The difference is we’re independent
Printed in Ireland
Extensive coverage of UCD Students’ Union Elections
Naked & Famous Interview
Siren pages 6-7
Polling Day Looms for Sabbat Candidates _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Donie O’ Sullivan • Elections to take place next week • Fifteen candidates running for 5 positions
A total of fifteen candidates are running in this year’s UCD Students’ Union (SU) Sabbatical Elections which will be held next week on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st March. At least two candidates are running in each of the five races. The positions available are President, Campaigns and Communications Officer, Education Officer, Welfare Officer and Entertainment Office (Ents). The successful candidates ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Continued on page 6
All images courtesy of Danny Lambert
SU Election 5-12
March 22nd 2011 | Vol. 24 No 10
Redmond Re-Elected USI President
• USI Congress held last weekend in Dunboyne Castle. • Ahearn elected USI Welfare Officer.
Gary Redmond will undergo a second term as President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) after being re-elected to the post, while Scott Ahearn, current UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Welfare Officer, was elected to the position of USI Welfare Officer. The USI is the national representative body of students in further and higher education. Established in 1959, it recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and currently represents over 450,000 students in over forty educational institutions across the country. Last week, hundreds of student representatives gathered in Dunboyne, County Meath for the annual National Congress of the USI. Along with a keynote address by John Hennessey, the new chair of the Higher Education Authority [HEA], the Congress was marked with a speech from Seán Gallagher from RTÉ’s entrepreneurial show “The Dragon’s Den” about how the young people of Ireland can drive the economy forward.
Central issues discussed at Congress included the lobbying of the new Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, tackling undergraduate unemployment and emigration, and the protection of student grants. Redmond has previously held the position of UCDSU Entertainment Officer 2008/2009, UCDSU President 2009/2010, while working as USI President for this 2010/2011 academic year. Redmond will now undergo a second successsive year as USI President having been re-elected with a majority of 92%. In his acceptance speech, Redmond called for the country to move forward from the condition it has found itself in. “While it would be foolish to ignore the problems facing this country, we cannot afford to dwell on them for a second longer. As an organisation, as a country, as a people, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past but we also need to move on.” He has proposed plans to
ensure the Student Support Act is implemented, to follow through on the introduction of the Higher Education Strategy Group, to introduce a national student discount card, and to increase the powers of the USI. He has also expressed his belief that the old government had grown “quite stale” and that he is looking forward to meeting with the new Minister for Education. Recalling and celebrating the achievements of the past year, he focused on the USI’s response to government attempts to reintroduce fees, the national student march in November and the massive turnout of students for the election in February. “The last nine months have been momentous. We’ve kick-started a wave of student action.” Scott Ahearn, won the Welfare election with 89% of votes, moves from UCDSU, where he filled the position of Welfare Officer for the past two years, to the national student body. The Tipperary na-
tive says the thing he will miss the most about UCD is simply working with students face-to-face. He has proposed his three main policy areas for the next year by focusing on students on the ground, in colleges, and national policy level. Plans to make mental health policy an all-year round USI agenda, improve sexual health awareness and address substance abuse issues are also goals for Ahearn. On the national front, he wants to bring about a student finance campaign, and also create a best practice policy, by improving different colleges’ ability to communicate with each other and exchange ideas. There was an upset in the election of the Education Officer as Trinity student Jennifer Fox was defeated by the RON (reopen nominations) vote. There will be another election between now and June to try and fill the post for next year, with sources within UCDSU claiming that current Education Officer
James Williamson could run for the position. Current USI Education Officer Colm Murphy was elected Deputy President, whilst Siobhan McGuire
was elected LGBT Rights Officer. UCD Student Gerard Gallagher was elected Equality Officer in an uncontested race, beating the RON option by 127 votes to 58.
UCD Arts Student Made County Councillor
Ciara Murphy • Chris Bond fills the seat left vacant by former Councillor Eamonn Maloney.
UCD Student and Former Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Eastern Area Officer Chris Bond has become a South Dublin County Councillor. The Dubliner (pictured) is still currently in the process of completing his third year of an arts degree in Politics and Sociology. Bond has been left the duty to fill the seat left vacant by former Councillor Eamonn Maloney, who left his position after winning a seat in the Dáil during the General Election. County Councillors are responsible for dealing with local issues including infrastructure, health, education and energy. When questioned by The College Tribune about his new position and what compelled him to get involved in his local County Council, Bond stated, “I decided to go for Councillor at some point during the General Election Campaign.” “Listening to people’s personal stories on the doorstep compelled me to get involved in
2 | www.collegetribune.ie
local politics. While the local government set up in this country is far from perfect, there is so much we can do to represent people’s interests and deal with the everyday issues that matter to them.” Responding to the question of how he came to be elected to the position, Bond stated that he “was co-opted to South Dublin _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bond, a contributor with The College Tribune for the past three years, intends to follow through on many plans during his time as a South Dublin County Councillor. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
County Council on Monday, 14th of March. Prior to that I had to go before a selection convention of Labour Party members in the South Tallaght area, which I won by a landslide. I was filling the Seat of former Councillor Eamonn Maloney who had to give up his seat on the
council when he was elected to the Dáil as per Irish Law.” When asked about his previous political experience Bond informed The College Tribune that “I’m a former Chairperson, Secretary and Public Relations officer of the Labour Branch in UCD. I have been a member of the Labour Party since 2002. I have been involved in various campaigns, including the General Election campaigns of current minister for Communications, Energy and National Resources Pat Rabbitte. But more recently I was Deputy Director of Elections for Eamonn Maloney, who was elected to the Dáil for the first time in Dublin South West in the election. I am a former UCDSU Presidential Candidate and Arts and Human Sciences Programme Officer, I also worked in USI as the Eastern Area Officer.”Bond, a contributor with The College Tribune for the past three years, intends to follow through on many plans during his time as a South Dublin
County Councillor. These include plans to reduce travel expenses which are a long contested issue both in local and national politics. Bond also intends to “follow the good example of Labour Councillors on South Dublin County Council and not take any expenses for Foreign Conferences.” He went on to state that “there are too many County Councillors across the country who draw huge travel expenses
for events that can be described as little more than Junkets.” When speaking about his other plans, Bond also assures that he will “stand up for better health services in my community and against the closure of Tallaght Children’s Hospital.” Bond also intends to use his “seat on the Council to promote the Renewable Energy Potential of the Mountainous area of South Dublin and to improve the public transport connectivity between the South Dublin Suburbs.” When asked how he plans to balance his new position with college work he said that “many County Councillors also have day jobs or day time duties so juggling the council position with college shouldn’t be a problem. Most meetings and events are held at times that fit my academic schedule.”
UCD Students Unharmed in Japan Quake
Donie O’ Sullivan
• Two UCD Students currently on exchange in Tokyo
The UCD International Office has confirmed that two UCD students currently on exchange in Japan are safe and well following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country two weeks ago. UCD currently has exchange agreements with two Japanese universities, Waseda University and Keio University – both in Tokyo. Currently two UCD students are on a whole year exchange in Keio University. Sam Heath, one of UCD’s students in Japan explained to The College Tribune that he was studying when the earthquake struck. However the area he was in suffered little destruction. The 21 year old from Stillorgan said he was first able to contact home four hours after the earthquake to let his family know he was safe. Mr. Heath also explained that aftershocks continued for several days, “...many small ones ever hour or so, and a few times very
large ones,” he confirmed. When asked had the earthquake affected his overall experience in Japan, Mr. Heath responded, “It hasn’t changed anything about my view of Japan, except to reconfirm how organised they are in general, which became evident following the quake.” “Also the Japanese in general have been handling it all very well, telling you that they’re going to be strong and hold it together for their families.” The UCD International Office was able to make contact with both students soon after the earthquake to confirm their safety. Ruth Redinan of the UCD International office explained they have “procedures in place to deal with emergency situations that can arise when students are on exchange. The procedures differ depending on the situation and are implemented as swiftly as possible after learning of an emergency situation abroad.”
France, Germany and China have urged their citizens to leave Japan amid growing fears of a nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo but as of Sunday the Irish government had no plans to evacuate any of 2,000 Irish citizens in Japan. Mr. Heath, speaking to The College Tribune from Japan at the weekend, said he had moved west from Tokyo to Kyoto further away from the nuclear plant in Fukushima but stressed that it was merely a precautionary measure and pointed
out that, as of yet, there has been no increase in radiation levels in the city.
A current second year Arts student who is due to travel to Tokyo on an exchange in September howev-
er, told The College Tribune that she was now unsure as to whether she would be able to travel to Japan.
UCD Ball Tickets On Sale Next Week
Donie O’ Sullivan
• Event to run from 2pm - 11:30pm on last day of term. • Tickets cost €39.99, almost 15% increase from last year.
Tickets for this year’s UCD Ball will go on sale next Wednesday, March 30th at a price of €39.99. The Ball, which will be held on the athletics track at the N11 side of the campus on Thursday, April 21st (the last day of term), will see a host of acts from Ireland and around the world perform on campus.Acts are expected to be announced sometime next week and Jonny Cosgrove, the UCD Students’ Union Ents Officer and organiser of the event promises “ a great mix of acts, both from home and abroad.”
The Ball will have the same format as previous years with two stages, a silent disco, an oxygen bar and Cosgrove guarantees that a fun fair will also be in place. The event will begin at 2pm and acts will perform until 11.30pm that night, with Cosgrove commenting that “students are getting great value for the price of the ticket.” Unlike previous years, no early bird tickets will be on sale. Tickets will only be available
2nd year students Eoin Corby & Eoghan Kelliher enjoying last year’s UCD Ball.
It promises to be Europe’s biggest private party, there is a real buzz around it this year and I think it has come to the point that it is going to sell out in record time.” ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
from two locations, the Student Union shop located under the library and from ucdents.com. Tickets will be on sale from noon on Wednesday, March 30th. Barcoded tickets that students were able to print themselves were used last year, however Cosgrove explained to The College Tribune that this would not be the case this year, “we are keeping it simple, there will be physical tickets that will be unique and will not be able to copy.” Students who choose to purchase their tickets online will be able to collect them from a box office in the student centre in the days leading up to the event. “We have been delighted with the response so far, the event for the Ball on Facebook has over 6,000 people confirmed attending and
it promises to be Europe’s biggest private party, there is a real buzz around it this year and I think it has come to the point that it is going to sell out in record time.” “We are also looking at doing merchandise for the event this year so people can remember the day,
we are looking into the feasibility and the costs of it at the moment but it’s looking good,” added Cosgrove. Dublin radio station Spin 1038 are also expected to broadcast live from the ball throughout the day. UCD Ents have a number of
other events organised this week, including working in conjunction with the UCD Jazz Society on UCD’s first ever Jazz week. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Tickets are available from www.ucdents.com
www.collegetribune.ie | 3
Merville Resident Wins Car on Facebook
Donie O’ Sullivan
• Second year Arts student wins a brand new Chevrolet. • Campus wide campaign guaranteed success.
A UCD student has been awarded a brand new Chevrolet car after his success in a nationwide competition on Facebook. Chevrolet Ireland organised a
competition through their Facebook page that involved people across the country repeating the car manufacture’s advertising campaign slogan in personal video
recordings. The videos were then uploaded online and Facebook members were asked to vote for their favourite. Seán Ryan McCaffrey, a second
year Arts student from County Monaghan, was recorded repeating the slogan when a Chevrolet Ireland promotion team visited the UCD campus last month. McCaf-
frey and his friend Jonathan Harkin, from County Donegal, then organised an extensive campaign to attract votes for their video. “It all started off as a bit of craic,” said Seán, “but after a Facebook status from Chevrolet said I was in the lead we decided we might as well just go for it and for two weeks we didn’t go to class, we didn’t do our essays, we did nothing but try and get votes.” Each Facebook member could only vote once in the competition, so in order to ensure victory, McCaffrey admitted, “we sat in the Arts block with our laptops and asked people to come over, sign in and vote for the video right there cause we knew then they definitely voted.” McCaffrey also told The College Tribune, “we visited every apartment on campus at night and got everyone to vote for us.” The competition was due to last for two weeks before voting closed, however this was extended to three weeks when it emerged that one of the candidates had cheated. “They found out a girl was buying votes from Pakistan, she set up a profile online saying she needed 2,000 votes from companies that
were bidding on it,” explained McCaffrey. The contestant was subsequently disqualified. McCaffrey was announced the winner of the competition on 2nd March, and the car was subsequently delivered to his Merville residence. It is understood that he beat approximately fifty other candidates and won by almost 90% of the vote. “It was unbelievable when the car pulled into Merville, I will never forget it, we were so delighted that all the hard work had paid off.” “I would really like to thank everyone who voted and helped out in the campaign, it was really brilliant” said McCaffrey. When asked had he any tips for UCD Students’ Union Sabbatical candidates in running their election campaigns he laughed and said, “ I have been approached by people to ask to help out in their election campaigns.” “The only thing I could say is get out there, you just have to do it, and explain to people clearly what you want to do and what you are about. We were surprised by and delighted with the number of people who helped us out.”
