The Cheese Grater THE OTHER MAGAZINE OF UCL UNION Issue 38 — Summer 2013
SHAME ON ULU? This and more in our elections round-up
GRANT MUSEUM We delve beneath the moustache to exhibit his life’s work
KOALATY TIME Departing big shot editor goes Down Under
GOING OUT WITH A
BULLY BOYS Undercover report into UCL’s exclusive dining club
COX-A-DOODLE-DO Sexy TV physics professor opens a petting zoo
SUCCESS STORY A smooth operator tells you how make friends and influence people Oscar Webb UCL is selling off its reputation to arms manufacturers and mining conglomerates. Companies such as BAE Systems and Lockhead Martin have been setting up research institutes, which college management are only too happy to lend the UCL name to for the right price. With an increase in private investment, UCL’s research is at risk of becoming less critical and more driven by corporate interests. The Cheese Grater has delved into the murky world of UCL’s private financiers. Semi-private institutes are increasingly sprouting up at UCL. In November 2008, the former Labour Defence Secretary John
Or how UCL learned to stop worrying and love the bomb Reid, supported by arms manufacturers, announced the establishment of the Institute of Security and Resilience Studies. The ISRS began operations in April 2010, and the appearance of keynote speaker Tony Blair at its inaugural conference in November last year drew large protests outside UCL. The Institute gets its funding primarily from two arms companies, Ultra Electronics and EADS. Ultra Electronics develops drone technology, describing itself as a “key partner” in the US Predator drone programme, while EADS is currently being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, following allegations of bribing Saudi
Arabian officials to the value of £14.5m to secure arms contracts. EADS is a key partner in the development of the Eurofighter jet and drones for the French, German and Spanish armed forces. The ISRS’s appointed fellows and advisory board reads like a who’s who of the international defence and intelligence industries. Among the board’s members are Professor Phillip Bobbit, director of the US national security council under President Clinton, and Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush. Furthermore, the advisory board is chaired by none other than the chairman of Ultra Electronics, (Cont’d on page three)
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Down Your Elections Norman De Plume Another set of Spring Elections, another sweep of positions fished out of the dustbin of history by left-wing candidates. After record-breaking voter turnout of 16.3 per cent, UCL Union remains, for the most part, in the iron grip of Trotsky Inc. Six of the ten sabbatical suite chairs are now filled by candidates backed by the Occupation Generation. The notable exceptions were Zayyann Butt, who thrashed Ben Beach to win Ethics, Environment and Operations Officer, and Doris Chen, who picked up a hard fought victory against Omar Kahn in the race for Activities and Events Officer. The pact between ISoc and the UCLU Left, strong in previous years, seemingly did not bear as much fruit this year after ISoc lost the race for their most prized position, Activities and Events Officer.
Sneade Deep One of the bloodiest battles fought was that for the newly created post of Women’s Officer. Feminist Beth Sutton emerged triumphant after a tight race against Tory candidate Helen Chandler-Wilde and “selfdefining woman” Kirk Sneade, whose campaign began as a joke but gathered momentum as it emerged more and more people were supporting his candidacy as some form
‘COSTA Progress’ update As reported in CG37, UCL will build up to ten new cafés under the Bloomsbury Masterplan. It’s since emerged that UCL Council Treasurer, Simon Melliss, sits on the board of Whitbread PLC, which own Costa Coffee. Melliss also chairs UCL’s Investments Committee. There are already two Costas and a Costa machine on campus and UCL says it’s in the “early stages” of “competitive procurement” of further catering providers . College could not confirm whether or not Melliss is involved in this process. Obviously, if he were, this would constitute a massive conflict of interests.
of protest vote. Sneade’s original manifesto campaigned to “encourage women of UCL to wear leggings, jeggings and summer-time denim hot-pants”. This document was censored by UCLU, an act which Sneade compared to the persecution of communists in Nazi Germany. Sneade withdrew his candidacy shortly after meeting the Dean of Students, Ruth Siddall. Union insiders say he was given an ultimatum by Siddall: withdraw your candidacy or face disciplinary action from UCL. The Student Union has already banned Sneade from all UCLU space for two terms as punishment for his actions.
