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Issue 63 – Autumn 2018

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2 Autumn 2018 The Cheese Grater

Down your union: Democracy Officer wants less democracy requirement for quoracy are clear: increasing the efficiency of meetings, getting things done, and being able to On 11 October, at the most re- start a general assembly without recent general assembly of SU UCL ferring to the minutes of a meeting (not, under any circumstances, to held almost a decade ago. be called ‘suckle’ -ed.), Democracy, Operations and Community officer But the move would carry seriMahmud Rahman unveiled a pack- ous drawbacks. For one, a significant age of proposed reforms to the way reduction in the number of people the Union operates. One of these in required to make a meeting quorate particular, the lowering of quoracy would enable larger societies to stack requirements for general assemblies, a meeting with their members, and has caught the attention of The Cheese force through motions. Grater. As one might imagine, there were Quoracy has long been a thorn in too few people present at the meeting the side of Union busybodies. Of on the 11th for these measures to be the approximately 37,000 SU mem- debated. Instead, they were forwardbers, at least 2% (slightly fewer than ed for discussion at a meeting of the 800) must be present for a General Union Council on 30 October. Assembly where binding votes may take place. This is one of the highest The changes would place the onus figures required for quoracy of any for safeguarding Union democracy British students’ union. on eager, independent-minded students, interested in the intricacies But, this is only because of a typo. of SU UCL’s democratic processes In an early draft of the Union’s Arti- (what, only us?). cles of Association, written in 2011, quoracy was set at 2%. Meant to be However, given the turnout of changed to 0.5%, the Articles were the last attempted general meeting inadvertently approved before the (which hovered stubbornly around number could be altered. the mid-twenties), the potential impact of a change like this is clear. Keen observers of SU meetings over the last seven years (looking at you Ben Towse xoxo) will be aware that the minutes from the 2011 General Meeting are yet to be approved, as no meeting since then has been quorate. The new proposal would reduce the required number to only 1% of members, or 200 (whichever figure is greater). Manchester University SU, with its student population of 40,000, permits an AGM with only 50 voting members. Peter Daniels and Peter FitzSimons

The arguments for lowering the

News & Investigations

Society Bitch Soc Bitch takes seriously her solemn responsibi l it y to highlight the stupid, sexist, and unsavoury. Thus, it is with teary eyes that this month she can celebrate a selfless example of civic duty... A vote of thanks is in order for the medical school PGTA who warned the innocent freshers joining RUMS Boat Club to avoid getting drunk around the men on the team. Soc Bitch wouldn’t like to speculate as to why such a warning might be necessary. Still, allusions to sexual assault must have been obvious, for, mere moments later, the speaker was reprimanded by a senior faculty member for besmirching the venerable name of RUMS rowers. Why bother trying to change the ways of those who might fancy a spot of assault when we can all just drink less? HOW DARE he try and protect freshers when there are more important things to think about, like dallying about on a river in the freezing cold?


News & Investigations

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UoL workers hung out to dry Activists back at Senate House after UoL reverse outsourcing decision Sasha Baker

The University of London (UoL) has reneged on its promise to bring all outsourced staff in-house. In spring this year, during a review of contracts at UoL, student activists from the group Justice for University of London Workers occupied Senate House. The nine-day action aimed to pressure UoL to end their use of zero-hours contracts, bring all staff in-house, and recognise IWGB, a union for workers in the gig economy, which represents a significant number of low-paid and migrant workers across the university. In the wake of the occupation, UoL acquiesced to bringing their workers inhouse and ending zero hours contracts, although they have consistently refused to recognise IWGB. Vague promises Joseph Maggs, a UCL student involved in the occupation, told The

