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FREE April 2009
Exclusive chat with the new queen of UK hip hop
NUS call for booze price-hike
BUSY MONTH FOR NUS PROTECTING STUDENT’S FINANCIAL FUTURES
IN A move to try and curb binge-drinking amongst students, delegates at the NUS annual conference voted to begin consultations to set a minimum price on alcohol in students’ unions. At the conference in Blackpool at the start of this month, NUS decided to campaign for alcohol prices to be raised because of concerns about binge-drinking. Discussions will now be started to look into setting a minimum price on alcohol sold in students’ unions. NUS President Wes Streeting said, “Students’ unions work hard to inform their members of the dangers of excessive drinking. But more can be done. ‘All you can
drink’ and ‘three for the price of one’ offers encourage students to drink to dangerous levels, and should have no place in our students’ union bars.” “NUS will now work with our commercial arm, NUS Services, and student officers so that we can recommend a minimum price on alcohol in students’ unions.” Reaction to the move has been split with much criticism being leveled at the union’s decision. Online tech publication The Register came out in stark opposition to the plan, calling it ‘politicians-gone-wild’ and a ‘bizarro move’. Have your say online: thenationalstudent. co.uk
Dealing with debt
As the financial crisis deepens and hits the pockets of students in the UK NUS had a busy month in March campaigning for our financial futures. Following the Universities UK report which revealed vice chancellors believe an average fee of around £6,500 pounds would be needed to secure long-term funding for teaching, the union lead hundreds of students who descended on Westminster to ask for an alternative to top-up fees. The lobby on March 18 aimed to challenge the report which considered lifting the cap to £5,000, to £7,000, and removing it altogether. It also considered capping student loans and encouraging students to take out private loans instead. Former Education Secretary David Blunkett has condemned the plans to lift the cap on fees and an early day motion (EDM) tabled in the House of Commons by top-up fee rebel Paul Farrelly MP received the backing of eighteen MPs, just two days after being proposed. The EDM gained the signatures of 50 MPs in under a week. At the lobby, NUS launched its new publication, “Five Foundations for an Alternative Higher Education Funding System for England”. The NUS motion demands that the forthcoming review of university and student finance must involve a broad debate about how higher education is and should be funded and calls for their involvement in the review. Farrelly said, “It is essential that the forthcoming review of university funding looks at all the evidence of the effect of fees and debt on students who attend our universities.” “I oppose introducing a market system in higher education, like in the US, which many elitists want. We need to increase participation by students from poorer backgrounds, not price them out of going to university at all.” NUS President Wes Streeting said, “In the context of the current recession, it is extremely arrogant for university vice chancellors to be fantasising about charging their students even higher fees and plunging them into over £32,000 of debt.” “We will be talking to MPs about a number of radical proposals, including making higher education free at the point of use, with graduates making a contribution depending on how much they are benefitting financially from their own use of the system.” “We will also be calling for all financial support to be based on how much a student needs it, not where they happen to be studying.” The following day on March 19, NUS came out in condemnation of a Times Higher Education report that showed that university vice-chancellors are receiving huge payincreases whilst asking for higher fees. It showed that vicechancellors’ pay packets increased by 9% on the previous year whilst nationally, British workers received a pay increase of just 4%. Streeting slammed the pay increases saying, “It is obscene for vice-chancellors to be lining their pockets with such huge pay increases while calling for students to be charged even higher fees. Continued on page 5
The summer starts here... magazine
The National Student, April 2009
The National Student welcomes contributions. The National Student works closely with student publications across the UK. We are happy to accept news, comment, features, and reviews on any subject. Contact us at: The National Student PO Box 7731 Derby DE1 0RW or email: editor@ thenationalstudent.co.uk or phone: 0845 46 300 46 The National Student is the independent, monthly newspaper for higher education students in the UK. Published by Defender Newspapers, PO Box 7731 Derby DE1 0RW © 2009 All content is the copyright of Defender Newspapers unless otherwise stated thenationalstudent.co.uk
In preparatIon for the World naked Bike ride environmental protest in Brighton in June, the events planning group braved the chill for a short naked cycle along the seafront on March 14, wearing nothing but their winter wooly hats, scarves and gloves. the ride was in solidarity with southern hemisphere protests taking place the same day, and to promote Brighton’s summer spectacle. the World naked Bike ride is an annual event celebrating cycling, protesting against climate change and demonstrating cyclists’ vulnerability on the road. Nick Sayers, who first brought the ride to Brighton in 2006, said: “the World naked Bike ride always gets a great response from crowds of onlookers - with incredulous gazes, smiles and laughter - and greatly boosts cyclists’ confidence and feeling of liberation. When it comes to cycling, especially in the buff, there’s considerable safety in numbers - more is definitely merrier!” worldnakedbikeride.org/ brighton
A college lecturer faces the sack after setting fire to a female student’s hair. Timothy Pickard was drunk at a St Patrick’s Day event at Myerscough college, garstang. He had drunk four pints of lager and two gins when he used a cigarette lighter to start the fire in Jennifer Tattersall’s hair. The fire was put out by a fellow student, Jessica Holt and Pickard then spat drink at her. Holt put out the flames and approached Pickard who was laughing. He took a swig of his drink and spat it at her. Defence lawyer Michael Willey said his client had been a lecturer for 15 years and bitterly regretted ‘an unbelievably stupid gesture’. He said Pickard would most probably be sacked. Pickard admitted two charges of assault and was fined £300 and ordered to pay compensation of £75 to each student.
The National Student, April 2009
More students ask for hardship help
MORe StUDeNtS in the UK are applying for emergency hardship funds. According to research carried out by the BBC, of 18 universities questioned 11 saw a rise is applications as students struggle financially as part-time work dries up and more parents lose their jobs. Plymouth says requests are up by 38% and Newcastle 20%. University College London and Cardiff also reported rises. About 50% of students work during term time, using the money to pay for tuition, accommodation, food and socialising. NUS have expressed concern at the increase in applications for hardship funds. the BBC reported that Manchester Metropolitan University was one that reported a big increase. the problem is being made worse by a decrease in the amount of part-time jobs available. gail hardwick, employment manager at Leeds University Student Union, said: “Students who may have had jobs in the last calendar year returned in January to find their jobs don’t exist.” “For some students it’s absolutely critical that they work during term time. It’s the difference between them being able to complete their course or dropping out.” the universities contacted by the BBC during their survey were Plymouth, Newcastle, Manchester Metropolitan, Abertay in Dundee, hull, Cardiff, Nottingham, University College London, exeter, University of Manchester, and Sheffield. the University of east Anglia, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry, and Southampton reported there had seen no rise. Warwick said it had seen a drop in applications.
NUS Annual Conference: What was discussed?
At the start of this month the major players in the world of student politics met up for their annual discussion on the issues and polices that affect our lives. the NUS Annual Conference took place in Blackpool between March 31 and April 2. theeventopeningfeatured a speech from Matthew Collins, a prominent Anti Racism campaigner from the hopeNothate campaign, who highlighted the issues in the fight against racism. Amongst the other speakers was Fred Jarvis, National President of NUS 1952-53, who spoke passionately about NUS and the challenges ahead. he said “the quality of the leaders of the student movement is a credit to the movement that has spawned them and a measure of their strength.” NUS President Wes Streeting launched a call to arms for a new student movement: “We need a national movement that has ideas, capability and strength. that’s what we’ve been trying to do with NUS reform. Rebuilding our organisation so we can play a full part in that future.” “It was a hard road, there’s no doubt about that. And it was not without its controversy. But I also have no doubt it leaves us in a far better state now than when we started. And now we can go forward with confidence. NUS in 2009 is an organisation fit for the times and continually renewing itself. Day after day, we are being taken more seriously by those who are making the decisions.” “We need to create a new culture in our movement. the future isn’t about governance reviews or fiddling with structures – although sometimes that has to be done. Winning real change is about what your students do, how they do it, and what you do to empower them as students’ unions.” A wide range of issues were discussed during the conference, here is a break down of the main decisions made: Ethical and environmentally friendly students’ unions and universities Conference delegates voted to help students’ unions to develop ethical investment policies, become more environmentally friendly and lobby their universities to adopt socially responsible investment (SRI) policies. NUS President Wes Streeting said, “Students’ unions have an impressive track record of campaigning on environmental and ethical issues. We need to make sure that we practice what we preach, and NUS will now help individual students’ unions to develop sustainable and ethical investment policies.” “We will also put pressure on universities to make sure that students’ money is not being invested in companies which fund unethical practices.” Apprentices Delegates voted to commission research so that the interests and rights of apprentices becomes an important part of NUS’ campaigning work. Wes Streeting said, “Because of the economic crisis, more and more people will have to take up apprenticeships to develop new skills. I am pleased that NUS members have recognised that work based learners deserve better representation in their national union, and we are looking forward to fighting for the rights of apprentices more effectively and vociferously in the future.” Student employment NUS members also called for an increase in the minimum wage, for the current system’s age bands to be abolished, and for students in London to be given the London Living Wage. Wes Streeting said, “Many students take on paid employment to fund their studies, often at or near the minimum wage. NUS will work with the trade union movement to
Wes is pres (again)
WeS StReetINg has been re-elected as National President of NUS at the union’s Annual Conference in Blackpool. Streeting, a member of Labour Students, beat challenger Ron Owen, of Another Union is Possible, by a massive margin of 631 to 140. The quota required was 403 out of 804 votes. Speaking of his victory Streeting said, “I have received the overwhelming mandate of 81% of delegates at our conference to lead our union for a second term and I relish the challenge that lies ahead. “the year ahead will be about fighting for a new deal for students - one that combats, halts and reverses the marketisation of our education system. When the university fees review starts later this year we will step up to the plate with an analysis of its failings and a fairer, equitable and sustainable alternative that sees graduates contribute according to the real benefits they obtain and our government putting its money where its mouth is on the importance of education and the necessity to widen access and increase opportunity and aspiration.”
improve workplace rights and protections, especially for casual, temporary and agency workers.” “It is disgraceful that younger workers are paid a lower minimum wage, despite the fact that they have the same living costs and do the same work. We are calling for the age bands for the minimum wage to be abolished, and for an end to all age discrimination regarding pay.”
