Page 1

Aberystwyth A-Z We’ve put together 26 top tips on everything from A&E to the Zoo

Year 63 Edition 1

September 2012


Founded 1948

Caitlin Moran:

Now I’m a fellow, everybody’s got to respect me.


“TEETERING ON THE BRINK” • Union suffering from real-terms cut in block grant of £100,000 over ten years SENIOR Union sources have issued a dire warning over the future of the Students’ Union, warning that time is running out for the Union to recover a £150,000 hole in its budget by June 2013. In the worst case, the Union could face bankruptcy. The Union is funded by a combination of block grant from the University, and the profits of a trading company which it owns, which operates the

• Falling commercial revenues mean Union now dependent on University

Union shop and runs the bars and events. The University made a block grant of £510,000 in 2002/3, but by 2011/12 this had only increased to £564,000. Adjusted for inflation based on the Retail Price Index, this was a cut of £98,000, with the 2002 block grant worth £662,000 in 2012 prices. The performance of the Union’s trading arm has been worsening over recent years,

reflecting a national decrease in the numbers of people visiting pubs and clubs. The membership services side, which supports sports and societies and provides advice and support to students, has costs of around £900,000 per year. Without an increase in the block grant provided to the University, the Union say they will have no option but to cut student services. Continued on page 3


Welcome (back) to Aberystwyth

STUDENTS’ Union President Ben Meakin has this week distanced himself from having any involvement in the National Union of Students (NUS) demonstration organised for November this year. In a piece written for The Courier, Meakin suggests that “a day off for a jolly in London” to protest on a matter that’s “all just a bit vague” is likely to be ineffective and will therefore not be involving himself in any organisation of the event. The protest march and day of action, to be held in London on 21st November, was announced in August by NUS President Liam Burns, aims to “Educate, Empower, Employ”. With students starting to university this year being the first to pay £9000 tuition fees, costs are one issue being protested. However Burns believes that the aim should be to go further, seeing it as an “opportunity to set the agenda for the General Election in 2015” and fight against the idea that investment in education and employment isn’t a priority.

03 Tributes paid to “outstanding young lad”

11 The misguided paternalism of Romney

18 Too hipster to function? Try a trip to Knin

24 Interview: Race Horses

30 Nalborski: Tomi hasn’t spoken to me

September 2012

The Courier


Letters to the editor To everyone picking up The Courier for the first time: Welcome. To our faithful readers who have had a long hard summer wait for this edition: Welcome back! Cei Whitehouse Change is cerEditor tainly afoot at the University, and we’ve been making a few changes of our own. For a start, I’m proud to say that you are now reading the largest ever edition in The Courier’s 63 year history, featuring an interview with Caitlin Moran, one of Aber Uni’s newest fellows, a brand new Lifestyle section and our ever popular Extinguisher satire section. Perhaps the biggest change we are now seeing is the arrival of the first students to have been charged £9000 tuition fees per year. When I first arrived in Aberystwyth slightly longer ago than I care to remember, we thought ourselves unlucky to be paying a grand total of £9k for our entire course of study. There were many who insisted that the fees model wouldn’t last, and that we would soon enough return to the principle of free education, there were many more who argued that fees should not be paid for by the taxpayer, in spite of the fact that the cost of tuition was always paid for by the increased taxation paid by those in graduate jobs. Just because the change has been made should not mean that we stop arguing against it and the other punitive meas-

01970 621738 Editor Assistant Editor Sub-Editor News Editor Opinion Editor Features Editor Societies Editor Lifestyle Editor Reviews Editor Sports Editor

Cei Whitehouse Joe Landers Kathryn Hill Guy Drury Grace Burton Amy Cowlard Kate Osborne Alys Hurn Rhian Evans Harry Taylor

ures being imposed on those who can least afford it. There are people who will argue that protest is pointless, an ineffective raging against the machine that costs those at the top nothing at all. They will argue that protest will inevitably lead to just enough violent discontent around the fringes to give government and right wing press alike ammunition to inflict further sanctions on the fundamental right to express ones views in public. For the president of a Students’ Union to describe protest as nothing but a “day off for a jolly” is an irresponsible waiving of his responsibilities, and shows a worrying ignorance of his responsibilities as an elected leader of the student body. Whether Meakin likes it or not, he holds a politicised position, and has a responsibility to best represent the interests of the student body. In this instance, that should be to stand with NUS, offering them his full support and making an investment in the future of the students of today and tomorrow. It is to be hoped that his stance will change and he will come out and give his full backing to the proposed action from NUS and do all he can to support the protests, and encourage the student body for whom he is responsible to do the same. The Student Union’s worsening financial situation is one reason Meakin doesn’t believe we should be spending money on supporting a demonstration. Frankly, the cost is a drop in the water of the ever deepening well into which the Union is sinking. One more protest probably won’t make much difference either, but it will be better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all.

@abersm /aberstudentmedia

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 2012.

Thanks to Domino’s for gastronomically supporting The Courier

Dear Editor,

I am ashamed to say that after 3 years of being a Welsh History student at Aberystwyth I have only this week ventured into Ceredigion Museum at Aberystwyth. I was completely taken aback by it. Due to the stairs at the entrance I genuinely thought it a little room with some farming equipment and old bottles. I couldn’t be more wrong. It is deceptively large and boasts an impressive array of historical items from the Stone Age to the phone age. It also includes a gallery of local art available to buy at very reasonable prices. I couldn’t recommend it more. And students need not fear – it is free to go. Don’t make my mistake, get immersed in some local history and culture sooner than three years in... On that note of culture, students interested in learning some Welsh during their stay at Aberystwyth should definitely think about joining UMCA ( Uned Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth/Union of Welsh Students in Aberystwyth) at Freshers Fair. Free Welsh lessons are available to all levels, from the complete beginner to those students a bit rusty after GCSE. It will be a great way to meet people as well. Nick Yeo

Dear Editor,

May I take this opportunity to wish new and returning students a warm welcome to Aberystwyth? This is an exciting, if daunting, moment for many who are, for the first time, moving away from home. New students particularly will be receiving an overload of information from the different services and organisations in the University, the Union and in town. I would like, however, to highlight an important election in which students’ votes will matter, and quite possibly make the difference. Elections for the position of Police & Crime Commissioners will be taking place on November 15th and are crucially important in shaping the way policing is delivered in our communities and how it is managed. Without discussing the merits of voting for each candidate standing in the Dyfed-Powys police area, I would nonetheless like to stress that each candidate will have very different views on how policing should be managed and where efficiencies will be made. Aberystwyth may be one of the safest places to live in the UK but to keep it that way, students need to take part along with the rest of the Dyfed-Powys area in this election. The deadline to register to vote is 31 October 2012; details of how to regis-

ter are available from and from Ceredigion County Council on 01545 572033. Students: don’t delay, register now and help shape local policing for the next four years. Yours sincerely, Cllr Pedro Diogo Llanbadarn Fawr Community Councillor, Sulien ward

Dear Editor,

I’d like to state how furious I am yet again that I have returned to Aberystwyth to �ind the place beleaguered by roadworks by the train station for little apparent reason, when with the traf�ic wardens being re-introduced the road outside the old Padarn doctors surgery, still has ‘Doctors’ painted on the road stopping anyone parking there., a prime place in town. Wouldn’t it be better alleviating the parking problem, rather than a futile attempt to sort a road out that isn’t actually that bad anyway? Just another thing done by this utterly inept council. Edmund Bulmer

Letters should be sent to Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity













Extinguisher 26 puzzles




September 2012


The Courier If you have a news story... email


phone 01970 621738

SU President distances himself from NUS protest Union “teetering on the brink”

(continued from front page) In an article for The Courier, published on page 8, Meakin states that he feels that “3 E’s [are] all just a bit vague”, while the demonstration taking place on a Wednesday is likely to exclude many from taking part, a decision made by NUS in order to coincide with Prime Minister’s Questions and best attract the attention of politicians and the press. Following Meakin’s remarks, Stephanie Lloyd, President of NUS Wales, has given a statement to The Courier saying: “The main priority for the autumn term is the National Demo; we are asking Welsh Students’ Unions to mobilise students across the country for a demo in London because there is no escaping that the education policy made in Westminster for England has a significant impact on the policy we pass in Wales. The £9,000 tuition fees only scratches the surface of the influence the Treasury has on Welsh policy. “The slogan of ‘Educate, Employ,

Empower’ allows Students’ Unions across the UK to focus on the issues that are affecting their students, whether that be record youth unemployment, the lack of affordable housing or our education system being made into a profit driven sector, we all have a right to show the anger amongst our generation. Demo 2012 is so much more than just a day in London, it will also be about the action students take back on their campuses that will help them shape their University or College experience.” Speaking to The Courier, Meakin

insisted that his views aren’t a refusal to support the demonstration, however he will be taking no part in the organisation himself and has handed over all responsibility for the matter to SU Education Officer, Jessica Leigh. Leigh said: “I voted for a national demo that was not just about me but about the next generation. The generation misunderstood by the government, having opportunities removed and being priced out of education. ‘Educate, Empower, Employ’ is about our generation, as well as those to come, having access to good education. “Unfortunately the Welsh Government is harnessed into many of the draconian decisions made in Westminster, and with Aberystwyth University now costing students £9k per year, catastrophic unemployment rates for all, and an education system stuck in its ways with artificial divides between Higher and Further Education. This demo is about everyone, not just now but for generations to come.”

Is Arts Centre roof now at risk of collapsing on diners? A SCAFFOLD canopy has been erected outside the Arts Centre after a “small” piece of concrete detached from the side of the building and fell onto the ground below. Described as a “preventative measure” by the University, the wooden construction covers the decking to the side of the venue. A spokesperson said that “rather than close this area off, the University opted to put in place the canopy to provide protection in case of the small likelihood of a recurrence of this type. “The University will be carrying out tests to the building within the next few weeks; engineers will be seen abseiling down the building. Once these tests have been done and any repairs completed, the plan then is to remove the canopy.”

Student killed walking along road A THIRD-YEAR History and Politics student at Aberystwyth University was found dead on a road near his home town of Bedworth in Warwickshire on Sunday 2nd September. Sean Morley, who played rugby for the University, was believed to have been hit by a car during the night of Sunday 2nd September. His body was found on the northbound side of the A444 outside Nuneaton by a passing motorist at 6:35am. A tribute page dedicated to Morley on Facebook has seen over a thousand people join to share memories and photos to the 20year old. Morley was described as “an outstanding young lad” by Ioan Rhys Evans, Activities Officer at the Students’ Union. Rhys Evans said “Sean was an outstanding young lad, be it from his great wit and charm on club socials or his love for rugby which saw him debut for the University 1st XV

back in January against UWIC. He had so much time for everyone he knew and I know I can say this with the confidence of the friends that he made at University and myself included, that Sean has left a great impact upon all of us, one of which will never be forgotten.” Morley had played regularly for Nuneaton RFC, where had been team captain, and was voted players’ player for three years. He also worked at Garland Leisure, a mul-

ti-activity venue that offers outdoor recreation, go-karting and archery. In a statement, Professor Mike Foley, head of the International Politics department and Dr Martyn Powell, head of the History department, described Morley as a “bright, enthusiastic and wellliked” member of the two departments. “He had an exceptionally bright future to look forward to and will be missed by both the staff at Aberystwyth and his fellow students. We extend our warmest sympathies to his family at this difficult time”. A 21-year old man was arrested by police on suspicion of motoring offences, and has subsequently been released on police bail, though a police spokesperson declined to elaborate on the offences for which he was arrested. Warwickshire Coroner’s office said that the full inquest into his death would not be held for three to four months, as they await the results of toxicology reports.

(continued from front page) The policy of the Welsh government is that universities should support unions in providing services to students, and it is on this basis that the University is allowed to charge students £9,000 tuition fees. Ben Meakin, Union President, said: “After a decade of nearly no support from the university and a gradual cut to the block grant, coupled with a failing commercial arm and a tired building; The Union is in a sorry state. But this is exactly why I stood in the elections under than banner "Meakin Changes" and we've been working hard to implement changes over summer. “We've made the building more appealing and more importantly we've employed a new Events Manager and a new Commercial Services Director. “Despite this, we are working hard to lobby the university in order to obtain an increase in our block grant, without this we might be forced to close core services such as sports or societies.” A spokesperson for the University said:

“The funding provided to the Guild of Students / Students’ Union by the University reflects the settlement for other departments within the University. “Therefore the Students Union has received the same treatment for all budget holders, with a clear relationship to the overall income of the University. “The University also provides premises and payroll services to the Union free of charge. “The University also provided an interest free loan facility of £760,000 to finance the extension of the Union’s building, £600,000 in 2000/1 and an additional £160,000 in 2001/2. “In 2011/12 and 2012/13 loan repayments on the loan totalling £104,000 were written off by the University. This in effect uplifted the Union budget by this amount, and this increase is above any uplifts the University undertook for any other operational budgets during these years. “In 2011/12 the University also funded a learning space within the Guild at a cost of circa £15,000.”

Sexual health clinic closed without warning

HYWEL Dda Health Board have shortages for the service as a whole” closed the University’s sexual health were to blame. It also alleged that clinic without warning or public ex- “the future of services in general is under review” and that they “will planation. The clinic, provided by the Health consider reinstating services on camBoard to the University, was located pus in due course”. Students’ Union in the new Student “absolutely disgusting... Student Support OfWellness Centre on Penglais Hill and pro- they’ve not bothered to ficer Laura Dickens vided a drop-in ser- consult students on what described the Health they want.” Board as “useless”. vice once a week for students wanting ad“It’s been absolutely vice, support and other services. disgusting - they haven’t even bothA spokesperson for Hywel Dda ered to get in contact with the Unsaid the clinic has been “temporarily ion. It’s all been done through whissuspended until the end of the year pers and rumour. They’ve not sat us down and had a decent conversation due to staff shortages”. “Every effort is being made to re- with us, and they’ve not bothered to cruit into the vacant posts and the consult students on what they want. Health Board hopes to be in a posi- We’re going to keep up the pressure tion to advertise shortly in order to on Hywel Dda. Elin Jones AM and re-staff the University clinic accord- Mark Williams MP are on the case, and we’ve got a petition underway. ingly”. “We’re also looking at opening But an internal email seen by The Courier alleges that the Health Board our own service using funding from “decided to discontinue the Sexual Alumni appeals. Hywel Dda are just Health Clinic”, and that “staffing useless.” Owing to an editing error, in our May issue we failed to credit Aberystwyth University Liberal Democrats for an image of queue outside Alexanders Estate Agents. We apologise for the omission.


The Courier

September 2012



Reorganisation of academic departments gathers pace ABERYSTWYTH University have announced plans to “reconfigure” the academic structure of the University, which will see 11 new “institutes” created, containing one or more departments. The plans, which were announced in May, will not see existing departments merged and should not include job losses. University bosses have stressed that the effort is not part of a costsaving exercise but is driven by operational need, as part of a move to devolve decision-making away from the Executive Team to departments. Each new institute will be responsible for it’s own budget and resources, ending direct control by the University’s executive. The proposed new institute model will see IMAPS and Computer Science form one Institute; IGES, InterPol, History and Welsh History, form one Institute; Law & Criminology, SMB and DIS form

All change at Aber: The proposed structure On the move • • • • •

IMAPS and Computer Science to form one Institute IGES, InterPol, History and Welsh History to form one Institute Law & Criminology, SMB and DIS to form one Institute TFTS, English, Art and Welsh to form one Institute SELL and European Languages to form one Institute

Staying put

• IBERS will stay as it currently is • Psychology and Sports & Exercise Science are already forming a new Institute of Human Sciences

one Institute; TFTS, English, Art and Welsh form one Institute and SELL and European Languages form one Institute. IBERS will stay as it currently is, owing to its size, and Psychology and Sports & Exercise Science have already begun the process of forming one Institute of Human Sciences. A recent summary of consultation responses included a number of alternate options, including the possibility of reintroducing music, a department which was removed from the University in the 1980s. Others suggested combining Law with International Politics. The matter will be discussed at an away day to be held by the Council of the University on September 24th, at the University’s Senate on October 24th and will then be formally agreed at a meeting of Council on November 5th.

Head of Interpol Arriva slash bus service to stand down as rival begins new routes PROFESSOR Mike Foley, the Head of the Department of International Politics, is to stand down at the end of September, we can exclusively reveal. Foley, who has run the department following a spell as Acting Head in 2009, has accepted “an invitation from the Vice Chancellor to take on a leadership role in a number of areas”. According to a University spokesperson, these include “undertaking a review of best practice in interdisciplinary postgraduate taught programmes” and the establishment of a joint international research centre with Xiamen University. The news comes the day after the University released a summary of responses to their consultation on plans for academic reorganisation, which will see the University’s academic departments join together to form “Institutes”, headed by Directors. Today’s publication suggested that the recruitment process for Directors will begin in November. According to the University, Foley has also “expressed a wish to explore development of Continuous Professional Development or Executive Education programmes for the Department of International Politics, for instance involving the Department’s well-established Crisis Games”.

Speaking of Professor Foley’s decision, Vice-Chancellor April McMahon said Foley had played a “vital role in stabilising the affairs of the Department; setting a clear direction for teaching, research and outreach; and reviewing the portfolio of postgraduate offerings so that Interpol continues to play a key role in delivering the University’s central priorities”. “I would like to thank Professor Foley for his wise and excellent leadership and for his willingness to change his own plans to take forward a series of projects which are important to the success of both the Department and the University and for which he is uniquely wellqualified to do”. An Acting Head will be appointed to run the department following a meeting of the University’s Council on 24th September.