Cheese Grater the university was vague Excessive force in its commitments in the aftermath of the protests, its promises amounting to: The heavy-handed suppression of ‘if it’s economically feasible, we’ll do it.’ protesters was widely condemned as excessive. Video taken by members of Now, it appears that UoL is bringing Justice for University of London Workonly some workers in-house, including ers reveals that one student was locked porters, security guards and reception- outside without her shoes or keys. Anists. The university will continue to out- other shows student activists being source contracts for cleaners, gardeners trapped in a room as the door is drilled and catering staff. These, the lowest shut. In the weeks after the occupapaid positions at UoL, will continue to tion, students suspected of involvelack the protections of in-house staff. ment were challenged by security when trying to enter the building, and some A UoL spokesperson explained the were ejected from Senate House library. decision: ‘with logistical, contractual and financial risks, there cannot be a Given the immense costs incurred in “one fits all” solution,’ stressing the im- trying to end the occupation, it is hard portance for ‘value for money FM [fa- for many to accept UoL’s claim that they cilities management] services.’ cannot afford to bring all their workers in-house — especially after their previBut UoL didn’t skimp on additional ous overtures towards doing so. security during and after the occupation. Security costs totalled £415,000 UoL has made some minor concesfor March and April alone, and the sions but continued outsourcing and heightened measures extended into refusal to recognise IWGB means furMay. ther strike action and student protests seem unlikely to be far away.

What’s in a name?

UCL caught in cultural insensitivity snafu Sasha Baker and Ollie Dunn

It has been revealed to The Cheese Grater that a number of students at UCL have had their names listed incorrectly on official records — everything ranging from email addresses to degree certificates. UCL has conveniently shifted the blame onto a pesky glitch.

UCL still doesn’t seem to get it. Working on assumptions Even though she requested UCL change her name on official records, Xin Yee Su, a second-year psychology student, is frequently addressed in correspondence simply as “Xin”. It is ‘always the assumption’ that Yee is her middle name, and so her name remains incorrect on Portico and Moodle, as well as in general correspondence.

The students most affected are those who have unhyphenated two-part first names, a feature particularly common for students from China and Korea. Despite having over 5790 and 357 stuA UCL spokesperson told The Cheese dents from these countries, respectively, Grater, ‘due to a glitch in our systems,

some middle names were not printed on graduation certificates this year.’ Middle names? Interesting. It seems absurd that London’s Global University, with its large Chinese and Korean student population, has failed to grasp these naming conventions. Perhaps they need a couple more thousand students before they can even start to get their heads around what to call them all.


4 Autumn 2018 The Cheese Grater

News & Investigations

UCL lecture spaces a right royal irritation Room bookings in ‘still bad’ shocker

particular challenges to a subject like physics. Physics students cannot Quelle surprise, UCL facilities have look at presentation slides on their proven insufficient, and students are laptops as they need to handwrite bearing the brunt. A lack of lecture derivations to keep up with the lectheatres has forced various UCL ture, and there is no desk space at departments to hold lectures at the the Royal National. Royal National Hotel (with on-site parking, a range of facilities, and This situation is only worsened by great value central London rooms, technological issues. One two-hour all from £88 per night; 3-stars on second year quantum physics lecture TripAdvisor). was cut to forty minutes due to technical glitches. Physics has been worst affected by the inadequacy of lecture theaKhush Thakar, president of Phystres. Current Physics third-years ics Society, told CG that the screens have endured lectures in the venue in the conference room ‘decide every year since they arrived at UCL. when to turn on and off,’ meaning students ‘can’t follow anything [the Camilla Tac, a second year start- lecturer] is trying to say visually.’ ed a petition against holding Physics lectures at the Royal National. A spokesperson from UCL said She told The Cheese Grater that the ‘we are sorry for the impact this is university ‘guaranteed Physics they having on the learning experiences wouldn’t have lectures there any- on the learning experiences of our more’ — two years ago. But nothing students’. But despite a clear awarehas changed. ness of the issue, there are no immediate plans to stop using off-site From bad to worse lecture venues. Sasha Baker

A hotel conference room presents

A spokesperson commented that

UCL Estates ‘are working urgently with the faculty to find interim solutions including relocating rooms and further improving the quality of equipment available.’ A gordian knot UCL did not address why the room bookings issues so disproportionally affect the Physics department, a key point of Tac’s petition. Certainly, there is no easy solution. The class for quantum physics (which includes Natural Sciences as well as Physics students) totals 240, and UCL has only four lecture theatres able to accommodate a group of this size. The Physics lecture theatre has only 53 seats, but each year in Physics numbers 190, not counting Maths and Physics and Natural Sciences students who take a significant number of Physics modules. As UCL admits ever more students each year, the student population has outgrown the limited space available. Handing exorbitant sums to hotels can only be a stopgap.

