Campus News in Brief

Maeve Binchy Travel award open for submissionsThe Maeve Binchy Travel Award has opened for applications for 2016. The award, which is worth €4000, will fund travel for the winner that will enhance his/her creative writing.The award is open to all UCD Arts and Humanities students, and is in its third year. Applicants are asked to submit a one page document outlining their reasons for applying for the award, a sample of original writing and a CV to by Friday 15th April. Queries should be directed to Professor Margaret Kelleher, Chair of the Selection Committee, at winner will be announced on 28th May, Maeve Binchy’s birthday. Binchy completed a BA and a Higher Diploma in Education at UCD before working as a teacher. She then wrote for The Irish Times and was appointed women’s editor in 1968. Binchy was passionate about travel. She passed away peacefully in July 2012, aged 72.UCD Choral Scholars perform on The Late Late ShowUCD Choral Scholars recently performed their version of ‘Mo Ghille Mear’ on the Late Late Show, hosted by Ryan Tubridy. The Choral Scholars released their version of the Irish tune on YouTube at the beginning of February, and it has since gained over half a million views.UCD Choral Scholars have also had successes with their version of the Parting Glass on YouTube, which has gained over 800,000 views. Led by soloist Mark Waters, the Choral Scholars have since performed at a 1916 commemoration concert on Easter Monday in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, which was broadcast live on RTÉ.Spam phone calls target UCD staffUCD Telephone Services have noted a recent increase in unsolicited phone calls to Belfield and Blackrock telephone extensions. These phonecalls pose a “potential security risk” to staff by the attempted phishing of sensitive information.UCD Telephone Services advise staff to “never provide sensitive information to unknown callers and never to access external website addresses suggested by such callers”.If these calls are received, they should be reported to UCD Estate Services. Similar calls were received in September, when spam calls that fraudulently used the pension fund companies name, Heston Financial, to gain sensitive information were reported.UCD Switches OffThis year’s UCD Switch-Off for St Patrick’s day and weekend was a huge success. An additional 14,687kWh was saved in comparison to last year, which is the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of nearly two homes.UCD Energy Unit encouraged staff and students to play their part in the UCD switch off by turning off all non-essential equipment over the weekend. The switch-off is part of their overall energy efficiency programme and will help to deliver the targeted 33 per cent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.UCD Energy Unit were also jointly responsible for a cross campus project, led by UCD Estate Services with support from the UCD Alumni, UCD International, UCD Registry, UCD Research and Innovation and UCD University Relations, for turning UCD’s Water Tower and Merville House green to celebrate St Patrick’s day. The Energy Unit said that: “The challenge was to accomplish the required lighting effect while improving energy efficiency. We installed a number of 110 watt LED light fittings, which deliver approximately 80 per cent efficiency improvements over the previous decorative lights. The old lights had been installed for the 150th UCD anniversary some 12 years ago.”