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Contributors: Marksman Vanessa Waterford Mariam Khan
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Contributors: Helen Murdoch Subat Bashir Will Orpin
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Contributors: Emily Booth Ben Vallely Nina Kislova Charlotte Hodges
Contributer: Adam Boix
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Editorial Ok, so that’s one Freshers’ Week done.... Actually its my last one... Damn! I love Freshers’ Week, and I hope all the Freshers reading this are nodding in agreement. It was amazing! First a few thanks. Thanks to the Academy and Loco’s staff for tireless work serving everyone and keeping them well lubricated during the week. Also to the security for putting up with this crap day in and day out. Thanks to Adam for the raft of pictures he took, which are all now online at brunelstudents.com/gallery.....and if he likes you enough they may go on his portfolio site! Thanks to Richard and the Fresher Project Workers, Emma, Jay and Dawn, who organised EVERYTHING that happened and trust me, blood sweat and tears went into this week, so you better have loved it! Final thanks would have to go to the contacts, as we couldn’t live without them. Part guide, part removal man, part party animal, part slave, part insane we could never have organised the whole thing without people there to do it. 120 of you guys, 4000 freshers......no idea how you can do it! That’s it for my intro this month. If you are a returning student who has read to here hoping to see me mention you guys, I haven’t.....chin up
Contents LeNews Union Watch An Interview with..... School Arts? Shambles Student Life Swine Flu Lies The Doc is in!
2 3 4
5 7 11 11
LeArts: One More Day Halloween Film Reviews Pop Life LeSport
13 14 15
News in brief RAG-tastic! RAG was really successful this freshers week raising a whooping £5200 which was almost double last year. This was raised throughout a series of events in the week ranging from leg waxing, massages, duck race, dodgeball to selling glowsticks. Mill and Fleming contacts took home rag halls of the year trophy raising over £900 but bottom line is that we couldn’t have achieved this from everyone’s input from the RAG helpers, head contacts, contacts, staff and most importantly you! Thanks to those who helped out and donated!
FCC! FCC! FCC! This years Fresher;s Week lead to the usual competitive nature to see who would win Contact Team of the Year. But with little to no deliberation, FCC stormed it. We asked Middlewood, one of the FCC head contacts, for a quote but I don’t believe there was a printable word in there
Nah mate, MILF rules! While FCC had the best contacts, Mill Hall Fleming were Halls of the Year by a long way. Scoring the most points out of anyone, bossing most events and always rolling with a great atmosphere.....and a trombone
Legend.... Special praise was noted for a man that has been in our midst waaaay too long, but we can’t let him go. Chris Folkerd, who has been at here for 9 years now (and LeNURB as it on good authority that he knew Brunel personally), has held many positions in the union and is generally a sage amongst idiots. He reveals his secret to a long uni life, ‘The uni pay me to be here as a researcher and recently I celebrated as the total they have paid me exceeded the total i paid them...’ Chris, we salute you!
Contact of the Year There were many baited breaths and tenterhooks in the Academy at the end of Freshers Week as the contacts waited to see who the best Conact of 2009 was. The competition was fierce, with some top nominees including Steph ‘Isacc’ Wade, Ben King, Dan ‘Essex’ Edmunds and Nick Wonacott. But in the end, Dan Dunscombe prevailed! The red-haired (for RAG, not normally) lanky legend came up on stage to collect his award to the cheers from Lancaster halls. Well done Dan!
Le News The Nightmares of Student Finance
of us feel we can’t function without it! However, Twitter is most befitting for those with high status, It is a truth universally acknowledged that student plenty going on in their life and lots to brag about, finance is in shambles. As the new academic year providing a stage and allowing you to be the begins many students are still waiting with baited speaker, informing an army of often unknown fellow breath for their student loans to come through. The ‘tweeter’s’ on your thoughts and feelings, student finance lines seem to be consistently busy whereabouts and wonderings, allowing you to find and some may even find themselves waiting in a your voice and grab the attention of your audience queue for up to or even more than half an hour. with as interesting comments as possible. The means Those who find themselves experiencing such a of communication on both sites is quite interesting problem should try calling on the following number too, as unlike friend list privacy options on instead of the main student finance line: Facebook , Twitter paints an image of mini twit01413062000, as this puts you through to an advisor gods, sharing their knowledge and evaluating their almost immediately. The problems however do not daily doings to a legion of ‘followers’. stop here. Once you are directed to an advisor claims such as, ‘we have not received your Still confused as to which social networking site is application’, ‘your application is being redirected’ and best for you? Compare Twitter and Facebook to a ‘you are not eligible for a student loan’ are promptly party. Facebook is the digital equivalent of a small made, leaving students in a confused and frustrated party setting, with old friends and acquaintances sate. After stressfully attempting to explain to the mingling, conversating and sharing experiences in an advisor that you have made an application, your intimate setting. It’s the family get together or a application was made months ago and should have friend’s birthday party, where you can be yourself been redirected by now or you have previously and chat for hours with those closest to you. On been told you are eligible for student finance and do the other hand, Twitter is the larger party or not understand what could have changed, you are networking event, you don’t know many people and either urgently dismissed or assured your you want to make yourself known and to make an application is being dealt with and will be final in 2-4 impression. Twitter is the podium welcoming days. Two – Four days pass and still no progress has everyone for coming, the colleague you’ve never been made landing you back in position one all over spoken to who orders the same wine as you and again, and creating a vicious cycle which you you discuss your job roles. This explains the sinking continue to follow. Whilst this situation is extremely feeling you get when your ‘tweets’ are no more stressful and frustrating it is an unfortunate truth interesting than ‘I had a great lunch’ in comparison that we cannot do much more than phoning the to the twitter world’s elite celebrity member’s such student finance offices and consistently inquiring as as P Diddy and Ashton Kutcher logging exciting to the progress of our applications, the rest is escapades, pool parties and catty beefs to fellow regretfully out of our hands. Therefore until student starlet’s in a battle of ego’s. We live in a world finance do pull through we are forced to be where we know what everyone’s doing, we share extremely rigid in means of expenditure. experiences and we all aspire to make our social life seem exciting. So what’s it going to be, the work Facebook vs Twitter: The Social party or the friend’s birthday? Or neither? We may Networking Phenomenon just get sick of both and decide to all be private again and give the social networking world a break, The phenomenon of Facebook and recently Twitter or maybe there will emerge a mega social is at an all time high, despite both being fairly recent networking site by the name of ‘bookspace’ or internet fads all battling for social networking ‘twitface’. Watch this space! domination. There are now so many social networks scouting for users and trying to gain revenue that By Kelly Dolan it’s starting to raise suspicions on their long term survival. So why do we love social networking? Facebook appeals to people reconnecting with friends and family, providing familiar tools like email, instant messaging and image and video sharing. It’s the perfect place to keep on top of events, log your daily goings on and essentially recreate your whole life all on one page, which is probably why so many
Propaganda for the masses
Union Watch Page 3
