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Issue 2 | Volume 22 | 30th September 2008
Assault investigations Shake security n New security firm accused of heavy handed tactics n Gardaí investigate assault claims Gardaí have launched an investigation into an alleged assault on the UCD campus in which it is understood a member of security reportedly attacked a prominent student society figure. According to a spokesperson for UCD, “There have been two alleged incidents reported to UCD Buildings and Services since Pulse Security took over the UCD campus stewarding contract. Both of these are currently under investigation.” However, President of the Students’ Union Aodhán Ó Deá has claimed he has received dozens of complaints in regards to the new security firm. “As far as I’m aware, we have been receiving a very high number of complaints about the new security patrol. We have been told of
■■ Jennifer Bray incidents in which students were sexually harassed, shouted at, cases in which sly remarks are being made to students and general threatening and intimidating behaviour.” The UCD spokesperson has further said “Pulse Security work to implement university regulations which are in place for the safety and protection of the entire UCD community. The company receive daily briefings from the UCD Duty Manager in order to review and manage operational requirements.” Pulse Security failed to respond to queries from The College Tribune.
»»Continued on page four
college tribune | September 30th 2008
Anti-sexism organisation denies reports of vandalism ■ Aoife ryan A UCD anti-sexism group has denied reports stating they “vandalised” society posters across campus amid claims the posters actually contravene university regulations. According to Elisa O’Donovan of Students against Sexism, posters such as those of the Deflowered Ball, Playboy Parties and Porn Debate depict overtly sexual images and have been met with a barrage of complaints. Sponsoring the events was campus bank AIB who also received criticism from the group. According to O’Donovan, Students against Sexism drew attention to the issue but were snubbed. “We were ignored, so we decided to act on the issue ourselves. AIB should be aware of what they are openly sponsoring,” she says. “All we did was remind them what they were supporting by placing informative posters around the insulting images, their ATM’s and the campus bank itself.” The Students against Sexism retaliation posters were removed from the site and
labelled as vandalism by both the sponsors and societies. Meanwhile Head of Equality studies, Judy Walsh, believes that the posters do not meet regulation standards. Walsh sat on a University Committee that had decided on the present standards. The regulations state clearly that everything must meet the Equal Status Acts 2000 and no advertising should cause “undue offence to the University population, or to a specific group within it.” Students against Sexism now state they are “waiting to hear what will be done over this harassment. “Something so clearly wrong shouldn’t be let go. We have stated our position on the issue and now the University heads should ensure they no longer allow their students to be undermined by such cheap advertising. These posters aren’t innocent event promotions but extreme and insulting to women. Pornographic images of women’s breasts and bodies are on display. Young children passing through the areas couldn’t help but see the blaring images around them.”
■ offended: Judy Walsh of the School of Social Justice
Technicians investigating Merville fire alarm system DML Fire, the contracted fire maintenance crew for UCD residences, are investigating the Merville fire alarm system after a constant string of late night call-outs. Speaking to one of the firm’s representatives, who was in the process of fixing yet another problem at the residences, he said: “I’m always out here. Two nights ago I was called out here at ten o’clock. A few nights before that, I got a call at two o’clock in the morning.” According to the serviceman, a number of factors contribute to the problems with the alarm system, among them the carelessness and vandalism. Some students are allegedly dismantling the smoke detectors. In other cases, he reported drunken students vandalising the Break Glass Units. Furthermore, he said that residents are also deliberately putting objects in place to keep fire doors open, which is triggering sensors linked to the fire alarm. It also renders the specially designed fire doors useless in the event of a fire. Students living at Merville have disputed some of the claims made by both
■ karina Bracken the RAs and the DML maintenance crews. One student said that the problem was not just drunk students setting off fire alarms: “The alarms are just far too sensitive.” “Our alarm went off about seven times between the hours of 19:00 and 21:00.” . The alarm was simply set off by someone opening a door or flipping a light switch. “We were even sent out literature on the sensitivity of the alarms, stating that the alarm could easily be set off when something is being cooked, or even by steam from the shower.” When asked if students were beginning to ignore the alarms due to the repeated false alarms, the student said “We don’t bother anymore. If there was an actual fire, we’d probably think it was a false alarm.” A spokesperson for UCD has said, “Although the fire alarms in Merville are fully-functional, they have, on occasion, been initiated when a fire has not been present. Technicians have been investigating the situation.”
■ 2020 visions: the landmark project would radically alter the front of campus
Gateway project to ease parking mayhem Say goodbye to our concrete concourse Designs for the Gateway Project were revealed last week in a series of open days held in the university. The project sees the construction of a landmark open-air atrium including exhibition space, arts and cultural facilities, a conference hotel, an aparthotel, retail facilities and medical centre. However, it has also been disclosed that in order to facilitate such a large development many features of campus will have to be demolished. Included are; the bank and three car parks plus general alterations to the greater campus area. Worries arose over the issue of parking in the period between the destruction of the three
■ lydia o’Byrne car parks and the construction of the underground car park. The three car parks currently hold 780 cars. Student’s Union President Aodhán Ó Deá attended talks in which the plans were explained in further detail. “I raised the issue about parking and the plan is to build a new running track and have the old track redeveloped.” In the place of the old track will be a car park consisting of 800 spaces. Ó Deá reassures that there will be no demolition carried out until new parking facilities are complete and even adds the good news is that
there may even be an gap between the completion of the new car park and the demolition of the old ones. As regards the on-campus bank, the Atrium will be the new home of the AIB and demolition will not begin until the new bank opens. The only problem that remains is the beloved overhead canopy which is not in the new plan, says Ó Deá. An important structure for clubs and societies providing poster space, the overhead concourse also serves as a muchneeded shield from winterous days. Christoph Ingenhoven revealed at the Open Day held in Quinn School of Business that work is hoped to begin in 2009 and completed in 2013.
college tribune LG 18, Newman Building (Arts Block) or Box 74, Student Centre, UCD Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01 716 8501 Editors Siren Editor Features Editor Sports Editor Arts Editor Music Editor Health & Fashion Editor
Jennifer Bray Simon Ward Cian Taaffe Karen O’Connell Bryan Devlin Cathy Buckmaster Sebastian Clare Aoife Ryan
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Contributors Steven West, Eoghan Brophy, Eoghan Glynn, Jordan Daly, Colman Hanley, Simon Keating, Steve Tuohy, Roe McDermott, Fiona Redmond, Kev Doyle, Heather Landy, Aoife Smyth, Ruth O’Neill, David Maguire, Maximilliam Harding, Pierce Farrell, Susanne O Reilly, Lydia O’Byrne, Karina Bracken, Sam McGrath, Steven Kelly, Michelle Uhrick, Niall Fox, Barra O Fianail, Flyn O Flaherty, David Norris, Mark Little.
Special thanks to... Huw Jones and Frank Flynn at NWN, Chantal at Universal, Alan and Beryl Ward, Sharon and Joseph Bray, 60 Cents Mochas, Dominic Matella at the UCD Communications Office
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college tribune | September 30th 2008
the good, the Bad and the ugly UCD has stolen the media limelight this year after having been voted runner-up in the Sunday Times University of the Year, second only to NUI Maynooth. In the University League Tables, UCD came up one place from last year to clinch the number two position af-
■ karina Bracken ter Trinity’s domination at the top. According to the evidence presented for it’s ranking, the college has made major strides in a number of areas.
THE GOOD... horizons
One of the reasons listed in the report for UCD’s rise in the rankings is the implementation of the Horizons programme. It states the system “has allowed students to have a greater flexibility in what they choose to study.” The refurbishment of the college campus is also listed as a positive step in terms of the renewal of the university’s image.
64% of ucD students achieve over a 2:1 degree Research shows the median points required for entry into both UCD and Trinity to be almost equal, with Trinity at 469 and UCD at 450. More students than ever are also obtaining top marks in their degrees, with 64.4% achieving 2:1s or higher (this equates to 3.7+ GPA in the new system). According to the report, “UCD still attracts the second-highest calibre of students in the republic.”
ucD graduate unemployment at a mere 1.1% Furthermore, success in university academic affairs appears to be extending into the workforce. UCD
■ Face-off: ucD president hugh Brady (left) against tcD provost John hegarty
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graduate unemployment is at a low figure of 1.1%, in comparison to Trinity’s 3%.
only 16% of students fail to complete degree The University steals the seventh place in the list of institutions with the lowest drop-out rate, with only 16% of students failing to complete their degree.
And a thriving social and sporting life… Besides the academic success, UCD continues to shine when it comes to the range of extracurricular activities and social life on offer. Beyond its two student bars and over one hundred active societies, UCD was also awarded four stars for its extensive sporting facilities, a score unbeaten by any other university in the country.
According to the information, the biggest problem facing UCD students is the exorbitant price of accommodation near the college. The average rent for those studying at UCD is by far the most expensive in the country coming last in a list of the affordability of college accom-
modation. UCD students can expect to fork out €100-€150 per week in rent, whereas Trinity students on average pay €100-€125.
rise in entry points
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Elsewhere, the number of students coming to UCD from disadvantaged areas has been found to have dropped marginally to 15.4%. This means that only one in five students are coming from the poorer areas of society.
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College Tribune | September 30th 2008
UCD Senior staff trained at €400 an hour n USI president brands it as another “slap in the face for students” ■■ Jennifer Bray Senior staff in UCD are being taught how to improve their management skills at a cost of up to €400 per hour, it has been claimed. UCD has advertised for a company to give it “a programme of leadership development for senior staff”. The college is said to be planning executive coaching for between 80 and 100 personnel over the next year. According to a spokesperson for the college the training will “improve the management skills of our staff, many of whom come from academic backgrounds. The funding is ring-fenced for institutional reform, so the money cannot be spent on other essential services”. The Companies providing the programme claim it improves executive’s “intrapersonal skills” and “raises their self-awareness”. They further say it can help organisations retain key personnel and boost workforce morale. Recent documentation showed a loss of 19 Senior lecturers to the college over the last year, and last year’s Mercator Survey revealed staff morale at the university to be at
Students’ Union sells out of special-price condoms in two days ■■ Karina Bracken Last week the Students’ Union announced that they had bought a batch of condoms at a special price and would be able to distribute them to students at UCD. Boxes of 144 condoms were available at the cut price of €6 per box, a massive saving in comparison to the current cost of €12 forh 12 condoms. Alternatively, students would be able to avail of a packet of 6 for free. The Union of Students in Ireland struck a deal with a supplier in England to have boxes of condoms ordered at a discounted price, which would then be put on sale to students across the country. The boxes were seemingly a big hit with UCD students, selling out in just two days. Conor Fingleton, the SU Welfare Officer, told the College Tribune: “We ordered 20 boxes that arrived on Tuesday but demand was so big, that we had to order more on Thursday.” When asked if the SU had plans to repeat the offer after its apparent success, Fingleton replied: “We should have more boxes available on Monday.” The boxes of condoms will available from the Welfare Officer’s office and the SU shop in the Student Centre. Fingleton added that “we will hopefully have them for sale in all the shops around campus soon.”
■■ Mature students: Subject to similar financial pressures as regular undergraduates
■■ Shane Kelly: USI President an all time low. Shane Kelly, President of Union of Students in Ireland, said these developments were akin to “another slap in the face for students” But the Higher Education Authority say, “Universities are major businesses as well as education providers, controlling huge budgets and thousands of staff. It’s essential that senior staff have good management skills.” In UCD, recent funding cuts proposed range from closing library services earlier to restricting weekend opening hours.
Mature students “crucified by fees” Younger students not the only ones facing financial hardship
Mature students are facing financial problems similar to students who have just left school, according to John Monaghan, Vice President of the Saint Vincent de Paul in Ireland. As Monaghan explains, “When returning to college, mature students are being crucified by fees, especially if they are full time. Not only do they no longer have income from a job, but they are paying fees on top of that and with very little help from the government.” Mature students make up 28.7% of the student population at UCD. The problem mature students face when returning to college is whether to study full time or part time. Part-time undergraduate courses are run in the evening at UCD while many mature students have to hold down a full time job. This places massive constraints on their time and their ability to study.
■■ Karina Bracken However, if a mature student returns to UCD full time they have to relinquish their salary, as well as pay full fees. While some receive a Back to Education allowance, it is a limited amount that only covers some costs. Vera Gentry, a mature student doing her Masters in American Studies at UCD, says “I believe some consideration should be given to the fact that most of the mature students who studied for their primary degree in the evening have paid a considerable amount of money already. Therefore we should be should be given a large discount for our post-grad studies.” Regarding her own experience, she has also found that even part-timers have to reduce their work hours to accommodate their courses: “Further-
more, those of us doing a part time post-graduate course have to cut back on the hours we work so we can fit seminars into our timetables.” She went on to highlight the fact that students who take their Masters course part-time and over two years (due to work or financial difficulties) are penalised. They end up paying €1,200 in total more than full-time students who complete their MA within the year. Monaghan says that the Saint Vincent de Paul have raised the issue of student debt in their pre-budget submission to the government. The society helps mature students every year with costs such as childcare, books and travel. Overall they have given €2.8 million to students, both mature and younger, to help them meet the ever-rising costs associated with university study.
Assault investigations shake security »»From page one
■■ Condoms: Low prices led to a supply shortage
The UCD contracted security firm, Pulse Security, are at the centre of a probe into alleged assaults on the UCD campus. The Students’ Union President has accused the firm of having a heavyhanded approach. According to their website, “Pulse Security Managements is influenced by the appearance of its staff. What you “say” with your body language is sometimes louder and clearer than what you say with your words. It is a key component of communication, and positive body language will
show you are confident, competent, professional and caring”. Also, in their mission statement they aim to “provide the client with a level of service that is consistently excellent and outstanding in terms of quality and satisfaction.” Pulse Security has had testimonials from large-scale companies such as Hibernian Health, the Gaeity Theatre, and the International Bodyguard Association. According to Ó Deá, reports of the incidents are focused around students who have been drinking or are holding alcohol when spotted by security. I know of one incident in which a post-
graduate student left his residence to have a cigarette, still holding a wine glass in his hand. He was promptly spotted by security and the glass was knocked straight out of his hand. I have also been told by female students of sexual comments being made as they pass, and of general intimidation.” Entertainments Officer Gary Redmond has claimed the issues with security are “teething problems which need to be resolved between the students and security in time”.
