Mental Health Supplement
The power of blagging: UT Magazine finds out just how far a suit and some confidence will get you.
UT’s annual mental health supplement dedicated to tackling the stigma around mental health issues.
The University Times VOL. V - ISSUE III //
TUESDAY 22ND OCTOBER 2013
Trinity Set to Increase Fees for NonEU Students from 2014
UT Exclusive: Concerns have been raised about the financial impact of GeneSIS Project and will undergo an external review. >>News
D U Smoke?
Clare Droney Contributing Writer
The first increase in fee levels for non-EU students since 2009-10 Comparative analyses were undertaken which benchmarked our fees with peer institutions
he Board of Trinity College has recently approved the decision to increase non-EU fee levels for undergraduate and postgraduate courses with effect from the 2014-15 academic year The University Times has learned. At a recent meeting, the College Finance Committee agreed to the proposed increases in non-EU tuition fees. In considering the financial effects of the proposals, members highlighted the positive impact of the increased fee levels on Trinity’s finances. The Committee also highlighted the fact that this will be the first increase in fee levels for nonEU students since 2009-10. Following the agreement of the Committee, the Board of the College subsequently approved the decision earlier this month. College representatives have defended the fee increases and are confident that the move will not have a negative impact on Trinity’s Global Relations Strategy. The Global Relations Strategy seeks to support and develop “Trinity’s global reputation as a leading university”, with a focus on internationalisation, building partnerships between Trinity and educational institutions around the world and attracting non-EU students to the college. Students’ Union President Tom Lenihan has commented on the decision to increase tuition fees for Non-EU students, noting that “it is a step taken not unlike what Trinity’s counterparts have done. “Given the initial success of the Global Relation Strategy the risk level that this would deter poten-
tial international students is low. It actually reflects how attractive Trinity is with our expanding international community,” he continued. Trinity has recently conducted a student survey in relation to current non-EU fee levels. The findings of the survey indicate that fee levels were not the most important consideration for non-EU students. A statement on behalf of College asserts that: “Monetary factors were not strong influencers of the decision to come to Trinity while reputation of both Trinity and the chosen course was. Tuition fees and cost of living came sixth and eighth respectively out of a list of ten factors influencing study at Trinity.” College is confident that the increase in non-EU fee levels is in line with Trinity’s counterparts, stating that “comparative analyses were undertaken which benchmarked our fees with peer institutions. Based on the survey results, the comparative analysis and the fact that there has been no increase of fees in the past four years since 2009/10, College has decided to increase the non-EU fee levels for postgraduate and undergraduate courses.” The annual undergraduate tuition fees for non-EU students studying at Trinity College are currently €15,950 for courses such as Law, Psychology or Two Subject Moderatorship while fees for Engineering or Mathematics stand at €20,900, for example. While Trinity’s Finance Committee and the Board of the College have approved the decision to increase non-EU fees, the details of the new fee levels have yet to be announced.
MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
Leanna Byrne interviews a spokesperson from DU Smokers about the proposed Tobacco Free Trinity. >>InFocus
Trinity Collge Dublin (TCD) Mental Health Week is being launced this week. One in three young people will experience a mental health problem at some stage. The week aims to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to encourage students to get talking. Trinity College Students’ Union (TCDSU) will have interactive stands and volunteers in the Arts Block, Hamilton, James’s and D’Olier St throughout the week and a schedule of Mental Health themed events. The theme this year is “It’s Time To Talk”. TCDSU Welfare Officer, Stephen Garry, wishes to remind people that “there’s always someone here to support you. Photo by Sinéad Baker
Health Centre Faces Introduction of Service Fee Due to Lack of Funding Fionn O’Dea Senior Staff Writer
Chronic” underfunding and staff shortages may lead to the introduction of a nominal fee for use of the College Health Centre according to Director of the College Health Service, David McGrath. The centre currently employs 3.2 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) GPs (a ratio of 1:5,312 students) down from 3.8 FTE GPs (a ratio of 1:4,032 students) when McGrath’s tenure began in 2006. Free on-campus primary health and psychiatric care is offered by the centre between 09.30 and 16.30 on weekdays, catering for approximately 110 students on daily basis. “We have always resisted charging for the basic consultation but in the wake of our fellow Universities going down this road it is difficult to see how we can avoid the imposition of a charge,” McGrath told The University Times. UCD, for instance, introduced a payment system for use of its Health Centre in September 2009 to “enable [it] to maintain [its] current level of medical services and
‘Prinking’: An indepth analysis into the social phenonmenon Conor O’Donovan takes a humorous look at the ‘prinking’ trend. >>InFocus
also provide a platform for additional services” after the position of providing free care became untenable. The current economic difficulties are also reflected in the increased waiting time to avail of the service here. “The implication is obvious and is reflected in the average waiting time for a routine appointment rising from two and a half days in 2006 to almost two weeks in 2013.” This also represents a week longer
Space shortages and potential administrative cut-backs are of grave concern on average than three years ago. “Another factor is the changing demographics of the student population, with an increased proportion of international students and students from non-traditional backgrounds. These students, in particular the International Post-Graduate students, are disproportionately higher users of The Health Service.”
Space shortages and potential administrative cut-backs are also of grave concern to McGrath. “Administratively, the Service struggles to cope with a huge administrative workload and are currently awaiting a decision on Maternity Cover for a Senior EO who represents 0.9 FTE of a total of 2.6 FTE. Losing over a third of the resource is simply an untenable position.” Minutes from the final College Board meeting of the last academic year, meanwhile, reveal that the Director of Buildings has received several proposals for an expanded centre though “premises for the College Health Centre were not in the present capital projects portfolio as there was no money for the project.” The current Health Centre was built 25 years ago to cater for a college community of no more than 10,000. The service currently caters for a combined population of over 20,000 students and staff. Of the proposed charge, McGrath said that “should it be imposed on us, it would certainly be critical
to align any such charge with the provision of premises.” He continued that although “college has provided excellent modern facilities for Student Counselling and Careers in recent times, the Health Service has been left behind.” He suggested, based on support given by previous Student Unions, that SU support for the introduction of a nominal consultation fee in the region of €10 could be considered “were College to match this funding in the shape of modern premises.” Minutes from a Student Services Committee meeting held last February confirm that: “The Trinity Foundation had been asked about financing but there was no agreement for fund-raising as yet.” It was determined that “a well -functioning health centre was essential to student well-being in College” and that the issue of the Service’s premises should become a priority item for the Committee. Dean of Health Sciences, Professor Mary McCarron, agreed on this date to champion the proposal.
From Target to Triumph Joe O’Connor, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), discusses moving the target away from students in Budget 2014 >>Opinion
Trinity secures silver
Ian O’Connell reports on Trinity’s success at the European University Clay Court Championship in Paris. >>Sports
UT News Credits
Editor Leanna Byrne Deputy Editor Vladimir Rakhmanin Online Editor Conor Murphy Editor at Large Colm O’Donnell News Editor Hannah Ryan
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
HEA rectifies unauthorised salary payments Hannah Ryan News Editor
he University Times has learned of agreements in place between Trinity College, the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to rectify unauthorised allowances paid out to senior staff by the University between June 2005 and April 2009. These findings were published in a report by the Comptroller & Auditor General, dated September 2010, detailing breaches of public sector pay procedures and norms across Irish universities. The report reveals that “overall, in the academic year 2007/2008 the salary costs of the universities exceeded €1 billion”, and further explains: “While universities have authority to determine the number and grading of staff, the Minister for Education and Skills, with consent of the Minister for Finance, must approve the
salary scales applied by each of the universities.” It was discovered that the universities, Trinity included, to varying degrees “did not strictly adhere to the requirement for ministerial sanction”, for example in paying senior staff unapproved wages. For instance, the report outlines the situation with regards the former Provost of Trinity, John Hegarty: “Between 2002 and 2006, the Provost was in receipt of salary and allowances in excess of that approved by the Ministers...Between 2004 and 2006 the Provost received €6,944 in excess of rates sanctioned by the Minister. The remuneration paid to the Provost in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was within the limits approved by the Department.” Sarah Moroney of the Department of Education and Skills stated: “The issue concerning unsanctioned allowances in universities generally was the subject of a hearing of the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts
in September 2010 following publication of a report by the Comptroller & Auditor General. “In a subsequent audit exercise, excess payments to senior staff in the sector in the period between June 2005 and February 2011 were identified. In the case of TCD the University has confirmed that the unsanctioned allowances have ceased.” At the September 2010 meeting of the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts, which was attended by representatives of the seven universities and at which the report was discussed, Dr Hugh Brady (President of UCD) defended the additional wages paid out by UCD, explaining that: “The other allowances were not gratuitous add-ons to salaries. They were paid for substantial added management duties, such as being head of a college or head of a school, particularly after restructuring of the university. The payment of higher responsibility allowances is
It was agreed by the Department of Education, on foot of consultation with the Students’ Union and the HEA, to put a number of arrangements in place to deal with the excess amount paid out to staff.
common in the education sector.” Similarly, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report mentions that the Staff Secretary of Trinity in August 2005 wrote to the HEA noting that: “The allowances that are paid over and above the basic rate are generally associated with a particular post, for example, Head of School, Dean or Tutor.” It was subsequently decided to review the remuneration arrangements regarding special positions in universities. Nevertheless it was agreed by the Department of Education, on foot of consultation with the Students’ Union and the HEA, to put a number of arrangements in place to deal with the excess amount paid out to staff. This would involve 50% of the sum being applied to “a range of studentrelated supports”, while “commencing in 2013 the remaining 50% will be retained by the HEA from the recurrent grant allocation and disbursed to the sector according to terms similar
to those applying to the Strategic Innovation Fund, with a focus on sector-wide initiatives.” When asked to comment on whether Trinity is currently facing sanctions from the Department of Education, the TCD Communications Office stated only that “Trinity has not been fined in relation to the payment of unauthorised allowances.” Introduced in 2006 with the aim of bringing “greater transparency and equity to university funding,” the Recurrent Grant Allocation Model (RGAM) of distributing funding to universities works on the basis of student numbers weighted by subject and resource-intensity of courses, and the level of disadvantage in the student population (this includes students with a disability, mature students and people who face social, economic or cultural obstacles). A standard amount per university is then determined according to available funding.
Features Editor Ludovic Dawnay Opinion Editor Samuel Riggs Sports Editor Conor Bates Magazine Editor James Bennett SUPPLEMENTS EDITOR Shauna Cleary Chief Copy Editor Michelle O’Connor Multimedia Editor Cailan O’Connell Photo Editor Andrew Murphy
Labour Youth Challenges Government Cuts to Social Welfare Hannah Ryan News Editor
Social welfare for job-seekers under the age of 26 will be cut, to €100 for those aged 24 and under and €144 for 25-year-olds
he youth wing of the Irish Labour Party, Labour Youth, organised a demonstration last Friday morning to protest the proposed cut to social welfare for under26-year-olds announced in Budget 2014. The protest took place outside the Dáil, following a similar protest last Wednesday by several youth groups, in which Labour also took part.
Speaking to The University Times, Ciarán Garrett, Recruitment Officer of the National Youth Executive (NYE, responsible for the day-to-day running of Labour Youth) and the organiser of Friday’s event, commented: “I am very happy with how [the protest] went, there was a great turnout.” It was announced last Tuesday that, as part of Budget 2014, social welfare for job-seekers under the age of 26 will be cut, to €100 for those aged 24 and under and €144 for 25-yearolds. Labour Youth released a statement following the announcement, declaring this cut in social welfare to be “regressive and counterproductive in terms of aiding the recovery of the Irish economy.” Asked if he is optimis-
tic that Labour Youth can persuade the government to reverse this decision, Garrett said: “I feel that we have a very strong chance if we just keep up the pressure. I urge young people to contact their TDs and say that they are unhappy with the cuts, as TDs may respond better to pressure from voters.” Labour Youth National Chairperson Aideen Carberry further stated last week that: “It is also fundamentally unjust that young unemployed adults, who are eligible to vote and required to pay income tax, are expected to accept lesser payments than their older counterparts. It runs counter to the intergenerational solidarity that Irish society should be built on. “Young people have suffered enough throughout the economic crisis. They
Aideen Carberry Labour Youth National Chairperson
“Young people have suffered enough throughout the economic crisis. They suffer mass unemployment, emigration, little prospect of owning their own home in the near future and serious mental health problems. They are graduating from college with little prospect of work in their chosen field and are taking up work in low paid precarious employments in order to make ends meet”
suffer mass unemployment, emigration, little prospect of owning their own home in the near future and serious mental health problems. They are graduating from college with little prospect of work in their chosen field and are taking up work in low paid precarious employments in order to make ends meet.” Carberry continued, “In my experience from talking to young people, they do not relish the idea of claiming social welfare. They want to work. They want to contribute to society. They want to be in a position where they can pay taxes and spend money in the local economy. Taking money out of their pockets will only depress the economy further and create further problems for this generation in the future.”
On the group’s plans to continue opposing the welfare cuts, Garrett stated: “I am confident that the Labour Party are doing their best to get this cut reversed. We are hoping to meeting with Tánaiste Éamon Gilmore early this week to lobby him, and hopefully we will get some improvements from this meeting.” Trinity Labour are currently promoting a petition to stop the cut to the social welfare for young people through social media platforms. The petition is directly targeting the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, and asking her to “reverse the social protection cuts for young people”. The petition currently has over 100 signatures and supporters claim that “we didn’t cause this crisis and we will not pay for it any-
more”. Labour Youth will also be taking part in the “We’re Not Leaving!” assembly in Liberty Hall on November 9, along with new student movement Youth Lockout and other groups. The assembly, hosted by the Young Workers Network, aims “to build a campaign that unites students, young workers and the unemployed to address the youth crisis, to produce a youth charter, which articulates demands to be placed on representative bodies, the state and society – and which articulates a divergent social vision from the path of austerity Ireland on behalf of young people, [and] to build a democratic infrastructure on the basis of this charter that can reinvigorate youth politics locally and nationally.”
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
Tobacco Concerns raised about financial impact Free Trinity of GeneSIS Project; college responds Town Halls Begin Finn Keyes Current Affairs Editor
he first of the Town Hall Meetings on the proposed Tobacco Free Trinity (TFT) Project took place last Wednesday morning at 10am and the voice of those present indicated a growing groundswell of support for the measure which has become the subject of widespread debate across campus. Though a majority of the meeting indicated a preference for the proposal, only three undergraduates were present, the subset of the college community
In Favour where the measure enjoys the least support. Furthermore, the low turnout allowed members of the TFT committee to dominate discussion. The meeting styled itself as an independent and non-prescriptive consultation but this came into question from the very beginning of the meeting when attendees were presented with leaflets on how to quit smoking. However, the meeting provided an insight into the motivation behind the proposal. Members of the committee, in defending the proposal, were most keen to stress the potential
Proposal much more popular amongst staff (65%) than undergraduates (50%)
impact of the ban in denormalising smoking among students and making it easier for students to quit. The prestige of the college was
mentioned as a secondary issue. The main objections raised to the proposal were practical rather than principled, with only two students, both undergraduates, questioning whether such a measure was a proper exercise of College power. Issues raised were: crowding at the entrances, policing, residents and a possible loss of business for the Pav. While these issues were discussed, with policing seeming to be the matter of most concern, no definitive solutions were found. The same objections were voiced at first Council where the TCD Health Promotions Officer, Martina Mullin, presented TFT as a discussion item. The issues raised were to be used in further consultation. The University Times has
Phase 1 of the new Project plan will be completed in late 2013 or early 2014
Hannah Ryan News Editor
37% A Against
also obtained a breakdown of the survey of college members last May on the feasibility of the project. While overall College was split 54% in favour, 37% against and 9% unsure, the proposal was much more popular amongst staff (65%) than undergraduates (50%). Unsurprisingly, of respondents who identified themselves as daily smokers, 86% were against the proposal. Tobacco Free Trinity urges students to show up in greater number to the next meetings, the first of which takes place at 5pm on Tuesday 22 October in the Smurfit Institute, LTEE 3, followed by another meeting at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd in the Edmund Burke Theatre.
college representative has spoken out about concerns that the cost of a new student information system being implemented will be detrimental to College as a whole. The University Times has heard that GeneSIS, a “key strategic project” of College, is expected to have amassed expenses of €12 million by the time it is completed. The GeneSIS website states that the project has been “prioritised by the Provost and the College Board”. At a meeting of the College Audit Committee in May of this year, concerns were raised about the financial impact of this, the effect these spendings will have on college activities and whether the eventual outcome of the project will justify the cost. In response to these concerns, a representative of the Project Committee stated: “GeneSIS is a very large change system… Its prima-
ry purpose is to enable academic and administrative staff to enhance the student experience by achieving efficiencies in how College gathers, holds and transmits student information through the integration of activities in areas such as student admissions, student fees, student records and accommodation along with the integration of associated business systems. “Due to its size and complexity, the project has been phased in over a number of years… Over the past 14 months, modules including course information, admissions (CAO offers & direct applications), student finance (fee calculation & collection), course and exam timetabling along with student records have been successfully delivered, and two registration cycles have been undertaken, with our students now completing significant amounts of their administrative business with the College on-line and in real time via their “MyTCD” accounts.” When the new system
went live in August 2012, it was initially thought that the project would cost €10.8 million to carry out. However, “In September 2012, the Project Governance Board identified that further funding would be required to optimise the system deliverables and to bring the Project to completion.” It was subsequently decided that an external review of the Project would be carried out, “the terms of reference of which included project deliverables, timelines, budget and governance arrangements.” Following the recommen-
dations arising from this review, the Project Board set out a revised Project Plan, which was considered and approved by the College Board in June 2013. Phase 1 of the new Project plan will be completed in late 2013 or early 2014, “at an additional cost to College of €1.2m.” Deliverables under Phase 2 of the revised Plan will be considered at a later date. “The revised Project plan and governance arrangements, which include the appointment of an independent project monitor who reports directly [to] Board, both acknowledge and address the concerns expressed by the Audit Committee,” the statement continued.
At the meeting of the College Board on May 29, at which the new proposal was first presented, the Provost mentioned the “additional cost” attached to the establishment of the Academic Registry. A new Project Governance Board was proposed at the meeting, the membership of which would be decreased “in order to ensure it operates as effectively as possible”, and concerns were expressed about the failure to include a Students’ Union representative. The Board, which has since been set up, does not include a student representative but a User Working Group has also been established and is attended by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Un-
ion Education Officer Jack Leahy as well as a representative of the Graduate Students’ Union. President of TCDSU, Tom Lenihan, said: “The success of the project is given huge priority by the Board and there have been efforts made to correct the mistakes of last year. It is a significant undertaking by the College and it is expected that such projects of this magnitude can encounter difficulties in its early stage. “We aim to have a representative on any committee where key decisions are made by College and as such Jack, our Education Officer, sits on the User Working Group which has been set up and has had its initial meeting.”