U-Lose Meanwhile, there was also a bout of elections going on at ULU. Leftist poster boy and perpetual third year history student Michael Chessum won re-election as President, along with Royal Holloway alumnus Daniel Lemberger Cooper as Vice-President. Cooper won by the narrowest of margins, edging out competitor Will Hall by just 29 votes. The Cooper-Hall race at times teetered on the brink of being purely about the politics of remembrance – Cooper refused to lay a Remembrance wreath back in November last year. Team Cooper, however, undertook a pre-emptive smear campaign against Hall, calling him out on his antics as Tory Society president at UCL. Chessum and Cooper campaigners also accused him of having double standards over his liberation politics – claiming that Hall had called homosexuality a “lifestyle choice”. Hall vehemently denies these allegations and was overheard threatening legal action over the remarks.
Senate the Menace Over a week after the close of polls, one of the ULU elections has still not been decided. The race for London Student Editor, involving The Cheese Grater’s Oscar Webb and London Student’s Katie Lathan has been voided by the ULU Elections Committee, due to alleged biased reporting from the current London Student team. In
Society Bitch Regular readers of Pi Media will be delighted to learn that hundreds of Freshers’ issue copies of the now defunct newspaper are still available in the Science Library. Perhaps they’ll appreciate like a fine Burgundy, or maybe they’ll curdle like forgotten cottage cheese. Party on, Pi. UCL Russian Society took an interesting approach to International Women’s Day. They decided to celebrate women’s liberation by enslaving men in a charity man auction. Party on, Russian Soc. their ‘Random Facts’ section of the ‘Election Special’, Lathan, who is current deputy editor of London Student, was lauded with “Katie has over 20 nominations from teams and societies across the University of London”. Webb’s ‘fact’, however, was that he “has never been involved with London Student”. The volume of complaints received on the biased reporting caused ULU Returning Officer, Rob Park, to convene an Elections Tribunal, which found that although Lathan herself had played no role in the production of the ‘Elections Special’, the results of London Student election had been unfairly biased in her favour. The election result was thus declared void and will, as it stands, instead be decided by ULU Senate, a council of sabbatical officers from across London. Lathan supporters, however, are demanding the original results be released. They threaten to take ULU to court and are rumoured to be planning an ‘occupation’ of Chessum and Cooper’s Office to force the release of results. Webb, on the other hand, is calling for a whole new election and the resignation of current editor, Jen Izaakson, claiming she has broken election rules.
Contributors: James Burley, Alex Daish, James Donaldson-Briggs, Alex Dutton, Bo Franklin, Charlie Hayton, Will Rowland, Hannah Sketchley and Oscar Webb.
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G’Day for Izaakson – Bad Day for Journalism Hannah Sketchley Anyone who has read London Student recently will have seen just how much the editor, Jen Izaakson, enjoyed her holiday to Australia. Publishing exactly the same article twice in the 4th and 18th Februrary editions of the paper, Izaakson writes “Australia was… a place I’d return to tomorrow if I had the opportunity”. What follows is a bizarrely detailed three-page spread on exactly where she stayed, what she did and the food she ate, replete with stock photos of food and hotel rooms. At first glance the article looks like filler quickly put together by the editor for lack of better content; however, with a bit of digging The Cheese Grater discovered a more interesting explanation. As is tradition at London Student, Izaakson’s trip was almost certainly all-expenses paid by the Australian tourist board. Two ex-editors of London Student, Hesham Zakai (2011-12) and Hilary Aked (2009-
To Arms! (Cont’d from page one) Douglas Caster, suggesting a few million pounds can buy anyone a piece of the UCL brand these days. UCL management are keeping quiet about the ISRS. Attempts to submit Freedom of Information requests on the Institute have been dismissed, UCL claiming not to hold the relevant information. Jon Tomkinson, of UCL Legal Services, rejected a Freedom of Information request on the ISRS, saying, “the Institute is not a department of the University”. The secretive nature and lack of transparency around the ISRS is deeply worrying. Late last year, an Early Day Motion condemning UCL’s harbouring of the ISRS was submitted to the House of Commons by Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, which called for UCL to “reconsider its position in hosting this institution and instead protect its own academic independence”. Yet another venture partially funded by arms money is the UCL Security Science Doctoral Research Training Centre (or SECReT as UCL calls it). SECReT