»»Editorial: Page nine
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
The root of all evil? n Humble custard creams and digestives blamed for UCD financial woes n Over-use of water coolers also targeted on cutback hitlist A memo sent to the top brass of UCD listing ways in which to cut costs has demanded all staff slash their “extravagant” supply of tea and biscuits. The document, entitled “Value for Money and Cost Reduction measures” requests that the “provision of tea, coffee and biscuits should be discouraged and reduced” and goes on to say hospitality costs should not be in any way excessive. This excess apparently extends to the water dispensers, the cost of which “should be reviewed”. Furthermore, it is suggested that perhaps and where possible there should be no water dispensers at all. Elsewhere in the three-page grilling, staff are advised henceforth to take the train or other public transport to get to their off-site meetings, to only print e-mails if strictly necessary and furthermore “print in mono”. A stark word of caution to academics who have made a habit of purchasing the latest in new computers was also issued in which they
■■ Jennifer Bray were told to buy only what they really need, as opposed to “ the most advanced model possible.” The purpose of the memo, sent by Bursar Gerry O’Brien and Registrar Philip Nolan, is to outline a range of cost reduction measures that will enable the university to meet its financial targets. UCD is, as the note states, “expecting a deficit of €15 million approx for the financial year ending September 30th 2008. “This deficit will further worsen in 2009 unless the University takes decisive action in managing and controlling it’s cost base” It goes on to say that due to the Department of Education demands for a 3% funding cut, UCD will need to find savings equal to 9-10% in order to “stand still”. If the university wants to reduce the overall deficit, “substantially greater savings” will be needed. The internal missive ends on a
warning note, advising all VicePresidents, College Principals and College Finance Managers to note that “Value for Money reviews are taking place and academic and support units will be reviewed from time to time to ensure they are behaving in a cost conscious manner.”
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
News: Investigations News
As the debate on the re-introduction of third level fees grows ev
So it begins Hundreds of students turned out last week to reject the re-implementation of fees. So why should UCD students be opposed to fees? Here are their arguments: 1.Essential services, of which Education is one of the most important, have to be free and supplemented by support targeted at those in need as that is the only way to guarantee equality of access. A fee system, based on parent’s income would automatically present a huge obstacle to those who are estranged from their parents. It would act as a disincentive to entering education, especially for those just above the cutoff limits. Access should be accessed on ability, people should have limitless opportunity to peruse and fulfill their potential, regardless of their position in society. 2. Increase in cost. Once fees are introduced, the only way they can go is up. Protestations from the Government that only the wealthy will pay were shown to be unreliable by the increase last summer in the so-called “registration fee” A family which had two parents earning minimum wage were considered “wealthy enough to pay”. Once fees are introduced as a new form of taxation, the political reality is that the government will try and accrue as much revenue as possible from it – thus exacerbating the problems. 3. Actual cost of third level. There are already enough charges levied on students – from “registration fees” to Accommodation to materials - without adding on fees, the average cost of completing a third level degree stands at €38,000. The Ministers’ proposals would take this to over €75,000, for a four year degree. For a family of three children, that amounts to €225,000, making education an unaffordable luxury. We must stop using the term “Free
Education”, plainly we don’t have free education. Students must win the battle on information, and the message should be “education is expensive enough” 4. Tax Reform. There are many other ways to pay for our education system without introducing fees. The taxation system should be first looked at, as a means to provide revenue. Just one of many avenues to examine would be the Bloodstock industry, or slimming down on absurd wastage in major capital projects (Luas, Dublin Port Tunnel, etc). The use of examples of reckless waste of tax payers’ money will be very embarrassing for the government. By all means, let the Tony O ‘Reillys and the Michael O ‘Learys pay for education, but through the tax system. 5. Inflation - the recent increases in indirect taxes through the budget had a very detrimental effect on our inflation rate at a time when inflation is presenting a major threat to Irish economic recovery. The introduction of another indirect tax (fees) would, depending on the thresholds, push inflation up another percentage point or even more. This would impact on our competitiveness as well as presenting a serious difficulty to the social partnership agreement. 6. Economy. Our economy is now changed from work based to knowledge based. All we have to do is look at the inward investment that has been made in the past few years by US multinationals. We need to encourage inward investment the only way to do this is to this is to have a highly educated work force. The average student will contribute 70% more in taxation throughout their life time. It is good for our economy that we have more people in
education, so they can get god jobs and pay more tax, tax that can be spent on schools, hospitals and roads. For every €1 invested, the government will see a return of €1.25, so investing in education is also good business. 7. Fees for the Super Rich. What the minister is suggesting is fees for the “super rich”, yet the minister has not laid down exactly what this means. In order to raise adequate funds the minister is going to have to charge the middle earner for education. This is just the thin end of the wedge. All we have to do is look at the Capitation Fee. In 1997, the capitation fee was brought in as a temporary measure and was £120. Now in 2008 it is €900, the guts of a grand. The writing is on the wall if this government introduces fees in any shape, it will only take a few years for everyone to be included. 8. Loans. If an Australian loan system is developed (HECS), the result will be two fold, one discourages students to go to college because of loans, two encourages graduates to leave the country in order to avoid paying their loans. With Ireland’s history of mass emigration loans are something that we can not risk. The total amount of unpaid student debt in Australia is over $15 billon. It would cost more to set up and run a student loan system that it costs to have “free” education. Also the experience of British students has been to avoid middle income jobs, (like teaching and nursing) as it will take longer to pay off their loans, so they opt for higher paying jobs/courses (Business, law, accountancy). Therefore, loans mean less nurses, teachers speech therapists and special needs assistants.
The Fees Timeline July 4th The College Tribune queries the Department of Education on possible plans for the re-introduction fees. According to the department, “The Government has no plans for the reintroduction of third level tuition fees”.
July 12th President of DCU Ferdinand Von Prondzynski suggests fees should be put back on the agenda stating “they have to come back in, we’re ridden
ment has no plans for the reintroduction of third level tuition fees”.
with debt and we can’t compete if we go on like this”.
A national Sunday newspaper reports, “The cabinet are set to consider the re-introduction of third-level fees in the wake of the budget cutbacks.”
In what was described as a significant policy change, Batt O’Keefe told The Irish Times that third-level fees were back on the agenda. He claimed there was “no question of imposing new charges on those who could not afford them.”
The College Tribune further queries the Department after these reports, receiving the response “the Govern-
The Irish University Association representing the seven university heads – welcomes the debate on
■■ Batt O’Keefe
fees stating “any indication on the Minister’s part that he is willing to examine how the sector is funded (is welcomed)”. Fine Gael and Labour attack the proposals as retrograde.
August 14th President of the USI Shane Kelly lashes out at the idea of tuition fees claiming they would do “nothing for education and nothing for families” at a protest of about 100 students outside the Department of Education in Dublin.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
er more complex, Jennifer Bray takes a look at the story so far
Former Minister for Education urges O’Keeffe not to take “retrograde” step Former Minister for Education Niamh Bhreathnach, responsible for the abolition of fees in 1996, has urged the Minister for Education not too take the “retrograde step” of re-introducing third level fees. Speaking to the College Tribune, Bhreathnach also further advised that the heads of Universities be “challenged at their game”, stating there are other ways to bridge the funding gap currently in existence in almost all of Ireland’s seven Universities. “Ever since fees were abolished all the university heads could say was ‘this won’t work, we need fees back’. They are interested only in their funds, not who they hit or how. The heads of universities have their problems and I’m not trying to diminish that, but on a European level Undergraduate education is considered a right.” “In their grand plan for this knowledge based Ireland, the government has completely stepped off the path. When they introduced fees into England the numbers of those attending college fell. To really get a knowledge based society, we need a level of 32 percent graduates. This is the most important thing- keeping the numbers up in college.” As Labour Minister for Education, Bhreathnach abolished fees after her own extensive study on how Ireland’s third level sector was funded. “I looked at the way the third level was funded extensively before I abolished fees. I found the simplest way to open the gates to all was to remove funding for all. I would be very disappointed if fees were re-introduced at this stage.” Bhreathnach points towards Ireland’s economic dip and previous financial state as reason for the resurfacing of the fees debate, although
■■ Don’t do it: AntiFees champion Niamh Bhreathnach (above) and current education minister Batt O’Keefe she believes it is an issue every year that arises, however now the economy has suffered a dip a “lack of broad mindedness” is pushing leaders into enforcing third level cuts. “Now things are bad we are turning around and saying ‘we’re going to look into this issue now for funding, because we haven’t the ability to look on a wider basis’”. When it comes to the politics of the debate, Bhreathnach says that Fianna Fail “Are very good at saying the words, but I want to hear them sing the song”. But the former minister does commend Batt O Keeffe’s decision to allow a fully open debate on the issue.
Reports of record numbers of CAO applicants rushing to accept college places surface amid concerns that third-level fees could return.
A study by Dr Noel Woods, an economist at UCC, claims third-level fees for wealthy would raise €500m.
September 19 :
O’Keeffe reveals that he personally backs the return of third level tuition fees. The Union of Students in Ireland slams Minister O’ Keeffe as “Misguided and out of touch”.
It emerges that Dr Woods miscalculated figures in relation to the amount third level tuition fees would raise. In fact, the maximum amount, using his own figures, was actually €130 million.
September 11th Third level fees plan could be ready in as little as 18 months, according to the minister.
University Presidents lobby for the introduction of an Australian-style student loan system. Australia’s education minister questions the credibility of the system and describes the scheme as “at best complex and at worst anomalous, inconsistent and irrational”.
■■ USI President Shane Kelly
Hundreds of UCD students express their discontent at the developments in a protest march to the Tierney
■■ DCU President Ferdinand von Prondzynski
The USI releases a statement expressing that the return of fees could spark further graduate emigration.
College Tribune | September 16 2008
Opinion Worshipers of an unsustainable God Well there is no doubt that we are living through a period of considerable turbulence. I sometimes marvel at the mess my generation is handing over to yours. But in addition to all the turmoil and difficulty it is also a time of opportunity and challenge. However in order to rise to the challenge and provide imaginative solutions we must clearly identify the root problems. Look around you. Free market Capitalism is in meltdown, some western governments led by the Bush Administration in the USA have debased and discredited the very word Democracy, turning it into an obscenity in the eyes of many. An attempt has been made by intergovernmental conspiracy to tear up and shred the Geneva Conventions. Torture is approved and attempts made to institutionalise it. Even in Ireland we have played our small shameful role by collaborating with CIA rendition flights through Shannon. Tensions are rising between nations over scarce resources including that most basic of all all - water. Species of animals, insects, plants and fish are becoming extinct and weather patterns are changing, in some parts of the globe violently. What could be more apocalyptic? Nothing seems stable, and underlying it all is the one apparently unmentionable problem. The elephant sitting on a creaking chair in the middle of the room trumpeting its head off is politely ignored. I mean of course the unprecedented explosion of the human population on this small and fragile planet. And explosion is the right word. In my lifetime the number of human beings has multiplied three times. We all give lip service to sustainability. But who is asking at the highest levels how sustainable is the tripling in a comparatively short space of time of a population group all dependent on the same finite resources? And this is the rub, for as we finding out to our cost, resources are finite. Think not only water but oil, gas and food stuffs. Underneath every major problem that now confronts humanity - famine, pollution, international conflict, global warming, environmental degradation, and extinction events lies the problem of over population. Tragically those people to whom one might look for moral guidance are apparently blind to the issue. Some, such as a recent succession of Vatican administrations even perversely encourage and stimulate further population expansion in a gadarene rush towards the abyss. Some have gloated at the collapse at Communism, yet corrupt as it became in realisation its dream was one of equality and justice - “from each according to their capacity to each according to their needs” and some, such as myself, predicted that the fall of Communism would ultimately precipitate or at least be followed by, the collapse of untrammelled market Capitalism. What has happened is that the balance in the world has altered and that
David Norris the values of consumerism have been allowed to triumph at least temporarily. Indeed it will have to be temporarily for Capitalism too is a busted flush. Capitalism made a God of money and the market. But money is merely the symbolic representation of energy and in the advanced Capitalism of the west the gap between that symbol and the reality it once expressed has become dangerously tenuous. Everything has become abstract, and a whippersnapper like young Mr. Leeson with his computer can flatten a 250 year old family bank by just a few twiddles of the dial causing unemployment and misery to people he has never met. Capitalism itself is founded upon the notion of an infinitely expanding market and endlessly increasing profit. This idea might have been sustainable in the 19th century, but we now know something of the limit of the plane resources and it is patently absurd for us today to continue with outdated ideas apart altogether from the damage, moral and material, that such a policy would inflict. The fading Administration in the White House is perhaps the worst ever, characterised by hypocrisy and deceit. The Twin Towers were bombed by a team of Saudis so in response they bomb Iraq. They attack big Government in slogans while actually instituting Big Brother and eavesdropping on the private conversations of millions of citizens. Federal Government attempts to remove or restrict life style choices for the man or woman in the street. When ordinary citizens experience financial difficulty they are told that market forces must be allowed to prevail, the market will correct itself, the individual does not matter only the system. And yet when the system itself begins to collapse Government rushes in with tax payer’s money to bail out greedy and improvident institutions. And Ireland is not immune. However, in voting against the Lisbon treaty, it shows we can buck the trend in the interests of the individual. We have also shown that by our ingenuity and talent we can rise from one of the poorest nations in Europe to the richest. And so my dear young friends it’s over to you, you won’t find it easy, but if it is any consolation I have every confidence in you.
»»David Norris is Senator and human rights activist
No time for jumping the shark RTÉ’s Mark Little explains how the reaction to Sarah Palin as a vicepresidential nominee fits perfectly into a New America When Sarah Palin exploded onto our screens, it was like that moment your favourite television show performs a plot change so fantastical and impossible that you don’t know whether to gasp or laugh. When it works in the TV business, they call it genius. When it fails, it’s known as ‘jumping the shark’ (go on, google it). We’ll have to wait and see how the Palin plot-twist plays out, but in the meantime, it’s worth considering what it says about the messy business of politics in a changing America. Right away, it suggests that what voters feel about a candidate often matters more than what they think. The first time I wandered into an Iowa diner during an election campaign, a local politician told me over coffee and pie that ‘voters are looking for someone just like them, only better.’ It became an article of faith for me that Americans want someone who reflects their hopes, but also absorbs their flaws and fears. They also want someone who they would be happy to spend time with. Bill Clinton would have been a great dinner guest, with his teary-eyed empathy and easy intelligent chatter. George W. Bush was affable and comfortable in his own skin, like the kind of guy you would be happy to find on the bar stool next to you. As for Sarah Palin, she is the glamorous yet down-to-earth uber-mom you meet at the Wal-Mart check-out. By that shallow criterion, Palin makes her mark. But she also feeds off a powerful force in American history: the tension between the desire for change and the fear of change. Palin presented herself as someone who would reform politics and - at the very same time - protect American values. Ronald Reagan perfected this particular magic trick; it remains to be seen if Sarah Palin can pull it off. But for my money, the media-hypedSarah-Palin-lipstick-on-a-pig-pitbullhockey-mom-moose-stew nonsense proves something else I have been
Mark Little Palin feeds off the tension between the desire for change and the fear of change. feeling for some time now: the election is as captivating as your favourite soap, but it is a mere side-show to a dramatic reinvention in American life. You see, no matter who wins this election, the United States is about to be transformed. The first great transformational force in play is the Millennial generation, which includes Americans born between 1980 and 2000. The Millennials are being talked about as a ‘hero’ or ‘civic’ generation with the power to revive American public life. They are more active in politics than previous generation (in the primaries and caucuses this year, youth turnout was up more than 100 per cent). They will be the most diverse generation in American history (40 per cent of them are from racial minorities). And perhaps just as important, the Millenials are also the first generation of Americans to be raised with the altered consciousness of social technology and its spirit of collective innovation. The second big agent of change in the New America is immigration. The United States is expected to add another 100 million to its population during the next forty years, and there will be a record-breaking proportion of foreign-
born Americans by 2025. That will have dramatic impact on America’s racial composition and according to official forecasts, white Americans will be a minority by the year 2042. The third great transformational force in the US right now is a dramatic exodus of Americans towards the south-western states; current predictions are that by 2030 two out of three Americans will live in what is commonly known as the Sunbelt. From California to Texas, this new generation of pioneers are creating fast-growing, vibrant cities known as ‘boomburbs’. In the process, they are turbo-charging the American dream but also facing up to its contradictions, which may explain the dramatic environmental awakening you find in these sprawling communities, carved out of scorched desert earth. Change is never easy. Every American reinvention has been a battle between those who are impatient for change and those who stand to lose from change. You see a pantomime version of that tension in the Sarah Palin soap-opera. But you can also see it in Barack Obamas’ persistent weakness among key groups of voters. He still struggles to connect with those who stand to lose in an America that is different. Older, whiter, poorer Americans in particular just don’t feel comfortable with him. Aside from the possible impact of his race, he doesn’t seem to ‘speak about the future with the accent of the past.’ Either way, whether Obama wins or loses, the die is cast. Change is coming. Messy and unpredictable it may be, but it is coming. And everything else is, to use that now immortal phrase, is lipstick on a pig.
