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#EDITORS’ NOTES DIVERCSITY Committee Application 2015/16 Applications for DIVERCSITY 2015 will open on 3rd April 2015

Application Form: We’d also love to get some feedback and suggestions and hopefully some solutions to make DIVERCSITY 2015/16 even better.

Feedback Form: Thank you for your enthusiasm, interest, support and contribution to our first year of publication and hopefully for many more years to come! - Cheers DIVERCSITY 2014/15

Find this link on our facebook page, group page, website and Moodle page Scan this QR code ->






#EDITORS’ NOTES This the last issue for DIVERCSITY 2014-15.

A TASTE OF THE ISSUE: We feature the faces behind the paper with a very special Students of RCSI. We bring back all your favourite columns for our last issue of the year! It is the season of running and voting. Staff and student share their Boston Marathon experiences. We cover all things SU with a special feature Q&A with the campaigning teams running for SU and a statement from the in-office SU team. We remind you, RCSI, to vote yes for Equality!

SUBMISSIONS: EVERYONE is welcome to submit! You can submit articles on any topic as well as poetry, photos, art work or creative writing. Our favourite submission piece of the month will win the Editor’s Pick title and our giveaway for the month! To submit, go to moodle > view all courses > open access courses > DIVERCSITY. You will then be prompted to enroll in this course, and once you have done that you will be able to submit your work by uploading it on that page. DIVERCSITY will then come up in your courses which will make submitting easier in the future. In an effort to blur the lines between print and online, we have decided to use QR codes. We hope to link videos and websites for further reading and enjoyment in this way. You can download a QR Reader as an app on your phone and have a go scanning a code in the paper!

SPECIAL MENTIONS: We’d like to thank everyone who voted DIVERCSITY for the Societies Awards this year. We did not expect to win both awards and were delighted and surprised to win! Thank you Student Services for all the support this year and helping DIVERCSITY grow and prevail in RCSI. A big thank you to the Irish TImes for printing our issues for the year and helping us make sense of the world of publishing! Cover design by Nikita Rane.

- NIKITA RANE AND CAITRIN O’LEARY Directors and Editors-in-Chief














or me the story of Divercsity’s first year of publication begins and ends with wine and cheese. It was around this time last year that I ran into Nikita at the launch of the RCSI SMJ, RCSI’s only student publication at this time. She had come hoping to pick the brains of then editor Eoin Kelleher on how to start up and run a successful publication… I had come for wine and cheese. We got talking about Nikita’s idea for a student newspaper, and that’s where the story starts for me. Over the next week Nikita showed me her plans for the organization of this hypothetical newspaper –these plans were impressive even then, and they were 16 pages long before she finished with them. She introduced me to some of the enthusiastic people she had already begun to recruit for our fictional committee, including Yasoda Subramanian who became one of the main players in setting up Divercsity. Armed with 16 pages of plans, we prepared for our first meeting with Corriena Brien and Sandra Bonetto in Student Services. We were filled with equal measures of excitement and dread, assured as we were that convincing them of the merits of this project would be our greatest obstacle. Well, we got that one wrong. It turned out they had been waiting for something like this to happen and were delighted at the idea of having a student newspaper in RCSI. Having passed that test the next steps were to find our committee, and find someone to print our still very imaginary papers. We set up detailed application forms (warning: they’re going to be even more detailed this year), and had our first ever meeting (without wine or cheese, -we had to pay our dues after all). I don’t recall much of what happened at this meeting, but a lot of the people who attended went on to become members of our committee so it can’t have been too bad. In the meantime we’d also been badgering the lovely people at the Irish Times, for the first of what would turn out to be many, many occasions that summer. They agreed to print our (still hypothetical) papers, and they took us in and gave us a tour of their offices as well as our first lesson on newspaper making for dummies. We left that day more excited than ever. With the printing all organized we needed to find our committee. We trawled through many applications forms filled with ideas for the paper, and chose a committee of talented and enthusiastic individuals all of whom agreed to work over the summer to produce and edit articles for our very first issue, set for print during Freshers’ Week. Yasoda set to work designing our lovely website, -which we will be making a lot more use of next year, and as the articles came in myself and Nikita started putting

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together the issue –if anyone was around college in late August 2014, you may have witnessed our slow descent into madness trying to meet that first print deadline. The issue did eventually go to print however, and despite unclear images, some dodgy formatting (the societies section, my bad!), and innumerable typos and misspelt names, we were all delighted that the paper had become a reality. Nikita will be covering everything that’s happened from that issue to this one, so I’m going to skip straight to the end; a few weeks ago at College Ball we were astonished to win Best New Society, AND society of the year 2015. This is a testament to everyone who has worked tirelessly throughout the year to make each issue better than the last. Editors and columnists are constantly raising the bar on each other and the result is stronger content with every issue, our article co-ordinators are always finding new ways to get people involved and the March issue in particular showed how important they are to the committee, and our communications and events officers have done a wonderful job organising Divercsity Tuesdays, as well as our AGM next week, sending emails, posting on social media and generally doing all the vital jobs that no one else wants to do and that we’d be lost without. These awards are due as much to everyone who’s contributed to our issues during the year, poetry, articles, photos and artwork, all of which make Divercsity, well, diverse. It’s also about the clubs and societies who have shared their articles, news and events with us during the year; and a special mention is due to Photo Soc –no college newspaper can survive without photography, and fortunately for us no one beats RCSI Photo Soc when it comes to willingly giving their time and talent to help out other societies. Not only did Divercsity win two awards, but Divercsity’s very own Nikita Rane won the 2015 Society Person of the Year Award, -and it would be hard to find a more deserving winner. From her first inspiration last year she has given everything to make Divercsity a success, and somehow in between the hard graft of editing, formatting and occasionally studying medicine, she still finds the time to churn out even more exciting ideas for the future of Divercsity, -all this on top of her involvement in ICHAMS, drama soc, cancer soc and I don’t even know what else! To sum up then, it’s been a pretty great year -and it’s not over yet. Our AGM is happening on Thursday 2nd April (see the back cover for more info), where we’ll be discussing plans for next year, opening applications for the 2015/16 committee and yes, having wine and cheese. So come along, get involved and make our second year even better than our first!




Introductory event 25th April 2014.

Meeting with The Irish Times 6th June 2014.

Society and Clubs Sign up Day 10th September 2014.

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#FEATURES COMMITTEE 2014/15 In photo: Top Row (left to right): Muhimma Sulaiman, Stephanie Tung, Aislinn Killian, Mohit Butaney, Hong Ming, Cormac Duff, Middle Row (left to right): Cyrille Payne, Simraaj Powar, Rebecca Jagoo, Moyowa Boyo, Chew Jen Pin, Orla Donohoe, Bottom Row (left to right): Caitrin O’Leary, Nikita Rane. photo credit: Joe Hsiao

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s I edit this at 2:50am, redoing 6 hours of editing work I lost earlier this morning due to accidentally closing the wrong tab, my tired brain begins to question if starting a college paper was a wise decision... I am transported to my first day of orientation in RCSI - It was a busy day, but I had busier plans as I arrived feeling shiny, new and excited to begin my college experience. I scanned my new surroundings for a copy of “the paper”. I was told the library kept a few copies and soon found myself awkwardly taking a copy of The Irish Times and slightly disappointed there wasn’t a college paper. By this stage, I had studied in a total of five different schools in three different countries and unfortunately none of them had a student paper. When I was in the fifth grade in Dubai I stapled scraps of pages handwritten by my friends and me. I proudly called it our class paper and it was circulated around privately amongst ourselves. I think we had three “publications” and the first one was a survey about the upcoming Student Council election, the second comprised an interview I conducted with a friend who was penning a fictional story about our class and the third was a collection of poems and song lyrics one of which was called Chicken Farm. It’s safe to say our attempt at setting up the college paper has been much more successful! However, DIVERCSITY does have a similar origin story. Back in early March last year, in midst of conversations made while waiting for lectures to commence, my friends and I toyed the idea of having a student paper. With the excitement of a 10 year old, I once again found myself writing ideas on scraps of paper and talking to whomever in class was keen to stop and listen. I went back home and the next day had a four page document ready to show around. I used my four years of business studies in highschool to make organisational plans, duties and job descriptions. I was joyous that my friends were supportive of the idea and I accelerated my efforts to find individuals who would had an interest in setting up a paper. It was by sheer coincidence I met Caitrin at an event in late March. I was at the event in hopes to network with Eoin Kelleher. I had heard that he had attempted to start a paper and I was hoping to find out more. Unfortunately Eoin was extremely busy and we never got a chance to speak. I was also over there trying to convince an old friend to


consider the role of editor-in-chief and had been turned down. Things began to look bleak and I was worried. In retrospect, him saying no and shutting down the idea of a paper was the best thing that could have happened because I threw in the towel for the evening and made a straight beeline to the wine, which was where I bummed into Caitrin. Then everything changed. I mentioned my crazy idea of the paper and Caitrin was excited on doing it. She had a wealth of knowledge and a deeper understanding of leadership that really took our efforts to the next step. We had a similar vision for the paper - you could say we were on the same page! We both acknowledged the large amounts of time we would have to put in to make the paper and agreed we had to go elbows deep the first year of setting up. I know how rare it is to find this kind of mutual understanding and passion and we were lucky to have that amongst ourselves. I was going through a rough patch at the time and I was and still am extremely blessed to have Caitrin’s support through the ups and downs - and oh what a journey this has been! We have made mistakes and at times things did not go as planned. From laptop crashes to unknowingly using Registration black instead of CYMK Black and realising that there is a difference to eventually figuring out how to properly decrease Ink%/Pigment while editing photos. Majority of our InDesign (the software we use to edit) skills were acquired from YouTube Tutorials, whatever pointers we got from The Irish Times and trial and error. In all honesty, we could never say we completely knew what we were doing, but it never hindered our desire to find out more and our spirits to keep improving and moving forward with the publications. Formatting and editing skills is an art which with practice and time gets better. Our layout was experimental this year, but it is something we plan on improving next year along with making the paper more open and accessible with a stronger setup. Our aim was to make DIVERCSITY a collaborative focal point for the RCSI community. Where staff and students from different schools and college with the 10 goals that we aimed to achieve with every issue, which were to:

1. Provide a creative writing / expressive outlet for students. 2. Form a bridge for staff and student interaction. 3. Make students more aware of non-academia components of RCSI and student life out of RCSI. 4. Highlight and shed light on topics that students might find relevant, interesting, useful and shareable. 5. Enable students to see articles written by and about peers and lecturers. 6. Easy/ quick read articles and user friendly formatting and accessibility. 7. Showcase topics which may be relevant to readers out of RCSI. 8. Allow student body to take control of components of magazine via polls, feedback. 9. Help make college more interesting and engaging for students. And 10. Encourage future involvement. I am extremely proud of our committee’s work. Their passion and interest has contributed to 280 pages and 7 issues in one year of publication. With any society the more you put into it, the greater sense of satisfaction you receive from it and I hope they are extremely proud of this achievement. I am always going to fondly remember them and their articles. A big thank you to the societies that submitted articles and took an interest with the paper. Societies is platform for students from all different years and schools to come together and I hope DIVERCSITY continues to support, advertise and collaborate with the excellent clubs and socs in college. I would also have to thank the Librarians at Mercer Library who have been so supportive and are archiving the paper for us. Newspapers have played important roles in universities and there are numerous benefits of having a functioning college paper. I am fortunate to be given the opportunities to make this possible in RCSI - change is possible with politeness, patience and persistence. However for a college paper to exist, it needs to have a strong backing and interest from the student body. I hope all the hard work from this year transits to a growing publication and tradition to the years to come. We have exciting plans for next year which we can’t wait to discuss at the upcoming AGM! It is 4:38am. So cmd + S and cmd + E for now.





The founding committee of DIVERCSITY 2014-15 REBECCA JAGOO NIKITA RANE (Additional comments)


Columnist for Slice of Culture. Currently in IC3, Class of 2017.


What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

I was born in the United States, in Detroit, but the first few years of my life were actually spent with my grandmother in India. My twin sister, Alisha, and I were raised by her in our tiny village in Kerala, down in southern India. Therefore, the first language I learned to speak wasn’t English, but, in fact, the Indian dialect, Malayalam (Check it! It’s a palindrome!) When we came back to our birth country, my sister and I spoke NOT ONE WORD of English. We were 4 years old. My parents had the most interesting time trying to explain to our bewildered preschool teachers why their children seemed to only be able to understand each other...and speak in a garbled, made-up twin language. Oh brother.


Senior Editor for Education. Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What do you regret not doing this year?

1 year, 7 publications, 280 pages, 35 names. (BECKY) REBECCA JAGOO

Columnist for Students of RCSI. Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out? Most people would be surprised to know that I’m actually a nice, friendly person beneath my chronic RBF (resting bitch face).


Columnist for The World this Month, Senior Editor for Features. Currently in GEP 2, Class of 2017, Medicine. Aislinn writes her own travel blog:

I regret not going sky-diving this year, but there’s always next year. Overall, it’s been great. :)


Article co-ordinator for Art.


Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.

Article Co-ordinator for Staff Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

Back in 1st/2nd med I used to be part of dance society’s breakdance crew. A couple of my friends taught others and me the basics then we started to work as a team and perform in RCSI events. Unfortunately our group disbanded since college work started getting busier and some our members had to go back home. Our last (and probably best) performance was in chocolate ball 2012. You might find it on YouTube if you look hard enough.

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Columnist for RCShape. Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine. Arun is from Singapore.




Senior Editor for Events and Happenings. Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.

CAITRIN O’LEARY Director and Editor-in-chief. Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What was your most memorable moment of the school year? It would have to be helping to deliver a baby boy by C-section in the rotunda while on Obs Gynae rotation. It was an amazing experience and it will be nice to know that in the future when he asks his about the day he was born, we will be apart of that story

Q DIVERCSITY would have been impossible without Caitrin, she is just too humble to take proper credit for it! I didn’t really know her prior to setting up the paper, so it has been a blessing that we get along so well. She always has the right things to say and has been a great source of wisdom and comfort - especially when deadlines were approaching and all we could really do is laugh nervously and hope for the best! It has been extremely motivating and an over all wonderful experience to work with someone who is equally as passionate, dedicated and driven as you are to a project and I believe we could not have gotten the paper started with anyone other than Caitrin. - Nikita



What is something about yourself Columnist for Do-blin. Currently in IC1, Class that people would be surprised to of 2018, Medicine. find out? As a self-proclaimed member of the Illuminati (gold class, naturally), I can be found lurking amongst the aisles in Lidl, frightening the unsuspecting elderly and stealing their groceries. To serve a higher purpose,of course. On weekends, I enjoy performing candle-lit rituals to save Kanye’s soul. Efforts have not been successful. On Sundays you can find me busking with Key West on Grafton. I’m rich now. They pay me loads to go away. As an advocate for health living, I survive on nothing but instant noodles and rich tea biscuits-a stringent and impressive diet-and do daily exercises, one sit up every morning as I get up from bed. I was almost named Ah as a long-running joke. Ah Chew. It would have been a blessed life to say

What do you regret not doing this year? This year was very hectic so time was very precious. I don’t regret anything really about this year. In general I think energy is better spent learning from previous experience rather than holding on to regret.


What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out? I love monkeys and wished I had one as a pet, and the phantom of the opera terrifies me….. creepy!!


What was your favorite piece to write for divercsity ? And why? I think everyone wrote amazing and creative pieces for DIVERSCITY and made it a great newspaper for everyone. I am very grateful to be apart of it and hope it continues for many generations of students to come.