SU President Standing in Seanad Éireann Election _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Paul Lynam, UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) President is running in the upcoming Seanad Éireann election within the National University of Ireland (NUI) constituency. The former UCD Education Officer is standing as a non-party candidate. On choosing to run for a seat within the second house of the Oireachtas, the Dundrum native said, “We need to start again as a country. Crisis can bring out the best in people and I think if we have only the same old faces, the mistakes of the past will just be repeated. We have to have new energy and new ideas put forward.” “I want to be at the table for those who feel there is no voice for them out there, for those who are going to be looking for jobs in the next few years.” Lynam hopes the experiences of his time within UCDSU and his
4 | www.collegetribune.ie
work with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will stand by him in his campaign. “I don’t think there’s necessarily a qualification, but I have pretty good experience.” “I want to make sure the decisions made in the next 5 years are not done just to serve the current status quo. We need a shake-up in Irish politics and I want to make sure that the decisions made help [you and I] get jobs in the future. I’m sick and tired of going to ‘going away parties’ because people have no option but to leave Ireland.” “If I am elected Senator, the student movement is going to have someone exactly where they are in terms of fees, in terms of grants, in terms of graduate unemployment…” With the newly elected Fine Gael–Labour coalition committed
to reform, if not the abolition of the Senate, Mr Lynam may be part of the last ever Seanad Éireann if elected. However, the current UCDSU President stressed that the Seanad had an important role to play within Irish politics. “In this Oireachtas more than any other, the Seanad has an important role. Look at this Oireachtas, with a ruling majority the biggest in the history of the state, coupled with a disjointed opposition. Every bit of legislation has to go through the Seanad, I am going to look at every bit of legislation and vote for what is in the best interest of the Irish people.” Lynam stressed that there was no conflict arising between his Senate campaign and role as UCDSU President, a position he will hold until his contract runs out on the June 30th. Voting within the NUI constituency closes on
27th of April, however Lynam pointed out that the Senate rises for a formal meeting at the end of May before beginning its summer recess. On the question of his campaign standing in the way of fulfilment of his duties to the students of UCD, the NUI candidate pointed out “The campaign is really only going to be 2-3 week long, the same as a sabbatical or USI campaign, and I will be taking holidays accordingly. There is no conflict arising.” Every person who is a citizen of Ireland and has received a degree in the National University of Ireland is entitled to be registered as an elector in the NUI register of electors. 27 candidates will contest the election, which will be held by postal ballot. Ballot papers were issued this Monday, 21st of March.
UCD Students' Union Election 2011 PREVIEW
www.collegetribune.ie | 5
Polling Day Looms for Sabbat Candidates
Donie O’ Sullivan
Continued from page 1
will take up their positions at the beginning of July 2011 and will be paid a salary of €400 a week. There are seven female candidates running in the UCDSU elections, and an all female contest for the Welfare Officer position should guarantee there will be a female sabbatical officer for the first time since 2007/08, provided that RON (reopen nominations) doesn’t win. Originally sixteen candidates nominations were accepted however, Áine Gilhooly, a prospective Education Officer candidate was subsequently told she was not eligible to run for the position. Gilhooly’s nomination was handed to the SU Returning Officer at, rather than before, 6pm on 3rd March – the nominations deadline. Although her nomination was originally accepted, Sam Geoghegan, who is also running for the position of Education Officer,
6 | www.collegetribune.ie
appealed the decision. The Independent Appeals Board subsequently ruled that Gilhooly was not eligible to run. Pat de Brún, the current UCDSU Campaigns and Communications Officer, is the only member of this year’s current sabbatical team seeking re-election, with Paul Lynam, current UCDSU President, vying for a seat in the Seanad, and current UCDSU Welfare Officer, Scott Ahearn, elected to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). De Brún’s election campaign will be managed by James Williamson, the current UCDSU Education Officer. De Brún, who is currently on a sabbatical from his Law with Politics course, told The College Tribune that he hopes it will be a good-spirited campaign. “I’m really looking forward to getting started with the campaign. I’m delighted that there are a few people running as it adds spice to the campaign and it means that
whoever wins will have a great mandate. I would like to wish Lorcan and Brendan the best of luck and hopefully we can have an election in good spirits, as we are all here for the same reason at the end of the day, and that is to represent students to the best of our abilities.” De Brún lists a SU constitutional review, lowering the cost of resit fees and introducing a 10% pay cut for Sabbatical Officers as some of his main priorities. Brendan Lannoye, a twenty year old History and Politics student is using “fight the clique” as his campaign slogan and claims he can save the SU €296,940 if elected. Almost half of this would come from disaffilation from USI, which he proposes be put to a referendum. “I’m running to give people a real alternative to ‘The Clique’. The prospect of an SU which is run with students as its number one priority excites the hell out of me,
and from what I’ve been hearing on campus, it excites students too.” Lorcan Gray, who will be turning twenty next week, is an activist with the organisation Free Education for Everyone (FEE) studying History and Greek and Roman civilization student. Gray, who is the current Auditor of the Socialist Worker Student Society on campus, criticizes the current Students’ Union stating that “deals are made behind closed doors, without any input by the students of UCD.” Similar to the stance being taken by Lannoye, he also accuses the SU of being a “clique’, although he disagree with disaffiliation from USI. Both Lannoye and Gray have pledged to donate €100 of their weekly salary to the SU Welfare fund if elected. Three candidates are running for the position of Campaigns and Communications Officer, Brendan Lacey, the current SU Sports Officer, Emma Fortune, the current SU Business Officer, and Suzanne
Lee, a FEE activist. All three candidates offer different proposals on how to improve the class-rep system as well as reducing the cost of the class-rep training which cost over €10,000 last September. Sam Geoghegan, an Economics and Politics student, and Jen Fox, a third year Archaeology student, are running for the position of Education Officer. Although disqualified candidate Áine Gilhooly has not launched a re-open nominations campaign, a “Vote RON for Education” page on Facebook has attracted almost two-hundred members. Rachel Breslin and Lorna Danaher, second year Business and Law students, along with Regina Brady, a second year commerce student, will contest the Welfare position. All three candidates propose new ways of raising money for the Welfare fund and among the more innovative of ideas include Breslin’s
proposal for “pay later” service for students using taxis, as well creating a “safe space” in Dublin city centre, Danaher’s proposal for a Welfare tent on residences during move in week and Brady’s promise of a 25% discount deal with a nearby Taxi company. Four candidates are running for Entertainment Officer, Robert Manning, Edel Ní Churraoin, Stephen Darcy and Darragh Kinsella. Some of their more interesting proposals include allowing students to camp over at the UCD Ball, a Freshers’ Ball in a marquee on campus, and the introduction of more non-alcohol related Ents events. Polling stations will be open across campus next Wednesday and Thursday. If voters do not find any of the candidates running for a particular position satisfactory, they can vote RON (re-open nominations).
Student Union Elections
Gilhooly Elimination Against SU Constitution
It has come to the attention of The College Tribune that the act to remove Áine Gilhooly from the UCD Students’ Union (SU) Election to become Education Officer was in breach of UCD Students’ Union constitution as notice of the appeal was not appropriately advertised on the UCDSU website. Ms. Gilhooly was eliminated from the race to become Education Officer of the SU for the 2011/2012 academic year after she was deemed to have entered her nomination form approximately 50 seconds after the six o’clock (pm) deadline. Originally however, Ms. Gilhooly’s nomination form had been taken by the Returning Officer, Mr. Morgan Shelly. However Ms. Gilhooly’s nomination was subsequently appealed by Sam Geoghegan, a candidate in the SU Education election, and Ciarán Murphy to the Independent Appeals Board (IAB). Members of the IAB, which include Leo Mangan (Chairperson), Paul Lynam (Students’ Union President), Patrick O’Flynn (Chief Returning Officer), Brian Hutchinson, Morgan Shelly (Returning Officer) and David Carmody (Senior Administrative Officer Student Services). For the appeal in question however, Mr. Shelly and Mr. O’Flynn were not present. The appeal, which took place on March 10th, ruled that Ms. Gilhooly’s nomination could not
be accepted as it was submitted after 6:00:01pm. The IAB ruling noted that Ms. Gilhooly’s form was handed in before 6:00:59pm, but that this broke the nomination deadline. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Notice of the date of the meeting shall be published on the Union website, and such notice shall contain details of the appeal in question and shall invite submissions relevant to the appeal.
However the College Tribune believes that the IAB were in breach of article eighteen, section eight, part (v) of the Students’ Union constitution in relation to the IAB calling a meeting to discuss an appeal. The constitution states, “Notice of the date of the meeting shall be published on the Union website, and such notice shall contain details of the appeal in question and shall invite submissions relevant to the appeal. Any such submissions shall be in writing and must be received by the secretary not less than two days prior to the meeting.” When examining the UCD Students’ Union website for the notice demanded by the SU’s own constitution on Friday 18th March, over a week after the appeal was heard,
the information was still not visible for public display. The College Tribune attempted to make contact with the IAB, however no contact was received before the time of print. The fallout from the elimination has led to the resignation of Ms. Gilhooly as Chair of Council, and several former Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers have since contacted the College Tribune expressing their anger and surprise at the treatment of Ms. Gilhooly. Mr. Sam Geoghegan and Jen Fox are the sole candidates remaining in the election, though a push for a RON (re-open nomination) vote is being made by certain students on campus, with a campaign being launched on social networking website, Facebook, however Ms. Gilhooly has stated she has no involvement. A spokesperson for the RON campaign, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that “the choice which students should have had, would be between four candidates, now they are left with just one due to technicalities, no one deserves to win this election by default. As a result, we shall be canvassing campus wide, asking students to Vote RON for Education. We can reassure students that they will indeed have an Education Officer next year if RON wins, as the election shall take place alongside the Executive Elections in a couple of weeks time.”
Sabbat Pay - An Election Issue
Timothy Potenz • With several UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) candidates promising to reduce Sabbatical Officer pay, Timothy Potenz investigates how the issue of sabbatical officers’ salary is affecting the UCDSU Elections
It appears that this year’s fashionable action in the UCD Students’ Union election is for candidates to propose a reduction in the pay of Sabbatical Officers. After examining Students’ Unions across the country, it is the University of Limerick (UL) that leads the way in paying Sabbatical Officers. At present, they are the best paid in the country on €420 a week - €20 more than the current UCDSU weekly pay. Meanwhile, DCU pay their officers €360 a week. Officers in UCC receive €350, while Trinity College Dublin provide a salary of only €305 a week. In terms of yearly pay, this
amounts to €15,000 a year for Trinity officers, around €18,000 for UCC and DCU, €20,000 for UCD and €22,000 for UL. “It’s a minimal salary,” commented Ruan McLoughlin, the President of the UL Students’ Union, while Keith O’Brien, President of UCC’s Union, believes his wage is “not sizeable.” Pat de Brún, current UCDSU Campaigns and Communications Officer and Presidential Candidate is proposing a 10% cut to all Sabbats pay, reducing it by €40 a week. However de Brún did comment on the importance of the work done by Sabbatical Officers, “The pay is generally justified by
the very important work done by the sabbatical officers,” he reasoned. “It is not uncommon for us to be working late in the evening and a huge level of responsibility lies on the officers.” Every SU officer interviewed for this article quotes working a 40 hour week minimum, and more often than not the work continues after they leave the office. “It’s not a nine to five job,” comments Ruan McLoughlin of UL. “If I’m out in the town or having lunch with a friend and happen to meet someone with a query, request, suggestion or anything, I have to put down what I’m doing and get to work.”
“Nothing justifies the amount of money they get paid,” is the opinion of Lorcan Gray, a Presidential candidate in the UCDSU elections. UL is the only university that recalls candidates offering a substantial pay cut to their salaries as part of their campaign package. This year, a year when TD’s are calling for pay decreases and ministerial cars and foreign trips are being stripped away, several UCD candidates are likewise raising the issue. Gray and Brendan Lannoye, another Presidential candidate, are taking another route, both pledging to place €100 of their money into the welfare fund.
Suzanne Lee, the only non-Presidential candidate to raise the issue of Sabbatical pay in her manifesto proposes a 25% cut. “Officers are supposed to be representing students, do you know any students who earn that amount of money?” she commented. Other officers in the country are of the opinion that the wage needs to be higher than that of the average student salary. “You need to attract the best people to the job,” believes Tom Lowe of Trinity College Students’ Union. “Higher wages bring better candidates.” “The incentive should not come from the money,” says Lannoye.
