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September 2013

Nuclear Power

Marcus Ford weighs up the arguments for Nuclear Power in the U.K.

Year 65 Edition 1

The Courier

October 2013



Founded 1948

Courier History

This issue marks the Sixty-Fifth anniversary of The Courier, we look at its long history


£2.5 MILLION PAID OUT TO UNIVERSITY STAFF OVER FOUR YEARS Harry Taylor Courier Editor THE EXTENT and cost of compromise agreements that have been paid by Aberystwyth University have been revealed after a series of Freedom of Information requests. Between 2009 and August 31st 2013, nearly £2.5 million has been paid out in compromise agreements, with some £769,700 paid in the calendar year 2012 alone. £1.96 million had been paid out in the three years previously to August 2012, with either £521,020 or £497,505 paid between 1st August 2012 and 31st August 2013 on either 21 or 23 compromise agreements. The confusion as to the amount arises from two separate FOI requests to the University in recent weeks both asking the value of payments made in that time period with different answers of the amount and cost given from the University. This sum is significantly smaller in comparison to Universities, following an FOI request it was revealed that School of Oriental and African Studies University of London paid 1,005,980 between 2009 and 2013.

8 Where’s the line?

11 Tomos Nolan The University has appeared to give two different answer to the same question asked via Freedom of Information requests

Information passed onto The Courier also stated that between January 1st and August 31st 2013, £187,412 was paid out to nine people in compromise payments, one of those being former Aberystwyth Arts Centre director Alan Hewson who retired from the Arts Centre, reportedly receiving a financial package as part of his retirement. It was confirmed that every compro-

mise agreement included “a confidentiality clause”. It has been revealed in recent days that the cost of the legal cost of the investigation and tribunal of Alan Hewson and Auriel Martin regarding the Arts Centre amounted to £16,854 including legal fees and expenses. However the University had said that they did not hold de-

had been “physically side-lined” and “treated like second-class students” according to one student. However, the University has invested a great deal of money into the new campus. According to University promotion the figure equates to £3.5 million in refurbishment and renovation, with the aim of creating “a new business and professional environment” over the period of 2012 to 2017. Since the raise in tuition fees in 2012, most UK undergraduates will be paying nearly £6,000 a year more than those currently in their third year and are therefore justifiably demanding higher standards as a result. The challenge posed for Aberystwyth University is to meet the standards that new students are expecting, many of which do not

seem to think that the Llanbadarn Campus fulfils. 80% of those surveyed either felt that the university had ignored their opinions in the move or that they were not informed they would be on a separate campus prior to arriving at the university. Most people asked seem to be criticising the communication from the university to its students. One issue that repeatedly came up was the condition of the library, menial social space, and the lack of services on campus, with 50% saying that those on Llanbadarn had gotten a bad deal compared with those on Penglais campus. One of the main demands from students was for a Union Shop. Students’ Union President Ioan Rhys Evans told ASM that the Students’ Union

tails of the cost of staff time of those involved with the process. A total of 75 compromise agreements were agreed between 2010 and 2013, taking into account the last year of Noel Lloyd’s Vice Chancellorship.

80% of Students unsatisfied with Llanbadarn move

Josh James A SURVEY conducted by A.S.M. has seen that 80% of students surveyed feel that the Univerty has ignored their opinions in the move. With only 20% of students saying there were no current problems at all with the Llanbadarn campus. The beginning of this academic year saw the return of large numbers of students to the newly renovated Llanbadarn Campus. Now home to the recently formed Institute of Management, Law and Information Sciences, both students and lecturers have had over a month to settle in to the Llanbadarn campus after transition dates for some teaching staff were delayed over summer. The move was widely criticised during the consultation period with students, many feeling that they

was “in talks with the University” over providing Union space on Llanbadarn. Another major criticism was that the transport is impractical and too infrequent. Many commenting that if their lecture went slightly over they sometimes had to sprint to catch the bus from the Rheidol building or face waiting on campus for another hour. Even so, out of the majority of students asked, 52% felt that the transition had been smooth and an overwhelming 70% liked the new campus. When ASM visited the campus, we found that the rooms were modern and well equipped; we also saw a wide range of different sized teaching rooms.

> Read more page 3

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Mark Williams Interview

18 Pokemon returns

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Gavin Allen Interview

November 2013

Harry Taylor Editor THEY say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger; that’s something I’ve been a big advocate of. However, even after putting the 40 pages together for the last edition, I’m starting to doubt that piece of advice - putting this 24 page edition together is seeming to take exactly the same amount of work, just more stress!

I have to to say I was heartened by the hugely positive reaction to the last edition, and it makes it worth all of the effort and the arguments that went into the edition. The fact that staff and people of the town also spoke glowingly of the first edition means a lot; the newspaper hasn’t traditionally been aimed at them in the past but there’s no reason why it can’t be in the future. I attended the three-union rally, as part of the strike, on Thursday 31st October; one of the speakers bemoaned the age-old split between staff and students and said it needed to change. It’s something I completely agree with as divisions rarely achieve anything. But this must extend to not just staff and students but also to the townspeople of Aberystwyth and students; the “town and gown” relationship has often been looked upon as a problem but, with the “us and them” mindset dropped, it would

You can find all of the articles from this issue of the Courier and much more online: Visit our website at Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook

Aberystwyth Student Media is the integrated student media organisation for Aberystwyth. We produce The Courier, Bay Radio and Bay TV. We operate independently of the Students’ Union and University; all of our content is produced by Aberystwyth students on a voluntary basis. We’re always looking for new members, and whatever you’re interested in, Aber Student Media is the place for you! To find out more, come to our fortnightly meetings at 6:15 on Thursdays in C22, or drop by our office, G13, on the ground floor of the Union. If you’ve got any queries about joining, or any questions, you can email our Secretary, Alex, at Any opinions expressed in articles in this newspaper are solely those of the contributors and are not to be attributed to the Aberystwyth Student Media committee, Aberystwyth University Students’ Union or Aberystwyth University. The acceptance of advertising by The Courier is not an indication that The Courier, its editors or contributors or anyone associated with The Courier either supports or opposes any activity in which the advertiser may participate. The Courier is published by Aberystwyth Student Media, an unincorporated association. Union Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DX. © Aberystwyth Student Media 2013.

The Courier

be beneficial for everybody. I’m under no illusion that half of the reaction and the readership was down to the front-page story, which we were very fortunate to get hold of. I’ve always had a strong sense of the right of journalists to print the truth, and help justice to be done. I hope we went a small way in doing that. I’m sure it will be viewed as “noble” to have ideas like that on a student newspaper level but you have to start somewhere! If anybody has ever seen the film Cry Freedom you’ll be able to see how much justice can be done by journalists and, with the huge amount of negative press swirling around about the media at the moment, it’s good that some people still see the press as a power for good. The backdrop to the last edition of The Courier’s front-page was that many felt that the traditional news-provider to the town, the Cambrian News has failed them

in printing a one-sided account of the Black House event in February. If you are reading this and feel as though you spoke to the press and they would not listen, then my door is always both metaphorically and physically open. My email address can be found at the bottom right corner of this page. Get in touch. This edition is published exactly sixty-five years since our first edition in 1948. The story (which is repeated later on, in more detail in the Features section) of its founding is fantastic and truly inspirational. In the long, dark shadow of the Second World War, Peter Richmond and Goronwy Williams arrived at Aberystwyth, Richmond having his initial education at the University disrupted by the onset of War in 1939. They both saw that there was a need to inform students (many of them serving soldiers in World War

This issue of The Courier produced with thanks to Editor - Harry Taylor Sub Editor - Ellie Patterson

News Editor - Kisha Matthew Features Editor - Position Vacant Opinion Editor - Ed Cullen Lifestyle Editor - Poppy Tester Arts Editor - Andrew Simpson Sports Editor - Position Vacant Graphics & Design Manager - Laura Say Photography Manager - Tomos Nolan

news 03



opinion 06



lifestyle 09

The Extinguisher 20

Two) and that is exactly what happened. To imagine what it must have been like for them to start up a newspaper like this after their experiences is almost unfathomable. Peter Richmond passed away only a year or so ago and I hope that, if still alive today, he would be proud of what we have achieved and that we’re still going. In the few weeks since the last issue we have seen the University campus turn into an almost 1970s Sussex like area, a political hotbed of activity. There have been several protests by Welsh students against the closure of Pantycelyn, including two on Open Days and there was the strike of the three trade-unions last Thursday against the lack of pay-increase (a real term cut) for University staff. It’s brilliant as somebody with a keen interest in politics to bear witness to this and long may it continue; the dynamic nature of it all is very interesting.



Dear Editor, IT MUST be brought to the attention of the relevant bodies that the state of the roads and car parks around the University and Arts Centre are well below standard. The installation of speed bumps around campus has proven both unnecessary and dangerous. They are neither lit nor signposted; they also provide an obstacle that is very harsh on a vehicle’s suspension and results in many costly repairs. Unlike the Vice-Chancellor, our repairs aren’t funded by the state. Further, the car park in the Arts Centre has become, in my opinion, unusable. The standard of the surface is appalling, with large potholes littering the far side. The spaces are too small, but most of the time the lines aren’t clear enough to indicate a space at all. This leads to inconsiderate drivers parking far too close to other cars, making access very difficult. Given that a fee is required to park there, I think the paying users deserve far more than this substandard service. Another poor move by this frankly inept University. P. Warner & E. Bulmer. Address supplied.

features 12





November 2013

The Courier


NEWS editor

Kisha Matthew


BYG protest disrupts University Open Day

Sam Halford OVER 100 students held a protest on Aberystwyth University’s previous Open Day (Saturday 26th October). The protest surprised many visitors arriving at the University as they found their path blocked by BYG students staging a sit-in at the University entrance which connects to Penglais Road outside Porter’s Lodge. This protest was the 2nd consecutive one held on an Open Day. This follows on from the previous week's protest in which BYG students took to the concrete steps outside the Union wearing tape over their mouths and holding

signs with slogans such as "we’ve lost our voice". The student protesters met in Pantycelyn at 10:15am for a quick informal meeting to outline their objectives and then proceeded to march up Penglais Road adorning protest signs, culminating at the Porter’s Lodge where the rally occupied both the entrance and exit road leading into the university. Both police and university security were present in full expectation of a protest to be held and redirected vehicles to other entrances whilst protecting the protesters’ safety. A police officer explained: “We were expecting a protest to

take place by the Arts Centre and our main problem now is the buildup of traffic on the main road.” Shortly after, cones were put out to alert approaching drivers that they could not gain access from Penglais Road. Several cars stopped to ask questions and take flyers from the students. The protest was in response to the renovation of Pantycelyn, which would cause the Welsh community of students to be moved to Fferm Penglais residence being built behind Pentre Jane Morgan. The BYG students (Byw yn Gymraeg, translated as Live in Welsh) have argued that Fferm Penglais

does not have the facilities to support a strong Welsh community for the students. Back in 2009, when the plans for Fferm Penglais were first announced, the UMCA (Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth – Welsh Students’ Union Aberystwyth) released a document that outlined the needs and conditions that they would happy to relocate for; however, the BYG students argue that those recommendations have been ignored. Following the sit-in, which lasted around an hour, the protesters began to chant "save Pantycelyn" while marching upwards towards Rosser area, past Parry Williams,

and through the Arts Centre before finally arriving at the concrete steps outside the Union to continue their demonstration. Later that day, Aberystwyth University released a statement asserting that the university “is committed to increasing its Welsh medium provision” and that the new accommodation at the Penglais Farm will have a “dedicated area for Welsh language students with a particular social area for Welsh speakers”.


80% students unhappy with campus after Institutes move

(Continued from front page) Third year Law student Andrew J. Hall provided the following statement, reiterating several issues that students have with the campus: "The Llanbadarn campus is, in a

nutshell, not yet finished. We are told improvements are on their way but that does not make it easier for students already here. Students are being taught in lecture rooms in which the lack of blinds makes it impossible to see presentations

Tomos Nolan

when the sun shines, or worse in a room where the roof leaks when the rain falls." "Travelling around campus is not necessarily a better experience at present either. The lack of lighting on campus is, ironically, an illuminating example of the move's apparent lack of foresight and

planning. Presently there is no lit route to or from the isolated student car park. Another issue is the lack of signposts around campus; the urgency of the situation is best demonstrated by confused students desperately exploring various corridors in hope of finding a toilet." "Finally, and perhaps worse of all,

students feel somewhat abandoned by the rest of the institution. With no Union presence, no recreational facilities, limited social spaces and a lack of key support services, some feel they are cared for less and less over here at Llanbadarn."

Do you like the new Llanbadarn Campus?

Has the transition been smooth?

Are you happy with the facilities compared to Penglais campus?





Were your opinIs everything ions heard before sorted now? the move? Did you know you would be on Llanbadarn before you arrived in Aber? 10 10













Results from our survey show students are still unsatisfied with the move to Llanbadarn

Student representatives elected for Students’ Union Assembly Kisha Matthew News Editor RESULTS of the third round of Aberystwyth University Students’ Union Autumn Elections were announced on Thursday 24th October 2013. The elections ran using the Alternative Vote (AV) system, where voters are required to rank candidates in order of preference. To be elected under AV, candidates must acquire more than 50% of the vote. Should the candidate receive more than 50% of first-preference votes, they are elected, whilst the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated. Any ballots which ranked the eliminated candidate in first place then have their second preferences

re-allocated to all the candidates. This process is repeated until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote (or, if there are only two candidates left, the one with the highest number of votes wins). When there are multiple positions available (such as Community Representative) the number of votes required to be elected is divided between the number of candidates that ran (e.g. if 100 votes are cast between four different candidates, they would need more than 25 votes to be elected). Below are the Winners of the Student’s Unions Elections and your representatives for the 13-14 academic year: Community Representatives Daniel Naughton

Bridie Sedgebeer Harry Taylor William Thomas Halls Representatives: Clarendon Halls Rep - Steve Parkinson Penbryn - Helen Willett Rosser - Shubika Madaan Trefloyne - Rhiannon Edmunds PJM - John Morgan NUS Wales Zone Conference Delegates Laura Dickens Joshua James Bridie Sedgebeer BME (Black Minority and Ethnic) Officer

Pavill Ruangvichatron

Simon Sardeson-Coe

Welsh Language Officer Eiri Sion

Disabled Students’ Officer Matt Harvey

Postgraduate Officer Elle McCook

International Students’ Officer Auzee Rosmadee

Women’s Officer Lorraine Bainbridge

Union Chairperson Jacob Ellis

LGBT+ Officer Hannah Stokes

Full details of all candidates that ran for the above positions, and the number of votes cast for each, can be found at

Sustainability & Ethics Officer

If you’d like to help write an article, or know of a local issue you think needs more coverage, get in touch today! email

phone 01970 621738


The Courier

November 2013




Unions strike on fair pay for staff in Universities

Paul Sharpe

ON THURSDAY 31st October all three of the major unions involved in higher education Unison, UCU and Unite went on strike in protest over pay. Various members of the University teaching and support staff went on strike in support, and picket lines were formed at the entrance to University campuses; a rally was also held in the Morlan Community Centre in town. Staff affiliated with the unions stopped working at 12:00pm on Wednesday (30th) and did not attend work the following day. The pickets lines started at 6:00am on Thursday (31st) morning and at their peak were attended by over thirty people. This included members of all three unions as well as some student groups such as Labour Students and Defend Education. The mood on the pickets was generally well natured, bar some

minor disagreements about exactly where the pickets could stand, and the strikers were well received by the local community with plenty of people beeping horns or stopping their cars to speak to the strikers. A meeting in the Morlan Centre was also well attended by striking staff, with students and members of the local community showing support. Simon Dunn, speaking on behalf of Unison said “We’ve had enough, people need to be paid what they’re owed”. After the rally a spokesperson from Unison said he was pleased and grateful, both for the number of staff who showed up to picket and the number of staff who went on strike. The principal issue of the strike was pay. The unions are outraged by the fact that over 300 members of the workforce are paid less than the living wage and feel that the university, which has a large surplus and can therefore afford a

larger increase in pay than the flat 1% they have been offered. The unions claim that the wages of their members have, in real terms, fallen by 13% and are angry about the very large salary that senior university staff are paid. They therefore feel that their demands are more than reasonable. During the strike Aberystwyth University’s Penglais campus saw far less students than normal, undoubtedly due to a number of lectures having been cancelled. However, some departments such as Sport and Exercise Science emailed students stating that lectures in the department were running as normal, and there were a portion of Sup- Tomos Nolan

port staff still working on campus. A number of students seemed to have little or no idea that the strike was occurring or what it was about. So whilst the strike did cause some disruption, the University was able

to maintain functionality. Further action is a possibility with the mood at the rally in favour of more action of some kind if the university was not willing to negotiate.