ARRIVA Buses have revealed that their services in Aberystwyth are to be reduced following Freshers’ Week. This news comes at the same time as Mid Wales Travel launch the new 03 service, linking town, the National Library and University, and announce details of their new town services, including several town circulars, providing access to the University and Morrisons. The new 03 route is branded in a distinctive bright green livery and will run every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday during term time. Buses will run to and from the promenade/bus station between 07.40 and 22.45. It will cost £1 for a single ticket, and a yearly pass will be available from the Students’ Union for £65, allowing travel on all Mid Wales Aberystwyth services. Arriva’s 3 service costs £1.30 for a single ticket, with a yearly and termly bus pass available to students, allowing travel on all Arriva’s Aberystwyth services for £125. Arriva’s main services, the 1 and 2, which form a loop between the University, Waunfawr, Morrisons,

Penparcau and the station, will no longer run on Sundays. The final services of the night have also been cut, meaning the last service from the University to town is now at 9pm, instead of 11pm. The 3 service, which runs between the station and the University, has been reduced from an every 20 minute service to peak hours only, and although the earliest bus up the hill is now at 7:45am, the last bus is now at 5:30pm. Concerns have been raised that the numbering of the new service will be confusing, with two separate services running between town and the University numbered 3 and 03. Both the Traffic Commissioner for Wales and Ceredigion County Council are unable to prevent two services being registered with simi-

lar or even identical numbers. THE INTRODUCTION of the new 03 bus route has seen the one-way system on campus reversed and student parking slashed. The University have been forced to abandon their practice of wheelclamping vehicles which are parked in breach of regulations, as the practice will become illegal on October 1st under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The University have instead contracted with a private parking enforcement company, Car Parking Partnerships Ltd. of Northampton, who will instead issue “civil parking charges”, meaning they can now take the registered keeper of a vehicle to court to reclaim the maximum charge of £80. The introduction of the new bus service has seen the one-way system reversed and parking bays removed from the road above the CompSci department, and bays have also been removed from the main road leading to the Arts Centre steps. The University claim they have compensated by introducing new parking on Y Hafan, above the Union, but this has been used as

University to conduct internal review following FOI refusal The University are to conduct an internal review into the handling of a Freedom of Information Act request made by The Courier. The

request relates to a request for information made in relation to the reports by auditors and lawyers Deloittes and Eversheds into a number

of commercial and operations matters at the University, which reported that no corruption had occurred at the University.

September 2012


The Courier


Aberystwyth robot prepares to go to Mars

ABERYSTWYTH University’s Department of Computer Science will be taking a robot called Idris to the Canaries this week for field trials. The journey is part of a project called “Planetary Robotics Vision Scout” (PRoViScout), and will see the device (pictured right) undertaking field trials at the El Teide National Park, Tenerife, between 13th and 17th September 2012. Aberystwyth is a major participant in the project, a collaborative “EU Framework-7” funded effort which brings together major European groups currently working on robotic vision for planetary and space exploration. PRoViScout aims to demonstrate computer vision based techniques for identifying navigation hazards in the terrain, spotting likely science targets, and selecting the “most interesting” targets for further study, without human intervention – all abilities crucial to future long range scouting and exploration missions on other planets. El Tiede National Park is favoured as a field trials venue as it

has good weather and a rich tapestry of image textures and features, which are important in providing a wide range of conditions under which to test the imaging systems. Its flat landscape with fine textures of volcanic sand, pebbles and occasional rocky outcrops are similar to those encountered on the surface of Mars. Most robotic planetary space missions performing in situ exploration of the surface and atmosphere for any planetary object outside the Earth involve a means of mobility provided by either a surface vehicle (rover) or by aerial vehicles (balloons, aerobots etc.). Mobile systems are among the most critical of all space missions in requiring a rapid and robust on-site processing and preparation of scientific data to allow efficient operations for a maximum use of their limited lifetime. Professor Dave Barnes, of the Space and Planetary Robotics Group at the University’s Department of Computer Science said: “Last year there was a Tenerife field

trial as part of the PRoViSG project, using the EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) Astrium Bridget rover. This time, it will be an Aberystwyth rover, and our rover will autonomously identify science targets and navigate to these targets using new sophisticat-

ed software developed during the PRoViScout project.” As future robotic space missions become more numerous, more ambitious and of longer duration, they will need to be more self-reliant than is feasible today. They will

need to make some of their own decisions about navigation, selecting important science samples and possibly even collecting them for return to Earth. ProViScout will provide the robotic vision building blocks for such future autonomous exploration systems.

Two new appointments to University management our website is updated daily!

© Jon Moorby / Creative Commons

University to take on 3,500-acre research farm WELSH Government deputy agricultural minister Alun Davies has announced that Pwllpeiran Farm is to be transferred to Aberystwyth University’s Institute for Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS). Ministers had originally planned to sell the farm, located near Aberystwyth, in separate lots after research firm ADAS said in March it could not afford to renew its lease. Pwllpeiran Farm has been a research centre since the 1930s,

working to “improve the viability of farming the uplands of Wales”. Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Davies described the proposals as “viable” and an “exciting development”. “I’m sure we will be welcomed by the local community, farmers and researchers alike. The retention of the farm as a research facility is the outcome most beneficial to the farming sector and will help realise our ambitions for sustainable agriculture in Wales.”

ABERYSTWYTH University has announced two new senior appointments to the University’s Executive Group, with Peter Curran appointed Director of Finance and Lucy Hodson appointed Director of Planning. Curran, who graduated from the University with a degree in Economics in 1985, joins the University from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he has been Vice-Principal since 2006. Prior to this he was Director of Finance at RWCMD from 2000 to 2006 and previously worked for the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and Cardiff City Council. He is a member of the Executive of the British Universities’ Finance Directors’ Group and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. He is also an ex-resident of Pantycelyn and speaks conversational Welsh, and is “committed to improving his grasp

of the language”. Hodson joins the University from De Montfort University Leicester where she is currently the Director of Strategic Planning, a post she has occupied since January 2008. She currently has overall responsibility for management information, resource allocation and risk management. She was previously History Faculty Board Secretary at the University of Oxford, and Head of Administration at the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College, London, and has also worked in the charity and voluntary sectors. Hodson gained a BA (Hons) in Modern History and German in 1985 from Wadham College, Oxford and an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham in 1996. Alongside her role at De Montfort University, she is currently working towards a PhD in Inter-

national Relations at St Andrews University. She is currently Chair of the National Planners’ Group Executive – a UK-wide body which represents higher education planners’ concerns with the funding councils and other higher education agencies, and organises national conferences and training. Speaking of the appointments, Professor April McMahon, Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “I am delighted to welcome both Lucy and Peter to Aberystwyth. They have both excelled in their careers to date, and will have vital roles to play in the delivery of our new Strategic Plan. I am very pleased that the University has been able to attract new colleagues of this calibre, and look forward to their future contribution to the University’s Executive Group.” Hodson will take up her new post on 1st November, with Curran joining the University soon after.


The Courier

September 2012

University security guard con- Most victed of possession of stun gun cafes A 55-YEAR old security guard at Aberystwyth University was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon after police found a stun gun in his bag when they stopped his van in April. Victor Wyn Jones, who was on duty as a University security guard at the time, was found guilty of being in possession of the device, which operated as a torch and stun gun. Jones was given a conditional discharge, which means although found guilty he will recieve no punishment providing he does not re-offend for a fixed period of time, and must pay £85 in costs towards the prosecution.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the University said: “The University does not comment on matters related to former members of staff. The University is very confident of the professionalism and dedication of its security team. However, it is reminding all security staff of relevant legislation and best practice.”

THE LEADER’S Appeal Fund for the North Ceredigion floods has reached a grand total of almost £105,000. Leader of Ceredigion Council, Ellen ap Gwynn, said: “The generosity of the residents of Ceredigion along with contributions from individuals and groups from further afield has been overwhelming. Cash and cheques ranging in amounts from £3 to £24,000 have been received by the Council on behalf of the Appeal Fund and financial donations are still being received. Victims of the floods were offered a helping hand by the combined forces of residents and Aberystywth University Students’ Union. Residents and students alike came together to organise a mass jumble sale to help raise money for the affected families. The day featured a number of other activities including face painting, cake stall, aerobics demonstrations and a raffle, with prizes donated by individuals, organisations, local and national businesses. The “once in a 100 year flood”

rushed through homes and caravan parks in Ceredigion, Powys and southern Gwynedd – creating damage which is estimated to run into millions of pounds. More than 1,000 people were evacuated and 150 rescued during the early hours of Saturday morning, leaving many residents homeless. Many of those who lost everything during the flood were not insured or could not get insurance for their riverside homes. Researchers at Aberystwyth University investigated the possibility that the floods may have caused heavy metals from old mine workings in the region to be carried down-stream, polluting hundreds of acres of land. The work was led by Professor Mark Macklin, an expert on river systems and Director of the Centre for Catchment and Coastal Research at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences. The team collected samples over the coming days and weeks to check for traces of lead, zinc, cadmium and copper that may have been carried by the floods.

Aberystwyth devastated by summer floods

of Aberystwyth’s don’t display

A SURVEY undertaken on behalf of Elin Jones, Assembly Member for Ceredigion, suggests that over half of the food preparation businesses in Aberystwyth don’t currently display their Food Hygiene Ratings. A total of 80 food outlets were surveyed in Aberystwyth town centre to see whether they display their Food Hygiene Ratings in a prominent location on the premises. Not all food businesses have been assessed for their ratings yet. Of those premises surveyed, only 42.5% displayed their ratings (of which there were no premises displaying a score lower than 3). 19 premises, representing 23.8 per cent of the total, received scores of 1 or 2 and didn’t display their ratings. These latter premises require improvement. Since October 2010, local food businesses throughout the UK have been awarded hygiene score between 0 and 5 while being assessed by the local authority. These scores are published on a national website, and a window sticker and certificate are provided to be displayed on the business premises. Although the scores are currently displayed on a voluntary basis, the Welsh Government wants to make it a legal requirement for food businesses to display their Food


restaurants and hygiene ratings

Hygiene Ratings from November 2013, and is currently progressing the necessary legislation through the Senedd. Elin Jones AM said: “I was surprised to see that over half of the food businesses surveyed in Aberystwyth don’t display their food hygiene rating in a prominent position on their premises. It’s particularly worrying that 44 per cent of those premises who scored 3 and over chose not to display their scores, even though their results are satisfactory and not a cause for concern. “From the survey, it’s clear that it’s mainly those premises with the highest score of 5 which display

the sticker in their windows, while there weren’t any 1 or 2 scores displayed. This is clearly very worrying, and means that people can’t make a better and more informed choice when deciding where to eat. “Introducing a level playing field and requiring all food outlets to display their scores would be a significant step forward, and there is every expectation that those businesses with the lower scores would make a greater effort to improve their hygiene standards to retain trade. “I therefore support the Welsh Government’s proposals to improve food hygiene standards in this manner, and look forward to seeing the legislation progress fur-

Council cabinet approve evict locals to make way

plans to for Tesco

Bay Hotel to re-open as Premier Inn THE BAY HOTEL on Aberystwyth’s promenade is to re-open as a Premier Inn under plans announced by developers Opus Land Ltd. Opus were appointed by a closed meeting of Ceredigion Council to develop a 63-bed Premier Inn and restaurant. In February this year, councillors were holding out for a 5-star development, but have now opted for the Opus proposal. The plans will see the Commodore Cinema to the rear of the Bay preserved, and Ceredigion Shopmobility will receive a new headquarters.

CEREDIGION Council’s cabinet has approved plans to evict three residents of Glyndwr Road in Aberystwyth to make way for a new development that will include a Tesco supermarket, a branch of Marks & Spencer and multi-storey car park. But the plans will see the old Drill Hall and a row of houses on Glyndwr Road demolished to make way for the construction on Mill Street car park, which lies between the bridge to Trefechan and the Matalan on Park Avenue.

The proposed compulsory purchase of the houses will have to be approved by a meeting of the whole council before it can progress. Councillor Alun Williams (Bronglais) described the proposals as “a difficult issue for any Aberystwyth councillor.” He said that he “broadly support[ed]” the development of the car park, adding that he was “very much influenced by the fact that the small traders of the town believe that it will have knock-on value to them.”

Cllr Aled Davies, in whose Rheidol ward the development is planned, declined to comment on the grounds of an undisclosed conflict of interest. Cllr Ceredig Davies (Central) declined to comment on the grounds that as a retailer he had a conflict of interest, and Cllr Mark Strong (North) declined to comment following previous claims made against him of “predetermination”, where councillors can be accused of having made their minds up before final votes.

September 2012


Raid sees 4.5 million illegal cigarettes taken off streets of Aberystwyth

A RAID at former Ideal Bakery site on the Glan yr Afon Industrial estate in Aberystwyth netted over 4.5 million illegal “Vess” cigarettes, which, if legally imported, would have brought in over £1 million in tax revenue. Two local men were arrested in connection with the raid, along with one other man. Another person is assisting officers with their enquiries. Nobody has yet been charged in connection with the raid. A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said: “Over 4.5 million counterfeit cigarettes have

been seized in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, following an operation by HM Revenue and Customs to disrupt tobacco smuggling in Wales.” “We take tobacco smuggling very seriously. It’s costing the British taxpayer around £2 billion a year in lost revenue to public finances and has a devastating impact on honest retailers having to compete with the black market. “Cheap tobacco products can seem like an attractive offer to people, lured into purchasing them at what seem like bargain prices. However, the truth is these sales are unlicensed and unregulated.”

The Courier


Race for local “sheriff” elections begins ELECTIONS for Police and Crime commissioners across the UK are due to take place on 15th November. The new “elected sheriffs” will be charged with holding the police fund and raising the local policing precept from council tax. They will also be responsible for the appointment, suspension and dismissal of the Chief Constable, amongst other duties. Following the elections, each commissioner will be responsible for putting together a crime and policing plan, which will be used to judge their performance throughout their term. These posts were created by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act that was passed last year, and elections are taking place across England and Wales, in all but the two London forces. Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice Damian Green, in speech to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “You will be elected to cut crime, give the public a voice at the highest level, hold forces to account and help restore trust.”

Earlier this year Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The most important thing that any police and crime commissioner will need to do is cut crime. And, working with the police, they will know how to do that better than any bureaucrat or minister in Whitehall.” There are two candidates in the Dyfed Powys area. Christine Gwyther, who was a Welsh Assembly member until 2007, is standing for the Labour Party, and Captain Chris Salmon is the Conservative candidate.

Gwyther states that her priorities as developing an integrated strategy for rural crime, listening to the voice of young people and working on a “respect agenda”, victim support and working alongside local organisations. Captain Salmon has said that if elected his priority would be to “cut crime and make people feel safe”, as well as “fighting for 100% coverage” from the Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter. The deadline to register to vote in the PCC elections is midnight on Wednesday 31st October 2012.


The Courier

NUS #Demo12 Ben Meakin Students’ Union President IN APRIL this year, I attended the National Conference for NUS (National Union of Students) where one of the biggest topics being discussed was whether or not NUS should organise another demonstration/ march in London. It was decided that NUS would do just that and, just like the student protest of 2010, Student Unions from across the country would mobilise and take to the streets on 21st November 2012. At first I was wary of this move. The 2010 protest failed to persuade the Government to think again about introducing £9000 fees, and this time around there is no vote in Parliament to protest against. I was left wondering - what exactly is the point? I am, however, glad that NUS decided to scrap the old 'March Against Fees and Cuts' rhetoric and instead move towards marching against the way in which the ConDem government is disre-

September 2012

opinion garding the youth of today. As far as I was concerned this was a great move - let's get some community action, let's all join together and as a young collective tell the government to swivel! Yet it doesn't seemed to have quite gone to plan… NUS announced a new slogan for this demo to provide a fresh new take on student activism: “Educate, Employ Empower”. Yet NUS President Liam Burns failed to say What, Who or How we are planning to do the '3 E's'. My worry is that it's all just a bit vague! Don't get me wrong, something needs to happen. Over a million young people are unemployed. Long term youth unemployment has reached over a quarter of a million and one in every six young people are now classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). With only 24% of employers recruiting young people directly from education, those figures are unlikely to change unless drastic action is taken. Out of the stats above, the NEET figure is the most interesting to me. How many of

these young people classed as NEETs are graduates? Probably a lot less than those who never had the opportunity to go to university at all. I'm not saying £9000 fees are great, in fact it's just making an already bad situation much worse, but there are young people who have a lot less opportunities than those of us who manage to experience the student lifestyle. So with that in mind, and the fact that all young people in the UK need to club together to battle this 'destruction of a generation', why is the demo on a Wednesday? Sure, it's no problem for us students to take a day off for a jolly in London, but for the parents and kids who simply can't afford to access the education system and are surrounded by a severe lack of jobs - when do they get an opportunity to speak out? Clearly not with us students! And they sure as hell aren't going to take time off work, because fewer people are unionised and with such high unemployment who would take the risk? I guess what I'm getting at is that there’s a severe lack of

community strength in fighting for a better deal, not only for students, but for kids who want to go and find a job, an apprenticeship, or access education via other methods. And if we're talking about this 'tertiary education model' (I haven't got time to go into it now, Google it), then it's not just young people. It's about young single parents getting the support they need to apply for a lifelong learning course and develop a new skill which will help them develop the social capital and experience they need to enhance their lives. A Conservative government (make no mistakes and think I'm a Labour supporter either, they're all as bad as each other in my opinion) hates the idea of collectivism and although student unions pulling together is a step in the right direction, we need something that's going to hit home a bit harder in my opinion (but maybe not on a V for Vendetta scale).