»»Mark Little is a presenter of
RTÉ’s Primetime. His new book is entitled ‘The New America’, and is out now.
»»Little chairs the L&H’s debate on the U.S. presidential election on Wednesday 1st October
College Tribune | September 16 2008
Please reply to:
Letters Merville Fire Woes Dear Sir and Madam, I am writing to express my concern for the safety of myself and my flatmates in the UCD campus residences. I personally reside in the Merville residences, and would describe myself at the end of my tether with the never-ending series of alarms set off at all times of the day and night and on an hourly basis. This is directly affecting my own and my flatmates academic performances, as sleepless nights now translate to late mornings. Despite the academic woes that arise over these overly sensitive fire alarms, my fundamental concern is for the safety of the students residing. After a dependable sequence of by now familiar soundings of alarms, the majority of students have accepted the hypersensitive nature of the fire system and no longer bother to leave, instead merely muttering their displeasure and continuing as they were. This is a blatant danger to students, who will not know if the
very building they are in is ablaze until is becomes a major hazard to their lives. It is unacceptable, bothersome and dangerous. The college must put a stop to this before it is too late. Yours Sincerely, John Cosgrave, Final Year Arts.
Alarming security presence Sir and Madam, UCD has seen significant changes since my first year here last year. More cutbacks are in place, more demonstrations are occurring but most worryingly, an increase in the new security looms large over the students. It appears to me that these security guards hunt in packs. These services operate together, and leave more than a vestige of intimidation on the average student. Furthermore, as a female stu-
dent, I must concede that they fail miserably in doing what they are paid to do. Walking through campus at night, I often feel more nervous and uneasy the nearer I draw to these men than I do your usual random male passer-by. Asides from this, I am left with the distinct impression that the security in place are well connected amongst themselves, as if a good time is being had by our security team which roves in droves on a fully-charged power trip. I have heard countless anecdotes from those in the college about the security, and I would suggest either the college, duty managers and students move now to remedy the situation in its early stages, or replace them with another firm. Elizabeth Buckley, Second Year Commerce.
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College Tribune Security In one of the countries’ biggest educational institutions, it comes as a disappointment and a shock to discover a wealth of student anger and unrest towards the very people styled as our security. The news that the discontent between student and security has reached the levels of Gardaí investigation is sure to be of detriment to the University as a whole, but meanwhile, other reports continue to arise. Although the incidents in questioned are alleged, it would be nonsensical to dismiss the plain fact that the UCD Students’ Union has seen a veritable influx of students all with a gripe against Pulse Security. Two incidents are under investigation, but dozens of others continue to surface. All appear to be focused on students, who may or may not be carrying alcohol, all bear the marks of a disingenuous, discourteous and unprofessional service. If it is the case that each of the students who have voiced concerns over the issue acted unreasonably, it does not nullify the fact our security service can not handle the task at hand, and incidents end up as investigations. This newspaper awaits the conclusion of the investigations and advocates whatever course of action ends the intimidation so clearly impressed upon those in UCD.
League Tables UCD coming second place in the much-hyped league tables is, of course, a welcome and long-awaited piece of good news for the University. However, the issues within the college itself threaten to overshadow the rise in rankings. Amidst never ceasing talk of economic gloom, it is clear that cuts are needed and savings must be made. What is disturbing about the cost-saving measures are the areas in which they are taking place. Proposed cutting of library hours and building hours are measures that will directly affect the learning experience of the student. The League tables are partly based on the of the exam performance of the students with little regard to the marking scheme of the college itself, and thus are often an unfair representation of the educational institutes as a whole. A low drop-out rate, a high percentage of students achieving a 2:1 and over, and a graduate unemployment under 2% are indisputably satisfactory results for the efforts of the college. However at a time when third level fees sway their way back on the agenda, we need to take a close scrutiny of the drop in those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and the rise in entry points before, as the General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers points out, we get too complacent.
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College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Mapping a course for change As the U.S. presidential election enters its final swing, Chris Bond examines some of the issues that may send Barack Obama to the White House This time 12 months ago if you were asked who would be the Democratic nominee for president, you probably would have said Hillary Clinton without hesitation. Then along came Barack Obama. With a refreshing message, and cleverly executed campaign Obama pulled off a type of election victory in the Democratic Primary that has rarely been seen since the British Labours party’s 1945 landslide victory over popular wartime prime minister Winston Churchill There are few political figures out there today as inspirational as Barack Obama. Against a background of an unpopular war, home foreclosures, job losses and declining standards of living, many Americans have turned to a candidate who they see as ending the business as usual in Washington under the mantra of ‘’Change’’. Obama himself has emphasised that America must change from the bottom up not the top down, certainly not the rhetoric one would expect from most suit wearing politicians. Obama has galvanised an unprecedented grass-roots movement, ranging from students to labour organisers to environmentalists. Organised labour or trade unions as we refer to them in Europe, one of the major bases of Democratic Party support are particularly excited by Obama’s candidacy. More so than most Democratic Party candidates, labour activists do have good cause to rally support for Obama. Obama is a self described pro labour union candidate. In his book, ‘The Audacity of Hope’, he describes labour unions as the essence of democracy as opposed to business lobby groups which he claims try to ‘subvert democracy’. Labour rights activist and pro Obama blogger Debra Milenson says that Obama’s economic plan will not only create more quality jobs but help
to raise standards of living for American workers. Milenson stated that “Barack Obama will take direct action to create 5 million new, good paying jobs by investing in critical industries such as renewable energy, infrastructure repair, and health care. “Businesses benefiting from these investments will be held accountable for working in partnership with employees and labour representatives to put in place state-of-the-art training and work systems needed to drive innovation, productivity, and service quality. A middle class tax cut will help workers preserve their income’’ The Sister party of the Irish Labour Party, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) firmly believe that Obama would be a much better choice for America than John McCain. DSA National Director Frank Llewellyn says that “elections often provide difficult choices for people on the left but this time its not that difficult.” The DSA cite Obama’s healthcare plan, and support for the employee free choice act, which if passed will allow workers the freedom to join a union as an examples of his progressive politics. The DSA however are under no illusions about Barack Obama. Frank Llewellyn believes that even with an Obama Presidency it will be difficult to pass progressive legislation, Llewellyn states that it is not enough to just allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, a more progressive system of taxation is needed ‘if we are going to fund Social programmes such as universal healthcare’, He also believes that Obama will make decisions that will be disappointing to those on the left. Notwithstanding his criticisms of Obama, Llewellyn maintains that under an Obama administration there would be a better chance
of passing legislation which ordinary people need. One issue that cannot be ignored in the run up to the election is race. Barack Obama made history in becoming the first African American major party presidential candidate. During the primary season 92% of African American democratic primary voters, casted their ballot for Barack Obama. The Obama campaign is hoping that record African-American turnout will help him to swing the traditionally solid Republican states of Virginia and North Carolina come election day. Obama’s confirmation as the party’s nominee following the Roll Call at Democratic
“Elections often provide difficult choices for people on the left but this time its not that difficult” Frank Llewellyn, Democratic Socialists of America
National Convention in Denver was by far one of the most emotional moments of the campaign. One of the leaders of the civil rights movements Congressman John Lewis of Georgia who was speaking on the fourth day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, honouring the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech said that, “With the nomination of Senator Barack Obama tonight, the man who will lead the Democratic Party in its march toward the White House, we are making a major down payment on the fulfilment of that dream.”. Obama spoke eloquently about the issue of race in his a more perfect union address in April of this year. However Obama has never asked for special treatment because he is an African American, nor has he played the race card when he has had criticism levelled at him by his opponents. Even former Republican Presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee had the grace to admit that Obamas victory was not because of his skin colour but because of indifference to it, during his address to the Republican convention in St Paul Minnesota. Obama’s popularity in states with overwhelmingly white populations is a testament to the fact that he is able to transcend the racial divide. It is predicted that on Election Day, Obama will achieve one of his largest margins of victory in Vermont the state with the second highest proportion of whites in the US. Obama is not only trying to rally Democrats and Independent voters to his cause, he is also reaching out to disillusioned Republicans. In his populist address at the 2004 Democratic national convention he proclaimed that ‘we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans but we are all Americans first’.
Indeed some Republicans have been receptive to Obama. Former Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee pledged his support to Barack Obama as early as the primary season. Chaffee who is regarded as a Republican in name only said he admires Senator Obama’s terrific commitment to personal liberties, such as the first amendment, the fourth amendment, a woman’s reproductive freedoms, Senator Obama’s strong on that. I consider that traditional conservatism. Senator Obama is a leader in speaking out against the war in Iraq. Using the tools of government to help the less fortunate’’ The Group Republicans for Obama boasts significant membership and includes an 87 year old lifelong Republican woman from Oregon. Attending university in the United States can often leave one tens of thousands of Dollars in debt upon graduation. Students for Obama hope that the Obama’s education proposals will help more college students meet the cost of tuition. Molly Claflin of Students for Obama says that Obama’s plan “creates a universal and fully-refundable $4,000 Opportunity Tax Credit. This credit will cover two-thirds the cost of college tuition at the average public state university and make community college almost free for most students.” This Autumn, Barack Obama will be hoping to cash in on the unpopularity of the Republican administration under George Bush. Most American citizens have expressed dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, issues of economic security such as home foreclosures, income levels and Job Security are starting to take precedence over rallying points for Republican support such as Gun Ownership and Abortion. Obama hopes that the desire for Change in America will translate into a big win come November.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
The room is set. RTÉ are ready. The cameraman is prepared with an ‘ultra-wide’ lense. In the middle of it, she waits, blonde and diminutive, slightly bemused by it all. Her dress is low-cut, but not overly so. The subject is Claire Tully, the holder of the slightly dubious honour of being Ireland’s first lady to appear topless in The Sun’s infamous Page Three. “I entered a competition in FHM, ‘High Street Honeys’, just on a whim. It was kind of to see if I could get into the top 100. I’d seen pictures of the top girls and thought ‘I could do as good as that’. Why not? It would be something that I could show the grandkids in years to come and say ‘Hey, I was hot – ages ago’”. However Tully isn’t quite your average Page Three model. Collecting the maximum 600 points in her leaving certificate, the Lucan native opted for science in Trinity College. Following her graduation with a first class honours, specialising in biochemistry and immunology, she interviewed for a PhD position in Oxford. “I am a scientist. I was born a scientist. I love being in that environment all the time. I’m still in touch with people in college, who talk sciency things, we don’t talk about glamour modelling. So that’s very much in me and that’ll never go away.” However, combining a modeling career with completing a college degree wasn’t all plain sailing. Tully complains of being bullied at every stage of her educational life. “My friends were always individuals, I was never part of a group. I was picked on a lot in primary school, in secondary school and in college. I experienced it the whole way through. “There was a guy in my year who really didn’t like me from first year on. Just didn’t like me. I went and didn’t know anybody, so I tried to make friends, but in lectures they’d be kicking the back of my chair or throwing papers at me. It got to a point where they were like – ‘Go away you bitch, everybody hates you, nobody likes you, just fuck off’. They were pushing me in the corridors.” Tully persisted with her glamour work, and following appearances on Page Three, featured on RTÉ’s reality TV show Fáilte Towers and now writes a regular column, ‘luscious’, for the Irish Sun. She has traveled a rarely trodden path to where she is now, but is skeptical it will open the door for legions more Irish girls to enter the ‘industry’. “It’s not an economical thing for students to get involved in. Work varies from week to week and it’s very difficult to get in to. “There are so many girls you are in competition with. You have to look your best at all times. You can get a phone call in the morning, maybe at twelve, and they want you at three o’clock. If you haven’t always got your hair, tan, waxing and nails all done, it’s not going to happen.” The glamour model industry is a competitive business, with numerous players both reputable and otherwise. According to Tully, numerous impressionable young ladies are taken advantage of, partly by unscrupulous characters and partly by the pressures of modern society. “With the likes of Bebo, there’s a huge number of girls who pay money to get glamour shots done to display on their profile. I don’t see the point of it, since I went into this as a business, to survive. Opportunists get the chance to basically perve on people, and earn money doing it”
■■ Sex appeal sells: Glamour model Claire Tully (left) and her Irish Sun headlines
Understanding model behaviour Irish glamour model and first-class honours student Claire Tully speaks to Simon Ward prior to her appearance at Lawsoc’s glamour model debate, about mixing education and the mass media “I was a rare exception in that I was approached by a huge company. I was saved from all that. I may have missed all that, but I can see it, and this is where the bad image of the glamour modeling industry – that it takes advantage, comes from.” Claire Tully entered the surprisingly entertaining reality TV world of Fáilte Towers, with the goal of
It got to a point where they were like – ‘Go away you bitch, everybody hates you, nobody likes you, just fuck off’. They were pushing me in the corridors.”
raising money for breast cancer charities. However, not just one, or two, but three Irish charities politely said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to her altruistic overtures. It would be inconsistent to accept money from someone who has made a living selling her assets, and to use that cash for cancer research, they claimed. “I tried so hard to find a charity. Some charities found it more offensive that I took off my top than the actual disease that is both devastating and destroying. I didn’t have the foresight to see the see (the rejection) myself. One of the reasons I do Page Three is that I could use it to raise money for breast cancer. It never crossed my mind that I would be refused.” The notion of posing topless for a national newspaper continues to illicit wildly contrasting opinions, with approval from salivating teenagers to staunch spurning from feminists. Tully unsurprisingly finds the concept of glamour modeling unrelated to impressions of anti-feminism.