Colwyn Williamson speaks to those in attendance at the Morlan Centre rally

IBERS Director appointed Chief Science Officer at CGIAR

PROFESSOR Wayne Powell, Director of Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), has been appointed as Chief Science Officer of the CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR is a global partnership which develops and carries out research programs to tackle complex development issues related to agriculture. They unite organisations engaged in research aimed towards a food-secure future. Their research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. After joining Aberystwyth University in 2008 as the first Director of the newly established IBERS, the department has won several awards including The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2009 and more recently the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Excellence with Impact Award in 2011. Since its inauguration, the department has attracted substantial research funding which has contributed to the establishment of the National Plant Phenomics Centre, the £20m BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Excellence for UK Farming (CEUKF) and the Waitrose-sponsored Chair of Food and Farming. Professor Powell said, “I am

proud and honoured to have led IBERS in its early years and I have enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth University immensely. I am confident that the Institute is now well placed to build on the successes of the past five years and I wish my

this challenge and the opportunity to contribute in an area in which I have had a long standing personal interest.” Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said, “Professor Powell has shown tremendous

maximum impact. He has ensured a strong focus on addressing major challenges including enhanced but sustainable production from the land, global food security and opportunities in the bio economy for the use of agricultural feedstocks

Professor Powell will be taking up the post at CGIAR on a full-time basis in April 2014

successor well. My new position offers a compelling and extremely exciting opportunity to play a significant role in shaping Global Research in the Developing World. I am very much looking forward to

leadership in the establishment of IBERS as a major UK centre of research excellence and through working with industries to ensure the application of this research for

for bioenergy and other products. We wish Wayne Powell every success in his new position and look forward to continuing to grow the collaborations between BBSRC, BBSRC funded institutes and cen-

tres and CGIAR.” Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor April McMahon, said, “Wayne Powell has been an excellent inaugural Director of IBERS and has done a huge amount to advance the profile of the Institute, of Aberystwyth University in Wales and beyond. I have personally greatly enjoyed working with him. While I am sorry to see Wayne moving on from IBERS, and we will miss him, this is an exceptional opportunity for him to be involved at the highest level in the direction and funding of research in agriculture, on a far wider stage. We will be retaining links with Wayne and look forward to welcoming him back to Aberystwyth at regular intervals. He goes with all our best wishes and we send congratulations both to Wayne personally and to CGIAR on securing such an excellent appointment.” In order to facilitate a smooth transition, from the 1st of January 2014 Professor Powell will share his time between IBERS and CGIAR before assuming his role at CGAIR on a full time basis in April. Aberystwyth University has stated that it will now be taking immediate steps, working with BBSRC, to recruit a successor to Professor Powell.

November 2013

The Courier





Controversial new bandstand design unveiled Kisha Matthew News Editor A CONTROVERSIAL new bandstand design has been made public in the past few weeks. This year marks the third in a five-year programme designed by the Welsh Government to regenerate Aberystwyth. The programme aims to make Aberystwyth a better place for business, residents and visitors and focuses on five main themes: creating a thriving and attractive town centre; enhancing sustainable transport in and around the town; improving the quality of homes for the local people; boosting the economy and employment and re-invigorating the seafront and promenade. They have been working on several projects, including the Mill Street Development, in order to improve Aberystwyth’s vibrancy and economy to “make sure Aberystwyth can fulfil its potential and be an attractive place to live, work and visit”. At the beginning of the year, Ceredigion County Council and the established Aberystwyth Regeneration Partnership Board were awarded £35k for investigative work into the structure of the Bandstand podium, one of Aberystwyth’s quintessential attributes.

Bronglais byelection A BY-ELECTION will be taking place next week for one Town Councillor in the Bronglais Ward. The by-election, reported to cost the Council around £1,200 to hold, follows on from the resignation of Cllr Chris Griffiths, Plaid Cymru, who resigned due to ill health. The poll will be held on Thursday November 7th 2013 at the Polling Station Neuadd Buarth Hall with polls being open between 7am and 10pm. The three candidates contesting the Bronglais Ward seat are: Bryony Davies representing the Welsh Liberal Democrats; Huw David Fox representing Cymru Annibynnol (The Independent Wales Party) and Lucy Teresa Huws representing Plaid Cymru.

There has been a mixed reaction to the proposed new design with describing it as an “eyesore”

Some of these funds contributed towards the payment for design work of the new structure planned for the seafront. With a considerable amount of enhancements having already been made to the promenade, the Bandstand is the next milestone to be tackled by the regeneration team. Updates released by Alun Williams, a Bronglais Ward County Councillor, on the 13th and 15th of October show the artist’s impressions of the new Bandstand which have been submitted with

the planning application. On his blog, Williams says that the plans on the application were described as "a new, two-storey public performance space and restaurant building" which are set to include a 72-seat café/restaurant with an outside balcony adorning a further 29 seats on the top floor. There will also be a 150-seat public performance space on the bottom floor, including public toilets. The materials used for the exterior of the building are said to have unique sustainability properties, a resist-

ance to all weather conditions and require minimal maintenance. Although the new Bandstand is set to create various new jobs, the new design does not appear to be well received, with comments on the design’s size and shape as being "obtrusive" and "sticking out like a sore thumb". Other remarks are concerned with it not fitting in with the rest of the prom’s general look, and it potentially blocking the view of Costitution Hill from a significant portion of the promenade.

Threats made towards students Date for Aber at inconclusive HMO meeting Christmas An inconclusive meeting re- state compromised of around 130 lights switchgarding HMOs (House in Multiple houses. Occupation) on Cae Ceredig took Gaynor Toft, Ceredigion's Public on announced place on the 29th October with res- Health Protection Manager, said idents on the estate, concerned by the number of HMOs, meeting with a representative from the Council’s planning and housing department, chaired by Cllr Paul James. At one point, a particularly impassioned resident said that, after a previous attempt to tell students to be quiet in the early hours, was met with, “Shut up old man.” He said that the next student to make a remark of the same kind would be “carried away in an ambulance.” The meeting centred on concerns regarding “rowdy student behaviour” and worries regarding the possible expansion of the existing 11 HMOs on the housing

that there had been twelve complaints since 2010, six regarding noise, some of which were from the same properties throughout the time period. She also confirmed that there was no limit or law against the licensing of more HMOs on the estate. Complaints were also raised regarding litter not being put out and collected. There were also complaints about cars blocking the driveways and emergency access to other student housing. There was also surprise at students having their rubbish collected despite paying no council tax.

£9.5m cuts to County Council budget announced

The annual Christmas lights switch on in Aberystwyth Town Centre was announced in the October Aberystwyth Town Council Meeting. Councillor Ceredig Davies said that the tree, sourced locally from near Machynlleth would be put up in Owain Glyndwr Square on 21st November, with the lights being switched on for the 29th November at 6pm. An event is planned in Ceredigion Museum in conjunction with this and a procession from the bandstand to the location of the tree will take place on the night.

Keep up to date with the latest news from in around around Aberystwyth...

Publications from the Partnership Board Meeting in April 2013 state that the Regeneration Area is currently committed to spend £2.3m for 2013/14. The report stated that the underutilised Post Office site and the Bandstand were highlighted as priorities along with quality housing provision for the foreseeable future.

Ceredigion County Council’s budget has been cut by around £9.5 million. At the October Aberystwyth Town Council meeting, Bronglais Councillor Alun Williams announced that the money would be cut from the overall budget of £120 million. The cuts are due to less of a settlement from the Welsh Assembly, with Ceredigion getting the second worst settlement in Wales due to its population. He also stated that only 20% of the Council’s budget comes from Council Tax. It is unclear yet where the savings will come from but Williams, speaking to The Courier, said savings would come from efficiency.



The Courier

November 2013


opinion editor

Ed Cullen

Nuclear Power: Is it a good option for the UK?

Marcus Ford

Nuclear energy; that much debated renewable energy. Is it good? Is it a hazard? What do we honestly know? And most importantly, do we want it? Well, in spite of the new information that has come into the spotlight as of late with the United Kingdom’s plan to build a few new nuclear facilities, I figured it was probably time we open up the floor to fresh debate, or at the very least, all get ourselves back up to speed with nuclear! It’s been a while since we last spoke about it properly, and it’s time to sink our teeth in. Firstly, as always, it’s probably a good idea to establish ourselves a basic template argument on the good and bad factors surrounding nuclear energy. Here I present to you a very basic list of ‘Pros and Cons’that I have found on the internet. (All links online at PROS: • Low operating costs. • Developed technology; implementable. • Large power/generating capacity/can meet demands • Existing and future nuclear waste can be reduced through waste recycling and reprocessing. • Low greenhouse gas emission. CONS: • Large subsidies needed for construction and operation, as well as loan guarantees. • Subsidies and investment could be spent elsewhere. (I discredit this point for it’s applicable to any government expenditure) • High-known risks in accidents. • Unknown risks. (I discredit this point for unknown risks apply to almost everything) • Long construction time. • Target for terrorism Waivers are required to limit liability of companies in the event of an accident. (This means that either: no one will be responsible for physical, environmental, or health damages in the case of an accident or leakage over time from waste storage, or that the government will ultimately have to cover any damage costs.) • Nuclear is a centralised power source requiring large infrastructure, investment, and coordination where decentralised sources (solar and wind) can be more efficient, less cost-

ly, and more resilient. • Uranium sources are finite, like coal or natural gas. Uranium is costly to mine, refine, and transport; these processes produces considerable environmental damage. • The known spots of minable uranium are under land controlled by indigenous peoples who don’t support it being mined. • There have been cases of environmental contamination and health costs for miners and mines. • Waste lasts 200 – 500 thousand years. • There are no operating longterm waste storage sites in the U.K One is in development, but its capacity is already oversubscribed. • There are no operating “next generation” reactors, such as high-temperature breeder reactors and particle-beam activated reactors, that are reported to produce less waste and have reduced safety concerns. If there were, they wouldn’t be deployable commercially for another two decades. (Later, if you read Kirsch’s piece, you will see that he classifies this as a ‘myth’ and shows that technology is ready for use) • Shipping nuclear waste internationally poses a potential threat of terrorist interception. • High construction costs due to complex radiation containment systems and procedures Now please, don’t just go ahead and accept the one with the biggest list. Be cynical of it, don’t let this single ‘Pro/Con’ list convince you that nuclear energy is a terrible idea. Nuclear energy could be tremendously beneficial to everybody in the UK, and even globally, if the technology is utilised and the energy is harnessed properly. In short, it talks openly about a particular nuclear reactor, the nuclear Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) which the author of the piece (Steve Kirsch) promotes heavily. I’m very keen when researching to appreciate a balanced argument. I try not to get overwhelmed by new information, or take everything I hear from someone who says they’re an ‘expert’ as truth. Though I must admit, Kirsch’s arguments had me on the edge of my seat regardless, and his arguments in favour of nuclear energy are perhaps the best I have read, assuming they are true

Nuclear IFRs produce substantial quantities of energy without producing as many greenhouse gases as current non-renewable energies. Thus, even if human-made climate change is not true, isn’t it better to build as if it we are impacting the environment? Otherwise if we ignore it we could dramatically affect the earth with disastrous consequences which could be avoided; it just seems sensible to imply this method of thinking logically, we

of course; remember, we’re not all tell me otherwise, but I believe that nuclear technicians, we are some- America still refuse to embrace nuwhat reliant on what we get told by clear energy with as open arms as the other countries are, which is a ‘experts’ in areas such as this. On a side note, if you have time, terrible shame. Kirsch has also stated that “an IFR please do watch “Dr. Michio Kaku’s: Visions of the Future” on YouTube would be the last place you’d go to (A three-part series) it discusses get material for building a weapon many interesting possibilities for because you’d have to invent [new] our future and also covers Nuclear technology... to purify the material Fusion. Nuclear Fusion is an excit- to make it suitable for a weapon.” ing nuclear power involving fusion rather than fission; It produces large quantities of energy and short lived rad i o a c t ive waste. It’s an upcoming energy with a prototype in France hoping to be up and running in the next few years. Hinkley Point C, The newly commissioned nuclear plant funded by EDF Energy is to be built by 2023 It’s interesting stuff, but, as always, please If nuclear facilities convert to IFR’s should implement a safeguard. research these topics yourself, em- then the supply of the raw mate- Those who disbelieve humanity’s brace a balanced debate and the rial people require to make nuclear impact on the climate tend to use possibility of change(s), and reach weaponry diminishes. In addi- scaremongering tactics in their tion, the current nuclear waste and arguments to discredit nuclear enyour own conclusions. Firstly, I should inform you stored nuclear weaponry could be ergy: Fears of radiation, Nuclear all that this man Kirsch has es- used in a IFR to extract more en- meltdowns, Nuclear terrorism tablished IFR plans for a nuclear ergy with the end product being, and the problem of nuclear waste; powered America with a nuclear from what I gather, a less extensive people should ignore this blatantly ‘expert’; I am certain that his plans issue. Kirsch suggests that waste biased propaganda and only apcould be applied globally with de- would take sixty years to degrade preciate the facts. It’s not untrue scent results, assuming what we’re as opposed to 10,000 years; others that there have been issue in the being told is truth; I so hope it is. have speculated it would take long- past, but no system is faultless, and Secondly, the ‘pros and cons list’ er for the material to degrade, and again, expertise in the area means I gave earlier is debatably incom- the debate around nuclear waste, as we can control nuclear facilities far plete; I have deliberately not added ever, is one of paramount concern. better than we once could, with the Kirsch also postulates that “with potential for our expertise to keep to it to emphasise the argument in Kirsch’s article which I implore you [IFR] reprocessing, if a [Person] on evolving. to read, just because, and to be re- used nuclear power their entire Nuclear energy produces subally cliché for just a second, it really life, they would produce enough stantial output for a low input, and is mouth-gaping, eye-opening stuff. nuclear waste to fill a soda can.” thus, we would not need as many Kirsch has stated that “there is This is where I now find my main facilities to power large industrimore than 100 times more radia- concerns, because accounting for alised areas. Considering nuclear tion from a typical coal plant than a all the ‘soda cans’ of a populous, scares in the past: Chernobyl and nuclear plant, yet the nuclear plant and too, the ‘soda cans’ of large Fukushima, people’s anxiety over is perceived by the public to be a businesses, results in a lot of waste nuclear energy is high. However, radiation hazard.” If this is true, it when tallied up; Nuclear energy’s with fewer future facilities needpresents and intriguing insight into issue will always be the nuclear ed: costs decrease, nuclear energy the current fossil-fuel infrastruc- waste, and nuclear waste manage- plants can be built in safe-areas, ture. Another intriguing point is ability, but as we modernise and and too, with more money pumped “Russia, China, India, Japan, and technology comes with us, I feel into the venture nuclear expert will France” are building or planning to confident we’ll be able to solve the become plentiful. Furthermore, as build these IFR plants and now, the problem; we just need to fund this nuclear knowledge advances so do the methods of (See over-page) UK is going nuclear too! Weather energy. Human-made Climate change these are IFR reactors, I don’t know, and I also haven’t seen anything to is still in debate, but we know that

