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Hilary term, Week 8

Issue 9, Volume 54

Ronson, Vitalic to play Ball GEAROID O’ROURKE EDITOR Trinity News can reveal that top international producer and remix expert Mark Ronson will headline this year’s Trinity Ball. Ronson recently scooped “Best Male” in the Brit Awards. He will be supported by popular French dance act Vitalic. These are the first two acts to be revealed from this year’s line-up. The news came in an interview with a visibly excited Students’ Union Ents Officer Edward O’Riordan. “We really wanted to take things

Trinity Ball headliner Mark Ronson

Supporting act Vitalic, aka Pascal Arabez

Energy ripoff charges OPINION EDITOR Trinity students living in College accommodation are charged over twice as much for energy as students in other Irish universities, a Trinity News survey has shown. Residents of Trinity Hall pay a fixed charge of €600 a year in energy charges, while students living on campus in UCD pay just over half €300 for the same services. The charge covers electricity, heating, hot water, internet connection and cable television. Students at the University of Limerick have the best deal of all, paying as little as €240 a year for energy, although internet is not included. Residents of Botany Bay, the GMB and Goldsmith Hall pay a fixed

energy fee of €560 a year, while charges on other parts of campus are based on the amount of energy used. A total of 1,700 students live in College accommodation on campus and at Trinity Hall in Dartry and about 1,400 of these pay a fixed energy charge. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the €75 a month paid by Trinity residents is also far higher than the charges paid by students in private accommodation. The Students’ Union website advises students to budget just €45 a month for electricity and heat. When asked about the high energy fees, the Accommodation Officer, Anthony Dempsey, said that charges were “apportioned on the basis of calculations prepared by external consultations” and that “bulk meters

STAFF WRITER The recent Lisbon Treaty debate at the Phil was disrupted when one audiencemember alerted college security to the presence of “a suspicious bag”. This report resulted in a farsical bomb alert and two students being brought before the Junior Dean. Kenneth Doyle, a former Trinity

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will net almost €500,000. Earlier this year MCD signed a further three year contract to run Trinity Ball and O’Riordan sees the big name acts already released for this Ball as a sign of things to come. Niall Morris, former Entertainments Officer and now working with MCD says that they are “totally committed to bringing the best acts to Trinity for the Ball. Ronson and Vitalic are only the beginning for this year”. There will be five stages at this year’s Ball with an estimated 20 more acts to be announced. • More on Ronson and Vitalic page 5

TRINITY DECIDES

Will this be the lineup of next year’s Students’ Union sabbatical team? Our Opinion Poll results

• Continued page 3

Bomb scare at debate KIERA HEALY

at the ceremony. He is best known for his collaborations with other leading artists. O’Riordan is not ruling out an appearance by one of Ronson’s famous callaborators at the Ball. “We can’t reveal any more of the acts at this point but it will be up to Ronson himself how he wants to perform. It is not unheard of for some of his celebrity friends to drop in on his gigs. Celebrities love coming to the Ball because of it’s chilled out atmosphere.” Capacity for this year’s Ball will be 6000 while a similar sales system to previous years will be in place. “We expect tickets to sell within two weeks of going on sale” says O’Riordan which

STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION

Trinity students pay twice as much as counterparts in other universities JOHN LAVELLE

up a level this year. So we put our heads together with MCD and came up with Ronson. He is really hot property at the moment, especially after the Brits.” Ronson’s recent awards success makes him one of the most high profile acts to play the Ball in recent years. O’Riordan hopes that this will lead to another sell-out event. Last year the Ball sold out two weeks in advance of the event. Tickets were changing hands for up to three times their face value. Interestingly, Ronson is the first person to win a Brit who doesn’t actually sing themselves although he did perform an acclaimed six minute set

student and frequent attendee at evening debates, reported that the bag had been unattended for “at least twenty minutes”. The arrival of security staff – who entered the Chamber midway through guest speaker Mary Lou McDonald’s address – caused some concern among audience members. Phil Secretary Barry Devlin

CATRIONA GRAY & AOIFE GRIFFIN STAFF WRITERS The latest Trinity News opinion polls show the race for Student’s Union president is almost neck-and neck between the three high-profile candidates. The poll, compiled over the weekend, and which received 430 responses, shows Eoin Moore with the slightest lead of 31.7% to Robert Donohue’s 29.2% and Cathal Reilly’s 27.2% share. Given th emargin of error the narrow gap between the candidates means that any one of the three stands a good chance of becoming next year’s president.

The other highly contested race is for Ents Officer, where 10% seperates the three candidates. The work of Dave Byrne’s dedicated campaign team has pushed him slightly ahead of his competitors with 36% of the vote, however Cillian Gray and Nicholas Longworth stand on 26.6% and 25.6% respectively, which means that there is still a strong possiblility for any one of them to emerge the eventual winner. As well as revealing these close results for President and Ents, the poll also revealed some more conclusive results for the other three positions. While it is difficult to accurately predict the results of the upcoming elections based on this poll, the race for Deputy President saw Seamus Conboy achieve a majority, coming

out with 39.8% of the votes. Conor Smith came second out of the four candidates with 20.8%, while the two female candidates achieves a similar proportion of votes with Laura Buttigieg gaining 14.2% and Jessie Gurr 12.2% of the total votes cast. Meanwhile, Welfare, the other hotly contested position with three runners, saw Orlaith Foley achieving a significant majority at 50.5% she gained over half of the votes. Nick Beard came second, still in with an outside chance at 20.1%, while Chloe Kassis-Crowe got 14.7%. For this position there were over 14% of votes lost- 7.6% spoiled and 7% voted that the nominations should be reopened, so that there is still a strong possibility that the eventual

• Continued page 3

tn New indie hipsters Foals and the Kinetiks interviewed • Home grown dramatic productions reviewed • Irvine Welsh talks about writing • Commons reviewed 3

IRVINE WE

LSH Acclaime d and Train writer talks films spotting in Trinity.

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TRINITY NEWS

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Hilary Term, Week 8

CollegeNews The Numbers Game STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION

60,000 The number of rocks Trinity shipped to schools around the country to be used as a geology teaching resource.

€24,000

Joseph O’Gorman’s wage from the Central Soccieities Committee. This wage was revealed following an anonymous e-mail sent to the organisation and several members of the College community.

2

Acts announced for Trinity Ball.

€250

Reported price that tickets for the Trinity Ball were being sold for on the day of last year’s ball.

€600

The energy charges in Trinity Halls, which far exceed the costs of other institutions .

€240

Donoghue, Reilly and Moore contest the Students’ Union Presidential Debate held this year by the Phil in conjunction with Trinity News. Photo: Tom Gillespie

Comparable energy charges in the University of Limerick.

He said, she said

“These allegations are untrue and there are statements which are at best, erroneous, at worst malicious.” Honorary Treasurer of the Central Societites committee Joesph O’Gorman responds to calls for his resignation. “remove those pictures or I will personally sue you.” A member of the college security staff speaking to a Trinity News photographer at the GMB bomb scare. It is not unheard of for some of his celebrity friends to drop in on his gigs. Celebrities love coming to the Ball because of it’s chilled out atmosphere.” Entertainments Officer Ed O’Rioirdan on the announcement of Mark Ronson’s future appearance at the Trinity Ball this year.

Clarifications and corrections Trinity News would like to clarify that the arctile titled “Reading in the dark” in the Theatre section of tn2, Issue8,Volume 54, was incorectly attributed to Polly Graham. The work’s true author was Francis Beatty. Trinity News wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Editorial Staff Editor: Gearoid O’Rourke editor@trinitynews.ie Deputy Editor: David Molloy deped@trinitynews.ie Business Manager: Conor Sullivan buisness.manager@trinitynews.ie Copy Editor: Deirdre Robertson copyeditor@trinitynews.ie Photographs: Martin McKenna photos@trinitynews.ie College News: Caoimhe Hanley collegenews@trinitynews.ie National News: Lauren Norton nationalnews@trinitynews.ie International News: Kasia Mychajlowycz internationalnews@trinitynews.ie News Features: Eimear Crowe newsfeatures@trinitynews.ie Society News: Sophie Davies socities@trinitynews.ie Features: Sam Hannaford features@trinitynews.ie Opinion: John Lavelle & Kevin Lynch opinionanddebate@trinitynews.ie World Review: Kevin Breslin worldreview@trinitynews.ie Travel: Andrea Mulligan travel@trinitynews.ie Business: Danielle Ryan businessandcareers@trinitynews.ie Science: Sebastian Wiesmair science@trinitynews.ie College Sport: Jonathan Drennan collegesport@trinitynews.ie Sport Features: Connel McKenna sportfeatures@trinitynews.ie TN2 Editor: Catriona Gray Film: Conor O’Kelly Music: Carolyn Power Fashion: Ciaran Durkin Books: Paul Earlie Theatre: Polly Graham Art: Caroline O’Leary Edibles: Beth Armstrong Endnotes: Ailbhe Ni Mhaoileoin Website: Brian Henry

tn2@trinitynews.ie film@trinitynews.ie music@trinitynews.ie fashion@trinitynews.ie books@trinitynews.ie theatre@trinitynews.ie art@trinitynews.ie edibles@trinitynews.ie endnotes@trinitynews.ie webdesign@trinitynews.ie

Thanks to: Joey Facer; Pat Morey and College Security; Caoimhe and Sally-Ann in the Communications Office; Peter Henry; Fionn McLaughlin; Ed O’Riordan; Daithí Ó Malley; Nicholas Moustache; Daire Hickey; Daithi MacSithigh; Emer Graoke; David Adamson; Jenny Ryan; Rosscrea Express; and everyone in Midland Web Printing. This publication is funded by a grant from DU Publications Committee. 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.

Opinion Poll results The Poll Toppers PRESIDENT: Robert Donohue: 29.2% Eoin Moore: 31.7% Cathal Reilly: 27.2% RON: 5.8% None/spoiled ballot: 6.1%

WELFARE: Nick Beard 20.1% Orlaith Foley: 50.5% Chloe Kassis-Crowe: 14.7% RON: 7.1% None/spolied ballot: 7.6%

DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Laura Buttgieg: 14.2% Seamus Conboy: 39.8% Jessie Gurr: 12.2% Conor Smith: 20.8% RON: 5.6% None/spoiled ballot: 7.4%

ENTS: David Byrne: 36% Cillian Gray: 26.6% Nicholas Longworth: 25.6% RON: 5.6% None/spoiled ballot: 6.1%

EDUCATION: Hilary Allen: 50.8% Hugh Sullivan: 36.5% RON: 6.1% None/spolied ballot: 6.6%

On avergae across all the candidates 6.05% of voters plan to re-open nominations. An average of 6.76% of voters plan to spoil their ballot and/or refuse to vote for at least one candidate. There were 430 valid responses in total.

outcome could be radically different. The poll for Education also revealed quite a definate outcome. Out of the two candidates that are running, Hilary Allen emerged as the strong favourite with 50.8% of the vote, while Hugh Sullivan got only 36.5%. Of all those who participated in the Trinity News survey, an average of 6.05% plan to reopen nominations,being dissatisfied with the available candidates while 6.76% will either abstain from voting or go to the polls with the intention of spoiling their ballot. The importance of aesthetics are never to be underestiamted and with Seamus Conboy voted the best campaign shirt and voted, aong with Orlaith Foley as having the most highprofile campaign. The voting will reveal how imortant this manic canvassing has been and if it really is the most effective method to secure votes Polls open today at 5pm. The Trinity News Students’ Union Election Survey was conducted with the help of surveymonkey.com and the University Philosophical Society.

The €392,000 rip off • Continued from page 1 are used to monitor consumption and calculate costs.” Dempsey said he was “wary of quick comparisons” and “superficial fact gathering” and noted that hot water was available for 16 hours to 24 hours a day in Trinity accommodation compared to 11 hours a day in UCD. He added that in some cases Trinity’s accommodation was larger and older than that in other universities, and that internet connections in Trinity were comparatively fast.

When asked why all students were not charged on the basis of their individual energy consumption, Dempsey said that the Accommodation Office had read meters in the past but found that the workload involved was not justified because residents tended to use similar amounts of energy. “I am not aware of any groundswell for a reduction in either the duration or levels of the services supplied,” he said. “Indeed, I am aware of requests made at the Campus Residences Council to extend the heating to a 24 hour basis.”

Cost survey Trinity Hall (modern single, excl. JCR membership) Botany Bay, GMB, Goldsmith Hall Front Square, Pearse Street, Rubrics, New Square UCD Glenomena, Roebuck Hall, Proby

318

University of Limerick Kilmurray, Plassey (excl. internet connection) Thomond, Drumroe (excl. internet connection) Other Universities

600 560 Pay by use

240 300 - 390 Pay by use

Two before JD after bomb scare • Continued from page 1 explained the situation and reassured the crowd. Most of the audience did not seem to consider the apparent threat a serious one; indeed, the most common response to Mr Devlin’s explanation was laughter. While the debate was briefly halted, security investigated the unattended package, pronouncing it to be harmless. Prior to the disruption, the Triniy News photographer, David Adamson, had been taking pictures of the speakers. After turning his lens to the security staff, though, he was verbally

reprimanded and ordered to delete the images immediately. Witnesses were surprised by the vehemence of the guards’ response to being photographed; one was heard telling Mr Adamson, “remove those pictures or I will personally sue you.” An audience member, who preferred to remain nameless, described the guards as seeming “very angry for no real reason” and said, “They were completely out of line”. The incident ended when Mr Adamson complied with the guards’ request, and deleted the offending images from his digital camera.

The disturbance was greeted with bemusement by many. Mr Doyle, who originally spotted the bag, is well-known to Phil council, and has been involved in many minor troublesome incidents at the society’s events; given his history, few at the debate felt his report to be of note. College told Trinity News that the bag in question “posed no danger and contained a pair of jeans which were later claimed by an individual”. In its statement to Trinity News, the college did not comment on the altercation between Mr Adamson and the security guards. Mr Adamson was later summoned to appear before the

Junior Dean in relation to the incident. He was not the only Phil member reprimanded in this fashion for the night’s events: Barry Devlin was also brought before Dr Stokes, allegedly for “not taking the incident seriously enough”. However, in a reflection of the harmless outcome of the investigation, neither student was severely punished for their part in the night’s events. The Phil’s Pro-Secretary, Brendan Curran, summed up events when he told Trinity News, “Ironically, the bomb scare at the Phil involved neither a bomb nor a scare.“

collegenews@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary term, Week 8

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CollegeNews

ANONYMOUS EMAIL: O’Gorman should resign immediately Email claims that O’Gorman has held position illegitimatey for six years, College to investigate GEAROID O’ROURKE

Communisations Officer Caoimhe NiLochlainn stated, “The matter is currently under investigation by the College Authorities.” However when shown statements from this article for verification O’Gorman refused to comment to Trinity News on the matter reserving the right to do so at a later date. In his email to the societies he claims “These allegations are untrue and there and there are statements which are at best, erroneous, at worst malicious.” He goes on to state “the College has issued me with a staff card and a P60…It is clear that I am a College employee” The identity of the sender of the email has been a topic of hot speculation in the CSC. The email itself was sent with the subject line “written under pseudonym” and was addressed as to be from one Robin Adams. Mr Robin Adams is in fact a staff member of the Library but claims no connection at all with the email. Following a query from Trinity News Adams stated that he “is not the owner of this email address and did not write the message in question”. Impersonating a College Officer is a charge the sender could face if caught. Members of the CSC Exec believe that O’Gorman intitally had a suspect in mind and at one point O’Gorman referred to the mystery emailer as “a little bastard that didn’t even bother to present himself”. However O’Gorman has not accused anyone directly. He did tell one member of

EDITOR The College authorities are investigating an anonymous email calling for the resignation of Mr Joseph O’Gorman, Honorary Treasurer of the Central Societies Committee. That email has thrown the CSC into turmoil and raised serious questions about O’Gorman’s position in College. The email was circulated to the Students’ Union sabbatical officers, Trinity News and the CSC between the 10th and 12th of February. It claimed that O’Gorman is not technically a member of staff and as such has illegitimately held the position of Honorary Treasurer for the last six years. As Honarary Tresurer O’Gorman is instrumental in the yearly allocation of the CSC’s €250,000 budget, a fact that has made these allegations even more serious. He is also seen as a very influential in the formation of all College policy relating to clubs and societies. O’Gorman has vehemently denied the allegations and, in an emergency meeting on February 12th with the CSC Executive, claimed he would be seeking legal counsel regarding them. He also vowed that he would send proof of the legitimacy of his position to the Senior Dean, Junior Dean and College Secretary as well as the Chair and Treasurer of every society. Following this College

Trinity News staff that he felt there was a conspiracy afoot to blacken his name. O’Gorman has courted controversy since his undergraduate student days in Trinity and most recently hit the College headlines when forced to offer a payout to a former member of CSC staff. The staff member had claimed she was unfairly dismissed by the CSC. The pay out settled the matter. Since then O’Gorman has been employed himself as a staff member of the CSC. This email has thrown stark light onto O’Gorman’s position in Trinity. Long accepted as something of an institution questions are now being asked as to how he came to such prominence and exactly what his position in College is. O’Gorman currently holds at last six different positions in the College, as well as privately running the hugely successful Trinity Campus Tours. He also sits on some of the College’s most influential committees and is seen as a figure of great influence within the College. His positions held range from lecturer in the Philosophy Dept to heavy involvement in the Chapel Choir and also include Honorary Treasurer of the CSC, Assistant Junior Dean and Strategic Development Officer of the CSC. Details of this last position were only brought to light at the emergency CSC Executive meeting on February 12th. At this meeting O’Gorman revealed that he held this position which the CSC had been

86-2-8= '300)+) (9&0-2 WIRED 4 RESEARCH? You are invited to the Trinity College Research Open Day on Tues 4th March 2008 Time: 2.00pm – 8.00pm For more information contact: Tel: +353 (1) 896 2968 www.tcd.ie/Graduate_Studies/PGOpenDay or Email: research.opportunities@tcd.ie

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paying him €24000 a year for. Up until this point the majority of the CSC exec did not know of the existence of this position or the payments involved. In an interview with Trinity News in January CSC Treasurer Edward Gaffney was quick to point out the O’Gorman received no remuneration from the CSC. Several Exec members have questioned why it took an anonymous email for this matter to become public. The €24,000 wage is not recorded on the CSC financial accounts while the CSC’s day to day management accounts were not made available to Trinity News. It is thought however that the wage is included in the large administration figure listed on the financial accounts. This comes in at €94,000 despite the fact that it does not cover rental of premises, electricity, postage or stationary costs. Furthermore in the past year alone this administration figure has increased by €20,000. O’Gorman’s position as proprietor of Trinity Campus Tours was under

investigation by Trinity News in the days before the anonymous email was sent. Though a FOI request for information on the company’s dealings with College was denied for fear of releasing “commercially sensitive” material several former employees of “Tours” were willing to speak about the company. We were informed that during peak months Trinity Campus Tours “can make €3000 a day”. Subtracting the wages bill and estimating the College’s cut at 60% this still leaves O’Gorman earning between €50,000 and €70,000 a year from the operation. This is not factoring in the many corporate tours done for visitors to the College. Taking the money earned from the CSC, Tours and lecturing in the Philosophy Dept O’Gorman currently stands to make almost €100000 a year from his involvement with Trinity. Questions have been asked as to whether the sender of this anonymous email was aware of these figures and if they had the intention of attempting to also have O’Gorman

removed from these lucrative positions O’Gorman’s path to this position of prominence saw him make an unsuccessful bid for the Students’ Union Presidency, hold the positions of Treasurer and Chair of DU Publications Committee and finally that of Honorary Treasurer of the CSC. Since taking up this position he has won both subsequent elections unopposed. More recently he has added the title of Assistant Junior Dean – one that the anonymous email claimed he should relinquish. According to the Office of the Junior Dean “Participation in the role of assistants to the Junior Dean is considered to be a contribution to the College community.” For those such as O’Gorman who live on campus, a contribution is made to the cost of the rent of rooms on campus. It is unclear ho College intends to proceed with its investigation into this email. However with O’Gorman up for reelection this year speculation is rife that we may not have heard the last from this anonymous emailer.

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TRINITY NEWS

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Hilary term, Week 8

CollegeNews

News Grant cheats could face jail time Briefing THOMAS RAFFERTY STAFF WRITER

College gets its rocks off The College has just completed its contribution to the United Nations Year of Planet Earth by shipping sixty tonnes of rocks around the country. Every school in the country at both primary and secondary level will receive at least two smaples of six different rocks from Trinity to help teachers educate young people about geology. This includes schools in Northern Ireland. The sixty thousand rocks, which weigh ten tonnes, each have a small dab of coloured paint to help identify them. The set is titled “Six common kinds of rock from Ireland” and contains sandstone, mudstone, limestone, basalt, granite, and schist. In addition, the college has had a booklet printed to help teachers in the educational process. The booklet was authored by Doctor Ian Sanders, a senior lecturer in the department of Geology, back in 2005 when the project began. It started as a response to the introduction of geology to the Leaving Certificate Geography syllabus in 2005. At the time, about eight hundred sets of rocks were sent out to schools as a teaching resource. Interest in the project grew until it reached the massive level of this year’s activities. The booklet explains both the origins of the rocks and the relevant geology about Ireland. It is designed to be used at all levels, from junior infants to leaving certificate. The project received support from a nuber of outside sponsors and agencies including the Department of Communcations, Energy and Natural Resources. “It is hoped that this resource will inspire teachers and children alike to explore and understand the workings of the planet, especially in an era of fast depleting natural resources and an impending energy crisis,” said Dr Sanders. The Provost, Dr John Hegarty, said “It is an excellent example of our outreach mission in action. Every school in Ireland will benefit from this valuable teaching resource.” David Molloy

Prospective Trinity students who deliberately mislead the Student Grant Authorities in their application to the College could now, under new legislation, face a 50,000e fine, or up to 5 years in jail, or both. Anyone found to be aiding such activities could face similar consequences. The Student support Bill 2008 has been welcomed by authorities as the regulations up to now did not recognise

any specific offence in the abuse of the grants system. The Bill, that will come into affect for the 2009/10 academic year, has made it easier to pursue students who have provided false information in their applications for a higher education grant. The new legislation details that any person who is found guilty of an offence is liable, on summary conviction, to pay a fine not exceeding 5,000e or serve up to one year in jail. However, prospective students convicted of an indictment could be landed with a 50,000e fine or up to 5 years jail time, or

both. Anyone found guilty of an offence will be ineligible for a grant for the next 10 years. Investigation procedures under the Bill begin with Inquiry Officers being appointed to explore whether an offence has been committed under the new regulations. They will have the power to investigate whether the circumstances of a particular student have changed and thus left them ineligible for a grant. Failure to comply with the orders of an Inquiry Officer will also be classed as an offence. Inquiry Officers are to compile a report

on the particular case to be submitted to the awarding authority and dealt with appropriately. The new Student Support Bill is not only concerned with more and harsher consequences for those trying to defraud the grant system. Overall, the Bill has given the grant-awarding process a greater transparency – it now provides for a single statutory basis for all student grants, replacing the four confusing schemes currently run by local authorities and vocational educational committees. The VEC’s will now be given sole responsibility for

awarding maintenance grants, which reduces the number of awarding authorities by half, from 66 to 33. These stream-lining changes will move towards greatly reducing the amount of money awarding-authorities waste on misleading applications; false applications that have in the past led to genuine students being refused grants they need to attend Trinity. The increased accessibility of the information regarding the actual awarding of grants should make the process less shrouded in mystery and ultimately fairer.

