I R I S H S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
TRINITY NEWS U B L I N
N I V E R S I T Y
OLD-FASHIONED FRESHERS’ WEEK? THE WEEK DISSECTED P10
N D E P E N D E N T
T U D E N T
E W S P A P E R
RUNNING FREE TRINITY STUDENT AOIFE DINEEN BEARS ALL IN ROSKILDE P3 www.trinitynews.ie
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Gormley backs ban on cars in College Green
Issue 1, Volume 54
Housing crisis: Foreign students forced to stay in hostels
DAIRE HICKEY & MICHAEL RONSON
Plan will see nearly all traffice removed from College Green and the creation of “one of Europe’s great public spaces”
CONOR SULLIVAN STAFF WRITER The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley TD, has backed calls for the pedestrianisation of College Green. The comments were made in an interview with Trinity News while the Minister was attending a conference on urban planning held in Trinity last Friday. In his keynote speech, Professor James Wickham of Trinity College said that College Green could be transformed into “one of the great public spaces of Europe.” Speaking to Trinity News at the conference, Mr. Gormley said he “shares this vision” and that once the “political will” was there, nothing but a few buses and the Luas would be allowed pass through. The Minister said that once people could “realise the potential” of a car-free College Green, it could become a reality. He added that there was huge opposition to the pedestrianisaton of Grafton Street when it was first proposed in the 1980’s and he would be working with Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD to push his party’s proposal for a Mayor of Dublin in order to bring this about. John Henry of the Dublin Transportation Office, also speaking at the conference, said that once a new bridge was built connecting Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street, College Green could be cleared of cars and a new public space created before the planned Luas extensions and the Metro are in place. There is also a working group comprising transport companies and government authorities looking at this. Eventually College Green would only be accessible by pedestrians, the Luas and, perhaps, a handful of buses. When a Quality Bus Corridor was proposed for the Kingswood-Adamstown dual carriageway in 2004, the Automobile
Minister John Gormley TD pictured at the Trinity conference last week. Photo Martin McKenna Association criticised the DTO for its approach, which emphasised reducing car numbers rather than improving public transport. “It seems that in the DTO analysis it is more important to block private traffic than to provide new public transport”, they said. Earlier on, the conference was told that the lack of public transport itself worsens inequality in car-dependent cities such as Dublin. “If the only way people can travel to work is by car, then those who do not own their own car have less access to jobs”, Professor Wickham said. The conference was shown research showing that poor public transport acts as a barrier to employment for the disadvantaged. Part-time jobs in the lower pay bracket tend to have higher travel costs and people working shifts are disadvantaged in cities with poor public transport. Representatives from the think tank tasc told Trinity News that Dublin not having a good quality public transport is “an issue of failure by the state to invest”.
Accomodation Advisor Sinead Lonergan assists students in the search for housing in the lead up to the start of the College term. Rent prices in Dublin have increased by 8-12% while availbility has plummeted. See pages 6 and 9. Photo: Martin McKenna
MCD get contract to run Trinity Ball until 2012 DAVID MOLLOY COLLEGE NEWS EDITOR The contract for the Trinity Ball has been extended with concert promoters MCD for a further five years. The contract, worth an estimated €2.3 million in ticket sales, was brought before a meeting of the Capitations Committee at the end of last year. The Capitations Committee has assumed the power of the now-redundant ball committee which has not met in years. Copies of the four page contract
were distributed at the meeting itself rather than in advance. What followed has been described by an eyewitness as “a three minute discussion about how good MCD was” that was quickly followed by a vote to extend the contract. The vote was passed by a majority of those present. However, the contracts, which many had not had time to read fully, were collected by Students’ Union Administration Officer Simon Evans, who claimed they were “confidential to MCD.” Last year’s Ents Officer, Barry Murphy, told Trinity News “I talked about the extension unofficially with both MCD
Freshers’ marquee blocked by College
and Simon Evans. Simon then looked after the details.” He also added “POD/Aiken have not been offered the contract, but it is my understanding that they have no inertest in it as the benefits to a big promotional company aren’t that big.” Neither POD Concerts nor Aiken Promotions were made aware of any opportunity to put forward offers for the contract. A spokesperson for POD said “POD Concerts were not made aware of the contract expiring and indeed would definitely have been interested in making a bid for the contract when it did expire.”
Students’ Union Ents Officer Ed O’Riordan said “I’m very happy with the way MCD has run the ball to date”. He added “The decision to extend the contract with MCD was the previous Ents Officer’s, and I trust that it was a correct decision.” Murphy told Trinity News, “The Ball as we know it would not happen without MCD and that is the simple truth of the matter. Without MCD we would not have the pulling power for acts or the financial backing to cover the huge losses if it didn’t sell out. I welcome the contract extension and
as long as relations between MCD and Trinity Students’ Union stay healthy, we will still have an excellent Ball to look forward to every May.” The Dublin University Central Societies Committee, which handles the ticket sales for the ball, were pleased with the decision. Commenting on behalf of the CSC, Honourary Treasurer Joseph O’Gorman said they were operating on an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. Mr. O’Gorman described the experience of working with MCD as “Nice, clean, no messing- they speak to college and college speaks to them.”
Students’ Union Ents Officer Ed O’ Riordan and Students’ Union President Andrew Byrne have both hit out at the College authorities in two interviews with Trinity News. O’Riordan said that the College “just haven’t been helpful in organising Freshers’ Week”, while Byrne said “bureaucracy in some departments can be tricky to deal with, especially coming from school.” In a previous interview with The Irish Times, Byrne gave the College a rating of six out of ten for the ways in which it deals with students. Although Byrne believes departments are not acting in a malicious way, he says “there is no reason why students have these problems”. Despite these comments, relations between Byrne and the College are said to be “cordial.” O’Riordan feels that, with the exception of certain officials such as College Safety Officer Tom Merriman, the College is not doing enough to provide students with an enjoyable college experience. Talking to Trinity News about the preparations for Freshers’ Week, he expressed his concern that the social aspects of students’ lives are not being considered in policy decisions. A marquee that was planned to be the centrepiece of the Freshers’ Week calendar has recently been blocked by College authorities in a move O’Riordan calls “damaging to students”. “I had got quotes for the marquee, bands, staff and had sponsors lined up for the Freshers’ Week marquee, but College won’t be allowing it to go ahead”, he told Trinity News. The marquee was to be placed behind the Campanile and was to be similar to those used during the Trinity Ball each year. The “pouring rights”, which allow a beer company to run the bar contained within the marquee, would also have provided a lucrative income for an Ents Officer who feels his budget is too small when compared to that granted his counterpart in University College Dublin. O’Riordan, in a frank appraisal of the way in which the College operates, criticised the slow moving, committeebased decision making process. As a previously successful club night promoter he explained how he has “organised events outside College for years, but it is impossible to get things done in college, having to go through so many committees.” O’Riordan hopes that his plans for a Marquee can be implemented for RAG Week and feels that, given the extra time, he can work with College committees to provide a memorable event. He said the “people are sound but the whole committee set-up doesn’t allow for much flexibility.” He was also surprised that essential college personnel such as the Junior Dean had chosen this time to be out of the country.
The Future Kings of Spain, The Flaws, The Irish Film Archive, Handsome Furs, The Devil wears Lacroix, Brideshead Revisited, Riverdance, Martin Creed, Jack B. Yeats, Sebastian Faulkes, Streetwise Opera Company, Red Machine, Mrs Fixit and lots more.
Future King Catriona s of Spain talk to Gray abo ut their return
The dev il now wears Lac roix
CollegeNews THE NUMBERS GAME
1000 stress pigs and bottles of water given to students sitting supplemental exams by the Students’ Union €2.3m contract given to MCD for the Trinity Ball 204-304 the ranking of Trinity College in recent league tables €1.5m cost of the on-budget Buttery refurbishment 6/10 the rating Students’ Union President Andrew Byrne gave Trinity for how they take care of their students 41603 words published in this issue of Trinity News
HE SAID, SHE SAID
ANDREW BYRNE, SU PRESIDENT
“If we forget that the core reason why this university is here is to teach and support undergraduates then, without a doubt, school leavers will go elsewhere”
ED O’RIORDAN, ENTS OFFICER
“College just haven’t been helpful in organising Freshers’ Week”
BARRY MURPHY, EX ENTS OFFICER
“POD/Aiken have not been offered the contract [for the Trinity Ball] but it is my understanding that they have no interest”
DECLAN FORDE, POD CONCERTS
“POD Concerts were not made aware of the contract expiring and indeed would definitely have been interested”
RUTH FALLER, PHIL PRESIDENT
“It’s going to be fucking fantastic”
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: Gearoid O’Rourke Deputy Editor: Jason Robinson Business Manager: Conor Sullivan Copy Editor: Nick Beard Photographs: Martin McKenna College News: David Molloy National News: Caoimhe Hanley International News: Kasia Mychajlowycz News Features: Eimear Crowe Society News: Conor McQuillan Features: Sam Hannaford Opinion: John Lavelle World Review: Kevin Breslin Travel: Andrea Mulligan Business: Danielle Ryan Science: Sebastian Weismair College Sport: Jonathan Drennan National Sport: Felix McElhone Sport Features: Conal McKenna Graphics: Mary Lohan TN2 Editor: Catriona Gray Film: Conor Kelly Music: Carolyn Power Fashion: Ciaran Durkan Books: Paul Earlie Theatre: Polly Graham Art: Caroline O’Leary Edibles: Beth Armstrong Endnotes: Ailbhe Ni Mhaoileoin Website: Brian Henry
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to: Joey Facer; Pat Morey and College Security for all their help; the Mailroom, who told every Fresher about us; Caoimhe and Sally-Ann in the Communications Office; the entire nation of Finland; Joey Facer; Andrew Payne; Lion Black; Peter Henry; Derek Owens; Tom Hickey; Fionn McLaughlin; Eddie Hobbs; Ed O’Riordan; Daithí Ó Malley; Paul Salmon; Sully; Becky Gray; Sean McCormack and Nicholas Moustache.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Societies and Students’ Union combine for Freshers’ Week DAVID MOLLOY COLLEGE NEWS EDITOR Despite having plans for a marquee stopped by the college, the Ents office has put together a number of events at alternative venues. More unique events are being hosted by the smaller societies, which are also supported by Ents. This includes the traditional Cumman Gaelach An Choláiste/ Dublin University St. Vincent de Paul Society Ceilí, which has moved to the Graduates’ Memorial Building from its usual venue in the Buttery. The Dublin University Comedy Club presents Jason Byrne in the Dining Hall. David Knight, the UK hypnotist trained by the famous Paul McKenna, will put on a show in Goldsmith Hall. The Dublin University Science Fiction Society has departed from tradition by holding an Iron Stomach competition in fresher’s week, which is usually a once-ayear RAG week event. Due to space of consideration, the competition has been titled “The Consumption” and will feature less unsavoury foods than its RAG week counterpart. Club events have a strong line-up this year. “Monday Night Madness” at D-Two kicks off the week with The Flaws, Laundry Room and Like Kings on Monday, while Tuesday night hosts the always-popular Traffic Light Ball in Spirit, middle Abbey Street. The Dublin University Business and Economics Society night takes place on Wednesday night at The Purty Kitchen club, while Club Philth is hosted by the Turks Head the following evening. This year, the University Philosophical Society has put together an entertainments-heavy Freshers’ Week program. Highlights include what has been described as the “Roald-Dahl-esque” provision of chocolate fountains, candy floss and popcorn on Monday and Thursday and an evening with Modest Mouse guitarist Jonny Marr on Tuesday evening. A guitar solo competition will take place throughout the afternoon with finalists being judged by Marr himself, who will sign and award the contest guitar.
Top Events Traffic Light Ball in Spirit, Middle Abbey Street, 1000 free drinks on the Phil’s pub crawl Margarine twister competition in the GMB Debating Chamber Iron Stomach with the Sci Fi Soc, Jonny Marr guitar solo competition, GMB Debating Chambers
The society has also secured actress Helen Mirren, who last year won an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen as a guest. Commenting on the relative strength of the Phil’s lineup, Society President Ruth Faller said “This is easily our best year ever. We’ve got the best guests. We’ve got the best events. It’s going to be fucking fantastic.” The College Historical Society has put more emphasis on its primary role as a debating society, hosting the TrinityUniversity College Dublin colours debate on Monday night in addition to a debate on the legalisation of cannabis on Wednesday, which will host newly elected Trinity Senator Ivana Bacik as a guest. The society will also host a comedy night in the Players’ Theatre on Tuesday, with columnist, writer and comedian Abie Philbin Bowman as Master of Ceremonies. Both large societies have organised free breakfasts and lunches throughout the week. To end the week, the Ents office has put together an “all day pav party” with the Phil and Dublin University Comedy Club. Part of the proceeds will go towards the Voluntary Tuition Programme, who are Johnny Marr at a solo performance in Norway in June 2007. Photo: Sindri Týr Högnason also an organising party.
Launch of new student music magazine MICHAEL RONSON STAFF WRITER Analogue, a new student-run music magazine, will be launched this Freshers’ Week in Trinity. The magazine will include interviews and reviews from the worlds of indie and electronica. The magazine will be edited by former Chair of the Dublin University Radio Society, Brendan McGuirk. Generally credited with the turn-around in fortunes of the college radio station, in the past year, he has also written for the music sections of both college newspapers. When asked why he started the magazine, he told Trinity News “I just felt there was a need for a publication that focuses on music that otherwise does not get a lot of coverage and I felt it was time very young people were given an opportunity to voice their opinions about the music they love.” The magazine is to be distributed free on campus four times a year and will be produced as a 72 page full colour publication similar to Foggy Notions and Alternative Ulster. The first issue includes high profile interviews with the likes of The Go! Team and the Mercury Awardnominated Fionn Regan as well as album and gig reviews. There has been a surprising lack of a student music magazine in Trinity for a number of years, despite a vibrant musical
community. Mc Guirk says that “in general, Dublin needs another music magazine with a fresh focus.” Trinity Publications is providing funding for the new magazine and are very pleased with the first issue. Chairperson of the Publications Committee Joey Facer said “Analogue is a great example of students getting together and producing something that is as professional as anything you could buy. We really want to encourage students to consider careers in journalism and publication”, she added, “and Analogue will join our other magazines and newspaper as an example of what can be achieved.” Analogue hopes to draw a wide range of contributors from the College and will be seeking contributions throughout the year from photographers and writers alike. The launch of the magazine was preceded by the launch of an accompanying website which has already published several articles and generated 3000 page views in less than a month. With the recent closure of NME Ireland, McGuirk was asked if he feels there is a market for music writing here. He replied, “if you look at the likes of Foggy Notions who have enjoyed great success with their more edgy approach to music journalism it shows that there is a market out there and with the upcoming launch of AU Magazine in October this proves that this opinion is widely held.”
The cover of the first issue of Analogue which is due out this Freshers’ Week. The magazine will be available from stands all around the College. Image courtesy of Brendan McGuirk
To get involved with Analogue music magazine contact Brendan McGuirk by email on email@example.com or call into the Trinity Publications office during regular office hours
Michaelmas term, Week 4
One happy competitor crosses the line in the Roskilde Music Festival Naked Run. The event attracts large crowds every year.
Trinity student wins world famous nude race Studennts claims that the Irish are too prudish and thae the experience was “liberating”. DAVID MOLLOY COLLEGE NEWS EDITOR A Trinity student who won one of the world’s most popular nude races this summer has criticised what she calls Irish “prudishness”. She has similarly criticised Facebook for shutting down an online group in her honour. Aoife Dineen, a Senior Sophister Business, Economics and Social Studies student, was the first to cross the finish line in the female category at the Roskilde Music Festival Naked Run. Pulled onto the Festival radio stage and asked how she felt, Aoife shouted “Fantastic, liberating, freedom- yeah!” “I decided it’s a fantastic experience and it would be good for the soul, you know? And it has been!” The out-of-breath runner shared her excitement with local television. “We’re all naked- we’re all like a power. We just activate the power”, she said. She added, “My country’s very prudish- we don’t like nakedness.” The Facebook group set up about her by Irish students was quickly removed by administrators for inappropriate content.
Aoife responded to this by saying, “can the human body be ever really offensive?” In an interview with Trinity News, Aoife said she was “more than happy to share the experience and further ridding our home land of this prudishness.” Ireland is the only country in the EU without an approved nudist area and a country in which nudity in all public places could be considered an offence. Even people nude on private property could be committing an offence if seen from public property. “Practically everyone in my little dive of a town in West Cork knows and has actually been pretty positive, congratulating me. Which I do find kind of ridiculous since I think everyone does have the power to just get your kit off while managing a few quick strides- it’s not such an achievement.” Despite what she feels is a negative attitude to nudity among Irish people in general, Aoife had nothing but positive comments about her experience. “It’s a bit scary but definitely good. I’m surprised at the small number of people, and I recommend that everyone should do it.” “I decided to end Roskilde on a high
and it’s been… definitely a high!” she told local television. Asked about her family’s reaction, Aoife said, “I was delighted to tell my family, who do have prudish tendencies. I showed my mum the video and she criedwith laughter luckily, she’s a legend.” The race takes place during the Roskilde Music Festival, which this year hosted bands such as The Who, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse. The festival has been running continuosly since 1971 The race is split into half men and half women who run together publicly, with separate prizes for each group. Aoife studied in Denmark last year and learned about the festival and race from her housemate Magnus who had won the male contest in three consecutive previous years. The prize for winning the race includes a free ticket to next year’s festival, and Aoife hopes to return to defend her title, if possible, and to bring more Trinity students to the festival if she can. She is athletic at home, too, having played for the Munster U19s in ladies’ rugby. ”I’m hoping to complete the Dublin Marathon at the end of October: naked, obviously”, she said.
Popular student club night shut down “Smashed Thursdays” cited for promoting excessive drinking among young people. DAVID MOLLOY COLLEGE NEWS EDITOR A club night founded by a prominent Trinity student was cancelled during the summer break for contravening the code of practice from the Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society. The popular “Smashed Every Thursday” promotion at Citi Bar and Venue, Dame St, was withdrawn after MEAS upheld a complaint by a member of the public that the promotion “will encourage illegal or irresponsible drinking.” The complaint centred around a promotion which advertised “€6 Double Vodka & Shark Bucket.”
The panel, which met to decide on whether this constituted a breach of the code, found that “the words ‘Smashed Every Thursday’ promoted irresponsible alcohol consumption; the addition of the ‘€6 Double Vodka & Shark Bucket’ promotion further suggested the promotion of immoderate alcohol consumption.” Much was made of the event’s title by the report, suggesting that is organisers took “smashed every Thursday” to encourage excessive drinking on Thursdays of every week. The MEAS code of practice is voluntary and carries no legal weight. However, Citi Bar is a member company of MEAS and, as such, voluntarily adheres to the code of practice where possible.
Citi Bar also came in for more criticism at the end of August when an event planned for the venue advertised “savage drinks promos”, “drinking games”, beer bongs”, “taking celebrating to the extreme” and “free Mickey Finns”. In this case, a third party who had booked the venue prepared the advertising and MEAS had no precedent for the situation. However, the report stated that any repetition of the event would constitute a breach of the code. Citi Bar is well known for its “Twisted Tuesdays” night for which the entry fee is €10, with each drink inside costing a mere €2. This night, however, has not been criticised by MEAS.
News Briefing Hit-and-run killer of Trinity student charged A man has been charged in connection with the death of a Trinity student last year. Lily Hastings-Bass (20) had just started a degree in Trinity when she was hit by a car on the Rathgar Road on 26 November. She suffered multiple broken bones and a head injury. She was placed on life support in St. James’s Hospital, where she died on 7 December. Eric Doyle (42), of Whitechurch Avenue, Dublin, was charged on 22 August last for dangerous driving causing death. He was arrested at 14.20 on 15 August and appeared in Dublin District Court that same day. He returned to court seven days later, where he was remanded in custody for four weeks.
New Academic Medical Centre The Board of Trinity College has announced the development of a new centre combining medical treatment, research and education in the same institution. The Trinity Academic Medical Centre will aim to benefit all three areas involved. Patients in the facility will have faster access to new treatments than is traditionally possible, while, it is claimed, the higher concentration of consultants and medical professionals will also benefit patient care. The union of education, research and patient care will have “improved training for junior doctors, which will have benefits for patients around the country”, the college claims. The initiative is a three-party project, incorporating Trinity and its main training hospitals: St. James’s and the Adelaide and Meath Hospital Dublin Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght. Provost of Trinity College, Dr John Hegarty, said, “By integrating the activities of patient care, education and training and research within the context of an academic medical centre, we are creating the capacity to produce an environment that will make a long standing contribution to Irish society and medicine.”
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Points for Trinity hold steady DEARBHAIL STARR STAFF WRITER The points requirements have dropped in over half of Trinity courses this year, but with less of a drop than most other universities. Many of Ireland’s third-level courses, in both universities and institutes of technology, had vacancies in their courses after the first round offers had been made. The diminishing points are partly to do with the decreasing numbers of students sitting their Leaving Certificate. This year there were only 50995 compared to last year’s 53000 candidates. However, the number of Central Applications Office applicants has actually risen this year from al-
most 63000 to 65401 applications. There has also been an enormous increase in courses offered through the CAO, going from 664 in 2006 to 723 in 2007. This has created a more favourable student to course ratio for school leavers. For some courses points have never been lower while others have regained points they lost last year. Sociology and Social Policy gained a 25 point increase to 440 following last year’s massive 40 point drop. Medicine and other health science courses continue to attract a high level of demand while courses in Engineering and Science have generally dropped in points. Trinity has felt less impact from the cross-the-board deduction in points than other universities. Where University Col-
Faculties refuse to release exam timetables by phone or email CHRISTINA MCSORELY NEWS REPORTER Trinity students who had to sit supplemental exams this September faced serious difficulty in finding out when their exams were to take place. Problems arose when a number of departments refused to release the timetables for supplemental examinations by phone or email. Students had to come into the college to physically check the timetables on the department notice boards. For students in Cork, London and the United States, this meant they had to return to College to check timetables unless they had someone else who could do it for them. When revisions were made to the timetables, these same departments still refused to correspond by phone or email, requiring a second visit. The Examinations and Timetables Office stood by the decision when contacted by Trinity News. They hold that they are not obliged to release personal information over the phone, even though it may be the student in question looking for their own timetable. The Exams Office also added that informing every one of his or her individual timetable directly would lead to an “administration nightmare”. Students registered with the Student Disability Service can receive exam information through their personal tutor and the SDS office. Even though the Students’ Union also aims to provide important in-
formation for students, the Exams Office refused to release exam timetables to the Students’ Union Education Officer, Bartley Rock. Rock believes that the lack of transparency with exam timetabling places a lot of undue stress on students at the time when they are already under a lot of pressure. “The system certainly isn’t perfect. What we need is a more flexible approach to timetabling and greater publicity both by the Students’ Union and College authorities of the rules about exams and the key dates.” However, a flexible approach is already in place where some departments give out exam information to students that phone in. It is this duplicitous approach where many students become confused about what their responsibilities are and what College’s responsibilities are when facing supplemental exams. Rock added that college will be carrying out even more restructuring of its academic and administrative services in the coming months. “The Students’ Union will push for a system that is more transparent, more efficient and, ultimately, works better for students and College,” he said. Students’ Union International Students’ Officer Nick Beard said “this is a blatant example of College failing to give support to international students. I know from experience how much cheaper it is to buy international flights far in advance and the current system makes that impossible.”
lege Dublin’s Science course has fallen from 320 points to just 305, Trinity has seen a rise in points in Science from 415 to 435. Similar trends are shown in other science subjects such as Theoretical Physics. In Computer Science, however, there was a significant fall from 445 to 355 in just one year. For the first time in years, there was a small decrease in some Medicine courses. The first round saw an increase in Medicine in Trinity, which was the only college to receive such a boost, but these points fell back to a steady 580 for the second round. Last year, Trinity avoided the decrease in points for Law that other universities experienced. This year saw an increase in all law courses. A relatively large points decrease of
Prof. Gerry Whyte, Dean of Students
30 points in Drama Studies followed the much-publicized cancellation of the Acting Studies course which may have been confused with the entirely separate Drama Studies programme. Students’ Union President Andrew Byrne commented on these figures, saying Trinity’s reputation is a result of “500 years of accumulated tradition, an excellent location, small class sizes and vibrant student life”. He also points out that Trinity has no room for complacency. “Trinity should be striving to be a world class university…if funding pressures lead to increased class sizes and if we forget that the core reason why this university is here is to teach and support undergraduates then, without a doubt, school leavers will go elsewhere.”