“I don’t think glamour modeling is something that in any way puts anyone down. There are feminist issues that I would believe in. The simple fact that I posed topless in a newspaper doesn’t mean that I’m anti-feminist in any way. I believe that a lot of the anti-woman attitude and a lot of the negativity towards female sexuality has stemmed from the Catholic Church. I’m very adamant about that.” Ultimately, the glamour model industry is a cruel and impersonal world. Every girl in front of the lenses and lights has a shelf life, and eventually a time will come for Claire Tully to find alternative employment. “I’m not going to be able to do Page Three forever. Most girls finish up about 28-29. At that stage your career would progress into something else or it finished. At some stage there will come a time when I’ll have to put my bra back on and get back in the lab. I will go back into science work eventually, that’s what I’m interested in.”
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
■■ Mogul: Peter Stringfellow pictured with his 23-year old fiancé Bella Wright (right) and with Claire Tully (below) at the recent Lawsoc debate
The democracy of dirty dancing Peter Stringfellow talks to Jennifer Bray about the collapse of his Dublin lap dancing club, his democracy at work, and his vision of himself Peter Stringfellow possesses a veneer of charm and mischief evident in his cool stance and a frankly bling ensemble. With a watch capable of blinding and shoes that double-up as mirrors, his somewhat wellspoken English accent surprises. But he’s unabashedly forward with his opinions, announcing, “The young ones in Ireland are fighting repression. It’s a Catholic country with a great religious history. So, of course, there is a certain sense of being held back. The Catholic Church is repressed just as other churches are, and there’s not one church which turns and says “Hey! Let’s have sex today.” Stringfellow, seemingly unaware of the air of controversy he creates, extends his theories on the Irish right out to the very students of UCD. “I think UCD students are smart and clever with a good sense of humour. But they’re too young to go to my clubs.” Age is clearly an issue for the impresario as he divulges the collapse of his Dublin strip club arose somewhat from the tender ages of the clientele attending. “There’s a fallacy that my clubs are
for young people. I own male clubs, attended by 95 % men overall and over their late twenties upwards. Women would be in their late twenties, thirties, forties and fifties too. Surprisingly, there are not many sixty year olds.” Except himself, he concedes. However, age was not the only pivotal factor in the demise of the Dublin Stringfellow’s club. The combination of a location a little too central for a “small enough city” and the fact his Irish clientele preferred to take their custom to London ensured a
I think UCD students are smart and clever with a good sense of humour. But they’re too young to go to my clubs
timely end. Though he has no immediate plans to return to Dublin to give it another go, he also tellingly says he refuses to rule it out, only next time maybe as a private club. Famed for his run-ins having being accused of sexual exploitation of women, this man is adamant that he has an equal pay and treatment policy for his “girls”, because “of course the women earn more than the men in the club”. But jesting aside, Stringfellow is of the creed that “dancing is a democracy in action”. Or as he continues, his clubs are a form of capitalism in which “all of the women no matter of what origin earn the same amounts. “You must not forget either that you have to be good to be a dancer. You have to have some personality and be courageous. Its not necessarily just beauty.” All this talk of his women jogs his memory, prompting him to announce that when he tried out the idea of male dancers, they were “useless”. He puts this down to the difference in attitudes amongst men and women in this field. “Women will come in, like some sort of hen party, and scream and laugh about men tak-
ing their clothes off, but it’s quite different the other way round.” He admits he has failed at times in business, with the male dancers serving as a colourful example alongside his beleagured Dublin club. But his beginning in the world of the lapdance began a little unconventionally. Stringfellow’s chequered career began in Sheffield, where he made a name for himself as a dance hall manager. The 22-year-old rented out local church halls and hired up-and-coming bands. From there he moved to setting up his own clubs, eventually discovering and emulating the success of American lap dancing clubs. So, after talk of his life and the scandal that besets him, what are the inner thoughts of Stringfellow in terms of ethics, and what are his own thoughts on himself? “Prostitution is a word I steer away from. But the concept is legal in England on a singular basis. A woman can set herself up as a prostitute providing she doesn’t have more than two people in an apartment and you and I can’t make money off her. In Spain, it’s totally legal. My claim is from a European point of view that prostitution should be legalised and when the time comes it’ll be right. I don’t see how it being banned is stopping it, it operates in every city. However, it’s dangerous when it’s illegal. Besides, the word ‘prostitute’ is a bad word, it’s sad how it is used and I always get a kick back when I hear it. It sounds wrong. When it comes to derogatory terms like stripper and prostitute, it’s a fact that this is not how I term my girls. “You call a footballer a footballer, not a kick baller. My girls are entertainers and dancers. When use these derogatory words we enforce this fear again of prostitution. Everyone is frightened to death of the concept of prostitution and I don’t really understand it. I wouldn’t want to do it myself, but the girls do.” And what of the seeming lothario Stringfellow in his own eyes? “I know that I don’t see myself as an incredible business man, there are a lot better than me. Richard Branson wipes to floor with me, so I see myself as a director. I help to direct people, even in as far as directing them away from the idea of small mindedness and prejudice which go hand in hand, as this ties in with the sex industry from what I’ve seen.” So, conclusively, he sees himself as a director of entertainment, a liberator of prostitution, employing his democracy in dancing and his quips in abundance. And with that Peter Stringfellow is off to sample the delights of a Dublin hotel bar.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
“One World One Drea Justin Moran of Amnesty International speaks to Steven Kelly about the legacy of the Beijing Olympics. “One World One Dream” the mantra of the Beijing Olympics 2008 acted as a creed to herald a newly rejuvenated China promoting an accessible benign and progressive nation, but did they cement this legacy? A succession of detrimental press reports commenced in 2001, years before any torch was lit prompting Chinese officials to work doggedly in order to nullify negative media portrayals. The Beijing Olympics have been compared to the Berlin games of 1936 under the German Reich, temporarily masking the dictatorship and repression before promptly returning to the core violation of human rights. According to Justin Moran, Amnesty International Ireland was “extremely disappointed by the missed opportunity to enforce human rights”. China’s vast human rights’ violations issues reportedly loomed large over the ceremony. These ranged from problems surrounding freedom of speech and the press, issues regarding protester detainment and torture, the persecution of protestant Christians, the one-child policy, Chinese rule over Tibet, the communist country’s position regarding Taiwan, and China’s involvement in Darfur. These issues, particularly the Free-Tibet campaign, caused worldwide protests prompting many to target the route of the torch relay. This in turn led to the Dali Lama requesting the torch relay to remain peaceful adding “Over one billion Chinese brothers and sisters feel really proud of that. We should respect that.” Moran argues that “there has
been a slight improvement for journalists” following international outcry over freedom of information as promised by the Chinese government. Meanwhile, the one-child policy established in 1979 continued to act as a blemish on China’s utterly manufactured Olympic image. Zhang Weiqing the minister in charge of the National Population and Family Planning Commission exclaimed valiantly last year “Because China has worked hard over the last 30 years, we have 400 million fewer people”. Family planning laws has created what has been dubbed the “four-twoone” problem, which leaves couples in
“Following the Olympics it is going to be more difficult to administer human rights” charge of one child and four parents. Nearly 30 years after its introduction there appears to be no relaxation in this population curtailment policy. The regulation of population has raised macabre concerns worldwide regarding forced abortions, abandonment and infanticide of female infants deemed “undesirable”. Moran notes that the Irish government “continue to raise issues through private contacts” reflecting the response of the Irish people to the litany of human rights’ violations. “The Human Rights for China postcard
campaign resulted in 7,000 postcards being sent to Taoiseach Brian Cowen. There was huge enthusiasm for action amongst local groups, the concern is to maintain this acknowledgement of human rights’ violations.” Coerced abortions and sterilisations were said to be commonplace in China during the mid 1980s. Although abandonment, gender-selected abortion and infanticide have been outlawed in China there may be still considerable doubt in the world’s media regarding the enforcement of family planning laws. Sporadic reports of coerced abortions in particular pertaining to cases where the mothers were unmarried have plagued China’s record. As Moran contends, “Following the Olympics it is going to be more difficult to administer human rights”. The increased glare from the Olympic media spotlight has done little to ameliorate China’s negation of fundamental human rights. The greatest concern facing athletes was not in fact human rights’ violations but in reality air pollution. Stagnant smog clouds tainted the preceding ceremonies, impelling Olympic organisers to invoke such drastic measures as withdrawing half the city’s 3.3 million vehicles off the roads, impeding most construction and closing some factories in the city and surrounding provinces. This trepidation caused some countries to provide medical checks for respiratory problems in their athletes. Many athletes also chose to train outside of Beijing. Health concerns were further illuminated when four members of the
U.S. cycling team wore facemasks upon disembarking the plane on arrival. Hans Troedsson the head of the World Health Organisation in China commented that only long-term exposure to pollution would cause health problems. Troedsson remarked that the environmental efforts invoked by the Chinese Government might result in “a public health legacy after the
A grim harvest in China Sam McGrath speaks to Gerald O’Connor of the Irish Falun Gong Information Centre and examines the claims of organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners Allegations that the Chinese Government engages in organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners date back to as early as 2001, with the most recent accusations having arisen from a series of articles published by The Epoch Times in March 2006. The Epoch Times, an anti-Chinese communist weekly newspaper which was founded by Falun Gong members, broke the story through an interview with a Chinese reporter who they claimed worked for a Japanese television news agency. The individual, who they referred to as Mr. R, claimed that “Falun Gong practitioners detained in forced labour camps and prisons are killed for their organs”; which are then sold to medical facilities. The newspaper published a series
of interviews, with mostly anonymous eyewitnesses, throughout the following month. A “former employee of Liaoning Provincial Thrombosis Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine” informed The Epoch Times that a “concentration camp in Sujiatun was actually part of a hospital” where it engaged in the removal and selling of organs from still-conscious Falun Gong practitioners. She went onto allege that since 2001 the concentration camp had imprisoned 6,000 Falun Gong members - none of whom had survived. Gerald O’Connor of the Irish Falun Gong Information Centre declares “There is much evidence to prove that organ harvesting is still happening today”. O’Connor goes on to state that he personally believes the “CPC
(Chinese Communist Party) has a limited future in China and when their totalitarian rule ends, people will be ashamed of themselves when they fully realise what was going on and how they did nothing to help”. Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual discipline that mixes Taoist and Buddhist principles. It emerged in 1992 as one of the many Chinese practices of self-cultivation, known as Qi Gong,
which loosely means ‘energy work’. Following an unprecedented growth in the Falun Gong movement (in 1999 it claimed to have 40 million more members than the Communist Party), the Chinese government became alarmed and began a nationwide persecution that lasts to this day.
Olympics”. As regarding the lip-syncing of Lin Miaoke in the opening ceremony, Wang Wei, Executive Vice |President of the organising committee stated, “I don’t see there is anything wrong with it if everybody concerned agrees” This staging and obsession with a perfect Chinese aesthetic proved to be yet another tipping point in the now
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
am - Denied”
dubbed “Counterfeit Olympics”. This idée fixe extended into the visual duplicity employed through the use of computer-generated imagery interspersed with authentic fireworks to enhance the experience. Further investigation revealed that the children used in the opening ceremony to represent China’s 56 ethnic groups were not minority children
Over three thousand Falun Gong followers have been beaten or tortured to death since 1999. According to Amnesty International, popular torture techniques include “electric shocks, rape, suspension by the arms, sleep and food deprivation and shackling in painful positions.’’ The Falun Dafa Information Center claims that Falun Gong practitioners sent to ‘reform through labour’ camps, of which there are over a hundred thousand, “are subject to work 20 hour days, producing – without pay – toys, Christmas tree lights, chopsticks, and soccer balls for export.’’ Sky News was the first news outlet to pick up on the ‘organ harvesting’ allegations after the series of articles in The Epoch Times. On April 19th 2006, they broadcast an undercover report from “the biggest transplant centre in Asia”, known as the ‘Orient Organ Transplant Centre’. Posing as relatives of a family member needing a new liver, they secretly filmed a consultant doctor openly admitting, “that the hospital transplants livers harvested from executed prisoners” and how this was due to the hospital’s close connections with the Chinese
at all. “I see nothing wrong exactly with (where) the children are from. It was perfectly traditional in China for performers to dress up to represent ethnic minorities.” added Wang Wei following further revelations. Age falsification also provoked a contentious debate amongst the international press preceding the games, which led to the International
security forces. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the allegations and branded the claims as an “absurd lie…not worth refuting”. Unconvinced, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong asked David Kilgour, a former Canadian politician who was a Member of Parliament for 27 years, and David Matas, a Canadian Human Rights Lawyer and senior legal counsel of B’nai Brith Canada, to produce an independent report on the issue. In July 2006 they produced their findings after a two-month investigation. The 243-page report detailed interviews with Falun Gong practitioners now residing in Canada who were forced to undergo medical examinations while imprisoned in China. It also included interviews with donor recipients as well as the transcripts of telephone conversations held with officials at various Chinese hospitals, detention centres and courts in which they admitted to using organs from Falun Gong practitioners. The “Kilgour-Matas Report” estimated that in the six-year period from 2000 to 2005 there have been 41,500 organ transplants that have no explained source. The conclusion of the report was
Gymnastics Federation receiving confirmation from Chinese officials that two female gymnasts in question He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan were in fact over 16. A cached document unearthed by a hacker on the website of China’s official sports administration proved to be the smoking gun needed. The document was immediately erased following its online publication, further highlighting Chinese censorship. This prompted the IOC to initiate an investigation into the two medal winners, which has yet to be resolved. As Mr. Moran affirms “It is extremely difficult to get information in China”. The Communist party was also accused of not approving even one of 77 demonstration applications received by August 17th to take place in 3 of the so-called “demonstration zones”. This verified as predicted that the demonstration zones merely acted as a front in keeping with autonomy. In alignment with demonstration zones the Olympic venues were as rigidly structured. “More than seven million Olympic tickets were sold out,” proclaimed the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee. International journalists were quick to point out however that competition venues showed large vacancies. Chinese authorities also publicised the fact that fake audiences had been crafted wearing uniform clothing and waving inflatable rods. Overall, Moran sums it up stating, “unfortunately the Beijing Olympics have a negative legacy”. The Chinese Embassy in Dublin failed to respond to the College Tribune’s repeated requests for comment by the time of publication.
absolute - “Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that…there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners”. The authors made 17 recommendations including the denying or revoking the passports of people travelling to China for organ transplants, barring Chinese doctors from entering other countries to seek training in organ transplantation and that China open all its detention facilities, including forced labour camps, for inspection through the International Committee for the Red Cross or other human rights or humanitarian organizations. The Chinese Embassy in Canada accused the authors of trying to smear the country’s image and stated that “The so-called ‘independent investigation report’ made by a few Canadians (was) based on rumours and false allegations”. As recently as last month, Kilgour and Matas offered new evidence in the form of a video admission from a doctor, Dr. Lu Guoping, admitting that “he and his colleagues went to prison to select Falun Gong practitioners for involuntary organ donations to be used in transplants”.
