bathimpact The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
Volume 18 Issue 3
Monday 21st November 2016
Your newspaper. Your news. bathimpact.co.uk
bathimpact Comments: Music for the Soul In this issue, bite contributorBen White Reviews Akala’s gig at the Marble Factory in Bristol, and reviews the Late Leonard Cohen’s final album See more on page 6 of bite
Students attend One Young World Summit Two of our students were flown out to Ottawa to be a part of what can only be described as a life changing event, and wrote about their experience. See more on page 5
Paris Climate Deal The Paris Agreement was signed in December 2015 by 193 countries, marking the end of an intense summit of negotiations with unprecedented coverage See more on page 14
International Students speak out about Mental Health Mental health issues continue to affect a large part of the student body, read more on page 10
Journalism for the people Marianne Gros Editor In Chief
couple of weeks ago I attended a live interview of Jeremy Paxman, courtesy of Bath’s very own Toppings Book Shop. Paxman was advertising his new biography ‘A life in Questions’ to a half-filled church hall where the age medium was nearing the mid 50s. Unsurprisingly, these kinds of events don’t get advertised much on our campus. None the less it proved to be a very interesting evening, and the crowd got an insight on a very interesting man. Something incredible happens when you place Britain’s most famous interviewer across from another journalist and for once he is not the one asking questions. Like a therapist going to therapy, Jeremy Paxman anticipated all the tricks his interviewer had up her sleeve and yet he let himself
fall for it. He opened up on some very sensitive subjects, not least his relationship with his father, a man he admired and – in his words, learned to forgive if not to understand. Most importantly, though, Jeremy Paxman spoke about the media. About journalism, and politics and all the madness that comes out of our generation’s unlimited access to world news twenty-four hours a day. Given the current political climate we are in, it seems that what started as a movement to make information more accessible and intelligence more achievable has now turned into an environment void of any common sense. People accept what they are told face front without questioning its factual integrity. In a world where anyone can say anything and expect to be taken seriously, that liberty has broken any
link the news has to the truth. It is one thing to relish in one’s so-called universal right to freedom of speech and post anything and everything on the Internet, another to blatantly forget the consequences our words can have. In welcoming superfast technology I am afraid we have unconsciously sacrificed our ability to think critically as human beings, and the results are, in many ways, disastrous. The Media has an important role to play in politics. In the words of Jeremy Paxman, it is an organ of the state. International Papers like the Times, The BBC, Le Monde, El Pais and so on have built a reputation for themselves, so much so that the New York Times front page can have more political capital then a mediocre MP. And with great power, comes great responsibility, no? Now, you might argue that press
freedom is more of an ideal than a reality – even in the western, ‘democratic’ world. Yes newspapers are privately owned, yes there is a wider political agenda to be pushed, funding to be secured and jobs to be kept. But journalists should have integrity, and respect themselves, their subjects and their audiences by telling the truth. In preaching honesty I am not, in any way, diminishing the opinion and comment pieces. In fact, the best ideas are often expressed in passionate, subjective and deeply personal articles. Nevertheless these ideas should be based on truths, or else they cannot be recognized as valid. And on that note, I applaud our contributors on their work as journalists in this issue, and hope you continue to uphold the ideals of the wonderful, turbulent world that is Media.
The bathimpact team Marianne Gros Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Eddy Horn Online Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Chapman bite Editor email@example.com Johann Rymill News and Comment Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Meg Murphy Features Editor email@example.com Roisin Haigh Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Sam Akinwumi Photography Editor email@example.com Sian Maria Morgan Media Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Time is a Charm Sian Maria Morgan Media Officer
elcome to another issue of bathimpact, in this issue there is an abundance (because we like to spoil you) of factual, interesting and some downright hilarious articles. As students, the fact that we have to pay £9000 or more depending on if you’re an international student seems insane. Especially when we consider what we actually get for our money so it seems ludicrous to me that student fees will be increased. Increased! From £9000! More expensive! I can’t wrap my head around it. So when there is a debate as to whether we should support cutting student fees, you’ll find me
there at the front of the picket line protesting the rise of fees. By making them more expensive not only does University become more elitist and less accessible, but you’re forcing those who want to go into higher education to leave with a mountain of debt behind them and that’s not even including maintenance loans. It’s disappointing and upsetting. It diminishes your desire to go into Higher Education. When you factor that with the fact that Calais is in a current humanitarian crisis, it might seem like this issue is all doom and gloom. But fear not! It’s not all bad news. Finally, after years and years of dealing with the contraceptive pill or coil, women final have a moment of reprieve. That’s right ladies, a male con-
traceptive has finally been invented. OH! Wait, hold on. Apparently, despite this being 99% effective, the development of this device has been halted. Why, you ask? Well, turns out men can’t deal with the side effects. That’s right! The side effects that women have to go through every time they take the pill. I don’t want to seem ‘ranty’, but just try to understand the frustration that women feel, especially given the fact that testing for the pill was done on incarcerated women whose voices weren’t heard. In other news, head over to the new International section and take a gander at our first article written in Chinese! Shi Liu discusses how Chinese words work and gives us insight into
the complicated and beautiful language, while Jieqi informs us on Solar Terms within China. If you are interested in writing for us do get in touch via our Facebook page ‘bathimpact contributors’ or alternatively, come into our office (1E 3.12) and have a chat to our lovely editors. We are always looking for new people to contribute to our paper. And finally, check out bite for your daily dose of banter, rants, music reviews and puzzles. Greg, the bite editor has outdone himself once again and delivered an incredible bite section, while trying to find a white tux. That’s multitasking at its finest. All in all, we’ve got a big, juicy issue that has a bit of everything for everyone, so make a cup of tea and sit back, relax and read. Enjoy!
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The opinions expressed in bathimpact are not necessarily those of the bathimpact editors nor of the University of Bath Students’ Union. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct and accurate at the time of going to print, the publisher cannot accept any liability for information which is later altered or incorrect. bathimpact as a publication adheres to the Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Conduct. Please contact them for any information.
Sam Akinwumi Olly Bailey
Predicted increase of tuition fees by 2026
98.4% Success rate of the male contraceptive jab
Infographic of the Issue
In this issue we celebrate our University Mandarin-speaking community (p.15)
RAG Take Me Out Rag Week is ending with a bang, with Take Me Out at The Edge Arts Theatre, where hopeful students will try and secure dates from a panel of fabulous guys and girls! Bound to be entertaining and relatively embarrassing! Tickets available from: www.bathstudent.com/ rag/events When: 25 Nov 2016: 7.30 - 10pm
Technology giant Google has opened a new headquarters in Central London, and is expected to have created 3,000 jobs by 2020. Despite the vote to leave the EU, Google’s CEO has warned about the negative consequences of barriers on immigration as free movement is essential to the success of Britain’s technology sector.
NATIONAL DEMO. Shut down Yarl’s Wood Students, staff and local residents have organised a coach to this, the tenth, demonstration outside the notorious Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre. Bath UCU will be subsidising travel and tickets can be purchased from Christopher Roche. When: 3 Dec 2016
Pope Francis has called on the Cuban government to pardon almost 800 prisoners in a broader attempt to get heads of state to contribute to the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy. Pope Francis played an instrumental role in rebuilding relations between the Cuba and the US, and has called for ‘freedom or Church’ in the former country.
Bath Gin Festival Gin Festivals UK returns to Bath, bigger and better than ever before. This year you can expect free gin, a gin Bible, gin sampling, cocktail demos, and live entertainment. You now know where to find your media committee mid-December! When: 17 Dec 2016, Guildhall
Former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi has had his death sentenced overturned by the high court of appeal, just as the military government vows to drive the Muslim Brotherhood out of Egypt altogether. While the death sentence was lifted due to it being ‘legally flawed’ Morsi is still expected to serve a life sentence for his crimes.
Olly Bailey Sam Akinwumi
Figures of the Issue
Picture of the Issue
believe that young people can change the world, something which I thought to be far-fetched at first, but I was to be proved wrong. We moved through the next three days in a blur of education, technology, environment, peace and security, the refugee crisis, innovation and equality. The counsellors were fantastic, but the young delegate speakers they brought with them repeatedly spoke in such a powerful way that the whole room wouldn’t know whether to stay in stunned silence or erupt in huge cheers. I have never seen more standing ovations in such a short space of time in my life, and I doubt I ever will again. We heard from Yolanda Joab, a young mother who lives in the tiny island of Micronesia in the South Pacific. An island that sits just one metre above sea level. An island that might be gone within the lifetime of the next generation after us if we do not do more to prevent radical climate change. Lina Khalifeh, a young woman
from Jordan, used her background in martial arts to found SheFighter after witnessing yet another of her friends suffer domestic violence. SheFighter trains women in self-defence, and is branching out all over the Middle East. We also saw a performance from, and got a chance to interview, Hussain Manawer. He is a mental health spokesperson who uses poetry to convey his message. If you haven’t seen any of this work, it is definitely worth seeking out. As a result of this work he is in training to head out to space in 2018, after winning the Rising Star prize at last year’s OYW summit. Attending the One Young World summit this year in Ottawa has been an immense honour. And what perhaps surprised us the most was that yes, it was awe inspiring to meet and hear from world figures like Kofi Annan and the Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. But just as valuable, if not more, was the opportunity to meet young people from all around the world. Young people who were achieving
amazing things in their communities. I’d say we learnt just as much from these people as the headline speakers. No other event offers such a great opportunity to be inspired. And no other university in the UK offers the
chance to attend. So, if this is something that takes your fancy, make sure to apply for next year’s One Young World summit in Bogota, Colombia. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, we guarantee you.
Emma Powell & Mohammed Lone bathimpact contributors mma Watson, Muhammad Yunus, Bob Geldof and Justin Trudeau were in all in attendance of the 2016 One Young World (OYW) summit in Ottawa in September of this year. On another, Bath related, note; so were Mohammad Lone and I. Courtesy of the lovely people in Humanities and Social Sciences we were flown out to Ottawa to be a part of what can only be described as a life changing event. Over the four days we met people from literally all around the globe, heard speakers from a massive variety of disciplines and saw some of the very best innovation in current social business. In this piece I will try and pick out the highlights, and explain how you could also get involved. To begin, we attended the opening ceremony on Parliament Hill, hearing from the speakers named above as well as Meghan Markle, Kofi Annan and the BBC’s world affairs correspondent John Simpson. All of these people
Bath Students attend OYW Summit
Celebrating Diversity of Faith T
he diversity of the University of Bath is astounding. On our campus, we are fortunate enough to have a broad mix of backgrounds - different ethnicities, cultures, religions and nationalities that all join together to make our University community as wonderful and diverse as it is. The cultural societies on campus really do incredible work on campus. Whether it’s BAMSA, BUASS, ScändiSoc or any of the other dozens which open themselves to cultural expression, they have a major presence on campus, and have done for a while. Faith societies seem like a bit of a different proposition. With the deeply personal nature of religious beliefs, and various conceptions or misconceptions that are out there in the mainstream, it perhaps takes a bit more work for faith societies to reach the widespread prominence of the cultural societies. And the CU, for example, have done this quite well in
my view - through outreach ideas like ‘Tea and Toast’, arguably one of the most anticipated events of Freshers’ Week! The Bath University Islamic Society suffered from a period of stagnancy, until we saw a major renaissance last year under the leadership of very few but very committed individuals. This year, we have built further on that, having organised our society’s most popular Freshers’ Week activities yet,
With the personal nature of religious beliefs [...] it perhaps takes a bit more work for faith societies to reach and reaching record membership numbers. But as well as rebuilding ourselves, a priority for us has been to extend our outreach - to other societies, to other students in general, who may not be so aware of who we are and what exactly we do.
And this outreach aspect is where Inter-Faith week has proven a real boost for us, and the student body as a whole we believe. The first of our two major activities was our participation in Debating Society’s debate on Tuesday, “This House Believes That Religion Has Become Irrelevant In Today’s Society”, to which we were invited to arrange for a speaker to represent us on the opposition. We had the fortune to welcome Abdullah Al Andalusi, a prominent speaker and debater on the international stage, founder of the ‘Muslim Debate Initiative’. Alongside Dr Simon Bale of the Anglican Church, he put forward convincing arguments for the importance that religion still holds in today’s society, and it was an event that both our Muslim members and the general audience of over 100 enjoyed and learned from. What was great was how people engaged. With the number of questions people wanted to ask, the debate could have gone on all night, and people were approach-
ing the speakers after the debate to discuss, and question their ideas. We are very grateful to speakers Abdullah, Simon, Norman, Andrei and the Debating Society for making this event happen, and for boosting our presence as a society. Bringing things a little closer to home on campus, we also welcomed all students to our freshly refurbished prayer rooms for guided tours and Q&A sessions. Led by our members and very capable guides Yousuf Al Ghurair and Suzanne Al Rawi, these were well received. They provided an opportunity for people to have their curiosities resolved and any questions they had answered about what
actually goes on in these rooms. The prayer room is a crucial place for Muslims at the university, so we hope to open our doors again to all for more prospects to learn about it in the near future- and everyone is invited! Inter-Faith week has proven a great success for us, and equally we hope for those who attended the activities. In a world so full of divisions, prejudices and fear on all sides, it’s so very important to share and learn more about each other, and discover the truths about one another. This is something through our positive outreach that we hope to continue to do, alongside other societies and other students.
The University has a diverse cultural population, but faith groups are often forgotten from this space. bathimpact Contributor Mohammed Lone discusses Inter-Faith Week.
The Calais camp is misunderstood Chanel Monteine bathimpact contributor
ollowing his visit in September, President Francois Hollande pledged to completely dismantle the makeshift migrant camp in Calais, known as ‘The Jungle’, stating that, “we cannot have such camps in France”. The idea behind the camp’s dismantlement is that migrants would be moved to accommodation centres across France, where living conditions would be far better. “They will be moved off in small groups of 40-50 people. They will be given four months to apply for asylum and those who are not successful with applications will be deported”, reported Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler from Calais. This announcement comes at a delicate time for France as it prepares for its 2017 presidential election where political
climates are proving unfavourable to the unpopular incumbent. Polls show that Francois Hollande would be swept out of the first round of France’s presidential race if he were to run again in 2017, according to recent polls by TNS Sofres-OnePoint. Candidates considered more likely winners of the 2017 elections are either Sarkozy or Juppé, current favourites to become presidential nominees of France’s centre-right Republican party; and Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National. Overall, within France’s political sphere, much like that of Europe’s, trends suggest a considerable shift to right and issues surrounding migration are climbing the political agenda, ultimately affecting the ways in which policies surrounding migration are being designed and implemented. This might explain why Calais has suddenly come to the forefront of President Hollande’s agenda. Yet, while this initiative
to dismantle the camp and relocate migrants to accommodation centres might, on the surface, appear to be an earnest attempt at dealing with Europe’s migration ‘problem’, it is a mere illusion of such. The Calais camp has long stood as a painful symbol of Europe’s ineffectiveness in dealing with the migrant crisis and its deconstruction can be understood as a mere attempt to cover up the Achilles heel of the region and how its core values - tolerance, human rights, democracy - are eroding. Instead, it can be said that the deconstruction of the camp emphasises the legitimacy deficit between migration policies and the wishes of migrants themselves which is at the core of the mishandling of the migrant ‘crisis’. So it’s time to face the facts. Firstly, assuming that the ‘right thing to do’ is to force all migrants from Calais into to better facilities across the country, to
protecting their rights to a decent standard of living, was probably not the best way of going about it. The Refugee Rights Data Project (RRDP) recorded in a survey that 59.21% of respondents said they would either sleep on the streets remain in Calais if the camp was dismantled. Another point is that, the RRDP’s statistics also point to the fact that the majority, some 60.05% of respondents, said they do not want to stay in a French accommodation centre, and when asked why, results showed that many felt like they will be forced to stay and live in France against their will. And finally, the implications such a policy will have with regard to social cohesion within French society are worrying. It can be said that the dispersion of these migrants throughout France will only enhance divides. Some Paris-based aid groups claim that as many as 100 migrants are arriving to the capital
every day from Calais. Plus, further trouble lingers as many local governments, like that of Paris’, are already signalling strong resistance to the opening of these new accommodation centres. Therefore, on the longer term, this initiative might just drive further support for France’s farright candidates, leaving the future fate of migrants currently in Europe to further hang in the balance. What remains certain, though, is that a long and hard reconsideration of Europe’s migration policies is in order. In the words of the Vice President of the European Parliament, Ulrike Lunacek, “Refugees are not a crisis, they are human beings. The crisis that we have is one of solidarity and political will, because a continent of more than 500 million people must be able to take in a couple more million people in a well-organised way without such chaos.”