TV Listings Wednesday 7 October UC(tel)L(y) Freeview: 007, Sky: 127, Virgin Media: 132, The Telescreen In Your UCL Room: 001

1800 NEWS AT SIX Current affairs show chronicling affairs that are currently happening.

1830 COME REHEAT WITH ME 5 strangers from UCL each host a dinner party, vying to win £30,000. Tonight it’s the turn of that girl you see in Gordon Square who only eats boiled eggs.

brighten up their new pad 1900 UCL’S FUNNIEST by putting up fairy lights, taking them down again CCTV MOMENTS and giving up.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

30 minute special. Watch clips of people trying to get through those really slim but weirdly heavy doors to Wilkins Terrace.

1930 WEDNESDAY NIGHT LOTTERY DRAW Brought to you by room bookings at UCL Estates.

1945 CHANGING FORCE! The Changing Force design team visit help a resident of Ramsay Hall

2200 FUCKING FUCK CONFLICT: LIVE EVICTION Reality. The reality show so fucking edgy it’s got fuck in its fucking title. 2030 FASHION POLICE Call 0800 FUCK to choose which Celeb Islander will UCL be evicted from the bug Joan Rivers never died; squatting contest. she just went into The Bartlett and found so much material she hasn’t 2330 NIGHTCAP WITH re-emerged yet. MICHAEL ARTHUR Talk. Join Provost Michael Arthur and his guests over a nightcap! Michael chats Serial Drama. Inspector to students concerned Holdmore faces the with mental health with consequences of an his trademark ‘fingers in employment tribunal after ears shouting LALALAL stubbing out a cigarette on A CAN’T HEAR YOU’ someone’s neck. interviewing style.

2100 HOLDMORE


Humour

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The Cheese Grater in conversation with... Michael Arthur surprised to find himself noticeably closer to the ground than the It’s Thursday afternoon and fresh- eminent provost, but once again er Daniel Jones is on route to meet- decides to take it on the chin as he ing UCL’s provost Michael Arthur opens his mouth for the first hardfor what could be a ground-breaking hitting question, his LAMY™ interview. Thanks to a promotion fountain pen poised. within the Cheese Grater hierarchy, the position as Wholesome News “So here’s a banger to start with. Correspondent has recently become How do you propose to manage vacant. Chances like this don’t come growing student numbers given around often, and those with ambi- the existing strains on UCL sertions need to take such chances with vices?” both hands. So, with his cock in one hand and a reusable Students Union “Look, Daniel. It’s all in the UCL coffee cup in the other, Daniel business. As long as this institution scurried through the cloisters like the keeps me minted and my lions fed squirrel of a man he is. then I don’t give a fuck.” The unwholesome correspondent

The aroma of roast pheasant exudes from the provost’s office because it is a Thursday and, having done his background research, Daniel knows the provost always has roast pheasant for lunch on a Thursday. Daniel also knows to visit at 2:15pm since this is when the two lions guarding the office go for their toilet break, allowing Daniel to enter unintimidated. Because let’s be honest, who would win, two lions or a squirrel?* Daniel: “Knock. Knock.” Michael Arthur: “Who’s there?” “Cows go” “Cows go who” “No, cows go moooo.” “I thought your magazine wrote humour articles.”

“Hmmmm.” “Ok so final round. Fingers on ‘Provost like mints,’ Daniel attentively scribbles in his Moleskine™ buzzers. Where do you see UCL in ten years’ time?” notepad. “Stratford.” “Rightio Mikey, here’s the neThis is it. The two lions will soon “Don’t call me Mikey.” “How will UCL raise graduate job return from their toilet break and this prospects in an increasingly compet- squirrel has all the acorns he needs. The provost likes mints… and he itive market place?” might like oysters. This is exactly the “Alright look, kiddo. It’s all in the kind of story those at the top of the bloody business. If Daddy’s not got Cheese Grater tree have been waiting a foot in the corporate door then for. But for Daniel, it’s just another you’re screwed anyway. People say day at the office. the world’s your oyster but the clos* Contrary to the Old Testament est this generation are getting to one where Daniel survives the lions’ den, it is the TfL travelcard.”

