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Issue 61 - Saturday 28th September 2013
Arriva diesel spill grips campus. Read the story on page 6.
NEWS NUS president makes her mark and calls on gov and universities to step up to the plate. More on page 4 OPINION & ANALYSIS The smoking ban six year’s on get Sam West’s take on things - Page 7
Find Steve The Stag and enter Stag Media’s ultimate freshers giveaway.
FEATURES Richard Winstone spends a year in the USA. Read his tale on page 9
SCIENCE & TECH HIV-like cure in monkeys. Next step: humans. But how close are we? Find out on Page 13
The “8th best university in the UK” , the University of Surrey. The Alan Turing statue outside Austin Pearce building where freshers and applicants will be welcomed this year.
MUSIC Festival season has hit The Stag’s writing team. FInd out what they got up to on page 18 SOCIETIES Getting in the mood for Freshers Fayre on page 28
Welcome to Surrey (Again)
• Campus is repopulated as students return • Catch up on events over the summer and get after the summer break. the Freshers week low-down.
By Alex Smith, Editor that the 15,000 student population will rise as campus begins to rustle with the sound of first years finding their feet. The first thing they might notice is the large number of banners which have popped-up across campus. With Surrey climbing the university league tables, we are constantly reminded of our success: 8th in The Guardian Complete University Guide, 12th in The Times. Surrey is also home to the highest employment rate in the country, currently at near 97% of students secure full-time work in the six months following graduation. And Stag Hill itself was recently rated the 4th prettiest campus university in the UK. All of which have been shown, time after time, to make a difference to the open day experience. For returning students you may notice a few changes: Amigo has now become The Surrey Shop - although it is still owned by Compass Group, so to make Continued on page 3...
SPORTS Tour of Britain comes to guildford as Sir Bradley and Cavendish triumph. It’s on the back page.
ordes of students will flock back to campus today, following the international moving-in week, after what has been a quiet summer on Stag Hill. With a rise in applications this year on 33% and increases in departmental sizes, we can expect
The Stag | 28th September 2013
News Editor: Shunayna Vaghela
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Editor | Alex Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief | Andy Smith email@example.com Deputy Editor (Head of Design) | Paul A Richmond firstname.lastname@example.org Design Team | Vacant Deputy Editor (Marketing) | Nicole Vassell email@example.com Marketing Team | Vacant News Editor | Shunayna Vaghela firstname.lastname@example.org News Team | Joe Trueman, Ellie Kerr-Smiley Opinion & Analysis Editor | Sam West email@example.com Opinion & Analysis Team | Siobhan Harris, Josh Langley, Alice Lincoln Features Editor | Rebekkah Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org Features Team | Sophie Vickery, Amy Vitoria, Lily Pearson, Sophie Dyer, Jas Smith, Tilly Tasker Science and Technology Editor | Siobhan Harris email@example.com Science and Technology Team | Melissa Raske, Sam West, Fahmid Chowdhury, Ankur Banerjee, Societies Editor | Alice Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org Dance and Theatre Editor | Rebecca Tubridy email@example.com Dance and Theatre Team | Amy Le Rossignol, Rosa Manzi Reid, Tiffany Stoneman, Amy McGivern Film Editor | Sophia Field firstname.lastname@example.org Film Team | Beth Goss, Ankur Banerjee, Candice Ritchie, Music Editor | Candice Ritchie email@example.com Music Team | Kyra Hanson, Rebecca Tubridy, Sophia Field, Aaran Coe, Literature Editor | Shiri Shah firstname.lastname@example.org Literature Team | Joeseph Harrison, Sophie Vickery, Ben Andrew-Allen Sport Editor | Vacant email@example.com Sport Team | Rebecca Tubridy, Alex Smith Webmaster | Andrew Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Webeditor | Vacant email@example.com
Have you got a unique writing style, a passion for news or an ear for a story/ ...or have you always wondered if you’d make a good journalist?
The New Smartphone App
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
My Sex Doctor:
movies, music, ” and that “lack of adequate information about sex and sexuality has never stopped anyone from becoming sexually active and having a sex life... the unfortunate consequences of this approach are widespread and undeniable.” The answer, he says, is a stated; “homosexuality is just one of the various aspects of human sexuality and therefore you’ll find it mixed with other topics. So when we talk about sexual orientation we talk about homosexuality... When later we talk about sexual acts, we also cover how men have sex with men
Then work for us!
Find us at Freshers fayre or send your name and prefered section(s) to
Continued from page 1... things easier for this issue it will be referred to as ‘The shop formerly known as Amigo’,
The University of Surrey was rated the 4th most pretty university campus in the UK bus services are now running as normal. The NUS Extra card now gets you 10% off at The Co-Operative stores across the UK, including our
and get involved in student media.
ey there Stag Readers! Welcome to a new year at Surrey, and welcome to your university newspaper. I’m Nicole and I’m the Deputy Marketing Editor for The Stag – basically, I make sure that the papers are in nice, visible places and try to make sure we spend our funds on sensible things like...you know, PRINTING the paper. I’m a final year English Literature student and when I’m not pretending to read, I shop, watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns and learn Beyoncé and Lady Gaga routines in my bedroom. This is my third year on the Stag team, and I love it! Hope you all enjoy the exciting things we have planned for this year!
“The NUS extra card now gets you 10% off at The Co-Operative”
GU2 Radio have now rebranded to Stag Radio and all student media outlets are formally under the umbrella of Stag Media, The Union Shop has been reformatted and will enjoy longer opening hours than previously – expect to be able to get cheap evening confectionary. A diesel spill on campus has left the perimeter road covered in a white trail following last week’s clean-up operation. Arriva one south of campus on Madrid Road. Otherwise Surrey is much the same. Freshers Week begins today, with Stag Radio’s launch night in The Living Room and culminating in next Saturday’s appearance of Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. Flirt!, founded at Surrey and the UK’s biggest student night catering to 3,000 students every week, will return on Friday with a Paint vs Foam party in Rubix.
he new app, founded by computer science graduate Fabrizio Dolfi, hopes to answer all the sex questions that teenagers and young adults are too afraid to ask. My Sex Doctor is designed to address the full spectrum of issues concerning sex – from puberty to unhealthy relationships to sex itself, all the way to abortion, pregnancy and parenthood. Available in two versions; My Sex Doctor Lite, a free app aimed at those aged 13+, and My Sex Doctor, a paid app, (£1.49) which caters for everyone up to the age of 25 and includes more detailed information on sex. Dolfi believes that Sex Ed programmes in schools are grossly inadequate, thus the basis for this app. He maintains that “people are stuck discussing whether sex education programmes say too little or too much and fail to realise that first, sex is everywhere - advertisements, TV shows,
“...sex is everywhere - advertisements, TV shows, movies, music” — Fabrizio Dolphi
judgement free guide on hand whenever a query comes up, that is both private and informative. That is where My Sex Doctor, created with the help of high school and college students and structured in a way that follows the natural evolution that every young person goes through, comes in. Dolfi is also quick to point out that the app tries to be as gender neutral as possible, avoiding terms such ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’, instead using ‘partner’. He also and women with women.” The ultimate purpose of the app is to offer young adults a new way to access reliable information about sex and sexuality. As young people mature, they should have easy access to reliable and easy to understand information about sex and sexuality to better understand the transformation they are going through and to be able to make informed choices about their sexual behaviours and ultimately their own sexual health.
Paul A Richmond
’m the deputy editor, and chief of design – Paul. That basically means I’m the one incharge of arranging the articles and pictures on the pages. That and coming up with tedious headline puns. This is my 3rd year at The Stag, and all because of a steadily growing annoyance over the quality of student journalism. I’m not even doing a literature degree! I’m supposed to be doing music. But after working quietly in the background for 2 years, shaking my head at poorly aligned pictures and tutting at misused semicolons I now feel it is my duty to take the helm, and ensure that this newspaper is filled with quality articles, cringe-worthy headlines, and beautiful formatting. Aside from that, I like Bob Dylan, e.e.cummings and long walks on the beach.
Letter from the Editor
eaders who have stumbled upon this delightful newspaper, welcome back. If you’re reading this it’s likely that you one day opened your A-Level (or equivalent) results and superseding cries of delight or sighs of mourning, rushed back home to see if you were placed, and with no small amount of luck you were finally on your way to Surrey. Whether you’re a fresher or returning, undergraduate or postgrad, international or domestic, young or mature. We’re all students together and at this moment all part of the Surrey family. The Stag is a newspaper for all, but we have a clear mandate; we’re here to be the voice of Surrey students. Independent of the University and, apart from funding, from the Union too. We’re here for you. This year I want to promote the unsung work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ across campus. Whether that’s the work of the International Office, the Centre for Wellbeing, Estates and facilities that are here to support your time here, actively or covertly. And of course from time to time I may have my own agenda. I’m a young, male, physics student, who’s entering my third year at The Stag and university. I’ve lived at Manor Park, off-campus, and on campus. I’ve joined student media, societies and sports clubs (I even got a membership). I’ve tried incredibly hard to experience all the offices that are here to support us and hopefully this wonderful, volunteer-run, student newspaper will reflect that.
The Love Book
By Joe Trueman, News Team
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.
iterature lovers of Surrey should be sure to keep their calendars marked for October 3rd, not just for National Poetry Day, but the release of the Love Book – a new app dedicated to sharing wise words on the ever-tricky topic of love. The Love Book allows users to not only hear profound loving words from great writers (as read by a cast of fantastic actors) but also record their own versions to share with loved ones, if they so please. The app is illustrated by renowned graphic designer Kate Moross, and features fantastic narration talent from the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Tom
Hiddleston, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory. The quotations themselves have been sourced from works of writers ranging from Shakespeare to Austen to Rowling. A range of big names in the literary world have already voiced their love for the Love Book, from Carol Ann Duffy to Benjamin Zephaniah. If that wasn’t enough, the general public already seem to have taken to it en masse, with a test version of the app having topped the App Store Books section chart in the UK. For £1.99 on National Poetry Day, it seems that this isn’t something you’d love to miss.
The Stag | 28th September 2013
The Stag at Conference
NUS President challenges Vice Chancellors
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
peaking at the Universities UK Conference, NUS President, Toni Pearce spoke out against Universities, claiming they need to do more to help students once they have graduated. She called for more action to help students with rising debts, poor access to postgraduate study and the scramble for unpaid internships. Pearce highlighted how under-employment in the UK is extensive, with graduates finding it increasingly difficult to obtain a foothold in full-time jobs. Toni stated; “don’t leave us hanging with a degree and nowhere to use it”, calling for more action from
institutions to help students, and using their relationships with major firms to tackle unpaid internships and to open fairer and larger entry schemes. NUS also welcomed the new collaboration between Universities UK and students’ unions, stating that real benefit seems to be emerging from this association. Pearce concluded her contribution with the statement; “great universities should not be ivory towers, but institutions for the people- driven by the peoples’ needs, concerns and civil rights.” Voicing the concerns of many students across the country, and providing an insight into the plight of students across the nation.
15 minutes with NUS VP Union Development, Rachael Mattey
By Alex Smith, Editor
NUS President Toni Pearce
t the annual NUS – Amnesty International Student Media Summit, I was lucky enough to interview the delightful Vice President for Union Development, Rachael Mattey. She recently announced the 10% NUS extra discount at The Co-Operative across the UK. Here are the highlights of the interview: Q1. So in a nutshell, what does the nus do for students and what is union development? “It’s that representation, that voice of 7 million students. It’s how students can be active participants of their community, how they can shape the world around them. “Why I’m so excited about my job, for me, I support local students’ union to be more democratic and how can unions engage more with students on their campus. It’s how can we work with sports societies, volunteering, media to capture some of that passion and excitement that people go to university and college for” Q2. There is a lack of international participation at students’ unions across the country, how can the NUS help international students sign up? “For us, it’s about supporting you because what is really important is that we don’t see students as a homogenous group. How can we reflect your diverse nature in your student union and support you to be able to engage as many students as possible. “…people praise nus for bringing people together to share their interests and their problems to come up with solutions together. Q3. Some people believe the NUS is somewhat important and has little political impact, what do you have to say to these sceptics? “I think that we tackle big issues, and that’s absolutely the
right thing to do, I don’t think we shy away from the problems. One thing that we are excited about this year is that we aren’t just NUS who stands against things, but stands for things. “For example last year we saved two to three thousand students from being deported from London Met, that didn’t have little impact, that was huge, but I don’t think we don’t take the time out to shout about our success.” Q4. How does NUS extra help individual student unions? “Unlike other commercial discount cards, the profit from NUS extra is split between the NUS and the admin costs and funding part of the political and campaigning arm of the NUS, but £4-5 of every card sold goes straight back into that student union. “People see it as a profit making exercise but it’s something which goes back to fund why we exist, it’s the same with student unions. In the union bars, every pound spent at the till goes straight back into the students’ union. “ Q5. Student media, do you see it as a good service or just a hangover from the glory days of the civil rights movement? “I don’t think we unlocked the potential of student media at the moment, and some unions can see it as threatening. And that’s why I’m really keen this year to make sure that student media and student unions can come to a point where we can really have the support and freedom you deserve to really have that informed membership. “Our volunteers are really phenomenal in our student media and it’s something I really champion even though I never got involved with it myself. It was phenomenal the passion and ideas people were coming up with. I never got involved but I definitely supported it when I was an officer.”
NUS President calls for tougher apprenticeship regulation
By Alex Smith, Editor
resident of the NUS, Toni Pearce, has called for tougher guidance on apprenticeships and better enforcement of the minimum wage as research suggests that half of all university students have never been presented with the apprenticeship opportunities available to them. The NUS research, presented today and based on a study of 886 students of all age groups, found that 21% of apprentices had never received information from a careers advisor and 53% of university students had never been presented with the opportunities available to them. Speaking at a press conference at a two-day NUS-Amnesty International Student Media Summit in London, Pearce said: “Education has changed, and the old route that ends with a three year full time undergraduate degree no longer needs to be the norm. The lack of proper careers advice about the available study options and pathways to work is failing young people. Students need the information and tools to thrive, whatever their learning
journey. “We need a no holds barred review of information, advice and guidance to ensure it is fit for purpose, fit for the twenty first century and fit for the realities of students’ lives.” Respondents to the survey who had sought careers advice found it to be of bad quality. Close to 50% reported that the advice received was less than acceptable. The government is trying to shift focus from the traditional university route to skills-based apprenticeship schemes. Between 2008 and 2012 the number of apprentices in the UK more than doubled from 225,000 to 520,000. Following a report, citing that 72% of employers found that apprenticeships improve their product or service quality, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Despite the tough economic climate we have prioritised funding for apprenticeships. With numbers increasing by more than 80% in the last two years we know they are a popular choice. “...apprenticeships boost the prospects for both young people and businesses.” However government research
from the Low Pay Commission shows that many apprentices - up to a quarter in certain professions - work for less than the minimum wage, currently at £2.65 for apprentices, but rising by 3p in the autumn. Asked by The Stag if the NUS president would campaign for better policing of the apprenticeship minimum wage, she responded: “It’s a very difficult area to get them to take action on, partly because the government in general is trying to increase the number of apprenticeships which is brilliant and I’m very supportive of but I think in some ways that they are overlooking quality. We will be continuing to work with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to put pressure on them to better police this sector but at the moment I think there are some discrepancies. “I find it astonishing that the government have produced this information themselves which shows that apprentice’s aren’t being paid the minimum wage and yet not taking any action on it. I find it absolutely astonishing.”