Impeachment Referendum to be Held on SU Presidency of Tom Lenihan Vladimir Rakhmanin Deputy Editor
First impeachment referendum to take place in the history of the Students’ Union.
rinity College Students’ Union (TCDSU) has released a notice of referendum with the motion, “do you support the removal of the current SU President from office?” The Electoral Commission (EC) will be organising the vote. Campaigning will begin at midnight on Friday 25th October and end at 8pm on Friday 1st November. Voting will take place in St. James’ Hospital, D’Olier Street & Tallaght Hospital on Wednesday 30th October and on campus 10am8pm Thursday 31st and Friday 1st. The votes will be tallied that night and the result returned as soon as possible. The Union will fund both sides of the campaign equally at a level deemed appropriate by the EC. Individuals have come forward to campaign for the
NO side, but a campaign manager for the NO side has come forward. The referendum is being held as a result of an emergency motion being passed at SU Council last Tuesday. The motion was proposed by Stephen Hatton, LGBT Rights Officer, and was voted on by class representatives via secret ballot. In his speech on Tuesday, Hatton stated that ‘there was unrest among the college community over the current presidency’. He stressed that a referendum would be ‘the only way that this controversy will be put to rest for good’, and that,
Sciences Convenor, spoke against the referendum. They noted that the referendum would ‘damage the reputation of the SU’, ‘cause unrest among the students’, and would be ‘a disastrous idea’ if the SU was to create cohesion. Class representatives Claire Donlon and Lorcan Dunne spoke in favour of the motion, stating that the referendum should not be a ‘witch hunt’, and stressing the need for a democratic process. Hatton’s proposal at the SU Council is unrelated to the previous petitionbased impeachment campaign led by Eoin Silke.
TCDSU President Tom Lenihan “If this referendum were not to be held it would deny students to have their say”
regardless of the outcome, the result should be recognised as ‘the voice of the SU’. Several speakers debated the issue at Council before the vote took place. Tom Leahy, Finance and Services Officer, and Donal McGlacken Byrne, Health
Speaking to The University Times, Silke stated that he was no longer able to coordinate the campus-based campaign due to his placement outside the college. Nevertheless, he noted that he would still like to get involved in the new campaign as much as possible,
and ‘was very pleased’ that Hatton proposed the motion. Tom Lenihan issued the following official statement as a response to the matter: “A vote will take place in the coming weeks on my position and whether or not I should be impeached. I believe that this
vote should take place as it is every member’s right to question the President of their union. I welcome Council’s decision to hold a referendum on my tenability. It gives every student a vote and a voice on the issue. If this referendum were not to be held it would deny students to have their
say. I believe in a transparent union. I believe in an accountable union. It is in the interests of the students that this matter be resolved. This referendum has been enacted through appropriate channels and I am happy that students will be able to vote.” In his closing remarks at
the SU Council, Tom Lenihan also stated that the incident occurred during ‘a difficult time in his life’, and that resigning would have been ‘the easy way out’, due to the large amount of work that needed to be done with the SU during the summer. This will be the first im-
peachment referendum to take place in the history of the Students’ Union. The last SU Sabbatical Officer to be impeached was Ivana Bacik in 1990. She broke a mandate received by Union membership by voting for a different candidate at a Union of Students in Ireland conference.
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
Trinity Students Plan for 12th Med Day Running New Political Charter Seeks Large-Scale Reform of Irish Universities Tom Myatt Staff Writer
Issues of: Underfunding Commercialism Managerialism
Sinead Baker Deputy Online
his year’s Med Day will take place on Friday, November 1. The campaign launched last Friday the 18th of October; this was attended by sponsor Barry Devlin (former member of Irish band the Horslips) whose job it is to publicise the launch and spread the word about Med Day’s work. Med Day is a charitable organisation run by a
committee of 16 medical students in Trinity, with the aim of raising money for local healthcare projects. The day is closely connected to both the School of Medicine and Biosoc. This year over 600 students will be engaged in fundraising efforts both across campus and throughout the city. This November is the 12th anniversary of Med Day, which over the years has raised more than €500,000 for worthy healthcare projects with-
in Trinity College and causes affiliated with the college’s teaching hospitals. Funds raised this year will go towards Targeted Cancer Therapy for patients with lung cancer in St. James’s Hospital, the Burns Unit in St. James’s Hospital and Falls Assessment and Prevention for the Elderly in Tallaght Hospital. Med Day also contributes towards Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and works with TAP to hold an outreach day in January to encourage
an interest in medicine among these students. Committee Member Rebecca Geary spoke to The University Times about the importance of Med Day and of all students getting involved. “Med Day is a great chance for students all across campus to support these worthy causes. It also provides us with the opportunity to give something back to the hospitals where we train. Please help us help patients in need by supporting Med
Day on November 1.” The day begins as early as 6.30am with collections taking place all over Dublin, from Howth to Tallaght to Dun Laoghaire. A variety of on-campus events have been arranged, including a sponsored swim in the Sports Centre and bake sales in the Hamilton, Arts Block, and Tallaght and James’s Hospitals. Games will also be taking place on the cricket pitch at lunchtime and there will be a slave auction in
the Pav in the evening, as well as ‘Med’s Got Talent’ in the Ed Burke Theatre. A night out will be taking place for both collectors and non-collectors. Three female students have agreed to get the Med Day logo tattooed onto themselves, and one male student has promised to get a nipple piercing, if they raise €1000. More information can be found on tcdmedday. com. A timetable of the day’s events will be released closer to the date.
new political movement has been launched by a group of academics at Dublin City University which seeks a number of sweeping reforms to third-level education in Ireland. Defend the Irish University, led by Professor Ronaldo Munck, is soon to launch a public petition to the Irish Government with a comprehensive ten-point agenda. The group’s formation is a reaction to what it calls “massive underfunding combined with commercialisation and managerialism” in Irish universities. The charter’s extensive proposals aim to move third-level institutions away from what the group considers to be an economic approach to education. The campaign also aims to ensure universities focus on the “dissemination of knowledge” and begin “engaging communities and addressing social disadvantage”, as well as transforming institutions into “dignified and collegial workplace[s] free of surveillance and control and the arbitrary degradation of working conditions” for academic staff. Creeping centralization and regulation of
Maintenance Grant Escapes Further Cuts in Divisive Budget Fiona Gribben Staff Writer
he Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has welcomed the Government’s decision not to cut the student maintenance grant any further next year. The decision was outlined in Budget 2014, announced last week by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. USI President Joe O’Connor said, “This budget marks a turning point. After four cuts to the maintenance grant in four consecutive Budgets, the Government has accepted that struggling students and families can take no more. “Throughout our campaign we have highlighted
the fact that education is a public investment, not public spending,” he continued. “The maintenance grant, meagre as it is, allows those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to attend third-level, to earn a degree, to have improved career prospects and contribute to our economic recovery.” Trinity College Students’ Union President Tom Lenihan said, “We welcome the fact that the maintenance grant has not been cut but there is still work to be done in ensuring we have a fair and equitable education system. Fees going up and dole cuts have not given young people a reason to stay in this country. It is up to us to uphold education as being the path to
economic recovery, make our voices heard and say, ‘we are not leaving’.” Further news that the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) has been retained and enhanced is “an encouraging sign that the Government is listening to what people have been pressing for; education that gets people back to work,” said Joe O’Connor. Moreover, the new Budget reconfirms that the student contribution charge for third-level institutions will increase by €250 to €2,750 next year. However O’Connor has vowed to “continue to campaign for this fee to be benchmarked against economic recovery and reduced to pre-crisis levels.” Vulnerable young people
who are not in third-level education have faced a hit as there is to be a lower dole rate of €100 per week for under-25s; critics of the government have labelled this a policy of forced emigration. O’Connor commented that: “Young people, who have had nothing to do with the crisis this country now finds itself in, were punished in yesterday’s Budget for past mistakes. Many highly-skilled, highly-qualified young people who are unable to find work due to the lack of opportunities now face a reduction in their social welfare payments, and a lowering of their social floor.” Furthermore, the muchdiscussed Youth Guarantee has been granted €14 mil-
lion in the Budget, widely regarded as being insufficient to provide work for the 53,800 officially unemployed youths in Ireland. The Youth Guarantee is a State-backed promise that within four months of becoming unemployed a young person will receive an offer of a job, training, education or an apprenticeship. Youth guarantees have proven to be highly successful in reducing levels of youth unemployment since they were introduced in a number of EU member states in the 1980s. O’Connor said, “The €14 million euro allocated in yesterday’s Budget is a positive first step, but it should be only a starting point. If the Government wish to incentivise young people into
education, training and the workplace, they must first ensure that these opportunities are available to all.” In total the Government has saved €2.5bn in spending cuts and tax rises. It is the third Budget for the Fine Gael/Labour coalition and potentially the last austerity Budget of the bailout era. Despite a heavy Garda presence in the capital on Budget day, no sizeable protest at Leinster House materialized as the day wore on. At the end of his speech, Minister Noonan said the country was “well along the recovery path and it is time for us as a nation to look forward to the future.” However opponents have described the budget as anti-elderly, anti-women and anti-young people.
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Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi
Monday, 14:00, Arts Block 4012
Monday, 14:00, GMB
ON MONDAY, Metafizz (the Philosophers’ Society) will host a discussion on the question: ‘can a computer think?’ This will be done with reference to John Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment, which argues against the possibility of strong artificial intelligence.
Leading geneticist Dr Mario Capecchi received the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in recognition of his work in using targeted mutation to engineer mice in which specific genes are turned off – or, in more comic-book-esque parlance, ‘knockout mice’.
Send an email to
This week in societies Chinese Room Discussion Group
the Irish higher education system has also been targeted by the organization, stating that this simply prevents universities from creatively spreading knowledge. The new campaign comes amid the controversy surrounding the new budget, which has cut funding to the education sector by €31 million for 2014. While the Government maintains that this remains vital to the economy, the move has seen a negative reaction from students, who have created a number of opposition campaigns to the move. Speaking to The University times, Defend the Irish University stated that although the movement for this charter was founded by academics, they are encouraging as many students as possible to join the campaign and sign its petition for reform. They went on to say that “the arguments put forward here are of direct relevance to the lives of all of us engaged in academia and of relevance to the kind of society we wish to live in, in the future.” Controversy has quickly sprung up around the campaign, with those in opposition stating that better university management benefits rather than hinders the education process, and viewing the petition’s ten aims as being excessively ideological. Given the nature of group’s ambitions, the debate in the coming weeks is likely to expand into the management style of the public sector as a whole, rather than simply universities.
by Anna Harrington
Demonstration Mock Trial Tuesday, 16:00, Museum Building, M20
LAW SOC will be hosting a demonstration Mock Trial on Tuesday. The case scenario used is based on the famous trial of the music producer Phil Spector in the US, who was convicted of murdering the actress Lana Clarkson.
Scrubs’ Sam Lloyd Speaks to the Hist
Trinity Hiking Pub Crawl
Wednesday, 16:30, GMB
Thursday 24th of October in the Pav @ 20:30
SAM LLOYD, the actor who plays Ted on the sitcom Scrubs, will be addressing the Hist on Wednesday. Lloyd’s other credits include performances in The West Wing, Desperate Housewives and Malcolm in the Middle.
Trinity Hiking shall start in the Pav, and then embark on a trek through some of Dublin’s finest licenced premises. Free refreshments, food and baked goods will be provided! The best part of the night, however, is that fancy dress is strongly encouraged, and there will be prizes for the best costumes as chosen by our judges.
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Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
Our house, in the middle of the street The Government’s plan to eradicate the all too visible problem of the city’s homeless. Caoimhe Gordon Contributing Writer
y local homeless have become disturbingly familiar. A lone women bleating a feeble, “Help me” to passers-by, the young man extending his empty McDonalds cup, the bearded pensioner wrapped in his sleeping bag - how had their lives come to this position? Was anyone trying to help them get their lives back on track? As October 10 was World Homeless Day, I decided to investigate further. This global day of awareness was established in 2010 and has since been marked in over 100 countries. However, this idea of commemoration was utterly unclear. The website
states: “There is no central organisation of events or activities or actions on the day internationally, such that: ‘Locals act locally on a global day.’” Why draw attention to such a huge issue if there was no plan to remedy the problem? And what was the Irish government’s view on the whole affair? The current government are planning on ending long-term homelessness by 2016. This strategy was revealed in February and focuses on property leasing, access to the housing stock left in the hands of NAMA and making the move from emergency shelters to transitional houses a much faster experience for homeless people. The government firmly believes that this goal is completely achiev-
able even though their predecessors, Fianna Fáil, a government with far more resources, predicted that they could end homelessness by 2011. Despite the fact that this highly ambitious strategy was devised in co-operation with Focus Ireland and other charities, the Dublin Simon Community revealed in September that the number of those sleeping rough were at an all-time high in the city. The figures recorded a
88% leap in the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin’s inner city between July and September this year huge 88% leap in the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin’s inner city between July and September this year, compared
to the same time last year. Furthermore, there was a 66% increase in the numbers sleeping rough in the area between Jervis Street, Harcourt Street and Amien Street in the first half of the year. On one of their weekly night counts of the number of those sleeping on the street just last month, they were met with 85 homeless people and they added that this figure did not include the “hidden homeless” – those who squat, or stay in hospitals or 24 hour internet cafes. Those who fight to end the daily tribulations of the homeless, such as the Simon Community, had great concern about the Government’s homeless funding in this year’s Budget. Much to the relief of these organisations, the homeless budget for 2014 remained unchanged at €45 million for the year. The Government also announced they will be seeking public money for the purpose of funding ‘stable homes’ for the homeless. However, many
believe that this still is not enough – a lot has to be done before this situation can be rectified. And to those who reject this article, who spurn the
Simon Community, who are comfortable in their beliefs that all homeless people are vagrants to be ignored, drunks or drug addicts, I offer this quote from
Dustin Hoffman: “I mean, I don’t think I’m alone when I look at the homeless person or the bum or the psychotic or the drunk or the drug addict or
the criminal and see their baby pictures in my mind’s eye. You don’t think they were cute like every other baby?”
How much would you pay so naked photos of you wouldn’t surface online? Aisling Curtis Contributing Writer
D U Smoke? Leanna Byrne Editor
he greatest virtue that smokers have is their dedication to the freedom of choice. Above anything, to smoke is the right to inhale harmful substances that puts them at the risk of not only lung cancer, but a long list of various different types of cancer and a high chance of cancer recurrences. It is the liberty to shorten your life expectancy; the simple privilege of coaxing your body to procure heart disease. Smokers go against the grain to make sure that this poisonous freedom remains unrestrained because they are not fighting for the product itself, but the ability to consume it. The freedom of choice is a crucial principle for the new “Facebook lobby group” Dublin University (DU) Smokers as they are committed to providing a platform for Trinity smokers to oppose the proposed Tobacco Free Trinity (TFT). DU Smokers currently has 363 likes on Facebook and post battle cries such as:
“We shall fight on the Arts Block benches, we shall fight on the cricket pitches, we shall fight in the squares and on the cobbles, we shall fight in the Pav; we shall never surrender” on their wall. This is all very cynical and for the most part amusing, but the question is are they serious? I wrote to DU Smokers to request an interview with one of the creators of the Facebook page. They agreed to an anonymous interview with one of their spokespersons, which I thought was fair. The first thing he told me was that DU Smokers is in no way ‘pro-smoking’. The page was started “for the craic”, just to highlight how ridiculous of a proposal they found TFT to be in a cynical, albeit, mediocre way. According to him TFT is “the most ludicrous thing that has come out of Trinity since I started”, but acknowledged that the proposal probably had the best interest of the students at heart. Then what is the problem with TFT? Well, it would create a type of nanny state for smokers; an attack on a
subgroup of students. “I hate the idea that the authorities want to interfere so much with my health,” he said. “It’s my body, I choose to pollute it as I will. I’m not doing anything illegal.” But surely, discouraging people from smoking is a good thing in itself? He assured me it was as it’s an awful habit. DU Smokers fully support removing the logos from smoke packets and even agree that taxing their favourite product is a progressive step, but telling a smoker that they cannot smoke in an open space is an absolute disgrace. “If you want to be really cynical about it let’s stop the security car from driving around campus because of its CO2 emissions and a cocktail of other fumes. If you’re in the city centre you’re going to be exposed to a whole load of fumes anyway, so what’s the point in a smoke free campus?” In fact, he went on to say that having a smoke free campus is distracting people from the broader issues. To illustrate this, he
asked me if I was at the Pav on Freshers’ Week. Admittedly I was. He drew my attention to the “hammered students” that were there that night - the same could be said for most Friday nights. Whereas a smoker could smoke 20 smokes a day and the only damage that does is to yourself. “I won’t start a fight and get sick. I’m pretty sure
It’s my body, I choose to pollute it as I will. I’m not doing anything illegal.
that if somebody drank 20 cans they would have a wider impact on their environment, especially in Trinity. People really go over the edge and get as locked as possible.” On top of that, he assured me that TFT would be a fire hazard as it would
mean that the residents would just be smoking in the comfort of their rooms. “The idea that somebody comes back from the pub absolutely pissed and says to themselves that ‘I would like a cigarette, but I can’t do it in the open’ and then they have a smoke in their room, they fall asleep and suddenly the bed sheets are on fire. Although, that’s probably a very extreme example…” Apart from the principle of the matter, the spokesperson was very sceptical about 300 students gathered on Nassau Street, spilling out onto the road for a smoke. He reminded me that when they brought in the Arts Block seating area “the authorities” tried lightly to enforce nonsmoking and that the effort absolutely fell by the wayside so much so that it is now the cornerstone for the Arts Block smokers. “If college are finding it difficult to police one tiny segment of a small square in Trinity, then I don’t know how they’re going to to police an entire campus. There are little places you can go to smoke. Security have enough to do.” Furthermore, if it isn’t security that are policing the smokers, it would be the students spying out their own fellow students. Very 1984 if you ask our spokesperson.