Prof. Michael Jones, Senior Dean
CAO Numbers - 2005 Leaving Cert Candidates + 2401 total CAO applicants + 59 new courses Medicine: -15 points Computer Science: -90 points. Drama Studies: -30 points BESS: +5 points
Dr Myra O’Regan, Senior Tutor
Three new senior staff appointed MARTIN MCKENNA STAFF WRITER Three members of staff have been appointed to senior positions in College this year. Gerry Whyte, Associate Professor of Law, was appointed Dean of Students on 4 July. He replaces Bruce Misstear, Senior Lecturer in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. The role of the Dean of Students is “to develop and coordinate policies to promote the student experience beyond the classroom”, that is, in non-academic areas. The Dean of Students also chairs the Residences Management Committee. This committee looks at renovation of student accommodation on campus and the planning of any potential new student accommodation. Gerry Whyte has been an outspoken member of the debate on the ethics of stem-cell research, having several letters on the matter published in the national press. Myra O’Regan, Senior Lecturer in Statistics, was also appointed Senior Tutor for a period of three years beginning on 13 July. The Senior Tutor is responsible for assigning a tutor to every undergraduate on entrance to the College and presiding over meetings of the tutors. Any pupil may ask the Senior
Tutor for a transfer to another tutor without being asked a reason for wishing to do so. On 25 April, Michael Jones, Professor of Botany, was appointed Senior Dean. He replaces Cyril Smyth, Associate Professor of Microbiology. According to College Statutes, the Senior Dean is responsible for enquiring into any alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code by a member of the academic staff. The Senior Dean can effectively order that, pending investigation, a member of staff be suspended. Societies will also have to deal with the Senior Dean in certain cases; for example, if they wish to hold an event in or outside College, or if they wish to fly a banner or flag. Michael Jones’s predecessor, Cyril Smyth, who was involved in a four-year dispute between College and Senior Lecturer in English, Gerald Morgan, has been appointed to the position of Pro-Senior Dean until the dispute is resolved. This new position will allow Professor Smyth to In February 2007, the Sunday Independent alleged that Morgan called for the resignations of College Secretary Michael Gleeson and Smyth, “whom he says have failed to clear his name”. This came some four years after allegations of physical intimidation and harassment of a female colleague.
Your View Given recent talk of an accommodation crisis Trinity News talked to students attending the Accommodation Advisory Service
Marco Kauser Germany
Lydie Mushamaligwa & Suzanna Shortt France
Marie Lecoq France
Lara Blythe UK
It's been very difficult to find accommodation. I've seen over thirty places and I've gotten nothing. It's much harder than in Germany.
We haven't found anywhere, it's very difficult, more difficult than France. All students are looking for something, so you know if you find a place, there are 20 students behind you going for the same place. I think it's expensive here, but it's expensive and high-spec at the same time. The Accomodation Office has been helpful, we can call for free and they have special ads for Trinity students; but it's not enough really, we've been here for 3 weeks and we have gotten nothing.
I've just arrived today, but I've heard it's very difficult and expensive here. I'm probably going to find someone to share with.
It's difficult for me, because back home I could share with other students, but here I'll have to share with professionals. It's also more expensive, but at the same time it's higher quality too.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
CollegeNews Trinity outside top 200 in world rankings JOHN LAVELLE STAFF WRITER
The €1.5 million revamp of the Buttery will make it the most modern eating facility in the College. The architects responsible have attempted to create a welcoming and airy space using brightly coloured walls, floor lighting and redesigned seating. Java City will continue to hold the license to operate the Coffee Dock which will now be located in what was previously the Buttery Bar. Alcohol will no longer be served on the premises. Photos: Martin McKenna
Revamped Buttery opens its doors WILLIAM AHERNE NEWS REPORTER Trinity College Catering has just completed a €1.5 million renovation of the Buttery restaurant. The restaurant has to deal with competition from over 200 eateries within five minutes walking time of the Campanile in Front Square. The Catering Manager, Mr. Eugene McGovern, has given Trinity News a tour of the new Buttery, which has three distinct areas: a “chill area”, an “eat area” and “a gather area.” The original bar area has been gutted and replaced with a “chill area” Café Bar, operated under license from Java City. The original surrounding walls and low-hanging curved arches are still in place, but “standing lights”, new under floor lighting, and fittings have been installed. The lounge has also been fitted with a new service counter, floor, large leather sofas, leather stools and coffee tables. Total seating capacity for the cafe will be approximately 180. The “eat area” is a food court located beneath the main Dining Hall, serving made-to-order sandwiches, freshly made smoothies, quick coffee or hot food from the main service counter. The area has a distinctly modern theme with new wooden flooring, a new ceiling, air conditioning, new lighting, wooden seating and counters at different heights. It can accommodate approximately 250 customers at one time and can serve over 1000 meals a day. The hot food counter is divided into three main serving zones. The first zone will have a pizza/pasta menu serving fresh pizza slices and a pasta dish with a choice of three sauces daily. The second will contain popular dishes such as the full Irish and continental breakfast and popular grill items.
The third zone will offer dishes such as Thai chicken curry, lasagna and homemade burgers with meat and vegetarian options. Salads and soups will also be available. The sandwich bar in the Arts Building Café has been relocated to the new food court and been replaced with a Java City Café unit. The new sandwich bar in the Buttery is located on an island serving-station in the middle of the restaurant. There is also a selection of pre-made sandwiches for “on the go” customers. To alleviate peak period queues, a separating glass wall will divide queues for hot food, meals and sandwiches. The last area is a “gather area” which is the long area along the booths at the back of the Buttery. The area has new flooring with brightly painted walls, a modern seating arrangement and new lighting. It is described by Trinity Catering as a casual dinning and overflow area during busy periods. In a frank comment Mr. McGovern acknowledged that one aim of the initiative was to get ride of the “greasy spoon of slopped-up food on a plate” image which had dogged the old Buttery for years. The new initiative, he claimed, will focus on quality, style, and presentation of food on newly purchased fashionable plates, bowls and serving trays in order to fit with the food court’s new marketing image of being a modern eating venue offering good value for money. “Picnickers” who buy food off campus and sit in the main eating area in the Buttery will still be discouraged. The Catering Management see this as unfair to the staff and to the other students who are paying for the facilities and notes that there are alternative venues on campus where such “picnickers” can picnic. In commenting on a message that the new Buttery food court and cafe
What’s new Alcohol will not be served in the new Buttery Competition from over 200 eateries within five minutes walking time of the Campanile Prices are promised to increase by only the budgeted annual five percent The new restaraunt is designed to server over 1,000 meals a day A new 180-seat coffee bar is included in the new design Opening hours will run from 8.00 – 18:45 The new design was completed by Opermann and Associates, the same architects who designed the main restaurant in Dublin City University Leather couches and flat screen televisions are to be placed in what was formely the Buttery Bar The Buttery will no longer be availabel as a venue for events such as the Trinity Ball
would like to convey to the student body at Trinity, Mr. McGovern described the bistro style café as an exciting new development that will be brighter, cleaner and offer better service to its customers.
Trinity College is outside the world’s top 200 universities, according to a leading university league table. The College is placed in the 203-304 category by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), published last month. Trinity’s ranking has remained unchanged since the table was first released in 2003. The ARWU, complied by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, ranks universities on the basis of size as well as Nobel prizes and field medals won by its faculty and alumni. It also includes citations of its staff in selected academic journals. Three other Irish universities also feature in the league table. Queen’s University in Belfast joins Trinity as the only other Irish university in the 203-304 bracket. University College Dublin is between 305th and 402nd while University College Cork is in the 403-500 category. Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley are ranked as the top three universities in the world. The rankings are dominated by American colleges, with Cambridge (4th) and Oxford (10th) the only non US universities in the top 20. Along with The Times newspaper’s annual rankings, the ARWU is considered one of the two leading university league tables in the world. According to The Times, Trinity is the 78th best university in the world.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
National accommodation crisis leaves students stranded CAOIMHE HANLEY NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR
SLIGO IT Lecturer convicted of child assault Sligo Institute of Technology lecturer Mary Mulherin of Ballina, Co. Mayo, has been convicted of assaulting an eleven year old boy outside his Co. Mayo primary school. The incident took place just after 15.00 on 4 December 2006. Ms Mulherin’s daughter, Aoife, (6) fell into a pothole outside the school, soaking one half of her body. Both the young boy and his father, settled travelers, claimed she had tripped and the boy had tried to help her up, after which Ms Mulherin slapped and admonished the boy, saying “I know what you are. I know where you come from and where you are going.” It emerged that the boy had inadvertently knocked Ms Mulherin’s daughter as he swung his school bag, which resulted in her fall into the puddle. However, at the hearing in Belmullet District Court, Judge Mary Devins noted that while the schoolboy had accidentally knocked over her daughter, Ms. Mulherin had severely ‘overreacted’. Hence Judge Devins convicted the accused of assault and a public order offence, but adjourned sentencing to allow for the production of a medical report for Ms Mulherin, and for consideration of the possibility of compensation to the victim. Caoimhe Hanley
An August report by property website www.daft.ie showed rental costs have risen by an average of ten percent nationally over the past twelve months. This is the second-year running to have seen this type of increase, with rents rising by a similar amount in 2006. In Dublin alone, rents have risen by between 8-12%, depending on the area of the city. For a single room, a student can expect to pay a minimum of €500 a month, excluding bills, at current prices. Yet despite these inflated prices, with demand for decent properties vastly outstripping supply, many landlords are refusing to rent to student tenants at all.
This situation, with even students prepared to pay a premium unable to find accommodation, has led to many terming the situation an accommodation crisis. And the situation is set to worsen. On a national scale, the section 50 government grant given to some landlords prepared to rent to students is set to expire soon, and in Cork, with UCC President Michael Murphy looking to increase the university’s student population from 16000 to 22000 within the next four years, students will be facing accommodation problems for years to come. Union of Students in Ireland Welfare Officer Peadar Hayes (himself looking for accommodation at the moment) is very concerned about the consequences of this accommodation crisis. While obviously worried about students unable to find
housing, what concerns him more is the long-term effects of the increased prices on student welfare. With the current higher education grant not covering rent, let alone living expenses, at these higher prices, students are forced to work increasingly long hours, affecting college performance, and sometimes even having to forgo health care and proper food to pay for their accomodation, according to Hayes. To highlight this drastic situation, Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union hosted a congress at Bolton Street on Friday 14 September. Students had the opportunity to sit in the ‘”vent-tent” and record a video message for the Ministers for Education and Science, the Environment and Housing (footage at ditsu.ie) and DIT Students’ Union officers were on hand to deal with students’ accommodation
queries. Andy Doyle, DIT Students’ Union President, was positive about the impact of the meeting, saying, “while there is still a shortage of accommodation, we have had landlords calling in to offer spare rooms, and we are in a better position to deal with students who come into our offices.” Meanwhile, the USI are putting pressure on the Government to set up a task force to investigate the provision of student accommodation and according to Hayes, “are hoping for a long term solution to the issue of student accommodation”. However, with the crisis rapidly escalating, not everyone thinks the USI are doing enough; when asked what he thought the USI were doing to help the situation, UCC Welfare Officer Aidan Healy replied “not much.”
Rental advice Never hand over a deposit before examining the property first When viewing a property, bring someone with you (a friend or parent is best) Make sure you get a rent book and record every time you pay rent as well as getting a receipt Make sure the landlord is registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board
New School of Music unveiled AOIFE MARIE GRIFFIN STAFF WRITER
UCC Cork leader in energy race
The new CIT Cork School of Music, picture left, stands on the sight of it’s previous incarnation. The new building houses a state of the art auditorium and has taken delivery of th elargest ever single order of Steinway Pianos. During the building period the School had rented space in hotels and office buildings around the city centre. Photo: Caroline O’Leary
University College Cork launched Ireland’s first energy engineering degree course on Tuesday 18 September. The four-year program will start next year. Points are expected to be in the range of 400 to 500 with twenty places on next years programme. This course is an important development in the energy engineering field with society now facing the challenges of climate change and energy security. This new degree follows on from UCC’s successful master’s programme in Sustainable Energy, which was launched two years ago. Ameilia Josephine Hayes-Fox
Cork School of Music has finally revealed its state of the art new building after six years of being divided between up to 17 different locations in the city centre. Costing €60 million, the new building, located on Union Quay, now boasts of an impressive array of up-to-the-date musical and architectural technology. Originally proposed by TD Micheál Martin in 1999, the project was due for completion in 2005 and its facilities to be used during Cork’s “Capital of Culture” celebrations. However, complications and financial difficulties put a significant delay on the project that, two years late, has finally come to fruition. Built under a Public-Private Partnership with German firm Hochtief, CSM may once again consolidate its 400 full time and approximately 3000 part-time students in one location. CSM, affiliated with the Cork Institute of Technology, has been built to impressive specifications. The five-story building has been built on CSM’s original site and incorporates up-to-the minute environmental technology such as humidity, acoustic and temperature control to ensure instruments and students alike perform under optimum conditions. Beyond what one would expect in a standard third-level education facility, CSM may now take full advantage of the
following fully furnished facilities: 500-seater auditorium, 100-seater drama theatre and movement room, 52 practise/teaching studios [each containing a brand new Steinway grand piano] , multiple piano labs, an audio lab, a music IT lab, a double bass studio, a harp and harpsichord room, an organ room, percussion studio, professional recording studio, electronic music studio, a post-graduate centre and a library. With these facilities CSM hopes to continue its 130-year strong reputation as a school both nationally and internationally recognised for the high calibre of its achievements and the dedication of its students to the arts. Richard Morrisroe, the President of the Union of Students in Ireland, believes that the CSM “is a fantastic development…[I] believe that the new facilities will enable it to fulfil its mission as a hub for the musical arts…and I’m extremely happy to see it completed and opened.” However, like many others, Richard brings into question the use of the PPP to orchestrate the project, seeing it as the fundamental reason that “the funding of this project was needlessly delayed.” Meanwhile, CIT president, Dr. Brendan Murphy, has great hopes for the expansion of the Irish traditional music programme with the aim of facilitating European students who wish to study Irish music as a part of their semester abroad.
NATIONWIDE Student prostitution A recent report by the Irish Indepentent has revealed that many college students are turning to prostitution to fund increasingly expensive lifestyles. With students able to earn upwards of €135 an hour, prostitution is seen as an “easy option” to meet financial needs, according to prostitution aid and lobby group Ruhama, explaining why escort agencies not only in Dublin, but also Limerick, Waterford and Cork have students on their books. Meanwhile, Union of Students in Ireland President Richard Morrisroe has stated that it is “not surprising” that students feel they have to turn to prostitution, given the shortage of available financial support. Caoimhe Hanley
Seanad to end privileged position of National University of Ireland and Dublin University CAOIMHE HANLEY NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR The Union of Students in Ireland has welcomed the 14 September announcement by Fianna Fáil’s new leader of the Seanad Donie Cassidy that all graduates of thirdlevel education with a level seven qualification or higher will be entitled to vote in Seanad elections within twelve months. Cassidy has declared that a subcommittee of former Cathaoirligh and Seanad leaders would be established when the Seanad resumes to investigate a restructuring of the Seanad, with particular attention paid to the
electoral structure. According to Cassidy, “I can tell you now that all colleges will be included and they will be included within next 12 months. That’s a priority of mine”. “I’m going to ensure that never again does only 34% of an electorate, as happened on one panel this year, turn out” he told the Irish Examiner The announcement followed a campaign of intensive lobbying by USI, including a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Science in November 2006. USI Equality Officer Steven Conlon said, “In displaying leadership for the main Government party, the leader of the Seanad’s announcement
will help to overcome students’ anger over what has been a long wait and a hard fight for graduate equality. The right of graduates to vote in Seanad elections has been unjustly denied to thousands who earned their degree level qualification from the Institutes of Technology, the University of Limerick and Dublin City University. The reform will remove the voting bar from hundreds of thousands of third-level graduates.” As it stands, the Seanad is comprised of 60 members. Eleven members are nominated by the Taoiseach , six members are elected by university graduates (three by Trinity graduates and three by Nationl UI)
and 43 are elected from panels of candidates representing specified vocational interests. This announcement ends decades of discrimination against graduates of third level institutions other than NUI and Trinity College, despite the fact that the seventh amendment to the Constitution, which was approved in 1979, made provision for all graduates of higher education institutes to vote in Seanad elections. Barry Andrews, Fianna Fail TD, has likened this inequality to “the rotten boroughs of old and in need of reform. It is anachronistic that they (NUI and TCD) have representation in the Oireachtas to the exclusion of the other universities, some of which have achieved
much.” According to USI President Richard Morrisroe, “for the graduates concerned, it will be a recognition that their courses are just as valuable as those from the Universities, and will ensure that they too could have a say within the upper house of the Oireachtas.” The USI also believes that the inclusion of all higher education institutions will increase vocational diversity in the Seanad, with the majority of courses offered in newer universities and institutes of technology oriented towards professional vocations in science, engineering and information technology, which will expand the knowledge base of the Oireachtas.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
InternationalNews Andrew Meyer, a senior telecommunication s student at University of Florida in Gainesville is tackled by campus security officers as he attempts to question Sneator John Kerry. The incident has sparked controversay both in the United States and abroad. Photo: Andrew Stanfill / Independent Florida Alligator
The Global Campus UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Trek Park protesters speak out
Direct Action sends a message
Student tasered by College Police in Florida university KASIA MYCHAJLOWYCZ NEWS REPORTER Andrew Meyer, a senior telecommunications student at University of Florida in Gainesville, was tasered by university police 16 September after refusing to leave the microphone during an appearance by United States Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry. Meyer, known for his political pranks, bombarded the Senator with a series of questions finishing with asking if he was a member of the secret society the Skull and Bones at Yale University. According to the University of Florida’s student newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, when Meyer’s microphone was cut off, “Meyer began to scream in protest…Several officers attempted to remove Meyer from the microphone when he began ‘acting in a violent manner’ and ‘pushing the officers’, according to the [police] report.” A video recording of the incident, posted by the newspaper the Gainseville Sun, is available on YouTube.com, and shows several University of Florida Police Officers holding Meyer down as he screams, “What
did I do?” An officer then warns him that if he does not stop resisting arrest, he will be tasered, after which Meyer says, “I’ll walk out of here if you let me go”. When Meyer did not stop struggling, witnesses said he was tasered twice for several seconds then hauled out of the auditorium. The Alligator reported that a University Police Department document outlines behaviour that can warrant the use of a taser as including “people bracing themselves, pushing or not allowing an officer to approach”, and specifically states that “a person does not have to strike or harm an officer to justify use of a taser”. Senator John Kerry, who lost the presidential race against George Bush in 2004, released a statement the next day. “In 37 years of public appearances,” stated Kerry, “through wars, protests and highly emotional vents, I have never had a dialogue end this way…I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption.” Students organized a protest march to the UPD building the next day with banners and T-shirts reading “Free Speech is Not a Crime”, “I came to see John Kerry, not police brutality” and “Don’t tase me, bro”, yelled by Meyer during his arrest.
Shocking facts about Tasers Tasers, made by an Arizona-based company, are “hand-help weapons that deliver a jolt of electricity- up to 50,000 volts- from up to 6.5 metres away,” causing an immediate muscle contraction that immobilizes the subject. Tasers are largely regarded by police departments as a non-lethal way to “take down” a person resisting arrest with limited risk to the officer. Since 2001, more than 50 people have died directly after taser shocks in North America, although the exact cause of death has been disputed. In July 2005, a Chicago medical examiner concluded that the death of a man earlier in the year was caused by the shock of a taser. Tasers seem to be potentially lethal only to people with heart conditions, with narcotics in their system, or those in poor health. Tasers are not considered firearms in the United States and, in most states, can be used by civilians Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
“We are not safe,” Benjamin Dictor, the protest’s spokesperson, told news crews at the university’s press conference. “We are students who are fearful of asking questions.”
The incident revived debate in North America about the wide use of tasers by police forces across the United States and Canada.
