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26 February 2019 Issue 362 The official student newspaper of the University of East Anglia |

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Midwife facing homelessness one of hundreds of students to drop out of UEA Shannon McDonagh News Editor

A midwifery student is facing homelessness and having to drop out of her course, after resorting to starving herself and food parcels to make ends meet. She is just one of hundreds of students to have dropped out of UEA. Last year, 624 students dropped out of university, citing a range of cicumstances, including mental health issues and a lack of financial support. The international midwifery student said: ‘I had a

different idea of what my timetable at UEA would be like. I was aware I couldn’t get a maintenance loan but I thought I could get an EU bursary that would cover my rent. ‘When I came here it turns out it only covers half of it.’ She said her course involved completing weekly 40 hour work placements with no external financial support.

Continued on



What is UEA doing for LGBTQ+ students? I made a promise to myself prior to starting university that I would push myself to be authentically queer, whatever that meant, and without really knowing what the implications of doing so were.



The dead centre; resignations help no one

On the morning of 18 February, seven MPs – Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, and Chuka Umunna – resigned from the Labour Party.


26th February 2019


Editorial Photo: Matt Nixon

Not too late to get involved Matt Nixon Deputy Editor

It's the taking part that counts Sophie Bunce Editor-in-Chief

It’s awards season, which means preparing to submit our best work to this year’s SPA Awards, hoping a panel of professional journalists approve of what we’ve done. Going over our submissions reminded me why I jumped into journalism. I like to hear brilliant people saying brilliant things; it seems our readers do too. Our most read articles from last issue got hundreds, if not thousands of views in one day. It is a credit to our writers and committed readers that we have such an engaged platform. But while the awards rejuvenated my excitement for this whole thing, it sent me into a state of premature nostalgia. With three months still to go, the awards are the beginning of the end. Hopefully, an end that involves less wine than last year; the SPA’s know how to win over student journalists. Check out Comment’s commentary ‘The dead centre; resignations help no one’ to hear what Joe Williams thought about the mass resignations. I first saw the news via a Facebook meme account that churned out mockery mere minutes

Clarifications and corrections In Issue 361 of Concrete, published on 29 January an article headlined ‘Students wait months due to prescription shortages’ said the UEA Medical Centre had been contacted for comment. Regrettably this was not the case and Concrete apologises for any confusion and distress caused. This article also appeared on the Concrete website with the headline ‘UEA Medical Centre leaves students waiting for prescriptions.’ Concrete is pleased clarify the medicine shortage is not the fault of UEA Medical Centre, but national shortages, and the headline has been updated to reflect this. Concrete again apologises for any confusion and distress caused. The Medical Centre gave the

One of our submissions to Best Feature is Jess Barrett’s article ‘One minute and a learning disability’ on page 11 where she talks about her life as a twin to a sister with autism.

As a twin, I found reading about her experience enlightening. My brother and I are part of a codependent pair, even in our twenties, but Jess’s relationship with her sister is more than that. She’s a sister, and ‘also a teacher, a therapist and counsellor.’ I liked getting to know Emily through Jess’s article and I hope the judges feel the same. Our front page, written by News Editor Shannon McDonagh, takes a look at the 624 students that dropped out of UEA in the 2017/18 academic year. I urge anyone affected by the issues mentioned in this article, to contact Student Support Services in house, at studentsupport@uea., or by calling 01603 592761. Given the recent news on campus, that a body was found in the lake believed to be that of Nick Sadler, I can only urge those who need help to seek it. To those affected, I'm sorry. I have nothing to say but I am so sorry for what you are going through. As always, follow socials, get in contact if you have any pitches, and meet us in Red Bar at 7pm on Tuesday for Post-Pub Pub (after publication pint). We would love to see you there. Wish us luck with the awards but as long as we are proud of our work, that’s all that matters. Right?

following statement; 'Whilst we agree that disruption of medicine supply can be difficult for patients, pharmacists and prescribers alike, this is not a new problem. The Department of Health and the Pharmaceutical Industry set up the Stock Shortage Notification Scheme in 2007 to improve the monitoring of potential supply problems. GPs are regularly updated as to problems with medicine availability, and in the event that we prescribe a medication that is currently unavailable, the pharmacy should inform the GP and advise us on an alternative prescription, which is done as soon as is practicable. UEA Medical Centre prides itself on having a robust and efficient repeat prescribing service with a 2-working day turn around for repeat prescription requests. We

were surprised and disappointed to find out that this article had been published when we had neither been approached for comment, nor informed that it would be going ahead. We do our best to provide an excellent service to students beyond that provided by neighbouring practices, including staying open and available for prescriptions to be picked up at lunchtimes and Saturday mornings and sometimes providing repeat prescriptions at short notice when students have forgotten to re-order at the correct time. We also work hard to ensure that students can have prescriptions directed to pharmacists all over the country during university vacations so that their supply is not interrupted.'

after the announcement. Chris rushed this into the content call as soon as he heard the news. While Joe’s commentary offers a significantly more thoughtful take on the situation, I can’t help but notice how as a society, we consume politics like trashy TV; we binge on it and then almost immediately forget what happened. Another episode will be on tomorrow. Another meme will appear. Read the article though - it’s well-written.

"I can’t help but notice how as a society consume politics like trashy TV. We binge on it and then almost immediately forget what happened"

As you’ll have read in Sophie’s editorial, we’re now fast approaching the annual Student Journalism Awards hosted by the Student Publication Association, something our whole team is excited for. It’s a chance to get recognition for the hard work of all our writers, photographers, editors and the rest during this past year. I have to agree with Sophie and say that, while this is an exciting time of year, it’s also one tinged with sadness and nostalgia - personally I'm realising how quickly the year has passed since the old editorial team went to Cardiff, and picturing how much Concrete has changed in that time, as well as how it will continue to grow in its future. It won't be long until we will be opening up our editorial positions and handing over to a new team. Editing this issue, I can see Concrete's definitely in safe hands. While the deadline for applying to the awards has passed, the opportunity to get involved with student journalism is always open. Whether you've already written for us, are already an editor, or are still yet to get your name in the paper while at university, it's never too late to join in.It's been just over two years since I first wrote for Concrete, and in that time I've learned loads, progressed as a writer, and made some great, and very talented, friends. This issue, these friends have written some fantastic stories, showcasing precisely what Concrete is all about. Jess Barrett’s feature on being a twin sister to somebody with autism is touching, and so too is Mia Shah’s article on access to maternity care in Malawi. While this issue is filled with equally compelling articles, these two stand out to me especially. If you're wondering how you can get involved with Concrete, search for us on the SU website (there's also a QR code in HeyUEA, page 14!), or join our Facebook members’ group. Concrete_UEA concreteuea concrete_UEA Front page: Matt Nixon

The University of East Anglia’s Official Student newspaper since 1992 Tuesday 26th February 2019 Issue 362 Union House University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ 01603 593466

Editor-in-Chief Sophie Bunce Deputy Editor Matt Nixon Online Beth Bacon News Shannon McDonagh Senior Writer: Jake Morris Global Global Editor: George Goldberg Senior Writer: Jake Morris Features Features Editors: Chloe Howcroft and Mia Shah Senior Writer: Roo Pitt Comment C. E. Matthews Science Science Editor: Anna Jose Senior Reporter: Hannah Brown Travel Amy Newbery Sport Spot Editor: Tony Allen Senior Writer: Meyzi Adoni Chief Copy-Editors Holly Purdham Izzy Voice Social Media Beth Bennett

Editorial Enquiries Complaints & Corrections

No part of this newspaper may be reproduced by any means without the permission of the Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Bunce. 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.



26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

Midwife facing homelessness one of hundreds of students to drop out of UEA Shannon McDonagh

and transition arrangements to see what went well and what enhancements can be introduced in future years.

News Editor

Continued from front page

"I have nowhere

‘I explained how I came to be in financial distress to student support but they argued I knew from the beginning that I would be in this situation so did not give me the hardship fund,’ she said. ‘There wasn’t anything anyone could do so I resorted to slowly started starving myself. I got a food parcel from the university but you are only allowed two in an academic year so that only temporarily helped.’

to go and no money"

‘We promote the academic advising system which supports students in their studies and our student support service offers a range of support in a range of styles. In response to student concerns, Jenna Chapman, undergraduate education officer, said: ‘That’s why I’m working with colleagues at UEA to improve training for academic advisors including the opportunity for some to receive mental health first aid training.’

"I'm sure I just slipped through their radar, not intentional, just probably too much to help" ‘The university needs me to leave my accomodation by Wednesday and I have nowhere to go and no money. I don’t feel supported by the university and feel they could have done more to help.’ A spokesperson for the university said they would encourage all students to seek help from their schools or the union. They said: ‘It is disappointing to hear that our services and staff are not meeting expectations on some occasions and we would encourage students to alert these instances within their schools or to the students’ union, so we can improve accordingly.’ The university said dropouts statistics could overlap with students who intercalated in the same year. Students who choose to intercalate officially take a period of time out of their academic studies. Some also decide to drop out following the intercalated period. Concrete spoke with more than 40 students on their reasons for leaving UEA. A former computer science student, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that he left UEA in March last year due to ‘medical conditions surrounding health issues.’ He said student support services turned him away at a time of crisis. He said: ‘I was referred to a low mood workshop, went, didn’t go to the follow up session

"A spokesperson for the university said they would encourage all students to seek help from their schools or the union"

because I didn’t like how large the group was. I was never chased by the centre again even though I stated the position I was in, then eventually just left.’ ‘I’m sure I just slipped through their radar, not intentionally, just probably too much to help.’ A withdrawal survey conducted by the university in 2010 outlined six leading factors for dropping out: course content, academic

support, unfulfilled expectations of the course, personal support, the quality of teaching and illness. The report made recommendations on how to address the reasons students chose to leave UEA including streamlining the process for those contemplating dropping out and improving clarity on who assists students with the decision. A spokesperson for the

university said: ‘Our most recent figures (for academic years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16) show the proportion of students who continue their studies is around 95 percent, which has consistently placed us in the top 20 percent of universities nationwide for students continuing their studies. ‘To ensure students settle and get the most from their studies, schools reflect on their induction

Georgina Burchell, welfare, community and diversity officer, said: ‘The support for students on campus is of critical concern to us and students at UEA. We want all students to access to the right level of support and for staff to feel confident that they are equipped to give it. ‘UEA is the same size in terms of population as a small town and we must make sure services are up to scratch. It’s worrying to hear from Concrete the numbers of students who are leaving UEA – whilst taking a break from study might be the right thing for some people we will be working with UEA to make sure we dig into this further.’ If you are affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, contact Student Support Services at, or by calling 01603 592761.


26th February 2019


Body found in UEA Lake in search for Nick Sadler

Photo: Matt Nixon

Jake Morris

Senior News Reporter

Norfolk Police have issued a statement to say a body has been recovered from UEA lake following the search for missing student Nick Sadler. Norfolk Police said, ‘while formal identification is yet to take place, it is believed to be that of 25-year-old third year Nick Sadler who was reported missing from the

city on Thursday 7th February 2019.’ Emergency services were seen on campus from approximately 09:00am. This followed alleged reports that a man was captured on UEA CCTV by the lake at 4:30am on 8th February 2019, the same day Mr Sadler was reported missing. The spokesperson went on to say that Mr Sadler’s next of kin have been informed and that the death is being treated as unexplained, but the Police do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances.

Student launches series of political activism events Jack Ashton News Reporter

A series of political events aimed at making politics accessible and interesting for students are set to take place on campus throughout the remainder of the semester. ‘Reclaiming Our Future’, organised by Katie Hicks, a second year History student, will feature a variety of activities, ranging from political panels to activism workshops, aimed at inspiring and encouraging students to get involved in grassroots politics. The first event is due to take place on Saturday March 9 in Arts 2.38 and will be a political Q&A panel featuring voices from prominent left wing figures including Norwich South MP, Clive Lewis, Aaron Bastani, the founder of the media organisation ‘Novara Media’ and Jess Barnard, a local County Councillor in Norwich. Reclaiming Our Future hope to build on the success of this first panel by following it up with a Political Education Conference, which will cover 4 topics- The

Economy, the NHS/Mental Health, the Environment and Education. This panel will help achieve the campaign’s first aim- to engage and inform students, which will be followed by empowering and facilitating their activism. Special care has been taken to make sure the events are accessible to everyone, including choosing a room which enables discussion, enabling questions to be asked by proxy and disability access. Katie Hicks said the events ‘intended to set out an optimistic vision of politics which we can seek to collectively contribute to so that everyone feels like they can get involved… One of the major things that people feel is a barrier to politics is that they don’t feel like they have the right to have an opinion.’’ “Here [at UEA] you have so many people, in such a small space with common interests- it’s the perfect setting for solidarity. We have an abundance of people from all backgrounds and they just need a way in.’ Saturday March 9 in Arts 2.38

"The Police do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances" A UEA spokesperson said: ‘We

can confirm that the body of a man has been recovered by police divers from the UEA broad.’ ‘We are very saddened to hear this news and our thoughts continue to be with Nick’s friends and family at this difficult time. ‘Our Student Support Services (SSS) are putting on further group and one-to-one support sessions for students and staff who may be affected.’ A specialist police dive team from Nottinghamshire were called to assist in the search of the lake the

morning the body was found. An emergency ambulance appeared on scene at approximately midday. Student Support Services (SSS) are continuing to hold one-to-one sessions for those affected, which can be booked in advance via the SSS reception. The sessions are available to everyone and do not need to be booked in advance. To contact them, either call 01603 592761 or email studentsupport@

Chancellor to give speech for International Women's Day Cailin Cron News Reporter

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the university will be holding a number of events and workshops to help inspire and empower female students within UEA. International Women’s Day has taken place for over a century, beginning with its first gathering in 1911 which was supported by over a million people. International Women’s Day celebrates the global impact of women’s economic, social, political, and cultural achievements. The title ‘#SheCan’ will be used to advocate the values of the movement and spread the word of the event. A variety of skill-focused workshops will take place on the day with their aim being to “develop your skills and build confidence”. Such workshops include: working towards your future, developing communication skills, building your personal brand, and practising networking. The grand finale of the day will be an evening drinks networking event which will be held at the

Sainsbury’s Centre. During this event, students will have the opportunity to meet employers and listen to a panel comprising of a variety of influential women on their personal experiences within the business world. UEA Chancellor Karen Jones CBE will be taking part in the panel and delivering the keynote speech for the evening. A spokesperson for CareerCentral said: ‘What we really want is to ensure that all female identifying students leave UEA confident in their abilities, and inspired to achieve their career potential. We are delighted to host Karen Jones CBE, Chancellor of UEA, as keynote speaker at our evening

drinks reception. Her seasoned achievements include founding Café rouge and becoming CEO of the Spirit pub group, a testament to her drive to succeed’. All events taking place on the day will be free of charge for students and are bookable through the landing page on MyCareerCentral.