10) have confirmed that, as editor, they were offered the trip by the Australian tourist board on the condition that they advertised Australia in the newspaper. Aked told us that she had accepted the holiday and written about it in the newspaper, adding that Kat Lay, editor 2008-09, had done the same. Lamenting, Aked told us “it is pretty unethical”. Aked, like Izaakson, failed to mention to the readers that they were reading an advertisement. Hesham Zakai, editor 2011-12, said that he received an offer of a trip but turned it down. Aked told us that although she had been compelled to write two articles about Australia, she was free to choose the content. “I tried to make amends by writing about the glaring anti-Aboriginal racism I witnessed out there”, Aked said. Izaakson’s article, on the other hand, had nothing but praise for the subcon-
tinent – nowhere was there a mention of colonial Australia’s dark history of genocide and repression towards the aboriginal people, or endemic current day racism. Furthermore, despite being elected on the platform of left-wing “campaigning”, Izaakson’s lauding of expensive travel – £350 for a three night stay in a hostel with shark diving, which she refers to as a “bargain!” – just stinks of hypocrisy.
was set up in 2009 with £10m cash “in kind support from industrial, academic and public sector partners”. UCL’s website doesn’t list its “kind” supporters, but several doctoral research and jobs websites reveal the names of the Centre’s sponsors, which include the Metropolitan Police, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.
2001 and 2006. The pace isn’t slowing either, as in 2010 BAE Systems invested as much as £4m directly into UCL Mechanical Engineering. Oil and shipping companies have also been chipping in via the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology to support masters degrees in Mechanical engineering, as has the Ministry of Defence. Corporate interests have been paying millions to get a piece of the UCL brand - arms and mining companies fund research institutes at UCL in order to benefit from the respectability that goes along with our university’s name. These institutes provide a smokescreen of ‘corporate responsibility’ for otherwise shady companies, such as Ultra Electronics, EADS and BHP Billiton. Professor Philippe Sands QC, of UCL’s Faculty of Laws, warned in The Guardian last December that the ISRS could become “little more than a front offering a patina of academic respectability to one set of views”. Indeed, it seems UCL management are only too happy to offer up the university’s reputation to the highest bidder.
Far from a miner problem UCL is accepting funding from other murky sources too. BHP Billiton, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates, invested over £6m in UCL to set up the Institute of Sustainable Resources in 2011. BHP Billiton mines natural gas, coal and oil as well as other natural resources, creating possible conflicts of interest with the institute’s supposedly impartial research on climate change and fossil fuels. UCL’s traditional source of private funding isn’t dead yet though, with money still pouring directly into existing faculties. A paper by studywarnomore.org. uk estimated that over £5m was invested in UCL by arms companies between
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Bye Bye Malcolm! A look back at the times of departing Provost Malcolm Grant Malcolm John Grant was born on the 29th November 1947 in Oamaru, New Zealand, a seaside town home to two species of penguin. ALSO ON THAT FATEFUL DAY: UN votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel. Coincidence? Oamaru penguin reminisces about childhood friend Malcolm Grant went on to study at the University of Otago, gaining a Bachelors of Law in 1970 followed by a Masters of Law in 1973. The university was home to a strong student protest movement at the time, most notably against the Vietnam War. During this period Malcolm developed his trademark moustache, perhaps to woo hippy ladies away from inevitable ruin and into his open arms.
My name is Malcolm Grant, I had an accident and woke up in 1973
Leaves his role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge to become the ninth Provost of University College London.
Launches ‘The Campaign for UCL’, an ambitious fundraising appeal attempting to raise £300 million over 10 years.
In the weekly newsletter, Grant revealed his guilty pleasure: eating a Sainsburys meal deal on the Portico steps during lunchtime.
Rebrands UCL as “London’s Global University”. Denies accusations that the re-branding exercise cost £600,000.
