Issue 8 Editor : Claire Worgan Editor-In-Chief : Elizabeth Simos Produced in USSU Media Hub, University of Surrey, Guildford

Est. 2008


By Claire Worgan

“36% of those finishing undergraduate degrees this summer expect to find a graduate job after university and that confidence in the graduate employment market has slumped to a fifteen-year low.” that I was informed that the internship had actually been cancelled!” Students also found that most jobs now required two years experience in the field, which was deemed slightly impossible due to the lack of jobs in the first place! “The numbers of finalists who have received a graduate job offer has fallen by a third, compared with 2008” said High Fliers. planning to study closer to home due to it being cheaper.

tudents graduating this year will already be feeling the strain of a downturn in graduate jobs. Now is a crucial time for all with the realisation that the real world is imminent, and for those who did not receive a job offer after their placement or even had the opportunity to do a professional training year will be feeling the pressure more then most.


This has not gone unnoticed. Talking to many students who have been looking for internships and graduate jobs have found that websites such a Mlikround and Graduate Jobs removed some of The issue of too little jobs and a their internships and currently large number of University places have a very limited selection to has also become a prominent issue. apply for altogether. People are With over 300,000 graduates finding that they are having to take per year, is it any wonder the job the “anything goes” stance on market is struggling to cope with applying for jobs as their choices students seeking employment? for their perfect job are virtually non-existent. Some students even A survey conducted by High Fliers found that internships had been Research of over 16,000 students withdrawn after they had applied. revealed that only ONE THIRD of this years graduates are expected One student studying Business to get a job for which they are Management, who is graduating actually qualified for. Another this June, said that “When applying reason why a lot of graduates go for an opportunity to study and on to do postgraduate degrees work abroad for an international or travelling. A press release company, it was only half way published on the 29th April by High through the application process Fliers stated that

Travel On the Cheap *Pages 16 & 17*

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Alongside the issue of money worries for most students it’s no wonder that entering higher education has a rather bleak outlook. Students are also

Alistair Darling recently stated in his budget speech last week that he plans to help unemployed under With companies stopping their 25’s with training and education graduate recruitment it has not opportunities. come as a surprise that the student unemployment rate is rising. Continued on Page 4

Page 8

to say?




Issue 8 |5th May 2009 |


hy Hello! Isn’t it lovely to be back?....hmmm. Unfortunately for all it’s exam time CRAM CRAM CRAM! along with dissertation and final coursework COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break and you are not now egg shaped due to the amount of chocolate consumed by all. Luckily the weather seems a bit perky, which means we will all go a bit pinky, but that also means that the lake becomes the perfect revision place for all... plus BBQs. Oh how we all love the taste of a burnt sausage.. no pun intended. I hope you are all looking forward to all those final celebrations and partying and for all of you that a graduating the wonderful Grad ball with those Austiralian animal named band?! Urmmm The Possoms is it?. The Stag are compiling a special “Class of 2009”


Worgan’s Words
In this issue.....
News Pages 3 - 7 Features Campus Boy & JK and Joel Pics | Page 8 Public Urinal Opinion| Page 9 Blazin Squad Interview| Page 9 Stag Exclusive Interview with Simon Bird | Page 12 Not News| Page 13 Fashion | Page 14 CoLab | Page 15 Travel on the cheap| Page 16 & 17 Societies Hellenic Soc & Eng Lit Soc| Page 18 interview with foreign| Page 19 Cypriot Soc| Pages 20 Arts Music Reviews | Pages 21,22,23&24 Literature |Pages 25&26 Film | Pages 27&28 Horoscopes Page 29 Sports Football & Johnny Wilkinson Honarary award| Page 30

issue so if you have anything you want to see go in the paper then please send it into us, as we are trying to make it extra special! But for now I will leave you all to get back to your procrastination sessions.

Much Love!

Claire -x-

Editor| Claire Worgan: News| Amy Short & Steven Hayton: Features| Kim Harris : Societies| Justin Waite & Mariam Nasir : Sports: Music| Rachael Fitz-Patrick : Literature| Amy Barnes Film| Ollie Sim: Science| Toby Shannon : Marketing| Amy Campbell Copy Editors | Joe Kenward & Stephanie Davies The Stag is an editorially indepedent newspaper and is published by the University of Surrey Students’ Union Media Hub. The views expressed in the paper are those of individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the editor or her team, the Student’s Union or the University of Surrey. Printed by Surrey and Berkshire Media Limited Stoke Mill House, Woking Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1QA The Stag reserves the right to edit submissions. Please direct all enquiries to the relevant section editors.

Find out more information at: php?#/group.php?gid=36469776493

Save our stags, recycle your paper!


Over half a million bricks & blocks + 28 miles of scaffolding + 60,000 nails + 180 builders = 568 new bedrooms…
By Richard Paxton All 568 rooms have shower and toilet ensuite and are grouped in Accomodation Officer flats of 6 to 8 sharing a kitchen dining room. The rooms will be Work is progressing rapidly at furnished to a high standard with Manor Park to construct two large broadband and telephone. residence buildings that will be finished in the summer ready for All the buildings at Manor Park the 2009/10 academic year. These are built to the highest ‘excellent’ much needed rooms will help us standard measured by the house the University’s increasing Building Research Establishment number of new students and also Environmental Assessment and help increase places available for Monitoring programme. These final years. standards not only encompass energy efficiency and insulation, but also sustainability in the construction process and beyond during the whole life of the building. A good example of this is the sorting of all construction waste so that 70% can be recycled or reused. bed rooms and 9 family flats, just started, will be completed. This will be followed by a new social centre/reception building with café, general store and activity space for residents.

Manor Park is growing and, once the Surrey Sports Park is When these rooms are finished, completed at the end of this year, there will be nearly 1300 students residents will have access to one and University staff living at of the best sports complexes in Manor Park. This will rise to over the UK. 1500 in 2010 when a further 251

The University’s Influenza Pandemic Action Group met on 27 April in response to the Swine Flu outbreak that has been attracting significant media attention internationally.

Surrey prepared for Swine Flu

2) Follow the advice of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office when planning any overseas travel

Got any stories that you want us to report on? Then email us at

If you have recently travelled from any affected area and are experiencing flulike symptoms, you must stay at home to limit contact with others, and seek medical advice from the University Health Centre on 08444773051. You can also contact NHS direct on: 0845 The threat from this flu outbreak 46 47. escalated in 24 hours. There has been A website carrying updates of the a rapid increase in across a number of countries, including confirmed situation and important information cases in Scotland. The World Health for members of the University has Organisations has increased its own been set up at: Please save this link to your favourites level of alert. list. This link will be highlighted on the The University is monitoring the homepage of the University website international situation closely and has when key announcements are made. taken advice on the most appropriate measures to take at this time. The You will begin to see an increase in advice received, which applies to all poster/materials around the campus explaining the importance of hand students and staff, is as follows: hygiene in the next few days. Please 1) Establish good hygiene habits now take the time to fully familiarise (this is always a wise precaution). yourselves with the information. This includes washing your hands You will also see anti-bacterial gel frequently with soap and water, to in lavatories, restaurants and other reduce the spread and risk of infection; public places. These will be increased and covering your nose and mouth over the next few days and it is advised when coughing or sneezing, using a that you use them. tissue where possible; and avoiding others with respiratory illness.

The University is strongly committed to the well-being of its staff, students and visitors. Surrey was one of the first UK universities to establish preparedness planning in respect of influenza pandemics and we have strong connections with local public health experts.


Continued from front page
recruitment rate. It is a huge concern for us. Higher Education is worthwhile and potentially life “We welcome the Government’s changing, but if tuition fees continue commitment to provide education, to rise and graduate jobs continue employment and training to fall we will put off the people we opportunities to unemployed need to be encouraging the most. under 25’s. The current recession Going to University should not be has resulted in the worst youth seen as a risk, or as a ‘potentially employment prospects in a worthwhile investment’- education generation, and we are therefore is a right.” pleased that the Government recognises the importance of However, for the class of 2009 the offering educational opportunities outlook is not looking promising. in order to help individuals and the With so many talented people leaving universities we should hope economy back on their feet.” that there is our ideal job out there Nick Entwistle VP Education said somewhere, I guess we just have to keep looking. “This year it is harder than ever for students- there are record levels of debt combined with a low graduate Wes Streeting, President of the NUS had this to say,

If you have a news story for us please email ......................................


What a load o’rubbish

Degree Classifications are unfit for purpose
By Nick Entwistle, VP Education USSU 2008-2010 From a speech delivered to the National Union of Students Annual Conference, March 31st 2009 know you’re not all maths students, but is there more of a difference between 59 and 61 than there is between 51 and 59? There is in Higher Education. A final mark of 61% results in a 2:1 degree. A final mark of 59% gives you a 2:2. Many employers only interview graduates with 2:1 degrees and above. A difference of just two percent in the wrong place can end up defining you to employers for the formative years of your professional life. Your degree classification just shows this number- it does not show what you have done, what you know or what you have achieved.


By Claire Worgan You maybe wondering why we have published a picture of a rubbish dump in this issue. It is in fact the Autin Pearce building during the Easter Holidays. These piles of rubbish were just some or the bins that was overflowing in the computer labs over the holidays. Whether it was the lack of cleaning staff or just the general dirtyness of students, it’s a shame that we have to work in these conditions. Either take your rubbish home or report the mess before it piles up like this again!

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Pictures courtesy of Hadi Zadeh

in fact make it easier for employers to identify key talent. Around two-thirds of graduates achieve a 2:1 degree. Within that classification there is no real way to distinguish them from each other. Education is not, and should not ever be, simply a vehicle to employment but the reality an unfair tuition-fees system and ever increasing student debt means that graduates need a job that will pay enough to pay of their loans, and a degree is what My argument is that the degree most employers will be looking at. Degree classification system as it stands today classification does not do enough to is unfit for purpose. Higher Education distinguish graduates from each other. has evolved, methods of assessment are evolving, but our concept of final On a wider scale we have heard recently classification has remained the same. I that “New Universities drive social believe this grading method is outdated, mobility” and I truly believe this, but and that the very concept of a final mark many employers value degrees from is at odds with a belief in lifelong learning some Universities over others. A fuller and continuous personal development. description of achievements on degrees would benefit students from these The current system confuses precision with apparently less prestigious Universities. accuracy. How many pieces of assessment Employers would take notice of the true have you sat where your marker can really qualities and potential of the student, not judge you to within 1 mark in 100? Even just the University they graduated from. if your assessment can be marked to that Anything less and we are only reinforcing level of accuracy, surely that precision the tragic divide in opportunity and quality should not be used to produce a broad, that exists at a secondary education generalised classification that graduates level. will have for the rest of their lives. Getting a qualification is not, and should not be I’m not asking for a new system to list seen as, an end to learning but as a step your re-sits, special circumstances or any along a path. A degree should show your leave of absence. I’m not asking for it to abilities, not just a quantity- it should list extra-curricular activities either; there show in what ways you are intelligent, not are too many difficulties and unsolved just how intelligent you are. problems with that. What I’m asking is for your degree to reflect what you can really I further believe that the reluctance to do. deal with these issues is based on based on businesses comfort with the current If you have an opinion please email The system, but that this reluctance is short Stag - or Nick sighted and that fuller description of at the address above ability, achievement and potential will


Tuesday 5th may & EVERY fortnight 8.30pm – 11pm @ Wates House

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Aren’t you Grad you’re going?...
By Ben McCauleyCommercial Manager are on the Union Facebook fan page). £720
Headline act is BREAKDOWN JUSTIFICATION The Wombats Tickets just £55 | 7PM - 7AM
Funfair – Attractions – Photographer - Breakfast Tickets NOW on sale in the BOOKSHOP


he Graduation Ball is run as a fundraising event for the University of Surrey Students’ Union, as such the VAT is added onto the cost price of all expenditure for the ball and not deducted from the total income.