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Have you got the Feedback Bug? Is a lack of effective feedback bugging you? Are you getting a little antsy about the thought of not knowing whether your work is up to scratch? Would you rather get an A or a Bee? Feedback received on assessed work is a fundamental part of the student learning process, however, feedback has been highlighted as a problem throughout higher education, but actually its even worse here at Brunel… here comes the science… Students across the country have been making their dissatisfaction with procedures of poor feedback known through the National Student Survey. Brunel students have been vocal about their frustrations scoring 5% lower than the sector average on satisfaction in this area (NSS 2009). Assessment and Feedback is one of our lowest scoring areas with only 49% of students agreeing that feedback on their work has helped to clarify things they did not understand,
and a mere 53% feeling that feedback had been prompt. The clear NSS results have given both the Union and the University a clear mandate to strive for improvement in this area. The Assessment Feedback Working Group has recently been established, consisting of a wide variety of academic staff, student representation and a Pro-Vice Chancellor. The Group are working together to raise awareness and improve the effectiveness of feedback, which will aid students not only to improve their degree grades, but foster greater self-confidence in their ability to learn from their own mistakes. This is key not only to a successful academic career, but also to achieve successfully in life. If you haven’t got the bug yet, don’t worry its coming your way soon. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Brunelvpar on Twitter
An interview with..... Nat Foster Ben Moxey: The end of this month sees 100 days since you took office. as with many presidents the first 100 days are seen as the proving of a president and the vindication of those who elected you. How do you think you have done? Nat Foster: Well, its been unusual as for the bulk of those days there were no students on campus. A lot of stuff had to be done with out them. But I think I’ve pretty well! BM: Is there any particular project you are most pleased with? Any special piece of work? NF: Currently we are striving to achieve the Bronze Sound Impact award. I’m really quite pleased with how that is going, and I’ve had some really good meetings with the university and some students. I’m really excited looking forward to April, when the results are published Also, one of the main policies I ran under for the VP job was for a 24hr Library. There have been so many discussions but I feel we are nearly there BM: Define nearly there. When do we get to see any changes? NF: It will be next academic term. And it should be 24 hours, not an simple extension. If not all 24hr, then only the ground floor. However, I see that as a real win BM: Alot of people in the international community were put out to be referred to World Students during Freshers Week and in all documents now. Where did this decision come from? NF: Well, we didn’t want to exclude the EU students. As it currently stands the uni calls them ‘nondomicile’ students, but not ‘international’. So if you are a student from German then you are not a home student, but not international. So World was created as a catch-all
BM: Some students have lectures encroaching on the traditional sports time of Wednesday afternoon. Can the union promise that this will remain free for the future? NF: We can’t promise it. However, both myself and the VP Student Activities, Joel, are investigating separate incidents. It is my understanding that the uni policy is for all lectures to finish at 1pm, so wee need to bring up any examples for the uni to see BM: Show them their mistakes? NF: I wouldn't call them mistakes, but a necessity on their part. but these issues must be address to fit the policy, or the policy re-examined BM: Over the summer we put in our submission to the Quality Assurance Agency as an audit of the Uni. What actions do you expect to see come out of this? NF: Well the QAA asked for 2 submissions, 1 from us and another from the uni. these are 2 separate documents, but we consulted heavily with the UNI before submission, so they have seen the document. On the whole, they seem very receptive, so we as a union, MUST follow up on this BM: When do we see results? NF: Well the QAA will be coming in during November to interview the VC, several key academics and students where they will discuss both reports. In December they will sit down and write these up. The results will be out in January for us to see BM: With elections this month what turnout are you expecting? NF: I’m hoping, that with so many candidates running, that we will be reaching the same numbers as the March elections. BM: But that is only 21% of the students, how do you motivate a politically apathetic student body? NF: Well its down to the candidates, but also me in raising awareness of what the union does. Its not an overnight job but can be done with hard work.
BM: You worked as VP EdWelf before becoming President. Did this experience help you? Were you able to hit the ground running? NF: Definitely, 100%. I now know the key players in the university and working closely with the president last year, if I want to get things done, I know who to call and where to go. I know the right people
s t r A f o l o Scho mbles a h s a o be t w o H One: n o s s e L by Marksman
were only able to get to the office in person on the first Monday of term. Clearly, had the School of Arts responded in a timely manner and sorted out this student’s problems, a face-to-face meeting to determine their academic future would not have been needed. Sadly, it is not just people’s academic
lives that are affected by the appalling administration of courses. One particular Friends, students, graduates; mature student commented to me that lend me your ears. I have a tale the late release of the online enrolment to tell you, a tale of misery, woe task – originally scheduled for early and hardship. August, then deferred to late August, and finally deferred to September 1st – Let’s say you’re paying £3,225 per combined with the late release of the year for a particular service. This service Module guides for the year have been timetable (released late on Friday 25th lasts for 8 months and takes up about 20 issued. I am told by several people that September, lectures beginning on Monday hours of your week during that period. As they were issued a guide, and promptly 28th September) had interfered with her part of this service, you give the service issued no fewer than 3 pages of childcare arrangements. As those of you provider documents which you expect to amendments to it. One of my own guides with young children of your own will have returned.You also have regular daily came with several repetitions of “details know, your child’s meetings with your service welfare must take As those of you with young children of provider, which, for mutual absolute priority; in this your own will know, your child’s welfare convenience, need to be scheduled example, the School’s must take absolute priority; in this in advance. lack of organisation example, the School’s lack of organisation aggravates an already Now, what would your reaction aggravates an already less-than-ideal less-than-ideal situation. be if your service provider only gave situation. you the meeting schedule at 5pm on I know other students a Friday afternoon, with the first TBC” or “room to be advised”. A who have commuted to campus from meeting to be held at 9am Monday particular module guide came without the their homes, often an hour or two away, morning? Or if they lost your documents page which detailed coursework to discover their lecture has been and asked you to send them a fresh copy, questions, which is one of the main points cancelled or rescheduled with no notice. which they then lose again? Or, even of having a module guide in the first place. This travel costs people money, money better, if they just lost your documents which in the current economic climate altogether, proceeded to deny any The rot runs deeper than this, they are ill-positioned to waste on knowledge of posting them back to you however. Many people have had needless journeys. It affects their work and then claimed that it must be Royal horrendous problems with enrolment. I patterns, many of which have to be reMail’s fault? spoke to a fellow student, who was unable arranged to fit around the demands of a modules, students whose courseworks have gone missing, students whose telephone calls have been ignored, and students whose lectures have been moved or cancelled with zero notice: an unacceptable state of affairs.