Photo: UEA


26th February 2019

News Universities UK director expresses Brexit fear

more because of this?"

Max Pleasance News Reporter

Bryan Theo Mfladi

The director of representative body Universities UK has published a lengthy blog post detailing the concerns of the higher education sector as the possibility of a ‘nodeal’ Brexit becomes increasingly plausible.

"The UK's participation in the Erasmus programme is case in point" Vivienne Stern has outlined her uneasiness about the future of UK universities as a part of the Erasmus programme along with calls to protest for the visas of higher education workers from the EEA with a lower salary requirement. Stern explains that ‘the future

News in brief Netball Club announce 'I'm A President...' fundraiser On the 15th of March, UEA Netball Club are hosting an I’m a Celebritystyle event at the LCR where 15 Presidents from both sports clubs and societies go head to head to compete to be crowned UEA’s best president. Those competing can expect to be experience a process of elimination through various bushtucker trials, with games to be played and prizes to be won for audience members throughout. All proceedings are going to the club to fundraise for their 5th and 6th team who are taking part in a tournament in March. Social secretaries Eilis Cassidy and Franki Mcleod said the club wanted to be inclusive to all of those at UEA’ and the theme was decided with the ‘intention of it being an annual event which could continue to support the club in the future’. With presidents involved ranging from Kayaking to Men’s Football, it is a great opportunity to have a variety of spectators and competitors alike. Florence Pond, Netball President, says ‘the event promises to be a fun night for all involved, whilst also being an excellent opportunity to fundraise for our club’.

Yasmin Scott-Gray

Comment Box: "Will I have to pay

Comment Writer

Photo: Wikimedia of the UK’s participation in the Erasmus programme is case in point'. It is understood that students in current placements will be able to continue their studies and will receive full funding until the end of their placement. The UK government has expressed a desire to remain in the Erasmus programme if the EU will agree however, according to Stern, ‘it is now clear that if we don’t succeed in securing this, there will be no national alternative to enable students to study abroad in Europe. If we lose Erasmus, there will be no scheme to replace it’. On March 27th, Stern will attend a meeting with 400 international higher education representatives

to discuss how universities on both sides of The Channel are preparing themselves for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. On the agenda will be how new bureaucratic hurdles such as immigration rules, changes in legal statuses and the re-establishing of old partnerships on a new basis will be overcome. Stern has also called on the government to lower the proposed salary requirement for EEA (European Economic Area) workers to gain a high-skilled work visa from £30,000 to £21,000. Stern claims, ‘assessing skills through the measure of salary alone is a blunt tool… While we recognise that migration checks and controls are necessary, they must not be at the cost of losing talent’.

Vivienne Stern raises valid concerns shared amongst myself and many other EU nationals. The UK used to look like an educational sanctuary to international students with it’s attractive universities and highly publicised international acceptance rates. But now? With the proposed Brexit date looming without any clear idea of what this would mean for international students such as myself, there is a nervousness in the atmosphere about the future of international students. My biggest concern is whether Brexit would lead to a hike in fee prices. Will I have to pay more because of this? Is the price of student visas going to hike like the IHS did recently? Will admission into universities for international students becoming increasingly high? Is Brexit a way of the UK ‘building a wall’ to keep us out?

The uncertainty is clearly scary because even until now, the government has not given us, international students - both current and prospective, EU and non-EU, any clear instruction or information about the full effect of Brexit on our studies at UK universities. I have been closely following Brexit for a couple of months now, including the historic loss of Theresa May’s Brexit proposal and I am still not sure what is going to happen to us when the proposed deadline of 29 March arrives. I think rushing the Brexit deal will have a detrimental effect to the UK. If they do not do things right, it may lead to a downfall in the economy and ruffled relations with the world market. This may also in turn discourage other international students from coming to study in the UK as they would fear the possibility of university fee spikes as universities try to manage the loss of international students who currently generate a fair amount of revenue for universities.

Universitytobegininvesting UEA researchers make iPhone in renewable energy battery breakthrough Laura Taylor News Reporter

The university has announced that it will begin to buy in green electricity from local, certified renewable sources. This is part of a larger effort to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint by 10,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2020. UEA has committed to a budget of £6.5million to meet this target, and with 2020 fast approaching efforts are being increased to stick to this deadline. As of 2016, 46 percent of the university’s electricity was produced by the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines originally installed in 1999, which is said to be 17 percent cleaner than electricity supplied by the National Grid. On the same day, Vice-Chancellor David Richardson became a signatory on the SDG Accord, an agreement across institutions worldwide which allows educational institutions to pledge their commitment into helping the UN achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. This means UEA will report yearly on its progress into helping achieve the SDGs, focusing on its efforts to incorporate sustainable development into the curriculum across departments.

This puts UEA among other leading UK universities already signatories of the accord and is a huge step for UEA in proving the university’s commitment to sustainable development. According to UEA’s Sustainability Officer, Kieya Rajasegaran, ‘our commitment to the SDG Accord is another example of how UEA continues to be a world leader in climate science, international development studies and other sustainability-related fields’. Rajasegaran also highlighted how the move to greener energy is certified as Renewable Energy of Guaranteed Origin (REGO), meaning it is ensured that all energy provided is renewable and does to contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Individual students can also pledge to the SDG Accord at

Nina-Maria Kienle News Reporter

Research at UEA has found a possible solution to short mobile battery life, over-heating handsets and expensive contracts. Dr Alexander Romanov and Professor Manfred Bochmann have identified molecules found in gold that increase efficiency in mobile phone screens. The traditionallyused iridium produces extra heat, however properties in gold allow for the energy to be spend solely on lighting up the screen. The two scientists have also found that when mixing with certain compounds, these properties of gold can glow. The discovery could have great societal impact as a phone’s battery can last up to four days without being charged and the absence of iridium decrease the overall cost of screen-tech. Dr Romanov and Professor Bochmann have teamed up with material experts to find whether energy can travel through polymers hosting the gold particles.

This could result in screens which can bend and stretch and possibly even respond to touch. ‘Your guess is as good as mine as to how far this can go’, said Dr Romanov. Four years ago, the scientists were accepted to the Norwich Research Park’s Translation Fund and just a year later were awarded a global patent. Now the team has secured a funding in excess of 1 million dollars from a screendeveloper in the Far East, working to create a world in which anyone can afford an OLED TV or smartphone.


26th February 2019


Youth climate change protests Working With Words event returns in March taken to Norwich City Centre Laura Taylor News Reporter

Norwich has become one of numerous cities nationally to take part in a wave of student climate strikes. On Friday 15 February, more than 10,000 students were absent from schools nationwide to protest the lack of government action for climate change. The strikes were initiated as part of action taken by 16 year old Greta Thunberg in Sweden. Coordinated by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), demands from the group of students include declaring a climate crisis in government, addressing the ecological crisis as an educational priority, increasing publicity of climate related issues, and lowering the voting age to 16. The demand to lower the voting age, although not directly related to climate change, is necessary as UKSCN says, ‘to

recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future’. It is the responsibility of individual headteachers in Norwich to determine whether or not students will face disciplinary action for truancy on the 15th, but some local schools have suggested their support for the action. Norwich South MP Clive Lewis tweeted: ‘So proud of our #Norwich #ClimateStrike students. Let’s make sure the best one is even bigger. #ClimateAction @GretaThunberg @ExtinctionR’ on the day when he was in attendance and took a stand to encourage protesters in their efforts. This has given some students hope in the democratic electoral system, which has previously faced criticism with respect to the issue of the climate. Lewis expressed his support for the children who gathered outside the Forum on the 15th, saying ‘Young people are absolutely right to be concerned and angry about the kind of future older generations are on course to bequeath to them.’ He also highlighted how young people around the world have been excluded from the climate debate a n d suggested ‘it’s vital their voices are heard now’.

UEA Philosophy Professor and Green Party Politician Rupert Read wrote about the strikes on the PPL school’s Eastminster blog; commending the students for their actions and highlighting the philosophical belief that school walkouts are ‘morally and politically justifiable’. Read highlights the fact that “children have no voice in this democratic system” despite the ‘biodiversity crisis affect[ing] children much more than adults’, supporting Lewis’ ideas despite approaching the issue in terms of philosophy. Read’s states that he disagrees with the actions of government and society thus far, suggesting that adults have ‘failed’ their children and led them into a future in which ‘society as we know it may have collapsed. He strongly believes that parents should be supporting their children, and take inspiration from, their dedication to protecting their future, emphasising his similar sentiment to Lewis. Read is a key figure in Norwich’s Extinction Rebellion protest group and regularly attends and talks at events designed to raise awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis. Further strikes are expected to take place globally on March 15th.

Photo: Wikimedia

Jess Barrett News Reporter

The university's annual Working With Words conference will be held this year on March 2nd. The event hosts over 40 speakers and the opportunity to sign up is available via CareerCentral. Working With Words seeks to deliver students looking to work in the creative industries insight and tools to maximise their employability, with the careers featured ranging from journalism to publishing. The speakers at the conference range from experience professionals who lead in their field along with recent UEA graduates in the beginning stages of their career paths. The event has scheduled 20 panels to run throughout the day, allowing students to tailor the experience to their specific interests. The conference last year was scheduled during the snow and subsequently cancelled, so this year is a fantastic way to go and hear

about what it is like to work with the creative industries. Authors such as Leo Hunt and Hayley Long will be speaking in the Author, Agent and Publisher session. UEA’s own Claire Hynes alongside Jess Frank-Keyes and Andrew Clavane will be speaking about journalism and how a career in journalism looks like in 2019. They will be sharing career stories and offer ideas about where and how to get started. A lot of the sessions revolve around creativity, ranging from Creating Content and SEO to Creative Collaborations. It is important to note that the conference is not restricted to those in schools such as LDC, HUM, AMA etc – there are also sessions on Games (running your own studio) as well as Political and Persuasive Writing/Radical Words about how political stories are covered in the media. The Working With Words Conference is one to not miss and will provide valuable information about beginning careers in the Creative Industries.

University of Essex under fire in antisemitism row Leia Butler News Reporter

Over the last few weeks, more than 200 students at the University of Essex have voted no against the formation of a Jewish society.

36% of students voted against the creation of a Jewish Society The vote was held on the student union website, with 36% of students voting no. The immense number of students who voted against a society celebrating Jewish identity has been described as ‘shocking’ by the UJS (Union of Jewish Students).

Photos: Wikimedia / Twitter The UJS released a statement noting they were ‘extremely disappointed’ by the number of students who didn’t think Jewish

students deserved a society where they were able to express and enjoy their culture. Following this result, it had

also come to light that professor Dr Maaruf Ali, who lectures in computers and electronics, has been sharing material on social media

which has been deemed antisemitic and antizionist. In wake of this news, the UJS have announced they will be in touch with the university regarding the worrying matter. They call for a ‘full disciplinary investigation’ and ‘the strongest possible sanction’ in response to Dr Ali’s behaviour. Following this, on the 22nd of February, the UJS shared their pleasure that there has now been a Jewish society established at the University of Essex, and it seems that the University is at least moving in the right direction to combat antisemitism within the community. The University of Essex have responded to the situation in a post which makes it clear that antisemitism will not be tolerated at the university. Dr Ali has been suspended whilst the investigation goes underway and the university will be holding a public event on Thursday the 28th of February in support of the Jewish community.


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26th February 2019

IS bride Shamima Begum wants to return to UK Scott Arthur Global Writer

Shamima Begum, one of the three schoolgirls who left London to join so-called ISIS in 2015, has admitted the she has no regrets about joining the group, but now wants to return to the UK.