Graduation Ball Breakdown
Ticket Sales Ticket Price Expected Sales Additional Income Total Income £55.00 1130 0 £62,150.00

DJ Costs. We have DJ’s playing throughout the event. £800 Attractions. We could reveal the attractions to you now but you want some surprises on the night. Overall cost. £3035 Casino. Again self explanatory. £1,300

Ticket Sales are expected to be around the 1130 mark. This figure is based on historical data. Additional Income. This is currently budgeted as zero due to the National Student Survey not reaching the 80% completion rate from final years. The £6000 we would have received if the survey had reached 80% may still be available to the Graduation Ball but at the time of writing this is not yet known. Therefore total budgeted income for the ball is £62,150. Expenditure. Headline Act. The Wombats cost £18,000+VAT bringing the cost of the band for Graduation Ball to £20,700 Support Act. Support Band for the Oak House complex. £460 Rider Expenses. Even though we’ve paid for The Wombats there are additional associated costs. Accommodation , food and drink, backline costs etc. £1,000 Marquee Cost. Even though the marquee has been there all week for Graduation receptions we as the Union contribute a fraction of the overall cost to use the marquee for the ball £8,050 Sound & Lighting. The production on the field relies on equipment that is hired in so that you can actually see and hear our headline act on stage. Overall Cost £5,200 Stage. Self explanatory really, you need to be able to see the band. £3,000

Headline Act Support Act Rider Expenses Marquee Cost Sound Lighting Stage Accommodation Crew Food Funfair Fence Track Casual Staff Costs Karaoke Decor Fake Paps DJ Costs Attraction 1 Attraction 2 Attraction 3 Attraction 4 Casino £20,700.00 £460.00 £1,000.00 £8,050.00 £2,600.00 £2,600.00 £3,000.00 £1,200.00 £300.00 £6,300.00 £1,400.00 £2,000.00 £300.00 £220.00 £440.00 £720.00 £800.00 £430.00 £460.00 £1,800.00 £345.00 £1,300.00

Security. The cost of door staff and stewards for the twelve hours of Graduation Ball. £3,000 Lock Up. A safe place for us to store things like the band equipment until it’s needed. £875 Radios & Communication. The cost of radios for security and production purposes and the infrastructure to allow our till systems to work in the middle of a field. £600 Contingency Costs. Because something always goes wrong or you’ve just plain forgotten something. £1,000 Overall Cost £61,100

Ancillary production Security £3,000.00 Lock Up £875.00 Radios & Communication £600.00 Contingency Costs TOTAL COSTS NET BALANCE £1,000.00 £61,900.00 +£250.00

So after all that income coming in you can see we have then spent it again leaving us with a budgeted Accommodation. The cost of the field, otherwise, if it rains they surplus initially of £250 (less than room hire for Stage Crew who sink and all you get to look at on 5 tickets). The more tickets we sell/ the night volunteer to provide technical extra income we receive means is some trucks stuck in the mud that we can add attractions, funfair rather than having fun on the rides etc. Don’t leave your ticket purchases too late as it is hard to services for the event (if they were dodgems. £2,000 add worthwhile attractions at the paid or a company were hired in it Casual Staff Costs. The cost of last minute. Tickets are on sale would cost much more). £1,200 now from the University Bookshop casual staff for the ball. £300 Crew Food. See above. £300 PS – You also get breakfast if Funfair. Cost of the free funfair. you survive the night and that’s Karaoke. One of the attractions in not in the budget (that’s some £6,300 the Oak House Complex. £220 of the contingency funds gone Fence. The field is fenced off so then). that those who don’t part with the Decor. Well you don’t want the ticket money can’t enjoy all the Great Hall to look like the room you festivities that those who have did your finals in do you? £440 parted with their hard earned cash Fake Paps. Fake Paparazzi – the have purchased. £1,400 initial photographers when you get Track. We have to pay for track on the field produce some great way to get the funfair rides onto pictures. (The highlights of which


Campus Boy
Fear and Loathing on Campus
My three weeks at home over Easter were punctuated by me being forced into three social interactions, all of which were probably avoidable, and all of which were, without doubt, regrettable. First, the dentist. I usually shun dental check-ups because I prefer to keep my mouth shut. I didn’t have to book an appointment, but the same dentist had told me a year ago that I needed three fillings so I thought it a good idea to be re-assessed and finally get them done. There are few times in life when you feel so vulnerable. There I lay, a strange man peering deep within my orifice, prodding and jabbing at gum and enamel in order to re-establish what we already knew. The dentist also wanted to re-establish a few other things he thought he knew. But how did he know, and why?! My University course, my final year of study, my future occupation… he knew more than me about what I should be doing with my life. Perhaps his piercing eyes peered deep within my soul as I lolled my tongue. Or, perhaps I spoke too much on my last visit and he’s logged it all into his big database. Probably that one. Probably shouldn’t speak too much this time. Just… why? He’s a dentist. There’s only one type of gap he’s meant to fill and it’s not the awkward ones in conversation. I don’t need, or want, to even converse in that room. That goes for many rooms, true, but particularly dental rooms. I can see why a private dentist may feel the need to give patients apparent value for money, including a superfluous five minute chat about Life in General, but I’d happily pay that little bit extra to shut my NHS dentist up. The alternative is that he... wanted… me, and had actually scribbled these notes about my life onto post-its, which now adorned the back of his bathroom door like revision notes, in order to drop some casual lines upon my next appointment. Hopefully not that one. Hopefully nothing to do with bathroom post-its. He concluded that I now only need two fillings, for some reason, but I resisted the urge to hug him and so made my hasty exit. Second, the stranger. To be more precise, it was a stranger in a car that slowed as it approached. I knew what was coming, confirmed to me by the retraction of the passenger window. I prepared myself, and gathered in the necessary information: my current location, the direction the car is facing, whether or not the driver is wielding a knife, the attractiveness of his wife. You know, all the important stuff. Except his wife wasn’t very attractive at all, and it was her face that glared at me in such anticipation when they asked for direction. Perhaps it was the gormless look they gave me, or the smell of a nursing home emanating from their car, but something threw me off. But then again, I always get thrown off. I buckle under the pressure. Suddenly all the information I’ve taken in previously leaves me, and I’m stranded in the spotlight, struggling to form any kind of sentence in front of two meek but oh so expectant little faces. I look around me, take a moment to gather that information again. Not the wife, I really don’t need to take that in again, I’m pretty sure she was the one smelling of disinfectant and urine. Or was she? Maybe I should re-assess her like the dentist did my teeth? Maybe she’ll be better second time round? God, no. Focus. Street, direction of travel, destination. I suddenly feel able to form a sentence, although hand gestures come to me first. I begin waving around like a loon for a good few seconds before any verbal descriptives arrive to aid the cause. I fumble a bit, but generally feel good about the direction in which I’ve sent them. The window returns, placing a material barrier between me, gormlessness, odour and awkwardness. It signals the end, and I continue my journey. But a few steps later and I begin to question my answer. ‘Under the bridge’… there are two bridges. They will definitely go under the first and end up miles away from where they want to be. Which, by the way, was an Argos on an Industrial Estate. I remember this and suddenly don’t feel so guilty. But a little concern creeps up on me… Perhaps he did have a knife and perhaps, for whatever reason, the direction I’ve given will lead them straight back to me. I lightly jog the rest of the way into town. Finally, the acquaintance from school. An acquaintance because he wasn’t a friend. I knew his name, but that’s it. I also knew that on own clothes days, he would come to school dressed in black, chains linking various body parts. But on normal school days, he was one of the geekiest, most introverted, people I’ve ever met, and I’ve met myself. I wondered why he always felt the need to display one character or the other, but therefore never be comfortable in his own skin. I concluded that he was an attentionwhore, like most of the other stuckup boys at my stuck-up grammar school. But he was in Sainsbury’s now, in a suit! No chains! I think this surprise overcame me a little, and I let out a whimper. ‘Hi’ I said, rather too loudly. Some shoppers looked round, wondering if this salutation was aimed at them. It wasn’t of course, and then I saw that this acquaintance was wearing earphones. He didn’t respond. He nodded slightly, which is a response of sorts. But I needed vocal response now, shoppers were staring. Nodding was useless to me. Perhaps he thought I just mouthed it? Oh how I wish I had just mouthed it. But I can’t retract it now; the sound waves are out there, resounding in my head, filling the silence with reverberating awkwardness. I continue down the aisle at some pace, leaving my acquaintance in his safe cocoon of noise. And then I realised, in that moment, as I placed tins of custard that I didn’t need into my basket in an attempt to look normal, why the dentist felt that need to fill those gaps.

Pictures Courtesy of Adam Sayer

Snapped at JK and Joel?


By Andy Vale

Peeing In Public Isn’t That Bad ----------------------------------

Public urinal in Guildford, we're looking for urine-put
neath the ground to stand proudly for all to pee. The two metre high Urilift looks like The Tardis redesigned for 2009 and is fitted with state of the art troughs for males of all genders to deposit their fluid in the middle of the street. The mathematically designed alcoves allow just the right amount of viewing for the passer by so that they know you are participeeing, but cannot see your dong. This isn’t always guaranteed when using an unofficially sanctioned venue. The cost of this facility is more than most people’s annual salary, but considering most of the users have just paid extortionate alcohol tax I’m sure it evens out eventually. Could you say the same about the new Stag sculpture? Personally I would rather have a Urilift greeting all who enter. Earmarking Surrey as a leading figure in space age technolowee, unafraid of wearing its colours on its sleeve (and the dreaded ‘last drop’ on its trouser leg). Some purists of the sport have expressed concern that modern day technology may be ruining the game, with the Urilift being a sign of the times. One lifelong devotee to the art has gone on the record stating, “I once peed against a Jack Wills shop, it was one of the best of my life. They are a company whose target audience can only afford them by mooching off their parents This clever initiative is estimated to be cheaper than Urilift by approximately £53,950 cheaper than the £54,000 Urilift. An alternative measure suggested in response to the problem is the idea of a Seminar on ‘Public Urination Etiquette and Forward Planning in Modern Society.’ Some have questioned the moral implications of the Urinal. Many prominent members of the Student-led Society have gone on to suggest the Urinal as sexist as it fails to support women caught short after a night out. Can we really support the inception of public facilities that don’t support all people, regardless of gender? No. at an unhealthy age or spending their student loan morbidly irresponsibly. For that they deserve every fluid ounce I can give them.” You see every pee you take in public is a protest against something. I’ve seen people pee in protest of certain politicians, disagreeable publications and the lack of public urinals. Peeing in public is one of the most basic forms of rebelling (or is that repelling) allowed to us, despite being misunderstood as criminal behaviour, poor hygiene and a sign of a weak bladder. The installation of the Urilift shows the council understands our cause and is willing to provide a public forum for us to practice our craft without fear of persecution, ridicule and wet shoes. Its stainless steel slick surface may herald the commercialization of what was once the sport of the everyman, but I personally feel it brings public urination into the 21st century with an air of respectability. In a few years’ time, peeing in the street will have the same wild support in this country as football, iPhones and The Queen. Or vice versa.