However, the idea of TFT is not to alienate a social group, but to change their ways. If students are forced to leave campus for a cigarette then they might just kick the habit altogether. The DU Smokers spokesperson disagreed, stating that was “unrealistic” and that students are still going to smoke: “In a situation where you have deadlines and a lot of work to do, if you want to take a product, which you are legally entitled to use if you want, the idea that you have to walk all the way out to jostle with the crowds of smokers congregated out on Nassau Street to have a cigarette, then it’s a pain in the arse beyond anything else”. So, will DU Smokers be making an appearance at the Town Hall Meetings organised by TFT to voice their concerns? Naturally he would, but on an individual basis, not as a “prosmoking lobby group”. The last thing he wants is to upset or outrage anyone because everyone knows somebody that has died of cancer. Lastly, I asked him if he was ever going to quit himself. He mused over this for a minute and told me that every smoker intends to stop smoking at some stage. “No smoker wants to be 40 and still smoking.”
t sounds like something muttered in a frenzied Orwellian whisper by a person in a tinfoil hat: “they’re watching us!” Increasingly we execute our lives in cyberspace, however; our daily minutiae recorded with painstaking detail via blog or Facebook or Twitter – or all three. But every development has a dark side, and with the advent of the technological era comes one that is perhaps more pervasive and dangerous than any that has come before: that of the webcam hack. In April last year, a 17-year-old Irish girl’s computer was allegedly hacked by a 19-year-old American man, who used her webcam to capture photos of her undressing; he then blackmailed her into stripping for him via Skype, threatening to circulate the nude photos unless she did what he asked. Ultimately, she did. To discover more, the author made an account with HackForums.net, one of the biggest hacking sites on the web and a cyber home away from home to over 400,000 members. In the online world, cyber-spying via webcam has its own name: ratting, named after the remote administration tools the hackers use. Amongst the 27 million posts hackers ask others: to share their “loot”, exchange tips for “infecting” the hottest girls, and post pictures of “slaves” - the chilling name given to their hacking victims. Once your computer’s been infected – which can be done easily; accidentally clicking on a spam link is all it takes – the hacker essentially has remote access to everything on your hard drive. Typing in your online bank details? They can record the keystrokes. All your notes, essays, dissertation? Could be deleted in one maliciously childish act. And forcing you to strip for them via webcam is not necessarily the only form of extortion they could use.
The problem hit the headlines only last month, when Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was targeted by a hacker looking to extort nude photos of her. Wolf got the police involved and her hacker now faces trial after paying $50,000 dollars for bail. Unfortunately, the ratters are rarely caught, as the ease of creating an entire network of fake email addresses and usernames allows them to skulk unnoticed in the shadows. And if somebody does spot something strange it’s easy for them to cut and run, disabling the technology and vanishing into the ether of the ‘Net with whatever inappropriate info they’ve managed to accrue. So how do we know we’re being hacked and how do we avoid it? Unfortunately, not all computer web-
You don’t need a degree in computers to secretly watch people undress
cams have a light to show they’re in use. Anti-hack experts suggest putting a bit of tape over the camera if you really want to be safe rather than sorry; but for those of us who don’t like displaying our paranoia so openly, make sure your security software is up to date and don’t go clicking on any dodgy download links, no matter how much you’re dying to watch Breaking Bad. Though it once was the realm of the paranoid, we should all probably start taking a little more care when we’re online. These hacks aren’t complicated operations; you don’t need a degree in computers to secretly watch people undress. These days all it takes is a pinch of boredom, a dash of weirdness, and the ability to Google, and a hacker’s empire can thrive. At that stage, the horrors you could be subjected to – and the things you could see – are limited only by the imagination of that most terrifying creature: the creep with the most basic knowledge of a computer’s tricks.
The University Time //
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Students supporting themselves face a cut to their lifeline from the government Cailan O’Connell Multimedia Editor
hree years ago I walked through the front arch of this college for what felt like, but in honesty was certainly not, the first time. What made this instance seem so distinct from the rest was that I was about to embark on day one of what I expected would be a four-year journey, one which held the potential to change me as a person in ways I probably didn’t fully comprehend at the time. In my three years here I’ve learned an immeasurable amount both about my field of study and about myself as a person. I’ve been given the invaluable opportunity to “be somebody” and to excel at something, in however parochial or even quarantined a setting. In short, these last three years have been the best of my life. So much of this experience has been founded on a distinctly goal-orientated model of advancement. We use essays and exams as stepping-stones to our progression, a bridge to the other side of the river where a degree awaits to ferry us into the big wide world ahead. As students, those stepping-stones should be
our principle concern. As for the financial side, we have the support of our parents to fall back on for at least a little while longer while we find our footing in the world. For those of us whose parents cannot give us that support, the maintenance grant has always been there as a ballast, keeping our education afloat. We rely on that to sustain us while we build up the skills and the life experience necessary to be able to repay a social debt accrued in the interim. What happens, though, when this support system no longer serves the desired purpose? We’re all well aware that there are flaws in the system. We know that things are only set to get worse. Each of us knows someone who has had their education negatively impacted by changes to the grant. It seems as though we see more instances of it every day. This morning, less than a month into my final year, it happened to me. Since I was sixteen I’ve supported myself on the back of part time work. It paid for my meals, my books and my transport to and from school. In that respect, the self-sufficiency that came with college was not an entirely new pros-
pect for me. Being able to live on my own for the first time was a refreshing and extremely welcome prospect, one which I jumped at almost immediately. My grant and the support I received from the Trinity Access Programme, alongside my income from part time employment, made this possible. They have continued to make it possible right up until today. Last year I earned just over €6000 in part time employment. My grant amounted to a further €3025 (a considerable reduction from the expected €5915) and I received a €750 bursary from the Trinity Access Programme. All things told I’m living on less than €10k per annum or less than €200 a week, including rent. It’s a modest sum, but it’s definitely workable. My parents are not a tangible part of my life and have not been over the last three years. It’s not the ideal model but I get by perfectly fine without parental support, both financial and psychological. It has been that way since I started college and the grant has always been the lifeline allowing me to stand on my own two feet. This year my mother effectively disappeared from
my life altogether. She moved to Utah, we cut ties and her income in this
In the government’s eyes, my ongoing selfsustenance is not call for reward and furthered support country ceased. As a result, after three years of trying to convince them, the coun-
cil finally agreed to assess me on the back of my own modest annual income. Unfortunately this came with a catch. This morning, I was told over the phone that the council had awarded me my grant for the 2013/2014 academic year. I was told, casually and without ceremony, that the amount of my grant had been reduced once again, this time by a staggering eighty percent over the last two years. Now, for the first time an independent adult in the government’s eyes (at the fresh-faced age of twenty-one), I am seen as a candidate who is a) not in receipt of social welfare
and b) lives adjacent to college. In quantifiable terms my circumstances have not changed. I am a student, supporting myself in the same way I always have. Living in the same place I’ve lived since 2010. Yet, in the government’s eyes, my ongoing self-sustenance is not call for reward and furthered support. It’s not something to be held up as a much-needed quality in the generation about to inherit a society very much in decline. Instead, it’s a call to cut the lifeline. After investing hugely in my education over the last three years, the government have deemed it fitting to leave me in a posi-
Aimee Jay Contributing Writer
I Wise words from the ‘Owl Lady’ Sinéad Loftus Contributing Writer
Ruth Potterton, a veteran Trinity librarian, has recently retired.
ost students will remember, at their library lecture, a silver-coiffed woman with a toy owl under her arm marching up to the podium. This tradition will end as Ruth Potterton, more affectionately known as the ‘Owl Lady’, has retired recently after forty years of service as a college librarian. Ruth came to Trinity doing General Studies in 1967. She worked as a student shelver and by third year, she owned her own set of keys to the library. After graduating in May 1971, she returned to Trinity to continue as a member of the Readers’ Service. Ruth soon inherited the job of mentoring student shelvers and graduate trainees who quickly became lifelong friends. She has been President of DU Ladies Hockey Club for more than two decades. The owl collection began in 1992 when Ruth made her first pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago with MS Ireland, a journey she has made every year since. “I considered it a once off,” she said, “when I thought of Spain, I thought of beaches
but North Spain was different. The landscape is stupendous.” It was there that she noticed small owl figurines and bought a few. In the following years, a few became many. “It just mushroomed from there,” she explained, “people started buying me owls. Professor of Sociology, John Jackson, collected hippos and he encouraged me to buy more owls. I bought him hippos and he bought me owls. It grew from that.” The owls created an approachable image: “When I moved into the front office, they wanted a presence and the owls created that. The door was always open and students trounced in and out. I think the owls made me more approachable, hopefully students would think ‘she can’t be a total ogre’. First years don’t want to appear to be foolish by asking a question in their library class so I would hope that when they’d see the owls, they would remember me.” Does she have a favourite? “I have owls from all over the world,” Ruth explained, “beautiful Spanish ones, one made of cork from Panama, another made of shells that was a gift from Thailand from a student. MS Ireland presented me with a stone one in Santiago. Great fun getting it home!” One of her utmost favourites is a clay owl that was made by a class in a rehab centre where a
student from Social Studies worked. Ruth added that she even allowed staff members to keep an owl upon her retirement and fondly mentioned that the Phil borrowed an owl for their Freshers’ stand. “You have to be human,” she said, “they’re a bit of fun. There were always two owls in my office that were filled with chocolate bars which people ate, whenever shelvers were having a bad day. It’s about the students and the staff and I’d rather do things that they wanted and to heck with the rules and regulations.” On the topic of the library, Ruth discussed how much an effect staff cutbacks and automated issues has had. “Staff used to know the students’ names but that’s not the case anymore. It also saddens me to hear lecturers saying, ‘you need to read this, it’s up on Blackboard’. To me, university was about browsing and reading around the subject.” She also discussed the wealth of material that Trinity has. It not only holds books and manuscripts but other famous items such as Daniel O’Connell’s hat, J.M. Synge’s typewriter and one of Oscar Wilde’s desks. “We need to sell those aspects a bit more,” Ruth said, “Cases full of books turn people away. Objects, books with intricate pictures are what people want. Not everything we have is out there, we have four million other
items and hopefully they will attract more people to study here. There is so much more beyond the doors of the Lecky.” There’s no denying what Ruth will miss the most. “Definitely the people,” she said, explaining how she enjoyed helping students to think outside the box. “If a student had a project and were struggling, I would ask them if they had checked the newspaper, the archive is there.” One of her most rewarding times in Trinity was when she answered the some 8,000 emails that reached the Duty Librarian every year. “It’s about going that extra mile for someone when you don’t have to”. The queries ranged from Latin Primer keys to books on paddle steamers and the history of soda bread. “When in doubt, ask Trinity Library!” she said, “They just might have it!” Finally, I asked Ruth if she had advice on the Camino for students. “Give yourself time,” she advised, “it’s not a race. You meet people who walk 40km everyday and wonder why they keel over after six days and have seen nothing.” She said to try some of the quieter routes. “Smell the flowers and talk to the locals. They are so proud of it and want to share it with people. There’s a huge sense of community. It has been commercialised, of course, but to the elderly in the villages, it’s important”.
n a small town in the north of Ireland, the wee hours begin to set in as the street lamps flicker into judgement of the night before. Two women, middle aged, assertively make their way up the littered main street. Quietly and quickly, they pass the Friday night patrons - who, for various reasons, remain. Perhaps some stay because their unbuttoned, sick-stained shirt is somewhat uninviting to a taxi man. Others linger on in denial, refusing to let their dashed hopes and dreams of a Friday night give way to Saturday morning sobriety. Then there are those who sit happily consuming a cold curry and chip, which, affording them more comfort than the night ever could - is reason enough to stay. The women, unconcerned and uninterested in a world admittedly forgotten by them, confidently make their way to a much more lively scene. As they take their place amongst the many others, they prepare to stand their ground if the matter should arise. After all, they are in a crowd that will need the very bouncers who had an easier time pacifying the rowdy publicans of the night before. It is 4am on the last Saturday of September and my mother and her friend begin their seven hour wait for One Direction tickets. At its conception, the queue was comprised mainly of eager teenagers and desperate parents. At the very top were two sixteen year old girls. Under their makeshift tent of beach chairs and blankets they proudly announced that they had been there since 6pm the previous evening. A grandmother handed out plastic cups and poured tea from her flask all while doting on her precious grandchildren. The wait was worth it, of course, the wee pets, sure weren’t
they wonderful? One husband and wife duo secured their spot in shifts. Every hour one would relieve the other of waiting duty and retreat to the relative comfort of a nearby car. A
The wait was worth it, of course, the wee pets, sure weren’t they wonderful?
grown man, evident- l y needing to avail of the public toilets, paced in his claimed pavement square frantically - too stubborn to lose his space. While swapping stories of previously failed attempts to get the golden tickets, cursing Ticketmaster, cursing the glory Santa Claus would get for their endeavours; a momentary
tion where I may very well have to cut my education short, where their money may end up going entirely to waste. This is not an isolated problem. I’ve seen it happen to several of the students around me and unfortunately I expect to see it even more going forward. What’s worse is that that’s just the beginning. As we move out into the world as graduates, it seems that supports for students and graduates as a whole are steadily dwindling. This is why so many of our peers are emigrating, running away from a country that seems unable to provide them with a future. The ironic and some-
what sobering truth is that, given my proposed grant of €1215, my best investment would probably be a plane ticket. I know that this sum certainly would not get me through the year in rent, food, bills and books. So what other options do I have? It seems to me that our government is failing us in a more alarming way than ever before. I am a young Irish person who wants nothing more than to stay in my home country. The sad fact is that neither my education nor my life going forward seem to have a future here. That leaves me saddened, scared and more than a little bit angry.
unity began to knit in the crowd. For this brief early period – they were a family of adults questioning their own sanity. They were a band of brothers on a quest. That is until the day began to break. An hour before the tickets were due to go live, the shop owner made his way into the venue via the side entrance. Rumours began to trickle through the crowd – would he be opening early? Would everyone get a ticket? 10am came and went without the expected opening. Bouncers made their way to the head of the queue to confer with the manager (having been struck down by a car the month previous he was in still crutches, and badly bruised; when later faced with the wrath of angry parents he would consider which experience had been the most exhausting blow). There was evidently something wrong. Twenty minutes later, the mob splurged against the counter. The computer systems, having temporarily failed, were
revived just when all hope seemed truly lost. Meanwhile, worried latecomers had attempted to wriggle deep into the queue. The neat orderly snake of people protruding from the doorstep of Top 40 burst in volume. Fear began to set in. Adults began to shamelessly skip. Handbags were being used to wedge women back into their rightful spot. The two sixteen year old girls originally heading the queue now stood isolated from the crowd. It took their crying pleas and the help of the bouncers to bestow them back to their position of former glory. The ‘family feel’ of the early morning had all but gone. As the shop assistant shouted out groups of seating tickets people growled, taking whatever they could get before triumphantly filtering their way back into freedom. My mother, successful, left with the final two tickets and a sense of triumph that kept her at the edge of reality for the rest of the day.
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
A Scholarly Guide to the Foundation Scholarship Exam Amy Worrall Guest Writer Amy Worrall, Secretary to the Scholars outlines how Scholarship isn’t actually about wielding swords, fighting dragons and grazing your sheep in Front Square.
adly no, as a Scholar you don’t get to wield a sword. Nor do you get to demand bread and ale during exams or graze your sheep on College grounds. And finally, you certainly don’t get access to the catacombs under Front Square or to the College cellars! But we allow the legends to prevail. So, what is the Foundation Scholarship? It’s always good to start at the beginning. When Trinity College, Dublin was founded in 1592 the Foundation Charter cited the Body Corporate as consisting of the Provost, the Fellows and the Scholars. Since then, the Scholars have always been part of the College although numbers have fluctuated. Up until 1609 there were approximately 51 Scholars and later this was fixed at 70 Scholars. Those seventy Scholars were to be elected on Trinity Monday, alongside the newly elected Fellows of the College. Eventually, these 70 Scholars would be deemed the Foundation Scholars (who are members of the Body Corporate) and any Scholars elected above and beyond the re-
quired 70 were known as Non-Foundation Scholars. Both Foundation and NonFoundation Scholars enjoy the same privileges and rights, but only the Foundation Scholars are officially considered part of the Body Corporate. What are the privileges? That is often the most pertinent question and usually the deciding factor for those considering sitting the scholarship examinations. First, Scholars have their College fees paid for (this refers to the tuition fee, not the USI, Sports Centre and commencement fees). A non-EU student will have their fees reduced appropriately to the fee level of an EU student. Second, Scholars have the privilege of a room in College free of charge (though they still pay charges on utilities) for 9 months of the year. Third, Scholars can attend Commons, an evening meal, each weekday in the Dining Hall free of charge. Fourth, Scholars received an annual stipend of €253.95 and fifth, Scholars may use the post-nominal letters “Sch”. If a Scholar is unable or unlikely to avail of either Rooms or Com-
mons they may request cash in lieu for these privileges. Finally, all of these privileges are available for a potential total of 5 years. What happens if I get the Scholarship? Scholarship is one of the most highly valued traditions in College and we are often reminded of the more successful and distinguished Scholars alumni, such as Edmund Burke, Samuel Beckett, Senator David Norris and Chancellor Mary Robinson. The celebration of the tradition is most felt on Trinity Monday; following the announcements newly elected Scholars attend the Provost’s garden party, play marbles against the
Sadly no, as a Scholar you don’t get to wield a sword Fellows and return in the evening for the Scholars and Fellows of the Decade Dinner. Here newly elected Scholars sit with Fellows and previous Scholars of the Decade of similar disciplines. Why on earth would Trinity College be so generous? There is absolutely no doubt that the Foundation Scholarship of Trinity College is the most prestigious and generous scholarship available in the country. A
principal aim of the College has always been the pursuit of academic excellence and one of the most tangible demonstrations of this is the institution of Scholarship. Due to the longevity of the scholarship it is also a fantastic stepping-stone for postgraduate education, which the College values greatly. Okay, I’m in: What do I have to do to get the Scholarship? There have been some changes in the exam format since its inception (it used to be completely confined to the study of Classics, it also used to grant exemptions for annual exams to anyone who got a 2.1 or higher etc.) but over time the exam and the application process has been tweaked. It is now available only to Senior Freshmen students. Examinations usually consist of between 7-9 hours of exams across 3-4 different papers. The examination is described as a “searching examination”, testing your ability to critique, analyse and provide a little extra than the average regurgitation of what was on the slides. Many subjects include case studies, special reading or specific topics that require personal research ahead of the exams. That said, each department to their own once those basic requirements are met. Check in with your department or course website and see if they have details about the scholarship exam online. If not, contact the course office to find out
Photo by Nicole Campbell Sch. who sets the papers and what’s needed. Past papers are available online and are possibly the most useful asset available to you, as they will give you the most concrete representation of the searching standard which the scholarship exam will demand of you. What are the important dates? Application opens on November 1 and closes at 5pm on November 15, 2013. Application forms will be available online
The ‘Prinks’ Phenonmenon has done nothing to dissuade guests from refusing to leave. This newspaper understands the situation is compounded by people’s confusion over what is deemed acceptable in the resulting hybrid context. Much was made of the recent incident which saw several overzealous prinkers take to a kitchen island for want of a dance floor. According to the host’s friend from Law, both parties conceded it came down to an “insensitively selected playlist.” Those
Pre-drinks events are becoming more diffused with growing numbers attending more than one in an evening
Illustration by Alicia Mitchel Conor O’Donovan Contributing Writer
s another year group enters their Sophister years, changes to their daily schedules have led to upheaval in their early evenings. The desire to go out and get “absolutely sophisticated” is still strong amongst the student body; the problem appears to hinge on the act of leaving the house. Students are happy to attend ‘pres’ (can also be a verb, as in ‘where are you pre-ing?’) with the friends they wish to speak to, but reluctant to go to a club, to meet people they don’t want to see. Once a transitional measure for students, as
drink prices continue to make building the hype prohibitive to those on a budget (even more so after the Budget), pre-drinking has taken an unprecedented shift to the fore. Those lucky enough to secure oncampus accommodation were initially inundated with requests for prinks but were soon supplanted by events in suburbs. In general, pre-drinks events are becoming more diffused with growing numbers attending more than one in an evening if there are enough nearby. However, even those who only make it to one are instantly 40% less likely to go out, with a 15% increase in inertia for each extra event they attend. Recent statistics also show that fewer than one
in five Junior Sophisters recognise more than five in nine people they see on the Couches in any given forty-minute interval. Many point to this alienating atmosphere in the search for causes (rumour has it the recent Arts Block fire drill was in fact a guerilla class reunion orchestrated by TSM Latin). While the above figures do not account for the fuzzy cubes on the upper floors of the Arts Block, isolation from their peers is a growing concern for new Sophisters. Friend groups have been hit hard by losses to Erasmus, unfortunate living arrangements, the realisation that people are quite strange as well as conflicting timetables. Widespread reluctance to host all-out house parties
hoping for romance must also contend with unprecedented obstacles. “We’re both really into each other, but it’s hard to be intimate in a kitchenette,” one such bemused prinker remarked. Another interviewee described how a similar situation fell through when their partner became overly aware of those Instagramming around them. For another unfortunate couple it came down to the fact that “neither of (them) were comfortable with how well lit it was.” It appears the right atmosphere is hard to come by with most interviewees agreeing one can only set the scene for so long. Faced with these problems, others have prioritised keeping up with those they know. This has seen pre-drinking assume a more symbolic significance. “We weren’t sure if we were going to see each other again” was the con-
sensus among a group of Sophisters taking questions on their decision to head to pre-drinks on Frederick Street at midday: “we all had class after, but a family pack of crackers and a demi-Vichy of San Pellegrino each and we were fine.” Many have expressed fears that this is setting a dangerous precedent amidst reports of a Junior Sophister who polished off three quarters of an “edgy” bottle of Drambuie over breakfast. It is understood they felt a night in Strangeways sometime that week was “definitely in the offing”, also adding they’d been making “these sort of shouts” since their days in preparatory school. Despite the confusion, it appears forgoing pre-drinks entirely does not sit well with the new Sophisters, this newspaper discovered. The response was similarly negative over at the Museum Building where another Sophister likened pre-drinking several times in one evening to long shore drift “except without the word that rhymes with drift” in what UT believes to have an attempt at being coy. A group of students dining in The Buttery dodged the question by impersonating the Goulash. The only conclusion to be drawn seems to be that the situation will get worse before it gets better. Students may well remain all hyped up with nowhere to go (that’s decent craic) for quite some time unless we take our habits in hand. For the time being rock up late, pour that can into a glass, take to the kitchen island and enjoy yourself because there is almost definitely no one in town. All facts and quotes have been fabricated, obviously.
