Irish Student Newspaper of the Year 2009
THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
Our photographers’ view of the year that was
PULL-OUT SUPPLEMENT 32-PAGE MAGAZINE INSIDE
6 pages of the best ideas for this summer
TRINITY NEWS IN NEW DELHI In a national first for student media in Ireland, Trinity News travelled to India to report firsthand on education and development there Tuesday 21 April 2009
PAGE 18 Issue 10, Volume 55
Ents back away Students vote Yes and Yes from MCD lawsuit By Brian Barry
Constitution Yes: 870 No: 275 Spoils: 96
Coke Yes: 709 No: 534 Spoils: 11
COCA-COLA PRODUCTS are back on the shelves of Students’ Union shops again following a majority ‘Yes’ vote in last week’s referendum. The referendum asked the student body to decide whether the SU should
end a ban on selling the company’s products. A motion to amend the SU Constitution also passed. The biggest change in the new constitution is the change to the role of the Deputy President, which will now be known as the Communications Officer. The job of deputising will fall to the Education Officer. Approximately 8% of the student body voted but despite the low turnout SU Education Officer Hugh Sullivan claimed that the student body were properly informed. He did accept, however, that the timing of the referendums was not ideal. He told Trinity News “The constitutional referendum did have a short amount of time in which it had to be run and given the fact that people were on holiday etc, as much information as possible was given out.” Rob Kearns, head of the ‘Yes’ campaign in favour of lifting the ban on Coca-Cola products, also said that the short time frame affected the profile of
the referendum. Information for voters on the CocaCola referndum was provided by both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaign groups around campus, partly funded by the SU. Kearns explained that the motivation for the ‘yes’ campaign was to allow students the freedom to make their own decision, rather than have the SU dictate their choice on the matter. Information on the new constitution was limited to email attachments of full length copies of the existing and proposed constitutions sent out in the SU’s weekly email. A short-hand synopsis of the proposed amendments to the Constitution was available at polling stations. Class representatives were also kept updated on the matter at SU Council meetings. 96 ballot papers were spoiled in the Constitution referendum, perhaps suggesting that some voters were dissatisfied with the level of information provided to them on the new constitution. 11 votes were spoiled
in the Coca-Cola policy referendum. The role of TSM convenor has been abolished as, according to Sullivan, TSM students have adequate representation from their class representatives, faculty convenors and the SU Education Officer. Sullivan described the position as “a relic from the old college structure”. The new constitution also upgrades the role of Technical Officer to a paid staff position. Sullivan explained the need to finance this role: “It’s no secret that the SU has difficulties keeping the website, Ents website and Record websites working. A clerical staff member will be appointed as tech officer”. Mr. Sullivan said payment will be limited to five hours per week at the union rate. The new constitution was drafted by a committee of SU officers and ordinary members. Sullivan said the it “will make the Union a more professionally organised body and will hopefully make things a bit better for everyone”.
New look for New Square
SU ENTS Officer Nick Longworth has admitted that he contemplated taking legal action against MCD following the release of the headline Trinity Ball act, The Script. Longworth has hit back at critics saying he had no choice but to accept the act that the company chose. Many students expressed anger at Longworth after the headliner was released. One student summed up the widespread frustration, asking if the line-up was Longworth’s idea of an April Fool’s joke on the morning after the final line up was announced on March 30th. Longworth has admitted that he too is disappointed with this year’s headliner and says that MCD coming up with The Script “wasn’t really on after building so
much hype”. Speaking to Trinity News, Longworth explained that he had met with MCD in February to discuss the possible acts to play at the annual Ball. Having been presented with a number of proposed headliners, Longworth said there had been an oral agreement reached as to who would play. Following a number of rumours that circulated College, Longworth confirmed that MGMT had been a possibility but were “unavailable”, as were The Prodigy and Lady Gaga, due to touring conflicts. Trinity News has learnt that “Groove Armada” were the act originally scheduled to headline the Ball but Longworth would only confirm that continued on page 2
