Voting took place in Trinity College Dublin this week on the amendment of Chapter 10: The University Times of the TCDSU Constitution following the newspapers bugging controversy. The University Times published a story detailing the initiation ceremony an all-male "elitist" society The Knights Of The Campanile that took place in the society's room on campus. Unethical reporting practices were used to obtain the information for this story. The two journalists involved in the reporting left a recording device outside the door where the alleged hazing was taking place. Speaking about this incident, the paper defended the story, stating that it was within the 'interest of the public'.
Following this controversy, a petition called for the funding of the University Times- which is financially supported by the students’ union – to be cut to €3,000, the current equivalent of a single issue of the newspaper. The petition which received over 500 signatures triggered this week's referendum regarding the changes to Chapter 10 of the TCDSU Constitution around funding for the University Times Editor’s salary and accommodation. The question was "Do you agree with the changes to Chapter 10 of the TCDSU Constitution?" and students took to the polls Wednesday and Thursday this week. The students of Trinity have spoken, there were 3,059 valid votes cast and out of these 74 per cent of voters have voted against cutting the funding of The University Times.
Speaking about victory for journalism, Eleanor O’Mahony, the Editor of The University Times said:
I’m over the moon that this referendum failed to pass and that students saw that this was a cynical attempt to shut down a newspaper in the wake of dissatisfaction with one story.