TheCheeseGrater The Other Student Magazine of University College London Union
No. 14 November 2007
THIS MONTH Down Your Union
A Tarnished Reputation p.2
Operation Satire Storm Humour for the masses! p.3
UCL - Still a Global Arms Trade University
We’re still making a killing p.4
Top tips for staying safe at uni
Say no to strangers, LOL p.5
The Whorehouse of Gower Street?
Mr Chatterbox returns... p.6
Has the love of your life been watching from afar? p.8
Anne Frank’s Diary
The missing extracts Papa didn’t want you to see p.8
Smotherance Review Lies, lies and damned deceit!
FOR A CHANGE in governance which the Sabbatical Officers have proclaimed as being a ‘legal requirement’, the impending Governance Review is being handled with all the tact of a white supremist in a mosque. Grandly, under its ‘Time 4 (sic) Change’ section, the UCLU website exclaims “it is only right we demonstrate how we act [and] why we act.” This is more telling than the Executive and some Union staff might have hoped – so far any debate on the Governance Review has been obscured by a ‘demonstration’ of childish behaviour, ignorance and downright lies. The problems with the Governance Review stem right back to when it was originally proposed by the infamous Lucy Gould (ex Finance & Administration Officer) in March 2006. Longstanding readers may recall that Gould utterly refused to back the lecturers union during last years strikes DESPITE unanimous support from all other UK student unions AND a UCLU motion mandating her to do so. Since Gould couldn’t tell democracy from her elbow, she was hardly best placed to give advice on how to encourage it. It should come as no surprise that in her view UCLU needed to change to re-
spond to “market competition”. She conveniently forgot that, as with any student union, UCLU’s main, nay, ONLY true purpose is to represent the interests of UCL’s student body, a ‘market’ of which it has a 100% share [see CG 9 for further info]. But ignorance surrounding the Governance Review, its
purpose and why we’re even going through with it hasn’t been limited to Gould; it’s been passed down to the present Sabbatical Officers. At the reconvened Welcome General Meeting at the start of October, Steve Whittle, [continued overleaf]
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Down Your Union A Tarnished Reputation - the Sabb that tells the truth... even when he tells lies. Hannah Hudson IN RESIGNING FROM his position as Finance and Administrator ‘Officer, not only has Dominic Tarn deprived The Cheese Grater of the barrel in which to shoot fish, but he’s left UCL Union in the lurch, again.
Shove off What is it about the F&A Sabbatical position which attracts incompetent fuckwits? This is, after all, the same position that was abandoned last year by Mark “Fascist” Littler. It seems that neither man was quite, er, man enough for the job, both having resigned within a few months of becoming Sabbs. According to one of last year’s Sabb officers, Zoë Davies, Littler jumped before he was pushed (preferably bound and gagged). With a cackle, Davies told the current Sabb officers that as far as Littler was concerned, “we got rid of him.”
Dull crayon However, even Dominic wasn’t as unpopular as that. So what were his reasons for ducking out of his job? In a badly-worded and grammatically incorrect letter to the General Manager, Tarn announced that he was “not keen on rules and regulations”, and that he “disliked committees”.
Not the brightest of crayons, Tarn also told The Cheese Grater “My job isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.” Presumably he had expected more glitzy soirees, or perhaps just another opportunity to use his position to flash UCLU’s cash [see CG 12 for the Film and TV Society debacle - Ed]. Tarn also whined, “I just want to get things done, but I have to keep going to all these committees.” What a pity that democracy still exists, eh Dom?
The world is yours... Lest we forget, this is the same Dominic Tarn whose successful campaign posters were based on the film Scarface. Tarn was portrayed as the film’s antihero Tony Montana. He’d obviously read the script thoroughly, as the equally charming ragamuffin Montana says: “You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers and say “That’s the bad guy.” So perhaps UCL Union is better off without the Tarninator. There were grumblings amongst the UCLU Executive when Dominic decided he wanted to take a two week holiday near the start of term. His girlfriend’s sister was coming to London for the first time, and would need someone to show her round the big, bad city. Tarn bravely volun
AS teered, conveniently forgetting the thousands of Freshers – also coming to London for the first time – who might appreciate a Sabbatical officer looking out for them. Not to mention the autumn term Union elections which are organised and presided over by… the F&A Officer!
