables provided by the university.

A very useless website to use if you’re looking to find amenities within an area you’re unfarmiliar with is Operating like a mix between Wikipedia and Google Maps, it has a particularly detailed map of the Maynooth campus. There is also a free smart phone app available.


Long commutes are a daily task for many third level students. They can also be highly expensive. However, for just €15 you can pick up a Student Travelcard from your Students’ Union building. The travelcard allows you to purchase a variety of student-specific tickets for various different methods of public transport. Below are three of the best student tickets: Dublin Bus 5 Day Student Rambler Cost: €16.50 Valid for unlimited travel for 5 non consecutive days. Saving of €6.50 based on 2 full fare journeys per day. Saving of €29.50 based on 4 full fare journeys per day.

Dublin Bus 30 Day Student Rambler Cost: €82.00 Valid for unlimited travel for 30 non consecutive days. Saving of €56 based on 2 full fare journies per day Saving of €194 based on 4 full fare journies per day

Bus & Rail Student Month Short Hop Cost: €96.00 Valid for unlimited travel for 1 calendar month. Valid as far as Maynooth, Balbriggan and Greystones on their respective Suburban lines.

Coaches To / From Campus A large number of coachs also travel directly to the Maynooth north campus from various locations across the country. You can find out more about these services from the university’s own transport guide, which you can download from the following URL: However, please note that this is lastyear’s transportation guide and the services listed may have been subject to change. Make sure you check the service providers’ official websites to confirm whether or not a certain service is still operational.

Fares from Maynooth to Dublin Pearse: Station Dublin Pearse Tara Street Dublin Connolly Drumcondra Broombridge Ashtown Pheonix Park Castleknock Coolmine Clonsilla Leixlip Confey Leixlip Louisa-Bridge

Single Return €3.40 €6.20 €3.40 €6.20 €3.40 €6.20 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.40 €4.40 €2.40 €4.40 €2.40 €4.40 €2.05 €3.70 €2.05 €3.70

Fares from Dublin Pearse to Maynooth: Station Maynooth Leixlip Louisa-Bridge Leixlip Confey Clonsilla Coolmine Castleknock Pheonix Park Ashtown Broombridge Drumcondra

Single Return €3.40 €6.20 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.85 €4.90 €2.40 €4.40 €2.40 €4.40 €2.40 €4.40 €2.05 €3.70 €2.05 €3.70

Full timetables for all rail services between Dublin, Maynooth and Longford can be found on pages 16 & 17.

Stages 1 - 3 Stages 4 - 7 Stages 8 - 13 Stages 13 + NiteLink

€1.20 €1.65 €1.85 €2.30 €5.00 is a free public transport journey planning service that you can use to find directions for in and around Dublin (including from Maynooth). It currently supports Dublin Bus, Luas and Irish Rail services. Powered by Google Maps, visitors can drag and drop the location markers or type in their start location and intended destination. The application will then work out the best possible routes across a combination of available public transport services. If you’re unfamiliar with Dublin or trying to find the best route to get from “The Big Shmoke” to Maynooth, this site is truly invaluable.


A full list of journey fares for all stops between Dublin City Centre and Maynooth can be found on page 14. Fares to and from Longford can be found here: _enquiries.asp#Intercity.




Your Welfare The Students’ Union is always here for the good times, but less people think of coming to us when things go wrong. But it happens and sometimes you can’t fix it on your own. This section is designed to tell you a little bit more about things like alcohol, drugs, contracpetion and sexually transmitted infections. We don’t intend it to be preachy; instead we’re just looking to provide you with an accessable collection of facts. Hopefully, you will get a lot out of this handbook, but if there is something that pops up that you don’t know how to deal with, there are always other options. Make sure to talk to Fiach in the Students’ Union; that’s what he’s there for. He’ll be able to point you in the right direction.


Alcohol is the social drug of choice for many people in Ireland. As a nation we celebrate births, marriages, birthdays, new jobs, house warmings, house coolings, the end of a working week with alcohol. Colleagues and friends can discuss excessive drinking habits with pride rather than embarrassment because alcohol is featured so heavily within Irish culture. Some people report that it is difficult to be a non-drinker in Ireland, as alcohol is pressed upon them in an attempt to draw them into the social circle. If you want to drink, do. If you don’t want to drink, don’t. Make sure it is YOUR decision. Respect other people’s right not to drink. If you decide to drink, then don’t let it take over and do your best to stay in control. This protects your safety and that of the people around you. It’s also good for cash flow and health. Ways of doing this include: + + + + + + + + + +

Eating a large meal before you begin drinking. Start drinking late in the evening, instead of early in the day. Not drinking more than one unit of alcohol an hour. Drinking from the glass and not from straws. Taking a glass of water or soft drink between some drinks. This dilutes the toxins and reduces the dehydration that causes hangover headaches. Avoiding drinking games. Restricting yourself to three or four drinks. Less if your tolerance is low. Not drinking more than ten pints a week if you are a male or seven pints if you are a woman (two spirit measures / two glasses of wine match one pint). Never leaving your drink unattended. If you often end up having too much, drink alone or crave alcohol, try cut down or maybe talk to Fiach in the Students’ Union in confidence to see what supports are on offer.

Safe drinking is integral to good mental health, as is the need to understand the nature and effects of alcohol and drugs on mental health. Alcohol affects the parts of the brain that deal with stress, anxiety and depression. It eases social anxiety by reducing inhibitions, so that a person feels more relaxed in a social setting. Conversation flows more freely and the person feels more confident. Unfortunately, alcohol also limits the natural release of chemicals that normally ease feelings of anxiety and depression, so the person feels worse once the effects have worn off. Alcohol features in many may suicides suicidesand accidental and accidental deaths deaths because because it reduces it reduces the inhibitions the inhibitions that that normally normally help help us tous stay to stay This reduction of inhibitions can also cause the person’s feelings to emerge. The normal ability to keep emotions in balance and under control is reduced, and the person can begin to express withheld emotions to the full. This could explain why some people become angry, aggressive or emotional when drinking – the normal social controls are gone and their feelings are free to emerge.


1 2 3 4 + Lager (568ml pint; 4.3%) 1.9 3.9 5.8 7.7 + Lager (330ml bottle; 4.3%) 1.1 2.2 3.4 4.5 + Lager (500ml can; 4.3%) 1.7 3.4 5.1 6.8 + Ale (568ml pint; 3.8%) 1.7 3.4 5.1 6.8 + Stout (568ml pint; 4.2%) 1.9 3.8 5.7 7.5 + Cider (568ml pint; 4.5%) 2.0 4.0 6.1 8.1 + Cider (330ml bottle; 4.5%) 1.2 2.3 3.5 4.7 + Cider (500ml can; 6%) 2.4 4.7 7.1 9.5 + Alcopops (275ml bottle; 5.0%) 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.3 + Wine (100ml glass; 12.5%) 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 + Wine (187.5ml qtr. bottle; 12.5%) 1.9 3.7 5.6 7.4 + Wine (750ml bottle; 12.5%) 7.4 14.8 22.2 29.6 + Gin/Vodka/Rum (35.5ml shot; 37.5%) 1.1 2.1 3.2 4.2 + Whiskey/Brandy/Tequila (35.5ml shot; 40%) 1.1 2.2 3.4 4.5 + Cream Liqueurs (50ml; 17%) 0.7 1.3 2.0 2.7

If you want to find more information on the negative effects of alcohol, you can visit to browse a variety of different alcohol-related “survival guide� booklets, including the Festival Survival Guide, the Holiday Survival Guide and the Student Survival Guide shown here, which was produced in conjunction with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).


When we are suffering from a physical problem such as a severe headache or toothache, it is natural to reach for medication to take the pain away. Similarly, using alcohol and drugs when we are experiencing mental distress is often seen as a way of taking mental pain away. Unfortunately using alcohol and drugs to take the mental pain away does not have the longterm benefit we might hope for. Most drugs have positive and negative effects as well as potential risks. The positive effects usually include some type of buzz, euphoria or relaxation. The negative effects usually kick in on the come down. This tends to be greater than the initial lift. You also risk addiction, contaminated substance and of course getting arrested. Hefty fines and/or imprisonment are the penalties. The same drug can have different effects on different people. If you decide to use them, make sure you look into the potential consequences and minimise the risks. Misinformation and drug misuse can have fatal consequences.


(Hash, Hashish, blow, pot, ganja, marijuana, grass, dope, herb, puff, smoke, spliff, etc.) How It’s Used: Cannabis usually comes as a dried resin (hash) or dried leaves (grass or weed). You can smoke it with tobacco in a joint, inhale through a pipe or bong or make into a tea or food. Skunk is herbal cannabis which is much stronger than regular hash or grass. Cannabis will show up in a urine test for 2-28 days. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + You may feel sedated, chilled out and happy. + May damage your lungs. + Some people feel sick. + Has been linked with mental health + You may get ‘the munchies’ or feel hungry. problems, such as depression and + Your pulse rate speeds up and blood pressure falls. schizophrenia. + Bloodshot eyes, dry mouth. + Lower sperm count / suppress ovulation + Tiredness. + Regular use may affect your memory, mood, motivation and ability to learn. + May cause anxiety and paranoia. + May affect your coordination and reactions. Addictive: You can get psychologically addicted to cannabis, in this case, you might find it hard to cope without it. If you smoke it with tobacco you may get physically addicted to tobacco.