May-Day Luke Dunn bathimpact writer
hile Theresa May grapples with how to take Britain out of Europe, she's already begun a far more devastating exit strategy: taking climate change out of mainstream policy. Only this time, she hasn't got the support of Parliament or a referendum behind her. Despite pledging to the UN just over two weeks ago that the UK would ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year, you would be forgiven for thinking that environmental development has been low on Theresa May’s list of priorities since her taking-over in July 2016. On the contrary, within the space of just four months, May has proven herself to be embarrassingly backwards on environmental policy and has made it fairly clear that while Brexit looms, Britain will put climate change on the back burners and will instead prioritise economic stabilisation. How wonderfully refreshing for a Conservative government! Don’t get me wrong; in the wake of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, economic stabilisation has been an all too necessary target particularly on an international stage. Not only has Britain seen its currency hit a 31-year low since June 23rd, interest rates have been slashed to a record low and Britain’s trade deficit has widened to as much as £5.1 billion.
However, in the post-Brexit quest to normalise the British economy and trading landscape, it seems that the UK’s commitment to combatting climate change has already been an unfortunate loser. Now, as May promises that she will lead the UK to ‘continue to play its part in the international effort against climate change’, her words have become increasingly difficult to believe, and the United Kingdom’s role in creating a greener and more sustainable world looks bleaker than it has done in years. Early department changes only laid the foundations for a disturbing indifference to environmental issues. In scrapping the eight year-old Department of Energy and Climate Change (electing to merge the department with that of Business, Innovation and Skills) May made it clear within just weeks that she would not only follow David Cameron’s lead in ‘cutting the green crap’, she would go one step further by wiping it from her cabinet agenda. Though branded ‘just plain stupid’ by Ed Miliband, ‘deeply worrying’ by Caroline Lucas and a ‘shocking decision’ by Friends of the Earth, backlash against May’s reshuffle was swept under the carpet depressingly well. Even better hushed was May’s appointment of former leadership rival Andrea Leadsom as Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Leadsom, an almost impressively clueless Brexit campaigner who declared herself against
the banning of fox hunting; who voted in favour of a 2011 plan to sell British forests; and who won the oh-so-revered endorsements of Britain First, Nick Griffin and Nigel Farage in the Conservative leadership race has attempted to put environmentalists’ minds to rest in affirming that the UK should remain ‘committed to dealing with climate change’. Her history and credentials, however, far from inspire confidence. Upon becoming a Minister for the then-functional Department for Energy and Climate Change in 2015 (yes 2015!), Leadsom had to ask her department whether climate change was real; not only this, the Conservative had to enquire over the environmental safety of hydraulic fracking, after declaring herself, as well as other women, less ‘understanding’ of the process than men. Since her appointment, Leadsom has admitted that up to a third of EU environmental law will not be a part of a post-Brexit transition and has backed fracking plans that environmentalists fear could result in water contamination, earthquakes and traffic pollution. Optimistic that the government’s recent commitment to ban microbeads from cosmetic products represents sufficient progress to prove the Conservative Party dedicated to environmental issues, Leadsom has shown herself to be not only impressively clueless but also impressively naïve. Yet laughably, on the era-defining issue of the Heathrow’s po-
tential third runway, Leadsom’s inspirational policy of absolute silence is still, somehow, more environmentally progressive than May’s. In publicly announcing her support for the opening of a third runway at Heathrow in late October, Theresa May has all but confirmed that the UK’s ‘part to play’ in the international fight against climate change will be one characterised by environmental counter-productivity. What’s more, she has proved disingenuous Britain’s apparent commitment to environmental goals. Though typically squirmy on the issue of noise pollution levels - with ministers such as Chris Grayling claiming that the building of an entire runway will not impact on the noise pollution of the Heathrow area – few MPs have even attempted to defend the prospective air pollution that the long-debated construction will bring to London. And for good reason, too. In ticking off on the £18.6 billion project, Theresa May has gleefully ignored the fact that Heathrow’s already illegal levels of nitrous dioxide concentration (according to an independent study by the University of Cambridge) will only get higher and that construction will put the United Kingdom further away from its carbon emissions targets. Even in her most dishonest of moments, May would find it hard to argue that a third Heathrow runway would not set back Britain’s climate goals.
Perhaps the saddest part of it all is that May had previously declared herself firmly against the expansion, yet, in the space of eight years, managed a spectacular U-turn on the policy. Despite having argued that the building project would ‘greatly deteriorate the quality of life’ of her constituents, this is a concern that time, power and the prospect of international investment conveniently faded. This would begin to be forgivable – maybe – if the Prime Minister had implemented specific policy to lower emissions elsewhere. But regrettably and predictably, this has not been the case. Instead of proving herself powerful and progressive on an increasingly important global issue, May has lost all enthusiasm for environmental development. Tragically, this has happened at the worst possible moment. With the election of Donald Trump to presidential office, the prospect of focused U.S. environmental policy heading a global surge in environmental consciousness seems less probable than it has done in decades. Given Trump’s notorious record of scepticism to climate change – having even tweeted in 2012 that the ‘concept’ was ‘created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive’ – thousands of Americans are fearful Trump will do away with any form of climate budget and repeal any national commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. And with the new President reportedly on the verge of appointing Myron Ebell - a man convinced climate change will be a good thing - head of the Environmental Protection Agency, these fears seem well placed. As of now, it seems highly unlikely that Theresa May will lead the United Kingdom to pick up any pieces. Whether time will change this, of course, remains to be seen; however, with a disconcertingly blinkered focus on the economic impacts of Brexit, early signs look far from good. With Leadsom, fracking, Heathrow and Trump put aside, what seems clear enough is that, for May, economy trumps ecology. Maybe that’s what people want these days? At least we’ll have a thriving FTSE as we choke on nitrous dioxide and plane exhaust fumes.
Trump – an economic cataclysm Bartholomew Kratt bathimpact writer
he most unprecedented, unnerving and grotesque event in American history. Donald Trump – President-elect of the United States of America. Populism and anti-establishment sentiments have thrust a racist, misogynist and unqualified man into perhaps the most powerful position in the world. This may in fact trump the eventual economic catastrophe of Brexit. The decision will have profound consequences for America and indeed the entire globe. It took no time at all to see what impact Trump will have on the markets; just hours after he was elected the stock market fell by over 800 points. The first 100 days of his Presidency will be telling for the remainder of his time, with Lawrence Summers of the Financial Times forecasting a recession to begin within 18 months. Absurd proposals have filled few with confidence in his
ability to handle the US economy, and are why projections are so low. Protectionist America looms as Trump has proposed significantly reworking and perhaps scrapping NAFTA. The agreement has brought prosperity to all countries involved and scrapping it would cause regression for all nations. America has seen nearly $1 trillion growth in trade with Canada and Mexico from 1993 as a result of NAFTA, whilst Mexico has seen the greatest positive impact with nearly 50% reductions in necessities for its citizens – significantly increasing its middle class. Scrapping the agreement would not only drastically decrease trade for the USA but would be cause for Mexico to descend into serious economic difficulties, as up to 500,000 jobs in Mexico depend upon it. Undoubtedly there are serious shortcomings with regards to the agreement, as there are with all trade agreements. Yet, scrapping NAFTA and withdrawing from
the Trans-Pacific Partnership and TTIP is not the solution. Emerging markets and developing countries across the world will no doubt suffer from this protectionism. Hoping to find their way out of troubles through trade will no longer be an option.
It is still unclear how Trump will specifically impact our economy
China will also suffer, as being labelled a “currency manipulator” and having the potential of 35% tariffs on its exports to the USA will no doubt be cause for economic difficulties. If the US Dollar takes a pounding it will also be significant, with so many economies relying on it. Again, China being the foremost with a holding of $1.3 trillion US government bonds. The racist and authoritarian attitude of Trump will have a profound impact on the US economy.
American Action Forum has suggested that Trump’s immigration policies would cost the government up to $600 billion, shrink the US labour force by 11 million and reduce real GDP by $1.6 trillion. Trump has failed to account that these so called “rapists” and “killers” actually contribute a significant amount to the American economy. His authoritarian bent that focuses on bringing back torture amongst other radical foreign and domestic policy measures will undoubtedly paralyse business confidence in America, and stifle investment. His tax plans, as may be expected of a Republican, favour the rich. Of course his suggestion of reducing tax brackets to 12% for those on less than $75,000, 25% for those under $225,000 and 33% to those on more than $225,000 will increase the amount of money and disposable income available to the average American. His proposal to drop business tax from 35% to 15% will also allow for businesses to invest more and create more profit which will stimulate the economy. To the average-joe these are strong proposals. Yet the huge elephant in the room is the deficit and na-
tional debt, which will soar in the event of such policies. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has suggested the deficit to increase by $5.3 trillion which would leave the national debt at 105% of GDP. It is still unclear how Trump will specifically impact our economy. No mention of the UK in the trade section of Trump’s website suggests that it is a largely unimportant matter to look for new or enhanced deals with the UK in its post-Brexit state, despite his frequent undermining of President Obama’s “back of the queue” rhetoric. The focus for Trump remains on China, TTIP and NAFTA. But once again, his potential trade moves and decisions on China will have knock-on effects that will of course impact the UK. If Trump delivers on his promises, it will be a certain disaster for the US and world economy, perhaps sending multiple countries into recession. If he fails to deliver then he will become, for many Americans, another politician who can’t keep to their promises. Either way the Trump Presidency does not fill the economy or indeed the world with confidence. We await economic Armageddon.
The US election result will have an impact on the entire world. If Trump delivers on his promises, it will be a certain disaster for the US and world economy bathimpact writer Bartholomew Kratt discusses.
Nidhi Arun bathimpact writer
he most upsetting thing about the American presidential election results is not the fact that a misogynistic, xenophobic and conceited businessman was elected as the next leader of the most influential country on the planet, but rather the alarming popularity of a new form of, supposedly ‘honest’, politics. Donald Trump tapped into the majority’s deepest fears without being filtered. His assertive attitude resonated with working class frustrations and the lack of sensitivity he displayed was like a breath of fresh air to a generation agitated by stagnancy. Apparently, step one to winning an election is saying what people want to hear –even if it is factually inaccurate. Trump’s victory stands to prove that we, as people, trust those who recognize our problems, with little consideration as to what their solutions might be; and that is disturbing. Call them right wing extremists or obsessive gold-diggers, the fact of the matter is that non-diplomatic leaders who completely disregard the justice system or even boundaries of the constitution are devouring success, the world over. Consider France for a moment. One of their presidential hopefuls is the ‘nationalist’ (anti-European, anti-immigrant) and ‘socialist’ (trade barriers and subsidies for industry; a higher minimum age; and a reduction of the retirement age to 60) –Marine Le Pen. Her charming personality may be captivating but The Independent makes a strong case to be scared of her: “She has
tionately called ‘the Trump of the East’ launched an expletive laden attack on the EU, after it called on Filipino authorities to probe into the country’s rising death tolls, in which he told them to, and I quote “shut up” and accused them of hypocrisy. Even my two-year old niece would know better than saying, “You think I’m a murderer? How many have you killed huh?” That’s not all. Earlier this year President Duterte was said to have referred to US president Barack Obama as a “son of a who**” suggesting that he is not very good with words either. He appalled many by calling the American Ambassador to the Phil-
Why else would America contemplate Trump as POTUS?” repackaged some of the most destructive and sweetly persuasive ideas of both the hard right and the hard left – xenophobia, protectionism, authoritarianism – into a single, seemingly modern programme for government.” Although, Ms Le Pen’s 28 per cent is far short of the 50 per cent that she needs to win the second round of a presidential election, history is testament to Adolf Hitler (who only had 33 per cent of the votes in Germany in the early 1930s before he made alliances with centre-right parties) and his rise to power. In short, Marine Le Pen has a good chance of being the next French president even if you detest what she stands for. I don’t know if it is the ‘patriotism’ portrayed by these candidates or the skillful channeling of public resentment, or perhaps their indulgence in the fun ‘blame-game’ (cursing the ruling government for everything from Jon Snow’s death to Pluto ceasing to be a planet). Turns out, rule number two to be elected president is: Make provocative dialogue and arouse a false sense of public patriotism. An important attribute to possess seems to be the ability to appeal to people’s sentiments and redirect their disappointments to a common target. The most outrageous point in my claim has to be the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Before I step into the chamber of his atrocities, I want to re-iterate the fact that Duterte was elected by a majority of 39 per cent under a fair democratic set up: that is nearly 16 million Filipinos believed in Rodrigo and his causes.
As the mayor of Davao, Rodrigo Duterte established the ‘Davao Death Squad’, a vigilante group responsible for the execution of individuals suspected of petty crimes and victims of drug abuse. During his election campaign, Duterte promised to kill ‘atleast five criminals every week’ and has never been afraid of getting blood on his hands. This is evident from multiple interviews in which he casually admits to having killed many people in the past and denies ever having any qualms about it. Terrifyingly, people are accepting his deranged ideologies as “some action is better than no action”. Duterte or as he is affec-
ippines, a “gay son of a bi***” and many of his speeches are peppered with rape jokes and anecdotes about his Viagra-fuelled sexual escapades. Duterte also offended, dare I say, humans by his remark regarding the rape of a young Australian minister who had been held hostage and killed in 1989, when he said, “But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first,” referring to himself. Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters have been quoted saying “He is a man of and for the people. Yes, he is vulgar, foul-mouthed, and says what he thinks without a fil-
ter. But he has a sense of humor to boot. Despite his rough rhetoric and unpolished behavior, he is intelligent and clever and he thinks and plans strategically.” This is no excuse for any rational human being. He cannot ‘speak his mind’. He is the President of an independent nation not the host of a controversy-desperate reality TV show, for heaven’s sake. This tempts me to ask: Have we lost our minds? How can we ever allow homophobic, racist people who have no respect for women and pride themselves on being able to “grab ‘em by the pu**y” to harness so much power? Shouldn’t rationality and human integrity be above all? I decided to turn to my most trusted source, quora.com which claims in its tagline to have “the best answer to any question” in order to understand the working of homo sapien minds and its motivations. One very wise layman best interpreted it as “Not unlike in the U.S, Filipinos are tired of corruption and inefficient government and they are willing to go to extremes in the hope of change. It’s called desperation. Why else would America contemplate Trump as POTUS?” This brings me to rule number three of being a leader today: There used to be a time when a refined gentlemanly attitude was valued. But today, people are so desperate that they don’t care about that anymore. They understand bombastic and profanitylaced language well. So use it. DonkeyHotey
How to Guarantee an Election Win
If you’re suffering, don’t stay quiet
am an international student in the UK who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety twice, once in first year and once in second year. Life away from home and the lack of effective support on preventing mental disorders in international students facilitated the diagnosis. I never thought being far away from home would be so difficult. I had lived on my own before. When I was in high school, I took a semester-long exchange programme in China, a country much different from my home country Mexico. I had dealt with the stress of not having my parents, my siblings, my relatives, my food, my traditions, my language. I had a blast in China. People had constantly said I was too mature for my age; I had the skills to temporarily move to the UK with no problems. Nonetheless, my experience in the UK has not been as positive. The causes of mental disorders are always unclear. Some of my therapists and GPs attributed my diagnosis to my personality and brain biology. Maybe I am not as fitted to deal with the international student life as other people. Others said it was because of my unresolved childhood issues and the fact that I was becoming an adult.