November 2013

The Courier



responding to any thing; nuclear material (apparently) can’t be used energy, with funding, could be an to craft WMDs. Equally, the idea efficient, relatively clean, world of terrorists having the equipment and the knowledge to handle, and changing, energy. As aforementioned, nuclear craft nuclear weapons I think is a waste is a handicap preventing the conjecture for debate. It should also nuclear push, even though nuclear be said that crime exists, and the energy can be more efficient than conflicts in humanity are inescapcoal or oil. As Kirsch has said, from able; terrorism will remain regardthe uranium reserves it has, Ameri- less of how far we advance collecca could satisfy its energy demands tively (Good and bad coexist). Yet, for a good 700 years; fossil fuels are if human climate change is real, estimated to drain reserves in a few and too, reduced by a global switch decades (unless more are found). to nuclear plants replacing oil or Another issue when promoting coal plants, then the international a nuclear future is the mining of community can focus on solving uranium, because it affects tribal other global issues, like poverty lands. Then again, stored nuclear and famine. Terrorists preys on reweapons could be used as a power cruiting people who are destitute, source for many years without need and whilst you should research this to mine elsewhere. Even if we did yourself as always, there is a very eventually need to mine for ura- informative TedTalks video which nium, if speculation about human is good starting point, and again, induced climate change is true, the online version of this article It seems only right that a treaty/ will have the correct Web-link to it. agreement would be discussed with But, if the problems nuclear energy these tribal leader, though I do dis- solves then enables people to redirect global attention toward other like the idea of desecrating lands. problems, like poverty or famine, However, considering the winit could result in reduced terrordow for technological advance, ism, and thus, it makes the idea of that suggested 700 year of achievnuclear energy proliferation even ing nuclear energy without mining more viable and wonderful. elsewhere, other renewable enerI’m very much for nuclear power. gies may advance prior to the need to harvesting any more uranium. The nuclear IFR, to me, seems inHowever, nuclear energy, currently, genious. It isn’t faultless because is far more dependable than other there are still unresolved issues surrenewable energies which are reli- rounding it, but no method of enant on specific conditions to work ergy collection is perfect. The probeffectively. Nonetheless, I predict lems identified with nuclear power one day, with financial backing, can be addressed, they should be other renewable technologies could refined and corrected with the help surpass nuclear energy, and satisfy of proper funding given out by govenergy demands with practically ernments; Of the people, by the no waste product. Nuclear energy people, for the people eh? Well, for should be viewed more as a meas- the world too! Frankly, If you asked me if I’d ure to pull us out of the archaic oil/ coal-energy paradigm, we do not go nuclear, I’d say yes. If you asked want to fall in the habit of relying on me: is the U.K going nuclear a good this nuclear energy too, for it isn’t Idea? I’d certainly be saying yes! perfect, but it is better. Energy is a Should the world unify in concerns must for our lifestyle, but our way about energy and the planet? Yes. of getting it should be in constant, Is nuclear a promising step in the progressive motion. We should right direct? Well reader, I think it always be seeking the efficient en- is, I really think it is! ergies that also give off limited to no harmful side effects in the en- A protestor stands outside the site for Hinkley Point C tire process of energy extraction; that is how the energy industry should work. Finally, addressing the argument that terrorists will manufacture nuclear weapons. If nuclear facilities convert to Kirsch’s IFR plants, terrorists have fewer motives to attack nuclear plants as the Global 2000

Stacey Spensley

Thrill seeking climb up Everest or a day in being productive, how do you prefer to go about ‘siezing the day’?

Seizing the Day: A Source of Exclusion Dean Tsang JIM WHITTAKER, the first American to climb Mount Everest, once said: “If you’re not living on the edge, then you’re taking up too much space.” Now, I do think there is some magic behind the mix of adrenaline and euphoria whenever you’re doing something dangerous and exhilarating, living in the now and paying no mind to the consequences. But what people sometimes fail to realise is that there are other ways to make the most of your day, whether it be indulging in a hobby and hanging out with friends to feeling the need to be productive every second of the day. What do these lifestyles have in common with its wild, adrenaline-pumping cousin? They all make those involved happy, or at least provide relief: the adrenaline makes you euphoric, the comfort makes you relaxed, and the work makes you satisfied. All are pleasant emotions, so why can’t they just get along? Personally, I think it boils down to a mixture of personal preference and misunderstanding. Of course, there will be people who find the time to be productive, relaxed and still have the time to find new things and experience them. But such people are rarely found living in a way that is idealised at best, only achievable with utter mastery over time management as well as the money to afford the inevitable costs of all these new and wild experiences. Unfortunately, people tend to

stigmatise those who don’t conform to their own way of seizing the day. Alcohol is a prime example - if you don’t drink, sometimes you’ll be given all sorts of petty labels I’m not going to be bothered wasting words for. This peer pressure makes me think that people might be insecure about the way they live, and need validation by having those around them copy them, so that the consequences won’t be theirs alone. This isn’t just for alcohol, though perhaps for a whole multitude of lifestyle choices that I’ll leave you to think about. Another dilemma is that if you continuously try experiencing new things, it becomes harder to stick with the hobbies you already have and commit to both the familiar and the novel. I had this exact problems with two societies that both ran on the exact same time on Tuesday evenings: I could have attempted to go to both and probably gained more life skills as a result, but I knew that if I went my, skills at both would be mediocre, whereas if I chose one I would have a better chance at taking it to a professional level and go around the UK with the friends that would’ve been acquaintances if I hadn’t visited so often. With effort and discipline, you may be in a position where you can maintain multiple ways of life simultaneously. But even then; after university, circumstances are going to be very different. You’ll have a lot of spare time on your hands, and nowhere near as many new and liberating opportunities in comparison to your life as a student. Yes,

you can travel, but travelling costs money - money which you need to steadily earn while maintaining a reasonable standard of living. This is where we return to the original quote, which infers that an all-ornothing lifestyle is better than simply existing in your own comfort zone. To an extent, the quote makes sense, as greater effort will eventually equate to greater reward. However, the quote implies that any other lifestyle is a waste of time, which is an example of ignorance if no other - who is he to dismiss a way of life just because he indulges in its direct opposite? If you enjoyed last week’s film marathon then, to me, you’re making the most of your day. To quote John Lennon: “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” New insights and experiences are important, but you don’t have to live on the edge to reach them. That new volunteer job or yoga class won’t put you in mortal peril like the economical, physical and psychological risks associated with living on the edge. But it will still provide you with new skills that will help you in the world. If you like pushing yourself to the limit and experiencing new adventures then, by all means, continue enjoying yourself, go crazy. But don’t look down on everyone else just because they don’t share the same outlook as you. Everyone perceives and lives everyday life in their unique and wonderful way and, in the few decades of conscience we’re all given, as long as we don’t harm anyone we should be allowed to live in any way we wish.


The Courier

November 2013

Where’s the line?

was at first akin to, ‘you must be fucking joking’. But of course, some of these beliefs are nothing In light of recent events, and as to joke about. the current opinion editor for this However, I’ve previously demedia behemoth, I’ve recently had fended people like Jimmy Carr, to consider my place on where to Bo Burnham and Frankie Boyle draw the line on what I personally for jokes they’ve made on things would publish. I’ve never had to such as the Holocaust. The reamake the decision myself, and in son is intent. There is no intent the past I have knowingly written from these people, yet there is things which are incredibly near from Winnicki. Comics make Ricky Gervais has been accused of the knuckle, knowing that if it were light of issues in society in a way offending in his comedy in the past to be considered too far, somebody people can relate and engage with would stop me. Now this isn’t the without feeling too awkward, sions that “faggots and left-wingcase and the buck which stops with a-la, this piece. There are plenty of ers” should be afraid, and dodged me, is now controlled by me. Jewish comedians out there who do questions on the holocaust or that On the Opinions Show we run on the same and defend others who do in another interview in 2012 he stated that homosexual tendencies Friday mornings, I mentioned in to. Seinfeld is just one of many. passing at the end after some casual Boyle for me took it too far tar- were a type of disease to be fought chat about racism in football, a sub- geting an individual in specific, and back against. ject on which everyone in the studio even though I understood the joke, This offended me, and I’m neither shared the same opinion (surprise it removed the individual from gay nor jewish nor would I consider surprise), I jokingly shared the no- his collective, singling one person myself that left wing at all. i try to tion that should Robert Winnicki out for something society already be as open as possible; the much want to come on, it would make for deems risqué is probably where I repeated adige from Ricky Gervais some more heated debate. draw the line, but it’s really a case that “just because you’re offended Following the end of that broad- by case basis. It should also be not- doesn’t mean you’re right” sticks cast I had to stop and think; would ed that he’d already been brought with me like glue. It reminds me to I allow myself to be the conduit up on a joke directed towards Katie look at things from different points for what could be considered ‘hate Price before, and another direct as- of view and it also reminds me that speech’. I haven’t seen nor have I sault seemed to be a tad too much. if people are offended by something heard what he has to say, I, like Again, that’s my opinion and I can I’ve said or written, it could just many have only read what other still see why people find it funny. be that they don’t agree with me, people have said to this point, how- There’s no intent to offend in hu- rather than asserting they are right. And it’s right that people should get ever, if what I have heard is true, mour, there is in bigotry. I’m not sure I could justify my deCome the last Friday in October offended and voice their opinions, cision to print or play it, but then, there was uproar then as it turned it’s the backbone of democracy but why even have free speech eh? And out Winnicki was supposed to be for me, in 2013, when there are surely, if I trust that most human speaking in the Old College, then people who are still fighting vehebeings can see through and make a pub and then just ‘somewhere’. mently against people being gay, up their own, less radical minds, Turns out he spoke at at a students not just gay marriage, people being then what’s the worry? flat. I’m glad the university and the homosexual, I have to wonder what they’ve been doing for the past forMy decision therefore shocked students union released the statety-fifty years. My only issues with myself more than anything. I’ve ments they did, it’s impossible to gay marriage are that I don’t unalways been on the stauncher side commit to LGBT rights and allow derstand why anyone would want of ‘where the line is’; primarily be- somebody with Winnicki’s views to to get married, gay or straight, but cause the majority of the debates speak on your premises. that’s for another article. I underI have waged have been based on If there was anybody out there stand a christian protesting gay comedy. When I belatedly found though who wasn’t sure about marriage, I can see where they’re out about the arrival of Mr Win- Winnicki’s views, they are plenticoming from, no matter how much nicki and his views, my reaction ful on the internet and in the meI disagree. I understand UKIP camdia. A few which have been paigning for stricter immigration raised to me and which in Winnicki’s smug grinned advertisement because I can go and read their turn raised my eyebrows stating he’d be speaking at the Old College reasoning, no matter how much I are from an interview with disagree with it, but I cannot (a popular site in om a holocaust denier or a somePoland) in June of this year body who believes homosexuality solidified my decision not is a disease. There is no reasoning, to have anymore to do with there is just ignorance and bigotry. it after this and Anna’s reI grant that Winnicki probably isn’t ply to the right here, (and the worst the world has to offer, and undersigned by countless I grant that he made his speech in more Polish students una private flat and in no public fohappy with how they were rum in the end, but in my opinion, portrayed.) Within the inI’m glad he’s gone and I wouldn’t terview Winnicki neglectexactly be ecstatic to see him back ed to apologise, condemn anytime soon. or even deny his expres-

Ed Cullen Opinion Editor

An open letter from from Aberystwyth’s Polish community

Anna Neyman By submitting this letter we, the undersigned hope to provide a succinct account of the events leading up to the lecture given by Robert Winnicki on the day of 25th October 2013. As members of the Polish community in Aberystwyth we are providing our own view of events, and also a response to the open letter sent to the Aberystwyth Students Union by Kay Lancucki, the head of the unofficial Aberystwyth Polish Society, referred to hereafter as AberPol. Around the 23rd of October infomation began circulating that a lecture by Robert Winnicki, a controversial Polish publicist and political activist was due to be held at the University. The event had been organised by AberPol. News of the talk immediately generated a negative response due to Winnicki’s association with Mlodziez Wszechpolska (MW), a right-wing political youth organisation. Winnicki himself has also expressed anti-LGBT sentiments in the Polish media. After being informed of Mr.Winnicki’s reputation, Aberystwyth University and the Students Union withdrew permission for the talk to be held on university grounds, and made a public statement that Mr.Winnicki’s views were contrary to the institution’s policies and ethos. About the same time, plans began to be made for the organisation of a street protest at the venue where the talk took place. Alternative venues for the talk were proposed, but several of the town’s pubs refused to have the talk hosted there. As a result, the talk was eventually held in a private flat. The opposition to the talk has subsequently been interpreted by some as an attack on the Polish community in Aber, and Kay Lancucki wrote an open letter to this effect. This letter has been printed along with our own letter/can be accessed from the attached link delete statements in bold as appropriate. The talk was held on the 25th of October and the planned protest went ahead also. As members of the Polish community in Aberystwyth, we take issue at several of the statements

Share your opinions and join in the debate...

