The latest student controversy is that of Trinity College where the college newspaper, University Times and The Knights Of The Campanile an all-male "elitist" society locked heads over an 'unethical' bugging incident on February 27th, where UT claimed the society were 'hazing' new members - a practice which is frowned upon by the college.
The reporters left a recording device outside the apartment of the President of the society, during what sounded like hazing of the new 'Student Knights'. The device was found by the Knights and kept. The newspaper reported on the events based off what was heard by the two reporters before they left the scene. You can read that article here to catch up to speed.
There are two sides of looking at this story - believing that it is unethical reporting to bug the initiation ceremony of the society from a private college apartment, or believing that it was in the public interest that the incident should be reported on. Either way, Trinity college isn't too happy about it and are undergoing a full investigation into the events.
Since the reporting of the story, over 500 students have signed a petition to cut resources from the newspaper, and revoke the editor's salary. As a result of this petition, a referendum will take place to allow Trinity students to decide whether to cut funding for the campus newspaper. This controversy has caused a stir in the Irish journalism community, with many believing this is an unfair punishment and that it was not an unethical practice of journalism.
The Knights of Campanile have now, a month later, released a statement. Through-out the statement they denied the President of the society's involvement in the hazing.
"It has been alleged that ‘hazing’ - a term denoting bullying and/or humiliation at initiation ceremonies - occurred at a private party, given in his private rooms, hosted by the Knights’ President to welcome new Knights in College.
"I am assured by the President that bullying and/or humiliation played no part in the evening’s proceedings. That the University Times also reports the Knights to be a “secret society”, when we are anything but, further suggests these articles are not to be taken too seriously."
The Knights of Campanile were founded in 1926 to "further the sporting activities of Trinity College Dublin". In their statement, they agree with the term 'elitist' to describe the group but not in the pejorative sense implied," the statement read.
The Knights condemned the practice of "trespass, invasion of privacy and bugging" by the University Times.
"Such behaviour has disturbing implications for the privacy rights of all students in College and the University Times’ behaviour is currently the subject of investigation by the Junior Dean,"
The society has denied involvement in the petition to revoke financial support of the Student Union for the University Times, "assured that the petition was not, contrary to what some have suggested, instigated by the Knights in College".