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Also inside:

Degrees North #31 – Freshers 2008

Guide to Sunderland Meet the Exec The Automatic The DN Bar Guide

Presenting your new student hangout

Welcome to Issue 31 of Degrees North.

Hello there! Welcome to the new year, and welcome to the new Degrees North. I’m the lucky sod in charge of this thing for 2008/09, so anything you don’t like is probably my fault!

We also have an introduction to the new Executive here at the Students’ Union (page 15). These shiny, happy people will be in charge of your student experience while you’re studying here.

This year, we’ve gone all electronic, and at under the Your Union tab, you’ll find loads of interesting and useful stuff to help fill the hours between lectures and drinking.

On top of that, we show you your new club, and for the not-sonew of you, Manor Quay’s replacement, Campus (page 12). Most of your drunken times will take place here. We’ll also give you a peek at Bonded Warehouse and, as is tradition, we have the DN Bar Guide. You’ll never go thirsty.

When I started here, DN was one of the things that made me feel welcome. I’ve always read magazines, so I was naturally drawn to its offers of free stuff and more than liberal use of swear words.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough, we have some of the finest writers in the area. I won’t embarrass them by naming them, but you’ll see for yourself soon enough.

I hope our new era can do the same for you. This month, we have a huge feature for those of you new to the area (starting on page 6), explaining where everything is, and even a few useful terms and phrases from the local lingo.

I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy.



This issue of DN is packed with stuff for freshers, third years and everyone in between.

4 – Columnists The DN big-mouths sound off. 6 – Welcome to Sunderland For the Uni uninitiated, your definitive guide. 12 – Campus An old friend to third years, a new love for Freshers. 15 – Meet the Exec Introducing the bright young things on the SU Exec. 18 – The Automatic We chat to The Automatic drummer Iwan Griffiths. 19 – Utopia FM The student-run Uni radio station. 22 – Student Fashion Deck yourself out in the latest student threads. 24 – Bar Guide Apart from Campus, where else to get bladdered.

26 – Summer Entertainment We review this Summer’s movie and music hits. 28- Gig Guide What’s coming up at The Independent and more. 30 – From Wearside to Stateside Kris Allan spent his summer in America, jammy git. 32 – Money, Money, Money Your one stop guide to student finance. 33 – Working at Uni Need some extra cash? Read on. 34 – Going Green How you and the University can help the environment. 36 – The Bonded Sunderland University’s second-biggest nightspot. 38 – Profile: Gavin Barnes We talk to the USSU Sports & Activities Officer.

The DN team - Jamie Smith - Editor - Adam Chapman - Deputy Editor - Scott Goodacre - Web Editor - Lucy Duffield - Features Editor - Stephen Milnes - Entertainments Editor - Hal Ridge - Picture Editor - Mike Carter - Chief Designer Contributors Kris Allan, David Allison, Kat Baggott, Nicola Bramble, Matthew Briggs, Jon Burton, Phil Daley, Adam Ferrari, Charlotte Foster, Mark Grainger, Laura Riding, Monica Stoffel, Shaun Wathey, Michelle Winter Thanks to Allen, Sue, Steve and all the staff at the SU, Potts, our mums, dads, brothers, sisters, pets past and present and you, the DN reader. Enjoy!

;: ': 0191 515 2957 ": USSU, Edinburgh Building, City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD The views expressed in this magazine are of individual contributors and do not reflect the opinions of the University of Sunderland Students’ Union. The Union’s official views and policies can be found at Content is not permitted to be reproduced without consent of DN magazine.