and must be submitted to the Academic Registry. The final date for withdrawal from the Scholarship examination is November 29 2013. The examinations take place from Monday, January 6 until Friday, January 10 2014. Although often some exams are scheduled in the previous week! What can the Scholars help you with? The Scholars’ Committee have set up an initiative for current Scholars to provide one free tutoring
sessions or a group tutorial to scholarship examination candidates. The service will be subject to supply and demand (considering the number of Scholars versus those wishing to sit the examination) and it is hoped that current Scholars wishing to volunteer their services will liaise with departments in order to contact those who have applied to sit the scholarship examinations. Exam Success and Support:
Why You Should Know About: TCD Nanoscience Mark Doherty Contributing Writer
ver the course of the past ten years, Trinity CRANN (the Center for Research Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices) researchers have been quiet explorers in the corner of Trinity’s campus; pushing to become leaders in international nanoscience research. October 24 will see the launch of AMBER (Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Centre). AMBER is a €50m new nanoscience department within CRANN, Trinity’s nanoscience hub. This is again from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) which funded CRANN a decade ago with €100 million. CRANN might be unknown to the average Trinity student, however in the past decade its successes include obtaining €50 million in international and EU grants, launching five successful spin-out companies, placing over 50 patent applications and, awarding over 150 PhDs in the past five years alone. AMBER will largely direct the course of research of CRANN over the next six years towards developing new materials for use in computing, medical devices, energy and pharmaceuticals. CRANN’s success is reflected in Ireland’s rank as 6th in the world for Nanoscience research. The University Times met with Professor Igor Shvets of the Applied Physics Research Group to learn about what they do and its relevance of nanoscience in society. The first thing we learned is that the term nanoscience itself is something of a contentious issue. The name is a popular buzzword which implies the study of objects at the nanoscale. That is the study
of objects between 1 and 100 nanometres in size. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. CRANN’s 10th birthday cake puts this scale in perspective. However, the study of several biological and chemical systems fall within the nanoscale range and are (arguably) not considered ‘nanoscience’. The term ‘Material Science’ is perhaps better suited for much of the research being carried out at TCD’s CRANN Institute. This work seeks to extend the boundaries of what was previously believed to be possible from these nanoscopic materials. Understandably, it tends to be ambitious large scale applications which grab both imagination and media attention. However CRANN is lucky to have SFI funding which allows the separation of fundamental and industry-application research. Fundamental research seeks to extend the boundaries of knowledge of a material; industry-application research builds on this to develop a product or application which can be taken to the market place . The number of research groups at CRANN leads to much variety in the fundamental research which is taking place. The name alone of most of these areas would send the average head spinning. ‘Novel Materials’ is one particular area of fundamental research. Within this topic, research has been carried out on the properties and potential of graphene. Graphene is a one atom thick material. It currently boasts being the strongest, most impermeable and most conductive material available. It is two hundred times stronger than steel. This fundamental research led, earlier this year, to TCD securing a leading
All exams are pretty stressful, make sure to have sources for advice and support on hand; your Tutor, the Senior Tutor, the College Health Service, the Student Disability Service, the Chaplaincy and the Students’ Union Education and Welfare Officers are all on hand and happy to help. This year the Education Officer will be running the Exam Success campaign and will be serving tea and coffee around the Scholarship examinations to keep everyone on their toes!
role in the €1 billion EU Graphene Flagship Project. The aim of this is to develop industry application for this wonder material. This material could be the future for faster and thinner electronics, paper-thin smartphones and internal medical devices. If existing materials used in cars and aeroplanes can be replaced with a much stronger, lighter alternative, fuel costs will be significantly reduced. This fundamental research led, earlier this year, to TCD securing a leading role in the €1 billion EU Graphene Flagship Project While much of this research remains theoretical there have also been several successes to date. Deera Fluidics, Cellix Ltd and Miravex are three of CRANN’s five successful spin-outs and these all emerged from the Applied Physics Research Group. The focus of the majority of research carried out by Professor Shvets’ Research Group is fundamental research, designed to extend the boundaries of understanding of physics; this research is not necessarily aimed at producing a spin-out. When an idea for a product does emerge, it typically takes five years to develop into a working product and spin-out company. There are many reasons to be interested in the Nanoscience department. Economically, nanoscience accounts for an estimated €15 billion or 10% of Irish exports and is linked to the future security of 250,000 Irish jobs. Socially, nanoscience could present a solution to the impending commodity crisis. This relates not only to fossil fuels but also to rare metals. Our modern lifestyle is forcing the rapid expiration of essential metals (Platinum: 15 years, Silver: 20 years, Uranium: 40 years) without which we cannot maintain our standard of living. Nanoscience is leading to more efficient use, greater recycling and innovative alternatives to these essential metals.
The University Time
Three different experiences of chugging Anonymous ex-charity workers discuss lying to the elderly, four o’clock starts and generous salaries Ben Shegog Contributing Writer
t slightly throws the people working for Concern International on the streets of central Dublin when you ask them whether they have a minute to talk. Although their replies are more friendly than the ones they’re used to receiving from the pedestrians around us, none of them are able or willing to talk about the work they’re doing. Instead, they are swiftly and smoothly referred on to their uniformless ‘team leader’ who appears out of the crowd on Grafton St who’s much happier to answer any questions. Concern International is Ireland’s largest aid agency which owes its high profile status to work in Haiti after the earthquake, Biafra during the war back in the late ‘60s and more recently with some of the 1,000 Syrian refugees arriving in Lebanon every day. Despite this international presence most Dubliners are more likely to recog-
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
nise the charity from their encounters on the street with one of Concern’s smiling, clipboard-wielding representatives trying their hardest to start a conversation. The debate over what charities like to call ‘face to face contacts’, (who have increasingly become know as ‘charity muggers’ or ‘chuggers’) has been ongoing for the past decade. The massive industry which generated over €153m in the UK alone last year has remained controversial since its introduction in the late 1990s. A quick Google of the word ‘Chugger’ brings back a whole wave of articles debating the increasing number of ‘charity muggers’ on the streets of all major western cities. There are thousands of columns and blogs dating back over the last decade discussing the morality, the effectiveness and the irritation caused by these overly enthusiastic, dayglo clad individuals. Because of the ongoing media interest the arguments for and against this form
of fundraising are probably quite familiar by now; is it moral for someone to be paid to emotionally blackmail people on the street? Are they an important link between an increasingly apathetic public and the massive percentage of the world suffering from hunger, health problems or emergencies (the three areas Concern International identifies as its focus)? Instead of rehashing all of these arguments, I thought I’d go and talk to some of the Concern workers to find out what it was like. Having wandered around Dublin for a few hours (probably one of the few times someone has actively searched for a charity mugger) I had to resort to a Facebook status asking for people to contact me when they encountered one. It didn’t take long for someone to point me in the direction of the Gaiety Theatre. Sadly, none of the Concern workers were interested in talking. Nor was I allowed to take any photos of them. Instead I
talked to the young Brazilian who was running the team of five workers. He seemed interested in the article and enthusiastically answered my questions about an average day for him and his team. Irritatingly, talking to him was a little like talking to the Concern homepage. I wasn’t expecting him to talk about how awful or demoralising it was as a job, but it still felt like he was talking in set phrases as he repeated the word ‘fulfilling’ every couple of sentences, and avoided answering questions on wages and commissions, even claiming to ‘sort of like the rain’. The one admission he made was that Concern had a very high turnover rate of employ-
Working my current job big businessmen of Dublin town as a waiter and bartender is a hell of a lot less soulless than being paid to try and raise money for charity.
I decided to turn to some of the Trinity students that had worked for Concern or other charities with a presence on the street. Fortunately, lots of people had a friend who’d been attracted to this kind of work either for philanthropic reasons or by the high wages.
ees, and that the job wasn’t for everyone. Although this was frustrating, it was understandable. In an industry where positivity and energy are of great importance, you can hardly blame him for not wanting to present a negative image of his current employer, and to be honest, he probably didn’t want me taking up any of his team’s time. To try and get a more detailed version of what working as a ‘charity mugger’ was like
Chugger: I only worked for them for three days, during which I got paid for three hours each day (at perhaps €11 per hour), even though I had to show up to their headquarters at four o’clock, and I wasn’t finished until nine. After three days, I had spiralled into an insane grumpiness and I just walked in to give them my notice; couldn’t bear another evening of it to save my life. Although commissions were quite
generous, I never made more than one ‘link’, as they call it, so I didn’t receive anything extra. The thing I hated the most about it was that it was so ethically problematic. My team leader was the same age as myself, he was incredibly enthusiastic but quite abrasive. He would basically tell lies, especially to the elderly, trying to convince these people in their homes that he had personally seen poverty-stricken children being turned away by the government. It was all ridiculously sensational. He had no real understanding of poverty and was astounded when I admitted that I would have found it difficult to spare the €12 a month for charity myself. In addition to this, the experience of knocking on people’s doors was very invasive, and I found
THE IRISH TIMES
THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS SIMON CARSWELL SUZANNE LYNCH MARK HENNESSY DEREK SCALLY LARA MARLOWE MARY FITZGERALD CLIFFORD COONAN PADDY AGNEW MICHAEL JANSEN TOM HENNIGAN BILL CORCORAN GUY HEDGECOE PETER CLUSKEY RAHUL BEDI DAVID MACNEIL PADRAIG COLLINS
WASHINGTON BRUSSELS LONDON BERLIN PARIS DUBLIN BEIJING ROME THE MIDDLE EAST SAO PAOLO JOHANNESBURG MADRID THE HAGUE NEW DELHI TOKYO SYDNEY
THE IRISH TIMES THE STORY OF WHY
it difficult to summon up the wiles to persuade the (mostly elderly) people, who often had trouble getting to the door and who sometimes thought I was a relative, to part with their pension. Well, first off I probably wouldn’t think of myself as a charity “mugger”. Actually, working my current job as the corporate slave of the judges, lawyers and big businessmen of Dublin town as a waiter and bartender is a hell of a lot less soulless than being paid to try and raise money for charity. I worked for Focus, the biggest and most effective charity for the aid of the homeless in Ireland, who had a strict code of ethics but a definite standard of practice among their employees. I would definitely work for them again! How-
ever, I think there should be ethical standards of interaction and Garda vetting. I think that I learned more about the world from a month or two in that job than any time spent behind a bar. ‘I worked as a door-todoor fundraiser for concern for about a month during the summer. It was by some distance the worst job I’ve ever done. It’s a near impossible task of staying chatty, informative and convincing while dozens of doors are slammed in your face and you’re told to fuck off a hundred times a day. While the money was good, and everyone I worked with was great, the job was just too bleak to stick with longer than a couple of weeks. I needed the money then, but never again.
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
From Target to Triumph
The President of the USI discusses moving the target away from students in Budget 2014
Joe O’Connor Guest Writer
ake no mistake about it, Budget 2014 was another very difficult one, containing some extremely severe measures. Our seventh successive austerity Budget marked another €2.5 billion adjustment, and vulnerable sectors of society were im-
pacted once again. This included hits to our young unemployed, pensioners and the bereaved. It is in this context that after four years of consecutive cuts in either the rate or the threshold, the protection of the student maintenance grant marks a considerable achievement
and a turning point. In assessing the political impact of cuts prior to this Budget, it was seen that targeting third-level students was one of the more palatable ways to bring about savings. After successive national campaigns which failed to realise their objectives, the
student movement was in dire need of a win in an economic climate where wins don’t come at all easy. Failure breeds apathy, and it was clear that students needed to see some delivery on their efforts. With the Budget two months earlier, our national campaign efforts needed
to start two months earlier. At USI National Council in Waterford in July, SU officers from across the country unanimously approved a Pre-Budget Submission calling for the protection of the grant and the Back to Education Allowance, a commitment that no deferred payment scheme would be introduced, and investment in the Youth Guarantee. Despite being pragmatic objectives which took into account the economic context and timelines we were faced with, significant threats to realising these goals existed. Severe cuts to the maintenance grant were widely reported throughout the summer, with Education facing up to €100 million in cuts. Protecting the Back to Education Allowance seemed an uphill struggle against a backdrop of a demand for €440 million of savings in Social Protection. Fine Gael backbenchers were calling for student loans. Public Expenditure officials for larger fee contributions. University Presidents, including the Trinity Provost, for full fees to be paid by students. We were single-minded in our focus on delivering these objectives through constructive engagement, and conducted an intensive high-level lobbying campaign which, ultimately, proved successful. Our final Pre-Budget Briefing Event was attended by over 60 members of the Oireachtas. This was designed to present a final opportunity to hammer home our message. By the end of the day, Minister Quinn and the Depart-
ment of Education and Skills had received representations from more than ten TDs specifically about the importance of protecting the maintenance grant. If we had fallen short, we were primed and ready to oppose any further cuts to student supports with firm resistance. Several options,
lege, are not burdened further. This is hugely significant. So where next for the student movement? A large debate on the future of third-level funding is looming. USI fundamentally believes that thirdlevel education should be free and accessible to all
including direct action, would have been presented to our Post-Budget National Council. As someone that responded to last year’s grant threshold cut by chaining myself in to the Taoiseach’s constituency office, I would have been advocating this course of action. I am in agreement that merely protecting the maintenance grant is not good enough. But it does represent a step in the right direction which we now must build on. The same rationale and arguments which won out
through public investment. We will be working with the Nevin Economic Research Institute on a new funding policy for USI’s position, which we intend to launch at our Annual Congress next year. We will continue to campaign to see the Student Contribution Charge, now at €2750 and due to hit €3000 in 2015, reduced to pre-crisis levels through additional State investment in line with economic recovery. We are also working on a comprehensive paper on reform of the current stu-
We’re all fighting for the same reasons, and for the same common belief
Turning on ourselves serves absolutely nothing on the importance of the maintenance grant will continue to be relevant for future campaigns and Budgets. Our next wins may come a little easier. And students can see that our campaigning can make a difference. And it also means that the near 80,000 students on a maintenance grant and their families, who are already struggling to meet the significant cost of col-
dent maintenance grant scheme. We will be engaging with the Department, HEA, commercial credit institutions and the Irish League of Credit Unions with the intent of delivering an affordable loan product for postgraduate students. And while the €14 million euro investment in the Youth Guarantee announced in Budget 2014 is welcome, something USI
have consistently campaigned on, it must represent merely a starting point to tackling the youth unemployment crisis. At the very minimum, the investment should now be equalised with the amount saved on the welfare reductions for Under 26s announced in Budget 2014. For too long, students have been seen as being inactive at the ballot box. Put simply, students do not vote in great numbers – politicians know this, and it influences their decision-making. That it why USI have created SERD, a national student voter database which will allow us to communicate directly on elections, referendums, issues and decisions facing students. We intend to register 50,000 students on this database by the local and European elections of next year. Linked to constituencies and public representatives, this would allow us to create a powerful voting bloc capable of radically altering the outcome of any election or referendum. I would call on people to engage with and input into their SUs as we undertake the process of next steps, and have your say on the future direction of the national student movement. After all, we’re all fighting for the same reasons, and for the same common belief. Turning on ourselves serves absolutely nothing. Access to a quality education is a right and not a privilege. If we want to make this ideological belief a reality, together, we’re stronger. Illustration by Megan McDermott
Political hypocrisy & the Thoughts on Youth Lockout, Irish people
Editorial Leanna Byrne Editor
ays after the student maintenance grant was protected and the students saw a reversed trend in cuts,
Apparently, drums, bass and Mika have no place in a youth movement. The group wanted more action, more anger and less pan-
The group wanted more action, more anger and less pandering to politicians less Buswells, more protests the first public meeting of Youth Lockout, a new student movement which is disaffiliated from Trinity College Students’ Union (TCDSU) the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) or any political party, was held in Room 3074 Arts Block in Trinity College Dublin. “The grants haven’t been cut - and I commend USI for that,” said Dylan JoyceAhearne, one of the key members of the group. “But at the end of the day it’s not good enough. Students are still getting a lot of the burden.” At the meeting, it was no surprise that the main discussion item was student apathy and the poor turnout for the “Fight For Your Future” Dublin Demonstration on October 1st. The turnout of students from Trinity was approximately forty at a push. “I don’t know how many times they thanked the DIT Samba Soc,” said JoyceAhearne.
dering to politicians. Less Buswells, more protests. So why disaffiliate from the student movement to create, well, a student movement? Surely you should just change the movement from the inside; become involved through SUs and “be the change that you want to see”. The thing is, if you want to go radical, you have to do it the right way. Regardless of whatever method you believe will solve the issues that youths are facing today, Youth Lockout are right to distance themselves from the student movement structures that are already in place. The issue is that although that line of thinking is nice and, at the most part, rather safe, that is not how political movements work. Anyone sitting in the Museum Building on Monday mornings in Michael Gallagher’s ‘Political Parties’ module might know a thing or two about the “iron law of oli-
the new student movement: pointless protest?
garchy”. One part of the argument is that regardless of how democratic an organisation may be at the start, it will eventually and inevitably develop oligarchic tendencies, thus making true democracy practically and theoretically impossible. Instead of having a radical goal, the organisation’s goal becomes diluted to maintaining the organisation itself. If we put this into context, TCDSU have just elected over 400 class representatives that represent 17,000 students. The first council had over 250 of these class representatives in a room, all voting through or against various mandates. The process is one of a very well oiled machine. That said, well oiled machines are in no way
These steps are important, but make any attempt at mobilising a force of students absolutely impossible. The twenty or so students speaking in Room 3074 were very conscious that the flexible, radical student movement that they want is virtually non-existent. They want a voice and numbers when tackling issues such as youth emigration, grant cuts, fee hikes and graduate unemployment. A lobby group is no longer “good enough”. Perhaps this is the beginning of a radicalisation of students that many have been hoping for. More than likely, it is the eventual organisation of the minority of students who wanted student politics to be radicalised in the first place. Ei-
Youth Lockout are right to distance themselves from the student movement structures that are already in place radical. If a student stood up to rally the troops out to take a stand against an important issue, this usually gets diluted by the fact that that battle cry becomes a discussion item which will be worded into a mandate to be voted on by council.
ther way, if they do become organised, they will enjoy an adaptable movement where they can protest where they like, whenever they like, without having to be pushed through a bureaucratic machine.
