Dust settles over a barren UCC Campus. The steady hum of laughter and conversation which once breathed life through the Main Rest is no more. Outside, the steps down to Boole Basement seem to have taken on a melancholy disposition, as though longing for the old familiar 9:04am pitter-patter of half-tied Doc Martens, and the sporadic clouds of smoke from Amber Leaf rollies that seemed to have a knack for finding their way in. There is no more use for the one-way-system – traffic is no longer a problem – yet it is still abided by religiously among cleaning staff and whoever else finds themselves permitted inside – certain habits die hard. Across the way, George Boole’s nose has grown hard and calcified without the touch of superstitious children on school trips. Twenty-thousand people used to study here, now it’s a ghost town.
The Freshers’ Issue is usually a place for enthusiastic welcomes and introductions to new beginnings, so I’ll leave the rona-talk at that – whatever that was. You won’t be reading much – or at all, if we can help it – about you-know-what in Byline this year. An unofficial policy has been adopted to keep our content as rona-free as possible. Besides, Byline is a pop-culture magazine, and while that particular topic may somehow find its way into one or two articles here and there, it isn’t exactly a great fit with the vibe we’re trying to put across. If you do want COVID content, feel free to get more than your fill from literally any other media outlet across literally any media platform. Cheers.
This magazine has always been about being creative and having fun while doing so, and that is the attitude with which we plan to go on. Speaking of which, I sincerely do hope you enjoy this first ever edition of the sixth volume of Byline. This has been a publication that I have been enthralled with since my earliest days in Student Media, and I can only hope that our work this year will do for some bright-eyed fresher what previous Byline teams did for me when I first came to UCC. Issue #1 gets the year off to a belting start. I sit down with rising-star Cork photographer Terry McCarthy, who shows us around Cork City after dark; Music Editor Cathal Donovan-O’Neill reflects on the fever-dream Summer of celebrity madness that has just passed, and Sexpress Editor Jack Wrixon devises an hilarious comparative tally of the horniness-level of various Twilight characters. The team is savagely strong this year and this issue is only the beginning. Make sure to check back in with us throughout the year and, of course, submissions from students are always both welcomed and appreciated.