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Issue 51 – Wednesday 14th November 2012
Want to win a pair of tickets for the Surrey Heat home game? Turn to Page 43
NEWS Stoke Park fireworks display is a great success... Page 4
The Stag talks to up and coming band Lawson! See what they said on Page 25
UNION What does Dave Halls think about the freedom of speech? Page 6
FEATURES Tips on how to write a cracking CV... Page 10
OPINION & ANALYSIS
SCIENCE & TECH Do you dry your clothes indoors? Maybe you should stop... Page 16
MUSIC Mercury prize special can be found on Page 27
By Nathan Taylor, News Team
SOCIETIES George Mavrantonis explains the tragedy of Cyprus 1974... Page 38
uesday 6th November marked the 2012 US Presidential election. Barack Obama won his second and final term in office with a stronger margin than many had expected after the campaign trails left all polls showing neither him nor his competitor and Republican
candidate Mitt Romney to have a clear or definite lead. On election day, the BBC’s poll of polls (an average of all available polls) held both competitors on 49% of the popular vote. On the night however, it was not the same story. As the first results were announced it was looking like Mitt Romney might have defeated the President with a very strong performance in one of the crucial swing states, Indiana. Republican supporters had high hopes at this point but it was far too early to make any strong predictions. As more results came in, it became clear that the support of the swing states which Mitt Romney had hoped to capture stayed with the President. American news agencies put enormous emphasis on the importance of Ohio in the election. It is the state which has backed every winner in the Presidential elections since 1964. As Ohio was called for Obama, it gave him 18 very important Electoral College votes. This pushed Continued on page 3...
© Joe Grimmings
Sam King reviews the situation in Afghanistan... Page 7
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Editor | Alexandra Wilks firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief | Abbie Stone email@example.com Deputy Editor (Design) | Hannah Roberts-Owen firstname.lastname@example.org Design Team | Paul Richmond, Ankur Banerjee, Tina Morman Deputy Editor (Marketing) | Becky Richmond email@example.com Marketing Team | Emily Gill, Natasha Cruz-Millheim and Georgie Wood News Editor | Rachel Thomason firstname.lastname@example.org News Team | Kathryn Braid, Nathan Taylor, Beth Goss, Hattie Elkins, Chris Sibthorpe, Melissa Raske, Hannah Craig, Shunayna Vaghela, Sophie Vickery, Samantha Bradbury, Jack White Opinion & Analysis Editor | Justine Crossan Opinion & Analysis Team | Sam King, Edward Anderson, Alice Lincoln, Sarah Jane Gregori Features Editor | Ellis Taylor email@example.com Features Team | Sophie Vickery, Annika Gonnermann, Katy Sawyer, Tom Greenaway, Megan Cherry, Laura Colledge, Tom Goulding, Megan Cherry, Sarah-Jane Gregori, Lasika Jayamaha, Hiba Khan Science and Technology Editor | Alex Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Science and Technology Team | Melissa Raske, Siobhan Harris, Mike Colling, Ruth Smithers, Ankur Banerjee, Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Lauren Petrie, Fahmid Chowdhury Societies Editor | Shalini Thondrayen email@example.com Societies Team | Fiona Buckland, Sophie Smith, Anwar Hassan, Clowance Lawton, Caroline James, Denise Juvane, George C. Mavrantonis Dance and Theatre Editor | Tiffany Stoneman firstname.lastname@example.org Dance and Theatre Team | Rachel Gildea, Jesse Rose McNaughton, Abigail Oscroft, Freya Poole Film Editor | Candice Ritchie email@example.com Film Team | Beth Goss, Ankur Banerjee Music Editor | Becky Worley firstname.lastname@example.org Music Team | Tanya Noronha, Thea Spalding, Faye Waterfield, Denise Bennett, Elliot Tyers, Craig Martin, Jason Hough, Shiri Shah Literature Editor | Emily Smart email@example.com Literature Team | Alice Lincoln, Annie Driscoll, Annika Gonnerman, Marilyn Johnston, Rachel Burgess, Samantha Goodburn, Sophie Vickery, Tessa Heenan Sport Editor | Anna Giles firstname.lastname@example.org Sport Team | Connor Mcloughlin, Alex Beddoe, Adam Lodowski Copy Editors | Sophie Vickery, Emma Fleming, Hannah Wann, Tina Morman, Tessa Morgan email@example.com Webmaster | Andrew Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Webeditor | Samantha Murray email@example.com Photo Editor | Tessa Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Team | Ankur Banerjee, Renata Axanova Campus Marketing | Charlie Taylor
Surrey’s Vice Chancellor to be new Universities UK president
By Melissa Raske, News Team
urreys’ very own vice chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, was announced as the new president of Universities UK for the 2013-2015 period on Friday 2nd November. Universities UK is an organisations which represents all universities in the UK and is currently run by Professor Eric Thomas. Unopposed in the nominations, Sir Christopher will take up his post in August 2013 where he will remain president until July 2015. Sir Christopher is a distinguished engineer particularly in the study of microwaves and semi conductors. He has been President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey since 2005 and is currently Vice President for Universities UK. He was knighted in 2012 for his services to engineering and Higher Education and he is also a member of the Prime Ministers advisory council for Science and Technology.
During 2009-10 Sir Christopher was president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and is currently Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairs the Academy’s Engineering Policy Group. Chief Executive of Universities UK, Nicola Dandridge spoke about
the appointment saying: “Chris has tremendous knowledge of higher education, industry and government which will be a great asset to him in this role. He has already made an enormous contribution to Universities UK’s work, both as a member of the board and leading on higher education and industry links.” Sir Christopher Snowden said: “I am extremely privileged and delighted to be nominated to become the President of UUK as of August 2013. This is a very challenging period for UK higher education and I look forward to representing the sector and promoting it, both nationally and internationally.” Sir Christopher graduated from and completed his PhD at the University of Leeds. He has many accolades to his name including having received the 1999 Microwave Prize of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society and he was only the second British citizen to receive this award in 58 years.
Veterinary school to open at UniS
By Kathryn Braid, News Team
he University of Surrey has announced exciting plans for a new veterinary school to be opened in 2014, with the focus that human and animal health is inherently linked. The school will be the eighth of its kind in the country and the first in the south east. Announced on Thursday 25th October, the plans revealed a programme focusing on a unique research-led veterinary medicine degree with a particular emphasis on research, veterinary pathology and livestock medicine. The £45 million department hopes to expose those working towards a career in veterinary medicine to the most modern technology in engineering and physics. The Manor
Park site is intended to encourage interdisciplinary work between both staff and students. The University of Surrey already has strong relationships with key collaborating partners such as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), the BBSRC Pirbright Institute, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Fitzpatrick Referrals, Liphook Equine Hospital and Westpoint Farm Vet. The university intends to extend its friendship to other veterinary practices in the area over the coming year. Students will be able to work with local veterinary practices to gain experience. Professor Andy Durham of the Liphook Equine Hospital commented: “The new School of Veterinary
Medicine development programme at the University of Surrey is ideally timed to provide an alternative to the traditional veterinary education and to respond to the demands of a changing profession with fresh plans, ideas and enthusiasm.” It will also build on overseas partnerships with colleges in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Calgary and São Paulo. 50 new academic posts are expected to be created by the expansion and a further 50 non-academic jobs. The university has already laid foundations for the new school through its expansion of teaching and research activities in its faculty of health and medical sciences, including a launch of the BSc programme in veterinary biosciences in 2009 and a new MSc in veterinary microbiology this month.
Letter from the Editor
The Stag is an editorially independent newspaper and is published by the University of Surrey Student’s Union. The views expressed in the paper are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the educational team, the Students’ Union or the University of Surrey. Trinity Mirror (South) 8 Tessa Road, Reading RG1 8NS The Stag reserves the right to edit all submissions and the right to decide which articles are published.
hat a boring week over here at STAG HQ, we couldn’t find a bloody front page article. Luckily, disaster was averted, thanks to the genius of Hannah, my amazing Design Editor. So here we go, lots of Obama related content for you to enjoy. Plus, we have a brilliant wrap around all about the Student Conference, which you should definitely read. At first I lamented the lack of news but I suppose it really is a good thing, no news is good news after all. As for us Staggy lot, we’re doing pretty well I reckon and have something exciting
coming for you next issue! I don’t want to give too much away but it’s going to be the sexiest Stag you’ve ever read! This week we’re announcing the winners of our two competitions: the £50 Boux Avenue voucher and the £15 Waterstones voucher. Don’t say we don’t treat you. We’re definitely going to have more competitions coming up, so watch out for that. Also there is a distant possibility that the Stag team will be taking on Bruges...Hilarious Facebook photos will ensue. Have a good fortnight, sexy readers. All the best.
News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Barack is back
Continued from page 1... him closer to reaching the required 270 votes which would secure him another term in the White House. Romney could have navigated the rest of the map to reach 270 without Ohio, but at this point it was near impossible. Throughout the night, it did seem that Obama’s unprecedented support from 2008 was waning. News channels showed clips of voters commenting that they weren’t impressed with what Obama managed to do in his first four years, but were quick to point out that it’s difficult to achieve anything with only 4 years in office. A phrase which kept recurring amongst voters was “we are staying with the devil we know”, rather than the devil they didn’t. However, Mitt Romney was not the man to capture the hearts and minds of America. Instead, it was Obama who emerged victorious. The continuation of Obama’s tenancy in the White House means there will be little change in the politics of the US. Nevertheless, how the President fares over the coming years will show some signs of what we can expect in 2016, when both the Democrats and Republicans will have to field new candidates. Until then, Obama promises that “the best is yet to come.”
What did you think about the outcome of the US Election? “It’s definitely a good thing that Obama is back. I couldn’t believe how close it was.” - Becky Atyeo, Psychology “I didn’t like Obama’s campaign this time around, but I definitely think he’s the lesser of two evils.” - Harry Metters, Business Management “I think most of the British population are relieved that Barack’s back.” - Isabel Boulder, French and Business “It was inevitable that Obama would win, Romney was never really a candidate.” - Joel Kass, Economics and Finance
Higher fees are deterring students from university
By Hattie Elkins, News Team
study has shown that almost 60% of sixth formers who have opted out of university have done so due to concerns over the increase in fees. Whilst not a representative scientific poll, the research carried out by The Guardian incorporated the views of almost 1700 students, all of whom were aged 16-21. It found that almost a third of those who were yet to make a decision said they didn’t understand the way in which the new financing system works. This has triggered concerns on access to higher education.
The introduction of the new fees has seen a noticeable drop in English students applying for university this academic year; a shortfall of 15,000 applicants compared to the number expected. Worries have also emerged on whether students are being made aware of all the financial support options available to them. Of the 13% questioned who were not planning to start university immediately, 58% said the increase in fees was the key factor in their decision. Of those still deciding, 28% said they did not understand the student loan system. Those attending understood the system better, with only 8%
stating they are struggling with it. However, almost a third said the varying annual fees have affected the institutions they applied to, with 4% saying they will be studying abroad. It was also found that 9 out of 10 felt they needed a degree to obtain work, while 80% expected to do an unpaid work placement to enhance their chances. The government is insisting, however, that equal access has increased; with more loans and bursaries available, less students will be paying upfront. Furthermore, loans will only be repaid once graduates are earning over £21,000 — 40% higher than previously.
John Lewis in Guildford?
By Sophie Vickery, News Team ohn Lewis has shown interest in developing a store in Guildford and could introduce the department store in the next three years. Michael Harper, owner of Casino nightclub, has recently expressed keen interest in working with the store on his site. The buildings on Onslow and Bridge Street offer easy road and rail access and a central location within the town. The site could even meet one of the store’s top priorities for a pedestrian
route with a link from Guildford railway station to the high street. However, the Bedford Car Park behind the buildings is owned by the borough and Harper has been struggling to begin talks with the council. There has been a lack of development for the past twenty years despite the site’s potential and Harper is becoming frustrated that nothing is happening. The development could also greatly benefit local businesses as well as attracting new stores to Guildford.
A new NUS scheme to make sport more accessable
by Beth Goss, News Team
‘Out in Sport’ campaign
n a report published on the 31st October, NUS announced that almost half of those in college and university who do not participate in any sport at college or university (46.8%) find the culture of sport to be alienating. 41.9% of these students admitted that they had a previous negative experience at school which had resulted in them not wanting to get involved in any future sport. It was also found that only 34.6% of students who would identify themselves as LGBT participated in sport at university. One in seven explained the reason they did not want to participate in a team sport is because of homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic comments being made in the past. 37% of students who did take part in sport claimed that they chose not to inform team mates/ coaches of their sexual preferences. NUS have thus come up with a scheme which aims to help counter this abuse. NUS’ Out in Sport report recommends that sports teams publicly demonstrate their inclusiveness and make clear they will not tolerate abuse. Finn McGoldrick, a NUS LGBT Officer said: “No student should feel excluded from participating in any activity open to their peers – particularly not something as integral to university and college life as sport.”
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Fireworks go off with a bang Jonnie Peacock coming to SSP
By Hannah Craig, News Team
espite the chilly evening Friday 2nd November 2012 saw PATS field crowded with people for the University’s annual firework display. Staff, students, friends and family all gathered along with the local community of Guildford for the free event. Steve the Stag also couldn’t resist making an appearance on the night. The sky was lit up with colours from the display which lasted around twenty minutes. Among the fireworks, refreshments were available and proceedings went well apart from the slight mishap when there was almost a fire incident inside the burger van. The university’s firework display was a chance to enjoy celebrating Guy Fawkes Night safely. For information on firework safety please visit the NHS Livewell website.
© Jim Rudoni
Microsoft Cube on Campus
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Team
Christmas lights to be turned on in Guildford on 22/11/12, at 7pm.
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Team
By Chris Sibthorpe, News Team
massive white tent appeared on campus this week, as the Team at Microsoft arrived for their ‘Cube Event’. The giant tent, which was situated outside the Austin Pearce building, housed the latest Microsoft gadgetry, available for students to play with. Microsoft has recently been named as one of the best companies for Graduate jobs, and so it was an exciting opportunity
for students to network with prospective employers, as well as with the current intake of Microsoft Interns and graduates. It wasn’t all business related however, with chances to explore the features of many products, such as Windows 8, the Surface Tablet and Window’s Phones, as well as playing on the X-Box Kinect, and even a possibility to win a Kinect. It seems safe to say that Microsoft may have won over quite a few students during this event.
Change one thing in UniS
to add things they would like to change at Surrey. Students can also add their own suggestions to the poll for others to give a five-star rating of importance. To see what was changed last year as a result of this poll, see President Dave Hall’s recent blog post. To get voting, check out: http://ussu.co/changeonething
he union has launched its new ‘Change One Thing’ campaign. The poll is on the homepage of the Union website when Surrey students log in and allows students to vote on what they think most needs to be changed within the university. From wi-fi in university accommodation, to reduced prices in Chancellors, students have already taken to the website
his year’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 7pm on Thursday 22nd November. Susie Blake, star of Aladdin at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, will be switching them on. She will be joined by the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Jennifer Jordan, and 96.4 Eagle radio's Peter Gordon on the Guildhall balcony. The event will precede the day’s activities, which include a traditional Christmas craft market on the Town Bridge and festive stalls in the High Street, visits by Father Christmas, a mascot’s parade from 4pm, a balcony show from 6pm, and an impressive firework finale. The celebrations will also mark the start of late night shopping in the town centre, which will run every Thursday until the 20th December. There will also be a special promotion, the Guildford Star promotion, which will give shoppers an additional 10% discount to mark the Christmas lights switch-on and start of late night shopping.
urrey Sports Park has been chosen to host the first ever ParalympicsGB Sports Fest. The event will run over Monday 3rd December and Tuesday 4th December. The festival aims to provide an opportunity for disabled people to try out and explore different disability sports and find out how they can get involved. Both summer and winter Paralympic sports will be on show, whilst the event will also showcase para-triathlon and para-canoeing which will feature for the first time in the Rio Paralympics. Stars of ParalympicsGB from London 2012 will also be present,
including T44 100m gold medalist Jonnie Peacock, who is keen to support the festival. Peacock was identified by the BPA (British Paralympic Association) and received support through the BPA. Tim Hollingsworth, BPA Chief Executive, explained: “The festival is about building on the momentum of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. We know that the performances of our athletes will have inspired many disabled people to take up sport." The festival is free to attend and includes come-and-try sessions and information stands for the vast majority of the 22 summer and three winter sports in the Paralympic Games.
RAG Safer Sex Ball Cancelled R
AG’s Safer Sex Ball on 5th November was cencelled earlier this month as part of RAG Week. This year’s theme would have been Seven Deadly Sins. Pole dancers, a nighttime bake sale and other entertainment had also been planned.
The night in Rubix was cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances”, as announced on RAG’s Facebook page. It is set to be rescheduled for next term. RAG promised: “We’ll make sure it’s even bigger and better when it comes back around!”
Early plans for Christmas in Guildford
News Editor: Rachel Thomason | Copy Editor: Tina Morman
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
NUS Welfare Zone Conference Report
ell! Now we know where the £135 fee goes when NUS puts on its zone conferences. This Jack White year's Welfare conference was accommodated at the Palace Hotel in Manchester, a building so thoroughly imperial in its opulence that at times a delegate would be forgiven for imagining themself a Victorian merchant. Thankfully the discussion was considerably more downto-earth and in fact centred on student welfare. Nominally the conference was focused on the Localism Act 2011, but in fact other topics dominated, ranging from interfaith relations to the elections of the Police and Crime Commissioners which take place this week. The conference was a great success, with the most applauded speakers describing how they are delegating union authority to ordinary students and using the power of numbers to win campaigns for better accommodation and voter registration, and to build up support for this month's NUS demonstration. Housing Crisis and Article 4 Directives What on Earth are Article 4 directives? This strange terminology refers to an aspect of the Conservative localism agenda. Councils have been given the power to set a cap on the number of houses in an area that are able to be rented by a group of unrelated people – houses in multiple occupancy (HMO). The targets of this policy are students. Reactionary campaigns by long-standing residents all around Britain have lobbied the Government for many years for the right to cap student numbers in their area, due to students' nonengagement in the community and a perception that students are all loud and perpetually drunk. Furthermore landlords are able to charge students vastly increased rents, while students generally are less demanding when retrieving deposits at the end of a tenancy. This makes students a very attractive business proposition and budding families much less so. The folly of the Article 4 directive is plain. Firstly students
Jack White visits Manchester and finds that an expanding crisis in housing and worries about the police, top the agenda.
the star of the show. Head of Campaigns Antonia Bance led a highly informative discussion of the problems facing students in the private rented sector. The complaints came thick and fast: high prices; poor maintenance; agents unfairly taking deposits; the need for guarantors; nosy landlords and so on. Many unions have been taking a lead in tackling bad landlords by conducting their own surveys of student housing and running rate-your-landlord web sites. The need for discretion was a big worry though, with some shamed landlords threatening to sue unions unless all charges could be proven. Other conference delegates countered that by compiling a list of all rated landlords, the bad ones can be exposed by simply praising the good ones. Known mostly for its work with homeless people, Shelter
themselves was a moot point, however following the December launch of Pound in Your Pocket, students' unions will be party to a consultation process and will be able to table amendments to the Welfare Zone Committee's policy recommendations before NUS National Conference 2013. #demo2012
“Many students are suffering great financial hardship.”
For those living under a rock, the NUS has planned a large demonstration against unemployment, inadequate student funding and the disempowerment of students, in central London for Wednesday 21st November. The Zone conference was buzzing with enthusiasm during a session devoted to sharing best practice among attendant unions. Lee MacNeal, Campaigns Officer at the University of Central Lancashire Student Union was a particularly impressive character, talking about how he and his team had shown leadership of the student body by knocking on doors round the student residences to raise awareness of the demo. Police and Crime Commissioners England's first political police commissioners will be elected this week and the conference devoted a special panel debate to this topic amid concerns over how the entry of politics into the administrative arm of government will impact upon the public. The entire panel expressed worry at how different groups of the public will be affected. Around eight in 10 candidates in the election are white men and the far-right is fielding many candidates. Despite castigating the Government for making the police more political, the panel all supported engagement with the election process, saying that despite the turnout projections indicating a historicly low vote, the Government would consider the successful candidates to have a popular mandate and would not abolish the new commissioners. Some projections have said that turnout could be as low as 8.7%.
“Landlords are able to charge students vastly increased rents.”
are increasingly unable to find a place to live in the private rented sector. Where the directives have been implemented most stringently, students are finding themselves homeless. Secondly the directives do not only affect students, but all HMOs. With house purchase prices so high, the average age for a first purchase is now 37. Non-students are also finding it almost impossible to find an affordable place to live. The Head of Campaigns of the housing charity Shelter cited the shocking example of Leeds Council's policies: at current levels, around 150 new HMOs will be licensed by 2020, but 33,000 new households will be in need of an HMO by that time. Outside the debate over student housing caps, Shelter was
Did you know... the official definition of “affordable housing” is 80% of local market rent rate, with no accounting for income?
was in fact founded to help people in trouble with their privately rented homes. Of particular interest is its online system for tenants to discover whether or not their deposits are protected. This deposit protection is a legal requirement for landlords yet many do not put their tenants' deposits into the scheme. Students are especially at risk from bad landlords, since they often only stay in a house for a year, have little renting experience and do not have the know-how or the courage to pursue landlords when they make unfair deductions from deposits at the end of a tenancy. With 70% of people saying that there is a crisis in housing supply, housing is set to start making the headlines. Watch this space for Surrey's contribution toward tackling the problem. The Pound in Your Pocket Over the last 10 months, NUS has conducted an enormous piece of research on all the aspects of students' personal finances that do not relate to tuition fees. The Pound in Your Pocket campaign is due to report in early December. Pound in Your Pocket has found that many students are suffering great financial hardship because of huge oversights in the allocation of government. The policy focus therefore will be on rearrangement of student funding strategies within the current funding limits. Rewriting of the processes by which students access that cash is set to be a recurring demand of Government in forthcoming NUS policy. The possibility of overall increased funding for students
Check if your deposit is protected: http://tinyurl.com/bta2tcg
© Red Morris
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
NUS reform draws ever closer
It’s never too late
Union Vice-President Societies & Individual Development
t’s been a big week for Surrey’s interaction with the NUS, and even after the recent referendum, we’re still being sat up and listened to. This is for both good and bad reasons. At the end of October, NUS Black Students Officer, Aaron Kiely, launched a petition to force Leeds University’s newspaper, the Leeds Student to remove an interview with Nick Griffin, attempting to enforce the NUS’ “no platform” policy against those expressing fascist/racist views. The no platform policy in itself is no problem, and is good to protect potentially vulnerable students from prejudice and hatred. The
issue here was that a member of NUS was attempting to control the right of an individual students’ union to choose what was acceptable for its own students. The editor of the Leeds Student had considered the article and deemed it acceptable to publish; but Aaron Kiely felt it essential to take matters into his own hands and launch a national campaign to have it removed. Ironically enough, Kiely’s reasoning for this was that by publishing said article, it gives Griffin exposure and a platform, something he now has far more of given the level of attention Kiely drew to the article. I certainly wouldn’t have known about it until he nationally demanded sabbs nationwide join him in insisting the article is removed. Myself and Union Chair, Charlie Eastaugh; whilst- of coursestaunchly against the fascist and
racist ideals the BNP stand for, are believers in the human right of free speech; and more importantly, the autonomy and individuality each students’ union has to operate itself without dictat from a national body. We published a letter of support for Leeds Union, the first students’ union in the country to openly do so (you can find this on the Union website). Since, numerous unions have come out in support of not only Leeds, but in our ‘speaking out’; and against the micro-management of individual unions. First with the referendum, and now with this, Surrey are creating a stir at NUS. The noncontroversial unions are starting to find confidence and a voice, and much-needed reform at national level draws ever closer.”
his year has got off to a flying start for societies, and their presence here on campus is ever growing! You may have spoken to the Christian Union over some yummy hot-chocolate and a biscuit on a night out, or been cared for by St. John LINKS when you’re a little worse for wear. Perhaps you’ve bumped into a massive boob from the Copperfeel! team? Societies are reaching out to the student community in a variety of different and exciting ways. It’s never too late to get involved and join a society! They each have their own webpages on ussu.co.uk. Head to
the societies’ homepage and check the list on the left-hand side. Whether you’re interested in Arts, Departmental, Faith, Special Interest, International, Student-Run Services or Political and Campaigning societies, there’s something for everyone. One big society event we have coming up is Surrey Arts Live! This will be on two nights: Friday and Saturday, the 7th and 8th December. This is a collaborative event held by the Arts societies to raise money for state-of-the-art equipment that all students can benefit from. Student tickets are available from the Union Shop or www.eventelephant.com/ surreyartslive for just £5! Come along, support the cause and check out some of the incredible talent of our students here at the University!
