A week for the birds

A flamboyance of pink flamingos graced the UCD lake courtesy of Ballygowan’s B Part of it Campaign as Women’s Week 2010 took place from the 25th to the 28th of October.

UCDSU Women’s Officer Regina Brady believed that this year’s Women’s Week was a success, despite being interrupted by a Bank Holiday and falling during reading week in various faculties: “It’s reading week and essay week as well so it was a tough week but I think it was ok because sometimes a week is too long anyway, it can be too packed” Brady commented.

“We did realise at the time” she went on to say, “they asked did I want Semester 1 or Semester 2 and I did want Semester 1 and it just happened.”

Miriam O’Callaghan was invited on-campus to launch this year’s campaign. “We wanted to pick a strong independent woman and obviously for her to be Irish and Miriam just seemed like such a great woman” said Brady. “She’s a graduate of UCD herself. She was lovely and so down to earth and she gave a great speech”

Brady hoped a successful figure like O’Callaghan would encourage more female students to become actively involved at UCD and explained that she plans to run a campaign to get women involved in the UCDSU Elections. “By the end of the year if I didn’t have girls running for Sabbatical Elections I’d be disappointed” she stated.

Students spent this year’s Women’s Week fundraising in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. “We picked the Marie Keating Foundation because we just found so many people were affected by the charity and they were willing to work with us so much” said Brady. “They [the Foundation] got Ballygowan on board.” The campaign had raised over €200 at the time of going to press.

According to Brady the aim of Women’s Week 2010 was to “open everything up to girls.” The team behind the campaign aimed to eradicate the stereotypical portrayal of certain events being specifically aimed at boys and others at girls.

The events organised for Women’s Week this year included an introductory lesson in dj-ing for girls with DJ Soc, a gender inequality debate hosted by the L&H and a charity Slave Auction.  Brady was eager to emphasise that the Slave Auction was ‘just a name’ and explained that it was just a “case of people doing things for charity.”

Brady attributes much of the success of the campaign to the support awarded by the Foundation and Ballygowan: she believed that the flamingos which appeared in the lake courtesy of the company proved central to raising awareness.

“In previous years people haven’t really known that Women’s Week was going on whereas this year, I think it’s all down to the pink flamingos, everyone’s talking about [them]” she stated.

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