efore there were football pitches, people were kicking pigs bladders over rolling hills. Before people were blogging, they were writing in diaries. Before we did degrees, we went to college. Grand advancements do not come without being preceded by a grand necessity for them to be made (slinky’s aside). For a long time the sport of public urination has been a pillar of the community here in Guildford and participants are being rewarded after years of piss poor playing surfaces, a lack of public funding and occasional hassle from the police. Now Guildford Borough Council has allowed public urination to be taken to the next level with the installation of the Urilift. A public urinal that meets the high standards set out by the governing body of the sport The ‘Public Urination Duty Dudes Laudably Enjoying Ourselves Freely Peeing In Side-alleys Society’ (a.k.a. P.U.D.D.L.E. O.F. P.I.S.S.) It has been decreed that every night at 10pm it shall rise from be-


By Jack Symons

A ‘P*ss Poor Idea! ----------------------------------

How much money does it cost to turn Guildford into a public toilet? £54,000, it turns out. At 10pm every night, the new ‘pop’ up Urinal rises to greet the need of Guildford’s ‘kebabeating’ members caught short after a night on the town. The Pop-up urinal was installed to ‘tackle the problem of men urinating in public’ after a ‘night out’ but all it’s done is create an open space for men to do just that. How very... counterproductive. The Society for People Who Hate Acronyms But Have a Strong Sense of Irony (S.F.P.W.H.A.B.H.A.S.O.I) have written to The ‘Public Urination Duty Dudes Laudably Enjoying Ourselves Freely Peeing In Side-alleys Society’ (P.U.D.D.L.E. O.F. P.I.S.S) to lobby for a revolutionary solution to the issue – a cup.

it. We ask readers of the Stag, whatever happened to privacy and why are we so accepting of the latest addition to Guildford high street? We feel that this is a major disappointment and let-down to Guildford and has undermined the male population by stereotyping them as ‘opportunist piss-makers.’ Perfectly adequate public toilets are situated at the top of Guildford High Street yet for some reason they close long before the clubs shut. I can think of many cash-strapped recession-affected graduates who would be happy to monitor the safety of the facilities for a fraction of the £54,000 Urilift.

So Students, stand up (haha) and protest So we go on to ask ourselves, if this is what the against this travesty by urinating not into the council do to tackle the problem of urinating in Urinal, but next to it. public, then what next? ‘Street bidets’ for women who choose to scrub up in public? We have What are your thoughts? to draw a line somewhere and we feel the local Email us at council has just crossed it - or built just under


Blazin Squad Hit Surrey
Amy Campbell sits down with boys for a quick chat...
Blazin Squad first touched the hearts of many teenage girls with their first hit ‘Crossroads’ in August 2002. After leaving school aged 16, the ten boys’ lives have been dramatically turned around, achieving six consecutive top ten singles by the age of 19. In 2004, it all went quiet on the music scene for the boys. Aside from the music industry Kenzie’s image has been fairly consistent in the media. In 2005 he appeared in the third series of Celebrity Big Brother where he come runner up to Happy Mondays dancer Bez. He has also made appearances in The Weakest Link, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Crique de Celebrity and CelebAir and not to forget his on- off relationship with Jodie Marsh! But after a five year break the new five piece band are here to tell us what they have achieved in the last few years and tell us about their aspirations for the future. Lee, Mus, Marcel, and Kenzie joined us the University of Surrey to perform a few of their old classic hits and perform their new single. Together with their new producer ‘Naughty Boy’ the band have created a new urban pop sound that they hope their fans will soon take to. Don’t forget that the boys’ new single, ‘Let’s Start Again’ will be out on 1st June 2009. What’s the history of Blazin Squad? Is it true that you started as two separate crews the ‘incredible crew’ and Blazin Squad? Lee: Yes, that’s true we didn’t really like each other at school, we were rivals! Marcel: We decided to come together to form Blazin Squad for financial reasons as we all enjoyed rapping and singing but needed somewhere to produce our material. It was hard to break into the music industry being two separate bands from the same area, we all had talent and that talent needed sharing. Kenzie: Yeah we all went to the same school and lived in the same area but now were best of friends. It was good coming together as a ten-piece as there was a mixture of talents amongst us What type of music would you class your songs as? Boy band, garage? Kenzie: I suppose it used to be a bit of garage but now were trying to aim our music at a more diverse audience not just the young female teenagers, but the older female audience. I wouldn’t say its boy band more urban/pop. A new style which no one else in the music industry has! Mus: Yeah, we’re trying something new with our fans to see if they will like it. It’s a move away from the old up beat garage towards a more urban style. Who is this aimed at? What audience? Lee: Everyone and anyone who likes Blazin Squad! Kenzie: We are trying to appeal not just to the young girls but to the adult females with out new urban style. Mus: We hope that our old Blazin Squad fans will stick by us and take to our new genre of music. But we are also hopping to target the more mature female audience rather than just the young teenagers. Marcel: Obviously we like the attention from the younger audience as they are the ones who buy our singles! But yes we are hoping to diversify our music to a broader audience. Do you have favourite a track, if so what is it? Mus: ‘Let’s Start Again’ as we have been able to give it our special touch. Lee: Yeah the same, but I did really enjoy performing ‘Crossroads’ as it always got the crow screaming and singling along. I think it’s just a classic hit, but ‘Let’s Start Again’ has probably got to be my favourite so far. Marcel: We spent a lot of time on ‘Let’s Start Again’ and it’s a single that we are very proud of. I am sure some of out loyal readers would be interested to know if you boys are single at the moment. Can you tell us anything about your current love life? Lee: Yeah love life is great! Mus: Yeah it’s all good at the moment! Kenzie: No comment! It’s really good thanks, very good actually. Kenzie, can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with Jodie Marsh? Kenzie: (laughs) Well what do you want to know! She was good, proper Essex girl! Loved a laugh…. But I have had better! I don’t really see much of her anymore, but maybe when we make it big again I might bump into her! You have achieved six top ten hits in the last couple of years? Can you give any advice to our wannabe pop stars out there? Lee: Dedication. It’s all about how dedicated you are. You have to be passionate about what you want to do and never give up. Mus: It’s all about passion. If you have got the drive and believe that you can do it, don’t let anyone stop you. Could we see a reunion of Blazin Squad? Lee: At the moment we are very happy with the five piece band, but maybe one day we would like to get back together as a ten piece and produce a song. You all left school at 16 years old, if you would have gone into further education and gone to university what would you have studied? Lee: Sports since I really liked sport when I was at school. If I hadn’t of got into the music industry I would have gone to college to do sports science. Marcel: Languages! I loved talking languages when I was at school and it was something I was good at besides rapping! Kenzie: Probably English I really like writing and being creative! Does the university life appeal to you at tall? Is this the first university you have visited?

Lee: Its all about getting drunk isn’t it!? Yeah it looks fun, it would appeal to me Kenzie: Yeah easy life isn’t it! Hour lecture a day! Lots of drink! Mus: Uni life does look good, you all look like your having fun and I’m sure working hard at the same time!

“ See you at the Crossroads...” Well next page ------------>


In 2004 it went quiet for the group as you didn’t release any songs after ‘Here 4 one.’ Can you tell us what you have done since then? Lee: I went over to America to write some of my own material for a few months. It was good, nice and relaxing and I wrote a few songs. Kenzie: Well where do I start? I have had so much fun! Celebrity Big Brother was probably the best experience I have ever had, aside from being in Blazin Squad! It was a life changing experience, something that I will always treasure! Mus: Me, Kenzie, Mus and James formed the band Friday Hill and realised our debut single ‘Goodbye’ in October 2005, which reached number five in the UK singles chart. We then released a second single ‘One More Night Alone,’ a cover of boy band D-Sides single which reached number thirteen. The band was really successful but we then decided to reform as Blazin Squad with a new flavour to our music. Kenzie: Friday Hill, I forgot about that. Very successful, very successful. Lee: They just missed us though! The original ten members merged down to five members in 2005, can you tell us why you decided to split as a band? Lee: Dedication, it was all about dedication. Some of us were more passionate about producing and writing than the others. We are still friends with them, there are no split feelings. We will always stay good friends. Kenzie: Passionate, I like that. Yeah we were just that little bit more dedicated than the other band members. But there are five of us, James couldn’t be here today. Mus: Everyone seems to have gone their own way now, and they’re happy, that’s all that matters. Kenzie: Maybe, it’s a possibility. Never say never!

Fancy writing an article for The Stag....

On the go and need

MORE juice?

Health and Social Care Open Evening
Tuesday 12 May 5-7pm
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Whether you are deciding on your next step after college, want to get back into the healthcare profession or want to develop your career, this is the perfect chance for you to gain an insight into the programmes we offer. During your visit: Speak to our academics about Degree, Diploma and Continuing Professional Development programmes Visit the skills laboratories Tour our beautiful campus Followed by

‘Moving Mountains’ Evening Talk 7.15-8pm
by Guest Speaker Claire Bertschinger
The inspiration behind ‘Live Aid’, Claire Bertschinger will share her experiences of working with the International Committee of the Red Cross in what promises to be an engaging and thought-provoking talk. Admission FREE, by ticket only. To register for either or both events please go to: For more information please call: T: 01483 686722

Just £7 each. Fits in your pocket. Compatible with all mobiles. Runs on 1 x AA battery. Problem solved. NOW on sale in your Students’ Union in Rubix.
1917-0309 Health and Social Care Open Evening Poster.indd 1


18/3/09 17:19:14


Exclusive interview with the guy who's stuck in the middle
Editor Claire Worgan grabs a quick interview with Simon Bird A.K.A Will from the hit E4 show “The Inbetweeners”

Facts about Simon


- Hi Simon, thank you ever so much for taking time out for this interview, you must have a very hectic schedule at the moment. Now, we noticed that before “The Inbetweeners” was aired, Student Comedy competition is a you also did stand up comedy. brilliant thing. I did it for several year and the people that run it are What got you started? really top notch. They know their I started doing stand-up at univer- stuff and they do it for all the right sity. I was totally and utterly terrified reasons. They really want to help by the prospect, but thought what young comedians get better and the hell you only live once, and gave more confident. And they do everyit a go. And there’s nothing quite like thing they can to give you a leg up. the buzz of making people laugh. Once I’d done it the first time I just - Now we all know you from your wanted to do it again and again. role as Will in “The Inbetweeners” on E4. How did you end up - We also found that you once getting this role? got yourself disqualified from the Chortle National Student Comedy awards in 2006, is this true?

Age:24 Any Nicknames? Birdie, Birdman. Favourite TV Programme? The Office, Seinfeld, The Sopranos Favourite Music? At the moment – TV On The Radio, Fleet Foxes If you could take 3 things on a treasure island what would they be? My girlfriend, a ball, and a bottle of Heniz tomato ketchup (to go on all the meat I’ll hunt down).