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Surrey Success in University Leagues
By Shunayna Vaghela, News Editor
Diesel spill strikes campus
By Alex Smith, Editor
he University of Surrey has made a great leap in the prestigious new joint Times/Sunday Times survey of the best universities in Britain. The Times/ Sunday Times league table has placed Surrey just outside the British Top Ten at 12th place, up from 26th in the Times and 21st in the Sunday Times last year. Within the South-East region, Surrey ranked second with the University of Oxford in the Number One position. Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, the University’s President and ViceChancellor, said: “I am delighted by this result, which alongside our recent high ranking in the National Student Survey reflects our continuous improvements in teaching, research and the student experience to strengthen our position
as a leading university in the UK.” Surrey was one of only five institutions shortlisted for the National University of the Year Award in the same survey. The secret of Surrey’s success is student satisfaction, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, contributing to a continuing and impressive rise in the overall league table. The rankings were also based on performance in a number of key areas for undergraduate students which include entry standards, facilities, graduate job prospects and research quality. The jump in ranking reflects a dramatic rise in recent years for Surrey in other Higher Education university league tables, notably the 8th position in this year’s Guardian newspaper.
taff were forced to perform a clean-up operation following a diesel leak by an Arriva bus as it made its way across campus on Friday 20th September. The bus, which travelled from Yorkie’s bridge to the Austin Pearce bus stop, left a trail on diesel along the perimeter road and caused cancellation of bus services and road closures. A clean-up operation followed, which involved
soaking the diesel up with grit and then collecting as much as possible in an attempt to remove the fire hazard. University staff and students were advised not to use the perimeter road – the main road going around campus – until the clean-up operation had been completed, which was expected to be at the end of the day. However a subsequent e-mail was sent to staff and students advising that all bus services would be cancelled over the weekend, ad that
staff should travel to and from campus by the A3 entrance only. There was still a significant trail visible across the perimeter road come Saturday. The situation has now been resolved and traffic is once again free-flowing, however the events do highlight a hidden danger in our everyday lives and one which at one point was described as ‘threatened to cause significant environmental damage to University Lakes and wildlife.’
Inequality in Surrey
By Ellie Kerr-Smiley, News Team
urrey is widely considered to be one of the most affluent areas of the UK. As University of Surrey students, this is the County that we have come to know. However, recent research from Surrey Uncovered has shown that a shocking 30% of children in Surrey are living in poverty. The research also showed that one in three children receiving free school meals leave school with below standard grades in Maths and English, twice as many as children who do not receive free school meals. Equally surprising, 1 in 4 under 15 year-olds in Surrey are either overweight or obese, probably linked to the fact that Surrey has a significantly
worse record for the number of hours that 5-18 year olds take part in sport, in comparison to the national average. These factors all hold long-term multiple consequences for the children and families affected. This is a County where the income of families with disabled children is more than 23% below the average income and where, in one area, 10% of homes have no central heating, but the average house price is nearly £200,000 more than the UK average. The middle class suburbia doesn’t seem as harmless as it once did; the severe inequality and social disadvantage in Surrey’s communities are prevalent, and in great need of action.
The diesel spill by the bus stop next to the lake and the Surrey Space Centre after being treated with grit. There was an overpowerering smell of fuel in the air across campus.
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Look out for FREE VO UCHERS on food an d dri for Chance nk deals llors in the Freshers Diaries, in the Union flyers at Freshers and Fayre
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8/28/2013 9:52:07 AM
Opinion & Analysis Editor: Sam West
The Stag | 28th September 2013
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Smoking Ban: Oppression of the Great British Pub
Opinion & Analysis
businesses. It should be up to them how they run their business and not the state. Just because the state disagrees with smoking, this disagreement should not be imposed upon privately owned businesses. Personally, I do not smoke. I dislike smoking whether it be the taste, smell, or sight. Smoking wouldn’t do any favours for my asthma either. However, just because I may personally dislike something, it does not give me the right to impose it upon others. Likewise, the state should not impose its own personal dislikes at the expense of personal liberty; the liberty of individuals and the liberty of individual businesses. If we are to live in a truly free society, there should be as little regulation as possible. Even if accepting some regulation due to reasons surrounding second-hand smoking, there is still no legitimate reason why pubs should not be allowed to have separate smoking areas or smoking rooms. An opinion poll in 2012 showed separate smoking rooms to be a highly popular option, supported by 7 out of 10 licensees. However, due to legislation, pub owners are banned from such solutions, no matter how reasonable. The government should liberate pubs from such oppressive laws. If the government are to take the liberty of the Great British pub seriously, then the smoking ban should be repealed, or at the least, amended. More emphasis should be placed upon individual liberty and practical solutions, rather than constant and often unfair intervention from the state.
ver since July 2007, it has been illegal to smoke in any enclosed public place in the United Kingdom. This smoking ban includes virtually all public places, including cafes, restaurants, and pubs. Although not affecting cafes and restaurants as much, it has completely transformed the culture of the Great British pub. For many, it is the primary reason for the closure of thousands of pubs in recent years. The tradition of the Great British pub should be something to cherish, but has instead been eroded by such regulations. Despite being a ‘public house’, pubs are still privately owned
A 2012 poll showed 7 out of 10 licensees supported separate smoking rooms in pubs; however, pub owners are banned from this option by legislation.
i there, my name is Sam West and I am your new Opinions and Analysis editor. I am a final year law student originally from Nawf Lundon! I was a regular writer for the section last year and am taking a step up this year. I am a strong believer in individuality, whether it be writing styles, opinions, or analytical takes. Although editing will be involved, such as for mistakes and errors, I want my main role to be the protector of the freedom of speech. As I have repeated time and time again, I strongly believe in this quote by the 18th century philosopher Voltaire. He said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
Carry On Doctor - More Investment for Cancer Alternatives
Chris Wark, a cancer survivor, who beat stage 3 colon cancer without undergoing chemotherapy. He now runs a website called ChrisBeatCancer.com
atients worldwide are increasingly asking the question ‘Does the doctor always know best?’ To which the majority of us see no alternative, therefore answering ‘Yes’. However, patients thinking outside the box are beginning to speak out, creating a new sense of empowerment! In particular, I refer to patients with cancer who refuse chemotherapy in favour of the alternative treatment ‘selective cytotoxicity’ which uses natural compounds, such as bromelain, which is found in pineapple stems. This seems to arise from a fear of chemotherapy, which effectively serves to destroy the immune system. Its toxic works against the body’s natural mechanisms to fight cancer, ultimately destroying healthy cells in the body, which could lead to more severe health problems. Despite this new alternative treatment, most oncologists still
declare that there is ‘no alternative’ treatment to chemotherapy. But if cancer cells feed on excess sugars and acidic foods like meat, then surely a diet made up mostly of fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains, which are alkaline foods, would help put the body into an alkaline environment, therefore starving the cancer cells off? It may read like a cheap and weak option compared to chemo and radiation therapies, but its long-term effectiveness is not to be undermined and the results should be more widely acknowledged. Survivors of this alternative therapy include Hayley Mills, actress of Pollyanna and Wild at Heart, who opted out of chemo and radiotherapy due to the toll it was taking on her body. Chris Wark is another survivor, who shared his story at the 2011 Cancer Control Convention in L.A. Chris beat his stage 3 colon cancer entirely chemo-free, after having surgery and following the selective cytotoxicity treatment, living off of raw fruits and vegetables through juicing. A study conducted over 14 years was published in the
journal Clinical Oncology in 2004, showing that of 3,306 patients, chemotherapy contributed towards 2.1% of survival rates in Australia, and 2.3% in the USA over a period of 5 years, supporting the fact that it only makes a minor contribution overall. It was found to be more effective in cancers, such as testicular cancer, where it contributes to almost 50% of the patients’ survival, which is still not a great amount. With survival rates so insufficient, why are doctors still supporting chemotherapy as the ONLY treatment? The natural alternative to chemotherapy which follows a vegan diet to alkalise, detox and flood the body with the nutrients it needs to heal itself, has had brilliant results in patients everywhere and deserves more recognition! Yet unfortunately the doctor will always know what’s best based on current public health guidelines. But with more awareness and research into alternatives, this could truly provide a future for cancer patients. And if we are to take our cancer patients seriously, further investment is nothing but a necessity!
OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Obituary: The journalist and filmmaker Alan Whicker
he Death of the intrepid globe-trotting filmmaker and interviewer Alan Whicker, on 12th July, at the age of 87 or 91 (depending upon which age you believe), was the death of perhaps one the world’s last true explorers. This was a man who before the age of affordable airline travel, traversed the world in search of interviews with not just film stars, plastic surgeons and dictators, but with working class women in the heart of industrial Britain, and many others from all walks of life. He was not afraid to talk to anyone, and his old fashioned English wit allowed him to charm many of those he met, as well as successfully engaging viewers. Whicker began his career as a cameraman in the British army, one of the first to arrive in Italy in 1943. He filmed the body of Benito Mussolini, as it hung from a Milan lamp post two years later. Despite the horrors of Italy, Whicker was undaunted, and acted as a War reporter in Korea. At one point he was presumed dead, when an identical aircraft to the one he was traveling in, was shot down. However, the message he sent back ‘UNKILLED, UNINJURED, ONPRESSING’, reassured his editor and was perhaps typical of a man as lucky as he. He himself would often quote Noel Coward’s “work is more fun than fun”. And while the cliché is not the number of miles travelled, but the destination that counts, it is often quoted when people die. Yet in this case it would
not be true, since it is often purported that Whicker circumnavigated the globe at least 90 times. Whicker joined the BBC in 1957 as one of the cast members of the TV show ‘Tonight’. However, what he is primarily remembered for is the self-styled ‘Whicker’s World’, which is one of the most longest-running documentary programs, aired between 1959 and 1988 on both the BBC and ITV. For a brief period in 1968 he was instrumental in setting up Yorkshire television, and was featured in an advert for Barclay card in the 1980s and a Travelocity chair advert in 2005. Among others he demonstrated that the world of business was not completely alien to him, and that he was more than a simple observer of the world. This was an attitude also reflected in the long-lasting friendships that Whicker shared with many of his subjects, such as the film star Joan Collins, and the former richest man in the world John Paul Getty, who he interviewed in 1964 and died in 2003. Although his style of documentary filmmaking was unrivalled, successful filmmakers today rely upon relaxing their subjects in a similar way to tell powerful individual stories. The filmmaker who particularly springs to mind is Louis Theroux. Despite the fact that Alan Whicker and the vast majority of his viewers belong to an earlier generation, I thought that this was an important story to tell because no matter when and where they come from, storytellers deserve to be remembered because through their creativity, they express what it means to be human. Alan Whicker is best remembered for his self-styled documentary series ‘Whicker’s World’.
Footballer’s Salaries - Why it’s a big deal
How important is kicking a ball around for 90 minutes? Aren’t there more important things to spend money on?
© Catatan Bola
ecently Gareth Bale, a footballer, has been in the news not for some affair or overt scandal, but for being the most highly paid ball-kicker ever. He is being paid £300,000 a week for six years. An entire town could live off that. If that doesn’t sum up how self-centred we have become as a society, I can’t think of a better example. If he and others like him were to cut back on their lavish lifestyles and donate even half of their salaries to underfunded public services or charities, doing essential work, we wouldn’t be in this sorry mess. I know those interested in the back pages won’t agree with this, but seriously – how important is
kicking a ball around for 90 minutes compared to stopping homeless people from freezing to death? Or providing cancer treatment for a child? ‘Coz at the moment – we seem to be saying it’s a hell of a lot more important. My mother, whether due to class, gender or life experiences, has stated that if we ever win any large amount of money, in the millions, she will use it to set up a school for those with learning disabilities. Yet those with the money… Studies have shown that the happiest nations are those with the smallest gaps in the amount of money or financial assets earned between different classes of the population, where rich and poor are more equal. We seem to be heading the other way. Gareth Bale (Right) recently became the highest paid footballer in history, earning £300,000 a week.
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Features Editor: Rebekkah Hughes
The Stag | 28th September 2013
My Time in Florida
By Richard Winstone, Features Team
o, why spend a year in a different country? The hassle of finding accommodation, organising appropriate modules, getting visas and insurance, making a new group of friends… is it all worth it? YES! Studying in Florida was, by far, the best experience of my life. I decided to travel to America because I wanted to improve my selfconfidence. I want to work in America at some point in the future and I was certain that this opportunity would only improve my CV and give me a better understanding and appreciation of what that would truly be like. The exchange scheme was fantastic; I met amazing people from all over the world and spent a year loving life in the beautiful Florida weather! Whilst studying, I had the opportunity to take part in American traditions such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Spring Break. My new classmates and their families welcomed me with open arms and shared with me their celebrations. With the support offered by Sandra, Annette and Stephanie from the University of Surrey’s International Relations Office, application for the exchange programme couldn’t have been easier. The experience opened my eyes to a whole world of opportunities that the University of Surrey offers and to how different my degree could have been had I not taken full
i there! My name is Rebekkah Hughes, I’m from Oxford, and this year I’m going to be at the helm of the Features section of The Stag. I’m a second year English Literature with Creative Writing student, and I couldn’t be happier to be spending another year working with The Stag, this time not as just a writer but as an editor (especially in the best section of the newspaper!) I love my scrapbooks and photos, reading and magazines, or just anything that requires a bit of creativity really! I promise to put all my heart into Features this year, and if you fancy a go yourself, come and say hello!
What is Features?
By Rebekkah Hughes, Features Team
advantage of this opportunity. Before this exchange I was never very interested in seeing the world, I simply wanted to live and work in America. Now I have an even stronger desire to work there and a new urge to travel, meet new people and immerse myself in other cultures. My experience helped me improve interpersonal and communication skills, I became proficient in budgeting for a long period of time and learnt to live independently, I also improved my self-confidence and ability to adapt in new situations. Indeed, I learnt a lot that will help me through life but most importantly I had a lot of fun! Seeing how others lived, meeting people from a variety of backgrounds and being a part of their traditions
was an unbelievable experience and I honestly wish I could have stayed longer. I would highly recommend to any student presented with the opportunity to study abroad during their degree to do so. It will make you more appealing to potential employers, it provides an opportunity to experience a new culture and you will be taught invaluable transferable skills that will assist you in the future. The list of benefits from taking part in an exchange programme is never ending, the only way to truly discover this is to take part yourself, and I hope you do. Find out more at: The Study & Work Abroad Fair in S P L A S H, on Wednesday, 13th November 2013 between 2 - 5 p.m. see you there!
ou’ve just picked up the first issue of The Stag for this year, and you read through News, and Sports and Film, and then you stumble across Features – but what exactly is Features? Features is a wonderful mix of everything and anything. From fashion and beauty, to random articles about Eurovision, cooking, Red Bull and calendar events, Features is full to the brim of interesting and alternative articles that just don’t fit into other sections or subheadings of the newspaper. Features is an excellent place to contribute to The Stag if you’re just
not sure about what you want to write, whether you have the right writing style or just want to option to write about almost anything without having to have an opinion and without having to formally report. Sometimes The Stag has a theme, and the articles reflect that, but most of the time ideas fly into Features from left, right and center and they bear no relation to each other at all – but that’s just the fun of it: Features is the pick and mix of The Stag. So, if you’re sane, and you’re willing, come and write for Features because you won’t have this much freedom anywhere else.
