News in Brief

LawSoc finish 19th in World Debating ChampionshipsUCD was well represented at the World Debating Championships that were held in Botswana from December 27th to January 4th.Four teams were on hand to represent the university, with two each respectively from Law Society (LawSoc) and from the Literary and Historical (L&H) Society.Dearbhla O’Gorman and Dearbhail O’Crowley from LawSoc placed 19th overall, edging out Yale’s A-team by five points, with a total of 1,433 speaker points. Other prominent competitors included Oxford and Cambridge universities.316 teams in total competed in the competition. LawSoc’s B-team placed 74th, while the A and B-teams for the L&H placed 71st and 130th respectively.Beauty and the Beast musical set for February runThe UCD Community Musical Production of Beauty and the Beast will be running this February and production efforts are already well underway.Following last year’s success with Footloose, efforts are being stepped up for Beauty and the Beast.The Community Musical has always proven popular and is reflected in the participation. A cast of 40 to 50 alumni, staff and current students will be on stage for each performance, as well as a backstage crew that numbers as many as 80 people.The Community Musical is operating with assistance from the Musical Society and the Drama Society. Third-year Arts student Meabh Carron and alumnus Alec Ward will play the titular characters of Belle and The Beast.Last year’s production ran with a full audience for its four day run, and this year is hoped to equal or better that success.The production will run for four days from Tuesday, February 15th to Saturday, February 19th in O’Reilly Hall.New Curriculum for Bachelor of CommerceChanges to the Bachelor of Commerce degree were proposed in the past weeks with the aim of creating a more integrated degree with more connections between the various aspects of the program, in addition to a new support for student research in the degree area.The changes are part of constant drive to refresh the curriculum. The heads of the BComm Programme also consulted with employers in an attempt to develop the “critical skills desired by employers”. There will be a new focus on educating students with a working knowledge as well as a problem-solving ability, instead of just a technical knowledge of the subject area.Several focus groups were held recently with students from every level of the degree. The main points that the students desired were a more career-focused degree, as well as a simplified final year. The new approach will require less specialisation in their degree, allowing a broader spectrum of studies while still allowing students to concentrate their efforts if they so wish.The new changes will be phased in starting next September, with the changes only affecting first-year students. - Matthew Jones