Issue 44 – Freshers 2014
COULD YOU BE NEXT? A Message From Our Provost
Hello, my name is Michael Arthur, but you can call me Michael Arthur. I am the Provost of this university and you are one of my children. Provost is a bit of a funny word, isn’t it? It sounds like it a small town in mid-Wales without broadband where the locals fuck leather sofas on the village green. Let’s get rid of this troublesome ambiguity. I am not a small town in midWales. I am a man. I am only very occasionally in mid-Wales.
When you think of me, you should think of a light aircraft smashing into a church fete. I am the light aircraft and your university is the fete. But in a good way. Every September, I like to watch the freshers through my office window as I sit cross-legged on the floor. Then I go for a shit. As I shit, I watch Chucklevision on my phone. I wonder if you are proud of yourselves. Your hard work has taken you not to the succulently cloistered Oxbridge college which you thought would finally validate your clumsy, racist, sexless half-life, but to this:
the (joint fifth) best university in the world (according to that one league table from China). This is all yours now. This place where I shit and its glorious legacy - Ghandi, Gervais, Margaret from the Apprentice, that guy who put a bomb in his underpants and tried to blow up a plane, some people who still live with their parents their lives are yours. It’s going to be a fun three years. I can taste the excitement on my concrete fingers. Put a coat on and wear sensible shoes, because Michael Arthur isn’t coming with you and doesn’t fucking care.
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Welcome To Your New University, Here’s What’s Shit. Ollie Phelan & Charlie Hayton
U-LOSE, Students A building stands upon Malet Street. To many freshers, it is innocuous: ‘Student Central’, a repository of shops, bars and cafes. A club night with a confusing membership system. Others, however, remember what once was, and what can never be again: The University of London Union. ULU. An acronym which sends shivers down the spine. Nostalgia, regret, anger. For a year, the residents of campaigned against the impending closure by the University of London, but to no avail. Protest was shouted from the streets, but not heard. Occupations were made, but not heeded. Petitions were delivered, but not regarded. Functionally, there is little difference between now and then. Canteens, cafes and Bars operate much as they once did. The upper floors, however, which once housed democratically elected officers overlooking the interests of students are now empty, or maybe smeared in pigs blood or something. You never know with bureaucrats. One of the things now absent from students’ lives in this new reality is the London Student newspaper, purported to have been Europe’s largest student publication before its defunding, coincidentally following a year of rabid opposition to UoL management. Funny, that.
Rabid Packs Of Actors Roving The Streets UCL’s thespians suffered further heartbreak this summer as their attempt to commandeer the Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre was thwarted by an angry physics department. After the Garage Theatre was swallowed up by the Architecture
department and turned into an electricity substation last year, former Activities and Events Officer (AEO) Doris Chen led a campaign to find a new performing space. In March, Chen triumphantly announced the relocation of the Garage Theatre to the Harrie Massey. However, this was met with vehement opposition, as the Physics Department, including their Head, Dr. Jon Butterworth, coalesced to save their crown jewel. Chen, in an open letter published on the UCLU website, called for students “not to take a divisive approach”. Not everone took heed, though, and one student complained about the use of the space “for some idiotic hippy activity”. Eventually, the plans were scrapped. Current AEO Sabeeh Rasool now has the unenviable task of finding a pocket of space on UCL’s already crammed campuses for performances to take place. A permanent location is yet to be found, and Rasool refused to divulge any proposed plans, saying, “We don’t want a physics part two”. So for now, UCLU Arts societies will have to lead a nomadic existence in the form of a “roaming garage” to create a temporary theatre for each show.
The Lecturers Strike Back The University and College Union (UCU), which represents academic, lecturers and researchers, have announced another day of strike action, which will see lessons disrupted, banners raised aloft, and awkard sidling across the picket lines for non-participating members of staff. Contrary to the discussion in the UCL Academic board meeting in May, where a settlement was apparently reached to prevent further industrial action, October 14th will see yet another protest for fair pay.
Society Bitch UCLU’s online poll to nominate a new sport for for this year’s London Varsity series was won by Lacrosse Club, after encouraging lacrosse lovers from across Europe to back them in the vote. This left runner up Men’s Football none too pleased, with erudite members commenting “I fucking despise those lacrosse, stick waving maggots”, “People play lacrosse so they can justify being in Loop photos every week despite having no sporting ability”, and “Who the fuck plays lacrosse anyway?”. Pi Media were amongst several societies over the summer to publicise to their members an “exclusive” Virgin broadband deal, from which the societies in question would also receive a monetary kickback for each signup. Perhaps they need the money to reclaim their old website, pimedia.org. uk, which has been recently taken over by “Camilla PI Student”, a blog which offers tips on student life such as ‘Visit the casino’, and ‘Why visit Sweden’. All it needs now is an interview with Sean Bean, and you could hardly tell the difference. External Affairs & Campaigns Officer Omar Raii told The Cheese Grater “UCLU fully supports the public sector strikes and the demand for fair pay. It is unacceptable that as the government peddles the idea that there’s been some sort of economic recovery, ordinary people are not feeling it in any way in terms of their wages”. But if one day of action isn’t enough to whet your anti-establishment appetite, worry not, for on November 19th there is a national anti-cuts, free education march attempting to emulate the protest of 2010. Come one, come all…scratch your protest itch, just don’t be too surpised if a light case of kettling breaks out.
