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11 February 2020 Issue 373 The official student newspaper of the University of East Anglia | concrete-online.co.uk

Striving for Truth Est. 1992

SU may go bust "in a few years" Chris Matthews, Bryan Mfhaladi, Jack Oxford Editor-in-Chief, News Editor, News Reporter

Uea(su) will go bust “in a few years” without more funding from UEA, the chair of the SU’s Finance Committee has said. Alicia Perez, who is also Uea(su)’s activities and opportunities officer said: “It is definitely a situation that we need to turn around if we don’t want the SU to go kaput.” Another elected member of the SU, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect their role, said Uea(su) has “two years… maybe three” before it goes bust. But the university said the SU was “integral” and that they meet with Union officials “regularly” to discuss

Uea(su)’s financial situation. Uea(su) are stuck between relying on income from alcohol-heavy student nights out in the bars and the LCR, while balancing attempts to move away from a binge drinking culture. Perez said: “We’re quite behind at the moment and we’re trying to look at ways we can improve. The problem is we rely on bars, the LCR, and the [SU] Shop to make money and we can’t keep pushing the bars and the LCR at the same time that we try to promote a healthy night out and alcohol awareness and all that. We want to maintain

Continued on


Interview: Jon Sharp, Claire Pratt and Jane Amos UEA Student Services chiefs on mental health and supporting students


11th February 2020


Editorial Full swing and approaching spring Jess Barrett Deputy Editor

The University of East Anglia’s Official Student Newspaper since 1992 Tuesday 11th February 2020 Issue 373 Union House University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ 01603 593466

Photo: Unsplash

Sex, storms and sleepiness Chris Matthews Editor-in-Chief

Of all the issues we’ve worked on so far, this has been the most tough. Perhaps the Sex and Drugs Survey is to blame: an extra 24 pages of juicy (yes) content to lay up. Or maybe it was Storm Ciara: a depressingly damp finish to what I thought may have been the beginnings of spring. In any case, it’s been a hellish week. But from the flames we can present you with not only a brilliant issue of Concrete and Venue but also the widely anticipated 2020 Sex and Drugs Survey. I’m immensely proud of the work the team has put into it. Side note though - some were less than pleased with it. In fact, it’s so hot our printers’ suppliers refused to print it! Too much ankle shown, perhaps? Joking aside, this really is a fantastic issue. Our front page story, ‘UEA may go bust “in a few years”’ is something we’ve been quietly working on since November last year. It’s a relief to see it finally in print. The byline says it all – it was a real team effort. As it happens the Vice Chancellor will be taking questions at the next meeting of Union Council, so it’ll be interesting to get his personal take on the matter. (Remember you can follow our live tweeting of Union Council via the Media Collective @uea_media.) On page 6 News Editor Bryan Mfhaladi keeps the Concrete Mental Health Crisis campaign up to date with two stories on the subject,

while on page 8 Global Writer Marco Rizzo gives you the lowdown on Britain’s exit from the EU in his article ‘Brexit: what happens now?’ Moving on to Features, Sam Gordon Webb has written a stunning long read on his experience of having an eating disorder. Don’t forget to have a read of his full article online at concrete-online. co.uk/features. This issue is teeming with fascinating stories, from Rosie Matthews’ (no relation) article about the surface of the sun on page 18 to Travel Editor Sam Hewitson’s piece ‘The ‘Game of Thrones Effect’ in travel’. In Comment, Thomas Gymer makes the argument for TERF ideas being “a faux feminism”, while in Sport Senior Writer Luke Saward writes about the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Speaking of Senior Writers, I’m delighted to announce another addition to the Concrete team. From next issue Henry Webb will be joining us as News Senior Reporter. As I write this I have to confess, it’s about 2.30am. (I included the 30 just to use up a few more words, in case you wondered.) For some of you, summatives may be looming, your workload is increasing, and you still haven’t been to the gym even though you still pay a monthly subscription. For many of us, Reading Week is also coming up. Of course, at UEA we call it Do Something Different Festival, because UEA is, umm… wonderful? So many slogans to keep up with. Anyway, whether the week is actually meant for reading or meant

for trying something new, I think I’m going to try something old and traditional. I’m going to focus on regaining a sensible sleeping pattern. I failed Dry January, Veganuary was never a realistic option, and I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions. At least not any I can remember. So this is it. I’m going to focus my energy on early nights and long lie-ins. You may think this is just laziness. But no. It will be a considered, and perhaps even an academic idleness. (Can you tell I’m playing to the word count?) Take care of yourselves this month. In any case, if you don’t enjoy sleeping you can always write a few articles for Concrete.

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Concrete’s editorial team are now back in full swing and hitting campus hard with our sex survey. Pick up a copy beside any stack of the paper. Our sex survey issue is already proving to be quite scandalous as our printer’s suppliers refused to print the edition of our saucy supplement. Hearing this made us all giggle, but also made us recognise that the kind of content we are producing is fresh, new and even a bit explicit. But what is student journalism if it doesn’t challenge boundaries and give the people the content they want to see? Moving on, as we are approaching summative assessments due in mid-February, I’m constantly reminded that my time at university is fleeting. Before I know it, winter will be done and dusted. Hopefully there will be no more life-threatening storms on the horisozn to disrupt more of my third year. I'm looking forward to the time when spring will be here. Hopefully the change in season will bring along an avalanche of bouncing baby bunny rabbits and fresh green leaves to UEA’s campus. These are some of the reasons why I chose to come and study at UEA. Half of me is scared that 2020 is flying by so quickly, the other part of me is quite relieved to be born into the adult world, like a lamb to a meadow. Perhaps that metaphor is too far-fetched to describe myself and my grad job, but I’ll hopefully resemble the bright eyed and bushy tailed aspect of the spring animals when I graduate in July, an event which I am very much looking forward to. Here’s to a fabulous last semester at university.

newspaper, concrete-online.co.uk


Editor-in-Chief Chris Matthews concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk Deputy Editor Jess Barrett concrete.deputy@uea.ac.uk Online Editors Alec Banister and Jack Oxford concrete.online@uea.ac.uk News Bryan Mfhaladi concrete.news@uea.ac.uk Global Global Editor: William Warnes Senior Writer: Piriyanga Thirunimalan concrete.global@uea.ac.uk Features Features Editors: Paige Allen and Leelou Lewis concrete.features@uea.ac.uk Comment Matt Branston concrete.comment@uea.ac.uk Science Science Editor: Jake WalkerCharles concrete.scienv@uea.ac.uk Travel Sam Hewitson concrete.travel@uea.ac.uk Sport Sport Editor: Jamie Hose Sport Senior Writer: Luke Saward concrete.sport@uea.ac.uk Chief Copy-Editors Nerisse Appleby Reeve Langston concrete.copy@uea.ac.uk

ConcreteUEA Social Media Amelia Groves

ConcreteUEA Front page photo: Concrete/ Harry Chapman Cut out: Concrete/ Roo Pitt

Lead Photographer Harry Chapman Editorial Enquiries, Complaints & Corrections concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

No part of this newspaper may be reproduced by any means without the permission of the Editor-in-Chief, Chris Matthews. Published by the Union of UEA Students on behalf of Concrete. Concrete is a UUEAS society, but retains editorial independence as regards to any content. Opinions expressed herein are those of individual writers, not of Concrete or its editorial team.



11th February 2020

concrete-online.co.uk/category/news/ | @ConcreteUEA

SU may go bust "in a few years" Chris Matthews, Bryan Mfhaladi, Jack Oxford Editor-in-Chief, News Editor, News Reporter

continued from front page a balance - we want people to drink responsibly but also realistically we do need people to go out. But there is a trend of students that are not going out as much as they used to ten years ago so we are definitely seeing that as an impact in our venues.” She added: “In the past more students would mean more people going out, more people going drinking but that trend is going down and our capacity is at the top. We can’t let any more people in the LCR.” “We’re not just trying to make money,” said Perez. “We’re trying to improve the student experience and we don’t have the money to do it at the moment.” She said: “With the increase of students we can’t let any more people in, our outlets are maximised, we can’t do any more but we still haven’t got any more money from the university for the amount of student increase that we’ve had even though that means we’re providing more services because there’s more students.” With societies potentially on the chopping block Perez said if the situation remains the same Uea(su)

will have to consider which services they can legally cut. “There’s definitely not a necessity for us to run 250 societies,” Perez said. But Perez hopes the situation will improve. “I don’t want students to not have clubs and societies in the future, or to not have the LCR in the

“There's definitely not a neccessity for us to run 250 societies” future,” she said. And she believes cuts would lead to a worsening of the student experience. Uea(su) is asking the university for extra annual funding of £350,000 to survive, and another £700,000 in addition to be able to provide more services for students. Perez said: “The main problem is the reserves, because we keep going into our reserves and in charity law you’re obligated to have a minimum amount. "So the problem is if we get close enough to that amount or if we go under that amount then

we’re in trouble. At the moment we’re okay, but if we keep getting into our reserves every year then that becomes a problem.” Uea(su)’s expenditure in the first quarter was £77,000. Their budget for the 2019/20 year is £177,000. Although the university provided Uea(su) with £1.4m for this academic year, the SU pays around £700,000 to rent Union House. In comparison: - In 2019 the University of Bristol provided Bristol SU with close to £1.8m. They provided a building free of rent charges. The true value of rent would usually be around £400,000 per year. - In 2018 Reading University Students Union (RUSU) received more than £1.6m from their university. RUSU pays £100 per year for their facilities.The true value of rent would usually be around £675,000 per year. - The University of Warwick’s Student Union received a grant over close to £3m from their university in 2018. They paid £437,000 in rent for their buildings and land. UEA has a legal obligation to have a student union. A spokesperson for Uea(su) said: “This year, we also got an additional £100,000 of grant for wellbeing projects, pending a formal review of the future funding position. “It is important to note that

around 75% of the SU’s funding comes from our own outlets’ revenue. This is a unique funding model in the sector with most unions operating the reverse.” The spokesperson added: “The financial position of the SU is stable with adequate cash and reserves to operate. However additional funding is required to provide the existing level of services and avoid eating into reserves, which are there to shelter against unexpected events rather than support budget deficits.” Perez said: “The university is working with us and realising that we are struggling financially and that if we want to keep a position where we can provide services to

students they need to improve our funding a bit”. Ian Callaghan, Chief Resource Officer at UEA said: “The Students’ Union is an integral part of the student experience at UEA, as it is for the vast majority of higher education providers and UEA works closely with Uea(su). The University has a range of obligations in respect of Students Unions under the 1994 Education Act, including monitoring the financial affairs and, therefore UEA Executive Team meets regularly with Uea(su) to discuss their financial position and any requests for funding are considered alongside all other requests for support.” Photo: Concrete/ Harry Chapman

Norwich residents wake to racist Brexit poster Henry Webb News Reporter

Residents of Winchester tower block on Vauxhall Street found a number of racist posters on the morning of ‘Brexit Day’, January 31. The posters, titled “Happy Brexit Day” which were left in the communal areas of the building, demanded that residents speak only “the Queen’s English.” It went on to say: “If you do want to speak whatever is the mother tongue of the country you came

“Obvious from someone who is far right of fascist” from then we suggest you return to that place and return your flat to the council so they can let British people live here and we can return to what was once normality before you

infected this once great country.” All the posters were eventually removed by caretakers, but not before some residents had photographed the sign and posted it to social media. On Twitter, UEA Prof Ben Garrod said, “nothing justifies this. Norwich is an open, inclusive place; this hateful crap needs to be dealt with.” The resident who discovered the posters asked to remain anonymous but said he had reported the incident to Norwich City Council where it had been reported as a hate crime. In response to this, a spokesperson for the council said, “Norwich has a proud history of being a welcoming city, and we will not tolerate this behaviour. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we reported it to the police and they are investigating. We take this very seriously and urge residents to contact us or the police if they have any concerns.” Residents held an anti-racism protest over the posters. A resident, speaking to The Guardian, said during the protests: “We all thought it was absolutely disgusting. "There is a fire door on every

floor and there was a poster on each one. It was outrageous.” Hugh Stanners, from the Norwich branch of Stand Up to Racism, who organised the demonstration, said: “It is a really nasty racist poster, obvious from someone who is far right or fascist, because it talks about ‘infecting our

“Nothing justifies this. Norwich is an open, inclusive place” once great island’. It appears to me the far right are gaining confidence, or seeing an opportunity, from us leaving the EU. "People are very upset about it. It wouldn’t be right to portray it as a lone nutter. I think they are part of an organisation.” Photo: Geograph


11th February 2020


Four weeks of strikes ahead as discussions fail and this next wave of action will affect even more universities and students. "If universities want to avoid further disruption they need to deal with rising pension costs, and address the problems over pay and conditions."