“The 19-year-old described finding heads in bins and losing two children to ilness” In an interview with The Times, the 19-year-old described finding heads in bins and losing two children to illness during her time with the group. Begum has given birth to her third child and wishes to return to the UK so that her child will

not share the fate of her previous children. Begum also described how one of the other girls she travelled with was killed in an air strike by coalition forces. The whereabouts and wellbeing of the third girl is still unknown. Begum married a 27-year-old Dutch militant shortly after arriving in Syria and has said that she enjoyed ‘a normal life’ under the caliphate. She explained that finding decapitated heads in a bin ‘did not faze her’ because it came from ‘an enemy of Islam.’ Comments like this and an admission that she does not regret travelling to Syria to join the group have cast doubts on whether she should be allowed to re-enter the UK. While she was a child when she travelled to Syria, she is now an adult, and her lack of repentance is unlikely to endear her to the authorities. While the government may indeed decide that she can return to the UK, she

Brexit Box

seeking to discourage further acts of this nature.

Ben Wallace, the Minister of State for Security, has warned that anyone returning from Syria who was there in connection with the so-called Islamic State ‘should be prepared to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted.’ The Government have also ruled out attempting to help Begum return to the UK, with Wallace stating, ‘I’m not putting at risk British people’s lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state.’ W i t h Photos: fears that the Wikimedia unrepentant Commoms and

UK Parliament

teen could galvanise both Islamic extremists and right-wing extremists, it would also pose a challenge for the police to keep Begum safe in the event that she did return to the UK. Sir Peter Fahy, the former head of the controversial P R E V E N T programme, has suggested that the Government is ‘not particularly interested’ in facilitating the return of Begum or any other Briton from the former territory of socalled ISIS. And with a lack of willingness by the Government to do anything to help Begum and those like her, it is difficult to see how those leaving the Middle East will ever be welcome back in the UK if they even find a way to return.

Trump uses emergency powers to build the wall

Matt Denton

Jake Morris

Global Writer

It may seem that there hasn’t been a quiet week in politics for the last two years, and this week has certainly been no exception. On Monday, seven Labour MPs quit over the party’s position on, among other things, Brexit. Speculation over whether they will be joined by members of other parties has been rife, and the next few weeks are sure to be turbulent in Westminster. As it stands, we are no closer to a deal from the EU. Theresa May returned to Brussels on 18 February with hopes of achieving a compromise over the controversial backstop arrangement, which is an insurance policy regarding the open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The policy is particularly unpopular with May’s backbench colleagues, and it is widely accepted that if she wishes to get any deal through parliament, it will have to be without the backstop arrangement. In a fairly embarrassing blunder last week, the UK’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Olly Robbins, was overheard in a Brussels bar suggesting that an extension to Article 50 was possible from the EU. May has remained adamant that the UK will be leaving on 29 March this year, and there have been accusations from the left that the PM is looking to delay a vote on her new deal until the last minute, with hopes of pressuring MPs to vote for a deal instead of accepting no-deal.

will likely be closely monitored and faces having her child taken away by Social Services. Begum could face charges of joining a terrorist group, as well as encouraging and supporting terrorist acts. The government will likely endeavour to make an example of her,

Senior Global Writer

It is still not clear what this new deal might be. It appears May isn’t looking to drastically change the main parts of her first withdrawal agreement. We are still looking to leave the single market, for example, despite Labour’s attempts to push for a closer customs arrangement than perhaps May would like. It seems to be an almost impossible task to secure an agreement that satisfies a majority of members in parliament. So what’s to come? If there hasn’t been a deal reached in Brussels, then the PM has promised to return to the Commons with a statement on 28 February, which will trigger debates and votes in the following days. If, however, May has managed to achieve a new deal, then parliament will have a second meaningful vote. At four weeks from the Brexit date, many would have expected us to be a little more certain about the future than we are now. With Brexit splitting opinions across parliament, gaining a majority for a deal is beginning to seem less and less likely.


days before Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union

Image: Vecteezy

US President Donald Trump has used emergency powers to bypass Congress to provide funding for his controversial wall on the US-Mexico border. Having reached an interim agreement with Democrats to open federal agencies following a 35-day government shutdown, Mr Trump declared a state of emergency to finance the $5.7 billion required for the border wall. The decision has been met with sharp criticism from Democrat officials. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, described Mr Trump’s decision as ‘a gross abuse of the power of the presidency.’ Democratic controlled states California and New York are said to be planning legal action to block the move.

“A state of emergency declaration enables Mr Trump to bypass Congress” Fellow Republicans have had mixed reactions to Mr Trump’s decision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed the decision, saying that Trump should take actions with ‘whatever tools he

Photo: Wikimedia Commoms can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border.’ However Republican Senators Susan Collins, Marco Rubio, and prominent Trump critic Mitt Romney have raised concerns about the legality of the decision. The Southern border wall was a key pledge of Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, citing the need to protect US national security and to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary, said ‘the President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.’ Mr Trump has repeatedly voiced his concerns about a migrant crisis on the US-Mexico border, despite apprehensions of migrants by US border agencies being at their lowest level since 1971. However, the number of asylum claims has increased by 43 percent between 2017 and

2018. Already, the border with Mexico has substantial lengths of pedestrian and anti-vehicle fencing built under George W Bush’s administration at a cost of $7 billion. At the time it had backing from prominent Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Mr Trump aims to build an upgraded concrete wall along the entire border, with the estimated cost of this project ranging from $12 to $70 billion. A state of emergency declaration enables Mr Trump to bypass Congress to use additional powers, and is traditionally reserved for use in foreign policy crises. The declaration can be blocked by Congress, but with the Republicans controlling the Senate this would not necessarily pass, and Trump himself could then veto it. The US judiciary has the power to reverse the decision if it deems it unconstitutional.

Photo: Gage Skidmore


26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

Worldwide student strike for climate change action

In brief Bulgaria vs Bear Bulgarian officials are considering launching legal action against British TV adventurer, Bear Grylls. He could receive a fine of up to 2,500 euros for breaching the regulations of the protected Rila National Park. The breaches include swimming in a lake, lighting a fire and boiling a frog. Grylls and the frog are not the only ones in hot water. His guest on the episode of Running Wild, Graham Hough, faces an equivalent fine and the production company could be fined over 4,000 euros. Andrew Ferris New York No Place For Amazon Amazon’s decision to abort plans to bring 25,000 jobs to New York City plays straight into the hands of critics. The proposed second headquarters promised investment in infrastructure and employment opportunities for the working people of Long Island City. However, just two hours after meeting with residents and community leaders, Jeff Bezos announced his decision to curtail the project sparking uproar. Fenella Sunaway Australia to re-open detention centre Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement to say he will re-open the asylum seeker detention centre on Christmas Island. This facility processes asylum seekers aiming to enter the country, but is widely criticised by human rights groups who say that these people are effectively imprisoned. The detention centre was closed in late 2018, but is to be re-opened following Mr Morrison’s Parliamentary defeat where his plans to prevent unwell asylum seekers and migrants from being transferred to the mainland for treatment were blocked. Jake Morris 3m fails to get delivered A French cash delivery man has been arrested after a van with 3 million euros had vanished. A team of three were completing cash deliveries on the outskirts of Paris, where it is believed one of them drove off in the security van. The vehicle was recovered nearby, but with both the driver and an estimated 1.5m euros missing. The suspect, named as Adrien Derbez, was arrested during a raid while trying to escape through a window with bags of banknotes. George Goldberg

Andrew Ferris Global Writer

On 15 March, tens of thousands of schoolchildren are expected to go on strike worldwide, in a global mobilisation protest against climate change. With plans for strikes in more than 150 cities, it will follow months of action that has seen pupils taking to the streets, from Accra to Auckland, and Strasbourg to Seattle. The movement started with Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl who went on a solo protest in August 2018, following the country’s hottest summer ever. Three weeks of sitting outside parliament in the run up to a general election soon inspired other students to take action. In November, 15,000 Australian students left school and three recently met with the leader of the opposition. On 2 February, Switzerland saw 65,000 students strike, whilst Belgium experienced four consecutive weeks of protest, made famous by a sign addressed to politicians that read: ‘I’ll do my homework when you do yours’. Although Europe and Australasia have seen the majority of protests, strikes have also been organised in places such as Medellin and Tokyo, as documented by blogger The Dormouse That Roared. Thunberg’s call for immediate action against climate change has

Photo: Julian Meehan also been heard on global stages. In December, she spoke at the UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland. She accused politicians of ‘acting like children’ and said it was time for the young generation to make their voices heard and start to ‘clean up’ the mess of an older generation. More recently, Thunberg took the protests to Davos and the World Economic Forum, asking businessmen and leaders to commit

to a 1.5C world and to stand on the right side of history. She said it was wrong for people to say that we’re not doing enough, as for that we’d have to be doing something, but ‘we are basically not doing anything’. The school strikes come at a time when climate records are constantly being made and UN reports make stark warnings. David Attenborough told Katowice attendees that the collapse of civilisation was on the

horizon, echoing a UN report where leading climate scientists suggested there we only have twelve years to avoid a climate catastrophe. However, the strikes have not been fully welcomed by politicians around the world. Flemish politicians urged students ‘not to believe in the apocalypse’ and Australia’s resources minister faced a backlash after suggesting the only thing the students would learn is ‘how to join the dole queue’.

Jobs at risk as Airbus ends A380 production Jake Goddard Global Writer

European plane producer Airbus has announced that it will soon cease production of one of its most iconic passenger planes. It could hold up to 800 people and was once the world’s largest passenger capacity aircraft. The decision came as Emirates, Airbus’ largest purchaser of the A380, moves towards using a selection of smaller, more profitable aircraft. Emirates will instead order 70 smaller aircraft such as

the A330 and A350, which are considered to be more sustainable. The Chief Executive of Airbus, Tom Enders, described the decision to end productions as ‘painful’. Mr Enders added that the step was necessary as Airbus had ‘no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all sales efforts with other airlines in recent years.’ The end of A380 production, scheduled for 2021, is expected to have some influence on the employment of some Airbus workers both in the UK and abroad. The component parts of the A380 are produced

Photo: Oleg V. Belyakov

independently all over Europe, including England, Wales, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, before being assembled at Airbus’ Toulouse base in France. In the UK, Airbus currently uses the subsidiary Airbus UK as a means to complete work on the A380 across its Filton and Broughton sites. The Filton site, near Bristol, employs around 4,500 people and is heavily involved in the design of the A380 wing structure, landing gear integration and fuel systems. The Broughton site in Wales

employs nearly 6,500 people, most of which are involved in A380 wing assembly. All of these jobs remain at risk. Engines for the A380 are produced in Derby by Rolls-Royce, though it is unknown how many jobs may be affected. It’s base in Derby currently employs around 16,000 personnel, though last year, Rolls-Royce announced a plan to cut 4,600 UK staff by 2020. The RollsRoyce Chief Executive, Warren East, admitted last year in an interview with BBC Radio that the effects of this staff cut would ‘be most strongly felt in Derby’. Airbus has stated that major job losses are not expected in the UK. Current staff working on the A380 are speculated to be redeployed into other areas of production across Airbus UK. However, there has been no official guarantee of jobs. Of those stated, Airbus officially expects a loss of 300 of the 6,500 jobs at Broughton, though this is subject to change. At Filton, the majority of operations were subcontracted to GKN plc back in 2011. Airbus, however, has given no mention to these subcontracted jobs as of yet.




26th February 2019

of health care centres in Malawi have no hygiene facilities’

Co-Features Editor Mia Shah describes what it was like staying in one of Malawi’s most deprived maternity health centres The air was tense, an anticipated nervousness was taking over. I was trying to stay level headed. If I was scared, what would the women I was about to see be feeling? I was on my way to a maternity health care facility in one of Malawi’s most deprived districts, Ntchisi. This was not my first time seeing the horrors of what Malawi’s health care system has to offer, but it was my first experience of staying the night. You might be thinking why I would choose to spend the night in a hospital that has no electricity, running water or toilets? Simply, I wanted to be able to empathise on a deeper level with the work I was doing in Malawi. While I acknowledged I would never be able to fully grasp the gravity of the situation I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with my own complacency. It has become too easy to switch off to those who do not have a voice, so by placing myself directly in the situation, I was confronted with it. I could not change the channel, turn off notifications or look away.