You’d cancel the contract and ask for your money back, that’s what. Unfortunately, when your ‘service’ is a degree course administered by the School of Arts, it isn’t that simple. All of the things mentioned above are actual events that have happened to arts students in the last academic year alone. I have spoken to students who don’t know what marks they gained in last year’s Page 5
to enrol for the whole of the summer. They emailed the School asking for help. They were sent automated replies, other replies promising help that never materialised and then asked the student to email them their module selections, so they could be manually put onto the system. None of these things were done. When this student phoned the office for some direct contact, their phonecalls went unanswered. As this student lives a fair distance away from Uxbridge, they
full-time degree course, and on the whole, employers don’t look kindly upon last-minute requests to swap shifts or not to work on a certain day. While students are paying up-front for degree courses, they deserve timely support from their University and academic School – not late release of essential information which people need in order to plan ahead.
the end of September, something that was known months in advance by staff and students alike. In fact, my sources tell
circumstances. After being kept on hold for 20 minutes, I abandoned any hope of trying to phone them, and resorted to email. This went unanswered as well. For self-evident reasons, I’m not about to present myself at the admin office and announce that I am the one who’s displaying their dirty laundry to the University at large. Hence, unfortunately, there can be no reply to these situations from the School itself, because the School seemingly doesn’t want to hear from its students.
me that the School is throwing a party to celebrate her distinguished career with Brunel University, and having been a student of hers I’d like to wish her the
In closing, my impression is that morale amongst my fellow arts students is low. Very low.
Naturally, for those who are dependent upon the Student Loans Company in order to stay afloat during
the date they should have been. However, hard as it may be to believe, an even worse example of the School’s
their studies, the difficulties with enrolment present a much deeper problem. As you will all know, receipt of your grant or loan depends on the university confirming that you are an enrolled student. Naturally, when your university then presents you with an assault-course of obstacles to cross and hoops to jump through, with minimal or no support, people’s financial situations are put into jeopardy. A growing number of students have contacted me, bitterly complaining about their loans being delayed because of problems with enrolment – the blame for which can squarely be laid at the door of the School of Arts. They are looking at their
malpractice comes to light. Many returning students will be familiar with Professor Maureen Moran – an extremely popular member of the academic teaching staff here at Brunel, who has lectured for many years with the English department. She retired at
very best in her future endeavours.
What is perhaps shocking then is to bank balances and considering whether it’s better to be a bankrupt graduate or a learn that Prof. Moran was allocated to students as a lecturer for modules solvent non-grad. No student should ever be put into this position as a result of mal-administration by their university.
Dark jokes are made about coursework ‘only’ being returned after eight or nine weeks. The Gallic shrug is a common sight when one finds that a lecture has been
It beggars belief that a staff member departing less than a week after the start of the academic year should have been allocated as a supervisor for a task that will last until May 2010.
To continue this litany of woe, there are further problems with module selection. Another student, who has requested anonymity, selected her modules on E-
Vision, seemingly successfully. However, one of the modules failed to appear on U-Link. Upon questioning this, the student was told that she hadn’t selected the module and that it was now full so she couldn’t re-apply. In effect, the student was excluded from the module because of bad admin by the School, leaving them with the sole option of pursuing a module in practical work experience; something they had not planned for and had no previous intention of doing. Hitherto, all the cases I have mentioned in this article have been examples of poor administrative practice, poor organisational skills and a clear disregard for the knock-on effects of decisions implemented weeks after
commencing in 2010 and even allocated as supervisor to a group of final-year dissertation students! It beggars belief that a staff member departing less than a week after the start of the academic year should have been allocated as a supervisor for a task that will last until May 2010. This bad practice is not fair on Prof. Moran, and it is not fair to the students who have to continue their dissertations without support or guidance from their school. My source tells me that another lecturer has been appointed in Prof Moran’s place; the sum total of information he’s received about this is that the replacement’s first name is Jessica. By exposing this litany of incompetence, I hope to shame the School into cleaning up its act. I did try to contact them, in the hope that they could show some evidence of mitigating
unexpectedly rescheduled, or that vital information about the lecture was only released
the night before via email. All of this leads up to School of Arts students castigating Brunel in public. This can only lead to bad results in the Student Satisfaction Survey, Brunel’s place in university league tables falling, and your degree – irrespective of subject – being valued less by employers. I have spoken to one student who plans to submit a formal complaint against the School and another who is considering writing an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor detailing his grievances. Let us hope that the School, or failing them, the University Senate, sorts this mess out before it comes back to bite us all
A Student’s Life by MJ Ryder
So a new academic year is here and normality has returned to the world of Bellclose Road. I say ‘normal’ of course, but when you have housemates who include a professional bum, a man who believes in unicorns and a man whose crowning achievement in life is the fact he can wiggle his pecks, ‘normal’ is actually a very difficult thing to come by. And when I say ‘normal’ I am actually neglecting to mention that there is something distinctly abnormal about our home at the moment: namely that David is actually here. For those of you who follow me on Facebook or through my blog, you will no doubt be aware that there was an occasion this summer when we were actually considering phoning the Foreign Office as David went A.W.O.L. in America. When he arrived back at Bellclose Road over a week after the official end of his holiday, Tom decided to mark David’s return with typical Tom-foolery. They call it tomfoolery for a reason you know! The plan was simple: using an old passport photo we found of Tom with long hair, cover up the picture of Amy and David, and turn it into a picture of Tom and David and see how long before David noticed. Normally the prank would have gone down quite smoothly as Amy has only ever been to our house about three times in the year or so we’ve lived here. Unfortunately the prank quickly turned sour when David returned home with Amy for one of her exceptionally rare visits. Needless to say she spotted the photo straight away and was less than impressed… But it’s all good. Amy has now officially left for university to become a vet which will no doubt come in use when dealing with us. I’m actually secretly hoping she might be able to acquire some horse tranquilizers or something similar to use on Tom.