is highly unlikely that this Daniel (or

‘Provost likes oysters?’ ‘Daddy indeed any other person today) would kink?’ Daniel leaves a question mark win against a single lion, never mind the Looks like Mr Arthur won’t be in his notes this time; there is just Provost’s two lions. playing ball with the jokes this time something in Mr Arthur’s tone that around. Daniel takes the snub in his doesn’t sit right with the intrepid restride as he strides over to the guest porter. armchair in Arthur’s office. He is Contributors: Sasha Baker, Darcy Bounsall, Jasmine Chinasamy, Peter Daniels, Sam Dodghson, Ollie Dunn, Peter FitzSimons, Iona Jenkins, Suzy Kingston, Mark Konstantinidis, Seb Stacey


6 Autumn 2018 The Cheese Grater

Humour

Revealed: Boris Johnson’s first speech as PM I have just been to Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty The Queen has asked me to form a new government, and I accepted. First of all, I would like to thank Theresa May, my Right Honourable friend, for her principled leadership, and for finally resigning. I never expected to become Prime Minister. Others might have prepared their first Downing Street speech years in advance, but not me. I was oblivious. Last week I was having my teeth whitened to match my anus. But now, the people have sort of chosen me to sort of lead them — like Winston Churchill, if he were me. Guided by a profound sense of duty, I humbly offer my leadership during these trying times. I, Sir Alexander Boris Sergeyevich de Pfeffel Johnson, shall rise to the occasion. In 2016, I campaigned hard for our country to break free from the shackles of the European Union. Now, in 201789, we are doing just that. Our fight against French-speaking septuagenarian bureaucrats has concluded in the best way possible — if you discount the scenario in which I take part in a threesome with Marine Le Pen and Margaret Thatcher’s ghost. To those whining that Brexit will be the political equivalent of an auto-erotic asphyxiation ritual going terribly wrong, I say this: Stop threatening me, Pippa; I’ve told Marina everything! I hear you. Rest assured that we will vanquish those nefarious Euro-leeches, who suck our NHS dry, and, more importantly, do not allow us to sell curvy bananas. It has not been an easy fight. My soon-to-be-ex-wife Some thought we had no chance of actually going through with it; but like that weasel Michael Gove’s chin, we’re still hanging on, against all odds. You may not want me, but here I am. Like my father on Christmas. My leadership testifies to Britons’ determination to become free, independent and liberated, but not in that order. It is a new testament indeed, but I suppose you can also call it an old testament because it surely sparked violence and bigotry. In *INSERT TIME HERE*, we will be on a path towards prosperity, forged by ancestral sacrifices and cosmic destiny. Whether bombing Adolf Hitler, beating Napoleon, or just messing around with some Indians who danced funny, Britain has always strived for dignity, greatness, and non-violently promoting our values around the world. Britain has tolled the bell of independence, and it can now be heard all over the stillshocked European continent. From the cowardly French villages, all the way to the small Lithuanian caves, or whatever they use for shelter — the message is clear. My job as your Duce Prime Mminister is to build on the fantastic progress Theresa’s government has made (??). My government must also to ensure that we don’t re-start The Troubles in Northern Ireland, although I hear ‘90s remakes are doing well these days. These tasks represent a unique opportunity, probably for the UK as well. It is imperative that we stay united. A crack has formed within the Conservative party. But I shall be present, right there in the middle of that crack, serving as an orifice through which radical policies may be discharged. Our past differences are immaterial now. There are no ‘Leavers’ or ‘invertebrate treasonous scummy little Europhiles’ ‘Remainers’ . We are one. Together, we may build a better Britain. And now, allow me to recite some Rudyard Kipling, who, if my memory is as good as I remember, wrote movingly about the Blond White Man’s Burden.


Humour

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Quote of the day: 이것은 실제 인용이 아닙니다. 우리는 단지 BTS 과대 광고에 뛰어 들고 싶었습니다.. J-Hope, of BTS (2018)


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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

president@cheesegratermagazine.org editor@cheesegratermagazine.org investigations@cheesegratermagazine.org humour@cheesegratermagazine.org

© Students’ Union UCL, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of SU UCL or the editors.

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