Editors of TCD Miscellany have withdrawn their Trinity Ball Guide, distributed on campus earlier this week, from circulation.
The move follows complaints about an article in which the author insinuates that he and a male friend, disguised as paramedics, raped a female student.
The piece, written by an anonymous contributor, was published as part of a collection of ‘Ball Stories’ and removed from an online edition of the publication after complaints were made about its promotion of rape culture.
Miscellany editors Aisling Ní Mhaoláin and Louise Lamb today apologised for the article on the publication’s social media accounts, stating that the piece was “clearly intended to be untrue” and that the decision to publish it was an “editorial oversight” and a “terrible error in judgement”.
In a Facebook post, they said the publication is “not officially linked with MCD, and Trinity Ents have no official association or oversight of the publication”.
“We’re genuinely sorry the piece got to print – it was a complete oversight and entirely our fault,” Ní Mhaoláin told Trinity News. ” It’s so disappointing to make such a mistake as the idea of upsetting readers like this is so distressing, especially regarding a topic like rape. As editors in chief, the buck stops with us, and we messed up.”
In a statement to Trinty News, Ian Mooney, welfare officer of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), said: “I understand that the article was an oversight on the side of the editorial staff but the piece itself is not okay. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen this year, sexual consent is a very real issue in and out of Trinity. We need to take the topic more seriously and address the problem rather than making light of a situation that seriously affects so many people.”
One in four female respondents to a TCDSU survey published in January reported having been sexually assaulted.
Trinity Publications, which funds TCD Miscellany, released a statement on their Facebook page stating the following;
“Trinity Publications as a Capitated Body of TCD in no way condones the rape culture as outlined in the Ball Guide. The views expressed in any of our publications are not the views of the college or of the Publications Committee, but are the product of student writers who exercise the freedom of the press. We formally apologise to anyone who was offended by the content in the latest issue of Misc. The intention of any of our publications is not to cause harm but to offer a platform for student media to develop.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact Ian Mooney at 086 159 5178 or the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre at 1800 77 88 88.