Nicholas Kenny Contributing Writer
ctober 15, 2013 – the day the Budget for 2014 was announced – a friend of mine, knowing that I commute to college, advised me to get an earlier bus home, as he wouldn’t want to be waiting on public transportation “after the budget comes out”, implying that the streets would be filled with protesters. Sure, the advice in itself wasn’t bad. The buses were, indeed, considerably delayed, but that’s no new experience to a frequent Bus Éireann user, and, yes, there were a good number of protests on-going as I left the city that evening. However, this isn’t what stuck with me as my long awaited bus finally pulled away, “speeding” me back home, but the sheer hypocrisy of the situation. Earlier this month, the Irish people had an opportunity to make an actual difference on how this country is run, in the form of the twin referendum over the proposed dissolution of the Seanad, and the establishment of a Court of Criminal Appeal. How did we react to this opportunity, this chance to finally have our say on the politics of our time? Well, most of us simply ignored it. With a shockingly low turnout of 1,240,729 votes cast, which, in some areas, didn’t even reach 40% of
the potential electorate, the Irish people finally proved a point that has made itself more and more evident over the recent years: We’ll complain about how the country is run, we’ll condemn the few who try and pull the country up from the mire that it has found itself floundering in and always, always, hold the certainty within our hearts that any one of us “could do a better job”. However, ask us to do something, to give up our time for the betterment of our country, and we’ll stand united in our reluctance and distaste. To put this into perspective, two days later, 970,600 people tuned in to watch the Season Four premiere of the popular television series, Love/Hate, from the comfort of their own homes. Then again, perhaps we should take this as a good sign, and be pleased by the fact that, in this day and age, the government of our country can prove to be just a little bit more popular than an RTÉ crime drama. Not three years from now will be the centenary celebration of a moment when Irish men and women took a stand against the oppressors of the time; they sought to gain Ireland’s freedom from the tyrannical rule they found themselves under. The fact
Nicholas Kenny discusses the nation’s apathy towards political activism that we should choose to ignore the rights that they gave their lives for, and yet celebrate their sacrifice, can only be described as the basest hypocrisy. Now, our government are forced to face the fact that they’re going to have to continue funding the Seanad, while also paying out towards the establishment of a new Court of Criminal Appeal. Meanwhile, people are already lashing out, claiming, as they always do, that the government are targeting the old, the young and the vulnerable. Well, it’s not like we’ve made it easy for them to go after other targets, now, is it? Of course, the reader might ask how I would try to rectify this. If I, with all my words of derision, have a solution to propose. Or, whether I share the characteristics of those whom I am scorning, and, like the people of this country, am filled with complaints instead of resolutions. Unfortunately, it will take a person far more intelligent than I to find a resolution to the current economic mess we have found ourselves in, but the harsh reality of the situation is that: one way or another, we are going to have to pay for it. If the cuts the government propose seem unfair, well then it’s fine to complain, up to a point. But ask yourself this:
How would you resolve this problem? For those who would reply with the tired cliché “Tax the rich”, it might be worth noting that the few hyper-privileged Irish men and women often don’t pay taxes in Ireland, and those who do are often employers that the Irish government have little choice but to protect, or else we might find our unemployment rate rising in tangent with the dole queues. However, I can provide a solution to the growing disinterest our nation has in the politics of this country. I simply propose that we follow the Australian system, where they regard voting not solely as a right, but as a responsibility. Voting is not optional, allowing the people to take up the ways of sloth and ignorance in regards to political affairs that is plaguing our country, but compulsory. Those who do not vote, who choose to ignore their responsibility in ensuring that their government is a true representation of the will of its people, are fined. Through this, we will end yjre nature of despondence and disinterest which has fallen over this country in regard to politics, and in this global recession, the opportunity for a new stream of revenue should not be ignored.
The University Times //
Science vs Arts
Ella Cullen Contributing Writer
efore you jump to any conclusions about my being biased, I am, in fact, a Science student. I study Human Genetics, and contrary to most in my end of Trinity, and some in that other end, I don’t believe that my course, or any Science course for that matter, is more difficult than an Arts course. As much as the tracksuitwearing, makeup-less lads
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
and lasses of the Hamilton would like to pretend we are superior to the skinnyjean clad and immaculately made-up men and women of the Arts Block, we simply aren’t. Though we may whine about our 30-hour week or gloat about our fantastic job opportunities, the fact of the matter is, we have no right to claim higher ground. Arts students are expected to spend many non-con-
tact hours in the library or at home reading books, articles and documents that are sometimes hard to access, and frequently even harder to read. Unlike Science students, the Arts crowd are expected to self-supervise, arguably one of the hardest challenges anyone faces as an adult. They’re also expected to build up a portfolio of contacts and experience to help them in whatever field
Ella Cullen compares the two disciplines they hope to pursue after completing college. Yes, our hours are heavy. Yes, the labs are long. Yes, there can be a lot of extra reading. But if you can get by in a course by doing minimal work, that’s more likely a reflection on the student than on the course. A Higher Education Authority (HEA) study done on 2007/2008 new entrants into higher level education revealed that the non-progres-
s Trinity better than UCD? It’s a debate as ageold and as tired as the Phil versus the Hist, and I’m not going to broach those Gates of Hell today. But the question does serve to raise an important point, one often overlooked – or perhaps not considered. We think of university as a time of exploration, friendships, experiences; we think that it shapes us, changes us, causes us to evolve. And indeed it does. But does the college you go to also shape your education? When we emerge as fledgling graduates and gaze out at the big, bad world; when we choose an intellectual avenue to continue scurrying down, we rarely consider how our college has shaped our educational standpoint. And yet, without a doubt, our minds are the one thing Trinity is most likely to shape. In a recent disturbing story, a Nigerian postgrad student, Chibuihem Amalaha – of the reasonably well-esteemed University of Lagos – has been acclaimed by his professors and peers. Their fevered encouragement of his research could be seen as impressive, even aspirational; citing him as Nobel Prize material, UL stands
sion rates for Arts and Science courses were the same at 14% (HEA, 2010). So where on earth do we get this notion that Science is somehow more difficult? It’s not solely self-righteous scientists who believe this. I’ve regularly heard my Arts student friends laugh at how much more difficult my course is than theirs. Bragging about 4-day weekends or 12-hour weeks panders to the belief that Arts students do little or no work and therefore have it easy. This isn’t the case. This isn’t the case
Photo by Nicole Campbell Sch. firmly in support of one of their own. We’d like to think Trinity would do the same; we’d hope our studies would receive the same fevered championship and praise. Except that Amalaha’s research sounds like a sick joke. In something that barely deserves the term ‘experiment’, Amalaha used two magnets to demonstrate that, since like poles rejected each other, homosexuality is something that definitely can’t exist. Magnets are people, after all. Instead of dismissing his research – as you’d
ample is extreme, I’d have to wonder whether Trinity’s intellectual backing could ever herd us down a specific path. Far be it for me to dare imply we freethinking students think less freely than we’d like, and yet we accept our reading lists with the same blind obedience that we decry. Myriad versions of our core textbooks spawn on the library’s shelves, but it’s the rare student who looks at anything other than what their lecturer sets. But why is one book chosen over another? Most of them say very similar things. We
Does the college you go to shape your education? have presumed any reasonable university would – UL leapt onto the deeply controversial bandwagon, declaring Amalaha as one of their star students, a bright future awaiting him with open arms. A stern talking-to and minor slap-on-the-wrist would have dealt with him effectively. Instead, the University of Lagos let his delusion continue; the avenue of research he chose was one prescribed, supported, and encouraged by them. Though the ex-
use books hyped as “the best” by our lecturers, but in other identical degree programmes and modules they’re pushed towards different texts, labelled just as superior. Publishing houses’ effusive pleas for a lecturer to adopt their book are often twinned with a sizeable monetary ‘encouragement’. One TCD lecturer’s reading list recommends a book co-written by her husband; others advocate their own works. And it’s not just our pocket that suffers – our education
in any course (well, okay, maybe in jam-making). All courses have their disadvantages. I’ve heard about the TSM timetable horrors, and let’s face it, the Arts Block is a maze. For every hour spent in a lecture (for which there often aren’t slides to study later) there could be ten or more hours needed studying to understand the concepts discussed in a class. In relation to this, Science cours-
tion. The level and the grade we get are awarded based on the work put in and the understanding
displayed. To pretend anything else, that some degrees are somehow harder or more valuable than oth-
ers, is to misrepresent the value of your own, and others’ work.
To pretend that some degrees are somehow harder than others is to misrepresent the value of your own and others’ work
Will we ever learn?
Aisling Curtis Staff Writer
is moulded by these books. Our intellectual landscape is pruned by what they do or don’t say. Do we really get the most objectively effective book, and would we notice if we didn’t? There are lots of things we probably don’t notice in the choppy course of our educational stream. The effects of university on your friend-choices, political outlook, how hipster you end up becoming – they’ve all been explored before. But far subtler, more insidious, is the shape your college can give your intellectual route. Each college has its research preferences, and we spend at least four years fully immersed in them. Taught by lecturers advocating specific avenues, with their own idiosyncratic preferences; learning from texts set by these same, perhaps biased, women and men. Steeped in our little university fishbowl, the same ideas floating around us like debris – it’s no surprise that many of us choose to do postgrads in the university we did our degree in, choose to follow the PhD route here too, opt to study the research propagated by the professors before us. What could be so wrong with that? Except it’s not the same
es could almost look easy. Lecturers usually provide slides, and for some classes, learning the slides is all it takes to pass the module. If you ask me, I’d prefer a 30-hour week of lectures than a 10-hour week with 20 hours of self-directed learning. There’s a reason that we are awarded whatever degree we are awarded at the end of our college educa-
research in each university. All have their preferences, their yellow brick roads that they like to lead students down. Like the misguided Amalaha and his coercive university, Trinity has its little favourites: sustainability, international development and inclusivity, ageing, cancer, many more. DCU likes ageing too, but it has more of a focus on information technology and business innovation; UCD centres on agrifood research far more than we do here. And if yours isn’t a research course don’t think you’re safe from influence; guaranteed, your degree will have a slant that another university’s wouldn’t. It might be a particular focus on the Greek Gods; a penchant for Criminal Law; a leaning towards Neuroscience over Social Psychology. It might be the opposite, or something else entirely. But it makes sense that if a lecturer has an interest in a particular topic they’ll come to a university renowned for it, which can only reinforce the polarisation towards particular areas. And when we’re taught by people with a passion for a particular path, we can’t help but be swayed. Swayed, perhaps, down a canalised intellectual course. I’m not suggesting one college’s research programmes and penchants outweighs the other – they all have strengths. But wherever you choose shapes you. We might passively accept the books our lecturers tell us to buy, our only grimace at the wound they inflict on our funds. We might select our futures based on our perceived interests, not recognising that our interests now are different to our interests before we started college, and not exploring whether that’s down to growth or influence; we might not actually mind if we are shaped by an intellectually highend institution. The avenue our college takes, the influence it exerts on us, might not actually matter if it’s of sufficiently high quality. Maybe we don’t mind. Just watch out for magnets.
What Really Grinds My Gears: Team England
Tom Myatt Columnist
f you were unfortunate enough two weeks ago to have your radio besieged by my vexatious voice on the Trinity FM University Times broadcast, you will know that I am, in fact, English: a product of the great Cheshire plains, boxed up and shipped across the Irish sea. The sheer quantity of my compatriots attending this institution surprised me to say the least, and my opinion of them is shaky at best. I began by thinking they were a good laugh - a good group of lads. Realising that urinating on the homeless wasn’t my cup of tea, however, (see University Times September 2012) I quickly became apathetic towards the climate-chatting continuity. This indifference diverted into discontent. The concept of ‘Team England’ in our radiant institution is one that my fellow Redcoats will doubtless have heard of, if not left you weeping in the corner with the sheer weight of the societal burden that this tag is accompanied with. If you haven’t come across it, ‘Team England’ is the phrase Trinitonians prescribe to the well-off Brits in Trinity that only seem to associate with their compatriots - usually due to tightly-knit elite private school networks: small, over-confident expat cliques of commonwealth overlords. They are easily identified: long, Harry Styles-esque hair, Jack Wills all over, including the light brown chinos, and an accent that says “I’m better than you, get over it”. The term is generally reserved, however, for exactly what I am not: the southern, privately (or publicly - if forget which term we use these days) educated, toffish, pipe-smoking, robewearing, Indian-oppressing, Zulu-shooting, English people. This minority puts the rest of us in a bad light. It is true that there is a
shocking scarcity of Northerners studying here - I know of only one other. If you envisage England as the harmonious homogenous society that contemporary commentators depict it, then I laugh at you. Stronger than the differences that separate communist and capitalist Korea, England too suffers from longitudinal detachment. This North-South power struggle has been raging on for centuries, and will doubtless culminate in the inevitable deposing of our oppressors. There was no British Empire, per se: while the Southern English Empire ruled a quarter of the globe, like the Irish, we were slaving away, living in complete subsistence in infernal industry, ensuring their steady supply of fresh handkerchiefs and morning cups of Earl Grey tea. When we eventually overthrow our masters, I shall ensure that we take pity upon them, in the way only a true Yorkshireman or Cestrian would. Until this time, however, I naturally view my compatriots at Trinity - the vast vast majority of whom speak with a certain eloquence which immediately suggests they originate from past Wolverhampton - with an air of mistrust and displeasure. Why there are so few Northerners here, I will never know, yet the deluxe British universities appear to suffer from the same shortcoming. A true Trinity Team Englander can only be southern, that is certain, but their monopoly of wealth can’t be indefinite. On a serious note, regardless of nationality, you will doubtless have noticed that the vast majority of the English here are, in fact, privately educated. We complain at home that as many as half of the Oxbridge lot went there, but the Trinity proportions are far higher than that. This is because the cold and calculated CAO system discriminates against English state-schoolers. An incorrect assumption of four A-
Levels, as opposed to the standard three-and-a-half that “commoners” do, imposes an effective cap of 515 without the Maths bonus. Had I not been lucky enough to have chosen that abhorred subject, I would not have graced you all with my awkward presence. Yet with four A-Levels, and an almost-missed acceptance on to BESS, ask any English lad where he’s from, and you’ll probably hear that he was the Eton idiot, or bottom of the class at Harrow (not that the bottoms of the classes at Harrow haven’t gone on to do great things, see Winston Churchill). The decent pupils of these schools went on to Oxford, Cambridge, or even somewhere better than Ireland. What we get is the entrails of the world’s greatest elite school system, leaving individuals who possess that arrogant self-affection, but without the intellectual excellence that excuses it. It goes without saying that I don’t hate my fellow Limeys exactly. Fish and chips, the monarchy, and Hugh Grant all get thumbs up from me. The self-declared all-southern, all-rich Anglo-Trinity elite is what grinds my gears. Our former (or, in my case, remaining) imperial overlords, in their minds, own the place. 1922, 1936 and 1949 never happened apparently. The oncoming reform of the CAO can really only be welcomed. Thinking we all complete four A-Levels in our last year of high school only encourages this culture, and prevents many intelligent people from coming to Trinity. I also call for Home Rule! The Irish got theirs first, and now the only means of emancipating the northern dales, glens and peaks once and for all will be bringing power home to Manchester, or Newcastle or something. But let’s face it, our freedom, much like yours and the potential Scots’, will probably just collapse on us too - the southern economy is just so damn dependable.
UT Opinion From Star Wars to Supersuits: US Military Innovation 12
gunfire, but also enhanced Edward Kearns Contributing Writer strength. This is supposed
The superman exists, and he is American.’ Well, not quite. But don’t tell that to the US military; they’ve taken inspiration from a different superhero, and have announced that they are trying to develop battle armour that basically amounts to an Iron Man suit. You can read that again if you need to. The US Army is trying to make an Iron Man suit.
to be facilitated by a powerful exoskeleton that would enable the wearer to lift and move objects that a normal soldier could not. Just like Iron Man. The suit’s bullet-proof armour is also highly innovative; MIT are working with the Army to develop a form of liquid armour that solidifies when an electrical current is applied to it. In addition, the suit would have health monitoring systems and readouts to display how much power the suit’s batteries have left. Granted, it wouldn’t have
An idea for a new piece of technology only seems crazy when it exists in isolation They call it the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, in keeping with their traditional love of acronyms. The suit’s purpose is to provide not only standard features like night vision and protection from
the jet-thrusters of Tony Stark’s design; that’s still a little bit out of their reach it seems. Imagine a more Spartan exoskeleton, like the forklift-suit that Ripley operates in Aliens. Because
that’s much more believable - a very real possibility. But then the US military has never seen believability as an obstacle. Nor are they shy about taking cues from the silver screen, as Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ satellite-mounted missile-defence system showed. Thankfully that genius vision never came to pass, but what if the Army did somehow manage to manufacture a supersoldier suit; what sciencefiction technology would they turn their attention to next? Phasers that can be set to stun, singe or toast? How about the automatic doomsday device from Dr Strangelove? That could certainly be done. And if you do make an Iron Man suit, you only have to ramp up the scale a little bit and you get the gargantuan fighting-machines from Pacific Rim. Granted they were made for fighting aliens, but they’d probably do the job on humans as well.
