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Issue 43 – Tuesday 6th March 2012
Union elections: the fun continues on page 7...
OPINION & ANALYSIS Union security gets the sharp end of the stick as letters complain of aggression. Page 12... NEWS NUS elections are close and The Stag got the lowdown on candidates. Page 5... FEATURES Find out how the Union handles complaints on Page 17... SCIENCE AND TECH Scientists discover a new cellular mechanism to fend off HIV. Page 20... DANCE & THEATRE Hannah Jelliman gives dance and theatre lovers a summary of the State of Arts Conference 2012... Page 22... LITERATURE Alexandra Wilks interviews inspirational novelist Peter Baker on Page 26... SOCIETIES MadSoc stages a ‘24-hr play’ and we look at the newly formed Postgrad Society... Page 33... SPORT Roller Girls get their gear together in Surrey’s newest sports club. Page 35...
An exclusive interview with Fetish night performers, Circus of Men. Page 15...
A whole raft of new contenders enter the ring and tell us what their plans are for 2012/13.
SURREY MAKES £500K IN FINES
• Residential fines jump from £1,300 to £9,000 • Two students fined £100 for having a party • Imperial makes £27,000 over same period
The bulk of the University’s enourmous levy comes from the library.
By Jack White, Editor
ccording to the results of an enquiry by The Stag, the University has made over £500,000 in fines from students and staff in the last five years. The largest part of this figure is made up of basic library fines,
coming in at between £64,000 and £71,000 for each year. Certain categories of fine have seen large increases over the five year period. Residential fines have rocketed from a low of £1,300 in 2008/09 to £9,000 for the 2010/11 year and lost book fines have gone from £11,000 to £53,000.
While some students may not fall foul of the fines system, some are receiving very high fines for relatively small offenses. Audio engineering student James Brooke was fined for playing his guitar by a warden: “He said he could hear me playing from the courtyard and issued an on the spot fine for £30.
“When I later told everyone else about it no–one in the house said they were aware of me playing at any kind of unreasonable level.” Second year English student Raisa Joseph was fined £100 after a party in her campus flat: “People Continued on page 3...
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Editor | Jack White email@example.com Editor-in-Chief | Bakita Kasadha firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor (Design) | Hollie Rowe-Roberts email@example.com Design Team | Ellie Brodie, Paul A Richmond, Hannah Roberts-Owen, Christina Morman, Louisa White and Alexandra Wilks Deputy Editor (Marketing) | Tom Goulding firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Team | Shervin Hejazi, Imogen Jones and Eleanor Pearson News News Editor | Jyoti Rambhai email@example.com News Team | Bethany Goss, Sophie Howard, Geoffrey Pullen and David Williams Features Features Editor | Nicole Vassell firstname.lastname@example.org Features Team | Peter Bailey, Ellie Brodie, Chris Thomas, Hannah Wann, Becky Powell, Stephen Cartwright, Louisa White, Ellis Taylor and Sophie Vickery Science and Technology Science and Technology Editor | Nathanael Roome email@example.com Science and Technology Team | Lawrence Finn, Dave Holcombe, Shourya Khanna, Kate McAtamney, Melissa Raske, Alex Smith and Ruth Smithers. Societies Societies Editor | Chris Dighton firstname.lastname@example.org Arts Dance and Theatre Editor | Hannah Jelliman email@example.com Dance and Theatre Team | Emily Bourne, Sarah McDowell, Beth Hedges, Lucy Jarvis, Tiffany Stoneman and Lexi Sutton Film Editor | Tiffany Tucker firstname.lastname@example.org Film Team | Laura Howard, Caroline James, Kristie Marchant and Christina Maria Webb Music Editor | Sophia Field email@example.com Music Team | James Campbell, Liam Conroy, Dan Davidson, Amy McGivern, Tanya Noronha and Elliot Tyres Literature Editor | Alexandra Wilks firstname.lastname@example.org Literature Team | Stephanie Davies, Tom Goulding, Candice Ritchie, Emily Smart, Emma Thomas and Sophie Vickery Sport Sport Editor | Jordan Vine email@example.com Sport Team | Douglas Elder, Arabella Gilby, George Gigney and Sam Limbert Copy Editors | Megan Barnacle, Michaela Fulton, Emma Giles, Candice Ritchie and Louisa White firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster | Andrew Smith email@example.com Photo Editor | Tessa Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org The Stag is a newspaper editorially dependent on and published by the University of Surrey Students’ Union. The views expressed in the paper are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the educational team, the whole Students’ Union or the University of Surrey. Trinity Mirror (South) 8 Tessa Road, Reading RG1 8NS The Stag reserves the right to edit all submissions and the right to decide which articles are published.
Come Clean: NUS presses for university transparency
By Denise Juvane, News Team
Nothing but the finest Surrey opinion, rumour and conjecture
he University is rumoured to be considering a 3.5% rise in prices of its own student accommodation. Over the past few years, the cost to students has risen by 12%, with the University claiming that inflation has been 13% in the same period. Sources at the Union however, said that the true figure is closer to 7%. Both the Surrey Students’ Union and the National Union of Students (NUS) have recently attacked high accommodation prices. Surrey Union President Osama Salih has been pressing for the University to build more Band C accommodation (currently £90 per week), while the University is building new Band D rooms (£111.50 per week). Last week Surrey Union submitted a motion to the April NUS Conference mandating the NUS to lobby for lower house prices by both building new university and external houses, and by simply setting rent at lower levels.
Term 1 Max. Loan* Band D Rent§ Left over
£ £ £
1,833.33 1,720.29 113.04 52.83
Or with 3.5% rent rise £
* One third of full student loan 2012/13. § Rent from moving-in day to Term 2 loan-payment day.
he National Union for Student (NUS) launched a campaign on the 20th February; its main focus to tackle hidden costs by getting ‘money back into students’ pockets’. This campaign has been part of NUS’s wider plan named ‘Come Clean’ in an aid to protect student’s rights. Movements such as ‘Week of Action’, running from Monday 12th to Friday 16th March, National Student Walkout on the 14th March and a lobby of Parliament on the 18th April will shape their aims for ‘Coming Clean’. NUS are urging universities to be fully transparent on all course costs prior to application; they are pressing vice chancellors to commit to absorbing essential costs within the tuitions fees and to offer means tested support for non-essentials. This initiative has been launched as research conducted by the NUS in regards to the hidden costs of studying revealed that 31 per cent of students’ unions reported their universities as covering no additional costs such as printing, studio fees, fields trips, travel to work placements and course books. NUS President, Liam Burns stated: “Whether lab coats, field trips, printing or materials, students across the country are facing significant hidden costs
attached to studying. It cannot be fair that academic success is dictated by how much disposable cash you have. “The effects of mounting hidden costs puts students under additional financial pressure, leading to all sorts of issues – from having to work even more hours, sacrificing study time, spiralling into debt, and in the worst cases dropping out.” It was found that only 23 per cent of students’ unions reported that their institution included printing costs in their tuition fee; 26% were found to include travel costs for study placements; 17% included CRB checks and only 14% included the cover of ‘bench fees’. Back in 2007 it was found that students were paying up to £1,400 a year in ‘hidden university costs’. Students on mathematical, science and computer science courses are shedding the most money yearly. Thus, NUS is now trying to tackle those issues, with the added problem of some subjects seeing a reduction in applicants due to their steep costs. Mr Burns also added: “We’re pressing the Government to come clean and admit that their reforms have delivered nothing extra for students, and with a national walkout, week of action and lobby of Parliament to come, our voices will be heard loud and clear.”
Paper crane feat marks success for Student Volunteering week
By the Students’ Union
rom 20th-27th February, Surrey campus was taken over by the 10th annual Student Volunteering Week, a national initiative hosted by Do>More showing the breadth of activities that ‘volunteering’ includes. Monday kicked off with entrepreneurial project, the £20 Challenge, which encouraged students to propose ideas for fundraising, volunteering or campaigning events and win the funding to carry their plans out. On Tuesday students paused between lectures to do some online micro-volunteering in the Lecture Theatre Concourse, answering some simple quizzes and in the process donating over 12,000 grains of rice to developing countries. Wednesday’s event Cranes for Cancer brought over 150 students into Rubix at lunchtime with the aim of making 1,000 origami cranes, in reference to the Japanese proverb that says 1,000 origami cranes can bring luck to someone suffering from cancer.
At the end of the day Do>More had collected over 930 and had many more on the way from avid ‘origami-ers’. Nearing the end of the week, Do>More invited the charity Beatbullying to campus to run a Cyber Mentor training session. Over the course of the afternoon, 10 students were trained and underwent a CRB check in order to be able to provide online mentoring for young people experiencing bullying. Finally, Friday came around and it was time for Do>More’s Volunteering Exhibition in LT Concourse where students paused to make more cranes (smashing the 1,000 target), to write well-wishes for sick children, to learn more about volunteering and write their own thoughts. The week was a huge success and the Students’ Union’s own publicity campaign “Thank you ____ for volunteering” summed up nicely how grateful and impressed we all are by the work of Do>More and all of our student volunteers. Thank you!
Apologies and corrections
Apologies to Tiffany Tucker, whose article February Flicks was incorrectly credited to Candice Ritchie in the last edition. Also to Alexandra Wilks, whose name was incorrectly spelled not once, but twice in issue 42.
News Editor: Jyoti Rambhai | Copy Editor: Emma Giles
The Stag |
6th March 2012
University makes £500,000 in fines
...Continued from front page
weren’t making a mess, just dancing in the space we’d made in our kitchen really. At 12 the guard came round and told everyone to leave, so they did. Only one of my house mates [took responsibility], and I joined him. “A week later we got letters saying that we were being fined £100 each for having people over, making noise, and breaking the health and safety rules. We replied in writing saying that this wasn’t true. and also, the immediate lowering of the fine at the slightest resistance from us made us question just how justified the fine was in the first place.” The Stag’s request under the Freedom of Information Act was spurred by a recent investigation by The Telegraph and the Press Association that found some universities such as Leeds made as much as £1.8m over a six-year period. The lowest figure though came from Imperial College, which only made £27,000 over the same time. A spokesman for the University responded to The Stag’s questions: “Fines policy is laid down in the student disciplinary procedures and is designed to ensure students behave in a respectful and dignified manner to other members of the university community. “Clearly students should behave in this way and it is right where a tiny minority behave improperly they are sanctioned for the benefit of all.
Basic library fines between £64,000 and £71,000 for each year.
“For disciplinary misconduct, any money received from the payment of fines is used for student hardship and special personal safety projects for example personal attack alarms.” “The vast majority of the fines levied by the University relate to library services where users of the library have failed to return books on their due date or have lost library resources. “At Surrey users are banned only if they have fines over £30 or overdue items of more than 10 weeks. However, some universities rely more heavily on banning users – Imperial College, for example, bans users if they have fines of £4 or more and this why the amount of fines they collect is less.”
Union denies illegal search
• Police advise Union that searches can take place without permission as long as nobody complains. • Union denies liability for search items because they were outside the cloakroom, but accepts that the search was against Union policy.
By Jack White, Editor
“He said he could hear me playing from the courtyard and issued an on the spot fine for £30.”
“After the holidays we got another letter saying that the fine had been dropped to £50 each. The injustice is that we weren’t the only people having a party that night
Westfield to cut and run on the Friary
Guildford honorary alderman Gordon Bridger, “if they’re not going to be part of these development proposals in one of the most prosperous areas then who will?” However, the departure of Westfield may be seen as a potential boon to those against the relocation of the bus station. One campaigner noted how they hoped that the new owners will look at a new development that will incorporate the Guildford bus station within it. Hermes Chief Executive Chris Taylor spoke highly of their former Westfield partners describing them as “the best in their class at what they do” but gave no indication as to whether the proposed bus station relocation would still go ahead. Council Leader Tony Rooth appeared less concerned with the move having been quoted at the start of the year saying Guildford’s ominously sounding “Town Centre Master Plan” was “…not all about the Friary” and that plans for the city were more outreaching than Westfield’s investment. Such small town concerns appear to be beyond Westfield’s prevue with the move rumoured to be due to the company’s intension to focus on larger sites, such as its investment in the £1.45 billion Westfield Stratford Centre.
The Friary shopping centre has recently undergone a £40m renovation. By David Williams, News Team ustralian retail property group Westfield has announced the selling of its 50% share in Guildford’s main shopping centre, The Friary. The sale, which has been rumoured since the start of the year, was announced on 21st February. The move comes only months after £40 million renovations to the complex had been completed, attracting upmarket retail outlets such as Kurt Gieger and Hollister albeit at the expense of stores such as Select and Sports Direct. Westfield is reported to have relinquished its shares in the Friary to Hermes Real Estate in a £159m settlement. As well as the Friary, Hermes also acquired control of two other shopping centres and an effective £400m portfolio from its former partner Westfield adding the Friary to what appears to be an ever growing acumen of British malls. Westfield’s shares in Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, and CastleCourt, Belfast, were also relinquished as part of the settlement. Westfield’s abandonment of the Friary puts a dent in any potential further retail expansion plans. Prior to the announcement Guildford Borough Council had considered a controversial redevelopment of the Friary Bus Station with a replacement station to be constructed on Bedford road. “Westfield are one of the top firms in the country” commented
urrey Students’ Union responded to Presha’s recent complaint about Union security last week in a email catalogue of denials of responsibility. The email does however go on to accept that Union bouncers’ general attitude has been targeted in talks with security supplier DGL Services. Correspondence responding to the possibility that property was illegally searched after graffiti was found in the toilet said, “Based on the statement from the door staff they saw a permanent marker in one of the bags during their search upon entrance, this coupled with the altercation at the door did point to a member of Presha being a likely culprit of the vandalism. “By the nature that no one objected to the search of the bags where the owner was present the search was not in fact illegal.” The Union also denied responsibility for the property that was searched because it was not in the cloakroom. Presha has demanded that its officers be shown a law confirming the legality of the bag search and that Union contact with the police over the issue be published. In a reply to the Union’s
findings Presha said, “You also state that the searching of bags is permitted ‘with good reason’. I trust, the good reason is more than a search for a pen, that I might remind you was not found.” Regarding the disagreement with security staff on the door, the Union said, “This male was refused entry...because he claimed he had heroin on him and that the door staff wouldn’t find it. “Joking about having illegal substances on one’s person during entry is similar to joking about carrying a bomb when walking through airport security.” Presha again rebuffed this argument: “It is my word that this was not the comment made, merely that he had it, and that it was clearly jovial – in fact, coming across as more of an attempt to make the situation light-hearted than to cause conflict.” Staff at the Union are suggestive of the possibility more complaints have been raised about the security staff’s general attitude and the Presha email states this has been raised with DGL Services. However Presha has stated its unhappiness with the Union’s response and has offered the Union a face-toface meeting to discuss how the dispute will proceed.
Volunteer Speed Match Social sets up students with charities
By the Students’ Union
n 16th February, the Students’ Union and Do>More Volunteering Society played host to 18 local and national charities for another Volunteer Speed Match Social. Run in a similar way to speed-dating but with students given the chance to meet charities directly for a few minutes each, this event followed a hugely successful first Speed Match in October and attracted a number of students from all over
campus. Building on existing connections and forging new partnerships, Do>More has provided many students with the opportunity to meet charities and sign up to volunteering projects as diverse as the Guildford Sport Relief Mile 2012 and Guilfest, Surrey’s premier music festival. It was a smashing success – perhaps also due to the free pizza – and so all Surrey students should look out for repeat events in the future.
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Guildford station to finally get a revamp
By Bethany Goss, News Team
uildford station is to get a £140m revamp after nearly a decade of delays. Plans originally proposed in 2003 will bring mass changes to the station and its surrounding area. The project has been taken over by Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Property. This occurs after the Redrow Regeneration contract, for what was then a £240m project, fell through after the partnership between the property company and Network Rail collapsed in 2007. Solum said: “there will be significant benefits in transforming the site in Station View”, claiming it will regenerate an underused area, enhance the environment surrounding the facility whilst at the same time reduce pressure on Greenfield land by providing housing and broadening the retail and hotel offering in the town centre.
The revamp would also create hundreds of jobs. Senior Development Manager from Solum Regeneration, Edward Pearce commented on how the development is still in the very early stages of drawing up ideas. Whilst no detailed plan has been presented, Mr Pearce was keen to point out how they want to get public feedback on some of the key principles associated with the development. After a local survey of 500 residents taken out last March, 83% of people were in agreement that the area around the station was in need of a revamp. The revamp could include new housing, two hotels, a food store, station shops, improved parking, enhanced cycle provision and better arrangements for using taxis. Other features of the scheme include an improved arrival hall, new facilities on the platforms, landscaping near station entrances and better pedestrian connections
with the town centre. A combination of private homes and affordable specialist housing for the elderly and students could be created alongside the actual revamp of Guildford Station itself. Director of the Independent Rail Consumer Watchdog, David Sidebottom noted on what was high on the list of priorities for passengers regarding these improvements, which included: accurate information on train times and platforms, short queuing times and station staff to be available when required. The hotels planned would include a 4–star high–quality facility and the new station square would be over-looked by restaurants and cafes. A supermarket also features in the plans for the revamp. The £140m planned investment by Solum Regeneration is seen to be a welcome endorsement for Guildford town centre, particularly in the current economic times.