Impromtu park occupied in student protest BORIS KORBY NEWS EDITOR, UBYSSEY Students from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) have set up a park on the campus’ old bus loop. Trek Park, named after a UBC document which explains the university’s vision for its future, was established on Sept. 18 in protest of a new development at the heart of campus, comprised of retail space and condominiums, as well as a new underground bus loop, that would demolish the grassy knoll, a park popular with students. As reported by Boris Korby, news editor of the UBC student newspaper, the Ubyssey, police arrived to take down the park on 21 September, resulting in a standoff: “The confrontation lasted for more than an hour, with police issuing demands and protesters refusing to comply. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers arrived at the protest site around noon. Dialogue between the handful of students and RCMP officers quickly escalated as students refused requests from the officers to
What did the park accomplish? The park is significant because it represents critical thinking and dissent. It is a public display that challenges the increasing corporatization of campus. The administration has not taken into account student consultation and are pushing their corporate agenda of profit maximization through building a mall and condos at the centre square of the campus. To me, this experience has been really inspiring; to see students stand up and act for something they believe. The park is still there. At one of the meetings, students decided to make it a green space. Out of their own pockets they rented a van to search for soil and ordered in a truck load of sod. So the old abandoned bus loop is now a lawn. There are also couches and a geodescent dome made from cotton on recycled PVC piping. Martin Anevich, UBC student
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY Trinity student abroad
“I’ve been called blunt, cocky and hyperactive. I say I’m honest, self-assured and upbeat.” 1. What made you choose Berkeley? What were the factors in your decision? Berkeley has a great reputation which means excellent professors and facilities. But more than that I was attracted by its liberalism as a university and its history of creativity within the arts. Another factor was that it is just over the bay from San Francisco, meaning there are always things to do but at the same time you don’t lose the feeling of a campus. 2. How did Trinity help you in your application, transferring of document, and getting you information about your new university? What would you have liked them to do, if anything? Unfortunately you have to do most of the work yourself and it would certainly be helpful to be given more information on the universities offered. At the same time, it means that you are forced to act independently- as you will have to for the rest of the year. 4. Now that you’re there, what’s surprised you about Berkeley, or life in the United States? Any culture shocks? Berkeley actually has the largest Republican party of any of the universities in California. This is likely because there is such liberalism here that that more conservative types feel the need to congregate in protest. And the liberal/hippie movement is still quite strong here – there are a number of people living in trees next to my dorm, as they have been doing for the past nine months to prevent the building of an extension of the football field which would mean chopping down the oaks. 5. How is Berkeley college life different than Trinity? What do you like, and what do you miss? I miss the way English literature is taught back at Trinity. American universities and, indeed, Berkeley, are very heavy on breadth of knowledge, but not so focused on depth. This means that we have to read a lot (and by “have to” I mean must as you get tested on it in midterms, etc.) but you don’t delve into the text that deeply. At Berkeley, we talk more thematically than particularly critically. It’s done in this way in America because most people will further their studies with post-graduate degrees, and there they will specify their interest more closely. 7. What activities are you getting involved in at Berkeley or in the community? I’m getting involved with a program called Theatre for Charity that puts on low/no budget shows that are quite funny and silly. It donates all its proceeds to charity (this year’s focus is children orphaned by AIDS in Africa), and last year made over $20,000. The drama scene is really great here, but hopefully I’m going to be able to get some surfing done too. Tom Ross Williams, Contributing Writer
clear the area voluntarily A commanding Corporal Rob Worsley of the RCMP called on protesters to clear the protest’s debris because he claimed that section of the parking lot was an access route for emergency vehicles. In a later interview, UBC Vice President Students Brian Sullivan said that the RCMP officers were incorrect. “For them it was clear that some of the objects associated with the park were intruding on the fire access. In fact that is not where the fire access is”, said Sullivan. Staff Sergeant Kevin Kenna of the UBC RCMP detachment acknowledged Monday that the protest park, which is now continuing into its second week, was doing nothing illegal. “We support the students’ right to be there, and we support forms of protest and support forms of discussion on campus,” said Alma Mater Society President Jeff Friedrich. “I think it’s good, there’s not enough of that type of thing going on on campus in the first case.” • Additional reporting by Kasia Mychajlowycz
Our objection is threefold: 1. There was no democratic consultation with students (or faculty and staff) about what should be done with this space. 2. The above ground development would be turn the most heavily used student social space, the grassy knoll, and the centre of our campus into a shopping mall with condos. 3. The underground bus loop they plan to build beneath the shopping/housing development is based on old projections of ridership, meaning it is already too small, it costs a lot ($40 million), isn’t expandable to light rail, and can’t accommodate electric buses [widely used in Vancouver’s bus system]. At the end of last year, we circulated a petition that got over 3000 signatures. As a result, the administration decided to delay construction on the above ground portion but go ahead with the underground bus loop. The petition and Trek Park are the first time there has been a major push back from students, and this has had them scrambling. I think they are nervous about the public exposure. As Trek Park and further protest attracts more attention to their missteps and mismanagement, there is a serious possibility that they will abandon the project. The space that the park is in wasn’t being put to any use and we turned it into a space for student socializing, artwork, and gardening. We didn’t want to only be oppositional and negative, but also to show the positive social uses of reclaimed public space. A new round of student consultation starts this week [Sept.24], so it is important for us to articulate that we think this consultation is as flawed as the last round. Steven Klein, UBC student
Police attempt to move protestors on from their impromtu sit in. Photo: Oker Chen/The Ubyssey
Michaelmas Term, Week 4
Search for accommodation no easy task for students The Irish housing market has become a very unfriendly place for students this year. With college accomodation offices swamped and student unions declaring a crisis Trinity News investigates what is really going on. Laura Ritakari from Finland scans the listings in the Accomodation Advisory in the Arts building on Saturday. She was one of hundreds of students who told Trinity News that they had experienced difficulties in finding housing. Photo Martin McKenna
REBECCA BUTLER STAFF WRITER As any American sitcom will tell you, part of the college experience is the transition from family life to jock-infested babe heaven. While the Irish version of campus is a little less glamorous and Buttery food may be just one spud short of the American dream, but for many, the move from home is a necessity, if not to escape parental nagging, simply to avoid a twohour commute at 6.00 in mid-winter standstill traffic. However, this year, more so than any other, it would seem, students have voiced their difficulty finding accommodation at a reasonable price in a convenient location. As was reported in the national press recently, Trinity College Students’ Union President Andrew Byrne has voiced his concern about the severe scarcity of quality student accommodation, adding that he has received numerous requests from students to sleep in the Students’ Union’s offices while they search for accommodation. Likewise, three weeks ago on Joe Duffy’s Liveline, numerous students from various Dublin universities expressed their frustration at their inability to obtain rooms for the academic year. These students were willing to pay up to €450 per month and were ideally looking for a nine-month lease. As was discussed on the show, however, nine month leases have become something of an urban legend. Indeed, as
landlords on the show argued, students were undesirable tenants because of their short-term renting in comparison to professionals. In accommodation advertisements both online and in newspaper classifieds like the Evening Herald, the preference for professionals over students is explicitly stated. As one Trinity Nursing student, Arlene, remarked, “By the time I had eliminated all ads that stated ‘profs only’ from my search, all that was left were three contact numbers to ring. Further inquiry reduced my search to just one house with unbearable living conditions.” If Arlene’s experience is representative of the student body, then, were the students on Duffy’s show disillusioned not only with lease-length but also the standard of accommodation they could expect? Úna Faulkner, Students’ Union Welfare Officer, believes that reasonable living conditions are available in the city for students but that this comes at a cost: “For those still looking for accommodation…it is important to realise that there is no such thing as cheap accommodation in Dublin. You will be paying in the region of €500 per month, excluding bills, for a decent apartment or house.” Faulkner describes such a price as “reasonable” and judging by prices listed on accommodation websites like daft, gumtree, or studentlettings.ie, it is certainly standard for most places in the city centre. Such prices represent our consumer-saturated economy, but is our economy such that a student could expect to afford resi-
dence without parental help? The average part-time earner in this country makes around €650 per month. Many students in low-paid jobs would have to work a twelve to eighteen hour week to achieve this and would still have to budget for food, travel and nights out with just €150 to spare, thereby adding extra stress to their academic life. And even if students are willing to sacrifice their Mammy’s steak dinner for Tesco value cornflakes and loo roll stolen from various nightclubs across the city, are landlords willing to accept their money? Another student, Sarah, who underwent a long search before obtaining her current accommodation, reflected on her experience: “As soon as I mentioned the word ‘student’, the attitude of landlords changed on the phone. It was as though they were trying to dissuade me from renting-telling me that it was ‘probably out of my price range anyway’, while some even hung up on me.” And what of those landlords actually willing to accept student tenants? Orla, a sixth year Medicine student, describes her experience: “I viewed a house in the city centre renting at €420 per month. The house was currently inhabited by a mixture of students and young professionals seeking a fourth housemate…The sitting- room couch and carpet were soiled, the kitchen table was still dirty with empty drink-bottles despite the house being open to public viewing and half the kitchen floor was so destroyed that it had ripped through to the
concrete. Nonetheless, I was told I would have to write my name and contact details down on a list which took up three A4 pages as such was the demand for this hovel that the current housemates would have to decide using ‘an x factor type approach’ as to who would be eligible to live with them. Needless to say, I didn’t get a call-back-I don’t think our taste in interior décor would have been compatible anyway!” So what option does this leave for students? While it is too late to apply for accommodation on Trinity campus this year, it is certainly an option worth considering for next year. Unfortunately, campus houses only seven 700 students, with Trinity Hall taking a further 1100, so application is competitive. So what advantage does campus have over the Dublin housing market? First, applications are evaluated on student’s distance from the city centre, college year (first and final year students are prioritised) while contribution to college clubs and societies is an added advantage. Such a system is much fairer than the ‘x factor’ basis of other landlords and there is the added advantage of high quality accommodation whether a standard room with communal bathroom and kitchen facilities or an exclusive modern room is chosen. Also, campus conserves the almost extinct nine-month lease and, even with this, averages at the benchmark €500 per month: standard rooms averaging at €475 per month while twin rooms are lower
again at €435. However, more modern rooms like those in the Graduates’ Memorial Building or Botany Bay are steeper, averaging at around €570. While gas charges are usually included in this fee, utility charges of €200 to €300 are payable twice annually. Of course hindsight is like sour milk and may portray campus more favourably than is the reality. While Trinity is comparatively better than its rival University College Dublin in providing residence for its students, accommodating approximately 16% of the student population versus 11% in UCD, such facilities are nonetheless short of the demand. A further complication arises with the situation of Trinity Hall, which, although on the Luas line, can only be considered “campus” by a very vague definition of the word, a definition extending thirty minutes beyond college grounds. And of course while parents may feel assured by the extra security provided on campus, visitor restrictions may be a little too close to home for some. So what solace can be provided for those still in search of the ideal bachelor pad, or even a roof over their heads, at this stage? Faulkner advises to broaden your search - don’t restrict to central areas only, but look at suburban areas on bus and Luas routes. Also keep an eye on student notice boards around college. With the beginning of Michelmas term some students may advertise for an additional housemate. If you are still having difficulty finding a place, Faulkner is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As soon as I mentioned the word “student”, the attitude of landlords changed on the phone. It was as though they were trying to dissuade me from renting — while some even hung up
The new Buttery has moved with the times by finally offering a truly modern menu NIAMH HANLEY STAFF WRITER Observers walking through College during the summer months may have spotted the rare sight of the Dining Hall open to the public. The reason for this unusual scene was the not small task of the long-awaited refurbishment of the Buttery restaurant. Although by reputation long associated with student life in Trinity, the numbers of present students going through the Buttery doors have been steadily dropping. To some, the close of the Buttery Bar at the end of the 2005/06 college year spelt the death of the Buttery as a college institution. However, Trinity College Catering has fought back and the new, improved Buttery restaurant reflects the modern and vibrant lifestyle of Trinity students and their dining habits. Speaking to Trinity News, Mr. Eugene McGovern, Catering Manager, voiced his concern at the stereotype of the Buttery
as a “greasy spoon”. To combat this, a new menu, brought in with the new restaurant design, will introduce a “bistro style” of dining, including a salad bar, a juice bar, and three new hot food counters. Although the traditional Buttery student meals such as sausage and chips will still exist, pizza and pasta dishes, with choices of sauces, have been added to the menu. Sandwich lovers can also opt for wraps and paninis while there will be a separate range of gourmet sandwiches with ciabatta, foccaccia and polar breads. A self-help salad bar is now placed in front of the hot food counters with price determined by the weight of the purchase. Weighing scales have been installed at the cash point for this purpose. For those who prefer to linger over a coffee, the very popular Java City coffee bar has been extended to cover the whole space of what was previously the Buttery bar. This shall now become known as the “Chill” area, boasting sofas, easy chairs, and chairs and tables of varying height for students trying to put off a visit to the li-
brary. To improve lighting conditions in this previously dark area, there shall be floor lighting across the vicinity, making the effect considerably brighter. Arts Building fashionistas, even those who never venture to the Buttery, may also avail of a Java City coffee as it makes its presence known in the Arts Building Café this year. The refurbishment of the Buttery is believed to have cost in the region of €1.5 million and was spearheaded by the architects Oppermann Associates, previously involved in the redesign of The Sugar Club, among other notable clients. Certainly, the new-style Buttery venture is a risk for College Catering in the new financial environment within College, but one that Mr. McGovern believes was necessary to take. He cites the level of competition to catering services in Trinity compared to other universities, given its city centre location, and the knock-on effect of this. When asked for a final message to students, Mr. McGovern’s simple reply was: “I hope students welcome the change, that they like what
we’ve done [with the place], and that they use it.” Student reaction on campus so far has been largely positive. Ciarán Mac Aodhagán, a Senior Freshman Engineering student, described the food range on the Pearse Street side of campus as “limited”, with particularly harsh words for the Hamilton Café. When asked if he thought Science and Engineering students would visit the revamped Buttery, his response was: “Why not? They sound like they’ve got a wider menu than anywhere else in College”. He also approved of the addition of sofas in the ‘Chill’ area. While scientists and engineers may still frequent the Pavilion Bar and the Junior Common Room for their proximity to lectures, he definitely thought visitor levels from the other side of College would rise. The new design and lighting scheme would also improve matters, as he found the Buttery quite dark, and different seating would diminish the “school canteen” feel. Carla Reynolds, a Senior Sophister
Sociology student, confessed that her only visits to the Buttery last year had been to the Java City coffee bar, but finds the new menu and redevelopment “exciting”. She cited the salad bar and juice bar as particularly welcome additions and claimed her main reasoning for avoiding the Buttery before has been the lack of healthy food options on offer. The variation of breads available for sandwiches was also a plus. Although arts students tend to frequent cafés on Nassau Street and its surrounding area, she finds the small size of these locations restricting at lunch times. The large number of seating and reasonable pricing will induce her to visit the Buttery in Freshers’ Week, especially if she likes the new “look” compared to what she perceived as the “dirty and drab” atmosphere of before. Despite this confidence, the real test for the new Buttery will be if it can sustain high sales after the first few weeks of term, after the curiosity of students has been met. But certainly, a revived Buttery is a welcome enrichment of student life in Trinity.
The new menu A range of salads available in the newly installed self-service payby-weight salad bar Pizza and pasta dishes cooked freshly on-site Gourmet wraps, sandwiches and paninis will be made-toorder by staff A range of freshly made juices and smoothies provided by new juice bar Java City will provide a range of Fair Trade coffee and beverages
Michaelmas Term, Week 4
Some societies to watch this year DU Orchestral Society Elegance, class and sophistication were what we could expect last year from the Dublin University Central Societies Committee’s Best Society when atten ding one of their high-profile concerts, so can you expect more of the same this year? Yes! Dublin University Orchestral Society’s first foray into the public domain will take place at the end of the Michaelmas term with newcom er Michael Day (Senior Freshman Eng ineering) in the prestigious position of conductor. The word newcomer is used loosely in this sense, as Michael has been playing bassoon for Trinity Orch estra since before he was in college (for the last four years). Day has chosen the clear-cut programme of Rossini’s “Ov erture to La Gazza Ladra” (The Thieving Magpie); the overture, famous for its use of snare drums, has provided the back ground score to many television and radio adverts. Mendelssohn’s violin concerto follows (introducing soloist Jane Murphy) and the concert is finished by Dvorák’s Eighth Symphony – not performed as much as the famous ninth symphony (“From the New World”) – it is a cheery work in four movements drawing its inspiration from the Bohemian folk music Dvorák favoured .
broadening cultural ut trying new things and Freshers’ Week is all abo n, so look out for favour of experimentatio horizons, and we’re all in you can’t miss it) , me st (tru in Front Square our Freshers’ Week stall djembe drumming we do - we have weekly and see if you like what trying to drum and separately, it was chaos and hip-hop classes (run Week so you can rs’ she will be free in Fre ich wh ) ssy me y ver ce, dan first floor of , in the Eliz Room on the try them out (18.00, Friday the drumbeats if dents’ Union shop - follow House Six – above the Stu year such as the t hou of other events throug the best you get lost), and a host and rs ise dra fun rity y classes, cha music/film nights, cooker parties in the College! won CSC Society of society, we have already Only five years old as a Year 2007, and ts’ Union Society of the the Year 2006 and Studen fantastic Afroour h year ahead starting wit we’ve got another great ociation with ass in day urs Th me Lane on Carib Flava Party in 4 Da - reggae beats mixed ational Students Society Dublin University Intern great atmosphere a hits, a classy venue and in with the normal chart ence! The followfer dif a h wit king for a party guaranteed for those loo (beside the Buttery) all invited to the Atrium ing Friday night, you’re music, drinks and a party with plenty of live from 19.00 onwards for . We’re also infun the th DUISS cohosting freshly cooked food! Wi drummers playing ties in Ireland, with our volved in the biggest par ire in August – rld Cultures in Dun Laogha twice at the Festival of Wo to take part in nce cha the nity can offer you Tri in iety soc er oth no and ’s Festival and ’s calendar, the St Patrick the biggest event in Dublin tcd.ie for pictures bsite www.afrocarib.csc. Parade! Check out our we your Freshers’ Week! from last year, and enjoy
The orchestra also has two other exciting concerts and a tour planned in 2008 so it promises to be as busy a year as ever - sign-up in Fron t Square to get involved. Contact: email@example.com .
Conor McQuillan, TCD
ag DU Sign Langu
Michael ee levels taught by is organised into thr ty cie So ge ua ng Sign La Dublin University out the college year: gh ers]) ou thr n ha Monag ge Course [Beginn el One Sign Langua ev diate]) (L me E: ter ON [In E se ur AG Co ST Sign Language o Tw el to the language) ev lf (L se O: ur will STAGE TW customising yo d an ing gn Si e classes, the club l era en ion to sign languag dit ity ad un STAGE THREE: (G In e. mm let co af mp year to co within the de Each stage takes a il regarding issues ts will Ph en ev the e th Th wi . ht elf its nig unity a debate thin the deaf comm also be involved in th speakers from wi wi ts en ev be ll wi and there ere you uth Association wh L/English. th the Irish Deaf Yo wi somebe translated into IS d me an so nd t, ha ou e hts on r nig with a glass in n sig le There will be regula op pe ing tch ning— it’s fun wa d we can practice your sig er! ely full last year an oth the sses were complet cla in the ce times a cigarette in ble pla a ssi t po ge t as n’ as soon Even if you ca d. en att to Remember, sign up d nte the wa d o ents an ate all the people wh bate, the speaker ev couldn’t accommod along to the Phil de me co to me lco ll we classes, you are sti by emailing Freshers’ Week or t! ou hts SLS stand during nig the D groups. at TC th g bo hin up arc n sig n be found by se ca ich You will be able to wh p ou gr there is a Facebook firstname.lastname@example.org and D SLS President Theresa Ryan, TC
Dublin Univers ity Comedy Clu b, with its bran spanking new d committee, plan s on starting of this year with a f bang! We’ll ha ve top Irish co dians coming in meto make sure yo ur sides are splitting and ra kes of free stuf f this week to ge you guys in the t mood to laugh! First of our big events for Fres hers’ Week is Ja son Byrne in th Dining Hall on e Tuesday evenin g in association with Ents! Byr ne is guaranteed to have you rolling in the ai sles! To cap off a fu n-filled Freshe we’ll also have rs’ Week, Bernard O’She a (who’s appear on Naked Cam ed era, Just For La ughs, and Para mount Comedy’ s The World St ands Up) at the Pav on Friday afternoon, in as sociation with unteer Tuition VolProgramme! So drop by the stan join up, get free d, stuff and have a blast! Neil McGough , TCD ComedyS oc Treasurer
DU Literary Society ety invites memThe Dublin University Literary Soci the literary hisof on orati expl an in bers to join them de the tory and culture of Dublin, sure to inclu t notable litermos lin’s Dub watering holes of some of also be will they . year the ut ugho ary figures. Thro DBC ding inclu hosting several contemporary authors the of er winn and e Littl Pierre, author of Vernon God aud aime accl ne, Boy John e, 2003 Man Booker Priz and Mark thor of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas twriter. In scrip ion O’Rowe, playwright and Intermiss an opwith bers mem ide prov our continuing efforts to talary liter own their nd expa and ess portunity to expr open l tiona tradi ents, they will maintain the Society’s ety’s literary magreadings and publication of the Soci excited to introare they tion, addi In azine, The Attic. er’s workshop. duce a new ongoing society-run writ tions (and a tasty inten For a complete account of their re throughSqua t Fron in d stan treat), please visit the k. Wee ’ out Freshers Rahul Bery
Society Diary email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 1st October Trinity FM: Broadcasting 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, Fresher’s welcome to participate, 3rd floor House 6. Europa Society: Free Pizza in Europa’s room, House 6, as part of ‘Italian Day’, 12pm. Music Society: Free lunchtime recital in Boydell Recital Room every day this week, House 5, 1pm College Historical Society: Trinity vs UCDD Colours Debate, GMB, 5.30pm Tuesday 2nd October SciFi Society: Luas Lunch (pub crawl) – meet at 3pm at Front Arch Hist/Players: Comedy Night , Player’s Theatre, 6pm ComedySoc/SU: Jason Byrne in Dining Hall, 7pm The Phil: Johnny Marr, GMB, 7.30pm BioSoc/Students’ Union: Fresher’s Night in CitiBar, 10pm
Wednesday 3rd October Europa Society: ‘French Day’, free crepe brunch and French film screening in Room 3074, Arts Block, 11am-2pm Cards Society: Poker Tournament, The Buttery, 2pm OneWorld Society: Afternoon Fairtrade picnic in College Park (OneWorld Society room if weather is unfavourable)(same on Thursday) The Hist: Debate ‘That This House Would Legalise Cannabis’, with TCD Senator Ivana Bacik, GMB 7.30pm LGBT Society: 25th Anniversary Party, The George, 8pm Hist/An Cumann Gaelach/LawSoc: Fresher’s Week Ball, Turk’s Head, 10pm DUBES: Dubious in Purty Kitchen 10pm Thursday 4th October DUBES: Drinks reception in The Atrium 5pm Surf Club: Fresher’s Social in Doyle’s
Pub, 6pm Chess Society: Free Blitz Tournament and reception, Maths Seminar Room 2.6, Hamilton Block, 6pm The Phil: Interview with Helen Mirren, Dining Hall, 7.30pm The Phil/Students’ Union: Club Philth in Turk’s Head 10pm SciFi Society/Trinity FM: Mayhem in Club XXI 10pm AfroCaribbean Society/International Students Society: AfroCarib Flava in 4 Dame Lane 10pm Friday 5th October Player’s: Co-op Production, 9am-10pm ComedySoc/VTP: Bernard O’Shea in the Pav, 5pm AfroCaribbean Society: Free Drumming Class (Eliz Room, House 6) and Free Hip-Hop Dance Class (Regent House) 67pm AfroCaribbean Society/International
Students Society: Fresher’s Party in The Atrium 7-10pm followd by African Party in Club Annabel’s, Burlington Hotel Dance Society: Dance Class, Regent House, 7.30-9.30pm
Wednesday 10th October DUBES: KPMG Skills Seminar GMB 122pm Yoga Society: Yoga in Room 50, Atrium, 1-2pm
Monday 8th October Yoga Society: Yoga in Regent House, 5.30-7pm Player’s: Fresher’s 1930s Ball, The Sugar Club, 10pm
Thursday 11th October Yoga Society: Yoga in Regent House, 5.30-7pm Europa Society: AGM/Reception, Eliz Room, House 6, 6pm DUBES: KPMG Milkround Talks Swift Theatre 6pm St V de P: Activities Sign-Up, Walton Theatre, Arts Block, 7.15pm
Tuesday 9th October Theological Society: Inaugural Meeting, GMB, 12pm Yoga Society: Yoga in Room 50, Atrium, 1-2pm International Students Society/FLAC: Q&A Know Your Rights, Arts Block, 7pm Chess Society: Free Club Night, Maths Seminar Room 2.6, Hamilton Block, 7pm
Friday 12th October AfroCaribbean Society: Drumming Class (Eliz Room, House 6) and Hip-Hop Dance Class (Regent House) 6-7pm Dance Society: Dance Class, Regent House, 7.30-9.30pm
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Old-fashioned Freshers’ Week? Freshers’ Week here at Trinity pales in comparison to other universities both here in Ireland and across the water in Britain. What can be done and how do you cope with what little there is? SAM HANNAFORD FEATURES EDITOR So you think you’re grown up and all independent in the big wide world. You have finally made it to university where the predominant theme of fancy dress is school uniform. What is more, unless your mother-ship happens to be the Hamilton rather than the Arts Building, from now until next May, everyday is Sunday. Over the last decade, it seems to have become an accepted rule that the first week of university should be the best of your life. That is an urban myth. So don’t panic if these seven days are not proving to be a lifechanging experience; first, it will get better and second, you are far from being alone. However, the fact that wherever you could have gone this week will probably not live up to its legendary reputation does not negate the need to improve the entire Freshers package that Trinity does offer. Do a little research and it would seem that, although there is no sure recipe for a successful week of enforced fun, there are areas in which Trinity can most certainly up its game. Being scantily-clad and wearing a badge that basically shouts “game for a go” at an organised club night or pretending to be interested in never-before-seen Star Trek episodes in order to get a free glass of vinegar disguised as wine in the Atrium is all well and good, but Freshers’ Week should be, and needs to be, much more than that. Ok, so they offer you a library tour and they tell you to meet your tutor. In my first week, I toddled off diligently to meet mine, only to be greeted by a lecturer outside of my department who did not even mildly attempt to disguise his complete shock at my bothering to do so. Needless to say I didn’t trouble myself with the library tour. There is a “Student Orientation” web page, including a brief introduction to the city with “Dublin Life”, but the efforts compare poorly to other institutions, particularly within the United Kingdom. The recent completion of Trinity Hall has, without doubt, improved the Junior Freshman situation, but it is simply one large block of accommodation rather than being a complete or a part of an integrated hall or college system similar to those found at many other universities. Those smaller and closer knit residences offer a stronger sense of belonging and a more structured existence to new students; they make meeting new people and making new friends a great deal easier. Trinity Hall is a fantastic development, but the proj-
ect to improve the lot of our fresh-faced JF should not stop there. So what else is out there? Speak to people at other universities and spend a few days trawling the internet and one finds that a great deal of places, a list that painfully includes our varsity rivals, simply do it better: Durham offer a great student website presenting a wealth of information on what to expect from both Durham as a place and as a university. Current students have posted general advice, their top ten places to go within the city - for drinks, to read, to be alone - in addition to ideas on what to do in your first few weeks in order to get a sense of the city quickly. University College London have created a forum especially designed for incoming JF where they can post any queries and talk to each other. It appears to be well used and offers new students the opportunity to share their concerns, excitements and blood-draining fears before they have even packed their bags and waved goodbye to mummy. There also exists a UK-based forum called “The Student Room” that serves most British universities. There is a section for overseas institutions which does include a number of posts regarding Trinity, but all are largely concerned with the application process and fears over A-level grade requirements from prospective UK students. The answer in improving the quantity and quality of information available to incoming Trinners lies within the development of the Students’ Union website. Last, concentrating on lengths that can be taken once students have arrived, perhaps Trinity can take a leaf out of University College Dublin’s book when it comes to the orientation programme. In short, there isn’t one. Trinity may throw about the word “orientation” on the website a little, but an actual “programme” cannot be said to exist. Across the city in Donnybrook they organise group activities within each new class intake, an idea practised by the majority of British and American universities. One may whine at such Pony Club efforts, but these steps are important and do work. There is nothing like being launched into a situation with a small group of strangers to get you talking and getting to know people. It may sound a little too much like the school you have just spent six years trying to escape but, and at the risk of sounding slightly patronising, a great number of Trinity students begin their degree when still only seventeen. It is surely not unreasonable
to consider the possibility that a little sober daytime activity could help Freshers on their way, even if it serves only to unite them in their critique of it or to create a few new recognisable faces that night at Citibar’s “Twisted Tuesday.” It’s not all bad and even though there is room for improvement in the future, here is a smattering of veteran advice on getting the best out of what is available here and now. If someone offers you a cocktail called a “Brain Haemorrhage”, think twice before accepting. Only so much bonding can be done through holding your flatmate’s hair back later that night. Yes, this is the week to experience such stupendous joys as the Traffic Light Ball and to relive those country discos with boys one one side of the room and girls on the other. It is all very similar here, only on a larger scale and minus the parents standing at the back brandishing chipolata’s on cocktail sticks. The best advice is to just go for it. Talk to as many people as you can. You may never speak to them again but it doesn’t matter. Even if you have a fleeting intimate moment with the random hot guy or girl who, a) without mood lighting and three euro pints looks like Freddie Kruger, and b) is not random – they’re in your class, it doesn’t matter. That’s what it’s all about. You may not meet the people who will turn out to be lifelong chums or your partners in crime for the next four years, but you will do things that will give you something to talk about when, in a week’s time, it comes to trying to be cool at the back of a lecture on medieval ploughing techniques . Don’t make the great mistake of assuming that your six months experience de-worming one-legged orphans in war-torn Somalia will be of avid and constant interest to everyone you meet. Yes, it’s a great achievement, but invite people into your beautiful little breeze block room for a Bulmer’s or a cup of Barry’s, not for an afternoon session with your gap year snaps. So if you do go for broke during Freshers’ Week, this is a short and honest guide to who you’re going to find… Secret Degree Workers: they will drink more than you and stay out later. They pretend to not really care and they chatter during lectures but during the hours of darkness they are beavering away. They will lure you into a false sense of security regarding the amount of work you need to be doing and will then pull out a First. The West Brits: they wear loafers or rugby shirts
with a turned-up collar. They are generally tall and well built because their ancestors could afford to be fed more than potatoes. Best of all are those who sport pseudo-English accents but actually attended the local Christian Brothers School in Laois. They’re proud and determined to be “the only gay Prod in the village.” The Ramp Heads: these are probably the most clichéd of all the student groups with their phenomenally long rolled cigarettes, disintegrating Converse and clothing laced with hippy undertones. Team England: as dearly as I would love to pretend this group doesn’t exist, they do. However - and every other student should well remember this - they are the best of the bunch. Those that stayed in Blighty and went to Bristol or Edinburgh have since become the “Rahs”: the Oxbridge rejects that mince across these cobblestones are those that chose to escape. Science Students: speak to them now because within a matter of days, if not hours, they will only want to speak to each other. The Players (the university drama society, not an organised group of ill-intending male Senior Freshmen): if you thought drama amongst Trinity’s romantic tree-studded squares would perhaps involve a spot of Shakespeare or Noel Coward, you were wrong. Indeed if you are a budding thespian you will no doubt have already paid your fee and be awaiting the Co-op auditions. If so, good luck. You will either become one of them or spend the next few years being greatly irritated by their assumption that in order to be a talented actor you need to be incredibly outgoing and off-thewall. If you think I am exaggerating, just wait for the Co-op bonding sessions. Much of how good, bad, frightening or liberating your Freshers’ Week proves to be will likely depend upon where you have come from and what you are used to. If this is your first time away from home, then the chance to drink all you like, stay out without your father pacing the floor and without having to deal with your mother’s canine-like ability to detect smoke on your breath from 200 yards, it is probably proving to be overwhelming in every sense. Don’t expect too much and you may be pleasantly surprised. No matter how this week turns out, do not doubt for a second that this an amazing place to be and that your love for Trinity, with all its Matt the Jap quirks and its random lashings of tasteful 1960’s architecture, will grow each term for at least the next four years. You will always be a Trinner, and regardless of how disappointing this week may prove to be, you will always know you made the right choice.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Reading between the ledger lines. This year, students will have enough research to do without having to cram on their financial options. Trinity News and You and Your Money magazine present an exclusive survey of what banks are offering you. DEREK OWENS You probably know those Bank of Ireland ads featuring bluffing and blustering students inventing excuses to wring loans from their banks, answered by an almost paternal (and always compliant) bank manager. “No problem”, he explains, as the BOI pitched itself as the “straight talking” student account providers. This year, banks seem to have taken a leaf from the students rather than that kindly (and fictional) banker, their ads and promotions enticing students with gimmicky goodies rather than telling us all what their student accounts actually offer. That’s where You & Your Money have come in, bringing you an exclusive survey of the deals offered by banks on student current accounts. A quick glance at the table shows that all the banks are offering different rates, limits and deals on the things that really matter – all the more reason to look at what’s out there, but also to think about your priorities. If you’re likely to need cash to make do for a short amount of time, decent overdraft terms are crucial. If you need long-term help making ends meet, a bank that doesn’t rip-off student borrowers is important. So take a look at how you’re planning to pay for college and what you’re likely to need from your bank
before looking for the best place to get it. First of all, beware the gimmick. An extra €50 in your account will get eaten up quickly if you’re paying silly interest rates on your credit card, and discounts in Waterstones won’t do you much good if you’re trawling charity shops for secondhand texts. Unless there’s something that seriously grabs you, don’t let these goodies affect your decision at all. Remember that if they think you’re dopey enough to be wooed by a ten euros gimmick into making a long-term decision like this, they presumably think you’re dopey enough to rip off. All students will probably become familiar with the words “over” and “draft” by the time they graduate – those bills come in rather quicker than the student grant cheque or refunded tax from working abroad and you’ll need the flexibility to pay them. If you won’t need huge amounts to tie you over while waiting for payday, Allied Irish Bank’s offer of a €1500 interest-free overdraft is ideal. The APR of 11.68 percent charged on overdrafts above this amount is also a reduction on their standard rate but higher than their competitors. If you think you’ll need slightly larger sums for long periods of time, an account with Ulster Bank (who don’t charge any interest once an overdraft stays within the limits you agree) will save a lot. Of
course, if you’ll be waiting a good while before a big payday, the National Irish Bank advertise overdraft limits of up to €5000, at a decent APR of 7.75 percent. Strangely stingy by comparison are Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB, who tell us their typical limits are €400 and €500 respectively. Overdrafts are usually decided on a case-by-case basis so you’ll need to convince the banks you have a reasonable chance of paying it off. Of course it’s pretty unwise to get an overdraft in the first place if you don’t think so too – spending money you just don’t have is rarely a good idea. Neither is it a good idea to spend money you can’t pay off on your student credit card, especially with the “deals” many banks saddle you with. They all charge little or no interest on your purchases for an introductory period ranging from five months to a year. After that, though, it gets ugly, and most will hit you with some of the highest interest rates in the market. The worst offenders are Ulster Bank, who charge an APR of 18.3 percent after nine months with Bank of Ireland and AIB not much better. NIB, despite having the shortest introductory period of five months, offer the best rate on purchases afterwards, charging a comparatively low 10.2 percent APR. In theory, of course, you can hop from bank to bank so you’ll always enjoy the introductory rate, but this will take time
and effort that you may not be able to spare when exams and essay deadlines are looming. Besides a mountain of debt is a mountain of debt no matter where you go and you don’t want to emerge from college with the wolves at your door. You’re better off signing up to a decent long-term deal, only looking to switch when a better offer comes along. It’d be smartest, of course, to pay off your balance every month so you won’t get hit with interest at all. But that may just seem boring. Finally, it’s obvious from a glance at the table that you’d be mad to withdraw cash advances using a credit card unless it’s a genuine emergency. As for emergencies, the time may come when you need to go cap-in-hand to your bank looking for a cash injection. When you do, it’ll obviously be better if you’re not trapped with a debt that you can’t shake off. To be fair to the banks on this, they tend to offer students decent loan rates – even AIB, charging the secondhighest interest of the banks surveyed, are giving a 1.5 per cent discount on their usual rates. Ulster Bank’s loans are the most manageable at 8.3 per cent APR on up to €2750 and NIB, despite not offering a special student loan deal, have a nice enough rate on their normal loans, typically 8.4 per cent APR. Permanent TSB don’t have a special student loan rate, either, and the interest rate gets lower the more you borrow. Un-
less you’re in a €9000 hole (in which case, will they really touch you?) or buying a car, their rates aren’t the best. Neither are AIB or Bank of Ireland, charging 10.33 percent and 10.8 percent respectively. Remember when you’re looking at a student loan that you may well need a parent to act as a guarantor for the money, in which case, you should consider borrowing from them – the interest rates will probably be better anyway! Also try to pay off whatever debts you rack up before you graduate, just in case that post-graduation “restructuring” that banks often insist on could put you in worse debt just as you’re starting work. You don’t want to spend your time in college worrying about credit card bills, loan repayments or your overdraft interest - there’s plenty of time for that after you graduate. A look at what student deals will help you get through college in decent financial shape without being dazzled by the gimmicks, will save you a world of hassle and stress you’ll have to deal with later. Derek Owens is sub-editor of You and Your Money and former News Editor of Trinity News. This month’s edition of You and Your Money features a list of the top 50 websites for freebies, and Claire Byrne’s advice on surviving the rental rush. www.youandyourmoney.ie
Bank of Ireland
National Irish Bank
SERVICES No transaction fees
SERVICES You pay transaction fees
SERVICES You pay transaction fees
SERVICES No transaction fees
SERVICES No transaction fees
€1,500 interest free overdraft limit with increase on application. Interest at 11.68% on overdrafts above €1500
Decided on case-by-case basis, typically €300-€400 at 10.8% APR
Up to €5000 overdraft with no setup fee. Interest at 7.75%
Variable overdraft limit but typically €500 interest free
Loans provided at 10.8% APR
No special loan deals for students but th etypical APR is 8.4%
€1,750 interest free overdraft limit for first year students, rising to €2,800 for fifth year students and above. No interest charged if you keep within agreed limits.
