The UCD College Tribune’s published article about a Facebook group chat has become discredited.
The university started an investigation after the story was published. UCD’s panel was chaired by Professor Mark Rogers, Registrar and Deputy President.
Rogers wrote: ‘I find that the evidence cited in the article was based on hearsay from anonymous comments on Yik Yak by a quoted source to the College Tribune. I further find that the editor and reporter of the article were aware that the source quoted in the article was basing her information on hearsay.’
No student who had been victimised by the group chat had come forward to seek support.
Rogers went on to say there was no evidence of a Facebook group chat where students were posting pictures of naked girls.
He found evidence of only one anonymous Yik Yak post stating ‘I don’t even partake in what’s happening; I personally only have sent three photos and a story or two.’
However, due to the anonymity of the social media site, there is no way of knowing if the comment is genuine.
UCD will not be taking legal action, the report said, because ‘no material discovered as part of this investigation warrants referral to An Garda Siochana’.
In respect of this, the politics and innovation editor of the College Tribune spoke to Marian Finucane on the issue, saying, ‘I absolutely stand over my story.’ Vice-president Hazel Beattie of the UCD Student Union has said that the investigation has not been satisfactory, saying the report was treated ‘as a public relations matter rather than as a social policy issue.’
However, on the matter of breaches of the UCD Student Code and the university’s policy on dignity and respect, Rogers said UCD will refer students and members of the University community to the applicable disciplinary procedures where appropriate.
by JENNY MOONEY