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THE WAY WE ALL REGISTER TO VOTE IS CHANGING

Studying away from home? You need to make sure that you’re on the updated register, or you might not be able to vote in future. As a student you can register at both your term time address and at the address you live at outside of term time.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN

For more information go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters

Electoral Services Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 2BQ Tel: 01582 510380 Email: electoral_services@luton.gov.uk Web: www.luton.gov.uk


Issue #9 February 2015

Could you write for loud? Whether you’re a journalism student, interested in writing or just looking for a way to flex your creative muscles, we’re always on the look out for contributors. Got a story? Stumbled on something you think we should be covering? Let us know about it and it could make a future issue!

facebook.com/bedssu twitter.com/bedsloud loud@beds.ac.uk Edited by -----Gregg Sullivan Mark Kirwan Student Contributors -----Carly Orme Jack Stowell Amy Pollard Ted Kemplen Richard Harding Other Contributors -----Terry Lee

4 //// National Student Survey The NSS launches at UoB for another year; we look at what you need to know. 6 //// LOUD Meets Lew-Ray We sit down with last terms alumni from our Coffee House Sessions. 8 //// The Return Of The Wi-Fi LOUD revisits the issues with Eduroam, and UoB provides valuable answers. 12 //// Dream Big We talk to Broadcast Journalism student Joe Flemons about living the dream. 16 //// Elections 2015 Interested in running for the SU? We have all the information you need. 18 //// A Students Biggest Worry Do you feel supported? LOUD takes a look at the state of Student Finance. 20 //// The Season So Far The captain of Men’s Rugby in Luton brings us up to speed with The Bulls. 22 //// BedSocs In Focus In our semi-regular segment, we check in with the Enactus Society. 3


The nss is here: make sure to leave your mark You may have already seen some events or you may have already completed it, but the NSS is here at the University of Bedfordshire. From the 12 January right through to the 30th April you will be given a chance to complete the National Student Survey. th

The survey is part of a Higher Educa-

competition with the Universities’ own Art

tion quality assurance system to generate

& Design department. Events Management

more detailed public information about

students will be directing and co-ordinating

teaching quality. It is widely recognised as

several events among the coming months,

an authoritative measure of student satis-

just like the fairground on opening week!

faction and as such the results are highly

Plus, media junction students are producing

visible on Key Information Sets (KIS), on

a promotional video to air in February.

Unistats, and often reported in the media. It

Lastly, there will be student ambas-

has helped to build a broader picture of the

sadors around campus ready to entice you

quality of higher education in the UK and

final year students in to complete the survey.

has made it possible to monitor trends over

Now here’s where the joke makes true: every

time.

person who completes the survey gets to ‘spin’ the prize wheel, located at the LRC

Are you eligible?

and The Lounge in Luton and The Hub in

You are eligible for the NSS if you are a final

Bedford! The wheel gives you the chance to

year undergraduate or are on a flexible part-

win items such as a selfie stick, a UoB mug,

“But what IS the NSS?” we hear you cry

time programme. If your final year cannot

vouchers and lots more!

The NSS is an annual survey of mostly final

easily be predicted, you will be surveyed

year undergraduates in England, Northern

during your fourth year of study. If you were

Words by Gregg Sullivan

Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It is a high pro-

due to be in your fourth/final year in 2015

For more information on the National Student

file annual census of nearly half a million

but have withdrawn or are repeating your

Survey and how you can take part, make sure

students across the UK, which gives students

penultimate year, you are also eligible to

to visit thestudentsurvey.co.uk and help shape

a powerful collective voice to help shape the

take part.

the future of the University of Bedfordshire.

future of both their course and university or college.

Now for the spin (that joke will become clear in a moment) The University is trying to include as many students in the process as possible; you may have seen the posters up around the buildings. They were selected from a

5


when LOUD met

T

he cold was setting in, the winter-term workload was reaching its conclusion, the majority of Netflix users were shouting ‘winter is coming’ and LOUD sat down with the tremendously original, talent-infused two-

piece that is Lew-Rey. The pairing, consisting of Lewis Reynolds (Lew-Rey… get it?) and Ian Walker, both hail from Huddersfield where they are well on their way to becoming a household name. Recently (with the help of the

LOUD We’re huge fans of the name, so we’re more than

Coffee House Sessions tour no doubt) they have begun to build a

happy that there are no feelings of jealousy (also I-Walk

nationwide fan base, acquiring the sobriquet of ‘the next big thing’

is pretty ridiculous.) How long have you two been per-

(rightly so, might we add!)

forming together?

