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Students Left Exposed As Government Announces University Cutbacks
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usiness Secretary Lord Mandelson announced severe cutbacks last month in funding for universities as the Government attempts to ‘rebalance’ higher education budgets. Experts have criticised the reductions by identifying the growing competition for places at already oversubscribed universities. Public sector spending is a critical topic running up to this summer’s general election, and Mandelson’s announcement, he explained, will “spur to further diversifying funding of British universities.” Lord Mandelson declared budgets would be slashed by £135 million next year, on top of £180 million savings over the next 18 months, and a further £600 million cuts to be made from 2012, according to the Pre-Budget report. At a wider glance, public funding cuts would total £950 million between 2010 to 2013, ministers have said. The structure of British universities will fundamentally change as a result of these cuts, with departments expected to close, degree courses scrapped and the inevitable increase in tuition fees after this autumn’s student finance review. The Business Secretary told peers tighter budgets would “focus minds” on teaching and research quality. However, will quality improve, or will future students have to pay twice as much for tuition for the same standards in teaching? “Lord Mandelson has to understand that you do not just get more for less”, University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said in a statement. “Considering we already spend less that our competitor countries on higher education, few people will agree that slashing funding is the way to ensure the UK can retain, let alone improve, its world-class reputation.” Universities will be forced to find other sources of money. Unsurprisingly, Labour, as well as the Conservatives, are in support of the student finance review, which will inevitably declare an increase in tuition fees to somewhere between £5,000 and £7,000. This comes as fantastic news for universities, the majority of which have pursued higher fees ever since public sector cuts were accepted as an inevitable outcome for the next Government. However, the increase in tuition fees is only a solu-
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tion for the universities and the Government. Future students could be left exposed by the lack of guarantees to improve the quality in standards at British universities. Lord Mandelson said, “Universities are aware of the Government’s requirement for this rebalancing and for universities to grow their intake at a pace and on scale for which resources exist to support and we have always made that clear.” In an attempt to resolve oversubscribed universities, Mandelson explained universities would be fined for each student they took on this year above their set limits. Two-year “fast-track” degrees have been identified as another solution to this problem. However, critics are unconvinced that shorter courses hold the key for cramped universities. Professor Les Ebdon, vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University, described fast-track degrees as “tinkering at the edges” and Sally Hunt said Mandelson’s letter was a “kick in the teeth” for staff and students. Public sector cuts are inevitable following the Government’s mammoth expenditure during the recession. Savings will be made across the board, with universities and higher education likely to be hit hard. The question for students and professionals at academic institutions is: what will be the effect on quality of standards at universities? Higher tuition fees are unavoidable, which is a solution for university chiefs. By paying possibly more than double for tuition fees, will students see a greater quality of teaching and student support that justifies this increase? Gordon Brown and David Cameron would like to think so, while students and experts remain unconvinced.
Issue 14 I 8th February 2010 I www.thestagsurrey.co.uk
Hi Everyone, Happy New Year! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year! May I start by saying thank you to all of you who have submitted articles for this edition, as you can see, it’s another jam-packed edition and we really appreciate all the hard work that you put into your articles. So what’s happening in this issue? We understand that now is the time that many of you are searching for accommodation. With this in mind, we’ve provided you with a handful of information to ensure that this transition is as easy and safe for you as possible. Make sure you check this out on pages 6 & 7. If you’re having any problems regarding housing or would like to advertise for housemates, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Stag has a brand new website so make sure you check it out at www.thestagsurrey.co.uk for all the latest news and features. Feel free to discuss and leave comments on different articles – let us know what you like or don’t like! We’ll also be at Re-Freshers’ Fayre! So if you’d like to get involved or just fancy a chat come and visit us at Stall 16 on the dance floor! Are you interested in designing? The Stag is looking for new designers to help create the newspaper! If you’re interested get in touch at ussu. email@example.com or come and visit us at Re-Freshers’ Fayre! That’s all from us this fortnight, but make sure you check back with us in two weeks where you’ll have the chance to win Beach Break Live tickets! Until then, have a great couple of weeks and we hope you enjoy the issue!
In this issue... News Pages 3 - 7 Features Pages 8 - 23 Fashion I Page 11 Science I Pages 14 - 15 Health I Page 19 Societies Pages 24 - 31 Arts Pages 35 - 46 Music I Pages 35 - 37 Dance & Theatre I Pages 38 - 40 Film I Pages 41 - 43 Literature I Pages 44 - 46 Sports Pages 48 - 55
Editor I Sara Hadfield : firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor (Design) I Steff Lever : email@example.com Deputy Editor (Marketing) I Jack McWaters : firstname.lastname@example.org News I Ben Pook : email@example.com Features I Mariam Nasir : firstname.lastname@example.org Science I David Pugh : email@example.com Societies I Bakita Kasadha : firstname.lastname@example.org Music I Mark Allen : email@example.com Dance & Theatre I Rachel Gildea : firstname.lastname@example.org Literature I Eunice Njagi : email@example.com Film I Ollie Sim : firstname.lastname@example.org Sports I David Holt : email@example.com Copy Editor I Ankur Banerjee
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3 NUS Warns Fees Review Hearing That Students Will Not Pay More For Less
The National Union of Students (NUS) last week challenged universities to be clear about where the massive investment they have enjoyed from students’ pockets has gone as it gave evidence to the first public hearings of the independent review of student fees and higher education funding in Manchester. The session followed cross-examination of former Education Secretary Charles Clarke over the Government's top-up fees policy. NUS argued that universities must account for where the almost three-fold increase in funding has gone, given that student satisfaction has increased only marginally. The union also warned that a market in fees could re-open a two tier university system and, according to Government research, could limit access to non-traditional students. The president of the NUS Wes Streeting said, “Universities must be clear about where the massive investment they have enjoyed from students’ pockets has gone. Whilst fees have nearly trebled, overall student satisfaction has increased by just one per cent. Students cannot be expected to pay more for less.” “We believe allowing different institutions to charge different fees risks providing an elite system for the few who can afford it and a second-class experience for the many who cannot." A new report commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), The Role of Finance in the Decision-making of Higher Education Applicants and Students warns that a hike in fees and a market in fees between universities could risk further limiting the choice horizons of nontraditional students when they consider where to apply. "This Government report confirms that a hike in fees and real market in price between universities risk further limiting the choice horizon of non-traditional students when they consider where to apply. Such fee differentials could see poorer students priced out of more prestigious universities and therefore consigned to the bargain basement”, said Wes Streeting. "It is clear that earnings profiles for different subjects vary significantly, but it is also clear that earnings profiles vary significantly within certain subject areas. Any individual financial contribution should be based on genuine earnings after graduation and not hypothetical course prices based on unreliable and misleading estimates of earning power which amount to guess work. NUS accepts that any individual financial contribution to the costs of higher education should be based on outcomes, but these should be genuine financial outcomes." "NUS has outlined proposals for a graduate tax system that would ensure that those who earn more after university would make a greater financial contribution whilst also delivering additional income for the sector. Such a system is both a fair and sustainable alternative for the future funding of higher education."
Surreybucks: University Response
Ben also suggests that the success of these outlets should be “regulated by the student community” and that the SU should be “partly Ben Pook’s article in the last edition of The Stag (Issue 13) raises a responsible”. I agree that the Union should have a role to play, which number of challenges about the University’s decision to open a new was why it was involved in the creation of a campus wide retail stratStarbucks outlet in the Guildford School of Acting Building. He claims egy that aims to increase choice of all retail and catering services on the University has reduced the choice of coffee available to students campus. Additionally, the President of the Students’ Union sits on the and although he acknowledges that Starbucks has been very popular University’s Commercial Affairs Committee to ensure that the student and the only examples of customer feedback he is able to include are voice is heard when decisions are taken to introduce new outlets to positive, he still manages to conclude that the University is guilty of a campus. I also believe that students have a key role in regulating the success of the University’s trading outlets which are tested every time “shocking misjudgement of student welfare”. they open; so far Starbucks seems to be passing that test. As we have no record of his attempts to contact us, so the article does not include any balancing input from the University, I want to take this I understand that on issues such as coffee brands, opinions will alopportunity to respond to the points he raises. ways vary. I fully respect Ben’s personal opinions about the taste of Starbucks coffee and the University’s decision to open additional StarBefore the University opened its first Starbucks outlet, there were two bucks units. However, I do believe that these opinions should not providers of coffee on campus: the University itself and the Students’ be presented under the banner of “news”, especially in an article Union. The introduction of Starbucks increased choice and has proved containing factual errors and that fails to include a response from the enormously popular. We have further increased choice and competi- University. tion by extending the range of coffee available in the recently refurbished Hillside Restaurant and by the introduction of the Amigo store For students who prefer not to drink Starbucks coffee I am happy to which sells Costa Coffee. Ben’s argument that choice has been re- include a list of alternative providers on campus and hope they conduced since the introduction of Starbucks is simply wrong. tinue to enjoy the wide range of styles, flavours and prices available: Sorrento, Roots, The Living Room, Hillside, Chancellors, Wates House, Amigo, the library, the Varsity Centre and various vending machines. Dear Editor,
Policies and Hypocrisies: A Breakdown of Party Plans for Education
Ahead of the 2010 general election, News Editor Ben Pook takes a look at each party’s policies on higher education and explains what it could mean for you. The three main candidates don’t exactly paint a pretty picture of this summer’s decisive general election. Gordon Brown appears growingly uncomfortable around anyone under the age of 30, David Cameron insists in labelling the country ‘broken Britain’ (despite crime rates decreasing) and Nick Clegg continues to agonisingly fight for party recognition in a two horse race. Public interest in politics has hit a depressing low. A quarter of the population don’t like any of the parties; according to a recent NatCan survey only 56% of those surveyed said they thought it was everyone’s duty to vote. These shocking statistics represent a country tired of scandals, like the MP expenses, and fed up of the lack of substance in British politics. The Obama and McCain campaign is the most fascinating political debate I have ever followed. And this occurred during a time of economical unrest in the form of the worst global recession most have ever witnessed. The parties have no excuse for the lack of inspirational role models in British politics. Public disillusionment is the result of many disappointing errors. Aside from inspiration, the lack of knowledge is another barrier between potential voters and a polling card. Hopefully this brief rundown of party policies on higher education will substitute for the discouraging signs from Westminster. Liberal Democrats University for free: Liberal Democrats propose to scrap tuition fees. Yes, that means all full and parttime students taking their first degrees will not have to pay for their studies. “Liberal Democrats believe that a university education should be free and everyone who has the ability should be able to go to university and not be put off by the cost.” according to their policy report. this autumn, which will more than likely increase tuition fees. Although Cameron will offer bonuses for students who pay back their loan quickly, the emphasis remains on justifying the cost of university by improving quality. Our verdict: Disappointing news for future students, but is this a more realistic approach to managing the increasing costs faced by universities? Cameron also wants to improve the decisions made by students. “We are working on a website to provide people with much better information about the true costs and benefits of going to university”, says their policy report. Labour A helping hand: Labour will guarantee the minimum level of maintenance grant for 250,000 16-year-olds who choose to go into higher education. However, Lord Mandelson has recently announced severe cutbacks of £135 million for British universities, on top of the £180 million required savings over the next 18 months. This weakens its policy to “open or commit funding to 20 new university campuses over the next 6 years” according to its policy report. Labour will also support this autumn’s student finance review and inevitably increase tuition fees. Our verdict: We’re encouraged by the pledged support for families who can’t afford to pay the entire tuition costs, but overall will families be worse off due to the expected increase in fees? The emphasis remains on a ‘fair chance for everyone’ – will this be the end result considering the stern plan to claw back millions?
Our verdict: Fantastic news for students, but what does this mean for already oversubscribed universities? Clegg has faced questioning about his commitment to this policy after indicating it was a matter of “when we can afford to scrap tuition fees”, before later explaining in December 2009 that it will happen “over the course of the next six years” – expect tax increases, either way. Conservatives Justifying the cost: Conservatives have pledged to create 10,000 extra university places this year in an effort to reduce the burden placed on oversubscribed universities. Tories have also announced support for the student finance review
Vacant Desks In Library Frustrate Students
Several students choosing to revise for exams or complete coursework in the library have voiced their concerns about the number of idle desks and computers. Many students choose to occupy seating areas, including computer stations, only to neglect their desk for long periods of time, sometimes several hours. This has left floors practically half occupied in one of the busiest times of the academic year, as many students hunt endlessly for vacant desks. Some students insist on leaving their belongings on a desk despite leaving the library for several hours. This has left many students jockeying for positions on group desks and it’s only a mystery as to how violence or an exchange of words hasn’t broken out. Final year Business Management student Eamonn Armstrong said, “I’ve often turned up to the library to prepare for really important exams, only to find countless desks occupied by books, but with no presence of human life. Next time I’m going to leave one piece of paper and a pen the night before, and turn up the next day in the afternoon. This problem is getting a little out of hand.” This problem is very similar to the hotel sun bed saga, which plagues resorts across the globe. Some tourists deliberately wake up at unthinkable hours in the morning to occupy the ‘best spots’ by the pool, only to return after lunch. Other rational holiday goers are left in the shade among an outbreak of ‘empty’ sun beds. If you’re planning on leaving the library for a considerable amount of time, it should occur to you that another student might need to occupy your desk or computer. Please consider this before the library turns into a game of musical chairs.
Academic and work life at the University of Surrey was disrupted last month due to a substantial amount of snowfall on campus. Pavements and pathways were impassable after heavy snow fell across Surrey and areas of the United Kingdom on Tuesday 5th January. Enter our It snow joking matter photo contest and have your photograph shown in the next edition of The Stag. The best three photos will be shown with accreditation. Details below. The conditions had a severe effect on academic activities, which were cancelled or postponed to prevent students travelling on or around the area. Most coursework deadlines were extended, as the email accounts of students were flooded with University announcements. Measures by local councils to anticipate severe weather conditions and the general public’s reaction to the weather has been the topic of debate ever since the first few hours of snowfall. Did local councils react fast enough and were there sufficient resources in place to manage the conditions? Also, did the general public overreact to what is an unsurprising effect of winter weather? In the days after the initial snowfall, the University Estates and Facilities Management began clearing snow from vital pathways and pavements on campus to prevent the build up of ice. Furthermore, brave staff responsible for administration tasks and general management turned up to work and kept the basic essential functions of the University running. What did you think of the University’s reaction to the conditions? Also, take a look at photographs of the snow on campus in the Society section of this newspaper. To enter our It snow joking matter photograph contest, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographers of all shapes and sizes are welcome. The best three photographs by separate individuals will be shown in the next edition of The Stag. Good luck!
Snow Grounds University To A Halt
Are YOU Protected?
Top Tips for House-hunters
1. Are you protected? By law the landlord must by law place your deposit in a protected scheme (see main article for more information). 2. Do NOT give any money over till the contract has been signed. No money should ever cross hands until a contract is signed. If a landlord tried to get you to do this, run a mile. 3. Is there heating? It is not a legal requirement for housing to have central heating. Don’t get burned, make sure central heating is available otherwise you’ll have a very cold revision period in January. 4. Is the landlord on the accredited list? Guildford Borough Council last year passed a motion proposed by the Liberal Democrat group to introduce an accredited list of student landlords. Although the list is in its infancy, asking landlords whether they are on it gives it publicity and allows the good landlords to seek more information about how to get on it. 5. Is the landlord blacklisted by the university? There are some landlords who have caused difficulty for student tenants. The university will not allow such landlords to advertise through the accommodation office. There is no harm in speaking to the accommodation office to make sure the landlords you are speaking to are not on that blacklist. 6. View the property. A picture speaks a thousand words, whereas seeing the property will let you see first-hand if there are any problems or issues to look out for. Often the landlords will leave it to the current student tenants to conduct the viewing – ask them if they experienced any problems during the year. 7. Shop around and be patient! Don’t panic. The wrong decision will leave you stuck in substandard accommodation for a whole year. Make sure you are absolutely happy with the property before you sign on the dotted line. “In Guildford, residents expect students to care for their community, so it is only right that in return their community cares for them.”
Students need to be made more aware of their rights when it comes to dealing with unscrupulous negligent landlords, argues local councillor Chris Ward as Guildford Liberal Democrats launch their student housing campaign: ARE YOU PROTECTED?. Since I introduced a motion to Guildford Borough Council to create an accredited landlord list, many students and worried parents have got in touch with me revealing how endemic dereliction and negligence towards student properties has become. My intention with this campaign is to promote the landlords that look after students and drive out those that don’t. This will form a key tenet of the Lib Dem general election campaign, because we know how important the quality of student housing is both to residents and to students. In Guildford, residents expect students to care for their community, so it is only right that in return their community cares for them. When signing a contract for a house, in most cases the landlord will request that you put down a deposit (usually the equivalent of one-and-a-half months rent). This would be held by the landlord till the end of the year and any damage occurred to the property or its contents laid out in the inventory (e.g. furniture, kitchen utensils, etc), the landlord would take out the relevant amount of money from the deposit and you would get the remainder back. Whilst I believe that most landlords are honourable and have only deducted from deposits where there was genuine reason to do so, a substantial number did not. The issue is that students who had been wronged by these landlords didn’t have the money or resources to challenge it legally, so the landlord always won. This changed recently when a new law came in insisting that landlords place tenancy deposits in a protected scheme. What this meant was that at the end of the year, if the landlord wants to take any money out of your deposit, they must write to the scheme explaining what he/she wishes to take out and why. The scheme will then seek your agreement to the deductions. Where a dispute arises, the rest of the deposit is released to you and the disputed amount retained by the scheme (and not the landlord) until a decision is made on the dispute. Essentially, this law has given some power back to the students and has made it near impossible for bad landlords to cut chunks out of your deposit for little or no reason. ARE YOU PROTECTED? is not just a campaign title, it is a question that should be at the back of your mind whether you’re signing a tenancy or are already in one. The landlord must protect your deposit by law. If you’re already living in rented accommodation and the landlord has failed to protect your deposit, you are eligible to threetimes the value of your deposit in compensation from the landlord. I am willing to bet that the landlords who fail to protect your deposits are likely to be the ones ignoring their other legal obligations to students as well, so by asking this question you are helping us drive out the landlords in Guildford who find it profitable to be negligent to students. Once this law was introduced, some landlords stopped taking deposits and instead started charging a £150 “administratration/inventory fee”. In my opinion, these landlords are likely the ones who always saw tenancy deposits from students as a means of paying for Christmas. I suggest avoiding them. At least with a deposit you can be sure that if you leave the house in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the tenancy, you will get your money back.
“If you’re already living in rented accommodation and the landlord has failed to protect your For many of you, this will be the first time you have gone searching for a deposit, you are eligible to three-times the rented property and it is a very daunting experience. Landlords may make out value of your deposit in compensation from to you that you need to sign a tenancy agreement immediately otherwise you the landlord.”
may not find a place at all. Of course, it is in their interest to secure tenants as soon as they can. Whilst there is an element of truth in the idea that the demand for houses close to the university is high, many of these houses have been left in an awful state, deteriorating over time. The location may be great but it’s not so worth it if the property is cold, damp and mouldy with parts of the wall and ceiling falling to bits. Don’t let your desperation to find and secure a house blind you to problems you will be stuck with for an entire year. The most important thing to do is to view the property and ask the right questions. When it comes to student tenancies, the landlord will often leave it to the current student tenants to conduct the viewing. Ask them about any problems they have had over the year – you’ll be surprised at how honest they will be. If you are currently living off-campus in rented accommodation and find yourself conducting one of these viewings, have no qualms about being honest. It is neither your legal obligation or responsibility to sell the house on behalf of the landlord. At this point you’ll be interested in how much the rent and deposit are, along with any other costs the landlord might want to attach. Get this in writing from the landlord or agency. I have known students that have been stung by landlords who have told them verbally that the rent is a lot cheaper than it ended up being on paper. In fact, if you can, get as much of your correspondence from the landlord on writing as possible – it means contradictions can be dealt with using hard evidence. If in doubt, ask people like myself or the accommodation office whether costings are legitimate or required. The final point is signing the contract. Don’t forget to read the whole thing, no matter how long or boring it may seem – the devil is in the detail and you need to make sure you are signing up to a fair and legitimate tenancy. Once again, there are people around to give you advice if you need it.
Searching for a house
Once a tenancy is signed, the landlord has a legal obligation to provide you with the keys to the property and for the property to be in an acceptable condition from the date the tenancy begins. If the house is not ready, the landlord is breaking the contract and you should seek advice. Once you have the keys and the tenancy has begun, you need to make sure the house is in the condition you would expect to find it. If you find any part of the rooms unclean or in a state of disrepair, take photos and send them immediately to the landlord (this means that you will have made the landlord aware of the problem and you will also have pictorial evidence should the finger be pointed at you at the end of the tenancy). You will typically be given an inventory, which is a list of contents in the house provided by the landlord. You should go through the inventory and check nothing is missing or damaged. If it is, report it to the landlord and request that either the items be replaced or the inventory amended. If you don’t do this, the landlord may be able to accuse you at the end of the tenancy for the loss or damage. Only sign the inventory once you are happy that it is an accurate reflection of the contents within the property. Don’t forget to take down the meter readings, preferably taking a photograph to be sure.
Extent of negligence towards student properties uncovered
Since I proposed my motion to Guildford Borough Council a while back, the amount of casework I have received as your local councillor both from students and worried parents has shown to me how bad the problem is. I knew there were issues, but I never expected to be told about dead rats inside walls and baths held together by duct tape. If you have any problems whilst renting in the private sector, please do not suffer in silence. It’s my job and the responsibility of my colleagues to ensure you are represented in the town. If you feel your house is uninhabitable then let me know and I will do everything I can to help. Any approach you make to myself regarding problems with housing is kept entirely confidential and I will try to advise. If you require specialist advice, I will try and point you in the right direction as to where to find it. Also, always remember that as students you have a Union that looks after your welfare and your rights. I talk regularly with the sabbaticals at USSU, and they will be more than happy to listen to what you have to say and point you in the right direction.
“It is against the law for a landlord to enter your property without giving you 24 hours written notice, except in an absolute emergency”
Living in the property
For the entirety of the year the house may be owned by the landlord, but it is your home and there are various rights given to you as tenants. One common complaint is that some landlords turn up and demand entry (or even let themselves in) without notice. Regardless of the contract, it is against the law for a landlord to enter your property without giving you 24 hours written notice, except in an absolute emergency. Report all problems to the landlord as soon as you find them, as this will ensure you get the fastest response in resolving them. It is their legal responsibility to fix problems with the property and you should seek advice either from the university or the housing department at Guildford Borough Council if you experience any continuous problems with this.
“This will form a key tenet of the Lib Dem general election campaign, because we know how My contact details are on the Guildford Borough Council website, but I can be contacted via email at email@example.com and on Facebook at www. important the quality of student housing is both to residents and to students.” facebook.com/christopher.j.ward.
