University Times reported to Junior Dean for bugging student

The newspaper questioned a Law School faculty member about the legality of using information gathered from bugging Ben Arrowsmith, President of Knights of the Campanile

The University Times has been reported to the Junior Dean for bugging final year Law and Business student, Ben Arrowsmith, who also serves as President of the Knights of the Campanile. The newspaper allegedly placed a microphone recording device outside Arrowsmith’s room in New Square. Information collected from the recording was published this evening in an article entitled, “Knights of the Campanile Implicated in On-Campus Hazing Evening”, following a request for comment from Trinity News.

The newspaper, which is funded by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), also approached a faculty member of the Law School before the alleged incident, and questioned them on the legality of using information gathered from bugging a student.

Speaking to Trinity News, Editor of the University Times Eleanor O’Mahony, said: “I can confirm that Ben Arrowsmith, the president of the Knights of the Campanile, has possession of the recording device of one of my reporters. We have lodged a complaint with the Junior Dean regarding this. Anyone who wishes to read the details of our journalistic investigative work can see our recently published article about the evening of February 27th and the interactions between the paper and Arrowsmith since then.”

In the University Times’ article, they state that their reporters stood outside Arrowsmith’s House 37 apartment, where they could hear “shouted instructions”, before gaining access to the building, where they placed a recording device outside the apartment and “proceeded to wait upstairs out of sight for over an hour and a half”.

When the recording device was discovered outside the apartment, members of the Knights of the Campanile kept the device.

Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU President Shane De Rís said: “Those who live and work on campus should expect a right to privacy in their rooms and offices, if this has been infringed upon, it is a matter for the Junior Dean. While I respect the journalistic pursuit of a story, there are boundaries which must be respected.”

The Junior Dean was approached for comment through College’s communications office, but had yet to respond at the time of publication.

The Knights of the Campanile is an all-male society, of which many prominent members of Trinity’s sports clubs are members.

The University Times has been subject to scrutiny in recent months over its finances. It recorded a €16,569 deficit in the 2017/18 academic year, excluding the costs of the Editor’s wage and on-campus accommodation. During this year’s election period, both Presidential candidates repeatedly stressed the need for a reform of the newspaper’s financial structure.

Niamh Lynch

Niamh was Editor of the 65th volume of Trinity News. She is a History and Politics graduate.