We grabbed a quick chat with the duo shortly before their set

Ian: As Lew-Rey, we’ve been together since February

in The Lounge, Luton. After pleasantries were exchanged, we

2014, but we’ve been in bands together since year 9,

got down to the nitty-gritty; which actually consisted of larking

different jazz bands and 6-piece rock bands, that kind

around for the next half hour… oh and occasionally asking them a

of thing. We do still perform one song now, that we were

music-related question or two.

doing back then, but mostly it was covers and that type of stuff. Lewis Yeah, I was still writing music for that band then, so we still perform just one song. It’s quite weird to think

LOUD Hello Gents, okay first things first, the name Lew-

back that far really. Now we play a lot more kind of

Rey? It’s a bit unique, it’s a bit quirky and we’re big fans.

mash-ups, we like to mix lots of different genres together

Lewis, you’ve got both the ‘Lew’ and the ‘Rey.’ We don’t

and create something a bit different that’ll turn people’s

want to start any beef, but it seems a little unfair?

heads and get them listening.

Lewis Yeah, Lew-Rey does come from my name, but

LOUD Head turning is the best kind of music as far as

there is a little bit of a background story to it. I was

we’re concerned. (If you happen to be wondering about

gigging on my own with the name before myself and Ian met and I had gathered a bit of a reputation with it. So we kind of just left it. Ian said he liked the name anyway so there were no hard feelings after that. Ian I mean, it definitely works better for his name anyway. I-Walk sounds like a Star Wars character and as Lewis said I thought it was a pretty cool name and it was just easier to keep it as it was. There was no desire to change it.

6

We like to mix lots of different genres together and create something a bit different that’ll turn people’s heads and get them listening. — Lewis Reynolds


what kind of genre mash-ups Lewis was talking about; take John Legend, Fat boy Slim and Example and then fuse them with The fresh prince of Bel Air sound track and you’re about there.) Okay, so a question just for you, Ian. You’re the drummer of the group; what would you say to somebody who

It’s good to get experience but it’s also good to get out and do your own thing. — Ian Walker

wanted to get into drumming? Would you tell them to get into a band? Ian Yeah definitely, it’s good to get experience but it’s also good to go out and do your own thing. Lewis is very different to me as he has the whole classical training, I started off at the music schools but it just wasn’t for me. So I switched and had private tutors instead, one of which I’m still with now, I think the most important thing is trying to find the right combination for you, so that you can keep on improving. LOUD Lewis, your turn now; you play a whole range of instruments including the saxophone (cool, huh?) which instrument is your favourite to play and why? Lewis That is tough one! I started out on the piano first and despite the fact that I love playing Sax and I think people prefer me playing Sax because it’s a little bit rare, when I want to sit down and write music, I have to sit at a piano and I think that’s probably why I would say piano.

LOUD So a quiet, moderately looking bassist with new trainers and Simon Cowell as a relation! (the lads don’t

LOUD Big question now; if you were to design a third

want much do they?)

band member what four traits would they have to have and why?

So your EP is available to order now on iTunes?

Ian Wow, that’s tough. I think the most important thing

Ian Yeah it’s out at the moment and it’s got ‘We’re Done’

is that they’d have to be able to play bass. I think that’s

and ‘Halfway House’ on it — which are both on our

the only instrument that would really fit. Next would

Soundcloud already — and three other tracks as well.

have to be a keen sense of fashion, most importantly

We’re quite happy with it; it’s definitely not bad from

trainers. We are both huge fans of trainers so yeah

just two guys and a van.

always have to have fresh kicks on. Lewis Yeah, we’ve got a few more tour dates later next Lewis I think they’ve got to be quiet, because if there is

year, so have a listen and if you like it, come and check

somebody else as loud as Ian I don’t think I’d ever get a

us out!

word in. It just wouldn’t work. What they said! LOUD will add that it’ll definitely be Ian Good looking?

worth your while checking Lew-Ray out, and don’t forget; Coffee House Sessions are every Tuesday in The

Lewis I don’t think so, because if they’re good looking

Lounge from 12pm, featuring accoustic sets from a new

the success rate for everybody else goes down. You’ve got

act every week. Grab a coffee and listen to some new

to think about these things.

music from up-and-coming and signed artists. Words by Mark Kirwan

Ian I think somebody related to Simon Cowell would be nice. We could just go ahead and drop him an EP, which would be perfect.

7


The return o

u e h t h t i w n w o d s loud sit o t s r e w s n a e h t n r a to le e y d n a . s n o i t s e u q hitting r a w r a t s a s i ’ i f i w e of th


of the

y t i s r e v i un the hard n r u t e r ‘ es; rs pun.