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Chappers Assistant Editor, Adam Chapman, is delighted that the new football season is upon us... Isn’t he? Around this time of year, the same questions are always asked. Where are you from? What did you get in your A Levels? And who’s going to win the league? If you’re anything like me, you probably won’t care about the answer to any of those questions (no offence, but the first two are merely the unimportant, ubiquitous ice-breakers you need to get out of the way before discussing more important things, like the US elections and whether or not you’ve met Dave the Rave yet). And the last one? Well, unless you’re Andy Gray, you probably don’t actually give a toss. By the time this hits the newsstands (well, that thing outside the library and the big pile in the Pound Breakfast Mecca that is the St. Peter’s Refectory), the Premier League will be in full swing. And the nice people at Sky will already have told you (on no less than 3,652 occasions) that it’s the Best League in the World, whilst trying to whet your appetite for Stoke getting steamrollered by Chelsea Reserves. Best? No. Most hyped? Definitely. Most full of overpaid, egotistical cretins? Without a shadow of a doubt. The self-centred, moneygrabbing nature of the Premier League is illustrated perfectly by the fact that ‘Pies’ Lampard expects us to believe that the moment he decided to stay at Chelsea, was when his team-mates crowded around a Blues shirt in memory of his, and not the moment the offer of a billion pounds per week (approximately) landed on his doormat. Credit crunch? What credit crunch?

want to tell their clients about how they were at ‘the footy’ on Saturday (wearing a bloody tuxedo). The average football crowd is getting older and posher and quieter, and the football they’re watching is getting duller and duller and duller. The top four scrap for the title, the rest of us hope we don’t get dragged into a relegation dogfight and that, at best, we might push on to qualify for the UEFA Cup. Its current version might be the most pointless competition in living memory, but it’ll make you a few quid and that’s what matters, right? All of this has led me to lose faith in the modern game – probably fifty years before my time. I’ve lost faith in players with little or no passion for their club earning as much in a week as it could take the average bloke on the terraces a decade to make. And still this is not enough. The Big Four want more, conniving with their continental counterparts to ensure even more television revenue, even more sponsorship, and even less chance of the ‘little’ clubs ever making it onto the gravy train that is the ‘Champions’’ League. The likes of Porto may have momentarily gatecrashed them in recent years, but then so did Leeds and look where they are now, struggling in the harsh realities of the Football League, the oldest professional league in the world, all but forgotten in the age of Super Sunday, executive boxes and white boots. But still, I’ll be forking out to sit (not stand, that’s another whinge) at the Stadium of Light this season. See, I love Sunderland Football Club. I just currently hate football. I don’t imagine I’ll be in the only one in this predicament, and it’s exactly this loyalty that is exploited. I’m fortunate Sunderland haven’t yet completely sold their soul, but it’s too late for some other clubs. The sooner that the Big Four™ sod off to play in a European Mega Super Hyper League or tour footballing hotbeds, such as Tokyo and Las Vegas, fulltime, like a less charismatic Harlem Globetrotters, the better. And then we might get our game back.

Meanwhile, and somewhat conversely, the average fan continues to be priced out of seeing the teams they once kept alive, as football grounds the length and breadth of the country are taken over by Keano’s mates in the Prawn Sandwich Brigade. Not that they care about Sunderland or Wigan, or even Liverpool or Arsenal. They’re there because football is ‘cool’, because the post-Euro 96 loveRich: Frank “Moneybags” Lampard in hasn’t ended yet, and they

You can also read Chapman’s blog at the DN website at

Degrees North

Writers, reviewers, designers, someone Looking to get some work published? Want to bulk up your CV? Think you can do better than us? We’re willing to give you that chance. Drop us a line at and we’ll take it from there. 04 DN