Magic Mushrooms

(Liberties, Magics, Mushies, Shrooms.) How They’re Used: Magic mushrooms are small hallucinogenic mushrooms which grow in Ireland. You can eat them raw, dried, cooked or stewed. Psilocybe and Amanita Muscaria are the two most common varieties but they are different types of mushroom with different effects Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Experience depends on emotion when taken. + Flashbacks + Can distort colour, sound and objects. + Anxiety + Can speed up and slow down time and movement. + Can make you feel more creative and enlightened. + Slurred speech and poor coordination. + Convulsions, muscle twisting. + Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. Addictive: Not physically addictive but you can build tolerance so you need to take more to get the same effect.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

(Acid, Blotter, Cheer, Dots, Flash, Hawk, L, Lightening Flash, Liquid Acid, Lucy, Micro Dot, Trips, Tabs.) How It’s Used: LSD is a hallucinogenic drug. It comes from ergot, a fungus found growing wild on rye and other grasses. It comes as a piece of paper with pictures on it, which you lick, suck or swallow. LSD will show up in a urine test for 2-3 days. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Effects start 30 minutes after you take it and can + Paranoia, phobia and ideation. last up to 20 hours. + Triggering of underlying mental illness. + Effects depend on how much you take and on emotion + Flashbacks can occur for 2 to 3 years + May have visual effects, distortion of sound, changes following a trip. in sense of time and place. This is called a ‘trip’. Addictive: LSD is not addictive, but you can build tolerance so you need to take more to get the same effect.


(E, Disco Biscuits, Mitsubishi, Rolex, XTC, Yokes, Love Doves, MDMA, M and Ms, Sweeties, Tulips, X.) How It’s Used: Ecstasy is a stimulant drug (‘upper’) that also produces mild hallucinogenic effects. Ecstasy tablets come in a variety of colours and shapes and often have a logo or design. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Pupils dilate and jaw tightens + Weight loss + May have nausea, sweating, loss of appetite + Loss of motivation + Epileptic fits and paranoia for the first time + Flashbacks + Body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate go up + Sleep problems + Intense emotions and love for people around you + Depression and personality change + Anxiety, panic attacks and confusion + Memory loss Addictive: You won’t become physically addicted to ecstasy but there is a risk of psychological addiction, when you feel you can’t enjoy yourself without it. You may build tolerance to it so you have to keep taking more to get the same buzz.



(Gear, H, Smack, Skag, Junk, Brown, Horse, China White, Dragon) How It’s Used: Heroin is an opiate with strong sedative (‘downer’) and painkilling effects. It comes in powder form which varies in colour from brown to white. You can inject it, sniff it or smoke it on foil or in a tobacco-based joint. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Effects can start quickly and last for several hours. + Chronic constipation. + Feel warm and relaxed with a hazy feeling of security. + Irregular periods in women. + Pinpoint pupils. + Can cause you to feel drowsy all the time, + Pain relief. enter a coma or die from breathing failure + Nausea and vomiting the first time you use it. + Poor personal care. + Dramatic mood swings. + Lung and heart disease if smoked. + Breathing and heart rate slow down + Constipation. + Higher doses cause drowsiness. + Injecting causes more intense feelings. Addictive: Heroin is highly addictive, both physically and psychologically, so your body craves it and you feel you can’t cope without it. If you use it regularly for 2 to 3 weeks you will build tolerance so you need to keep taking more to get the same buzz.


(Snow, C, Charlie, Coke, Rock, Dust, White.) How It’s Used: Cocaine is a strong but short acting stimulant drug (‘upper’) which comes in a white powder. You can divide it into lines and snort up the nose with a rolled up bank note or straw. You can also smoke it or make into a solution to inject. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Only last for up to 30 minutes. + Tightness in chest, insomnia, exhaustion. + Feel more alert, energetic, exhilarated and confident. + May become aggressive or even violent. + Geart and pulse rate speed up suddenly. + May feel depressed and run down. + Hyperactivity, dilated pupils, dry mouth, sweating. + Damage to nose tissue. + Higher doses can make you very anxious and panicky. + Kidney damage. + Increased sex drive. + Loess of sex drive. + Injecting may cause abscesses. Addictive: Cocaine is very psychologically addictive so you find it hard to live without it. Your tolerance increases over time so you have to keep taking more to get the same buzz.

Over-The-Counter Painkillers (Aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, etc.)

How It’s Used: You can buy a number of pain-relieving medicines without a prescription. These are for treating mild to moderate pain, flu symptoms or high temperatures. If you use them for too long you can become addicted. Short Term Effects: Long Term Effects: + Relieve mild to moderate pain. + Damage to the liver and kidneys. Addictive: As they are so easy to get you may become psychologically addicted, so you feel you need them to cope. Some of them can also cause physical addiction.


Condoms (Male & Female)

Condoms are barrier methods of contraception which prevent preganacy and the spread of STIs, including HIV. They are the most commonly used method of contraception by 18 - 24 year olds (ISSHR, 2006). The male condom is rolled onto an erect penis before sexual intercouse while the female condom lines the woman’s vagina.

Combined Oral Contraception (“The Pill”)

The pill is a tablet containing a combination of two hormones (usually oestrogen and progestogen) which when taken orally cease a woman’s ovulation (releasing an egg each month). On the most recent occasion of sexual intercourse, approximately 45% of women aged 18 - 24 who reported using contraception used the pill. It must be taken for every day for three weeks of each month to be effective.

Progestogen Only Oral Pill (“The Mini Pill”)

The mini pill is a tablet containing one female hormone, progestogen. It must be taken every day without a break to be effective. The mini pill prevents sperm from getting through the cervix and may also thin the lining of the womb, thus preventing an egg from implanting. It may also prevent an egg from being released.

Injectable Contraception (“The Injection”)

The injection consists of a single hormone injection delivered to a woman every twelve weeks. It works mainly by ceasing a woman’s ovulation.

Intrauterine Contraception Device (“The Coil”)

The coil is a simple plastic and copper device placed within the womb by a doctor. It acts as a contraceptive by stopping the sperm fusing with the egg, by delaying the egg’s entry into the womb or by entirely preventing the egg from entering the womb.

Intrauterine System (IUS)

The IUS is a small plastic device that is placed within the womb and releases the hormone progestogen. Like the coil, it can stop the sperm from fusing with the egg, delay the egg’s entry into the womb or prevent the egg from entering the womb.

The Implant

The impant is a small flexible rod inserted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm. From there it releases the hormone progestogen into the body. It works mainly through ceasing ovulation but also thickens the fluid at the neck of the womb and thins the womb’s lining.

The Patch


The patch is a thin piece of material containing two hormones (usually oestrogen and progestogen). It is applied to the skin each week for three weeks followed by a week’s break each month. Like the pill, it works by ceasing a woman’s ovulation.

Vaginal Ring

A vaginal ring is a flexible ring inserted by a woman into her vagina for three weeks of every month. It releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen in order to cease a woman’s ovulation.

Diaphagms / Caps

A diaphahm or cap is a barrier method of contraception which is placed within a woman’s vagina. They are coated with a spermicde, which kills sperm attemping to enter the womb.

Natural Methods

Various methods can be employed in attempt to predict the days during a woman’s menstrual cycle which she is most likely to get pregnant. Sexual intercourse can then be avoided on those days. Methods of prediction include body temperature, cervical secretions and the length of the menstrual cycle.


Abstinence is the avoidance of sexual intercourse and all sexual activities which would result in an exchange of bodily fluids. However, proper communication is key between both partners in order to maintance abstinence and avoid unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.

With careful use, the male condom is 98% effective while the female condom is 95% effective.

When used properly the pill is 99% effective. However, if use becomes reckless and inconsistent the risk of pregancy increases greatly. As with the pill, the effectiveness of the mini pill depends on careful and consistent use. When used correctly, it is between 96 and 99% effective. Once the injection is delivered regularly, this method of contraception is over 99% effective.

The ICUD is between 98 and 99% effective.

The IUS is more than 99% effective.

The impant is over 99% effective.

Taking a Dual Protection or “Double Dutch” approach to contraception gives the best protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most commonly, people practise Dual Protection by using condoms and the pill at the same time. You can also use other hormonal contraception methods (e.g the Mini-Pill, the Injection, the Patch) with condoms to help prevent pregnancy and protect against STIs.

When used correctly, the patch is 99% effective.

A vaginal ring is 99% effective when used correctly.