W

hile we’re sure by now you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last edition of LOUD, if you managed to overlook our piece on the university Wi-Fi, make sure to find yourself a

copy of Issue#8 and give it a look (trust us; it’s a scintillating read.)

The student body have been somewhat

disparaged in recent times at the temperamental nature of the Internet in some areas of the University. As the voice of the people, LOUD wanted to know why. Due to a technical mishap involving junk email inboxes, the side of the University wasn’t heard last time around. However, since the reception of last issue, LOUD has been in deep discussion with UoB about the Wi-Fi, what exactly the problem is, and what has/is being done to resolve the issues. LOUD sat down with Wojtek Adamek, Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Systems at UoB on Thursday 4th December to talk about the issues raised in our article and to fully outline Wojtek’s take on the infamous Eduroam (turns out it’s not an intranet.) “When the Wi-Fi was first installed at the University, Bedfordshire — like most Universities — implemented a system that assumed a student would arrive with only one device that they needed to connect,” Wojtek explained, “Of course, this is no longer the case. Students are now arriving with up to three devices that they wish to have connected permanently.” Understandably, this creates an enormous amount of traffic within the University’s online systems and takes tremendous effort to keep such a large number of connections running smoothly. Wojtek added: “Why did we choose Eduroam? Well, we needed a solution that could cope with over 20,000 students and 1,500 staff. We have over 2,500 connections now on a daily basis and I am certain that


this will increase once we get back in the New Year.� LOUD wanted to know what was being done to make sure that the students were getting all of the help that they needed in order to work efficiently on Eduroam. In order to help students gain access, Wojtek and his team are bringing about some changes that have already shown positive effect. Wi-Fi support pop-up stations in both Luton and Bedford began in December and have continued to run through January 2015 when students returned. Anyone with a technical issue is welcome to bring their equipment in to have it checked out free of charge. A recurring issue was that students did not understand the new procedure for logging in to the updated system. Fresh instructions for the main devices brought onto campus by students have been thoroughly communicated, available online and also in a printed format at all reception areas in all campuses. As well as that, more information about the Wi-Fi is being made available through the campus screens, RadioLab and,

Students are now arriving with up to three devices they wish to have connected permanently...We needed a solution that could cope with over 20,000 students and 1,500 staff. of course, through LOUD. The astute among you may have noticed the help desks in the campus centres, which popped up shortly after LOUD’s meeting. We hope that they are proving to be informative and helpful to any Wi-Fi related issues you have. During our very informative chat,

10


students, staff and visitors. We have also implemented a new way of logging in to the Eduroam network that does not require the students to log in every time they are on campus and enables them to stay logged on continuously.” For those that don’t remember, the old Wi-Fi required students to log back into the system every time they returned to campus, and sometimes even after just putting your Laptop or Phone to sleep — a highly annoying issue that Eduroam has resolved. “There have been some teething problems,” Wojtek admits, “But as of two months ago most of the issues have been corrected. With 700 Wi-Fi access points across 6 campuses, there will be occasional blips; that is unavoidable. ICT monitor the network continuously and move quickly to repair such faults, as we discovered when we were with LOUD and found an issue with the access points in the Beds SU area of the Campus Centre; happily all now fixed.” As was outlined in the original article, on the Executive team’s recent ‘SU on Tour’ campaign, issues with the Wi-Fi were one of the most commented student quarrels. “I accept that there has been some dissatisfaction from the students about the Wi-Fi,” Wojtek says, “Some of this was during the rollout phase when issues were occurring and some because the new login process is different and they just did not know this. “So far we have been able to help all but two students very easily. The two we were unable to help had such old mobile

LOUD were able to inform Wojtek and his team of I.T gurus, that The Lounge in Luton was “dark” in terms of student access to WiFi, whilst maintaining the ability for staff to connect. This issue was discovered and corrected in one fell swoop, later allowing for student connections — a fairly important aspect for one of the Students’ Unions’ main social areas! “ICT have implemented a number of infrastructure changes over the last 12 months,” Wojtek added, “We have deployed a new network to support improved Wi-Fi; we have nearly doubled the number of new access points across all UoB campuses to ensure greater coverage and capacity for

Things to remember when using Eduroam:

phone technology that they couldn’t connect

• Make sure that your device is actually connected to Eduroam and not the ‘Guest_UoB’ network. If your device connects to this automatically, you may need to enter your Wi-Fi preferences and “forget” it.