“It should be a vocation, with candidates running with an interest in making a difference. Yes, they have to be paid so that they can live, but that shouldn’t be the reason they run.” Gray is of similar sentiment, stating that the officers “have done little or nothing to deserve the wage.” Lee believes that high pay is detrimental to the image of Sabbatical Officers, however de Brún is not of the same opinion. “I don’t believe the salary creates much of an image problem for the sabbats to be honest, most people are satisfied with the amount of work that goes into the jobs.”
www.collegetribune.ie | 7
PRESIDENT Candidates Pat De Brún
Colman Hanley _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________
Student Union Elections
Sinead Williams & Michael Phoenix
Carlow native Pat de Brún is only the Presidential candidate in this election constituency who has a current position within the Students’ Union, being the current Students’ Union Campaign and Communications (C&C) Officer. De Brún has many plans to improve the Students’ Union at all Sabbatical levels, with the implementation of a Beer Garden (Ents), the aim of reducing re-sit fees (Education), the introduction of an online ‘Anonymous Personal Case’ system (Welfare), and constant lobbying and protesting in relation to third level fees (C&C) being some of the plans of the Presidential hopeful. A review of the Students’ Union constitution is one of the main aims of de Brún, and even though the constitution will be up for review anyway, he wishes to make the consultation process as wide ranging as possible. “I don’t want it to be just a few of us down in the office writing the constitution as we see fit, but that it be a proper consultation process with student and with past people from other students’ unions.” Asked whether this change of constitution would be the main part of his year and take up most of his time, de Brún believed that he would like to see it being a “collective” effort from people, and cited how effective former President Ciara Brennan was in reviewing the constitution and therefore would not be too time consuming. Following his commitment to take a 10% pay cut in pay (€40) if elected, de Brún was asked that since the country in economic ruin for over a year now, was a pay cut not something that should have occurred last year. “It’s something which is at the disgression of the IAB which the President sits on, and is not an issue for a Vice-President,” answered de Brún, who continued, “it would have been inappropriate of me to put it in as a Vice-President.” On the topic of UCD’s affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), de Brún is in support of maintaining the link between both organisations. Citing a previous referendum on the matter back in the last decade, de Brún feels that UCD get value for money for the USI membership that it receives, adding that it is something that is “easy to pick on and say why don’t we all meet up, all the Presidents and Sabbats, but I see the work that the full-time paid officers of USI do and it is valuable and necessary.” De Brún also hopes to introduce more work experience opportunities to UCD students as he stated that UCD lies way behind other NUI’s across the country in terms of providing useful and practical job experience to students. He hopes that if elected, that students will be able to access more opportunities next year. The experience of candidates running for President is an issue which divides many voters as it raises the question of whether an experienced candidate, like de Brún, is more suitable to the position in comparison to his opponents who have no little or no experience within the Union, but could add freshness to the SU. De Brún was quick to express his delight at the numbers running not only for the Presidency, but also in the whole election. “I can’t remember who it was, but someone said to me that the more people are talking about the Union and getting involved the better.” However on the issue of whether experience mattered, de Brún highlighted his time spent as C&C Officer for the past year and the work he has put in to date as two major reasons why he was superior to his less experienced opponents.
8 | www.collegetribune.ie
Second year Arts student Lorcan Gray is running for UCDSU President on a strongly leftwing ticket, and intends to take a €100 weekly wage cut if elected. The FEE (Free Education for Everyone) activist hopes to “open the lid on the union” - an institution he views as “completely stagnant and doing nothing to fight for students. It has become a service provider and not the political entity it was established to be.” Despite his strong political ties as auditor of the Socialist Workers Student Society and UCD’s FEE branch secretary, Mr Gray maintained that if elected, he would leave personal politics behind and transform the union from “a recruiting ground for Fianna Fail.” “I’d be going in as a fee candidate. There are people who want to become career politicians, who want to become future TDs. I want to go in on a mandate, on the basis of free education.” The FEE activist wants to bring the union back to the people through his presidency. One of his major plans is to introduce mass student assemblies for key decisions within the union, claiming it is “the most democratic way of doing things, bringing students together to make the decision. If we wanted to launch a protest… we could argue the case, and everyone would be able to decide, this is our union, and this is what we are going to do.” With a history of involvement in direct action, Lorcan hopes to do away with token gesture campaigns of previous union teams, in favour of more robust methods of communicating the views of the student body. “40 000 people in November was incredible. It just shows what can be done. We need to get people back out into the streets.” A perceived weakness in Gray’s campaign may be that he has never attended SU Council or been a class rep. However, the Arts student believes his political experience to be preferable to the union experience offered by other candidates. “I know how political activism works and I know how to bring that to the union, how to mobilise students.” If elected, Lorcan plans to hold class rep training on campus, and highlights a major problem within the class rep system. “Class reps aren’t political. It’s the job of the sabbats to come from meetings with the administration and tell the class reps what has happened. The class reps must then go to their classes and try and get feedback, if that doesn’t happen there is a breakdown in communication.” He also points out, “If you don’t like the bar, you don’t like nightclubs, what does your class rep do for you?” He hopes to change the system for the better. Studying History and Greek and Roman Civilisation, Lorcan believes it is time the Union changed the way it operates with the university, claiming “the union at the moment is in the pocket of the university.” He hopes as President to be able to instigate a change in attitude of the student body on the relationship. “It [UCD] has become a business, a logo - ‘brand UCD’, more about profits than getting an education. I want to change that. As president I would try to inform students as to what’s happening. I cannot change it on my own.” Lorcan is in favour of maintaining UCD’s link with the USI, however he concedes that the national student body has lost touch with its original purpose. He believes he could work effectively with any sabbatical team, despite his seemingly inflexible left wing stance. “I would attempt to work as effectively as I could. There is no harm in having conflicting ideas.”
Brendan Lannoye wants to “fight the clique,” a problem he maintains is endemic in the Students’ Union. A second year history and politics student, Brendan has no experience as a class rep or an executive officer within the SU. This, he suggests, is to his advantage. “I think one of the biggest problems for the Students’ Union at the moment is that people who are in decision making roles... have social ties and social connections to other members of the union, they have social responsibilities towards themselves,” he said. “I would be an outsider, a fresh face, I wouldn’t have these kinds of limitations on me, and while I have plenty of experience in leadership...I have the capability of coming in from an outside perspective and taking a completely new look [at] things,” he added. A notable feature of Brendan’s proposals are his plans to revamp the Students’ Union, particularly in financial terms. His proposals include a cut in expenses of about €300,000, although almost half of this is based on UCD students voting to disaffiliate with USI. The savings would fund reductions in doctors’ fees, student travel card charges, and re-sit fees, amongst other things. In alliance with many other candidates, Brendan proposes a personal wage cut of €5,200 or 25% (€100 a week), while the cut in other Sabbats’ wages would be subject to each Sabbat’s living expenses for the year. Sabbats who live in Dublin would be encouraged to take a 25% cut. Savings made would be pumped into the Student Welfare Fund. Furthermore, Brendan says that election costs should be reduced. “We currently spend €37,500 on elections, on paying polling staff and using a paper ballot system... that’s €10 euro an hour, people [are] making about €100 a day. When you compare [that] to other colleges, they use online voting systems...I know you have to invest in an initial fixed cost to ensure that they are accountable and safe, but you could save a huge amount of money.” Brendan proposes that USI membership, at a cost of €125,000 annually to students, be put to referendum. “USI has benefits for UCD students...they have had some achievements and successes in terms of lobbying the government and such. At the same time there are about a dozen officers in the USI, and we pay their salaries directly. They are not directly elected by UCD students and, to be honest, after talking to so many people on the UCD campus, the people that the USI are supposed to be representing, most students don’t know who they are, what they are doing. While they do have some benefits, for us to pay a little less than a sixth of our budget, as released by the SU this year, for something that most students don’t know [anything about], seems ludicrous to me.” Many of Brendan’s proposals are focused on internal cost cutting by the union itself, to the benefit of students. “Now, more than ever, you cannot have a disincentive or a burden for people to go to college. The only way our economy is to grow again is with smarter jobs...we’re going to get out of the current economic mess with research and development, with smarter jobs and with bright minds coming out of our universities. We cannot have any potential students being turned away because they don’t have the money for it...[T]hat would be a huge priority for me, to make sure that the burden on students is as low as possible.” Another proposal involves a cap on Union members profiting privately from Union-run night club events, a proposal particularly aimed towards the position of Ents Officer. Brendan suggests making this position permanent. “I would strongly encourage having a permanent position for the Ents Officer, whereby the person who is in charge of it is employed on a contract basis...[It] has been a trend in the past few years, [where] the Ents officer has had too much power, and has had the ability [to], in fact, gain...from his position within the Union on a monetary basis. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but it is certainly something that I would make sure would not happen if I was to be elected President.” Other proposals include barriers at UCD car parks which are activated by student cards, as well as free hot water and more microwaves. The idea of a campus off-licence, run from the bar, is another part of Brendan’s manifesto. “If you look at Trinity...they effectively have an off-licence on campus and it works very well for them. We don’t see a huge difference between the drinking habits of UCD students and Trinity students with regards to their off-licence. At the same time, we do see... that for a Trinity student to buy alcohol... that cost is much lower, because that off-licence is working on a minimum cost basis... [I]n terms of the regulations I would have it that no products from the off-licence could be sold after 6pm,” he said. Brendan’s manifesto also highlights plans to partially charge class reps for their own training, and a tightening of the regulations in relation to the SU emergency welfare fund. Brendan, who works in a nursing home part– time, also supports “a vibrant campaign to defend student nurses’ wages.” I ask Brendan if he is the alternative candidate for presidency. “I am the more alternative candidate compared to the more conventional candidate. There has been a trend for more SU-involved people to go for sabbatical office....I think I provide a mainstream alternative to [the other choices] being proposed. Certainly, I would be looking to shake things up significantly.” “I think the fact that I am representing a voice that has been in existence for so long, that has never been heard, especially in the presidential race, it gives me a huge amount of sway. To use a quote, there is ‘the great sleeping majority’ in UCD at the moment.”
Student Union Elections
Donie O’ Sullivan
Donie O’ Sullivan
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Jen Fox believes she is the best candidate for Education Officer; “I have the passion and the drive for it, I’m very excited about the whole thing. I know my stuff, I work very hard and I will do the best that I can.” The 21 year old from Dundalk lists preventing an increase in the registration fee as one of her main priorities, “I want to make sure they [Fine Gael/Labour] don’t increase it. They [Labour] promised they wouldn’t increase it by 500 and I would lobby them to make sure they keep that promise.” Fox also says a more efficient grant application and distribution is necessary and would work hard to ensure that provisions in the recently passed Student Support Act will come into place effectively. As well as hoping to improve wirelesses facilities in the library and ensuring that Sunday opening hours are maintained, Ms. Fox has a number of new initiatives that she would like to introduce. “I want to set up orientation registration workshops, cause some people have a hard time registering and have I would like to set up the workshops to be run by students who understand the process and understand and what other students are going through.” The archaeology student also wants to provide workshops for essay writing, “it can be daunting when you first come into college and have to write essays for the first time.” Over the course of The College Tribune election interviews last week a number of sabbatical candidates expressed their belief that Ms. Fox would drop out of the race, when this was put to her she responded, “No I am not dropping out, I’m definitely in it.” On Saturday afternoon all candidates took part in the annual SU election poster race, however neither Ms. Fox nor her campaign team were present. “I wasn’t there because I was very sick, I was trying to get people there, but because I wasn’t around they didn’t know what the story was,” she explained. When asked did this reflect badly on her organisational skills, Ms. Fox responded, “people were working because it was a Saturday, you can’t expect people to take off work, I have great organisational abilities, it was just unfortunate that I was ill.” In the manifesto of the sole female candidate seeking the position of Education Officer, somewhat playfully, it states that although the position of Education Officer may be the “most boring job on the planet,” Ms. Fox would be the best candidate for the position. If elected, the Dundalk born student said she would like “to try and make the Students’ Union more visible, and get more posters up around the place.” When asked did she think posters were an effective way of communicating with students she responded, “yes they are because people look at them.” Ms. Fox also stated that she would also like to increase the amount of office hours that the Education Officer is available to talk to students directly and, if elected, would hope to publish her weekly schedule online.
Sam Geoghegan, a twenty year old Economics and Politics student believes he is the best candidate for the position of Education Officer as he is “hard working, honest, perhaps too honest, and very organised.” Geoghegan, from Killiney in Dublin, hopes to continue on from the work of both current UCDSU and USI campaigns. One of his main election promises is to deliver a 24 hour study area for the Christmas exam period, “there is going to be a study area in the new student centre, but that isn’t opening until January. I want to make the Rendez-Vous, under the restaurant, a 24 hour study area for the three week period of the Christmas exams in December.” Geoghegan also wants to set up a program whereby UCD students would be hired by the university itself, “USI have a plan for fellowships in Irish universities, we are falling behind compared to the rest of the world in employing students, I want to see students being employed in the library and in the Tierney building.” One of Geoghegan’s more innovative ideas is the introduction of an elective expo at the start of term where students could lear about various different modules that could help them choose what elective to study. The twenty year old also wants to introduce a text messaging service to alert students of cancelled lectures, although he does admit he has not looked into how financially feasible such a system would be. He also has some ideas to improve the SU, “I think the class-reps don’t represent students that well.” Speaking about the class rep training weekend he said “you are given the itinerary and you think, woah, there is loads of work. Although there is a lot of work done over the weekend I think there is a lot of room for more to be done.” “If the class reps are trained well and can help their class any money spent on the training weekend would be worth it,” he added. When asked if he thought the Union was accessible to students, he said “there is always going to be a clique in every society and I don’t think you will ever be able to break it, but it does promote camaraderie. However I do think the Union could be made a bit more open, but I’m not sure how.” Geoghegan also promises to work to replace the current UCD email client with Gmail and would ensure that provisions in the Student Support Bill to make the grant system less complicated are followed through. When asked what if he had any weaknesses, he responded, “I am too honest, I do have a big mouth, that I suppose was highlighted by the Observer interview [where he called Áine Gilhooly ‘emotional].”