“Around 1.2 million students are set to be affected”

Photo: Concrete/ Bryan Mfhaladi

Bryan Mfhaladi News Editor

University staff are set to participate in another strike action over pensions, pay and working conditions starting on Thursday 20 February until 13 March. Staff from 74 universities, including UEA, will walk out later

this month and in March, marking a second strike following the action in November and December last year, with only 60 universities taking part of it. UEA University and College Union (UCU) members are affected by the strike as they dispute over pay and working conditions as well as the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions.

With the increase in the number of universities from 60 to 74, this means that about 6,000 additional members will now be able to take action. This means that around 1.2 million students are set to be affected by the strike action. Strike action comes after talks between the UCU and the Universities and Colleges

Employers Association failed to strike a workable deal. The disputes are centred on the sustainability of the USS and raising costs for members and universities’ failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said in a statement: "We have seen more members back strikes since the winter walkouts

17th-23rd february

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She added: “'We have been clear from the outset that we would take serious and sustained industrial action if that was what was needed. As well as the strikes next month, we are going to ballot members to ensure that we have a fresh mandate for further action to cover the rest of the academic year if these disputes are not resolved.” The union also warned it would ballot members after this wave of strikes if the disputes could not be resolved, to ensure branches could take action until the end of the academic year.

11th February 2020



UEA rearrange talk by academic

accused of "transphobia" Chris Matthews Editor-in-Chief

UEA has rescheduled a seminar by controversial academic Prof Kathleen Stock for May 7. It comes as the education secretary told universities they must work harder to protect free speech or face new laws to enforce it. Gavin Williamson wrote in an article for The Times universities must “do more to promote the right culture” as “too often, activists’ threats are able to shut down events”. SU officers at UEA have accused Prof Stock of holding “views on gender identity [that] amount to transphobia”, which they say proves she would be “an inappropriate speaker” at UEA. The university postponed the original seminar last month on security grounds after fears trans activists would protest. A spokesperson for Uea(su) said they felt “significant levels of disappointment that this speaker was invited in the first place”. They added: “There is a fundamental difference between no platforming a speaker and simply choosing not to invite them. "We know that freedom of speech is a fundamental part of academia and university life, and we do not dispute or seek to undermine that.” ‘No platforming’ is the practice of preventing a person from

speaking at a public event owing to their possibly controversial opinions. Uea(su) have called on the Vice Chancellor to “stand against those who seek to undermine the human rights of trans people”, adding that in inviting Prof Stock they are “lending legitimacy” to her views. Prof Stock told Concrete claims by Uea(su)’s officers’ that a lecture by her “would not create a safe, respectful and inclusive

Prof Stock: “It’s sensationalist and superficial of the Union to represent me this way” environment for trans students” are “just not true”. She said: “I have some philosophical issues with the idea that a woman is anyone who feels like a woman because I think there are costs to this view for women, children, and gay people, which I try to respectfully explore in my work. This isn't ‘anti-trans’ and it’s sensationalist and superficial of the Union to represent me this way. It's also not fair on any of the many UEA

students who disagree with them and agree with me. Disagreement isn't bigotry.” She added: “Universities are places where both good and bad ideas are properly stress-tested, and knowledge is then produced for the benefit of the public. "They’re also places where students learn to think. You can’t have either of those things if talks are shut down just because a few people don’t like them.” A spokesperson for UEA Pride

said: “We hope that the rescheduling of Prof Stock’s seminar will not legitimise and embolden people to spread harmful transphobic sentiment on campus or online”. The university said they have a “legal duty” to allow people to voice all lawful opinions on campus. A spokesperson for the university said: “The research seminar, as with all such events, is an opportunity for philosophy academics and philosophy [postgraduate researchers] to consider

Photo: Kathleen Stock

and critique the paper presented. Academic enquiry must involve engaging and challenging mainstream and alternative views.” In a statement they added: “UEA is committed to standing up for human rights and inclusion. UEA is a place where people are free to express themselves and know that others will stand up for those rights. “UEA will stand up for the rights of our transgender community and their right to be who they are. This is not a matter for debate.”

Universities to hand out fewer unconditional offers Harry Routley News Reporter

For years, numbers of unconditional offers issued by universities in the UK have been steadily rising, contributing to regular interventions from figures in government, most

"Unversities such as York and Brighton will not be offering unconditional offers" recently Education secretary Gavin Williamson, who stated that unconditional offers lower attainment by making recipients of such offers less likely to achieve

their predicted grades. However, a UCAS forecast for 2020 predicts that perhaps some three quarters of universities will no longer be issuing unconditional offers. An unconditional offer allows a place for a student if they achieve certain final grades, but if the university is selected as the first choice, grade requirements are dropped and the student is guaranteed a place. The rise of unconditional offers is often blamed on an increasing need from universities to fill places in order secure continual funding. In 2019, roughly a quarter of offers issued were unconditional, compared to less than a tenth in 2014. The news from UCAS suggests that in response to government and public pressure, universities may move to other tactics to secure student numbers. Already, universities such as York and Brighton have stated that they will not be offering unconditional offers to any students this year.

Photo: Unsplash


11th February 2020

News News in brief: Give disadvantaged students more places, universities told Ellie Robson News Reporter

Top universities in England have been told to significantly increase their places for disadvantaged students. The Office for Students has stated that they want the “access

“The proportion of disadvantaged students remains unchanged” gap” between poorer and wealthier students to be split in half by 2025. Whilst the number of students in the country has increased, the proportion of disadvantaged students at top universities remains unchanged. If achieved, this five year goal would see an additional 6,500 disadvantaged pupils secure places in leading universities, and it is expected that these students would be mostly from the Midlands and the North of England. The Office of Students acknowledged that there is a “postcode lottery” which represents regional differences, whereas other sources have argued that the

"Universities should not discriminated against their students" schools children go to, and the areas that they reside in, cannot be used to make generalised assumptions about to what extent a student is advantaged or disadvantaged. They have seen that young people from wealthier areas are six times more likely to get places at hard to access universities than their poorer peers. However, the leaders of private schools feel that universities should not discriminate against their students for having a more affluent background. The executive director of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference Group of Independent Schools, Mike Buchanan, has argued that universities should increase their intake so that they can accept “as many truly suitable students and necessary, rather than rob some students of a future to award it to others”. Buchanan has additionally said that universities should not increase their number of international students whilst they are denying places to UK pupils.

1 in 3 shirk talking about mental health News in brief: because they feel it may be awkward Cardiff students face more antiabortion protests

Bryan Mfhaladi News Editor

Mental Health Crisis A survey by Time To Change, a mental health anti-stigma campaign, showed that around 1 in 3 people in the East of England said they would put off speaking to a friend who is struggling with their mental health to avoid an awkward conversation. One reason was that it made them feel uncomfortable, preferring to keep conversation ‘light headed’ when chatting, as well as not wanting to say the wrong thing. Time to Change is urging people to stop avoiding or delaying important conversations that could change someone’s life. Elsewhere, the survey further highlighted people's reluctance to talk about mental health in the East of England. Almost half said they would prefer not to tell anyone they were struggling with their mental health and over a third said keeping a stiff upper lip and not talking about mental health or emotion was still important. Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, said: “It’s not an overstatement to say that having a conversation about mental health

Ellie Robson News Reporter

Photo: Unsplash

could change someone’s life. It’s vital that we don’t avoid or delay these important conversations because of our own worries. You don’t need to have all the answers; if someone close to you is struggling, just being there will mean a lot. The more we all talk about mental health, the more we can remove the fear and awkwardness. This Time to Talk day we’re urging everyone to take action on one day when thousands of others will be doing the same and continue that conversation throughout the year.” Time to Talk day, which was last week, February 6, was established

seven years ago to encourage more open conversations about the topic of mental health. One in four people experience mental health problems and many believe talking about the issue helps to break down the stigma and discrimination that many people still face – making it easier for everyone to benefit from the support of those around them. You can contact STS by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. Alternatively you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24-hours a day or email jo@samaritans.org

Charity releases new

mental health guidelines Bryan Mfhaladi News Editor

Mental Health Crisis The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has launched a new resource to support students experiencing mental health issues. The charity works to equip young people with the skills to look after their mental wellbeing. It was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his life after suffering from mental health issues. The guide contains advice to students, including ways to tackle a loss in concentration or insomnia, aiding them with recognising potential symptoms of anxiety and depression. The resource is free to download and emphasises that mental health issues are very common and the importance of opening up. The resource forms part of the chairty’s #RunForWellbeing initiative which acknowledges the “growing evidence showcasing the benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing”, promoting regular exercise to help improve mental wellbeing. The guide encourages students to take the time to get fresh air and to exercise every day, helping support sleep and reduce feelings of

stress and anxiety in the process. #RunForWellbeing aims to raise awareness, creating a conversation around exercise and wellbeing by asking people to share their personal stories on social media of how exercise has helped them with their mental health, using the same hashtag, #RunForWellbeing.

"We are increasingly receiving reports of students struggling" Clare Stafford, CEO of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, commented saying: “Looking after our mental wellbeing is more important than ever before. We are increasingly receiving reports of students struggling with their mental health, particularly at this time of year, and it’s crucial that they are able to access the support they need. Our charity’s mission is to equip young people with the tools they need to take care of their mental health, and to encourage them to seek help if

they are depressed or experiencing other mental health issues. With the launch of our new resource for students, we hope to highlight that mental health issues are very common in this demographic, while offering practical, effective support.” She added: “We understand that if you’re depressed, it can be really difficult to get active, but we want to encourage students to consider that, whatever the choice of exercise – running, swimming, dancing, football, yoga, walking – physical activity can be really good for your mental health. Even a twenty-minute walk outside can have a really positive effect, and the important thing to remember is to speak to someone if you’re experiencing these common struggles.” The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust trains and educates parents, teachers and higher education staff to identify struggling young people. It works with a network of over 40 highly skilled mental health trainers, who deliver training across the UK on a daily basis. You can contact STS by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. Alternatively you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24-hours a day or email jo@samaritans.org

Students of Cardiff University were welcomed into the new semester by anti-abortion activists who had set up a demonstration outside their Students’ Union. This is the fourth demonstration of this kind in recent weeks at the university. The protests have stemmed from a vote held by the university’s Students’ Union in November 2019, which declared the union to have an official pro-choice attitude towards abortion. Protests have featured what is being labelled as “distressing and graphic” images and has prompted the creation of a pro-choice society within the students’ union along with the already existing antiabortion society the university and 14 other universities have already. It is thought that the Centre for Bioethical Reform UK (CBR UK) are behind the protests, after posting about them in an online Facebook

"This is about calling out harrassing behaviour" group. CBR UK have denied any misconduct from their organisation and argue that universities have become a place where “everyone must hold the same view”, and that their displays are merely educational. The president of Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, Jackie Yip, revealed there have been complaints about the protests from staff, students and local residents. She said the university is looking for support in preventing the displays from being continued. added: “This is not about suppressing freedom of speech. This is about calling out harassing behaviour.” Cardiff University has acknowledged that the demonstrators have a right to perform peaceful protests and uphold free speech but indicated that there would be police involvement if the demonstrations resulted in any law-breaking.

