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The Stag - Issue 15

The Stag - Issue 15

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Published by: The Stag on Mar 10, 2010
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Issue 15 I 22nd February 2010 I www.thestagsurrey.co.uk 
In this issue:Union Elections: What you need toknow! Learn about GoGreen Week! WIN! Beach BreakLive tickets in the nextedition!The Science of Listening to yourMotherLet’s Talk about theOscarsJoin the GuildfordMavericksCheck out The Stag’sNEW website: thestagsurrey.co.uk And much more...
Recycle Your Stag!
Issue 15Editor: Sara HadfieldEditor-In-Chief: Elizabeth SimosProduced in USSU,University of Surrey,GuildfordEst. 2008
 Surrey Students’ Union Seeks to Maintain Charity Status
he University of Surrey Students’ Union has proposeda new core constitution in aresponse to significant requirementslisted in the Charities Act 2006.Students’ unions listed as a charity have previously remained exemptfrom registering their status, butthe latest Act has removed thisexemption and given students’unions until June 2011 to register with the Charities Commission.Surrey Union’s proposed new constitution is part of the decisionto create a new union as a limitedcompany named ‘The University of Surrey Students’ Union Ltd’.Memberships Services Director of the Students’ Union Alan Roy spoke to The Stag and describedthe situation: “From the momentthat registrations are open, every charity has exactly a year to gettheir registration in. If you don’tregister, then you’re no longer a charity – your charity status iseffectively removed. So we don’thave to register, but if we don’t wecease to be a charity.”Students’ unions have formerly beenregulated by their parent university and were therefore exempt fromregistering since the first Charities Act was introduced in 1960. “TheStudents’ Union exists because theUniversity exists... and because theUniversity is of charitable status,so too is the Students’ Union”, Alan Roy explains. However, theCharities Act 2006 now statesthat all charities, aside from thosethat remain exempt, must proveits public benefit. The charitableidentify of students’ unions are nolonger protected by their parentinstitution or the Education Act1994, and all students’ unions withan income in excess of £100,000are required to register.Charities benefit from tax exemptions, VAT reductions anddonations, to name a few, but many institutions have faced scrutiny in atime when the government is shortof money and the public are asking why certain charities deserve suchbenefits. Students’ unions hoping to maintain their status as a charity will have to justify these benefitsand the NUS have provided threecharitable objects for every unionin an effort to prove their benefit tothe public.“The objects of the union arethe advancement of educationof students...by promoting interest and welfare of students,representing and supporting them being the recognisedrepresentative charitable betweenthe students and the university,and providing social, cultural,sporting and recreational activitiesfor the personal development of itsstudents”, Alan Roy clarified.“These are generic objects for every students’ union. We couldwrite our own, but these are theones that NUS have come up with,gone through a lawyer, gone to theCharities Commission, [who hassaid] if they are the reason youexist, you can be a charity”. The new constitution will havea considerable impact on thestructure of the University of Surrey Students’ Union. Currently, theUnion is governed by sabbaticalofficers and partly overseen by the University. Alan Roy suggestedhow “students can be reassured”that the new constitution statesthe union will be governed by twoadditional bodies “You’ve got theCharities Commission overseeing what the union does, plus theCompanies Act 2006.”Every registered charity must havetrustees who are responsible for managing the institution. However,a trustee paid by a charity may cause a conflict of interest becausethe trustee could make decisionswhich are not in the best interest of the charity. The Charity Commissionhas therefore stated only a minority of trustees can be paid. This is acritical component in the union’snew constitution, which statesthere will be five officer trustees(sabbaticals), one student officer trustee (union chairperson), oneuniversity trustee and five externaltrustees. The proposed new union, named‘The University of Surrey Students’Union Ltd’, is an attempt to attractquality external trustees. Currently,the union has unlimited liability andthe individuals responsible for theinstitution, the trustees, are liablefor everything. “The only way that you are going to get good quality trustees is to be able to limit theliability. So that’s when we try toincorporate as a company” AlanRoy explains.