Beating the BNP
Delegates also voted to campaign to encourage students to turn out in the forthcoming european elections in order to defeat the BNP. NUS President Wes Streeting said, “In just three short months, europe will go to the polls. the economic collapse we have seen brings with it the threat from a reinvigorated, international far-right. It is essential that students do their bit to meet this threat full in the face, and prevent the BNP from getting a foothold in the european parliament.”
Five charged over Belfast St Patrick’s unrest
FIve PeOPLe have been charged following unrest close to Queen’s University Belfast on St Patrick’s Day last month. Riot police were deployed in the holylands area of south Belfast after dozens of student house parties spilled out onto the streets from early in the day. Officers were hit with bottles, cars were damaged and rubbish was thrown as the party turned riotous after hours of drinking. twelve people were arrested following the unrest, which was condemned by residents and local representatives. the two universities, Queen’s and the University of Ulster, were criticised for not doing enough to discipline students who become involved in antisocial behaviour in the area. “every year St Patrick’s Day is used as an excuse to engage in a booze-fuelled rampage through the streets of the holylands area,” said Jimmy Spratt, a South Belfast MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) “It is time the local universities adopted a zero tolerance approach and expel those identified as being involved in this behaviour.” the University of Ulster confirmed that seven of those arrested were their students. Professor Richard Barnett, the university vicechancellor, said: “Whilst recognising that the vast majority of our students are socially responsible and hard working, a handful of students has brought disgrace to their fellow students and to the university, and misery to local residents.” In the last two years, Ulster has expelled two students for what it called “serious misdemeanours”. No students have been expelled for anti-social behaviour in the last five years. A spokeswoman for Queen’s said all of its students are subject to an off-campus disciplinary code and can be removed from halls of residence for bad behaviour. But students living in private rented houses, like those in the holylands, can only be thrown out by their landlords. the tightly-packed streets behind Queen’s University, known as the holylands has become renowned in recent years for increasing levels of anti-social behaviour from students renting houses in the area. Residents and politicians say the universities should act more strongly to discipline students who are involved in such behaviour, while others argue that the problem cannot be avoided now that so many houses have been converted into hMOs (houses of multiple occupancy) marketed specifically at the large student population. Both universities had representatives on the ground in the holylands on St Patrick’s Day in addition to community safety wardens, who were introduced by the city council in 2006 when ‘town and gown’ relations reached a previous low. the wardens monitor anti-social behaviour such as drinking in the streets and litter. The police officer
by Jonathan Kennedy
leading the investigation, Superintendent Chris Noble, issued a clear warning that the students involved in the unrest have put their future at risk. “this was criminal behaviour, that is the bottom line. the people who do this need to understand the implications of their behaviour. they will end up with criminal records and we fully intend to share all the information we have with the universities so not only will their reputations be destroyed but their careers could also be at risk.”
The National Student, April 2009
Students need more sleep - FACT!
StudentS are lazy, right? It is common for us to stay up late and then spend most of the following day in bed instead of doing anything remotely productive. Well fear not, you might not be that ‘lazy’ after all! researchers now believe there could be a biological reason why people aged 10 to 20 need to sleep longer than everyone else, in fact about nine hours. Students perform better in the afternoon according to tests conducted by Professor russell Foster, chairman of circadian neuroscience at Brasenose College, Oxford. this is because their body clock is programmed about two hours later, possibly for hormonal reasons. “there’s a biological predisposition for going to bed late and getting up late. Clearly you can impose upon that even worse habits, but they are not lazy,” he said. He suggests that absenteeism and depression could be reduced by starting uni days by one hour and moving more demanding subjects to later in the day. But that does not mean young people should be indulged and allowed to stay in bed late. “there’s a responsibility for teenagers and their parents to know that for full cognitive performance, you need a good eight to nine hours.” “You need to count back nine hours from the alarm clock going off and you need to make sure you are wound down and ready for bed, and not playing video games and watching television,” he added. neil Stanley, a sleep researcher at the university of east anglia, told the BBC: “there’s a blip in teenagers where they need to have more sleep, but also their timing of that sleep is shifted so they want to go to bed later and get up later in the morning.” “While that is what we know, we don’t know why it is. there must be an evolutionary reason why this happens.” after the age of 20, sleep becomes lighter as we get older, but the time we need to sleep each night remains fairly constant.
Ian Parks and robIn LewIs are putting their best foot forward to help raise cash for war Child. The second-year University of edinburgh students set off on foot from their front-door in edinburgh to big ben, on March 27. The pair are walking around 450 miles to raise funds for the charity that works to help children all over the world who have had their lives torn apart by war. They hope to arrive at their destination on april 17. sponsor them at: justgiving.com/lewisparkscharityexpedition
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The National Student, April 2009
Continued from front page “Earlier this week, they were fantasising about charging fees of £7,000 a year and plunging students into over £32,000 of debt. With their six-figure salaries, many vicechancellors are obviously divorced from the stark reality that faces most of us in this country as we enter a recession.” NUS responded with criticism for to Communities Secretary Hazel Blears’ announcement that all students from outside the european Union are to be charged an extra £50 for visas. the union’s campaigning produced some results as well in March with the Welsh Assembly taking on board most of NUS Wales’ 10-point funding plan when Education Minister Jane Hutt’s made an announcement on the future of HE funding in Wales. As a result, more help will be offered to students from lower income backgrounds. the team has also been invited to participate in the drafting of the new National Bursary Framework, which will oversee HE funding in Wales. Its 10-point plan to remodel student finance included, a National Bursary Scheme, more cash to those on low incomes and grants and loans that are better than England - a made in Wales approach that stimulates participation in Welsh HE.
Images from the NUS lobby at Westminster
Beauty pageant protestors arrested
Protests against the controversial Miss University London beauty pageant came to a head at the events final when eight members of goldsmith’s Feminist Society were arrested. the protestors chained themselves to the doors of the venue and as they were removed by police, more campaigners from SOAS, King’s College, and Lse positioned themselves opposite the venue chanting, “That’s not what empowerment looks like, this is what empowerment looks like” and “We are here for education, not for your
ejaculation.” Helen Gurney, a firstyear english Language and Literature student at King’s who was involved in the protest told the London Student, “I don’t have anything against girls dressing up and having fun. However, I think that by taking part in a contest that encourages people (mostly older men) to judge them based on their appearances, they are colluding in their own objectification.” “Empowerment is about self-determination, selfconfidence, and the beauty of diversity - the beauty contest entrants are being told how to dress, how to pose, how to act, and being ranked according to how well they fit a pre-existing ideal of beauty. that’s not in the least bit empowering,” she added. Despite the action contestants were able to enter the venue, and the event was eventually won by Susheel Bal from King’s College. Protestors did manage to disrupt proceedings with a number of protestors taking to the stage, throwing paper and bouquets out into the audience, before being forcibly removed by security. earlier contestant’s speeches had been peppered with the setting off of stink bombs. Armani Bennett, one of the night’s two compères retorted: “Thanks to the girls who tried to ruin the show and failed miserably. We got to laugh at you. You made my job look better.” “I feel embarrassed for them,” she later told London Student. “They made a fool of themselves, they made the event tawdry.” Writing a column in the London Student about why she was willing to get arrested for the cause, Lydia Harris said, “Our protest wasn’t just about a beauty pageant and it wasn’t meant as an attack on the women involved. We don’t believe that the fight
for women’s liberation has been won so we believe that we’re far from post-feminist. As long as women are being raped and abused on the streets and in their own
homes, there should be no place in our society for events where men sit and ogle women for entertainment. and i’m happy to be arrested for that cause.”