BREAKING NEWS: Kate Middleton has breasts! Michaela Kyrionymou IT WAS CLARIFIED recently that yes, Kate Middleton, or the Duchess of Cambridge as we should now be calling her, does in fact have boobs like the rest of womankind. Topless images of Kate first materialised in a French magazine, and have now spread thanks to the

magic of the internet. The grainy pictures were taken with a long lens camera whilst the royal couple was staying in Provence. This occurred just weeks after photos emerged of Prince Harry naked, on the lash, in Las Vegas. This epi-

sode seemed to die quite quickly. Were we just expecting it from this royal? Did previous incidents from this notorious lad mean that we were just not bothered by his escapades anymore? Kate’s photos seem different; everything is being done to stop their distribution. But what’s the point? We’ve all Googled it, and seen those golden stars by now anyway. Why waste more taxpayers’ money on lawyers? In this economy, save the money. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place. These photos clearly represent a significant security problem. Only a few weeks earlier Prince Harry had photos leaked of him “hugging” girls naked and now the same is happening to another royal. Thousands of pounds worth of our money is devoted to security for these royals and I’m failing to see how money is being spent successfully. Why are they continuing to let this hap-

pen? Who are we to see next? Charles? Camilla? The Queen?! They should have been there to protect them from all troubles. I can understand why many are arguing that this is clear breach of privacy. A lawyer representing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pressed a French court to have a ban placed on the re-publication or resale of the photos as they were from a "highly intimate moment.” A moment of William rubbing cream into Kate’s bum! Married to a royal, the Duchess will always be in the public eye. We watched the Royal Wedding and the Jubilee diligently - surely also private moments of the family. I’m not justifying the photos, merely indicating that other moments of intimacy which we have been invited, nay, forced to watch over the last 18 months were given freely. Classifying them as “intimate” doesn’t justify their sanction. When you start to share some moments we expect it all. If these pictures were taken of her inside the house, I may

NUS will probably tell me that I'm missing the point and really I just thought I'd use an opinion column to, well, tell people my opinion. Of course it is just that, and as a Union we will be working to give you the option of travelling down to London on the 21st November for the demo. But in the spirit of community action, we are also looking to hold a street party after the demo, so that we can get together as a community of young people and forge stronger links in order to work together for a better generation. have more sympathy for her. On a balcony in clear sight for anyone, I have little to feel sorry for; it was a picture waiting to happen. Maybe she should go back to University and take Paparazzi Tactics 101. We all have photos taken of us that inevitibly end up on Facebook- half-dressed drunk ones that could possibly ruin any future career prospects, but we think nothing of it. These photos are now owned by Facebook, and are in the public domain. Our ‘intimate moments’ of that night out are laid out for all to see, then we are all shocked when a royal acts human and we witness it. I’m not sure what these photos have really accomplished. Sure, manufactured scandals sell magazines. So they have sold copies and proven the Royal Family have boobs like us peasants, but what else have they done? They haven’t created world peace or fed the starving masses. So why are we so interested in them? Topless woman occur in many places- it’s just another naked lady. So let’s all drop it, and patiently await Pippa’s holiday photos.

September 2012

opinion Aber and the World: Welcome to the back of beyond, the pubs are down the hill Jack Barton Columnist FRESHERS' Week is upon us again, and we can approach it with all the forced excitement and poor decision making by which it is defined. The newest AU recruits will get a feel for the social life of our small town and, in a tradition honoured across the land, we’ll dance, wake up together, and drink; Lord, will we drink. The alleged purpose of all this bacchanalia is the forging of new friendships and the easing of the transition from the old life to the new, but I see flaws in this plan. First, the ‘friends’ you have in Freshers’ Week and the friends you have one year later are rarely the same group of people. But that’s fine; after all, you have to hang around with someone. The second issue is that the transition made from being a university hopeful to being an undergraduate is bridged by a week of inactivity punctuated by drinking. Now, I’m not necessarily opposed to the odd seven day binge, but I can’t help but think that, for many students, it sets a precedent. Consuming alcohol will be the primary occupation of the majority of people, freshers or otherwise, for this week. It’s understandable, and it’s probably the easiest way to generate some anecdotal material with the new housemates, but where does it leave you once the relative glamour of the first week is gone? It sets you up with a mental ‘How to Enjoy Uni’ guidebook that’s missing half the pages, because Freshers’ Week only tells you how to get drunk. Granted, alcohol and celebration are virtually synonymous in the British mind, but a quick Google search of what other

universities have going on for this week puts us to shame. Other places have live music, themed events and even mini festivals - we get “welcome to the back of beyond, the pubs are down the hill.” I really don’t have anything against drinking - I’m actually writing this in a pub - but I don’t think drinking should be the objective of an evening. Of course people drink at the gigs, events and festivals listed above, but that’s because they’re actually out doing something. Whereas, many Aber fresher nights seem to prioritise drinking above all. Even Union events like Therapi are encouragements to drink excessively in a large hall while surrounded by people you cannot possibly talk to. You know what that makes it? A slightly matured school disco. But maybe this isn’t really a gripe against our Freshers’ Week - maybe this is a wider gripe with the student life of our town. Have you seen the statistics around student alcoholism in this place? If not, you should look them up; they suggest that when you graduate there is definitely a 1500% chance that you will be an alcoholic. (This in turn might explain why we’re the fifth most promiscuous university in the UK). We have one Arts Centre, and one cinema. Both of them have bars. If you want a bit more diversity you had better shell out to join one of the more active societies, because otherwise you might start to resent your decision to live in a town only slightly less remote than Atlantis. But don’t let me put a downer on this special week- if nothing else, you can look forward to a lot of parties, and sleeping with (on average) 8.26 people. Cheers.

The Courier



The Courier

September 2012


Swings and roundabouts: “Banter should have no place in university culture.”


Grace Burton Opinion Editor

Joshua Richards


DID YOU KNOW that referring to new about thinly veiled bigotry? It’s not THE NOBLE and necessary tradition named Barry, then how will he ever make women as ‘whores’ makes you a lad? Did funny, it’s tired. Being cutting edge or of banter is under siege from a barrage friends? you also know that I’m not meant to be close to the bone is great, but being outof anti-banter artillery. The definition Instances like this are perhaps even offended by the casual inferrence of pros- right offensive when nobody outside of of banter itself, being the “playful and more important in a University environtitition onto an entire gender, because it’s your circle of sycophany finds it funny friendly exchange of teasing remarks”, ment. The potential for banter to break clearly just ‘banter’? If there’s one word has no comedic merit. hardly seems to justify the hyperbolic down social and regional backgrounds that I wish could be exfrom the politically correct upon arrival in the sphere of higher eduoutright As students, we have onslaught punged from the history “Being banter-Nazis, otherwise known as the cation is great. There can’t be any awkthe opportunity to be edof the English language, offensive left-wing media columnists. Social in- ward interactions with new people if you when ucated, worldly and mayit’s banter. Not because I without banter is another way can break the ice with a few well-meant nobody outside be just slightly original. teraction object to the word parof saying “let’s return the art of conver- barbs to make people feel included and a We’re already being sideticularly, but because of your circle of lined - the government sation-mak- part of the group. It’s comforting knowthe ugly behaviour and !"#$%&'!( )*'+ ( has already raised ing to ing that you can always fall back on incomments which it has tuition fees, sulting your housemate’s swampish Norcome to embody make it funny has no folk background so that there’s never a me despair for the future comedic merit.” lull in conversation. of comedy. UniLad, the What some people seem to take epitome of banter, which issue with is the idea of ‘UniLad’ was shut down earlier this year following banter- this title definitely exan article which pretty much encouraged cludes and maybe even calls into rape, showed the true face of those who focus some testosterone-fuelled bandy about sexism, racism and homodesire to point the banter lens phobia as ‘just banter’. Whilst commenat the female population. This tors have intellectually destroyed Uniisn’t true. ‘UniLad’ is a label used Lad, the banter that was its lifeblood by those who don’t fully understill pervades in university culture. stand the humorous intentions The press has been littered with of banter- not because they can’t, examples of apparent banter in but because they don’t want to, the last year; a University of out of some sort of sense of purEast Anglia rugby club was chase on the moral high ground. disbanded earlier this year So does the real problem lay with after running an utterly those anti-banter Nazis? In my own hilarious social featuring opinion, yes, those people who have a costumes of such comedy need to stamp out the culture in which greats as the KKK and the importance of not taking each other Baby P, and of course seriously is valued in order to protect an there was the now infaapparently fragile and increasingly molmous photo of a certain lycoddled world need to be prevented the Aberystwyth sabbatical from damaging a national tradition. witty officer. Now isn’t the time Banter is not reserved for the Rugby limits of to be discussing that, but a cucum- team social night, but for those of us who let me just say that whober sandwich”. believe that a rounded person should be ever thought setting up a The point of able to have the micky taken out of them Facebook page declaring banter is without forming a united people front. that the ‘Aber Guild President to engage Should banter come with a warning label? d is a LAD’ [“Keeping women in n d l u fou o t h e r s No, as students (in most part) represent their place (on their knees) since en ut sho ft o in a playful the latest of those who have begun the ve ersy, b a 2010!”] is mistaken if they thought h p? rov ms two way tussle, final rite of passage from teenager to an they were in any way coming to the detea f cont hten u y independent member of b rug ntre o ain lig fence of our president. y “ Social interaction t society, we should be ence si pl and now international breaking iver at the o com But hey, I know what you’re probably n U students are the ones down the bar- without banter is couraging the establishlves ose wh e thinking – I’m a feminazi. I want to come s to suffer thanks to the them th riers of the mundane another way of say- ment of banter between to your socials and on your nights out and students as a social norm UK Border Agency. back-and-forth lexicon give you all a good telling off for having How about a little solidarity with your of the average day to ing “let’s return the to preserve the tradition a sense of humour because I can’t take a fellow students, instead of racist ‘jokes’? create a mutually ben- art of conversation- of light hearted slights as joke. I want to take away your freedom of a way of bonding that is eficial environment You were intelligent enough to get speech because I’ve got nothing better to making to the witty not new but helps define whereupon the particido. Well, no, not really. But how about we into university, so why resort to such a pants are able to relax limits of a cucum- the Great British sense of take a minute to talk about your freedom knuckleheaded attempt at comedy? humour. A Britain within each other’s company, be a shitLAD. ber sandwich”. “ out banter would be like to not be an odious prick? How about Don’t taking the much-needed you exercise that for once in your clearly France; LOL jokes… it’s piss out of each other. If quite blinkered life? I’m all for comedy, just banter. nobody picks on the unfortunate soul when it’s clever. But what’s clever or even

September 2012

The Courier


opinion Mitt Romney: Extraordinarily pro-woman? Zoe Barnes MITT Romney, the Republican Party’s nominee for this year’s upcoming US Presidential elections, appears to be under the disturbing delusion that he and his party are “extraordinarily pro-woman”. Coming from a man whose political résumé includes such gems as vetoing a 2005 bill that would require hospitals to provide rape victims with emergency contraception, and vowing to defund family planning organisations such as Planned Parenthood and Title X, both of which offer life-saving screenings for breast and ovarian cancer to lowincome families, I’m almost afraid to hear what policies he would consider to be ‘anti-woman’. It takes only a brief exploration into the Republican Party’s key policies in the run-up to the 2012 US presidential elections to see that any members of the American electorate that have even the slightest empathy for gender equality and a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body should do everything in their power to prevent the election of a party that vocally and actively support the elimination of such choices available to US women. To offer a brief summary, the current key issues in the debate over reproductive rights in the US centre around proposed restrictions to insurance coverage of birth control, such as the oral contraceptive pill, defunding of family planning organisations such as Planned Parenthood, mentioned above, and most significantly the increased limitations on when, where and how a woman can choose to terminate an unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy. Whilst American politicians and citizens alike are known for strongly defending their civil rights as detailed in the US Declaration of Independence, it is with alarming ease that US politicians will fight with even greater fervour to deny the female electorate the basic right to have autonomy over their bodies and their lives. I steadfastly do not support such proposed elimination of choices available to women and their partners and families concerning their sexual health and personal familyplanning choices. Obviously as with any prescription or medical procedure I believe that there is need for regulation. The patient should be made well aware by a medical professional of any potential risks or alternatives, but it should be done so objectively; it is, after all, not the doctor who will be taking the morning-after pill or undergoing a termination. Ultimately, it should be up to the woman to assess her options and choose the one that

will benefit her the most. In this debate there are many that argue against contraception and abortion on religious or moral grounds. That’s fine; nobody is forcing you to do something that you do not want to do, but kindly extend the same courtesy to those who think differently. To demonstrate the severity of these issues, which are often brushed aside as detracting from key divisive concerns such as the economy or foreign policy, this summer a pregnant teenager in the Dominican Republic was denied access to chemotherapy on the grounds that it could harm her nine-week-old foetus. She herself subsequently died due to lack of treatment. With vocal demands from many within the Republican Party to put into place even greater restrictions upon the provision of abortions in the US, it is not outside the realms of possibility that we may see an increase in similar cases in the near future for American women. This is an issue in which lives are literally at stake. It is therefore worrying that those dictating the direction of such policies appear not to have made an effort to fully educate themselves on the matter. Earlier in September an interviewer posed an Ohio Republican legislator, Jim Buchy, with the question, “What do you think makes a woman want to have an abortion?” Clearly taken aback by the question, Buchy, a fervent proponent of banning abortion even in the case of rape or incest, finally admitted that “it’s a question I have never thought about.” This highlights one of the issues that most concerns me in this debate; an overwhelming majority of those with

a deciding vote in policies centred around women’s autonomy over their own bodies are middle-aged, middle-class, male politicians. Whilst men can peripherally suffer from the implications of restricted access to birth control and abortions, through the economic burden of a partner’s unexpected pregnancy, for example, it is first and foremost women who will be hit the hardest by such strict limitations to their reproductive rights. For example, it is estimated that around 80% of US women have used the contraceptive pill at some point in their life, whether to decide on their own terms when they want to start a family, or to treat specific disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The pills are taken daily and, for optimum effectiveness, continuously. Without comprehensive insurance coverage this cost quickly adds up, and due

to basic biological differences it is a cost of which women bear the brunt if they want to retain control over their bodies and their lives. Overall, these policies punish women for daring to be sexually active, a claim that Wisconsin politician and legislator, Daniel LeMahieu, so kindly validates. In 2005 LeMahieu was horrified when he saw that US colleges were providing students with contraception. Instead of applauding students for taking responsibility for their own sexual health, he instead denounced such institutions for “giving young college women the tools for having promiscuous sexual relations.” This statement, particularly the lack of any mention of young men engaging in “promiscuous sexual relations”, is incredibly telling of the enduring attitude of the Republican Party towards women and sex; they don’t want them doing it, they

certainly don’t want them enjoying it, and ideally if they insist on doing it then fingers crossed they should, according to the (thankfully) former State Representative Cynthia Davis, “pay the price” by incubating a foetus for nine, long months. The crux of all the arguments for restricting reproductive rights, not only the US but across the world, is control. These politicians in favour of restricting reproductive rights are basically looking to control women’s access to the wonders of modern science that allow them to decide when, how, and importantly if they want to have children and, as a result, a plethora of other decisions they can make about their lifestyle, ranging from decisions about their careers to choices about their sexuality. At best it’s misguided paternalism, and at worst it’s misogyny trying to disguise itself as misguided paternalism. Whatever it is, it is under no circumstances something that even comes close to deserving the label of being “extraordinarily pro-woman.”


The Courier

September 2012


Accident and Emergency Here’s hoping that you never have to visit Bronglais Hospital’s A & E department, but thankfully it’s there in case you do. If you’re trying to get there on foot it’s half way down Penglais Hill (see page 14!) If something hap-


There are three beaches in Aber. North Beach, South Beach and Tanybwlch Beach (sometimes nicknamed: South-South Beach). North Beach is the best for sand and is nearest to the town, though if you want to have a bonfire or barbeque you’re supposed to go to South Beach. To get there you have to head towards the Castle. South Beach has more pebbles but

pens and you aren’t sure if it’s worthy of going to the hospital, then each block of campus flats has resident tutors, who will have welcomed you and provided you with a 24 hour contact number in case of emergencies.

there’s usually more space to kick a football or get a big group of you together. South-South Beach is out past the lighthouse and the marina. It feels more secluded, but it’s also relaxed, scenic and more like being in the countryside. Great if you want to escape for a while. (You can get cheap disposable BBQs from loads of places in town.)

Constitution Hill

Devil’s Bridge

Once upon a time the Devil decided to visit Wales because he was a bit of a tourist. When he arrived he saw an old woman crying by a river and asked her what was wrong. The woman said that her cow had gone across the river and she couldn’t get it back. So the Devil said he’d build her a bridge and when she came back in the morning she could fetch her cow back. Then the Devil said that in return he wanted the first living thing to

cross the bridge. Really Satan? Is that the going rate for bridges in Hell or are you just like that? The old woman accepted then came back the next day and found a bridge. Instead of going across she sent her dog over; because the old woman was more than happy to sacrifice a puppy to survive. Luckily for the dog the Devil is very picky and fled from Wales because he had been tricked out of the old woman’s soul. The old woman

fetched her cow and lived happily ever after. Now, if you’re wondering how an old woman can wrestle down an escaped cow but can’t cross a river; maybe you should visit Devil’s Bridge which is 12 miles out of Aberystwyth. Gorgeous waterfalls and scenery; great place to take your family when they visit and it’s more than a little romantic. Flat comfortable shoes required because the 40-minute walk has very steep steps.

Looking to find a part-time job to top up the pennies? Here are a few tips: first, make use of Aber Careers Service’s website to spruce up your C.V. and use their job link service to find the latest vacancies. Second, it’s always worth going in and asking, especially in bars and restaurants where the jobs might not be advertised. Third, use your connections! If you happen to have a friend in the Quidditch club who works at the local takeaway, ask if they know of any jobs going. Good luck!

If you find your loan isn’t stretching far enough, or the £4.98 an hour you pulling pints isn’t quite cutting it, there is help at hand. The University’s Student Support Department has financial advisers who can help you manage your money. If that seems too much like hard work, there are still other ways you can maximise your income and minimise your outgoings. Check the scholarship and bursary calculator on the University website to see what you’re entitled to, get

wholesale price fresh food at the SU’s food co-operative or just maybe consider drinking less.