CIARAN STANLEY Editor for Sports and Fitness section Currently in SC2, Class of 2015, Medicine. All the best for finals! :)

the least.


Columnist for Dubindulgence Currently in GEP2, Class of 2017, Medicine.


What do you regret not doing this year?

I had lots of fun and laughs throughout this 2014-2015 year, but the one world famous event I wish I attended was Oktoberfest in Munich (München), Germany during my second year. Celebrating Oktoberfest in München has always been on my bucket list because my hometown of Kitchener, Canada hosts the world’s second largest Bavarian Oktoberfest celebration. German culture is deeply influential in Kitchener (called Berlin before WWII), being populated with a large number of German-Canadians. Oktoberfest is a major event in my life every year, having attended numerous events throughout my adolescence and early adulthood. As much as Oktoberfest is famous for its beer selection and keg tapping, there are also many overlooked fun family events, beauty and strength competitions, and parades. And this is just the world’s second best; I can only imagine that the world’s best in München has so much more to offer. While I regret not attending Oktoberfest in München in 2014, I still have hopes to visit once before my time at RCSI is done, but my time here is quickly coming to an end. I hope all students, both local and international, plan to take a trip, go on an adventure and see the world before you lose the time to do it. Take advantage of every opportunity to leave the library, leave your school work behind, and look at the DiveRCSIty in the world (I just had to…). And to the wonderful classmates and colleagues for making my life better at RCSI, I say the Bavarian chant of Oktoberfest, “Ein prosit, ein prosit, der gemütlichkeit!”

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Columnist for Happenings and Events. Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What was your most memorable moment of the school year?

My most memorable moment this semester was the first time I had a delivery during my Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotation. What was so impactful for me about this moment was that right before the blessed arrival the glowing mother seemed incredibly distressed. I could feel the force with which she was pushing by the screams that accompanied it and by the violaceous complexion that her head assumed. In between cries of pain, frustration and sheer effort the lovely lady would repeatedly doubt her ability to complete this feat on her own. With some reassurance from the midwives she inhaled deeply and pushed again and again. Gradually, I was able to see an increasing surface area of the baby at each push, and I was actually becoming incredibly excited. At the moment of truth I was in awe that my hands were the first to ever touch this tiny human. The mother’s face changed completely as she realized the deed was done. Everything she had gone through was just for that moment. As her new born son was placed against her body, her face showed that it was worth it. For me this experience and the deliveries to follow were magical. Now many of my colleagues will think I am being melodramatic as the experience had little, no or even the opposite effect on them. However, some of you know what I am talking about or are going to have moments akin to mine on your delivery week. It might sound a little sad that my most memorable moment was related to school, but for me it was perfect. Hugs and kisses and all my best wishes.


Columnist for Broadcast from Daehan and Nihon. Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What’s something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out?

I think the thing that people would be surprised to find out is that I can be very quiet and sentimental. People who know me will say I am geeky, loud or talkative, but in reality I often keep myself in my personal space. I read, I watch movies and I listen to sad songs when I am alone. Recently I travelled to Poland and Latvia alone too, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I think about lots of stuff – how to save the world, how’s my family, how I may have hurt other people’s feelings, how to get more time to read and watch movies. I delve so deep into the feelings of the characters in books and films that I cry and laugh and get angry with them. I get very depressed when my favourite character dies, and I will have good mood for days after finished watching a happy ending. I know that there are a lot of people like me out there, who just enjoys time alone and getting away from complicated work and relationships in our daily lives. Despite this, we are nice people and we do know how to have fun!

CORMAC DUFF Columnist for Corzies - Movie reviews. Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out? I’m an introvert. Most people recognise me as a performer. Confident, funny, larger than life. But as much as I enjoy entertaining others, it sometimes feels like holding up a mask to the world. In truth, I like nothing better than catching up with friends over a quiet pint.

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Senior Editor for Student Life Currently in IC3, Class of 2017, Medicine.


Columnist for RCSI News and Events. Currently in JC2, Class of 2019, Medicine.


What was your favorite piece to write for DIVERCSITY?

My piece on the late Mr. Harold Browne in the February issue has probably been my favourite article that I’ve written for DIVERCSITY this year. While interviewing Professor Clive Lee as part of my research for the piece, I felt a real sense of how much Mr. Browne meant to the College and the impact he has had over the years, as evidenced by the Harold Browne Lecture Theatre outside of the anatomy labs. As a JC2 student I never had the privilege of being taught by Mr. Browne, unlike most of the College’s current students, but writing that article gave me insights into his revered time in RCSI that I otherwise would not have had. I think sometimes when we write, we write for the sake of the paper and ourselves, but that article felt more like it was written in Mr. Browne’s memory and on behalf of the College as a whole. I was happy to be given the responsibility of commemorating Mr. Browne in DIVERCSITY, and the responsibility of hopefully spreading some knowledge of his role in the development of our college that people might not have known.

DAPHNE YEN Columnist for RCShape. Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out? I’m part of a set of identical triplets. So think twice (or thrice) to wave hi to me if you see me on the streets. You have a 66.66% chance of greeting the wrong person.




Columnist for Penned from Penang. Currently in Penang SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


What’s something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out? Sometimes I wish I were a rally car racer instead of a medical student. Don’t get me wrong, I love medicine but there’s just something about driving fast and dangerous which makes me feel alive and liberated. Oh well! At least we have amazing highways here in Malaysia!!!


Senior Editor for Culture & Leisure


Columnist for DIVERCSILLY

Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


Photographer. Currently in 1C1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What was your most memorable moment of the school year?

There were so many moments this year that I’ll remember forever so I can’t really pick one, but they all happened because I got out of my comfort zone and tried new stuff. I did everything from acting in the college play, traveling, and even learning a new instrument! So this school year will be very memorable to me because its the year where I went out and did the things I’ve always wanted to do!

Currently in SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine.


Columnist for The Wellness Wheel Currently in IC3, Class of 2017, Medicine.


What was your favorite piece to write for divercsity ?

Honestly, I enjoyed writing all of them but I’d have to say my favorite piece to write for my column “The Wellness Wheel” was the first one! It was fun to write and create something new. There’s an amazing feeling that comes with getting completely lost in one task and I was able to do that first article. It set the tone for the rest of the articles and it helped me get in a creative space that I hadn’t been in awhile!


Director and Editor-in-chief. Currently in 1C1,Class of 2018, Medicine. Nikita is also a columnist and part of the editorial committee for in-Training, an online student medical magazine. ( She has recently enjoyed some Internet success with her medical humor based cartoons called Rather Humerus. (


What’s something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out?

In my early teens, I was determined to start my own band. After numerous failed attempts at singing, electric guitar and the drums, I was quick to discover I was musically challenged and accepted my faith as a “fan girl”. I ran a fan-site for the band My Chemical Romance. It was even listed on their official websites. It certainly felt like I was living the dream!

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Columnist for Culture, Ephemera and Craic! Currently in GEP3 / SC1, Class of 2016, Medicine. Lisa has brought her wealth of knowledge and experience to the paper. She has a rich background and a strong presence in the film and theatre scene. She has been involved in numerous productions and most recently credited as executive producer for Orphans.





Columnist for Dublindulgence

Columnist for The Element of Science! Currently in IC3, Class of 2017, Medicine.

Currently in GEP2, Class of 2017, Medicine.


What do you regret not doing this year?

Mohit, Corey and Stephanie have aimed for perfection set a high standard for columnists. Their informative tried-and-tested articles accompanied by mouth watering editorial photography have definitely made it to our heart the fastest way - by our stomachs!

I regret not doing things I enjoy more often this year. IC2 meant that I spent most of the first semester in the library and the USMLE has led me to spent a good chunk of this one in there too (I have the ultimate love-hate relationship with Mercer Library). Going out on placement this semester has made me realise that I am coming to the end of the (somewhat) normal college experience is nearly at its end – simultaneously exciting and terrifying!! Before its time to grow up and enter the working world, I want to go out more often, go to more concerts and generally just have a better time!!


Article Co-ordinator for Societies Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.

Mohit has been forthcoming with editorial feedback and that has had an impact on my editing style.


Senior Editor for Societies Currently in IC3, Class of 2017, Medicine.


What was your most memorable moment of the school year?

“It’s a tough question. There have been a lot of amazing moments this year and a lot of great events in the college, from ballad session at fresher’s week to college ball, and everything else in between. So there are definitely a lot of contenders for top spot. Something that really stood out for me was the reaction after the passing of Mr Harold Browne. He received a lot of recognition, appreciation and honour within the college and externally as well. I never met him but I’m sure he must have made some impact in people’s lives as an educator. I found that quite inspiring. Coming a close second, would have to be Fionn Lynch and Gareth Murray’s antics at college ball. #toplads


What was your most memorable moment of the school year?

This last school year was memorable in so many different ways; but one thing was constant, the people who made if memorable. Whether it was giving into gluttony at IFN, ice skating and damaging your toe, being fancy for College Ball, saying goodbye to amazing friends who we would always remember at the PMCSA Farewell Dinner, or simply just liming and having a time. So, to pick one memorable moment? I cannot, because every moment spent with my posse was worth remembering.


Article Co-ordinator for Societies Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out?

Depending on how well you know me, you may, or may not, be surprised to find out that I am currently raffling a Limousin heifer. And she’s a quare fine heifer at that, boi! Hilariously random as that sounds, it is for a great cause, as I am fundraising for Lámha Suas, the Irish charity with which I’m going to Uganda this July to do some volunteering. Jenny Ward and I, both in IC3, got volunteering places with the charity who are based in Madudu, in the Mubende region of Uganda. We’ll be working in two medical centres, one of which only recently got electricity, and the other has no doctor and is run by the local nuns. We’ll be doing a lot of maternity work, which I’m so excited about. But first we need to give out the Mama Kits that Lámha Suas have put together, with all the equipment they need to access the hospital - if they don’t have all their equipment (gloves, scissors, plastic sheet, cotton wool, etc.), they will be TURNED AWAY!! Turned away to their home where no one can look after them. This kind of scenario results in a scarily high maternal and perinatal mortality rate. Lámha Suas are grounded in education, and particularly focus on keeping girls in school. When you educate a young woman, you educate her entire family. This summer Lámha Suas will be building a new classroom for the Madudu Primary School and installing a solar disinfection unit for their water. So, if you see me or Jenny around, please help us raise money for these women, children and babies, by buying a raffle ticket for €10! You could win a heifer!! Or €1000, if for some mad reason you did not want a heifer…

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Columnist for Dublindulgence Currently in GEP2, Class of 2017, Medicine. Stephanie, Mohit and Corey and have aimed for perfection set a high standard for columnists. Their informative tried-and-tested articles accompanied by mouth watering editorial photography have definitely made it to our heart the fastest way - by our stomachs!




Columnist for $tud€nt Lif€ Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine.


What’s something about yourself that people would be surprised to find out?

I think many people would be surprised to know that I am a first degree Shodan (Blackbelt) in Goju Ryu Karate. In fact I’ve practiced karate for over 13 years now, taught for 3 years, and continue to train and compete in tournaments with my dojo back home. The black belt grading was a gruelling (9 hours continuous) process during which I was pushed to my limits and after completing the grading I realized that I can accomplish anything if I set my mind to it. There are no such things as mental or physical barriers, I learned from board-breaking. Karate is not a sport, it is a lifestyle. It has impacted who I am today and how I act towards others: Respect, Self-control, Loyalty, Integrity and Honour. These words engraved in my mind since childhood. Even my life motto is that of my karate dojo: “We are motivated, we are dedicated, we are on a QUEST to be our BEST—IYAAH!” – Simraaj Powar


Columnist for Sports. Currently in Physiotheraphy, Class of 2016. I was the sport author for Divercsity. Writing for this paper has been an amazing experience, and something I was largely unfamiliar with. Luckily, the committee of Divercsity were incredibly supportive and encouraging. As someone who isn’t too involved in college activities, this experience has helped me recognise a few more faces around the college, while also hopefully informing others about the sport available to the student body.


What do you regret not doing this year?

Something that I regret this year is not being able to play soccer for the college. Unfortunately, a ladies soccer team was not set up. This is something that I hope to change next year. So, with that said, I encourage all you girls who are even the slightest bit interested in playing some soccer to join the Facebook group RCSI Women’s Soccer. Lastly, I’d like to say a big thank you to both Caitrín and Nikita for giving me the opportunity to participate in this project. They’ve done a wonderful job, as have all other people involved, and I am proud to have been a part of it.

YUSUF JALY Senior Editor for International

Picture: I am holding one half of a board I broke after completing my grading.


Columnist for The Medical Pulse. Currently in IC3, Class of 2017, Medicine.


What was your most memorable moment of the school year?

FINALLY finishing the lectures of IC2 and moving out onto the wards for the first time. Putting on your lab coat that first morning before rounds you feel like you can finally see the light at the end of the medical school tunnel, you can PICTURE yourself as a doctor.... then you walk out onto the wards and question after question the real doctors ask you, you fumble for the answer you know is buried somewhere in your brain. That feeling of adequacy is gone, only to return in fleeting moments when you actually are able to answer a question correctly and coherently (which happens incredibly rarely). Yes you are not a medical superhero but you’re a hell of a lot closer than sitting in lectures all day.

Currently in IC1, Class of 2018, Medicine. Yusuf has done an incredible job editing his articles and communicating with his columnists who work in different time zone!

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wishes the Class of 2015 the best of luck as they sit their end of year exams! APRIL 2015



Boston Marathon




very year ten students accompanied by two staff members travel to Boston to run the Boston Marathon. The students are selected on the basis of their qualifying time from the Dublin Marathon. This trip began in the year 2000 and has continued thanks to Dr Vincent Coyle, RCSI graduate and member of the prestigious Boston Athletic Association. Dr.Coyle is very generous in giving his time to students every year providing them with the charity entries and welcoming them to Boston on arrival. The RCSI students attend the Boston Mayors reception prior to the event and it is fantastic that RCSI can be represented at such important events. The students raise money for Breast Cancer Ireland prior to leaving for Boston and enough raise several thousands. The trip is a fantastic opportunity for the students as the Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious in the world.



think one of the best memories and experiences I had in my entire life is the Boston Marathon 2014. When I first applied to RCSI, I saw students from RCSI running the Boston Marathon. I was never a long-distance runner before, but I decided to run the Dublin Marathon 2012. The way RCSI chooses its students to run the Boston Marathon is you have to be in the top 5 boys or girls. So I ran my first marathon in Dublin 2012, and I didn’t make it in the top 5. I wasn’t upset but I took it like a motivation for me to practice and push myself even further for next year. So I ran the Dublin marathon 2013 and thankfully, I made it to the top 5 boys. It was a feeling that I could not explain. When we first arrived to Boston, the atmosphere of the city was incredible. Everyone was very excited and pumped up. We met people from all around the world, including the Elite runners from Kenya, US Olympic runners, and US female marathon record holder, Deena Kastor.


I will never forget the morning of the race. I woke feeling “weird.” The reason why I’m saying “weird” is because the feelings I got was just all mixed up. I was nervous, scared, happy, and excited. Before the race started, we all as RCSI students, friends, runners, all hugged each other and wished each other the best of luck. Sarah and I decided to start off together until one of us hit the wall, where we will separate then. So we get on the line and here we go the race started. One of the things that I will never forget are the crowds that were supporting and cheering for all the runners. They were so loud that I could not hear my own music. And honestly, that’s what really kept me going, people just saying “keep going”, “almost there”, “don’t look back”, “we are all proud of you”. At around mile 20, is when I hit the wall. But I said to myself, it’s been a long road and I will not look back. So I just kept on pushing and pushing until I saw at the end of the road, the finish line. Seeing the finish line was the best feeling. As soon as I crossed that line, the feeling I got was from tears,to happiness and getting hugs from people who

I don’t even know. It was even nicer when I saw the team and seeing everyone wearing their medals being proud of ourselves. I got asked before, would you run the Boston Marathon again? And obviously, the answer is a definite YES! I highly recommend everyone to try to aim in their lifetime to run the Boston Marathon. Without Corriena, Emily and the rest of RCSI Boston Marathon 2014 team, this trip would not be as enjoyable and fun.