The only consensus was that my life as an international student was putting too much stress on my mental health. Regardless of the causes of my diagnosis, one thing is true. I would have had the same diagnosis if I had stayed in Mexico, but the disorder would have had way less impact in my life. I started having mood swings in my first year at Bath. I would be immensely happy one moment. Next, I would be the most miserable person in the universe. Soon enough my attention and study skills were severely impaired. I talked to my personal tutor, started applying for coursework extensions, yet nothing seemed to help. I was clearly falling behind my course objectives. I was once at the top of my class, and at that moment I was average at best. Then anxiety attacks followed. Sometimes my mind raced through tons of thoughts and sensations in seconds. I would be obsessively hard-working and functional two or three days a week, but for the most of it, I would stay in bed at least four days a week. I was unable to get up, often even unable to eat. I felt so helpless, so hopeless. I planned to end my life so many times. This carried on for longer a year. The trip to the kitchen alone was daunting. It felt as if it took hours to get to the kitchen —just
imagine how it felt like to even think about how far my family were. One of the greatest things about the UK is that many people are happy to discuss mental health. This is, partly, why I am proud to be studying psychology here. There is much support, and much of that was shared with me, although not all that is as accessible to international students as it should be. A main barrier is unconscious bias. There is too much emphasis on the “international student” label —which implies homesickness, cultural shock, and language barriers—, but so little focus on the mental disorders of international students. Many people in uni thought that I was not able to do as well as expected because I am an “international student” rather than looking at my actual disorder. I was not culturally-shocked, I was ill. The messages that always reach international students are ‘you’re not really welcome here’, ‘we like your money, not your problems’. Positive messages, including support available, do not always reach us. In spite of the incredible support provided by my department, I still felt guilty when contacting Student Services and going to see my GP —and to be fair, I still struggle with this. As an international student immigrant, one inherently
Daniel Murillo Antuna ISA Executive Chair
bathimpact contributor Daniel Murillo Antuna recounts his experiences as an international student dealing with Mental Helath Issues
tries to cause as little inconvenience as possible. We do not always have a strong and clear support system. That is why I continuously pretended to be okay to my family, to my friends, to the university, and even myself. Nevertheless, deep inside a part of me knew what was happening, wanted to listen to the negative discourses, and just go home. My counselling experience at university is very mixed. I appreciate all the services provided, the initiative, and efforts of various people in general. However, as both a psychology student and an international student I saw all of them need many more resources. On one hand, it is the bureaucracy of Student Services. My counsellors were very skilled, but we had to pray that my illness was cured or at least manageable with the limited counselling sessions they could provide me. If I needed to get other services, my GP had to confirm my diagnosis and there is no way around this. Although it took time, my GP confirmed it, but once the diagnosis ‘expired’ Student Services stopped my support. This made the transition to ‘normal’ life very hard, which led me to the second diagnosis of depression and anxiety. On the other hand, it was the treatment. I was provided Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Just as any other treatment, CBT
has some limitations, but I felt like the fact that I am an international student made the limitations even more significant. Nobody made it clear how the barriers to being an international student were tackled. What I know is that I was not satisfied —no, it was not a language barrier—, but I was too anxious to say something at the time. I am in my third year now, and I am not clinically depressed and anxious anymore. I would like my experience to encourage others to speak out even if it is not to the same extent. I love this country and the university, but I have seen that students with mental health issues are disadvantaged. Support and funding for students’ mental health needs to be substantially increased. So, fellow student, speak up, support one another - you’re not alone! Talk to the SU, urge them to increase mental health funding and support for students in need. Talk to Student’s Services and the International Students’ Association (ISA). Universities; work with SU’s more closely to research the effectiveness of easing this pressure on both home and international students before our lives become too much of a stressor. A £3.5 million expansion of the STV’s gym is a welcome investment, but I am certain that if even a fraction of this were invested into our inner health, it would make a world of difference.
Fika-ing Vikings: Scändi’s eat cake Zoe Karlsson
clearly remember the moment I got out of the car at the University of Bath Campus. Actually the car ride to Bath was filled with anxiety too. Watching the hills, fields, cows and sheep along the highway got me thinking: "This is going to be my home for the next four years". I worried about my future housemates, making friends and if Bath was even the right choice for me. Joining and integrating a new society, learning their culture and traditions, becoming British but still keeping and embracing my other cultures. One of them being Swedish. Having lived in Stockholm for most of my life, I spoke the language, followed typical Swedish traditions and clearly identified myself as Swedish., I was afraid to lose this part of me during my years in Bath.
Freshers’ Week was off to a great start and I decided to check out the Activities Day stalls between my induction talks. This day is dedicated to showing new or returning students what the Students’ Union societies have to offer. To be honest, I was not expecting the crazy vast amount of students’ associations! The variety is amazing and my jaw dropped when I heard Swedish at one of the nearby tables. There it was, the Scandinavian Society! I learnt about the many future events, met most of the committee and decided this was definitely the society for me. Now here I am, Social Secretary for this academic year and I am absolutely amazed at how much this society has to offer, making you feel right at home in a different country. ScändiSoc has allowed me to live out Swedish traditions, discover
other Scandinavian customs but also embrace my other identities (Mexican and French). I'm not lying when I say that this society has helped me want to continue my studies in Bath and helped me beat homesickness every time. Believe it or not but the only times I've managed to practice my Spanish is through ScändiSoc socials! The society offers a whole variety of socials and get-togethers, from pub tours to coffee dates as wellas movie nights and blacktie events. This year, we manage to organiwwse a social every two weeks. Our society tries to help others discover Scandinavian culture by bringing together all nationalities for an awesome time! After each new social and gathering I have managed to meet people from all over the world, both undergraduates and postgraduates. All welcome!
Social Secretary ScändiSoc
Salty Liquorice & Fermented Fish H
ave you ever seen a bunch of people running about town in Viking helmets and cradling an undersized elk? Chances are they’re from Scändisoc, and the elk our newly appointed mascot, Bjørn. We’ve had a great start to the year, having hosted a multitude of socials and met a big bunch of lovely people from Scandinavia, the UK and all over the world. Needless to say, Bjørn has made a spectacular entry to Bath’s nightlife and is living life to the fullest. Most of the freshers will know
us as those people who handed out the super salty but super tasty (?) liquorice during the Activities Fair in Freshers’ Week. And so, appropriately, our first social was a chilled get together in the SU over coffee and liquorice. This was a good opportunity to get to know some of our new members, while several returning members also showed up. The big event of the start of the year came the week after though, in the form of our classic Viking Bar Tour. Around 100 people joined us as we made our way between the Cork, Belushi’s and Rev’s, finishing off at Moles where the DJ obligingly played ABBA for most of the night. What
Chair of ScändiSoc
Tobias Lindström Battle
a start to the year! The committee has been working hard to make sure that we have a broad variety of events so that people with different tastes and interests all can take part. Our next event was, therefore, a Bring Your Own Pillow (BYOP) movie night at yours truly’s house. We got cosy and watched a Swedish classic, ‘The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’. It was as good as it sounds. Since then, numerous coffees had been drunk together and a massive carrot cake devoured before
another big event announced itself: Scändisoc Takes Opa. The masses came down to make the most of the 2 for 1 cocktail deal while (some) Scändi music blasted from the speakers – dancing ensued. Unfortunately, we found no elks, but this was probably down to the fact that they do not, despite the myth, live in burrows underground, especially not in Bath. After having organised some great events, we are now looking forward to those coming up! Our final big event of the semester will be our annual gala. We are hav-
ing a fancy dinner at the Francis Hotel, and then heading to Komedia. The Bristol and UWE Scandinavian Societies will be joining us for what will be a great night, so make sure you get your tickets soon on BathStudent if you want to come! Meanwhile, I’ve had a little lightbulb in my head for another social. Does a Strange Scandinavian Food Tasting Session sound good? Fermented fish, salty liquorice and blood pudding. Keep your eyes peeled next semester for more information… Scändilove <3
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This just raises more questions
Interview with Silversun Pickups What makes a Good Villain? How Film has Changed in the Last 2 Decades Spoof News
bite Proverb of the Week: “To fit both fists in your own mouth is a talent. To fit them both in a stranger’s is a concern.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Eyes Set on the Future It’s that wonderful time of year again. Not Christmas, no. I mean deadline season. Everyone has a ton of work and is sick to death of work, uni, people, Bath, the weather, cooking, cleaning, not sleeping, sleeping, dentists. You name it. Everyone is busy, and it can feel pretty overwhelming if it catches you on a bad day. Lots of 2nd years are applying for placements at the moment, and the joys of CVs, cover letters and Skype interviews just never get old. In some ways, the placement year feels like a miniature version of real life before scurrying back to the protection of university. Looking at placements makes me feel like I’m back in year 9 science, looking at burning magnesium ribbon from behind that weird blue tinted glass. Except instead of burning magnesium, it’s the burning light of post-university ‘real life’. And instead of a blue tinted bit of glass to stop my eyes shrivelling into 2 eyelashy raisins, all I have are my stupid hipster glasses which offer absolutely no protection from the eye-shrivelling glare of real life. Even before university, when I would hear my older siblings refer to post-university life as ‘real life’, it would always confuse me a little. I understand what they are getting at - university has relatively low levels of responsibility and commitment compared to typical grown-up stuff like having a job and a family. There aren’t that many jobs where you wouldn’t be looked down on for going out 3 times a week. Having said that, I think that referring to university as not being real life is a symptom of the pressures that we are under, whether it’s from friends,
family boy/girlfriends, society or whatever else. That pressure says that real life only begins once a series of boxes have been ticked - I have a grad job, I have a girlfriend, I bought the second cheapest suit from Topman and I’m renting a flat with my pals in London. I go to expensive cocktail bars on a Friday night and on the weekends, I look at booking.com for holidays 9 months in advance so that I can put something on my iPhone 7 calendar that I can actually look forward to. Only then, when all of those requirements have been met, does real life begin. At university, we are all knelt down on the start line of the running track, waiting to hear the gun to go off. THEN we can really live! That is a hugely toxic mindset to have. If you place value on something that will only materialise in a few years down the line, you will be playing out time between now and then. Playing time isn’t fun; it serves a purpose of getting through unpleasant spells of time, but nothing more. When Arsenal keep the ball at the corner flag to run the clock down, yes it serves a purpose, but it somewhat misses the point of the match for a lot of people. They come to be entertained, and by strategically running the clock down, that purpose is not fulfilled. Is the win more important than an entertaining match? Is ticking all of the ‘good university graduate’ boxes more important than having as many interesting experiences as possible? It depends on your beliefs as an individual. There is a reason that “Uni is the best years of your life” is
such a cliché among older people. They look back at their freedom in university and contrast it to their current lives and end up wishing they could go back to a time when their biggest concern was the fact that their friend from home visited this weekend, threw up behind the sofa and now their housemates have noticed. At the same time, that middle aged guy doesn’t remember how irritating it is to have to use Harvard Referencing. It swings in roundabouts. The grass will always look greener, whether you’re looking to the future or the past. It is so easy to constantly set your eyes on the future or the past. Whether that is 2 weeks from now when deadlines are finished, 2 years from now when you’ll graduate, or 20 years ago when you didn’t have a job or a family. And that’s fine. I’m not going to sit here, clacking away on my keyboard and blatantly lie - I can’t wait for deadlines to be finished with. It’s really draining to constantly feel work looming over you like some kind of Moodle-branded grim reaper, so my eyes are firmly set in the future at the moment. But if looking to the David Michalczuc future for comfort becomes the norm, that will become insidious and it becomes extremely difficult to enjoy much of anything. Editor’s note: Sorry for bringing the mood down. I honestly sat down with the intention of writing about living abroad in placement year. Instead, it sort of turned into a depressing YOLO piece. My bad. Greg Chapman bite Editor
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exspoofimpact Peter Rivera
Durex Launch New “Spunk-To-Win” Condom
Pearce Cox Spoof him right in the mouth email@example.com
eading condom manufacturer, Durex, has unsheathed their latest plans to release a revolutionary new variation on the condom. The new type of condoms are designed to promote safer sex by giving couples another reason to use protection. Upon contact with semen, the condom will print a temporary tattoo on the penis using temporary ink (the same technology used in kids magazine temporary spiderman tattoos) which can be viewed clearly on a flaccid or erect penis. No-longer will premature ejaculation be avoided - men will race to climax as if it were a speed run and then tear off the soggy
condom to reveal if they have won a prize. Prizes will include a Porsche, £5,000 or a free Happy Meal. Concerns have been raised by the TAM (Teens Against Masturbation) support group. Group leader, known as Ed ‘Sticky Sheets’ Robson had this to say on the matter: “We at TAM appreciate the intention of Durex to encourage safer sex, but we believe there is a real risk of teens suffering from masturbation overload. Symptoms include dehydration, loss of feeling in the right arm and chronic erections. Nowadays, teenagers don’t need a material incentive to get them to masturbate - pardon the pun - giving them a monetary reason to wrestle their one-eyed snake will inevitably lead to problems at a societal level”. Gage Skidmore
What might have - but at the same time definitely didn’t - happen
Grand Tour Cancelled Pearce Cox Spoof him right in the mouth firstname.lastname@example.org
ollowing an eagerly-awaited premier, Top Gear - (sorry) - Grand Tour fans will be kept waiting again, after famous presenter and all-round lovely chap Jeremy Clarkson has been sent to A&E after nobly stepping in to break up a scuffle between fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond. Clarkson, started as nothing more than a bystander, described the altercation as “a fracas”. After letting himself into Hammond’s dressing room to offer him some fair trade Ecuadorian dark chocolate and a Pomegranate smoothie, Clarkson watched as Hammond and May squared up in a heated argument in which both snide comments and spittle flew to-and-fro, landing their middle-aged faces like the first summer rain on the Sahara. Clarkson, overcome with the maternal af-
fection he is so well-known for, immediately saw this as a call to arms. This is the kind of emotional fallout that Clarkson is a master of cooling down. Approaching with confidence, he extends both arms, gesturing that a group hug was in order. May and Hammond saw Clarkson’s gorilla-like arms thrust towards them and took it as a threat. Clarkson’s press release was given with a black eye and a broken nose. Using his trademark modesty and grace, Clarkson said “Hammond and May are my closest friends. The fact that this fracas has left me in agonising pain will not compromise our relationship.” And on that bombshell, Clarkson announced “Unfortunately, my crippling injuries mean that I will not be able to present this fantastic show for the rest of the season. We had already bought crew jackets with our name on the back, so due to those restrictions, I’m delighted to announce my replacement for this series, Jeremy Corbyn.”
This is Donald Trump, in case you didn’t know
World is Left Wanting More Political Journalism After a Shocking Lack of Media Coverage
UST IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED, DONALD TRUMP WON THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. TRUMP IS PRESIDENT. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAD NOTICED THE 14 MONTHS OF CONTINUOUS, NAUSEATING COVERAGE, BUT DONALD TRUMP BOTH RAN FOR AND SECURED THE US PRESIDENCY. I FOR ONE WOULD LIKE SOME MORE TRUMP ON THE MATTER, BECAUSE QUITE FRANKLY, I’M FUCKING SICK TO DEATH OF BEING KEPT IN THE DARK ON THE MATTER. AFTER ALL OF THIS TRUMP, I THINK
I’M GOING A BIT TRUMP. IF ONLY EVERYONE WOULD TRUMP A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL TRUMPLECTION. AT THE END OF THE TRUMP, I SUPPOSE THAT THE TRUMP OF THE MATTER IS THAT TRUMP IN THE PRESIDENT TRUMP TRUMP. THANK GOD FOR ALL THE HIGH QUALITY, INTERESTING POLITICAL TRUMPALISTS WRITING FOR NEWSPAPERS. IF ONLY THERE COULD BE ANOTHER ELECTION SO I NEVER HAD TO TRUMP ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE EVER AGAIN. Who else misses talking about the weather?
