The Cheese Grater THE OTHER MAGAZINE OF UCL UNION Welcome Issue—September 2012
STRANGER DANGER How to avoid being preyed upon
COVERING ALL THE ENGELS How radical is your union?
HAVE SOME MORE
FR MO EE U MA SE T!
Nick Clegg goes on Get Your Own Back
KISS MY A TO Z A Travel Guide to London
BITCHY TIT-BITS Digging the dirt on clubs & societies
ESTATE OF EMERGENCY Newham residents continue to oppose new UCL campus
Also available: Free Nelson Mandela mouse mats – £2
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? KNOW ANY GOOD JOKES? THINK THIS IS SHIT? The Cheese Grater is looking for writers and cartoonists. Meet outside the Print Room Café at 8pm on Tuesday 2nd October for our welcome meeting.
Anna Growler The problem with free shit is that although it is free, which is good, it is also shit, which is shit. If you’re not careful you’ll end up with useless tat like poorly weighted mini frisbees and mouse mats. Who needs a mouse mat? By employing strategy you can get more than your fair share of actually useful things, like food. The key is to seem susceptible to preying societies. Christian Society giving out free biscuits? Sidle up to their stand and sob quietly: “My life is so directionless since the accident… perhaps the healing power of Christ could save me?” At this point wink suggestively and, as they try
and help you, grab the custard crèmes. Dominos giving out free pizza? Stride over and announce: “My life is so directionless since the accident… perhaps the healing power of pizza could save me?” Wink suggestively and cram a slice in your mouth. Hare Krishnas giving out free curry? Waddle towards them, full of biscuits and pizza, and shout: “My, what lovely curry! Perhaps I’ll have a little and donate some money later.” Wink suggestively, slurp a bowlful and then please give them £2 as they really do deserve it. They gave my life direction after the accident. And a free mouse mat.
2 September 2012 The Cheese Grater
TH E IN VE ST IG AT IV E SE CT IO N
Carpenters Residents’ Meeting Rejects UCL’s Campus Plans Oscar Webb At a packed meeting in Stratford on 24th September local residents aired their anger towards UCL at the prospective home demolitions in the name of “regeneration”. The plans aren’t new; UCL announced its intention to “explore” building a new campus over the top of the Carpenters housing estate, population 1000, back in November 2011. Resident Mary Finch said to UCL’s Vice-Provost (Operations) Rex Knight: “I will fight you” which was followed by rapturous applause. Overall, the message was clear: residents in the meeting rejected UCL’s plans.
Asked if he understood the mood of the meeting, Andrew Grainger, Director of UCL Estates, said he did but said that residents would have to be consulted in “various ways”. Grainger added: “I understand that the residents on site are not interested… but change is gonna happen.” It appears UCL senior management will continue “consultation” until they get the answer they’re looking for. UCL’s plan will be submitted to Newham council on 25th October for the Mayor’s scrutiny. Campaign group Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans (CARP) plan to launch a publicity campaign against UCL in hope of frightening the college off.
Is UCLU Run By Communists? Oscar Webb
Left Lenin union UCL Union – the place with Phineas in it – is this year the most left wing it’s been in ages. All six sabbatical officers – the fulltime elected officers on £25k a year – are all, broadly, left-wingers; at least one identifies as being an anarchist. The UCL Left gained a landslide victory back in March elections, which saw a record turnout. The unprecedented swing to the left meant that the two sabb candidates backed by Tory soc, Ava Lloyd and David ‘Brucey’ Morris were, as Trotsky would say, thrown onto “the garbage heap of history”.
Quit Stalin and get to the point But what does this matter to ordinary students? Well for a start, UCLU hasn’t been this politicised in years. The sabbs are openly talking about “liberation”, “marches” and “strikes”; words only whispered in previous years for fear of upsetting the view that students unions shouldn’t be about politics – a line still held by Tory society President Matthew Corner who has said the union should “step away from politics”. But whether the Tories pretend
to dislike it or not, politics is back on campus. Keep your eyes peeled this year for mini-Trotskys and junior Thatchers running around campus, clashing on UCL Question Time and lamely trolling each other on Twitter. Having hardly any influence whatsoever in UCLU’s elected bodies, Tory tactics this year will likely centre around Members’ Meetings and referenda; a suggestion nodded to by Corner. Referenda worked for the right last year when their “Yes Provost” campaign came out top in preventing a Union no-confidence of Malcolm Grant.