issues are students mistyping their login,

• When logging in, remember that your Username is no longer just your Student I.D; It’s now [studentnumber]@ beds.ac.uk • Don’t automatically blame the Wi-Fi if you can’t connect; it may be that your device works differently to what you’re used to. Make sure you thoroughly troubleshoot, and if there’s still no joy, take your device to one of the Wi-Fi pop-up support desks to get a full diagnostic.

to any Wi-Fi let alone ours. The majority of selecting the wrong Wi-Fi network or just not totally understanding their devices.” Well, we can’t all be technical wizards! LOUD would like to take this opportunity to thank Wojtek Adamek, as well as Nick Sheppard, for their time and for answering the queries raised by our previous article. Remember; if you’re having issues with logging into Eduroam, bring your device to one of the many Wi-Fi pop-up support desks on Campus for a free diagnostic! Words by Gregg Sullivan Found the new Eduroam instructions useful, or do you think more needs to be done? Get in touch with us on Twitter @bedsloud

11


Dream

BIG Dreams are something we all have — goals we work for, ideals we strive to — but how many of us can say we’re close to achieving our dreams? Moreover, how many University Of Bedfordshire students can say they’re already living their dream at the age of 20?


OR AS LONG AS JOE FLEMONS COULD REMEMBER, he wanted to be a radio DJ. In a sense, it was in his DNA. Both Joe’s Dad and Uncle had been involved in radio throughout their lives, so the prospect of following in their footsteps instantly appealed to him. Laughing, he admits to LOUD that he was also drawn to radio because he “didn’t really fancy getting a proper job.” Joe first got his foot in the door by interning at Luton Town Football Club — not necessarily the first place you think of for making a career in radio. However, after discovering Joes keen interest in broadcasting, the club got in touch with the Luton based station Diverse FM, where Joe made such an impression in his first meeting that he was offered a show within five minutes. After starting out slowly, Joe began to gain confi-

Do what you love

It didn’t take long before Joe started incorporating his

dence in his shows and, in turn, the station gained con-

own ideas and features into his show. “Having my ideas

fidence in him, giving Joe a drive-time slot after only six

listened to and approved was an amazing confidence

months on the job. “It was ridiculous” he says, “I started

boost for me and I never looked back from there” says

shaking when I found out because I was so excited.”

Joe. Thanks to his ingenuity and passion, Joe’s show

Big chances like the one awarded to Joe don’t come along often, as many struggling graduates across the nation will know. So what was his key to success? “Ev-

quickly gained traction and interaction with his audience. Around the time he started his Broadcast Journal-

eryone was really positive about everything I was doing.

ism course at UoB, Joes boss at Diverse recommended he

I’m a firm believer that you get out what you put in”; a

try out for ‘The Chosen One’; a competition run by KISS

mantra that echoes throughout Joe’s story.

FM to find their next big DJ. Joe made a video application for the competition and within

“I KNEW AS SOON AS I WALKED IN THAT DAY THAT I WANTED TO BE IN THAT INDUSTRY, SO I TOOK THAT REJECTION AND USED IT TO BETTER MYSELF BECAUSE I KNEW I’D BE BACK.”

a matter of days was informed he had been selected for the final 25. “It sounds so cliché, but it really was like a dream. I rang everyone I knew to let them know. It was so surreal.” In the competition the contestants were tasked with a range of radio based challenges, including creating record links and voice tests, as well as recording on camera the reasons why they should be the chosen one — something that made Joe feel very uncomfortable. “I was intimidated by some of the oth-

ers there” he said, “They had experience with cameras and I didn’t.” Sadly, Joe was unsuccessful in his bid and didn’t make the final cut. “I can’t lie, I was gutted at the time,” he reflects, “but it’s something you have to take on the chin and use to improve yourself. I knew as soon as I walked in that day that I wanted to be in that industry, so I took that rejection and used it to better myself because I knew I’d be back.”

13


Never lose faith

Where many would have given up after falling at the first hurdle, Joe showed an intense determination to prove he deserved to be a national radio DJ, attributed largely to his strong work ethic. “I was brought up to believe that no one will ever give you anything; you have to work hard for everything you achieve.” “I was told a long time ago, ‘perseverance and hard work will always overtake talent if talent doesn’t work hard enough’, and that’s always stuck with me.” Joe’s approach to work is refreshing in a generation where more and more people feel entitled. He spoke frankly about the sacrifices he chose to make; where most people his age would spend Friday nights out drinking and socialising, he would choose to stay in and work on his shows, finding new music and improving his links. “Short term pain leads to long term gain” Joe smiles — something he has proved with aplomb.