Unfortunately, after the unquestionable success of the ‘radiator incident’ of last year, Tom has taken it upon himself to be the official Bellclose Road prankster. He has warned us all already that his next prank will be to jump out from behind the shower curtain at unsuspecting bathroom users, so already I find myself checking the shower every time I go to use the toilet. We’re getting to the stage now where we actually have to warn guests about Tom before they come round in case they get the ‘wrong impression’. Considering the anguish he causes us as a house, you might be mistaken in thinking there might be more to Tom than meets the eye. Though he’s now well into his twenty-fourth year of existence on this earth, he’s actually a remarkably simple individual. I went shopping with him the other day for his fortnightly shop and his basket consisted of precisely four bags of pasta, fours boxes of Quorn sausages, four boxes of fish fingers and a box of condoms. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. I don’t know what was worse: the fact the shop assistant nearly caused a scene un-tagging the security-marked Durex, or the fact Tom tried to make out that we were a couple and that they were for us! Funnily enough, he actually has a date coming up – with a ‘woman’ no less. As way of encouragement I thought it best to remind him it’s probably not a good idea to let slip his strange man-crush on the red ranger, or indeed the fact that he is in actual fact a five-yearold trapped in a man’s body. I do fear the worst though if Tom decides to go ahead with the plan of introducing himself as ‘sensible, mature, reliable and witty’. It’s almost the same as Barry introducing himself as a Guinness-hater… Talking about Barry, there is one incident in recent memory that really does need mentioning, if only to take revenge. It seems you see, that our much-loved bearded Irishman has turned into something of a Casanova of late. Having exchanged popcorn for grapes as his seduction-food-ofchoice, the Irishman spent one night recently canoodling with a nurse of similar affliction to his own. Her affliction of course, being not just that she’s Irish, but also it seems, a big fan of grapes in foreplay. A long night of very little sleep for some of us in the house and the fruits of Barry’s love were there for all to see on the morn. Indeed, I stepped in most of them. The sticky residue of Barry’s brief liaison actually turned my socks a funny colour, and it’s a stain that really doesn’t come out all that well I can tell you! I write this article then, a bitter man. Bitter that Barry is receiving way too much love; bitter that Tom has actually been able to attract a member of the opposite sex while I it seems, cannot; and bitter that David returned and I didn’t get to keep his guitar…
Swine Flu: its all Porkies! Some of you may be worried about Swine Flu, but the reality of the situation is that the H1N1 virus is a mild strain of flu, and you probably know someone at least through association who has had it. This does not stop both the government and the media from fear-mongering the general public into having flu vaccines, even though most people already know that flu viruses mutate faster than we can make vaccines for them, and a lot of it is guesswork anyway. For example, the medical industry admitted that this year's flu vaccine was worthless. The alarming reality is that the vaccine is actually far more dangerous than any flu. “EVIDENCE?” I hear you shout. Well let’s look at the ingredients for the vaccine that the European Medicines Agency is allowing companies to skip the testing process for. Mercury- the second most dangerous element on the planet and an extremely neurotoxic chemical has been approved, used, and banned in so many cases now that pretty much everyone knows that mercury is not a good thing to have in your body, and yet somehow it appears in the Swine Flu vaccine. The adjuvants (chemicals used to multiply the potency of the active ingredients in vaccines) being used in the European vaccines are suspected of causing neurological disorders (such as autism), and there is absolutely no safety data on the use of adjuvants in infants and expectant mothers the two groups being most aggressively targeted by the swine flu vaccine pushers.
You may or may not be surprised to find that there was, in 1976, a failed swine flu vaccine that caused irreparable damage to the nervous systems of hundreds of people and even paralyzed many. Medical doctors named this ‘Guillain-Barre syndrome’. Squalene causes Lupus, multiple sclerosis and is linked to the Gulf War Syndrome among other things. Aluminium is toxic and destroys the immune system. Other toxins include Formaldehyde, MSG, thimerosal, ethylene glycol (that’s your basic antifreeze), ethyl mercuric and chloride among others. The vaccine does not contain purely dangerous material, but also disgusting ingredients such as human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue), pig blood, dog kidney and other animal tissues. If you still want to take the vaccine, perhaps you should be aware of the possible side effects which include, among others; unresponsiveness, vomiting, diarrhoea, encephalitis, convulsions and other seizures, blindness, anaphylactic shock, neurological disabilities, immune malfunction, arthritis, epilepsy, brain damage, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Poliomyelitis, paralysis, Alzheimer’s and death. I’d advise you to join more than half of the doctors and nurses (as published in the August 25th issue of the British Medical Journal) who would refuse the H1N1 vaccine because of concerns of the side effects and its efficacy. Also perhaps you should be aware that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculations can be credited with eliminating any childhood disease."-Dr Robert Mendelsohn MD. Your GP will be paid over £5 per administered swine flu vaccine, so don’t let them tell you it’s good for you. I urge you to look into it yourself, do your own research and make your own conclusions. Don’t be a fool- do your own research, see what other doctors are saying about the ‘swine flu hoax’ and most importantly look into natural ways to protect against flu and keep away from toxin filled vaccines. For more information see http:// brunelpeopleandplanet.org.uk/ where I will put up my sources and links for you to start your own research.