Be a Buddy, Become a Buddy
by Sophie Vickery, Features Team
tarting university is both daunting and exciting. The majority of students arriving at Surrey will have many anxieties, worries and questions, but who to ask? For international students, this is even more challenging as moving to university also involves adjusting to a new culture and another language. International Student Support organise the Buddy Scheme to help make the early stages of university much easier and enjoyable. Existing students are paired with new international students who share similar interests as a point of contact, perhaps over Email, Facebook or a coffee. This gives new students someone to ask where’s Tesco? How does the laundrette work? What’s it like in Guildford? Where is the health centre? Which societies should I join? These are questions that many students would be reluctant to ask, afraid that they sound silly. Fortunately, existing students have shared these experiences and that’s where the Buddy Scheme plays a vital role in providing a friendly support for new students. It doesn’t just benefit new
students either. The Buddy Scheme also offers current students the opportunity to meet interesting people from across the world. Those who have been buddies in the past are often keen to be a buddy again, finding the scheme enjoyable, particularly as it demands little time alongside studying. The Buddy Scheme has been running for several years now and whilst there is no obligation to maintain contact throughout the year, many long-term friendships have developed. International Student Support is thrilled to see many of the students who initially requested to have a buddy when they started their course, return to be a buddy for new students the following year. The International Student Support team is particularly interested in raising awareness of the scheme amongst existing students and attract even more buddies to help support the increasing number of international students coming to Surrey. If you are interested in becoming a buddy, or think you would like to have one, please contact internationalwelcome@ surrey.ac.uk
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Features Editor: Rebekkah Hughes
The Stag | 28th September 2013
FRESHERS BY NUMBERS
We here at The Stag would like to take this opportuniy to welcome this year’s crop of freshers to the University of Surrey. Congratulations on making it in! We have prepared this handy guide to help you through your first week, and your time here as a student in Guildford.
Freshers’ Alternatives: A Guide to Guildford
By Rebekkah Hughes, Features Editor
Look after the Pennies…
By Rebekkah Hughes, Features Editor …And the pounds look after themselves. Ask any student, budgeting and the constant mission to keep costs down can be a struggle. Most of us will start out with the best intentions and lose more than a few pennies along the way, but here are a few tips to help you along the treacherous path of keeping your piggybank happy:
t’s Freshers’ Week and the campus will be buzzing with excitement and events, but what about what’s happening around town and Guildford? Here’s a short guide of everything going on out and about and away from campus:
9 Freshers’ Rites of Passage
by Amy Vitoria, Features Team
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Fancy dress is an important part of every student’s fresher experience- we love our themed nights at Surrey! You’ll need costumes and face paint, as much as you’ll need pens and textbooks. Attend a uni bar crawl. This seems to be the only thing that turns a cold walk at night, into what seems like an amazing night out. Notoriously starting at our very own Channies and then moving on through town, it’s our job to get you the best drink deals around. But don’t think it’s that easy, many societies will set challenges so you can earn your drinks - beware! A great way to bond with flatmates is through drinking games, the rite of passage being that you must lose at least once. In the end these games tend to be less about the drinking and more about the funny stories that people come out with! Name/course/hometown? Almost every conversation with a new person will contain these three questions, guaranteed. Introducing Pizzaman- a students’ automatic go to after Rubix. Follow in previous fresher’s footsteps and enjoy a choice of many delicacies, stretching from chips to kebabs.
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You will most definitely experience the freshers’ rite of passage that is standing outside in your pj’s in the early morning after a fire alarm. Even if you have a “more sensible” flat and escape the accidental fire alarms, there are always the uni’s fire drills. These are, of course, important but they like to have them at ridiculously early hours. Another rite of passage is the confusion of waking up and finding the souvenirs you’ve brought home with you. Previous freshers have told stories of waking up and finding cones, signs and trolleys in their flat! Every fresher must try something new at uni, and the best way to do this is at Freshers Fayre. With stands full of societies and sports clubs, there is almost everything available to you. There is absolutely no reason not to go. It’s all about the free stuff! Free stationary, free vouchers, free Nandos, what’s not to love! As Freshers’ Week draws to an end, you may notice the people around you beginning to drop like flies. The infamous Freshers’ Flu, caused by lack of sleep and combined with an increase of booze. It’s almost inevitable, so be warned and make sure you pack some Strepsils!
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Be Aware: A simple one really, know how much you have and how much you haven’t. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Cap Particular Types of Spending: When it boils down to that weekly Tesco shop or nights out in the week, set aside an amount of money and limit your spending to that amount. If you end up going to Tesco and spend two or three pounds less one week, it means you have that extra for the next. The same goes for those nights out in between too. Pay in Cash: Paying with a debit card can make anyone lose track of their spending, not just students. It only takes a handful of purchases to forget what has been spent and where. An easy alternative is to take out what you need and then you know what’s left. Take Note: Keep track of everything you spend, even if it’s only 65p on a chocolate bar from Amigos. You’ll soon see where most of your money goes and if or where you need to cut back. Use Excel to make a simple table that adds up your expenses for you. Be a Student: Now is the time to exploit student discount. If you don’t ask, you don’t get and this is definitely the case with student discount. All those 10% and 15% off discounts will soon add up, even if it is only a matter of pence. Balance: Don’t restrict your spending too much. It’s OK to buy something nice sometimes! It just can’t become a habit. If you constrain your budget to pittance, you’ll have a spending spurge somewhere down the line. Strike the balance between too much and too little and live comfortably in that happy medium.
The Boileroom is Guildford’s ‘alternative music venue’ and is hosting the likes of Frank Hamilton and The Other Tribe. Entry is £7 and £7.50 respectively, with The Other Tribe playing on Tuesday 1st October and Frank Hamilton on Sunday 6th October. For Frank Hamilton last entry is at 7:30pm ending at midnight, and The Other Tribe begin at the slightly earlier time of 7:00pm. To celebrate 60 years on stage, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will be performed several nights around this week at G Live, with tickets starting from £10. Beginning at 7:30pm and
continuing on until around 10:00pm, a play that has been performed over 25,000 times will not disappoint. An excellent piece of theatre: whodunit by one of the greatest crime writers of all time. Search online for further details. Also happening at G Live, is The Birth of Stars. A bespoke digital light, sound and dance event created by The Dance Movement, The Birth of Stars is a uniquely theatrical outdoor viewing with headphones provided for the sound. Standing tickets start at £10 are performances are selling out fast! Enjoy this treat on the 11th or 12th of October. Projecting a little further ahead, the Guildford Book Festival (17 – 27 October) is holding a launch event on the 12th October featuring Jennifer Saunders. The festival brochure is now available online if you were feeling literary and interested in finding talks or events to go to over that week and a half.
By Tilly Tasker, Features Team
How to beat that hangover and still look your best during the wildest week of your life so far.
et me guess, you’ve grabbed a copy of The Stag off the shelf and you’re reading it whilst hunched over your coffee, desperately seeking some form of distraction from your throbbing headache and churning stomach. Oh dear. “Where did it all go
wrong?” you silently implore yourself, scratching at your birds nest of hair and shuddering from the horrors of your tired eyes… “Oh yeah, around about my seventh Sambucca shot last night…” Firstly, you’re doing it wrong. Coffee is AWFUL for hangovers. As is heading to Chancellors for a big fry up. So what is best?
By Jas Smith, Features Team ello Freshers! You’re probably all a bit scared and unsure as I was during my Freshers’ week, but your fears will have to be put aside. This is your Freshers’ week: and you’ll never get another one. So you’re probably wondering what it is you should do during what will be one of the most memorable weeks of your life. Firstly, try everything. Go to the events put on in Rubix, because they are brilliant, and you’ll regret it if you don’t. But make sure you go with someone you know. It’s going to feel strange at first going out with people you’ve only just met, but everyone is in the same boat, and once you relax and start to have fun, you’ll soon wonder what you were worried about. Another thing to do during Freshers’ week is to
The Good and Bad of Freshers' Week
By Lily Pearson, Features Team reshers' week is a much-anticipated week of alcohol-driven, sexually awkward encounters fuelled by little sleep, a diet of cheesy chips and the occasional packet of crisps. The pressure is sky-high and often billed to be one of life's best weeks. It's not unusual for such steep expectations to buckle under disappointment, so here's what to expect: the good, the bad, and the ugly of Freshers' Week 2013: Free stuff. Freshers' Fayre will see you hounded at all angles with freebies from pens to pizza. Think ahead - by the end of the week you will have squandered the best part of your cash on jaeger bombs to even think about stationary. Be shameless, you're a student now. New friends. A cliché, but definitely true. Being a fresher gives you a free pass to introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. Plus, the heightened level of intoxication makes it a lot easier (not that I'm encouraging it, of course). Societies. Join one, excessive drinking isn't the be-all-and-end-all of Freshers' week and for those who'd prefer to opt out of such vulgarity, getting chatting to some of the societies' stalls at Freshers' Fayre will get you involved in different kinds of social events. Looking after a drunk person. Be prepared to hold some hair back, clean up some vomit and spend your night consoling a crying friend. On the bright side, you'll earn serious flatmate points and will reap the rewards of your good deeds. Disappointment. This is, arguably, the biggest heartbreaker of Freshers' week. For months, 18-year-olds nationwide prepare themselves for what is supposed to be their ultimate week of fun but find themselves, come Sunday, feeling a little ill and remarkably underwhelmed. Don't worry if Rubix's sticky floors didn't get you going, three more years remain for you to discover, explore and find exactly what it is about Surrey that you love. Happy Freshers’!
Settling into Halls
By Sophie Dyer, Features Team
explore. You’re in a new town, and you’re on a new campus – take a walk; see what is out there. Check out the campus bars and everything else it has to offer and take a trip into town too. If you come from a small town, you’ll love the new and accessible shops that Guildford has to offer. One last thing I recommend during Freshers’ Week is to go to Freshers’ Fayre. If you love free pizza, sweets and a lively atmosphere (who doesn’t?) go along! If you want to join new and exciting clubs then it’s the place for you. And you will have a supply of pens to last you all year. So there you have it; enjoy your Freshers’ Week to the max. Stop worrying about the dreaded Freshers’ 15, and try not to get Freshers’ flu on your first day like I did. Have a great time, because Freshers’ comes but once a year.
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© Kevin Oliver
Water, water, water. Drink a pint of water (and I mean actually DRAIN the cup, don’t just take it to bed with you) before you go to bed after a night on the lash and you will wake up feeling fine. Write an angry letter to me if I’m wrong. Coca-Cola. Ironically, this cold, refreshing, full of sugar and fizzy drink is sometimes suggested to help treat nausea and other stomach niggles. Why? Well, it’s full of sugar and your body will probably lap that up. Careful though, treat Coca-Cola as a one-off treat. Don’t make it your every day water supplement. Fruit. Especially if you’re feeling nauseous and need to test the waters before heading on to bulkier foods, eat a banana or some grapes. Full of good things, fruit will combat the diuretic effect that alcohol has, bringing much needed moisture back into your body. Fried tomatoes on toast. Okay, this is a personal favorite but it certainly has its benefits. You’ve successfully stomached some fruit and now need something bulkier like toast… but don’t stop there. Put some fried tomatoes on it. Tomatoes help reduce the inflammation in your poor tummy. Having a Channies fry up BEFORE you go out. I know, I know, slightly beside the point but greasy food is better for prepping your stomach than it is for curing it.
Okay, you’ve followed my advice and you’re starting to feel a little bit more human. But wait, look! Puffy eyes, hair that doesn’t seem to behave, mysteriously sticky arms and legs and feet that feel like you’ve walked a hundred miles… Right, action time. Go and have a COOL shower. The cool water will help your body wake up and your mind focus. The colder the better! Exfoliate. Slough off that layer of grease you somehow accumulated last night. Use some tea tree. The sharp but clean and refreshing smell will give you a kick. Also it’s anti-bacterial so smother that stuff all over your face after exfoliating. Moisturize. Look out for toners or moisturizers that describe themselves as ‘refreshing’. As I’ve said before, alcohol is a diuretic and will suck all the moisture from every part of your body… including your skin. Caffeinated facial products and concealers. It’s debatable as to whether they actually work, but personally I’ve been using Maybelline ‘Wake Me Up’ concealer for a while now and it seems to be doing a perfectly great job at disguising the black bags under my eyes. Garnier does a good, but slightly pricier, roll-on eye stick too. Worth investigating. Optrex Brightening eye drops. Worth every penny, trust me. Nothing says “blerrgghhhaahhh” more than red, bloodshot eyes. One drop of these will restore the whites of your eyes back to their former glory as well as make them feel 10x better.
eing a fresher is a new and exciting experience – and there’s nothing more fresher style than living in halls of residence. Welcome to your home for the next nine months – and it’s a truly unique experience. For a start, depending on which court of residence at Surrey you’re in, you could be living in a house of 20 and that’s a hell of a lot of potential friends to be made. When you arrive in Freshers’ Week, you’ll be greeted by the most welcoming of Fresher’s Angels who help you move your life of boxes and bags into your new bedroom. Before long you’ll start to bump into fellow freshers unpacking their lives too. For some, moving into halls can be daunting, brimming with the unknown and unfamiliar faces. But the cliché is so true – you’re all in the same boat. The fresher’s boat where no
one really knows each other and you’re forced to share a kitchen (and even a bathroom in some halls). But that’s a fun of it. And what’s more, with so many people living under one roof, there’s never a dull moment in halls. For a start, the kitchen makes a perfect spot for pre-drinks, before you head off to Rubix for Freshers’ Week events! Before long, many of your housemates become not only friends, but like a fresher family. You see them every day, cook together and eat together. You’ll probably do shopping together and party together. Halls is a truly great place to have some wonderful, crazy and hilarious moments with your new friends. Make the most of the your first few months, because before you know it, it’ll be Christmas, and you’ll be wishing your new fresher family was sitting round your dinner table at home joining you for Christmas dinner!