Employment Financial help Constitution Hill is the rather intimidating looking slate mountain opposite Alexandra Halls at the end of the promenade (see kicking the bar), commonly called ‘Consti’ because it’s much easier. Everybody should climb this once. We say climb because it's a steep old walk and for

most people a pretty exhausting affair, but slog it out to the top and you'll be rewarded with amazing views over the town and surrounding countryside. If you make it up there at the right time, watching the sun set over the sea whilst on top of Consti is one of Aber’s greatest moments.



Initially the grading system at university can be a bit boggling compared to what you're used to, but in reality it's quite simple. A 1st is similar to an A; it’s the highest grade possible which you need a mark of 70% or higher to achieve. The grade down from this is a 2:1, similar to a B - you need between 60 and 69%


There is a chronic shortage of housing in Aberystwyth, not helped by planning laws and definitely not helped by a lack of foresight when it comes to student recruitment. The days of university accommodation housing first and third years fairly comfortably are

to achieve this. Below this is the 2:2, roughly equivalent to a C - it denotes a mark of between 50 and 59%. Finally comes the 3rd, comparable to a D - you need a mark of between 40 and 49% to get this. Score a mark below 40% and unfortunately that counts as a fail, with all the consequences that includes!

long gone; a campaign run by the Student Support Officer last year titled “Fools Rush In” aimed to stop desperate students playing into the hands of some of the town’s more unscrupulous landlords, but you’ll find many a student will still recommend getting in early.

Information Services I.S. are there to help you with all your computing issues, and can be found at the library main desk. Staff are on hand to fix broken laptops (prices vary). An easy FAQ for all services provided by Information Services can be found from the main University website, including everything from activating email to connecting mobile devices to the Uni network.

The Courier

be over 18, but try explaining this to a bouncer on the door. If you only have a passport on you, it’s probably worth investing in another ID you can take out. Replacing a drunkenly lost passport will cost a lot more than a new provisional license. Also, when it comes to the nightclubs in town, look out for a change in prices at the weekend, often they are free but can go up to £6 entry!


Kicking the bar You might have seen people at the foot of Constitution Hill on the end of the promenade, kick the railings. When I first saw people doing this I thought Aberystwyth had a strange obsession with stretching their hamstrings on casual walks… so we’re here to clear up the confusion! Or not, as nobody

Laura Place

10 Laura Place near the Old College is Aberystwyth’s music centre, focused especially on classical music as well as traditional madrigals. There is space here to book for private practice of instruments as well as regular

seems to know the true origin of this strange tradition. One theory is that kicking the bar is a prerequisite for passing your degree, and if you kick it with both feet you’re on for a first. However we don’t recommend trying to ninja kick the railings with both feet, lest you end up as a heap on the floor.

classes. If you want to join the choir, orchestra or sing in operettas like Gilbert and Sullivan, then prices start at around £3 for the whole year! Aberystwyth has long been connected to classical and orchestral music, with

Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams holding the town in high regard, and the centre itself being one of the first music departments in Britain. Many music societies will be at Freshers’ Fayre to tell you more!

New library cards One of the first things you do when you start at Aber is pick up your library card (or “Aber Card”) – it gives you access to the Students’ Union, 24 hour computer rooms, money off in the restaurants – oh, and lets you take out books as well!

New cards are being introduced this year that have even more features than before. Your library card is not an NUS Extra card, so it doesn’t entitle you to NUS Extra-only discounts, but loads of places do student discounts so it’s worth asking!

May Ball

Jumping queues (getting advanced tickets for events) The Union is always hosting events and whether it’s a night of dancing or laughter it’s best to book early to avoid disappointment (and queues!). Advance tickets often save you a couple of pounds. They can be bought from the Union front desk or the shop. On a night out in Aber don’t forget your student card or some other form of ID like a driving licence. It may seem obvious to all of us that we are at Uni and therefore 99% of us will

September 2012

Old College

If you didn't receive a letter by owl post this summer then Old College is possibly the closest you will ever get to Hogwarts. Old College is the original university building, built in 1872 as a hotel for wealthy travellers from the east of England, but failing quite substantially it was bought up within ten years by the farmers of the town. They turned it into the first building to constitute the University of Wales. Now it is used for odd job seminars, secluded computer rooms, and spending hours wandering the halls wondering where the front door is.

This is the social event of the year. May Ball happens, you guessed it, every May and is an end of year celebration. Organised by the Union, it’s hugely popular and great fun. Everyone dolls themselves up in their best dresses/suits and then hop on a coach to the ‘festival’ site outside Pontrhydfendigaid. In previous years its included fairground style rides (including

a bungee jump) and games as well as a live comedy tent, a tribute act tent and a chill-out tent as well as the main arena. Previous headliners have included Professor Green, Zane Lowe, The Hoosiers, The Pigeon Detective in the last few years. Time will tell what the Union has lined up for this year, fingers crossed for Spice Girls!


The Courier

September 2012


Penglais Hill


If you don't know what it is you soon will, it's the GIANT hill from campus to town and is the bane of most Aber students lives! Despite this it must be tackled as there are various important facilities including the national library and the hospital as you descend towards town, these are clearly sign posted along the way. Not to fear though, despite the plans for an escalator being put on hold, there is a regular bus service from campus to town with stops in-between so after those long days of lectures you can rest your legs on a short bus ride. Travel cards are available.

Quizzes At the very beginning of the year the Union hosts The Big Quiz -and they’re not lying either, with prizes ranging from 365 bottles of beer through to flatscreen TVs, iPods, and even a little Henry Hoover, this really is the biggest quiz of the year. Salt and Scholars are also famous for their quizzes; arrive early at Salt on a Monday for 9pm as places are limited and tend to fill up quickly. With 1st-3rd place winners, bonus prizes, a yearlong leader board and 2-4-1 cocktails, some find it hard to lose out even coming last! Scholars quiz night is Sunday at 8.30pm,

with great food and a friendly atmosphere you’ll be back weekly. The Glengower pub is one of the most popular with students. It’s on the seafront and a short stumble home to Alex Halls and on a Monday, it, too, hosts a pub quiz. Rummers host a quiz on Sunday night from 8.30pm, with free entry and tasty beers to be won! There’s simply no shortage of quizzes- these are just the regulars, although mind out for your lecturers, they’re cleverer than you think.

Retail (well... food really!) Aber is a fairly small place, but surprisingly, there are numerous supermarkets and places to buy food. The main supermarket is Morrisons, a 25 minute walk from campus or a short bus ride on the number 1 or number 2 Arriva Bus. It’s open 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday. The big supermarket in town is Co-op, around a five minute walk from the centre of town on Park Avenue. It’s a mile walk from campus and is open 8am10pm Monday to Saturday and

10am-4pm Sunday. To get to Co-op by bus, catch Arriva Bus number 1, 2 or 3 into town. Lidl and Iceland are also in town. Lidl is open from 8am8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday, while Iceland is open from 9am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 10am4pm Sunday. Both supermarkets are in Rheidol Retail Park, just next to Wetherspoon on Alexandra Road. Of course, there are always the many take away and restaurant options in town if you don’t feel like cooking!

If the Olympic and Paralympic Games taught us one thing, it’s that us Brits know how to host sporting events! Try something new, fun and active, while following in the footsteps of your favourite athletes; Aber has it all from track to swimming to

rugby and even paragliding if you are feeling more adventurous! So take advantage of the Sports Fayre and challenge yourself while making lasting friendships and shedding a few of those take-away pounds!


Transport around Aber is one of the easiest things about living in such a small town. Taxis are dead cheap and only cost about £1 each if there are three or four of you heading back to campus after a night out. Buses run regularly and will be at Fresh-


You probably already saw the Union on your Open Day. It’s the social hub of the University where you can find a bar, music, Aber Student Media’s Bay Radio station, The Courier and the new student television station, broadcasting on YouTube, Bay TV. The Union shop sells a range of sandwiches, snacks, cheap stationary and

ers’ Fayre to hand out timetable to near and far locations. You could get a bus pass if you think it’s worth your while, but journeys to places like Morrisons only cost around £1 or £2 return. Of course, for further afield we have the train station, where

you can get away to Borth, Machynlleth or even Birmingham for some shopping, ticket prices can be as low as £6. For longer journeys it’s worth booking in advance and printing your tickets at the machine on the platform (just behind ‘Spoons).

Aberystwyth University hoodies and jumpers. Some of the services the Union has on offer include free counselling as well as providing the offices of the Sabbatical officers and a place to host events, such as union general meetings or charity events. The Union is a strange mixture of a good night out, a place for advice or just a snack.

Vodka You are a student now and the budget will be tight, so get value for money and a messy night out with everyone’s friend, vodka. Try your best to disguise it in other better tasting drinks at various places and pubs around town (don’t forget: we have 50

pubs in Aber, so here’s just a few, also drink responsibly of course). Tuesday night is vodka night in Rummers near the marina sometimes with shots for 60p, Downies on the way to Pier, do quadruple vodka and energy drink for £4, Aber Vaults do tri-

ple vodka and mixers good for pre drink on the way down the hill into town. Alternatively if heavy spirits aren’t on the menu there are plenty of more relaxed pubs like the Ship and Castle which are great for real ales.


September 2012

The Courier

Washing clothes Mid-afternoon is the worst time to go to the launderette. To get it done without wanting to blind the other people there with detergent and throw your change at whoever manages to get away, you’re going to need to get up early or stay up really late. There are always launderettes in town if you don’t want to use the University’s but they can be more expensive; the easiest to find is at the bottom of Penglais Hill past Aber Vaults. When in Uni launderettes do not be afraid to

take someone else’s stuff out when it’s finished, you could be waiting for hours because someone has just left their stuff. Try not to leave your washing in; you won’t make any friends when you turn up an hour late to take it out. The price of the washers fluctuate and you’ll need your own detergent, but it is around £2- remember to bring it in change! The dryers stand steady at £1. Take a book or a friend if you have one. Have a party.

X... is (sort of) for ‘eXes’ Look around. See that? Aber is tiny. A break up here would have the scriptwriters of Eastenders jealous. So a word from the wise and now, experienced older students here, if you cringe easily or go red quicker than traffic lights,


(Un-uhs-laass!) Disappointed by the lack of sand on Aberystwyth’s beaches? Fear not, the sandy haven of Ynyslas lies just 10 miles north. A designated National Nature Reserve, the beach is huge with awesome sand dunes surrounding it. It’s perfect for a day out while it’s still

be careful who you have those one-off flings with. Remember in Aber, there are only two degrees of separation between us all, you could be in for a shock as to who knows who and how!

sunny, to build a sandcastle, have a picnic, fly kites or even for kite boarding. It’s a 20 minute drive if you have a car Contributors (or know someone who does!) or a 15 Amy Cowlard, Steve Lee, Rachel Cubitt, Bethany Morris, Grace Burton, minute train to Borth and a short walk Andrew Simpson, Guy Drury, Luke Marr, Ed Cullen, Zandra Lavagna, Lucy north to Ynyslas. Highly recommended!

Edwards-Spencer, John Clark, Bethany Morris

On the Univers opposit ity bus route e the Pie r

10% Student Discount * eat in prices hes Greek dis

Us e fa cility o free Wi -Fi ver a co ffe e or a snac k

Z... is for Zoo What do an iguana and an ocelot have in common? They both reside at Borth Animalarium! Located a short walk away from the Borth train or bus station, the Animalarium is proudly placed on the list of unique features of Aberystwyth University. The vast majority of the unusual animals that take up residency at the Animalarium are unwanted

pets – this includes a leopard! Animals are also taken in from the RSPCA or from rescue centres after they have been found abandoned or injured. From the cute and cuddly to the scaly and wild, the Animalarium has it all! For only £10 student entry, why not make a trip to see some lemurs, wallabies and crocodiles?

ks drin t o 5h any ard y u B lty C a y Lo our ne h t i th o w 6 e th ge t and E F RE


s snack

E HO ME DEL IVER with Y in 4 mile s rad * Fre i us e bo ttle o f H Wi n e for ouse orde rs o ver £ 35.0 0

light lunches


Greek Taverna and Coffee Shop

reasonable prices

35 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, SY23 2LN

friendly atmosphere

01970 630572

Open daily 11:00-22:00 Nov—March Closed on Mondays

splendid sea views



The Courier

September 2012


“I haven’t got a fucking clue what students do and I’ve got no idea what you do on a degree” Caitlin Moran spoke to Grace Burton about the caravan lifestyle, sushi and getting ahead without going to uni

GB: YOU'VE written a lot about Aberystwyth, but what exactly is it you find so enduring about the town? CM: I started coming here when I was ten and we’d been living in a caravan just outside Tregaron, in Pontrhydfendigaid. We'd been there for three weeks. We didn’t have a toilet and they hadn’t even invented tarmac there, we were just walking on gravel, none of us had shoes so we’d basically just turned into primitive monkey children. Then we came to Aberystwyth and it was like coming to New York, it was just beautiful. Plus, much more beautiful than the only other town we’d ever been to which was Wolverhampton, which god bless it is made of a series of cereal boxes made of cardboard, occasionally sprinkled with murderers. So coming somewhere where there were beautiful gothic gardens, by the sea and dolphins, loads of hippies wandering around, well, it being 50/50 hippies and farmers who were trying to run you over in a tractor just seemed to be the perfect mix, population wise, and just loved it from that second onwards. Also, to be fair, when we first got here, I’d been needing the toilet for so long that when we used the public toilet it was probably just the relief. 50% of my love for the place is still remembering the exquisite relief of going to the toilet when I’d needed it for three quarters of an hour,

but you know, marriages have been built on less. GB: What are your best and worst Aberystwyth memories? CM: Best, well today’s been pretty good! Coming here with my kids and seeing that they loved it too, having them going back to London – us heading back in the car and them crying going ‘I miss Aberystwyth’ and me going ‘Yes! And I cry when I leave here too! That’s genetic!’ When they opened the sushi restaurant because that was good because I love sushi – all girls love sushi, it keeps you thin. First time I discovered the chilli hot chocolate in the Treehouse, my children getting very excited about the quiches in the Treehouse, we’d been watching Great British Bake Off, and it had been the week where they’d been doing quiches as a speciality thing and they knew that you had to lift up a piece of quiche and look underneath it to see if it the pastry was perfectly brown underneath, and my kids just lifting up the quiche in Treehouse and going ‘this is perfect pastry mummy!’ and me going ‘yeeah!’

“we’d been swallowing quite a lot of poo” The worst, when we’d be coming here for about a year when we were kids and realising that the bit of beach that we’d chosen because nobody else went to it

was quiet and nobody else was on it because there was a sewage outlet pipe and that the games that we’d been playing where we’d been swallowing quite a lot of seawater, we’d been swallowing quite a lot of poo. That was a bit of a downer. GB: What does the fellowship that you’ve just been awarded mean to you? CM: Legitimacy! I can finally make it in the square world. Everybody’s got to respect me. I guess being a fellow is like being one of the guys? I’m taking it

that I’m kind of now one of the guys, so I’m good with that. It’s just really lovely, because I have spent 20 years covering the fact that I have absolutely no education at all. So to have got to the point where I can write sufficiently and have academics think that they should give me a red tube, back of the net! GB: You gave advice to graduates when accepting your fellowship, but do you have advice for students who are yet to graduate? CM: Sell Berocca to the

graduates! You could just be standing out there with a tray now charging four quid a tab and they would be all over that shit. Erm, no, not really, just really enjoy it. My dad is an old hippie and he always used to say just be for the moment. Be in the moment. It will all go really quickly, just be in the moment – enjoy being here. I haven’t got a fucking clue what students do and I’ve got no idea what you do on a degree but try and enjoy whatever the fuck it is that you’re doing.


September 2012

The Courier


CoppaFeel with Fearne Let’s blow up THIS Autumn, breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! are taking their ‘CoppaFeel! in the shower’ campaign to 36 universities nationwide. The campaign, sponsored by, plans to be fun and engaging whilst also aiming for self-checking to become part of every girl’s daily routine. CoppaFeel! is a breast cancer awareness charity that educates young people on the importance of checking their boobs regularly and knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. CoppaFeel! is the only purely awareness and education breast cancer charity, and the only breast cancer charity that specifically targets young people. CoppaFeel! aims to stamp out late detection and misdiagnosis of breast cancer by ensuring that people know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, know what their boobs look and feel like normally, check their boobs regularly throughout their lifetime and have the confidence to seek medical referral when they detect abnormalities. Dedicated student ambassadors known as Uni Boob Team Leaders have been recruited at each of the 36 universities. Their role is to recruit a Boob Team and be a friendly reminder to students on campus of the need

to check your breasts regularly. ‘Coppafeel in the shower’ was successfully launched at the beginning of the summer at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals and was launched by Fearne Cotton at the annual Boob Team Leader training day. Boob Teams will be active all over campus and we want you to get involved, this could be anything from playing the CoppaFeel! game to forming a team to play in the ultimate charity Boob-ball match (Dodgeball with a difference). Boob Teams have a whole host of activities up their sleeves in order to get you boob aware. So next time you are in the shower think about this article and give your boobs the once over. Claire James, Tickled Pink President and Aber’s Student Boob Team Leader, said: “I am hoping that even more students and staff will get involved with the work that we do. In the coming months we’ll be doing our naked calendar once again,

which has been extremely well received over the last two years. As well as that we’ll be having regular bake sales in the Union, and new for this year, we’ll be around campus, and possibly even town, dressed in giant boob costumes.”

some fish

THE Exploding Fish Improvisation, Devising and Street Theatre society has always been known best for two things: its fun-filled group sessions loaded with drama and games and its top-quality comedy shows. Bethan Power, the President, came up with the concept of ‘The Knights of Improvalot’. The Knights are the brand new performance team for Exploding Fish. While the shows retain the same amount of performance quality as before, the team is finally being able to establish an identity of its own as a regular student comedy act locally in Aberystwyth. The team debuted at Christmas last year with a completely improvised pantomime (spontaneously named by the audience as ‘Throbbing Wood’) which saw the group portray a slightly skewed but hilarious portrayal of the legend of Robin Hood. Since then the shows have become a regular fortnightly affair - whether the performers are acting out short comedic plays or even shorter quick-fire comedy

games, all of the show’s content is controlled by the audience and all of it is completely unscripted and improvised. During Varsity, the team even took the act to Bangor where they faced (and defeated) their respective equivalents in an unofficial comedy battle which saw the Knights gain the support of the (originally hostile) Bangor crowd. The first show of the academic year will be on Thursday 27th September in the upstairs of the Coopers Arms. Doors open at 7.00pm and entry is priced at £3 or at a discounted price of £2 if you mention this article. The Knights of Improvalot enjoy a regular spot every other Thursday evening at the Coopers Arms (located at the bottom of Penglais Hill). For more information please find us at the Societies Fayre, on Facebook or email Our weekly improvisation sessions are held in Primary Room B in the Old College on Tuesday at 7.00pm.