In the scene in the boat in episode one of the second series, James (who plays Jay) had to fire a flare up into the air. The shot you see in the show is his second go at that. His first attempt went horizontally rather than vertically and almost blew up a group of fishermen. That was pretty funny. Not for the fishermen obviously.

so caught up in the process that I sort of forgot that it would ever go out. -Are their plans for a third series? Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but there are a few murmurings. -And do you have any plans yourself? Well my main interest has always been writing, and what I’d really love to do is write my own sitcom. So that’s the next step hopefully. - Any closing words? Here’s a joke I heard today: Did you hear about the two aerials that got married? It was a rubbish wedding but the reception was great.

Yes, that’s true. That was deliberate. The competition was being sponsored by Revels that year (boo, hiss), and they’d come up with all these ridiculous, draconian rules – like you weren’t allowed to talk about confectionary. It just struck as me as totally barmy and paranoid and cynical. Nobody was going to talk about confectionary. Get over yourself Revels. So I basically said all this in my set and ended up speaking about confectionary for about ten minutes. I finished by handing out loads of Mars Bars, Kit Kats, Double Deckers, Maltesers, Crunchies, Lion Bars etc to the audience. Anything but Revels basically. They didn’t like that. I should say though, In general the Chortle


- Playing a 6th former, did it bring back memories of your school days? Definitely. That overriding sense of It was a total fluke. There’s no way I anticlimax and inadequacy was all would have got it if I’d just come in too familiar. off the street and auditioned. I can’t act. The guys that write it came and -What was it like winning not saw me in a show I had written at only “Best New British Televithe Edinburgh Fringe Festival, just sion Comedy (Scripted)” but randomly. They saw it advertised in also “Best Male Comedy Newa brochure and had a spare hour comer” in 2008? so came along. They liked that, and stayed in touch with me – getting It was very surreal. I wasn’t expectme to write a few things for a radio ing it at all. I was surprised to be show they were doing – and I think nominated to be honest, because I sort of wormed my way into their for me what’s so good about the affections. Me getting the part was show is the group dynamic. It pure nepotism. wouldn’t work if one of us dominated proceedings. -Do you have any similar personality traits to Will? - Did you ever expect “The Inbetweeners” to have such a cult Unfortunately I think I probably do. following, with over 1.2 million I’m also quite fussy and obstinate viewers watching the first epibut I hope I’m not a snob like Will sode of series 2? is. The fact that people might watch -What’s the funniest thing that it never even crossed my mind. It has happened whilst filming? was my first part on TV and I was


You can catch Simon in the brilliant “The Inbetweeners” on E4 Thursday at 10pm

******** WARNING ******* THIS IS NOT NEWS!
This week our regular Not Newsreader Mr Nattress has been replaced with Speical Guest and ex Lord of The Puzzles Colin Everett
By Colin ‘ Legend’ Everett

New wet-look campus for 2011
Jewson’s builders yard and depositing punters on Cherry Tree Lane. Other chutes will take alternative routes, with jungle, arctic and ocean themed rides not yet ruled out. Perhaps disappointingly, plans to convert Senate House to the world’s tallest helter-skelter are thought be incompatible with local planning laws. “Although we consider the conversion of Senate House to a helter-skelter,” said a spokesman The National Union of Students, however, has been less than complimentary. from Guildford Borough Council, “this is likely


ith the economic downturn affecting many Higher Education institutions, architects have unveiled their impressions of new plans for the Stag Hill campus. The planned changes were put forward in order to bring in more money for the university, as well as cut down on maintainance and cleaning costs of existing buildings. However, whilst retrofitting older academic buildings to reduce wasted heat and light is uncontroversial, plans to demolish some halls of residence and replace them with a series of adrenaline-inducing waterslides have raised many an eyebrow.

to contravene local planning laws, so it would “This is quite possibly the most disastrous idea for higher education that we have ever come not happen.” across. It is a symptom of higher education “At present, our only income streams are feepaying students and research money.” read a Reaction from students to the new plans has turning more and more into a profit-seeking business, rather than a means of acquiring statement from the Senate. “These new plans been mixed. specialist knowledge. First Surrey becomes a will permit the university to better engage with the local community, especially with their wal- A statement from the President of the Student’s waterslide park without consideration for its Union received before going to print read sim- fee-paying students. What next? Swansea Unilets.” ply “WOO YEAH!”, while some people randomly versity becoming a beach resort? SouthampThe money that is to be saved on maintainance stopped outside One-Stop, clearly didn’t seem ton University turning into a film studio? Loughby demolishing Surrey, Guildford, Stag Hill and that bothered by it, as they ignored our ques- borough turning into the world’s biggest kebab shop? Converting Surrey into a waterslide park University courts will be used to construct and tions and walked straight past. is, I feel, the beginning of a slippery slope.” maintain a mile-long pipe traversing the hillside, crossing the railway bridge, passing the


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TIME: 6-8pm DATE: 20/5/09 VENUE: Lecture Theatre

Please Note: This event had previously been organised for February, however it had to be postponed. It has now been rescheduled so do not miss out on your chance to attend! Do you want a chance to network with local business from your sector? CoLab enterprises, in conjunction with the Surrey Chamber of Commerce are running a employers networking event. Here’s what you need to know; HOW IT WORKS There will be a short talk by Stewart Graham from Avalon Solutions regarding good networking practise and the benefits of networking for students and business. This will be followed by another presentation into a host of web 2.0 technologies such as Podcasting, Skype, Photoshop and many more. The remainder of the evening will be an open format exhibition giving you the chance to meet, greet and network with local business. ISN’T THIS JUST ANOTHER CAREERS FAIR? No. We’re aiming for a 1:1 ratio of business to students with no HR departments in sight! Businesses will be coming with an open mind expecting to learn from and about students so bring you’re A-game.

We’re really excited about the format of the event as it gives you, the student, the perfect chance to meet the right people, showing off your amazing skills and ideas in the process. WHEN/WHERE 6-8pm, Wednesday 20th May Lecture Theatre Building HOW Tickets – will be on sale after the Easter holidays FOR WHO All Surrey students welcome – Level 1 through to PhD. A LITTLE ABOUT COLAB AND SURREY CHAMBERS CoLab is a student run social enterprise. Based in SCEPTrE, funded jointly by SCEPTrE and the e-learning unit and Surrey, CoLab aims to use networking and technology as a vehicle for building links between Surrey students, the university and local business. The Surrey Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation providing networking services to businesses across all sectors and sizes with operations in Surrey.


How to travel on the cheap
By Yvette Van Der Eijk
f, like me, you are disheartened by the current recession and the idea of selling your soul (translation: employment), the best option is to carry on studying. But what if you don’t have the grades/money for a Masters or PhD, or like me you just cannot be arsed? Well, then there is one other meaningful option, and that is to take some time out and travel.


Working your way
With a degree and no money, a good option is to work abroad. Often you can work for several months, travel on the money earned and find another job elsewhere when you run out again. As English-speaking graduates, the world is our oyster here! In English-speaking countries, finding work is fairly easy; USA/ Canada offer paid summer camp work (try and finding casual work in Australia and New Zealand is easy with a working holiday visa. In non-English speaking countries, you can work as a dive instructor or do casual work in tourist areas. If you are qualified in healthcare, there are lots of hospitals worldwide that will employ you and if you are a native English speaker, you can work pretty much anywhere as an English teacher.

Keeping it cheap
Life on the road can be much cheaper than life at uni if you choose the right places and know the odd trick. First, pick your location carefully; your money will not last long in places like Europe or Japan (unless you go there to work!) and certain places that may appear cheap (Africa, Mongolia, Mexico, Cuba) are actually not so cheap because of the difference in local and tourist costs. The cheapest places are probably developing Asia followed by South America. You can also make use of the credit crunch and visit countries with very weak currencies such as Iceland or Hungary.

The pros and cons of travelling
Travel is fun, scary, intimidating and frustrating, but incredibly rewarding. In a way, it’s the best education a person can have because of how it opens your eyes. You will experience things most people only read in magazines, and you will find a depth in other cultures and places that can only be appreciated after you have seen them for real. Travel is fun; you are bound to meet loads of interesting people from all walks of life. You will have the chance to do irrational, stupid stuff (think bungee jumps, swimming with sharks), see beautiful places (too many to list!), explore cultures, try every curry in India, drink every Bahamian cocktail then sleep it off on the nearest beach. Travel can also give you the chance to do something meaningful or educational while you make up your mind about your future. You can learn Kung Fu in China (check out www., salsa in Cuba, Thai cookery in Thailand, a language (check out www. – they’re relatively cheap); volunteer work or jobs in teaching are also easy to obtain as a graduate and will look great on your resume besides being very memorable. There are loads of internet sources for these.

Transport in some places can be… interesting

Working as an English teacher
Anyone with a university degree and native English can work as an English teacher. Getting a TEFL qualification before you leave is a good idea as it increases your employability and will help a lot in your first classes. Basic TEFL training is cheaper (around £200) and done online but if you want a more intensive training you can do it abroad, e.g. Egypt, Thailand (TESOL). Any teaching experience will also help, though some countries are so desperate for English teachers they will hire you after just a phone interview without experience or TEFL training. A good place to start is South Korea. Though not as exotic as Japan or China, it’s an interesting country with a great culture, friendly people and lots of work opportunity! Most Korean schools will pay at least £1000/month, taxes are stupidly low (4%), and most schools will provide free fully furnished accommodation, health insurance and flights. Working conditions are good and living costs low, meaning you will be able to save up most of your salary whilst living a comfortable lifestyle with the odd trip to Japan or China. Why so few people know about this I don’t know! Other Asian countries offering high salaries are Japan and Taiwan, although living costs are higher. The JET programme offers placements in Japan. Otherwise, salaries and living costs vary but you will find work pretty much anywhere especially if you have a TEFL qualification and experience. There are lots of good job boards on the net – try,

Now is a good time to explore Iceland

Accomodation :Facebook-like

Diving with the fishies near Nassau, Bahamas It seems to me many students who want to go travelling always end up following the straight path. I can only think of three main reasons: 1) the idea is intimidating; 2) finding the right people to go with; 3) money. Yes, they are good reasons, but come on. If the first reason applies to you, get over it! Like a shot of vodka. Just neck it and enjoy the after effect. Finding the right people to go with is also difficult, but don’t forget that solo travellers are rarely alone. Travel can be expensive, but in many places living costs are a fraction of what you are paying to live at uni right now and there are plenty of ways to earn money whilst on the road. And so the whole point of this feature is to show how the average penniless Surrey graduate/ student can travel the world in a way that is affordable and meaningful.

networks exist for travellers and people offering their free couch for the night. Try Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club – they are quite secure because members can get verified and leave references for each other. If you can’t find a free couch, youth hostels are usually quite cheap and a great way to meet other travellers – covers pretty much everywhere and provides reviews so you’ll know if you are about to spend the night in a stinking shitpit. In some countries (e.g. Cuba) where hostels don’t exist, the best alternative is local-ran guesthouses. These are normally charged per room so it helps to share a room with someone. If you feel bold enough (and you can be sure it’s safe) you can also sleep rough – in Latin America, it’s often OK to sleep in a hammock on the beach and camping rough is permitted in many places especially Scandinavia, Iceland or middle-of-nowhere spots. to shop around. For standard returns, internet sites such as Travelocity are often cheaper than STA travel but STA are good for flexible, one-way or round-the-world tickets. As for getting around, do as the locals do; avoid taxis and take the chicken bus! So long as it’s safe, though, I mean you don’t want to be waiting at bus stops in the middle of the night in crime-filled shitholes like Nairobbery.