Contributors: Hugh Bassett, Charlie Hayton, P.K. Maguire, Jess Murray, Ollie Phelan, Gerard Westhoff
The Cheese Grater Freshers 2014 3
Crucial Life Advice From A Seasoned Veteran. They’ve been covered in salt, pepper, rosemary - you name it. William LADstone Hey there Freshers! I’m here to give my tips and tricks for uni, so that you can learn from my mistakes! Not that I really make mistakes. It’s more like in House of Cards, where you think he’s made a mistake, but actually, it wasn’t, and then it all flips around, and now you’re the loser stuck in mistake-town. So yeah, learn from the experience of UCL’s Frank Underwood. Frank Underwood but sexier. Sexy and charismatic Frank Underwood.
Oh no! I don’t have any friends! Clearly, the problem here is your personality. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be in this situation. My advice is: why do the work yourself, when others can do it for you? By a couple of weeks into term, friendship groups will have started to emerge, so you can just parasite onto an already formed bunch of chums instead of having to create
one yourself ! Just remember, your personality is a pile of shit, so for fuck’s sake stay as quiet as possible. I’ve yet to come across a question which you can’t dodge with a skillful shrug. You may only be a shadow in the light of their happiness, but to be honest, that’s the best you’re going to get.
Oh no! I’ve fallen in love! They’re good-looking, they’re nice to you, they make you feel emotions and happiness and stuff, instead of the usual hollow pit of nothingness. But they’ve still got a long-distance relationship left over from school! What a bummer, right? WRONG! It’s just a matter of strategy. They’re spending hours each night on skype? Bring them a lovely cup of tea in their room, then oops! You’ve spilt it over their laptop, and oh no! It’s on the fritz, skype is off the books for tonight I guess. Maybe they should come to your room, and you can watch a film together on your laptop. Finally, get very very drunk, then barge into
their room when they’re still sober. They’ll have the disadvantage of functional social embarrassment, whereas you have no such constraint. Make your way towards them, kneel down so you’re face to face, and confess your love. Whoops, you knelt a bit too quickly, now you’re face-first on the floor. Okay, just get up and try again. Oh no, you’ve fallen into their wardrobe. Don’t worry, you could still recover this. Except that you’ve just pissed yourself. Not a good look. Better cut your loses and run away, there’s no hope anymore. I’m sure they weren’t right for you anyway. Avoid them for the rest of your life.
Oh no! My life is empty and meaningless, my joys have turned to ashes, naught but sorrow lies before me! I’m really really sure I don’t know enough about this to help you out. I’m not lonely, I’m the life of the party, I am. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
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Choose Your Own Adventure
What Your Mother’s Doing Now That You’re Gone
Ian Biza The door slams. You’ve left for uni. Your mum stands silently upon the threshold. Your dad’s not there because of when he abandoned you, or he’s gone to the shops or something, we don’t know your backstory, and anyway, this isn’t about him. This is about your mum. She walks to the kitchen, grabs a bottle of gin from the fridge, and pours a large glass. If you think your mum is celebrating your leaving, turn to page 21. If you think she’s drinking to console herself, turn to page 37. p. 21 “Slurp!” Says your mum, caning back the gin before opening Tinder on her phone. “Shagged, shagged, shagged,” she says nonchalantly, swiping left, the cold gin firing up her newly impassioned loins. “Now that bastard/she-bastard of a child is gone, we can kick things up a notch. Who’s up for flaming bucas!?!” she cries, using Trivago to book one way tickets to
Magaluf. If you think your mum is going to have a good trip to the Costa Del Knob, turn to page 46. If you think she’s going to have a bad time, turn to page 53. p.37 Don’t be naive. Your parents are absolutely delighted that you’ve left, you fucking parasite. p. 46 “Wooohooo!” exclaims your mum. “I can’t believe I’m on holiday and I’ve just won another holiday!” she says, before individually thanking all twenty-four men. p.53. “It’s a fucking cocktail?” says your mum. If you think your mum returns home, turn to page 89, if you think she stays in the resort to become a cleaner and atone for her sins, turn to page 64. p. 64 “Mis muchos años en este agujero
infernal mala muerte me han hecho sabio. Una vez que haya visto muchas mamadas pre vómitos a aprender una cosa o dos . Creo que tal vez yo solía tener un niño . Ahora no estoy tan seguro. Todo lo que me queda ahora son mis nabos” says your mum, via Google Translate. p. 89 Your mum opens the door to her empty home, the dust of missed opportunities filling up the crevices of a forgotten life. She goes to the kitchen to make a sandwich. If you think your mum is going to make a cheese sandwich, turn to page 101. If you think she’s just going to have a plain one, turn to 102. p. 101 and 102 A fucking sandwich filling? You actually went to the page to confirm this?! Holy shit you’re boring. I’m going home. Also what the fuck is a plain sandwich?
We’re Winners. Are You? Humour. Investigation. Cartoons. Sketch Comedy. Interested? Come along to our welcome meeting. Torrington 1-19, Room 433, 6pm, Tuesday 30th September. Easily Lost? Meet outside Print Room Cafe at 5.45pm. UCL UNION CHEESE GRATER MAGAZINE SOCIETY President—Gerard Westhoff Editor—Charlie Hayton Investigations Editor—Ollie Phelan Humour Editor—P.K. Maguire
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© UCL Union, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of UCL Union or the editor.