News in Brief – April 16th

Noam Chomsky awarded UCD Ulysses Medal

Professor Noam Chomsky has been awarded the UCD Ulysses Medal, the university’s highest honour. The Medal was established in 2005, and has been awarded to those who have made an outstanding global contribution.

UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady awarded Chomsky the Medal after a lecture hosted jointly by the UCD Philosophical Society and the UCD School of Philosophy on Tuesday April 2nd. The lecture, entitled ‘Can civilization survive really existing capitalism?’, was followed by a Q&A with the audience of 1,100 people, many of whom had been queuing for two hours to see Chomsky.

Chomsky is known across the world for his left-wing criticism of US foreign policy. He has lectured at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in linguistics since 1955.

His work was described by the New York Times’, Daniel Yergin as having had an impact “on everything from the way children are taught foreign languages to what it means when we say that we are human.’ He is considered one of the most important intellectuals alive today.

His controversial bestseller ‘9-11’ traced the origins of the attack on the World Trade Centre to the actions of the United States, who he described as a ‘leading terrorist state.’

Rás UCD raises €5,000

Rás UCD returned again this year to raise money for UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO).

€5,000 was raised from the event, which took place on Saturday April 6th. These funds will be allocated directly to UCDVO’s development projects which will be implemented by UCD student volunteers this summer. This will involve the setting up of four computer labs in schools in Tanzania and summer camps in Haiti, which will cater for 600 children.

The funds raised will allow UCDVO to continue its mission to improve conditions for people in developing countries. For further information on UCDVO, visit

USI Student Achievement Awards recognise UCD students’ contributions

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will host an event to recognise the achievements of third level students on Thursday, April 18th.

The event, which will take place in the Shelbourne Hotel, will celebrate and encourage the work done by students for their college, community and country. The USI hope to encourage public service and volunteering, as well as creativity in students.

Awards will be given across a broad spectrum, including students’ union campaigns, political activism, broadcast and print media, online media and community engagement.

A number of UCD students have been nominated in these categories, including Ben Breslin for Student Leader of the Year, Ciara Johnson for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life and Part-Time SU Officer of the Year, Brian McCormick for Entrepreneur of the Year and Jeff M. Poulin for International Student of the Year.

The awards will be judged by various industry experts from the Irish Independent, The Sunday Times, The Irish Times,, Amnesty International, British Council UK, and many others.

UCD voted to disaffiliate from USI last February. Some Students that favoured disaffiliation felt that UCDSU needed a more local focus in light of the financial difficulties that had been experienced in the preceding months.

Paddy Guiney of UCDSU was recently elected as VP for Campaigns for USI. Guiney campaigned for UCD to remain affiliated with USI, and has expressed desire to see a re-affiliation between UCDSU and USI in the future.