RAge of the Week
Made in Chelsea. Ok. So, obviously, this week is going to be fairly easy. I’ve not exactly set myself a challenge. Finding a way to make fun of Made in Chelsea is about as difficult as hitting the ground once you jump off the top of a building - which is coincidentally what you will find yourself doing after sitting down to consume an episode of this absolute garbage. A lot of people are concerned about global warming. And rightly so - it seems like the biggest challenge that faces the human race today. Seems like. Seems. In actual fact, the biggest challenge is that Made in Chelsea has been running for 12 series. 135 hour-long episodes. 135 hours. That’s only 8 more hours than it took James Franco to cut off his fucking arm in the film 127 hours, and honestly, if Franco had been made to watch Made in Chelsea rather than get his arm stuck in a rock, I think he would have cut his arm off looooooong before the 127th hour. For those of you who don’t watch Made in Chelsea (the same people who wouldn’t be confused by a 24-hour clock or who can tie their own laces like a big boy), it is a tv show where posh sounding people basically hold glasses of wine whilst having small talk about who they have got with, will get with and want to get with. Imagine filming real life but then editing out any of the bits that make life worth living - that’s Made in Chelsea. It really made me think that potentially, Made in Chelsea is actually a stroke of genius that’s gone awry. Perhaps the original idea of the show was to take a look at our society in the 21st century and condense all of the ugliest, shallowest, narcissistic, willingly stupid, self-involved, #follow4follow, nonintrospective, masurbatory, pointless, suicide-inducing parts of that society and making a tv show as a nuanced social commentary. It was created as an attempt to hold up a mirror to the face of society; but rather than recoil in disgust, society pulled up a chair and watched, dick in hand, as we celebrate everything that makes this culture repulsive. Now they continue to pump out episodes for the cash - and who can blame them - if a bunch of idiots are throwing money at you to produce a tv show that makes a twiglet look like art, why would you stop? It’s not just that Made in Chelsea is absolute garbage, the worst part is that it’s so popular. How can so many people find entertainment in something that is so clearly endorsing the kind of lifestyle that is so fundamentally grotesque? If anyone wants any more convincing on the Theory of Evolution, the popularity of this pile of garbage laughs in the face of anybody who suggests humans were the result of any kind of Intelligent Design. Yes, all art is subjective. Everybody is allowed an opinion. It just so happens that if your opinion is that you like Made in Chelsea, you are wrong and should go and sit on the naughty step for a very, very long time. I would rather spend an hour punching myself in the face whilst lying in a bath full of extremely rusty nails than watch an episode of Made in Chelsea. The irony of this all being that I’ll probably end up watching it with my housemates next week, unfortunately. Can’t wait.
torange.biz Aleksandr Osipov
Not that Chelsea, unfortunately
Rather than starting a course of meditation, therapy or just trying to be a nice person, bite editor Greg Chapman sits down and shouts at his computer about something that has been getting his goat. This week, his angry little fingers jabbed at the keyboard until something about the television show (if you can even call it that) Made in Chelsea appeared on the screen and he had to stop because he passed out in anger.
Akala at the Marble Factory Ben White
bite writer Ben White Reviews Akala’s gig at the Marble Factory in Bristol
Akala is a genre-spanning artist with elements of spoken word, grime and rock embroidered into the fabric of his work. I am reminded of this by a reel of clips playing on a projector at the back of the room displaying key moments from his last 10 years. The crowd dies down as the philosophical anthem ‘Sun Tzu’ finishes, though respite is short-lived as the voice of Malcolm X reverberates throughout the room. We see a myriad of revolutionaries flicker across the screen; philosophers and liberators appear in quick succession, yet before the audience has time to contemplate their significance Akala launches into his next act of riotous poetry. Among the selected are excerpts from all four ‘Fire in the Booth’s’ as well as a satirical visit from an alter ego in the form of ‘Uncle Pompous’, an aristocratic archetype whose ignorance and elitism are, worryingly, not overly hyperbolic.The room’s energy belies the sombre content of Akala’s performance to the point where someone forgets the rapper’s North London roots and throws a can of beer in his direction. He stops and demands to know the perpetrator, then proceeds to explain how a message of peace and love doesn’t negate a lifetime of exposure to violence and a willingness to ‘show you where I’m from’. The set then takes
a diversion into the aggressive (and particularly relevant) ‘Don’t piss me off’. As I look around that usually cold, slightly utilitarian warehouse which rubs shoulders with Motion, the atmosphere is an unusual one. It seems lacking in the hedonism that this sub-cultural corner of Bristol usually nurtures, instead filled with a strange sense of community. I say strange because the crowd is uniquely diverse; every demographic seemed fairly represented. This is not trivial. It speaks volumes that a 32 year old mixed race North London rapper with Rastafarian roots can convey messages with such clarity to people with whom he shares so few experiences. Here I refer not just to the 19 year old man/boy mid-escape from suburbia, but also to a whole writhing crowd, a beast with a plethora of desires, perspectives and ideas, yet united under a common appreciation of musical eloquence. This is the crux of Akala – he transcends the traditional barriers within our society to deliver power to the Man. Short of becoming a politician (and even then) he could do no more to cultivate change than to continue channeling his liberal psyche and healthy disregard for an undeserved status quo through an obsidian intellect and dizzying flow. Soutbank Centre
You Want it Darker Ben White
Leonard Cohen’s 14th and final album is a prophetic final word to the world. Though the darkness of the record cannot be avoided, the allusions to death and departure which drip from Cohen’s gravelly tone are comfortingly self-aware. A current of his uniquely macabre humour rescues us from falling into the black hole of despair, instead allowing us to orbit it, peeking out of a Cohen shaped porthole. The record’s eponymous track finds Cohen addressing his relationship with God, breaching topics of suffering and unfairness yet doing so with a sombre acceptance; ‘I’m ready my Lord’. This acceptance reveals itself in most tracks, often accompanied by a sense of surrender. One gets the impression that in his 82 years Cohen has fought, argued, loved and lost, and is now wise enough to relinquish control. In a recent interview with The New Yorker he stated he was ready to die, though it was hard to take his words with as much earnest as intended. Travelling Light and Leaving the Table echo this sentiment with morbid allusions to mortality laid elegantly over minimalist guitars. They also allude to the death of a ladies man. Cohen, known for his popularity with women over the years, comments on his lack of enduring monogamy and the end of relationships, perhaps with a particular one in mind. Cohen’s eternal muse Marianne Ihlen, subject of So Long, Marianne, was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year. To her he wrote, ‘our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.’ You Want it Darker now finds itself in the same realm as Bowie’s Blackstar; a final gift, eternalised with the wisdom and perspective only attainable when on the brink of oblivion. Leonard Cohen has enriched music for nearly 50 years with his deep baritone, singing some of the most poetic and insightful lyrics ever written. He has been our omniscient friend, a melancholy indulgence to reassure and comfort us when confronted with life’s intrinsic misery. The death of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists is tragic, though via You Want it Darker he offers solace a final time through his wry optimism in the face of life’s greatest challenge of all.
Silversun Pickups Greg Chapman
bite editor Greg Chapman sat down with Brian and Nikki of Silversun Pickups ahead of their show in Bristol and talked all things music and motivation.
puts the brakes on. This album, we had this song, Feral, which we all loved, but as soon as you put it on, you could just tell that the album stopped. We couldn’t put anything before or after it, so we have to work out what to do with it. The funny thing is, that they’re very easy to spot. The hard part isn’t spotting them, it’s admitting to yourself that they are that way. We worked so hard on that song, but we just knew we had to use it.
bite: Your sound has changed across each one of your albums - is that a conscious change or is it something that naturally progresses? Brian: It’s not a reaction, it doesn’t change because we have to change it. It’s not like we need to be different, we just are different. It’s about 3 years between each album cycle, so you write a record which is a year, and then you tour it for roughly 2 years. At that point, everything you put into the previous record - every aspect of it - you’ve toured it for a while, you’ve lived with it for a while and you’re deep in it. Not in a way that you don’t like it, but after a while you are interested in other things because you’ve changed. I think you naturally, hopefully change. For us, if we feel uncomfortable and if everything feels crazy and we have no handle on it, then that’s the right thing to do! It always feels tough, and hopefully that is a change. When we listen to the older records, it’s hard not to see them as pretty similar, but hopefully they’re different. Nikki: We hope that each one builds. Like, when you listen to it, we’re hoping that people will be a bit befuddled when they listen to it. Brian: If people aren’t sure about it, we kinda go “Yes!”, which is weird when you put it like that. bite: When you’re in a band that have fans that loved previous albums, are you thinking of those
bite: If you could magically go back in time and play your latest record to yourselves from 10 years ago, what do you think past-you would think about it? Brian: I’d probably feel the same way. I would think, “oh, there they are. There’s that guy singing like that”. I’d still hear me and think “awwwwwwwwwww” (laughs). At the beginning we would record and singing is the weirdest part of all. I always wonder what we actually sound like. I hear myself on the records, but it’s not real. It’s impossible to get my head out of it.
fans when you’re making a new record? Brian: No. When you’re making a new record, you can’t let those thoughts in. Imagine chasing that thought down, oh my God! Nikki: Ultimately I think we are just trying to please ourselves when we make a new record Brian: And we barely do that! Except this record,
which we really like. And we thought we’d messed up. We were all like “What’s this?!” (laughs). You can’t let anything in, really.
Nikki: I’d just say: “Oh, there’s more electronics on it. Cool!” bite: So are you able to listen to your own albums in the same way that you listen to other music?
bite: Have you ever had a label or manager try and meddle with any of your records?
Brian: No, no way. Nikki, you heard us on the radio when you took a year off from the band?
Brian: No, our manager has left us alone big time, and trusts us. Our label back at home, when they signed us they were just 2 guys and didn’t really know what to do with us anyway. Then when it started to do well, which surprised us and surprised them, they thought “well, let’s just leave them alone”. Honestly, I think they know that if they tried to give us advice, we’d just say “sure” and then never do it. We have a producer that we’ll work with, but that’s who we are willing to do stuff with. It’s not a committee.
Nikki: Yeah, I saw the online video we did for KRock. At that point I was ready to come back from the band. The girls were about 7 months old, and it made me realise how much I liked being in the band, I just needed time away to be with them.
bite: Is it difficult to choose a setlist now that you have a back catalogue of albums to select songs from? Brian: Yeah, that is difficult. Nikki: Yeah, I mean, usually on an album, we write an album’s worth and then a couple extras. Brian: When band’s say they wrote, like, 30 songs… No you didn’t! Nikki: We write, 12, maybe 13 for an album. Brian: We think of records building from beginning to end, normally. Sometimes it doesn’t work exactly like that, but we have very little leftover material nowadays. You can tell right away when a song just
Brian: Remember in that Oasis documentary, Liam Gallagher sat in the audience in that acoustic performance, just to mess with Noel? How evil is that!? bite: What motivates you to keep writing and touring in the band? Brian: I think the duality of being in a band keeps it fun. With touring and recording, when you get bored of one, the other one kicks in. The writing part is pretty stationary and internal. Just when your brain can’t take another metaphor - by the end of a record, your brain has been worked up to the point where you see a bag float across the street and you wonder “What does that mean?” And so that’s time to stop! Then after all the internal dialogue, you have these 2 years of big movements and loud noises. When that gets tiring, it’s time to go back to that little cave. So I think it’s both of those things that keep it fresh. We took the opportunity to ask Brian and Nikki about the background behind two of their songs: Cradle (Better Nature) and Lazy Eye:
Cradle (Better Nature): Brian: It was the first song we wrote for the record and it came really easily. Normally I get shy with the choruses, because I think “is this too normal?” Because the last record was so nostalgic, this record is much more in the present. It’s about that minute and how crazy things are. Our friend Doug who passed away was talking me at a pool party and said that he preferred me when I was in a band, because there was something calmer about me. That sort of stemmed the whole song, summing up your better nature. It’s that advice that plays out through the whole record. Nikki: The nice way that we record now is that Brian will send out demos and we can sit with it for a while. Before, when we lived together, I would hear the songs as Brian wrote them, but now I get a chance for things to settle in and then go from there.
Lazy Eye: Brian: It’s one of the first songs we ever wrote. It was kind of incredible that it was the first song that people knew about us. We were playing in Los Angeles for 4 years before we ever recorded anything. We were just learning by playing in front of people. Lazy Eye and Kissing Families were the 2 songs that ended up being our theme songs. We weren’t living in a ‘singles world’. We got played on college radio, but then a radio station cut the start and end off it to make a single of Lazy eye and from there, it just happened organically. Someone just said that they liked it, and it was so lovely. We still love it. It’s very much about being on stage and not being a person that wants to be on stage. I was talking about being in a club in front of 3 people. I’ve never resented the song. They aren’t old to us because they are current in the world that we play them in.
truly menacing. We feel great pathos for him, yet are compelled to respect his authority. His actions are fuelled by very real and humane motives, and we see that his villainy is not a self-proclaimed title which he embraces, but instead a by-product of his psychological turmoil. John Doe (Kevin Spacey, Se7en) In Se7en, Kevin Spacey plays John Doe, a serial killer who murders his victims each in relation to one of the seven deadly sins. He earns a spot here due to being, in my opin-
what I believe to be brilliant movie villains and why. Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator) Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is made such a more interesting film by the presence of what, in my opinion, is one of the very greatest movie villains of all time. Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) is the epitome of a deeply flawed and, therefore, riveting antagonist. Riddled with insecurity and bitterness, he commits an atrocious act early on in the film that establishes him as a deeply troubled villain. Huge credit must go to Joaquin Phoenix for what is an absolutely tremendous performance. Somehow, he manages to make his character pathetic and cowardly yet still
ion, the most chilling and disturbing murderer in film. Once again, this is achieved by his character seemingly having a real, human mind. He performs atrocious and vile acts, yet he truly believes his cause is just and, in one particular scene, articulates his reasoning in a way that, very disturbingly, makes sense. The Joker (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight) This character is a prime example of a villain being terrifying because they feel real. Although previous portrayals of the crown prince of crime (such as Jack Nicholson’s and Jared Leto’s) may be solid and interesting, none are as chilling as Heath Ledger’s which not only existed within a more realistic and gritty environment, but
was also actually real to some extent. Heath Ledger’s utter dedication and immersion in the role, followed by his unnerving death, adds a whole new aura of terror to his performance that can arguably not be bested. As an audience, we cannot help but view the film with the harrowing thought that the role contributed to Ledger’s fate; while this is truly tragic, it makes for a deeply irksome villain that will forever stand as an honoured legacy. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey, Game of Thrones) Yes, Cersei Lannister is a TV series villain and so arguably has been given far more screen time in which to develop as a character. Yet even after the first few episodes, she stands out as a truly complex and layered villain. However, she is not just a villain; she is a person. She has admirable attributes, most notably, her love for her children, but is crippled by her envy and her fear of losing what she cherishes most. The fact that one could defend a character who is so ideologically marred as Cersei demonstrates her many layers. And once again, it is these real layers of human conflict that make her such an interesting and compelling antagonist. What is most impressive with Lena Headey’s performance, however, is that she manages to elicit many responses from the audience. We despise Cersei, and are disgusted by her capabilities, yet we still root for her. No, we do not root for her to be successful; instead, we root for her to achieve redemption. We want the good in Cersei to thrive because (huge credit to Lena Headey) we understand her, and acknowledge that her life has been one of deep suffering. Although her salvation seems highly unlikely, the audience will arguably never lose all hope, and that is what makes her such an astounding villain: she has a real relationship with her audience.