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Who will serve these students as education officer next year?
www.collegetribune.ie | 9
Student Union Elections
Second year B & L student and union hopeful Brendan Lacey hopes to rejuvenate campaigns and revolutionise communication within UCD’s Student Union. The current Sports Officer brings a wealth of union experience to the race. “I’ve been an active part of the union and worked heavily with the USI on national campaigns. I’ve been here, I’ve seen it, I know how to make it work.” In light of the increasing perception of the union as a ‘clique’, Brendan hoped that his union background wouldn’t hinder his campaign. “Part of my experience is in bringing new people into the union, something I know I achieved as Sports Officer this year. I have a successful track record in opening the doors of the union.” The 22 year old hopes to combine this experience with new and workable ideas if elected and to find “alternative ways of solving existing problems.” One such problem is that of parking in UCD. As opposed to introducing an expensive parking monitoring system, Brendan hopes to extend the Dublin Bus scheme to UCD, and provide better facilities such as showers and CCTV at bike shelters to encourage more people to leave their cars at home when coming to college. Lacey criticised the union as being “brilliant at getting stuff done, but terrible at telling people about it”, and has been in talks with developers in the hope of creating a smart phone app for UCDSU to let people know what’s going on. As not all students have smart phones, however, Brendan also hopes to revamp the UCDSU website, describing its current condition as “dire” despite the fact that over ten thousand euro was spent on its creation. Brendan hopes to create a more accountable union, starting at its roots with class reps. “We need to set goals for class reps and helping them achieve them. We need to train them better so they can be better. That’s why I’d have the class rep handbook.” The C & C candidate has specific plans to cut the expense of class rep training, hoping to come to an agreement with another college to swap facilities and thus preserve the off campus tradition of the training, which he considers worth preserving. Despite having a clear idea of where he wants to take the role of C & C Officer if elected, the Tallaght native believes he will retain the ability to be flexible in dealing with potential challenges under the new government, despite conceding that his biggest weakness may be being too headstrong at times. “My job is to come up with effective campaigns. I am completely flexible, although I have my own agenda with things I intend to campaign for, rather than waiting before issues become too big and too public to do anything about.” Brendan hopes to make use of the college media to draw more students into future campaigns. When asked for his opinion on the success of this years C & C effort, he replied: “I think Pat did a great job, I don’t think you can criticise him for what he did; but I think we can become a lot more pro-active...[W]aiting for the fight to [arrive] on our doorstep isn’t good enough anymore.” When asked for his views on the potential use of direct action, the former class rep put forth his opinion that such action “needs to be well planned, organised, and part of a bigger campaign. What happened on the fourth of November [was] not acceptable. Break off actions put [students] in danger and take away from the main message, that’s not the way forward.”
Suzanne Lee is running for Campaigns and Communications, bringing some interesting proposals to the election campaign. Suzanne’s experience and enthusiasm for activism are amongst her strong points. Controversially, her manifesto highlights her involvement with campaigns for the legalisation of cannabis and her work with Free Education for Everyone (FEE). Suzanne, a mathematical science student, has been involved in raising awareness of women’s rights and social equality, campaigning with Choice Ireland and the Revolutionary Anarcha–Feminist Group. She has worked with other campaigns such as Shell to Sea, Seomra Spraoi, the legalisation of cannabis, and Anti–Fascist Action. Furthermore, she is the national treasurer of FEE, an organization which campaigns for the abolition of the registration fee, and rejects any rise in current fees. FEE’s tactics include blockading T.D’s, notably the blockade of Brian Lenihan at UCD in 2008. Subsequently, they caught the attention of national media during their occupation of the Department of Finance in 2009 and again with their involvement in the clash with Gardaí during the student protests last November. Suzanne herself was one of the students who gained access to the Department of Finance on that occasion. She expressed her strong condemnation of Garda involvement during the episode, and after the USI’s statement on the incident, Suzanne called for the resignation of USI President Gary Redmond. I asked Suzanne about her opinion of the current Students’ Union. “I think that when you go to them with individual problems, they are grand...but when it comes to campaigns they just don’t know what they are doing....I propose more marches, proper direct action...like occupations.” In relation to the legalisation of all drugs, a position Suzanne supports, I ask if such an opinion would affect future drug-related campaigns in UCD. “Telling people to say ‘no’ to drugs..sounds very patronising. It takes away their choice to decide what they want to do, I would campaign more for an informed choice rather than ‘ just say no.’ You are an adult now, you should be able to make that decision, rather than people putting legislation down your throat,” said Suzanne. Suzanne proposes a 25% cut in her own wages, the proceeds of which would benefit the Welfare Fund. She would encourage her fellow officers to do the same. “The sabbatical team get paid twice what I earned when I worked in the civil service... when you take €100 off their salary that works out at minimum wage for a full time job, which is how I calculated it, because most students here will be on minimum wage.” Suzanne promises an innovative approach to awareness weeks, where “more relevant and useful information is circulated and each week has a fresh approach,” she said in her manifesto. In relation to enhancing communication between the Union and the students, Suzanne proposes the distribution around campus of a weekly newsletter containing reports from the Union officials. Citing a hike in the registration fees and a reduction in the grant as the most important issues facing students, Suzanne also wants to reduce the current class rep training programme, “an all expenses-paid piss-up for a small minority”, in favour of redirecting the funds to “benefit the whole student body,” she said. Other proposals include reducing the re-sit fee and green initiatives, including an on–campus garden and an easier system for accessing society status.
10 | www.collegetribune.ie
Former class rep and current business programme officer, 21-year-old Commerce student Emma Fortune is one of three candidates for the post of Campaigns and Communications. With a campaign founded with the intention to revolutionise how the union communicates with the students of UCD, in order to facilitate better campaigns, Emma hopes her creative approach will set her apart in the race to “face the unknown” as C & C officer. She plans to work with CTN to introduce a weekly web show – ‘Big on Campus’ – to promote campaigns within UCD at an early enough stage for them to gain momentum among the student body, pointing to a similar programme which works successfully at UCC. Emma hopes to make use of UCD’s student media, along with completing development of a UCD smart phone app, in order to allow students’ constant access to the union’s campaign plans. The often maligned UCD website would be altered, as Fortune cites examples of more effective sites at NUIG and QUB. However she refused to commit herself to a complete revamp of the expensive project. In an attempt to make campaigns within UCD more open and effective, if elected Emma intends to create a trained lobbyist group made up of UCD students situated to take a pro-active approach to campaigns. Anyone would be able to join the group, which would become the driving force behind the lobbying of government to ensure student rights continue to be protected and that politicians keep their election promises. Emma could not provide an answer to the problem of the expense of class rep training. She defended the work of class reps, however admitted that a more efficient means of training needed to be sought. “It really needs a more efficient way of doing it. It’s viewed as a big piss-up, but we do work hard at it.” The final year student has more concrete plans for the development of UCD residences. “I think we need to run campaigns within Res – for example, a ‘Back to Res’ campaign to create a home away from home.” If elected, the C & C candidate will aim to include off-campus students under the umbrella of the college’s protection through an ‘off-campus tenant’ campaign. Students would come to know their rights when dealing with landlords, often for the first time. She also hopes to be able to continue efforts to keep residence fees frozen. When asked what made her the best candidate for the role of campaigns and communications officer, Emma responded: “Although all the candidates are strong, I think I am very different to the others. I would take a much more creative approach - for example, in use of the student media. I would be able to get people involved on the ground. I have a lot of experience as an involved class rep and business programme officer.” An active player in the November march against fees, Emma is committed to continue the fight against an increase in the registration fee and the introduction of a graduate tax.
Student Union Elections
Regina Brady, for the first time, hesitates. “It’s a tough one. I think, of all of them, personal cases are the priority of the Welfare Officer. If one person didn’t commit suicide, if one person didn’t have a road accident, I think that would probably be the most achievement you could feel”. It was evidently a struggle to pick the most important aspect of a wide ranging and highly detailed manifesto, the main points of which the second year Commerce student is more than happy to summarise. “The first one I’d pick is the anonymous chat box that I want to set up on the SU website, because I think it’s probably the one thing that’s been lacking this year. Some people aren’t comfortable going up and talking to the Welfare Officer, so I want to give them an opportunity to ask personal questions. I’ve also made mental and physical health my priorities because they’re so important, especially as [it will be] an Olympic year. I think it’ll be a great chance to make physical health a really big thing in UCD”. There are tangible guarantees to back up these ideals: “I can promise the chat box, from talking to a web designer. I can also promise ‘healthy eating bonus points’ using the loyalty card system, and I’ve already arranged a 25% discount with KCR Taxis, who have said they’ll set up a text service for safety reasons. When they arrive, they’ll text you their registration number, taxi colour and driver name.” The UCDSU Women’s Officer cites her proven track record as an advantage in her campaign. “It’s always been Welfare for me. I think I’m the most experienced candidate. I’ve been involved in the Welfare crew for two years and I’ve also been an executive officer for a year. I think that having been an officer – and a class rep the year before – I know exactly how the union works. I’ve also been involved with the rape crisis centre, Women’s Aid, I ran the Ballygowan ‘Think Pink’ campaign. I’ve contacts built up and I know how to deal with organisations” The time spent in the system has given her an understanding of the practical necessities of the job, particularly funding. “I’d look into using fundraisers for the welfare fund. We always fundraise for charities, and I think we could do the same for the welfare fund. I’d look at sponsorship, and of course look at every single fund the university has, to try and raise more cash.” A crucial part of the Welfare Officer’s remit is having responsibility for the organisation of themed weeks, such as Welfare Week and S.H.A.G. Week. Are there improvements to be made there? “Yes, absolutely. I want to get feedback through class reps about what they feel are the most relevant talks and events to have”. Are class reps the best way of communicating with the student body? “Yes, but I also want to bring in Welfare reps. From being on the Welfare crew I can say that there are some buildings that were represented by a majority – Science in particular – but then there were two or three of us from Quinn... I think we need a Welfare rep in each building so you know the information is getting to every single building. I also want to look into bringing in a Welfare Res rep.” Improving the welfare presence on Res is a key point of Regina’s campaign. “I know [that] every year people promise to build a community spirit on Res, but what I plan to do is get in from the very start”. Any weaknesses? “I’m a very emotional person, which is why I think I’m suited to Welfare, but I would have to be very careful I didn’t take the job home”.
“I want to be the candidate that everyone can approach.” A key asset for a prospective Welfare officer, and Rachel Breslin is confident she fulfils that criteria. “A lot of Welfare is about oneon-one confidential issues. I want to be the one who can help everyone with their problems, and that’s my reason for running.” Aside from her personality, Rachel intends to bring tangible policies to the position. “My first issue is financial assistance. Things are only going to get harder for students. This year there has been a big increase in people going to the Welfare Officer for help, and with the cuts that are going to come in this will only get worse. I’ve concentrated...on new ways to get money into the funds, and new ways to get that money to students.” The second year Business and Law student has a plan for this. “We need to look at lobbying the Students’ Union, and the university themselves, to give us as much money as possible, but we also need to look at new ways of bringing money in. Businesses now are moving in the direction of corporate social responsibility, where they look to give back to the community around them. I think Welfare is such a worthy and important cause that we could contact businesses and look to get them involved. The Quinn school has a deal with HP, so we already have that connection. Companies sponsoring the registration fees of students who can’t afford it [could work] as well. That’s been tried in other colleges. Fundraising also hasn’t really been tried either. I think there is an adequate amount of funds, but we need to publicise them more. It’s something I feel really strongly about because I don’t think everyone knows about them, and you never know who might need them and not be aware of them. “I think the quickest and easiest way of doing that is through social media like Facebook.” Getting people involved in the Welfare crew is another of Breslin’s priorities. “I was in the Welfare crew this year, and I think it’s so advantageous because it [promotes] Welfare at grassroots level. You get information to areas that the Welfare Officer might not immediately reach, so I want to promote that anyone can join the Welfare crew, particularly first years. I wasn’t aware of many of the societies or Union groups, but everyone goes into the orientation tent at some stage.” Breslin agrees that Welfare events need a fresh approach. “It’s crucial that these events are student driven, for example the Mind Your Money week. That’s addressing an issue that directly affects students.” In addition, she suggests establishing Mental Health Mondays to carry the benefits of Welfare Week throughout the year. As a Res rep, Breslin is using her experiences to improve campus life. “I want to make Res reps available and accountable. The system needs to be more transparent and accountable to students.” Rachel is confident her other experiences, such as volunteering in sexual health groups in her native Donegal, community mental health groups, and working with UNICEF will give her the necessary campaigning experience to be an effective Welfare Officer. “I want to push the Welfare perspective on every issue. I think I’m unique in the view that Welfare should not get too involved with Ents. Ents has its own agenda, it has to make a profit, wheras Welfare is solely for the benefit of students.”Breslin has also promised to negotiate a ‘use now, pay later’ taxi scheme and work with Dublin businesses to introduce ‘safe zones’ where people can wait for collection after nights out. She is also proposing a system which posts condoms anonymously to students’ doors in a bid to promote sexual health.