Doctor: On Call!! Let me introduce myself: I am Doctor Scarlet Horne. I’ve been recruited by the Lenurb team to listen to all you students rant and rave. I know most of you are probably thinking why would I want to listen to other people’s problems all day long – not exactly the most uplifting of jobs. But I realise that sometimes problems can be too personal to discuss with friends, there may be issues that you feel your peers won’t understand or you could find that their just too damn embarrassing! Whatever you lot have on your mind and for whatever reason you may want to remain anonymous (especially if there too embarrassing!!!) please send them in to me and Doc will do her best to give you the right support and advice. This first introductory piece I am going to concentrate on helping you who are new to university life and all it has to throw at you. Being a new student as exciting and wild as it seems can also be a very stressful and demanding time. For many of you you’ll be living away from home for the first time. So congratulations – you get your freedom but alas you have to learn how to resource for yourself, pay your rent, cook, do shopping (I mean grocery shopping not hunting around H&M) and laundry. This combined with being thrown into a totally new environment, living with a bunch of strangers, navigating your way through enrolment and then trying to somehow work out the mathematical equation that you have in your hands which you have been just told is your timetable! All light-heartedness aside, every individual deals with situations differently. Some students will come to university, fit straight into their new life and social circles and make a seamless transition. Other people might be just as excited but can grow anxious about things, anxiety can turn into stress and stress into bouts of depression. We all have times we feel down but depression and serious stress can lead to more than that.
Insomnia, loss of appetite, hair loss and in some extreme cases physical aches and pains. Our emotional well-being needs to nurtured otherwise it can have direct effects on our physical health. A lot of the time we might not want to reveal how we feel as we are constantly being told to be strong weakness is not an admirable quality. So we put on a happy face but leaving problems without resolutions leaves them to fester and possibly grow. The first thing to do if you feel stressed is to get in touch with your tutor. Also try and confide in people around you, even if it seems hard the first step is always the hardest just work up the courage, take the plunge and I’m sure you’ll be surprised. As for those of you who are doing fine keep an eye out on your comrades. If people seem withdrawn or acting out of character try and find out what is wrong. I am a firm believer that no matter what adversary we come against the best defence is a strong support network. So friends: be there. Not all the time though because I may be out of a job otherwise!
LeARTS Get involved! E-mail email@example.com
One More Day - Comic Book Review
Having revealed Spiderman’s identity to the masses
Peter and Mary-Jane’s marriage from the minds of the
during ‘Civil War’, the Marvel writers had well and truly
world. In exchange Mephisto would cure Aunt May and
driven themselves in to a corner, and come the end of
erase the world’s memory of Peter’s secret identity.
‘Civil War’ were left with the challenge of rectifying
Peter is given until midnight to make a decision on the
matter with his wife and the selfless couple decide to
It was in the fourth part, One more day, that writers
accept Mephisto’s proposition.
Straczynski and Quesada presented a resolution to
The climax of the story is bittersweet and tragic as
making Spiderman’s secret identity just that once
Mary-Jane makes a last unspecified sacrifice, (whispered
again. Although debuted in 2007 in the States this
in to the ear of Mephisto) in exchange for Peter being
storyline has yet to reach the UK, and should debut over the course of the next few months. The events
given a chance at happiness. In the concluding pages of the comic readers are transported to the new world of
which unfold through the course of this comic are
Spiderman, in which Peter is living with his aunt once
shocking to say the least.
more, Harry Osborn is still alive and Peter and Mary-
After Aunt May is induced by a life threatening coma,
Jane never happened.
having been hit by a bullet intended for her nephew,
Although the four-part comic is extremely well written
the prospects of her regaining consciousness are bleak.
and contains some beautiful artwork, the outcome
Heartbroken and desperate, Peter turns to Doctor
leaves readers shocked. This reader at least was unable
Strange for a cure to Aunt May’s condition. The doctor
to fathom why such an ending was decided upon. The
is adamant May will not survive and fails to give Peter
comic has already been subjected to severe criticism in
any new hope. A ray of light shines through however, when Peter gives a radioactive blood transfusion to his
the States and will no doubt rouse the same anger and confusion here. This comic has not only garnered
ailing aunt, reasoning the mutated healing factor within
controversy amongst critics and fans but also created a
his blood would help save May’s life. It seemed however
rage of disagreement within Marvel. Indeed, co-writer
that May had built up an immunity to Peter’s blood
Straczynski’s disagreement with the final outcome of
from past transfusions and, although not dead, was still
the arc led him to request his name be omitted from
in the same fatal condition. It is in this state of
the concluding issue. Adding insult to injury the sales
desperation and loss that Peter makes a deal with
figures for the ongoing comic have been steadily
Mephisto, a hell lord who claims he can save the life of
dropping since this change took place. The comic
his beloved aunt but will do so at a price: the sacrifice
would have been a good read, had it been a non-canon
of his twenty-one year marriage to Mary-Jane. This deal would entail Mephisto erasing every memory of
one-shot. However, as a scene setter for the new Spiderman universe, it fails to please. Page 12
Halloween at the cinema.... by Helen Murdoch
THE BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIE With Halloween just around the corner many are preparing their parties, stocking up on fake spiders and buying their costumes; but for those having a low key evening here is the ultimate Halloween movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street This 1980s Wes Craven classic has spawned one of cinema’s most terrifying figures in the form of Freddie Krueger. Although a bit dated now, this movie is sure to creep you out with the razor nailed Krueger stalking the heroes in their nightmares. A remake of this classic is set to be released soon but before watching that everyone should check out the original. Not least because of its edge-of-the-seat jumps but you can also spy Johnny Depp in his first ever film role as one of the hapless teens. So if you’re having a Halloween gathering and want some must see movies this has to top the list
Article by Will Orpin
Starring: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones. Director: Jon Amiel
Starring: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones Director: Jon Amiel ‘Science versus religion’ is one of the society’s oldest debates and cinema has flirted with this argument for decades, since Inherit the Wind opened in 1960. Advocates on both sides will find food for thought in Creation, the story of Charles Darwin’s battle to publish ‘The Origin of Species’. The theory of the young, beardless Darwin (Paul Bettany) flies in the face of the belief that God created the world and everything in it. The ramifications are all too stark for Darwin who, as he probes deeper, risks alienating his devoutly Catholic wife, Emma. This part is played by Jennifer Connelly, Bettany’s real-life partner, and an Oscar-winner for another ‘tormented genius’ film; 2001’s A Beautiful Mind. Hounded by his impatient scientific fellows and tormented by visions of his recently deceased daughter, Darwin lurches into near-insanity as he grapples with the implications of his work. The film, directed by Jon Amiel, treads the tightrope of the personal and the political, and despite dealing with such big themes it never loses sight of the human side of its protagonists; succeeding as a powerful drama of a family being torn apart through grief and lost faith. There are flaws, though. Strangely little attention is given to the specifics of Darwin’s theory; the filmmakers seem to assume that viewers will be familiar with the principle’s particulars, but the PG certificate - and presence of BBC
THE WORST HALLOWEEN MOVIE On the flip side here is the worst film to watch on Halloween: House of a 1000 corpses It’s all in the title really isn’t it? This film is the debut creation by musician Rob Zombie and is in all honesty one of the most bizarre, disgusting and boring horror films to come out in recent years. If you’re intrigued by extreme gore and student style directing then this is for you, but if it’s thrills and plot that you’re after this Halloween then avoid it like the plague!