‘I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with my own complacency’ Globally, Malawi has one of the worst maternity and neonatal mortality rates, this is due primarily to infection, a critical shortage o f

health workers, medical provisions and long distances to health care facilities says Dorothy Ngoma, President of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi. According to WaterAid, 56 percent of healthcare facilities have no hygiene facilities, 63 percent do not have adequate latrines, and 17 percent do not have clean water. The distance between home and healthcare facilities often push expectant mothers to stay at the facility for extended periods, despite the lack of basic amenities, as well as access to trained health care assistants. Consequently, the expectant mothers have few options but to bring a family member as their guardian. This guardian acts as their advocate but also carries out basic care like preparing food, collecting water and maintaining basic hygiene levels. While essential for patients, the guardians are doubling the strain on an already struggling service, as they also require access to the basic amenities and shelter, which is haphazardly being provided for, if at all. We pulled into Chinguluwe Health Centre just after 6pm, although the sun had just set, it was pitch black. I was greeted by the only community midwife, Martha Njinga. My attempts at greetings in Chichewa (the language of Malawi) eased some of the tension in the air before we began a torch-lit tour of the maternity ward. There were three rooms: the delivery room, the bedroom and a washroom. The delivery room had two beds, a sink without running water and a

single lamp. The bedroom was a large room with six beds and several sisal rugs laid out on the floor, The bright chitenges (traditional cloths worn by women) brought some colour to an otherwise dilapidated looking room. Due to the lack of running water the bathroom had been abandoned, leaving outside as the only option for going to the toilet. As we made our way to the guardian centre, about 100 meters from the main building, I could hear the rhythmic patter of footsteps and singing. Upon entering the room, I could see at least 50 women packed in a tight semi-circle singing traditional Chichewa songs while two heavily pregnant women danced in the middle. Once the singing and dancing came to an end, silence began to wash over the women, a stark contrast to the joy of just moments before. We quickly made our way back to the main bedroom, for what I expected to be a sleepless night ahead. There were about 35 women and only six beds, which went to the most heavily pregnant women. For the rest of us, whatever space we could find would be our bed for the night. I tucked myself away in the corner, laying my sisal rug and chitenge under one of the beds dreading that I might need to pee in the night. During the night, Brenda Manuel was brought in from one of the neighbouring villages, she was already in labour, but experiencing complications which meant she had to be anaesthetised. However, Lidocaine the drug needed for this had run out on Tuesday, so she had to be sutured without. There was a collective sigh of relief when we finally heard the first cry of the healthy newborn baby was heard. Njinga informed us that Brenda was lucky and recovering well. However, many have not been as so, approximately

there are 634 cases of maternal mortality for every 100,000 live births according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Although, maternal mortality rates

‘Conflict with the surrounding community is further exacerbating the lack of amenities’ have actually fallen in the last two decades from approximately 950 deaths per 100,000 live births which is due primarily to charities encouraging and educating women on the benefits of delivering at a health care facility. However, the Malawi health system is struggling to adequately accommodate all its patients. Chinguluwe Health Centre is the epitome of this, with a catchment area of about 22,500 people, it only has two nurses, two medical assistants and one senior health surveillance assistant. Conflict with the surrounding community is further exacerbating the lack of amenities. Every morning the women are blocked from collecting water from the only borehole in the village. The government is obligated to pay for its maintenance but have failed to do so, so the community have taken it up and thus feel they have the right to stop the women collecting water. Further issues with sanitation and hygiene are increasing the likeliness of illness and disease spreading. The WHO estimates that around 16 percent of maternal mortality cases are due to infection, particularly sepsis. Which

could be entirely preventable if proper hygiene facilities such as pit latrines, showers and better medical waste initiatives were provided. Chinguluwe does have sterilization equipment but because of very frequent power outages and generator breakdowns, they often cannot be used. Given this conflict with the community, the morning quickly became quite contentious. Like usual the women were stopped from collecting water, but this time they had a foreigner to advocate for them. At first, I was uncomfortable using my privilege as a foreigner to leverage a community into letting the women access the borehole, but I soon realised this was the only option we had and the difference between having and not having water was far more important than my unease. As someone who is living in the UK, it’s not often that we get to interact with issues of human rights on such a deep and personal level. I was afraid I would not be able to handle the gravity of the injustices I was going to witness but what I now realise is that it was a privilege to be let in on something which causes such great pain and suffering. Often, we can be so focused on the negatives of a situation that we forget to look for the joy. In this statement, I am not attempting to minimise the suffering of the expectant mothers, but I also want to highlight the pure drive and tenacity the women of Malawi have for changing their circumstance. This duality between fear and pain and joy and determination was not necessarily what I thought I would find, but this is why I took part, to gain a better understanding and empathy for a people and an issue that I knew nothing about before I travelled to Malawi. However, it is what I now do with this knowledge that counts.

Photo:s Mia Shah


26th February 2019

1 | @concrete_UEA

minute and a learning disability

Senior Features Writer Jess Barrett shares her experience of having a twin with autism

One minute and a learning disability is all that stands between me and my twin sister, Emily. This meant that my leaving home to go to university was a big shock to Emily’s system. Emily has A-typical autism with developmental delay meaning that she needs more support in order to help her understand tasks and the world around her. After discussing how I left home, Emily told me, ‘You going to uni was really overwhelming and hard at the beginning but over time it has become easier.’ I continued to ask her about how she thinks I help her when I am at home, and she replied, ‘You help me learn new words and become more independent and even help me when I’m having a bad day.’ I am pleased that Emily sees me as more than just her sister, but as her best friend too. However, it cannot be ignored that in addition to this I am also a teacher, therapist and counsellor.

‘I am also a teacher, a therapist and counsel’ Before I came to university, my parents and I had to introduce the idea of me leaving home as something fun and exciting, in reality the prospect of me leaving could have been very distressing. Cleverly, in order for Emily to get used to the idea of me leaving, she went shopping with my mum and bought bits for me to take away with me. Every time Emily comes to my university accommodation, she boasts to my friends of how she bought all of my kitchen utensils. It

brings a smile to my face every time because I know she sees me being at university as a positive experience in this instance. After I left home, it was important to find a balance between having space to let us grow individually whilst keeping regular contact. Even in my third year at university, Emily hasn’t told me important things going on in her life because she thinks I’m too busy to talk to her. Every time I message or call, I have to reassure her that I always have time to reply to her messages or give her a call. Emily is very emotionally intelligent and self-aware of the fact she is autistic and doesn’t like to be a burden. Emily told me ‘It is difficult to understand what is going on in people’s heads and I try to understand what they’re feeling but it is quite hard.’ University has changed the dynamic in our household, Emily has regressed slightly and told me ‘at times being autistic is very difficult’. The National Autistic Society (NAS) state that ‘people on the autistic spectrum may find social situations and change a challenge, sometimes leading to extreme levels of anxiety.’ Leaving home was an inevitable change, but I still feel bad for moving away and causing Emily stress as a result. Often Emily has not felt comfortable telling my parents about things that upset her, and will only tell me. Once I came home from university and she confided in me that her taxi driver had shouted at her, and that this had happened regularly. The slightest rise in your tone can trigger Emily to break down and refuse to speak. In this

situation, Emily had not been dealt with in a sensitive way, which had caused her great upset. The NAS state ‘Every person on the autism spectrum is different. It can present some serious challenges – but, with the right support and understanding, autistic people and their families can live full lives.’ It is so important that people with autism are given autonomy, and not as a child or unintelligent. The challenges they face in everyday life are incomprehensible to everyone around them.

Going shopping with your sibling is fun and exciting, but when I go shopping with Emily I am presented with challenges that most guardians struggle with. Emily is unable to go on public transport by herself. When we go shopping together, I have to remind her which bus ticket to ask for, give her £5 so she can give it to the driver and receive the change back. Whilst I buy my own ticket, I let her go ahead to choose us two seats to sit at. However, sometimes this choice is overwhelming, and she waits for me to help suggest where to sit. It is making small decisions

‘When we go shopping together, I have to remind her which bus ticket to ask for’ such as these that will increase her self-confidence and make her feel that she is capable of making her own decisions. Seemingly simple tasks like buying new shoes will cause Emily great distress. Entering a shoe shop, full of loud sometimes angry customers and busy employees is very stressful. Especially when she is aware that she has to make an important decision. It is hard to get Emily to try on new shoes in a shop, and then say if she likes them or if they fit correctly. Emily will often cry because she finds the process too overwhelming. However, as we’ve got older, Emily has become comfortable shopping with me. But only me. Going to university put a spanner in the works. It was one step forward for me, but two steps back for her and her development. For a long while after going to university Emily would refuse to buy new clothes or go shopping. Over time, Emily is now able to go shopping for jeans with my mum. But shoes still present their own challenge. When Emily needs to go to try something on in the changing rooms, I follow her, grabbing any random item of clothing off the rail so she doesn’t feel like she’s a burden and I’m waiting for her. I’ll let her take as long as she needs to feel comfortable in what she is wearing, and I let her take even longer when deciding if she likes it enough to buy it. Yes, I find the whole process tedious and

annoying, but seeing her smile when she feels confident in what she wears is worth it. I like that with me she feels confident to go out and try new things. I like treating her to a hot chocolate or a surprise trip to the cinema. I want her to know that even though I am away at university that I love her and want to spend time with her, and that she could never be a burden to me even if I have to wait in changing rooms with her. More recently, introducing my sister to my boyfriend presented a new challenge, much like how we introduced Emily to the concept of university. We had to introduce my relationship to Emily so she would see she was gaining friend, and not losing a sister. Being a parent is an uphill struggle, and after speaking to my mother, it has become more apparent that being our mother is challenging. My mum Claire disclosed to me that ‘It’s not easy being a mum of twins at such different stages in life.’ She told me how Emily was once I left home, ‘she found it hard when you first went to uni, so we came to see you often.’ I continued to ask her about Emily’s progression which led to mum clarifying, ‘She is progressing on her own but the difference between you is constantly growing. You are an adult. Emily is too but not to the same degree. She is restricted in that she can’t go anywhere by herself’. My relationship with Emily has definitely changed since I have left home and come to university. I have matured, learnt to deal with my own finances and live away from home. As I am doubtful that Emily will be able to gain paid employment or live by herself, it is hard to think that she will never get these same experiences. But for now, we can only wait and see how she develops further.


26rd February 2019

Features 100 years of LGBTQ achievements: A timeline:


The Society for Human Rights was created by Henry Gerber


Christine Jorgensen was the first trans woman to have reassignment surgery.


The first Gay Pride parade took place. It was called Christopher Street Liberation Day due to the location of both the parade, and the riots. By the time the march ended, it had gained several thousands of people.

Before her death, she was a leading figure campaigning for the LGBTQ community. She said: “We didn’t start the sexual revolution, but I think we gave it a good kick in the pants!”.

Shannon McDonagh Features Writer


Gilbert Baker designs and produces the first rainbow flag.



Austria ruled that same-sex couples could marry.

What is the UEA doing for LGBTQ+ students?

Could they be doing more?

The flag, initially, had eight colours, including hot pink and turquoise.

The first two legal, same sex marriages took place in Canada in January.

Photo: Yutian Lei


Australia became the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage, followed by Germany, Malta, Bermuda and Finland.

I made a promise to myself prior to starting university that I would push myself to be authentically queer, whatever that meant, and without really knowing what the implications of doing so were. Despite universities having a national reputation for being the hubs of liberal thought, I had naively expected indifference from UEA at best. It was a pleasant surprise come applicant day to see the face of the LGBT+ officer of that year, Theo Antoniou-Phillips, on the wall of the Hive amongst the other student officers. When Antoniou-Phillips was elected as Undergraduate Officer the following year, I felt reassured that UEA was clearly not a place where queer students were restricted from running successfully for positions of influence. Something about the way a position like that even existed at a place I was about to commit to spending four years of my life at felt comforting to a younger Shannon looking to be at peace with this side of their identity. The presence of LGBTQ+ history month at UEA seems to grow stronger year upon year. Along with the aforementioned flags, the entrance to the Library currently displays numerous resources for queer literature, as well as infographics on various topical issues. It’s not uncommon to see rainbow around the necks of staff members from departments across the university, be it a signifier of identity or a sign of solidarity. UEA Staff Pride have held numerous talks, film screenings and workshops

across the past month, with great success. Some could argue these gestures are superficial that contribute little to meaningful change, but they have been some of the only things to make me sit and think. I would struggle to find a single LGBTQ+ person on this campus that disagrees these gestures matter in the grand scheme of things. The LGBTQ+ presence within the SU currently consists of Open Place Officer Liam Deary and Trans and Non Binary Place Officer Jim Read, who are responsible for addressing the interests of UEA’s many queer students.

“We’d encourage people to keep being active allies for the other 11 months of this year” Read told us that for him the focus for LGBTQ+ History Month ‘was about making students and the wider community on campus feel safe and valued’. Drag culture has been warmly embraced by students and locals alike this past year, with successful shows from leading acts such as Aquaria and Shangela. Read hopes the SU can contribute to this ongoing success, with the launch of a new drag night ‘Fruitz’ taking place on Thursday 28 February. However, Read was clear to emphasise that UEA’s support of the LGBTQ+ community should not

begin and end within this month. ‘We’ve seen a worrying trend in LGBT+ voices being spoken over and hidden in recent times so we’re pleased that LGBT+ firmly put those voices front and centre – there’s still a lot more to do and we’d encourage people to keep being active allies for the other 11 months of this year.’ Dreary cites the involvement of societies and clubs as a major feature of the past month’s celebrations, stating that ‘it’s been great to see societies and groups get involved – from Art Soc encouraging discussions about LGBT+ art and artists to The Queer Review hosting a bookshop crawl.’ Dreary tells us that Sports Night Does Colours will also make a return. Previous years of the event have seen problems arise, with disagreements from select members of sports teams that the world’s should merge. Though minor in the eyes of many, hearing of this news back in 2017 was one of the only times I felt affronted existing as a queer person on this campus. They serve as a reminder that this campus is by no means completely there. It’s demonstrative of an unavoidable fact - institutions can go to great lengths to support minority groups, but this doesn’t always mean those within the institution will follow. Last week saw hundreds of prospective students make the same pilgrimage to Norwich for UEA’s latest series of applicant days. Despite the week falling during LGBTQ+ history month this year, I am doubtful many of them were expecting to see various locations on campus such as the Hive adorned with pride flags. I have wondered if the symbolism of that support has had the same effect seeing that UEA has an LGBTQ+ officer had on me.


