Observer Week in Review: 19-23 September 2011

The Observer Week in Review is a new weekly feature, giving you a quick run through of what’s happening every week of relevance to students.

Maynooth News

  • Freshers’ Week kicked off the Semester in style with Calvin Harris, Propaganda and the Freshers’ Ball (More on this in Brian’s segment)
  • New features to the campus include a completely redesigned SU bar, and the arrival of the new canteen. The bridge between North and South Campus is gone, and has been replaced by a pedestrian crossing. People will also notice that the construction of the new library is well under construction.
  • The north campus has spent a decent amount of the week smelling of sewage, particularly evident between the back of the Arts block and the canteen. Make of that what you will.
  • Next week, the Arts Block will play host to a cake sale on Monday and book sale on Tuesday. Both run from 11am-1pm and are all in aid of FocusIreland. For more on that, check out the event on Facebook here.
  • NUI Maynooth came runner-up in the Sunday Times University of the Year poll this year. More on that here

National News

  • It was announced that British National Party leader Nick Griffin will speak at Trinity college on October 15 as part of a Phil. Society debate. Read our article about it here
  • USI President Gary Redmond appeared in the most recent issue of Hot Press, referred to as one of the ‘three leading lights in the push for the protection of student rights’. Check it out if you can, we may be publishing a response to it in the coming days.
  • In the latest twist in the fight for the grants adjacentcy issue,  Ruairi Quinn announced the foundation of the Grants Appeal Board, an independent body to rule on disputed grant applications. More on that here.

Entertainment Corner, with Brian.

And so it was that on the third day (of Freshers’Week) I found myself attending the MSU Freshers’ Ball. Misgivings about young people and their young people music abounded in my head, but I girded my loins and set about tackling the challenge of professionally reviewing this most seminal of events in the student calendar.

Arriving fashionably late, I entered the SU Bar, the various renovations having been well discussed in our latest podcast (Link here?), yet suffice to say the feeling of being trapped in a lava-lamp was successfully atmospheric. The Venue itself was reasonably kitted out for the event: big screens and flashing lights as standard, yet impressive nonetheless

From 11pm onwards the crowd began a steady increase from worrying to acceptable, with an explosion at around midnight. VPSEC Keith Broni was on hand to oversee proceedings, and the catalogue of his facial expressions offered my keen journalist eye a ‘Broni Barometer’ on how the night was proceeding.

DJ Chris Moody, representing Propaganda on the night, offered up an excellent setlist of music, easing the growing crowd into the night with popular hits such as ‘All the Small Things’ and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ before kicking out some bona fide dance tunes from midnight onwards.

But a fly must mar every pot of ointment, and on this night it was the fiendishly eager bar staff. (Eager to steal my drink, that is) I understand the desire to keep tables cleared of empties, but when the glasses are plastic, it’s not as urgent a safety risk, and besides, my damned drink wasn’t empty! Twice! But lets not dwell on the negatives. The Union put on a good show for its students, one of many (I hope) to come.

Broni himself commented on his satisfaction with the night. Despite the non-attendance of approximately 200 combo-ticket holders (presumably still recovering from Calvin Harris the previous night), the VPSEC felt the crowd had been just the right size; nicely large, but with room to move.

Now, if I could just figure out how on earth Abra was luring students into its clutches, I’d understand what makes these young people tick! Until next time readers.

Fin.

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