that there are complex layers to his psychology; his mind is fundamentally corrupted, and it is the unpredictable nature of his behaviour that truly chills us. Once a villain possesses human flaws, and maintains a scary or intimidating presence, they are able to quite easily obtain many other secondary features, such as intelligence and charisma, which build upon their character and will make theirs a more dynamic and rounded movie villain. Below are some examples of
For centuries, the plot device of the ‘villain’ has been a common trait in all mediums of storytelling. Antagonists in modern film may vary hugely in their appearance, style, authority, and motives, yet one thing they all share is the ability to significantly influence the tone, pace, and general quality of the rest of the movie. It is a shame, therefore, that such a large proportion of movies fail to capitalise on the potential to create intriguing, captivating villains. Of course, this failure can never be attributed to one person, as it is likely to be a combination of acting, directing, and writing that makes or breaks a villain; but there is one essential aspect in particular that so many movie villains fail to capture: human weakness. By human weakness I do not mean an absence of strength. Far from it. Instead, I refer to that which makes us interesting as humans: the fact that we have a range of internal psychological conflicts that can drive our emotions and often manifest themselves in our behaviour. Without experiencing this strife, a movie villain cannot feel truly ‘real’, and is, therefore, unlikely to deeply resonate with an audience. Furthermore, it is with this humane psyche that a villain may gain a second key feature that many antagonists should possess: terror. A powerful villain ought to be frightening and intimidating. They ought to strike fear in the mind and body of those around them. However, it is vital that this human weakness forms a part of the reason they scare us. One could argue that, as animals, our deepest fear is the unpredictable, and we fear those whose actions we cannot anticipate. Yes, a villain such as Freddy Krueger is still scary, despite his behaviour being predictable (we know he will kill us). But a villain such as Heath Ledger’s Joker is terrifying in such a more profound way due to our understanding
Changes in Film
Deputy-Editor Online Eddy Horn looks at how film has changed in the last 2 decades
In 1986, the top movie releases included “Top Gun”, “Aliens”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Crocodile Dundee” and “Platoon” to name but a few. Since then the movie industry has evolved dramatically and thirty years later, the 2016 box office offers; “Suicide Squad”, “Jason Bourne”, “Ghostbusters”, “Captain America: Civil War” and “Independence Day: Resurgence”. No, it isn’t a coincidence that the latter selection is comprised of remakes or franchises, just take a look at what any cinema is showing any time of the year. So how did this happen? And is the ‘sequelisation’ of the movie industry necessarily a bad thing? Let’s take the Hobbit trilogy as an example. Peter Jackson made an exceptionally targeted effort to make this expansion of the Middle-Earth saga into a long winded prequel trilogy. The first instalment proved to be a huge disappointment to many Lord of the Rings fans yet the whole trilogy proved to be a huge financial success. Costing around $765m to make and taking in almost $3bn worldwide. This is because the producers are well aware that in the early 2000s, when the LOTR trilogy was released, they discovered a vast fan base who had really made a connection with the universe that Peter Jackson had bought to life. 10 years on, the success of these films is still being echoed throughout merchandise stores and social media. Fans may not have heard good things about the Hobbit trilogy, but they buy the tickets to see the movies anyway, as it at least gives them the opportunity to peer back into this fictional world that delivered such awe-inspiring wonder and compelling narrative. So now we know why sequels are so popular for production companies - you can tap into a massive target audience that has unquestionable brand loyalty. Here expected revenues are much easier to predict and production companies know exactly who to market the films to. This leads on to another aspect of the Film Industry that has drastically changed - the marketing strategy. According to Forbes, if a film costs $80m to produce, the distributor may well spend another $40m on marketing the film. Producers are willing to throw walls of money at marketing the film as the success of the film tends to be decided within the opening weekend. This leaves little time for consumers to react to how good the film actually is, but they have become so riled up and excited for the film to be released that they almost don’t care. Teaser trailers, billboards and bus posters leave the idea of a specific film in the back of our minds and ignites our curiosity, especially if this film follows the story on from a particular franchise we like. Because of this, trailers have started to disclose too much of the plot line so that we can already relate to the film and decide that we want to experience this kind of story. If you feel that particularly disheartened by franchises taking over the industry and you’re really annoyed that there is another Harry Potter film being released this year, even though you thought it was over when Deathly Hallows part II, then brace yourself, because at least 3 more are being released in the next few years. Just kidding (not really). There’s a new production company making films, called A24. They’re young but have already made an impact in the world of film with their brand. Having created some truly shocking thrillers such as “Ex Machina”, “the Witch” and “Green room”. A24 have created a welcome alternative to Hollywood’s linear predictability, with storylines that don’t always make sense, but still leave you with something to question in your mind beyond the end of the credits.
IN WITH THE OLD AND OUT WITH THE NEW! How charity shops could make old the new new! With so many high street stores providing you with very similar styles of clothing it's become a task to stand out. I find that I can very easily leave my house looking and feeling like a million pounds and run into someone that makes me feel like the 100 pounds I spent on the trainers and jeans we're both wearing. That being said the price tag on what you wear does not equate to how fashion forward you are, besides we're all students we can't afford to dish out £10,000 on couture In the words of the great Coco Chanel 'Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury' Cue... Charity shops. You can find the most amazing loved items, that were probably bought a generation ago so the likelihood of you running into someone with the same blouse is slim. Also you can find items that are worth much more than the price tag that's attached to it.
"Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury" I am no stranger to finding the odd designer item in a charity shop for less than £50! Fashion is more than just simply the cashmere scarf you bought to keep you warm, clothes are an expression of oneself, and what has a more interesting story to tell than that jumper that has a Marks and Spencers logo dated back to the second world war ? To quote Christian Dior 'Individuality will always be one of the conditions of real elegance' - individuality does not have to cost a bomb, you can buy an incredible individual piece, for a great price while donating to charity. That's a triple word score. But it doesn't stop at clothes, you can also get some of the most beautiful antique pieces, that can add an incredible vintage feel to your room. Instead of buying your classic vinyls from urban outfitters why not buy them from your local charity shop? You could find editions of vinyls that are no longer sold! Additionally old vinyl's have a charm that make great wall pieces.
Hand stitched quilts, antique dishes that can be turned into jewellery holders, the options are vast. With christmas around the corner why not get yourself a christmas jumper?! Vintage shops are also fantastic to stand out from the masses however: a) vintage shops only sell clothes and jewellery b) they're likely to a little more on the pricey side and c) you hold no expectations when shopping at a charity shop and therefore are always pleasantly surprised when you purchase a good find. Bath has a crazy amount of charity shops so get out and find some Some of my favourites are: British Heart Foundation - Westgate street Dorothy House- Moorland Road Julian Trust - 86 Walcott street Oxfam book shop- 4-5 Lower Borough walls. So get rid of this old notion of wearing someone elses tattered clothes, because charity shops only stock clothes of a particular quality. Go out. Go search. Take a friend and have some fun looking for the real vintage pieces you've always craved!
-Go in knowing what you're looking for! charity shops can be incredibly overwhelming with so much variety comes much disorder. -Do not set your heart on any thing without looking at the size first #SoMuchDissapointment. -Go more than once- what you don't find on your first trip you may find on your second or third trip and then some. by Miada Hassan
"Individuality will always be one of the conditions of real elegance" top tips for charity shopping: -As with most things, it's all about location, location, location more prestigious areas are likely to have more prestigious donations, that's not to say you kind find the odd gem in any charity shop - Be very selective with your purchases, otherwise instead of being savvy you'll become a hoarder. - Keep your friends close and shop volunteers closer- Charity shops get loads of donations that they may not be able to display all at the same time, that storage room may contain unknown treasures that your new found friend could hook you up with,
photographed: Wadzi Pasipamire
Commander Chris Hadfield Lizzy Kaplunov
A 3-year-old boy is smiling and babbling on his dad’s lap in front of me. To my right is the cutest 9-year-old boy wearing a blue astronaut outfit and eagerly bouncing up and down on his chair as he is reaching up his hand to ask a question he probably spent a few days thinking up. The man on the stage in an authentic blue astronaut suit, Chris Hadfield (the Canadian astronaut and ex commander of the International Space station), points at a girl in an orange jumper at the back. She yells out: “What happens when you fly a paper aeroplane in space?”. The grown man in the blue suit, beams, says “That’s a very good question” and starts conducting a science presenter type demonstration of what would happen to a paper aeroplane in space, grabbing the nearest A4 piece of paper to use as an approximation of the paper aeroplane. Turns out a paper aeroplane in a space ship would go on flying until it hit something and would continue travelling for an infinite amount of time in space, due to there being no gravitational pull. The space commander answers all the questions at the Q&A for his new
children’s book with kindness, jokes and charm, despite his greying hair and perfectly adult moustache (which is apparently inspired by the fact that engineer Cyrus Smith, the protagonist from his favourite childhood book, “Mysterious Island” by Jules Verne, also had a great moustache). He’s got seemingly boundless energy as he moves around the stage. Before the Q&A, the audience were treated to a slideshow about Chris Hadfield’s childhood, on which the book “Darkest Dark” is loosely based. We are shown images of Chris as a young boy, teenager in Royal Canadian air cadets and a young pilot, as well as told stories about the images. The gist of the slideshow is that Chris wanted to be an astronaut from a young age but
“Pursue your dreams only you can make them come true” was scared of the dark. He then realised that the dark is full of beauty and wonder. He didn’t let his fears and insecurities stop him in life and worked his way towards his goal of becoming an astronaut in a dedicated and thought-out manner. Or so it seems based on the snapshots of his life. Some of his inspirations are also mentioned, for instance Chris tells us how much watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing on TV at a family friend’s home in Ontario affected him. After the biographical prelude, Chris reads the book. It’s for very young children. There’s lots of very subtle images drawn with gentle strokes and pastels and little text. The book is very closely linked to the story of his life and how he became an astronaut. It’s very pleasant if brief. The illustrators are two brothers, Fey and Tey Fun, the working process of which was also a part of the presentation before the book reading. After the book reading, there’s yet another surprise! Chris wrote a song about the book. It’s short and funny, and the kids love it. I must say that I was kind of hoping he would play some Bowie – like he did in his video he sent from the space station. One of the questions during the Q&A was “How did you play guitar in space?” to which Chris demonstrated, with the help of a small boy he pulled up on stage, that he had to hold the guitar down with his right elbow and hold the frets much tighter too to stop it flowing away. Apparently, that guitar is still in the station and there’s a Russian astronaut who’s playing it now. The only reason that NASA got a guitar into the space station was that they found out the Russians had an old one classical one for years. Then NASA, either from consid-
ering that music might help psychological wellbeing or so as not to be upstaged by the Soviets, bought a guitar in a music shop in Texas and sent it up in a shuttle. The last step of this event in the beautiful old theatre (The Forum in Bath city centre) is the book signing. Whilst standing the queue, I overhear that you could’ve bought an extra value ticket where you get to meet Chris. Having already shelled out £25 for two books out of the three available (I bought a photobook of images of the Earth from space and also “Darkest Dark” but you could also get the autobiography), as well as £8 for the ticket, I think to myself that no, surely there’s not another thing you could’ve paid for! That’s not cool, why is this man in a blue suit charging extra for kids to chat to him, isn’t he loaded already? But then I turn around and I see Chris signing the books and smiling and leaning down for photos patiently, and I don’t feel so annoyed. It’s good, that he’s doing something with his life after retirement from space travel. Public engagement is all the rage now, so if his children’s book encourages young kids to strive to be their very best or to learn science, then let him charge for the books, for the show and for the extra meet and greet opportunities. If anyone’s going to be able to get the children of today to work harder or dreamer bigger, it’s the biggest, hardest-working dreamer of all, the little boy who dreamed of going to space and then worked so very hard to make it so, even when Canada didn’t have a space programme. He’s absolutely genuine, energetic, kind and smart. And that’s a rarity for a celebrity these days.
In recent years, there has been a push for depression to be viewed in the same way as any other illness. A broken arm impacts your life in a way that requires time and care to recover to full strength. It is argued that depression is no different. As someone with depression, I disagree. There are elements of truth to that comparison, but in practical terms, I find it to be misleading. To compare depression to any ‘regular’ illness is to misunderstand how it feels to have depression. It’s not a stupid thing to say that mental illness should be approached in similar ways to other ailments. The stigma attached to mental illness can leave a serious negative impact on people, leading them to hide from or be ashamed of their condition. There are treatments for depression and treatments for a broken arm. Why should they be treated differently? When you have a broken arm, it is clear to yourself and everybody else that something is ‘wrong with you’ and that it needs to be fixed - your arm is not working as well as it used to and you have a desire is to return the arm to its previous state. The working arm. The proper arm. Depression doesn’t feel like a fault. It doesn’t feel like you are broken. It just feels like a part of you. Your sense of humour, the internal monologue in your head and your relationships are all built from your own personality, which is built from a foundation of depression. To ‘heal’ someone of depression would be to change an essential part of them as a person. To a depressed mind, the only rational reaction to the world is to feel depressed. Everything else feels disingenuous. That’s what’s so isolating when you learn you have depression. It’s isolating and shocking to realise that not everyone feels like this. You are wrong to feel this way, even though it feels like such an intrinsic part of you as a person. Should depression be seen through the same eyes as a broken arm would? It doesn’t feel like it.
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Society & Politics
Boycott National Student Survey Phil Herbert bathimpact Writer he government’s strangelytitled proposal for Higher Education reform, “Success as a Knowledge Economy”, has been widely condemned by students and staff. It lays out plans for a system in which universities can raise their fees, the government can ignore failing institutions, and degrees seen as less employable can be squeezed out. Private companies like Google or Facebook would even be able to open universities with very little regulation. The University and College Union (UCU), who represent the UK’s Further and Higher Education staff, have expressed grave concerns about the proposal, including its focus on deregulation, on competition rather than collaboration between universities, and a lack of sufficient efforts to widen participation. The National Union of Students (NUS) has decried the “dangerous” reforms, particularly for the proposed Office for Students, a public body that has yet to guarantee reserved places for student representatives, despite having powers that could hugely impact students’
lives. The NUS also condemned the government’s continuing attempts to turn students into consumers. In their responses to the proposals, the UCU and NUS both singled out the Teaching Excellence Framework, or TEF. The TEF will rate an institution’s teaching quality based on “a combination of core metrics and short institutional submissions”, including student record data, student satisfaction indicators, and results from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey. The UCU has called this “a flawed system of metrics which are poor proxies for quality”.
It’s the easiest opportunity for direct action students have ever been presented with.
Scoring highly in the TEF will allow universities to raise their fees - Bath is already advertising fees at £9,250 from 2017/18. This is a “completely flawed” system that will undermine attempts to objectively measure teaching quality, according to the NUS.
The UCU warns that variable fees will lead to a tiered system of institutions, with funding withheld from universities that need it for investment in resources the most. The proposed reforms will create a culture in which staff strive to meet arbitrary targets rather than focusing on teaching. They will place the cost of studying at university even higher than the already outrageous £9,000 a year. They will further entrench the notion that education is not a public good, but a system solely for funnelling students into high-paying graduate jobs. The government are set on implementing these reforms despite universal opposition from those that it would affect the most - students and staff, who are united in agreement that these reforms will be dangerous and irresponsible. Enter the National Student Survey (NSS). The NSS is completed by all final year undergraduates, and the first 12 questions are to become part of the TEF. Student feedback will become a mechanism to raise tuition fees. To challenge the government’s reforms, the NUS has decided to disrupt the NSS. A possible course of action is a sabotage - students
would be encouraged to answer the questions in a certain way, rendering the results unusable. However, it’s possible that the company conducting the NSS could filter out results that have been sabotaged. A complete boycott would have a much stronger impact. Universities with NSS response rates below 50% are unable to use the data for benchmarking - if enough people boycotted the NSS, a core part of the TEF would be invalidated, and attempts to raise tuition fees would be hindered. This could be the easiest opportunity for direct action that students have ever been presented with. If the government refuses to listen to us, mobilise your apathy, and don’t respond to the NSS. A successful boycott would show that the quality of a university’s teaching should not be judged based on the results of a survey that can be so easily manipulated, neither should the position of a university on league tables, and thus the apparent value of its degrees. To link the fees that a university can charge to the results of the National Student Survey is absurd. There are other major problems with the NSS besides its involvement in the government’s reforms.