The Importance of Procrastination
by Stephanie Davies We’ve all been there: the deadline for the essay is fast approaching, and our word count is lower than the predicted sales of Jedward’s first single. Instead of buckling down and finishing what needs to be done, we suddenly realise that our rooms are in desperate need of a tidy, or that we have neglected Facebook for four minutes too long. Alas, procrastination is a universal human student condition. But I’m here to say that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s rational for us to avoid tasks that make us uncomfortable and favour those that offer instant gratification. Admittedly, procrastination seems a little counterintuitive – the very definition of the word means that we’re not doing what we “should” be doing – but strictly speaking, it’s impossible to avoid procrastination, as there are always a million other things that you could be working on at any time. The trick is to choose one type of procrastination above another. Procrastination can be split into three types, depending on what is being worked on instead of a particular task. The individual could work on: (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. Good procrastination would mean avoiding pointless errands to do real work. But real procrastination is so much more fun. As a general rule, human beings find it difficult to work on a particular problem when they don’t enjoy it. This is why procrastination can seem so appealing. As an example, at the time I began writing this article, I was procrastinating in a typical type-(b) scenario. I could have been studying for my exam (c: something more important, which is less enjoyable) or taking a nap (a: nothing, which is more enjoyable). It’s interesting that I started this article in an effort to ease my study woes, and then found that it in itself had become a task worthy of evading. Now that I’m approaching a 2500 word essay on Chekhov, I find that, curiously, my priority returns here. My thoughts turn to Hamlet. He was a terrible procrastinator, and yet he remains one of literature’s most quoted and revered protagonists! So the question again remains, to (b) or not to (b)? Wow, that was bad. Sorry.
Some tasks go away if you ignore them thoroughly enough. If you leave your dishes in the sink, eventually someone else will do them. But procrastination should never be confused with denial. If you leave off paying your rent, the situation is not likely to improve. Occasionally you may be faced with the sensation that others are working much harder and more productively than yourself. They aren’t. All over the globe, people are putting the kettle on, or updating Twitter, or watching endless repeats of Spongebob Squarepants – anything to avoid the task at hand. We need the worthless things as much as we need the worthwhile. Most of all, what we need is a ready-made excuse for a poor mark, as we eventually face the consequences of our inactions. “I didn’t finish it until the last minute!”
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“Penny for your thoughts, but a dollar for your insides”
Happy New Year student body! This is your not currently caped crusader welcoming you back to campus. Well when I say welcoming you back to campus what I mean is I hope you are begrudgingly back in Guildford and that I’m welcoming you ‘in spirit’. As for me, currently I’m wishing you a happy new year from my hometown where I’ve spent the last three days waiting for the snow to melt. The snow and ice which has unfortunately succeeded in freezing my driveway, turning the simple task of going out to see friends into a near death-defying stunt. My solution is simple: sit inside wrapped in blankets and let everyone else worry about travel arrangements. I don’t remember exactly who I quote a comedian who once said “You know you have truly reached adulthood after a blizzard. And in the morning when you look out of your window the first thoughts that come into your head are no longer a combination of ‘sledging’, ‘snowmen’, ‘igloos’ and ‘snowball fights’. But instead those thoughts have been replaced by ‘Hmm, this is going to cause me severe travelling difficulties’.” I do find, however that when snow falls we find ourselves presented with an unprecedented opportunity to show off our Good Samaritan side. For instance a friend of mine was telling me about how on what he called ‘Blizzard Tuesday’, his younger brother was caught while leaving the cinema in town. Rather than wait for the snow to stop or for a bus (unknowing they had all been cancelled) he decided to walk the eight and a half miles home. Now apparently (without trying to make this sound like an old wives tale) on the country road home he came across three cars stuck in snow drifts. After helping each of the owners free their snow-banked vehicles he ended up with twenty quid, a walking stick, a free hot chocolate and a free pint at the local pub. Now being 15 the free pint wasn’t of much use to Cameron but you get my point. If you happen to see anyone trip over on the ice, after taking a few moments to stop laughing make sure they haven’t knocked themselves out. I doubt you’ll get twenty quid out of them, unless you’ve seen the Dean of the university fall over, but you might get a thanks. Or if fairy tales actually come true you’ll help up the future love of your life and live happily ever after! Now on a slightly less serious note I need to talk to you all about the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Whilst on one of my very few journeys out of the house the past week I accompanied my father to the local supermarket to do the weekly shop (yes I was that bored) and found the entire place at a standstill. Irate customers
lined the aisles, the only people able to move at more than a shuffle were the small screaming children that were running amok everywhere. Not to mention the majority of staff looked as if they had lost the will to live long ago. It was halfway through this trip that my father remarked “Sh*t it’s like Night of the Living Dead in here!” This of course tripped another of my daydreams, leading away from exactly which type of bread I was supposed to be getting and put me another train of thought. What exactly would happen if the supermarket inhabitants were the freshly undead straight out of a Romero movie? I couldn’t help but picture the scene, shrieking customers being hunted through the car park by the bloody trolley boy. Survival of the fittest in the middle of fresh foods. Never had a steeper price been paid for short-changing a customer than having a full grown man rip the arm of a cashier off and feast on it. No longer were the old ladies fighting over the last tins of whatever peas pudding is, but were hauling themselves after the unfortunate teenagers hanging around outside. Those few remaining souls with the sense to have watched Resident Evil flooding to the gardenware aisle to arm themselves with the various garden forks, shovels – and in the luckier situations – the hedge trimmer. Surely everyone has their own contingency plan of ‘What are we going to do when zombies overrun the country?’ I mean apart from laughing like a maniac and grabbing the nearest golf club. If not I suggest you run to the bookshop and pick up a copy of The Zombie Survival Guide! Okay, so it is possible I have played the ‘Nazi zombie level’ on Call of Duty One too many times, but my point stands. Thankfully word has reached my ears of a new society that has just received its ratification. The aptly named University of Surrey Zombie Society will serve as our first line of defence in World War Z. Criticise if you will but when the day comes that the dead do rise from the grave, chances are you’ll be begging them to save you. Or maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to die quickly – I don’t know. The moral of the story, children, is that you shouldn’t forget these smaller societies. Chances are if there’s a big enough Facebook group to support the cause there has definitely been consideration for it. Even if it is simply to meet like minded people, no matter how abstract the premise of the society. How else will we ever decide if ninjas are better than pirates? Personally, I can’t wait for the Gil Grissom Appreciation Society. Anyone? Just another thought from me then. Until next time, Campus Boy
WARNING*- If you are one of those people who easily gets offended and emotional and suffers from high blood pressure, depression and has suicidal thoughts often, this is for you.
What The Funk Is Twitter?
I should think at least over 85% (made-up statistic) of university students as well as staff have a Facebook account. I have been on Facebook at least for four years now, and have seen it evolve into something I never saw it to become. I am probably ranting at the recent changes in privacy settings Mark Zuckerburg decided to alter. Yes if you did not know it by now, everyone can now see what your posts onto someone else’s wall unless you set it to 'private'.
Twitter began with a simple premise (as most genius ideas do). A fellow named Jack Dorsey simply wanted to know what his friends were doing. Since then, it’s exploded into much more than a series of status updates. It’s now a forum for micro-blogging. Twitter’s usage has grown to around 75 million users, boosting it into second place amongst social networking sites, lagging only behind Facebook. For me, two aspects of Twitter set it apart from others: simplicity and authenticity. A post on Twitter is known as a 'tweet' (cute, I know) and tweets are limited to 140 characters (not unlike your 160 character text messages). They can accept hyperlinks and they can be tagged with the @ symbol to direct them to a specific Twitter user ('tweep'?) or with the # symbol to make them easily searchable. That’s it. What’s all the talk about then? Okay, so there is still a slight hype as to what Twitter is. Most people have left the Stone Age and caught up with the rest of us. However the majority are still stuck in the frenzy of ‘I don’t know how it works’, get in the programme. Well I think it is safe for me to say we were all born learners.
So I was on the trail of saying we were all born learners and no one was a master of Facebook. Twitter is not paying me to say this but it is the fastest news source in the world and provides great networking. Most news channels use Twitter to report all of their big stories. So if no one has told you about the joys of Twitter I will. The best one is that all your A-list celebs are on it. Just search for their Twitter page and follow them. Now by saying follow them you are probably confused and you probably think ‘stalker’. So I will explain what that is later on. For most fans or admirers of certain celebrities the closest you will even get to them is probably Twitter. At the moment the only ‘big star’ following me is Tpain but I have other friends like Che’nelle and Alison Hinds. I recall getting a tweet from Flo-Rida and The Game who asked me who the girl in my profile picture was. (For the record I replied telling him she was not ready to be a video girl – he never got back.)
Do you ever get those people in your Facebook updates that are always updating their statuses like every 5-10 minutes (slight exaggeration)? Tell them to join Twitter because of what it can do for them. So how it works is that it allows you to relate to others – simple. You follow others whose feed updates (tweets) you’d like to see. If others want to see your Tweets, they’ll follow you. I often hear the tweeting erroneously dismissed as little more than a glorified status update. Rather than post droll details about mundane daily tasks, Twitter users tend to share interesting links, innovative thoughts, carry on authentic discussions, and live-blog events. So at this stage you might be still confused or inspired to join Twitter. Maybe you might be thinking it is ultimate vanity that someone would actually care what you were doing at the moment, as though you were important enough to make people stop what they were doing to grab on to your latest train of disorganised thought. You would be surprised. It is just another social networking site. On March 28th 2010 I celebrate my one year anniversary on Twitter. Follow me at twitter.com/decap88 and let me know if you read this and joined it. I will tweet back. Happy Tweeting. by Don Decaprivano
Nibbles & Networking
Come along to SCEPTrE’s networking event for the chance to talk to a range of local businesses over coffee and cake… Have you ever thought about the benefits that networking could bring to you? Networking is an invaluable skill for anyone and an opportunity to practice these skills is not one to be missed! Whether you are looking to make some business contacts for your future career or simply to get some practice, this event is for YOU! HOW IT WORKS We are aiming for 1:1 ratio of students to employers, ensuring that each of you will be able to get some great networking practice in. The evening will begin with two short talks on communicating via social media and marketing through web technologies. In order to get the conversation flowing between you and the employers, we are setting up the remainder of the evening in an open exhibition format, with students giving presentations on the latest web 2.0 technologies. This informal and relaxed environment, complimented by the list of networking tips that we will provide you with, will guarantee that you are perfectly equipped to begin your networking, and really show your stuff!...and yes, the all important nibbles will be provided! WHEN & WHERE • • • HOW Tickets are available to all students, and cost £2, which will be refunded to you at the event. Please purchase your tickets from the SCEPTrE office (05 AC 01).
FOR MORE INFO GO TO WWW.CO-LAB.EU
Lecture Theatre Concourse Thursday 25th February 6-8pm
Tell us your story – SPLASH Digital Storytelling project 2010
Would you like to develop valuable digital media skills AND be paid for your time and effort? Would you like to learn how to create your own digital story? Do you have an interesting story to share about your time at university or about a specific event from which you have learned something? Some ideas / examples of possible topics for your stories: • • • Settling in to university life / the life changing experience of coming to university A moment when the penny dropped – it all came together! A particular aspect of your studies or an event that you feel would be of specific interest and / or relevance to other students, such as a work placement See www.storyshare.net (created by SCEPTRE) for examples from Surrey
SPLASH is putting together some resources that will be made available online to new students, and your story could be part of this. We would like to receive your expressions of interest in the form of a summary of your story idea in no more than 150 words to be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 12th February
Stories can be generally university related or specific to your course BUT they must all demonstrate learning in one sense or another. The SPLASH team
Hi my darling! How you’ve been? In the first place I hope you had the best holidays ever and at the same time I would love to wish you a fantastic New Year! Christmas and New Year’s Eve were both amazingly fun! We’ve all enjoyed our time and because we love partying now it’s time to celebrate love. To my mind, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve found or not your soul mate. You can always be in love with your life, isn’t it? And even though I don’t know how much do you agree with me I still believe you should enjoy Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going out with your boyfriend/girlfriend you have to look magnifique !
1. Twist & Lock Clutch, New Look, 6 (was £12.00) 1. Twist & Lock Clutch, New Look, £6 (was £12.00) 2. Cade Platform Ankle Boot, Missguided, £31.99 3. Red Bold Shoulder Cap Dress, Desire Clothing, £14 4. Bead Hoop Earrings, New Look, £2.50 (was £5) 5. Gold Freshwater Pearl and Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings, H Samuel, £19.99 6. Juliana Jersey Dress with Chain Detail Shoulders in Red, Missguided, £22.99 7. Secret Platform Shoes, Topshop, £65 (£58.5 with Student Discount) 8. Lipsy Zip Eyelet Bag, Oli.co.uk, £25 9. Appache Applique Flat Clutch Bag, French Connection, £50 (£45 with Student Discount) 10. Savannah Plain Court Shoes, Topshop, £60 (£54 with Student Discount) 11. Red Gathered V Front Boobtube Dress, Desire Clothing, £25 12. Pewter Leather Jewel Statement Earrings, Talullah Tu, £18
to a complete halt, the festival which grew from humble roots to being voted Best Small Festival and Best Promoter at the 2010 Virtual Festival Awards has now found the perfect home. Just a hop skip and a jump over sand dunes there will be all manner of aquatic and sand related tomfoolery from lying prostrate and doing absolutely nothing to kite boarding, land sailing and windsurfing. Think Thai style beach parties, sand castle building, BBQ’s, tentative toe paddling, Cafe Del Mar chill out action, cocktail supping and of course the obligatory British human lobster impression making! And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Beach Break Live is proud to announce a whole load of hair- raising extras. On top of the 8 miles of white beach, and acres of forest the new site also boasts a 130m floodlit dry ski slope offering Snowboard or ski lessons and student friendly ‘cheap as chips’ board and boot hire, one of the biggest toboggan runs in Europe, the ‘Go Ape’ in the trees woodland adventure playground extravaganza, horse riding, surfing, wind sports, Sphere Mania, coasteering and even more soon to be announced! Watch this space! Other handsome extras include some of 2009’s favourite venues, including the mighty Main Stage, the infamous party palace that is the Residential Dance Home, the Bass Busting Dance Tent, the Ridiculously Hot Tubs, the Camped Up Camp Fire and Chai Wallah’s to name a few. Of course we couldn’t forget the infamous Moustache Bar where facial hair is not only recommended but essential! The Beach Break ethos is a fair approach to the local community and ticket holders. Whether it’s running buses from universities to reduce carbon emissions, or working with the local community, suppliers, businesses and charities, BBL works to contribute to the local surroundings and the people they share it with! Early bird tickets sold out in record time but full price tickets are now available forthe student friendly price of £89 per person with affordable boutique camping options available to those who fancy ‘splashing out.’ See you on the sand and in the sun! Visit www.beachbreaklive.com for more info.
Fire up the trumpets and give the drummer a nudge. After more than four years of scouring the UK coastline in search of the perfect home, the mammoth hunt is over and the UK’s biggest student festival Beach Break Live is proud to present Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire, South Wales as their brand spanking new home! After triumphing against all odds in 2009 after losing the license for their sellout festival site in Cornwall with just 6 days to go, BBL refused to be defeated and moved the entire festival to Kent. The BBL family has now moored on Welsh sands, unpacked their bags and are here to stay. Nestled behind the silky dunes of the award winning Cefn Sidan Sands beach, and flanked by 2,000 acres of stunning forestry, the breath taking new site has it all. The beach is recognized to be one of Europe’s most beautiful and boasts 8 glorious miles of pristine white sand set against the backdrop of the Gower Penisnsula. The search has finally ended and the BBL team has uncovered the most spectacular festival location on planet earth! “We’ve been able to scour the UK’s coast line to find the perfect permanent home for the event,” says Ian Forshew, the event organiser. “Students asked for an event ‘As close to a beach as possible’, with ‘beautiful surroundings’, ‘hidden areas’, ‘stages on the sand’ and ‘good sound levels’. At Pembrey Country Park we can give them all that.” Growing from just 1000 students in its first year to 5000 in its second and 10000 in its third, 2010 will see a whopping 17,500 UK students flock to the Welsh coast in their masses for three days of sun, sea, sand, surf and music. With its dazzling new site, a huge line up soon to be announced (past years have seen the likes of Dizzee Rascal, The Wombats, Friendly Fires, The Zutons, Mystery Jets, The Enemy) and a scramble for early bird tickets so furious it ground the ticketing system
BEACH BREAK LIVE ANNOUNCES BRAND NEW FESTIVAL HOME 14th-18th JUNE 2010 PEMBREY COUNTRY PARK, SOUTH WALES LINE UP TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON www. beachbreaklive. com
Tickets to Beach Break Live... Only in the next editon of The Stag out on the 22nd February!
14 David Pugh, your friendly neighbourhood Science Editor, is currently in training to run six miles (approximately
A Scientist’s Guide To Relationships
10km). Further than he has ever run in his whole life put together! He is braving the cold, moist, dark, horrible conditions of the Guildford roads every morning to train and raise money for Sport Relief, helping some of the most needy people in the UK and Africa. He will be running on March 21st, from Surrey Sports Park, please sponsor him and brighten up his day at mysportrelief.com/davidpugh your donation will give a dangerously unfit individual a bit more motivation in his daily battle with the carbs! Thank you!
vent interbreeding (as similar scents would suggest similar genetics), of which these days the odds are pretty low. PHYSICISTS SAY: Try to apply the laws of thermodynamics; they’ve served us pretty well in everything else, why not in love? The first law: “The change in a system's internal energy is equal to the difference between heat added to the system from its surroundings and work done by the system on its surroundings.” Meaning that any changes in the energy of your relationship are due to a change in heat or work. The second law: “It is impossible for a process to have as its sole result the transfer of heat from a cooler body to a hotter one.” Meaning that when you’re cuddling, it’s not just to keep warm, there’s got to be something else to it. The third law: “As a system approaches absolute zero, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value.” Meaning that your relationship will be most orderly whilst you are in cooler climates. MATHEMATICIANS SAY: You can calculate it all, and then present it in simple statistics! According to a 2008 poll in the UK: 92% consider themselves heterosexual, 4% homosexual, 2% bisexual, 2% don’t know. The average age at which people lost their virginity was 16.5 years. The average number of sexual partners in a lifetime is 8.8 The average number of times people have sex in a month is 6.7 The average length of a relationship in London and the south east is 11.5 years, compared to the national average of 14.6 People in the 65+ age group are more satisfied with their sex life than those in the 16-24 group. If you would like to calculate the answer to relationship questions like “Should we get married?” and “Will it last?”, look up geeklogik.blogspot.com for easy to use formulae on the subject. And so our journey through the scientific analysis of relationships is done, but I’m not too sure how much of this can be practically applied. Perhaps the scientists don’t quite have it all worked out on this front… Have a happy Valentine's Day anyway, and be sure use the day as an opportunity to hug your favourite scientist!
by Sophie Bryant
Here comes February, and with it a flood of flowers, cards, chocolates and tiny teddy bears clutching hearts into every shop in town. Valentine's Day always produces mixed responses, from the die-hard romantics to the resolute cynics, so this seems like an appropriate time to consider our romantic quests from an objective, scientific point of view. CHEMISTS SAY: It’s all about hormones, chemicals our bodies secrete in order to regulate a huge variety of processes in the body. Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but it is also secreted in women. Its structure is classed as a steroid – a group of drugs which promote protein synthesis. Men who have quite high levels of testosterone have been found to be more attracted to feminine faces. Women with higher testosterone levels are, conversely, more attracted to very masculine looking men. Oestrogen is the female equivalent, causing thickening of the womb lining and increased vaginal secretions. It is also present in men, where it contributes to sperm production – without it they are infertile. The female contraceptive pill is a mix of hormones, including oestrogen, which together prevent the release of an egg, thus preventing pregnancy. Particularly in females, hormones naturally cycle, and this affects the type of mate you are attracted to. Close to ovulation, women are more attracted to masculine men, who have stronger genes. In non-fertile parts of the cycle they prefer softer, more feminine features, as these men are perceived to be better at helping to raise children. BIOLOGISTS SAY: Do it to propagate your genes! Just find somebody biologically suited to you. Since the main function of relationships is to procreate, our bodies have inbuilt strategies to ensure we find a mate who will give healthy, strong offspring, and hopefully even stick around to care for them. Women are the pickier ones since their opportunities to reproduce are more limited (they release around 400 eggs in their entire reproductive lifetime, compared to men’s 300 million sperm released in just one ejaculation). However men are also influenced by the desire not to have too many children to help care for, and so would rather ‘invest’ in fewer, better mates. Women are attracted to wealth (or those who they perceive to “have the ability to acquire wealth”), while men favour a low waist-to-hips ratio, and both sexes value intelligence. One of the biological factors affecting mate selection is scent, as this is said to give an indication of the immune system of your prospective partner. Studies have found that while ordinarily women are attracted to men whose immune system is different to theirs (in order to give the best combination of immunities to their offspring), when they are on the pill, they will choose those with similar immune systems. However, this shouldn’t worry those of you taking the pill – scent based partner choice evolved long ago, when the circle of potential mates you met would have been much smaller. The role of this was probably to pre-
by Chris Poll
Jim Al-Khalili Under The Spotlight
to go to airports and say “We’re BBC” and they just take you through to business class. The novelty wore off a bit but it is very different to university life so I find it a complete contrast. I love performing, I love standing in front of the camera and waving my arms about and talking about stuff. You’re making a new TV programme Elements a history of chemistry. Can you tell us a little about that? Yes, it’s due to come out some time next spring hopefully. Again, it’s a three part series. It’s essentially the sequel to my Atom series. In Atom I talk about the building blocks of everything and what they look like inside. In Elements I talk about how all the atoms fit together. Everyone asks me “You’re a physicist, why are you doing a series about chemistry?” Well, it’s all science, chemistry hasn’t been told before and actually there are some very fascinating stories there. You also have another upcoming program ‘Genius of Britain’ with David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking. Have you met them yet and if so, what are the like out of the media spotlight? The only one of them I know well is Richard Dawkins; I’ve met him on several occasions. He is not like his public persona; people think of him as being this hard-line atheist, really not getting on with people. In real life he’s nothing like that, he’s a real sweetie. David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking I’ve met once or twice. David Attenborough, I remember, was sitting in the audience of a lecture I gave a couple of years ago, that was quite scary, seeing David Attenborough in the audience and thinking “Oh crikey!” But, for this series the different presenters have been tending not to be filming on the same day, we’re shooting our bits separately so we haven’t really overlapped. Can you give us any more information on this programme? When can we expect to see it on television? It’s due to be completed sometime in the spring, so I imagine [it will be on TV in] the summer or maybe the second half of next year. It’s for Channel 4. It’s had various production delays, for instance Stephen Hawking, who is narrating it, was unwell a few months ago and that delayed the process. It’s meant to be about the history of British science. Do you still manage to find time to keep up with doing research with these television commitments, or has it taken a backseat? Inevitably yes. If I compare myself to some of my colleagues here at the university who don’t have the different strands to their jobs that I do, they can spend more time doing research. My work comes in fits and starts so throughout the last 12 months I’ve been writing a book, I’ve done 3 television series, a radio series for BBC World Service, and so I’ve very little time to do anything else. But now I’m back at the university, I’m teaching again and I’ve got more time to do research. It comes and goes; there are periods where I am away filming a lot and there are periods that are quieter where I can get back into my research and get stuck into publishing some papers. So, would you say you prefer carrying out your research or doing your media work? That’s a difficult question, the honest answer is that I love both; I wouldn’t want either one to sacrifice the other. I couldn’t see myself just doing research and not telling the world about it, that would just bore me to tears, but on the other hand I could not stand just moving more into television and only being a presenter. Heaven forbid I might turn into Richard Hammond or something like that! I don’t want to just talk about the science other people are doing, there is a sort of credibility issue, I want to show that I am still doing that science. So, I like dong both and I like swapping between the two, it’s the finding the balance which is the difficult thing. If you hadn’t gone into a career in science, what other kinds of career could you have seen yourself taking? Given that I decided I wanted to pursue science from my early to mid teens, from the age of fourteen, I’d have to go back and say from before I focussed on science I would have played for Leeds United FC, I would have been lead guitarist for a famous rock group [Jim laughs], what else do fourteen-year-old boys want to do? The other disciplines I love are archaeology; I love marine biology, these sort of exotic things. Again, they are very much linked with science. I cannot imagine myself doing something that does not involve learning stuff, finding out about stuff, solving mysteries, cracking puzzles, that sort of thing. If it wasn’t physics I suspect it would be another area of science. To finish the interview, I have a couple of fun questions for you. Firstly, If you could work with any scientist, past or present, who would it be? I would like to work with one of the great pioneers of quantum mechanics. Some of them are well known, some of them aren’t. People like Niels Bohr, Heisenberg, or Paul Dirac. These were geniuses at the beginning of the 20th century and I reckon if I was around then, mixing it with these guys, I think life would have been very exciting, in the science world. Finally, which is your favourite particle and why? My favourite particle, with a little bit of thought, would probably be the neutrino. There are so many of them around and yet they are so hard to catch, people can’t really study them very easily because it’s very hard to get hold of them in a detector. Neutrinos are vital, they don’t do that much, there’s a lot of them around and they seem like fun particles. All the other particles are very serious and have very serious jobs to do but neutrinos don’t seem to give a shit, they come and go as they please. It would be great, I think, to be a neutrino. Jim’s latest series ‘Chemistry: A Volatile History’ can be seen on BBC Four, Thursdays at 21:00 or on the BBC iPlayer.
