Knights of the Campanile deny “humiliation” of new members

Society refutes affiliation with UT defunding petition

The Knights of the Campanile have denied that bullying or humiliation took place among society members on February 27 following allegations of hazing published by the University Times (UT).

A letter signed by the society’s Master, Peter Ledbetter, states: “I have been assured by the President [of the Knights of the Campanile] that bullying and/or humiliation played no part in the evening’s proceedings.”

UT, which is funded by TCDSU, published an article entitled “Knights of the Campanile Implicated in On-Campus Hazing Evening” earlier this month after placing a recording device outside the apartment of Ben Arrowsmith, a final year Law and Business student who serves as President of the Knights of the Campanile.

It was alleged that “groaning, gagging, and retching sounds” came from the apartment where the Knights were gathering and that members were told to “bend over” and “get in the shower”.

The article received backlash from students after its publication, which detailed that UT reporters stood outside Arrowsmith’s apartment in House 37 where they heard “shouted instructions”, before placing a recording device outside the apartment door and waiting upstairs “out of sight for over an hour and a half”.

The Knights’ letter described the articles published by The University Times as “somewhat misleading and improper”. It decried UT’s reporting methods as having “disturbing implications for the privacy rights of all students in College”.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) ethics council previously issued a statement in support of UT’s reporting, detailing that its methods were “beyond reproach and consistent with the highest professional standards of public interest, investigative journalism”.

Investigations, conducted by the Junior Dean, into the actions of both the University Times and the Knights of the Campanile are currently underway.

Additionally, the letter denies an association between the society and a petition which called for a referendum to remove substantial funding from the newspaper. “I am assured that the petition was not, contrary to what some have suggested, instigated by the Knights in College,” Ledbetter wrote.

The petition, which received 500 signatures, called for the UT Editor’s salary and accommodation to be cut, as well as reducing the union’s funding for the newspaper to €3,000.

A referendum on the future of the paper’s funding is set to take place on April 10 and 11 after the petition reached the necessary number of signatures to trigger a referendum.

The Knights of the Campanile is an unofficial society with much of its membership comprising of prominent members of Trinity’s sports clubs.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.