The National Student, April 2009
Loan sharks target campuses
Cash-strapped students in scotland are being targeted more and more by ruthless loan sharks as bank credit dries up. NUs scotland has been receiving reports of unscrupulous lenders targeting campuses, as demand for hardship payments mean available funds are running dry. NUs scotland president Gurjit singh said: “We are very concerned by a number of reports of students turning to unreputable lenders for credit. Interest payments on these kinds of loans can very quickly become a problem for those with little or no income. We advise avoiding this kind of credit. “It is clear the low level of state support for students, together with the pressure on hardship funds and availability of credit from the banking sector, is having a huge impact on hard-up students.” “that is why we are calling for the government to do everything they can to put more money in the pockets of students while they study.” speaking to The Scotsman student finance insider revealed: “We know people have got themselves in real bother with 40% interest-rate loans. they have been turning to these people who come round the door offering loans and then take a fiver off you every week for the next ten years. debt collectors have been saying students have been advised to go to them because the colleges and universities can’t help them.” susan Mcphee, Citizen advice service director of social policy, warned students about loan sharks, “the credit crunch has made everyone on low income very vulnerable, making it more difficult for them to access affordable loans. students – like everyone else – need to be very careful about the decisions they make.”
Possible student visa terror link
as thIs month’s National Student went to press news was emerging of dramatic terror raids in the north west. two of the 12 people arrested were picked-up outside a library at Liverpool John Moores University. No one has been charged yet in connection with any alleged terrorist offences, but this has echoes of previous plots pakistan, and pakistanis, have been connected to most of the major terrorist plots in Britain since 2001, including the July 7 2005 attacks on London. Little information was known on those arrested but what has come to light is the worrying suggestion that al-Qaida commanders based in pakistan are sending extremists, under cover of student visas, although this is likely to be a very small minority of students. riffat hussain, of the defence studies department at Islamabad’s Quaid-iazam University, outlined two possible scenarios under which militants could infiltrate Britain as students. they may have been genuine students who had entered Britain, possibly overstayed visas and fallen prey to Islamists, he told the Guardian. “Once you lose your legal status you become vulnerable to ... those with an extremist agenda,” he said. the other scenario was the men had been specifically dispatched by al-Qaida, travelling under the cover of third-level students, to carry out the attack. The National Student will be following developments on this story online at thenationalstudent.co.uk and on twitter (search for Nationalstudent).
The National Student, April 2009
Students turn to drugs to aid studies
A VArsity survey has suggested that 10% of students at Cambridge admit to turning to drugs to help them with their studies. the study of 1,000 students has revealed that one in ten respondents has taken drugs such as Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall, without prescription. On top of this figure one third of respondents would take ‘concentrationenhancing’ medication given the opportunity. The Home Office said that possession of a prescriptiononly drug without a prescription is a “serious criminal offence”. it is increasingly easy to obtain such medication via online pharmacies based outside the UK. Modafinil has recently been the focus of media attention, including a BBC documentary due to the growth of popularity in the drugs use. Following their survey Varsity spoke to five Cambridge students who had taken the drug for the first time. All claimed increased awareness on the day of taking the drug, with four stating an improved ability to concentrate on work. None of the students asked reported any negative side effects to taking the drug. One student told Varsity that they had taken a 100mg Modafinil tablet each day for a ‘number of weeks’ and did feel a feeling of “despondency” in the evenings. “Although Modafinil has undoubtedly aided my concentration, after a Modafinil-fuelled library day i found it very hard to engage with people socially,” she said. the stimulant is proscribed by doctors to treat patients for chronic sleep disorders, also has a wide non-medical use. People in many high-stress jobs such as the military and nurses have been given the drug to enhance alertness
and prevent tiredness. it is easy to obtain generic versions of the drug online, which are sold under names such as Modalert and Modapro. Official brand names for the drug are Provigil and Alertec. the problem with generic versions of the drug is that they are not subject to regulations and concerns have been raised about their purity. While the long term risks of using the drug are not fully known, it is said that it benefits from not having the
nausea, irritability, agitation and comedown associated with amphetamines such as ritalin. William shanahan, Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Capio Nightingale Hospital in London, told Varsity that “there is a risk of addiction” that comes with taking Modafinil. Lisa Halpern, a senior Counsellor with Cambridge University Counselling service, said that no students or colleagues have approached her with
questions about the use of Modafinil. Commenting on the safety of the drug she said, “Drugs like Modafinil are relatively new, so we cannot, as of yet, judge the long term risks.” “Modafinil is not listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act, hence doctors can prescribe it widely to patients without medical sleep conditions, whose jobs require they stay awake and alert for prolonged periods. the drug is, however, a banned substance in sport.” “it was added to the list
of prohibited substances in 2004, and a number of high profile athletes, including Dwain Chambers, have since tested positive for Modafinil use.” “it would seem that for a number of students, however, risks to their bank account and potential long term health risks are of little concern when it comes to getting a possible extra edge in tripos,” she added. talking to Varsity one student indicated that peers at the university are involved in the sale of these drugs amongst the student population, “One person will order Modafinil in bulk from the internet, and will sell it on to their friends and acquaintances. Many people are unhappy to give over their bank details to a potentially dodgy website, and would rather buy from another student.” Cambridge University has not commented on whether taking concentration enhancing drugs is considered a form of cheating.
The National Student, April 2009
Are you looking to write your CV?
Here are jobs.ac.uk’s top tips on how NOT to do it!
unless your personal information is relevant to the job you’re applying form don’t include it, no matter how tempting! This may mean having to tweak your CV for each different job role you apply for • Burying important information – when you’re compiling your CV always think, ‘benefits, benefits, benefits!’, and make them obvious. Make what you’re bringing to the role easy to find, easy to understand and, above all, compelling • Making spelling errors, typos and using poor grammar – this is an ABSOLUTE no no and guaranteed to send your CV straight into the bin • A long, waffly CV – keep your CV short, punchy and to the point. This means it should be no more than 2 pages of A4 • A badly formatted CV – stick with fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman at font size 10 or 12, and avoid colours, crazy backgrounds or flowery page borders • Lying or misleading information – recruiters aren’t stupid, they can spot information that doesn’t stack up and are always on the look out for inflated qualifications and achievements Are you looking to write your CV? Here are jobs.ac.uk’s top tips on how NOT to do it! Whether you are about to graduate, or you are starting to think of applying for a summer job to tide you over until you start back at university in September, you are probably thinking one of two things: Is my CV up to scratch? How on earth do I start writing my CV?! In today’s job market it is more important than ever to make sure your CV stands out and doesn’t get cast straight into the bin. With recruiters often receiving tens or even hundreds of CVs for a job vacancy you’ll be lucky if your CV is read for more than 10 seconds. So, how do you ensure your CV stays IN the in-tray? Well here are some top tips from the team here at jobs.ac.uk on what NOT to do: • Meaningless introductions – craft a short, simple and benefits focused headline about yourself, you don’t want the recruiter being bored before they’ve even read past the first few lines! • Providing irrelevant personal information –
And finally: • Applying for a position for which you’re not qualified – you may look at the job advert and think, ‘I like the sound of that, I think I’ll apply!’ But remember, the reality is that if you haven’t got the right qualifications and/ or experience you’re probably wasting your time. Ask yourself, ‘do I have the right skills set and experience?’ BEFORE you send off your CV By following these simple tips you will be well on the way to writing a CV that is going to make recruiters sit up and take note. Now all you have to do is write the perfect cover
letter to go with it! To see our top tips on writing a cover letter go to: jobs.ac.uk/tipsforwritingcoverletters jobs.ac.uk is the leading jobs board for research, science, academic and related professions. We advertise over 47,000 vacancies each year for recruiters ranging from universities, colleges, research councils and charities, to companies such as Google, Coca Cola and Unilever. We also have a free Jobs by Email service which sends all the latest jobs directly to your inbox. Visit us at jobs.ac.uk
Darwin’s uni bills revealed
Charles Darwin spent more on vegetables than books whilst at university! Details from Darwin’s student days at Cambridge University between 1828 to 1831 have been published online. his bills show that he was a privileged 19th Century gentleman, paying people to carry out tasks such as stoking his fire and polishing his shoes. Darwin was also a ‘stickler’ for his daily greens. students eating dinner in college were given a basic ration of a joint of meat and a glass of beer, but Darwin forked out a further 5½d. per day for vegetables. Other optional extras on the menu included pies and cheese. Others on Darwin’s payroll included a bedmaker as well as a grocer, tailor, chimney-sweep, apothecary, porter, hatter, smith, laundress, linendraper and painter, among others. Overall, Darwin’s College bills amounted to £636.0.9½ over the three years he spent at Cambridge, not including the £14 he paid for his Ba degree in 1831 and the £12 he spent collecting his Ma in 1836, following his return from the Beagle voyage The most interesting thing about the published bills is what they don’t show, with there being little details which will enable them to reconstruct his undergraduate life as never before.” “The books show how Darwin enjoyed all the trappings one would expect of a 19th century gentleman, paying servicepeople to carry out tasks such as stoking his fire and polishing his shoes.” “They even reveal that he was a stickler for his five-a-day, paying extra for vegetables at college meals.” “Darwin famously spent little of his time at Cambridge studying or in lectures, preferring to shoot, ride and collect beetles,” he said. some details of Darwin’s student days, however, remain unknown. Dr John van wyhe, director of The Complete work Of Charles Darwin Online said, “how much he spent on alcohol, for example, or to have his horse stabled we still don’t know.” “what we do know is that a friend made a joke coat of arms for Darwin which makes drinking and smoking Darwin’s trademarks,” he continued.
evidence of money being spent on books. Famously, Darwin spent little of his time at university studying and attending lectures, preferring to shoot, ride and collect beetles. a spokesman for the university said, “Thanks to the discovery, historians now have the exact date of Darwin’s arrival at the university - January 26th, 1828 - as well as a huge assortment of
More news and features at:
The National Student, April 2009
This year’s st andrews Charity Fashion show (Fs:09) raised £10,000 for its nominated charities including its headline charity PeN. The show on February 28 entertained more than 1,100 guests, in a marquee at the university’s Lower College Lawn. The proceedings featured a fashion show, auction and after party featuring German DJ Oliver Klien.
