Friday, 31 October 2008

Breaking News: SU Closed Pending Police Investigation

Queen’s Students’ Union is closed to students today, Friday, and is currently under investigation by the police.

This morning, Queen’s security staff have been patrolling the front entrance of the Union, informing students of the building’s closure.

Ciarnan Helferty, President of the Students’ Union, was reluctant to say anything at this early stage in the investigation, but confirmed that a “fairly serious incident” occurred at the SU event last night.

Last night’s Fancy Dress Ball ended five minutes before 2am. The shutters to the cloakroom were closed, preventing students from collecting their coats at the end of the night. Students recalled that security staff told them to collect their belongings the next day. A police presence was spotted outside the Union by students as they left the building.

Ciarnan Helferty said that control of the Students’ Union has been handed over to the police for use in their investigation. He also commented that no SU staff have been allowed into the building so far today.

It is expected that the SU will re-open later this evening, and that Queen’s University will release a statement on these events later today.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Rape Investigation Over

To renew our previous post: It has come to light that the alleged rape of a second woman in less than a week in the Holyland area of Belfast is no longer being investigated by the police. As has been pointed out, sufficient evidence has warranted the investigation null. Despite this, students are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Second Rape in Less Than a Week in Holyland Area

A 20-year-old woman was raped on Agincourt Avenue on Tuesday morning this week, less than seven days after last Wednesday's rape on University Street. This means that there has been 18 rapes or attempted rapes in the area since April. The police are keen to eradicate rumours that a serial rapist is on the loose, and insist that they have no evidence to suggest that these attacks are linked. The Gown spoke once again to VP Community, Laura Hawthorne, who could tell us that due to staffing problems the plans for a night bus have been halted. However, Hawthorne assured us that despite this she is determined to continue with the 'Fight for Light' campaign, and liase with all relevant individuals in a bid to make the Holyland area a safer place for students.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

SU Mag Appears...Finally!

SU Mag eventually made its way to the foyer of the union on Friday 17th October. There was much speculation about its whereabouts from the beginning of the semester, with VP for Campaigns and Communications, James Murphy, editor of the publication, citing problems with the printers as the reason for the notable delay. Murphy told The Gown that he is content with it’s release date and that he had intended 17th October to be the day his first edition would hit the shelves. However, a reliable Union source contradicted these claims, and could tell The Gown that the intended date for the magazine to be available to students was in fact Wednesday 2nd October, the day of the Freshers’ Bazaar. On reading the magazine, you will notice that this claim appears to be quite accurate, as there are a number of details that are completely out of date within its pages. Take note of the listings, such as ‘Bruised’, a play which was staged at the Old Museum Arts Centre up until 11th October. The Gown are happy to do the math for you and confirm that the play’s run ended six days before the magazine made an appearance. Perhaps even more interesting is that arguably the main feature of the issue, a photoshoot promoting the autumn/winter collection from Topshop, advertises the special 15% student discount which ended on 16th October. The Gown innocently enquires, did Topshop pay advertising fees for this feature? We wonder…

Check out the next edition of The Gown for more on our investigation into SU Mag and the apparent disorganisation behind the scenes.

Yet Another Rape in University Area

A 22-year-old woman was raped in the early hours of Thursday (October 16th) morning, after travelling by taxi from the city centre to the university area. It is believed that the man whom she was travelling with may well have been her attacker. This follows a string of attacks from last year, and brings into question the safety of all students living in that area. The Gown spoke to VP for Community, Laura Hawthorne, who informed us that along with a security representative from the Students’ Union, she attended a meeting with Holyland residents on Thursday evening to discuss the possibility of a night bus running from the Union to all student residential areas. Quotes are currently being processed in regard to the price of a bus rental to get this service up and running.

Monday, 13 October 2008

UGM 8th October 2008

The Union General Meeting took place last wednesday 8th October at 1.15pm in 'The Space' on the first floor. This was the first meeting of its kind in a number of years in the Union, and a substantial number of students turned out to vote. Motions which were brought forward by James Murphy, VP for Campaigns and Communications, related to the new pricing structure at the Physical Education Centre. The motion called for a suspension of the pricing structure in question, and called for negotiations with the Union in order to identify a shared strategy for increasing student membership, and determining equitable fee levels for student customers. Shane Brogan, VP for Equality, introduced the motion that the Union should maintain a neutral position in relation to NUS/USI and their prospective campaigning in favour of extending the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. Brogan argued that our Union should remain neutral on the issue, and instead facillitate a discussion about the Act amongst students. All motions were passed and clearly carried.