I recently met with television star and University of Surrey lecturer Professor Jim Al-Khalili to discuss his experiences in working with science in the media, his upcoming television programmes and his desire to play for Leeds United Football Club. A lot of people know you for your work with science in the media as well as your work in physics, how did you first get into science communication from research? It started slowly; I started giving talks to local schools when I was a young researcher, before I became a lecturer. I was already at Surrey University but I started giving popular science talks to schools in the Guildford area and I’d write the odd article for magazines. Could you give any advice to the readers on how to get into science communication? Well, the first thing to say is that I believe science communication is vitally important. Not everyone should do it, not everyone can do it, but I think far more scientists and engineers should talk about their work than do now because we have an obligation to tell the public what we do and how their money is being spent. My advice to people is start slowly, don’t jump straight in and neglect other aspects of what you’re doing; if you’re a student still studying or a postgraduate doing research for your PhD still focus on that. Try and dabble in it slowly, try and maintain a balance. Do you find your get recognised more outside of your immediate scientific community following your appearances on television? Yes, but not to any sort of unmanageable proportion. I will get stopped in the street or on a train maybe once a week, or once a fortnight. It’s not that wherever I go people are staring at me, it’s BBC4 most of my documentaries go on, so it’s not mainstream and it’s nice to be like that. I was walking though Euston Station last week and I heard someone say “Look, it’s that science dude off the telly” and, you know, I assume they are talking about me, but it doesn’t happen that often. I don’t get crowds, it’s not like I’m some celebrity in Heat magazine that gets stopped, so it’s nice to keep it every now and again. Between Science and Islam and Atom, which was your favourite to make? Atom I think I preferred because it is essentially explaining what I do, that’s my bread and butter work as a physicist and I never thought I’d get the chance to explain quantum mechanics on television. To be given the opportunity to explain something as difficult as that, which I find fascinating, was very, very rewarding. Science and Islam was great for the locations I went to and the travelling that I did, ultimately that was an adventure but it wasn’t as satisfying at the end as Atom. What would you say is the best part of making a TV program? Bacon sarnies first thing in the morning, being able
RAG WEEK APPROACHES
RAG In A Nutshell.....
Mega Raid on 23rd October. The Mega Raid included several other RAG societies belonging to universities across England, who all pitched in to raise shed loads of cash. Our RAG members managed to collect over £1700 as well as an award for the ‘Highest Amount Raised per Collector’! Every penny raised went towards the Breast Cancer Campaign, all as a result of the kind donations made by the general public, and bucketfuls of fundraising spirit! A warm hello from everyone at Surrey University’s RAG society! RAG is a non-profit organisation which aspires to raise as much money as possible to those less fortunate around the world. RAG is an easy way for students to get involved with charity work, and have a great time in the process! Thanks to you guys we have held numerous successful events and activities and wish to continue the trend. On Friday we are hosting a Beer and Cider festival in Rubix, this time with more Perry! Need we say more? Open for most of the day, get your Jailbreak weekend started with a cheeky pint or two, just remember to drink responsibly! Up for an adventure? Then Jailbreak is the event for you! The aim is for you and your team mates to get as far away from the university as humanly possible with no money, inside the time limit of 36 hours. Last year previous expeditions managed to reach Gran Canaria – can you top this feat? Register now for your free information pack, t-shirt included!
With our busiest week on the calendar approaching fast, we would like to update Recently a RAG raid took place closer to you on the latest RAGalicious news and home in an attempt to raise money for the events which are happening right on your Haiti appeal. A number of RAG Members scoured Guildford town centre, buckets in hand, and managed to raise £800!
RAG week commences on Monday 15th February and runs until Sunday the 22nd! We’ll be releasing RAG bands closer to the date, granting buyers easy access to some of the events and offering special deals during the week, saving you money! Ticket sales from the Book Shop are to be announced, so watch this space. This years events will include: A themed ‘Ring of RAG’ pub crawl, ‘Channies Challenge’ with a RAG twist, Headphone Disco RAG style, Pyjama Movie Night, Beer and Cider Festival (Back due to popular demand!), and not forgetting ‘Jailbreak’. The perfect combination for you to run yourself ragged. The ‘Ring of RAG’ pub crawl includes a t-shirt with exclusive offers only to RAG! The crawl begins in doorstep! First however, we want to give Chancellors at 7pm and ends in Dusk. There will special mention to some previous events we be tasks associated with ‘Ring of Fire’ to heat up have held over the last couple of months. the night, are you ready to set your week alight? Look out for the RAG mag which will be full of useful information to get you enthusiastic ‘Channies Challenge’ has teamed up with about ‘Raising and Giving’, and by all means Fancy a RAG? To break in the freshers we hosted our first event of the year which only consisted RAG to present you with an awesome visit out stall at ‘Refreshers Fayre’ where our of three primary colours! Traffic Light Disco night of quizmania, not even the brain of friendly committee members will be happy proved to be a huge success, encouraging people Britain could answer these questions! If you to answer any enquiries that you may have. to dress according to their relationship status; think you are up for the challenge come never has hooking up been so straightforward on down with some friends, we dare you! If you would like to get involved with any fundraising activities such as RAG Raids or and charitable at the same time! We managed The ‘Headphone Disco’ offers an interesting events, do not hesitate to get in contact with to raise around £4000 towards charities such as Barnados and World Vision, amongst others. twist on your standard Rubix night, as us! More information can be found on our you get to choose the tunes! Don’t like Facebook group under ‘University of Surrey RAGs to Riches gave people a chance to the DJ? Change the channel! One not to RAG (Raising and Giving) 2009/10’, or drop express their inner tramp, or posh totty. Whether miss! Disclaimer: RAG is not to be held us an email at USSU.RAG@Surrey.ac.uk. you wore your most aristocratic, smartest, responsible for incredibly dodgy dancing. RAG is always looking for new recruits: blingest threads or your dirtiest, roughed up, Fancy a chill out session in your favourite whether as a RAG rep, standard member, out of fashion rags, a good time was had by all! We managed to raise £500 for Action Aid, bed-wear? Come along to the ‘Pyjama offering full-time or part-time commitments; an organisation that is dedicated to helping Movie Night’ on Thursday where you everyone counts. It’s a great way to meet the most poverty stricken areas of the world. can relax with a delicious ‘Krispy Kreme’ new people and have fun whilst, at the during a showing of ‘The Hangover’ – Very same time, changing lives around the globe. Our most successful charity raid to date took appropriate following a heavy night we think! place when RAG participated in the London
This Week in Welfare...
So when were you last ill and what was it like? If you’re anything like me it was probably pretty horrific. You looked like death, moping around coughing and spluttering and feeling like you’d just gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. All in all, being ill is RUBBISH. So what if, at the pinnacle of your suffering, a nice member of staff politely informed you that you’d be charged a further £20 for the privilege of feeling like the U-bend at a cheap Indian restaurant? It’d probably feel like popping down to the local shop for a pint of milk, realising they’d totally sold out, turning to leave disappointed and then being kicked in the groin by a large angry ginger Scottish man. So why then does the new look NHS Guildowns Health centre insist on charging you this astronomical fee simply to sign a note to prove you really were as bed bound as you say you were? Well in the ‘outside world’ most businesses allow employees to self certify themselves as ill for periods of less than a week. This means in most cases a doctor’s note isn’t required and patients are charged the £20 admin fee for a service above and beyond what is required. Of course students are a bit different. It doesn’t matter whether you’re ill for more or less than a week if you’re a student. All that matters is whether you’re ill when your exam is. It’s not much good getting fobbed off because you were only on deaths door for two days if those two days were worth half of your semester! But thankfully all hope in not lost! The good people in care services (think healthcare, advice, wellbeing people) in consultation with myself and others have now decided to subsidise sick notes! So next time you’re ill it’ll still cost you, but now only half the amount. Still not perfect, but that’s an extra £10 you’ll have in your wallet. And what can you spend it on? Well, maybe housing deposit? Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the snowy climes of 09-10 give way to vivid images of what it’d be like next year if you didn’t sort yourself out somewhere to live. A potentially daunting thought to say the least.
But once again the Students’ Union and the University have come together to find a solution to your potential woes. This time it comes in the form of housing awareness week – dishing out wholesome chunks of housing knowledge for everyone to enjoy. Rumour has it there may even be freebies... So if you’re in your first year or going straight into your final year it time to start getting together with your bestest chums in groups of 4/5 and preparing to house hunt! Housing awareness week will tell you the rest! Hurrah! Good luck with exams everyone! Until next week...
Malcolm Hunt Vice President Welfare Tip of the week: Single? Stuck for a Valentines weekend Sunday night activity? Try Sunday night Salsa in Chancellors! Open for all levels from the most basic beginner upwards!
A Day in the Life of...George Edwards
by Mariam Nasir There is a reason I am writing this article. Go along with me and I will walk you through my thought process and eventually you will know the reason for this article. Alright, the exam period has hit us all hard and in this period there has been an excess consumption of coffee and red bull. Along with this incessant amount of drinking we have all been to one place – the Library. Now, I understand that once in this building, we all meet many friends, acquaintances and people-who-we-don’t-want-tosee but we deal with trying to limit conversation and quickly make our way to the “silent study”. This illusion that once we are in the “silent study” we will do what we are supposed to be doing – studying silently. However, this is the big twist in the story – da-da-daaam, we cannot study silently. This is a phenomenon which many students suffer from and I for one am tired of forcing myself into the silent study and not being able to study silently. There is always a distraction and hence I come to one of my reasons for this article – silent study observations and techniques. Well, this may look like an easy task but silent study is always full. People enter the area, quickly mark their territory and sit there studying for hours. In my time in the silent study, it came to my attention that people take marking their territory very seriously. First they scan the area and as soon as an empty booth appears they lunge for it. After this is the frantic “marking” which is done by placing books, putting their jacket on the chair and often, believe it or not, taking off their shoes. This system has a name (coined by myself) – The SLM (Scan, Lunge, Mark). After making these shrewd observations, I realised that some people spend the entire day in the library, coffee after coffee, and then my idea hit me – One Day in the Library. Now, I understand it is not one of the most interesting concepts ever but if you read one, I have tips for boredom busters and things to do while you are on your “study break”. First, I went to the library really early, into the silent study and did The SLM. It may come as a surprise but some people just come to the library to hang out. It is The place to be. These people steer away from silent study since that is off limits for loud conversation, although it does not stop others. Next I had to make friends with people around me, get to know my neighbours who had arrived so early to get a booth. Hard workers all of them. After some whispered chit chat, everyone returns to silently studying and my mission remains to find interesting things. After much disappointment, I finally find gold. People having loud conversation in the silent study and it is not a conversation I would be particularly proud of. It included the words “we are much smarter since we study in the library” and “Is gold an element?” followed by the answer “obviously not, its jewellery”. For those who are lost, gold is an element. After laughing loudly at this, I had to duck and pretend to study (silently). Life in the silent study can be hard, for example, if you sneeze everyone looks at you like you are a leper. It’s only sneezing. Another thing, sometimes people arrive in the library and they have not had anything to eat. This leads to the random bellyrumbling sounds you hear in the silent study. It is hardest for people who want to go eat, if you leave your desk your booth might be gone by the time you come back. It is a whole issue whether you should eat or not and hence the many rumblings heard on the 5th floor. Another observation I made was the ringtones. This was the aspect which entertained me the most during my day in the library. Imagine this, all silent (except for some rumblings) and then Britney loudly exclaims “If you seek Amy”. Some of these ringtones are cheesy which are immediately silenced after one line but others are purposely left longer so that people notice that you are cool. Among these cool, smart people I found this other group which I classified as the “intimidators”. These were those people who came to the library, got way too many books in their booth and then look up every time someone passes them to show that they are there for the “real” studying. With these observations, I left the library a happier person knowing that Britney is not only my ringtone but is shared by others. I forgot to write the boredom busters and things to do in your “study break” but I am sure, after reading this you will have some idea into how to use your time and essentially understand why I came to write this article.
Try this vegetable soup, bursting with goodness!
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 sliced courgettes 3 sliced carrots 1 cup of frozen peas 2 sliced leeks (any other veg you want) 900 ml (1.5 pints) vegetable stock Pinch of salt and pepper Method: Fry the courgettes, leeks and carrots for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, add the stock and seasoning, simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft, add peas at the end and cook for 3 more minutes. Blend if desired or eat as a chunky soup!
Bananas – They contain tryptotophan which helps to makes serotonin, the feel good hormone. Leafy green vegetables – Kale and spinach are full of folic acid and B vitamins, again needed to make serotonin-deficiency can make you feel grumpy!!!
If someone is feeling distressed and experiencing suicidal thoughts it is important that they talk to someone else about how they are feeling whether this is a family member or trusted friend. Sometimes people feel unable to talk to friends or family, perhaps because they don’t want to be a burden or they feel they have no one they can trust, it is here that Samaritans can help. Our trained volunteers are available 24 hours a day and can give you the time and space to explore your feelings in confidence and work out the way forward. Samaritans believes that talking openly about overwhelming feelings, without being judged, can be a huge relief and is often the first step in finding a way to cope.
It is important to recognise that everyone expresses their emotions in different ways, but some behaviour can indicate that someone might be feeling depressed and experiencing suicidal feelings. · · · · · · · · · · · Being withdrawn or unsociable Being low-spirited or depressed Finding it difficult to relate to others Taking less care of oneself Acting completely out of character, for example unusually cheerful Being tearful or fighting back the tears all the time Being excessively irritable Finding it hard to concentrate Less energetic or particularly tired Eating much less or much more than usual Putting oneself down (selfmockingly as well as seriously), e.g. “Nobody loves me” or “I’m a waste of space.”
If you suspect someone you know is depressed or suicidal, or they tell you how they feel, take it seriously. It is a myth that talking about suicide is attention seeking. Letting someone know that you are there whenever they want to talk is the first step in offering them help. It is vital not to pressurise the person into talking if they don’t want to, but giving them the time and space to talk openly without interrupting, offering solutions or judging them can provide the first step in helping them cope. If you feel able to, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions – to find out more, see a page called ‘Difficult conversations’ on our website www.samaritans.org. Samaritans believes talking about feelings can make all the difference between choosing to live or die. Supporting someone in distress can be very difficult for you too. If you’re helping someone who feels suicidal please take care of yourself as well. Ask the person how they are feeling and listen to the answer. Remember that it is difficult to support someone who is depressed or suicidal on your own and people want to talk to someone outside their situation and suggesting they talk to Samaritans or visit their GP can help them widen their options. Or you can contact Samaritans yourself. We may be able to contact the person you are worried about.
If you are in emotional distress or worried about someone you know you can contact Samaritans for confidential, non-judgemental support 24/7 by Telephone on the National helpline number 08457 90 90 90 or Email at email@example.com or face-to-face visit www.samaritans.org to find your local branch theVINE June 2009
A student Samaritans’ caller said: “When I was 16, I started to experience a phase of depression that lasted for a number of months. It was when a relationship ended that I started to feel very down. During this time, my negative thoughts and feelings became overwhelming and affected me badly – enjoyment, passion and happiness seemed to just vanish out of my life. It was then that I called on Samaritans for help. I chose to contact Samaritans’ by email, as I wasn’t sure that I was ready to talk on the telephone. I was able to explain my situation and how I was feeling in my own time. I only contacted Samaritans for a short while, but in that time, the replies that I received from them were very helpful and allowed me to consider what my options were, and to process my feelings. I used a combination of Samaritans, friends and family as sources of support, to help me through my dark times. During months that I was suffering with depression, it really did feel like I was mentally falling apart, then slowly, ever so slowly, that feeling ebbed away and I began to feel like my old self – confident and content.”
Salmon – Oily fish like salmon and mackerel are full of omega 3 fats known to be great for your heart and your mood Wholemeal Pasta – Pasta aids the absorption of tryptophan, therefore boosting serotonin, it also makes you feel fuller for longer!
Porridge oats and bran flakes – High fibre cereals rich in complex carbohydrates stabilise mood by releasing energy slowly.
EAT TO BEAT THOSE BLUES......
Trouble sleeping? Anxious about exams? Worried about STIs? Want to know how alcohol can be affecting your mood? Want to know more about Cannabis? Want to lose weight? Need nutrition information? Then mail in your questions all in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org to CHAT HEALTH for your reply in each edition of The Stag.
Available ONLY at the Available ONLY Union Shop & Bookshop at the Bookshop until the 12th of February and The Union Shop 2010 or until stocks last
New offers every month. Make sure you pop in.
The biggest brands. The widest choice. The cheapest prices.
Ask Angelique Anything.....
Hi Angelique, I have to say my friend got a bit excited during the first semester in terms of getting with guys but personally I think she needs to take a step back and check her self. I love her to bits but I think she needs to hear someone else tell her what she’s doing is wrong. Your probably wondering what kind of things she’s done, I don’t really want to bait her up to the rest of the university but lets say its along the lines of picking up a new guy every night. Having sex without protection and… just doing duttyness. I really care for her but there’s a line and she crossed it weeks ago. Please tell her!
Get it off your chest
I don’t want to be here anymore...
Hey Angelique, I’m gonna get straight to the point. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to disappoint my parents – they’re African – I don’t know if that means anything to you but for me and many others in this uni it means dropping out is simply not an option, not even a thought. So what do I do? Mr T Hey Mr T,
She’s crossing a line, what can I do?
Hey Troubled, Thanks for the message. I have to agree with you on this one – your description made me lol but this isn’t a laughing matter. Your friend needs to follow a few steps that I’ve told quite a few promiscuous girls lately. 1. Go to the clinic and get your self checked out, it’s only down the road so don’t be lazy cause it sounds like you need a check up quick time. 2. CALM DOWN! What is the need to be going through...every guy you meet cant you just relax. I’m sensing some déjà vu from the last article I wrote but you need to take a breath. Learn how to enjoy life in a different way; I’m not saying stop completely cause it sounds like that would be like taking nicotine from a smoker and cutting them off completely – for you anyway. 3. Get some help, maybe you should talk to your friends about your addiction – and it is an addiction – or go to a group therapy. Believe it or not there’s people out there just like you so there’s no need to be embarrassed about going. Anyways I hope this helps.
Ok you don’t want to be here, there are loads of other options you don’t Troubled x Angelique x have to stay here. Now when it comes to your parents, yes I do understand, believe me! LOL but sometimes you have to do what you want, and I know Hey Angelique, you’re probably thinking but “No that’s I’ve got more of a question than a problem. There’s this guy I like called G and I think he’s just not an option” but it is. Just de- absolutely amazing. He’s in my psychology class and everyone knows who he is but our pends on what you want to do. On the class is so big that he would never notice me. Should I introduce myself or should I just one hand having a degree is a great leave it and get on with...learning? thing to obtain but on the other it’s not impossible to survive without one. Thanks, S. If you truly feel that you don’t want to Hey S, be here, then follow what your heart and your mind is telling you to do. I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious – talk to him, introduce yourself. Your first instincts are usually the right You never know you might hit it off but how would you know if you don’t try. Of course one. Good luck Mr T. You’re going to I’m not telling you to ignore your degree but your social life is just as important if you need it. want to stay sane. Good Luck and let me know how it goes.
When will he notice me?
Ask Angelique Anything.....