Mock Trial Competition

The Butler did it! Top bodyguard accused of stealing crown jewels. PM’s Mistress denies all.

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Female theatre group bring Guerilla warfare to College GEAROID O’ROURKE EDITOR A pro-abortion, anti-church, outspoken feminist theater group are shaking up Trinity College this week. The group, called Guerilla Girls on Tour, are being funded by Trinity College to do two performances in the College’s New Players Theatre as well as workshops for students. The controversial group is made up of 26 women who perform exclusively dressed as gorillas and have taken the names of famous dead women artists to protect their own identities. Their shows include rants about male domination of society and the exclusion of women from the history books. They aggressively defend their anonymity wherever they perform wearing masks at all times. They have even demanded hotel rooms on the top floor of a swish Dublin hotel for this stay so they can stay away from prying

eyes. Their rider also includes the provision of fresh bananas in their dressing rooms before each show. Their motto is “Changing the world, one sexist city at a time” and with five of the 26 women appearing in Trinity next week they obviously have Dublin as their next target. A representative of Trinity’s Communications Office was surprised at first to hear about the performances and the Guerilla Girls’ colourful reputation. Speaking to Trinity News, the Guerilla Girls on Tour were shocked by Irish society. One who calls herself Coco Chanel declared that “the abortion laws in Ireland are archaic”. Coco also had harsh words for the Irish Catholic Church, which she condemned as a domineering influence in Irish society. She said “the lack of separation of church and state in Ireland has only hindered the woman's movement” going on to clarify that it was “definitely not God's fault” but rather that of the

Church The Guerilla Girls on Tour have their roots in a radical art movement that began in New York in 1997. Accompanied by male supporters (they like to call them their Baboon Boys) they went into the bathrooms of New York’s Roundabout Theatre and put up stickers that said "The taking of photographs, the use of a recording device and the production of plays by women is strictly prohibited" They followed this with live protests at the Tonys which almost had them arrested. According to the girls the NYPD told them that due to an anti-mask law they would be arrested unless they took off their gorilla masks. It is unclear whether they plan any wild antics for their Dublin visit but Trinity seems a good place to start their attack on Irish stuffiness. Their performances will take place on Monday February 25th and 6:30pm and 9:30pm.

ilo Corless, the PM’s bodyguard has been accused of stealing from the PM’s home, including a silver framed photo of the PM Ernie Stapleton on a yacht with famous Taxmanian model Shirley Tipple, A priceless gold scabbard, inlaid with 12 large diamonds [a national treasure associated with the Monarchy]. The motive is unclear, but rumours abound that Corless is involved with pro-monarchy rebels in Taxmania. They wish to see the return of King Philipo, currently in exile in Killiney. The publication of the photo could damage his image as a social conservative and his relationship with the National Church. An insider claims it is all part of Corless’ plan to depose the government and re-instate the King. “He [Corless] knows too much, he even knows about Freda, they’re getting scared of him,” an insider close to the PM revealed yesterday. Freda is the PMs treasured rag-doll, some say all of his ideas come from it. Conspiracy theorists believe the National Church uses the doll to control the leader. Some say this could be a government string up. The new PM, Ernie, has worked hard to rebuild Taxmania but his fragile government could be destroyed by the trial. A former absolute monarchy, Taxmania has emerged from years of civil war in between hard-line communists; and monarchists and the powerful National Church. Ernie has emerged as the only leader able to keep the

coalition going. He has won major concessions from the Church, among them that it pays tax for the first time. He is also promoting Taxmania’s to join the EU. All is not well in Taxmania; a recent report stated it “retains many indicia of a totalitarian regime, most notably censorship of the press”. Ernie, a widower, has cultivated an image of himself as ‘Father of the Nation’ who works tirelessly for Taxmania and has no time for relationships. A cult has grown up around him; he receives letters every day declaring devotion to him. This appeals to Taxmania’s senior citizens and to the Church. However, Ernie has also been careful to depict himself as ‘an ordinary Joe’ who lives simply and enjoys a pint in his local tavern to placate the Communists The accused denies his crime and points the finger at other members of Mr Stapleton’s staff. The PM is due to take the stand as is his ‘friend’ a Ms Susie Foster, raising many eyebrows. She claims to be his girlfriend; he denies everything. She could destroy what little credibility he has left. His housekeeper,Agnes Mohan, founding member of Ernie’s fan club (along with his mother), will give evidence against Corless. This article is the basis of the final for the Law Society Mock Trial Competition, taking place on the 26th of February in the GMB at 7.30pm. The finalists are Charlotte Simpson, Tanya O’Hagan, Eoin Sreenan and Donncha Conway.The trial is proudly sponsored by Apple on Campus, and Brian Lynch Associates.

Your View What theme would you like to see at this year’s Trinity Ball? Compiled by Martin McKenna

Laura Nixon

Sharon Courtney

Paul Hynds

SS Drama

SF English & History

PhD Enigeering

I’m kinda over masquerade balls. A lot of balls these day seem to be masquerade balls. It would be great craic though if everyone went for a theme, but I’m ok with black tie.

I wouldn’t like a theme. At Trinity Ball everyone looks the way they want and I don’t think people should conform to a theme. Last year I wore a top hat and fur and everything.

It doesn’t really bother me. I’ll probably go this year but I wish there was some better music. There’s too many DJs in the dance tent. I’d like to see an electronic tent.

Nick Cosgrave

Peter Malony

JS TSM

3rd year Medicine

I’d definitely love a theme. “Wild animals” would be great. I’d keep the tuxedos but maybe you could wear leopard skin boots.

I wouldn’t like to see a theme. It would just create more hassle. I go for the music, and a theme wouldn’t add much to the occasion.

collegenews@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary term, Week 8

CollegeNews

Mark Ronson th headlines 49 Trinity Ball Winner of “Best Male” at the recent Brit Awards, Mark Ronson, will be accompanied by Vitalic at this year’s Ball. Trinity News takes a look at teh highs and lows of their recent careers CATRION GRAY TN2 EDITOR Ed O’Riordan has managed to pull off a coup for this year’s Trinity Ball, if these first two announced acts are anything to go by. Mark Ronson and Vitalic are two of the most exciting dance acts around right now, both of them having caused a sensation with their fresh and innovative sound. Mark Ronson is legendary amongst the music scene. When he was starting out, P.Diddy gave him a $100 dollar bill with his phone number written on it after Ronson managed to get an entire club on the dancefloor. Ronson is a producer, cover artist and founder of “Allido Records”. The list of musicians who he has produced or collaborated with reads like a who’s who of popular musiche has worked with the Kaiser Chiefs and Amy Winehouse, producing most of the songs on Back to Black. Mark Ronson is best known for his cover versions of other people’s songs: he was the first person to win a Brit Award who doesn’t sing on his own album. His first album, Here Comes the Fuzz focused on American hip-hop and included collaborations with Sean Paul, Nate Dogg and Ghostface Killah, while his second album, Version, concentrated instead on the British music scene. It debuted

at no. 2 on the album charts, and has just gone double platinum in the UK. Ronson has been nominated for a plethora of Grammy and Brit awards and this artist is definitely one to watch for 2008. Vitalic is a DJ of the uber-cool Eurotrash variety, being born in France, of Italian descent, with a prediliction for wearing trendy sunglasses. Appearance aside, Vitalic’s music is guaranteed to get you dancing, his music being a heady fusion of electro and techno. He’s well established on the dance scene, releasing his first singles in 1996/1997. Although Vitalic’s fame was still confined to the underground music scene, his release of his EP Phoney, in 2001 was a huge success. Critics compare Vitalic’s sound as resembling Daft Punk and Air, although his music has a hard-edged playfulness that’s all it’s own. His debut album, Ok Cowboy, was released in 2005 and caused waves with it’s originality among electronica fans. His latest album, This is the Sound of Citizen was released in 2007. Last year, tickets for the Trinity Ball sold out in record time, over two weeks before the actual event. Tickets ended up being sold for two or three times their face value. This year’s event promises to be even bigger, with the organisers MCD telling our charismatic Ents Officer that this is their biggest and best line-up for the ball yet. The full line up for the ball has still not been revealed, but if the rumours are correct, this year’s Trinity Ball should be spectacular.

Top and Right: Brit-Award winner Mark Ronson. Above: French Electro Artist Vitalic

PICTURE THE POSSIBILITIES Y A D S IE D U T S E T A U UCD GRAD th 8 0 0 2 h c r a M 5 Y A D S E WEDN ’Reilly Hall, UCD 3.00pm - 6.30pm in O

rch opportunities alongside our ea res d sse cu fo d an s me ram og pr With 20 0 taught ture the possibilities at UCD. pic t jus n ca u yo , ers rch ea res d ne internationally-renow 5th March for a personal on y Da ies nit rtu po Op ies ud St te ua Come to the UCD Grad ce, register online at pla ur yo ok bo To u. yo ait aw at th guide to the opportunities areas you’re interested in. at wh us ll te d an ies ud st te ua ad gr ww w.ucd.ie/

Register now at w w w.u c d .i e /g ra d u a te st u d ie s

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TRINITY NEWS

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Hilary term, Week 8

NationalNews

USI protests sentences of Iranian youths

Cross Campus QUEENS

JESSICA YOUNGSMITH STAFF WRITER

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) protested the death sentences of two Iranian youths thought to be gay this week. Tayyeb Karimi and Yazadan were convicted by an Iranian court of abducting and allegedly raping two men, and were sentenced to death by being "thrown from a height" or "thrown from a cliff.”

Amnesty International Ireland, with the support of USI, is seeking clemency and commutation of the death sentences. Both groups are appealing to students worldwide to write emails to Iranian officials objecting to the sentencing of the two boys. USI Gay and Lesbian spokesperson Sonya Donnelly said on Monday morning, "Irish Students are appealing to the Iranian Government to call off the executions of Karimi and Yazadan, and all other defendants whose sen-

tences rest on homophobic sections of the Iranian Penal Code.” "We support all efforts to secure clemency and commutation for the accused men, and are urging Irish students to write emails to officials with the influence to intervene and to put international pressure on the Iranian government," continued Donnelly. USI is putting pressure on Dublin’s Iranian Ambassador, Ebrahim Rahimpour, to raise Irish opposition to the section of the Iranian Penal Code

which calls for the execution of gay men who have sex. According to Amnesty International, Iran's Penal Code states in Article 110 that men who have gay sex "will be executed" and that "the manner of execution is at the discretion of the judge". The EU, which is in favour of the universal abolition of the death penalty, recently condemned Iran’s increasing use of execution in the sentencing of alleged criminals. The EU is calling for a halt of cruel and degrading punish-

ments, and an immediate abolition of the practice of stoning as an execution method. The EU is also raising concern over execution sentences being handed down to juveniles in Iran, such as Karimi and Yazadan, which it claims is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the execution of minors or people convicted of crimes committed while they were minors.

MA students join terrorism debate Ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement, students at Queen’s University are examining terrorism and international security in the modern world in a new Violence, Terrorism and Security Masters degree. Following Northern Ireland’s transition from a society characterised by terrorist violence to a society experiencing peace and prosperity, local and international students are now coming to Queen’s to study violence, terrorism and international security. Convener for the course, Professor Beverley MiltonEdwards from Queen’s said: “The issue of terrorism is now at the forefront of international politics and news agendas. The MA in Violence, Terrorism and Security at Queen’s is an exciting new course which allows students to explore the issues surrounding terrorism and violence in today’s society, and the challenges they present to international security. “Queen’s is in a unique position to offer such a course as it is based in a community that has transformed itself after having experienced some of the worst terrorist atrocities ever seen in this part of the world. Staff in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy include internationally renowned specialists in theories of violence, terrorism and security in Western Europe, the Middle East and around the Muslim world. “The tragic events of 9/11 and the advent of the ongoing ‘war on terror’ have presented huge challenges to global security. With more and more people joining the debate on terrorism and violence and their effects on our society, Queen’s decided to offer this course to help equip students with a critical understanding of these important issues.” Students undertaking the new MA can study a range of topics including violence, terrorism, international security, conflict management and globalisation. They will examine the experiences of such issues in Northern Ireland and around the world. Professor Milton-Edwards added: “The MA in Violence, Terrorism and Security provides a perfect stepping stone to professions in a number of areas such as policy analysis, human rights, national and global security, advocacy and lobbying. Having completed the course, students will also be well equipped to complete further research at PhD level.” Postgraduate student, Conor Browne, who has been studying the course since September, said: "This course is perfect for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of terrorism and security in the modern world. The topics covered in lectures are very relevant to the post 9/11 global situation. “The School has a regular programme of lectures, events and conferences. The highlight for me was a talk by Baghdad-

All hallows, the address of the under-fire Warnborough College. Photo: Dana Zalnina-Zake

€18,000 “worthless” degrees The self-described “distance-education” institution denies piggy-backing on recognised universities, and insists its courses involve “a lot of work”. GABI O’CONNOR STAFF WRITER A College run from the premises of All Hallows, a prestigious Roman Catholic college linked with Dublin City University, has been accused of selling “worthless” degrees and doctorates for up to €18,000. Warnborough College, a selfdescribed “distance education” institution, lists tuition fees on its website as €18,000 for a bachelor’s degree, €10,500 for an MBA and €16,000 for a doctorate degree. However, it has been determined that the courses offered by the college are not recognised by the Department of Education. Nor have they been recognised by the Higher Education

and Training Awards Council (HETAC) or the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI). The chief executive of NQAI, Sean O Foghlu, said: “Warnborough College is not a recognised higher education institution or awarding body. The qualifications on offer are effectively worthless.” Dr. Gabriel Byrne, a member of the adjunct teaching staff in UCD and consultant for Warnborough in Ireland, recognised that the qualifications being offered weren’t approved by HETAC, but hoped they would be in the near future, as Warnborough has applied for recognition. He denied that the college was a “degree mill”. “It is not a postage service where you send in money and get a degree. There is a lot of work involved,” he said. All Hallows officials have

confirmed that they will not be renewing their rental arrangement with Warnborough, which had begun in July 2007 after previously holding offices above a pub in Bray. Education officials are said to be “furious” that Warnborough has linked itself with All Hallows. John Joe Spring, the college’s vice-president, stated that while Warnborough has been renting office space from them, “All Hallows has no involvement of any kind in the academic programmes or arrangements of Warnborough College.” “In the past six months there was some concern raised about the perception of the relationship between All Hallows and Warnborough. A picture of All Hallows was being used on their website. There were also references to a seminar and a

graduation ceremony that was not booked in through All Hallows. All Hallows asked for that information to be removed and in January we informed them that we would not be in a position to renew their office rental agreement with them as of August 2008.” Brenden Tempest-Mogg, who founded Warnborough in Oxford in 1973 and currently acts as its director in Ireland, said: “The suggestion that Warnborough College have used the umbrella of All Hallows as some type of fraudulent cover for our legitimate activities is ludicrous and is totally refuted.” However, this isn’t the first time Warnborough has been accused of misrepresenting their connections with other, more prestigious institutions.

In late 1995, the college made headlines when a group of around 40 American students found that Warnborough was not a part of Oxford as they had been led to believe. Judge Ernest C. Canellos’ review of the college promotional literature convinced him that it was “misleading and could easily cause any observer to believe that Warnborough College [was] a part of Oxford University.” In September 1995, the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board sued the college, stating its promotional materials were deceptive and the school was “not licensed or authorized to grant degrees by any state in the United States; the District of Columbia, where it had an admissions office, or the United Kingdom.”

UCC promises 24/7 Library opening ALAN GOOD UCC EXPRESS

The Boole Library, UCC, will house a new postgrad research library. Photo: Joe Lennon

UCC president Dr Michael Murphy has pledged to implement 24/7 opening hours for the Boole Library. Speaking at the official opening of the new postgraduate research library by Education Minister Mary Hanafin, Dr Murphy said the library opening hours are an important key performance indicator for the university. "The Boole Library currently opens to readers 88 hours per week over seven days, and we are planning 24 hour access, seven days a week," he said. At present, the library has the second highest opening hours in the country, next to the Royal College of Surgeons. Dr Murphy went on to praise the postgraduate research library project, which he said has "provided a major boost to the research infrastructure at UCC". "A total investment of €35 million has enabled us to extend considerably,

refurbish, equip and stock our central library so that it may better meet the research needs of the university community," he said. The five-storey, 6,000 sq ft library was funded equally by both public and private sources. It was UCC's most significant project under the Higher Education Authority's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). Chuck Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies, who were represented on the day by senior vice president Colin McCrea, provided the remainder of the funding. Mr McCrea spoke of his delight at seeing the project come to fruition after being involved from the beginning. "Atlantic Philanthropies became involved in the project because we believe that a knowledge economy is the way forward," he said. Quoting Feeney's philosophy of "giving while living is much more fun than giving when you're dead", he urged the Government to develop tax breaks that would encourage Ireland's super-rich to create a culture of

philanthropy. Minister Hanafin admitted such a culture does not exist in Ireland, but said a Government group was working on developing it. She added that fourthlevel was now part and parcel of Ireland's education system. "It is our goal to have a natural progression of 80% of students to third level," she said. "Buildings such as this ensure there are the facilities for all who wish to progress to fourth level." The new postgrad library will provide 800 reader spaces, bringing to nearly 3,000 the number across the college. Other features include an expanded photocopying room aimed at bringing an end to queues, and selfissue machines. Meanwhile, Boole Library staff members have announced a crackdown on students who break library rules. Fines of €5 will be implemented against any student making excessive noise, bringing food or drink into the library or using a mobile phone outside designated areas. Any student that does not comply or is rude to staff will face a €10 fine.

nationalnews@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary Term, Week 8

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InternationalNews The Global Campus UNITED KINGDOM

Broader access fails to retain students The University of Belgrade, from which 500 students tried to participate in protest before being stopped by the border guard. Photo: густомаина

Fire and violence in protest to Kosovo’s independence KASIA MYCHAJLOWYCZ INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia on Sunday, February 17th , has left political pundits and analysts wondering whether another Balkan war is soon to erupt. Since the Kosovo parliament’s historic session on Sunday, which voted unanimously for independence for the southern Serbian province, riots and protests have erupted not only in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, but also in towns in Kosovo divided along ethnic lines, and even neighbouring countries, like Montenegro. Belgrade demonstrations erupted into a full-blown and violent riot the night of Thursday, February 21st, when a protest march turned violent, resulting in the vandalism and looting of many stores, particularly sports apparel shops, and a MacDonald’s. The American embassy was also burned to the ground, an expected target for Serbian demonstrators protesting against the United State’s quick move to officially accept Kosovo as a sovereign state. All personnel were evacuated from the building before the

fire was set; however, one body, identified by the Serbian newspaper Blic as a 21-year-old ethnic Serbian man originally from Kosovo, was so badly charred that rescue workers could not identify its gender at the scene. The Serbian government has condemned the riots, but reports from Newsweek suggest that Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica- who has condemned Kosovo as “a false state” and declared the day of the riots a national holiday- organized the bussing in of thousands of people from around the country to boost numbers at the rally. Estimates on the number of protesters, according to Newsweek, “varied from 100,000 to 200,000, although that was still a far cry from the 1 million protesters Kostunica had hoped to draw.” The report also focused intensely on the age of protesters, observing the “extreme youth of the most violent protesters”, some of which looked as young as ten years old. “I support the protests, but that vandalism of the youth is bad,” one Belgrade resident told the news service Russia Today. Students and young people seemed to make up the bulk of the protesters, as well as the majority of

vandals and looters. One Youtube video, entitled “Kosovo za patike” (roughly translating to “Kosovo bargain sneakers”) shows two girls laughing and looting during the Belgrade looting. The user’s description of the video condemns the looting, with a newer version reading: “… and to Albanians, Croatians, Muslims, Germans... Martians and all others who are gloating after this happened, I would like to say that these are only marginal appearances, and that the huge majority of citizens of Serbia are normal and honest people, and I am proud to be one of them.” The video was posted at the beginning of the weekend, and had over 940,000 viewers by Sunday. Protests have also been happening daily in the northern part of Kosovo, which borders Serbia, and whose main inhabitants are ethnic Serbians, as opposed to the majority ethnic Albanians. Kosovska Mitrovica, divided on ethnic lines and described by one Independent correspondent as a “gritty mining town”, has seen daily protests organised by its ethnic Serbian students, starting at 12:44 each day, signifying the United Nations Resolution 1244, which declares that Kosovo shall be governed by an international, UN backed

government- a solution to the last Kosovo conflict. Serbia claims that Kosovo’s independence violates this resolution, but the majority of the UN seem to agree with the Belgian UN delegate, who said that “the situation has moved on” from this arrangement. NATO and the UN closed the borders last week amidst rumours that anyone from Neo-Nazis to Serbian exparamilitaries were amassing to join the daily demonstrations. In fact, busloads of students from the University of Belgrade were stopped at the border trying to get to Mitrovica in the wake of the Belgrade riots. “We have about 500 students in the buses, and we planned to participate in the protests in Mitrovica together with local students,” Branko Kovacevic, Dean of the University of Belgrade, told Russia Today when they were stopped. “But the soldiers won’t allow us to cross the border to stay here until they let us” Despite the government’s decision to “follow the EU’s position” and accept the legitimacy of the state of Kosovo, Montenegro’s students also held a rally last Friday. As country after country, including Ireland and the UK, accept Kosovo’s sovereignty, Serbians resolutely continue demonstrations.

Electoral disillusion and apathy among students in Pakistan MONIKA URBANSKI STAFF WRITER A general election was held in Pakistan on February 18th, after being postponed from 8th January 2008, the original date to elect members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, at the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora, the nation’s parliament. A January 8th vote was no longer possible after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. According to Reuters students at Pakistan’s Punjab University, the country’s biggest and traditional nursery for politicians, are disillusioned with the politics and many said that they will not be voting in the election. The gloom on campus reflected despondency in the rest of Pakistan ahead of the February 18th parliamentary election. “It’s a very depressed generation. Generally the public not only the young people are very depressed these days. You see what has been happening, the suicide attacks, the energy crisis, the flour crisis and Benazir Bhutto’s death. This is a very gloomy picture,” Umbreen Javaid, the chairwoman of the political department said. Pakistan has undergone months of political turmoil stemming from opposition to President Musharraf,

rising militant violence and the assassination of opposition leader Bhutto on 27th December 2007, while she was leaving a rally in Rawalpindi. In the weeks preceding the election, there were several attacks targeting politicians and political rallies. On February 16th a suicide car bomb killed 37 and injured 93 outside the residence of PPP (Pakistan People League) candidate Riaz Shah in Parachinar. Students apparently have no faith in politicians vying for power and feared that elections might be rigged. Many would have supported cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan, if he were ran. However Khan, who heads his own small party, boycotted the vote in protest against the increasingly unpopular Musharraf. The biggest group on campus is the student wing of the Jamaat-eIslami religious party, which also boycotted the vote, saying it would lend legitimacy to Musharraf’s presidency. Zahid Naveed, campus president of the group, said that the only way for change was through street protest, adding: “Students and the young generation are losing faith in the system. We see no sign of society progressing. There’s a big need for change.” The opposition parties jointly stated that the elections could not be fair, as most opposition candidates

internationalnews@trinitynews.ie

were in jail under the state of emergency and thus unable to file nomination papers for election. Following the election, which (as promised by Musharraf) is considered the most transparent and fair in the history of the country, President Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 military coup in the nuclear-armed country and has been one of Washington’s top Muslim allies against al Qaeda, is vulnerable to a hostile parliament after his supporters were heavily defeated in last week’s election. The proposed Pakistan coalition government could oust Musharraf. The leaders of the two top parties met last Thursday to discuss forming a coalition government that could force President Pervez Musharraf out of power. Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party emerged as the main victor in the election and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) or Nawaz League finished second. Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari, who took over as PPP leader after she was killed, said to reporters: “We are going to find solutions to the problems of Pakistan. Parliament will decide which president it can work with and which president it cannot.” Nawaz Sharif, the two-time former prime minister Musharraf overthrew

more than eight years ago, made the reinstatement of judges the main platform of his party’s campaign. Judges were purged in November 2007 because they were seen as hostile to Musharraf. Sharif told the cheering crowd that Musharraf’s rule was “illegal and unconstitutional”. But according to Reuters President Musharraf said he was not ready to resign adding: “We have to move forward in a way that we bring about a stable democratic government to Pakistan.” Analysts told CBS News that a new government led by parties opposed to Musharraf may quickly run into friction with the head of state. As negotiations continued between leaders of the two largest opposition parties, security officials renewed warnings of plans by al Qaeda and the Taliban to attack prominent politicians - an indication of the very real security threat still facing the country. Hasan Askari Rizvi, a prominent Pakistan scholar on defense and security, summarises: “If such a confrontational situation emerges you will have the new government wasting its energies fighting the president rather than being focused on fighting terrorism, which is the key to Pakistan’s future. You can’t have infighting and also a strong focus on meeting major challenges.”