Brown nosing There’s one person in particular who will doubtless be weeping into his latte. Tarn was a great fan of the Chief Executive – sorry, General Manager (see the Governance Review article, this issue) – of UCLU. During a private email exchange with Samantha Godwin, General Secretary of the Union, Tarn decided to make the whole thing public and copied in the entire Executive and several members of staff. Stopping short of throwing the General Manager a seig heil, Tarn espoused sickening levels of brown nosing for the staff member, announcing that from what he had seen so far, “had nothing but confidence in [the GM’s] ability”. All this after only six days in office. UCL Union may be up the creek without a paddle but at least Tarn is likely to get his Hollywood ending. A source tells us he is planning on emigrating to Canada with his girlfriend. It’s just a pity that this story ends with the hero riding into the sunset, rather than having his body riddled with bullets, before being thrown to the sharks. Or as Montana would say, “Say good night to the bad guy! This is the last time you’re going see a bad guy like this again.”
[continued from front page] Clubs Societies and Student Development Officer, stood up and told those assembled that the Governance Review was required under the Charities Act 2006. Whittle was of course, completely wrong and a more astute member of the Union Executive quickly told him so. His reply? “Whatever.” How telling. Actually the Charities Act only requires charities, such as student unions to register themselves officially. But as an exempt charity, UCLU doesn’t even have to do this – it needs only to define its trustees in its constitution. Put simply, this means there is no legal reason why UCLU should have a Governance Review, something which is hardly made clear on the UCLU website.
Ignorance breeds In fairness to Steve Whittle, he isn’t the only Sabbatical Officer to suffer from an affliction of ignorance; last year’s Sabbs also believed a Governance Review was required by law and even went as far as telling everyone so in Pi Squared. This begs the question – why has such a huge oversight been allowed to fester? After all, UCLU has been taking legal advice from charity lawyers, Bates Wells & Braithwaite (BWB) who aside from rolling in all the cash they’re earning off the back of SU governance reviews have at least clocked up some experience. The evidence points to a principle staff member working with the Sabbatical Officers that we can’t mention due to Staff Student Protocol (that hideous policy that stops US from commenting on the people WE employ to run OUR union). Bob’s your uncle eh? So wait a minute, if the Governance Review isn’t required by law, is being handled so badly by the Executive and has all the popularity of a venereal disease – why the hell are we even bothering with it? The answer seems again to lie, at least partly, with several members of UCLU staff. One of these is a freelance consultant who was hired to “push the Governance Review through” as Dominic Tarn (Finance & Administration Officer) perhaps accidentally told The Cheese Grater. Furthermore, one senior member of Union staff (who yet again can’t be
named…) has supposedly been getting a little too involved with the Governance Review.
Nobbled It would be pretty unreasonable to expect staff members to keep quiet over something like the Governance Review - it would after all affect their working environment. However, staff members of the Union are only allowed to give advice on policy – they cannot set it. The fact that a particular staff member threw a wobbly when the Students for Democracy at UCL Union (SDUCL) ‘Hands off Our Union’ motion was presented at Governance Committee suggests at least one Union employee has more to gain from the Governance Review than he would like to admit. As a tired hack put it; “[Governance reviews in general] allow AMSU (Association of Managers in Student Unions) managers to
sit back in their chairs and think ‘We’ve nobbled them.’”