Row over Guildford bonfire monument
By Rachel Thomason, News Team
Surrey graduates win at Grammies
By Chris Sibthorpe, News Team
new bonfire sculpture to be placed on a roundabout in Guildford has sparked indecision over its installation. The new sculpture would stand at 16ft and be a permanent steel fixture on the roundabout between Woodbridge Road and York Road. On Tuesday 24th February, a committee meeting was held to decide whether to go ahead with the installation but, with concerns over public safety raised, no decision was made. London-based public art specialists, Mooch, were behind the creation of the sculpture. The structure is formed of a wire dome-shaped cage made from 150 separate metal rods from which flames rise up and surround a chair that tops the sculpture, weighing around two tonnes. Its creation is to celebrate the
bonfire society of the mid 1800s and the way that the town’s authorities brought unrest under control. This bonfire society was part of a movement of riots in Guildford during this period which happened on bonfire night from morning until night time. Gangs would wear costumes and masks and terrorise those who they believed had wronged them. The rioters, who caused terror every year from 1820 to 1865 on November 5th, were known as the ‘Guildford Guys’. They stole from houses and threw burning bundles of wood onto buildings as well as vandalising property. Attempts to suppress the rioters often failed because the rioters simply called for more support to outnumber the authorities. However, with the election of a new mayor in 1863, there was a far greater police influence in the town and attempted riots from 1865 were quickly dispersed by the
cavalry. The sculpture was created with the intention of commemorating the end of these riots but civilians have also suggested that it is more like a celebration of the violence, rather than its end. Surrey Police are also very concerned that it will pose a dangerous temptation for public disorder with people wanting to climb on the frame despite the five metre drop. However, Councillor David Goodwin suggested that the position of the structure would deter such actions. Situated 50 metres from the police station and in the middle of a relatively busy roundabout, there is less of a risk of people being tempted to climb on it. A full council meeting has been rearranged for April 5th when a decision over the sculpture will finally be made.
wo Surrey graduates won prestigious Grammy Awards at the world famous Los Angelesbased music ceremony on the 12th February. Music producer Jim Abbiss, 45, won an award for his work on Adele’s smash hit album 21. The album also won the British singer two BRIT Awards on 21st February. Abbiss, who graduated from the Tonmeister undergraduate course in 1988, shared the award for Adele’s album with several other music producers in his category ‘Album of the Year’. Since graduating, Abbiss has had a very successful career including working on Arctic Monkeys’ Mercury Music Prize winning debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. He has also worked on albums for Kasabian, KT Tunstall and Adele’s highly successful debut album 19. The other award went to Sam Okell, 32, who graduated in 2001. Okell picked up his second Grammy in two years, winning in the ‘Best Historical Album’ category for his work on the
deluxe edition of Paul McCartney & Wings’ Band on the Run album. Judges placed Okell’s work ahead of several other projects, including a re-mastered Elvis Presley album. Okell was awarded in the same category at last year’s 53rd Grammy Awards for his work on re-mastering the entire back catalogue of The Beatles. Since graduating, Okell has had an impressive career at London’s world–famous Abbey Road Studios – the same location where he spent his placement year. When asked about his placement year, he described it as being: “Invaluable in me getting a job at the end of my studies’. Okell’s other work has included working on the scores for films including Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Sound Recording at the University of Surrey, Dr Russell Mason said: “We are delighted to hear of the success of Sam and Jim in the recent Grammys, adding to the long list of awards won by Tonmeister graduates in music, film and television.”
© mary rose
News Editor: Jyoti Rambhai | Copy Editor: Emma Giles
The Stag |
6th March 2012
What is the NUS?
he National Union of Students or NUS is the national representative organisation of students in Britain, encompassing those at universities, further education colleges and increasingly, apprentices too. NUS officers and teams campaign and lobby every year for a better deal for students, winning concessions from Government on fee rises and students’ living costs, and giving voice to the concerns of those most harshly affected by issues such as the Government’s changes to Higher Education funding and abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance.
n charge of both the political and administrative ends of the NUS, the President is the figurehead of the whole organisation.
esponsible for looking after issues that affect students directly, but outside their degrees, such as housing, health and finance.
VP Union Development
mpowers unions to better represent students, by better commercial services, better democracy and better engagement. The VP UD also organises the various kinds of activist training around the UK.
VP Society & Citizenship
romoting students’ viewpoints on issues relating to the wider local, national and global community, like politics, environment and community relations.
VPs Higher Education and Further Education
n charge of representing the whole higher and future education sectors respectively, and coordinating the input of the other VPs into these sectors. The VP FE has led the fight this year to save Education Maintenance Allowance, which the OECD described as the UK’s best welfare benefit.
By Jack White, Editor
andidates for elections to the Executive Council of the National Union of Students were interviewed by student media representatives on 29th February. The Stag went to NUS headquarters to find out what they want for the students of Britain. As always, the position of NUS President is the most hard fought and most hard won. Incumbent Liam Burns, running for re– election, showed why he got the job in the first place, making it clear that continuity was a key manifesto item for him. He cited students’ finances – the money in their pockets and tackling evergrowing poverty amongst students – as his priority for the next year. Burns also battled fellow candidates Kanja Sesay and Ed Marsh over his unification of the Left and Right of the NUS, with Sesay urging great diversity and Marsh preferring a more centralised approach to NUS campaigning. Current VP Higher Education, Usman Ali also brought a powerful presence to the debate, making the aspirations of deprived students his key message: “We need better access in every sense – not just to the door of the university.” He went on to call for greater attention to be placed on education of younger people, saying that this was the key to improving access to Higher Education for all social classes. All the presidential candidates made good points, but Liam Burns and Ed Marsh stood out for their broad viewpoints, where Kanja Sesay and to a lesser extent Usman Ali seemed very focused on one aspect of student politics
– liberation and aspiration respectively. Notably, when asked about the large sums that university Vice-Chancellors rake in salary and bonuses, Burns looked to the cooperative movement for inspiration, calling for students to sit on university budgetary committees. The candidates for VP Higher Education were very mixed. Stalwart student activist Michael Chessum (who many readers will have seen in the Guardian or representing the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts on TV) cut a most impressive figure in the debate. Perhaps buoyed up by a year on the frontline of student representation, he pressed home a need for radical activists to abandon their self-imposed ghettoisation and start talking the language that the rest of us do. Chessum started by castigating the culture of employability in Higher Education, stating emphatically, “What have we got if we can only offer skills and employability? We need to fight for actual jobs.” Rachel Wenstone, also running, added the crucial point that concentrating on employability makes it appear like students aren’t already employable. All three HE candidates were asked about postgraduate students, with both Wenstone and Sophie Richardson pointing out that nobody else was talking about postgrad funding. Wenstone in particular was keen to stamp out commercial loans to postgrads. Chessum countered by pointing out that while postgrads have not received attention from the press or public, they have suffered the same increasing fees and
marketisation of degrees, without any of the maintenance loans that undergraduates get. Tackling a theme which came up again and again throughout the day, the candidates ripped into unpaid internships, particularly for students on a placement year. While Richardson had not heard of this practice, Chessum called the unpaid internship “blatently unfair” and a “hidden course cost”. “They prevent access to careers – people from poorer backgrounds whose parents cannot support them [during the internship] cannot get in.” Finally in Higher Education, The Stag questioned the candidates on their views on the fee waivers which are due to replace cash bursaries for undergraduates next year. Chessum and Wenstone led again, with the former saying, “Fee waivers make no sense to anyone other than the government – they don’t have to make up-front-loans. Uni managements are kowtowing to the Government, not fighting their corner or the students’. We must equip students and unions to negotiate and campaign on access agreements. We can mobilise students around bursaries.” Wenstone added, “There is going to be a £70m fall in bursaries by 2015,” before suggesting a deep study of students’ life cycle, to find the greatest pressure points and target alternative funding accordingly. The candidates for VP Union Development saw a mammoth debate. The Stag opened, asking how students’ unions could avoid having to bend over for universities when they usually supply most of unions’ budgets as a block grant. Current NUS International Officer
NUS presidential candidates (l to r): Usman Ali (current VP Higher Education), Liam Burns (current NUS President), Kanja Sesay (current Black Students’ Officer) and Ed Marsh (current VP Union Development).
Christina Yan-Zhang, who visited Surrey for iExhibition recently, suggested a number of ideas to reduce reliance on block grants, including a regular NUS lottery, the money from which would go to helping pressured unions. Candidate Tom Hollick advocated assuring students of the worth of their union, and then campaigning around bad press when education institutions threatened unions with reduction of the block grant. Incumbent VP Welfare Pete Mercer is being challenged by mature student Sean Rillo-Raczka (pronounced “Rodgka”) who is known on the Left as much for his Edwardian dress sense as much as his passionate, but measured politics. Mercer opened by citing students’ financial support and housing as his key focuses in 2012/13, while Rillo-Raczka wanted to “challenge what NUS is” and “get students on the street talking about support and housing.” The candidates also talked about the crippling mental health issues that students face, with both candidates experienced in dealing with students’ problems. A wide number of other topics were addressed by all the candidates, including those for VP Further Education and VP Society & Citizenship, including community relations, the links between colleges and universities and much on unpaid internships.
Surrey delegates to NUS
tudents can view the manifestos of all NUS leadership candidates at www. nusconnect.org.uk/conference/ elections. Your elected NUS delegates will vote for each position at the NUS Conference in April and you can lobby them to vote for your favourite candidates by emailing them: Oliver Deed: email@example.com Sam Ratzer: firstname.lastname@example.org Osama Salih: email@example.com Arran Stears: firstname.lastname@example.org Jack White: email@example.com
The Stag |
6th March 2012
◊ President ◊ VP Education ◊ VP Welfare ◊ VP Societies ◊ VP Sport ◊
9/3/2012 16/3/2012 26/3/2012 30/3/2012 Nominations Close Manifesto Submission Voting Opens Voting Closes / Results Announced
Arran Stears – Presidential Candidate
y aim is to make sure that no student is left behind as a result of their socio-economic class and to ensure that all students receive the best deal from the University in challenging economic times. This covers my main manifesto commitments. Although these appear to be welfare issues, these issues are so serious and pressing that they warrant the President’s full attention. I am the best candidate for this as I deliver on my manifesto commitments. In my current position as Postgraduate Development Officer, I have set up the Postgraduate Society and have become its Chairman. I am involved with the Living Wage campaign and proud to be associated with it. Coming from a non-traditional university family myself, with little financial advantages, I understand some of the pressures that we, the students, go through and that there are more people worse off than me who are struggling in these challenging times with not enough being done to help them and
Sam Bednarczyk – VP Education Candidate
I feel the University has the ability to do more for them but doesn’t. The major problem affecting all students throughout Britain and Surrey is that the money given as Student Finance is not enough to cover basic living costs. Rent costs of £400+ per month excluding bills with 12 month contracts, swallows this money up, leaving little for students to live off. I feel this often leads to students living below the poverty line, often in fuel poverty if they do not have support from their parents. This ultimately forces many students to work long shifts often on the minimum wage simply to support themselves. The Student Union ultimately needs to become more politically organised and campaign about these issues and, above all, care about them. Ultimately we need to open our eyes and recognise these problems and campaign to the University to resolve them. I am committed to winning the argument and securing our future.
here has been a large increase in the number of Academic Reps this year, as well as elected reps for each faculty. I feel that these positions can work very positively for the student population should they be managed effectively. A greater representation will become ever more important as we get the first influx of students paying the increased tuition fee charge. Additionally, as we see a greater number of student reps, I hope to be able to create separate academic rep assemblies for undergraduate and postgraduate students, in order to effectively cover the issues for a greater population of students. As the fees increase, I believe that the academic reps will become more significant, but the system needs to become a more effective way of hearing the student voice. I intend to do this by displaying more clearly the success stories that come from rep actions, so that students feel as though reps do make changes. Furthermore, intend to review the performance of reps
at the end of the first semester, to ensure that they are being used in the best way – this will of course include the continuation of the rep refresher training that was introduced this year. In terms of teaching time when compared to the new fees, I believe that in order for students to engage, they need time to read. That said, we need to ensure that all teaching time is used as effectively as possible. I plan to ensure this is the case by conducting regular room audits (completed by the academic reps) that will check the suitability of certain rooms for certain lectures. By completing this on a regular basis, we can ensure that students are not having regular disruptions to their teaching. Finally, I feel that my personal experiences as both Chairperson of the Business School Academic Reps and Faculty Rep for FBEL have put me in good stead for the role of VP Education, and hope to continue making a difference to the student population, but this time on a greater scale.
VOTE NO.1 FOR ARRAN STEARS FOR PRESIDENT
Dave Halls – Presidential Candidate
’m Dave Halls; I’m currently your elected Vice President Welfare, and I’m asking you to elect me as your President for 2012/13. I came into the VP Welfare role last year as a relative unknown, just a regular student who saw an opportunity to make a difference for my fellow students. I’ve spent this year working with the university, external companies and, most importantly, students to ensure the best possible welfare provision for all Surrey students – working to ensure every student feels happy, safe and comfortable throughout their time here. This commitment to the non-academic side of your student experience has seen positive changes; some big, some small – but always with the best interests of Surrey students at their heart. I pride myself on being an open, welcoming and caring person. I have no hidden agendas or ulterior motives; similarly neither have I spent the duration
of my time at Surrey simply planning a path to the Presidency. I came into this role quite set that it, for me, was a one-year-only thing; however, having spent this year getting to know the Students’ Union inside out, I have absolute confidence in my ability to continue the great strides forward we, as a community of 14,500, have taken over the past few years. This is a very different place to when I first joined the University, mostly for the better. We need someone committed, knowledgeable, and most of all, able, to continue to improve the Students’ Union and University to ensure that what Surrey students want is what Surrey students get. From the cost of Amigo, to ensuring you have more say in Rubix nights; to, on a wider scale, ensuring that every single student at Surrey feels as much a part of the Students’ Union as they want to be, and knowing that whenever and however they need it, the Union is there for them – constantly improving. I promise you that I have the passion, ability and the wherewithal to lead this Union, on behalf of all Surrey students. I’m therefore asking you to entrust me, Dave Halls, with your  vote.
Nominations are open until 5pm on Friday 9th March – YOU could be one of the successful candidates! Visit: www.ussu.co.uk/yourvoice for details
Union Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Chris Dighton – VP Societies Candidate
have always strived to get involved with societies since day 1, and I enjoy seeing people come out of themselves when they get involved in societies. The greatest thing about societies is their diversity, and this is one thing that needs to be protected. If elected, I would ensure that the smaller societies and cultural societies do not get left behind and support them, as they are just as important to university life as bigger societies are. As of recent, the societies grading award scheme was reviewed. I spoke to some societies that took part and some that did not, to gain an idea as to what people thought about it, and took their points to the panel. Some of these points made it difficult for societies to progress up the grading system easily, and therefore didn’t represent societies’ best interest to take part in a development scheme. I would ensure that there is a restructuring of societies grading, so that there is fairer classification! Societies are definitely something that allows
Kylie White – VP Welfare Candidate
students the opportunity to de-frag themselves from a long day, or coursework. Committee members may occasionally feel stress from organising events and things for their societies to do, and might not feel like they are receiving the support that they could be getting. My dedication to the societies I am involved in allows me to empathise with this, and through this I know I can help. I am campaigning for role specific training to be made available all year round, for all societies new or old. The Individual Development role is often overlooked by candidates running for the VP Societies and ID position. Societies can help in the development of an individual, from learning first aid to a language. We all come to university for a course, but what else can we get out of time here? What needs to happen is the promotion of the skillsets that people can gain from societies. I believe that there should be more advertisement and publicity of societies throughout the year, and not just at freshers’s or refresher’s fayre.
Go with the ‘Fro, and vote Chris  for your VP Societies & ID
Em Bollon – VP Societies Candidate
am so excited to make the most of the next couple of weeks, and meet more of those who are currently in societies; both committees and members, as well as promote to those who may not yet be involved. After all, a society is built upon the collaborative efforts and enthusiasm of individuals. In my opinion, the best candidate for VP Societies will seek to support the individual and
collect group alike. This is why, to better understand the role, I am striving to meet those individuals. In my three years’ committee experience, what I have valued most is the accessibility and approachability of the current Sabb. Therefore, these are the attributes I hope to thrive in. I believe that Jake’s implementation of Society Grading this year, is essential to the development of a society, but without placing an unnecessary pressure upon the committee and members in addition to their studies. A society is a place to flourish, not burden. I appreciate the work he’s put into the scheme, and hope that I can develop it beyond the pilot phase, if elected. Can’t wait to get involved with some new societies in the up-coming weeks!
’m Kylie White and I’m running for VP Welfare. I’m studying my Masters in International Event Management and I’m a Court Life Mentor. I believe that the University has a reputation to uphold when it comes to campus safety, and I want to continue to improve that reputation by continuing the projects that have already been set in place. I would also like to focus on several concerns I’ve come across as a Court Life Mentor, such as making sure all of campus is properly lit, continuing to promote general health and safety awareness, and working on improving the security monitoring system. I am a determined and dedicated individual! My determination is beneficial to the position, as I would be looking out for the students’ best interests. I also enjoy meeting new people and hearing everyone’s concerns. You will find that I’m very passionate about helping others! During my undergrad, I held a position that dealt directly with social and cultural awareness. During my time, I organized a
safety and crime prevention week, as well as the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week. I believe it’s important to stay informed about all current issues regarding the welfare of students. The University has put in place a fantastic list of facilities and staff that can be of great service to all students. I am also aware that it’s a major concern to students that the University is switching form cash bursaries to fee waivers. I understand the importance of having the extra funds to help with the additional costs of living. While the Union is already doing a wonderful job, I believe that they could aid the students by promoting Student Advice more, and by possibly looking into providing a “food closet,” where students in need could come and grab groceries (nonperishable items). This idea was implemented at my undergrad, and was a great help to students! I hope this gives you a little insight about me and my goals! If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to speak to me! I look forward to meeting you all!
Liam Murphy – VP Societies Candidate
hopefully keep current societies from going dormant. Thirdly I would encourage society membership on a major scale to all students. There is more to University life than studying and I believe society membership, in this economy, is beneficial to any graduate looking for employment. On Individual Development I will re-iterate my previous statement; there is more to university than studying. I would help by encouraging and helping individual students find part time jobs, placements and one of my main aims, promote the Surrey free languages offers to all students. I believe the individual development factor of Surrey is something that is overlooked and needs focus. I’m extremely friendly and energetic and I can help anyone who comes to me. I believe that societies are an amazing way to escape the pressures of a degree, whether it’s with socials, general meetings or just going for coffee with some new friends. I also firmly believe that if everyone in a society feels welcome and has fun, the society will succeed. I would ensure I was around to encourage this. Please feel free to come and have a chat with me if you see me about on campus or email me: (email@example.com).
Katie-Jane Beaven – VP Societies Candidate
Back the Beaver!
ontrary to popular belief, I am not actually a Beaver. My name is Katie-Jane Beaven and I will be running for VP Societies & Individual Development. Societies are a key component of any student’s experience at University and provide each individual with an opportunity to not only have fun but to also develop crucial attributes such as time management, commitment and social interaction. Furthermore, a student’s ability to sustain a healthy balance of work and play will aid their individual development and future prospects in an ever growing competitive job market. It is the application of the wider skills you develop through your involvement in all the University has to offer, that makes you an individual who will shine to potential employers after graduation. As VP Societies & Individual Development I endeavour to actively encourage student participation and create opportunities to workshop the skills required in the running of a society
to ensure regularity of societal conduct. I aim to nurture existing societies and aid student par ticipation through crosssociety relations, by categorising the societies so that students can work collectively to create large social events that are successful and well attended. I want to cultivate relationships between academic societies and their relative department to encourage support financially and improve student-staff affiliation. All of these will work as benefits to allow societies to evolve proportionally as a reflection to the rapid expansion of the University of Surrey.
’m Liam Murphy and I want to become the next VP Societies & Individual Development. As a President of a society myself, I understand fully how important the societies are to a campus as large and diverse as ours. I hope to increase the relationship between societies in order to put on large scale events. I believe this will both encourage further diversity in and around campus and will give society members the opportunity to meet new people and see what else they can get involved in. I aim to help all societies raise as much funding as possible in order to maintain a healthy and balanced existence on campus. For example, Rubix and HRB are amazing resources that a lot of societies don’t use. I believe having funding will increase involvement from students and
UNIVERSITY OF Enter details here SURREY
Thursday 15th March 10am-13.00 and 14.30-16.30 Friday 16th March 10am-13.00 and 14.30-16.30
Mini bloodmobiles to be parked in the Pay & Display car park. Sessions by appointment only.