LGBT+? Have pride in Aber

ABERPRIDE is an LGBT+ society which boasts a diverse range of people and orientations. Whether you’re gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender or simply pro-LGBT, anyone can join AberPride as inclusiveness in one of our strongest values. Campaigns for the year will look at a number of topics and themes. One particular theme we wish to highlight is that of our campaign to tackle bi/transphobia, attempting to

All of a row ON SATURDAY 15th October, three crews of rowers took on one of the biggest challenges in the rowing season. Aberystwyth Rowing Club took three boats to the 21-mile long Great River Race in London. The race takes an average of three hours to complete, making it one of the longest races in the season. There were over 300 boats competing in different categories depending on the type of boats and number of rowers.

break down some of the prejudices of the sexual identities. Furthermore, we promote some campaigns headed by the NUS. We would also like to look into reaching out to local secondary schools, helping to create a support network. A key month to look out for will be February: LGBT History Month. We use this as a time to reflect on the past struggles of LGBT life and a chance to look forward to the possibilities of the future. Other key dates will include Bisexuality Day, World Aids Day, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Throughout the academic year we hold weekly social events and run LBGT+ related campaigns. We have our main socials on Wednesdays. We also offer a quieter Sunday coffee social. We also hold a ‘SCENE’ night in the union every month, which is Aberystwyth’s premiere LGBT+ event. We will have a stall at the Societies Fayre. Although the Club has been established for many years, this was the first year a full student crew have been entered in the race, as only in the last year have a number of students become members. Two other mixed boats, containing older members and one student also entered. Due to the number of boats taking part, the start of the race is staggered, meaning the Celtic long boats of the Aber crews started towards the back of the fleet as they are considered one of the faster boats. The student team (Bring the Thunder) finished 62nd, with a time of 2 hours 48 minutes. The veteran mixed team (the Love Boat) finished 75th, with a time of 2 hours 52 minutes. The last mixed team, with the one student (Boat-i-licious) finished 77th, with a time of 2hours 53minutes.


The Courier

September 2012


The Hipster Guide: European Travel How to make Cevapcici Hayden Rosenwald-Leftkovitch

SUMMER 2013 might not be at the forefront of your mind during Fresher’s week, but for those who take originality seriously, it should be. If you’re fresh off the ferry from your first Inter-Rail trip to freedom, with a suitcase full of witty travellers’ tales and an empty bank account, now would be a good time to start devising a more unique experience for next year. Here are a few hints and tips to get over your tired ‘gap yah’ tales and plan adventures guaranteed to

avoid mainstream clichés. Avoid “mid-town” destinations Choosing the right destination is crucial to maintaining originality. This can be achieved easily by avoiding the ‘European Travellers’ Choice top 10 destinations in 2012’, including; Vienna, Brussels, Prague and Berlin. For hard-core hipsters, this also means avoiding train travel in Spain and Italy; the title holders of Inter-Rail’s most popular one country passes. However, this doesn’t mean discriminating against small midtowns in obscure European countries. Rather, it means ensuring that you don’t end up in the same hostel bunk as someone from your own small town in the U.K (which is almost guaranteed to happen if you backpack to Munich). Although, this once happened to yours truly in Sarajevo, proof that even the pool of ‘off the beaten track’ destinations are starting to dry up - ironic. Beat the crowds (and the tourism industry) As highlighted above, nowhere can be considered safe from mainstream tourists anymore and for the true hipster, this can pose a dilemma. Do you go to a mainstream city and snub the enthusiastic first-time backpackers drinking in the hostel bar by holing yourself up in a smoky, local backstreet café to reread Down and Out in Paris and

London? Or, do you try to avoid running into friends from home who have begun to venture to more obscure destinations that you had previously presumed were too adventurous for them to try? Sound about right? Instead, simply set your sights on a trip to a destination with no redeemable features whatsoever. For example, Knin, in Eastern Croatia, has no listings for cheap accommodation on the ‘Hostelbookers’ or ‘HostelWorld’ websites, but does have a screw factory which has been of industrial importance to the region since 1884. Whilst

Hipster Safari: So last year. other travellers flock to the Adriatic coast, you will have the town to yourself. If you manage to find any vegan, organic, dairy and wheat free local cuisine, at least you won’t have to fight other hipsters for it. Remember, if sleeping at bus stations was good enough for Neal Cassidy, then it’s good enough for you. Record accordingly As Polaroid-style photos become increasingly accessible to anyone with an iPhone, getting uniquely artistic travel shots also becomes more of a challenge. Genuine hipsters should have ditched Instagram years ago and switched to disposable cameras; which have stayed cost-ineffective enough to avoid mass popularity. But take your counter-mainstream art seriously and turn your back on the crowds taking yet-another-identical-picture of the Eiffel Tower/Leaning Tower of Pisa/ group of young travelers revelling with cheap beer and busty German barmaids at Oktoberfest. Instead, take a pretentious shot of a bin outside the Grand Place,

an abandoned grocery near the Acropolis (and have extra points for ‘BS’ – Bailout Sightseeing) or only settle for self-made, charcoal sketches of yourself with total strangers, preferably ones who refuse to smile and share deep philosophical wisdom. Lonely Planet calls this ‘experimental tourism’; the genuine hipster is too nonplussed to give it such a generic label. Death to the road trip playlist

Sharing music through Spotify, Ping and sites like has created a wave of ‘on the road’ playlists, listing road trip classics such as: ‘Going Up the Country’ by Canned Heat, Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘America’ or pretty much anything by Willie Nelson. Keep your settings firmly on ‘private’ and refuse to conform to the mainstream music of today. Exchange the convenient, lightweight mp3 player with a large memory, for a portable CD player such as the Matsui CD304. It’s a reliable vintage model with a ‘hold’ button, ideal for preventing tracks jumping on bumpy roads to obscure Moldavian villages that your friends have never heard of. To enable you to last the 24 hour bus journey from Bruges to Bucharest, this will require you to take nothing more than a backpack full of albums promoted in the latest copy of The Stool Pigeon, with just a clean pair of organic cotton pants and your Moleskin City Notebook for the entire trip. But to paraphrase Théophile Gautier’s Wanderings in Spain, ‘the pleasure in travelling consists of the fatigue’. Don’t forget to discard any used discs at the end of the trip, as by the time you get back they may have become popular!

Alys Hurn Lifestyle Editor

I’M GOING to guess that you’ve never heard of Cevapcici before; it’s a form of Croatian sausage created using three separate meats. Also known as Cevaps, this quick, easy and tasty recipe is commonly found in Eastern Europe and if you ever decide to visit, its a dish you have to try. The dish itself is rarely served with any sides; its basically a plate of meat and nothing else! This tradition apparently runs across the whole of Croatia, much like the food in Colombia, South America. You order a dish, expecting a companion of rice, potatoes or salad by its side, but instead you get a pile of meat on a plate. You almost miss the cheeky chips drowning in meat juice underneath. This recipe can vary a lot but here I’ve picked a basic one that is easy to try at home. I Counter-tourism – stay at hope you enjoy it! home! Of course to be a truly unique individual, become a champion of the ‘staycation’ (only without deigning to label your lifestyle with such a media-friendly term). Although the arrival of the Olympics and the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend have ruined the East London Hipster playground forever, it can only mean that for the domestic hipster, there are unexplored and fresh destinations just waiting to be discovered and shared with a select few on Tumblr. I hear Milton Keynes is nice.

“Genuine hipsters should have ditched Instagram years ago and switched to disposable cameras”

Makes 6 servings Prep time: 20 mins (plus an hour setting time) Cook time: 15 mins Ingredients • 1 pound minced beef chuck (This is a specific cut of beef that comes from the shoulder and neck area of the cow. It’s quite fatty but full of flavour) • 1/2 pound minced pork • 1/2 pound minced lamb • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions • 1 teaspoon salt

Method 1. Mix the minced beef, pork, lamb, garlic and chopped onions together in a bowl. 2. Once fully combined, roll the mixture into a long ‘tube like’ shape about ¾ inch thick. Don’t be too pedantic about the thickness, just make sure they aren’t too chunky otherwise it will take ages to cook. 3. This completed, you now need to cut the tube into sections around 4” in length. These then need to be wrapped in cling-film and put in the fridge to set for around an hour (if you wanted to make a large batch of sausages, you can freeze them at this point if you wish). 4. Once firm, they are ready to cook. This is done by pan frying the sausages for about 8 mins over a high heat (turning frequently) until each sausage is brown all over and cooked inside. To serve: Break tradition and serve them with potatoes and gravy (made from any remaining meat in the pan) or be even more creative and find a Croatian/Serbian dish that you feel might accompany them well. Alternatively, they make a great appetiser! Tips If you find the mixture of meat too rich (or just too expensive!) you can choose to include whichever meat you would prefer to eat. You can give them a little more flavour by adding spices like paprika or herbs like sage and rosemary (depending on which meat you decide to use).


September 2012

Autumn & Winter trends for 2012 Alys Hurn Lifestyle Editor FOR WOMEN, this season is all about embellishment, prints, leather and generally making each outfit you wear stand out. It’s all about the maximalist. Gone are the demure pastel shades of summer, instead you’ll be seeing a lot of rich, strong jewel colours; purple, red, gold and green. Replace last seasons lace collars with studded leather ones; think grunge, military and Goth. If you’ve walked into Topshop recently you’ll see how crosses seem to be gracing every outfit - they’re everywhere. However, try not to follow the crowd. Be inspired by the trends, but don’t follow them to the letter. Create your own statement and style. Stand out in your own way. As Yves Saint-Laurent said ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal’. Here are some of the main trends this season.

“It’s all about the maximalist... create your own statement and style” Delicate belted waists Small waist belts have graced the catwalks at fashion week, they are everywhere this autumn. Although mostly modest and plain, some styles had small bows attached for a delicate touch; keep your layers together this season with autumn /winter’s ‘must-have’ 2012 accessory. A style idea for you: Midi skirts are another fashion trend this season. Try pairing a high wasted midi skirt adorned with a simple cardigan, a waist belt and ankle boots.

Prints Prints dominated the catwalk during fashion week. London set the trend with Mary Katrantzou leading the way with her incredibly complex digital prints created with every shade of colour under the sun. Whether it’s patterned chunky knits or a sweater with an embroidered owl on the front, this is a style you need to invest in if your desire is to be bang on trend this autumn.

Embellishment and textures As well as prints, embellishment has a large part to play this season. It’s all

about creating texture and making your outfits stand out from the crowd. In New York, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren showed exactly how to achieve this trend by dominating the catwalk with rich velvet trouser suits, feathers and fur. However, it was Dolce and Gabbana that really experimented with textures the most. The collection consisted of baroque patterns, flowers and black lace. It was a beautiful example of how embellishment can be elegant and demure rather than over the top and eccentric. Talking of velvet, Gucci had this beautiful fabric gracing almost every piece in their collection. If you’re going to invest in one fashion trend this autumn, make sure it’s made of velvet. I have my velvet blazer at the ready!

Luxe Leather As Anne Hathaway showed audiences across the world, in The Dark Knight Rises, a touch of leather can add power and punch to any outfit. Just be careful not to go over the top! An all-in-one leather suit may have been acceptable for Catwoman but you may give some of the Aberystwyth locals a fright wearing that out in town! If you’re a bit scared about attempting to wear such a bold material, take it slow to start with. Many high-street shops are selling shirts with leather collars. Try pairing the shirt with a chunky knit, the collar buttoned up and sticking out and you’ll create an air of geek chic rather than biker chick. Black leather jackets are everywhere in the high-street shops. Try and go against the trend and instead of buying a black leather jacket, go for a grey or green one; there’s loads of choice!

Men’s fashion A little note to the men out there, get some animal prints in your wardrobe. I’m not talking about leopard print or zebra stripes… the trend this season is to grace t-shirts and jumpers with pictures of animals on the front- sharks, dinosaurs, owls, even jellyfish! Go wild this autumn and buy this statement piece for your wardrobe. Hopefully this has given you a few ideas to start getting a few key pieces for your winter wardrobe. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, check out websites’ autumn/winter collections. High-street stores such as Zara, Topshop and Urban Outfitters have galleries featuring their own clothing range; it’s a great way to get inspiration for your own look and style.

The Courier



The Courier

September 2012


How to make the most of your student loan Joe Landers Assistant Editor

MONEY is often tight as a student, going from one loan payment to the next. So how do you make your student loan stretch as far as possible? The first tip I can give is to budget – knowing just how much you’re spending is a great way to know if you’re living within your means or not. It may seem like a laborious task but you’ll appreciate it come the end of term. This type of budget doesn’t need to account for every penny and pound, just for as much as you can. This process can help you identify if you’re spending a vast fortune on food (circumstances change of course, but most students find that they can get by on £30 of food per week) or alcohol, for example. Take into account your rent payments (even if they’re paid out automatically on a direct debit) as they’ll form a substantial part of your outgoings. Having “real money” – that is your bank balance in cash – is also another excellent way to save pennies. Combine this with only taking out money once a week and avoid paying by debit card and you’ll no-

tice a dramatic difference in your outgoings. Obviously there are certain things that you have to use a debit card to pay for – online transactions for example, but the more you can limit these the better. Another tip is to always have some emergency money to hand, just in case you need to make essential purchases once you’ve spent your weekly allowance of cash. Perhaps the best way I can recommend to do this is to follow what I’m going to call the “Martin Lewis method” (the money saving expert) who has £20 emergency money in his wallet just in case he needs to get out of a tight financial spot. This £20 emergency fund could, for example, be set aside in your wallet for a taxi fare if you get into difficulty on a night out. Just remember to tuck it away safe so you don’t spend it by accident. In terms of clubs and societies, don’t be put off just because that particular pursuit seems expensive and therefore a luxury you can’t afford.

Quick Tips

• Budget - Know how much your loan is and how much you’re spending. • “Real Money” - Don’t rely on cards, you can’t always keep track of what you’re spending.Keep a £20 note in your wallet for emergencies. • Clubs and societies - Don’t be put off by cost, just prioritise. • Food - Shop at the end of day to get reduced items that are close to their sell by date. It’s also better not to go food shopping when you’re already hungry. • Travel - Get yourself a railcard. • Work - Find a part-time job in town. • Discount - It’s always worth asking if student discount is available. • Don’t suffer in silence - If you’re experiencing real financial hardship, seek assistance from a financial expert. Everyone needs downtime from academic work and if it’s something you really enjoy you should definitely consider it – it’ll help you destress and make your time at university even more enjoyable (there is a life outside of academic work after all!) Some outlay is inevitable and spending your money on de-stressing seems like a worthwhile use of limited funds. It is worth bearing in mind as well that many clubs and societies are cheap to join and participate in – some are even free. In terms of food shopping, there are a few tricks that can help you save money each week. This may seem obvious but if university is your first time living away from home you may not have had to live within your own means before. First and foremost, make a list of what you need and try to stick to it. Those extra purchases can rapidly tally up to well over a tenner on your bill. Remember to put the basics on the list as well, all the items that you’ve come to expect in the fridge at home – milk, bread, cheese and so forth. Another money saver is to shop shortly after you’ve eaten, or at least when you’re not hungry. Whilst you may think that this won’t save you huge amounts, the theory has been proven to work. When you shop whilst hungry, you’re looking for purchases to satisfy your immediate need for energy. This often means expensive processed foods,

which tend to fill that gap more readily than cheaper, unprocessed food. Also, take full advantage of reduced lines at the end of the day and week. Perishable items, or those reaching their display dates before the next day of trading need to be removed from the shelves and the supermarkets would much prefer to sell them off cheap than spend money sending them to a landfill (which for businesses incurs quite a hefty cost). You can get quite substantial discounts here, often up to 50% or more. Stores obviously vary, but after 3pm is a good time to get these discounts. Saturday afternoons are also a good bet for shops that are not open on Sundays. For those of us who enjoy an alcoholic beverage, the costs of these can rapidly rack up. Drinking in pubs or clubs is the most expensive, but often most social option. I have found that Wetherspoons can be a relatively cheap place to enjoy a good selection of beers and lagers, although the layout and atmosphere is not comparative to that of a normal pub. A 16-25 Railcard is another excellent way

to save money whilst allowing you to travel and visit friends and

family within the UK rail network. Whilst the up front cost of obtaining a railcard may seem high, if you make journeys totalling three times the amount of the card or more, you’ll at least break even. A railcard entitles you to ⅓ off the price of a ticket, which for me, on my travel home to Bristol, saves me up to £20 each time. One word of warning however – you must carry your Railcard with you each time you travel on the railway, otherwise you stand to have to pay the full cost of your fare. Part time work is an excellent way to boost your bank balance. In a small town like Aberystwyth part time work is harder to come by than in bigger university cities, but it is not impossible. The University Careers service, who have an office in the Students Union, also maintain a fairly buoyant list of local jobs available. The University also have some jobs of their own available for students shelf stacking in the library, cleaning staff and s o forth. Faili n g that,

check local shop windows for job adverts. Many shops and businesses in this town offer student discounts - take full advantage. Many simply require your Aber Student Card as proof, although some may also require an NUS extra card. Discounts are usually 10% although some places do offer more generous percentages off. It’s all about trying to maximise what money you do have and making the most of anything that is free! In terms of financial products to help your money stretch, ISAs tend to be the most popular and they offer high interest saving rates. These can be very useful in providing a safety net for when your money saving doesn’t quite plan out. Shop around for the best deals and check the small print carefully. They are certainly a better bet than having money lying around in your current account, as whilst this is more conveniently accessed than an ISA, it is doing nothing for you: current accounts do not earn interest! One last cautionary note: despite being as frugal as possible, if you still find yourself in serious financial difficulty and are struggling to pay bills, come and talk to the Students’ Union. Laura Dickens, who is your Student Support Officer, will be able to point you towards professional services who can help you overcome these financial worries. They may even be able to unlock some of the Student Hardship Fund for you. After all, there is a difference between a student with little money and someone in serious financial difficulty.