26rd February 2019


Health surcharge doubles for international students Bryan Mfhaladi Features Writer

In 2015, the government introduced a healthcare surcharge for non-EU citizens applying to study or migrate to the United Kingdom. The initial cost of the surcharge for students was £150 but since the turn of 2019, it has now doubled and will now cost international non-EU students £300 per year of study. The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge, IHS, was introduced with the intention to fund healthcare of the NHS, which would mean that international, non-EU individuals would have full access to use these services like any other UK citizen receiving healthcare with the NHS. The £300 per year is paid during the Tier-4-visa application process and there is no way one could apply without paying the compulsory fee per year of study. To put things into perspective, this means that an international student would have to pay a minimum of £1,248 if opting for the standard visa time. This is a 62 percent increase from the £772 they would have been required to pay for the same visa last year. The Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes, tried justifying the need for this with a

written statement on 11 October 2018 when there was the proposal to increase the surcharge. Her main argument was how the NHS has always been paid for by British taxpayers and even though they welcome long-term migrants, it would only be fair if they (migrants) also made a fair contribution for the use of NHS. The decision to double the healthcare surcharge came after a report showed that the annual average usage of NHS costs about £470 thus the decision to increase it to £400 and £300 for long-term migrants and students respectively. The surcharge is a tricky situation. On one hand, the government can rationalise that it is fair for migrants to also play a part in the NHS charges but also their entire premise of ‘health tourists’ costing them a lot of money and using it to justify the IHS is contradictory. Health tourists are people who solely come into the country for the use of the NHS and getting healthcare. The cost of these, according to The Mirror, add up to no more than £300m. That and the £2bn which visitors and migrants cost the NHS every year, is still less than 2.5 percent of the NHS’s total £91.5bn expenditure. The NHS spends £200m more

on stationery than on ‘health tourism’. It then seems harsh and unfair for international students to pay the extra charge to access a basic human right of healthcare. W i t h B r e x i t inevitably looming on the horizon, this raises a few questions. Will EU migrants and students be subject to the same IHS as nonEU migrants because a different treatment may raise some eyebrows of fairness? After questioning a few international students on campus about whether this could have deterred them from coming to UEA had the increase been sooner, they had mixed feelings. Some said that it would have been more expensive so they

From 8th January, international students now pay £300 in IHS fees

wouldn’t have opted for a different country of study, while the majority say they would’ve paid the fees anyway because the £300 was only a small

fraction of what they spend during only one semester in university. The feeling was different for EU students who said that this might have an effect on them coming to the UK for studying as they fear the difficulty of them entering the UK after Brexit and if the IHS fees are imposed on them, then this might be a deciding factor in which direction the pendulum will swing for them.

Photo: Unsplash

Working with Words Conference returns Jess Barrett

Senior Features Writer After a one year hiatus, the Working with Words conference returns this year to give students wanting to pursue a career in the creative industries an insight into the contemporary challenges and opportunities they may come across. It has a greater selection of panels than ever before, ranging from Marketing to Games and Political Writing to Advertising – there will be something there for you to get a taster of a creative career you might be interested in going into. The Games session will explore what it takes to make games and run your own independent studio. There is also an opportunity to gain an insight into the various skills involved in creating and running festivals as well as discussing the pitfalls involved. The finale of the conference will be poetry performances by Molly Naylor and Mark Grist. One of the most anticipated panels of the event is the Journalism Alumni Panel. This panel will

be hosted by Concrete’s Editorin-Chief Sophie Bunce with speakers Jess Frank-Keyes, former Deputy Editor of Concrete and now reporter at Archant; Clare Worden from BBC Radio 4 and Claire Hynes, a UEA lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing. Hynes is also an established journalist who has written for a range of national newspapers and continues to write opinion pieces for The Guardian. Additionally, she completed a Creative Writing MA and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at UEA. In a preliminary interview with Hynes, I asked her how she first got involved in journalism. She discussed how she was involved in The Voice, the only British national black weekly newspaper in the UK. During her time with the publication, Hynes got involved in representing news that was not reported on by the national press. She was one of the few journalists to interview Stephen Lawrence’s family after his murder in 1993 and continues to write articles that challenge representation and discrimination. Hynes talked of how being

a journalist for The Voice was different to the journalism practised when she was younger. She commented, ‘When working for The Voice I wasn’t desk-bound, you had to go out and speak to people and have lots of contacts. It was about human contact. Now journalism is about Googling, social media, blogs and Tweeting.’ Indeed, change within creative industries is extremely important to recognise, especially now that the internet is being used increasingly as a platform. Alongside the panel, Hynes expressed an interest in the PR & Communications session featuring Hugo Douglas Deane (a former UEA student) who worked alongside Hynes on a careers website called After English. Hynes conveyed ‘I like the emphasis on digital in the conference; there’s a session on Games, and then another on Creating Content and Branding.’ The panels featured in this year’s Working with Words conference will enlighten and inspire the many students who have signed up to hear a wide variety of professionals from all disciplines discuss how they engage with words differently.

Photos: Unsplash





26th February 2019



Media Collective News ‘What’s better for a hot day in the square?’



Livewire1350 - If you are interested in getting involved with this years Jailbreak, be it a team or at base camp, then come along to our meeting on Wednesday 6pm to find out more!! You don’t need to be a member of Livewire to take part! This year we are raising money for Mind Norwich!

“Just because of the cheaper price, I’m going to have to go with a good old Snakey B”

Want to feature in our roundup? Find us at @Concrete_UEA or use the hashtag #HeyUEA

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26th February 2019


The archive:

For this issue’s archive, we’ve selected our front page from issue #306, published in January 2015, reporting on praise for UEA graduate Emma Healey’s debute novel, Elizabeth is Missing. We’re celebrating UEA’s annual literary festival, which is currently taking place on campus. While Healey will not be at this year’s literary festival, other UEA graduates such as John Boyne will visit campus with an array of other writers, including Man Booker prizse winner Marlon James. Who are you most excited to see? Let us know online @ Concrete_UEA, and get featured in the next #HeyUEA!

say thank you to those who transform your education



26th February 2019

The dead centre: resignations help no one

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Joe Williams Comment Writer

You’ve heard the news, I’m sure. On the morning of 18 February, seven MPs – Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, and Chuka Umunna – resigned from the Labour Party and announced the formation of The Independent Group, a new political alliance of centrist, pro-EU MPs. The next evening, Labour MP Joan Ryan joined them. Then, on Wednesday 20 February, Tory MPs Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry, and Sarah Wollaston all resigned from the Conservative Party and joined The Independent Group, bringing its membership to eleven MPs, the same as the Liberal Democrats, or two taxis. It is an absolute disgrace that Luciana Berger, a fantastic MP, has

been forced out of the Labour Party by vicious anti-Semitic bullying from members and no sufficient support by those in power. But are we really meant to believe all the rest are similarly against racism? Angela Smith, after announcing her resignation at 10.30am, had by 12pm referred to people of colour as having ‘a funny tinge’. Her excuse? She was tired. But what even is The Independent Group and what does it stand for? I honestly couldn’t tell you. They aren’t a political party, but instead a ‘grouping’ of independent MPs. Officially, they’re a private company so they aren’t subject to the same electoral scrutiny and therefore their funding isn’t public. They have no members and, as they have yet to trigger any by-elections, no mandate to the electorate either. They also have no policies. Centrism, whilst lauded by journalists and media luvvies, is

a famously woolly term – it really doesn’t mean anything. ‘Not Corbyn’ and ‘Not May’ is hardly a manifesto.

These eleven MPs have not been brought together by any common ideology or outlook. Their only uniting feature is that they all oppose Brexit. How this distinguishes them from the Liberal Democrats – whose centrist, Pro-EU party was monumentally rejected in the 2017

general election – is anyone’s guess. Umunna called this ‘a politics fit for the here and now’, but really this lot are the Lib Dems 2.0, who are all too afraid to confirm their mandate with by-elections. The idea they represent some kind of ‘new’ politics is utterly ridiculous: at a Q&A after her resignation Anna Soubry called austerity ‘marvellous’. These MPs purely stand for a dying posh political class who favour the same old neo-liberal policies when what the country really needs is investment and economic stimulation. And if you think that their growth from seven to eleven in the space of 48 hours is impressive and the sign of popularity, don’t. I imagine they planned rather cunningly to stagger their resignations to give the appearance of a snowballing momentum for centrism. Chris Leslie said, ‘We don’t believe right now, at this moment

regrets for what she’s done. After claiming in a Times interview she was ‘not fazed’ by ‘severed heads’ in bins, some of the British public deemed her a terrorist sympathiser. However, while she has promoted terrorism, she is primarily a victim of it. It’s harsh to condone someone for the choices they’ve made after being groomed at such a young age by terrorists. She didn’t indoctrinate and make herself think to leave her family and marry a terrorist soldier. IS did that to her. Ms Begum and her family were let down by the British government when it failed to educate and protect the potential victims of terrorist recruiters. Donald Trump has called for the UK to allow her to return so we can put her on trial. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has other ideas. He’s decided to revoke her British citizenship. As her parents are both from Bangladesh, she can technically apply for Bangladeshi nationality so as not to become a stateless person. In this way Javid’s

act abides by international law. But even though she is now not a British citizen, it’s unclear whether or not her son is. The law is hazy. Javid has even proposed making changes to the 650 year-old treason law so the government can prosecute jihadi fighters returning to Britain. But what many have not considered is the fault of the IS recruiter and the UK government’s failure to protect the community she lived in. The government should rehabilitate Ms Begum. It needs to protect and nurture her mental health, which must have suffered from experiencing such atrocities. Unfortunately for Ms Begum’s safety, her image has been plastered all over the media. Some may say this could determine her fate prematurely if she were to appeal and be allowed back in the UK. But this shouldn’t scare us. The most powerful tool that we have is education. Although it failed Ms Begum, we have to hope it won’t do

so again. Security minister Ben Wallace said, ‘I’m not putting at risk British people’s lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state.’ But again this statement ignores the fact it’s the g o v e r n m e n t ’s fault she left to join so-called Islamic State. Britain’s failure to educate and protect Ms Begum from terrorist ideologies is the root of the problem. We can’t forget Shamima Begum is a victim of terrorism. We must find compassion to help her and her family. Denying her entry into the country, or threatening her with prosecution will not solve the source of the problem.

“These MPs stand for a dying posh political class who favour the same old neo-liberal policies”

of national crisis, a general election would be right for the country.’ In reality, a general election is the only way out of this current Tory-Brexit mess. And as their fellow People’s Vote campaigners often smugly ask: ‘How can they be afraid of more democracy?’ So what next? Undoubtedly more resignations. But in the long run, this will only achieve the obliteration of the Liberal Democrats: their selling point is the same, but The Independent Group have the sole benefit of being more new. Historically the centre-ground has always been an arid political wasteland. These MPs represent a political class standing for the kind of status quo that was resoundingly rejected in the EU referendum. The Independent Group are out of touch, out of date, and will always be out of government.

‘Shamima Begum is a victim of terrorism’ Isabel McDonald Comment Writer

In 2015, 15-year-old British citizen Shamima Begum ran away from her life in Bethnal Green, London, with two other classmates to join socalled Islamic State (IS).

“It’s the government’s fault she left to join so-called Islamic State” This month a British reporter from The Times found her at a Syrian refugee camp after fleeing war-torn Baghuz. She’s now 19 and has made a plea to the British government to help her return home so she can bring up her newborn baby in a safe country. Yet she seems to have no

Photo: Flickr

We need to offer her and h e r newborn son aid to prove ourselves as a humanitarian country. We cannot pride ourselves on being a nation that protects our people if we abandon victims like Ms Begum.


26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

‘The Dutch have turned Brexit on Have the People’s Vote its head to give Britain the finger’ lied to us? ? ? ? ? Samuel Woolford Comment Writer

You may have heard about a little issue known as Brexit rearing its ugly head on the media circuit. Its misinformation, toxic political agendas and intense polarity has left many disenfranchised by one of the most important issues of a generation. But even if you’re bored of Brexit (which is an entirely justified stance), there are plenty who aren’t on both sides of the debate. One group still going at it is the People’s Vote campaign. This ‘People’s Vote’ is essentially another referendum on Brexit. They cite ongoing divisions and stagnation in government policy to outline the need for a new referendum and use themselves as an avenue for positive political change, a kind of cutting through all the Brexit jargon if you will. Recently they posted a video of a supposed Leave voter who now wants to vote again, but this time for Remain. The problem is, that’s a lie. This person is in fact Paul Tomlin, who voted to Remain in the first place. Accordingly the People’s Vote announced ‘on this occasion, our vetting procedures fell short of our usual standards’. With this in mind there remains


a couple of plausible possibilities for the misrepresentation. Firstly they are wilfully misleading the public in order to further their campaign. The other is sheer incompetence. Neither is particularly enlightening for their movement. For a movement whose main focus is the hypocrisy of the rhetoric surrounding Brexit the stance they seemed to have taken could be seen as somewhat hypocritical. Perhaps this debacle is a symptom of a desire to push a political agenda regardless of whether it fits the narrative of the movement itself. What the People’s Vote have succeeded in doing, in this respect, is creating a somewhat unified voice for those who feel there is no hope for any form of Brexit deal. However they have done this at the cost of their integrity, forfeiting rational debate and valid discussion for another playing chip in the game of Brexit. This political chip has now undermined them and so we’re left with the same old problem we encounter at every turn of modern political discourse. Perhaps this campaign is a force for good in the turmoil of politics, or maybe it’s just another movement plagued by vindictive tactics that seem to have dominated 21st century politics.