How to improve your course
Union Vice-President Education
e are now 7 weeks into the new semester and by now you would all have formed opinions on the way your course is being run. Not all of these will be negative, some of you will have identified where there is an exceptional level of teaching and assistance being offered by your department. Whatever opinions you and your fellow coursemates or fellow researchers have formed
it is important that you feed this information back to your department. A good way of making sure the collective view of your course is fed back is through your academic rep. By now all of them should be in place. They would already have been in contact with you and it is important that you maintain a good level of contact with them. In the circumstance where you haven’t heard from them, feel free to get in contact me at ussu. email@example.com and I can provide you with the contact email of the rep for your course. I am sure they will appreciate
hearing from you, as all of them have put themselves forward for the purpose of making a difference to your academic time at Surrey. They will maintain regular contact with the senior academics in your department throughout the year, raising issues on your behalf. This week we will be selecting the Faculty Reps, 1 per each of the four faculties from the pool of elected Academic Reps, they will work closely with me and the rest of the Reps across their faculties to make the system the best it can. Play your part and get your opinions across.
Conferences, campaigns and bus complaints
Zone Conferences In October, I attended the NUS Welfare and Society & Citizenship Zone Conferences. The conferences provide Union Officers (in similar positions) the opportunity to network, impact on NUS policy and vote for the next Zone Committees. Over the three days, I attended various workshops that included discussing the role of Student Unions (SU) and their role in terms of approaching the environment and ethics; the importance of encouraging active students and the importance of citizenship; Pound in Your Pocket; improving students’ experience in rented housing. The Pound in Your Pocket motion was passed after collaboration between our Students’ Union and other SUs, in the South East. This motion brought to the NUS that Universities in areas outside of London can have as high living costs as London, but without the same level of loans/maintenance grants. A report on all the research collated will be released
Union Vice-President Welfare
by the NUS in next month. Arriva buses services On Wednesday 7th November, I met with Guildford’s General Manager of Arriva. Robert Patterson, expressed his sincere apologies at the inconvenience experienced by those travelling between Hazel Farm and campus. Now that the source of the problem has been discovered, bus service should now run on time. Moreover, due to you getting in touch, there will now be an Arriva panel review, aiming to not only maintain but also improve the level of service. It’s a constant Now the campaign dedicated to promoting the importance of your mental wellbeing may be over, but remember that health includes mental health. In our anonymous survey, prior to the campaign, 98% of Surrey students asked, said that they had or currently were experiencing stress and/or anxiety.
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Justine Crossan | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
Wednesday 14th November 2012
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Afghanistan conflict
Opinion & Analysis
, as many, remember the eerie scenes just over eleven years ago of the dark plumes of smoke ascending above the World Trade Centre in the United States following the devastating strike in Manhattan. With this new chapter of international affairs came the decision of the United States and the United Kingdom to launch Operation: Enduring Freedom; an invasion into the unstable and then Taliban-controlled nation that has become all too familiar within the media and wider society: Afghanistan. The key reason as to why the United Kingdom is part of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), and is therefore allocating troop numbers to the Afghan theatre, is summed up clearly on the British Army Website. The three apparent reasons provided on the site are as follows: rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and consequently reduce the breach and impact of Al Qaeda, develop a secure future for Afghanistan itself, and oversee the transition of the responsibility of national security from ISAF forces to those of the Afghan Army and Police. As furtherance to these aims, the mission in Afghanistan has also become one of a rebuilding mission, of an infrastructural and also a social connotation. Rather a lot, don’t you agree? The conflict in Afghanistan has not been without controversy and scrutiny. For one predominately historically-based reason; Afghanistan has been a problem
country for invading forces before. The Persian, British and Soviet venture into the geographicallyhostile nation ended in defeat for the then superpowers. And so it may appear appropriate to expect that a current placing of boots on the ground may play out to a similar conclusion as previous interventions before. The death toll is another reason for such scepticism of our nation’s role in Afghanistan. Since the launch of hostilities on the 7 October 2001, 437 British servicemen and women have lost their lives upon Operation Herrick (the name given to UK ops. in the country), the two soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha rifles being the latest casualties of the conflict. With previous historical knowledge of past military manoeuvres within Afghanistan and the rising death toll, these two factors can surely only be mitigated by ISAF fulfilling their mission objectives. In May 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed by a US Navy Seals mission in Pakistan. This, in my eyes, can be viewed as an accomplishment. As for defeating the Taliban, that objective is rather difficult to measure due to the Taliban being classified as a non-state actor, and not being a conventional fighting force in uniforms with specific corps, regiments and divisions. In the case of defeating the Taliban, deterioration in violence and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan
1bn Royal Anglian Regiment Afghanistan and the wider world will be the tell-tale sign of this objective, but this will require a substantial time frame to determine. With regard to the rebuilding of the nation, especially in the barren and generally underdeveloped red zone of Helmand Province, progress is yet to be seen. Take the region of Lashkar Gah for instance. In 2006 and the arrival of British troops, Lash was a volatile and desolate environment. In the present day, Lashkar Gah has made a hugely positive transition from a highly volatile region to a far more secure and businessorientated destination, where past commerce has returned due to the work of ISAF pushing the Taliban out of such areas. This evolving success story breathes a sense of worthwhile-ness into the presence of ISAF in Afghanistan, and more precisely, British troops. The presence of British forces in Afghanistan is a hot bed of public opinion, and has been even more so of a contentious subject in recent years. The increasing death toll and a sense of disillusion as to why British servicemen and women are in this nation appear to formulate the two primary reasons that contribute to the foundation of such debate. In such a short piece as this, I cannot possibly represent every point of opinion concerning this topic and come to a reasoned conclusion as to whether the forces of our country are right to be in Afghanistan. Yet I feel it appropriate to state that good work is being orchestrated in Afghanistan, such as the success stories of the capturing and killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the heightened sense of security in various regions of Helmand Province. As a final closing piece, and as a potential future officer in the British Army, I wish to make the point that, whilst our troops are in Afghanistan, we should support them and be extremely proud of the tremendous work that they are performing under such adverse conditions and great danger. As a subsequent closing note, paying our respects to the fallen soldiers of the Afghanistan conflict is a consideration to be made. Lest we forget. 2014 withdrawal in twenty six months, watch this space… For a first hand insight of British Army actions in Afghanistan, Doug Beattie (MC)’s: An Ordinary Soldier is a rather good starting point. As is Patrick Hennessey’s: The Junior Officer’s Reading Club.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
What’s wrong with us?
our o’clock in the morning in London and I still have not gone to bed. On my way walking back towards my youth hostel I walk down a road which seems perfectly ordinary. That is until I see two lads who are looking back over their shoulder in the direction I was walking. It is only walking past that I see what they were looking over their shoulder at, then walking away from. On the floor, unconscious and shaking like a leaf… a girl. She looks about the same age as the people wondering around this campus every single day. A girl dressed pretty much the same as most girls here are when they go for a night out as well. You know the get up, short hot pants black tights, etc. I have no idea how long she has been there or whether anyone is looking for her or if she has any friends. What do I do here? Well I could just walk past her, ignore and completely forget about it. To be honest I thought about that and was standing there for five minutes umming and arring over whether I should just walk off. Eventually, I rediscovered my humanity, phoned an ambulance and after a considerable amount of time of following
their instructions she was picked up and hopefully is now ok. So, what is the point of this? Well, take a rough guess of how many people live in London? Then how many people were in London that night? She must have been there for an hour at least; it’s an area which is about half an hour from the nightlife. The population is over 8 million and there were plenty more people who had come to visit. So, now to the real question… how many people, how many hundreds or thousands (which is possible if she had been there since 12 or 1 am) of people walked past…. And did nothing? How many people just looked, shrugged their shoulders and thought “not my problem”. Or people who, like me, wondered whether they should help but then walked off instead. Of all the people who walked past her that night, a girl shivering on a slab of concrete after it had been pouring down all night with clearly no one around her why had we all collectively done nothing? What is wrong with us? One objection which I heard after I mentioned it to a couple of flatmates was “well she got herself drunk, it’s her fault”. Many of you may be thinking the same thing and in part it’s a fair question. The problem with this is you don’t know. She could very
well have got drunk out of her brain, told her friends to f*ck off and collapsed on the side of the pavement. Or she could have been spiked, abandoned by her friends who wanted to have fun and not be dragged down by her and well you can imagine the rest for yourself. We don’t know but it sure says a hell of a lot about us that people will assume the very worst about someone they have never met. For the sake of argument, even if it’s all her fault 100%, even if every cynical response is correct then just put yourself in her shoes. You will have want point got yourself drunk and been ill, throwing up and in some cases very upset, paranoid , whatever. Now how much would you give to know that there is at least someone watching out for you? Simple things like checking you’re ok, not going to choke on your own vomit, not freezing and that you are safe. How grateful would you be after having collapsed in the street to be waking up in a hospital bed with people checking you’re ok? Imagine you’re her parents. Let’s say she is back at home, told her parents she will be back in a couple of hours. Mum goes to check if she is back in, it’s one o’clock and she isn’t in bed, rings her, no answer. Now she is panicking and this goes on for hours. How grateful would you be, after spending a whole night
desperate to know anything about your daughter to get called from the hospital to say “Your daughter is safe, someone rang us after spotting her and we picked her up, she is ok”? The alternative is not something we should really allow, especially if it’s a young woman alone. You get hypothermia perhaps and instead of being ok you become critically ill. “Someone” picks you up and you can guess the rest of where I am taking this for yourself. What would you say to her parents: “She did it to herself/ was none of my business”. I don’t think so. In fact, I doubt you would be even able to look her in the eye. The question you would be asking to yourself would certainly be …. “Why the hell didn’t help? What the hell is wrong with me?” Now, I don’t know that girl’s name, I never met her before in my life and I doubt I will meet her again. Nor do I know her parents but if I ever did meet them at least I would be able to look them in the eye. I don’t do preachy much but for God’s sake, if you’re out with friends (or in with them) look out for them, don’t abandon them. Most importantly, if you’re ever in my shoes make sure you do the helpful thing. If you are in two minds just ask yourself… If I was the one on the floor what would I want the stranger to do?
BNP vs. NUS
eeds Student, the University of Leeds’ Student Newspaper, has caused a national stir by conducting an interview with BNP leader Nick Griffin. The controversial leader had only recently hit the headlines himself for publishing the addresses of a homosexual couple who took the owners of a Swiss B&B to court for refusing the couple a room. When confronted by a reporter for Leeds Student, himself a homosexual, who asked what was wrong with people like him, Griffin suggested that homosexuals needed to ‘get over it’ and accept that some people found their sexual preference ‘creepy’. The interview itself is an interesting one, and well timed, given Griffin’s recent moves. I wish to congratulate Editor Lucy Snow on making a brave editorial decision. The NUS, however, had other ideas. An open letter published on NUS Connect’s website from Aaron Kiely, the NUS Black Students’ Officer, demanded ‘that the Editor of Leeds Student remove this interview that gives a platform to a fascist immediately’. Kiely furthered this by saying, ‘in publishing this interview the Leeds Student risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them’. Snow, rather than be bullied by the NUS, explained her reasons for publishing the Griffin interview on Guardian Student Blogs; ‘It insults student’s intelligence to insist that they must be protected from extreme views’. Snow also disclosed that members of the LGBT committee in Leeds were also consulted before publication.
Dave Halls, President of Surrey’s Student Union, wrote an open letter in support of Leeds Student; ‘We are amongst many disappointed and concerned by the action taken by certain members of the NUS National Executive Committee in an attempt to stifle the freedom of the press’. It is interesting to note that the NUS then released another post on NUS Connect, from Liam Burns, President, stating that although they have a ‘no platform to Fascists’ policy, the NUS is a ‘member- led organisation’ and ‘[they] cannot and should not attempt to comprise the independence and autonomy of our members by dictating to them’. The Stag contacted Lucy Snow, Leeds Students’ editor, and she said, ‘I am confident we made the right decision to publish the article and will not be removing it. Without a platform on which to reveal just how ridiculous he is, Griffin is as legitimate as any other elected MEP. Fighting fascism with censorship is completely illogical, and, as Liam Burns has acknowledged, student media should not be stifled by the NUS.’ This isn’t the first time Student Media has had a brush with controversy. Recently Forge Press, Sheffield University’s student paper, was embroiled in a row with their own university, over the paper’s claims that the university were using a legal loophole in order to pay their staff less. This article led to Forge Press being banned from distributing that issue to campus owned accommodation. The university later lifted the ban and argued that they had been ‘misrepresented’ by Forge Press. The Stag is no stranger to contentious issues, but has never been banned or censored by either the Union or the university, even when publishing articles that have been critical of them both. Charlie Eastaugh, Union Chair, says,
‘The Stag is published by the Union, and is free to criticise them if the claims are justified.’ Our Editor in Chief, the lovely Abbie Stone, says, ‘I believe everyone has the right to freedom of speech! In my role I endeavour to support and protect The Stag and its writers, by avoiding the publication of anything defamatory but without limiting that right.’
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Justine Crossan | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
Wednesday 14th November 2012
OPINION & ANALYSIS
saw an advert today saying; ‘Why pretend to be something you’re not?’ with a picture of a red chameleon on a green leaf. In the chameleon’s case, I would imagine not being eaten would be a pretty good incentive to blend in. However, my initial reaction was far more personal. The reason many people I know pretend to be something they are not is due to society’s reaction to things deemed to be ‘abnormal’. If you are different, society carefully piles brick upon brick on your back to see how many it takes before you break. It grinds you down with rejection after rejection, difficulty upon difficulty. It stigmatises and ostracises you. In my case, I (partially) see this through disability. On forms, do I select; ‘Visually Impaired’? ‘Impaired Mobility’? Or, ‘Other’? The UCAS form was fun; when selecting ‘Other’, you were given 200 words to explain. I had to ring up and ask if they wanted me to
If the shoe fits
Why pretend to be something you’re not?
explain my disability, or how it affected my studies. Apparently, they had never been asked this before. I always try to represent myself truthfully, but I can see why others who are extra-ordinary (as opposed to ordinary) – be it in their level of ability, sexuality, religion or even gender – choose to pretend to be something they are not. In the end, we all just want to be ‘normal’ – whatever the hell that means.
e women have it pretty good in the western world of the 21st century; our culture is far more equalised, and alleviated from sexism than other parts of the globe. Yet it is still not perfect (and possibly never will be). The trouble with using the term ‘sexism’ is that people think it refers to something men impose on women or vice versa. But sometimes we inflict it upon ourselves. I have a bone to pick, and it is with the shoes women wear today. I’ll start with the obvious: high heels. Wearers, we put ourselves at serious risk of sprained ankles and injured dignity if ever we lose balance in them. But the damage doesn’t stop there. The downward pressure on the toes impacts the joints at the front of the foot, and over years of continued wear this can lead to horribly deformed feet in unnatural triangular shapes. Christian Louboutin is well known to ridicule the concept of comfort, claiming it “is not part of [his] creative process”. Sure, some women can afford to wear impossible heels if she is driven to work and sits behind a desk all day. I remember one TV personality remarking to his female colleague about her heels, to which she replied, “these are for sitting down in”. Another quote from Louboutin says “the core of my work is dedicated not to pleasing women, but to pleasing men”, hence the eye-catching trademark red soles. Ladies, this attitude and the resulting abuse we are doing to our feet for the sake of fashion is not worlds better than the old Chinese practise of routinely breaking and binding feet. This was a painful and disabling practise which most likely originated among upper-class court dancers in 900 AD, with later spread among other social classes due to men thinking it highly attractive, feminine and dainty. Honestly, when has a guy ever told you he likes your heels? If heels were so great, men would be wearing them too (ok, a few men do). But if anything, the persistence of gender roles and men being deemed as ‘protectors’ suggests a guy may prefer to be taller than you and not appreciate if your heels mean the roles are reversed. I acknowledge we often dress up for the benefit of other women these days, but why torture ourselves for the benefit
Sarah Jane Gregori
of judgements we only imagine are taking place inside other’s heads? It’s not only heels though. Modern flat shoes like ballet flats are often the day-today footwear of choice in the warmer months. They are too flat to support the arches of the feet with next to no cushioning, leading to hardened skin around the soles of the foot. Again, like with heels, the rounded toeshape of the shoe still causes the big toe to curve inward and the joint rubbing against the edge of the shoe causes the bone to overrepair itself, enlarging the joint and ultimately creating a bunion. We tend to think that only old ladies have such things on their feet, but anyone can develop one. The NHS suggests the following treatments: painkillers (seriously - call that a solution?), modifying footwear, bunion pads, toe spacers or, when severe, surgery. Jimmy Choo has said “shoes are like the foundations. If the foundations aren’t right, the building won’t stand upright”. Thankfully, foot-binding has now died out despite lasting for around 1000 years. Trouble is, when we are immersed in a culture we can’t see that some normal practises and attitudes promote more pain and discomfort than they’re worth. I know that life can often feel like a fashion parade, and sure, I’m far from practising what I’ve just preached. I’m not saying all high heels are bad – a friend of mine recently put together a small Ikea table using a high heeled shoe as a hammer. However, we should be kind to the things we rely upon to take us places - don’t make the foot fit the shoe. After all, happy feet = happy soul.
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
The worst thing for breakfast
© pinkangelbabe / Flickr
Keep calm and take regular dance breaks
By Laura Colledge, Features Team
By Annika Gonnermann, Features Team
Woo employers with a fabulous CV
By Megan Cherry, Features Team
t’s about that time to start applying for jobs whether it’s looking for a graduate job, going on placement or just looking for part-time work. As a recruitment initiative, Raw Egg Interns, get the inside scoop on what employers want and look for in a CV and covering letter, so naturally, we’re going to spill the beans. Your CV, along with a covering letter, are your first points of contact with employers. Imagine going on a date; how you would dress, what you would say - a CV is only slightly less flirty. Its sole purpose is to promote you and your
capabilities, not just as good, but as better than the other applicants. It’s vital to format these docs in such a way that you stand out, show off and even get a bit flashy with it. To help you, we have condensed our experience into 4 handy tips, highlighting the most important points that make all the difference in landing in the shortlist, or the recycling bin. Make yourself stand out! A unique and interesting fact about you creates a memorable and personalised feeling to your CV. It pushes a recruiter to consider the person and not just the grades. This can be a personal interest, a life experience or future goals.
Something relevant to the job you are applying for is best so get your thinking cap on. This can be written in a short paragraph at the top of the CV. Explain yourself...why did you choose that particular job in the past? Why don’t you have any work experience? In terms of the latter you could show off the skills you have gained through hobbies or volunteering to compensate for your lack of vocational experience. Don’t waffle on though, keep it neat. What makes you suitable for the job? Promote yourself! This is more important for your cover letter than CV. Why do you think you
will be good at THIS job, what skills do you have that will make you a good employee. Do your reading, show knowledge of your chosen industry and relate not only to the specific job but to the company, and department you want to work in. Your cover letter is like an extension to your CV and gives you the opportunity to point out the most relevant skills on your CV. DO NOT write an essay! Employers are not looking for a dissertation…they don’t have the time to read through your autobiography (especially when they consider you a fledgling). Your CV only needs one or two pages and your cover letter just one - this is
plenty. It’s the quality not quantity of the document that matters. Also remember to proofread your CV and cover letter several times; poor spelling and grammar are a definite turn off! These few pointers are the basics; follow them and you should have a good chance of attracting employers and will improve your chances of getting a job! Good luck!
Raw Egg Interns Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/ RawEggInterns 0843 289 2554
© Martin Abegglen / Flickr
n my way to understand this country and its people I am trying my best to leave any experience untried. Since I live with a landlady this works out quite well, because she unravels certain mysteries of British culture and customs to me. One that left a huge impression was my first encounter with English spread. The other night she introduced me to an innocently-looking, honeycoloured cream called “Marmite”. It was half past seven in the morning and I was sitting on the kitchen table having breakfast. My meal consisted of two delicious Nutella-Toasts and a glass of orange juice. While I ate me sweet, delicate breakfast, I watched her preparing her own: baguette from the oven, buttered and topped with something called Marmite. Since I am curious person and always eager to learn something about English culture that I have not known before I asked here, what that was. She answered “Marmite”. She handed me the little bottle, filled with that brownish stuff. “And what is it?” I wanted to know.
“Marmite.” Obviously she did not know of what it was made off, so she helped herself out by saying: “It’s good, try it.” Well … I took the bottle and squeezed a tiny bit on that part of the toast that was untouched by my nut-cream. In expectance of a sweet and tasty experience I took a big bite – Oh how I was mistaken. My landlady must have noticed that I did not like it, because I myself could feel my countenance fall apart. It was disgusting – a mixture of salt, vinegar, and fish. I do not know how to describe it correctly, but I assure you: Marmite – to me – is the most dreadful thing to eat for breakfast. I managed to swallow this bite and took a gulp of my orange juice. “You do not like it?” I was being asked. My face must have given her that hint. “No!” Later I learnt that this is actually the marketing strategy of this product, when I googled it. Wikipedia describes it like that: “The British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty. This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company’s marketing slogan: “Love it or hate it.”” Well – I have made my choice.
hances are, as you’re reading this article, you have a million other things you should be doing. Writing this is just one task on my to-do list of three essays, four books, and a poem to write. You only have to log onto Facebook to see it: everyone’s stressed. I don’t know who hasn’t had a minor breakdown within the past week or so, due to the hours we’ve spent locked in our rooms, frantically typing our essays and getting nowhere. What’s happened to uni consisting of lying in till 3pm, watching a whole series of Desperate Housewives in one afternoon and attending every themed event at Rubix? Without fail. My housemates and I haven’t been out in over two weeks and already our idea of a good time is taking a five minute break to discuss what we’re going
to make for dinner later (don’t judge, the prospect of pasta bake seems a lot more exciting after a day of researching Elizabethan Drama). So although the thought of slowly trudging your way over the mountain of work makes you want to hide under your duvet and cry, there are a number of ways to tackle that pile of assignments without sobbing into your bowl of Weetabix every morning. 1. Write Lists There’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing tasks off a list once they’re complete! If you feel like you’re achieving a lot, you’ll be more motivated keep up the good work! 2. Reward Yourself Bribe yourself into completing things with small rewards, from a cup of tea to a chat with a friend; rewards will make you think forwards, rather than struggling
in the present. 3. Take Breaks If your concentration begins to slip, don’t fight it. Do something physical to offer a contrast to the passivity of sitting. Personally, I like to spend five minutes dancing around my room to the Sister Act soundtrack (my housemates aren’t as convinced that I’m ready for the West End though), but perhaps you’d prefer a jog around the block, or another less ‘special’ way of stimulating your brain back into action. 4. Routine Get into a routine of eating healthily, exercising regularly and sleeping well. You’ll feel better physically and mentally, and get more out of your time. Even if you only add one of these steps to start, you’ll notice difference. And remember, a list a day can keep the stress well away!
