Freshers’ Issue 2015
A message from the Provost: “Welcome to the Nine Circles of Student Experience” A Special Report by Billy Fresher
Uni’s great isn’t it?!? I’m loving halls. Finally got shot of my stinkin’ mum. Haha! Fuck off mum! Only joking. I love her to bits. Can’t wait to take my laundry home! What she’s there for eh though? S’alright this freshers fair eh? The best thing so far is all these bloody free pens. They’re sick! Loving the atheist society guys handing
out those free condoms with holes pricked through them – take that Catholics! Benedictus qui venit amirite?! Just queued up twice for pizza but the second time I put a different jumper on with a different pattern on it and they didn’t even notice that I got two slices! Love uni life! Tonight my flatmates are going to this proper London nightclub called The Roxy and they managed
to get hold of some flyers so they can get in cheap how cool is that!? We’re having “prinks” at my halls with the crew – we’re like a family, I’m the drunk one lol! They call me Malibu for a laugh because I’ve bought some of that stuff from Tesco’s that tastes like Malibu but isn’t. Before that I’m going to the Pi magazine, est. 1947, “welcome meeting” cos I really like their – [fuck off Billy – Ed.]
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Welcome to UCL, Here’s What’s Not in the Prospectus. PK Maguire & Bo Franklin
Unaccommodating lege London
UCL’s mix of Eastern Bloc and IKEA showroom accommodation still represents terrible value for money. The average fresher at UCL can expect to pay £176 a week for their room – with those living the dream in a single at Ramsay rinsed of £210. Halls have risen in price by 55% over the past 6 years. Justifiable for luxury living, maybe, but disruptive building works at antisocial hours throughout exam period is hardly the Ritz. Residents at Hawkridge House and Kentish Town and Campbell House in Bloomsbury – blighted by the refurbishment of the Bartlett – went on rent strike (see CG 48) and, after being threatened with deregistration, were eventually offered a barbeque by way of compensation. The ongoing dispute is the latest in a string of hellish housing incidents, such as an infestation of cockroaches in Max Rayne and Ifor Evans halls so bad the Evening Standard found half a page for the harrowing details. Residences’ empathy and tact was on show when students tried to complain: they responded with threats to make them pay to get rid of the critters. Such stingy behaviour is difficult to justify – according to UCL Defend Education, the university is due to make a £16m surplus from accommodation costs this year, its highest ever.
It’ll Be All White On The Night As fresh-faced prospective freshers made their way round campus for July’s open day, hundreds of protesters tried their best to disrupt UCL’s big propaganda push. Members of the Why is My Curriculum White? campaign ‘whited up’ in an attempt to expose the
inherent racism they see at the heart of academia. This came after the research contract of a black academic – Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman – wasn’t renewed, and a proposed masters on the philosophy of race was scrapped. Activists from Fossil Free UCL and UCL Cut the Rent were also demonstrating, although most of the day’s activities went off without a hitch.
Feminisn’t Having come under fire for responding to an allegation of sexual assault made by a female student against a staff member last year with the “apeshit” threat of legal action (see CG 46), in June management seized the opportunity to be on the right side of the struggle against the patriarchy – forcing out Nobel laureate Tim Hunt from his honorary professorship after a high-profile row over a sexist joke. A foolproof idea... had one of UCL’s own misogynistic wheezes not been exposed soon after. Although Bentham’s leathery noggin might as well be tattooed with “WE LET WOMEN IN FIRST ALRIGHT”, the egalitarian institution he envisioned is happy to forget about them when it comes to making a quick buck from shady regimes (see CG 40). The director of its much-maligned Qatar campus has admitted that discriminatory pay arrangements treat “[female] employees materially different depending on their gender” to the tune of almost £3,000 – a breach of equal opportunities legislation – with staff having lodged fruitless complaints as far back as January 2014, to no avail. As Tim might say: “Let me tell you about the trouble with girls. UCL hates them.”
Society Bitch The Sportsnite bottom-feeders at UCLU Lacrosse are notoriously unloved – having suffered the indignity of being christened “stick waving maggots” by the urbane wags at Men’s Football last year. Now the club has turned to Tinder to find new recruits, and presumably some Netflix and chill after training. Soc Bitch won’t be joining any time soon though – she always swipes left on group pics. After failing to convince the Union to abolish its dedicated sabbatical officers for women and minority ethnic students as a cost-cutting measure, Soc Bitch hears that the sports societies have found another noble cause to rally behind: making sure they have enough bins to vomit into. The voracious boozehounds have apparently complained that Phineas – unlike their counterparts serving the Medics’ teams over at the Huntley – won’t provide puke points on Wednesdays. Don’t they just make the freshers eat it anyway? Soc Bitch has learnt that a group of students turned amateur sleuths are trying to discover her true identity. So far they’ve narrowed everyone’s favourite gossip columnist down to a member of both Musical Theatre and Drama societies. Good effort, guys, but you forgot Dance – this hack’s a triple threat.
