RTÉ Primetime presenter Miriam O’Callaghan gave a talk in the Student Centre last week to officially launch UCD Students’ Union’s Women’s Week.
UCDSU Women’s Officer Regina Brady was happy with Women’s Week, despite being interrupted by a Bank Holiday and falling on a week when a number of faculties have a reading week: “It’s reading week and essay week as well, so it was a tough week, but I think it was okay, because sometimes a week is too long anyway.”
“We did realise at the time,” she recalls, “they asked did I want Semester 1 or Semester 2 and I did want Semester 1 and it just happened.”
Of O’Callaghan, Brady said: “She’s a graduate of UCD herself. She was lovely and so down to earth and she gave a great speech.”
Brady hoped a successful figure like O’Callaghan would encourage more female students to become actively involved at UCD and explained that she plans to run a campaign to get women involved in the UCDSU elections: “By the end of the year if I didn’t have girls running for Sabbatical Elections I’d be disappointed.”
Fundraising for this year’s Women’s Week was in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation: “We picked the Marie Keating Foundation because we just found so many people were affected by the charity and they were willing to work with us,” said Brady. The campaign had raised over €200 at the time of going to press.
Brady said the aim of Women’s Week 2010 was to “open everything up to girls”. The team behind the campaign aimed to eradicate the stereotypical portrayal of certain events being specifically aimed at men and others at women.
The events organised for Women’s Week this year included an introductory lesson in disk jockeying for girls with DJ Soc, a gender inequality debate hosted by the L&H and a charity Slave Auction. Brady was eager to emphasise that the Slave Auction was “just a name” and explained that it was just a “case of people doing things for charity”.
Brady attributes much of the success of the campaign to the support awarded by the Marie Keating Foundation and Ballygowan, who placed bright pink flamingo models in the lake to attract attention to the cause.
She stated: “In previous years people haven’t really known that Women’s Week was going on whereas this year, I think it’s all down to the pink flamingos, everyone’s talking about [them].”