The Stag | 28th September 2013
FRESHERS’ WEEK BINGO
Here’s how it works: You have until the Sunday at the end of freshers week. Every time you see or do one of things in the boxes you cross it off and you get 1 point. If you get a horizontal row you get a bonus 2 points. If you get all the boxes you win. Compete with your friends and see who gets the most points, and don’t forget to call “Bingo!” when you see one. Watch someone who can’t figure out how to swipe their card to get into the library Forget the name of someone you’ve just met. Find some Vomit See someone being helped home from Rubix See Tescos bags that clink with the sound of bottles as they are carried
The Stag Proudly Presents:
Observe someone struggling to lift a bag or box, that’s nearly as big as them
Meet Steve The Stag
Say hello to us at freshers’ fair
See a photo of someone who is clearly hungover on someone’s campus card.
Hear someone asking for directions
Stumble upon discarded Dominos Pizza boxes.
Watch someone taking a lift up or down a single floor.
Find a spelling error in this issue of The Stag. Go on, I dare you!
See someone wearing pyjamas in the-establishmentformally-known-as Amigos (now called The Surrey Shop)
Watch someone ‘swimming’ in the lake
Your New Agony Aunt
By Kate, Counsellor and Agony Aunt I’m Kate and I’m a counsellor at Surrey’s Centre for Wellbeing. I’m The Stag’s new agony aunt so if you’ve got a problem you don’t know how to solve, write in and I’ll do my best to answer and point you in the right direction. Of course, it will all be anonymous. You can bet that if you’ve got a problem, there are other people out there who have it too (though they don’t always let on). The Centre for Wellbeing is here to support your psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing so that you can enjoy your time here and achieve all you’re capable of. We’re experienced at helping lots of students through the challenges of Uni life – and we know there are quite a few! Our services are confidential and free to students here. We give advice on health and personal issues, offer counselling, do short drop in sessions for problem solving and signposting to relevant help, run workshops for learning new life skills, run relaxation and mindfulness sessions and offer coaching for psychological aspects of academic performance. We’re also very friendly, so if you run into any difficulties, you can contact us on centreforwellbeing@ surrey.ac.uk or 01483 689498 to find out more.
Building Employability at Surrey Together
ByJohn Watkins, Director of Careers Service The University Careers Service is in generous mood as the new Academic Year gets underway. We will enter all students who complete our employability skills audit into a free prize draw to win one of a number of electrical prizes donated by Philips. Look out for many opportunities to fill in this simple, but important, questionnaire during the first week. We are also accepting entries for the Unilever sponsored Student of the Month Award – 350 words or less on any aspect of personal learning over the previous few months. Reflections on the summer vacation would appear to be perfect ground to cover to be in contention for the October Award. Entries should be submitted to j.watkins@surrey. ac.uk Kick Start week has our Autumn Careers and Placement Fair as its highlight. Once again more than 100 national organisations will be in attendance as Surrey’s pulling power is proudly shown off. It is a place to form relationships, learn about businesses and job roles that might be unfamiliar and to impress employers with quality questions and challenges which reinforce Surrey’s reputation as the deliverer of the best single day Careers Fair in the sector. Call into the Careers Service for information and tips on how to make the most of the Fair. As the term unfolds, we have a fantastic programme of employer events and we strongly encourage members of every year to make an appearance at a minimum of one (there is no maximum!). Sign up now via www.surrey.ac.uk/careers 2013/14 will see Careers Ambassadors in play for the first time and we will have a twice monthly newsletter with information, tips, feedback and competitions. Sign up to receive your copy at firstname.lastname@example.org Last year the Careers Service advertised more than 4,000 job vacancies and many of these were excellent graduate opportunities. You can register for free and will receive regular updates on new positions by going to http://surrey. prospects.ac.uk/index.html The Careers Service is based in The Philip Marchant Building and encourages visitors from all year groups for any interaction around careers and employability. We also have a vast array of online information and are active on social media. We look forward to supporting the best students as we build employability at Surrey together.
Sci/Tech Editor: Siobhan Harris
The Stag | 22nd May 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Science & Technology
ey folks, I’m Siobhan and I’m your new science and technology editor. I’m in my last year at Surrey now and I intend to make the most of it! This is definitely my dream position as I’m going into science journalism and I’m keen on all things science and literature, so I’m really looking forward to the year ahead. Enjoy reading!
HIV-like Vaccine found in Monkeys
By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team
11cm up in a century
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
romising results from a recent study, published in the journal Nature, have given new hope for the development of a human HIV vaccine after successful results for an ‘HIV-like’ vaccine in monkeys. The research was carried out by the Oregon Health and Science University in the US using the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in rhesus macaque monkeys, which is equivalent to the HIV virus in humans. The vaccine in question had shown promise in an earlier study and again provided protection against the virus in 9 out of the 16 monkeys used in the trial. Currently treatment for HIV is only able to control the disease rather than cure it because the HIV virus mutates at such a rapid rate. It is thought that it might only be vulnerable to treatment in the first few hours to days after infection. Therefore, the researchers aimed to create a continuous protection in the body so that if the virus entered it could be detected and destroyed immediately. This was done by introducing the cytomegaloyvirus (CMV), a member of the herpes family which had been genetically engineered to produce the same protein as SIV, to the test subjects. Following this, the monkeys were infected with the SIV virus, each via one of three routes; intravenous injection, vaginally or through the rectum. By measuring SIV viral levels in the blood over time the researchers were able to map how the vaccinated monkeys cleared the virus and found that a few hours after infection the virus
was down to undetectable levels. There were spikes in virus levels in the following months however these became smaller and less common with time and finally the infected monkeys were indistinguishable from healthy monkeys. The researchers had also aimed to determine whether vaccinated monkeys that had cleared the SIV virus were contagious. Following tests it was found that they were not, lending further support to the evidence that the virus had been completely cleared. Although the results of this
study look positive, there is no guarantee that when transferred to a human model that it will work, often trials that are successful in animals have different results in humans. Additionally, it is unclear why the vaccine only had effects in about half of the trial monkeys. Despite this, the results of the trial do offer hope that an effective treatment aimed at curing HIV could be developed using this method. It will be a number of years before the vaccine could be ready to trial in humans.
uropean men have reportedly grown 11cm in average height since the 1870’s. This result is based on hundreds of thousands of men with an average age of 21 from 15 European countries. The data was collected from sources including military records and modern population surveys. The spurt seems to have resulted from a variety of factors including longterm improvements in sanitation, hygiene and nutrition resulting from smaller family sizes. Professor Timothy Hatton summarised “increases in human stature are a key indicator of improvements in the average health of populations.” The acceleration in height
particularly during the World Wars and the Great Depression arises from most families having healthier diets and contracting fewer illnesses through food rationing which for most provided a larger, healthier diet than they’d ever had before. The average height of European men is now 177.37cm (5ft 10cm). The evidence produced by the study suggests that the most important proximate source of increasing height was the improving disease environment reflected by the fall in infant mortality. Rising income, education and falling family size had more modest effects. More information on this study can be found in the Oxford Economic Press journal.
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
Lookout is a security app that helps search for your lost or stolen phone. With Freshers party season just around the corner, downloading Lookout onto your phone means one less headache to contend with after those heavy nights. It works by tracking the location of your phone on Google Maps and has some cool features including the ‘scream’ function which sends out a loud siren (even if your phone is on silent) and ‘lock-cam’ which sends you a picture of anyone who incorrectly enters the passcode on your phone three times. Just as antivirus works in the background of your PC, Lookout offers essential security against potential spyware and malware threats when downloading new content onto your phone or browsing sites online. Free for Android and iPhone (or £1.99 for premium), this app really is a steal!
14 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Sci/Tech Editor: Siobhan Harris
The Stag | 22nd May 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Do you study science or have an interest in a specialist field? Are you interested in science journalism?
Send your ideas or articles to: and join The Stag.
The Self-Driving Car - A Vision for 2012
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
By Sam West, Opinion & Analysis Editor
By Fahmid Chowdhury, Science & Tech Team
Quarter of all UK downloads illegal
Then Email us!
The LADEE probe investigates the mysterious moon dust, that has been a mystery to scientists for years.
By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
ou wake up in the morning at home, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, have a shower, eat breakfast, get in your car, read a book or newspaper and next thing you know: you are at work. Wait, something seems to have gone amiss here – how did you get to work? Well, your car happened to drive you there with you simply reading the newspaper as it does so. Oh, and it also happens to be the year 2020. Maybe not exactly by 2020, but self-driving cars will soon be a reality. As demonstrated by Google, this is possible and also very safe. Their mapping vehicle was packed with sensors, radar and computer navigation which enabled it to safely drive around. The team in charge claimed that it had gone 300,000 miles without an accident. Apart from this incredible
news, you have the likes of Mercedes-Benz who have recently shown off their new S-Class RV (Research Vehicle). This vehicle retraced the steps of the first ever passenger car without any driver input – it was fully autonomous. The astonishing aspect about
also stay in lane by themselves, increase and decrease speed on a highway and automatically break. However, there are problems. Governments and insurance agencies are hesitating to give their seal of approval on this
“it’s gone 300,000 miles without an accident.”
this was that Mercedes claimed that the success of the trip was achieved “with the aid of nearproduction-standard technology, very similar to that already found in the new S-Class and E-Class”. One look at all the services the new S-Class offers to realise that the age of selfdriving cars is upon us. It offers a host of services for the benefit of the driver such as being able to start, stop and negotiate curves of up to 15 degrees without driver intervention. Other cars can notion. If there is an accident, for example, whose fault is it? Who’s liable? Who do they prosecute? A number of problems would arise with the arrival of self-driving cars. There are many benefits to using these autonomous vehicles and risks but I believe that we could overcome the challenges and this will be a part of the future for the automotive industry. By 2020 though? Perhaps that’s a stretch. But it will most certainly be soon after that.
ome weeks back, Martin Lindsay left his car in Eastcheap in the City of London for a couple of hours. When he came back he found a woman taking a photograph of his Jaguar car. When he asked what she was doing, she explained she was taking a photo of his car because it had been melted by the building. This would be the £200 million half-completed 37-storey 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise called the Walkie-Talkie, and recently, ‘The Fryscraper’. Various plastic parts of his car had melted, including the wingmirror, handles, and back panels. He was awarded £946 in damages for the damage done. However, local shops have faced similar problems including melting tiles, bubbling paint, and carpet that caught light. This melting and extreme heat is caused by the design of the building which curves inwards, including downwards on the tophalf, creating a concave mirror and acting as a giant magnifying glass. Chris Shepherd from the Institute of Physics stated that “If a building creates enough of a curve with a series of flat windows, which act like mirrors, the reflections all
converge at one point, focusing and concentrating the light”. With the building’s reflection, the sun shines up to 6 times brighter. In turn, this creates an unbearable heat, often reaching 60°C, with one hotspot temperate allegedly observed at 91°C. Some plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride, can melt at 100°C, but can soften before that. This seems to be what happened to Mr Lindsay’s Jaguar. This extreme sunlight happens in the middle of the day for around two hours. However, with the position of the sun changing, it is not expected to last past September. Additionally, Chris Shepherd added that the fact that the car was black supplemented towards the impact of damage, because black is a very good absorber of light. Furthermore, he added that a possible solution could be to misalign the window frames, or more cost effective; to coat the windows to reduce reflection. Regardless, this problem is no stranger to the architect Rafael Vinoly, who designed the WalkieTalkie. The same problem happened to the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, which he also designed. Message of the story: Don’t employ Mr Vinoly to design your building...
report by Ofcom has found that almost a quarter of all media accessed by people in the UK is downloaded illegally. The percentages broken down show that 17% of users downloaded or streamed pirated films, books, or games and 35% of all film streams are illegal. 58% of people say they downloaded or streamed something via the internet.
Argentinian “super-hacker” arrested for online scam
The Fryscraper on 20 Fenchurch Street. The concave design accidentally focuses the light from its surface onto unsuspecting (and unfortunate) structures.
olice have arrested a 19-year-old hacker on suspicion of operating a network dealing in fraud and illegal financial transactions. The hacker reportedly stole nearly $50,000 a month.
emember when Apollo orbited the moon and found the mysterious dust levitating from its surface a total nuisance? Now NASA has sent an unmanned robotic explorer on a mission to the moon to investigate the socalled moondust that has mystified scientists and astronauts for decades. The £180m Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) will also investigate the remarkably thin atmosphere of the moon, known as an ‘exosphere’ while they attempt to gain an insight into the moondust’s odd behaviour. The dust was first seen by the Surveyor 7 lunar landing spacecraft in 1968. But consisting of remnant rock shattered through eons of meteorite impacts, it is considered highly hazardous. The Apollo astronauts reported that it tended to be sticky and reported concerns that if it was breathed in, the material could cause respiratory problems. LADEE is currently completing
widening loops around the Earth before getting close enough to reach lunar orbit. It will then hover 20km above the moon’s surface and spend 100 days making scientific observations after reaching its destination in about two months’ time. It is equipped with scientific instruments including one that will sweep up dust particles like a hoover from the existing clouds and analyse them for composition and mass, and others that will examine the thin gasses in the lunar exosphere and determine their composition and makeup. The mission is set to answer a lot of burning questions, and the information it will gain is invaluable to our understanding of how moondust behaves. It has high hopes of aiding the designing of structures tailored to work around the dust, including the efficiency of deploying any future telescopes on the moon’s surface. After around 6 months when the fuel supply has been squeezed to its last drops, the explorer will end its mission spectacularly by crashing into the moon.
New Painkillers On The Horizon
often injure themselves as a result of not being able to detect hot surfaces - by scaling their skin, for example. By comparing the gene sequence of the girl against those of her parents, Ingo Kurth and his colleagues at Jena University Hospital in Germany identified a mutation in a gene called SCN11A. This gene controls the development of channels on painsensing neurons. Sodium ions travel through these channels, creating electrical nerve impulses that are sent to the brain, which registers pain. Overactivity in the mutated version of this gene prevents the build-up of the charge that the neurons need to transmit an electrical impulse, numbing the body to pain. “The outcome is blocked transmission of pain signals,” says Kurth. The team confirmed their findings by inserting a mutated version of SCN11A into mice and tested their ability to perceive pain. 11% of the mice with the modified gene developed injuries similar to those seen in people with congenital analgesia, such as bone fractures and skin wounds. They also tested a control group of mice with the normal SCN11A gene, none of which developed such injuries. The altered mice also took 2.5 times longer on average than the control group to react to the ‘tail flick’ pain test, which measures how long it takes for mice to flick their tails when exposed to a hot light beam. “What became clear from our experiments is that although there are similarities between mice and men with the mutation, the degree of pain insensitivity is more prominent in humans,” says Kurth. The team has now begun the search for drugs that block the SCN11A channel. “It would require drugs that selectively block this but not other sodium channels, which is far from simple,” says Kurth. The study which is published in the journal Nature Genetics could really advance our knowledge of the role of sodium channels in pain perception.
Scottish government pledge to end emissions by 2050
he Scottish government has pledged to end all the emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050. The ambitious plan is set to spend £14m over the next two years on replacing its fleet of cars with electric alternatives. It has also published a “roadmap” on how businesses and individuals should switch to electric vehicles.