Other tricks: Learning a few local words can do wonders when you haggle for stuff at the market. Try “I’m a student”, “Lower the price please” or “You kill me, my friend!”. Haggle for everything! It’s normal. Although it’s normal to charge more for foreigners, observe what locals pay and make sure you’re not being completely ripped off. If you visit third-world countries, bring clothes with you. Many locals will accept this as part-payment at markets and is often appreciated. Shoes, mobile phones and electricals also go down well. Stick to markets and local businesses, they are usually cheaper and better for the locals. Try to make some local friends; not only are they interesting, but they also know all the cheap places to eat, go out and shop. Locals are easier to meet if you travel outside tourist zones or use networks such as Couchsurfing. Bring photos or items from home, since they are always keen to see what your hometown and family are like. Pack as light as you can (excess baggage is expensive!!) and if you really cannot live without your phone then buy a local SIM card. Avoid Forex offices at airports because they normally give the worst rates; the best rates are to be had with debit cards, even if they charge commission. Finally, don’t be afraid to make the occasional splurge. The odd shark dive, mountain trek or animal safari are experiences you will never forget so if you don’t allow them at least once, what is the point in travelling so far at all?

Transport: For cheap flights it helps

In markets near shanty towns like these, 2nd hand stuff is often appreciated


Seoul, South Korea

Travel on the cheap
Asia Latin America

where to go

Chiang Mai, Thailand Asia is the continent to travel if you want adventure and variety without breaking the bank. Though developed Asian countries (e.g. Japan, Taiwan, Singapore) are more pricey, Asia is very affordable. Think developing areas such as Southeast Asia, parts of China, India. Getting around is cheap and easy on public transport, though not always safe since many boats and buses tend to get overloaded and apparently when they break down are fixed with random stuff like forks. Asia has huge variety – lots of different languages, religions and customs. Scenery is varied, too, from Thai beaches, Cambodian temples, the Himalayas to the Gobi desert. Asia is also home to the world’s richest man (the Sultan of Brunei) as well the poorest slums. Wherever you go, you will encounter cultures so very different to our own and you are in for an adventure.

After Asia, Latin America is probably the cheapest continent to travel, although many countries (especially Mexico) use the $ which is bad news for us Brits. In general, the further South you go the cheaper it gets. There are plenty of buses, though driving is an option since petrol is ridiculously cheap and a Carnet de Passage document is not required. Police officers are unlikely to care how genuine your vehicle documents are so long as they look official. Crossing borders can be tricky with a vehicle, but often a bit of bribary helps, apparently a good trick is to bring a few glossy mags and put them on the dashboard, so when the border officials get cranky just offer them Playboy magazine. Spanish goes a long way in Latin America and is well worth learning, since outside tourist zones many people don’t speak English. Though most Latin American countries are safe, it’s best to check up on certain places – especially Venezuela, Columbia, Nicaragua and Mexico (at night). Also don’t venture too far into the Panama jungles on your own, you don’t want to run into any bandits there.

breaks down a lot, is often late by several hours and sometimes non-existent. A more reliable way to travel around Africa is with an organized truck tour. They usually follow a tight schedule so you won’t get so much contact with the locals, but are good for first-time travellers who want to experience Africa. Try Oasis Overland; they are affordable and mostly attract people in our age range (20s). Finally, don’t forget, you will need every travel vaccination there is, you are guaranteed at least diarrhoea at some point and you will need to keep your eyes very open. But, hey, TIA, and it’s all part of the experience!

Gorge swing – a must if you are in Victoria Falls!

Europe is currently one of the most expensive continents for Brits to travel to thanks to the weak £. Even with Ryanair, everything is so damn expensive once you arrive at your destination. So, best option is to stick to non-Euro zones, Eastern Europe or places with weak currency, e.g. Iceland or Hungary. African children are far from shy

Adventurous stuff you can do: for

trekking, there are the Andes, Peru and Patagonia or volcanoes in Central America. In Mexico/Central America, there is great diving opportunity, Aztec/Mayan ruins, cenotes (cave pools), Copper Canyon and jungle trekking. You can learn Argentina Tango, Cuban salsa, Spanish; volunteer in schools or orphanages; conservation work is also common e.g. in the rainforests.

Safety in Africa: Africa is a place where

you really need to keep your wits about you. Cities such as Johannesburg and Nairobi (“Nairobbery”) are rife with crime. As a white tourist, you are considered impossibly rich so you’re a prime targets for beggars, scam artists and general hassle. So, keep on your toes, avoid civil war and you should be fine. And take those malaria pills… if not, you will regret it!

Sun and sand: If you want beaches and sun, it’s better to go in September or June when it’s not so touristic and prices are lower. Avoid Italy/France etc; Croatia and Slovenia have some lovely beaches and small towns making them a good lowprice alternative. Also, the pizza in Croatia is cheap and very nice!

Adventurous/meaningful stuff you can do: There is lots of opportunity

Everest base camp trek

Machu Picchu, Peru

Adventurous stuff you can do: you

Africa is a wild, beautiful place and not for the faint-hearted. You’re in for serious adventure and awakening here and the phrase “TIA” (This Is Africa) is something you will hear A LOT. The truck broke down again. “TIA, my friend”. Damn, got malaria again. “TIA, my friend!” Africa is a concentration of all third-world problems; poverty, AIDS, malaria, drought, civil war, the list goes on forever; but the African people have such an amazing spirit despite these problems that is truly admirable and makes you realise what miserable ba***rds Westerners are for complaining when it rains. The people are very warm and definitely not shy. Africa is cheap by Western standards, but not as cheap as people expect. This is because there are tourist prices for everything and safaris will add up nicely. Getting around in Africa can be tricky; transport is slow,

can go trekking up volcanoes (Mt Fuji, Japan; Gunung Bromo, Indonesia) or in the Himalayas all the way to Everest Base Camp; you can walk the Great Wall in China, go scuba diving with sharks and other friendly fish, cycle for charity around Vietnam or visit North Korea, but only the military border – go no further! Apparently driving in Asia and Korean spicy food is also an adventure in itself. But OK if you want more placid stuff, go to a full moon party in Koh Pa Ngan (Thailand) or try random food like Mongolian sheep bollocks, Korean live octopus or Chinese dog. Either way, make sure you avoid those places that are maybe a little bit too adventurous – currently not so travelfriendly are North Korea, Bhutan, Burma, Tibet and some regions in India, especially Kashmir.

for volunteer work such as HIV awareness programmes, teaching, construction and so on. Africa is the place for safaris – you can ride elephants, walk with lions, see loads of animals in the wild; alternatively, you can cage dive with Great Whites or trek up Mt Kilimanjaro or the Atlas Mountains. There is also diving off the beautiful coast of Zanzibar or the Red Sea or trekking the Sahara. Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe) is an adventure hub; you can do microlight flights, bungee jumps and loads of other stuff there for a fraction of what you would pay in the Western world. The grade 5* white water rafting and “adrenaline day” – unlimited abseil, rap jump, flying fox and gorge swings - in particular are well worth the price.

Geysir, Iceland

Nature: Iceland is a rare, wild country

host to Europe’s largest waterfall, active volcanoes (two are due to erupt soon!), geysers and so on. Although it’s not exactly cheap, with the current crisis now is a great time to go. Iceland Express offer return flights from London for around £200 and wild camping in Iceland is totally legal, so pack a tent, cooker and forget showers because there are thermal pools everywhere. Best time to visit Iceland is in summer, when you can see the midnight sun, whales, puffins and dolphins. Just make sure you pack a raincoat.

Rafting the Zambezi (near Victoria Falls)


Edited By Mariam Nasir The Hellenic Society managed to organize some of the greatest events in the Union. Live Concerts with traditional Greek music as well as bringing for one night only, all the way from Greece - the most popular Hip-Hop & R&B band - ‘GOIN’THROUGH’ and ‘THE FAMILY’. We also brought two of the greatest Djs and radio producers in Greece; ‘VALENTINO’ and ‘SOULIOTIS’. Our resident Djs presented Greek Night as well as one of the greatest events of the year the annual CARNIVAL NIGHT. We are the first International society of this University that managed to have a great web page ( which has internet radio ( We also took part in all the events organized by the students Union like those in the international week (I-Gala). We would like to thank for this successful academic year: President of the students Union Elizabeth Simos, VP societies Jack Simons as well as all the Sabbaticals and all the members of the Union staff Ben, Jade, Lip and many more. We would also like to thank the Cypriot Society that again this year we made a great cooperation and made all the events successful. Visit as at: FB group: type Hellenic Cypriot Society University of Surrey And listen to our Radio: By Antonis Maragkos – Hellenic Society President.

Wine & Words at the Eng Lit Soc
By Stephanie Davies & Dawn Harman
At the English Literature Society we party like it’s 1984. “Wine and words” is our slogan, but has become something more of a mission statement given our regular meetings at Roots bar. To tie in with this year’s new English Literature course at the University, the society was created with a view to bring together likeminded literature lovers. And if you noticed that excellent bit of alliteration in the last sentence, we want you! The Eng Lit Soc is not just closed to those lucky, talented and gorgeous students of English, the only prerequisite to joining is an understanding that reading is sexy. Previous shenanigans have involved a town-conquering pub crawl, the infamous Christmas party (featured above), and plenty of film showings including Bladerunner, History Boys, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, and À bout de souffle. If you missed these, you missed out-- but don’t go crying into your copy of Wuthering Heights just yet. We have plenty more exciting events planned, including theatre trips, future film showings and another bar crawl at the end of semester. For updates on future events and meetings, join the Facebook group “The English Literature Society of the University of Surrey.”