“The problem with the Welfare Officer”, according to Lorna Danaher, “is that people often don’t see how useful it is until you need it yourself.” Publicising the benefits of the position is something that is becoming more pressing, according to the second year Business and Law student. “The main reason people go to see the Welfare Officer, in general, unless it’s for mental health issues, is funding. Everyone’s feeling it at the moment. As far as distribution is concerned, I don’t think Scott [Aherne, current Welfare officer] has done a bad job this year at all, although obviously I would work on bringing it to a much broader scale.” With finances squeezed everywhere and demands on the Welfare Fund increasing, Danaher is keen to stress her ability to hold her ground. “That’s more [of ] a personal quality in me, I think. I do debating and I feel I’d be good at handling those [funding] committees. I’m not going to let the university push us around and cut funding in crucial areas. “I’ve also talked to Scott and Viv Rath [former UCDSU Welfare officer] about other means of funding, including sponsorship. UCD campus is a massive market for companies, it’s about matching our business proposal to their corporate responsibility section. It should be achievable.” Of course, Welfare is not entirely about money. “Probably my favourite thing in my manifesto is the Welfare Tent. It’s for Res, but obviously anyone can go and sit in it if they like. It’s basically a chill out zone in the Res community.” What about Res in general? “I do think Res Life does lack community spirit,” responds Lorna, before cheerfully adding that she will “force everyone to be friends”. Welfare campaigns and awareness weeks have been criticised in the past, have they been effective? Danaher’s succinct answer was “No.” “There’s a lot of reasons why. Putting up posters and having talks that nobody goes to is pointless. Instead of having ‘weeks’, we should have campaigns. They could be day-long campaigns - Science Day works amazingly. I think we could put in half the effort they do, and it’d still be better than the weeks we get at the moment. “Running campaigns like, for example, my mental health Laugh Out Loud campaign, where you have loads of events, but make sure everyone on campus knows about it and actually wants to attend. That’s crucial.” “I think a lot of students don’t care enough about the talks. I want to educate through entertaining and maybe bring in someone like, and this is just an example, Gok Wan, while having someone from Bodywhys do an introduction to the talk - maybe getting the information across subliminally while people are there to see Gok Wan.” “I want to work better with the Ents Officer. People turn up to Ents events and, from this year, people don’t turn up to Welfare ones.” A unique element of Lorna’s manifesto refers to mature students. “I set out to put mature students in my manifesto, and I’ve spoken to a lot of them. They’re finding it very difficult to juggle work, college, families and so on. I think it’s important to try and bring mature students into the Union because they have more life experiences than we do. I feel we can learn a lot from them, as well as giving them a voice.” Danaher is also quick to emphasise her commitment to the position. “I’d be a Welfare Officer that you could call at ten o’clock at night and I’d be there. I don’t think it’s a 9-5 job, it’s a year-long position. Once I go into that office, I’m there until the end of my term”. “I think I’m a good person to listen to you and a good person to fight for you.”
www.collegetribune.ie | 11
Student Union Elections
Edel Ní Churraoin
Ents candidate Darragh ‘Ozzy’ Kinsella wants to bring a “breath of fresh air” to the position of Ents officer, as he feels that Ents has “become stale over the past three to four years”. Kinsella, who has never been involved with the Ents Crew or the SU, describes his lack of experience as a positive thing. He disagrees with the idea of his opponents’ experience with Ents giving them an advantage over him. “They’ll be thinking along the lines of what they’ve been doing for the last three to four years and it’ll just be the same thing again.” The second year Arts student says that he wants to improve UCD RAG Week, which he feels does not stand up to those in other colleges. Ideas for achieving this include setting up a carnival on-campus and having a 24-hour gig. These suggestions would have to be approved by UCD authorities, but Kinsella says that he “can’t see why there would be a problem”. An international mystery tour is also proposed, but it will depend on costs. The UCD Ball should be “the best event of the year” according to Kinsella, who refutes his opponents’ claims that his plan to introduce on-site camping to the event will not be feasible. He feels that UCD authorities will let him apply for the necessary planning permission “as it will be generating revenue for Ents.” Kinsella also hopes to revitalise the Student Bar, which he sees as “the sleeping giant of UCD”. He describes the current smoking area of the bar as “ridiculous” and says that a beer garden should be allowed to go ahead. As well as establishing a database to help class reps to organise class parties and trips, Kinsella promises to introduce an “Ents information crew” at the start of next year. This crew will provide students, particularly first years, with information on social events in the city. He also wants to encourage more people to get involved with the Ents crew, something he will actively promote throughout the year. “All year long anyone can come over to the office and sit down and have a chat with me. I’ll tell them what it’s all about... Ents is for everybody.” Transparency, which seems to be a motif of this year’s campaign, is important to Kinsella. He also wants the SU as a whole to be more transparent in how it operates. Kinsella says that he cannot see any reason why his lack of experience would hinder him. “They’re running the events, I’m going to the events. I know their flaws, I can pick them apart. I know what the people want... I can change it for the better.” Kinsella did admit that many students associate the Ents Crew with a reputation for drug use. He said that he did not know whether this perception had any basis, but he had heard people talking about it during his campaign so far. He maintained that if elected he would work on changing students’ the perception of students who have such a negative view of Ents.
Current Arts Programme Officer, Edel Ní Churraoin, launched her campaign on the back of having a wealth of experience and activity in UCD life having been heavily involved in Ents, Artsoc and Tradsoc, as well as serving as a class rep. When asked what made her the best candidate in the race, final year student Ní Churraoin pointed to her garnered familiarity with the Ents system, which would allow her to improve it. “I am one of the most experienced candidates. I have been involved in societies and have run events in the bar and for Res. I have been involved in all parts of UCD life, rather than just being a nightclub promoter, or just involved in societies.” The twenty year old is running with several strong ideas in mind. She stresses the importance of communicating what’s going on in Ents to the students of UCD, citing one of the biggest problems with the current system is that people just don’t know what’s going on. “I want an online Ents calendar, maybe including events from other societies. It’s not hard to do.” A resident of the Irish Language Housing Scheme in Merville, Ní Churraoin also hopes to have an Ents wall planner included in the freshers’ pack come September, as has been done successfully in the past, in order to allow for the restructuring of the problematic Ents texting system. One of the main problems with Ents amongst UCD students is that it’s perceived to be self serving amongst its crew members. If elected, Ní Churraoin would be committed to tackling any truth behind such a perception. “I would be in favour of showing an overall budget, that’s all we can do. An Ents budget cannot happen as that would break contract with artists.” Ní Churraoin also put forth her views on UCDSU officers promoting club nights on the side when questioned. “I would never run a club night whilst in a sabbatical position. I have been approached to do so as an executive officer and have refused it as I thought it would compromise my position.” The Conamara native hopes to create a working relationship between Ents and UCD’s societies, for the good of both. “I don’t agree with what people say about societies and Ents not being able to work side by side. If societies and Ents were to work together it would just mean bigger events … Ents can just give a helping hand, they have a bigger crew, they have more experience, and we are the only college where this doesn’t happen.” The psychology student also guarantees a late night club every Thursday night in UCD’s Student Bar, whilst she also hopes to capitalise on a fixed location for the 2012 UCD Ball to continue its improvement. However, she did not feel the camping set up proposed by other Ents candidates would work well, stating “I think the price hike that would have to happen isn’t worth it.” The final year student wants to end the trend of major Ents events being held on Friday nights, pointing to the fact that many students are from the country and, especially in first year, go home at the weekends. Similarly, Ní Churraoin realises that Ents can take a more active role during the college day and would attempt, if elected, to introduce non-alcoholic events during the day.
Ents candidate Stephen Darcy says that he wants to give UCD students “the best year of their lives”. Darcy has considered running for Ents before, but felt that he lacked “the relevant experience to do the job properly”. He claims that involvement in the Ents Crew is “not enough”, and says that he “branched away” from the group to run his own nightclub events “for the sole purpose of gaining experience to be the Ents Officer”. A unique selling point of Darcy’s manifesto is his proposal to introduce ‘deals’, such as a ‘hangover cure’, to the Student Bar. These deals have already been agreed with the bar, according to Darcy. He also claims that a weekly late bar, in the form of Thursday Night Live (TNL), would be possible “if the Forum bar’s [late bar] licenses are transferred to the Student Bar”. Bands such as Two Door Cinema Club and The Sawdoctors are named in his manifesto as acts which he is “confident” will take part in TNL. Darcy also feels that the Freshers’ Ball should return to campus. This ‘Freshtival’, as it is termed in his manifesto, will be “like an introduction to college... a kick-off for the whole year” held in the Freshers’ Tent. During the year, Darcy proposes to schedule gigs during the week, but he says he will also introduce weekend options too in order to “cater for everyone”. These will take the form of concessions on the Ents discount card and events for residents, organised in conjunction with UCD Res Life. Nonalcohol based events are also an important focus for Darcy, who says that “not everything is about alcohol in UCD”. On the contentious issue of students receiving text messages from Ents, Darcy says that he “hates them” and that “there should be an option to opt-out”. The most efficient “cost-effective” solution to the problem, he claims, is a website where students can enter their details and have their number removed. “There’s nothing more annoying that getting three or four texts a day from something you don’t want to get it from... I believe stoptextingme.ie could be the answer to that”. The idea of creating a beer garden is a “fantastic” one, says Darcy, but “it’s not going to happen because of the college authorities”. He says that while he will lobby for permission for the beer garden, he would “rather dedicate [his] time to stuff that is viable”. As well as stating that he does not think an on-campus off-licence “is ever going to happen”, Darcy does not think that the introduction of camping to the UCD Ball is feasible. “I can’t see the UCD authorities letting that go ahead...it’s a logistical nightmare.” Darcy says that he has a passion for UCD Ents and claims that he has “geared up for this job for three or four years now” and intends to “spend every minute of [his] year doing it.”
Experience is the key reason why Robert Manning feels he is the right person for the position of Ents Officer. The Social Science student has never been a class rep, but has been “heavily involved” in the Ents Crew for the last four years. If elected, he promises to give UCD students “bigger, better seasonal balls; cheaper student nights out; and a bigger, better Ents”. As well as offering to run a weekly Ents night in the student bar, Manning is proposing to organise a weekly student night out. He is keen to stress that “profiteering off Ents” should be “stamped out” and that all profits should go “back into the Ents budget”. Events that are not centered around alcohol are also important, states Manning, who feels that a large part of Ents has come down to drinking. “I want to make Ents for everybody... by opening it up to certain events that don’t have drinking, you will get more people involved.” Manning is also adamant on the conduct of the Ents Officer while they are organising events. “The Ents officer is there to run the gig...there should be no consumption of alcohol, the Ents officer is there to provide entertainment for the students, he is not there to be the entertainment.” Manning guarantees that, if elected, he will be on campus every day during working hours, and says he would expect the same from other sabbatical officers. As Ents Officer, Manning says he would campaign for a beer garden that could be situated in the Forum bar when it reopens. He plans to combat the problem of the distribution of drink tokens at class parties by potentially introducing a ‘two for one’ deal on drinks. This is a scheme which he claims “brings revenue into the bar... [Students] technically still get their drinks token, but they are also contributing to the revenue of the student bar. I think the token system should be scrapped”. He also says that he will lobby shops in the city that don’t already give students a discount to do so. “There are shops in town that don’t give student discounts and I’m going to propose that they do, because they’re losing a lot of business through it...[S]tudents aren’t going to spend in these shops unless there are actually discounts for them.” Other ideas that have been raised are not feasible, in Manning’s opinion. The late bar, which has taken the form of Thursday Night Live this year, could not become a weekly event “to [his] knowledge”, because of licensing issues. On the subject of an off-licence on campus, Manning says that this idea has been put forward before and that it “probably can’t be done in terms of the university authorities”. The proposal to make space for camping at the UCD Ball is also “perfectly not possible...it’s an empty promise...it’s not possible because of planning permission and a lack of space on campus at the moment, due to developments”. When asked if he could promise any acts during his tenure as Ents Officer, Manning responded that “[A] cts are a thing that will depend on what’s big at the time - you can namedrop now, but...nearer the time is when you really decide what acts you get”. He concluded: “I can guarantee you that anything on my manifesto is legitimate and can be done.”
