News in Brief


SU to secure student deal with Leinster Rugby

Following Leinster Rugby acquiring offices, training facilities and research labs on the Belfield campus, UCD Students’ Union President Pat de Brún is attempting to partner with the organisation to secure special deals for UCD students.

De Brún has received a positive response to his proposal from the Director of Development in UCD but is still awaiting a response from Leinster Rugby.

He explains that he felt the agreement between UCD and Leinster Rugby was an opportunity for students to “get some direct benefits from this relationship.”

The deals have not yet been confirmed, “in the past Leinster [Rugby] have done deals for less popular matches … whereby you could get a ticket and a drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic for a cut-down price.”

NUIG Students’ Union and Connacht have a similar structure in place, which is where the idea stemmed from. The scheme is expected to be in place by September 2012.

Maths Support Centre to Launch Video Tutorials

The Maths Support Centre (MSC) is expected to broadcast its first video tutorial in the next few weeks. The first tutorial will be aimed at Agricultural Science students and will cover the subject of Radian Measure.

This initiative is being piloted with the help of Campaigns and Communications Officer Brendan Lacey, who explained that the MSC is currently on a limited budget: “What I want to start doing now is expand the reach of the Maths Support Centre without having to put more money into [it] … start putting all the video tutorials online and to start advertising for them.”

The subject of tutorials will be closely tied to the curriculum of Business, Agriculture, Engineering, and Science students. The MSC currently run tutorials called ‘Hot Topics’, which target problem areas for students, working in conjunction with lecturers to identify subjects.

The Maths Support Centre is currently located in the South Wing of the Science Centre.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

The Students’ Union’s annual Seachtain na Gaeilge took place last week from February 6th to 10th. A hypnotist, ceílí, and a performance by Aslan were among the various events that took place during the week.

SU Irish Language Officer, Caoimhe Seoige, was “delighted” with the outcome of the week, “we kind of kept the same thing going with the hoodies and everything … it went really well. I guess we were trying to get people in from the outside more because last year it was about the hoody sales and this year it’s about the Irish.”

The aim of the week was to promote the Irish language on campus, although any profits that may have been made will be donated to UCD Volunteers Overseas.

The next prominent Irish event is Ball na Gaeilge, expected to take place during the second week after the mid-term break.

Alternative National Archive

A team of experts led by the UCD Michael Ó Cléirigh Institute are currently surveying a wide collection of historical materials dating from the 11th to the 20th century from the Irish Franciscan archive.

The project is being funded by a grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose aim it is to “build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities, rather than be a source for narrowly defined projects.”

Director of the UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, and Head of the UCD School of History and Archives, Dr John McCafferty explained that the documents are of primary importance to the “history of Ireland and its relationship with other parts of the world.”

The analysis is expected to take a year to complete.

Relay for Life launched in UCD

Relay for Life is being held in UCD on March 28th. The relay involves a twenty-four hour team relay event where one person from each team must remain on the track of the relay at all times.

The event will commence with a Survivors’ Lap; a celebration of cancer survivors. According to Chairperson of the UCD event, Sarah Thomas, participants will “walk the track in purple t-shirts, which is the colour of survivorship. They’ll do one lap and we’ll all cheer them on because they’re still fighting their battle or they’re survivors, and they’re the VIPs of the day.”

A remembrance ceremony will take place at dusk, “we line the track with candle bags which have pre-written messages on them from people who buy the bags, and it’s a message of remembrance or celebration.”

After this, the teams will walk through the night, “there’ll be DJs and bands playing throughout the night, just to keep everybody entertained.”

The relay takes place under the motto of “Celebrate. Remember. Fight back!” The twenty-four hour time scale holds a special significance; Thomas explained that “Cancer doesn’t sleep. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you can fall asleep, but when you wake up in the morning you’ll still have cancer. So we go through the night and walk with them, fight it with them.”

All proceeds will go directly to the Irish Cancer Society which supports research, palliative and end of life care.

The group can be contacted via “Relay for Life UCD” on Facebook.

Rás UCD scheduled for February 25th

Rás UCD is taking place on February 25th, with as many as 600 people predicted to take part in the five kilometre race. Run in conjunction with a number of UCD societies, it is one of various bilingual events on campus, with support from Bord na Gaeilge UCD, An Scéim Chónaithe, UCD Volunteers Overseas, and UCD Athletics Club.

All proceeds go directly to UCDVO and competitors may enter individually or in teams of up to three, with a fee of €10 for students or juniors and €15 for adults. The first 500 entrants will receive a free t-shirt and goodie bag and there are over 300 people registered to date.

Chairperson of the Rás Committee, Tim Grummell, has sought to make this year’s Rás bigger than ever, “up the sharp end of the field there are always good battles between competitors. However, for many of the participants, it’s very much about the craic. There is always a great atmosphere at the race and in the sports hall afterwards, with free food and tea, as well as lots of physio students helping out for anyone who needs a bit of a rubdown after the race.”

Last year’s win was clinched by Emmet Dunleavy, who beat fellow competitor Rob Corbally by just one second.

The motto of the race is “Is fearr rith maith ná droch-sheasamh” or “a good run(ning) is better than a bad stand(ing).”

Sports Officer declares Sports Day a success

Sports Officer Paddy Guiney and events planner Philip McCann proclaimed the Newman Games, which were held on February 8th, a success.  Despite a low turnout, with “spoons from home and eggs from Centra”, the action was described as “creative while cutting costs.”

Guiney was keen to emphasise the benefits of an alcohol-free campus event, stating “I wanted to add another element to UCD life, college pride and college atmosphere.”

The Sports Crew are concerned with the health of the student body and the provision of facilities for those students who wish to engage in university activities within a non-alcoholic atmosphere.

Proceeds from the event were donated to the Mark Owens Medical Fund.