Please phone 0300 123 23 23 to make an appointment
Editor: Jack White
The Stag |
6th March 2012
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Opinion & Analysis Has The Sun really BUSINESS changed its ways? The Internet Barometer
By Peter Bailey
s memes abound will tell you, students are adept at plumbing the internet for information with remarkable frequency and assurance. A moment of uncertainty is all it takes for a hasty Smartphone Google search, or a cheeky Wikipedia reference. With a world of information at our fingertips it is both simple and effective to lean on the internet and its bounty of searchable information for any occasion. And this is not necessarily a bad thing in society (be it as a student or otherwise). It embodies a clear human need to grasp information, and with it, the power that information can provide to an individual. For Businesses it provides an interesting challenge in how to best seep into the fabric of such internet trawling. There is a fine line between a company with a message forcing your way into the free information party bristling with paid ads and pop-ups, and subtly colouring the water of the information landscape with your own particular internet presence. The two-way relationship between consumers and brands has become far more of an even fight in recent years. An internet user is hugely empowered by the ability to command an array of information simply by inputting a search string. Everything from exchange rates and product comparisons, to “hot or not” and social trends can be
estimated in seconds. So what did we do before the digital “finger in the air” which many a student has relied on for a casual filler reference or rough-shod cost estimate for their Business plan? Well some say that the way we recall information has changed with the predisposition to simply lean on always-on internet connections for the answer in a flash. Without needing to remember things, some people argue our range of available information is now much larger, but the information available for mental recall grows smaller by the day. So what does this mean for Business? Well ultimately it will probably benefit those who cotton on to the concept of the “Google test”. Every search we submit is imbued with a yearning for a quick and simple answer. Realistically the Business that can give that answer is likely to get the attention (and potentially trade) of that individual at some point in the future. The trader who stalks social trends and matches his production and supply operations accordingly is likely to get one up on his competitors. And the service provider that flips searches on their head and reads them as a wish list from potential customers, is going to be able to offer the panacea for all their problems with their next release. This goes beyond the maturing concept of paid search and SEO; it’s about Businesses understanding that the next generation of computing users can report on anything, anytime. It’s about more than just being given the answer by a Business or anyone else; it’s about seeing how that answer fits into the landscape of information and then stealing our own answers from that context. Buyer and Business beware, we have never had such an honest metric at our disposal and it grows more scathing by the day.
unday 26th February saw the launch of the first Sunday edition of The Sun, which is estimated to have sold around 3.26 million copies across the country. The launch was seen as an opportunity for News International to move on from revelations about phone hacking, with Rupert Murdoch promising that the organisation has changed the way it works. Coincidently, the launch of the new weekend tabloid came on the day of the Carling Cup Final
between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City – two clubs whose fans have severed ties with the newspaper in response to its unique coverage of major stories. Liverpool fans boycotted the newspaper in April 1989 following the paper’s coverage of the Hillsborough football disaster where 96 men, women and children lost their lives. The paper’s then editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, ran a story entitled ‘The Truth’ which accused Liverpool fans of stealing from the dead and urinating on police officers attempting to save the lives of the injured. The boycott remains strong, with most Merseyside newsagents still refusing to stock the paper. Cardiff City’s boycott of the newspaper is more recent,
beginning last September following the murder of Welsh fan Michael Dye outside of Wembley Stadium. The club branded the paper’s treatment of the story as unfair and referred the matter to the Press Complaints Commission. For many Cardiff fans, the episode suggested that little has changed in the decades since Hillsborough. Although 3.26 million copies sold on Sunday 26th February, there remain hundreds of thousands of people who will never buy The Sun. The paper claims it has changed, but these claims can only be tested over time. Even if it has changed, some will never be able to purchase a paper which has caused so much pain to so many people, and I think that defiance is admirable.
Court Life Mentoring: scrap it and give cash direct to students in need
Freedom of Information request response shows that for last year, Court Life Mentoring cost over a quarter of a million pounds – the request shows that for the year 2010/11 the cost of the scheme was £258,393.97. The response also showed 4,822 students lived in Courts in 2010/11, giving an effective cost of £53.58 a year per student. Given the choice, would you pay £50 a year for that weekly knock on the door? I’ll take an educated guess and say, for most,
the answer would be no. I’d also hazard another guess and say most students wouldn’t choose to hand over a fiver for it. It’s not worth the cash, so it should be scrapped. Instead, we should give the cash direct to students through financial assistance schemes like the hardship fund and bursaries: students could get more money according to need, there would be more money students could access without taking time away from study, and we could help those suffering most from rising living costs. The counter-arguments that satisfaction with mentoring is high and that mentors make a difference to some are just not good enough. Satisfaction rates, one mentor tells me, are as high as
96%. This is meaningless; students are not going to complain about something this parochial when they don’t have to personally hand over cash for it. Satisfaction here means mass indifference, which is not a measure of success. On the second point, I do not doubt mentors help some. If you ask everybody on campus how they are doing on a weekly basis you are going to find somebody to provide a listening ear to. Helpful though this is, the benefit most students receive makes the price tag unjustifiable; we can deliver more welfare with the same money. Let’s scrap Mentoring, and give cash direct to those in need to address the growing problem of declining living standards.
Got an opinion or analysis to share? Email us!
Send ideas and articles to: editor@thestagsurrey
12 OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Stag |
6th March 2012
and obnoxious, aggressive, intimidating and threatening. One occasion I remember very clearly and with many witnesses. A very fat, very rough looking bouncer was standing on the steps between the dance floor and the stage. I attempted to gain access to the stage like my fellow party goers had previously, when I was told and I quote, “Get the fuck down now mate or I’m going to have you’. Whilst verbally threatening me, he proceeded to grab me and push me down the stairs, almost causing me to fall backwards down the stairs. Firstly, this verbal abuse and swearing is classified as abusive language under public disorder act, the threatening behaviour and the assault are fairly self explanatory. I would like to add again that many friends who where behind me witnessed and heard how the bouncer treated me and where also shocked and disgusted with his threatening and intimidating behaviour, not to mention the assault they had just witnessed. The security staff hired by Student Union to look after the interests, rights and safety of each individual guest, are failing appallingly and is completely disgraceful. I am writing this email on my behalf but also on behalf of my friends and fellow students, who have each individually been a victim of verbal of physical abuse from security staff in some way or another. To highlight the number of students who are concerned or have been victims surrounding this matter, a partition can easily be compiled for students that agree with the points raised in my email and in your most recent article. The number of students signing would raise well into the hundreds. I would to highlight that this is a serious on going problem relating to the security staff, and your previous article of illegal behaviour is not a one-off case, but more an every-week occurrence. I hope this email can offer you some more information into your most recent article about the security staff at Rubix Nightclub in the University of Surrey, and I hope will be used to more highlight the significance of this matter. I hope you appreciate that I wish at this stage to remain anonymous. I will disclose my name and Surrey email at a later date should it be needed. Yours, Anon. Dear Readers, The response to Issue 42’s article on the dispute between Presha and Union security has been overwhelming. In addition to your letters, many rumours and gripes have worked their way back to The Stag. We cannot comment on the validity of any particular student’s claims as regards Union security, but we have spoken to the Union, which has stated that these complaints are being heard and that talks are ongoing with DGL, the firm which supplies security staff to the Union. Without prejudicing the complaints, we are clear that the Union believes it will get to the bottom of each complaint and also deal with any apparent trends. This has been corroborated by postcomplaint correspondence between the Union and Presha, although the issue has not yet been resolved to Presha’s satisfaction. Our editorial opinion is that a problem clearly exists with Union security, although again, we cannot comment on the validity of particular claims. All readers are welcome to continue to voice complaints or comments around this issue and we wish readers luck with any case registered with the Union. Yours, The Editor
Letters to the Editor
Readers tear into Rubix / Living Room security
Dear Stag, Further to your article in The Stag I'd like to comment on my experiences with Rubix bouncers. In the first semester of this year I was in Rubix with friends and I was play fighting / wrestling with a friend of mine – there was no malice at all. A bouncer came over to us and I ran and hid in the bathroom which I realize was a stupid thing to do, however when the bouncer caught up with me he lead me to the door, and said "Do that again and I'll break your f**king legs!" I accept he was right to throw me out, but threats if violence from these alleged professionals? I emailed the Union at the time and received an email saying it was being looked into, I received no further contact. Yours, Anon. Dear Stag, I am writing in response to the bouncer article in the previous issue of The Stag. I too have experienced an incident involving the Rubix bouncers showing a clear lack of care or compassion for those around them. On Friday 17th February, I was innocently dancing by the front of the stage when a sudden shock of weight landed on my left shoulder. Facing away from the stage, it took me a few seconds to realise what had happened; a bouncer had jumped down from the stage, cushioning his fall on me. Minor as this sounds from his perspective, it has had great implications to me. Not only am I a dance student, but I also have a previous minor back injury, which has been greatly accentuated by being the bouncer’s landing cushion. I have not been able to dance since the incident, causing me to fall behind in my studies as well as being in great discomfort due to the pain. This is yet another example of the bouncers showing little, or no, consideration for those not causing harm or disruption, with the self belief that they own the union and can do whatever they want! Something needs to be done... Yours, Hannah Dear Stag, I am writing this email to express my disgust and concern surrounding the appalling and downright unacceptable behaviour of the Rubix student nightclub security team at the University of Surrey on numerous occasions. To begin a couple of months back, I was enjoying my evening at the University of Surrey Rubix nightclub, when I was suddenly confronted with a glass bottle being thrown at my head by an extremely intoxicated female student. Upon explaining what had just occurred to a team of security guards they flippantly told me to ‘go home mate’, with no concern for my health or the criminal act that had just occurred in front of an array of witnesses. Feeling completely let down by the very people employed to protect my rights and safety as a guest at Rubix, and after repeated demands for him to detain her, I felt I had no choice but to take it a step further and ring the police. The security guard whom I spoke to about this incident, could literally not have cared less and refused to detain or confront the offender despite my face bleeding and swelling by the minute. It was the 999 operator that ultimately had to demand the bouncer (whom I and many witness could identify) to detain the female student, so that she could be dealt with accordingly. The fact that I had to ring the police in order for the female student to be detained, is quite frankly completely unacceptable and I believe he should be the subject of a formal investigation into this serious act of misconduct. Had I not had taken the decision at that point to ring the police the offender would have slipped away into the night without any consequences for her actions, with subsequently my upper eye severely bruised and swollen for many weeks. I would like to add that I have numerous witness who still remember the account of these events very clearly and how the bouncer’s reaction was completely unacceptable and contradicts the very purpose of their existence as a security staff member. To continue, on numerous different occasions throughout my previous semester, October to December, the security staff at Rubix have been utterly rude
PriVatiSation of thE PolicE
The Government plans to privatise a wide range of services currently run by the police including: investigation of crime, detention of suspects, support of victims and witnesses, and management of road safety. Tell the campus what you think by Wednesday 14th March! Email:
The Great Debate
More info: http://tinyurl.com/7ewgqdm ◊ http://tinyurl.com/7qelaos ◊ http://tinyurl.com/7qzq38a
The Stag |
6th March 2012
We can’t work for free!
By Tom Goulding, Deputy Editor TS: What is the University of Surrey’s stance on unpaid internships? USCS: The Careers Service only advertises positions which comply with National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation – therefore unpaid internships are not advertised, unless they are with an organisation which has a specific exemption from the NMW, such as a registered charity. It is also worth noting that work placements which are formally part of your course of study, such as the Professional Training Year here at Surrey, are also exempt from the NMW. The majority of these are paid, however, this does vary from course to course. In addition to the above, the Careers Service adheres to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services’ Position Statement on Internships. TS: Could you explain why the NUS, TUC and UCU have had to collaborate on a campaign to end unpaid internships? UCSC: The organisations collaborating on the campaign have stated they believe internships are contributing to growing inequality in education and the job market, with those with financial support able to undertake unpaid work, whilst unpaid internships remain inaccessible to those from poorer backgrounds or those who live outside London. TS: Given the current level of unemployment UK, do you agree that Arts & Humanities undergraduates are particularly susceptible to taking unpaid internships? Do you think there is a solution to this considering that most media positions are already oversubscribed? USCS: There is some evidence that unpaid positions are more prevalent in the media and creative industries, which can often be popular with Arts and Humanities graduates - although of course students from a wide variety of disciplines may seek to enter these industries. Gaining experience is certainly important to have the best chance of entering these industries, but this could take a number of forms - from short work experience placements to volunteering with hospital radio or student media outlets. TS: Will the University of Surrey Careers Service be taking measures to make students aware of unpaid internships in the foreseeable future? If so, what steps will be taken? USCS: It is important that students are aware of their rights in relation to the NMW, and makes information available to students to help them with this. As an impartial source of advice and guidance, the Careers Service cannot tell students which positions to accept. However, we are always pleased to talk to students about their options, and will continue to work to make students aware of their rights, and with employers to make them aware of their responsibilities. TS: Do you have any further advice for students currently seeking work placements?
With the prospect of graduation looming, it’s not surprising that final year undergraduates are concerned about the future. But in the current economic climate, many will find themselves unnecessarily drawn to unpaid internships. In the wake of an NUS campaign to eliminate unlawful employment, The Stag got in touch with the University of Surrey Careers Service to find out more…
USCS: The recruitment process for work placements can be just as competitive as those for graduate jobs. Therefore, we would advise all students to prepare thoroughly and make the best application possible – tailoring their CV, covering letter or application form for each job, and offering specific evidence of the skills and abilities required by the employer. It is also worth being aware that for summer internships employers often recruit well in advance – with closing dates up to six months in advance of the start of the internship. Therefore it is worth planning ahead. Finally, make yourself aware of your rights in relation to the NMW and employment law more generally.
Read more on unpaid jobs...
To read more about unpaid internships and to comment, why not visit the new Careers Service blog: uniofsurreycareers.wordpress.com Or for further info please visit: www.surrey.ac.uk/careers ... or phone 01483 689001 to book an appointment.
hew, what a fashion week! Between the 17th and 21st February London was teaming with fashion folk rushing between shows. Now although it is all in preparation for Autumn/Winter
2012, it’s always good to know in advance which winter items are worth keeping. In terms of colour and tone, berry, forest green, and dark blue will make their presence known in the shops. Whilst dark colours for winter isn’t particularly ground breaking, we need to think about how we will wear them. I’m not talking simple dark jeans with a dark coloured jumper, oh no, these shades have a sort of morbid and mysterious feel to them. In
Christopher Kane, we saw florals being brought down in their mood. But if you want something brighter, look to Holly Fulton for inspiration. As for print, it’s all about the country being brought to the city. Houndstooth, tweed and tartan were all over the catwalks, particularly in Henry Holland, so keep an eye out for those. Also, Peter Pilotto brought us some erratic yet controlled prints, as did many other designers, and metallic shades shimmered down the runway of Alice Temperley. With the colours and prints nailed, it’s time to think textures. My, my, there sure was a lot of fur; Alice Temperley and Mulberry showed us how to do it, whilst PPQ
threw in some velvet and Topshop Unique added some leather. For shape, Burberry Prorsum showed peplum at its best, and high necklines were sported on nearly every runway, particularly Erdem. If you don’t have the time, or patience, to trawl through every show and want some exciting ones to watch then I highly recommend Mary Katranzou for inspiring clothes, and Meadham Kirchhoff for entertainment (check out the shoes, they’re amazing). And finally, check out Anya Hindmarch for some awesome staging. And if you missed it completely, don’t worry - only six months till next London Fashion Week…
Holly Fulton - LFW
©rob ‘n’ rae
Features Editor: Nicole Vassell | Copy Editor: Michaela Fulton
The Stag |
6th March 2012
The Heart of the Circus
Admittedly, my knowledge and experience with male strippers is limited. So as I sat waiting for the interview to begin, I tried to imagine what British Heart was going to look like. Tattooed? Seven-foot tall? Completely naked? Promptly, my musings came to an end as the host of Circus of Men came into the room. He was slim, and wore a skin coloured leotard with mirrors all over the front of it. His eyes were lined with dark pencil and to top off the outfit, he wore a black fur shrug. I groaned – I never thought I’d see the day when a man was more glamorous than me.
By Nicole Vassell, Features Editor TS: How long have you been in Boylesque, and what attracted you to it? Since 2008, after watching a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - I used to direct, but I originally trained as a performer and I thought: “Bang!” The show was confusing, it was anarchic, with performers throwing things at the audience and the audience were throwing things back...It was a little bit wild. A lot of nudity, a lot of sexiness – and I wanted in. TS: How did you get into Circus of Men (COM)? The bosses were looking for male strippers, but burlesque style ones, ones with a difference. They contacted me probably because they wanted me to bring a bit of an alternative cabaret personality to the show, and they also wanted to display a different kind of male erotic. They didn’t just want lots of buff, meaty guys but a variety of different, beautiful men on stage. TS: Stereotypically, this is a field strongly dominated by women. How do you feel as a man in this industry? I feel good. It’s about time men were given the chance to break out of the normal moulds of being a man. It’s time that men can find much more skilled and much more beautiful, sensual ways of being erotic. TS: What’s your favourite type of gig to play? The late, late, late shows where I can do anything. The filthy ones. TS: Is that what’s in store for tonight? It might happen tonight, it depends on the audience – if it gets to one or two o’ clock in the morning, we’ll see how the audience are. It may come to the point where we want to pour alcohol on our naked bodies and get the audience to drink off it - we’ll see what happens! TS: Do you ever suffer from stage fright? [instantly] No. No. Not now, anyway. It’s a different gig, a different feeling. If you do mainstream theatre, you stand backstage and prepare your character, and go through some sort of psychological process, or whatever you’ve been trained to do, but this is much more of you, and yourself – I say just f*** it and do it. TS: How much time outside of performing is spent on maintaining your physical fitness? A lot. In COM, we each have particular skills, and every day you have to keep up your own training. For me, I pole-dance, I just started pommel horse (a gymnastic activity)...every day you have to do your bit – handstands et cetera. The rest of the guys are the same, you have to train. There are people from the traditional circus, from Australia, from all over the world. There are fire-breathers who have to keep fairly tough and trained. TS: Have you ever had any on-stage injuries? Oh yes. The most recent one happened when I was pole-dancing, and the person who installed the pole had bent some of the metal out, so as I was dancing I came off with a big graze down the side of my ribs. But this definitely isn’t one of the worst injuries I’ve had – I’ve had quite private parts of my body grabbed by audience members on the stage. When I did a gig called ‘Bare-lesque’, I offered my naked body to the audience to clean with sponges. And I was knocked over, I was rolled around, all sorts – I came out of the gig with all sorts of dents and grazes. But it’s all worth it in the end. TS: What’s the best part of your job? Blowing the audience away. When the audience are seeing all the acts, revolving through the air, spinning on the pole, and you just see their eyes and you completely capture and claim their attention…it’s a good job. The worst is hitting a very dead crowd. Sometimes it’s quite hard in clubs, when the audience have been drinking a lot and they get a bit rowdy. Or just performing to three people. That has happened before. Finally, describe tonight’s show in one word. [after a pause] Meaty hotness.