In a 2016 study, researchers at the University of Reading found that lower scores were given to courses taught by black or minority ethnic academics. Other studies have shown that male lecturers consistently receive higher scores than female lecturers, despite no evidence that they are better teachers. A systematically racist and sexist metric has no place in wide-reaching and dangerous reforms to higher education. In early October, the NUS announced that it would organise a nationwide boycott of the National Student Survey. At the time of writing, over 2,300 students at the University of Sheffield have signed an open letter demanding that they opt out of the Teaching Excellence Framework. Our very own SU Officers have signed a similar letter, urging Vice Chancellors to add their voices to the debate. An enormous student movement is growing in opposition to the government’s reforms, and it’s absolutely vital that Bath joins. We must take action against the government’s attempts to further marketise universities and reduce students to consumers. It’s as simple as not doing the National Student Survey.
Male Contraception Controversy A
clinical trial sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a new contraceptive jab for men was 98.4% effective in preventing pregnancy. That’s better than the female contraceptive jab (known as Depo-Provera) whose effectiveness with typical use is 94% and comparable to the female pill whose theoretical effectiveness is 99.7%. This is extremely promising. Yet the WHO review committee ordered the injections to stop due to side-effects. Effects included acne, injection site pain, libido increase and mood disorders. 20 men out of the total 320 participants dropped out because of side-effects: 6 did so because of mood disorders, with one case of severe depression and one intentional paracetamol overdose (they were assessed as probably related to the study). Out of nearly 1,500 adverse events reported, 39% were determined unrelated. There are a few limitations: Firstly, the men weren’t questioned about mood disorders before the
study. Secondly, for obvious ethical reasons, there was no placebo group in this study. Despite these adverse effects, 87.9% of the participants said they were satisfied with the jab and would continue with this method of contraception were they given the option. This compares with 88% of women saying they are satisfied with female contraceptives. Well, critics have been saying it was called off because of “men not being able to handle side-effects”, “not being able to suck it up”. And calling the safety committee “sexist” and “misogynistic” since female birth control is “just as bad” and women have “dealt with these problems for years”. In the past, and still to today, the side effects of female contraception were brushed aside and largely ignored by doctors and people in the healthcare industry. However, if you now search “risks of contraceptive use in women” in Google the first link that comes up is for the US National Cancer Institute that highlights that oral contraceptive use appears to increase the rate of breast, cervical,
and liver cancer in women. Lessserious side effects which commonly affect women using contraceptives include: nausea, headaches, and weight gain which overlap with the symptoms faced by men taking the new contraceptive shot. Similarly, depression caused by the male jab is found in female contraceptives. In fact, after years of scepticism, a Swedish study on over a million women showed that there was a significant increase in depression in women who used hormonal contraceptives: this ranged from 1.23 times more likely to get a prescription for antidepressants from the combined pill to 2.1 times more likely from the IUD and 2.7 from the female ‘depo’ jab. Shockingly it was much higher for teenagers – 1.8 times from the combined pill. These are individuals who sought medical help and had severe enough symptoms to get prescribed medication. When you compare 1.9% of the men in the hormone jab study who dropped out because of mood disorders, to this and the fact that 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers
from depression, you start to question if the discontinuation of the trial was reasonable. And what the standards of comparison are. If the pill were developed now it certainly would not get to our shelves. Loose standards applied to clinical trials of many, or even most medicines in the 1950s, and constant improvements have made the pill so safe that more than 200 million women use it around the world.
Maybe the underlying problem is that clinical trials have become ‘too strict’ because safety and ethics committees don’t want to become liable to legal action. This isn’t some conspiracy against women, but deep-rooted, subconscious sexism may be hindering the development of male contraception. But is it really fair that women have to suffer and carry the burden of birth control?
Marianna Edwards bathimpact Writer
Society and Politics
A Battle for B r e x i t Tasha Jokic bathimpact Writer
s many question the democratic validity of the recent Brexit High Court ruling, I find myself asking: was the referendum ever truly what we want to call contemporary British democracy? To me, the entirety of the Leave campaign was a cold slap in the face of our democracy. We must now swallow, with painful dryness, the hard truth that the Brexit campaign has lied to us. £350 million a week will not be given to the NHS, immediate post-referendum negotiations were a fallacy and David Cameron likely never intended to stay as PM when the leave vote was still a mere potential. Voters were never honestly able to make a democratic choice when one side of the campaign was an utter con. Fundamentally, this invalidates any claim that the referendum gave power to the people (which, subsequently, means there is no people-power for the High Court to take away). The complete and utter failure of the Leave campaign to deliver on almost any of their campaign promises cannot be compared like-for-like with, say, a political party’s campaign promises. Political party decisions in the UK rest on mismatched building blocks of local nuances in the election of MPs that make the failure of campaign promises largely incomparable with those of a binary national referendum. It usually takes at least a couple of months after an election
for the party building blocks to fall; not, insultingly as in the case of Brexit, the very next day. As per the Advertising Standards Agency, political advertising is able to pass through the barriers that usually prohibit such false claims. The Newstatesman eloquently summarised it as “you can’t claim that a herbal diet drink will make customers thinner, but you can claim that £350m a week will go to the NHS instead of the European Union.” Now, whilst this law may be reasonable for many votes in the UK, it now seems to be the very loophole that the Leave campaign wormed their way through. If Brexit is blocked, I have no doubts that many will jump to call the decision unfair. But, to me, the whole referendum was profusely unfair. Seeing images of Iain Duncan Smith dismissing campaign promises as a “series of possibilities of what you could do” side by side with his face smirking in front of that infamous red NHS promise bus, quite frankly, made me want to throw my fists up in the air like a petulant child and scream about the unfairness of it all. I sighed with relief when I heard that a higher power may be able to, for lack of a better phrase, stop them from getting away with it. It might seem counterintuitive to suggest that a referendum was not truly democratic. But, as we walk amongst the shards of the broken promises made by both those with authority and those without, we must ask ourselves - do we want to call this democracy at work?
Victoria Duley bathimpact Writer
he Paris Agreement was signed in December 2015 by 193 countries, marking the end of an intense summit of negotiations with unprecedented coverage and extent both in terms of media and countries concerned. The main objective, that really constitutes the overarching goal of all policies and actions, is to keep (perhaps, after the hottest year on record in 2016, we should say reverse) global temperatures no higher than 2, preferably 1.5, Celsius degrees above pre-industrial levels. This is the headline conclusion. Other targets include peaking greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieving a balance between sources of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, and committing $100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020. These funds should be directed towards building sustainable lowcarbon infrastructure, and demonstrate that account has been taken of the global inequalities in the face of climate change. Paris is the first agreement tying developed and developing nations in a common endeavour to protect the climate. However, the national targets for cutting carbon emissions are voluntary. “The UN tried a mandatory approach but countries that were failing to meet their targets simply quit”, says Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst. This is probably the biggest threat to the actual efficiency of the deal: will this political momentum be extended globally and turned into concrete actions in the years ahead? One source of hope is technological progress. Earlier this week a group of oil companies includ-
ing BP, Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell announced a plan to spend $1bn over the next 10 years to help fight climate change. The 10 companies, which also include France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil, said they would initially use carbon capture and storage systems, which trap CO2 emissions and store them deep under the ground or sea. There will be no money dedicated to technologies that constitute direct competition to their businesses such as renewable power. Again, critics point to this proposition being a drop in the ocean and a quick-fix rather than the profound change in business models and energy extraction that must happen. Another cause for concern was harshly exposed on Wednesday morning with the election of Mr Trump. A climate change denier at the top of one of the most polluting nations but, more importantly, one that so deeply influences international relations and standards of behaviour despite its critics and recent decline as world power, is not good news. One of his campaign promises was to slash funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, and he also said that global warming was a “hoax” created by China to weaken US industries. Much will depend on who Mr Trump chooses at the head of environmental institutions, and it seems likely that they will be on the same wavelength. However, commitments from other countries have been confirmed at the 22nd summit in Marrakesh this weekend. A Saudi delegate confirmed his country’s willingness to stick to the plan. BP’s CEO said that Donald Trump’s victory would not make any difference to his plans.
The next question is left for us as a society to react to this deal. People often complain that lack of governmental action limits individual incentives to change their behaviour. Whether the right approach to tackling climate change is top-down or bottom-up is too late to be discussed. Governments induce change in people’s behaviours through coercive means (taxation, regulation or quotas), but governments also respond to pressures from civil society: President Obama flipped his opinion on gay marriage and the law was passed in the US without tremendous uprisings. What matters, on the individual level, is inducing complete changes in behaviours and reaching a point of acceptance of environmentalfriendly consumption as the new norm. As Mr Mankiw points out in the remarkable Before the Flood film, “people don’t want to have to think about climate change every day”. People’s short-sightedness plays against climate change, which is by definition a long-term and collective challenge. Pollution is right in our face and it is becoming so unbearable in some cities that it makes this short-sightedness redundant and forces local authorities to take action: schoolchildren were forced to stay at home this week in New Delhi because of the smog. The Chinese push for renewable energy is the largest the world has ever seen. Half a million solar panels were installed in China every day last year. In sum, the fact that 193 countries formally recognised the need to take action and the hope that their willingness conduces to fundamental changes in the way we consume is a great revenge on these short-term expectations.
Paris Climate Deal
Cecilia Pen bathimpact Contributor
国大部分区域都有分明 的四季变换。在没有天 气预报的古代，人们如 何预测气候并安排农耕活动呢？ 从 春秋战国时代 起，中原地区的劳 动人民就开始有了“日南至”和“日北 至” 的概念，而到了秦汉年间 ， 二十四节已被完善和确定，并于公 元前104年被订于历法。自此，这 套准确反映了气候和物候变化的农 历系统被沿用至今。 二十四节气包括了划分四季的立 春、春分、立夏、夏至、立秋、秋 分、立冬、冬至，象征温度变化的 小暑、大暑、处暑、小寒、大寒， 反映降水量的雨水、谷雨、白露、 寒露、霜降、小雪、大雪，以及反 映物候现象或农事活动的惊蛰、清 明、小满、芒种。
和节气相关的许多民间风俗被作为 宝贵的文化流传了下来。这些传统 在中国的不同地区会有不同表现， 甚至每家每户的习俗也会有些出 入。以下是我所知的几个有意思的 节气习俗： 清明这天有个重要的节日——清明 节。当天，人们要扫墓祭祖：先为 坟墓剪除杂草，继而点香烧烛，摆 上菜肴点心等供品以示慰问。完成 扫墓后，这些菜肴往往就成了孩子 们期待的一大桌美味。 立夏表示了春天的结束和夏天的开 始。这一天吃鸡蛋被认为能强身健 体，因此茶叶蛋是立夏必不可少的 食物。家人常常用茶叶和其他香料 水煮鸡蛋，并用彩绳编织的蛋套将 其挂在孩子胸前，而孩子们则会带 着自己的茶叶蛋比赛“拄蛋” 。 立秋意味着夏去秋来。由于夏天的 炎热往往让人失去胃口、减轻体 重，人们认为渐凉的秋天正是补身 子的好时机。在这天，许多人家会 准备炖肉来补充脂肪、蛋白质及维 生素，这就是所谓的“贴秋膘”。
中文如何构词 Shi Liu bathimpact Contributor
幼使用英文的诸君， 可能已经习惯了给每 样事物起一个名字的思 维方式。二十卷的《牛津英语词 典》中，收录了超过二十万条词 汇。“Word”的概念加上英语作为 国际通用语的地位，使得英语词汇 量不断增长，不断吸纳来自世界其 他语言词汇，甚至说英语将会是世 界上词汇量最大的语言也不为过。 可是，如果你要问，中文有多少词 汇？这问题可不好回答。先设想一 下，假如你是一个中国的小学生，
刚刚开始学习语文课，那么你最常 用的工具书会是一本词典吗？不是 的。 “字典”是一种收录汉字的工具书， 小学生们需要使用字典，学会汉字 的读音、书写，以及使用方法。在
Solar Terms M
here are four distinct seasons in most areas in China. How did people predict the change in weather/season to arrange farming activities in ancient times when there was no weather forecast? Since the Spring and Autumn Warring States, people in Central China had started to have the concept of “sun being closest to South” and “sun being closest to North” , and the twenty-four Solar Terms had been completed in QinHan Period and were then revised for the Chinese calendar in 104 BC. This amazing system survives today. The twenty-four Solar Terms include those dividing four seasons; those representing temperature changes; those reflecting the rainfall; and lastly those showing agricultural phenology or activities . Many Chinese customs related to Solar Terms have come down through the years. They may differ between different regions in China and even between each household. The following are some special ones that I’m familiar with: Qingming is actually also an important traditional festival in China, known as Qingming Festival.
On the day people need to visit and clean their ancestors’ tombs. They generally clean the weeds around the tomb, light up candles and also put dishes and other food in front of the tomb to remember those who have died. Usually the dishes then become part of the meal that the family share together. Lixia is a symbol of the end of spring and the start of summer. Eating eggs on this day has been believed to be good for health, and hence Tea Egg is a very essential thing on Lixia. Families often boil eggs with tea and other spices, and then the elders would hang a colourful woven net around the child’s neck to put the egg in. The kids would then play a game called “Egg Striking” with their friends before they finish the egg. Liqiu indicates the transition from summer to autumn. Since people more or less lose appetite as well as weight in the hot summer, autumn is considered as a good time to recover what your body has lost. That’s why many Chinese people would have braised meat on Liqiu for extra protein, fat and some vitamins. This is called “To Stick Autumn Fat”.
中国大陆最权威的《新华字典》 中，一共收录了两万个左右的汉 字，包括常用字，也包括罕见、异 体、停止使用的字。传统上，一个 小学生学会《千字文》的一千个常 用汉字，是后续教育的前提。而现 代的《通用规范汉字表》上，总共 有八千多字，其中一级字三千五百 个。掌握了这些字，就掌握了打开 现代中文世界的钥匙。 等等，搞错了吧？用小几千个字， 就要实现英文数十万词汇的功能？ 华生，恭喜你发现了盲点。学会了 这些字，你学会的是一种介于字 母表与词典之间的东西，如果要运 用，你还要学习“词”的使用方法。 因为历史上官话的读音一直在简 化，目前每一个发音都很可能对应 着多个，甚至数十个意义完全不同 的汉字。在现代普通话里，相当数 量的“字”起到的是“词根”的作用。 这样的字单独使用，在母语使用者 耳中不会有英文词汇那样清晰的意 义。与这种感觉最类似的，可能是 阿拉伯语者看到一个三辅音骨架那 样。无论是基础到“苹果”这种程度 的常用词，还是复杂到“血红蛋白” 这样的专业名词，都不是“不定式” 的汉字能够直接表达的。你需要把 它们组成词汇。
aybe you have accustomed to the idea of “words” as an Anglophone. Indeed, in the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, more than two hundred thousand words are included. The idea of creating new words, plus the universal lingua franca status, may bless/curse English as the language with the biggest vocabulary. Naturally, you may ask, how big is the vocabulary of modern Chinese? Well, that is a good question. To answer this, let us suppose that you were a first grade pupil in China, who just started learning Mandarin. Will a pocket-sized dictionary be your favourite reference book? No. “Zidian”, a small reference book that records Chinese characters, will help you learn how to read, write, and use Chinese characters. The official Xinhua Zidian contains approximately 20 thousand characters, including not only the common ones, but also the rare and obsolete ones. Traditionally, pupils need to learn one thousand characters from the Thousand Character Classic, which sometimes acts as a somewhat alphabet of Chinese, before they can accept further education. Nowadays, the official Table of General Standard Chinese Characters lists 8105 commonly used characters, in which 3500 are Tier 1 (most common) characters. A good knowledge to these characters will
open up modern Chinese for you. Wait, you mean Chinese managed to express what cost English 200,000 words with only a few thousand entries? A character is somewhere between a letter and an affix, my dear Watson. You need to master the way of combining them before you count the words. Due to the degeneracy in phonetic complexity, nowadays many characters have dozens of homophones in Mandarin. As a result, you do understand clearly when only one character was read. Such a feeling is perhaps analogous to an Arab seeing a triconsonantal root. No matter a common word as “apple”, or a profound one as “haemoglobin”, is beyond what an infinitive character can say. What? An infinitive character? I was told there is no verb conjugation in Chinese! Don’t worry, it’s just a metaphor. As far as I am concerned, you do not change the shape of characters. You make them meaningful “words” by sticking them together. If you know the word “fireplace”, you will easily understand how it works in Mandarin. We usually explain what an aspect is, instead of giving it a name. When talking about a character’s own meaning, we often combine them with others to form two-syllabled words. Character “hou” means “queen”, but we usually say “wanghou (king-queen)” instead; Malus
domestica does have its own name, “ping”, but you need to say “pingguo (apple-fruit)” when referring to an apple. By packing single-syllabled characters to multi-syllabled words, clarified meanings are encoded. The merit of combining characters to form words is that you may guess what a new word stands for. It is difficult for an Anglophone to guess what “guacamole” is, but to us, it is “crocodile-pear-sauce” (avocado is “crocodile-pear”, by the way). Thanks to these characters, we can boil down such a viscous idea to three syllables. From mid-nineteenth century on, many characters were either created or recycled to describe scientific aspects, such as names of elements (yeah, in Chinese every element has its own alchemical symbol). However, we are stopping creating new characters now. Instead, we compose new words with existing characters. More loanwords are emerging, in which the characters are taken phonetically. Maybe you have known that the characters for “Portugal” happen to mean “grape-tooth”, but we will recognise it as a whole, without worrying the literal meaning of characters. The size of the Chinese vocabulary is far beyond that, as the components for future words are already in the matrix of characters. New words are yet to be combined and “activated”. Now, the words-to-be are in the Valhalla of words, waiting to be summoned by writers in the coming ages.