To encourage more students to get involved, RCSI has recently changed the system for choosing runners for the Boston trip by introducing a wild card system! This means that along with the fastest runners, some are chosen at random regardless of pace from the students who have completed the Dublin marathon. So anyone who runs the Dublin marathon in October 2015 will be in with a chance of going to Boston this time next year, whether you’re a fast runner or just happy to get over the finish line! It’s a fantastic opportunity which is unique to RCSI, and well worth trying for no matter what your experience of running so far. The days are getting longer, it’s getting towards summer and this is as good a time as any to start training for the marathon in October, with the thought of a free trip to Boston as motivation. If you need more encouragement, read the next article

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A Running Comment...


hen I sat down to pen this piece for DIVERCSITY, I pondered how best to describe how I’ve been inspired by running. In an effort to do so, let me take you back briefly to some early memories. In my teenage years, I could never figure out why anyone would want to run! I regularly noticed runners in our local park. I spotted them daily on my way to school. I would see them from the car or the bus as I travelled to and from various places. And all the while, I pondered, WHY RUN? When the Dublin City Marathon first started, it passed close to my family home. I have vivid memories of family and friends going out to cheer on the runners waving homemade banners and flags . During those year, I asked myself the same question, WHY RUN? I couldn’t figure out why on earth all these people wanted to run and more importantly what kept them running? And if short distances weren’t bad enough, 26.2 miles seemed like insanity. By the time I reached my early twenties, I concluded that runners were simply strange creatures. As for what motivated them to run, day after day, week after week, year after year, come hail, rain or shine…….. it certainly baffled me. The years passed and I found myself in RCSI managing the Student Services Office. The job is diverse to say the least and there is never a dull moment in managing an A-Z of supports and services. Some years back, an opportunity arose to accompany the student Running Club to Boston and to support the runners in the Boston Marathon. I was excited at this unique opportunity to get to know more students in addition to exploring the beautiful city of Boston. As for the running part, I made a firm commitment to quiz the runners as to exactly why they run and equally important, what kept them running?

weather conditions and armed with my mentors words of encouragement, I set off with confidence and enthusiasm. Sadly, it was all short lived. The first results were a disaster! From the outset, I didn’t realise how unfit I actually was. It’s not like I was a total couch potato. I had always participated in exercise of some shape or form. In school I played hockey and cycled everywhere. Later years included the gym, various fitness classes and a stint playing tennis.

I returned home after my first run completely deflated. In fact, looking back now it was more of a crawl than a run! It was a far cry from what I had envisaged. Within minutes I was out of breath, sore, red faced, disillusioned and disheartened. I lost count of ‘real’ runners who passed me by with grace and ease. Not to mention an awful voice inside my head that kept telling me to STOP. A few days went by and I felt defeated beyond belief. While my mentor did his best to encourage me, my sense of disappointment seemed to grow. Full of frustration and determined not to be beaten, I somehow dragged myself out again. And again I crawled the route, out of breath, sore, red faced and disillusioned... I was once again distracted by the ‘real’ runners as they passed me by and I couldn’t help but feel envious. And so the cycle began. It went on for many weeks until one day, I felt a little less breathless, a little less sore, a little less deflated and somehow, a little more hopeful! A few months passed and while I was far from having the time of my life, I forced myself out 3 or sometimes 4 times a week. Progress was painfully SLOW and unfortunately being a smoker did not help the quest.


Something had to go. I surprised myself (and family and friends) by bidding farewell to a long-term friend and comforter – the cigarette! To supplement the loss, I gorged on books, magazines, websites and blogs - you name it, I was happy to read it, so long as the word Running appeared, I was there. Sometime later, I noticed an advertisement in the college that Breast Cancer Ireland was looking for runners to participate in the Ladies Mini Marathon. I felt nauseous at the idea of a 10K run but it somehow made a lot of sense. Firstly I would get to contribute to such a worthwhile cause and secondly, I needed a goal to help focus my efforts. In addition, I told myself that this was make or break. If I didn’t finish the 10K, I had a great excuse to give up this running battle! And the next time the Boston Marathon runners asked me why I wasn’t running with them, I would give them the whole sordid tale with confidence and conviction. I signed up for the Ladies Mini Marathon, found a training plan on line and stuck to it rigidly. Crossing the line and picking up that medal felt pretty good. Some weeks after this, I had to battle with another voice in my head. This time however, the voice was suggesting that if I could go from 0 to 10K, then maybe, just maybe, I could run a little further…. And run a little further is exactly what I did. Day by day, week by week, month by month, a little more and then a little more.

Time went by and travelling to Boston with the runners became a fixture in the calendar. Each year I would quiz the runners as to the why of running? What I did not expect was the fact that they started to quiz me too as to the why not! They couldn’t’ understand why I had not taken up the opportunity to run this prestigious road race. Every year I came up with a better excuse than the previous. One year, I vividly recall the US Immigration Officer telling me off for missing such an amazing opportunity. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I decided more dedicated research on this running lark was required. I enlisted the help a friend to take me out on my very first run. He had been running for years and had several marathons under his belt. He has a wicked sense of humour and is one of the most positive people I know. Regardless of how the running panned out, it was sure to be an amusing outing. We hit St Anne’s Park and with perfect





On 18 April 2011, I ran the 115th Boston Marathon with an amazing group of RCSI runners: Simon Clifford, Jordan Veenstra, Peter Tormey, Kailyn Kwong, Sarah Kwan, Sinead Maguire, Gillian Burke, and Emily Callery. In the days leading up to the race they inspired me, advised me, enlightened me and at times, scared the living daylights out of me. We shared stories of first runs, long runs, pit stops and perseverance, everything from power gels to pain killers – there was just so much to learn and so much to share. What struck me was that we were all on this journey together – from the start line to the finish line. While personal experiences of the race would inevitably differ, we shared a common goal. It was such a powerful motivator. Despite feeling a nervous wreck at the thoughts of 26.2 miles, I felt so much support it was truly uplifting. The one hour bus journey to the start line in Hopkinton, Boston is something that will stick in my mind forever. To distract myself from what lay ahead, I began to study the other runners on the bus. Alongside the RCSI crew, there was a striking mix of people pensioners, professionals, unemployed, cancer survivors, tall people, small people, fat people, thin people, sighted people, blind people, loud people, quiet people. Languages I recognised, languages I didn’t recognise, amateur runners, seasoned runners, first timers and those with dozens of marathon medals in the trophy cabinet. All different in so many ways and yet today all similar in the desire to run and reach that finish

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line. I couldn’t help but think, how amazing this was and how I was so fortunate to be part of it all. There are so few sports with the ability to bring such a diverse group of people together. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of crossing the finish line. It was hugely emotional, hugely fulfilling and I finally got a step closer to figuring out WHY run?

Once you start running, the health benefits soon come to the forefront. It certainly helped me to kick the Nicotine habit. I never knew how running provided ‘food for the soul’. If I’ve had a bad day or upset of any kind, it is amazing how a run can change that sinking feeling. And while it cannot claim to be a ‘fix it’ for all of life’s challenges, it certainly helps the head space.

Looking back now, starting out was far from easy. The strange part is that once I made that start, it was harder to stay away - regardless of how slow the progress was, and indeed, still is! I will never be first to break the tape at a race, and there will always be much better, faster, stronger runners than me. But that really doesn’t matter. If you give running a chance, over time, you learn to run for YOU – your route, your distance, your pace and of course your headspace.

Another added benefit is the potential to raise funds for charity. Prior to Boston, I noticed that the RCSI runners were not signed up to raising funds for any charities. To me this seemed like a missed opportunity on several fronts. I set about changing this and today all RCSI runners must raise funds to participate in the Boston race. Since 2011, RCSI runners have raised some €20,000 in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland. Another bonus to the joys of running.

I never saw myself as a ‘typical’ runner. It wasn’t until I delved deeper that I realised, there are no ‘typical’ runners. They are mixed bag of all sorts with a shared understanding of the many benefits it brings. Don’t get me wrong ! I still grumble and grimace at pulling on those running shoes, especially when I’m tired and it’s dark and cold outside. But these are often some of the best runs – when you REALLY don’t want to, but you drag yourself out anyway.

Slowly but surely, I’ve started to somewhat understand WHY run. The sense of ACHIEVEMENT, the CAN DO feeling, the NOURISHMENT it provides to body and soul, not to mention all those delightful ENDORPHINES, all serve to convince me that the payback for the effort really is tenfold. It doesn’t matter if you never break records or run marathons around the world. You don’t have to fit a defined profile, age or status. You simply need to make the commitment to get out there and give it a try. I’m so glad I did and wish I had discovered its magic sooner. A journey that started with a cynic, now claims an avid follower.




Campaign week: SUFC v/s SUnite Each team had 24 hours to complete our questionnaire and stay within our word limits. You decide how well they did!

Team: SUFC

Team: SUnite

President: Randhir Seetaram Vice President/ Education: Luke Hughes Societies Officer: Arief Naimun Culture Officer: Nathalie Edmunds Events and Treasurer 1: Paul Fox Events and Treasurer 2: Fiona Bolger IT, Communications and Secretary: Fahad Alabdulatiff Welfare Officer: Beth Wolfe

President: Vice President/ Events and Treasurer: Societies Officer: Culture Officer: Events and Treasurer: Education: IT, Communications and Secretary: Welfare Officer:

What do you consider to be the strengths of your team?

What were your teams’ motivations in running for the SU?



Apart from the fact that we represent the very diverse nature of our college, SUFC includes members who are all very experienced in the particular offices being sought after. Our president, Randhir, is the outgoing leader of The Debating Society, and also co-founded The Philosophical and Literary Society. Vice President and Education Officer, Luke, has been a prolific Class Rep, for two years running for the Medicine Class of 2017. Furthermore, Events Officers, Paul and Fiona, are very active in college life and events, and would therefore be excellent as a team to target the entire student body. Welfare Officer, Beth, leads a very active personal life, being very involved in health and fitness, and wants to bring this interest to the forefront of college life. Our IT officer, Fahad, has a very successful youtube channel with over 200,000 views per video and has an avid interest and history in technology. Our Societies Officer, Arief, has been actively involved in Society Life at College for over 4 years and therefore understands all the requirements of societies and how to best improve them. And finally, Nathalie, our Cultural Officer has a big passion for the all the diverse traditions and cultures


We think that one of our main strengths is our commitment and passion for the work of the SU. Each and every member of the team is 100% dedicated to ensuring that the next years SU build on the work that was done this year and maximise the potential of the SU further. We all have strong team work and communication skills which have ensured that our planning for campaign week and indeed next year has gone very smoothly. On an individual level, each member brings unique strengths to the team which we feel will really help us to ensure the needs of the students are met, for example Laura has a strong leadership background having been Vice-President of The Phil in Trinity, Convenor of the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity, a Class rep in DBS and Trinity and Director of Dramsoc in RCSI. Laura uses her leadership skills to bring together the skills of each individual member and channel them into a cohesive and effective team


Given her leadership and debating background coupled with experience as a Social Worker Laura decided to run for SU President, after noticing the marginalisation of groups in RCSI. Tara has been involved in societies since FY in RCSI and as Welfare Officer on the Physiotherapy society, she noticed the increasing stresses and strains placed on students motivating her to run. Cormac, has experience with both societies and clubs in RCSI and feels that this has greatly added to his college experience. He wanted to ensure that other people had this opportunity and to share the experience he has gained. Munther, realised as class rep there were numerous educational issues in RCSI. After addressing some of these within his post, he decided to expand his role and run for Educational Officer in the SU. Having Presided over ISOC the year that it won Society of the year and being a class rep Ibrahim noticed that the role of cultural officer needed expansion. Sebastian and Seamus were involved in organising a number of events and decided to run because they wanted to make events bigger and better. Photosoc extraordinaire Joe decided to run after a very successful year in photosoc.


Fahad – I saw this as an opportunity to develop my IT skills and also share it with the College. Randhir – I saw the opportunity for micro-changes to holistically meet the needs of an entire student body, and knew a good team of people to assist me with bringing about these changes. Paul – Having observed the events officers of the previous two years that I’ve attended college, I’ve been inspired by simple ideas being turned into events and nights that I’ll remember forever. Their success motivates me to make next year equally as memorable for all students of RCSI. Fiona – I want to get more involved in what goes on at RCSI as it is such a great college, offering so many opportunities to meet new people and discover new cultures. I also want to get involved with and get to know even more students from other courses and years. Luke – I wanted to give back to the people and the community that has offered me so many wonderful opportunities


Laura Hughes Sebastian Gracias Cormac Duff Ibrahim Khayyat Seamus Walsh Munther Quiesi Joe Hsiao Tara Drugan

Nathalie - I believe that great diversity of RCSI is one of the most unique aspects of attending the college, and would love the ability to take advantage of such diversity. What do you think are the major concerns and issues faced by a student in RCSI? How would you resolve them?


Cultural integration – Many incoming students are from far away places and can be quite shocked upon induction to RCSI in terms of all the cultures so different from their own. We intend to utilize these differences in a positive manner, and aiming to integrate students more smoothly by allowing for more personal interactions amongst the SU, staff and fellow students alike. Difficulty in balancing time – we hope to ease the worklife balance that can be quite a challenge for students at times by planning events more suited to the majority of students timetables and focusing on communication so that timetables are out earlier and so that moodle runs smoothly. Finding relevant educational information – we hope to make this more easily accessible to students. Integration of courses and years – again, we aim to focus on hosting events that work with everyone’s schedule.


As students of RCSI we have noticed that sometimes life is made infinitely more complex by some of the systems in place in college on a day to day basis. We recognise that by implementing small and large changes we could combat this and make life easier for everyone for example with regard to the lack of cash facilities on campus, we plan to continue campaigning for ATM facilities but also work with AK Henry’s to ensure cash-back facilities are available. We also want to design placement packs to all students that identify facilities available within the hospital and the surrounding areas e.g. where halal food is available. In addition to dealing with educational issues, cultural issues and welfare issues we believe that the day-to-day struggle of the RCSI student needs to be addressed. Gym access and the overly complex procedure to gain access should be reviewed with a possibility of integrating the video into Induction day ensuring entry for all.


#FEATURES What do you consider to be the primary duties and role of the SU in RCSI?


The SU is crucial to ensuring that all students are represented and that their needs are met within the college environment. The SU play a key role in supporting students throughout their college experience and ensuring that they have the ability to maximise their potential. The SU are a key point of contact, bridging the gap between the college and students. SUnite feel that it is imperative that the SU provide support and guidance to students, whilst ensuring that their voice is heard within the college community. SUnite feel that striking a balance between approachable, friendly and business-like is important for the SU, to ensure that students feel that they can talk to them about the issues that are going on for them, whilst confident that they will get things done.


A Student’s Union is meant to be the channel by which students can influence how they would like to see their year progress. The SU is meant to represent and serve the entirety of the student body, and SUFC, as an institution for change, see our role being primarily rooted in the concept of holistic representation. The SU represents that medium between faculty and students, facilitating their queries, concerns, ideologies and notions. We intend to look after every aspect of Student Life at RCSI, from academics to events, making this an exceptional year for the student population. What do you think appeals to voters the most? Popularity of individuals or group efforts during campaign week?


