A PROPOSED date of Wednesday, 4th March been chosen for the Miss UCD competition. Details of the event have been posted on Afterdark.ie by coordinator of the Miss University Competition, Ivano Cafolla, despite comments from Students’ Union (SU) Entertainments (Ents) Officer, Gary Redmond that concrete details for the competition have not yet been decided upon.
Despite receiving approval from SU class representatives to run the competition, Mr Redmond state that “they [Afterdark.ie] would be free to go with any other organisation within the university if they wanted.” Mr Redmond conceded that the organisation of the event is “up for negotiation between UCD Ents and the organisers of Miss University.” However, he asserted that “it’s likely” it will go ahead.
Explaining that he felt that “there was a good response last year”, Mr Redmond expects that if the competition goes ahead that there will be a similar response, “if not better this year”. However at the time of going to print, Mr Redmond admitted that “negotiations are continuing.”
SU Women’s Officer, Isobel O’Connor expressed disappointment at the decision to allow the return of the competition saying that “I personally think it is a conflict of interest for the SU to run an event which is going to judge people based on their physical image but I do respect the decision taken by council for it to go ahead.”
Ms O’Connor believes that less controversy will surround the event this year affirming that “there probably won’t be quite as much [controversy] considering there is Mr UCD as well, so sexism isn’t as prevalent as it was last year but I do still think that there are some number of students who are angry with the students’ union for holding the event.”
It is hoped that this year’s less stringent entry requirements will attract less criticism. Ms O’Connor regards the altering of the entry requirements as a reason why “there are less people who are against the holding of the event this year.” She admits that “it is a slight improvement from last year but the fundamental thing is still wrong.”
The competition was at the centre of controversy last year as the winner had to satisfy a number of entry requirements which prohibited the entry of pregnant or married women. The prospect of the competition sparked further controversy between SU sabbatical officers last semester, leading the SU council to take a vote to decide whether the competition should go ahead. The council endorsed the running of the event, under the agreement that the competition would be held if the Ents Officer felt it was necessary to do so.