Society and Politics
riences of and fight against detention centres, mass deportations, state racism, and more. They are an amazing group of dedicated men and women, who are actively fighting the very system that represses them. Together, their voices are heard, they cannot be silenced, and these oppressive structures can be broken down. It is our duty to oppose this systematic dehumanisation of women. No human is illegal, and detention centres are the very antithesis of this: they allow prejudice and oppression to flourish, and rely on our silence and ignorance to remain in action. The existence of these places divides and encourages the belief that we have more right to a decent quality of life than another person, simply because of the place they were born. These people aren’t coming to the UK because of its welfare system or perceived job opportunities – they are coming here to escape a situation much worse. They are seeking refuge from trauma in their home countries. To deny them safety, and worse, to incarcerate them in a place like Yarl’s Wood, is to deny our fundamental humanity. For the 400 women imprisoned at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, they are trapped in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of an industrial estate in Bedfordshire, in a complex surrounded by high, metal fences. There is nothing around but bleak countryside, echoing the bleak existence inside the building. Yarl’s Wood
Meg Murphy Features Editor email@example.com here comes a time when you have decide what sort of world you want to live in. I don't want to live in a world where women and men are locked away, subject to constant abuse and exploitation, through no fault of their own. For no criminal offence. For no action other than entering the UK after leaving their country, ravaged by civil war, international conflict, or a host of other reasons. I doubt you want to live in such a world either. Detention centres are symptomatic of Britain's paranoia about migrants. Detention is never the way to deal with traumatised, exhausted and innocent asylum seekers. Who are we to claim that our country is free and democratic, when we're locking human beings up in cages, behind bars, for no reason? We are betraying our own liberal values in the process of trying to "safeguard" them. What kind of country are we becoming? Is it worth it? The UK borders system embodies the worst of a racist, sexist capitalist system that seeks to fill the pockets of private companies like Serco regardless of the pain and suffering it causes our sisters locked away behind closed and abusive doors. Movement for Justice is a migrant rights campaign group, who work to raise awareness of the expe-
is privately run, but state funded, meaning that Serco (who run the centre) have no democratic accountability to the public. Serco works for the Home Office, who also refuse to answer any questions about the ethics of Yarl’s Wood. G4S are the private firm employed to answer the healthcare needs of the detainees (with recent reports having highlighted the lack of care shown to these women at their most vulnerable, including seeing many suffer miscarriages, with no aftercare offered), and between these three organisations, it is almost impossible to find out any details of the women inside or their treatment. However, among the thousands who have descended on Yarl’s Wood, and will continue to do so, several had been released from the centre, and could tell their stories. They describe being treated like criminals, like animals, not knowing when or if they would be given back their freedom, despite having done nothing wrong except be born outside of the UK. The undeniable racism of the system that allows places like these to continue to operate demonstrates the complete disregard for justice that we now see in the UK, and our silence enables it. As students in a state which claims to uphold the highest standards of Human Rights, it is understandable that we find it hard to believe the racist and xenophobic attacks it commits towards vulnerable people on a daily basis. Yet this is a reality for many, and one we must face up to if we want to progress as a society. Since Brexit in particular, we've seen a sharp rise in anti-migrant sentiment, and a plethora of promises by Theresa May to 'crack down' on immigration. Yet these promises involve the inhumane treatment of thousands of people, that goes from locking them up in dangerous detention centres, deporting them without trial to countries where they risk their lives. Students and staff are at risk of suffering this kind of state repression, and in many ways they already have. Since the government insists on 'cracking down' on international student numbers, the situation could get worse. On December 3rd, students, staff, and members of the public shall be travelling to Yarl’s Wood to demonstrate and protest this inhumane system of oppression. Bath SU’s Amnesty and Bath UCU have subsidised coach tickets, which can bought from firstname.lastname@example.org or via http://tinyurl.com/hhcq7sg
No Human is Illegal
Artificial Intel Charley Rountree bathimpact Writer
cience and Technology Committee (SaTC) MPs call for the government’s active scrutiny of the increasing merge of Artificial Intelligence in society. According to the BBC, robotics has the potential to “reshape the way people work and live.” However, this influence could prove negative as AI increasingly takes jobs, unless humans are equipped with new, irreplaceable skills. At this point, AI is limited to task-specific roles, mainly voice and facial recognition, making jobs like cashiers, phone operators and bank tellers redundant. According to the Guardian, Google’s DeepMind, a company of 250 AI-focused research developers, is currently working on developing an artificial hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for creativity and memory. In an interview at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said that artificial intelligence is the “biggest existential threat” to humans in the 21st century. Without proper governmental control, unregulated robotic dissemination could increase socioeconomic disparities, reducing opportunities for people to enter manual-labour occupations or skilled, industrial work. A group, tagged the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, has formed to address the issues related with increased AI. Currently its members are Amazon, DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. Dr Tania Mathias, Twickenham’s conservative MP and standing chair of the SaTC, told the BBC: that the committee will “identify principles for governing the development and application of AI, and to foster public debate.” Members stress the potential for AI to create a range of new research and creativity based jobs.
Dr Mathais deems the government responsible for preparing future generations for this societal shift by developing a more “flexible” education system, which can “adapt as opportunities and demands on the workforce change.” AI development has led to huge progress in medical research due to its ability to identify and analyse patterns in large amounts of data. DeepMind’s ongoing work with the National Health Service, notably their collaboration on cancer projects, has resulted in an increase of accuracy when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. One of the most prominent debates surrounding the ethics of AI is the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). These systems enable the selection and engagements of targets without any human intervention, and although they do not include cruise missiles or drones, still have the ability to eliminate human targets. Since AI has grown so dramatically in the past decade, provisions for use of such machinery is not yet defined under International Humanitarian Law. Leading developers of LAWS: United States, United Kingdom and Israel face a battle against opposing member states, Germany and Japan who do not believe in an autonomous system’s ability to decide life and death. It is unsure what the UN will deem an appropriate level of control and regulation regarding the development and use of such machinery. There is a legitimate concern regarding the possibility for AI to replace jobs and displace communities unless there is government action. Future generations will need to be equipped with new skills which are unable to be replicated by a machine in order to reduce the chance of robots taking over the world.
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Politics and Society
Should Higher Education be free?
Matthew Staniforth bathimpact contributor
here are two logical positions one can view this issue from. One either believes that basic education is a right or that it is not a right. I think in a modern society we can agree that basic education is a right.. The second question is then whether, given that one believes that basic education is a right, one also believes that higher education is a right. Again, there are only two choices. One either does or does not believe that higher education is a right. This is perhaps more a bone of contention. I put it to you that if (hypothetically) higher education IS a right, then it must be available, for free, to all. If a person has a right to a higher education, but they then have to pay for it, one concludes that they are paying for something that should be a basic right. This provokes the question of whether basic rights should cost money. Put another way; if something is a basic right, it should be free. If that were not the case, we arrive at a potential scenario where person A has specific basic rights, cannot afford them, and has their rights violated because they don’t have money. Q.E.D. basic rights are only for people who can afford them. This, it seems to me, is clearly not a tenable position. If you are of the position that higher education should not be free, then you are also of the
In England, university fees are expected to rise above the £9,000 limit in 2017, leading students to march in protest in the Capital. But is cutting University fees something students should be supporting? bathimpact contributors Matthew Staniforth and Harry Rushworth discuss. position that higher education is, in fact, not a right. Harry Rushworth bathimpact Contributor
ou ask me whether I believe that basic education is a right. I agree that it is. On higher education too, I agree that it is. However, it is a gross misunderstanding to believe that because something is a right, it should be free. We all have a right to shelter, yet I have a rent and my parents, a mortgage. We all have the right to food and drink, yet I find myself paying upon a visit to Sainsbury’s or Tesco. Therefore, I would suggest a better definition of how rights work; a right is something that all must be able to access, regardless of character, birth, or in this case income. Higher Education is a right and I believe that all should be able to access it, but this does not mean it must be provided to all, and for free. The current system does not prevent persons from being able to afford to enter university. When I applied to do my degree, I did not come across a magic pot of gold to fund my studies, but rather was able to access government backed loans enabling me to do so. I was able to use my right to higher education despite not being able to afford it. The current system allows all to attend university, and to pay for it later when they have the means to do so; much like paying for a house
with a mortgage rather than upfront. Combine the tuition fee loan offered to all, with maintenance loans and university scholarships & bursaries; and we have a funding system which more than allows those with less to enter into the system. I would put it to Matt to tell me why university should be free, given that I have shown that all can access it in the current situation. Matthew Staniforth bathimpact contributor
ou claim that you have shown that all prospective students can access university “in the current situation”. I first argue that this claim is false. Anecdotes about your personal experiences are not relevant, and aside from general musings about maintenance loans, scholarships and bursaries, you have provided no evidence that all students can access University, should they want to. In that sense, I am not willing
to accept that it is a given that you have shown that university is accessible to all. An important point should be made about your analogy and what/whether they should cost. You say that things like shelter, and food and drink, whilst considered basic rights, are not free. This is a good point and an excellent example of where, in current society, things that could be considered basic rights are not free to all. However, an interesting counter-example to take note of is that they are free to people who are in prison - a demonstration of the
Higher education, as you have agreed, is a right
fact that as a society we respect that even criminals should get access to such rights, for free. It is an unfortunate consequence of the way almost every country in
the world is run that criminals are granted these basic rights for free, but people who are not criminals are not. Whilst the issue of whether criminals should be given “luxuries” (I use that term liberally) is not the subject of this debate, I think this highlights that things are not as clear cut as suggest they are. Additionally, you have missed the more obvious comparison which can be drawn, to a more similar basic right which IS free to all - basic education. Higher education, as you have agreed, is a right. In much the same way, basic education is a right. Basic education, however, is free. You choose to compare food and shelter with university education, as opposed to comparing education with university education. If we give your analogy the benefit of the doubt and agree that comparisons can be drawn with higher education and other basic rights, why should we not draw the comparison with other levels of education?
Politics and Society
hilst you have provided no evidence for your assertion that attendees of higher education are statistically more likely to earn more money, I am willing to take that as read for the purposes of this debate. You then ask “Is it fair that we provide this higher education free to the minority who will benefit, by making everybody in the country contribute towards its cost, whether they benefit or not?”. You claim that the answer to this
If university graduates are so beneficial to society, why is university not free?
question is in the negative, stating that the people who should pay for university education are the people who benefit from it most - the attendees. I agree that some of the people who benefit from students getting a university education are the attendees themselves. I will not accept that they are the only beneficiaries, and I will not accept even that they are the people who benefit from this education the most. It is obvious that society as a whole benefits from students going through university and leaving with the qualifications that they have gained. Various analogies can be drawn; not everybody drives a car. However, almost everybody pays taxes (provided that they are not a criminal or in special circumstances). These taxes go towards maintenance of roads, traffic signals, the wages of traffic wardens and car parks, among many other things. A large majority of the population do not have heart disease, yet their taxes pay the wages of NHS cardiologists. Many people don’t have children, yet their taxes pay for other people’s children to go to school. My answer to your question is then
that the people who should pay for university are education are the people who benefit from it most every single member of society. So where is the difference? If university graduates are so beneficial to society, why is university not free? You say there is little point in changing the system, yet we are changing the system. Fees are increasing; dramatically and will continue to do so. I also argue that the system was the same for many years before the introduction of tuition fees. If it makes so little sense to change the system, one must wonder about the necessity of the increasing fees in the first place. Harry Rushworth bathimpact Contributor
have highlighted how just because all have the right to a higher education, does not mean that it must be provided for
free and I have also shown that unlike basic education, not all attend higher, but those who do disproportionately benefit. Thus, our debate rests on one
students can fight for better services from universities when they are paying for their education
sole point, whether or not fees are fairer and/or more beneficial to society. Your key argument seems to be based on the fact that high university attendance benefits all and as such should be free to all, but be paid for by all taxpayers. I on the other hand, whilst accepting that a high university attendance does benefit all, believe that the costs should be paid for by those who are benefitting most, i.e: university students. Given the government offer loans to cover
the entire cost of fees for a person’s first bachelors, there is one key difference between our two arguments. I am arguing that graduates should pay for uni upfront if they can, otherwise later with the government loans, and you are arguing that the government should pay, either through cutting spending on other areas, or by increasing taxes on all people, whether they attended university or not. I firmly believe that my version of funding this system is fairer, both for graduates and for nongraduates. This fairer funding system paired means that students can fight for better services from universities when they are paying for their education, and the adding a cost to higher education will make people more likely to choose a degree that offers higher later earnings and a bigger benefit to society. Consequently, it is hard to argue against a fee-based system. Caleb Roenigk
have shown that whether or not higher education is a right, it does not have to be free as a result and you have asked me to compare higher education to basic given one is free and one is not. In simple terms, there is a key difference between the two, one is basic and one is higher. The state in this country ensures all have basic education, by requiring all to attend schools up until 16 and then until 18 through a variety of routes, and provides all of this for free. Higher education is not a requirement, nor should it be attended by all. Those who do choose to attend, receive an education superior to the rest, possibly resulting in a higher quality of life, and statistically more likely to earn higher sums of money in their futures. As a result, is it fair that we provide this free to the minority who will benefit by making everybody in the country contribute towards its cost, whether they too benefit or not? I would think not. I prefer ensuring the costs of a university education are levied upon those who most benefit from it, those who attend. If all attended university, then it would be another matter; but all do not. The case remains that ever single person who attend university has the ability to pay tuition fees through loans, so this is no barrier to entry, simply that people will pay for it once they reap the benefits in later life. Of course, you may cite the overall benefits to society as being a reason it should be free; but again, the current paid for system still allows persons to borrow and pay later, and given the current state of the public finances, it would make little sense to change the system and pay for something that can be funded in other ways. The UK still benefits from having one of the most successful university sectors in the world with attendance increasing year on year despite the fees and I have little faith in unnecessarily changing the system.