“Though “meaty hotness” happens to be two words, I overlooked that. The interview ended, we shook hands and he told me to enjoy the rest of the night. It wasn’t until I saw him walking away, that I discovered that his costume was backless, and his bare backside was the last I saw of him before Circus of Men came on stage. It seems I was the first to get a sneak preview of the show - being the Features Editor has its perks, after all.”
The Stag |
6th March 2012
The iExhibition is for you!
By Hannah Wann, Features Team colourful and exotic but it all tasted amazing. I’d never experienced Sri Lankan food before, I’d never really even considered it, but their kiribath (sticky coconutmilk rice) with katta sambol (a kind of chilli paste) won me over. I also found that, shock horror, I did actually like chickpeas – something I’ve always pretty boring and tasteless – just when they were cooked in the right way, Sri Lankan kadala style. The Nepalese Society also caught my attention, and not just because they were by far the loudest and liveliest of the stalls! Their curries – aloo dum and chana masala – were seriously good, making me re-think why I always only stick to Indian curries?! Throughout the night I also lost my chocolatejelly-virginity at the Malaysian Society’s stall, after dropping my first two pieces – jelly with a fork... really? – and noted down that I should attempt to make Nigerian jollof rice some time, as it tasted great and looked pretty simple to make, with few complex ingredients; student-friendly. Overall, I think the event was a complete success, from not just my own experience, but everyone else’s that I’ve talked to. It was lively, free, fun and most of all, different! I tried many traditional cultural foods I would never have got the opportunity, or initiative, to try elsewhere and it made me realise how boring my diet actually is! So if you love food, like me, here are my top 5 foods of the night that I experienced for the first time - I highly recommend you try: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Kiribath and katta sambol (Sri Lankan) Chana masala (Nepalese) Serra da Estrela cheese (Portuguese) Jollof rice (Nigerian) Gol Gappa Pan Puri (Pakistani)
No more shopping
By Ellis Taylor, Features Team
his being my first iExhibition, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I really knew was that it was to celebrate the diversity of our campus at Surrey and that there was free food - always good. I turned up ten minutes in to the start, expecting to be pretty early, and to my surprise it was already packed! People were queuing all the way through Rubix to get to the main area of stalls where crowds were jostling to get a taste of what was on offer, bongo drums were beating and lively music playing from the GU2 Radio Station. And I was not disappointed – there was food, and lots of it. Now, before this event, I liked to think of myself as quite a diverse eater... I mean, I like Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Greek, Italian... what surprises would there really be at this iExhibition? Boy, was I wrong. Going around the stalls I didn’t recognise half of the food being served by all the different societies - it was great! Firstly, I made a bee line for the Indian Society’s stall – curry being a favourite of mine – and before I knew it was being persuaded to try a hollow fried crisp-looking thing that they poured a spicy concoction into, which you had to eat whole in one go. They told me, amusedly, as I coughed and cried and gasped for water, that it was called a ‘Pani Puri’. Their faces showed me I was clearly not as much of a hardcore-spice lover as I had hoped. Although it did make my eyes water so much I wished I’d worn waterproof mascara, it was definitely something I’d never tried before, or even heard of, and not anything I’d usually order off the menu of my local Indian on a Friday night. First new food experience – check. My next tastings were less traumatic; I stocked up on a few of my favourites like chorizo from the Spanish Society’s stall and camembert from the French, and instantly fell in love with Sri Lankan food as soon as I reached their table. Not only did it look brilliantly
Food lovers, do not miss the next iExhibition!
hat’s your favourite thing to do? We all have that one thing that cheers you up when you’re feeling like poop and passes the time when you’re bored. Now, try and give that up for a month. Tough, right? Well, I’m giving up shopping for a whole month. I KNOW. It’s like I’ve gone mad or something, or just realised that food just might be more important than clothes. However, I can’t go a whole month without any new addition to my bulging wardrobe, so in times of little money I’ve been doing some mind maps (literally), trying to figure out how I can do a Matrix style bend around the rules I set myself. Some ideas, as I’ve now realised, are a little unrealistic, but if anyone has a Tardis I can borrow so I can travel forward one month to a time when I can shop, please let me know. We could even have a future-celebratory shopping trip together. For my first idea, I’ve been trying to come up with a cool name for it. It’s not clothes swapping because you don’t keep items, and borrowing isn’t an exciting word. So I think it should be called wardrobe merging. That sounds a little more interesting, but it’s basically borrowing and lending. However, the negative to this is that since coming to University, I’ve realised that I have an abnormal amount of clothes, so I seem to be lending more than borrowing. It does store up a few “I lent you this so you have to lend me that” grudges though. So make your mate a cup of tea, and bribe them into lending you that piece that would look totally perfect with
that other thing for that night. Now, some of you may argue that this next idea can be classified as shopping, but if the money goes to charity and the clothes aren’t brand new then it doesn’t count! Charity shops are some of the best things ever. Not only does it give you karma points and count as your good deed of the day, but you can find some real gems in there. You may find some classic 90s styles that make you wonder who let them survive, and you may even want to do a very loud laugh at some items (I’m guilty of that one). But trust me, charity shops are great. Personally, I’m against buying second hand shoes, however make sure you check out the jewellery and look deeper before you run out the shop, afraid you’ll end up smelling like your dear old Gran. So you’ve hunted through the charity shops, dressed like Indiana Jones (fancy dress noncompulsory) and found a dress that either a) is a little too long for your liking/height; b) has a great skirt but an ugly top; c) a great top and an ugly skirt. STOP. Don’t put it back on the rail, hand over the £3 and let your inner seamstress out. Simple adjustments are easy-peasy; all it requires is concentration and touch of patience. Better yet, make something from scratch. A skirt is the simplest thing to make –however, I would only recommend such a task if you have access to a sewing machine, unless, of course, you’re amazing at hand stitching and have a heck of a lot of spare time. It’s going to be a tough month, but all that time away from the shops might mean a hand stitched something is in order.
Sometimes you just have to make do and mend
Features Editor: Nicole Vassell | Copy Editor: Michaela Fulton
The Stag |
6th March 2012
The countdown begins!
By Sophie Vickery, Features Team
he 6th July 2005 was an important day for London – it was announced that our capital would be the hosts of the 2012 Olympic Games. Since then time has flown and the 27th January marked six months until the opening ceremony. As the countdown intensifies TV has become abundant in adverts involving sporting figures and shop windows have replaced winter coats with sport inspired fashion. Unfortunately, there are those critics who remain cynical about the games, claiming that security threats, poor GB performance and high expense are enough to dampen Olympic spirit and bring disappointment to the nation. Despite this pessimism, there is still plenty of eager anticipation as the hype heightens. The Olympic Village holds equally, if not more, excitement than the games themselves. This could be a result of the controversial ticket allocations which excluded around 1.8 million fans from viewing the events live. Instead, the village is open to everyone, giving all the opportunity to experience some of the promised aura. The village, located in the Olympic Park, Stratford, is principally designed to cater for the 16,000 athletes
and official members of staff from 200 countries. As a result, the village has been prepared with 170,000 coat hangers, 5,000 toilet brushes and 64,000 bed sheets. It also has a 24 hour restaurant complete with 5000 seats, capable of producing 60,000 meals a day. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) expect some 25,000 loaves of bread, 232 tonnes of potatoes and 75,000 litres of milk to be consumed. The village even includes a school and 3000 apartment buildings. For members of the public the village plaza is home to shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment services which will only add to the vibrant atmosphere furnished by the village. Following the games the village hopes to maintain its key role in public service by becoming an important part of East London’s community. There are plans to add 2,800 new homes, parks and Chobham Academy; an education campus for 1,800 students aged three to nineteen. As time continues to fly the nation looks forward to hosting the games and many intend to use the Olympic village as a way of participating in the celebrations without holding an Olympic ticket. The next six months certainly look to be a busy time for organisers as the world watches London prepare to deliver an event of such expectancy.
How are complaints handled at the Union?
By Dave Halls, VP Welfare
mongst the varied tasks that the VP Welfare is involved in, is sitting on the Union’s Disciplinary Committee. This is a panel, consisting of the Union’s Commercial Manager, HR Director and the VP Welfare. This panel meets every week, discussing, and taking action on incidents that occur within the Union building. The panel also discusses action taken on complaints received by the Union; and I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly run through the process that is used for all complaints the Union receives. Contrary to popular belief, we take each and every complaint the Students’ Union receives as seriously as the last. The process is simple, as detailed in the Union’s Complaints Procedure (a thrilling read from start to finish if you’re ever stuck for some light reading, and can’t be bothered to pop to London to buy Heat magazine...): 1. Any individual may submit a complaint, be they a student, group or representative body. 2. A complaint is put in writing and sent to ussu. firstname.lastname@example.org. This does not have to be from your student account, but anonymous complaints will
not be accepted. There is no prescribed format, nor do you have to state you are making a formal complaint- by writing to ussu.complaints, it is assumed you are! 3. All complaints will be acknowledged within three working days. This acknowledgement will give an estimated timescale for resolution of the complaint, and the name of the individual who will be dealing with it. And that’s it. We aim to have complaints dealt with within two weeks from the date of submission, though obviously this varies depending on the nature of the issue. At the end of the day, this place is here for you, the student. It is our responsibility to ensure that you. We have a responsibility to ensure that Rubix is safe for all attendees to have an enjoyable evening, and by dealing with complaints in a consistent, fair and speedy manner, we are able to use this method of feedback to ensure that you are getting the best service we can provide. Rest assured, getting the best outcomes for Surrey students is our utmost priority.
If you have any complaints, please email email@example.com
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Taking the Leap!
By Becky Powell and Nicole Vassell, Features Team
What do your taste buds say about you?
By Sophie Vickery, Features Team
012 is a leap year, meaning that last week Wednesday we had an extra date – 29th February. This is to keep our calendar aligned with the revolutions of the earth around the sun. *Fun fact* - if we didn’t have leap years, we would have missed around 24 days in every 100 years! However, another reason why this day is special is that it is traditionally the one specific date where it is ‘acceptable’ for women to propose to their significant others. Of course, there is nothing that legally restricts women from asking, but it is generally assumed that if a heterosexual couple get married, it’s the man’s job to pop the proverbial question. There are a number of stories as to why this practice came about: ‘St Bridget’s complaint’ tells of how St Bridget complained to St Patrick that it was unfair that women were not allowed to propose to men as they took too long – so as a compromise, St Patrick allowed women to pop the question once every four years, on February’s extra day. In 1288 a law was then passed, allowing women this one day to propose to men. In both circumstances it was considered only fair that if the women were rejected they were entitled to compensation, usually a few pairs of silk gloves to hide their lack of wedding ring! Jewellers such as H Samuel endorsed the 29th February tradition last week, through offers on men’s rings in their ‘Take the Leap’ promotion, and
even by running a competition to win money towards a wedding if you propose in the store. For most women reading this article, the prospect of marriage isn’t something that’s in the foreseeable future. However, when – or if – you find yourself in a situation where you want your better half to ‘put a ring on it’, how many of you would consider popping the question yourself – regardless of the date? In this day and age, women should be able to propose without a stigma attached. But in practice, many are still dismissive of the idea. For example, the modernday classic TV show Friends shows the character of Phoebe deeming the act of a woman proposing ‘a little desperate’ – though that episode dates from 2004, this view hasn’t shifted much. Blog writers on bridewillsurvive. co.uk say: “There are so many women in our world today who want equal opportunities up until the point of proposal where they expect the knight in shining armour to come sweep them off their feet”. Maybe it’s because we want the surprise of being asked or we feel we would miss out on getting an engagement ring, or even because we don’t want the pressure – what if he says no?! In a marriage, husbands and wives are considered equal partners, so why should it matter who asks who? The fact that you both agree to spend the rest of your lives together should be more than enough, and make the dilemma of how you get engaged, trivial. So ladies, when the time comes, if it feels right, don’t be afraid to take the leap!
any first dates are spent over dinner at a restaurant where nervous couples make light conversation and try to get to know their new acquaintance, assessing if they would like to spend more time with them and potentially build a relationship. But did you know that there may be a much easier way to quickly gauge someone’s character without the daunting task of having to make conversation and asking appropriate questions? Hirsch, a psychiatrist and neurologist, discusses that certain foods reflect different characters in his book, ‘What’s Your Food Sign? How To Use Food Clues To Find Lasting Love’. So, what do your food choices say about you? Hirsch articulates that those who choose nutty foods have a reliable character, especially in emergency situations. Meanwhile, those opting for fruity flavours and are understood to be mentally strong. If chocolate desserts or chocolate bars fill your cupboards, Hirsch would equate this with the need for a mood booster. He says that people craving dark chocolate are ‘social butterflies’ and the ‘life of the party’, while those desiring milk chocolate tend to be more ‘introspective and quiet’. There are many who would admit to having a sweet tooth, often opting for sugary treats over savoury snacks and dishes. Research indicates this ignorance of cheese or salt and embracement of sweets and chocolate reflects those looking to ‘walk on the wild side’, living a carefree lifestyle with ‘few regrets’! For those who prefer savoury choices such as meats, cheese and nuts, Hirsch would expect to find spotless homes and clutter free desks because cheese lovers are
‘fussy about cleanliness’! Of course, these findings are rather contentious, but the next time you are on a first date, contemplating the menu, or are among friends and family at a buffet, be aware that your choices could be revealing deep psychological insights into your character!
Let’s hope your tastebuds aren’t as coourful as these
Y’know what really grinds my gears?
Not having anything to write about
By Bakita Kasadha, Editor in Chief
“Down on your knees, woman.”
’m just too damn happy! Things are going alright at the moment and it’s making this article hard to write. I think writing my Grind My Gears (GMGs) is starting to grind my gears. Yeah I know - then I should just stop, right? The thing is, it’s become my ‘thing’ now, I guess. Seeing as this is my third year of writing it, I have to keep this going until I graduate and partly to spite the other people who want to take it over (I’ll explain later on). I’m beginning to run out of ideas - I’ve moaned about being short; recycling in Guildford; girls (I still need to do a follow up about the boys); I’ve moaned about you and I’ve complained about me. Now
I fear that people just see me as the short girl that has nothing better to do with her time than rant. As I previously mentioned, I can’t stop because other people want my column and I don’t trust them with it. I’ve been messaged by some students asking if they could take it over. Osama hijacked one of my GMGs and Dave Halls keeps badgering me - he wants his turn. I feel like I’m slowly but surely losing it (the column, not my mind). How long can I hold him off if I’ve now openly admitted that I can’t think of any new topics? I wanted to write a GMGs about racism, which I promise you would’ve been funny and not that offensive (and if it had been, the offence felt would have been
lessened by the comic relief) but certain members of the Union were a little concerned. I’m still thinking of a way to get around it - watch this space. So I’ve basically filled my column and told you nothing. I don’t know if that’s a sign of brilliance or if I’ve just wasted your time. By the way (unrelated note) I know that in another rant I said that I can’t use semi-colons, I did actually mean it. I’ve just realised that most other people don’t know how to use them either, so I’m safe. I’m not a moany mare all the time; it’s just that I’m rather content at the moment and it’s ruining the moaning vibe and it just really grinds my gears!
Mushroom Rarebit (v)
Monday Grolsch £2.50 St. Patricks Day Specials Friday Night DJs playing Tuesday Pie Gaymers £2.00 Traditional Irish Shepherd’s House-Dance-R&B and Hip Hop Mushroom Rarebit (v) Sport Weekends Wednesday Carlsberg/Snakebite £2.00 Thursday Bulmers £2.50 Friday Barefoot £6.50 MARCH FOOD, DRINKS & 17 Bulmers EVENTS CALENDAR £2.00 Jagerbombs 4 X £10 DRINKS OFFERS FOOD Saturday Carlsberg/Snakebite £2.00
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Grolsch £2.50 Gaymers £2.00 Carlsberg/Snakebite £2.00 Bulmers £2.50 Barefoot £6.50 Friday Night Djs playing the best£2.00best of Bulmers 17 Jagerbombs 4 X £10 House-Dance-R&B and Hip Hop Saturday Carlsberg/Snakebite £2.00 FOOD EVENTS
St. Patricks Day Specials EVENTS Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie Mushroom Rarebit (v)
Sport Weekends Every Saturday and Sunday
Monday sabbatical elections Tuesday 2012 Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
ON CAMPUS SUNDAY 25TH MARCH
Grolsch Gaymers Carlsberg/Snakebite Bulmers Barefoot Bulmers 17 Jagerbombs Carlsberg/Snakebite
£2.50 £2.00 £2.00 £2.50 £6.50 £2.00 4 X £10 £2.00
Friday Night Djs playing the best of best House-Dance-R&B and Hip Hop Sport Weekends Every Saturday and Sunday
20 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Scientists uncover new cellular mechanism used to fend off HIV
By Lawrence Finn, Science & Tech Team
Science & Technology
However, the virus has a problem. Its genome is in a different language to ours. Ours consists of DNA but that of the virus consists of another molecule called RNA. To replicate, the virus has to convert the instructions contained in RNA to its equivalent DNA. Thus, the building blocks of DNA – deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs), are an important requirement. Certain cells of the immune system are able to take advantage of this-one example being the macrophages involved in the ingestion of foreign invaders. By producing a protein called SAMHD1, these cells can break down the dNTPs-depriving the virus of a vital resource needed for replication. Unfortunately, the cell is equally reliant on dNTPs for replication so it can no longer divide. For cells such as macrophages which don’t proliferate, this is not a problem. However, the CD4 cells most affected by the virus do. The cells “would be in trouble if we took dNTPs away,” to quote Virologist Dr Johnathon Stoyle from the Medical Research Council National Institute of Medical Research. Whether or not the discovery holds potential for a new form of treatment remains to be seen.
he HIV virus infects at least 2.7 million people worldwide each year, targeting and eventually eradicating a key component of the immune system–the CD4 helper cells. Yet some cells are more resilient than others. Now, thanks to international research, scientists have uncovered an ingenious defence mechanism employed by the immune system against a form of the virus known as HIV-1, that offers a better understanding as to why. Like all viruses, HIV is parasitic, relying on a host cell to replicate.
The HIV virus up close.
Blue Sky Thinking
By Kate Mcatamney, Science & Tech Team
reativity is often thought of as something we have; that we can come up with original ideas because of our education or something innate in us. But it can also be affected by the environment in which we work. Mehta and Zhu (2009) found that the colours blue and red can affect creative output, with blue being associated with more creative works. This association between the colour blue and
creativity was found across a number of domains, including solving anagrams and designing toys. In contrast, the colour red was associated with better performance on tasks that require attention to detail, such as remembering lists of words. So seeing as our abilities can be affected by small aspects of the environment so easily, maybe we should pay more attention to our surroundings, and reach for that blue pen when we want blue sky thinking.