£800 million pounds given to British universities as part of a five-year government initiative has done little or nothing to reduce the number of students failing to complete their degrees. This is the conclusion of a House of Commons accounts committee which noted that the proportion of students leaving their chosen establishment before finishing had remained at a consistent 22% for the last half-decade. The Chairman of the committee, Edward Leigh, commented “To be fair to the universities, they are expected to improve retention figures while increasing and widening participation. More students are being recruited from backgrounds and schools where university was not previously thought to be an option. But these are the very students who are more likely to leave early.” There is general concern that the government has been so focussed on widening access to universities that it has given little thought to the issue of how to encourage students to remain in education. The National Union of Students president Gemma Tumelty added her voice to this opinion: “it is not enough for poorer students to be encouraged to enter university, they have to be supported so that they can complete their courses.” It is, unfortunately, the establishments of higher education which are most successful at recruiting students from backgrounds in which there is no tradition of university that have the lowest retention rates. Higher education colleges and former polytechnics often fall into this category. On the other hand, Oxford and Cambridge universities have among the highest proportion of students completing their degrees. This year the Sunday Times University Guide reported a 1% and 2% dropout rate respectively for these two institutions. It must be remembered though that in the last five years the funding system for students in the UK has undergone a radical overhaul. It now costs up to £3070 per year in tuition fees, whereas previously students paid a flat rate of £1,175. Graduates have record levels of debt, and students from poorer backgrounds are increasingly being forced to work long hours on top their studies in order to pay the rent. University spokesman for the liberal Democrats has recognised that in order to reduce the student dropout rate: “Particular attention will have to be paid to the effect of the huge financial pressures many students face.” It is difficult to see how the government can simultaneously beat down the proportion of students failing to graduate, for example by investing in programs aimed at educating people in the realities of student life, whilst continuing the good work that has given rise to the increased accessibility of universities in the UK. It is not all bad news though; compared to other developed nations, Britain ranks quite highly both in terms of the overall number of graduates, and the fraction of students completing their degrees. Kerensa Slade

NORTH ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Classes resume following Valentine’s Day murders Steven Kazmierczak left a note for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, before he drove to North Illinois University, walked into an introductory lecture, and shot into the seats, killing 5 students, injuring dozens more, and finally committing suicidewith a shotgun concealed in a guitar case. “Jessice you’re the best!”, reads the note, obtained by Good Morning America. “ You’ve done so much for me, and I truly do love you. You will make an excellent psychologist, or social worker someday! Don’t forget about me! Love Steven Kazmierczak.” The tragedy left many who knew him confused- as a student, he was described as “brilliant” by his professors, with a deep commitment to helping others. In 2006, he won the Dean’s Award for Sociology from NIU. He then enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, where he was a student until early this year. However, Kazmierczak did have a history of mental illness, and spent a year when he was a teenager in a treatment facility. He was on medication to prevent violent urges, said the former manager of the home for teenagers with mental illness, but according to campus Police Chief Donald Grady he had recently stopped taking them. Now, more than two weeks after the tragedy, classes resumed at NIU this Monday. The college has provided counsellors for every classroom, and outfitted each room with a panic-button that would immediately lock all the doors to the room. Questions were raised about the infrastructure on campus to deal with emergencies like the shooting when it was discovered that the administration’s method for notifying students about a shooter on campus was this message, left on their website a few minutes after Kazmierczak opened fire: “Get to a safe area, and take precautions until given the all clear. Avoid the King Commons and all buildings in that vicinity.” While the usual debate concerning stricter gun laws and their constitutionality in the United States erupted, followed by no real change to these laws, the students at North Illinois University have more practical considerations, as ABC News reports; “Senior Tyler Sakats”, for example, “has been pondering whether it’s safer to sit in the front or back of his classes”. Kasia Mychajlowycz


TRINITY NEWS

P8

NewsFeature

Hilary Term, Week 8

A celebration of womanhood Internat ional Women ’s Day

As International Women’s Day approaches, Erin Paquette reflects on women’s struggle over the past century for gender equality and on the role of International Women’s Day in today’s society

“ ” Women are still not always paid equally to their male collegaues and are often underrepresented especially in areas such as business and politics

1960’s, with the advent of feminism and without its previous socialist associations. International Women’s Day was given official recognition by the United Nations in 1975, which became International Women’s Year. This provided awareness of International Women’s Day to developing countries. It is now an official holiday in Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with flowers and small gifts. In some countries International Women’s Day has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers. Since 2000 there has been a shift in the thoughts of both women and society on women’s rights. It is believed by many that women have achieved full equality. It is easy to forget that most of the progress in women’s rights was achieved only recently, by our parent’s generation and is by no means complete. Women are still not always paid equally to their male counterparts and are often underrepresented especially in areas such as business and politics. Internationally, violence against

women is significantly worse than that of men as is women’s health and education. Despite this, women have come a very long way since the advent of International Women’s Day and have a higher level of equality in 2008 than ever before. There are more women in the boardroom, equality in legislative rights, and an increase in women’s visibility as role models in varying aspects of life. We have female pilots and prime minsters. Women can now have a career and a family. Most importantly women in developed countries have real choices. Thus the tone of International Women’s Day in the last few years has become one of celebration rather than protest. Historically, however, it is still a day of protest and the events worldwide, while celebrating women’s achievements will also emphasize that equality for women is by no means complete in the developed world and in many areas of the developing world it is nonexistent. Since its inception International Women’s Day has adopted an increasingly global dimension and has become a day focused on coordinating efforts to demand women’s rights in developed and developing countries alike. It is a day to celebrate and reflect on all that has been achieved by the women’s movement and the achievements of ordinary women who have played an important role in the history of women’s rights. Perhaps, as the United Nations says, it is most important for, “looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.”

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he idea of International Women’s Day first arose at the turn of the century, which, in the industrialised world, represented a period of expansion, and booming population growth. It was marked as well by turbulence and radical ideologies. In the early 1900’s the role of women began to change. Women had more opportunities to be part of the workforce. However, lower pay and bad working conditions led to an increased interest in women’s rights. In 1909 the socialist party in the United States initiated the first National Women’s Day on 28 February in order to protest low pay and the dangerous working conditions in New York City sweatshops. In 1910 the Socialist International, at a meeting in Copenhagen agreed on the establishment of an International Women’s Day to assist in the fight for suffrage for women and to honour the achievements of women’s organisations all over the world. In accordance the first International Women’s Day took place on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. The date was chosen by German women because on that day in 1848 the Prussian King, faced with an armed uprising, promised a number of reforms including the vote for women. More than one million men and women attended rallies demanding the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to vocational training, and the end to discrimination on the job. On the eve of World War I, International Women’s Day was used by women to hold peace rallies and protests against the war. In 1917, Russian women used International Women’s Day to protest for ‘peace and bread’. Four days after this the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote. The 8 March has since been celebrated as International Women’s Day. The changing role of women was also heavily influenced by the First and Second World Wars. During the wars women were allowed into the workforce in a way they had not experienced ever before. Jobs which had previously been reserved only for men were now filled by women. Though this was temporary it marked the beginning of a change in gender roles and an increasing concern with equal rights. However, the war years also saw a lagging in International Women’s Day celebrations. It was later revived, in the

International Women’s Day conference Dublin University Gender Equality Society (DUGES) is proud to present speakers Kimberly Prost, Alison Smale and Maeve Kyle at its International Women’s Day conference on International Women’s Day (8th March 2008) in the Westin Hotel from 11 am. Kimberly Prost has been Chief of the Legal Advisory Section at the Treaty and Legal Affairs Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2005. A few of Prost’s many achievements include the delivery of programmes focusing on genocide, crimes against humanity, war

crimes, terrorism, computer crime and corruption. Alison Smale has been managing editor of the International Herald Tribune since 2004. Smale worked at the New York Times from 1998, first as weekend foreign editor and then as deputy foreign editor. She has been noted for her extensive coverage of the fall of the Berlin wall, the rise of Slobodan Milosevic and the wars in former Yugoslavia. Maeve Kyle is a renowned Irish Olympic athlete and hockey player. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the

2006 Coaching Awards in London in recognition of her work with athletes at the Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club. In 2008, Kyle was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). The conference will be chaired by Dr Maryann Valiulis, whose work in the field of gender and women’s studies in Ireland has been noted and extensive. Join DUGES in celebrating these great women at the Westin Hotel from 11am. Reception to follow.

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e r I I, t h ld Wa y the r o W b er e. Aft l efined Empir en was red ed an equa e s e n a d m p u o l e a c J h w t n of the ho i a nd os i ti on ties, w ut i on l e g a l p i o n a uth or i 4 7 Con s ti t ua l r igh ts d 19 at icl e I ndi v i o c c u p aus e i n th e hi s ar t ca l 1948. bligation to f l n i c o s s e t n i d i h o a o r rig a e ol og r e xp l : e Ci v i l C ce ov e Crete ard Hooke ulture, arch er ceased vised n preceden as men wer ses and e r v h C e c u l i e n f l n o v e R i o a p n g o s s w e e f n e A wer w om o os e l i c li e n as n Mi h t b i c e r ty in a m u n h o p o e t t s e r W s n p op d t o ily. Wom e suggest tes se in th r i ght w s m o e e e a l i f h r d o t r p n d t c s ce, an t ee rit a e v i d e n n i m por t an e y s e r ve d a a t e d by uaran ns, to inhe itiate divor men were g a h n y i T o in at i Wo to pla s of Crete. d was dom nd occup n names, to ir children. her postwar a o ie t w e o h O t r . i t h e c i t t he pr i e s tho n ct i ona r i e s ci p a te d in f 6 e o 4 o th u i in 19 to dy t f t s c r e s u a t i ons t t a d a f c u o p e l t l t v n n (i i ns t i e retai v h t to n a l s o s pa r ti c i pa a s we n i , g e e o i ) i c r m t n e a o e e r en ng wom e n t h en ed ed uc m rs. W etan male o v o o l i t q u al a g w a , E r t g t r is in s op d tha n 1986 the e m r r i admin ports that C d bull-jump vailable to o u f ct. q re s a n nd re k effe o rk . I all the as boxing a n and trade on Crete men a or equal w ity Law too al o w h ry io e qu r t un pay f i n , s uc ry occ upa t t h of i nd us t equal ment Oppo to women’s remain. e d v w e n o y r a s h y g en id wit E m p l o fe w b ar r i e r f e of s oc i e t he rap f ts w om li ly, men. T skilled cra L e g a l at i on i n t he ed p i c i t includ neurs. r pa re i ne s is entrep hi l i pp s: t io n al P e u n t e i i h t p t s i in hi l of a l con i t i c al , The P of women he context ndsets. v e e qu ol e t l o mi n r o d C u b a : i n C uba ha c onom i c , p i n th e e n d Th ds, a s ba s e e r n a a d e e a l d l e h m t n e n n i o a a W to be ub , st as w n in expla ulture s described irectly as me cial fields, f t he C n t he c s o t o h 4 n i g 4 i d o p i e r s le o s Fili a l a nd i n g t o a r ti c a nt e e s w o m en , i ppi n e e n, w h c u l t ur m e Phil trong wom mily unit, rd ar h s o u a T c g c s e e t i a A s . a it ef a nd of f a m i l y ti o n, the s t nd po s s i bi l a r ti ci p ati on a t i o n e ctl y r un th t a g e nc i es n u a t p i n s l r t f ul i ti e rally i n di en n me Cons portun ve woman’s ntry. Wom eats and sses, gover h they gene f a p o e o sam chi e e c ou me nt ary s busine as. Althoug the milieu er t o a t of th in n i al o s iend l in ord evelopmen f the parlia anking e c o v a c l h e t r o d h e ms i na te d pos t e o n i n t h e y ho l d 35 % l A s se m bl y nda , n fi pi m de a tl na n e do ty, Fili is curren uban Natio behind Rw mark on a sc ul i hol i c s oci e t m a h t n s t e C e e in the 162 countri land and D olitical life. ian Ca e in a cultur ity, with the s A f p in mu n n liv y. sixth o , Norway, F cipation in w o m e on t he c om i t of s oci e t i t n r e a d d p un e e e s n l i u Sw a a c o m m f o f fe a s the , or k o f . issues family his framew al structure ”, Dr. S on y t i t c n i n h U i i t c l i r s a i d a t It ier s amen ian tra l i g i ou pi n e h India: ticle “Fund s that, “Ind od. Even Philip ferences, re ng in a r e o a t h if vi I n h i s r i s hna n s ta e d w om a n ha lf m an , class d tions, and li ation k s ct n a c g fi n i i t Radha erally respe regarded a HWAR). p s ju S e v el o is n d E ) e men E y g l m o l s s R i a ha ino w i nd u glob NAA re p i H a l A i n n i F H e ( . in God (ARD where wom here they where for respect arts of oma n w p le r g e g h half w eclares that e pleased; s fruitless.” u t r t o s to d e d ar e en i n s m u r d a o n m c a p o o M ia, w Com s the G a ll w or k be , A d t e s r ave ea hono honored, S o u t h n e s o ci e ty h a te r t o i e n p r are t Philip njoyed a g y. r nm en e e t v l s o a y g e eq u i alwa men’s 40s, th : f le g a l o e r Japan 930s and 19 ation of wo ity, and a sh 1 m til I n th e ge d th e fo r e d hi g h fe r i c du ty t o t a d r o encou ions, applau d as a patri o at a s s o c i d mot he r ho e d r a g re

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TRINITY NEWS

Hilary Term, Week 8

P9

SocietyNews Society Diary diary@trinitynews.ie

75 years of dramatics KATHY CLARKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER In celebration of 75 years of theatre making, Dublin University Players have been busy over the last few weeks creating an exciting festival to commemorate this cultural milestone. The line-up for the festival was an impressive one, featuring main-stage shows and short pieces created especially for the occasion by members of players both past and present. The celebrations were launched on the 11 February by a black-tie ‘Diamond Ball’ in the Button Factory in Temple Bar, a star-studded evening featuring posh finger-food, champagne, a string quartet and music from the LikeKings. Players’ alumni enjoyed a drinks reception in the theatre on the 16 February and an exhibition of newly donated archive material including photographs, programmes and posters was presented by two recent graduates, Katherine Graham and Natalie Cullen. In addition, speeches were given by past presidents Dr J. D. Pheiffer, Professor Nicholas Grene and Dr John McCormick. This finally culminated in

the performance of a promenade piece by past and present members, in which the various locations of the Players theatre around campus were traced, and in a revived performance of The Fall of Herodias Hattigan for which Wayne Jordan reassembled the cast of an old players show, including Kathy Rose O’Brien, nominee for an Irish Times Theatre Award. The two ‘main-stage’ shows of the festival were productions of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and The Infernal Machine by John Cocteau, both of which were granted extended budgets. Dr Faustus, directed by Dan Herd, tells the famous story of a scholar who sells his soul to the devil for the receipt of knowledge and power. In this production, Faustus, played by Dave McEntagart, is seduced by the feminine wiles of Mephistophilis and her promise to provide him with more than he has wit to ask for, but this eventually leads to his untimely demise and exile into hell. The production, which ran from Tuesday 12 till Friday 15 February, boasted an impressive set. The Players theatre was transformed into the study of Doctor Faustus, wood panelled floors, bookcases and skylights included. The

Society Brief

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resh from their concert at Camphill, a community set up for special needs children and their families, orchestral return to Dublin to bring Russia to the Northside. On Saturday 1st March in Kings Inns they will play three Russian pieces, guided by the strong arm and baton of Jessica Grimes. The performance starts with Sibelius’ Finlandia, which does fall under the theme of “Russian Nights” given that Finland was a part of Russia when the piece was written; it will be closely followed but Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with soloist Niall Trainor. Trainor is familiar with Trinity Orchestra having been a soloist and a conductor before. To end the concert the orchestra will play the masterpiece that is RimskyKorsakov’s Scheherazade. This will be a spectacular delight and an explosion of Russia, a concert not to be missed!

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intimate space, resulting from limited seating, ensured that this production was a truly visceral experience, the tragedy of Faustus’s decline being intensified by technical effects such as water streaming onto the stage from above the audience’s heads and an effective lighting design by Katherine Graham. Directed by Dan Bergin, Infernal Machine, which ran from Tuesday 19 February till Friday 22 February, is a reworking of the Oedipus myth, lifting characters out of the confines of Greek tragedy and placing them in a more human context, exploring the relationship between free will and determinism. The idea that the characters are caught in some kind of ‘fate machine’ that determines their lives is exploited by Bergin in this production, the set being suggestive of a technofuturist wasteland with loose computer parts and junkyard leftovers dominating the stage space. This cyber-punk aesthetic, inspired by the writings of William Gibson, an American-Canadian writer considered the ‘noir-prophet’ of the cyber-punk subgenre of science fiction, extends to the costume and acting style, the portrayal of Oedipus as a cocky youth marking a stark contrast

The Samuel Beckett Centre has played host to Players for a number of years, and has staged immesurable productions. Photo: Martin McKenna

to the typical tragic hero, and his unknowingly incestuous relationship with his mother being treated more as an extended Freudian joke than anything else. These two impressive shows are symptomatic of the talent and enthusiasm that is fostered in Players, a society that has nurtured some of Ireland’s most prominent artistic figures such as director Lynne Parker, actress Pauline McLynn, U2 manager Paul McGuiness, the late Tom Murphy and Michael Colgan, artistic director of the Gate theatre. President of DU players, Dr. Amanda Piesse from the department of English, announced, on the 16 February, the launch of a commemorative book that will detail the history of the society through the eyes of its members, using the reminiscences, anecdotes and memories of alumni and current members. The book will be produced by Ciaran O’Melia, the current Chair of Players, and recent graduate Niamh de Valera. This book and the work exhibited during the festival are a worthy tribute to the Players community and a source of pride for both Trinity College and student theatre in Ireland.

Tuesday 26th February Players: “Never Swim Alone”, 1pm Players’ Theatre (until Saturday) FLAC: 6-8pm, 4012 Arts Building. Trained and qualified solicitors help you with your legal queries for free. Comedy: Neil Delamere live, 7.30pm in the Edmund Burke Theatre All proceeds got to TVOF. Law: Mock Trial Final, 7.30-9.30pm, GMB. Players: Evening play: “Der Reigen”, 8pm Players’ Theatre (until Saturday) Wednesday 27th February Yoga: Classes, Room 50, 1-2pm. Historical: Debate, “This house believes that Britain should be expelled from the EU”, GMB 7.30pm. Thursday 28th February Yoga: Classes, 5.30-7pm, Room 50, Atrium. Philosophical: Debate, “That this house would vote Republican in the US Presidential election”, 7.30pm GMB. Friday 29th February Yoga: Classes, 2-3pm Regent House. Gamers: Leprecon 29: a wide variety of board games, role-playing games, card games, in fact all kinds of games! 29th of February until the 2nd of March. Saturday 1st March Orchestral: “Russian Nights” concert in Kings Inns, Constitution Hill, 8pm. Tickets €5/€15. Monday 3rd March Yoga: Classes, 5.30-7pm, Regent House. Law: Law Review launch, Atrium 7pm. Tuesday 4th March Yoga: Classes, Room 50, 1-2pm. Juggling: Practice in Goldsmith Hall, 7pm. European Law Students Association: Treaty of Rome 50th Anniversary Talk 7.30pm, GMB. Wednesday 5th March Yoga: Classes, Room 50, 1-2pm. Historical: Debate, “This house believes that Hilary Clinton should be the Democratic nominee for the US Presidential Election”, 7.30pm GMB. Thursday 6th March Chapel Choir: Evensong: St Cyril of Constantinople, Doctor of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Chapel, 5.15-5.45pm. Friday 7th March Christian Union: David Martin on Holy Living with a reception to follow. 7pm in Regent House. Law: Moot Court Intervarsity final, Trinity, UCD, NUIG. Mansion House, 7.30pm.

1: A bit of Russia comes to Dublin with Orchestral Soc 2: 900 Celebrate Valentine’s Day at BESS Ball 3: RAG week football tournament with Sci Fi 4: Comedy Soc launch satirical mag “Goldfish”

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n Leopardstown Pavilion 750 students came for a three course meal at the BESS Ball. Outside there were huge spotlights pointed into the sky, which the air traffic controllers had to be warned about! Some people who arrived by bus (for free) enjoyed the welcoming music of a string quartet; on the door girls were presented with a complimentary rose by a topless male model in a bow tie. After ascending to the upper level free Mickey Finns’ shots were given out and there was a Southern Comfort promotion as people were entertained by Mr. Balloonatic. After dinner there were complimentary Butler’s chocolates and speeches were made before the band, The Goodfellas, were introduced. The night went on from there, where the initial guests were joined by another 150 as people partied into the early hours with a DJ coming on after the band, a night not forgotten soon by all who went.

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n aid of RAG week sci-fi soc will be hosting a five a-side football tournament on the astro-turf pitches by Botany Bay. The mini-tournament will be held until Wednesday, and if successful as is hoped it could raise up to €2000 for the charity week. The tournament would allow teams, of five, from any society compete for the title of champion. Sci-fi chair and organiser Brendan Carroll wouldn’t release the names of the societies involved in case of last minute cancellations but he said that about 20 teams have agreed so far.

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AG week is taking a good turn this year with the inclusion of Neil Delamare headlining what will be a huge comedy event on Tuesday with DU Comedy at the forefront of entertainment not based around a nightclub. The last step on their tentative adventure this year is the impending launch of the societies’ magazine “Goldfish”.What started out as a snide comment about the current Pirhana has grown to a project that has driven the society demented as we strive to do what we set out to do. As with any first time attempt (virgin jokes aside) they’re protective of their little Goldfish as it enters the realm of student publications which exists already. “The idea behind it is that it is not just a magazine for hacks,” said Chair Eoin O Braoin. “There are no in-jokes and the vitriol many people assume is just part of satire is not as prevalent as other satirical magazines. Lawsuits, fatwahs and threats of expiulsion are for other people and other publications, we just want to make people laugh.”


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TRINITY NEWS

ConservativeConversation

Hilary term, Week 8

A grand old republication - with a twist Trinity alumnus Patrick Cosgrave got the oportunity to meet and work with US Senator John McCain in 2005 after organizing his visit to Trinity. Now, as McCain campaigns for the White House, Cosgrave recalls his experiences with the charismatic Republican.

