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Freshers’ Issue 2017


In this Issue: Investigations - Only 22% of UCL’s top earners are women - Union stands up to Fencing tyrants at last! - True cost of UCL cafe still unknown Humour -UCL finally figures out how to improve student satisfaction -What UCL’s cleaners really think

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2 Freshers 2017 The Cheese Grater

Welcome to UCL! So yeah... the league tables lied to you ONLY 22% OF UCL’S TOP EARNERS ARE WOMEN UCL was the first university in the UK to admit women - surely this has been forced down every fresher’s throat by now? What they don’t put in the brochure, and what The Cheese Grater can exclusively reveal is the massive gender pay gap in salaries for UCL’s highest earners. 196 staff members at UCL earn over £140,000 a year, which is over double the number of people who earn the equivalent amount at King’s College London. Of these UCL fat cats (pictured below), only 44 are women. We thought it was just the BBC who had this problem! Let’s hope the similarities in scandals end there.

This issue at UCL is unsurprisingly not isolated to its highest earners. Last year The Cheese Grater revealed that female post graduate teaching assistants earned on average 22 percent less than their male counterparts. Justine Canady, the Union’s Women’s Officer makes a similar point saying “I’m more interested in closing the gender pay gap by raising the wages of the hyper-exploited teaching assistants, cleaners and caterers who are disproportionately women, than I am in adding more women to the ranks of our overpaid bosses.” UCL acknowledged the problem and emphasised the number of female career progression programmes they have in place, and noted that this issue was endemic in all of higher education. They also highlighted that the “proportion of women in UCL’s sen-

ior grades 9 and 10 (which equates to roughly earning £55,000 or more) has risen steadily for the past four years, from 31 percent in 2012 to 35.7 percent in October 2016.” Not long left gals xx

BREAKING NEWS: NO BAD NEWS ABOUT BLOOMSBURY THEATRE! The Cheese Grater is thrilled to reveal that we don’t need to write an article about Bloomsbury Theatre’s renovation as it is surprisingly running right on time. The university’s biggest asset to student arts was closed in the autumn of 2015 when asbestos was found to be literally everywhere. Student performances have since been farmed out to theatres like the Shaw - a perfect equivalent, being of a similar size, capacity, and having similar amounts of asbestos - and the Bloomsbury Studio, which has none of these things, but is quite nice. Given UCL’s track record with student theatres (turning the old Garage theatre into a cafe without replacing it), nobody was optimistic, especially when plans were revealed to convert much of the Bloomsbury into lecture - and cafe - space during renovations. Happily, after much consultation with the student Arts societies over the last two years, these plans were scrapped, and the new theatre is to be bigger and better than ever before (apparently), with an operating model that actually allows for more student productions. The enabling works (stripping the theatre down of asbestos, seats, vents, asbestos, etc.) have been handled over the summer, with major building to commence this autumn. The theatre is intended to open in October 2018, coinciding with its 50th anniversary, with the first student shows performed in November.

News & Investigations

Society Bitch We all know Fencing Club have had it too good for far too long now. Thankfully, the brave men and women in the Union and “Clubs and Societies” have FINALLY stood up against the tyrants at Fencing and divied up Fencing’s prime-time Wednesday afternoon, three hour spot in Bloomsbury Fitness, between some of the more disadvantaged societies, such as Boat Club and Water Polo. Readers rejoice! Just to make sure Fencing knew how much they were truly loathed, they were only told about the loss of their training session ten days ago. The Union even got Fencing to bear the indignity of having to cut the hours of their hired coach only a few days before training begins. It’s just so wonderfully cruel! But it doesn’t end there: Just to further rub salt into wounds, as a consolation Fencing now have a mammoth five hour training session on Saturday morning in the Gym. As what every casual fresher fencer (of which there were a 100 or so last year) wants to do is fence for five hours after a messy night out at ULU. The plan is so diabolical and clever, we can’t believe the Union came up with it! Though Ilyas Morrison, the Activites and Events Officer continues to play the naif, saying he did not “want to take space from anyone”. He really is a Puss in Boots.