The trials of research
By Kate Mcatamney, Science & Tech Team
© A is for Angie
find myself in an awkward position. The dissertation topic I have had my heart set on for the past five months isn’t as revolutionary as I previously thought. It isn’t going to be a game changer, and it won’t launch my academic career. In fact, around ten other people have done it before, and even their findings weren’t that inspiring. Now, I know I’m not the first person to go through
this, in fact, when I talk to people about this I often get back similar stories. This is something familiar to most people in research, but it’s not something that you’re actively prepared for, and can leave you feeling very alone when it does happen. However, this can also be a great motivator, and I know that having this experience now means I’m not going to go through it again. So all in all, maybe a bit of failure is a good thing.
Microchip development may end need for self-injection
By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team
he first in–human clinical trial for a drug releasing microchip has successfully been completed. The trial, published in Science Translational Medicine, involved inserting the chip into the waists of women with osteoporosis and then activating it by remote control. Professor Robert Langer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was one of the designers, and said that with this “you could literally
have a pharmacy on a chip.” He went on to discuss other potential uses including treatment for ‘multiple sclerosis, vaccine delivery, treating cancer and pain management.’ The chip, which is 3cm by 5cm and 1 cm thick, has been in development for 15 years and is expected to take about 5 more years to be made into a marketable product. The chip is made from biocompatible materials and on the inside contains electronics and tiny wells containing the
correct doses of the drug. To release the drug the thin layers of titanium and platinum covering the wells are broken with an electronic current, making the drug available to enter the blood stream. Importantly, no side effects were recorded, however the chip only contained 20 doses but it is thought that eventually they could contain hundreds of doses. These microchips will be particularly useful for patients on a daily regimen of drugs that are self injected.
Sci/Tech Editor: Nathanael Roome | Copy Editor: Louisa White
The Stag |
6th March 2012
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Penrose presents the Big Bang in new light
By Ruth Smithers, Science & Tech Team
Republican Santorum attacks ‘morally objectionable’ science
By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team
eading Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have taken up positions against science and scientific research in a number of areas, despite research that shows that the majority of Americans believe the future of the US economy lies in scientific research. Public opinion polls completed by Research! America have shown that 77% of Americans believe that the US is losing its international competitiveness in science and technology, while 91% think that research and development is vital to the economy. Santorum has taken a negative view towards science stating in a recent Colorado speech that climate change theories are “an absolute travesty of scientific research.”
In relation to a key issue for all potential presidential candidates, embryonic stem cell research, Santorum has said he would like to ban funding for this and other “morally objectionable things,” in answer to a question during an interview with the Washington Journal on C-Span. Santorum and another Republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, have stated that they do not support stem cell research of any form. Romney has taken a less extreme view saying he supports the research as long as the stem cells come from excess embryos in a fertility lab and are not farmed. He has said he would not give it federal funding stating that he would prefer to fund alternative research such as altered nuclear transfer, a process that creates pluripotent stem cells without the need for an embryo. commercially available receiver technology in space, and the flight demonstration of GPSbased attitude determination on UoSAT-12 in 1999. He also made significant contributions to a GPS experiment and a signal generator flying on the first European GNSS test satellite, GIOVE-A, and is now a Principal Engineer in the GNSS Receivers Team. Dr Unwin said: “Following my own PhD studentship, our GNSS team has gone on to host eight successive University of Surrey PhD students on placement within SSTL, four of whom have subsequently been employed by SSTL. On receiving this award, DR Unwin said: “I am honoured, privileged and grateful for the award. My achievements are in a large part due to being in right place at the right time surrounded by the right people”. Dr Unwin, who works at the world’s leading small satellite firm SSTL, has a long history of collaboration with the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey where he completed his PhD. Director of the Surrey Space Centre and Executive Chairman of SSTL, Sir Martin Sweeting said: “Martin’s work is a great example of the powerful synergy of academic research and commercial exploitation that is at the heart of Surrey’s approach to changing the economics of space. “His award is very well-deserved and we are all proud of his achievements.”
Science & Technology Quiz
Put the following list in order of most owned and regularly used technology:
(Based upon US adults; Forrester report, 2008)
• GPS/Navigation device • Mobile phone (any type) • MP3 Player • Digital camera • • • • • Laptop PC A desktop PC Games console A printer DVD Player
Surrey engineering alumnus wins space navigation award
By Sophie Howard, News Team
Dr Martin Unwin with his Tsycho Brahe award
Answers in the next issue
Answers from last issue:
1) Dorothy Hodgkin (she never was a housewife) 2) 415 3) 1953 (within 5 years?) 4) An expert on Fungi, credited with being the first to suggest that lichens were a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. 5) The Eiffel Tower 6) Nuclear Fission 7) Hydrogen 8) Fruit Flies or Drosophila 9) Marie Curie 10) Windscreen wipers
former Surrey PhD student has been awarded the 2011 Tycho Brahe prize for contributions towards space navigation and control. Dr Martin Unwin started as a Surrey Space Centre CASE PhD student back in 1991 pioneering the GPS-based autonomous navigation on the University’s PoSAT-1 microsatellite, which was launched in 1993. Employed by SSTL in 1995, Dr Unwin led the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) team for many years. His successes included the design of the Space GPS Receiver series which first demonstrated the feasibility of using
pm on Thursday 16th February: a packed School of Management lecture theatre experienced the very first of the annual Lewis Elton Lectures. Gracing the university with his presence on this occasion, was Mathematical Physicist and Wolf Prize winner Sir Roger Penrose, who gave an engaging ninety-minute talk entitled ‘Seeing Through the Big Bang into Another World’. Settling down into their seats, the audience were first given an introduction by Professor Jim Al-Khalili, who presented a humorous anecdote of his first interaction with Sir Roger. An apology for the lateness of Elton himself, and the talk began. It was clear from the offset that this was no standard PowerPoint presentation as may have been expected – slides were replaced with acetate sheets, almost completely covered in multi-coloured diagrams and exclamatory statements. The medium meant sheets could be overlapped, adding particles to light cone diagrams or changing their usage altogether. The order of material was also quite nonstandard – it could almost be said that the progression was non-linear – chaotic, even. References were made to past and future material; focus was important for each audience member. The subject of his talk, however, was
fascinating. A basic knowledge of physics was surely required to retain a firm grasp on the concepts presented by Sir Roger – light cones perhaps appearing like golden sand-timers to the younger members of the audience – but his theories regarding the future of our universe were sure to engage. Outlining the three current hypotheses following the Big Bang, Sir Roger presented his theory of our future acting more as the Big Bang of the next aeon. Always a heavily debated topic, the talk was almost controversial in some of its ideas. Overall, Sir Roger held a great lecture, despite not being as accessible as some other public lectures. We can only hope the next Lewis Elton lecture is as engaging.
22 DANCE & THEATRE
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Yvonne Arnaud – Less Than Kind
By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance & Theatre Team
Dance & Theatre
once did Crowe play this in a shallow way, rather with a slightly confused but instinctively maternal slant. As the young and self-important Michael, David Osmond held his own with a broody performance, carrying a childlike protection that worked so well against Crow and Wilby. His shifting moods were both relatable and understandable, whilst his pretentious manner created many laughs amongst the audience. Amy Yardley’s set was simple but effective in this realistic piece – the large living room of Sir John’s house contrasted with the demure flat in act two, which also sought to highlight the comedy within Michael’s relationship later in the play. With simplicity and observation, Less Than Kind is a wartime play that is both humorous and thought provoking, challenging political ideas without overstepping the mark, but ultimately portraying a love story in a time not too dissimilar to our own. An uncomplicated and feel-good show that would prove nostalgic to the older generation and amusing to the young.
et in 1944 London, Terence Rattigan’s Less Than Kind unravels Sir John (James Wilby) and Mrs Brown (Sara Crowe), two independent adults who have found scandalous love amongst war-torn Britain. When war-widow Mrs Brown’s son Michael (David Osmond) returns, the household is thrown into a frenzy of politics, anger, and conspiracy. Directing one of the first performances of this play in over 60 years, Adrian Brown shows us the elegance of the upper class on a back drop of political and domestic turmoil – without pushing the point of neither war nor peace, Brown manages to build the household situation up until its amusing conclusion with wit and intelligence. James Wilby played with strength and sincerity, making Sir John an uncomplicated, straight–forward character, who only wishes to spend life with the one he loves, and not get caught up in the games of her riled son. Though a little flat at points, Sara Crowe is a resigned war–widow finding happiness in the arms of a millionaire – but never
State of the Arts Conference 2012
By Hannah Jelliman, Dance & Theatre Editor
ecession, mass unemployment, higher education fees; the state of our government is definitely not looking great right now, and this isn’t doing the arts world any favours. The annual State of the Arts Conference, hosted by Arts Council England in conjunction with BBC, Salford City Council, Manchester City Council and the British Council took place recently to discuss the value of the arts and what can and needs to be done in order to save and maintain the rich arts culture we have in Britain today. The arts, including dance, theatre, music, film, visual arts and many other sub categories, provoke imagination, inclusion, expression and creativity, in my opinion creating rounded human beings. Art has the ability to create social change by drawing attention to important, controversial and pressing issues that may otherwise be ignored. Arts don’t necessarily hold the answers, but make us think and reflect on not only society as a whole, but more personal matters; they have the power to speak against social and political issues in a subtle, yet effective way. According
to Ed Vaizey, the minister of Culture, Communications and the Creative industries, now is a time for the ‘long overdue recognition that the arts sit at the centre of the changes of what we are experiencing’ in terms of our economic situation. There is far less funding for the arts, especially from the government, forcing us to ‘create something out of nothing’ (Jonzi D- Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention), making artists be more inventive in their work and experiment with the little resources they do have access to. In order for the arts to survive, it must receive political and social validation from the masses as well as the authorities, and be taken seriously within its context. The upcoming Olympic celebrations has provided a fantastic publicity event for the arts, the Cultural Olympiad; a celebration of British culture, centering around the arts. Funded by the Olympics principle funders and sponsors, many exciting works have been commissioned to bring the arts to the forefront of the 2012 Olympics. Hopefully this will be a slight saving grace to the dire situation the arts have recently found themselves in.
Guildford Shakespeare Company – Richard III
By Emily Bourne, Dance & Theatre Team
ocated in the historic building of Guildford’s Holy Trinity Church, it was not hard to set the scene of this dark and twisted historic play. The stage is end-on, built in-front of the altar with an overbearing dome ornately decorated with angels looming above, making for an apt backdrop to such an immorally driven play. Richard III tells the story of the end of the War of the Roses in the 15th century: his brother, King Edward IV, is on his death-bed, leaving a male heir not old enough to rule on his own. Meanwhile Richard decides that it is his time for glory and is determined to take the crown for himself, eliminating all obstacles that stand in his way. I really enjoyed this production of Richard III: the Guildford Shakespeare Company succeeded in embodying the political and sexual tensions that would have existed in a medieval court at that time. Timothy Allsop, who played the title role, undoubtedly deserves a mention for his portrayal of Richard as a bitter and desperate man, while his physical representation really highlighted the king’s struggle for recognition and respect as a disabled man. Admittedly the play is heavily text based, but the actors’
characterisation never failed to bring the words to life with emotion and at times, comedy. I would however, recommend reading a synopsis beforehand to get to grips with the names of characters, otherwise it is easy to become confused with the events of the play. In addition, the use of lighting and sound in the production was very inventive, with an unusual use of modern techno music almost verging on dubstep at points – which surprisingly complimented and enhanced the atmosphere of the darker scenes of villainy and death. Silhouettes were used to great effect to depict the beheading of Richard’s enemies and the images of war in the final scenes. This is the second production I have seen by the GSC (having seen their version of Hamlet last year) and I continue to be delighted by the way in which they use unconventional spaces to show Shakespeare in a fresh new light. I really recommend checking out their work this summer, when they will be putting on productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in and around Guildford town centre. I’m sure you will leave with a renewed vigour towards the plays of Shakespeare and their relevance in today’s society.
© Steve Porter
Dance/Theate Editor: Hannah Jelliman | Copy Editor: Candice Ritchie
The Stag |
6th March 2012
DANCE & THEATRE
Review: Actual Size Dance Company
By Lucy Jarvis, Dance & Theatre Team
busy evening kicked off for the Surrey’s student-led dance company Actual Size on Wednesday 22nd February. Serving up nine short works, the company provided a varied flavour of what contemporary dance has to offer. Choreographed and inspired by both students and professional dance artists, the company, of first to third years, performed with musicians, projections, scrabble pieces and string, in sustained and playful duets and lively group works. The evening really got into its stride, however, in the last few pieces, sparked by Kate Hartley’s mischievous duet Gamechanging, performed with Julie Havelund. Keeping eye-to-eye, the two dancers whirled across the floor like spinning tops,
dodging and grabbing at one another. Like two competitive sisters ever determined to outsmart each other, when Hartley ducks to the floor Havelund stands, only to duck down again when Hartley raises up to meet her. The two never resolve their playful conflict, darting about with energy and agility up to the very last second. Following this came an intriguing work involving string, sounds of the sea and a salsa dance step choreographed by ex-Actual Size Artistic Director Sian Goldby. Not quite as bizarre as it might sound, Trails of Thought creates images of children letting out the string on a kite, tangled fishing lines on a bleak autumnal beach, and washing lines climbed along by youngsters. But, as what looks like a salsa step is gradually introduced and repeated by the seven members of
the company, the sense of strict order in the steps begin to contrast with the disorder of the string. Perhaps Goldby was trying to tell us that in life we have to accept the messiness of the mind, like the tangled string, in order to find something that has the stability and precision of the dance step. The final work of the evening, Networking, provided an apt climax, as the whole company joined together to perform tumbling, flicking and shifting movements to a bubbling score inspired by working with Replica Dance Company. Actual Size flit back and forth across the stage in a series of diverse duets. Finally, they unite to perform the last sequence in unison, rounding off a pleasing show that, although at times felt a little too fleeting, displayed the talent and commitment of dance students at Surrey.
Legally Blonde or Legally Bombed
By Hannah Jelliman, Dance & Theatre Editor
ecently, there appears to have been a sudden phenomenon of transforming hit movies into large-scale musicals. There seems to be no end to the experimentation carried out by directors, composers and designers in turning much-loved films into West End or Broadway productions. Shrek and Matilda both recently opened in the West End with star-studded casts, and received fantastic reviews, so I just had to see what all the fuss was about. It has to be said, Legally Blonde is one of my all-time favourite chick flicks, with a ridiculous love story, Chihuahuas, sorority girls and more pink things than even Barbie could handle. I was slightly sceptical when I discovered that it was being turned into a musical, dubious as to whether it could ever live up to the original. However, with a full mid-week audience at the elegant Savoy Theatre, it provided all of the joys of the film, and much, much more. Carley Stenson delivered as a fantastic portrayal of the ultragirly, over-the-top Elle Woods, who blags her way into Harvard Law School with her charm and
good looks in order to chase after her ex, Warner Huntington III (Ben Freeman). The chorus of Delta Nu Sorority girls gleamed in their colour-coordinating outfits, constantly appearing to give Elle advice and remind her of the ‘bond of sisterhood’ throughout her dilemmas, as well as bringing a cheese-fest of songs and dances to carry the story along. Despite the incredible spectacle the show provided, with elaborate light-up staging, overdramatic songs and perfectly timed dance routines (including one extravagant scene involving the whole cast dancing at high speed with skipping ropes), the most impressive element for me was the casts’ subtle use of comedic timing and characterisation. Many easily-missed looks, facial expressions or gestures gave each character clear personality and understated comedy. If you’re a fan of cheesy musical theatre, then Legally Blonde is definitely one for you. If nothing else, it is just a bit of fun: very over the top, but also incredibly funny. Remember girls, the climb to the top is easy; all you need is your Chihuahua and lip gloss. And when it comes to boys, there is only 1 rule: Bend….and SNAP!
Your fortnightly guide to the Arts at Surrey
nown for mining witty and profound dance theatre from everyday life, Luca Silvestrini’s award-winning Protein has struck dance gold with LOL (lots of love). In an age of electronic communication this timely, critically acclaimed production puts its six dancers on a quest for romance. Against a video wall of dozens of screen-gazing individuals, Protein’s cyber souls stylishly nail the language of life online. Talking and dancing at speed, they tackle the baffling etiquette of electronic discourse, make hilarious straight-to-the audience confessions, and dance the physical equivalent of poking and tweeting. With video animation by Rachel Davies and original music by Andy Pink, these ingredients conjure a razorsharp commentary on our Facebook society, and an affecting rendering of human need. LOL (Lots of Love) by Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance Company When: Wednesday 14th March, 7:30pm Where: Ivy Arts Centre How much?: £12, £10 senior citizens, University staff, £7 students and concessions. Book online: www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/dance or by phone: 01483 686876
s part of Woking Dance Festival’s Spring Shorts 2012 Season, The University of Surrey and Woking Dance Festival join forces to present an evening that celebrates everything Hip Hop. Teamed up with Woking Dance Festival and Kane FM, we bring you an evening that celebrates Hip Hop and the vibrant art form that have stemmed from its surrounding culture. The event will include live DJs, Freestyle dance circles, Graffiti wall, DJ and visual projection room and a mainstage show displaying fine local Hip Hop talent ranging across all ages, works choreographed by Robert Hylton performed by Dance students from the University, as well as Rannel Theatre Company performing excerpts from their hit show, Flhip Flhop. Hip Hop presented by Woking Dance Festival When: Saturday 17th March, 7:30pm Where: Ivy Arts Centre How much?: £8, £5 students Book online: www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/dance
© Suzanne Nolan
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Review: One for the Money (2012)
By Tiffany Tucker, Film Editor
eleased on 24th February, One for the Money stars Katherine Heigl who plays the initially unemployed and freshly divorced Stephanie Plum. This action-comedy is excellent if you’re looking for a film that is lighthearted but full of laughs. One for the Money is a film adaptation of Janet Evanivich’s novel, and brings to life the vibrant hilarity which holds true to the book. Plum is in desperate need for cash and lands a job at her cousin’s bail
bonding business, otherwise known as a bounty hunter. It is important to note the similarities the film has to The Bounty Hunter. The back and forth attacks between Heigl and the handsome Jason O’Mara, and the obvious sexual tension between their two characters, meant that the ending resulting in a romance was inevitable. Not quite a chick-flick, yet it possesses enough female empowerment to shout girl power! Overall, One for the Money is certainly entertaining, if a little predictable.
