Whether you’re barely surviving this point in the semester or are reading this from beyond your paper-strewn, deadline-buried deathbed, here’s a look at the news that may not have reached you in the dark annals of Brightspace.  

‘Zoom University’ Renewed for Another Season 

It’s the news no one wanted. This week UCD told students that due to unpopular demand it is renewing its series, ‘Zoom University’, in 2021. The UCDSU are reportedly delighted, elsewhere, however, the announcement has been met with the same roaring enthusiasm that usually accompanies the yearly announcement of yet ANOTHER season of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’. And with the return of this living sitcom will undoubtedly come the infamous ‘gags’ we have all come to know and loath. Another round of ‘will the mature student ever mute their microphone’ or ‘how poor can the lecturer’s wifi connection possibly be?’ promises to have us all in tears! according to one critic. 

Fee Withholding Tipped To Become Next Student ‘Trend’

Haven’t you heard? In-person protests are no longer en vogue – It’s capitalism darling! Or so says UCDSU President, Conor Anderson, who revealed to The College Tribune this week that at least 3 UCD courses are planning to withhold the payment of their fees in protest of recent fee increases, following the trend set by Graduate Entry Medical Students. Throwing his hat into the ring of ‘Biggest Understatements in History’ Anderson said that “UCD management does not care”. Other vying contenders are, reportedly, that ‘Hitler was a Nazi’ and that ‘Trinity is full of rich kids’. But seriously – when will these students learn that UCD *need* those extra g’s. Who are we to deny them a chance to further upgrade their €15 million off-campus property portfolio?

Students Condemn Lecturers Taking Liberties With Online Work

They say our ‘inner child’ never leaves us, well clearly our ‘inner student’ doesn’t either. Lectures have this week been condemned as “lazy” by UCD students over their laissez-faire approach to online classes. We’ve come a long way since July, when lecturers actually bemoaned the lack of contact with students. They grow up so fast don’t they? Now, in the manner of some kind of sick, Covid-induced ‘Freaky Friday’, lecturers appear to have slipped into their students’ bodies. From robbing the now go-to student excuse for lateness – “technical issues” – to just flatley ignoring emails in the hope that the issue goes away, they really have gone fully ‘method’ with this one. One can only imagine the mass exodus which would accompany *actual students* behaving in such a, well, student-y way. 

Calls for First Years to Have More Time On-Campus 

The seafarer Simon Harris is back and calling for first-year students to have increased time on-campus in the new year, fearing they may be suffering from significant ‘disengagement’ as a result of universities’ Covid-19 restrictions. Concern is growing over the prospect of course non-completion rates rising dramatically in the coming months – meaning drop-out levels must be nearing UCD Arts student level. Harris has also said he wants final-years to have more ‘on-site activity’, presumably so those bright, naive whippersnappers can catch their first glimpse into the stress-induced, coffee-fuelled future which is barrelling towards them already. A Covid-19 vaccine lacking, a good dose of reality will have to suffice

On the bright side, only about 39 days to go until this semester is over, and just 63 until it all starts again. Joy!

Gemma Farrell – Assistant News Editor