With careful and consistanct use, diaphragms and caps are between 92 and 98% effective. Reckless and inconsistent use greatly increases risk. When calculated properly, natural methods of contraception can be between 80% and 98% effective. However, incorrect calculations will undoubtled increase the risk of pregnancy. 100% effective when the exchange of boldily fluids is strictly avoided.

If you have had sex without using contraception or if you think your method might have failed (e.g. burst condom or forgotten pill) you can use emergency contraception. This will usually stop you becoming pregnant. A tablet containing a progestogen hormone (levonorgestrel - Levonelle ®) is most commonly used. It can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, but it’s best to take it as soon as possible after having ‘risky’ or unprotected sex. The failure rate is between 1 and 3%, depending on how soon the pill is taken. Emergency contraception can be obtained through your GP, local doctor or a sexual health (family-planning) clinic. It is also now available over the counter in Boots Pharmacies Note that emergency contraception has its name for a reason. It is not for frequent use and there can be a multitude of side effects. For more information:


Good sexual health means making sure you have the knowledge, skills and ability to make informed sexual choices and acting responsibly to protect your health and the health of others. This includes planning pregnancy and parenthood and preventing STIs. Some STIs can cause long-term problems, yet lots of people don’t know much about them. This section of the booklet will give you information about STIs and the best ways to protect against them. Remember, if used correctly, condoms protect against most STIs. You might not know. Some STIs have no obvious symptoms, so you may not be aware that you or your partner(s) is infected. If you are sexually active, it is important to have regular check-ups. Some STIs can cause long-term problems if they are not treated, such as infertility, complications in pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Get advice from your doctor, a family planning clinic, an STI clinic or genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic if you are worried about STIs or are sexually active and notice any of the following symptoms: + + + + +

Unusual discharge from penis or vagina. Pain when passing urine. Unusual sores or blisters in the genital area. Itching or irritation in the genital area. Pain during sexual intercourse.

Once diagnosed, most STIs can be cured with medication. However, some of them can only be treated to reduce symptoms but will stay in your system once you have been infected. It is important to get treatment early, as some can cause long term effects.

You will need to make an appointment for most clinics, unless they provide a drop-in service. You don’t have to be referred by or have a letter from your GP. The service is confidential. This means that you are identified by a number rather than by your name. The service is also free. An STI screening can take around two hours. First, a doctor will take your sexual history. Don’t worry about shocking them – they’ve heard it all before. Then you will have a series of tests. Blood tests are used to test for HIV, Hepatitis B and syphilis. Swabs are used to examine material from a discharge or an infected area. If you are having a HIV test, an advisor will talk you through it. You may receive some results while you are at the clinic. If you need treatment, they will give you the medication there and then. This is free of charge. A sexual health advisor will meet you to explain safer sex practices, answer any questions you may have and discuss your results. You will get another appointment to come back for the rest of your results.


Chlamydia Effects: Causes: + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s) + Intime genital contact + It can lead to problems such as infertility + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex + You can pass the infection to your baby during birth + Infected fingers to eyes + It can cause premature labour and low birth weight + Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus) + From a pregnant mother to her baby Symptoms for Women: Symptoms for Men: + Abnormal vaginal discharge + Discharge from penis + Stinging or burning sensation when you pass urine + Stinging sensation when you pass urine + Bleeding between periods or heavy periods + Pain or bleeding during or after sex Treatment: Prevention: + Antibiotics – for you and your partner(s) + Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly.

Gonorrhoea: Effects: Causes: + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s) + From a pregnant mother to her baby + You can pass it on to your baby at birth + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex + It can cause problems such as pre-term labour + Infected fingers to eyes + Other long term complications include infertility + Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus) + Intimate genital contact Symptoms for Women: Symptoms for Men:: + Abnormal vaginal or anal discharge + Abnormal discharge from penis + Burning or stinging sensation when you pass urine + Stinging sensation when you pass urine + Pain during or after sex + May be bleeding between periods Treatment: Prevention: + Antibiotics – for you and your partner(s) + Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly.

Genital Warts (Human Papilloma Virus, HPV): Effects: Causes: + Some types of the virus are associated + Direct skin-to-skin contact with cervical cancer in women, so you should follow + Vaginal, anal or oral sex (protected and up with your doctor for a smear test. unprotected). Symptoms for Men and Women: + The virus can be in your system for 3 weeks to 8 months (or longer) before you show symptoms + Warts usually appear as single or more painless, fleshy growths or lumps in the genital area. They come in different shapes and sizes. + You may not have visible warts, but can still pass the virus on to your sexual partner(s). Treatment: Prevention: + There are a few treatments available, such as + ·Don’t have intimate sexual contact. freezing the warts and prescribed creams + Using a condom is the best protection + The type of treatment will depend on the size, against genital warts but it not 100% location and number of warts (The virus will stay in your effective. system, so the warts may come back)


Pubic Lice (Crabs): Effects: Causes: + The itching will continue and get worse. + Close body contact with infected person. + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s). + Rarely, infected bed linen or clothes may pass on the lice. Symptoms for Men and Women: + Itching in your pubic hair. + You may be able to see the lice. Treatment: Prevention: + It can be treated with creams and lotions – for you + Don’t have intimate sexual contact. and your partner(s). + Using condoms may not protect you + You can buy these at a chemist, however, you should against pubic lice. also have a full STI check.

Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV): Effects: Causes: + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s). + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. + It may cause problems in pregnancy such as + Intimate genital contact. premature labour and low birth weight. Symptoms for Women: Symptoms for Men: + Abnormal vaginal discharge. + Discharge from penis. + Vaginal discomfort. + Rash on the penis. + Stinging sensation when you pass urine. + Rarely, Stinging sensation when you pass + Offensive smell. urine. Treatment: Prevention: + Antibiotics – for you and your partner(s). + Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly.

Hepatitis B: Effects: Causes: + Long term complications can include liver failure + Through blood and other body fluids. and cirrhosis of the liver. + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex + Increased risk of miscarriage or premature labour. + From infected mother to baby during birth + You can pass it on to your baby during pregnancy. + Sharing drug using equipment with an infected person. + Tattoos, acupuncture and piercings with non-sterilised equipment. Symptoms for Men and Women: + Flu-like symptoms. + Fever. + Jaundice (yellow colouring of the eyes and skin). + Nausea. + Tiredness. Treatment: Prevention: + You may need medical treatment. + Get a Hepatitis B vaccination free from + You should stop or reduce the amount of alcohol. your GUM/STI clinic. you drink to reduce further strain on your liver. + Don’t share needles with drug users. + Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): Effects: Causes: + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s). + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. + You can infect your baby during pregnancy and birth. + From a HIV positive mother to her baby + You may get AIDS (Acquired Immuno-deficiency during pregnancy, at birth or in breast milk. Syndrome). This happens when the virus breaks + Sharing drug using equipment with an down your immune system until it gets to a stage infected person. when you cannot fight certain infections. + Some people have acquired HIV through infected blood or blood products. Symptoms for Men and Women: + There are usually no obvious symptoms in the early years. Treatment: Prevention: + Prescribed HIV medication. + Don’t have intimate sexual contact. + Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly. + Don’t share needles.

Herpes: Causes: Symptons for Men and Women: + From a pregnant mother to her baby. + Most people who carry the virus have no + Unprotected vagina, anal or oral sex. symptoms. + Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus). + Flu-like symptoms. + Direct skin-to-skin contact. + Painful blisters or ulcers on your external genitals and rectum. + A burning sensation when you pass urine. Treatment: Prevention: + Prescribed medication can reduce discomfort during + Don’t have sex while you or your partner(s) an outbreak. has an outbreak. + The virus will stay in your system, so you may have + Protect your sexual health - always use a further outbreaks. new condom correctly and put it on before + These outbreaks are usually less severe. you have sex.

Syphilis: Effects: Causes: + You can pass it on to your sexual partner(s). + Intimate genital contact. + You can pass it on to your baby during pregnancy. + Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. + Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus). + Kissing an infected person. + From infected pregnant mother to baby. Stages and Symptoms for Men and Women: 1: Primary infection, early infection: 9 to 90 days. - Symptoms: A painless ulcer (similar to a cold sore) in the genital, anal or mouth area. 2: Secondary infection, early infection: 6 weeks to 6 months. - Symptoms: Red spotty rash develops, typically on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet 3: Tertiary syphilis: Can happen months or years after initial infection. - Symptoms: Rare, but there is a possibility of long-term damage to your heart and brain. Treatment: Prevention: + Antibiotics treatment is very effective. + Condoms can prevent syphilis. + Your sexual partner(s) also need assessment and may require treatment. + It is important to abstain from intercourse for at least 2 weeks after treatment. + Follow-up blood tests to make sure the infection is responding to treatment.


