UCD’s Arts Society (ArtsSoc) and the Business and Legal Society (B&L) have submitted an appeal to the Recognition Committee of Societies Council in relation to the €5,000 fine imposed on them for the posters used to promote The Virgin Ball.
The societies were reprimanded in September after including the phrase “Lose your V-Plates” on the poster, which was visible around campus for several hours.
B&L auditor Aoife McGuinness confirmed that she and ArtsSoc auditor Niamh Kiely had submitted an appeal before the given deadline, which was Friday 15th January. McGuinness stated that an appeal had been sent directly to the new Head of Recognition Committee, Feargal Murphy, as well as the Committee’s Secretary and UCD Student Societies Officer, Richard Butler.
The committees of the two societies erected the offending posters around campus on the morning of Thursday 3rd September. Kiely and McGuinness maintain that they were able to remove all of the posters within two hours of their being put up, after receiving a phone call from Butler demanding that the posters be removed.
A case was later brought before the Recognition Committee of Societies Council, which ruled that the posters were “in breach of the basic standards of propriety and consideration.” Kiely felt that the ruling had been harsh, saying that “they said that we maliciously set out to try and harm the wellbeing of the student body, which isn’t the case at all. We’ve given our time to the Welfare Crew to help out with various student campaigns.”
Neither Kiely nor McGuinness were permitted to attend the meeting at which the fine was delivered. The auditors claimed that the extent of the fine would jeopardise their societies’ abilities to run the Arts and B&L Balls respectively.
In a statement sent to The University Observer after the meeting, Butler explained that the Committee “considered that the message conveyed by the poster was insidious and dangerous, and that it constituted a deliberate act of emotional manipulation designed to prey on the fears and worries of students.”
It is not yet known when the appeal will be heard by the Recognition Committee. Any fine imposed is to be donated to the Student Welfare Fund.