Autumn Issue – 2013
Hannah Sketchley & Bo Franklin Last Monday UCLU Catholic Society came to blows with UCL Union after their event ‘The Church and Homosexuality - How to Defend Your Views’ was cancelled at the last minute. UCLU Activities and Events Officer Doris Chen, Democracy & Communications Officer Dan Warham and Women’s Officer Beth Sutton stormed down to Newman House to inform the society that the event was off. They repeatedly told the CathSoc President, Ignatius Pinto, that there was no political motivation at play during a very circular exchange
Union Under Fire From Catholic Society in Censorship Row
in the foyer of Newman House - despite the fact that controversial speaker and anti-choice campaigner Peter D. Williams topped the bill. Nonetheless, some Catholic Society members are angry at what they view as an attack on their freedom of speech. Chen called these accusations ‘completely unfounded’ and added that ‘I decided to cancel the event when I was certain that CathSoc had failed to go through our outside speaker process.’ After the event was blocked and the sabbs left, the Catholics sloped off to the Cardinal’s Arms, the bar in Newman House. Once there, instead of the
UCLU CathSoc holding the talk, a group of people who all happened to be associated with the group simply sat and listened to Williams discuss some of the things he would have said in the bar.t As Beth Sutton exited the building, her Abortion Rights-branded tote bag caught the attention of a passing elderly Catholic woman, who snuck up behind her and whispered “I’ve been looking at your bag” before creeping off, leaving Sutton to revel in the subtleties of her quest to preach the pro-choice gospel to all. (Cont’d on page three)
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Down Your Union Norman & Nomran De Plume Another gloomy Tuesday evening in October, another poorly-attended Welcome General Assembly. Despite Democracy & Communications Officer Dan Warham’s winning manifesto promise to advertise Members’ Meetings to all and “make democracy easier to participate in,” he proposed the idea of cancelling the meeting altogether. Warham brought his plan to call off the General Assembly to the table at a meeting of the UCLU Executive Committee, which is composed of all ten Sabbatical Officers, plus part-time officers with responsibilities covering with community relations, activities and liberation groups. The rest of the committee was less keen to simply transfer the motions to Union Council or the next meeting, and persuaded him to go ahead. After switching his on-off romance with mass democracy back to on, Warham had to battle with the communications half of his job. A distinct lack of advertising appeared on campus, and an oversight meant the meeting eventually fell on Eid – a bit of a cock-up at London’s Global University. Warham appears to have his own definition of what his job should entail. As the small clan of hacks left the Bloomsbury theatre, he was overheard to say: “That’s democracy for you – nobody gives a fuck.”
Welcome everybody, erm anybody? A grand total of 36 people turned up to participate, which was at least one more than at the previous year’s caper (organised by Sam Gaus). The excruciating loneliness was dragged out for 15 minutes before Union Chair Sahal Quazi called the meeting to a close, offering his apologies. Motions to ban the playing of Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” in Union venues and end police interference on campus will be carried over to the next
meeting of Union Council.
The democratic apathetic process Student apathy was highlighted again with a low turnout at the autumn elections. Positions on offer included the fairly responsible Student Trustees, along with NUS delegates, a few part-time officers and then the various faculty and hall representatives. The low voter turnout of 4% was unsurprising, considering not all positions even had people standing for them and nearly two thirds of candidates were elected unopposed. Only 1199 students logged on to vote – over 300 less than last year’s autumn election. By UCLU standards, this figure seemed almost a success and was praised with no hint of irony by LSE media on Twitter. UCLU Activities and Events Officer Doris Chen was keen to exert her own influence on the elections, as she officially recommended some twenty society presidents to stand for election, with political society presidents notably absent. Chen’s choices had a hundred percent electoral success rate – or at least the one who ran for election did. The question remains as to how appropriate it is for a full-time officer to be involved in picking candidates for the part-time officer elections.
Surprise victory for RON supporters Notable results include the RON-ing of former Education and Campaigns Officer Luke Durigan for both positions he ran for – NUS Delegate and Trustee. This was no great victory for a devious RON campaign, however – Durigan hadn’t been registered as a student until half way through the campaigning period, so was not on the ballot paper when eager beavers first voted.