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ou’re late little Irish Paddy. Get your curly mop into my office right now, we’ve got a meeting.� And so began my first day hanging out with the maverick war hero that conservative Republicans allegedly loathe, independents love, and Democrats both fear and respect in equal measure, Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain. “I want you to meet the Secretary of the Army and then Major General Guy Swan, Commanding General of the Joint Force Headquarters in DC. You know Mark Salter, my Chief of Staff. Now close the door and pull up a seat.� Wait just a minute. What in the world was a 22-year-old Trinity student doing sitting in on a private meeting behind closed doors at which the future of the US military, Pentagon contracts and border surveillance were being discussed? It all seemed a little surreal and it began with an equally surreal voice message some nine months previous. “Paddy, Richard Fontaine here, the Senator got your letter today and he wants to speak at the Phil in Trinity College Dublin. He’ll be there in December. Call me.� It was the late summer of 2004. I was just finalising the line-up of debates and speakers as the then President of the University Philosophical Society. Somehow McCain was now part of that line-up. And in December 2004, he came and he conquered. Well sort of. More on that visit later. For now, let’s fast-forward nine months and get back to McCain’s office. The time I spent with Senator McCain in Washington DC was as revealing as it was mesmerizing, because when the cameras switched off, the journalists disappeared and the doors closed, Senator McCain became just John. And when he became John, his full and natural character came to life. He was a man possessed by a very definite sense of right and wrong, clearly shaped by years of military service and hardship as a POW in Vietnam, yet tempered by a captivating mix of roguish humour, boundless energy, natural charm and infectious optimism. As soon as the meeting with the top military men ended we were straight out the door of his private office and into the hallway of the Russell Senate Building. “You’re in the back seat with me Paddy. Salter you’re in the front. Let’s move it; we don’t have much time.� As we hurried to the car, I got a real feeling for the lasting imprint that the military had left on McCain’s character. Life should be structured, decisions should be made at the top, orders should be given down and people should stick to them in a timely fashion. Yet sitting in the back seat with McCain as he joked and jostled, you couldn’t help but notice a divergent and ultimately irrepressible side to his character: His contagious sense of fun, his subtle sense of non-conformity and his consistent ability to make light of difficult issues. And perhaps it’s the combination of those very traits that rub so many conservatives up the wrong way. In a certain sense, it’s not so much McCain’s refusal to always walk the conservative line that draws the ire of conservatives, as it is his refusal to walk with a traditional conservative gait. McCain just does things differently. During my stay I had the good fortune of meeting some of the most

traditional conservatives around, most notably Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and thorn in Bill Clinton’s side. In meeting, eating and talking with Gingrich I realised one thing, McCain may not talk and walk like Gingrich or most other conservatives, but McCain is as conservative as they come. Even, that is, if he occasionally veers off course. A recent academic study by Poole and Lewis ranked McCain as the eighth most conservative member of the 110th Senate, the second most conservative member of the 109th Senate, and the fourth most conservative member of the 108th Senate. It’s laughable then that he is being lambasted by a hard-line conservative cabal that includes Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. If anything McCain is the conservative Republican’s Trojan horse. He threatens to wreck the Democrat’s day in the sun by stealing independent voters from under Obama’s or Clinton’s nose.

“

In a certain sense, it’s not so much McCain’s refusal to always walk the conservative line that draws the ire of conservatives, as it is his refusal to walk with a traditional conservative gait.

a man of his age it was almost unnerving to experience his energy first hand. You’d expect that when he left a crowded room and retired to the privacy and comfort of his car that he’d take a little down time. Not a chance. McCain, at 68, was a little Duracell bunny and I doubt anything has changed. Two minutes before we arrived back in McCain’s offices, Salter put a call in: “He’s on his way, get ready.� Get ready for what? The most amazingly efficient briefing session you could possibly imagine, that’s what. Within seconds of McCain arriving back in his office his senior staff started to line up in front of his desk in what seemed like a practiced and polished military formation. As soon as McCain ushered the word “go� he was immediately hit with a speedy barrage of distilled requests from his home state of Arizona. He answered rapidly, seldom needing a moment to reflect: “yes, yes, no, talk to Fontaine, ask them to clarify, yes. Next.� As he was answering these requests and still more complicated legislative issues from the Senate one of his press girls was deftly fixing his tie, checking his suit, and removing his old schedule from his shirt pocket and replacing it with an updated version. The schedule contained a minute-by-minute breakdown of where he needed to be, with whom and why. Within the space of five minutes he had covered an unnerving number of topics and requests. And just as suddenly as his staff had arrived, they were gone. However, in those five minutes, I did catch a glimpse of something that has always been rumoured but seldom substantiated – McCain’s short temperedness. There were no journalists or cameras in the room, nor were there any political friends or foes. McCain was being McCain. And during those moments, I definitely saw flashes of fury. But in my mind those flashes were not of actual anger but of fundamental impatience. McCain operates at light speed and if you’re not with him, he’ll let you know about it in a very direct tone. However, his tone was never chiding or dismissive, just stern. And that sternness I think has everything to do with the influence of the military on his character. McCain is a military man. Though as stern as he was, from time to time that irrepressible roguish humour would break through and he’d smile and his staff would breath again. Within seconds of his staff exiting his office, the phone rang. It was one of the leading Swift Boat Veterans. As soon as the phone went down, McCain’s face lit up. “Paddy my boy, they’ve heard on the grapevine that I’m running in 2008 and they’ve just signed a cheque. What about that?� Before I’d even time to answer, McCain was barking orders down the phone “Get Lindsey on the phone, he’s going for dinner with Paddy.� The Lindsey in question was Senator Lindsey Graham, the senior Senator from South Carolina. Graham is McCain’s closest friend and within certain Republican circles he is now considered as McCain’s likely running mate. Graham was a fascinating southerner, who over dinner and late night drinks provided unique insights into plans already afoot for the Presidency and his leading role alongside Kenneth Starr during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Day one inside McCain’s inner circle wasn’t even over yet and there’s still so much to tell.

�

In 2008, the candidate who will win the White House will be the candidate who can win over independent voters. Swing is truly king. And whether Limbaugh or Coulter realise it or not they’re doing McCain a huge favour by dressing him up in anticonservative camouflage. Back in the car, Senator McCain was still cracking jokes. It was 2005, but even then there was talk about Hillary Clinton in the White House and I was itching to ask the question: “What do you think of Hillary, will she be the next President.� McCain was quick to reply. “She’s a great friend of mine and a great woman. We’ve done a lot of bipartisan work together recently on climate change. She should be the next President. But there’s a problem Paddy: I’m running.� Publicly McCain was keeping mum, but privately his campaign had begun in earnest in 2004. By the time we started to make tracks back to McCain’s office following a number of meetings and speaking engagements, I was beginning to tire. We’d been going at a relentless pace since the early morning. But I wasn’t the only one who was tiring, you could see that Salter was drained. McCain, on the other hand, was only getting going. For

Above: Senator John McCain att he Phil in December 2004. Left and right: Senator McCain with Patrick Cosgrave on the same visit. Following his speech the Senator fielded uncensored questions from the floor. Photos: Matt Pitt / Trinity News

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25/02/08

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TRINITY NEWS

Hilary term, Week 8

P11

AmericanIdol

Volunteers hoped that the symbolic power of a black man reaching the highest office would change people’s perceptions of race. Children would see not an AfricanAmerican president but simply an American president

Right: Barack Obama has become one of the most recognisable polititical figures in the world over the last year. Left: Neil Monahan was one of those who invested time and effort into the idolic figure’s campaign. Above left: Obama as a college student in Harvard Law School.

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n Super Tuesday, February 5th last, I spent the night wedged into a Manhattan bar with 500 other Barack Obama supporters and volunteers staring tentatively at CNN. That day 24 states had voted in primary elections to select their party’s nominee for the presidential election in November. The giant sports-bar was heaving with the young, multiracial, educated New Yorkers that have fuelled his campaign and swelled the ranks of his volunteers. The idealism and optimism of youth has provided Obama with a legion of devout followers who have worked for weeks getting out the vote, organising events and canvassing on the streets. The media have dubbed it a ‘movement’ rather than a campaign due to the huge youth turnout for the candidate and the fervour of the support. Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman had snidely remarked that Obama’s voters ‘looked like Facebook’ following the Iowa election. This demographic may yet win Obama the nomination. That night the bar’s clientele was a veritable United Nations of creeds and colours, all of us converts to Obama’s doctrines of hope and change. Amid choruses of ‘Yes We Can’ and hymns of ‘Barack the Vote’ the results trickled in slowly from around the country. It was a peculiar mixture of the excitement and anticipation of the Eurovision results with the rivalry and partisanship of a local football derby. Hillary Clinton was the arch-nemesis to Obama’s hero and was booed and cursed at every mention on the television. When it was announced that she was the winner in their own state of New York His flock fell into depressed silence, their weeks of hard work resulting in a loss. Optimism soon seeped back into the crowd as Obama racked up large wins in many smaller states and his delegate count steadily rose. Delegates are given proportionally in each state to Democtatic candidates so by keeping the big states close he wasn’t losing much ground. By around midnight many were declaring the night a success, interpreting the results as advantaging Obama, but nobody was leaving yet. The man had yet to speak. CNN soon turned their attention to Chicago where He was just stepping up to the rostrum. The messiah had arrived. For a few moments Obamamania set in. There was a rush of noise and movement all around me, banners waving, people screaming and chanting, feet stamping, beer splashing. And then He spoke. Everything stopped and ears pricked up. ‘Our time has come, our movement is real, and change is coming

features@trinitynews.ie

The cult of Obama Following his experience in Manhattan campaigning for Barack Obama in the run up to Super Tuesday, Neil Monahan examines how the man who asserts “Yes We Can” seems to have inspired an entire movement. For supporters from all races, the Illionois senator embodies the spirit of JFK and Martin Luther King and offers a unique vision of of the American Dream that many believe the nation has long been wanting.

to America’, his opening salvo, greeted with unanimous delerium. As the words flowed and the crowd became enraptured, I was reminded of the scenes of evangelicals at worship that I’d seen on television before. The faithful were in full flow here, repeating any of Obama’s many catchphrases out loud and in chorus. The man’s charisma is potent and his similarity to the brothers Robert and John F. Kennedy is often stated. But what is most striking is the oration style that is much akin to Martin Luther King Jr. The stilted intonation and preacher-like delivery are reminiscient of the great Dr King who himself led a movement for change in America. The subtle references to the civil rights movement and the adoption of Dr King’s speaking style further increases the power of Obama’s words and feeling that we, his supporters, are part of something bigger than an election campaign. Borrowing Dr King’s words, ‘the fierce urgency of now’, he situates his candidacy within the historical processes of racial integration and equality of opportunity. ‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for’, he booms. Euphoria sweeps through the building and we all stand to applaud as brother Barack leaves the pulpit. Hope for the future fills us all. In the lead up to Super Tuesday I was a volunteer in the Obama campaign’s New York headquarters in downtown Manhattan.

I was asked by AfricanAmericans why it was that I was helping a black man run for president. They couldn’t believe that a white person would want a black man in power

Having read his books and watched his speeches over the previous year I found myself drawn to a politician who looked and sounded like no other. Obama came across as a man of rare integrity and honesty, of intellect and vision. At 46, he was a young man in the world of politics who spoke to my generation rather than ignored it. This smart, hip, young politician could write, he could talk, he could even make people interested in politics. Michael Moore’s ‘stupid white men’ formed the stereotype of politicians in recent years and here was Obama shattering those preconceptions. His background as an overachieving son of a single white Kansan mother and absent Kenyan father somehow seemed so very American, the land where anything is possible. This man’s father had herded goats in Africa and now here he was seeking the presidency in the USA! He was something new, something different, and he might just be the future. So when I read online about a call for volunteers I jumped at the opportunity and hopped on the first Aer Lingus to New York, Hillary’s home state, and a battleground state in the primaries. I had joined the movement. In the week before Super Tuesday I walked the streets canvassing for Obama, made calls to hundreds of voters and met many other volunteers. The sheer enthusiasm and interest in

Obama that I encountered was quite amazing. People did not just like him, they adored him. People did not just want to vote for him, they wanted to donate, volunteer and make their friends vote for him too. I myself couldn’t exactly say why I was there. It wasn’t the policies. It wasn’t the debates. It was just a feeling that something new, different and better had come along. The slogans of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ were simplistic but they struck a chord with millions of Americans. During these days as a volunteer I spoke to many and varied people about Obama’s attraction. ‘What is it about him?’ I asked. On the streets, on the phones, in the campaign office, two common themes or reasons were repeated to me over and over. One is the American Dream, and the other is Dr King’s dream. Barack Obama somehow stoked the embers of these two ideals that may have dimmed of late. In America today people are still judged by the colour of their skin, still live in racially segregated neighbourhoods and being black is still not good for your career. The ‘projects’ that litter New York’s boroughs are evidence that the dream is not reality yet. On many occasions while canvassing I was asked by AfricanAmericans why it was that I was helping a black man run for president. They couldn’t believe that a white

person would want a black man in power. Many other times I had racial abuse thrown at me about Obama. In crowded public places racial slurs were shouted at us while we carried Obama signs and badges. So I found that even now in cosmopolitan New York race was very much part of the mindset. Many felt that by putting the first black president into office Dr King’s dream could be fulfilled or, at least, brought closer. Many volunteers, of all races, hoped that the symbolic power of a black man reaching the highest office would change people’s perceptions of race and heal the divides in a still segregated America. Children would see not an AfricanAmerican president but simply an American president. The Democratic primaries have been seen as an historic battle to elect a woman or a black man. Many Obama supporters have deemed Dr King’s dream to be the one most worth fighting for. This is the ‘Change’ they wish for and the ‘Hope’ they seek to create. The great ideal that is the American Dream is the other reason I heard again and again from Obamamaniacs. Americans love the thought that any person could achieve success and prosperity in their country if enough hard work and determination are applied. There is no rigid class structure limiting opportunity and destiny is yours to make. If this dream was born in the open plains of the American West then it became lost in Bush country. The administration has been characterised by special interests, lobbyists and corporate money. In face of this notion of politics comes Barack Obama who is the son of an African goat herder and a blue-collar single mother. He has risen through the ranks due to his abilities and hard work, now reaching the primary elections. His promise of ‘Change’ resonates with those who have grown tired of Bush and his base of wealthy business men. His message of ‘Hope’ is grasped by those who have lost faith in the system and in the future. Obama seems to offer people, of all races, a fresh vision for America where the individual will be rewarded for his efforts and abilities. The cult of Obama is like any other cult – it operates by fulfilling some deep need a person may have. It has been a long time since politics and politicians aroused anything but anger and dismay. In this campaign something has triggered a renewed interest in politics and a belief that something better can be accomplished through voting. It could be that Obama gives people the opportunity to dream again, to project their ideals, to think that ‘Yes we can’.


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Opinion&Analysis

This man is Friedrich Nietzsche. He believed that one should aspire to become der

Übermensch

Brightest, Strongest, Fastest, Loudest, Biggest, Fittest, Worst, Best

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TRINITY NEWS the

Nominate your friends Nominate your enemies Nominate yourself 50@trinitynews.ie

I Evelyn Tent Send all your gossip to evelyn.tent@trinitynews.ie

t really has been Much Ado About Nothing since Dear Evelyn last wrote. Like the paranoid Claudio, Old Uncle Joe has been on the warpath and has been shouting conspiracy to all who will listen. It seems one sad chap operating under the pseudonym of “Robin Adams” sent a email to this fine paper about Uncle Joe’s dubious position. Dubious? Apparently not, Uncle Joe put on an impressive performance in front of his minions at the CSC who lapped up the sad sad story that someone was out to get this good good man. But paranoia is not so easily quelled. At one stage Uncle Joe thought our dear Editor was responsible, and then it was “He-whoshall-not-be -named” and then it was a conspiracy to blacken his name. But even Uncle Joe stopped short of suggesting the two mentioned above could have buried the hatchet to bring him down. Then things got a little stranger as it seems one very prominent hack believes Joe was the author of his own demise and has been telling everyone who will listen just that. Who would want rid of dear uncle Joe? I just don’t have the space here

dahlings and the Editor does hate when I go over my word count. The Students’ Union election campaigns are starting to get fired up. None were quite as fired up as the member of four-eyed education candidate Hillary Allen’s campaign who was fined for intimidation by the Electoral Commission. Oh and it probably didn’t help to have Eoin O’Braoin, Ms. Allen’s par amour and Campaign Manager attempt to shout down Electoral Commission head honcho Cathal Horan in House 6. Dahling you just have to watch that temper. Save the rants for Goldfish. What is Goldfish I hear you ask dahlings? Well it is nothing if not Trinity’s newest attempt and a satirical rag put together by O’Braoin and the boys in DU Comedy Soc. Evelyn hears that Piranha Editors Claire Diamond and Mark Wright have been working extra hard on the latest version of their wet fish so that it can do battle with this upstart publication. Hopefully this competition will result in at least one smile, somewhere. Out and about on the town a member of ENTs hopeful Cillian Gray’s campaign team took a swing at Dave Byrne in the Palace last weekend. Apparently he was just frustrated that Byrne and co. weren’t providing any competition. You wait

darlings, that boy will move from the ramp and then you’ll be sorry! On the ENTs front Evelyn hears that the position for 2009 -2010 is already sewn up. Little boy lost Ed will be raking it in selling his pre-packaged students nights to the Students’ Union for another two years then. Drinks are on him. Also in the Palace last weekend were Seamus Conboy’s new recruits. The toilet staff all sported the Dep. Pres candidate’s t-shirts. And you thought you were safe from campaigning while doing you private business - no chance! The attractive, Chloe CassiusCrowe has been complaining to anyone that’ll listen that being as hot as she is can be a real disadvantage in the upcoming elections. A looker you are dahling but lets be honest here you’re no Stephanie O’Brien – now there was an attractive Welfare Officer and what an Agony Aunt. Randy Andy Byrne was given a little helping hand with his love life recently when the team packing the shag packs decided it would be funny to drop a note in every third Promiscuity Pack explaining how Andy was single and waiting for your call. Poor Andy may be single but he certainly wasn’t impressed. Darlings, he’s a classy boy, you’ll have to work

harder. And to our beloved Junior Dean, we couldn’t possibly leave her out this week - oh how we love her so. Kisses,! This week Dean Stokes decided to call before her the Phil boys who laughed when they were told there was a bomb in the GMB. These bombs are a very serious matter dear we agree but did the College Security henchmen really have to stand over one of these boys and force him to delete the photos he took of th event? Was there something to hide? Darling... it seems you’ve never read the boy who cried wolf? And now to some questions... Which failed Students’ Union candidate tried to have a current one impeached mere hours after nominations closed? Which candidate’s mother got her friends well and truly stoned one recent evening? Which Trinity boy has bagged a retired billionaire recently? And finally who recently spent over €100 euro bribing a bouncer in the palace one evening? Do you know who they are dahlings? I do... xxx

E.T.

opinionandanalysis@trinitynews.ie


Hilary term, Week 8

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Time to unite against religious “nutters” The growth of religious extremism can only be stopped through good religion, not no religion, writes Trinity’s Church of Ireland Chaplain, Revd Darren McCallig

with Conal Campbell

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hat did people do before mobile phones?” is the most annoying question possible. “What did people do before alarm clocks?” is the real question. Aldi or Lidl should use “1st Class Service at 3rd World Prices” as a slogan. I dusted off my Smashing Pumpkins album when I heard they were playing in Dublin. The teen-angst of lyrics like “despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage”, is so perfect for a 14 year old up to his elbows in acne. How do people with jobs get anything done? If I wash my clothes or go to Dunne’s, it counts as work. I feel very proud to be a Trinner when I see the other colleges having to advertise to generate applications. DCU invites people to “picture yourself here”, with an image of a house party, and then wonder why the student population are rabble. If you Google “dubes” you are suggested “Dubarry”. Clearly some people think that “dubes” is the actual name of the shoes. Poverty Industry = hundreds of people working in the “Combat Poverty Agency” and dozens of identical organisations. Admirable people who can’t see the obvious vicious circle they are part of. Nostalgia industry = an alliance of the GAA, Maeve Binchy (ask your mother) and those tourist shops of Nassau Street who make money pretending Ireland was great in the 1950s. The formulation of college email addresses is awful. Why have the initials placed after the surname? I can honestly say I don’t care about the looks of a prospective partner. You don’t look at the mantle-piece when you’re poking the fire, and a good personality is where the long term enjoyment is at. If I ever manage to score on a night out in town I have sex like a cat burglar. Get in and out as quickly as possible; don’t hang around the scene of the crime. There are bathroom attendants in night-clubs because drunk people frequently fall on a wet surface and were successfully suing club owners. He/she keeps the floor dry and can testify that you hit your head because you were drunk. The Journal of Theoretical Biology reports that two handsome parents are more likely to have a daughter. Good looks are largely synonymous with strong genes. The X chromosome (female) is weaker than its male counterpart so two people with strong genes will be slightly more probable to defend weaker eggs. You can remove your middle name from emails using the settings in Myzone. You see more Hilfiger logos in Coppers than in The Palace. Wearing clothes with no labels, but that are clearly high quality, is a far more discerning form of pretentious. You don’t need more than six drinks. If you stop drinking after four pints, you’ll be surprised how drunk you are, but you’ll be great company. I dread to think what I look like after three times that amount. Voters of America, well done: you are less racist (or sexist) than I thought. Remember, though, that you are rather naive: please try to pick a competent president this time. People of Ireland, well done: you have had amazing economic growth for the last ten years. What did you do with it? You drank copious amounts of €15 drinks, and only stopped doing this in the event you bought a grossly overpriced house in Lucan or an apartment in Bulgaria because you fancy yourself as some new breed of international landlord. Your public services remain among the worst in Europe, but now cost more than almost everywhere else. The remains of St Valentine (of February 14th) are held in Whitefriar Street (close to George’s Street). The best, though admittedly tasteless, piece of graffito I have seen in Dublin was someone writing “I’ve got Madeline McCann, vote for me or she gets it” on an election poster last summer. I’m very absent-minded. I’ve binned three knives while scrapping-off my plate so far this year, and I left my mobile phone in the fridge (which isn’t a place you think to look the first time it happens). It was a pretty intense buzz reaching for the “=” button on your calculator in Junior Cert Business to check if your accounts balanced. Being an only child is savage. You’re forced to learn to enjoy your own company, and, equally, develop an outgoing personality because you have no siblings to socialise with. More girls than guys went to the Rugby Ball. It’s natural that attractive southside-type girls should hangaround with sporty southside-type guys, but still I get the feeling someone’s head would explode if she had an independent thought about who her friends should be.