China in the News Michelle Uhrick examines the most recent controversies surrounding China in international media In the past week, the number of children harmed by poisonous baby formula manufactured in China soared to 53,000. Four babies have died. Twenty-two Chinese dairy companies have been linked to the scandal. The Chinese dairy industry is a $22 billion a year industry. Sanlu, the largest manufacturer, had been exempted from government baby formula inspections. No lawsuits are expected; instead, the Chinese government has offered free medical care to all babies affected. China, with its export-based economy, is suffering greatly from the worldwide economic crisis. Companies dependent on foreign buyers have taken hits. Chinese stock prices have fallen 70 percent since last October. The Shanghai Composite Index hit its lowest point in nearly two years this weekend. This week, for the first time in the 18-year history of China’s current stock market, the Chinese government was forced to intervene and purchase stocks. As a result of both Chinese and American government intervention, however, Chinese stocks rallied tremendously over the past week. Despite the weakening of the Chinese economy, the increase in domestic demand over the last couple years has actually made China less vulnerable to worldwide fluctuations. Chinese demand is also expected to help the Australian economy weather the financial storm by continuing to demand increasing exports from island country. Morgan Stanley, a 73-year-old American investment bank, tried to broker a deal this week with China Investment Corp., only to have the deal fail and selling to a Japanese group instead. Such a deal would need the approval of China’s highest administrative body, the State Council, which could have been delayed for months – months that Morgan Stanley did not have. China has planned its first space walk for this week. It will be China’s third manned space mission. Following right on the heels of the Olympics, the space mission is expected to increase the patriotism and pride produced by the August competition. In 2003, China launched its first astronaut into space, joining the United States and the Soviet Union as the only countries to have done so. The Chinese government hopes to put a man on the moon by 2017, three years before the United States plans to return. The Chinese launch cements Chi-
na’s position as a potential future competitor to the United States in space power. This week, China’s third Arctic expedition team returned after a 75-day journey to gather data about Arctic abnormalities. Chinese nightlife became international news this week when a nightclub fire over the weekend killed 48 and injured 88. China’s worst nightclub disaster happened in December 2000 in Luoyang, when a disco fire killed 309 people. A recent breakdown of UN votes, analysed by the European Council on Foreign Relations, revealed that EU and US are increasingly being defeated in human rights proposals in the UN by China and Russia. Ten years ago, 70 percent of votes cast at the UN supported EU positions. Today that figure is 50 percent. The United States has fared even worse, falling from 77 percent ten years ago to 30 percent today. The difference has gone to China and Russia, who average around 75 percent agreement in the UN. Much of the gain can be attributed to China, whose well-trained diplomats garner much support in the Central Asian region. China and Russia together have successfully opposed European initiatives in Darfur, Kosovo, Burma and Zimbabwe. With the economy in a slump, cheap Chinese imports have come under fire in the United States presidential election. Democratic candidate Barack Obama has called the Chinese exchange rate with the United States dollar artificially low. He has called for new regulations that would classify such currency manipulation as an illegal subsidy, which would allow the US to put more duties on Chinese goods to combat their artificially low prices. Republican candidate John McCain called for less extreme measures, while still asking for a greater respect for international copyright laws and a more market-determined currency within China. Such a trade war between China and the United States, however, may be forestalled by the reality of the issue: Americans do not want to pay higher prices for their goods, and the Chinese do not want to risk civil unrest due to a slowing economy. This past week, Tibet’s exiled parliament planned a meeting in mid-November to decide the future of the pro-Tibet movement after all of the unrest earlier this year.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
A summer to savour Niall Fox gives an account of his experiences volunteering with UCD Volunteers Overseas this summer. On June 26th, a group of 27 UCD VO volunteers arrived into Dublin Airport filled with excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation and a few nerves about the project in hand. Few of us knew exactly what to expect from our next five weeks in Delhi... Stepping off the plane at Delhi International Airport, a wave of heat hits you with a ferocity and leaves you reeling as if having gone a few rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. The incessant and constant touting of car horns coupled with the insects who descend eagerly on their new prey and we could each have been forgiven for wondering what we had let ourselves in for. On the bus journey to our hostel, each of us were glued to the window, shocked by the level of poverty, homeliness and destitution displayed in front of our eyes in such a graphic and visual way. The first few days were scheduled for acclimatising and adjusting. Codie, Ali, Vinny, Graham and I would be working in Paharganj. If the craziness of Delhi can be equated to a carnival, then Paharganj is its circus. The chaotic streets give you no time to ponder, as you are too busy dodging oncoming rickshaws, sidestepping the emaciated cows that wander the dirty streets in search of meagre scraps of food in rubbish piles and avoiding eye contact with the endless number of street vendors vying to catch your attention. On Monday morning we all started work on our respective projects, I was involved with the Salaam Balaak Trust, a shelter for homeless, abandoned and abused boys. We were teaching basic literacy and numeracy to boys ranging in ages from six to fifteen. Because most of the boys had never been through any sort of structured schooling, we always had to keep thinking of innovative and fun educational games to keep them interested. Over the next few weeks we began to identify the varying characteristics of each of the boys but all had one thing in common; an inextinguishable spirit and capacity to have fun, and all despite adversity and the turmoil of their past. This I found remarkable, humbling and inspiring. “Funday Friday” was always an enjoyable conclusion to the week, we would bring in sweets and drinks and have a party followed by songs and games and then a Bollywood CD would be played and the boys were only too eager to show us their dance moves. The highlight of the trip for me personally was the chance to bring the boys out to play cricket at India Gate, one the last few days. They had heard of this trip the day before and could not contain their excitement. Sixty kids filed through the streets of Paharganj, to the waiting bus, intently ob-
Barra O Fianail looks into why UCD Volunteers Overseas has become such a prominent charitable organisation in our university over the past few years UCD Volunteers Overseas, who are now giving 90 students the opportunity to volunteer in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Delhi each year, have come along way from its humble and ad hoc beginnings five years ago. That year, after being approached with the idea by two eager students, Chaplain Tony Coote organised for a small group to travel
to Delhi and see what they could do to aid the poor in India’s capital. Now, the student driven organisation has built on the shoulders of these initial altruists, working in a multitude of well established projects, projects which have been identified by local people as being the area where our students can best aid their development. Two communities in round of cricket, we had dinner and headed back to the shelter, everyone well and truly exhausted from the activity of the day. Saying goodbye to the kids was the only downside to the enormously enjoyable five weeks we had spent together, the kids were visibly upset and I know that all the Irish volunteers were feeling pretty gutted as
serving all the activity of the outside world. The moment the bus pulled up at the playground and seeing the boys racing from the bus to the swings and slides is an image that will stay with me for a very long time. To see the kids who are confined to one area of cramped floor space in the shelter day in day out, now running free and being children was a really touching moment. Following a
well. The transformation we had noticed from the shy, reserved kids on the first day, who could barely make eye contact, to the boys who had now completely emerged from their shell and were now up singing songs in front of their whole group was probably the greatest advances we made. It was clearly evident that no one had ever shown any sort of interest in these kids and that this was an alien concept to the
Nicaragua now have the availability of critically important health centres where none where before. In Delhi, a new school was completed this summer in Sangam Vihar, an impossibly small geographical area containing half a million of the cities poor, makes in Asia’s second largest slum, and now local children can get an education they would otherwise have gone without. It is projects like these, and the boys. Probably the most tangible steps we made as volunteers was showing the kids that they are special and people do care about them. At the end of the project, I had a chance to see the other projects our volunteers had overseen. Going to the construction site to see the school that our volunteers had completed, was really impressive. These volunteers had laboured many hours under the cruel and unforgiving heat, to build two floors of a school in Sangam Vihar, a slum area, home to 500,000 people. I also had the chance to see the great work done by our physios in the Mother Theresa Orphanage. Probably the toughest of all the projects mentally, the girls did great work with mentally and physically disabled children. Two more literacy projects were carried out in SWL and Uttam Nagar, where our volunteers even managed to refurbish the school, and make the school a much more attractive proposition to the children by painting murals on the wall. My volunteering experience wasn’t all hard work, we had weekend trips
work and dedication that they entice UCDVO’s students to exert, that make our college’s very own charity the organisation it is.
» To hear how to get involved,
and from volunteers who worked with UCDVO this summer, come to our information evening in the Astra hall at 7pm on October 13th.
to see the Taj Mahal, and the beautiful Rishikesh, where we all took a dip in the Ganges. We also encountered upon one of the most elaborate and ceremonious Hindu weddings, which consisted of two elephants, about fifteen white horses and about fifty dancers and musicians all so elegantly dressed, and us dressed in shorts and T-shirts were invited into the wedding ceremony! Sound strange? Well just another bizarre anecdote, synonymous with our adventure in Delhi. There was always some activities organised for the evenings from Indian cooking lesson to quizzes to speed dating. It was the camaraderie of our group dynamic that made the project a success as a whole. My abiding memories of my Delhi experience will be the unique and unforgettable characters we encountered, friendships made and the sheer unpredictably that epitomises Delhi. My summer in Delhi was the most memorable, enjoyable, fascinating and rewarding experience of my life, and will I return to Delhi at some stage in the future? You can be sure of it!
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
A hidden history of UCD Part one: The move to Belﬁeld
■ A panini: Not necessarily the one from 911, but they’re nice
The diary of a
a t s i n o i s s e c e R
1,000 jobs lost at the HSE. 221 jobs to go at a Kilkenny mine. Banking highs and lows. Whole dedicated sections in the papers for the economic crisis, loaded with and spurning out the following gloom: the HSE, the banks, the minister’s moody grimaces of apparent pain, the Taoiseach’s economic ‘war plan’. It’s all surely true, but miserable. Factual, but unrelated to a student’s trip to Aldi. And so, dear reader, the Tribune recession diary is here to detail all that exists in student downturn land. The re-design of the Arts Café has many a head turned towards its new brown and orange hues, but what really leaves a taste, and not from the same food in different adornings, is the continuation of a truly astronomical price tag. This year, the lure of the new wooden floors and Eddie Rocket’s booths will have to be conquered, and a variation must be sought. Don’t cast your eyes more than a few metres away where a spectacular transformation is occurring, even if you at first scoff over your latte. The emergency depot, formally known as 911, holds a surprise not terrifying. Last year, the average student cautiously made their way around the swathes of criss cross separator belts to be greeted with a zombie holding a knife, and then roared at with a short and succinct sentence “Yes! what!”. Cue the flinging of a roll over a counter of crumbs and straying coleslaw and lose your money for the pleasure of eating a rock. This year, recession has changed it for the better. Paninis with change of a fiver, and a top quality mocha for 60 cents. The woman behind the till has now discovered a facial movement known as a smile. Pick up your free campus newspaper as the news may be
too expensive ( you’d only read about how there’s no money out there anyway) and your first student recession battle has seen you victorious: you’re fed. With a full stomach, we progress onto pondering the technicalities of learning, while dodging the costs of our ‘free education’. Fighting the fees is clearly on every student’s recession diary, but what about the following current costs each student has undoubtedly by now incurred? A library fine that’s teetering so high you’re sure you’ll be accosted by librocop upon entrance of his holy ground, a bill for the student copy centre which acts as an excuse and a deterrent, a wad required for the books you know you must have for tutorials but will perhaps never read. In fact the furthest you’ll venture is an online summary. And so, we hit the nail on the head. The wonders of the World Wide Web. If you’re fortunate enough to be doing a course that involves older books, download the out of copyright versions on websites such as Project Gutenberg. It will also save you that backache now that your wallet has decided not to take the bus. Photocopy someone else’s centre copies. Its unethical, but it was acceptable in the 80’s, surely. And as for your library fine, you won’t be accosted when you enter the scholar’s paradise, but you will have to actually spend time in there. So you will have to perform the act of working. No taking the books out and dumping them on a rickety corner desk in a dark room. Tough moves perhaps but we see the clear benefits, and if anyone knows how to benefit out of the recession and slum it in style, it’s the students.
1968 - The Year of the Barricades. 1,000 students are arrested in Warsaw after anti-state protests. The University of Rome is occupied for two weeks after anti-war demonstrations. Three students are killed in Brazil during marches against the military junta. Eighty-six people are injured in the anti-war ‘Battle of Grosvenor Square’ in London. Martin Luther King’s assassination sparks riots in 118 American cities. In Chicago, police and protesters clash for eight days outside the Democratic National Convention. Students take on Soviet tanks in Prague. France sees a social revolution with over ten million workers and students on strike. In UCD, we see the spark of movement. UCD purchased Belfield House in December 1933 and between 1948 and 1958, a number of adjoining properties with the interest of creating a new campus. This was mainly to reduce the chronic overcrowding existent in Earlsfort Terrace. UCD’s student population had expanded from little over 2,000 in 1939 to over 10,000 in 1969. Most of these were in the half-completed Earlsfort Terrace building, which even had it been finished, was only intended for 1,000 students. As early as 1963, concerns were raised over the planning of the move to Belfield. The Irish Times wrote that “the prospect of finding lodging for students (was) causing more and more concern...the area is not one in which students will easily find places to stay, since most of the houses there are designed as family homes.’’ However building went ahead and in 1964, Science became the first faculty to relocate to Belfield. The Irish Times described their new facilities as “severely functional” with “clean planning, spaciousness and a clever use of colour, relieving the eye of monotony”. Early 1965 saw U.C.D. President Dr. Jeremiah Hogan speaking at the conferring of degrees admitted that “the transfer of Arts would be the central and most complex operation” of the relocation. According to the Irish Times UCD Correspondent, the new restaurant in the Science building in Belfield was proving “insufficient to meet demands’’. When food prices then rose by 20%, students threatened a sit-in but it was called off at the last minute. A year later it was discovered that the new Belfield Arts block would “be too small to cope adequately with the projected number of students availing of it in the early 1970s’’. The Minister for Education Donogh O’Malley subsequentially met representatives of the U.C.D. Students’ Representative Council (SRC) who were anxious that the student’s building in Belfield be completed before the Arts faculty moved there in 1969.