19 student models sported clothing from a fine array of prestigious designers including emporio armani, Luella, DKNy Jeans and Luca Luca. Collections from three st-andrews based student-designers were also featured. During the auction eager guests bid on a number of exclusive lots, and a signed original Led Zeppelin LP record fetched £1,600 for charity, whilst
a 24 carat gold Godfather box set, signed by al Pacino, raised £1,450. a signed harry Potter book also went up for auction. PeN campaigns for freedom of expression for writers writing from countries lacking this fundamental liberty, and promotes literature as a powerful force for dialogue and understanding between cultures.
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Comment: ‘To tackle rape it is time for a change in the way we all perceive each other and ourselves in regards to sex‘ S
adly I wasn’t surprised by the survey results published in March’s National Student that 1/3 of university students think that a woman is in some way responsible for being raped if she is drunk or being flirty. women in particular being shown as sexual objects in the popular media. When it comes to sex, everything is saying ‘yes you can’. More worrying is the ease of access young people have to porn via the internet, including a vast library of incredibly realistic ‘rape porn’ which is available for titillation. All this has lead to a skewed idea of sex amongst the youth. For me university was a time of mass exploration, I tallied up a few notches on the bedpost, but it wasn’t without gaining a ‘slut tag’. I’d walk down the street to the student union in dresses where my arse was virtually on show, then get confused why people would shout ‘slag’ at me across the street. I used to get annoyed that no boys ever wanted me as a girlfriend instead they wanted a one night stand. I believe this is because of the typical belief that there are the ‘nice girls’ and the ‘slutty girls’. This is problematic as the truth is nothing is ever that black and white. People have their own reasons for promiscuity; some think it’s a way of achieving popularity, gaining affection you may never have experienced, looking for love in the wrong places and yes for some girls enjoying no-strings attached sex without being in a relationship. The price that has been paid for this is now evident in attitudes and perceptions. There was a time when if you heard someone had been a victim of rape you were disgusted and upset for the
Is the amount of sex on show leading to warped perceptions of acceptable sexual behaviour?
The National Student, April 2009
Comment by Leonie Hodge, founder of Teen Boundaries UK
We live in a society where the media bombards us with sex. Every aspect of the media uses sex to sell us things, for humour, to raise their profile or to be ‘cool’. With this they create many stereotypes for society to live up to. Paris Hilton is a classic example of using the ‘dumb blonde, sex toy’ image to further her career. Celebrities such as Paris, Jordan and the Pussycat Dolls think nothing of attending a premiere or other event wearing clothing with their midriffs, boobs, and legs hanging enticingly out as part of their ‘brand’. This is absolutely fine if you’re a celebrity and you have security men to deflect unwanted advances. But what about teenagers who think they too can dress as revealing as they want and get no sexual attention? What about a 13year-old that spends a night outside the local shops in a mini-skirt, cleavage top and high heels, projecting an overtly sexual image way before she has any sexual experience, or knows how to deal with this attention, where are her security guards to protect her? When the media portrays women in such a sexual open manner then naturally it will become considered normal behaviour. For young people sex is there for the taking, with
victim not wishing that on anyone, now as this recent survey highlights women are also blaming women for being raped. Why? This could be attributed to the big panic in the press about date rape. Because rape is one-person’s word against the other, being drunk means that sadly you are less likely to have a case and women do need to take responsibility for their own actions. On a night out your actions can unfortunately put you at risk, if you spend the evening flirting with and kissing someone you have met and then go home with them, it could be seen as you giving the green light for sex.
Giving these signals out to someone as drunk as you can lead to some bad situations, and put you at risk of them taking sex by force if you decline. On the over side of the coin to wake up the next day and say, “I think he raped me but I don’t know” will make it hard for people to take the case seriously. If you don’t know if you were raped how can you seriously accuse someone of doing it? However this does not give people the right to brand every woman coming out of this situation a ‘liar’ – women should be able to get drunk without the fear of being raped, but a woman should also take responsibility for her own actions and not put herself
in any undue danger with them. But at end of the day a man can control his erection, to actually rape someone it is a PHYSICAL act. Rape victims have been known to pour bleach overthemselves to try and get clean. This isn’t a joke or something you see in films, this is something that happens everyday, wrecks lives and takes generations to erase the memories. I have heard sickening jokes about rape. My question is why has everybody lost their empathy? Do these people not have mothers, sisters or daughters? Sexual freedom, was
supposed to bring us all more good times, but the negatives are rearing their head in the worst possible way. Teenage pregnancies are at an all time high; schoolgirls have ambitions of being glamour models and not doctors. 1/3 of all sexual crimes in the UK are now committed by under 21’s? Sexual bullying is increasingly evident in secondary schools and in recent years we have seen an increase in gang rape amongst young people. To stem this tide it is time for a change in the way we all perceive each other and ourselves in regards to sex. It is only with a change in perception that these attitudes will ever change. teenboundaries.co.uk
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The National Student, April 2009
Condoms versus the Pope – what does Africa think?
As the head of the Catholic church insists condoms are worsening the AIDS epidemic in Africa, The National Student speaks to a new generation of Africans for their side of the debate...
ven before landing in Cameroon on his first official trip to Africa in March, Pope Benedict XVI had given an interview on the flight from Rome that sparked outrage, debate and dismay across the world. Speaking with an Italian journalist about the AIDS epidemic ravaging the continent, he stated that the use of condoms was a problem rather than part of the solution. His comment that AIDS is ‘a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone; that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravate the problems’, was met by rapidly issued statements of rebuke from both French and German governments and HIV activists around the world. Despite significant medical advancement in its treatment, HIV remains a crisis of epic proportions in both the developed and developing worlds. Entirely unknown 27 years ago, the epidemic has caused an estimated 27 million deaths worldwide so far and shows no signs of disappearing. In 2007 alone, 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus and 2 million died from HIV related illnesses. Of the 33 million people now living with HIV, 67 per cent live in sub-Saharan Africa, a region beset by poverty, drought and violent conflict. Billions of pounds in aid have been poured into the continent in an effort to limit the horrific damage caused by the virus. Campaigns by countless charities, including Christian Aid, to achieve wider access to lifesaving antiretroviral medication, HIV testing and counselling, comprehensive sex education and condom distribution, alongside huge efforts from such unlikely sources as the former Bush administration through USAID to promote greater HIV awareness, particularly encouraging abstinence, have made significant headway in containing the virus. And yet even today, for every two people living with HIV who start taking antiretroviral drugs, five will become newly infected. The Catholic Church has a swelling congregation in Africa with ordinations rising by nearly 30 per cent in 2007, according to the Vatican. Catholic dogma insists fidelity and abstinence, rather than condoms, should be used to prevent transmission. The Pope’s recent comments were not the first time he had spoken out against condoms in the context of HIV in Africa. Addressing bishops from South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho at the Vatican shortly after his election in 2005, he said, ‘the traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV. ‘It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality.’ Dr Rachel Baggaley, Head of Christian Aid’s HIV unit, explains the potential for harm in the Pope’s position: ‘no one is saying if you throw a lot of condoms at the HIV crisis in Africa that it is going to do anything. It’s not a matter of abstinence versus condoms. ‘We want young people to be aware of all the facts, to have all the information they need to make informed decisions. We want them to be safe and avoid all sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. The worst case scenario is if they thought using condoms was wrong. If they think condoms are immoral they are more likely to have unprotected sex.’ Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma, responsible for assessing the impact of HIV on Christian Aid’s programmes, staff and partner organisations and who has herself been living with HIV for 21 years, adds: ‘the Pope had no business making such an irresponsible statement. It is one thing saying that the Catholic Church doesn’t allow the use of condoms but it’s another thing altogether to say that actually condoms accelerate the impact of HIV. We were all looking forward to his visit. His comments were such a disappointment.’ Sseruma points to the example of Uganda, where she was born. There condom distribution was part of a multi-tier approach that included an admission of the crisis by the country’s president, a massive grass roots effort to reach people in remote areas and increased voluntary counselling and testing services that led to fall in HIV prevalence from 30 per cent to the current
Christian Aid / Sarah Filbey
SIERRA LEONE – 1.7% of adult population lives with HIV
which have been taken up by the government recently: ‘young people are confused. What is what?’ ‘I’m afraid the policy of the Catholic Church is very much out of touch with the reality in which we live.’ For all the debate between the Catholic Church, countless religious leaders, politicians and the media in Europe, where is the real insight into the reality of life for a new generation of Africans born into the epidemic? What is their understanding of HIV and AIDS, how has it informed their choices and behaviour? The National Student talks with young people across Africa for their thoughts on HIV and the condom versus abstinence debate.