At the end of the day it’s the collaboration of our team that will make our campaign week a success. Each individual on our team is so important because of the different classes and social groups they come from, each member of our team brings their own skills and experience to the team. Ultimately our team is stronger together than its individual components.


Within a college as small as RCSI, we think that sometimes can be a tendency for the popularity of individuals to take precedence over the efforts of teams during campaign week. Ultimately, we believe that the race for Students Union should be more than a popularity contest. Students should take an active role in the future of their

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SU by reading the manifesto and engaging with campaign week. The people that are chosen for SU represent the student body for a whole year and it is crucial that we ensure that the individuals within these roles are the best possible people for these positions. I would urge each and every student to engage with teams, ask questions, come to the debate and read the manifesto’s before voting. Our team was chosen not based on popularity or ability to pull votes but on the ability of its members to complete their role. We fundamentally believe that each and every person on this team is perfectly suited for their post and that they will give 110% every single day to ensure that the needs of students are met. Do you think your team fairly represents the student body; that is all the classes and the different schools?


SUnite have a diverse range of classes and schools covered within our team. In designing our team, we have put a huge amount of thought into trying to be as representative of the different classes and disciplines as possible. We chose to ensure that both the Graduate Entry Programme (Laura Hughes – Gep 2) and Mature Entry Students (Seamus Walsh – Pharmacy) were represented by including members who had come from that background. SUnite feel that it is crucial that we ensure inclusivity and have tried to put forward the most balanced team possible. Ultimately, it is impossible to have someone from every year but by including individuals on the team who are heavily involved in societies and college life we can try and bridge this gap. Each and every member of our team has had society involvement within RCSI, many of us have even presided over them. Through working with societies we all engage with people from all different years and thus feel that we would be able to represent them.


Absolutely! SUFC is comprised of members all the disciplines of RCSI - Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy - as well as from a range of years. This is wonderful as it allows our team to be very aware of the particular needs of each year, and therefore cater well to the student body as a whole. In addition to the diversity of our academic make-up, we come from a wide geographic background, representing the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle east, Asia and North America. And of course, we believe we truly cover all the facets of the RCSI student population in that we possess not just the nerds and the go-getters, but also the jocks and the pretty kids.



#FEATURES Events - What events would you plan out for next year?


Fresher’s week: Return of this classic week long events festival. I will improve on the success of previous years by involving students from all classes and the introduction of events like ‘All you can eat’ competitions, FIFA tournaments and Karaoke. Welcome Back Ball: Sick of Dardistown? What better way to return to RCSI than dressing to impress and showing of that tan you got over summer at our Welcome back Ball. Dominoes Ball: Just like a laid back college ball but with pizza instead of fancy cuisine. What’s not to love? After proven popularity of Dominoes ball in UCD, I want to bring this classic and fun event to RCSI for next year. Class Mixer Events: GEP & undergraduate students getting to know each other before their classes merge. Involvement of class reps will encourage cooperation and integration for these nights out. Tri-Med Events: Get to know more medical students studying in Dublin as I integrate students from RCSI, UCD & Trinity in regular and never seen before events. College Ball: The convention centre and the Aviva stadium were great venues. College ball next year will expand on previous successes, meanwhile ensuring that ticket prices are at a reasonable price for student budgets. We want up-and-coming Irish bands that’ll blow you away at the highlight of the year.


SUnite aims to keep RCSI traditions alive, but also to bring something new to the table. The same ethos applies to our events calendar. RCSI has a rich history of events including CollegeBall and International Night, and we aim to make them bigger than ever. We also hope to continue the Exam De-stresser Nights and Take-Me-Out, to facilitate student social interactions in a relaxed environment. The highly successful and fearless RUNAMUCK challenge is another annual occurrence that we truly wish to support. However, college-life is dynamic and ever-changing, which should be reflected in the SU-calendar. As such, we propose the introduction of the following to the RCSI adventure. PARTNERSHIP: Dublin is home to over 100,000 students, and it is our goal to leverage on this massive population by partnering with other Dublin colleges. This would enlarge our events’ scale, and allow RCSI students to interact with others outside of the healthcare industry as well. An example is the successful Traffic-Light-Ball organized by the med-students of TCD, UCD, and RCSI - this concept should be applied to other events. COMMUNITY: As a healthcare institution,

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RCSI serves the Irish and global community through its work. The SU should also play a role to that effect. We would like to continue the Teddy-Doctor initiative, and also support the college with its REACH and Transition-Year programs to this effect. We would also like to initiate a school visitor program, where RCSI students visit schools across Ireland and advise high school students on pursuing a healthcare profession. FRESHERS: We would like to introduce a Freshers-Welcome-Initiative, as many Freshers are moving away from home for the first time, and perhaps have never visited Ireland before. We would propose organizing ours around Dublin and Ireland, including walking-tours, Viking-Tours, and trips to landmarks like the Cliffs of Moher. What will be your efforts to ensure the SU events suit the timetables of the majority of the student body?


As a healthcare institution, many RCSI students are on clinical attachment at different times during the academic year. Moreover, the curriculum schedule for teaching and exams varies greatly for the different courses at the college. This presents a challenge for the SU in terms of event planning. How do we ensure that the entire student population can engage with our events throughout the academic year? How do we make ourselves more inclusive? The answer is as simple. SUnite plans to organize events by involving class reps in the scheduling of the college events. Their input will guide us to understand the intensity of teaching in different courses throughout the year, such that large social events can be timed so that all students can attend. Furthermore, we aim to collaborate with college societies to ensure that their events are well spaced during the year and do not clash or overlap.


We are all about this! There’s no point in putting weeks of time and effort into organising events if students can’t attend them due to OSCEs or finals immediately after. Our Events officers intend to ensure that the most anticipated events of the year are scheduled to accommodate the exam timetable. Improving communication between the SARA office, Class reps and the SU will ensure that we can achieve this goal. The College Ball in particular should be the highlight of the year for our Final Meds. We intend to see that this is taken care of through better communication and planning in 2016.




#FEATURES Education - Are there any changes your team would like to bring about in the current approach to academics in college?


Communication – Enhanced provision of pertinent information with particular focus on USMLE and MCEE details, rotations, breakdown of marks, etc. We would also lobby so that SARA provides timetables and examination information, inclusive of location, as early as possible to facilitate studying and travel plans for our international student body. Feedback- We plan to engage in talks with our examiners to facilitate more detailed feedback for the student so that they can learn from mistakes and enhance themselves academically. We also plan to see if we can get feedback for students who have passed exams but would like to query marks and all of that. We also intend to try to facilitate more PLTs for the entire school body, inclusive of physios, pharm and GEPs. Also we plan to sort out female surface models for OSCE practice.


Education is an integral part of our college life. RCSI is known worldwide for its first class teaching. However, changes must be made continuously to ensure that students at RCSI gain as much knowledge as possible before heading out to the real world. I believe that Peer-Led tutorials should play a more integral part in students’ lives at RCSI and should include students from all disciplines, including Physiotherapy or Pharmacy students. It is clear how beneficial they are when it comes to clarifying difficult topics. Also, SUnite’s job is to urge the administration to provide constructive feedback to every RCSI student sitting his or her exams, especially those wishing to improve over the years. Students have the right to find out more about their exam performance, and learn about their strengths and weaknesses to encourage more promising results. SUnite believes that students should be given the right to explore their options when applying for residency programmes. Information sessions should also be arranged for students wishing to work outside Ireland, the US or Canada. These are few of the issues SUnite is planning to work on, if elected, in the next academic year. Welfare - What issues/ causes would you plan to highlight in order to better the welfare of students in college?


I believe there are a number of issues to be highlighted RCSI to better the welfare of our students. We plan to have a separate page on our SU website to focus on all things welfare! It will focus on different topics including; Accommodation, Drinking Responsibly, Jobs and Volunteering opportunities, Student Safety, Mental Health, Physical Health, Sexual Health and Financial Assistance. We are also launching an emergency SUnite Phone that will be manned by a member of the team 24/7 so we can be there for you in an emergency! We will be creating a “Students Unite” group which any member of the student body can join in order to voice their opinions on what matters to them most and ensure that they are being represented within the college.

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Available Student Support Services are difficult to find and students often don’t know when to avail of them – we want to make them more accessible for everyone, and help students realise when the right time is to advantage of all that RCSI has to offer. Relations between current Welfare Officers and students - feedback from students has indicated that improving collaboration between the SU and Welfare Officers is key to effective support for students. Welfare queries - amongst the hustle and bustle of Freshers Week, information of Student Support Services is lost. We want to help you find what you need with minimum hassle. Revamp Health Week - Health week has huge potential as an event in RCSI. Our aim is to make it more interactive and relevant to student life, addressing your needs specifically, especially as health care professionals. Society and Club Based Welfare events - With support of the Societies and events officers we want to collaborate with Clubs and Socs to organise health and fitness events relevant to each club. This will increase the wealth of information available to students while catering to the diverse needs of the student population. Culture - Is there anything new you would like to explore, which has not already been successfully done in the past?


Culture is a very broad concept. It is actually an umbrella term which encompasses a wide variety of different things, including Religion, tradition, language, gender, age, socio-economic status and ethnicity. Not all of these aspects have been explored in college and more attention is needed towards them. I believe that we still need a deeper understanding of the different cultures in RCSI. While there have been huge events where most cultures are represented and introduced to the student body, such as International night and International food night, these events don’t achieve the deep understanding needed. I believe that culture should be promoted on a daily basis. Therefore I hope to set up stands throughout the year celebrating the many smaller cultural days which exist such as: Arabic language day, Australia Day and national days. Such events can provide a closer insight into each of these cultures leader to a better and deeper understanding .


Continuation of the educational Cultural Diversity Week Booths - this is something we plan on pursuing, due it it’s great success in 2015. RCSI Cultural Olympics - this event would be held at Dardistown, and would allow cultural societies present at RCSI to put forth competitors in sporting events to compete for the pride of their respective countries. 100-year Anniversary of the Easter Risings - we plan on taking advantage of all the celebrations that are to be held at RCSI surrounding the and securing historical tour spots for students and getting everyone involved in this fantastic historical event. Inter-Societal events between cultural societies - this is something we would love to see implemented in the coming year, in order to maximize turnout for events and promote a sense of acceptance and diversity.

Societies - What do you think are the major problems faced by societies and clubs in college? What would be your solution to the problems?


Date clashes of events run by different societies - we propose a meeting at the beginning of each semester where heads of societies meet to discuss such events. Furthermore we would set up an online form such as Google Form where societies can fill in dates of events for everyone to see. Thus increasing student turn out to all events. Publicity for societies - often students are unaware of activities run by societies especially if the societies have a small sign up. Through the review system and the incentive system, societies would be rewarded financially and with increased exposure i.e. more time on screens, designated billboards, for good work and events. We hope these incentives will encourage societies to always put their best foot forward and continue to flourish and contribute to life at RCSI.


The good work of our college’s clubs and societies is often undermined by a lack of organisation and visibility. Newly-elected presidents and captains are often thrown into their roles. They are given no training, no guidance. SUnite can help. Throughout the year, we will provide workshops and tutorials on budgeting, committees and event management. Whether you are founding a brand new society or taking the helm of an existing club, SUnite will be on hand to provide personalised advice to each of you. It is a pity that many clubs and societies go unnoticed by the general student body. It is our duty to change this. With SUnite, September 2015 will become Freshers’ Month. This means that each and every club or society will have a an evening dedicated to a well-publicised event. This will give them a unique opportunity to attract new members. In collaboration with Student Services will also launch ShowTime, a new events calendar visible to all students and published in our weekly newsletter. This will prevent future clashes and overlap of future events. This will give more choice to students and offer clubs and societies the publicity they have well deserve. IT and Sec - Have you considered improvements between student and SU communications? What might these be?


Currently, we as SUnite feel like there is a communication barrier between the student body and the SU, so we have come up with different ways to improve that. As most of us know, moodle may be difficult to navigate now and then as well, so we are considering creating an easily navigable website specifically dedicated just for the SU. Other than components such as the school events calendar, the website will include new ways for students to reach out to us. There will be links to our newly created social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), our mail, suggestion box, and our 24 hour phone line, which students can use to contact us for emergency purposes. We are also going to invite class representatives to meet with us every week, allowing them to provide us valuable feedback or complaints from the student body.






Integrate students into decision process through online polls. - Videos – Work with the Photography Society for better promotion of college events through the production of high quality videos. - Help to utilize social media services to its full potential, thereby increasing events turnout via the appropriate publicity - Calendar – Work with the SARA office to for a better integration of both the academic and social calendars. What might you consider to be the limitations of the SU in RCSI?


Unfortunately as an SU, our biggest limitation is that we can only work as far as higher authority will allow. This therefore means that some of the larger decisions affecting student life cannot be made solely by us, and require the input and assistance of those in administrative positions at RCSI. Recognizing this of course, we plan to work closely with Student Services and the SARA office (as well as any other administrations that may be required) in order to fulfill the wants and needs of the RCSI student population, ensuring all members of both students and faculty feel appropriately involved in the decision making process.


In reality, I think that every SU has it’s limitations. The SU, as an organisation, is limited by the rules and policies imposed on it by the University in which it is established. However, I think it is important to recognise and name these constraints and try and find ways to work around these limitations to ensure that the needs of the students are met. One of the biggest limitations of the RCSI SU is that it is a relatively new SU compared to those of other larger Universitities and that as a result constant efforts are needed by officers to move the SU forward and ensure it is working to the best of its capacity. In many ways, this can also be a good thing. The dynamic and evolving nature of the SU means that SU officers in RCSI have a real chance to make a difference to this vital group within the college.

Photo credits: (below) Trinity News (above) (top next page) (bottom next page)

On the unfortunate occasion that your team doesn’t make it to the office, do you think there are other ways you can still make an impact in college life and would any of your teammates pursue them?


The members of our team invest a lot of time in various different aspects of college life, between us all we have been involved in over a dozen societies and have organised numerous events. We will continue to play an integral part in RCSI just as much after campaign week as we have before. SUnite are fully invested in all of our plans for the college and our desire to make life easier for all students. We will work flat out to ensure that every single proposal we have suggested can be put in place, win or lose. Each member of SUnite has worked tirelessly over the past month finely combing through every aspect of college life to create a manifesto we believe can have a real and tangible effect on student life. Regardless of who wins, we will continue to be engaged in the Student Union and support whoever may be in office.


Fortunately all of the members of the SUFC team are continuously very involved in their respective societies, clubs, and classes so most definitely we will all continue to contribute to life at RCSI and have an impact in that regard. In addition to this, should the elected team request our assistance, without hesitation we will do everything we can to help . We feel that after participating in this campaign we all possess the ideas and the initiative to be a significant aid to both the Student Body and the future SU, and would be honoured to work with them should the opportunity arise. RCSI and the SU’s past and present have given so much to us all, we want to continue to do the same.

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It’s been a long road to securing equal rights for the LGBT community here in Ireland, but on the horizon is the prospect of great change and equality with the marriage referendum. On the 22nd of May this year Irish people will have the opportunity to change the constitution and extend the right of marriage to those in the LGBT community. But how did we make the strides to reach this point of momentous change in favour of equality?