On your Marx, get set, go! The sabbs have promised us the heavens this year. Manifesto pledges include cheaper food in union outlets, new sports training grounds, the London Living Wage as well as all of the platitudes you could possibly wish for: more democracy, participation, engagement, etc. But what, apart from these public promises, has this left wing union got planned? £10,000 is to be spent on student demos in October and November, with some of the funds possibly going to a “solidarity bus” to shuttle students from poorer Higher Education colleges
Society Bitch Fancy yourself as a dab hand at tennis? Well, be prepared to receive threatening emails from the Tennis Soc President. Last year’s President, Mark ‘Scotty’ Tyley, sent out an email from the society account accusing an unknown member of being “scum, sub-human scum” for stealing 50 euros from him at a party. He went on to change his mind at the end of the email saying he would “completely forgive” the person in question if they returned the stolen money. Congratulations to Pi Newspaper’s Sam Johnson for being shortlisted for columnist of the year at the Guardian Student Media Awards. This is a surprise nomination, since Johnson was forced by his colleagues to resign as editor last December after making transphobic comments in his column “Pi Diary”. Presumably he nominated himself given the outright hostility shown to him by his previous Pi comrades. Rumours abound that Pi Media is to lose its office in the Bloomsbury building. Malika Giles, editor of Pi Magazine, commented on the rumours: “But where will we put all of our iMacs?” in the north down south for the march. The UCLU constitution is up for a rejig. Proposals see more members on Council, more power for “liberation campaigns” and voting taken away from external trustees. The Union has reserves of over £5m and last year saw a profit of over £300,000. In general, the sabbs are looking to spend spend spend, so be prepared for plenty of grandiose schemes. One thing is for certain: there will be mistakes and incompetence, of which we’ll keep you well aware.
Contributors: John Bell, James Donaldson-Briggs, Eddy Hare, Beatrice Kelly, George Potts, Will Rowland, David Simpson, Oscar Webb and Hana White.
The Cheese Grater September 2012 3
The Perils of London Living Words of warning for new and returning students J D Becchio London is a dangerous place. Vulnerable students should be wary of the opportunistic predators that stalk this city’s streets. Letting your guard down, even for a second, could have terrible consequences. Take the following situation… You’ve been for a night out at The Roxy. Alcohol, weariness and poor taste in music have dulled your senses. Instead of waiting for your friends you decide to walk home alone through the gloomy streets of Soho. Fool. Predators love isolated individuals to target in the night. An innocent looking man steps out in front of you, asking for a cigarette. Not realising the intense danger you are in, you reach for your pack of Marlboros. That is when the predator makes his move. From the shadows leaps an enormous Sumatran tiger. King of the jungle, this apex predator is pure feline killing machine. You can only watch as the innocent looking man is torn apart before your very eyes. Terrified, you flee down the nearest side street.
Fool. Predators love dark side streets in which to ambush their prey. You turn the corner to find yourself face to face with a huge grizzly bear. Seven feet tall, this ferocious predator is capable of devouring any Russell Group university student in a matter of minutes. The bear lunges at you but fuelled on adrenaline you somehow manage to escape, fleeing to the safety of your room in halls. Except… In your state of blind anaemic panic you forgot to lock the front door behind you. Fool. Predators love unlocked doors. Too late you realise your mistake, for there in your entrance hallway sits a giant killer whale. Lord of the oceans, this immense predator is six tonnes of carnivorous blubber. Mad with bloodlust, the marine monster thrashes its way towards you with lightning speed. Before you can react the beast is upon you, pinning you to the ground. It throws back its streamlined jaws to let out a squeakily sinister whale-song of victory, before gorging itself on your tender flesh.
Predators are everywhere Now, some of you might be thinking the above scenario is “outlandish” or “unrealistic”. But try telling yourself that when you’ve been eaten by a pack of kraken. You can’t because you’ll be dead. Life in London is short but through great vigilance you may be able to buy yourself a few more precious moments of life. Why not spend them down at the Richard Mully Basement Bar, Gower Street? Two for one on Carlsberg every Tuesday after 6pm! Bargain! (Excludes Export.)