Mohammed Mosay, 19, from Koidu, has decided to abstain from sex until he gets married but advises his friends who don’t want to wait to use a condom. ‘We get AIDS through sex and unsterilized needles. I’ve learnt a bit about HIV: our teachers taught us. ‘I don’t want to use condoms – that’s why I abstain from sex. I will abstain from sex until I get married. Most of my friends like sex, so I advise them to use condoms. ‘My mother told me if I have sex and I impregnate somebody, she will kill me! So I’m afraid of sex. She said, ‘If you impregnate a girl, you are in big trouble with me.’ ‘When I was small, I tried it out one time, but I didn’t like it, mostly because my mother threatened me. ‘HIV is getting spread in Africa so we need education to tell us to abstain from sex and other things. Even when you shave, you have to be careful that the knife is sterile. ‘When I get married, I think I will like sex. ‘I love my mother so I always listen to her advice. But I have a girlfriend. The last time she tried to force me to have sex, I told her about HIV. She said, ‘doesn’t exist.’ I said, ‘No. Everybody is talking about HIV. How can it not exist?’ ‘I told her “I don’t want you. I don’t want to die.” ‘Many of our people, most of them will never abstain, so the best thing is to use condoms. As for me, I can look after myself: I am too young for sex and I can abstain. But many of my friends like sex so I think condoms are the way to prevent HIV and AIDS.’
with no prospects for jobs. ‘Abstinence is not all a person needs to know about tackling HIV. If we don’t have the knowledge, we cannot tackle the situation. What matters most is education. ‘If I have knowledge I can help other people. I can show them how to use a
Sierra Leone Billboard on a roadside in Zambia. It is estimated that over one million of Zambia’s 11 million population are currently living with HIV.
rate of 5.4. In the past two to three years the infection rate has begun to rise again. According to Sseruma, this is in part because of confusion between comprehensive education and the abstinence approaches to HIV prevention
NIGERIA – 3.1% of adult population lives with HIV
Eunice, 16, from Mista Ali a former mining community in Jos but following the collapse of the local mining industry, is now home to a large number of young, unemployed people
Christian Aid / Antoinette Powell
Sierra Leone Gbense Market, Koidu in Kono. Mohamed, 18, and his sister Momeh, 19, missed y not completed junior secondary education. Moh mother is unable to afford the fees that are charg ties about government legislation to provide fre encourage girls to remain in secondary school.
The National Student, April 2009
wives. He was rich and had many cows; there is a correlation between number of cattle and number of wives. You need more wives to look after more cows. Having many children is a symbol of your wealth. ‘Parents want children to live in the traditional ways but today children are growing up with different influences from outside the family, from school, from the street, TV and through music. ‘There’s a lot of influence from western culture like wearing tight clothes and short skirts. When girls walk past the football pitch we all stop and watch. For some people it’s not a problem for others it encourages them to have more relationships. ‘Older people think AIDS is a curse from God. Young people know it’s a disease like any other.’
Christian Aid / Sarah Filbey
ZAMBIA – 15.2% of adult population lives with HIV
Tokhnozih ‘Zileh’ Le is 14. After losing both her parents, Zileh moved to a large city to live with her aunt and ended up spending a lot of time with girls who were prostituting themselves to truckers for money. She was earmarked by a local organisation offering ‘life-skills’ lessons to vulnerable teens where she learnt about HIV. ‘At the life-skill classes, I’ve learnt a lot about HIV transmission, how it can be contracted and how this can be prevented. It was the first time I’d heard any of this I do feel more secure and empowered because if any boy professes love to me I have the grounds to refuse. We usually talk about condoms for those who cannot refrain. That is the main focus of prevention for me. ‘I have found myself in the company of girls who wanted to go out and get boyfriends for money. I’ve tried to tell them about HIV but they don’t listen. Some are the same age; some are a bit older than me. Most of them are fashion conscious girls so most of the money is used on the last fashions, and on beer. ‘Me, I refuse sex. I’ve never agreed to any love affairs. If a boy proposes love to me, I feel confident to say no. But most people here have several sexual partners so we talk about condoms because if you
Zileh, 14, helps to run an HIV education session with a group of young children. The whole community has been mobilised by CHEP trained peer educators. Drums are beaten and there is dancing to stimulate a gathering. A role play is performed, and the community split into groups according to age. In these groups they discuss issues related to the spread of HIV and ways to combat this through changes in behaviour within all sections of their community.
Emmanuel Masasi, 29, works in construction. He became a peer-educator, teaching kids about risk of HIV, having nursed a close family friend who died of HIV/ AIDS related illnesses last year. She was 25. ‘I’m a footballer and lead the local league team. We practice every afternoon and before we start I take the opportunity of having all these young men there to discuss HIV. Before we start we come up with a topic of the day. Some boys will say “let AIDs kill me - I can’t stop having sex”. So we’ll discuss it. ‘At the end of the day everyone has to take HIV seriously. The football team and the builders I work with are used to seeing condom ads on TV and other places. When I’ve tried to advise them on abstinence and faithfulness it causes a big debate and it’s difficult to come to any conclusion. ‘That’s one of the big challenges I face. When you talk about AIDS many people are aware, they know, young people are frightened but the challenge is trying to change people’s behaviour. ‘So I try to encourage a change of habits and attitudes towards practising safe sex. If you can’t abstain or be faithful use a condom. ‘A problem is that it’s common here to have many boyfriends or girlfriends. You
Zambia Jon Hospice, Lusaka, for terminally ill patients.
years of school during Sierra Leone’s war and have hamed attends school but Momeh does not as their ged. NMJD is raising awareness among communiee primary and junior secondary education and to
married couples, both often have other partners. Maybe in the marriage they are not satisfied so they go elsewhere. ‘Poverty is another area. If the man can’t provide for the family, his wife might have to sell her body - it is easy for women to be persuaded by a little money when they have none. Men are willing to pay. ‘It’s also part of being a respected man – having many women. Our grandfathers had many wives and we’re expected to follow in that tradition. My grandfather had seven
talk about abstinence they may agree but they will still go off with the truck drivers. I feel so frustrated when they don’t change because I see where they are going and that one day they will crash.’ To find out more information about Christian Aid’s HIV work in Africa, visit
by Phoebe Greenwood for Christian Aid
Christian Aid / David Rose
condom. If we do not have knowledge we can’t halt the spread of the disease. ‘We are the parents of tomorrow and we will know how to handle our children. Parents and children must talk to each other about sex and be honest. Parents today are too embarrassed to talk about sex. ‘If you know what you want for your
future, you will really want to prevent the virus. You have to know your own goals and have the self esteem to protect yourself.’
can have one then another and another. People can’t stick with one. Same with
TANZANIA – 6.2% of adult population lives with HIV
The National Student, April 2009
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A Traveller’s Tale
Continuing his insane journey across the globe on a postal bike, Nathan Millward hits Indonesia...
