Issue 64 â€“ Winter 2018
2 Winter 2018 The Cheese Grater
UCL shirks responsibility for internship from hell A spokesperson for UCL Careers told CG that a number of students A report passed to The Cheese Grater had received a bursary to attend the alleges serious safeguarding failures internship, a process which involved on an internship attended by over UCL ‘verify[ing] that the company is 10 UCL students last summer: the bona fide’ but that all students had Toshin Global English Camp, run by found the internship themselves. Come On Out – Japan (COOJ). However, COOJ held recruitment The report details a host of alleged sessions in UCL teaching facilities, failings, including sexual assault of contradicting UCL’s assertion that it interns by a member of the English has no connection whatsoever with Camp Mentor Association, and an the organisation. These sessions have incident where (non-UCL) interns continued to take place this academic sexually harassed the 13-17 year old year, despite the incidents that took high school students they were teach- place on the programme this summer. ing and continued to have access to the children. UCL’s new Global Internships programme brochure states ‘UCL Careers COOJ also failed to take immediate will discuss your internship proposal action despite reports of racist abuse with you, promote it to UCL students and dangerous accommodation, and receive applications on your bewhich interns ‘feared to be [in] a yaku- half ’ and lists an example internship za-controlled area.’’ The report details as ‘Global English Camp, Japan’. how various female interns were ‘followed home by unknown men,’ and One student who attended the inothers ‘witnessed a dead body being ternship after receiving details from taken away by police’. their faculty, expressed the opinion that students should expect only repA number of students from UCL utable internship providers to be aland other universities staying at the lowed to advertise on campus. Olympic Center found themselves sleeping on blood-stained mattresses No negative feedback? that hadn’t been changed since 1964 in boiling hot, mouldy, vermin-infestA UCL spokesperson told The ed accommodation — all concerns Cheese Grater: ‘A number of our stuwhich were dismissed by COOJ. dents did take part in the internship, which is self-sourced and not run or UCL shifts the blame organised by UCL. At this stage, we have not received any negative feedStudents who attended the pro- back from any of these students. gramme confirmed the contents of the report were true. They described ‘The welfare and wellbeing of stuthe failure of COOJ to offer clear dents at UCL is paramount and we standards of conduct and how their are currently reviewing the report, to woefully inadequate misconduct and ensure we can offer appropriate addisciplinary procedures endangered vice to any future UCL students who children and interns alike. may consider taking part in this or any other internship opportunity.’ Joanne Land
News & Investigations
Society Bitch UCL Men’s Rugby, long the bête noire of your fair columnist, has been disaffiliated from the Union. In June, the club was caught chanting racist songs on the Loop bus, and given one last chance. Last week, the lads tried to organise an initiation for freshers (allegedly forced by the knuckle-dragging poshos on the committee to shave their pubic hair and sign a non-disclosure agreement). But before it was due to happen, one brave whistleblower realised this was A) very stupid and B) very not allowed, and tipped off the Union. Soc Bitch hears the club are preparing an appeal to the Union’s board of trustees. Maybe we haven’t heard the last of the home counties’ favourite sons… Long-time readers of this venerable rag will be familiar with our beloved mascot, William (formerly Billy) Fresher. Over the last few years we’ve followed young Billy from mishap to mishap. He’s practically family. Naturally, then, Soc Bitch’s ears pricked up upon catching wind of a ‘satirical’ piece posted online by Pi Media, titled ‘Billy the Fresher Becomes a Marxist’. After taking a moment to appreciate that someone thinks highly enough of our humble magazine to plagiarise us, she passionately implored Pi to actually come up with some original material. We live in hope.
Questioned on these matters, UCL has not detailed how they verify internship providers, or explained why COOJ continued to recruit at UCL and the programme was listed in the Global Internships brochure.