Photo: Ansh

...do you know what to do if you experience or witness discrimination?

report hate crime & microaggressions at: reportandsupport.uea.ac.uk



11th February 2020

Coronavirus declared global emergency Bryan Mfhaladi

Global Writer

The World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Thursday 30 January declared the flu-like Coronavirus a global health emergency. Coronavirus, otherwise known as 2019-nCOv, is a new respiratory illness that has not before been seen in humans. Like other Coronaviruses, this one also comes from animals. Many of those now infected worked or shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated from. The virus emerged Dec 31, and as of 5 February about 18,000 cases have been confirmed internationally, with 3 cases in the UK. The virus spreads even before the infected person shows any symptoms, which usually show after the incubation period of 14 days. The first two cases reported in the UK were a couple in Newcastle,

and the latest, on 5 February, was a Briton in Brighton. The UK government has flown and quarantined hundreds from Wuhan at the end of January. Talking at the technical briefing on February 4, WHO DirectorGeneral Ghebreyesus said: “It’s important to underline that 99% of the cases are in China, and 97%

“99% of the cases are in China, and 97% are in Hubei province” of deaths are in Hubei province. This is still first and foremost an emergency for China.We continue to work closely with the Chinese government to support its efforts

to address this outbreak at the epicenter. That is our best chance of preventing a broader global crisis. Of course, the risk of it becoming more widespread globally remains high. Now is the moment for all countries to be preparing themselves. WHO is sending masks, gloves, respirators and almost 18,000 isolation gowns from our warehouses in Dubai and Accra to 24 countries who need support, and we will add more countries.” Coronavirus is expected to have severe implications worldwide. With economic growth in the first quarter of the year most likely to get hurt, since the virus outbreak coincided with the period for retail sales which was the Chinese New Year, January 25. Wuhan and the Hubei province represents a sizable part of Chinese GDP. An article in Clyde & Co stated that: “The new novel Coronavirus is likely to lead to operational difficulties big and small for businesses in the shipping and trading industry.” WHO’s strategic objectives for

the response to this have been to limit human-to-human transmission, including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and healthcare workers, preventing transmission amplification events, and preventing further international spread from China. The NHS has advised for self-

isolation if one feels any of the main symptoms of the illness: fever, cough, shortness of breath, especially if one has had contact with people from Wuhan or mainland China, or was travelling there between December and January when it was announced as a global emergency.

Photo: Flickr

Brexit: what happens now? Marco Rizzo

Global Writer

It was a long, convoluted process, but more than 3 years since the infamous referendum, the United Kingdom has finally left the European Union. On Friday the 31st pro-Brexit celebrations could be seen in Westminster, whilst pro-EU rallies were held in Edinburgh. While officially out of the union, Britain now enters a transitional stage due to last for t h e

Britain will have to negotiate agreements with the European Union and its members. Trade appears as the crucial point for many, with currently 49% of British trade involving the EU. The UK will also be allowed to enter negotiations with other trade partners during its transition, but will remain in the customs union. So far British PM Boris Johnson has suggested that the

government would prefer a deal with the EU following Canadian lines, allowing tariff-free trade with the union without adhering with regulations from Brussels. However, Mr Johnson has also expressed contempt with an Australian-style ‘loose agreement’, which some critics say will have the same effect as a no-deal exit. Regarding other issues such as Movement and Labour, nothing w i l l

“Regarding Movement and Labour nothing will change during the transition” remainder of 2020, in which the UK will forfeit its membership in the European Parliament and European Commission while still contributing to the EU budget, following EU regulations, and adhering to the rulings of the European Court of Justice. During this period,

Photos: Needpix

change during The Transition. However, new agreements regarding travel and working rights will have to be negotiated for the future. Negotiations will start March 3rd and will Photo: Wikipedia Wikimedia lastPhoto: until the end of Commons the year, but just as the Brexit process saw multiple delays, so can The Transition be prolonged; 12-24 month extensions are available if both parties deem them necessary, a possibility which Mr Johnson has already dismissed. Domestically, Brexit has left deep divisions within British society, with p r o

and anti-EU rallies seen across the nation. The city of Norwich saw Blatantly xenophobic ‘Happy Brexit Day’ posters hung on doors in a tower block (See News section). Meanwhile, Scotland now calls for an Independence referendum which would see the majority pro-EU region seek selfgovernance for the second time since 2014. The European response has of course, not been warm. The EU quickly declared its support for Spanish territorial claims over the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Emmanuel Macron has commented on the huge historical significance of Brexit, as well as condemning a Brexit campaign of “lies, exaggerations and cheques that were promised but will never come”. Leading EU politicians such as Michel Barnier and Ursula von der Leyen have already stated the EU’s commitment to its interests, and will demonstrate so in the negotiations starting 3 March, with others implying the enthusiasm which would follow a Scottish bid to rejoin the EU.


11th February 2020

concrete-online.co.uk/category/global/ | @ConcreteUEA

President Trump acquitted after impeachment William Warnes Global Editor

The efforts to remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office have ended after he was found not guilty in his impeachment trial. The results from the Senate, run by the President’s fellow Republicans, showed 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress.

government accused the president of suggesting blackmail towards Ukraine. The president was accused of threatening to halt arms to the Eastern European state if they failed to hand over damaging secrets about Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Impeachment is a rare political event that allows Congress to put

presidents on trial. Only two Presidents have been impeached in the past: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Speaking on his acquittal, Mr Trump stated, “I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit… but this is what the end result is”, proceeding to hold up the front page of the Washington Post headlining ‘Trump acquitted’. The president went on to label

“The results... showed 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress” However, the trial did not include any witnesses. The charges arose after leaks from a whistle-blower within the

Photo: Flickr

Trump peace plan causes unrest William Warnes Global Editor

Palestinians have rejected US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, labelling it a “conspiracy”. The plan stated that Jerusalem would remain Israel’s capital, form a Palestinian state, and recognise Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the west bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded to the plan claiming that Jerusalem was, “not for sale” and, “all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain”. In addition, speaking to the Arab League in Cairo, President Abbas has said Palestine will cut all ties with Israel and the United States. “We’ve informed the Israeli side… that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties”. This comes after years of cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces in policing areas of the occupied West Bank, under Palestinian control. The rejection brings new tension between the US and Palestine, with the latter boycotting President Trump’s peace efforts since 2017.

Tensions between two states hit their peak in February 2018 as the U.S. government announced the relocation of its embassy in the region to Jerusalem, sparking huge backlash from Palestinian protesters. The proposal of a new ‘peace’ plan from the President of the United States has served only to fuel further protests, with Palestinians taking to the streets to undertake a “day of rage”. Speaking on the plan, the Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that President Trump had, “copied and pasted” the plans that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to have implemented. He went further to say, “it’s about annexation, it’s about apartheid”. In response to Palestine’s reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled Mr Trump’s plan the, “deal of the century”, stating Israel “will not miss this opportunity… may God bless us all with security, prosperity and peace”. In addition, speaking to Fox News, the Israeli PM said that over time the Palestinians would, “see they’ll never get a better deal”. The proposal of this plan has caused fierce backlash, with The Independent reporting 4 deaths in the ensuing violence.

Photo: Flickr

the impeachment process, “evil”, and “corrupt”, claiming, “we went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong… Now that we have that gorgeous word. I never thought it would sound so good. It’s called ‘total acquittal’”. In addition, Mr Trump went on to describe the justice department’s

“The president... [labelled] the impeachment process ‘evil’ and ‘corrupt’”

Union address, the President appeared to reject Pelosi’s attempt at a handshake, to which she later responded by tearing up his speech, labelling it as a “manifesto of mistruths”. President Trump will now be the first impeached president to seek re-election. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

inquiry into whether he colluded with the Kremlin during his 2016 election campaign as, “bullshit”, claiming “this should never happen to another President ever”. On the eve of the results, Mr Trump clashed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Before his State of the

200 airstrikes hit Idlib in three days Hannah Cottrell Global Writer

Idlib, situated near the border between Syria and Turkey, was subject to 200 air-strikes in three days at the end of January, presenting huge implications to civilians. Fighting in the Northern province of Syria, the last stronghold of the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, has escalated in the last few weeks as the Syrian government have pressed on the offensive. The air-strikes were fired by the Syrian government and it’s ally Russia, who have since denied its forces were involved in the strikes. On Wednesday 29 January, soldiers captured the strategically important town of Maarat alNuman, which straddles a highway linking the capital Damascus with Aleppo. Now they have pushed further north towards Ariha, which is situated in the province of Idlib. In one of the latest raids, 11 civilians including a child were killed near a bakery and a clinic in the town of Ariha. Complications have arisen as the Syrian government presses forward, meaning around 700,000 already displaced civilians move closer to the Turkish boarder as they flee the intensifying situation in Idlib. James Jeffrey, the US special envoy in Syria, stated that such displacement could, “create an international crisis.” “Every single day there is

bombing.” An English teacher in the east of the opposition territory told the BBC. “If a day passes without us hearing any missiles, any aircraft, any warplanes, we are afraid that they are preparing for something bigger than this.” The UN has stated that around 390,000 civilians around 80% of which are women and children have fled their homes since 1 December. An additional 400,000 people were displaced due to this conflict between April and August of 2019. The latest unsettlement in Syria is worsening the shortage of shelter and accommodation and thousands of families are reportedly living in public buildings, schools and Mosques. Hundreds more are sheltering in unfinished houses, shops, and other sub-standard buildings. Many others are taking refuge in open spaces including public spaces, with no access to basic services. In extreme winter weather, flooding and f r e e z i n g temperatures h a v e exacerbated t h e conditions on the

ground. It is likely the death toll of 11 in this situation will increase as tensions continue to rise in Syria and innocent civilians get caught in the crossfire.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons



11th February 2020

Eating Disorders : Honesty Hurts, Hiding Hurts More

Photo: Pixabay

Sam Gordon Webb Features Writer

Mental Health Crisis “I am fine. I am fine. I promise.” I tell my parents this a lot, but it’s not always true. The motto of Concrete is ‘striving for truth’, so let me tell you the truth. This is hard. Very hard. I am a creative writer yet this must be my hardest piece of writing. I am sharing this because I feel that I must, and I hope it motivates other students to open up, to be honest about struggling. There is no shame in fighting something. None. I am a heterosexual male recovering from Anorexia Nervosa. I have never had problems with my body image, been anxious about consuming ‘too many’ calories, nor have I ever purged or endured strenuous exercise in order to influence my shape or weight. So does all of this crack your perception of eating disorders? You may think girls get eating disorders, but men? Really? Only straight girls or gay men get eating disorders. Don’t they? There is some truth in this. More women suffer than men, and whilst heteresexual men suffer too, much research has been dedicated to proving that gay men are more likely to develop anorexia compared

to their heterosexual equals. According to the the American Addiction Centers, gay men “tend to weigh significantly less….and they tend to idealize an underweight body type.” Fair enough maybe. But this type of research still infuriates me. What does it prove? Homophopic discrimnation clearly adds heavy stress to the gay community, which could then lead to the onset of anorexia. Yet being gay does not increase the likelihood of diognosis. Any research conducted like this must avoid accidentally discouraging men - crucially of any sexual orientation - from coming forward with issues. After all, 1 in 3 sufferers of eating disorders are male, with ten million diagnosed in the US last year. Who cares if sufferers tend to be gay? Who cares if sufferers tend to speak with a lisp? And who cares if sufferers tend to have green eyes, or a spot on their left cheek? Surely all that truly matters is that we’re all human beings struggling with the same condition. We must not ignore the simple reality that there are many men who take much longer to come forward. Who could blame them? Eating disorders are unmanly, aren’t they? You scared of butter? You scared of mayonnaise? You scared of chocolate cake? Really? Seriously? I mean are you for real?! Unmanly. Girlish. Pathetic.

