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The National Student - November 2009

The National Student - November 2009

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The National Student is the UK's independent, free, national student newspaper.
The National Student is the UK's independent, free, national student newspaper.

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Published by: The National Student on Nov 10, 2009
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THE NATIONAL 
STUDENT
November 2009
 
FREE
Drunken studentsused scalding-hot coathangers to brand theinitials of their formerhalls of residence ontoeach other.
The ‘group challenge’ byExeter University studentsinvolved the burning of theinitials into chests, armsand thighs by holding thereshaped hanger against theskin for ten seconds. Theentirely male group made theplan while sober, and all tookpart voluntarily. Many weresaid to have been grittingtheir teeth and biting downon a wooden spoon.One of the branded men,who sought to remainnameless, said: “We are atight group, all very closefriends. There is a daredevilculture amongst us, and itwasn’t a spontaneous thing:we had talked about itbefore”Three of the groupwere taken to hospital fortreatment, and all have beentold they will be scarredfor life. A witness said thebranded students were“shaking and gritting theirteeth”.The University of Exeter’sdirector of communications,Stuart Franklin, said the
incident was the rst of its
kind and was unlikely toincur any disciplinary action.He stated: “What theyhave done to themselvesis probably punishmentenough”. Although this may be the
rst incident of this kind, the
University of Exeter haveexperienced controversy overstudent behaviour before,with the death of 18-year-oldGavin Britton in November2006.The teenager was found ata building site the morningafter partaking in a ‘pubgolf’ event where he drankso excessively it caused himto die.
by Vikki Littlemore
BRANDING LEAVES 15SCARRED FOR LIFE
Whatdoes theNUS dofor you?
 s  p
e em, ne m
Drunk friends used scalding-hot
 
coat hangers to brand themselvesin ‘group challenge’
The heads up on newmusic you have to hear inthis month’s
Free digital new music sampler for every reader
27 choice cuts from acts covered in this month’smagazine including Smoke Fairies, FUNfun,Dials, Pagan Wanderer Lu, Solvor Vermeer, Cougar,Spokes and many more
Details in this month’s
magazine
Cameraphonegoodies upfor grabs
 
- page 10
NUS President Wes
Streeting flls us in
on what our nationalunion does for us
- page 9
 
NEWS
The National Student 
, November 2009
2
The National Studentwelcomes contributions.The National Studentworks closely withstudent publicationsacross the UK.We are happy to acceptnews, comment,features, and reviewson any subject.Contact us at:The National StudentPO Box 7731DerbyDE1 0RWor email:
editor@thenationalstudent.co.uk
or phone:0845 46 300 46
The National Student isthe independent, monthlynewspaper for higher education students inthe UK.Published byDefender Newspapers,PO Box 7731DerbyDE1 0RW© 2009All content is the copyrightof Defender Newspapersunless otherwise stated
thenationalstudent.co.uk
The ConservaTivePty  ffd tbckg t  dgcdct f tudtCt fmoxfd.Fllwg t tllgf ct jk t duk utg, oxfdUty Ct act w bdfm ug t Uty’m. hw ty w b wlcmd  
ofcial branch of the party.
B Ly, c-c f oxfd Uty LbuClub cmmtd: “oUCa 
2.0 are the same people
w gt lctd t cthutg. Ty  t
same people who spoke in
dbt  -cqug
the empire. And they arethe same people who are
tll t llwd t F
Fair. This exposes the
m f Dd Cm’
‘progressive Conservative
Pty’  t g ut f t
way to support a bigoted
Bullgd-lt.”T act ld mgcy mtgw  umudc w cd t j Ct Futu, tl gtlkg Ct
groups.
Mu otwk, td y tudt t oxfd
University, expressed
g t t dc,ttg: “T CtPty’ dc t bck ttutlly bckwdd bgtd gt,uc  oUCa 
consistently proved itself to
b,   u blw t t
current Tory leadership’spretences to compassionateConservatism and openrepresentation of those who
 Ct dl.
He added: “The party’s
ful t k  m
suitable mouthpiece for
oxfd Ctm k
alienating its supporters
 t cut tudtbdy, d ly fuldtfct wt t
state of UK politics in theyounger population as a
wl”.
In response to “complaintsof inappropriate andunacceptable behaviour”,
oxfd Uty Pctdcdd t m t act’ gt t u‘oxfd Uty’  tm. T m cg cm ud ctcm,w,  ‘tg
more than a supercial,placatory gesture’ in which
 ubttl cg wllb md.Mcl rck, ntlCm f Ct
Future, responded bypointing out that the
mmb f t actld  t hutgcty d b
expelled from the party.
Dd Bcly, JCrPdt f Wct, l t ccd,tg tt t act wuld qu“cl cuty t utt  tu t t
shame of the port-swillingpompousness of OUCA isnever again allowed a placein Oxford’s public life.”
h ddd, “a obmfmuly wd u jut
a year ago, you can putlipstick on a pig; it’s still apig.”
DISGRACED OUCA BACKED BY CONSERVATIVES
by Vikki Littlemore
David Cameron’s party has offered their support to thedisgraced OUCA
 