opinionandanalysis@trinitynews.ie

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s it just me or does there seem to be a lot of religion in the news lately? And what's more, a lot of the coverage doesn't portray those involved in glowing colours. For example, we had the extraordinary spectacle of Wallace Thompson ranting about the sale of rosary beads in Saint Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral. Mr Thompson, who is secretary of the Evangelical Protestant Society and a founding member of the DUP, lambasted the Dean of Saint Patrick's for promoting what he called “idolatry” and “blasphemy”. This was closely followed by the unholy row between the past and present Roman Catholic Archbishops of Dublin about the disclosure of church documents to the Murphy Commission of Investigation into the handling of complaints of child abuse. If we look beyond these shores, we see that there too, religion continues to hit the headlines. In Zimbabwe, one Anglican Bishop has been removed from office because of his pro-Robert Mugabe stance, while other Bishops and Christians continue to put themselves in grave danger for speaking out against the regime. Religion, it appears, is a deeply ambiguous phenomenon – sometimes good and sometimes very bad indeed. Last year we applauded the Buddhist monks who marched and demonstrated for democracy in Burma. Last month, Amnesty International launched a campaign against the "grotesque and horrific" practice of publicly stoning people to death in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Or what about the United States? Again, religion appears to have many

different faces. The current crop of presidential hopefuls is a case in point. On the one hand, we have Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor who upholds a fundamentalist version of Christianity and is an evolutiondenying creationist. On the other hand, we have Barack Obama whose inspirational speeches sound more like sermons and are peppered with biblical allusions and phrases from the writings of the Revd Martin Luther King Jr. In the midst of all this diversity, one thing is clear: religion is not going away. If anything, it is making something of a comeback. The old belief that all religions would eventually wither and die has been shown to be an over-simplistic hypothesis. But there is a serious problem. Notwithstanding some of the positive manifestations of religion noted above, the new face of religion is increasingly extremist and often fundamentalist. As theologian James Barr put it, “Fundamentalism has suddenly become a matter of concern for everyone, whether or not they are personally religious. It affects education in science and history; it affects political elections in some countries, and through this it affects international relations; it may affect the question of whether humankind survives far into the twentyfirst century.” The question then becomes: what is the answer to bad religion? Is it no religion? Or is it good religion? This question was recently addressed in a new play by Mick Gordon and AC Grayling entitled “On Religion”.The action focuses on a family. Grace is a distinguished scientist and a passionate atheist married to a lapsed Jew called Tony. Much to their shock

Varsity Talk with Darragh McCashin

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our average student reading in the arts and social sciences faculties is susceptible to the thought pattern of anxiety and worry which morphs into questions such as, “Is my course useless and just wasting time?” or “Am I avoiding the real world?” These (perhaps legitimate) questions can be forced upon them, self-generated, or sometimes both. A day-to-day example would be the labeling of these students as “wasters”. Some of us simply aren't sure what direction our future careers might take. We are met with at best dismissal, at worst disdain from the “practical” men of college. Is this unfair? I had 18 hours of scheduled classes per week in my in my Junior Freshman year. My course, allowed scope if one wished, for what I like to call “dosing” (neglecting demanding reading lists) with stressful catch-up at examtime to just “get-by”. If all readings were read, the week would be nearly a 35-hour struggle. I'm not a hardcore “dosser” either. I didn’t mind getting stuck into some interesting academic work or aiming to write first-class essays on certain areas, but I did give considerable time to athletics, rehearsing with my band, working in several parttime jobs, socialising with new and old friends and of course, sleeping-in now and again! Some of us are led to feel guilty about this. One of the reasons why that guilt exists is because it pales in comparison to some students’ routine. They might call me a waster. I have no doubt that many readers will be

On the one hand, we have Mike Huckabee who upholds a fundamentalist version of Christianity and is an evolution-denying creationist. On the other hand, we have Barack Obama whose inspirational speeches sound more like sermons

absolutely the case. I just think that one of the things to do in terms of a strategy (and I’m being realistic and pragmatic here, okay?), because we have to ask ourselves: what sort of strategy for dealing with nutters are we going to adopt? Do we want an all out culture war between your pure enlightenment thinking and bad religion? Or is there a value, is there ... let me put it another way; is the answer to bad religion no religion or better religion?” “Who's more likely to defeat bad religion, good religion or atheism? That's a question, a real question. So stop attacking me, Mum, because I’m your hope. You’re never going to turn the world’s religious into atheists. If that’s what your battle is, if that's what you’re trying to do you’re going to lose and so are we all. The best you can hope for is to turn bad violent religion into better religion, that’s what I’m trying to do. So no, I’m not providing cover for the nutters. By wasting your time attacking me, it’s your absurd purism which is letting them off the hook. Cause you're never going to win that battle.” I think Tom is correct. All people of goodwill – whether believers or not – need to work together if we are going to face down the “nutters”.And it’s also important that we become more discerning about religious matters. Treating all religious people as fundamentally the same does nothing to help progressive voices. A religion which sees itself as under attack from outside is less sympathetic to those of us who want to effect change from within. Bad religion is driven out by good religion, not by no religion.

and disapproval, their son, Tom, becomes a Christian and decides to become a priest. As you might imagine, this leads to some rather frank exchanges of views! In particular, Tom and his mother discuss the dangers of religion. Tom says: “I'm not trying to pretend it’s not dangerous, sometimes. I think that’s

So you call me a waster?

aware of students living a routine which is worse than mine, which could entail partying every night, continuous play, substance abuse and minimal (if any) work with the reward of a degree of some kind at the end, if they are lucky. The complete opposite of those in a stressful job, who slaved to get to their position or people who missed university. So the difference between individuals similar to myself and the others around us, is that we care about what others think of us and how we’re perceived. I’m sure you can all picture your typical Trinity student with the overdone faketan, short-skirt, Latte-in-hand, stuck up coward with a personality so self-centered - it makes you want to read their essays for amusement. All sorts of psychologists and organisational behaviour researchers will tell you that being in a group similar to yourself with goals, or no goals, is the reason why it is so easy to continue such behaviour. So a medical student strolling into crucial classes late with a smoothie and no work done probably won’t continue throughout the course, considering the group. An arts student will arguably find many more classmates to drink smoothies with guilt-free because of the group psychology involved. I am certainly not saying there is anything wrong with just doing minimal work . Nor am I intending to impose guilt on people or insult everyone, I swear! After all, those in fulltime courses often end up taking a wild year out before heading back to normality, perhaps they would be living the laid-back lifestyle if they were given the scope to in. This

could help explain the whole “work hard, play hard” attitude evident among some students. You work long hard hours in, say, engineering, then take a wild holiday for the summer. The possibly harsh distinction between the students described above needs to be made. This is because there are individuals who are always going to be financially safe but still attend college for other reasons. Social intercourse, a rock-and-roll lifestyle or finding love are all possible in university. The chances are that this disrespect is mainly directed at that certain type of waster we all know is out there. These are the genuine, hardcore and incomprehensible wasters who see their behaviour as perfectly acceptable. These wasters are noticed around college far more than their peers though. Remember the difficulty it can involve doing well in less-than-hectic courses. To get a deep grasp of some subjects is challenging. I’m sure your solicitor, dentist, surgeon or accountant would have enough trouble getting a first in English, Psychology or Sociology, which many students would take great pride in. Yet, the solicitor, dentist, surgeon or accountant may be the first to call these students “wasters”. Never forget that today’s policy-makers and politicians, banker and businessmen have all usually stemmed from degrees in the social sciences and the arts. Pending the outcomes of some tribunals, I can only say that they are not all wasters! Unfortunately, it needs to be mentioned to some, despite their disbelief and confusion, that these degrees and individuals are led by non-profit making philosophies.


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Opinion&Analysis Face Off with Joey Facer

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here are many careers out there that are subject to the question: “what do they do?” Civil servants, for example, and dataanalysts. In the College context, I have often found myself wondering what the Students’ Union does. Now, I like the SU. I think that most of the people who are involved in the SU are gogetting, earnest and dedicated people. But the body itself seems to have a remarkable flaw at its core: it does not seem to be able to effect real change. In the early days of Students’ Unions, we find evidence of students banding together, led by one or a few particularly charismatic individuals, to make a change in the way their universities were run. Recalling that, unlike school, we are here (for the most part, I would hope) of our own free will, we have a right therefore to dictate to a certain extent how things ought to be run. Perhaps the problem with today’s Universities is that due to the now comparatively vast take-up in Undergraduate courses, they are becoming regarded as essential as the Leaving Cert, and it is the Postgraduates and researchers that wield the power. Indeed, Trinity’s finances are certainly being piled into whatever research field can yield the biggest cash-crop. Having witnessed three SU elections, I am sensing a worrying déjà vu this year. There are campaign promises emerging that I, as a green little first year, once got rather excited about: no more SU travelcards, hurrah! Twenty-four hour library, yay! No more student fee, three cheers! Exam timetables, heck, any timetables, earlier than five minutes before what they are timetabling, score! But have any of the above been forthcoming? Sadly, once elected, these go-getting, air-punching leaders of tomorrow seem to be trapped in a beurocratic system that is simply too intricately woven to allow them to do anything. It is at this time of year we see jaded SU hacks everywhere looking a little shrugged in the shoulder-area, wistfully wondering what might have been done. It appears that the Education Officer can do little more than harass the timetablers with what they see as petty, unimportant requests. And the SU travel card will continue to flourish due to some complicated economics that would baffle many a BESS student. And the student fee? Rising every year, on the year, forget about banishing that: in fact, sit tight folks, because if our friendly-guy Provost gets his way, we’ll all be coughing up US-style fees before long. And when the Ents Officer is bound by the bullies in MCD to be constrained to peddle out the same entertainment Ball after Ball, you wonder what the point is in this position at all. Effectively, then, the College pen-pushers are the Education Officer, MCD is the Ents dude, and President – well, the President is at best the collective voice of a few flag-obsessed odd-bodies, and at worst the College puppet. The College authorities have paid lip-service in allowing the Students’ Union to continue to exist. They seem to be saying: “right, we’ll give them some cash and duties and call it a job, and then their mates will feel represented. Plus, their mates can aspire to being these folks. And we can keep our power, and nothing can ever change. Unless we want it to.” The days of students caring about University seem well and truly over. And what is the saddest thing is that these officers, and these candidates for office who will shortly be polluting our hallways, really seem to genuinely care about the student cause. They are spending back-breakingly long hours trying to do something for us, and being consistently shut down by College, and forced to become ludicrously excited about the smallest of improvements. What are water fountains and six hours of library time on a Sunday compared to the many other facilities that College is lacking, and the looming threat of tuition fees? Arts Block couches are the opium for the masses, so we will not notice our liberties and respresentation being snatched from under our noses. What the Students’ Union really needs, though, is student action. There are a great many more students than there are Provosts, College bodies and beurocrats. We have a power we have not yet tested, not for a great number of years. The apathy of the collected student body is appalling. Instead of allowing union after union to become despondent and settle for baby steps, we should make a resolution to get behind our representatives. When one person, whatever their title, goes up against the system, the system will win. But if we all gave a little bit of support to these people, who are putting in overtime week after week for us, we might see them make some real changes. The first thing to do is to care about what they care about. The second step is to vote; to have your say and to show your support for the body itself. It is better than sitting here bitching about them doing nothing for us, when in fact, it is we who are letting ourselves down.

Photo Editor Martin McKenna photographs DUFC captain Joe Burns outside the new Science Gallery ahead of the club’s Colours clash against UCD for this issue’s back page. McKenna used DUFC’s colour, red, as a background light by placing red acetate over a flashgun. Since the legs of a light stand would have been visible in the photo, McKenna employed a first for Trinity News: trouser-mounting the flash and a radio receiver, which synchronized the flash with the camera. Two more flashes were used, one behind Burns providing a ‘rim light’, and one in front as a main light. This is the second piece of clothing that has been instrumental in a Trinity News photo shoot. A remote flash was stood in a Converse shoe (belong to Editor Gearoid O’Rourke) which was perched high on the wall of the Exam Hall during the Brawl in the Hall in January. Photo: Dave Molloy

The Obama I know has what it takes SS History and Politics student, Kevin Dillon, spent last summer working as an intern for American Presidential front-runner Barack Obama. He believes that the Illinois Senator has the qualities to make an excellent President.

KEVIN DILLON CONTRIBUTING WRITER This is my brother from Ireland.” Behind us stood a snarling, defiant Muhammad Ali towering above a stunned Joe Frazier. To the left, a perfect contrast, with the Senator standing above a sage like Nelson Mandela and to round off his photo collection, a wonderful Kodak moment with his family by the coffee table. His office was all rather serene, particularly after the hustle and bustle of the office outside where Jewish, Irish, Chinese, Hispanic, African-American, Native American and all American lobby groups congregated vying for attention against a backdrop of perpetually ringing phones. Perhaps it wasn’t the office and maybe it was just him armed with an invincible aura that seemed perpetually cool amidst it all. He was the absolute centre of attention. The mood of the office palpably shifted every time he entered, a certain energy took hold and even the secret service men seemed excited. That evening he patted me on the

back and said he heard he had some ancestors back there and couldn’t wait to get over to visit sometime. Americans tend to say that and in reaction I tend to give them the Bord Failte spiel. I told him Offaly was a lovely place and that I would buy him a drink. I forget which one was an outright lie. That was the first time I met Senator Barack Obama. You notice strange things when you meet someone who only previously existed for you on a television screen. I was struck by both his remarkable height and how soft his handshake, despite the wear and tear, felt. It wasn’t like the rough, “any chance of the first preference” hand abuse of Irish politics but something far more elegant and refined. I wanted to impress him with a bold witty comment that would ignite the office but instead simply looked on my mouth slightly ajar and admired his handshake and height in equal measure.

As the weeks in his office went on I successfully got over that stupefying level of shock and began to get some idea of the man himself. Always friendly to his staff he asked how things were, spoke about his links to Ireland and said not to work too hard. The advantage of thick Kildare accent was getting easily noticed in an office of Americans. The disadvantage was trying to explain the Senator’s stance on immigration reform over the phone. It was seeing him speak to an audience that you seemed to glance the real him, the man who would be President. Every Thursday morning he held breakfast meetings with constituents from Illinois and would hold them spellbound for an hour with personal anecdotes side swipes at Bush heart breaking stories from Iraq and an unwavering faith in the American dream. He worked his audience brilliantly. His intelligence shone through as he carved through questions and that irresistible natural glamour did the rest. I always find it difficult to square his trademark quintessentially American optimism with his Iraq policy of a quick withdrawal despite how it must appeal to swathes of the electorate. I can’t envisage any happy endings there any day soon for the US or the beleaguered people of Iraq. Still, his message of change resonates deeply with the American people after years of stagnation. His staff holds the firm belief that this is the first step towards real and lasting change for America. That alluring theme of change will be difficult to fully realise if Obama makes it all the way to the White House and the expectations are incredibly high but it will be a step in the right direction after eight years of dire mismanagement. What was most striking about working in a Senator’s office was how reliant a man or woman in that position must be upon their staff to inform their decisions. It’s something that in a personality driven presidential

system doesn’t immediately strike you but is pivotal to the shape of the kind of administration that will develop. As an intern I was at the bottom of the rung but still I attended the meetings and drew up the memos that the legislative assistant read who then informed the legislative director who then advised the Senator. There is no time for pensive reflection upon the dilemmas of policy when you are a Senator, especially one running for the presidency. One has to build up a strong reliable staff to do all the spadework. This applies equally to McCain or Clinton. Senator Obama’s staff are talented, committed individuals across the board. Should he get into the White House he will be supported by an excellent team. They work tirelessly for the people of Illinois and the US with an admirable passion. Senator Obama prides himself on having an eclectic mix on his staff and a wide array of ethnic minorities and social backgrounds ensured a good debate at lunchtime and an edgy humour that was rarely politically correct. The craic with my fellow interns was a highlight of my summer on Capitol Hill and a testament to the work hard play hard ethos the Senator advocated for the office. I am too weary of making predictions as to who will capture the White House in November. Clinton has plenty of fight and McCain will be a battle hardened opponent. I do however earnestly believe that Senator Obama would be the best president for both the US and the world even if I am sceptical about too much hope being invested in him as change will only come dripping slowly. Instead of a swift transformation it would, as his staff said, be a vital step towards the change that the US needs to undergo in order to restore its status as the democratic flagship of the world as we steer through uncertain waters of global warming, terrorism and the rise of new authoritarian powers in the east.

opinionandanalysis@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary term, Week 8

Editorial&Letters

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Issue 9, Volume 54 Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 www.trinitynews.ie

Energy charges are daylight robbery A Trinity News survey of energy charges in Irish universities has thrown up some remarkable results. Not only does Trinity charge residents more for energy than Irish universities – it charges them twice as much. The Accommodation Office’s explanation of the high of the energy charges is weak. A few extra hours of hot water and a faster internet connection don’t justify Trinity Hall residents paying €280 a year more than their mates in Belfield. It is also surprising that, in a College that prides itself on being environmentally friendly, the bulk of residents are charged fixed fees for light and heat, giving them no financial incentive to ever turn televisions and radiators off. The most remarkable thing of all is that nobody seems to have noticed. The issue has never been raised by student representatives, and is mentioned nowhere in the election material of this year’s Students’ Union hopefuls. The high energy charge paid by residents is not an isolated ailment but a symptom of a more serious malaise. In recent years, there has been a worrying expansion in the size and number of charges paid by Trinity students. The registration fee we pay at the beginning of each year has almost tripled in the past eight years. While some of this money is spent on valuable student services like sports and societies, an unacceptable portion is siphoned off to cover administrative expenses – registration, exams and the infamous “space costs” – which should be rightly paid out of general university funds. Trinity students must pay a “commencement fee” of over €100 before they are allowed to graduate – no other Irish university levies such a charge. The fees for some postgraduate degrees are higher still. The introduction of charges for the Student Health service has been long muted and barring student opposition would have been introduced long ago. Since October, students must pay a compulsory levy of €70 for Sports Centre membership – if it wasn’t for the outcry from a number of sports clubs, the optional membership would have been far higher. There are now suggestions that students will be made fund the new Student Centre, due to open in Luce Hall in the coming years, through similar levies. Students’ Union election candidates should turn their attention away from the trivial (broken water fountains), the trite (a “higher profile” for the SU) and the fanciful (“mock weddings” on the cricket pitch). Instead, they should concentrate on mobilising students to fight battles that are worthy and realistic. Reducing the outrageous fixed energy charges for residents would be a sensible place to start.

’Tis the season ’Tis the season to get elected. In the last weeks of this term and throughout the one ahead a raft of elections and AGMs will be held. The Students’ Union Elections may be the most high profile at the moment but they are far from the only show in town. It is at this time of the year then that so many students who want to get “involved” in College life are looking to the future. It is also at this time of year that study stress can be at its worst - exams are close enough to be an imminent threat and there is still time to pull your year together. However despite the study stresses of this time of year it is imperative that you grasp “election season” by the horns. Holding position in a Club, Society or Publication is one of the most rewarding experiences that Trinity has to offer. Though it may seem now that you could never have to time to be an Officer or committee member take heart at those who have done so in the past and still had academic success. Run for election. Get involved. Life is too short not to.

letters@trinitynews.ie

Letters

All letters to The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 or letters@trinitynews.ie

Library less wasteful than claimed Sir,- Joey Facer writes (Letter page, 12 February 2008) about the amount of paper used in the Library's new stack request system. The Library seeks to recycle as much paper as possible and to reduce the amount of printing required for its operations. The informative bookmarks reminding

readers of return dates, etc. are all recycled many times by the Library. The request slips printed for each book replace the previous three part request slip system which used a chemically-impregnated (NCR) paper, and we believe this to be more environmentally neutral. Overall, the new stack system

consumes less paper and is greener than the manual system. It is also a much improved service, using (paper-less) email to inform readers of the progress of their requests. Yours etc., Trevor Peare Keeper (Readers' Services)

Reflection on sporting history Sir,- Congratulations to your Deputy College Sports Editor (what a team you must have in House 6 !!), Eoin Fleck, for his excellent piece on Hugo MacNeill under the heading 'From Back to Banker' (TN, Hilary Term, Week 6, p.22). I was at Donnybrook in 1976 when Blackrock were defeated by De La Salle Churchtown in the quarter-finals of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup to the amazement of most of us present. I remember the look of dismay (not merely disappointment) on the face of the young Hugo MacNeill, and of anger and displeasure on the faces of those Reverend Fathers responsible for the serene progress of Blackrock to yet another assured triumph at Lansdowne Road on St Patrick's Day.

How right Hugo MacNeill is about the great Ollie Campbell.I first saw him as a replacement for the injured star of Belvedere in the Senior Cup Final against Pres Bray in 1971 (won by Belvo by 14-11). The young Mr Campbell was already a smooth distributor of the ball with instructions to keep the back line flowing. The match was won by a try in the corner by the Belvo No.11 (if my memory serves me aright). Above all I remember Ollie Campbell for a wonderful day in a small crowd at Lansdowne Road in the Leinster Senior Cup when he won a match virtually single-handed with a wonderful try and a display of flawless kicking that I have never seen surpassed. It seemed to me that on that day he had been

loaned to Old Belvedere by the Barbarians who had just beaten the All Blacks at Cardiff in 1973. Most inspiring, however, is the photograph of Hugo MacNeill and Trevor Ringland side by side at the peace International in 1996 at Lansdowne Road in the match against the Barbarians. Lansdowne Road was not on that occasion quite 'filled to capacity' (I think that there were 33,000 present). We still have some way to go to achieve the peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland that we still so much desire. Yours etc., Dr. Gerald Morgan

Trinity sells the most poorly engineered device known to man Sir,- The folding umbrellas that the Students’ Union shop sells are the least effective devices ever engineered by man. The last one I bought snapped its supporting ribs just twenty minutes into my ownership of the thing.Watch out, also, for one of your friends perhaps sneezing in the vicinity of the umbrella – the sudden gust of air

From the archive

is enough to decimate it. Even in the throes of death, when you finally decide to throw it out, the umbrella will enrage as it trashes about and resists insertion into the bin, all protruding spokes and shredded cloth. I suggest to readers considering purchasing one of these €5 abominations that

just holding the fiver over your head would probably be more effective at keeping out the rain. Yours etc, Martin McKenna SF Science

Compiled by Peter Henry

Heraldic achievements

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t is well known that Trinity College has a coat of arms. A description of it is to be found in the front of the Calendar: “Azure, a Bible closed, clasps to the dexter, between in chief, on a dexter a lion passant, on the sinister a harp, all or, and in base a castle with two towers domed, each surmounted by a banner flotant from the sides, argent, the dexter flag charged with a cross, the sinister with a saltire, gules.” Although these arms were only granted officially at the beginning of the century, they had been in use for about 300 years. The earliest dated seal of the College shows the year 1612. The reason for placing the date in the design is unknown, though it is possible that this was the year that arms were granted to Trinity. Since this original grant of arms, if it ever existed, has been lost, one cannot be sure whether they were in fact granted or designed by a member of the College such as Ussher. Another design came into use in the reign of Charles I; from then on it was used at sporadic intervals and from about the year 1850 the College Certificates were engraved showing the towers in the arms “fired proper”. Other authorities describe them as “flammant”; it amounts to the same thing, and it was anyway discontinued at the time of the Tercentenary of Trinity College in 1892. There was one exception to this: the University of Dublin Choral Society only ceased to use this variant of the College arms last year. It seems that this and other designs were used concurrently with the correct one as the Premium Books have always had the latter printed on their covers. Yet another design was the one used on the railings that surround College. It came rather as a surprise to find that Dublin University also has a coat of arms. In 1857 the Senate applied for a grant of arms, and it is probable that they were granted when the Senate was formally incorporated in 1858. It is not certain whether they were in fact granted as the College hasn’t got a record of it, though there may be one in the Genealogical Office.

The arms of Trinity College, from the badge of the Boat Club's blazer. The Boat Club uses the College's arms on a royal blue background rather thanthe usual St. Patrick's blue. There are, as far as I know, only two places where these arms may be seen: one is a stained glass window in the Board Room which is in the Provost’s House, and the other is on the agenda sheets of the Senate which are posted up outside Front Gate. The University Arms are described thus: “Quarterly, second, a Bible open, third, a Castle, argent two towers fired proper, first and fourth ermine, both in a field azure, fess point, a harp surmounted by a crown, or.” Trinity College’s relationship to the University of Dublin is one that is difficult to define. It is best explained in the Introduction to the Dublin University Calendar in the section dealing with the Constitution of the College and University. One point should be mentioned in addition to this. In the past the College has been very much “top dog” and the University has been rather in the background, except for the conferring of degrees. Now Trinity College is taking second place to the University on all notepaper, etc. This rather curious relationship has given rise to curious anomalies.