These disgusting words ignore the simple reality that eating disorders vary on a case-by-case basis. They occur when one’s relationship with food changes, and when such a change has a negative impact on physical and mental well being. Anorexia Nervosa is a particular

“Surely Anorexia makes me look weak and fragile?” type of eating disorder, and a kind generally characterised by food restriction, low weight, and fear of the ‘F’ word: ‘fat’. This is why I feel uncomfortable naming my eating disorder because I fear being misunderstood. Do people think I am scared of apple pie? If so, then surely Anorexia makes me look weak and fragile? How could anyone ever be attracted to me? How could anyone take me seriously? The world will reject me. And I will become - by my own admission - the ‘mentally unstable’ child of the family. Friendless, shy and lonely. But the truth is entirely different. Or at least it was for me. There is absolutely no shame in struggling with an eating disorder, including

struggling with body dysmorphia. However, it remains important to understand that not all eating disorders relate to an uneasy relationship with the shape or size. We all struggle, not always with the same issues, but often with issues of a similar magnitude. My experiences have taught me that we all face challenges, but it is from, not despite, these challenges that we’re able to find satisfaction in our lives. My disorder began in Summer 2016. I played rugby after school, but I wanted to achieve academic success. I needed to get A*’s, and I couldn’t afford to drop any marks. If I did then I would be ashamed, embarrassed, and humiliated. During this time my body was changing, and my Type One Diabetes became much harder to manage. It was a confusing time mostly defined by rapid change, but very little time to dwell on these changes. Cue, my eating disorder. I was eating breakfast in my garden. Dad asked me a question: “I thought you liked Nutella?”. I did like Nutella. I do like Nutella. And we had 1 kilogram of Nutella! So then, why didn’t I have any? And why was I leaving the crusts of my toast? And why did it take me 15 minutes to finish my meal? And why was I thinking about it? I began skipping breakfast, eating a spoonful of yogurt for lunch, then a few crumbs for dinner. I would

spend more time chewing on the ice cubes in my glass then chewing on the crumbs. I lost 15 pounds in 1 month. My blood sugar was low for most of the day, and often I would need my parents to pour juice down my throat to prevent me from losing consciousness. I couldn’t look after myself, and my reliance on others tears my conscience apart even today. I became a burden on my parents, and yet no one could stop me. I developed an obsession with food. I would scroll the internet for pictures of buttermilk pancakes dripping in maple syrup, peanut butter melting on hot oatmeal, poached eggs being sliced in half, and the yolks spilling onto buttered bread. I was still starving myself. I did eventually receive specialist treatment, restored some weight, and I was fully satisfied with my GCSE results given the circumstances. My family sensed a full recovery. The term ‘déjà vu’ springs to mind because I relapsed. I took a gap year, not to find myself, but to re-find myself. I was losing my mind, and if things kept going as they were, then I would inevitably lose my life. But my disorder kept telling me that I was fine, that all I needed to do was get a good paying internship Continue reading this article at concrete-online.co.uk


11th February 2020

concrete-online.co.uk/category/features/ | @ConcreteUEA

A Night of Wonders by Headucate Jess Barrett Deputy Editor

Mental Health Crisis Headucate have announced they are hosting UEA’s first ever charity gala called ‘A Night of Wonders’ later this month on 27 February in the LCR. The night will feature performances from multiple UEA societies including, UEA Ballet, UEA Angels, UEA Headlights comedy, UEA Burlesque, UEA Latin social Dance Society, UEA Music Society, UEA Bellydance, UEA Tap, UEA Dance Squad and musical performances by UEA Live Music and UEA Show choir. The event will also host a raffle with amazing prizes. Some of the prizes include books signed by Stephen Fry and Ian McEwan. Those who attend the gala will also be able to ‘name a teddy with nightline’ and indulge upon a variety of food and refreshments held at the event. The event will also have some of UEA’s own brilliant drag queens, some extremely talented henna artists, marvellous magicians and

some photographs to capture memories from the evening. Norwich Nightline, UEA photography and UEA sexpression will also be attending the event to spread awareness for wellbeing on campus. Doors open at 6.30pm with a dress code of ‘dress to impress’. Standard tickets are £5 which includes

“Headucate is an ever-growing society on campus” snacks, soft drinks and a seat in the audience, but if you would like optional henna, a roaming magician and a line of raffle tickets then there’s a ticket option for £7.50. Tory Selwyn, President of Headucate told Concrete, “Beat are the UK’s leading eating disorder charity. These are terrible illnesses which can affect absolutely anyone and can take over a person’s life. Headucate is an ever-growing society on campus with the sole aim of raising awareness around Mental

Health issues. We initially targeted school students aged 12-18, running workshops surrounding mental wellbeing and some of the common conditions. Now the conversation surrounding Mental Health has arrived on campus and so have we! Eating disorders are so common at university. It can be a completely invisible illness so there are people around you who you may know suffering in silence. The Headucate committee have been working hard planning since last summer to create an elegant night of fun. Night of Wonders Gala will celebrate the incredible talent here at UEA with over 10 performing and charity & campaigns societies coming together to raise money and awareness. We will enjoy performances from UEA Drag Queens, Burlesque, Standup Comedy, Ballet, Tap, Showchoir, Jazz orchestra and many more! We’ll also be holding a fabulous raffle with prizes including signed books by Stephen Fry & Ian McEwan, photoshoots, theatre, bowling, food & drink vouchers and MUCH MORE. All proceeds will be going to Beat.”

Photo: Unsplash

Do Something Different Festival in February Erica Thajeb Features Writer

Every year in February. One week of no lectures and seminars. The week when students either scramble home or catch up with long-due essays and revisions. Some call it reading week, others know it is Do Something Different (DSD) week, but not all are aware of what it really is.

So what is DSD Week, and how can you make the most out of it? DSD Week is the culmination of the year-round DSD programme run by the Students’ Union, designed to enhance our university experience by running various events on and off campus. This year, the festival will take place from February 17 - 23, when the university will run no structured teaching.

It is loaded with opportunities

“It is important to use the opportunities given to you as a student”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

to go out of your comfort zone and try all sorts of different things. Most of the activities are free, while bigger events and trips are heavily subsidised. Some events held in previous years included leadership workshops, social media classes, free tours of Norwich castle, and even a Harry Potter Studio tour in London. There were a range of skill-based classes where you could learn new skills like animation, making stained glass, martial arts and even battleground archery. All the options can be overwhelming, or you might be tempted to sleep in all week and do nothing, but it is important to use the opportunities given to you as a student. Trying new things will never be this easy once you graduate, so why not do it while you can? Most of the events for this year have been released on the DSD website (https://ueadifferent.com/ whats_on/). My advice is to look through the page and note anything that catches your interest, then choosing those you are keen to attend. Try to book at least a couple of things for the week, but do not get

Photo: Unsplash

too excited a n d accidentally book two events occurring at the same time. Maybe you want to try DJ-in or learn pottery? Perhaps find your hidden talent in circus or beatboxing. Visit Cambridge, play PS4 or build confidence in public speaking? There are various exercise and sports activities, from boxercise and circuit training to drop-in swimming and badminton sessions. You can also attend a course to receive a three-year Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate that is recognised by HSE, only for £15. Who knows, maybe you will pick up a new hobby this month!



11th February 2020

Student Services “very appreciated by UEA


Chris Matthews Editor-in-Chief

Mental Health Crisis Even though the Student Services (STS) building is wedged between the Square, Union House and the library, and is at the centre of UEA’s campus, it still feels slightly out of the way. I’m sitting in a meeting room with UEA’s mental health chiefs: Jon Sharp, director of STS; Claire Pratt, head of wellbeing; and Jane Amos, head of life and learning. Although mental health has always been a topic of conversation at UEA, it came to a head last year after four student deaths in just 10 months at UEA. Last year saw the university introduce a number of new measures to support students, from the Vice Chancellor setting up a mental health taskforce to introducing a raft of new mental health initiatives. One change that may have passed many UEA students by was Student Service’s rebranding. Formerly Student Support Services, Sharp tells me they removed the word ‘support’ in a bid to make the service easier for students to access. “We know that some people find it difficult to access our services and we know that for some people that’s about not feeling that they need support. “They want to feel like they’re just accessing a service because for some people, as soon as you throw in the word ‘support’, it makes them [feel] either that they’re vulnerable and they don’t want to feel vulnerable or they’re being needy, [and] they don’t want to feel like they’re being needy or that they’re not coping and they want to feel like they’re coping. “So by trying to strip out that word ‘support’, it doesn’t do anything in terms of the support we provide. “It’s still there, but it makes it easier, we hope, for people to come and access us.” He adds, “For those students who were perfectly okay with the idea of it being Student Support Services, calling it Student Services doesn’t make it more difficult for them. So it’s sort of a win-win.” When I ask whether it had anything to do with restoring their reputation on campus, I’m met with a barrage of noes from all three. Sharp explains, “It sounds weird to think about branding and marketing in terms of a service, but actually it’s really important.


“One of the big issues is that universities aren’t good at marketing to their existing students because they feel like what they need to do is just give them information. “And actually, if you want to engage them, want to make them feel interested in what you’re offering, you’ve got to market it. That’s what people expect. “And part of marketing is making sure that your brand is always the same, that your name is always the same.” Waiting times at STS have always been a hot topic. Sharp tells me, “one of the things that we know makes it difficult for anybody… to access this kind of support is if there is a big, big delay, it’s easy for them to convince themselves that maybe they don’t need [support].”

“We’ know that some people find it difficult to access our services” Sharp adds that former North Norfolk MP and mental health activist Norman Lamb “was talking just before Christmas and he was saying pitifully few universities actually record data about wait times. We do.” Sharp tells me his team focuses on waiting times a great deal. “What we’re now able to do is look at how long students are waiting and make sure that if it’s an emergency case we engage with that student on the same day.” STS’s target is to see someone within ten days for an assessment and within 20 “to be receiving a therapeutic episode”. “One thing I would always say is we’re not a proxy for the NHS,” Sharp adds. “We don’t provide diagnoses or medical care or treatment. And so if it’s an emergency case, our role is very often in trying to effectively and safely refer that person into the appropriate NHS support”. In December last year UEA introduced 16 new initiatives to help STS support students and staff. One that STS hope to launch later this month is an initiative to allow the university to inform a student’s emergency contact if they


have significant concerns about a student’s w e l l b e i n g , s o m e t h i n g Concrete has called for as part of the Mental Health Crisis campaign. Yet the university can only get in touch with the emergency contact if the student consents to UEA reaching out for that particular issue. Pratt tells me, “Consent should be decisionspecific... you need to go back to somebody and say, ‘do I have your consent to specifically speak to this person about this issue’ to ensure that that’s still the student’s wishes and still the safe thing to do.” “It’s about keeping people safe,” she adds. Concrete has also called for UEA to pledge to include alcoholfree common rooms in new and existing architecture. Sharp says,”Increasingly young people are drinking less. Drinking culture is fading away. “So generally students aren’t necessarily always wanting to have their social event either focussed around drink or in a space where there is drink.” For Sharp, tackling mental health issues at universities is “all about partnership”. Referring to the recent mental health event STIGMA, which aimed to reduce the stigma associated with conversations about mental health, Sharp tells me, “we don’t really think about, ‘is it an SU event’? ‘Is it a Student Services event?’ ‘Is it a university event that Student Services are leaning on?’ They’re all partnership events.” But it’s not just about working within the community at UEA. STS also work with other universities who are experiencing similar issues around mental health. UEA’s involvement in Enlitened, a mental wellbeing app, has led



them to work with a number of universities including Exeter, Northumbria and Sussex. UEA is also part of the Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE), which brings universities together to share their knowledge of confronting issues such as student wellbeing and mental health. “[Student Services has] always been a part of the university that is very appreciated by students and delivers really good services. “And we’ve just improved and improved,” says Sharp. “What’s interesting when you look at the analytical breakdown of NSS [National Student Survey] for example, is the students who are writing about their experiences, who have been users of our services, are extremely positive. The concerns of other really big


wait times... tend to be from people who aren’t necessarily users of the service themselves. “We did some quite detailed analysis on that.” Another institution UEA has worked with is Bristol University, which became infamous after 10 student deaths in just over 18 months at the university. Sharp says the reason STS are in contact with Bristol is down to them having“a very, very difficult set of experiences with student deaths. They had to deal with an awful lot of media reporting around that, which wasn’t always helpful. “They were working very closely with government departments.” “It seemed like an ideal fit,” he adds. Even so, the STS director does not believe UEA is experiencing a mental health crisis. “I’m not going to have a