NEWS
The National Student 
, November 2009
3
Thousands of ew etg etytet e t wtg 
conrmation of loans to payfor fees and rent, despiteuniversity commencingmany weeks ago.
 a  te e  octbe,e 100,000 tetwee t wtg te
payments from the StudentLoans Company (SLC),who have struggled to cope
wt te ec ee  
applicants, which this yearreached 1,091,653.
uete uK wc
represents vice-chancellors
 ge ect, tt ete 
responded sympatheticallyto the situation, and mosthad measures in placeto help cash-strappedstudents. Other studentshave been forced to askfor extra parental help ina time of recession, afterthe manner of applyingwas changed from regional
cc t ecty t te
SLC.Pam Tatlow, a chief 
execte  M+, 
think-tank set up by the
ete,  ctce
the Student Loans Companyfor failing to respond to thevolume of applications:“The additional demandfrom students starting
 2009 c y be 
surprise, and the SLCshould have staffed upto meet the expectations
 bt tet 
universities.In response to thesituation, Ralph Seymour-Jackson, the chief executiveof the SLC claims he orderedmore staff to be taken on,as well as extra telephonelines opened, to deal withthe rush.
“We’e y tt 
customers are experiencingdifculties getting throughto our customer advisers at
stet fce Eg,”
the company said in astatement. “This year,
we e ecee ec
numbers of applications.
We e cee te
number of staff by 120 inorder to deal quickly withthe unprecedented numbersof calls and applications.”However, Seymour-Jackson has come underintense criticism by NUS
Peet We steetg,
to the point where theNUS have called for him toresign, or be sacked: “I’m
btey  t te
bizarre claim of the head of 
stet fce Eg,
Ralph Seymour-Jackson,that delays to the payment
  t 50,000 tet
are ‘reasonable’.
“Te tt t te tet
I’ve spoken to who arepanicking about how to payrent, pay bills and pay forfood. He must have beenspeaking live from CloudCuckoo Land!”He added: “It’s time forRalph Seymour-Jackson to
 be tg 
resign – or for ministersto step in and sack him.
Tee’  gwg cett eg  eg”
Student loan
asco continues
by Robert Dalling
fEMalE sTudEnTs
claimtheir drink has been spikedto explain embarrassingbehaviour from excessivedrinking, suggests a recentstudy.Despite there beingno evidence to prove thewidespread occurrence of drink-spiking, over half of 
te 236 tet qete te ty t Ket
University said they knewsomeone who had had theirdrink spiked, and three-quarters identied drink-spiking as a more seriousrisk factor for sexual assaultthan alcohol or drugs.Dr Adam Burgess, who
ccte te ty,cce tt t te
emerged because stories of drink-spiking are ‘exotic’and “more convenient to
g gt t te
effects of alcohol itself”.
he  ggete tt
“young women appear to bedisplacing their anxieties
bt te ceqece  
consuming what is in thebottle on to rumours of what could be put there bysomeone else.”
Tee  ecety bee
a perceived rise in the useof ‘date rape’ drugs such asRohypnol and GHB, withnewspaper articles, soapopera story-lines and urbanmyths fuelling hysteriaabout drink-spiking.However, police reports haveconsistently underminedthese misconceptions,