Interview with a Foreign PostDoctoral Fellow from PAKISTAN
Doctor Ghulam Shabir (Post-Doc, Sociology Department, SU) Interviewer: Hamza Javaid (PhD Researcher, FML, SU) (2008-09) Treasurer, Pakistan Students’ Association Edited By Mariam Nasir Q1. How you selected Surrey University for your Post-doctoral studies? A: There were plenty of reasons for selecting Surrey University, but the one’s which stood out were the education standard; my close friend’s reference and the rich history Surrey University possessed. Now before coming to UK, I was offered a fellowship place at Oklahoma State University USA but because of my friend (Dr. Zafar Iqbal), who insisted me joining here, played a major part in my final decision and I never regretted because it has been a marvellous one year’s experience which will stay with me the rest of my life. Q2. Can you briefly tell us about your first day here at the University? A: As it is my first visit to UK so there was always this agitation related to the West culture whether it will be easy for me to adjust myself. Alhumdulillah (all praise to Allah (God)); I was pleased with the greeting given to me by the University, followed by the immigration officers at Heathrow Airport. I feel lucky to have Professor Colin as my supervisor, Professor arranged a lunch for me that was kind of him to do so and likewise Department of Sociology warmly welcomed me as if I’m a returning staff member rather than a new fellow researcher. Most importantly, I highly appreciate my friend Dr. Zafar who helped me to adjust into the environment fairly quickly. Q3. How would you rate Surrey University Library facilities? A: Excellent, before I forget, first day I visited the library with a department colleague and was amazed by the facilities there and how much a library is doing for the University Students. Situated in the George Building, it is a five storey educational field possessing treasure of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, from various disciplines like Management, Law, Science, Physics, Biology, Sociology, Engineering, Artificial intelligence, Satellite, etcetera. When I got my ID card from the reception area giving me the first chance to official roam around the library, I was amazed by the printing press inside the library where they do all the designing and stuff, students go there for binding, t-shirt design and many other things just excellent. Another best thing comes on the first floor, the café area where student can sit and relax taking any food along or buying from the winding machines there and wireless broadband facility in every corner of the library. At the 3rd Floor there is

A: I feel lucky that I have attended University ‘careers fairs’ arrange by Careers Service where London based multidimensional companies come here and from their allocated stalls guide graduates students in relation to their future careers. An opportunity for students to ask them questions about company structures/ recruitment procedures and inside environment and on going developments and this also provides the graduates to get aware of company requirements so they can work out the competency required when they complete their studies. With all this I can say, Careers Service is doing a tremendous job which I will take back to implement such initiative for graduates in Universities of Pakistan. Regarding, University Students Union, they have a lot going on like ‘fresher fair’ where different students societies come together under one roof representing different countries/ sports/ etc in their small stalls inviting thousands of students and increasing their membership. I’m happy to know that Pakistan Students’ Association is a vibrant Society where they have arranged dinners/ trips/ sports activities for all Pakistanis studying at the University and such activities provide us a platform to know other Pakistanis here and certainly this helps knowing the way how student spend their time away from home. Q6. Anything you would like to say to your Supervisor of your Post-doctoral study? A: University of Surrey without a doubt recruits excellent academia faculty, experience with Professor Colin has been great (I’m honoured). From the start, all the guidance, developing my knowledge in the field of social sciences research methodology, he has given me a lot with his effective communication skill. Not surprisingly all his PhD and Post-doctoral students will appreciate his knowledge of the field. He arranges group, one to one meeting, discussion and seminars for his PhD and Post-doctoral researchers regularly where he delivers lectures which are always fruitful for the students. Q7. What do you think of Guildford? A: Expensive, jokes apart. It is a nice place for overseas student like me to settle down very quickly. Every necessary amenities are approachable for the students just like Royal Surrey Hospital, Guildford town shopping centre, TESCO, Railway Station, Bus Station all are on walking distance from the University, and even Central London is also only one hour travel distance from the Surrey University. Q8. Any message you want to share with everyone? A: I enjoyed studying in the University of Surrey. I’m taking back with me great memories, I wish everyone good health and May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah (SWT) be with everyone. Website: (Keep visiting for the all the latest update)

a SPLASH (Student Personal Learning and Study Hub), another excellent environment for students where they can study on their own or in groups with elegant interior. Splash also supports student in various study requirements arranging seminars, workshops and face-to-face problem solving with the expert. Not forgetting library is full of high speed dell workstations for students as well and is open till late night not limiting students to only come around 9-5 working system. Q4. Before we move on, any other area you want to share on the facilities of Surrey University? A: It has been a pleasure to spent one year here at the University; I have attended many seminars, workshops and others academic activities on daily, weekly and monthly basis majority of these programs are free of costs. The University of Surrey certainly provide immense opportunity of learning new subjects and to do research activities throughout the year, due to this we can say that educational standard of the Surrey University as compare to all other UK academic institutions is comparatively very high. Secondly, Here I have observed that all the teaching staffs are online with their students through Ulearn portal, and this makes them connected with the students 24x7. Centre for learning and development is doing a lot as well, an example may be the ‘Preparing to tech’ workshops for teachers and researchers who will take academia as a profession. In my sociology department on every Thursday, we have seminar series where PhD researcher are invited from various institutions around the world and here they present their research articles, thesis, thus this way we can learn what is latest happening in our research areas, and this is another marvellous experience for me to learn things face to face as well. Q5. What do you think of University Careers Service and Students’ Union?


EFEK UK - The National Union of Cypriot Students of the United Kingdom
student accommodation etc. For a number of years SYKFA also had a fund for helping Cypriot Edited By Mariam Nasir students in the UK, who were facing financial difficulties. SYKFA’s main role, however, was to inform UK students and the British public The first organised Cypriot student organisation in general, about the Cyprus problem by, in the UK was the “National Union of Cypriot between others, issuing brochures and holding Students of England” (“EFEKA”), established in events in relation to the Cyprus problem. 1953. The first president of EFEKA was the late Spyros Kyprianou, who became president of the The National Union of Cypriot Students of the Republic of Cyprus in 1977 and who held that United Kingdom” (“EFEK UK”) was established office until 1988. The first general secretary of by the amalgamation of EFEKA and SYKFA in EFEKA was the late Tassos Papadopoulos, who 1993. Since its establishment, EFEK UK has became president of the Republic of Cyprus laid the path for the Cypriot student movement in 2003 and who held that office until 2008. in the UK and has continued the work of EFEKA and SYKFA. EFEK UK has tried to have frequent The tragic events of 1974 which led to the Turkish communications with university Cypriot invasion (and the since then occupation of the student societies all over the UK and has in North part of the island of Cyprus by Turkish various occasions supported some of these troops) has also had an impact on the Cypriot Cypriot student societies financially (mainly in student movement in the UK. The second the first few months of their establishment). organized student organization in the UK, EFEK UK has also had frequent meetings namely the “Organization of Cypriot Students with the minister of Education and Culture of of England” (“SYKFA”), was established in the Republic of Cyprus and with the Cyprus 1975. SYKFA’s main activities concentrated High Commissioner in London, mainly to find in solving the numerous problems of Cypriot ways to solve the numerous problems of the students in the UK, such as high student tuition Cypriot students in the UK. EFEK UK has fees (for non-EU students), lack of scholarships also for many years held an annual peaceful to Cypriot students from the UK government, demonstration outside the Turkish embassy University of Surrey Cypriot Society (on 15 November in each year) in relation to the declaration of the so called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, a state not recognized by any other country in the world other than Turkey, who in effect has established it. EFEK UK has also organized many speeches, discussions and round table discussions with various Cypriot and British politicians mainly in relation to the Cyprus problem or other educational and student matters. On the 21st of February 2009 the annual elections of EFEK UK took place and a week later on the 28th of February the new board was elected. The President of Surrey Cypriot Society - Michalis Yiacoumi was elected as the President of EFEK UK for the Year 2009-2010. So the Cypriot Students of Surrey University have the privilege to have a direct voice in their National Union through their president. EFEK UK’s main goals are to 1) enlighten the British public opinion about the Cyprus problem, 2) resolve all types of problems that Cypriot students may be facing from time to time, and 3) associate with other UK and foreign student organizations in relation to student issues.


Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years - 13th April 2009
Arguably the best thing from Wales since cockles and bacon, the Super Furry Animals have arrived back fresh from their multiple-and-partiallysuccessful-side-project outings with ‘Dark Days / Light Years’ – an album apparently based on ‘riffs and grooves’ that they’ve been playing for the past few years. Riffs and grooves-a-plenty, this release sees the Animals continuing their psychedelic persona whilst taking the outside-thebox dial up a notch. First single ‘Inaugural Trams’ features a German-speaking Nick McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand), and has a very bouncy and borderline comical feel to it – an interesting, yet wonderful, introduction for all non-SFA fans. Album opener ‘Crazy Naked Girls’ doesn’t really get going until a good two minutes in, but then hits you with an awesome guitar riff and the instant knowledge that your purchase is going to be worth every penny... After doing good things with The Peth (Rhys Ifans’ “Satanic Abba” band), Neon Neon (Gruff Rhys’ and Boom Bip) and Gruff’s own solo project, the band have clearly been dying to get back to some serious SFA action. Dark Days... is an inspirational zoo of so many brilliant ideas, it’s hard to take it all in at once. Mixing old and new-school styles, you’re never far away from something you’ll like. Other highlights include the hypnotic ‘Cardiff in the Sun’, the compulsory summer anthem ‘Helium Hearts’ and ‘The Very Best of Neil Diamond’ – a chilled-out yet substantial song with a simple and fantastically memorable hook. SFA certainly don’t suffer from deteriorating-album-quality syndrome. Fact. Patrick Hunter 5/5

Airship, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Frightened
Frightened Rabbit have exploded onto the indie scene pretty rapidly, and had come to the Scala to play a one off, sold-out, show. Meeting the singer afterwards, he was totally amazed and really pleased that the show had been such a success, way above anything they could have expected. Their infectious sing-along lyrics with the infamous Scottish accent is always a favourite, and hearing people try to put it on when singing along is always good to hear as well. Frightened Rabbit have only really come into the limelight after the release of their last album, The Midnight Organ Fight back in 2008. This album is them at their best, and has been much more successful for them than their first album, released in 2006. The first band up was Airship, who started playing to a pretty small crowd to begin with. Combining hammering drum rhythms and drawn out synth chords, they played their set with passion and skill. You really start to feel the intensity of the vocals, and the guitarist really went for it. The lead guitarist even lent a helping hand to the drummer, playing a floor tom to the side, giving their set a real energy and enjoyment to watch. The next band up was We Were Promised Jet Packs, adding another Scottish band to the bill. They opened with a really great drum solo, spoiled by the lighting guy not being able to follow a fairly simple flashing pattern. Intense up-beat guitar riffs mixed with rapid drum rhythms and blistering bass parts made this into great music to dance to, but I didn't really get the impression that they were really into the gig, with

Rabbit - Scala 15th of the band not engaging at all with April 2009 some

the crowd or each other. The Scottish accent went down a treat, and there were even a fair few Scots singing along too. Up last were the mighty Frightened Rabbit. The crowd had now packed in, creating a solid mass of people in front of the stage. They seemed relatively quiet by gig standards, but it seemed to be one of those gigs that were more about the intimacy of the venue, where you can shout things at the singer and quite happily get a response. Scott, the lead singer and guitarist, had a great stage presence, knowing how to work the crowd and cracking jokes, often about Scotland. They played mostly songs from their newest album, which has some amazing tracks on it. Their quirky, quotable lyrics are great, throwing in the odd swear word every now and again when you least expect it. The lineup constantly changes around, with each member playing a different instrument at some point bar the drummer. One of the highlights was the encore, which began with Scott playing 'Poke' unplugged at the front of the stage. The audience were completely hushed, and even tried to join in with the chorus, to which he shook his head. They finished their set with 'Keep Yourself Warm', which had everyone singing and moving about. These guys were great tonight, and obviously need to perform more down south, as the response will definitely be positive.