News & Investigations
The Cheese Grater Winter 2018 3
Socialist Worker Soc is just a front for the SWP Professional student organiser runs society in violation of union rules These guests are also often writers for SWP publications. One recent The Cheese Grater can exclusively re- speaker is the lead writer for a pamphlet veal that UCL Socialist Worker Student published by the Party, which proclaims Society (SWSS), affiliated to the Social- that it ‘unconditionally support[s] Haist Workers Party, is not run by UCL mas when it is engaged in military or students, but by the old-school Trots at non-military struggles against Israel.’ the central party apparatus. Nielsen did not respond to a request In left-wing circles, the Socialist for comment. Workers Party is known for its entryism and hijacking of progressive causes. Most attendees at SWSS events are Elsewhere, the SWP gained infamy in not UCL students. Many are uncon2011 for covering up allegations that a nected to any university and use the soleading party member, known as Com- ciety simply as their local branch meetrade Delta, had raped a teenage activist ing. Past meetings were advertised on and sexually assaulted others. the SWPs national website as the ‘Central London Branch Meeting,’ although Outside influence these references were removed after the Union began investigating the society. Weekly meetings of the 33-member SWSS are led by Lewis Nielsen, a paid A clear violation cadre of the Socialist Workers Party. Nielsen works in the Party’s Student Union regulations stipulate that Office and is the author of several ‘Clubs and Societies must notify the pieces of official SWP literature. Each Union of any events that involve exterweek, he invites a guest speaker, often nal speakers (defined as individuals that someone also employed by the SWP. are not part of the Union or UCL)’. Blake Coe
Mataio Dean, President of UCL SWSS, responded, ‘We would think The Cheese Grater would have more important things to cover’, before deriding our investigation as ‘lies about our society’. (We will take note, thanks Mataio!) Not only are the weekly speakers and SWP organisers prohibited from attending under Union rules, so are many of the other attendees. Dean complained to The Cheese Grater that rules concerning speakers are ‘targeting the main activist group on campus with unfair levels of scrutiny and red tape.’ A spokesperson for the Union said, ‘We are now investigating the allegations raised against the Socialist Worker Student Society in line with our complaints and disciplinary procedures.’ With an SWP employee running the society here, it raises questions about how prevalent this kind of entryism is — and how other student groups could be infiltrated by external organisations.
Homophobia and transphobia at Glittoris
After incidents at club night, LGBT+ students no longer feel safe Sasha Baker
Glittoris, the Union’s flagship LGBT+ club night, has come under fire this term after a series of homophobic and transphobic incidents left LGBT+ students questioning if it is really being run for them. Marketing for the event depicts LGBT+ icons and advertises the presence of drag queens, but some students seem unaware that homophobia is unacceptable at such an event. A spokesperson for the Union made clear: ‘Glittoris is an LGBT event’. The Facebook
event for the Christmas Glittoris on 8th the LGBT+ network said, ‘we are quite December states ‘only LGBT+ and re- lucky that we have a Union who are at spectful allies need attend.’ least willing to organise it for us … but that doesn’t mean we should settle for Nonetheless, the LGBT+ network something that ... can facilitate harm to has received reports of two women be- members of our community.’ ing filmed while kissing, and a bizarre anti-Semitic and transphobic rant about A spokesperson for the Union told ‘the Jews’ pushing ‘the trans agenda’ The Cheese Grater that ‘Glittoris is our that took place in the Phineas toilets. longest running Phineas clubnight [sic] Neither incident was reported to the so it’s got a high profile.’ The LGBT+ Union. network have speculated that the prominence of Glittoris and lack of other Though initially a small event, Glitto- options at UCL bars have pushed sturis has grown significantly in popularity dents who may not choose to attend since its inception. A spokesperson for cont. on page 4
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News & Investigations
The rent is still too damn high
Did campaigners let things get worse for UCL’s least well off? the deal as ‘a significant improve- obscures that students most in need ment’, it raises rent for most and in- of financial relief, and those who In a year when UCL accommoda- creases costs for UCL’s poorest. would previously have benefited tions are less accessible to financially from the bursary and fund, are worse insecure students due to the scrapThis academic year, UCL scrapped off. 481 students accessed the bursaping of the Accommodation Bur- the Hardship Fund and Accommo- ry last year, receiving a mean average sary and Hardship Fund, UCL now dation Bursary, instead lowering rent of £1241.40 per student. appears to be trying to suppress Cut on some rooms in UCL accommothe Rent. dation, benefiting a larger number This academic year, the cheapest but disadvantaging those with the bed available in UCL accommodaWhilst organising Max Rayne and greatest financial need. tion is priced at £3813.81 per year. Ifor Evans students, Cut the Rent organisers allege that they were told In March 2018, UCL and Cut the However, had the students reby UCL that they ‘were not allowed Rent released a joint statement, an- ceived the average bursary amount to doorknock, flyer, poster or even nouncing that the Hardship Fund last year, they would have had to contacting [sic] any resident of the and Accommodation Bursary would contribute only £2774.43. Now, halls about our event.’ The group no longer be available from the even with rent reductions, students believes UCL is stifling free speech. 2018/19 academic year onwards. will pay almost £1000 more for the cheapest rooms than if they had acA UCL spokesperson responded: In the statement, UCL noted that cess to the bursary. ‘a request by UCL Cut the Rent to the £600,000 in savings made from hold an event at one of our Halls on these cuts would be used to lower Some students will benefit from 19 November 2018 was approved the rent for the cheapest 17% of the increased beds available below and went ahead as planned. Given rooms in Max Rayne and Ifor Evans £5677 per year, but with a 3–4% this, we do not recognise UCL Cut by 4%, and to continue freezing rent increase in rent on all other rooms, the Rent’s version of events.’ on the next cheapest 14% of rooms. most students will be disadvantaged. Sophia Robinson
UCL always had the right to control Cut the Rent in this manner so why decide to this year? If last year’s deal is any indication, UCL seem unwilling to make real concessions.