STUDENT PAPER OF THE YEAR AS AWARDS for Irish student media go, these are the big ones. They also happen to be the only ones. The National Student Media Awards 2009 were held in the Mansion House on April 2nd. The whole event, from free alcohol to shiny victory paperweights, was organised by the generous souls at oxygen.ie, which we may or may not be obliged to say is the best website since Pirate Bay, while being considerably less exposed to the Swedish justice system. Speaking of which, not all our readers may be aware that Sweden requires compulsory military service of its citizens. The penalty for dodging this duty is unknown, but when our half-Swedish editor, Martin McKenna, picked up the gongs for Editor of the Year and Newspaper of the Year, he was notably keen to draw attention away from himself. His strategy of heaping praise on his wonderful staff, without whom all this would have been impossible and all the rest of it, was lost on some of that uncharacteristically presentable rabble by that stage of proceedings. TN2 editor Hugh McCafferty, for one, could certainly have benefited from a hearty pint of water (and a shave, but that’s a different story), although at least Caroline O’Leary managed not to fall off the stage this year. We await 2010 with interest. Conor James McKinney
By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor TRINITY COLLEGE has outlined plans to modernise and refurbish the New Square residences on campus. New Square residential rooms are located in houses 33-38 and 40. The redevelopment will modernise the rooms, some of which are out of date in comparison to other rooms on campus. The works would be similar to those carried out in Front Square and Botany Bay which were renovated in recent years. The project plans to “provide improvements to the accessibility, lighting, power and IT facilities together with improved kitchen and bathroom accommodation”. Many rooms in New Square currently have limited cooking facilities, no plug sockets in the bedrooms and no wireless internet available. Although the project is in the early stages, it is not clear what will happen if building works coincide with college term time when students would be living in New Sqaure. The Communications Office has said that “a realistic programme will be developed” and “the project will be monitored closely to ensure that it remains on programme.” However, a similar renovation project on the Rubrics residences last summer ran late into Michaelmas Term 2008. The students who were supposed to move into the Rubrics had to be housed elsewhere. Many were paying the rent for a single room in the Rubrics while sharing rooms in other parts of college without compensation. The problem of huge numbers of students being rehoused could be partially avoided by completing the project in stages. A note in the Sites and Facilities Committee minutes on February 10th implies that the rennovations may be done in blocks of houses with houses 33-37 being noted for the first stage.
By Lisa Byrne Deputy College News Editor
Piranha withdraws controversial article By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor FOLLOWING MONTHS of contention over an article published in Piranha! magaine, the Publications Committee has been fined €1,500 for not implementing a suggestion put forward by the Capitations Committee earlier this year. The fine arose over discussion about an article published in Piranha! magazine late last year which caused controversy among college heads. The satirical magazine published an article on how to commit a massacre in Trinity but was asked to withdraw it by College who cited security concerns as the reason. A motion was put to the Students’ Union to withdraw their support of this fine but it was defeated.
Piranha! editor Andrew Booth has decided, this week, to apologise and withdraw the original article. The issue has been ongoing for several months but Publications - who are responsible for granting funding to Piranha!, Trinity News, Miscellany, Trinity Film Review and Icarus - only became involved when the Senior Dean, Mike Jones called a meeting with members of the Publications Committee in January. In a formal complaint to the Committee, Professor Jones described the Piranha! article as “distasteful” and “highly irresponsible”. He asked Publications to “impose sanctions on Piranha! which are sufficiently severe to make it clear that this type of article should not be published in a student magazine.” Professor Jones’s
own opinion was that “any remaining funding for this academic year should be withdrawn.” The Publications Committee agreed to launch an investigation but before this was completed, the Capitations Committee voted to request that Publications cut all of Piranha!’s funding regardless of the outcome of the enquiry. Speaking at the time, Publications’ Treasurer Conor Sullivan said “as far as I am aware the Capitations Committee cannot force Publications to withdraw funding from a particular publication.” However, the Capitations Committee is responsible for assigning Publications’ grant each year and can withdraw funding from the Committee itself. The Publications’ investigation concluded that Piranha!’s funding should be cut by 50% - a total amount
of €750 - which would have rendered the magazine almost incapable of producing another issue. In response, the Capitations Committee voted to fine the Publications committee €1,500 for failing to implement Capitations’ own suggestion of cutting all funding. The Publications Committee commented that Capitations had imposed the fine “despite the fact that Publications had already agreed, at very short notice, to investigate College’s complaint.” They continued, “We agreed with College’s complaint and imposed a sanction which we felt was appropriate and just. It was also quite severe.” The Publications Committee have complained that Capitations “made their decision without giving Pirhana! the opportunity to respond to the charges made against them.”