Matthew Staniforth bathimpact contributor
Harry Rushworth bathimpact Contributor
Nick Upjohn impactsport Writer
he Brazilian grand prix is always a highlight of the F1 calendar. If it’s not the unpredictable weather, it’s that so many titles seem to be decided here (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012), or the incredible spirit of the fans, who always raise the roof at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. The 2016 race certainly didn’t disappoint, with each of these aspects playing a key part. At first sight of the TV coverage, the track was wet and the rain was falling. The title could be decided here – if Rosberg won he would take the title with a race to spare. A wet Formula 1 race is often seen as an opportunity for drivers to prove their metal, which a few drivers managed in spectacular fashion. While Hamilton and Rosberg have seemed incredibly close all season, as they have in the previous two, this race showed the gulf in talent between the two Mercedes drivers. While Rosberg drove a controlled race to second place, with one heart-in-mouth moment which could have turned the title battle on its head had he hit the wall, Hamilton led what can only be described as a driving masterclass. It’s worth remembering these cars have in excess of 900BHP (that’s around 9-10 times what your average student car is making), driving at speeds up to 210mph, with almost no visibility and very little in the way of driver aids. Hamilton was in full control of the race from start to finish. At one point before a safety car intervened, Hamilton pulled out an 18.5 second lead in 15 racing laps, more than 1.2 seconds a lap on Rosberg in essentially the same car. It’s a wet race that really brings out raw talent, and another driver who demonstrated this was fan favourite and controversy centre point Max Verstappen. While Hamilton was driving away up front, with virtually no TV coverage, Verstappen was once again showing off his blinding natural talent. When one of the many safety car periods ended (much to
the relief of F1 fans everywhere), Verstappen immediately pulled a blinding move on Rosberg, taking the outside line at turn 3, which gave him the speed to take Rosberg down into turn 4. Unfortunately, a badly timed change to intermediate tyres from full wets just before the rain intensified saw Verstappen drop right down the order to 16th place. Luckily for a global audience bored of red flags and safety cars, Verstappen tore through the field in a drive reminiscent of Ayrton Senna’s scintillating drive through the pouring rain around the tricky streets of Monaco for Toleman in 1984, which put the late Brazilian on the F1 map. There is no doubt that Verstappen will be a world champion soon, his raw talent and natural feel for where the grip is comes along once in a generation – names like Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso immediately come to mind when watching him drive. His performance on Sunday lit up the grand prix for the fans, unfortunately the man they really came to see, Felipe Massa, was less lucky. In his final season in Formula 1, Massa has had mixed fortunes. He started the season with a string of good results considering the performance of the Williams car this year. Following his retirement from the Austrian Gran Prix, Massa’s results have never quite been at the same level, with a smattering of 9th place finishes and one 7th place in Austin being the main highlights. But this should not reflect badly on the Brazilian who made his F1 debut with Sauber all the way back in 2002. Unfortunately, at his last ever F1 race at Interlagos, Massa was caught out by the terrible conditions, aquaplaning just before the pit entry, hitting the wall and doing a very effective job of disassembling half of his car in front of one of the main grandstands. In tears, Massa walked down the pitlane carrying the Brazilian flag over his shoulders. In a scene summing up the
wins, Rosberg must finish 3rd or higher to be crowned 2016 champion, which means if he lets Hamilton drive away and a charging Verstappen comes up behind him, the German can let him straight on by and not get involved in a risky on track tussle that could lead to a championship losing retirement. Hamilton is relying on a crash or mechanical failure now, but will not change his deep-set determination to race and to win. In short, the final race of 2016 in Abu Dhabi on 27th November is set to be exciting. One of the Mercedes drivers will be bitterly disappointed, the other will be crowned champion of the world. Hannah Batey
family that is Formula 1, which will probably be remembered as an iconic moment in the sport, team members came out of their garages to applaud the 35-year-old as he made the walk no driver wants to at his home race, back to the garage without a car. Felipe Massa will be missed greatly missed throughout the paddock, having had major stints with Sauber, Ferrari and Williams, some of the biggest names in the sport. So, what is the upshot of the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix? Crucially the title battle is still alive going into the final round at Abu Dhabi, but is very much out of Lewis Hamilton’s hands. If the brit
Great start to the season for the University of Bath Netball Club Amy Williams Impactsport Contributor
he netball club here at Bath is home to over 180 members from elite England and super league players, to newbies learning the sport for the very first time. Made up of 4 BUCS teams, a competitive development league and a thriving Interhalls netball league. Whether you want competition, fun, fitness or all of the above, the netball club is perfect way to get involved in sport at Bath. This year’s season has gotten off to a great start in the first week of fixtures with the fourth team in the winning 62-19 against Southampton Solent University 1st which secured them Bath SU ‘team of the week’. The third team then received ‘team of the week’ for the second time this season with their impressive 102-1 win over University of Wales Trinity St David Swansea. The week’s games in the Western Conference Cup, saw both the second, third and fourth team advance to the last 16 round. Our might mighty 2s had a particularly great game with an impressive win of 1012 over Aberystwyth University. The next round takes place the 23rd of November,
at the Sports Training Village, where the third team will play Winchester 1st and the second team will be playing Plymouth 1st team. Likewise, the first team have had a great start to their season firstly beating Cardiff Met 1st team 65-42 and then the following week beating Southampton 1st team 84-31. They currently sit 4th in their table, behind Brunel in 3rd on goal difference. So get yourselves down to the STV from 1pm on the 23rd November to show your support and help us continue our winning Wednesdays!! Our Interhalls session has continued to grow this year with higher number than ever. This session is dedicated to the more casual, fun netballer with no commitments at all. Training runs on a Saturday 5-7 in founder’s hall and is open to everyone! Yes, that include you too boys, get involved, bring you flat, friends, anyone! The more the merrier. Each team will play each other on Sunday’s between 3-5 in the STV throughout the course of the year meaning there are lots of opportunities to play as much netball as you want!
BULB Wows Judges Your BUCS Update at First Competition
THIS GIRL CAN(OE)
he Bath University Latin and Ballroom (BULB) competition season got off to a promising start on Saturday 5th November, as 26 couples braved the cold in the early hours to head to Southampton Friendly. As always, it was a day full of excitement, nerves and incredible results from our talented dancers, ranging from complete beginner to intermediate levels. For those of you that have never been to a Latin and Ballroom competition before (firstly, be sure to put it on your to-do list) the day has a set structure. In the morning, couples dance ballroom dances like waltz, quickstep, tango and foxtrot. There are specific beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced events, as well as some open or basic events, which anyone can take part in. Couples all start by dancing the first rounds of the events for which they are entered, then get slowly eliminated as rounds progress, until the finals with approximately eight
couples. The afternoon proceeds with Latin dances, such as cha cha cha, jive, samba and rumba in much the same fashion. After the individual events, we dig out our trademark blue dresses and dance the team event. The team event includes waltz, quickstep, cha cha cha and jive – with each couple dancing just one of the four styles, as decided by Emily Garland and Yiping Sun, our wonderful team captains. Team A comprises our best dancers in each of the four dances and each team competes separately. Couples who reach finals receive medals and trophies which are presented at the end of the day, when the team event results are also announced – and Team Bath had a lot to celebrate at our first competition of the year! There were too many fantastic results to list them all here. But special mention to Josh Bee & Claire Kilding for coming 1st in the intermediate cha/samba/jive event, Yuan McCabe & Laura Moorhouse for coming 2nd in the beginner waltz event and Josh Bee and Charlotte Jarman for coming 3rd in the basic Tango event. Yimini Lo and Emily Garland also took 3rd place in the novice cha/ jive event, after a particularly strong day for our girl-girl couples overall. Our team A came 2nd in the team event, after a very narrow defeat by the hosts. All our couples did us extremely proud, but we want to give an extra special shoutout to our beginners – for the first time in three years at Southampton friendly, each and every beginner couple from Bath made it through to round two of waltz, quickstep and jive respectively, as well as round three in the cha cha cha – a huge achievement and a sign of a successful year ahead for our brand-new dancers. Our next competition is our home ‘Friendly’, held in Founders’ Hall on Saturday 26th of November – it’s £3 entry for students and incredible watch so please come along and support our dancers. Spectators are welcome any time between 9am and 5:30pm for any length of time. Check our Facebook or BathStudent pages for more information on lessons and getting involved.
Shonagh Seagar Impactsport Contributor
hey say that you should try something new every day - especially something that scares you. That is exactly what so many of you did during This Girl Can Week! Thursday evening’s pool session saw Bath University Canoe Club play host to a group of girls, most of whom had never sat in kayak before. After the dreaded swim test, came the even more feared ‘deck test’ where the girls had to roll themselves into the water, push out of their kayak and swim to the side. Despite their initial fear, a couple of girls were seen deliberately capsizing themselves throughout the rest of the session! The girls’ confidence in the water was brilliant and the session continued with some basic paddling skills and fun team games. Thanks to This Girl Can Week, we saw some great new talent come to the sport and to other sports across the University. You’ve probably heard of Canoe Slalom and Canoe Sprint – maybe you’ve even seen some awesome medal wins at the 2016 Olympics. But have you ever heard of Canoe Polo? Canoe Polo is a very fast paced team game that combines paddling and ball skills. The game requires high levels of fitness, strength, coordination and above all teamwork. The game is often played by mixed teams –
trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds - and it’s a great confidence boost for girls when they realise they can do just what the guys do (and more)! For those who prefer single sex games, we have a ladies’ team and are looking for more girls to come along to our Canoe Polo sessions. Who knows, maybe you could be joining us at BUCS! Coming up soon is the South West Uni Tournament where we will be playing against UWE, Swansea, Bristol and Exeter. We have polo teams in the open league, B-league and ladies league so there is something for everyone! We also have friendlies against Exeter in the STV pool so join our Facebook page ‘Bath University Canoe Club’ for updates on fixtures and come along to support Bath and watch something new! It’s not all hard work - we have some great socials too. Unfortunately, you have missed the legen-dairy cheese and wine night but there’s still time to come along to our pudding social (which is a great way to treat yourselves after training). Kayaking is such a versatile sport – you can enjoy a tranquil autumn afternoon paddling down the River Avon, practice rolling skills in the warm pool, surf some waves at the beach, get an adrenaline rush in the Alps or, of course, play some Canoe Polo! If you want to come along to one of our sessions, check out our Facebook page and remember – there’s nothing to lose from trying something new! Joshjdss
Sophie Demellweek Impactsport Contributor
Impactsport Meets Kate French The University of Bath has a fantastic reputation for producing elite athletes from swimming to netball and even to the unusual sport of modern pentathlon. It is in this that former Bath University student Kate French has become one of the best in the Worldfinishing an impressive 6th place in the recent Rio Olympic Games. The sport, which combines fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting and running, is said to represent the challenges faced by a typical soldier during the First World War. Now, it is a growing Olympic sport for both male and female athletes with participation on the rise in both the UK and globally. Kate, 25, studied Sports Performance at the University but continues to train here. This week, to mark Bath’s ‘This girl can’, Bath Impact went to catch up with the University’s latest Olympic star: Pentathlon GB
GC: What was the Olympic experience like? KF: It is so hard to describe the experience, it was absolutely amazing, the best experience of my life. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it but I loved it and it inspired me even more. There was a real buzz around the place and having such a big crowd for modern pentathlon was something we are certainly not used to! I saw some of the negative press surrounding the games but I think it was definitely made to sound worse than it was, overall the experience was great. GC: How about the celebrations afterwards? KF: Unfortunately we were right at the end of the two week period so we, unlike for example the swimmers who had a week of partying, only had two days afterwards. However this probably was all we needed!
Gabriel Counsell: Hi Kate, great to meet you! First things first congratulations on a brilliant performance in Rio! Have you managed to get back to training or is there still somewhat of a Rio hangover? Kate French: I had a bit of a break which was really nice, I think I needed it after Rio but I am slowly getting back into it, although motivating myself is proving quite challenging. GC: It is not necessarily a sport you hear about everyday, how did you get into Modern Pentathlon? KF: I started through the Pony Club which involved four of the five sports and I heard about pentathlon through Olympic Medallist Georgina Harland. I decided to give it a go and immediately loved it! I think that this is a fairly typical way, certainly for girls, to get involved, however I would also recommend girls from swimming and running backgrounds to give it a try.
GC: Any stories of people you met? Usain Bolt perhaps? KF: No unfortunately not, I was trying to spot him but I think he gets too harassed and tries to stay away from the village until right at the end but you are constantly spotting faces around, it’s like a celebrity ‘Guess Who”! GC: How do you train for such a variety of different sports in the Modern Pentathlon? KF: I tend to leave that up to the coaches a bit more but doing five sports definitely keeps it interesting and makes it very difficult to get bored. We have four or five sessions a day five or six days a week so it’s pretty full on. GC: I heard that for the Horse Riding discipline you only get to know which horse you are riding 20 minutes before, how difficult can this be?
KF: It can be very difficult. It is about whether you click with your horse and it is a real challenge to get to know it in 20 minutes. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Luckily our riding instructor has loads of horses so she brings a selection up and we can get some experience riding different horses in training. GC: What is your diet like, is it as strict as you would imagine? KF: Yes I guess leading up to Rio it was quite strict, but it has been great after as I have been able to indulge myself morepaying for that a little in my training now though! GC: With some sports there have been a lot of problems with performance enhancing drugs, is this something you have any experience of? KF: I would like to think with pentathlon it is a clean sport, there were a few issues leading up to Rio but hopefully it is all coming out now so the ones that were cheating will be caught.
GC: As a female athlete have you found any difficulties with funding or opportunity in comparison with the men in the sport? KF: No in our sport, unlike some others, I think it is very even which is good. I would definitely advise girls to give modern pentathlon or anything new a try, you are not going to lose anything. If you hate it you can just try something else and you never know, you might surprise yourself and really enjoy it. GC: What is the lifespan of a Modern Pentathlete? Have you got any plans for afterwards? KF: It is quite varied actually. Some girls have been to three Olympics already and can go until mid 30’s but some retire a bit earlier. I definitely have another Olympic cycle in me, it is just whether I want to right now. What is your next goal? I’m still trying to work that out! I’ll see how this year goes first [2017 season], obviously I would love to go to Tokyo after having such an amazing time in Rio but it is a long way off and a lot can happen in that time. Pentathlon GB
Gabriel Counsell impactsport Writer
impactsport Lewis Margetts
Bath Badminton In This Issue: Make A Racket
Bath University Canoeing Club
Monday 21st November 2016
This Girl Can(oe)
ith the semester, half way through it seems like a great time to reflect on what a brilliant start the Badminton Club has had! We had some amazing taster sessions during freshers week with over 180 people attending our Saturday session, these have led nicely into our fun and vibrant daily recreational sessions. All our BUCS teams have a had an amazing start to their league campaigns with Mens 1st, 2nd 3rd and Womens 1st teams yet to lose a match! One of the most exciting matches of the year so far was between our Womens 2nd and 3rd teams which went down to the last 2 games, showing the strength and depth in our squad this year. The club has been getting involved with lots of initiatives promoted by the university, ‘This Girl can week’ has been a huge success with a good turn out to our session, led by our female recreational coordinators, they played a range of games with lots of other new people and it seemed like everyone who attended had a great time. Our Interhalls Championship has now got underway with players representing their fun named halls, like the Westwood Warriors or the Norwood Shuttle Kings. The games have been very competitive
and it will be interesting to see which hall comes out on top! Interhalls isn’t our only opportunity in the club to get competitive we had our annual welcome tournament attend by 62 players, they played as part of one of eight teams all fighting it out across a range of different games to win one of the boxes of chocolates on offer! The welcome tournament was the first of four tournaments to be run throughout semester one and two, the next of which will be the Christmas Tournament which will be taking place at some point in December. We encourage everyone who enters this tournament to embrace the Christmas spirit, dress up in something festive and bring along a bite to eat for a big party like event! Before we get into Christmas (I mean it is still November!) we are supporting McMillian Cancer Support by joining in with a national Badmiton4Mcmillian Week. We are opening our Friday night session on 25th November (8pm -10pm) to everyone to raise some money for a great charity! We will be having a music jukebox, and some badminton related challenges as well as courts so that you can come and play. It would be great if you could come down and support our event by joining in and wearing green!
Lewis Margetts Impactsport Contributor
ImpactSport writer Shonagh Seagar discusses ‘This Bath Girl Can Week’ and many opportunities to get involved with Canoeing - everything from sprints to slaloms. Page 22
Impactsport Meets Kate French Impactsport Contributor Gabriel Counsell sits down with Olympian Pentathlete Kate French to talk about her Rio experience and women in sport. Page 23 Glawster
Published on Nov 30, 2016