If you have had unprotected sex, or you are not sure if your contraception worked properly, you could be pregnant. Signs that you might be pregnant include: + + + + +

Missed period – Missing a period is often the first sign of pregnancy that women notice Morning sickness - feeling sick or vomiting - is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy. It can happen at any time of the day and can start as early as two weeks after conception Some pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so that smells such as smoke or cooking may make them feel sick Tender or swollen breasts - Changes in your hormones caused by pregnancy may make your breasts swollen or sore Extreme tiredness (fatigue) – Pregnancy can cause extreme tiredness in some women.

All these signs can have causes other than pregnancy, so you will need to do a pregnancy test to be sure. Pregnacy tests are available from pharmacies. You could also go to a doctor or family planning clinic, although you may have to pay a consultation fee if you have your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional and you do not have a medical card. Pregnancy tests work by detecting pregnancy hormones in your urine. Results are fairly accurate, but if you have a negative test result and are still experiencing pregnancy symptoms (such as missed periods) you may need to take a second test or talk to your GP. Free pregnancy testing is available from CURA, Femplus and Life Pregnancy Care. Medical Card holders can get free pregnancy testing from their GP or family planning clinic.

A crisis pregnancy is defined as ‘a pregnancy which is neither planned nor desired by the woman concerned, and which represents a personal crisis for her.’ This includes women for whom a planned or desired pregnancy develops into a crisis over time due to a change in circumstances. According to the HSE, 28% of women in Ireland who had experienced pregnancy reported experiencing crisis pregnancy, while 23% of men who had experienced a partner becoming pregnant reported experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Any woman who decides to parent a child, whether alone or with a partner or family, needs on-going support. During a crisis pregnancy counselling session, the counsellor can assist you in exploring your emotional responses towards parenting and to explore the practicalities associated with becoming a parent. A crisis preganacy counceller can also explore the option of adoption. Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. However, a woman has the right to travel abroad for the purposes of obtaining an abortion and it is fully permissible to discuss abortion with a pregnant woman during a crisis pregancy councelling session. For more information, freetext ‘LIST’ to 50444.


College is an experience that allows many students to experiment, get to know new people and truly come to terms with who they really are inside. Coming out is when a person accepts their sexual orientation (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) and decides to tell someone else about it. Most young people tell friends first and many don’t feel they can tell their parents at first.+ Deciding to tell someone that you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can be a difficult and very personal decision. However, coming out as LGBT can be a hugely positive experience – a liberating time, when you embrace your sexuality. You should think about whether you’re ready to talk about it and who you want to tell. When deciding to talk about your sexuality, you might feel frightened, nervous, stressed, relieved or excited to get it over with. Remember, it’s okay to feel any or all of those emotions! Deciding when to come out: + Being gay in Ireland, especially in smaller towns can be tough. How you handle it is up to you. Some people decide to be very open about their sexuality while others prefer to be discreet. + Take time to decide about your sexuality. If you don’t know whether you fancy boys, girls or both then don’t worry about being straight, gay or bisexual. You’ll figure it out eventually! + Being gay and bisexual is normal and you have a right to show your feelings. Try not to hide your sexuality or pretend to be straight just to keep other people happy. You’ll end up feeling unhappy in yourself. + Never let someone make you feel ashamed of your sexuality. If they insult or threaten you they’re being prejudiced. + You shouldn’t feel pressurised into coming out. This can happen if you’ve a partner or friends who’ve already told people about their sexuality and think you should do the same. Wait until you feel comfortable and ready to tell others. Coming out is different for everyone; you might choose to tell friends but not your parents or to tell everyone you know. If you tell some people and not others, remember that secrets have a habit of escaping. When you’re ready to come out, start by telling someone you trust and that you think will be supportive. This will give you confidence to tell other people. Explain that being gay or bisexual doesn’t mean you’re a different person. You might have to wait a while before friends and family accept your sexuality. Expect stupid questions, ignorance and nasty comments and jokes. People might be shocked and say things that are hurtful. Telling family can be explosive. If you’re worried about them reacting badly, threatening you or kicking you out ask a friend to let you stay with them if it’s needed. Get more information if you think you’re being discriminated against or harassed because of your sexuality. If you’re being discriminated against, contact a Citizens Advice Bureau or the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland or the Equality Authority in Ireland. For more information, contact: + BeLonG To: 01-873 4184 + Fiach O’Neill, SU Equality Officer 01–708 3669 + Maynooth SU LGBTQ Society:


Health is a positive concept that relates to every part of our lives. We cannot easily separate our physical and mental health, both of which can be influenced by other factors. The term ‘mental health’ is often misunderstood. When asked about mental health people often assume it to be a negative term that means mental illness.

‘Mental health means our ability to enjoy life and cope with its challenges. In a nutshell, are we able to get on and do the things we want to do? It’s not a by-word for ‘mental illness’. A mental illness is a problem that affects mental health (just like a broken leg affects physical health).’

Just as physical health refers to everything related to the health of our bodies, mental health refers to the health of our minds and emotions. Mental health influences how we think and feel about ourselves and about others, as well as how we respond to things that happen to us. It affects our studies, work, learning, relationships, and the way we can cope with ordinary life events such as moving house, having children or experiencing bereavement. Mental health is about everyone. Our physical health changes over time and so does our mental health. Some days we feel better than other days, and at times in our lives, we experience more stress and distress than others. Some of life’s most challenging events cause us to experience poor mental health, but over time we recover. All of this is normal, and all of it is about our mental health.

‘Everyone has mental health needs, these needs are met, or not met, at home, in families, at work, on the streets, in schools and neighbourhoods, in prisons and hospitals, where people feel respected, included and safe, or on the margins, in fear and excluded.’

Sometimes people develop more severe mental health problems that need professional treatment. When this happens, it is a good idea to remember that the same thing happens in physical health. At times, we develop an illness that requires medical or other treatment. In some cases, there are things we can do to protect ourselves from getting a physical or mental illness. It can also happen for no obvious reason. Any one of us could become unwell in our lifetimes.

‘Mental health is sometimes described as underpinning all health and wellbeing, because of growing research evidence of the impact of how people think and feel on their physical health.’ Remember: 1 in 4 of us with suffer from mental ill health. So out of the total 8,000 students in Maynooth, 2,000 have been or will be affected by mental ill health.


Stress comes about when there are so many demands and just not enough resources to deal with them all effectively. Stress in small amounts can be a positive thing and many people use it to drive them. However, if it becomes overwhelming it can have serious negative consequences for your physical and mental well-being.

How to deal with stress:

+ + + + + + +

Exercise regularly; this will keep you healthy, and more importantly will help you release hormones called endorphins all around your body making you feel all happy inside. Learn to say ‘no’ – You’ve got enough on your plate. People will have to accept that every one needs time to themselves. Prioritise. When you’ve done this, you can better manage your time and fit in most of the things you need to do in your week and not feel too stretched. Have someone to talk to (or rant at!). It can be really helpful to get someone else’s perspective on things. Laugh. Being too serious is bad for your health. Look what happened to Father Stone… Be optimistic. Positive things happen to positive people. Talk to us. If you feel you’re struggling, drop into Fiach your Welfare Officer.

How to handle exam stress at peak time:

+ + + + + +

It’s a cliché, but try not to leave everything until the last minute. You’ll thank yourself for it. Take breaks, plan your time, and plan your revision. Familiarise yourself with past exam papers in good time. You’ll be far more comfortable with an exam paper when you understand and recognise the format, know how much time to spend on each question, and so on. You’ll often realise, too, that you might not need to cover the entire syllabus. It’s often a good idea to study in groups with your mates. This way you will probably realise that you’re not as badly set as you think, and hanging out with friends is also an excellent pre-exam stress relief. You can assign reading between yourselves to cut down on the workload too. Another cliché, and one that everyone learns from experience, is that one of the best things you can do is to get a good night’s sleep before an exam, i.e. at least four hours if not eight. This will help you keep alert during your test, and aid your brain in processing the bits you have learned. Mind yourself. All-nighters and dosing up on coffee and Red Bull, which unfortunately at times may be inevitable, isn’t good for you. Be sure to eat properly and sleep well before an exam to make sure you’re on top form.

Think carefully about what you eat and drink before your exam. If you have butterflies, eat Weetabix and bananas on the morning of the exam for a slow and steady release of carbs to keep you on your toes for the day.


Let’s face it, college is going to be work. You don’t have people chasing you for your homework, which means you’re less pushed to study. Classes are hard, days are long, and the workload is heavy. And to top it all of, it can get mighty expensive. But the pros outweigh the cons. You have independence, freedom, a great social life, and you are bound to meet people who will be your friends for life. If you follow the finanacial tips below, hopefully you’ll keep your budget in check while you’re off having a good time!