“I WORKED HARD FOR THIS AND BENEFITED FROM IT, AND THERE’S NO GREATER FEELING IN THE WORLD THAN THAT.” Months after his exit from The Chosen One, Kiss invited Joe back over a number of weeks to record demos and meet with station bosses. “I learned after the Chosen One not to get my hopes up too much, but I had already improved so much since then and I could tell they were looking at me seriously now.” Finally, the offer came through; a show five nights a week on Kiss Fresh, showcasing the newest music and newest DJ’s. When LOUD asked what went through his mind after receiving the offer, Joe sat back and took a moment, almost as though he were still processing it today. After a few moments of deep thinking, he gave a surprisingly measured response: “I could never properly explain what I felt

14

Joe in the studio at KISS


that day because I have nothing to compare it to. It was by far the greatest moment of my life.” He went on to explain the outpour of support from family and friends was ‘overwhelming’ and unexpected. “It was like I’d finally made it, you know? I worked hard for this and was about to actually benefit from it, and there’s no greater feeling in the world than that.”

The road to success

YOUR COMMUNITY RADIO STATION RADIO LAB IS THE UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE’S COMMUNITY RADIO STATION; BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN EXACTLY?

Since debuting on Kiss Fresh, Joe has gone on to reach almost half a million listeners a week and already has

The ‘LaB’ of Radio LaB actually stands for ‘Luton and

other national radio stations vying for his talent.

Bedfordshire.’ While (sadly) there are no actual test

“The job has already exceeded all of my wildest

tubes, chemicals or white lab-coated lunatics on dis-

expectations. I met John Cleese and McBusted in the

play, the station does pride itself on it’s experimental

studio the other week! How could I ever have thought

blend of music and talk, creating a community Radio

that would happen to me?”

station that appeals to both students and the wider

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am

community of Bedfordshire alike. The eclectic sched-

now,” says Joe, the glee clearly painted on his grinning

ule ranges from school-takeovers and urban music to

face. Yet Joe is far from satisfied to rest on his laurels

WWE talk shows.

(unsurprising, given his intense work ethic.) “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far but

However, despite having a naturally intrinsic involvement, Radio LaB isn’t just for students in media —

there’s always more to do. I want to be the guy that

nor is the station limited just to students! Anyone who

people who want to be on radio pick out and say ‘I want

is interested in having a go at making radio is welcome

to be like him.’”

to take part. New volunteers are the life-blood of the

Most students get a part time job at weekends during their time at Uni. So how, LOUD asks Joe, has he kept up with all the commitments of University whilst

station and the team are always delighted to hear from people who want to help out. It’s not all down to the hosts, however. Several

having such a high profile job? The Kiss DJ takes a deep

partner organisations help Radio LaB in ensuring the

sigh before answering.

content is relevant, informative and entertaining. In the

“It’s been harder than I thought it would be,” he

last few months the station has worked with Enterprise

admits, “I’ve even thought about leaving university a

Rent-A-Car, Uprising, Luton Sixth Form College, Jamrock

couple of times.”

Media, Barnfield Skills Academy and many more youth

The majority of students complete their degrees BEFORE entering the big wide world of the job market.

organisations. In March 2014, UoB recruited full-time, dedicated

Joe has, in a masterstroke, skipped a few steps and

member of staff Terry Lee to become the Radio LaB

already landed his dream job. It begs the question: why

Co-ordinator, who brought with him big plans for the

stay?

radio station. “I still love being at Uni and you always need some-

“I moved to Bedfordshire to help take Radio LaB to

thing to fall back on. I could say one wrong thing on air

the next level,” says Terry, “All the facilities are in place

tomorrow and never work on radio again, so it never

for us to make brilliant radio — in fact, the set-up is

hurts having a degree to hand.”

better than many commercial stations I’ve been to. The

Joe’s story is an incredible one, demonstrating the

next step is to raise student and public awareness of

value of commitment, passion and determination, show-

the station, and create opportunities to involve as many

ing us that all dreams and goals are attainable if you’re

young people from Luton as we can.”

willing to work for them. Does he think he could be seen as an inspiration for others like him? “I’m nothing special; just someone that works hard

If you’re looking to get involved in an exciting, fun and interesting society then Radio LaB is the place for you! There’s no need to be a music expert (the clever

and is determined. I don’t have anything that puts me

computer software can pick music playlists for you)

above anyone else. If you want to do something, just

and the team don’t expect you to sound like a profes-

never stop trying.”

sional broadcaster from day one. All new volunteers are given training, support and advice from the man-

Words by Jack Stowell

agement team at Radio LaB to help develop skills and

Do you know a UoB student with an inspirational story

confidence. If you want the chance to have your voice

like Joes? Get in touch with us and let us know! Email us at

on the radio, visit radiolab.beds.ac.uk/getinvolved for

loud@beds.ac.uk or Tweet us @bedsloud

more information.