HOW MUCH DID NEW CAFE REALLY COST? UCL is proudly harping on about its lush new lower refectory in the WIlkins Building which through FOIs sent by The Cheese Grater, we know had an initial budget of £5.6 million. Strangely enough however, the FOI team could not us what the overall spend had been as “a final cost has not yet been agreed”. Don’t worry though - it’s unlike UCL to overspend on anything.

The Cheese Grater Freshers 2017 3


Billy Fresher Tests The Waters

UCL Pioneers Way To Improve Student Satisfaction T. Greater Good

Roused into action by being placed 120th in the country for student satisfaction, UCL has thrown its black heart and soul into cheering up its disaffected yoof. One favourite scheme is the much-loved delayed exam timetable release. Every year, UCL thoughtfully reduces the time during which students feel exam stress by simply not telling them the exams are happening until the night immediately before. And how brave of the college to inspire self-sufficiency in its disabled students by refusing to provide the necessary provisions for them to even sit their exams. Good job! UCL administration even found time for some

Hurl! Hurl! Hurl! (To Everything There Is a Season) And You Shall Know My Name. And It Is Justice

retail therapy, blowing £70k on a rebrand of the students’ union. The standard UCL purple colour scheme, deemed by a focus groups to be “just too fucken miserable”, has been replaced by a cheery orange, a colour associated with many positive things such as juice, a reliable phone signal and the royal family of the Netherlands. Some have argued that this money would have been better spent providing bursaries for disadvantaged students or improving UCL’s mental health services, but here at The Cheese Grater, we remain confident in the iron will of our great Leaders. Stay strong, Michael!

When you get to my age, you really learn to hate the young. You know the types - the ‘Ya, ya, yaa’ Quentins, the ‘bro, bro brooo’ Jakes. I’ve cleaned up all their sick - from their chunder in Chandler, their retches in Roberts, their puke in Pearson, their ‘art’ (shit) in the Slade and even their vomit in the Velaquez Memorial Lecture theatre in the Institute of the Americas.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. As Spring turns to Autumn and kebabs turn to spew, so this weary world rolls on. My name is Grant. Malcolm Grant. Look me up, newbies - look me up and see your future. I’m laughing now though - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - because I know that you’ll be here cleaning little Lord McShithead’s piss off the side of the portico when Daddy’s mummy runs dry after another recession. When Mummy’s sold the wine cellar to pay off the gambling debts, you’ll come begging for my job. And I will laugh and spit and laugh and you will know the reckoning of the Gods.

When you’ve cleaned up enough regurgitated mess, you learn things. You begin to categorise them; you learn to spot the signs of a repeat offender. And then, how refreshing it is to glare at them from across the quad - their precious hair in a grimy knot, You absolute fucks. bodies empty of digestive waste but full to the brim with self-assured wankerness.

Contributors: Tara Sarangi, James Witherspoon, Huw Steer, Jack Redfern, Laura Foster-Devaney, Jason Murugesu, Jack Redfern, Leo Freund-Williams, Alex Diamond, Ross Humphreys, Anna Saunders

4 Freshers 2017 The Cheese Grater

Meet the family: Grater Expectations, our flagship feminist zine, and The UCL Graters, our award-winning comedy sketch group. Meetings every Wednesday and Thursday.

Like what you see? Want to know more? Investigations · Humour · Sketch · Zine · Self-loathing

Welcome Meeting #1

7pm, Monday 2nd October

Welcome Meeting #2

5.30pm, Tuesday 10th October

Location TBC - check our Facebook page or meet one of our team outside The Print Room cafe 15 minutes before. UCL Cheese Grater Magazine Society President—Tara Sarangi Co-Editors—Jason Murugesu and Jack Redfern Investigations Editor— Weronika Strzyzynska Humour Editor—Ollie Dunn

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

Freshers' Issue 2017