The US Military has never seen believability as an obstacle
The Women Who Took on Putin
Stephen Cox Staff Writer
yodor Dostoevsky wrote in Crime and Punishment that ‘nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery’. This quotation came to mind on writing this article. His native country receives ample press coverage; between Edward Snowden, antiLGBT measures and the Kremlin’s stance on Syria, Russia seems of late to have been in the news more often than is usual. However, one story we seem to hear less about at the moment is that of Pussy Riot, the feminist punk/performance art
group. A provocative (in the words of one Orthodox activist, ‘devious’) band name has become synonymous the world over with the struggle for freedom of expression and the brutal totalitarianism of Putin’s Russia. But how? For those unfamiliar with the group’s story, they formed on the same day in 2011 that Vladimir Putin was awarded a new sixyear term. They consist of a variable membership of between 10 and 15 women who wear distinctive balaclavas and make short, angry songs and videos with a fiercely feminist, anti-
A bit of perspective perhaps. While all of the above may sound crazy, imagine how crazy you would have sounded in 1955 if you tried to describe a mod-
authoritarian outlook. In February 2012, five members performed the 40-second ‘Mother of God, Drive Putin Away’ in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. As a result of this ‘punk prayer’, three of the group were arrested for ‘disrupting social order by an act of hooliganism’ designed ‘to incite religious hatred’. After a long drawn out trial process, two of the defendants, Nadezha Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, received twoyear sentences in penal colonies; the third, Yekaterina Samutsevich, eventually secured a suspended
ern laptop computer. Now they’re completely normal, and if you go back far enough, you can thank the US military for their existence, because the military played a role in the development of integrated circuits. Many commonplace technologies were originally invented or funded by the military. They pioneered the global positioning systems that would eventually become suction-cupped to the windscreens of our cars. They championed ARPANET, an early version of the internet featuring a recognisable form of what we now call e-mail, that allowed
sentence. I remember seeing the scandalous cathedral protest on the news. I remember hearing about the trial and reading that the offenders had been sentenced. But in spite of Western media interest in the case, I didn’t follow it at the time. While I sympathised with the harsh treatment and disproportionate punishment bestowed upon the young women, the court procedure took place over such an extended period that it was easy to lose track of updates on the situation. The case came to my attention again recently, a little over a year since the verdict was passed. Glancing through The Guardian’s music webpage, I was struck by a photo of imprisoned member Nadezha Tolokonnikova emblazoned with the headline ‘Why I have gone on hunger strike’. I didn’t know then that she was the second incarcerated member to resort to such tactics to demand fairer treatment; nonetheless I was shocked to read about her life in jail. There, ‘the hygienic and residential conditions of the camp are calculated to make the prisoner feel like a filthy animal without any rights’, where sewing uniforms for up to 17 hours a day is the norm. Her statement is akin to Solzhenitsyn’s most harrowing de-
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
A Numbers Game ically to get the shift, look-
Rossa Gallagher ing for one-night stands for Contributing Writer no particular reason. The
universities and research institutes to communicate with each other electronically as early as the 1970s. Microwave ovens were invented, quite accidentally, by an engineer working for the firm Raytheon, who had a contract with the US military to improve radar systems. The company remains involved with the army; only now, they make guided missiles. Right now, the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force is working “to implement cost-effective, large-scale renewable energy projects.” That can only be good. However, it is important to remember that while some of the military’s R&D projects may seem tangential, ultimately they serve the goal of finding safer and more efficient ways to kill people. Like small unmanned aircraft that can be piloted by a man with an Xbox controller from hundreds of miles away. That kind of thing. Reagan would’ve loved that. Perhaps he could’ve had a certain appreciation for liquid-armour super-suits as well. So it’s not all nutty; sometimes these inventions can be quite sinister, and sometimes they never get off the ground, but a surprisingly large amount of the time, technology that was originally developed for military purposes can end up improving our lives. Things that must have seemed absolutely ridiculous at their moment of inception, like the concept of using electromagnetic radiation to excite the molecules in corn kernels in order to heat them up and make them explode into white fluffy goodness. An idea for a new piece of technology only seems crazy when it exists in isolation. As soon as it becomes ubiquitous, we don’t even give it a second thought. Who wants some popcorn?
hat’s your number? Everyone’s supposed to have one, and it should be high. Ten plus sexual partners in your early twenties is what you should be aiming for. Dip too much below that and you’re kind of a loser. More than fifteen is ideal. Lose track of the number, maybe if it becomes more than you can count on both hands, and you’re set. More sexual partners than you can easily count is what you’re after. That is, if you’re a guy. Although, the chance that a guy won’t keep a meticulous count on each and every one of his hook-ups, random or otherwise, is pretty slim. That’s what this is about. There’s a lot written on the pressures women often feel under to have sex, be it in relationships or otherwise. I’m not saying they’re not, claiming anything else would be ridiculous and insensitive. However, I think a lot of people fail to realise the pressure that men are under as well. It’s a fairly simple system when you break it down, however unjust. A man is encouraged to have as much sex, with as many partners, as he is capable of. If he does not do this, or at least doesn’t try to do this, he has failed at being a man. Relationships, deeper connections, quality of sex? Doesn’t matter. Fuck as many people as possible, regardless of consequences. This is what I hear day after day; it becomes very hard not to be influenced by it. Nowhere I think is this more evident than college. There’s probably no demographic in life that parties more than students. Take nightclubs, for instance. I’m not trying to trash them, but their agenda is unmistakable. To take a few examples, you’ve got Coppers, C U Next Tuesday and Alchemy. Every ad for these places (and plenty of others) screams sex, pretty much shoves it down your throat. And it works. I’ve gone out specif-
scriptions of the gulags—a barbaric indicator of how little has changed since the oppressive, abusive punishment of Soviet times. Tolokonnikova was forcibly placed in the prison hospital nine days after her strike began; she has threatened to begin it again if she is not transferred from her penal colony in the province of Mordovia. It was extremely discomfiting to read of such suffering for an act which, if it happened in the UK, for instance, would warrant little more than a rap on the knuckles. However, quite apart from the anti-Putin sentiment of the ‘punk prayer’, much of the furore associated with the performance comes down to its criticism of religion’s influence on Russian society. Since the collapse of communism, the link between Orthodoxy and the Russian people has grown stronger in an attempt to shake off Soviet-era state atheism. Pussy Riot’s choice of location was crucial. The cathedral had been rebuilt in the 1990s after it was destroyed under Stalin; furthermore it was the location for the 2000 canonisation of the Romanovs, the royal family murdered in the 1917 Revolution. While the constitution remains secular and blasphemy is nominally not a criminal offence, the group’s provocation evidently touched a nerve.
Putin himself said that Pussy Riot’s performance brought about ‘painful memories of the early Soviet period’—another sign of the ghosts of the past lurking beneath the surface of modern Russia. What makes the Pussy Riot case fascinating is the debate it has engendered. The women’s cause was widely championed in Western liberal circles— the same has not been true of Russia. While many politically engaged young people have protested at the treatment of the group, a Levada Center survey re-
night becomes a frantic search, constantly looking out for someone with the same mindset as you. In this light, it becomes very hard not to see the night as a failure if you fail to hook up with anyone. Next time you’re in a nightclub, observe the last ten minutes or so before it closes. The desperation and fear is almost tangible. Last chance to salvage the night with some drunk, meaningless kiss if you haven’t done so already. I’ve consoled too many ‘failures’ of people at the end of a night, been consoled too many times myself not to notice something very obviously wrong in our collective attitude. The question I normally get after a night out is not
Next time you’re in a nightclub, observe the last ten minutes before it closes. The desperation and fear is almost tangible
“Was the night good?” but “Did you get with anyone?”. It doesn’t matter if the night was fun anymore, so long as you hooked up. When the hell did this happen? I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but it’s only recently been put into perspective for me. I tend to fall into the category of serial monogamist these days, despite my valiant efforts otherwise. Turns out most of why I’ve been fighting so desperately to stay single is partly because I’ve been stuck in the mindset of someone who thinks their number is too small. General consensus seems to be that your college years are not the ones in which to be tied to one person, especially if you’re a guy. College and casual
ently though, and every person has a different sexual drive. No two people are the same and to suggest that the only healthy sexual attitude is to bang everything that moves seems not only stupid, but damaging to self-esteem and ultimately counter-productive to a person’s happiness. I’m gonna go ahead and make a big ol’ sweeping generalisation here saying consensual sex is universally recognised as one of the most fantastic things two people can do with their genitals. Definitely one of the funnest. Why ruin it by bringing numbers into it? If your number is big, it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Sex is sex. Just have fun with it.
heart of Russia and took a shit’. Even The Guardian’s online comment streams contain numerous vitriolic posts from keyboard critics. Some declare the band’s acts to be little more than publicity stunts, and that the group have exploited their status as young women in Putin’s Russia to gain more media coverage than, say, a wrongfully accused prisoner in Guantánamo Bay could. Of course, this entirely misses the point. As member Yekaterina Samutsevich pointed out in her opening statement for the
any concerns about prison conditions, let alone what will happen when the convicted members are due to be released. Alyokhina’s mother spoke in the 2013 documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer about receiving threats of an ‘Orthodox jihad’ when her daughter is released. Tolokonnikova told in her statement of fellow inmates’ claims of her preferential treatment from prison guards—even if this is true, it is hard to imagine similar favouritism from the authorities upon her release. Perhaps the greatest reason for my interest in the case was the age and background of the convicted demonstrators. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are just 23 and 24 respectively; in spite of being university students roughly my age, the differences between my circumstances and their own are startling. I cannot imagine living in a country where one is so harshly punished for an apparently non-serious misdemeanour. The women involved are clearly very brave, and maybe more than a little foolhardy. That said, while I don’t subscribe to Pussy Riot’s own brand of extremist politics, if my rights as an Irish citizen and as a human were compromised similarly to those of its convicted members, perhaps this would not be the case.
What makes the Pussy Riot case fascinating is the debate it has engendered vealed that 44 per cent of Russians polled believed the trial to be ‘fair and impartial’. One of the lawyers for the prosecution appeared to see no irony in saying, ‘now people think all liberals are intolerant fascists who don’t listen to the opinions of others’. An enraged man at an Orthodox prayer meeting (called as a result of Pussy Riot’s performance) claimed that ‘in the 16th Century we would have burned them’, while an elderly woman at the same event declared that ‘they walked into the
sex have become inextricable ideas in so many people’s minds, whether or not this image reflects reality. If nobody feels under any pressure, there’s nothing wrong with this. People have sex. It’s what people do. It’s when sexual experience becomes a status symbol, a way of glorifying some and deriding others; that’s when I take offence. You see so much of this in male relationships, in their interaction. Take out the posturing with regards to sex, the bragging, bravado and bullshit, and sometimes you’re not left with much conversational material. Virginity is looked on as something to be gotten out of the way as soon as possible and virgins themselves condescended towards, novelties at best. Everybody matures differ-
defence, ‘if we had sung “Mother of God, protect Putin”, and “Mother of God, don’t become a feminist”, we would not be here right now’. Pussy Riot was formed in an attempt to raise consciousness of both women’s rights and the extreme lack of political transparency in Russia. To this end they appear to have succeeded, but at what cost? Tolokonnikova claimed during the hearing that ‘jail is not the worst place for a person who thinks’. This statement appears to rashly brush off
The University Times //
iOS7 - Overhyped?
Conor Murphy Online Editor
OS 7 arrived in consumers’ laps on September 17. It landed with the usual Apple hype, marketing wallop and overall bullshit. It was castigated for a few things but praised for more and the main thing that was pushed was the “flat design”. When presented by Apple it was the culmination of some sort of Messiah-like design mission by its design team. The cynics say it’s a cowardly bow to a trendy design movement that will just change again a few years down the line. The real answer is, as always, much more towards the centre of the argument. iOS 7 is a change Apple had to make not because of a fashion statement, but because they were in the Stone Age of design. Microsoft and Google have been making better designed software for several years now and it was really starting to show. Review sites have been marking iOS as plain ugly for the last two years (fourteen years in human time) and while the average punter mightn’t have thought so, industry has shown time and time again that this type of reac-
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
tion eventually drips down to become the common reaction. But the real people who are confused about iOS7 are the haters, not the indifferent reaction but the people who don’t like it from top to bottom and think it was a mistake. Their opinion: it’s wrong. And it’s a simple point to prove it, just look at all of human design history. Well, really the industrialisation onwards. Because all great fields of design (and in my mind there are now three broad ones; Architecture, Industrial and Software) have already done what Apple’s software team has just gotten around to in the few months. It’s a very simple notion, that good design is as little design as possible; in other words, drop the bullshit. In reality the software has finally become really Apple. Apple hardware products have famously “referenced” a lot of their style directly off Dieter Rams, a German industrialist whose company single-handedly brought the sanity of modern architecture to products like radios
and hardware in the fifties and sixties. Apple originally brought iOS into a world of ugly and awkward software and their successful effort to make it friendlier was to kind of pretend it wasn’t software. They made their software (the calculator, radio, clock) mimic Rams’ products or other iconic designs. However, recently they’ve taken that Steve Jobs ethos to a maximum and horrible finality; they made the Contacts app look like an actual leather bound book, the metal sheen on the dials was so bright it just cluttered the look. And really they had forgotten most of the central ethos of actual good design. When they copied Dieter Rams for their software, they copied the look of hardware and applied it to software; this ignored the Rams’ design reasons for that hardware. Dieter Rams’ “Ten Principles of Modern Design” state very clearly that good design “is honest” because to pretend to be something you’re not is simply confusing (cough leather bound app cough). For example, in that leather
bound app it shows pages and the pages don’t turn! The metaphor of the contacts book is completely broken. The most confusing thing about why they held onto this archaic notion so long is that they’ve actually gone the exact opposite way with their hardware years ago. They championed minimalist high quality truism years ago against the textured plastics of their competitors. They championed the simple and the honest; even when they did plastic products they talk about “unapologetic plastic”. They went with that fake look to make apps seem more friendly, but the world changed very quickly; we’ve gotten comfortable with software and are willing to explore it now. The reasons for that original “Apple look” have faded away. That’s why they’ve gone to “flat design” - because it’s not a trend, it’s not a turn in some cyclical fashion road, it’s the destination. Dieter Rams said that but for changes in design language, the world of design was basically finished.
And he’s right. We’ve arrived at minimalism and modernism, and these characteristics work globally and timelessly. So we will stay at this rough visual style for ever and the real design will be in the features, in the tweaks and the typography and the simplicity of delivery. iOS 7 is just an example of generally good design. There are problems with its inconsistency (the settings icon is one of the most overthought pieces of icon design I’ve ever seen) but these are teething issues and will be worked out. And if you still hate it, hard luck; there will always be some tasteless companies that continue with the ugly fake textures of old (see LG and Samsung) but these will just become more and more edge-case until eventually we will reach a future where a similar design language rides over all our software, and it doesn’t becomes homogenous. But for a certain amount it becomes unnoticable, and that’s the point. Because as Rams says, “Good Design is as little design as possible”.
More Taxes, Less Banter Anthony Wolfe Staff Writer
rish people are fed up with one austerity budget after another. Budget 2014 marked our seventh austerity budget since the ‘Great Recession’ started in 2008. In the years since, taxes and levies have been created with a dazzling array of acronyms. It’s getting to the point where one starts to wonder how many more types of charges the government can make up. In many ways it is a laughable situation to be in but many Irish students can barely afford a laugh in these austerity times. You’d have almost expected a quota on jokes included in the budget. Thanks to a delay at Berlin Schönefeld Airport, the budget outline was delivered late and the speech in the Dáil was pushed back an hour accordingly. Brian Keegan, Head of Taxation with Chartered Accountants Ireland, told RTÉ prior to the big showdown that the Budget would be “tax by a thousand hikes”. As Minister for Finance Michael Noonan began his speech with a standard dig at the previous government’s flaws; one would rather be cut by a thousand knives than endure more than half an hour of his rolling, monotonous voice. Student observers might well have wanted to play a drinking game during the Budget speech, if only
booze wasn’t so expensive. And worse news was yet to come. In Budget-speak, increasing tax on an ‘old reliable’ is a safe bet. This category
air travel tax, conspiracy theorists believe the government has made a deal behind closed doors to deliver young Irish people to foreign countries in return for debt relief. Thankfully Noonan stopped short of announcing the construction of a large hovercraft to travel directly from Dublin to London. If emigration doesn’t float your boat, a ‘Start Your Own Business Scheme’ was announced for those who are in longterm unemployment. This is your chance, budding entrepreneurs: if your Transition Year Mini Company was in any way successful, this is your chance. However, when all is said and done, it could have been worse. It is a stereotype that Irish people love to complain. Even if the Budget had offered a newborn kitten for every Irish household, there would still be some dissenters claiming we should have received puppies instead. At the day’s close, sources say many TDs hit up the Dáil bar and racked up a four-figure bill in similar size to the infamous ‘Lapgate’ night in July. Photos circulating around social media today include a prominent member of the Cabinet draped in an Irish flag emblazoned with the words “Angela Merkel thinks we’re at work”. Despite the tax hikes, at least we’ll always have the Irish ‘charm’.
Many Irish students can barely afford a laugh in these austerity times usually includes excise tax on goods such as tobacco and alcohol, the reason being that consumers will still buy these goods despite the price hike. Therefore the increase of 10c on a pack of cigarettes was pretty much inevitable. DU Smokers, a student-led tobacco lobbying group, have yet to comment but it is said they are fuming. Pints are also up by 10c
You’d have almost expected a quota on jokes in the budget and bottles of wine by 50c – it’s almost as if the government are actively trying to get us to smoke and drink less. Those snakes. If the drink tax hikes were bad enough, cuts to the dole will mean a further push factor towards youth emigration. Combined with the abolishment of the
On the Silk Road Carl Kinsella Senior Staff Writer
he Silk Road unraveled rapidly beneath the feet of its 957,079 registered users last Wednesday as the curtain came down on the most sophisticated drugempire of the modern age. The site provided both an anonymity and ease-ofaccess hitherto unseen in the underwoods of society, acting as nothing short of a Craigslist for criminal activity. To sum up a phenomena such as the Silk Road so
Pirate Roberts’, asserted a desire on his LinkedIn profile to “create an economic simulation to give people a first hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force”. Ulbricht abetted this aim by spinning his Silk Road beneath the pitch black waters of the ‘Deep Web’, making it accessible only through softwares like Tor, which obscure and obfuscate the IP addresses and identities of their users.