Meanwhile, conditions in Earlsfort Terrace were worsening and there were murmurs of unrest. In June 1968 Medical students held a sit-in in the Medical Library demanding that it was kept open over the summer months. Students calling for longer opening hours also occupied the Arts Library. In January 1969, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) issued a manifesto criticising what is described as the apparent lack 1968 - The and Yearconsultation of the Barricades. of planning on li1,000facilities studentsatare arrested in Warbrary Belfi eld. saw after after anti-state The the UniSoon the protests. manifesto, versity of Romeaismass occupied for two SRC organised meeting. It weeks after anti-war demonstrations. was resolved that there would be Three students are no move to Belfi eldkilled until in fullBrazil liduringservices marcheswere against the military brary available, that junta.Governing Eighty-six Body peopleshould are injured the be in the anti-war of fty Grosvenor abolished; that ‘Battle a fifty-fi staffSquare’committee in London. Martin Luther student should be set up King’s assassination riots in to govern the college;sparks but pivotally 118 students American cities. In the Chicago, that should occupy adpolice and protesters eight ministration building asclash soonfor as the days outside meeting ended. the Democratic National Students Just Convention. after lunchtime, overtake 140on Soviet tanks in Prague. students occupied threeFrance roomssees of a social revolution with tencolmilthe administrative wingover of the lion workers students Terrace. on strike. lege’s buildingand at Earlsfort In UCD, we see the of moveThey barricaded thespark doors and ment. remained overnight. The students UCD purchased Belfield House were protesting against, what thein December and between 1948 Irish Times1933 described as the “the and 1958 amove number of adjoining proposed of the universitypropto ertieseld...which with the interest of has creating Belfi they claim been a new campus Earlsfort Terrace were poorly planned and may require acquired.toThis was mainly to reduce students work under inadequate the chronic over-crowding circumstances”. The occupiersexistent used Earlsfort Terrace. UCD’s student ain loud speaker system to address population had expanded from little fellow students and distributed overets 2,000 1939 to over 10,000 leafl frominthe ‘’liberated zone ofin 1969. Most of these were in the duhalfUCD’’ printed on the ‘’college completed Earlsfort Terrace plicating service’’ which was building, in one which even hadrooms. it been finished, was of the occupied only intended 1,000 students. The studentforoccupation ended As early 1963, were at 11pm the as next day. concerns The decision was taken after a meeting of several
thousand students at the Great Hall in Earslfort Terrace who voiced their support of the occupation but called for it to end. Arising out of the occupation and subsequent mass meeting, UCD students voted on three proposals, (a) that the Governing Body be reformed so as to delegate effective power to join committees of staff and of students democratically elected; (b) that such a joint staff-student committee be set up to make all decisions perraisedtoover the planning theand move tinent the move to Belfiof eld; to no Belfi eld. The IrishbeTimes that decision should made wrote on that “the prospect of finding lodging the move without adequate consulfor students more tation with the(was) wholecausing body of staffand more concern ...Thedirections area is notthey one in and students, whose which obey; students nd places should (c)will thateasily no fistudent to stay, since mostfor of the theoccuhouses should be victimized there are designed as family homes.’’ pation. However building went aheadatand The motions were passed a in 1964meeting Scienceheld became the 5,000 first facmass by over ulty to in relocate to Belfi The Irish students the Great Halleld. on March 1969.described It was alsotheir decided boynewtofacilities 5thTimes cott normal lectures from with 9am “clean the as “severely functional” next morning and replaceand it with a planning, spaciousness a clever ‘marathon seminar’ on the the topiceye of of use of colour, relieving a ‘free university’. A meeting of 250 monotony”. members staffsaw registered “genEarlyof 1965 U.C.D.aPresident eral the students. Dr.goodwill” Jeremiah to Hogan speaking at the Out in Belfi a mass meet-that conferring of eld, degrees admitted ing of transfer several ofhundred students “the Arts would be the issued their of the operation” actions central andsupport most complex and of theAccording “teach in”tointhe of resolutions the relocation. Earlsfort Terrace. The “teach-in”the Irish Times UCD Correspondent comprised of two meetings new restaurant in large the Science buildining theinGreat during the mornBelfiHall eld was proving “insuffiing andto afternoon attended When by over cient meet demands’’. food 2000 students in each case. These prices then rose by 20%, students preceded simultaneously threatened a sit-in but itthroughwas called out College with debates on the offthe at the last minute. topics of the internal A year later it was structure discoveredofthat the theArts university in so-“be theuniversity, new Belfield block would ciety of society. too and smallthe to problems cope adequately with the projected number of students availing of it in the early 1970s’’. The Minister for Education Donogh O’Malley sub-
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Facing the forbidden city Flyn O’Flaherty has traded the green green grass of home for the almost fictional world of Beijing, and finds the experience every-soslightly mind-blowing Living in Beijing is like a strange piece of fiction – somehow, this could never seem real. The unlikely truthfulness of many of the stereotypes surrounding the Chinese people lends life in the Chinese capital a comic edge. From the overt and unconvincingly amiable bureaucracy to the blithe rudeness and immodesty of the Chinese, everything here could be a parody of the life I had suspected before arriving in Beijing to study for a year. The city itself has a surreal feel - although it is as vast and bewildering as I expected it to be, size is not the most striking aspect of Beijing. Everywhere in the city, there are clashes of old and new, of east and west. Glass and steel monoliths sit atop the shrinking hutongs – the traditional alley neighbourhoods of Beijing. In Tian’anmen Square and the city’s gorgeous Summer Palace park, giant TV screens are crudely juxtaposed against their natural and architectural surroundings. In giant electronics stores in ZhongGuanCun – the socalled Silicon Valley of China - salespeople haggle and hassle to get the most money out of customers, while others scream out offers at passersby through megaphones. Here, like so many other places in Beijing, the Chinese have applied there ways as Western style development encroaches on their way of life. Including these clashes, the most obvious distinction that can be drawn between things in Beijing is quite simple – between built and un-built. The city is in a constant state of flux, with new buildings and undergrounds being constructed at an astonishing rate. Above ground, an arch of the neck will afford a view of the cranes that spot the Beijing skyline; below ground, in Beijing’s ridiculously cheap subway
system – roughly 20c for a ticket –you merely have to look over flimsy wooden boards to see the continuing expansion of the number of lines. In Beijing, breathtaking structures like Terminal 3 of Beijing Airport and the Bird’s Nest are built with the minimum of fuss. When I get back to Ireland and hear of the wrangling and delays surrounding the Lansdowne Road development, I will probably feel a nostalgic longing for the ruthless efficiency of the Chinese. Nestled in the city’s north-western Haidian district, the college, Renmin University, is an island of relative green in the grey sprawl. Like all of the
Beijing is in a constant state of ﬂux, with new buildings and undergrounds being constructed at an astonishing rate. city’s universities, the college grounds are a hive of activity, and are in stark contrast to the tameness of Belfield – especially at night. Walk around Renmin at night and you won’t just see two lads getting sick in a bush; rather, you will be afforded some far more entertaining visual feasts: rows of Chinese women being instructed in a tai chi version of the Macarena; students with actual boom boxes performing some hybrid of break-dancing and roller-skating; old men working out in the playground-like outdoor gyms; and, mostly, an odd procession of latenight joggers avoiding the humidity and smog of daytime Beijing. Like most things here, it is the size of the university campus that is most daunting. In terms of area, the cam-
pus is probably smaller than Belfield, but several things make it appears larger: firstly, there many more highrise buildings on campus here than at home; secondly, there are – by my hardly thorough count – three building sites on campus; mostly though, Renmin is daunting because campus is so packed, and so densely populated. The Chinese students live in crowded dorms, where some tiny bedrooms have 3 bunk-beds. Many of the dorms don’t have their own bathroom facilities, and there are at least two shower buildings on campus. Despite this, most students are very content and there is a lively spirit on the campus. It seems to be a matter of expectation that determines their level of satisfaction – some Chinese we have met here openly guffawed at the idea of having a single room on campus, and openly tell us they think it’s rather silly that we do. The Chinese are, above anything else, very forthright – they would not hesitate to ask what we would perceive as delicate questions, and are very direct and blunt in some of their statements.
This year is, I suppose, eventually what I make it to be: it could be a full Chinese experience or simply just life at any other college. It would be simple to settle into a routine here and ignore the fact that I am in Beijing. At times, the campus can become a cocoon shielding me from the rest of Beijing – a little more palatable and ‘civilised’ than the rest of the city. I could get trapped in a simple triangle between my dorm, the classroom and the canteen. Last week, when I stepped out of the east gate of Renmin for the first time in three days, I had a moment of realisation that I would spend a year in Beijing. The road that lines the eastern side of campus can prove quite interesting for an afternoon stroll, and it’s there that I often realise that I’m somewhere quite different. Mostly, this is because of the parade of Chinese people doing things that I could never imagine at home: people casually getting sick without any heed from passers-by; women hocking phlegm from the depths of their throats; crazy, bloody
bitch-fights in the middle of major crossroads; and, most strangely, toddlers who wear nappies with slits to expedite doing their business doing just that – on anything, including the necks of parents who lovingly place them on their shoulders. Maybe, when I’m not surprised to see things like these, and when I know the area around me better, I can finally say I have settled down in Beijing. But then, I still have to remember that the area around the university is just a tiny bit of Beijing. Just one subway stop away from here is a whole different world that I will probably never know. It is hard to imagine I will ever get a feel for this city, or ever know it well enough to be attached to it. In a city with this many pulses, it really is hard to find a heartbeat. Still, I hope that the whole experience will become gradually less bewildering. Even if it doesn’t, I’m sure it’ll prove to be exciting, enlightening and challenging in some measures – it truly is a great opportunity to study in one of the world’s most rapidly evolving and throbbing urban landscapes.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
ugg boots Possibly the worst shoe ever to hit retail outlets, Ugg Boots, which are of Austrailian origin, actually became popular during WWI and WWII, when they were worn by aviator pilots in order to keep their feet warm at high altitudes, which is a decent enough reason for someone to wear these sheepskin monstrosities. Some fashion reject, however, managed to put these shoes on the market and make millions off them. The question behind every guys’ mind, however, is what possesses women to buy and wear these eyesores? Ok, so apparently
they’re quite comfortable, but whatever happened to people caring about their appearance? Do women not realise that they look absolutely ridiculous when wearing these beastly boots? To be fair, some women can pull off wearing Uggs and not cause passers by to want to gauge their eyes out, but that is only a small percentage of women. The majority can not, so do everyone a favour and bin them, burn them or throw them off a mountain top. If you must keep them and insist on wearing them, at least don’t wear them when it rains – it looks like
someone has pee’d on your feet. Men should most definitely avoid wearing Ugg Boots. Firstly, they’re designed for women and they don’t look good on them, so the chances of a guy pulling them off are slim to none. Secondly, what would possess a man to spend ridiculous amounts of money on what look like really big slippers? The only time it is ok for a man to wear Uggs is if he is an aviator pilot, but even in that scenario, be assured you will look like an idiot. In one word Uggs are... stupid.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO...
sweets Chocolate Cigarettes? Nerds? Dweebs? Jolly Ranchers? Dip Dabs? Push Pops? Giant Gobstoppers? Bubble Gum Golf Balls? Ghostbusters bars with the gooey green centre? Where have they
all gone? All types of wonderfully delicious sweets just disappeared off the radar over the years, despite being best sellers in sweet shops all over the world during the ‘80s and ‘90s, leaving children everywhere disappointed. Who could be evil enough to steal candy from children? The answer, dear readers, is that the internet has stolen our sweets. Internet corporations realised they weren’t making enough money, selling pornography to desperate perverts and get rich quick scams to gullible middle-aged housewives, so they made a list of the most popular sweets on the market, bought the
manufacturing rights and took those lovely sweeties away from our shop shelves. Shortly after the take over, internet websites such as handycandy.co.uk and sweetiebag.com came to the fore and started selling the yummy treats we thought had been lost for ever, online at an increased price and not to mention postage and packaging fees. These evil corporations have been making millions selling these sugary gems to the obese community, while many hard working sweet shop owners were forced out of business and on to the dole, before dying of poverty. Fight back and buy your sweets at a local sweet shop near you.
Volume xxii issue Ii
All the news that’s fit to satirise - Only 47p!
Jonas brothers “No sex please, we’re angry” PAGE 3 This week FREE KITE, NO STRINGS ATTACHED TYPhOON RIPS THROUGH CEMETERY; HUNDREDS DEAD JOINT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATES MARIJUANA USE RED TAPE HOLDS UP NEW BRIDGES ENERGIZER BUNNY ARRESTED; CHARGED WITH BATTERY INFERTILITY UNLIKELY TO BE PASSED ON INFERTILITY UNLIKELY TO BE PASSED ON
Services Supersized The quicker witted amongst you may have noticed an increase in security on the Belfield campus this year. In previous years UCD employed approximately 25 security (more commonly known as services) to patrol the criminal hot spot that is UCD, however they soon realised that more bodies were needed to aid and protect UCD students from being mugged, murdered and violated on campus, which until recently was an every day occurance in Belfield. UCD officials agreed that enough was enough and decided it was time to crack down on crime in this glorious campus, so they took on 67,000 new employees at the beginning of September to keep the campus safe. The current services:student ratio is approximately 3:1 and crime rates in Belfield have dropped drastically by 99.99995%. Services have brought in a new no-nonsense policy ensuring that all students will not only be safe, but will leave UCD as good, boring citizens, potentially lacking all emotion. One services employee says, “I was astonished at how much crime was happening in this University, when I first came to work here, early September. On my first day, I caught one student shouting at a duck. It was truly shocking, but I eventually managed to restrain the student and obtain his student card before he got the chance to shout at any more ducks.” Duck shouting is only one of the many crimes Services have managed to put a stop to in the past few weeks.
There has also been a major decrease in the amount of people chasing buses, scaring dogs, and eating crisps in no crisp eating areas. 3rd year science student, Mike Hunt, says, “It’s great to finally be able to walk down the
concourse and have a feeling of security. I remember last year, there’d be hundreds of students just eating crisps, anywhere they wanted to. Services are doing a great job.” Manager of Residential Services,
Richard Brierley, is particularly happy with the increase in services in the residential areas of Belfield, “With the increase in services, we have now managed to make it so that no students can enter or leave Belgrove, unless they are attending lectures. We have also enforced an 18.00 curfew, with lights out by 19.30, so we know all students living in Belgrove are safe in their beds each night. During the next few weeks, we’ll be doing the same with the other residences on campus.” Brierley also says, “Anyone outside their residential areas after 19.30 at night, or in breach of any other of the 156 rules we are enforcing, will be fined 23,000,000 euro, have their student card taken from them, be evicted from their residence, and subsequently be executed outside the Tierney Building as an example to anyone else who tries to have fun. With over 22,000 services patrolling residences every night, I’m quite certain we’ll be able to rule out any sort of shennanigans within the prison... I mean, University.” During a recent survey carried out by the Turbine, it was revealed that an astonishing 75% of students thought there was absolutely no need for Services at all, 13% thought that they were needed, but only at the lake to prevent unruly students shouting at ducks, 7% had been abused by services in the past week for not waiting for the green man while crossing the road, 2% don’t care what happens in Fair City, and the remaining 3% like cake.
Paying to Use the Loo Hugh Brady revealed earlier this week that he intends to introduce fees for the use of toilets in all UCD buildings, in order to pay for his tea and biscuits. This latest scheme from our resident dictator will see students paying €7,000 per year for use of UCD “public” toilets. Brady says, “It may seem irrational to some students to pay for toilet use, but in return for their money they’ll get comfier toilet paper, nicer soap and toilet attendants will be employed to distribute aftershave,
perfume and lollipops, which of course will not be free of charge. By Christmas, UCD will hopefully have the best toilets in Europe.” Student activists were outraged by the proposal and will be holding a protest at the lake later this week. Students’ Union Campaigns and Communications Officer, Dan O’Neill says, “This is outrageous. The use of toilets is a right, not a privilege, and the Students’ Union will not let this proposal pass without a fight.”
Hello again from YOUR Students’ Union. Remember, we work for you so it’s up to you to keep us accountable. Every single UCD Student is a member of the Union – Make sure your voice is heard.