Japan stops last nuclear reactor
...Like a kid in a candy-store. Painkillers are among the most widely used nonprescritpion drug. By Siobhan Harris, Science & Tech Editor
An artist’s impression of LADEE in-orbit around the moon. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer will orbit for 6 months before crashing into the lunar surface - a common end to many spaceprobes.
ew painkillers that could block pain signals could well be on the way according to researchers whose study was aided by a girl who doesn’t feel any physical pain.
She helped the researchers identify a gene mutation that disrupts pain perception. The girl, who has congenital analgesia disorder, is one of many who cannot feel physical pain. This means people with the disorder
apan decided to stop its last remaining nuclear reactor in the early hours of 16th September 2013. This decision means that Japan will be without nuclear power until at least December, a situation that has not happened since the 1960s.
The Stag’s Map to the University of Surrey
A Closer Look at the SU & Catering
© Paul A Richmond, Design Editor
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Music Editor: Candice Ritchie
The Stag | 28th September 2013
LATITUDE: The festival with ATITUDE
...Albeit a hippy - dippy, communal spirit type of attitude.
The Festival Special
By Arran Coe, Music Team
his year’s Wireless Festival took its move from Hyde Park to the spacious and modern Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Spirits were as high as the temperature at this scorching early-summer festival. The line-up wasn’t bad either, with three fantastic headliners: Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and then on Sunday, JT and Jay-Z performing together. Other acts include the soulful and adorable Frank Ocean, who transfixed the crowd on Friday evening, and the modern soul artist John Legend, whose name embodies his talent perfectly. However, if smooth soul doesn't take your fancy, try some Snoop Dogg, Macklemore or Rizzle Kicks, to name just a few of the hip-hop acts gracing the stage. If even these are not for you, then DJ Fresh was dropping some drum 'n' bass floor-fillers in the dance tent, along with Flux Pavillion's dubstep, and Porter Robinson's special flavour of electro-house! However, Justin Timberlake's performance had to be the highlight for me. He started his lengthy 90 minute set 20 minutes early, which was a quite a pleasant surprise, especially for those who arrived early to get a good place in the crowd. The music itself could not have sounded more polished, with his Big Band style backing group 'The Tennessee Kids' playing better than ever. It was quite astonishing to hear performances of his old classics like 'Cry Me a River' and 'Like I Love You' beautifully arranged for his Big Band setup. Justin himself provided a jaw-dropping all-round performance, showing off his skills as an instrumentalist, a dancer, and of course a singer and songwriter. As well as hearing a tremendous array of his classics and recent releases, we were treated to a peak at his new single 'Take Back The Night', which is heavily Michael Jackson inspired, all the way from the music itself to the dance sequence. Just as we thought the night couldn’t get any better, the whole crowd suffered a small cardiac arrest as Jay-Z made his surprise appearance during recent
Reading Festival You did it Again!
By Sophia Field, Music Team
hit ‘Suit & Tie’. I’ve scarce seen a crowd go as wild for a surprise guest as they did for the ’99 Problems’ hiphop king. In fact, it was hard to make out his rapping over the thousands screaming, and he was gone before you knew it, leaving Mr. Timberlake to end the night in style with an overwhelmingly boisterous rendition of ‘Sexy Back’. The shear effort you could see being put in by Timberlake and the band kept spirits at 100% throughout, and ensured that you left with the performance ringing in your ears like no gig you’ve been to before! The organisers really came through with the location and the acts this year, and I will definitely be returning next year, hopefully with similarly sizzling weather and slightly lower drinks prices!
By Kyra Hanson, Music Team
fter a fatiguing journey, with aching backs and empty bellies, a friend and I dismounted from the festival coach, collected our tent & assorted camping paraphernalia and with the dizzying anticipation of four intoxicated nights worth of music, poetry, theatre, dance and comedy we ascended in to Suffolk’s ethical version of artsy heaven. Latitude is definitely more than just a music festival; it’s a glorious oasis of cultural delights with something cool and creative for all ages. The Latitude site, set in the beautiful Henham Park, was a combination of brightly coloured sheep and brightly adorned people. We stumbled across giant sand sculptures and decapitated Barbie dolls strung up in trees (the idea was to ‘create your perfect person’; however, the end product was more of an unleashing of sadistic anger at the play things of our childhood). Psychedelic light shows hovered shimmering over the lake while gigantic people-powered swans glided past mesmerised onlookers. Artwork littered the forest in various stages of completion and the trees were lit up with dangling neon signs displaying various clichés like “love & peace”. We followed the fairy lights towards the intimately placed ‘Alcove’ stage, where Australian singer Matt Corby charmed us with his good looks while belting out his heartfelt tunes. During those sun-drenched days, we particularly enjoyed munching on free Genius toast at the Free Genius toast van, whilst watching people in tie-dye
t-shirts struggle into various meditative positions. Language, art and music boomed out of all tents and stages. In the Literary arena, feminist legend Germaine Greer could be heard discussing the growing invisibility of women in all spheres of life. In the Poetry arena, Laura Dockrill read from her new children’s book Darcy Burdock in her usual gutsy animated manner. Personal music highlights were Foals lead singer Yannis’s crowd diving antics and Local Natives’ and Grizzly Bears’ harmonious melodies. Pop/dance group Hot Chip had most on their feet, while The Maccabees had most diehard fans singing along. When we were all danced out, Tim Burgess and Willy Mason serenaded us with their laidback vibes. (In case you’re wondering, I wasn’t a huge fan of Kraftwerk, who alienated me with their 3D motorways and other transport related flashing images.) The Oxford English Dictionary defines Latitude as “Freedom from narrow restrictions; width or liberality of construction or interpretation; tolerated or permitted variety of action or opinion.” Latitude is most certainly a festival about freedom of expression, whether through dance, literature, poetry, music or theatre. The eclectic mix of carefully picked performers certainly was an inspiration, though I felt the communal spirit could have stopped at the showers! We weren’t just drunk on cheap wine and vodka - we were truly intoxicated by language, art and music. To paraphrase from Led Zep’s song Going to California, I left Latitude Festival with love in my eyes and flowers in my hair.
By Rebecca Tubridy, Music Team s a festival virgin, I felt the Virgin Festival was an ideal place to start. With a star studded line-up, I was slightly concerned that my expectations were too high, but I needn’t have worried; every act performed impeccably. Paloma Faith wowed the crowd with not only her flawless voice but her crazy outfit, complete with headdress and sky-scraping heels. Her sense of humour certainly added to her performance and her London accent made her all the more likeable. Labrinth got the crowd dancing with all his usual tracks. Earthquake’s lyrics ‘Mosh for me’ sparked off the biggest (and scariest) mosh pit I’ve ever seen, followed by some crowd surfing. His set was a lot of fun, but he didn’t perform anything new, which was a bit of a shame. However, I felt like he should have been on the main stage as his performance was top notch. Two Door Cinema Club certainly deserved their place on the main stage. They were outstanding; they really got the crowd going with all their old songs and they performed their new single ‘Changing of The Seasons’ live for the first time. They’ve gained themselves a brilliant festival reputation and are certainly no longer “that band from the FIFA soundtrack”. Jessie J’s outfit left little to the imagination! Her voice was as beautiful as ever and she seemed to get rather emotional performing in her hometown of Essex. But she was out-trumped by fellow The Voice judge Danny O’Donoghue, whose performance with The Script was absolutely amazing. Danny made the whole field laugh when he sang ‘Nothing’ down the phone to a fan’s ex-boyfriend. He even walked into the crowd, making many girls nearly faint, and sang with his fans. To top it all off, Labrinth came out and performed a couple of songs with The Script, which was brilliant. While Danny stole the show, I was extremely impressed by Mark Sheehan, who had an equally powerful voice. Finally, after waiting for half an hour in the cold rain, it was time for Beyoncé to grace the stage. She started off with her energy-pumping song ‘Run the World’ (Girls), and her energy never faltered. There was a lot of clever video footage used to entertain the crowd while Mrs Carter made various costume changes, although I personally would have preferred her to sing a couple of extra songs and wear the same outfit! However, you couldn’t fault her performance. Her voice was exquisite and her all-girl band were incredible. She was definitely worth the rainy wait. I absolutely loved my first festival, and I wished I was camping! I will definitely be back at Hylands Park next year!
ugust bank holiday has come and gone. The mud, the mess and the music have passed us by for another year, but we will not be forgetting the memories any time soon. Reading festival 2013, this year, you really outdid yourself. Joining the campsite on a warm Thursday afternoon, the place was hysterical. It had barely hit sunset before vocal Mexican waves and shouts of ‘ALAN’ filled the campsite. The prereading buzz is a beautiful thing, however, before the festival this year there was much debate among veteran festival attenders about the authenticity of the 2013 line-up. Although the rock music still fitted the bill with the likes of Green Day and Biffy Clyro headlining the stage, people began to question what artists like Skrillex were doing there. Having attended this year, I can say that the festival has certainly got a wider variety of music genres and alternative acts, however, with the increasing number of stages, nothing is deducted from the rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere of years passed. The stand out act of the weekend was Biffy Clyro’s closing performance on Sunday night. The audience were completely at one with the Scottish trio as they put every ounce of energy they had into a performance that clearly meant the world to them. Bassist James Johnston told the audience, "Thank you so much. You don't know how much this means to us. We hope you've had fun. We've probably had the best night of our lives”, and for avid Biffy supporters the spectacle did not disappoint. The band played many of their biggest hits and even delighted diehard fans with renditions of ‘57’, ‘Questions & Answers’ and even the emotional track, ‘Folding Stars’. The headline act really closed the festival with a bang, topped off by Neil setting fire to his guitar in true Hendrix fashion and an encore of ‘Mountains’ lit by fireworks, much to the delight of the crowds. Also headlining were Eminem and Green Day. Eminem’s appearance was his first festival appearance in 11 years, bringing hysteria to the masses. Despite being 15 minutes behind schedule and not permitting the BBC recording rights to his
performance, Eminem really did whip the crowd into frenzy, even bringing Dido onstage for ‘Stan’ (probably the most animated reaction Dido has ever received). Closing the Saturday night to ‘Lose Yourself’, Eminem made Reading History. Green Day also impressed the crowds with a mammoth two and a half hour performance including the full album playback of Dookie. They may have been on the scene for over 20 years, but they still know how to give it their all. I was a little disappointed with the band’s actual musical skills, with many of the impressive guitar riffs being played by a dimly lit session musician, but any true Green Day fans would have had their socks knocked off. The headliners really rocked the weekend, but other performers cannot go without a mention. The NME Stage was graced with many excellent performers. Bastille really hit the mainstream in a whirlwind this year, and the packed tent supported this. The indie quartet brought their A-game, performing tracks such as ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’, ‘Bad Blood’ and of course, ‘Pompeii’. Lesserknown indie group Kodaline also drew a huge audience to the NME Stage and delivered an impressive performance. The catchy lyrics and melodies of songs such as ‘High Hopes’ and ‘All Comes Down’ created spine-tingling moments of audience partition and reinforced the band’s recent comparison to Coldplay. Other memorable acts included Disclosure, a house act who really know how to put on a show and Alex Clare, who showcased a variety of soulful songs that set him apart from ‘Too Close’, a track made famous by Internet Explorer. Alt-J also put on a fantastic show, with their unique sound demonstrating why they have culminated such a strong following since the release of ‘An Awesome Wave’, as well as Fall Out Boy, who proved that Patrick was a handsome man under that extra 50lb, and Pete Wentz certainly has still got it. So once again, floods of people returned home on Monday to the best shower of the year, fuelled by dehydration, exhaustion and awe, an unparalleled case of the festival blues. See you next year Reading, if you’ve recovered from the 150 tonnes of rubbish left behind!
The Stag | 28th September 2013
(A night at the) iTunes Festival 2013
By Candice Ritchie, Music Editor
or six straight years, Camden town’s Roundhouse venue has been fully booked for September. Delivering thirty nights of free music from some of the world’s best known stars, the iTunes Festival has become an annual, month-long event, suited to fans of all genres. This year was no different – it kickesd off with pig masks and confetti from pop icon Lady Gaga, ventured into the classical realm with Ludovico Einaudi and went back in time with the legend that is Sir Elton. Without a doubt, there is something for everyone. However, applied for by thousands, it seems that winning tickets to one of the performances is proving more difficult than ever before. I know very few people who have won via the official entry on Apple’s iTunes store in previous years - and none at all for this year. The Metro giveaway has long been the most successful - last year, a friend of mine won five pairs through the publication - but even that is becoming tough. Inevitable, you might say, given that the Festival continually gains more exposure. Plus, let’s face it, it’s free. Instead of forking out over £200 for a place at Reading, we simply submit a form with our contact details and hope that we’re picked – anyone would be mad not to apply. While I didn’t win tickets to some of the acts I’d have hoped (Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, Justin Timberlake), I did win a pair to see hip-hop act of the moment, Rizzle Kicks, who were supported by the wonderful Eliza Doolittle. I’ll admit, when Eliza was announced as the support act, I’d forgotten most of her songs – cue a quick search through my iTunes library. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised on the night. Emerging on stage in a sexy red dress, she belted out well-known tracks
such as Pack Up and Skinny Genes, her recent single Big When I Was Little and the hit Disclosure number You and Me (a beautiful piano version). She also performed new material from her upcoming album, In Your Hands. My personal favourites were Waste of Time and No Man Can – make sure you check them out! Not only was her voice stunning, but her maturity and confidence shone. She seemed genuinely flattered at the audience’s response and was clearly honoured to be performing in her home town. From my view, she wasn’t a secondary act – it was as though the night was headlined by both. I was even more surprised at how much I enjoyed the Rizzle Kicks set. I wouldn’t have exactly called myself a big fan – I knew about four of their songs, all of which were in the charts. However, their new track, Lost Generation, had been stuck in my head for weeks. A critique of reality TV, which mocks Jeremy Kyle and constantly hash-tags – what is there not to love? As a result, I was quite excited, and rightly so: from beginning to end, the duo instilled an unprecedented amount of energy. The audience went crazy for popular tracks Down with the Trumpets and When I Was A Youngster, while Jordan’s booty-shaking moves to Mama do the Hump made a big impression. They were just as buzzing during new songs such as Skip to the Good Bit and Put Your Two’s Up – which, in all honesty, had pretty awful lyrics, most of which I could barely make out. My favourite moment was when Eliza returned to the stage for a duet with Harley. As the duo is usually associated with rapping, it was refreshing to hear Harley’s vocals. All in all, it was probably the most energetic gig I’ve attended, and showed that the acts have got plenty up their sleeve for the coming future! I’m currently still holding out hope (or wishing) for some JT tickets, though.
ello, you lovely lot! I’m Candice, and I’m your new music editor for The Stag. I’m a final year English Literature with Creative Writing student, aspiring journalist and entertainment addict. I’ve just finished my placement year as the editorial assistant for an overseas property magazine, so hopefully my writing, editing and proofing skills have been honed better than ever in preparation for the section! This is my third year as a member of the Stag team, having previously been a copy editor/writer and last year’s film editor. Entertainment is one of my favourite topics to write about, and I loved reviewing both new and old films last year. Now, I’m excited to delve into all the classics and newbies of the music industry, (hopefully) carry out some exciting interviews and relay the musical goings-on from events in Rubix and beyond. Enjoy reading!