11th February 2020

concrete-online.co.uk/category/features/interview | @ConcreteUEA

students and delivers really good services” wellbeing, and what they’re doing to support students

conversation about something that doesn’t exist,” he tells me. “There’s a huge buzz word out there in the media generally about a mental health crisis and it’s an easy thing to say. “Actually exploring what does mental health look like right now as a field of inquiry and as a lived experience for young people is a lot more complex.” Sharp explains to me while his role is to manage the structure of STS in terms of, resources, funding, and working with the Uea(su) among other organisations, it is Pratt and Amos who have particular expertise in the areas they are working in. Pratt has worked in mental health for 20 years, and Amos has been at STS since 2001. She tells me there has been “huge improvement” in the past two decades. “We didn’t have clear structures

like we have now. I think we’ve made huge improvements on the structure of Student Services. Our provision was low. Amos adds, “It’s got bigger. It’s got broader. There’s a much better provision and opportunities for students now. “So not only has it grown in numbers, but actually the provision has got much wider. And I think we have very much a better understanding of the student community as well now.” I ask Pratt how they have been helping to open up the conversation around mental health and wellbeing at UEA. “I suppose you can look at that question from various different levels,” she tells me. “From the highest management within the university the conversation is very much alive and people are very engaged with that

in terms of the mental health task force that the [Vice Chancellor] chairs and runs. “And you’ve got some really significant people across the university from all strands as well that are engaged in these conversations at that level. “Then you’ve also got their multiagency [ s u i c i d e prevention] group, which not only promotes the conversation about mental health and wellbeing within the university, but it draws in local services and people locally who are providing services to people with mental health or who’ve got expertise around that. So it’s looking at the community as well as the UEA community, because we know we can’t support all of the students ourselves. “Many of the students that are at the university and will come through to students access will need support of NHS or other external specialist services, so having those people on board in the conversation is absolutely essential.” She tells me, “Last year we piloted with a number of different schools going into timetabled classes and delivering sessions around mental health awareness and developing resilience and looking after our own wellbeing, how we kind of understand that and promote it differently, so trying to reach those students that wouldn’t necessarily walk through our doors, that wouldn’t necessarily attend one of our workshops, but actually getting the conversation out into the school, making it a very normal thing to talk about something that is just part of our teaching.” STS also runs workshops and one-to-one sessions that students are able to attend. The team are also very pleased

with Enlitened, a student wellbeing app UEA partnered with online student network The Student Room to develop. Sharp tells me, “So far I would regarded it as a success, both for students and for the university. “If you think about it in terms of how can the university better understand what students want and be agile in terms of trying to respond to those student wishes and student preferences, you could look at the NSS and you could say, well, that’s a third of your undergraduate population, get to give their opinion once every three years. “You look at the Enlitened app and we’ve got students giving us their opinion every week.” The app was launched in October last year, and Sharp tells me since then they have answered around 245,000 questions from

“I really, really care about our students having a really good experience“ students since then. “We’ve had over 300 unique ideas submitted,” he says. “On average, we get 40 odd ideas a day coming through that we moderate. We’ve responded to those ideas, as we’ve said we would, on a monthly basis. “And what’s been really interesting about it is because it is student led we’re not saying to the student, ‘what do you think of this idea?’ We’re saying, ‘look, here’s a blank piece of paper, you tell us what you would like us to look at and think about’. “We’ve currently got 3,400 active users. So the total number of downloads over the period will exceed that because some people will inevitably [get] on board and then drop away. “One of the things we’re looking at doing for 2020/21 academic year is making the onboarding onto Enlitened just a natural part of your registration process with the university - making it’s clear that it’s optional, it’s not a requirement, but really pushing that notion of if you want to get the best out of your time

at UEA this app is going to help you because it because it really will. “In terms of tangible outcomes, what’s really interesting is there is a lot of conversation quite rightly about wellbeing. “What was really interesting was the idea that had the most upvotes was not about wellbeing and it wasn’t about level of resourcing. It was about ‘I don’t know where to fill my water bottle’. “That’s the thing that for a huge number of students is really important. “And in terms of the student experience, what we know from organisations that get customer experience stuff right is the small things. “If you get the small things right people feel able to talk about the bigger things because they know you are listening organisation. “[The app has been] really good for students. It’s really good for the student union because they get to promote their products through it. Sharp anticipates the app will grow over the next year. “My expectation is that two to three years from now, if you’re a university and you don’t have a product like this, you’re going to look significantly behind the times. This is becoming a thing that [students] expect.” Yet although UEA helped develop the app, Sharp is clear that UEA has no financial stake in it. “We are not in any sense having ownership of that as an asset or as an intellectual property that is a student rooms. We are a customer,” he tells me. Finally, I ask whether Sharp is confident in UEA’s ability to support students. “Absolutely,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been here for a quarter of a century... if I didn’t feel that the university is an institution that cares about students.That’s the reason why I’m doing what I do, it’s the reason why I can get quite passionate at times about issues like our conversation around, is it or isn’t it a mental health [crisis]. “Because I really, really care about our students having a really good experience. “If I didn’t think the university cared equally about that, I would be at a different institution. But I am absolutely confident that they do.”

You can contact STS by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk. Alternatively you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24-hours a day or email jo@ samaritans.org Photo: Concrete/ Roo Pitt



11th Februray 2020


HOME OF THE WONDERFUL find it on issuu.com/concreteuea

Photos: Harry Chapman/Cncrete

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11th Februray 2020


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Tune in to Livewire every Tuesday 5-6pm to hear us chat about the paper!

#UEA Livewire 1350 are hosting their annual Jailbreak challenge this March! Look out for more information in the coming weeks!



11th February 2020

Romney is the only good Republican left Matt Branston Comment Editor

It is a strange reality in which the most morally upstanding and reasonable politician in America right now appears to be Mitt Romney. As the rest of the Republican senators voted to acquit Donald

“Genuinely acting in the interest of his nation and people” Trump of his various crimes (which he definitely committed), Mr Romney stood separate to represent the last vestiges of the morals of a party which has gone completely down the hill. In recent years, the Republicans have been gerrymandering the nation to hell to manipulate their falling vote count; they’ve been pushing populism, racism and hate, and they’ve been backing up and supporting a President who has been committing crimes like he takes golf trips - daily and with no regard for the nation he leads. When Mr Romney was asked on a Fox News program why he

voted to impeach, he said “I’ve got broad enough shoulders to be able to weather personal changes in my career, political or otherwise, but what I don’t have is the capacity to ignore my conscience... What the president did was grievously wrong”. I think this is a brilliantly unusual thing to hear nowadays, the sign of a politician who seems, at least in this moment, to be genuinely acting in the interest of his nation and people. Mr Trump called for Mr Romney to be kicked out of the party. The chair of the GOP, his own niece, put out a comment insulting him. Seemingly millions of comments are streaming in from the internet denigrating his name. He’s facing a wall of anger and

“The party and their leader are essentially tearing down american democracy” criticism that, while becoming increasingly common in modern politics, is completely undeserving of a man who, unlike every single other Republican senator, is actually holding up the oath of his office and protecting the Constitution. Nowadays, politics is a

particularly dirty art. We don’t often have any reason to believe what any politician says. The Conservative party’s major strategy in 2019 was to say they were going to heal the divide in politics and get people to trust them again, while simultaneously lying constantly. It is brave for a person to stand up and call out the leader of their own party, when every single other Republican is cowering, knowing their vote count could be obliterated by Mr Trump’s active and vicious base. To take this burden, Mr Romney is showing such genuine strength of character and putting his career and political standing at risk, knowing that there would be such intense backlash to his actions. The Republican party is disgusting. To support them in this day and age is utterly reprehensible. Even more so when that support is based on supporting a President who is almost religious in his fanatical devotion to being an awful person. The party and their leader are essentially tearing

down American democracy and respectability as they pursue power at the expense of every single citizen who lives in the country they’re ruining. Mitt Romney is still a Republican. He still said he supports 80% of what Donald Trump does. But with this action, he has done what all politicians in our age should be aspiring to do, and what very few are living up to, he has made the right choice, for the right reasons. To paraphrase Mitt Romney himself, we’re all footnotes in the annals of history, but to be among those who were right, is enough for any citizen.

Photo: Oliver Shrouder

Photo: Flickr

‘Our country is in disarray’ Emily Webb Comment Writer

The deed has finally been done. As of 31 January, at 11pm, the UK formally left the EU, something I think many people, including myself, never thought would happen. Three years of politicians squabbling like children is yet to be over and has yet to have any political effect. We are now entering the ‘transition period’ – yes, it is not over yet - which is due to be over by 31 December, the UK and EU will use the next 11 months to negotiate a new relationship.

“I openly stand against a group of elitist snobs who think they can ruin my country” Few on the EU side believe that is long enough, including EU Commission President Ursula von

der Leyen, however Boris Johnson has vowed to do so. In my opinion I do not think we should hold any weight to his words. Negotiations have already been going on for three years, what makes them think another 11 months will be sufficient? The world watches and judges our ‘decision’. A decision not only based on lies, including the ominous £350mil to the NHS bus which influenced many in their decision, but also a lie representative of only 52% of the population. Oh, how stupid they were. Insanely, Johnson seems to be trying to negotiate a deal which encompasses all the privileges we already had as EU members. The British government hates change and will mask a populist decision as something good for t h e

country, right until it destroys us. It’s like a child continuously throwing out its dummy, they know they shouldn’t be doing it, but they’re going to bloody carry on anyway. A free trade agreement allows goods to move around the EU without checks or extra charges.

If a new agreement cannot be found in time, then the UK faces the reality of having to trade with no deal in place. That would mean tariffs on UK goods travelling to the EU and other trade barriers which would affect our economy substantially, and this is why we can’t have nice things. However, what worries me most is the reality of life for nonBritish citizens living in the UK, but honestly, with what I’ve seen of the British public in terms of tolerance of race, I didn’t e x p e c t anything less.

Photo: Flickr

Norwich has recently reached global news regarding a racist poster put in the Winchester Tower of Jenny Lind. The ‘Happy Brexit Day’ poster said those unwilling to speak English should leave the UK. The text read: “You won’t have long

till our government will implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve or leave. God Save the Queen, her government and all true patriots.” The scumbag has not been identified and my walking route to work has most definitely changed. Worryingly, this racism is not exclusive to this incident. Research manager for Opinium, Priya Minhas, reported 71% of people from ethnic minorities now report racial discrimination, compared with just over half (58%) before the EU vote. The proportion of people from an ethnic minority who said they had been targeted by a stranger rose from 64% in January 2016 to 76% in February 2019. To all who may be affected by these statistics, I stand with you, and I openly stand against a group of elitist snobs who think they can ruin my country and the far-right in the UK who want to white-wash Britain. As the future of our country lies in Mr Johnson’s hands, the concerning prospect of rising racism, taxed trades and anxietyinducing agreements is on the horizon. Our country is in disarray right now, but the future seems far more displeasing.