By Mark Allen


Filthy Dukes - ‘Nonsense in the Dark’ - 16th March
The new debut album from Filthy Dukes has caused a storm of rave reviews across the nation, with some even hailing it as ‘what Daft Punk’s 3rd album should have sounded like’. I first heard some of the key tracks on a teaser, and couldn’t wait for the album to come out. Their infectious synth-driven pop is great, and each track has a great variety, but stays in the safe zone of the electro-pop genre which couldn’t get much bigger at the moment. These three guys hail from London, and like many electro artists they started off by DJ-ing around the country, but with the likes of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem. After releasing the track ‘Tupac Robot Club Rock’, it provided them with a wealth of media attention. The track features some really catchy rapping, and some brilliant low bass lines. These tasty rhythms and beats will have you gagging for more, and it’s not all synths and blippy noises. Oh no. Many of the tracks have some brilliant vocal work, with ‘Elevator’ mixing catchy synth hooks and soft vocals. There are also some great instrumental tracks too, made to get you out on the dance floor. Their sound could be compared with bands such as Justice, MSTRKRFT or Daft Punk, but served with a huge slice of pop to join the others at the top. I really like this album, and it’s got some great tracks that I could see released as singles soon. Some of my favourite tracks are ‘Twenty Six Hundred’, as it reminds me of the kind of stuff underground electro artists would be up to, and playing to a floor full of people. One of the best things about this album is the variety of sounds and hooks to keep you listening right to the very end. Once that four-to-the-floor kicks in though, everyone’s got to start bobbing their heads. ‘Somewhere At Sea’ is a great way to end the album, with a much slower song, really giving them a chance to show off their vocal ability and skills away from the synths, sounding something more like Death Cab For Cutie. 4/5 Mark Allen

Duke Pandemonium - 11/5/09
Comprised of The Atmosphere and The Dragon, the only excuse for not having heard of this duo is the fact that you either don’t have a radio or you just don’t like popular music. Their latest single ‘Rubber Lover’ seems to have been played on Radio 1 and 6 Music pretty much on the hour. They have also visited Jo Whiley’s live lounge and covered Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)’, well worth a listen. For many people, admittedly myself as well, this is my first glimpse of Marmaduke Duke, but in actual fact this is their second album following on from ‘The Magnificent Duke’. It is the side project of Simon Neil (from Biffyy Clyro) and JP Reid (from Sucioperro). Both with respected music careers already behind them, through their new creation they have successfully added another string to their bow. The album is a mixture of all things electro indie, dance, and a sprinkling of drum ‘n’ base beats… if you can have a sprinkling. The songs are fast paced and ready for summer gatherings; they have the strange ability to make you want to get up and have a little bop around, even if it’s just in your room so you look like a bit of a weirdo… probably best to save it for the dance floor or a festival somewhere. For me, the album took a few listens but I am fully on the bandwagon now. Each individual song is good in its own right, it is just when they are played continuously that the uniqueness is somewhat blurred. When listening to it, there are two tracks for me that made me stop and look to see what they were as they did stand out above the others and those were ‘Everybody Dance’ and ‘Demon’, which is a crazy 7:35 mins long which, considering ‘Rubber Lover’ is only 1:54, is quite intense! Basically, if you like ‘Rubber Lover’ then you will like this album. The other songs may not have quite the same pop factor but for me that is why I like them. 4/5 Rachael Fitz-Patrick

Lily Allen ‘Not Fair’ “Another sassy, witty and catchy tune from Lily Allen, ‘Not Fair’ is one of her best singles to date”. - Miriam Kidane
Our Music Editor Rachael Fitz-Patrick and her team of reviewers present you with some more eartingling reviews for the summer!


Concerts on Campus Open to All
How many music events have you been to on campus this year? Did you know that there are regular concerts and gigs going on around campus that all students and staff can attend? Even better, most of them are free! Highlights last semester included the student run and extremely popular Free For All concert and Malian musician and BBC 3 World Music Award Winner Bassekou Kouyate’s breathtaking performance in the University Hall. For both concerts, Stage Crew did a great job, transforming the Hall into a wonderful concert venue with full stage, sound and light show. In PATS Studio One, we recently had Julian Lloyd Webber performing to a packed audience of 250 people, two nights after the University Big Band had performed a superb late night set of jazz favourites. Our concerts encompass a wide range of musical genres from rock, pop, jazz and electronica to classical chamber music and concerts for Symphony Orchestra and Choir. Most concerts take place in the Performing Arts Technology Studios (PATS), the large building opposite the NatWest field and next to the bank. However, relaxing and listening to music is great for your general well-being and it also might help you feel more alert in the afternoon. Every Wednesday, we hold free lunchtime concerts in the PATS Building, Studio One, between 1.10pm This Friday 8th May, we will be staging a music and 2pm. These concerts are usually given by night in The Firs Room at Wates House. One undergraduate and postgraduate students of our most popular and highly anticipated specialising in performance and the repertoire concerts of the year, the Free For All gigs are is always extremely varied. You’re as likely to informal and fun evenings that showcase the hear music by Herbie Hancock, Joe Satriani or enormous range of musical styles and the huge Charlie Parker as Elgar, Mozart or Chopin. talents of the various bands and performers within the music department. Why not come Everyone is more than welcome at our concerts along and unwind in the bar after a hard week and most of them are free so why not just come of exams, enjoy some great live music in the along and see what you think? Whatever your Firs Room from 7.30pm and then if you fancy musical tastes there’ll probably be something it, there’ll still be plenty of time to head to the for you to enjoy. Please contact me at j.harber@ union or into town afterwards? All this music is if you would like further information at student friendly prices, FREE, so a great way about any of our events, or would like to join the mailing list. Until next time… keep supporting to start your night out. live music and don’t forget the gig on the 8th Are you bored of the usual lunch hour sat May at Wates House. around feeling lethargic following a morning of lectures? Why not liven up your lunch-hour Jamie Harber and try something new? Studies suggest that we also put on gigs in the University Hall, Wates House, the Management Building, Guildford Cathedral and in town, so do look out for events coming up.

Bloc Party, Foals and Wet Paint - Olympia, 12th April
To say I am a fan of Bloc Party would be a total understatement, I would say obsessive is more fitting. But seriously, this was the ninth time I had seen the band and I was just as excited, if not more excited, to see them for the ninth time as the first, second, third etc. Supported by another favourite, Foals, this night was set to be a fitting way to end eating silly amounts of chocolate on Easter Sunday. I arrived at the Olympia, a venue that I had never been to before, and it reminded me of an aircraft hanger - the venue was huge. The first support band, Wet Paint, were average, they played their instruments really well and did create a really good sound, however the vocals and lyrics were definitely not up to scratch. Foals I’ve seen a few times before at smaller venues and always thought they were amazing, but this time I felt the atmosphere of the Olympia swamped their sound. They played crowd pleasers ‘Cassius’ and ‘Red Sock Pugie’. The audience went absolutely mental for them and breathing was only allowed in between songs. After nearly being killed during the Foals set, I was thinking perhaps they may calm down for Bloc Party... erm, naïve or what? The band played a selection of tracks from all three of their albums, Silent Alarm, A Weekend in the City, and Intimacy. The band opened with Halo, and as soon as we heard the first chord, the whole crowd surged to the front and for the next hour and a half I was pretty much fighting to stay alive. The band was in great spirits and, after their second encore, lead singer Kele came out wearing a white bunny outfit wishing the audience a Happy Easter! They were amazing live, and this was definitely one of their best performances. ‘Ares’ and ‘Song for Clay’ were definitely the biggest crowd pleasers; that, and their most well known track, ‘Helicopter’. They ended the night with a spectacular light show for one-off dance song ‘Flux’. The night was pretty mental, I was left with about four bruises over my legs and, sadly, I lost one of my new shoes I was wearing in a moshpit during the track ‘Prayer’. Was the night worth it? Erm… YES! 5/5 Miriam Kidane

If you have a review to send into Ths Stag, Please email




Reviewed by Amy Barnes I discussed this novel in the kitchen with my mother, who had begun reading it but had to stop due to its incredibly dark subject matter. Somewhat ironically, The Almost Moon explores the mother-daughter relationship that ultimately leads to an event that has consequences not just for the aforementioned, but for family members and friends too.

Get those creative juices flowing....

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
versity life drawing class, who still harbours feelings for her ex-husband and former art tutor Jake. Her two daughters provoke both worry and envy within her, and force her to confront her position as a mother as well as analysing her role as a daughter. Her relationship with her own mother, a former underwear model now struck with dementia, is the crux of the book. strains of daily life, I wouldn’t suggest this book. If you are, however, someone who is interested in the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship, mental illness and questionable sexual advances, ‘The Almost Moon’ ticks all of these boxes. And gives you something to chew over and discuss with your mother whilst searching the kitchen for something to cure

Dark, disturbing but fantastical- your Bank Holiday hangover. To give a detailed synopsis of ly written, Sebold’s ‘The Almost the plot in this review would Moon’ is fraught with motives, be the equivalent of remov- memories and another more ing the lynchpin that holds the ominous word beginning with novel together; so I’ll be delib- ‘M’. If you’re looking for a light erately vague. Helen Knightly is read or portal to a better place a middle-aged model for a uni- away from the stresses and

Perfect for the creative among you, The Bridport Prize is one of the most highly esteemed writing competitions worldwide, boasting a £5000 first prize. For a small fee, submit your short stories or poetry to be in with a chance of winning a number of cash prizes and the opportunity to be entered in the Forward Prize or National Short Story Prize competitions. For more information, pick up a leaflet from the English Common Room (52AC05) or go enter online at Get writing and good luck!

If you have a review for our literature section Please email Editor Amy at


Have you heard the word? No? Better check Facebook then…
By Amy Barnes *Disclaimer* I should point out now that this article bears no relevance to the recent ‘craze’ following the airing of a particular episode of Family Guy. If you have got this far and now feel thoroughly disappointed, you should feel thankful that I informed you of this now instead of waiting until the end of this article. Go on, keep reading, I dare you! life as an anti-Vietnam newsletter at the Emory University Campus in the U.S. before evolving into a much-loved controversial mouthpiece. Quite simply, the BIRD printed the news ‘you weren’t supposed to know’; covering topics such as the Vietnam War, youth culture, women’s and gay liberation, civil rights and workers’ struggles. Its outspoken resistance against long-standing ideas, including an attack on the Coca-Cola Corporation, landed the BIRD in court on more than one occasion. This did not dampen its popularity amongst its readers despite attempts to stem this spread of counter-culture. Some high school and college principals suspended students caught with copies and BIRD vending machines were banned in the state capital. talgia for something that was distributed and then sadly defunct years before I was born. It seems to me that we are an apathetic generation compared to our 1960s counter-parts. Of course I cannot deny that there are many students who are empowered and who participate in campaigns to get the voices of themselves and others heard. But today it appears that literary outlets such as the BIRD have had their wings clipped by the rise of internet expressionism: Facebook and Twitter being the most obvious culprits. But when it comes down to a Facebook group versus a well-written article by someone who feels passionate enough to challenge and channel ideas into an article that I can rip out and tack onto my wall, I know which one I would choose.