made in the open letter submitted by Kay Lancucki, a letter that was supposedly written on behalf of AberPol and the Polish community at large. Firstly, we feel the need to distance ourselves from the opinion presented in the open letter sent to Aberystwyth Student Union on 25th October, 2013. Similarly, we do not wish to be associated with the political agenda of Mr. Robert Winnicki and any organizations that he is affiliated with, including MW. Additionally, we contest the notion that the letter that was submitted speaks on behalf of the whole of the Polish community, or even the whole of AberPol. Secondly, the University’s refusal to allow the meeting with Mr.Winnicki to be held on University premises should not be seen as an attack on the Polish community, nor as any form of discrimination. The University was in this case simply exercising its right to determine what events are held in its facilities and the powers that be made the judgement that they did not wish to be associated with Mr.Winnicki’s political agenda by providing a venue for him to speak in. Neither the response from Aberystwyth University nor that from its students should be seen as a personal attack on any of the organisers, as the letter suggests. The allegation that basic rights have been violated can be seen as untrue, as there has been ample opportunity for free debate amongst the student community, and the University can simply be seen as acting in accordance with their wishes. We also do not agree with the letter’s argument that there is no logical reason to believe the “alleged” homophobic ideas of Robert Winnicki and the organization that stands behind him (MW). In fact, given his notoriety, opposition to a talk being held by him in Aberystywth should have been anticipated by the organisers. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has taken an interest in these events, and has expressed their concern regarding someone with Mr. Winnicki’s reputation being given a public platform within the University. Paulina Bajko, Joanna Dulińska, Michał Duliński, Chris Haenze, Agata Kincel, Kacper Łebek, Jarek Michalczuk, Rafal Naminski, Anna Neyman, Przemek Przystup, Edyta Ryczek, Marta Sikorska, Weronika Sikorska, Agnieszka Szałaśny, Paweł Szmit, Sebastian Waligórski, Tomasz Witak, Sylwester Zarzycki


November 2013

lifestlye editor

Poppy Tester


The Courier



Why is there so much pressure for women to go on the pill?

is due to that tiny pill you took earlier that day. You know that long list of potential side effects on IN THE UK ALONE, more than the leaflet inside your pill box, the 3.5 million women regularly list that you believe won’t happen rely on the contraceptive pill. Of to you? Doctors should definitely course, for the majority of these be more diligent in making women women, there's no problem; they aware of that list before they start can happily take it and continue taking the pill. their lives as before. I started on Microgynon 30, a However, there are also many combined pill, when I was sevenwomen, including myself, that teen. After a few months I noticed have to suffer with endless side that I was moody, emotional and effects and symptoms caused by over-thinking everything. I am a our pills. These include weight bubbly, happy person normally gain, severe mood swings, feeling lethargic and tired, headaches, loss so this was a shock to the system. I changed to Noramin. Again, a of emotion and monster had taklibido, plus many “I had changed pills en over my body. other degrading I then changed to five times in two and upsetting Femodene which effects. years, my hormones was a lot better... Many women for a while. After had a life of their don't realise that a few months my own” these symptoms emotions dried are caused by out. I felt like I their pill. In some didn’t care about anything or the cases they should just stay away consequences of anything. from the pill or any hormoneI then changed to Marvelon. It adjusting contraceptives altogether. seemed great at first, but I started And yet, despite this, doctors still getting headaches regularly, and put pressure on women to go on as I only got them on the occathe pill, even if they have had sion before, I thought it must be problems. my eyes playing up. A trip to the Effects like these shouldn’t just opticians saw that I had perfect be ignored or thought of as socially eyesight. So why were my eyes unacceptable to talk about. I know, going blurry every now and again, all too well, how denial is easier making what I was seeing seem than accepting that your incapabildreamlike? The doctor changed me ity to remain emotionally stable to Cerazette, a progesterone-only

Eve Greenow

for you to go back on the pill.” I After an MRI and blood test burst into tears. in England I was referred to a neurologist. He confirmed, like GP Why is there this pressure for after GP and doctor after doctor, women to be on the pill? This had that the cause of all my problems happened the four other times was the pill. My hormones had that I had changed. There was no taken on a life of their own and it discussion of other options, or would be difficult to stop. even staying off it for a while. I can understand the want for women I suffered five panic attacks in to avoid pregnancy, but to confour days due to the sheer stress tinually pressure women to go on and anxiety the symptoms were the pill is, in my opinion, wrong. causing. I’d never had a panic They switch you around until you attack before. I was then put on believe you’re on the right one for steroids for five days to put a stop you. But what about until you do to the migraines. This helped the find one? What migraines, but “Effects like these if you never do, I reacted badly and you have to to the steroids shouldn’t just be igthe effects - hypersensinored or thought of as suffer in the meantivity and trouble breathing - socially unacceptable to time? but these soon My story may talk about” dissipated. The be worse or betneurologist ter than many, then confirmed I was fine to go but the fact of the matter is: I’m back to Aber. still suffering the effects of those tiny little pills, and I am definitely Since being back in Aber, I went not alone. The moral of the story: to the doctors as I was suffersome women just shouldn’t be on the pill. Many stories have been published about the rarer effects of the pill, and the more common, but unfortunately the levels of the hormones entering your body, preventing ovulation, affect different women in different ways. Sadly, there is no way of knowing how it will affect you until you’ve tried. Don’t suffer in silence. If you feel like your moods are changeable and you don’t feel yourself, chances are it’s your pill. Hormones shouldn’t be messed with and hormone imbalance can affect all Tomos Nolan aspects of your body. If you can reDoctors are urging young women to take the contraceptive pill late to any part of this article, chat to your doctor about other options ing from further panic attacks. I painkillers and three weeks after for contraceptives, and don’t feel A&E I started getting regular blur- explained the events leading up to pressured into another pill if you’re the appointment to the doctor. All ry eyes and a tight pressure feeling reluctant. For more information go I wanted was some reassurance; on my brain. I was overcome with to the NHS choices website. instead, the doctor looked me in tiredness, sensitive to light and the eye and asked: “So, are you on my face often felt heavy and weak. the pill at the moment?” I told the I was diagnosed with ocular migraines... caused by the pill. Ocular doctor I was not. Her reply: “Right, well, we should consider arranging or ophthalmic migraines affected me constantly: the blood vessels in the eye spasming due to congestion making one’s vision blurred. Five months after my first headfor more health advice head to aches from Marvelon: I was sick of it. pill. After a few days on holiday I started getting migraines, so I stopped taking it after five days. A week later I was in A&E in Menorca with excruciating migraines, everything was blurry and the muscles in the left side of my face were so weak I could barely move my cheek. A CT scan and blood test later, I was diagnosed with a migraine due to hormone imbalance. And no wonder! I had changed pills five times in two years- my hormones had a life of their own and my oestrogen levels were seriously too high. After a drip of

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The Courier


November 2013


Is the 2DS Nintendo’s gamechanger? Poppy Tester Lifestyle Editor THE 12TH OF OCTOBER was the most anticipated day in Nintendo's 2013 calendar. Firstly, the excruciating wait for Pokemon X and Y to grace shop shelves worldwide was finally over and, less significantly, the 2DS was made available for purchase. When the 2DS was announced in August many gamers wondered if it was an elaborate prank. It wasn't so much the idea that was unwelcome (okay - it sounded a bit funny when I first heard it). We all know that the appeal of the 3DS appeals far beyond the 3D gimmick, and Nintendo fans will understandably want to trade in their classic DS for better graphics and the latest game releases. Despite this, the headache-inducing 3D feature isn't for everyone. With the 2DS, gamers with an aversion

to all this new-fangled 3D technology can enjoy all the other benefits of the latest installment in the DS series without spending £25 extra on a feature they never use. The console plays both DS and 3DS games and, as of yet, will have no games of its own. The aspect that people found unappealing about the 2DS was its appearance - promotional images showed a dual-screen handheld console that was almost as flat as the 2D images it generates. It takes a step away from the tried-andtrue clamshell design of the previous models and instead follows Nintendo's recent enthusiasm for creating tablet-style devices. The 2DS comes at a crucial point for the games company as their latest console, the Wii U, missed its sales target in the year since its release, and Nintendo's reign over the handheld market may be waning in favour of mobile games. Perhaps Nintendo's new designs are an

3DS games, such as Super Mario 3D Land, can be played on the 2DS

attempt to emulate the success of their portable rivals. Though they are trying to be more innovative in their designs, they may find that gamers prefer the classic console styles. The new design does, however, make it difficult to confuse the two consoles. So when little Jimmy's technophobic and partially-blind dad goes to Game to buy him a 2DS for Christmas, he's less likely to go home with the 3DS instead. But when you want something that does everything the 3DS does, minus the 3D, do you really want it to look so different? But each to their own. A lack of clamshell design never did the Gameboy series any harm (although it was eventually adopted for the last in the series, the

SP). None of them, however, had to accommodate two screens. I already own the 3DS, so I didn't exactly rush out to buy the 2D version. Luckily, my flatmate bought it as soon as it was released so I was able to see it for myself. I must admit, I didn't find the console as aesthetically offensive in real life. Maybe after months of looking at pictures of it and laughing it had endeared itself to me. More likely, I realised that it's not actually too bad a design. It's more portable and less bulky than I imagined - even though it's more difficult to slip into your pocket than its predecessors. The screens are slightly smaller than those on the 3DS, though it is sturdier due to the lack of hinges. So, if I had one, it would be less likely to meet the same sad fate as my DS did, where I accidentally piled things on top of it and broke the

hinges. The 2DS being one, solid entity makes it perfect for children (and clumsy 21-year-olds). Despite it being more child-friendly, the shoulder buttons and analog stick are next to the top screen, making it easier for players with longer fingers than the DS is. In the few short weeks since its release, certain retailers have cut the price of the console by about £10. This tactic is old news for Nintendo, who slashed the price of the 3DS from £269 .99 to £199.99 just a few months after its release in 2011 in order to boost lagging sales. However, MCV have reported a 64% increase in 2DS sales since the price decrease. The future of this portable console remains unclear, and it will certainly be one to watch.

November 2013

The Courier




The next generation: PS4 vs. Xbox One Sam O’Hara A NEW GENERATION of gaming is upon us and the excitement for the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, the Playstation 4 and Xbox One respectively, are ranked amongst the most hyped for any gaming generation. Question is: are you on the blue side, or the green? In terms of pure power, the PS4 has an advantage on the Xbox with a more powerful graphics card and

at a penny under £350, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for the Japanese giant. For that, you get the console itself which comes with a 500GB hard-drive (which like the PS3 is expandable at your own leisure) and a DualShock 4 controller, although plenty of retailers are doing hardware bundles for a small price increase. With this, you’re getting a completely overhauled user interface and improved online capabilities with integrations with Gaikai,

On the blue side, Knack- a Playstation 4 exclusive

the streaming service that Sony the faster DDR5 RAM, but how this will equate in terms of actually purchased for $380m in order to have access to a huge Sony back playing games we are yet to see. catalogue; handy for those looking Both Sony and Microsoft have to playing those hidden gems you taken a different approach to their missed on PS1 and PS2 (Sony are consoles this time around. hoping to incorporate as much of Let's start with Sony. Sony will be one of the first to admit that life their back catalogue as they can, more than the PS3’s current offerfor the Playstation 3 didn't start ing). On top of very well. Released The Xbox One will be that there's almost a full year after the Xbox 360, released on the 22nd higher social media interacit was very overtion designed November, closely priced at launch, help show costing a colossal followed by the Play- to the world your £425 compared to station 4 on the 29th superiority, and the £279.99 Xbox an improved launch (which Playstation Eye Sony blamed on camera to help with any face-tothe cost of the Blu-Ray technoloface, err, stuff you might want to gy), and a 'Cell' processor so comdo. plex that developers complained On the surface, there doesn’t about the difficulties of producing seem to be any downsides. But games for the machine. Combine it’s not all quite roses for the new all this with the huge loss Sony blue box. Developers now have the made on every console sold and it was easy to tell things weren't quite option to make their games only playable online through Playstagoing their way, despite a number tion Plus, Sony’s premium service of positives that the console had that was the rival to Xbox Live such as being one of the first BluGold. While the service will still Ray players on the market. offer its Instant Game Collection But this time, it seems Sony has feature which will feature one PS4 truly learnt their lesson. Retailing game each month (although with

Drive Club’s delay, the launch lacks a PS4 game) and one to go right from the off (The Binding of Issac), and freeto-play games not using the paid service, it’s still a small kick in the teeth for those hoping to get away from Microsoft's arguably draconian structure. While Sony have still got a few exclusives like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack ready for launch, the delays to Watch Dogs and Drive Club have left the initial line-up a little thin. Most of the other choices consist of multi-format games, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag being the few AAA options for gamers. While you could argue that it’s a better line-up than the Wii U had at launch, it’s not a great set of games. Meanwhile, Microsoft have had it pretty good this generation (in the West, at least). Their market share in the US for the 360 is huge compared to the PS3 (although still not as high as the Wii), and it’s growing in the UK. The 360 is a very good console and anyone denying that is just silly. But life for the Xbox One couldn’t have started any worse. While announcing it at its own event back in May, they controversially announced that the console would have some rather restrictive DRM, one that required the player to connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours. Understandably, this didn’t go down well with the gaming community; neither did the 'always-on' Kinect policy and the focus on the multimedia possibilities of the console instead of their focus on games. Their marketing team did a great job at confusing the hell out of everyone and failing to actually demonstrate its benefits, like the family-

sharing service and cloud-based Don Matrick who was one of the services, which Microsoft had pioneers for the system jumped off hoped would revolutionise how what he must have thought was a games are played. But, within a sinking ship (ironically to Zynga). week of the reveal, the big M did a In the long run though, will all U-turn and of this now, like Face-to-face, the winner of matter? the PS4, the this battle is anyone’s guess. To be Xbox One frank, it’s All you as the reader need to unlikely. requires no internet know is that it’s never been While connection. the Xbox The family- a more exciting time to be a One was sharing is gamer. Game on! before gone but seen as a the cloud big trap, will still be there, along with the they have bounced back with their updated system and user interface line-up of games and their relaxed and streaming and TV services. policies on DRM (although they They hope it to be truly the best have left the possibility of it commultimedia hardware on the maring back), and I think many gamket. And it could well be. ers have recognised this. The PS4 is But how much has their early looking to be an excellent piece of ‘blunder’ cost them? It’s hard to kit but they have put a lot of faith tell at this point but, if GameSpot’s in the indie game development Twitter Poll is any indication, a scene. While it’s a risky strategy, it’s lot. There were even accusations probably as good a chance they’ve that Microsoft were trying to rig given themselves in succeeding parts of the poll but it’s still rather seeing how much that community damning. The Kinect is also now is booming currently. not required to be connected, but Face-to-face, the winner of this this will have also left a sour taste. battle is anyone’s guess. All you as The console itself is shaping up the reader need to know is that it’s well but it’s clear to say that they never been a more exciting time to were rattled by the reaction to be a gamer. Game on! the Xbox One. It didn’t help that