Student Wel W fa f re and Assistance The SU Welfare Officer provides: * Information on financial assistance. * Counselling referral service. * Subsidised STI screening clinic * Free condoms. Most importantly he is a confidential and friendly person to discuss any problems you may have. Just Ask : Conor / 086 6055785 / firstname.lastname@example.org For more info go to: www.ucdsu.ie/welfare Student Education The Education officer provides a wide range of services * Information on Grants * A list of tutors available to give grinds- www.ucdsu.ie/grindsfile * Second hand bookshop. * For friendly, confidential advice on any academic issue you may have. Just Ask : Paul / 0860499252 / email@example.com For more info go to: www.ucdsu.ie/education
Students across Ireland have been voicing their opposition to the idea of reintroducing tuition fees. They’ve also been rejecting the suggestion of an Australian style graduate tax system which even the Minister for Education in Australia admits doesn’t work. Now it’s your turn to join the fight for fees. UCDSU will be running lots of small events to help fight fees culminating in a big demo in the city centre on October 22nd. Make sure you get involved.
Class Rep Elections: Please remember to vote in the Class Rep Elections on Tuesday 30th of September and Wednesday 1st of October. It's important to elect a good Rep so your class is well represented for the year – the whole point of having a Students' Union is so that we can represent and campaign for you on problems, so we need good Class Reps to come to us with your class's problems and suggestions.
The STI Screening service for students has kicked off again for the year. The service is heavily subsidised by the Students' Union and costs €40. Any students interested in availing of the service should contact the Students' Union at (01) 716 3108, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling down to the SU Corridor in the Student Centre building. All enquiries are treated in the strictest confidence so there is no reason to be nervous about approaching us. A talk entitled "Depression. How to help a friend" will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 24th of September in the "Rendezvous" (Downstairs in the main restaurant). Free tea and sandwiches provided - All welcome.
How’s Your Well Being? W ell BeinTalks. g
Problems on campus: If you feel like you’ve been bullied or intimidated in any way or if you simply feel that you’ve been given an unjust fine, it is important that you report it. Please call the first response room in UCD on (01) 7161200 to lodge any complaints regarding security on campus. If you’d rather talk to the SU about the issue, we’re always here to help.
The Welfare Officer in conjunction with Student Counselling are running a series of talks on: 1. Settling in. 2. Depression. How to help a friend 3. Gambling 4. Living with strangers: sharing Accommodation 5. Stressed out?? 6. Bereavement & Loss. 7. Time Management: How to get organised
10th September (WK1) 24st September (WK3) 1st October(WK4) 8th October (Wk5) 15th October (Wk6) 22nd October (Wk 7) 29th October (Wk 8)
The talks are being held in “Rendezvous” in the main restaurant building. Free Tea and Sandwiches will be provided at the talks. Everyone is welcome.
UCD Ents presents Blast from the Past #2
Everthing is gonna be alright
W 9th Oct Wed UCD Student Bar Doors 8:30 pm Tickets €7 €
Tickets available from r rom SU Shops (Student Centre, r re, Library ryy,, Science, Engineering) ry Student Bar & Online @ www.ucdents www w.ucdents.com
East 17 A Atom ic Ki Kitten itten
(Nat a asha Hamilton) at
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
All Ireland League Page 27
Superleague It’s back, and it’s as ugly as ever Page 25
Down the line Kitbag Jordan D a
It’s time to get in gear!
Motorsport in the dock Formula One has the power to enthrall any sporting purist. Why then does it continue to shoot itself in the foot asks Simon Ward “That’s what I’m talking about guys, that’s what I’m talking about”, a jubilant Lewis Hamilton roared into his radio after a victorious run to the chequered flag at the Belgian Grand Prix. The Belgian round of the world championship, held in the sleepy forest-filled town of Framcorchamps in Belgium, is one of grand prix racing’s little gems, home to a circuit both flowing and formidable, undulating and unpredictable. And so it proved once again, with Lewis Hamilton going toe-to-toe with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, battling on the slippery surface, on and off the track. For a moment you can sense what makes the sport so popular. The pinnacle of automative technologies meeting sporting greatness, and when held in such magnificent surroundings equate to televisual gold. However, as so often occurs in this most commercial of all sporting arenas, the real games started off the track. Hamilton diced with his Finnish rival, jinking left and right at 180mph, looking for an opening to overtake. When an opening did eventually present itself, Raikkonen closed the door, with the Briton opting to cut the corner to avoid incident. Hamilton proceeded to defer the track to the Ferrari, but used some of his remaining momentum to pass at the next corner, the tight La Source hairpin. Raikkonen, who was quick but ragged all afternoon, eventually binned
his car into a wall. A delighted Lewis Hamilton took the win, only to loose it after a steward’s inquiry. The Belgian scrutineers took a dim view of the McLaren driver’s rather liberal interpretation of the racetrack, and promptly demoted him to third. With the stakes so high and the money so huge an inevitable appeal was submitted. As so often plagues the sport of Formula One, the result was to be determined in a Parisian courtroom. Hamilton was pugnacious in defense of his driving, but to no avail. The revised result stands. The sporting purest, the type who goes doe-eyed to the thought of a Federer forehand, a Woods drive or an O’Sullivan maximum, is constantly persecuted when viewing a Formula One season. In years past, they were subjected to ‘spy-gate’, when hundreds of pages of confidential Ferrari documents found their way into McLaren’s possession. The media maelstrom that resulted insured that one of the closest and enthralling seasons the sport has ever seen remained firmly in the shadows while beuracrats decided on what to do with the McLaren miscreants. They were eventually deleted from the championship rankings. The year previous, the curious genius of Michael Schumacher parked his car on the racing line during a Monaco qualifying session, ending the session
prematurely and ensuring the pole position for himself. A more blatant transgression of the rules there has rarely been, but when the pressures to succeed are so acute, even the most talented of professionals can resort to desperate tactics to achieve success. Another season past, Ferrari were suspended when a bargeboard, a rather inconsequential piece of aerodynamic bodywork was deemed to millimeters beyond the regulatory allowance. The suspension was overturned, allowing the championship to continue undecided to the final race of the season, and keeping the less committed of motor sport viewers interested for one more race. It is there that the pattern can be distinguished. All too often, the most ambiguous of sporting judiciaries favour making the championship tables closer at the top, favouring the battle over the actual rules that govern the sport. Tiny infractions are magnified, and large rule violations are often dealt with velvet glove rather than an iron fist. The constant returns to the law courts to order to decide sporting fixtures some fortnight in the past only serve to undermine the sport, to remove its purity, taint its history and tarnish its soul. It’s a state of affairs that requires overhaul. Formula One has become as intertwined with the controversies it generates than the event itself. Just ask Max Mosley...
After a summer of heavy drinking and very little exercise, it’s time to shake off those cobwebs and get back into shape. And UCD Sport claim that they have the perfect opportunity to help you. The UCD Sports Department and the UCD School of Physiotherapy and Performance are offering their annual ‘Get in Gear’ programme this winter. The course will run from October to January. The programme coordinator is Carmel Kissane, UCD’s sports education officer. The course costs €40. The fundamental aim of the course is to promote a healthy lifestyle. The course is primarily designed for beginners. It is claimed that not enough young people participate in sport with estimations that only one in ten young women are involved in this regard. Meanwhile the figure for young male involvemnet is considerably higher. Students who participated in the module last year said it was hugely beneficial to them and recommended other students to take the module. As one student put it “the programme gave me a fantastic opportunity to get fit and meet new people. I’d definitely recommend it”. Without a shadow of a doubt, this programme has obvious health benefits but it also has social benefits. Starting off in university can be a testing time for all and programmes like Get in Gear can help physical and social development. Sport is not just about elite athletes and winning, it incorporates participation and a social skill. Get in Gear may enable students to do that. “Students will not feel the benefit if they don’t make an effort. This is precisely the reason why many students are academically examined around week five. Students are able to monitor their levels of improvement. This helps them to keep focus while there are still able to have fun.” This programme does not clash with student’s academic timetables so they will be able to find a balance between sport
UCD lacrosse players travel to Finland The future of lacrosse in UCD looks very bright. This is thanks to the number of university students and post graduates now representing Ireland at national level. Lacrosse is Canadian sport played outdoors on a rectangular pitch, with a team constituting ten players and two goals. It formally became an organised sport at the end of the 19th century. It is split up into four quarters, with fifteen minutes being played for each quarter. It is not dissimilar to Hurling. In what’s becoming a growing sport in Ireland, UCD can boast of having several of its Lacrosse players (both male and female) represent Ireland on the international stage. This was evident at the recent European Lacrosse championship’s in Finland in which both teams performed admirably. The players helped Ireland to 4th place in the female competition and 6th place in the male competition respectively. The UCD female players were: Nicola Mulroney, Pamela Smithwick and Anna Kinsella. On the men’s team, there was: Paddy O’Leary, John O’Connor, Zak Jordan, Dara McCrery, Connor ‘Floppy’ Walsh, Peter Tully (graduate) and Michael Kennedy (lecturer). The head coach of UCD is Christian Arnold.
UCD Basketball fixtures released The fixture lists for the new basketball season have been printed. An exciting new year now awaits UCD’s basketballers. Their season will commence on the 4th of October and will run right through until the 7th of March. Matches will be held on a weekly basis with a two week break during the Christmas period. In the first fixture the college face a daunting away trip to the Tralee Tigers, where well known Kerry footballer and basketball player Kieran Donaghey plies his trade.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Pedalling for Paralympic glory Fresh from competing at the Paralymipics, Irish cyclist and UCD graduate David Peelo chats to Eoin Glynn about the nature of competing at one of the biggest sporting events on earth The Beijing Paralympic games will probably live long in the memory of anyone who participated or were involved in any way. With state of the art facilities, record crowds and world records being smashed at a regularity never seen before, no-one can begrudge the Chinese for hosting one of the most successful Paralympic games yet. As an added bonus, the Irish participants came back with an impressive tally of three gold medals, a silver medal and several new Irish and world records. Among the 48 strong athletes was UCD’s own David Peelo, who qualified from UCD twenty years ago as a mechanical engineer and has since returned to the registry office in UCD. However, for two weeks this September, the Leapordstown man was part of a two man team with Michael Delaney in the B+VI category of cycling, the category of cycling for the visually impaired. “As the sighted person in the partnership, I would have the roles of steering and peddling the tandem bike”, states David, “and the blind participant has the role of energy input as he’s peddling at the back.” Prior to his involvement in the paralympics, Peelo was your fairly average cyclist taking part in national championships and the Rás with the Sorento club in Dalkey, and more recently with the cycling club in Kilcullen. So how exactly does a run of the mill cyclist end up taking part in one of the biggest sporting events in the world? “The Irish Paralym-
pic group put a request around for pilots three years ago” he explains, “and the argument that was put forward was that this was an opportunity for anybody that was just below Irish individual standard or maybe just beyond the average standard. I went along to the trials where they tried to mix everybody with everyone else and I matched up very well with Michael
The whole experience probably hasn’t really sank in yet as I’ve become used to shutting things out while competing Delaney.” Good teamwork between the pair was essential considering that they both control the one chain on the bike, thus a simple error in communication would cost both participants. In fact, Peelo would go as far as to say it is the most important aspect in the B+VI category - “One of the things with tandem cycling is that you can take the two strongest cyclers, put them on a tandem and they wouldn’t be as good as a well matched team. Balance between the two seems to be the big thing in a team as it’s important to have both riders peddling at the same rate.” Now that Peelo and Delaney had
struck a successful partnership, focus turned to their training methods and qualification for the paralympics. “There isn’t any tandem racing in Ireland, so all we can do is train. Training with the tandem would mean that once every two or three weeks we’d work together along with our own individual training. We decided to focus our training on events that would carry over well into other events, mainly the 4km pursuit.” “To qualify for the Paralympics, we had to go along to races over the last three years. You’re allocated points for your position in these races and at the end these points are added up. At one stage it looked like we had one place, had an outside chance of a second place and if everything went right, we might get a third place from somewhere else.” Following some adjustments in the rules and regulations of the qualification process, Ireland
ended up with four riders going to the thirteenth paralympics, already achieving beyond their expectations before Beijing was in sight. The 48 strong Irish contingent landed into Beijing for what would be a life-changing three weeks on the day of the closing ceremony of the olympic games. The facilities, Peelo notes, were the first thing that caught his attention as he speaks enthusiastically of internal TV networks which enabled athletes to have a choice of what competition they wanted to watch at any time and the vastness of the olympic village (which he conveniently compares in size to UCD). “The place was vast, easily bigger than the size of the Belfield campus. The food hall was probably the size of the restaurant, the arts block and the library put together and was open 24 hours a day, although you’d tend to eat small amounts whenever you felt
like it instead of eating whatever was there.” After a week which must have been spent in awe of the sheer size of the operation and the facilities at hand, competition finally began in the velodrome. However, Peelo and Delaney’s preparations for their first event on the opening day were far from ideal. “The day before the race, Michael got a bad migraine in which he had vision problems as well. He started getting blind spots and our first thoughts were ‘this is it, some of the rest of his sight’s going’, which caused a major panic. It was only from talking to the team doctor and a few members of the team that we figured out it was just a migraine which only lasted for the day.” With this as preparation, it was hardly surprising that when the pair took part in the 4km individual pursuit the next day, they came a disappointing 13th. However, the very next day the pair broke the first of two Irish records in the 1km time trial by almost a second. Considering that this was far from their strongest event breaking the Irish record was no mean feat, even though Peelo believes more could have been achieved. “If we had probably got to ride on the track a little bit more and focus a little bit more, we would’ve got another half a second. We kept the tandem down to the measuring line as much as we could but we still probably
UCD Manager Pete Mahon write exclusively for the College Tribune
For Pete’s Sake We played Cork on Friday and we were beaten by the better team. I can’t have any complaints. The defeat was down to sloppy defending. We haven’t been scoring many goals, so when you defend badly you’re always going to have problems. The first goal came from a set-piece and that’s always disappointing. We worked really hard to stop that threat so that was frustrating. The second Cork goal came from a penalty, again terrible defending. In fairness to the lads though, they came back strong in the second half, played some good football and had some half chances. We’ve got to focus on that and take the positives from this game and think about Drogheda
Pete Mahon “People say these things cancel themselves out over a season. They do on me arse”
next week, another difficult match. We play full-time teams most weeks, and make no mistake about it, there’s a huge gulf. I’ve no problem with players getting paid. If clubs are foolish enough to do that or have the resources, that’s their prerogative. I’m not telling teams what to do, but you can see how much disarray is in the league. The fundamental explanation is players are getting paid big wages and the attendances aren’t good enough. No matter what slant is put on it, the attendances have fallen right across the country, with perhaps the exception of maybe Cork, Bohs and Shamrock Rovers. I was recently at a FAI Cup quarter-final replay between Bray and Galway, the attendance was about 300. You’d expect more to be at a game than that. We conceded our tenth penalty of
the year on Friday. I’ve had my say on this matter before when I was sent from the dugout after a penalty was awarded to Bohemians. But things like that have happened to us five times this year, for the other five penalties I had no complaints. But you’ve got to have a balance and fairness with these things. Afterwards, referees have admitted to me they made a mistake. Some people say at least you feel justified, but that doesn’t repair the damage. It’s just not good enough. I’ve problems with referees before, but you can’t go through life holding grudges. I’m not that kind of person, so you just have to move on. It’s certainly
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
added a meter or two to the overall distance. But we were still more than happy to break the record!” By the end of the second day, all four Irish cyclists had broken Irish records showing how much the team had advanced since the Athens Paralympics when one solitary cyclist, Denis Twomey, competed purely to see whether the sport was worth investing the time and energy towards. It was, and these results validate this decision. “Some of the records were broken by five or six seconds, that’s big” admits Peelo, “so hopefully we’re not far off from competing for medals, maybe two or three years.” One more track event followed on day four for Peelo and Delaney and one more Irish record would be broken in the 1.5km sprint. Qualifying into the quarter final with this new Irish record, the Irish pair lost narrowly to the South African team. However, the points gained from the positions in these games directly affect qualification for the next Paralympics, thus a sixth place for the Irish was once again exceeding expectations and a boost for their prospects of qualifcation for London 2012. The road beckoned for the pair as they took part in the road race time trials and road race, finishing 18th and 16th respectively. “18th was okay for
not helpful and conducive to winning matches. People say these things cancel themselves out over a season. They do on me arse. That’s a load of rubbish. Every game is different and we haven’t got many penalties this year. But that’s not the reason why we’re at the bottom of the league. There’s so much pressure on our defence. If we don’t score at one end, and then concede a goal, the confidence ebbs from the team. Finn Harps are seven points ahead of us. Being realistic, you’d expect them to win at least one more game. Therefore we’ll have to make up at least ten points. That’s a very tall order, but as long as there’s hope we’ll keep trying and hopefully get that bit of luck. Next week we’ll give it our all, and you never what might happen. Sadly, one of the most r e s p e ct e d
the time trials” states Peelo, “as there was one group consisting of the first six or seven who were ahead of the rest, then there was us. It was good as we were still in with the bulk of the standard. In the road race itself, we fell behind early on and it was difficult to get that ground back on the climbs.” After three memorable weeks, the athletes came home to a throughly deserved heroes welcome in Dublin airport from the hundreds of people who waited for hours for the athletes to arrive, something which blew away Peelo. “You’d normally come back from world championships and maybe have a couple of relatives there welcoming you and that’s it. But when we were walking through the baggage area, you could even hear the noise outside the door from the huge crowd, and at least half of them came from people there for Darragh McDonald (silver medalist in the 400m freestyle swimming) as the school had brought their pupils up. The whole experience probably hasn’t really sank in yet as I’ve become used to shutting things out while competing.” At 42, Peelo reluctantly accepts that this is probably his first and last Paralympic games and is hopeful that for the sake of his sport other cyclists will come through an go even a step further - “Five out of the six riders are at least mid-thirties, so for a sporting point of view we should not still be there for the next paralympics. Hopefully there’ll be good competition in which the cyclists will excel to force the standard. The next big stage will now be transferring the knowledge that we have onto the new riders.” It is fair to say that Peelo is surely the embodiment of the spirit of the Paralympics. Three years ago, his love of cycling was taking him to national championships, the Rás races and to some of the deepest darkest corners of Ireland. In the last three years, his love of cycling has taken him on an unforgettable experience culminating in his involvement in one of the biggest fortnights in sport. And it is thanks to his experience that we can be hopeful for even more success from the cyclists of the Paralympic games in London in four years time.