Advocates of Silk Road could claim that it brought something a lot like safety to the drugs trade simply would be myopic at best. What seems a cesspit to some is a Shangri-La to others, and one need look no further than the comments beneath any article on the matter. The vox populi vituperatively argues the case for Silk Road as a safe-haven for those of aggressively libertarian leanings, eager to dissociate themselves from the laws that govern the market as we know it. Ross William Ulbricht, the American university graduate accused of creating and operating the website under the nom de guerre ‘Dread
But that isn’t all. Using the Deep Web for drug-related transactions astutely takes advantage of the untapped market of people interested in drug use but unwilling to embroil themselves in the dangerous nature of the buying and selling thereof. By eradicating the uneasy ambiance offered up by meeting a dealer hooded up like a Dementor in the dark of night beneath a pair of runners thrown over a telephone wire only to have him jab you in the ribs, trying to sell you more substance than you wanted to buy before making off with
your money, advocates of Silk Road could claim that it brought something a lot like safety to the drugs trade. While the Silk Road does have its silver lining, there is also an ominously pulsating dark cloud to be addressed. There is no doubt that of the 159 services for sale on Silk Road, some certainly strained at the limits of even the most extreme libertarian attitudes. Whilst there are viable arguments in favour of legalizing illicit substances in the name of autonomy over what we can do with our own bodies, reasonable people who think that hitmen-for-hire, ATM-hacks and counterfeit firearms should be readily available to anyone willing to pay the asking price are few and far between. Ulbricht, who made an estimated $78 million in Bitcoins from commissions of each transaction (transactions which reportedly amount to a total of $1.2 billion), was no stranger to the more macabre moors of the Deep Web. He is accused of soliciting murder on two separate occasions. In one of these incidences, his target was a Silk Road user called ‘FriendlyChemist’ who was threatening to release the names of 5,000 other Silk Road users. The man using a moniker he had borrowed from a ‘The Princess Bride’ character coldly discussed terms of the murder with an online hitman - “in my eyes, FriendlyChemist is
a liability and I wouldn’t mind if he was executed… I have the following info and am waiting on getting his address…[He] lives in White Rock, British Colombia [with a] wife + 3 kids”. It’s clear that Ulbricht was perfectly prepared to forfeit his libertarian goals to preserve his own prosperity once the Silk Road began to spiral out of his own clutches. The ‘systemic use of force’ Ulbricht purported to subvert via the Silk Road was employed readily, making the site look like nothing more than a microcosm of the US Government in its treatment of whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Four arrests have followed that of Ross Ulbricht’s in Great Britain alone, and as international intelligence networks delve deeper into the finer details there are sure to be more on the horizon. Nevertheless, techie website TechCrunch suggests that Silk Road 2.0 is already being bolstered and tested to be launched soon enough, giving the FBI a brand new headache to handle. It seems that there is an endless swathe of those ready to take up the mantle of the Dread Pirate Roberts and stitch the Silk Road back together, but the rocky terrain beneath means it’s only ever a matter of time before threads start to come loose. Top: Silk Road homepage Bottom: Hidden Wiki, the hub of the Deep Web
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
The University Times
No Irish Need Apply Conor Bates Sports Editor
f another person tells me that Trapattoni should have used Wes Hoolahan more, I think I will scream. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the sentiment; Hoolahan is better than some of the midfield options that Trapattoni deployed in his final outings as Ireland manager. The collective Irish football diaspora shudders at the thought of seeing Paul Green’s name on the team-sheet, and rightly so. The gaffer’s demise started with Euro 2012 and picked up speed from there. Once Trap made the decision to take the unattached Green with him to Poland, the alarm bells started to ring for most of us. Trapattoni said he was going with the players that had got him to the finals, and not returning to any of the, potentially better, players who had jumped ship, or who had not contributed enough to the cause. This is admirable enough. It is a just reward
uting factor to the journey, and was thusly rewarded. Trap’s erratic team selections were becoming worrying and fallings out with players were always public and problematic. We went to Euro 2012 without Andy Reid, Dean Kiely or any of the many players who found themselves in Trap’s growing book of outcasts and lost-boys, and we were well beaten. Twelve months down the line and the Italian walked away, leaving Noel King to shepherd the side through the last two games of an unsuccessful World Cup Campaign. The talk of late has all been about new manager options, and who would be willing to take on the mantle of stewarding the Boys in Green. The comment in the last few days of Trap’s reign, however, was concerned with his player selection, his plans, his tactics and his stubbornness. The rants of Giles, Dunphy and the irrepressible ‘Chippy’ Brady
not with the same venom; I appreciated what he did for us, but his reluctance to change meant it was time for change. I thanked him, I wished him well despite disagreeing with him at times, but unlike many others, I did not blame him for one simple reason: in all reality, he did not have the players. Look back at the history of our world ranking and the insights you can extrapolate are fairly self-evident. Ireland were at their best in the early ‘90s. Our ranking at this time hovered around the low teens, with an all-time best world ranking of 6th, pulling the average for our glory days to a respectable 11th overall. We may play in a tough confederation, and our recent fortunes have seen us rightly slump, but you can’t really argue with where we currently stand; 59th in the world is representative of the squad we work with. The reason we were so effective back
Football is a results based game to get those results, no Irish need apply for the athletes who had gotten us to our first major competition in ten years. But Paul Green. Really? He hadn’t played any contrib-
ring clearly in my ears. At one point or another, they all dug the knife into Trap. I was as happy as anyone to see him go, but perhaps
when summers were sunny and 99s cost 99p, was because our players were better. Too obvious? Trap’s stubbornness on
player selection and retention cost him his job. More importantly, it stopped Ireland from flourishing. As I stated earlier on, there are most definitely better footballers out there. What the globetrotting Italian failed to do, was look for them. Like say, Irish manager of the 1990’s, Jack Charlton. It’s not going too far to say that the reason Ireland used to be so good, was that a higher proportion of the players weren’t Irish natives, and many of our top athletes had come through the systems of bet-
ter equipped footballing nations. When we were at our best we had at our disposal some of the better names in the business, none of whom came from Ireland. Townsend, McAteer, Babb, Houghton, Hughton and Aldridge all contributed to some of the glory days of Irish football. Throw in Alan and David Kelly, O’Leary, Phelan, Cascarino and former manager Mick McCarthy, and you’ll soon see that Ireland’s 1990 and 1994 World Cup Squads were a minimum 40% Eng-
lish. Cynical? Perhaps. Effective? Definitely. Like it or not, these are some of the best players Ireland has ever had, and it’s a trend that can be traced right back to Tony Grealish and Mark Lawrenson; we’ve always benefited from the Irish grandparent rule. We need a good manager, true enough. We need a breath of fresh air in the camp, and someone who can raise our game to a higher plateau. But most importantly, we need better players. We long for more McCleans and Mc-
Carthys to pull on the green shirt. We’ve had good success with Sean St. Ledger and Jon Walters, and Anthony Pilkington is certainly one for the future. What we need is a manager who will go to games, unearth a few birth certs and get quality young players, who want to play for Ireland, and who can help raise our game. Mark Bunn, Mark Noble, Kyle Naughton, even Anton Ferdinand are all available and eligible to play for Ireland. It’s certainly a jump in calibre from Paul Green.
Noel King made good strides in recalling a few players in from the wild. The next manager will have to go even further. I must point out that, all the while, I would love to see the development of Irish football and homegrown players, but until we reach the echelon of the available, non-Irish stars, we need to be more ruthless with our catchment. Football is a results based game. To get those results, no Irish need apply.
Jamaica Under WADA’s Microscope Stephen Ludgate Deputy Sports Editor
MMA Striking A Chord With Ireland Conor Califf Contributing Writer
remember the exact moment I discovered mixed martial arts (MMA). I was fifteen years old and was staying over in my cousin’s house. He possessed a cable TV package which included the relatively obscure British channel Bravo, which has since been shut down. Mindlessly searching through late night TV I stumbled upon a re-run of something called the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). What I was watching was what has become commonly known as “cage fighting” around the world. I was instantly enthralled and my initial thought was “I have to learn how to do that!” For those who have never heard of or watched a mixed martial arts event a brief explanation and history of the sport
it was normalised in 1993 by the Gracie family in Brazil, to see which martial arts style would be the most effective in a real life combat situation. The Gracies, who were themselves legendary mixed martial artists, brought the UFC to America, where it has since flourished. The original bouts were lawless affairs with very few rules. As the sport developed a unified code of rules was created and fighters began training in all styles of martial arts to try and gain the upper hand on their opponent. This hybrid training became mixed martial arts or MMA for short. The cage is used to prevent the competitors from falling out and injuring themselves, which makes it preferable to a boxing ring for contests. The purpose of
is needed. MMA is a fullcontact combat sport which pits two athletes against each other in a ring or a cage. Although mixed fighting events have a sporadic and varied history through the 1900s,
the fight is to defeat your opponent by using a variety of striking (boxing, kickboxing and karate) and grappling (Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling and judo) techniques by either knocking them out or
submitting them. If a knockout or submission does not occur, three independent judges will decide who the winner was using a similar points scoring system to boxing. There are currently eight different weight classes under the unified rules ranging from flyweight all the way up to heavyweight. The sport itself has exploded in popularity globally. It has become the second most watched sport in the United States, after the NFL, and the second most watched sport in Brazil, after association football. Despite the massive expansion of MMA to many corners of the world, it is only recently that the sport has begun to garner mainstream attention from the sports press in Europe. Asia and central America showed
The rise of MMA in Ireland is an example of a subculture going mainstream much interest and promise before Germany, France and the UK displayed a few stars. Ireland in particular has seen the popularity of MMA skyrocket with the rise of Dublin’s own Conor McGregor.
McGregor fights in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, and trains in Straight Blast Gym Ireland, unanimously recognised as the top MMA gym in the country. Some would argue it is even the best MMA gym in Europe. The gym is located on Dublin’s Long Mile Road and is headed up by engineering graduate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belt, John Kavanagh. Kavanagh has truly been the pioneer of the sport in Ireland with many of his fighters, such as Cathal Pendred and McGregor, winning European titles. Despite the gym’s success over the past couple of years, it was only in April of this year when McGregor became just the second Irishman to fight in the UFC. The sport has also been receiving more recognition by the mainstream media in Ireland. The Late Late Show had McGregor and Pendred on as guests and The Irish Times and Irish Independent have written extensively on McGregor’s exploits in the elite league of combat sports, the UFC. McGregor has fought twice in the UFC, defeating Mar-
cus Brimage, by technical knockout, and Max Holloway, by unanimous decision. In the process he has endeared himself to UFC fans worldwide with his exciting fighting style and charismatic personality, even if he has ended up in his fair amount of Twitter trouble recently. In a short space of time McGregor has shone a spotlight on the talent well that is the MMA scene in Ireland and he recognises himself that he is only the beginning of a wave of young Irish fighters who are coming through; “big things are coming and there are a lot of good guys behind me.” MMA gyms have sprung up all across the country. When I was sixteen and I began training there may have been eight people training on an average night in my local gym. It is now common to see upwards of thirty people training a night, a scenario which is being replicated all across the country. The rise of MMA in Ireland is an example of a subculture going mainstream but as McGregor himself stated, “it’s only the beginning.”
ight out of twelve; the of-competition testing in which means the former number of the indi- 2012, to which he replied world record holder is now vidual sprint medals “maybe I’ll have them to- facing a ban. CampbellBrown who tested positive won by the Jamaican team morrow”. at the London 2012 OlymIt’s important to note for furosemide in May was pics. This haul, which in- that many of Jamaica’s only given a public warning cluded Usain Bolt’s historic sprint stars would have by JADCO however WADA sprint double, showed a been tested just before has confirmed that she dominance which had nev- and during the 2012 Olym- may yet serve a ban. She er before been seen across pics. The UK anti-doping has won sixteen Olympic the sprint events at a single agency tested many of the medals throughout her caOlympic games. However Jamaican athletes during reer. the Jamaica Anti-Doping their pre-Olympic trainWADA has announced its Commission (JADCO) has ing camp in Birmingham. plan to make a visit to audit recently come under scru- The first five in each Olym- JADCO as soon as possible, tiny amid alJADCO has recently come under scrutiny legations that amid allegations that the country’s the country’s testing systesting system failed to operate for “five or tem failed six months” at the start of 2012 to operate for “five or six months” at the start of pic final are also routinely to see whether the agency 2012. tested, which obviously in- was still compliant with inRenee Anne Shirley, the cludes any medal winners. ternational standards after former executive direc- In fact the IAAF tested Bolt stating that it was “on the tor of JADCO, revealed the 12 times last year, but the radar” of WADA. However, failings of JADCO earlier reason that there has been JADCO haven’t been as this month to The Gleaner, such outrage over JADCO’s keen to have an immediate the oldest newspaper in failings is that out-of-com- audit, stating that no visit the Caribbean. She gave petition testing is by a long could be accommodated figures for JADCO’s out- way the most effective way until 2014. This raises even of-competition testing to catch athletes who are further questions regarding between January and July using performance en- the agency’s standards. 2012 which amounted to hancing drugs (PEDs). The Usain Bolt’s track coach, just ten occasions in Feb- majority of athletes who Glen Mills, has publically ruary and one in April. Fol- have been caught for using stated that he believes the lowing these allegations, PEDs have been in out-of- Jamaican athletes are bethe World Anti-Doping competition testing. And ing “unfairly targeted” beAgency (WADA) has an- many athletes who have cause of their dominance nounced it is to launch received bans have stated at world level. Mills, who an “extraordinary audit” that the out-of-competi- also coaches Yohan Blake of Jamaica’s drug-testing tion testing was what they and Warren Weir, says agency. feared throughout their ca- that the media is guilty of The current JADCO reers. As the athletes know “sensationalising” the ischairman Herbert Elliott that they will be tested dur- sue of doping in Jamaica. dismissed Renee Anne ing competition, they en- “We have had some adShirley’s figures, describ- sure that no banned sub- verse analytical findings ing her as “a Judas” and stances will be detectable for stimulants and those saying that her statements during this period. other things, but there are were “not in keeping with Suspicions have also so many cases of steroid the truth.” WADA, how- been raised about JAD- use in other countries in ever, has taken the side of CO’s testing during this the past couple of months, Shirley and confirmed that period; since the London yet there is no sensationalthere was a “significant gap 2012 Olympics five Jamai- ising around those counof no testing” prior to the cans have returned posi- tries or athletes,” he told games. Shirley has since tive drugs tests for banned The Gleaner. Bolt has also given interviews to the As- substances, including come under scrutiny for his sociated Press, confirm- Asafa Powell and Veronica relationship with strength ing her statements about Campbell-Brown. Powell and conditioning coach the lack of testing during tested positive for oxilof- Angel Hernandez, who has the period. The Associ- rine earlier this year and links with the BALCO scanated Press then pushed El- just a month ago his ‘B’ dal. liott for his records of out- sample also tested positive
The University Times //
UT Sport 15
Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Ultimate Frisbee Launching Into Season Rory MacCanna Ultimate Frisbee Correspondent
he weekend of October 12 was busy for Trinity Ultimate Frisbee (DUUFC) as they started into the annual Cork Open tournament. After a disappointing 8th place last year and with an almost complete change of faces, the team was very uncertain of what to expect from the tournament. The team consisted of a mix of beginners and experienced players, some domestic and some international students studying at Trinity. Most of the players had not played with each other before and some had not competed in any high level tournaments at all, so the second biggest tournament in the country would be an interesting affair. Trinity got off to an impressive start against NUIG, who tried to shut down the Trinity offense with a zone defence. However, Trinity used their advantages in speed, height and experience and took the first half 7-0. Trinity pushed hard in the second half, scoring point after point, for a final tally of 13-0 to Trinity. Snatch, a club team from Galway, was up next and proved a much tougher opponent. Again, Trinity played against a zone defence, which proved much better drilled this time and
Photo by DUUFC
Rory MacCanna reports on DUUFC’s performance at the annual Cork Open tournament
forced many losses of possession. Snatch cleverly used physical mismatches to convert many of these into points, but Trinity fought back with some brilliant combinations. Both sides were strong in defence, with many point blocks and layouts on display, but eventually Snatch triumphed. In the final group game, Trinity faced one of three UCC teams in the competition. UCC X was a team mixed from some of the strongest UCC players and some beginners, and would be a somewhat unconventional match. Trinity attacked cleverly, using the advantages they had in experience, and won 11-4, taking 2nd place in the group, which would bring them into a crossover against Dublin-club team OCS. Trinity knew to expect a tough game from OCS and found themselves two points down early in the game, as well as having cocaptain Cian O’Mahony ruled out of the game due to a hamstring injury. OCS punished easy mistakes on defence with breakside hammers, but Trinity fought back and managed to turn the game around to 7-6 at halftime. In the second half Trinity got the
opening score and brought the score up to 8-6. DUUFC managed to defend this lead and after a long hardfought last point scored the winning goal for 11-9, which brought them to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal Trinity faced a strong Limerick-based side Pelt. Again, Trinity found themselves against a well-drilled zone defence coupled with very strong attacking capabilities. Like the Snatch game,
sion early in the next point and UCD extended their lead. Trinity fought back, got the equalizer, but UCD stepped it up and took another 2-point lead. Eventually, Trinity managed to catch up and went into halftime with the first lead of the match. In the second half, Trinity struggled against the UCD offense, but kept up their great offensive work. After the official time, the score line of 9-9 meant that the game
half and DUUFC did too little to stop them. However, a halftime score of 7-2 was not reflective of Trinity’s quality, as they proved in the second half when they forced a number of turns by UCC, which they converted for scores. Even though the final score was 11-8 to UCC, the excellent performance in the second half was reflective of a brilliant tournament by all players on the DUUFC squad, who managed to beat their
They gained valuable experience and will only grow stronger with future tournaments Trinity scored a number of brilliant points, but in the end Pelt’s accuracy and efficiency on offense prevented the college side from reaching the semifinal. However, this gave them a chance to play a certain south-Dublin University. Like in many other sports, Frisbee matches between Trinity and UCD are traditionally close affairs and this game would be no different. UCD used their time-out in the very first point to set up their offense and score. Unfortunately, Trinity lost posses-
would go to universe point (golden goal). Trinity started their attack, kept calm and at the end of a clever pass from Eric Steinbrook to Cormac Bourke scored the winning goal for 10-9 which brought Trinity to match for 5th place against UCC, their final match of the tournament Trinity’s final opposition, UCC, is known as one of the strongest college teams in the country and this team included many national players. With their experience and physical advantages they punished Trinity mistakes in the first
seeding and finish 6th overall. While half of Trinity were in Cork battling it out against some of the top university and club teams in Ireland, the rest of the club were across the Irish Sea at the renowned Edinburgh Beginners’ Tournament. This tournament has been run by Edinburgh University every year since 1991 and it is a mixed tournament (men and women on each team) geared towards new players, similar to Trinity’s own Tea Party Tournament which Trinity’s ladies team won the
previous week. Trinity have a good record at this tournament and last year the one team they sent won the tournament. This year we managed to send two beginner teams to the tournament to compete against teams from all over Ireland and the UK. Just like their teammates in Cork, both Trinity teams started well on the Saturday morning with Trinity 1 getting a comprehensive 8-3 win against the English side Flatball, while Trinity 2 had a successful start winning their first game against Pies. Sadly, they faced tough opposition in their second game and lost in a hard fought game by two points to St. Andrews. Considering St. Andrews went on to win the tournament on the Sunday this was a very impressive result for Trinity 2. Trinity 1 had better luck in their second game where they faced a UCD side who were lacking players. They then lost their following two games against Dundee and eventual tournament runnersup Dollar 1, before finishing the day with an exciting match against the tournament hosts Edinburgh which ended in a cracking 6-6 draw. Trinity 2 then lost to another Dundee side before finishing the day with a 7-5 win against the hosts Edinburgh 2. Unfortunately, both teams did not finish high enough to enter the championship bracket on Sunday, and they played their final games in the lower division. Both teams won their first games on Sunday morning. Trinity 1 beat Dollar 2 in an overtime nail biter 7-6, while Trinity 2 beat fellow Irish side UCD. Both teams would lose their second game, Trinity 1 losing 10-3 to Dundee 2, and Trinity 2 losing 7-5 against Glasgow side, Dark Horses. Trinity 1 would go on to avenge Trinity 2 by beating Dark Horses in their final game of the tournament 12-8, while Trinity 2 lost their final match against the English side FarFlung 8-4. Trinity 1 finished 11th, while Trinity 2 placed 14th, out of 22. Both teams had a good tournament with many hard fought matches, and spirited play. They gained lots of valuable experience over the course of the weekend and they will only grow stronger with future tournaments.