Acts Wish List: U2, Daft Punk, David Guetta
Acts Wish List: David Guetta, Daft Punk, 50 Cent
Acts Wish List: U2, Rihanna, Tiesto
12 | www.collegetribune.ie
Acts Wish List: Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon
Réabhlóid in Éirinn!
Ciarán Ó Braonáin
‘Agus ollghála an athchóirithe ag síobadh is ag séideadh fud fad an Mheánoirthir, bhí ár n-éirí amach féin againn fosta ar an Aoine 25 Feabhra, nuair a d’f hógraíomar Réabhlóid na bPeann Luaidhe. Agus céard é mar thoradh ar obair na bpeann luaidhe sin ach nua-phictiúr éachtach a chuirfeadh alltacht ort, le léarscáil pholaitíocht na hÉireann atarraingthe ó bhun, go deo na ndeor b’f héidir.’ De ghnáth, dá ndéarfainn go raibh an sliocht thuas ag tagairt d’olltoghchán éigin in Éirinn, shamhlófá go raibh braon nó dhó faoin bhfiacail ag an iriseoir, ach is fada ó ghnátholltoghchán a bhí againn i mbliana. Tá torthaí an toghcháin chomh mór sin nach leor éirí amach na hAfraice Thuaidh agus an Mheánoirthir mar chomparáid. Níl leithéidí Éirí Amach na Cásca, Réabhlóid Dheireadh Fómhair na Rúise nó Réabhlóid na Fraince réabhlóideach a dhóthain mar f hoinsí tagartha ach oiread. Ní féidir gach tionchar a thuar fós ach is léir ón méid a thit amach go dtí seo go bhfuil athrú agus athchóiriú ollmhór i ndán dúinn amach anseo, agus muid ag maireachtáil sa ré rí-réabhlóideach seo. Is fíordhúshlánach an tasc é cur síos cuimsitheach a thabhairt ar an gclaochlú cinniúnach atá ag tarlú faoi láthair mar is réabhlóid gan stad gan staonadh atá ann, le hiontas nua ag teacht le breacadh gach lae. É sin ráite, ní féidir a shéanadh gurb é ceann de na hathruithe is doiligh le creidiúint ná go bhfuil an dara agus an tríú páirtí is mó sa Dáil, de réir traidisiúin, anois mar an chéad agus an dara páirtí is mó! Anuas air sin, tá an páirtí is mó ón iar-rialtas, anois, creid nó ná creid, mar an páirtí is mó sa lucht freasúra! Níos dochreidte fós, cé go raibh an sean-rialtas suite áit éigin i lár an speictrim polaitíochta, tá rialtas nua na réabhlóide suite i
bhfad ón sean-dream, áit éigin idir an Eite Chlé agus an Eite Dheas...i lár an speictrim polaitíochta! Is cosúil go raibh muintir na hÉireann ar mire faoi chliseadh agus cúlú leanúnach na mblianta beaga anuas. Ní raibh sochaí na tíre sásta seasamh i scuaine an chúnaimh díf hostaíochta nó sa scuaine Timpistí agus Éigeandála a thuilleadh. Ní raibh siad ag iarraidh morgáistí marfacha a íoc le bréagbhancanna briste, nó cáin níos mó a íoc ar thuarastal níos lú, agus le teitheadh an aosa óig is bás na ngnólachtaí beaga ag dul in olcas lá i ndiaidh lae, chinn cosmhuintir cheannairceach na tíre go raibh réabhlóid de dhíth. Thuig siad go maith go raibh athrú ó bhonn ar an gcóras polaitíochta ag teastáil, gan glacadh le cur i gcéill na gcampholaiteoirí, chun deireadh a chur leis an easpa chothrom na Féinne idir saibhir agus daibhir. Leis an bhfonn réabhlóide seo ar an bpobal ghlac siad páirt in éirí amach ar an 25 Feabhra 2011 Réabhlóid na bPeann Luaidhe. Ar an lá cinniúnach seo rinneadh ionsaí fiáin, i gceithre hairde na tíre, ar na leathanaigh vótála le pinn luaidhe na reibiliúnach. D’éirigh leo scrios iomlán a dhéanamh ar shean-íomhá pholaitíocht na hÉireann agus tharraing siad pictiúr ídéalach nua. Ní hamháin gur cumadh comhrialtas nua-aimseartha idir Fine Gael agus Páirtí an Lucht Oibre (arís), ach d’athraigh déantús na Dála ó bhun go barr le héirí na hEite Clé. Le tamall fada anuas, bhí na sluaite sa tóir ar dheighilt ídéeolaíoch a chruthú i bpolaitíocht na hÉireann, in áit dheighilt an Chonartha. Faoi dheireadh thiar thall thug gnáthmhuintir na sochaí tacaíocht don smaoineamh seo le hos cionn 40% den phobal ag caitheamh vóta ar son na hEite Clé idir Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre,
Shinn Féin, an Páirtí Sóisialach, Chomhghuaillíocht an Phobail roimh Bhrabús agus neamhspleáigh, cois leis an vóta coimeádach ag díriú ar pháirtí amháin seachas dhá cheann. B’f héidir go ndéarfadh duine fíor-shoiniciúil gur cailleadh deis chinniúnach anseo, in ainneoin athrú mheon an phobail, mar go ndeachaigh an páirtí is mó ón taobh clé isteach i gcomhrialtas mar pháirtnéir sóisearach leis an bpáirtí coimeádach is mó, seachas an deighilt idé-eolaíoch a dhaingniú ó bhinse an f hreasúra. B’f héidir go ndéarfadh an duine céanna go mbeadh an Eite Chlé faoi chos mar níl fágtha san f hreasúra anois ach grúpaí beaga, easaontaithe atá os comhair rialtas le móramh stairiúil. Dá mbeifeá sásta fós, éisteacht a thabhairt don amadán aineolach sin, tá gach seans go ndéarfadh sé go bhfuil seanscoilt an Chogadh Chathartha beo fós, le taobh amháin sa rialtas agus an taobh eile mar an páirtí is mó sa lucht freasúra, mar a bhí ó thús ama. Ar chúis éigin níl gach éinne ar aon intinn faoi theacht na tréimhse nua seo. Is cosúil go bhfuil strus iarthrámach ar roinnt tar éis na réabhlóide mar ní féidir leo aon difríocht a f heiceáil idir Fianna Fáil agus Fine Gael! Agus iad ag plobaireacht ar nós leanaí, deir siad rudaí áiféiseacha mar, ‘níor thug éinne vóta ar son Chlár an Rialtais’ agus go mbeidh ár dtaithí ar an deaghealladh agus an drochchomhlíonadh ag leanúint go deo. Deir na daoine bochta seo nach bhfuil aon rud athraithe seachas ainmneacha na ndaoine i gcumhacht agus go mbeidh gnáthmhuintir na tíre de shíor ag íoc as fiacha cearrbhachais na scothaicme saibhre. Ar fáth éigin níl siad cosúil linne, a léitheoir uasail, lánmhuiníneach i dtaobh athleasú as cuimse ag teacht faoi stiúir an duine is faide sa Dáil!
www.collegetribune.ie | 13
Making Good in Boston
In June 1963, American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, visited Ireland and whilst here, was met by thousands of people in Dublin and Cork. The young and charismatic leader told the crowd in Galway, “If you go down to the shore, and the day was clear enough, and your eyesight good enough, then you’d see Boston, Massachusetts and on the docks there you’d see O’Flaherty’s and O’Brien’s….all working and making good…” Five months later the leader was slain by an assassin’s bullet, but five decades on, the Irish presence in Boston remains undeniable and on a memorable visit, this writer discovered a wonderful city, perfect for a short break. In the summer of the 2007, I worked in a summer camp in Pennsylvania and upon completion, I arrived in New York and started backpacking the east coast of the United States independently. I travelled from the Big Apple to Boston by bus, a journey that lasted approximately five hours with several rest breaks. Upon arrival, I caught the subway to my hostel located in the suburb of Everett, a short distance from the city centre. Famished with hunger, full with anticipation and excitement, I discovered a cheap and cheerful restaurant adjacent to my accommodation that served the quintessential Boston dish-clam chowder! It is quite simply scrumptious and I had to refrain myself from ordering another portion. Returning to the hostel for a much needed early night, it was suggested by a fellow traveller, that I should consider purchasing a Boston City Pass which costs $46/€33 and admits you to five of the city’s main attractions. If one decided to pay for each of these museums individually, they would cost a staggering 48% more. A frugal traveller like myself was easily convinced of the benefits of this scheme and reaped the rewards during my visit. The following morning I arose early and accompanied by fellow backpackers, I travelled to the site which inspired my visit to the city initially-the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The exhibits range from those dating from Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960 to artifacts connected with his term as President itself including a reconstruction of the Oval Office. Within this
14 | www.collegetribune.ie
replica, is the rocking chair which alleviated his crippling back pains, sustained during the Second World War. Another area of the building focuses on the Kennedy family members, including a display of clothes worn by the First Lady, Jacqueline, dubbed a fashion icon by many of her contemporaries. The museum also continues outside with a replica of the Kennedy family yacht named the Honey Fitz, located in the grounds overlooking the Atlantic Ocean which separates the United States from the ancestral home of the Kennedys in Ireland. Back in the city centre, I headed to the “Cheers Bar” whose interior is identical to the iconic television show, a must see for all devout fans. Food and beverages are relatively cheap and it is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a hectic morning sightseeing. As this establishment is also a tourist attraction
itself, countless cameras are often flashing even as you eat. Souvenirs adorned with the Cheers logo are also available here. Following this, I decided to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the main sites of the city, a must do for a first time visitor to Boston. Stops along the route include the New England Aquarium, Fenway Park (home to the city’s baseball team the Boston Red Sox) and both Harvard and Cambridge Universities whose alumni include Barack Obama, Mary Robinson and Matt Damon. During the Great Famine thousands of Irish people arrived in Boston penniless. However their growing presence wasn’t welcomed by the natives with many placing placards in their windows stating “No Dogs No Blacks No Irish!” This narrowmindedness also appeared in the abbreviation INNA on countless occasions standing for ‘Irish Need
Not Apply’. 150 years later and the Irish are welcomed by the cities inhabitants as if you were an old friend or a distant relative. The influence of our nation can be seen in the souvenir clothing, adorned with the three leafed shamrock, or the plethora of establishments with Irish sounding names such as Grafton Street, The Last Hurrah and the Tain. Unfortunately I was only nineteen during my visit so I will have to
return to Boston to see if their pints meet my high standards! If one prefers to head clubbing there are is no shortage of places to attempt Irish dancing and impress our American cousins. The Irish are not the only nation that is represented in Boston with a diverse range of people inhabiting the city including Chinese, Italian and Vietnamese to name but a few. If one is seeking a day away from the bustling streets of Bostom, I would suggest heading to the beach-Martha’s Vineyard - an ideal place to soak up the sun rays or to cool off in the Atlantic Ocean. Sunbathing isn’t my idea of fun so I decided to take a boat from Hyannis Port which escorts visitors around the harbour area for approximately one hour. The “Kennedy Compound,” where members of the family have lived for generation, is another worthy trip to make in Boston. Other non Kennedy related benefits of
these tours are the tranquillity and beauty of seeing nature at its best and numerous photo opportunities will make your friends green with envy. It is possible to stay in the area but I decided to return to New York early the next morning to catch my connecting bus to Washington DC and that is where my American Adventure will continue next time. Although I only spent three days in Boston, it is an experience I will never forget. I fell in love with the city’s rich history, cosmopolitan culture, and really friendly family atmosphere and beautiful architecture. Whether you are visiting to shop or soak up the history, your expectations and more will be fulfilled. And maybe this extraordinary place was “made good” by the Irish that President Kennedy referred to almost a half century ago. Maybe.
Editorial Míle Buíochas:
Colman Hanley email@example.com
Jennifer Bray – thanks for stepping in when I was sick. Niamh Hanley – got through a mountain of work, don’t know how you put up with me! Datascope Printing (Kevin Mitchell, David Walsh, Trina Kirwan) – thanks for being patien! Emmet Farrell – top work as usual! Donie O’Sullivan – congratulations on the survey, it’s all down to you, brilliant! Amy Walsh, Lorraine Foy, Dáire Brennan, Danny Lambert, Aoifa Smith, Mark Hobbs, Conor McKenna, Ryan Cullen, Eoghan Ó Murchú, Dáire Brennan, MCD, everyone else!