coaches in the country died on Friday night, Noel O’Reilly. Anything I can say about Noel is positive, but that is inadequate as to do justice to the man, you would have to write a book about him. Even then something worthy of mention would be left out. He was a decent humble man, friendly, and very knowledgeable. It’s no exaggeration to say he must have helped up to 10,000 people, and I was one of the lucky enough to work with him. One thing that actually struck me about Noel was his hand-writing! He was always drawing out match plans, even when I would be talking to him! These days things are done on laptops but Noel was uncanny in the way he did it. Everything was perfection. He was a genius and was always willing to share his knowledge. There’s no church around Dublin big enough to hold Noel’s funeral. The St Pat’s vs Hertha Berlin game on Tuesday in the RDS would be completely full if Noel’s funeral was there, that’s probably the best tribute I can pay him.
SUPeRleAGUe FootBAll’S not CoMinG hoMe
Sodomising the beautiful game The nights lengthen, the leaves fall. It’s a beautiful sight, only to be swiftly ruined by the sudden onset of Superleague. A tourné in which players will compare hangovers as readily as cars and it gives the common man a chance to spend €160 on a pair of boots which will not make him a better player, and will only serve to alienate him from his team mates. There is nothing better than dragging yourself out of bed at half past eight, (yes half eight) to make it out to the wind tunnel that is Belfield campus. The game was scheduled to kick-off at ten (best to get it out of the way early) but when your humble correspondent arrived, he was met by a veritable army of hurley-brandishing fifteen year olds who’s coach, a short country fellow with home-made sambos coming out of his ears (you know the type), barking orders for his team to vacate the area. We still are not entirely sure what he said but they didn’t leave the pitch until nearly quarter to eleven. Just for
the record the hurling team in the bibs won, thanks to some giant heffer in the centre of the pitch which the rest found hard to handle Now to the match. The match which I had elected to watch was a Sunday Division 1 clash between Olympic Real and Ocean’s 11. Lets get the serious stuff out of the way, the score was 12-1 to Real. What is believed to have happened is, and I’m open to correction on this, that the delay in kick-off was to the detriment of the Ocean’s 11 boys who at 10am were in that fluffy purgatory between drunk and hung over. It took Real three minutes to open the scoring, with an incisive through ball picked up by Gareth Bruce on the edge of the box who slotted it away cleanly. Bruce would go onto score three more goals, however this is entirely negated by the fact that he missed a sitter, he promptly blamed it on a divet on the astro pitch. To be quite honest this game was as one sided as Heather Mills after a few Jager-Bombs. Danny Ocean would’ve needed Ocean’s 12 or
13 to make any sort of impact on the game and the only reason they scored is because the Real keeper had forgotten that he was playing and decided to have a bit of a lie down. Despite the score line the Real centre midfield partnership did not seem to work, this is largely due to the fact that Robbie Carty (a 26 year old who wears a school uniform on nights out) did not seem to be at the races. Robbie is, sources say, best suited to playing at centre half, a role which he is only barely capable of playing in so what he was doing in the far more demanding midfield role is perplexing. The game itself was a good spirited encounter with both teams relieved when the referee signalled the end of the game. Real were just getting kind of bored, so bored in fact that they agreed to only try and score with their bad feet. Ocean’s 11 just wanted to go home or back to the pub, a happy place to ease the pain.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
UCD blows Gaels off course
■ Jordan Daly
STUDENT BAR WEDNESDAY
30TH SEPTEMBER FEATURING
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The colours clashed at Parnell park last Tuesday night, but while it was Dublin university teams battling it out, it was a Wexford man, Ciaran Lyng who illustrated the gulf in class between UCD and Trinity, as the men from Belfield ran out 1-17 to 0-05 winners. “Ciaran coming back really boosted us, any squad in Dublin would have him, he is amazing going forward. I played last time we won it in 2006 and it would be unbelievable if we could do it again.” Shane Lennon was quick to commend his team mate for a fantastic performance, himself drenched in sweat after an exerting performace. Lyng was substituted in the 44th minute. Leagues ahead of his opposition, he was after wreaking havoc for the early period of the second half as he went forward scoring three cracking points. His return spurred UCD to a display of utter ruthlessness in Parnell Park last Tuesday. At the half way stage, the Belfield Blues were up by eleven points, and their place the quarter-final of the Dublin SFC ‘A’ was in the bag. Star forward and man of the match Shane Lennon was pleased with the win,“It’s always great to get a victory and we knew coming out tonight it was win or bust, we saw Brigids go out on goal difference the other night and we didn’t want that to happen to us. Hopefully we can build on this win for the rest of the season, we’ve still a few players coming back, and we will need a full strength squad for the knock out stages.” Their ease of victory was greatly thanks to full-forward, Louth’s Lennon, who sliced open the heart of the Trinity Gaels defence with a right foot you could play the fiddle with and he totaled seven points, four from spot kicks. Lennon was in control, using his speed to sweep up possession and knocking over anything he didn’t
UCD 1-17 Trinity Gaels 0-5 Parnell Park pass to the opportunists either side of him. His powerful shot in the fifteenth minute was blocked by goalie Craig Reilly but pounced on by Cathal O’Dwyer to give UCD their only goal. A humble Lennon after the game commented on his performance. “My own shooting was a bit off but it was good to kick a few over, we all linked up well in full-forward, Colin, Mark and myself and of course Paddy in the half forward line.” The University men kept the possession away from the Donaghmede danger-men Dean Kelly and hit the first six points in second without reply before Brendan O’Brien stemmed the tide with a 49th minute free. UCD however used crisp handpassing triangles all over the field and thirteen wide shows that they didn’t take all their chances. UCD Goalkeeper Stephen Gallagher said after, “It was a must win game for us, if we were bet all the critics would be on our backs, because we were always expected to win. It’s not quite as star-studded a team as the one that won it two years ago but names mean nothing as Tyrone proved at the weekend. Players don’t win championships, teams win championships. Our work ethic was 100% from the first to the last whistle. There were lads still pulling and dragging even when we were ten points up.” “All the big names are left now, Crokes, Vincents, whoever we play we are going to be the underdogs anyway, and that’s the best way to be going into games. If we can stay clear of the likes of Crokes and Ballyboden we can win it in the forwards but really anything can happen on the big day.” Ominous words ahead of UCD v Crokes on October fourth.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
College ‘downe and out ■■ Bryan Devlin In any sport you have to take your chances. The team that does not dice with their chances will, invariably, be the losing side. The difference in this game was kicking, or rather place kicking. While the Lansdowne full back comfortably slotted away close to all his kicks, Killian Lett, the College outside centre, failed to convert any. Granted the opposition should not have been given that many penalties but in a tight quarter final, when nothing is being given in terms of territory your kicker has to be firing on all cylinders. The tone of this game was more or less set straight from the beginning. Within the opening five minutes the Lansdowne kicker was awarded an opportunity to put three points on
RDS the board, an opportunity which he gladly took. This routine would continue throughout the first half, with Lansdowne being awarded 4 shots on goal. While only missing one, which was arguably the easiest of the bunch, it is hardly surprising that they lead by 8 points at the break. Whereas, Lett missed a veritable hat full of chances. In a game which depended so heavily on the respective kickers it is a testament to the College backs that they did not experience the indignity of a white wash.
Indeed, UCD’s first score of the game came at the quarter hour mark, a rare chance which saw winger Cian Ahearne skip by two tackles beautifully and run in for an enigmatic try, the conversion attempt from Lett was, of course, wayward. The build up for the try was a great display in itself and well worthy of the five points. However, this would be the only score UCD would collect the first half. College were certainly on the back foot for the majority of the second half and struggled to get any strong hold on the game, their danger men; Vasily Artemiev and Ahearne, were certainly quiet on the wings with little more than scraps coming their way. Ultimately the quarter final was a very physical affair, particularly upfront. Although the UCD pack bossed their opposition in previous games,
they seemed incapable of dealing with the Lansdowne front eight. The breakdown was unusually scrappy with college scrambling to retain possession on a number of occasions. Following the interval, UCD seemed to have remedied some of the problems from the first half. Lett made a half break in the opening moments only to fall at the last hurdle. Despite the good start to the half College found themselves defending their try line a few moments later and had not been for Lansdowne’s white line fever the men from Belfield would have found themselves further behind. It was at this stage in the game which UCD’s best chance of putting a few scores on the board presented itself but the ten minute period in which the Lansdowne No. 8 was in the bin proved to be a fruitless period and before they knew it
College were facing a full fifteen again. While Lansdowne proceeded to put points on the board in threes, College seemed to have no answer at one stage they trailed by eleven points. With ten minutes to go Lett broke through the centre and laid off to Quinn at fifteen who came thundering up in support and touched down for UCD’s second time of the match, the conversion was unsuccessful. After this score the game became incredibly mean spirited. This proved to increase the penalty count and thus Lansdowne easily stretched their lead to 22-10. On the whole, a performance which UCD are well capable of putting behind them, particularly now as they gear up for the coming season in the AIL.
»»UCD’s next game is away to
Old Belvedere in the AIB league, on the 4th of October at 14.30
David Peelo We speak to UCD’s resident Paralympian Page 24
Issue 2 | Volume 22 | 30th September 2008
No light at the end of the tunnel
■ Eoghan Brophy Seven points from safety, seven games remain. The outlook is bleak for the Students. Last Friday, it only took Cork seventeen minutes to have the game wrapped up. A Darragh Ryan cross wasn’t adequately cleared by the UCD defense, with the ball falling to former Hull City striker Lawrie Dudfield to bundle the ball over the line from just two yards out. Dudfield was central to Cork’s next goal just three minutes later when he was taken down inside the box by Alan Mahon. The resulting penalty was converted by Denis Behan.
Cork City UCD
Turner’s Cross UCD had the first shot of note on five minutes, but Brian King’s long range effort was just over. But on twelve minutes the deadlock was broken. Liam Kearney made a run through the UCD midfield before unleashing a strike that was pushed out for a corner by Matt Gregg. Darragh Ryan swung the corner in and Cork captain Dan Murray headed the ball towards goal. Gregg saved
but the ball landed at the feet of Dudfield who was able to slot the ball into the gaping net for the opening goal. Behan’s penalty hit straight down the middle was the only time the City striker was able to get the better of UCD goalkeeper on the night. Gregg managed to touch a Danny Murphy diving header around for a corner on twenty minutes while UCD’s only other chance in the first half came courtesy of a Shane Duggan free kick hit straight at John Devine. UCD continued in the same vain when the second half commenced as efforts from King and Duggan were comfortable for the experienced
Devine. The Leesider’s Liam Kearney gave a man of the match performance in the centre of midfield. The centre of the park is an unfamiliar position for him, but he nearly created a third goal for Cork when his through ball was hit just wide by Dennis Behan. With fifteen minutes to go Danny Murphy played in Cork substitute Gareth Cambridge whose attempted chip of the advancing Gregg was somehow tipped out for a corner. In fairness to UCD they never gave up and Pat McWalter’s low drive came close with just under ten minutes remaining, but Devine scrambled down well to save. In the last five minutes Gregg denied
Behan once again with another top class save to keep the scoreline at 2-0. That was the way the game finished and it leaves UCD in a precarious position. They need to gain seven points on Finn Harps who seem to have secured their safety with a 1-0 win in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night. With Drogheda United coming to the UCD Bowl next Friday and a visit to Tolka Park the following week, the student’s need something close to a miracle to escape the drop. Unfortunately at this stage it looks almost certain that they will spend next season in the Discover Ireland League, the second tier of Irish domestic football.
College Tribune Issue 2, Published 30th September 2008