Featured Blog: Spare Change

Spare some Change for a Pint?

As I sit at my desk, sipping my ridiculously sugared coffee and perusing the morning papers (12.15 is still morning on a Sunday!), I’ve come across an interesting little piece from Pat Fitzpatrick in the Indo (or perhaps it’s the Endo, judging by their front page complimentary handjob for the potential taoiseach/hide and seek champion from Mayo).
It’s a short, witty little dig at Fianna Fail, calling on the now almost (hopefully) defunct party to just go nuts in its manifesto and promise us holiday homes on the moon, or whatever. Tickled my funny bone anyway, that is until I got to the actual (single) fact that Fitzpatrick had based the piece around. On page 21 of Fianna Fail’s manifesto, in the tourism section, lies a proposal to make St. Patrick’s Festival Week into St. Patrick’s Festival Fortnight. God Help us all. Continue reading

The Observer is a Year Old!

The verbal equivalent of patting ourselves on the back

On February 20th 2010, The Student Observer was founded amidst the furore of last year’s Exec Election. One year later, as I prepare our article release schedule for the Election period, it would be remiss of me not to walk down memory lane and talk about the last year.

The whole concept of the Observer came to me in an IM conversation with my good friend and future housemate, Padraig McCarrick. I bemoaned the very existence of the Print, arguing that a paper operated by the Union is not in a position to say what it likes about the Union or the College. I had been making this argument as long as I had been in college, and had grown tired of it. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that I could do it: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and all that crap. Continue reading

NUIM Exec ’11: Are You Running?

I love the smell of democracy in the morning…. Dave Ryan explains how the election season will be covered, and makes an offer to all candidates.

Exec elections are fast approaching, and with a General Election next week, busy season has certainly begun.

Today’s announcement that Keith Broni will run for the position of VP Comms & Dev is the first of what will be many many news items to appear in the next couple of weeks, and we will be keeping you aware of it as best we can….

BUT FIRST, we at The Observer would like to make an offer to all candidates who run in this year’s election. Continue reading

Professor Philip Nolan Appointed President of NUI Maynooth

Press Release

The Governing Authority of NUI Maynooth today confirmed the appointment of Professor Philip Nolan as President of the University. He will take up the position on 15th August 2011.

Professor Nolan is currently Registrar, Deputy President and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at University College Dublin, a position he has held since 2004. He is a distinguished medical scientist and highly respected university teacher, who has been central to the changes and developments at UCD in recent years.  Continue reading

The new SU constitution: what you need to know.

CnaG provides a very detailed breakdown of Wednesdays’s MSU constitution referendum.

It’s been a (surprisingly long) while since it was proposed, but after two years of deliberation Maynooth SU has finally gotten its act together and drafted a new constitution.

There are several substantive changes made to the constitution, not least of which include simpler language, a more logical layout and the removal of several typographical errors. More importantly though is the introduction of a fourth Sabbatical officer (a paid, full-time member of the SU executive), considerable restructuring of the exec more generally, and clearer disciplinary guidelines around the impeachment (removal) of exec officers. Some modifications have been made to Union Council procedures, and to the position of Returning Officer. The Guardianship of the Constitution has been abolished completely, and a new Board of Trustees introduced. Continue reading

FEE National Meeting

Padraig McCarrick reports on last weekend’s big FEE meeting

Saturday 5th February saw a National Meeting of Free Education for Everyone (FEE) at the Teachers’ Club. The meeting involved students involved with various FEE branches from a number of Universities and Secondary Schools, this meeting is the first of its kind in recent memory.

The morning session involved a discussion on FEE to date and reports from the various FEE branches in the South and also in the Six Counties.

A more structured national framework to co-ordinate and promote FEE activities was also discussed and agreed upon. This new structure should hopefully give more of a national scope to FEE and allow smaller and new branches to develop and grow into a nationwide student grassroots movement.

The final part of the morning session involved a discussion on future FEE campaigns. Keep an eye out for FEE during campus election debates in the next two weeks and a multi-university protest against Fine Gael’s proposed Graduate Tax in the coming future.

The afternoon session involved a more public forum with a discussion entitled “Where Next for the Campaign Against Fees?” as well as a talk on “Student Mobilization Against the Cutbacks”.

Guest Speakers included activist and historian Andrew Flood, who spoke on his experiences of the student movement in the 1980s, Shane Donnelly, the secondary school student who organised the Clondalkin school walkout, and Colin Coulter, Sociology lecturer at NUIM who spoke on the Hunt Report and its commercialization of education.

This was an interesting and productive day for the FEE movement and will no doubt be just the start of their activities this year.

For those interested in FEE and their work contact them:

stopfees@gmail.com or www.free-education.info

-Padraig McCarrick

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