A new semester is here! Whether this semester is your first in UCD, in which case welcome, or your last, no doubt hopes are high that the coming semester will be one to remember.

The spring semester always tends to be a bit more cheerful than the autumn semester just gone. The evenings are getting longer, the mornings brighter, the temperature warmer (at least in theory), and the two week break before Easter provides a much-needed chance to catch a breather before the chaos of exams starts up. In other words, you have likely survived the worst that the 2023/24 academic year has to offer.

Luckily, there are loads of fun and exciting events taking place in UCD this semester to help you make the most of the coming semester. Below is just a selection of the many events taking place throughout the semester to help you get started. Be sure to keep an eye out on the social media pages of your favourite societies to ensure that you keep up to date with everything happening in Belfield this year.

The Law Ball

Long a staple of the social calendar in UCD, The Law Ball is organised (unsurprisingly) by LawSoc and this year the event is sponsored William Fry. This year the Law Ball will take place on the 8th of February in the Osprey Hotel in Naas.

Tickets for a table of ten cost €70 per person, while individual tickets for members cost €75 per person and €85 per person for non-members. Tickets will be on sale for final years only on the 23rd of January, and will be on general sale on the 25th and 30th of January and the 1st of February. Ticket sales will take place in the atrium of the Sutherland building.

More information on tickets can be found on LawSoc’s Instagram page and the night is sure to be a highlight of the coming semester.

B&L Week

B&L Week is a week long (yes, a full week!) programme of events and one of UCD’s biggest charity events organised by the UCD Student Legal Services society. Every year the week raises much needed funds for worthy charities, and this year is no different with the funds raised from this year’s events going to Jigsaw, who offer mental health support services to young people across the island of Ireland.

While the full programme of events is yet to be confirmed, you can look forward to guest speaker events, pub quizzes, poker nights, and much more! In past years, the week has featured talks and presentations from individuals such as the late lawyer Richard Grogan and former Dragon’s Den star and business woman Norah Casey.

B&L Week will take place at the end of March and, if you want to get involved in organising fun events for a worthy cause, applications for the B&L week sub-committee will open in the first week of the spring semester. For more information on the events taking place and how to get involved checkout the society’s Instagram – @ucdstudentlegalservice.

Mock Dáil

One of the most unique events taking place this semester is the Mock Dáil event ran annually by the UCD Politics & International Relations Society.

This event provides a unique opportunity for the UCD youth wings of the Irish political parties to participate in debates against each other, with all seven of the Irish political parties represented in UCD in attendance. The event is made possible due to PolSoc’s constitutionally neutral stance, and the society does their best to ensure the event is as politically balanced as possible.

The political party participants are recruited from the respective party’s youth wing within UCD, however any student can participate in the event as an independent, by joining the audience and requesting to speak when we open the floor to the chamber. UCD PolSoc also one elected representative from each political party to help guide and support their youth branch members in Dáil style debate, as well as a guest to act as our Ceann Comhairle.

At this point it is worth noting that UCD boasts a long list of past and current political leaders amongst its alumni, for example Garret Fitzgerald, Charles Haughey, Brian Cowen, and Eamon Ryan are all UCD graduates. So, if you fancy

SU Events

Each year the students of UCD elect an Ents officer whose job, according to the SU’s constitution, is to organise, coordinate and run events for the SU’s members (that’s us by the way).

So, what do they have in store for us? The semester’s SU event calendar will kick off with a Speed friending Event in the Fitzgerald Chamber from 3pm to 5pm on the 24th of January. This is an excellent opportunity for UCDers new and old to meet new people and get the semester of to a sociable start.

The following week, on February 1, the SU are hosting a Drink & Draw event, closely followed by UCDSU Seachtain na Gaeilge which kicks off on Monday the 12th of February. Closing out February is the Sustainable Fashion Show which returns to UCD for its second year. Last year’s event entailed a vintage clothing fair followed by a sustainable fashion show.

In March, as the summer break starts to come into sight, the SU is hosting a summer jobs fair to help you find the summer job of your dreams or, more realistically, a summer job which somehow manages to make you yearn for the RDS exam hall.

The big SU event of the year, the UCD Ball, is set to take place on the 25th of April. Tickets for the event will go on sale late February or early March and the 2024 Ball promises to be “Bigger, better, bolder than ever before”.

Bingo Loco

If you haven’t heard about Bingo Loco by now, where have you been? A night of bingo is no longer a pursuit exclusive to octogenarians named Nancy, it has been reclaimed and made into the madhouse spectacle that is Bingo Loco.

UCD Societies, together with MedSoc, the L&H and the Commerce & Economics Society are bring the madness of Bingo Loco to UCD on Wednesday 31st of January. Tickets cost €10 and the event is over 18s, with ID required at the door.

Mark O’Rourke – Features Editor

Article corrected 18.02.24, incorrect date for UCDSU Ball.