Sports in Brief Conor Bates Sports Editor Rugby
DUFC’s poor start to the season continued with an away loss to Dungannon. The long trip to Stevenson Park, Tyrone saw the college side leave with their second loss of the season. This leaves them rooted to the bottom of the Division 1B table. The final score on the day was 21-6, to the home team.
A first loss of the season to Templeogue United was followed by a home 2-0 win against St. James’ Gate FC. Farhad Patel and Aaron Callaghan scored the second-half goals that pushed DUAFC back up the table. In their next league encounter DUAFC drew 1-1 with Wicklow Rovers. Former captain Conall O’Shaughnessy scored the Trinity goal. The club has also begun its University League matches, competing in CUFL Division 1. In their opening fixture, Trinity drew 1-1 with IT Tallaght, with captain Conor Bobbett equalising in the second half.
DU Orienteering was well represented at the Senior Home Internationals held in early October, with six of their members competing in the team and individual events. The competitions took place in Carlingford over two days. Eoin McCullough, Conor Short and Rosalind Hussey, and alumni members Regina Kelly and Niamh O’Boyle represented Ireland, while Kyle Heron competed for Scotland. Ireland finished 3rd place in the team event. In the individual races, Short placed 5th in the M21 race, while O’Boyle placed 8th in the W21 class.
The latest in college sport Judo
Adam Corcoran placed 9th overall at the European University Judo Championships, held in Coimbra, Portugal. The JS Geography student is the current Irish Champion in the 66kg weight class, and was unlucky to be drawn against the ultimate gold medallist on his side of the competition, which led to his stymying of a higher finish.
DUGC were successful at their intervarsity competition, finishing in 3rd place overall in the team rankings. The team was comprised of Ruairi Kennelly, Harry McHugh, Johnny O’Driscoll, Conor Taylor and Andrew Stokes. McHugh finished 6th in the individual event, with Stokes and Kennelly finishing 16th.
Trinity student Prakash Vijayanath, has had recent victories on the badminton world stage. Vijayanath, who trains with the Badminton Ireland Academy, finished second place in the All Africa Championships and won the South African National Men’s Singles Championship.
DUBC retained the Casey Cup for its 4th successive year. The Casey Cup is presented to the top team, of eight rowers, at the Dublin Sculling Ladder competition. Ian Hurley was the best finisher for DUBC, coming in a very impressive 6th place.
Roche Relives Great Season in Trinity Talk Conor Walsh Contributing Writer
ublin University Cycling Club (DUCC) hosted a public talk with Nicolas Roche in the confines of the MacNeill Theatre on October 17, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of cycling fans. The talk was introduced by the President of DUCC and conducted as an interview by club captain, Patrick Smith, with a Q&A session at the end. 2013 was something of a breakout year for Roche. A magnificent stage win at the Vuelta a Espana was the highlight of a year which saw the 29 year old Irishman wear four jerseys at cycling’s third Grand Tour. He notably worked tirelessly for his team leader, Alberto Contador, at the Tour de France as well as some exceptional performances at the Clasica de San Sebastian and the UCI World Championship Time Trial. Roche in his typical honest style, as readers of his fantastic Tour de France diary will be accustomed to, gave
Dublin University Cycling Club host professional cyclist an open and fascinating account of his life on the World Tour with his team Saxo-Tinkoff. After an interesting insight into the history of DUCC and a short video re-
tour, such as attacking the peloton in the crosswinds of the 13th stage of the Tour de France and the crazy scenes he had to deal with after seizing the leader’s red jersey at the Vuelta.
view of Roche’s Vuelta performances, Smith began proceedings with questions relating to Roche’s domestic junior team;Roche was delighted, considering it was its first year in operation. Part of the reason he felt it was necessary to pursue this venture was to hone the skills of riders between the ages of seventeen and twenty years old with the intention of producing top class athletes. He himself ‘recognises the buzz around cycling’ in Ireland at the moment, citing the number of bikes he sees around Dublin as evidence. Looking back over the past season, Roche recounted some of his more unusual experiences on
The latter he describes as ‘intense’, where after navigating his way through the Spanish and international press and the obligatory blood and urine doping controls, he recalls feeling “absolutely wrecked, but delighted” at the chance of wearing one of the most famous jerseys in world cycling. After losing the leader’s jersey the following day, the next stage he described as “the hardest last 80km of the Vuelta”, with fellow teammate Michael Morkov jokingly saying he was ‘delighted that [Roche] lost the jersey’, admitting that he didn’t want to ride for him as he was too tired. Roche noted that time-
2013 was something of a breakout year for Roche
trialling was an area in which he saw major improvements this year. His performance at the World Time-Trial in Florence saw him finish 13th, ahead of time-trial specialists Jonathan Castroviejo and Nelson Oliveira. Changing his eating habits and warm-up regime were two of the key areas to his success. “I used to eat less before a time-trial as I felt I didn’t need as much energy as a long stage. This was a big mistake as I used to struggle the day after on a long stage. In the end I was willing to forget about the 800 grams I ate in favour of a better time-trial performance.” As regards the warm-up, Roche admitted he ‘used to
ing staff at Saxo-Tinkoff, he was able to organise a “more structured programme comprising various different exercises” and he sees this as the reason why he was able to improve his performances substantially. Allied to this was a different bike manufacturer than from his old team, AG2R-La Mondiale, which he says allowed him to find a position on the bike which was more conducive to faster racing. All of this, he says, and some brilliant performances in the Tour and Vuelta, allowed him develop the good form to take part in the Worlds and finishing so strongly. It wouldn’t have been a cycling event, however, if the area of doping wasn’t brought up. There was a
Photo by Sophie Guillermin-Golet versies that occurred this year, most notably the reprimanding and suspension of Vini Fantini riders Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Di Luca at this year’s Giro d’Italia, calling the latter case “ridiculous”, considering it was the third time Di Luca had
Roche presented a race number from one of this year’s events to the captain...a worthy piece of memorabilia for the club to hold be laid back’ when it came to race preparation. Under the guidance of his coach-
certain displeasure in his response to being asked about the doping contro-
been caught cheating. He openly supported the UCI’s new policy of administer-
ing four-year bans to those found guilty of doping in the peloton, though he proclaimed that a lifetime ban was the more suitable penalty in his opinion. The topic of discussion soon changed to the area of his future goals. Responding to a question about whether he had a future in one-day classics races, Roche made it quite clear that although DNA and muscle physiology testing showed him to be a natural classics rider he enjoyed the camaraderie and the daily grind in the peloton more so than individual races. He believed that he
was “two kilos too heavy” at this year’s Tour, citing this as a reason for his inability to challenge on the climbs this year. He did however note that his post-Tour withdrawal to his Alpine training camp in Livigno put him in good stead for the Vuelta in August. The talk came to a conclusion with Roche being presented with a jersey from the cycling club. Roche himself presented a race number from one of this year’s events to the captain Patrick Smith, a worthy piece of memorabilia for the club to hold.
Tuesday 22nd October 2013 //
The University Times
European Silver for Trinity Tennis nine points in a row, which included three aces. Match to Trinity, 6-3, 6-4.
6-3, 6-4 Sinead Kennedy, Trinity’s top female player and prospective Fed Cup player, took on DCU’s Charlotte Thevenin. Kennedy found this match to be little more than a warm up as she coasted through the
Ian O’Connell reports on Trinity’s success at the European University Clay Court Championship in Paris
Ian O’Connell Tennis Correspondent
onsidering there are no genuine red clay courts in Leinster, Trinity Tennis’ latest achievement cannot be understated. The club
in format. Teams compete against one another in three matches; men’s singles, ladies’ singles and mixed doubles. Only six universities are
Trinity Tennis’ latest achievement cannot be understated finished runners-up in the European University Clay Court Championship, hosted by the HEC Business School, in Paris. The competition is not only prestigious but also unique
given the opportunity to battle it out for the crown. To qualify for this event, a team would typically win their national intervarsity championships, have an excellent record in the
HEC event or perform exceptionally well in other international events. This year, the line-up included defending champions Cologne Sports University, University of Moscow, DCU, the HEC Business School and EPFL Lausanne. As luck would have it, Trinity drew arguably the two favourites in the group stages, Cologne and DCU. Held at the home of the French Open, Roland Garros, Trinity were afforded the opportunity to compete on the very same courts as legends of the circuit such as Nadal, Federer, the Williams’ et al. With that in mind, Trinity
began their campaign with an impressive victory over rivals DCU. Mark Carpenter, the coach and first team player, and Stephanie Kinsella, a last minute substitute, took on Craig O’Neil and Christine O’Rourke in the opener. Carpenter’s clinical execution at the net coupled with Kinsella’s effortless ground-strokes gave Trinity the outright advantage. Failing to find a rhythm, O’Neil’s serve was broken on multiple occasions, and Trinity claimed a first victory 6-3, 6-2.
Next on court was Julian
Equestrian Diaries: The Student Nation Cup Clementine Yost Nations Cup Competitor
t’s always great to win on home turf. We saw UCD do just that when they hosted the 2013 Equestrian Intervarsities. But this weekend wasn’t about UCD and Trinity. This weekend was a Student Riders Nations Cup (SRNC) hosted by the Irish University Riding Clubs Association. This time, Irish riders Melanie Young, James Brennan and Beatrice Gates-Hardiman took on the challenge. Not only did they best the rest to make Ireland’s national student rider team, but through consistent riding, they clinched the overall team gold medal. Ballindenisk, Cork, a town so beautifully in the middle of nowhere that we all thought we’d died and gone to equestrian heaven. Riders and supporters travelled from all over Europe. I represented Canada alongside fellow Canucks, Jordan MacPherson and Cierra Chmiliar. The competition kicked off on Friday, with first round dressage. Before the dressage, the team chef d’equipe draws a random horse from a hat. Team Canada drew the lovely massive horse with a penchant for going wild in the arena as he tried to gallop off. I was assigned to him. Yay. As bringing home an armful of rosettes from any SRNC has a lot to do with luck of the draw, I gave up on any fantasy of victory and just tried to keep the
horse calm. Somehow, I pulled it off and advanced to round two, a good enough achievement for someone who never rides dressage. Saturday morning was uncharacteristically hot for October; a fine day for show jumping. This time, I was assigned a small, but very talented horse. I was delighted. That is until both his other riders were eliminated as he quit twice with one and threw the other into the oxer. All I had to do was get him over every fence and I’d be into the second round. With a crop
Clementine Yost talks about her participation in the Nations Cup I had made it to third round dressage. Competing in the lashing rain made it quite apparent that I need to invest in waterproof mascara. Of the six riders, I was the only one who looked like a raccoon as I coughed up a lung around my dressage test. Nothing says elegance quite like Consumption. I was joined in round three by Trinity teammate, Melanie Young, who helped Ireland win gold, while winning gold overall herself. Final round dressage was a bright orange show down with a musical freestyle and a prix St. George
The final round of show jumping was the biggest thrill I’ve had in a long time in one hand, reins in the other, I galloped him up to fence one and growled, “YAH!” He jumped it. And the next three fences, except the pinche caballo attempted a sliding stop on the way to that fateful oxer, where moments earlier, he threw a Norwegian rider. He jumped it. I lost both stirrups and finished the course without them. Who needs them anyway? This impressed the crowd and the judge; although it didn’t really matter as I was through by default. My second round show jumping horse was incredible and made up for the morning’s madness. Sunday was the day we had all been waiting for. The finals were upon us and
won by Dutch rider, Milou Anthonisse and silver for Dutch rider Rosan Retigan. I laid down the fastest clear round on my horse for third round show jumping. Melanie went clear, but her Irish teammates had one pole down each. The final round of show jumping was the biggest thrill I’ve had in a long time. It was down to Domitille Debiesse for France and me for Canada. Domitille and I would ride both and the fastest clear rider would win. There’s a tradition at SRNCs called ‘the kissing ceremony’ where the final two riders link arms, do a double shot of vodka and kiss. After riding the first horses, Domitille and I met in the arena for
our kissing ceremony. Usually a boy is brought out for each girl, but they decided we would kiss each other. Arms linked, we threw back the shots and in a fully kitted embrace, with helmet brims clashing, we kissed awkwardly. Apparently nobody thought it would actually happen... Having kissed and trundled around through the wet grass, we went to mount our final horses. My horse, Jerry Maguire, was the most fun I have had in years. Unfortunately, Jerry and I had a pole down, and so with a clear round, Domitille won the gold medal for France. Although I would have loved to win, I was delighted with silver. While France and Netherlands won the individual golds, it was Ireland that stepped up to claim the team gold. This was thanks to brilliant riding by Trinity student, Melanie Young, who won the overall individual gold with by claiming bronze in both dressage and show jumping. No stranger to international competitions, Melanie previously represented Ireland in the European Championships. Silver was the Canadian theme. I was individual overall silver medalist, while Canada won silver for overall team. We may not have a red rosette to match our dashing maple leaf, but I achieved my goal and didn’t embarrass Canada.
Bradley. Bradley has spent most of the year training with the Irish Davis Cup Squad and despite his age, is already in the reckoning for senior international honours. Taking on Roman Grogan, an able veteran, would be no easy task. Bradley’s construction of points left Grogan asking many questions; he struggled to find answers. An early break in the first set gave Bradley the commanding lead, as he continued producing impressive shots. A twelve minute game, won after eight deuces, gave Bradley the first set. Bradley escalated through the gears, winning
match 6-2, 6-0. Her monstrous serves and powerful returns kept points short and kept her in control. Cologne, the defending champions, also won all three matches in set straights against DCU. Kennedy was sent out to start the Trinity challenge. At the outset, she could not keep up with the blistering pace of the Cologne number one. Going down 5-1 in less than twelve minutes, she began to adapt her game to the player and conditions. Battling back, Kennedy found the opponent’s weaknesses and brought it to a third set. Continuing with the tactical exchanges of slice backhands and heavy topspin, Kennedy pulled off a remarkable comeback to win
face Trinity. With a former ladies ITF competitor, the team would be a formidable adversary. Despite a brave effort from Kennedy, the top class Moscow female won in straight sets. Her sheer ability and experience was too much this time. Carpenter, filling in for Bradley, took on the Moscow’s men’s singles number one. Carpenter came out in blistering form. Losing the first set in just eight minutes, the Moscow player opted for an injury time out to alleviate problems in his right shoulder. After a long interval, Carpenter relentlessly isolated the player’s backhand weakness,
6-0, 6-1 winning the match 6-0 6-1. At one match each, the semi-final would be decided by a mixed doubles finale. The unbeaten pair of Carpenter and Kinsella of Trinity would face the duo from Moscow. Whilst Trinity were a coherent doubles unit, the Moscow pair struggled to adapt to each other’s game, even going as far as arguing with each other on court. Capitalizing on the lack of trust between the opposition, Kinsella and Carpenter took the deciding match 6-2, 6-3. Having been successful in their respective semifinal, Cologne advanced to
5-7, 6-2, 6-1 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Carpenter and Kinsella, inspired by their teammates, created an awesome spectacle in the doubles. Carpenter seemed impassable at the net while Kinsella produced some of the shots of the competition. Assured of top place finish in the group, Bradley opted to bow out, citing a wrist injury incurred in his previous battle as the deterrent to competing. Moscow were next to
6-2, 6-3 the final for rematch with Trinity. Bradley, unfortunately, stepped out of the team due to his wrist injury. Filling in for him again was a jaded Carpenter, exhausted from four matches in two days. Putting new meaning to the term “Gladiator of the Clay”, Carpenter battled hard. In what was undoubtedly the match of
the tournament, Carpenter fought to clinch the first set, 12-10 in the tie-break. Meanwhile, Sinead Kennedy set out to take on a fresher singles opponent. Having lost the ladies single tie against Trinity in the group stages, Cologne opted to have their other player stand in. Kennedy found her form early in the match, winning the first set 6-4. Continuing strong, Kennedy put herself in the prominent position, 4-2 ahead in the second set. Just two games from victory, Kennedy’s strings broke, forcing her to use a spare racquet. The change showed in her play and on the scoreboard. Kennedy lost five of the next six games, losing the set 7-5. The deciding set would be decided with a championship breaker. Despite a brave performance, Kennedy lost the breaker 10-8. All eyes turned to Carpenter. His legs starting to give in, fatigue played havoc with his game. There was no stopping the German, untiring and ready for action, the Cologne number one took full advantage. After dropping the second set 6-3, Trinity’s hopes of reaching a deciding playoff match rested in Carpenter somehow managing to take the championship breaker. His body couldn’t manage though. Close to collapse, Carpenter was met with defeat. After the match, Trinity Ladies Captain, Laura Gibney spoke cheerfully of the performance of her team. “Reaching the final and finishing runner-up in Europe is incredible. All in all it was a great tournament by the whole team.”
Photo by Ian O’Connell