15


fro stand outfrom the crowd crowd and s f r and om the t a n d out cro make a make a w f d r ad o nidff m t ce n h differe e erence crowd stand oum a k e a and dift make a from the ference differecrowd and nce make a difference

Find out more at bedssu.co.uk/elections

Fin bedss d out more u.co.u k/elec at tions

Fin bedss d out more u.co.u k/elec at tions Find ou bedssu.co t more at .uk/electio ns

Find out more bedssu.co.uk/ele at ctions

Ever thought of yourself as a Students’ Union Officer? Ever wondered whether you could do it better?

Well here’s your chance!


d

JL = Jordan Lewis CH = Charlie Hughes AK = Angelo Karvelas RB = Rebecca Boyle FD = Francesca Davies

Submission for the upcoming University review. (AK) Getting out of bed every day to start working at 9am was a big challenge *laughs*. (RB) Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to my system to go from 9 hours a week to 79,000 hours a week! This job is definitely more of a lifestyle than a 9 – 5, but no two days are the same and that makes it worth it. Before you started, what was your biggest fear? (FD) Mine was definitely the fear of not being able to manage the workload. The concept of leading the organisation was also high up on the list — it’s a massive deal!

T’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN when the elections for the 2015–16

(JL) I think my biggest fear was that we would be com-

Students’ Union Officers starts to

pared to the last team and we wouldn’t be as good. In

take over the University. LOUD took

hindsight, it was not important at all because every year

the opportunity to catch up with the

is unique and there are different challenges to face.

current team and look at what it’s like to be an officer. We explore some of the highs and lows of their journeys

(CH) My biggest fear was public speaking; however, one

as well as picking up some good advice for prospective

of the benefits of the role is that it makes you face your

leaders of the future.

fears. In my first weeks, I had to give dozens of speeches to more than 400 people at a time during the gradua-

How does it feel to be part of the Executive Team?

tions.

(JL) It’s fun, very intense but highly enjoyable. You get to work with great people and there are very few opportu-

(RB) I was really worried about saying something silly or

nities to be this high up in an organisation this early in

naive in a meeting with a lot of senior members of Uni-

your career.

versity staff. After a couple meetings though, I became more confident and realised that most staff encourage

(CH) I agree, it is a great experience because it positions

our participation and value our voice.

you in top level management of a University, whilst still in an entry level job.

What advice would you give to the new candidates? (JL) If you’re thinking about it: do it! Don’t worry if

(AK) It’s fantastic! It is quite a responsibility to deal with

you’re not successful because if you don’t go for it, you

such complex scenarios and balance the interests and

will never know and will always regret it.

emotions of every team member, but it’s worth it. (AK) I agree, go for it! You’re going to regret never run(RB) But however tough it gets, it is encouraging know-

ning far more as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

ing that when you’re having a bad day there are four other people that will support you and have your back.

(JL) Also throw yourself into the process because it is fun and you learn so much about yourself.

What was your biggest challenge? (JL) In one word: politics! It is all politics, but it’s an

(FD) But it is important to not let it go to your head, oh

incredible learning curve.

and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

(FD) It think my biggest challenge was learning all about

(RB) Also don’t forget about your university work – plan,

the operation of the union as well as my role. It felt like

plan, plan! The best advice I could give to a new exec

I was playing catch up and knew it was going to be a big

would be to stay motivated. This is a once in a lifetime

challenge to grasp everything. However I got there with

job so you should make the most of it. Whatever you put

the help of my amazing mentor, Mary.

in you will get out so give it your all.

(CH) For me, it was about learning how to effectively

Words by Beds SU

manage my time in order to successfully do my cam-

If you think you have what it takes to lead Beds SU, take a

paign as well as all the different responsibilities of my

look at the full and part time positions available at bedssu.

role. At the same time, I had to complete the enormous

co.uk/elections or come and speak to one of the team to find

task of researching and writing the Student Written

out more!

17


Across campuses, students count the days until it’s their loans enter their bank accounts — but not surprising when many don’t even have enough to even pay the rent...