Step 1: Finding Somewhere To Live One of the first considerations for any student is deciding where to live. If you are living away from home, accommodation can make up nearly a third of your overall budget. You should try to get the best deal on accommodation that you can. Don’t rush into renting the first place you see. Do your homework and view as many places as possible before making a decision. Websites such as or are good starting points for your search. You should also talk to Fiach in the Students’ Union for tips and advice on renting in the area. He has a list of college approved landlords in the area. Pick up a Rent Book & Accommodation Guide from Fiach and make sure you use it for a receipt for all money paid and to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Contents Insurance is also probably the last thing on your mind, but the chances are you have some expensive items such as laptops and music equipment that are vulnerable to theft, loss or damage, so it’s worth considering protecting them. It may be difficult for you to get cover in your own name but it is possible to get cover as a top-up to your parents’ home insurance policy. The additional cost of adding cover for a student’s belongings ranges from just 34, including all risks cover. Before you choose a policy, ask if there are any exclusions and what excess applies.

Step 2: Student Banking – Keeping your money under control Open a student account as soon as you can so you can keep track of your spending. When choosing a student current account, don’t be dazzled by freebies from banks. What you really need to look at are the fees and charges. Most banks offer fee-free banking to students, but this doesn’t cover overdraft fees, which can be expensive. If you think you’ll use this service, choose the account with the lowest fees. Check out the current account cost comparisons on compare student accounts across the market. If you a can avoid using a credit card do! If this isn’t an option for you, then make sure you chose a credit card with a low annual percentage rate (APR). Remember your credit limit is not a spending target, so only use your card for essential purchases and try to pay your bill in full each month. When it comes to loans, again look for a low APR and try to borrow over as short a term as possible – that way you will pay interest. Don’t ignore debt. If you’re in financial difficulty, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are living at home or away from home, you can speak to your bank or Fiach the student welfare officer in the college. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse. Remember that missing repayments will damage your credit record and your ability to get loans in the future.


Step 3: Counting your cash - set a realistic budget Sticking to a budget can make a huge difference to your finances. List your income and expenses- income could be money from a student loan or grant, savings you built up if you were working during the summer or your parents may be giving you a regular allowance to meet your day-to-day expenses. For expenses: include items that you spend your money on. If you are living away from home, you will have the additional expenses such as rent, food, heating and electricity to think about. If you are living at home you should consider how much money you will need to cover lunches and snacks, transport and entertainment. Include loan repayments under expenses. Don’t underestimate your budget. Regularly update your income and costs to ensure you won’t overspend! In order for your budget to work, your total expenses should not be more than your total income. Otherwise you will need to revise your budget. Check out our money saver tips in step 5 for more ways to save.

Step 4: Day to day – Shop Smart Be a smart shopper when you are doing your weekly grocery shop. If you are living with other housemates it is usually cheaper to do one big shop and share the expense rather than smaller individual shops. Always ask if there’s a student discount, whether you’re buying a pair of shoes or a burger. You’ll be surprised at how many places offer student discounts. Don’t pay for anything that you could get cheaper or for free. Don’t be tempted to eat out all the time! If you cook for yourself or bring your own tea and coffee you can save a fortune. There are loads of sites such as with easy cheap meal ideas for students. Pay your Bills on time! You can pay your regular bills (gas, electricity and broadband) by standing order, direct debit or credit transfer. Each of these will have a different cost and will vary by provider, so check out the cost before you decide which one to use. Make sure that you have enough money in your account to meet these bills or you might get charged a penalty fee.

Step 5 – Money Saver Tips + Look for student discounts – many shops offer discounts for students with a valid student card, so its worth asking. + Try to buy online, you’ll often find better deals on clothes, music, books etc. + Sign up to group discounts sites for deals on everything from meals to hairdressing. + Save on your groceries bills - check advertisments for regular special offers for saving money on groceries. + Make a list of your meals for the week and stick to it, and use all the money-off coupons you can get your hands on. + Check out all the resources available to students at the college. The college has the Students’ Union and clubs and societies which offer good deals. This is also a great way of meeting other students and familarising yourself with your college! + You may be entitled to a student grant. Check out for more details. + Don’t rush out and buy all your course books in the first week - either get them from the college library or look to buy them second-hand. Sell on any books at the end of the college year. + You may be entitled to a tax refund if you worked over the summer. Check out for details. + Save money on your mobile by shopping around. Compare costs on the Comreg site and consider carefully which deal is the best for you.


Clubs & Socs Day 2011 (Fairs Day) Wednesday 28th September The Large Sports Hall Only 2 EURO to join each club! 42

Akido Aikido is a Japanese martial art. The idea is to avoid an attack, blend with your attacker and establish control. As Aikido requires little physical strength it is suitable for people of all shapes and sizes and at the beginning no level of fitness is required. Benefits include self-discipline, increased fitness and vitality, better posture, balance and breathing, and a physical competence and confidence in movement. It is a non-competitive martial art and we practice by working together rather than trying to defeat each other. Aggression is strongly discouraged and is contrary to the ideals and philosophies of Aikido. A typical class starts with some simple stretching exercises from yoga followed by posture and movement work. We then usually move onto ukemi (how to fall) and some Aikido techniques. In the first few classes the emphasis will be more on the movement and ukemi than the techniques. (Don’t worry we always teach you how to fall before we throw you!). We welcome beginners at all times. If you want to try something new come along to any session and remember to wear loose fitting clothing - tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt are ideal (we do a lot of kneeling down so shorts are a bit hard on the knees). Do not worry if you have never done a martial art or are totally unfit; these things can change - every practitioner of Aikido had a first class!

Basketball The Basketball Club in Maynooth is one of the longest established clubs at the university, offering students the opportunity to compete at the top level of collegiate competition coupled with a positive and friendly social aspect. The club caters for both men and women, competing in the Basketball Ireland College League and the season culminating in the prestigious inter-varsity tournament in March. The club fields fresher teams for both men and women in the Fresher tournament in Limerick and also offers the chance at social basketball for those who don’t want to compete but still want to keep fit with a unisex social basketball competition.The men’s team was promoted most recently to the ‘A’ division of the ICBA league in 2009, competing against the top college programs in the country, the team competes at B level in the inter-varsity competition having narrowly missed out on promotion in recent years. Runner up inthe competition in 2006, the men’s team will be looking to go one further for the coming academic year. The women’s team has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with 2011 being a spectacular year for the team. Retaining status in the top flight, emerging victorious at the inter-varsity b competition and securing the club first ever all stars the ladies team will be looking to qualify for the league finals next year whilst retaining their position in the A division.

Fencing Welcome, first years to Maynooth University and to Maynooth Fencing Club! Fencing, which many people will not have done before college, is a fun and interesting way of getting fit and getting to know people (and playing with swords!). The Maynooth Fencing Club is a small but strong club. It was top club in the Club & Societies League last year, with plenty to do both inside and outside training. Fencing is a sport for anyone and usually has an equal number of men and women. We train every Monday and Wednesday from 8pm to 10pm and go to many competitions both in and outside Maynooth.The Schull competition for first and second years is a great way to get to know other students in Maynooth and other colleges. Please come visit us on fairs day, fencing is a sport for anyone (and works great as a chat up line too!) See you on Clubs & Socs Day!

Judo Judo was developed from the discipline of ju-jutsu by Jigoro Kano in nineteenth century Japan. The discipline is focused on throwing, grappling and submission techniques and can be seen as a sport or as an art. The sporting aspect of the discipline encourages clubs to compete in intervarsity, national and international competitions. The more artistic aspect of the discipline is focused on the Katas, or ritual forms, which are performed as part of grading or as a method of perfecting technique. The Maynooth Judo club is committed to the ethos of fair play and mental and physical efficiency encouraged by Judo. The club provides a training experience suited to those who wish to take Judo seriously, or those who wish to get fit and have a more social experience. Participants can focus on the more competitive aspects of Judo in free sparring, or randori, and interclub competition, or one can focus on Judo as an art by practising the Kata. Training focuses on general fitness, particularly balance, core strength and explosive strength, as well as practising techniques and free sparring. Practising Judo significantly increases a person’s balance, coordination and positional awareness, as well as one’s mental and physical confidence.


MUCK MUCK is Maynooth’s one and only canoeing and kayaking club and our aim is to safely introduce anyone who is interested to the wonderful world of paddling as well as furthering the skills of our more experienced members. With training sessions twice a week, fortnightly river trips where you feel the thrills of kayaking down running water, weekends away, the eagerly anticipated and ever brilliant inter-varsities and more, our members soon feel right at home in the club. There is something for everyone as kayakingis a very diverse sport with many disciplines. It is difficult to cater for them all but we make aneffort to cover training in as many as we can, including but not limited to white-water, canoe polo, freestyle and long distance paddling. MUCK is also a very social club with events and parties throughout the year like the very merry Christmas party, the AGM and the infamous, annual MUCK wrestling!So whether you’ve never held a paddle in your life or you paddle the Zambesi every day before breakfast, MUCK is one club you’ll enjoy no matter what. Make it part of your Maynooth experience!