And for the green team- Ryse: Son of Rome

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The Courier

November 2013

Mark Williams: “I’m a liberal not a Tory” Harry Taylor Editor

THE MP FOR CEREDIGION, Mark Williams, is somebody who has come under a lot of criticism from students since the coalition formed in 2010, not due to the fact that tuition fees went ahead - he voted against them after all - but by extension of the party he belongs to and the actions of the joint coalition. However, he is certainly no coalition apologist, as he said in an exclusive interview with The Courier. He sees policies such as Bedroom Tax and the benefit re-assessment through ATOS as the biggest failings of the coalition Government, especially for those in Ceredigion. “I’m unwilling to blame the current ATOS crisis on the Conservatives, as it was Labour who signed it up in the first place, but we’ve got a huge success rate with casework in our office regarding appeals against the benefit cuts due to ATOS.” He also condemns the approach of the coalition to the “demonisation of those on welfare receipts”, saying: “People unable to get to their job-centre appointments because of their situation are to get their benefits cut. How are these people going to live? Should it then be down to community groups and food banks to back them, or should that be the role of the state?” “I’ve had too many people who come in who have £5 to last the weekend. It’s all well and good wanting to reduce the welfare bill in its entirety but you’ve got to have the flexibility to cater to those who need it. Not everybody on benefits is a sponger and there’s got to be a robust system to protect them.” From talking to him, his frustration is clear to see. He went as far as writing for the peer responsible for bedroom tax and in return got, "Four pages of Government propaganda spiel about why we need Bedroom Tax; none of it was addressing how that lady was going to survive with two children to support.” He also points to the 295 families under Tai Ceredigion affected by Bedroom Tax, who are unable to downsize as the housing for reassignment doesn’t exist. In Williams’ words: “There’s nowhere for them to go. So the only conclusion is to lose £12 or £25. The Government solution would be to take in a lodger, which is what Lord Freud’s advice would be, and if your partner has got cancer and needs a room on their own, are you going to want a

lodger in the house? Lord Freud’s advice caused outrage 'across the party divide' when he said that and it's easy to see why." The view he holds on social housing is clear, saying: "It's there for a reason, not to have it smashed in Whitehall by some city-wise kids who have no idea what it’s like in areas like Ceredigion in reality. That’s what I try and impress in most of my contributions in parliament with how different it is. We have 147 villages in this constituency, which makes problems with public transport and health care so huge." He also pays tribute to party leader Nick Clegg, saying: "He was fair, he listened to those in rural areas and doubled housing discretionary payments to some areas, of which Ceredigion was one. It’s a sticking plaster, not the whole answer.” His opinions on being tarred with the coalition brush along with policies on Bedroom Tax can be summed up very aptly. “I was not elected to this country on the basis of a coalition programme, but on a Current Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams prides himself on bein g a constituency politician rather than a careerist liberal programme. Neither of them in a debate in the General Election believe being an MP is about a rela- did have before.” He is also wary spoke about Bedroom Tax. I don’t that it wasn’t possible, unaffordable tionship with your community and of the European Elections of next like being called a Tory because I’m and irresponsible to take people out here with the students.” year being a barometer of support not. I’ve been a member of my party of tax, and the Conservatives are In a topic that has become topi- for UKIP's potential success in for thirty years, a political anorak now trying to take credit for takcal since Russell Brand’s guest edi- 2015: “Large differential turnouts since an early stage. I’m a liberal, ing people out of tax. But, being the torship of the New Statesman, the in European elections mean that it not a Tory. I won’t stand for the junior partner, it's difficult for us lack of engagement with politics is doesn’t paint a true picture of the mess that the Tories have landed us to take credit; that's the problem in something Mark feels very passion- UK elections in 2015. More people in. Perhaps it’s the more independ- coalition politics. ately about. “It always saddens me voted Conservative in Wales in the ent streak in me, but I’m not go“Some of our commitments have that people don’t register to vote, last European elections than ever ing to sign myself up to disastrous been carried through. The work on the same people who have very gen- before. With a low turnout, strange policy, although I'm only a Liberal pensions has been good, there’s a uine concerns. There’ll be people things can happen.” Democrat backbencher. There was “shock” when he won triple-lock increase on pensions. who look at the national picture in “I couldn’t in all honesty vote for Gay Marriage is a really important regards to voting, but there will also for the first time in 2005. A teacher things like the Bedroom Tax; the achievement too." be those who hopefully look at the at the time, he had promised the whips tried to convince me but, Williams also shared his views on local record. I’m categorically not governors at his old school that he due to the dialogue I had with my would be back at the the idea of Wales having tax-raising going to the election A teacher at the school on the Monconstituency on it, I knew I couldn’t as a coalition cabipowers, which was granted in bevote for it. The same applies for the tween the interview taking place net, as I am a Liberal time, he had prom- day morning after the Lobbying Bill.” elections to give the and the publication of The Courier: member in the mould ised the governors Williams was also one of the few “If Wales has tax-raising powers, of Geraint Howells at his old school that morning assembly; such were the chances rebel Liberal Democrat MPs who we can then spend more money (Former Liberal Dem- he would be back he didn’t think he’d reneged against the party line in the on things like getting more rolling ocrat MP) and people still controversial tuition fees raise. stock for a hourly service away from in the past. I believe at the school on the win the seat. He did, however, with a small that some of Govern- Monday morning “My vote against tuition fees was a Aberystwyth.” 219 majority that he ment's achievements after the elections principle vote on the grounds that Looking ahead to the next elecare laudable.” I thoroughly believe in a free and to give the morning increased to 8324 in tion in 2015 to retain his Ceredi2010. fair education. Also anything that is He is also sceptical assembly; gion seat he isn’t getting complaseen to be an attack He still rues the fact cent, although of the view that only “My vote against on 'my' University, that he didn’t have Mike Parker (for Plaid Cymru are the as I was educated tuition fees was a that interview party for those with a Welsh inter- the chance to celebrate the 2010 here, the students principle vote on the see left) is the est. “You don’t have to be a Plaid election results and hopes this will and the workforce grounds that I thoroughly only currently Cymru member to stand up and change for his next electoral outat the University; nominated op- care about Wales. They don’t have ing “Out of 80 or 90 ballot boxes we there is no way I can believe in a free and fair position. “I've a monopoly on caring and standing won nearly every one. We were imeducation.” vote for that.” mensely proud to do that really. But, got a big major- up for Wales.” He does not, With the new fledgling SDP of due to the coalition agreement and ity in this conhowever, feel that the coalition has stituency, but it’s not a safe seat and today and UKIP contesting their everything after, we didn’t have time been without success. He recalls it makes democracy all the more first election, he doubts that UKIP to enjoy it.” talking in public meeting about tak- richer here. People respect MPs will win their first seat, saying that ing people out of Income Tax: “I who speak their minds. I’m not “they've not got the same big poremember George Osborne saying interested in being a minister as I litical heavyweights that the SDP

FEATURES November 2013

The Courier


Michael Parker - Not your typical political candidate

with Wood that he decided to run for selection for the Plaid Cymru candidate. “When Leanne went for party leader, I gave her reassurancAT FIRST sight Michael Parker is es that if she was selected, I would hardly your typical potential politi- become more involved. I was then cian: an author, bald and sporting pleasantly surprised when she was a single ringed earring. But that selected. I had considered running doesn’t seem to bother him and to be the Assembly Member for neither should it. He’s not hoping to Montgomeryshire, where I live, but be a politician in the conventional then Westminster was mentioned. I was initially quite reluctant but I sense, at least historically. Being honest, my interest in in- changed my mind soon afterwards.” terviewing him came not from the Sharing his thoughts on what fact that he is the nominated Plaid role he would play as MP he goes Cymru candidate for Ceredigion on to say: “I want to get involved in the 2015 UK General Election, with debates, and be an ambasrather the fact that he and I share sador for Plaid Cymru, Wales and an affinity and connection with Ceredigion. If Scotland leaves the the special Worcestershire town U.K. it would have such huge ramiof Kidderminster. But even more fications and I think we would need interesting was the fact that he is strong people in Westminster.” an English-born The Ceredigion He sees [Plaid Cymru] Plaid Cymru constituency he candidate, some- as“very internationalist, is due to fight for thing that rather interested in the wider is one that many surprised me world, justice and progress” feel may be hit by and, I thought, an anti-Liberal adding that he “hate[s] something that Democrat vote was very strange. this common perception of due to the high When re- them only being interested levels of students ferring to his in independence, as it isn’t at the Universibackground, he true.” ties of Aberystoften mentions wyth and LamA.E. Housman’s poem A Shrop- peter in the constituency. Whilst shire Lad, which talks of the “Blue Mark Williams, the current Liberal Remembered Hills” of Wales that Democrat sitting MP, voted against forms the backdrop to Shropshire, the rise in fees, Parker feels that he and it is this backdrop that Parker should atone for the overall vote of feels he grew up in, with the strange the party. curiosity about the hills on the “There will be a massive ‘tuition Western Horizon.Parker then ex- fees raise’ effect on the vote in the In 2015, Michael Parker is hoping to become Ceredigion’s first Plaid Cymru MP since Simon Thomas in 2005. plains how his move to Wales came area. Mark voted against the raise ones, and this is a more positive he feels momentum has been lost progress. about saying: “I went to University knowing it would go through; he move. I can’t stand the newspeak since the Labour-Plaid coalition He admires the German small in London and started writing stu- should take responsibility for his PR-centric politics in Britain to- in the WelshAssembly.This forms business approach and thinks that: dent orientated guidebooks, called party’s actions. If elected I want day. People want plain speaking part of his views on energy pro“We need to look at their economy Rough Guides, when they asked me to make an issue of bedroom tax candidates.” The positive and “huge jects that also include “devolving and see what and why it has been to write a travel guidebook about and tuition fees. Students played coverage” that Nigel Farage is get- power down the scale as far down successful and try to replicate that. Wales in 1993 – which has been up- a big part last time, and with the ting in the press is also frustrating to as possible”, although he feels that The Basque Country is a good exdated every year since – so I spent right student engagement, they can Parker – UKIP has no sitting MP in national infrastructure projects are ample of solid enterprise and to do time travelling around the country. again.” comparison to Plaid Cymru’s three worthwhile and, while some may something like that would be sucI got to know people in Plaid CymCardiff ’s Welsh Assembly contin- members. He feels that Farage and not be happy about it, there is huge cessful” and if it were up to him, it ru whilst doing this and saw they ues to be Plaid Cymru’s main arena UKIP are playing the “Anti-Politics potential in the country. He talks of would be a shift towards this model were committed to a fairer world.” and focus, but with more power in card, which is so easy to do whereas the construction of the M1 high- for British industry of the future. Contrary to popular perception, Westminster, Parker feels that Plaid I prefer to play the Positive Politics lighting that originally the project he sees the party as “very interna- can have a bigger impact. card”Parker is also a firm believer had one objection as there was a tionalist, interested in the wider in renewable energy, saying he mood for building The Plaid Cymru Ceredigion world, justice and progress” adding wants to see the “full package”rolled for the future, a senti- We’re looking for a new Features Editor! that he “hate[s] this common per- candidate thinks that Plaid MPs out. This would ment which has been ception of them only being interest- can be more independ- “We’re slowly movinclude tidal lost today. Are you a student interesting in getting ined in independence, as it isn’t true.” ent of a party whip anding out of the age of the power, utilising volved with student journalism with AberystAlthough, he does therefore not have the He moved to Wales in 2000 after same pressures placedmassive parties to smaller the fact that hope that over time wyth Student Media? Do you have an interest Britain haves the electorate will in informing students, doing in-depth articles a holiday saw a “switch flick” inside upon them as their La-ones, and this is a more the worlds become more open his head telling him that this was a bour and Conservative about topical events, interviewing people and positive move.” second high- minded once again. place to which he had to move, and counterparts to vote writing articles of interest about the lives of est tidal drop It is no surprise that so he did, not too far from Aberyst- for measures that will work against students? wyth which lead to him becoming their constituency. “We need to be – around 30 feet. Wales is also cur- he dislikes the NIM“reasonably” involved with Plaid poking, prodding, poking at laws. rently a net exporter in energy and BYISM that follows If so, you might be interested in running for Cymru, and getting to know now- We’re slowly moving out of the age a UK leader in renewable initiatives renewable energy our vacant Features Editor position. If so, through companies like Dulas En- projects today feel- email our secretary, Alex Pike for more inforparty leader Leanne Wood. of the massive parties to smaller gineering in Machynlleth, although ing that it holds back mation at It was through his involvement

Harry Taylor Editor


The Courier

November 2013

The Courier: Sixty-Five years in the making

On its Sixty-Fifth anniversary, Courier Editor Harry Taylor takes a look at the Courier’s rich history THE BRAINCHILD of a generation who had just fought one of the bloodiest wars in known history, The Courier is now collecting its pension, as of the day of this issue's publication (November 5th 2013). It was formed by a group of students in 1948, with Peter Richmond as one of the editors along with Goronwy Jones. Ann Russell, Peter Richmond’s daughter explained to The Courier his path in forming the newspaper: “Peter started his University life a year before being called up for war service. He returned to college in the 1947 intake when 60% of new students were ex-servicemen – an amazing period for the college… Peter was lucky never to have an awful roughing up in the RAF during the war. He returned, calm, civilised and charming.” During his first spell at University, Richmond befriended Douglas Wright, editor of the Cambrian News and Ken Taylor, local correspondent of the Liverpool Daily Post. He also got involved with a publication preceding The Courier - The Dragon - which he edited prior to the onset of war. The original editing team had Dafydd Morris Jones, who edited the Welsh section Llais Y Lli, which became a staple part of The Courier until the mid-1960s when it stopped being part of The Courier and became a publication in its own right, although it fell on hard times and

spied for the Soviet Union. Despite went out of press soon afterwards. a student vote supporting him in The editing team also included 1955, he left soon afterwards. Later Dot Phillips, who stayed with The Courier for some time afterwards; Attelio Marenghi, Roger Williams, Haydn Mason, Eric Morgan and Wynne Davies. There was also a cartoonist, Bill Robottom. The establishment of The Courier was so notable that even the Vice-Principal The first edition of the Courier was published on 5th November 1948 Forester commented: “A circulating medium should help in his life he admitted that he too to provide both information and had spied for the Soviet Union, unity amongst students”. something backed up by official Though editorial teams came KGB papers released in 1999. and went over the next decade and The newspaper changed its editoa half, the format of The Courier rial style as the 1960s progressed; stayed the same and the stories the newspaper went from a news re-occurred with each batch of stusource to a more campaign-driven dents: student apathy at Assemblies publication. Articles were pub(would you believe that in 1952, lished speaking against the Vietyou needed 150 students to reach nam War, for the rights of women an assembly quoracy, things of in regards to abortion and other dreams for the Union Chairperson campaigns of that generation. of today), the lack of student grants As the 1970s became a reality and the goings on of the S.R.C. rather than a thought, Jonathan (Student Representative Council). Smith, one of the longest serving The S.R.C. took Governorship editors of The Courier’s time, came of the newspaper in the mid-1950s to an end with the newspaper. He after a series of stories about Prinhad renamed the newspaper the cipal Goronwy Rees, who was later Free Courier, perhaps showing notorious for his connection to the spirit of that generation. Neil the Cambridge Five spy ring, who Hamilton then took the editorship

of the newspaper, turning it into the Feudal Herald and Reactionary Times, a satirical newspaper from the future Conservative MP and UKIP Deputy Chairman. A fuller look at the FHRT can be found in the archive section of the Freshers 2013 edition of The Courier. Due to printing costs, the newspaper then moved to a magazine size. The 1980s Courier began to focus on more national policy that affected students. The 22nd November 1984 Courier looked at Nigel Lawson’s announcement that a free education could be a thing of the past, forcing parents in high income brackets to pay all of their children’s maintenance grants and £520 of their tuition fees. Three years later a protest hit Aberystwyth with 700 students from 15 colleges in Wales protesting against “Baker’s Bill”. From then it was a transition to the much maligned “Courier Magazine” of the 1990s and 2000s, moving away from news towards special editions such as the 'Sex Edition', featuring the infamous 'Sex Survey' about what readers apparently used to get up to between the sheets and elsewhere too. There was an occasional editor who tried to publish more newsworthy items: the fire at Carleon and Plynlymon Halls in 1998 was covered by a Courier special edition. In February 2010, 'The Courier

Magazine' drew its last breath and let out its best attempt at a death rattle. The 'Sex Edition' was wheeled out once again; a concept that did have a certain intrigue to it once upon a time but, has long been a tired concept, and it lost its allure very quickly. So The Courier's name appeared to be lost as the magazine struggled to find staff to replace the graduating editorial team. Student press in Aberystwyth suddenly went very quiet. However in 2011, Geography student Steffan Storch decided to reform The Courier and return it to its journalistic newspaper roots. Speaking to The Courier, he said: “The reason I started The Courier was because there was no outlet informing students of the decisions being made on their behalf by the University, Union and councils. I thought it was a fundamentally important part of being a student to be aware of and hold accountable those with power over students' degrees and lives.” The front page of the returning sixteen page newspaper was about the surge in costs of the Arriva Bus pass and, from then onwards, the newspaper has appeared to go from strength to strength, leaving us where we are today.