Review: Bad Teacher (2011)
By Tiffany Tucker, Film Editor
ad Teacher was released last year, and I have been meaning to watch it for a very long while. I settled down to expect a fairly mediocre flick and was actually pleasantly surprised. Cameron Diaz is rude, quirky and her ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude is authentic and convincing which was, in my opinion, what made the film successful. There was something very refreshing about the main character playing the villain: time after time with films we’re all presented with the classic loveable and generic lead who fails to excite or amaze us in any way. Diaz, on the other hand, is ruthless, and takes what she can get by any means possible! The story follows Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz) who is dumped by her wealthy fiancé and reluctantly returns to the middle-school in which she teaches (well, I’m not sure if ‘teaches’ is the word). Halsey is anything but concerned about providing her students with an enriched education, and would rather show films
and sleep in class. However, with the arrival of none other than Justin Timberlake, she begins to act as if she loves her job in order to impress him. She is also desperate for a boob-job, and when she discovers that there is big money to be made by being a good teacher she switches gears, proving that she is a teacher for a reason. Halsey is a marijuanasmoking thief, but despite
all of these things I came to admire her complete disregard for society. Her unconventional method of teaching is oddly effective and, in the end, she proves herself to be the opposite of the film title. If you haven’t already watched this film, I would definitely give it a chance: it won’t change your life, but it is laugh-out-loud funny at times and not as predictable as first expected.
Review: The Room (2003)
By Caroline James, Film Team
f you’re a Film Studies student, a cult movie lover, or have friends who fall into one of those categories, then it’s possible that you’ve heard of The Room (2003), dubbed by critics as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” The central plot is a typical melodramatic love triangle between philanthropist banker Johnny (Tommy Wiseau), his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle) and his conflicted best friend Mark (Greg Sestero). However, a significant amount of the film’s running time is also dedicated to a series of unrelated subplots involving the friends of the main characters. For example, Denny, a weedy college student whom Johnny financially supports, and Lisa’s friend Michelle, who is seen in one scene sneaking into Johnny and Lisa’s apartment to have sex
with her boyfriend. At this point you’re probably wondering why some people enjoy watching this film. The reason? Because although it was originally only shown in a limited number of Californian cinemas, the film quickly developed a cult following as fans found humour in the film’s various technical and narrative flaws. For instance, there is one scene in which Lisa and Denny inexplicably crouch down and talk on the floor with the sofas only a few feet away. Furthermore, at midnight screenings of the film, audience members cry out ‘Spoons!’ and start throwing plastic spoons towards the screen whenever the unexplained framed photo of a spoon is visible in Lisa and Johnny’s living room. Most importantly though, the highlight of this film is the performance given by Tommy Wiseau (who also wrote, directed
and produced the film). His indistinguishable accent, his terrible annunciation and the way he wanders through the film and its dialogue as if in an intoxicated haze, make his performance so enjoyably bad, that in some ways it’s iconic. Therefore, if I’ve left you unconvinced about the wonders of The Room, then I suggest looking up the theatrical trailer, or even looking at the Nostalgia Critic (thatguywiththeglasses.com) review if you have time. Though if I’ve somehow successfully encouraged you to witness this rather unique masterpiece, then I strongly suggest looking out for its screenings in London’s Prince Charles Cinema – the ultimate cinema for cult movie lovers. Who knows, you might just be lucky enough to see Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sistero give a Q&A session at the start!
Film Editor: Tiffany Tucker | Copy Editor: Candice Ritchie
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Review: The Vow (2012)
“Life’s all about moments, of impact, and how they change our lives forever. But what if one day you could no longer remember any of them?”
By Candice Ritchie, Film Team
road shoulders, bulging biceps, defined torso, cheesy grin and allround stunning exterior: I can only be describing one man – Channing Tatum. Combine that with the most beautiful woman in Hollywood – Rachel McAdams – and the perfect line–up just became reality. Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) are newly married, when a car accident places Paige in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, Paige fails to remember who Leo is, and the race to win her heart again begins. At first, The Vow seems to convey vast similarities to 50 First Dates, which surrounds the notion of a rekindled daily love
following a bout of amnesia. However, as the film progresses, the distinctions between the two are clearly defined and Leo’s strive for his wife’s love is more than simply re–enacting day–to– day tasks. Leo stops at nothing: from returning her to the car–park which they first met, introducing her to their favourite café, and attempting to reunite her passion for sculpture, he is determined not to let this ‘once-ina-lifetime love’ pass him by. However, when her memory seems like it will never come back, Leo is faced with the ultimate decision of a man in love: to keep fighting or to walk away? Channing Tatum displays the struggle of Leo’s character perfectly,
and we are drawn in to both sympathise with him, and truly feel his heartbreak. The audience is left hoping for their rekindle just as much as Leo himself. The Vow is a wonderful, heartwrenching story, which proves that we should make every day count. A simply stunning film, and the most emotional since My Sister’s Keeper – I challenge you not to cry. Nonetheless, with leading roles from stars known for two of the most romantic films of the last decade (McAdams in The Notebook and Tatum in Dear John) The Vow was set for success from the very beginning. If you’re taking a trip to the cinema anytime soon, make this your film!
- Run campaign to benefit student welfare s - En sure high standards in University services - Support individual students with welfare needs Contact me about: Accommodation, safety & security, anythin that could be improved g about University life!
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6th March 2012
Round the world travel and a vision for the future
By Alexandra Wilks, Literature Editor
in conVErSation With PEtEr BaKEr:
thought in terms of the bigger picture, they’d be more rational and a lot happier’. Amusingly, Peter is quick to establish that he is not ‘trying to start a religion’ because ‘that would be silly.’ In short, The Jolly Pilgrim is a next generation travelogue. A true sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll round-the-world travel story that will open your eyes. The eloquence of Peter’s prose kept me engaged throughout his journey and I was curious to ask him whether he’d always planned to write a book. His answer surprised me, ‘No. I just wanted to send everyone an email to tell them where I was, but those emails quickly became part of the adventure.’ My next question was if he had plans for another book. He stated that he did, however, it would not be another travel book. His reasoning was spot on, ‘I’ll never write as spontaneous a travel book again... he next book would ideally be about what followed the adventure, which was perhaps not as glamorous, but would be focused on the process of writing and publishing The Jolly Pilgrim.’ I had no doubts that getting published was tricky, so I asked Peter for more details. He told me that ‘The hardest part was actually writing the book. It took two years to compile.’ He quickly stated that he was, ‘not complaining’ and that the experience was ‘immensely character building.’ As for publishing, Peter found that, ‘getting an agent was the hardest part. I spent a few months looking for one, and then decided that I’d proceed without one. After publication, an agent approached me.’ Peter’s dedicated approach got results, so I asked for his advice to those seeking to write a novel. His answers were original, ‘I’d advise anyone seeking to write a book to focus all their efforts on the product, rather than on getting it published.’ After musing for a second, Peter added, ‘I mean, there are so many words in this world, it’s crucial you don’t waste anyone’s time with boring ones.’ My final question for Peter was a little clichéd but had to be asked: his favourite place. He found it tough to pick one, so I let him have a few. Peter stipulated that India was the most interesting country in the world. Belgrade, Serbia, also popped up as a notable mention, ‘it’s where the spirit of Eastern Europe is.’ Buenos Aires, Argentina, was also in Peter’s top cities. He begged for one more, so I acquiesced, and Brazil made its way into Peter’s list. Interviewing Peter placed a big smile on
eter Baker’s The Jolly Pilgrim charts his bicycle ride from London to Istanbul. After arriving in Istanbul, Peter travelled to Australia, India, and finally South America. The Jolly Pilgrim was recorded in real time through a series of emails. Perhaps the most important aspect of The Jolly Pilgrim is Peter’s interpretation of human civilisation, which is set out in different sections in the book. Upon meeting Peter, I asked him to articulate this for me in his own words, ‘There is too much negativity in the world about where human civilisation is going. I think that if everyone
New adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca
By Rachel Thomason, Literature Team
© Peter Baker
my face. A true gentleman, he paid for my coffee and had kept me entertained for an hour. I would implore anyone to read The Jolly Pilgrim. You’ll find yourself gripped by Peter’s adventures and charisma. As for the message of the book: its powers are elevating. We spend so much time in our own little boxes, scarcely looking at the world around us. The Jolly Pilgrim encourages you to do just that: take yourself out of your life and see the life all around you.
lthough Daphne du Maurier’s darkly romantic novel Rebecca was first published back in 1938, Variety has announced that there is another re-make in the works. Born in 1907, Maurier rose to fame after her first publication, The Loving Spirit, received brilliant reviews. She went on to write some of her best known novels like Frenchman’s Creek and
Rebecca. Originally gaining its reputation from Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation in 1940, Rebecca tells the story of an anonymous young girl who marries a recent widower, Maxim de Winter. As the story progresses, however, the happiness of the newly married couple is tainted by the memory of Rebecca, the dead ex-wife. Many will recognise the elusive opening line to Maurier’s most famous narrative: “Last
night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”. Indeed, it certainly sets the mysterious and sinister tone for the rest of the novel. There is an almost disturbing underlying obsession with Rebecca throughout the novel, felt, not only by the characters, but by the reader too. Indeed, Maurier’s skill lies in keeping the reader riveted throughout the entire novel until the secret is finally revealed. The secrets surrounding Rebecca’s death would make the idea of a new adaptation of this novel extremely exciting. Combined with the dark, threatening atmosphere that immerses these characters and the deceptive plots which underpin the narrative, a potential adaptation would be unmissable.
Lit Editor: Alexandra Wilks | Copy Editor: Candice Ritchie
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Bring back the letter
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team ane Austen said that ‘The post office has a great charm at one point of our lives. But at my age, you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for.’ It seems Austen has little justification for her disregard towards letters as she lived through an era absent in telephone or email. Since then however, technology has aided communication and the letter has certainly been taken over by more speedy services. The Radicati Group, a technology research firm, reported that in 2010 approximately 294 billion emails were sent a day. That’s a staggering 2.8 million each second! Meanwhile, the letter has dwindled. Five years ago the postbag was bursting at the seams with a peak of 84 million letters, yet in 2010 it became much lighter with just 68 million. This isn’t surprising news as letters are far slower than an email or text message and the Royal Mail
Selfridges – making reading fashionable
By Emily Smart, Literature Team
or the last two months, many adults and children from all across London attended reading lessons with a difference on the lower ground floor of Selfridges. The ‘Get London Reading’ campaign helped to transform the floor into a 15,000 book library. The aim was to provide an interactive space where children could learn to love reading whilst adults could expand their knowledge and chat with other literature fans. The programme consisted of a number of great events for all age groups which were thoroughly enjoyed. One for the adults, the Penguin Classics Book Club, offered a chance to explore and discuss the works of Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens in great depth with the publishers from Penguin. This was followed in the week by a class in Handwriting Analysis,
a tea leaf approach in the literary world if you will. Handwriting expert, Julie Hinton, took clues from an individual’s handwriting technique, such as how they dotted I’s and crossed T’s, to explain how this can say a lot about their personality. As well as these popular events, workshops were available in the evenings where one could travel back in time and reminisce about their school days by taking part in a grammar lesson or a class in Greek Philosophy. Although there were plenty of activities for the adults, the children were the main focus of the event. A storytelling experience was available to all children, intent on narrowing the boundaries between oral speech and the text on the page. Professional story-teller, Rachel Rose Reid, wanted to help children to find the ‘joy’ in reading by allowing them to get involved by acting alongside her. Reid said that
storytelling can help to inspire children who have problems with reading and encourage them to fall in love with words. She said that “it is a way of engaging with language. It improves cognition, listening skills and imagination and it increases the vocabularies of children”. The primary–school children found the day highly enjoyable, which is very encouraging to hear. Lizzie Boafo, a seven year old from a primary school in Battersea stated that she “really enjoyed it. I love being read stories. When someone tells you a story it really makes it come alive.” The programme ended on an evening of readings, music and performance, as well as a unique collaboration between publishers Faber & Faber and Heavenly Records, which was a fantastic way to end the seven-week ‘Words Words Words’ event.
have been frequently accused of being unreliable. However, it is also unsurprising to find that many are saddened at the letter’s decline as they lament the loss of traditional language and the written word. Letters bestow an opportunity for one to employ formal language. It may be quicker to use text speak, but it doesn’t have the same personal touch as the language of a handwritten letter. Text speak is instead much more abrupt and careless. Letters take longer to write, showing more thought. Surely we would all prefer a sincere thank you letter for a friend’s birthday present, rather than a ‘cheers for the bday pressie bbz’! So, while the inboxes become more chaotic and the sorting office dusty, we should take the time to value the letter as key in maintaining the true beauty of the English language, whilst also conveying true heartfelt emotions.
Is Dickens too difficult for the younger generation?
By Rachel Burgress, Literature Team
harles Dickens is one of the most popular British writers, deemed ‘one of the greatest writers of the Victorian period’. His stories are still enjoyed by thousands of people worldwide, and many of his novels have been reworked into musical theatre performances, television and film adaptations. Dickens has become a pillar of English literature and readers are interested in finding out about the author himself. Claire Tomalin, writer of Charles Dickens: A Life, a new biography spanning the years of the infamous novelist, has suggested however, that children of today are not well educated enough to read Dickens.
She claimed, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the writers’ birth that “children are not being educated to have prolonged attention spans and you have to be prepared to read steadily for a Dickens novel and I think that’s a pity”. This controversial statement is perhaps a little flawed. Where is the evidence to suggest that modern children cannot enjoy a Dickens novel? Pupils are still required to study Dickens’ texts as part of the national curriculum, and for many, Charles Dickens is a key figure. His works can be enjoyed by children of many ages and often these children are already familiar with the storylines of many of his greatest and most popular novels, including; Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and
Great Expectations. Dickens is a master of characterisation; creating absorbing, memorable characters within his works. Who can forget the shadowy Miss Havisham who mystifies Pip throughout Great Expectations? Or the sneaky Artful Dodger whose cunning abilities and fast thinking help Oliver Twist survive the streets of Victorian London? Admittedly, Dickens novels can be a challenging read, but is it right to assume that children aren’t equipped to delve into these classic works? The language used within the texts can be difficult for younger readers to engage with. However, GCSE pupils also study Shakespeare and much older texts which they are capable of understanding.
Certainly, these students are well-educated enough to pick up a Dickens classic and read it through to the finish. As well as providing a worthwhile read, Dickens texts present a glimpse into the history of Victorian Britain. Many of his novels feature corrupt figures of power, the problematic values and morals of a society, and the often explicit distinction between the rich and the poor. These themes are still very much relevant to a modern reader, regardless of age. Dickens can be a challenge and so we should encourage younger readers to delve into his adventures, not just because he is a pleasure to read but also to prove that modern children still can!
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Kaiser Chiefs take G Live by storm!
By Sophia Field, Music Editor
aiser Chiefs’ performance at Guildford’s very own G Live well and truly proved that even after four albums, their fans still love them and they have certainly still got it. The boys set a high standard being the first big music concert G Live has held by enthralling the crowd with songs from their newest album ‘The Future is Medieval’ as well as playing the old classics which everyone was waiting eagerly to hear. Front man Ricky was full of energy and the band really proved that they are not going anywhere yet. Before the gig I was lucky enough to talk to Keyboard player Nick Baines, or as he is more commonly known, Peanut. The Stag: How has the tour been going so far? Peanut: Yeah, all great. We’ve done three days, North Wales, Reading and Southend, so quite varied places. TS: Do you miss the home comforts when you’re on tour? P: Erm, you get quite a lot of home comforts on tour really. Yeah, I mean you miss home, but I wouldn’t rather be at home.
TS: Tell us about the way you released your album last year. P: Well, we didn’t have any press or publicity about this album, we didn’t want to have to do the world tour of what is coming up on the record… we were bored of sitting in a room talking about and describing everything, we wanted people to hear it without all that. So basically, we made a unique system online where we let our fans make their own records out of twenty songs. We knew it would be twenty so that gave us a big writing target, self-imposed pressure to write twenty brilliant songs. There was no room for end of album tracks/b sides, we wanted them all to stand up on their own. TS: Would you say it was successful? P: Yeah, we spent nearly a year planning it, working it out and trying to keep it a secret. It was hard but nobody knew what was coming. We had a couple of deals with newspapers and that so they would do an article on it that morning. Went really well I think and was really good for us as a band. TS: You have established your own record label. What prompted
that? P: It’s nothing quite so glamorous. It operates out of a studio in a basement. The management office where Nick has his studio is also Chewing Gum Records. Basically we wanted to be able to see a band we like, who aren’t signed and put out their record. Chewing Gum Records’ third release is actually going to be sold on our tour, we got all the songs involved in The Future is Medieval and a couple of others and we’ve made a double vinyl. Four sides of vinyl and 23 songs, looks really good. Vinyl has come back in a retro and collectable way. So we’ve made only 500 of these records and labelled each one. It’s quite cool to do little things like that when you’re established. TS: What is the first thing you guys do when you get back from a gig? P: If I’m going home after tour, I usually steal some milk and bread from the tour bus, because I know I’ll have nothing to eat. When we come offstage, we just end up sitting in a room chatting. Probably eating a ham and cheese sandwich. Cup of tea. Rock and Roll. Haha! TS: Do you guys still get nervous? P: I suppose a nervous anxiety and
excitement… more at festivals, because it’s light and you can see everyone. You don’t feel any less capable; it’s just a desire to not fail the audience. The gigs after all they are not just for the bands, they are for the punters. We don’t want the fans to ever be disappointed. TS: As a band that have worked your way up, what do you think of shows like The X Factor? P: Nothing to do with us. It’s showbiz and it’s steered in a certain direction. I don’t mind it being on TV, I just hope the kids picking up drums and guitar and piano don’t genuinely think that is the way to be successful. It’s selling false dreams. They go up there on a public platform and get laughed up and that’s what I don’t like. TS: What about the people who win? Is there room for them in the industry? P: Problem is, the public like to see people who have earned their success. It’s all misguided. Send them round the country on a tour in a transit van and see how many of them last… TS: What new artists are you a fan of? P: A band called White Denim,
they sound quite old though, like keyboards and guitars and synth solos and stuff. . . I mostly end up buying old stuff to be honest. TS: Who inspires you? P: I think if you listen to our songs, you know they are pop songs, I mean we play them in a rock and roll way but they are pop. They are catchy brilliant songs. It’s hard not to be inspired by a band like Queen. If you look at their songs they are whacky and diverse but they are all these diverse amazing songs that are played all around the world. Their music managed to progress whilst still keeping that appeal. The Beach Boys too, the detail in the music, the songs are beautiful obviously but the way they’re put together, you couldn’t get a better pairing between the songs and the style. TS: What do you think has been the biggest moment of your career so far? P: Things like… playing at Elland Road. It was a big thing because nobody had really played gigs there; we had to battle quite hard to make it work. Having a number one album and single was pretty amazing too, it will be historical thing, people remember that stuff.
Out of the band, who is the… …Best cook? Not Nick. Ricky probably thinks he is… it would have to be between Ricky and Whitey I’d say. …Most athletic? Well Ricky does a lot of running, he’s got fit lately, but I reckon Nick would still give him a run for his money, fancies himself as a bit of a football. ...The laziest? I reckon that is between me and whitey. In terms of sleeping in, that is me, hands down. I can lose a whole day nearly.