Astor way to do it! Candidates who seemed to know the way to freshers’ hearts included the two
Society Bitch Keen to imitate their higher-ups, the Lib Dem and Conservative societies have brought the coalition to UCL. Their first move is to share a single Treasurer: Ilia Barboutev. Formerly a devout member of Lib Dem soc, Illia slipped easily into conservatism’s tweed slippers. Could this be the start of a new age of UCL politics, or will life imitate life and see this coalition turn to bitterness? Clearly not busy enough, Ilia was sent to clear out Tory Soc’s storage space in the archery range, where he found what society President Louisa Townson described on facebook as “Crusty, almost putrid underwear, marked as belonging to UCL Tories” as well as 240 wine glasses, “most of which had years old wine stains/ mould”. Party on, Tory Soc, party on. Marxist Society eagerly plugged their inaugral event with “distinguished Professor Orlando Figes” on the history of the Russian Revolution. Soc Bitch hopes that they will check reviews of the event very carefully: Figes was previously criticised for posting fake reviews on Amazon, rubbishing his rivals and praising his work under the imaginative pseudonym orlando-birkbeck. It is assumed he took inspiration from karlhighgate’s attacks on the bourgeoisie, and joseph-kremlin’s icepick-based critique of Trotsky. competitors for Hall Representative positions at Astor College, Anam Zaman and Hazooria Taan, who both provided free beer and pizza, funded by their campaign budgets, in exchange for votes. The only pay-off was that students were watched over whilst they voted.
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Union Curtail Catholic Crusade (Cont’d from page one) Peter D. Williams told The Cheese Grater that the debacle was ‘censorship by bureaucracy’. He claimed that ‘anyone talking about the issue is portrayed as homophobic. Catholics are not homophobic, we believe in respect, care and love.’ Had the speech gone ahead, Williams would have spoken on Catholicism’s teachings on homosexuality and whether legislation is limiting freedom of speech. When asked about his own views, he replied ‘all actions should have a purpose […] Any sexual act which cannot fulfil the procreation element is wrong. This is not homophobic.’ Embarrassingly, he has been turned away from UCLU events before, when Debating Society failed to
pre-approve him. UCL’s LGBT+ Students’ Network vehemently disagreed with Williams, stating that ‘The frame they [Catholic Society] use is nothing but homophobia. Although they hide behind excuses, their workshop will give way to discrimination of LGBT+ students.’ The Network supports UCLU’s decision to cancel the event, but view it as a political issue. ‘The union has a duty of care for its members […] and this event clearly did not fit with this.’ Catholic Society, on the other hand, attempted to assure their members that it was a simple misunderstanding. Their President, Ignatius Pinto, took full responsibility. Having apologised for his
going down well with readers. The Oh bitter pi-rony not Cheese Grater has learned that Pi is in fact Bo Franklin Pi Media, UCL’s official source of Sean Bean-related news and events, has hit choppy waters. After scrapping its newspaper last year, Pi Magazine is now reportedly having to delay its next issue. This is officially due to Pi ‘playing with the layout’, WordArt’s default Impact font apparently
struggling to find advertising revenue. Given this lack of success, they are turning to alternative revenue streams, attempting to garner funds from advertorials. One society president reported that they had to haggle with Pi to get coverage, as the magazine originally demanded up to £600 to feature their society.
Pope enjoys a pint in the Cardinals Arms part in the mess, he promised to ensure that all relevant paperwork is submitted in the future. Democracy and Communications Officer Dan Warham tried to put the issue to bed, telling The Cheese Grater that ‘I don’t think it is political censorship. We were given no opportunity to vet the speaker and no chance to stop the talk before.’ Peter Williams has spoken of plans to reschedule the event, however, so this is an argument that could run and run. As if this were not enough, one of the editors has mooted plans to launch a new supplement called Pi Review. This would be sold with Bloomsbury Theatre programmes at £2 a pop, though as yet it lacks the full support of the other editors. With Time Out recently becoming a free paper, it’s good to see that Pi will be filling the aching gap in the market for a paidfor arts supplement.
