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With TCD’s Phil Society debating whether or not to re-invite Nick Griffin back to Trinity, let’s take a look back at some previous attempts to bring him onto Irish university campuses and why a No Platform policy is not the same as being against freedom of speech.

It came to my attention today that The illustrious Phil of Trinity College Dublin had a motion last week entitled “This house would re-invite Nick Griffin”, I presume to ‘debate’ (read as espouse racist hate speech under the thin veil of standing up for the good, decent working class people of Britain) immigration reform and/or free speech, while the debating students of the Phil look very open minded and liberal while cracking some witty remarks at his expense and using logical debate. All the while they have stood up for free speech by letting a racist in a suit talk shite. End of the night the students can go home safe in the knowledge that democracy is the best system we have and anyone who would deny Griffin his speaking writes are no worse than the fascists themselves. Sure who really listens to him anyway?

 

The Phil Society's flier for the Griffin motion

The Phil Society’s flier for the Griffin motion

I know. The sheer thought that we potentially have to go through all this again after two years and two colleges inviting Griffin (UCC being the other) has me holding my head in my hands and weeping into my copy of Rabble magazine as well. Unfortunately, as Aidan Rowe stated in an open letter to the Phil Society in the wake of the last attempted visit:

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After hiring strippers to preform for them in their SU bar, Maynooth Student’s Union have said that they cannot comment on the matter because they are in the middle of an SU election. Nonsense hackery really. We’re happy to re-blog a post from Karl Gill’s blog Red Head, where he talked about the nature of student politics in Ireland last year. If you like this, you should go check more of his stuff. 

Ireland’s largest student union, University College Dublin Students’ Union, is facing a referendum on affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland. The call for disaffiliation is becoming extremely popular and increasingly hard to challenge. The old mantra of ‘united we stand divided we fall’ seems to fall on deaf ears as people do not see or believe in the USI tagline “together we’re stonger”. This has led a number of people to discuss the very nature of student politics, apathy and engagement. This post is an attempt to stimulate debate about the nature of Irish student politics.


 

Every single student in this country is a member of a student union. Unlike a Trade Union, students do not choose this membership, the majority of students are not consciously Read the rest of this entry »

In the wake of NUI Maynooth’s recent stripper incident, Pádraig McCarrick talks about what it means for 3rd level institutions as safe spaces. 

There was an extra special case of irony around the most recent furor of sexist allegations against some at NUI Maynooth insofar as that the story broke just after International Women’s Day. This highlighted that for all the successes in increased gender equality that have been achieved, the culture of casual sexism exemplified by the lad culture seen on campuses across the country is attacking the concept that universities and other public places are to be seen as safe spaces for all.

 

This particular incident, which took place last Monday involved an event in which a current Students’ Union Exec Officer was having a mock stag night before a charity wedding later on in the week. In good stereotypical fashion exotic dancers/strippers (which apparently have no connection with the Ex. O in question despite his name being attributed to the event) were produced and the story ended up being picked up by the Sunday World. If you want more on Read the rest of this entry »

This week students in NUIG are being asked to vote on whether their union’s pro-choice position should be repealed. Sarah McCarthy writes on why students should reject this proposal.

Last year, NUIG students voted overwhelmingly in favour of our union adopting a pro-choice position. Over 70% of votes cast agreed that our union should play an active role in the campaign for reproductive rights in Ireland. However we are being asked to vote on the issue again, just one year later. On Thursday March 6th, you will be asked to vote on whether the pro-choice position should be repealed and a “neutral” position adopted. Why should you vote No? Read the rest of this entry »

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