“What happens is we create a new union...it sits in the background,and then we constitute that withrules and at an appointed date wetransfer everything from the oldunion to the new union and closethe old union. So that’s why this year’s AGM will be the last AGM andhopefully if the constitution getsfiltered through and we don’t haveany problems between now and August, the Students’ Union willswap over to a new organisation...and that means if it does go bust,then the liability is limited to a £1per student. And I can’t see many people trying to chase 14,000students for a £1 each.” The new constitution is available atwww.ussu.co.uk and will be votedat the AGM. This is an incredibly important opportunity to have your questions answered and find outmore about the Union’s decisionto adopt a new constitution andcreate a new organisation. The AGM is taking place on Thursday 25
by Ben Pook 
Editor’s Letter
In this issue...News
Pages 3 - 7
Pages 8 - 21Fashion I Page 11Science I Pages 14 - 15Health I Page 19
Pages 24 - 27
Pages 28 - 37Music I Pages 28 - 29Dance & Theatre I Pages 30 - 31Film I Pages 32 - 35Literature I Pages 36 - 37
Pages 38 - 41
Editor I Sara Hadfield : ussu.thestag@surrey.ac.ukDeputy Editor (Design) I Position Currently Available : ussu.thestag@surrey.ac.ukDeputy Editor (Marketing) I Jack McWaters : ussu.thestag@surrey.ac.ukNews I Ben Pook : newsdeskstag@gmail.comFeatures I Mariam Nasir : featuresdeskstag@gmail.comScience I David Pugh : sciencedeskstag@gmail.comSocieties I Bakita Kasadha : societiesdeskstag@gmail.comMusic I Mark Allen : musicdeskstag@gmail.comDance & Theatre I Rachel Gildea : dancedeskstag@gmail.comLiterature I Eunice Njagi : literaturedeskstag@gmail.comFilm I Ollie Sim : filmdeskstag@gmail.comSports I David Holt : sportsdeskstag@gmail.comCopy Editor I Ankur Banerjee
The Stag 
is an editorially independent newspaper and is published bythe University of Surrey Students’ Union.The views expressed in the paper are those of individual authors and do not necessarilyrepresent the views of the editorial team, the Students’ Union or the University of Surrey.Printed by Surrey and Berkshire Media LimitedStoke Mill House, Woking Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1QA
The Stag 
reserves the right to edit submissions.Please direct all enquiries to the relevant section editors.
 Sa x 
Hi Everyone, Welcome back to another jam-packed edition of The Stag. Wehave once again been inundatedwith articles and adverts to includein this edition. Thank you so much!If we haven’t included your articlesfor any reason we apologise but wemay have run out of space! How-ever, we will definitely include youin the next edition so please bear with us! There’s a lot of talk about The Os-cars in this edition; from fashionto nominations so make sure youcheck that out! If you have any com-ments please feel to leave them on our website at www.thestagsurrey.co.uk! This week it’s Go Green Week and Islamic Awareness Week so go along and sup-port your fellow students with the events they have planned!It’s the time of year when the new Sabbaticals are elected for the fourth-coming  year. If you would like to nominate yourself for a position make sure you get your nomination form in my March 1st and make a difference to your University next year! The Societies section is over-flowing with information for you this fortnight! Makesure you check out the new societies that have been ratified and new ideas thatsocieties are having for the next few weeks! No doubt, it’ll probably involve agreat line up of events at some stage!Once again, we have some great science features for you, which I’m sure you’llenjoy and all your regulars including Campus Boy, This Week in Welfare and TheMishaps of Jennifer Lee. If you have a regular feature that you’d like to write for us, please let us know at ussu.thestag@surrey.ac.uk.I hope you enjoy this edition and feel free to get in touch with any ideas that youmay have!Have a fantastic fortnight!