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Winter is approaching
Lace & Tweed Vintage Fair
© comedy_noise / Flickr
By Ellis Taylor, Features Editor
By Sarah-Jane Gregori, Features Team
reat news! Guildford won’t grind to a halt this winter at the slightest touch of snow. Surrey County Council is currently considering plans to introduce advanced technology to distribute salt and grit on a risk assessed basis. Suggestions presented at a recent cabinet meeting included adopting thermal maps to detect roads at higher risk of ice and GPS for gritters to monitor progress. But wait - only the roads are spoken of in these plans. It’s simple fact of life that ice makes no distinctions between road and path. Has nobody thought about pedestrians, which includes the entire student population who live off-campus? When thick sheets of ice pave the popular walking routes to campus e.g. Southway and to Tesco’s/Manor Park, the stream of students slows to a wobbling trickle. It might be funny to see but it isn’t fun, and from personal experience it can be safer to walk on the roads. The expense involved in
the clearance of ice and snow is justified by keeping the local and wider economy rolling by allowing workforces to reach their destinations and shoppers to reach their retail havens. However this should not mean that the rest of the population should go uncared for. The local council should take more responsibility for the safety of students, who the university website numbers at nearly 15,755 students living on and around campus, not to mention nearly 2,500 staff employed as lecturers, technicians, researchers and many more roles that keep the university running smoothly. Its’ hard to imagine that many people at once! Some Guildford residents bemoan the fact that the town is filled with students, if their experience of us has been as noisy nuisances rather than bright minds of the future. However it would be a classic reasoning error to think that because the majority of students are young people and the University of Surrey is in Guildford, all young people in Guildford are
students of the university. The rabble found in and outside of Flares, Bar Med and other nightlife hotspots is a surprisingly varied mix of the wider area’s population. Although students don’t pay council tax and still get the benefits e.g. our refuse and recycling being collected, we do contribute to Guildford’s economy in other ways. This town isn’t cheap to live in and many landlords are making easy livings from student rent payments. An average student house holding 4 people will pay an annual total far beyond what average tenants could be expected to pay. Take for example two adults with children - it would be impossible for them to match the (roughly) £17.5k that myself and my three housemates fork out. Bone-chilling, shivering winter will be hot (or cold) on autumn’s heels and while the council can take credit for their forward planning against seasonal issues, I’d like to see more done for the wellbeing of all Guildford’s residents, whether they are seen to contribute a lot or a little to the wider community.
ands up if you love vintage! OMG, me too. But something is wrong, there’s pretty much zero vintage action going on in Guildford. Now, I present to you Lace & Tweed. A bi-annual vintage fair that takes place in our very own town, huzzah! Set up by ex-University of Surrey students Jonathon and Natasha, this vintage event is not one to be missed. The latest event took place on the 3rd November at the Holy Trinity Church in town and was packed with wonderful stalls. With an entry fee of only £1.50 for students, it was a total bargain of a day trip… trust me, you could spend all day in there. The best thing about vintage fairs, I think, is the new style ideas that pop into your head that you wouldn’t have ever thought of before. My shopping buddy and I actually got into conversations about how we could work a fan on the tubes, or what is the best way to incorporate a brooch into an outfit (waistband of a skirt, by the way). A wide variety of eras hung from the rails, whilst jewellery that has seen many decades sat on pretty china.
There was even the opportunity to try out a whole new look, with one stall offering retro hair and make-up make overs. But are clothes, accessories and make overs not enough for you? Well there were also a few home wares dotted around, including a beautiful typewriter that I fell in love with and some fabulous vintage art work. So we’ve established that the shopping was great, but how is it made into a proper event? Cake and music, that’s how. As I wondered around rails of sequins and stalls of handmade pretty things, acoustic music played and there was a real feeling of friendliness and a relaxed atmosphere, something that doesn’t naturally occur with shopping. As for the cake, well, we all know that cake improves happiness levels by 98% (statistic from a survey carried out by me, on myself). Overall, Lace & Tweed was a wonderful vintage event, full of fabulous items that I could have spent hours looking at, and the prices weren’t even too bad, despite being vintage. The next event isn’t until 1st June 2013, but make sure you put it in your diaries as it is well worth a look.
“Give a spit save a life”
By Katy Sawyer, Features Team
urrey Marrow is the student led branch of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the charity that helps save the lives of people with blood cancer. A bone marrow transplant is the only way to save the lives of people with leukaemia or lymphoma. Their immune system is completely broken down and cannot produce stem cells for whatever reason. This is where you come in! If you are a match with someone you could potentially save their life. There are two methods of Stem Cell donation, the PBSC method and the bone marrow harvest. PBSC; used in around 80% of cases, is where after 5 days of injections to allow the number of stem cells in your blood to increase, your blood is removed through a needle from one arm and the stem cells are spun out. The blood is then put back through a needle in your other arm. Laura Oakley an Undergraduate Nutrition student at the University donated her bone marrow through this method and said,” It was by far the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done…The donation itself was very relaxed. I was on
a comfy bed, in a posh hospital in Regent’s Park, with a friendly nurse keeping me company… Yes, the donation involved some needles. But, the staff were so well trained that I felt nothing… The whole process was made easy as my medical, nurse visits, travel, food and accommodation were all arranged (and paid for) by the Anthony Nolan team.” Some short term side effects may be a headache, bone and muscle ache but these usually pass within a few days. With bone marrow harvest used in around 20% of cases you will be put under general anaesthetic. Doctors will use a needle to withdraw the liquid marrow from your pelvis. Your bone marrow will start to replenish almost instantly. You may feel some soreness in the lower back for a few days but most donors feel completely back to normal within a few weeks. About a month after donating Laura was lucky enough to receive a letter from her recipient. “I burst into tears (happy ones) as soon as I saw it. Reading how their life had been turned upside down, and the hope the stem cell donation gave them, was overwhelming. I’ve written back to them since, and am due an update on their health soon.” She hopes to one day meet her recipient. Hopefully after reading this article you will be better informed and move away from the stereotypical
view that bone marrow donation is ‘painful.’ Surrey Marrow’s next recruitment event will be in ‘Studio’ on the 4th December from 1pm-4pm, pop along for more information. Some people may not be able to sign up due to pre-existing medical issues but you can still get involved in fundraising and spreading the word, e-mail surreymarrow@ gmail.com for more information.
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By John Watkins, Director of Careers Service
Street eats in Taipei
By Ankur Banerjee, Features Team
he first of the Semester’s Employability Forums revealed some interesting and varied practices amongst a range of graduate recruiters. In a ‘Question Time’ style format students were able to pose searching questions on the current market and heard insights on the aspects that make a difference in the recruitment process. All of the employers were consistent in their view that applications and cvs need a ‘narrative’. They defined this term as equivalent to a story in which the applicant is the main character and can demonstrate their journey to the point of putting themselves forward for a particular job. The skillset required by the different employers, which included a small market research company, and larger engineering, financial, technology and educational organisations, were understandably varied. This highlights the importance of thorough research before applying to identify the priorities that matter most. Amongst those singled out as most critical were academic achievement, work ethic, commercial awareness and customer service. The panel also differed on their attitude to social media.
Half explicitly noted that they avoid looking at any social media presence of candidates. The other half indicated that they always look at Facebook and LinkedIn to see how those applying represent themselves online. There are clearly opportunities here to impress with a professional image conducive to the company, as well as dangers from failing to recognise the public nature of profiles and the wide variety of stakeholders with access. One cautionary tale was told of the applicant whose past involvement in the adult entertainment industry was graphically available to a wide public audience including his prospective employers who, on discovery, decided against proceeding with a job offer! The next forum takes place on 15th November on the topic of business and commercial awareness – one of those vital employability skills. The last few weeks has also seen prizes awarded by employers as part of their sessions, including a Kindle and an I-pad. In addition, the Careers Service also identified two students of the month for October for outstanding commitment to developing their employability – finalist, Annabel Barnard, who is studying Physics, and Business Management second year, Chandni Kapoor.
he first thing that hit me when I walked through the streets of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is the utter lack of tourists. Even in the off-chance that I did spot a fellow tourist in regulation backpackand-camera attire, what made me particularly self-conscious is that I was the only brown face in sight, throughout my trip. I certainly got stared at – a lot – especially when I attempted to speak to locals in (broken) Chinese. My reason for wandering through Taipei was to sample the street cuisine of the Shilin Night Market, considered to be one of the best in Asia. Every evening, dozens of hawker carts spring up among makeshift stalls selling everything from pirated DVDs to hipster clothes which stretches out for kilometres. The smell of food wafting from the carts is so heady that you can smell it even crossing a busy intersection, pushed along by a crowd of people equally eager to grab dinner. Street cuisine may conjure images of cheap hotdogs or kebabs, but that’s not what’s on offer. Most dishes are offered in
portions on skewers, each portion costing a fraction of a dollar, with the implicit expectation that patron will be hopping from cart-to-cart to eat what catches their fancy. Sausages covered in a fried potato coating similar to hash browns; watermelon chunks glazed in hardened sugar syrup with ants stuck on them (really crunchy and sweet – loved it!);
jellyfish with tofu in oyster sauce; warm and crispy fried dough sticks filled with custard and ice cream; barbecued stingrays; soft flat buns sprinkled generously with ground pepper – there is such an incredible variety of innovative food that I wholeheartedly agree why Taipei is famous for this, and I found myself craving for more. Part of the charm is the atmosphere of the night markets themselves. Popular hawker stalls prominently display pictures of
local celebrities who frequent them. Someone tries to sell you toy helicopters while you fumble through change for a snack, while off to one side you can hear people firing airguns at balloons to try win Angry Birds stuffed toys. If all this gets too much, you can always sit down at one of streetside restaurants instead to savour crispy pork noodles in chicken broth with jasmine tea. What’s Hot: Bubble tea. Bubble tea is milky tea, often infused with fruit or other flavours, with ‘bubbles’ or ‘pearls’ made of tapioca balls in a jelly-like consistency. This drink was invented in Taiwan – so even if you have tasted this elsewhere, you must try it in its birthplace – and is now massively popular throughout East Asia. It’s incredibly fun to slurp up the ‘pearls’ through the fat straws provided with your glass. What’s Not: Frog eggs. You will see signs for these every few hawker stalls, but they aren’t actual eggs from frogs. I was sorely disappointed. ‘Frog eggs’ is simply a term the hawkers in Taipei seem to have settled upon, for some bizarre reason, for grass jelly – a dessert popular throughout much of East Asia made by boiling mint leaf stalks and starch into a jelly.
Surrey student crowned Miss UK Nepal 2012
Surrey student Parika Ale talks to Hiba Khan about her experience in Miss UK Nepal 2012
By Hiba Khan, Features Team was so overwhelming when I won the title. How did you have to prepare for the Miss UK Nepal 2012 beauty contest? It was really hard because we had to train every day for three weeks 11am-6pm straight. Training included public speaking, catwalk practice and talent practice. I actually ended up getting blisters on my feet because I was walking in heels so often. There was a great emphasis on public speaking because the way each of us portrayed ourselves was very important. It was essential that we didn’t show that we were nervous on stage and were diplomatic about what we said. You also won Miss Talent in the competition. What did you dance to and why do you think you won? That was THE award I was actually aiming to get. It meant a lot to me to win Miss Talent. I was confident because I worked extremely hard and I have been performing for many years; I kept telling myself that I could do it. It was really tough because the other nine contestants were so talented, and many people chose to dance for the talent section. I danced to “K bhul bhayo priya” which is a semi-Classical Nepalese song. What impact has being at the University of Surrey had on you? Education is a really big part of your life. You learn, you get involved in extracurricular activities and you socialise. The University of Surrey is a wonderful place to be! I’ve been inspired by so many people here, the students are always doing something! I was the Events Co-ordinator for the Nepalese Society at Surrey last year which really helped me with my interpersonal skills. It helped build my confidence and allowed me to see things from different perspectives. I think these skills helped me a lot when I entered the Miss UK Nepal competition. What are your plans for the future? In Nepal there are some issues regarding access to clean water and I want to change that. I really want to improve the water sanitation quality in Nepal and I feel that my university degree will enable me to do so. When I finish my Chemical Engineering degree at Surrey the first thing I will do is go out there and complete this project. Miss UK Nepal 2012 gave me the right platform to do this. This title has exposed me to sponsors and has allowed my voice to be heard.
ast year the Nepalese society won the award for Best International Society, and a few weeks ago, one of our Nepalese students won First Runner Up of Miss UK Nepal 2012. So who is she? I caught up with Parika Ale, First Runner Up of the Miss UK Nepal 2012 on campus to find out! So Parika Congratulations! How does it feel to be the First Runner Up of Miss UK Nepal 2012? Thank you! It’s such an amazing feeling. For me, winning First Runner up wasn’t just about the title, it was more about fulfilling the expectations of my family and friends. I’m so grateful that they believed in me and supported me throughout the whole process. It
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Placement to final year
By Lasika Jayamaha, Features Team
fter living and working in London for a year, life back at Surrey was never going to be the same. All my course mates and peers would have graduated, clubs and societies would have new members and I would be surrounded by faces I would hardly recognise. Towards the end of my placement, I was not sure if I was looking forward to being back at university and spending a flexible routine or if I preferred the organised lifestyle of working 9-5. However, at the end of the year, I was knackered living the busy city life that the real world had in store for us and somewhere deep down I was thankful at the thought of returning to university with its peaceful surroundings. It is the strangest feeling being back at university, especially after spending a year on placement and earning a good salary. The biggest fear I had was, ‘what if I didn’t know anyone?’, ‘I will have to get used to budgeting my finances
and spending less’ and I will have concentrate on the pressures that final year has in store for us’. Twelve months on placement flew quicker than I imagined. Just as much as I had enjoyed working, it was time to resume student life with assignments, labs, exams and dissertation so I could finally graduate, the main reason I came to university for. I had visited Guildford and the campus and kept in touch with a few friends so it was not the end of the world. I was familiar with the new library, amigos and the bookshop that had since relocated. During the first few weeks I bumped into many a known faces and re-joined the various society and volunteering activities that I had been a part of prior to going on placement. Getting involved with fresher’s moving in and welcome week was also a great opportunity to meet new people and made me feel at home. After a few weeks it seemed that I hadn’t really left and I am really looking forward to enjoying my final year at Surrey!
By Sophie Vickery, Features Team
ne in ten can’t drop off to sleep at night, while many struggle to stay asleep and frequently wake up and then struggle to drop back off. For students, insomnia is a common problem. Noisy Rubix and strange beds (there is no bed as comfortable as the one at home) are likely causes. But, insomnia can also develop following anxiety and depression, often suffered by students facing imminent deadlines, exam stress or homesickness. Typical student habits can also be blamed as irregular sleep routines, late night eating, smoking and alcohol all increase the chances of disturbed sleep. The University of Colorado
found that 69.7% of students who found it difficult to fall asleep
also had lower grades and 72.7% who had trouble to fall back to sleep upon waking during the night, struggled to concentrate throughout the day. Fortunately, a few simple lifestyle changes can help reduce
insomnia, without medication. A regular sleep pattern is recommended, with 8 hours of sleep each night. Ensure the bed is comfortable and is kept as a sleeping environment, rather than a sofa or kitchen table! It is important to let the brain unwind prior to sleeping, so late night revision should be avoided and replaced with relaxation time by taking a warm shower, watching television or reading. Alcohol, heavy meals, sugar and caffeine should also be avoided late at night. Finally, for those with frustratingly active minds, pen and paper are bedside necessities to allow lists of jobs and ideas to escape the mind, leaving room for sweet dreams. Meanwhile, for those enduring hours of constant tossing and turning, hide the clock and forget the fact that it is only two hours until lecture.
‘Keep Searching’: A Night at Student Alpha
By Tom Goulding
Surrey, Sex and Shambles
By Tom Greenaway, Features Team
had come to the Student Alpha meeting at St Saviour’s Church, Guildford, armed only with a leaflet provided by the Surrey Christian Union and an insatiable desire to relieve my curiosity. As a confirmed but nonpracticing Christian, like millions of people around the world I have spent most of my life struggling with the concept of faith. Why are we here? Where are we going? Is there an afterlife? If such questions have confounded the best minds since the dawn of time, then I was unlikely to find the answers nursing a beer outside the Students’ Union on a Friday night. For ten years, the Student Alpha course has promoted itself as a place to “relax, share your thoughts and explore the meaning of life”. In other words, it is a seven-week introductory course to Christianity, which strives to offer young people and students an essential grasp of the religion within the limits of a university semester. Upon arriving at St Saviour’s, I’m directed to a table where Associate Rector Tom Darwent and his wife Kate are discussing the plan for the evening. Tom has been rector for 20 months and explains that he tries to accommodate young people alongside the more traditional
services, a consideration that is reflected in the estimated 80 people who attend Student Alpha at the church each week. Of these, just under half are regular churchgoers. “It’s a very laid back atmosphere here,” he tells me. “After we’ve eaten I’ll give a short talk about this week’s subject and then we’ll all discuss it within our individual tables.” I look around. In place of a pulpit there is a well-lit sofa. Instead of an organ comes the sound of Mumford & Sons wafting across the room. It is a million miles from the archaic descriptions of fire-and-brimstone that have come to plague the Church’s image. I find myself talking to a second year Law undergraduate called Luke, a member of the Surrey Christian Union who found his faith at the age of fifteen. I ask him how someone with such entrenched beliefs could benefit from a beginners’ course like Student Alpha. “I’ve brought friends to these meetings, so it’s partly on their behalf,” he says, “But it’s also just to meet people who want to learn more about the Christian faith.” The week’s talk, entitled ‘How Did Jesus Die?’ is brief, with Tom drawing on vox pops and contemporary analogies to illustrate the significance of Christ’s sacrifice. As he sits back down, a
sustained silence fills our table. Questions for the discussion have already been anticipated, typed up on worksheets in front of us. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a Year 9 R.E lesson. “What is your reaction to the crucifixion?” Tom asks, trying to prompt conversation. “Ouch”, a girl across the table remarks. There are more questions, followed by more awkward shuffling. Unsurprisingly, it is Luke who often fills the silences. As people began to trickle out, I reflected on the evening. I found myself praising St Saviour’s efforts to rejuvenate the Church for a new generation of followers, a bold step that many parishes have so far neglected. Yet I also found the concept of Student Alpha condescending, and a little misleading. For all its hashtags and informalities, the bullet-point questions and regimented script ironically stifled some of the freethinking exploration it strived so hard to support. I might not have found what I was looking for, but looking around, it was strangely comforting to realise that I wasn’t alone. Before leaving St Saviour’s, I decided to ask a group of ACM students why they had come along. “Us?” they looked at me, quizzically, “We’re just here for the free food.”
rguments. However much we like to think we’re these reasonable amicable people, we often find ourselves in unavoidable arguments; forced to deal with people we otherwise would not, such is university life. This past week I’ve single-handedly managed to piss off someone from every facet of my life, work colleagues, course piers, family members and friends of friends. You know when you’re just having one of those weeks where nothing goes your way (world’s smallest violin playing in the background). But hey there’s always a silver-lining, at least these stories (hopefully) keep you entertained! Let’s start where most of my shambolic tales begin shall we, you guessed it, Brighton. So I went down to visit my best mate for her birthday, as you do, bought her flowers and chocolates so constantly got the ‘aww, you’re such a good friend’ comment, and the ever-so cringe ‘why are all the best guys gay?’, but I digress, as the evening went on everything seemed to be a success, I even managed not to pull any of my friends (result!) but in steps psycho housemate. You know those people who appear to be pretty standard and just blend in to the background, but underneath that smiley if
not dull exterior lies some batshit cray demon. Instead of telling her housemate to turn the music down, she locked herself in her room, shut the door and threatened to call the police if people didn’t leave; c’mon girls I know (at least I’ve heard) you always have that ‘time of the month’ but seriously?!?! Anyways sometimes you crazy girls cement my happy position as a flaming homosexual; I can assure you I am hormonal and temperamental enough for two people (this probably has something to do with my being in love with someone very straight laced and stable). On a completely unrelated note I need all your help. You know when you have an extremely horrendous habit that you just can’t break? Well I’ve taken to winking at people and it’s just not ok. I have the uncanny ability to look like a 12 year old boy and a pervert at the same time, so winking is an absolute no go. If any of you catch me doing it around campus – whether I know you or not – please tell me, I need to nip this in the bud, who winks in this day and age?!?! Also Tease is coming up in the next few days then I’ll be in Brighton again soon so be sure to read up on all the latest horrendous tales. Your shambolic friend, T.
Features Editor: Ellis Taylor | Copy Editor: Tessa Morgan
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Answers in the next edition of The Stag. Send correct answers to email@example.com to get a mention in the paper.
Last Week’s Sudoku
5 3 6 2 8 9 4 7 1 8 7 2 6 3 9 1 4 1 2 7 9 4 8 6 5 9 4 5 8 1 7 2 3 4 3 9 1 6 5 8 7 5 1 3 7 2 6 4 9 7 6 8 4 5 1 3 2 2 8 1 5 9 3 7 6 6 9 4 3 8 2 5 1 3 5 6 2 7 4 9 8
F T R A A D Y W A R T H T N A R T O R H N E Q S C S C O S T U M E Y B U A U S O H I A O C Z I P Q T R G T W I T T E R C U U Q C U A Y Q L H A L L O W E E N T E K U O P B W C A E E H A O P M G I D L Q U P U L E S Y R R I E H O B S Y Q O R T V M U B D P O R Z K A L L L H I O L G P L A O M I X I K A H J I
A S M O N E Y L G B P O B G C
R L V P G F H K R I T G S C L
Y J N U T E A M S U R R E Y A
B W O N D E R L A N D P A Z X
P D J N T A O N R O
Don’t worry, we’ll give you a new suduko next week!
Olivia Crittenden, Applied Psychology and Sociology student, was so desperate to win the £50 Boux Avenue voucher that we at The Stag felt there was no option other than to award it to her! Thank you for your honest entry Olivia, enjoy!
WE HAVE A WINNER!
ART HALLOWEEN COSTUME MONEY RAG CYCLING
ALCOHOL TEAM SURREY TWITTER SHOPPING BURGLARY WONDERLAND
F X E R H C L G P E N S O C G
U V I N T A G E U B Z W K F J
F H O A W S I V I N X E X Y U
A W R U E I E H D R P A Z D R
I X O W I N T E R E L P Q R S
R B U N O O J N E S N L L R C
Y N G K D B R E A K F A S T V
T E H R J X D L C M R C L J T
A P P V Q N B Z S J O E O I W
L A A C E E Q R V I T M O Y Q
E L T M A R R O W L C E F E P
S O C M I D F W Y M K N D V I
K P H J F H F B G V I T N E S
C Y U E V T I K N A S S U T S
T C O U R S E W O R K P X S B
“I deserve to win the Boux Avenue vouchers for a multitude of reasons and I shall list them according to importance. 1. I am currently single and if I get myself some real nice underwear maybe people will be able to see past my awful personality and quite frankly relentless halitosis, and appreciate the person inside the shell suit. 2. I currently own 3 bras, one of which is grey in colour and has a hole in it, one used to be white but is now also grey and has a hole in it and the third is incredibly white however has a grip like that of a boa constrictor and should only be worn in case of emergency and severe need of a busty lift. 3. I don’t have the money to shop in Boux Avenue currently because I’m a poor, desperate student but I’d love to walk in and wipe the smug look of the shop assistant’s face when I turn up with a £50 voucher and proclaim I won it from practically begging. It’s like inviting a tramp into the Radisson, class clash at its finest. I was considering writing some more lewd reasons as to why I should win the voucher but as they say the best arguments come in three so I shall leave you with one final thought. If I win the voucher, I will immediately head down to Boux, purchase some rather fetching underwear and head home. I will then put on said underwear and immediately put Jessie J’s ‘Domino’ on and dance on my bed. And you, The Stag, would be bringing me this pleasure.“
VINTAGE PLACEMENT NEPAL MARROW BREAKFAST COURSEWORK
VETS CASINO WINTER FAIRYTALES PEN SOC ROUGH PATCH
10 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag | Wednesday 14th November 2012
Britain’s Ash tree population in danger
Science & Technology
Surrey’s new veterinary school
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Team
The Ash tree is Britain’s third most common and covers 130,000 hectares of woodland. By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera). The restriction on Ash tree movement has arrived just before the main growing season which begins in late November. Dr. John Morgan, Head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant health Service spoke about the restrictions saying: “This is a sensible precaution to protect Britain from further introductions and internal spread of the disease while we assess the overall situation. I am encouraged that although awareness of Chalara dieback has been high among these groups, we have received very few reports of ill health in ash trees in the wider natural environment.” Britain has about 320,000 acres of Ash forest, about 5.5% of its woodland, with about 12 million more distinct from forests. Ash forests are important for biodiversity in the UK as the high canopy provides a good environment for a varied flora growth which in turn provides a habitat for a number of insects, birds and animals. The disease has been listed as a quarantine pathogen and the Forestry Commission has released guidance on how to identify signs of infection. The symptoms include leaf loss, crown dieback and may lead to death.
ban on the import of Ash trees and seeds was implemented on Monday 27 October in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. The disease, called Ash dieback, was first discovered in February at a Nursery in Buckinghamshire and since, more than 1000 sites have been surveyed. This has been called a crisis and is reminiscent of the Dutch elm disease which devastated the elm population in the UK in the 1970’s. Trees were first recorded dying from dieback in Poland in 1992, however the asexual stage was first described in 2006 and the sexual cycle in 2010. It has already destroyed 90% of Ash trees in Denmark and has been found widespread in the UK in places including Yorkshire, Scotland, Durham and Leicester. Recently, the fungus has been found in older trees in East Anglia, which have had no contact with nursery trees, suggesting that perhaps the disease has spread to the UK via natural means, for instance on birds or carried by the wind. In an attempt to stop the spread, 100,000 trees have already been destroyed and the public are being urged to report any signs of the fungus to the Forestry Commission or the
here have long been possibilities of a veterinary school for Surrey, and now we can announce that Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine will open its doors in 2014. This world-class school will be constructed around the theme that human and animal health are intrinsically linked. The school is set to embrace the ‘One Health – One Medicine’ philosophy and collaborates efforts of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally and globally, to reach optimal health for people, animals and the environment. This will also include the development of a unique, research-led veterinary medicine degree programme with an emphasis on research, veterinary pathology and livestock medicine. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick says: “The philosophy of One HealthOne Medicine is undeniably the single most important movement in medical science today. By making this a cornerstone of the educational platform at the new veterinary school, the University of Surrey will undoubtedly inspire a new breed of veterinary scientists. This next generation of vets will be eminently employable as clinicians, scientists or researchers in a globally changing healthcare market for animals and for humans.” This exciting news is coupled
with the fact that this school will be the first of its kind in South East England, and the eighth to be launched in the country. It will be developed at the heart of the university’s Manor Park site and will attract students and staff from different disciplines with those studying towards a degree in veterinary medicine being exposed to cutting edge technology in engineering and physics as well as receiving training in core business skills. Luckily, the university already has strong relationships with key partners who will help deliver the new school. These include the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), the BBSRC Pirbright Institute, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Fitzpatrick Referrals, Liphook Equine Hospital and Westpoint Farm Vets. Over the coming year the University is hoping to extend its relationships with regional veterinary practices. “As a research-intensive University we have the expertise, reputation, technical and business skills which our students can benefit from, allowing us to train the veterinary leaders of the future”, comments Professor Lisa Roberts, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the university. The foundations for the new School have already been laid. Teaching and research activities have been expanded
in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, including the launch of the BSc programme in Veterinary Biosciences in 2009 and in October of this year a new MSc in Veterinary Microbiology. A new MSc in Veterinary Pathology is also currently under development. The timing of the development programme for the new school provides an alternative to the traditional veterinary education and will respond to the demands of a changing profession with fresh plans, ideas and enthusiasm, says Professor Andy Durham of the Liphook Equine Hospital. Being local to several specialist partners is also a major advantage for the new school. All in all, Surrey’s new School of Veterinary Medicine is set to provide a new, innovative approach to veterinary education fitting for the 21st century. The University is already in consultation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Vice-Chancellor Sir Christopher Snowden and colleagues will be working alongside Freda Andrews, Head of Education from RCVS over the coming months. The next year will be fundamental in the development of the new school, with the university looking to recruit new academic staff and beginning building works in preparation for the first cohort of veterinary medicine students of 2014.
Back to the Moon by 2018?
By Mike Colling, Science & Tech Team
t has been forty years since man last set foot on the Moon, but now scientists in Europe are expressing an interest in sending humans back to the lunar surface. The ESA – the European Space Agency – has already begun planning an unmanned mission to land on the Moon’s South Pole before 2018. It aims “to probe the moonscape’s unknowns and test new technology to prepare for future human landings”. The team behind the project intend to send a landing craft into orbit around the Moon aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, before
demonstrating its ability to navigate and land autonomously in the mountainous terrain of the lunar South Pole. This location was chosen following its extended exposure to sunlight, allowing for smaller lunar rovers to operate using energy from the sun for several months, and as a more suitable area for humans to live and work in the future. It is hoped that the design of the lunar lander will lead to technological developments which could enable further space exploration; engineers currently working on the navigation and propulsion systems believe that, in future, similar craft could be
developed to land on all manner of objects within the solar system, including asteroids, moons and planets. The project, currently largely funded by Germany, is expected to cost around €500 million. A meeting will be held in late November of this year to further discuss the mission proposal. National space ministers will decide whether to provide the €100 million extra funding deemed necessary. However, with the unstable economy in Europe, there can be no guarantee that we will see a human – or even a robot – on the Moon anytime soon.
Sci/Tech Editor: Alex Smith | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Why drying your The Rosetta mission and the role of DLR - Q&A with Ed Trollope clothes indoors is bad for you
By Alex Smith, Science & Tech Editor
ithout trying to make any of you homesick; you must recall a time when a parent (or even grandparent) decided against hanging wet clothes on the washing line (perhaps because of the somewhat stereotypical ‘great’ British weather) and got out the clothes horse instead. It’s cheap, it’s effective, and it was commonplace in the era before washing machines and tumble dryers, and from my experience, it’s still common among students living in halls. However researchers from the renowned Mackintosh School of Architecture have found that far too many households have too much moisture in the air and have called on architects and builders to design specialised drying areas in homes to combat increasing levels of domestic humidity and the adverse health effects that follow. Simply put, a moist and warm home is the perfect environment for bacteria, mould and dust mites to grow. And for people who suffer from asthma, hay fever, or who have breathing difficulties, rooms like these can be an incredibly perilous place to
venture into. In the Glasgow area where the research was carried out, they found that 87% of people dried their washing indoors during bad weather, and that a certain mould spore was present at 25% of households, which has been identified as triggering lung infections. Although Scotland might seem rather far from campus, let me bring your attention to halls with a simple question: How many people do you know who dry their laundry on a clothes horse (or airer)? For those living on the ground floor it isn’t always an option to leave your window open to let the damp air out and instead they have to live with the health risks. One load of washing left to dry adds approximately 2 litres of water content to the air, and in small, confined spaces this leads to heavily humid air and the perfect breeding ground for mould. So next time you decide to save a little and not use the tumble dryers, remember the risk of mould and try to remove as much moist air as possible - even if it means opening the windows for a few hours or splashing-out on a dehumidifier for your room.
Space scientist and software engineer, Ed Trollope, is operations engineer for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Lander, and operates from DLR, Cologne, Germany, which is the lander control base for the mission.
he German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is undertaking the Rosetta Mission which aims to research the origins of the universe by investigating a comet. Ed Trollope is the project manager for the software simulator within the DLR and has been talking to The Stag’s Ruth Smithers.
Ruth: What are the main the aims of the Rosetta mission? Ed Trollope: We want to rendezvous a spacecraft with the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and then land it onto the comet’s surface. Ruth: How is the spacecraft is going to reach the comet? Ed: Rosetta was launched in 2004 from Ariane 5 and there was a subsequent ten-year journey to get to the comet. We have done a series of planetary swing-bys, three of the Earth and one of Mars, each time stealing a little bit of energy of the planet and throwing ourselves into a useful orbit. We are now on our way out to rendezvous with the comet. We are going to do a manoeuvre, called a Delta P manoeuvre, which is a change in velocity to match our speed with that of the comet so that we can go into orbit around it. Ruth: How will the comet help us to learn about the origins of the solar system? Ed: Comets are basically left over rubble from the formation of the solar system. They spend the majority of their life not being comets; they all start off in the region out there near Pluto – either the Oort cloud or the Kuiper belt, depending on the type of comet. Out there it’s extremely cold so you don’t have a lot of chemical reactions going on; there’s not enough energy for them to take place. Comets are also quite small – the one we’re going to, for example,
is only a few kilometres across – so you don’t have the geological processes that would happen on the Earth. There’s no atmosphere, no weathering, none of these sorts of things going on, so the comet is essentially unchanged since the dawn of the solar system. Since becoming a comet, Churyumov-Gerasimenko has subsequently been coming ever closer to the sun. It can only survive a limited number of passes close to the sun before it gets completely vaporised, and so we know it hasn’t been doing this for millions of years; it’s comparatively quite young. Most of its life it has been out there near the Oort cloud and now it’s coming in – we want to take a look at it. Ruth: Have there been any surprises or problems with the mission so far? Ed: One problem we experienced was with the propulsion system on Rosetta; we weren’t able to re-pressurise the fuel tanks. If you can imagine you’re spraying a deodorant can: the force with which you spray your deodorant increases with time. If you were to somehow make your can smaller you would be able to increase the pressure, and you’d get out what you would expect at a higher speed. Obviously we can’t make our fuel tanks smaller but we can re-pressurise them; we tried to do this with the aim of keeping our thrusters at ultimate efficiency. Unfortunately we were not able to do this, so our thrusters are operating below their nominal efficiency, which means every time we do a manoeuvre we use up a little bit more fuel than we would have done had we been able to repressurise the tank. Ruth: How are problems with the spacecraft rectified? Ed: It depends what the
problem is. In the case of the fuel tank, we did some investigations, trying to work out what the problem was. This was not easy as we had a limited amount of data coming from the spacecraft to go on – it’s not like Star Trek where you can commence a diagnostic report and it tells you that there’s a hole! Typically, the only thing we can do is send telecommands. If it’s a software problem we can just upload a replacement piece of software; if it’s a hardware problem then maybe we have a redundant hardware system which we can locate. Of course there’s no way to repair anything that’s broken. Ruth: How far away from earth is Rosetta at the moment? Ed: At the moment it is 4 AU [four times the average distance between the Earth and the Sun] away from Earth. Ruth: What is the next stage in the mission? Ed: Currently, we’re in a mode called hibernation – we’re so far from the sun that even our very large solar panels cannot get enough power, so we keep the spacecraft fully switched off. Rosetta is in a special hibernation mode which is basically designed to just keep it alive – it is not even communicating with the ground. The next phase will be for it to wake up from hibernation and get in touch with us. We will then run a lot of diagnostics and make sure everything is still working correctly – make sure there is no damage resulting from it getting too cold.
Drying your washing on a clothes horse may be cheap and old-fashioned but one load of washing can cause 2 Litres of water to evaporate and increase the humidity of the air. The infamous black mold can be an often oversighted health risk which can lead to headaches, vomiting and even bleeding in the lungs and nose.
Rosetta currently has a completion date of 2015. To find out more information about the DLR and Rosetta visit www.dlr.de
12 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag | Wednesday 14th November 2012
Living with netbooks: are they worth it? Technology
By Ankur Banerjee, Science & Tech Team
ne of the most indispensable items among a student’s belonging these days is the personal laptop. Not everyone can afford to get a ‘good’ laptop though and purchase a Netbook which are much lighter, with screen sizes ranging from 6 to 12 inches, intended primarily for web browsing and word processing; but are they really worth the money? At prices ranging from £200 onwards, it can be hard to resist their siren call if you are on a budget. I found myself in a similar position and over the past three years I have used Netbooks from Lenovo (I christened mine “Froggy”), Asus, and Advent as my primary computing devices. Netbooks typically come with Intel Atom processors. Without getting into too many technical details, this means that they are made from a different technology than Intel ‘Core’ processors found on costlier laptops. Intel Atom processors use much less power so its battery lasts longer than
laptops. Netbooks can often be used for six-to-eight hours without needing to be recharged. This, in addition to their lower weight, comes in handy. I used mine a lot during lectures, confident in the fact that I would not have to recharge through a day of use. I travel a lot too and I liked the fact that I could carry a computer around without having to worry how much it would weigh my backpack down. The trade-off for this advantage, however, is that Intel Atom processors are slower at running software than ‘normal’ laptops. Netbooks can run Windows 7 Professional Edition just fine (although they more commonly come installed with a stripped-down edition called Windows 7 Starter), or if you prefer, a distribution of Linux such as Ubuntu. How much a less-beefy processor affects your work will depend on what you use laptop primarily for. For me, I was quite happy using my Netbook for web browsing, word processing, a
little coding. However, as I started using a full-fledged laptop on my placement year, I found the Netbook to be noticeably slower in running apps. Opening Skype, for instance, took a good two minutes and made all my other applications lock up. Opening too many browser tabs caused the browser to freeze causing more frustration. This was the case regardless of whether I was using Windows or Ubuntu, so it appears that as updated versions of software were released, with higher processing requirements, the worse netbooks fared in their performance. Graphics capabilities are another aspect where netbooks are sorely lacking. To save both cost as well as battery, netbooks typically do not have graphics cards that allow you to play games or edit videos. This is usually okay for most people who do not need to do either tasks, except that sometimes playback HD videos on sites such as YouTube can result in stuttering playback. Surprisingly though,
netbook keyboards can be quite comfortable to type on, once you get adjusted to the smaller size. Many manufacturers offer keyboards in ‘chiclet-style’ – where each key is an isolated from others – which makes it incredibly easy for touch typists as well as slow typists to type without your hands feeling cramped. Whether you should get a netbook or not ultimately boils down to what you use computers for. For most users who browse websites with only a couple of tabs, with a bit of use of office applications now and then, netbooks offer excellent value. If price is not a concern and you simply want a laptop that is light or lasts long, get an ultrabook instead. Think about your usage and if you even occasionally need to do tasks which require multiple applications to be open at the same time or do thing such as photo / video editing, you will be better off paying a hundred pounds extra to buy a cheap laptop.
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Russia’s internet filtering law begins
ussia’s new and controversial internet filtering law goes into effect this week. On the surface, it seems beneficial by supposedly mainly aiming at websites containing child pornography and information on drugs or suicide, but it could lead to nationwide surveillance and blocking of the websites of political rivals thereby threatening free speech. The FCC chairman described this move as “troubling and dangerous”.
Online carpooling helps people with post hurricane routines
The beer or the Mars bar?
By Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Science & Tech Team
ollowing the whirlwind of freshers week and many theme nights at the union, I thought it would be a good opportunity to stop and think. What is alcohol and what is the nutritional consumption when you’re simply having ‘pre-drinks’ with your friends? Many people don’t consider alcohol’s nutritional content, however it’s time to be told the truth; alcohol has
calories! In fact, you will be shocked to hear that a pint of Lager contains 250 kcals, a shot of vodka is 68 kcals and a pint of Cider can be up to 250kcals (equivalent to a Mars bar!) Alcohol has ‘empty calories’; this means that it has no nutritional value. It is also easy to forget the calories consumed at Pizzaman on the way home. When you think about it for example, the take away, 2 pints of beer and 3 single shots of vodka
and mixer add up very quickly; to almost 2000 kcals in one night. This is the equivalent to a woman’s daily recommended intake for the entire day! The government recommends that men and women should not be exceeding 3-4 units and 2-3 units respectively daily. Did you know that for every unit you drink it takes your body up to an hour to metabolise it? So that means your medium glass of wine will take roughly 2-3 hours for your liver to
clear it from your body. Many people suggest that, as they don’t drink to excess on a daily basis this won’t affect their liver. But actually it is more detrimental for your liver if you ‘binge’ drink. It can give rise to conditions such as liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis and cancer if intoxication persists. So next time you think that another pint is harmless, just think of 250 kcals and another 2 hours worth of work for your liver. I leave it to the readers to decide whether it would really be worth it.
fter hurricane Sandy ravaged through New York, people have resorted to posting on Craigslist to help them find transport. As most public transport such as buses and the subway are slowly getting back on track, most people have resorted to using the internet to get on with their daily lives. They just post an advert and split the cost of gas for the journey - with some offering drop offs for free.
Doing maths could perhaps hurt your brain - literally!
Running out of magnets
By Lauren Petrie, Science & Tech Team
f you ask someone to think about uses of magnets in everyday life, most people will struggle. Although, they hold things on your fridge, boy scouts use them in their compasses, and Physics teachers move iron filings around with them, in reality they underpin all modern technology from computers to hoovers, cars to headphones. But supplies are running out. These aren’t the bulky iron type, but ones made from alloys with rare-earth metals like neodymium. Using these alloys we can produce magnets which have a much higher magnetic energy
density than normal, meaning you get a stronger field from a smaller magnet. These elements can be found all over the world in several parts per million in the earth’s crust, but demand exceeds supply, and global reserves are finite. The best place to find them is in China, where there is another rare-earth metal in the rock dysprosium. This element makes the magnets more stable at higher temperatures, which is vital for magnets used in “green” technologies like wind turbines and electric cars. Unfortunately, China now imposes large export tariffs on the elements due to its own internal needs and the costs have increased drastically
between 2009 and 2011, just as demand for technology intensifies. Mines have been reopened in the US, and new mines have opened in Australia to try to meet this demand, but they’re missing the dysprosium, and thus the high temperature stability. The US Department of Energy has invested $22 million into research projects to find alternatives to rare-earth magnets. None of the projects have reached a breakthrough yet, but in the last week researchers at the Ames Laboratory in Iowa, US have announced that they have found a way to effectively recycle the neodymium and dysprosium from the other materials in a magnet, while maintaining the useful properties of the rare-earths. This
will hopefully reduce dependence on expensive Chinese imports, while the search for alternatives continues. The extraction process is still being optimised, but if successful this technique could be used to keep costs down and supply generations into the future.
Neodymium magnets are the most powerful of all known magnets.
group of researchers conducted studies on 14 people who experienced anxiety about doing math and imaged their brain activity. When they were asked to prepare to do a math problem, there was significant activity in the part of the brain which is associated with experiencing pain and responding to threats. Oddly, it is the preparation part before doing the math which had greater effect than actually doing it, such as sharpening the pencil and trying to remember the formulae.
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By Rachel Burgess, Literature Team
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
characters with authentic feelings and reactions to everyday events, but who also have their own stories to tell, and it’s a thrill to uncover. Lou is thrown from her nondescript lifestyle into a new and challenging position, which in turn allows her to become more of the person she always wanted to be. Will transforms from a hostile and unsociable individual, to a man full of compassion and humility. Their differences eventually pull them together with an uplifting tendency. However, what gives this book its winning formula is the author’s ability to portray a sensitive and particularly controversial subject in a refreshing and moving perspective. The matter is dealt with tenderness and empathy while considering both sides of a much debated argument. The ending is unexpected, but written beautifully and delivers a thought-provoking punch; should someone that unhappy with life be allowed to leave it behind?
t first, Jojo Moyes’ debut novel, Me Before You, appears as your average girl meets boy love story, but in reality it’s a sensitive, heart-warming tale, with an interesting twist. The novel focuses on Lou Clark, a young woman whose comfortably consistent life gets usurped when she loses her job, as well as her independence. Desperate to offer her parents some support while she lives under their roof, she finds a new job working with Will Traynor who shows no enthusiasm for her employment or her help. He comes across as angry, frustrated and unsatisfied with life. While Lou makes it her mission to change his attitude, she in turn discovers an adventurous part of herself which she had buried away among long hidden memories. What consequently ensues is a story full of laughter, tears, and poignancy. Moyes successfully portrays realistic
Top novels you must read before you die, as recommended by students
By Samantha Goodburn, Literature Team
I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up of being told that I should’ve read certain canonical novels because they’ve achieved all these ostentatious awards by pompous critics. So The Stag have decided to ask normal, everyday people like you, the students of Surrey, to recommend their own personal favourites that must be read at some point in your life.
1) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier: Becky Richmond recommends this one as it’s ‘an unconventional love story.’ Published in 1938, the novel tells the story of the unnamed narrator as she reminisces about her past, and more importantly, the life and death of her husband’s previous wife. The book is mysterious and gothic; the unknown pulling you in as you desperately want to know the fate of the Previous Mrs de Winter… 2) Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk: Author of Fight Club, Palahnuik’s novel Invisible Monsters is suggested by Sam Curtis, who explains that the novel is ‘about the events surrounding a model who had her jaw shot off whilst driving, leaving her disfigured and incapable of speech.’ The subject matter is questionable; but like Palahnuiks’ other books, the non linear plot means there are many great twists in the story. Sam notes that she’s read the book ‘countless times and still feels shocked and surprised!’ When reading the book, one must expect nihilism, dark humour and beautifully crafted one-liners that really make you think about your perspective on life, and with an ambiguous ending, the reader is left with hundreds of unanswered questions. 3) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald: This canonical novel may appear on those pompous lists I mentioned above, but Lewis Hobday states that it’s his favourite book because ‘it is so articulately written, presenting not only a love story but a depiction of American history and metaphors for the American dream.’ The novel is told by Gatsby’s neighbour, who tells us of Gatsby’s complicated life, and those surrounding him. 4) Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger: This 1951 novel was recommended by Mungo Bain, who simply states that ‘it can make you laugh out loud, make you want to cry AND make you want to meet Holden Caulfield for a pint. What more does a book need?’ I personally don’t think you need any more persuading than that, but if you did want more detail; seventeen-year-old narrator Holden Caulfield, who addresses the reader directly from a hospital in Southern California., retells the story of his mental breakdown and struggle. 5) Up From Slavery – Booker T Washington: Nicholas Allen believes that Washington’s autobiography is definitely worth a read. Following his life as an African-American civil rights campaigner who was actually a slave during his younger life, the book is ‘both inspiring and realistic for his time. He is an undervalued hero.’ Up From Slavery focuses on a fifty year period of Washington’s life, wherein he climbs the social ladder through hard work and establishes a variety of relationships with great people.
Roald Dahl’s collection of books, well worth re-reading when you have the time!
Reminising over childhood books at Guildford Book Festival
By Marilyn Johnston, Literature Team
ecently I volunteered at the Guildford book festival and I had the fortunate opportunity to sit in on one of the children’s events. Andrew Cope was promoting his books; the fantastic Spy Dog series (I am now a proud owner of a signed copy!). He was asking the children what their favourite books were and one replied George’s Marvellous Medicine. This brought me right back to my childhood when Roald Dahl was my own favourite author. When I was younger, like Matilda, I read avidly. I’m sure I am not alone in saying that I marvelled at the chocolate factory with Charlie, was horrified by the witches who turned children into mice and laughed when the vicar of Nibbleswick reminded his
congregation “not to krap all along the front of the church.” In fact, Roald Dahl has been such a resounding influence on my life; he’s created memories (however small) that will remain with me forever. I remember reading about Matilda’s visit to Miss Honey’s bare house and being filled with glee because my mum let me eat bread and butter with them, despite it being almost bedtime. Another fond memory is the day when I thought it was a clever idea to stick gum behind my ear to save for later; just like Violet Beauregarde. Unfortunately, a lot of my hair had to be chopped off and I was left with a shameful ‘boy haircut’ for weeks. And to this day I can still chant off by heart: “Boggis and Bunce and Bean, One fat, one short one lean, These horrible crooks,
So different in looks, But nonetheless equally mean! “ I could ramble on forever about how Roald Dahl’s legacy had such an impact on my childhood, but I just don’t have enough words. At the event Andrew Cope asked the children what the most important thing about reading was. After some very creative and intelligent answers, still no one had guessed. The audience, including myself waited on tenterhooks to discover the true answer. Cope then revealed that the most important thing about reading is to have fun. Of course, being swamped in an endless list of tedious books to read for our studies, we forget that reading is supposed to be enjoyable. Next time I go home I’m going to dust off my Roald Dahl collection and remind myself of just that.
© Wee Sen Goh / Flickr
Lit Editor: Emily Smart | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
HALLOWEEN COMPETITION: WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
Thank you to everyone who entered! Paul wished to inform you that he “very much enjoyed reading all the entries – thanks to all who contributed for some thrilling and even downright disturbing reading!” We had so many impressive and accomplished entries, which made it very hard to pick a winner. The two runners up were Annika Gonnerman, 2nd year English Literature and Emily Rossiter, 2nd year Accounting & Finance! Paul Vlitos’ feedback will be emailed to you shortly. However, for the second year running Danielle Coombs has won, this year with her entry The Rough Patch. A big well done to Danielle and I hope you enjoy spending you £15 Waterstone’s voucher! Here is Danielle’s piece for you to read:
wound on my arm, and I don’t remember where it came from. I’ve been camping before. Amira hated it. We argued all weekend. Our arguments seem pointless now. I keep thinking I’ll get her back. It’s all going to be fine. I’m so hungry I’d forgive her anything. If she’ll only let me in before the zombies break through, I can have her all to myself.
Annika Gonnermann is wondering what classical fairy tales really try to tell us
Amira kicked me out at the start of the zombie invasion. I know we’ve had our problems, but I didn’t see it coming. I’ve been living in the back garden for a couple of nights. I can see the zombies through the slats in the fence, face after face of waxy skin and mouths that hang open. Edvard Munch faces. They grope at the wood with yellowing hands, but we used a good contractor last summer and they haven’t got in yet. I’ve begged her to open the patio door. I’ve pressed my face against the glass, mouth wide, but I can’t find the right words.
We have triple glazing and I must sound like I’m moaning. But I’ve see her in the kitchen, crying and making meals out of crackers and the last few packets of instant custard, so I know she has to come out sooner or later. In the meantime I’ve been hunting the frogs that live in our fishpond. They’re so quick and slippery I haven’t had much luck, but I keep trying. At least it’s summer and the dry weather means staying outside isn’t as bad as it could be. At first the heat made the zombies smell ten times as rancid, but I’m getting used to it. It’s the isolation that’s the problem. I’m thinking strangely. There’s a bloody double-crescent
Congratulations to Danielle! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for future competitions!
What are these stories trying to tell you?
Pen Soc Event- Bones Will Crow
Pen Soc - “allow yourself to learn that free speech is not a liberty available to all, on the contrary, it must be fought for. “ By Annie Driscoll, Literature Team ust recently, as part of the Guildford Book Festival, Surrey Pen Soc was able to throw an event in celebration of revolutionary text; Bones Will Crow, the first anthology of Burmese poetry to be published in the Western world. The collection is hugely significant in light of the political situation in Burma, and is hopefully an optimistic symbol of change. Burma has often been listed as one of the worst human rights situations in the world, and with a police state typically comes a high level of censorship and extreme prevention of free speech. Even now, amongst blossomings of progress and change within the country (several political prisoners being released in the last few years), there still runs a huge danger to anyone that seeks to question or criticise the political regime; an estimated 600-1000 political prisoners remain captive. Being a more subjective and metaphorical form, poetry is significant as an easier way for writers to touch upon forbidden subjects. That being said, Bones Will Crow extraordinarily even contains works from writers that have been imprisoned for their words. During the PEN event, representatives Deputy Director of English PEN, Heather Norman Söderlind, and Guildford Bookfest’s Patricia Grayburn, stood alongside our very own Churnjeet Mahn and several members of the student PEN committee to speak about PEN and to illuminate issues of censorship within Burma. Several students from Guildford School of Acting also attended to perform a selection of works from the anthology. If you haven’t attended a PEN event already, let the prospect of discovering more about the world we live in tempt you; allow yourself to learn that free speech is not a liberty available to all, on the contrary, it must be fought for.
alloween was the most recent opportunity to see them in all their glory; princesses, fairies and other fairy tale figures we know and love. Many jump at the chance to dress up as Little Red Riding Hood, even if they are past their teenage years. It seems there is some sort of deep impact these “innocent” stories have on us – even if the last time you heard them was when your mother was putting you to bed. However, even though these stories are so familiar, a much more complex world is hiding among the pink dresses and disguised by ever-lasting love. I’m sure everyone knows the French tale of Beauty and the Beast; beautiful young girl falls in love with a hideous beast because she is able to overlook his ugly exterior and see the good within. What sounds like a lovely story in its message not to judge a book by its
cover, is in fact a sad story about a girl falling for the Stockholm syndrome (you know the one that explains why a hostage falls in love with his or her kidnapper.) Another example is Cinderella. The poor orphan who sneaks away to the ball to meet the man she wants to marry. The only problem is that she has a lot of work to do. Luckily a good fairy comes her way to help. The message conveyed is simple; do not write your essays but go to Rubix and party till dawn. Sleeping beauty; Marry the first guy you meet. Arielle; A little deal with evil is fine as long as it turns out well. And so it seems Fairy tales are a charming way to take on board life’s lessons to interpret life, but maybe they should not be taken too literally or else we all could be left with useless pumpkins at midnight!
The Stag’s own twitter fiction
Starting from this issue, a member of The Stag team will write a 140 character line to a story which will be continued throughout the year. We start of with an intriguing line from Marilyn Johnston, Literature Team. Look out for the next line of the story by Ellis Taylor in the next issue.
Running is not fun. Especially when you’re running away from something, or someone. I had no idea where to go, how was I going to escape?...
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Could a forgotten manuscript be your ticket to wealth?
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team
Children’s spelling hits all-time low
By Emily Smart, Literature Editor
ejection, criticism, disregard; common outcomes for the naive writer seeking publication, to result in disappointment, dejection and through self-destruction. There are those writers who show that a successful title can earn millions. J.K. Rowling’s earnings equated to £5 a second and last year Patterson’s thrillers earned a healthy $84 million, yet it is a common acknowledgment that only a minuscule number of submitted manuscripts actually make it to the bookshelves. Unfortunately, this discourages many talented writers in pursuing a writing career; however there may be some hope for those hoping to turn words to pound signs, thanks to the e-book. At the Kindle UK store there are around 650,000 titles for sale, with another one million free titles available to wide audiences using the Kindle, PC, Mac, iPhone and many Android devices. With adherence to simple e-book characteristics, publication can soon be embraced. It’s wise to adopt a crime, thriller, fantastical or romantic genre, with
a captivating description to attract readers in just 4000 characters. Yet no matter how thrilling or entertaining a book is, there are still processes required to increase profits, but the e-book makes these much more accessible than those within a competitive paperback world . Amazon offers two royalties; 70% of the cover price if the book sells between £1.49 and £6.99, and 35% for titles priced at 75p. Therefore, it’s advisable to price titles as low as possible, often below a £1. Once on sale, promotion is key. But this doesn’t mean hiring marketing consultants or purchasing expensive advertisements. Social networking sites and blogging enable easy selfpromotion, while specific magazines or websites are often looking to spot new releases, promising excitement and thrill. There are now an estimated 700,000 authors e-publishing worldwide. For many budding writers this means a greater optimism in unfinished manuscripts as the e-book offers a simpler way to writing success, without the daunting prospect of bookshelf rejection.
xford University Press (OUP) has recently engaged in research to discover new ways to help children spell correctly. The research followed the introduction of new spelling tests, conducted by the Government, which found that surprisingly many children aged seven to thirteen were unable to spell common words such as “until” and “differently.” Whereas, in an analysis of more than 33 million words written by students of the same age group, unusual words like “denarius,” (a Roman silver coin) and “cerulean”, (a term for a wide range of colours), were spelt correctly nearly every time. Although the latter is highly impressive, one might question whether a generation, brought up
in a society abundant in technological, need to learn how to spell when they have spell checker at a click of a computer mouse. However, as always, technology has to fail in some way. It has been revealed by the OUP that “children still need spelling support in spite of spell checkers” as IT equipment is unable to pick up on slight mistakes such as “their/there/they’re”. Pleasingly, children still desire to learn to spell in order to enhance their writing. This is extremely promising and many also have an interest in reading, which will enable them to improve spelling further. Meanwhile, authors such as Tolkien and Rowling have brought an exciting change to literature which will hopefully motivate those destined to write and produce the next literate generation.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis
By Alice Lincoln, Literature Team
C.S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters
.S.Lewis, though best known for his children’s books (especially The Chronicles of Narnia), was also an ardent Christian. This is seen in the character of Aslan throughout the Narnia Chronicles, particularly when Aslan dies on the stone table and is resurrected; his cry of “Ever on, ever up!” also supports the reading of Aslan as a Jesus-like figure. C.S.Lewis also wrote adult books in which his Christianity is far more apparent; for instance, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ. However, a short story of his (of which I would recommend to adults), Christian or not, is The Screwtape Letters. This book is available free online and is written as a series of missives sent by a senior devil to a junior one, detailing how he should aid a corrupt human. Though it is strongly Christian, its humour is spot on. If anyone reading this article cannot picture the M25 as having been created by the devil, what are you doing at university?!? It’s a great read – short, and well worth the time.
By Tessa Heenan, Literature Team
o, it’s not a pokemon; it’s National Novel Writing Month! It is often thought that everyone has a novel inside them and now is the time to let your inner-author free. Nanowrimo is a month long writing project, encouraging participants into ‘literary abandon’ over the 30 days of November. The aim is to write 50,000 words (a 175 page novel) before December begins. Even if you’re a bit late to start, it doesn’t matter, you can still submit your novel at the end of the month. Last year over 200,000 people
rose to the challenge and just over 36,000 beat the 50k target; earning official verification of their novel and a beautiful winner’s certificate. Participants can sign up online at nanowrimo.org and receive benefits including word count scoreboards and pep talks from authors such as Nick Hornby. Alternatively, you can take part unofficially or race your friends. There are no rules regarding content, although repeating the same word over and over is obviously prohibited. So if you’re lacking in facial hair for Movember, why not try your hand at writing instead? Go forth, reader! Write your magnum-opus.
Video Game Soc 6 - 9pm in The Living Room
www.facebook.com/surreyunion www.ussu.co.uk twitter.com/surrey_union
These are fundraising events for the University of Surrey Students’ Union
Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
WE WILL BE SERVING FROM MONDAY 3RD DECEMBER UNTIL THE 20TH OF DECEMBER
Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm
Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson
in The Living Room
Leicester v Nottingham 12.45pm Aston Villa v Man Utd 5.30pm
with a served , stuffing, turkey acon Roast ed in b tion of vy. p a selec e wrap gra sausag otatoes and pped with gs nd to ast p a puddin ro tables stmas al vege nd Chri season an option a n request. ri le o Vegeta availab
act the d cont table an book a please 483 683254 .ac.uk more, surrey 01 ople or anager on ward@ 10 pe M or s.ste rties of Chancellors .ac.uk For pa surrey alez@ a-gonz l h.mez or emai
Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm Video Game Soc 6 - 9pm FIFA 13 Tournament (6pm, The Living Room, £3 entry)
Trip to Oxford
Live Premiership Football Man. City v Tottenham 1.30pm Chelsea v Liverpool 4.00pm Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
Make sure you Make it a pick up yours! Chancellors Christmas
Disney / Cartoon Characters
Welfare Walk-in Chancellors
Every last Wednesday of every month at 3.30pm - 5.00pm
& Cartoon Characters
in The Living Room
Arsenal v Tottenham 12.45PM Norwich v Man Utd 5.30PM Millwall v Leeds 1.15pm Fulham v Sunderland 4.00pm Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
Channies Xmas 6 Sheet 2012.indd 1
with Legendary Fabric DJ Eddie Richards
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10/18/2012 4:36:11 PM
in The Living Room
Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm Video Game Soc 6 - 9pm in The Living Room
in The Living Room in Chancellors
Video Game Soc 6 - 9pm in The Living Room Bizsoc Pub Quiz Firs Room 8pm Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm
Live Premiership Football Swansea v Liverpool 12.45pm Aston Villa v Arsenal 5.30pm
in The Living Room
Live Premiership Football Sunderland v West Brom 1.30pm Chelsea v Man. City 4.00pm Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
in The Living Room
Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm
in The Living Room
RNB Night in The Living Room
West Ham v Chelsea 12.45pm
Sunderland v Norwich 3.30PM
Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
The best The larg brands. es The chea t choice. pest pr ices.
Video Game Soc 6 - 9pm in The Living Room Christian Union Carols at Rubix 8pm FREE
Wolves v Birmingham 7.30PM
Market Day in the Union 10am till 5pm Video Game Soc
in The in The Living Room Living Room
Trip to Winchester
‘Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Xmas Party’
Live Premiership Football Man City v Man Utd 1.30pm West Ham v Liverpool 3.00pm Poker Tournament in Chancellors - 7pm
6 - 9pm in The Living Room www.thestagsurrey.co.uk
in The Living Room
Slumber Party University Hall 7pm
Newcastle v Man City 12.30pm Barnsley v She . Wednesday 5.15pm
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m Ratzer Education
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10/30/2012 5:28:11 PM
Chaplaincy at Surrey is here to…
Inter Faith W FAITH @ SURR
Sometime in the 1960s it was assumed that religion would inevitably disappear as society got more sophisticated with advances in technology. Religious faith would be consigned to the ancient world order of superstition and fable. People would come to see secularism as a grown up way to understand the world and human beings.
is is the entire Law;
• enable students to live out and practice their faith on campus • foster dialogue between those of diverse faiths and no faith and those of different values and lifestyle • be part of enriching the student experience at Surrey • play a part in building a rich, diverse and respectful community at Surrey • meet pastoral needs of those who inhabit the University campus both students and staff, academic and support.
a o d
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id
f But it hasn’t gone that way. Religious faith, w s and more generally spirituality, continues w to play a part in the lives of men and women c and communities across the world. It seems o
that Western Europe is the exception in its secularity, and not the pioneer as was once assumed (in the West). People of faith are not a problem to be managed, but are imaginative, generous and robust in seeking the Common Good of society. And that is true of universities
I’m Dániel from Hungary, doing my rst year of sociology here at the University of Surrey. My tradition is very important to me, because the environment I grew up in formed me in to who I am, and It always ensured me that there is a place where I can reach to, where I belong. I’m restarting the Jewish Society here at the Uni. If you are interested in any ways feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org My name is Obu Anaduaka and I am a post grad Enigneering student. Faith is very important to me because it is focused on believing in God. It is present in every part of my daily life; from my inter-personal relationships to private re ection and development. Faith has developed the way I view and interact with my environment. It has shown me the importance of helping the poor, feeding the hungry and assisting the less privileged. My faith made me who I am and I do not think that I will be who I am without it.
o t W
‘Jes u of t s Ch ris he rstb invis t is th Co orn ible e im loss of a Go age d ian l s 1. l crea , the tion 15’ My name is Hannah and I am a rst year Physics ’ student. Since starting university I have joined the Swimming & Waterpolo club and have become a member of SIFE. I am a Christian and my faith is important to me because it is something I can always rely on. ings may not turn out the way I want them to but my faith means that I am supported through any challenges that I may face and I can take comfort from the fact that I believe things will turn out for good.
The University of Surrey is a secular institution, a in that it privileges no system of belief over any other. L The University does though acknowledge the presence t o
t too. Faith is not left behind when students o arrive on campus, whether international or home students. And so at Surrey there is a a E vibrant ‘faith scene’. You can encounter this i through the various faith societies affiliated a to the Student Union.
Chaplains at Surrey
Some Chaplains are full time, some are part time, and they come as a ‘gift’ from their faith communities to the University. They are not paid by the University but are part of it. They are available to everyone and seek to serve all confidentially and discreetly. Chaplains at Surrey are here to… • be representative practitioners who, true to their own faith or spirituality, engage openly and honestly with those of all faiths and none; • act as advocates for the place of faith within the University; • give faith specific advice to the University staff and students; • nourish those of their own faith, encourage those of others faiths and spiritualities and inform those of no faith;
Hurt not others in ways th at yourself w you ould nd hurtful. Udana-Va rga 5,1
ich good wh alone is e at natur doing another om fr r itself. refrains r is not good fo ve whatsoe -dinik, 94,5 n-I Dadiste Hello, I’m Sidath Madhuwantha and I’m a second year , s Electronic Enigneering. Prof Geo Hunt has helped me in ways as the Buddhist Chaplain for the university. I rst tal him last November 2011. is was because when I rst ca versity I felt let alone. And I couldn’t integrate well with th and culture. Originally I’m from Sri Lanka and my culture di erent from that in the UK. Normally in my country stu of my age do not drink alcohol and do not go out much at was surprised to see that people do this quite o en here. N among my class mates but also among my house mates I f same way, alone. As I felt le alone I thought that I need s ance, someone who has a vision, someone kind and some understand me. A er my rst meeting with Geo I felt like huge b taken o from my shoulders. Finally I have someone to ta than my family overseas, which of course I cannot do in th because they’ll worry about me too much! He also invited come to the Buddhist sessions on campus. is was a grea nity not only being a member did allow me to meet and m friends but also I would be able to practice meditation wh
Week 2012 REY
ntil er u t v a elie a b ther th f. u is ro el f yo his b hims o for for one No esires esires d he d ch he and contribution of people of faith through its policies whi ah n on equality and diversity, the freedom to wear religious Sun
dress and the practice of faith on campus, so long as that
People of faith have much to give and plenty to learn within a University. The role of chaplains also
does not constrict the wellbeing of others.
Surrey Faith Week
Surrey Faith Week events
This is drawn from the work of Inter-Faith Week (interfaithweek.org). And it seems a good opportunity to think about faith at Surrey.
supports this. Coming from different faith communities we are true to our own faith and at the same time are committed to engage openly and honestly with people of other faiths and none. We are also advocates for the place of faith within the University and for adequate provision to be made for students to live out their faith commitment. We can give faith specific advice to the University, staff
Faith Fair – Lecture Theatre Concourse, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st November Faith Themed Décor – Chaplaincy, Wey Flat, Surrey Court. Drop in and see the chaplaincy decked out in the style of a different faith community, refreshments available on certain days.
In a nutshell chaplains nourish those of their own faith, encourage those of others faiths and inform those of no faith.
Religion is never a neutral thing. Bigotry exists among religious people, but is not restricted to them. Equally dialogue is not served by phony consensus, so it’s important to disagree respectfully and well when that is appropriate. Where is faith found on this campus? Well, it’s all around you in people you meet, live with and learn with. Let’s celebrate the place of faith on campus, not to be treated with kid gloves, but so that we all – people of faith or not – can engage robustly and respectfully.
What is h ate your fello ful to you, do not d wman. o to is is the en Law; all th tire er Talmud, S est is commentary. habbat 3id
You can find the Chaplaincy on Campus, by Surrey Court Wey Flat.
SHHHH....want to hear a secret?
Places of worship on Campus:
The Quiet Centre (so Quiet, no one has heard of it!): go through Cathedral Court past the reception and follow the path, accessible by your University card. It can be booked by groups and used by individuals. Contact the Chaplaincy Administrator email@example.com for information and to book. The Islamic Prayer Rooms: at the bottom of Thomas Telford (AA) building for Muslim Brothers and Sisters. Contact the Islamic Society who can arrange access for daily prayers. Wider Guildford & Surrey Information is available through the Chaplaincy firstname.lastname@example.org
studying n many lked to ame to unihe society e is quite udents t night. I Not only felt the some guideone would
burden was alk to other his case d me to at opportumake new hich I’ve
always loved and done since I was in rst grade at school! On the following Saturday I made my rst visit to the Quiet Center. e atmosphere was fantastic. What I liked most about it was that it’s the most peaceful place at university where people can go to relax, enjoy a cup of tea, and make new friends and to take away few thoughts on how to improve your life. When I was doing my rst year I emailed him quite o en just to have that someone listen to what I have to say was a great relief and very helpful in a complete foreign environment. At the time I was preparing for my exams I was alone in my room revising and reading lecture notes when most of my friends had le to spend time with their families since it was a month holiday before the nal exams. I couldn’t pull myself together enough to concentrate on my studies. I emailed Geo quite regularly to seek advice and to discuss some of the problems that I had. His replies to my emails kept me focused and made me believe in myself for whatever tomorrow might bring. As a result I did really well in my exams and I got 73.1% and a university performance scholarship. I believe with all my heart that most of this credit should go to Prof Geo Hunt and the Buddhist group.
Coffee still JUST £1 (excluding shots and syrups) NEW Festive drinks will be served from 2nd November
2012 WEEK NOV TH 5TH-11 LL EX BA FER S A AY - S SALE MOND BAKE UBIX LLY AY - R E’S WA TUESD - WHER L ESDAY BAR CRAW WEDN HT NIG RACE DAY ELF THURS YOURS - RAG RIDAY OST F -L ES ARITI NDAY TED CH SU SUPPOR .uk
G’S .co D TO RA g www.ussu ra DONATE /surrey OCEEDS k.com ALL PR aceboo www.f
RAG Week Poster 2012.indd 1 10/23/2012
05/11 to 11/11
FREE bottle of fizz FREE entry and queue jump for the birthday person and 10 friends before 11pm FREE bottle of fizz FREE entry and queue jump for the birthday person and 5 friends before 11pm
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Thousands of gags. 4 Comedians. 1 Venue.
Crafternoon Park Barn Day Centre 1pm
Sexual Health Awareness Day in Rubix
Songs for a new World Musical Theatre Society
Trip to Wicked the Musical
12/11 to 18/11
MIXED UP MOND AYS
SELECTED DRINK OFFERS INCLUDING
In Roots, with No Wave
Vengaboys Ruibix 1-3pm
Trip to Hogs Back Brewe
19/11 to 25/11
Live Premiership Football West Ham v Stoke 8.00pm
26th, 27th and 28th of November
26/11 to 02/12
MIXED UP MOND AYS
SELECTED DRINK OFFERS INCLUDING
£1.50 night with Captain Morgan Photographic Workshop
7th Nov Do>More Crafternoon Park Barn Day Centre, 1-4pm 28th November Do>More Make a Christmas Card for a Sick Child Rubix, 12-3pm 5th December Do>More Christmas Shoebox Appeal Rubix, 12-3pm
03/12 to 09/12
Live Premiership Football Newcastle v Wigan 8.00pm
featuring Thousands of gags. 4 Comedians. 1 Venue.
Mason Noise & Simon J
10/12 to 16/12
Live Premiership Football Fulham v Newcastle 7.00pm
Events Planner 6 weeks Nov 2012.indd 1
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Sam VP E
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Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
The Stag interviews up and coming band Lawson
By Rachel Thomason, News Editor
uildford’s ACM welcomed back two of their alumni on 18th October who just happened to also be two quarters of popular new boy band, Lawson. Reaching number 3 with their song ‘Taking Over Me’ in the Official Top 40, Andy, Adam, Ryan and Joel returned to the college to do a Q&A session and The Stag and GU2 radio were lucky enough to sit in. The Stag: Take us through the history of the band, how did you come together? Adam: It started about 4 years ago. I was at a music college similar to this down in Brighton. After I finished my course there, I saw Andy’s music myspace page online, back when myspace was still alive, and sent him a message saying “I’d love to drum with you one day, do you want to start up a band?” He got back to me about 2 months later and said yeah let’s do it…. We had a drink and started the band. Andy: I got Ryan involved, who went to ACM. We had a few mutual friends and Joel came along. Lawson was formed! You guys go back a long way though don’t you? Joel: We knew each other [Ryan] before we came here and we didn’t know we were both coming. […] We used to get together in a different band and then you asked me to join Lawson, and here we are. TS: Out of the band, who does the song writing? What’s your secret? Adam: It’s Mr Andy Brown… [applause ensues] Andy: I’ve never had a round of applause like that before! [He smiles] Um… heartbreak? Getting dumped. The only time I can write songs is when I’ve been dumped! Adam: Yeah, he’s been dumped a lot… Andy: I’ve always written from a young age, I’ve always just picked up a guitar and tried to write a song. […] I’m all about melodies so I’ll maybe start on a piano or an acoustic guitar.
Members of The Stag and GU2 meet the gorgeous Lawson TS: There’s an interesting story about how you got your name, could you take us through that? Andy: We called ourselves Lawson because when I was 19, back before we’d started the band, I had quite a big operation to remove a brain tumour and the guy who did the operation, who saved my life basically, was called Dr Lawson. So we named the band in his honour. […] We wanted a name that meant something to us all. TS: What influences the band? Which artists do you draw upon? Joel: We all like the same sort of music, we’re all big John Mayer fans… Coldplay, Kings of Leon, the Script. Andy: Just real bands who play real music. TS: You guys must get up to pranks. Can you tell us about a funny story or something along those lines? Andy: When we were recording in London, next door there was this really haunted house and for some reason the label put us there… Ryan: There was a bad vibe, a very bad vibe. Andy: It was honestly like Paranormal Activity, I don’t like really believe in ghosts but there was definitely a presence in there. We fell asleep and I woke up about 4:00 in the morning, from a nightmare actually. I just looked around and the whole room was trashed. Literally, there were chairs on the floor and there was a spare mattress, which had been on the floor, against the wall. Adam: You even said to me: “it’s not Ryan and Joel, I would have woken up! It can’t be them.” Ryan: Basically we reduced them to tears! TS: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you collaborate with? Andy: If we could do some stuff with Jessie J that would be nice wouldn’t it? Adam: Yeah, we’d definitely like a female singer. Joel: We love Lady Antebellum, that’s such a good sound. We’d like to have someone to compliment your lovely pipes [to Andy]. Andy: A proper rock chick, we were going to do a song with Amelia Lily for this first album. She’s got a really cool, rocky sort of voice. […] Katy Perry, that would be a great one… Adam: Anyone who’s a girl… And quite fit. Only joking… [Pause] But seriously. TS: Have you discovered any super fans or fans that have done some weird things? Andy: All our fans are awesome. Ryan: Someone the other week asked me if they could have a hair… to eat, which was quite strange. Adam: But most of our fans have been there from the start. They want to see you do well. Andy: We have had some weird ones though. We had a scary one in Plymouth who was sending other fans death threats, saying “If you meet Lawson before I do, I will smash your face in.” Those were the exact words. Ryan: People contacted us saying, we want to come to the gig but we don’t want to die so…
Lawson’s album ‘Chapman Square’ is out now and they are currently completing their headline tour.
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
REVIEW: Ellie Goulding - ‘Halycon’
By Becky Worley, Music Editor
llie Goulding’s follow up album entitled ‘Halycon’ comes after the critical and commercial success of ‘Lights’ in 2010. After listening to ‘Halycon’ all the way through, it became apparent that Ellie hasn’t seemed to have lost what made her essentially different from other female artists in the charts. The album has an extremely atmospheric feel running throughout, with haunting, echoing lyrics and synthetic sounds mixed with crashing guitar and sometimes gentle piano notes. With every song, as a listener, you get a strong feeling of a specific emotion: sadness, anger, desperation or strength as this really is a breakup album and a half. I can’t help but wonder what her music would sound like without the macabre circumstances, as this is what seems to set it apart. Her song ‘Anything Could Happen’ was the first single released off of this album and hit number 11 in the charts, not her biggest success. However, I do love this song, it really grows on you and then after a while you find you can’t stop singing it. It is very typically Ellie, with slightly pop/ dance elements but slightly quirky, but I don’t feel
it makes the most of her voice. A song of the album which truly showcases her vocals is the song ‘Joy’, which is ironic as the song really is quite sad, and her voice takes centre stage and is truly stunning, sometimes trembling with emotion. At the very end of the album there is a bonus track
with Calvin Harris which is in a completely different vein, as his upbeat, dance style has infiltrated Ellie’s more melodic music to create a very catchy dance song, which stands apart from the others. I would also recommend ‘Hanging On’ which features Tinie Tempah.
Why I love...
By Faye Waterfield, Music Team
hen asked to do an article about my favourite artist, there really was no competition. Lady Gaga has become quite an icon over recent years and, in my opinion, it is seriously well-deserved. With all of the controversy that seems to surround her (let us remember the incessant hermaphrodite rumours) it is easy to forget just how talented
quite a stir. She defended her dress vehemently however, and on the Ellen Degeneres show argued that ‘if we don’t stand up for what we believe in, if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And I am not a piece of meat!’ Lady Gaga has also fought back after receiving harsh comments about her recent weight gain,
“Not only does Gaga have an incredible singing voice, but she writes her own music and can play a whole heap of different instruments”
this woman is. Not only does Gaga have an incredible singing voice, but she writes her own music and can play a whole heap of different instruments, including the piano and her beloved keytar. She also puts on one hell of a show, which I was lucky enough to see, covered in glitter, in both 2010 and 2012. But it’s not just Gaga’s music that I am drawn to, it’s everything in between that makes her so special. Love it or hate it, her sense of style is certainly unique, and I am always amazed at her ability to look downright sexy in anything she decides to wear. We all saw her in the notorious ‘meat dress’ at the MTV video music awards, which unsurprisingly caused telling fans she is ‘proud at any size.’ She has created a web page called Body Revolution in response to the comments, which features pictures of the artist in her underwear, urging others to ‘be brave and post a photo that celebrates your triumph over insecurities.’ Her aim was simply to ‘inspire bravery’ and there is no doubt in my mind that she has. Gaga’s determination to use her fame in a positive and constructive way is really quite refreshing. I love her inspirational music, her unique style and her sex appeal. Stay tuned for Gaga’s new album Pop Art which will be released sometime next year. I can safely say you won’t be disappointed!
Slash! Mapping the career of a musical legend
By Craig Martin, Music Team
lmost 16 years today since Slash officially left Guns ‘N’ Roses and it appears that the guitarist has never looked back. Having already founded supergroup Velvet Revolver, he has now put together a new cohort of musical talent to continue his legacy. His self-titled album ‘Slash’, released in 2010, featuring a number of guest singers was followed up by ‘Apocalyptic Love’ earlier this year. Having featured on two tracks on the first album, Alter Bridge frontman, Myles Kennedy, was recruited full time
on lead vocals for ‘Apocalyptic Love’ and the subsequent world tour. This tour descended on the O2 Academy in Brixton for a two night stay in mid-October and I was one of the lucky few to catch one of the shows. Having monitored the set-lists from previous shows it seemed nearly impossible to predict the ever changing opening song. After a tantalising wait the band’s casual walk on stage was accompanied by the catchy opening riff from ‘Ghost’, the opening track on his first solo record, and was greeted by thousands of crazed fans bouncing roughly in time.
After a couple of new tracks the first Guns ‘N’ Roses number, ‘Nightrain’ was dropped into the mix, which Myles Kennedy expertly made his own, as with all of the cover tracks. Riff after riff was shredded out before the inevitable yet still incredible improvised guitar solo from the main man followed new classic ‘Anastasia’ in which Slash and Kennedy fought for the limelight. There was just time to squeeze in arguably the two most notable tunes from Slash’s back catalogue, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Slither’ before the band retreated backstage. However, as is usual practice, they re-emerged a couple of minutes later joined by Myles Kennedy’s Alter Bridge companion, Mark Tremonti, whose new selfnamed band had played a support set earlier in the night, to jam their biggest hit ‘Rise Today’ which was very well received by the lagging crowd. Despite the tired legs, everyone managed to conjure up the energy to receive the final two G’N’R hits, classics ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Paradise City’ to round off a truly awesome night of music mapping the career of a music legend!
Lady Gaga vamps up another stage performance
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
The Mercury Prize: an insiders insight
MERCURY PRIZE SPECIAL
“Alt-J’s ‘An Awesome Wave’ combines unexpected shards of sound with mesmerising rhythms, compelling melodies and intriguing songs. A tantalising and delightful album” Simon Frith, Chair of Judges.
Who cares about the Mercury Prize?
By Elliot Tyers, Music Team
Alt- J go cray cray after winning the Mercury Prize 2012 By Denise Bennett, Music Team levels, performance areas to right and left downstairs and a long stage balconied above, enabling slick continuity as 12 nominees perform sequentially. Plan B, nominated for ‘Ill Manors’, the soundtrack to his gritty social commentary film, opens upstairs with a blistering performance. This is rap to inspire: street, political and aggressive, he pogos into his bandmates snarling “Oi, what you looking at?”. The Maccabees perform their melodic indie rock professionally. Richard Hawley, guitarist from Pulp, plays heavy rock from his nominated side-project album. Like many guitarists who seek independence, the result is tight but dull. None of these established artists are expected to win. The nominated albums are mostly debuts, and this prize is usually awarded to the up-and-coming rather than the already-arrived. The winner of this prestigious award will see an increase in album sales and potentially a huge boost to their career. Previous winners for their first albums such as The Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal, have gone on to have stellar success. Not all nominees are ready, however; for The Klaxons their win was too early. They were unable to perform reliably well live and they imploded soon after winning the award. Singer song-writer nominees include Ben Howard, Lianne La Havas - her rich honey-dipped soulful voice accompanied by grand piano - and Jessie Ware, who is unfortunately drowned out by her amp-ed up drummer. Sam Lee is the most original, tapping into the folksy resurgence, his storytelling piece inspired by travellers tales handed down the generations, and backed by fiddlers, cello, a domed percussive, and the weird stringed mouth held instrument, the jew’s harp The fact that the winners Alt-J are named from the Mac keyboard key says much about them. Sharp suited graduates from Leeds University, they are an arthouse soulful indie guitar band. Joe Newman’s beautiful vocals soar effortlessly over the melodic complex guitar and synth lines. They accept the award saying “It’s just us who were all at uni together….. we had that chemistry when we first started off in our rooms”. An inspiration to you uni musicians perhaps?
was lucky to be invited to the Mercury Prize Awards ceremony, now in its 20th year, which was originally established as an alternative to the monolithic Brit Awards. The best album of the year is announced from a nominated list of twelve, which are chosen by music industry representatives. The winner tonight is Alt-J, for debut album, ‘An Awesome Wave’. The Mercury Prize can be seen as refreshing or as unrepresentative/irrelevant, depending on your point of view. Nominees are musicians, i.e people who get on stage, play their instruments and sing. They are not representative of computer programme generated electronic, or image-is-all packaged pop princesses/boy bands. At the iconic Camden Roundhouse, the circular floor area seats the great, good and hopeful of the music industry. Lauren Laverne hosts in bossy head-girl style. Disappointingly, there are no drunken bad-boy incidents or controversial mud-slinging pronouncements. The stage is arranged on two
o, recently it was announced that Alt-J with their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ won the 2012 edition of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. I’m sure that we can agree that this event will go down in history, that scholars in centuries will reflect on this as one of the great moments in musical history, alongside Beethoven’s first performance of his Ninth Symphony, alongside The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Or maybe, in 12 months we’ll have forgotten all about this. This shouldn’t be seen as a critique of Alt-J, aside from a stupid name they’re a perfectly decent band, with a perfectly decent sound that’s just like plenty of other perfectly decent jangly, indie-pop bands that have popped up across the past few years. What I’m saying is that they simply did not make the best album of the last twelve months. However, they were odds-on favourite from the moment the shortlist was announced, and why was this? Because they tick the boxes of being arty and cool, and vaguely familiar for one of their songs that you might have heard but you’re not sure. But they’ll never set the world on fire. And never deserve, in my opinion, to win such an award. It appears that the Mercury Prize doesn’t know what it’s for, and due to this lack of direction ends up picking a choice that nobody cares about. Should it be about supporting unknown music, in which case surely the excellent Jazz outfit Roller Trio would’ve won? Is it about the “best” album of the year, as debateable as that is, in which case maybe The Macabbees ‘Given To The Wild’ stands out as a mature and well-rounded album, or Richard Hawley’s retro ‘Standing at the Sky’s Edge’? And that’s only looking at those lucky few to make the short-list, never
mind countless British albums that didn’t get the nod. Once upon a time the Mercury stood as an actually respected institution with as varied winners as Badly Drawn Boy (2000) or Ms. Dynamite (2002) and championing the rise of British Indie Rock with the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ (2006). However, as the years went on the musical variety went from embracing a whole variety of British music in all its beauty to essentially being a homogenous pile of guitar driven bands with little originality, with the odd “out there” artist thrown in to appease critical audiences (see Burial in 2008 or Ghostpoet in 2011). The Mercury also stood up as an institution not afraid to make controversial choices such as Dizzie Rascal in 2003, whereas now it appears to just pick the ‘safe’ option and end up pleasing nobody, apart from Alt-J presumably. It seems that for the best part of a decade the Mercury has been on the decline, with maybe only 2010 being a standout year, and that was arguably due to the strength of the British music that year, from the rocky Scottish outfit Biffy Clyro, to more cerebral indie darlings the Foals, or the rise of folk acts Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons to eventual winners, the brooding XX. The question is, what should the Mercury do? If it could truly reinvent itself as an actual institution then I’d be in favour of that, but it seems that 2013 will just continue the trend, and by 2020 every act will be men in tight jeans and cool hair, with guitars, writing jangly indie tunes that you might’ve heard that one time somewhere but you’re not quite sure. To me, that sounds awful, so I propose we should abolish the Mercury Prize. And if the Mercury did vanish in 2013, would you really care? Would you even notice?
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By Thea Spalding, Music Team
REVIEW: Leona Lewis - ‘Glassheart’
‘Trouble’ is the leading track for the album and reached number 7 in the UK top 40 after it was released on the 5th October. The song is a mid-tempo ballad that combines Hip-Hop with Leona’s haunting vocals, expressing the singer’s personal experiences of a past relationship turning destructive. ‘Trouble’ was written by a variety of British songwriters including Scottish sensation Emeli Sande, and produced by well acclaimed Naughty Boy. ‘Come Alive’ is without doubt a standout track for the album, showcasing an uplifting electric sound with throbs of dubstep that strays far away from anything Leona Lewis has ever produced before. It would be no surprise if the song soon becomes a hit amongst the clubbing scene, with the track containing all of the key ingredients required for a modern dance anthem. Leona Lewis has revealed that the album, and in particularly ‘Come Alive’ were influenced by 90’s dance group “Faithless” highlighting her desire to change her style into a more uptempo sound. ‘Fireflies’ is a quaking ballad accompanied by a piano beat, boasting huge notes and high sopranos that only the likes of Leona could hit with such effortlessness. The song has a dark twist, with lyrics such as “I’d know you found your silence, Instead of being wrapped up in me, Wrapped up in this violence” adding to Leona’s new edgy persona. ‘Glassheart’, the album’s title track, contrasts Leona’s stunning voice with grimey dubstep, making it a truly mesmerising listen. The contemporary beats are sure to be popular amongst the teenagescene, potentially transforming Leona’s usual fan base. After the release of the album being delayed for 11 months, the hype around Leona’s new project has certainly built, but in my opinion the risk paid off and ‘Glassheart’ is the X Factor stars’ best album to date, and certainly worth giving a listen to.
rguably (although not really arguable at all), Leona Lewis is the biggest superstar to come out of the X Factor. The 2006 winner is back with a bang after releasing her third album ‘Glassheart’ on October 15th. There is no doubt that Leona Lewis is showing a more “edgy” side to her music, with the brand new album being far from her usual taste of heart-stopping ballads that filled her previous two albums. Despite many critics often dubbing Leona’s music as “boring”, her debut album ‘Spirit’ and follow up ‘Echo’ have collectively sold 10 million copies worldwide, and topped the charts in countries all over the globe. Stepping out of her comfort zone for the ‘Glassheart’ album was a big risk to take considering the huge success of her previous sound, not only for her musical reputation, but also for her die-hard fans that are used to the more mellow side of the Hackneyborn singer.
Greenday are back with new album ¡Uno!
By Tanya Noronha, Music Team
reenday are back, and they want you to know about it. However, they aren’t content with just one album after a 3 year gap. ‘¡Uno!’ was released on September the 25th, but it’s sequel, ‘¡Dos!’ is due on November the 13th, followed by the grand finale ‘¡Tré!’, due for release on December the 12th. For a lesser band, the release of three full albums within a space of four months would seem a daunting feat. Then again, Greenday formed 25 years ago, and it’s safe to say if anyone knows what they’re doing, they do. Being unable to judge the trilogy in its entirety means that it is hard to tell if their risk has impressed critics or not. It can be safely assumed that the band have once again delivered, according to the variety of generally favorable reviews. However, the strength of this album is up for discussion, especially in comparison to previous work. When tracks are produced in
such volume, there is always a risk that the quality of songwriting will suffer. After all, how much inspiration can Billie Joe realistically have? There are tunes which do hold their own against the might of previous hits. Single ‘Oh
Love’ has a quiet intensity unusual to a relatively acoustic track, while ‘Stay The Night’ walks the line between catchy and edgy without falling into the trap of clichéd. Greenday retain their attitude, as seen in ‘Carpe Diem’ and ‘Nuclear Family’, but ‘¡Uno!’ is not the grand social commentary that ‘American
Idiot’ or ‘21st Century Breakdown’ were. In fact, the subject matter seems much lighter. Whether this makes it easier to listen to, or an album with far less to say, is for the listener to judge. However, it can also be argued that Greenday have the experience by now to be churning out hits by the dozen. ‘¡Uno!’ is definitely worth several listens. Perhaps the second and third offerings will build on the solid base that is this first album. However, it is not outstanding by any means. It has a soundtrack feel to it, so it can accompany a long car journey or a large pile of work without causing a huge distraction. Yet there are a few tracks which do fade into obscurity, which is a disappointment. In conclusion? There will always be a certain amount of commercial success, because Greenday has the ability to shift records by name alone. The album is by no means a disaster, and it contains a good amount of listenable tracks. However, I would hesitate to buy the sequels unless the band has saved the best for last.
An upcoming indie pop band with a UniS bassist
By Shiri Shah, Music Team
n upcoming indie pop band called Fletcher who have played alongside the likes of Bob Geldof and who perform regular gigs in London have their very own bassist, Harry Johnson, studying Tonmeister at the University of Surrey. He says “I appreciate the facilities here for me to use and improve my skills, it’s also really convenient having London next door so I can go for
band practise more regularly.” They use simplistic yet catchy beats and harmonize well in their music for enjoyable and easy listening. Look out for an article covering their next London based gig with an interview in the next issue! Fletcher would love to perform a set on campus for everyone who loves the indie or alternative scene. For more information and to check out their music, subscribe to them on Youtube under FletcherOfficial.
Music Editor: Becky Worley | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By Ankur Banerjee, Music Team
REVIEW: deadmau5 - Nickleback: ‘>album title goes here<’ Love or hate?
By Craig Martin, Music Team
ouse-headed Canadian DJ deadmau5 is back with his first original album in two years with the quirkly-titled ‘> album title goes here <’. Deadmau5 can be somewhat of a polarising figure among music fans, who claim that most of his compositions tend to sound alike. Hold on to that judgement though until you hear this album that throws in a smorgasbord of styles! There’s ‘The Veldt’ featuring vocals from Chris James with pop-like vocals, ‘Professional Griefers’ featuring Gerard Way of ‘My Chemical Romance’ with its emo-rock lyrics and punchy “typical-deadmau5” beats, ‘Failbait’ with a comparatively slower tempo - featuring hiphop group Cypress Hill that is distinctly quite different from the rest of the tracks - and ending off with ‘Telemiscommunications’ featuring the mellow vocals of Imogen Heap. Old-time fans won’t be disappointed either with tracks that stick to deadmau5’s electro/ house roots, such as ‘Superliminal’, ‘Fn Pig’ and ‘October’ (which reminded me of ‘Bad Selection’ from his previous album ‘4x4’). And, because I am somewhat of a pop culture snob, I was delighted to recognise the homage paid
to Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ in the track ‘Closer’ which opens with the same five-beep note sequences used in that film. Sure, deadmau5 caters to mainstream electronic dance music tastes, but ‘> album title goes here <’ shows that even in a such a genre where it’s easy to grow tired of the same beats, it is possible to mix things up and make it more
interesting with some effort. (Writing this review reminded me of an anecdote: quite a few of my friends don’t know that “deadmau5” is pronounced “dead mouse”. Note to self: find cooler friends.)
espite being the band that everyone appears to love to hate, Nickelback have a knack of selling out arenas and scoring multi-platinum albums. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a big fan of the Canadian band and went to check them out recently at the O2 arena in London. Having seen the quartet three years previously I knew what a polished live outfit they are and they did not disappoint this time round. Heavier, more up tempo tracks ‘This Means War’ and ‘Something in your Mouth’ saw the band on stage with perfectly synced VTs serving as a backdrop. After the upbeat opening the lighters and phones came out to illuminate the stands for sing-a-long tracks ‘Photograph’ and ‘Far Away’, both of which add an mass karaoke feel to the occasion. However, neither of them could match the reception that fan favourite ‘Rockstar’ received minutes later as each of the 20,000 strong crowd sang back every line. With seven studio albums of
music to pick from, the set list was always going to be laden with recognisable hits. There was just time to fit in an energetic drum solo cheesily built into ‘When we Stand Together’ following the line “And the drum beat carries on…” written almost for that sole purpose. The regular set was rounded off with yet more singing and jumping this time provided by the band’s first major hit ‘How You Remind Me’, which was released over 10 years ago. After a massively drawn out wait, Chad and the gang reemerged for a two song encore rounded off by ‘Burn It To The Ground’ for which they recorded the video on location back in 2009. After shelling out £40 for the second time to see these guys I still cannot understand the irrational hatred surrounded them and their music. They consistently produce quality records and perform live shows as slick as Chad Kroeger’s hairdos (a difficult feat in itself) and I would urge anyone to go and see them at any opportunity, you will not regret it!
MS MR: ‘Candy Bar Creep Show’ EP
By Ankur Banerjee, Music Team
Candy Bar Creep Show’ is a sweet little EP from New York-based duo Lizzy Plapinger (MS) and Max Hershenow (MR) with just the music that you need for the postHalloween season. Lizzy’s vocals are crisp and the lyrics are catchy – and yet eerily spooky at the same time. Their style is largely reminiscent of Florence + The Machine. All the tracks are unique in their own right but ‘Hurricane’ in particular was a breakout hit on my playlist. What caught my attention though is how MS MR went about promoting their EP release: they have a Tumblr through which they released all of their tracks online, along with additional artwork and photography, all of an outré nature. It’s this creepy candy coating that makes them stand out, making their online music blog as much a part of the performance as the songs themselves.
MS MR’s style is largely reminiscent of Florence + The Machine
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Review: 2:54 – ‘2:54’
By Jason Hough, Music Team
t’s a curious notion to name your band after your favourite bass part in a Melvins song (‘A History of Bad Men’ if you’re interested) but that’s exactly what this Bristolbased, doom-tainted, atmospheric rock quartet fronted by twin sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow did. This group has hurled elements of grunge, psychedelia, post-punk, indie, a twist of the blues and early Queens of the Stone Age into a blender and made an audibly chilly but yet satisfyingly unique smoothie. With added ice. Every song sounds like it was written inside of a fog-filled cavern or on a frozen lake, devoid of human civilisation. The album’s opener ‘Revolving’ sounds like it was thrown inside a well, but in
a good way. The vocals resonate beautifully, guitars softly cry and bass lurks over as an ominous menace present throughout. At several moments in the song, tension does accumulate to bursting point before subsiding back to more ambient levels. This is one of the album’s strengths, the threat of imminent danger and tension is sustained constantly, keeping the listener unsettled but also enthralled. ‘You’re Early’ lures you in with its tribal drumming, like wandering into a valley at dusk unaccompanied. ‘A Salute’ is the worrying walk down back alley paths on your own. Lead single ‘Scarlet’ is the story of sirens, with vocals mimicking perfectly sailors being lead to their demise. ‘Circuitry’ is the possible hardship of a couple in a violent dispute,
the aftermath too saddening to contemplate. All of these scenarios seem plausible by how the solidarity of guitar, bass and vocals craft the atmosphere driven by pounding, primal drum beats, pushing these individual stories into a flowing narrative. Of which I have no idea what is going on. But not all songs maintain this perspective. ‘Easy Undercover’ and ‘Sugar’ lack the ambience of most of the songs, being standalone indie stompers in a sea of perilous uncertainty. My only other criticism is that there are no real stand-out songs to write home about, the album is an almost seamless soundtrack of glacial tones with a shiver of the melancholy to compliment those moody, grey-skied days but performing all the better because of it.
Dance/Theatre Editor: Tiffany Stoneman | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
Wednesday 14th November 2012
DANCE & THEATRE
An Audition Experience
By Freya Poole, Dance & Theatre Team
Dance & Theatre
games which helped all the auditionees feel at complete ease in a friendly and humorous atmosphere. The final part of the audition was the singing audition which I was dreading as I was now on my own and there was nowhere to hide. The room was small and somewhat claustrophobic and for me, the worst part of this audition was that I was completely in the open and no mistakes could be covered up. As I have always been self-conscious and insecure about my singing abilities I found the experience extremely nerve-wracking. However, the creative team yet again handled the entire process professionally and were nothing but encouraging. Overall, the audition process was a refreshing, professional and enjoyable experience; drawing on my own audition history, enjoyment in auditions is very hard to come by. Tips that I’d give to anyone auditioning for either amateur or professional productions is to use your nerves effectively. Try to turn the jitters of fear into excitement and ambition, but make sure that you keep in the back of your mind that the panel, whoever they may be, are looking for the potential in you, and not necessarily for a completely finished product. The MTSoc creative team did a great job with the organisation and execution of the audition process and if the show is anything like the auditions, ‘Fame’ is going to be MTSoc’s best show yet!
Inspiring Innovation - Student Companies
standard. However, theatrical activity not associated with the Union or any society is steadily increasing, and students are becoming more and more independent in their various stage endeavours. But when you look into it, student-led companies aren’t actually all that new. In 2005, students on the BA Dance course established Actual Size Dance Company – an independent, dedicated, and passionate company whose aims include the opportunity for original choreography, as well as education for children and young adults. Over the past 7years, ASDC has been involved in World Aids Day on campus in 2010, as well as participating in the ‘Moving Oxford’ event in which they supported Animaneaux, of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ fame. They are a fantastic example of student innovation and independence. Last year, three theatre-studies placement students (the first of their kind) decided that, alongside their internships, they wanted to create something to come back to. FaceFirst Theatre was born – with their first production in the works right now, they’re involving many students from all years in a promising new project. I myself have been involved in some rather exciting developments; in April of this year, my course mate Abigail Oscroft approached me with a proposal. She wanted to create theatre that was more than entertainment – something philosophical, that got you thinking about the world around you, but she wanted my help. Ad Meliora Theatre Company was developed following a 5-week research project in a pub in Shalford and, despite a few hiccups, we have many plans for the future following the launch of our website just a few weeks ago. As well as these thriving companies, whose aims are to produce opportunities for students to showcase their talents and creativity as well as to provide something a little different to the Union-based societies, there are chances to just test out your skills of discussion and academia. A reading group has recently emerged from the theatre-studies students, providing a forum for existing plays to be read in an intimate, non-pressurised format, and for new writing to get its first glimpse of performance. So, keep a look out around campus for the budding directors, choreographers and actors who may be just a little hidden from sight – there’s a lot going on out there, and who knows where it will lead...
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Editor
erformance and live theatre is a growing community within the Surrey campus. With three theatre societies, the steadily growing theatre-studies degree, the everbudding dance degree, and the newly emerged Surrey Sapphires Dance crew, you’re never short of entertainment. It is a thriving hub of creativity and talent, providing us with incredible entertainment at a brilliantly professional
© Max Sparber
eing a theatre student with ambitions of going into the theatre industry, one would presume that the audition process would be a walk in the park for me. However, in any audition I go to there is no feeling more prominent than an overwhelming sense of terror. My legs shake, my heart pounds, my voice wavers, and my face quivers whilst it slowly and surely turns beetroot. This all too familiar feeling is exactly what I experienced recently when auditioning for this year’s MTSoc production of ‘Fame’. The preliminary round of auditions kicked off with the dance audition where we were all taught a short routine. As the first taste of the audition process this was handled very professionally; the choreographer taught the routine clearly and at a suitable pace whilst the assistant choreographer was moving around the room lending a helping hand. Afterwards, the general consensus was that it was executed very well, running smoothly and efficiently. For an acting audition I am used to getting up on my own and performing a monologue, or sight-reading scripts, which I consider to be rather intimidating. Yet this acting audition was a refreshing workshop which aimed to get everybody acting comfortably and working in a team. Together we played improvisation
Dance/Theatre Editor: Tiffany Stoneman | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
Wednesday 14th November 2012
DANCE & THEATRE
Revelations from the Rehearsal Room
By Abigail Oscroft, Dance & Theatre Team
Watch This Space: Arts At Surrey
e Guildford School of Acting are in full swing, having already put on two productions this year, and another two over the next coming weeks. Keep an eye out for their next shows.
What: e Gut Girls When: 21st-24th November Where: e Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud Price: £5 (£10 full) ___________________________________
e theatrical societies are in the midst of rehearsals, and there are two fantastic productions coming up for you to enjoy.
Who: MADSoc What: You’ve Been Tagged When: 26th-28th November Where: TBC A piece of straight drama lled with mystery and current themes. Keep a look out around campus for the Smiley Stickers. Have you been tagged? ___________________________________ Who: eatreSoc What: e Importance of Being Earnest When: 10th-11th December Where: Ivy Arts Centre, Studio 2 Time: 7:30pm is classic play by Oscar Wilde is being brought to life by the eatre Society. Filled with class humour, innuendo, and mistaken identity, it’s sure to be a sophisticated giggle.
© Chris Medley
orking in a rehearsal room can be incredible; chock-full of creative people bouncing ideas around like big inflatable beach balls. On the other hand, rehearsal rooms can also be a place of tension and high stress. Honestly, some rehearsal situations in the past have led to my firm conviction that not all of us would leave the studio alive. Fortunately, in this respect, I have always been incorrect and although egos have been brutally slaughtered, real people have very rarely been injured. I am currently in rehearsal with the Theatre Society, and with the performance of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ looming ever closer - just over a month away in fact - it would be easy for those involved to become extremely stressed. However, this has not been the case, and in
general I don’t think it usually is. To be frank I don’t think that I have done the rehearsal room justice in this article. You see, although the studio can occasionally be a place of anguish, it can also be a place of joy and wonder. In a truly great rehearsal room actors feel safe to make bold character decisions, play with the text and to take risks - this has been my experience so far with ‘Earnest’. For when rehearsals pass by like a sleepy dog charging energetically towards a glass patio door, and everyone comes crashing back to earth realising that they are not in the lush, green garden that was hoped for. A great rehearsal room flings open the sliding glass door to creativity and yells “Run Fido! Run! The whole garden is yours!” But whatever you do in the rehearsal room, do not make a mess in the geraniums.
34 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Hip Hop Brings The House Down
Some Like It Hip Hop by ZooNation
the choreography slick and clever. It was postmodern in its referencing of other dance styles and popular culture. At the heart of it, a story of a man’s grief and anger, and his power to ‘shut out the sun’. The plot speaks of the struggle to survive for women in a man’s world. Characters Jo-Jo and Kerri dress up as men and act like them, just to be accepted. Beyond the plot, this subtlety sends up some of the attitudes still present in the Hip Hop culture. Choreographed and directed by Katie Prince, this dance theatre extravaganza was meticulously-crafted and fiercely executed. Above all, ‘Some Like It Hip Hop’ succeeds triumphantly in telling a timeless story of loss, female friendship and forbidden love; one that is conveyed wickedly through the animated hip hop body. On the side lines, the narrator-come beat boxer held the tale together with charm and skill. By the end, we were all standing and dancing in the stalls. The power now in our hands (and feet) to dance. Never have I seen such a diverse audience at GLive in Guildford – the old and the young, the hip and the hopping all flocked to the top of the high street for this night of entertainment. It is a tribute to the Hip Hop style and to ZooNation’s irresistible charm for making this production a hit for all.
© Simon Prince
By Rachel Gildea, Dance & Theatre Team
he cheering had started even before the curtain was raised… Then, the performance was ablaze with dancers, colour, singers and storytelling. Quick changes of scene, song and set kept us on the edge of our seats, and the adorable and complicated characters engaged us further. The dancers embodied the beats imaginatively,
The Monk - The hottest show in London
By Jesse Rose McNaughton, Dance & Theatre Team
ension was high in The Barons Court Theatre on 17th October as ‘The Monk’ (by Matthew Gregory Lewis and adapted for stage) opened for press night. Truly an appropriate location for a gothic horror, the audience filtered into the intimate space and was immediately faced with a dimly lit cellar. With stonework pillars, a large crucifix and bare candles casting dark shadows around the auditorium, the atmosphere foreshadowed terrible things to come. During the second act of the play, the worst thing that could happen to a cast occurred; the leading man (Francisco Ortiz), whilst handcuffed, standing slightly too close to the bare candles, went up in flames! Unnoticed by the actors, an audience member very politely stated “excuse me, you’re on fire” from the front row. The entire cast handled this fantastically well, especially Oritz himself, who quietly fell to the floor and extinguished his back, allowed a moment for the audience to settle down, and continued his performance from the ground, with just as strong characterisation and emotion as he had embodied before. The cast came from all walks of life; Francisco Ortiz hailing from Argentina and University of Surrey’s very own Lucy Dascalopoulos starring in her professional debut. The standard of acting was exceptionally high, and the closeness of the audience to the stage meant every thought, reaction and expression could be clearly seen, which added to the intensity of the production.
The programme stated that several actors were not traditionally trained, and did not have many credits to their names, however there was not a single weak member – it is always fantastic to see a talented cast who work together well. There were, however, a couple of moments during the show that could have been better staged. Due to the cellar structure, two pillars block part of the space from large sections of the audience’s vision. Generally this was not a problem as the action moved around, but the poor directorial decision to place the Monk’s first moment of corruption – when he kisses a woman, a crucial moment in the plot – was placed against one of these pillars, so even though I was seated in the middle of the second row, the pillar blocked my, and at least a third of the audiences’ view of this, which created a huge anti-climax as everyone strained their neck and guessed what was happening. The main criticism I have for ‘The Monk’, is that the production team let it down. With frequent costume errors such as large missing buttons, modern day hair accessories, sportswear knee pads being visible underneath costumes, the illusion of theatre was consistently being shattered which was incredibly distracting in a space where you could see everything that happened on stage. Yet despite the limitations of the small theatre and low budget, the Director Benjamin Sperring and Tarquin Productions should consider this a successful, horrific show!
Bits O’ The Bard
“Play, Music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all, With measure heap’d in joy, ot the measures fall.” – Duke Senior, As You Like It, Act5 Scene4
Film Editor: Candice Ritchie | Copy Editor: Sophie Vickery
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
50 years of Bond: Skyfall
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
ond 23 has taken a long time coming to the big screen following the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s bankruptcy in 2010, but it finally hit theatres last month. Unsurprisingly, there’s an insane amount of Bond-themed merchandise, from Bond-themed watches and cars, to fragrances (“the smell of a British spy, now available in a bottle near you”), and then appears Bond-themed Android tablets and phone contracts (“available only on O2”). What you really want to know when reading a film review is whether the film is worth watching. Skyfall is undoubtedly a thumbs-up according to that criterion. The film opens with a high-tempo motorcycle chase weaving through the rooftops of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, straying slightly from the parkourbased opening sequences favoured by the previous two Bond films, and then continues to up the stakes in a chase across the globe that spans Shanghai and Macau. At the same time, the plot is also centred much closer to home, as much of the later acts in the film are based in central London. I was apprehensive of Sam Mendes being the director for Skyfall. On one hand, Mendes is undoubtedly a good director with the pedigree of Revolutionary Road and American Beauty
– surely one of the most iconic films of the 90s, but on the other hand he also directed Jarhead, which I personally find to be a needlessly boring and pointless war film. Mendes thankfully played to his strengths and made Skyfall into a film that is much more grounded in reality and provides character development throughout. One of the key plot points involves a list of secret identities of NATO agents and a turned agent threatens to expose these names online: a nod, undoubtedly, to the recent Wikileaks saga. It’s small touches such as this which make the film more realistic than the almostcartoonish Bond villains of old. Yet, the tone has also been heavily influenced by others films such as the Bourne series or Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. There are times when scenes in Skyfall seem like pastiches of films that have come before it; motorcycle chases (Bourne series), interrogation of the villain in a jumpsuit imprisoned in a glass cage (Silence of the Lambs, X-Men, The Avengers), the villain disguising himself as a police officer in attempt to kill an important character (the Joker in The Dark Knight). Such heavy borrowing distracts the film from standing as a truly great film in its own right. Daniel Craig is one of my favourite Bond avatars because he brings a kind of aloofness and suaveness which you would
expect from a cold-blooded killer. Craig’s performance compliments the equally strong screen presence of Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the villain. Bardem is particularly masterful in portraying a wounded MI6 agent and the mayhem he causes by leaking the identities of secret agents is only part of a bigger plan to kill M out of personal enmity. As ever, Judi Dench does a fine job as the straight-talking chief of an intelligence agency in a world that does not understand the importance of what secret agents stand for. Also introduced in this film are Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory and Ben Wishaw as Q. Another point where Skyfall departs from tradition is that it doesn’t have a titular Bond girl. Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine, in gaudy make-up, does provide a ‘bad girl’ character, but that sexual attention is also shared with Naomie Harris who plays Eve Moneypenny. There’s some homoerotic sexual tension between Bond and Silva in some scenes too, especially in one scene with Bond tied down to a chair with Silva running his fingers through Bond’s suit and asking “What’s your regulation training for this?” Overall, Skyfall is a worthy addition to the line-up of James Bond films – now in their fiftieth year – with a lot of emphasis on realism, yet every bit an action film that keeps you hooked.
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
ompliance premiered at Sundance Film Festival and has been gathering acclaim from critics ever since its public release in August this year. This low-budget indie film from Craig Zobel is based on real life events called ‘strip search prank call’ scams. Managers in fast-food restaurants, often ones located in small towns, used to get a call from a person claiming to be from the police. The impersonator on the phone would then mention the name of a specific employee, often young teenage girls working at the restaurant, and accuse them of petty theft. This person would then convince the restaurant managers to strip search the employee. Over a decade, more than 70 such incidents were reported until the arrest of the perpetrator in 2004.
This film is based on the events of Bullitt county McDonald’s case. Dreama Walker plays Becky, a young female employee at a fast-food restaurant called ChickWich, where her manager Sandra (played by Ann Dowd) gets a phone call from a police officer. Over the period of hours, the caller convinces the manager, as well as other employees to strip Becky of all her clothes - and even convinces Sandra’s fiance to sexually assault Becky. Compliance is horrifying because it’s hard to imagine how easily people were manipulated into doing such things unquestioningly. It reminded me of the famous Stanford prison experiment, how the appearance of authority could make people do terrible things. This film is sure to leave you questioning: what would other people do in the same situation?
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
By Candice Ritchie, Film Editor
here have been countless films within the past few years relaying the infamous oncoming ‘end’ of the world (December 21st 2012, for those who want to prepare). From 2012, to Sunshine, and even the similarly named The End of the World (which is due for release in, ironically, June 2013), they are never-ending. Quite frankly, they are getting boring. But Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is different; tying romance, comedy and sci-fi into one neat knot. Steve Carell stars as Dodge, a lonely man with a predictable life, whose wife has just left him. With the news that Matilda (an asteroid expected to destroy Earth) is near, Dodge begins to reminisce on his past romances and decides to embark on a journey to find his childhood sweetheart, Olivia, before they cease to exist. However, then comes Penny (Keira Knightly), who is in a similar relationship situation, and is desperately missing her family. As a riot begins and the two make a getaway, Dodge suggests that he will help Penny find her family if she’ll aid him in his search for Olivia - she is unanimously compliant, and so the trip begins. What follows is a series of comedic moments, unlucky occurrences, and true romance. Oh, and a dog called Sorry, who Dodge names after being left with him and a ‘sorry’ note by an unknown. The film could be said to also adopt the ‘road trip’
scenario, but the ever-looming destruction of mankind serves to alter it somewhat. What is inspirational about the film is its screenplay. The film industry currently seems to be dominated by novel adaptations - from One Day, to The Hunger Games, and The Woman in Black – all genres are taking part. So, the fact that Lorene Scafaria (both the writer and director) produced original screenplay for the film is optimistic. Perhaps the end is not so near for screenwriters after all. The most perplexing aspect of this film, for me, is the pairing of the two protagonists. Without giving too much away, the increasing proximity of Keira Knightly and Steve Carell seems slightly absurd – it’s like Pirates of the Caribbean meets The 40 Year-Old Virgin - bizarre! Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see them in lead roles together for the first time. Nancy Carell, Steve’s real wife, even appears in the film for a brief scene as his ex-wife Linda. New faces are appearing all over the place! Besides all the positive feedback, there is a central negativity to Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – the concept is overused. I mentioned it previously, but it is the only recurring problem. It might be different from the usual apocalyptic disasters in its added elements of romance and comedy, but the idea has been done to death. Stop making them; please. After The End of the World is released, obviously…
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
By Beth Goss, Film Team
n many ways a true horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street has inspired many a parody. But, just in case you’ve been living under a rock here’s a quick plot summary. A group of teenagers who all live on Elm Street (surprise, surprise) are being tormented by a clawed and deformed killer that goes by the name of Freddy Krueger. Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends including Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz must find out how to stop these murderous dreams before they are all picked off, one by one. Now I know there has recently (well a couple of years ago now) been a remake, but
nothing quite beats the shocking special effects that comes hand in hand with this horror staple. I know that I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to laughing at the out of date special effects. It’s easy to forget the random split seconds of wobbly arms (oh stage makeup, how you’ve grown!), but the plot makes a lot more sense than the remake. It doesn’t try to be something it is not. If you are a bit of a softy when it comes to horror movies then this is the film for you - decent plot, obviously-fake gore and lots of shouting “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVEN DO THAT?!?”
Interested in films?
Whether you prefer Cannes, Hollywood or just your local Odeon, we are looking for you! Get involved and become part of The Stag, just by reviewing releases new, old or obscure. Get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Cyprus 1974: The facts of a tragedy
Be a Ledge, Go Veg!
By Caroline James, VegSoc Media Consultant
re you looking for a society that’s a bit different from the norm? A great place for meeting new people? Or one that involves plenty of delicious, fresh food? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to at least one of the above, then Surrey’s Vegetarian Society is the place for you! VegSoc, an award-winning special interest society, is open to vegetarians, vegans, raw-foodists and any carnivorous folk who fancy flirting with the choices available in a meat-free diet. As a society, our fundamental goals are to spread awareness of plant-based diets on campus, encouraging places that sell food, such as the Union Shop and
Channies, to have more options available for vegetarians and vegans and to show members how to reduce their consumption and use of animal products - for the animals, for health and for the planet. VegSoc also holds numerous social events throughout the year to get everyone together, such as lunches, bake sales, movie nights, Veggie BBQs and more. Following up the success of our quiz night in Roots two weeks ago, we plan on hosting a lunch in town on November the 14th. If you’re interested in joining VegSoc, email us at email@example.com, or find us on Facebook (where we have an archive of delicious veggie recipes for you to sample for yourselves!)
By George C. Mavrantonis, Treasurer of the Hellenic Society
he Hellenic and Cypriot Societies of our University, as supporters and promoters of peace, will be distributing pamphlets on campus and in town between the 16th and 17th of November 2012, informing people about the 15th of November 1974, a tragic anniversary for us. Turkey, as it is well-known, illegally invaded the island of Cyprus in 1974. 2,000 Greek Cypriots were killed with an additional 1,694 still missing. Just imagine the pain of losing a parent or sibling and being provided with no information at all if they are alive or dead, for 39 years. The aggressor nation had - and still has - the aim of unethically altering the demographics of the region they occupy. As a result they illegally transferred 200,000 Turks from Anatolia into Cyprus’s northern part, a clear breach of the Geneva Protocol. However they did not stop there: most Christian churches were turned into stables, toilets or mosques under the condemnation of UNESCO. Furthermore, anyone that had had their property taken by the Turkish troops in 1974 were not allowed to return back and no compensation was given. Following the prominent case of Loizidou v. Turkey, the
European Court of Human Rights found that Turkey was in violation of Art. 1 (Protocol 1) of the European Convention on Human Rights providing an absolute right of one’s free enjoyment of their property. On November 15th 1983 Turkey decided to create a ‘statelet’ in the northern part of Cyprus seeking recognition and thus some muchwanted economic prosperity. The United Nations Security Council resolution 541 of 1983 stood firm opposing the Turkish government
" ose who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves" -Abraham Lincoln.
“reiterating to all States not to recognise the purported [pseudostate in Cyprus]”. Via this resolution, the international community decisively emphasised that such a ‘state’ is not recognised as it breached the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. As a result the UN imposed an international
embargo on that region of the island that still exists strongly today. In November 2010, the Turkish PM had stated that “if Turkey had to choose between Cyprus and her EU [accession potential], she would choose Cyprus” (Robert Ellis, The Guardian). We believe that our cause is just and hence ask for your support to save our country, our heritage, our religion as Christians and our ancient Hellenic civilisation as Europeans. On that day we seek to remind the students of Surrey, and the citizens of Guildford, that visiting the occupied northern part of Cyprus - a haven to escaping British criminals – still remains illegal under EU and international law. Additionally, we want to stress, following the 2011 UK Supreme Court Case of Apostolides v. Orams, that purchasing any kind of property in the embargoed Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus remains illegitimate. Turkey murdered, raped, stole, oppressed and violated. We support that Turkey’s reprehensible actions undermine any efforts to bring back peace and stability. Finally we could not agree more with Abraham Lincoln, who had once rightfully said: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves”.
By Denise Juvane
he Politics Society is a small departmental society which aims to bring together Politics students from all years, as well as all those interested in politics as whole and current world affairs. The society aims to engage members through various debates, trips and by inviting guest speakers. In the past, the society has put together events such as Debate Tuesdays, Parliament Trip and a Politics Ball to mark the end of year. This year, the society has aimed to broaden its horizons by relaunching Model United Nations (a set of political stimulations and debates whereby individuals
represent UN member countries and aim to uphold its best interest through careful debating and compromise), organising a Politics trip in months to come to a politically rich European country and to bring more guest speakers with Anne Milton, Guildford’s Conservative MP, being its first speaker this academic year. We will also wrap up 2012 with a Politics Society Christmas event. With such ambitious targets ahead, the society would love to have you join and take part in what is due to be an enriching experience. To join, simply visit our University of Surrey Student Union page, and register- it is free of charge and you will be kept up to date with all the amazing events to come. For the mean time, please don’t hesitate to join our Facebook page by simply searching for “University of Surrey Politics Society”. Whilst at it, feel free to join our News and Debates page for a chance to take part in thought provoking debates, as well as to share current issues with the rest of the memberssimply search for “Politics Society: News/Debates” and you will be added in no time. PS: Guest speaker Anne Milton will be at the University of Surrey on Friday 23rd November from 12:00, Teaching Block 01
Societies Editor: Shalini Thondrayen | Copy Editor: Hannah Wann
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Dear all societies, Just a quick note from myself and your VP Societies, Em Bollon; we’re constructing a trail Societies’ Events Planner covering the last four weeks of this term. The planner’s dates aim to start from 19th November to 16th December. This will be in a similar format to the Union
Societies’ Events Planner
Events Planner and Team Surrey Sports Planner. What do we need from you? Please include any SET events you have going on between these two dates. Such as weekly things like Gospel Choir’s rehearsals, CRAFTSoc’s workshops and Friday prayer... As well as, BIG EVENTS that you might have between these dates. Examples being MT Soc’s shows and Surrey Arts Live! We require the following: What is it? Where is it? When is it? And the logo (300DPI, if you have one). Can these please be sent in as soon as possible, to Em’s email with the subject title: “Events Planner” Thank you!
Now for an old classic…. Victoria Sponge
Ingredients The cake: 200g caster sugar 200g softened butter/margarine 4 eggs beaten 200g self raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp milk Method The filling: 100g unsalted butter, softened 140g icing sugar, sifted 1 drop vanilla extract (optional) Good amount of jam to spread inside (strawberry or raspberry, whatever you prefer!) Icing sugar/caster sugar to decorate.
Litsoc Does Halloween
1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. 2. Butter two 20cm sandwich or round cake tins and line with non stick baking/parchment paper. 3. In a bowl combine all cake ingredients and mix together until you have a soft, smooth batter. 4. Divide mixture equally between two tins, and smooth out with a spatula or back of a spoon. 5. Bake for around 20 mins until golden and cake springs back when pressed. Can check if cooked by using a cocktail stick or knife. 6. Turn onto cooling rack and leave to cool completely. 7. To make the filling, beat butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in the sieved icing sugar and add vanilla extract. 8. Spread the butter cream over the bottom of one of the sponges, put jam on top and put both sponges together. 9. Sprinkle some icing sugar/caster sugar on top to decorate. 10. Now enjoy with a big cup of tea!
Harley Quinn (Shalini), Pirate (Hannah), Werewolf (Tiffany), Santa (Bill) & Black Swan (Neeta).
GU2 welcomes brand new Digital Desk
By Sophie Smith
By Clowance Lawton, Litsoc Events Manager spooktacular celebration! Students
alloween at the University of Surrey is usually a frightful affair. However this year, deep in the heart of the fifth floor of the AC building, things went bump in the night. Entering the dimly lit English Literature common room, the eerie intro of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ could be heard and strange creatures could be seen in and amongst the fog and cobwebs. However, this is not a gothic narrative, it was LitSoc’s
from all year groups of Litsoc had come together to enjoy Halloween before going on to Citrus later in the night. The green-tinted lights and fog machine created a ghostly atmosphere in which members of the society could drink, dance and discourse. It is needless to say that the fluorescent vodka jelly shots, blood-coloured punch and the provided buffet went down a storm. This year it was clear that everyone had made a terrific effort with costumes, considering
that the majority of students were covered in so much blood (fake) and torn clothes it is arguable that the common room could easily have been a scene from ‘Shaun of the Dead’. There was an extensive variety of unique costumes, equally as scary, ranging from the Black Swan to Harley Quinn and Velma from Scooby-Doo. On a final note, Sarah Duarte, the president of the society, comments that “it was a great night, I can’t wait to tell you all about the next big event we have coming up!”
his week, GU2 celebrates the arrival of a brand new digital desk to its studio! Last year’s station manager, James Bale, and assistant station manager, Sarah Cooper, decided that as the current desk could do with updating, buying a new one would be a great way to mark the 40 years since the University of Surrey’s student radio station began broadcasting. Head of technical, James Hall, therefore suggested that GU2 upgrade to a digital desk, something that no other student radio stations have. After travelling to London and researching their options, the team decided on a touch-screen desk made by Preco, one of the largest broadcast suppliers in the UK, as well as the most advanced digital radio automation system, Zetta. James and Sarah then applied for a grant from the Alumni fund, which much to GU2’s delight, was approved. A complete overhaul of Studio 1 followed during the summer
and the new equipment is now fitted and fully functional. Head of training, James Bale, commented: ‘After the initial thought me and Sarah had this time last year, we couldn't have imagined the studio to have this level of technology in it so soon’. Present station manager Andy Smith spoke of the changes that the new system has already begun to make: ‘Both new and continuing members of GU2 have been motivated to produce better radio and it's great to see GU2 continuing to move forward and still be one of the leading student radio stations in the UK. Thank you to everyone who's been involved’. Meanwhile head of music, Adam Read, explained how GU2 listeners will also benefit from the changes: ‘We’ve had a total refurbishment of the playlists’ says Adam, ‘so we will be playing what the st udents want to hear’.
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Surrey Elevation Networks
By Anwar Hassan
hy join Elevation Network ? Elevation Networks is an award winning youth employment charity which seeks to develop the leadership potential of young people to increase their employability. We work with youth ranging from 11-25 years of age. We specifically try to focus on groups which are underrepresented within the labour market and in various industries. EN works with groups which are identified as ethnic minorities, women, young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds etc. The key aspects EN looks into are Leadership, Employability and Diversity. We are in place in order to broaden EN’s network of students. We aim to encourage students to engage themselves in various activities on
campus. In this way, students will be empowered and challenged to achieve their potential by providing them with the necessary resources. We know that employability is a key thing sought after by employers so EN will aim to ensure that students are provided with the resources needed. “Your employability is your job security not the job itself”. Some of the skills we will offer to our members are : • EXCLUSIVE networking opportunities • Skills development workshops • Mentoring opportunities • Community outreach projects Upcoming Events Teach First : Q) What is Teach First ? A) Teach First is a leadership event which we will plan to host soon. We will be inviting a guest speaker to talk to all our members.
Community Projects If you are the kind of person who loves volunteering or helping out in the community then this will be a good opportunity for you ! It also looks good on your CV ! If anyone is interested in helping out please do contact us and we will make sure to inform you when we have our dates and place confirmed. Social events We are also planning to have a few social events such as movie night, night out in Rubix etc.
Are ya’ll bready for this?
By Fiona Buckland, Culinary Society
For further information please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/ Surreyelevationnetwork/
magine, it’s Sunday. You’re loafing about the house, cup of tea in one hand, digestives in the other. All of a sudden, a familiar, warm, comforting smell fills up the house, making you knead a bacon buttie: it is the smell of freshly baked, hot bread, fresh out of the oven. Next, a familiar sweet, sticky crumbly cookie scent mixes in with the bread... Perfect! This week, culinary society has been on the rise, in more ways than one! Some may say it’s perhaps even the best thing since sliced bread. This week we held a bread making and cookie session, led by our very own, KangShen Ooi, where he taught a fantastic crowd of baguette loving, bagel munching, barmbrack adoring fans how to mix, raise and bake their way to panatone paradise. Now, why go to all the hassle of being able to make your own bread at home when you can just pop down to Tesco, pick up a hunk of value white loaf and bumble back to your flat-bread? Well, something you probably doughn’t know is that a major benefit of being able to bake your own bread at home is it’s more healthy as there are less chemicals and salt than a normal shop-bought loaf. Crust me, on the wholemeal, it is a lot cheaper, tastier, messier and therefore, a lot more fun! Plus, if your housemates are really nice and loaf you more than the whole wheat world, they let you have some when its straight out of the oven and may even cover it in Nutella... and if not you’ll start to notice a roll lot of fat pigeons flapping about. And what could be better for the festive season than to treat yourself to some tasty, crunchy or chewy cookies, when the winter creeps in and it’s too expensive to put on the heating yet. Warm yourself up with a batch of fresh biccie munchies, great with a cuppa or a hot choc to toast your icy- tingly toes! Either way, nothing is more welcoming and satisfying than the taste of fresh bread. So if you’re feeling crumby, unable to find loaf in a loafless place, then rye oh rye would there be any butter reason than to email us: email@example.com or join our facebook group by searching for ‘University of Surrey Culinary Society’ to keep up to date with our up and coming events! Things are hotting up in the Culinary Society kitchen, with naan a chance of going stale.
Culinary Society’s Bread and Cookies Session
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
The University of Surrey Table Tennis Club
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team n the 1st November, the University of Surrey Table Tennis club were lucky enough to be joined by level 3 coach, Andy Laws. During the evening he went over skills including practicing serves, touch play, bodyweight distribution as well as other skills. He worked with all the players of varying ability. He was particularly useful, in helping the players who were not so able – who all showed some kind of progression. The table tennis club have been running for only a few years now and are relatively small in numbers. However, this is a good thing for those who may be interested in joining up. When coaches are in, you receive more one-on-one time; as well as having more time practicing in order to improve your game. There is a range of abilities at the club, so everyone will have the chance to play. If you are a top end player, the table tennis club has one men’s team playing in BUCS. The standard of the club has gone up recently, so to get involved in this you have to be particularly talented. There is potential for a men’s second team, particularly if more people join the club. There is also potential for a women’s team, and this is something that the club is interested in getting started. If there are any special women’s players out there, I can only encourage their involvement. If you are thinking of taking up a new sport, the University of Surrey’s Table Tennis Club offers a great opportunity. It is more than just whacking a ball around a table. The club offers some great chances to learn a technical sport, with friendly people who were extremely open to me coming in and seeing how they work from the outside. They train every Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm, in Arena B at SSP. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sport Editor: Anna Giles | Copy Editor: Emma Fleming
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
A Geek... Surrey Men’s 1st vs. Reading Turns pizza into sport
Surrey Men’s Football
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team Surrey Mens 1s: 1 Reading Mens 1s: 5 Last week the USFC men’s first team picked up a great 4-2 win away at Brighton, but were without Captain Matt King for the game against University of Reading FC Men’s first team. In his place, Liam Hark took over the armband for the game. Surrey was a bit slow to get started in the game, conceding two goals inside the first ten minutes. One goal coming in the form of a looping header after a free kick, not long after a deflected free kick went past goalkeeper Jonathan Grilo. After these early goals, the game evened out, although Reading producing better chances and seeing Grilo having to make multiple saves. However, Surrey did begin to get more into the game. They limited Reading to counter attacks, maintaining possession inside the oppositions half for long periods. The best chance of the half for Surrey fell to Neil Swann, but his shot was well saved by the Reading goalkeeper. Against the run of play Reading scored again, from a counter attack. Their striker ran strongly with the ball and had his shot saved, but the rebound fell kindly to his feet for him to finish. Surrey would have felt unlucky to be 3-0 down at half time when they were the better side in the game for long periods. Coming out at the start of the second half Surrey looked the more dangerous of the two teams, creating multiple chances, including a chance for Emeka Nwaubani who was unlucky to not score after another good save from the Reading goalkeeper. From a Surrey corner the ball came out to Neil Swann, he beat a man before putting in a dangerous cross which eventually fell to the centre back, who finished at the far post. Goals were conceded late on with Surrey pushing more players forward in order to try and get something out of the game. There was one goal for Reading from the edge of the box and another with their striker beating a high defensive line to race through and finish neatly. There was no way the result justifies the way the game was played, however, Reading did finish their opportunities better than Surrey. Stavros Panagiotou was the best player on the pitch and tried hard to push the team forward late on. Surrey 1s Line Up: Grilo, Hark (C), Osei-Bonsu, Panagiotou, Sargeant, Howells, Odusina, Rossides, Nzandi, Swann, Nwaubani Subs: Davidson, Platt, Roscoe
By Adam Lodowski, Sports Team
I’ve always been awful at sport. I’m that kid who was always picked last for the football team, not because I’m unpopular, but because I would inevitably manage to fall over my own feet before I made it to the start line. However, I’ve heard everyone is good at something, so in this column I try out a new sport every fortnight to see if that’s my hidden talent… no luck so far!
Surrey defeated in the Heats
By Alex Beddoe, Sports Team
his weekend saw the Surrey Heat, a team who were unbeaten on home soil this year, take on the Plymouth Raiders in a very important game, the BBL Cup Quarter Final. Unfortunately, despite a valiant fight from both teams, The Heat struggled with an early ankle injury resulting in a disappointing loss of 74-79.
Surrey’s Coach, Creon Raftopoulos, expressed his frustration post game - “The feeling in the locker room is very low now, which is good. I want the guys to feel the same pain I do and not treat it as just another game. We had a chance to get to the Cup Final, but that’s gone now. We didn’t really play our game and never got into a flow in the first half.” Despite the final score, Surrey’s Home crowd proved that the Sports
Park knew how to throw an array of entertainment, not just a game of basketball, with Mini Grand Prix’s, Bongo Cam’s, Cheesy Songs, Street dancers, and who could forget the comical contrast between coaches opinions on the dress code! For your chance to catch all the action, get your tickets for Surrey’s next game on Sunday 18th against Glasgow Rocks at 3pm, and enter our competition below for free tickets!
COMPETITION - Win 2 Heat Tickets!
Where do Surrey Heat home games take place? A) The Spectrum B) Surrey Sports Park C) University Hall
The Stag has secured two pairs of adult tickets to the Surrey Heat home game on Saturday 1 December at 7pm. This year, Surrey’s only premier league basketball team have had a fantastic start to the season, and are hoping for yet another home win when they take on the Manchester Giants at the Surrey Sports Park. As always, the game will feature exciting and fast-paced action from one of the world’s most dynamic sports, as well as performances from the incredible street dance group, Heat Street 13, and mascot Scorcher playing his usual games with the audience!
Tickets are normally half price for students at £6, but we have two pairs to giveaway by answering the question above: Email your answers, A,B or C, to: The first match after Christmas will be 2nd February against the Newcastle Eagles. For more information about upcoming fixtures or to buy tickets visit: www.surreyheat.com
ou may have read my column in the last issue, I said how much I wanted to get involved with RAG and the failure that ensued when I attempted to run a marathon. Well, the good news is that it turns out there are other ways to get involved. The bad news is that I’ve been so busy organising my new team of RAG volunteers that I haven’t had time to try out a new sport. But fear not! Instead, I’ve used my limited time to create an entirely new one! And the best thing of all is it features: PIZZA!!! You may have already heard that all this month Pizzaman is teaming up with Surrey Heat to run a competition where you design your own “Surrey Heat Pizza” to be featured on their new January menu, with 20p from every pizza sold going directly to the Surrey Heat Foundation. This definitely isn’t a sport in any way, so I decided to spice it up and actually make my pizza as well… oh and I only allowed myself an hour to do it. So on Tuesday I sat down at exactly 10am and scribbled down the four ingredients I’d put on a Surrey Heat pizza (meatballs, green chillies, pepperoni and minced beef, if you’re interested) and rushed to Tesco to buy them. Now it’s a 20 minute walk there and back from my house so I had to sprint to have any chance of pulling this off in an hour! If, like me, you were a massive fan of Supermarket Sweep you can probably imagine how I looked. A sweaty 20 year old guy stampeding down the fresh
meat aisle screaming “Where are the f**king meatballs?! I don’t have time to make these from scratch. Who do you think I am?! Gordon f**king Ramsey?!” I must have been quite a sight for the grannies and parents with their innocent children (who, it turns out, are all on half-term and will ask their parents what “f**king” means…). The only thing missing was a rather brightly coloured jumper and Dale Winton cheering me on from the side-lines. On the plus side, I did get everything in time and got back to mine within 25 minutes so I now only answer to Adam “The Flash” Lodowski. The only problem was I forgot tomato sauce to put on the base, and it turns out a tin of chopped tomatoes is not a suitable substitute… It was less buttery biscuit base, more soggy bottom. Much to my surprise, I did complete the challenge. The pizza went in the oven with 6 minutes to spare and was (kind of) fully cooked at exactly 11am. Some may argue this is still not a sport but merely an amusing anecdote. I DISAGREE! For the Union to consider something a Sport it must be two of the following: physically active, competitive, and be a part of BUCS. I admit Pizza Project isn’t a part of BUCS, but I ran to and from Tesco so that’s definitely active, and I created it for a competition so that’s competitive. Keep an eye out because Pizza Project could well be the latest addition to Team Surrey before you know it! If you want to get involved in designing and naming your own pizza it’s very easy. Simply email Pizzaman@surreyheat.com with your four toppings and the name of your creation. The winner will then have their pizza featured on the Pizzaman menu and win tickets to a Surrey Heat home game of their choice. For more information and the range of toppings to choose from, visit www.pizzamanonline.co.uk
© Ramen Kuriso
The Stag |
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Recurring racism in football
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team
his article comes out of all the recent occurrences, particularly over the last year, of racism in football. The main issue that this concerns is the England Under Twenty-Ones, and the problems they experienced with racist abuse in the European Championship against Serbia. Then, of course, in the light of the John Terry affair and the racist abuse towards Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match last year. These are both issues that relate to two of footballs governing bodies. UEFA’s response to the events in Serbia is not confirmed, but on previous responses similar to these issues, we should probably not expect much. The FA’s response to the Terry issue also needs some form of analysis. Football bodies in general have not dealt with racism well enough, in my opinion. In Serbia on the 16th October, Danny Rose, a black member of the England Under Twenty-Ones squad, reacted to alleged racist abuse and was sent off after the game. The issue has now been passed onto UEFA, after the FA made multiple complaints about fans making racist comments.
This situation could have been avoided. Firstly, Serbia chose to play the game one hundred miles from Belgrade, in the most hostile environment possible. This was done in an attempt to intimidate England and their players. Although UEFA cannot solve the social problem of racism, they can raise awareness in the country by fining them heavily. It is a start. However, racism is an issue that UEFA do not fine countries for correctly. When looking at the history of fines for racism by UEFA, nothing has gone above £35,000 for a single incident. Though, in the most part, the fines for racist abuse by fans are in the £10,000 to £15,000 bracket. This is ridiculous. Especially when you consider that fines given out by UEFA in recent years include £25,000 to Manchester City for coming out for the second half of a game late, or the even more ridiculous £80,000 fine that Nicklas Bendtner was given for displaying a sponsor’s name on his underwear after scoring at Euro 2012. The message that UEFA send out with their history of fines is that they do not take the issue of racism seriously enough. They need a change of culture, and should set a precedent by dealing effectively
with the Serbian FA on the issue of the game on October 16th. I am in no way saying that every football fan in Serbia is a racist, but we do need to address the problem of racism that is clearly evident in the football fans that go to the national team games in the country. If you heavily fine and remove them from the next big European tournament, Euro 2016 in France, this will at least begin to send out the correct message, and at least cause some reflection to occur by those fans who were at the game. The issue of John Terry, Anton Ferdinand, and the incident of racist abuse by the Chelsea captain, occurred in a game on the 2nd November 2011. In July 2012, Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand in court, as his wording was not considered an insult, but rather a question to Ferdinand. Where the burden of proof was much lower, the FA review of the incident in October 2012, and found him guilty of the charge. This eventually led to a fine of £220,000, and a four-match ban for John Terry. The fine was far more appropriate than any UEFA charge. But the four-match ban handed out was far too short for the verdict
found. He needed to be banned for much longer, as in the eight-match ban given to Luiz Suarez for his incident of racial abuse involving Patrice Evra. Although, personally, I believe a far longer ban, or even the sacking of the player, would be more appropriate. If anything, standards should be far higher considering the rolemodel status most footballers have within society. If any normal person in a more
low profile, normal profession were to be found of racial abuse to a coworker, or anyone they had come into contact with at work, they would lose their job. Racism is morally wrong, and that is how it is seen throughout society. Then again, football is hardly known for being a moral business, it is a results business and sometimes this clouds the obvious and correct moral judgement by the parties involved.
Lance Armstrong: Drug Cheat, Charity Ambassador
By Connor Mcloughlin, Sports Team
would like to look at the Lance Armstrong saga and give my thoughts on the whole story, and some of the factors involved. Firstly, I would like to get the facts straight, as I understand them. Essentially, the story is that Armstrong has been accused of cheating throughout his time at the Tour de France, through the use of performance enhancing drugs. During this period it was necessary to use the drugs if you wanted to be part of the team he was leading, US Postal. Throughout the period they covered themselves from drugs testers, through a variety of ways including delaying and hiding from the testers themselves. After his retirement, the US AntiDoping Agency compiled a report underlining these facts, which Armstrong has stated he will not ‘fight’ but still insists he is innocent. In recent weeks he has also been dropped by his sponsor Nike, and stepped down as the chairman of his Livestrong charity. The first, and probably the biggest issue, is the sophistication
of the doping network and the bully culture that was part of the teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The fact that others were forced into drug use, at the instruction of Armstrong, is sickening. These techniques, and the drugs they were using, such as EPO and blood doping, are extremely dangerous and their long-term effects can be extremely damaging. A whole team was built on the idea that they must cheat, and it was encouraged throughout the team. The fact that it was a secret for so long is confusing and shocking. The fact that Armstrong has chosen not to fight the charges is just a huge pointer to the fact that he knows he is guilty. This is especially true when you see that the entirety of riders who were part of his team all admitted to performance enhancement, and have stated he was the ringleader in all of this. It may be in the interest of one or two people to make up a story for financial gain, but not an entire team, including his closest allies in the sport. These guys know they will no longer have a career if they
are still riding, but they will know they have done the morally correct thing. That is helping uncover the biggest drugs ring in sporting history, even if they were a part of it. It personally surprised me that Armstrong lasted at Nike so long, with the case against him building up more and more as the days passed. The reason why it took them so long is a huge question mark, but I guess when you have a man who’s been the face of a sport for nearly 15 years, you may give him a few more chances than usual. I do, however, applaud Armstrong for one thing – the fact he walked away from his highly successful charity. Now, I am sure that he will still have some kind of involvement, but at least he has attempted to move his face away from this charity. Livestrong does great work, and that should continue regardless of the professional record of Armstrong in cycling. It is just such a shame that Livestrong will probably be tainted forever due to the stupidity and deceiving nature of Lance Armstrong as a man and a competitor.
© Ken Conley
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