Reacting to the fine, Gearoid O’Rourke, former editor of Trinity News proposed a motion titled “Motion on Students’ Union Support for Freedom of Speech” at the Students’ Union Council in March. The motion proposed that the Students’ Union “not support the banning or sanctioning of a student publication prior to investigation by the appropriate body.” The SU, who hold three seats on the Capitations Committee, had voted in favour of imposing the fine on the Publications Committee. The motion was voted on and defeated by 5 votes. Andrew Booth has now apologised for publishing the offending article. The €1,500 fine will be taken out of Publications’ budget this year.
COLLEGE NEWS “I didn’t want to be known as the guy who killed the Trinity Ball” Ents Officer Nick Longworth explaining why he decided not to pursue legal action against organisers MCD.
“Unrealistic and pointless”. A Supreme Court ruling on the appeal by Dartry Road resident Mr James Kenny against Halls planning permission granted to Trinity. “Have a go hero”. The response of some people who witnessed History Society Auditor Eoin Devlin’s dramatic citizen’s arrest in the Arts Building.
TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009
THIS FORTNIGHT THEY SAID...
“Couldn’t get the points?” Security guard - badge 107 - on finding a DCU student at a late night party in rooms.
Compiled by Lisa Byrne
» the percentage voting turnout at the student referendums.
10.8 » the percentage of students for whom College can provide accommodation.
€50,000 » Nick Longworth’s estimate of the amount The Script are being paid to headline this year’s Ball.
78 » the number of goals scored so far by the Trinity soccer team as they continue to dominate their division in the Leinster Senior League.
16th » of April, the date set for the Trinity Ball next year.
1 » the number of points by which the Rugby team beat Division Two rivals Lansdowne in their 13-12 victory last week.
CLARIFICATION An article published in Trinity News on 14th October 2008 incorrectly stated that Dr Gerald Morgan was accused of sexual harassment. Dr Morgan wishes to make it clear that he was never accused of sexual harassment.
Photographs: College News: National News: International News: News Features: Features: Opinion: World Review: Travel: Business: Science: College Sport: TN2 Editor: Film: Music: Fashion: Books: Theatre: Art: Food and Drink:
“I had an accident and I couldn’t walk properly for some time” French musician Vitalic explains why he cancelled his gig at Trinity Ball 2008.
Martin McKenna Anna Stein Stuart Martin Lia Prendergast Tom Lowe Jennifer Finn Kara Furr Kiera Healy Ruth Mahony Sarah-Kate Geraghty Rachel Kennedy Deirdre Robertson Una Geary Kasia Mychajlowycz Deirdre Lennon Emily Monk Aoife Crowley Aaron Mulvihill Derek Larney Grace Walsh Luke Maishman Conor James McKinney Hugh McCafferty Michael Armstrong Catriona Gray Patrice Murphy Jean Morley Kathy Clarke Caroline O’Leary Melanie O’Reilly
All Trinity News staff can be contacted at email@example.com. Trinity News is funded by a grant from DU Publications Committee. This publication claims no special rights or privileges. Serious complaints should be addressed to: The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. Appeals may be directed to the Press Council of Ireland. Trinity News is a full participating member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. This scheme, in addition to defending the freedom of the press, offers readers a quick, fair and free method of dealing with complaints that they may have in relation to articles that appear on our pages. To contact the Office of the Press Ombudsman go to www.pressombudsman.ie
“Sir, if prose is a river, poetry is a fountain” Acclaimed poet Michael Longley describing his art. “A boy was writing to his mother, just writing by hand, and when they found the letter, it stopped with just a scrawl across the page, where the plane had gone into the mountain. Irish Film director John T Davis on the inspiration for his new documentary “Tailwind”.
Longworth expresses dismay continued from page 1
Editor: Deputy Editor: Website: Business Manager: Copy Editors:
“It’s no secret that the SU has difficulties keeping the website, Ents website and Record websites working” SU Education Officer Hugh Sullivan explaining the reasons behind the creation of the paid position of Technical Officer.
Compiled by Lisa Byrne
“A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell...unless it will make a really good book.” Author and self-confessed master of seduction Neil Strauss at the Phil on March 31st.
“That’s embarrassing!” Overheard after a hockey match as a Suttonian player attempted to apologise to the Trinity player he had hit - only to be told that the Trinity player had been hospitalised.