Need someone to talk to? Get it off your chest
Useful Websites: www.connexions-direct.com General advice www.talktofrank.com Drug advice www.childline.org.uk Self harm and Abuse advice www.sextalk.org Sexual health advice
2009 to 2010 Resolutions, Resolutions & More Resolutions!
by Don Decaprivano
Patrick Swayze another Hollywood star lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Named the sexiest man alive in 1991 in the People magazine. New Year, new beginning, new faces, new friends, in other words, out He was best known for his roles in Ghost and Dirty Dancing. So in a with the old in with the new. So the first issue of the New Year was de- nutshell, 2009 was a such a bad year. layed, but it would not still put me off getting this article done. So it’s a So what are your resolutions? Have you given up already? Stop drinking new year and 2009 saw us have a very bad year, not only for Hollywood until your birthday? Stop smoking? Sound familiar? Each year I try to but so many crazy things went down. Wendy Richard, former EastEnd- set a goal I hope to achieve. This year I did not really give myself any ers actress had been suffering from cancer and died at the age of 65 targets or goal, I think I dealt with everything in 2009. in February of last year. Richard also starred in sitcoms Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, Grace & Favour. This is something I thought about during the Christmas holidays and I decided to write it just so I always remember it (since I don't have a diWe also lost Jade Goody at the young age of 27, who came to life in ary anymore). Anyway, one day I was walking upstairs to my room and 2002 on the TV reality show Big Brother. Many fans, in thousands at- I realised my laces were undone, I knew I can get pretty clumsy so I tended her funeral in Essex. She died from cervical cancer; only find- thought it was best to tie my laces before I carried on walking. Now, I ing out about her illness during an appearance of Indian version of could've put my foot 2-3 steps higher so I didn't have to bend that much Big Brother. More women started having cervical screenings as more or I could have just bent down on the step I was on and tie my laces awareness was raised. Please get checked. It is better to know when it there. Putting my foot higher was more ''convenient'' because then afis in its early stages. terwards I could just bring my other foot up and I was closer to the end of the stairway. But, there was also the risk of me falling back if I lost We sadly and unexpectedly lost the King of Pop. The world came to a balance. Then I realised, life can be the same, we all have a goal, well, standstill following the sad news about Michael Jackson. At age 50, we all should have a goal to reach and we think ''the faster, the betMichael had achieved greatly as a musician and also opened the flood- ter'' which isn't necessarily true. If on our way to reaching our goals we gates for many musicians and was an idol and inspiration to many. encounter a problem, STOP AND FIT IT. Don’t think you can fix it and Michael Jackson famously also known for his moonwalk had unique move on at the same time, we’re only human, because if you do, you’ll blend of different genres of music including rock, soul and funk. He was only end up further back than you already were. Success, or whatever best known for many hits including, Thriller, Beat it, Man In The Mirror it is you are aiming for, takes time, so don't rush into things, rather take and Bad. Michael Jackson catered to all generations young and old your time; it will all be worth it in the end. So my advice to you is keep and his music was timeless. Rest in peace Michael. On the same day at it and impossible is nothing. Always aim for something, because if that Michael Jackson died, 1970’s Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett you aim for nothing be rest assured you will hit it. passed away. Her death was overshadowed by the death of MJ. She PS: I bent down and tied my lace on the same step I was on ;-) died from anal cancer and lived from 1947-2009.
Sometimes I lay back in this bed and I wonder.
I wonder how long it will be before, the hype, excitement, and self deceit fades away and I choose to accept that my stay on this earth is soon passing away. I wonder how long it will be before I realise, or choose to accept that I’m not satisfied with simply existing, claiming to be “living the life” and avoiding at all cost the question of life after death. I know this degree will be beneficial to me when I leave university, but I wonder how it will help me beyond my profession. I wonder when I’ll stop leaving Rubix, discontent” seeking collective entertainment, or in fact something I’m not even sure I can describe… I wonder when I’ll stop sharing the dying pieces of my heart, and my bed with ever deceiving “I love you”s I wonder if there’s a God who see’s the good I do. I wonder if he really cares, and if his arms will be open wide to receive me when I finally leave this place. I wonder…
The Diary’s response:
Contact me on: email@example.com
:- ) I don’t bite, no really I don’t bite holllaaaaaaa!! lol.
Dear Diary ......
Come and get salsafied Sunday 14th February 2010 (Valentine’s Day) 6pm - 10pm
Can you already salsa? Do you want to learn how to salsa? Having a boring Sunday night? Pop along to Chancellors and have a go! You can learn some moves between 6pm and 8pm and then there will be time for some social dancing! Don’t forget it’s Valentine’s day! Bring a date and enjoy our special meal offer too!
If, like me, you were one of the lucky few who managed to snag a room on campus this year you may have developed a certain swagger. Perhaps even an annoyingly self-assured tone when answering the question ‘So where are you living this year?’- ‘Actually I managed to get a room on campus, I’m so lucky because I can get up just 5 minutes before my lecture and still make it!!’. Gratuitous smile aside, campus living can be great. Yes you can wake up later and still make that class (accompanied with some lethal morning breadth), you have the library at your disposal and there is something to be said for drunkenly stumbling back to your room after a night out at the Union. However there are certain things about on campus accommodation that really gets on my nerves. Currently it is the ridiculous situation you face when having problems with your room phone. After what I can only imagine was an intense bidding process, in 2007 Freewire managed to wangle their way into Surrey University. All accommodation landlines were replaced with this new ultramodern, ultra-hip way of staying in touch. We were all assured that it would be much easier to make calls and more importantly much cheaper. The idea behind it was that you can call all other Freewire lines for free, including numbers on campus and at a reduced rate you could call all other numbers... well after topping up your ‘easy to maintain’ online account. In theory its straight forward and any idiot could do it, in practice it’s a completely different story. For starters, how many people besides your two or three friends on campus have Freewire
The Freewire Farce
access? One? None? Secondly the reduced rate is surprisingly hard to find on your easy to manage online account page, and you find yourself having to top up a little more frequently than you do your mobile phone. But that’s not the worst of it. The most annoying side effect of carrying a Freewire line is the fact that they simply refuse to connect you to an international calling card. Now I know that this isn’t a problem for half the population on campus, but for those who have friends or family internationally and wish to stay in contact you usually buy an international calling card. The card provides you with a low rate for international calls through free phone access and you know exactly how much you have spent at all times. Very straightforward right? Wrong. Freewire have decided that in order to get more people to top up their Freewire accounts they will make this very simple process as difficult as possible, including a charming 0.9/min charge on using this ‘free’phone number. Ok, you are probably realising by now that I have been going through my own personal hell with Freewire which by the way started in November when I moved in. So two months later I am still struggling with both the Freewire providers and the accommodation office to get the issue resolved. The problems- Freewire cannot connect my international calling card as well as the fact that my phone works on a ‘please’ basis. As in please, please, please work today. The situation- after having called Freewire about twenty times, going
through inane problem solving exercises and then being passed on to the warden who then passed me on to the accommodation office who then passed me back to, you guessed it, the Freewire providers, I am now at the end of my wits with this phone. And it seems that it’s not just me. I have spoken to quite a few people who have explained to me their various problems surrounding their Freewire room phone. This includes a person who works at the court reception who told me that his phone refused point blank to connect him to free phone numbers and that he had turned to finding public phones to make these calls. Another frustrated person told me she had resorted to switching her phone off and on every time she had a problem (which was almost every time she needed to make a call), and sometimes this worked. Now I have tried everything, calling helplines, complaining, even replacing the handset, which by the way they recommend you do but changes nothing and I finally had to rant about it. After all a problem shared is a problem halved, right? Now don’t think that I am just ranting for the sake of it. I actually want to get something done about it. If you live on campus and have had any problems with your Freewire phone please send an email to the Stag newspaper titled Freewire Farce, and hopefully we can get the accommodation office to do something about it. Till then switch off/switch on, dissacociate/associate, top-up and pray that it works.
Execution: A Humane Sentence?
“His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned – reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone – one mind less, one world less.” In George Orwell’s 1931 essay A Hanging, the gravity of capital punishment and the consequences of taking a human life are portrayed with disturbing clarity. Whilst the world has come a long way in the past eighty years, some countries still choose to maintain this harsh penalty as a just sentence; demonstrated in the Chinese authorities’ decision to execute Akmal Shaikh on December 29th 2009, the first EU national to face the death sentence in China for fifty years. China has been no stranger to international criticism concerning the death sentence: 1,718 executions were officially confirmed throughout the country in 2008, almost three times that of other countries which choose to instigate the penalty put together. What makes Shaikh’s case all the more controversial however, is the refusal to implement a mental illness assessment, a check that was ignored before condemning the accused. The 53-year-old Briton was arrested for smuggling 4,030g of heroin into China during September 2007, a conviction his family have insisted was unjust due to his “unstable condition”. Despite the tragic likelihood that Shaikh was exploited as a drugs mule, the increase in substance abuse across China has led to a mandatory death sentence being imposed on anyone found guilty of trafficking narcotics. Since the execution, the Chinese government has “shrugged off” outrage that British leaders, Shaikh’s immediate family and Amnesty International have shown with regard to the case, calling it “hypocritical” and disrespectful of their judicial sovereignty. In some ways they have a point – drug trafficking is a serious offence that has the potential to prove fatal to the user, tear families apart and provoke civil unrest, and in this respect it should be deemed punishable. Moreover, whilst Western society (with the exception of the United States) has vetoed the death sentence entirely, British Imperialism took swift, brutal action on many colonial dissenters right up to the mid 20th Century, illustrated above in Orwell’s ethical contemplations during his service in Burma. However, this is not to say that the Chinese authorities have acted responsibly with their decision here, and the details surrounding the trial are still hazy. It is believed that six witnesses were ignored in their evidence that the defendant was not sound in mind, and that judges “laughed” at Shaikh’s speech when given the chance to defend his actions. The humanitarian consideration that China insist was offered Shaikh (visitors in the days leading up to his death) may be a significant gesture given the country’s track record of disregard for human rights, but it fails to explain, or indeed cover up the fact, that the intense psychological pressure that this man faced was not further scrutinized by a professional committee. Blame for Akmal Shaikh’s fate will continue to be disputed until tensions settle, but what seems clear is that instead of focusing on why this happened, the world should be questioning how we continue to let this happen. Crime should always go punished regardless of nationality, but is it still tolerable to insist on an outdated program of vengeance rather than rehabilitation in the 21st Century? “We all had a drink together, native and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away.” by Tom Goulding
A week packed full of workshops, games, discussions, film screenings, and environmental tips and info! Including… -”The environment and the general election” debate, with Guildford’s parliamentary candidates -The Age of Stupid film screening -Campus-wide Carbon Treasure Hunt game! -plus much, much more!
And, to kick it all off, our Go Green Week launch party…
Ahlul Bayt Society
From Huseyn (AS) b. Ali to the believers and Muslims [of Iraq]: You have invited me to come to you because you have no imam to guide you, and that you hope my arrival there will unite you in the right path and in the truth. You must be clear about the fact that the imam can only be one who follows the Book of God, makes justice and honesty his conduct and behavior, judges with truth, and devotes himself to the service of God. In response to the invitation of the people of Basra, Imam Huseyn (AS) replied: . . . I have sent my messenger to you and I call you to the Book of God and the sunna of his Prophet, the sunna which has become obliterated; innovations have become active and energetic. If you listen to me and obey my orders, I will guide you to the right path. May the peace and mercy of God be upon you. There is space here only to give these two quotations from numerous such statements which Imam Huseyn (AS) made from the time he left Medina till his martyrdom about six months later. These quotations are by themselves a complete explanation of Imam Huseyn (AS)’s approach to the question of leadership as well as of the function of religion in society. They also explain the duties of an imam and the nature of the Imamate which was so distorted at this point in Islamic history. The main points which emerge from them are: (i) that an imam is one who unites the people;(ii) that he should lead them to the right path and to truth;(iii) that the Qur’an, as the Book of God, is an eternal truth, and the duty of the imam is to follow its model, and conduct his life according to the will of God;(iv) that the imam must make justice and honesty the cornerstones of his life;(v) that truth in its most universal and absolute form must be his only criterion;(vi) and that he must devote himself to the service of God. The functions of the imam enumerated here are both particular and universal, descriptive and normative, and primary and evaluative; they can be applied in every society, time and epoch. They are particular, descriptive and normative when read strictly in the context of Islam, and are universal, primary and evaluative if read in their general meaning which embraces all religions and the whole of humanity. The key terms in Imam Huseyn (AS)’s declarations are: the unity of people (which is basically a unity of purpose), the right path, truth, justice and honesty, and devotion to the service of God. These are in the essence of all religions as well as of Islam. Here religion is not separated from the well-being of society, and society is based on the eternal reality which creates consciousness in society. An inseparably implied meaning of Imam Huseyn (AS)’s declarations is that the leader of men need not take an active part in politics or in governmental affairs. His primary function is to serve humanity with ethical and normative integrity. He must create moral consciousness and a sense of responsibility which transcends the limits of the political community. He must serve social and spiritual values, but unfortunately totalitarian and despotic regimes subordinate spiritual and moral activities to their ends. It is at this point that Imam Huseyn (AS) rises up to set a new standard of leadership for challenging totalitarianism, despotism and the forces of evil. There were two ways open to him, one to mass his forces, gather strength, power, weapons and the military might to combat the despotic rule of Yazid. This would not have been difficult for the prestigious grandson of the Prophet, if he had wanted to resort to such action. But the actions of Imam Huseyn (AS) show that from the beginning to the end his strategy aimed at a much higher goal than simply accession to the caliphate, the term given to temporal authority in Islam. There is no evidence that he tried, while at Mecca, to enlist active supporters from among the people who gathered around him, or to propagate his cause among the great number of people who were coming to Mecca for the hajj; there is also no evidence that he attempted to send his emissaries to stir up any rebellion in the provinces such as the Yemen or Persia, which were sympathetic to his household, even though he was advised by some of his family members to do so. Above all, had he acted promptly on the invitation of the Kufans, while Umayyad control over the city was weak, he might have had a fair chance of success in grasping temporal power. In the six-month period before the battle of Karbala’, Imam Huseyn (AS) did nothing to consolidate his strength and military power. Instead, throughout this period he was preparing himself for a different strategy of revolution. Some of the writers on Karbala’, looking at it from the common standards of war and victory, describe Imam Huseyn (AS)’s action as an ambitious attempt to wrest
political power and as an error of judgment. Imam Huseyn (AS)’s numerous speeches, addresses, letters and statements bear testimony to the fact that he was fully aware of the situation and the consequences. Suffice it to point out that on the road from Medina to Mecca, then at the time when he was being the ‘House of God’ for Kufa, and finally throughout the journey from Mecca to Kufa he was informed and warned by dozens of people about the danger and that ‘the hearts of the Iraqis were for him but their swords were for the Umayyads’. But Imam Huseyn (AS)’s replies to all of those who attempted to deflect him from his purpose were always more or less in the same vein: I leave it to God to choose what is best.... God is not hostile to him who proposes the just cause. From these replies it is clear that Imam Huseyn (AS) was fully aware of the dangers he would encounter and that he had a certain strategy and plan in mind to bring about a revolution in the consciousness of the Muslim community. Furthermore, it’s also very clear from the sources as has been pointed out above that Imam Huseyn (AS) did not try to organize or mobilize military support, which he easily could have done in the Hijaz, nor did he even try to exploit whatever physical strength was available to him. On the contrary, from the moment he left Mecca for Kufa, time and again he gathered those accompanying him and asked them to leave him alone and go to safety, the last of these requests being on the night of ‘Ashura’. Is it conceivable that anyone striving for political ascendancy would ask his supporters to abandon him? No one can answer this question in the affirmative. What then did Imam Huseyn (AS) have in mind? Why was he still heading for Kufa? A careful study and analysis of the events of Karbala reveals that from the very beginning Imam Huseyn (AS) was planning for a complete revolution in the religious consciousness of Muslims. All of his actions show that he was aware of the fact that a victory achieved through military strength and might is always temporary, because another stronger power can, in the course of time, bring it down in ruins. But a victory achieved through suffering and sacrifice is everlasting and leaves permanent imprints on man’s consciousness. Imam Huseyn (AS) was brought up in the lap of the founder of Islam and had inherited the love and devotion to the Islamic way of life from his father. As time went on, he noticed the great changes which were rapidly taking place in the community in regard to religious feelings and morality. The natural process of conflict and struggle between action and reaction was now at work. That is, Muhammad’s progressive Islamic action had succeeded in suppressing Arab conservatism, embodied in heathen pre-Islamic practices and ways of thinking. But in less than thirty years’ time this Arab conservatism had revitalized itself as a forceful reaction to challenge Muhammad’s action once again. The forces of this reaction had already moved into motion with the rise of Mu’awiya, but the succession of Yazid was a clear sign that the reactionary forces had mobilized themselves and now re-emerged with full vigor. The strength of this reaction embodied in Yazid’s character, was now powerful enough to suppress, or at least efface, the Prophet’s action. His conduct amounted to open ridicule of Muhammad’s sunna and the norms of the Qur’an. He openly defied the Prophethood of Muhammad and the revelation received by him. Now this same Yazid had become the head of the Muslim community and was asking Imam Huseyn (AS) to accept his authority. Imam Huseyn (AS)’s
acceptance of Yazid, with the latter’s reactionary attitude against Islamic norms, would not have meant merely a political arrangement but an endorsement of Yazid’s character and way of life as well. Thus the entire ethical and religious system of Islam, in the thinking of Imam Huseyn (AS), was now in dire need of the reactivation of Muhammad’s action against the old Arabian reaction and required a complete shaking up. He realized that mere force of arms would not save Islamic action and consciousness. To him it needed a shaking and jolting of hearts and feelings. This, he decided, could only be achieved through sacrifice and suffering, and therefore, in order to save Islam and its values, and the freedom of man and his dignity, Imam Huseyn (AS) made one of the greatest sacrifices in human history. Eighteen male members of his family including a six- month-old son and 44 of his companions were killed in front of him and then he himself laid down his life at the altar of truth and human rights. Imam Huseyn (AS)’s body, already torn by numerous wounds, was trampled under the hooves of the horses, his tents were burnt and looted; the helpless women and children were shamelessly paraded through the streets of Iraq and Syria as captives, and were treated with humiliation at the crowded courts of Ibn Ziyad in Kufa, and Yazid in Damascus. Imam Huseyn (AS) was fully aware of the extent of the brutal nature of the reactionary forces. He knew that after killing him the Umayyads would make his wife and children captives and take them all the way from Kufa to Damascus. This caravan of the captives of the Prophet’s immediate family would publicize Imam Huseyn (AS)’s message and would force the Muslims’ hearts to ponder on the tragedy. It would make the Muslims think over the whole affair and would awaken their consciousness. Imam Huseyn (AS) was fully aware of the dangers he would encounter and that he had a certain strategy and plan in mind to bring about a revolution in the consciousness of the Muslim community. Furthermore, it’s also very clear from the sources as has been pointed out above that Imam Huseyn (AS) did not try to organize or mobilize military support, which he easily could have done in the Hijaz, nor did he even try to exploit whatever physical strength was available to him. On the contrary, from the moment he left Mecca for Kufa, time and again he gathered those accompanying him and asked them to leave him alone and go to safety, the last of these requests being on the night of “Ashura”. Is it conceivable that anyone striving for political ascendancy would ask his supporters to abandon him? No one can answer this question in the affirmative. What then did Imam Huseyn (AS) have in mind? Why was he still heading for Kufa? A careful study and analysis of the events of Karbala” reveals that from the very beginning Imam Huseyn (AS) was planning for a complete revolution in the religious consciousness of Muslims. All of his actions show that he was aware of the fact that a victory achieved through military strength and might is always temporary, because another stronger power can, in the course of time, bring it down in ruins. But a victory achieved through suffering and sacrifice is everlasting and leaves permanent imprints on man”s consciousness. Imam Huseyn (AS) was brought up in the lap of the founder of Islam and had inherited the love and devotion to the Islamic way of life from his father. As time went on, he noticed the great changes which were rapidly taking place in the community in regard to religious feelings and morality. The natural process of conflict and struggle between action and reaction was now at work. That is, Muhammad”s progressive Islamic action had succeeded in suppressing Arab conservatism, embodied
in heathen pre-Islamic practices and ways of thinking. But in less than thirty years” time this Arab conservatism had revitalized itself as a forceful reaction to challenge Muhammad”s action once again. The forces of this reaction had already moved into motion with the rise of Mu”awiya, but the succession of Yazid was a clear sign that the reactionary forces had mobilized themselves and now re-emerged with full vigor. The strength of this reaction embodied in Yazid”s character, was now powerful enough to suppress, or at least efface, the Prophet”s action. His conduct amounted to open ridicule of Muhammad”s sunna and the norms of the Qur”an. He openly defied the Prophethood of Muhammad and the revelation received by him. Now this same Yazid had become the head of the Muslim community and was asking Imam Huseyn (AS) to accept his authority. Imam Huseyn (AS)”s acceptance of Yazid, with the latter”s reactionary attitude against Islamic norms, would not have meant merely a political arrangement but an endorsement of Yazid”s character and way of life as well. Thus the entire ethical and religious system of Islam, in the thinking of Imam Huseyn (AS), was now in dire need of the reactivation of Muhammad”s action against the old Arabian reaction and required a complete shaking up. He realized that mere force of arms would not save Islamic action and consciousness. To him it needed a shaking and jolting of hearts and feelings. This, he decided, could only be achieved through sacrifice and suffering, and therefore, in order to save Islam and its values, and the freedom of man and his dignity, Imam Huseyn (AS) made one of the greatest sacrifices in human history. Eighteen male members of his family including a six- month-old son and 44 of his companions were killed in front of him and then he himself laid down his life at the altar of truth and human rights. Imam Huseyn (AS)”s body, already torn by numerous wounds, was trampled under the hooves of the horses, his tents were burnt and looted; the helpless women and children were shamelessly paraded through the streets of Iraq and Syria as captives, and were treated with humiliation at the crowded courts of Ibn Ziyad in Kufa, and Yazid in Damascus. Imam Huseyn (AS) was fully aware of the extent of the brutal nature of the reactionary forces. He knew that after killing him the Umayyads would make his wife and children captives and take them all the way from Kufa to Damascus. This caravan of the captives of the Prophet”s immediate family would publicize Imam Huseyn (AS)”s message and would force the Muslims” hearts to ponder on the tragedy. It would make the Muslims think over the whole affair and would awaken their consciousness. This is exactly what happened; Imam Huseyn (AS) succeeded in his purpose. It is difficult today to evaluate exactly the impact of Imam Huseyn (AS)”s action on Islamic morality and way of thinking because it prevailed. Had Imam Huseyn (AS) not shaken and awakened Muslim consciousness by this method, can it be said that Yazid”s way of life would not have become standard behavior in the Muslim community, endorsed and accepted by the grandson of the Prophet. Even after Yazid, despotic rulers have held power in Islam, and the character and personal behavior of these despotic rulers has not been very different from that of Yazid, but the change in thinking which prevailed after the sacrifice of Imam Huseyn (AS) always served as a criterion of distinction between the Islamic concept of leadership and the behavior of totalitarian and despotic rulers. Imam Huseyn (AS) tells the world that it is no use destroying man; we must destroy man,s anti-human actions and conduct. If rulers are overthrown but the system remains unaltered, nothing is gained.