Emily Latimer: decolonising the curriculum isn’t extreme

Cartoon: Chris Matthews

Juliette Rey

Comment Writer

When we hear the word we all dread, Brexit, rarely does the image of a fluffy, blue, cute looking monster, come to mind. Yet the Dutch have created such a creature as a mascot for their campaign to aid businesses in preparing for Brexit. The Dutch foreign minister, Stef Blok, posted a picture of the fluffball lying on a desk and sporting a white T-shirt with that dreaded word in bold red letters. He posted the photo along with links to a Brexit Impact Scan, which businesses can use to further understand the potential

repercussions Brexit will have on their business. So how’s Britain helping to prepare businesses here? And where’s our mascot? I’ve never seen a picture of a blue muppet-like monster on Jeremy Hunt’s twitter feed. There is, on Parliament’s website, an economy and finance business page with regards to Brexit including some ‘research and analysis from Parliament’s libraries and committees’. But it’s not as easy to navigate to find straightforward answers to the questions some business owners may have as the Dutch scan is. Its tedious and in comparison to the Dutch Impact scan it is an utter letdown.

We need that comedy the Dutch are bringing to Brexit. It would be appreciated as a bit of comic relief from the everyday dreariness of talks and debates, yet it’s been absent from the daily Brexit discourse. Where is that dry, dark, satirical humour the British do so well? The Dutch have even created a boyband, Breunion Boys, with a song called ‘Britain Come Back’. How did we not think of this? The mascot is an in-your-face, assertive portrayal of an effective and proactive campaign the British government could definitely learn from. Some may argue the Dutch have turned Brexit on its head and are their version of comedy to give Britain the finger.

A report on ethnicity challenges in university by the Office for Students published this month has questioned the ways we ‘draw on ‘non-western’ and non-white forms of knowledge in our teaching’. It asks, ‘in what ways can we revise our curricula to ensure we offer ‘decolonised’ approaches to our teaching and assessments?’ Finally it addresses the way many curriculums’ current values ‘perpetuate white westernised hegemony and position anything non European and non white as inferior’. Yet although both the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner have shown support for decolonising the curriculum, it’s an issue that’s come with a fair amount of retaliation. Doug Stokes from The Spectator described calls to decolonise the curriculum as ‘selective’ and ‘geopolitically dubious’. Melanie Phillips from The Times was a little more blunt, writing it is ‘Marxist gibberish’. But decolonising the curriculum is all about calling for a greater representation of non-European thinkers, as well as better historical awareness of the contexts in which scholarly knowledge has been

produced. It asks us to look at our shared assumptions about how the world is, and the relationship between the location and identity of the writer’s we study. D e c o l o n i s i n g the curriculum i s n ’ t about retelling history. It’s a b o u t telling it in a way that involves all sides. Dealing with such gaps does not entail compromising academic standards, abandoning academic freedom or avoiding controversial topics. Nor does it involve taking everything that is said at face value. Rather, it involves cultivating an environment in which all of us can have an honest, respectful and rigorous discussion about what is happening, how it can be set right and what that entails. In a society still shaped by a long colonial history in which predominantly heterosexual, white, upper-class men are at the top of the social order, most disciplines give disproportionate prominence to the experiences, concerns, and achievements of this one group. Perhaps this doesn’t put western society in a perfect light, but we simply need to be honest about this in order to rectify it. Ultimately, decolonising the


26th February 2019


Would you eat insects to save the planet? Jakes WalkerCharles Science Writer

For most, the thought of eating grubs and crickets for dinner is the stuff of nightmares which should remain on I’m a Celebrity. However, there is evidence to suggest that eating insects, far from being a nightmare, could be the key to preventing rising sea levels and increasingly intense heatwaves. Global warming is such a pressing issue that there might not even be enough time to evoke change radical enough to make a significant difference. This is especially true given t h a t

there are many things people would never assume as harmful to the environment; clothes shopping and eating meat in fact are having a profoundly negative effect. According to the landmark report by the UN, we have just 12 years to keep the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees, as anything higher than this will greatly increase the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and the poverty of millions of people around the globe. Food production accounts for approximately a quarter of all human-related greenhouse gas emissions, and as the global population rises ever upwards so will this frightening statistic. In the Western world, a change significant enough to prevent catastrophe would mean eating 90 percent less meat and five times a s m a n y beans a n d

pulses. Edible insects are being pushed as the solution to this crisis as this would dramatically reduce both food shortages and greenhouse emissions alike. The problem is when it comes to eating insects, the many of the public simply cannot accept this as a viable alternative. In London, for example, edible insects fail to impact the food market on any level higher than a mere gimmick - and there are only a handful of restaurants that are willing to put a bug on the menu! When it comes to combating this issue, the world may need to turn to Switzerland and Germany for answers. Up to the present, insects have been marketed as a sustainable alternative and a healthy source of protein. The issue with this is that this involves foregoing instant pleasure

for distant benefits and it is difficult to make the world comply. So could the answer lie in marketing the products as tasty and trendy? A study conducted in Switzerland and Germany discovered that more people are willing to eat insects if they are branded as an exciting, new trend. Out of 180, only 62 percent of the bug-tasting study subjects were willing to eat a mealworm truffle after reading a flyer talking about the environmental benefits, as

opposed to 78 percent of subjects who read a flyer advertising the insects as the latest trend. The result of the survey showed that the key to saving the planet is in switching the conversation surrounding eating insects as a stable food source, to purely being something fun and new. Interestingly, the group that had the mealworms branded as a new trend, also rated them tastier than the eco-friendly centered group. There are hopes that as the general population becomes more aware of the impact of their diet, along with 3.5 million people in the UK now choosing veganism, i n s e c t eating will follow a similar trajectory.

Photos: Pixabay

Is social media bad for your health? Lucy Burrows Science Writer

No one twenty years ago could have predicted the rise and popularity of social media platforms. Everybody from your friends, colleagues and neighbours to your mum, dad and even number 27’s dog now has an online presence. It’s a great way to keep up to date with those you care about, particularly those who you don’t see often. But is social media really social? Should we be scrapping our Facebook accounts to help improve our mental wellbeing? Social media first began in 1967. ‘Really?’ I hear you say. It’s true, the definition of social media is any interactive computer-mediated technologies that allows the development and sharing of information via networks. ARPANET was the first true social media; an exchange network for businesses to communicate and share ideas. Since then, the development of the personal computer has driven the expansion of electronic bulletin

board systems (BBS); now known as online forums. BBSs eventually migrated online with the invention of the internet and soon numbered the tens of thousands by the mid 1990s. The earliest social media site was

Geocities, starting in 1994. However, the true first social networking platform,

which modern society would be able to associate with due to inclusion of profiles and friend lists w a s



Today, Facebook is the most popular social media network, with over 2.2 million users. Nobody will deny that Facebook, with roots back to 2004, has revolutionised the way we communicate and engage with others. Yet, there is growing criticism of Facebook for multiple reasons including the the recent phenomenon of fake news. Yet, despite the backlash, user numbers are still rising, with the average time spent online daily totalling over an hour. Surely a few hours on Facebook isn’t doing us harm, or is it? The Welfare Effects of Social Media was published

by researchers from Stanford University and NYU. 2,844 Facebook users were included in the study to analyse the effects of deactivating your Facebook account. Half of the participants were asked to abstain for a month from engaging with the network, while the other half maintained their usual activity levels. All of those involved gave updates on how they were feeling throughout the trial. Interestingly, the majority of the people who logged off, reported significant improvements in their happiness, anxiety and overall wellbeing. Some were even persuaded to remain offline once the study was complete. The study concluded that there are benefits to Facebook and social media use as it allows communication, and the involvement of certain communities which would otherwise be isolated. But, not using Facebook can improve personal wellbeing, and this would be beneficial to those experiencing addiction to the network. So, will you be deleting your account? Photo: Pixabay


26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

UEA research: cancer causes premature aging Anna José Science Writer

While it is well known that aging is a risk factor for cancer, pioneering research carried out at UEA has now also shown the opposite to be true. Leukemia is a cancer which starts in blood-forming tissue such as bone marrow. It causes an overproduction of abnormal white blood cells which are vital in protecting the body against infection. New research involving patients with the disease has shown that healthy cells and cancer cells work together in a vicious cycle as the disease develops. The findings revealed that whilst healthy bone marrow cells are prematurely aged by the leukemia cells surrounding them, the aged bone marrow cells then accelerate the development of the cancer in the body. The research led by Dr Stuart Rushworth, from UEA’s Medical School, identified the precise biochemical mechanism by which this premature aging occurs. These findings could now be used to influence future research and treatments for patients with leukemia. Dr Rushworth said: ‘Our results provide evidence that cancer causes ageing. We have clearly shown that the cancer cell itself drives the

ageing process in the neighbouring non-cancer cells.’ This is the first time that cancer research has shown such results. NOX2, an enzyme usually involved in the body’s infection response system, was shown to be present in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. It was found to be responsible for creating conditions

which promoted the premature aging process of healthy bone marrow cells, and the fast development of the disease. The NOX2 enzyme generates a compound called superoxide which drives the ageing process. Researchers found that when they inhibited the action of this enzyme there was a reduction in the

speed of aging in neighbouring non-cancerous cells. Dr Rushworth said: ‘It was not previously known that leukaemia induces ageing of the local non cancer environment. We hope that this biological function can be exploited in future, paving the way for new drugs.’ The research was carried out in collaboration with the Earlham

Institute, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California. It was funded by Norfolk’s Big C Charity the Rosetrees Trust. The full paper can be found in the scientific journal, Blood (the official journal of the American Society of Hematology).

‘Impossible’ theory proven International women’s day at UEA Hannah Brown Science Writer

It may have taken 40 years, but Professor David Andrews’ physics theory, proposed at UEA back in 1979, has finally found its application. A real-world application for his work ‘could never have been imagined’ said Prof Andrews, talking about when his work was published. But now researchers at the University of Bath have confirmed the physical effect of his theoretical predictions. Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. An object is chiral if it is

“Chirality is a porperty asymmetry

important in several bracnhes of science”

distinguishable from its mirror image. An example is in snails – the swirls on their shells are often ‘right-handed’, or dextral, swirling to the right, whereas a small percentage are always ‘left-handed’ or sinistral. Many molecules essential to

life, including DNA, exhibit chirality and the particular ‘handedness’ can wildly change their function or properties. Therefore, it is crucially important to know the chirality of a substance. Prof Andrews’ theoretical technique precisely measures the chirality of molecules using lasers. The experiments are 100,000 times more precise than they have been previously. PhD student Joel Collins and his colleague were the ones to notice the theory in practice during a series of tests. ‘To be honest my attitude was almost ‘okay let’s get this out [of] the way to make sure it doesn’t work and we can move onto something else. ‘Then, together with my colleague Dr Kristina Jones, we noticed that there did actually seem to be an affect, and I thought ‘Hmm, that’s interesting’. ‘We kept repeating the experiment to make sure it was actually a real effect and we saw that not only was it there, but it was huge. For my part, I didn’t really recognise how important it is, and was expecting someone to come along and rip it to shreds. ‘But over time, it has dawned on me – this is actually amazing.’ The research is headed by Dr Ventsislav Valev, who said, ‘We’ve demonstrated a new physical effect – you don’t get that every day.’

Hannah Brown Science Writer

11 February 2019 saw women all over the world coming together to celebrate International Women’s Day, and UEA was no different. Female scientists at UEA celebrated their successes and offered advice to young women who are unsure about pursuing a career in science. They were part of a day organised by the United Nations General Assembly to encourage young women into STEM careers – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to UN Women, only 30 percent of females select these fields in higher education, and less than 30 percent of all researchers are women. The UN is also putting a large focus on women in the field of space and astrophysics, as well as reproductive health and sanitation across the globe. Dr Naoko Kishita, clinical psychologist and lecturer at UEA, researches the effects of dementia and mental health in later life. She said that when she was studying for her degree outside of the UK, there were no female lecturers at all. ‘Good role models are important,’ she said. ‘That is how you bring about change and show people that gender should not be an issue when pursuing a career.’ Dr Zoe Waller, Senior Lecturer

in Chemical Biology, spoke about how women can both have careers and families, yet many seem to have the perception that it is one or the other. ‘I also want people to know that you can be a mum and work in science. I recently heard Professor Ada Yonath, who was the 2009 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, give a talk and she was positively encouraging female scientists to have children. She is doing a great job being a good role model in this way, and as a mum I hope I am able to do the same.’ ‘Science is cool and I think that I have the coolest job out of all my

friends,’ said Dr Jessica Johnson, a Solid Earth Geophysics Lecturer at UEA. She travels the world conducting research on volcanoes; so far, her job has taken her to New Zealand, Montserrat, and Alaska, and she was the primary research investigator on the Kilauea eruption in Hawaii in 2018. ‘None of my friends get to go on helicopters, climb up volcanoes, or poke at lava with sticks like I do. ‘I think everyone goes through difficult times trying to achieve their goals but if you’re a little bit tenacious then you shouldn’t give up, no matter what your gender.’ Photo: Pixabay



Where to go for coffee culture Vietnam Norwich Italy Malaysia

Coffee is a must for many people, especially university students. As a barista, and self-professed coffee aficionado, my first stop in a new destination is a café, to sample the local staple and get a feel for the coffee culture of the area. Cafés are the perfect place to sit and sort through thousands of travel photos, plan your next destination or just have a breather from the intense schedule of sightseeing. A trip to a local café is a great way for getting a feel of the lifestyle in your location, and seeing how the locals live, even if it’s just in their coffee break. Vietnam Vietnam has a reputation for interesting coffee concoctions

East Coast Australia Although it would be nice to narrow it down to a city, every coffee I tasted on the East Coast was equally carefully crafted. Australians take coffee culture very seriously, and the art of coffee is respected at all costs. As I was wellinformed, coffee culture is a massive part of daily life on the East Coast, and coffee breaks are a sacred time to catch up with co-workers, friends, or yourself and a good book. And given the favourable climate of the region, most coffee blends are grown and roasted locally, meaning their carbon footprint is minimal, and can be enjoyed with less guilt.