Emmet Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org
Donie O'Sullivan email@example.com
Deputy News Editor: Amy Walsh
Mark Hobbs firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy Potenz, Amy Walsh, Matt Costello, Sinéad Williams, Michael Phoenix, Ciara Murphy, Kate Brady, Aisling O’Loughlin, Conor McKenna, Conor Manning, Graham Luby, Simon Mulcahy, Ciarán Ó Braonáin, Kellie Nwaokorie, Greg Acton, Laura Hogan, Róisín Sweeney, Lee Maguire
Co-Music Editors: Joseph Conroy Ciarán Leinster & Aonghus McGarry email@example.com
Aoifa Smyth firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s YOUR money, so get the best value that you can
Photography Editor: Dáire Brennan
Turbine Editor: Ryan Cullen
The upcoming UCD Students’ Union elections take place, in reality, off the back of the money YOU pay to become a member of the organisation. With that in mind, to get the most out of the investment that the Union have received from your pockets, and are using to pay for these Sabbatical elections, use your vote. Whether that money has come directly from your pockets, or from your parents or even for some students from a government grant, use your vote as you best see fit. The least that students can expect and should be demanding is a candidate to represent us, the students of this college. We should demand a candidate that will work hard and be capable of making structures, facilities and life in UCD better for students. There are obviously many other factors to be taken into consideration when voting, but essentially you are paying for someone to work for a year on your behalf. Make sure you get the best representation that you can get.
Eagarthóir Gaeilge: Eoghan O’ Murchadha
Copy Editor: Niamh Hanley
Cartoonist: Dan Daly
Gilhooly Elimination Creates Dangerous Precedent The elimination of Ms. Áine Gilhooly from the Students’ Union Election has been a talking point amongst students on campus over the mid-term break. The decision to not accept a nomination form submitted no later than 59 seconds late goes against the goodwill and decency which many members of staff of the college display on a daily basis. Nearly every student on campus has been in a situation where an assignment is close to the deadline and tutors or lecturers have granted an extension in order for the assignment to be completed without penalty. Even more common is a UCD official turning a blind eye to a student attending a lecture, a tutorial or any form of class seconds late and still awarding marks for attendance. How many members of staff in UCD do this? If any, please contact The College Tribune with details! In cases of late submissions, staff continually show compassion to many students who are already under great pressure in having to fund themselves through college and look forward to the prospect of getting a job in an economic recession. In this case however, the IAB’s stance to reject Ms. Gilhooly’s submission due to the difference of seconds is a decision which, by right, should now change the way the Students’ Union operates, or at least it should, shouldn’t it? No longer will the Students’ Union website be late in posting up minutes of meetings, no longer will the Union be even slightly slow in letting students know about activities around campus, etc. Give me a break. If the IAB were to properly use every article and section of the constitution, many others apart from Ms. Gilhooly would be on the end of harsh decisions. The fact that the process in which the appeal against Ms. Gilhooly’s nomination was not even properly carried out highlights how harsh the decision was. In this case, Ms. Gilhooly is perhaps lucky not to potentially have to deal with these individuals again.
Students rush during the annual craze of postering for UCD Students’ Union. Photo taken last Saturday afternoon, by Danny Lambert
www.collegetribune.ie | 15
It’s Satire Stupid! Inside Worldwide average height rises due to earthquake in Japan ‘No fly zone’ placed in Libya after the strategic release of 4 million spiders Gambling Horse whisperer arrested at Cheltenham Cork man murdered by his own feces Madonna flies to Libyan border, in the hope of finding stray children “Chernobyl not possible, sure it’s in Ukraine” claims Japanese Minister Leopard skin to become an endangered synthetic
16 | www.collegetribune.ie
UN to End Gaddaf’s “Reign of Terror”
Austrian Scientist Held Over Insane Experimentation
Controversy has risen with the ranks of the United Nations as they debate whether or not they are right to intervene in Libya. ‘Libya’ (pronounced Labia due to the absolute cunt in the middle of it), are in the midst of a ‘third world’ war, with Colonel Gaddafi fighting off “rebel forces” who he believes are akin to those in George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise. The delusional leader continues to slaughter thousands of his own citizens and rebel forces during his tasteless dictatorship with the UN intervening early this week. Although a war criminal himself, Tony Blair stated “Libya is not an English speaking country, therefore not a worthwhile crusade. He is killing his own people for Christ sakes. No biggy. I’m off for some tiffin”. Last week European and US forces launched warplanes and cruise missiles against Muammar Gaddafi’s troops in the biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Moore Street in 2003, although French troops surrendered after only an hour after one of their generals realised that Crepes and Lattes were in scarce supply. US President Barack Obama stated “To end this mayhem, Colonel Gaddafi must be thrown off his helm as he is not fit to run a country. He has only been a colonel for 42 years in charge. A pathetic statistic”. Colonel Gaddafi met his aggressors with hostility claiming that they all have played too much ‘Call of Duty’ and that they should all drink more Nescafe. “My people love me, everyone loves me, anyone who doesn’t love, I send out the Stormtroopers. Job done.” Rebel Leader Ibrahim Aldaali spoke of his distrust in Gaddafi and how they could deal with him. “He just needs something to do, he’s a crazy man. He’s missing a few screws. Just lock him up with some crosswords and we shall be fine.” Also a known lover of Arsenal football manager Arsene Wenger, Gaddafi intends to use some of his tactics in a military scenario. Attack, Attack, Attack and if any controversy comes your way “I did not see it”.
Hans Kuggel, was arrested last night over allegations of gross bodily harm and medical missrepresentation in reference to rare experiments that were carried out in his home over the past fifteen years. The labelled ‘Mad scientist’, also a local GP, used a scapula and a needle, attempting to extract what he called “the beauty out of the eye of the beholder”. Although an old proverb, the supposedly well-educated Hans, re-iterated his belief that the procedure was a success “I was never blessed with good looks, and I felt that using my extensive knowledge of the human anatomy I could change all that.” He stated his belief that the beauty is located approximately .5 mm below the optic nerve, which we call the Fovea which humorously is the blind-spot. The patient was found duct taped to a swivel chair screaming as the delusional Hans searched for the answers he always looked for in life. Hans shall now face a court case with a possible ten year prison sentence due to the discovery of more of his wacky experiments. Although highly acclaimed during his working hours and winner of the ‘Nobel prize for works in science and medicine’ for his thesis titled “Charlie Sheens’ blood is not thicker than water”, the media were unaware of his demented scientific trials which also included finding out if the grass is greener on the other side. For many Reporters, he will go down in the list of Austrias ever-growing list of the mentally bewildered which include Adolf Hitler, Josef Fritzl and Arnold Schwarzenneger.
Fifth Candidate Enters Ents Election
The College Tribune February 22nd 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
Down The Line
Colman Hanley talks about the three issues which Ireland must make sure does not de-rail their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign
Greg Acton | After a thoroughly undeserved three weeks off, Superleague is back! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Bank of Ireland Cup got under way this weekend and the first round draw promised some excellent ties. Callary Rovers went into Saturday’s game with Sauce Pan Celtic, hoping to start a cup run that could distract them from the boredom of sitting mid-table. Sadly, there was to be no ‘magic of the cup’ on the GAA astro. Twelve points divide the two teams in Division 1 Saturday, and the Saucy ones showed why with a 2-0 win. Cian Walsh opened the scoring with a looping header from an Aaron McNulty freekick, and Neil Cowzer put the game beyond doubt with a neat finish late on. Philip Ellis’ playmaking skills were arguably the biggest difference between the two sides, and his pass to Cowzer for the second goal capped off a man of the match performance. After the game, takes-it-all-tooseriously manager Lorcan McArdle said: “I’m pleased with the result,
but not entirely pleased with the performance, particularly in the second half. We were sitting far too deep and not spreading the ball like we know we can.” If this was Sauce Pan Celtic performing below their best, there’ll be a lot of teams hoping to avoid them in the next round. Whilst most teams were in cup action this weekend, The Absolute Gents and P.in.V. Eindhoven met in a crucial league game. Both teams are serious contenders for the Division 1 Saturday title. A win for P.in.V. would mean them leapfrogging the Gents and Sauce Pan Celtic into second place, just two points off the leaders, Bean FC. A win for the Gents would see them go top by a point. The game was hard-fought and very even, with the Gents holding on to a narrow 2-1 lead for a long time. However, as the final whistle drew nearer, P.in.V’s decision to play ten up front and without a goalkeeper
backfired and the Gents scored two breakaway goals in the final two minutes. Over in the Premier Saturday, the surprisingly in-form Back Door Bouncers took on FC Victory. The Bouncers started well, and the first real chance of the game fell to Cian Casey who looked odds on to score before he was taken out in true Superleague fashion! The result was a penalty and a straight red card for the Victory ‘keeper. Oh how I’ve missed those over the last three weeks! The artist formerly known as Frank powered home the penalty and the ‘campest team in football’ looked set to continue their winning streak. However, this was not to be. FC Victory produced a brilliant second half performance and the game ended 1-1. The show’s back on the road folks! Until next time…
UCD Rowing Claim All Colours Honours
The fighting spirit that Irish supporters like to see from our international soccer team is something which supporters like to talk about with pride as we play across Europe year on year. Regrettably though, at present the fighting seems to be occurring within our own ranks in relation to the international future of James McCarthy. The Glasgow born player qualifies for the Republic as his late grandfather was born in Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal. Since he first wore the green jersey in 2007 at underage level, McCarthy has still not yet been capped at senior competitive level for Ireland, despite having impressed in the Scottish Premier League with Hamilton Acamdemical and currently with Wigan Athletic in the Premier League. The finger of blame for the delay in capping McCarthy can only be pointed at both the Football Association of Ireland and the manager, Giovanni Trapattoni. McCarthy, whose first senior cap was won in a friendly with Brazil in February 2010. However following a number of changes to the eligibility laws by FIFA in international over the past few years, only international caps in competitive
fixtures can tie a player down to one country. This therefore still provides Scotland the opportunity to prise McCarthy away from the Irish camp. At the time of McCarthy’s first Irish senior cap, former Ireland international Liam Brady was assistant to Il Trap, and vibes from the Ireland camp were consistently positive, despite the tight, rigid football that the ‘Boys in Green’ played. But since Brady’s departure, murmurs of discontent within the Irish squad have surfaced on a number of occasions. The 3-2 home defeat to Russia attracted some negative comments from Ireland stalwart Richard Dunne, “We seemed to have one game plan and that was go long and when that didn’t work, we were wide open.” Similarly, after making a comment about Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson, Trapattoni received criticism from the Derry born player, “To be honest, if he’s trying to say that I should move somewhere like Stoke City and change my game to winning tackles and not winning games, then he’s having a laugh,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “To move on from Manchester United just doesn’t make sense to me.”
When Brady was present within the camp, communication between the management and players was much far superior. If Brady were still on the payroll of the FAI, would Trapattoni have come out publicly and doubted the commitment of McCarthy to the Irish cause? We now find ourselves in a situation hoping that McCarthy, possibly the most talented young midfielder to have come through the ranks since one Roy Maurice Keane, could defect to Scotland because of poor management. Instead, we should have eliminated this threat long ago, as was done with another Scottish born Irish international year ago. Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr admitted that he capped Aiden McGeady as soon as was possible due to the requests of McGeady’s family who wished to end any possibility of playing with Scotland. The issue could potentially be over should Trapattoni select McCarthy to play against Macedonia at the weekend, though one doubts whether the Italian has faith in the Wigan midfielder. Should the issue continue to dominate the headlines for the rest of the week, Macedonia could very easily cause a shock and derail our Euro 2012 hopes.
It was a momentous Saint Patrick’s day for the UCD rowing club as they claimed all the honours in their annual colours clash against Trinity College. With four races taking place, UCD won all four contests to claim the bragging rights over their rivals. In the senior men’s race, UCD claimed the Gannon Cup for a fourth successive year after beating Trinity by four and a half lengths, while in the Corcoran Cup, the senior women’s team won a tight race by three quarters of a length. For UCD’s Amy Bulman, the win represented a tremendous success after last year’s defeat, partly down to Bulman catching a crab (missing a stroke) near the end of the race which saw her boat come to a dead stop. “It feels pretty good, to be honest,” Bulman commented after the race. “It feels like I’ve had a year of being ‘that girl’, who caught a crab.” In both the men’s and women’s novices races, UCD took the honours as the men won the Dan Quinn Shield by four lengths, while the women won the Sally Moorehead Trophy by five lengths.