Briggsy This month our other resident ranter, Matthew Briggs, takes a closer look at reality television. Poor sod. As a generation, we’ve got a hell of a lot to apologise for. Jamster Ringtones, The Kooks and My Family are just three of the things that should make us hang our heads in shame. Still, they’re by no means the worst. That honour falls at the feet of the scourge of modern Britain – reality TV. If you don’t much care for or, in my case, hate reality TV, then your life is a constant chore. I’m currently attempting to put off my monthly trip to the hairdressers just to avoid the inane chatter of slack jawed scissor jockeys about which fame hungry cretin should ‘win’ Big Brother. But how on earth do you win Big Brother? It take no discernable talent, you just have to be vaguely interesting, while not pissing off the people you live with too much. If that’s too difficult, have some sob story or disability, that’s sure to get you into the second half of the show. The selection process for shows like this is ridiculously contrived too. In the hope of causing ructions, they always put in two people who, in the real world, would hate each other – usually a homophobe and an effeminate gay. Of course, they go in and get on like a house on fire, until a task is set where they have to dress up as STDs and they both argue over who is going to be Chlamydia. They get drunk, they argue, threats are made and for the next 24 hours we have to put up with the faux concern from the likes of GMTV and This Morning, as they ask, “Has Big Brother gone too far?” It’s not just Big Brother. Simon Cowell’s one man mission to be on TV all 52 weeks of the year sees him waltz back on to our screens with The X-Factor. While it is slightly more tolerable than Big Brother, the main problem I have with this show is the fact it’s such a blatant money making exercise for Cowell and Co. Find a fairly average singer, allow them to record a song in time for Christmas, watch the peon masses buy it in its thousands, go to the bank and watch your balance shoot up. Rinse and repeat.

A friend of mine once met former Big Brother winner Antony Hutton (cheers, Wikipedia) towards the end of a night out in Newcastle. When greeted by my mate, the smug, drunken imbecile proceeded to scoop up a handful of the kebab said mate was holding, before stumbling off into the distance. Is that what a small glimpse of fame does to someone? Turns them into the type of person who will steal your fatty, after drink snack without so much as a by your leave? Over the past decade, TV has transformed even more into a medium which allows us to turn on, tune in and drop out. Watching television isn’t a habit, it’s an addiction. Companies don’t much care for spending money on creative programming, so they stick to repeating the formats that work and don’t require too much cash. Putting people in a house for a couple of months requires very little money and will rake in shit loads. Some will say it’s the common sense approach to television. I say it’s gutless. If you like this type of guff, then I suppose that’s fair enough, as long as you don’t talk to me about it. If you’re one of the thousands of people who like to pick up the phone and vote then, again, that’s fine. It’s your money you’re wasting . However, if you’re one of these buck nuts who entertains the notion of entering a reality TV show because you want the public to love you, then you’re an idiot. You’re a particularly poor sideshow in the circus of life and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. Check out Briggsy’s blog at www.sunderlandsu. Anthony Hutton: He won Big Brother, not Strictly Come Dancing...


to answer the telephone... We need YOU! We’re looking for people to fill all sorts of roles, including writers, reviewers, designers, photographers, bloggers and, most importantly, people to make the tea. So if you’re interested, get in touch. What are you waiting for?!

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Welcome to New to the area? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of students arrive from all over the world, to study here. Monica Stoffel recalls her first Sunderland experience and gives you tips on what to see, where to shop and how to speak like a native. “I’m a stranger here myself” Two years ago, I arrived in Sunderland with a mission. I had to find a place called, “The Gateway.” I was expected to be there for registration at 8 o’clock the next morning, and, after arriving at my accommodation, I had no idea where I was. Just 22 hours earlier, I was sitting in the eastern Iowa airport, trying not to look nervous, as I chatted with family members who came to see me off. Now I was here, alone in this unfamiliar city, feeling energised and exhausted at the same time. Dusk was rolling in, so there was no time to lose. I pestered one of my roommates I had just met to lend me a city map. After quickly planning my route and making note of important street names, I got on my way. I have no recollection of what happened between the time I left Scotia Quay and arrived at what I now know is Fawcett Street. But I do remember that this was the point where I realised I was in a heap of trouble. I had no idea which direction to turn and I had not seen a single street name anywhere. So, I checked my map a second time to make sure I was not hallucinating, which is something I tend to do after long haul flights. Nope, the streets on my map definitely had names. So, where were they? I started looking around frantically in some of the less obvious places, to see if the names were painted on the lampposts or on the sides of the kerbs. But there was nothing. For the first time in my life, I felt a deep appreciation for the little green signs at every intersection that I was accustomed to at home. Something I had always, until now, regarded as a basic human right. I finally gave up after all of my routes were blocked by the Bridges Shopping Centre, which was locked up tight. If I had arrived 3 hours earlier, I would have been able to walk right through it. But it was after 7pm on a Sunday evening, so all the shops and businesses were closed and the bustling city centre I had expected to see was actually barren. So I retreated, bitter with the knowledge that I would have to wake up extra early the next morning to allow plenty of time for getting lost before registration. I had a trickle of daylight left and I was bored, so I decided to walk around and look in shop windows. At home, we would call Sunderland “a college town”, which is basically a small city with a large student population who make the town appear busy at all hours of the day. But, right now, I seemed to be the only person out. It looked like one of those empty city scenes you might see in a zombie film, after the comet hits. Just then, I was startled by a lone, middle-aged man with a cane who turned the corner and slowly hobbled in my direction. I crossed to the opposite side of the street and hurried home, just in case.

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Sunderland Where it’s at

So, you’ve just arrived and you don’t know where anything is. Here is a summary of what the city centre has to offer in the way of essentials, like food and housewares.

chinese herbalist, personal care shops and a large market area where you can find a butcher, a fruit and vegetable stall and just about anything else you didn’t know you needed.

Fawcett Street is home to most of the big banks in town, as well as the Post Office, an Asian food shop, the Sunderland City Library and the Tourist Information Centre.

Unfortunately, the food shops in the city centre are small, so you may not find what you are looking for at one place. If you don’t have a lot of time to hunt down your items, you may want to go to one of the larger supermarkets in town.

Blandford Street is full of charity shops and pigeons, but you’ll also find a couple of houseware shops, a fruit and vegetable stall, a butcher and frozen foods shop. High Street West has a butcher, several houseware shops, Curry’s electronics, Marks and Spencer and the Bridges entrance for Tesco Metro and Iceland. The Bridges Shopping Centre has two chemists, a

They are all located away from the centre, so you will need to take a car or public transport. If you don’t drive, then why not go with your friends and share a taxi?

Supermarkets in Sunderland ALDI St. Marks Road

Morrisons Doxford Park

ASDA Leechmere Road, Grangetown

Morrisons Whitburn Road, Seaburn

Iceland Bridges Shopping Centre

Sainsburys Silksworth Lane

Marks and Spencer 77 High Street West

Tesco Bridges Shopping Centre

Need to roam? After you’ve found your basic necessities, you’ll probably want to get out and explore. I recommend walking or public transport, so you can actually see what is around you. Sunderland’s city centre is compact, which makes it very easy to get around. Street names are sometimes located on the sides of buildings or walls at major junctions. If you are on foot, it is advisable to remember your route by landmarks, such as roundabouts, monuments or peculiar architecture. You can pick up free maps of Sunderland, Newcastle and the surrounding areas at the Nexus travel shop in Park Lane. This is also the place to go if you need to purchase metro or bus passes.

Looking for work? First, stop by the reception desk at the Careers and Employability Service in Murray Library on Chester Road. They have listings for paid or volunteer work and you can register for updates online. You can also get information for CV’s and interviews, tax requirements and work within your field of study. Likewise, the Jobcentre Plus can provide similar advice and job listings based on your experience. There are also plenty of agencies scattered around the city that have listings for full, part-time or temporary work. However, don’t give up if you do not find what you need. Sometimes the best method is to ignore listings and inquire about job openings at specific places you want to work. *If you are an international student you may need to register for a National Insurance Number (NIN) in order to receive paid work in the UK. It may not be necessary to do this before you are hired, so ask for advice at any Jobcentre Plus. Interviews and applications for a NIN are conducted by appointment at the Newcastle Jobcentre Plus. For a bit more information about working while at University, check out our article on page 33.