Laughing stock Although the Executive of UCLU are starting to wake up to the truth, the bad smell surrounding the Governance Review hasn’t gone away. The proposals put together over summer have already caused a backlash and the last few weeks have seen a spate of amendments put forward in order to grasp back some form of credibility. What the Executive at UCLU have failed to notice is that the very public disagreement surrounding the whole affair is making it look a complete joke – amongst UCL students and the wider student community. By following the trail they’ve been guided down since the beginning, the UCLU Executive is helping to implement a change in governance that will ultimately see represen-
November 2007 TheCheeseGrater 3 tation of student opinions mar- dents are mature enough to run ginalised. As an executive officer their union eh? at LSE lamented “there are a lot Dental treatment of good people that have bought into this.” When Lucy Gould kicked And bought they have. this farce off she had visions The debate over the Govern- of following in the footsteps of ance Review has been far from a King’s College SU. But with regentlemanly one. In response to forms that can only be described the growing presence of SDUCL, as shit [see CG Issue 9] King’s a group set up to oppose some is hardly an excellent model for of the more alarming changes student governance. The quesin governance [see CG 13] Sean tion is – why do we need to tear Clothier (Media & Communica- up our constitution, at great cost tions Officer) decided to set up and debate, when all that is needan opposing facebook group… ed is to bring the current one up with exactly the same name! Not to date? LSE did exactly this content with just one dirty trick, and is arguably the most active when a debate started up online, SU in the UK. LSE joined the Jules Mazowiecki (Medical Stu- London Living Wage Campaign, dents & Sites Officer) decided to something that at UCLU would delete the posts he didn’t agree be considered beyond the pale. with. As if this wasn’t enough, a LSE remains an SU with teeth, if motion to UCL Council by SDU- UCLU’s staff and Executive get CL group was ‘forgotten’ about their own way, our union will be by the utterly useless Dominic bound, gagged and in desperate Tarn. So much for proving stu- need of dentures. MR
Operation Satire Storm Comedy stars campaign to ensure in-jokes and esoteric humour enjoyed by all Derrick & C-Live THE SELF APPOINTED arbiters of cultural stimuli across the land have united in a campaign to bring satire to the masses. Determined that the highest form of wit will no longer be the preserve of a white Oxbridge educated elite or the paranoid Jews of New York, these celebrities are out on a mission. Speaking from her cot, Apple Martin – daughter of liberal wank-stain Chris Martin - said that many minorities have missed out on the chance to become neurotic self-deprecating, burnt-out husks of human beings. ‘I mean it’s like some of these people actually think Adam Sandler provides some sort of cultural commentary in the post 9/11 zeitgeist.’ Meanwhile a concerned Bobby Davro added ‘I grew up in the seventies when fuck all happened; by launching our campaign today we hope that future generations will be able to quip and make knowing witticisms worthy of a comment page in the Guardian.’ A series of events will ac
And now for something completely different? company this spasm of philanthropic snobbery. Armando Iannucci has agreed to read transcripts of Beyond The Fringe to underprivileged teens in Middlesbrough, while Chris Morris will be giving extended lectures in the use of double entendre to the inmates of HM Prison Holloway. Hazel Blears, Minister for Something or Other, has welcomed this move as a progressive step in the furtherance of British interests; ‘We all know that foreigners are weird, but it’s only
through the groundbreaking use of ‘ironic’ racism by the likes of Al Murray and Claude McNab that we are allowed to laugh for long periods of time into their stupid slitty-eyed faces’. Free milk will be replaced at all primary schools in England by issues of humorous magazines Viz and Private Eye, in an effort to make sure that levels of well informed smugness are maintained. Furthermore, do-gooders such as Frank Bruno are pushing for the national curriculum to be revised. ‘Useless’
and ‘old-fashioned’ subjects such as mathematics and English literature are to be jettisoned in favour of irony, self-depreciation, topical humour, in-jokes and endless self-referencing. Those who lack the ability to make wry asides about the current political climate will be shown Henry Kissinger’s award speech for the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize on repeat until they start vomiting witticisms worthy of The Cheese Grater. Finally, in a blitzkrieg of intellectual bombardment, copies of Peep Show series 1 to 3 will be parachuted into depressed London neighbourhoods such as Limehouse and Bow. Tessa Jowell, Minister for that Very Important and Expensive Sports Event that is Happening in the Future and Taking Away All the Money From The Arts, concluded that this campaign could help avoid the serious recession in comedy that took place during the late nineties; an era when My Family was commissioned for 7 series and shockingly won several BAFTAS. [You’re fired - Ed]
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UCL - Still a Global Arms Trade University As College meddles with Union in order to prevent publicity of the progress of the Disarm UCL campaign and a proposed working group on ethical investment remains inactive, UCL is no closer to shirking arms companies writes Alex Ashman AS THE MAN WHO argued for “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”, Jeremy Bentham would be spinning in his display case if he knew that UCL, the institution so keen to associate itself with his name, still holds a staggering investment in Cobham PLC, a company that manufactures parts for Hellfire missiles. Cobham makes a comfortable living of around £50 million through the sale of military equipment and services, which like the Hellfire missile are regularly deployed in conflicts around the globe and in many cases, have caused the deaths of innocents. After protests and pressures from students, alumni and academics alike, indications were made last July that steps would be taken to rid UCL of its arms shares. Unsurprisingly, so far very little action has been taken. Worse still, it seems that Nick Barnard, last year’s Media and Communications Officer at UCLU, bastardised a motion on ethical investment ratified by the Union in order to help the Provost keep the matter under
Nick Barnard, ex-M&C Sabb wraps. The problem, as Malcolm ‘Slasher’ Grant sees it, is not that UCL has thrown its morals out of the window, but that the ‘Disarm UCL’ student campaign for arms divestment grossly misrepresented the truth. While it described UCL as the biggest university investor in arms, Grant claims that UCL’s investments pale in comparison to those of most Oxbridge colleges... so that’s OK then.