The arms of the University of Dublin, as illustrated on a 1923 cigarette card. The sports clubs which describe themselves as Dublin University clubs correctly use the harp surmounted by crown on their ties. The College Historical Society also uses it on their ties, but the University Philosophical Society for some unknown reason does not. The stained glass window in College Chapel dedicated to Berkeley describes him as a Fellow of the University, which is now meaningless. The Dublin University Calendar sports the College arms on its cover and describes them inside, but nowhere does it even mention those of the University. The Editor, Mr Denard, likes to “preserve these little confusions.” The founders of the College never seemed to bother their heads about such things, and probably would not understand why we should be so careful about the distinction, but in this age of exactitude we might as well keep up with the times. From Trinity News, June 1963


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WorldReview

Are we seeing the weaponisation of space? ROBERT BRESLIN STAFF WRITER Last week the US antagonized the international community by shooting down a satellite claiming its fuel could cause untold damage if it exploded in a populated area. Russia and China were skeptical of the excuse believing it was merely a cover for the main purpose which was to try out new antisatellite weapons. With 10 months left of his final term, and without much support for his other policies from the international community, many observers are becoming concerned that with nothing to lose the Bush administration has no reason to exercise constraint and will try to push through

a plan that was dismissed as “crazy” during the Regan years. In 1982, with the Cold War raging, President Ronald Reagan famously proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a programme (famously named ‘star wars’ for its fictional aspirations) that would use ground and space based systems to protect the US from the perceived Soviet threat. However it was soon figured that the system was flawed and far from impenetrable and so it wasn’t pursued as policy. Cold War or not, space is always priority number one and improving technologies make Reagan’s fantasies seem more plausible by the day.. America is undoubtedly making leaps and bounds in this field, albeit

covertly, and this pressure has led Russia and China to jointly present a treaty to the UN calling for a ban on space-based weaponry. This, of course, has been flatly rejected by the US whose wry excuse is that if nobody is arming space (and it can’t be proved) then there is no need for a treaty. In another perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak the US suggest that their interest in developing such technologies is simply to provide better security and purely a defensive measure. How can this stand in the face of Russian and Chinese efforts to curtail and essentially ban any further development of military capabilities in space with the proposed Space Preservation Treaty of 2005? The Union Of Concerned Scientists suggest at least

1000 more satellites are needed if the US was to have a 3 minute response time to any nuclear/other missile launched from Earth. You might ask why spend $53b on President Bush’s National Security Directive for the deployment of operational ballistic missile defense systems when scientific research and army testimony suggests that any perceived threat could still be dealt with easier from the ground, but don’t forget who the aggressor here is. The sole reason Bush shot down the rogue satellite is because less than a year ago the Chinese successfully did the same, meanwhile their space programme comes on in leaps and bounds. Despite China’s, and Russia’s, willingness to co-operate in the peaceful and multilateral exploration of

space, America’s self-interest remains the overriding factor in this developing story. US foreign policy is dictated largely by fear, real and imagined, and so their approach to space is no different. In essence the ‘if we don’t do it the other guy will’ view excuses so many atrocities in our world. Ex-Commander-in-Chief of US Space Command (1994-1996), Joseph W. Ashy sums up US logic best with this blatant statement made in ’96 - “It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen. Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but — absolutely — we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space. That’s why the US has development

programs in directed energy and hitto-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday — ships, airplanes, land targets — from space.” Surely the exploration of space is a universal privilege for mankind to share. The 1966 Outer Space Treaty ratified not only this principle but also specifically that space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty. It is contemptible to think that just as we come to crisis point on Earth fighting major problems such as poverty that we may yet turn around and fight our way into space. Something I fear is wholly lacking in the motivation of those players currently involved in this epic game in which the prize is nothing less than the cosmos themselves.

American imperialism is the root of Russian bully tactics ARRAN SADLIER STAFF WRITER The recent lambasting of the west by Russian President Vladimir Putin as hypocrites for backing Kosovo’s bid for independence from Serbia has sparked various reports of a renewed Cold War. In his final speech to the Kremlin before he steps down as President on May 7th and subsequently almost certainly becoming the country’s new Prime Minister - he drew comparisons between the situation and Europe’s failure to support independence for regions such as Northern Cyprus and Northern Ireland. Putin’s statements of an independent Kosovo as being “illegal, ill-conceived and immoral” were married with claims that Russia would be forced to act if independence was declared prior to Kosovo’s statement of independence on February 17th. Russia’s influence must not be overstated though, Serbia does most of its trade with Europe. Yet Russia still retains many ties with the country. It recently acquired a controlling share in Serbia’s national oil company, NIS, at rock bottom prices in a deal that left much to be desired in transparency. There has been speculation that Russia – having recently risen back up the ranks to become the world’s seventh largest economy - could retaliate to the US and UK with recognition of the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the separatist Moldovan enclave of Trans-Dniester. Although the US and Russia may cooperate somewhat on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs there has been recent condemnation from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

with regard to Moscow’s pressure tactics against former allies seeking closer ties with NATO. At its April summit in Bucharest, NATO leaders will consider whether to grant aspiring members Croatia, Albania and Macedonia full membership, and whether to give former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia a preliminary affiliated status. At the heart of Rice’s condemnation was an implicit threat issued by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine - if the Kyiv government upgrades its relationship with NATO Mr. Putin suggested Ukraine could be targeted by Russian nuclear weapons. The president said he would be forced to target Russian rockets at Ukraine in response to a possible deployment of a US anti missile shield in the eastern European country. Already planned along Eastern Europe are two positions in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as radar in the Czech Republic, and missile systems in Poland as part of the plan to protect the US against an Iranian or North Korean attack. Russia indicated in talks last January with the new liberal Polish administration led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk that the missile bases could jeopardise rather than enhance Polish security. In Putin’s outgoing final speech he denied that Russia is behaving badly toward Poland, saying that “we are not acting aggressively toward Poland.... We provide Poland with all of the energy resources it needs, without any limitations, without any cutoffs...and we do not plan to cut anything off in the future.” Meanwhile despite opposition to the project among Czechs - rising to 70% in a January survey - the Czech government is keener than its Polish counterpart to strike a deal with the Americans in progressing with the deployment.

If the Kyiv government upgrades its relationship with NATO Mr. Putin suggested Ukraine could be targeted by Russian nuclear weapons.

Even though the US shield is in no way directed at Russia, public opinion, conditioned by centuries of fears of encirclement, sees it otherwise. Russia, understandably, will not accept a symbol of American might on its doorstep (which extends hundreds of miles in the Russian view). The defence shield itself might well be moot with any missile attack on the US likely to be launched across the North Pole.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opposed the western attitudes to Kosovo.

If all this tough talk from Mr Putin sounds familiar similar bullying occurred in the pretext to the last round of EU enlargements in 2004 whereby he warned that that any attempt to dictate settlements to other countries would

have “a serious impact on relations.” Moscow has been plying the weight of it’s leverage over it’s old Soviet members in other ways too. 2 years ago Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine for a short period in a payment dispute. Putin

and Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko have only agreed a final price this February. Ukraine is the largest facilitator of natural gas to European Union countries, and any disruption would cause shortages in Western Europe even though Russia is somewhat dependant on Europe to buy it’s gas. Latvia accused Mr Putin in 2004 of withholding oil supplies for its refinery on the Baltic coast as a means of forcing concessions supposedly in direct retaliation to the disputed border with Estonia and Latvia. Last year in Estonia a bronze statue of a giant Soviet bronze soldier was moved to a military cemetery from the centre of country’s capital Talinn. This seems quite reasonable at the very least given the suffering endured during Stalin’s reign. The following day, the Estonian embassy in Moscow was attacked by an angry mob. Other Estonian embassies were also targeted, in Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm, Riga, Prague, Kiev and Minsk, as well as the Estonian consulate in St. Petersburg. Russia shut down the rail traffic between Estonia and Russia, supposedly for repairs on the lines. And a series of cyber attacks were launched against Internet servers in Estonia from Russia, which are still being investigated by NATO experts. Also, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov had advocated a boycott of Estonian goods at the time. A difficult balance needs to be struck whereby Russia needs to be challenged in the face of bullying it’s neighbours but also avoiding provocation and giving it the respect it deserves. A cold war is not on. There has been more bluster and hard talk than anything else but certainly cold war thinking has prevailed as NATO looks to expand and Russia looks to counter.

section@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary Term, Week 8

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WorldReview

A West Bank diary Letters from Nablus World Review editor Kevin Breslin shares some of the correspondence he has recevied from a friend studying in Nablus in the West Bank. Hana Mohamed’s experiences paint a grim picture of the reality of life under the Israeli forces. 7th January On my first day of college I got up at 4am with my father. We got a taxi to a place called the White Mountain where we had to continue on foot. There were many people trying to cross, some were running. After walking for a while, one of the men at the front of the group began to shout for everyone to hurry up, that the soldiers were on their way up the street between the mountains we had to pass. My father and I ran and managed to cross before the soldiers arrived but not everyone was as lucky. In the panic to cross, one man at the back slipped and fell down the side of the mountain, he cracked his head on the rocks and died instantly. It was such a shocking sight, I wanted to cry but my father told me we must continue, that it wouldn’t help to dwell on such a sight. I cried all the way to the university. Later that afternoon I found out he was a second year history student in my university. 15th January Did you find out anything about the scholarship? Things are getting worse here everyday, especially in Gaza, the prices of fruit and vegitables and other necessities are climbing every day and people can barely survive. As for me I cant wait for the day I pass my final exam and leave Palestine, I cant take it anymore, I feel I am going to lose my nerves because of the situation. Last night I could not sleep because the Israeli soldiers were shooting so close to my house. I am too tired and numb to cry, sometimes I feel like I am already dead. 17th January Because the Nablus roads are so often closed, many times we have to make our way into the city to college by climbing

through the mountains. I had just finished my exams and we (my aunties and I) had planned to meet our relatives in Nablus, I hadn’t seen them for over a month. We got in a taxi, the driver told that there were no open roads today, that the soldiers were patrolling the streets and we must be careful. We took a road called Zeta, the main one leading to Nablus. It was dangerous as the Israeli soldiers constantly use it; we were all very tense attempting to cross. Half way down, we heard the screeching of tires and within seconds we were surrounded by soldiers who all had their guns locked on us. The officer in charge screamed at us for our IDs and told all of us to kneel on the ground; we had to stay like this for 15 minutes. After he told us all to get in the van usually reserved for prisoners. I got in but my aunty wouldn’t get in, she was terrified of what they would do to us, we heard the day previous that 7 teenage girls we arrested and in prison for attempting to cross the same road. The soldier said if we did not enter he would shoot us on the spot. She got in and the van drove away, we were all crying and praying. All through the journey the soldiers had their guns aimed at us even though we had no weapons. They took us up to the top of a mountain and told us to get out. The soldiers sat on rocks while the officer questioned us for 2 to 3 hours, all the time making jokes and humiliating us for the amusement of his men. He asked us were we terrorists. He made us sing Israeli songs. When he got bored, he told us to go back to our home by crossing over the mountain pass. He watched and laughed with his men as my aunties and I climbed over the rocks and stones in 40 degree temperatures, it was so exhausting and we felt so humiliated. It took over 3 hours to get home that day.

19th January I have just finished my exams last week and I received 2 of my results already, I got 86% in one and 96% in the other. I missed our letters, how is everything with you? I am so sick of this country and the life, I can’t wait to leave. 21st January The Bedouin way had been closed for many years. They opened it briefly in 2005 for people traveling in cars but closed it again shortly afterwards. Students who wanted to get to the university had to pass over the mountains to do so. The bus would collect us in Area A (Palestinian controlled) at 5am and drive us to the foot of the mountain. The reason for the early departure was to get to the mountain before the Israeli guards arrived at the checkpoint at 6am. It was not so bad in the summer but it was unbearable in the winter, the heavy rains made the soil wet and slippy and very dangerous to climb. One day the soldiers arrived for duty early. The strange thing was they let us pass with minimal fuss but as they did they laughed and mocked us and fired shots in the air to make us panic. We usually arrived in college with filthy clothes; the doctors there would make sure we were ok. I remember always feeling tired and sick in class during that time. A year later they reopened the road and put a check point on it. Not much changed except that we didn’t have to climb the mountain to get to classes on time. We still had to arrive to the check point at the same time because they never let us pass quickly, they would question us for a long time about our IDs and spend ages checking our cars, always going really slow so there was a build up of traffic behind us.

I remember having to wait 4 hours to pass one day, sometimes they would arbitrarily announce that they would not let anyone pass anymore that day. We would have to stay overnight in a friends house or try to get home through the dangerous mountain valley where the soldiers who saw us would fire shots. 29th January Amongst my friends we don’t usually talk about the occupation in the university, it is around us very day, unavoidable so any respite from it is very important for our morale, we talk about the same frivolous things anyone else likes to talk about. Daily life is very difficult with

collective punishments like cutting electricity and water supplies as well as delaying food deliveries at the borders. I don’t sleep much at night because of the raids by Israeli military, the bombs, low flying helicopters and Israeli soldiers shooting guns and neighboring families screaming. It is so cold in Nablus now, people say it will snow. We have no heating in the house at the moment, it has been cut, and I find it impossible to study when I get home. We are not allowed to travel within the west bank because the soldiers wont allow it, we must stay in our small areas all the time.

30th January I have 2 sisters and 5 brothers, due to the financial situation I am the only one continuing to study, they are depending on me to graduate. Only one of my brothers has a job and my father is very old but he must continue to work to keep the family going. I feel a lot of pressure to succeed because I am the only child in the family to go further in my studies, I need to do well in my degree so I can get my masters degree and then I can get a job and help my family. The family’s hopes are resting on my shoulders and I am doing my best not to let everyone down but to be honest I don’t like to study and don’t really enjoy my subjects.

The last days of Belgium: A tale of two cities PADRAIC GOEGHEGAN CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Belgian head of state Guy Verhofstadt. Photo: Jasper Wiet

worldreview@trinitynews.ie

Incredible as it may sound, Belgium, that bastion of European solidarity, could be on the verge of breaking up. Hobbling along with an interim Government since December, next month the country will go to the polls for a second time in nine months, hoping to put an end to a saga which threatens to partition the country in two. Totally befitting the situation she now finds herself in, Belgium’s problems, you could say, started with a joke. On December 13 2006, RadioTelevision Belge Francophone (RTBF) interrupted its scheduled programming to announce that Flanders, the Dutchspeaking north of the country had just announced its secession from the rest of Belgium. A two-hour live television report on the break-up of the nation showed images of Flemish nationalists waving flags on the streets and queues of French speakers heading for the

“border”. The newscast showed photos of what appeared to be King Albert II and Queen Paola fleeing the country on a military plane. Worried ambassadors called the Prime Minister’s office to seek assurances, while CNN even picked up the story as genuine. It was, of course, an elaborate hoax. Crucially however, for the first time in the public’s imagination, the possibility of partitioning the country seemed real. After the broadcast, a survey found 35% saying Belgium would not exist in 20 years’ time. Formed in 1830 as an obstacle to French expansionism; the Kingdom of Belgium has always struggled to maintain cohesion. The problem is essentially a linguistic one. Belgium is split horizontally between the Dutchspeaking Flemish people of the North and the French-speaking people in the Walloon region in the south. The divide itself is absolute - only joint institutions are bilingual, while political parties, unions or universities have parallel

sections. Until the 20th century, Belgium was dominated by the wealthier Francophones. The Dutch language was shunned. But the tables turned after World War II. Flanders became the economic powerhouse. A result of this is the country’s Flemings are growing ever more resentful of having to bankroll economically struggling Wallonia, where the unemployment rate is twice is high. Certainly there are reasons why Belgium will stay together, even in the short term. Foremost of these is Brussels, which used to be Flemish but began to be turned Francophone at the beginning of the 18th Century. Now it is split like the rest of the country with the French-speaking quarters to the south and Flemish part to the north. In the event of independence, the future status of the city would be extremely problematic, with the Flemings unlikely to give up its largest city. One suggestion that has been touted is that the city becomes a European District, much like

Washington DC or the Australian Capital Territory. Brussels would then be run by the EU rather than Flanders or Wallonia. The possible status of Brussels as a ‘city state’ has also been suggested, with a tax on the EU institutions as a way of enriching the city. Although many commentators scoff at the thought of an independent Brussels, or partition of Belgium itself, the fact that many of the suggestions on what to do with Belgium or Brussels have come from high-ranking Belgian officials mean that some Belgians view a partition as a likely scenario, if not inevitable. The Belgian government has itself launched a public relations campaign through its embassies worldwide to fight speculation that Belgium’s division is impending, as numerous recent public opinion polls seem to indicate. On March 28 the Belgian public will again go to the polls. The one thing agreed on is the uncertainty that these set of elections will make any more headway into the nine month impasse.


TRINITY NEWS

P18

Hilary Term, Week 8

Business&Careers

The Kerviel affair: one man’s single-handed €4.9 billion loss EMILY MONK

Born in Brittany to a hairdresser and blacksmith, 31-year-old Kerviel had “never stood out” at university or within the bank. He started working for SocGen in 2000 in the firm’s middle office. A promotion in 2005 allowed him to start trading in the arbitrage department. A spokesman for the bank claimed it was “low risk, low profit trading,” and considered a “junior role”. The fraud is alleged to have been based on “simple transactions” but concealed by “sophisticated and varied techniques”, involving the ‘rogue trader’ to make bets vastly greater than he was sanctioned. Mr Kerviel made fraudulent

STAFF WRITER Never has one man been held in such opprobrium for losing so much money for one firm. On the 25th of January, Société Générale reported a 4.9billion Euro loss (the biggest single loss ever recorded), traced back to a solitary individual; Jerome Kerviel. But is it the fact that he lost such a colossal amount of money that is inciting such scorn from his fellow bankers, or the fact that he has revealed a “common practise” of unscrupulous trading?

trades which bet that European stock markets would rise. Unfortunately they fell, and rather than close the positions he had taken buying stock market futures, he allegedly increased his exposure in an effort to claw back mounting losses. But what most people want to know is why he did it in the first place. It has been reported he would have got no personal financial gain, and the illegitimacy of the bets propose unlikely chances of promotion. His salary was nearly 100,000 Euro, (though modest for the industry), his acts seem motiveless and the consequences dire;

Money talks in the race for the White House DANIELLE RYAN BUSINESS & CAREERS EDITOR Running a presidential campaign is big business, especially if you’re a Democrat in America this year. The political fundraising by candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has been nothing like we’ve ever seen before. It’s almost as if $100 million dollars was just a small entry fee to throw your hat in the ring before you could really get going. 2007 saw both Clinton and Obama raise over $100 million each. Senator Obama has continued to break fundraising records in 2008, announcing that his campaign had taken in $32 million dollars in January. Hillary Clinton set

the bar in 2007 when she raised millions more than any other candidate first, but her donations slowed in January. Fewer emails were sent out asking for contributions than they had previously sent - until the day after Super Tuesday when she set a goal of reaching $3 million in 24 hours. Proving that her base is still alive and well, the Clinton campaign pulled in $6.5 million in online fundraising in less than 24 hours, more than doubling their goal. Her campaign sent a follow-up email after the fundraising boom thanking supporters, “We have the best candidate. We have the best strategy. All we need to win are the resources to put our plan into place.” A huge proportion of money raised is going on political TV ad

campaigns. After January, Senator Obama could afford to run an ad during the Super Bowl, the Sunday before Super Tuesday, while Senator Clinton could afford to buy an entire hour’s worth of time on the Hallmark channel. It is estimated that $3 billion will be spent on political TV advertising in 2008, nearly doubling the amount spent in 2004 during the last Presidential campaign. In fact, so much money is being spent on political ads, and so many spots being filled by politics on TV, that businesses are beginning to feel the strain and even looking into hiring Skywriters to get their messages across. Only time will tell which candidate can really make this colossal fundraising effort pay off.

Trinity alumnus launches new text alert service DANIELLE RYAN BUSINESS & CAREERS EDITOR Tickets to Blood Brothers to be won by Trinity News readers who sign up. Tipoff.ie is an innovative new service which allows you to book discounted concert/comedy/theatre tickets and restaurant tables at the last minute through your mobile phone. Let us know the type of music you like and allow us to work hard to deliver the largest discounts on the day of the concert! Tipoff.ie has been setup by one of our own. A Trinity graduate from 2005. Neil Ayton graduated from this fine institution with a degree in Economics. When asked what Tipoff.ie is all about, Ayton said “it’s about getting good deals to users on stuff they have told us they like direct to their phone.” The service has pre-launched and will begin sending real discounts

in the coming weeks. So far there has been a good take up of Tipoff.ie by Trinity Students, who are eager to get the best deal possible. Tipoff has also gone about providing another free service that will ensure users that they never forget a friend’s birthday again. Tipoff Birthday Texts allows you to schedule a customised message to 10 friends. On the day of their birthday your friends will receive a text, containing a personalised message that appears to come from your phone. Each user will also receive a reminder in the days leading up. As a way of enticing Trinity News readers to register for free on the service, Tipoff.ie is offering readers the ability to win tickets to the award winning Blood Brothers in the Gaiety Theatre. To enter the draw, select the Trinity News option when asked ‘where did you hear about Tipoff.ie?’ when entering your personal details during the registration.

many jobs, billions of Euro, a cut in US interest rates, and a possible take-over of France’s second largest bank… The common conjecture blames the gargantuan amount of pressure placed on people in the banking industry to perform – disposable income being largely based on performance-related bonuses. A much queried uncertainty wonders whether one man could singlehandedly cause such pandemonium. Surely his immediate supervisors (now dismissed) and the senior management team (who offered resignation but were declined) were aware of the goings on.

Kerviel, who lost over €4.9 billion for a single firm. Photo: PA

Kerviel claims it is “everyday practise” in the industry and “as long as I was in the black they (his superiors) turned a blind eye”. It has to be noted that in a world where opulence can be gained by taking a contrarian route, there is a lot to be said for the skill and risk employed by our anti-hero. The excessive-risk rewarding market culture could in fact be most at fault. Can one man really provoke a global stock meltdown? The aftermath of the scandal has been littered with negative speculation and rumour; in an industry where sentiment matters, there could be more to come.