International Volunteering Projects – Application
Hello! Do>More are eager to help their members in going on volunteering abroad trips, which we hope will prove to be great life experience, as well as helping out people in need. We expect these trips to prove hugely popular, and so have created this form to ensure we can choose co-ordinators and volunteers who are committed, enthusiastic and ready for the challenges such trips can bring. Filling out this form does not guarantee you a place on a volunteering trip. The volunteering trip to Uganda requires a fixed sum of £300 per person that goes directly to the charity, and £200 for food and accommodation for 4 weeks. These numbers do not include flights or incidental costs which may be incurred while in the country. By doing an overseas volunteering trip through Do>More, you will be able to get support and advice from members who have previously been on such trips, and the society will try our best to help you fundraise for your trip (this will depend on the amount fundraised, and members considering a trip should not count on amounts coming from Do>More to be able to pay for the trip). If you don’t reach your target amount for your trip, please note that you will have to consider not going unless you can make up the difference with your own money.
will not be representing the Students’ Union or the University of Surrey. Students undertake to go on a volunteering trip at their own risk. Students going on the volunteering trips will not be covered by the University’s or the Students’ Union’s insurance. The University, the Students’ Union and the volunteering society student committee will not be responsible or liable for what happens on the volunteering trips. Volunteers will have to buy their own insurance Answer clearly and honestly, this will allow you and take precautions such as vaccinations and to really think about if you want to undertake other ordinary health and safety precautions. the trip as well. We will do our best to provide some informal When answering either tick or fill in the relevant training and guidance sessions to help with preparation for the volunteering trips. answer. Email your completed form back to ussu. firstname.lastname@example.org. DEADLINE: 15th February 2010
The volunteering trip to Thailand does not require a donation to the charity, but you will have to cover all your living, accommodation Disclaimer: While these trips will be undertaken and travel costs. as a group of students volunteering together, The Do More Committee there is no affiliation with the USSU and we
The Asperger’s Society
lack of motivation for engaging in social activities. They have a strong need for order and predictability, which leads them to develop rituals and routines. They have a fear of chaos and a resistance to change and there is evidence to show that at times of anxiety, transition or instability, insistence on routine becomes more dominant and elaborate (Attwood 1998). The need for predictability and familiarity makes adapting to new situations and circumstances difficult. Hypersensitivity to sound, visual stimuli (particularly lights and colours), textures, tastes, smells, movement, pain and temperature are commonly observed in people on the autism spectrum. This hypersensitivity can often cause extreme anxiety and stress. The features outlined above all relate to problems and difficulties experienced by people with Asperger’s syndrome. To redress the balance it is important to emphasise the many strengths and positive qualities that arise as a result of the condition. Generally, aspies are considered to have a greater Intelligence Quotient (IQ) than the population at large. Cognitive ability is probably the greatest asset for people with this condition and it should be acknowledged and emphasised. They may acquire a wide vocabulary and may have an exceptional talent or skill such as drawing, painting and music. They are often able to remember a huge amount of detailed information, often related to their special interest. An ability to acquire system-based knowledge, such as computer programming and mathematics, and an ability to identify and absorb patterns in data such as dates, shapes, timetables, number strings or number plates are recognised strengths for many aspies. A person with Asperger’s syndrome ‘follows own desires and beliefs rather than paying attention to or being influenced by, others’ desires or beliefs’ (Baron-Cohen, Leslie and Frith 1985). An ability to resist ‘following the crowd’ is an advantage in many situations. They are often steadfastly loyal to people who have been understanding and supportive. Honesty and loyalty are valued attributes in relationships and society. Message from the President In the summer, I was invited to take part in an induction programme for students with Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism. It was to begin three days prior to the rest of students moving into their campus accommodation. The programme included tours around campus, which assisted us in adapting to our new surroundings as well as introducing us to the many services which we may require during our time at university. The programme also consisted of several social activities including bowling, pizza, the cinema, restaurant, Guildford town centre and food shopping before cooking a meal. I believe the programme served its objective by assisting us in adapting to our surroundings, while also introducing us to other students with similar difficulties to ourselves. I raised the idea with a couple of the others about forming a new society. After some research into forming new societies, I was able to gather support from other students around campus. The society was formally ratified in November after a presentation by James Lind, Demitri Levantis and I. The objectives of the society are to raise awareness of Asperger’s syndrome as well as providing a social and support network for students like ourselves. The AGM was held on Monday 7th December. I was elected as President, James Lind as Treasurer and Gareth Evans as Secretary. If you want to find out more about Asperger’s syndrome or wish to be involved, then you can either visit our union website or email us and we would be more than happy to respond. Phillip Berriman President, Asperger’s Society WEBSITE: www.ussu.co.uk/aspergers EMAIL: email@example.com
Information on Asperger’s syndrome – ‘raising awareness of Asperger’s syndrome as well as providing a social and support network for students like ourselves’ Many of you would have had some experience of dealing with Asperger’s syndrome, either personally or through family and friends. For those of you who do not know, Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism. It is described as a spectrum disorder as those with the condition exhibit symptoms to varying degrees. Asperger’s syndrome bears the last name of Austrian physicist Hans Asperger, who first described the condition in his 1944 paper. Significant developments in education and psychology have led to a far greater understanding of ‘AS’. Despite these developments, there seems to be no conclusive evidence as to the exact cause. There is thought to be a genetic link. There was a significant amount of controversy over the MMR vaccine after some research suggested that this may increase the likelihood of developing autism. Aspies, as they are sometimes known, will have difficulty in understanding social conventions and may talk in what seems to others an inappropriate or tactless way. Limited eye contact and an inability to pick up non-verbal cues from others can make them appear insensitive to the hidden social messages that form part of every interaction. Aspies will often interpret language literally and they often have difficulty in describing the feelings of both themselves and others. They have difficulty imagining how another person thinks and feels, which is a cognitive function described as ‘Theory of Mind’. This includes understanding that other people have different knowledge, beliefs and desires from one’s own. They find it very difficult to work collaboratively, which could have implications on group work and tutorials. They have difficulty fitting in with others and this can often lead to bullying, social isolation, indifference or manipulation by others. They have difficulty in making friends and the loneliness experienced by many aspies can lead to poor selfesteem and even mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. This can often lead to a
Chinese New Year Celebrations
Student Union Rubix Club Saturday 27th February 2010 Commences at 6:00 pm Want to experience the Chinese traditional New Year celebration culture? With many delicious Chinese food served at 6pm Fabulous traditional dancing, singing performance at 7:30pm Party in Rubix from 10pm – 2am Most attractively, win a big prize for flying China!!! Tickets for the whole evening £5 Tickets for the party only £2
A £5 whole evening ticket includes: Chinese food, Performance, Traditional games, big prizes, Midnight party Tickets sale in Bookshop in February. If you have some talent you want to share with us And want to take part in the performance, Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Big prizes are also provided for performers. Any performance will be welcome!
IMPROVING THOUSANDS OF LIVES
4TH 7TH J ULY 2 010
Arrive in Brussels WAtch the 2nd stAge of the tour de frAnce heAd to Bruges the next dAy
cycle to Calais Where We cross the english Channel
set off for london & A grAndstAnd finish At greenwiCh Park
rAise £1000 & hAve A lAsting impAct on thousAnds of children’s lives through the poWer of sPort and Play!
WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO JOIN US. FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE VISIT WWW.STUDENTS4RIGHTTOPLAY.ORG.UK OR CALL 020 7812 0635
Open to all abilities, there will be a full support team. For more info contact Trung at email@example.com
Enjoy a free ride
See in-store for bus timetable or visit www.tesco.com/storelocator
Whilst Tesco Egham is closed for a store extension, hop aboard our FREE bus to Tesco Extra Addlestone.
Tesco Egham will be temporarily closed from 4pm, Sunday14th February until 7.30am, Monday 22nd February .
Students’ Union Training
Everyone graduates from University with a degree, what will make you different?
Thursday 25th February
Spring Term 2010
Presenting in Public
Thursday 4th March
Getting Past No ?????? Working in other cultures
turn over for many more sessions...
MONDAY TO FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY 08.00AM - 11.00PM 10.00AM - MIDNIGHT 11.00AM - 11.00PM
FOOD SERVING TIMES
MONDAY TO FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Monday Night | Monday Madness
Monday Madness mixes up a concoction of lots of drinks deals along with Channies famous cocktails. It may be a Monday, but it is THE place to come for some tunes and promos before you head into town. Why wait until Friday to relax? Begin your week like you mean to end it!
08.00AM - 8.30PM 10.00AM - 7.30PM 10.00AM - 7.30PM
Thursday Night | Open Mic
The hugely popular Open Mic night kicks off around 8pm with a mix of original stuff and covers hosted by Alistair Cowan. The ﬂoor is yours to show off your musical talent and there is a house guitar available, or you are welcome to bring your own instruments. Make sure you get here early as it gets packed out!
Tuesday Night | Chancellors’ Challenge & Comedy Night (Alternate Tuesdays)
Come and test your brains at Chancellors Challenge. Not just for egg heads, but it helps! Hosted by our able quizmasters you have the chance to win cash, free entry to Rubix and many other prizes. Alternate Tuesdays you’ll ﬁnd Comedy Nights here with some of the best names in comedy from the London circuit and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Friday Night | Pre irt! drinks
Make sure you start the weekend at the best bar on campus and in Guildford! Chancellors is the place for pre-ﬂirting before you head upstairs to Rubix! Make sure you come down early as it will be busy. You have been warned!
Sunday Night | Poker Nights
Challenge your peers in a game of deceit and intrigue every other Sunday night. It’s £5.50 buy in, so make sure you bring your poker face along as well as your money! All events and timings are subject to change.
Wednesday Night | Pre Citrus drinks
Midweek shennaigans starts in full ﬂow with live DJ’s and an expansive drinks menu. Channies is the perfect meeting place so make sure you get here early before it is jam packed!
HOW TO ORDER FOOD Find a table & note its number | Place your order at the bar | Pay & keep your receipt | Your order will be brought to your table. Thank you.
Chancellors. Not for pro t, just for students.
Your Students’ Union is a charity, therefore all the proﬁt it makes through Chancellors goes back into funding sports clubs and equipment, societies and cultural events, student media, development and professional training , welfare and representation and everything else that is Union led! So next time you dine or drink here, give yourself a pat on the back as you have recycled your money back into providing better facilities for students here. Well done and thank you all!
Four Tet – There Is Love In You
tracks are concerned, if you like the Moth/Wolf Cub Burial collaboration then Moth’s pulsing lilt is easily noticeable in the cacophony of control that is Sing. Elsewhere, This Unfolds dresses itself up as a self-fulfilling prophecy and builds through seven minutes of reflective genius. Indeed it’s hard to pick standout tracks on an album where all the songs are as varied as they are cohesive. Ultimately, this album picks up exactly where Four Tet left off with Everything Ecstatic and whilst it may never compare to Roundsin many fan’s eyes, if it takes five years for Hebden to serve up his next offering then I’m happy to wait if it is comparable to There Is Love In You – albeit wait very reluctantly … by Richard Beddington
he can retreat to when producing on his own that is full of idiosyncratic yet blissfuly varied material. His ability to make a simple looped phrase feel fresh for so long is an ability shared only with a select few artists (Lemon Jelly and Boards of Canada being two of that minority). His use of diverse instruments and timbres helps to serve his fresh feel but this technique is by no means an easy escape route. Yet the seamless instrumentation of tracks like Circling Despite Hebden’s collaborations with artists like (which is in fact very reminiscent of Boards of Burial and Steve Reid it’s been five years since Canada) appears to come so naturally. Everything Ecstatic was released and despite my initial appraisal of Four Tet’s work you never There are drastic differences in the lengths know what negative things can happen in a of the songs on the album and it would be man’s head when he has time to spare (see very easy for the album to feel like it had an The Nightwatchman). Nevertheless, much as inconsistent pace. However, Hebden seems I’d hoped (and ultimately expected) There Is to intuitively know exactly how much each Love In You pulls no punches and perhaps even track has to give and moves you through each outshines its predecessor. It seems there must new musical landscape with the ease of an be some inherent cavern in Hebdon’s head that experienced holiday-planner. As far as standout It’s definitely about time there was another Four Tet album out. On paper Four Tet’s music sounds shit: looping phrases and novel, grainy instruments might put you in mind of waking up to the endlessly looping DVD menu of some terrible low-budget ‘psychological thriller’. In actuality however Kieran Hebden transforms those aspects into much more than the sum of their parts.
Local Natives – Sun Hands
Local Natives from LA have some beautiful Week... Track of the and interesting vocal parts, with a really catchy guitar riff that means I can’t stop listening to it! Norah Jones – The Fall Once again Norah has given us an album to unwind to. The perfect soundtrack for some post-revision relaxation, “The Fall” combines smooth jazz with soft synths beneath emotive lyrics. If you’re looking for a chillout album, this is just the ticket. by Daisha Ferdinand
3 Of A Kind – Baby Cakes
With meaningless lyrics and terrible production, I’d like to know who organised it but I bet it went a little like this: ‘Well, it’s called Babycakes, and it’s a pop garage number, and we sing about girls and stuff, that cool?’ ‘Sounds amazing, have some money, I’m sure it will go to number 1’
Worst No. 1 ‘So, what’s the new song like?’ 2000-2009
Nickleback – Rockstar
Besides having been murdered by record plays and destroying a classic with lazy lyrics? This song was annoyingly stuck in all our heads for a good nine months while it defied logic and stayed in the charts despite it trying to be mainstream by stealing and stomping on an old classic.
Worst No. 1 2000-2009
The Album Leaf – A Chorus Of Storytellers
Californian’s The Album Leaf have been pumping out music since 1998, so they have a bit of a legacy to live up to when it comes to their 5th studio album. A Chorus of Storytellers has been hotly anticipated for many, as it’s their first release in over three years since Into The Blue Again, which mixed vocal and instrumental music, and had some amazing tracks on it. The album opens with a Perro, a song that has the typical Album Leaf soft organ sound. Its subdued mood and sound recordings of what seems like a child repeating ‘perro’ with a mother create an interesting mood as you sit and try to work out what they are saying. TAL’s music is always seen as being very moving and depressing, but many of the songs on this album seem to have an uplifting side to them. Blank Pages starts as a very slow tempo song, moving into a much more hopeful piece, and the violin even has some elements of highland music for a wedding or something. There Is A Wind is the first song with vocals, combining electronic with live instruments which they are so good at doing. Drew’s understated vocals are spot on, and are perfect for the mood of this album. There is a good mix of instrumental tracks and vocallead tracks on this album, something they have done on
Baha Men – Who Let the Dogs Out I’ll tell you who let the dogs out – a complete twat. We got this to #2. And then Crazy Frog covered it. I hope you’re all happy. Andy Flowers
Worst No. 1 2000-2009
most of their albums. There’s no particular order to them, but the vocals sit so far back in the mix that it’s not a noticeable element. Stand Still is one of my favourites, with huge drums and simple, yet beautiful guitar work. Summer Fog is one of the most mournful songs on the album. DO NOT listen to this if you’re feeling down. It will only send you further into your sorrow-filled hole. It has its place here though, moving slowly between chords and even has some uplifting elements in the middle. This is a good album, and I like fact they haven’t altered their sound too much from the last few albums. On the couple of times I’ve listened to it, I would say it’s not as epic as Into The Blue Again or In A Safe Place, but new and old Album Leaf fans alike should not be disappointed. by Mark Allen
Vampire Weekend – Contra
Contra is Vampire Weekend’s second studio album, which I’m sure fans have been anticipating for a long time. Vampire Weekend are a New York indie-electro band, formed in 2006. They are well known for experimenting with different genres, and incorporate these genres into their music making it their own unique sound, which they do well! Vampire Weekend have great poetic-like lyrics in their new album, just like in their first album, which shows they’re clever lyricists with a bank of ideas for songs. The album begins with Horchata, an electric Calypso song with catchy rhyming lyrics throughout, “Here comes a feeling you thought you’d forgotten, chairs to sit and sidewalks to walk on”. Holiday and Cousins are reminiscent of A-Punk, with similar guitar rifts unique to Vampire Weekends sound. The band say African music is an influence on their own music and they definitely make their influences the bands own. You can certainly tell by listening to Diplomats Son that it has African-style rhythm. With Reggae beats, it’s unique to any of the other songs on the album. The song contains sampling from two songs by M.I.A and the Ska and Reggae group Toots & the Maytals. Diplomats Son is a complex clever little number, because of its range of sounds, sampling and story-like lyrics. Rumours are that the song is about ‘The Clash’s’ Joe Strummer, the Clash’s style of music is a definite favourite of Vampire Weekend. From listening to the album, you can tell every song has been cleverly thought out. Vampire Weekend are, after all, an intelligent bunch of music loving guys. Their music is clever and catchy and their lyrics are thoughtful, meaningful, dealing with things such as social issues, (“and the sight of dishes sitting in the bathtub let me know that I shouldn’t give up just yet”) love and everyday life as in the song ‘Run’, “she said ‘you know there’s nowhere else to go’” “...It struck me that the two of us could run...worlds away from cars and all the stars in bars”. The album finishes with the strangely beautiful ‘I Think Ur A Contra’, mixing piano and cool synth sounds. They say one of the influences for the album is retro gaming; ‘Contra’ is definitely a retro game, though it seems they’ve adopted Contra to mean something completely different, in this introspective tale of some kind of broken love. This album has it all, up-beat tempos, funky ballads, and thoughtful slower songs, all put together to create a modern music masterpiece. The thing with ‘Contra’ is that each track is crafted differently from the previous, but each with the unmatched sound of Vampire Weekend. by Mary-Rose D’Ambrosio
Folk has had a bit of an insurgence over the UK in the last year, with many acts such as Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons reaching huge acclaim, even within the auto-tuned RnB riddled charts. Although Texans Midlake are not hugely known over here, they are slowly gaining attention, with dates all over the UK, and two London dates practically sold out. The hugely successful Trials Of Van Occupanther released in 2006 gave us many city-dwellers a taste of rural life, with songs about harvest and fixing roofs, amongst other things.
Midlake – The Courage of Others
has the perfect Midlake vibe to set up new and old listeners alike. Tim Smith’s heartfelt and sombre lyrics flow over you, leading into Winter Dies, where he starts cracking out stuff to do with seasons changing, making you see it more as poetry than just lyrics about ‘that hot girl on the dance floor’ or how much you’re going to dance tonight. Small Mountains is another menagerie of dynamics, ranging from epic choruses with amazing yet subtle vocal harmonies taking all your attention away from the drums and guitar holding it all together in the background. Rulers, Ruling All Things is one of my
personal favourites, even if some people have been comparing it to Metallica of all bands. It may do, sure, but it’s better in my opinion. The album ends with a couple of humble yet haunting down-tempo numbers (even though you could argue they are all fairly down-tempo), leading you out of this truly beautiful album. It may be different from TOVO, but none of the songwriting charms are lost. by Mark Allen
The album opens with the huge Acts Of Man, which
Cosmo Jarvis – Cosmo Jarvis
The make or break success of a debut album is daunting for any solo artist, yet the 19-yearold, New Jersey born Jarvis not only makes light of such anxieties in his Devonshire home studio but strides on to the music scene as if he has always belonged there. Armed with a mandolin and a witty repertoire, Cosmo Jarvis’ selftitled double album packs a punch at every turn, delving into various genres that range from folk to hip-hop. The social commentary comes thick and fast, alternating from the crude satire of Lonely Island in Jessica Alba’s Number to the darker, ironic undertones of domestic violence in He Only Goes Out On Tuesdays, echoing the Eminem hit Stan. However, like The Marshall Mathers LP, Cosmo Jarvis is a non-linear train-wreck; while some songs are fascinating and well accomplished such as the catchy single She’s Got You and the sing-along stomper Problems, in other places Jarvis’ output becomes tediously predictable. Clean My Room and Maxine plod along with a sole trajectory to fill the remaining time slot, suggesting that Jarvis may have been better off not braving the double album format until he has progressed as an artist. Despite this, Cosmo Jarvis is a rollercoaster ride, a thoroughly enjoyable record for those who like to lie back on a sunny afternoon and suppress a smile at quick, dry humour. This may not be The White Album or Blonde on Blonde, but its certain that wherever Jarvis chooses to go next, he has a potentially fruitful career ahead of him. Rating: 3/5 by Tom Goulding
Boileroom 16th Jan – Arcane fire, All The Other Humans, Bleech and Slaves To Gravity.
Arcane Roots from Surrey provided some great vocal work, using subtle and effective vocal harmonies that might have even seem more suited for Folk or Country. They threw in huge dynamic shifts to create a blend of rock and pop that could please all different tastes in music. Huge beat downs at the ends of tracks like Rouen went down a storm, cracking out riffs similar to that of Billy Talent and the like. Following on from them was All The Other Humans, who pulled a good crowd to this intimate venue. Blending metal, pop and rock elements and even heavy breakdowns at the end, tracks like ‘seven years of bad luck’ stuck out for me. With a really cool intricate break down, and some tasty guitar work, it was a crowd favourite. These guys had elements of Hell Is For Heroes in there, and I thought if they were slightly tighter it would have made it really great. Bleech were up next, and I had seen them before playing to a much smaller crowd in London back in August. Tonight was much busier, and they had a lot of loyal fans in the front row cheering them on. They played a tight performance, bringing in three way vocals for some of their songs which always impresses me. They had a huge sound considering there was only three of them up there. Slave To Gravity had a slightly heavier sound, but people stuck around for their riff-based rock. Powerful vocals and massive choruses worked really well, and some really interesting riffs were used, shying away from the ‘chug rock’ that it can become so easily. Epic tunes with big changes throughout. by Mark Allen
David Hasselhoff – Jump in My Car
Worst No. 1 2000-2009 Mary-Rose D’Ambrosio
The Crazy Frog
There’s only two words to describe this song – incredibly cringe-worthy. He was like 53 when he released that song which is also pretty creepy.
Did They Take The Power Back?
After the greatest joust in popular music since Blur went head to head with Oasis in 1995, Rage Against The Machine stormed the UK charts on the 20th December with their defiant 1992 anthem Killing in the Name, scraping the number one spot ahead of X Factor-favourite Joe McElderry. The grass roots movement to topple Simon Cowell’s karaoke cash cow was the brainchild of Jon and Tracy Morter, two online activists “fed up” with the media mogul enslaving the Christmas music scene. What started out as a modest ambition quickly snowballed into a Facebook frenzy, with the group gaining an average of 100,000 members per day; some enticed by the novelty of Zach De La Rocha’s infamous expletives resounding across the nation, whilst others believed the idea was a chance to break away from the mainstream mediocrity. As the contest heated up and various factions were devised, the celebrities soon waded into the ring. In one corner, Team Joe: a damp-eyed Cheryl Cole who accused the public of “bullying” her star-struck protégée and Simon Cowell, whose ego clearly not affected by his streak of successes, claimed the “cynical campaign”
was aimed at him as an individual. Swooping in to aid Sony-socialism entered Sir Paul McCartney, stating that The thing that annoys me most a Rage victory would be “funny” and demonstrating an about this song is that its ‘creators’ appropriate U-turn after his despairing performance of can probably now retire because Drive My Car during the X Factor finale. It seems strange that a seventeen-year-old hard-hitting political statement about deep-rooted institutional racism across the US should penetrate our own culture in such a profound way. Whether Rage Against The Machine’s victory was a breakthrough for the yuletide cynics or a marketing ploy indirectly influenced by a conglomerate industry is irrelevant. What really matters is the dwindling singles format, which suffered throughout the last decade, was briefly rekindled by an entirely democratic group of people determined to make a difference.
