If societies don’t float your boat, why not join one of the student media outlets? With television, radio and newspapers at your disposal, the whole student population can ignore your views, rather than just your mates down the pub.
According to legend, UCD has a radio station, but no one has ever really bothered to verify its existence. All we can describe is the legends that have been passed from student to student. The only thing we know for sure is that if the station does exist, the Belfield FM studio is the one place in UCD where you can have a conversation with no risk of ever being overheard.
The Belfield FM studio was alleged to have been a container that zoological specimens from Skull Island in the Pacific Ocean were shipped in. The oblong canary-coloured box was accidentally left in one of UCD’s car parks where is was clamped several times by over eager clampers. The builders of the new student centre took a shine to it and decided to incorporate it in the most bizarre way possible.
The Belfield FMers claimed the yellow box insisting that radio is still a legitimate medium for the dispersal of information, and the college authorities were too busy laughing at the ridiculousness of their statements to stop them. They were granted full permission to use the sulphurous coffin on the condition that they pay all the clamping fees it incurred while in storage.
Belfield FM is streamed live from 12pm to 9pm every weekday at www.belfieldfm.ie.
CTN is UCD’s campus television station. This society is famed for producing some gritty real-life documentaries dealing with the most pertinent student issues. Belfield of Dreams was their intensely realistic documentary about autistic students, and it received incredible acclaim from the one critic who ever watched it: “Belfield of Dreams follows a love triangle between three young freshers, each one vying for the other’s attention and being more irritating than the character preceding them.”
Now with its brand new studio in the new Student Centre, you can make a high quality television show, as long as your story takes place in a windowless 3 meters squared box. The production room won’t be able to see what you are doing, but they will have a nice view of the corridor.
CTN’s programmes are available at www.ctn.ie.
The College Tribune
The College Tribune is UCD’s sort of independent tabloid newspaper, if you don’t count taking advertisements, light, heat, phone lines, grants to buy computers and an office from the college as making you not totally independent.
They were once known for their bizarrely hyperbolic headlines, with front-page pictures of planes crashing into mountains and helicopters chasing cyclists through campus. In their world of journalism, fact checking was for chumps and truth was only something that was trotted out when it kind of suited them. Now they simply exist.
They have taken an avant-garde approach to journalism this year, with their use of white space representing the meaninglessness of today’s society. They reflect the futility of trying to categorise the world in a simple 20-page document by placing their few words in the centre of the page, drawing one’s attention to the vast emptiness of the paper, and one’s own life. Their unconventional spelling shows a disregard for societal boundaries, revolting at the bureaucracy of official grammar.
The Tribune is on campus every second Tuesday, and also at www.collegetribune.ie.
The University Observer
A glorious star in the murky darkness of student media, The University Observer dominates the corridors and the library steps. Sometimes slated as The SnObserver, the truth is, it is simply better than you. Paid for by the SU with your not-earned money from your parents, the Observer mostly swans around reporting on important stories like Coke being sold on campus, and then not being sold on campus.
The Observer’s cliquey reputation does not end at its office door; each article is rife with in-jokes and references above the ordinary student. It will take at least two years of degree-compromising work for the paper before you will understand them.
The work is hard and the rewards few. You could get to interview celebrities such as Pixie Lott and LMFAO, or you might just be at home in your pyjamas, desperately trying to finish an long overdue article about a new government policy while scraping a Tayto packet clean with your tongue.
The University Observer is available all around campus every second Tuesday, alternating with The College Tribune, and all the time at www.universityobserver.ie.