Still searching for a strategy that works DANIELLE RYAN BUSINESS & CAREERS EDITOR

Earlier this academic year, I wrote a piece for this page about Wal-Mart. I wrote about the company’s slowing growth and customer service problems and how CEO Lee Scott was facing them defiantly. As Wal-Mart released its annual sales report on February 19th, I thought I’d take a look back to see how things have been going for Mr. Scott since hitting his rough patch. Well, so far he has announced annual sales of $375 billion for the fiscal year ending January 21st 2008. Not too shabby! WalMart sales are still outpacing the industry, but with an obvious slowdown in growth in 2007 reported, the question still remains; Can Wal-Mart get through 2008 without having to report a negative turn in growth? In 2007, the company saw their smallest gains ever and it’s clear that 2008 will be a fight to keep the numbers from turning negative. According to one Wal-Mart shareholder, the company’s sales growth rates aren’t keeping up with the inflation rate, the rate of population growth and the rate of square footage growth. And that’s not Mr. Scott’s only problem. Customers still, are becoming less and less willing to praise Wal-Mart as much as they used to. In a new study which included questions of customerservice satisfaction with certain retailers carried out by The University of Michigan, Wal-Mart customerservice satisfaction fell more than any other retailer. They ended up holding the lowest score in the customer-service category. Of course, Wal-Mart spokespeople have announced that internal data which has been taken by the company shows the opposite of what the University of Michigan found. According to Wal-Mart, their customers are reporting faster, friendlier and cleaner stores. Spokesperson for the company cites customer service as one of the main reasons why Wal-Mart is still the number one choice for so many Americans. Personally, I would highly doubt that customer service has a whole lot to do with why people shop there. I don’t think that customer service is something they have to worry

So what is it that’s really helping WalMart buy some during this slow-down? Food, drugs and cheap electronics... which will entice millions of Americans

So what is it that’s really helping WalMart buy some time during this slowdown? Food, drugs and cheap electronics. Wal-Mart still can boast some of the cheapest food prices, which will entice millions of Americans struggling with high energy costs, bigger mortgage payments and credit-card debt. When the US Economy starts to settle, Wal-Mart will need new avenues of growth which they haven’t found yet. One avenue which they thought they could go down was fashion and fashion at Wal-Mart ended in total disaster. The company bought ads in Vogue and sponsored fashion shows in New York Fashion week. Customers totally rejected their efforts and Wal-Mart was left with thousands of stores holding onto unsold goods. Executive VicePresident Claire Watts who headed the fashion project was let go. The effort was a complete embarrassment. WalMart as a centre for great fashion? It’s just not going to happen. Still, apparel is a continued focus for Wal-Mart as clothing can provide huge profit margins if they can find a good strategy for it. The problem is, too many people don’t want to be wandering around in public in something they got from Wal-Mart. That’s just the way it is and that’s why clothing at Wal-Mart is such a problem. It’s easier for them to sell a DVD player than an outfit. Part of the company’s current strategy is now to focus on countries outside the US, and new plans include spending $3.6 billion to open new stores in other countries over the next two years and cut back slightly in the US. Canada, Mexico and China will be the main locations outside the US. “Always low prices”, Wal-Mart have found, isn’t a formula that works everywhere. It didn’t work in Germany, and it isn’t working in Japan. Low prices were associated with only low-quality in both countries and the Japanese unit, named Seiyu, reported a $195.5 million loss last year. “Always Low Prices” is now “Save Money. Live Better”, but as I read in an article in BusinessWeek, people are still only visiting Wal-Mart for the “Save Money” part. The “Live better” part continues to come from somewhere else.

too much about though, considering that the average American customer is going to choose a bargain over the Macy’s sort of experience. (Macy’s scores in the study jumped this year while Nordstrom Inc topped the list on customer satisfaction in discount and department stores). Increasing dissatisfaction with goods on offer and the actual service provided by employees, so it seems, haven’t improved at all in the past year. But it appears now that quality of goods is also declining without a corresponding come-down in prices to match, which may hurt Wal-Mart more than the fact that their employees aren’t as friendly as customers would like.

businessandcareers@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary Term, Week 8

P19

WorldTravel

Moscow

City Break

by Doireann McHugh

RIGA

An Art Nouveau gem

Mongolia Catherine Graham goes on a trans-Siberian adventure

W

e’re standing on my bed looking at a map of the world instead of studying for our exam the next day. Two minutes later we’re googling Mongolia and plans and ideas for summer travels begin to form- Much more exciting than Biochemistry I can tell you! In looking at how to get to this obscure country, Ruth and I came across the Trans-Siberian Railway – a train that runs across the expanse of the world’s largest country from St Petersburg to Siberia, where it joins the TransMongolian line which leads on to Beijing. As soon as we heard of it, we knew this was our route. Our adventure began in St Petersburg, a beautiful city of bridges, old buildings and ballet. Russia is an awkward country to travel in. Individual travel is technically illegal meaning you have to travel in an official tour group, although many websites will give you the visa support you need to do it alone. You must get your visa validated in every place you stay, and any mistakes can earn you a run-in with the Russian police - a scenario you do not want to find yourself in! We debated a long time whether to chance it alone or fork out the extra cash and book with a company. With time being our major constraint we decided on the latter and booked a 21-day tour from St Petersburg to Beijing with the aptlynamed company “Vodkatrain”. I was skeptical of traveling in a group. On my previous trips to South America I have always pitied those who were denied the freedom and adventure of travel due to the constraints of being tied to a group and a fixed schedule. What’s more, you have no control over who your traveling partners might be, and being stuck with some hideously annoying or insanely boring fool was not what I had in mind for the summer. I needn’t have worried. Our group of

eight – us two girls and six guys (two Irish, three English and one American) – was perfect. We were all young, laidback individuals, and I found I had under-estimated the advantages of being in a group. It was fun to be a gang instead of feeling like you had to make friends in every new place, and yet we were small enough to make traveling around and eating out easy. I would now definitely recommend it for others taking this trip. One of the best things about the Vodkatrain set-up is that a “honcho” meets you in each city. Your honcho is a bit like a tour guide, but without all the negative connotations associated with that label. They are usually local students, many studying English at university, and will show you around to whatever you want to see. If it’s museums and galleries you’re into, that’s fine. If you prefer shopping, drinking and clubbing, then that’s fine too. There is no pressure to spend time with the honcho if you’d prefer explore alone, but we found the local knowledge invaluable in a country where we didn’t speak the language, read the alphabet, or understand the metro system. They also brought us to places that would never be in a guidebook, which we wouldn’t have seen without them – such as a boat trip across the Gulf of Finland and a swim in a forest lake. They often brought friends with them on nights out too – an interesting insight into student life in Russia or Mongolia! Next it was on to the capital, Moscow, with the Kremlin, Red Square and Lenin, before embarking on the 5153km train marathon to Lake Baikal in Siberia. You may think 4 days nonstop on a train would be boring, but good company and good quality Russian vodka always leads to interesting times! We found it easy to adapt to life on the train – getting to know your neighbours, exploring stations and stretching your legs on the platform at stops, visiting new friends a

few carriages down, drinking in the restaurant car in the evenings, cramming into someone’s cabin to play drinking games. We arrived at Lake Baikal jetlagged. The lake is completely frozen from September through to May, and is the world’s deepest lake, containing one fifth of the globe’s fresh water. There’s a 5 hour time-difference between Baikal and Moscow, adjustment to which our late-night socializing with fellow passengers didn’t allow. One way to shock any such drowsiness out of your system is to take a dip in the lake. When the sun is shining in a clear blue sky, the glistening water can look very enticing… to the naïve traveler, that is. This is the coldest water I have ever been stupid enough to swim in. Forget the forty-foot at Christmas, or Achill at New Years, the water in Baikal is ten times colder, but is well worth enduring for the pride you feel after surviving such arctic temperatures. The border-crossing from Russia to Mongolia is something you have to experience to appreciate (or not, as the case may be!). But after 9 hours sat stationary in a roasting hot cabin in noman’s-land, the reward of sunrise over the open steppes of Mongolia is all the sweeter. As we had expected and hoped, Mongolia is one of the most bizarre countries I have ever experienced. Outside the capital, Ulaanbaatar, roads become nonexistent, and virtually everyone lives in round white tents (“gers”), moving 3 or 4 times a year in the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Life seems to be very much as it was in the days when their hero, Genghis Khaan, ruled the largest land empire in world history in the 13th century. The city of Ulaanbaatar itself is ugly, and uninspiring at first, although it does have its own kind of quirky charm. In contrast, the national parks nearby, where we spent 3 days living in gers, are idyllic. We had 2 gers to ourselves on a

Some useful phrases Russian Survival Kit:

Mongolian Survival Kit:

Hello: dobry den Thank you : spaseeba Yes: da No: nyet 2 beers please: dva beevay pa-zha-wsta Best beer: БАЛТИКА (Baltika) 7 Best vodka: СИМВОЛ УСПЕХ�� Best Russian food: omul with pancakes

Hello: San ban o Thank you : bye-ar-chlah Yes: Teem No: Ooguee 2 beers please: dochlau shur eye-rag Best beer: Chingis Best vodka: XAPAA (with lemon) Best Mongolian food: buuz and hushur

Above: A train departs into the moutains south east of Ulaanbaataor, Mongolia (near the Tuul river). Photo: Christopher Hill

grassy hillside, with wild horses roaming behind and an incredible view of the open Mongolian countryside from our door. Horses play a vital role in life in Mongolia, and outnumber the population of humans by 13 to 1! We explored the park on horseback, and the feeling of galloping across the open grassy plains is one I will never forget. There are no fields or fences in Mongolia – there is no need, since nobody actually owns any of the land – leaving a huge expansiveness that seems to be endless. We climbed the crag of rocks behind our camp for amazing views at sunset and sunrise, as well as visiting a local family and being treated to some traditional food. From here, the Vodkatrain tour continues for a few days to Beijing, the final stop. Ruth and I opted to stay in Mongolia for a month to explore more of this crazy country, and so said goodbye to our fellow Vodkateers and branched out alone. It had been an incredible two and a half weeks, in which we had traveled over 7,000km across 2 continents, watching the scenery change along with the people

Being a happy camper AOIFE GRIFFIN STAFF WRITER Going to work at a summer camp is great for anybody who loves working with younger people and being quite active. There are over 12,000 camps across America so you can be sure to find a position and a style suited to your tastes and skills; general camps [like the scouts], specialist camps [like the infamous band camps, but also sports, art, drama, etc], private camps and camps for underprivileged children being some among many. And if you are considering going, the people to go with are Camp Leaders. The organization works as a cultural exchange programme so they don’t expect an arm and a leg for their help. The way they work is straightforward enoughyou register on their web-page, they organize an interview, if you’re suitable they take you on and find you a placement, organize all your paper work and book your flights. What I find really helpful and assuring is that all their staff have at least one year‘s camp experience themselves. So you’re not being interviewed by some poe-faced graduate in child

worldtravel@trinitynews.ie

psychology who hasn’t set foot outside their college for four years. When booking your flights your return dates are flexible so you can adjust for traveling plans after camp. Camp Leaders also provides a 24hr emergency helpline and have offices in the states to deal with everyday concerns, or problems that may arise within the camp itself Camp Leaders organizes preparation days around May to give you the opportunity to meet other people who are going to camp and get a better idea of what the experience is going to be like. One of the most memorable pieces of advice I got was “Don’t challenge your American camp friends to a drinking contest- you will win and they will get fired.” Our coordinator also advised us about the do’s and don’ts of camp humour; it’s funny to surprise someone with a water balloon, less funny to run screaming into their cabin at 3am in a full Scream ensemble. Even after you have finished your placement Camp leaders provides full medical cover while you are in the States, which is a great relief to know when you’re about to set off on a Greyhound for three weeks. I spent last summer in a great little place called Camp Shawnee and it was honest to chocolate the best summer I

have had. I can’t recommend the experience highly enough. It’s such a surreal experience, but a truly amazing one. You don’t come in as the skivvy and slave you’re way up, you come in as part of the team like everyone else and you sing about Percy, pirates and hippos and invent things like Irish rap dancing and ribbon trees. And when it’s too hot you all go to the swimming pool or lake, and when it is raining too hard to go outside you bunch up together and set up game shows and parades. It’s not easy, the campers keep you on your game, but the benefits, personally and professionally are huge. Last year I signed up because I just wanted to have fun and work with some like-minded people in a nonacademic setting. This year I am returning as the Director of Creative Arts and continuing to develop my skills of leadership, teamwork, initiative, creativity, flexibility and face-painting. Camp Leaders does everything possible to facilitate life-changing experiences for its clients. I have already signed up with them again as testament to the quality of their programme. The Camp Leaders website is www. campleaders.com. The deadline for applying for placement is mid-April. Dublin/Trinity’s local rep is Ann-Marie.

Riga is a city of unexpected delights. Far from the grim, economically-blighted country an uneducated tourist (ie me) might anticipate Riga is a cosmopolitan city, the unofficial capital of the Baltic States. Riga’s charm lies in its cosy side streets; relaxing with friends over cocktails or chocolate at a leisurely pace; an ideal place to decompress. Getting there is simple. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly to Riga daily. Ticket can be obtained for as little as €30. From the airport the 22 bus will take you into Riga’s Old Town. Just off the bus stop, you’ll find Fun Friendly Franks, on 9 November Krastmala, it’s cheap, clean and cosy. The staff are polite and friendly; you are greeted with a quick talk and free drinks. Beds are made up for you in advance, towels are available upon request, and there is a free 24 hour computer room. The location is within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to do. The Museum of Occupation is a must see; it highlights the unique experience Latvians faced during the Second World War. Latvia was invaded by the former Soviet Union prior to the Nazi Occupation, and Latvians briefly welcomed the Nazi troops as liberators until the full extent of their duplicity became obvious. It provides a fascinating prospective on the attempts the USSR made to suppress Latvian culture and to introduce the Russian language and culture. The issue is still relevant in Riga today, as 50% of the population are native Russian speakers. Right behind the Museum, you’ll find St Peter’s Church, which has a tower from which you can see all of Riga. The church also has a photo gallery of the various bombings and changes the structure has undergone in the 20th century. According to the UNESCO Riga’s Art Nouveau architecture is unparalleled. In a 15 minute walk, we walked past Art Nouveau style flats, Riga castle (dating from 1330), spindly towers, Russian Orthodox churches complete with their colourful onion domes, slightly more staid Lutheran churches, and busy Christmas markets until we found ourselves out in a modern Riga high street. Riga is a fairly cold city so prepare to bundle up. Ice rinks are dotted around the city and they seem a treat after the crowded, messy affair that is the RDS. Amateur skaters will fare far better in Riga; the rinks are large and sparsely populated – no-one will knock you over. Just south of Esplanade Park, in the Central District, you can skate in a massive outdoor outdoor rink at night under the lit up Nativity of Christ Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox church. The National Opera House, located on Aspazijas Bulvaris, offers all the classics at a cutrate price. Situated in the park behind the Opera House is a small oriental tea house perfect for lounging in on a cold day. Latvia is famous for its native chocolate, particularly the Laima brand, and this is obvious in most of Riga’s cafes. Make sure to buy chocolate; you’ll be shocked at the quality and richness. Black Magic Cafe at 10 Kalku iela offers this with a kitschy twist. Waiters and waitresses dressed in 18th century garb serve you quality cakes and chocolate in its comfortably upholstered tea room, complete with candle light for effect. One of the real joys in Riga was the quality of its food and drink. I particularly recommend Tequila Boom! at 6 Marstalu iela, in Old Town, for it’s quality Mexican and brightly coloured decor and cocktails. As for drinking, pubs and clubs abound with cheap alcohol. The local nightclubs are fascinating for their sheer scale and number of rooms. Latvians are firmly Angloobsessed, and most clubs play the usual hip hop and pop hits one might hear in Ireland. Riga’s bars and lounges are much more interesting; they have comfy couches, larger selection of drink, and better music on offer. Ultimately, Riga was a great place to unwind it. I can only think a similar holiday in France or Germany would cost twice as much, and half of the fun is going someplace so unexpected. As an initially sceptical visitor, I can tell you that you won’t regret one minute of Riga‘s beautiful surroundings, fine food and drink, and refreshing atmosphere.


TRINITY NEWS

P20

Hilary term, Week 8

Science&Technology

God Does

want us to believe?

University of Oxford team looks for answers as to why we are religious SEBASTIAN WIESMAIER SCIENCE EDITOR Sometimes I ask myself, why I not just believe in god. It seems there is quite a few people out there who gain a lot of stability or direction in their life through that. Immediately, the scientist in me starts knocking the door: “Helloooo, there’s nothing else, stupid!” Ok, ok, I totally agree with my inner voice and I’m not going to turn religious now, even though having been brought up as catholic (classical Bavarian, that is). But that question I sometimes pose myself, where it appears so easy to be religious, believe in something and basically just switch off thoughts about what’s out there or not (that’s possibly the main lure!), shows that people are tempted to be religious and indeed, most of the world’s population is. Over 85% of us humans are considered to adhere to some sort of religious belief, be it one of the major organised faiths like Christianity or Islam over indigenous tribal religions like Shamanism or Australian Aboriginal traditions down to some weird UFO religions. Now, why is that? What makes people do that? It’s easy for people, we’ve mentioned that already and it seems to be a vital assumption. However, on a deeper level of human consciousness there’s no clear answer as to why we should be inclined to be religious. Are we sort of hard-wired by nature to be religious because our cognitive apparatus is limited, yet our

mind seeks answers? Or is it an evolutionary thing, where people that gathered in religious groups had a better chance of survival? These are the sorts of questions that researchers at the University of Oxford will address and they have been granted £1.9 million (~ €2.8 million) by the John Templeton Foundation to do so in the next few years. The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and the Centre for Anthropology and Mind in Oxford use an approach of combined cognitive science disciplines to target these questions and develop a theory about the origin of religious belief within man. A scientific approach is preferred over theological one as the researcher’s aims deal more with the naturalistic side of things, think of evolution or brain structure here. The cognitive sciences hereby encompass evolutionary biology, neuroscience, linguistics and even computer sciences to scrutinize human behaviour to the deepest levels possible. Dr Justin Barrett, a psychologist who is part of the research team and interestingly enough, has been cited by opposing sides, researchers of Atheism and Christian theology: “We are interested in exploring exactly in what sense belief in God is natural. We think there is more on the nature side than a lot of people suppose.” A good analogy to illustrate the main hypothesis behind his research is three-year-olds: A child believes that its superiors know literally everything, i.e. that they are omniscient. This paradigm degrades as the child gets older and its horizon widens with

Relgion in all its forms spans cultures and continents. But why exactly are we religious? Oxford researchers are trying to find out.

experience. However, later on in the life of the person, this tendency finds a parallel in the belief to God, that is, the assumption that there is still an entity that is superior and potentially contains the answers to all questions one can think of, especially the ones that are not for us to answer. Barrett: “It usually does continue into adult life. It is easy, it is intuitive, it is natural. It fits our default assumption about things.” Widening that approach then means asking if conflicts that are related with religion (the greater deal of all conflicts) are equally a product of human nature. Another aspect: Is the concept of an afterlife something that we would tend to believe inherently or are we nurtured into that when being brought up? It is important to mention that this kind of research does not aim to deconstruct religion. The question if any religious idea contains something viable remains untouched, and the fact that religion can provide a safe haven for many certainly shows that it is an important aspect for humans and cannot just be binned. However, there is a lot of misuse being done with and in the name of religion, see only the latest emergence of radical islamists which merely represent a minority of the Islamic community, yet manage to damage Islams reputation as a whole. This means that the overall aim of understanding how religion forms in humankind as a whole will prove a step further in preventing this by making the mechanisms behind it transparent. I’m off to do some analysis.

Tech Specs GOOGLE DOCS

A brilliant collaborative document editor Group projects in college are never exactly easy. With no dedicated meeting rooms in Trinity, organising meet ups with your group can be tedious and collaboration on the Arts block couches isn’t always productive. Google’s suite of online editing tools helps ease this by allowing members of a group open, share, edit and discuss documents online at the same time, without the need of getting together in person. The product of Google’s 2006 acquisition of Writely, Google Docs is a free web-based word processor allowing users to create and share documents in real time. Documents created outside of Google Docs (with Microsoft Word etc.) can be easily imported and when finished, Docs documents can be saved to a users computer in a variety of common formats. With Trinity’s transition to Gmail, all students with a trinity email address are ready to use the service, which is as simple as creating a project and inviting via email other group members. From there, each invited person has access to all progress on the project, and so members know exactly where they stand in regards its completion. The wikipedia-like model, where group members can monitor and correct/add to all aspects of the document, is beneficial to all project members as mistakes can be edited and comments made to each others pieces. The model works just as well for personal projects, as having your documents stored online makes them accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection. Documents are also saved periodically as they are being worked on so in case of a computer crash, your documents are still stored safe online. The service isn’t limited to text documents, with Google also offering online collaboration and editing of spreadsheets and presentations. These free online programs are expectedly not as full featured as their counterparts, but offer more than basic functionality for day to day use. These are incredibly useful tools in a students arsenal and their €0 price tag makes them an economical alternative to commercial packages. docs.google.com

New climate model predicts more pronounced seasons for British Isles. Kerensa Slade

MICROSOFT OPEN SOURCE Bill’s Gates Open Up

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n November 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fourth assessment report claiming that "eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850)". This has not been welcomed by all as conclusive evidence that global warming is real and caused by human activity, but it has certainly fuelled increased media coverage and public awareness of this hot topic. Continuing the work of Al Gore in highlighting the realities of global-warming to the public, researchers at the University of Oxford have involved over 250,000 people in a large scale experiment to model the global climate. The experiment is designed to revolutionise the field of climate change prediction by running a large number of computer simulations, each with slightly different parameters. The parameters are numbers that represent physical processes, for example the relationship between the number of raindrops in a cloud and how much it actually rains. The aim is to improve the accuracy of these numbers in order to eventually predict how fast global warming will act. The models are initially set up to start at a previous point in time, for example

1900. They then model the climate for fifteen years and the results are compared to meteorological records in order to gauge the accuracy of the parameters used in the model. Once satisfied that the model is a true representation, forward predictions can be made. Currently, even the best models for climate prediction have large uncertainty in the parameters used. Each simulation requires a huge amount of computer power and therefore, running many simulations in order to increase the accuracy of all the parameters is impossible. This is where the 250,000 volunteers come in. Most home computers have reasonable processing power which is almost never used to its full capacity. The climate prediction researchers, in association with the BBC, asked people throughout the world to download software so that their home PCs could solve the climate change model during any lulls in the computer’s activity. Using so many home computers actually yields a combined processing power much greater than the largest supercomputer. It is not the first time that such a technique has been used to carry out computationally intensive simulations or data analysis. Over the last ten years, home computers have been running checks on databases of

possible cancer drugs, and even analysing radio telescope data to search for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life. It is, however, the first time that such a method has been used to investigate the climate. Chloe Sharrocks, a masters student who is involved with analysing data from the climate change experiment explained why the project and its results are so important: “Understanding the physical behaviour of the atmosphere under conditions when greenhouse gases such as CO2 are increased is vital to predicting what future climate may lie in store for our Earth. Only when a deep understanding of the science is known can government policy makers truly convince the general population that we need to think seriously about our actions on the climate and convince us that we must act to make our lives more green.” So what has the experiment predicted so far? Although there is a vast amount of data still to be analysed, and conclusions which cannot be published before being submitted to scientific journals, the BBC has reported the results of some simulations run from 1920 until 2080. Simulations were accepted as valid if the climate was close to what we see today by the time the simulation reached 2007.

The UK and Ireland can, according to this prediction, expect the average temperature to increase by 4 Deg C by 2080 with regular heatwaves in summer pushing the temperature above 40 Deg C. The rainfall is predicted to increase significantly in winter, but decrease in summer. This is expected to exacerbate recent problems with flooding and water shortage in the summer months. Further afield Alaska can expect a larger rise in temperature than the UK, whereas average temperatures in New-Zealand will not increase by as much as 4 Deg C. In terms of results from the climate change experiment, this is the tip of the iceberg. Many relationships between certain variables controlling the weather are set to be investigated, in order to give us the most conclusive picture yet of how our Earth will change over the next century. In the meantime Dr Nick Faull, the scientist in charge of the climate investigation encourages us all to act now to reverse this transformation: “This experiment has confirmed the level of climate change that the climate research community has been talking about for 10-15 years. It’s encouraging because it raises our confidence level of the changes we’re predicting, which means there should be more incentive to do something about it.”