The Court Case, The Crackdown and 3Cosas Bo Franklin The trial of Konstancja Duff, the student arrested for chalking ‘sick pay, holidays, pensions now’ outside ULU last July has been adjourned. The 24-year-old University of London student was charged with one count of criminal damage and two of assaulting a police officer. She has been granted unconditional bail until next February, when the trial should finally go ahead. The University of London crackdown on protest continued as one student was threatened with arrest whilst in Senate House. Former UCLU Education and Campaigns Officer Edwin CliffordCoupe was handing out leaflets in support of Duff when two security guards
approached him. As they brandished scrunched-up copies of the leaflet, they told him to leave and threatened him with arrest. Clifford-Coupe stayed put, asserting his right as a student to hand out materials in university buildings, but was told that the police would arrive imminently. Panicked by the threat, he handed out the rest of the stack in the manner of a market trader, yelling: “What I’m doing is apparently illegal - have the leaflet they tried to ban!” He commented: “The whole episode was stressful, so much so that I was worried about going to my lecture the next day in Senate House, in case the security guards wouldn’t let me in to my own university!” A representative of the University of London security team
insisted that Clifford-Coupe was not moved on for political reasons but because he was “causing disruption to normal people” and becoming a fire hazard. Despite Duff ’s show-trial hanging over them, students have continued to defy the ban on protest (see CG39) to further the 3Cosas campaign. A demo outside Senate House was held on Thursday 24 October, where students and cleaners scaled the locked gates of the library and barricaded themselves against the security staff and police who had been called. Senate House were said to be filming the demonstration, so despite the lack of arrests on the day it remains to be seen whether there will be future recriminations for those caught on camera.
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Provost Propping Up Naughty Regimes Bo Franklin Fresher Provost Michael Arthur channeled his slippery predecessor recently when he skilfully dodged some awkward questions at his inaugural lecture. UCLU Labour Society Secretary Matt Deaves challenged the Provost on UCL’s involvement with shady regimes, specifically Qatar and Kazakhstan. Arthur responded by acknowledging that ‘over time we may help these countries improve their human rights records’, but also recognised that the human rights record in these countries is ‘so bad that we would be deeply worried about associating ourselves with such regimes’. This comes less than a month after UCL’s Qatar campus, funded by two Qatari state organisations, was opened by Her Excellenc y Sheikha Al-Mayassa bin Hamad Al-Thani, HRH the Duke of York and former Provost Malcolm Grant. Unsurprisingly, UCL Qatar doesn’t offer courses on democrac y, instead focusing on Archaeolog y and Conser vation
Studies. The last time Malcolm stayed in Qatar his hotel bills alone cost UCL nearly £1000 (see CG 32), so hopefully he bunked with Prince Andrew this time. A former UCL student recently condemned UCL’s actions in Qatar on pinknews.co.uk, juxtaposing Qatar’s draconian laws on homosexuality with Vice-Provost Michael Worton’s claim that ‘our values match ver y much with Qatar Foundation’ (the state-run organisation funding UCL Qatar). Despite being asked by The Cheese Grater to clarif y the Provost’s position on these regimes, the Provost’s office gave no re-
sponse. Arthur did however add in his speech that he was ‘not a fan of the overseas undergraduate campus approach’. Whether this means he is happy to keep cashing the cheques from authoritarian regimes is another matter. Qatar and Kazakhstan are arg uably more innocent sources of revenue than those found by Provost Arthur during his tenure at Leeds, when he received donations from the former knight of the realm Jimmy Savile, deceased. Once Savile’s crimes were unveiled, the donations were quietly returned to his estate, but it’s unlikely the human rights abuses already witnessed in these regimes will elicit a similar crisis of conscience.