The Road to Equality Cathal Delaney Co-President RCSI LGBT Senior Editor


t started in 1983, when Senator David Norris with support from Mary Robinson (President of Ireland from 1990-1997) challenged Irish laws criminalising expressions of love in the LGBT community. The Irish High Court and Supreme Court rejected his case so Senator Norris went to the European Court of Human rights in 1988 where the Court ruled that these laws violated Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The laws were changed five years later and no longer were those in the LGBT community regarded as criminals. After this many laws and bills were enacted to ensure protection and prevent legal discrimination against LGBT people. The Employment Equality Act was introduced in 1998 and the Equal Status Act was enacted in2000. Open LGBT people can serve in the military and there is laws for proetection against hate speech and crimes. In 2010 the Civil Partnership Act was enacted as a form of extending rights to LGBT couples. This was a welcome step in the right direction and many LGBT couples registered for a civil partnership. However, as pointed out by the group Marriage Equality on their website, that when looked over with a fine toothed comb there are many rights that are not provided for by civil partnership that are by marriage and leaves a lot of ambiguity in many areas. The campaign for marriage eqality carried on with determination. A significant sequence of events unfolded last year when on the 11th of January 2014, Rory O’ Neill also known by his stage name Panti Bliss, a famous Dublin drag performer, appeared on the Saturday Night Show on RTE, Irelands national broadcaster. On the show he and host Brendan O’Connor discussed homophobia in Ireland. During the conversation Mr. O’ Neill stated that he believed that journalists, who he named, were homophobic as they were staunch oppponents of marriage equality and had, in their writings for na-

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tional newspapers, expressed hurtful comments and devoted significant amounts of their time to “stop people achieving happiness”

Varadkar TD publicly stating he was gay a few weeks ago, becoming the first openly gay cabinet minister in Ireland.

What followed, was threathening of legal action by these journalists against RTE due to what Mr.O’ Neill had said. RTE issued an apology, removed the interview from their online archive and paid money to these journalist to stop proceedings going forward.

We are two months away from the referendum on marriage equality and we at RCSI LGBT are very hopeful of a yes vote. If you can please vote on the 22nd of May and make your voice heard.

Then the conversation started. �team panti began to trend on twitter, more and more people watched the interview and a national debate about homophobia and equality took off. Many articles and further interviews on the topic were written, t-shirts with team panti were seen around Dublin and marriage equality became a talked about issue on a national scale, not only in the public arena but also in peoples homes. On the 1st of February Panti gave a speech in the Abbey theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre outlining the simple things that can affect LGBT people in Ireland. A simple scenario such as standing at a traffic light and hearing derogatory terms shouted at you and wondering what was it about me that gave the game away. If you haven’t seen the speech I would highly recommend it. It is moving and poignant and shows an event, which many might see, as insignificant as something very impactful. The speech got widespread attention, with celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Madonna reposting it, and got 200,000 views in two days. Over the course of the year the conversation continued with many public gatherings to show support for marriage equality. Current figures show 75% of Irish people support marriage equality and would vote yes in the upcoming referendum.

So who can vote? Irish Citizens aged 18 years or older who are registered on the register of electors. If you are not eligible any support for equality is appreciated and needed. If we look back to a time when interracial marriage was illegal and taboo, it is completely foreign to us. How could that have been? Surely people must have seen this as ridiculous? Thankfully people saw that love wasn’t bound by the colour of your skin and equality prevailed. I hope we can be those people for generations to come in Ireland, who saw that love isn’t bound by your sexuality and that marriage should be between two people who love and care for each other. What a great thing that would be It’s been a whirlwind year for LGBT rights and hopefully the next time I write an article for DIVERCSITY I can say marriage equality has made it to Ireland. There is still a long road ahead for complete equality for LGBT people and other communities as well, but this is a great step forward on the road to equality. John F Kennedy once said in a commencement address to university students “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity”. I don’t think it can be put more eloquently than that.

Another important event was Minister for Health Mr. Leo




Au revoir! SU 2014- 2015



can only say that this past year has been tremendous in every sense.

t’s truly been an honour to be part of the SU team this year. What a ride it’s been (in the Canadian sense of course). I thought I’d channel my inner non-existent poetic side to recap the year.

If I have to choose my favourite part it has to have been the excuse to spend more time with some stellar folks in the form of Abdullah, Bakr, Caroline, Dan, Marty, May-Anh and Sarah (note alphabetical order or someone might cry). These guys are the bomb and their dedication is why molehills disappeared before they could grow into mountains. Secondly SU has been the perfect excuse to go to a heap of events and meet your classy selves – a host of delightful conversations and new friends later finds me pretty chuffed, aren’t you all lovely. Thirdly, it was the opportunity to do some good. I believe we did this at some stage between quaffing Monster through marathons of hidden backroom committees, exploiting my drama experience to cry like a little girl in front of the Dean to get laptops for pharmacy (in reality, Aoife & Emma are my Purple Heart Medallists of Class Reps this year – hats off to you ladies) and instigating a series of vicious paper ball fights with SARA and others (which we won) … all in your name of course. A year later I do not believe anyone feels let down, and in fact, I hope the opposite. We kept up the pressure when it change seemed humanly possible and I am particularly proud to have forged strong ties for national collaboration and laid foundations for the future and strategy of AMSI – the Association of Medical Students in Ireland. But a year of phenomenal events later, one man now deserves an honourable mention, a man so indefatigable, so organised that you have given him the highest honour, and called for him to take over SARA … As almost a lasting tribute to our Lionel Messi, we are brining forward and amendment to the SU Constitution to restructure the Executive to have two events officers (and merge other roles). Thank you to Class Reps, Student Services and everyone whose involvement in college brings this place to life. And of course, thanks one and all for the memories – here’s to many more. Now, watch me saunter off into the distance humming Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, je ne regrette rien.’ - Vincent Healy Students’ Union President

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eing on the SU was very exciting, rewarding and unpredictable. I found it very interesting to see how the wheels of RCSI keep turning behind the scenes. No two days have been the same in SU. We had our ups and downs especially at the beginning of our term, but we managed to overcome the obstacles we were facing and eventually got the hang of it. Thanks to everyone who made this year amazing and rewarding, from faculty to my awesome team to your lovely spirits. I wish everyone the very best of luck in their exams and especially to our soon to be doctors! Make us proud! Also, for the next SU, make next year memorable since unfortunately, it will be my last.. - Abdullah Alenezi Students’ Union Vice-President/ Educational Officer


S is for suiting up in RCSI blazers + bowties and drinking with staff on a weekday T is for Trop Med first class despite missing all lectures/being hungover during Freshers’ week A is for apologies to the Fresher who almost got left behind during Mystery Tour (can’t do a proper headcount when you’re peeing behind a tree at 3am, girl) Y is for Yugoslavia C is for continuous laughter working with some of the best people I know L is for ladies’ man, Dan A is for another apology for almost killing Dan with event organization S is for suppers with the Dean and making new friends S is for slanderous petition circa Elections Week (lol) Y is for you’re forgiven :) R is for rewarding experience C is for challenging new SU role S is for societies at RCSI rock I is for incredible. Thank you RCSI for such a memorable year. Here’s to one last bow, May-Anh Nguyen Students’ Union Societies Officer

est year ever!! I met so many new people, learnt so much and got to work with a great team!! It’s been hard work but it was worth it!! Would I advise someone else to do it? Definitely!! The best part of the experience was definitely Fresher’s Week!! It brought back a lot of memories and was great to re-experience it again, albeit from a different angle!! There’s so much more to RCSI, to college and indeed to life than exams and study and working as events officer gave me a chance to really experience this!! There are some fantastic people here in RCSI, staff and students and I really enjoyed getting to know you all!! Thanks to you all for a FANTASTIC year!!! -Daniel Creegan Students’ Union Events Officer





eing part of this year’s SU team was one of the highlights of my RCSI experience so far. I was able to meet and interact with some fantastic people and these experiences made the year great. I really enjoyed running Mental Health Week and got the opportunity to collaborate with some fantastic organisations like Please Talk, Niteline and See Change that advocate for students and their well being. It was great to see all the support from the students who turned up to the events and hear their feedback. I also got the chance to work with some really dedicated students helping them organise events with Dublin AIDS Alliance and Positive Now. Aside from these great opportunities one of the main perks of being on the SU was definitely having a place in town to use as a walk in locker (sorry Bakr) and the office will be sorely missed. I wish all the 2015/2016 candidates the best in the upcoming election and know that the new SU will do a wonderful job advocating for all students in RCSI. Sarah Fitzpatrick Students’ Union Societies Officer



really couldn’t recommend running for the Students Union enough. From the planning of campaign week last year to our final week approaching this years election, I cant say how highly I’d recommend the experience. It is a great opportunity to meet people across all the faculties, from the members of the SU themselves to all the people you get the opportunity to meet through your role in the SU. Highlight from the year is definitely Freshers Week, from getting home just in time for lectures from our mystery tour to Galway to ending the week in Vicar Street at the Ballad Session. Other highlights that stand out from the year include Take Me Out, Noel Lynch really making it one to remember and the GAA weekend to Cork despite losing the final! Best of luck to the two teams running in this years election and hope campaign weeks an enjoyable one! And finally I hope that whoever is elected will have as enjoyable an experience as I had with RCSU.


oining RCSU has been one of the best things I have ever done. I got the opportunity to meet so many people throughout the year through the various events, that I now count as some of my closest friends! If I had to pick a highlight from the year it would definitely be Fresher’s week. We had such a great turnout to all of the events, the atmosphere was electric! Of course College Ball and Abdullah’s dinner getting robbed was a strong contender closely followed by Marty embezzling funds ;) My advice to anyone running for SU would be to get involved with everything and talk to as many people as you can. Caroline Kelly Student’s Union IT Officer

Marty Ryan Student’s Union Treasurer/Secretary

ights and Welfare Officer I cannot believe the year is already over and here we are starting SU campaign week from next week. It has been such an amazing year working with my team, staff and students. I always would like to reflect on my team and myself by looking backs at our goals that we set at the beginning of the year. One of the biggest events that we had is Cultural Diversity Month. With the help of students, student services, and my team, this month could not have happened. The main goal of that event was to make sure students are aware of the diversity we have in RCSI. RCSI is a very diverse college where students come from more than 60 countries. Having these events helped students be aware of the different cultures, religions, and countries that RCSI students come from. I hope the next SU will continue celebrating this month and more students will be aware of the diversity that we have in the college. I wish the next SU all the best and this experience will be one of my favorite and most memorable experiences I will ever have. Bakr Jundi Students’ Union Cultural Officer

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Research Day 2015




esearch in RCSI has always been an integral part of the College’s identity and ambitions. A major contributor to Irish and international medical research, the work done on research in RCSI has always been one of the College’s major priorities. This emphasis placed by the College on increasing the medical community’s knowledge and improving medical practice has led to the growth of a prominent research community in RCSI. Without a doubt one of the most important days of the year is Research Day.

The methods of applying for research in RCSI vary slightly from discipline to discipline, but anyone considering conducting research next year or anytime in the future and taking part in Research Day, whether they are studying Medicine, Physiotherapy, or Pharmacy, can find out more information on RCSI’s Research Summer School website.

Run this year on Thursday 12th March, Research Day gives everyone involved in research in RCSI, from undergraduate students to seasoned Professors, the opportunity to come together and to demonstrate what new, innovative, and exciting work they have been doing over the previous and current academic year. Aside from this communal sharing of knowledge that is so important to the growth of the medical field, the day also gives invaluable presenting experience to both those giving oral presentations in the Cheyne Lecture Theatre, and those who display their posters in the Exam Hall. This exposure to the process of conducting research and presenting your findings to your peers, unquestionably aids RCSI’s future researchers as some of them transition into lives of healthcare practice and continued research.

The day then continued with the poster presentation format, with similar cycles for Early Career Investigators (ECIs), 1st-year Post-graduate Scholars, and 2nd-year Post-graduate Scholars respectively, with the day effectively halved by the “John J Ryan Distinguished Lecture”, delivered this year by Professor Luis J.V. Galietta, of the University of Genoa, Italy.

The day began bright and early with an opening address from RCSI’s Director of Research, Professor Raymond Stallings, before moving on to undergraduate presentations. The oral presentations given were selected as being the best and most interesting topics of research conducted by students of the College over the previous summer. The winner of this section, Ms. Amenah Dhannoon currently in JC2, gave a presentation titled “Substrate Composition and Dimensionality Direct Osteocyte Gene Expression”, and was awarded the Dr. Harry O’Flanagan Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. After these oral presentations the focus was then shifted to the Exam Hall, where the remaining undergraduate students had prepared their own poster presentations.

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Professor Luis Galietta delivering his keynote speech.

RCSI’s ability to attract international speakers, and leaders of their fields such as Professor Galietta, highlights both the size of Research Day and the respect that it is afforded by the international community. I was given the chance to speak to Professor Raymond Stallings, Director of Research in RCSI, and I asked him about the growth of Research Day over the years. Professor Stallings noted that Research Day has continued to grow since its conception, continuously improving to the point where this year, it is the largest and most distinguished Research Day that he had ever witnessed. When asked how both he and the College plan to continue this growth, he explained the plans to continue broadening the scope of the day, through the addition of awards categories and prizes. Future awards will further highlight the impact RCSI’s research can have, highlighted by this years “RCSI Author Citations Prize”.

The list of prize winners on the day is as follows; Mr Kamal Sayed Prize in Neurosurgery: Ms. Zaitun Zakaria. RCSI Author Citations Prize: Dr. Eoghan O’Neill. Health Professions Education Award: Dr. Regien Biesma. Undergraduate Research (oral): Amenah Dhannoon. (Poster): Karim Jundi. Post-grad Scholars 1st-year (oral): Caragh Stapleton. (Poster): Mariana Alves. Post-grad Scholars 2nd-year (oral): Michelle White. (Poster): Sergej Susdalzew. ECI (oral): Dr Mark McCormack. (Poster): Dr David W Murray.

At the end of the day, after further research talks by Professor Brendan Kavanagh and Ms. Aoife Flanagan, the awards ceremony marked the close of Research Day. Everyone who took part in the day was thanked, and with no further ado, those who won prizes were honoured.



A massive source of help and information for me regarding this year’s Research Day was Dr. Sarah O’Neill. Herself a part of RCSI’s large research community, this was her take on the day – Dr Sarah O’Neill MCT


nother phenomenal RCSI Research Day took place on Thursday March 12th 2015. It is most certainly one of the highlights of the year as the RCSI Research Community came together to applaud and celebrate research done in college in the last year. It gives all RCSI researchers, from undergraduates level all the way up to Professors, the opportunity to come along to listen and discuss current research. As ever, the standard across all categories was superb but of particular note were the outstanding oral and poster presentations of our undergraduate students. There were a total of 68 presentations from our students, six of these were oral communications and the remaining 62 were poster presentations. First year medical student, Ms. Amenah Dhannoon was awarded the Dr. Harry O’Flanagan Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for the best undergraduate oral presentation. This category was open to all RCSI Research Summer Students and any other students who carried out research in the previous twelve months. This medal pays special tribute to the memory of Dr. Harry O’Flanagan, former Registrar of the RCSI. The title of Amenah’s presentation was ‘Substrate Composition and Dimensionality Direct Osteocyte Gene Expression’. The undergraduate poster presentation prize was awarded to Mr. Karim Jundi. This year’s keynote speaker was Prof. Luis J.V. Galietta who spoke about ‘Pharmacological corrections of the cystic fibrosis defect: problems and opportunities’. Other categories include Early Career Investigators and Post Graduate Scholars. Each section is a competition and the judges are drawn from the extended Research Community in RCSI. Much discussion, debate, and negotiation is undertaken before a winner is agreed upon; a true reflection of the high standard of all our researchers.