East Coast Australia

Laura Taylor Travel Writer

top, this drink is also vegan, which is always a bonus.

and I can certainly say it doesn’t disappoint! In the north around the capital of Hanoi, locals favour egg coffee, a dessert-like beverage made with whipped egg whites and condensed milk, with a raw meringue-like texture. It’s the perfect treat, and you can even eat it with a spoon! While in Hanoi our local tour guide sent us to Radio Coffee, Hong Ngoc Tonkin, a little café above a record store in a small side street. While tricky to find, this spot did not disappoint, and was the best egg coffee I tried in the city. Further south, coconut coffee is the preferred choice, and is equally delicious! Served hot or iced, it is made with blended coconut milk, which includes the flesh and has an interesting texture. Sometimes served with coconut ice cream floating on

Italy Italy, the spiritual home of the expresso and the origin of the world’s coffee language. While some see Italy’s fixation on their coffee ‘rules’ as too particular, Italians are very proud of their dedication to the cause. Important factors to consider here include the thickness of the cup used, the type of china, and, obviously, the quality of the expresso. While some tourists are perturbed by the stares they get from locals if they’re spotted

drinking a cappuccino after 11am, I think their dedication is admirable. And the taste is too. Malaysia Not historically renowned for its coffee, Malaysia has an emerging coffee culture, and in my opinion it’s one to watch. According to experts, Malaysia has begun its third wave of coffee, and visitors can certainly concur. George Town in particular is brimming with new speciality cafés serving anything from the purest cold-drip to latte art resembling cute animals, and so in this emerging coffee culture, there’s something for everyone. Norwich This may be unexpected, but I think Norwich deserves a spot on the list. The city has a strong independent culture, which definitely includes its cafés. With roasteries such as Strangers and Grumpy Mule based in the area, Norwich’s coffee is proud to be local. And maybe it can’t beat Australia and Vietnam’s locally grown coffee, but the short bus ride into town can excuse this minor detail. With an abundance of independent cafés to choose from, all taking pride in their quality, none of us really have any excuse to go to the high street chains anymore.

Check out your options before check in Amy Newbery Travel Editor

Throughout our lives, we spend a lot of our time in airports, even more so since travelling is highly accessible in this day and age. Your experience in an airport can completely affect your mood for the rest of your trip which is why it’s important for them to be accommodating and pleasant spaces. Here’s my opinion on three brilliant airports, and three low-ranking ones. Changi Airport Singapore This country’s airport often ranks first in airport polls. Changi Airport is a one of its kind due to it housing an indoor forest. Travellers have praised its design and there being a lot of space, which is essential for the abundance of people using the airport. It is kept very clean and offers a range of shops and restaurants. There is also a sky train linking terminals together (perfect for tired travellers!). Other amenities included are free wifi, massage chair, a 24-

hour cinema, gaming consoles, food courts, etc. Definitely an airport that will leave a good impression. Dubai International Airport Also ranked high on polls, Dubai International Airport is a favourite amongst travellers. The airport is kept extremely clean, and staff are very helpful and polite. It is one of the busiest airports in the world but still manages to maintain a good reputation which says a lot about its quality. They offer many shops, restaurants and lounges. All three terminals are connected by public transport and there are hotels in the departure areas. They also offer zones for children, which is great for them and their parents.

Hong Kong International Airport Perhaps I’m a bit biased by adding Hong Kong International Airport to this list as I’m from the country, but as someone who has travelled a fair bit, I’ve never had an issue with it. It’s clean, easy to navigate, and offers many amenities. There are many shops and restaurants before and after immigration. It is also extremely easy to travel around Hong Kong from the airport as you can catch a range of public transport such as taxis, the MTR, buses and ferries. I’ve used Hong Kong airport for more than fifteen years and still think it’s one of my favourite airports. London Stansted Airport Various people have found a few issues with Stansted Airport.

Travellers have complained about the space and the lack of staff who are sometimes described as ‘miserable’. There have been times where passengers have had to sit on the floors due to the lack of space and seating. There are not many shops and restaurants, and the prices for parking and drop-off are extortionate. Although it fills the basic requirements of an airport, it’s not one I’d go to if I had a choice. Kuwait International Airport Looking at reviews for Kuwait International Airport, it doesn’t look good. There are no duty free shops, it lacks facilities, there are long waits for luggage, and there’s a mix of good and bad staff. Although it calls itself an international airport, it doesn’t reach the standards of one. The airport can get crowded when busy because of its small size. The wifi does not always work and the toilets can sometimes be dirty. Although airports don’t need to be like resorts, it would be good if they met the basic requirements.



26th February 2019

She's got the key of the door Amelia Rentell

Alas, I am finally 21, a legal adult in every country. I had the best birthday, thank you for asking. Jetting off to New York and meeting my wonderful and slightly odd family and, of course, Alex. We stayed a stone's throw away from Central Park and drank copious amounts of prosecco. On the night of my 21st, we went to a rooftop bar and sat in blue heated igloos with a misty view of the Empire State building. It was wonderful and exciting and I enjoyed it lots and lots.

" I’ve lost my spark and I’m not sure where I put it. Have you ever had that?" But moving on to a slight existential crises, I’ve lost my spark and I’m not sure where I put it. Have you ever had that? It’s a feeling that you’re not working towards anything of significant purpose, that you’ve lost the individual quirkiness that you bring to a situation. Something just isn’t quite right. It’s an anecdote I’ve discussed with Sophie before, that I know I am powerful and strong and I’m trying very hard to step into it but the shoes don’t fit. When I put the jacket on and lift the hair out of the collar, I don’t like the way it feels - it’s wrong. I’m working hard to make my way back to it but it can be disheartening, remembering a version of yourself who felt an emphatic joy to be doing the things you loved. Maybe it’s because I am so far away from home, over four and a half thousand miles. Travelling is lonely and you can find many good articles about the feeling of isolation. It can be disappointing when everyone else is having the same experience as you but feeling completely different. Have no fear, I will find my way back to it. Perhaps I should Marie Kondo, Queer Eye or Six Methods it, but for now my perpetual impatience is making this process seem too long. No snapping fingers and it’s back. Now that I am 21, I’ve got the key of the door. Maybe I’m about to unlock the answer to this muddle I’m in.

Photo: Vecteezy


26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

'Do something different' while travelling Sam Hewitson Travel Writer

One of the main reasons that I personally adore travel is the variety that it offers. No one trip is the same as the next, and the opportunities to make each and every trip completely unique are endless. So how can one do something different with regards to travel? Accommodation is obviously an incredibly important aspect of travel, and it can be quite easy to get sucked into the same old options. Resorts, hotels and apartments are usually the goto for many travellers, but why not try something completely outside the box? Couchsurfing and home-stays have become a popular alternative in recent

years, and something that I personally would love to try. Not only does it usually come with a really small, if any, price, the opportunity to meet locals and immerse yourself in the way that your host lives are unique experiences that will you’ll be sure to remember. To step completely out of your comfort zone, I would implore everyone to go on a long camping trip. The idea sounds disgusting to most, but the best way to experience the true natural beauty of a country is through getting off the beaten track. Before university, I spent five weeks camping and climbing in Iceland, and the experience will never leave me. The mountains, waterfalls and rolling greenery are all images I will never forget, and I am desperate to carry out a similar trip elsewhere.

Once you have worked out where to stay, what is next? Activities are the other main way to truly add variety to your travels, and it is very easy to do something different, due to the increased accessibility of unorthodox attractions. Trips can be taken with the sole purpose of doing something different, with a wide range of companies offering volunteer projects that cover almost every field of work. To name a few, conservation, teaching and medical care projects are popular choices for those looking to spend an extended amount of time abroad. Those looking to pack as much as possible into a time period in a country, yet still wanting to try something out of their ordinary travel routine, should look towards locally taught classes in cookery and

craft in order to diversify their travel. Learn how to cook the famous local delicacies or learn how to make that item that you see on every stall in the markets. One of my biggest regrets from

"As cliche as it is, memories last a lifetime, so why stick to normality?" my travels was not learning how to make tagine in Marrakech, and I endeavour to learn when I inevitably go back. Alternatively, depending on the destination,

book yourself in to do the an extreme activity that scares you to death. Do a skydive over beautiful scenery, go bungee jumping in New Zealand, learn to surf on the Gold Coast. The creation of memories that are attributed to a particular trip or destination are truly the best indicator that you have done something different. Be that person who casually drops their travel experiences into every conversation, and has an extensive enough repertoire of memories to be able to do that. As clichÊ as it is, memories last a lifetime, so why stick to normality and watch all your trips blend into a cache of trips you cannot differentiate? What is the point of going if it is not going to be remembered? Spice up your travel a little, it can’t hurt.


26th February 2019


Swimming success Quidditch at BUCS Nationals

‘You play - so how do you fly?’ Meyzi Adoni Sport Senior Writer

‘I don’t care if you fall off your broom as long as you catch the Snitch first.’ If you are a Harry Potter fan, this sentence can only mean one thing: Quidditch. Although most people relate Quidditch with Harry Potter and don’t quite understand how people play it without ‘flying’, it is actually a sport and it is so much fun. When I was talking to my lovely housemate Chloe Howcroft (the Features Co-Editor) about who to interview for this issue, she mentioned that Quidditch Society is one of the societies that she really wants to have more information on, and when I heard her say that, I instantly knew it would be a great idea; I have wanted to try Quidditch since first year, or even just talk to someone who plays it. As a result of that conversation, here we are. Members of the Quidditch Society kindly responded to all my questions and I hope that this interesting chat can be helpful for anyone who has questions about this sport. I know a lot of people connect this game with Harry Potter (I do as well), but it is more than that. But still, if you are a Harry Potter fan and if you dream of flying on a broom, you can do that by going to the fantastic Harry Potter socials they organise, or you can just join these lovely group of people at Earlham Park every Sunday to learn more about the game and the rules. Can you explain what you do as the Quidditch Society? We are a Quidditch team that welcomes both university and non-university players. Quidditch is a high-intensity sport for all genders. We meet up every Sunday in Earlham Park from 1-4pm to play. An important part of our society is also our social events. Do a lot people ask you ‘is

Quidditch a real sport?’ That is a very common question. Once we say it is, people are always very interested to hear how the rules have been adapted. Do you do a lot of Harry Potter t h e m e d events? We know that many people interested in Quidditch are likely fans of the series, so we do a few Harry Potter themed events like quizzes or screenings and annual bigger events like our Yule Ball. We often try to host these events with the Harry Potter societies at NUA or UEA so we can reach out to more Harry Potter fans. However, as a newly formed community team, we also have events that are not Harry Potter themed so we can attract new recruits that may want to play for the sport instead of its link to Harry Potter. Whenever I see Quidditch Society at the Societies Fayre, I see a lot of people at the table asking questions and feeling excited about it. How many members do you have at the moment? Do you think you can increase this number? We currently have roughly 20 members. Over the past couple of years, the interest has decreased as we should have been putting more time into recruitment. Quidditch is known for being a very inclusive sport and in the Quidditch community we have a reputation for being a very welcoming team. We do not want to lose this atmosphere, but we would also love if more people came along for the enjoyment of a competitive, physical team sport. We definitely have room to increase our numbers and encourage anyone to come along and give it a try. How do people react when you tell them you play Quidditch? There’s the stereotypical ‘ha, so how do you fly?’ reaction from people who think we’ve never h e a r d that

Bryony Goodwin Sport Writer

before. Once we explain we’re not just big nerds and it is a serious sport, people tend to be quite impressed. Do you feel like you are getting enough publicity as a society? We get a bit of publicity with the university and we have also had some from local papers, more publicity would be great. What is your biggest achievement as a team? This year has been a challenging year as we have lost a few of our key players and have had a small team. I think our biggest achievement is that, despite this, we managed to take the team to the main tournament of the year and shocked people by showing we were not an easy team to beat. Are there any University Quidditch competitions you participate? How competitive is it? With the sport expanding outside of university, there are no entirely university tournaments, with a few of the more well-known ones ending last year. Currently, we aim to attend three major community tournaments each year. The atmosphere at the tournaments is exhilarating and it’s great to get to socialise and play with the wider Quidditch community. They are very competitive tournaments; you never see a team that’s not giving it their all. With the fast pace of the sport and playing four matches both days of the tournament, the weekend is utterly exhausting and loads of fun. What would your advice be to someone who wants to start playing Quidditch? Will watching the Harry Potter movies help? Watching the films or reading the books is definitely not necessary. I know a few people who play the sport that are not Harry Potter fans at all. Our advice is to come along to a practice and get stuck in. The best way to get find out what it’s like is to take part.

7 finals, several club records and many PB’s made BUCS Nationals 2019 one of the most successful ever for UEA Swimming. The women performed excellently, making the A Final for the Freestyle Relay - Kioni Broomfield, Megan Pirrie, Rikke Nagell-Kleven and Hannah Binning - pushing them up to compete against the likes of Loughborough and other top universities. This success continued with both the men and women making the B final for the Medley Relay. Taking centre stage with a great

weekend of swimming was Liv Neale. Qualifying for two A finals in the 100 and 200 back Neale produced some fantastic swims, gaining a PB in her 200 back in a time of 2.20.25. The success continued with a club record and a B final for the mixed medley relay team. Many swimmers broke club records and their own PB’s. Harry Jones got an amazing PB in his 100 fly with a time of 58.57 and many more PB’s came with the likes of Kioni Broomfield in the 100 free and Tom Owen in the 50 free. All that took part did the club immensely proud and the team cannot be congratulated enough for their achievements.

UEA Cheer Stunt begin season well

Tony Allen Sport Editor

UEA’s Cheer Stunt club have started their 2019 season with a successful Showcase and first competition. Showcase was well-attended in the Sportspark, with both comp and show squads performing their new routines for the first time. Soon after, the comp squad travelled up to Manchester to take part in their first competition of the year. They were pleased with a score of 88.8 despite tough competition. President Emily Roe reflected:

‘I’m so so proud of our girls and how they did on Showcase and at our first competition. ‘The comp squad managed to hit all of our stunts both times as did our show squad whose performance was excellent. ‘We are really looking forward to our next competition and for Derby Day!’ Cheer Stunt’s next competition took place on Sunday, read the next issue of Concrete to find out how they got on. The club’s Blind Dates event is on Thursday at the LCR, with tickets available from the SU website.


26th February 2019 | @Concrete_UEA

UEA Cheer Dance achieve national success! Laura Martin Sport Writer

On Saturday 9 March, the UEA Angels Cheerleading Dance competition teams headed off to Manchester where we stayed overnight in preparation for Future Cheer, a national competition which we took part in the following day. Future Cheer has a reputation for being a tough competition, in which we have struggled to place in previous years. This, alongside the fact that the Large Pom competition team faced a difficult semester of squad readjustments, meant that despite being hopeful, our expectations were none-too-high. Our disappointment in previous years meant that, as a team, we ensured that we trained intensely twice a week. On top of warming up and stretching properly, we implemented a programme of strengthening and conditioning, building our stamina and making sure that our skills were at their best in time for the competition. The routine that we competed with was choreographed by myself, Mari Lewis and Jess Fullerton. It’s about two and a quarter minutes long, and is made up of challenging elements such as jumps, leaps, fouettes and pirouettes, a kickline and extra skills- including the splits and an aerial. We knew we were being marked on a range of things, such as technical execution, synchronicity and choreography, so we spent all our sessions doing everything we could to work on these criteria and maximise points. On the day of the competition, we all woke up at around 6am

and began to prepare. The hair and makeup was completed, the costumes were on, and at about 8:15am we were driven to the arena where we registered and took our places. Our Small Pom competition team competed first and absolutely smashed their routine, finishing with a high score in a really tough division, which we are confident they will only improve upon at the next competition! Our Large Pom team competed against nine other strong University Dance Teams in the category including Lancaster Roses, who have an outstanding reputation.

We were thrilled with how we performed, and knew we had done our best. However, having danced last in our division, we had been escorted to warm up before we could watch any of the other routines. There was then a gruelling three hour wait before results were announced! Yet eventually, we took our place on the stage, huddled in a group, awaiting the results with much anticipation. They began to announce the results from 9th place to 1st. Once we realised we had made the top five, we knew we had exceeded our performance last year, so we had

already achieved what we came to do. However, the results continued to climb and our team name had still not been read out. The moment in which 2nd was announced was so surreal as we knew we had won and we couldn’t quite believe it! When they finally declared the winners as the ‘UEA Angels’ we were absolutely over the moon, but had to compose ourselves in order to go up and accept the 1st place trophy and banner (which is now sitting proudly in the Sportspark trophy cabinet). My fellow coach Fullerton agreed that ‘Comp was such a fun day for both our squads, and

UEA Ballet - ‘Love Your Leo’ Amie Dutton Sport Writer

The reason that we dance is because we love it; we love the freedom, the rush of adrenaline, the satisfaction of improving or getting things right. Without these feelings, the essence of dance would be lost and so in order to remind all of our members that ballet is for everyone no matter what you look like, we launched our first ever body positivity campaign called ‘Love Your Leo’. The aim of the week-long campaign at the beginning of February, was to ensure that our members felt comfortable, like they belonged at the barre, and that they knew that ballet truly is for everyone regardless of size, gender, race, religion, sexuality, or whatever the ballet industry has traditionally looked like. In order to celebrate all of our members, we began a social media takeover where, for the two weeks

leading up to the campaign and every day of the week itself, we chose to focus on specific professional dancers who were standing up and making a change.

“Ballet truly is for everyone regardless of size, gender, race, religion, sexuality, or whatever” We looked at people like Misty Copeland who is fighting for the acceptance of a more athletic body shape within ballet but also for equal opportunities for dancers of colour, along with male dancers like Wayne Sleep and Erik Cavanaugh who are

demolishing similar standards that are held for men. Along with this, we asked committee members from multiple clubs, UEA Sport and SU staff to have a photo with our whiteboard declaring why they support our campaign, and during our Saturday classes at the end of the week we asked each of our members to write a positive note on a post-it which they then stuck all over the mirrors. Our main aim was to fill our classes and social media pages with encouragement and positivity to really enforce the idea that dance is about so much more than appearances and the notion of being ‘good enough’. We decided that through the campaign we would raise money for two incredible charities who do a lot to offer support to those with eating disorders or eating related issues; BEAT and Eating Matters, a Norfolk charity offering help and support to those within Norwich and the Norfolk area with eating related

problems. To raise as much as we could, we held bake sales at our classes, we asked for donations to our Just Giving page, and our committee signed up to the challenge of being sponsored to wear a leotard around campus and to lectures to promote our campaign. Over the course of the week we were able to raise more than £100, however our fundraising is not over yet! On Friday 8 March, UEA Ballet will be holding a stall in the Hive as part of International Women’s Day where we will be celebrating our campaign with the hopes to raise even more money for our two chosen charities. This is an abridged version, for the whole article and pictures, visit

becoming national champs made all our training and hard work worth it!’ As current reigning BCA (2018) and Future Cheer (2019) National Champions, we are full of hope for our next competition in Derby on 16 March. We are continuing to train hard so that we can put our best foot forward and hopefully retain our title. Lewis, Fullerton and I are so proud of all our girls and can’t wait to continue to see them thriving. We hope that the result at the next competition is a reflection on how hard they’ve all worked. Bring on BCA!

Continued from page 24 players of the tournament. UEA Pirates American Football team took an historic victory at Colney Lane against old adversaries Kent. After a tense match with no score, UEA finally broke the deadlock with a touchdown in the final minute to win 6-0 and spark huge celebrations. President Connor Kennedy told Concrete: ‘The atmosphere in the last drive of the game was incredible, leading to us punching in the only touchdown of the game with 34 seconds left on the clock. ‘The last time we beat Kent was in 2015 so this win has been a long time coming, especially with our 7-6 loss to them in the regional semifinal last year due to a controversial refereeing decision. ‘It’s given us a lot of hope going into our final game of the season [last] Sunday against Queen Mary, in which a win will send us home as Div 1 South East Champions and bound for the playoffs.’ Not a bad fortnight as fortnights go… and there’s still more than two months until Derby Day!


26th February 2019


Campus-wide sporting success! Tony Allen Sport Editor

How can you choose a sport for the back page when everyone is doing so well? With the sporting season fast reaching its climax for many of UEA’s nearly 60 clubs, there has been campus-wide success in the last fortnight. UEA Women’s Lacrosse team (pictured) are now firing in the league with home victories over Warwick seconds (14-5) and struggling Derby 1s (36-0), sitting in a comfortable mid-table position. However, attention is very much focused on the Midlands Conference Cup, where UEA’s women are through to the semi-finals thanks to a 14-2 win over Nottingham Trent 2s at Colney Lane. Phoebe Hartz scored four for UEA with hat-tricks for Adela Milà-de-Puri and Fiona Smith. Emily Winter scored twice, with Cat Stallard and exchange student Carsen Lennon, on her second appearance for the Eagles, also getting on the scoresheet. Captain Georgie Sutton was pleased with the fact the goals and assists were spread around the team, noting ‘we now have a repertoire of goalscorers.’ Sutton added: ‘I’m so proud. It was really exciting and it’s cool being part of days like today. It feels like the club is going through a transition year, and having days like this really builds on the committee’s work.’ Tomorrow, Sutton’s side host unbeaten Warwick 1s in their toughlooking semi-final clash. However, having recently avenged an early away defeat to Warwick’s second string, few would bet against the possibility of a cup upset. The Men’s team

created more history at Colney Lane by securing their place in Midlands 1A for another season courtesy of a thrilling final five minutes against Nottingham Trent 2s. Travis Payne scored an early goal for the hosts, but UEA were 2-1 down shortly after half-time, with Trent scoring another soon afterwards. With UEA 3-1 down and time ticking away, captain Payne netted twice to draw the sides level and complete his hat-trick. Buoyed by this, and several marauding runs from man of the match Harry Harris, UEA continued to press. Jhan Tibudan then scored a dramatic winner with seconds remaining to send the sideline into rapturous celebrations and save UEA from relegation. Many had anticipated a tough season for UEA after promotion last term, but four league w i n s from nine s o f a r was enough to see the team to safety a n d m a k e tomorrow’s

trip to Birmingham a formality. Payne reflected: ‘When the goal went in for 3-2 it was exciting. When we scored the equaliser, nothing was going to stop us. It lit a fire in everybody.’ Discussing the goal that completed the comeback, Payne added: ‘We gave [Tibudan] the ball, and gave him room. He took on his man one-on-one, sent him one way and went the other. He hit it low and away from the keeper.’ Payne said: ‘We’re an emotional team. The supporters on the sideline gave us a massive wave of energy when we needed three to win with five minutes left. It gave us a boost. When the equaliser went in, not only were we excited, the sideline erupted too, it got everyone going.’ UEA’s first Men’s Football, Hockey and Rugby teams all sealed BUCS league promotions recently. Hockey’s men scooped the Midlands 3B championship with a game to spare as they beat Oxford Brookes 4-1 courtesy of goals from Harry Badger, Josh Glasford, Matthew Wavish and Dominic Strong. Both the men’s and women’s BUCS teams are through to the semi-finals of their Conference Cups after a famous afternoon at the Sportspark saw them both defeat their Coventry counterparts. Men’s goalkeeper Lewis Nicoll made a smart save with his feet early in their game with the score at 0-0, before Ben Thompson netted the only goal to send UEA through. The women won 6-2, with braces from captain Áine Gransden and Beth Rosier plus goals from Bente

Eggink and Libby Bonis seeing them into the semi-final. There was further excitement for the Hockey club as Dan Mcmahon’s all-conquering men’s thirds mathematically tied up a local league promotion long in the making. A final victory will see the team scoop the title outright. Additionally, last week the Hockey club passed the £1,250 mark fundraising for Meningitis Now. For the footballers, a 2-0 win away to Coventry 2s was enough to see the men’s 1s seal promotion after a so-far unbeaten season in BUCS Midlands 2A. They also joined Women’s Lacrosse, Hockey, and Futsal 2s in the semi-finals of their Conference Cup thanks to a 2-1 win away to De Montfort, setting up a home tie against Warwick on Wednesday. UEA Men’s Rugby firsts have won BUCS Midlands 2A to secure back-to-back promotions, with a perfect record of nine league wins from nine so far with one match left. The third Men’s Rugby team are also well on track for a promotion, sitting top of Midlands 4B. A 32-10 win away to Trent 5s also saw them advance to the final of the Midlands Conference Plate. After a 38-30 win over Trent 4s, the seconds have set up an interesting end to the season, guaranteeing themselves at least second spot in Midlands 3B with a game to come against league leaders Nottingham 4s. Futsal, featured in our last issue, continues to go from strength to strength in the Haydn Morris Hall. As well as some useful league

wins, both the men’s and women’s firsts picked up comfortable home victories in the first rounds of their BUCS Trophies, 9-0 against Surrey and 10-1 against Suffolk respectively. Women’s Captain Kathryn Stanley said: ‘I was very pleased to get the win. All of the girls put in 100 percent and we got the result.’ Stanley also praised the supporters who attended this rare home match for the women, adding: ‘They really helped us lift our game.’ Futsal now tops the standings as UEA’s top BUCS points scorer. UEA sent several teams to BUCS Nationals in Sheffield last week, with the Swimming club securing some excellent times and results go to page 22 to read more about that. UEA Gymnastics Club brought home six medals and twelve top six finishes from their BUCS competition in Leicester. UEA Women’s Volleyball team achieved second place in the Student Cup, hosted at the Sportspark. This season they have also enjoyed a number of BUCS wins home and away. UEA Korfball’s second and third teams both qualified for the upcoming BUCS Plate tournament in Leeds after a successful performance at the BUCS Southerns. Previously, the first team had taken first place in the Eastern Regionals tournament to qualify for BUCS Nationals as top seed and complete another BUCS tournament undefeated. Sissel Färje and Elliott Jones were named UEA’s

Continued on page 23

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