Last semester, I and others on the English Literature degree programme studied a module on World Literature and Cultures. It was closely linked to the interesting and revolutionary decade of the 1960s. One particular area of the assessment required us to research examples You’re probably wondering why I was so enof counter-culture in art, music and literature. thralled by the discovery of this publication. Find out more about the BIRD online: I was struck by how much enthusiasm was After a lot of Google searches and clicking poured into this paper, and the amount of of links, I came across a site that really got feathers it ruffled with its no holds barred re- news/0052.html my attention. I abandoned my original idea portage. The very idea that a newspaper could to discuss the iconic Mods and Rockers and take on the Supreme Court, survive a fire and instead opted for something more literary: still remain in the memories of people today an underground 60s newspaper, the BIRD. provoked two feelings in me. The first was one of admiration for such drive. The second was The Great Speckled Bird, a.k.a The BIRD, began one of sadness confusingly mixed with nos-


Film Get the popcorn ready.....
Let The Right One In (15)
To say that ‘Let The Right One In’ is a ‘Swedish Vampire Film’ is hardly a thorough categorisation. In fact, is it drama? Is it horror? Is it romance? Is it mystery? What makes ‘Let The Right One In’ such a transcendent, haunting film is not that it grips you, it’s that it knows how to touch you. It’s refreshing and thoroughly breathtaking. Shot in the chilly suburbs of Stockholm, Oscar is an innocent, lonely, regularly bullied young boy living in an apartment complex with his mother. One day, a young ‘girl’ by the name of Eli moves in next door with an older man who is a suspected serial killer. At the centre of all this, is a tight-bonded, unusual love story between Eli and Oscar. It is a beautiful fairy tale and, while there are moments that stir the senses, you care about the two vulnerable souls at the centre of this. They both have difficulties of adapting to life and yet you know that one; they are meant for each other and two; they will do anything to continue their love. It is a weird love story, but there isn’t a moment where you recoil from it. In fact, you understand. There is a moment where Eli’s guardian, Hakan, is trying to provide for her blood thirst by killing random inhabitants. He fails the first try on screen, but the second try he tries to kill a boy in a changing room. The result has Hakan disfigure himself to conceal his identity. In a later scene, Eli visits the hospital to see her Ollie Sim father figure in an unrecognisable, repulsive 5/5 Have you been to see a film lately state. What is clever about this scene though (which is indicative to the rest of the film), is and fancy telling us what you thought about it? that when we see the bodily horror of Hakan’s corroded face, we see it not as a horrific set piece, but as a disturbing, heartbreaking commiment for the young girl he tries to provide for. Why is it the first ‘great’ film of 2009? Because, like horror, it haunts you. Like romance, it touches you. Like drama, it moves you. Like mystery, it makes you wonder. Only occasional films shift gear as exemplarily as Let The Right One In. At the moment we have the Saw franchise which just shouts mindlessly at you, but Let The Right One In does what horror is supposed to do, and that is stir you with feelings. Weird and, indeed, wonderful.

The Boat That Rocked (15)
there is hardly a plan. out-on-the-town montage, it feels irritatingly spontaWhile there are occasion- neous and careless. But al good laughs, the main hey, maybe your swingfact of the matter is that ing uncle can explain. it spends too much time stuck in nostalgia. In other Ollie Sim words, it is like someone recklessly hitting the shuf- 2/5 fle button on their iPod, and at what cost? Well, that the film spends two unnecessary hours going I think it’s fully established nowhere. In fact, it would that Richard Curtis is a bet- have done better if it was ter writer than he is a di- a half an hour TV series. rector, but that’s the least of the film’s problems. Overall, it’s incredibly sagThe opening premise is gy and as a means of ensound and the ensem- tertainment it does have its ble cast is perfectly ac- moments (having a charquainted (and it sounded acter named ‘Twatt’ isn’t like they had a blast), but one of them. Honk!). Howonce there is a premise ever, just like the drunken Loosely based around the pirate radio movement of Radio Caroline during the late 1960’s and seventies. Out in the North Sea, a pirate radio station, Rock FM (very inspired), is broadcasting mainstream rock n’ roll to the displeasure of British government officials who plan to shut down and infiltrate the vessel.


17 Again (12A)
Not the most original idea, but that is not to say it doesn’t have some degree of dignity. Simple set-up; Matthew Perry is bored and fed up with his life. He wishes to be seventeen again and is transformed into a reincarnation of Zac Efron, I mean, himself. If you like, it is Big in reverse. Lets go over the ground rules; I have a soft spot for Zac Efron. Although 17 Again is not as good as, say, his other works (High School Musical 3), he is charming and perfectly credible in the role. What I’m wondering at the moment is, was there a meeting with Zac’s agent over his character having to play basketball? Well, just like the film, I can go with it. Ollie Sim 3/5

Observe and Report (15)
Only a few films can pull off a “dark comedy” (courtesy of Jody Hill, director of Observe and Report). In fact, the director also said that he wanted to do a “comedic version of Taxi Driver”. Well, dream on. Also, rent out The King of Comedy and that’s what you’re talking about. I just hope that from this film and many other Judd Apatow films before that, this ‘Seth Rogan phenomenon’ stops right now. up stall and tries to protect her before a professional detective arrives to handle the situation. Compare this to Paul Blart: Mall Cop and you’ll see that at least Paul Blart has more charm (please don’t take that as a compliment). However, what is really irritating is that one, it has as much laughs as there were at the Nuremberg Trials. Two, it’s incredibly smug about itself. Three, it wants to be edgy, but the fact of the matter is that it’s just depressing. In fact, there is a rape scene in the film that makes you ask yourself, “Sorry, did I miss a meeting?”

The ‘story’ involves a security guard (Seth Rogan) with manic depression who works at a shopping mall. It is brought to his attention that an anomalous streaker is running around the mall. At the same time, he is in love with a counter-girl Ollie Sim (Anna Faris) who owns a make- 1/5


“ The stars speak to me darling”
Aries (20th March – 20th April) You need to work on your temper this fortnight. Yes, you’re under a lot of stress and strain, but so is everybody else and taking your frustrations out on those around you isn’t on. Single? The single life is the place to be for you right nowyou have more important things to focus your attention on. Taken? Keep your relationship in perspective- they will still be there next week but your exams won’t be. Taurus (21st April- 20th May) Positive thinking is the key right now- and you’re doing a very good job of that. With that attitude you will fly through your exams. Single? That certain someone is messing you around and you need to let them know you won’t stand for it. Taken? You feel neglected but that isn’t their intention- they’ll have all the time on the world for you once the exams are over. Gemini (21st May- 20th June) You’ve been very welcoming lately, and your acceptance is going to pay off soon. That person is very grateful, and they have a surprise for you to show just how thankful they are. Single? Summer is coming and you’re excited- just don’t get carried away. Taken? You’re upset that they’re holidaying without you- but they need some time out. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, remember. Cancer (21st June- 21st July) Libra (20th Sept- 21st Oct) You know something is up with your best friend, they just won’t tell you what it is. Be persistent- they need your help and they will ask for it eventually. Single? They’re like buses, aren’t they? You can wait months and all of a sudden two people will show interest... Taken? You’re feeling guilty, and rightly so. Own up and take the heat. You’re strong enough to survive this. Scorpio (22nd Oct- 21st November) You’re over thinking the situation and stressing yourself out for no reason- relax. It’ll all sort itself out in the end. Single? You’ll never know if they feel the same if you don’t own up to how you feel. Taken? Their parents are being a nightmare and you can’t understand why they don’t see it too- give it time. Sagittarius (21st Nov- 21st Dec) You’re having a belated teenage rebellion right now- have you stopped to think about why you’re acting out like this? Single? Don’t try so hard to look for love; you’re most likely to find something when you weren’t even looking for it. Taken? Your jealousy is causing problems for the two of you. It comes down to one thing- do you trust them or not? Capricorn (21st Dec- 20th Jan)

Madame Za-Za

Enjoy the lull in activity because it won’t last too long before your life becomes a hive of activity once more. Single? They’re The student loans may have only just come in but your budget taken, so move on. It isn’t meant to be. Taken? You’ve made has you in a state already. You have two choices- start making them feel alienated which is making them insecure. Take cut-backs or look for a part time job. Single? They’ve told you some time to let them into whatever is going on in your life. they like you- but they’re involved with your friend. Stay well away. Taken? You’ve neglected your close friends in favour of Aquarius (21st Jan- 19th Feb) love over the past few months. Make it up to them. You’re role as a diplomat is only going to worsen the feud- you Leo (22nd Jul- 22nd Aug) may think you’re helping but that is far from the truth. Single? They say they don’t want a relationship. So you have to decide Your organisation has paid off, just be careful not to get too if that’s what you want for yourself or not. Taken? Enjoy this complacent. You need to continue working hard to ensure you drama-free stage of your relationship. You never know how get the results you want. Single? Your friend feels like you only long it’ll last. have time for her whenever you have a new love interest to talk about. Prove her wrong. Taken? They’re just jealous and Pisces (19th Feb- 19th March) looking to rock the boat. You trust your partner- and that’s all You’re taking your work very seriously right now and that is that matters. fantastic. Keep it up for the next few weeks and then you can Virgo (23rd Aug- 21st Sept) enjoy the summer safe in the knowledge that you did the best you could. Single? These talks with your ex are a bad idea and You’ve had more than a slight knock in confidence. It’s you know it. You broke up for a reason. Taken? Talk to them important that you don’t let it get the better of you. Single? about what’s troubling you. They have the answer. They like you, you like them. So what are you waiting for? Taken? Don’t let them tell you what you can and can’t doyou’re your own person and you don’t belong to them.



The University of Surrey F.C. capped off another successful season this week as the Reserve Team completed a well deserved League and Cup double. In the Club’s first season in the Surrey Intermediate League the 2’s looked as if they were going to secure a very respectable second place in the Reserves Division One League when they trailed the leaders Royal Holloway Old Boys’ Reserves by eight points with only seven games to play. However on Valentine’s Day Surrey put an arrow through the hearts of Holloway’s one hundred percent winning record with a 2-1 at the Varsity to cut the lead to five points. The five points still remained with only three games to play but with Surrey on a winning streak which stretched back to 2008 and with Holloway faltering the teams remarkably went into the last day of the season level on points. However Holloway having the advantage of a better goal difference which meant that if they won on the last day Surrey would need to beat their result by eight goals. Surrey travelled to third from bottom Ewhurst with an attacking line up and were five goals in front by half time, however it was looking as if they would need at least an eleven goals win as news came

University of Surrey F.C. Reserves complete historic double
through that Holloway were winning their game 3-0 at half time. Surrey kept pushing for goals and eventually got nine without reply, three courtesy of striker Ben Redhead. The news then came through

that Holloway had thrown away a three goal lead at had lost 4-3 at Cranleigh meaning a win of any sort was enough to win the League for The University on a dramatic final day. Surrey had not topped the table all season but reached the summit at the perfect time to claim the title. On the Wednesday The Reserves chased a double, which even the most optimistic players would

have seen as highly unlikely event earlier in the season, in the Surrey Intermediate League Cup Final at Godalming Town, against Worplesdon Phoenix Reserves. The 2’s were much the better side throughout the game and had numerous chances in the first half to go in front. However the chances were not taken and The University suffered a setback on the hour mark when against the run of play Worplesdon went in front. Surrey didn’t panic and continued to play the better football which was eventually rewarded with a goal courtesy of midfielder Jack Nash who powered his way through the Phoenix defence before poking the ball past the keeper from ten yards. Surrey continued to have all the play and went in front when with ten minutes remaining when James Salmon looped a bouncing ball with his head into the corner of the net to give the striker his thirty second goal of the season and The University a deserved lead. Surrey came under some late pressure from Phoenix but managed to hold to complete an excellent double. Team captain’s Tom Dack and Jon Creswick lifted their second trophy of the week, and the Club’s third of the season after the 4’s won their BUCS League back in March. Congratulations to all of the 2’s players for a great season.

Rugby Star Johnny Wilkinson recieves honorary Doctorate from The University of Surrey
On the 3rd April 2009, England rugby star Johnny Wilkinson OBE, was awarded an honarary degree of Doctor. for his services to sport. Johnny, member of the english rugby team 2001-2003 said “It’s a real privilege for me and I do feel very honoured to have received an honorary degree from the University of Surrey. I missed out going to university, initially I had a place set for me but rugby took over. I’d always wished it was something I could do at that age.” To see Jonny being interviewed please visit:

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