Despite the millions spent on mind-numbing advertising, superficial smiles and enough strobe lighting to outgun a THX lightsaber duel on ecstasy, there is still some satisfaction in realizing the British public won’t do as Richard Beddington they’re told just yet. by Tom Goulding
of it; by using a badly replicated synth line from an average cop show with a speech impaired amphibian – sorry what? In book terms it’s the equivalent of eating a couple of cans of ‘alphabetti sphagetti’, popping a couple of laxatives, getting a good night sleep and then defecating on a page of A4 and yet I’d be lucky to escape a prison term if I took that to Random House let alone add six zeros to my bank balance …
Worst No. 1 2000-2009
Dance and Theatre......
Welcome Back Dance and Theatre readers and Happy New Somester! I hope you enjoy this issue and as ever if you’d like to write an article please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In particular we are looking for more writers for Theatre. Many Thanks, Rachel Gildea Dance and Theatre Editor
I hope you all had a fun, relaxing festive break and are looking forward to the new semester! If you want to have some time away from revision and/or coursework in February, here’s a selection of the events that we have coming up that may tickle your fancy. For a full programme please go to www.surrey.ac.uk/arts or pick up an Arts Brochure from the PATS building lower foyer or the Art Gallery, which is situated next to the Bookshop. Sunday 31 January: Composers/Choreographers Workshop Presentations When: 7.30pm Where: PATS Dance Studio What: An evening of new works devised over an intensive weekend by students in the Departments of Music & Sound Recording and Dance, Film and Theatre Studies. How much: Free Wednesday 3 February: Film showing Lagaan When: 6pm Where: In our new ‘art house cinema’, alternatively known as the PATS Dance Studio What: The second screening in our Catch up on your Bollywood season, Lagaan: Once upon a time in India is one of the most celebrated Bollywood epics of all time. If you haven’t been to a Bollywood screening before then this is deﬁnitely a good place to start. How much: Free Sunday 7 February: Free For All Concert When: 7.30pm Where: University Hall What: The University’s Department of Music & Sound Recording presents the Free for All Concert, showcasing the enormous range of musical styles and talent of the various bands and performers within the department. Roots open for drinks. Where else will you be on a Sunday evening? How much: £3 Friday 12 February: Steven Isserlis Cello Recital When: 7.30pm Where: PATS Studio One What: An evening of chamber music with a programme celebrating the anniversaries of Chopin, Barber, Schumann and Dohnanyi. How much: £10 for students. Call 01483 686 876. Also this February… The University’s Symphony Orchestra and Choir will perform at Guildford Cathedral on Saturday 20th February. Performing one of Western classical music’s most famous and celebrated works, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, it is set to be a magical evening in the Cathedral. Highly recommended! We expect you will be moved! Are you bored of the usual lunch hour sat around feeling lethargic following a morning of lectures? Why not liven up your lunch-hour and try something new? Every Wednesday we hold free lunchtime concerts in the PATS Building, Studio One between 1.10pm and 2pm.
Actual Size Dance Company – Latest News and Info
Actual Size is now currently working with choreographer Rachel Burn to create a piece of work for the Ignition Dance Platform (Godalming). The performance event will run over two nights – Thursday 25th-Fri 26th Feb, 7:30pm. Moving On All final year students that run Actual Size Dance Co and the Education Team will be passing on our roles soon. However, to ensure that the company continues to operate as smoothly and professionally as possible, those taking over will be shadowing and working along myself and Kirsty Sidaway the remainder of this term until Easter. Those working with Tara Baker (Artistic Director) will be, Mikey Adamson HE1, Nathan Coakley HE1, Giovanna Lopez HE2 and Rachel Gildea HE1; working alongside Kirsty for the Education Team will be Jo Palmer HE2. In the meantime, Tara Baker will still be over-seeing the company’s current events. Should you have any enquires regarding professional workshops please contact Tara Baker: email@example.com or Giovanna Lopez: firstname.lastname@example.org Dates for your diary: Wed 10th Feb – Technique class with Judith Mandel Winslow, PATS, 6-7:30pm No session week starting 15th Feb. Wed 24th Feb – Bedlam Dance Company, PATS, 6-8pm Wed 3rd March – Technique class with Clare Brzezicki, AC Studio, 6-8pm Last session Wed 10th March – PATS JAM, lead Tara Baker, AC Studio, 6-8pm All sessions will cost £2 as a contribution towards getting in more professional practitioners. “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls.” – Merce Cunningham
The Rite Boyz Review of Ballet Boyz Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Broadcast on BBC 3 Wednesday 6th January 2010
The BBC Christmas season is one that does much for the promotion of dance in this country. This season a documentary of an exciting – and quite daring – production of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. For those who know of the original Rite, which was created in 1913, an array of reaction prevailed; similarly Michael Nunn and William Trevitt’s modern day setting provides quite controversial reaction. Stravinsky’s original Rite saw tribes gather to observe the pagan ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death. Keeping true to the original narrative, The Boyz begin their adaptation by searching for tribes. They use, for the most part, professional dancers of varying stylistic talents: from B Boyz, to commercial and contemporary; although, what did come as a shock to viewers was their use of amateur dancers. After all, this ambitious project with its tight schedule is surely challenging enough for a professional dancer, let alone an amateur one. The performance itself takes place in Shoreditch, East London to a select group who form a standing audience. Colours contrast as the harsh white spotlights highlight the steely poles that populate the stage. The remaining area remains in shadow, an air of mystery and anticipation surrounds all who are present. One of the B Boyz, a black male dancer, enters the stage. He emerges animalistic, acrobatic as he runs on his hands with incredible skill; slow, suspended balances. A true leader of his tribe, he beckons the others on stage. Here begins the B Boyz section ‘Dance of the Adolescents’. Black trousers, white shirts and leathers reinforce the setting as a danceoff scene transcends; their tricks and skills are presented for all to see. Whooping and hollering they assert their tribal instincts; a dance of virtuosity. Not quite as one might expect, ‘The Dance of Fertility’ features two pole dancers from Essex. However, due to strong preconceptions that surround, perhaps very few of the audience would expect such a thrilling section. In unison they demonstrate their tremendous flexibility, strength and stamina as they hold themselves in some daring positions. Their high technique gives a Burlesque feel to their performance, they are truly mesmerising to watch. ‘The Dance of the Sacrificial Virgins’ is represented in masculine form for this adaptation. For this the four men dance with vigorous energy, almost disturbingly so. The Chosen One emerges from them, his blood stained hand a symbol for his pain. Angular, jagged lines in the body, reaching hands and high focus as if to God connote this frantic climax of the piece. Challenging the power of gender roles. This adaptation has every reason to not succeed. Its complex score and unlikely cast are just some of the reasons. However, the result is not merely a culmination of effort and luck but the enthusiasm of all involved. Collaboration on such a huge scale does work and for the most part, it is the desire to portray new and exciting. by Lucy Al-Zoghbi
Christmas – When the Dance Department went public… Review of Christmas Showcase PATS, University of Surrey 15th, 16th December 2009
Paper strewed across the floor, a white bucket placed beside it. The piece is about lists. The dancers appear to be ticking off movement as they go. We hear small movements of the feet, a voice speaking in the background. A mix of rock’n’roll music follows, then some modern r’n’b: a bricolage. The grey costumes of the dancers, a head inside the bucket, water poured, jerky movements. In true a Surrey style of juxtaposition – a line of ballerinas enter, all donning white tutus, poised, beautiful, weaving their way down the stage. Classical piano complements the dance; their precision and technical ability leaves us in awe. Next, a flurry of dancers swarm the stage, frenzied running, exhaling loudly in the silence. Feet squeak across the floor. They hit the floor out of time, in their own worlds. Spoken words heard, “I cannot imagine”, “hunger”, “signs of life”. I was proud, I have to say. Then, the bass line swallows the space, a slightly disturbing inclination, one dancer present on stage, highlighted by a low yellow light. Stillness. Black clothing. A second body walks on stage, grabbing and pinching their arm. Considerate and sensual partner work ensues. Then, my personal favorite: A camouflage of greens and browns, the music to the film “Atonement” is sharp, a typewriter, beautiful rivets of piano. It tells the story of life in the trenches: the fear, the need to be strong, friendship, the unknown. Sensual partner work, along with strong highlighting turning jumps. Dancers in black costumes, sitting. Words are spoken, “That’s wrong”, “One two”, “Off”. There are four dancers all very linear in bright lighting. Quick and jerky the dance in unison, heads all leaning on one another whilst walking. They contort one another, create floor work, you can see the strong relationship between the dancers, finishing with one final word…”Off”. by Lili Thorn Gent
The New CDI programme for all Surrey Dance Students! Thursdays 5pm-6.30pm PATS Dance Studio ALL for FREE Exclusively for Dance students ... and there’s no need to sign up – simply come to as many as you like 11 February: Efi Danza Professional Dance School of Despina Grigoriadou, Greece graduate. Contemporary-Jazz class 18 February: Iris Chan University of Surrey graduate. Release class with improvisation and partner work 25 February: Theresa Hawkins University of Surrey graduate. Mixed contemporary class 04 March: Rachel Burn Middlesex University graduate. Cunningham class 11 March: Vanessa Abreu Laban graduate. Release/Cunningham class Julie Havelund CDI Coordinator, University of Surrey email@example.com -
It’s a duet, but it takes three: you, me, us.
Review of Resolution! The Place, London Tuesday 19th January
A man and a woman look blankly out into the audience from the dimly lit stage. They stand together but their differences and unease gives rise to an awkward third presence. In silence they twist shyly away from it or edge clumsily into it. A brilliantly accurate portrayal of the exchanges which take place between a couple. Body language speaks volumes as the unconscious shows itself. As they entwine and retract, the space between them shrinks and grows. They copy, support, push, shoulder, slide across one another – discordant mostly, dancing in and out of the shadows created by the hanging lightbulbs which they switch on and off. The beginning of the New Year marks the start of the largest contemporary platform in Europe – ‘Resolution! In six weeks 102 different performances bring their ideas about dance to The Place, London. Three duets were performed that evening but it was the relationship explored in the first one which captured me: the space between the dancers. The second and third seemed rather lack lustre in comparison; aesthetically pleasing, but devoid of anything more substantial in terms of meaning – they didn’t go far,
or deep enough. Well described by The Guardian as a night of ‘pick-n-mix’, Resolution! can be hit or miss, although Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter both got their first breaks there. It continues until the 20th February so I recommend you take the chance. Love it or hate it you’ll have plenty to talk about on the way home, and it’s not bad for a fiver. by Rachel Gildea
Are we over the Christmas tradition of Pantomime? Or will it continue to be an entity in British society at Christmas time?
‘It’s Beeehhhiiinnnnd you!’
The Christmas pantomime: a long standing tradition, attended by many as part of their holiday happenings. It is normally aimed at families with children; however adults do attend regardless whether this is because they are carrying on something they did as children or whether they actually enjoy the obvious jokes and audience banter. The stories that provide the pantomime are usually derived from fairy tales and stories, many now Disney films, that will be familiar to children such as; Snow White, Dick Whittington, Cinderella, Peter Pan etc. They are performed over the country during the festive season. As much as they are all similar in that way, the production I saw in London seemed much more professional. Dance plays an important role in pantomime. It offers entertainment and
another piece of the fun to enjoy. This year one of our fellow dancers, a second year here at the University of Surrey successfully auditioned and performed in a local panto. Although the production didn’t have the same effects or elaborate scenes as the London one it was still fun and the question ‘are we over the pantomime?’ was answered: cheesy as it may be it is an national treasure. A lot of dancers in panto are training or trained professionals training at places like Laine Theatre Arts or Itial Conti so it is encouraging to know that people in courses like ours (BA Dance and Culture) are successfully taking part in professional pantos, and congratulations to her. Food for thought: think outside the box – audition / take part in professional projects... Don’t turn your back on panto just yet... by Jennifer Pearce
Film Get the popcorn ready......
Your DVD Reviews
As you’d expect from the director of Oldboy, this ain’t Twilight. It’s bloody, sexy, it’s bizarre beyond all comprehension but somehow it works. After a failed medical experiment a priest becomes a vampire, and immediately falls in love with everything he has spent his life renouncing – drinking blood a surprisingly small part of that. As with all good vampire movies, it’s hardly about vampires at all. True, he does have to deal with where to get blood from; settling on a comatose hospital patient for a little while, but the film is far more interested in his lust for the married woman than his for blood.
This film just doesn’t work. In parts, it has itself believing it’s a romance-driven story, in others it appears to be a barely cohesive fable about how life sets itself in an order we are not meant to stand in the way of. Larry David plays the part of Boris Yellnikoff, a previously suicidal pessimist who seems to be a less aggressive version of his famous small-screen character Larry David, of the hit US show Curb Your Enthusiasm. His rants are altogether more intelligently pieced together but as the film strolls along – seemingly unaware that it’s even supposed to be a professional production given the standard of script and shoddy acting – the long-winded and ever so tiresome monologues begin to wear thin. Whether it’s the fact that the recipients are one-dimensional simpletons with little to no actual personality nor ability to be offended, or that Boris plays across from Southern yokel Melody who doesn’t seem to show emotion or common sense, the power of the rants and the dialogue itself lacks the brilliance of Curb’s opposing characters, each of whom display a comic hostility which makes them so endearing and Larry David a much more loveable and stupendous character. audience. Boris will often speak to the camera as if confiding in the faithful understanding of the cinema audience, letting us in on how he feels about certain characters at points in the film. The problem is, we don’t care about the characters nor the plot which seems to throw bizarre scenarios at the audience and expects them to shrug their shoulders and continue watching. The love-story plot lacks any credence or realism; characters are introduced on a whim and seemingly require little to no background information, whilst those who should be taken aback by sequential plot points appear to not give a damn. We are expected to believe that a 20-something year old would happily settle down with a 50 year old at the drop of a hat, regardless of his grouchy attitude towards her and his habit of spewing nothing but derogatory remarks her way. When a new man enters her life – quite where he came from we truly don’t know – she is all too happy to forget she was ever married to Boris in the first place, dismissing her deeprooted traditional values of staying true to one’s husband, instead sleeping with the next man to speak to her. For a film written and devised by Woody Allen, Whatever Works lacks the wit and sharp attributes which have made his back catalogue classic works. However, here we find an outdated film presumably set in present day but possessing the mindset of a 1940s love story gone wrong. The values at work don’t suit the hustle and bustle of New York City, the characters lack any real personality or genuine emotion and the dialogue reinforces the confusion of the mixture of supposed eras. The only saving grace – but one which does nothing to actually save the film any blushes – is the inclusion of Boris’ smart one-liners which add an element of dry humour amongst a backdrop of boredom, archaic beliefs and a surprisingly lacking piece of work.
As befits the rest of South-Korea’s recent output, the direction has more stylish cool than anything out of the Western world recently. Don’t be put off by it’s idiosyncrasies, the film is surprisingly accessible, possibly due to it’s familiar premise, but more likely just plain good writing that make it never, ever boring. Right down to the almost wordless final sequence that’ll both punch you in the gut and maybe even make you laugh out loud, which pretty much sums up this messy, stylish and weirdly romantic film. The film itself doesn’t seem to know what it wants to tell the *****
Val Kilmer used to be Batman. Let’s hope he’s remembered for Heat, Top Gun and the criminally under-watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and not this straight-to-DVD actioner. It’s all about evil, evil corporations spying on people in a not too subtle way (the McDonald’s logo is on the Hoover Dam and Stone Henge projects the Windows logo in this nearfuture setting). Cuba Gooding Jr. is in a car accident and gets amnesia (what is it with straight-to-DVD movies and amnesia??) but his life is saved by a microchip implanted by Val Kilmer’s big evil corporation. They then inexplicably try to kill him and he goes on the run, assisted by messages in his head. It all becomes a bit of a mess after that, a bit Matrix, a bit Bourne, without any of the good qualities. Pretty much all I can recommend about it is Val Kilmer’s what I can only hope is a wig, and Cuba Gooding Jr.’s hilarious confused/”Nooooo!” acting. Also a head explodes in the first minute. What’s funny is I wanted to trash Thirst as I’m so sick of vampires, and I thought a good fun Val Kilmer action movie would be the perfect cure. Go rent Hard Boiled instead. *****
With the final season of Lost starting soon catching up on previous seasons is always good for a laugh. Call me crazy, I miss Boone. Also new out are Adventureland and (500) Days of Summer, both great romances with comedy and truth to them. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is nowhere near as good as you think it’ll be, The Hurt Locker so much more. Or do yourself a favour, as well as Val Kilmer, and get Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He kisses Robert Downey Jr.. ***** by Jonathan Wilson
by James Stansfeld
Directed by: Jason Reitman Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick Up In The Air is the darling of film critics these days in the run up to the Academy Awards, with many of them calling it variations of “a funny, witty comedy”. A film that’s “right on time, as the recession is on”. I honestly do not understand how a film about a guy who fires people for a living called be ‘comedy’ by any yardstick. The problem with Up In The Air is that it simply doesn’t bring up anything new at all, nor does it bring up anything we know of in an interesting way. It doesn’t particularly surprise you or move you in any way whatsoever. The plot is extremely predictable and not once does it ever spring a surprise upon you.
Anna Kendrick’s fake acting is terrible enough to earn her a position on the list of ‘Closest Thing Humanity Has To Android Actors’, right up there with Hayden Christensen and Daniel Radcliffe. The only saving grace is George Clooney, who tries his best to save this film from crash-landing. It’s only in the last fifteen minutes or so of the movie that it has some substance in it; when Clooney’s character is coming to terms with the fact that rethinking his way of living doesn’t work out for him. Up In The Air is nothing more than a chick flick masquerading as a highbrow “witty commentary of the times we live in”. Awkward interactions between humans does not necessarily equate to a good film. ***** by Ankur Banerjee
Up In The Air
Away We Go
From director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) comes this bohemian guide to parenting – a film which does its best to tug on the heartstrings and present the morals which so many first time parents find hard to establish and implement themselves. The film takes us on a journey across the United States as we join parents-to-be Burt and Verona attempt to decide just how they’re going to raise their child in a New Age and contemporary America. The very idea of being pregnant comes as a shock to Verona (Maya Rudolph), but when she and Burt (John Krasinski) decide to keep the child they suddenly start questioning just how they would approach parenthood in a world full of mixed messages of sex, marriage and how to raise children. Along their journey, the couple come across childhood and college friends – each of whom has their own history and their own methods of raising their children. Of those, they meet a couple who effectively disown their offspring and distance themselves where possible, an overly bohemian couple who follow a hippy lifestyle, a husband and wife who cannot conceive and so chose to adopt a quartet and give them the lives previously deemed impossible, and the final chapter - a recently divorced father who cherishes everything his daughter does and stands for in his life. Whilst the messages played to the audience are obvious and simply play up existing stereotypes, it’s the relationship between Burt and Verona which moulds the film together. Their encounters with the different couples reflect in them what they need to understand and appreciate in order to better the life of their unborn child, Burt’s brother proving in particular a poignant reminder that the child is more important than any indifferences between the parents. Where Away We Go excels is in its simplified presentation. There is rarely a scene which overwhelms and whilst the stereotypes put forth to the audience are at times unnecessary, there is a certain quality about the subtle tragedies behind each chapter that brings the film above what would normally be a pedestrian piece. There are definite similarities between this and Revolutionary Road in that they both share a frank sense of reality which soon dawns on the audience, but that aside, this is a novel and refreshing piece from Mendes. ***** by James Stanfield
The Princess and the Frog (U)
Finally, an animation that does not involve 3D glasses! It is a tall order these days to just warrant an animated film in good old-fashioned, rich, immersive 2D. This may sound quaint, but watching The Princess and the Frog just reminds you how valuable hand-drawn animation is. The story is based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale of ‘The Frog Prince’. A voodoo curse is conjured upon a prince, which turns him into a frog. In order to break the spell he has to kiss a princess, which he mistakes for an African-American girl named Tiana. After Tiana kisses the frog prince, she herself turns into a frog and both are lost in the bayou. The film is pretty archaic and nonetheless harmless. It seems unfair to weigh it up against such 3D animations like Up (which is obviously more appealing and superior). However, no matter how lightweight and procedural the whole narrative arc is, it is amiable enough to pass a good Saturday afternoon. I would certainly endorse the film for hand drawn 2D animation alone.
by Ollie Sim
The Hurt Locker
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug. – Chris Hedges The Hurt Locker begins with this quote from war correspondent Chris Hedges. One could be forgiven for anticipating that the film to follow will be a glorification of war with the kind of slow-motion footage of army soldiers that Michael Bay has championed. Indeed, film critics have even come up with a cute little (and often overused) term for it – ‘war porn’. And yet, that is precisely the sort of depiction that the film stays away from. It isn’t an intense battle movie, like Black Hawk Down was, nor does it have much iconic dialogue. What The Hurt Locker is is a snapshot of what life is for military personnel who aren’t necessarily fighting on the front-line, and yet face mortal peril each day of their job. And how diffusing bombs in real life isn’t about nervously deciding to “cut the red wire or the green wire” while a clock ticks down “ten seconds to detonation”. What really makes the film stand out is how understated the acting is. Jeremy Renner’s performance as the maverick head of the bomb diffusal team who acts in ways others consider reckless, and yet still portraying the character as a human being who is just trying to get the job done, is stellar. The plot is very much characterdriven, and it works because the characters are ones you can believe in. ***** by Ankur Banerjee
Have you seen a good film lately? Let us know at:
Avatar is an object lesson in how style cannot outclass substance. It does not matter much now because Avatar has smashed the record for the highest grossing film of all time. It is as critic-proof as you are going to get this year or any other year. James Cameron certainly does not have to worry. The film takes place in the future on a fictional planet called Pandora. The army are hauled in from Earth in order to “obtain” a valuable resource on Pandora, aptly named “unobtanium”. In order to level the area, they need to evict the inhabitants called the Na’vi. In order to do so, they send in avatars of a select group of military personnel and scientists. If you want to enjoy Avatar to its fullest extent, you need to wipe the synopsis from your memory bank. Avatar is a visual showcase and that just about describes all that is good about it. Once you get past the breathtaking awe of Pandora, you are going to have to darn well struggle to find anything else good. The problem is that James Cameron can do images, but he cannot get a grasp on a proper story without condescending. Constantly we are given intervals where Giovanni Ribisi has to explain that in order to obtain the “unobtainium”, they have to level that big tree. James, you can stop now, we know. Avatar is a stunning achievement in visual spectacle, but it is baggy, overlong, and steeped in pomposity. I have to admit, it is a shame. It did exceed my expectations for the first hour, but when I left reserved my judgement for a couple of days it did occur to me how annoyingly empty it is. In the end, I cannot take its eco-allegory seriously, nor its invasion of a foreign land for an “unobtainable” source. Calling that rich source ‘unobtainium’ is enough to tell you how sloppy eyed James Cameron’s narrative capability is. So first of all, see it in the biggest screen you can with full quality surround sound. Secondly, don’t bring a watch. The film is a hundred minutes too long. But most of all try and find a showing in 2D. Visually, it is a treat, but there was no time in Avatar where I felt 3D was essential. One does not need to get the ‘immersive’ experience, by putting on sunglasses. ***** by Ollie Sim
Literature Get those creative juices flowing....