Film Editor: Sophia Field
The Stag | 28th September 2013
’m Sophia Field, an English Literature student at Level 3 and your Film Editor for the year. After a year on placement with NBCUniversal I have had a huge amount of exposure to the industry and am now very excited to be the figurehead for film in the coming year. This issue will be focused around movies of the summer, so I hope you enjoy! My email address is email@example.com so if you ever fancy writing for the section, get in touch. Thanks and I hope you have a great year!
A classic love story with a modern twist
The World’s End
By Sophia Field, Film Editor
By Beth Goss, Film Team
can’t be the only person who has been waiting for this movie for years! The final instalment of the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’, ‘The World’s End’ joins ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ to complete the ultimate movie partnership between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. With the cult status of the previous films, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie soon joins it. The trilogy mocks a wide range of genre’s with ‘The World’s End’ taking on the world of Sci-fi. The film opens with the premises of five friends reuniting to finally complete a pub crawl that they attempted as teenagers, reliving their youth and renewing old friendships. However, much like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’
things are not quite that simple. The five find themselves in the middle of an event which has the possibility of bringing Earth as we know it to its end. Sounds pretty good eh? Simon Pegg plays 40-year-old Gary King who has never grown out of his teens and refused to move onwards with his life. It is out of this need to relive his teenage years that he calls his four estranged friends, including exbest friend Andy Knightly (played by Nick Frost). For once it seems that Nick Frost plays the part of ‘straight man’ to the childish and eccentric Gary King. It is an interesting mix-up and took me by surprise, but it works! Though I feel that ‘The World’s End’ might not have as many funny one-liners as its predecessors, the movie has a good combination of
heart-wrenching moments and good old high action fight scenes. There is still plenty of humour and even a couple of in-jokes for fans of the previous movies, though I feel there are less obviously silly moments in this movie than the other two. The movie still sticks to its mocking roots however, rarely taking its genre seriously. Though, as I mentioned before, the film does touch on some sensitive themes, the tone is generally nonserious. I went to see this film with friends who, like me, are big fans of the other movies in the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’, and we all left with big smiles on our faces. Though, for me, this movie wasn’t as good as the other two it is still definitely worth a watch!
ith movies such as Love Actually and Notting Hill under his belt, the pressure was on for veteran director Richard Curtis to deliver a new romantic comedy which would live up to his past successes. With an added sci-fi element, Curtis was taking a risk with his latest flick About Time, but with its charming awkwardness and sentiment, he did not disappoint. About Time is a truly a heartwarming film, set out to remind you of the importance of living each day to the fullest and appreciating those that you love. The cast lead by Domhnall Gleeson and Rachael McAdams did a fantastic job of presenting realistic and natural relationships, with characters such as Bill Nighy and Tom Hollanderadding providing moments of pure comedy genius. The comedy of this film makes it a winner for everyone; it is not a ‘chic flick’. I know some people who proclaim they hate romcoms, but will happily sit down and watch Love Actually. This is the talent of Curtis. He manages to deliver a movie so down to earth and real that it can be loved by people of all ages and genders. The performances of the cast were superb, with a Rachael McAdams bringing her usual allure in her second role as the wife of a time traveller and Domhnall Gleeson cementing his role as a leading
male in his own adorable and awkward way. If you really wanted to, it would be easy to dig holes in the movie due to the sci-fi element of the plot. However, the heartfelt sentiment of the film means that there is no need to question this during the course of the film. The fact that Tim can travel back in time is merely a tool to enhance the story, create comedy and offer a different structure to the usual romantic comedies we are so sick of. Plus, let’s be honest; there is no such thing as an entirely realistic movie about time-travel! I would argue that although About Time will not be as commercially successful across such a wide demographic as Love Actually was, it is almost equally as worthy, and comes close in a market where romcoms are such a competitive playing ground. The difference between the movies is that Love Actually was one of the first of its kind to excel at representing the intricacy and delicacy of intertwining stories, whereas About Time truly shines at offering a look at life and relationships on a level that delves much deeper. About Time is the type of movie that makes you smile and cry at the same time and leaves you feeling truly uplifted. It is about family, for family, and having gone with mine, there was not a dry eye in the car ride home. I would recommend this film to anyone.
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Film Editor: Sophia Field
The Stag | 28th September 2013
By Beth Goss, Film Team
resher’s won’t be aware, but there was a lot of advertising for this movie around exam time last semester. After seeing a movie poster on my late night study break to Pizzaman, I decided that I would go see the film as a post exam treat, but I almost wish I hadn’t bothered. I loved the original ‘Monster’s Inc.’ it was the last film I ever got on video and I watched the hell out of it. The story is, in my books, equally as touching and funny as Toy Story, competing for rights to the number one Pixar film of all time. So needless to say, I went to ‘Monsters University’ with high hopes. I don’t think it was an accident that Pixar released this prequel at the same time the main target audience for
the first film were of university age. They used the exact same tactic with Toy Story 3 after all. However, unlike with Toy Story I don’t feel the pull to watch this film ever again. Maybe a younger audience would like it, but I feel that knowing the original so well this movie didn’t really live up to the hype I, myself had given it. ‘Monsters University’ tells the story of how Mike and Sully first met and how they rose to their positions in ‘Monsters Inc.’. We meet old faces such as Randle but it is largely a new cast of characters that we come across during the course of the movie. It goes a little way to explain the rivalry between Mike/Sully and Randle, but it is not really explored, with the movie focusing mainly on the on-off
friendship between the two main characters. I actually found myself a bigger fan of the tear-jerking opening story between two Umbrellas than actually caring about the end of ‘Monsters University’. The entire movie just felt like a million other films I had seen before and all the best lines and gags had occurred in the trailer. Although the film wasn’t all bad, and someone who has never seen the first film might find themselves watching and enjoying themselves immensely, for me, it is just not on the same level as Monsters Inc. I didn’t find myself laughing out load to any of the jokes and the plot wasn’t exactly unexpected. But who knows, maybe I’m just getting old?
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
poor "thrillers". Kick-Ass made Nicholas Cage look good: that's how good it was. Let that sink in for a minute. Needless to say, Kick-Ass 2 was hopelessly derivative. Much of the plot made no sense and the pacing was inconsistent. There isn't an overarching theme holding the film together, and when it does try pontificating serious issues it falls flat because of how forced the dialogue appears. Perhaps the only redeemable feature is the aplomb with which Christopher MintzPlasse dives into his character of Chris "the Motherf**ker" D'Amico - a caricature of what a villain should be. Who said overacting doesn't make a film better, at times? Another area where KickAss excelled and Kick-Ass 2 fails is the soundtrack; instead of
By Candice Ritchie, Features Editor
from the neighbours and; the alltoo-familiar music of suspense. However, it also incorporates an element of comedy, which not only makes it unique but adds a lighthearted feel to the plot. At times, scenes even mock themselves in a Scary Movie type way, which reassures the audience that it’s not taking itself too seriously. This is a clever ploy, in my opinion, to steer us away from criticising the clichés and unrealistic scenarios - and it works. The great thing is, it’s never too much; writer Simon Barrett creates the perfect balance, bringing it in subtly and never excessively. There’s also a degree of unpredictability as we near the end and are met with a twist. I won’t relay too much information for fear of revealing, but it adds a much-needed meaning to the film’s events. Its real success, however, lies in its suspense. We all know that the slasher movie sets out to make you jump, but how often do films in this genre fail to deliver? You’re Next is likely the edgiest film I’ve seen in years – even after only watching the trailer. I found the actors equally as brilliant: they’re all largely unknown which, in my opinion, is necessary for a horror. Let’s face it, if Ryan Gosling was stabbed in the chest, we’d all be pretty damn distressed. Plus, it’s difficult to detach your association with an actor in the mildest of films, let alone a horror – we all still saw Chad Michael Murray as shy-faced Lucas of One Tree Hill, not the victim of a mass murder in House of Wax. Sharni Vinson really shone for me, though. As the only character to fight back, she had me rooting for her survival – and for girl power. She connects with the character of Erin so brilliantly, developing a Lara Croft-esque persona and creating a likeable heroine to the very end. After predominantly appearing on TV, she only recently had her film debut with Step Up 3D, but I’m certain that this will be her big break. I loved this film, and I’m certain you will too – it’s a lot more than just your average 21st century horror.
ushed whispers of "How old is Chloe Moretz now? 16? Shoot…" filled the cinema as viewers ushered themselves in for the screening of Kick-Ass 2. I wasn't surprised. The target audience for Kick-Ass 2 is exactly the kind of person who spends enough time sobbing about their non-existent relationships to drive themselves into wearing a superhero costume and pretending to be "kick-ass" to boost their self-esteem. I foolishly hoped that this sequel would live up to the pedigree of its predecessor, KickAss. While the first film was written and directed by Matthew Vaughn - well-known for his work on classics such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Layer Cake - was a smartly-written, acerbic comedy-thriller, the sequel is written and directed by Jeff Wadlow - "best-known" for his terrible, terrible screenplays Cry Wolf and Prey; two excruciatingly
the carefully-chosen songs that complemented the action in the first film, the score in the second is bland muzak that will probably be sold for pennies as elevator music
I foolishly hoped that this sequel would live up to the pedigree of its predecessor
by the end of the year. There's a scene in the film where the protagonist Dave is shown wearing a t-shirt that reads "I Hate Reboots". If there was ever a chance for the filmmakers to make a clever joke, it would be this scene - just make the t-shirt read "I Hate Sequels". Yet this is precisely the kind of risk taking that would not happen in most Hollywood sequels, which do nothing more than slap lipstick on a pig and then sink millions of dollars into marketing in the hope that enough moviegoers in foreign territories will buy tickets to recoup production costs. Pathetic.
s soon as you watch the trailer, you’ll realise that this film is nothing new. Think The Strangers or Halloween and you’ve pretty much got the gist. It’s a typical slasher involving a group of mysterious killers, who enter the home of their seemingly innocent victims. However, unlike other recent films within the genre, this one comes into its own. The plot centres on the Davison family, who arrive at a remote house (naturally, in the middle of nowhere) for a wedding anniversary celebration. Barely a glass has been raised when an uninvited figure in a wolf mask brutally slays one of the guests. From then on, it’s a battle for survival, as the victims are picked off one-by-one. But it’s not as easy as the killers had expected, when guest Erin (Sharni Vinson) begins to fight back. It’s got all the common cliché’s of slasher horrors: the stupidity of victims as they descend the stairs alone or glance under the bed; the ironic lack of help in the form of lost mobile phone signal and no answer
By Ankur Banerjee, Film Team
love biodramas, especially when they carry the pedigree of the team that was put together for Rush. Directed by Ron Howard - with previous hits such as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and Cinderella Man - and screenplay by Peter Morgan - with the experience of screenwriting for Frost / Nixon, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland, and The Queen under his belt. Rush tells the story of the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. There couldn't possibly be a better team than these two for attempting to tell this story. I am not particularly fond of Formula 1, despite having attended two F1 races in person. Yet even for someone who absolutely has no idea of the backstory or an interest in motorsport racing, the film has enough going in the drama aspect to keep the most disinterested viewer engaged. This is partly helped by the colourful character that Hunt was, a sort-of playboy who stumbled into race driving when not sleeping around with anything with a pair of legs and boobs. I can't think of anyone other than Chris Hemsworth to play the part. The counterbalance to Hunt's
character in that of Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Bruhl, couldn't be starker in contrast. A fastidiously disciplined driver who didn't believe in showing off like Hunt did, nor enjoying the popular support among his peers for his personality, it's apparent that Lauda was a character at once to be admired and respected without being likeable. Lauda suffered one of the most horrific car crashes in Formula 1 history which left him in a searing inferno, with much of his face burned off. You can't help but admire his resolve as he fights for his life in the hospital and makes it back onto the track in time to defend his world championship position. It's fascinating how Hunt and Lauda start out despising each other, and then eventually learn to respect one another in how they both drove the other to accomplish what neither thought they could motivate themselves to do. As always for a Ron Howard film, the cinematography is spectacular. He works magic in being able to take filming cars going around on a racetrack - never an easy task during live races due to production constraints - and breathes life into it. Fast cars, gorgeous women, larger-than-life characters - Rush has it all.
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Literature Editor: Shiri Shah
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Where have you been reading this summer?
By Shiri Shah, Literature Editor
A Freshers’ Introduction to the English Department
By Joseph Harrison, Literature Team English Literature Graduate
Reading should be for pleasure, not for pain
By Ben Andrew Allen, Literature Team With school terms beginning afresh, and having spent the last week enticing Secondary School students back into reading, it raised a question in my mind; Are we encouraged to read what we enjoy, or what we are expected to learn about? Amid a classroom of groans and agitated mutters at the prospect of opening the creased, browning pages of Shelley's Frankenstein during Year 9 registration, I decided that a trip to the library was due, with the chance for students to pick a book of their choice. And VOILA! it succeeded; with a fresh din of questions and excitement pulsating my eardrums, all related to their newly-found pleasure in reading. Smiles all round. This brings me onto my own love for one mainstream author: Lee Child. With eighteen “Jack Reacher” novels published worldwide, and being one of the world's leading thriller writers, Child has already established a firm place on many UK bookshelves... though, you won't find him on any educational book list. No Atticus Finch-style lessons of equality and learning. No satirical re-writing of fables and myths as created by Duffy. Just pure, gorilla-induced carnage from one of “the great modern antiheroes”, Jack Reacher. Yet, that's why I like it. Simple, enjoyable reading. With the British author attending his own book signing at W H Smith on the 19th September on Guildford high street, it encouraged me to fly through three more of his novels during the summer! Although Reacher's hard-boiled character is maybe a little too dislikeable for some readers, the giant, ex-Military Policeman is a firm detective figure in today's literature, with his various, individually-charged episodes of investigation taking him to various parts of the United States. As well as this geographical insight into the huge locations of the USA, his relationships with female accomplices, drugsmugglers, young, rich teenagers and the on-going nostalgic remembrances of his dead brother make the novels seem much more worthy of academic study. Themes of travel, memory, relationships and character (all which are found in the suitable literature as chosen by all academic establishments) are constant and ready to be infused and compared with equivalent detective fiction by Hammet, Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. Or why not compare it with Fleming or Thompson? The point is, over the past week, many students have asked me: “Why do we have to read?” and I answer with: “because it's a crucial skill for future employers.” However, first and foremost, reading is enjoyable. It is a chance to lose yourself in the narrative world of another's mind and fashion it for yourself. We may all not enjoy Shakespeare or Austen, but there will always be a novel, poem or piece of drama that captures us and sends our imagination rolling wild and, if we can retain that passion for reading and pass that onto those around us, then reading and the ability to read is not just a governmental and educational expectation, but an exciting pasttime and a pleasurable hobby alongside instrumental talent, sports, travelling, and gaming. So, before delving back into those text-books and prescribed course literature, take those spare five minutes to turn the page of that well-loved, tattered novel of yours and re-engage yourself with reading for pleasure once more!
ctober’s here, the weather’s gone, and we need to don our thick coats and classy boots once more as we end the year. But, summer’s still fresh in our minds! (Or at least, mine.) Photos are left to be tagged on Facebook and some of you may be sporting a healthy tan provided by holidaying around the world. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to read an awful lot in the past two and a half months, which sounds pretty daunting considering we’ve had more than a few lush days in the country, but it’s been pretty chill. With a good book and a cocktail, lounging on the decking in the garden, or on the beach, or on grassy hills with a pair of sunglasses perched on your nose, there’s something Romantic about reading outside in the sunshine. So I’ve been using the time I’ve spent travelling on the trains or lolling in the bathtubs to read, and it’s been very therapeutic and relaxing. But I’ve also been reading in pub gardens in the sunshine, fields in Oxford, parks in London, and by the lake on campus. It’s a beautiful lake, so it’s hard not to spend some down time there! Whilst there are a load of places to read in the sunshine (aka- anywhere public,) you might find it difficult to find a cosy space to read in the winter aside from your bedroom and the campus library. Here are a few places if you’re, y’know, feeling adventurous. There is a plethora of places to read indoors and out, and now the winter’s making its fast approaching appearance maybe it’s best to swap the cocktail and shades for a hot chocolate and wool jumper (or maybe some mulled wine…) Happy reading!
