Mental Health Week sees the launch of SilverCloud in UCD

Mental Health week saw events all over the country, as well as the UCD campus from Wednesday 3rd October to Wednesday 10th October, aiming to promote good mental health among the student body. Events included health walks, exercises in mindfulness, as well as seminars for people in managerial roles, on how best to “recognise signs and symptoms of stress and mental health” and acquire a “better understanding of the issues in staff welfare.”

One of the most covered events, was the launch of SilverCloud, an online service for UCD students that provides modules in content relevant to their current needs. The service has already been integrated into Trinity College Dublin.

Mental Health Week 2018 saw a marked improvement on the same week last year, which had to be postponed due to the condition of the grounds.

 

#RaiseTheRoof March sees thousands turn out in show of urgency

On Wednesday the 3rd October, up to 10,000 people took to the streets of Dublin City centre, protesting the housing crisis, increasingly referred to as a national emergency. Organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the National Homelessness and Housing Coalition, the march attracted a number of groups, including various Student Unions, as well as a number of TDs. Many Labour TD’s were met with jeers and taunts, as many believe they are partially to blame for the crisis, being in government with Fine Gael from 2011-16. UCDSU contributed to the strong presence at the march.

The march attracted a diverse crowd, with nearly all political parties attending, bar Fine Gael. Other groups involved ranged from the Union of Students Ireland (USI), women’s groups like the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and Traveller groups.

Many of those marching saw the march to be a success, citing the fact that the government lost a vote in the Dáil, on the motion to declare the issue a national emergency. The motion also calls for rent controls to be introduced, as well as an end to evictions into homelessness. While the vote does not have to be acted upon by the government, it adds even more pressure on to Fine Gael to deal with the crisis. Despite this pressure, many agree that it will not lead to any form of substantial policy change.

 

Rebecca Carter takes her place in UCD

Ms Rebecca Carter has started in her first year of Veterinary Medicine in UCD, after winning her High Court case against the State Exams Commission. Ms Carter, who missed out on the first round offer by only six points, and on the second round offer by only one, sought a review of her papers. Upon doing so, she found that the examiner had a made a basic arithmetical mistake, resulting in a ten point loss. When she contacted the State Exams Commission (SEC), they informed her that they would not be able to correct the mistake until mid-October, effectively denying her a place in her desired course. In court, the SEC claimed that her case was merely “self-serving”.

In his written statement, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys criticised the system as being “highly unfair”, and that Ms. Carter had found herself in a position that “cannot be repeated”. He labelled the system as being “manifestly not fit for purpose”. It is unclear as to what effects this ruling will now have on the process by which exams are reviewed, with counsel for the SEC warning that it would allow up to 5,000 cases to come before the court next year.

Rebecca was met with cheers in the Student Centre, and was welcomed to UCD by the Union’s sabbatical team.