 Surreybucks: Ben Pook’s Response
Surreybucks: the discussion continued The objective of our students’ union newspaper, in particular the newssection, is to increase visibility of activities and developments on our campus.Meanwhile, opinions are an essential feature in The Stag and represent acore value in the paper’s personality. While there is an understandable needto report in an unbiased manner, a factor which The Stag editors striveto maintain, attitudes will inevitably surface because of the nature of our newspaper; content which is written by students, for students.Furthermore, the objective of the article in the last edition of The Stag (Issue13) headlined ‘Surreybucks opens second coffee store on campus’, wasnot to needlessly instigate negative connotations. Rather, the purpose of this article in question was partly to invoke a discussion about the quality of the University of Surrey’s management of hospitality and catering onour campus. With this in mind, The Stag would personally like to thank theUniversity for contacting its editorial team and fulfilling the article’s objective.My response is an effort to continue this valuable discussion. The Stag is in no dispute that the University has no records of my attemptto contact the Hospitality Catering Services. However, what this statementfails to indicate is that I did attempt to contact the department; record or norecord. This process began with a referral to the Hospitality Catering Servicesfrom our Students’ Union; via twitter. And as an adopter of anything web-based, I completed the comments form on the HCS site. Sadly, no recordhas been found of my submission. I couldn’t agree more to the notionthat solid communication between both parties would have led to a morebalanced article and improved credibility. Unfortunately, I’m not responsiblefor managing the process of submitting online comments to the HCS.It’s important to clarify that the article does not criticise the single presenceof Starbucks on our campus. The sole presence of a ‘corporate brand’doesn’t necessarily pose a threat to student welfare. However, the article iscritical of the growing partnership between Starbucks and the University; apartnership which has led not only to the announcement of one additionalStarbucks coffee store on university property, but a third, which is due toopen at the new Surrey Sports Park, hence:“a second Starbucks store [is] completely unnecessary” and “The partnershipbetween the University and Starbucks has led to the announcement of plansfor yet another Starbucks coffee store. This third store, which will be locatedat the new Surrey Sports Park...” With the growing evidence of a corporate partnership on our campus, itseems perfectly understandable to question, and attempt to conclude, theimpact this will have on the life of students. Within the article in question,this conclusion referenced the negative impact on competition. However, itseems this conclusion requires further clarification. The opening of a second store within a few hundred yards of the first isdetrimental to competition on campus. Competition has declined due to afailure to capitalise on an ideal opportunity, now lost. This lost opportunity comes in the form of introducing different products and services. Additionally,there is a lost opportunity to support a local business, or possibly even sustaina student business - young, adventurous and personal. This support holdsunprecedented value considering the current torrid economical situation for small to medium sized businesses. These are simply suggestions.“Ben’s argument that choice has been reduced since the introduction of Starbucks is simply wrong.” Also, this clarification doesn’t even consider the opening of a third Starbuckscoffee store, consideration which should seem superfluous. The term‘unnecessary’, used in the article in question, relates to the geographicproximity of the first and second Starbucks coffee stores, as well as thislost opportunity. The University of Surrey have kindly identified the extent of differentiation in coffee services on campus; however this still ignores theloss in opportunity.Importantly, there appears to be evidence of neglect from not only theUniversity, but also from our own Students’ Union, which leads me torespond to another point.“[the Students’ Union] was involved in the creation of a campus wide retailstrategy that aims to increase choice of all retail and catering services oncampus” As mentioned earlier, it’s disappointing that communication between bothparties wasn’t established. The article in question was reported on factsrealistically available at the time. And as such, the above information wasn’ttaken into consideration. However, information that the Students’ Unionhas a distinct involvement in retail and catering services on campus formsequally balanced questions on why an opportunity to improve competitionwas lost. This leads to another topic, thankfully picked up by the University in their response to the article in question, which is the ‘student voice’ of the University of Surrey. Are students being heard? It’s encouraging that thefirst Starbucks is passing ‘student tests’ - but this was never in dispute andis directly linked to the impact of our ‘student voice’. Also, it seems thesetests are not related to the disputes surrounding the opening of the secondstore; which was the topic of the article in question.Finally, the University of Surrey pose a very interesting enquiry about theplacement of the article in question. This enquiry is precisely relevant to oneof the objectives of the article - improving discussions and reader feedback. While I remain adamant that the article in question is newsworthy, due to itsnature as an announcement of campus developments, and that a balancedapproach to the news was maintained which considers both arguments,I’m also aware that a ‘comments’ section in the paper represents an very interesting proposition. The critical advantage of a comments section isthe distinction between news and disputed biased articles; thus improving  visibility to the reader.I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the University for contacting  The Stag and disputing the content of the article in question. I hope thisdiscussion will continue and consequently provide the student community with a reliable representation of this debate. Are you interested in joining the discussion? Add The Stag on Twitter by searching for thestagnews and let us know what you think.
 Surreybucks: Reader Response
Dear Ben,I just wanted to express my support of your articleabout the new Starbucks in the Stag beforeChristmas.I decided to write this email after reading the‘University response’ to your article in the mostrecent copy of the Stag. I think this response isclearly not addressing the issue at hand: not asingle one of the alternative providers of coffee oncampus it lists actually is a ‘cafe’ that could offer acomparable atmosphere to the one in Starbucks. The author has the audacity to include the library (with a coffee machine) and the Varsity Centre(clearly not on campus). Anyways, enough of the moaning for you areprobably long aware of all of this. Just keep upthe resistance against the taste and politics of Starbucks coffee. I know of quite a few people outthere who support this kind of thinking!Best,
 JohannesWant to join the debate? Do you agree or disagreewith Ben Pook’s comments about the partnershipbetween the university and Starbucks? Send your thoughts tonewsdeskstag@gmail.com

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