See London; See Life The man who is tired of London needs a good nap, says David Sidepurse David Sidepurse I grew up in the tiny village of Chudd, Gloucestershire and when I arrived in London as a fresher two years ago I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possible sights to see. I was so overwhelmed that I resolved to see nothing and keep my eyes firmly closed. This turned out to be as impractical as it was unsettling to others and I decided instead that I would see everything. Let me share the great places I have discovered.
Close Central London, easily reachable from UCL by paying a little man with a rickshaw to cycle you there, is where most mainstream attractions can be found. Firstly, you’ve got your galleries: the Royal Academy (paintings),
National Portrait Gallery (paintings of heads) and Madame Tussauds (sculpture). You’ve also got your museums: the jolly Science Museum has creepy crawlies and lasers, the disappointing British Museum just has a general array of bits and bobs and the excellent London Sea Life makes a feature of its fish. I’ve spent many a Sunday in Sea Life enigmatically stroking the rays whilst reading Goethe pointedly, but no-one has asked me out yet. Not even the lady who mucks out the tank.
UCL by taking the Victoria line from Euston to Green Park, then the Jubilee line to Canning Town, then the DLR to Beckton Station, Beckton is an area pervaded by the East London sense of knowing selfmockery. It has a pop-up Tesco Express, an undoubtedly City-backed Mr Burger Mr Pizza Kebab and an ironically oppressive sewage treatment works. The plant symbolically works as a big ‘piss off ’ to the entrenched values of middle class West London and functionally works to convert human waste into disposable effluent.
Too far away
You’ve got to go east in order to find the groovy, happening heart of London. Yes, I refer to an area inhabited by media agencies and the cutting edge of young british artists: Beckton. Easily reachable from
Alton Towers, Des Moines, Valencia, Balmoral, Bermuda, Cork, Djibouti, most B & Qs, Winnipeg and Chad are not easily reachable from UCL. They’re too far away. Don’t bother.
4 September 2012 The Cheese Grater
Nick and Dave Offer Joint Apology Gravel Nedved Not content with his initial apology, Nick Clegg has attempted to further rebuild his credibility by appearing on CBBC show Get Your Own Back. At the press conference before the show, Clegg explained his decision alongside presenter Dave Benson Phillips. “Following the runaway success of my apology statement, which probably moved millions to tears, I was trying to think up further ways to get my message across to the younger generation. That’s when I twigged that the charming man I often saw resting outside my local reclamation yard was none other than Dave [Benson Phillips]! When I approached him he suggested I use his old show to reach the young electorate. I agreed immediately.” Benson Phillips, sporting a deep purple Hawaiian shirt featuring six dolphins and
a semi-covered lady, gave his perspective on Clegg’s appearance. “In the context of the contemporary political spectrum, Clegg’s decision is a powerful statement, a profound image of a man throwing himself into a pool in order to metaphorically come out clean. It’s the kind of catharsis that Get Your Own Back always aspired to achieve.” Phillips also mentioned that he was available for “children’s birthday parties, local radio shows, club nights – anything, really. I’ve been between projects since the BBC pulled out of my period drama The Gunge-back of Notre Dame. Originally they had promised me a pilot episode, but later said they ‘shouldn’t have made a promise they weren’t absolutely sure that they could keep.’ I just wish they’d apologised for leaving me on the hook with a new Fiat Multipla bought on instalments.”
During the show Clegg apologised directly to camera as he was slowly cranked above the gunge pool by a sweating Benson Phillips. His apology was cut short, however, by the snapping of a mouldy piece of twine that had held the rusty gunge-seat together. Clegg was prematurely plunged into the gunge, his desperate screams of “I’m sorry!” drowned out by the viscous goo that spilled into his mouth. Benson Phillips, vowing never to rely on twine again, pencil-dived into the gunge pool, knocking Clegg unconscious. “I’m sorry” said Benson Phillips, “I’m just glad I didn’t have enough money to put any film in the cameras.”
21˝ pizza + 2 large doner (+sauce)+ fish burger + can =£20 rubicon mango can fresh from fridge Come to my restaurant. We are having a party.
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.
In this issue: Have some more free shit at freshers' fayre; UCL's proposed new campus continues to anger Newham residents; Predators on TCR...