However, Grant’s anxiety over the matter has obviously filtered through to the Sabbs as Barnard quickly proposed an amendment to the motion. Originally, the motion mandated the
Union to lobby UCL to drop its arm shares while the Sabbs inform the the student population about the Disarm UCL campaign via a specific email to all students. However Barnard’s amendment means that the email bemoaning arms investment by UCL cannot be sent without express permission from... UCL. Naturally Grant was quick to deny Sabbs the chance, thus playing the hand that Barnard had dealt him. Despite having gone over to the Grant side, Barnard conveniently cannot be held responsible as he failed to tell anyone until after his last Union meeting. The only way that Barnard can be touched is for the Union to revoke his Honorary Life Membership, which although apt would be highly unlikely considering that HLMs are handed out like lollipops in the first place. Ironically, the sabbs’ confusion as to their responsibilities regarding the Ethical Investment Motion is documented in the same minutes as the HLMs they received for their “exceptional” contributions to the Union. So if a sabbatical officer and a representative of the student body failed to help Disarm UCL inform students at large, what hope is there that UCL will stop making a killing from arms investments? Disarm UCL met with the Provost last May in an
attempt to convince him that investment in Cobham is unacceptable and unnecessary, but were quickly faced with defiance. Grant continually insinu -ated that the big colleges of
A Hellfire ‘Fire and Forget’ Missile Oxford and Cambridge, such as Trinity College, have arms investments much worse than UCL’s. His basis was that much of Oxbridge hadn’t responded to Freedom of Information requests (referred to by Grant as a “damn nuisance”) made by the Campaign against the Arms Trade last year. For some reason, Grant is still oblivious to the fact that UCL students won’t give a flying fuck about other universities until theirs has washed the blood off its hands. After all, the investment in Cobham supports a shortfall in student funding of £40,000 each year.
Ally of convenience Furthermore, Grant acknowledged that UCL’s only ethical investment policy, banning tobacco investment, exists because research charities would be “less than enthusiastic” to fund a university with investments in tobacco stock. Readers may recall that Grant previously fobbed off staff with the line that the Ethical Investment Research Service had said that arms investment was perfectly acceptable, when in fact it was more a matter of UCL not caring how they invested providing they didn’t lose their funding from Cancer Research UK. In particular, UCL’s research links with Cobham make the arms company a
true ally of convenience. Grant is also keen to maintain that it is an investment trustee’s overriding duty to provide the best returns for the institution. This isn’t true – if an investment might conflict with UCL’s aims or alienate its supporters (e.g. wealthy alumni) or beneficiaries (e.g. students), then there is no obligation to make the investment. The only way UCL can avoid this irksome loophole is to claim a risk of “significant financial detriment”, but since the Cobham shares only make up 1% of UCL’s total and have recently shown a degree of instability, this doesn’t seem too likely.