Tiny fresher goes to a student nite
Contributors: Hannah Sketchley, Charlie Hayton, Bo Franklin, Alex Daish, Alex Dutton, Beatrice Kelly, Emily McGovern, Sam Gaus, Charlie MacKeith, Raven La Ghoul, Nathan Steele, Arianne Diaz-Cebreiro, Eleanor Hyland-Stanbrook, Patrick Maguire, Alex Gerrity, Ollie Phelan, Gerrard Westhoff
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Bus Drivers Actually PURE EVIL John Patmos It was today revealed that all bus drivers are entered into a pact with Satan, sparking relief and dawning comprehension across the globe. Previous knowledge had assumed that bus drivers were grumpy fuckers because of long hours, poor pay and worthless interaction with fellow humans, though no explanation to date had fully accounted for why bus drivers take it upon themselves to be quite so bloody horrible. Nigel Fink, former busman and minion of Satan, released a tell-all book this morning revealing TfL’s relationship with Beelzebub, one based on the threat of an eternity spent paddling in the river Styx. Shortly after his book launch, Mr Fink was swallowed by a fiery chasm which erupted from below his very feet; the Lord of Darkness is quoted as having said “Mankind will pay for its sins”. The book’s shocking revelations include refusing to give change for £10 notes despite “making sure I have lots of change every morning”, completely ‘free styling’ his bus route for no reason, and refusing to stop when someone rang the bell because “Satan said he would give me a really vi-
cious noogie”. Also included were various instances of drivers pretending not to understand “The Ethnics,” braking unnecessarily harshly, and knocking cyclists off their bikes in accordance with the Devil’s demands. Fink was accidentally released from his pact with His Unholiness on a busman’s holiday to Rome, during which his wife tried to drown him in what turned out to be a font of holy water. To his wife’s delight, Fink was exorcised and became, in her words, “almost immediately less of a bas-
tard, so I thought to myself: ‘Maybe I won’t kill him after all’”. Fink then decided to pen a memoir explaining his career spent being an arsehole. Due to a chronic lack of friends caused by his occupation, Mr. Fink’s funeral is open to anybody who can be bothered to turn up. It will take place next Tuesday underneath the A40 flyover, which can be reached by taking the number 18 to Sudbury and getting off at the ‘Bishop’s Bridge/ Little Venice’ stop. Flowers to the Willesden Junction bus depot.
POSTMAN PAT, POSTMAN PAT, POSTMAN PAT IS A FUCKING SCAB Asbestos Garibaldi “I bought shares in the Royal Mail because I’m proud of what it stands for, what it has done for British people over the last 500 years and I’m proud to have a piece of British history. But when the share price peaks, I’ll flog them and buy that gold-plated flat cap I’ve been eyeing.” The Cheese Grater caught up with Patrick Clifton, Communication Workers’ Union Branch Secretary for Greendale and kids’ TV stop-motion celebrity, after he joined thousands of people buying shares in Royal Mail following its privatisation earlier this month. Postman Pat was previously interviewed by The Cheese Grater during the industrial disputes over modernisation in 2009 (CG22: “A
Striker Speaks Out”), commenting “the managers have probably been planning for the selloff for a long time, isn’t that right Jess?” “It’s great that the government decided to pitch such a low flotation price. Isn’t it funny to think that every penny I make on my shares as the price settles is a penny stolen from the taxpayer. Better spent on me than on those benefits scroungers!” Pat laughed loudly for a few minutes and then asked for a moment to compose himself. “The plan is to use my post route to deliver letters to every household in Greendale from prominent banks and hedge funds suggesting that they should all invest in LON:RMG as a matter of urgency,” Pat informed us, “then when the value has been inflated enough from
the added interest, I can sell mine on and make a bit of dosh.” When asked whether that would be entirely legal, Pat panted audibly and admitted “well it was Jess’s idea of course. And she said it was all completely legit. Isn’t that right, Jess?” He gestured at a duffel bag he had placed carefully on the bar stool between us at the beginning of the interview. I asked what was in the bag and Clifton whispered “be quiet, would you? Jess must be sleeping.” He carefully unzipped the bag and revealed a mess of rotting fur and cat bones. When I looked up, Pat was gone.