A year on the Continent: A month in Illtud Daffyd on his year living, teaching and learning in France AS A FRENCH and International Politics student, it is obligatory for me and for the dozens of other foreign language students at the University to spend a year in a territory where the language of study is used during our degree scheme. I chose to spend my year working as a language assistant (other options are to either study abroad or to seek full-time employment) in France which entails working 12 hours a week as an English conversational teacher in a High School/ Further Educational College; I have been stationed in a small town of 20,000 habitants in the north of the Auvergne department called Moulins (which translates into “windmills” in French and is also a geological term for a rock formation). I arrived in Moulins midway through September after a 9-hour

train journey from South Wales via London St.Pancras and Paris split over 2 days and was met at Gare de Moulins by the head of the English Department. I was then scheduled to start work on October 1st. The first days in the historic town on the banks of the Allier river were spent getting to know the town and its narrow cobbled streets, along with meeting other assistants from the different lycées (High Schools) and colleges (Middle Schools) in the town and surrounding area which include English, American, Austrian, German and Spanish assistants; this multiculturalism creates a varied European aesthetic, even without the French people we know when we all meet up for a café. During the first week I also attended my first rugby training session for the town’s team F.C.

Romanian players in Moulins XV the squad, we help and, as a each other out during member of training and matches. Y Geltaidd and the After a fortnight of Univerconversational classes, sity’s rugby which included an club, I was introduction of myself adamant and the students that I would which included teencontinue to age boys showing off play rugby about their drinking during my and smoking antics year in over the weekend France. So and hipster French Illtud has been “stationed” in Moulins, a small town in far I have the Auvergne department of France girls who are fans of played Miles Kane, The Beatwo tles and the Arctic games, and one thing I can safely Monkeys - a two week Toussaint say is that the Moulinois are pas(All Saints’) holiday began. sionate, on and off the field, about During the break I travelled their rugby. It was difficult to to France’s second city, and her settle in at the start with linguistic industrial capital, Lyon with other technicalities a clear obstruction assistants from Moulins. There we but with Samoan, Kosovan and

watched Olympqiue Lyonnais beat HNK Rijeka from Croatia in what was the home side’s first victory in over a month. I also had the time to catch up with other French language students from Aberystwyth who are spending their year in the city as students. After only a month in, the people I have met and experiences that I have had have been unforgettable; from an away rugby trip to the volcanic surroundings of Cournon, to searching for an apartment, to finding an African cave with a student from Leeds University. So here’s to the next seven months of eating fresh baguettes and strong cheese, drinking deep red wines, reading L’equipe on a daily basis and learning the language of love!

ARCHIVE November 2013

Courier banners over the decades Clockwise from top: 7th October 1959 Courier, Rag week 1975, November 5th 1948, June 22nd 1958, 22nd November, November 1975, 22nd November 1984, December 1987, 3rd February 1980, 4th November 1976, 22nd January 1964 and February 4th 1954. Side banner: 5th November 1969.

The Courier



The Courier

November 2013

The Early Courier: 1948- 1956

The Courier was first published on November 5th 1948

The 1952 Courier headine is indicative of re-occuring problems throughout the years

THE first edition of the Courier was born in the generation of those who were returning from the battlefields of Continental Europe from the Second World War. The first front page speaks of the fact that Student Grants are inadequate and the affects it is having on student life. The first edition of the newspaper was split into a Welsh and English section, with the Welsh being called Llais Y Lli.

A popular reoccuring theme over the years with student engagement and student assemblies has been a lack of quoracy for general meetings. In 1952 it was exactly the same, as even having 150 students in attendance at the time left the meeting thirty students of being quorate. Union chairpeople in later generations have grappled with the same problem, changing the structure of assemblies and undergoing various intiatives in order to get student attendance to these events.

The 1955 edition brought a new logo with it, and still featured Welsh sections Llais Y Lli. One notable story is one featuring future Lord Baron D. Elystan Morgan contesting the Wrexham seat for Plaid Cymru. Elystan Morgan went on to become MP for Cardiganshire for Labour before becoming President of Aberystwyth University in 1997, being replaced in 2007 by incumbent Sir Emyr Jones-Parry.

Despite the vote of confidence Rees left the role as Principal weeks after this edition.

This special edition was dedicated to the vote of confidence given by the Students to Principal Goronwy Rees who was under fire afterlinks to the “Cambridge Six� spy-ring emerged. Rees resigned from his posts mere weeks afterwards. It was later confirmed by KGB files that Rees was indeed an agent. Incidentally, Rees is the only former Principal to not have his portrait hung in the chambers of University Council in Old College

All images in the Archive section copyright of the Hugh Owen Library


November 2013

The Courier

ARTS editor

Andrew Simpson


Newton Faulkner: audience charmer Mary Wright

IT HAD BEEN a long time since I’d listened to any Newton Faulkner. I was addicted to his first album and then kind of drifted away in my music tastes. But when I saw he was coming to Aber for a reasonable price I decided I couldn’t miss out. The support act, Kizzy Crawford had a beautiful voice

and skill with a loop pedal. I definitely preferred it when she sang in Welsh as I felt it fitted better with the music. She did a great song inspired by The Colour Purple which got the crowd moving around. As Newton came on stage the crowd packed together a bit more and his set up was amazing. Not only were there three guitars being retuned constantly by a dedicated roadie, he also had a

Tomos Nolan


foot pedal which attached to a double bass drum for one foot and a half pedal board (like one on an electric organ) for the other foot. At one point he was playing all of them and singing at the same time - it was very impressive. Newton himself called the gig an experiment, but if this was the experiment I can’t help but think the finished article will be amazing. The set list flowed together well with a few older tracks interspersed with the new album, enough to placate the old fans, but not just becoming a greatest hits gig. A personal favourite was ‘At the Seams’, although he had to test his head voice first, after inhaling some dust from the mic! The conversation between songs was, as always with Newton, comfortable and jovial. As he sipped his tea and refused to play ‘Spongebob Squarepants’, instead treating us to a Bane impression, the audience were charmed. It was a lovely gig and I hope he comes back soon!



Open mic night success

Daniel Abbott SEQUESTERED in a rather cramped-looking corner by the front doors of Varsity, the Halloween open mic setup resided, variously manned, variously noticed. The audience turnout was respectable – it was Halloween, come on – and so we waited for our performers. Merlyn Cooper was the first brave soul to step up to the mic, armed with an electro-acoustic guitar and a few prepared songs. He played well, belying his selfprofessed deficiency, easily switching from fingerpicking to gentle strum for his original compositions ‘Wyt ti’n Pant yn y Pen’ (‘Are You Hollow in the Head’) and ‘Allan yn yr Strydoedd’ (‘Out in the Streets’). He crowns his brief set with a breezy ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, complete with broken whistling. The embattled faces of organisers Jak Parkinson and Sam Chidgey (dressed rather anachronistically in elf gear) told its own story. While they waited for participants who never turned up, they took it in turns to regale the audience with a variety of covers. Sam’s husky voice lent itself well to old

standards like ‘Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay’ and ‘Hit the Road Jack’, his strums alternatively jazzy and staccato, arresting in their variety. His version of ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ included a hoedown interlude with simian whoops and yells, even throwing in a brief flamenco rhythm at the end. Jak then took over, displaying some impressive beatbox skills on top of an earnest willingness to play ‘Wonderwall’ in an open mic scenario. He continued with the crowd pleasers, following Oasis with anthems such as David Gray’s ‘Babylon’; Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’. To Jak’s credit, his ability to pepper these songs with beatboxing added a fresh, interesting dynamic to otherwise rather rote covers. Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’ raised the biggest cheer of the night, with Jak and Sam hilariously duetting, reverb flying; there was even an admirable attempt at the scat bit. Though it was disappointing that some performers simply didn’t show up, those who did play commended themselves very well. Hopefully, in future, these nights will be better attended by prospective troubadours.

DIANA arrive in a self-assured debut Daniel Abbott THE INDUSTRIAL drone that opens ‘Foreign Installation’ seems to signpost Perpetual Surrender’s primary mode as brooding melancholia; within 20 seconds the illusion is shattered as spindly synth strokes expand outwards. The effect is akin to coming up for air from the stifle of that drone and so it goes with the rest of the album. There’s an obvious stylistic nod throughout to the chillwave movement (Washed Out, Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi et al); you can almost taste the California salt on the air... except the band’s from Toronto. Huh. Carmen Elle’s velvety vocals are often partially submerged beneath a striking aural maze of airy synth and crunching, melodic bass; the effect is wonderfully realised on the title track, which features liquid, ‘Careless Whisper’-esque sax injections from Joseph Shabason before dissolving beneath the weight of

its own aquatic soundscape. Backed by a sturdy rhythm section and lush, sprawling washes of sound, Elle characterises each song with a sense of mystery and longing; whenever she comes to the fore of the mix it drives home the strength of the songwriting with the lightest of touches. The varnished shimmer of the production, steeped in visored sunshine, belies the romantic uncertainty and introspective soulsearching of its lyrics. “I need to know you’re terrified,” Elle sings on the sparse, organ-driven ‘New House’. “Let’s make this feel like something / one more last time,” Elle implores on ‘Strange Attraction’. Though it clocks in at just under 35 minutes, there’s never a sensation of insubstantiality; DIANA seems to instinctively know when to hold back and when to launch the assault. The result is an impressively self-assured début that hints toward something bigger and even better. Well worth a listen.

Andrew Simpson

The dark, the indie, and the downright odd: Jackson Scott Andrew Simon Noel AMERICAN musician Jackson Scott is the latest act to appear on the psychedelic scene. Combining classic alternative rock guitar work with vocal processors and a few ambient numbers, Scott’s debut album, Melbourne, is full of a mystifying doom and gloom. Rarely exceeding three minutes in length, Scott’s songs often feel like skits, but reel the listener in with strangely dark, minor riffs that leave you wanting more. Songs like ‘Sandy’, in which

Scott adds his own, unique voice to the Sandy Hook Massacre, give a chilling depth to the already haunting music. Scott is a total mixed bag as well, with songs ‘Only Eternal’ and ‘Wish Upon’ harking back to Brian Eno’s famous Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. His ability to flit between the dark (‘Evie’), the indie (‘That Awful Sound’) and the downright odd (‘Any Way’) is a charming ability, and Scott uses it to its full

advantage. His work with Vox processors sets him aside from a large proportion of current Psychedelic acts. His début album gives us a taste of what Scott can do but leaves us wanting more; it’s clear that he has a lot more to give.


The Courier

November 2013




Reginald D. Hunter: a satisfying talk

Jay Louise Appleseed

THE TITLE says it all: Reginald D. Hunter in the midst of crackers, as in white people. And that’s exactly what the show is about. But first: the warm-up comic, Pete Johansson. He started off slow, but he’s a decent comic; someone to watch out for in the coming months. Not to reinforce the stereotype but his comic style is very “Canadian”, according to the stereotype that he himself brought up. He’s racy in a very apologetic way. He doesn’t hit the subject of race

directly, rather he dances around it and dangles the subject in front of his audience like he’s baiting a giant bear with some fish. It’s a decent attempt but he seems apprehensive in approaching the subject whereas he could definitely push it a bit more to get the laughs out from me. A definite future star. Now onto the main event and, it has to be said, Hunter’s in rare form, in more ways than one. He hits the funny bone just perfectly, rattling out punchlines with accuracy but, at the same time, he’s dishing out some heavy-handed life lessons through his family stories and anecdotes. It’s less like watching a comedy show and more like talking to your funny uncle about life. He touches on the subject of race and sensitivities very much through his perspective and never comes off as preachy. He just says his thing and ends it with a good punchline. But, unlike most comics, he makes you very invested in what he’s trying to

say; the comedy feels like the cherry on top. He very much does his show as if nobody else is there, and it’s just you and him sat in a quiet pub having a one-on-one. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual energetic comics that aim for the crowd. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s definitely not what most people expected, but you leave the theatre feeling that you’ve learned a lot, which in itself is a peculiar feeling when leaving an established standup comedy show. It feels very pretentious writing about a comedy show like this, but Reginald D. Hunter is a very intelligent comic and it shows. He touches on the subject of race, sexuality and even rape, but he doesn’t revel in the vulgarity and the raciness of it all. Rather, he tells you how he approaches the subject as a person, and he shares that knowledge. It’s a very satisfying talk. It also happens to be incredibly funny.


Uncovering the realms of dystopian fiction

Emily Rowe “Beloved men, know that which is true: this world is in haste and it nears the end” THOUGH these could be the words of environmentalists, socialists or the Westboro Baptist Church they are actually the opening lines of The Sermon of the Wolf composed by the Archbishop of York a thousand years ago. We may not have the Biblical apocalyptic fears of a medieval audience but perhaps today’s Sermon of the Wolf is Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Our fears of war, surveillance and global warming are increasing every year and are reflected by the growing success of dystopian fiction. It starts with the classics of the 20th century: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. These gave us futuristic worlds so far degraded from our own yet disconcertingly familiar. But the creation of dystopian worlds both books and film has been on the increase over the last decade. The Hunger Games has had great success since its first instalment in 2008 and the film has attracted even more attention. Other ex-

amples from the last decade (all with film adaptations) include Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, Kazuo Ishguro’s Never Let Me Go and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Although these fallen worlds seem so far from our own we dismiss it as fantasy fiction they often expose problems we face today. The Hunger Games critiques our obsession with the media and reality television; but government control is the villain of The Hunger Games, just as it was in

Nineteen-Eighty-Four. The 2005 film V for Vendetta, based on the graphic novels by Alan Moore, portrays a typical dystopian world of censorship and surveillance. The Guy Fawkes’ mask worn by V has been taken up by the internet ‘hacktivists’ Anonymous and was seen at protests such as Occupy Wall Street. But the dystopian genre doesn’t just express our fears of the government and the media but also the lingering worry of global warming. Jeanette Winterson’s Stone Gods and films The Day After Tomorrow and Blade Runner all present us with a terrifying world of catastrophic climate change that aim not only to thrill but also to foreshadow. The world didn’t come to an end in 1016 as the Archbishop preached but now the future seems more terrifying than ever. Economic downturn, riots across the globe and the shadow of climate change all turn our fascination to these dystopian worlds. Recent dystopian releases include Hugh Howey’s Dust, the last of his Wool Trilogy, and David Egger’s The Circle.