The Courier


September 2012

The Fresher feeling Tom Bond IT’S THE START of a new year and for those returning to Aberystwyth, it’s a big readjustment. For those starting afresh, it can be an overwhelming experience. Detached from the comforts of home in search of a shiny new degree, it can make even the most independent ones amongst us uneasy at times. Don’t panic, we’re here to help! Here is an idea of what to expect and a few pointers to try and avoid any unnecessary stress in your first few weeks at university.

exploring the town and its surroundings. Get some friends together and make a day of it.

‘Down it, Fresher!’: How to prepare yourself for an intense couple of weeks Taking part in as many activities in Fresher’s Week as you can is great! But after a while, you may feel the euphoria replaced by flu like symptoms. This is the illness commonly called ‘Fresher’s Flu’ and it plagues the university every year. It is not uncommon to begin coughing and spluttering in your first month here, so the best thing you can do is prepare yourself for it. In between the alcoholic beverages, try to re-fuel your body with hot drinks like honey and lemon, Lemsip or some fruit teas such as Twinning’s lemon and ginger tea, to help soothe your throat and settle your stomach. You can also keep your immune system in working order by taking some multivitamins. Also, don’t forget to eat a decent meal once in a while. Pizza or instant noodles may seem like easy, quick fixes for a hungry stomach but your body needs fruit and vegetables.

Don’t Forget Your Future Health: RememHow to deal with home- ber to sign up to a GP in town! sickness: It is highly recommended by the uniGet involved! One of the main issues that effects most freshers is adjusting to being away from family and friends. It can be daunting to begin with and the unfamiliar surroundings may leave you feeling lost. The key to overcoming these home-sickness blues is to remember everyone around you is feeling the same. The best thing you can do is to chuck yourself into as many activities and social events as possible. Get out there and start making some friends so that you have people to talk to when your feeling a bit low. Even if you only attend the taster sessions during Sports Week and Freshers’ Week, joining a society or sports team will create a new pool of friends and it’ll give you something to look forward to on a Wednesday afternoon. Remember, even though your friends and family may seem out of touch, they never really are. The messaging service Skype, along with instant messaging on smart phones, means that they are only a phone call away. Even if it seems silly to call after a few days, you will always feel better after a reassuring chat from Mum or Dad. Anyway, there are always things to do in Aberystwyth to distract you! Check out this issue’s feature article on the A-Z of Aberystwyth and start

versity that you should sign up to one of the local GP’s. Do this in your first week so that when you actually get ill you don’t have to faff around signing up to a practice. They are happy to help, so if you’re feeling apprehensive about the dreaded ‘Fresher’s flu’ then give them a visit and you’ll be right as rain in no time! Speaking of rain, the seasonal change may leave you feeling a little ‘under the weather’ so to speak... As Aberystwyth faces the Irish sea, weather patterns will fluctuate wildly, so be ready to wrap up warm at the slightest notice. Also, the University bus can even save you the pain of walking back home from lectures in a drizzle. So all in all, if you are feeling apprehensive about the new year, even if you’ve done it before, there are so many ways to make you feel better than sitting under the covers with a cold, eating chocolate and watching Sex and the City. Tag along to everything you can, safe in the knowledge that everyone in your halls is probably as confused as you are. Just wash your hands after a heavy night and keep the orange juice flowing- it will be the first great friend you make in the weeks to come.

The Courier



The Courier

Anna Karenina Alex Davies

ADAPTING a book into a film is difficult. Adapting a classic over 800 pages in length is even harder. With more than a dozen adaptations of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina having already been created, Joe Wright has tried yet again to bring the Russian tome onto the big screen for a twenty-first century audience. Unfortunately, with the challenge of taking such a well-known and downright huge book and attempting to make it more widely known through the medium of cinema, Wright hasn’t quite hit the nail on the head, making the film more gratuitously beautiful than with any depth beyond how it looks. Wright has attempted to create Anna Karenina in a more fantastical world than the cold Russian scenery of the booksetting it in a theatre is a small touch of filmic genius, but it does leave the audience with the awareness of knowing that it’s completely fictional. The wonderful thing about the novel is that it’s so honest; you genuinely believe the events are happening, and that these people are real. The film doesn’t have the same honesty. With a very Moulin Rouge introduction of the characters, it’s Keira Knightley’s chance to take a well known character and add a spin to it. And, credit to her, she rolls with it. An always very stonyfaced actress, Knightley adds serenity and maturity to both Anna and her own acting prowess. However, bringing together director Wright and Knightley for the third time (having already worked together on Atonement and Pride and Prejudice) means this is a love letter to Knightley’s face. Wright loves reminding

September 2012

the audience of just how beautiful Keira Knightley is, regardless of whether it works or not. Law himself is apt in the role of Karenina’s unloving husband, monkish in quality and sombre in performance. However, facing the role as The Other Man is Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky, the man who tempts Anna away from Alexei. First things first, Johnson’s Vronsky is blonde haired and moustached, and does not look the type to convince someone like Anna to become an adulteress; even in the book he is described as dark haired. Why they would cast someone (naturally dark haired) as blonde and American is beyond anyone. The chemistry between them is phenomenal however. This is something Wright knows how to play to his advantage - making the audience believe two people love each other passionately. Their first meeting and dance is hyper-sexual and frantic with little dialogue, something beautifully sexy to watch. The lack of involvement with the secondary characters is a little disappointing. I found Kitty and Lenin’s friendship and eventual love affair to be charming and a little sad at times in the book, but it is harshly ignored in Wright’s adaptation, instead choosing the more luxurious Anna and Vronsky to focus on. I would have liked to have seen Kitty and Lenin expanded as characters a bit more, both separately and together. As a film, it is certainly theatrical. One scene in particular stands out, as the famous racehorse scene is played, not outside like in the book, but rather inside the theatre. As the horses race around the auditorium, you’re faced with the challenge of having to accept that none of this is

real. One of the best things about seeing a film is losing yourself in it, but with this move, Wright alienates his audience. It just doesn’t work. The novel is famous for its love story integrated with politics and issues of Russia at Tolstoy’s time, but Wright has wiped Anna Karenina of any value as a political stance, choosing instead to find out how pretty two people can look on camera at any time. It’s surprisingly shallow in this aspect. Joe Wright is an interesting director - his films scream of grandeur, and are certainly Oscar worthy in terms of the technical aspects (this is one of the most visually stunning and innovative films of recent years), but they always lack a depth. With a classic such as Anna Karenina, there is a substance needed to make it a sincere watch. Wright may have not been the best person for such a job- maybe with someone a little more understated, this film could have been a triumph. That being said, whilst Wright’s Anna Karenina may not be a complete success, it is both bold and exciting, and a worthy title to add to the list of not quite perfect, but faithful in its own right, adaptations.

Twenty-five years later, Ted’s fame has long since died off and he and John (Mark Walberg) reside in a small apartment smoking hash, drinking beer and watching their favourite film, Flash Gordon. John’s girlfriend of four years, Lori (Mila Kunis), is eager for John to move on with his life but thinks that he needs to stop living with Ted to do so. To appease her, John persuades Ted to get a job at the local grocery store and to move into his own apartment. However, John keeps finding himself pulled away from his work and spending time with Ted, much to Lori’s annoyance. Ted also finds himself stalked by Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) who obsessed over him as a child and wishes to have him for his destructive son (Aedin Mincks).

I was initially sceptical about Ted. Family Guy is suffering the same fate as The Simpsons in that it has become much more self-aware and as a consequence less adventurous, thus working itself into a creative rut with each season. I also thought that The Cleveland Show was boring and pointless, seemingly made up of every joke that wasn’t good enough to be put into Family Guy. However, Ted surprised me in just how funny it was. McFarlane definitely plays to his strengths in regards to the screenplay. The humour is juvenile, but also very near the knuckle. It works very well regarding the characters. There is a scene towards the end which was definitely one of those “I really shouldn’t be laughing but god I can’t help myself ” moments, which will still have you giggling long after the film is over. Ted’s best trait, and a testament to McFarlane’s great screenplay, is simply the fact that it’s never boring despite the typical girlfriend vs. best friend story. It flows well and never seems to run out of material which is well delivered by the cast. It’s a confident, well-made cinematic debut from one of America’s most renowned comedy writers.


Callum Askew IT WAS ONLY a matter of time before Seth McFarlane, the creative mind behind Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show would move on to face a new challenge in feature films. His first film, Ted which he has written, starred in and directed, continues to play with the various traits that have come to define his other projects - the childish and incompetent lead, the anthropomorphised character which, in this case, is an obnoxious, vulgar teddy bear. Even most of the respective cast have played parts in McFarlane’s various other series. However, despite the similar blue-print, Ted yields a lot of well written set pieces and plenty of great comedy. Starting in a suburb of Boston in the mid 80s, John Bennet, a lonely child, receives a teddy bear for Christmas which he names Ted (McFarlane) and wishes that it could talk back to him and become an actual friend. A falling star (or Jesus, if you’re from Georgia) grants life to Ted. After the miracle is revealed, Ted becomes a celebrity, all the while remaining John’s best friend and “Thunder Buddy”.

arts Lawless Beth Murray

LAWLESS, John Hillcoat’s follow up to the quiet and haunting post-apocalyptic contemplation, The Road, is, in many ways, the direct opposite of that film. Whilst it is often just as visually interesting, it is a much louder film than his last. Lawless oscillates between the kind of quiet moments one expects from a Prohibition-era piece and the kind of roaring gunfire one expects from a mobster film from the same period. It boasts an unbelievable cast but sadly even they cannot breathe life into this surprisingly drab film. For all its pedigree, Lawless is simply far from flawless. Based on the true account of the Bondurant brothers, as chronicled by their descendant, Matt Bondurant, in his novel, “The Wettest County in the World”, and adapted by singer/songwriter, Nick Cave, Lawless focuses most of its attention on the runt of the litter, Jack. Jack is played by the guy who coincidentally also has the most to prove in this project, Shia LaBeouf, who steps away from big budget blockbusters and toward bigger budget indies instead. To make this point abundantly clear, which Hillcoat does again and again with many of the film’s failed attempts at subtlety, Lawless opens with a young Jack being taunted by his older brothers as he struggles to catch the runt of a pig litter on their farm. LaBeouf catches the metaphorical pig and demonstrates his potential for meatier fare as his career continues, but when you’re acting opposite the likes of Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, your best isn’t necessarily good enough. Lawless is also relentlessly violent and entirely unapologetic about the whole thing. As Jack escalates his brothers’ bootlegging operation in the face of mounting corruption amongst the police, a war is waged and it isn’t a pretty one. The question becomes what is anyone actually fighting for. Every character, save for Jack once he gets a taste of success, is cold and dispassionate. When they pick up their guns, no one has any concern for human life, be it their own or anyone else’s. There is rarely ever a moment of joy on any one face and this rampant lifelessness leaves the impression that all of this violence is simply unnecessary. As a result, Lawless is left rather listless.

arts Breaking Bad

September 2012


Ashleigh Davies THE FIRST season (or series for us Brits) of Grimm started in October 2011 on NBC in the US and mid-February 2012 on Watch over here in the UK. I guess most people haven’t heard much about this new show here in the UK but it’s starting to become a big hit in the US. The cast don’t seem overly familiar or well-known but they are excellent, bringing the characters alive in a way in which means you then start to care about them throughout the series. If you have no idea what this show is about get ready to pay attention. It’s set in present day Portland in Oregon. The focal concept of the show is to put a twist on the old fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm (hence the name of the show). The main character, Nick, is a homicide detective and in the first episode we learn


The Walking Dead

Georges Almond

ACCORDING to Walter White, “technically, chemistry is the study of matter”, but he prefers to see it “as the study of change.” It’s also fascinating to watch the growth, decay and transformation of Breaking Bad’s anti-hero, a sad-sack chemistry teacher who, reacting to a diagnosis of terminal cancer, becomes Heisenberg, vicious criminal and meth chef extraordinaire. It’s probably the best thing on telly, so please go and watch the first four seasons before I spoil it all for you. Done? Good. Season five finds Walt’s metamorphosis almost complete. Having graduated from the Gus Fring school of hard knocks, his CV boasts the best crystal meth recipe in town, a newfound ruthless streak, and the ability to work well as part of a team. Our wallflower has become a warlord, but at what cost? Silly old bum has only gone and lost his soul. All the clawing and scratching his way to the top has taken its toll on his psyche. Each individual episode has a recognisable structure. Usually, an episode begins with a summary of some problem standing in the way of the Heisenberg crime train, and the show will, from some devious plan, follow Walt’s tenacious efforts to overcome this obstacle. We have come to expect him to succeed in one way or an-

The Courier

Jozef Raczka

Telltale games. Available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3

other, but we also know that a by-product of his masterplan will be the formation of some new problem, some deeper descent into strife. Maybe his relationship with Jesse, his foul-mouthed sidekick, will be jeopardised, or his wife will learn some new detail of his depravity, or he will leave a trace of evidence for his boisterous brother-in-law the policeman to pick up on. In the next episode, this germ of a problem will sprout legs, run about for a bit and be dealt with in turn, only to create newer, scarier problems. It’s solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over. The cumulative effect of all of these misadventures leaves Walt unrecognisable. He’s now like a grizzled old war veteran, senseless to the suffering he creates and even that which he inflicts upon himself. There is a particularly gross along with Nick that he is a ‘Grimm’. He is a descendent from groups of hunters who fight supernatural creatures (some creepier than others, so you might need a pillow to hide behind for some episodes) and they keep all of humanity safe. We go through this journey with him, meeting new creatures in each episode. Although each episode is a new story line there are continuous plots throughout the series. The writers of the series have a good outlook on how to maintain suspense throughout an episode and keep you on the edge of your seat. The actors seem to have developed very strong and independent characters which you start to love more with each episode. Although the tension within the episodes keep you glued to the screen, it’s not hard to predict what the outcome is going to be. Each episode has a different story but you know the outcome before it finishes, once you’ve seen a few of epi-

scene in which he mutilates himself to escape capture which really brings home the central irony of Walt’s character. Heisenberg, the persona he created to grant himself a bit more agency, has only served to make him a rat in a trap. The only means of escape is to dig deeper. Like Dr. Jekyll, he has lost control of his Mr. Hyde. And yet, despite portraying a man with no choice but to step into the devil’s shoes, Breaking Bad pulls off the masterstroke of making us root for him. A twisted little part of us wants to see him become the emperor, to get away with all of his crimes. Personally, I’m chained to the set. I just hope it’s because I’m fascinated by the study of change, and not tempted by the desire to break bad myself.

sodes you can see the pattern they follow. Although the whole layout of the series isn’t perfect and it might take you a few episodes to get into the whole story, I would recommend giving this show a watch. The characters are very relatable and lovable, but knowing that everything will probably turn out okay in the end kind of puts a dampener on things- everyone loves a good cliff hanger, after all. I would say to try and watch three or four episodes to see if you get into it. If you’re loving the whole fairytale theme at the moment then definitely put this on your list of what to watch! You never know, you might end up wasting a whole day catching up with the first series in preparation for the second that should be out over here in the UK by the start of next year.

THE WALKING Dead is a geek franchise not to be reckoned with: a popular comic book series, a television series and as many bits of merchandise as they can draw a zombie on, so when Telltale Games announced they were releasing a five part video game tie-in, I didn’t think lightning ever struck thrice. Well, colour me surprised because the games are not only immensely enjoyable but approaching the giddy heights set by the comics. The game places you in the role of Lee Everett, a man with a shady past struggling to deal with a world infested with zombies. The game is especially effective at weaving the storyline into that of the comics; you meet various characters before they turn up in the main series and a decent portion of the first episode is set on a location that is infamous for fans. However, it does not make the understanding of these references essential to the story allowing newcomers to the series. In terms of gameplay, The Walking Dead isn’t fully immersive, but rather an interactive comic book. This is not a major problem as the game intends to place relations with other characters over zombie killing as a focus and the use of timers on responses in conversations effectively builds tension. When it acts as a game, it displays its weakest fault; whilst facial movements for the characters are shockingly good, there is an odd floating quality to character’s limbs that show the lack of care given to the non-verbal sections of the game. Currently there are three episodes of the series available with two more to come soon. This isn’t a traditional zombie game, containing little that will test your trigger finger but if you’re looking for a different take on well-worn ground it is worth it. There are very few game adaptations worth your time so when one as good as this comes along, it really is something special.


The Courier

TO COINCIDE with the release of their new album Furniture, we at The Courier were given the chance to interview Dylan Hughes of Race Horses, one of the latest bands to emerge from the Aberystwyth music scene.