Radio 4 fifteen years ago? Want to perform in a West End theatre to an audience of twelve? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, then we’re afraid it’s bad news. In keeping with its policy of denying students any space do anything, UCL has closed the asbestos-ridden Bloomsbury Theatre until next summer – despite promises doors would only shut in JanuBloomsbury Shitness ary. Don’t be surprised if it reopens as the 600Fan of comedians who had a show on seat cafe we’ve all been waiting for.
Contributors: Maddy Comber, Bo Franklin, Charlie Hayton, Rosie Halsall, P.K. Maguire, Jess Murray and Anna Saunders.
The Cheese Grater Freshers 2015 3
William, Your Shit Prose Was Really Nothing. Sorry To Break It To You. John E. Marre Morrissey’s universally panned novel is still a great deal better than that manuscript you wrote about that girl you’ve fancied since you were 14, every Guardian writer you admire has said. The treacle-voiced Mancunian, 56, released his debut effort List of the Lost late last month, to widespread ridicule. Even though reaction to the 120-page book has been overwhelmingly negative, the erstwhile Smiths frontman is thought to be taking comfort from the fact that his incoherent typo-strewn romp is, according to Owen Jones, “ten times the work of art your flat-footed attempt at a bildungsroman will ever be.” It has since emerged that several of the Guardian columnists whose articles you keep sharing on Facebook – despite your old art teacher from secondary school who used to sweat a lot and disappeared mysteriously halfway through year nine, and whose
musty annex building you now know stank of box wine and skunk, being the only person to ever like them – also think that you will never amount to anything. When presented with really good bit with all the rich metaphor that sees the character you blatantly wrote as an idealised version of yourself finally get with the girl whose Facebook page is your most visited site on Chrome, George Monbiot said: “What the fuck is this dreary shite? I would love to chin you mate. And yeah, before you ask, this is the real George Monbiot. You thought I was going to dignify that ream of sub-Tumblr cliché by phoning in one of my columns with the big words that looks clever but really means nothing in particular? You can fuck off mate, seriously. The girl doesn’t even sound fit. I’ll buy you a Sun+ membership if it means you never read any of my work again.” In a further blow to your dreams of amounting to anything more than your miserable Tory-voting parents have, Polly
Toynbee, who had initially remained conspicuously silent amid the growing backlash, wrote on Comment is Free: “This is wank, tbhwy”. Passages from Morrissey’s novel – widely circulated on social media – have led to speculation that List of the Lost will emerge victorious in the Literary Review’s 2015 Bad Sex Awards. The panel have since confirmed that “you can’t win, you’re a virgin.”
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F*ck You It’s Freshers.
Msg 4 Guestlist.
Ms. Anthropy I cannot live with myself a moment more. My life is a farce – I am a charlatan; a sham; a phony. I am the bloated rat that steals the eyes of your sleeping child. I vend vivacity; I wheeler deal what I call the realest deal; but it is false. I spin an elaborate web of silken lies. I blind myself to the suffering I cause - like the operator of an unmanned drone, I am divorced from the residuum of my actions.
at 11:53 I wept. Tickets abound – my clutch bag overflows with them; they dribble to the floor like the ejaculations of clumsy, inebriated youths. I coax you out from your damp, but fundamentally warm, bedroom. I steal your soul for a pound commission. Stay in! Drink cocoa and replenish the state of your liver. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race with your flatmates; bond while pondering how to view it through an intersectional feminist lens.
catacomb I’m enticing you into. Cheap drinks! But what is the price? Top DJs! But aren’t they all wankers really? I implore you to ignore me. Save me the torment of success. BEST CLUB NIGHT IN LONDON! Yeah right. FREE SHOTS FOR EVERYONE! Watered down pal. There will be nothing. Nothing.
I am setter of traps; regretful poacher. I am club promoter. “Last 50 tickets!!!!” I posted at 11:52 on the 2nd October;
Nobody is going to care if you’re not at Koko, or Piccadilly Institute, or whatever desolate pheromone soaked
Come down on Thursday night though yeah, should be a good night!
UCL UNION CHEESE GRATER MAGAZINE SOCIETY President—Jess Murray Editor—Bo Franklin Investigations Editor—P.K. Maguire Humour Editor—Maddy Comber
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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.