Trampoline Our Trampoline Club is all about having fun and relaxing. If you’ve had a hard day of lectures and feeling stressed out, release the tension on the trampolines with a few straddles and tucks to your choice of music pumping in the hall. You’ll find a friendly attitude and helpful demeanour from our club and its members. We will also be holding events outside of training for all the first years to get to know one another and the other club members, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic! Many may not know, but Trampolining is one of ten spectacular gymnastic disciplines and an Olympic sport. Our club is dedicated to the promotion of this. We compete against other universities’ clubs in Ireland and the UK. We go on weekends around the country and one international trip to Scotland, in order to compete and have an amazing time there. Trampolining is an amazing sport and we welcome everyone to come and join in, from people with no experience on a trampoline to avid bouncers. We look forward to seeing you all at Clubs & Societies Day. Happy Bouncing!

Ultimate Frisbee If there were a sport that had five million players in the U.S. alone, you’d have heard of it right? If Ireland had a bid to host the European championships last summer, you’d obviously have heard of it. What if Maynooth have two current players that represented Ireland at U23 and U20s? You’d definitely know it, right? Well maybe not if that sport was Ultimate Frisbee. The full description of Ultimate is “a non-contact sport played with a 175 gram flying disc. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby. Players may not run with the disc, and may only move one foot while holding the disc (pivoting).” The thing that sets Ultimate apart from other sports is the self-refereeing element of the game. Players have to display good “spirit” when playing the game, and at every competition there is an award for the team that has the best spirit. Last year at intervarsities, the Maynooth Marvels won it! So if you’re a guy or girl that likes to have fun while keeping fit, Ultimate Frisbee is the sport for you! We attend tournaments all over the country, from Dublin to Limerick and Belfast and this year we are looking at competing in a beginner tournament in Edinburgh. Just in case you’re worried about not being able to throw a Frisbee, don’t worry; none of us could when we started!


Clubs & Socs Day 2011 (Fairs Day) Wednesday 28th September The Large Sports Hall Only 2 EURO to join each society!


Amnesty International Amnesty International Ireland is the country’s largest human rights organisation with over 15,000 members and supporters. Our sole concern is the protection of the fundamental human rights guaranteed to each one of us by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here in Maynooth we work hard to promote this concept in a fun and interesting way. We hold a fun and diverse range of events such as workshops, speakers, debates and DVD nights. Some of our main events last year included a comedy gig with comedian Keith Farnan, Christmas card making, a death penalty flash mob and our very successful annual fundraiser “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” for our Violence Against Women campaign. Along with these events we work closely with the Youth Section of Amnesty Ireland and with Amnesty societies in other universities. And this year our events will be bigger and better! When you become a member of our society you’ll be adding your voice to a global movement of millions of people worldwide. So, if you want to make a difference and make some great friends along the way, join MSU Amnesty on Clubs & Socs Day!

Anthropology After a brief hiatus, we are delighted to launch a new Anthropology Society in 2011. Bringing together both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this society aims to enable you to engage with Anthropology in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Meeting every Monday at 6pm, the Anthropology Society will be hosting an array of gatherings and events throughout the year. From a monthly ethnographic movie club to research seminars where students can demonstrate their work, we will give you the chance to get to grips with Anthropology whilst developing further insights into the up-and-coming research being carried out at NUIM. With plans for a few social events to keep things fun, you can also be sure things won’t always work out so highbrow! With links to conferences and the potential for strong connections with Anthropology students and researchers internationally, the Anthropology Society offers a great opportunity for students to learn more about Anthropology and participate in the development of anthropological studies both in Ireland and worldwide. Any questions and requests can be sent to us at, or you can check out our Facebook page for updates.

Astro2 A big welcome from Astro2; Maynooth’s premier Physics and Astronomy society! If you’re in anyway curious about physics or astronomy then Astro2 is right for you. You don’t have to be studying astrophysics, physics or even science to come along, have fun and meet new people. Meetings may consist of a combination of an episode of The Big Bang Theory, guest speakers, a documentary/show/film, scoping the sky on a clear night, some general hanging out and, if your lucky, a visit to the pub afterwards. There will hopefully be a trip or two during the year to follow up our trip to CERN on the French/Swiss border and there’ll be a chance to get your very own critically acclaimed Astro2 hoodie! And, of course, if you have ideas and want to have your say, come check us out on Clubs & Socs Day. You can also find us on Facebook for news, updates, photos etc.

Blessed John Paul II The Blessed John Paul II Theological Society is based in St Patrick’s College (SPCM) and was established after the visit to Maynooth of Pope John Paul II in 1979. The society aims to provide a forum for discussion and debate on a wide area of theological topics and issues, particularly those relevant to our times. Guest speakers are invited from all over Ireland and from abroad (last year including countries such as Austria, Italy and the United States) to address the society and to facilitate discussion by their presentations. Last year topics included the existence of Hell, the thought of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the notion of the family as found in the Scriptures, Christ and inter-religious dialogue, the theology of Karl Rahner and the role of the Priesthood in today’s world. The talks, while an important kernel of all events, serve as a stimulus for further discussion which usually takes place over wine and cheese. While geared towards students studying theology at SPCM, membership in the society and attendance at events are also very much open to students of NUIM who have an interest in religion and theology.


Cards The Cards Society brings the excitement and skill of Texas Hold’em Poker to your own Student’s Union Clubhouse! Every Tuesday you can have a good time meeting other like-minded students while learning how to play this ever-popular game. Play on proper felted tables and pit your skills against other students of different abilities as you compete for our weekly lucrative prizes as well as fighting for a place on our prestigious leader board. Also look out for our special events held throughout the year, such as our Heads Up tournament where players play one-on-one until there is only one left standing. Or you could prove yourself and what you know against Cards Societies from other colleges by competing on our Intervarsity Team to take home the CUPS Trophy. If playing a friendly game in the comfort of your Student Bar for the chance of winning prizes and entering major competitions interests you, check us out on Clubs & Socs Day or have a look at our NUIM Cards Facebook profile.

Christian Union Maynooth Christian Union is primarily a group of students who believe in Jesus Christ. However, membership is open to everyone; believers of all denominations, non-believers, people of other faiths and anyone who is simply curious and wish to learn more. CU is a great way to make new friends, ask the big questions and deepen faith in a relaxed and friendly environment. We hold weekly meetings where students can listen to and engage with speakers from all over Ireland (and beyond), and, of course, chat and chill out with a nice cup of tea. We also host Bible studies during the week, along with special events throughout the year such as Thanksgiving Dinner, debates, movie nights and lots more! Last year, Maynooth CU won Most-Improved Society at the Clubs and Socs Awards and over the coming year we will strive to improve the society even more, through outreach, coffee mornings and joining with other clubs and societies. As mentioned above, CU is open to all and we actively encourage anyone who is the least bit curious about Christianity to come along to any of our events. We look forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy the “Maynooth experience”.

Classics The Classics Society provides an opportunity for like-minded students here in Maynooth to meet and share their enthusiasm for ancient Greek and Roman history and culture through a variety of interesting, enjoyable and informative events. We are always delighted to see new faces at our events and as we are a small-ish society you’ll find it easy to make friends who have the same interestsas you. Although our activities are classics-related, the emphasis is firmly on fun and enjoyment, though of course this isn’t to say that there might not be some benefit to your academic pursuits too… Last year we had a whole range of events from our fortnightly movie nights to guest lectures and a visit to the National Gallery to view classically-inspired paintings. Particularly exciting was the production, in conjunction with the Drama Society, of the Oedipus Turannos by Sophocles. This year promises to have even more great things happening, and we’d love you to be a part of it. So sign up on Clubs and Societies Day, come along to one of our events or contact us by email, via our website, our Facebook page (NUIM Classics Society) or out Twitter account (nuim_classics).

Cullacht na Gaeilge Dia dhaoibh First Years! Tá súil againn go bhfuil sibh ag baint taitneamh as do céad cúpla seachtain anseo! Is í Cuallacht na Gaeilge ceann de na sochaí is mó sa choláiste! Tá sé mar aidhm againn an Ghaeilge a spreagadh i slí neamh-fhoirmiúl agus taitneamhach (Leadránach? Na h-abair é!) Déanann an chuallacht iarracht an teanga a spreagadh trí imeachtaí, comh-oibriú le cumainn eile agus feachtais eagsúla srl srl! Níl an chuallacht dírithe orthu siúd amháin atá ag déanamh an ghaeilge mar ábhar acadúil agus tá fáilte roimh chách fiú muna bhfuil ach “cúpla focal” agat! Cuireann an chuallacht imeachtaí den chéad scoth ar siúl i rith na bliana a thugann deis do dhaoine chun a chuid ghaeilge a chleachtadh agus a úsáid! Na príomh-imeachtaí a bhíonn ar siúl ná; an turas go dtí an oireachtas (féile gaelach le mic léinn ó na colaistí uilig, an deireadh seachtaine is fearr dar lenár gcoiste) ceilí na nollaig, seachtain na gaeilge, bál na gaeilge agus níos mó. Chomh maith le sin, bíonn imeachtaí ar siúl i rith an lae i seomra na gaeilge i bhfoirgneamh na nEalaíon.So cén fáth ba chór duit a bheith i do bhall?........ Bhuel, tá áít larnach ag lucht na céad bliana sa chuallacht; tá ionadaí na céad bliana ar an gcoiste agus beidh ceilí ar siúl i rith seachtain na bhfresher chun craic na cuallachta a chur os bhur comhair, tá siúl againn go bhfeicfidh muid sibh ann! Agus ná déanaigí dearmad fúinn ar lá na gcumainn! Go n-eirí libh leis an chéad bhliain san ollscoil agus bíodh blian den scoth agaibh! Le grá Cuallacht na Gaeilge”