Attracts criticism for UCL’s investment in weapons companies, notably BAE Systems.
Grant shaves off his beloved moustache after an invitation from The Cheese Grater, raising over £2,300 for charity.
‘INTERESTING’ FACT: Gram for gram, this makes Grant’s moustache more valuable than platinum.
“Shave my face!” shouted Grant
• Attempts to slash staff numbers by 25% in order to alleviate a 1.5% deficit in UCL’s turnover, prompting a backlash from many senior aca- demics.
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Thwarted in his attempt to acquire Senate House for UCL during a period of turbulent relations with the University of London. This followed the decision of many larger UoL instutions to start awarding their own degrees from 2007 - previously all degree certificates were awarded centrally by the University of London.
“Malcolm can be very frustrating. He picks up on people’s insecurities and uses them to win an argument”
- Committee member of the UoL Constutional Review Working Group •
Grant with famous war hero Tony Blair
Brands The Daily Telegraph “Islamophobic” after the paper accused UCL of being complicit in the radicalisation of Muslim former student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a US-bound aircraft on Christmas Day.
Grant likes his women like he likes his light bulbs
Reneges on an earlier promise to implement the London Living Wage for all UCL staff.
Unveils the Bloomsbury Masterplan, a £500 million overhaul of UCL’s main campus that will see many services removed, including the Gower Place Practice. Grant also announces plans to construct a new £1 billion UCL campus in Stratford, a move that will evict 700 local residents.
A UCLU motion of no confidence in Grant is overturned by referendum. The motion was proposed by students in response to Grant’s appointment as Chair of the NHS Commisioning Board by then Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.
“I find it difficult to demonstrate because I am not a patient of the NHS” - Malcolm Grant’s response to MPs when asked to demonstrate his passion for the National Health Service.
How to Run a University Sit on my knee and listen, please First off, cut out the dead wood and burn it in the quad. When it’s burnt out, cut some more. This is not a metaphor. I do not indulge in metaphors. I do like a good simile, however. Treat your university like a huge trifle. First, you’ve got the jelly, which is like the wobbly academic staff, who always throw wobblies when you try to cut their jobs. Second, you’ve got the sponge, which is the like the no-good sponger students, who sponge off society. Not worked out what the custard is yet, but I
do know that the cherry on top is me, Malcolm Grant. I always tell people this whilst eating a massive trifle, because I love trifle. Sometimes they ask “Please Malcolm, can I have some?” And I calmly say “No”, before banging the ladele against the table and shouting “No” over and over again. And that’s how to run a university. Goodbye.
Not to be trifled with
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Secrets to Success by Tony ‘Tony Gibson’ Gibson Tips from a natural born winner George Michael from ‘Wham!’, not Andrew Ridgeley. In order to achieve total happiness in all aspects of your life, all you have to do is follow 3 simple steps:
1.Whoever came up with the saying “sell
Tony Gibson, world-beating success Do you feel lonely and unfulfilled? Are you annoyed that when you walk down the street you almost never bump into people you know, because you don’t have enough friends? Does your back sometimes hurt? If so, then it’s probably because you’re a worthless failure. Don’t worry though, I can help you with that. Like you, I used to be a disgusting, shambolic, pitiful excuse for a real person. Then I developed my soon-to-be-patented system, which I call ‘The Wham Initiative’, because when you follow it, you’ll have as much success as 80s pop group ‘Wham!’. Specifically,
the sizzle, not the steak” was totally wrong, and probably French. And not the good French either. The bad French. The French people who aren’t young sexually available women. I mean, think about it, in a restaurant, by the time the steak hits the pan and starts sizzling, you’ve already ordered it. You have to think streets ahead. The way to do this in practice is to spend inordinate amounts of money on advertising and PR firms to ‘sell’ your image, so that everyone you meet will think you’re really great before they even meet you.
another saying, this one goes something like “If someone’s not helping you, they’re hurting you”. This one’s a good one, I think I’d probably like the guy who came up with it. What it means is that all people are good for is what they can do for you. If they can’t do anything to further your aims, then they’re in your way. In those
cases, you have to be ruthless. It used to be that you could undermine them subtly by pissing on their leg when they weren’t paying attention, or even go big and have them kidnapped and killed by Columbian drug warlords, but apparently now that’s considered “unethical”. The modern way to defeat your opposition is to spend inordinate amounts of money on advertising and PR firms to libel, defame and delegitimize your opponents. Do this right, and you’ll find everything starting to go your way.