we realised the fortnightly ferry had sailed that very morning. Bugger. Thankfully smaller, local ferries were running, but not just yet because of the weather. In Kupang then we waited a week, me developing a serious case of man flu and Dot getting an essential change of fluids for the road ahead. Finally a ferry came. Just a hard metal deck on which a woman with an over active sinus gobbed big chunks of her gooey lungs. Worse, throughout the entire 20 hour journey I was harassed by a local guy, snide looking with a shifty grin. He scared me, I hated him, and so I could happily have pushed him overboard along with the spitting bitch. Finally we reached Flores, a long mountainous island with hills that Dot could barely make it up. She huffed and puffed past all these local villages that occupy every inch of the road and make stopping for a picnic or a quick pee incredibly difficult. Sumbawi, the next island was the same, as was the next, Lombok. With Indonesia being so big and me foolishly applying only for a 30-day visa - not a 60 - we dashed across these three islands in four days before arriving in Bali for a breather. Despite the big boozers and the idiots falling off ndonesians are murdering, militant country invaders with the blood of East Timor on their hands. Or at least that’s the conclusion I’d come to after two weeks listening to locals tell their horrific stories from the 25 years of Indonesia occupancy. And that meant my knees were knocking the day I decided to cross to the other side of Timor, the West side, where Indonesia still rules. I didn’t know what to expect, I think to be tortured and buried in the woods with the 200,000 East Timorese the Indonesians had reportedly made dead the last 25 years. But in fact the men at the border were very friendly. Helpful even. We were through in half an hour and my conclusion was wrong. Or so it seemed. Already being late in the day we decided to stay in Atambua, a wild west town just over the border where three UN personnel had been murdered a few years back. It felt like that kind of town, with one local man following me to the hotel, asking too many questions then being there in the morning to follow me to the phone shop. I said “are you following me?” He shook his head. He clearly was, so me and Dot got the hell out of there, raced towards the port town of Kupang and then kicked ourselves when
The National Student, April 2009
their mopeds the island’s a great place. Especially a town in the hills called Ubud. There I stayed in a cottage by a rice field and sat in cafes drinking ginger tea all day. It was just what me and Dot needed before we head-butted the buses and lorries of Java. After the mint Toblerone mountains of Flores and the all-day siesta of typical Indonesia life, Java is like being hit in the head with a shovel. Or in my case, a bus. It was the coming the other way on the wrong side of the road and I had no where to go. ‘It’s going to hit me, it’s going to hit me, it’s going t…..’ BANG. The bus belted Dot on her right side and walloped us into the side of a second bus that I was overtaking at the time. Like a
pinball I ricocheted between the two at 50mph and came out the other side somehow alive, unlike my two opponents which must have had been bent and mangled judging by the amount of their paint Dot was wearing when I pulled over to empty my underpants. She’s a tough old bird. And she’s had to be. In few days that followed we would fall off three times, get stranded down a ditch in the rain and be chased by the police for running a red light. ‘TOOOOT TOOOOT,’ went the policeman’s whistle as we sailed past. I wondered what best to do. Stop or carry on? Then Dot stood up and made the call. ‘Just ride man, just ride.’ So we gunned it, flat out at 80km/h with me looking in the mirror every minute for the flashing blue light. But it never came, Dot was too fast. We were free…. to be ripped off by cunning locals. But that was Java; crowded, noisy and dirty with just one too many tourist scams for me to recommend it. Unlike the much calmer Sumatra, the next and last of the Indonesian islands where I was made honorary member of an Indonesian biker gang and felt safe enough to sleep by the road in my tent. Since East Timor I’d covered 4,000 kilometres in two weeks, I now had just one week to cover 2,000 kilometres and get out the country before my visa ran out. Big problems I was told if I didn‘t. For Dot that meant her poor throttle had to wrung
dry for kilometre after kilometre. The roads though were terrible. Potholes and landslides with big trucks blasting past the other way on your side of the road. Sometimes the speed dropped to 10 km/h and I’d curse and swear at the government for not fixing them. The last few days were really tough going and with so little time I had no choice but to sail past Parapat and all the other tourist attractions just to make Medan and a ferry to Malaysia before the visa ran out. Only we failed. Sort of. Because actually we made it with a day to go. The problem was the ferry wouldn’t take motorbikes and no one knew when the next cargo ship sailed. We rode back into town deflated, defeated and feeling very much alone. At the internet café the owner presented her daughter. “She make good wife,” the mother said. Sure, she was beautiful and made a cracking ice tea, but I need a boat, not a bride. I rode back to the port and began to ask anyone I could find about a big ship to Malaysia. Finally we found someone who could help. He was a stout man, looking every inch like an Asian Forest Whittaker from The Last King of Scotland. In a derelict warehouse somewhere on the dodgy side of the docks he said he could take Dot across the pond for 1million RP. About sixty quid. Here that’s a lot, but I was desperate. I agreed, handed over Dot, the money, and then left with no receipt. “Not necessary,” he
assured me. Later that week, with Dot already on her way to Malaysia and me two days over my visa, I caught the passenger ferry, paid a fine for overstaying to Indonesian Government plc and kept my fingers crossed that Dot would be waiting for me when I got there. That she was, but I’d been conned. The guy in Medan was only an agent and the fee I’d paid him was just to line his own back pocket. On the Malaysian side I was asked to pay the ‘real’ fee, another million RP. I was fuming, livid, steaming, but what do you do? They had Dot held ransom, I need her back to press on to England so I had no choice but to pay the price and set her free. The boss laughed when I complained. I could have pushed him overboard as well. But that was yesterday, today‘s another day, with the two of us now in the Malaysia highlands drinking tea and singing songs around the hostel’s campfire until we decide to pack up once again and make the short journey north to Thailand. Since leaving Sydney we’ve covered 11,000kms and reckon another 20,000 stands between us and England. It’s tough and everyday presents a whole new heap of challenges, but at the same time it’s awesome. The freedom, the adventure, not knowing where the road will take you or what trials and tribulations will come your way. I’m loving every minute of it. And so, I hope, is Dot.
The National Student, April 2009
Warne still spinning his magic
James Davies speaks to the man who is sorely missed from the game he graced for many years
frankly and was reluctant to pad a way any questions, preferring instead to hit them for six, saying “ask whatever you want mate”. Now retired from the international game you are more likely to catch the Aussie legend around a poker table than you are on a cricket pitch, as he tries his hand in the professional game. The tanned Aussie explains, “I’ve played poker my whole life. I probably started as a 12 or 13-yearold with matchsticks. But I’ve only really been playing tournaments in the last three years, but I’ve really developed a passion for it.” Throughout his illustrious cricketing career Warne was very good at playing mind games against his opposition, but has he ever tried dropping a few choice insults at the table? “Well, a few of the Yanks at the World Series all thought they were ‘Eddie the Expert’. They thought they knew exactly everything about every hand, so occasionally there was a bit of sledging going on, but most of the time it was all pretty relaxed and I’d just go about my business and keep my mouth shut. I don’t really say much.” Adding with his infamous mischievous look, “Give me another year or so…” Warne, who was born in Ferntree Gully, Australia moves on swiftly from Poker and begins to talk about his childhood; “I used to get the cane a lot for misbehaving. At school I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box so if I didn’t understand I would act the fool. I would then have to go down and see the principle who would practise his golf swing with six of the finest.” Jokily adding, “I must have enjoyed it because I kept on going back.” ‘Warney’, as he is affectionately known by his thousands of loyal fans, has basked in the glory of no fewer than seven Ashes series wins, taking an incredible 195 wickets in 36 Ashes tests, leaving many of England’s batsman bamboozled on more than one occasion. Not only have his outstanding achievements on the field revitalised the art of leg-spin, but Warne has played a major role in the development of the game. So what is the secret to facing the world’s most successful leg spinner? Warne revealed, “Just watch the hand and how the ball comes out of the hand and you’ll know exactly what’s happening.” When Warne, the cigarette-smoking, beerswilling sportsman, packed in the jet-set life style of an international cricketer two years ago many found it incomprehensible that he actually even thought about leaving the sport when there was clearly so much more there for us to enjoy. Smiling, Shane explains, “A lot of people said you’ll get to an age when you’ll know when it’s time to retire, but I didn’t get that. But then I did and I knew it was my time. Its better they say to you why did you, then why didn’t you?” The legend however really began in England, during that famous Test match of 1993 when he bowled Mike Gatting with the ‘ball of the century’. A moment of cricketing history was born, changing his life forever. Shane humbly says, “It was a fluke. To do that on your first ball when you’re nervous and you haven’t been playing for long and you’re playing against England and Mike Gatting, who is a superb player, to just land it was a fluke.” Shane made spin bowling famous with that one bowl, and singlehandedly transcended the sport. Soon fast bowlers were shoved to one side with leg-spinners coming to the fore. But what struck me most about this loveable rogue was that he didn’t actually ever dream about being a top class cricketer. Warne calmly explains, “Being a Victorian it’s all about Aussie Rules Football and I wanted to play Aussie Rules when I was growing up, but I wasn’t good enough.” A s t o n i s h i n g l y confessing, “I just played cricket in the summer because most of my buddies did, but I was a batsman not a bowler.” The man with somewhat of an Aussie beach-bum appearance explains, “The bowling didn’t really interest me because I was being whacked around and I wasn’t very good. It’s tough being a spinner when you’re not that good and it’s quite embarrassing as a youngster when you’re bowling double bouncers or the ball goes over the fence and they can’t find it.” He explains, “My success has been down to hours and hours of practise. I could always spin the ball, but the accuracy came a lot later.” So were those rumours true that Warne, the man who had been at the forefront of England’s downfall on so many occasions, was really going to come and coach the three lions? With a wry smile and a brief chuckle Shane says teasingly, “I wouldn’t rule anything out.” Although Warne’s life has been plagued by scandal and controversy both on and off the field, that is all part of the legend. He will forever be remembered for torturing batsmen with his flight, guile, spin and mystery, all factors which mean England can breathe a sigh of relief that they do not have to face him this summer’s Ashes. uring his playing days Shane Warne was without doubt a special cricketer. He was arguably the finest spin bowler of all time and many have gone as far as declaring him the greatest cricketer to ever play the game. That assessment would accommodate not only his skill as a bowler, but also his gift as an entertainer. From the moment the leg-spinner bemused Mike Gatting just over sixteen years ago, with that fizzing first delivery, Warne has dominated the game and frustrated many of those standing at the other end of the wicket, with not only his mesmerising talents as a cricketer but also with his barbaric competitive streak, which has helped him, throughout his career, ruthlessly tear sides apart. Although the charismatic legend made his name from a number of different turning deliveries, the affable Warne, who has 708 Test wickets to his name, doesn’t spin off the field. The straight talking Aussie, who has a very physical presence, spoke
The National Student, April 2009
Championships bring double gold for brilliant Birmingham