Pokemon’s new dimension Poppy Tester Lifestyle Editor ON ONE SIDE I have a stack of course books, on the other: Pokémon X. It’s not a hard decision- being a grown-up just doesn’t happen when Pokémon is involved. Logic dictates that the adult fanbase should have grown out of the franchise when our parents were still packing our lunchboxes, especially as the premise of the game hasn’t changed. (Yourname)/ Dicks/Ash or whatever you name your character travels the well-worn path from home town to gyms to League whilst combating some variation of Team Rocket on the way (in X/Y it’s Team Flare, a super-fabulous group of younger and less frightening clones of Karl Lagerfeld). Some say that after nearly 20 years t h e old Pokémon formula needs a revamp, but players have found themselves as enthralled with X and Y as they had been with Red and Gold as children. It may be an overused formula, but as Pokemon’s continuing popularity shows, it’s a bloody good one. X/Y is, however, not without its new features. Firstly, your ingame mother is an ex-Rhyhorn racer. Of course, she chained herself to the kitchen sink as soon as your character was born, but by Pokémon’s standards this tiny piece of backstory is progress. The first noticeable difference is the game’s 3D-ready facelift- and it looks better than ever before. You can finally customise your character (though, I hope you like hats). The 3D is only utilised when it needs to be- to make those special in-game moments even more memorable. The Exp. Share returns, but this time as a Key Item to make the game pathetically easy by distributing half of a battle’s Exp. Points to all members of your party, so you’ll be one-shotting gyms in no time. Supertraining is a new touch-screen feature that allows you to raise a Pokémon’s base stats from anywhere in Kalos by making your team member attack

Pokémon-shaped balloons. There are two new kinds of battle- horde and sky. The former is a wild encounter, the latter with trainers who specialise in winged Pokémon. Getting attacked by five gawping Psyducks is hilarious at first, but you

soon come to dread horde battles. Unless you have a Pokémon with a sweeping move prepare to be in it for the long haul. Sky battles are pretty self explanatory, just ensure you have a few winged Pokémon in your party. Pokémon-Amie is an adorable new feature for younger and soppier fans of Nintendogs (myself included). You can improve your Pokémon’s affection towards you by petting it, playing mini-games and feeding it Poke Puffs- not to mention laughing at its joyous face as you touch it in inappropriate places. It’s certainly a more entertaining use of the stylus than the Poffin maker in Generation 4. One of the most significant new features is Mega Evolution. Certain Pokémon can “Mega” versions of their species. It raises the base stat of the Pokemon by 100, and its ability or type can change. It also has an awesome animation. Perhaps Pokémon doesn’t need a huge overhaul. In terms of appeasing the Pokémon veterans by keeping the old spirit of the game alive- and appealing to a new generation of gamers- Pokémon X/Y succeeds. New players are introduced to the games we loved as childrenwhereas old-timers can see how far their favourite game has come. We feel nostalgic, but we also feel pride watching Pokemon- like a parent watching a child- grow up. Or, more significantly, watching a once adorable Torchic become an overpowered Blaziken that smashes every trainer it meets.

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November 2013


The Courier




Thor: not reinventing the wheel but heck, it’s a lot of fun Jozef Raczka THERE’S going to be a point very soon where everyone, if they haven’t already, will have to ask themselves a simple question; How many is too many superhero films? Between DC, Marvel and other developing franchises like ‘Kick Ass’ we are reaching a dangerously high level of saturation. This is the greatest challenge facing Thor: The Dark World, it doesn’t just have to live up to the original film but to the very concept of a superhero movie Thor at least manages to define itself as different via a tone that is less Superhero fare, than Grand fantasy and Sci-FI. It’s very much akin to watching a 12 rated Game Of Thrones (Due to the work of regular GoT director, Alan Taylor), Star Wars and Dune combined. It creates a real living universe filled with bizarre and wondrous creatures. The effects are simply incredible; one mid-film sequence which for spoilers sake I’ll refer to as ‘boats on a waterfall’ uses space and light in a way that this reviewer has never seen before. It’s easy for effects to

become rather hollow spectacles but in this case, there is a fine emotional grounding to them. The performances are of a high level. Many of the smaller roles such as Rene Russo felt underdeveloped, but all get some nice moments here and there. Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins are on hand to provide instant and wonderful Gravitas. Natalie Portman manages to convince despite being given a helpless plot line and great dialogue like ‘physics is going to go ballistics’. That said, we all know that this film was Loki’s to steal. In Tom Hiddelston’s hands, Loki has become possibly the finest Hollywood villain since Alan Rickman in Die Hard. For the first half of the film he is relatively inactive but when he eventually kicks into gear you are reminded why he is so obsessed over. It doesn’t help Chris Hemsworth, not a bad actor in his own right, that most of his scenes with Hiddleston are the two of them, he just cannot compare and it highlights his weaknesses as an actor all the while elevating Hiddleston. The film does have some major

flaws. The main villains of this segment, the Dark Elves, seem bizarrely unmotivated to be evil beyond the fact that they have a standard plan to destroy everything, even though the Earth segments can be very funny, it felt like too much time was devoted to their hijinks at the loss of some of the tension in the more serious points. The finale whilst visually spectacular does essentially come down to how hard Thor can hit things and as with the previous ‘physics going ballistics’ moment, it does have a hard time deciding what its central macguffin, ‘The Aether’, actually does. Despite its flaws, Thor is gofor-broke brilliant entertainment. The funny bits are funny, some of the more emotional beats are quite affecting, the score and cinematography are of a high quality and there are some fun cameos that I’m sure fans of Marvel films will love. I would put this in the top ranks of the Marvel films along with The Avengers and Iron Man. It won’t reinvent the wheel but heck, it’s a lot of fun. Oh and yes, Thor is at one point shirtless and oiled.


November highlights Andrew Simpson Arts Editor THIS NOVEMBER Aberystwyth has a lot to offer in the form of events, large and small across a variety of venues: here are a few to look out for. Coming up in the Arts Centre this month we have the regular variety of events. This is headlined by the Abertoir Horror Festival, showing from the 5th to the 10th of November. Abertoir is Wales’ International Horror Festival, including: films, guest speakers, cult screenings, live music and much more. This year there is a focus on Peter Cushing and celebrating his life, as it is his centennial year. Being one of the larger events of the year for the Arts Centre it’s worth a look. Continuing on the Peter Crushing theme and also to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who, the Arts Centre is showing a rare screening of Doctor Who and the Daleks - two of the original Dalek movies. Only £8 to see both films on the 16th. The Arts Centre are also showing the 50th Anniversary episode; Doctor Who: The Day

of the Doctor on the big screen, which can be seen on the 23rd and 24th. Other highlights from the Arts Centre include some outstanding comedy in the forms of Milton Jones (10th), Paul Merton (17th) and Alan Davies (28th). The performances start at 8pm with prices ranging from £10-£25. Finally there is a live broadcast performance of Richard II at 7pm on the 13th, with encore screenings on the 15th and 19th for all those Shakespeare fans out there. Coming up at the Commodore cinema, we have the next big Marvel instalment in Thor 2: The Dark World, followed by Captain Philips, starring Tom Hanks. Both very different films, but definitely worth checking out. Last but not least, let’s not forget the smaller venues around town, namely that of the pubs. Scholars and Rummers regularly host live music, with regular updates online of what’s on. Rummers also plays host to Rewired’s open mic nights and with another mic night at Varsity at the end the month, there is a lot of local talent to discover.

Captain Philips sets sail Sam Halford BACK in 2009 the US cargo ship Maersk Alabama was hijacked by Somali pirates. It was the first American ship to be hijacked in 200 years. Captain Philips is described as a “multi-layer examination” of that hijacking, exploring the roles, actions and struggles of both Captain Philips and Muse the Somali pirate captain.

It’s difficult to say if it’s worth a viewing at this point; on one hand it tackles an interesting reallife story but on the other with Bourne director Paul Greengrass in command it’s possible he’ll be setting sail for an action movie in exchange for any realism of the true story. Captain Philips boards the Commodore cinema 15th November.

The Extinguisher 20

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November 2013

Bec’s Bitter sold out on opening weekend Corrie S. Pondent A celebratory beer brewed in celebration of PVC Rebecca Davies’ retirement in thirty years time has sold out on the opening weekend of sales. Taking inspiration from the recent Hewson Hops sold at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre to commemorate the retirement of Alan Hewson, the former Arts Centre director, a Goginan based microbrewery has brewed the bitter at the request of University staff and trade union members. Asaf M. Burr said “We’re looking forward to her retirement, and we hope she is too. Words can’t describe what she’s contributed to the University, we’ll wish her all the best for her retirement and look forward to starting this new chapter in the University’s history” Local ale pub, the Strip and Hassle has refused to stock the beer as part of its Real Ale Festival, as ale critic B. Terr described the ale as “Largely tasteless, lacking in depth and leaving a slight bitter taste in the mouth after consumption”.

Lady forgets identity on bus A MID WALES bus driver has told The Extinguisher that a recent passenger on his 03 service had a crisis and forgot her name mid conversation. The driver, Ffi Payin-Coombsters said that a lady had embarked on the bus outside the Union steps on Penglais Campus, and asked to be taken to the IBERS building. The driver informed the lady that the bus didn’t go past IBERS at which point the driver alleges, the lady forgot her name and said “Don’t you know who I am?”. When the driver asked the rest of the bus whether they were aware of the identity of the customer, they responded negatively. The driver, concerned for the customer's welfare and sanity drove her home. The driver explained: “It happens, sometimes people think they’re getting on the 3 bus, or the bus that takes them home but doesn’t, some don’t even realise they’re getting onto a bus. But forgetting your name is a rarity, so I decided to take the old dear home for her own safety.”

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Open day passes without incident AN OPEN Day at the University passed without incident recently, with parents and students giving glowing reports about the nature of the day. A parent of a prospective student, Jane Bloggs paid tribute to the caring nature of the University executive on hand to answer questions: “If they listen to the worries, concerns and questions about our son Joe coming to the University, they must really listen to those of the students and staff who are here already.” She continued: “Students here clearly care highly about their edu-

cation, we’ve hardly seen another student on site all day, it’s great that they’re inside studying in weather like this, this University experience is exactly what we want for our son. When we looked around Pantycelyn, there were no students to be seen. They must've all been in their rooms working away.” Another parent spoke highly of the roads around campus and parking arrangements: “The entrance to campus was easily navigated and there is abundant parking around campus. There’s nothing worse than queueing outside when you’re trying to attend an Open Day but

there was hardly another person in sight. Really blissful.” Lyn Dafis, a prospective student for IBERS said: “Staff couldn’t have been better prepared to answer my questions about the University, answers for questions just rolled off the tongue for them regardless of what they were about. Some of my questions must have been pretty common as some of them seemed to be reading some of the answers off a pre-prepared sheet. And if they got something wrong, there was somebody stood behind them who was ready to step in and give a full answer. They really care about

properly informing the students about what is going on and what to expect at the University.” In other news, Pier Street Sex Shop, “Nice ‘N Naughty” recently re-opened following an unprecedented surge in bulk sales of gags and handcuffs to a staff member of Campus Security who was unable to be identified. In another strange incident on the same weekend, all paint and cardboard was purchased from Charlies and B&Q, alledgedly by the same gentleman.

Azerbaijani students hold rally against “extremist” speaker STUDENTS in Azerbaijan have held a protest rally against an extremist speaker due to give a talk in Baku, who is in the country as part of the Azerbaijan & Aberystwyth University exchange. Dr. Martin Wilding, who in the last Extinguisher was reported as being in the country, was described by protesters as an “extremist communist” and is President of UCU (University and Colleges Union) Aberystwyth, which organisations such as the United Nations have described as a “Trade Union”.

Protester Uzi Tukümere said, “According to a website that I read, he believes that workers have rights and shouldn’t be bullied. Apparently he even speaks out against those that he believes are oppressing other workers. He didn't even have his election result announced until after the vote had been held. Call me NIMBYist, but I don’t want his type in our country." According to government backed state broadcaster ATV, 800,000 attended the rally, although in the days since the protest photographs

or videos have been difficult to find. ATV also reported that Wilding had to take refuge in a local bazaar to prevent him from being harmed by the angry mob, who were reported to be throwing stones and shooting at the Aberystwyth doctor. An unconfirmed source, who did not want to be named for fear of Government oppression, said that the bazaar showed no signs of being damaged by any projectiles and heard something that sounded like applause from inside the bazaar at around the time in question.

However, a Government report said that the lack of damage was due to the hardworking Azerbaijani workers who had cleared up the damage they had caused in the moments after causing it and that the sound of applause were actually whirring fans installed in a community self-improvement based project that they undertook together to better the lives of the Azerbaijani people of the area.

Hand sanitisers installed outside campus buildings to tackle “hygiene issues” ABERYSTWYTH University was left red-faced after hand sanitisers were installed outside every University-owned building on Penglais Campus in order to tackle the “hygiene issues” that caused the poor performance in the recent NSS (National Student Survey) table. Following PVC John Grattan's

talk about “hygiene issues” to staff with regards to the poor NSS results, Campus Services acted quickly in installing the hand sanitisers outside every Penglais Universityowned building to counter them. A Campus Services worker, who did not want to be named, said, “We’re often criticised for being

slow to act on certain issues, so we heard about these hygiene issues and thought we’d tackle them straight away. The last thing we want is an outbreak of the plague. Now we’re being criticised for acting too hastily. We can’t win!” Following the discovery of the blunder all sanitisers have been re-

moved, aided by the delay of their installation at the newly re-opened Llanbadarn Campus for an unspecific reason. An FOI has been requested regarding costs of the operation, thought to run into tens of pounds. The University have declined to comment on the matter.