Surprise, surprise However, the loophole may still rear its ugly head as the result of an enquiry into divestment – if, that is, the enquiry ever takes place. Last June, after pressure from Disarm UCL, UCL Council decided to set up a working group, led by Lord Joel Joffe to “consider the specific issue of investment in arms manufacturers and […] an ethical investments policy for UCL.” Four months later, it has become clear that Lord Joffe, a human rights lawyer who represented Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial and is now a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, will not be able to head the group. What a surprise. The plan to form a working group will now be started again from scratch, most likely with a UCL alumnus at the head. Meanwhile, a communiqué sent to Disarm UCL by Barnard back in June reveals that the Provost is actually keen to avoid any action that would “inflame” the situation, a fact that is evident both from his meddling with the Union and his view that “we wouldn’t have had any of this nonsense if we’d acted like Trinity College Cambridge.” In reality, his attempts to cover up what should be a cut and dried situation only serve to make Grant look gauche and, above all, guilty.
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Uni ‘Fun’ Ruins Careers
Spot the Difference
Top employers say enjoying clubs and societies will jeopardise your future career prospects Ka Bradley HAVING A GOOD TIME at university could ruin the career prospects of students, a new NUS report has revealed. By partaking in and enjoying extra curricular activities, many students risk deterring potential employers.
Grimace The NUS report suggests that most employers recognise clubs and societies are a serious and unenjoyable business but a part of student life vital for the creation of a really first-rate CV. Unfortunately, students are actually having ‘fun’ while playing for the university rugby team or writing for the student newspaper, and indeed, many claim to
have ‘enjoyed’ themselves. So rife is the problem that the NUS has concluded that “...in interviews, extracurricular activities should be discussed with the strained grimace of an unpleasant job well done.”
Facial Tic Terrence Weinstein from Deloitte says, “When I ask a candidate why they joined the Kendo Society, they shouldn’t admit they quite liked the idea of hitting people really hard with sticks. Instead they should spew something attractively glib like sano mens in sano corpus and leave it at that. Even worse are these bleeding heart types who have volunteered to teach blind children Advanced Sanskrit, or conserve a rare medical afflic-
tion because they ‘feel strongly’ about it. Employers are nervous about giving jobs to people who volunteer because they actually care; in the business world a social conscience is regarded as a sort of embarrassing disability, somewhere between a facial tic and incontinence.”
Bullets When asked how extracurricular activities should be presented on an ideal CV, Weinstein replied “Bullet points are very promotion-friendly and having alliterative society names shows that some thought has gone into the presentation. It’s best to be as brief as possible, or you might betray a trace of personality. We’re not interested in you as real people, after all.”
The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us, between Germans and Jews. * Israel is a terrorist rogue settler state
*Unless you’re a moron or the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, it should pretty clear who said what.
Top Tips for Staying Safe at Uni F
rom your mates at the Home Office!
Like, listen. We know that safety isn’t your primary concern when starting university – that’s understandable! You’re far more likely to be wondering about great deals on baked beans or the latest Compact Disc from the Arctic Monkeys! However, if you don’t even think about staying safe, then frankly you’re a complete waste of space who deserves to be knifed in a back alley in Tower Hamlets. So read on and we’ll show how to put the ‘fun’ back into ‘fundamentally eradicating the causes of crime’.
Unswerving vigilance rules!
When on a night out maintain constant, unswerving vigilance at all times. Don’t do reckless things like blink while drinking. That splitsecond lapse in concentration could be all that’s needed for some idiot, thinking it’s a laugh, to spike your drink. Also, never accept drinks from strangers – this extends to bar staﬀ and shopkeepers as well. You’re just asking to be raped! In fact it’s best not to drink at all just to be safe. Remember, if a mate starts acting a bit funny in a pub or club or does something perhaps a teensy bit out of character, then they’ve been drugged. You must immediately put to a stop to the celebrations and send everyone home. Make sure you report every single partygoer to the police the following morning. Don’t get involved in ﬁghts or confrontations – what’s the point? Who needs the hassle? Just relax, chill out, smoke some weed! Actually though, seriously, don’t, ever, under any circumstances, because if you’re caught it can mean anything from a £5000 ﬁne to 5-7 years imprisonment. A conviction for drugs can also mean exclusion from certain countries, such as Kyrgyzstan and East Timor. So bang go holidays there as well! Still, even with all this awesome safety advice on board, chances are it will all go Pete Tong at some stage. Try and enjoy yourselves, but don’t forget, the creeping spectre of death stalks you at every single turn. No matter what you do or where you go, you have a 75% chance of being kidnapped, murdered, or ferociously sodomised at any given time. Our advice is to try to avoid leaving your room; but if you really feel like taking the risk, like, carry a rape alarm!