wt detecte Ce 
Superintendent Dave Gee,
w ccte  ty
into drink-spiking in 2005,dismissing it as nothingmore than an ‘urban legend’.The NHS commented on
te Ket uety ty,geeg tt “tee e ew
documented cases of sexualassaults after drug-spiking”
 tt “ebty t
sexual assault may be morecommonly linked to the highlevel of alcohol consumedby many young women onnights out.”Perhaps students shouldbe more concerned about
wt  ey  teg t wt  tge
might be adding to it.
by Joel Sharples
Young women use ‘spiked’ drink as excuse for excessive drinking
sTudEnT aCTivisTs
united against the BBC’sdecision to allow the BritishNational Party a place on
Question Time
recently.Protestors from groups
cg te sct
Worker’s Union, Fight Against Fascism, the
nt u  Tece
(NUT), the CommunicationWorkers Union (CWU)
 nus e tgete
outside BBC ofces toprotest the appearanceof Nick Grifn, the BNPleader, on the show.Sarah Gibbons, theGlasgow Metropolitan
stet u Peet
and a board member of theNUS said: “More people
e gettg e  te
ght against fascism. Theyare taking a more active
teet bece t’ 
their best interests.”The protests wereinitially peaceful, withchanting and anti-BNPleaets being handed out.
hwee,  t gt ce t
Nick Grifn’s arrival timethe crowd became morevociferous and the policepresence grew.The police lines werebroken several times, andthere were some minorreports of violence on boththe police and protestorsside. After the show, afailed attempt was madeto prevent the BNP leader
beg we t ee,
with Grifn exiting fromanother exit.The BNP were asked toappear on BBC’s
QuestionTime
te wg tw
seats at the last Europeanparliament elections inJune.The BBC have since been
ctce  wg te
far-right party a voice.BBC deputy Director-General Mark Byfordinsisted on BBC Newsthat the BBC had no rightto deny them a voice,only governments could
cte c  tg,  te
BBC has the “responsibilityof due impartiality”.
Student groups protest BNPQuestion Time appearance
by David Bateman
 aCTrEss EMMa 
Thompson has caused
ctey te et tet t Exete
University that the BNP
w e te cty bece
it is so white.
se e tt e
adopted African son had
bee cy be
during his time at theuniversity.
se t te teece tt te f
Right party’s leader NickGrifn would ‘feel verycomfortable’ in the city.The comments weremade at an event thatThompson had organizedto discuss racism.Thompson urged staff and students to be more
tet tw etc
minorities, saying: “Youmust understand you
e  t w wt t
university to be the mosthumane safe place it canbe. You’re not going to get
e  e
of black students here
egt, bt wt y
can do is make them morecomfortable.”
lc eet cte
angrily to the comments.Stephanie Johns, 28,
t
the Daily Mail
, “T  cc ce  eee
prejudice.”
“se’ ccg   beg ct by g
sweeping generalisations
tt ct e bt
ethnic minorities. It’sgalling and patronising.Nick Grifn is a racist anda white supremacist whowould not be welcome inExeter at all.”
J Me, 42, e,“it’ ey be  e t
adopt an African child but
tt e’t ge e tegt t t  wt te
Nick Grifn brush.”
by Chris Marple
BNP would be ‘very comfortable’ in Exeter 

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