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Emily’s Handy Stepby-Step Guide to Looking After Your Neighbour’s Pet Goldfish Step Two: Feed the pet goldfish to your own real pet
Step Four: Buy replacement tank and pet goldfish a few days before neighbours’ return
Step One: Senselessly massacre all the pet goldfish
Step Three: Enjoy not having to clean the goddamn slime of the tank every fucking two days because fish are dirty bastards
Step Five: Teach the new pet goldfish intimate details about the neighbours’ household to ensure that they do not raise suspicion
Step Six: When one of the new pet goldfish starts to have second thoughts and wants out, threaten it, using a dramatic reconstruction of the pet goldfish massacre
Step Seven: Establish a curfew and install searchlights and guard tower. Forbid unsupervised inter-fish communication. For optimum results establish personality cult
Step Eight: Make an example of alpha pet goldfish by summarily executing it
Step Nine: Shit, I need to buy another goldfish
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GUIDANCE ON HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY PROF. G. RATER The first thing to do is to make yourself a space in which you feel comfortable. Not too comfortable you BLOODY PERVERT. Gather a few pillows around you but FOR GOD’S SAKE remove the pillow cases first because they’ll only distract you the horrible little bastards. Make sure you don’t have any bright colours to make your attention wander. Anything brighter than Mustard Yellow HAS TO GO. In fact just paint everything around you Mustard Yellow it’s a good colour. Stimulates the mind fires the appetite. The sanctity of your precious nest MUST be established. If someone tries to interrupt
you scream incoherently into their horrible face. The important thing is to remain very calm when you do this. Very calm. Still be loud and aggressive though OR they’ll not get the message. Now for the Essay. You have to treat an essay like your opponent in a fist-fight. It’s slept with your HUSBAND wrapped in those warm arms you once found yourself entangled lovingly within. You came in on the Essay and the love of your life HORNING each other in the shower now you have to break that nervous grin right off its face. Pummel it. PUMMEL IT. Pummel it until it begs for mercy then spit in its eye because it’s horrible horrible horrible.
What you absolutely MUSTN’T do is to allow it to grapple you into a headlock and give you a swirly in the loo. That can happen more easily than you might imagine. Absolutely key tip there remember it well. Also don’t forget to CLEARLY SIGNPOST your arguments at the head of each paragraph to make life easier for the person marking it and to give yourself direction and focus. When writing the conclusion don’t INTRODUCE any new ideas YOU BASTARD just briefly summate and analyse the ones you’ve already covered while wrapping up what you stated in the INTRODUCTION.
Marxists reeling after 'actual prole' attends meeting Alex Kolchak UCL’s Marxists are facing an internal crisis after it was noticed that a fresher who attended their meetings was not only state-educated, but in receipt of a maintenance grant to boot. Expressing disbelief, members of the revolutionary workers’ vanguard/ociety confirmed the presence of the intruder, thought to have been ‘an actual prole’. A leading figure in the group, identified only as Comrade Jonty, dismissed the fresher as a “stalking horse from a rival Maoist faction” whilst questioning why “feckless louts” thought it appropriate to disrupt the
revolutionary process by “getting all Alan Bennett” on the society. “It was an upsetting experience,” added another comrade, nursing a guest ale in an Islington pub. “We were trying to have a serious discussion about the syntactical idiosyncrasies in Trotsky’s writings on the Spanish Civil War, but this guy wouldn’t shut his sparsely-toothed mouth about the living wage and the privatisation of the NHS. Running this kind of society is difficult enough as it is without time-wasters who don’t understand the need for workers’ consciousness-building”. Other full-time class-warriors/soci-
ety members were quick to defend the attitudes taken during the episode. “We’ve had loads of Northerners here before,” began one, “last year there was this great chap from Stoke, though I suspect he had the wrong room. I always watch Owen Jones when he’s on Question Time as well, so you could hardly call me prejudiced.” Senior comrades, meanwhile, were quick to reassure doubters. “Ours is UCL’s only truly inclusive society. However, new members should be aware of the fact that dissent and curiosity are petty-bourgeois and have no place here.”