Dance Dance Soc have always said it’s not what you do, but the way you do it. And you might as well do it with style! We firmly believe there is not a single person who cannot dance and that’s where we come in. As one of the largest societies on campus we’ve got a diverse mix of dancing ability! All types of dance are taught, our weekly classes include Hip Hop, Irish Dance, Ballet, Contemporary and Salsa. We also have workshops twice a month; from Bollywood to Ballroom and Tango to Tap, we’ve got it all! In recent years we have won Best Society twice at the Annual Clubs and Societies awards. As well as this, we participate in competitions with other colleges and universities around Ireland, once in DCU at the All Ireland Dance Experiment and another at Intervarsiteis, which will be taking place in Galway this year! We guarantee that Dance Soc is full of the most fun and energetic people you will ever meet! We are not asking you to be a brilliant dance we just want you to try, to be willing to learn, to get involved it is the best way to meet new people. Half of our Committee this year were first years last year, they got involved in their first year and they are now running the society! Keep an eye out for us on Clubs & Socs Day and welcome to Maynooth!

Drama The Drama Society, also known as the Roscian Players, has traditionally been one of the biggest societies on campus. We are the one-stop-shop for all of your theatrical needs. You can get involved in pretty much any way you want; we are constantly looking for new actors/directors/ writers/techies/backstage crew and of course just a generally enthusiastic membership. If you have any ideas for something dramatic you’d like to see done, let us know and we’ll get right on trying to accommodate it! Our first event of the year will be the First Timers’ Festival where people who have never acted/directed/written/done lights/sound with this society are given the chance to shine. It’s a great way to see which aspect of theatre you would most like to become involved in. If you’re still unsure why you should join drama, never fear. You can e-mail us at find us on Facebook or even follow us on Twitter. Still unconvinced? Come see us on Clubs & Socs Day where our committee will be on hand to show you that the Drama Society is the best society for you!

Galway Cycle The Galway Cycle is one of the biggest and best events of the academic year in Maynooth. Every year, roughly 200 cyclists, collectors and support crew make their way from the college to Galway and back over the last weekend in March. In those three days, they challenge themselves like never before by cycling 400kms. They raise money for a deserving charity (600k and counting), make at least 100 new friends, get very little sleep and have the best weekend of their lives. It’s so good they keeping coming back, long after they’ve left college. In fact they’ve been coming back for 25 years - so you’re lucky you arrived this year because Galway Cycle 2012 will be the best ever as we celebrate our first quarter century! You don’t have to cycle. You don’t even have to be vaguely fit. Come as a collector, a supporter, an organiser, a face painter, a juggler, a teller of tall tales, a biting wit or just for the craic – especially for the craic. Our motto is ‘The Galway Cycle – Cycling, charity and craic since 1987’. You get the idea. Our open night is in JH 1 on Wednesday, October 5.

Games CALLING ALL N00BS! Welcome to Maynooth! If you’re into gaming you came to the right place. We’re the Games Soc and we play everything: war games, card games, board games and consoles! From casual games of Scrabble to intense Warhammer, Call of Duty to Magic the Gathering if you play it well so do we. Whether you’re a Pokemon champion or a Monopoly wizard we’ve got the games for you. Games Soc is a great chance for first years to come and meet each other and people of all ages in a friendly, not too competitive environment. We run on a weekly basis on campus throughout the year as well as running massive monthly and annual events such as tournaments, minicons, competitions and our annual convention Dominicon! Dominicon is a weekend-long gaming experience not to be missed. So if this sounds like your scene or you just want to ask a quick question about anything feel free to find us on Facebook, check out our online boards by Gogling “NUIM Games Soc” and of course don’t forget to join us on Fairs Day! All are welcome to our big once-off games and introductions for new people to see what we’re all about. Happy Gaming!


Geography The 2010 – 2011 academic year has been another busy year for the NUIM Geography Society. A Geography Help Desk was put in place that was available to undergraduate students once weekly in the Students’ Union. This proved to be particularly useful to first year geography students who were settling in to university life. Third year Geography students were on hand primarily to give advice on matters of geography but also to share their experience within the discipline. Many students are progressing to second year geography as a result. The Geography Society Journal, Milieu, has been compiled with a wide selection of articles from both academics and students making the 34th edition of Milieu a great success. We will be gathering new articles for the 35th edition at the end of 2011 so it is never too early to put pen to paper (or more appropriately, finger to keyboard!) to get your article in and put another feather in your cap as a published author. For this coming academic year, 2011-2012 we are inviting you all to join us in learning more about the wonderful world around, above and below us. We will be having regular events addressing all aspects of Geography and also learning about current events that affect us locally and internationally. You can contact us through Facebook or emailing us on geography@!

Jugging The Juggling Society is one of the more unusual societies on campus, in a very good way! We meet on a weekly basis (every Tuesday) to practice, teach, socialise and generally just have fun. We are happy to take in members of all levels of juggling experience; from experts that will put us all to shame to people who have only just heard of juggling. So don’t worry about not knowing what to do! Our biggest event of the year is the trip to the Tralee Circus Festival, which has everything from shows done by professional performers to workshops by people from other societies around the country, people who simply have an interest in juggling and even the performers themselves (always good fun!). We also help out with fire performances at events in the SU and hold a fundraising 24-Hour Juggle-A-Thon which has proven very successful for the past two years. Any of the above sound like fun to you? Then come on over to any class and we’ll get you started. Remember, we know how to play with our balls, and we can show you too!

Labour Youth Are you interested in politics? Well it’s interested in you. Politics affect every aspect of our lives, so your voice needs to be heard. So get involved in the party that stands for Jobs, Reform and Fairness. Get involved in Labour. The Labour Party strives for the achievement of equality, social and economic justice, community solidarity and freedom. Labour Youth aims to get young people involved in the Labour party and cater for the problems, aspirations and needs of young people. We also organize educational, training and social events for young members of the Labour party. Labour Youth is a great opportunity to make friends with like minded activists from all over the country, and in our sister orgonisations around the world. We are in tough times at the moment, stuck cleaning up the mess of the previous government, but we will get through it, and build a farer, better society. “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead.We’re on Facebook, on Twitter at @labournuim, and email at

Law Maynooth Law Society evokes a new and enthusiastic culture when students are confronted by the choice of which societies to join. Non-law students are vehemently encouraged to join, while students who are studying law are expected to enroll as the benefits derived therefrom will contribute greatly to their academics.Maynooth Law Society’s most prominent objective is epitomized in the following words“to have fun.” We want students to enjoy their experience of the society while at the same time offering educational opportunities which will greatly benefit them in all aspects of life. Examples are inviting top law firms in to talk to students, organising moot courts (legal term for a mock trial), fun trips away both in Ireland and abroad and of course The Law Ball. The society works closely with the NUIM Law Department to ensure that members are getting exactly what is required in order to progress as top law students.Last year’s inaugural Silken Thomas Moot Court was a great success, which saw the final judged by the prestigious Justice John Macmenamin, Head of Law Prof. Sandeep Gopalan and Matheson Ormsby Presntice solicitor Anna Hickey.


LGBTQ Hello there, smiley people! MSU LGBTQ warmly welcomes first years to Maynooth! The next few years are going to be some of the best of your life, so gear up for some serious fun (and study, of course)! MSU LGBTQ. is a warm and fuzzy society for Maynooth’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer / Questioning students and their supporters. The society is one of the biggest in our SU and continues to grow and expand. We are a multi-faceted society that organises events ranging from sexual empowerment talks, coffee meetings, literary clubs and nights out in town. We have also a political dimension and we try to get involved in the shaping of Irish policy in issues such as gender recognition, marriage equality and trans issues. Every year we host a Rainbow week packed full of various events to suit all our members. Our committee is here to help you adjust to college life, and if you would like to take part we’ve a few positions to be elected including first year rep! These are elected at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). We also offer a buddy system to those of you who may be a little bit shy so feel free to contact the society at if you’d like to organise a buddy to meet up with you! We hope to see you soon! Come to our first meet and greet at 6PM in JH2 on the 28th of September!