“There is two kinds of music, the good and bad. I play the good kind.” – Louis Armstrong
Music Editor: Sophia Field | Copy Editor: Megan Barnacle
The Stag |
6th March 2012
The Best of British Music?
By Elliot Tyers, Music Team
The BRITs 2012
ack in 2011 the BRITs was revamped, moving to a new location at the O2 Arena and so on – so I tuned in, and I was pleasantly surprised to see acknowledgements of the growing Folk scene with awards to Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, as well as nominations for more risky acts than the usual pop dross you’d expect in the form of The XX, Biffy Clyro, Gorillaz and Plan B. There were some low points, for example Take That winning Best British Group, and Justin Bieber winning Best International Newcomer, although I noticed two of the other nominees were the Glee Cast and Bruno Mars, so I assumed that somehow the organisers had horribly misspelled the Crimes Against Music category. And, it had that performance by Adele of Someone Like You that launched her into deserved levels of megastardom, so I looked forwards to this year... Cut to twelve months later – and the only moment of note is Adele raising one finger against the ‘suits’ who forced her acceptance speech to cut short to make time for Blur. I think the BRITs producers moving on one of the biggest talents this country has ever produced for a group of aging men who last produced an album nearly ten years ago is a fitting image that sums up everything wrong with the BRITs. Whereas 2011 showed promise that they could actually become a respected measure of critical success, instead they wasted the time of everyone watching. Blur’s Outstanding Contribution to Music was an award, that although I believe they’ve done
enough to earn, probably had more to do with the fact that they could use the promotion, with a headliner of Hyde Park later this year and an announcement of a new album in the future, than anything musical. And that’s just the problem with the BRITs, rather than take any interesting decisions or risks; everything was just as bland and unoriginal as a Coldplay album. Are we really going to look back on the awards and think – ‘yeah Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran were real cultural milestones for us as a people’? The former is a puffed up lounge singer whose idea of romance is some strange situation where the object of his affection is constantly having grenades, bullets, trains and blades flung at her, and the latter… Well, Ed Sheeran had so much potential, his work-ethic was exceptional, coupled with a raw, intelligent talent as evidenced in his early SBTV appearances – and when he announced in an interview early last year he wanted a ‘lo-fi feel’ I was looking forwards to his debut album. Instead of lo-fi subtlety it was over-produced and gimmicky (Rupert Grint in the video to Lego House? Really?). To see how far Sheeran’s star fell contrast the SBTV and Album versions of You Need Me, I Don’t Need You. Tragic. The entire dull affair is made all the worse by the occasional nods to the wider musical landscape – nominations for James Blake and The Vaccines are steps in the right direction, but shouldn’t more attention to be paid to these kinds of acts, James Blake is representative of the UK-led Dubstep scene which is spreading like wildfire – and The Vaccines are one of the most exhilarating
acts in recent memory – they should be shoo in winners, not just pandering to alternative genres. Indeed it just makes the absence of other ‘out-there’ acts all the more conspicuous such as Radiohead, or the likes of Katy B and Wretch 32, I’m not a massive fan but it’s hard to argue that urban music hasn’t dominated the last twelve months, and moreso, it’s uniquely British. Maybe that’s where the problem is, the BRITs doesn’t feel like a celebration of British music, it feels like it’s trying to be the Grammys, and failing. At the Grammys the Foo Fighters won 5 awards and each time bounded onto the stage, with Dave Grohl delivering a speech about playing with passion – at the BRITs Grohl couldn’t even be bothered to be there in person, instead leaving the video acceptance to a man we were told was one of the other members… probably… At the Grammys the Whitney Houston tribute was a heartbreaking rendition of I Will Always Love You by Jennifer Hudson; at the BRITs, James Corden introduced a 30-second video montage more befitting someone being voted off the X Factor than a tribute to a dead icon. I hate to sound so bitter and cynical, but the BRITs shouldn’t be a poor imitation of the Grammys, it should be as individualistic as the music it supposedly represents. When you think that the BRITs could be the kind of platform to show the beautiful variety of music we have in this country you can’t help but get angry at what we have instead. I can only hope 2013 will be a better year.
Brit Babe Does Women Proud
By Rebecca Worley, Music Team
n the 21st of February, the Brit awards stormed onto our screens, offering up the best of British music. Winners on the night included: Ed Sheeran for best British Male Solo Artist and Breakthrough Act, Coldplay for Best British Band and One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful for Best British Single. Doing it for the women, Adele won Best British Female Solo Artist and MasterCard British Album of the Year for 21. However, the media attention focused mainly on her
acceptance speech at the end of the show. With time quickly running out, Adele was rudely cut off as she launched into her acceptance speech. Causing a flurry of media excitement, she proceeded to flip the middle finger. In a later statement, Adele claimed that she was sorry for offending anyone: ‘that finger was to the suits at the Brit awards, not to my fans.’ Aside from this controversy, Adele clearly dominated 2011 with her beautiful, soulful voice and emotive lyrics. She is one of the few female singers of our generation who doesn’t rely
on sexualising herself to achieve attention and success: Adele has made it on pure talent. For this reason I still believe Adele is an incredible role model to young women out there, despite the Brit fiasco. She writes songs with real meaning and her voice can fill the Albert Hall with its power and passion. Adele reinvents the classy, female singer and doesn’t depend on raunchy lyrics and gyrating dancers in skimpy outfits, which is frankly starting to get a bit old.
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Inme – The Pride
By James Campbell, Music Team
ack with a vengeance, this Essex based quartet show that their own approach to independent heavy rock has never been so dauntless and yet harmonious, waggling an album under our noses which is fit to bursting with a powerful concoction of dreamy epic riffs, tumultuous climaxes and frustratingly infectious vocal lines. Inme first gained repute in 2002, upon the release of singles such as Firefly and Underdose from Overgrown Eden; 10 years down the line and with now five studio albums under their belt, The Pride shows that Inme have not wavered from delivering hard hitting rock music, and melodies peppered with poetical adroitness. The album blasts off into the stratosphere with Reverie Shores, a lumbering titan of a track, laden with soaring guitar work, spine tingling chords and a squealing solo courtesy of guitar wielding axmen Dave McPherson and Gary Marlow. Moonlit Seabed is a garnered mass of writhing energy, boasting intricate baselines, technical meanderings,
and an assailing Enter Shikari inspired electro-synth breakdown which culminates in gut wrenching screeches of ‘I don’t know if I can do this without you’. Without pausing for breath, the album plunges into a A Great Man, a devilishly catchy tune, enhanced by McPherson’s introspective lyrics that seem to plunder the plight of the human condition; ‘I am only human… we all deserve a second chance’, that rebound and resonate throughout this epical soundscape. Next up, Pantheon is released to rampage, bombarding the eardrums with intricate and melodic guitar lines that give Coheed & Cambria a run for their money. As if stumbling into the twilight zone, our eardrums encounter Silver Womb, resembling a monstrous musical birth, spawning a song with cavernous chords and an otherworldly presence that makes hairs stand on end. Legacy, Guardian and Escape to Mysteriopa follow in hot pursuit, with ball busting guitar licks and anthemic choruses that are strengthened through McPherson’s heartfelt lyrics and dynamic vocal range. Although the calibre of the
musicianship present throughout The Pride is unequivocal, some songs are a little too bewildering in places if you are not familiar with Inme and their technical structures. Despite the group’s efforts to get the balance right, tracks like Silver Womb and Halcyon Genesis stick out a bit like a sore thumb, trying a little too hard to get noticed because of their musical specificity. Nevertheless, The Pride is impressive in its sheer power and musical dimensions. The vocal lines will hit you like a slap across the face and the sickeningly fluid guitar work will leave jaws agape. It comes as no surprise that this album should be so aptly titled The Pride; Inme have a right to be selfsatisfied with their latest musical handiwork, an accolade to good ole British Rock indeed. Recommendable to fans of Coheed and Cambria, Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari and anyone who enjoys loud rock music, and who doesn’t care for fads or trends! The Pride is available via iTunes at £7.99 and via Amazon at £7.49. Lend an ear to Reverie Shores and A Great Man to see what the fuss is about.
Did you know . . .
...that Kate Bush was partly inspired to write Wuthering Heights (1978), her breakthrough single, because she was born the same day as Emily Brontë?
Paul McCartney – Kisses on the Bottom
By Dan Davison, Music Team
s some readers may recall, in my review last November of The Fireman's Electric Arguments (2008) I mentioned Sir Paul McCartney's recent marriage and ongoing tour. As if his productivity was not already impressive for a man who will turn 70 this year, the former Beatle has also returned to the studio to bring us his first solo LP since 2007's Memory Almost Full. However, unlike that album and his aforementioned collaborative effort with The Fireman, this latest offering departs from McCartney's usual rock and pop fare. Instead Kisses on the Bottom (2012) takes a step into the jazz-inspired sound that formed the musical landscape of his youth. In relation to his existing discography, Kisses on the Bottom is in a similar vein to his 1999 rock n' roll outing Run Devil Run, with McCartney reinterpreting established works whilst providing a handful of original pieces written in the same style. To his credit, much like that album,
McCartney avoids the trap of excessively covering predictable standards, which allows the LP to shed new light on past gems that may not be so readily known to modern audiences. The approach to arrangements for the most part avoids grandiose orchestrations, resulting in a more subdued atmosphere evocative of a classic jazz venue. This results in several solid interpretations, such as the charming I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, from which the album derives its title. Meanwhile, tracks like We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me) and Home (Where Shadows Fall) provide a longing touch without becoming overly melancholic. Out of McCartney's original compositions, the most striking is certainly the lead single My Valentine. Complete with Eric Clapton on acoustic guitar, the song successfully evokes the classic-era quality intended. The album's most notable drawback has little to do with any particular underperformance on the part of the musicians. Indeed,
plenty of opportunity is given for the featured guests and band members to demonstrate their abilities. McCartney himself, whilst beginning to show his age vocally, also provides a commendable performance. Rather the problem lies with the concept of the album itself. Whilst McCartney has shown a laudable willingness to venture beyond the boundaries of his established style, the LP simply lacks the ambition and vitality one could justifiably expect after the wonderfully abstract Electric Arguments or the deeply personal Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005). In essence, Kisses on the Bottom makes for a pleasant journey into a fondly remembered era, but comes across as somewhat of a safe move. Nevertheless, this disappointment stems mainly from how McCartney is responsible for some of the most influential and creative records in living memory. Were this an outing from almost any other
performer, my praise would likely be more ardent. Whilst not a bad McCartney album by any stretch of the imagination and worth
the attention of established fans, there are far more recommendable starting points for those yet to explore McCartney's recent career.
Music Editor: Sophia Field | Copy Editor: Megan Barnacle
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Lacuna Coil – Dark Adrenaline
By James Campbell, Music Team
What’s on… March 2012
fter lying dormant, restrained, and being pumped full of injection after injection of energy and bombast, these conjurers have given life to an incubus of an album that quivers uncontrollably in the palm of your hand; the release of Dark Adrenaline is not a bad start to 2012 for a group that are back to wage war against contenders such as Evanescence for the supreme title as musical warlocks of the Gothic Metal genre once more. For rejoicing fans, itching to get their hands on this Italian troupe’s sixth studio album, Dark Adrenaline has plenty of anthemic, yet radiofriendly tracks, which nevertheless retain the dark edge and audacity of the band’s previous hits from albums such as Comalies and Karmacode. Principally, Dark Adrenaline demonstrates that vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro have not lost any of their musical chemistry from past glories, as beauty and beast unleash a tirade of melodic hooks which are bound to be etched into the mind. Tracks Trip the Darkness and Kill the Light boast some addictive vocal and melody lines which will be churned around the brain relentlessly, whilst the blood curdling, goosebump inducing I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow and Upsidedown capture the darker dimension of this LP. One of the albums other highlights is a menacing rendition of R.E.M’s Losing My Religion which, although may raise a few eyebrows, is pulled off with aplomb and style courtesy of these gothic crusaders. Although Dark Adrenaline does not indicate that Lacuna Coil are looking to broaden their musical horizons experimentally, this repertoire of tracks are bathed in an impassioned ferocity which will continue to entice both the converted and the curious like moths to a light. Needless to say, this album will fit snugly onto any metaller’s playlist!
UNIS Chamber Choir and Orchestra
he University of Surrey’s prolific Chamber Choir and Orchestra present Faure’s beautiful Requiem Mass, Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks and a UK premiere of Koželuh’s Concerto in B Flat Major for Piano, Four Hands and Orchestra. Conducted by Russell Keable, with Maureen Galea and Margaret Roberts at the piano. University of Surrey Chamber Choir and Orchestra Friday 9th March, 7.30pm Guildford United Reformed Church – Portsmouth Road Admission Free
he idea of performing this concerto is part of an initiative to promote piano duet repertoire after Maureen Galea launched a biennial four-hand piano competition for University music students called Quattro Mani! in March 2011. It is written by a Czech composer who was Mozart's rival and successor, and is also one of the few pieces written for this genre. This promises to be a wonderful and varied concert.
USSU Big Band
USSU Big Band Saturday 10th March, 8.00pm Ivy Arts Centre £8, £6 senior & staff, £5 student
ig tunes – big sound. The University of Surrey's award-winning and talented Big Band returns to the Ivy with another lively and fun-filled programme of Big Band standards through Latin jazz to modern funk. Irresistible rhythms, toe-tapping tunes and exciting performances make every Big Band concert and event - not just a performance.
Hip Hop Saturday 17th March, 6.30pm (main show 7.30pm) Ivy Arts Centre £8 full, £5 students
part of a band, it doesn’t make sense to have yourself up front as if you’re not an actual part of a band. I think of it as if we’re an army on stage rather than a singer with some other people just standing around and playing. Q: It’s still early in the release of Dark Adrenaline, but what it your general impression of how the album has been received? Andrea: We’ve gotten great reactions from the fans on the internet and the ones we’ve met on tour. They’re very enthusiastic and we’re really happy about that. When we play the new single Trip the Darkness live, everybody knows the songs already and they sing along, which is pretty cool. Q: Shallow Life was an upbeat, positive sounding album in comparison to Dark Adrenaline, which is a lot heavier and much more aggressive. Is it fair to say you’ve taken a step back without returning to your gothic metal roots? Andrea: Shallow Life is probably the most experimental album we’ve done in terms of musical direction. But, that’s what this is all about. You have to try to see what works and what’s going to stand the test of time. It’s been very important to do that. When we were making Dark Adrenaline we wanted to get back to the energy and the aggression that was missing on Shallow Life, especially in the live environment. The new album is heavier because that’s what works really well for us in the live shows. Q: What’s your feeling on Lacuna Coil inspiring other up-and-coming musicians and bands, the way Paradise Lost or The Gathering may have influenced you? Andrea: Sometimes we see Lacuna Coil tribute band or hear a band to a cover song, and it’s a bit weird (laughs). We still think of our career as being fresh because we’re reborn with every record, in a way, so we don’t feel like we’re an older band. But, it’s a pleasure to see that bands have been inspired by us. Dark Adrenaline is on sale via iTunes at £7.99 and Amazon at £7.49.
ristina Scabbia (female vocals) and Andrea Ferro (male vocals) answered a few questions for us. Q: The metal world is a male dominated society and it always has been. However, women have become much more prominent on the scene, what are your thoughts on this? Cristina: When we started – and that was 15 years ago – there weren’t so many bands with females in their line-ups. Now it seems to be a common thing, everywhere you look these days you’ll find a female in the line-up. Obviously, being a woman in a band, you get a lot of attention because you’re the different element. Look at television commercials; even if the ad is selling tyres a woman will be in there somewhere because she gets people’s attention. Q: Over the last couple of years, and especially on Dark Adrenaline, it seems that you’ve taken a step back from the spotlight. Is that the case? Cristina: It’s not that I’m taking a step back. It’s just that if you’re
s part of Woking Dance Festival's Spring Shorts 2012 season, The University of Surrey and Woking Dance Festival join forces to create an evening dedicated to celebrating hip hop and the vibrant art forms that have stemmed from its surrounding culture. The evening will include: DJing and MCing, graffiti artists, free style dance circles and a main stage show featuring dance acts from the local area and the excellent Rannel theatre company (the guys decorating a house in the McDonalds advert).
Surrey Guitar Day
Surrey Guitar Day Saturday 24th March, 12.30pm – various times afterwards PATS Studio One £40 full day, £25 student full day, £10 individual concerts
osted by Milton Mermikides (Lecturer, University of Surrey and Professor of Guitar, Royal College of Music) this promises to be a fantastic day for any fan of guitar music in all its wonderful forms. The School of Arts at the University of Surrey hosts a packed day of superb performances by some of the best guitarist from Britain and beyond. Artists include chart-topping Australian guitarist Craig Ogden, Austrian steel-string maestro Thomas Leeb, virtuoso/composer Gary Ryan, popular guitarists Bridget Mermikides and Amanda Cook, and jazz master john Wheatcroft. Performance will include exquisite guitar music from the Baroque era to contemporary electronica and across a diversity of guitar styles from folk to classical to gypsy jazz. The day also features a performance by EGO (The Eclectic Guitar Orchestra) providing a rare and exciting opportunity to hear these modern masters perform together, and with some very special guests. Proceeds will go to the Richard Hand ForgetMe-Not memorial Fund in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The Stag |
6th March 2012
Dry the River – Shallow Bed
By Tanya Noronha, Music Team
espite their place on the BBC Sound of 2012 list, several appearances across the 2011 festival circuit, and an upcoming tour in March, Dry The River can be seen as the antithesis of the pounding bass lines and synthheavy vocals which often dominate the mainstream charts.. This fivepiece London-based band pride themselves on their stripped back, acoustic vibe and come complete with a violinist. They have all the features of a top folk band, but somehow bring so much more depth to their music. Shallow Bed makes for a truly unique album which is worth a listen. With this in mind, Shallow Bed
is a remarkably intense listen. Filled with layered harmonies and eloquent lyrics, the violin and acoustic guitar is woven expertly throughout. The opening track Animal Skins showcases lead singer Peter Liddle’s haunting vocals, yet as it shifts into New Ceremony, the band begin to display a more heartfelt side – “...don’t think about the future now/ I know it’s got to stop, love, but I don’t know how...” Perhaps the most moving aspect of the entire album is the simplicity of it all. It is easy to picture Liddle, pen in hand, attempting to illustrate whatever was happening in his head. This has resulted in an album where tracks tend to flow into each other. Some are soliloquylike in nature, yet others paint
the listeners vivid tales to picture at will. Each song is awash with emotion, regardless of whether the pace is relentless and sweeping, as in The Chambers and The Valves and the triumphant, trumpet-tinged Lion’s Den, or whether it is the mournful Bible Belt. Shallow Bed seems to demand you to put down whatever you are doing and just shut your eyes to listen. Dry The River have put soul into this album, and from beginning to end, their craftsmanship shines through. That said, it is not one to listen to when feeling low, as it may just move you to tears. Shallow Bed is out on 5th March.