The Snob Delusion
Lawrence Krauss.” The development would feature a pulpit from which speakers could preach to the congregation of enlightened and rational thinkers; decorations would include stained-glass windows with crude depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, Jesus and Buddha, and a font filled with self-satisfied hot air. “It’s really essential that we show that UCL is an environment where no zealotry can be tolerated,” explained one ASHS student, “which is why I believe no religion of any kind should be able to express its views without suffering my condescension and petty insults. Obviously, anyone who disagrees with this is just trying to oppress my right to free speech, and I for one will not be trodden on!” Planning has already begun for exhibitions to be held in this new space. The first of
these will be ‘Misandry Through The Ages: How feminists have oppressed men in every epoch of history’, followed by two CompSci students’ vision of how advanced the world would be if scientific progress hadn’t been suppressed by the onslaught of Christian bigotry. Those atheist students who have questioned the planned build as “a ridiculous extension of the provocative and childish strain within atheism which discredits the whole movement” have been decried as heretics and burned by fallacies, sophistic arguments and bellowed defences that leave no room for sensible responses. Rumours that the planned build will contain a sandpit in which members of the congregation can bury their heads to hide from debate are as yet unconfirmed.
Hugh Mannist Following recent controversies over the Atheist Society at LSE, the UCL Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society announced this week that it would be lobbying the University and Union for £1.2 million to construct a 150ft tall “Secular Centre” on Gower Street. The proposed centre would be built over the area currently occupied by the Slade School of Fine Art, which ASHS has justified because “modern art is just worthy, pretentious shit. Instead of graduate art shows, visitors will be able to browse a library of curated blog posts criticising religion, and all the tweets of our wise teachers Richard Dawkins and
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The Cheese Grater’s Sexy Malcom Grant’s Sexy Bentham Sexy Gandhi Sexy Moustache Halloween Suggestions BREAKING NEWS: MAN KILLS OTHER MAN Statistical Inevitablity Occurs; Some People Feel Some Feelings Giles Bandwidth It has emerged that a member of the human race has been charged with the attacking and killing of another member of the same species. The victim, a confirmed person, was apparently “not being murdered” prior to the murder. The incident occurred near a person’s house,
which is located on a street. Witnesses have claimed that the attack began after “various things happened involving the two men” and that they experienced “a range of emotions” whilst it happened. It has also been suggested by somewhat relevant sources that various elements of language were employed by the two men
as they performed a number of actions. A prominent figure in society has decried this action, confidently claiming that the murderer “broke the [law]” and that “measures of some kind” may or may not be taken against unspecified people. Relevant actions may well be performed in the future regarding this case.
Pi’s Telly Tips! U.S. SERIES BREAKING BAD TIPPED TO BE A BIG HIT! Gidgeon Mirror Stuck for something to watch this month? Fear not! Here at Pi we’ve done our homework and found you one of the hottest new shows Stateside – so you don’t have to. Though admittedly a bit niche and maybe too arty for some, Vince Gillighan’s Breaking Bad has all the ingredients that make it our top tip to be America’s answer to Downton Abbey! The show, set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, follows the (mis)adventures of dad-of-one and chemistry boffin Walter White, who teams up with mischievous ex-student Jesse Pinkman to manufacture the illegal drug crystal meth. Don’t worry though, guys, Walter isn’t a baddy – he just wants to fund treatment for a debilitating and inoperable cancer of
the lungs…PHEW! What makes this zany duo’s madcap schemes all the more gripping is the fact that Walter keeps his naughty money-maker secret from his wife Skyler, son Walter Jr (yes…Gillighan has a vivid imagination!) and his bumbling brother-in-law Hank…who’s only a flippin’ policeman! OK, so far, so good, but why would you stay in and watch telly instead of pulling hot girls at Loop?! Good point guys! Well, the eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that Malcolm in the Middle’s Bryan Cranston, who played the adorably autistic patriarch Hal, plays Walter! Whilst not a sequel as such, you’ll soon find the tone, subject matter and general hijinks on show in Breaking Bad mean this may as well be that 8th series you’ve waited so bloody long for!!!
Pi’s top tip is to buy a box-set from the Fopp! in Gower Street Waterstones, but if you can’t get there, why not ask a computer whizz-kid to hook you up with high-tech website Net Flicks? This is a comedy not to be missed! Originally published in Pi Magazine, October 2013.
UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society President—Beatrice Kelly Editor—Hannah Sketchley Investigations Editor—Bo Franklin Humour Editor—Charlie Hayton
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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.