Loans provided at 10.33% APR
Credit card with 0% APR for the first 6 months, rising to 17.2% thereafter. 18.75% APR on cash advances
Credit card with 3.9% APR for the first 12 months, rising to 17.8% thereafter. 21.7% APR on cash advances THE GIMMICK €450 lodged into account after 17 transactions. Voucher for a free Student Travelcard on opening the account THE CATCH All deals on overdrafts and Loans are linked to the standard interest rate (-1.5%). If this goes up, so do yours
THE GIMMICK European flight voucher for opening an account and a worldwide flight voucher when the account is used regularly THE CATCH A small overdraft limit could cause problems while interest rates on other services aren’t great either
Credit card with0% APR for the first 5 months, rising to 10.2% thereafter. THE GIMMICK A text service which notifies you when money is lodged to your account THE CATCH One of the few banks still charging studnets for hanging on to their money
Loans provided up to €2,750 typically at 8.3% APR
No Student loan rate. APR of 11.7% on loans up to €5,000, 10.4% from €5,000-€9,000; 8.4% on loans over €9,000 No student credit card
Credit card with 0% APR for the first 9 months, rising to 18.3% thereafter. 22.5% APR on cash advances THE GIMMICK €100 on use of account in two separate installments. Discounts in Waterstones and Carphone Warehouse THE CATCH A credit card APR close to being the highest in th emarket
THE GIMMICK 3V Vouchers, disposable prepaid Visa debit numbers for online shopping THE CATCH A new player in the market whih doesn’t like giving students plastic
Michaelmas term, Week 4
The geek who changed the cyber world Facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg has led a charmed life so far, but now his former college buddies are suing him for fraud, writes John Lavelle
or a geek, 24 year-old college drop out, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t doing half bad. He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, he’s changed the way people communicate and he’s given the expression “you’ve been poked” a whole new meaning. Zuckerberg is the inventor of Facebook.com, the social networking site that has taken the world by storm. Since its inception in early 2004, Facebook has grown rapidly to become the tenth most popular website on the internet. Last year, Zuckerberg turned down a billion dollar bid for the company by Yahoo. But the path to success hasn’t always been smooth for the baby faced hacker-cum-chief-executive from upstate New York. Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984, the second child of a Jewish dentist and psychiatrist from salubrious Westchester County. A self-confessed geek, he spent his high school years teaching himself how to write computer programs. By the time he started as an undergraduate at Harvard, Zuckerberg had already turned down job offers from America Online and Microsoft. His first brush with controversy came within months of enrolling at the world’s best university. Zuckerberg hacked into the students’ record system, stole photographs of students and placed them on a website – called Facemash.com – where users could rate them on their looks. The enterprise lasted all of four hours before Harvard staff pulled the plug. Mark was hauled in front of a disciplinary panel and only a contrite apology saved him from expulsion. It wasn’t long before Zuckerberg was at it again. Recognising the demand for a website that allowed students to post profiles of themselves, send each other messages and share photos, he set up Facebook along with his roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. This time it was all above-board; this time it lasted
Zuckerberg has managed to defuse all controversies using the same tactics that saved him from being kicked out of Harvard: first apologise, then modify the website so it no longer offends
When the money started to pour in – from advertising, sponsorship and venture capitalists – Zuckerberg decided to devote himself to the website full-time. He dropped out of Harvard at the end of his second year and moved to San Francisco to set up an office. That was in mid-2004. In the three years since, with Zuckerberg as CEO, Facebook has gone from strength to strength. It now employs over 300 staff and boasts 34 million users – no longer limited to college students and Americans. Initially, Facebook in Ireland was – like croquet and Latin prayers – exclusively for students of Trinity College. But since it started welcoming non-student members, Facebook’s popularity has grown in the country. It’s now Ireland’s eleventh most popular website and has begun to challenge Bebo’s dominance of the social networking market. There have been hitches along the way. When Facebook opened its site to high school students in 2005 it was criticised in the American media for, apparently, facilitating paedophile stalkers. Students have complained of police and university authorities using Facebook pictures and messages to spy on them. In early 2006, a new feature, “News Feed”, provoked a furious reaction from users, who decried it as invasive and voyeuristic. Zuckerberg has managed to defuse all of these controversies using the same tactics that saved him from being kicked out of Harvard: first apologise, then modify the website so it no longer offends people’s sensibilities. The News Feed backlash fizzled out after users were given more control over their privacy settings. But the biggest threat to Zuckerberg’s ascent to date is a lawsuit currently making its way through the Boston district court. The plaintiffs are three of his former college buddies who set up ConnectU.com – a less successful, rival social networking site.
more than four hours. Helped by Zuckerberg’s notoriety from the Facemash affair, Facebook spread rapidly and, within a fortnight, half of Harvard’s students had signed up. Within weeks, Facebook was opened its doors to other university students – first from nearby Ivy League schools, and then from other colleges across the United States.
Mark Zuckerburg at “Lunch 2.0” developer happy hour at the Facebook offices in Palo Alto. Photo Scott Beale/Laughing Squid They claim that after they hired Zuckerberg to work on their website, he stole their business model and their computer codes and used them to make his millions. At the latest court hearing in July, Facebook’s lawyers branded it a stunt designed to generate publicity for ConnectU and secure an out of court cash settlement. They promised to fight the case for as long as it takes. Don’t close your account just yet. Facebook’s rise has prompted speculation about a possible takeover by a larger company. The founders of Myspace, YouTube and Skype all took the money and ran after bids from News Corp, Google and Ebay, respectively. Might Mark Zuckerberg be tempted to do the same? So far, no. When Yahoo offered to buy Facebook for a billion dollars last year, Zuckerberg turned them away. Approaches from Microsoft and Viacom were also rebuffed. For the moment, it seems, Zuckerberg wants to stay at the helm and continue to grow the business his own way. The way it’s worked out so far, you can’t blame him.
Facebook facts Facebook.com is a social networking website that allows users to create their own profile, share photographs and send each other messages. It was founded in February 2004 by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook now has 31 million members worldwide. It had estimated revenues of $100 million last year and employs 300 staff. The site is the tenth most popular website in the world overall, behind its rival Myspace.com which is in sixth place. The website has been criticised in the past for letting users form controversial groups, including, “Armenian genocide is a BIG LIE”, “Palestinian liberation organisation international”, “Anorexia is hot” and “Club suicide”. Facebook.com is Ireland’s eleventh most popular website. Its competitor Bebo.com is first. The Trinity College network on Facebook has 5,992 members.
t was hardly a sad day this summer when I had my man-servant roll that pudgy corpse into Dublin harbour. Ladies, the Agent is dead. He/she/it (we are still not sure) learned that you don’t mess with Evelyn Tent. You would all do well to remember that. At this point in the year we should feel such sympathy for all those fools and try hards in the Students’ Union. For them this week is their only chance to make friends. After all, only a Fresher would be stupid enough to touch them with anything other than a petrol-soaked and flaming piece of wood. We said one should feel sympathy - we don’t. These types need to get used to the fact that throughout their pathetic lives the world is going to repeatedly bend them over for “fun time with the cactus”. Singled out for that extra spikey cactus will be Claire “Colourblind” Tighe. Not only will she inflict eight University Retards on us this year but she is also to be blamed for wrapping the Union up in charming dog-shit brown hoodies this year. Doesn’t she realise that we have to look at these abominations! Old Colourblind didn’t stop there though, she also chose gold and black t-shirts that make Andy “Carpet” Byrne look like your average glass-clearing China man. Speaking of Carpet Byrne, during the summer we were able to put two and two together when flaming uncle Joe told us about the “divine boy” who was getting all the tips down in the Dragon on a Saturday night. Apparently, a big enough tip got one an extra go with the swizzle stick. Could it be that Students’ Union activism just doesn’t pay enough these days? Or could it be that Carpet Byrne just likes the company? Marital problems are a terrible thing but are always amusing. And I’m afraid it’s trouble in Graduates Memorial paradise chez “Boobs” Faller et “No puffs on my boat” Smyth these days. Poor old No puffs Smyth just couldn’t get the interior decorating right in the east wing. It seems he has made some nasty holes in Boobs’ darling plasterwork with some frankly ugly pictures. Doesn’t he know a girl like Boobs simply must have things her own gin-soaked way? Still, it’s just a little tiff and we are sure that the pair is just right for each
other- “for better or worse”, isn’t that the way they put it? Yes, that’s it, and it finishes ‘till impotency do us part’, we think. (Good job getting started early on that one No puffs. Very efficient.) And Boobs, darling, regarding your letter, of course you’re keen to get things started in the bedroom but you must understand that sometimes your man might have other things on his mind. I mean No puffs does have most of a committee still left to get rid of. “Earnest” Ed O’Riordan’s year almost got off to a bad start when MEAS looked like they would axe both of his precious club nights in sophisticated Citibar. Well, in fact they only axed one, but in the end everything turned out fine for Earnest Ed. Why? Because it was his over 21’s night that was axed instead of his first years’ night. So his regular supply of Fresher fumbles is secure. And lets face it ladies, the over 21’s just didn’t fall for the “I’ll buy you a two euro drink” line. A related word of advice to Earnest Ed, we suggest you ditch Niall “sniff sniff” Morris before you pick up any more bad habits. Finally we note that someone has been stoking the fires under the accommodation office — and not entirely without casualties either. Those looking for Margaret Woodbyrne will now find an empty desk. Emma “Hard ass” Stokes has been letting everyone know who is boss. Now we appreciate these strong women types, but really Emma do you have to go the whole hog with the haircut? Darling take my advice, stop going for the Grafton Barber eight euro special and splash out some of that hard earned blood stained cash. And on that ladies we will leave you until next time.
yours in spite,
Michaelmas term, Week 4
New Seanad must tackle cosy cross-party consensus
Photo: Martin McKenna
Talented new members will help Seanad outshine the Dáil, writes newly re-elected Senator Shane Ross
irst, let me welcome Ivana Bacik to the Trinity team in Seanad Eireann. Dublin University senators have always been good team players. As a result they have punched above their weight. Ivana will be an articulate addition, an outspoken voice and a radical asset. Trinity senators have never agreed on all issues (how could a group of three independents?). But where the interests of Trinity, its students, graduates and third-level education are concerned, we have recently united and forced a hearing for the needs of the university. Let us continue, but let us change. University education faces many challenges. The perceived conflict between the needs of research and teaching will continue. The controversy about the position of universities like Trinity in global league tables has prompted many opponents of current trends to protest that
the demands of such tables are robbing universities of their character. Supporters suggest that we must compete more aggressively on the world stage. As a member of staff Ivana will be active in the debate both within Trinity and, now, on the national stage in the Seanad. So it will be great to have her on board. But there will be more than education to fight about. The Senate promises to be the scene of battles galore in the coming years. A cast of characters unmatched by the Dáil threatens to steal the limelight. We will not just enjoy the novelty of Ivana, we will be regaled with the rhetoric of Ronan Mullen, the National University of Ireland surprise Seanad winner. We will hear the fresh voices of Green Party representatives for the first time. Elsewhere, Sinn Féin has gained a historic foothold.
Pearse Doherty, the republican from Donegal, promises to clash with a colleague of mine in the Sunday Independent – the intellectually fearless Eoghan Harris from Cork. The scene is set for fireworks, but also for productive debate. We must not lose this opportunity where so many sparkling minds are collected in one chamber. Never before has the Seanad contained such intellectual firepower. Mere debate will not do. The next four years have the potential to confront soft political choices and cosy crossparty consensus. For instance, why do all the parties support so called ‘social partnership’? Are pay-deals in the public interest? Or are they vehicles for a quiet life for the establishment? They suit the utterly useless big employers group, Irish Business and Employers Confederation. They suit the banks. They suit the most powerful trades unions. They suit the govern-
ment and they suit the big farmers. They suit the insiders. But do they suit the economy? The Dáil has lost its best performer, Joe Higgins, who challenged the political classes. It has lost Michael McDowell from the more radical right. It is dull as ditch water, a dreary oasis where Enda Kenny endlessly fails to lay a glove on the anesthetic politics of Bertie Ahern. Suddenly the Seanad is faced with the chance of outshining the Dáil. That will mean turning the spotlight on ourselves. The Seanad is riddled with flaws. It has been unchanged since 1937 because of the irresistible opportunities for patronage it offers. Ireland’s political system survives on patronage. The Seanad is the worst example of it. We must seize the day to see that sensitive appointments are removed from the political arena. Why should judges be appointed by politicians? Why is the head of An Post a party perk? Ditto CIE, the DAA and the ESB? Such a jobs for the boys’ and girls’ merrygo-round is endorsed by the Seanad. The reason is simple: the second chamber itself is full of those who are the favoured sons and daughters of political parties, in particular, the section of any political party in the ascendancy at the time of the Seanad election. In the recent Seanad contest, Green Party councillors voted for a list of Fianna Fáil candidates approved by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. In the same contest Labour Party councillors elected a Sinn Fein candidate. The deals were cooked up in smoke-filled rooms. The insiders were returned victorious.There are too many insiders in Seanad Eireann. It is almost a self-perpetuating body, deliberately excluding political outsiders. And we in the university seats need reform too. If third-level graduates are to elect senators then all, not just one or two, centres of education should be included. There is no defensible reason why Dublin City University and Limerick University graduates should be excluded, relegated to second-class status. We in Dublin University must recognise the democratic demands of others. We must make the necessary gesture to ensure that we are never part of the consensus, the elite, the patrons or the patronised. The next five years give us an opportunity. Unprecedented talent has been installed in the second chamber. The onus is on us to produce the results. Shane Ross was re-elected this summer to the Dublin University seat in Seanad Eireann that he has held since 1981. In the next issue, Senator David Norris on gay rights, traffic and Seanad reform.
We only have ourselves to blame for the accommodation crisis Instead of complaining, students should take action to tackle chronic housing shortages.
BARRY DEVLIN CONTRIBUTING WRITER At this time of year, I have to say I envy landlords if they happen to own a dank basement room with “creative” decorating and “lively” local night life. They can stick it on Daft.ie during their lunch break and, by the time they leave work, they’ll have a hoard of voice messages from students desperate to pay a small fortune for the pleasure of clearing out the previous residents’ burnt spoons and blood-stained laundry. Anyone who has searched for a place to stay in Dublin will know the madness of the property market and the soul grinding cycle of finding ads, calling landlords, arranging viewings and getting
rejected. Showing up to find that your prospective pad was let the morning before is never fun. “Professionals only”: again and again you will see this notice on property adverts. How is it that we as students have such a poor lot in the property market? Of course, if I owned a flat in town, I wouldn’t dream of putting my prime investment in the hands of a gang of scruffy looking students with no references and little apparent income unless I had to, but that’s just it, there’s no incentive for them to, and there’s practically no alternative to private letting after first year. If you don’t believe that it can be rough for students, just look around. Everybody knows someone who was forced to take some obscenely over priced spot because it turned out that there just was nowhere else. One friend of mine lives with three other students in a house that was evidently built to fill the gap between the neighbouring vegetable packing factory and vegetable warehouse. Unfortunately it seems the vegetable market is heating up nearly as fast as property and the factory is audibly packing vegetables night and day. Whatever special packing process is used seems to involve a lot of water as is evidenced by the mildew blotted walls and welcoming damp aroma that greets visitors. And to top it off, no more than three people can ever enter the kitchen lest the floor, which sinks so un-
nervingly at your footstep, give way. I once lived in an apartment with a shower that had the exciting habit of mildly electrocuting whoever was foolish or absent-minded enough to touch its metal components. Another friend of mine spent a month sleeping on my couch while he searched for a place. He eventually found somewhere to stay and now lives in a room in a dilapidated Georgian house with a coin-operated shower. What do the Students’ Union and the Union of Students in Ireland do? They sleep outside the Dáil in a media-grabbing stunt that does precisely nothing to help actual students. Simply managing to point out their own incompetence by decrying Minister for the Environment John Gormley’s apparent failure to live up to his previous promise and meet with student representatives to discuss the problems, only for the Minister’s office to embarrassingly reveal that the USI had never even contacted them to try and arrange a meeting. I don’t think we can expect much from either students’ union. What about the College? Kindly, it has provided the Accommodation Advisory Service, but in reality, unless you’ve managed with some degree of luck and subterfuge to lie your way into the overpriced rooms on campus or be one of the charmed few who’ve gotten Schols, you’re up a certain unfortunately named creek and definitely
paddleless. But check out Daft while you’re there. The government? It pays little attention to a demographic that rarely finds the motivation to bother to vote, as is clearly evidenced by the shambles of the maintenance grant system. Which leads to what is really our problem – ourselves. We’re just too happy to accept our lot. All it would take would be a few moments at a ballot station to get the government’s attention, or actual action and organisation through the Students’ Union and serious agitation of college to support us. The government could provide affordable student accommodation itself, there could be some incentive system by the USI or some other organisation to encourage landlords to take in students. There could be meaningful tax breaks and support services on the part of the government or, in fact, any kind of decent assistance at all on their part. But they don’t and there isn’t and we only have ourselves to blame. As long as we accept that this is just the way it is and we sink back into a state of self indulgent pity and let our apathy be all too clear, there are plenty of people out there who are more than happy to take advantage of us. It is entirely our own fault.