Films - implies an inclusiveness that is belied by this narrative neglect. The script, by John Collee and Randal Keynes – the latter adapting his own book – is obfuscatingly delinear, jumping hither and thither to no discernible end and Darwin’s brush with madness is overplayed - pickled foetuses tapping on bell jars are an incongruous David Lynchism too far. Also, it is well documented that Darwin placed no stock in the paranormal - he certainly didn’t believe in ghosts - and as the film reaches its final act, the over-reliance on the ‘dead daughter’ construct begins to feel monotonous. Despite a few misjudged scenes, the film itself is saved by Paul Bettany’s performance. He disappears into the role completely, shuffling along with a pants-filled gait, entirely believable as a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Bettany has been wasted in recent years in inferior fare like Wimbledon and The Da Vinci Code and his compelling turn here is a reminder of his talent. It’s a testament to the supporting cast, the ever-dependable Connelly and Martha West - excellent as young Annie Darwin - that he never eclipses them. For all the uproar 150 years ago upon the release of The Origin of Species, Creation is - despite a few provocative oneliners: “You’ve killed God, sir!” - a less controversial work. It aims to stimulate debate, not conclude it, and it is a steady introduction to the topic for children. Its neutrality and lack of depth may disappoint their parents, but the human drama has enough clout and emotional weight to hold the attention.
Become a Media Legend! Are you the next Chris Moyles or Johnny Vaughan? No? Thank f*ck for that, welcome aboard. If you want to get involved there are a raft of areas you can join us! Engineering - We need sparks, techies and computer whiz-kids. Radio Brunel is the frontline of life support for old equipment. Gain valuable CV experience and some fetching electrical burns to boot. if you took things apart as a child and put them back together then this is the job for you! Presenting - Always on the lookout for fresh, dedicated types to DJ/Present shows on Radio Brunel, both mainstream music and specialist shows. It’s not all about the music though, if you have a radio play or drama let us know and we can help you get it on air and out there! Production - Fancy knowing what all those blinking lights and wavy needles do on the deck? Doing voice-overs? Creating jingles? Making the presenters sound like Donald Duck?...if so, then we are the place for you! All shows need producers and we need you! Marketing - Does what it says on the tin. Advertising this whole shebang! From designing posters to organising events or trips and everything in between! This year Radio Brunel will be bigger than ever!
Pop Life: Art in a Material World Museums. Things most people associate with quiet, dusty rooms full of random objects and old people. And although I’d be the first person to admit that visiting museums on a daily basis is indeed more something pensioners will do, some exhibitions are pretty damn interesting. Like Pop Life: Art in a Material World, on display in the Tate Modern until the 17th of January. As the title suggests, this exhibition focuses on Pop Art and how moderns artists “have infiltrated the publicity machine and the marketplace as a deliberate strategy” (as the press release puts it). Think Andy Warhol who appeared in ads for several products, Jeff Koons who went as far as to actually advertise himself in glossy magazines and Takashi Murakami who collaborated with celebrities such as Kanye West, Kirsten Dunst and Pharell Williams. The 17-room exhibit shows work of these three artists, and of many others too. In true Tate Modern-fashion it’s not just paintings and display-cases; one room is a replica of the Pop Shop Keith Haring had in New York in the 80s, with the walls, floor and ceiling of the room covered in graffiti, background music and even a Tate-employee selling Keith Haring T-shirts. The last room, devoted to the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, is also a feast for the senses. The walls are covered in anime-drawings, several big TV-screens all show different art projects and there is music here, too. Not quite as loud, but still interesting, is the room with work of Damien Hirst in it. There is a dead calf with golden hoofs floating in a tank, and a piece which includes an identical twin sitting under two identical paintings.