11th February 2020

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‘TERF ideology is a faux feminism’ Thomas Gymer Comment Writer

Recently, a different form of transphobia has become more and more prevalent. Obviously anti-trans views have been a problem for many years, but while the more obvious forms of transphobia remain a danger, a more insidious style of transphobic arguments have been gaining traction for some time now. I am referring to the way in which certain so-called feminists stoke up fears of trans women being predatory and a focus on the importance of some idea of ‘biological sex’ as the most important aspect of womanhood and entry into women’s spaces. This is the rise of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs. Now to some this may seem entirely reasonable. Even when accepting trans people as the gender they identify with, is it really so wrong to be cautious of letting them into spaces set aside for

that gender? And the answer is yes, it is wrong, for many reasons. Firstly, the whole idea of biological sex is an outdated way of thinking. Even supposing chromosomes were the only determinant, there is far more variation there than m a n y realise, from XXY to just Y, and even XX people who are nonetheless genetically male, and XY people who are nonetheless genetically female. Some pure biological sex is a nonsensical idea. M o r e w o r r y i n g l y, attempts to exclude trans people, and especially trans women, from spaces designed for their respective genders, only

increase the risks for trans people, who are far more at risk of being the victims of assault and sexual assault than they are likely to be the perpetrators. The idea that

“What you fear is predatory cis men, not trans women”

society is typically hostile, and to be excluded from women’s spaces by the same people who claim to defend women’s rights is simply barbarous. Furthermore, the way in which these TERFs will reframe abuse of trans women as simply defending women’s rights, and criticism of TERF rhetoric as silencing women, is a horrific attempt to exclude trans women from the aims of feminism, especially for trans women of colour, who are even more at risk.

trans people are a threat is simple prejudice and has no basis in reality. For trans women especially,

TERF ideology is a faux feminism, a terrible pseudomedicalised, exclusive feminism, propagated by predominantly white women against the very people they should be fighting for. It is not just harmful to trans women either, trans men are infantilised, seen as helpless foolish victims of the patriarchy, tricked into trying to become men, and the focus on biology as a marker of Photo: Pixabay womanhood, and especially on the ability to give birth, is further harm to those cis women who cannot have children for whatever reason, and gives further ammunition to the patriarchal view that pregnancy and childbirth are the most important parts of a woman’s life. I shall leave you with this final thought, if you fear people using trans acceptance to enter women’s spaces and abuse them, then you fear predatory cis men, not trans women.

Photos: Peter Griffin and Wikimedia Commons

The Democrats need to move left to survive Henry Webb Comment Writer

The US Democratic Party is facing the same decision as the Republicans did in 2016, what do they want the future of their party to be? Or, perhaps more accurately, who do they want to represent? In electing Donald Trump, Republicans decided not only to be the party of business and the wealthy but one that legitimises the kind of racism and disregard for truth that would have been unacceptable just a decade ago. In 2020, there are 18 candidates running to represent the Democrats in the presidential election, but there’s only a few that have a realistic chance of winning. On the

socialist side, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and towards the centre, Joe Biden. There are also a few lesser-known candidates like Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg who have an admittedly much smaller chance of winning. When discussing who is best placed to face Trump in the election, it’s often said that a centrist candidate is needed. Someone who won’t offend swing voters by using scary words like “socialism”, “single-payer healthcare”, or even worse “taxes”. But this isn’t true, and this belief could cost Democrats the election. Donald Trump’s 2016 win, and Boris Johnson’s more recent victory here in the UK, has proved that you don’t, in fact, have to be racist, sexist, homophobic or a climate-change denier to vote for

someone who is, even if the liberal media would have you believe otherwise. I admit to being a part of this problem, despite efforts to counter it I am protected on social media from anyone that doesn’t share my views and was therefore shocked by the exit polls.

I really shouldn’t have been. The Conservatives, and the Republicans back in 2016, discovered the key to a successful campaign - perceived stability. A large number of Conservatives

were not happy with Boris’ leadership, yet the party united behind him and his clear message “Get Brexit Done” On the other side, Corbyn’s Labour took far too long to announce their more complicated Brexit policy and the party was divided right up to election day, with many candidates expressing their concerns with the party’s leader. This presented an image of i n s t a b i l i t y, similar to the division caused by many Democrats’ dislike of Hillary Clinton. 2020 is an opportunity for the party to reinvent itself. A Bernie Sanders-led Democratic Party would offer real change for the poorest Americans that were hit by Trump’s healthcare cuts and trade war job losses. However, if they want to stand up

to Trump the whole party needs to unite behind him, they cannot be afraid of appearing too left-wing. Bernie’s message is clear and offers the hope of a different America, and his policies are supported by a majority of Americans. Swing voters don’t want a centrist candidate, they don’t want the status quo, they want a politician that sees the problems in their country, and offers a solution. But to win, that candidate needs the support of their entire party. This year the Democrats must decide: do they want to be the party of the people, of real change? Or one that defends the existing system that works only for business and billionaires? If they don’t decide, they have no chance of victory.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons



11th February 2020

Research reveals a new side of the sun Rosie Matthews Science Writer

The sun’s surface has been a hot topic amongst scientists for generations, with the first image of the sun being taken way back in 1845 by French Physicist Louis Fizeau. The photograph only captured the star as a black and white image. This starkly contrasts the newest image of the sun, which shows a bright, complex honeycomb looking surface. The sun, which is 149.6 million kilometers away, has a surface area of 11, 990 times that of the Earth meaning that theoretically one million Earths could fit inside the sun. This value will only ever increase; as the sun ages, not only is it getting brighter, but its outer envelope is slowly expanding, and it will eventually engulf the Earth. This is due to the nuclear fusion of two hydrogen nuclei into one

helium atom. However, this isn’t meant to happen for roughly eight billion years (when it reaches twelve billion years of age). The Sun’s surface has

“One million Earth’s could fit inside the sun.” never been captured with this level of clarity until now, thanks to the development of the Inouye solar telescope. Based on the summit of Haleakala volcano in Hawaii, the National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope began construction in 2010. This is the world’s largest solar telescope; its construction cost £265

million to build. At 3,000 metres in width and displaying a four-metre wide mirror, the structure of the telescope allows near-infrared wavelengths to be observed. Solar telescopes, however, suffer from one huge problem: heat is generated by tightly focused sunlight. The Inouye telescope has built in ways to combat this issue: a large dome which encloses the telescope and is covered by thin cooling plates that stabilize the temperature both inside and outside of the dome, shutters that provide shade and air circulation, and most importantly, a feature called ‘heat stop’ which blocks the sunlight’s energy from the main mirror. Thanks to its unique sensitivity and high resolution, it was able to give the most intricate image of the sun’s surface to date. The image shows larger cell-like structures, which look deceivingly small considering each cell is around the size of Texas.

The new telescope hopes to uncover the mysteries of the sun. It aims over the next 44 years to map the magnetic fields within the Sun’s corona, and better our knowledge of the dynamic behaviour of the sun’s solar flares and intense heat. Mapping the magnetic field will also better our understanding of what drives solar storms, therefore making us better equipped to be able to predict them. Inouye has made it possible to get a closer look at the Sun’s plasma, which affects the magnetic fields around the sun. As the magnetic fields twist, this leads to solar storms. Inouye is able to measure and characterise the Sun’s magnetic field to look for this solar activity. This ‘space

weather’/solar activity on the Sun can affect many systems on the Earth. The magnetic eruptions can disrupt satellite communications, bring down power grids and impact air travel.

Photo: Flickr

Coronavirus: it’s origin, virulence, and quarantine procedures Olivia Johnson Science Writer

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory infections that are typically mild – these include the common cold. Rarer forms of coronavirus infections have led to previous disease pandemics with SARS, MERS and the current novel coronavirus causing the 2019-2020 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. These rarer forms are known to be lethal in many cases and currently there are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment. The strain of coronavirus causing the Wuhan outbreak is classified as a zoonotic pathogen. This means that the first h u m a n patient infected with the disease acquired it from a n animal. 2019n C o V, as this strain of coronavirus is known as so far, has somewhat unclear origins. Scientists are unsure as to what the original host of this coronavirus is with snakes, badgers, rats and bats being suggested. Health officials in Beijing have warned that whilst the 2019-

nCoV virus is not as lethal as SARS, it mutates much more quickly thus making it more transmissible through populations and more dangerous in that respect.

“There are no vaccines that are approved for treatment” Humans have always caught diseases from animals, but in the past 50 years or so this is becoming much more prevalent. HIV/ AIDS originated from great apes, the 200407 avian flu pandemic came from birds, and pigs gave us the swine flu pandemic in 2009. M o r e r e c e n t l y, it was discovered severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) came from bats, via civets, while bats were also the original host of Ebola. Environmental change is increasing the rate at which these diseases emerge and spread. Increased city living and

international travel also means that when these diseases emerge in human populations, they spread much more quickly. These diseases have been linked to poorly regulated live animal markets where the animals are all kept in close quarters and the illegal wildlife trade for pets with humans encountering the pathogen through these routes. So far, two people from the same family in England have tested positive for coronavirus, making these the first confirmed cases of the virus in the UK. The two were taken to Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist centre, Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre, where they continue to be treated for coronavirus. Meanwhile, 94 UK nationals and family members have been evacuated from Wuhan and are under quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral for 14 days. This comes with the news that thousands of passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been quarantined in their rooms after ten passengers were confirmed to have coronavirus. Almost 300 out of the 3,700 people on board the ship have been tested for coronavirus and the number of infected people on board is expected to rise. Another cruise ship currently docked in Hong Kong has also been quarantined with 3,600 on board. The most recent data shows that there are around 25,000 cases of coronavirus confirmed with over 500 deaths as a result of the disease. Current measures put in place in the UK to control the spread of the disease includes a procedure called ‘advanced monitoring’.

Health professionals are being stationed at Heathrow airport, meeting passengers arriving off planes from China and are providing

“These diseases have been linked to poorly regulated live animal markets” them with health information, such as the key symptoms to look out for. These measures are set in place for all flights though they are

dwindling. The Chinese government stopped all flights from Wuhan and British Airways have suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China. The UK is chartering flights back from Wuhan with passengers having to sign a contract accepting that they must be placed in quarantine for 14 days on landing in the UK to ensure no one exhibits any symptoms of coronavirus without accessing treatment. Officials are also considering taking passengers to a military base once they arrive home for the purposes of being easily able to isolate people in the same place for treatment.

Photos: Unsplash


11th February 2020

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Voice of an Egyptian mummy heard for the first time mummy was unwrapped in 1824 and currently resides in the Leeds

Emily Hawkes Science Writer

The sound of a vocal tract from the Egyptian mummy Nesyamun has been synthesised via new technology allowing modern society to re-engage with the ancient past in a completely original and unconventional way. Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest and scribe around 3,000 years ago, with the leather ornament in his bandages dating back to the reign of Ramesses XI in 1113-1085 B.C. The

“Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest and scribe around 3,000 years” City Museum, where there is subsequent research detailing his death. It is suspected that he died in his 50s from strangulation via an allergic reaction to an insect sting; this would explain the

mummy having his tongue sticking out yet no trauma being present to the neck bones. The Nesyamun mummy is of significant historic importance as it is the only one to have been dated to the beginning of the 11th Century BC and provides detail on not only Nesyamun’s beliefs while alive but also the culture at the time. This mummy holds even more importance with researchers reproducing Nesyamun’s vocal tract via 3D-printing to recreate his voice. The elaborate mummification process has allowed the structure of Nesyamun’s larynx and throat to be preserved in such a manner that the vocal tract shape can be measured. This was achieved by taking the mummy to Leeds General Infirmary where CT scans took place. From these images 3D printing could be utilised to digitally reconstruct Nesyamun’s vocal tract. Some drawbacks were met with the tongue being shrivelled and soft palate absent due to burial for such a length of time. H o w e v e r, this was

overcome by virtually filling it in, allowing for the 3D model to be coupled to an electronic larynx and

“Researchers [reproduced] Nesyamun’s vocal tract via 3D printing”

One interesting finding was that the vocal dimensions suggest that Nesyamun’s voice was of higher pitch than the average modern man. The researcher’s aim is to produce a software that will permit movement of the vocal tract to form vowels, and eventually words. The benefits of this study have fulfilled Nesyamun’s desire in his own words to ‘speak again’ and has created a human connection between us in the 21st Century and the ancient Egyptians of the 11th Century B.C.

loudspeaker. As a result, the larynx sound of Nesyamun has been reproduced electronically compared to a normal functioning body where air flows through the larynx.