Why do Trinity’s minorities suffer in silence? ORLA GORDON CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When the German Senior Freshman class sat down to start their exams last May, a few anxious students took a glimpse towards the empty chair and table in the centre of the room. After a quick mental roll call, we realised our one, and only, mature student was not there. Not only was she unable to sit her exams, but she had not attended any lectures in Trinity term. Had we noticed? The traditional college student is perceived to be young, drunk, lazy and usually financed by Daddy. They shuffle into college around noon and the highlight of the day (not including the 11.00 frappuccino) is a free drinks reception rather than any of the day’s lectures. If this is what we take as given, how can those who do not fit the bill settle into college life? The College website provides a service for all those who will be starting college in October. Each week they focus on a different aspect of college life, one week is even entitled “Fun, Fun, Fun”. However, it is not very clear what one should do if they cannot simply enter college like everybody else. So, what about those who are coming to college with baggage – an illness, a disability, a different ethnic background, a few years more than the average student, a baby? Do we as students take enough time out to deal with the minority? Of course there are the services which will help these minorities with “all the assistance and support that [they] may require.” The Student Disability Service, the Student Counselling Service, the Learning Support Service. However, it is naive to think that these supports can help everyone, all the time. These bodies are there for the practical supports required to go to college but they do not remove the pressure of college work or help people to integrate fully with their peers. Alas, it was not enough for the mature student in that German class. No matter how many services the College provides to those on the periphery, if the College community as a whole does not embrace these people there will be an increasing number of students leaving without their peers even noticing. While mature students may prefer to socialise with others of the same age, 20 year-olds with a baby at home have very few people who they can relate with in college. Does that mean that these people should just accept their fate and cut out a huge part of the college experience? Can it really be called a full college experience if one just attends lectures and misses everything external to that? The College may aim to “facilitate” those with a disability but even they lose out on the well-rounded experience. If you are confined to a wheelchair you certainly will not be able to attend any event in the College Historical Society’s Conversation Room. You are also resigned to the fate of probably never reaching a class on time given the rush hour traffic in the Arts Building’s lift. The Students’ Union is very active in trying to accommodate these groups and help their student life. However, it cannot be ignored that the Union’s offices are currently situated in House Six, a building which is inaccessible above the ground floor for those who have a disability. There are, therefore, obvious restrictions on these people. However, these obstacles do not appear to be too much to overcome as these groups continue to come to the college. Each group has an official body which represents it. Perhaps they are not as visible to the wider College community, but their existence is a step in the right direction. Students with children are given priority in the college crèche, a move which must surely help those who would be unable to attend college otherwise. The older buildings of Front Square have been recently renovated and are accessible for disabled people. The Students’ Union may well move to Luce Hall in the future, which will provide an even more accessible group of officers. Officially, Trinity College is making a huge effort to accommodate all those who would be otherwise unable to attend college. It is the responsibility of the college officials to ensure that every student receives the education they deserve. If it is in other, extracurricular activities that the minorities are being excluded, then perhaps a bigger effort is required from the student body from day to day. Instead of welcoming the Junior Freshmen this year with offers of free drinks receptions and “Twisted Tuesdays” maybe we should ask them, “Is there anything we can do to help you? Can we improve your college experience?”
Editorial&Comment TRINITY NEWS
Michaelmas term, Week 4
U B L I N
N I V E R S I T Y
N D E P E N D E N T
T U D E N T
E W S P A P E R
Issue 1, Volume 54 Monday, October 1st, 2007 6, Trinity College, Dublin 2 www.trinitynews.ie
What is Trinity News? As our name implies, we aim to present the news of the Dublin University to as wide a circle as possible of those who have an interest in the University. We shall endeavour to be widely representative, to avoid superfluous comment and to offer news objectively. There has been, we feel, a long want for such a paper. Apart from the efforts of our own staff, news contributions from all undergraduates and graduates will be welcomed for publication. Only that way will Trinity News become the truly democratic newspaper intended by its founders. If in the process, and in the news we present, there results some revival of the collegiate spirit which modern conditions tend to discourage, the newspaper will have justified itself. We cannot end our editorial without thanking all those who have cooperated in sending us society and sports reports and those who have taken advertising space in our issues. (First published Wednesday, October 28th, 1953)
Can we solve the accomodation crisis? As Freshers’ Week gets under way, hundreds of students are still without a place to live. This year students are finding it tougher than ever to find accommodation. Why is it so difficult to find an apartment in Dublin? As with so many things, America is partly to blame. Problems with the US economy have led to uncertainty in the Irish housing market. Young professionals – reluctant to take a leap onto a rickety property ladder – are snapping up rental accommodation. Students, with their loutish reputation and preference for shorter leases, are being squeezed out of the market. The students’ unions have sent out angry press releases and picketed the Dail. But they have yet to suggest a plausible, long-term solution to a problem that is likely to get worse before it gets better. Here are two. Trinity College could expand the number of rooms that it offers to students. Currently, the College lets out 760 places on campus (about half of which are set aside for staff and scholars) and 1050 rooms in Trinity Hall, Dartry. Even though College accommodation is pricey and sometimes of dubious quality, demand far exceeds supply. Hundreds of applicants are turned down each year, hundreds more don’t bother applying for fear of rejection. The College could purchase a large apartment block in the city centre and let places directly to students. Given Trinity’s financial clout, any bank would finance almost all of the investment at a reduced rate. With interest rates likely to fall, repayments would be more than financed by rent from students and summer tourists. Extra College accommodation would fit in nicely with Trinity’s oft repeated goal of enhancing the Trinity experience. First years are more likely to feel part of the Trinity community if they’re living with class mates in dorms, rather than in a dingy bed-sit in East Wall. If the cash-strapped Provost is reluctant to take a risk on a multimillion euro property investment at a time of economic uncertainty, another, similar solution is available. Trinity could offer accommodation to students indirectly, through a property rental company. Such arrangements are ubiquitous in American and European universities. Rental companies agree to reserve a certain number of places for students each year and universities assure they will be filled. Often, students sign a lease that lasts the entire duration of their stay in college. The student has a guaranteed room for four years, the rental company has a guaranteed tenant and it costs the university nothing. Everyone’s a winner. The accommodation crisis could be eased by next year, if the Students’ Union and the College concentrated on workable solutions instead of hollow publicity stunts. We will not be holding our breath for this to happen any time soon.
This publication is funded by a grant from Trinity Publications. Serious complaints about the content of this publication should be addressed to The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. This publication claims no special rights or privileges.
Bloodsports are not a spectacle to be praised so highly Sir, – From our colleague the Irish Council Against Bloodsports, we received your article about the experience of one of your writers with bullfighting in Spain. We think it's a real pity that he seemed to enjoy this bullfight, but what is worse, we think it's a promotional article for this blood sport. The way you describe bullfighting makes it seem much less cruel than it really is and there are several errors in your article: - A novillada is a bullfight with three years-old bulls and bullfighters that are not so experienced. The bulls are also tortured and killed, with or without the use of picadores. - The picadores cut the bull's muscles with a long spear, causing heavy bleedings. He is not only “slightly weakened”. Horses still get wounded and/or killed during this part of the corrida, despite the blanket which is only protecting one side of the animal. Still hundreds of horses die each year in the arenas. Portuguese horses are not protected at all. Please see the photos in the at-
tachments and the video - The banderilleros are posed like heroes, while they are not. They each stick spears with hooks in the neck and back of the bull, causing severy pain and heavy bleedings. They may have more guts than the matador, but they are very cruel indeed. - In 95% of the cases, the matador fails to kill the bull in one stab. The bull suffers even more because of this because most bulls suffocate from the blood in their lungs caused by a “mistake” of the matador. - For the bull, it is not an honour to be “saved” after the bullfight. He has suffered severy wounds and stress and he will never forget this. And he has to breed even more bulls that are going to be killed in an arena, what an honour!!
Sir, – Another educated moron based in Trinity College being educated at Irish state/taxpayers’ expense, no doubt, enjoyed the spectacle of torturing a bull in a Spanish ring by a load of Spanish cowards dressed in silks, cruelly exacerbating the poor horse being "rammed" by over a ton of enraged bull, having been weakened and tormented by the picadors, bleeding it half to death before the barbaric, "brave" matador severs its spinal cord, this
total imbecile, Jago Tennant, Chair of the Trinity Literary Society, no less, thinks this is an artistic tradition, along with terrified bulls being let loose on slippery streets chasing after moronic drunks in Pamplona. Imbeciles with nothing better to do but to torment animals on Spanish streets. These purported intellectuals just beggar all reasonable belief. Where do they fly from to their "cloud cuckoo land"? This Trinity spurious, intel-
Yours etc. Saskia Oskam PR Officer Anti Bullfighting Committee, the Netherlands
Sir, – Having enjoyed the artistry and skill of the bullfight in Seville and aiming to return, perhaps Jago Tennant would consider other bloody spectacles for his future travels. I've heard that stonings in the Middle East attract a huge crowd and the skill of hitting the victim is an added attraction. Or how about a beheading? I've also heard that in some parts they still carry out public floggings. Now, there's skill! And if he fails to discover any of these, he can always seek out an illegal dog fight or two closer to home. After all, there's nothing like blood and a good killing to add that final touch to a good holiday. Yours, etc Sue Baumgardt 7 Stoneham Road, Hove BN3 5HJ UK
lectual goon would want to us to return to putting kids up chimneys, pick-pocketing being returned to the school’s national curriculum and possibly a Roman arena for slaves or the homeless in Dublin to fight starving lions? Yours, ect Mike Kelly Monasterevin
In memory of Natalie Forde Memorial Mass in the chapel: Friday, 26th October. 1pm Sir, – On 28 April 2007, 26 year-old Ex-Trinity Law student Natalie Forde was killed by a stolen BMW being pursued by the police. Careering through residential areas of North London at over 100 miles per hour it eventually ploughed into her taxi at 12.30 am. The taxi driver left a wife and four kids, Natalie left her future husband almost immediately as he lay severly injured on the road and she left a family now confused with the world, desperately recollecting the memories they had of a promising, very alive, very extrodinary human being. Natalie was the Auditrix of the 69th Session of the Dublin University Law Society. When she graduated to join Eversheds international law firm in London, she was publically acclaimed as the best trainee they had ever had and regarded as a rising star. Well over a thousand people attended her funeral, an extra hall was opened with speakers and crowds lined the perimeter of the church, listening to remarkable tributes to the experiences of her short life through the windows. Infamous for her eccentric dress sense at Trinity and everywhere she went, she was buried in the same green snakeskin jacket and long bellowing skirt that graced the cobblestones grounds for years, sitting perfectly beneath her beautiful face. Natalie was born to be a public figure. She was the cosmopolitan girl who still read at church
every Sunday. Her eloquence and style combined with her commitment, morality and sensibility made her an idol for the youth at our parish in Cockfosters. In her honour the church opened its doors the night before her funeral to pray over her coffin, which had never been previously allowed in the history of the parish. Now they are building a “Natalie Forde Youth Centre” out of the trust set up in her name. Natalie invested in people, letters, to date, continue to arrive through the door from every walk of life, even from those who had only met her once and yet were profoundly touched by her charisma. Many talk about the duality of her character, the extravagant vivacious Natalie, but also of the deep thinker. One recent letter from a mere acquaintance at Trinity wrote in particular of her pride in her London Irish roots; she was a daughter and sister who rang every day to tell her family that she loved them. Natalie’s death so unexpectedly cast a torch on the emptiness and cruelity that can be human life. Those who loved her will go on now with a new sense of mortality; she will never be forgotten. She will be missed by the dentist who she was due to see that morning, at the wedding she should have had, at every dance floor she should have graced, until we meet again. Yours, etc
Send your letters to email@example.com
Archive: Now for the jibs Jib is a traditional Trinity word meaning “first year student”. It used to be in general use, rather like “skip” and “wife” today, but in recent years the Calendar word “freshman” seems to have driven it out. TCD is an old and backward publication, and it persists in calling freshmen jibs; this editorial will make no exception to the rule. When a jib enters Trinity the first thing he should notice is the beauty of her buildings and the charm of her squares. Any normal jib on coming into Front Square for the first time feels proud to have the opportunity to study in such fine surroundings, although this pride wears off after time, as he gets used to the place. It is replaced by an interest in the people, who all seem to be students in their second, third or fourth year. A year or more passes before a student has ceased to be impressed by the people. A jib will occasionally buy a copy of TCD, but he will not understand all of it until he has been here for at least 18 months. A much better bet is his faculty society, in which he can play an active part almost immediately; or the Hill and the Phist, into whose freshmen debates he can join during his first term. As soon as he can do so a jib should decide exactly where his interest lies; if he wishes to take a first-class degree he should assure himself of time enough to work for it, and should not ac-
cept a leading part in a dozen College activities. There exist in Trinity, as in all other universities, some special types of whom the jib should be made aware. First of all there are the brilliant men and women who take schol, get it, and at the same time edit TCD or run some College organisation. These brilliant people are able to do all this and still get first-class degrees, but they are rare birds, and most jibs must not imagine that they are made of the same stuff. The other characters the jib should know about are the clever people; the ones who spend so much time in extra-curricular activities that they fail years, neglect study, miss lectures, forget to do essays, and so on. Some of these clever ones could get schol, and most of them would have quite useful exam marks if they ever bothered to do any work, but usually they are much too busy writing poetry, or acting in high tragedy, or doing something else for the fun of it. There are too many people of this kind, and too many less clever who try to copy them. In our editorial capacity we warn jibs seriously against their kind of College life. If you have a state or local authority grant, if your parents can only just afford to keep you here, then on no account waste your time and chances by dabbling in Players, or doing anything else that will take up too much of your
time. If, on the other hand, you are so rich that a university career means nothing more to you than an opportunity to have an “amewsing” time, then have a good time, and go – for goodness sake don’t lead less fortunate people into your idle ways. The chances are that most of the readers of this editorial will be “less fortunate people”, so we must now pontificate to them. TCD editors have complained in the past that there was too little enthusiasm for extra-curricular activities on the part of most of the undergraduate body. Possibly these editors had ground for complaint, but there is a bigger problem, the possibility that jibs will do too much extra-curricular work, fail their years, lose their grants, and leave Trinity with ignominy. Jibs! Remember that a university is a seat of learning. Don’t be led astray by any kind of idleness. And don’t go to the other extreme: don’t join Players, join TCD, or speak at the Hist or the Phil. Go along to the Reading Room and live there for four years. You won’t be missing much, and you will probably be of more use to society later. From TCD: A College Miscellany, Nov 13th, 1953. Compiled by Peter Henry, BA
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Supplementals: 1000 polyurethane stress pigs distributed to students
with Joey Facer
Some of the thousands of “Stress-Pigs” that were distributed by the Students’ Union to students sitting supplemental exams. The pigs are made of polyurethane a substance which can damage the environment during decomposition according to the Centre for the Polyurethane Industry. Students’ Union President Andrew Byrne, who is himself a former Chairman of the Trinity Young Green Party, said while speaking to Trinity News, that he hate these pigs with “the fiery passion of many suns”. Photo: Martin McKenna
Free fees should be ended EDWARD GAFFNEY STAFF WRITER The Irish government’s scheme of “free fees” for Irish undergraduates is no longer an appropriate funding system for universities, if it ever was. The debate in the newspapers this summer involved senior management from universities on the side of reform and students’ unions backing the status quo. We must recognise that our support for the fee payment scheme, as students, is often based on opportunism if not naked greed. There are many, many grounds for the scrapping of “free fees” – which are not free at all to ordinary taxpayers – and its replacement with a grant-and-loan system. There are benefits of the current scheme. In theory the government can keep the cost of the scheme lower due to its bargaining power as the major purchaser of third-level education, some-
thing which students (and even students’ unions) cannot do, as we have seen in ever-rising registration fees. That said, the large increases in the registration fee could be a result of government under-funding through the fee payment scheme – a de facto shift of the financing burden onto students. The fee payment scheme could also create significant problems for the government in the future. Medical schools, for many reasons, don’t admit enough Irish students to provide the optimum level of future doctors. One reason is that foreign students provide a much better return on the costs of education than Irish students because they pay a more realistic level of fees. In an environment of reallocation of resources within universities, money matters. However, there’s no guarantee that doctors we train in Ireland will stay in Ireland. The result will be that the situation we have today continues – an insufficient number of doctors. That increases both work-
loads and salaries in the medical profession to the detriment of patient care and the taxpayer. “Free fees” would have more advantages for society if it reduced inequality of access to third-level. This could be addressed with an extended grant system at much less cost to the exchequer than the fee payment scheme. Moreover, inequality of access to education is much more than a third-level problem. Literacy and numeracy problems which begin at primary-level are surely the more important barriers to access. Fees are only one barrier, the final barrier, to the socio-economic groups who are underrepresented in universities. The result of these factors is an inefficient system that does not achieve the basic goal of reducing inequality and indicates that money spent on third-level, at the moment, would be better invested in primary-level. Even the term “free fees” is itself propaganda for the scheme. Fees are certainly not free, particularly if you’re a taxpayer who never had
the opportunity to access third-level. From this perspective, the scheme is simply a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to a cohort of students which, research tells us, is still too middle-class to be representative of Ireland as a whole. There can be no doubt that students do very well under the current scheme. That does not mean that broader society should support it. A system which targeted education subsidies at people who need them would release significant funding for other goals, like reducing class sizes in primary schools, which have not been achieved. Government-backed loans would allow students to borrow against future earnings; banks are often reluctant to lend to students without government support. In this light, students’ unions support for “free fees” is morally bankrupt and does nothing for the pressing public service problems in our economy and society.
Exporting gender equality: A student’s perspective WILL MYCHAJLOWYCZ STAFF WRITER Amidst the madness that came with moving to a new country, learning a new language and digesting the bombardment of foreign cultural customs, I found myself in a bar talking to an American. After answering all the requisite foreign student questions, (Where are you from? What’s your major? Did you also get wasted last night?) the conversation moved to the next most convenient topic – one which we must always assume will connect two men – girls. Since I am on exchange at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden, the “Swedish girl” has been all the rage among the international students who come from as far as China, Kenya and Australia to get a glimpse, and hopefully more, of these renowned blonde babes. But these uber-hetero-males are not talking about the colour of the girls’ hair nor their waif-like figures. They are taken aback by the determination of these fabulous women. The American regaled me with a story that he assumed would make me drool by the end; he went to a Swedish crayfish party whose guests were entirely female. One of them asked
him if he wanted to go to a bar with her after and, once he was there, she asked him to kiss her and, after that, she asked him to go home with her. Another American nearby chirped in with another version of the same story – a foreign student gets ordered around by a feisty, horny Swedish girl. Although I found these mysterious, strong-minded Swedish girls to act like many of my female friends in Canada, this exchange student seemed to believe that powerful, directive women were a Swedish cultural phenomenon. Sweden is typically regarded as one of the foremost nations in terms of promoting gender equality. With 45% of members of their parliament being women and required parental leave for both mothers and fathers, the image of men with baby slings is Swedish clip-art. Another less publicised sign of gender equality is that girls don’t feel like they need to be submissive in order to get what they want – they can demand sex when they want it instead of desperately waiting or being approached for it at the wrong time. In so far as we can take student exchange programs as a micro-model of cultural globalization, this side of gender equality presents an interesting problem. Imagine advertisements promoting
women’s rights contained a caption stating “Men like it better when you take the reins” or a woman standing with legs spread over a salivating john. Andrea Dworkin would be rolling in her grave – at the very least. But feminism, especially the most radical sect, has often been criticized by both men and women for excluding heterosexual women and men from the fight for women’s rights. Thus by bringing men into the equation the way it is witnessed by students in Sweden, gender equality becomes a more immediate experience; if men see the beneficial sides of an empowered women (read: their fantasy of being a submissive sexual partner coming to fruition), then perhaps gender equality will be more widely accepted. But how would these notions of female identity be received when brought back home to the foreign student’s native land? Since I can only speak about my country, I know that this kind of promotion of gender equality would be seen as a step in the wrong direction. I would even go as far as saying that it is anti-feminist. For years, women and men have tried to shed the image of a woman as a purely sexual being or an instrument of male sexual desire. The “male gaze” is now a wellestablished term in critical theory. By telling
women to be more powerful in order to make men sexually satisfied, it defines women as not only heterosexual but as beings who must be taught empowerment through their male counterparts. Although women should feel as though they can walk up to any man they want and demand satisfaction in any way they desire, somehow the promotion of this act as a step in the direction of gender equality is skewed by how women are currently seen by the public in North American society. If this American goes back home to Colorado and tells this same story to his friends and they tell their girlfriends to act more like Swedish girls and order their men around, perhaps we will see a jump in the number of women in the workplace. But it is more likely that there will simply be more cases of chlamydia. Unfortunately, much like democracy, you cannot simply export gender equality as it exists in one country (Sweden) to another and expect it to work flawlessly. But at least we’re learning important cultural lessons in both the theoretical and empirical sense – about how women and men can be equal in every way.
So you’ve found yourself in your first year of college! Congratulations and all for the Leaving Certificate, ALevels, International Baccalaureate and other numerous academic qualifications you have managed to secure. Finally, after years of being penned in by adherence to exam standards and “what they want to hear” answers, you are intellectually free, free to discover and develop ideas and forge ahead in this brave new world of thinking. Or so you would think. In my final year of secondary school, the year divided very unevenly into two camps. One camp was focused on getting high marks, getting into a university more than a stone’s throw in history from the old polytechnics and leaving three years later with a hefty salary and a city job. The other, smaller, camp, focused on the life beyond those high marks, looking forward to what university meant in and of itself: the intellectual quest for the intellectual holy grail: knowledge. Deep or wide, its shape and colour did not matter, we sought it hungrily and its sister, originality. When I think of university in the abstract, I am still very much an old supporter of my small school camp. Evenings spent curled up with books and tea and night storage heaters, wearing clothes from Oxfam and talking about books, ideas and lecturers. I imagine stolling around lush grounds simply to stimulate inspiration before retiring to a poky bedroom to scribble down a few thousand words which would serve to connect all those disparate notions I had had about books since adolescence, eventually at the end of my three years leaving with a fairly composite but sturdy box of “Idea” and “Knowledge”, eventually to marry the two off in the following three years in the glorious union that is known to many as the PhD thesis. This is the university that Vera Brittain writes of, although her experience ends in novels and not theses. The university that fostered the likes of T.S.Eliot, Forster and Waugh is vastly dissimilar to the reality you will find presented before you in modern college education. Among other disturbing realities, your family, friends and teachers will be replaced, in time, by your flatmates, people you met randomly on nights out you no longer remember and lecturers who will fail to recognise you between classes. Welcome. To qualify an earlier sentiment: college education is, I would argue, an imaginary trope used to disguise the cattle market of the university system. To give a small example, in the third year of my BA in English Literature, I was required to re-read a certain notorious Eliot poem, “The Waste Land”. Fittingly I dug out my old battered copy I had used in the winter before that all-terrifying Oxbridge interview, when I had been advised to read “everything, everything that has resonance in literary history” (and I do not think many would argue with me about the status of this poem). As I waded through the glorious poem, I became more and more shocked, appalled and disheartened. There, in the margins, was proof: I was more clever age seventeen than I am at 21 after three years of college education. Literary phrases, words and comparisons jumped off the margins in my own small pencil script, things I had forgotten, ideas that now struck me as nothing short of original. How could I have lost so much in just three years? I shall reveal just how. Universities are not, on any level, about education. You pay your €903 registration fee, more if you are from overseas, and four years later emerge in debt and with a sheet of paper that is worth far, far less than the ink that has imprinted on it those endlessly empty words: “BA”, “TCD”. Universities want your money in order to fund their research, in order to make more money and break ground, not for the sake of knowledge, but for the sake of money: the money that those foreign students, dazzled by league table performance, will bring in. I can reveal that lecturers on the Arts Building side, who were not long ago in a similarly neglected position as students under this new regime of “learning”, are kept on because of unbreachable professor emeritus contracts, or because their regurgitating research is the du jour in today’s academics. Those who do break new ground appear to me to be quite angry that they should spend their precious time imparting knowledge to undergraduates. Somewhere along the line, the balance between research and teaching has been lost entirely. Now, what the student of English Literature will find is a lot of disillusioned, halfhearted tutors and lecturers, asking of the text in question that interminable question week upon week: “so what did everyone think?” before launching into a pitifully simplistic discussion in which nobody quite wants to engage. Today’s students are almost as bad. How many come to university to learn, to be inspired or enlightened? And how many come because if you are smart and you don’t attend university, you are either boxed out of the increasingly competitive job market completely or else it is lamented that you “could’ve done better”? I would suggest we would do better to demand a change in the university system. Entrance should be confined to those who exhibit a passion to be there. And no qualifications, however numerous, can subtitute this lost love of learning.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
A year is a long time in politics ROBERT BRESLIN STAFF WRITER As the anniversary of Thailand’s bloodless coup of 19 September 2006 approaches, the situation is, as ever, a complicated one. Currently six generals form a Military Council that oversees the interim Government led by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanant and the country’s first ever national referendum legitimised its eighteenth constitution this month, paving the way for proposed elections on 23 December. Recently, the Government issued a second warrant for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s arrest, as was the wont of the people who protested en mass over a year ago for the removal of his corrupt regime. Meanwhile, legislative progress is being made to safeguard the interests of Thai business in preference to that of foreign investors, which would seem an honourable thing after the apparent misuse of funds and privilege by Thaksin, his wife and his cronies.