LIVE: The Sounds at Kings College, London
By James Campbell, Music Team
ike a wave surging onto a shore, a raucous flock of students move with force toward Kings College’s Union stage on the verge of half nine on the 4th February. Enveloped in darkness, and amidst incessant clamourings, The Sounds swagger on, with lead singer Maja Ivarsson’s triumphant smile shining resonantly from ear to ear with the effect of a fired bullet, ricocheting from wall to wall as the stage lights loom, blazing furiously on feverishly excited faces. The atmosphere is electric, and ‘whoops’ of anticipation grow to a crescendo, as with a lingering glide of the hand, Maja gives the command to strike. The Sounds proclaim that the energy in their performance is what gives them the edge; but does it? The Sounds chose their support act wisely, unleashing The Limousines onto unsuspecting eardrums, a crowd friendly, bombastic duo from San Francisco. Armed with decks, a microphone and a not so conspicuous megaphone as their only means of musical weaponry, these two musicians keep the audience enthralled with their own take on the modern electronic scene, combining influences from MGMT and La Roux, which unfold as a tirade of hypnotic beats and rasping vocals that pummel the crowd in a relentless fashion. In the wake that follows, a bright eyed and not to mention Carling splattered crowd waits restlessly with whetted appetites until an uproar from the furthest part of the stage reverberates around the room with lightening speed, heralding the arrival of a strutting scantily clad Maja, followed in hot pursuit by some scrawny, rebellious looking lads that take their positions behind their instruments. Upon plunging into their first song of the night, It’s So Easy, an anthemic and uplifting number, heads bob and arms are flung
aimlessly into the air as the Sounds and their disciples embark on the night’s musical pilgrimage. Tracks such as Dance With Me and Better Off Dead are lapped up with gusto, and Maja almost seems to toy with the audience before the band perform popular singles Something to Die For and Yeah Yeah Yeah, which are readily devoured by greedy ears. Emblazoned as a pop act with a sound tinged by synthesizers, memorable hooks and dynamic twists and turns, the Sounds have a repertoire that can get listener’s heartbeats pumping, both old and new. Despite their blustering persona however, the group’s performance illustrates that they are not embarking on any new musical territory that groups like Blondie and The Epoxies have not already tried to penetrate. Churned out like so many other quasi indie pop bands of late, The Sounds are fortunate that they have an enduring stage presence, which makes up for the fatal weakness of a setlist with numerously tedious song structures, which do not take one’s breath away in the very least. Nevertheless, tumultuous cries for two encores stands as testament to the fact that the crowd did not seem to come away disappointed; a buzz of frenzied chattering was more than enough to leave ears ringing after we lunged for our belongings, and were herded out into the freshly fallen snow. The Sounds can be recommended to anybody who likes to dabble in easy listening pop, and are an ideal accompaniment to add to your house party playlist! Experience Get Sharp by The Limousines, available at for £7.99 (iTunes) and Something to Die For by The Sounds at £7.99 (iTunes) or £7.90 (Amazon) for a fuller perspective of what these groups have on offer!
LIVE: Ben Howard at the Shepherds Bush Empire
By Hannah Jelliman, Music Team
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us who? when? and why? for your chance to have your say about an incredible live performance in the next issue!
Had an unforgettable live experience?!
en Howard? Who? I hear you ask…well now’s the time to find out! Having been introduced to his music by my brother, after seeing him at a tiny festival in Wales some three summers ago, Ben Howard is ever so slowly receiving the recognition he so greatly deserves. His music has an acoustic, surfer-type feel, with an added use of cello and some rather odd percussion (including plastic bottles); Ben Howard’s music is feel-good, relaxing yet often incredibly moving. His innovative use of acoustic guitar never ceases to amaze me, with astoundingly fast plucking, slapping and strumming with great precision and beauty. I like to think of him as a new Jose Gonzalez, but with a cool, surfer edge. Having seen him perform less than a year ago in a tiny bar in London (with an audience of no more than 100 people), I think I almost screamed when I first heard Fern Cotton say his
name on Radio 1, and when he announced his first ever headline tour of the UK. The Shepherds Bush audience was the largest headline performance Ben had ever given, and genuinely looked astounded and moved by the response the audience gave him: Singing along to his lyrics, performing call and response to several songs off his recent album Every Kingdom and giving roaring extended cheers and applauses after every song. Of course, he looked ever so slightly terrified, but who wouldn’t be! He’s just a young, down to earth, ordinary guy from Devon who has a passion for music and is evidently overwhelmed at the enthusiasm of his fans and getting to headline at such a great London venue. If you haven’t heard of him, and are into folky, acoustic music (or even if you’re not for that matter, you might still like him!) then I urge you to check him out. I think he’s going to go a long way and there’s nothing more satisfying than watching a talented musician make it to the top!
Societies Editor: Chris Dighton | Copy Editor: Megan Barnacle
The Stag |
6th March 2012
When Ghostpoet came to GU2
t’s time to tread the boards again with MADSoc’s next sensational performance! After three sell out productions this year, from last week’s unique 24 Hour Play to the hilariously original Princess and the Pauper right down to the outrageous musical hit I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the hour has arrived to begin on MADSoc’s big blockbuster production; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, already experiencing phenomenal success on Broadway with Daniel Radcliffe; Business is coming to a campus near you and now is the chance to take part! With auditions being held on the 6th and 7th March from 18:00 till 21:00 in TB18, the time has never been better to get involved! Musicals not your thing? Let’s not forget about the wonderfully popular drama workshops held every Tuesday evening at 6.30pm in TB18. Whatever your experience, come along and get involved with the games, learn some new techniques and strengthen old ones. Each workshop generally ends in a trip to Wates House where over a drink and some food, you can get to know the wonderful members. It’s the perfect chillout after a long day. But let’s not forget that on the 26th March, MADSoc will be holding its annual Variety Show, from dance numbers to standup comedy to straight drama, there’s something to get involved with! We’ll be using material devised from the workshops and are keen for any contribution! Whatever ideas you might be sitting on, we’re ready to hear them, even if you’ve never performed before this is the perfect chance to have your first experience in front of an audience. All this information and more will be available if you email the society at ussu.madsoc@surrey. ac.uk or if you come along to one of the Tuesday workshops. Now is the chance to get involved with one of the biggest societies on campus and take part in another award winning production! Looking forward to seeing you this Tuesday in TB18 at 6.30pm!
n Monday 20th February, the University of Surrey’s radio station, GU2, brought Mercury nominated artist Ghostpoet to the students’ union. GU2 is the student radio station of the University of Surrey, and is entirely student run. The night also saw up and coming act Alt J and Adele’s backing singer Bobbie Gordon hit the Rubix stage. The gig was organised by Say Something; a student run live music night, in conjunction with GU2, and saw hundreds of people come to watch an incredible night of live music. After being nominated for a Mercury Award in July last year for his album
Peanut Butter Jams and Melancholy Blues, Ghostpoet has gone on to play gigs and festivals across the country, building an ever growing following. His unique twist of creative and extraordinary electronic beats and down to earth storytelling lyrics has built him an impressive cult following, who were out in force at the gig. His music went down a storm with the crowd of Guildford residents and university students. Alt J's mix of electronic-indie and haunting vocal style received an equally impressive reaction. The Say Something gig was entirely student run, and similar nights in the past have brought
artists such as Rizzle Kicks to the students’ union. There will be another Say Something night, run in conjunction with GU2 Radio, before the summer, with more amazing artists and some huge names planned.
To find out more about the night go to www.facebook. com/SaySomethingLive
Refreshers Fayre 2012
By Chris Dighton, Societies Editor
riday the 10th February saw the return of Fresher’s Fayre in Rubix. This was a perfect opportunity to meet up and join a new sport or society, or take advantage of the many freebies that were available. If you missed this event, fret not! There are plenty of ways of finding the society for you, just look on the sports and
societies hub on the union website, where there is a full list of societies and sports clubs: www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties The snow did not stop you from coming through the doors, with an estimated 4000 people through the doors, which is fantastic news for societies trying to recruit new members.
Jake Willis, VP Societies & ID said “Refreshers fayre went well, it was great to see the level of involvement everyone put into their stalls. The people at GU2 Radio were brilliant at getting all the other societies up on the stage for their live broadcast throughout the day. It was brilliant to see all the societies stick around at the end and help out too. My thanks go to Helena Vardy for her fantastic job of organising it.”
The Stag |
6th March 2012
A successful month for PENsoc
By Tom Goulding, Deputy Editor
ebruary has been a busy month for Surrey PEN. From our postcard campaign to themed cupcakes, we have been working hard to promote the importance of free speech across campus. Elsewhere, the English Department has successfully launched its Censorship & Freedom module, proving that efforts to engage with political expression aren’t just important for Surrey students, but Surrey lecturers too. We kick started the month at Refreshers Fayre, where a dedicated team of helpers
were on hand to distribute flyers, literature and bribe new members with the promise of chocolate. Our competition to finish the sentence ‘The worst part of censorship is...’ was also a popular addition; the winning suggestion ‘that it gives way to ignorance’ was thought provoking, sincere and deserving of first prize. To top it all off, the day’s proceedings were of course supervised in ironic silence by our new mascot: Sylvia the Pink Free Speech Bear. This was quickly followed by the Do>More Volunteering Exhibition, where we encouraged people to write postcards
to Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize winning literary critic and humans right activist who is currently being detained due to his work calling for fair political reform in China. The importance of writing postcards is to show appreciation and support for those without a voice, reminding them that they are not alone and have support throughout the world. Our attempt to demonstrate this at the exhibition was not only successful, but also crucial in showing Liu Xiaobo’s efforts have not been in vain. Finally, the iExhibition proved to be a great conclusion to the month’s events,
with our team baking cakes, painting faces and providing more information on how to get involved. “The iExhibition was a great experience for the society”, said PENsoc President Shaun Millis, “We had a lot of support from students of all nationalities and it was great to see so many people having their faces painted in support of free speech throughout the world.” With even more activities planned for March, including an afternoon with English PEN guest speaker Rob Sharp, there hasn’t been a better time to join Surrey PEN.
To find out more, please contact email@example.com, or join as a member at Facebook.com/SurreyEnglishPEN
Newly formed Postgraduate Society
alling all Postgrads! A newly formed postgraduate society has been formed to act as a central hub for the postgraduate community at Surrey. The society has been set up to provide a forum where postgraduate students can voice issues regarding all aspects of University life and to also provide a central point for Masters and PhD students from all disciplines to meet and socialise together. We will be holding regular meetings and as a committee it would be great to hear from fellow postgraduates about what you’d like to see the society doing in the future. Please join our facebook group or email the committee (details below) to join the discussion and find out when we’re meeting and what events we’re running. We very much look forward to meeting you in the weeks ahead.
The Postgraduate Society Committee Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook group “Surrey Postgraduate Society”: http:// www.facebook.com/groups/374956882534015/
Sport Editor: Jordan Vine | Copy Editor: Louisa White
The Stag |
6th March 2012
BUcS Sports results
Portsmouth Men’s 1st Surrey Men’s 2nd Reading Women’s 1st 8 1 1 vs vs vs 0 7 7 Surrey Men’s 1st Reading Men’s 2nd Surrey Women’s 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st Portsmouth Men’s 4th Surrey Women’s 1st Portsmouth Women’s 3rd 0 3 4 1 vs vs vs vs 0 1 1 2 Kingston Men’s 1st Surrey Men’s 2nd Reading Women’s 2nd Surrey Women’s 2nd
Imperial Medics 1st Surrey 2nd 68 53 vs vs 30 Surrey 1st 37 Roehampton 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st 102 vs 58 West London Men’s 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st Brunel Men’s 3rd 3 2 vs vs 2 1 Essex Men’s 1st Surrey Men’s 2nd
Chichester Men’s 2nd Surrey Men’s 2nd Surrey Men’s 4th Reading Women’s 1st 0 5 5 4 vs vs vs vs 2 0 3 2 Surrey Men’s 1st Sussex Men’s 3rd Royal Holloway Men’s 2nd Surrey Women’s 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st Portsmouth Men’s 1st Surrey Women’s 1st 100 128 135 vs vs vs 133 Queen Mary Men’s 1st 96 Surrey Men’s 2nd 84 UCL Women’s 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st 31 vs 18 Reading Men’s 2nd
Kings College Men’s 1st Reading Men’s 2nd Surrey Men’s 3rd Surrey Women’s 1st 4 12 0 0 vs vs vs vs 8 0 12 12 Surrey Men’s 1st Surrey Men’s 1st Westminster Men’s 1st Portsmourth Women’s 1st
Surrey Men’s 1st 2.5 vs 3.5 Kingston Men’s 1st
Roller derby is a wheely good sport
By Ellie Brodie, Sports Team
eing a Surrey Roller Girl is quite an exhilarating experience. Roller derby is fast-paced and somewhat violent, which means it is great fun to watch and get involved with. It has supporters who, like the players, all come from a range of alternative backgrounds, making derby a great place to meet new and interesting people. As Surrey Roller Girls was only founded at the end of last year, and as most of us are beginners, there is a lot of hard training to do before we can enter bouts as a team and invite you all to watch. But already we can feel the support of neighbouring derby leagues, some lending us kit and coming to visit to help coach us. For those of you who have never heard of roller derby: it is a game played on roller skates with three roles: ‘jammers’, ‘pivots’ and ‘blockers’. The ‘blockers’ aim to block the ‘jammers’ who score points for overtaking the opposing teams ‘blockers’, while the ‘pivot’ controls the pack of ‘blockers’. However, early training has so far involved only involved learning the basics: falls, stops and how to skate as a team. It is great to be part of a sport that is so unique and quite feminist, as it is predominantly females who play. For more information or if you want to be a Surrey Roller Girl (or if you are not female, and are interested in becoming a referee), email: email@example.com
The Stag |
6th March 2012
The Girls are back in town
By Douglas Elder, Sports Team
t’s a new year, but for two of Team Surrey’s sides, it’s the same old story. At the end of 2011, I wrote about how the Women’s 1st XI Fencing and Hockey teams had won all their games, and that trend is continuing even as spring approaches. A the time of writing, the fencing team, led by captain Rebecca Smethurst, are unbeaten in their division with seven wins from seven matches. Despite trailing Sussex University by three points, Surrey have two games in hand, providing the opportunity to go top. As in the last issue, Rebecca continues to attribute the success of the team to a great coaching team, but says that “the most important thing is all the girls train so hard”. With the end of the season fast approaching, she is confident the team will top the league but warns “we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves”. Even the clichés are starting to sound like those used by top sportsman, as Rebecca insists that there is “a lot of hard work to do, but the girls are giving 110%”. Nearing the top of the league comes with added pressure and this close to the end of the season – with promotion at stake – one
would expect the girls to be feeling the heat. However, despite admitting “it does provide quite a lot of pressure, being near the top”, Smethurst believes such pressure comes with the territory and says that the expectations are welcomed. “The pressure keeps us focussed and keeps us training hard. Our efforts are paying off and the pressure will help us fight for the top position.” Last Wednesday, the girls took on UCL Women’s 2nd team, knowing victory would take them back to the top of the division. After comfortably beating them earlier in the season, Surrey have plenty of reasons to approach the game with optimism. As for Hockey, Surrey were defeated in the cup in the quarter finals by UCL, a defeat which captain Becky Davidson was as much down to misfortune as to mistakes. After, the defeat, she said that “we were all disappointed, but I am so proud of the whole squad. They never gave up fighting or let their heads drop, even though it felt like we were up against 13, not 11 players! We felt like we matched them the entire game, and we were able to force the match into another 14 minutes of golden goal. Unfortunately, a short corner managed to find the net and that
was that.” Despite the loss, there are many reasons for Davidson to be cheerful. “It was a great game. We came away with our heads held high, knowing that with a little more luck, or better umpiring, we could have won the game. A good cup run was a goal of ours and we feel that we achieved this goal by reaching the quarter-finals. We’ve had a lot of fun in getting this far, and that is something I am immensely proud of.” Another cause for celebration is the team’s excellent league form, where victories – often by large margins – have been commonplace. Davidson says that the focus for this year has always been to move up a division. However, Surrey’s dominance means that Becky feels Surrey can achieve more than just promotion. “Going out of the cup means we can concentrate all our efforts on the league and – having won all our games – we are sitting top. My new goal is not only to secure promotion, but to do it in style by winning every game. Given our performances so far, I feel this is definitely realistic.” So why have the Hockey girls done so well? Ultimately, it comes down to a number of factors. “I would say we have been successful because every girl
in the 1st XI works hard and is committed. As a result, there is a team spirit which runs not only through our squad, but the club as a wholeSurrey played Reading last Wednesday and going into the game, the captain was feeling confident. “We are at home and we are definitely looking to continue our winning streak. We beat them
7-0 in Reading so we know we should be able to secure the win.” Whether they do or not is another matter, but you can find out how they, the Fencing team and every other team at Surrey got on either by checking the BUCS website or joining the Team Surrey page on Facebook.
Trampoling club have a spring in their step
COME AND WATCH SURREY DESTROY KINGSTON AND CELEBRATE A TEAM SURREY WIN !
team was spread out to perform at different levels of difficulty, starting from seat landing, progressing to back summersaults. We were all competing at different times and on separate platforms, which allowed us to move around the hall to support and be a spotter for each other. However, despite the fact that a complete routine lasts twenty-five seconds, everyone was nervous. Regardless of the nerves and the early start, everyone performed
for their turn. Others watched them carefully, picking apart n a cold but sunny Saturday their routines and highlighting afternoon, the trampolining any weaknesses in comparison to team set off to represent Surrey their own ability. As intimidating University at BUCS in Southampton. as this might seem, support and We arrived at the sports hall encouragement is always present for a routine warm up, where I from other team mates. The next morning, it was an was confronted with the daunting knowledge that there were ninety- early start. Some of us had a good nine girls signed SURREY DESTROY KINGSTON AND CELEBRATEweTEAM SURREY WIN ! breakfast before A left our hotel COME AND WATCH up to compete in my category. Girls crowded rooms, but some of us didn’t. I was over the two trampolines on our among the group that went hungry. platform, waiting in anticipation Not knowing the times for our By Elena Koreneva, Sports team
individual “flight” and butterflies in my stomach meant eating was the last thing on my mind. We arrived at Southampton University’s sports hall and created a “camp” in the corner of the busy room. The crowds made it clear that we were there to perform and to be judged against others. The competition was on. The category I was competing in was split into eight “flights”, starting from 9am lasting until 4pm. It was a long wait. Our
SURREY VS KINGSTON
WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH 12-6PM
amazingly well. Individually, the whole team achieved their goals, especially the girls competing in BUCS 5. They placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the competition. We were all proud of one male team-mate, who achieved 3rd place and qualified for Nationals. Overall it was a fun and successful trip. At the moment our team is training for more advanced routines for the upcoming competition in Essex.
SURREY VS KINGSTON
WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH 12-6PM
SURREY SPORTS PARK
BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT!