Concrete scoops ten award nominations*
Best Publication Concrete
Putting together 45 pages of content every two weeks is not an easy task. To everyone nominated, and those who weren’t, it takes so many people to make Concrete what it is.
Best Design Concrete Best Specialist Publication Tales
You can’t be the best on the work of just one person. Thank you everyone for your hard work this year. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Best Entertainment Piece ‘Busted Review’
Best Interview ‘Alan Rusbridger’ Caitlin Doherty
Best Feature ‘I thought you said it was going to be a quiet one’ Megan Baynes & Caitlin Doherty
Best Student Photographer Megan Baynes Best Interview ‘Clive Lewis’
Best Website Concrete Online
Jessica Frank-Keyes, Megan Baynes & Caitlin Doherty
Best News Story ‘Trump travel ban affects 36 UEA students’ Megan Baynes & Emily Hawkins
*It’s not bragging if you can prove it
Happy Anniversary! We celebrate with a 56-page special looking back at the last quarter century of life at UEA 25th April 2017 Issue 338
The official student newspaper of the University of East Anglia | concrete-online.co.uk
Norwich reacts to snap election Amanda Ng Senior Reporter
Mental health under review UEA consulting on a new draft of 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy for students'
Emily Hawkins News Editor Following widespread debate about the Antony Gormley statues, the university have confirmed that they “take these concerns seriously” and will continue reviewing student mental health services. A UEA spokesperson said they are “continuing to reform the Student Support Services (SSS) to improve students’ access to wellbeing support.” The Student Experience Committee (SEC) will consult on a draft of a new “UEA Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy for Students” on May 3rd. The university did not wish to disclose what policies the draft will contain before it is viewed by the committee.
UEA SU’s full-time officers said in a public statement: “This isn’t a debate about ‘banning’ the statues, nor is it a crude debate about whether art could ‘cause’ suicide it’s a debate about the timing and location of statues by a University that is failing on mental health.” They said the university “still has no mental health strategy in place” and that there is an “urgent” need for change. When asked by Concrete what they view as an adequate mental health strategy, an SU spokesperson said this would be a plan that acknowledged the scale of the problem that needs to be addressed, involved a multi-agency approach with cooperation between academic and pastoral structures, and included a level of resources that matched the level of student
demand. The university has stressed that “Improving access to wellbeing services for UEA students continues to be a high priority.” When asked to respond to those who find the statues ‘triggering’ or ‘evocative of suicide’, ViceChancellor Professor David Richardson stated that a new mental health plan will soon be put to the student committee and said: “over the last six months we have brought in new personnel and a new student support service has replaced the Dean of Students service. The feeling that I get is that people have felt a very positive change so far, but we’re still on a journey... but I believe and students who have talked to me have said that they have seen genuine movement forward with the quality of service. But there is always more we can do.
I support the changes that SSS are making.” Prof Richardson also added that there are a number of opportunities available to students during the exam period to talk to a number of support professionals about stress and anxieties, with exam stress workshops running this term for the first time. He said: “This is the first time UEA has run such sessions and they are part of the improvements being made to wellbeing and mental health support.” Speaking to Concrete, Western and Non-Western Art MA student Rachael Minott, said: "I think the university have been really good in issuing a statement about increasing their support for mental health issues and acknowledging that there might be a gap that needs to be filled and understood."
After only 13 MPs voted against June’s general election on Wednesday, UEA students have reacted to the news. UEA’s Labour Party will be be working closely with Clive Lewis, Labour candidate for Norwich South, and have already arranged numerous canvassing sessions. Miss Tiffany Evripidou, Prospective Chair for UEA Labour Students, said Mr Lewis has “worked tirelessly since 2015”. The local party has “lots of public support as seen in the local elections in 2016.” She added: “Clive will be re-elected.” Mr Lewis told Concrete the snap election is “behind the bluster of wanting a mandate for Brexit.” Miss Evripidou also said Prime Minister Theresa May “is focused on derailing the opposition and disillusioning the general public more than actually getting to work.” Mr Lewis said: “You can back me and keep an MP who shares the progressive values of our city, has a track record of standing up for Norwich and who backs a referendum on the terms of our exit from the EU.” “Or you can wake up on June 9th with a hard Brexit backing Tory MP [...] who will obediently rubber stamp the Tory neglect of and attack on students, graduates and young people.” He added: “polling in Norwich South in January showed the Tories only eight percent behind Labour. The Lib Dems and Green Party were off the pace by double figures and can’t stop the Tories here. Make no mistake. A vote for the Lib Dems or Greens in Norwich South will help the Tories.” Mr James Wright, Liberal Democrat candidate for Norwich South, expressed his excitement over the general election, believing it is a “chance to change the direction of our country” and “students at UEA will play a big part in making that happen.” He said: “The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to a vote on the final Brexit deal and only a vote for us can save the country from the Tory Brexit nightmare.” The Liberal Democrats gained Norwich South in 2010 when Mr Continued on page 5
25th April 2017
The University of East Anglia’s Independent Student newspaper since 1992 Tuesday 25th April 2017 Issue 338 Union House University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ 01603 593466 www.concrete-online.co.uk Editor-in-Chief Megan Baynes email@example.com
Dougie D odds
Deputy Editors Jessica Frank-Keyes Caitlin Doherty firstname.lastname@example.org
From 'Porn in the UEA' to modern day It's the final
Our anniversary issue is out and we are celebrating two and half decades of student journalism at UEA Megan Baynes Editor-in-Chief The end of any university year is tinged with nostalgia, but the end of final year is particularly bittersweet. We are constantly told that our time at university will change who we are, and as cliché laden as that sounds, they were right. Four years ago I unloaded my car into Norfolk Terrace a very different person to the one currently sat in the media office of Union House. My time at UEA has taken me across continents and introduced me to people I would never have otherwise have the privilege of meeting. From the glamour of Stephen Fry, (I swear, I’ll stop banging on about that eventually) to the friends I met in halls, and my colleagues at Concrete; I feel incredibly lucky to have spent the last four years a member of the UEA community. Many things at university contribute to making us who we are at graduation: but for me, the biggest factor will always be Concrete. It was the society I was too scared to join in first year and have gone on to lead. From the very practical - it helped me get a real job as a real journalist - to the personal; it has given me the courage of my convictions and the confidence to face the challenges that leaving campus and the next year will bring. It has also introduced me to some unique characters that, I have no doubt, will stay with me long after I leave Norwich. It has been a privilege to lead this year’s editorial team - it’s not been without it’s challenges - but I have to thank each and every editor for their time, their patience and their distinctive voices that have helped shape the newspaper this year. From the
section editors, who have built beautiful, imaginative pages, to the events, media and marketing team who have helped run the practical side of the society, to the longsuffering copy editors who endure the office madness on a fortnightly basis: we could not have done it without you, and more importantly, we wouldn’t want to anyway.
"This year we celebrate Concrete’s 25th anniversary and this issue is a celebration of student life at UEA, documented for the past quarter of a century by sleep deprived, gin filled student journalists." However, and without wanting to sound too much like I’m accepting an Oscar (we haven’t won Best Publication yet!) there are three people, without whom Concrete would have ground to halt and been reduced to an A4 flyer. Caitlin and Jess - my partners in crime - and James - our ever sassy Online Editor, and the only one who answers my messages at 2am on Wednesday - you have made Concrete what it is, and your endless enthusiasm, pep talks, and copious supplies of
gin have got me through this year. This year we celebrate Concrete’s 25th anniversary and this issue is a celebration of student life at UEA, documented for the past quarter of a century by sleep deprived, gin filled student journalists. There have been some hilarious typos, extraordinary headlines and some eye-watering logos. Over the past 25 years we have printed 338 issues, amounting to over 40.5 million pages which have been laughed at, enjoyed and then used as wrapping paper by stingy students. We have interviewed Alan Rusbridger, Tony Blair, and Toni Morrison; we've run features on Taylor Swift, Olympians, and UEA security. We've been banned, redesigned and moved office at least three times. The legacy left by former editors has outlived the paper their stories are written on. It is on that note, I surrender my crown and end my reign as Editorin-Chief. The applications are now open and I am excited to see which of you embrace the challenge of running, quite frankly, the best society at UEA. It has been an immense pleasure to play a part in the history of Concrete, but it’s now time for someone else to take the reins. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Jessica Frank-Keyes & Caitlin Doherty Deputies Various
They say time flies when you’re having fun, but it also goes fairly quickly when you’re sleep-deprived and spending your weekends making a newspaper. We dread to think about our coffee and pizza bill for this last year. We’ve had 13 issues, one Brexit, two Prime Ministers and a visit from the Queen since we became Deputy Editors of Concrete. 56 pages later, and we’re finally printing the issue that we didn’t think would ever end. With 30 pages of our anniversary archive, themed content in all of our sections, and not to mention the complete upending of the news section when UEA installed some new statues and the Prime Minister announced a general election - (hats off to Antony and Theresa for giving us a front page to remember). Check out page 6 for our coverage of the statue unveiling, or turn to the news and comment sections for reports and analysis on the upcoming election. It’s taken a lot of work, but we couldn’t be prouder of this issue, and cannot thank everyone enough. As much as we like to pretend to be important, there wouldn’t be a newspaper without you all. That said, there’s one other person we have to thank, for everything from putting up with our spats, and only occasionally joining in, to knowing exactly when to start pouring gin down our throats. They say if you want to get to know someone you should divorce them, but I’d recommend spending a year producing a student newspaper together instead. Thank you Megan, for all the wine, terrible jokes, and occasionally brilliant advice. We're finally ready to admit it: News does look better in blue..
Online James Chesson Online Assistant: Gavin O'Donnell email@example.com News Emily Hawkins Senior Reporter: Amanda Ng firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Global Sacha Silverstone firstname.lastname@example.org Features Lillie Coles Lydia Lockyer email@example.com Comment Charlie Dwyer firstname.lastname@example.org Science Milly Godfrey email@example.com Travel Jennifer Redfern firstname.lastname@example.org Sport Richard Ewart Nick Murphy email@example.com Chief Copy-Editors Molly Burgess Emma Slaughter firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Director Katie Gleeson email@example.com Social Media Coordinator Charlotte Spencer firstname.lastname@example.org Events Manager Sam Naylor Events Assistant: Grace Fothergill email@example.com
Editorial Enquiries Complaints & Corrections firstname.lastname@example.org Front page photo: Megan Baynes
No part of this newspaper may be reproduced by any means without the permission of the Editor-in-Chief, Megan Baynes. 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.
News25 UEA has its say
25th April 2017
Continued from front page
Simon Wright removed Labour’s Charles Clarke by just 310 votes. The new candidate hopes high student turnout will make a Liberal Democrat victory “more likely.” Mr Wright said that Norwich students “voted decisively to remain and they can make their voices heard again at this election. A hard Brexit will be a disaster for students and for UEA. ”He opposes Labour’s Article 50 vote, stating: “Only a Liberal Democrat MP will be working in your best interests.” Former Norwich South MP Charles Clarke told Concrete that May “[has been] able to mislead the country into the view that the option she is proposing for Brexit is the only option for Brexit. I don’t think it is.” He hopes Labour will win “to minimise the extent of May’s free hand to carry through what she wants to do.” Amy Rust, SU Campaigns and Democracy Officer, said the SU were “surprised” by the announcement. She said: “it’s so important we engage and outline the different voting options available so students can make their voice heard”, especially as June 8 falls during the busy exam period. “We are now determined to get as many student registered as possible.” The SU registration drive will be launched on the 27th April. Other events include: “‘get registered’ fun” in the square, Norwich City Council registration stalls on campus, a manifesto on party positions on student issues, hustings on 25th May, a Politics Society debate on 29th May, and a results party in the SU bars.”
News in Brief Lewis against GE Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, was one of only 13 MPs to vote against the General Election. Mr Lewis accused the Prime Minister of “playing politics with our futures” and said the timing of the election was only asking for a mandate for the “self-serving interests of Theresa May.” The majority of Norwich voted Remain in the EU Referendum in June. In March, Mr Lewis said that he could not “in all conscience” vote to trigger Article 50. In a tweet, Mr Lewis described the election as a typical, calling it “MAYhem.” He also accused Mrs May of “blaming Labour and... the Liberal Democrats” when the nation’s problems are internal. He added: “This is so obviously a power grab by the Tories… they want a blank cheque for an anti-democratic agenda, which stretches from an exit from Europe at all costs through catastrophic education cuts to carte blanche for taking an axe to employment and environmental protections.” Mr Lewis has said he was forced to substitute his wedding plans for the polls. He told The Daily Telegraph: “It's a bit of a disaster personally.” Amanda Ng
"UEA Conservative Association welcomes Theresa May’s wise decision to call a general election. Division in Westminster, and the Government’s small majority, risks weakening our Government’s hand in its negotiations with Europe. A general election will strengthen the Prime Minister’s negotiating hand. It is the only way to ensure we have strong leadership, certainty and stability. An election now will give the country stability and certainty for a full five years, not just up to the point at which we leave the European Union but beyond it too. Norwich South is a marginal seat and with polling giving the Conservatives a 20+ point lead nationally, Clive Lewis should be concerned. The choice facing the country at this election is all about leadership. The choice in this election is strong and stable leadership in the national interest with Theresa May and the Conservatives – or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn." UEA's Conservative Association
"The UEA Young Greens welcome the call for the an early general election; Britain is at a pivotal moment in history and how we act now will define politics for generations to come. Only the Green Party offers a bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain. The Tories have continually attacked the poorest and most vulnerable in society through their savage cuts and will increase this burden after Brexit, using it as an excuse to continue their ideological cuts to the welfare system, environmental legislation and workers' rights. This election is an opportunity for the people to change the direction in which the country is headed. For the sake of the NHS, social policies and the welfare state, the Green Party has called on the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats to ditch partisan politics and consider progressive alliances; putting national interest in front of narrow party politics." UEA Young Greens Treasurer Lewis Martin
"The Liberal Democrats have long argued for a General Election in the wake of Theresa May’s assumed premiership. We now relish the opportunity to campaign on the central issues facing the nation, of which Brexit is paramount. Since last June’s referendum, we have made our position on the EU clear and seek to rally the dissatisfied voters of both sides of the debate to join us in opposing a hard Brexit. We take pride in being the only major party to fight against a hard Tory Brexit, one that has unfortunately been backed by Corbyn's Labour in Westminster. Our parliamentary candidate for Norwich South, James Wright, a Norwich native, is committed to solving local problems and has already made his positions apparent in his candidacy declaration. For these reasons, we are sure of a strong swing in our favour, and anticipate a Liberal Democrat victory." UEA Liberal Democrats
"There isn't a huge shock about the snap election, but we are mobilised and ready to fight for Labour's victory in Norwich South. The Prime Minister has no regard for democratic practices and after revoking her promise on not calling a snap election, has decided to act against the Fixed-term Parliaments Act for the Tories own political opportunism. We are taking the threat from the Lib Dems seriously; however considering their track record of voting to triple tuition fees, slash funding for mental health services and having elected a leader who believes gay sex 'is a sin', we're confident that Clive will not lose his seat to the Lib Dems. I'm a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's politics and believe Clive has been an outstanding MP for our constituency since his election. Labour students will be out on the doorstep talking to constituents every day until the election and can't wait to see Clive re-elected and givenKaty a fresh Jonmandate." Went UEA Labour Students, Chair Abbie Mulcairn. Katy Jon Went
News in Brief Student vote less influential UEA grad quits job Could UEA students be key to the fate of Norwich South?
Caitlin Doherty Deputy Editor
“We agreed that the government should call a general election to be held on June 8th.” Theresa May returned from her Easter ramblings around Snowdonia and the country let out a collective gasp. The UK is now faced with its fourth major political event in as many years, and after the bitter arguments with Edinburgh and Brussels, pollsters always getting it wrong, and more party leaders than you'd care to count, it would be easy to assume that people just can’t muster the enthusiasm for this vote. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. In the 24 hours immediately following May’s announcement, more than 100,000 young people aged between 18 and 25 registered to vote, a large proportion of these were students. Young people are always a key demographic during election campaigns, as politicians try to appeal to one of the country’s largest social groups, but given the summer schedule, Britain’s 2.3 million student population may not be as influential as they have been
in the past. The high concentration of under 25s in student cities has previously influenced election results, but students will have plenty else to be thinking about by the time June rolls around; exams and end of term pressures could influence the likelihood of students voting, that is if they’re still at university at all. MPs who have previously been boosted by the student vote could find themselves struggling in June’s election as students concentrate on their studies or head home for the long summer break.
"Britain's 2.3 million student population may not be as influential as they have been in the past" Clive Lewis is one such MP. He was elected to represent Norwich South for the first time in May 2015, taking 19,000 votes, and beating the Conservative candidate Lisa Townsend who polled just under
11,500. Lewis beat the incumbent Lib Dem Simon Wright, the party having had a lot of success among students in 2010 after promising to protect cheap tuition. After infamously backtracking on this promise in coalition with Cameron's Conservative government, the Lib Dems lost the vast majority of their student support. In 2015, Wright came fourth with only 6,500 votes, and the Lib Dems also lost student seats to Labour representatives in Cardiff, Cambridge and Bristol. Would it be silly to presume that the broken student promises affected all of these elections? With the student population shrunk or otherwise distracted, Lewis may find that he has a tighter race with the yetto-be-announced Conservative candidate. Norwich's other seat, Norwich North, has been held by Conservative Chloe Smith for almost a decade. The 15,000 students at UEA who helped to get him elected just two years ago greatly outnumber Lewis' 8,000 majority over his closest competitor. Whether it be Conservative, Green, or LibDem chasing him for the seat, Lewis will surely be keen to secure the student vote in our city.
UEA alumnus and former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell has announced that he will not stand for re-election to Parliament. The former UEA history student was previously UKIP's only member in the House of Commons, however he left the party in March 2017 and has represented Clacton as an Independent ever since. He has announced that he will vote Conservative on 8th June. Mr Carswell was first elected to Parliament in 2005 as the Conservative representative for Harwich, and was then elected in Clacton five years later. In 2014 he defected to UKIP, and became their only MP after winning the by-election triggered by his resignation. However, his relationship with the party became tense following Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Nigel Farage accused him of “actively working against UKIP” and party leader Paul Nuttall said that Carswell “was never a comfortable Ukipper.” Announcing his resignation earlier this year, the MP suggested that he felt his role in the party was over following the success of the Leave campaign. He said: “I switched to UKIP because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU." Caitlin Doherty
25th April 2017
Gormley statues unveiled on campus Stephen Fry exclusively spoke to Concrete to weigh in on the debate COMMENT
Many have congratulated the thought-provoking nature of this exhibition which claims to focus on the relationship between the human body and the space it occupies - admittedly an incredibly interesting and profound theme. As much as I fully appreciate the dedication to investing in art and making it accessible to all members of the community, which I believe should be a primary focus of all arts institutions, as a young person suffering with mental health problems I cannot support anything which could be triggering to anyone suffering. Such as sculptures of people on top of tall buildings. According to a YouGov survey of July 2016, 47 percent of interviewed students reported a mental health problem, and for 77 percent of these people, depression was considered a serious issue. It is not fair to force people who already work incredibly hard to prevent themselves from dwelling on dark or harmful thoughts, to live and work in an area which does not work to protect them from these thoughts. I understand that the project is designed to encourage people to think about these issues, but for those of us suffering, we do not need any encouragement. They are always there. And placing one of these statues on top of the library in exam season, a necessary facility for all students in times of exam stress and dissertation deadlines is plain wrong. Students already have enough bad days, you do not need to make them worse. The easiest solution? Move it. Make art accessible, not unavoidable.
As an artistic piece, Gormley’s statue is shocking, thoughtprovoking and exacting. Understandably, there has been criticism about the timing of the statue’s arrival during exam season, but it’s this reason being the sole defence for its removal I find difficult to swallow. Had the statue been placed there at any other time, I don’t think it would have been welcomed. Frankly I find the notion that the statue ‘will give students ideas’ disconcerting and it's rather foolish to think that taking this statue down will prevent our students being pushed to suicide. Instead we should be dealing with why they are so close to the edge in the first place. During student elections, multiple candidates brought mental health to the forefront of their campaigns. Yes, the statue may make people feel uneasy and yes it’s challenging to look at. But I think this is reflective of the current attitudes towards mental health as a topic people don’t feel comfortable discussing. Regardless of whether you are for or against the statue it has created an open discussion about how we as a university want to deal with mental health issues; I think that in itself is monumental. I’m not asking you to love it, but I am asking you to consider why you find it so uncomfortable, so shocking, so confrontational. Then think about whether these emotions raise valuable insights in regards to how we think, feel, and respond to mental health issues. I fear that by taking the statue away we’ll be sending a message that when it comes to suicide, we’ll continue to sweep it under the rug, hiding it out of plain sight, pretending it doesn’t happen.
Bella Pattinson argues the statue is art and should not be censored
Abi Steer says the statue should be moved after feedback
The statues first appeared on campus nearly two weeks ago. Photo: Samuel Kennedy
Guests, including Stephen Fry and the Bishop of Norwich, walked across the campus between statues. Photo: Megan Baynes
UEA unveiled the much debated ‘3X ANOTHER TIME’ exhibition on campus during a star-studded reception at the Sainsbury Centre, attended by Stephen Fry, Charles Clarke, the Bishop of Norwich and Sir Antony Gormley. The gallery unveiling featured speeches from Vice Chancellor, Professor David Richardson, Centre Director, Paul Greenhalgh, and Sir Antony Gormley. Sir Antony spoke to the crowd about his decision to bring the sculptures to the UEA. Guests were then invited to walk the path of the statues and consider the art in context. The statues have been placed on top of the Science building, on top of the library and close to the library entrance. Over the past few weeks campus has been divided over the decision to place one of the statues on the library, and many have called the decision ‘insensitive’ in light of exam season and the pressures placed upon students at the end of the year. Many have likened the figure to someone about to commit suicide. Concrete spoke to Stephen Fry, broadcaster, mental health advocate and suicide survivor, about his take on the statues. Mr Fry admitted he was “a big fan” of Sir Antony’s work. He said; “I remember when
he had them in London and some people of course, there's always... wherever there's public art there is controversy, which is a wonderful thing. Usually British people will always find a reason to disapprove. They don't want to be thought of as Philistine and against public art so they'll find some other excuse. He continued, “As President of MIND, the largest mental health charity in Britain I don't mind saying that I don't think they're an offence to the idea of suicide. We know how serious suicide is. The fact that he has put art on the roof is not in any way disparaging, taking lightly the idea of suicide.” After walking across campus, Mr Fry said: “I think they’re magnificent, very touching. There’s an emotional quality to them which is quite surprising.I think they’re wonderful. "All of this nonsense that’s been spoken about them somehow being contemptuous or trivialising or ignoring the issue of suicide is just people trying desperately to find something to be angry about in that sanctimonious British way that is so repellent to us all.” Paul Greenhalgh, Director for the Sainsbury Centre, said, “There's an irony that a large part of our collection is about the human figure and some of it is incredibly challenging.” He told Concrete his intention was not to upset students on
campus. The Vice Chancellor also spoke to Concrete to address student concerns. He said: "We hope that this artwork can inspire students, that it can make them think about pieces of artwork in juxtaposition with these iconic buildings of ours, saying ‘the world is our oyster’." "There have been mixed views, but I hope that students today will have listened to Antony Gormley and understand what he was trying to say, and maybe changed their views on what we’re trying to achieve. "I understand there have been some sensitivities and we’re taking those sensitivities very seriously and we will try to respond to them in a way that will hopefully reassure students with that view that we take those issues very seriously." Emily Shorter, an Western and non-Western MA student, said at the opening: “I’m not sure really, I can understand all the controversy. I think Gormley himself is an important artist though, because we all study non-Western art and he’s been quite vocal about the lack of representation of non-Western artists in museums and his focus on the body is related to that, like he’s just said in his speech about [the body] being a universal theme.” The university confirmed that the statues will remain in place for the next five years.
They're pretty well void in terms, they're not representing a hero, or a narrative or a particular person. So they're waiting for the projection of the person that comes across them. It's not surprising that people project all sorts of things on them and they wouldn't be working if that didn't happen. “I think if they raise issues about mental health and vulnerability of students in an institution like this under the pressures that are under in a globalised way. I'm very glad that they do.
“They are not about suicide. They are about, I hope, something very different. I hope that the attitude of the work is about a body that is in space but open to that space. Open, aware, alert. But, silent.” I asked him why he chose this particular campus to be home to his work for the next five years. He said, “I think that this is an incredible campus built at a time of real utopianism in terms of architecture. The idea that architecture is an engine in which
minds and lives can be changed. That wall, the teaching wall, the Ziggurat architecture, is a very, very severe example of the built environment. It's done with such an inspiring idea about where human thought can fit in the scheme of things. “As evening falls and you see those lit rooms and you know that within them are people that are in a way, thinking. Thinking new thoughts. But they are doing it in relation to nature: to a body of water, to a forest of trees, to a big
Megan Baynes Editor-in-Chief
The man behind the metal: Sir Antony From Crosby Beach to the South Bank in London, Sir Antony has spent decades experimenting with sculpture across the country. Almost all his work focuses on the human figure, with his own body providing the basis for his now infamous metal casts. I caught up with Sir Antony at the unveiling of his work to find out his thoughts on the controversy around the recent installation of his work and what he made of the student reaction. He said: “They are uninscribed.
open sky. There aren't many places like that.” He continued, saying that he agreed that his work was “highly sensitive”: “This is about human vulnerability. It's not an illustration of somebody trying to jump. It's an object that expresses the fact we inhabit that we inhabit an object that is exposed to space. They are masses that indicate where a body once was and a body could be.” The statues will remain at UEA for the next five years. Megan Baynes
25th April 2017
UEA five hightailing to Mongolia for Mind Amanda Ng News Reporter Some would say packing a suitcase and hopping on a plane is the conventional way to travel over 8,000 miles, but not for the five UEA students who will be hightailing it from Norwich to Mongolia in two cars (one they call “Mildred”) and a motorbike.
Second Yarl's Wood demo crowd-funded by Jo Swo Alice Spencer News Reporter
"We thought, let’s raise some money for a great charity, and open up the conversation" What started off as a conversation of ‘what ifs’ for Will Vickers, Luke Phillips, Luke Dexter, Josh Melling and Edd Nabbs will lead them on an adventure to raise money for charity. On June 11th this year, the students will start to make their way through Europe, down the Dalmatian Coast, north Turkey, into Georgia then Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea, into Kazakhstan and finally arriving at Mongolia. They have based their journey on the internationally recognised Mongol Rally, developed by ‘The Adventurists’. The fact that even they have described their journey as “crazy” on their website is a bit of a punchline, as these five men have chosen to support the UK mental health charity Mind, and will be donating 100 percent of their proceeds to the cause. They told Concrete: “Firstly we feel that anything we can contribute will actually go towards services that can help someone in need, whereas in larger charities what happens with donated money is not always as transparent.”
Photo: Norwich to Mongolia When asked why they chose Mind, they explained: "Mental health is a huge issue on the agenda, especially for students. We thought, let’s raise some money for a great charity, and open up the conversation about mental health, especially among young men, where that conversation is quite often ignored." Team Norwich 2 Mongolia (N2M) said, “‘UEA’s outlook on
mental health is all over the place.” They added: “There is not enough funding for mental health services at university so a lot of people miss out…Norwich Nightline could be so much better…students often end up relying on external services.” As June approaches, Team N2M are asking people to donate in any form, be that sponsorship, gifts, merchandise and services. They are also offering incentives for
donations. Donating £10 will get the sponsor "forever emblazoned into our legendary journey", with their name inked onto one of the cars, and £30 allows them to suggest challenges or punishments for the five guys to make, to keep their trip as interactive with UEA students as possible. The boys’ fundraiser can be seen at: https://www.gofundme. com/norwich2mongolia
Various UEA groups are crowdfunding for a second demonstration at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre to be held on 13th May. The immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire, which detains mainly women, has been accused of mistreatment and abuse. Students hope to raise £150 to send UEA students to the demonstration. In December, UEA students were among 2000 demonstrators calling for the centre to close permanently. Welfare Community and Diversity Officer Jo Swo said: "One part of my role is to support student campaigns and protests, and in this case I have created the crowd funding scheme for the societies to promote." A statement on the Just Giving page says demos are important to “keep Yarl’s Wood on the national agenda”: “In Yarl’s Wood, 400 women are indefinitely detained, most of whom have experienced rape, domestic violence, torture, forced marriage, sexual abuse, FGM, persecution due to sexuality.” “Yarl’s Wood has been exposed time after time in undercover investigations,government reports, inspectorate reports, and inquiry findings for sexual abuse/ harassment by guards towards the women." Commenting on the timing Miss Swo said: "With the upcoming election, it is more important than ever to keep detention centres and the inhumane treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and international students on the agenda.”
Sportspark prices increase EDU counselling following loss of funding course to close James Raddings & Tony Allen News Reporters
Students returning from their Easter break will find the Sportspark’s athletic track admission price has increased, for the first time in six years. Norfolk County Council has previously subsidised the track’s operation with a £20,000 yearly grant to allow free school access. However, from the end of July the money will be withdrawn, which according to the Sportspark “for the last 20 years, has assisted greatly in off-setting the operational costs associated with the track.” The Sportspark raised prices at the beginning of April to coincide with the start of the new track athletics season.
However, after consultation with the City of Norwich Athletics Club, the increases have been revised.
20k 3.20 6
pounds: how much money the Sportspark have lost with the withdrawal of a grant pounds: the new standard price to use the Sportspark track years: since the Sportspark raised their track prices
Previously, Sportspark members were charged £3.20 for peak time admission and £2.80 off-peak,
which has risen to £3.65 and £3.20 respectively. The £5.50 admission price for non-members remains. A new annual track pass has also been launched for members. Students’ Union Activities and Opportunities Officer Joe Zilch said: “Whilst we don’t think that this increase will affect a large number of students, it’s a step back considering that student hardship is on the increase and we’re trying to encourage student sport participation." He added that the SU are "calling for a proper review of student charges across the board at UEA - ensuring that students are consulted if price increases are proposed and that the right balance is struck between public and student pricing.”
Matthew Nixon News Reporter
The School of Education and Lifelong Learning (EDU) have announced that the university’s counselling programme is to be closed in its entirety from September 2018. This means a variety of courses, such as the MA in Counselling, or the PG Diploma in Counselling, will no longer be offered by UEA. The Head of the School, Professor Richard Andrews, has released a statement calling this a “very difficult decision” for the university. Andrews makes clear that “the closure is due to consistently low demand” and “is not related to the quality of work, the esteem with which colleagues are held, nor the integrity of individuals composing
the counselling team." The closure will not affect any students currently enlisted on a counselling course, who will be able to finish their programme of study without changes to the quality of their course or qualification. The second year of the MA in Counselling will still be delivered in 2017/18, and any students currently completing the PG diploma in Counselling will be offered an opportunity to transfer to the second year of the MA. Prof Andrews also explained how some students currently have placement in the University Student Support Service. He confirmed that “They are aware of the changes taking place and Counselling service provision offered to staff and students will not be affected by the closure of the Counselling courses.”
News25 News in Brief Elm Hill named prettiest street
Elm Hill, in the centre of Norwich, ranked seventh in a 1,000-strong survey about Britain’s prettiest streets, carried out by the National Express. The Shambles, York, was at the top of the list. Film makers, including those behind Stardust and The Go-Between, have used Elm Hill as a location. The street is home to the Dormouse Bookshop, as well as places to buy crafts and antiques. Although there is a tree near the Bear Shop, the prevalence of Dutch Elm disease in the UK means that it is not actually an elm. Elm Hill has a long history; there is evidence for the street dating back to 1200. However, few buildings and trees predate Tudor times due to a fire in Norwich city centre during the 16th century. The street was almost destroyed in the 1930s but campaigning from the Norwich Society prevented this. Instead the slums were cleared and buildings deemed to be of historical significance were renovated. Imogen Barton
25th April 2017
Let them eat cake
Ines Abdelli News Reporter
Matthew Nixon argues students should question this incentive
UEA will encourage students to participate in the National Student Survey in the square on the 25th of April from 11am-2pm. Upon survey completion, students will receive a free cupcake. The university’s initiative to enMegan, a second year PPL stucourage participation in the NSS dents said of the initiative: “It’s resurvey with free cakes will most ally important for the university to likely lead to a greater student get feedback from students, and the turnout, but should be questioned more people take part, the more reand ultimately refused by us. flective the feedback will be of the The government plan to use the whole student body. If a cake incenresults of the National Student Surtive is what it takes to achieve this vey as part of its Teaching Excelthen it’s fine by me.” lence Framework, which will give This iniative was suggested to rank universities bronze, silver, or UEA by student course representagold. tives at various Student and Staff LiUEA is considered a top 15 uniaison Committee meetings. versity, and consistently ranks high The NSS survey is aimed at final for student satisfaction. Without a year students to share their univerdoubt, it will receive a positive resity experience. The NUS continue sult in the NSS this year. to advocate a boycott. This, as the National Union of UEA are currently promotStudents (NUS) are suggesting, ing students to fill out four student will be used to justify our continuopinion surveys, "one for every level ally rising tuition fees. UEA have of study." These include the UK Enalready announced that new stugagement Survey (UKES) for non-fidents will be charged an extra £250 nal year undergraduates, in addition a year, and the NSS results will only to the NSS for final year students. legitimise this change. The NUS The university also encourages suggest that by disrupting the propostgraduates to fill in the Postcess that the government are using graduate Research Experience Surto decide on fee increases, there is vey (PRES) and Postgraduate Taught potential to protest and reverse the Experience Survey (PTES). changes being implemented. UEA have said: "These proUEA are very aware that most vide a chance for students to students are unlikely to turn have their say about their down free food for comtime at university, and pleting a survey, and the feedback will be they are striving for used to improve the to disunite students experience that across the country. other students This cake is in have at UEA. fact not free. Its "The results are cost is our student taken very seriously rights, and that comes and inform future plans Photo: Pixabay at £250 a year. at the University."
"This cake is in fact not free"
Compromise for staff travel plan Emily Hawkins News Editor The university have said they will explore other options after staff complaints about UEA’s long-term plan to reduce the number of carparking spaces for staff and instead encourage use of new Park and Ride schemes. A university spokesperson told Concrete: “To create enough space to move staff and students out of the Grade II listed Lasdun Wall to refurbish it a new teaching building is being planned on part of the main car park site (c 2021).” They also said that this construction will mean the loss of around 100 car park spaces. Concrete understands that whilst a decked car park of 1800 spaces was being considered as a solution to make up for the loss of spaces in the main car park, UEA have decided to consider alternatives. However, a recent newsletter told staff: “The University currently holds a perpetual planning permission for a decked carpark on the main carpark site and so this will remain a fallback option.” Despite this, a university spokesperson told Concrete that the “principal aims” of the new Transport Policy are “to encourage greater use of public transport and reduce the demand for car parking on campus.” It is also understood that plans to scrap the system of tiered parking charges were withdrawn following staff discontent at a public forum between UEA chiefs and staff. The university have said they are “exploring charging options which would ensure our lowest paid staff, and students eligible for permits,
Norwich's "only Chinese UEA student crowd-funding mental health treatment band" to play LCR gig Emily Hawkins News Editor
Imogen Barton News Reporter
Yega M., "the only Chinese band in Norwich", will be one of the bands performing at the LCR this year. Formed in the early months of 2016, this will be their second performance at the venue and will be the latest in a series of concerts that they have done at UEA. Past sessions include the UEA Chinese Spring Festival Gala, as well as the UEA Go Global events In universities across the country, the band has performed in Chinese Spring Festival Galas. Their chosen theme for the upcoming event relates to “the key”. Ruochen Zhao, speaking on behalf of the group, stated that this was because they wanted to “bring the keys to their hearts in our way, the Yega M., way "One of the most beautiful things music can do to people is to
bring back memories and touch the parts deep down in their hearts that they find most important." He said that "athough we are quite visible for the Asian circle here in Norwich, we'd like to take this chance to let more local and international live music lovers know our existence" with the LCR event. The performance will take place on the 4th May at 7.30pm, and is hosted by the Hong Kong society. Photo: Bobby Lam.
A UEA student with a rare disassociative disorder is crowdfunding to raise money for treatment that would enable her to return to study. Chloe Wilkinson described how the symptoms of her Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, led to her taking time out of her Psychology degree. Miss Wilkinson said the disorder was “at its most basic, a form of complex PTSD” caused by abuse or trauma, leading to “blackouts, separate personality states with their own trauma memories and needs, memory loss that can last for weeks or months, extreme fatigue, suicidal tendencies and often physical bodily harm.” Writing on her Go Fund Me page, she explained that there are only six qualified individuals able to treat DID in the UK owing to
its rarity. Treatment for DID is not currently covered on the NHS. Miss Wilkinson said that it had cost her £600 in private consultation for “just the diagnosis alone.” The student is aiming to raise £3,000 to cover treatment costs. The 20 year old said: “I want to believe that I deserve to have a shot at my own life and overcome the difficulties and stigmas of my disorders, and give back the love and support I have received by becoming qualified to treat other rare disorders like my own." "I am, in all other ways, an ordinary person. I love to draw, to dance, to pet dogs and spend time with my friends and family, and hope to raise more awareness and support for others in difficult situations.” She said: "This is the only option we have left." Miss Wilkinson’s Go Fund Me page can be viewed here: h t t p s : / / w w w. g o f u n d m e . c o m / didsupportfundchloe
continue to pay a reduced daily rate.” A university spokesperson told Concrete that work on the Lasdun wall is planned to start autumn 2023, at an estimated cost of £143 million. The three campus trade unions, Unison, United, and the Universities and College Union (UCU) stated that they were all “concerned” by aspects of the university’s expansion plans.
car parking spaces will be lost in the main car park to make room for a new Hub. when free Park & Ride for staff is hoped to be in place
The unions said they were worried that “issues like parents having to manage the school run have not been adequate consideration. The Costessey Park and Ride can help some people but isn’t a good solution for people living north or east of UEA, and the promised expansions of other Park and Ride options haven’t been agreed as yet with local bus providers.” The university have said: ““We are looking at September 2017 to introduce the free park & ride, with increased frequency at peak periods. This is within our gift as the service is provided under contract but we are currently negotiating on price. Konect operates the Costessey site under contract to Norfolk County Council who fully support the university’s efforts to deliver sustainable travel solutions.”
News in Brief
Pro-VC appointment The university has promoted Professor Fiona Lettice to proVice-Chancellor for research and innovation Prof Lettice said: “I’m looking forward to enhancing links with a range of external organisations to increase the social, economic and cultural impact of our research.” Previously, Prof Lettice was a project manager for British Gas and worked as a change consultant for BMW Rover. She is particularly interested in business research, especially innovation management and product development. Her areas of expertise include: diversity m a n a g e m e n t , b u y e r- s u p p l i e r relationships, and branding. She is currently a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Royal Society fellow. She is also a non-Executive Director for Clever Together, a Board member for TechEast and co-organiser for SyncNorwich. Beth Papworth
student transformation awards nominations close friday 28th at 3pm visit uea.su/sta17 Bobby Lam
25th April 2017
25 Are drones the real enemy? years on and...
97 wars started
Sacha Silverstone Global Editor 25 years ago, the film ‘Toys’ was released in the US, where a toy manufacturer starts developing war toys to sell to the military, much to the dismay of his family. Although the film was a financial flop, it was one of the first mentions of drones in popular culture. The first form of drone, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), dates back to early 1900s, developed primarily for practice targets for training the military. But the trajectory of drones quickly moved towards targeting “enemies” as unpiloted, explosive torpedoes were built during the First World War. Now drones can be developed to be piloted from further away, be triggered faster and cause more destruction on the “enemy”. Even their names, ‘Reaper’ and ‘Predator’ for example, present them as fast and fatal. But do these developments mirror something much darker for humanity; a devaluation of human life? The development of machine
Wikicommons, RQ-7 Launch
weaponry dates back to 1364 – the year the gun was invented. Before this, fists were the weapons of man. In these days we could see a relatively-even fight: firstly because both are aware of the location of their enemy, and second because they have a largely equal chance of wounding and killing the other. Even before weaponry, there would be physical fighting – which remains a popular sport today.
With drone technology, the proximity of attacker and target is increased. The equality in combat is reduced. And, with these things, the emotion is removed and the lives of the military drone pilots are set up as more valuable than the civilians living in the countries targeted. An algorithm determines the location hit. John Naughton compares the system’s technology (dubbed ‘Skynet’) to a spam filter on emails,
but “if your filter gets it wrong, then the worst that can happen is that you are annoyed or amused by its clumsiness.” Furthermore, there is a risk that the spatial detachment from the land that soldiers attack leads to the target being isolated and “othered”, as well as an emotional detachment. As the pilot only receives images from the drone, the pilot is detached from the reality of its depictions. The proliferation
90 wars ended
of wartime video gaming amongst younger generations is also said to mean that younger soldiers become morally detached from their fatal actions because of the simulation of video gaming within drone piloting. Time is removed to contemplate the severity of their actions, and with this comes the removal of a period for reflection, meaning mistakes are more common with rectification out of the question. As legislation to limit drone use is constantly dismissed - from the ‘Drone Accountability Act’ in 2013 to make the Department of Defense ‘report to Congress’ unable to be ratified to Obama’s drone policies in 2013 not being enforced in reality, and with a number of ‘waivers’ making policies on drone limitation worthless – drone warfare seems like the inevitable future. The trajectory of these man-made machines allows death to be enacted with no requirement for a moral agenda and hazy accountability, demonstrating a potential devaluation of human life; specifically the lives of those residing in targeted countries, regardless of their innocence.
EU: The 25 year relationship Eddie Booth Global Writer Concrete celebrates its 25th birthday this year, achieving a wonderful milestone. By coincidence, another body is also welcoming in its 25th year: the European Union. Created by the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in February of 1992 which replaced the European Community (EC), the EU officially formed when the treaty came into effect one year later. The general theme of the Maastricht Treaty was the development of the European community from a predominantly trade-focused bloc into a politically oriented project. This move was not without opposition at the time. Voters in Denmark initially rejected the treaty at a referendum, and French voters passed the motion in a similar plebiscite with a majority of less than 1
percent. The so called ‘Maastricht rebels’ in the UK, Tory MPs opposed the signing of the treaty by Prime Minister John Major, nearly bringing down his government by rebelling against the ratification.
“The Brexit vote is just one of many threats that loom over the EU’s silver anniversary, ominous and growing” Many of those rebels would go on to be key players in the 2016 Brexit campaign. Despite consider-
able opposition, however, the treaty passed and the EU was created. The implications of the treaty can most keenly be observed in the creation of the Euro, the single currency that is used by 19 states across the continent. The global ramifications of this currency, controversial since 1992, have been huge. Several anti-EU politicians in various European nations lay the blame for economic woes firmly at the door of the single currency, notably forming the key message of far-right French politician Marine Le Pen and eurosceptic forces in Greece. The Maastricht Treaty also created the ‘pillar system’, the political format used by the European Union to outline the control it wielded in various areas of policy. This system gave the Union further influence on foreign policy, asylum law, defence and security, with the goal of a more manageable, effective union. This policy has also been controversial;
accused of being overtly supranational, attacking the sovereignty of member states and moving beyond the limits of the European Union’s original
purpose. Britain was an early objector to the pillar system, arguing that the issues were often too complex to be solved by the Union’s internal bodies. However the increased cooperation on defence and foreign policy
has been seen as a key development for the bloc to act as a united entity on the international stage. After the surprising result of the EU referendum in the UK last June, the development of the EU since the signatories dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on the controversial Maastricht treaty is more relevant than ever. As the signing of the Maastricht treaty celebrates it’s 25th year, the EU fights for its survival. The Brexit vote is just one of many threats that loom over the EU’s silver anniversary.
Flickr, It’s about time to help others
25th April 2017
53 apocalypses predicted
48 black leaders in West
(including the Americas)
1 orange leader elected (figures estimated from 1992-2017)
Journalism more deadly than UK forces? 115 journalists reported killed worldwide in 2016 compared to 72 among UK regular armed forces: how is journalism becoming one of the most dangerous professions? Tony Allen Global Writer Mexico’s Miroslava Breach was one of four Mexican journalists to be killed last month, being shot eight times outside her home in Chihuahua. The editor of local newspaper Norte subsequently closed the publication over fears for the safety of his reporters. This raises obvious questions about freedom of the press in South America. The intimidation and killing of civilians is something which has featured in global journalism since it began. But another aspect is when it happens to those reporting the news. According to the independent Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), over the last twenty-five years 1,236 journalists have been killed worldwide as a direct result of their work, with hundreds more having been murdered with unclear motives. CPJ statistics show that the most dangerous country to report in is Iraq which has seen 179 deaths di-
rectly related to journalists’ occupations since 1992, followed by Syria (108) and the Philippines (78). In terms of journalistic specialism, political and war journalists have the highest mortality rates. Almost half of journalists reported killed were working in print while 88 percent were killed in their own country.
UNESCO state that “on average, every five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to the public” The CPJ campaigns for the justice for journalists against their killers. They state that of the 804 confirmed to have been murdered as a result of their job over the last quarter of a century, 86 percent of their
killers received total impunity with no convictions, while fewer than 5 percent have faced full justice. On their website, the CPJ argues: “The unchecked, unsolved murders of journalists is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today.” The organisation has published a list of recommendations to governments and political leaders, including to “see that investigations extend to the crime’s masterminds in addition to immediate killers”, described as a key barrier to full justice. UNESCO has designated November 2nd as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, marking the date in 2013 that two French journalists were killed in Mali. In her latest biennial report presented to the United Nations last November, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova describes impunity rates for the killers of journalists as “alarmingly high.” She writes: “This widespread impunity fuels and perpetuates a cycle of violence that silences media
and stifles public debate.” Great Britain is comparatively safe for reporters, with three journalists having been murdered since the CPJ’s records began. Investigative journalist Martin O’Hagan was shot dead in 2001 in Northern Ireland as a result of his writing, while Punjabi newspaper editor Tarsem Singh Purewal and the BBC presenter Jill Dando were killed in
London in 1995 and 1999; both cases remaining unsolved. 3rd May marks UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, with one of its aims to be “a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.” Sacha Silverstone
Interview: Andrew Harding, BBC Africa correspondent Sacha Silverstone Global Editor As an expat child, it may be no surprise that Andrew Harding has only just returned home to England since his first venture to Moscow over 25 years ago. After a quarter of a century in five different continents, from war zones to Al Shabbab, Andrew Harding discusses his life with Concrete’s global editor Sacha Silverstone. What was your first international reporting job? I went to Moscow as a freelancer with no firm job offers or commitments but some vague promises. I turned up in Moscow at a time when it was pretty chaotic and there was an awful lot of news. The quite rigid system of creditation had pretty much collapsed so
suddenly it was possible with a bit of bribery and initiative to go and work as a journalist. Did being British affect how you were treated in countries? Now, in South Africa for instance, being British, being a foreigner, as the atmosphere is beginning to change, as politics gets nastier, as the African National Congress feels like it’s in power or might lose power, it’s playing up the colonial, imperialist rhetoric and so being British isn’t such a comfortable thing all the time. I think you have to be deeply aware as a journalist how, even without opening your mouth, you can be perceived just by being white, foreign, and British. Because I’m a tall, white foreigner that gives me a certain access and a certain protection, if you like. And then there’s the flip side.
Foreign Journalism is now dubbed one of the most dangerous professions. Thoughts? I think journalism full stop is one of the most dangerous professions, and it has been for some time. There are just more people around in the thick of it and more chance of some of them getting hurt. I don’t say that as a criticism that‘s just a fact, so its much easier for the reputation of the journalistic fraternity to be damaged. I also think that journalists are seen as more partisan and more politicised and therefore is more fair game in conflict situations. Has it made you want to stop? [Laughs] No, not at all. This is a very addictive job and I think a very important job. If you believe in what you’re doing and the organisation you work for, and you
believe in the importance of journalism and in defending the reputation of good journalists; now is actually quite an inspiring time. We took our voices for granted in a way for a while, and now i think we realise that we’ve got to stand up for what we believe in because of those certainties about reputation, about credibility, about importability. What advice would you give those wanting to get into foreign journalism? I say there is still a role for foreign journalists: I believe the voice of the outsider in news, literature, and art, is incredibly valid and I reject the argument that only Africans should report on Africa; only British should report on Britain. I do think if you have no appetite for danger then foreign news is probably not for you.
And what now? My first book is out - “The Mayor of Mogadishu”- a life story of a Somali guy I got to know who lived in London for 20 years during the war and went back as mayor. It’s my attempt to capture something of Somalia that’s not dry journalistic-y. It is more of a kind of novel. The book I’m working on now, “Crater’s Edge,” is based on a double-murder in a small farming town near Johannesburg. I hope will capture some of the pressures on South Africa at the moment about land, about race and about the collapse of institutions. Above all it is a good, old-fashioned court-room murder trial. The full interview with Andrew Harding is available on the Concrete website
25th April 2017
Where are they now? Tony Allen and Sophie Bunce chatted all things Concrete with two of our ex-contributors
Cameron Tucker: From Norwich to Sri Lanka and back again With talk of the LCR, Pimp My Barrow and the Blue Bar pub quiz, chatting to Cameron Tucker was as ‘UEA’ as an interview can get. But I am well acquainted with the LCR and was most interested in his memories of Concrete, which conveniently, he was honoured to give. After joining Concrete in 2011 he spent three years contributing to the Travel section. A few other societies caught his eye at the Freshers Fair, but perhaps, in his own words joining ‘the Cocktail Drinking Society of course (sorry, “Cocktail Making ”)’ was for different reasons. While at UEA he was also involved with Livewire and talked of trying to ‘emulate our beloved Greg James’ on the radio when presenting a range of entertainment, factual, and music shows. He also fondly recalled the ‘the joy of taking over the airwaves with Livewire Award nominees Jamie Heath and Sam Day.’ Particularly the way that Jamie ‘always signed off, on a Sunday midnight, by playing the national anthem. Very BBC.’ Very UEA. As a society, Concrete opens a lot of doors for students, and the same can be said for Cameron. He commented that he missed the first fortnight of third year ‘when com-
pleting a placement with The Independent. This was ‘an opportunity which came about through Karen Schaller of the School of LDC and Careers Central.’ It was encouraging to hear the experiences he had, as he was ‘in no doubt that the freedom Concrete gave me to choose my subjects and writing styles helped me get what was an eye-opening opportunity’ and lead to him being offered writing experience at Exploration Online.
“I have been onair and online in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and closer to home in London and Weymouth, for over a year” But what is he up to now? ‘Since gaining an MA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Sheffield (2016), I have travelled the world as a writer and radio broadcaster. I have been on-air and online in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and
closer to home in London and Weymouth, for over a year. In May, I will be moving to Kent to join the KMTV team as a Video Journalist, covering the Tunbridge Wells patch.’ It turns out quite a lot. I was also keen to find out his views on the transition of the newspaper from 2011 when he first joined to how Concrete runs today. Cameron commented that ‘The paper’s presence on social media has ballooned’, an aspect of the society which now plays a large role in its success. He comments that ‘When I first joined, I don’t think there was anywhere close to the 5,000 followers that Concrete now has on Twitter. I believe in the coming years there can be a similar transformation on Instagram.’ Cameron also puts this achievement down to the papers reach. ‘No story goes amiss from the sharp-eyed editorial team. Like all successful media outlets, Concrete knows its audience and appeals to them with a diverse selection of stories presented without bias. “There is also an engaging and easily accessible online platform to match.” As the paper has battled the change from print to online content, Concrete has truly embraced the
nature of multi-platform journalism. However, something I can very much relate to, was Cameron’s emphasis that ‘no feeling eclipses seeing your byline in print. I still have all my articles hoarded away in the attic, even though I can find them at a click of a button on the Digital Archive. It’s like the book versus Kindle debate; nothing can replace the feel, smell, indeed the whole sensual experience of holding a book. Same goes for picking up Concrete in The Hive.’ Cameron maintains that ‘while Concrete has successfully, and enthusiastically, joined the digital revolution, it should always stay true to its captioned and columned roots.’ I couldn’t agree more. With memories of ‘rounders outside the Terraces, Cards Against Humanity in the Plantation Garden, treading the boards of the Drama Studio, post-seminar pints
with Dr Matthias Neumann and meeting the great Dr Geoff Hicks’ picking just one favourite moment from his time at UEA was a question Cameron could not answer. Instead, like any good journalist, he posed a question, “how many pages have I got?” Sophie Bunce
Cameron on-air in
Sri Lanka last ye
Talking Sky TV and musical instruments with Emma Murphy Emma Murphy was Venue’s Arts editor in 2011-12, her final year at UEA. Throughout her degree, she was a regular contributor to Concrete’s Sport section, and wrote for the first ever edition of Venue in 2010. After graduating, Emma worked at Sky Sports before assuming her current position at Essex Music
Emma dressed as
e ‘Poison Ivy’ for th
Services. She is a keen football fan, supporting West Ham, and has also written for and about non-league side Billericay Town. Emma told us that she comes back to UEA “at least once a year if I can [and] I always grab a Concrete to read later.” She praised Venue’s redesigned format, commenting: “I love the new Venue! It’s really moved on as a separate piece and everyone involved in that transition should be really proud of what they have accomplished.” While at UEA, Emma took part in a variety of activities such as competing for the Dancesport team, including at Blackpool’s famous Winter Gardens. Emma also practised ballet, was a member of the Creative Writing Society and worked as a student ambassador. “I LCR in 2009 liked to be involved in student life and I have absolutely no
regrets,” she reflected. Getting into Concrete from her first year, Emma said: “I signed up straight away at the Fresher’s Fair in my first year at UEA; accosted the Music editor for a feature I had an idea for and wrote it that day. Being involved in Concrete was definitely one of the best choices I made during my entire time at university.”
“I cannot tell you the amount of times I have talked about it in interviews for jobs. The actual editing was inconsequential in the end – it was the organisational side of things” She continued: “Derby Day was always something special; I was very closely attached to Concrete Sport by my final year and I loved covering Derby Day more than celebrating Christmas! However my absolute pride and joy was interviewing [boxer] Barry McGuigan. What
an honour.” Emma revealed how her time writing for and editing Concrete has helped her career: “I cannot tell you the amount of times I have talked about it in interviews for jobs. The actual editing was inconsequential in the end – it was the organisational side of things, the managing a team of writers, deadlines, attention to detail. All of those additional skills are the things that have most impressed employers over the years.” After graduating, Emma retrained as a sports journalist at college a short walk from the Sky Sports studios. Calling it “a really exciting time,” Emma secured several coveted internships at FourFourTwo magazine, The Sun’s Sports desk, and Sky Sports, which led to a job with the broadcaster. There, Emma witnessed firsthand the continued gender disparity in sports journalism, remarking: “Unfortunately the gender gap was so severe, and the treatment so bad, that I am not a journalist anymore. I genuinely believe that if I had carried out all my work, my education and my training in exactly the same way I did, but had been outwardly male instead of female, I’d still be doing it and would have
been very successful.” Now, following on from her Concrete experience, Emma works as part of Essex County Council as Schools Instrumental Music CoOrdinator. “It is my job to make sure that as many children in the county as possible have access to instrumental lessons and musicmaking opportunities, regardless of where they live or what their background is.” Having written for Concrete’s Music section and played the flute since age 8, her passion for the job is clear: “I recently bought a piano and started having lessons again and music formed a big part of my passion for dancing and the arts.” Addressing current UEA students and those soon to graduate with an interest in journalism, Emma had this advice: “Be prepared to work hard, source your own opportunities and get proper training and accreditation. When you’re in it, is a fascinating, fastpaced and very exciting job, but it is very cut-throat.” She added: “Get as much experience as you can in as many areas as you can – you might surprise yourself where your strengths really lie!” Tony Allen
25th April 2017
Life at UEA 25 years ago
From 1992 to 2017, more has changed that just our media office. Concrete looks back at life 25 years ago
2000 Hannah Brown Features Writer
It’s 1992, and the campus looks rather different. The university has been running for less than 30 years. The Ziggurats look new (ish), the Sainsbury Centre has only been built in 1978, and the Sportspark doesn’t even exist. What was life like for a student at this time? 1992 was a big year. A leap year, in the same February the Cold War was officially declared over. Douglas Adams finished the last Hitchhiker book in the 5-book series. Windows 3.1 was released. Approximately 500,000 people marched on Washington DC in favour of abortion rights (sound familiar?). The skeletons of Tsar Nicolas II and Tsarina Alexandra were identified. Cartoon Network was launched in America. Bill Clinton is elected President. The Windsor Castle fire occurred. Josh Hutcherson, Logan Lerman, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Demi Lovato were born. Not only that! Diana and Charles announced their separation; John Major was the U.K.’s Prime Minister; Beauty and the Beast, the original animation, was preparing to be released into UK cinemas (funny how things work out, isn’t it?); and student numbers were half of what they were today. And, of course: Concrete was relaunched. Concrete was originally founded in 1973, but was short-lived and instead quickly went through four or five different stints between
1973 and 1992. Polly Graham was the first editor of the current incarnation of the famous student newspaper.
“Maybe you gossiped to your friends, wondering if they knew the students whose house burnt down on New Year’s Day (one of whom was in the bath at the time), or entered into a heated debate regarding one of the Letters to the Editor” Now we know what the world was like in the year of 1992. The turn of the millennium was starting to get nearer, changes were happening in a big way in the world, but life for the regular human was carrying on as normal. So: what would a regular day have been like? Perhaps you would have woken in the Ziggurats; most of the accommodation we see on campus today didn’t exist in the 1990s, like Crome Court, Hickling and Barton Houses. You left after forcing yourself out of bed at 8am and headed out for a coffee and to your lecture, grabbing an issue of Concrete on the way. What would have been the front page? Perhaps “MODULAR
MESS UP?” (Concrete, 22/01/1992) when the university changed to the two-semester, American, way of teaching that we have now? Or “Marginal Seat in Jeopardy” (Concrete, 04/03/1992) where it looked like Norwich could become a Tory controlled constituency. Perhaps you skipped over reading the front pages and instead looked with interest at the report of the Radio One Festival to be held in Norwich (the first of, as we have seen, many!). Maybe you gossiped to your friends, wondering if they knew the students whose house burnt down on New Year’s Day (one of whom was in the bath at the time), or entered into a heated debate regarding one of the Letters to the Editor. After your lecture in the lecture theatre blocks (which, of course, you listened to completely), a stroll around the relatively new lake sounds like a bright idea. Built in 1973, it’s barely 20 years old (perhaps even you are older than the enormous body of water!), but still, as always, beautiful. Studying is, of course, what we came to university for, so 1992 you can head to the library; still the enormous structure we see today. There’s no computer in your own so the library is the only place for research. Just perhaps without the new, modern computers in the suites, and plug sockets in the walls. I’m sure many of the books are still there, though. After study? Perhaps you haven’t spoken to your family in a
while (and you might be feeling a bit guilty about it…). The telephone box by the Square is the instant way to contact, so you phone the operator and ask for a reverse-charges phone call, hoping your family take the charges themselves. Standing for half an hour isn’t exactly the way you wanted to spend the afternoon, but after a while your family let you go and the phone box is behind you (and the guilt is off your shoulders for a little while longer).
“Perhaps you haven’t spoken to your family in a while (and you might be feeling a bit guilty about it…). The telephone box by the Square is the instant way to contact, so you phone the operator and ask for a reversecharges phone call” Although, when you get back to your room, you suppose a letter is overdue for your grandparents. It only takes ten minutes to write, and once it’s written and sealed you write your long distance friend’s birthday card and take them to the post box. To a modern-day you, this probably seems almost archaic, but at least airmail letters still existed so sending overseas wasn’t as
expensive as nowadays! And what to do after the day is (almost) over? Dinner, of course! Whilst you’re eating (maybe a large Domino’s Pizza for £6.40!), Livewire 1350 plays in the background. The DJs are euphoric after the radio has been nominated the UK #1 Student Radio for the second year in the row; as Concrete writes, “they can now justify calling themselves Britain’s top student radio station” (Concrete, 20/05/1992). You and your flatmates can sing along to the UK No.1s: I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, End of the Road by Boys II Men, and the classic (although, of course, then fairly new) Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen whilst the sun sets over the lake. For after-evening entertainment, why not go to the Waterfront to see a production of Lolita (yes, really!) by the UEA’s Minotaur Theatre Photo: Lillie Coles Company?! If that’s not quite to your fancy, the LCR is open, as is the Union Bar, for somewhere to properly relax and perhaps drink a little too much for a week day.0 A regular day in 1992 really wasn’t too different to what we, as modern-day students, experience now. Even though double the students walk around campus (with practically double the amount of buildings to go to, as well!), and we have technology far more advanced than the 1990s, we are all still students bumbling along, walking the same paths, and hoping their pasta doesn’t burn when they cook dinner tonight.
25th April 2017
Two idiots in Inverness Working alongside Livewire all year, Caitlin and I had been getting increasingly jealous as the plans for their annual charity-fundraising/ travel-adventure event got underway. Eventually, our itchy feet and desire to see how far we could get from campus got the better of us, and Team Concrete was born. One awkward photoshoot and some travel insurance later, and we were all set. Armed with one bucket and a charity T-shirt each, we had 48 hours to raise as much money for Teenage Cancer Trust as possible.
30 minutes: UEA
Leaving the square was an experience in itself: complete with music, cheerleaders, and the realisation that every other team seemed to have a plan, at least to get them as far as Ipswich. Livewire didn’t expect us to make it beyond King’s Lynn, but their laughter was ringing in our ears as we hitched our first ride: to Norwich station, in a police car driven by Norfolk copper, Tim. He seemed understandably bemused by our plan to “just go wherever anyone will take us really!” but happily drove us into the city, while warning us of all the dire things that could happen to two solo female hitchhikers. Undaunted by his predictions, however, we marched into the station, intending to talk our way onto a train. Met with the implacable face of Greater Anglia customer service, we attempted a new strategy, and snuck our way onto the platform to try our luck with the staff on board.
1 hour: Norwich
The lovely Clare from East Midlands trains was more than happy to take us with her to Liverpool, and even let us collect money from all the passengers throughout the six-hour journey. We scored our first foreign currency donation: 100 Swedish Kronor – and were even offered a trip on a ferry (if we could make it to Hull).
8 hours: Liverpool
Our time in Liverpool, however, didn’t get off to such a great start. We wasted time walking to the port, or where we thought the port was, before realising that a) the ferries departing to Ireland left from a completely different area of the city and b) the next one left at 3am. Slightly downhearted, and hungry, we changed tack and went in search of food and a hostel. Unfortunately, the deadeyed John Lennon paintings weren’t the only terrifying aspect of our night there. We were given the keys to our 12-person room, and headed upstairs hoping to shower and collapse into sleep, only to find a man sitting alone at the table in the dorm. The unusual nature of our
trip seemed to interest him, and his questions about what we were doing got increasingly personal, ending with: “So no one knows where you are?” Coupled with his constant staring at us, and unnerving smile, I was absolutely convinced he was going to murder us in our beds. Caitlin was less worried, but also slept with her keys under her pillow. Luckily, while he did spend the night laughing in the darkness at the glare of his phone screen and pacing around the dorm at 4am, we survived unscathed, if sleepless and unwashed.
Concrete finally left the media office: Jessica Frank-Keyes reports on the highs and lows of hitchhiking to the Highlands Inverness
24 hours: Glasgow
The ride to Glasgow the following morning was far more enjoyable, particularly zooming through the beautiful scenery of the Peak District at 70mph. Not wanting to hang around though, we headed straight to the station and talked our way onto another train, this time heading to Inverness. We had permission to stay on until Perth, but we weren’t going to let this stop us, and wasted no time in making friends with Gwen from ScotRail. By this time, our whiteboard had changed message over seven times, and we were desperate to take a final photo of ourselves as far north as possible at the end of the challenge – so we cheered when she told us we could stay on the train. Especially as this meant we would be going over the same bridge in the Cairngorms National Park as the Hogwarts Express.
“Despite watching the 10:10am bus to Edinburgh drive away from stand 3, as we stood over a drain at stand 1 brushing our teeth for the first time that weekend, we somehow made it to Edinburgh station.”
36 hours: Inverness
No one, least of all ourselves, could believe we’d only been in Norwich a day and a half ago. We’d gone from being the laughing stock of the Square in Norwich to travelling over 860 km, the furthest away within the UK. We had no hope of actually winning the challenge (Dubai being pretty hard to beat) but the bucket now weighed the same as a small, overweight child and took two of us to carry. Wandering through the pretty toy-box town towards our beds for the night, we were torn between appreciating the Balamory-style houses and bridge over the river, and beginning to panic about how we’d actually make it home again, especially as we’d both managed to forget our railcards. Although it was nice to see a view other than the third floor of the library, staying in Inverness forever probably wasn’t an option.
48 hours: Edinburgh
After posing for a final photo, we decided to pay for a coach to Edin-
burgh, and figure out the remaining few hundred miles back to Norwich when we got there. Despite watching the 10:10am bus to Edinburgh drive away from stand 3, as we stood over a drain at stand 1 brushing our teeth for the first time that weekend, we somehow made it to Edinburgh station. And whether it was down to our powers of persuasion or the clanking of our now quite ridiculously heavy bucket, we did it. Talking our way onto the third long-distance train of the weekend felt like quite an achievement, especially as this one was heading home, where clean clothes, shower gel, and food other than Big Macs awaited. The final leg of the journey, from Peterborough to Norwich, dragged
on, but we did continue getting donations, and raising a few extra quid was motivation enough to keep chatting away to other passengers, rather than passing out on our rucksacks.
60 hours: Norwich (again)
Collapsing into bed was all we could think about as we left the station, but as we waited for our taxi there was still time for one final donation, and it certainly wasn’t from someone you’d expect. An older woman approached us, wrapped up in a scruffy winter coat and scarf, asking for money for somewhere to sleep for the night. We explained that we’d put all our remaining spare change into
the bucket before we got off the train, and despite our protests she insisted on dropping in a handful of her own coins, while telling us about her son, who had died of cancer as a child. We’d encountered so many kind people along the way, but this was certainly a contrast to the few, mostly welldressed men in suits, who had batted us away. It was a very poignant reminder that no matter how far we’d made it, the most important thing was the total raised by all the teams, and the research and care that that money would be spent on.
25th April 2017
“This year’s Jailbreak was by far our most successful yet and it's all down to the amazing effort of our 15 teams and the Livewire base camp team who tracked and supported every team whilst broadcasting for 48 hours. Livewire's Jailbreak has become one of UEA's largest charity events which raises an unbelievable amount for charity, I can't wait to see what they do with it next year.” Alex Edge Livewire Station Manager
Features25 Jailbreak: What you need to know
“I’m so proud of all our teams and everyone who stayed with us at basecamp - we’re looking to smash our target of £10,000 for a great charity: Teenage Cancer Trust. My highlight for sure was covering LCR goers in glitter in exchange for a donation. It’s a great, and fun, way to raise money and I recommend it to any groups wanting to fundraise, for a great and worthwile charity, at UEA.” Pippa Brown
Livewire Jailbreak is the most successful fundraising event at UEA, regularly raising more than £10,000 for the chosen charity. Fundraising was in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust in 2017, and each year teams of students have two days to get as far away from campus as possible without spending any money on travel. Think you’re up for the challenge? Jailbreak happens once a year, every year. Starting on the Friday that lectures finish for Easter break, the challenge runs from noon for 48 hours until Sunday lunchtime. The idea of two days away from home without spending any money is understandably terrifying, but the Jailbreak concept isn’t as scary as it sounds. You can spend as much as you want on accommodation and food, but all of your travel must be hitched or otherwise free. Many teams make plans before they leave Norwich, arranging plans with friends for lifts, or getting in touch with local companies for sponsorship and flights. (Unsurprisingly, these people get the furthest. Dubai, anyone?) Livewire begin the sign up for their challenge in January, so make sure to keep an eye out for 2018’s details! Caitlin Doherty
Head of Events
Outreach: “It’s all about potential” Megan Baynes Editor-in-Chief It’s 10am on a Wednesday and I’m trying to shoot a balloon with a bow, alongside a group of year seven boys; they’re cross because I keep hitting the bullseye and one of them just shot a bow at the wall. As I shepherd the boys out the hall which, if you’ve ever tried to direct hyperactive young boys who’ve just spent an hour pretending to be Robin Hood, you will know that this is no mean feat - I consider how lucky I am to being paid to do this. I’ve had ten different jobs since I turned 16; from a waitress at Little Chef, to flipping burgers at McDonalds and selling clothes at Next, there isn’t a section of the hospitality industry that I haven’t touched and by the time I arrived at university I wanted a change. I applied for the role of Student Ambassador because I wanted to try something different. After six months of showing off my bedroom to visiting Freshers, I felt excited to be the one giving the tours. Throughout my three years on the job I’ve not just played archery; I’ve toured campus extensively, driven to London to give a talk, got hopelessly lost in Kent, and eaten a lot of sandwiches; I’ve met people from across the country and learnt how to give presentations on student life. I’ve also got really good at understanding student finance (if you ever need to know how much
interest you’ll be paying, hit me up). But there’s more to outreach than being a student ambassador and I sat down with Charlotte Wheatland, Assistant Head of Outreach, and Becky Price, Widening Participation Manager, to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes in the office. Charlotte told me, “Outreach has a specific meaning. It’s about going into widening participation schools and working with students to raise their aspirations and talk them into progressing into higher education.” The team works without approximately 140 schools in the local area which have been targeted to meet certain criteria, such as a high number of free school meals, or schools where they have lots of students from lower participation neighborhoods. From Romany Gypsies to students in Great Yarmouth the team work in the local area to inspire students. “Ever since being at university I’ve worked with disadvantaged young people. I’ve always worked with the people that really are overlooked and not helped. I saw a massive gap in the support that was given to these young people,” Charlotte said. Previously a careers advisor, Charlotte explained that she wanted to affect change: “As a careers advisor you can’t. You can just say this is the way life is. I’m massively in favour of equality and fairness and I don’t think anyone should be disadvantaged as a result of where they were born or
what their background is. It’s all about potential.” Becky said, “Attracting and attaining the university students is only part of the picture.” Her role involves ensuring that students at UEA are all having the experience they want to have and are achieving what they want to achieve without any disadvantages due to background. She continued, “Whether that be first generation, coming from a more disadvantaged school or area, being disabled, being male on a very female course or being female on a very male course.” Becky previously worked in market research, developing a specialism in qualitative research and doing a lot of work for charities: “I spent a lot of my career identifying where the problems are and what could help… I wanted to be able to take that and doing something with it.” She added, “I am incredibly aware of how privileged my background was and how lucky I was to have the parents that I had that sent me on all of that path. But it isn’t the same for all our students here. I do look back quite a lot at my time at UEA and think I didn’t make the most of it. I want to make sure that others don’t look back with that feeling afterwards as well.” They explained to me some of the events they run to help affect change, from campus tours, to residentials, mentoring, tutoring and workshops and they work with teachers and academics. Charlotte’s favourite event has been a medi-
Andi Sapey cal aspirations residential. Paid for by a donor and an alumnus of the university it is solely for widening participation students. She said, “it gives such a huge boost for those students to help them progress into higher education. For me it’s that reality check: do they actually know what it is to be a doctor? So then they are better prepared and more likely to be successful, and when they start they’re really likely to get to grips with the workload and what’s expected.” We then turn to the ambassador scheme. Charlotte told me, “Being really blunt... who wants to talk to me about going to university?
We’re not the right people. I don’t know what’s going on in university now - I went to university in a time where there was no real internet. I had an email address but no one used it. And we’re not that old!” She added, “in a lot of cases they are from the local areas the students are from as well so they can connect on that level. They show students that ‘I achieved it, you can achieve it as well.’ We wouldn’t be able to do our work without ambassadors, really, they are fundamental to everything that goes on in our team. “They are our champions and we love them dearly for that.”
25th April 2017
Foodie Features25 Cait lin Dep Doher uty E t ditor y Brunch is not hard to come by in Norwich. A city known for its good food, there are eggs on toast, bacon sandwiches, green juices and Instagram filters a-plenty. Pancakes and waffles may be easy to find in this Fine City, but Britannia Cafe is one of the few places that really has something different to offer. The menu is the usual breakfast fayre, the millennial appetite perfectly satisfied by smashed avocado and caramel lattes, alongside bulging plates of fry-ups, but the location inside four very high walls on top of a hill overlooking the city is the first sign of something more unusual. Opened onsite at HMP Norwich, Cafe Britannia is staffed by inmates at the male Category D prison on Britannia Road. Helping to run the kitchens, front of house, shop and maintain the gardens, this is rehabilitation that dispels the cliches of stuffy interviews and evaluations with prison officers. Cafe Britannia properly prepares prisoners for life on the outside and offers diners a “unique dining experience”. I spoke to Gemma Johnson, the marketing and events manag-
Rule BRITANNIA Norwich’s prison café
Percentage of pr
er about civilian who reoffend how it all employ(nationally) works, and ees, includwhy the scheme ing four fully has been successtrained chefs ful. who have develThe prison site inioped the three menus tially opened in January offered at the cafe. 2014, the brainchild of Davina Gemma explained that Tanner, but the scheme and busithey “try to get as many peoness has grown exponentially in ple involved as possible, to help the last three years to include a them learn new skills, rehabilitate smaller kitchen in the city centre and help prisoners become more Guildhall, and Molly and Claude, comfortable in public working two food trucks who travel around environments”, all whilst “trying Norwich parks and city centre, to change the public perception as well as offering wedding and of prisoners and rehabilitation”. event catering. These are bold objectives, but it Around 30 - 40 prisoners are seems to be working. Not only has employed across all of the Cafe there not been a single bad reacBritannia sites, many of whom tion in the time that Gemma has have no catering experience, but been working with the scheme have been approved for the re- (only compliments and requests hab scheme by the prison officers for another slice of cake) but the and social workers of HMPS, and rehabilitation element is one of the roles the inmates are offered the most successful schemes in depend on their skillset and inde- the UK. The national reoffendpendent evaluations. For exam- ing rate is currently 45 percent. ple, those who need to improve Amongst members of Britannia their social confidence are offered Cafe staff, it’s less than 4 percent. front of house service jobs, those The inmate staff are who have practical skills can help on full-time shift patmaintain the gardens and build terns, emulating the 9 - 5 the furniture items for sale in the working habits they’re shop. The prisoners are accompa- likely to need after nied by a number of release and the
f Café tage o n e c r e P oners nia pris Britan offend regular who re
working incentives are also in place. The staff are paid ‘prison wages’, but the cafe also financially contribute to a number of charities working to support the victims of crime in the UK. Leeway, a domestic violence and abuse charity, and Victim Support who offer guidance to survivors of crime or other trauma both receive regular donations from the Britannia scheme. Challenging the stereotypes surrounding prisoners and prison life, reducing crime through work rather than statistics and long sentences, the Britannia Cafe is an incredible scheme. Oh, and the breakfasts aren’t too bad either.
Cooking with Megan Baynes Editor-in-Chief If brunch were an Olympic sport, I’d be Paula Radcliffe. Other people have hobbies, I have breakfast; I am an eggs-pert, an avocado aficionado, a French-toast fanatic. However, where many establishments fall down in my estimations is their emphasis on insta-worthy plates. Tiny eggs top perfectly sliced toast roughly the size of my fingernail, or a teaspoon of avocado is smashed next to half an egg, all perfectly garnished in a dog bowl. Britannia Cafe is an antidote to all those who insist on destroying the sanctity of brunch. They go back to basics and their food is the perfect solution to every bad day, every break up, or any slightly average Tuesday. During our final production week, I couldn’t resist the chance to share my favourite pastime with the senior editorial team. Jess, Caitlin and myself went along on Friday morning to indulge in some bacon, eggs, and coffee. The cafe itself knows how to appeal to its number-one consumer, and Instagram worthy angles are
in every direction. From the subtly Pinterest-perfect wallpaper, to the eclectic collection of salt and pepper shakers, the cafe is quirky and tastefully decorated to the extent that you forget you are a part of a prison complex. The fact that the staff didn’t raise their eyebrows whilst I brandished my camera about made the experience even lovelier; I enjoy photographing my food, and Cafe Britannia is definitely a judgement-free zone. We ordered our breakfast and coffees and were served quickly. We were about a third of the way through our lattes when our food arrived – normally I’d be worried about such quick service but they don’t sacrifice quality for speed. I had the Queen’s breakfast (naturally), Jess had salmon and scrambled eggs on toast and Caitlin, ever the lady, had the slightly smaller Prince’s breakfast. After we had taken the obligatory 18 photographs, we tucked in. Jess furiously shovelled down her plate of salmon and eggs as if someone was standing over her shoulder about to take it away. The food was well cooked, fresh and most importantly: filled the entire
plate. At one point, I had to balance my toast precariously on the edge as there was almost too much. Café Britannia showed that you can have Instagram worthy food, whilst still actually filling a human stomach. My Queen’s breakfast was the equivalent of a full English: eggs, beans, bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomato and toast.
“Britannia Café is an antidote to all those who insist on destroying the sanctity of brunch. They go back to basics and their food is the perfect solution to every bad day, every break up, or any slightly average Tuesday” At £5.95 it’s the same price as a lot of food on campus but feels and tastes fresher. For the slightly hungrier you can upgrade to a King’s breakfast which sees most of the meat doubled. I asked Jess what she thought of
her breakfast and this too received a rave review. For those not a fan of the full English (heathens) the menu also featured ‘Smashed avocado on toast’, ‘Pancakes and fruit’, ‘Beans on toast’, and ‘Granola’. So from the health nuts to the avo-fans, the menu has enough to keep everyone happy. We sat, finishing our coffees – Jess a caramel latte, myself a slightly-less basic butterscotch latte and Caitlin a cappuccino – feeling content; the sign of a good brunch. Overlooking Norwich, the Britannia building doesn’t seem like the ideal space for a brunch spot, but never judge a book by its cover. With great views of our fine city, it’s tucked away from the madness of the town centre and is quiet and close enough to UEA for a quick respite from exams and studying. If it were the BrunchOlympics, Britannia would win Gold. At the very least, the food is of a higher quality than my metaphors.
All photos Megan Baynes
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
“Some things never change...” Welcome to our 26-page yearbook of the history of Concrete Picture the scene. It’s a Saturday evening, at 8.45pm in the media centre. We’ve spent the day writing features, laying up comment and rearranging news; not to mention interviewing Sir Antony Gormley and snapping selfies with Stephen Fry. The office gin has just been cracked open. Born in the USA (or as we now call it, ‘Porn in the UEA’), is being played for approximately the 26-thousandth time this weekend. The walls, table, and any flat surface we can find, are covered in printed-out pages, with neatly scribbled copy-edits littering the text. The copy-editors have given up and gone home, leaving the editorial team to stew in our own madness. It’s the 25th anniversary baby! In terms of ending on a high, we really could not have aimed any higher had we been the statues on the buildings themselves. The following 26 pages have been the collective work of many people, hours of archiving and months of planning. Our ambitious plan
in September is finally real. There are more people responsible for this than we can name: from our beloved copy editors, to our longsuffering online editor who is the only one able to fix the printer, to those who spent hours helping us archive. We couldn’t have created this Concrete yearbook without you. Over the past few months we have spent more time in the Concrete archives than we have with our own families; we have seen it grow from its black, white and purple inception, through its rebellious tabloid years, to the paper we know and love today. As long and tiring as the production weekends of this last year have been, reminiscing on Concrete’s history has given us a lot to think and laugh about, as well as giving us lots of opportunities to fangirl over some of our old writers and editors who have ended up in newsrooms and TV studios around the world. A much overused phrase uttered in the office the past week
has been, ‘Well, some things never change.’ And it’s true. ‘
“There are more people responsible for this than we can name: from our beloved copy editors, to our longsuffering online editor who is the only one able to fix the printer, to those who spent hours helping us archive. We couldn’t have done it without you”
anyone even read us? These are the crucial questions asked by any Editor. Concrete, we love you. This 56-page finale is a testament to that. Here’s hoping the next 25 years are just as glorious and we look forward to our invitation to the 50th.
Megan, Jess & Caitlin Editor-in-Chief & Deputy Editors
Concrete25 Contributors: James Chesson - Emily Hawkins - Tony Allen - Sam Naylor - Grace Fothergill - Hannah Brown - Hattie Griffiths - Eve Mathews - Katie Gleeson - Emma Slaughter Molly Burgess
Accommodation crisis after crisis has hit UEA; campus has changed and grown; students have gotten outraged, drunk, and into trouble; and through the past 25 years, Concrete has been there to document it every step of the way. Has it been easy? Have we always been popular? Does
Have you ever read Concrete and thought
“I could do better”?
Applications for a new Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor are now open
Visit concrete-online.co.uk/get-involved to find out more
Applications close: Sunday 7th May at Midnight
25th April 2017
Editor-in-Chief: Polly Graham
The first six months... Concrete’s first six months were full of familiar headlines about accommodation woes, student protests and safe sex at university. In Concrete’s first issue Dawn Walter talked to student volunteers of the local Act-up organisation about stigma and misinformation surrounding contraception and AIDS. In its first year Concrete covered the university’s expansion, with articles on the construction of Nelson Court and Constable Terrace in the winter of 1992. Developments in Norwich were also reported on, such as the building of Castle Mall in May. Articles concerning student hardship and poverty were consistent through this editorial period, with February’s front pages covering student discontent about the university’s “apathetic” attitude to students in poverty. In June 1992, Editor-in-Chief Polly Graham interviewed writer Toni Morrison when she came to give a reading of her novel Jazz at UEA. Concrete also covered the BBC music festival Sound City’s time in Norwich, when the Waterfront hosted the live music event, praising it for “putting Norwich on the map.” News stories about the NUS also filled the pages this year, with coverage of the government’s annoucements to scrap compulsory membership of the union. EH
25th April 2017
1992-1993 Editor-in-Chief: Polly Graham
1992 - 2017 Accommodation scandal? £43.50 was the price tag that shocked UEA to its core in 1993. The price of a weekly shop on campus? No, it was the planned cost of a room in the thennewly developed Nelson Court accommodation. Prices have more than tripled in the 25 years since, £150 is the charge for a week in the new Hickling and Barton blocks. This year was one of mixed fortune for the female students of UEA. Although statistics implied that getting a first class degree was more difficult for women, and an investigation into the growing trend of student sex work suggested that greater numbers of students were selling themselves to fund their degrees, female students won all of the available posts in the year’s Sabbatical Officer elections. But, some things never change. More than 20 years before a fire in the chemistry building was one of Concrete’s biggest stories of 2014, a rogue ciggarette caused a fire in Norfolk Terrace and forced all of the students to be evacuated. CD
1993-1994 Editor-in-Chief: Peter Hart
Nestle-gate Despite the feminist headlines of the previous year, the Unionâ€™s Womenâ€™s Week was not popular amongst all of the campus residents. Comment pieces published in Concrete on the event suggested that the weeklong campaign did not really get to the heart of issues facing women, female students and students with families; issues such as violence, and the gender pay gap. What a difference a year makes. One of the biggest stories of the year was when a national boycott made its way to UEA campus. Nestle products were banned in the bars and campus shops following the baby-milk scandal involving the company. Kit Kats and Smarties suddenly disappeared from campus shelves and the choice of library snacks got slightly less discriminatory and exploitative. Thatâ€™s not to say that the paper was only full of criticism. The UEA University Challenge team made it to the televised rounds, exercising their brains in front of the fearsome Jeremy Paxman, and the university bars sold more than 500,000 pints of beer in the first five months of 1994 alone. There must be some sort of prize available for that, surely? Pub, anyone? CD
25th April 2017
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
1994-1995 Editor-in-Chief: Niall Hampton
Appearance of the puns By 1994 Concrete was a staple part of campus life, and the stories didn’t show any signs of stopping. The biggest story of the year in 94 - 95 was not a pleasant one. There were multiple reports of thefts on campus, with students’ rooms invaded and several trophies taken from UEA sports teams. In the meantime, students were seemingly more concerned about their graduation ceremonies. Uncertainty about the locations available for the summer celebrations led to some very obvious tent puns. If that isn’t enough to make you cringe into
next year, then the carpet on the floor of the LCR should certainly send a shiver down your spine. As if the sticky floor wasn’t bad enough, imagine the potential for stuck hair and sticky drinks on a floor that resembles your Gran’s 1970s nightmare. The tabloid pun headlines were also starting to make an appearance. ‘Cod Off’ was Concrete’s message to the plans for a fish and chip shop on campus and a classic ‘Mickey take’ made the front page when some students scaled the registry building to fly a Disney-based flag from the university flag pole. Students always do have the best sense of humour. CD
1995-1996 Editor-in-Chief: Niall Hampton
End of an Era 1995-96 was most successful year for Concrete at the time, according to the editorial team of the time. The year marked the end of an era for Concrete as the paper said goodbye to its two longest serving members of staff. It also featured the shocking announcement that Gary Barlow didn’t want to come to UEA. Concrete covered the controversy surrounding UEA’s decision to make Salman Rushdie a Literature Fellow, a move which angered Muslim students due to the writer’s controversial novel The Satanic Verses. The paper also covered the request by the Islamic Society which wanted the Vice Chancellor to withdraw the award. Top quality headline puns were a common element of Concrete’s success this year, with “Dammit Janet”, “They’ve Banned It” and “The Blair Apparent” among the particular highlights. Political articles were as frequent back then as they are now, albeit in a very different political landscape. The writers of this period were able to cover the meteoric rise of Labour politician Tony Blair as leader of the opposition as he prepared his government-in-waiting. There was good news for the university and the paper when Concrete was named as the best in the UK at the Guardian/NUS Awards. JC
25th April 2017
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
1996-1997 Editor-in-Chief: James Curtis
Overhaul Italy came to UEA with the opening of a trattoria named ‘Piccolos’. However, Concrete editors were not impressed declaring, “UEA catering bosses’ failure to consult over Breakers’ refit is pasta-joke”. Always a strong start if you’re beginning with a food pun. The puns continued to go from strength to strength, with ‘Room with a queue’ being a particularly memerable. From rats in union house, to Cilla Black clutching a copy of Concrete this year saw the paper begin to take on its more tabloid tone. 1997 saw a mid year overhaul as the paper began its transformation into a red top rag. Perhaps the number of question headlines were a sign that this was an inevitability. Colour printing became more prominent as white and purple was slowly phased into a flashier looking Concrete. MB
1997-1998 Editor-in-Chief: Jane Kirby
Concrete goes red top After a colour change in January, this was Concrete’s first full year as a red top rag. The newspaper embraced a more tabloid approach to life on campus, with high impact covers. The year kicked off with a special 75th issue featuring a Concrete investigation that revealed Norfolk and Suffolk Terraces to be inadequately safe for students. The union bar had a tough first issue; they scrapped the beloved ‘Pound a pint’, resulting in outrage across campus and the union manager was forced to apologise for a drunken TV prank. This year also saw outrage over the university’s decision to charge parents for graduation tickets as the university was called ‘tightfisted’. Graduation has since been made free. Stories that frequently hit the headlines this year included student assaults, with an emphasis on nights out, both at UEA and in Norwich. Some things never change; this year saw new Sabbs elected but turnout was deemed “depressing”. A feature front page this year saw the scrapping of UEA’s ‘Italian trattoria’ in favour of a more student friendly fast-food joint, including a late night food hatch. The news came “after years of Concrete surveys calling for bosses to listen to student demands.” Concrete: always looking out for the little man. MB
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25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
1998-1999 Editor-in-Chief: James Graham
‘Brash tabloid flair’ This year began in true 90s fashion with an in-depth analysis of the ‘most talked about product since alcopops’: Hemp. The bright green spread really knows how to appeal to its student audience. With adverts for student favourite, The Mischief, the issue is full of familiar headlines: student hardship, price rises at the bar, a warning about meningitis, and a campus room crisis. This was the fourth crisis in four years and the university hoped to solve the problem by seeing “students shacked up with members of staff.” Just like 2017... This year also saw “a dramatic U-turn” by the university in which graduation fees were scrapped following widespread protests. A fire gutted another student room following inappropriate candle use and the introduction of cartoons offered lighthearted relief from some of the heavier stories. The union bar also faced criticism over rubbish waste, accompanied on the front by a cut out of a burger taking up half the page; appealing to a student audience had never been easier. The year’s crowning glory has to be the inclusion of a union advert formatted entirely in Comic Sans. Luckily the rest of the paper was formatted significantly better. The year ended on a high with the special 100th issue pull out - a third of the way through our 25 years. The headlines throughout the year were consistently puntastic, continuing Concrete’s journey as a red top rag. MB
25th April 2017
1999-2000 Editor-in-Chief: James Tapsfield
Pints for pennies 1999 certainly kicked off with a bang – with the first Concrete front page: ‘Bang goes 23,500’, reporting the news that the university had been forced to pay out over a potentially fatal accident in the Environment laboratory. And the angry theme of the year continued, with UEA seeing a ‘McProtest’ over the fast food chain coming to campus, as well as fury over the introduction of window bars in UEA accommodation. The new millennium saw a continuation of Concrete’s coverage of campus, with stories on union elections and BNP interviews making the front page. 80p pints also made headlines this year - a price that students in 2017 can only dream of. And while prices may have gone up, union competence remains about the same, as a story on the SU losing the agreement over room pricing with the university reveals. However, luckily students’ relationships with security staff have improved in the last 17 years and headlines like “You’re on your own” are now a thing of the past. But while we love a highimpact headline, we can’t compete with the bold font choices and caps-lock style of the red-top rag of 2000. JFK
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
Editor-in-Chief: James Goffin
UEA heads towards the big four zero Having been a working university for almost four decades, by the early noughties UEA was finally starting to show some signs of wear and tear. Along with a fire that gutted one of the university residences, the Vice Chancellor noted that buildings were starting to struggle under the weight of all of those books and backpacks. But UEA was taking note and a number of renovation and improvement projects were announced in this year. More computers were installed in the library and given 24 hour access and another renovation of the LCR was commissioned, marking UEAâ€™s entrance into the 21st Century. Speaking of appearances, cosmetics seemed to be a bit of a running theme throughout James Goffinâ€™s tenure. The Sex Survey may have got Concrete into several tight spots over the years, but the 2001 survey on student looks surely walks even closer to the line of offence and perfectly lives up to the tabloid design that Concrete had embraced. CD
25th April 2017
2001-2002 Editor-in-Chief: Adam Chapman
Tin Concrete Concrete’s tenth anniversary saw it continue it’s tabloid flair for the dramatic, but Adam Chapman oversaw a redesign of the logo over the Christmas break, bringing it more into line with the blue that we know and love today. Newsworthy headlines this year went from ‘Paedophile alert at UEA’ to ‘So when do we revise?’ The first issue of the year coincided with 9/11 and saw several students stranded following the US terror attacks. Not one to shy away from global stories, this issue also featured a two-page spread examining the effects of the New York terror attack. Sir Paul McCartney also visited Norwich this year, with News Editor Katie Hind securing the only interview in the city, alongside a visit from Sophie Ellis-Bextor to perform at the LCR, proving our worth with the rich and famous. Further accommodation crises hit UEA this year, including one front page with a photo of a very unimpressed pair of students - you have to wonder how long it took to take that photo. The number of columns this year vary from page to page - from six, to four, to five, something that would make Concrete’s current copy editors shudder. In addition, this year saw the return of a UEA flasher - no matter the year, students just can’t resist getting their kit off. MB
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
Editor-in-Chief: Katie Hind
Psst... UEA at 3am This year was the reign of former News Editor and Sir Paul’s pal, Katie Hind. Beginning strong with ‘Chaos at the Waterfront’ 20022003 cemented Concrete’s position as a tabloid paper. From students moving sofas outside to build a common room (we’re nothing if not inventive) to a picture exclusive of the student who threw a snowball at the Education Minister, this year had a lot of fun with headlines and content. The highlight of the year was the introduction of Concrete’s first gossip column: from students to union staff, no one was safe from the sharp tongue of the anonymous writer. Concrete had ears everywhere, and from stroppy officers to naked sports clubs this provided everything you needed to know about campus that year. Tuition and maintenance were raised to £21,000 . The much debated Kit Kat also made an appearance. This is also the year that saw Concrete banned from union buildings because of the publication of an advert for a strip club. Over 100 students took up the offer of a free lap dance from the club. ‘Apparently Concrete’s an embarrassment’ - it was stripped from the bins by four union officers one of whom ironically had the surname ‘Pratt’. Perhaps not a stellar year for Concrete-SU relations. MB
25th April 2017
2003-2004 Editor-in-Chief: Jim Whalley
Fake news at UEA ‘Fake news’ may now be synonymous with the tangerine stained blonde that’s recently taken residence in the White House, but it seems that Concrete were way ahead of the game. The UEA Enquirer published headlines and stories that would make anybody do a double take. When walking back after a night at the LCR, it’s perfectly plausible that the Ziggurats were built by aliens. It would be another seven years before David Cameron’s government raised tution fees to the teeth-clenching £9,000 that we know and hate today, but fees were already at the forefront of students’ minds in the early noughties. New Labour had introduced fees for the first time several years earlier and had announced a lifiting of the cap to £3,000 per year. Oh, the horror. This year also saw the end of another beloved tradition - access to the Terrace roofs. Gone were the days where you could sunbathe with a beer outside your room as the health and safety police began to take control. Madeleine Albright also visited UEA tresulting in the fabulous headline as seen on the left. It’s good to see that students never change - the network was altered but a desperate plea was issued to students to stop downloading porn. Did it have any effect? Probably not. MB & CD
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
2004 - 2005 Editor-in-Chief: Phillip Sainty
Independent forever Editor Phillip Sainty, opened the year with a reminder that Concrete remains wholly editorially independent from the union and the university - something I’m sure he would be pleased to see has remained true even today. The beginning of the year also saw the planned “spruce up” of Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace… did it ever happen? Because the Ziggs still look they’re stuck in a (charming) time warp. The year also featured an interview with honorary graduate Sir Bob Geldof who, appreciating good journalism when he saw it, made the time to give Concrete a full page interview. The ‘Doctor of effective trouble making’ reminded students that “it’s no fun being poor” and to enjoy their privileged lifestyles. The union put forward a motion to ban smoking in the hive which would later be passed, and the expansion of Europe also warranted a feature. This year also saw the continuation of another concrete tradition: the sex survey. It’s good to see that times change, but students don’t. MB
2005-2006 Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Edwardes
The weird and wonderful 2005 - 6 also saw a redesign, albeit this one taking place mid year. The logo lost weight, going from the chunky Lubalin font we love to a skinnier version. Accommodation prices continued to rise (no surprises there then) and Stephen Fry returned again to talk to the Event, over ten years after his first appearance. Rob Castell, a third year English Literature student, was named Best Travel Writer by the Guardian, further cementing award winning reputation for writing. UEA continued to expand, with the first front page of year covering the building site that would eventually become Colman House. This year also embraced the bizzare, with headlines such as ‘Students throw beer at Boris’ and ‘Has anyone lost a ferret’, as well as ‘Union offers reward for return of mat.’ Well then. This year also saw the opening of Chapelfield Centre, which was a featured double spread in the last issue of the year. The Enquirer also continued to keep it real, bringing fake news to UEA with stories such as ‘George Bush successfully qualifies for a place at UEA’. If only. MB
25th April 2017
25th April 2017
2006-2007 Editor-in-Chief: Anna Steward Universally Challenged Accommodation went through a major overhaul during Anna Steward’s time at the helm of Concrete. The old Waveney block - affectionately known as the ‘quarter mile breezeblock’ was demolished to make way for the complex of buildings such as Britten, Colman and Victory House at the far end of campus. Several of these buildings were already being built and opened by this point, so the outdated Waveney was surplus space. Redevelopment across campus also took a turn for the technical. Wireless internet was installed in Union House and the Hive for the first time and, a webcam appeared in the Square, “allowing students to see what is going on in the Square when they are not on campus”. The small screen was also the subject of several pieces of UEA news this year. The University Challenge team made it into the second round of Paxman’s infamously difficult quiz, having beaten Lincare, Oxford, before being defeated by Warwick, and a former union officer won big money on Deal or No Deal, putting UEA on the map. 2006 - 2007 may have been the last year of Concrete in its red top tabloid format, but with eggings, pornography, and some top TV content, it went out with a bang. CD
1992 - 2017
25th April 2017
2007-2008 Editor-in-Chief: Marcus Jones
Radio and redesign Marcus Jones abolished the tabloid red top format in 2007, and Concrete adopted a purple based design, closer to the blue designs that remain until the present day. Greg James graduated in 2007, and his quick success on Radio 1 meant that he became the campus sweetheart and was the subject of a full page Concrete interview. Campus news continued to dominate throughout the year. The national smoking ban caused litter problems at the UEA bar, while the spiking of drinks in the LCR caused concern amongst students and the university. Campus continued to grow throughout this year. Following the accommodation developments of previous years, UEA was cleared to buy the old Blackdale school in 2008, the old, dampsmelling building that remains a seminar room favourite almost ten years later. Not everybody was satisfied with the university and student facilities expanding. Tesco on Unthank Road was subject to several planning jections from local residents concerned about local businesses and anti-social behaviour problems. CD
25th April 2017
1992 - 2017
2008-2009 Editor-in-Chief: Fiona Billings
Two-logo Fiona 2008-09 saw the creation of not one but two new logos for the paper, as well as the return of the ‘UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper’ tagline. Editor Fiona Billings oversaw the paper’s return to a blue colour scheme, and covered the accommodation problems affecting freshers in the first week of term with a front-page story on the first years being moved into INTO while construction of the building was still going on. The first semester’s next few frontpages were equally dramatic, with a fire at the construction site near Congregation Hall, and the fining of the rugby club providing newsworthy stories. The mid-November redesign made the paper more eye-catching, although potentially for all the wrong reasons. And the carnage didn’t end there: as the student night of the same name arrived in Norwich, only to disappoint. The year continued in this intense vein, with a number of impressive front pages including drink spiking being on the increase at LCR nights, and a campus assault closing the Concrete year. Many lighter stories also provided humour: with the release of new campus cards prompting a teddy-inspired mock-up, and the report on the library book thief baffling students across campus. The introduction of INTO’s catering spawned a ‘foodie feature’, featuring some mouth-watering roast dinner photography. JFK
25th April 2017
2009-2010 Editor-in-Chief: Hannah Livingston
Noughties nostalgia A new, easier-to-read design brought the paper into a new decade, and Concrete began the year with a series of brilliantly alliterative front-page headlines. From ‘Fresher Finance Fiasco’ to ‘Disability Discrimination’ the first few weeks of term certainly sounded intriguing, if not somewhat reminiscent of the student loan struggles we’ve all had at the start of term. A series of nostalgic noughtiesthemed content added to the paper’s appeal, with features on everything from what was and wasn’t acceptable in the noughties and the questionable ‘modern fairy-tale’ of Cheryl Cole, to the tantalisingly-titled ‘Confessions of a UEA cleaner.’ Winning a semester’s supply of fish fingers was perhaps Concrete’s weirdest competition, although I don’t know a fresher – or editor – who’d turn that down. JFK
25th April 2017
2010-2011 Editor-in-Chief: Danny Collins
1992 - 2017 F*ck fees £9,000. Danny Collins’ year saw the lifting of the tuition fee cap and tripling of the cost of a university education, and obviously, this story dominated the newspaper for the whole year, featuring on the front page and the news section several times over. Concrete reporters were among the 52,000 people at December’s protest on Whitehall, covering the riots and the arrest of a UEA student. There was more than national student news to be reporting on, however. Sex sells, but apparently not at UEA. Concrete’s annual sex survey was banned in 2011 because it was deemed to be against the ethical policy of the Union. The editorial team “couldn’t understand what all of the fuss was about”, but the censorship of students’ ‘elicit experiences on the M25’ was picked up by The Sun who couldn’t resist a ‘pull out’ pun. In September 2010, UEA London was also opened to students. In collaboration with City, University of London, UEA opened a campus in Spitalfields, offering a variety of social science and finance based courses. The London campus was closed by September 2014, but it certainly provided one of the biggest stories of this Concrete year. CD
25th April 2017
2011-2012 Editor-in-Chief: Chris King Rock and Rugby Chris King’s year at the helm of Concrete was dominated by two important issues: the closure of the UEA Music School, and the story we’re still talking about five years on: the infamous Rugby-gate. The news that UEA was about to lose its Music Department prompted multiple protests across campus, including when Coldplay played two intimate gigs in the Blue Bar and the LCR for BBC Radio 1. The consultation and to-ing and fro-ing over the future of Music on campus took most of the year, but Concrete got behind the unfortunately unsuccessful campaign to try and save the department and facilities. Similarly, the behaviour of the UEA Rugby team prompted several front page stories, as well as changes to campus sports culture that UEA is still feeling the effects of to this day. Some things never change, however, and student finances were in the headlines. From Union underfunding to students and escort services, bank balances always make for some great content. This year also produced one of the greatest interviews in the history of print journalism. David Cameron? Barack Obama? The Queen? Nope, Joey Essex, as he prepared to make a Freshers’ Week appearance on Prince of Wales Road. The conversation on the origins of ‘reem’ and perplexion over the word ‘inspiration’ is definitely worth ten minutes of your time and can still be found on the Concrete website as well as in our online archive. CD
25th April 2017
2012-2013 Editor-in-Chief: Amy Adams
Adams’ family 2012-13 saw the Concrete logo switch from navy to blue in a streamlined redesign. The year began with a helpful and light-hearted map of the UEA campus. The first issue of the semester also featured a report on the university’s representation in the 2012 London Olympics. More troubling was a story about the university’s plans to more closely monitor student attendance. A future Deputy Editor, Peter Sheehan, regularly appeared in the Comment section in a time before four years of Concrete involvement had drained him of his remaining youth. A Comment article on UKIP argued that the Eurosceptic party should not be taken more seriously, two years before they won the 2014 European Parliament elections. An in-depth feature on graduate employment provided the uplifting statistic that only 6.3 percent of UEA graduates were unemployed six months after leaving the university. In March, Concrete covered UEA’s 38-9 Derby Day victory over Essex for a second win in a row. The same issue featured a story about a serious incident when a student was sexually assaulted in West Earlham. JC
1992 - 2017
25th April 2017
2013-2014 Editor-in-Chief: Sidonie Chaffer-Melley
Styling it up 2013-14 saw a sizable shift in style including a switch to centred headlines. The year began with a front page featuring the festival celebrations that UEA held to mark the university’s 50th anniversary. “Down it Fresher!” was the headline of a feature on staying teetotal at university, which gave the readers an alternative view of student life. This year featured coverage of a union council debate on the Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams song Blurred Lines, which caused controversy over its lyrics that some argued encouraged sexual assault. Geri Scott, who would become Editor-in-Chief the following year, wrote a comment article on the privatisation of Royal Mail. In October, Concrete covered the news that UEA SU decided to restrict public access to the university’s bars and pubs – a story which gained national coverage after it was picked up by The Independent. A story on the mental health crisis found that there was a shortage of hospital beds for those suffering from mental illnesses, a story that continues to periodically appear in the paper to the present day. ‘Eddy from Pool’ was the hero who clinched the trophy as UEA claimed another Derby Day victory for a first away win since 2004. JC
25th April 2017
2014-2015 Editor-in-Chief: Geri Scott
Jaunty Geri This year, Concrete’s logo took a walk on the wild side, adopting the campus colours for the first time and slanting across the front page like a rebellious child, and it wasn’t just our name that had an exciting year. The year began with some fair excitement after a fire in one of the chemistry labs in the first few weeks of term, but the biggest story of the year was, of course, Taylor Swift landing (or arriving in a heavily guarded stretch limo) in our back garden, when Radio 1’s Big Weekend descended on Earlham Park. For more than half of the year, Greg James and Dave Grohl were the only names on everybody’s lips, but it wasn’t the only news on campus. 2015’s General Election was predicted to be one of the closest in decades, but Norwich South’s election demonstrated a divided nation: the incumbent Lib Dem MP, Simon Wright, was beaten into third place by Labour’s Clive Lewis and the Conservative’s Lisa Townsend, only narrowing finishing above the UKIP candidate. The election received a lot of coverage across campus, including the Goats for Votes scheme that got hundreds of students registered to vote, and the editorial team produced a 12-page supplement with interviews from all of the major political parties, including Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and Harriet Harman. CD
1992 - 2017
25th April 2017
2015-2016 Editors-in-Chief: Dan Falvey & Joe Jameson
Crowning Glory 2016 was the year that Concrete was named the Best Student Publication in the UK and Ireland, and given how much was covered during this year, it’s not difficult to see why. The months preceding Brexit and the election of Donald Trump meant that there were interesting topics aplenty for the comment section, and the news section certainly wasn’t left behind. Multiple reports of censorship and restriction of free speech on campus left UEA with a bit of a ‘lefty-loony-uni’ reputation in the mainstream press: sombreros, mortar boards and the restriction of a speech by a UKIP politician the previous year had made our university easy pickings for the headline hunters of the tabloid press. What’s more, a story about a third year student arrested after some of his course reading turned out to be Isis propaganda was picked up by a number of national publications, including The Sun and the Independent. That’s not to say that Norwich was entirely without good news. The university was highly praised for its initiation of a scholarship scheme for Syrian refugees, UEA won a fourth consecutive Derby Day, taking the trophy on Essex’s campus, and Norwich was voted one of the best places to live and work in the UK, both for students and fully formed adults with jobs. A busy year with plenty to be reporting on at UEA, 2015 - 16 made plenty of headlines. CD
25th April 2017
2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief: Megan Baynes
1992 - 2017 Silver Concrete This year saw something of a return to Concrete’s tabloid roots, with high impact font pages and exciting headlines. Stories about accommodation were a recurring theme of the paper’s 25th year, from room shortages and plans for rent strikes to students having to sleep in bunk beds. Concrete broke the news that a former UEA student had been arrested on voyeurism charges and followed it up with an article on his guilty plea. A controversial incident in which a union officer bit an LCR security guard and the resulting motion of no confidence dominated the end of the Autumn semester, leading to the headline “Swo what now?”A comment article full of accounts of students’ experience rape culture at UK universities highlighted the widespread nature of that problem. That issue also had a feature by Editor-inChief Megan Baynes and Deputy Editor Caitlin Doherty on the night they spent with the UEA security team, including how they deal with drugs on campus. The editorial team were also not averse to confronting personal issues, Deputy Jessica Frank-Keyes wrote a feature discussing her father’s death in her childhood. JC
words provided by your students’ union officers
your vote matters: general election 2017!
amy rust campaigns and democracy officer
>> General Elections are an exciting time as voters get to decide who will represent them and who will run the country for the next 5 years. For some of you this will be the first time you’ve ever voted in a General Election, for others this will be the 2nd time in as many years that you’ve voted in Norwich. This is your opportunity to cast your vote for the Member of Parliament of your choice, and to ultimately take part in the democratic process of deciding which political party will form the Government of the United Kingdom. Some of you might remember that in 2015, we ran Goats for Votes and
registered over 1000 students to vote- this year we’ll be spending the next 6 weeks encouraging as many of you to register and have your say on the outcome of this election. As your SU, we want to make sure the voice of students are heard loud and clear, so we’ve put together some resources and information to make sure you’re able to vote and understand who you can vote for. If you are not already registered to vote, go to:
to register again if you’ve already registered. What do I need to register? You’ll need your National Insurance number, date of birth and address. If you don’t know your National Insurance number call
0345 600 0643 or visit:
The deadline for registering is 22 May 2017, to vote in the General Election on 8 June. You don’t need
Moved house? If you think you are registered at an old address or want to move your
words provided by your students’ union officers
voting is now open for elections pt. 2
vote to Norwich, you can update your details using the main link: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You can register your vote in two places but only vote once in a General Election I’m an international student, can I vote? For many students, where they study is their home, and being able to shape the future of their area and country is important. Students from Commonwealth countries are eligible to vote in all UK elections, provided they are a resident in the UK at the time of registering. You will need to provide details of your status in the UK (i.e. a student visa) when registering.
your su officers
>> It’s time for you to vote for your student leaders for the 2017/18 academic year! All the nominations are in, and you’ve got until 2pm on Friday 28th April to cast your votes on the SU site. Club and society committees If you’re a member of a club or society at UEA, now’s your chance to elect your new committees for next year. It’s extremely important that you vote, as who you elect will have a big impact on the direction that your student community takes in the 2017/18 academic year. To see who is standing for each position, head to your club or society’s page at: uea.su/opportunities Make sure to have a read through everyone’s manifestos before you vote. Just as in the Officer elections, you’ll need to number the candidates in terms of preference, and after all of the votes are counted, you’ll find out who will be representing you next year. A lot of clubs and societies will host their own AGMs at some point next week, so check with
your committee as you may have a chance to listen to the nominees in person before casting your vote.
Executive group. To vote for Reps and Convenors, go to: uea.su/ democracy/courserepresentation
Course Reps and Convenors It’s also important to make your vote count in electing your Course Reps and Convenors for next year. These are the people who will represent your academic interests for 2017/18, so it’s really important that you choose who you think would be the best person to take your issues forward to the University. Each course elects at least one Course Rep per year of study, who work to build relations between the students and staff through communicating feedback at meetings. Each school also elects one School Convenor, to gather feedback from both undergraduate and postgraduate students and Co-chair your faculty’s Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC). Finally, you’ll need to vote for your Faculty Convenors – two for each Faculty (HUM, SCI, FMH, SSF) to represent both undergraduate and postgraduate students at faculty meetings and the Education
Voting for all Club and Society committees, Course Reps and Convenors close at 10am on Friday 28 April, and results will be released at 2pm the same day, via email and on the SU site. Good luck, and get voting! Don’t forget – nominations are still open for the following positions: Sub-committees It’s still not too late to nominate yourself to become part of a Student Officer Sub-committee next year! You’ll be able to work with the full-time Officers and other students alongside your studies, to better specific areas of the SU and the University as a whole. The committees will also meet 4-6 times a year to help carry out campaigns, projects and events inside the SU. See all the sub-committee categories and nominate yourself now at: uea.vote
Development and Oversight boards Just underneath the Subcommittees section, you can also find details on how to nominate yourself to sit on one of our Development and Oversight boards. There are 4 seats available on each of the boards, covering Retail and Catering, Advice and Housing, and LCR/Live Music. Each person elected will assist in overseeing the management and development of each of these factions, with two places for each being reserved for students who define as Women+. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to help lead change in the wider development of your SU; to find out more about all available positions, head to: uea. vote Voting for all Sub-committees and Development and Oversight Boards close at 10am on Friday 5 May, and the voting period will run until 10am on Friday 18 May. Nominate yourself today, and you can lead change at UEA!
25th April 2017
THE END OF APARTHEID?
improvements towards inclusiveness, prejudice attitudes were particularly prominent in rural areas. When hugging an eighteen year old girl and she began to cry, as it was the first time that she had been touched by a white person, I felt truly that I understood the apartheid was a mentality; an oppression engrained in many. I celebrated National Women’s Day in South Africa and watched a small woman stand at the front of a church telling a room of people that although she could “walk along the street with the white man she could not walk alone”. It is evident that the apartheid takes many forms, all around the world. In the UK, the Crime Survey for England and Wales concluded that an estimated 1.8million adults aged 16-59 had reported to be a victim of sexual and domestic abuse in the last year (2016). It was apparent that women were more likely to have experienced domestic and sexual abuse than men. Clearly, despite the introduction of anti-discrimination laws prejudice behaviour still continues
throughout the world. It is obvious to me that it is only with time, new generations and improved education that we will eventually eradicate the majority of hate towards minority groups. It is important to remember the South African apartheid for we must learn from the tension that humans have caused. In a world of Trump, Rodney King, and an ANC Party so far from what Mandela stood for; the global population must unify itself, to fight against any remaining and/ or increasing feelings of oppression and prejudiced behaviour. Molly April Welsh
A RISING CHINA
The rise of the social media age has seen one of the largest cultural shifts of the past 25 years. Every moment is now shareable and instantly likeable. The possibilities in how you can share this content are endless - I can’t name a single platform that doesn’t have a ‘stories’ feature. However, with every denouncement of social media and all its evils there is a more promising upside. For every person that complains that society is overly obsessed with documenting everything through their phones, there is somebody using that facility to hold corporations accountable for their ill advised practices For every person screaming about online echo chambers there are groups taking action on issues that they care about. For every person gagging to share their feelings on “millennial narcissism” and “selfie culture” there is somebody living thousands of miles away from
Two and a
their family and friends that gets to share with them that they did something that interesting or exciting that day, via Facebook, in a matter of seconds. Personally I have a few small gripes with the way in which we utilise social media today. It’d be nice if Instagram addressed why exactly some women’s bodies breach their community guidelines. But other than that I owe my choice to incorporate politics into my degree to social media, as it was the discourse on Twitter during the 2015 General Election that engaged me to do a whole lot of further reading. However, the introduction of Snapchat’s ‘Spectacles’ feature alongside Theresa May’s ‘snoopers charter’ late last year indicate that new developments may affect the role of social media in con with surveillance technology. Shannon McDonagh
AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
China, has been for many years a major economic contender, competitive with the likes of the United States and Germany. However, since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, China has become a powerhouse for fashion and international relations, overtaking the rest of the Asian tigers (India, Japan). However, as the Olympics cost a sum of over $42 billion, many business experts are wondering what this has meant over the last decade for them. Some argue that politics has slowed and moved from progression to preservation. Regarding their foreign relations, it is no secret that the USA are not on best of terms with the People’s Republic of China- due to questionable assumptions made by their newly inaugurated president,
The issue facing young buyers today is that real wages have not kept up with the inflation of property prices. Trades Union Congress have reported that real wages have fallen 10.4pc in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Older generations did not have this extreme disparity between wages and house prices, making it easier to get a foot on the property ladder. In 1997, a house cost little more than double the annual salary, compared to 2015 when the average house price was five times the average annual income. No wonder young people are increasingly being driven to rent: buying a house is not affordable unless parents provide financial aid. Do we take the quick route to independence or wait years to save up for a deposit? It is depressing that in 1991 more 25-to-34year-olds owned a house than not. Less than 25 years later this has reversed, and the chances of buying a house seem slimmer than ever. Sophie Christian
South Africa’s apartheid system was a structure of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination, involving the separation of individual’s housing areas, employment and the use of public facilities on the basis of race. From the 1940s, South Africa saw the classification of all into four societal groups: ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Coloured’, and ‘Indian’. Policy reformation and negotiations between 1990 and 1993 under the de Klerk government saw the end of the apartheid and although the liberation was to encourage an equal and peaceful livelihood and inter-racial interaction between all; it became clear that when I was to work there for a summer that the apartheid is more than a physical separation of individuals, able to be eradicated by a government decision. I was based in a rural, coastal township in the Western Cape and I noticed a clear difference between the increasing unification in the city and of that in the countryside. People are still living in segregated areas, and when telling some White South African’s of my work in a ‘Black’ neighbourhood, they considered me ‘brave’ for working with ‘thugs’ and ‘murderers’. It was clear to me that although there had been
N I S OF OP
Following the 2007-8 financial crisis, young people have been facing the upward battle that is buying their first house. What once seemed achievable is now a distant dream for first-time buyers - commonly known as ‘Generation Rent. This is hardly surprising considering the average UK house price was £214,000 in June 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics, which is £24,000 more than before September 2007.
Trump. Since the Olympics however, their profile with institutions such as the G20 has increased. This has bettered their soft power and international relationships. As China has risen so has their fashion. While competing homogenously with the globe, China now imports more complex fabrics and finished works to have a comparative advantage over LCDs. Because of this economic shift, there has been booms in trends such as fitness and sportswear, this is called the “athleisure” trend. This has taken China by storm, exemplified by Nike having, in 2016, a market share of 18%. China really has risen as a global competitor in the last decade, the growth seems to be exponential. However, it will be interesting to see if they plateau as society or surpass us all. Only time will tell. Orla Knox-Macaulay
DESENSITISED TO TERROR? 1970. The PLO hijacked 4 planes. 1984. The IRA attempted to assassinate the British PM. 2001. Al-Qaeda hijacked a series of planes and destroyed The World Trade Centre. The panic grew into an epidemic. From Paris and Berlin to Karachi and Ankara, the world has entered a global age of terror, the epidemic continues to spread to a point where Wikipedia no longer record terrorist incidents by year, but by month. Yet as the frequency of these attacks grows, our concern fades. We didn’t experience the shock horror of September the 11th when 86 people were mowed down in Nice. We didn’t experience that state of constant threat that many Britons recall throughout the 1990’s when the Charlie Hebdo offices were put under siege, and the journalists murdered. We just sat and watched. Some of us were affected enough to go through the labour of changing our Facebook photo to have a French flag on it. The last 25 years has created a generation who are almost desensitised to terror attacks and somehow what was once considered unthinkable has become part of everyday thought. With the rise of Islamic terrorism, it seems were heading down a one way street into a world consumed by terror, yet un-terrified by it. Jack Ashton
25th April 2017
“Going to the polls?”
Matt Nixon on why a snap Concrete on #GE2017 general election doesn’t Sign of the times? Nick Mason asks if mean the end for Labour we’re suffering from democracy fatigue
The snap general election is many things. It is an example of Theresa May yet again going against her own word, a chance for change, and also a new pain for a votewearied Britain. What it is not, however, is the end for the Labour Party. Yes, it does initially seem likely that after eighth of June the Conservative government will return stronger than ever, with YouGov currently placing the Tories 20 points ahead of Labour. But, with a united left and a little bit of luck, the Tories can be successfully held back. Already students, young people, workers, remainers, and all those who have been left disempowered by the current government are beginning to unite in their distaste of Conservative rule. All over social media, for example, people are sharing guides on how to tactically vote to block out the Tories both in their area, and nationally. Clearly, there is already a thriving antipathy towards a Conservative government which will fail to build adequate housing, fail to secure well-paid jobs, and fail to cater for the needs of the majority of the people in this country. The only answer to all of this is for the left to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn who will provide real solutions to these issues. If you are someone who would ordinarily vote for Labour, but are refusing to this election because you see Corbyn as incompetent, you are only contributing to the existing problems you perceive to exist. The left should instead be putting their trust in Corbyn,
who has consistently been on the correct side of history and has released 10 achievable pledges to actually rebuild and transform Britain for the benefit of us all. Theresa May, by contrast, is untrustworthy and morally bereft. Her policies will serve to make the richest in Britain even richer, and halt the progression of civil rights. Just a quick look at her personal voting history (against gay rights, against the European convention on human rights, against allowing euthanasia) show what kind of Prime Minister she is, and what Britian’s future will be like in her hands. In fact, May’s refusal to engage in debates with Corbyn and other party leaders exemplifies both her weak nature and fear to be challenged, alongside how out of touch she is with the British public who need to be informed on party policies and what the future Prime Minister is actually like as a person. I do not for one second believe that Corbyn is perfect, but this election is bigger than any of his flaws. If the left are able to unite, and eligible voters make their way to the polling stations this June, the Tories can be stopped. So let this election not be about whether you prefer Labour, the Greens, or the Liberal Democrats, or whether you believe that Jeremy Corbyn is failing to effectively lead Labour. Let it be about blocking a government that is trying to push for a hard Brexit, a privatised NHS, and even less opposition to their self-interested policies. Register to vote, get others to vote, and stop the Tories.
I am a very politically-minded person. The bookshelf above my bed almost buckles under the weight of tomes on a whole host of political issues and philosophies (and gin). I followed the 2015 general election intently, the Brexit referendum to the point of insanity. I spent an hour a day reading up on the American elections for two months. Elections fascinate me. So when I say I am apathetic regarding the general election called by Theresa May, take that as a sign of the times. In his excellent 2013 book, ‘Against Elections: The Case For Democracy’, David Van Reybrouck reflected on the increased number of elections across Europe, claiming that ‘Democratic Fatigue Syndrome’ is starting to take hold. Low voter turnout undermines the outcomes of elections. Just look at how Trump winning a little over a quarter of eligible voters has dogged his presidency. It hard to find legitimacy when turnout is low. Turnout will be low on June 8th. The Tories will sweep a majority, currently predicted to be roughly 180 seats higher than Labour but, mark my words, it will be at least 200 after barraging Corbyn and Co on the campaign trail and accounting for shy Tories. For those in Scotland this will be the third election in three years and the fifth election in four years if one includes referenda. This will be the
third ballot for the Northern Irish in a year. These regions are equally uncompetitive. The electoral map of the UK is a given at this point, with only a few seats, such as Cambridge and Sunderland, being of any true significance. There is almost no reason to turn up in most seats.
“The greatest tragedy for democracy here, however, is that it shows just how worthless the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was” But the question is, has May called the election too early? I would argue she is not holding it too early. From her point of view, she is riding an emphatic high in the polls. A 2020 election does May no favours. She has picked up the most rabid of Brexiters amongst the electorate. Added to the swing voters and Tory base, they are why she will attain such a commanding majority. Yet, if she waits until 2020, she will have lost them. Why? Because we either will have disastrously crashed out of Brexit negotiations without an extension,
or we will still be in the EU negotiating our way out. Neither is acceptable to this small but vocal voter group. We must leave in 2019 and it must be a success. The political reality of this is that there is no prospect of this happening; it cannot happen given the scope of the task of leaving. But 2022 is a realistic prospect for having left with a decent exit deal. By calling a 2017 election, she locks in the voters she relies on for a majority before they can drift away from her. Many expected her to allow Corbyn to do more damage to Labour first. But, from recent polling, it seems Labour have hit the bottom. She has profited all she can from Corbyn’s destruction of Labour. From Labour’s point of view it is the easiest way to be rid of a disastrous leader in the shortest amount of time. The greatest tragedy for democracy here, however, is that it shows just how worthless the Fixedterm Parliaments Act was. One of the few positive constitutional changes implemented by the coalition is little more than a £10 000 piece of vellum with ink on. That is the only important conclusion to take from the election: a Parliamentary majority can do whatever it wants. On 8th June, the Conservatives may have the biggest majority in decades.
#GE2017 Your comments:
Newspaper: Flickr, Jon S Tick: Public Domain
Cartoons: Wikimedia, DonkeyHotey;
25th April 2017
How my degree is reshaping who I am Chloe Howcroft Comment Writer I’m a first year undergraduate in the school of International Development, with my second year now fast approaching. A common motif within my field of study is change, which can sometimes be perceived as a pleasant experience in some communities yet, more often than not, is detrimental for others. And while I find many aspects of studying International Development incredibly fascinating, I do think that the most noteworthy of all is its subtle ability to gradually change one’s worldview. This is an account of how my degree is already reshaping who I am. I began to notice a change somewhere within the first few weeks of the course, when the realities of being a ‘fresher’ at university reigned in. I felt excited. The soft haze of summer just gone was slowly slipping away, and I was beginning to settle into university life. However, I also felt something else. I felt disgust. Sitting in a politics lecture, I was learning about the ‘politics of production’ which, to my understanding, is the study of power relations within each strand of the supply chain. From the factory floor on an operational level, to a
more decision-making level from (majoratively) Western retailers, such as the likes of Tesco, Monsoon, Primark and Nike, to name but a few.
“Now the last thing I want to do is cast judgement on others’ choice of mobile phone device, but it is far from unknown that iPhones are an overstated, superficial fashion trend” The collapse of the Rana Plaza building near Dhaka, Bangladesh, some four years ago today, which accommodated a number of garment factories for retailers including Primark, was used as a case study to illustrate the inequalities among the supply chain. More than one thousand garment workers died in this unnatural disaster. When this occurred, I was still in high school, only vaguely aware of such global development issues. In fact, I frequently shopped at Primark, knowing that I would
practically be buying a whole new wardrobe at a ridiculously low price. But fast-forward a few years later, and I now cannot fathom walking into such a store; simply walking past one makes me squirm. In this way, my degree makes me question the clothes and other products I buy and wear from certain retailers, for I am now more conscious of broader structural inequalities. If anything, I much prefer traipsing around car bootsales or charity shops at the very least. Along the same vein, another retailer that crops up more often than not is Apple. Almost all students in DEV appear to own an iPhone – an observation which, admittedly, somewhat surprises me. Now the last thing I want to do is cast judgement on others’ choice of mobile phone device, but it is far from unknown that iPhones are an overstated, superficial fashion trend. Apple (or rather, Foxconn), also have their own ethical issues, namely poor working conditions, which have led to several cases of suicide, hence my disillusionment in finding so many DEV students with a phone that not only reproduces inequalities in labour conditions and the capitalist system, but is also unnecessarily pricey. I thought that DEV students encouraged sustainability and ethical living, not
superficiality and consumerism. Furthermore, my degree has altered the types of food I consume. If there is one thing that DEV students also have in common, it’s vegetarianism or veganism – and everything else in between.
“If there is one thing that DEV students also have in common, it’s vegetarianism or veganism... my consumption of meat has decreased considerably since being at university” Though I am not a selfproclaimed veggie (as of yet), I am certainly advancing towards the lifestyle. My consumption of meat has decreased considerably since being at university, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that Norwich seems to be a Vegan haven (or could it be watching a certain DiCaprio movie on climate action, I wonder?) I rarely buy meat in my
weekly shop, and if I feel tempted, I usually buy substitutes of Quorn or succulent Linda McCartney sausages. Such good food. Finally, my degree has invigorated my interests in learning more about other religions and beliefs. Recently, I took part in an introductory course into Buddhism, where I had an overview of several Buddhist teachings and values, most of which resonate with my own interests in practicing mindfulness and interconnectivity. This not only helps with self-development and growth, but also is an insight into other cultures in the Far East and South, which predominantly practice Buddhism, namely China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. These countries are where I only dream of travelling to, and doing potential development work. Thus, learning about other cultures is a large part of why I love studying International Development. I don’t mean to sound like a cynical, judgemental nag, but I do strongly believe that your degree, or whatever you do, should have some influence in the choices you make in your life. Next time you find yourself in a store like Primark, think about the effort that has gone into producing yet another ridiculously cheap top. In fact, think about why it is so cheap.
25th April 2017
Water harvesting breakthrough
Eels use magnetic “sixth sense” Gavin O’Donnell Science Writer
Flickr, Flachovatereza Daniel Salliss Science Writer Scientists in the US have invented a water harvester that uses sunlight to pull litres of water out of the air each day even in dry, arid conditions. The solar-powered harvester was constructed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) using a special metal-organic framework produced at the University of California, Berkeley. The prototype was able to pull just under 3 litres of water from the air over a 12-hour period, at humidity levels as low as 20%. “This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,” said Omar Yaghi, one of two senior authors of the paper reporting on the breakthrough. “We wanted to demonstrate that if you are cut off somewhere in the desert, you could survive because of this device. A person needs about a Coke can of water per day. That is something one could collect in less than an hour with this system.”
Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) combine metals like magnesium and aluminium with organic materials to create rigid, porous structures ideal for storing gases and liquids. Yaghi and his team created a metal organic framework that binds water vapour. He then teamed up with Evelyn Wang, a mechanical engineer at MIT, to turn the MOF into a watercollecting system. As ambient air flows through the porous MOF, water molecules attach to the interior surfaces. Sunlight entering through a window heats up the MOF and drives the attached water toward a condenser, which is at the temperature of the outside air. The vapour condenses as liquid water and drips into a collector. “This work offers a new way to harvest water from air that does not require high relative humidity conditions and is much more energy efficient than other existing technologies,” Wang said. Despite this revolutionary engineering breakthrough, Yaghi admits there is still room for improvement. At present, the metal-
organic framework can absorb only 20 percent of its weight in water, but alternative MOF compositions could possibly absorb 40 percent or more. Additionally, the materials can be tweaked to be more effective at higher or lower humidity levels. “There is a lot of potential for scaling up the amount of water that is being harvested”, he said. “It is just a matter of further engineering now.” Yaghi and his team are now improving their metal-organic frameworks, while Wang continues to work on the harvesting system, with an aim to produce more water. This new invention is the start further exciting innovations on the issue of water for years to come. Breakthroughs such as this are crucial, given the predicted scarcity of clean water and increased drought from climate change. “One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household,” said Yaghi. “To me, that will be made possible because of this experiment. I call it personalized water.”
In the early years of their life European eels travel over 5,000km across the Atlantic from their birthplace in the Sargasso Sea, the Caribbean to Western Europe. Up until now scientists have known very little about how the eels find their way across the ocean: their breeding grounds were not discovered until 1922, however new research from the University of North Carolina has shed light on their navigation skills. Lewis Naisbett-Jones and his research teams found that juvenile eels use the Earth’s magnetic field to find their way. By detecting changes in the magnetic field, the young eels can locate the Gulf Stream: a 100km wide ocean current that begins in the Gulf of Mexico and carries warm water across the Atlantic Ocean to Northern Europe and Western Africa. Using the Gulf Stream to aid their journey, the eels can significantly cut the travelling time of their 300 day journey. Using a series of magnets the researchers simulated different stages of the eel’s transatlantic journey and recorded changes in their swimming patterns and directions. When recreating the magnetic field of the Sargrasso Sea the researchers observed swimming in a southwesterly direction and then when simulating the Atlantic they observed eels swimming north west, towards Europe. That eels used changes in
the magnetic field came as no surprise to the researchers, but their sensitivity to the changes and the fact that they used it to find the Gulf Stream and not Europe is particularly significant. Magnetoreception, the sense that allows animals to perceive direction by detecting shifts in the magnetic field, is not limited to eels but can be found in all major taxonomic groups of vertebrates, bacteria, arthropods and molluscs. Homing pigeons use magnetic fields as part of their complex navigation system; on overcast days the pigeons use can orientate themselves and find their way. The European eel, as a result of both overfishing and pollution has seen a 95 percent drop in population since the 1980s. It is hoped that better understanding their migration routes can better inform conservation efforts. However, this research has not been universally positive. The study was turned down for publication by Nature Communication with Caroline Durif, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Marine Research, Norway (who reviewed the paper) labelling it “absurd” highlighting that none of the main authors had focused on eels before and that they had used 2 year old eels which have a “totaly different sensory system” to their larvae.
Wikimedia, Gervais et Boulart
Saturn moon could sustain life Sophie Christian Science Writer
Saturn may officially be the best planet to search for life beyond Earth after NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovered hot fluid vents on the Enceladean seafloor. Clouds of gas have erupted from Enceladus containing hydrogen, which has excited scientists as there are similar hydrothermal chemical reactions that occur at the ocean bottoms of the Earth. Hydrothermal vents are filled with microbial life, suggesting that these icy moons away from Earth could be habitable. The evidence of hydrothermal systems does not prove the existence of life on Saturn, seeing as its environment could still be sterile. However, the findings are encouraging enough to re-examine the planet with superior instrumentation: technology that can sample the ejected water for
moons orbit Saturn. They come in a variety of compositions, from pure ice to rock and gas.
of Saturn’s moons are named.
percent. The amount of the total mass orbiting Saturn taken by the Titan moon.
spacecraft have ever visited Saturn or its moons.
evidence that biology does exist. This is the most recent discovery made by Cassini, which is nearing the end of its mission after spending 13 years exploring Saturn, its rings and moons. On 22nd April, the spacecraft will begin a journey where it will travel between the planet and its rings for 22 orbits before it crashes into Saturn’s atmosphere in September. “We’re pretty darn sure that the internal ocean of Enceladus is habitable and we need to go back and investigate it further,” commented Cassini scientist Dr Hunter Waite from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “If there is no life there, why not? And if there is, all the better. But you certainly want to ask the question because it’s almost as equally as interesting if there is no life there, given the conditions,” he informed BBC News. Cassini’s data also reveals levels
of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane measured in the Enceladus plume were unbalanced. This could offer an energy source that organisms could rely on for food, according to a paper published on 13th April in the journal of Science.
“If there is no life there, why not?” “It indicates there is chemical potential to support microbial systems,” stated J. Hunter Waite Jr., program director for the space science and engineering division at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio - lead author of the Science paper. In a different paper published on 13th April in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, another team of researchers successfully spotted what seems to be a similar plume rising from Europa, one of Jupiter’s large moons that also has an ocean
beneath its icy exterior. “The Cassini mission has really brought Enceladus to the fore in terms of the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System,” said British Cassini scientist Dr Andrew Coates. “The top three now I would say are about equal. There’s Mars, which may have had life 3.8 billion years ago when conditions were very different to what they are now. There’s Europa, which has a subsurface ocean; and now Enceladus. Those three may have, or had, the right conditions for life.” Dr Waite concluded: “For life, you need liquid water, organics, and the CHNOPS elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulphur). OK, we haven’t yet measured phosphorus and sulphur at Enceladus. But you also need some kind of metabolic energy source, and the new Cassini results are an important contribution in that regard.” Photo: Pixabay
25th April 2017
Top 15 tech innovations of the last 25 years Milly Godfrey Science Editor
Text messaging – 1992 1992 saw the first ever text message. Now one of the most commonly used forms of communication, the text message has grown from simple, short sentences to a full medium in and of itself including digital images, videos, sound bites and emojis. Texting has moved from short form of communication between casual and comfortable friends to have a place in business, family life, governmental practice and everything in between.
The DVD – 1995 The days of the VHS were numbered w h e n the high capacity DVD hit the stands in 1995; compact with explosive audio and brilliant visuals, the DVD became available for mass consumption when the price dropped from $100 per disk to $20.
Consumer digital cameras – mid 90’s The mid 90’s saw the increased accessibility in small, point and shoot digital cameras. The decrease in price meant photography and documentation was now anyone’s game. We said goodbye to elitism within photography and welcomed a new wave of excessive holiday pictures, school play videos and drunken selfies.
Nintendo 64 – 1996 Nintendo sold more than 20 million
64 consoles in the US alone and was the third home video game console up for international sale from the company. Not only do we have to include this console on the list for the sake of pure nostalgia but also to note the shift Nintendo has most recently taken in reverting back to 64-esque cartridges in their 2017 release, the Nintendo Switch. Our days of blowing on cartridges and jamming them back in aren’t over just yet.
Google search – 1997 It is pretty hard to imagine our lives without Google. What if I want to know the average number of spots on a leopard? Google it. How about the exact number of semi-detached houses in Iceland? Just Google it. As of 2016 Google Web Search is the most used search engine in the US, with a 64 percent market share, and realistically, I need tell you no more. Your life, my life, everyone’s lives would be substantially more annoying without Google.
DVR – 1998 The rise of DVR gave way to a new world of on demand television. We said goodbye to appointment television, watching our favourite shows whenever we wished AND being able to fast forward through the adverts was the way to go. Whilst TiVo and DVR meant the shows had to be recorded and re-watched at a later date, it certainly introduced the world to consumer driven viewing, encouraging the later development of on-demand television.
change the way we use the internet. From personal computers and hand held mobile devices to games consoles, cameras a n d printers – the modern w o r l d is Wi-Fi obsessed. The world wide web is near constant and there is nothing out of reach.
Online blogger platforms – 1999 With the rise of YouTube, bloggers and general internet fame we must give a nod of thanks to the development of blogging platforms such as Blogger, released in 1999. They have opened up entirely new and lucrative career paths created around maintaining an online presence and communicating via blogging and social media with an audience, enabling anyone to create and seek readership.
USB flash drive – 2000 Again, we can wax lyrical over the death of the floppy disk, but largely our lives have been made substantially easier with the introduction of the USB stick. Immediate and effective external storage made the transferring of documents and data a quick and painless experience, enabling the public to no longer be limited to email file size restrictions.
significance of Bluetooth connection when it comes to wireless connectivity.
Wikipedia – 2001 Even if you’re just using the random article generating button, we are all a little smarter from having Wikipedia in our lives. Despite the fact you’re told not to use it in your coursework, you still do, you just don’t put it in your bibliography. Wikipedia has become to go to answer of the world wide’s web of questions. Arguably, also its web of lies, as Wikipedia saw the rise of usercreated content and the sudden awareness of the unreliability of content within the internet. Needless to say, we still love it.
Digital camcorders – 2003 In 2003 Sony released the XDCAM tapeless video format, that allowed users to create video content that saved onto a memory chip instead of a tape. The revolution in this digital format meant the videos could easily be downloaded onto a computing system for storage as well editing. It also means your embarrassing toddler home videos can make it onto Facebook with complete ease – thank you Sony.
into the lives of the public was groundbreaking, having moved from only being available to the US military to wide public use, the world became that much easier to explore.
Iphone – 2007 The iPhone really showed the world the power of the touchscreen device. It took the world but storm and with the rise of the iPhone, came the rise of apps. Released in 2008, a year after the iPhone had Photo: Wikimedia, Scottrunning Kelly been up and and in the trembling hands of the general public, Apple released the App Store, unleashing a world of addictive games, photo editing apps and online shopping hubs so the world could be a finger tapping, slightly more beautiful than reality, penniless group of people. I salute you Apple. Photo: Harlequeen, Wikimedia
360 Camera – 2017
Really, it’s a no brainer. As much as we can wax nostalgic about the old dial up tone and having to hop off Miniclip when someone wanted to use the phone, Wi-Fi really did
Making the list purely for the primary school days of ‘bluetoothing’ a song to your friend so they could have the best ring tone, Bluetooth made file sharing easy. It took a while and we may have all had to stand with our phones piled on top of each other but there is no understating the
Not everyone can be blessed with a perfect sense of direction, and for those lucky enough not to know their streets from their avenues, G o o g l e Maps is here to save the day. The general introduction of GPS
The selfie stick wasn’t enough. We didn’t simply want to be able to see a picture of your outfit from one angle – we wanted it from ALL angles. The 360 camera make your dodgey panoramas less glitchy and ensures everyone included has the correct limbs in the correct place and of the correct length. With the rise of the 360 cam, we’re seeing Youtube content from the likes of Casey Neistat sailing through New York or on the Oscars red carpet as well as an increase in 360 images on Facebook. Photo: iPhone, Karlis Dambrans, Flickr; all others Pixabay.
recognition software could not detect her face, but worked fine for lighter-skinned colleagues. She then found a way to make it detect her: she wore a white mask, which was enough for the software to recognise her. This was a problem that Buolamwini had encountered before, when, as an undergraduate studying computer science, she worked on social robots. Buolamwini said: “one of my tasks was to get a robot to play peekaboo… the problem is peekaboo doesn’t really work if I can’t see you, and the robot couldn’t see me. “I borrowed my roommate’s face for the assignment and figured someone else will solve this problem.” Facial recognition software is
developed using machine learning, by showing the program a data set that teaches it what a face is and what is not, and how to detect other faces. If the data set does not include a diverse range of faces, then the software will not learn to recognise anyone not included in that data set. Buolamwini wants to see more “full spectrum data sets” which would improve the accuracy of facial recognition software when used by people who were omitted from the data sets used in the generic version of the software. She warned that the consequences of not doing this could be very serious: “Algorithmic bias can lead to discriminatory practices. US police departments are starting to use facial recognition software as part of their crime
fighting arsenal. A report showed that almost one in two Americans have their faces in facial recognition networks. Police can use these despite the algorithms not having been checked for accuracy. The software is often unreliable, and mislabelling a wanted criminal is no laughing matter.” To help to solve this problem Buolamwini said that we need “more inclusive coding” and “diverse teams working on the code who can check each other’s blind spots.” The most recent diversity reports from big tech companies show that there is a long way to go on that front. Google said that 19 percent of its tech staff are women and only one percent are black. That compares to 17.5 percent female and 2.7 percent black or African
American at Microsoft, and 17 and one percent respectively amongst Facebook’s tech team. Buolamwini launched the AJL so that anyone who wanted to help could “report biases in algorithms or become a tester.” Issues surrounding the lack of diversity within coding have been around for a long time. It was only in July 2015 that the Unicode Consortium (the organisation that makes it possible for the scripts of hundreds of languages to be used in coding, or as most people know them: the people who decide upon new emojis) finally decided to add an emoji that represented nonwhite people. They did this using five modifier characters that could be applied depending on which skin Photo: oftothe Capitol tone the Architect user wanted use.
Wi-Fi – 1998
Bluetooth – 2000
Google Maps – 2005
Racist artificial intelligence? James Chesson Online Editor
Searching on Google images for “person” returns largely white results. That may not sound too alarming and it is unlikely that there is anything malicious behind it, but there are increasing concerns that this is a consequence of the algorithms behind search results being trained on sets of data that lack diversity. In 2016 an organisation called the Algorithmic Justice League (AJL) was launched by Joy Buolamwini, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology postgraduate student, to attempt to combat the biases in written code. Buolamwini found that facial
25th April 2017
Are you ever prepared?
Jessica FrankKeyes considers the ramifications of Holocaust tourism
The bus rattled through the Polish countryside. The road snaked between farms and fields as it skidded through villages, with heavy glass windows trapping the heat of the blazing sun. Inside, we were chatting, squabbling over a map, and eating bagels crusted with salt; still happily concerned with the minutiae of our journey. But as we journeyed higher into the hills surrounding the city, my thoughts turned increasingly to our destination. We had been warned – by travel websites, well-meaning strangers at the airport, and our concerned, and slightly confused,
relatives – to come prepared. “Take your own water, and food.” “It’ll feel weird spending money there.” “You’re going on holiday WHERE?” I couldn’t help wondering, with the best will, and all the guidebooks, in the world, can you ever come prepared to a place like this? The bus drew into a gravel car park, on the outskirts of the village of Oswiecim, better known by its German name. We clambered down the metal steps, and into the scorching midday sun. Grateful that we had taken one piece
of advice and brought along plenty of water, we headed towards the entrance. Auschwitz. Words disappeared from our mouths as the infamous metal gates came into view, shimmering in the heat. Conversations in Polish, English, French, and Spanish faded into uncomfortable silence as tour groups stepped under the heavy archways: resolute and grey against the gloriously blue sky, and somehow so much smaller than I’d imagined. It really was an insensitively beautiful day, I thought, before silently rebuking
myself. As though the weather made a difference. The tour of the camp is conducted via headsets, to keep noise to a minimum. The guides speak a wealth of European languages – with one conspicuous absence. Flowers – weeds really – curl around concrete posts supporting thick, jagged layers of barbed wire, delineating where the real world ends and hell begins. The soil of Auschwitz has continued to support life, long after the deathly machinery of the camp ground to a halt. It was hard to know how to react to being there, and the
simple act of taking a photograph felt astoundingly insensitive. Was the fact I was technically there to research my dissertation a good enough reason to use my camera? I'm still not sure. Back in the city that evening, and quietly shaken from all that we’d seen, every response seemed inappropriate. Heading to a bar, insensitive; yet staying in our hotel room, self-indulgent. We settled on dinner, reluctantly enjoying the beautiful last night of the trip, and horribly aware of our proximity to a place we knew we'd never be able to forget.
25th April 2017
Concrete hits the road
From LA to Sri Lanka, Concrete's travel editor catches up with where our alumni have ended up Photos: LA (Pixabay, Upsplash); Machu Pichu (Pixabay, HolaMA); Sri Lanka (Wikimedia, Patty Ho); Seoul (Public Domain Pictures, Neothinker); Map (Wikimedia)
South Korea Hollywood
Sri Lanka Peru
Jennifer Redfern Travel Editor In the 25 years since Concrete first churned through the printing press, the newspaper has been home to countless editors, reporters, writers and copy editors. Although this network of Concrete alumni were once all nestled in Norwich, since graduating the group have spread their wings, with many seeking new pastures abroad. Concrete Travel have spoken to some of these alumni who give their opinions and advice to you on how and why you should pick up your bags and work abroad. It is a well known fact that living abroad is a beneficial factor in employability. Moving country proves adaptability and flexibility as well as negotiation skills, confidence, resilience and determination; all of which are important transferable skills for the workplace. The 20022003 Editor-in-chief of Concrete, Katie Hind, says that she "didn’t realise quite the magnitude of respect you’re given for upping sticks and moving abroad" when she became the Los Angeles Editor for the Mirror newspaper, and moved
to Hollywood. "It demonstrates so many important and impressive characteristics," she says, "Settling in an unknown place […] takes a certain amount of resolve. I also made a new set of contacts and had the opportunity to do some fantastic pieces of work which nobody can ever take away. I think in every single industry - journalism included - working abroad gives you a huge edge over other candidates when getting a job." Of course, working abroad is not always that simple. Planning is essential; job-hunting abroad is often more difficult because of visa requirements, which can be challenging to obtain, especially if your desired destination is the USA. Katie says her "one, overriding piece of advice would be to prepare and research. What visa to do you need? Where will you live? Oh, and what’s the deal with a credit rating?" She also advises those thinking of making the move to ensure they have the finances. "Moving abroad is not cheap," she warns. Harriet Farnham agrees that planning is essential. The former Concrete Arts Editor who worked for an educational charity in northern Peru for eight months
says that those hoping to do similar work should "be really fussy" when choosing an organisation and should look to "avoid volunteer or internship tourism - it exploits you, disadvantages locals and reinforces imperialist and oppressive power structures." Researching your organisation and role is crucial. Realising all was it is not as it seemed in the UK is an expensive mistake to make.