Are you creative? Do you enjoy writing? Would you like to publish a short story? Get in touch!
firstname.lastname@example.org Centenarians...Now They Have Got A Story To Tell!
Living over one hundred years may seem like a daunting prospect, but as Professor Tina Koch revealed in her public lecture on UK and Australian centenarians*, those who tackle the challenge do so with a strong will and, more often than not, a great sense of humour. There are nearly 12,000 people aged 100 and over living in the UK, and more than 2,400 in Australia, but despite the fascination this age group has received elsewhere, neither country has given it much recognition. However, after witnessing the depersonalisation ageism caused within the medical community, Professor Koch decided to try and alter the stereotype that the elderly were not interesting individuals. What better way than to tell their stories? And boy, did they have some stories! From working in the mines, to pinching future spouses on the bum, everyone interviewed had a memory to share. 100th birthday celebrations were a
favourite topic; festivities ranged from ordering 100 balloons to requesting a new wardrobe, and always included a letter from the Queen. Also, despite the general consensus that there was no hidden secret to living longer, there were a few overlapping recommendations, such as eating healthily, working hard and keeping friends and family close. Dancing proved effective (another excuse to go to Rubix) as did Tai-Chi, because of the positive effects they have on balance and flexibility. That said, living to such a grand old age is not without its difficulties, as these centenarians will tell you. Koch’s interviews revealed the inconvenience arthritis and loss of eyesight caused in their day to day life, but many saw it as just that – a minor inconvenience. With over half the UK centenarians researched living independently or with a family member, their determination to maintain a positive outlook on life
was clear. What resonated with me most by the end of the lecture was how easily years of experience could have been lost if Professor Koch and her research team – Professor Pam Smith, Dr Nimmie Hutnik and Rose Turner – didn’t take the time to sit down and have these conversations. Regardless how daunting the age gap may seem, you never know what story someone may be waiting to tell until you ask. by Eunice Njagi * This was the first in a series of public lectures led by Tina Koch on Storytelling taking place in LTM. The next lecture will be held on Wednesday 10th February, and it will be an event you won’t want to miss! The project ‘Talking with 24 centenarians is being continued at the University, and centenarians are still being actively recruited. Anyone wishing to participate in the study should call 078793 51704.
I still cling to the memory of us
Your arms held me and I couldn’t breath Your lips kissed me and I didn’t need to you Your eyes saw me and I couldn’t leave Because under their gaze I was beautiful The world was on fire when we were together And with every touch, the air burned. by Danielle Asante
There are some words that when you say them, you feel them. Now I’m not saying FRESH is an onomatopoeic tool... but for me it is. Fresh! Just saying it out loud, doesn’t it make you feel rejuvenated, like you want to stretch out and skip? It’s a fresh new year, and a chance to start afresh. Maybe try a detox and get rid of the Christmas junk, in my case only to make more room for Easter. It’s a fresh term at Uni, so today breathe in the fresh air and make the most of this fresh day. As for me, I’m off to get a tall glass of fresh lemonade, yummy!
James Allman’s literary review, innit
What up. Me name is James Allman. Cause I is ALL MAN… and me name is James. The other day I was thinking about all the great works of literature and a passion suddenly gripped me, a need to share my knowledge with the world. Oh and I saw a proper fit bird and thought that she’d be well impressed if she thought I was all into books and shit. So yeah here are some reviews of books that I has/hasn’t read. Sorted Romeo and Juliet by Will Shakespeares ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a book by Will Shakespeares. He is proper famous, and did sumthin with Doctor Who at Christmas. My mum saw it and she said it was good. Before he did the thing with Doctor Who he was doing ‘Romeo and Juliet’. I haven’t read the book but I has seen the film and it is basically the same, but with more pictures. So what it is yeah there is like Leonardo Di Caprio is going to this house party with the bloke from ‘Lost’ who is a tranny, but a tranny with pills. So Leonardo Di Caprio takes loads of pills, to get off his head and finds a girl, I donno what she is off but I think she is in that film which I haven’t seen. Anyway they get off with each other and stare a fish bowl for like ages cause she likes fish or something. But see the thing is not everything is them shagging and staring at fish tanks, no cause her brother, the dwarf from Moulin Rouge, has grown and is proper angry! I donno what he is angry about cause in the film they is all speakin gibberish, I think they is all Welsh or something. So the dwarf brother man is like given Leonardo Di Caprio gip about the Titanic sinking or something so Leonardo Di Caprio’s shoot’s him in the head. Cause Leonardo Di Caprio has murdered the ex-dwarf man he is sent, not to jail but to live in a caravan, as that’s properly what they do in Wales. So yeah Leonardo Di Caprio is in a caravan and then his girlfriend sends a postman out to tell him to meet her at a church, because they don’t have mobile phones in Wales. Anyway Leonardo stops off to pick up these E’s from a man but that makes him late. So when he get’s there she’s like asleep, so he falls asleep, and then she wakes up and see’s him, moans, about him sleeping I think, for a bit then falls asleep… so they’re both asleep. In conclusion ‘Romeo and Juilet’ is good, so props to Will Shakespeares on that, but not is as good as like ‘Skins’ or something like that. So, better luck next time Will Shakespeares! 1984 by George Orwell My mate said this was a proper good book so I read it, well when I said read it I mean I read a bit of it. I said to my mate that the bloke who wrote it was that Ice skater bloke. But he said that was Torvill and Dean, not Orwell and Dean. That may affect my review as I kept expecting Ice skating and there wasn’t any, so I was well disappointed… Anyway this book is proper weird! It’s set in 1984 and the people just sit around watching Big Brother in this cinema place, I didn’t even know big Brother was on back then! Yeah but it’s well different as well cause in the normal big brother it’s proper interesting cause of all the gays and fit birds, but in this one it’s just one bloke talking! I mean WTF? The main bloke in the story he thinks, there’s no fit birds on big brother so I’m gonna get myself a fit bird, but when he does get a fit bird, he gets arrested cause he got off with a fit bird. That is well sexist! But I learnt a lot about history as in 1984 everyone’s gay or something as there’s no fit birds in Big Brother and getting off with fit birds is illegal. So yeah bet 1984 was proper shit to live in. Avatar by the Man who did Titanic properly Will Shakspeares I donno if there’s a book about it but there is a film and it is proper wicked!!!! It’s about all these men who are blue and have guns!!! As I said it is proper wicked!!!!1 Brokeback Mountain by Heath Ledger Right yeah I know there’s a film about it, but there is also a book also cause I has seen it in the book section in Tesco and I has read the front cover. So yeah like it’s about the Joker from Batman and Donnie Darko, they really enjoy camping all the time but their girlfriends don’t like camping so they divorce them at the end. But my mate said they were gay and it’s all about being gay?! WTF!?!? They weren’t gay they just really enjoy camping and how can they be gay if they have girlfriends?!?! That’s impossible like against science or Jesus or something!? The story is sort of like what happens before the Joker becomes the Joker. Like before he tried to kill Batman and let his mum do his make up, he used to wear cowboy hats and talked like Forest Gump. So yeah in conclusion it’s is well worth a read and has nothing to do with gays. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The people at The Stag said I should read this book, but I didn’t cause it is well big and written by a Welsh bloke. Though I can guess as it’s called ‘Crime and Punishment’ it’s about like Crime and… Punishment, so its properly a cop thing like ‘24’ or Beverly Hills Cop’. In fact as it is written in like 1866 it’s properly the thing ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ is based on. So I bet if you like ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ or any of the other Eddie Murphy movies like ‘The Nutty Professor’, ‘Sherk’ or ‘The Nutty Professor 2’ then you’ll properly like ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Pride and Prejudice by Keria Knightly I really liked this book cause Keria Knightly is well fit and I has a thing for posh people. I like the message of the book, that like yeah people in other poor parts of Britain is like starving and dying like Oliver twist, but it don’t matter cause Keria Knightly is wearing in a corset and is trying to get off with David Cameron. Sorted. That comes to the end of my reviews. If you likes the way roll then do send me more stuff to review, but do bear in mind, while I is a lover of great works of literature, I have a very busy nightly schedule of getting wasted and staring at girls, in that order, innit. I may be able to read your stuff during the day but I is usually hungover and playing Call Of Duty then. James Allman
Word Of The Moment
As I wait amongst the trees of this striking trail, I notice a sparkling of yellow amid the shrubs. Amazing; seeing my first fox, to me, is like seeing a phoenix or a griffin. I keep deadly still, my eyes lock on to hers, and we exchange a piercing gaze. The orange marvel is the first to break contact; for a moment she cranes her neck towards the stars and releases a long, shrill cry, like the sound of a screaming woman. She stops without warning and stares at me once more; somehow I sense an expression of purpose, of intent. Gradually, she edges forward, not directly, but with snakelike weaving through the grass. Her magnificent bushy tail – a brush, I think it’s called – moves elegantly from side to side, waving in tandem with her slender body; the effect of this beautiful creature, in a star-filled night, approaching me in between a trail of sycamore’s is mesmerising. I feel hypnotised by the sheer majesty of this wondrous being. Always she keeps my gaze, growing in confidence as she steps ever closer. There are only about ten metres between us now and my heart is pounding, trying to escape the enclosure of my ribs; eight metres and I feel a sense of connection like never before; six metres and I know now that this connection is nothing other than love; five and I feel bound to this creature through awe and love and now I know that I must have her, she is mine and I am hers; three metres and our sense of oneness is overwhelming, as I see in her eyes too, that she feels this sense of togetherness just as much as I; one metre and in one swift movement I reach for the neck of the fox, whilst grasping, in my pocket, our binding tool and cut her throat before she can let out a scream. Now she – oh, wait, it’s a he, how strange – now he is mine forever; mine and mine only. But hush now, the time for my true deed has come, as I can finally see my lady, just a speck at the moment, running along the trail.
by Shervin Hejazi Father, Father Who is mine Father? He who feeds and give me warmth Or he who gloats and shines from afar? I choose the latter to confess That tonight, I have sinned: A great, dark sin One blind to the eye, Unholy in all forms Warm to the touch But damp to the paw With the devil’s liquor To temptation I’ve been led But I, Father, do not ask for forgiveness Nor do I gleam about an excuse I merely ask that you accept My holy dysfunction; my Awesome digression; of Seeking eternity, that I am, majorly defeated.
The Perfect Prescription for Winter Blues
In the cold wintry days and nights of February there’s not much to do, especially when snowed in, as in recent weeks. Right now, there’s an even greater need to take a break to balance out the stress of exams and deadlines. The ideal method of relaxation is therefore to curl up in front of the fire, on a nice plush sofa with a warm cup of tea (all a dream mind you; no such luxuries on campus accommodation!) and read a good book. What better way is there to spend the evening? But, I hear you cry, which novel should I choose? Why, Dickens of course! Set in the imaginary Coketown, Hard Times is an eye-opening tale about the suffering of factory workers that will keep you hooked while you wait out this chilly season. The protagonist Ceclia Jupe, the daughter of a poor clown, fights against the regime of education instilled by tyrannical schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind. The children are taught “nothing but facts” – for “facts alone are wanted in life”. In Dickens’ created model of a contrived society this represents what can happen if human creativity is contained and lost, and reading it will rejuvenate any creative passion you may have lost over the holidays. Hard Times isn’t the most well known of Dickens’ works, since most people associate Dickens with the pomp and swagger of Victorian Britain, or with moral tales of redemption like with our favourite Ebenezer Scrooge. However, though this was his typical style, it belies the fact that Dickens was a hard working member of the lower classes who fought his way to the top of literary fame. Hard Times is more symbolic of this; Dickens taking a stand against the utilitarian working conditions of the time, and writing against the industrial cities with their “interminable serpents of smoke”. So whether you’re wrapped up in your duvet or using a screensaver as a substitute fireplace –or both – Hard Times is what you should be reading. And if you don’t like, then sir, I call you a scrooge (or more appropriately a Gradgrind!). by Daniel Pilgrim
by Bhavan Aujla
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The hugely popular Mic night kicks around 8pm with Monday Madness mixes up concoction of lots Special famousacocktails. It may beofa drinks deals it isPromotionsOpenhosted by AlistairoffCowan. The ﬂoor is ayours of Drink Deals and every Monday mix original stuff and covers along with Channies Monday, but to show off your musical talent guitar available, THE place to come you head into Night,untilfor sometotunes and promos beforelike you mean catch are welcome to bring yourand there is a houseMake sure you get or you the DUSK bus own instruments. town. Why wait and don’t your week Friday relax? Begin forget to to end it! here early as it gets packed out!
Tuesday Night | Chancellors’ Challenge & Comedy Night (Alternate Tuesdays)
Make sure you start the the best bar campus Choose fromChancellors isweekend atfor pre-ﬂirtingonbefore youand in Guildford! Chicken, Beef or Nut. the place head Come and test your brains at Chancellors Challenge. Not just for upstairs to Rubix! Make sure you come down early as it will be busy. egg heads, but it helps! Hosted by our able quizmasters you have All served have been warned! You with trimmings for just £4.95 the chance to win cash, free entry to Rubix and many other prizes. Alternate Tuesdays you’ll ﬁnd Comedy Nights here with some of the best names in comedy from the London circuit and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
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Served on Saturday from 10am. So Just whatnext time you dine or drink here, toyourself a pat onstartyouthe day! you money back into give kick the back as have recycled your need providing better facilities for students
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Barclaycard Premiership Under-Rated XI
Left Midfield Andy Reid – Sunderland Open any newspaper or magazine or visit any sports website and you Narrowly beating out Matt Taylor to the left midfield slot is a man who will have been flooded with “South American Team of the Decade”, may never be a world class player, and probably won’t ever star for “European Team of the Year” and, the most frustrating and repetitive a Champion’s League side, but there are few players who can make one of all, “Premiership Team of the Decade”. Every football fan has an the difference that Reid and his left foot can for mid-table Premiership opinion on any one of these teams, and to try and offer an alternative, clubs. let us take a look at who I feel would make it in to my team of players who don’t get the credit they deserve. Centre Midfield Danny Murphy – Fulham Goalkeeper The last of three Fulham players to make the team, which shows how Mark Schwarzer – Fulham far they have come since Roy Hodgson took over (who, incidentally, It seems like there are only two kinds of goalkeepers these days – those would be my pick to manage this team). You rarely see Murphy put a who are beloved by all and then those who don’t deserve praise. Ful- foot wrong, he distributes the ball well, works hard, isn’t afraid to get ham’s Ozzie keeper is one of the few exceptions, where you can see stuck in and can stand up and take control when he is needed. He’s a consistently top notch goalkeeper do his job without the kind of love unfortunate to never have quite turned it on enough to get a chance in that Friedel or Given get. the England squad. by David Holt Right Back Luke Young – Aston Villa Young has been unlucky throughout his career, having to restart his career as a right back following a series of shaky displays through the middle for Spurs, and subsequently been stuck behind the dead-cert right back for England, be it Neville, Richards or Johnson. Left Back Leighton Baines – Everton The newest challenger to Denis Irwin’s “Mr Reliability” title, Baines has made a career out of being solid and dependable at the back. Has never seemed to have moved beyond third choice in the race for the England number 3 shirt but can certainly be trusted when needed. Centre Back Roger Johnson – Birmingham Johnson had a fair few eyes on him after some fantastic displays at the back for Cardiff in the Championship and has proven himself as Premiership quality in his first year in the top flight. Birmingham’s excellent form over Christmas had a lot to thank the sturdy defence for, and probably no-one had more to do with that than Johnson. Centre Midfield Lee Cattermole – Wigan Perhaps the most rated of the players in this team, but still without the attention he deserves. His combative style and ability to sweep up in front of the back four makes him one of Sunderland’s most influential players. There is a reason why Steve Bruce paid £6 to bring him in and there can surely be no doubt that he is good enough to step it up an even higher level. Striker Kevin Davies – Bolton There are just some players in football who will never get credit for what they do. Kevin Davies seems to be one of them. Not exactly a prolific goalscorer, but neither is Emile Heskey and he’s an England regular. Holds the ball up well and is fantastic at winning free kicks, which is invaluable for a team like Bolton who are such a threat from dead balls.
Striker Hugo Rodallega – Wigan You don’t seem to ever know what you will get from Rodallega. Some weeks he can look like a fish out of water, but when he is on, he is capable of moments of genius, like his wonder strike against Aston Villa at Centre Back the start of the season. There are plenty of skilful yet unreliable strikers Aaron Hughes – Fulham through all levels of English football, but Rodallega will get you goals Reading the newspapers you would think that Brede Hangeland played and there aren’t many who can do that. in defence of his own for Fulham. Sure, he’s a great player but we see time and time again that one player can’t manage alone and Aaron Substitutes Hughes is about as under-rated as you can get for someone who plays Brian Jensen – Burnley; Scott Dann – Birmingham; James Tomkins – as consistently as he does West Ham; Matt Taylor – Bolton; Allesandro Diamanti – West Ham; Christian Benitez – Birmingham; Andrey Voronin – what, did you think Right Midfield just because he’s left I’m going to leave him alone? Steven Pienaar – Everton While hardly going unnoticed, Steven Pienaar has strangely seen his Is there anyone you would have liked to see make this team, stock fall slightly from his first loan spell on loan at Everton, but the anyone you think is too highly rated to make it in or someSouth African winger has shown glimpses that he is back to his best one you think is unrated for a reason? Email your thoughts to this season, particularly during Everton’s 2-0 over Manchester City in email@example.com January.
Sports Park ‘Will Have To Prove Worth’
With the all new Surrey Sports Park due to open on the 19th April at a cost of a whopping £36 million it’s quickly becoming the talk of the campus, yet it seems that many are still not sure on what the park will be able to offer. Over the next few months we will be venturing in to a more detailed analysis of what to make of the new Sports Park, but to start the build up to the opening David Holt spoke with Chris Moffat, VP Sports and Recreation to see his views on it, as well as how he has found university sport over the last few months. Hi Chris. Firstly, are you pleased with how sports are coming along at the university this year? After issues at the start with delays in kit distribution from Nike, most clubs have settled into the swing of fixtures and training. I have high hopes for all our teams in their leagues and those who still remain in their cups. Sure. How is the sports park looking at the moment? The last time I went to look around the sports park was a while before Christmas and it was beginning to look amazing, the pool especially. Since then I’ve only been able to see glimpses from the A3 when returning to Guildford from home. I’m told that the keys get passed over to the sports centre staff in a few weeks so they can start their training in the new building. You can find pictures of the pool, gym and sports halls on its Facebook fan page.
that students subsidise external members. It is by far the other way round with external members paying far higher prices than students. This is the way it should be and will remain because they are student facilities. Is there any truth to the talk of the Sports Park being used for training for the 2012 Olympic Games? I have heard this rumour. Although I have heard nothing officially, just searching 'Surrey Sports Park Olympics bid' online will find you several articles proclaiming its use in the London 2018 bid. Will you get to use much of the facilities yourself? I hope to use the facilities a lot. I use the current facilities quite often, but find it too crowded during peak times. Hopefully with more space and a greater variety of things to do I will spend more time there than I do already. I know that a few students are a bit bothered by the price of £195 for membership, as well as £80 for sports club membership, and £10 for each sport you wish to join after that, even if your team won't be using the facilities. How comes the new sports park comes at such a price? This is the controversial issue of the new decade. The way I see it is the Sports Park will have to prove its worth. This will be in terms of the students’ experience, corporate profit and raising the profile of the university. It will need to reach a sum of money each year to be sustainable; I think that £195 a high price but not too much. Of course it is a rise on last year’s price, but what do people expect with the considerable investment made by the university. There are two angles I can see; • Have more external members to subsidise the students, although this will mean the facilities are more crowded and less time and space for students. • Increase the price of student membership and cap the number of external members. This gives more use of facilities but would equate to a huge membership price, well outside any students budget. What we are left with is a compromise, which allows moderate facility use for a very reasonable price. If your team won’t be using the facilities and you have only bought the sports club membership, that money is returned to the Students’ Union and is factored into the year’s budget and grants pot. Okay, sure. Finally, if people wish to contact you about anything sports related, what is the best way to do this? Via email is probably the best: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for your time. What do you make of Chris’ views on the new Sports Park? Are you excited about the prospect of using it, or are you put off by the price? Email your thoughts to sportsdeskstag@ gmail.com
What facilities will be open to students? As far as I know all facilities will be open to students, perhaps excluding the janitors closet and other staff only areas. Will people from outside the university be using the facilities? There will be external members using the facilities as well as alumni and residents. I would like to take this opportunity to correct rumours
Homage To A Little Master
at an average of over 111 over three test matches.