Literary & Debating The Literary & Debating Society (LnD) is a society that offers students a medium through which to express themselves constructively through the widest means possible. The society provides both a formal platform for students to debate and articulate their thoughts on local, national and international levels, as well as an outlet to cultivate the broad range of literary creative talent that Maynooth has to offer. With writing workshops and debates on a broad variety of motions both being held weekly, the society is also a great way to meet like-minded students. Furthermore, our less regular events and activities (usually entailing generous receptions), such as the annual Poetry Slam, Maynooth Open intervarsity tournament, and the annual literary journal, provide brilliant opportunities to meet students from other universities. So, if you have even the vaguest interest in public speaking, politics, literature, poetry, socialising, or indeed arguing, then the LnD is most definitely the society for you. If you’ve any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at, or just approach us on Clubs & Socs Day!

Media Hey freshers! Maynooth Media Society here! This year we plan to improve on last year’s great success by creating more exciting events over the year. We aim to introduce a website that will have input from YOU and us to help promote a more community-based society. We also plan to have filming and editing workshops throughout the year where you will learn skills that only media can teach! Competitions are also an area we aim to promote this year and for these, we need you! Prizes for best graphics or short filming pieces are only the tip of the iceberg. Organised trips were a huge success last year and they will be back in force with trips to IFI screenings and anything else that takes our fancy (hat we can afford!). Finally we will continue the tradition of movie nights where anyone is free to come to enjoy some pizza and other “refreshments” in front of the big screen. Oh and did I mention the possibility of a huge guest appearance? But we will keep that quiet... for the time being. Join up and enjoy, media is only the start to this fun and enjoyable society!

Mental Health If you care about your mental health, about looking after yourself and making sure that stress doesn’t take over, we are the society for you! We are not a support group, we will guide you to someone whocan help if you need it. Our aim is to educate you with steps to positive mental health, ways to lookafter you. We have movie nights, workshops on things like stress, studying etc, anything to give you ahelping hand, have heaps of flyers and information on loads of areas of mental health and we do a lot of charity work, raising over € 1,100 last year for three different charities. One big thing to know is there are no limits to joining. Many societies and clubs cater for specific interests. We cater for every student in the college! Our bright yellow hoodies are always wandering about the place, so if you see any of thecommittee, stop us for a chat. We’ll do what we can to help! Most importantly, enjoy your first year here in Maynooth. It’s an amazing place, enjoy yourself, have fun but make sure you look after yourself!


Minds Minds is a rather different society, minds is NUI Maynooth’s very own Computer Society. If your interested in computers, computer science, writing code, designing websites, understanding how computers work or even just want to learn more, then minds is the society for you. Minds strives to provide a friendly and welcoming place and space to work on your own ideas and projects with other enthusiasts. Expand your knowledge with talks by speakers from various fields. Learn new skills with workshops and crash courses on new and emerging technologies. But also have fun, with nights out, movie nights, trips and even the odd LAN Party. But wait, there is more. Minds also has its own servers, providing you with space to back up your files (and securely access them anywhere in the world), host your own websites, have your own source code repository (which are frankly awesome for storing and version-ing your essays, reports, assignments and thesis, as well as all of your programming projects) and help yourself to some valuable skills while your at it. Skills that employers in the technology sector are always on the look out for.Sounding Interesting? Well then join minds on fairs day. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, link in on Linkedin or even just pop in at any of our events or meetings.

Music The Music Society is one of the biggest and fastest growing societies in the college. We represent any student who enjoys music (regardless of whether you actually do music or not) and is up for a bit of craic. We encourage people with all different musical tastes to join, whether you like Liszt or Lady Gaga.We hold events all through the year such as the annual song competition and “Stars in their Eyes”. There is also the Christmas Variety Show in which some of the Music Department’s ensembles, such as the Chamber Choir and Guitar Ensemble, perform. Also, other societies often take part in the show, like the Dance Society, Drama Soc and more, so it’s a great chance for everyone to get involved.This year we hope to introduce new ideas such as a trip abroad, joint events with other colleges’ music societies and trips to musical events in Ireland (i.e. the Jazz festival in Cork). We also have nights out (Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll etc) in Maynooth town, weekly student concerts and our annual Music Ball! So make sure to visit us on Clubs & Socs Day and join us on Facebook!

Omega Omega is Maynooth’s only sci-fi, fantasy and anime society. We meet every Monday night to watch shows, films and have the occasional quiz night with some amazing prizes. We also hold many cinema trips throughout the year to which to you, the member, come completely free of charge. We are also in charge of the fantastic Epic Con (it’s number 4 this year), a sci-fi convention that is held every year in February with tons of special guests as well as epic once off events like chemistry explosions, learning how to survive a zombie attack and shooting Edward Cullen in between the eyes. We believe strongly that the proceeds that we make at Epic Con go to a charity of our choice meaning your mind is kept entertained whilst your soul is kept happy by helping charity. Living on campus or just plain old bored over the weekend? Omega holds the solution to your problem! We hold fun filled themed marathon weekends. Have a throw back to your childhood in our Nostalgia Weekend or witness the marvel that is William Shatner in our Star Trek weekend! So what are you waiting for? Come join us today and be a part of the epicness!

Psychology Re-established this year, the Psychology Soc is a new, up-and-coming society for 2011. The society involves psychological topics of interest such as sports, child, forensic and clinical psychology as well as popular psychology, neuropsychology and many more. Despite this, it’s not restricted to psychology students; it’s open to everyone! We have a wide range of events planned for the year including guest speakers, movie evenings, society nights out and the all-important Psychology Ball! Previous work has been done with charities that help people with psychological and mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia Ireland. It is our aim to continue to contribute to as many charities as possible through fundraised events organised and run by the Psych Soc in which the amount of fun can even surpass the amounts collected! On another note, by the end of the year, the society hopes to organise a trip abroad with its members to enjoy after a good years work in university and out! So if you have an interest in all things psychological and are looking for some fun and friends to have it with, come join us on Clubs & Socs day to sign up!


St. Vincent De Paul In the past academic year, SVP here at Maynooth has had undoubtedly one of the best years if not the best. This can be seen by the society not only winning the Loftus Cup for the Best Pastoral Society but also by winning the Best Charitable Society in the Club and Societies league and SVP is now one of the best, largest and most active societies at Maynooth. The SVP society here at Maynooth is run by students for students which exists to fight poverty and runs lots of different events and activities during the year. The society is relaxed, easy-going and flexible to suit you and you can get involved as much or as little as you like. Some of the activities run are the weekly soup runs to the homeless, nursing home visits, homework club, flat decorating, training and courses and even volunteering with Sunshine House during the summers which are holidays for disadvantaged children. There are also social and fundraising events such as the extremely popular Father Ted Themed Lovely Girls Competition, Santa’s Grotto, nights out, weekends away, BBQ’s, pub crawls, sleep outs, cake sales, quizzes, debates, charity ball, fun run, slave auction, guest speakers, 5-a-sides and teaming up with the other university SVP’s. So get involved, help those in need, meet friends and have unbelievably great craic and banter.

Spotlight (Style Society) We’re the Spotlight Style Soc! so we love all things fashion and embrace everybody’s individual style! Throughout the year we hold numerous events that are style oriented. Our biggest event of the year is of course the annual Fashion Show. All students are encouraged to get involved. We need models, dressers and backstage help, so all skills are welcome! Our events are in aid of the Make A Wish Foundation, which is a wonderful children’s charity. So this year keep an eye out for our fashion show as well as a Celebrity Style night, Ibiza Party, movie nights, workshops and all other fun events! Be sure to join us on Clubs & Socs Day where you’ll have the chance to become a member or get involved as part of the committee!

Tea Society Greetings, and welcome to a brand new year at Tea Society! So you may be wondering is Tea Society for you. Well to help you figure it out we have created a nifty questionnaire. 1. Do you like to attend fun events? 2. Do you like meeting new people? 3. Do you like to try new things? 4. Do you like pretending to be psychic? 5. Do you like watching films? 6. Do you like helping charities? 7. Do you like eating biscuits? 8. Would you like to be in or watch a Lovely Girls Competition? 9. Are you not adverse to consuming hot beverages? 10. Let us be more direct, do you like tea? If you answered yes to any of the above questions then Tea Society is for you! We at the Tea Soc look for ways to connect tea to all things fun. We have regular Afternoon Tea Sessions, where we sit and chat over a cup of tea. If you’d like any more information, we’re on Twitter @MaynoothTeaSoc or on Facebook!

Young Fine Gael Young Fine Gael is a right wing youth organisation who supports the Fine Gael party. This means of course that we now support the government. We work alongside the senior party, however we often do not agree with all of their policies and so we also stand as a means of expressing the values of the youth in the country to the government. We also have great social gatherings and we engage with the political aspirations of our members and we encourage deep political debate and discussion. Come find us on Clubs & Socs Day! Come to our first meeting if you would like to find out more information on what it is we do and keep an eye on our notice board in the Arts Block. Go raibh maith agat!


MSU First Year Handbook 2011  
MSU First Year Handbook 2011  

The Maynooth Students' Union First Year Handbook for the 2011 / 2012 academic year.