S

As your overall household income increases, the amount of support you receive from Student Finance decreases.

tudent Finance, as you will know, is a tricky and complicated business. The amount of support you get is determined by a variety of factors, the two largest and most important being: where you’ll study and what the overall income of your household is. For ex-

ample, students studying at a London based Univer-

sity are entitled to get up to £2,269 more than those studying at a University based outside of London. For a standard en suite room, University of London students pay around £924 a month. Students living in a standard en

Household income

suite room at UoB’s Fitzroy Court in Luton pay £645 a month. This may seem like a bargain, but remember that London based students receive a higher loan to accommodate paying London prices.

£5,500 that you’ll pay back down the line

Now consider the price of rent at the

along with your tuition fee. Maintenance

University of Sunderland, where students pay roughly £368 per month — a drastic difference to prices here in Luton, given

grants, however, don’t need to be paid back, rent be considered when students apply? There is a lot of financial support for

but they’re only given to those with the lowest household incomes.

both halls are relatively new, with students

those starting University with a number

getting more or less the same for their mon-

of scholarships and bursaries available to

living in the same halls will pay the same

ey. This begs the question: should even more

successful applicants. At the University of

rent for the same facilities. Many are forced

factors be taken into consideration when

Bedfordshire, for example, students receive

to apply for alternative accommodation

awarding student finance? Should specific

a yearly bursary of around £300 to support

because they can’t afford the staggering

University information like accommodation

them during their time here. But is it fair

prices of student halls — an issue that is

that those with a higher household income

having drastic consequences to the student

automatically receive less support? Theoret-

experience.

ically: yes, but the reality of an individual students situation is often not so simplistic.

SHOUD EVEN MORE FACTORS BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN AWARDING STUDENT FINANCE?

Student Fi-

No matter your loan, every student

While Student Finance is designed to be universally fair, the current calculation system does have some unusual elements.

nance breaks down

For example, when applying for a loan,

into three core

students are required to enter the income of

categories: Tuition

everyone in their household, including their

fees, maintenance

siblings. Does the Government believe it

loans and mainte-

commonplace for the siblings of students to

nance grants. Your

help fund their time at University? We don’t

tuition fee, funnily

know about you, but we’re more likely to

enough, pays for

give our siblings a dead arm than four grand

your tuition at UoB,

towards their psychology degree.

while the two-

Words by Amy Pollard (@apollardjourno)

part maintenance money goes towards

Do you think the current system for Student Fi-

the costs of living.

nance works, or would you like to see a more in

Every applicant

depth process to determine the support students

for student finance

receive? Let us know! Tweet us @bedsloud or

receives a mainte-

email us at loud@beds.ac.uk

nance loan, varying from £4,000 –

19


THE SEASON SO FAR HOW THE TEAM ARE FAIRING IN A NEW YEAR OF BEDFORDSHIRE BULLS RUGBY ...


game. Sadly, a few mistakes gave Leicester the try’s they needed to snatch victory from the Bulls, leaving a disappointing but respectful final score of 34–31. Not the ideal start the team were after! The next match against the University of East Anglia saw slightly more promise when the players were at least in the positions they played. As the Bulls closest rivals in this league, the pressure was on to secure a comeback win. A gutsy performance from the boys saw the team win 10–3, getting the season back on track. Soon after came the first cup game against Oxford Brookes. Not only was league triumph on the cards but the cup was in oming off

the teams sights too — a win over Brookes

the back of

would secure a quarterfinal place for The

a disap-

Bulls.

pointing season and after losing a number of key

The weather on the day was horrendous — rain, wind, cold — with barely a blade of grass to be seen, the team knew that victory would be hard fought. But, yet again,

players within the squad, it seemed that it

The Bulls battled fiercely, securing a 15-0

was going to be a very tough year for Mens

score in their favour. Just like that, the team

Rugby in Luton. However, after a renewed

were on their way to the quarterfinals.

partnership with Stockwood Park RFC, a

A week later and it was back to league

WITH ONLY A COUPLE OF TRAINING SESSIONS SINCE THE START OF TERM, THE TEAM WERE ALL FEELING THE TURKEY FROM THE WINTER BREAK.

new committee establishing and a former

games, this time Lincoln. Again, the weather

Tongan international joining as coach, the

wasn’t to anyone’s liking; the wind played

coming season suddenly looked promising

havoc with all the kicks and left the boys

early on from the first kick and the team

for the Bedfordshire Bulls.

playing a tight game within the forwards.

played safe and secure throughout. Al-

With several players starting their first game

though a couple of mistakes conceded a try

players during Fresher’s Fayre and ended

The team did their best to recruit

ever, it seemed the Rugby team had their

or two, the team still pulled out a convincing

the fortnight with a decent number of new

work cut out for them.