Pictured: (Anti-clockwise from bottom) Leakey’s Second hand Bookshop in Scotland, The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, And this person’s bath tub: (if you’re lucky.)
Literature and the Environment at Surrey this summer
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team
urrey’s English and Language department welcomed the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment to campus this summer. Organised by Surrey’s Dr Adeline Johns-Putra, the current Chair of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (UK and Ireland), alongside Dr Gregory Tate and Louise Squire, the event took place from August 29th to 31st and marked the association’s 8th biennia conference. The event explored the relationship between people, nature, the environment, science and literature, following a theme of ‘Ecological Encounters: Agency, Identity, Interactions’. Guest speakers with expertise in
environmental humanities were invited to lead a variety of sessions which discussed the presence of climate change, gardens and plants within literature and investigated how these issues are communicated. Such sessions encouraged attendees to consider the relationship between humans and the co-existence which forms everyday reality. This included the ways in which scientific knowledge coincides with literary inspiration and the aesthetic of nature. Experts believe that these aspects play a significant role in how we recognise both human and nonhuman concepts. Catriona Sandilands from York University in Canada hosted a session entitled ‘Botanical Sensations: Plants, Publics and New Materialisms’. Meanwhile, Mike Hulme from King's College London focussed on ‘Between
Two Degrees and the Rainbow’, whilst Sheila Jasanoff from Harvard University lead ‘A New Climate for Society’. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by participants following its engaging discussions and thought provoking themes. It certainly is an area for provocative consideration which emphasised the importance of literary discourses amongst environmental and ecological ideas, as well as everyday interaction and recognition. Ecocriticism is becoming increasingly important, especially during a time of climatic change, and the conference was valued as an opportunity to discuss these ideas even further and involve human geography, geographical history and scientific study.
ello! I’m Shiri Shah, editor of the Literature section. I’m currently a second year Literature student here, hailing from London. This section is for you to feast your eyes on the wonders literature provides for us, ranging from different genres to the influence of it to the arts we all enjoy. Along with opinions on hot books and debates, we’ll be keeping you up to date with all the events the university provides for us in and around Guildford. Submissions and ideas welcome, let’s have some fun. Bon Appetite!
ello and welcome to the new academic year! Lots of you reading this will be fresher’s, with many English Lit fresher’s included no doubt. Literature student or not, I hope to introduce you in this article to the Literature Department here at Surrey, and what’s been happening within it of late. The Surrey Literature Department is a part of the School of English and Languages. Formed in 2011, the School combines the academic disciplines of English literature, creative writing, modern languages, linguistics, intercultural communications, and translation studies. English Literature and Creative Writing were only introduced as degree subjects in 2008, so are youngsters in comparison to the rest of the school’s more established departments. However, in their short time here, they have seen a great deal of exciting developments. In June 2011, the Surrey English Department collaborated with English PEN, a worldwide organisation that campaigns for freedom of writing and speech. Then in the following June of 2012, Dr Liam Bell, a former English PhD student at Surrey, published his debut novel So It Is, which uses a dual narrative to explore the time of the Troubles in Ireland. Whilst lecturer Dr Gregory Tate recently became one of BBC three’s ten resident ‘New Generation Thinkers’. He was awarded this honour for his highly promising research into the relationship between Victorian poetry and the development of new scientific ideas about the mind in the 19th
century. On top of its many academic achievements, the English Department also boasts a range of societies and annual events. The English Literature Society, or ‘Litsoc’, is a student run society which regularly organises trips and socials for Lit students. Just one example of Litsoc events planned for this term is the upcoming annual ‘Quote Crawl’. Basically it’s a bar crawl where litsoccers go around writing literary quotes on each other’s T-shirts. It always a good laugh - so get yourself signed up to Litsoc! Then there is PENsoc, which represents English PEN at surrey. It hosts events throughout the year; of which past examples
annual conference of the ‘British Society for literature and Science’ coming to our university. Finally, whether you’ve never really given journalism a thought, or already aspire to be a journalist, I urge you to have a go at writing for The Stag this year. It will not only give you an insight into a potential career path, but also be good for that silly thing, the CV. After getting involved with The Stag, I became increasingly interested in journalism and so sent a CV, coupled with articles I’d written for The Stag, to the editors of several local newspapers. As a result, I managed to secure a work experience placement with the evening newspaper ‘The Argus’. So, to wrap up, be sure to keep
“I managed to secure a work placement with the evening newspaper ‘The Argus’”
include lectures from Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane, and Jon Ronson, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats. Annual events include the ‘Morag Morris Lecture’ and the ‘Surrey Poetry Festival’. March this year saw another festival arrive on the scene, with the first ever annual Surrey New Writers Festival taking place. It included performances/readings, creative writing workshops and panel discussions, featuring writers, publishers, editors and agents. On top of these festivals and lectures, many academic literary conferences are also held at Surrey. The ‘International Gothic Association Conference’ came to Surrey in July, for instance, and next April will see the ninth an eye on the Literature events calendar (and the Literature section of The Stag of course) this year!
26 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Dance/Theatre Editor: Rebecca Tubridy
The Stag | 28th September 2013
DANCE & THEATRE
Students Take New Musical to Edinburgh Fringe
By Amy Le Rossignol, Co-writer of Musical
Dance & Theatre
Over 2012 we worked on the narrative, music and lyrics until we created the framework of the musical, at which point Rachel started the script and I began orchestrating the music for the band, made up of musicians I knew from my course and ACM. Our cast member Catrin Vincent wrote the song ‘You Cannot Take My Soul’ for the musical, which became one of its key moments. However, it wasn’t until January 2013 that we realised what taking our musical to the world’s largest arts festival required. We started off by founding ChangingTheScene, a new company dedicated to creating revolutionary work. We booked our venue for Edinburgh, TheSpace @ Venue 45, and began to fundraise on a large scale after reviewing our budget and realising we needed £5000. We became responsible for things we’d never thought about before, such as public liability insurance, company contracts and press releases. Safe to say it was a pretty steep learning curve. By June, we had cast all the roles to seventeen young actors. With Surrey CMT student Dan Marks as Musical Director, and Jessica Warren-Basham, Rachel’s classmate from GSA, as Choreographer, we started rehearsals in July before premiering at the Ivy on 9th August, and travelling to Edinburgh the next morning. We had an incredible week packed with performing, flyering and exploring Edinburgh. With six shows in total, performing at the Fringe was a unique and unforgettable experience – especially for me and Rachel, as seeing our work performed so well by such a talented cast and band was a real joy. In light of encouraging feedback from audience members and reviewers and our own reflections, Rachel and I have decided to restructure the musical into a full-length show, ready to pitch to London theatres. For more information on ‘Changing the Scene’ you can visit: ChangingTheScene on facebook, or @SlavesKingdom on twitter To find out more about STOP THE TRAFFIK, visit: http://www.stopthetraffik.org
Curiousity killed the Dog
By Amy McGivern, Dance & Theatre Team
The acclaimed stage adaption of Mark Haddon’s ‘the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ is alive and well at the Apollo theatre.
through Christopher’s eyes. This was achieved by making the production very sensory. Hundreds of LED lights were dispersed throughout the stage that lit up in different configurations throughout the show. The stage itself and the walls that encased it, could move and had compartments to store countless props including a working train set. I really felt like I was experiencing Christopher’s story with him as the scenes would flow effortlessly between each other. Bunny Christie deserves the praise she got for the set design as it was not only aesthetically brilliant but complex and technically advanced. Mike Noble takes the lead role as Christopher and does so with great skill and comic timing. He carries the show with help from Rakie Ayola who plays Siobhan, his teacher. As the story unravels we get more of a sense of how Christopher’s life is very different to those around him. The play combines moments of lightness and comedy with desperate sadness. It attracts a wide and varied audience that all seemed equally touched at the end of the performance. It has received an amazing total of 7 Olivier awards and continues to have a packed house each night. I would recommend going to see this as soon as possible as it is another gem from The National that shouldn’t be missed, good luck getting tickets though.
ow many people can say they’ve seen their lifelong dream come to life? As of the past 8 months, I am fortunate enough to be able to say I have, with the help of friends, a generous pub landlord, some benevolent rotary clubs and the university itself. A Music student about to enter my final year, I have been lucky enough to have my own musical (cowritten with Rachel Partington) not only put on, but taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a 27-piece company. I met Rachel in my first year whilst she was at GSA, and we bonded straight away over our mutual geeky love of musical theatre. By January 2012 we had conceived our musical, ‘Slaves of the Kingdom’, and were meeting up weekly to write the songs together. Inspired by Rachel’s song, ‘A Land Of Oppression’, we wrote our musical as a contemporary retelling of the Exodus. It follows the journey of one man – Moses, and his struggle to free a nation exploited under dictatorship. We had many visions about the messages we wanted to send through the musical – in particular, exposing the truth about modern-day slavery. After doing some research into human trafficking, we sought to reveal insight into what takes place unseen and decided to give the profits from our Edinburgh ticket sales to the charity STOP THE TRAFFIK.
fter a little persuasion I decided it was about time I should go and see “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime” at the Apollo theatre. Originally the play was staged at The National but transferred after rave reviews and box office success. The novel by Mark Haddon follows the story of Christopher, an autistic teenage boy living in Swindon. After a dog is killed in his local area he takes the initiative to investigate the crime and find out who is responsible. The main thing that struck me about this performance was the staging. In an interview with Marianne Elliott she explains how we should see everything
i all! I’m Rebecca the new Dance and Theatre Editor for this year. I’m a final year Theatre Studies student, and an avid lover of all things theatre. This is my first year as an editor, but second year as a writer. I hope I can give you an insight into some of the shows that will be on in and
around Guildford, and keep you all entertained! I have absolutely loved my time here at Surrey, and I can’t believe the end is fast approaching. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved with this section of The Stag, the more the merrier!
The 39 Steps
By Rebecca Tubridy, Dance and Theatre Editor
“As a contemporary re-telling of the Exodus, it follows the journey of one man – Moses, and his struggle to free a nation exploited under dictatorship.”
had never seen ‘The 39 Steps’ in theatre, or the film, nor had I read the book, thus I had no idea what to expect. But with a cast of 4 playing 139 roles, it had me impressed from the start. It was brilliantly funny with impeccable timing and slapstick comedy. When an enigmatic female gets murdered in a flat belonging to Hannay (played by Adam Jackson-Smith), he finds himself on the run for a crime he never committed. The cast are absolutely brilliant, and with the variety of characters you completely forget that there are only four of them. The voice work is extremely impressive, with each character having a different accent. Andy Williams
was particularly remarkable when playing Mr Memory who relays the answer to any question he is asked with a robotic voice and a quick fire pace. The set changes added to the comedy with the cast creating a humorous moving lamppost sequence. Similarly, the character changes sometimes involved the cast swiftly changing their headgear and accent numerous times, creating the illusion of more characters on stage, making the audience chuckle. The running time was only an hour and forty-five minutes, including a fifteen minute interval, which emphasises the quick pace of this show. It was extremely witty and humorous, definitely worth a watch!
The Return of the Ladykillers
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Team
Rachel Partington (Left) and Amy Le Rossignol (Right) co-wrote ‘Slaves of the Kingdom’ during their first 2 years at the University of Surrey.
© Roger Smeeton
Actual Size Dance Company
Dance your way into the new semester!
By Rosa Manzi Reid, Co-artistic Director Actual Size
re you looking for a dance outlet this year? Actual Size Dance Company (ASDC) is the University of Surrey’s student-led contemporary dance company which has been up and running since 2005. Completely student dependent, the company has acted as a tool for the professional development of dancers on the BA Dance & Culture course for nearly 8 years. However don’t be discouraged if you are not on
an arts course and want to be involved in performing dance as we do encourage the participation of students on all courses at the university! We have an exciting year ahead with the opportunity to create and develop new pieces for our public performances and take part in workshops with external dance practitioners working in both Surrey and London, all culminating in the Actual Size show which takes place in February/March. If you want to get involved or see more of what we’re about keep an eye out for the School of Arts
Welcome Show which is usually during the first couple of weeks of the new term (exact date TBC) or alternatively use the contact details below. Keep dance alive! Email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: http://actualsizecompany.wix. com/asdc Like us on Facebook: Actual Size Dance Company or follow us on Twitter: @ActualSizeDC
raham Lineham’s The Ladykillers is the hilarious black comedy about a band of criminals who disguise themselves as amateur musicians in order to hire a room in the house of charming Mrs. Wilberforce. What follows is a tongue-in-cheek account of their heist, discovery, and subsequent fall at the hands of their elderly landlady and a series of very disorganised murders. Directed by Sean Foley, the production has returned to London’s Vaudeville Theatre with a phenomenal set designed by Michael Taylor. Set on a revolve (which I didn’t realise the Vaudeville had!) it depicts the topsyturvy house of Mrs. Wilberforce (Angela Thorne), complete with crooked conservatory and photo frame that just won’t stay still. The ingenuity of the set isn’t contained to the interior – upon turning around we are treated to an aerial view car chase that included a train coming in to Kings Cross Station. The complexity of the design was almost forgotten in the humour of the production, but astounds nonetheless – using a revolve without seeming cheesy
or ‘overdone’ I find to be a rare trait, but one which Taylor worked seamlessly. The script contains the classic comedy moments – one liners, endless slapstick mainly aimed at Harry (Ralf Little) in the form of a vertically rotating black board, and the main premise of mistaken identity. However even such simple humour needs good delivery, and in this instance the cast did not disappoint. Thorne was every part the kindly old lady, unassuming and one would think entirely oblivious to the ways of the world. John Gordon Sinclair played the gentlemanly Professor Marcus, the ringleader in this gang of thieves, and Little’s portrayal of the youngest, cockney Harry was brilliantly funny. The other crooks, Romanian Louis (Con O’Neill), ‘One Round’ aka. Mr. Lawson (Chris McCalphy), and Major Courtney (Simon Day) completed the menacing menagerie. O’Neill in particular shone through as the sour-faced, tightly-wound assassin, terrified of old ladies, with a bizarre childhood filled with Fairytale horrors. What really gelled the performance together for me was the music, composed by Ben
and Max Ringham. With plenty of echoing piano and strings, it created the same atmosphere as many a British detective show, turning scene transitions into their own little pieces of choreography as the house moved and the lights flickered (giving the illusion of a passing train from the tracks below). It was dramatic enough to keep one engaged, yet had the right melody to remind the audience of whodunits and mystery-comecomedy programmes. It’s not often I’m impressed enough by music in a straight-play to make mention, but for The Ladykillers it was a detail I couldn’t overlook. Despite the second act feeling a little slow and repetitive after the whirlwind of laughter that came before the interval, this was undoubtedly one of the funniest shows I’ve seen at the West End. The laugh-out-loud moments were never over egged or pushed too far, landing just right amongst the stalls and circles alike with titters rippling across the seats even long after the punch line. This is a show that is suited to every family member and every sense of humour, and I highly recommend catching it while you can.