For information about RCSIs undergraduate research, check out or We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Research Day!

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$tudent Lif€



Going DAFT!


hat dreadful time of year is upon us; no, not exam time. It’s apartment hunting time! Those lucky few whose landlords will let them stay and sign another lease, are the envy of all students. Majority of us students will be frantically house hunting up until the last minute. Here are a few helpful tips to keep you sane during the craze:

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Start with the RCSI off-campus accommodation page. There are a lot of really great websites to get you started. GO DAFT OR GO HOMELESS! Daft is the best website to find apartments and they have an app.


nother great way to save money on eating out is the Early Bird or Pre-Theatre specials. Check out what times restaurants offer their specials and avail of lower pricing or more food for your money. As exams edge nearer, the library becomes your second home. Here are some great places and deals close by so you can get back to books quickly:

Keep up to date. Check websites at least daily as new posting always go up.

Call don’t email. When given the option to call the company or email, always call as it more likely to reach them in a timely manner.

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Scandik will never get back to you about any of your email queries….ever.

Ask around! If you know people giving up apartments don’t be afraid to ask if you can take over their lease. Always see it before you commit. Pictures can be very deceiving or outdated. Location,location,location. Consider if you would feel comfortable walking home when it is darker (winter).

References: it helps to have references written from previous places you have lived, or worked to prove your character and that you are trustworthy and responsible.

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Be persistent. Don’t wait for them to call you back. Call them and ask if they have decided you can have the apartment.

Be polite and personable! I cannot stress how much this helps. Don’t lose hope. Many apartments will come and go. Keep going, something will workout.

Always read the entire lease before you sign it! Seems like an obvious one, but you can easily be evicted for breaking lease clauses. (eg. No open flames in apartment = no candles)


It always helps to have a parent call in to companies and landlords to inquire about places as it is more professional and they are the ones (most likely) guaranteeing or paying the rent. You may feel yourself getting frantic, remember everyone is going through the same thing. Good luck and may the house hunting odds be ever in your favour!

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The Weness Wheel


The Road Trip



icture wellness like a road trip: you pack your car, grab your friends, program the GPS and you’re off! You’re excited and anticipating the adventures that will surely come. On your journey, you stop multiple times for gas, snacks, bathroom and rest breaks. At times, you’re forced to take detours or make sight adjustments to your plans. Wellness encompasses all aspects of who you are. It’s like a road trip that never really ends, simply because you practice it your entire life. But, like a road trip, it’s fun! So grab your bags and let’s take a trip around the wellness wheel.

Pre Departure Checklist: • • •

Good Friends. You’ll be with them for the entire trip so decide carefully who you’re bringing along. An amazing playlist that you can sing, laugh and cry along to. Your tools. You’ll use these when hurdles happen along the way.

Stops on the Way...




Creativity and Intellect

You’ve been driving for a few hours, so you stop to stretch your legs and share a snack with your friends. Taking care of your body is essential to completing your journey. You know that if you or your friends fall ill, you won’t make it to your final destination and you’ll have to call off the trip.

In what ways do you express yourself? Did you bring your guitar or ukulele on the trip? Or did you opt for a blank sketchbook or notepad instead? This expression of your personality is powerful and in many ways freeing. Don’t be afraid to share it with those around you.



Along the way, you talk and laugh with your friends on every topic imaginable and you couldn’t imagine this trip without them. By keeping people around you that support you and have your best interests at heart, you do yourself so many favours.

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There is beauty all around us if we just look. As you drive along the seaside, you stop to admire the view. You let yourself to be amazed by the vastness of the sea and the lush green of the hills that surround it. A picture is taken to remember the moment. As you drive away, you feel thankful for the chance to be here on this trip, knowing that somebody somewhere didn’t get the opportunity.

Somewhere along the road, your car will probably break down. Things don’t always go as planned and even if you did everything just right, you might still find yourself stranded on a deserted highway in the middle of the night. This is where faith matters. Faith is what stops you from giving up after you’ve been stuck for hours. Faith lets you know that everything will be fine. A miracle is when out of nowhere, a lone car pulls up beside you and the driver sticks their head out the window saying “Excuse me, do you need help?”



Road trips are fun, but they can also be stressful. You missed your way, your car just broke down and someone cut you off on the highway. In these moments, being mindful becomes important. Mindfulness is defined as paying attention to present moment experiences with curiosity, compassion and a willingness to be with what is. It’s a powerful tool that can help us deal with many different emotions. Best of all, it stops you from erupting into road rage when someone cuts you off.


Education and Employment

While you’re gone, do you miss your job? Or do you find yourself wishing you never had to go back? Do you wish you were doing something else? These are difficult questions to ask yourself, but sometimes the most difficult questions are the ones most worth answering. You ponder on these questions silently as you continue to drive. It’s a beautifully sunny day and you smile at your friends through the rear view mirror. In that exact moment, you realize that while this trip isn’t always easy, it’s worth taking.



Lámha Suas



therkin are releasing their upcoming single ‘AY AY’ and are marking the occasion with a Launch Party on Thursday the 2nd of April in the Grand Social. Come down and support final year medical students David Curley (bassist) and Luke Reilly (singer) in what is one of Ireland’s most promising new acts. The last two years has seen Otherkin play festivals like Electric Picnic, Other Voices and Longitude as well as venues up and down the length of the country.

The launch party promises to be their most exciting shows to date, with the band showcasing brand new material set against a mesmerising lightshow. The guys have always been grateful for the fervent support from fellow RCSI students and are hoping to see both familiar faces and new ones in the crowd at the launch party. So whether you are already a diehard Otherkin fan, eager to hear some fantastic new music or just need a break from all that study come down and support! Tickets are €10 euro and are available on Ticketmaster. You can hear Otherkin’s latest single ‘AY AY’ on Soundcloud and Facebook.


his July, Jenny Ward and I, both in IC3, will travel to Uganda to volunteer with Lámha Suas, the Irish charity that is dedicated to supporting education in Uganda. Lámha Suas work hard to keep children, especially girls, in school. They run the School Feeding Programme, the School Building Programme, and the Teacher Scholership programme, all aimed at improving education in the region of Mubende. Recently they got involved with a Ugandan NGO to bring the Safe Motherhood Programme to Madudu, the town in which we will be based. This amazing initiative has put together ‘Mama Kits’, costing only €5 each, which will be distributed to over 200 expectant mothers, to enable them to gain access to a healthcare facility to give birth. Without arriving with basic equipment such as surgical gloves, a plastic sheet, soap, blades to cut the cord, and cord ties – these women would be turned away from hospital. The alternative is to give birth somewhere else, with no assistance. €5 could be the difference in that mother and baby, living or dying in childbirth. We will be working in conjunction with the Safe Motherhood Programme, in a maternity clinic, and also a medical centre. From what we can gather, we will be lucky if the medical centre has electricity. It will be such a culture shock to us,

APRIL 2015

in so many ways. Here, we rely so heavily on wifi to get us through out medical conundrums. There’ll be no Wikipedia or WebMD. We’ll be lucky to get a pair of gloves. While I’m scared to be thrown into that kind of environment, I can’t wait for all the experiences we’ll get. We’ll come back different people, with a different view of the world. Before we go though, we need to do a lot of fundraising. Lámha Suas have their own plans for the summer, including the building of a solar disinfection unit for the water in the primary school, as well as a new classroom. We want to raise extra money to bring with us to the medical centre, to buy supplies for us to use. To help us fundraise, we are raffling a heifer! Yes, you heard, a Limousin heifer. But if you have neither the space nor the use for a heifer, you may take the €1000 cash value of the heifer! Who doesn’t want a €1000? Tickets are €10, or three for €20. To put this donation in perspective, a teacher’s monthly wage in Madudu is €15. The mama kits cost €5 each to make up, so €10 could provide two mothers with a safer environment to give birth. We’d greatly appreciate any help anyone can give us in fundraising, and if you’d like to buy a ticket, please contact Orla Donohoe or Jennifer Ward (both in IC3).



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APRIL 2015




Class of 2017

PMC welcomes the



– they have arrived. Safe and sound. Enjoying the heat!

So for those of you who miss your friends, here’s a little glimpse of what’s been going on.

White Coat Ceremony

No better way to welcome them back than to provide them with their very own PMC white coats. The event is pretty much similar to the one we had when we were in first year (now go back down memory lane, to that first week in school where no one really knew one another and we were all in those awkwardly oversized lab coats!). The event was held in the auditorium of Penang Hospital on the 14th of March 2015.

St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Sure, we didn’t have any parade, or any alcohol, or a bank holiday. A small get together was held in the evening of the 17th of March with various activities planned. We had musical performances by a couple of our very own PMC student bands, food and a treasure hunt – well, for a pot of gold of course!

Paddy’s day celebration- just minus the parade and the booze!

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I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team behind DiveRCSIty who made this possible, and also a BIG SHOUT OUT for winning two amazing awards! Also, not forgetting, our dear Editor, Congratulations! Now that all the festivities are over, its prime time to start hitting those books once again. To the final meds – GOOD LUCK and may the force be with you!!! To the rest of you – GOOD LUCK, long way still to go people!!! Photo credits: Caroline Jhayssy Manja.



Anatomy WITH Clive Lee #EDUCATION




ohn Houston (1802-1845) was a graduate of the College and was the first to introduce the microscope in Dublin medicine. In 1824, he became Curator of the College Museum on the death of John Shekleton, who had died of sepsis after dissecting an unembalmed cadaver –modern embalming was only introduced at the end of the 19th century.

Houston was also appointed as an Anatomy Demonstrator ‘in which capacity he was a great favourite, especially with the students, to whom, by his punctuality, his great attention, and his clear and comprehensive mode of demonstrating, he had particularly recommended himself. As a lecturer, his manner was very attractive; he clothed his ideas in intelligible and appropriate language; and he possessed that rare faculty in an anatomical teacher, of interesting his audience in the object of his discourse’. Houston described the folds of rectal mucous membrane, two on the left and one on the right. Now known as the Valves of Houston, they are thought to ‘support the faecal mass from pressing upon the termination of the rectum until the normal impulse to evacuate the bowel takes place’.

The lower half of the rectum is derived embryologically from the: A. B. C. D. E.

Anal pit Foregut Hindgut Midgut Vitellointestinal duct

BE IN WITH A CHANCE TO WIN OUR MONTHLY GIVEAWAY! Winner will be announced and contacted in the next month’s issue. submit your answer on our Moodle page:


APRIL 2015



Samantha Knight

Medical Apps Reviews


Instamedic 2

NEJM This Week

DDx Teacher

From JC students learning their clinical examinations to IC students revising and perfecting them on the wards, having a mobile application for quick reference to the signs to look for in each examination is an invaluable tool. This app includes detailed step-by-step instructions for cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, orthopedic, and gastrointestinal exams. In addition to instructions it provides pictures and explanations for each sign you may find along the way, including those detailed hand signs! It is a great resource for lab values as well as instructions for essential clinical skills such as ABG. Fantastic app!

For a limited time NEJM is offering this app for free. It allows medical professionals to stay upto-date on recently published articles (within the last seven days), including original articles, case reports, opinion pieces, and reviews as well as classic medical condition images. It’s a great way to ease into keeping up-to-date with recent medical research in an aesthetically pleasing interface.

Having trouble developing a coherent and accurate differential diagnosis based on a patient’s history or examination? This app is for you! Symptoms and signs are organized by organ system and each is followed by a nicely organized differential. In order to further aid the student, the diagnoses are organized by anatomic area: acute/chronic, or painful/painless where possible. There is also a review of symptoms to aid you in your history taking. However, a more extensive list of signs with correlating differential diagnoses would be appreciated.

5/5 Stethoscopes

4/5 Stethoscopes

Recommended for: JC-SC Available for: iPhone, iPad Price: €0.99

5/5 Stethoscopes

Samantha Knight

Recommended for: EVERYONE! Available for: iPhone, iPad Price: FREE!

The Medical Pulse

Recommended for: JC-SC Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android Price: €1.99

“Uroglide” product breakthrough takes the pain out of catheters

A new pharmacological product developed by Queen’s University in Belfast could significantly improve the quality of life for catheter users worldwide. “Uroglide” is a newly invented coating for catheters that aims to make insertion easier and less painful, while also reducing the risk of infection and inflammation. Currently, around 26,000 patients in the UK and 300,000 in the US are intermittent catheter users who insert and remove disposable catheters themselves between four and eight times per day. Despite the fact that over 600 million catheters are used around the world every year, the coatings used have changed little over the past decade; they dry out quickly and for those who regularly insert catheters this leads to urethral damage, bleeding, and inflammation. Uroglide-coated catheters are currently undergoing independent testing and may be available both privately as well as on the NHS.

“Bionic eye” gives man a glimpse of his wife after a decade of blindness Allen Zderad is affected by the hereditary degenerative vision condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, leaving him with only the ability to see bright light. The condition is caused by abnormalities of the photoreceptors or the retinal pigment epithelium leading to progressive sight loss. The degenerative process currently has no cure. With the help of his newly placed retinal prosthesis, and thanks to Dr. Raymond Lezzi Jr of the Mayo Clinic, Mr. Zderad is now able to make out the outlines of objects and people. The implant works by bypassing the damaged retina and sending the light waves instead directly to the optic nerve. To do this a small chip is attached to the back of the eye with multiple electrodes which offer 60 points of stimulation, the wires of which connect to a pair of glasses worn my the patient. These glasses have a camera at the bridge that relay image information to a small computer worn on a belt pack. The images from this are processed and transmitted as visual information to the implant, which in turn interprets them and passes them along to the retina and inevitably the brain. Of course artificial vision is quite different than the vision we are used to. And although currently these technologies cannot be used to read or see details of faces, patients like Mr. Zderad can regain the ability to see his family. How did he recognize his wife after a decade of blindness? “It’s easy,” says Zderad, “she’s the most beautiful one in the room.” APRIL 2015 2015 SEPTEMBER 2014



The Element of


Science Bites

As the DIVERCSITY year comes to a close, let’s wrap up with a brief summary of some of the most important events in science this academic year…..


September •

A car using the nanoFLOWCELL system to generate energy from salt water was approved for road testing in Europe.

Scientists confirm that greenhouse gases are rising at their highest rates since 1984.

The first case of Ebola virus in the US was detected in Dallas, Texas.

October •

The first baby born to a mother with a womb transplant occurred in Helsinki, Finland.

The Nobel Prizes were announced, with the Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to the inventor of the LED bulb.

An American company, Lockheed Martin, made a major breakthrough in developing power through nuclear fusion.

January •

A 2014 earthquake in Ohio was shown to be the direct result of fracking activities.

The first functional laboratory produced muscle cells were produced in Duke University, North Carolina.

2014 was confirmed by NASA to be the hottest year on record.

February •

Mars One selected its final 100 astronaut candidates for its proposed mission to set up a Martian colony by 2018.

Net neutrality was approved by the FCC in the United States.

A new theory for the origin of the universe was posited, in which there was no beginning or end, in contrast to the currently accepted Big Bang Model.

November •

Philae, the space probe, successfully completed the first landing of a human vehicle on a comet.

Global warming is set to increase lightning strikes by 50% by 2100.

It was found that DNA could successfully survive space flight and atmospheric re-entry, suggesting that organic molecules and life could spread between planetary bodies from meteor strikes.

December •

It was found that HIV is being transformed into a less deadly and infectious form as a result of anti-retroviral medications meaning that it needs more time to infect a person.

The files and data of Albert Einstein was released online.

Blockage of the enzyme Granzyme B leadsto reduced aging in mice.