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The A-Z of Mackem Now that you’re living in Sunderland, you’ll want to fit in, so you better learn the language. Here are some words you will probably hear often – the cleaner ones that is. Canny adjective. Generally speaking, this is used in place of “good”, but can also take on various meanings. 1. If someone calls you “canny” or “dead canny”, they think you are a very likeable person. 2. Canny can also be used for emphasis. For instance, if someone says: “It’ll take a canny while”, they are really saying, “this is going to take a very long time”. Charver (pronounced char-ver or char-va) noun. A commonly abused stereotype referring to a group of people who are generally young, alleged to be involved in illegal activities and wear the facial expressions of the forsaken. Some people can distinguish a charver by their clothing, which traditionally features shell suits and hoodies. Charvers seem to have their own language and often listen to fastpaced electronic music called rave. Of course, not everyone who fits this description is actually a charver, but asking an individual in question whether or not they are a charver is not recommended.

Sometimes these groups are referred to as “chavs”, but here the correct usage is always “charver”.

Useful to aim at people who lie to strangers in pubs, and bosses who expect you to work an early shift on a Sunday morning.

Class noun. Very good, excellent.

Haway This is an exclamation that generally means “come on”. It is often shouted at football matches, in order to coax the team to perform better.

Crack: The ‘craic’, if you’re Irish. The general atmosphere, and the conversation of a time, place or person, even if ‘conversation’ is perhaps too grandiose a word for most Mackem interaction. For someone, somewhere, or something to be ‘canny crack’ is a complement indeed. Gan To go. Grief noun. To provide someone with unnecessary trouble or hassle. For instance, if a charver yells obscenities at you, you may later tell your friends that the charver was giving you grief. Haddaway and shite An expression of disbelief or disgust at a suggestion because of its lack of credence, or its sheer stupidity.

Like A multi-faceted cornerstone of the Mackem lingo. Used as a pause filler, sometimes with differing expression to connote anger or puzzlement. Love noun. An informal term that is used to address a young person. Other terms that mean the same are: lover, pet, flower, chicken, petal, pigeon and so on. You will be called one of these at least once while you are in Sunderland. If you are female, you will hear this frequently, so try very hard not to think of it as sexual harassment. It is usually intended to be a friendly gesture. Marra Mate.

Mint adjective. Excellent, superior quality Nowt noun. Nothing, zero or naught. Skint noun. To not have money, to be broke. Summat pronoun. Something Whinge verb. To complain excessively. Why aye A tricky phrase, because it is often used with a multitude of meanings. It is important to understand the way the phrase is used, such as the person’s tone of voice and the type of conversation you are having with them. 1. For instance, if you are telling a lie and someone replies quickly with this phrase, they are really saying, “I know that is not true and I am calling you on it”. 2. This phrase can also be used to express agreement with someone, to say, “OK” and, occasionally as a type of greeting amongst a group of very close friends – or enemies.

Do you want entertainment? Sunderland’s new flagship swimming pool is now open to the public and it is very impressive indeed. The Aquatic Centre is located next to the Stadium of Light and houses a 50-metre swimming pool and a fitness centre. The museum, cinema and theatre are located in the city centre and facilities for tennis, wall climbing and bowling are spread across the city. If you’re willing to travel a little further, Newcastle and Gateshead have plenty of cultural attractions, including parks, museums and theatres. The University and City libraries often have free brochures highlighting upcoming events. A selections of sights, sounds and activities that don’t require a pub: Sunderland Aquatic Centre, next to Stadium of Light Tel. 0191 561 6161 The brand new £20m facility, which houses a 50-metre pool and wellness centre, is now open to the public.

musicals, opera, ballet and much more. available.