Microsoft has recently announced plans to open up their software to allow easier access for 3rd party developers to connect to and provide additional services for Microsoft’s software products. The Redmond based software giant has come under fire from the European Commission in recent years which earlier ruled that Microsoft abused its dominant market position; these new open-source plans address some of these complaints and are the first steps of the company’s efforts to comply with antitrust obligations. They will also help mend Microsoft’s somewhat tarnished reputation, instead showing them as a kinder, gentler software maker open to 3rd party development. The announcement extends over most of Microsoft’s core offerings, including Vista, Office, Server and Exchange, making it easier for them to be connected to third-party applications. Specifically, Microsoft said it will publish the documentation and underlying blueprints for these programmes meaning developers don’t need to buy a license or pay royalty fees to access the information. Along with this announcement Microsoft has vowed not to sue open-source developers that create non-commercial software based on Microsoft’s protocols. This is a drastic change from the closed source stance Microsoft has taken in the past. To consumers, this means that we can look forward to increased functionality and stability of the software, as developers are given the documents outlining how to best write applications harnessing the underlying software, including increased format support and the use of Microsoft’s data in other software programmes. Mass collaboration and open-sourcing is an increasingly successful business strategy as detailed in the book Wikinomics, and these changes are Microsoft’s baby steps in the direction.

science@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary Term, Week 8

SportFeatures

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An empty stand in Berlin. The Premier League hopes to fill thousands of stadium seats worldwide with its new “travelling” matches in order to generate additional revenue. Photo: Peter Guthrie

Premier League is losing sight of what it should be amid grand plans Plans to play premiership games abroad might mean big money, but does it serve the real fans? CONNEL MCKENNA SPORTS FEATURES EDITOR Over the past weeks we have been treated to countless images and tales of the great Busby Babes, a golden football team that rose from the golden age of football as the sport of the working man in England and beyond. The same week has also delivered to us perhaps the most potent message yet that such a reality has been consigned firmly to grainy pictures and nostalgic words. In an era in which footballers operate in a very different and distant social realm to the supporters who pay their wages, the news that the Premier League is to explore the possibility of staging competitive games outside of England can only further alienate the common fan. The concept is one driven by financial incentive, and shows scant regard for tradition, never mind the integrity of league football. Not that we should be surprised; top-flight football in England falls now into the realm of big business, with profit margins as important to those behind the scenes as winning margins are to those in the stands. Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chairman, cannot fail to be aware of the huge market that exists , and awaits further exploitation, for his organization’s product around the world. Big clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea have long indulged in pre-season jaunts to places like Malaysia and the United States, but the success of the Premier League trophy in the Far-East, in which teams such as Portsmouth were able to draw in big local crowds for friendly games, will have perhaps opened even Scudamore’s eyes to the scale of the financial rewards the world-wide market can endow on the Premier League. The money that the organization could make from this proposed venture cannot be underestimated, and Scudamore’s tenure has coincided with an era of staunch selfinterest. Premier League clubs, and their equivalents in Europe, have recently succeeded in coaxing from FIFA a deal in which they will be compensated when their players are absent on international duty. The

Despite the best efforts of the Premier League Juggernaught, there remains fans for whom their local club is part of the fabric of their lives and for whom this new plan typifies everything that is wrong with English football

The news of last week is merely the most extreme step along this path, but as such will be the one to cause the greatest concern among the match-going public. Games at midday on a Sunday, with tickets at £50? That’s one level of inaccessibility games in Singapore at hundreds of pounds in travel and accommodation costs represent quite another. Despite the best efforts of those driving the Premier League juggernaut, there remain fans for whom their local football club is part of the fabric of their lives, of their home towns and regions. How can the Premier League justify wrestling away the aspect of locality that is so important to not only these fans, but the appeal of the Premier League also? As a follower of English football living here in Ireland, I accept that by the simple terms of geography, it is at a relative distance to me. And you know something? I don’t resent that, and nor do I feel that the Premier League would be justified in bringing a competitive game to me, be it at Croke Park, Windsor Park or Lansdowne Road. Another issue of course concerns logistics. In order to accommodate the idea of playing competitive matches far afield from England, the Premier League is exploring the idea of increasing each club’s fixture quota to 39 for the season, with each club playing this extra fixture on foreign, neutral soil. Of course, this seems to fly in the face of the league format, and it appears at first (and second and third) glance impossible to see how the Premier League can maintain equality within its competition under this proposal. For example, the club having to play Arsenal three times in a league campaign is surely at a disadvantage to that which is drawn to face, say, Wigan three times. The fact that the Premier League is willing to seriously consider these plans against such argument is indicative of its determination to push its division as a global brand. Recent events at Old Trafford showed that there remains some room for sentiment in football, but it is gradually getting ever more squeezed out. Perhaps back in 1992, when the Premier League was formed under the lingering shadow of the troubles

Premier League long ago began to erode the power of the FA in England, and rulings such as this continue to erode it further. Scudamore’s aptitude has seen the Premier League become the most successful football product in the world. He has a responsibility, as an administrator, to his employers. As football fans, we unfortunately still believe that men such as Scudamore owe us something. Sure, the better the product on the pitch, the greater enjoyment the fan will glean from watching the match, but as ticket pricing and the variation in kick-off times demonstrates, Scudamore is not focused on maintaining the sport’s accessibility to the traditional type of working-class football fan.

sportfeatures@trinitynews.ie


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ColoursPreview

Hilary term, Week 8

The Colours match: A lost opportunity Trinity’s Dr Gerald Morgan reminisces and hopes for a return to the glory days of Colours

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had the great good fortune when I came to Trinity in 1968 to have Robert Davies (Cowbridge GS) in my Old English Philology Option. Rob lived at that time in conditions of indescribable chaos at the top of the old Corn Exchange in Poolbeg Street with four untidy companions, including Frank Keane (Douai), a most elegant scrum-half but destined to break his leg the following year on two successive occasions.More to the point, he was the vice-captain of DUFC and was making his fourth

successive appearance in the Colours match that took place at Lansdowne Road on 4 December 1968. The match in 1967 had been a classic, Trinity winning by 12-11 and the brilliant Billy McCombe (the sweetest kicker of a rugby ball I have ever seen) the match winner. The Colours match in those days was one of the great occasions in Irish rugby. Sean Diffley wrote in ‘The Irish Press’ on 4 December 1968 that ‘even the most ordinary clash between Trinity and UCD since the series began in 1952 has been far above normal club standards’ and the entertainment was of a ‘far higher standard than the Oxford-Cambridge match at Twickenham. The great Paul MacWeeney in ‘The Irish Times’ was of a like mind, writing that ‘whatever the result ... this is one of the outstanding rugby events in Ireland’. This is surely confirmed by a cursory look at the two teams. Tony Hickie (St Mary’s) (a player I came greatly to admire) was at full back for UCD, Tom Grace (Newbridge) was on one wing and Joe Commiskey (Rockwell) on the other. Tom Feighery (Clongowes) was in the front row along with Peter Sutherland (Gonzaga) the captain,

Jamie Heaslip Leinster and Ireland It's been a couple of years since I played. I remember it being a big occasion from the club's point of view. We wanted to prove ourselves against UCD. The last time Trinity had won, my brother won the man of the match award. The Colours match was always good fun. I remember getting hit by an egg going onto the pitch. Its different to any game I have ever played in. I loved the party afterwards and the initiations in the Windjammer pub at 8.30 the next morning!'

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and sandwiched between them was John O’Hagan (St Mary’s), later a distinguished Bursar in College and still in the Economics Department. Con Feighery (Castleknock) was in the second row (where he was in 1972 to distinguish himself along with Willie John McBride in the Irish team that won in Paris on 29 January 1972). Fergus Slattery (Blackrock) was winning his first colour on one flank and the great Shay Deering (St Mary’s) was on the other flank. But the name that even so we most of all feared in the Old West Stand was that of the brilliant Henry Murphy (St Mary’s) at out half (keeping Frank O’Driscoll (St Paul’s) out of that position). What a team!! To pit against them we had ten of the victorious team of 1967. These included Gerry Murphy (Midleton) as captain for a second year (a rare event) , the brilliant Billy McCombe and the no less brilliant John Doherty and Chris Hawkesworth at No.8 (all of Campbell College), with Horace McKinley (Portora) as hooker. Horace (now Rev. A.H. N. McKinley) was a student of theology but sent from the field when captain for bad language in College Park on one memorable occasion). I listen to him

It is time for our supporters to support. We are not Oxbridge rejects and we are an Irish team representing the greatest of all Irish universities

occasionally these days at St patrick’s Cathedral when it is his turn to preach. He does so with the conviction with which he played. Rob Davies was described on the morning of the match by Paul MacWeeney in his imperturbable fashion as a ‘tall Welshman’ and ‘agile jumper at the line-outs’. The occasion did not disappoint, and I remember vividly the mounting excitement as UCD made desperate efforts to retrieve the match (won by Trinity 8-6) in the closing minutes, despite the efforts of a pedantic Welsh referee, Mr R. Lewis, to impede proceedings. Billy McCombe was once again the Trinity match-winner, scoring all eight points. Sean Diffley, after paying tribute to the ‘music loving’ referee, identified ‘the Trinity second row pair Rob Davies and Terry Smith (a headstrong player, apt to get sent off), who edged the battle for possession in the lineouts, and number eight, Chris Hawkesworth and wing forward John Doherty, although the latter was in the wars a lot’, as ‘the outstanding players’. Tom Grace scored an excellent try for UCD (I remember the try he was to score against the All Blacks in 1973, and many more besides), but Paul MacWeeney noted

Rob Kearney Leinster and Ireland

My older brother went to Trinity and at one stage I would have definitely consider going, but I'm now really happy at UCD in my final year. Playing in my first and only colours, it was a huge honour and it came with a lot of prestige. I was on the bench due to Leinster commitments and I think UCD did me a massive favour in giving me my colours. I remember getting a bit of stick from the crowd, but it was all part of the occasion.

that the Trinity defence was almost cast iron, and they were lightning quick in driving the loose ball through’. An especially pleasing photograph in ‘The Irish Times’ of one of the line-outs has a back view of Rob Davies’s head (a mass or mess of black hair, now grey). It seemed to me then (as now) that we were fully the equals of Oxford and Cambridge. But sadly the fixture was demoted in the early 1970s when it was moved to Donnybrook (crowd trouble being the convenient excuse). It is a loss for Trinity and UCD, and Irish rugby alike. If we look at the famous names in those two glittering teams surely we might think that there remains a real opportunity for the revival of the fixture to match its former glories. It is time for our supporters to support. We are not Oxbridge rejects and we are an Irish team representing the greatest of all Irish universities. I beg our supporters to give up the fatuous singing of songs to the tune of ‘God Save The Queen’. That can only inspire our opponents (as it would inspire any Irish team). Indeed, Trinity and UCD must combine if we are to make this fixture worthy of the traditions of our two great universities.

Hugo MacNeil former Leinster and Ireland The first year I played, Trinity won and I was getting an awful time having gone from UCD to Trinity. I think we played four times, winning three and drawing once. We had a very strong Trinity side. All the matches were very close, with little more than a score dividing the teams. The Colours was a wonderful experience, it's very hard to describe to people who aren't involved.

Smeeth: A Coach’s Colours P sssst …I have a confession to make, I never realised how important the Colours was until we actually won it last year! Like most of the players, I could not believe the impact it made on the Trinity community, students and particularly the alumni. In my time here we have won All Ireland leagues - Seniors and U20s, beaten Oxford and Cambridge on numerous occasions but nothing prepared me for the pure elation of our supporters when we finally put the Colours to bed for the first time in eleven years. It’s funny trying to talk about how important the Colours is, as I have spent most of the year downplaying it to my players, and that league points are THE most important thing to the club. As coaches Colours is certainly one game we have to motivate the players for. If anything we have to underline its

importance and try to get the players to focus on the performance, a very cliché thing for a coach to say, but very, very relevant for the team if they hope to win. Getting ‘psyched’ up lasts for about ten minutes or the first hit, and then you have to aggressively execute rugby’s different individual and unit skills if you hope to prosper. This is my tenth colours game as head coach of Trinity, and to be honest my record isn’t great at one win, one draw and eight losses. But as an extremely positive person (with a short memory!), I prefer to look at the past three games where our record stands at one win, one draw, and one loss. The past ten years here has brought many changes to DUFC we have become a semi professional organisation with a hard working academy: we have gone from Division four to Division one (for two seasons) and back down to Division two. Our U20s are annually one the finest in

the country (beating UCD six of the past seven games) and are the only Leinster club to have won the All Ireland U20s twice in the past ten years. Unfortunately for us, UCD have also prospered in this time period they have gone from Division three to Division one and have stayed there. They have attracted some of the country’s finest players, including possibly the best of all time, Brian O’Driscoll. They have led the way in very progressive, high performance, University team sports in Ireland. We at DUFC are trying to hang on to their shirt tails on the rugby end, yet in some aspects we may have overtaken them. All this could be used as an excuse for if you compare facilities, we do not really compare! Two weeks ago our U20s played in the impressive Belfield Bowl. We changed in what must be THE best changing rooms in Ireland, warmed up on one of

THREE floodlit rugby pitches in UCD and then played in the state of the art Belfield Bowl with its new floodlights done to European Champions league soccer standards. Needless to say our U20s beat them again for the third time this season 159, and in the victorious huddle afterwards it was particularly poignant to remind the Trinity players that rugby is all about people, of course facilities help but it’s the people/players who win matches and play the game. I tell this story as that is what the Colours is all about – it’s about players. It’s about ‘team spirit’ and it’s about ‘on the night’. As a coach it’s almost amusing as I always see the difference in the players’ behaviour when the Colours is close. It’s not just the starting XV but is the 2nd XV as well.You can see the extra effort being put in. It’s all about players trying to get on the 22

man squad for THE game. Selection can be a very difficult with about 30 guys thinking it is their divine right to be on the squad. Playing in the colours is the only way you can get your blazer in DUFC. Players suddenly start going the extra yard to get noticed. Guys start turning up at our early morning conditioning sessions in the Sports Hall. Players will hide injuries just to get a start. Looking at this particular Colours game, UCD will be as usual hot favourites to win. They are going well in Division one. They will have a huge edge in experience with several players over 25 on there squad and can call on members of the Leinster provincial squad. They have a big pack and are very well coached by former Leinster senior coach Bobby Byrne. Trinity have played some superb rugby this season. The backs have been as good as any I have coached here in Trinity. The forwards

have been hardworking but possibly undersized and we have been banged up with injuries in the past few weeks. The squad is very young with an average age just under 21. The oldest player is only 23. In the past three years or so we have matched up well with UCD, so let’s hope we can on this occasion. Lastly, I would like to appeal to the student body of Trinity College to come to Donnybrook and cheer on the lads in their moment of need. The crowd can make such a difference in games like this and a loud, vociferous Trinity student backing can only help the College to their second win in a row. We always get a great alumni backing, it would be great if the students themselves could get that special spirit that only proud students of Trinity College can engender, it can make for a great night to remember for everyone - that is for sure. Tony Smeeth, DUFC Coach

collegesport@trinitynews.ie


TRINITY NEWS

Hilary term, Week 8

CollegeSport

Belfield boys take the spoils

The Team DUAFC Dublin University: Michael Schroll, David Riordan (Ciaran Armstrong 80), David Hayes, Colin Hyland, John Lavelle, Simon Conheady (Daniel Moriarty 35), Edward Tinsley, Evan O’Reilly, Cormac Ryan (Hugo O’Doherty 65), Chris Allen (Stephen Brownlow 60), Barry O’Donovan. Subs not used: Gavin Kane, Danny Trimble, Ciaran Costello, Mark Kavanagh.

Two quick-fire UCD goals seal colours victory for visitors to College Park DUAFC: UCD:

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JOHN HUDSON CONTRIBUTING WRITER A bright opening that yielded two headed goals within the first 17 minutes paved the way for a deserved UCD win in the annual Colours soccer game at College Park last Wednesday. The victory means the Belfield side retain the David Faiers Trophy for the second consecutive year. While UCD dominated most of the first half helped by the early two goal cushion, Trinity were unlucky not to get back on terms after the break when first Chris Allen saw his spot kick saved by Billy Brennan and later winger Stephen Brownlow went close with two good efforts. But overall, the visitors - who defend their Umbro Colleges and Universities Premier League crown in next month’s final with Colaiste Ide proved the stronger side. UCD’s experienced Irish University internationals and Eircom League regulars Fran Moran and skipper Evan McMillen were the early scorers. Striker Moran availed of some slack Trinity defending to get on the end of a Mark Whelan cross from the right and head past ‘keeper Michael Schroll for the opener on seven minutes. Then ten minutes later the Trinity defence was caught out once again when it failed to pick up man of the match McMillen and, totally unmarked, he powered in a fine header from a well placed Ger O’Callaghan corner. O’Callaghan was causing major problems down the left flank for the home side as Dave Riordan and Simon Conheady struggled to contain him. Several dangerous crosses into the box were scrambled away by central defenders Colin Hyland and John

Lavelle. Trinity began to settle more into the game on the half hour mark and Evan O’Reilly and Ed Tinsley were doing well in their midfield battle with the more experienced Belfield pair of Kieran Harte and Conor Daly. Chris Allen was busy upfront trying to create openings for striking partner Cormac Ryan. First year striker Daniel Moriarty was introduced just before the break and he wasted little time in troubling UCD defenders McMillen and Pat Mullins the recently honoured FAI Schools player of the year - with some darting runs into the box. Trinity began the second half with a greater sense of purpose and Moriarty set up a great chance for Trinity to turn the game when he was taken down in the box by Mullins shortly after the break. But Billy Brennan saved brilliantly from Chris Allen’s spot kick. Winger Stephen Brownlow might have had more luck minutes later with two good efforts first shooting just over from inside the box after great play by Moriarty and then thumping a header off the bar. UCD had created very little in the half up to this but out of the blue they stretched the lead with a soft goal from Moran on 75 minutes. The striker got in ahead of the Trinity defenders and finished smartly after Paul O’Connor had a shot blocked by Schroll. The home side did manage a consolation goal near the finish when Ed Tinsley and Dave Riordan combined well to let Barry O’Donovan in for a close range header. But it was too little too late. The game ended in a disappointing 3-1 defeat for Terry McAuley’s charges who gave themselves such a mountain to climb after their disastrous opening 17 minutes. The side will now turn its attention to the Collingwood Cup, university soccer’s premier tournament, which takes place in Galway this week.

UCD: Billy Brennan, Rory Keaveney (Michael Kelly 80), John Bourke, Pat Mullins, Evan McMillen, Ger O’Callaghan, Mark Whelan, Kieran Harte, Fran Moran (Dwyane Wilson 85), Conor Daly (Paul O’Connor 65), David McMillen (Conor McEvoy 70). Subs not used: Jack Doyle, Sean Coffey, Paul Curtin.

MAN OF THE MATCH John Lavelle Despite only recently returning to the fold at Dublin University Association Football Club after an enforced absence of two years, John Lavelle proved a rock in defence. An elusive figure, never comfortable hogging the limelight, Lavelle calmly marshalled his often beleagured defence with well-timed challenges and clearances. Never known for his ability with the ball, Lavelle looked comfortable and assured in possession, supplying his midfield with a variety of deft touches. In his last colours match, this finalist certainly didn't deserve to be on the losing side, but fate works in strange ways. However, despite an unflattering scoreline, Lavelle's perfomance amongst others will give a demoralised DUAFC side a timely boost as they enter into home straight of their season.

Several dangerous crosses into the box were scrambled away by central defender John Lavelle (above left).Photo: Sportsfile

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TRINITY NEWS

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Hilary term, Week 8

ColoursPreview

“ ” It is difficult to describe what a Colours match means to anyone who has never experienced the 'buzz' that comes with being involved in an event steeped in such history and tradition. Whilst every match should be approached with equal determination and focus, the annual colours match is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited fixture for any Trinity student. Leading the lads onto the pitch in Donnybrook on Thursday 6th March will be an immense honour for me and one in which I simply hope we can give a true account of what we are capable of. Joey Burns, DUFC Captain

Hoping to pass with flying Colours JONATHAN DRENNAN COLLEGE SPORT EDITOR

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cholarship exams, Commons, the Book of Kells, the Provost and the lack of an Irish flag; all unquestionably unique to Trinity College, Dublin. The annual rugby Colours fixture against University College Dublin could once claim to hold nearly the same prominence in a student’s mind; yet today the prestige of the match has ebbed somewhat. Student interest in the Colours game has been on the wane in recent years, leaving a once rowdy Donnybrook eerily quiet in some gaping sections of the crowd. On March the 6th, Dublin University Football Club will attempt to revive a phoenix from the flames when they make the short journey to Dublin 4 to play UCD at the newly refurbished Donnybrook. Last year heralded the first Colours title for coach Tony Smeeth in his 10 years at Trinity, leaving the overwhelming favourites UCD nursing a painful sporting hangover that they will keen to relinquish. In 2007, DUFC entered into the Colours fixture in a slightly more optimistic mood, they were sitting in the upper half of Division 2, with their ambition for promotion still left relatively intact. A score-line of 16-13 gave Trinity the narrowest of victories over their opponents from Belfield, yet the game had an incredible impact over the club, giving DUFC a renewed sense of purpose to end the season. A young and largely inexperienced side completed their first season in the second tier of Irish Club rugby in 6th place, a highly respectable placing that would leave a solid platform for next year’s recruits. However, this season has been a mixed affair that has supplied their loyal support groaning and cheering in equal measure. As with many things to do with Trinity, DUFC are nothing if not completely unpredictable. Capable of a sublime running rugby on their day, Trinity enjoys an imperious back-line spearheaded by the dynamic halfback pairing of Captain Joe Burns at scrum-half and Johnny Watt at out-half. Standing at the side of College Park on a freezing Saturday, it’s often difficult to gauge the abilities of the Trinity forwards; due to wear and tear the unit is liable to change more often than Bertie Ahern’s confessions in court. Constantly matched against bigger opponents, the Trinity pack cannot be faulted for their bravery or tenacity, however, they are often out muscled upfront, leaving the back-line to live off infrequent scraps of possession. An untimely injury to flanker Shane Young has shorn the DUFC line-up of one of its most consistent performers. Recently surprisingly beaten by bottom side Old Crescent 12-16, after squandering a 12 point advantage cheaply, the club are now in previously unknown waters, wary of the prospect of relegation into Division 3 if their form doesn’t improve rapidly. The Colours match has been placed to the back of the 1st XV’s minds as they concentrate almost solely on their recovery plan starting with a home fixture against University College Cork this Saturday. A Colours victory against UCD should be savoured and enjoyed, Trinity remain the eternal underdog. James Joyce’s alma mater enjoy a gap of 17 places in the league tables, secure in their status of a Division 1 side. DUFC are fighting on a number of fronts, playing against a much older side who enjoy a far wider player base, Trinity need their student body to turn out en masse and support them through an incredibly daunting fixture. The odds are not in their favour, however, league form will count for nothing over a brief 80 minute period. The fixture is a one-off, a Cup final even, that is infinitely winnable on the day. For some players such as American imports Volney Rouse and Brian Barnard it will represent their first experience of Trinity’s sporting rivalry with UCD, for others such as finalists Max Cantrell, Ben Cunningham, Graham Murphy, Watt and Burns it could be their last. The rugby club’s season is on a knife-edge and there’s never been a better time to turn their fortunes around.

collegesport@trinitynews.ie


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