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Societies Editor: Alice Wilkinson
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Christian Union Ballroom & Latin Society
The club offers everyone the opportunity to compete for Team Surrey in inter-varisty competitions around the country in places such as Blackpool & Bath. We also put on performances at events around the university during the year as well as local shows. Everyone is always welcome so come along & join us for a dance!
Surrey Concert Band
“We are not just a society, we are a family.”
urrey University Nepalese Society was formed in 2009 and since then we have won the best international society award for three years. We partake in several charity and volunteering work in and out of university while also organising annual football & basketball tournaments known as the Suns Cup. We also host several parties and functions throughout the year which our members are always keen to attend! Our highlight for the previous year along with the International Festival and Igala, was the Nepalese Inter-University Dance Competition which was a great success. All of our endeavours and their proceeds contribute to our aim of funding and carrying out a large-scale charitable project in the near future. We like to reflect the diversity in our society to that of the university/union and welcome anyone who is interested in our growing family. We have big plans for this year and we are very excited to make them come to life. Meet us at the Freshers Fayre or find us on facebook(Surrey University Nepalese Society) and instagram(@sunsfamilyy) for more information.
e are the University of Surrey's Ballroom & Latin American Dance Club. Since 1998 we've offered competitions, classes, performances and more to our members... Have you ever watched ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and thought you’d like to learn to dance like that? If so, come along to lessons with Surrey BLDC and you too can perform on the dance floor. We teach all the main ballroom & latin dances such as Waltz, Quickstep, Samba, Cha Cha and Jive. Classes are taught by our professional coaches, with help from the club's committee, and run on Wednesday afternoons & Sunday evenings on campus in the main hall & GSA. For full details on rooms and times please see our facebook and twitter accounts (www.facebook.com/surreybldc) and (@surreybldc) where we post updates and information each week.
ere at the University of Surrey Christian Union our objectives are to equip and encourage members and to evangelise on the campus. Our purpose as a society is to give every student the chance to hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To meet this aim we hold regular events across the campus including film nights, quizzes and bbqs to name a few, where all students are welcome. You may also notice us at Rubix on friday nights where we provide free tea and coffee to students. We equip our members through our weekly meetings which take place
every Thursday in TB 19 starting at 7pm. We have a different speaker each week from local churches, or other Christian speakers from a variety of sources, including UCCF: the Christian Unions. Each meeting also includes worship led by our worship band as well as prayer and the opportunity to get to know the other members. Feel free to come along to our weekly meeting, get involved with our weekly prayer cells, pop along to one of our events or come and chat to us at Rubix, we would love to meet with you!
he University of Surrey Concert Band is one of those bands that has no limits. We can play roaring pieces of classical music, cinematically recreate massive film scores, provide a flawless rendition of Chicken Run on kazoos, leap tall buildings with a single bound, all in the name of generally enjoying ourselves. So with such a vast and diverse range of options available, what do we actually choose to play? Well, whatever takes our fancy! Show tunes, film scores, classical pieces, brand new works by Surrey students, the back of a cereal box, anything! Except stuff that sounds pants, we
have no time for that. We usually play two concerts a year, always drawing a sizeable audience. The aim is to keep the band fun and relaxed, which means not overloading our members with a ridiculous number of concerts. Rehearsals start on Tuesday 8th October and continue every Tuesday evening in AP3&4 from 6:30-8:30pm. There are no auditions, no minimum standard required, no fee to join, we're open to any wind, brass or percussion players who want to join in.
Music & Drama Society
in all year round. Of course, any show is nothing without its backstage crew, so there’s plenty to get mixed up in for those who don’t fancy the spotlight, including opportunities for directing, producing, stage management and more. Obviously, like any good university society, there are also going to be plenty of socials to go along to with your fellow society members, such as a pub quiz, theatre trips, quiz teams and bar crawls! MADSoc is looking forward to welcoming any new members to an open and welcoming society.
Surrey Labour Students
This year, we are focussing on payday loan companies such as Wonga and trying to highlight the dangers these companies pose to students. So if you believe in equality, opportunity for all and social justice, email email@example.com for more information on what we'll be getting up to this year.
ant to be part of the ONLY active political party society on campus? Then join Surrey Labour Students today! We are not only active on campus with campaigns such as getting a living wage for all university workers, we have a big presence within the national organisation of Labour Students and regularly attend training weekends and conferences.
Steve The Stag
he Music and Drama Society, more commonly known as MADSoc, is a society that specializes in drama, creative writing and musical theatre. Alongside the society’s weekly creative writing, drama and musical theatre workshops (championed as being a fun, relaxed and informal place to try new skills in a friendly environment), MADSoc has got big plans for this year! With plans for a 24-hour play at the beginning of the year, a Christmas pantomime, two big musicals and, of course, getting involved with the big arts showcase of the year, Surrey Arts Live, there’s something for everybody to get involved
Musical Theatre Society
even further, with more activities and events for anyone who wants to use their time at university to make a difference. To see what the society does first hand, visit Surrey Student PEN’s stall at Freshers’ Fayre on Friday 4 October and attend the Freshers’ Festival session. There is also a taser session available on Sunday 6 October, 19:00-20:00 in TB10. There are also currently a number of vacant positions on the committee, if you would like to run for one of them, come along to the society EGM on Wednesday 16 October at 18:00 in 22AC03 For more information, email ussu.englishpen@ surrey.ac.uk It doesn’t matter what degree you study or how little you know about freedom of speech, everyone is welcome to join Surrey Student PEN and get as involved as they would like! For more information, visit surreypen.org, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SurreyEnglishPEN and follow the society at twitter.com/ SurreyPEN.
urrey Student PEN will collaborate with Lit Soc for the society’s first event of the year; the Quote Crawl / PEN Crawl on Wednesday 9 October. This year the theme is ‘Tight & Bright’. Make sure you wear a t-shirt you can scribble on and you write your favourite quote on it, along with English PEN’s slogan; ‘Freedom to write. Freedom to read.’ With free goodies and prizes to be won, the crawl starts at Chancellors at 19:30, so get there in plenty of time! The fun will continue at Wetherspoons and then Flares (where you’ll get free champagne), before finishing at Citrus. Wristbands are £4 and can be purchased either at Freshers’ Fayre, from Lit Soc and Surrey Student PEN’s stalls, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The event is limited to 60 places so don’t wait around – get your wristbands now! Surrey Student PEN is the University of Surrey’s English PEN society. English PEN is a charity that works to defend and promote free expression, and to remove barriers to literature. This year, the Surrey Student PEN committee hopes to develop the society
elcome Freshers! The University of Surrey Musical Theatre society is one society you would regret not being a part of! First and foremost, we are a musical loving, all singing, all dancing society- having fun is first on the agenda. Whether it’s performing you love, or being more involved in production, there is definitely a role for you. We create three shows a year, one full scale musical, and two smaller showcases so everyone has a chance to show their talent. As you can imagine, we need people for every aspect of the show; main parts, smaller parts, chorus singers, dancers, lighting and sound technicians, backstage hands, creative assistants...the
list is endless! Rehearsals are twice a week, on campus, with more rehearsals in the weeks before the show. Previous years have seen our society produce sell out shows, including Rent, Guys and Dolls and Fame, as well as themed showcases including a mix of solo songs, duets, and group numbers from a wide range of musicals. We also socialise together, from nights out, after-rehearsal drinks and theatre trips. If this sounds like your kind of thing, come along and find out more at our stall at Freshers Fair, it won’t be hard to miss!
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The Stag | 28th September 2013
Sport Editor: Vacant | Interim Editor: Alex Smith
The Stag | 28th September 2013
A Brief Freshers’ Introduction to Sport at Surrey
Surrey Rowing Surrey Dance Squad
The Special Juan
By Rebecca Tubridy
Surrey Ultimate Frisbee
ancy getting super fit, meeting new people, and having something that looks epic on your CV? Then don’t let this opportunity pass up. University rowing is the most exciting and adrenaline fuelled sport on campus. It’s amazing how people can start as Freshers and reach the top level by
graduation, like many GB rowers. Plus with subsidised membership at one of the most prestigious boat clubs in the country, you’ll train with the best. We’ll be at Freshers Fayre, dressed in our famous lycra, where you can sign up for an induction. See you soon!
e are the University of Surrey’s Dance Team, we perform at competitions all over the country! We currently have two teams, one competing in Jazz and the other in Hip Hop. We also perform for various events on campus for example Flirt/Citrus at Rubix, iGala, Colour’s Ball, Surrey Arts Live and Varsity! We also have loads of socials planned throughout the year and go on tour abroad!
We will be holding relaxed auditions in October so sign up at our table at Fresher’s Fayre and try out our first few sessions for FREE at Active Fresher’s Fayre. Don’t fancy competing? We also have open-level Hip Hop lessons taught by Matt Walker and will be running conditioning and flexibility sessions open to all! Open to all courses, all levels, girls and boys!!
may be a girl, and probably not the most knowledgeable about football, but I’m an avid Chelsea fan with a strong opinion! I’m also a Mourinho lover. The Special One was Chelsea manager from 2004-2007, when I was a young teenager, and he certainly made an impression. He won us an incredible six trophies in three seasons and I actually cried when the mutual decision was made that he should leave Chelsea FC. Thus, you can imagine my excitement when it was announced he would return this season. I was sure Jose was the key to Chelsea’s problems. We were rid of the fat Spanish waiter and thankfully didn’t sell any of the three amigos, Oscar, Hazard and most importantly Juan Mata. Mata
had been voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year, Player’s player of the Year and was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award. He has so far scored a cracking 31 goals for Chelsea overall and recorded 25 assists in the Premier League alone. I feel Mata’s creativity has influenced Chelsea games immensely and made them pleasurable to watch. However, so far this season Mourinho has barely played Mata, and we find ourselves having the worst start we have had to a season in a decade. I still have full faith in Mourinho, and it is still early days (patience is a virtue). But I would love to see Chelsea winning more games and scoring more goals. Personally, I believe there is a simple solution to this. Play Juan Mata.
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ltimate Frisbee is a fast-paced sport requiring a good level of athleticism. The ‘Spirit of the Game’ values good sportsmanship whilst maintaining competitiveness, and is one of the defining aspects of the sport. Team Surrey Ultimate prides itself on finishing in and around the top 10 at most national
university tournaments, whilst still enjoying inventive socials and fun tournaments throughout the year. Everyone welcome, no experience required. Search for us on Facebook or email: ussu.ultimate@ surrey.ac.uk.
Then Email us!
Ashleigh O'Connor-Hanlon - VP Sailing
hether you are experienced or not sailing has something for everyone. We will be running a beginners dingy sailing course at on Wednesday afternoons; and on weekends you can try your hand
at keele boat sailing. The club compete in several competitions throughout the year. It is a great opportunity to meet new people at Surrey and students from other universities. We are a social club and look forward to meeting you.
and join The Stag.
ant to be part of ‘The Most Successful Club’ 2012 and 2013? Be coached by an ex-international and Surrey Storm player? Want to be part of a tightknit club? Then Netball is the club for you! Team Surrey Netball has gone from strength to strength
and offers both competitive and social teams, which have at least one weekly training session depending on team selection. Feel free to email ussu.netball@ surrey.ac.uk if you have any questions!
Laura Blunnie, Team Surrey Fencing
eam Surrey Fencing is one of the university’s most successful teams. With award-winning coaching, top of the range equipment and many chances to
compete for yourself and the university , there has never been a better opportunity to try your hand at the blade. Beginners and experienced fencers welcome. The first session is free, so come and join us at Active Freshers’ Fair!
By Sheldon Ford, UniS Mountaineering Club Chairman e’re the award-winning University of Surrey Mountaineering Club: a friendly, chill bunch who mostly climb. We meet every Wednesday, from 3-5pm at Surrey Sports Park, after which we all head out for drinks
and a chat. We aim to organise fortnightly weekend trips to climbing hotspots around the country as well as our annual trips. Join us and we’ll teach you everything you need to know to climb by yourself at Surrey Sports Park! www.surreyclimbs.co.uk
The Stag | 28th September 2013
Cavendish Wins Surrey Leg of Tour of Britain
By Alex Smith, The Stag Editor
ritain’s Mark Cavendish won the last two stages of the Tour of Britain, including stage 7 which ended on Guildford High Street on September 21st. Cavendish finished with a time of 3:46:57 past Guildford’s 17th Century clock and just next to NatWest. During the final sprint Cavendish was neck and neck with Swiss rider, Martin Elmiger, but just managed to push a few inches ahead as they crossed the line.
Tour of Britain, Britain’s Tour de France, was broadcast on ITV4 and spectators lined the streets along the route from Epsom and through Cranleigh, Woking, Chertsy, Chobham, Farnham and Godalming, before finishing in Guildford. A large screen was erected for the day on the High Street which broadcast the race for the patient crowd. There was a strong police presence on the day and stewards closed and reopened adjoining roads as the cyclists approached, causing
minor traffic disruption. There was however problems with vehicles attempting to pass down Millbrook (A281) out of town from Onslow Street as the road was shut for a large part of the day. Signage may have been sufficient, but all too late, as cars and vans were forced to turn around across the three-lane road adjacent to the river. Pedestrian traffic was also heavily slowed on the High Street. It took this reporter 25 minutes to climb the hill to The Three Pigeons with the cyclists still 15km away.
Despite these disruptions, the day was an overall success, with the crowds cheering as the riders passed and people in overall good spirits throughout the day. A newly-wed couple even managed to have the Tour of Britain competitors as the backdrop for their wedding photos. Cavendish then went on to win the London stage, but was beaten overall in the tournament by London 2012 gold medal winner Sir Bradley Wiggins who was 26 seconds ahead of Elmiger.
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