This Week in Trinity: Free Speech, the Environment and the Space Industry

It’s week 6 in Trinity and as essays and exams get closer and closer, society events seem to get more and more interesting

As we reach the midway point of the term and you start to finally appreciate the truly horrific amount of essays you have due before reading week, now is the most important time to have something to look forward to during the week. Week 6 in Trinity has a ton of exciting events for you to enjoy when you decide you need a break from the library.


With deadlines piling up and stress levels beginning to soar, relaxation is more important than ever. Join DU Meditation Society and the Association of Medical Students Ireland at 1pm in the Global Room for Mindful Monday, where they’ll be focussing on mindfulness, stress reduction and mental health awareness. Later, in the evening, Comedy Society will be having their €2 gig at 7.30pm in the Phil Conversation Room. There’ll be a host of hilarious student acts throughout the night. Finally, DU Amnesty and Trinity VDP will be hosting an information night for Jailbreak at 7pm in the McNeil Theatre. Jailbreak is a charity challenge where students from colleges all over Ireland compete in a race across Europe in pairs to try to be the first to reach a mystery location. You can’t use any of your own money and must fundraise for the two charities along the way.


The Politics Society will be going on a trip to Dail Eireann and hosting Political Speed Dating at 7pm in room 4050A in the Arts Block. Everyone knows one of the most important and light-hearted questions to ask on a first date is which side of the civil war their family fought on. PolSoc will give you the unique opportunity to skip the formalities and get right down to the core of Irish politics. Also on at 7pm is DU Alternative Music Societies social meetup in the GSU Common Room. There will be refreshments and they’ll be hanging out all evening, playing music and chatting. At the same time, Cumman Gaelach are hosting an Oireachtas Debate on the motion The Presidency is a Waste of Money, in Seomra na Gaeilge. With recent investigations by the Public Accounts Committee into presidential expenditure, the motion is relevant now more than ever and students from universities across the country will be attending the debate. If that’s not enough to attract you, there’s a free wine reception too.


Wednesday blasts off with Space Soc’s career fair, at 12.30pm in the Fitzgerald Library. Representatives from a vast array of companies involved in the space industry will be attending so if you’ve ever dreamed of someday helping to put a person on Mars, then this is the event for you. At 1pm, the Phil will be awarding their Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage to the English indie rock band, Alt J. The Grammy-nominated band, whose 2012 album An Awesome Wave won the Mercury Prize, will be giving a talk to the society followed by refreshments provided by the Phil.

DU General Science Society and TCD Psychological Society will be hosting a talk at 5pm in room 4050A of the Arts Block on how to make science more accessible. Professor Zaitsev, a Trinity Associate Professor and Fellow for Mathematics, will be speaking on the subject, discussing the argument that the papers in scientific journals, which are researched primarily with the help of public funding, should be more open to the public and not just to Universities themselves. Also at 5pm, DU Gender Equality Society and Trinity Literary Society are welcoming activist and author, Tara Flynn, in the GMB. Flynn promotes gender equality in Ireland and has recently released a new book, Rage-In: Trolls and Tribulations of Modern Life and attendees at the event will be able to ask her questions about her work.

Later, at 7pm, Lawsoc and Envirosoc are jointly hosting a panel discussion on the Friends of the Irish Environment v Fingal County Council case. The case recognised “a personal constitutional right to an environment” for the first time in Ireland and in honour of Climate Action Week, the panel will be debating the right to a clean environment. This House Believes That that the Manipulation of Human DNA is Ethically Acceptable, is the motion being debated at 7.30pm that evening by the Hist and TCD Genetic Society. The increasing power of genetic modifying technology could one day give parents the option of modifying the unborn to give them ‘desirable’ traits, raising concerns of the possibility of a future ‘superior race’ and the ethical issues that raises.

DU Archaeological Society are hosting Archlantis at 7 in room 4050B of the Arts Block, where they’ll be screening a mystery Disney film ( rumour has it might be  Atlantis: The Lost Empire). Finally, DU Music will be having their second Open recital of the year at 7.30pm, in the Boydell Recital Room in House 5. Snacks will be provided and you’ll get to experience some of Trinity’s most experienced classical musicians playing throughout the evening.


On Thursday, SUAS Trinity and DU Photography Association will have a photo exhibition on identity and discrimination. They’ll be exploring a variety of images that attempt to capture discrimination at 6pm in the GMB Snooker Room and it should prove a compelling experience. At 7pm, in the GSU Common Room, Qsoc will be hosting Whine and Cheese.  They’ve promised a “selection of Tesco’s finest offerings” and the opportunity to vent your frustration at your problems, large and small.

The Phil will be debating the motion, “This House Supports Absolute Free Speech” at 7.30pm in the GMB. With recent controversies over the exercise of this right, whether it ought to have limits and the danger of both unrestricted free speech and the limitations sometimes imposed on it being used for harmful purposes, this motion is highly topical. As always, there’ll be free snacks and drinks before what is promising to be a heated debate, kicks off. To round of the night, Trinity FLAC will be meeting at 8pm at Front Arch for their annual Sleepout with TCDSU and the Peter McVerry Trust. The homelessness crisis is one of the most serious epidemics to ever face the Irish state, with almost 10,000 people officially homeless. Students will be sleeping out in solidarity with and to raise money for, homeless people in Ireland.


Friday kicks off with Ruth Negga speaking to TCD Law soc at 12pm in Regent House, where she’ll be receiving the Praeses Elit Award. The Oscar-nominated Irish-Ethiopian actress, is a Trinity graduate who has starred in a number of significant roles in shows such as Misfits, Love/Hate and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TCD Afro-Caribbean Society will be hosting an Afrobeats dance class at 6pm in room 3047 of the Arts Block, where you’ll get a considerable workout as you try to learn your new moves. Finally, to round off the week, TCD Indian Society will be hosting Al-Hind, a quiz on Indian, art, culture, history, geography politics and more. The quiz starts at 6pm in the Pav and you’ll need a team of two to enter.

It’s important to find time to relax with your favourite societies or get involved with new ones that you’ve always been interested in. College can be stressful but as long as Trinity’s societies are still hosting such fascinating events, it’ll never be boring.

Seamus Small

Seamus Small is the current Assistant Societies Editor of Trinity News. He is a Senior Fresh Law and Politics student.