Photos: Unsplash

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11th February 2020

The 'Game of Thrones Effect' in Travel Sam Hewitson Travel Editor

Even though Game of Thrones has been and gone, the hype is still very much real. Filled with exotic scenery and impressive landscapes, no one can deny the locations for filming are stunning and evoke wanderlust in all of us. As innocent as this may seem at first, representation of gorgeous settings has its problems, and as the tourist we don’t always see the effects. Tourism always peaks in areas where a famous film or television show has been set. For instance I remember a school trip to Alnwick Castle and getting very excited about it being a location for certain scenes in Harry Potter. The ‘Game of Thrones Effect’ is a more widespread phenomenon depicting this exact feeling and the

“As the tourist we don't always see the effects” results of it. It details the influx of tourism to an area because of media representation, with a specific focus on the aftermath of said tourism. It is generally applied to areas and attractions that cannot cope with the popularity and numbers, such as the old towns of Dubrovnik. Speaking of, the main countries

suffering from this because of Game of Thrones specifically are Spain, Croatia, Iceland and Ireland. During a recent trip to Ireland, my friend and I took a trip to the Giant’s Causeway for the day, and on the way, about five minutes out from the Causeway we stopped at a ruin of a castle, which apparently was used in the filming for Game of Thrones. As someone who hasn’t watched the whole series in its entirety, I could not for the life of me understand why everyone was going crazy over this ruin. People were leaning over the fences and trying to get closer, so I can only imagine this is a regularity at other attractions. I dread to think what lengths people will go to if there are no restrictions on the visit. In some places, tourism has become too hectic, to the extent where police officers are required to control the flow of people and keep the area safe, as shown in areas of Northern Spain. As example detached from Game of Thrones, certain places in Edinburgh, my home town, were inundated with tourists after its inclusion in Avengers: Infinity War. Waverley Train Station makes an appearance with its iconic green pillars, and a café on Cockburn Street now has extra publicity from the film, because Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany stood outside it for a couple of frames. This example is not as extreme though, because Edinburgh has stood the test of time and endures heavy tourism at multiple points every year, with the Fringe and Edinburgh’s Christmas. Extra tourism out of peak times is unexpected but can be managed much more easily.

Places like Dubrovnik (the setting for King’s Landing) by contrast, have only recently become more popular, and it is now easily one of the most visited sites on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s old stone streets and walls are not as used to the heavy footfall, and the crowds strongly affect the city physically, as well as dampening the experience offered from the old town. In fact in 2017, according to an article published by Forbes, 750,000 tourists disembarked from a grand total of 539 cruise ships, which is a horrifying amount of people, and given the figure shown is just related to cruise ships, I imagine the overall tourist numbers was even larger. In response, a ‘Respect the City’ plan was initiated, in order to reduce tourism and protect the area, with tourism now being limited to 4,000

people at any one time. I think it is becoming increasingly

“Police officers are required to control the flow of people” important for travellers to watch the way they travel, especially in the age of the climate crisis and over-tourism. Many places which become popular overnight cannot cope with the floods of people, and hidden gems do not stay hidden very easily anymore. We all understand fandom

culture, and most can attribute themselves to it in one way or another. I admit, I would love to tour the sets of my favourite television shows or films in order to see everything for myself. Despite this, there needs to be a level of decency being maintained. Remember when touring the old town of Dubrovnik that people still live there, and you are touring their neighbourhoods. Remember that rural settings are surrounded by land owned by farmers and house animals. Arguably the most important reminder: leave these places as you found them. The problems here come from the sheer numbers of people touring these attractions, but also certain individuals who do not show respect and abuse the surroundings. Don’t be that person.

Photo: Flickr

Romance on the road: pros and cons Elif Soyler

friend), often joke about how the flights to Greece were just as cheap Travel Writer that year, how they could have just as easily have met a pair of Greeks My mother met my father while rather than some Turks. They she was holidaying with say it with love but the her best friend on unlikelihood of it ‘Bird Island’- or all working out Kuşadası- in the way it did Turkey, in is something the summer they have of 1996. marveled They’re over for s t i l l m a n y happily y e a r s together together. t o d a y, S o , twenty there are f o u r definitely y e a r s pros and strong. A cons to remarkable meeting story it may someone seem to some, w h i l e but my mother travelling or and her friend holidaying abroad, (who actually went on my parents’ summer to marry my father’s best Photo: Pixabay fling stretched over time

and distance into a relationship that existed through letters, airmail and long phone calls; those were the days before facetime and spamming each other with memes and instant messages. My father was eventually allowed back into the UK with my mother, since being deported in 1993 after overstaying a three-day work visa. He had been working on a shipping container that docked in

“My parents' summer fling stretched over time and distance” London for a week or so, got off to explore and never went back, until

he was caught over a year later for a speeding charge. In short, my parents were lucky ones. They got to share an adventure together, both of them enjoying an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar company, before moving on to eventually spend the rest of their lives together in comfort and stability. There is an undeniable romanticism attached to the idea of going away and meeting someone new, having a fling with no strings attached, but there are also so many risks. What if you fall for a person who lives on the other side of the planet? What if once your travels come to an end you never see them again? What if you never meet the right person because you never stay in the same place long enough? I would argue that relationships at university face the same issues; travelling is the same kind of ‘rite of passage’ that is encompassed in the expectations of fun, freedom

and independence - just like moving away to university.

“What if you fall for a person who lives on the other side of the planet?” I take example from my parents’ story; two individuals who could not have lived more separate lives managed to make it worth it and managed to make it last. I wouldn’t worry about the consequences of romantic capers on trips and holidays away until the next step comes when you have to say goodbye. Until then, it’s anybody’s bet what great things could happen.


11th February 2020

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Are cruises worth it? Nerisse Appleby Travel Writer

A cruise is a great way to visit multiple countries and cities, all in just one trip, but recently they have been dividing travellers more than ever. Some people love them. Others hate them. So, before you board that luxury cruise ship, let's debate the lingering question: are cruises worth it? Starting positive, cruises are a great way to see a lot in a short space of time. You can easily visit some of the most popular places in the world, be it Europe, the Caribbean, or Antarctica. Cruises take you from port to port, and a vast amount of different cultures and cuisines are now within your grasp. Instead of only experiencing one country, you're able to check off several places on your travelling bucket list. They're also a very easy and relaxing way of travelling. You're

taken directly to each place and don't need to arrange any transport yourself. Minimum effort, maximum reward. No stress involved. If you opt for a no-fly cruise, there's also no bustling, long-queue airports to contend with. The cruise industry is booming right now and the innovations to ships are incredible.

“Minimum effort, maximum reward. No stress involved” You'll never be bored when there's so much to do! From swimming pools and dodgems to theatre shows and shopping, there's something for everyone. Every cruise is different, so no experience

is the same; one year you could enjoy the height of luxury, and the next a themed one, or, my personal favourite, a Disney cruise. Food on cruises is another highlight. It's brilliant in variety and taste, so whether you fancy some Italian, steak, burgers or the choice of an all you can eat buffet, you won't be disappointed. Although, if you're a bit of a picky vegetarian like me, then be prepared for fewer options. With every positive comes a negative, and cruises are no exception. You just don't have enough time in each location to truly immerse yourself in the culture. Average ports of call are only six to eight hours, and when you factor in getting to an excursion, you're not fully able to enjoy the beautiful city you've just arrived in. There's no flexibility to them either; if you're loving a location, you can't choose to spend longer there because you've got to get back to the ship, or risk being left behind. If there's a certain country you'd

like to explore for more than just a few hours, I wouldn't recommend a cruise, or maybe go for one that

“You're not fully able to enjoy the beautiful city you've just arrived in” is dedicated to said country, so visits a variety of cities within it. Cruises come with a high price tag (keep an eye out for last-minute deals if you'd like to save money). The cost of a cruise per person is often more than £1000 and that's not even allowing for any on-shore activities, flights or drinks if they're not included. Excursions can cost anywhere from a pleasant £20 to around £300 for more pricey ones. If you were looking for cheap travel, perhaps a cruise isn't the way to go. If you are prepared to fork out for

excursions, booking in advance is essential so you don't miss out. I've only mentioned the negative aspect of excursions, but I do recommend them as they are a great, fun and easy way to spend your time in port and avoid wandering around an unfamiliar island, unsure of what to do. They often include many unique and stunning experiences aside from the most popular tourist attractions. Travelling is a subjective experience, and with every type of holiday, what works for one person may not work for another. I think the key to enjoyment whilst cruising is finding what works for you. Antarctica cruises will give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and River cruises give you more time in port. If you’re seeking the Northern Lights, there are cruises dedicated to that. The cruise industry has so much variety so maybe it takes a few tries to find what you love, but the most important thing is that you get out and see the world, and that is always worth it.

Photo: Unsplash

The best and worst of honeymoons Tristan Pollitt Travel Writer

‘Honeymooning’ is rooted in the nineteenth century European ‘bridal tour’, where recently married couples would travel the country and nearby continents to visit family members unable to attend the wedding. These kinds of parades, however, were largely undertaken by the upper-classes due to the large cost they accrued. Honeymoons are expensive. They are also a largely Eurocentric

Photo: Unsplash

idea; you’re either in one of Europe’s many romantic capitals, or you’re in one of the many ‘exotic’ locations which occupied the nineteenth century ideal of the perfect honeymoon. Even so-called ‘unknown’ locations, Quebec or Sapa for instance, are marketed with the strict intention of targeting a European audience in both the geographical and, for lack of a better word, ideological sense. Ta k e Venice, for

instance: romantic, beautiful, but not the most cost effective at about £280 per-person, per-night according to TripAdvisor. Also, Venice is currently experiencing its worst floods since 1966. Perhaps not the best option at the moment then. Is Gothic architecture more your style? Why not visit the birthplace of this most influential of genres, which just so happens to be one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world: Paris. Not a bad idea, it’s just a shame that everyone has thought of it before you. Chances are, if you indulge a little during the most popular months (Spring to Summer), you and your other half may just be about to spend up towards £1,000 per-person, per-night. What about Vienna? The same problem applies I’m afraid, and searching further afield isn’t likely to yield better results. A quick online investigation will highlight that destinations outside of Europe, for instance Morocco or Panama,

whilst being comparatively less popular than their European counterparts, still attract a fair amount of interest. For one of Marrakech’s most scenic hotels, the Four Seasons Resort, newlyweds can expect to be spending upwards of £500 per-person, per-night. It should be noted at this point that honeymooning tends to be significantly cheaper when one honeymoons alone. This may sound like a strange concept, but in recent years the idea of spending those sweet nights with your other half (or halves) in separate beds, usually in separate hotels and in countries at two ends of the globe, has become increasingly popular. Its worth bringing up in this evaluation of the best honeymoon destinations because what constitutes a honeymoon, and what couples expect from one, are not the same as they were fifty years ago. All of this leads us to the central question of this piece: what, exactly, is the best honeymoon destination? Unfortunately this is a largely unanswerable question. Honeymooning in the twenty-first

century has become much more of an individual experience, so much so that couples are willing to part for weeks at a time in order to get the most out of their honeymoon, as mentioned previously. While the popularity of ‘landmark’

“Honeymooning ... has become much more of an individual experience” honeymoon locations has remained steady over the last few years, there is no doubt that honeymooners in general appear to be turning away from Victorian concepts of the honeymoon towards something more modern. Perhaps the best honeymoon destination has less to do with the place, the price or even the person, and more to do with what you as an individual want out of the whole honeymoon experience.


