Ents Vice-President Jonny Cosgrove has admitted that the ‘security breach’ announced by the Students’ Union on the day the tickets were due to go on sale for the UCD Ball was a case of misinformation.
The University Observer understands that the Students’ Union had been informed by the university on the day prior to Wednesday March 30th, the original date for ticket sales, that the university would not be able to comply with an aspect of an agreement between the two bodies that would close the campus at 1pm on the April 21st, the date the Ball was scheduled to be held, with the exception of Emergency Services.
SU President Paul Lynam told The University Observer that the SU then tried to amend the article, but the Gardaí rejected the amendment two days later, on March 31st, when it became apparent that the event would have to be cancelled.
Cosgrove told The University Observer that the decision to withhold the announcement of the cancellation from students until April 2nd was as result of ‘April Fool’s Day’ being the cancellation of the Ball occurred.
Cosgrove defended the Union’s mention of a security breach, claiming that had they informed students of the difficulties, it would have “destroyed all negotiations” with the university.
Cosgrove admitted that he was just “trying to buy some time” and that there was no way for the tickets to be sold “on a safe basis” when it was becoming apparent that refunds might have to be issued.
Speculation has been mounting that the 2011 UCD Ball may be rescheduled to facilitate the university authorities’ access requirements. Last week a university source, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed that the Ball would take place the day after the semester two exams finish on May 14th.
However, Students’ Union President Paul Lynam last week told The University Observer that the UCD Ball would “100 per cent not take place on May 15th” if it was to be rescheduled.
The Students’ Union last week launched the ‘Save Our Ball’ campaign which has been endorsed by celebrities such as Miriam O’ Callaghan.
When asked if he was optimistic that the UCD Ball would be rescheduled, Lynam said the SU’s “position hadn’t changed” and that they would “continue to campaign” in an attempt to convince the university to agree to a rescheduled date.
UCDSU and university authorities have been at loggerheads ever since the Union claimed “college authorities” were solely to blame for the event’s cancellation. UCDSU Campaigns & Communications Officer, Pat de Brún, earlier last week accused the university of censorship, stating on his Facebook profile: “UCD Authorities have now refused the SU permission to send out our All-Student E-Mail because it laid out the facts about why they cancelled the ball! That will not stop us, WE WANT OUR BALL!!!”
The Union then engaged in censorship themselves after reporters from The University Observer were prevented from taking photos of projection slides being displayed to Class Reps and had their cameras forcibly removed by Chair of Council, Áine Gilhooly at last week’s SU Council in the Astra Hall.
Students’ Union Education Officer, James Williamson, later apologised to The University Observer for the manner in which they had removed the camera, explaining the reasons for the censorship.
Williamson stated, via email: “I am just emailing to apologise about Council. Before entering Council this evening myself and the President were legally advised that under no circumstances was any of the information contained in the presentation to [be] released outside Council. The reason for this is because myself and the President were delivering the information in the correct and most accurate manner. If such a document were to be distributed, the opposite may occur.
“This is not to say that this may have been the case with you but this is what we were advised for everyone. I apologise if you felt singled out in Council as you were the only ones who were effected [sic]. The message was to assert to everyone the importance of the information. This is also the reason why standing orders of council were raised but I do apologise for the manner in which this was delivered.”
No re-instatement of rescheduling of the UCD Ball had been announced at the time of going to print.