However, the reality is that the new constitution gives more power to unelected bodies such as the courts while reducing further the influence of politicians, leaving the system open to the same corruption that is endemic to the economy and psyche of Thai society. Democratic Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has called for “a definitive time for elections”, but may find his requests falling on the deaf ears of a recently empowered Army Council. Thaksin was removed after the sale of his company Shin Corp to the Singaporeanbased Tenasek Holdings. It was deemed to violate Thailand’s law on foreign ownership which limits foreign equity to 49% of any company. This rule was pragmatically ignored under Thaksin, but the new Military Council seek to clear up the inherent ambiguity in the system. Big retailers, they claim, are forcing the smaller mom and pop style stores out of business and something must be done to protect the home economy. This is bad news for foreign investment. Powerhouses like Tesco flaunt the demands
Running down the road to ruin AARON SADLIER STAFF WRITER In Zimbabwe inflation is running at 7,000% plus. It currently holds the title of having the worst economy in the world today. A loaf of bread would have cost Z$5,000 in April this year. By the end of June, the price was Z$60,000 which was followed by the introduction of a controversial half-price freeze. The only use of any wages not spent immediately is, perhaps, toilet roll. (Currently Z$25,000 converted into euros would just about buy a Mars bar.) The country’s problems started to escalate back around 2000 when the Mugabeled government stepped up in earnest its program of “land reforms”. The plan to make ownership of land more equitable, with the seizing of white-owned land and handing it over to senior government Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front officials and loyal party members, had begun. Much of the land was given and taken over by war veterans returning from Zimbabwe’s involvement in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mugabe’s belief that their involvement in the conflict would lead to a bounty of rich mineral resources and transport contracts did not come true. The debts following on from
a heavy investment in arms and soldiers awaiting payment made for a difficult situation for Mugabe. The subsequent mismanagement of agricultural land over the last few years has led Zimbabwe from being the breadbasket of Africa to a position of not having enough grain for its own people. In 1990, Zimbabwe produced 325000 tons of wheat. Last year, it produced 7800 tons. The country is undergoing a major food crisis. The policy of having the national mint print fresh money in order to deal with the country’s costs and worsening economy is only having the effect of further devaluing the currency, leading Zimbabwe on a downward spiral. The official employment rate is 80%. The life expectancy for men is 37, for women 34. A fifth of the adult population live with Aids or HIV. 3.4 million people have fled Zimbabwe, many of them medics whom the country desperately need. The supply of other basic goods such as cooking oil, milk, sugar and other foods are drying up. Zimbabwe’s water reservoirs are drying up too after a severe summer, especially in the country’s second biggest town, Bulawayo – although many accuse Mugabe as having a hand in this, as many of the opposition party members and supporters are based here. The environmental impact is only be-
made by the increasingly influential “Confederation of Thais Opposing Foreign Retailers” by insisting they will continue to expand and build up to 200 new stores in the next year. The confederation, with the encouragement of the military, have called for a five year cessation of all expansion of foreign-owned business in Thailand. The Government has given overseas investors twelve months to disclose the exact nature of their holdings in the country, a further twelve to fall below the 49% limit of equity, at which point the government would ensure this benchmark was not broken. The concern is that foreign investment may, as a result, find its ways to friendlier shores such as Vietnam. International efforts to ensure the presence of a monitoring body at the proposed elections are meeting with resistance in the form of strict conditions and a recent survey by the Bangkok Post found that almost 60% of Bangkokians believed elections would not take place any time soon. So is there hope for peaceful elec-
ginning to be felt. As food and money becomes scarcer more people are resorting to killing wildlife for food, many of which are endangered and some of which prove lucrative on the black market. Forests are being cut down bit by bit to feed the demand for firewood in a country where power cuts have become commonplace. Zimbabwe currently imports 40 percent of its power needs. Imports are expected to stop this year due to an anticipated power deficit across southern Africa resulting from increased demand together with an increasing inability to pay for fuel imports. The endemic fuel shortage has affected all parts of society. Buses, cars and trains can’t always run. Nurses can’t get to hospitals, businesses can’t transport goods, kids can’t get to schools. Sometimes the cost of getting to work outweighs the wages. The fuel crisis is having a political and social impact. Funds within the government are running low on top of fuel shortages within the security forces. Reportedly the police are increasingly only responding to what are termed “essential crimes”. What this means in reality is that rather than combating everyday crime, the primary police function has become suppressing activity opposing the government. There is no right to assembly. Protesters and dissidents are dealt with brutally. The
Essentially, however, the Military will inevitably maintain strict control of power
tions, progress and a government sympathetic to the needs of its citizens.. Well, that depends on the extent of your expectations. The tourist trade remains unaffected; a recent poll of 30000 travellers put Thailand at number three, up from number seven in the world’s favourite destinations. Enthusiasm in this sector shows little sign of abating. Foreign investment may struggle under the strenuous conditions, but it would take a lot to force them out of such a lucrative expansive market. In an apathetic atmosphere, elections may take place and empower a Government that potentially might intend to do some good. Essentially, however, the Military will inevitably, along with the Department of Special Investigations under Director Sunai Manomaiudom, maintain strict control over the essential structures of power; namely the courts, legislation and policing. Normal rural Thais will fight the losing battle against big business and grudgingly adapt over the years to new circumstance, while the urban Thais will continue to
grumble about corruption, yet remain placated by an economy with plenty of Thaiorientated investment opportunities and a stable tourist trade. The international community waits with interest to see how events unfold, hopeful of a move away from the militarism which has plagued the region for decades towards progressive democracy. Meanwhile, tourists of all nature, a huge number of whom are Irish, continue to see for themselves what makes this unique and interesting place such a fantastic destination. Thailand’s dynamic society at large continues unabashed, ultimately loyal only to King Bhumibol who inspires adoration in the majority of Thais. The King’s approval is essential on all matters and he may yet hold the power to decide the direction of this troubled democracy. Until such a time of action, for better or worse, events will continue in much the same vain.
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe whose mismanagement and corruption are bring the country down the road to ruin
security forces act with impunity. They are noted for acting without provocation. In the words of Mugabe, “Some are crying that they were beaten. Yes, you will be thoroughly beaten. When the police say move, you move. If you don’t move, you invite the police to use force”- commenting on the arrest, torture and mistreatment of fifteen trade union activists in Zimbabwe, September 2006. Mugabe has, no doubt, learnt a thing or two from his new ally in Belarus. Lukashenko operates a similar authoritar-
ian rule. Zimbabwe’s more recent “look east” policy has also resulted in strengthened ties with China. Chinese companies have landed various contracts: rebuilding the country’s rail and road networks; exporting manufactured goods into the country in return for mining its mineral resources such as chrome; several projects related to its co-hosting of the Federation Interationale de Football Association 2010 World Cup such as the National Sports Stadium. If properly managed, Zimbabwe’s
wide range of resources would enable it to support a sustainable vibrant economy but despite international condemnation, Mugabe shows no signs of letting go of power. Iraq has shown that sanctions often have the effect of hurting the people who need help the most and international opinion is split on how to deal with the current situation. As the world watches one of Africa’s formally most popular leaders rule like a feudal tyrant, the opposition is crushed with impunity and Mugabe’s stranglehold on Zimbabwe looks as tight as ever.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
City Breaks EDINBURGH Culture and backpacking in the Athens of the North A gargoyle looks out over the city of Paris. This city is a prime destination for Irish student travellers due to the abundance of cheap flights and also as a result of the popularity of the Erasmus program. Photo: Paris Tourism Bureau
Summer in Paris JOHN GALLAGHER STAFF WRITER
The first rule of living abroad, as I discovered last summer, is that reading a guidebook on the plane doesn’t count as preparation. Maybe this little article will help you avoid the easiest mistakes to make. Being an arts student, I thought a few months living and working in Paris might prepare me for the poverty, shame, and despair that await me after graduation. What to say to people hoping to head off and make their fortune in Foreign? First things first: make sure you get there. If you book your flights early, not only will you get them cheaper, you’ll also have committed yourself. Myself and a friend shook hands over pints in December, abducted another chap in February, and found ourselves in Montmartre by June. It’s important to have somewhere to base yourself while you settle in – somewhere you can come back to at the end of the day, preferably with internet access and a telephone. This will make the hassle of house- and job-hunting a lot easier. You could always try and find a place on the internet, but you’re likely (in Paris, at least) to pay through the nose in agency fees. Plus, bear in mind that landlords are likely to be very demanding – try and get some references and bring enough money to pay a deposit on top of the first month’s rent. So if you’re not going to rely on the interweb, how to find yourself a place?
Learn the language, have whatever the locals are having, eat what you’re given and take any chance you get to explore the city and beyond
USA Connection, a magazine for English speakers in Paris. Thanks to this, we ended up avoiding throwing ourselves on the mercy of the Shakespeare & Co. bookshop that gives free accommodation to artists provided they work in the shop for a bit every day. As regards areas to live in, use your head. Avoid edges of the city area and anywhere you can hear gunshots, and make sure it’s accessible and has somewhere you can buy things to eat and drink. While we were being told by everyone we met that there was no room at “Le Inn”, we were also scouring the streets for jobs. Most people going abroad to work for a short enough time will end up in bars, restaurants, and hotels, where there is a high enough staff turnover. Make it your business to scatter your CV anywhere people will take it. It is worthwhile to have a look at job prospects before you leave; I was already strapped into my airline seat when I saw the words “eight percent unemployment” in the aforementioned guidebook. Probably for the best, really. Speaking of CVs, make sure yours looks good. Make it up before you leave, and don’t assume that you can just translate the one you’ve used in Ireland. Look up templates so as to be aware of odd little necessities – in France, for example, your CV should have a photograph of you on it. A nice one, preferably. And even if this seems obvious, put the CV in the language of the place you’re going to, and get someone who knows their stuff to proofread it. Plenty of folk will be job-hunting like you and you don’t want prospective employers to remember you as the one whose hobbies include childbirth and goat seduction. On
Most big cities will have a magazine or paper that’s known for accommodation listings; it’s also worth having a look at any ex-pat magazines, where you might be lucky enough to find a flat owned by someone who will turn a blind eye to your penury. At the very least, you’ll probably find apartment details easier to understand – our first week was spent trying to decipher the listings in French magazines. It was lucky that, when we were called to the Louvre to investigate a gruesome and mysterious murder, we met a beautiful French cryptographer who directed us to French
that note, make sure your experience is relevant. Try to avoid lying (though my CV was basically an inspired work of fiction), but if you do, be confident about it. Pulling pints really isn’t that hard! And do try to have a few words of the language before you go over, it’s an advantage that others don’t have and it will really improve the quality of your stay. Once you’ve got yourself settled and employed, where else is your money going to go? Transport is important, and it’s usually worth investing in a monthly rail and bus ticket (Carte Orange in Paris) so that you can hop on and off wherever you like. You might need a bank account if your workplace wants to pay you by transfer or by cheque. In France opening a bank account is a complex process which requires you to be recommended to a bank by a customer of theirs. Our landlady was good enough to help us out and plenty of employers will help out, or just pay you in cash. Don’t expect to come home minted – seasonal workers are ten a penny and paid about that much. Even so, with tips and a wage (paid monthly, in a lot of cases) you can get along fine – food tends to be cheap anywhere that’s not Dublin, and looking at things is free, so do that lots. Remember it’s good to do the touristy thing now and then to get an idea of why all these people in sweaty groups have come too. But whatever you do, wherever you go, try not to forget why you’ve come in the first place. Learn the language, have whatever the locals are having, eat what you’re given and take any chance you get to explore the city and beyond to get an idea of what makes a country tick.
On the border between cultures AH-YOUNG KOO STAFF WRITER
DESTINATION: PANMUNJOM “Your trip to Panmunjom will entail entry into a hostile area and possibility of injury or death as a direct result of enemy action.” These were terms of the agreement every tourist is told to sign to gain entry into Panmunjom, the Joint Security Area between North and South Korea. I signed without any hesitation. It was a once in a lifetime experience and one that was only granted to non-nationals. I had received consent from the Ministry for Reunification to visit the site. The tour bus left Seoul at 8am and we were told to wear comfortable runners, to run in case of unexpected enemy attack, and clothes that did not stand out. The Ministry also said to bring a digital camera and an identification card. As we drove further and further north, kilometres of barbed wire and watchtowers with heavily-armed soldiers were visible. At checkpoints soldiers searched for unauthorised tourists, and we passed several spiked obstacles on the road, which were there to prevent North Korean tanks and cars from getting any further south. Later, another soldier, who later turned
out to be our tour guide and the group protector, checked our passports and our attire. He spoke in accurate and distinct military jargon and threatened to take us back to Seoul if any of us should decide to disobey his orders. One woman in our group started off badly- she had decided to wear high-heels to Panmunjom. After a 30 minute delay the tour guide decided to lend her his runners. We entered Ballinger Hall, a small operation-planning room with a screen and several rows of seats. We were shown a slide show by our tour guide, who gave us a succinct summary of the history of the Korean War and the conflicts that took place around Panmunjom. We signed the agreement mentioned above and were told not to chew gum, make any faces at, talk to or point at the North Korean soldiers. We were shown the army bases, the training fields and a one-hole golf course, dubbed the ‘most dangerous hole in golf’ by Golf Alliance Magazine With modern buildings and watchtowers on either side, the eeriness of the Panmunjom was accentuated by the emptiness. As we got out of the bus, we were told to stand in two lines and follow the guide. On the way to one of the watchtowers, South Korean MPs, placed in their positions, watched our every move, in case we did anything stupid. We were given two minutes to take photos on the watchtower. From there everything was visible. The North Korean town of Kijongdong with windowless, bare buildings built for propaganda purposes and the tallest flagpole in the world, standing at 160m and flying the
North Korean flag. On the other side the South Korean town of Taesongdong with its 100m flagpole. And always, the North Korean soldiers, watching us through their binoculars, taking photographs of us. Then we were lead into the blue UN huts that stood on the actual borderline. As we made our way there the South Korean soldiers who were facing the North slowly turned around to face us, ready to stop anybody from running towards the North. As strange as it sounds, it has happened before. Two 6”2 South Korean soldiers with fists clenched stood at the only exit in the hut. Again, we were allowed 2 minutes to take photos. As we started taking photos, North Korean soldiers marched powerfully towards us, their arms and legs raised to a ridiculous height with every move. They stopped beside a small concrete block which marked the border. It was my first time seeing a North Korean. The frowns and expressions on their thin faces showed a lot. I felt you could feel their energy, their determination to end capitalism and most of all, their hatred of the South. It was a look I will never forget. Our brief trip to Panmunjom finished with a bus tour of the Bridge of No Return, the location of the Axe Murder Incident, in which Major Arthur G. Bonifas, after whom the camp is named, was axed to death by North Korean soldiers. As we stood there North Korea felt so close yet so far.
So the summer is over but that doesn’t mean that travel plans must be abandoned until next June. Winter is the season for city breaks, so take a long weekend (or a couple of days off college) and head for a European city. Thanks to our friends at Ryanair and the rapid growth in the number of excellent hostels all over the continent, city breaks can be a great deal for your average penniless student. Last December I headed north to the proud old city of Edinburgh. While summer in the city can be pleasantly warm December in the Scottish capital is a frosty affair with day time temperatures of about 4 degrees Celsius and night time temperatures plunging well below freezing point. But once you wrap up well, you’ll find that these wintry conditions seem to suit Edinburgh. Getting to Edinburgh is completely hassle free. You can fly with Ryanair in October and November for as little as E50 return, including taxes and by far the best value is to be found midweek. Bus number 100 takes you straight from the airport to the city centre in about half an hour. Recent years have seen Edinburgh become a favourite destination for backpackers so good hostels can be found all over the city centre. They can be a little pricey however, with dorm beds from about E16 and private double rooms costing between E30 and E40 per person. That said, you do get what you pay for and the quality is high. An excellent choice is the Budget Backpackers hostel. Located in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh’s Old Town, it’s an ideal base from which to explore the city. Check out www.hostelworld.com for more details on this and other hostels. You will have no problem passing a pleasant couple of days in Edinburgh. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type you should plan a trip to the top of Arthur’s Seat, the hill wedged right into the middle of Edinburgh’s city centre. The views from the top are amazing and make it well worth the hour’s climb. Up there you’ll forget you’re smack in the middle of a capital city and get a little taste of the Scottish Highlands. Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s number one tourist attraction. A huge sprawling fortress, it is certainly worth a visit. Be warned though, this is a castle in the gritty canons-and-battles sense, as opposed to the girly fairytale type. But any fan of fairytale royalty will probably enjoy a look at the dazzling Scottish Crown Jewels which are also held in the castle. The best of quirky Edinburgh is definitely the tour of Mary King’s Close. The word close refers to narrow laneways which run between buildings in the city’s Old Town. Mary King’s Close was a busy street until the Royal Exchange building was built over part of it in the mid 18th century. The street and many of the houses around it remain intact, so today you can go on an underground tour of the close, led by guides in full period costume. There you’ll hear tales of the street inhabitants as well as its various ghostly residents. Edinburgh proudly claims to be one of the world’s most haunted cities and even has a festival to celebrate the fact. Full, bizarre, details can be found on www.edinburghghostfest.co.uk. If your budget only barely covers your passage to Edinburgh then a great value way to pass some time is in the city’s art galleries. Four of the city’s five national galleries have free admission and there is even a free shuttle bus running between them. Great sights aside, the best thing about Edinburgh is probably just curling up in a cozy bar and watching the world go by. If you visit in winter you will feel absolutely justified in ordering hot alcoholic beverages at any hour of the day, so enjoy the excellent hot whisky, mulled port and wine. And by the end of your stay you should really have worked up the courage to try haggis. If you like black pudding you’ll probably love it. A juicy haggis burger is a great way to sample this surprisingly delicious treat. Andrea Mulligan
GETTING THERE • You can fly to Edinburgh with Ryanair in October and November for as little as E50 return • December in the Scottish capital is a frosty affair •Plan a trip to the top of Arthur’s Seat, the hill wedged right into the middle of Edinburgh’s city centre • The city was one of the major centres of the Enlightenment and it earned the nickname ‘Athens of the North’ so be sure to get to some of the city’s many museums. • Edinburgh is the second most popular tourist destination in the UK so don’t worry about “looking like a tourist”
Michaelmas Term, Week 4
Paddy Casey, in action above at the Oxegen Music Festival, will headline the Freshers’ Ball. The event will be the highlight of a two week ENTS schedule aimed at the incoming first year students. One ticket fights the quite si
For the rich it’s a small world Social networks are the talk of the minute but “aSW” is a different breed altogether. SARAH CASEY STAFF WRITER Forget about Myspace and Facebook, the new social network to be seen in is A Small World, or aSW as it is known as by its members (or “Snobster’’ by its critics). You won’t find just anyone on aSW like you do on Myspace, Facebook or Bebo. It’s even more exclusive than purely business-oriented networks. Putting it plainly, aSW is for the rich, famous and powerful Internet
users. Don’t get too excited though, aSW doesn’t hand out memberships to anyone who claims that they’re rich and powerful on the Internet. A select few of its members have the power to invite a new user. Names on the inside already include Trump and Rockefeller, and those were most likely included in the first 500 members who were handpicked by the founder, Erik Wachtmeister three years ago. Today, a 647-name waiting list exists on Inviteshare.com for invites to aSW. Things aren’t totally safe for you on the inside either; users causing
problems in aSW are exiled to A Big World, which has a different colour scheme and is less exclusive than aSW. It’s not just online socializing that aSW members can enjoy. Real world events are happening in places like New York City, The Hamptons, Paris and Cannes. Being a member of aSW instantly gives you status and you’re trusted just that little bit more in the right circles. Back on the net, members have access to features, which a lot of other social networks provide including instant messaging, profiles
and event calendars. Users can list multiple cities as their home residence rather than just one like on normal networks. Most members list New York, London or Paris as their city of residence. Some companies are also using aSW to advertise luxurious goods. They view aSW as a place where they can reach the types of people they want to be buying their products, and Myspace just isn’t that kind of place. ASW also includes a section where members can sell their own luxurious belongings like yachts, cars, watches,
or even rent out their apartments to people they can trust. The site has thirty employees and it is said to be not far off reaching profitability. The conflict however, lies in the fact that advertisers want to reach more eyes and the members want to keep aSW more exclusive than any other social network. Some members are complaining that standards have been lowered since the first 500 joined, but Wachtmeister denies that saying that members who join today are just as valuable as members who were there
Business is betting on Hilary In many ways she has changed the way in which women in politics are perceived. Now American businesses are shaking off their male dominated stereotype and coming out in support of Hillary Clinton. DANIELLE RYAN BUSINESS&CAREERS EDITOR Wall Street is a fresh target for Democratic hopefuls in the ‘08 US Presidential election. Democratic candidates have been scouting out high profile business endorsements for months now in an effort to help further the success of their campaigns. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democratic Senator of New York, Former First Lady and the first woman with a credible shot at taking the White House has assembled more top CEO support than any of the other presidential hopefuls so far, Republican or Democrat. At first this fact may seem surprising when you consider that Clinton speaks out often about the unfairness of the taxing system in America (private equity millionaire managers can get taxed at lower rates than everyone else), but this hasn’t hurt her campaign at all. In fact, business leaders appear to be lining up to support Hillary Clinton. Not only has she succeeded in adding an impressive amount of top CEOs to her long list of public figure endorsements, but she has even managed to persuade prominent and long time Republican CEOs to the list of Clintonites. She seems to possess a great ability to win just about anyone over to her side with her charm, vast experience and striking intelligence. She has facts at her fingertips and it’s almost impossible not to be impressed. So why are these sort of CEO endorsements so significant and such a great success for the Hillary ‘08 camp? For one thing, CEOs generally aren’t jumping for joy faced with the prospect of a big taxing Democrat in the White House if they fear that she could affect their business (or their own personal pockets) negatively. But Clinton is not the extreme liberal that the Hillary ‘’Voodoo Dolls’’ that line that shelves in Barnes & Noble stores would suggest. Liberal she is in many ways, but in my view she strikes a great balance between liberal and conservative ideas. Or as she prefers to put it, she is a ‘’modern progressive’’. So, with big business leaders lining up to support her campaign, it doesn’t mat-
Students are richer than ever DANIELLE RYAN
ter when Morgan Stanley CEO turns her down, right? Wrong. Clinton doesn’t give up that easily. Early in the year, she called John Mack of Morgan Stanley asking for his endorsement. He decided against offering his support initially. Hillary requested a meeting. John and Christy (his wife) Mack, who were both previously politically active on behalf of Clinton’s opponents and who actually raised in the region of $200,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, were won over on this first meeting with Hillary and decided to offer her their support. All of these endorsements of top executives are happening at the same time as the Democratic Presidential candidates tour the country (on an incredibly early start to the campaign) taking swipes at corporate America for the cause of the ‘’little guy’’. “It offends our values as a nation when an investment manager making $50 million can pay a lower tax rate on her earned income than a teacher making $50,000 pays on her income”, Clinton argues. And she’s right, there’s no reason why millionaires should be allowed pay less tax than the rest. Clinton is not the only candidate securing business endorsements. Her closest rival, Democratic Senator of Illinois, Barack Obama, has also made ripples in the business pool of possibilities. His most notable success so far has been with Republican CEO John Canning of Madison Dearborn (a private equity firm in Chicago). Yet the Clinton business endorsements rival the other candidate’s in size and prestige so far. Some of the most well known that she can list currently include Google Vice President Sheryl Sandberg, Co-Founder of Dreamworks Steven Spielberg, Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman Lloyd Blankfein and Saban Capitol Group CEO Haim Saban who has remarked, “I endorsed Hillary before Hillary decided to endorse herself. I’m on a mission.’’ Clinton campaign contributions have also come from Verizon (the largest telecom merger in the US), Xeorox Corp., Centerbridge Partners (private equity fund), LA billionaire real estate developer Eli Broad, Warren Buffet, and Donald
from the start. That’s what it’s all about on aSW, how valuable you are to the other members, do you have the right links and contacts? Are you going to look good enough in member’s phonebooks? That original 500 has grown to roughly 250,000 today. It might seem like a lot for an exclusive network, but compared with Myspace’s 100 million members, the number still seems miniscule.
It offends our values as a nation when an investment manager making $50 million can pay a lower tax rate on her earned income than a teacher making $50,000 pays on her income
Trump, to mention but a few. Even former New York Mayor, Republican Rudy Giuliani’s Wall Street support is not as strong as Clinton’s. Pollsters also put Clinton ahead in a possible Clinton V. Giuliani situation in November ‘08 and she is also leading in most other national polls against Republicans and Democrats. Many CEOs have avoided publicly aligning themselves to a candidate, a fact which makes Hillary Clinton’s high profile endorsements all the more impressive. So why is it that her business supporters aren’t terrified by her plans to limit President Bush’s tax cuts and penalize companies insistent on sending their plants overseas (of this she says ‘’Let’s make sure there is not a single benefit they would get from doing that”)? The reason is simple. They have other things on their minds. For example, some of them hope to see Hillary
balance the federal budget and create health care and education policies that can improve their standing in the world once Bush is gone (and at this rate, Clinton knows that that will take some serious effort). On Monday 17th September she unveiled her new health care plan entitled ‘The American Health Choices Plan’ which aims at providing quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
‘’Let’s start making corporate America responsible’’ she says. Is there anyone who can really argue legitimately against that? Likely not. So maybe with the help of these business leaders, it won’t be long before Senator Clinton becomes President Clinton. And anyway, isn’t it about time we saw a First Gentleman in the White House? (Or, as Bill prefers, First Laddie)
A survey by Bank Of Ireland has shown that the average income of Irish students is over €400, an all time high. The money is coming from part time work, yet only 30% of students surveyed are working over 20 hours per week. Over half of the students taking part said that they usually received less than €100 a month from their parents. Students are becoming more independent and more focused than ever but financing the college years can be difficult. The biggest expenses for students are rent which averages €370 per month, groceries and other general living expenses at €221 per month and socialising costs which have risen to €162 per month. Bank Of Ireland also found that 40% of students already own their own car and that less than a quarter of those students borrowed money to buy it. 35% of students are intending on buying a car in the next year leaving cars at the top of the student wish list this year. Laptop, mobile phone and iPod/MP3 ownership is over 80%. The survey also showed that 56% of students intended to travel abroad this past summer. Bank Of Ireland conducted the survey to mark the launch of their new banking package for college students which includes a European flight voucher for students who open a new account before October 31st. Upon activating their account, students can also apply for a WorldWide flight voucher that will be offering free flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong and Nairobi. Although student income is increasing, one quarter of students surveyed said that their parents were still their first source of income. In this case, parents are paying up to €1,000 per month which leaves student borrowing low. 40% of students surveyed estimate that they will owe less than €1,000 at graduation and only 28% of them believe they will owe over €4,000.