Student discounts are

Sunderland Bowl, Newcastle Road Tel 0191 565 6001 / 0191 565 6018 Fun, cheap entertainment located near the Stadium of Light metro station.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Burdon Road, next to Mowbray Park Tel. 0191 553 2323 This art gallery has permanent and visiting exhibitions, with an indoor garden that houses over 2,000 flowers and plants. Admission is free.

Empire Cinema, located next to Gala Bingo in the Limelight Entertainment Complex, 4 Lambton Street Tel. 0871 471 4714 Check cinema for listings. Student discounts are available.

Penshaw Monument, near Herrington Country Park, off the A183 Built in 1844 on top of Penshaw Hill, this scaled-down replica of the temple of Hephaestus in central Athens can be seen for miles around its picturesque location.

Sunderland Empire Theatre, West High Street Tel. 0191 566 1040 Booking Tel. 0844 847 24 99 The Empire Theatre regularly hosts large-scale West End productions,

Sunderland Wall, Doxford Works, Pallion Quay Tel. 0191 514 4234 Indoor wall climbing and courses.

08 DN

GOING GLOBAL Every year, students from all around the world travel to study at Sunderland. There are lots of things for these students can do while they are here and Philippa McDonald of the Students’ Union Executive co-ordinates them.

Pip McDonald: Outside the Globe Cafe, held at Sunderland’s Free Church, every Thursday from 8pm-10pm. That’s all fine, you might be thinking. I know where to buy my bread, top up my phone and go for a night out with some friends. I even know what some of the locals mean when they speak to me. But what if I’m not even from the UK, it’s not just Sunderland that’s new to me, it’s the entire country. Fear not, help is at hand. The SU has an Executive Officer dedicated to helping you through the culture shock of moving abroad and leaving behind your loved ones. Philippa McDonald is the International Equality and Diversity Officer for the Students’ Union and is based in their offices both at Wearbank House at St Peter’s and the Edinburgh Building at City Campus. Philippa, or Pip for short, is responsible for making sure all international students have the support needed to adapt to living and studying in the North East. With a string of qualifications under her belt and an undergraduate degree from Durham, Pip decided to turn her hand to working for the SU after being attracted to the role. She spent time in Bangkok as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher. Her job involves, among other things, planning and running events for international students, like trips both near and far, to places such as Edinburgh. Having studied diversity in the past, Pip is well qualified for that part of her role as well. She’s currently finishing her MA in Curating and has

been an active volunteer, working on the Green Festival, Chinese New Year, and Fair Trade Day, at venues such as Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Laing Art Gallery, Reg Vardy Gallery and for the National Trust. She also helps with the Globe Cafe at Sunderland Free Church every Thursday from 8pm-10pm. But don’t let the religious setting put you off, it’s an entirely non-religion based opportunity for international students to come together and make friends. Making friends and trying something new is the goal of the International & Halls Sports & Activities Festival at the Crowtree Leisure Centre during Freshers’ Week, where you can try new sports, such as volleyball (Wednesday 24th September 12pm-16:30pm). Pip is also working on the Diversity Celebration with the University’s Chaplain for the first term. Building partnerships between the University and other organisations is something Pip is striving for currently, as she believes that the stronger the network of organisations becomes, the better the experience for international students will become. She attends Disability, Gender and LGB Independent Advisory groups as part of Sunderland City Council. On a local level, she had an SU stall at the Sunderland Together Against Racism (STAR) Festival at the Raich Carter Centre. On a national level, she has been invited to be on the Management Board for the

International Student Council at the University of East London in September 2008 and will be involved with helping an Irish Society to be set up, in addition to helping with the North East Irish Cultural Network (NEICN) Street Festival back at the end of August. She is also looking into organising an International, Equality & Diversity week in February next year, additionally with a spot on Utopia FM. She has used various networking websites as a vehicle to communicate with students, particularly as a platform for promoting events happening in the region to help students get a feel of the North East, setting up a number of Facebook groups for people to congregate and share ideas. And Pip is also keen to develop schemes within the University and the SU that can continue to be successful after she has moved on to pastures new. “I’m very ideas and action driven.” One of these ideas has been the introduction of a buddy scheme, a kind of mentoring programme. She was instrumental in the process of getting the Students’ Union to become a named partner for the ARCH scheme at Sunderland City Council, which is a big step forward for the Union. Through action, Pip hopes to show the commitment to supporting international student life, equality and diversity.