"Working abroad is a way to combine your career with travelling. While most long travelling trips would require you to quit your job, working abroad is a way to really explore a different way of life while continuing your professional life"
Former travel writer, Cameron Tucker, who has lived and worked in Sri Lanka and South Korea suggests this preparation is beneficial to help you settle in. "Looking up the company you'll be working for, your future bosses, the part of the city/
town you'll be working and living in, even the best eateries in the area," he says, "will not only paint you a clear picture of your new environment but will also endear you to new colleagues. Showing you have a keen interest in embracing the job and culture doesn't go unnoticed." Moreover, Harriet and Katie agree that working abroad is a fantastic experience. Being based in a new location provides easy access to whole new areas of the world to explore as places that once seemed obscure and distant become local. Harriet says that during the organisation's school holidays she was able to use the time off to travel to Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Bolivia and she gained friends all over Latin America. Living abroad provides a valuable global network and excuses for countless holidays if you ever make a permanent move home. Similarly Katie says that her base in LA allowed her travel extensively in the USA: "I could travel anywhere on the West Coast of America quite easily. I fell in love with San Diego, San Francisco was a regular weekend getaway and Las Vegas became my second home (I went 12 times in 15 months – mostly for
work – honest)." She also travelled for work to Yosemite National Park, the Superbowl in Arizona, North and South Carolina, Boston and Miami. Working abroad is a way to combine your career with travelling. While most long travelling trips would require you to quit your job, working abroad is a way to really explore a different way of life while continuing your professional life. If you can find a job where local travel is required, like Katie, you can really combine the two. However, while living abroad has its pros, there also can be cons. Settling in to a new, unknown place is daunting and can be alienating. "The main difference between a holiday and moving abroad," Katie says, "is that you’re not coming home anytime soon. You have to like it or lump it and in the beginning, that can be tough." Nevertheless, that is not to say that only the strongest, most confident of characters can take the plunge. The experience of living abroad is character building, and you will undoubtedly return more selfassured than when you left. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You might even get a suntan while you’re at it.
25th April 2017
Richard Ewart says new franchise cricket plans are doomed to failure With English cricket set for its biggest reorganisation in recent history, it is hard to foresee anything other than the decline of the domestic game. The new, eight city-based team T20 competition is on track to commence in 2020 and despite opposition from several first class counties, it is highly likely to receive the two-thirds of votes needed to ratify the amendment to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) constitution.
“The chairman of the ECB even shockingly described his own competition as ‘mediocre’” However, the project has received significant criticism from several quarters: organised supporters groups such as the
Barmy Army, first class counties including Essex and Middlesex and the majority of many counties’ members. Indeed, it is hard to feel optimistic about the new competition given the hypocrisy in its marketing. The ECB has promised to pour millions into the new tournament, while the T20 Blast has received limited promotion and the chairman of the ECB even shockingly described his own competition as ‘mediocre’. His assessment does not stand up to scrutiny with the last T20 World Cup runners up largely learning the game in the English domestic competition and attendances increasing every year since it was rebranded. As well as this, the YouGov Sports Index Report placed the Blast in the top 10 sporting events in terms of public perception for the first time this year. The ECB has been promised that
the new competition will receive ‘significant’ free-to-air coverage to increase public awareness, but the Blast is not afforded the same luxury. Instead, it has been hidden behind the Sky paywall. Much has been made of emulating Australia’s Big Bash competition; every match in this tournament is available to watch for free. It has been proposed that the T20 Blast should be played alongside the new competition. This, however, will fail in the long run. With 15 man squad, including three overseas players, the best 96 English players will not feature in the T20 Blast and there will likely be no overseas players in the existing Blast. Counties that do not have a city franchise (the majority) will suffer due to a shortage of interest in a diluted tournament. The proposed £1.3m that counties will receive won’t make up for the lack of
exposure fans have to good quality, live cricket. The new competition could also harm England’s chances in future global 50 over competitions. With the country’s best players, both in the England team and those hoping to break into it, playing in the franchise T20 tournament they may have to miss the domestic one day competition. Those who do not play in one day internationals (ODIs) will have their access to 50 over cricket severely limited. All things considered, it is clear that smaller counties, possibly the England team and most importantly the public look set to suffer as a result of the new competition. Hopefully the counties currently sitting on the fence, such
as Kent and Surrey, follow the example of Middlesex and Essex in opposing the proposals.
Photo: commons.wikimedia. org, Marie-Lan Nguyen
Vettel on top as F1 season gets underway Andrew MacKenzie Sports Writer A new era in Formula One has brought a change in the guard at the top of the championship table, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel topping the standings after three races of the 2017 season. Vettel has outperformed Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton amidst new challenges to the sport after the introduction of new regulations in the close season. One of the main worries ahead of the season opener in Australia was the ability of the cars to overtake. With extra downforce and wider tyres, the cars were rumoured to be three to five seconds a lap faster than their previous incarnations, allowing for shorter breaking zones but slower speeds on the straights, making overtaking more difficult. That threat was realised early on in Melbourne when Jolyon Palmer slammed his Renault into the wall in practice. Elsewhere, Antonio Giovinazzi temporarily replaced Pascal Wehrlein, while Daniel Ricciardo’s crash in qualifying left the Aussie at the back of the grid in his home grand prix. Mercedes pair Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas qualified first and third respectively, with Vettel splitting the duo into second. The race itself confirmed the early worries regarding overtaking. Rookie Lance Stroll briefly dispelled those fears on the opening lap by moving up five places, but the race only saw 13 overtakes in total on an afternoon devoid of wheel-to-wheel action. Ricciardo, meanwhile, who had qualified at the back of the grid failed to make the start at all and when his car eventually did get go-
ing was limited to just 26 laps before an impromptu retirement. For Hamilton it was human error that cost the three-time world champion the opener at Albert Park, Mercedes opting to pit the Stevenage-born driver earlier than planned, which left him stuck behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Vettel, on the other hand, pitted at the optimum time and emerged just in front of the battling pair of Hamilton and Verstappen to breeze home and secure a first race win since taking the flag at Singapore in 2015. V e t t e l could not continue his
Australia dominance in China, however, Hamilton resurgent in securing his first victory of the 2017 season to move level on points with the German at the top of the fledgling standings. The Chinese Grand Prix also saw the first ever running of the newly modified cars in wet conditions along with the first ever time a practice session had been postponed due to smog. Nevertheless, an interesting qualifying saw Stroll qualify in the top 10 for the first time while it was a repeat of the top three that lined up two weeks previous in M e l bourne, Ve t t e l o n c e a g a i n splitting the two Mercedes drivers. A wet Sunday morning meant that the majority of drivers began on intermediates, but not Carlos
Sebastian Vettel: commons.wikimedia.org,
Sainz Jr who chose slicks. That decision was not rewarded and the Spaniard fell back through the grid before eventually spinning and putting his car into the wall. Going in the opposite direction was Verstappen, the Dutchman moving from 16th to 10th by the end of an impressive first lap. Stroll continued to find F1 no walk in the park following a clash with Perez, while Sainz’s gamble eventually paid off, the Toro Rosso driver moved up to seventh after a positive start.
“For Hamilton it was human error that cost the three-time world champion the opener at Albert Park, Mercedes opting to pit the Stevenage-born driver earlier than planned” Verstappen and Vettel both quashed any fears of a dull race by pulling off a series of overtakes as the current and former Red Bull drivers moved up to third and second respectively. There was to be no repeat podium for Bottas, however, the Finn floundering behind the safety car while attempting to warm his tyres before coming home in sixth place. Hamilton on the other hand was supreme across the whole afternoon to claim a recordbreaking fifth victory in Shanghai to move onto joint points with Vettel at the top of the drivers table. The most recent race in Bahrain saw the return of Pascal Wehlein to the starting grid for his Sauber debut and the return of Bottas’ form after an out of character slip in China. Again, though, it was Hamilton and Vettel who led the pack, the pair exchanging places for the third
race in a row as Vettel claimed his second victory of the season to take sole charge at the top of the standings. The Mercedes race strategy was thrown into doubt at an early stage. Bottas, who had qualified on pole for the first time in his career, held up the field and allowed Vettel and Verstappen to undercut the Mercedes drivers and gain crucial time in the pit stop window. Unfortunately for Verstappen the Dutchman enjoyed little luck with his brakes failing shortly after. Vettel’s plan was almost scuppered following the introduction of a safety car after a collision between Stroll and Sainz, but a five second time penalty for Hamilton bought the Ferrari driver some much needed leeway. It allowed Vettel to take out a commanding lead over his title rival and claim his second victory of the season. Aside from the ongoing battle between Vettel and Hamilton, one of the biggest talking points has been the performance of McLaren, with engine supplier Honda under considerable scrutiny after a poor start to the season.
“Vettel could not continue his Australia dominance in China” The poor engine reliability has led to question marks over the willingness of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne to remain at McLaren, with Alonso taking the surprise move to compete in the Indianapolis 500 over the Monaco Grand Prix next month. While it is yet more misery for McLaren, this season is shaping up to be an intriguing contest between Hamilton and Vettel as to who will take home the drivers’ crown once again. It is Vettel that currently holds the advantage with 68 points to Hamilton’s 61.
25th April 2017
UEA Golf win treble: league, cup & Derby Day Owen Clouting Sports Writer Golf has always been a small society at UEA. With the number of members struggling to break thirty and the club settling for consistent, but mid-table league finishes in the last five years, there was a lack of serious success. That was, until this academic year. This year UEA Golf managed to achieve the treble of winning the league, cup and Derby Day, remaining unbeaten throughout. A change in golf club helped the team’s performances massively. A potential move to Eaton had been planned and negotiated for three years and thanks to work from the committee, UEA Sport, England Golf and Eaton Golf Club, the move was finally able to take place. This has made practice far more frequent thanks to the closer location. The players are therefore always sharp for matches, as shown by the side’s great record. It has also improved participation, with more players joining this year than in the previous five. Coupled with this are the improved conditions and it’s obvious this has made a huge difference. UEA Golf had two big moments in which this season hung on a tightrope between winning and losing massive events. The first was in the league when the team was 3-2 down with one match to be decided. I was given the chance to hole a six-foot putt to win his match and gain a halve for the team, in what turned out to be a crucial tie for the league
overall against Loughborough 3s. Thankfully, in front of a crowd of 40 players the ball dropped in and UEA came home with a hard fought halved hole against what transpired to be the second best team in the division behind UEA. The other turning point was in the last BUCS game in the Conference Cup final. With it being the first time the team had ever made it to the final, it was a massive moment for the club but what was to occur was even greater.
“A potential move to Eaton had been planned and negotiated for three years and thanks to work from the committe, UEA Sport, England Golf and Eaton Golf Club was finally able to take place” The first four matches were settled 2-2 between UEA and Birmingham 4s with two points left to be decided. The outlook was bleak; both players only had two holes remaining, Charlie Moore was one down and Charlie Monk was two down. They needed to win all the remaining holes to win and if not, try and tie the match to ensure a play-off. Thanks to some incredible skill, determination and mental strength the two Charlies won their
UEA Golf Society penultimate and final holes meaning that the overall score finished UEA 3.5 Birmingham 4s 2.5. Against a side which fielded two professionals this was an incredible moment in which victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. A serious reason for the success of the team has to be down to the improvement in the squad. The team is now able to pick a six
Owner woes for relegated Orient Nick Murphy Sport Editor English football has long been a target for rich investors looking to make a quick return on their money by chasing the Premier League dream. At Leyton Orient, a club that was one penalty kick away from reaching the second tier of English football back in 2014, that dream could not be further away. The O’s, renowned as London’s oldest professional football club, are heading for nonleague football for the first time in their history. Their slide has been a cautionary tale. When the club was solid to enigmatic Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti for a princely £3.3 million by long term owner Barry Hearn in 2014, they were supposed to go to the next level. What they did not realise, however, was that the next level would consist of trips to Solihull, Fylde and Guiseley, rather than Sunderland, Fulham and Norwich City. While Becchetti may have initially delivered on his promise to
put money into the club, his time, devotion and care has been left somewhat wanting. The club, as a result, has bounced from crisis to crisis. Players have been forced to loan money from the PFA, club staff have been left unpaid while the Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT), have recently been asked by the FA to pay the wages of the club’s matchday medical staff prior to a recent game at home to Hartlepool United. To give money and fund the club at this dire stage would be to give validation to Becchetti’s model of ownership, an action that unsurprisingly does not sit well with the club’s legion of protesting supporters. Now with a squad consisting almost entirely of youth players from the club’s academy, Leyton Orient are staring relegation and possible extinction square in the face. Only a last minute cash injection from Becchetti last month prevented Orient being wound up by HMRC, while players and staff have been replaced or left unpaid twice in the last two months. The club has also gone through eleven managers in three years, leaving
this once bastion of stability to crash and burn in the now murky waters of energy entrepreneur Becchetti’s dodgy business dealings. And what is perhaps the most galling part of the whole sorry saga is that these crimes are fresh. Becchetti and his mafia of meddling intermediaries have been sucking the life out of Orient. Leyton Orient represent the microcosm of the ownership model that engulfs perilous clubs in the bottom two tiers of English football. For Leyton Orient, see also Coventry City, Blackpool and to an extent, Charlton Athletic. This quartet of the Football League’s stellar names, three of whom are previous FA Cup winners, have suffered under absent owners and club custodians who have neglected not only the needs of the club themselves, but also the wishes of supporters - the true owners of any football club. These clubs are not the first and will not be the last to fall into the hands of unscrupulous businessmen, but it is surely time that the FA wake up and act to implement a proper ‘Fit and Proper Person’ test that is worth the paper it is written on.
person team from ten players who all play off single figure handicaps. In previous years, having three players of this standard was almost unheard of, but a lot of practice and some strong freshers has added some serious quality to the team. As a result, UEA Golf has become a team full of talent which has blown away opposition that had previously been a challenging test.
Overall, it has been an incredible year. Finishing top of the table and winning the cup for the first time was more than anyone could have dreamed of at the start of the year. Off the back of an emphatic whitewash victory over Essex in Derby Day, the team now hope to push on and maintain this high standard going into next academic year.
Continued from back page
Only two Championship teams have conceded more goals this season than the 66 that the Canaries have let in: relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest (70) and rockbottom Rotherham United (96). At the other end of the pitch Norwich have performed very well, however, with 76 goals. Fulham are the only side who have scored more. Their form has improved since Alex Neil was sacked, which will leave the fans wondering what might have been had a new manager been brought in earlier on in the season. By the time the change finally happened, promotion was already a long shot for the Canaries, and it has proven too much work for Irvine to do in such a short period of time. Irvine has been unable to introduce any real consistency to Norwich’s performances, but he has unquestionably made them more exciting and unpredictable than they have been for most of the season. Relegated in 2013-14, promoted in 2014-15, relegated again in 2015-16, but 2016-17 will end in disappointment with one of English football’s perpetual yo-yo clubs staying in the Championship for another season. Norwich crest: Flickr, pittaya
The home side won 2-0 thanks to two bizarre own goals by Brighton goal keeper David Stockdale, both of which came from long-range shots by Pritchard that rebounded off the frame of the goal, struck Stockdale on the back, and rolled into the net. The first Pritchard strike was a powerful drive that smashed into the cross bar before bouncing off the unfortunate Stockdale and into the net. The second was a curling effort that hit the post before squirming in. Brighton put in a performance that was far below their usual high standard, but a relatively comfortable win against the likely champions shows the potential that Norwich possess but have been unable to capitalise on this season.
“Only two Championship teams have conceded more goals this season than the 66 that the Canaries have let in” Norwich’s failure to reach the play-offs can mostly be attributed to their awful defensive record.
25th April 2017
Sport25 From Bayern to Brentford: Norwich City since 1992
Clockwise from top left: Flickr.com, Grant Stantiall; Geograph.org.uk, Martin Thirkettle; commons.wikimedia.org, Dweller; Flickr.com, Nick Claud Letts Sports Writer As Concrete reaches its 25th birthday, the university’s local football club, Norwich City, have enjoyed tremendous highs and heart-aching lows. This has included the club’s most successful campaign during the inaugural 1992-93 Premier League season, its demoralising relegation to League One, and its recent revival and reputation as a yo-yo club between the Premier League and Championship. The 1992-93 season of the Premier League remains City’s finest in the top flight. The Canaries emerged as tenacious title challengers. Inspired by the management of maverick Mike Walker, they were seven points clear at the top by Christmas. However, Norwich faltered in
the final weeks to finish third behind Manchester United and Aston Villa. The following season, the Canaries enjoyed their most famous victory in the UEFA Cup, defeating the heavily fancied Bayern Munich 2-1 away from home. However, Norwich’s success resulted in the departure of Walker to Everton and top scorer Chris Sutton soon followed to Blackburn for a national record £5m. City struggled to maintain their purple patch, and were relegated at the end of the 1994-95 season, ending their nine-season run in the top flight. Regaining promotion to the Premier League proved a bigger challenge than initially expected for the Canaries, with a series of midtable finishes. Chairman Robert Chase, responsible for steering City through its most successful period in history, was called to step down by supporters due to a succession of player sales and disappointing
results, leading to the beginning of the Delia Smith and Michael WynnJones period. Not even the return of club legend Mike Walker or the capture of former Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch improved the club’s fortunes. By December 2000, they were in danger of suffering another relegation, this time to the third tier. Smith installed Nigel Worthington as manager, which proved to be a turning point for the club. Worthington steered Norwich to safety, and the following season, led the Yellows to the play-off final, where they lost on penalties against Birmingham City. After nearly ten years away, Norwich returned to the Premier League as champions of the 2003- 04 Division One. However, their return to the top-flight was brief, as the club struggled for much of the 200405 campaign, with it ending in
relegation after a 6-0 defeat away to Fulham. Despite being pre-season favourites for an immediate return, Norwich struggled to challenge for promotion as results plummeted. Eventually, Worthington was sacked in October 2006. The Canaries then experienced their worst period in recent club history. Suffering relegation to League One in the 2008-09 season, City lost 7-1 to East Anglian rivals Colchester United in the first game of the season, resulting in the sacking of club legend and manager Bryan Gunn. Colchester’s manager, Paul Lambert, was announced as Gunn’s replacement, and led the club’s revival back to the Championship as League One champions. Lambert then led City to back-toback promotions from the third tier to the first, as they finished second thanks to the firepower of Grant Holt up front. Holt’s goal-scoring record did not stop there, bagging
fifteen goals in the Premier League as City achieved a comfortable midtable finish. Chris Hughton’s reign, although starting with a bad run of form, oversaw a club record unbeaten run in the Premier League, securing Norwich’s top flight survival. However, the Canaries struggled without Holt’s goals after he moved on to Wigan, and were subsequently relegated back to the Championship in the 2013-14 season. Their stay was brief as Alex Neil guided them to promotion once again, although this was only to be a temporary relief, as Norwich ended the 2015-16 season relegated to the Championship yet again. Norwich’s reputation as a maverick yo-yo club has ensured there is never a dull moment at Carrow Road. The future promises exciting times, with yet another new manager set to be installed for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Canaries miss out on end of season play-offs James Chesson Sports Writer Norwich City will end the season outside of the play-off places after an inconsistent run of form since caretaker manager Alan Irvine took over. The Canaries have won four, lost three and drawn one following the sacking of manager Alex Neil. That included an extraordinary 7-1 home win over automatic promotion hopefuls Reading. Norwich scored
six first-half goals as they blew away the Royals with a dominant attacking display. Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard both scored a brace, with Nelson Oliveira and Russell Martin adding the other first half goals before Cameron Jerome scored with 89 minutes on the clock. Yann Kermogant scored a 39th minute consolation for Reading with his side already 4-0 down. Norwich then faced fellow playoff challengers Fulham at Carrow
Road, but they were unable to carry any momentum from the previous game and fell to a 3-1 defeat. That was despite the away side being down to ten men for much of the game following Chris Martin’s dismissal in first-half injury time for elbowing Norwich left-back Mitchell Dijks as they contested a long ball. That defeat meant Norwich’s chances of reaching the play-offs were virtually over, and on Easter Monday it became mathematically
impossible due to other results going against them, despite Irvine’s side claiming an impressive 3-1 win away at Preston North End.
“It is now impossible for Norwich to reach the play-offs due to other results going against them” Graham Dorrans and Josh Murphy helped the Canaries to a 2-0
lead at half-time. Tommy Spurr pulled one back for Preston midway through the second half, but 20-year-old attacking midfielder James Maddison sealed the win with his first senior goal for the club. With nothing left to play for, Norwich then welcomed league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion to Carrow Road, with the away side needing a win to clinch the title. Continued on page 53