“yes, they were an option”. However, shortly after, Longworth received word that there was to be a change in the line up. Longworth was informed that The Script would headline, a change he wasn’t “particularly happy” about. Longworth was unaware of the reason for the change, but he believes the original headliner “pulled out”. Longworth felt he had only two options. The first was legal action against the firm for failing to provide an adequate headliner but Longworth decided against this. The contract between the firm and the College states that it is the “artist’s discretion” to play the Ball and so if a band chooses to pull out before a written agreement is reached, they are entitled to do so. Longworth is also quick to point out that The Script are a multi-platinum selling band who appear
third in the line up for Oxegen, thereby proving that MCD provided a band of high calibre. He does admit that while they have experienced great success abroad, they aren’t as successful here in their home country. Longworth commented that the Ents Office was approached only months ago by Sony to hold the Scripts’ official album launch outside the old Library. However as it was August, the College was absent of students and Mr. Longworth decided to devote his time to the preparations for the then forthcoming Fresher’s Week. This free concert is in contrast with the €50,000 that he estimates the Script are being paid to perform at the Ball. Longworth’s other option was to go to the Capitations Committee and ask them to put pressure on the events company to produce another headliner. However he believed that the SU did not have enough votes on the committee and would not have received enough
support for such a measure. Longworth admits that one reason he decided not to take action against the events company is that it could have resulted in the cancellation of the Ball and he would become known as “the guy who killed the Trinity Ball”. The Ball was most recently nearly cancelled in 2005, the same year that MCD first became involved. Spiralling insurance costs and falling profits threatened its continued existence and the College decided its only option would be to bring in an events company which could reduce their costs. The Ents Officer at the time, Niall Morris, together with the Capitations Committee, interviewed two production companies; MCD proved victorious and gained a contract that does not expire until 2012. The renewal of the company’s contract with College came under heavy fire in 2007, after Trinity News revealed that the contract was signed with little
consultation with members of the Capitations Committee. Students have directed some of their anger at the company on Facebook, with one student claiming he’ll be the “first on a list to ensure MCD don’t get rights after 2011”. Students will be further disappointed to hear that there will be no Silent Disco at the Ball this year. MCD have claimed that the absence of sponsorship is to blame, however many have queried the cost of paying The Japanese Popstars to play in its place. Although Longworth has defended the events company’s production as “flawless”, MCD apologised last year after safety concerns were raised over the set up and take down of the Ball. The firm apologised for their “lack of satisfactory management” and failing to complete the removal (of debris) in time”. College authorities have confirmed that the date of the Trinity Ball will be brought forward to April 16th next year due to semesterisation.
Lawsuit against Halls defeated By Thomas Raftery A LONG campaign against the planning permission of Trinity Hall has come to an end following a Supreme Court decision. Mr James Kenny, a resident of Dartry, Dublin has held a long campaign against the planning and redevelopment process of Trinity Hall. Mr Kenny, who resides opposite Trinity Hall on Dartry Road, has been at the centre of litigation regarding his belief that the process by which Trinity College obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of its student accommodation was flawed. A three-judge court has rejected Mr Kenny’s most recent appeal concerning the planning permission for the redevelopment that was sought and granted over a decade ago. Mr Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court noted that “planning laws are not intended to make life impossible for developers or local authorities”. Trinity Hall lies between Temple Road and Palmerston Park and houses over a thousand students, most of which are first years. The 95 million Euro
redevelopment of what was previously Cunningham House has seen 180 new apartments, and a dining hall with a capacity for 400 students built. Dartry Residences Association, of which Mr Kenny is an active member, appealed Dublin City Council’s planning permission in 2000. An Bord Pleanala upheld the permission subject to 19 conditions. It is these conditions that Mr Kenny later accused Halls of not “Unrealistic and pointless.” A Supreme Court ruling on the claims against Trinity Halls. upholding. Mr Kenny has cited a number of minor details concerning the construction of the redevelopment on which to base his objections. One floor was omitted from the original drawings, 16 beds were included in one building where they were not in the blueprints, and boiler facilities were installed on the roof space of two buildings despite not appearing on the architects plan. Mr Kenny contested the validity
of the planning permission given these deviations from the original specifications for the build. Mr Kenny then brought Judicial review proceedings which were promptly rejected by a High Court. It was his appeal against this decision that was dismissed by the Supreme Court on March 5th 2009. The judge said that he wanted to mention some “simple matters of common sense” when asking questions of a development of this scale. He went on to explain to Mr Kenny that there would inevitably be some variation from some, or even many, of the plans and drawings in every development. He noted that it is improbable that any development would be able to maintain “literal compliance” with its plans. “Planning laws are not intended to make life impossible for developers, or for those executing works such as architects, engineers and contractors, or for the planning authorities in supervising them,” the judge said. Mr Fennelly added that he was happy that where there were material departures they had been dealt with via
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