APRIL 2015 2015 SEPTEMBER 2014

March •

The first image of light as both a particle and a wave was captured.

The oldest human fossil in existence was dated to be approximately 2.8 million years old.

Evidence was found that Mars’ northern hemisphere was once covered in a vast ocean.




poet’s anonymous THE AFRICAN CHILD

it’s amazing how everyone sits to hear me speak, But n’one has really wondered, ‘just what makes this black face tick?’ Well, it’s not the density of my bones or the load of melanin that sits beneath my skin; It’s simply the strength of a child, the child of which I speak. In a part of this planet lies a thick, dark cloud It’s a continent embedded in clouds dark as the very pits of hell, Therein survives a little child; The African Child. In the midst of political struggle, hustle and corruption, A people governed by wealth-crazy leaders, A place where social deprivation kisses societal injustice, A ‘planet’ where insecurity embraces disregard for any form or life, There still survives a coloured future; The future of the African Child. Disease and war plague his days, Disaster and poverty are his current stay, Deceased parents died just yesterday, So he’s left with luck and fate yielding only but a fraction, But his desire meets determination, Born to struggle for his own generation, because he’s the hope of his nation. My heart indeed is filled with pain, He’s been living with polio for years, He’s just lost an eye to an untreated infection, Yet, I can see him walk for miles to get a grain, And he has to reach down to Mother Earth to get a drink. The sun has greatly scourged his skin, So he’s not exactly appealing when you’ll see him!

Glazed like ebony, gallantly he appears from under the sheds of Africa’s Savannah; Gap-toothed, with a cheeky smile; brown eyed, and with curly stumps of hair on his head like a crown; He smiles, ... Those from the ‘Light’ call him ‘BLACK!’ For his race and face But if only they could bear the heat from the sun he has to face But you see, he knows his pains will go away, So he still smiles with grace to a world that fails to acknowledge his name! At night, he says his prayers, not the old fashioned ‘Lord I lay me down to sleep’ And blah blah blah blah blah; Rather, fist together and on his knees, he simply say: ‘Grant me grace each day I wake, my daily pains oh LORD to take, And if my change comes at dawn’s break, my joy, Oh let not another take’. Now you see, He’s an African Child, not because he sleeps in those plains of Ethiopia, Or maybe because he hunts in that beautiful Kenyan Savannah, No, he’s not an African child because he toils day and night, day and night in the Gold mines of South Africa, He’s an African child because of his strength, Yes, the strength of his back, the bark of his soul His soul thats the strength of his neck, because by nature he is hard to break! So when you see me approach boldly as from Heaven’s gate, Never think for a second that it’s in the fibre of my make, Or perhaps in the five-foot-eight make of my frame, My inspiration simply lies in the untold tale of an unknown child, The African Child.

APOLLO God of the Sun, the light of my eyes. Take me with you on your horse-drawn chariot, across the heavens. Love has no boundaries. It burns within me like the flames of the sun. You bewitch me with the strumming of your golden lyre. The melody melts into my heart. The young maidens, they flock to you. You stand there, relishing their adoration. Do you see me, Apollo? What is it you feel? Who are you? Why were you sent to me? I wonder if the three fates had foreseen you along the thread of my life. I pray the Cosmos has a plan for us. Please don’t leave.

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Get your poetry posted anonymously on our Moodle page. We only accept anonymous submissions of poetry and questions for our anonymous advice column- Doc on Call. DIVERCSITY protects your decision to remain anonymous and refuses to disclose indentities






solutions! easy



APRIL 2015



Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)


An Obituary by Cormac Duff

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.” -Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent


n my desk sits a paperback copy of The Last Continent. It was printed in 1999. Its pages have yellowed. Its corners are scuffed. It’s unmistakeably a Terry Pratchett novel. Yes, obviously, his name is plastered in full caps on the cover. But that’s not what draws our gaze. We are immediately pulled towards the illustration. A riot of oil canvas colour. Even an illiterate person could recognise Josh Kirby’s iconic handiwork.1 Foreground and background jostle for our attention. A cacophony of movement. Overstuffed – teeming with an absurd, frankly unnecessary level of detail. Much like its contents, the paperback’s cover is overflowing with strange, out-there ideas. It screams at you, “No flimsy piece of cardboard can hold me back!!!!! 2”

“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” -Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

The first page is a portrait of the author in his slightly younger days. Pratchett is instantly recognisable in his trademark black fedora and signet ring. His face is half in shadow. His beard too contains flashes of darkness. He stares piercingly, scrutinising us. The page opposite begins: “Terry Pratchett was born in 1948 and is still not dead.3” Now we get a taste of this furious fellow’s self-deprecating wit. “He started work as a journalist one day in 1965 and saw his first corpse three hours later, work experience meaning something in those days.4” His breakthrough novel, The Carpet People, was released six years later by publishing minnows Colin Smythe Ltd . Today, this novel can be viewed as a rough sketch of the writing style that would make his fortune. It received a warm reception by all five people who bought it. Yet, it would be another sixteen years before Terry could give up the day job.

“Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.” -Terry Pratchett By 1980, Terry Pratchett was appointed as Press Officer (read: “spin doctor”) the Central Electricity Generating Board. In layman’s term, he wrote fanciful PR statements for four nuclear plants. This was shortly after Three Mile Island, a near-fallout in Pennsylvania. His new job presumably involved burning all reels of The China Syndrome.5 And reassuring the British public that these things happened only in America. 6 To quote The Simpsons’ Mr Burns, “Oh, meltdown! It’s one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus.” But just three years later, everything would change with the publication of his first Discworld novel: The Colour of Magic.

“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.” -Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Sex. Violence. Chapters. The Discworld series has hardly any of this. They are comic fantasy, closer to Monty Python than Game of Thrones. Its rabid fanbase owes to its wit, charm and innumerate footnotes.7 However – publisher difficulties, bland Kirby-less covers and the unique nature of British humour conspired to keep Pratchett as a niche attraction in the United States. But in his native Britain, his novels were a sensation. By 1996 he was Britain’s best-selling British author (before being unceremoniously usurped by She Who Shall Not Be Named). Fun fact: Terry Pratchett’s novels are the most stolen works of fiction in the United Kingdom.8 No fewer than fourteen Discworld instalments were chosen by the public in the BBC Big Read’s Top 200 Books. His works have accrued an incredible 80 million combined sales worldwide. In 2009 he was knighted Sir Terry by Her Majesty the Queen.9

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” -Terry Pratchett

1. Though why an illiterate person would find himself in a bookshop is an entirely different matter 2. Maybe it was only screaming at me. Maybe that was just the mescaline. 3. Accurate in 1999. Not so in 2015. 4. Three hours is seriously impressive. Even RCSI waits until Tuesday to terrify Freshers with the Anatomy Room. 5. I imagine he couldn’t time-travel to 2009, which explains the continued existence of the travesty X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (Seriously, Deadpool is Weapon X? What were they thinking!?) 6. Like beef jerky, blueberry pie and racism. 7. Seriously, the references are dope. I read all 416 pages of Feet of Clay - and its 206 references - on an iPod mini. Worth it. 8. The most stolen non-fiction work is, of course, The Holy Bible. Oh sweet irony .9. He even smelted his own sword out of 80kg of iron ore and some meteoric iron. He called it “thunderbolt iron”.

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here are forty novels in the Discworld series. Forty.10 Sounds scary, right? Strangers throws themselves before me, asking “O wise Cormac, knower of all, must I start from Book the One???”11 Of course not. These books function perfectly well as standalone works. Think of the James Bond franchise, rather than Game of Thrones. Certain story arcs run through the series: Rincewind, the hapless wizard (and The Luggage), stars in eight novels. Death is a major player, particularly in Mort. The Witches, the Wizards of the Unseen University, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig have all served as protagonists in various novels. And my personal favourite - Sam Vimes, the cynical working-class captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. He appears to a greater or lesser degree in over a dozen novels, including fan favourites Guards, Guards! and Night Watch.12 The series jumps across continents and decades effortlessly. Technologies like firearms, newspapers and “the clacks” are gradually introduced, shaking up the magical quasi-Medieval setting over a generation. Each plot entertains and enthrals, while giving a deeper understanding of Discworld and its unforgettable inhabitants.

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money… A man who could afford a really good pair of leather fifty dollars boots would have dry feet ten years. While the poor man who could only afford ten-dollar cardboard boots could spend a hundred dollars on boots over ten years - and still have wet feet.” -Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms Besides the Discworld series, Pratchett had a wide variety of notable successes. He more prolific than anyone other than Stephen King. In 1990 he joined forces with American Gods scribe Neil Gaiman to co-pen the cult classic Good Omens. At the same time he published the beloved Bromeliad trilogy: Truckers, Diggers and Wings.13 And 2008 saw the release of the poignant Nation.14 This and thirteen Discworld novels have been adapted to the stage. Others still have be adapted as graphic novels, board games and even video games. Sky One turned Hogfather and two others into made-for-TV movies, with decidedly mixed results.15 Finally, his daughter and literary heir Rhianna Pratchett is penning a brand-new Vimes-centric crime procedural, titled The Watch.16

“Death isn’t cruel - merely terribly, terribly good at his job.” -Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

Sir Terry Pratchett’s life story is itself a tragedy. In 2007 he was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. Pratchett’s motor skills were affected: he sadly lost the ability to type and eventually to sign his own books. Yet he remained consistently cheerful in the face of adversity. He campaigned to increase Alzheimer’s research funding, which at the time stood at “just 3% of that to find cures for cancer.” He candidly discussed his diagnosis in countless interviews. He collaborated with the BBC to produce the documentary Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer’s. He was also an outspoken supporter of assisted suicide, professing that he would like to “die peacefully… before the disease takes me over”. In an impassioned plea, he reasoned “If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as ¬precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice.” A latecomer to public life, his private life proved an inspiration to millions.

“I know it’s a very human thing to say ‘Is there anything I can do?’ but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.” -Terry Pratchett, 2007 The Last Continent. The twenty-second Discworld book lays on the table by my laptop. Its spine is faded after sixteen long years on the shelf... Actually, I have a confession. I’ve never actually read this book. It remained unopened, unread, unloved since the last millennium. Part of me doesn’t want to read beyond the second page. It’s a lightweight block of cardboard and paper. What if it doesn’t live up to my lofty expectations? But now I remember that Terry Pratchett never tried to intimidate us. He never set his works on a pedestal. They were never considered “literature”. Never lauded by critics’ circles. They were meant for us to be enjoyed freely and unironically. By seven-year-olds and twenty-two year olds alike. They succeeded in this admirable goal. And, like all great fantasy, they sometimes give us a broader perspective. Insight into our own prejudices. Although his soul is gone, Terry Pratchett’s inspirational ideas remain. Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have a book to read.

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…” -Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

10. Soon to be forty-one. But I’m on a roll here! 11. Just messing. People don’t actually talk to me. I just like feeling important sometimes. 12. The three aforementioned books are probably my personal favourites. As for Night Watch – there will never be a finer time-travelling Les Misérables parody. 13. This hardback tome was actually my first introduction to Pratchett. It’s funny, touching and heart-warming. The Bromeliad has everything. At the age of seven I was proud to have finished a –page novel. By the end of Truckers, I could even spell D-E-M-O-L-I-S-H-E-D backwards! 14. I spent half of a Munich holiday in my hotel room, glued to Nation. I even gifted it to editor-in-chief Caitrín O’Leary. 15. Much like Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker series, the flow of hilarious prose and asides appears lost entirely when transferred to the screen. 16. Much like her father, Rhianna is no stranger to genre snubbing – or in her case, medium snubbing. She has scripted several video games with strong female protagonists, including Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge and the excellent 2013 Tomb Raider reboot.






Best Singing Voices from Japan


I am relatively new to Japanese music, having started listening to them only back in the year 2010, but J-music includes so many of my favourite songs that I have to introduce them to the dear readers. In this issue, I am going to introduce some of my favourite Japanese singers, who are also some of biggest stars in the world, if not in Far East and Southeast Asia. Not impressed? Did you know that Japan is the second biggest music market in the world after the US? For fans of the Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest/Kingdom Hearts games series, did you know their wonderful soundtracks were made by the Japanese? And that Utada Hikaru sang the lovely theme songs “Simple and Clean” and “Sanctuary” for Kingdom Hearts I and II respectively? Not to mention the Japanese invented and spread karaoke all around the world!


Solo Artists

Also known as the Empress of Pop in Japan, Ayumi is the answer to the various divas presented by the West. Even though her vocals may not be as good as Beyoncé or Adele, she is so multi-talented that I like her far more than many of the Western artists. The reigning queen of pop in Japan, more commonly known as “Ayu” to her fans, she has been dominating the Japanese music scene since the late 1990’s. Through her entire career, she has written all her lyrical content, produced her own music and has sometimes co-composed her music, which makes one of the best all-rounded singers I know. Besides having amazing vocals, she also has great dancing skills and stage presence, as evidenced by all her sold-out concerts through the years. She is also one of the biggest fashion trend-setters in Asia due to her constantly changing image, impeccable style and tight control over her artistry. My favourite song from her is “A song for ××” (there is an alternative version called “A song for ××” 030213 Session #2 Take, which I think is better than the original), and other big hits include “SURREAL”, “evolution”, “M”, “SEASONS”, “Boys & Girls” and so many more! Do check out the English translations for the lyrics as they are really meaningful.

The Scandal

Utada Hikaru, better known as Utada, is a Japanese singer who was born in the US but developed her career in Japan. This background enabled her to sing fluently in both Japanese and English. Her first album, “First Love”, is the best-selling album in Oricon history (Oricon is the Japanese equivalent of the Billboard in the US). The title track from the album, “First Love”, is her best song and the song that shot her to stardom. Unlike Ayumi, Utada is not known for her dancing skills or fashion sense but only her amazing vocals and singing skills. Unfortunately she had a turbulent personal life, including a divorce and the suicide of her mother, which in part made her decide to take a hiatus from her singing career since the year 2010. Almost 5 years have passed and loyal fans like me have been longing for her comeback. Some great songs from her include “Colors”, “Hikari” (The English version of this song is the famous “Simple and Clean”), “Time Will Tell” and “Beautiful World”. Like Ayumi I recommend checking out the English translation for the lyrics of her songs to fully enjoy them. Utada beats Ayumi in terms of singing skills, at least in my opinion. Her powerful and emotional singing is still desperately missed 5 years later.


The Wagakki Band

The SCANDAL members are cute and awesome! Mami, the leftmost member as shown in the photo, has insane guitar skills! Not bad for a group of high school students who used to perform on busy streets. Haruna, Tomomi, Mami and Rina are not strictly a J-rock band as they lean more towards the pop-rock genre. These girls are more than just pretty faces as they really earned their reputation through their awesome songs and musical skills. Haruna has good, rough vocals which makes them stand out from other girl bands. In their music videos they also dance while playing their instruments! They all have very cute personalities which are adored by fans worldwide. My favourite songs from them include “Haruka”, “Shunkan Sentimental”, “Departure”, “Harukaze” and “Taiyou to Kimi no Egaku STORY”.

APRIL 2015


Another fascinating band I simply must mention here is the Wagakki band! This band is amazing because they combined contemporary Japanese musical instruments such as the “koto” and “shamisen” with the modern Western ones! Their singing style is very traditional as well because the lead vocal is originally a Japanese “shigin” singer. Do check out their music videos on YouTube!