UCL also increased the proportion of rooms available for £5677 or less a year from 25% to 34%. However, many still exceed the basic loan of £5654 for students in London.
Despite campaigners describing
Decreased rent on cheaper rooms
cont. from page 3 an LGBT+ night towards it — ‘because it’s the only club-esque night left at UCL really, everyone turns up.’ By virtue of being in London, LGBT+ students at UCL who are unhappy with Glittoris have access to club nights at a variety of other venues. However, the attraction of Union-organised events is that they are affordable for students. The Union is working to introduce club nights that cater to a wider range
This price-hike for UCL’s poorest students has the potential to do great harm with negligible financial benefit to the university. Perhaps UCL are more interested in the good PR of making cuts to accommodation fees than helping those who need it most.
of students, including a hip-hop and plaint. The new Union hate crime a K-pop night. The LGBT+ network reporting procedure is an attempt to told The Cheese Grater they would wel- address these concerns. come these events, although they will take time to grow as large as Glittoris. A Union spokesperson said, ‘if you experience or witness any kind of A Zero Tolerance policy for dis- homophobic or transphobic incident criminatory behaviour is in place at all at Glittoris or at any of our events or Union venues, but this is unenforce- in any of our venues – please report able if incidents of discrimination go it. If you don’t feel able to report it at unreported. Unfortunately, many stu- the time, we have a hate crime reportdents mistrust reporting procedures. ing centre on our website where you Historically, these have been bureau- can report anonymously. Our spaces cratic, with students often never dis- are Zero Tolerance to any kind of covering the outcome of their com- harassment.’
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OUR POSITION ON BREXIT Our position on Brexit is perfectly clear: Labour is aware of Brexit. We will negotiate with the national interest in mind and build a close new relationship with the EU, while staying far away from it, although not necessarily. Our aim is to do or not do so, while providing absolute certainty to EU nationals in the UK, as well as UK nationals across the EU. Contrary to the Prime Minister’s reckless approach to Brexit, we will seek to unite the country around a Brexit outcome which will be so hard/soft that some people may think it is too hard/soft to handle. Also, a People’s Vote is off the table, but is not removed from it. Labour will try its best to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ for the UK economy. A no-deal Brexit must probably not be an option. We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper for being too white, and replace it with a fresh paper of a more inclusive colour. Our negotiating priorities will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union, as long as we are part of neither. Labour is strongly opposed to having actual power. Power is inherently neoliberal and should be denounced as such. Labour will always put jobs first, including the jobs of its MPs. We understand their need to keep getting elected and will seek to ensure just that. Having many MPs is good. Current Shadow Secretary for Brexit, Keir Starmer, will be promoted to Shadow Secretary for Keeping Your Mouth Shut, Keir. We wish Keir all the best in his new role; Keir’s replacement will be a cat. If/when Brexit happens, we will introduce a ‘you win some, you lose some’ policy, whereby devolved powers transferred from the EU will go straight to the relevant region. For many people in our country, power can feel just as remote in Westminster as it does in Brussels. So, a Labour government will seek to educate the public about what ‘a Westminster’ is and inform them regarding the relationship between Brussels and the eponymous sprout. Labour will ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. To facilitate this objective, we will take on peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland, where inter-faith praying sessions will take place. Protestants, Catholics and Corbynites will come together to pray to Protestant Jesus, Catholic Jesus and Owen Jones respectively.