Michaelmas Term, Week 4
Capturing the digital feeling SEBASTIAN WEISMAIR SCIENCE EDITOR
Ever asked yourself how the detailed animations in your new Wii-game are created? How does the console bring up super-realistic movements within sports games with ever increasing richness in detail? Fair enough, if you have seen documentaries on Lord of the Ring’s Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) where he jumps into this fancy motion-capturing suit and out comes Gollum on screen. But where does the research behind this originate from? Algorithms; which details are important to actually make it look real; how can we animate huge crowds with those motions? Well, you might not think so, but actually, amongst the likes of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh or companies in the industry of animation production as Industrial Light and Magic, this stuff is done in Trinity! The Motion Capturing (MoCap) technique itself is hereby only the tool that is being applied to research how to make your next-generation computer game or the animated sequence in the next superhero movie more lifelike. Enter the world of Sophie Joerg. First year German PhD student Sophie, member of Trinity’s thriving Graphics, Vision and Visualisation Group within the Computer Science Department, is focusing on exactly these topics that made Gollum look so captivating. This project is carried out in collaboration with CMU in Pittsburgh and Sophie is supervised by Carol O’Sullivan (TCD) und Jessica Hodgins (CMU). The ultimate goal of the project she is working on is to create human motions on-screen that – and here is the one caveat – appeal to the human eye. For that, she employs an array of methods, including motion-capturing and investigating the perception of humans. When asking her how she got started with a fancy project like that, little and longhaired Sophie smiles and reveals that after having studied media technology during her undergrad in Germany, she went on to an internship for the production company of a fully animated kids show named ‘Dragon’s Rock’. Whereas the commercial success of this show may be dubious (according to her, it got broadcasted fully only in South Korea!), she gained vital insight into the creative potential of the MoCap technique and wanted to dig deeper. At the German Fraunhofer-Institute, she finally got in touch with the research aspect of it and, as every good scientist, wanted to know more. The main challenge Sophie faces in her project is how to convince people with life-like animations. Us humans are still too smart for computer graphics, well, at least when we have not just had our share of Guinness the night before and feel like killing some hangover time by a little round of videogames. The perception of how humans and animals naturally move is so deeply entrenched in our minds that computer animations tend to fail when they are compared to reality. Every one of us has seen unconvincing CGI work, be it the stiffly walking, liquid-metal T1000 from ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ (which was still ground-breaking at the time and the stiff animation actually suits the subject there) or in newer times in movies like ‘Polar Express’ and ‘Final Fantasy’. The bottom line is: it is not hard to do but it is a wholly different game when you want to do
The perception of how humans and animals naturally move is so deeply entrenched in our minds that computer animations tend to fail when they are compared to reality
it properly. The ‘Uncanny Valley’ is the foundation for Sophie’s work. What sounds like another hack-and-slash movie, is really a hypothesis suggested by Masahiro Mori from the 70s that describes how much humans tend to like a robot (or any other artificial entity) according to how similar to a human being it is. Simplified, it states that a robot that sports human-like features tends to generate empathy in us. However, this effect turns on to itself when a certain degree of alikeness is reached. The nonhuman properties of the robot then stand out more from the general humanlike appearance and this is what, in turn, creates repulsion. Ever seen in-game characters, even in the fancy fully-animated sequences, and thought: “Wow, looks cool, but is it there yet? Is it really human?” There is your uncanny valley and this is what Sophie is working on. However, any real valley goes uphill on both sides, so improvement of techniques is eventually going to make animated characters look lifelike. And this improvement is vastly needed because within the valley, it is subtle differences in an animation that make all the difference. Production companies’ multimillion Dollar budgets need to pay off; that is the reason why there is a lot of
” effort going into this research. In this case, Sophie applies several methods that combine the technical side with the human aspect, i.e. our perception of animation. In simple terms, the main route she follows is the production of animation-sequences that are subsequently presented to random people in a user study to let them judge the degree of reality the animations represent. First part of her work is to produce lifelike animations with a, and here it comes, Motion Capturing suit! Yes, we do have those at Trinity. While you can simulate reality in another approach called ‘keyframe animation’, it is vital in this project to give the computer a proper ‘vision’ of the real world. That is, real data is needed, so Sophie uses the MoCap technique which produces a virtual copy of real motions. That has been done for quite a while now but Sophie takes this one step further! Combining complex finger and hand movements with rather crude movements of the extremities in one recording is new in this field as it requires good equipment and is surprisingly tedious. Sophie does exactly do that as – we’ll see that in a second - it is essential for her to keep these two realms of MoCap together. When the animation is complete, the next step for her is to present the videos in user studies to evaluate how real the mo-
tion is perceived as. For example, you count to five with your fingers. The fingers’ movement is usually synchronized with an up and down movement of your arm, check for yourself: one, two, three, four, five. Did you see? Every count makes your arm move downwards. In several different animated movies, these two motions of finger and arm are then de-synchronised by the program to different degrees and the user, whom the animations are presented to, is asked to judge as real or unreal what he sees. What this yields is a kind of a bracketing of how much de-synchronisation can still be perceived as believable and a
threshold of how much ‘sloppyness’ can – or cannot - be allowed for in an animation is obtained from that. What makes human motion so complex and unique? Her computer-based research or anthropological aspects there about the difference between human and robots or virtual characters! Of course, there is a lot more to Sophie’s project than that very experiment as she investigates plenty of facets in this topic, e.g. crowd animation which could affect the battlefield scenes in future movies. Until Sophie is finished with her project, the movie industry has to get along without her results but it’s only a matter of
time for her work to be included in the ever-growing knowledge base that is applied to entertain us. It’s this kind of ground-level research that builds the valuable foundation for future improvements in the animation sector and will prove useful for such things as CGI-assisted acting that made Gollum hiss: “My precioussss...”.
How it works Between 40 and 90 little retro-reflective markers are attached at keypoints of the captured subject and are recorded via ten infrared cameras from different viewing angles. Synchronized infrared flashes make the markers, and only the markers, appear in the recordings, whereas the surroundings and subject themselves stay completely black. With the images obtained from the different cameras the accurate 3D position of the markers is calculated. The obtained footage is then processed in appropriate software where it is linked with the skeleton of the desired model. Doing that achieves absolute nature-like movements in the virtual realm.
How to get involved with this section SEBASTIAN WEISMAIR SCIENCE EDITOR Dealing with rather complicated scientific content is everyday business at Trinity, in every department. We have Biochemistry & Immunology for example doing research on AIDS; the School of Natural Sciences (comprising the Earth Sciences, Biology, Botany and Zoology) that deals with all kinds of phenomena from environmental research to volcanoes; the School of Physics; the School of Mathematics…the list goes on to cover the complete range of fields. However, how much do we know about what is happening at this very moment in other departments? No offense, but I think we rarely do know a lot, especially when you are a grad student (speaking from own experience here) or an undergrad and this can
be for various reasons. But would it not be great to throw a glance at what is going on in other departments? To get an overview that might even aid in meeting decisions for your own future? Every single school in Trinity has great research to offer in its field, however, especially the projects carried out by PhD students, as interesting as they are, tend not to get noticed by a wider audience. Trinity News would like to change that. My name is Sebastian, the Science Editor of Trinity News for this academic year. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Geochemistry/Volcanology as part of the ‘Volcanic and Magmatic Processes’ research group in the Geology Department at Trinity. The plan is to introduce interesting research that is carried out at TCD to a wider audience. Please see this article as an encouragement to get involved to be able to present your research to a wider audience. Two aims are related to that: For the researcher him/herself: this is an opportunity to con-
dense your own work and communicate it to a non-scientific audience. Make it understandable for everyday people! This will help you in the future to improve your writing style, should you wish to publish in newspapers or magazines like National Geographic and the likes and, maybe even more important, to obtain funding for future projects. Not always are the people that are deciding whether you get that 100.000€ grant totally immersed in your research topic. Actually, chances are, they are not. Therefore, the ability to break down complicated content to an understandable level is invaluable for yourself. I understand that PhD students are busy and need to budget their time. For that reason, we have skilled writers at hand that are happy to research your topic, speak to you in a loose interview style and do the writing. If you feel inclined to write it yourself, even better. As a moral goal, your article could even be responsible to draw more undergrad students to your department.
For the reader of the newspaper: Even if Trinity News covers a much wider audience than ‘just’ the college, a great part of our readers are the undergrads here. What do I want to do after my degree? Is a career in science the right thing for me? What does a PhD actually do? These typical questions – no worries, everyone went through them – will hopefully be answered to a certain extent by the articles in this section. Also, this can widen your horizon on the diversity of projects available and hopefully includes the notion that you are not ‘stuck’ to a discipline once you have a degree from a certain department, but au contraire, are encouraged to go for an interdisciplinary approach. In this academic year, you will find one project covered in every issue of Trinity News, in a style that is comparable to ‘New Scientist’ and the likes. There is a story in every project, so feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Trinity News’ chief editor Gearoid O’Rourke (email@example.com) to profit from this series.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
The World Cup odyssey comes to an end for Steve Staunton and Ireland CONAL MCKENNA SPORTS FEATURE EDITOR So east we went in our droves, as always, to see the Republic of Ireland’s brittle hopes of qualification for the European Championships of 2008 badly pummelled in Bratislava and, eventually, knocked out cold in Prague. The outcome was disappointing not only for the obvious pain of failure. In any case, while there wasn’t much joy to be found on the pitch, there was plenty available off it. When have we Irish ever been ones to let a bad result or two stand in the way of a good time? Prague and Bratislava offered us plenty of those. Optimism filled every belly at the airport early on the Friday morning before the game against Slovakia, the cautiousness of the previous few days before replaced by heady expectations of four points, minimum. “Sure we have better players than the Slovaks”... “anyway, they have nothing to play for.” “And the Czechs are nothing special – we saw that at Lansdowne, didn’t we?” Such was the tone as we landed in Prague, then came the more pressing business: making sense of the transport system. By the time our party had gravitated towards the wrong train station, it was time for a competent navigator to, well, stand up and be strong. Having
arrived in good time for the 14.35 to the Slovak capital, we suffered two delays (it would be a recurring theme), but, thankfully, the Czech police were not averse to our passing the time in a typically Irish way on the platform. Despite the deficiencies of the Czech transport system giving us a two-hour margin for error, an ill-timed comfort break by individuals who shall go unnamed almost caused us to miss the train, but, thankfully, as it geared up for departure, we were aboard. Bratislava, as you might imagine, is not as accustomed to tourist influx as its fellow capital across the border and, as such, its authorities are somewhat less accomodating. No sooner were we in Slovakia then one of our number was receiving a hefty on-the-spot fine for smoking. Apparently the lack of signs forbidding smoking in Bratislava is no excuse for lighting up, so it seemed for our esteemed colleague, it was time for those first Slovakian koruna to be spent in rather an unsatisfactory way. The welcoming commission didn’t improve much when we got to our hotel and were informed that our booking hadn’t been registered with them. I have no problem at this juncture of dragging the reputation of hostelbookers.com through the mud, taking as they did, our deposit and abandoning us. From there until around 22:15 local time the following night, I am pleased to report that things improved vastly. Our substitute accomodation was basic but had
a sense of quirkiness on its side and they sold us some much needed beer. With previous experiences duly noted, we stuck to the local Pilsner and stayed off the strange Gambrinus, which despite the protestations of those among us who were evidently lacking in taste buds, was beer. Of the many bar/cafe/restaurants (in this part of the world it, is quite rare to find any that are exclusively one of the three), Slangs was the most comfortable and welcoming, and they were not afraid to appease the throngs of Irish by playing a Pogues CD which had been passed over the bar by some surprisingly compus mento Galway men. And then there was the match. Typical Ireland, really, as the players went tentatively into their defensive shells and relinquished a fortuitous early lead. A much improved second half performance was garnished by a Kevin Doyle screamer which, every Irish fan behind the goal knew, was in from the moment he struck it. Then we depressingly snatched a draw from the jaws of victory – again – when a nothing ball was misdirected by the otherwise-excellent Dunne into the path of the onrushing Cek, who drove it low and true past Given. One point from Bratislava was insufficient, leaving us chasing an unlikely win in Prague. Still, we had a night out to enjoy as best we could in the circumstances. In an uncharacteristically clever move, we
boarded the first of the three available Sunday trains back to Prague in order to escape the Irish rush, a move which paid off handsomely as we bagged ourselves a couple of boothes to get comfortable in. It was in one of these that we were delighted to bump into one Brian Kerr in the early hours of Wednesday morning and I’m pleased to say that we found him in great humour, as willing to talk to us as we were to him. I suppose that had something to do with the hour of the night – Brian was on the orange juice by then. Another highlight was to the splendidly situated Club Lavka, which sits perched on the riverbank by Charles Bridge, and whose terrace provides a stunning view of the castle area brilliantly and moodily illuminated at night. It was here that the boys brought their questionable dancing abilities to Prague, the most adventurous of them braving the podium with hilarious consequences. Not being hugely keen on Irish bars, we only found ourselves in two of those on offer – The Shamrock and Rocky O’Reilly’s - on the Sunday night in order to take in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup game with Namibia. As the town was on that night quiet, they provided welcome levels of craic, and an encounter with an amiable Ronnie Whelan, but, still, it was difficult to understand the mentality of the many Irish fans who seemed happy to spend all of their waking hours in Prague in bars they wouldn’t move within ten yards of at home.
Having spent most of our three days of leisure enjoying the delights of Prague’s Old Town, it was game time. With this game being of greater importance to the locals than the previous one had been, the majority of the Irish fans were penned into the north-easterly corner of Sparta Prague’s nicely compact little stadium, with both factors assisting in creating a more cohesive atmosphere among the fans. The game itself was lost by Ireland with their atrocious display in the first half hour, when it was scarcely believable that professional footballers could have so much trouble in dealing with, of all things, a football. Next to the slick Czechs, they looked hopelessly outclassed, and this, the locals had told us, was a fairly normal Czech side. The home team gave some creedence to that view, almost from the point that Stephen Hunt, who is incredibly reviled in these parts, was introduced. Unfortunately the Reading man’s questionable temperament failled him when he made a stupidly rash tackle on Jan Polak and was understandably red-carded by the at times infuriatingly over-officious Greek referee. From there Ireland were brave and slightly unlucky not to take a point, but there weren’t many complaints as we made our way to home shores to see what Emmet Malone had to say about it the next day. There were, beyond the memories, some positives we could take from eastern Europe. Richard Dunne again looked like
a centre half of true international quality in both games and is now the side’s captain in everything but name. This is not to be disparaging towards Robbie Keane who worked as hard as anyone, but the burden on him was enough for him to shoulder. Unfortunately for the Spurs man, Ireland still rely too heavily on him for goals when it matters and, for all his endeavour, he is not producing them. He does have in Kevin Doyle a partner of real worth and his leading of the line at a man down in Prague was at times borderline heroic. It must also be recognised that in Doyle, Stephen Ireland (who will surely stick to the truth from now on), Shane Long, Paul McShane, Aiden McGeady, Stephen Kelly and Andy Keogh, Staunton has introduced young players who should go on to have good futures at this level. All are U24s and will be stronger come the next campaign, by which time this squad shouldn’t have lost too many players to retirement (Lee Carsley, Stephen Carr and Kevin Kilbane being the only real possibilities). We can look forward to the final three games of this one in the hope that the boys will secure third place and keep battling on in the vain hope of a Czech collapse. Some hope. In the end though, we had our fun at least, and certainly the experience put no one off for the future nor dimmed our eternal optimism, however misplaced it usually is.
Tickets for the Traffic Light Ball will be available from the Trinity News stand and ENTs throughtout Freshers’ Week
Michaelmas Term, Week 4
Hurling at the crossroads Is hurling increasingly popular or stuck in a rut outside Munster? FELIX MCELHONE NATIONAL SPORTS EDITOR It has been a great summer of hurling. Galway’s win in the All-Ireland Under 21s final brought the curtain down on a year of fine sporting action. There were many highlights of the Hurling Championship but the three memorable goals of Dan “the Man” Shanahan in the Munster Final will remain etched in the consciousness of many. As the winter months approach, it may now be the time to ask a few hard questions about the state of hurling in Ireland today. This autumn, the format of the Hurling Championship and the National Hurling League will be up for discussion at a special congress of the Gaelic Athletic Association. It is an ideal time, therefore, to look at how popular the game is at the moment, both in terms of players and supporters. Questions have to be asked about the top and the bottom of the pyramid. At grassroots level is there adequate funding available to provide good coaching across the island? In relation to county teams, will planned reforms of the Championship increase hurling’s popularity nationwide, or further widen the gap between the big teams and the smaller ones. One area where focused investment is beginning to show rewards is in Dublin. The visionary actions of the county board to develop underage hurling have contributed to the success of the sport in the capital. The Dublin minor team have won two Leinster titles in the past three years and the Dublin Under21s team reached the All-Ireland final this year. There are 45 Games Promotions Officers working within the county and 360 hurlers in development squads from under-13 through to under-16 level. No one can deny that targeted funding has enabled hurling authorities in Dublin to identify talented young sportspeople and allow them to develop the basic skills. Who knows, maybe we will see 70,000 fans cheering on the Dublin senior hurling team at Croke Park in the final of the Liam MacCarthy Cup in the not too distant future. Previous reforms of the Hurling
Championship have given the game greater exposure. The brainchild of current GAA President Nickey Brennan, the introduction of a back door system in the 1997 Hurling Championship introduced four quarter-finals and two stand alone semi-finals, replacing the semi-final double bill in Croke Park which had existed previously. By increasing the number of important fixtures in hurling, the GAA were able to take advantage of increased opportunities to promote the game. Radical changes to the structure of hurling’s main competitions, agreed at the GAA’s Easter Congress earlier this year, have the potential to hinder the development of the game in counties where hurling has a low profile. The key reform as things stand is that the Munster and Leinster champions will now advance automatically to the semi-finals of the MacCarthy Cup, without having to win a quarter-final. Proponents of this change argue that, due to hurling’s qualifier system, almost no team is eliminated in the provincial championships, with all Munster teams nearly guaranteed of their quarter-final place. Consequently, some argue, the provincial championships were being undermined and the winners in Munster and Leinster weren’t benefiting from their victory. The radical reforms, which aimed to improve the Championship, have alienated several of the counties where hurling has the greatest potential to grow in popularity. When the Hurling Development Committee, the group tasked with overseeing the development of the game, originally presented the proposals in 2006, Down Chairman Gerry Quinn argued that they would mean “the strong get stronger.” Changes to the National Hurling League, most notably where certain counties would play in a weaker division before taking part in the highest tier of the All-Ireland Championship, the MacCarthy Cup, were likened to “going from second gear to fifth gear or overdrive” by Dublin delegate Michael O’Grady. We can now be certain that the changes mooted will not solve the problems in the organisational structure of the Hurling Championship and may, in fact, serve to widen the divide between the
As Michael O’Grady has pointed out, “three of the provincial championships aren’t working,” so why not abolish the provincial championships altogether?
smaller and the bigger counties. The central question surrounds the GAA’s commitment to inclusivity and participation set against its desire to support hurling’s strongest counties. The Special Congress this autumn provides the GAA with the opportunity to reverse damaging reforms. What may be needed is a restructuring that would shake the very foundations of the GAA’s organisational model. As Michael O’Grady has pointed out, “three of the provincial championships aren’t working”, so why not abolish the provincial championships altogether? This would allow hurling to progress on a truly national basis and enable the game to develop at the same pace across the island. The Special Congress is imminent. Hurling is at a crossroads.
Wexford take on Kilkenny in Croke Park in July 2006. Photo Carol Phua
The ripple effects on Trinity of the cricket World Cup 2007 AH-YOUNG KOO STAFF WRITER As a cricketer having just started my first season with Trinity in the Trinity Term of 2007, I could not have wished for a better pack of supporters around College Park than after the Irish team’s performance in the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. As the weather got fairer and the smell of fresh cut grass started drawing crowds onto College Park, the library became a weak distraction from going to the Pav, and frisbees and soccer balls were being thrown from one side of the Park to the other. The sun was splitting the stones and the nets were out: this was the start of the cricket season. The change in support and interest after the World Cup was definitely noticed by a veteran. David Lydon, a Senior Sophister English Studies student and organiser of the six-a-side Cricket Tourna-
ment held in the beginning of Trinity Term, “did notice a further development in interest this year than in other years” A lot of students who had never played cricket before showed up to get involved and joined the Dublin University Cricket Club to learn new tricks. Among the crowd in College Park, snippets of cricket reviews could be heard. With the six-a-side tournament and several other fundraising events a huge success, it gave great encouragement for the matches ahead. The Blarney Army seemed to emerge around College Park after their creation in the West Indies! By the time of the day the cricket matches started, crowds had gathered to take study breaks and enjoy the last minute fun before the exam season. Flags were distributed to mark the boundaries, gear was out and 22 blotches of white were running around the Park. The crowds could be heard shouting “Come on, Trinity!”; their presence really gave confidence to the players and the atmosphere was cracking.
Security stood around the ropes in the Pav to avoid unwanted happenings. Much to their disappointment and the crowd’s bemusement, streakers still managed to make their way onto the field (and get tripped up by a certain wicket keeper!) Crowds could be heard cheering players on and shouting “How’s that?” in the hopes of getting an opposing player out. It felt as if the crowd and the team got together and defeated the away team. The spirit of the supporters in the West Indies was apparent. However, as Lydon suggests, while the World Cup will bring many long term changes to the sport, it is doubtful that cricket will ever overtake Bavaria as the main purpose for visiting the Pav! So how can we make cricket grow? In my opinion, three things are necessary: money, interest and talent. The supporters of the World Cup and the existence of cricket in Ireland show that without interest in the sport, there will be no change. In 2006, the International Cricket Council
gave out €200,000 to the Irish Cricket Union to invest in the training of the teams. As a small amount as it is, the ICU needs to spend the sum wisely and build on the popularity and interest gained during and after the World Cup to improve camps, training, equipment, awareness and, most importantly, competition. Irish cricketers, such as Ed Joyce and William Porterfield, have left Ireland to play for English counties. Of course experience is a positive factor for players to learn but the “talent drain” of gifted players should be prevented. Furthermore, developing young talent is probably one of the most important factors. Developing youth teams and increasing competitions with cricket-playing countries will influence the players immensely. Cricket will face many obstacles as a minority sport in Ireland. However, the Irish heroes have, to some extent, smoothed some of the rough paths for prospective and continuing players, who will strive towards being the best. Reflect-
Getting involved For information on Dublin University Cricket Club contact Mark Raftery-Skehan on firstname.lastname@example.org For information on Dublin University Women’s Cricket Club contact Claire Hearnden on email@example.com Indoor training and tournaments are held from Michaelmas Term to Hilary Term, and outdoor training, tournaments and matches start in Trinity Term. Also see www.cricket.tcdlife.ie
ing the experience of the World Cup, it truly shows how the attitude and the support of fans can really change the performance and confidence of players. Speaking from having played in College Park on a crowded Friday evening, the support never goes unnoticed and unappreciated by the
players.However, as Lydon suggests, while the World Cup will bring many long term changes to the sport, it is doubtful that cricket will ever overtake Bavaria as the main purpose for visiting the Pav!