35–15 win.

signups. A few training sessions later, and

Instead, however, it was the complete

the squad had over thirty players, all with

opposite. Control of the game was claimed

the ability to make the starting fifteen. The first game of the season came

After Christmas, a “friendly” match was arranged. With only a couple of training sessions since the start of term, the team were all feeling the turkey from the Winter

quicker than expected and the team went

break. Nevertheless, The Bulls dug deep and

to Leicester looking for a good start to the

pulled out a fantastic performance, coming

campaign. The team was a little on the mish-

away with a 27–15 win; only the second time

mashed side, with captain Richard Harding

the Luton campus has ever won.

— formally a Prop — playing as Scumhalf,

Sitting 2nd in the league with a game

yet the team started strong and continued

in hand and already deep into the quarter-

to give as good as they got throughout the

finals of the cup, this is the best start to a season this campus has seen in nearly five

A FEW TRAINING SESSIONS LATER, AND THE SQUAD HAD OVER THIRTY PLAYERS, ALL WITH THE ABILITY TO MAKE THE STARTING FIFTEEN.

years. With the squad continuously developing, growing in numbers and advancing their skill, things can only get better for Men’s Rugby this year. Words by Richard Harding, Men’s Rugby Luton Captain Interested in playing sport for the Bedfordshire Bulls? Visit bedssu.co.uk/sport to see the extra curricular sport opportunities we have on offer.

21


D N A S D L E A I B C E O H S T , H S G T U C O JE O THR R N P E E L B A I S C A R H E Y M T M E I O C M C R O S O F S S U N T A C R A T N E O T U S T I B R I F E O H Y T T I G N N U M DOI M O R C I L E A H T C O EN D A THE L O R B D N A LUTON S... N O Z I R HO 22


we are confident of the positive results they are going to achieve.

IT’S

Alex went on to celebrate the accomplishments of the Society thus far, in particular

Enactus Bedfordshire has already been nominated for several awards this year, including awards sponsored by several major businesses.

been an exciting and fast paced journey

the Rewriting Fate project, which

for Enactus at Beds SU. After establishing

saw the group access the Roma-

a Society in 2010 from the larger national

nian community in Luton. By working with

of tackling these issues in a multitude of

movement, Enactus Bedfordshire have made

the local Roma church, and using Romanian

languages.”

large waves at UoB, including recognition

students to help bridge the language barrier,

As recognition of the group’s hard

at the Student Appreciation awards in 2014.

the Enactus Society aided many individuals

work, Enactus Bedfordshire has already

But they don’t plan to slow down just yet.

in finding employment and improving their

been nominated for several awards this

quality of life.

year, including awards sponsored by busi-

“The start of this academic year has seen two new groups of students willing to

The group is well aware that Luton is

develop their ideas,” explained Alex Iftime,

a very diverse area and Alex revealed how

team leader of the Society, “They’re looking

they aim to branch out. “Luton is a multi-

at a project to tackle the social and eco-

cultural town and we are aware that the

this year already; Paul Harrison, who helps

nomic reintegration of human trafficking

Roma Community is not the only one facing

co-ordinate the group, picked up the 2014

victims as well as our first international

similar barriers such as social isolation and

adviser of the year award for his immense

effort in Nicaragua.”

immobility, lack of communication skills

work and dedication.

Grand ambitions indeed for a student Society, but Alex seems un-phased by the

and even illiteracy.” “With this in mind we are looking in

ness such as Wilkinson’s, Bernard Hodes, KPMG and Enterprise-rent-a-car. The Society have scooped one gong

“The nominations have been a fantastic source of motivation as well as a reward

scale of the clubs goals, inspired it seems by

the long term to expand our entrepreneur-

for our team, recognising the hard work and

the determination of his fellow members.

ial approach to other communities, taking

achievements that the team has delivered

“The teams are still developing their

advantage of the accumulated experience

last year, both creatively and in supporting

ideas and approaches but with the dedica-

and knowledge of our members as well as

an existing organisation” said Alex.

tion and passion they have shown so far,

aiming to recruit a diverse team, capable

Words by Ted Kemplen

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Profile for Beds SU - Official

Loud #9 – February 2015  

Dream BIG — LOUD looks at the inspirational story of Joe Flemmons and his success in the Radio industry. We also talk with The Enactus Socie...

Loud #9 – February 2015  

Dream BIG — LOUD looks at the inspirational story of Joe Flemmons and his success in the Radio industry. We also talk with The Enactus Socie...

Profile for beds-su
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