The UCD women’s rowing team that won the Corcoran Cup, Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE.
www.collegetribune.ie | 17
Ireland Silence Grand Slam “Sweet Chariot”
Reviewing the great victory over our bitter rivals, Greg Acton looks back on a performance that won back the faith of the Irish supporters and silenced the critics
An otherwise hugely frustrating campaign for Ireland ended with the sweetest of victories in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Ireland went into the game on the back of four disappointing performances, but this was always going to be a stand-alone contest. Derailing England’s Grand Slam proved motivation enough for Ireland to produce the performance we always knew they were capable of. Jonny Sexton was magnificent. Throughout the championship, he has come under heavy criticism for not using his initiative to mix the play up, but he proved very effective in doing so on Saturday. He made all the right decisions and managed the game perfectly from the first minute. It was Sexton who created Ireland’s first try, cleverly deciding to take a penalty quickly and throw a good pass to Tommy Bowe, who went past three English defenders to score. By contrast, Sexton’s opposite number Toby Flood, who looked impressive in England’s previous games, was looking nervous,
throwing stray passes and missing a kick from just in front of the posts. By the 28th minute though, Ireland were 14-0 up and England’s chances of a first clean sweep in eight years were slipping away fast. Ireland could have had another try had Bowe’s pass to O’Driscoll not been adjudged forward, when replays appeared to show that it had been a perfectly legal pass. It was said by many before the game that Ireland needed to stand up to England physically, and this did not prove to be a problem. The scrum performed immensely, and the back-row of Heaslip, O’Brien and Wallace dominated their counterparts. At the interval the score stood at 17-3. England badly needed to score first in the second half, but it was not to be. After a sustained period of Irish pressure Captain Brian O’Driscoll cleaned up a loose ball to become the all-time leading try scorer in the Six Nations. That try and subsequent conversion brought the score to 24-3 and English hopes were
well and truly dashed. They did however score what was to be a consolation try when Eoin Reddan had his pass intercepted by Steve Thompson who showed a decent turn of pace to make it over the line. Ireland were uncharacteristically effective at turning their territorial dominance into points. This was _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Around the ground, you could of course sense the deep satisfaction of denying England the Grand Slam.
Brian O'Driscoll scores the crucial second try for Ireland and becomes all time Six Nations top try scorer. Photo: David Maher/SPORTSFILE
largely a result of the significantly improved discipline of the entire team. Instead it was the English whose discipline faltered at times, with scrum half Ben Youngs getting himself sin-binned for stupidly throwing the ball away. The atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium was unquestionably the best that the venue has witnessed so far. The Irish team will hope they can now turn it into a real fortress. Around the ground, you could of
course sense the deep satisfaction of denying England the Grand Slam, but also the restoration of our own self-belief in time for this year’s World Cup. Many people will now say that if poor decisions in the matches against France and Wales had gone our way, we would have won the Grand Slam ourselves. This may be the case, but if we performed in those games like we did against England, poor officiating could not have
stopped us from being victorious. One negative sign of the game on Saturday was that once Mike Ross made way for Tom Court, the scrum collapsed. The lack of strength in depth in that area is something that Declan Kidney cannot ignore going into the World Cup. The No.10 position also remains an area of concern. It was great to see both out-halves looking so sharp on Saturday but it is still worrying
that Kidney has not found his preferred option. England won their first four games because Martin Johnson put his trust in Toby Flood and built the team around him. This is not the case with Ireland, and Kidney needs to make a proper decision sooner rather than later. Plenty to think about as the World Cup approaches, but a sweet way to end the Six Nations, and the first really good day out in the Aviva.
College Captain Calls for Final Push for Silverware
With the domestic season coming to a close, & UCD just three games from winning AIL Ulster Bank League Division 2, UCD Captain Andy Cummiskey spoke to Laura Hogan
Having won all their games to date this season, UCD secured promotion from Division 2 of the Ulster Bank League in their game played against Corinthians earlier this month over the mid-term break. For the coming games against Thomond and Malone, Captain Andy Cummiskey talks of the importance of the team showing up “in the right frame of mind” for the games. The game against Thomond is the third last game for UCD and will be played down south this coming weekend. “Away trips are always tough in this division,” remarked Cummiskey, “but after the break everyone’s really going to be looking forward to it.” The break was welcomed by UCD as a number of players had been carrying injuries and Cummiskey feels the break was crucial. “The team is fresh now for the next four or five weeks and will hope to finish off the season well...there is certainly a hunger to go unbeaten this season.” Those who had been out with injury can hopefully “come back into the frame for selection” added the UCD skipper. The Annual Colours match against
18 | www.collegetribune.ie
Trinity is also fast approaching, but the UCD centre says this is not the focus right now. “After the Thomond and Malone game, we will start looking at Trinity.” Trinity will undoubtedly be looking at this game as an opportunity to bring UCD’s winning record to an end and cause a hiccup for a UCD side not only in the run for the League title, but three games away from a perfect 100% winning season. “They will be equally as up for the game as we will be.” With just one point in the difference at the top of the table between the Students and their nearest rivals, Ballynahinch, there is still everything to fight for. Even though UCD beat their rivals at home and have a 100% winning record, they lie only a point clear at the top. Cummiskey stressed that the team are not approaching games with the intention of going out looking for tries and bonus points to win the league title. “We are definitely not approaching games with the attitude that we have to score as many tries as possible...all we’re looking for is to get a win...if we get four tries and
a bonus point, happy days!” Fergus McFadden, who has played his club rugby with UCD, has recently moved into the Irish set up and Cummiskey was particularly complementary of the Ireland international. “He has had a great season and it is clear he will make the step up to international level,” commented the Dubliner, who also added, “It’s great to see younger players getting a chance.” However, Cummiskey remarks on how “he was perhaps a bit unfortunate not to be in the Six Nations clashes over the last couple of weeks.” In addition to this, Cummiskey talks of the part the UCD U20’s will play in the coming weeks, “they’re a great bunch of lads, we’ve been training with them for the last week or two and it’s clear there is a lot of talent in the group...it is important for UCD that we retain as many of these players as we can.” Obviously the focus for Cummiskey and his team right now is on the next three games, however, the prospects of next season are undoubtedly on their minds. UCD will be playing in Division 1B
Andy Cummiskey, UCD rugby captain, in action. Photo: Dáire Brennan. next season and this will mean new challenges for the club. “Next season is going to be brilliant... playing at such a high standard” says Cummiskey. “You want to
challenge yourself every time you play, so it’s going to be great making that step up.” Next season is a prospect that UCD rugby eagerly await, but for
now, they are three games away from creating history. UCD face Thomond in Liam Fitzgerald Park in Limerick next Saturday at 2:30pm.
Nugent Decisive on Future of RTÉ Sport
In the midst of a busy Six Nations campaign and a busy schedule, RTE Head of Sport and commentator Ryle Nugent took some time to speak to Mark Hobbs about his passion for his work.
Ryle Nugent is synonymous with rugby in this country. He has been one of the most significant voices on the soundtrack of our achievements in the sport over the last ten years, a voice that has guided us through one of the richest and most successful epochs the game has seen in Ireland. But as well as talking the nation through the rucks and mauls of test internationals, he has the more sober role of Head of Sport at RTE. In a country where sport is so culturally ingrained and such a key source of pride, it’s important not to underestimate the importance the job possesses at the national broadcaster. Nugent is well aware of RTE’s commitment to its viewers, and the challenges it faces to stay relevant in a world where media is becomingly increasingly dynamic. “We’re positioned in a place where eighty to ninety percent of the population are able to receive the best funded sports broadcasters in arguably the world, definitely in Europe. Their production values and quality of the output has meant that RTE has had to rise to the occasion. We’re competing in a market place where there’s 52 million people (in the UK), and there’s four million here. That in itself; the amount of revenue you can generate through license fees is proportionate. And then there’s the subscription models that are world leaders, they are extremely well funded and well produced.” Faced with the multinational monoliths of European media, the RTE Sports department decided to take a different tack, which has since paid off in leaps and bounds. “[We] will put people in a position to offer an opinion; without any sense of feeling that we’ve got to pander to or water down what people are saying at home. It’s our job to identify people that have something to say and are prepared to say it. It’s our job to ensure that there’s balance in that... [with] people who hold possibly a diametrically opposite view to what another person is saying, and that our presenters make sure that they interrogate people’s views and opinions so that they can be seen to be, and are, honest and truthful. And that’s what we do in Ireland, we all have an opinion on nearly everything.” “[That decision] precedes my time,” Nugent notes, yet he appears to take the responsibility of his role tremendously seriously, particularly the character of the station’s sporting output. “RTE Sport has built itself and it’s up
to me to guard that. It’s built up a reputation with our audience, and a loyalty with our audience, based on – we’ll give it to you. And ask you to make up your own mind. We’ll ...offer it to you and make you think, make you look at
something from an angle [before] you make up your own mind.” “Nearly everything we do is available now is available on another channel in this territory. When I come in on a Monday morning, the first thing I want to see is have
we got ten to one more viewers than Sky, BBC or ITV. And if the answer is yes, then people value what we’re doing. Because they can just click a button and watch the same match somewhere else, but they choose not to do that.
We’ve got to ensure that they continue not to do that, and the only way we can is by offering something that others arguably aren’t...well definitively aren’t – offering it for an Irish perspective and audience.” It is clear that the Ballyfermot College graduate is passionate about his job, and his commitment to his predecessor’s mission statement is noble. RTE may not have the finances of their competitors, but they do not have their failings either. Analysis from the broadcaster, whether it be football, rugby, racing or GAA, is never comprised of the inane clichés found at the BBC or Sky Sports. Certainly, no one can claim that RTE analysts are stepping on egg shells. People like Eamon Dunphy, George Hook, Ted Walsh and Joe Brolly may divide opinion at times, but no one can say that they don’t offer an honest and original assessment to their viewers. They don’t patronise, nor do they at-
tempt to play to their audience. The pride that Nugent refers to when talking about the work of his department and staff is genuine and unmistakeable. “We have a tiny amount of people compared to others in this market, we show up at an Olympic Games with an away team of 35 people from RTE...[E]veryone goes, ‘that’s such a huge number of people to send’, [but] you’re sitting next door to the office of the BBC, who have 350 [people] there! And they’re showing the same amount of output. And that’s not poor-mouthing it, that’s what it is. I’m proud to say that we punch above our weight in a lot of ways.” While the station’s budget has dwindled in recent years as we all feel the pinch of the downturn, we can at least rest assured that we can continue to enjoy sport in this country that is presented to us in an honest, intelligent and insightful manner. We don’t need expensive subscription fees for that.
www.collegetribune.ie | 19
The College Tribune March 22nd 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
Behind the Mic: Ryle Nugent
Students Left Goalless in Galway
UCD’s Seán Harding skips by Lisburn Distillery’s Mark Patton in their 0-0 draw at Dalymount Park last week. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile.
Graham Rusk in action for UCD, Photo: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE Galway United 0 UCD 0 Terryland Park, Galway UCD left Terryland Park with a point following an entertaining game last Friday night, though their fortunes could be have been different were it not for a man of the match display from goalkeeper Ger Barron or a missed penalty in the second half by striker Graham Rusk. For the away side, manager Martin Russell made three changes to the side that was beaten in their opening home game of the season to Derry City, and within the sixth
20 | www.collegetribune.ie
minute of the game, the changes almost proved fruitful. After some good link-up play involving Rusk and Dean Marshall, midfielder Robbie Creevy broke through the Galway defence but saw his effort on goal well saved by Galway netminder Greg Fleming. Galway soon found their feet too, and the UCD goal came under huge pressure as Alan Murphy’s 30 yard free-kick struck the woodwork with goalkeeper Barron looking well beaten. UCD refused to sit back however, and Creevy again tested the reflexes of Fleming. On the stroke of half-time, Galway were denied by Barron’s
Ger Barron who put in a man of the match performance first great save of the night. After a fine run down the left from former Manchester City and UCD winger Karl Moore, Joseph Yoffe met the wingers cross and saw his effort spectacularly tipped away by Barron with the ball seemingly destined for the top corner. After surviving the opening half, UCD made a quick start to the second half as they were awarded a penalty just 30 seconds in. After a poor back pass from Galway full-back Stephen Walsh, Rusk raced through on goal only to be brought down by keeper Fleming. The striker picked himself to take the penalty but was denied as the keeper saved the spot kick down
to his right and the Tribesmen cleared the resulting rebound after a brief scramble. The early second half set-back upset UCD’s rhythm, but Galway were unable to initially capitalise. Alan Murphy was next to come close as his attempted lob nearly beat Barron in the UCD goal, while Creevy again was denied by Galway’s Fleming with a shot from 20 yards out. It was ten minutes from time though that Barron was called upon again to earn the honours of man of the match. After working the ball forward, Moore found himself on the end of a great cross from Bobby Ryan only to see his
powerful close range effort somehow clawing the ball away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Barron again denied Seán Connor’s home side, this time denying Walsh’s headed effort. The final chance of the night did fall to the Students, but despite having a four on two counter attack, Darren Meenan could only cross to substitute Darren Ledwith and from the narrow angle, the midfielder could not capitalise. The Students were left to leave Terryland Park with a point, and now look forward to their next game as they face Stephen Kenny’s Derry City in the UCD Bowl on Friday, kick-off 7:45pm.
Galway Utd: Fleming; Sinnott, Feeney (Cash 9 (Curran 81), Maher, Walsh; Ryan, Kelly, Curran, Moore; Yoffe (Smyth 67), Murphy. Subs not used: Kelly, Gartlan, Cash, Keogh, Havill. UCD: Barron; O’Connor, Leahy (c), Boyle, Nangle; Marshall (Haro 67), Creevy, Corry, O’Callaghan (Ledwith 46); Rusk, Meenan. Subs not used: Harding, Benson, McGinley, Belhout, Morrison. Referee: Rob Rogers Attendance: 1,014
The College Tribune, Issue 10, Volume 24, March 22nd 2011