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Portrait of the artist as a young man Cricketing legend Ed Joyce, , former Trinity player and graduuate of 2000 tells David Lydon why bowling for Trinity was better than playing against Australia for England.
hose that knew Ed Joyce during his student days were in little doubt that he would go on to fulfil his ambition of playing cricket professionally. However, even his greatest advocates would have been hard pressed to predict the heights that he has scaled since graduating back in 2000. By the time he had left Trinity with a BA in Economics and Geography, Joyce had trialled successfully for Middlesex at the second attempt, the first following the completion of his Leaving Certificate. This time the Lord’s-based county made no mistake in signing the left-handed batsman and Joyce hasn’t looked back since. Following his Middlesex debut in 1999, Joyce’s consistent performances earned him his county cap in 2002, and it was after scoring a staggering 1668 runs in the 2005 season that he began to catch the eye of the England selectors. Being a born and bred Irishman (the first, in fact, to score a century at Lord’s) he was ineligible to play for England until that year, gaining his eligibility after the required four years of residency. I was able to catch up with Joyce following a day’s play against Leicestershire at Southgate, North London. Middlesex had endured a torrid day with the bat, capitulating to 175 all out, but Joyce had scored a vital 74, holding the innings together with skill. Now the Middlesex vice-captain, Joyce lost his place in the England one-day team during the fallout following the poor World Cup campaign, but has returned to the County Cricket circuit well, scoring consistent and important runs in all forms of the game. Joyce emerged from the players’ changing rooms extending a warm handshake and no shortage of the Irish charm for which he has become notorious within cricketing circles. He was taller than I had imagined, shattering his press-appointed persona “the diminutive left-hander” and more than willing to discuss his student days. Once we had emerged unscathed from the professional autograph hunters who circled the players like vultures, we were able to sit in front of the Southgate pavilion and discuss his career from its humble origins in Merrion Cricket club to that innings in Sydney last winter. I remember being told by some wise old man (probably a teacher or parent, possibly even a lecturer) that you can judge an individual in three ways: what they do, what they say about themselves and what others say about them. Well, I already knew that what Joyce did was exemplary and that he is a popular figure both at home on the Irish cricket circuit and on the English scene. But it was what he had to say about himself
My girlfriend is Irish – she studied Business, Economics and Social Studies, although she’s not from D4, so she’s not your typical BESS girl
as University College Dublin, I found that the type of people studying there are students first, sportsmen second. I would much rather have had that than being paid to play sport at university and finish with a joke degree that didn’t suit me”. His anti-UCD sentiments, spoken as only a true Trinity student can, were encouraging. He made it clear that whilst he has friends who studied at UCD, he would “pick Trinity over UCD anytime”. At first, he seemed reluctant to issue such an inflammatory statement, but after being told that UCD had now added and extra “D” to its moniker, he was able to rest assured. Having ascertained his recommendation of Trinity, I decided to address the issue of his nationality. Fearing I would be treading on eggshells, I approached the subject apprehensively by asking if he had regretted his decision following Ireland’s qualification and success in the World Cup, a result that he had worked so hard to achieve several years ago. “Ah listen, no one’s happier than me to see how much of an effect the World Cup had on Irish cricket, but there’s no way I was ever going to turn down the opportunity to play at the highest level.” This approach to national identity, the “you gotta do what you gotta do” mentality, struck me as being refreshing in an era that has seen supposed patriotism in sport descend into bigotry and jingoistic violence. And it was far from selling out, given that Ireland, as of yet, do not play test cricket, something that Joyce clearly holds aspirations to do. Continuing the discussion about Irish cricket, Joyce was candid about the state of play back home, “There has always been, and always will be, a huge base for cricket in Ireland. People wonder how I, supposedly from a minority cricketing nation, got into this sport. But the truth is that there were always opportunities, it’s just that the World Cup has helped greaten them. Look at myself, Eoin (Morgan, Joyce’s fellow Dubliner and now Middlesex colleague) and Boyd (Rankin, bowling star for Ireland in the World Cup). There’s plenty of talent there and there always has been”. I inquire about the potential for cricket turning professional for Ireland, and am greeted with a less favourable response, “At the moment, the inclination is for any Irish player to come over to England, where there’s more money, more opportunities and a higher standard of cricket. The Irish Cricket Union simply can’t provide the cash for the players at the moment”. I raise the subject of Jeremy Bray, another Irish World Cup hero who has recently opted to pick and choose his availability for Ireland on the basis that it was costing him personally to represent his country. “Look, I don’t
that most intrigued me. I started by asking for a sixty-second recap of his Trinity life, which revealed his pride in achieving his degree (although, if he were being honest, he’d tell you that he should have pulled off better results than his ultimate 2:2) and that if he had his time again, he would definitely attend Trinity. This idea surprised me – surely university delayed his entry into professional sport? “On the contrary”, he declared. “When I first came over for a trial it was on the recommendation of the Irish coach who had known his Middlesex counterpart. I simply wasn’t ready and my performances reflected that. Staying in Ireland for a extra few years to study was the right decision”. Preconceptions blown to pieces, I inquired as to whether Trinity was the best place for an aspiring sports student, especially as he admitted that he never really saw himself going down the career paths taken by most economics or geography students. “Absolutely”, was the immediate answer, “whilst Trinity might not be as sports-scholarship orientated
Biography proved to be College, Bray where he Educated at Presentation by rug at t showing potential a talented sportsman, firs and Dom family, his brothers Gus Cricket runs in the Joyce Isobel played and his sisters Cecilia have played for Ireland and for Ireland ladies cs from Trinity, Geography and Economi Graduated with a 2.2 in with the iew erv an’s degree” in an int later calling it a “sportm Independent declaring up on his second attempt, Made the Middlesex set y in England previousl himself not ready for life ing 84 runs in the ICC trophy, averag es tim 14 d lan Ire for Played from 2001-2005 over a four year period, r path, the ecmplete his unusual caree He is not the first to co for Middleyed pla othy Carew O’Brien centricily named Sir Tim in the 1890s sex, Ireland and England t Ireland in debut for England agains Ironically, Joyce made his al on ati l One Day Intern Belfast on their first officia
agree with his stance, but it is hard for these guys who are, ultimately, not professional players. But it’s not just about the money; it’s about the exposure too. The World Cup has helped Irish Cricket to reach a new audience.” Satisfied with his view on the current state of his sport back home, I move the discussion onto his own sense of nationality. He confesses to not getting home as much as he used to and now considers his London flat where he lives with his girlfriend to be his home. I wonder whether that must seem strange, given his allegiance to Ireland? “Well, I love living in London. Whether or not I could live in other parts of England, I don’t know! And my girlfriend is Irish – she studied Business, Economics and Social Studies, although she’s not from D4, so she’s not your typical BESS girl.” I admire his refusal to be cast in a stereotype – something that must be hard when you are one of the few Irish cricketers in the British leagues? “Yes, well I did get the old Paddy and Spud nicknames when I first arrived, cricketers being the original bunch they are, but thankfully that’s been passed over to Eoin Morgan now!” he laughs. “Al-
though I still act a lot younger than him, so I’m sure he resents that”. And what about any other fond memories of Trinity traditions and stereotypes? “Well, I remember a few of them, but no doubt things have changed greatly since I left. I still get the odd letter from Professor Trevor West (head of Dublin University Central Athletic Committee), so I’m not too out of touch.” He also holds fond memories of Philip Boylan, the longserving President of Dublin University Cricket Club. On this subject, Joyce thinks carefully, “I can only recommend that everyone who can takes advantage of a university education. It offers so much more than the books, more like a lesson in life, really”. So would you advise an up-and-coming young Irish Cricketer to study at Trinity? “Definitely”, comes the immediate answer. “It’s a platform for life”, he reflects. “If not for sport!” And so our interview comes to a conclusion. Ed Joyce stands, shaking my hand and wishing me well for my final year. As I thank him for his time, I decide that Samuel Beckett has a serious contender for DUCC’s most successful old boy
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Trinity sailing ahead The front row Following on from their World Championship success DU Sailing Club prepare for another year RÓNÁN MURPHY STAFF WRITER
WITH TONY SMEETH The Dublin University Football Club’s rugby team is one month into their preparations for the new All-Ireland Division II campaign which starts on Saturday 29 October with a match against Bective. Trinity finished fifth in Division II last year with almost a completely new squad; most of last season’s squad are back for the new campaign. The team has started the season with three wins out of four in three Leinster Cup group games and a friendly with Seapoint. Preparations have been hindered by unavailability, including long-term injuries to several players, exam repeats and players working overseas. All the players are back now and following rigorous training schedule. This year’s squad looks to have much more depth and AIL experience than last season; At full-back Paul Gillespie returns after an exceptional season. Paul will be pushed for a spot on the team by Colm Coyle, Andy Wallace and there are hopes that Gareth Murphy will return to the squad after a groin injury which curtailed his season last year. On the wing the exciting Killian Stafford will be back with several young wings chomping at the bit to play, these players include former Irish schools wing Shane Hanratty, who has started the season in great form. Leinster U18s rep Chris Jebb, who scored an incredible four tries on AIL debut last year against Malone, will push hard although he is still U20s. An interesting prospect is MBA student Brian Barnard, who was unlucky to miss the World Cup. In the centre, the club have brought in Volney Rouse, USA Universities’ Player of the Year. Volney will compete with Eddie Hamilton at outside centre. Last season Blackrock College SCT captain and Leinster U20s rep Shane Rogers will join the squad after the U20s inter-provincials and could challenge as the season unfolds. Former Leinster U21s inside centre Conor Donohoe will be back and will be challenged strongly by Eoin Fleck. Fleck is still U20s but has been with the club three seasons. Last year’s U20s pennant captain Chris Sale has been impressive in early games for the first XV. At out-half the very popular Johnny Watt (Ulster U21s and Irish Universities) will be back for his third season in the first XV. The club have great depth at this pivotal position. The very talented Micheal Boland comes up from the U20s after two great years, U20s out-half Martin Dufficy will be back after playing for Leinster U20s. Richard Brady, another U20s player, played the first three games in the Leinster Cup with great confidence. This year’s captain Joey Burns will be back for his third year of first XV rugby at scrum-half. He is well backed up by Eddie Hamilton, Andy Dold, Bryan Johnston and Liam Power. Last year’s Ulster and Irish schools scrum-half Sam Bell comes into Junior Freshman year from Methody College Belfast. In the forwards Trinity lookw to have more depth and more bulk, which is essential if the team want to be successful. Former Irish U19s James Gethings is the man in possession, and at loose-head, Colm Goode did a great job. Coming back to challenge at tight-head will be Eoin O’Cuilleanean, who is back after a year out with an eye injury. The club welcome back the popular former Connacht U21s rep Craig Telford after a year out battling a serious illness. Leinster U20s and Ireland U19s Paddy McCabe will certainly be looking to push for a place after the U20s inter-provincials. Brendan White has put in a huge summer of conditioning and could be a player to watch, as is John Denny/ Loose-head prop will be a position of strength also with Graham Murphy back for a second year of senior rugby. Tristan Goodbody, who can also play tight-head prop, will challenge as he did last year. Colin Goode andMark Murdoch are two U20s who have proven they can step up. At hooker Matt Crockett who represented Ireland at universities and amateur level is a hard act to follow. Ben Cunningham played the last four games of the season last year an proved he could step up to the plate. Alan Mathews has physically developed over the summer and will be one to watch. Last year’s seconds XV captain Dan Brennan has returned early from Yorkshire to stake a claim also. Ciaran Egan is away with the Leinster U20s and will be eager to play senior rugby. In the second row, Max Cantrell is hoping to move into the back row and last season was the top line out expert in the club. Roger Young will also be back after a good summer of conditioning. Ciaran Condren, the strongest player in the club, has moved up from the U20s. The aggressive Munster man John Byrne played four games for the first XV and will be back this season. American USA U19s captain Scott LaValla has entered his JF year in Trinity and has impressed everybody with his play and attitude in second row or number eight. The agile Paddy Earls has moved up from U20s and is an impressive middle jumper. In the back row, there is the usual embarrassment of riches; Shane Young will be looking to nail down the number seven jersey after playing number six last season. Marc Lynch, last year’s U20s captain will also hope to step up to senior rugby and force his way into the team also. U20s Johnny Iliff did not let himself down in an early game for the first XV. Zach Desmond who has been outstanding in the U20s B team the past two years, has returned to play senior rugby. At blindside flanker – U20s Conor McGinn has played the first three games of the season and has impressed with his performances in the first XV. Players who hope to be claiming a spot will be either Max Cantrell or Richard Morrow (Connacht U21s). At number eight blind side flanker Brian Coyle, after a great career at U20s, will compete with Eddie Molloy who has been out for two years with a groin injury. Another interesting prospect is new recruit Luke Mantle, who has joined Trinity from Greystones in his last year in college, can play flanker or number eight but pulled his hamstring during the training camp. DUFC would also like to wish all these players the best in their future careers.
National Champions, Colour Champions, World Champions, Sailor of the Year awards and eight pinks to boot. The success of Dublin University Sailing and Bodyboarding Club last year was nothing short of outstanding. When Trinity earned the right to represent Ireland at the Student Yachting World Cup 2006 in Lorient, France by topping the rankings in the Intervarsity team racing circuit, few would have imagined that the club could dominate as they would in the coming months with success after success. Unfortunately there were doomsayers about DUSC’s chances in France, claiming they didn’t have the skills to put a winning campaign together. But as is true in sport, triumph comes through adversary
and Trinity used this all as motivation to prove their place and to prove they could do what so many Irish teams had failed in the past, and come home from France with silverware. In late October, a nine-strong squad (Stefan Hyde, John Downey, Sam Hunt, Lisa Tait, Katie Hamilton, Ronan Murphy, Russell Treacy, Claudine Murphy and Geoff Tait) travelled to France flying the flags of Trinity and Ireland, ready to take on the world. After two days of intense training in the waters of Lorient, seven anxious sailors took to the water lining up against the best teams nations could muster in the high performance Mumm30 sports boat class. Ireland managed to get off to a great start leading by the end of day one, and by day six, Ireland, Portugal and England emerged as the contenders for the cup. It would go to the final day to decide the destination of the trophy.
Nails gnawed to nothing, all to play for going into the last race, a nervous Irish team had to get a top five result and no more than two places behind Portugal to secure victory. It was an immense spectacle of a race in weather that was broaching (knocking over) boats at will in the mayhem of the weather mark. Only three boats managed to clear the commotion and fly their spinnakers with Ireland leading the charge in a downwind ride. The majority of the crew had to hike out behind the helmsman to stop the boat’s front end from diving underwater as it surfed down waves in the +25kts of wind which threatened to overpower and wipe-out boats at any moment. Occasionally water engulfed the Irish boat and from a distance she appeared to disappear in a haze of white foam. In the end Ireland’s steely determination was rewarded as they crossed the finish line to take a bullet and realise that they were the
champions of the world. Now a year on, Trinity are deep in preparations to go for the double and defend their title. Competition promises to be tough thought, with teams from sailing strongholds like England, United States, Australia and Brazil all fielding impressive teams to try take the cup from Trinity. But don’t think Trinity aren’t ready for the challenge. With a new line-up these eager sailors are determined to show that Lady Luck had no part to play in last year’s victory. Lisa Tait, Katie Hamilton, and Claudine Murphy all return to the squad and are joined by Chris Clayton, Simon Rattigan, Osmond Morris, Davie Carr and Geoff Tait as Skipper, while Amy Wickham and Louise Dobbyn take up the mantle of team managers. DUSC has every confidence this team has the talent to take home silverware once again.
DU Boat Club Senior Eight in action in last year’s Gannon cup which the team went on to win. Photo Martin McKenna
Disappointment for DU Boat Club Hopes for a historic Henley anniversary win dashed for another year as DU Boat Club return empty-handed. GABRIEL MAGEE STAFF WRITER 30 years. That is how long it has been since the Dublin University Boat Club last won at Henley Royal Regatta when they won the Ladies Plate in 1977. This fact had been in the back of the minds of the entire crew all year. What better way to celebrate the anniversary of that win than with another? With most of the Intermediate 8 that won the national title and made a strong showing at Henley the previous year returning, this year’s senior squad had its sights set firmly on making the dream of an anniversary win at Henley a reality. But that goal was not just the focus of a single year; it had actually begun much earlier. This squad included two former school-boy rowers in Joe Calnan and Rob Swift, both eager to prove their skill on what is probably the highest level of university rowing outside the World Student Games. It also featured some younger faces in Eoin MacDomhnaill, a secondyear novice who was taking the big step up to senior, and Henry Tindal who was returning to the club after a year off following a very successful novice year. In addition to this, there was Kerlin, a stalwart of QUBBC who, after four years of rowing
there, had decided to enhance both his academic and rowing careers by coming to Trinity. The squad was also bolstered by a fine crop of DUBC oarsmen from two years previously who had both the skill and dedication to advance their rowing to senior level, such as Sean Osborne (despite the fact that he spent most of the year in Russia), Gavin Doherty, John McCabe and Gabe Magee. After intense preparation in some soft conditions at Blessington, including a seat race that saw lightweight Dave Cummins beat the heavier Paul Laird for the remaining seat in the senior eight, the crews of DUBC departed Ireland for the waters of the Thames at Henley. Arriving two weeks early, it seemed the rain had followed the DUBC crews to England. Training continued regardless as the senior eight in its final combination (Calnan, Kerlin, Horner, Tindal, MacDomnaill, Osborn, Cummins, Roffe-Silvester and Gold as cox) practiced on the course in near flood conditions. In addition, the remainder of the senior squad had formed a four and entered the Prince Albert with Doherty, first-year novice James Byrne, Swift, and McCabe and Magee making the crew. The rain let up enough by the time the regatta started for the crowds to enjoy some sunshine, but the flow on the river was still
massive. The senior eight had a good draw, dispensing with Lady Margaret, Cambridge on Wednesday and Bournemouth University on Thursday without too much strain. Their first real test was to be Colgate University (USA) who had already dispatched with one of the top UK universities, Oxford Brookes, already. Unfortunately, Trinity had drawn the Bucks station for this race, meaning that they would be in the teeth of a massive flow at the start and finish of the race, only getting a small respite as the flow meandered to the Berks side from about the barrier to the beginning of the enclosures. The good news was that, if they could beat Colgate, they would have the much easier Berks station for the semis and, potentially, the final. Instead of the lead that their powerful start usually gave them, they found themselves digging deeper into their reserves just to stay level with Colgate. Coming into their advantage in the middle third of the course, Trinity made a push that saw them take the lead, but only by a canvas. This effort was then matched by Colgate with a push of their own. Heading into the enclosures, the race was tight; only a quarter length separated the crews. Unfortunately, the advantage was Colgate’s and Trinity found themselves a quarter length down heading into the final 500 meters
with the flow against them. Still, the fact that DUBC was able to field two eights and a four for an elite international event shows the depth and potential of this squad. While Trinity did not win the event, they have made it to the quarter-finals two years in a row. This statement was confirmed the week after Henley when the DUBC senior 8 competed for the title of national champions. They were the only all-student eight in the race. Against a field of rowers that contained current and former international athletes, they placed third behind last years champions NUIG and this year’s winners, a Shannon/St Michaels composite., the senior four turned in the best result of the weekend for DUBC, taking a silver medal behind an NUIG four, who themselves had just returned from Henley and looked quite dominant, winning the coxless four event as well, and also splitting up to also take the senior pair. While no gold medals where brought home from Inniscarra or Henley, the fact that DUBC is now able to field so many oarsmen who are competing in the top of their respective classes bodes well for the future. With many of the senior oars returning, as well as a promising group of novices just coming into their full potential, Trinity is set to once again to have a fantastic year.
Michaelmas term, Week 4
Trinity boys come out on top after stiff contest JONATHAN DRENNAN COLLEGE SPORT EDITOR A new season brings with it new responsibilities. Dublin University Football Club could never be accused of subscribing to the norms of Leinster rugby. Whilst most clubs are enjoying the benefits of a punishing pre-season, DUFC’s troubles have only started. A combination of academic commitments and holidays left a gaping hole in DUFC’s proposed XV in this mid-September Leinster Cup clash away to Terenure College RFC. However, like the Dutch boy mending the dam, DUFC’s coaching staff managed to compose a spirited composite outfit that more than matched their division one counterparts. Starting the game playing into the wind, the students found attacking chances limited as the buoyant Terenure forwards enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in the first quarter. Enjoying the experience of former Leinster player David McCallister marshalling play at fly-half; Terenure opened the scoring with an opportunist drop goal from the player in question. However, given time to adjust to both the conditions and indeed new team-mates, Trinity responded impressively. After a period of sustained possession, fly-half Richard Brady managed to draw several defenders and offloaded out of the tackle for industrious left wing Brian Barnard to score in the corner for a well-earned try. At this early stage of the season, ring rust has to be expected and Trinity managed to comply with this theory, in what was often a Jekyll and Hyde performance. Sublime counter-attacking rugby was mixed with simple handling errors that both thrilled and irritated the smattering of Trinity support that duly gathered in Dublin 6. A breakdown in communication across in the Trinity backline in their own 22 caused panic. A ball was carelessly put into touch from an unforced error by right wing Chris Sale that created an attacking lineout which inevitably created a platform for a Terenure try in the corner. At the close of the half, the pendulum swung back in Trinity’s favour almost instantaneously; forward domination kept the ball tight and new captain Joey Burns twisted and turned to score an important try at the end of the half to keep the student’s noses in front. The second half brought a sustained
The Team DUFC V TERENURE
effort by Trinity, who were keen to impose their mark on an equally balanced game at this early stage. Their attacking verve was rewarded with a penalty which Brady duly slotted over to give the students some breathing space. The game changed from the more ambling pace of the first half and became a frenetic affair dictated in large part by the omnipresent scrum-half Burns who delighted in breaking at any opportunity given. Burn’s refusal to take freekicks, instead choosing to keep Terenure guessing with quickly taken tap penalties paid dividends as stand out second row Max Cantrell used an impressive turn of pace to score a well-earned try. At this stage of the proceedings, Terenure were seemingly unable to offer anything in reply from a largely predictable backline. Trinity’s centre pairing of Conor Donohue and American import Volney Rouse managed to make short work of their opposite numbers who were constantly frustrated in the inability to break the gain line. After another penalty from Brady, Trinity appeared to be cantering to the finishing post. However, the student’s unexpected purple patch came to an unceremonious end when their previously watertight defence gave way to a piece of slapstick defending that gave Terenure an ill-deserved consolation try. After dominating the game for the bulk of 80 minutes, DUFC unexpectedly found itself in a dog fight as Terenure threw everything at it in the last five minutes to try and reduce the 5 point deficit. Fortunately in a cast filled with relative unknowns, experienced players in the form of Cantrell and Burns were there to help steer the College to a well-earned victory of 23-15. After an edgy yet encouraging early season scalp of durable first division opponents, Director of Rugby Tony Smeeth will now be able to look forward to his forthcoming league campaign with renewed optimism as the squad returns to near full-strength for their October tour to Oxbridge. Team v Terenure 15 Killian Stafford, 14 Chris Sale (Colin Murphy 45), 13 Volney Rouse, 12 Conor Donohoe, 11 Brian Barnard, 10 Richard Brady, 9 Joey Burns, 1 Graham Murphy (Colm Goode 55), 2 Mark Murdoch, 3 James Gethings, 4 Roger Young, 5 Max Cantrell (Dan Brennan 78), 6 Conor McGinn (Mark Lynch 60) 7 Shane Young, 8 Scott LaValla.
Chris Sale (Colin Murphy 45)
Graham Murphy (Colm Goode 55)
Max Cantrell (Dan Brennan 78)
Conor McGinn (Mark Lynch 60)
MAN OF THE MATCH Joey Burns Newly appointed Captain, Joey Burns, turned in a performance that beras all the hall-marks of a natural leader. Showing a quickness of thought and pass, Burns was a constant threat at the fringes of the scrum. Whether sniping at his opposite number or encouraging his sometimes-beleagured troops Burns constantly stood out as the outstanding player of the game.
Disappointment for Ladies’ Hockey in Cork tournament REBECCA MURPHY STAFF WRITER
The Trinity Ladies’ Firsts Hockey Team travelled to Cork last weekend to play in a warm-up, pre-season tournament in Cork Church of Ireland Hockey Club. The team have had a great influx of players this season, including three underage internationals, Caroline Murphy, Maebh Horan and Ciara Murphy, and several Interprovincial players, ensuring hot competition for places on the team. Trinity travelled to Cork with a large squad, a panel of eighteen, comprising of seven Freshers and ten
players returning to the team from last season. David Bane also returns as coach to the team for the coming season. The tournament began with a competitive game against Galway Hockey Club, who were an extremely well-organised and well-drilled team. Trinity held possession for most of the first half with much of the play within Galway’s 25, but Trinity were not clinical enough and failed to get the ball into the net. Although Trinity controlled the game for most of the sixty minutes with some spectacular saves by the goal keeper Laoise Coady, a lack of organisation saw the Galway team put a goal in shortly before the end of the second half resulting in a 1-
0 defeat. Trinity’s next game was against the home team, Cork Church of Ireland (C of I). This game saw the Trinity team to be a completely different side from the day before. They were far more physical, more confident and more organised all around the pitch. Trinity held the majority of possession during the first half with some excellent passing that cut open C of I’s defence and midfield. A short corner strike from Rebecca Murphy put Trinity a goal ahead twenty minutes into the first half. Unfortunately C of I managed to slip in a goal a few minutes later, leaving it a goal a piece at half time. The second half was close and well-contested by the stu-
A NEW ERA
FOR HURLING? FELIX MCELHONE P20
dents, but C of I were awarded a short corner with a minute to go which they converted to a goal. Considering the minimal amount of training that the Trinity team have had together prior to the tournament, they played some very constructive and well organised hockey, showing great potential for the coming season. Trinity then played arch-rivals UCD with Trinity defeated by a three goal margin. This match was a learning curve for Trinity, showing up some of their weaknesses that will need some serious work over the coming weeks before the start of the league. Trinity’s final match was against Railway Union. Trinity got off to a shaky
start resulting in Railway scoring two goals in the first twenty minutes. Trinity then turned their game around by putting in two goals just before half time. Both the goals came from some excellent play by Fresher Gillian Lane. This left the score line 2 a piece at half time, leaving it all to play for in the second half. Though Railway often looked the more threatening side, Trinity played some clever hockey. Railway managed another two goals at the start of the second half looking like they had secured their victory… but not for long as Trinity fought back hard with some strong defensive work and intelligent attacking play resulting in a superbly executed goal by another
Fresher, Katie O Byrne. A few minutes later, some very good play in front of the goal mouth saw Louisa Johnston put another goal in, leaving the final score at four all. Last season, Railway finished ahead of Trinity in the Leinster League, so a four all draw was a fantastic result for the Trinity team. Though the results may suggest otherwise, the trip to Cork was a well-worthwhile tournament for the development of the team and has shown that the Trinity Ladies’ First XI Hockey Team will, with a bit more training and organisation, be a formidable side in Division 1 this season.
INTERVIEW: ED JOYCE The England legend on his career to date INTERVIEW P22 firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Jun 23, 2009
THE WEEK DISSECTED P10 Housing crisis: Foreign students forced to stay in hostels Plan will see nearly all trafce removed from College Green...