11th February 2020


Stand out performance from UEA against Norwich United

How should we remember Kobe Bryant? Luke Saward Sport Senior Writer

Photo: Oli Povey

Oli Povey Sport Writer

A dogged performance from the UEA men’s first XI caused a huge upset to beat favourites Norwich United on penalties, leaving the U’s one match from the final at Carrow Road. Despite the gulf in league between the teams, UEA started much the stronger with four early chances inside the first 15 minutes. However, only one was on target and was saved comfortably by the United keeper. The promising start was abruptly ended after a yellow card for Tomasz Sziemenczuk and further arguments with the referee, inviting a relief from the UEA attacks. Norwich United’s first opportunity on goal, after a mazy dribble from the number 10, was pushed wide by Tom Smith in the UEA goal.

Photo: Oli Povey

This save would prove to be the first of many crucial blocks throughout the game as United began to show their class and turn the screw on their smaller opponents. With the score still locked at 0-0

“There was no doubt the hero was Smith in goal.” after the break, Norwich pressed immediately to try and break down the UEA defence. The hosts became deeper and deeper in their own half and their defenders had to step up to keep out

the determined United. UEA centre back Richard Black, dominated the air battle, while special mention should also be made for Olly Rust and Josh Pond who fought beyond the boundaries of exhaustion. In a match dominated by stand out performances there was no doubt that the hero was Smith in goal, making save after save as the frequency of shots increased. One of the most impressive was a point blank blast that was instinctively flicked over the crossbar, keeping UEA in the game. Still, Norwich attacked and still UEA held on, squeezing through extra time and leaving the tie in the balance of penalties. Smith again proved himself, this time saving two penalties to clinch the victory. Wild celebrations from players, coaches and fans alike ensued, as the pitch devolved into a frenzy. The next round will be against

all-star telecast. On top of this, Bryant personally participated in awarenessraising charity walks and runs for homelessness. He hosted basketball camps, built homes and basketball courts, helped with reading initiatives and with food banks. Bryant was a spokesman for children’s charities and charities that provided relief from natural disasters It was not all just for the cameras either. Amateur footage captured by a passer-by showed Bryant stopping his car in California near the scene of a collision to help direct traffic and reassure those involved in the accident until the police arrived. This was not an act being performed for recognition or financial reward, just out of genuine human generosity. How Kobe Bryant is remembered will largely be down to personal choice. Some will watch the commemorative 8-second backcourt and 24-second shot clock violations that have been used throughout the league, and look at his impact on the NBA. Others may focus on his wider reach to sport as a whole, looking at how he inspired younger generations in various sporting pursuits. He himself might cite his greatest achievement as that of being a father and a husband. Widely considered one of the greatest ever to grace the game of basketball, Bryant is perhaps most famous for his fractious, yet destructive partnership with Shaquille O’Neal that will go down in LA Laker folklore as the greatest guard-centre duo of all time. But his work in other reaches of life should too be remembered, for his charitable efforts can act as a guide for us all, interest in sports or not. Kobe Bryant, gone but not forgotten.

Kobe Bryant: 5 NBA Championship Rings, and 2 Olympic Gold Medals, MVP twice at an NBA Finals, and an 18-time All-Star. His premature passing in a helicopter crash on 26 January, along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, shocked the sporting world, with tributes pouring in from across the globe. Messages of condolence and mourning were posted by Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic and even President Donald Trump, proving Black Mamba’s impact on society extends beyond just basketball. In fact, it extends beyond the sporting industry as a whole, with Bryant’s career in the NBA rivalled by his interest in charity. Most well-known is the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, which the star co-founded in 2007 alongside his wife. The organisation has generated millions of US dollars in revenue, and has helped to sponsor programmes for college students from ethnic minorities through the youth soccer club Mamba FC, as well as providing domestic and international scholarships for young people through the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy. The foundation’s focus was very much on youth, also helping to combat homelessness amongst young people in the LA area, by partnering with local organisations such as Step Up on Second, and My Friend’s Place. As a sports icon, Bryant, who was fluent in Italian, was hugely influential in the NBA’s global expansion, so much so that Steph Curry wasn’t able to surpass Bryant’s jersey sales in China until a year after the star’s retirement. This global appeal enabled him to establish the Kobe Bryant China Fund in 2008, raising millions more for children in China and the US, across education, sports and culture. Bryant was also a founding donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, pledging $1 million in 2017. His charitable efforts extended beyond founding donations, however. Over 20 years, Bryant fulfilled the wishes of over 250 Make-AWish children with life-threatening illnesses. In 2012, he helped to fundraise more than $80 million for Stand Up To Cancer, by participating in an Photo: Wikimedia Commons


11th February 2020

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Ballroom and Latin Dance reach the finals at the UEA Friendly Competition Photo: Ballroom and Latin Dance CLub

Claire Bilsborough Sport Writer

The Ballroom and Latin Dance Club held their annual competition this January, the UEA Friendly Competition. With universities such as Cambridge, Imperial, and London in attendance, the competition was exciting and offered the UEA team a chance to mix with other dancers on the university circuit. The competition was organised by myself and my committee and it could not have been achieved without the help of our dedicated members. The day began at seven in the morning, when the committee gathered to help set up the sports hall for the day. With various problems arising, such as our entry numbers not being provided until the last minute and several stepped-on toes, everyone worked together as a team, allowing the day to run seamlessly and successfully.

Our dancers outdid themselves throughout the day, with 20 UEA finalists in total. Many of our ex-students came back to take part, including two of our previous presidents, Marwa Ramsi, who continues to teach our

“Ballrom and Latin is... very foreign to most people.” beginners, and Gurdas Singh Sually, without whom the competition could not have taken place. Ramsi said: “As a teacher, it’s been wonderful seeing the beginners grow from never dancing before, to not only competing with confidence, but executing their moves. “Ballroom and Latin is not an easy sport and very foreign to most people.

“I am very proud of how far they have come and am looking forward to seeing them progress and also welcoming the new intake of beginners.” Although our main rounds of Latin and Ballroom were incredible to watch, the biggest highlight of the day had to be the fun rounds. This included Rock ‘n’ Roll, Charleston, and Three Person Rumba, which encouraged some of our judges to also join in. Matthew Cornforth, an alumna of the club, described his Rumba as an, “empowering and sensual experience, conveying the characteristics of the rumba perfectly.” Cornforth, Cameron Willson, and Sam Griffiths won fourth place in this event Most notably, however, our beginners, Joe Loftus and Elouise Mayall came second in the Charleston, beating some very advanced dancers in the same category. The UEA team looks forward to the upcoming nationals this February in Blackpool!

UEA’s King of the Jungle Yasmin Scott-Gray Sport Writer

The biggest event of the year was back with a bang for UEA Netball Club last Friday on the 24th of January. UEANC hosted their annual fundraiser event, which witnessed 14 Presidents from various clubs and societies across campus going head to head to compete to be crowned King of the concrete jungle. The night was made up of different challenges with a president being knocked out at the end of each round. The first challenge of the night was desert mouth, which meant that each president had to eat 4

“I’m a President Get Me Out of Here” cream crackers with only a glass of water to help it get down. From here, the rounds were a mix of activities and knowledge, from Charades and Catchphrase

to beat the intro, and a general knowledge quiz. The final rounds were comprised of a lip sync battle which saw the still-standing 5 presidents become 4. This was followed by an ‘I’m a President Get Me Out of Here’ classic of ‘find the star’ (in a questionable bowl of food), and finally the night concluded with a gruelling 3 course meal. The aim of this challenge was to see which of the final 3 presidents could finish the feast the quickest, and at the end of this the winner was crowned. The winner was Tsema Ogbe, the president of African-Caribbean Society, who gets to reign as King until next year. Ogbe put on an outstanding dance performance in the lip sync battle, as well as consistently achieving in the other rounds throughout the competition. The aim of the night was to raise money for UEA Netball’s chosen charity, which is Target Ovarian Cancer. This is a charity that was voted for by the members of the club, as it is one which is very close to many of their hearts. We spoke to the club’s Opportunities and Activities Officer, Emily Hayman, who was in charge

of the running of the event, who said, “Ovarian Cancer has one of the worst survival rates, with 4200 women losing their lives each year. “Target Ovarian Cancer supports women and their families who have been affected by this cancer and

“The aim of the night was to raise money for... charity” importantly, they strive to raise awareness of early diagnosis.” When touching on why this means so much to the club, she said, “Raising money for this charity means so much to UEA Netball, as unfortunately one of our alumni lost her mum to the cancer early last year. “We have seen the devastating effects that this cancer can cause and as a club we are aiming to raise as much money as possible to contribute to the fight against it.” Overall the club raised over £700 for the charity, a colossal achievement, and the team hopes it will be the first of many fundraisers to contribute to the charity.

Photo: UEA Netball CLub


11th February 2020


Coronavirus and its impact upon global sports

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jamie Hose Sport Editor

The sporting world has recently been struck by a new arrival on the scene, Coronavirus. Since the Chinese government broke records by placing the entire city of Wuhan in quarantine, the virus has had the tongues of every news outlet wagging despite many sources pointing out that, whilst as of January 30th the number of infected people surpassed SARS, it is relatively non-lethal. The current death toll stands at just 2% of infected people, 80% of whom were over 60, and 75% of whom are believed to have had prior health conditions that impacted their resistance to the virus. But how might Coronavirus affect athletes pushing themselves to the peak of their physical ability. While exercise in moderation is commonly thought to enhance the performance of the immune system, former Olympian and lecturer of sport science at Liverpool John Moores University, Professor Greg Whyte, suggested intense exercise

over several days could do the opposite. “It’s true that people who are regular exercisers tend to have a lower incidence of illness and

“The virus is still spreading, there is no doubt about it.” disease, including coughs and colds, but we also know that arduous exercise, such as marathon running or obstacle course racing, dampens the function of the immune system for about three days afterwards,” Whyte told the Telegraph in 2016. Besides the vulnerability of athletes, there is also the spectators to consider. People fly out from all around the world to watch sporting events, gather in large numbers in crowded places, and fly home again. It sounds like the perfect

breeding ground for the spread of disease. With this in mind, several international sporting events scheduled to take place in China this year have been under review. Most recently, the World Indoor Athletics Championships have been postponed until 2021 by World Athletics because of the outbreak. The championships were due to take place on the 13-15 March this year in Nanjing, approximately 370 miles from Wuhan, the centre of the epidemic. Prior to this, the Great Britain’s women’s Olympic basketball qualifying tournament was transferred from Foshan, around 621 miles from Wuhan, to Serbia, and the women’s Olympic football Group B qualifying matches for Australia, China, Taiwan, and Thailand were initially transferred from Wuhan to Nanjing and then to Sydney, Australia. Currently, Formula 1, and the governing body FIA, are discussing the advisability of holding this year’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for April 19. Even though the city is 433 miles east of Wuhan, the Shanghai Health

Commission is currently dealing with 66 cases of the virus, one of which has already ended in fatality, and two more of which are in a critical condition. Dr Sergio Brusin of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, located in Stockholm, explained that the virus was unlikely to go away anytime soon.

“It is not something that is going to disappear next week.” “The virus is still spreading, there is no doubt about it,” he told the Guardian. “We are in it for the long run. It is not something that is going to disappear next week, it will be quite a lot of work to contain. “What happens between now and April is extremely difficult to predict but if the infections keeps on

spreading at this pace I would not be optimistic at having an F1 ticket in my pocket.” The current number of cases of Coronavirus worldwide stands at 28,336, of which 3,863 cases are in a critical condition, and 1,322 cases have made a full recovery. The virus has systematically begun to spread out of China and into 27 other countries, including the UK and US. Several countries have evacuated their citizens living overseas in China, and placed travel restrictions and flight bans on people going to/ returning from the country. Currently, the only deaths from the virus outside of China are in Hong Kong and the Philippines. There have been two recorded cases of the disease in England, but both are now being treated. France currently sits on six cases, while both Germany and the US are dealing with 12, and Japan stands at 45. So far, none of these cases have resulted in fatalities. With the spread of the virus expected to continue for some time yet, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

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