September 2012

Interview: Race Horses Furniture Race Horses Rhian Evans Reviews Editor

How did you come to start up the band? Myself and Meilyr were in school together in Aberystwyth, we’d been in a couple of bands when Gwion, who we met through a mutual friend joined. Then eventually Dan and Mali who were in Uni with Meilyr came ‘on board’ as well. Is there a story behind the name? Well… it was 2009, we were playing a festival in Brighton; we checked the band’s bank balance to see if we had enough money for the petrol back – unfortunately we only had £5. It was decided that this fiver would be placed on a horse called ‘Lucky Lady’ who was racing in the 3:30 at Chepstow. The horse came last but a few months later I think this experience subconsciously inspired Meilyr to suggest the name Race Horses. Also, the name sounded quite energetic and it’s the kind of name that a soft rock group from the 70s would have – which is always a bonus. How was it working with a bigger collaborative - with new band members - compared to putting together your previous record? Having Dan meant that we could construct rhythms and beats that were based around unusual percussion instruments instead of a standard drum kit. We didn’t have a definite plan of which instrument was going to record which part when we went into the studio. The album was written in less than three months as recorded in eight days – we wanted quite a direct album that captured the energy in the studio during that week. We’d kind of also been subconsciously influenced by a few dancefloor fillers (good classic ones I hasten to add!) during that period and staying in noisy youth hostels when we were recording in London definitely added a je ne sais quoi to the record. Goodbye Falkenburg was quite a psychedelic record a sort of mish mash of ideas recorded over a nine month period since we left school. What was your start point for your new album, Furniture? We were heading into the unknown a bit with this album – we didn’t want to do anything that felt too comfortable or automatic, that’s why we constructed the rhythms around a few percussion instruments as well as the kit or did the bass lines on muted piano. We weren’t entirely sure how furniture was going to pan out when we went to the studio – it was quite hard to re-

hearse it as we didn’t have half the instruments we needed at the time (e.g. piano, some synths). Also, most of the parts were in our heads – we’d sing rhythm parts and melodies but didn’t really know how or what would play them. And how did you know, towards the end, that it was ready? It just felt like a record to us – the songs sounded how we wanted them to sound and it felt like we’d achieved what we wanted to on this record. Were there any particular influences you drew upon for this album? Anything that you feel could be related to growing up in a place like Aberystwyth? I think perhaps the lyrical influences, of relationships and actions being like furniture (fading into subconscious) and being bored of daily routines relates to experiences having left Aberystwyth. Growing up in Aberystwyth meant we didn’t have any expectation or pressure to fit into music scene like you probably would in a larger city. We’d be playing in pubs to our mates and putting on gigs when we were 15, listening to old records and going around town in the maddest psych clothes we could find. I guess

that always wanting to be on the outside has come from growing up in Aberystwyth. Listening to the album, there seem to be some more sombre sounds towards the close. This seems to be a pattern across a lot of artists - was this intentional (or do you disagree)? I don’t think it was intentional for it to follow any pre-existing patterns or anything. We thought ‘Old & New’ sounded great as an album ender; it was also the last song we recorded. We only had half an hour to do it. It was recorded live with two pianos in a pitch dark studio. I always enjoy making (and listening to) albums that have a varied sounds across the songs. How do you decide which tracks to release as singles? With this album there were a few songs that stood out as singles to us, the label also agreed, simple! Any plans for the future beyond your upcoming tour dates? We’ve got two album launch shows in Cardiff (22/09) and London (25/09) then a European tour supporting Bat For Lashes in November. I think between now and then we’ll do a couple of UK tours and try and play as many gigs as we can. We’re also trying to sort a Aberystwyth gig out which would be great if we can pull it off.

IT’S NOT all that often that you hear of a band whose members, in part in this case, hail from Aberystwyth. If you go out to the tight pubs and events around Aber, you’re guaranteed to hear some great local talent, but here is a band who have moved beyond those intimate settings and maybe not-quite-appreciative-because-alcohol-is-available audiences and are onto their second album. Furniture, Race Horses follow up to their debut Goodbye Falkenberg, demonstrates a definite strengthening of their sense of what Race Horses sound is. Vocalist Meilyr Jones explains the album as being about “people that spend a lot of time together gradually starting not to see each other. If you put a picture on your wall, over time it dissolves into the background. It’s the same when you’re living with someone; they become an object over time.” It’s a concept that resonates even if, at first, the idea of titling an album ‘furniture’ seems a bit obscure. The opening track- also ‘Furniture’gives you an immediate sense of what to expect. A strong bassline carries it through, overlayed with twinkly percussion and distinctive vocals. It’s upbeat, but with a lingering darkness as broadcast by some dirty eighties-like synth work towards the close of the track, a whirring confusion that belies the catchy earworm nature of the foreboding ‘We are furniture’ repetition. Queen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Soft Cell are cited as being some of the band’s musical influences. Whereas some of these comparisons are clear, as I listened to the album, I was able to make some of my own. The second track ‘Mates’ reminded me of Hot Chip’s work from a couple of years ago, only with fewer steel drums. Something about Meilyr Jones’ vocal work put me in mind of Phillip Oakley, of Human League fame; this may perhaps be because one song in particular, ‘Bad Blood’, requires some call-and-answer pitch changes by Jones, like one man attempting to sing both the male and female parts of ‘Don’t You Want Me’only ,‘Bad Blood’ doesn’t sound terrible because of this fact, it may actually be one of my favourite tracks off the album. ‘My Year Abroad’ is the first single release from Furniture. It is, to my ears, one of the more contemporary sounding tracks. The chorus, with its heavy use of guitars and drums, is dark and clashing. The vocals lead through from light and teasing to stark honesty, sounding as if they are being sung from a distance, fading away. It’s a good example of what Race Horses can do, and if you like it, you should definitely investigate further as you’ll only find more to enjoy.


The Courier

September 2012


The Courier


Channel Orange Frank Ocean Jozef Raczka

TO TALK about Frank Ocean without addressing him publicly coming out as bisexual a week before his album Channel Orange is difficult. Within the traditionally homophobic hip hop/R&B scene, this is not just a statement about freedom of expression but a tribute to Ocean’s honesty as a writer. Ocean’s lyr- Alex Pike ics deal with love and sexuality in a raw IN 2009, The xx stormed into the view and occasionally uncomfortable way. of the mainstream with their debut alOn the early album highlight ‘Sierra Le- bum xx. It won the Mercury Prize, one’, a heart-breaking yet touching tale reached platinum sales in the UK, and of unplanned pregnancy, he sings over has sound tracked your TV advertisea sparse electronic backing that only ments and montages ever since. In serves to highlight Ocean’s soaring vocals short, it was a bit of a classic. This was yet still leaving him exposed and frag- all well and good until us music-hunile. It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t from gry fans began wanting a follow-up. experience, Ocean sings with a sincerity Three years later, The xx have released that draws you into the parade of broken their second album, Coexist. The album characters he portrays over the album. opens with their lead single, ‘Angels’, The album is ambitious in its produc- which is completely chilling. It’s simple, tion, incorporating multiple different downbeat and emotionally charged. The styles; from the Pharrell Williams in- vocal hook is barely more than a whisfused Neo-Soul sound of future party per, and yet it’s so unforgettable. The anthem ‘Sweet Life’, to the aggressive album continues with their distinctive back beat that underlies ‘Crack Rock’, sound, building swelling layers that fall a rare anti-drug song that doesn’t feel away to make perfect use of space and cloying or patronising to its audience. quiet. This all sounds awfully familIt could never be said that the album iar. It’s undeniable that they haven’t had is perfect as at seventeen songs running a drastic change in sound since their to over an hour altogether, it would be debut, but why fix it if it isn’t broken? unlikely if all of them were hits. There is Upon first listening, only a couple of a mid-album lull of tracks, such as new tracks managed to stand out as anywave tribute ‘Lost’ and unnecessary blues thing special, but after a few listens, the interlude ‘White’, that are listenable to record starts to stand on its own two but not as powerful as the album’s centre- feet and reveals a musical depth that piece, ‘Pyramids’, a swirling, immersive, the debut lacked. The record’s biggest stunning track which threatens to leave downfall comes with the lyrics. They’re the rest of the album in its wake. It is to generally quite simplistic, which is Ocean’s credit that it doesn’t. Even into sometimes exactly what the track needs its last tracks, Channel Orange is consist- (in ‘Angels’ for example) but more ofently powerful and retains momentum. ten they appear quite one-dimensional. Ocean has been a ghost writer for artists When it comes across as so similar to such as John Legend for years but Chan- the The xx’s first effort, you can’t help but nel Orange is his major label debut. It de- wonder if it would have done any harm clares Ocean as a talent to watch and, de- to be slightly more experimental when spite his youth, not one to be taken lightly. writing Coexist. On the other hand, no one can complain when it’s so musically

Coexist The xx

Swimming Home Deborah Levy Rhian Evans Reviews Editor

AS THE SHORTEST title on the recently announced Man-Booker Prize shortlist, Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home is not exactly an off-putting tome to look at from the outside. It doesn’t even qualify as a tome. The novel, which runs to 157 pages, does not sound from its blurb like your standard prize nominee fare. It’s not impenetrable or obscure; rather it appears to prelude the tale of a middle-class family, poet Jozef Jacobs, his war reporter wife Isabel and their daughter Nina, along with their shop-owner friends, Laura and Mitchell, heading out to a villa in France for a week. The only catch, and the true catalyst to this story, is Kitty Finch, the woman whom they find already in their pool. Unexpectedly, Isabel invites her to stay in the spare room. Events do not purely spiral from the presence of Kitty, however. Yes, she is something of an object of interest to the other occupants of the villa, but she is nothing more than an interruption to many of the characters. She serves to warp the reality they were expecting to come face to face with on their trip, characters drawn towards her only to bend away from her impenetrability and come to realisations about themselves as they hold their own personalities up to their judgements of Kitty. Much of the subject matter of the book

reads like other contemporary writingcharacters burdened with the regrets of their past and relationships, they don’t like themselves and are irritated by the company they are with, yet still crave their love and attention. Levy touches well upon this confusion, staying true to the natures of her characters- whose personal, of-the-moment crises are very three-dimensional, even if their personalities are not completely fleshed outand as such, none reach any conclusions. It would have been dishonest for any of them to reach any satisfactory epiphanies. What really stood out to me about this book was the writing itself. Jozef Jacobs is established early on as a poet- or, ‘the arsehole poet’- and Kitty Finch as one of his readers, who only really wants Jozef to read a poem she has written as inspired by him, titled ‘Swimming Home’. Poetry pervades these two people and the pages of the novel in which they walk. Swimming Home is divided into seven sections, one for each day spent in the villa. Within these segments are further divisions, each briefly titled and shifting character perspective. This, coupled with Levy’s use of short sentences and starkly sharp, up close observational detail as picked up on by her characters, reads like poetry. The novel could read as a narrative poetic anthology, the build-up and misunderstandings that climax with an inevitable catastrophe. To my mind, it is this that has led to Swimming Home being nominated for the Man Brooker Prize, and makes it worth the quick, insightful read it proves to be.

26 26

The Courier

September 2012 March 2012

The Extinguisher

New bus route unveiled

A NEW shuttle bus service, costing £3.5million, has been announced by Ceredigion Council, to provide a muchneeded transport link between the Old College and Pier Pressure. Calling solely at those two stops, it is hoped that the new route will boost the local economy around the pier area, thought to consist largely of 2p coin drop machine games and watered down vodka.

A brand new, state-of-the-art fleet of two buses will be one of the more costly aspects of the project. The vehicles feature an array of high definition television screens, occasionally displaying local news and information, but mostly showcasing the remarkable views captured by the 22 onboard CCTV cameras. The service will not operate to a schedule as such, instead buses will run "basically whenever we feel like it" according

to an Arriva Bus spokesperson. Prices start at £3 for a return ticket, but Arriva has pledged to introduce an annual pass which could save passengers who use the service more than once a day tens of pounds. Drivers will be specially trained to forget all useful knowledge they ever knew about the town or their own services, and will be trained to remove any customer service skills they might have accidnetally aquired.

New Security Detail On Campus FOLLOWING a record number of reports of tomfoolery and hijinks on Penglais campus over the previous academic year, the University has recently hired in a new security firm to keep watch on the area over night time periods. As can be afforded by the University at this juncture, and, in a happy coincidence, the staff availability of the firm, G5S Security, this task of epic proportions has been assigned to the dutiful ministrations of one man. Arnold Stallone (right) will soon become a familiar grey-haired and cragged face to those who live on campus. An air of mystery pervades the air surrounding this once well-muscled man- how did he get that heart-shaped scar over his left index knuckle? Is he up to the task of policing the rogues of a town which consistently boasts some of the lowest crime statistics in the UK? Here at The Extinguisher, we were lucky enough to get in a few quick questions with the 53 year old between his thorough safety searches of Rosser and Trefloyne. We started with the biggest question of all- how can one security man, alone, take on such a job? “It’s not security man, it’s security officer,” he was quick to correct us. “Any officer can take on any population with the law at his side and a small to medium sized weapon strapped to his hip.” Stallone was certainly impressed with his own answer, and was only too happy to give us further details as to what he believes the problem at Aberystwyth to be. “Things have been too lax around here,” he told us, emphasised with the smack of his collapsible truncheon into this palm. “Parties until the wee small hours. Parking without permits. Guests staying overnight without being properly signed in at a designated reception desk. Noise complaints not taken seriously even though people’s academic performances could be seriously at risk? No. It’s not good

NEW University security guard, Arnold Stallone, pictured carrying ‘torch’. We cannot show his face for legal reasons, we’re told. By him. power of a million candles. Policeenough. I’m here to change that.” We pushed Stallone for further issue pistol a buddy of mine got me information as to how he intends to when I was kicked off the force.” We were unable to ask Stallone implement these changes. just why he had been evicted from “I’ve brought a few of my little the police force as he was forced friends”- the reporter would like to abandon the interview in order it to here be known that Stallone chuckled darkly at his own incred- to reprehend a maverick student ibly obvious pop-culture reference- performing a three-point turn on “Truncheon. Taser. Torch with the the cross-hatched zone outside of Rosser F.

Exclusive MUGS offer! ABERYSTWYTH-’based’ entrepreneur Ewan Kershaw is proud to present an exclusive deal for Aberystwyth students. The Mega Undergraduate Savings card - or MUGS card - is your ticket to discount-ville, for a low low price of just £9 for three years! Participants in the scheme include Frankie and Benny’s, JJB Sports, Chiquitos, The Sydney Opera house and hundreds of other outlets that you have to travel at least 70 miles to get to! But that’s not all, your card gives you a range of exclusive discounts right here in Aberystwyth, including:

• Free VIP entry to Why Not nightclub (excluding Saturdays) • Free napkin and plastic fork with all purchases at Sam’s Fried Chicken • Items for as low as £1 in Poundland • 5% off silly string at Stars • Free shot of your choice* with every drink purchased in Academy *choose from any of the following beverages: water

NEW ROUTE: The route is slightly elongated due to Aberystwyth’s one-way system

September 2012


The Extinguisher

The revered Druid Gweirydd ap Gwirion of Aberystwyth University’s department of Welsh History presents your...

Freshers week horoscope




While you may think that this week will be quite exciting, many years from now your biographer will leave it out as a bad job and really not worth their time.

Whatever you might think about Freshers week, bear in mind that sex is like sunshine in Wales; it never comes when you want it to and it won’t last for nearly as long as you hope.

You’ll be caught in a blizzard at 3.15am on Tuesday on your way home from Yokos and die horribly from hypothermia. This warning still won’t still won’t stop you from going out on Tuesday.

It may take you some time to appreciate the irony of getting that letter from the STI clinic just one day after you woke up lying next to the love of your life

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Work on the basis that there are 30 and use a marker pen to adjust your clocks.

After being stretchered out through your friend’s party, you’ll decide that the epiphany you had while reading 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t such a good idea after all


Letter M





March 21 April 19

December 22 December 24 The most interesting thing about your future isn’t how short it is, but just how dull your sad decline into alcoholism will be.

April 20 May 20

January 20 Feb 18

Due to a quirk of the astrological calendar, repeat February 1993.

May 20 June 20

Christmas and bank holidays When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle, and this will help things turn out for the best.


June 21, 24 and 28

The early 90s


July 23 August 22

July 23 August 22

Your premature labour this Your age still hasn’t week will come as somewhat dawned, get over it. surprising given that you were hitherto unaware that you were pregnant, female or had ever had sex. In retrospect, that LSD was probably a mistake.


August 23 December 21

Second Tuesday of the Month You will be hit by a bus while crossing the road outside of Academy. This will stop you worrying about the horrific actions that got you thrown out in the first place.

The Extinguisher’s alternate A-TO-Z of Aberystwyth

It's finally here! A fully comprehensive freshers' guide to Aberystwyth, arbitrarily shoehorned into an A to Z format. ARRIVA Trains Wales, the cheapest and quickest way to get to more lively places, such as Birmingham or Borth. Trains depart throughout the day, with sometimes as little as two hours in between journeys. On board, the carriages are particularly resplendent, featuring 'ironic' 80s-style decor. Don't worry if you can't find a seat - standing up gives you the opportunity to see some of the best views of the beautiful Welsh countryside (fog and window-grime permitting).

To PREPOSITION, expressing motion in a particular direction. Used for expressing motion or direction toward something. “From North to South”, “from Aberystwyth to Borth.” (see A.)

Z CARS, providing cheap and reliable taxi services to the train station (see A) from a range of Aberystwyth hotspots. To avoid debates over ‘zed’ or ‘zee’, this taxi company actually use the Welsh alphabet’s letter Z, which is always silent.