Contributors: AS, Alex Ashman, Derrick & C-Live, Devin Toohey, Hannah Hudson, Phillipa Owen, Claude McNab, Sam Steddy, Rob Hakimian, Richard Soames, Ka Bradley, Mr Chatterbox, Will Beaufoy, Christina Ravinet, Jenni Hulse, Josh Worth, Kat Lay, Ryan Daily. Special thanks to Kat Lay and Rene Lavanchy for their help with the Smotherance Review article
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The Whorehouse of Gower Street?
Professor Grant’s plans for UCL have left him standing alone. Will the latest Green Paper be the final nail in the coffin for UCL Plc? Mister Chatterbox reports AS PERSEPHONE begins her slow descent to Hades signalling both Winter and the new academic year, Mr Chatterbox stokes his fireplace and settles down in his comfiest armchair to reflect upon his battles against one of Beelzebub’s more cretinous imps over the past twelve months. Much time has passed since we last reported upon the asinine blunderings of our nefarious Provost, the much loved Professor Malcolm Grant: Chief Executive and Führer of UCL Plc. And he has been a busy boy. It went by almost unnoticed. Not even the razor-sharp wits at Pi Squared spotted it. It did not, however, pass under the radar of Mister Chatterbox, whose eagle eye honed in like a shark on a menstruating bather.
“One is reminded of the Roman general who leads his troops to battle despite the inauspicious omens.” The ‘it’, of course, is last year’s Green Paper; the Provost’s Grand Plan to ‘modernize management practices’, published in February 2007. Had it not been for the perennial recataloguing of my snuff-box collection (as well as the reporting of Professor Grant’s maleficent plans to destroy the widely respected University of London and his machinations to impose yet higher fees on unwitting students) I would have lambasted it sooner. Be that as it may, during the silly season, while Pi Squared editors were learning to spell and academic staff were venting their unbridled fury to me, I cast aside my copy of Le Fanu’s Carmilla and picked up what turned out to be a far more macabre and gut-wrenching read. This was not unexpected; familiar with the chicanery, skullduggery and
ademic staff, the SMT appoints Deans of Faculty and there is growing fear that the installation of department heads will soon go the same way. While this may seem a minor issue, academics argue that UCL is not the same as a major business, although many suspect that Professor Grant would like it to be so. Individual departments’ administrative budgets are being slashed – my mistake again: ‘streamlined’ while huge increases are taking place in the central management, HR and the Development and Communications Office. sophistry of UCL Plc, this was a task I approached with much the same enthusiasm Chris Langham shows for shower-time. But like all the best spinetinglers, the real terror lies not in what is said but by what is left unsaid. Dare ye read between the lines? On the surface this strategy document has all the threat of a lesbian in a beauty competition. Yet in reality it proposes a radical shift for UCL away from the higher education sector, moderated by government for the general good, towards the college becoming a ‘Global Centre of Excellence’ - whatever that may mean. Perhaps like that other PR slogan, the ridiculous ‘London’s Global University’, it is destined for the Provost’s marketing dustbin. But the point holds: what the Provost wants is to decrease the amount of monies taken from central government even more and compensate by increasing those taken from students and the private sector. For many academics the foolishness of this seems self-evident. They assert that they have expressed their concerns to Professor Grant but according to senior sources within the college ‘consultation’ for the Provost means discussion over generalities before doing exactly what was proposed anyway, the
upshot being the imposition of diktats onto a reluctant and dispirited academic body. One is reminded of the Roman general who leads his troops to battle despite the inauspicious omens. Academics report that behind the comforting words and vague exhortations to ‘modernization’ (another favourite buzzword), there is serious danger of the Provost selling the college’s soul, having perhaps realised from personal experience that it is a profitable market. “The danger is that the Godless Institute of Gower Street becomes the whorehouse of Gower Street,” said one wry academic wag. Moreover, in following this course, he has gone against the wishes of the majority of his colleagues, and is now left isolated but for his Praetorian Guard. It should be noted that in the course of his research Mister Chatterbox could not find one single independent source to defend the Provost’s general directions. This is UCL Plc at its most anemic. The Green Paper continues a process of centralising – sorry, ‘streamlining’ management processes away from individual departments towards the sinister and pernicious body known as the Senior Management Team. Instead of holding a ballot for ac-