One OK Rock

ONE OK ROCK – they are just too awesome! You get so pumped up by watching their music videos as they shout, jump, wave, shake and make all kinds of movements instead of staying static like other rock bands. There are 4 members: Taka, Toru, Ryota and Tomoya. I like these guys because they always sing with the utmost passion, and their lead singer Taka has very good rock vocals. They can also sing English words reasonably well compared to other Japanese artists. My favourite song from them is “Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer”, which had been used to make many AMV’s on YouTube, so anime fans my want to check them out other good songs include “Deeper Deeper”, “Answer is Near”, “Cry Out” and “The Beginning”. Rock fans may also want to check out GazettE, X Japan, L’Arc~en~Ciel and UVERworld.




Anime Music Anime-related music makes up a big chunk of the Japanese music market. Being a fan of anime myself this is actually the part I know best about J-music. First I am going to introduce the concept of “utaite”. Basically “utaite” are people who cover previously released songs and post them on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube under the “utattemita” category. The term “utaite” is unique to Nico Nico Douga singers. They cover a lot of songs from anime and vocaloids, and some of them form doujin circles which release doujin music albums during the Japanese Comiket. They are similar to Youtube singers such as Maddi Jane and Jayesslee. Many of the utaite became so popular that they went on to produce full albums of their own and sang original theme songs for popular anime. Some of my favourite utaite include Nagi Yanagi, Choucho, Hanatan, Nano, Piko and Wotamin.

From top left clockwise: Nagi Yanagi – My favourite Japanese singer! She has a really calm soothing voice which I really adore, but she can also sing songs from other genre such as pop and rock due to her experience as the previous lead singer of the band Supercell. Hanatan – Like many utaite her face has never been revealed. She has incredible vocals though; simply check out her music videos on YouTube, especially her cover of Hatsune Miku’s “Orange”. Nano – Like Hanatan her face has never been revealed as in her music videos she always covers her face with a hood. Other than that, although I use “her” to refer to this amazing J-rock singer, Nano’s gender is still currently unknown! Piko – He has got an interesting fashion sense, but he is a “Ryouseirui”, meaning he can sing in both male and female voices. Don’t believe me? Check out his “Nisokuhokou” on YouTube!

Theme Songs

To close this article, I am going to introduce popular J-pop singers who made their name singing various themes for anime and games. These theme songs may be written with the series in mind, but are also aimed at the general music market, and therefore often allude only vaguely or not at all to the themes or plot of the series. Pop and rock songs are also sometimes used as incidental music or insert songs, often to highlight particularly important scenes. Some singers only sing exclusively for anime/games, while established artists such as Utada Hikaru and SCANDAL will sometimes also record songs as well to promote the anime or game. Some of the best anime/game-associated singers include LiSA, Aoi Eir, Luna Haruna, Kalafina, GARNiDELiA, ClariS (girl duo group), Ikimonogakari (rock band) and GRANRODEO (boy band).

From top to bottom, left to right: Luna Haruna – She usually sings the ending themes of popular anime like Sword Art Online Aoi Eir – One of my favourite Japanese artists! Short hair looks good on her and she has astounding vocals as well! Kalafina – Kalafina is a band comprising members Hikaru, Keiko and Wakana. I love them because their singing style is a bit similar to opera/musical singers due to the influence from their famous composer mentor Yuki Kajiura. Maria – Maria is a member of the two-member band GARNiDELiA. She is very cute and is one of the rising stars in anime music industry. She is originally an utaite as well! LiSA – LiSA is an amazing pop-rock singer who usually sings the opening themes of popular anime. Fans of Sword Art Online and Fate/Zero will recognise her powerful vocals.

APRIL 2015



Culture, Ephemera and Craic! #CULTURE&LEISURE


Dublin: One City, One Book

As this is the last issue of Divercsity for the year, I’m including events and happenings from both April and May. I know it’s coming up towards exams but all work and no play etc etc...

This year’s literary inspiration comes from award-winning author Roddy Doyle and his Barrytown Trilogy. The three books, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van have all been turned into successful films starring Colm Meaney. The characters and music from these stories will be brought to life across the city during this year’s April festival. At Vicar St on April 12th there will be a music mash-up featuring Imelda May, Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Glen Hansard, Colm Meaney, Damien Demsey and others. If you’re Irish, chances are you’ve read these iconic books or at least seen the films. If you have made Dublin your home away from home, I really recommend these stories that will give you a native’s perspective on a working class part of Dublin which was famous for its brazenness and humour.

Dublin Dance Festival

19th-30th May

Bastard Amber

Inspired by W.B. Yeats’ poem Sailing to Byzantium, this beautiful and complex offering from esteemed Irish choreographer Liz Roche is one not to be missed. The Times called it ‘Entrancing’. 25th-27th May 7.30pm Abbey stage, Abbey Theatre


Sweden’s Maria Nilsson Waller and co. have created this visual feast with inspiration from computer games, dance choreography and psychology. Paired with modern jazz, this is one of the more unusual offerings of this year’s festival. 28th-30th May 6.30pm The Cube, Project Arts Centre

Full Programme at APRIL 2015





The Man in the Woman’s Shoes -presented by Loco & Restless Productions Ltd.

Hedda Gabler

A downright daft story about a man whose enthusiasm for life is boundless...

A Mark O’Rowe adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen masterpiece directed by Annabelle Comyn. If you have never seen an Ibsen play in the flesh, this stellar production will not disappoint.

14th April - May 2nd

10th April to May 16th

The Gigli Concert - by Tom Murphy The story of an irrepressible satirist with a strong penchant for vodka and mistresses while in full pursuit of his one true love. Opening night May 26th.

And finally… Designer Mart - Templebar has reopened for the spring/summer. Crafts, jewellery, curiosities market in Cow’s lane, Templebar. Saturdays 10am - 5pm.

APRIL 2015




Pitt Bros



A smash hit for Dublindulgence, the crème de la crème among BBQ joints. Their meat is the perfect amalgamation of smokey and savoury, their BBQ sauces are tasty and the free soft-serve ice cream makes for a wonderful experience. Pitt Bros also offers a diverse variety of sides, which everyone knows is essential to the perfect BBQ meal. Some of our personal favourites include their homemade slaw, fresh cut fries, onion rings, and mac & cheese. The bone marrow mash, however, does not live up to expectations. The pulled pork is cooked perfectly, and fits proportionally with the warm bun. The bun has a slight crunch with the sweet, saucy pulled pork in the centre. The fries are also made in a classic, New York style often served at summer fairs. After visiting Bison BBQ, we were sold on their ribs being better than the ones at PItt Bros but our visit for this particular article changed our minds - Pitt Bros either have stepped up its ribs game or we were just more hungry. Fall off the bone, juicy, tender ribs coated with a good sauce changed the afternoon library plans to a blissful postprandial nap. They offer everything you want in a BBQ joint and for an affordable price for the student budget. The lunch deal from 12pm to 2pm is a bun with the meat of your choice, one side of your choice and a drink for €10. The other items on the menu include a full rack of ribs meal and other brisket platters coming with two sides for only €14. For those insatiable carnivores out there, there is a jumbo meat combo comprising of 3 different types of meat and 2 sides for only €20. Location: South George’s Street, Dublin 2 Price: Very good, €10 - €15

Bison Bar & BBQ Bison Bar and BBQ, just a quick walk to the quays, provides stiff competition to Pitt Bros and requires finely detailed scrutiny to choose one over another. The interior of Bison definitely deserves mention - a pretty casual atmosphere that mirrors the feel of a traditional everyday corner BBQ joint in Southern United States and it does so rather successfully. The access to what is the ‘outside seating’ area here is discussed as much as the delicious pulled pork and ribs because the entrance is a large window - yes, a window. Overall, Bison does a pretty good job with their meat - fall off the bone ribs, tender pulled pork, and other staples of a BBQ joint are all well done. Although their sauces seem pretty ordinary in plain plastic bottles, both the classic as well as the mustard based barbecue sauces here were pretty delicious and flavorful. The sides, albeit don’t blow your mind, are decent. However, if drinks are important for your BBQ meals, then Bison wins the competition outright with arguably one of the best whiskey selections in town. Try one of their whiskey flights if you are in the mood for variety and discovery. Location: 11 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 Price: Very good, €10-15

APRIL 2015




Aussie BBQ

More than anything, Aussie BBQ is a burger lover’s paradise. Their burgers are the first topic of discussion whenever this place is bought up and the conversation eventually drifts to their famous ‘Great White’ burger, which as described on their menu, is indeed a “monster”. A personal obsession with sweet potato fries and their presence on their menu definitely does not hurt your meal if you do go with the burger. Though they do have most of your traditional BBQ items on the menu, we are not entirely sure the flavors actually come together to compete with the likes of more traditional BBQ joints like Pitt Bros and Bison. If you crave meat, however, for an affordable price then Aussie is not a bad option. Although they have tried to infuse some Australian flavour into their menu, we are not entirely sure how close this place is to a real Australian BBQ restaurant down under, but they offer meats that are simply found nowhere else like crocodile or kangaroo steaks. With burgers for as low as €6 and meat platters starting from €9, a filling meal for under €10 is definitely possible. To further draw you in financially, Aussie does a couple of student deals as well. Now, Aussie BBQ is definitely not your standard Southern BBQ but it does give you a decent meal. Its meats are just not to the same BBQ standards as the aforementioned restaurants. The fact that they were able to open a second chain out in Rathgar does tell you they might be doing something right. Location: 5 South Richmond Street, Dublin 2

Price: Very good, €10 (up to €16 for the specialty meats)

Smokin’ Bones

A recent addition to Dublin’s culinary barbeque fad, Smokin’ Bones is in a prime location on Dame Street near the corner of South St. George Street. Although the outside looks pretty ordinary, the interior was nicely done. The menu is fairly large, offering many types of sandwiches and BBQ favourites like ribs, chicken wings and brisket along with platters involving all of the above. Three different sauces on the table in neat bottles further tickled our curiosity and excited us about the meal that was to come. While this restaurant is big on variety and choice, it lacks significantly in the taste category. We ordered the largest ‘feasting platter’ including pulled pork sliders, brisket, chicken wings in what seemed like a little taste of everything arriving on an 18 inch upside down bin lid! While the presentation was good, we were disappointed in both the cooking technique and lack of quality of both the meats and most of the BBQ sauces on which they pride themselves. The meats were overcooked and dry, especially noticeable in the pulled pork and brisket which also lacked the flavour that we expect when we go out to a restaurant. The chicken wings were at best decent, with a spicy BBQ sauce and not overcooked. The only other redeeming quality was the one mustard BBQ sauce that we all enjoyed and proceeded to smother our meats in. Adding to the disappointment were the stale pulled pork slider buns that crumbled in your hands like sawdust. In the end, we were just disappointed with Smokin’ Bones and had expected more of them.

Meat Wagon

Location: 34 Dame Street, Dublin 2 Price: Decent, €10 - €15

Although we were unable to visit this relatively new BBQ joint, it is supposedly amazing and located in the heart of the up and coming North Dublin hipster neighbourhood. The online and personal reviews of this place across the Liffey definitely warrant a visit! Location: Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7 Price: €12 - €18









CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES 4/4 SATURDAY 11:00 pm - King Kong Company @ The Button Factory 7/4 TUESDAY 7:00 pm - Paul Simon & Sting @ 3Arena 8/3 WEDNESDAY 8:00 pm - Catfish and The Bottlemen @ Whelan’s 8:00 pm - Sinead O’Connor @ Vicar Street 10/4 TUESDAY 6:30 pm - Olly Murs @ 3Arena (The O2) 8:00 pm - Argus @ Gypsy Rose 11/4 SATURDAY 6:30 pm - Olly Murs @ 3Arena (The O2) 14/4 TUESDAY 7:00 pm - Ben Howard @ 3Arena (The O2) 16/4 THURSDAY 7:00 pm - Daniel Lanois @ Vicar Street 17/4 FRIDAY 7:00 pm - Lower Than Atlantis @ The Academy 2 8:00 pm - Anathema @ The Academy 18/4 SATURDAY 7:00 pm - Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Vicar Street

The Button Factory @ Curved Street, Temple Bar 19/4 SUNDAY


8:00 pm - Argus @ Gypsy Rose 8:00 pm - Charley Pride @ Bord Gais Energy Theatre

7:00 pm - Blues Pills @ Voodoo Lounge

21/4 TUESDAY 7:00 pm - UFO @ The Academy 8:00 pm - McBusted @ 3Arena (The O2) 22/4 WEDNESDAY 7:00 pm - The Vamps @ 3Arena (The O2) 23/4 THURSDAY 8:00 pm - Sharon Van Etten @ Whelan’s

8:00 pm - Dutch Uncles @ The Workman’s Club 8:00 pm - The 4 Of Us @ Vicar Street 28/4 TUESDAY 8:30 pm - Al Stewart @ Vicar Street 29/4 WEDNESDAY 8:00 pm - Flying Lotus @ Vicar Street 30/4 THURSDAY 8:00 pm - Shawn Smith @ Whelan’s

Things to do... COMEDY CRUNCH

Pop by the Stag’s Head every Sunday and Monday night for great craic! Granted it’s a hotspot for tourists, being one of the top rated attractions on Tripadvisor, yet it doesn’t lose its local charm in terms of comic ingenuity. Also, if you sit in front, prepare to be attacked! It always starts with ‘Where are you from?’ (You’re from Malaysia? Of course you are. You’re wearing a coat in a freakin’ hot pub!) but it’s all in good fun and you’re guaranteed to have a grand time(maybe).




Fighting Words, the creative writing centre: Volunteers Required! FIGHTING WORDS, founded by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love (former director of Amnesty International Ireland), is a creative writing centre located on Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin 1 - in the shadow of Croke Park. Fighting Words is open to all children and young people who want to write and it¹s free.

What does Fighting Words do? Opened in January 2009, the Centre offers free story-writing workshops for primary school students in the mornings, creative writing tutoring for secondary students in the afternoons, and workshops for adults in the evenings and at weekends. The workshops at Fighting Words are designed by, and students are mentored by, teams of our volunteer tutors.

What kind of opportunities does FW have for volunteers?

We are looking for anyone who just enjoys working in a creative environment - experience in creative writing is not necessary! Below is a list- but it¹s not exhaustive - of what our volunteers do: • Primary Level Workshops: Imagine that you are 6-12 years old and you enter a colourful, magical place and spend two hours writing

your very own book. Fighting Words runs workshops in the mornings led by teams of volunteers. They work with a class of primary school students who produce a book together. There are opportunities for people who like to write stories, people who like to draw (all our books are illustrated) and people who like to work with small groups of students to encourage their creativity.

• Secondary Level Workhops: Fighting Words runs workshops in all types ofcreative writing, e.g. short stories, script writing, poetry,

journalism, to name a few - for second level students. We need volunteers to help us run these two-hour workshops as well as providing oneto-one tutoring support to students working on individual projects. Imagine being that person who inspires and encourages young people to express themselves in ways they did not think they could. At Fighting Words, you can.

When does Fighting Words need volunteers? At what times?

Volunteering with Fighting Words is completely flexible - we use a secure online calendar so you sign up for the sessions that suit your schedule. We provide training for volunteers and this will run throughout the year, usually twice per month. As many of our programmes take place during the school day, we need people who are available on weekdays. Even if you only have a few hours to spare in the evenings and weekends, however, we¹d like to hear from you. If you want to join us to volunteer or take part or just to get more information, visit<http://www.> or email us on or ring Sara Bennett, Manager, on 01 894 4576.

DIVERCSITY - April 1st, 2015 (Issue #7)  

Last issue of the first year of publication.

DIVERCSITY - April 1st, 2015 (Issue #7)  

Last issue of the first year of publication.