3.I believe it was the lord Jesus Christ who said “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Fuck that noise. What did he know? Of course you can make a horse drink, if you withhold water to it for several days, for example. Or if on the way to the water hole you put up posters and signs saying how brilliant drinking water is. Or if you pay shills on twitter to constantly create social media buzz about this awesome thing called ‘Water’. Moral of the story: horses are stupid and probably thirsty. Of course, those things don’t just happen. Inordinate sums of money are required to get advertising and PR firms to cause them to occur. Then you’ll be up to your ears in water-guzzling equines.
CG Exclusive: Australia is a Naturalist Modernity Will Rowland, Departing Editor It’s no secret that all the big shot editors receive free trips to Australia. And it’s certainly no secret that I am a big shot editor. First class flights? Not bad. Five star accommodation? I’ll take it. Time of my life? Just a bit. Day 1 The concierge at the five star hotel susses me as a big shot editor, embarrassing. He gives me a bottle of Australian Baileys as a gift, how embarrassing. I neck the lot and fall asleep on the stairs outside my room. There’s nothing wrong with that. Day 2 My driver, Andy, takes me out to Ayers Rock. Andy, who is somewhat Aborigi-
nal, says “it is known as Uluru and is very sacred to my people. What are you doing with that skate board?” “A kick flip, Andy” I reply as I zoom off the edge. I almost lose control as I bounce off a tree, but I turn it into a routine 900. Phew, I’ve landed it and Andy hands me a celebratory can of Foster’s. Day 3 I awaken on the stairs outside my hotel room. “Crikey Andy, how many tinnies did I drink last night?” I quip, whilst smoothing the creases out of my cork hat. Andy and I are off to the Great Barrier Reef for a bit of a swim. Andy tries to tell me that the Reef is the world’s biggest loofah or something, but I am too busy saving a lady on a lilo from a great white.
A dolphin clocks that I am a big shot editor and lets me ride about on its back for a bit. Legend! Day 4 Last day in Oz and I find myself at a black-tie barbecue at the Embassy, chatting to some bigwig, possibly the King. He’s babbling on about what I, as a big shot editor, could do to promote his country as a tourist destination, whilst I help myself to koala burgers and hot lager. A traditional Aboriginal band is wheeled out for some after dinner entertainment and I stun the other guests by belting out “that’s when good neighbours become good friends” before spewing into the didgeridoo. Andy carries me back to the hotel and I snuggle up on the stairs like a big shot.
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Brian Cox Opens Petting Zoo Chaos ensues Bnoc Showumni When I heard that sexy physics professor Brian Cox was opening a petting zoo, I thought “Wow, I should go to that”. So I did. I enter the petting zoo along with 100 or so other guests on a balmy Saturday afternoon. We are escorted to a small paddock containing a family of goats, where Brian Cox is stood waiting to begin his tour. “Now this baby goat may appear free and unrestricted as it frolics with its siblings”, he starts. Members of the audience nod in agreement, eager to discover where their enigmatic host may be going with this example. “But don’t be fooled, it is in fact constrained by the same universal laws of physics that determine the nature of our entire cosmos”. The crowd gasp in amazement. One woman keels over from shock. At this point Professor Cox leans over and picks up the aforementioned kid. “Observe”, he instructs, before flinging the helpless creature high into the air. He waits precisely three seconds before calmly turning back to the audience and
stating, “Gravity”. The crowd go wild. Everyone gets to their feet in rapturous applause. A small child in tears near the back of the group is forcibly removed by Petting Zoo security guards. Intoxicated by the adulation of his audience, Professor Cox swaggers over to an adjacent chicken coop. “Chickens”, he exclaims. “These humble creatures seem at first glance to be as transient in their existence as the breaking of a wave or the bursting of a balloon. Yet this is an illusion. For you see, these chickens are composed almost entirely of atoms”. This revelation is met with shrieks of uncontrollable hysteria. Several bras are thrown forward onto the chicken coop. Professor Cox continues, “Yes, atoms. Atoms forged within the bowels of ancient supernovae; thrust into being billions of trillions of centuries ago by forces so colossal in magnitude we can barely comprehend them”. Professor Cox lifts the nearest chicken high above his head. “This chicken”, he proclaims, “is older than time itself !” The audience explodes in excitement, surging forward and swamping Professor Cox in
Baby goat: Constrained by universal laws of physics a mass of bodies, underwear and poultry. Petting zoo security guards desperately try to taser the mob into submission, but to no avail. Terrified small animals jump their pens and attempt to flee, adding to the chaos. I see several guinea pigs and a lonely gerbil scurry to the safety of the Cyclotron barn. Opting not to join them for fear of ionising radiation damaging my tamagotchi, I instead hop aboard the nearest pot-bellied pig and ride to the park exit, never to return. All in all, aside from the riot and loss of my family, it was a great day out. Definitely better than Legoland. Four stars.