1: Dish favoured by students (5) 3: Seafood, unlikely to be eaten by students (4) 6: Beginning of the day (4) 7: Short title, represented by letters (7) 9: To copy someone humorously (11) 12: Movement like a rabbit (3) 13: On the concourse, leading to nowhere. Also, a childhood band. (5) 15: Elderly (3) 16: Seaside town in Wales (11) 18: Coronation (7) 19: Exclamation of pain (4) 21: Assistant to the chef (4) 22: Teenage anguish (5)

September 2012


1: A small amount (3) 2: You’ll see a lot of these if you live on the seafront (7) 3: More than one cactus (3) 4: Monks live here (9) 5: “Medicine” that doesn’t work (10) 8: To be evil (10) 10: Animals that hunt and eat other animals (9) 11: Dodgy (5) 14: Eisteddwch (3, 4) 17: Fishermen use these (5) 20: Quite warm (3)

Answers on page 29





The Courier




September 2012

The Courier


The best summer of sport in living memory. Perhaps ever. Harry Taylor looks back on Wiggins, Murray - and the greatest show on earth IN YEARS to come, sports fans will look back on 2012 and recall that in the words of Harold MacMillan “We have never had it so good”, especially if you are British. Whatever your sporting tastes, it was covered from the breathtaking and crushing/joyous moments. To name a few: Manchester City winning the Premiership in the 93rd minute, the masterful displays of Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France and Olympics, or right through to Andy Murray’s victorious performance in the U.S Open. The hours that some sports fans must have clocked up over the summer may have reached those of the thousands, especially with the festivals of sport like the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The slogan was ‘inspire a nation’ and to many spectators this will certainly have been inspiring. Especially after witnessing feats such as Gemma Gibbon in the Judo final, winning the silver medal. Her words of “I love you Mum” whilst looking towards the skies, pulled at everybody’s heartstrings as she had won her semi-final. Then the Paralympic Games couldn’t fail to inspire anybody. Ellie Simmonds, who suffers from Achondroplasia, winning gold medals in the swimming was one example which made headlines and all fans behind Team GB proud, but the accomplishments of everyone in the games have to be lauded as simply extraordinary. Like all good sports, there was an underdog. For years British tennis has always had a plucky underdog, and for most of our lives it was ‘Nice boy’ Tim Henman, who tried his hardest every time but never quite pulled it off, especially at Wimbledon. Even Cliff Richard couldn’t help him, so what hope was there for anybody else? Then along came Andy Murray and for the last few years most people have just thought he was the moody Scot

“the moody Scot ... still had a case of chronic fallingatthelastfenceivitis” who got everybody’s hopes up but still had a case of chronic fallingatthelastfenceivitis. Then suddenly in late June, we found that we had someone from Great Britain in the final at Wimbledon. The first person from these Isles since Fred Perry who is better known in popular culture for his brand of trainers rather than his pre-war tennis exploits. So everybody thought it could be the year where we had a British Wimbledon winner, without really giving Roger Federer credit for being the best tennis player on a grass court since Pete Sampras, if not of all time, and Federer beat him

cueing tears from Murray, his family and the section of the nation who had lost money at the bookmakers. Then we decided he was Scottish again, until nearly a month later at the Olympics, where we found him in another tennis final. After what had happened a month previously, not many people gave him too much of a chance and not many paid attention but then to everyone’s surprise, he won. A British sportsman had won something! But, someone somewhere had denied us our real sense of achievement when it turned out it didn’t count as a grand slam. Fast forward another month and a few days and Murray was in another final, a ‘proper’ final this time in the U.S open against Novak Djokovic who has been supreme in the last year since realising he was allergic to wheat and hadn’t looked back since then. In a final that will probably be referenced in the same way that snooker’s black ball final was in the 1980’s between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, where half the nation stayed up until the small hours to watch the climax, this time half the nation stayed up to watch Murray win his first grand slam. Ever. Our first since Greg Rusedski in 1997 when he too won the U.S open, which nobody ever seems to remember anyway. So the plucky underdog overcame all the odds and accomplished his dream, all in the space of two months. Great drama. But perhaps the biggest and most important sporting event over the summer was one that went under the radar for the majority of this year until it occurred, not in any way to demean the event but because there was so much else going on. The publishing of the findings of the Independent enquiry into the Hillsborough Football Disaster in 1989. While not as joyous or celebratory as the Olympics, it was far more significant and brought home how futile and pointless sport can be, when compared to the loss of lives. 96 Liverpool fans travelled to Hillsborough for a cup tie and never came home. Boys as young as 14, right up to adults, were killed as a result of the ineptness of the police in the area and in the ground on the day. The final outcome that, contrary to what The Sun said, it was not the fault of the fans as to who was in the ground that day, but that of the people who were supposed to be protecting them. Answers finally to the parents, siblings and families of those who were lost that day, and for those families to finally get some form of closure is, in my opinion, far more important than any other sports related event this summer.

Crossword answers: Across, 1 - Toast, 3 - Clam, 6 - Dawn, 7 - Acronym, 9 -Impressions, 12 - Lop, 13 - Steps, 15 - Old, 16 - Aberystwyth, 18 - Crowned, 19 - Ouch, 21 - Sous, 22 - Angst. Down: 1 - Tad, 2 - Sunsets, 3 - Cacti, 4 - Monastery, 5 - Homeopathy, 8 - Diabolical, 10 - Predators, 11 - Seedy, 14 - Sit Down, 17 - Reels, 20 - Hot.


The Courier

September 2012


Get involved in sport at Aberystwyth University

Photo by: Joseph Landers

IT DOESN’T matter how old you are, what course you’re doing or even which University you are attending, for most students, Sport tends to play a big part in the coming three years. On the whole we’re fairly lucky at Aberystwyth, with a wide range of facilities available for use - a Sports centre, full size floodlit astroturf pitch and a 3G pitch for five a side football, a vibrant inter-mural football league (DIGS) and an endless list of Sports clubs at the University meaning whatever your taste, or level of talent, there will be something waiting for you. The sports centre is situated at the bottom of campus. If you go down the steps opposite the Arts Centre, cross the road and follow the path and subsequent road down, the Sports centre is on your right, opposite the astroturf and 3G pitches. This is

where the gym, swimming pool and sports offices are, so if you want to play sport next year, you will more than likely visit the centre at least once. With all the information that the first years will have received through the post in the last few weeks, and the changing prices for those of us who have been here a while, here is another summary of the packages and the prices for the 2012/13 Sporty Card: • 1 years membership - £41 • 2 years membership - £72 • 3 years membership - £101 There are also termly sporty cards available, although spreading the cost means you will pay the same price over the year that you would for a two year-membership. Also, if you know that you will use a certain area of the Sports centre (Gym, Pool etc.) then you can also upgrade your membership to a ‘Gold’ status which means you can then use that area for free, although this is for a significantly higher cost and may be an investment that you then don’t use. It might seem like a lot of money, especially taking into account that you will then have to pay money on top of this for equipment, joining clubs, and using the gym/swimming pool, you cannot play any organised sport at Aberystwyth University without a Sporty Card, so it is imperative to get one. The money used from it goes towards the upkeep of the Sports facilities,

those mentioned previously, as well as the extensive playing fields at Blaendolau (known to most students as ‘Blan’), where you will have the Football, Rugby and other field sports. The Vicarage Fields, which is home to the prestigious first teams of the Rugby and Football, along with the cricket and tennis clubs, which also benefits from the sale of the Sporty Card. However it is worth noting that whilst the Sporty Card means you can use the sporting facilities, it is only at a reduced rate and will still have to pay to use the gym or pool, along with the customary 20p for lockers. Anybody interested can find an application form on the Aberystwyth University Sports Centre website or go to the centre itself and get an application or find them at the Freshers fayre. Over recent years there has been an often mentioned lengthy delay in Sporty Cards being purchased and then made ready for students to collect

them. This has meant some students haven’t been able to take part in the opening stages of DIGS league. However this year the Sports centre have offered assurances that if your application is in by the 20th September, your card will be able to be collected by Freshers week. After this date, if you have handed in your application and paid, even if you are not in possession of a Sporty Card - you are covered, and can play sport in Aberystwyth. Although carrying your receipt is advisable,

which in turn should allay any fears of a repeat of incidents in recent years. The biggest sports societies in Aberystwyth are Aberystwyth Surf Club, Aberystwyth Snow Club and Aberystwyth University Mens Football Club. It is always worth visiting the Sports Fayre on Tuesday 25th September 10AM-4PM in the Sports Cage, to see what sports are on offer, and you might even start playing a sport that you hadn’t considered before!

The biggest intramural football league in the UK The AU DIGS League is the biggest intramural football league in the UK. With over 28 teams last year across four leagues, we are successful in giving students regular 11-a-side football. As well as the league season, teams are entered into one or two cup competitions – the most prestigious of these being the Aberystwyth Town Cup. The final of this competition is played at Park Avenue (the home of Welsh Premier League club Aberystwyth Town). After the completion of the league season, all teams are entered into play-offs determined by their league position. For more info check out our Facebook at and our Twitter at” - Tony Bickley, Aberystwyth University DIGS league officer.

Photo by: Joseph Landers

Nalborski: Tomi hasn’t spoken to me Krzysztof Nalborski has certainly had a life-changing year since joining the University as a student after moving from Poznan, over 1000 miles away. As if the change in culture and lifestyle wasn’t turbulent enough, he is also a semi-professional footballer; playing in the Welsh Premier League for Aberystwyth Town last season and is now currently playing for Cymru Alliance side Penrhyncoch. Nalborski, who played for Polonia Leszno in his native country, Poland, was also asked by Lech Poznan to sign as a youth player previously, turning down Newtown to sign for Aberystwyth in the summer of 2011.

Aberystwyth Town escaped relegation on the last day of the season and were also within touching distance of reaching the Europa League playoffs. Many thought that Nalborski (being a young local player) would still be with ‘the Seasiders’ this year, but when asked about what had happened, he said that current manager Tomi Morgan hadn’t spoken to him. “I spoke to the Vice-Chairman David Evans at the end of last season, but Tomi didn’t speak to me at all about this season, he’s seen me play since and not said anything.” It was also a memorable Christmas, as his parents came over from Poland to watch Nalborski play in the Boxing Day 4-1 victory

Photo by:Aneruin Venables

over Carmarthen Town where he scored his first goal for Aberystwyth Town, providing him with his favourite moment as a player. Speaking about last season: “It was great to play with so many players who have experience in the English and Welsh leagues, I was stressed at the beginning with all of the changes and couldn’t show my full potential as I was ac-

climatising.” Although Nalborski didn’t rule out a return to Park Avenue at some point, he is enjoying his time at Penrhyncoch and attributes his arrival there to Aberystwyth University’s Sports and Activities administrator, Gavin Allen, who is coach at Penrhyncoch. “It’s a great atmosphere at Penrhyncoch, it feels like a community, everyone gets behind you there. After leaving Aberystwyth I wanted to play more regularly and the league (Cyrmu Alliance) is a lot more physical, it’s like a fight!” He continued, “I’ve not noticed a difference in standard between the Welsh Premier League and the Cymru Alliance (Welsh second

tier). Plus it was hard so early on with so many fixtures.” To most people, a 1000 mile move and change of lifestyle would seem like major upheaval, but the Polish winger seemed unphased and is enjoying his time in Wales so far. “When I first arrived my English wasn’t so good and it is improving, which is good. The one thing in Poland I really miss is my family. In Wales the people are far more friendly and sociable; living standards are higher too.” Nalborski’s Penrhyncoch side currently lie fifth in the league table and take on top of the league ExWelsh Premier League side Rhyl, away on Saturday 22nd September.

September 2012


Fixture congestion mounts up on Aberystwyth University F.C. ABERYSTWYTH University Mens Football Club (First XI) face a tough start to their Spar Mid-Wales Division One campaign, as their games in hand continue to build up ahead of their league kick-off against Dollgellau Athletic on Saturday 6th October at Vicarage Fields. As First Team captain Phil Draper explained, it will be a baptism of fire for any freshers in the side: “It won’t be an easy start, we don’t have the luxury of pre-season training and we have got two games a week for the first month of our season.” The season officially started back on 17th August and at time of writing, Aberystwyth University F.C. are in 15th position in the league, one place off bottom by virtue of village side Dyffryn Banw conceding a monster 30 goals in only six games. The league features sides such as ex-Welsh Premier League side Welshpool, who have been dogged by financial problems over the

Photo by: Chris Howells

years, and despite it being the third tier in Wales, Draper is hoping for a top half finish this season: “I expect us to finish in the top eight this season, it’s a very competitive league and it’s only two leagues below the Welsh Premier League. “The majority of other sides in the league are semi-professional and sides like Newbridge and Llanidloes have a lot of money and the players they have show that.” Gareth Thomas, formerly with Hereford United, has been converted from a centre-back into midfield and should be a big player for the University side this season. Draper himself wants to return to his roots

and bang in the goals for ‘The Students’ this year. “We had a bit of a goalkeeper crisis last year so I stepped in, but before that I played upfront. Hopefully we can get a good goalkeeper from the crop of Freshers this year and I can grab a few goals!” Club Chairman Dan Moore also outlined his hopes for the season: “Our aims for the season is that the club is financially stable throughout the year, also to increase the number of members we have and become a more inclusive club in terms of ability; as we are the University’s largest club it is important that we cater for all abilities.” Bow Street look to provide the big Derby game this year, following Penparcau resigning from the league a few seasons ago. Any freshers students wishing to join up is advised to visit the clubs table at the Sports Fayre or attend the trials on Wednesday 26th August or Thursday 27th August, both 10AM-1PM.

We need your stories! If you have photos, writeups and results of your matches, please get in touch with Harry Taylor, our Sports Editor:

‘Mixed bag start’ to Aber Uni Mens Rugby season

ABERYSTWYTH University’s Rugby team First XV face a tricky start to their 2012-13 campaign according to First Team captain for the season, Greg Lewis. “Our first game against Trinity Camarthen should be one of our easier fixtures of the year, despite it being away from home. “I hope we take full advantage of this, by blooding any freshers who have stood out in the trials to see how they fit in with our plans this season.” Lewis is keen to express that the first few games are firmly a ‘mixed bag’ in terms of difficulty. “Swansea’s Third Team will be an easier game in the league, and they are usually weaker than their Fourth Team, the latter being their Freshers’ team and is usually filled with the more promising freshers who have yet to have had the chance to play for the first team.” Following these opening two games, the side visits Cardiff Met (formerly known as UWIC) on Wednesday 24th October but a lack of consistency in previous years is a worrying factor. “We are capable of putting out a very

strong starting XV, however we struggle with consistency and strength in depth, especially around exam periods.” Aberystwyth University Mens Rugby Club are one of the biggest clubs at the University and Lewis is eager to expand the club’s numbers for the coming season. “Freshers who are interested, but didn’t go to sports week, should come and sign up at Sports Fayre in the Sports Cage. Official trials will take place on the Wednesday of Freshers week on Blaendolau.” The Second Team will be playing in the Mid Wales league against local sides and this will also be a side that new first year students will be able to get involved in if they meet the standard. “If anyone misses the trials and still wants to get involved, they can if they email me at We unfortunately can’t fit everyone in the match squads but this doesn’t stop people joining for the social side or for training.” Aberystwyth University Men’s Rugby Club 1st XV start their season away against UoW Trinity Camarthen on Wednesday 10th October.

The Courier


BUCS refuse to comment on plans for #demo12

British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) have refused to comment to The Courier on November’s N.U.S demo. A spokesperson for BUCS said in an email to The Courier: “...we do not provide comment on this kind of activity. Therefore we will not be providing a statement or logo for your article and please do not use our logo in association with your story.” “We are a membership organi-

sation and as such we respond to the requirements of our members so, with regards to the impact on BUCS fixtures, if both institutions are in agreement fixtures can be played at alternative rearranged times. BUCS has communicated this stance to the NUS.” This stance is in spite of the fact that with dwindling student numbers projected over the next few years, BUCS are set to see their membership fall.




Photo by: Joseph Landers

Harry Taylor Sports Editor AFTER a start to the season which saw ‘the Seasiders’ go without a win and only pick up two points from five games, they finally broke their winless run against Connah’s Quay on Saturday 15th September. Before then, they had only scored two goals all season, once against Bala Town at home in the 1-1 draw in late August, and one against bitter rivals Bangor City in the 7-1 drubbing at Nantporth on 1st September. Jordan Follows getting both goals since his return from Llanelli.

In pre-season despite having a fairly solid campaign, the run of friendlies was marred by an unfortunate injury to ex-Sunderland midfield maestro Sean Thornton. However in North Wales they got off to a great start, Matty Collins netting his first Aberystwyth Town goal from outside the area after a few minutes and Follows scoring a penalty after Glyndwr Hughes was felled in the area. Late on in the game, GAP Connah’s Quay captain Craig Jones was sent off in stoppage time for appalling sportsmanship as he attempted to headbutt

Gavin Cadwallader. ‘The Nomads’ scored a screamer through Jamie Petrie in the dying moments to provide them with a late consolation goal. Aside from the win, a positive could be taken from the fact that only one goal was conceded after defensive horror shows against Bangor City in the aforementioned game where they were 6-1 down after only 35 minutes and against Port Talbot at home where Aberystywth conceded five and couldn’t break ‘the Steelmens’ defence. Llanelli, who have been the subject of winding-up orders

All the scores, all the match reports...

The Courier, your home for sport in Aber

over the last few weeks and look to be in dire financial straits visited Aberystwyth on Friday night and Aberystwyth will look to build on their win on Saturday against the side who beat them in the semi-finals of the Europa League playoff ’s last season. They will also be looking to keep out their last season’s top scorer Geoff Kellaway who netted eight times for Aberystwyth. Two away fixtures during Freshers’ Week follow the Llanelli game, Port Talbot away in the League Cup on Tuesday 25th September, followed by Airbus UK Broughton on the 29th. Details of coach times and prices

will be released closer to the fixture. The first home game at Park Avenue since Freshers’ Week will be Friday 5th October against Afan Lido, who have surprised many who follow the Welsh Premier League with their results so far this season; including wins against Bala Town and Camarthen Town. For new students who are thinking of attending games, there is an Aberystwyth Town Student Supporters Society and always are more than welcome to have new members, to get involved visit their Facebook page or email


September 2012  

The September 2012 issue of The Courier, Aberystwyth's student newspaper.