On March 14 and 15, Sheffield played host to the second British University Championship Finals. Twenty four sports and 5,000 sportsmen and women from a vast number of universities converged upon the City of Sport with hopes of victory. In its first appearance at the largest multi-sport event in Britain, korfball, joined mainstream sports such as basketball, football and lacrosse. If the drama that unfolded at the Graves Tennis Centre is anything to go by, korfball will become a permanent fixture at the BUCS Finals weekend for many years to come. The group stages, played on Saturday, passed without much upset. Pretournament favourites Nottingham cruised to victory in their group, crushing Reading 17-2 in a one sided game, whilst Cambridge, winners of the Southern qualifying section in November, demonstrated their mental strength by coming from behind to defeat a plucky Edinburgh side by one goal, meaning they missed out on a place in the quarter-finals. Another side who failed to progress was Southern finalists Oxford, who missed out on a top two spot after being placed in a strong group. Sunday brought with it the quarter finals and a re-acquaintance of some various korfball rivalries. In the Steel City derby, Sheffield and Hallam contested a close match that was separated by just two goals with Simon Kisby’s lethal hat trick enough to see Hallam through at the expense of a Matt Clement inspired Sheffield. Nottingham were drawn against Leeds in a replay of the Northern qualifying final and the Yorkshire side were unable to gain revenge for losing that day as they suffered a heavy 11-3 defeat with Under 23 GB international Joe Bedford scoring four and Ruth Evans impressing with three of her own. In the other two quarter final games, Birmingham cruised past Manchester 6-2 with Caroline Woolley and Claire Howes getting on the scoresheet whilst Cambridge, spearheaded by the freescoring George Marshall, made light work of surprise of the tournament St Andrews in a 9-6 victory. The semi-final draw ensured there would be a northern and a southern side contesting the final. In the southern half, Birmingham and Cambridge came together for the first time in eighteen months and the game did not disappoint. Birmingham began the game brightly with Matt Warren converting a free pass and Alex Turner a penalty. Chris Whitt’s superb defending for Birmingham meant danger man Marshall had a quiet game and it was subsequently left to Nick Buttinger to lead the Cambridge charge with two goals, one a superb faded turn and shot after receiving the feed, which meant they led 4-2. After half time, Birmingham rallied and a hat trick from Claire Bolton saw Birmingham assume a three goal lead. Sian Mawditt and Angus Davidson were always dangerous in attack and it was the Scotsman’s dangerous drop-offs that ensured Cambridge stayed within touching distance. However, though a last minute goal halved the deficit but it was too little, too late and Brum went through ahead of the 1996 and 1997 champions. The northern semi was a less contested affair. Nottingham dominated from the off as John Haggart and captain Tim McLoughlin showed their long shooting prowess as they bagged two goals each. Bedford supplemented these with two of his own to leave Hallam with a lot to do going into the second half. The strong collecting of Robert Fletcher offered Hallam some hope and allowed George Buttinger, a thorn in the side of Sheffield in the quarters,
to plunder two goals for the Sheffield side. However, his efforts and one from Vicky Greenshill could not prevent last year’s Nationals winners losing this time around. Hallam did, however, managed to salvage something from the weekend as they picked themselves up from the disappointment of missing out on a place in the final to beat a disconsolate Cambridge 9-4 with Sam Tolley and Jordan Icke pitching in with a rare goals. In the final, Nottingham, the winners of the competition in 1998 and 2000, were pitted up against Birmingham, who had only ever come in the top eight once. Tim Gregory settled any nerves the Midlands team may have as he scored a stunning long shot. From that point on, Birmingham, coached by former student and Welsh international Nick Wilkins, didn’t look back. If they had done, they would have seen a Nottingham side, struggling to disarm Brum’s stout defence. Barring Joe Bedford, who scored three to make him the tournament’s top scorer, the Birmingham boys had little trouble marking their opposition though Taryn Al-Mashgari and Sarah Cook pitched in with goals for Nottingham. It was Birmingham’s
impressive movement and shooting in attack that undid the East Midlands side; first Alex Turner lost his marker to shoot a close range effort and then Matt Warren evaded Bedford and punished the Notts player for his rebound defence with a smart finish. Birmingham zipped the ball around, using long driven diagonal passes to turn their
BUCS Korfball Nationals
Final placings: 1 Birmingham 2 Nottingham 3 Sheffield Hallam 4 Cambridge 5 St Andrews 6 Sheffield 7 Leeds 8 Manchester 9 Edinburgh 10 Oxford 11 East Anglia 12 Bristol 13 Cardiff 14 Kent 15 Lancaster 16 Reading
opponents and enabling Birmingham Captain Andy Davies and Bolton to add to their tallies. In the end, Nottingham had no answer to Birmingham’s
assured and structured brand of korfball and they rightfully claimed there first ever Nationals victory and a place at the European Korfball Championships next year. Birmingham’s success was made doubly sweet by their 2nd team matching this medal winning success at their national tournament in Nottingham on the 21st March. Birmingham sailed through their group, with some stern defending from the likes of Catherine Hoggart and Kim Watson meaning they conceded just once in four group games. In attack Birmingham posed many problems for the likes of Sheffield Hallam and hosts Nottingham with James Secker showing considerable skill and composure, leading the way with eight goals. In the semi-final Birmingham faced the physically imposing Edinburgh side but despite an early goal for the team from Scotland, Birmingham took control of the game, eventually sealing their place in the final with a 6-4 victory. In the other semi-final the best placed second team, Sheffield Hallam, who won the tournament in 2007, faced winners in 2006 and 2008, UEA. The match was as tight as had been expected but UEA booked
their place in the final with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Laura Burman and Harry Low. In the final, two early goals for the strong Birmingham side put them in control, but Sarah Bronson replied UEA to set up a tense ten minutes of play. Birmingham Captain Ben Cawley set a perfect example to his team with some outstanding defending to keep at bay a some relentless attacking from UEA. Despite the best efforts of Secker and Kristy Ellis in the Birmingham attack, the side from the Midlands could not get the crucial third goal, until Jo Bailey shot a long range effort to relax the nerves which were beginning to show, if only on the faces of the supporters. Cawley then got his reward for his consistency all tournament by settling the match with two goals, and Birmingham went on to seal a hardfought victory 5-2. This double success for Birmingham is recognition of several years hard work and dedication from many within the club, particularly coach Wilkins who’s commitment and passion for the game has clearly helped to lead both his teams to gold medal success and allow Birmingham’s Korfball Club to help push the sport into the spotlight.
The National Student, April 2009
Gavin bounces back from Olympic knockout
Frankie Gavin talks to Ben Whitelaw about turning professional, playing pranks and 4am wake up calls in the build up to his professional debut at the NEC in Birmingham
Frankie Gavin is not one to beat around the bush. The 2007 World amateur Champion does not bother with toeing the party line, does not deal in boxing clichés and is not interested in regurgitating any spiel he may be fed by his new promoter, Frank Warren. The Birmingham born fighter speaks what he feels and feels what he speaks. ask him about his dramatic failure to make the weight necessary to compete as a lightweight at the Beijing Olympics last summer and he will tell you. Quiz him about the amateur Boxing association and their suspect medaldriven decisions and the 23 year-old will happily give you his opinion. all while baring a cheeky smile. it really is never a dull day when Gavin is around. it’s no wonder they call him ‘Funtime Frankie’. Yet, there was nothing fun about Frankie last august. Billed as the Olympic favourite before a punch was thrown, Gavin faced ignominy after committing a boxer’s cardinal sin by failing to make the required 60kg to box at lightweight. Gavin flew home in disgrace, his life’s dream in tatters, no Olympic fairytale in sight. and all in spite of training harder than he ever had done before at the preOlympic camp in Sheffield. “i worked harder than i ever did in the build up to Beijing. You had to jump on the scales five six times a day, checking if you’d lost a pound or gained. it was all too much for me to be honest, if anything it knocked my confidence”. it could have turned out very differently for the southpaw had the amateur Boxing association, the sport’s governing body, granted Gavin’s request to fight Bradley Saunders to determine who went to Beijing as the Great British representative at lightwelterweight. if he had been allowed, Gavin would likely be the owner of an Olympic gold medal. as it was, he could only watch as Saunders failed to make an impression and was knocked out of the competition in the early stages. in effect, Gavin suffered from his own success, chained by the aBa to box at lightweight after winning both the Commonwealth title and the World amateur Championships in Chicago at that division. Thinking back on those hardest few days of his life, Gavin, sporting a cockney style flat cap that only serves to increase the sense of mischief about him, is remarkably candid. “i can’t blame the aBa. i asked to move up a weight and they said no, it’s as simple as that. Sometimes you grow, get bigger and become a man; that’s what happened to me and it just meant i was too big for the weight”. There is a pause before he starts up again. “They should have let me have a box-off though. They made a mistake and cost themselves a medal because I definitely would have won gold had i boxed at welterweight”. His certitude means you believe him too. The Olympic debacle may be water under the bridge but Gavin’s reaction suggests that such water has a strong current of resentment that may never cease until he banishes the memories of flying home from China minus a medal and his pride. The only way to do that, Gavin realised, was to establish himself as a professional. Thus, Gavin ignored calls to stay on as an amateur for another four years and signed with Warren along with fellow Beijing team members Billy Joe Saunders and James de Gale. “i never thought about staying round for 2012 despite the Olympics being in London’ Gavin explained. ‘i got the feeling it was my time to go, the time to make my mark”. “it’s obviously a shame that I didn’t finish my amateur career with an Olympic medal’ he continued ‘but i’ve got on with it, i’m a professional now and not a amateur anyone. The Olympics is the past and being World amateur Champion means nothing now. i have to start over again.” One point Gavin is quick to quash is that idea that the Olympic disaster has in any way affected his future career or earnings. rumours circulated that a gold medal would have added a
Three is the magic number for TeamBath
TeaMBaTH WOn netball’s Co-operative Superleague for the third time, beating Mavericks 54-46 on the april 4 in the grand final at the Skydome in Coventry. victory over the defending champions means TeamBath ended their 2008/2009 campaign with their 100% record this season intact with 18 wins from 18 games. TeamBath began the game in the manner they had played all season and had soon chalked up a 19-8 lead in the first quarter. Mavericks battled back, reducing the deficit to five goals in the final quarter, but it was not enough as TeamBath produced an impressive all-round team performance and to ensure they sealed the title. This was not the first time the two sides had met on such an occasion. The previous years when TeamBath had been successful, 2006 and 2007 they beat Mavericks by eight goals in final on both occasions. Jess Garland, TeamBath’s head coach, becomes the first person to win the Superleague as a player and a coach. She said: “it was an awesome start and that says everything about where the players were tonight.” Garland was particularly pleased with how her players played in a game which carried massive pressure; “We turned over lots of ball and we were clinical in attack. But you’ve got to give credit to Mavericks; they came back at us all the time. They closed it to five near the end. it wasn’t pretty at times, but i was really pleased with the response from the players.” Pamela Cookey, who scored 26 from 28 attempts, was named player of the match and she too was delighted with the hard-fought victory; “We had to fight all the way, but we came through it in the end’ she said. ‘We won it in the first quarter. We really came out at the start and built up a lead. everyone on the court did their bit today.” Cookey added and it is clear that despite this battling performance, this TeamBath side is also filled with extremely gifted players who have guided them to this Superleague success.