Welcome to the Wolfson Club Undercover investigation into the infamous elitist society Franklin Bosevelt The Cheese Grater recently went undercover during the initiation ceremony of UCL’s equivalent to the Bullingdon Club, the Wolfson Club. On meeting new member Jonty Reardon-Whence, who wishes to remain anonymous, I find a nervous-looking first year History student who seems uncomfortable in his top hat and tails. After necking a 1994 vintage bottle of Lambrini, Jonty is made to kneel in front of his fellow members on the Portico steps and promise his loyalty to the Wolves, chanting the age-old mantra ‘Lingua mea faveat essem vobiscum, papa buoba diop’. At this point UCL Estates ask the twenty-strong troupe to
move on, so they rowdily head for the bar of ULU, arriving just in time for Takeshi’s Karaoke. Here Jonty is forced to sing Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight while the Head Wolf soaks him in Prosecco, a rite first performed by Mill and Bentham. Jonty then lays a crisp twenty down on the bar, Her Majesty seemingly looking up in despair at the future doctors, lawyers, politicians and, in his case, customer service assistant. After being asked to leave by ULU security, and briefly returning to claim the change from the £20, the group proceed up Tottenham Court Road, pausing outside Spearmint Rhino and asking for a free dance before shouting
‘new money plebs’ as they are asked to move on. The night ends in Icco’s pizza house, where Jonty is forced to stuff ten pizza order buzzers down his trousers whilst simultaneously eating a whole Margherita. He manages two slices before the electrical spasms emanating from his groin become too great, and he collapses in a fit of vomit and half-digested pizza. Having failed the initiation, Jonty is abandoned by the other Wolfsons. Without the protection of the group, his chances of survival are slim. I leave him, order buzzers still flashing from beneath his pants, to pick up the pieces of his broken dream. And some pieces of unfinished pizza.
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BODY TALK: What are they really saying? THEIR EYES: Not looking at the same thing! Unless the thing they’re looking at is really wide. HIS RIGHT HAND: Will is pointing at the floor in what Freud described as “textbook flirting”. HER LIPS: Some saucy devil is touching Kate’s lips. It’s Kate the saucy devil!
HIS LEFT HAND: Holding his shopping. Celebrities: they’re just like us! TANK: Rocking the passive aggressive look in retro camo-chic. GUN: Raised. Overcompensating? Typical superiority complex.
BREASTS: Not tucked in. Freud describes this behaviour as “a triumph of the id over the superego”. Naughty! MUSKET: Pointed at the flag lady in a subtle gesture of rage. Brought on by the expectations of an overbearing soccer mom? Or just a tight-fitting hat? CHILD: Expressing himself through pistol fire. Liberté, égalité, naughté!
UCL UNION CHEESE GRATER MAGAZINE SOCIETY President and Editor—Will Rowland Investigations Editor—Oscar Webb Humour Editor—James Donaldson-Briggs
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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.