by Mara Arts
Some rooms are over-18s only, because of their sexual or even pornographic nature. Artist Cosey Fanni Tutti became a porn star in the name of art, making the boundaries between those two worlds disappear. Artists are usually thought to be quite media-shy. WE often know their name and their work, but rarely what their face or, indeed, the rest of their body looks like. The artists in Pop Life have a very businesslike approach to art. Some mass-produce their work or set up multi-million-companies. But, is art still art if it is manufactures by the thousands? If it is not made by the artist personally, but by his employees? Why is it that a Keith Haring T-shirt is worthy of display in the Tate, and a Topshop Tshirt is not? These are the questions that Warhol&Co. want us to think about. Must art be elitist? Pop Life: Art in a Modern World Tate Modern Until 17 January 2010 Admission £12,50; concession £10 Beldam Gallery Until October 28th Breathe, by Jayne Wilton An exhibition in which is attempted to capture the breath, by using drawings, photographs, computer animation and more. The Beldam Gallery is situated in the Wilfred Brown building. Open Mon-Fri 10.00-5.00. Free Entry
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To My Fellow Athletes Last year was one of the most successful sporting years in recent times. The first major news is that we have broken into the top 20 for University sport (BUCS). Brunel Finished 18 this year, 69 points behind Warwick and 27.5 point ahead of Northumbria. This makes us the top university for sport in London, and also the top university for sport in the South East.You can find the full table at www.bucs.org.uk Breaking down the results reveals that we had a very strong individual and knockout championship, coming 12th in the country. So it is in the leagues that we lost out slightly. This year the Student Activities department is aiming to hold our position as a firm top 20 university but we also aim to break into the top 15 in the coming years. For a university that had a ‘sports’ campus at borough road, which was lost when the campuses merged, it has been a steady incline back into the top 20, with Brunel improving its performance every year. On another but no lesser note, our club of the year Netball was shortlisted as BUCS Club of the year. Page 15
er his e final aft reached th t of the year’ ‘sho ic, cursed stunning k Djokov a v o N st again after the ir umpire a h c e th at onent, allow opp to n io is c e d o, to in del Potr lengthy Juan Mart ra a call afte challenge nt on to e l Potro w delay. De nding his e r, Federe n at the dethrone eaten reig b n u r a e c five-set five-y a dramati in n e p O US first in a l Potro’s final – de m. Grand Sla Dan Ross
There was a huge number of applicants and to be on the shortlist of about 6 is a huge achievement. BUCS committee commented on the fantastic work the netball club has done in the community. At the event the Netball club came a very close 2nd behind Portsmouth boxing club. We hope that we can go one better next time This year also saw the re introduction of the varsity between Brunel and St Mary’s, with Brunel coming out on top. So congratulations to everyone who took part and thank you to everyone who supported Brunel. We hope to retain the trophy this year, and encourage everyone to come down and support Brunel against our rivals. So to another season full of potential. There will be heartbreak and celebration, successes and commiserations, but at the end of it all I hope to write an end of season review with reports of great success for Brunel University Joel ‘Greenwood’ Brasher-Jones V.P. Student Activities
Home fixtures! St Marys matches noted in yellow!
24th October Mens Bad. 2nds v Medway 1st Mens Football 2nds v Essex 2nds Mens Football 4+5s v St Marys 4+6s Womens Hockey 1st v London Met 1st Womens Hockey 2nd v St Marys 1st Netball 1st v Bristol 1st Mens Rugby 1st v Holloway
28th October Mens Bad. 1st v Bristol 1 Mens Basketball 1st v Middlesex 1 Mens Football 1st v St Marys 1st Womens Football 1st v Portsmouth 1st Womens Hockey 1st v Brighton 1st Rugby Leagure v Northants 2nd Mens Tennis 1st v LSE 1st
4th November Mens Basketball 1st v London Met 1st Womens Basketball 1st v St Marys 1st Mens Football 3rd v St Marys 2nd Womens Football 2nd v Surrey 1st Mens Hockey 1st v Imperial 1st Netball 1st v UWE 1st Mens Rugby 1st v Portsmouth 2nd Mens Tennis 1st v Imperial 1st
I love Horsies! Brunel Equestrian Club by Emily Booth On Wednesday the 30th of September the Brunel Equestrian Club had its trials for teams. This is a very special year for us as a club, as healthy numbers have resulted in the return of our ‘C’ team, along with the repeated interest and support from our members last year, whom I would like to thank for their patience and wish them luck in their new teams! Due to the volume of interest our Captain, Kayla Garland, decided to split the trials for the first time, into fresher and returner trials. While Fresher’s Flu brought some cancellations, there was not a lack of talent in either group, although true to tradition a fresher fell off at trials - we will not name and shame but she was unharmed! Our trainers Ben and Alex then had the job to name the teams which came out as this: A team: Captain: Chloe Lawrence Eimear Sheehan Charlotte Pharez Kayla Garland B Team: Captain: Laura Smith Amanda Pickering Callum Henn Emily Booth C Team: Captain: Jemma Moore Amy Conway Kirsty Hogben Carol Tennant Demi Trenholm Reserve: Natalie Dyas The captains were chosen by me (the Chair), the Club Captain and the Vice Captain. Their selection was based on their outstanding commitment to the club and the knowledge that we can rely on them to represent Brunel Equestrian Club to BUCS and our competitors - so well done and thank you to: Miss January, Miss February and Miss June. The teams this year are being supported by Waitrose Northwood so also a massive thank you to them.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to urge you to buy a calendar from the Equestrian Club to help both us and the RDA. The calendars have had fantastic feedback and if you don’t have one you are missing out! So get your bums out of your halls and ask around - we will have people selling them all week until they are gone, and there isn’t many left! (If you want to try horse riding email Amanda Pickering on firstname.lastname@example.org) Snow Club - BSC Nina Kislova “What’s that – a snow club you say…. A snow club? In London? What a ridiculous thing! Where do you have snow in London? And what does a snow club do anyway?” What indeed… Well we have such a cracking line-up for this year that I’m sure you’ll wanna get stuck in, as so many of our members already have - starting with our wild and buzzing socials! Yes, you may have seen some seventy people dressed in ski gear take over locos, then the hub, followed by a messy stumble through several pubs in Uxbridge.You may have seen people dropping to the ground after the cry of ’Avalanche!’, doing sets of press-ups on pedestrian crossings and religiously obeying the International Drinking Rules (IDR’s). Look a stone’s throw away from the booze and you’ll find our weekly trips to the brand new Hemel Indoor Snow Centre, where skiers and boarders alike can roam on a real-snow man-made mountain! Forty of you already jumped in for the experience in Fresher’s week, and I’m sure all you beginners, amateurs and park rats are itching to get on the white stuff! Never skied or boarded before? Or want to learn a new discipline? Jump on board for our weekly lessons held on Thursday night at the Snow Centre. We’ve got some bargain prices, transport is provided and we guarantee to get you from an ‘all the gear but no idea’ to a confident snow monkey; good enough to ski or board by yourself. Page 16