“Let me say that if Malcolm Grant ever did care about student welfare, the priorities he has pursued as Provost have made him lose sight of it.” I asked many academics whether the Provost’s Green Paper had students as its priority. Many of the replies could not be published in a family magazine. However, one replied diplomatically, “Let me say that if he ever did care about student welfare, the priorities he has pursued as Provost have made him lose sight of it.” No serious academic questions the need for financial stability or the need for the college to work within a given budget. What they question is that financial ‘necessities’ are given higher priority than the academic needs of both students and staff. Even more remarkable is the fact that the Provost does not have an academic strategy. The financial tail appears to be wagging the academic dog. Such perverse shortsightedness and intellectual timidity is risking our education. UCL Plc still offers academic excellence for all, as long as the ‘all’ can stump up enough cash; any
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Tom, Dick or Heinrich is welcome at UCL if they pay higher fees. No-one denies the value of overseas students and the vital role they play in the life of UCL, but one can question a strategy that educates overseas students at the expense of equally gifted British students, simply because the college can charge more. Universities have to play a role in the national educational life or they are nothing. Professor Grant’s are salami tactics. Slice by slice, bit by bit, strategy by strategy, diktat by diktat Malcolm Grant aims to undermine all that is good about University College - a liberal,
progressive history and ethos that was an example to the higher educational world is being slowly eroded and replaced with a dreary, drab commercialism in the name of marketisation, commercialism and modernisation that stifles academic freedom and subverts integrity to financial imperatives. This of course, is the greatest tragedy. There was another mustachioed leader who was very fond of Grand Strategies and dangerous rhetoric. He died in a bunker on his honeymoon. While I would not, of course, wish that upon Professor Grant, I hope that Mrs. Grant has alternative holiday plans this year.
Students ‘Darfur-ious’ at UN UN faces backlash from self righteous students following intervention in Sudan Devin Toohey FOLLOWING THE decision in late July to deploy troops into the Darfur region of Sudan, the United Nations is facing a tremendous backlash from selfrighteous university students around the UK. “What the hell do they think they’re doing?” says Anne Fricker, a second-year UCL student. “How am I supposed to protest and shout “Save Darfur!” if the UN is already working at it? And what about my ‘Stop Genocide in Sudan’ shirt? Last year, by wearing this shirt two, maybe three times a week, I was single-handedly saving the lives of seventeen Darfur infants every month! Now, it’s just ugly and obnoxious.”
“How will I get laid now? Thanks for ruining my social life UN!” Some students face even more pressing problems, such as King’s College third-year Michael Yarsky; “How will I get laid now? I had it SO easy the past few years. I would see this hot little indie ‘Human Rights’
Can you recreate his hackneyed look? AS
Gordon Square Will Beaufoy
Self righteous students protest
number and all I had to do was mention the poor people of Darfur and, before you knew it, I was sending a one-man peacekeeping operation into her pants! Thanks for ruining my social life UN!” However, a minority exists within the “holier-thanthou” student community that is thrilled with the UN’s decision. “I knew I invested in a drawer full of these for a reason” mutters Oxford second-year Roby Chatterji, as he pulls out an ‘End UN Aggression in Darfur’ shirt. “They all laughed at me last year, but now who already has a room booked for a “Get Out of Darfur” sit-in next month?”