November 2013

The Courier



The Courier

November 2013


Sports editor

Position Vacant


Striking from a distance - Gavin Allen

who grow up signed to the youth arm of a professional team, Gav, as he is known to his friends, was IF YOU WALK around the Stu- made to go down another route. dents' Union for long enough, you “My brother didn’t let me sign for will eventually bump into Sports anybody until I was 14. I had 29 triand Activities Administrator Gavin als before I made a decision who to Allen, so it’s no wonder that nu- sign for: a week in Arsenal, a week merous students recognise him im- in Bury, a week in Wrexham and a mediately. However, most of them week in Manchester United and it won’t know that, before he joined was a fantastic learning curve, esthe Students’ Union, he was regu- pecially for now when kids sign for larly hitting the back of the net for one club straight away and, when Aberystwyth Town FC and numer- they get let go at 15, they haven’t ous other clubs in the Welsh Pre- had the experience to go out and see other clubs and other football.” mier League. From a small North Wales village He eventually decided upon called Deiniolen, it was a fairly in- Tranmere on the Birkenhead penauspicious start to a football career insular, rooming as is often the but he was aided by a figure who case today with other players in the has dominated his career, whatever same situation. “When I went up he has done. “It wasn’t that difficult to Tranmere, there was four of us growing up there. My brother (For- living in a house together: Danny mer Wales international Malcolm Coyne who played for Wales in Allen) was a professional football goal, Alan Morgan (who later went player who played for Newcastle. on to manage Aberystwyth Town) He left home at 16 for Watford and John Kenworthy who played and later played for Milwall and it’s for Tranmere’s first team. It was a something that every boy wants to very interesting house and a lot of achieve and, thankfully, I did. fun.” However, when pressed on “There is nothing worse than some anecdotes from the time, he being referred to as the brother of laughs and refuses to reveal any on Malcolm; even when I won my first the radio. Welsh Cap against Iceland there Despite having an impressive was a reference to me in the report goal scoring record at Tranmere, he as the brother of Malcolm Allen. It’s explains the reasons why he never a great start to becoming a profes- made it at the club: “I had an insional football player. dividual up-front with me called “It was quite difficult from a fa- Ian Moore who is the son of Roncilities side of it; growing up on the nie Moore who was the first team side of a mountain, the pitch had coach at the time and has mana little bit of a slope on it but we aged them since. I scored 22 goals, he scored 8 then I scored 28 goals made it.” Contrary to the children of today and he scored 13. We both turned professional but it doesn’t matter how good you are… the father put his son in. But I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. “I then went to Stockport under Dave Jones. I left with two months left on my contract and went to Runcorn in the Vauxhall Gavin Allen (Foreground, Number 10) itching to get onto the Conference end of a free-kick

Harry Taylor Editor

and scored 10 goals in 8 games and then I came down to Aberystwyth.” Gavin then joined Aberystwyth Town in 1996. “My brother and I came home at the same time; he took a job up on the FAW trust and met a man called Meirion Appleton who was the manager of Aberystwyth at the time, who invited me down and, fourteen years later, I’m still here.” However, disaster struck in his second season at ‘The Seasiders’ as he suffered a crippling cruciate injury in his second season, after racking up over twenty goals per season in both of his first two campaigns for Aber. Yet, despite the set-back, he managed to turn the injury into something positive and started his coaching career, something he is still doing today. “There were other clubs looking at me at the time and it was very disappointing for me. I then started to do some coaching in North Wales with Terry Boyle and went from there." And to this day he still speaks very highly of his former manager: “Meirion was fantastic to work under to be truthful, had a lot of fun and he’s a very good friend of mine.” After three seasons at Aber, he left for more North Walian climes. “I left Aber and went to Bangor and won the Welsh Cup with Meirion in charge, which was a great year that I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I came back to Aber, stayed for three seasons again and then left for Barry, Carmarthen, Caernarvon and a few other clubs” It was during these years that he had the best years of his career, winning the Welsh Cup under Appleton at Bangor City, and playing continental football in the Intertoto Cup with Aberystwyth Town. The best game he played in sounds obscure enough but it’s easy to see why: “I remember playing Caernarvon at home, the funniest of games and ex-Barry and Torquay player Eifion Williams would score and then I would and then he would and it was one of the weirdest games I’ve been involved with. I scored four goals and it spoke volumes of where we were defensively

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League winners he regards Kop as we still lost 5-4!” He rates former Leeds United and legend Robbie Fowler as the best Cardiff City hitman Ryan Nicholls player he’s played against. “He was as the best player he played along- coming back from injury in the Livside: “He was a completely differ- erpool Youth Team in the FA Youth ent player to me and loved to run Cup and scored five goals. One of around kicking everybody and was his goals was unheard of, from the by-line with very strong, whereas the outside I was the lazy one. It of his boot. was a partnership that His finishworked and we scored ing was bril68 goals. Our goals, liant.” although people may He also disagree, kept Aber p l a y e d in the Welsh Premier alongside League that year.” the player He also fulfilled his that fans ambition to score 100 now love goals, saying, “With all to hate as my injuries I was hapa pundit, py to get that target.” Robbie SavAllen now finds age, describhimself at Cymru ing him as Alliance side Pen“a star; he rhyncoch where he was just difis assistant manager, Gav works as the Student Activities Coferent.” although he no longer ordinator in the Students’ Union Howe ver, plays due to the cruciate injuries he has suffered during instead of chasing long balls, he’s his career. He has no managerial more likely to be chasing BUCS ambitions, saying he “thoroughly players for paperwork in the Union, enjoys” coaching and doesn’t want but it’s a job he loves. “I thoroughly to relinquish it, though he says he enjoy working with students; I’ve would like to work with higher always said that to walk into work quality players. “I think Gari Lewis and to talk to students about activi(Penhryncoch’s Manager) has got a ties, which is what I’ve been doing huge managerial talent and hope- for the past four years, is great. I’m looking at working more with socifully will make the step up.” eties and re-jigging our volunteerDespite playing at the lower leving programme now but there’s a els of the Football League in his lot of work to be done." career, he played against many Being a fairly old head in the Unhousehold names in his generaion after working there for eight tion of footballers. “I played at the years, his advice to students may be Cliff [Manchester United’s training worth heeding. After seeing generground] as a youth player and there ations of students pass through, he was only a year between myself warns students against taking too and Nicky Butt, the Nevilles and much time on societies and sports David Beckham and I think we got teams as students are ultimately at thumped 7-0 that day. University to get a degree. He says: “I was supposed to be marking “I have around two or three stuPaul Scholes; I was supposed to dents in my office crying every year be marking him and couldn’t get because they’ve tried to take a club near him. Playing two-touch footor society too far. You’re here for an ball, the desire and the raw talent education, but my office door is alwas phenomenal to be honest with ways open.” you.” Despite playing against f u t u r e Premier

November 2013

The Courier




Water polo Mens 1st team cap debut with 14-5 demolition of Cardiff Dan Mason Aberystwyth University Water Polo men’s and women’s teams made their debuts in the British U-Polo league on Wednesday away in Cardiff. The day was marked by mixed fortunes – Aber women succumbing to a heavy 19-0 defeat before the men’s side played out a thumping 14-5 victory over Cardiff Men’s 2nd team. The Aber girls went into the game high on confidence after a morale boosting 7-4 victory away to the University of West of England (UWE) just ten days prior to Wednesday’s game. However, despite their best efforts, the girls found themselves unable to cope with their hosts, many of whom

have vastly more experience than most of the Aber girls and are representatives of the Welsh Universities’ Celtic Nations Squad (for which Aber captain Charlotte Holmes is also a representative). Despite the result, there were some encouraging signs from the girls, with strong play from Jia Ping Lee and some good goalkeeping from Zofia Szamocki to prevent further goals among them, with Hannah Yeo also testing the Cardiff goalkeeper with a firm shot. The men’s team took to the pool shortly after and by the end of the first quarter had left Cardiff 2nd shell-shocked, blitzing their hosts and ending the quarter 6-0 ahead. A solid, if unspectacular second quarter saw a half time score of 7-1, but another very strong third quar-

ter saw the game all but wrapped up by the beginning of the final period of the game. Aber played some safe water polo in that final period, looking to consolidate their large advantage. Only a trio of late goals from Cardiff made the score line slightly more respectable in the hosts’ favour. The team was strong throughout; highlights from this thoroughly rampant Aber display including Aaron Shaw top scoring with four goals and Captain Dan Mason and guesting ‘old boy’ Dan Jones each chipping in with a hat trick, while player-coach Peter Cornish performed admirably in goal to keep out some strong Cardiff shots. There was also one moment of comedy in the match when Aber’s Tom Kelly scored a ‘goal’ that ap-

LOCAL FOOTBALL Aberystwyth Town: the season so far ABERYSTWYTH Town have had an inconsistent season so far, starting off by topping the table after a few-games into the season but have since sunk back into the mid table mediocrity that some worried may befall them at the start of the season. After a pre-season spent taking the club back to its local roots marred by haemorrhaging goals to lower league sides (Losing 3-0 and 4-3 to Caersws and Barmouth respectively), ‘The Seasiders’ surprised everybody by hammering Rhyl 3-0 away on the opening day of the season with Mark Jones netting after his return from Australia in the summer.

A subsequent 3-0 Bank Holiday hammering of Afan Lido followed, before being unlucky not to win

against reigning champions The New Saints, dominating the fulltime side and coming back late on

Football Victory Shield - Wales U-16 2-2 Scotland U-16 THE POTENTIAL Welsh and Scottish football stars of the future assembled at a rain-soaked Park Avenue on Thursday night as Wales U-16 took on Scotland U-16s. The game was marked by youthful exuberance and innocence; many of the 700-strong crowd in attendance will be interested to see where the players that they watched on Thursday night will be in a few years. After the usual formalities, including both the national anthems of Wales and Scotland being sung by the Aberystywth Male Voice Choir, the game kicked off to a drab first half with few chances at either end. The wet surface underfoot meant that slipping over was all too common for the young play-

ers, although they still tried several moves of skill in order to try and impress the crowd and the scouts at the game, including Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay. Minutes after Scotland nearly took the lead through Calvin Miller, Forth Valley striker Kevin O’Hara netted the opener just before half time in an attempt to spark the game into life, with a header inside the area beating Kelland Absalom in the Wales goal. After half time Wales came out with more zip in their play than had been there previously and, eleven minutes after the half restarted, West Bromwich Albion’s Tyler Roberts scored after his shot could only

be palmed away by Robby McCrorie in the Scotland goal. Then, in the highlight of the game, a moment of magic saw Swansea City’s Liam Cullen score from twenty yards. He raced forward with the ball and with his left foot hit a chipped curling drive into the top left corner, dipping at the last second to just head under the crossbar. Wales then looked to be more assured, despite Celtic’s Calvin Miller being whiskers away from getting Scotland back into the game. However, as the game came to a close, a dramatic equaliser from Theo Archibald meant that Scotland went home with a point, the Celtic youngster netting from a low pass across the face of goal.

peared to go through the side netting, unbeknownst to the referees on poolside. This result came on the back of a narrow 10-6 defeat away to UWE and will have done wonders for the confidence of the Aber players. Speaking afterwards, Cornish said: “The girls, many of whom have never played water polo before, tried their absolute hardest today but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough to match Cardiff. However, we knew Cardiff would be a strong team and are likely to be the strongest team our girls will play this season. Today was good to see the benchmark for the standard of the league this season.” On the boys’ performance, he commented: “We were absolutely

superb today; I can’t fault any of the guys for their performance. We lost it a bit in the second quarter but, overall, I was very pleased – make no mistake, Cardiff are a good side. However, I’ve said to the boys in the changing room that, although we can rightly enjoy tonight after the win, come training on Friday morning we need to have gotten this result out of our system and start preparing for our next fixtures. We’ve got a busy schedule coming up and can’t afford to rest on our laurels.” Both Aber men’s and women’s teams have many fixtures coming up, including further U-Polo fixtures and men’s BUCS in Bath on 23rd November. Based on these last results and performances, both sides could be in for a good season

to secure a draw. despite at times looking as though they could have secured a huge upset by winning. However a set of double defeats, 3-2 to Cambrian and Clydach in the League Cup and 3-0 de to Port Talbot brought Aber crashing back down to earth. And even

though they beat Prestatyn Town 1-0 at home on the following Friday, Aber then embarked upon a run of six winless games to the present date. Despite four of those fixtures resulting in draws, fans will be hoping that they break the run as soon as possible. Yet table-toppers Airbus Broughton UK are the next opponents for Aber, on Friday 8th November (19.30 K.O) at Park Avenue, and they will provide a stern test for Ian Hughes’ men having beaten Aber 4-1 a few weeks ago at The Airfield in North Wales.

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The Courier

November 2013


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Tarannau battle Muddogs in 8-0 victory


Water Polo

Victory Shield Report

Bangor Muddogs were unable to get past Aberystwyth Tarannau on this occasion, with Luke Gorton scoring the crucial touchdown

Ellie Patterson Sub-Editor SUNDAY 27th October saw American Footballers out in force both at Wembley Stadium and at Blaendolau playing fields. The Jacksonville Jaguars took on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL International Series game at Wembley. Closer to home, Tarannau Aberystwyth took on Bangor Muddogs in a pre-season warm up game. American Football is slowly becoming more popular in the UK. Wembley has been host to a number of sold-out events and Sky Sports are now broadcasting NFL games at a reasonable time of the day. Tarannau President, Joshua Tumbridge, told The Courier: “We’ve had a big response this year after the Sports Fayre. Tarannau now has approximately 60 members and we had a huge influx of Rookies. There are several of them who have played previously at a

junior level and some who have never played before at all. On Sunday, the Rookies stepped up to the mark and I was incredibly pleased with the result.” The fixture was one of the few chances that Tarannau get to take on rival university Bangor as the two teams play in different leagues during the Football season. There was a good spectator turnout on both sides and the Tarannau Cheerleaders were out in form. Bangor’s team consisted largely of Rookies who also put up a good performance but it was the home team who took the victory, the final score 8-0. Tarannau widereceiver Luke Gorton scored a touchdown after a 30 yard pass for 6 points, the remaining two coming from the PAT (point after touchdown). Tumbridge said: “The score-line could have been bigger and there were a few fumbles but overall the performance was encouraging to see.” The team MVP (Most Valuable Player) award went

and proved most helpful for the to Joshua Mews who has played Muddogs, even though flags were previously for The Colchester flying! Now we are definitely ready Gladiators. Mews played both to take the Cup to it’s rightful centre and defensive end during home in April.” The cup that Jump the whole game and Tumbridge said he earned the award for “mak- refers to is the Varsity cup that the two sides vie for every year. At the ing plays and being consistent moment it sits with Tarannau and throughout.” The Defensive MVP Tumbridge is adamant that it will award went to Rookie Christian stay where Faulkner, a it belongs . 3rd year Eng“Obviously winning our The future lish Literature student league would be brilliant for Tarannau looks bright taking part in then. They his first game. but I’d really like to see brought Despite us hold on to both the home the being a Welsh Bowl trophy and coveted ‘friendly’ varWelsh Bowl sity warm up, the Varsity title.” trophy last the was a hint season after of the rivalry defeating the Cardiff Cobras and between the two teams coming again, Tumbridge is confident that from Bangor Muddogs President, it will be retained. He said “ObviTom Jump who said: “Aberystwyth ously winning our league would gave us the great opportunity for be brilliant but I’d really like to a ‘friendly varsity’ game. Even see us hold on to both the Welsh though it was touch and go until Bowl trophy and the Varsity title. “ the kick off, the game went ahead

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Digs league draw “ We are facing a tough challenge this season”, said Tumbridge, “ but that’s sport for you. I tell the team every game that we need to make sure each play is better than the last. We have some amazing people working with us. One of our coaches, Tim Macy, has recently recovered from a stroke but is now back with us - big thanks to him and the rest of the coaching staff.” President Tumbridge also told The Courier of the fantastic news that two of the Tarannau players, Curtis Williston and Josh Culling, have both made it in to the Great Britain Lions team and will now play at a national level. Next on the cards is a home game on November 10th against Plymouth Blitz, which Tumbridge said “It will be challenging but having seen the Rookies perform, I’m confident it will be a good game. The game will take place on Blaendolau playing fields at 1pm. Get yourselves down there and show some support!”


The Courier - November 2013  
The Courier - November 2013  

The November edition of Aberystwyth's Courier. £2.5 million paid to university staff in compromise agreements.