He is the greatest cricketer to ever wear the colours of his home country. He is quite possibly the greatest cricketer to ever step into a cricketing arena. He is the most globally known, globally loved and globally analysed cricketer to ever walk the face of the Earth. He is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Not only is he dedicated, but he’s also very grounded. In a recent interview, when asked how he was able to stay humble in the face of such success so young, he answered that his father taught him to let other people talk about a past match if they wanted to, but it was up to him Sachin Tendulkar is more than just a cricketer, a sportsman, a competi- to concentrate on the next match. He was brought up knowing he was tor: he is more than a motivator, a role model, or an example of a true talented, but to respect the talent within him and be grateful for it. humble nature – he is an ideal. He is what the cricketing world believes as cricketing perfection (or as close to perfection that anyone can be- Sachin Tendulkar is a genius by all accounts; he really is a master of the come without ever actually reaching it). Every stroke of his bat and flick game. He is one of those rare players who are so good who can pick a of his wrist and movement of his feet is such that to try and copy it ball so early that he already has more than one shot he could play for would be to reach his standard of cricket, which is, of course, impos- that ball in his mind. Watching him play is like watching… watching… sible; greatness like Sachin Tendulkar only comes around once every seeing an explosion of the most magnificent bold colours surround you, century or so (and that’s being kind to the next potential ‘great one’). In until you become part of the this outburst of beautiful chaos and fly 2009 the Little Master made it twenty years as an international crick- through the air on a giant, graceful swallow whilst sweet music caresses eter and still counting, and what a fabulous twenty years it has been. your ears and the energy of the world encompasses your body until you just can’t… sorry, I got carried away, but when thinking of Sachin’s I have grown up my whole life watching this man, who Sir Donald Brad- splendour, many people do. man hailed as being of a similar batsman to himself, playing the most beautiful cricket imaginable to a fanatic like myself. Every shot I watched Like I said, Sachin is the embodiment of an ideal: an ideal held by every him play seemed to be etched into my memory in a little compartment cricket lover in the world, but more so by every Indian cricket lover in the of my brain called the ‘Sachin Box’. It contains a wealth of his much world. I mean, we talk about him as if we were saying through our joy revered back-foot punch past the bowler and a glorious array of pull- ‘… and did you know I’m actually related to him because he came to ing and cutting, flicking and driving, aggression and class. It’s twenty Punjab once and I’m pretty sure I stepped on the same patch of earth years on and, although it seems to be edging out all the knowledge I’ve that he did when walking towards Mohali stadium’ – ridiculous I know, acquired in my academic life, I’m hoping that my already enormous but hey, we love him, as do the rest of the world. He is the ideal of the ‘Sachin Box’ will continue to grow for a few more years yet. flawless batsman, the perfect slip fielder, the complete cricketer. When talking of Sachin you don’t remember when he got clean bowled by AlOver his twenty year career, Sachin has amassed 13,234 runs includ- lan Donald, or got out lbw by Monty Panesar (twice) because they didn’t ing 45 centuries in 164 tests, and he’s scored more runs and test happen, because how can the perfect cricketing machine ever get out centuries than any other player, ever. Not that I should give special at- to anyone, or ever drop a catch, or not be, well… perfect. Every crickettention to the tests, as he’s played 440 ODI’s (a record for any player), ing fan knows that if every professional was as good as Sachin at what scored 17,394 runs (also a record for any player ever), which includes they did then the sport would be one of the most beautiful spectacles in 45 centuries (and, well, yes, that is also a record for any player of all the world to watch (shush all you cricket haters), but then again, there time) – remarkable for a man who only played with a cricket ball for the would be no-one special to ignite the spark that Sachin ignites; there first time at the age of 11. These stats only provide back-up to what the would be nothing amazing about the truly extraordinary – in short, there world already knows about this genius of the game. would be no Sachin Tendulkar as we know him today, and I don’t want to live in a world where mere people, ordinary, common people, can However, there’s more than just outright talent involved with his seem- refer to a genius, nay, a God, as ‘The Little Master’ and get away with it. ingly exponential growth in success. Being able to achieve such lon- On behalf of every cricket lover everywhere, I would like to repeat what gevity in the sport is an example of his true dedication to cricket. He the mega-famous Bollywood actor Mr Shahrukh Khan expressed in his analyses every opposing team, every opposing player to discover their exaggerated and quite over zealous way to our Sachin, and that is that weaknesses and to strengthen his own, if he has any at all. For in- ‘I would like to thank you [Sachin] from the bottom of my heart for alstance, for his preparation of the 1998 tests against Australia, he had a lowing us to breathe the same air as you do’. number of spin bowlers bowl leg-break, around the wicket and into the rough for him, so that he could analyse the angles that the ball would Bhavan Aujla be arriving at him when facing Shane Warne. Subsequently, he scored
This is one of those games that you bury under ground for a million years and one Sunday someone digs it up and says “Hmm… are these good players or the average ones?” Steve Davis on the Semi-Final of the Masters Snooker Tournament match between Ronnie O’Sullivan and mark Williams that finished 6-5.
Sporting Insight of the Week
Stags Go Down At The First Hurdle
On the morning of the first BUCS tournament of the year news broke that Tom ‘I’m Still Drunk’ Digby followed the USCC tradition of socialising the night before the year’s big indoor event, going a step better than Chris ‘Skipper for the Day’ Coombs managed last year by actually turning up. Battling treacherous driving conditions, the troops finally made it to a local farm in the middle of nowhere with enough petrol thanks to a last minute stop on the M25. Arriving over an hour late, there was shocking news that the first game wasn’t to be for another 3 hours, so this allowed the team to get some well-earned rest after a hectic journey ‘up north’, and Digby a chance to sober up.
stumps, but Simon ‘Fielding God’ Coston produced the only moment of joy with a direct throw after some confusion between the batsmen to add to his tight spell of bowling. However, it seemed the stags were a good 20 or so runs short as Brunel cruised to a 5 wicket victory with a couple of over’s to spare. It was not the best bowling display the Stags will show this year however there are positives to be taken from this batting display.
After another wait it was Coombs’ job to lift the troops to face home side Hertfordshire University in a meaningless game as Brunel had already qualified from the group. The only change saw Woodgate coming As kick off neared, Chris ‘Skipper for the Day’ Coombs arranged his into the team to replace a retiring Mark ‘Thank You for the Last Four troops to give an inspirational team talk, quoting famous faces such as Years’ Service’ Crangle. Lawrence Dallaglio. After an unbeaten start to the indoor season, the Stags roped the changes with only Coombs, Stuart ‘I Can’t Help but Both Coombs and Tom ‘Now-Sober’ Digby helped themselves to some Find the Middle of the Bat’ Warner, and Shoaib ‘I Only Know One Way’ average opening bowling before Chris ‘Supremo’ Coombs was the first Khan keeping their places. Simon ‘Master of the Web’ Coston, Mark on a classy 25, with Digby retiring an over later. Warner and Coston were ‘Mental Arithmetic’ Crangle, and Tom ‘Sobering Up’ Digby made up the also making the most of the Hertfordshire bowling attack before Warner rest of the line up for the first game against Brunel University. was bowled. Guy ‘This is my Big Chance’ Woodgate joined Coston at the crease and played some suspicious shots before being trapped LBW. The Stags got off to a good start with Coombs and Digby opening up to Coston was finally out on 21, meaning Coombs was called upon again a strong bowling line up, finding the side walls many times in the first from the dugout. Shoaib was applying “The Shoaib Shot” to full adfew overs as boundaries were hard to come. Tom ‘Now Slightly Sober’ vantage reaching his way to 25. Coombs was eventually run out for an Digby was first to fall to a decent Brunel bowler. This brought Warner to exhilarating 39. The Stags reached their way to 142-4 off the allotted the crease and he put a 3-1 offside field to his advantage as he pep- 12 overs, the highest score of the day. pered the side walls and hit a stunning on-drive for 4. Meanwhile Chris ‘I Don’t Get Out’ Coombs was plugging away playing some marvellous With Stuart ‘I’ve Got Better Places to be’ Warner abandoning the troops shots on his way to retiring on 25 bringing Coston to the crease. Guy ‘I at the half way stage, Mark ‘You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me Yet’ Love to Socialise’ Woodgate was the unlucky member of the squad for Crangle was called upon to do some fielding. Simon ‘Full and Straight’ the first game, and was drowned in controversy on the sidelines when it Coston took the new ball ‘to mix things up a bit’ but the Hertfordshire seemed Warner was already on 25 when given out. Coston held up the openers took a liking to a slower bowler opening up so Shoaib was innings towards the end finding the gaps when possible retiring on 25. called upon to join the attack. Another moment of inspiration from One ball later he reappeared from the dugout when Shoaib was given Digby brought the second run out of the day, however 3 balls later the out, joining Coombs at the crease for the last over. After a few more majority of lights in the hall went off. Eventually the captains reached runs, the Stags reached 119 all out. a decision to abandon the game, with the stags potentially ahead on Duckworth-Lewis although the competition didn’t allow for these rules. Shoaib had the honour of taking the new ball opening the bowling with some tidy away swing, as the Stags swapped the bowling about with So the Stags ventured home, without reaching the dreams of progressthe Brunel openers comfortably reaching 25 each. Skipper Coombs had ing to the next round. It was emotional, but they can go home with their the batsmen in a trouble before releasing a “Woodgate” delivery result- heads held high. ing in being hit for the only six of the day. Stuart ‘I Have No Faith in my Keeping’ Warner was putting in another fine performance behind the by Simon Coston
Feeling the effects of over indulgent Christmas and New Year festivities? Make a splash with the University of Surrey Swimming and Water Polo club and shed the weight gain.
Surrey Swimming and Waterpolo
fitness are also encouraged to take a dip, adding a further dimension to the University experience and point to their CV. The club’s longest serving member, student and GU2 radio celebrity Barney Fox described the club as “Brilliant!”, adding, “This club gives every member a warm feeling of inclusion, pushes the boundaries of success and turns the weakest of swimmers into a potential Michael Phelps or Rebecca Adlington.” So if you’re looking to take the plunge, be part of Surrey’s elite and get ripped or if you’re just looking for something a bit different join the Swimming and Water polo club.
The Swimming and Water Polo Club is one of the fastest growing and successful clubs tied to the University of Surrey due to its dedicated and passionate committee and members. Currently training at the Guildford Spectrum, the swimming and water polo teams compete throughout the UK and will soon move to their new home at the Surrey Sports Park, using the state of the art 50 meter Olympic-sized pool.
For swimmers and water polo players looking to improve their technique Training is on a Monday, Thursday and Sunday evenings currently at the or if you’re looking to compete, a coach has been appointed and start- Spectrum Leisure Centre with mini buses from Senate House. For more ed on the 31stof January, aspiring to push the teams to a higher level. information contact email@example.com. However beginners and those who prefer to participate for leisure and
is also tense as Portsmouth are picking up results and have recently had their transfer embargo lifted. Owen Coyle has swapped Burnley for Bolton and enjoyed a 1-0 victory against his former club. Hull have now dropped into the relegation zone but manager Phil Brown is no longer under pressure. Manchester United’s defensive woes are all but over with their main defenders apart from Vidic all fit. Vidic has been linked with a £25m summer move to European Champions Barcelona. With an in form Rooney, a reborn Nani, quick Valencia, vintage Giggs and unknown Diouf can Man Utd retain their title? Chelsea will have a big say in that as they have two games in hand and seemed not to suffer from the absence of their African Players. A 7-2 slaughtering of Sunderland being evidence of that. The Carling Cup also poses a great final after seeing two great Manchester derbies. Will the trophy remain in Manchester or head to Birmingham? The FA Cup has seen 3 of the ‘Big Four’ get knocked out. Liverpool by Reading, Manchester United by Leeds and Arsenal by Stoke. It goes to show that there are no longer any small teams and cup games still bring shock results. With those teams out it gives the likes of Man City, Spurs and an in form Birmingham a chance for silverware this season. Birmingham City have been in form and are unbeaten in 15 games pulling up impressive results. The Africa Cup of Nations has been a great showcase of African Football. It has shown how football has improved in Africa with great televising. It is just a glimpse of what’s to come in the summer. On that note the football season can only get better with every player trying to impress in order to get into the World Cup squads of their respective nations. I have my tickets. See you there. by Don Decaprivano
The English Premier League is definitely the best league in the world. I have three reasons for this – Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Over the Christmas break the gunners found a run in form that took them to the top of the Premier League. Despite missing Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner a certain Spanish player known as Fabregas, who is of course their captain, has been on fire fuelling the gunners’ attack. He now has 11 goals for the season and is their top scorer and has had assistance from Eduardo, Denilson, and a reborn Rosicky who was sidelined for months due to injury. Will the gunners finally bring silverware to the emirates this season? Arsenal are now fighting on two fronts after losing to Stoke 3-1 in the 4th Round of the F.A Cup. Arsenal who were written off earlier on in the season as they were more than seven points behind league leaders Chelsea, after a 3-0 loss, have found form and are doing what the gunners do best. Playing champagne football and scoring many goals and being at the top of the in form team table. Arsenal also enjoyed being top of the table before being replaced by Manchester United after they thrashed Hull City 4-0 at Old Trafford with Wayne Rooney grabbing all four goals. Rooney of much talk with speculation linking him to both Real Madrid and Barcelona, Rooney came out to stay he is happy at the club. This season Arsenal have shown better maturity and pose a threat in their challenge for the title. With a game in hand and their next three fixtures being against Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool can a returning Bendtner and on fire captain Fabregas help Arsenal reign at the summit? Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Man City are all battling it out for the final Champions League spot in fourth position, and of course a certain Liverpool who have had a torrid season so far with the notable absence of Fernando Torres who is injured again, are still in the race. Scrapping results, Liverpool are still in contention and still have a say on who clinches the fourth spot. The battle at the bottom of the table
The Equestrian club is relatively small compared to the more well-known sports, but we still manage to have two teams in the BUCS league and an additional Friendly team who also compete under BUCS rules. Our Trophy Team had our first competition, hosted by Brighton University, on what was the worst possible day it could have been – the day it started to snow! (For the first time, it’s snowed a lot since!) However, none of this ‘fair weather riders’ nonsense – the show must go on. BUCS riding competitions consist of Dressage in the morning, followed by showjumping in the afternoon. Four unknown horses are used for each and one person from each uni rides each horse. Due to a recent rule change, the combinations are now selected randomly, which came as a bit of a surprise to us as we hadn’t been informed of this; so much for our fool-proof strategy we had tactfully concocted over pizza the night before! The Dressage could have gone significantly better – my horse decided he didn’t like the judge and the judge decided she didn’t like us, which never bodes well for the results. However, everyone rode the test as best we could given the running order and horse/rider combinations didn’t really work in our favour. Ignoring the fact that the horses were less than impressed at being dragged out of their stables in the freezing cold and made to jump over a load of poles, resulting in three people being catapulted, (no-one from our team thankfully!) the jumping was a significant improvement, with our team achieving three clear rounds (would have been four if one of our riders hadn’t been unfairly eliminated due to unprofessional conduct from the judge, which we have put in a complaint about.) I have
Equestrian Trophy Team’s first comp of the year
to admit to being ever so slightly apprehensive about riding what looked like a fire-breathing devil horse, but ‘Oscar’ turned out to be quite a gentleman, jumping a lovely round, as did ‘Norman’ and ‘Ernie.’ The downside of the jumping is that you only get to do the course once! Overall, the horses were lovely, the atmosphere was friendly, Alex Hill received an individual placing and everyone rode well, which resulted in a very enjoyable day. We are now looking forward to our remaining competitions over the next few weeks – fingers crossed for sunshine! by Pitts, Equestrian Club President
LA Drakeford is the Heat’s new point-guard. You’ve seen him racing up and down the court, getting steals on defence, setting up the Heat on offence and, surprisingly, for the shortest man the court, grabbing all the rebounds. But what do you know about the man himself? Well, read on and you’ll find out all about the little man from Ohio who plays a big game of basketball, despite being (in basketball terms) a mere 6’0.
LA Drakefordwas the community coaching. Unlike many professional surprise for LA
clubs, the Heat puts a strong emphasis on coaching in the community and that has come as a pleasant surprise for LA.
“I really wasn’t expecting it, but I love it,” said LA, just after finishing an all-day camp at the Spectrum with Head-coach Chad McKnight. “Coaching the kids is a lot of fun and I really enjoy the opportunity to “I’m used to it,” he says, when the subject of his height comes up. “I’ve talk to them about basketball and to pass on some of my skills and been in this situation for a long time now. I see it as a challenge, not a views on the game.” disadvantage. Being called ‘pocket-sized’ or whatever is fine. I actually like it. ‘Mini-me’ is one of my favourites. As long as my team-mates Coaching has brought with it a lot more driving than LA was expecting, know what I can do on court, that’s what counts.” all of it on the “wrong” side of the road! That, along with having to cook more than he is used to and a lack of decent chocolate-chip cookLA’s name is also a reference to his height. Sort of. His father is also ies, are the biggest off-court differences that LA has noticed. On court, Aaron, but rather than being Aaron Jnr, he got the tag LA, which stands things are also different. for “Little Aaron”. The irony is that “Little” Aaron is now a good deal taller than “Big” Aaron, who stands at 5’7”. “Conditioning is the biggest thing,” said LA about the difference between the college game and playing as a pro in the BBL. “The game is For LA, playing for the Heat is living the dream. Ever since he started much faster over here. Back in college it’s a 30 second shot clock, not playing basketball at the age of 8 or 9, LA wanted to play professionally. 24 seconds and here you only have eight seconds to get the ball over He realises that it’s an opportunity that few people get, but admits that half-way. So it makes for a much faster-paced game. I’m also playing it was only in the last two or three years that he really thought it was a longer and more often. I’m training every day as well, both on court and dream that could come true. in the weight room. “It was only when I got to Rio Grande (LA’s college in Ohio, where he played for three years) that I really thought I could turn that dream into reality,” LA explains. “Coach French (Ken French, Rio Grande’s Coach) used to talk to me every day. He saw something in me and was always telling me that I could make it. We had a really good season last year and that set me on my way.” Coming to play for the Heat was a simple choice. As well as the advantage of coming to an English-speaking country, which made the transition easier, the Heat’s offer was by far the best LA received. There have been differences both on and off the court though. Probably the biggest “Players here are a lot more versatile too. There’s more outside shooting; guys can’t just be a one-dimensional player. You can’t just be a back-to-the-basket post-up guy. You’ve got to be able to shoot, drive to the hole, do a little bit of everything. It’s making me a better, more complete player, though. Even in the six weeks I’ve been here I’ve become a better player and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.” LA’s coach, Chad, agrees. “LA’s everything I wanted and he’s even better than I thought he would be. He works hard and he does everything I ask of him. When I signed him, I had high hopes for him and I’ve got exactly what I wanted.”
In this feature I’ll with meet people from University sports teams to try and gain an insight in to their sport. This week I met “C-Dog” Carl Saunders from the Squash team. How many of you are there involved in Squash at Surrey? There are about 18 players, 5 in the first team, 3 in the seconds then the rest in intermediate or beginner’s classes on Wednesdays. There’s about 10 or 12 in that. What ability level are you all at? It ranges, the first team are pretty good, they are joint top of their league. The second team are joint top of their league as well but there’s quite a big difference in their standard of play in their divisions. Then we have the intermediates training session which is just outside the team and the beginners for people who are new to the sport. How often do you play, be it training, matches or whatever? I play on Monday’s for team training and play matches on Wednesdays, but there’s also a training session on Sunday’s which I can’t
Inside Sport With David Holt
attend which is a social thing and you just turn up and play whoever you want. What is the social life like and how often do you go out? The social life is pretty good, it’s difficult because second years, final years and people doing their masters can’t go out as much, but usually when we go out we hit it hard… we get on it. If anyone is interested in joining, how do they get involved in playing Squash at Surrey Uni? Just turn up at the squash courts on Wednesdays for the beginner sessions which run 1-2pm, or if you’ve played before probably go to the intermediate session which is 2-3pm, and that’s got coaching at it so it’s quite good. Would you like to be interviewed and get the important information about your sport out there? Email David Holt at sportsdeskstag@gmail. com if you would and we can organise an interview for future editions.
Guildford City December Review
An end to end match turned out to be our last action of 2009, with City running out 2-0 victors over Sandhurst Town. Simon Cooper poked Guildford into an early lead, and the defence was at its best to keep the hosts at bay. Indeed, we have now gone over 400 minutes without conceding a goal in open play – the teams best defensive run in years. Harrison Carnegie chipped the keeper in the second half to confirm the result. Games against Camberley, Raynes Park Vale, and the clash with local rivals Ash United fell victim to the cold weather and snow that fell across the borough in the middle of December. Let's hope 2010 provides as much excitement as this season has already. by Matt Howell
Guildford City had a 100% record in December – although due to adverse weather conditions they only played three matches! First up were Banstead Athletic, struggling at the foot of the table. A Carnegie goal, courtesy of a neat Bridgeman flick, gave City a first half lead – and Danny Elgar curled a fantastic shot into the net late on to give City three points in a 2-0 win. Sussex League side Redhill visited the Spectrum in the second round of the Surrey Senior Cup. A poor pitch plus two good defences meant chances were few and far between – and the match remained goalless for 120 minutes. The closest City came was through a Simon Cooper freekick right at the end of full time. The game went to penalties, and City scored all five of theirs through Penson, Cooper, Brown, King and Carnegie. Anthony Hall in goal saved the final Redhill penalty, setting up a tie with Sutton United in the next round.
Carrying on from the successes of the University of Surrey Running and by all, as well as the marshal’s, including Jacks family, secretary Chris Athletics club’s first year of existence the past month, and in particular Hummersone, and some not even associated with the club. We’d also the past weekend, has been superb. like to thank Lorna Hopkins of the tennis club as well as Leanne Bannister, Abi Sleeman and Jacqui Kelly for all your hard work. In securing two track sessions, upping training has really meant more. Better turnouts, more interest and better results. Track is back. Training is continuing, and anyone interested should check out the Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Next Sunday November 1st saw the first MABAC league race of the new aca- step is gaining acceptance into the Surrey Road Running, XC and Track demic year. Big thanks to the Blackwater Valley Runners for organising Championships and the upcoming BUCS events including the Cross the race. Truly dreadful conditions and some sadistic climbs made for Country up at the University of Stirling in February. an interesting, incredibly fun but ultimately very tough course for all involved. It was a great performance, with treasurer Huw Margetts taking the win in epic style, leaving the next man back from about 2km in. With the snow wrecking havoc on Hockey The past weekend has seen two more races featuring club athletes. sport nationwide only a handful of Portsmouth Men’s 3rd 2-0 Surrey Saturday December 5th saw previous Chairman David Williams and teams were able to get out on the Men’s 2nd current treasurer Huw Margetts take on ‘The Grim’ in Aldershot. De- pitch and play since we welcomed scribed on the day as “8 miles of off-road torture”, The Grim aims to 2010, but with the weather hope- Rugby test the sturdiest of athletes. Both performed well with two top results fully staying clear the results will by both of the lads, with David coming in at 903 of 3000 in a time of begin to flood in again come the Surrey Men’s 1st 18-10 Royal next issue. Don’t forget that if Holloway 1st and Huw coming in at 16. you want your sport featured in The next day saw the second MABAC league race of the year, the first the Sports Section of The Stag 23rd January 2010 one hosted by the club at Wisley Common. Despite overcoming adver- contact David Holt at sportsdeskHockey sities in the way of minibus problems, the day went down successfully, email@example.com with all competitors pleased and a great turnout for the club with anSurrey Men’s 1st 3-3 Camberley other set of epic results which saw the club take the University of Surrey 16th January 2010 & Farnborough Men’s 1st 1-2, with Captain Chris West taking 1st and treasurer Huw Margetts Surrey Men’s 1st 1-2 London taking 2nd. A big shout out to chairman Jack Cooper for all his hard Hockey Wayfarers Ladies work in organising the race, he did a fantastic job and it is appreciated Mitcham Ladies 1st 2-3 Surrey Barnes Men’s Beavers 2-0 Surrey Women’s 1st Men’s 2nd
Running and Athletics: Semester one report
20th January 2010
Together with the Students’ Union we strive to provide you with the best opportunities to participate in sport whilst you are studying at Surrey. Surrey Men’s 4th 5-2 WestminT: 01483 (68)9201 (Sports Centre) ster Men’s 2nd T: 01483 (68)9242 (Varsity Centre) E: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.unisport.co.uk
25th January 2010 Football Portsmouth Men’s 2nd 4-2 Surrey Men’s 1st
See you in a fortnight!
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