TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009
Society achievements recognised By Kate Deirdre Palmer
RUSSIAN SOCIETY JOINS CSC BREAK OUT the balalaikas, and get ready for a whole new level of faux-Cyrillic on campus posters. Trinity’s latest society, the Russian Society, has received approval from CSC and will launch at the end of April. Trinity is the only Irish university to offer undergraduate courses in Russian. Added to that, there is a substantial Russian-speaking community on campus. The Russian Society will host their inaugural reception at 7pm on April 23 in the Robert Emmet Theatre with guest speakers from the Russian Embassy, IBEC and Enterprise Ireland, as well as academics from Trinity’s own ranks including Senior Russian Lecturer Dr. Sarah Smyth and economist Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev. The organisers are planning events for next year, and say they are keen to promote the culture of the home of Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky. For the less high-brow among us, a few other possible events easily come to mind... Vodka tasting, anyone? Aaron Mulvihill CITIZENS ARREST
STUDENT TACKLES CAMPUS THIEF HISTORY SOCIETY auditor Eoin Devlin has been branded a ‘have a go hero’ by those who witnessed his recent citizen’s arrest in the Arts Block. JS History and Economics student Devlin, who had himself fallen foul of the pick pocket, pursued a thief through the Arts Block before rugby tackling him to the ground. Devlin had been seated at a stall in the Arts Block selling tickets for the Apollo Ball. However having returned from a break he noticed his bag had gone missing from behind the table. Upon further enquiry in the security office, Devlin found his bag had been recovered outside the arts block in the Nassau Street entrance however some personal belongings had been removed. Having returned to the stall and on increased alert, Devlin and the History Society minutes secretary witnessed a man attempt to take a handbag from a student. On witnessing this, Devlin gave chase, hauling the man to the ground at the Arts Block entrance. The pick pocket was subsequently arrested by Gardai from Pearse Street Garda station. Devlin’s iPod was returned the next day. Seamus Donnelly DUMSS
THE 2009 Society of the Year Awards ceremony took place this term in what was the highlight of recognition for Trinity society achievements, organised by the Central Societies Committee. Held at the four-star Hilton Hotel and presented by CSC chair Sophie Davies and then Honorary Treasurer Joseph O’Gorman, the event once again saw an unprecedented triumph for the DU Orchestral Society, now three-times winners of the coveted award for Best Overall Society. The DU Philosophical Society’s performance of the Trials of Oscar Wilde and Junior Freshman Marc Atkinson’s involvement with the DU Players also went on to gain national recognition at the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Awards in Athlone. Despite previous victories in 2005 and 2007, the Orchestral Society attributed their win, along with the title of Best Small Society, to recent publicity campaigns including the creation of a new website and use of the popular networking site Facebook. Orchestral involvement at Trinity has dramatically increased with the creation of dozens of chamber groups this year, providing all new members with an outlet to perform. Collaboration with the Irish Association of Youth
Students at the CSC awards at which The Phil and Trinity Arts Festival won event of the year. Photo: Courtesy of CSC Orchestras has raised the society’s profile on a national level. They are now the third society to have won the award three times, along with DU Players and St. Vincent de Paul. “Pressure’s on for Orchestral in 2011”, commented CSC chair Sophie Davies. Among the category award-winners was the Philosophical Society for its performance of the Trials of Oscar Wilde, attaining Best Event jointly with the 2009 Trinity Arts Festival. Hailed by The Irish Times as a dramatic re-
enactment of a flamboyant writer’s downfall, the mock trial was adapted by Marianne Cassidy and Davey Kelleher from the original 1895 transcripts and encouraged audience members to act as jurors during the production. Organiser David Adamson was hugely impressed with the student response to the production, attendees of which were given a carnation upon entry (Wilde’s favourite flower- he was said to never leave the house without one), Adamson remarked that it is
reassuring that students will queue around the building for something like this, and not just for nightclubsî. The performance, which was later commissioned by the Ennis Literary Festival, went on to represent Trinity at the BICS national awards ceremony for Best Event, emerging victorious along with Marc Atkinson’s recognition as Best Society Fresher in DU Players. Ian Kinane, the English student who played Oscar Wilde, hopes the event’s national success might encourage a
repeat performance in 2010, He escribed the atmosphere in the GMB that day as “a tension in the air...the energy in that room was so high”, whilst recalling the daunting task of impersonating such a renowned Trinity College alumnus: “I remember being nervous of conflicting with people’s perceptions of the Oscar Wilde they know- or at least the Wilde they think they know!” A similar atmosphere of media attention and student hype surrounded the fourth annual Trinity Arts Festival, in which an appearance from Irish artist David Ballagh and various artistic workshops attracted attention from Dublin’s 98 FM and Phantom 105.2, along with a sizeable proportion of Trinity students. Despite the University’s historical preference for academia, event organiser Sorcha Richardson remarked how so many people at the events commented how much they had enjoyed the lineup, complimenting the CSC for their support in responding to the artistic venture. The CSC itself plays an important role in promoting the interests of all 103 societies in Trinity, The standing ovation given to CSC staff Lucy O’Connell and Emma Matthews at the awards, both highly commended for their positive attitude towards student societies, indicated the organisation’s popularity.