I DON’T GENERALLY leave the building much. There are too many people outside, and none of them count for anything. In here at least, people know my name. It’s small and dusty, the furniture’s too old, and the paint peels off the walls. I feel pretty marginalised sometimes, up on the fifth floor. I deserve better than this poky attic. I enjoy talking with the students, I know they laugh about the other staff, but they look at me differently. They know I’m someone to respect. The whole building’s past its sell by date. Me and Jane laugh about it together. She’s the departmental secretary. When we talk we differ intellectually so much it makes me wince, but we still get on, in a way. I like staying here at night. I wait in my office for everyone
else to go home. Then I walk all around the department, and go into all the offices… I go and sit in all their chairs. Especially Filipetto’s; I stay in his for the longest. I do a lot of dreaming. Not in an adolescent way though. I’ve got a lot to dream about. About when I finally get the respect I deserve around here. Then I’m moving downstairs. For good.
8 TheCheeseGrater November 2007
Lovelorn in London? A mysterious stranger might be hunting for you out there... I was the guy in the blue shirt that picked up your wallet for you at Kings Cross. Now I finally know where you live.
Anne Frank’s Diary - The Excerpts Discovered by Ryan Daily Tuesday, March 23, 1943 Today I was thinking, if my name were in a list, it would probably be written “Frank, Anne.” That means that if someone forgot a comma, it would look like my name was Frank. But then, if someone who read the list met me for some nosh, they’d think I was a transvestite! Ew! I schvitz just thinking about it! Note to self: after I get out of this attic, either change my last name or start up a class teaching about the importance of commas and how they should never, ever, under any circumstances be forgotten. Wednesday, July 21, 1943
You saw me staring at your feet on the Central Line. You wear flipflops in the rain. I’ve got the high forehead and pale complexion. Foot rub? QT I saw you going down the escalator while I was going up. I wish I had been going down too. Drink? Girl in the fishnet tights and blue jacket. About 5’7”, petite build. You study English and were easily impressed when I told you I spoke Italian. If you actually exist outside my imagination get in touch. The last train back to Ealing Broadway. You were the young girl passed out spread over three seats with copious amounts of side-boob on display, I was the kind stranger who mopped up your dribble and stopped your WKD from slipping out of your grasp. I’d love to buy your next one for you, get in touch. I saw you on the Northern Line. You were wearing an extremely short skirt and a pink thong was peeking out of the top. I had to hide my love bulge behind my paper, but next time we meet I won’t hide anything from you. Get in touch. And bring your friend.
There has been less food than usual lately. Miep says that’s on account of the rationing. We’re hungry all the time now. Peter is looking so thin. Even I’m losing weight. Oy vey. Now I’ll never get that big, black tuchis I’ve always dreamed of. Monday, November 15, 1943 Today, as I sat on the toilet, I heard a Nazi shouting from outside. “Hallo! If zerre are any Jews hiding in ze atteeks or clohzets, can you please come out schnell? Looking for you is getting vreally tough and ve’re kinda in ze meedle of a var! Please! Come out, come out verrever you are! Ve promeese ve von’t do anytheeng to you! Ve’ll just geeve you as much ice cream as you could ever vant! Kosherre ice cream! Vith up to three toppeengs! I don’t know if ze toppings can be kosherre.” I have to admit, I was curious to see if he was telling the truth. I probably would’ve gone out if my shit had not been so big and messy. By the time I had finished and cleaned up, he was already done shouting and off shooting some poor schemil. Oy, I could really go for a shtikl of ice cream right now, you know? Saturday, February 5, 1944 Is it me, or has Margot been getting really hot recently? Like, really ridiculously hot? Yeah, I know she’s my sister but, sweet Moses! Maybe it’s just hormones. Or hunger. Or the fact that I’ve been stuck up in this bloody attic for 18 months and there’s only one guy my age around here and his schvantz is definitely felnin. But I really want to screw my sister right about now. Sunday, April 2, 1944 I was thinking today, “What if there are missing letters in the alphabet? Like, letters before A, after Z, between O and P, and so on? How meshugeneh would that be? What if you discovered them and found out that you could write the future? And how would Scrabble look?” I need to get out of this attic. Saturday, July 15, 1944 I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. In case you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic.
UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society www.cheesegratermagazine.org Student Publication of the Year - UCL Union Arts Awards 2006 President and Editor: Mark Ravinet Treasurer: Scary Boots E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Humour Desk: email@example.com UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society, UCL Union, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY