The last college year gave us society scandals, new political campaigns and incoming TCDSU president Lynn Ruane, whose campaign and life story gripped the nation. But what were the stories that most captured your attention? Based on the number of visits to each page, here are the most viewed articles since September 2014 on trinitynews.ie.
In our most read article this year, Dee Courtney responded to the claim that the passing of the upcoming equal marriage referendum would destroy the fabric of the family with a personal account of her own upbringing by two lesbian mothers, together now for over a decade. “I wouldn’t trade my parents for any smiling hetero two-kids-one-dog couple in the Iona ads,” she wrote. “And that’s not just a political statement; my mum worked hard to make me feel that way.”
The front page story of our first issue of 2015, by Catherine Healy, reported on a soon-to-be-released SU survey that found one in four female Trinity students has had a non-consensual sexual experience during their time in college. One in 13 respondents reported having been stalked or subject to obsessive behaviour while studying at Trinity, while 42% of female students and 8% of male students said that they had experienced verbal harassment. The landmark study, the first of its kind in Trinity, sparked a college-wide discussion on the need for consent education.
Trinity should not be throwing money at rich students while the grant is being cut, Dee Courtney argued in an October op-ed that outraged many scholars. “How many scholars do you know who gave up a part-time job after getting schols, relieved that they didn’t need to work anymore?” she asked. “How many mature students and people from the Trinity Access Programme are scholars?” Her verdict: If a scholarship is really merit based, it should be equally difficult for everyone to get.
At the launch of the UN gender equality campaign “HeForShe” in September, actress Emma Watson gave a speech in which she criticised the fight for gender equality too often becoming “synonymous with man-hating.” Responding to that statement, Sally Rooney argued that feminists should make room for women whose experiences have taught them that men are not to be trusted.
Mature student Lynn Ruane, a single parent who campaigned on a platform of equality and access to education, won a hotly contested race for the position of SU president in February. Andrew O’Donovan reported from the election count venue on a tense climax to a night of cheers and tears.
In February, Conall Monaghan reported that the SU president, Domhnall McGlacken-Byrne, had received a lap dance from one of several allegedly hypnotised female students at a class rep training weekend at the beginning of the academic year. The incident occurred during a hypnosis show performed by entertainer who went on to be hired for another SU event the following week.
The University Times withdrew its first issue of 2015 after reporting on the content of documents that had been provided to the paper on the condition that they not be referred to in an article. The decision, Catherine Healy reported, came after several senior members of the University Philosophical Society removed copies of the paper from campus locations after it printed details of confidential correspondences that had been supplied as deep background for an investigative article on the difficulties faced by societies organising events on campus.
This year’s most read editorial responded to criticism of an article on an eight-month-long breach of the college network. Catherine Healy addressed claims that the article had misled readers and complaints relating to our publishing of information that could have easily identified a student involved in the story.
An anonymous student addressed the “subconscious bigotry” of an English MPhil class in a March opinion piece that came under criticism in a war of words in the online comments section. “People consider [racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism, ableism, and many other forms of discrimination] to be embodied in very blunt, visible acts of violence and slurs, but prejudice doesn’t work that way in academia,” the student wrote. “It works in a carefully coded and covert fashion.”
A new student group dedicated to challenging the way economics is taught in Trinity set out its manifesto in a February article for Trinity News. Students of Trinity for Economic Pluralism, which held its first public meeting earlier this month, called for recognition that neoclassical economic theories have for too long been taught in universities “as if it is the only worthwhile option that exists.”