Contributors to this issue: Sasha Baker, Darcy Bounsall, Blake Coe, Sam Dodgshon, Ollie Dunn, Peter FitzSimons, Suzy Kingston, Joanne Land, Sophia Robinson, Ella Ticktin-Smith
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An exclusive interview with Jordan “B” Peterson ruffles my hair as he passes by me, before lowering himself to perch Jordan Peterson’s overnight as- delicately on the edge of the settee. cent from sexless provincial college professor to international cultural ‘So, Professor Peterson,’ I ask, my icon has taken the world by storm. voice trembling in anticipation, ‘what His new book, Wash Your Penis, deals is it about your message that so many with a modicum of manly issues — find appealing?’ ranging from lawn tennis to anal sex, and everything in between. The Cheese ‘Well, I think the belly of the beast Grater caught up with Peterson on a is that I’ve been able to harness the relaxed Sunday afternoon at his To- deep, lustful anxieties of the disafronto home. fected youth,’ he tells me. ‘It’s an unremarkable situation. You meet a girl He is at once friendly and stern, for the first time, and you’re nervgreeting me at his front door with ous. After a few drinks, you take off a risqué slap on the behind. ‘That’s your pants and show her your penis, for not tidying your room,’ he chuck- but then she takes off her pants and les, before winking uncontrollably shows you her penis as well. That’s and thrusting a filet mignon into my chaos embodied. You don’t know palms, clammy with anticipation. where you are. You’re confused – disoriented. And, well, that’s the belly ‘Please, take a seat,’ he bids me as of the beast.’ A lone tear graces his we enter his living room, ‘and make stubbly cheek. yourself at home. I’m going to slip into something more comfortable.’ I reach for my pen and notepad, The famed self-help author darts hoping to distil these nuggets of into an adjacent room, leaving me in wisdom into simple speech, but he a daze of lust and confusion. stops me before I’m able to establish a firm grasp. ‘Shh, shh, shh,’ he A few minutes pass, and I raise whispers, running his fingers along my eyes to see Peterson, leg cocked my hand, before placing it ever so against the door post. A light breeze delicately down on the settee. ‘Relax,’ reveals a muscly pair of thighs, thick- he tells me. ‘You’re in safe hands, and set beneath a silken kimono. He that’s the belly of the beast.’ *Pun about lobsters goes here*
#25 OXFORD STREET Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-*splutter*-ho! Christmas comes but for three months a year! Why not pop along to Oxford Street, home of the famous London 15% markup on all purchases! This year we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit from roughly mid-October until whenever they can be bothered to take the lights down! Merryyyy Christmas! So get yourself down to Oxford Street for some retail therapy and carbon dioxide inhaling! Ho-hoho-ho-*cough*-ho-*splutter*-ho*clearing tar from lungs*!
#32 King’s Road, Chelsea You may have heard that, back in the 80s, Chelsea had a thriving punk rock scene, with experimental art, music, sex and drugs! Maybe you’re thrilled by the sound of that! Perhaps it all sounds a little too much excitement for your liking , actually, in which case you’ll love the all new, recently-dullifiedfor-the-00s Kings Road, Chelsea! Watch as middle-class, middleaged, oddly-dimpleless women pretend that Peter Jones is somehow a social class above any other branch of John Lewis.
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#UCLCares Were you fortunate enough to receive one of the #UCLCares keyrings in your fresher’s week? You’ll be thrilled to know that UCL is providing all first-year students with a set of handy ideas on how to look after their mental health at university. See – #UCL really does #care! 1) Sleep You might have experienced a low mood while studying, and simply put it down to uninspiring lecturers, complete disinterest in your subject, or the crushing weight of all this debt for just 6 contact hours a week. Well, that’s where you’re wrong! These issues will fade into insignificance once you get those crucial 8 hours. 2) Be creative Cooking might not be an option here if your oven has been broken for three weeks and counting, but no matter! Simply spread some out-of-date butter on a rich tea biscuit and prepare to experience uncontrollable feelings of achievement. 3) Drink water Keep drinking. Never stop. You won’t have time to worry about your depression if all you can think about is drinking yet another glass of water. 4) Try something new Never tried hockey? This is where you start. Running onto a soggy pitch with a bunch of strangers will boost your confidence in no time at all, and your instant demotion to the 9th team will give you an opportunity to succeed like you’ve never had before. 5) Most importantly, have fun! How did we not think of that?
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UCL CHEESE GRATER MAGAZINE SOCIETY President—Peter Daniels Co-Editors—Ollie Dunn and Peter FitzSimons Investigations Editor—Sasha Baker Humour Editor—Suzy Kingston Online Editor—Jasmine Chinasamy Graphics Editor—Darcy Bounsall
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© Students’ Union UCL, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of SU UCL or the editors.