million pounds onto his first professional contract though this is something Gavin brushes off with knowing grin. ‘i want to become the best and that is the most important thing. That desire and knowing i have what it takes to become a world champion means i am not worried about the financial side of things. The money will come if i do well and i know i will do well.’ To ensure his plan comes to fruition, Gavin has relocated to Manchester with his partner and six month old baby boy where he will be trained by anthony Farnell, former WBU middleweight champion, at his gym in Failsworth. The move represents a whole
new chapter in Gavin’s life and one that it seems he is relishing. “i know Manchester is the right move for me. it will obviously be hard being away from friends and family in Birmingham but it is just one of those sacrifices you have to make.” “My little boy has made me grow up a lot”, he continues glancing across at Gavin junior, experiencing his first press conference, “i can’t wait till he gets older so we can run about playing football.” asked if he had trouble juggling training with the early morning wake up calls, Gavin sheepishly divulged that it was his partner that dealt with
any late night calls. “The missus is a star. i couldn’t do the early morning shift and then get up at half six to get to the gym. Training has to come first.” it is that attitude, that burning desire to box and to prove himself, which set Gavin up so nicely for his debut fight in his home town of Birmingham on the Februqry 28. Part of the undercard to the Martin rogan and Matt Skelton Commonwealth Heavyweight title fight, ‘Funtime Frankie’ stopped George kadaria in the fourth round to secure a solid victory and set the tone for what he and many others believe will be a successful career.
The BUCS Futsal Championship Finals were contested on the March 12 and 13, where 16 men’s and eight women’s university Futsal teams competed at Ponds Forge, Sheffield with the dream of being crowned University Futsal Champions as part of the 2009 BUCS Championships. In a league format, the men’s teams were drawn in groups of four, with two teams then qualifying to the knockout Championship Quarter Finals, and third placed finishes entering the Trophy. Loughborough dictated the proceedings in Group A, scoring 21 goals in three games, defeating all opponents, Reading, Southampton Solent and Leeds Met to soar into the Quarter Finals. Leeds Met claimed the second qualification spot, displaying great performances against Southampton and Reading. Tim Johnson secured third place for Reading in a close affair with Southampton, scoring in the final two minutes to end the game 6-5.The impressive Brunel claimed top spot in Group B following victories against east Anglia, Bristol and an impressive 5-4 win over Teeside. The second qualification spot rested on a game between east Anglia and the seasoned Teeside. east Anglia prevailed to win 6-3 in a back and forth encounter which saw Teeside’s Jason Kilbride get dismissed. Group C saw Bath and Stirling beat Brighton and Lincoln to send them both into the quarter-finals respectively, with Bath claiming top spot after a 7-0 win against Stirling following an Ian Parkes hat-trick. A final game between pointless Brighton and Lincoln resulted in a 2-2 draw to see Lincoln qualify for the Trophy due to superior goal difference. Group D was filled with the experienced hartpury, York and Worcester and hertfordshire. hartpury secured the top spot following three tight victories. Worcester claimed the second qualification spot, where a 4-2 win against York saw them advance. York finished third place, qualifying for the Trophy. In the quarter finals, Loughborough, the defending champions, continued their fine form against east Anglia, winning 8-0 to advance to the semis. Leeds Met who finished second in group A, shocked undefeated Group B winners Brunel, with a 4-1 victory to join Loughborough. Bath also joined the final four, defeating Worcester 3-2 after a Daniel Ayash extra time winner.
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Futsal steals the show in Sheffield
The most tightly contested match up of the round was between Stirling and hartpury. In a thrilling encounter, an 8-7 victory to hartpury allowed them to advance to the semi-finals following a Steve Davies hat-trick. Bath faced Loughborough in the first semi-final, in what was a close battle between two experienced Futsal sides. The scores were tied at 1-1 after normal time, before early in extra time Mark Ingram scored to put Bath in front. Amidst heavy onslaught from the chasing Loughborough, Bath held on to complete a famous victory and knock out last season’s champions. hartpury displayed their dominance in the second semi-final against Leeds Met where they were not to be denied their place in the final. A second hat-trick for Steve Davies sealed a 5-2 victory. The final lived up to expectation, and was a great advert for the increasingly popular Futsal. Bath went ahead in the game, before quick hartpury replies from Davies and the experienced Marc Richards saw hartbury take the lead. As is the nature of the fast paced game, Ian Parkes and Mark Ingram soon scored for Bath to regain the lead. At 4-4, extra-time seemed almost inevitable, however, it was hartpury’s day,
when Jonathan else made himself the hero, finishing from close range to seal a 5-4 victory and crown hartpury as BUCS Men’s Futsal Champions 2009. The women’s format was contested via two groups of four teams, but all eight teams were to progress to the Championship Quarter Finals. Brunel followed suit from the Men’s team, topping Group A with Birmingham taking second. Leeds Met controlled Group B taking top spot, while Durham claimed second. The knock-out rounds saw a change of fortune for Durham, who were knocked out by Loughborough who advanced following a 3-0 victory. Loughborough were soon joined by Brunel who defeated Imperial 3-0 in their quarter final, with Captain Zoë Lance leading by example with two goals. Birmingham were eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Bath, with a late strike from Sofia Luxon helping them progress. Leeds Met continued their group form, eliminating Brighton from the proceedings following a dominant 5-1 victory. They also proved unstoppable in the Semi Finals, where Bath suffered a 7-1 hammering, with a notable hat-trick from Carla Cantrell. Loughborough were then confirmed as their
opponents, where a 2-0 victory over Brunel sent them into the final for the second time in two years. In a close final, Leeds Met took the initiative going 2-0 in front early on. Loughborough were not to roll over however, where a fine individual effort from Lauren hardern saw Leeds get pegged back to 2-1. Loughborough gave all they had for an equaliser, but it was not to be as the Leeds Met defence held strong to see the undefeated team crowned BUCS Women’s Futsal Champions 2009. George Carney, BUCS Football Development Manager was obviously
delighted with the success of the tournament; ‘The standard of this year’s finals were even higher than previous years which shows the commitment by many universities to develop the sport amongst their students. Planning is already underway for next year’s regional heats as BUCS aims to produce an even bigger and better tournament for its members.’ It is clear from the success of this year’s championships and the growing popularity of the sport that Futsal will be in the headlines more and more over the coming months.
English triumph in battle of Britain
On Wednesday April 8 Sheffield United FC played host to a clash between the English universities football XI and their Scottish counterparts. Last time the two sides met the a goal from Exodus Geohaghan was enough to see the English representatives seal victory. This match was as tight as had been anticipated, but a 75th minute goal from Leeds Met midfielder Dominic Krief was enough to give the home side the bragging rights. George Carney, BUCS Football Development Manager was pleased with all the work that had gone into the game; “It is a massive achievement to play representative football and lots of universities can be proud of the players and programmes they are developing to keep raising the standard across the HE sector.” For a full match report go to thenationalstudent.co.uk
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