Former SU President Trinity to join Flight of the heads EU youth drive Earls commemorations Naomi O’Leary interviewed fomer SU President Andrew Byrne, the head of new youth movement Generation Yes, a political group that is opening branches around the country to promote engagement with the EU. Sum up, in a sentence, the aims of Generation Yes. Generation Yes is about engaging young people in a debate about the country’s future and in particular how we engage with the EU. Barack Obama is following Generation Yes on Twitter. What are the other signs that the movement is creating a stir? Our Facebook group swelled to 500 members in its first 3 days, and we’re expecting a similar number at our launch this Friday. It’s in the Odeon on Harcourt Street at 19:30 this Friday the 24th. There’s a cliché that young people are apathetic and uninterested in politics, but Generation Yes points to failures in the political system in addressing the younger generation’s concerns. Where does the fault lie? Are young people marginalised or just preoccupied with other things? I think if we’re being honest, it’s a bit of both. We are marginalised, but we can probably make more effort ourselves. One thing that really bothers me is that when there is a referendum, it’s held in the middle of the week. This means that anyone travelling up to college from the country is unable to vote - it’s extremely complicated to switch voting constituency. We should be pushing for weekend voting over two days. On the other hand, in the last referendum young people had the lowest turn out, and the highest NO vote. You could interpret this negatively and say that young people aren’t interested and hate Europe. But our youth are among the most pro-EU in the union. That’s why there’s a need for a campaign that targets young people, and really explains which the Lisbon treaty and EU engagement is a good thing. Has the economic situation prompted more
political engagement by young people? There is an increased awareness of how politics shapes our lives. It was our generation that was largely behind the protests against the War on Iraq. Now, there’s a lot of frustration out there. People are worried whether there’ll be a job for them when they leave college. Other member states are worried about Ireland as a stable member of the EU. Our rating has been downgraded internationally. There’s a sense of powerlessness among our youth in the face of all this. But the Lisbon Treaty is something we can do. Many believe that the 2008 Lisbon referendum was obscured by misinformation and rumour. But, misinformed or not, is it right to ask a public to reconsider an issue they have already voted on? Some people say it’s not democratic, but I don’t accept that in this context. The government exists to do the people’s bidding. People were right to voice their concerns about abortion and neutrality, and the government must address those concerns. But this year we will see a new deal on the table. But are the people demanding this new deal, or is this new deal being presented from on high, as it were? No-one is going to be forced to vote one way or another. The Generation Yes website refers to “global challenges”. What role do you see for the EU internationally, both now and in the future? It makes sense for the EU to do some things and member states to do other things. One example of this is climate change, as it demands coordinated action. The EU is the world leader in climate change, something that makes me very proud to be a European. Energy is another important issue. Bulgaria and the Ukraine, for example, had their gas and oil turned off by Russia, and people were freezing to death in the winter. Russia stands to gain from a divided Europe on energy, and it’s something that can only be resolved if we negotiate together. These issues are life and death.
By Aoife Moore TRINITY COLLEGE is due to to host one of three special conferences which will mark the 400th anniversary of the Ulster Plantations and encourage cross border co-operation in Ireland. The conferences are being held in conjunction with the Universities of Derry and London to mark the significant events that took place in the years following 1598, and ultimately led to the historic Flight of the Earls. The conferences are just part of a series of events that are taking place between 2008 and 2010 to mark the occasion. In addition to the conferences, exhibitions, school projects and books are being organised to help spread awareness both sides of the border of the event which was to change to cultural and political landscape of Northern Ireland for future generations. The commemoration events focus on cross border co-operation in the context of peace and co-operation on the island. The Conferences are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy in the UK and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. (IRCHSS) Dr. Mícheál O’Siocru, a lecturer in History at Trinity, is co-ordinating the events in Dublin, and has played a significant role in the organisation of the Conferences, along with Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer, also a lecturer in Trinity. According to Dr. O’Siocru, the three cities. Dublin, Derry and London - were chosen to host the series of conferences because of the role they played in the Plantations themselves in the 17th century. The Plantation was planned from London whilst Derry was a key city of the Plantations and Dublin, because it was a centre of British control at the time. The Plantations of Ulster took place from about 1598 to 1609. It involved the settlement of an estimated 20,000 planters, almost half of them Scottish, settling in the north of Ireland, specifically the counties of Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh and parts of Donegal.
The aim of the Plantations was ultimately to pacify and civilize Ireland. The Ulster Plantations was the more successful of previous plantations, as the land was confiscated from Irish owners and given in large portions to the settlers. According to Dr. O Siocru, the Plantations have had a lasting impact on the country as a whole and “continues to impact Ireland today.” “The Plantations”, he added, “are not just historically significant, but politically and socially important too.” The Plantations led to a number of Irish rebellions including the notorious 1641 rebellion which is still used as propaganda in some groups in Norther Ireland today and an increasing rise in the level of Anglo-Irish and Gaelic conflicts. Many of the settlers were Protestant which also led to sectarian attacks in the area, and strengthened the Church of Ireland influence in the country. The Conferences also coincide with the 1641 Depositions Project, which is currently in its 2nd year of running here in Trinity. The Project aims to translate and digitize the eye witness accounts of the Protestant settlers in the immediate aftermath of the Plantations. The Project aims to add this resource to the Trinity College Library collection. The Conferences are essentially academically focused but are open to members of the public with an interest in Irish history and this period. The conferences will take place in Goldsmiths, London (June 25-26), Derry (July 3-5) and finally here in Trinity College, Dublin (October 23-25).
DUMSS GETS NEW LEASE OF LIFE 25 YEARS since official recognition by CSC, the Dublin University Management Science Society has been given a new lease of life. DUMSS has secured funds and forged links with three high-profile firms. Events during the year included CV workshops and graduate recruitment presentations, along with a basketball and soccer league, subsidised trips to Belfast and Cork, bowling, karaoke and poker nights. DUMSS was shortlisted for “Best Small Society” and also one of the six societies nominated for “Best Overall Society” at the CSC awards. DUMSS’s final event this year will be a Q&A-style panel discussion: “The Science of Management Consultancy in a Recession” in the Science Gallery at 6.30pm, chaired by Sean O’Rourke, from RTE’s News at One. Derek Morrin
YOUR VIEW ARE THE STUDENT REFERENDUMS ACTUALLY RELEVANT TO STUDENT LIFE?
SS EUROPEAN STUDIES
SS MOLECULAR MEDICINE
Not really because I think most people in the SU didn’t even read the new constitution let alone students. The coke referendum was a lot better publicised so at least students knew what they were voting on.
The coke referendum was relevant but I hadn’t even heard about the other one until I got to the polling station.
No. Students don’t care about the coke one because they can just go outside and buy it. If the SU want to be relevant they should fight for important issues like more accommodation for students and the student centre rather than just making a stand on principle.
JS CMM I think they’re very relevant. I think the coke one was particularlly important as it shows students expressing a choice.
The tenth and final issue of Trinity News for the academic year 2008/2009.