But our annual trip is the highlight of the year! And with people booking already, you don’t want to miss out! Last year’s unmissable trip saw some 120 students enjoy a fun-filled week of snow, socials and some top notch skiing and boarding. This January, we are off for a weeklong party in Val Thorens in the French Alps. An 18-hour rave coach from Kingston Lane is followed by a week of guaranteed snow, brilliant night life, fancy dress socials (as well as on the slopes), BBQ in the snow, ski-in, ski-out accommodation, drinks promotions, the filming of the infamous trip video and much more! And with a base price of only £399, it is going to be the cheapest snow trip you’ve ever been on! All members are invited, regardless of standard, discipline and the colour of your pants! Book now at www.brunelsnow.com, and don’t forget to check out our brand new swish website! Fancy some competition? With annual British Universities Snowsports Championships held in November and March, there will be some racing and freestyle events that you can get training for! Events include Boarder and Skier Individual Slalom, Giant Slalom, Team Dual Slalom, Slopestyle and Border-cross. So if you see yourself as a bit of a competitor then come and give it a go – training is provided for complete beginners and other standards. Has reading this got you adrenaline-filled and gagging for more? The membership fee is £15 for the WHOLE year, which will win you some subsidised socials and discounted drinks, snow related stash, discounts at local snow gear suppliers, access to massively reduced recreational sessions and much more. So come and join us for some snowy goodness!!! Big love, BSC ‘Crash-gate’ rocks F1 Ben Vallely Renault. What image does this name conjure up? Is it ‘Car Manufacturer?’ ‘Racing Team’? Or ‘Cheat’? It’s an interesting question. Is the whole Renault team just a bunch of cheats? Or have the correct people been punished for the crime now infamously known as “Crashgate”? Just to catch you all up, in order to give Fernando Alonso the
best chance of winning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix from way back in 15th place on the starting grid, Nelson Piquet Jnr. was told to crash on purpose should the need arise following Alonso’s first pit stop. This would allow the Spaniard to leapfrog heavier cars and stand a much better chance of winning. The command was apparently given with a threat that, should he refuse to comply, he would be out of a job sooner than you could say F1. Following Alonso’s pit stop on lap 14, Piquet duly crashed, bringing out the safety car and Alonso grabbed a podium finish. In the aftermath, Nelson covered it up as simple driver error, and everybody dropped the subject. That is, until Nelson eventually got fired mid-way through the 2009 season. He then decided that whistleblowing was the way forward, and shopped the team specifically Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds - to the FiA, who govern the rules of most international motorsport. The rest, as they say, is history. Briatore has been banned indefinitely, a move which may have repercussions for his directorship at Queens’ Park Rangers Football Club, owing to the Football League’s “Fit and Proper Persons” test, the strict standards of which must be met by all club owners. Symonds has been banned for the period of five years, effectively bringing about his early retirement, especially considering it wouldn’t be a good look when he comes to apply for a job in five years… The fact that Alonso is now a Ferrari driver at the expense of Kimi Raikkonen - an announcement apparently brought forward a year because “over the last few days the picture changed” - is no surprise to anyone in F1. But that quote, taken from a BBC Sport article following the official press release of the move, struck me as strange. The only certainties in these last few uncertain weeks of the 2009 World Championship, is that two cheats are gone (almost) for good, Alonso is now a Ferrari driver when the grid hits Bahrain in March 2010, and Jenson Button will have a number on his car next season, which at the time of going to press is either a 1, 2, 3 or 4… but I, like most of the country, hope it’s the first of these!
Once a cheater… Charlotte Hodges As the saying goes: 'once a cheater, always a cheater' and no I'm not referring to the number one relationship no-no. Although I have always found parallels between cheating in football and cheating on a partner - there has always been a punishment to match the dirty deed... until now. It seems you can get away with cheating in football. Of course I am referring to the recent controversial two-match ban handed to Arsenal’s Eduardo after his blatant dive in the second leg of their important Champions League qualifier against Celtic. Many thought it a harsh ban, including Mr Wenger himself, who released a public war cry against any referee who dared consider booking his players for any form of simulation they committed. He even accused UEFA of conducting a 'witch-hunt' on his team. Numerous people of high stature in the football world also made their opinions known, and many disagreed with Wenger, finding the ban adequate. There are a variety of campaigns currently trying to stamp out the art of diving, an issue that seems to have come to a head of late, and certain rules which state that bans can and should be handed out to players attempting to deceive any official by 'tricking' them into gaining an unfair advantage. And trick Eduardo did. Intelligently, according to some, at a pivotal point in the game, which not only saw Celtic go 2-0 down, it left them with very little hope of recovery. Now I'm not saying this is the fault of Eduardo or Arsenal - of course they both know that diving is not allowed in the beautiful game - but UEFA led us to believe that this illegal act was, at long last, to be stamped out of the sport, with teams made fully aware of the consequences such actions would bring.Yet an international star had the audacity to use a tactical dive to win a game, and a major Premier League club has, essentially, condoned this disgraceful act.
Everyone tends to remember players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Eduardo for their ‘simulation’ and ignorance of – or disregard for – the rules, and overlook their obvious talent. Diving gives a bad name for not only players, but their clubs and the sport itself. The ban imposed on Eduardo was finally proof that football was taking a step forward with clamping down on the move that infuriates so many supporters. Of course every person on trial is allowed to defend themselves. But the fact that the video evidence blatantly indicated simulation was surely proof that Eduardo was not going to get away with such an obvious crime… Once again, I was proved wrong. Eduardo's two-match suspension was annulled, as apparently the UEFA panel felt differently to the millions of unimpressed viewers, and failed to be convinced that Eduardo actually deceived the referee. And so, as I pointed out, it seems you can get away with cheating nowadays. (Though, again, I am only referring to football please don’t go and cheat on your partners!) The whole disciplinary system is undermined when such penalties are taken away, and the fact that there was such obvious evidence makes the whole debacle a lot worse. I suggest that UEFA change their rule book and make it clear to everyone in the footballing world that silly mistakes like this will never happen again. One thing is for sure, Chelsea fans around the world all hope that FIFA are just as understanding as UEFA when it comes down to the Gael Kakuta transfer ban. If Eduardo can escape with such obvious evidence, surely Chelsea can too…