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How to Survive By Kat Baggott This title may sound a bit daunting, and you are probably wondering why, as a new student, you may need a ‘survival guide’. Well, wait and see what is in store for you.

You are what you eat? Okay, so this is probably the first time you have ever lived away from home. I suspect you are used to your daily routine of having many of your meals prepared and cooked for you. Well, don’t panic! You can cook up a gorgeous meal in no time, without the help of your Mum, and on a low budget. I am going to provide you with some really healthy recipes, which cost next to nothing and are extremely tasty! It has been a rumour for a long time that in the first year of University, new students basically live off of beans on toast, pot noodles and some form of takeaway. This doesn’t have to be you! Well, the occasional takeaway is alright, but just think of how much money you could be saving, and how much healthier you will feel by cooking a meal from scratch. Plus, it is a great way to get creative and make new friends! As you probably won’t be familiar with the Sunderland area, I have chosen the supermarket Tesco, which is situated in The Bridges Shopping Centre in the town. I set myself a budget of five pounds, to see what sort of tasty meal I could conjure up. Here is what I decided to make.

Spicy Chicken Curry • • • • •

2 x chicken fillets – £2.09 Tesco Extra Special curry sauce jar - £1.14 Tesco boil in the bag rice - £0.92 Tesco chopped onion in a bag - £0.29 1 x red pepper - £0.50

Total = £4.94 Directions: Firstly, cut up your chicken breasts into thin chunks with a pair of scissors, and place on a plate. Wash your hands. Next, chop up your pepper, ensuring that you remove the stalk and all of the seeds inside. Give it a quick wash inside and out. Add your chopped up chicken to a large non-stick pan, and add a little oil if desired. When your chicken turns white, and is cooked through, add in the chopped up pepper and chopped onion. Stir and cook, until the onion starts to turn brown. Next, add in your jar of curry sauce, covering all the contents of the pan. Stir everything in, and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes. Whilst your curry is simmering, boil a pan of water. When the water comes to the boil, drop in the desired amount of boil in the bag rice. Cook for about 4 minutes, or follow the instructions on the back of the box. Next, serve up your rice and curry – and voila! A healthy meal in no time.

Random fact: Journalists can’t cook, so here’s a stock photo of some fruit and veggies to remind you there’s food outside the unholy trinity of burgers, kebabs and chips.

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Student Life Turkey & Pepper Burgers. • • • • • •

like a tempting form of exercise.

450g lean turkey mince – £2.50 1 x red pepper (thinly sliced) - £0.50 1 x red onion (thinly sliced) - £0.20 1 x garlic clove (crushed) - £0.12 6 x large granary bread buns - £0.69 1 x bottle Daddies tomato ketchup - £0.95

Total = £4.97 Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine together the turkey mince, onion, garlic and pepper, and work the mixture together with two forks to break up the meat. Next, season with ground black pepper and salt. Mix well, using your hands, and bring the mixture together. Form into burger shapes, squeezing the mixture between your hands to form a tight ball and then flatten slightly. Set aside. Cook the burgers under a hot grill for 10 minutes each side. Make sure the burgers are cooked. Pull one apart to check the centre is fully cooked. If in doubt, return to the grill. When the burgers are done, place one in each of the burger buns, and add sauce if desired. There you have a tasty burger, with next to no fat in. Eat that Mcdonalds. I made the ‘Spicy Chicken Curry’ in the first week of University for my nine housemates, and they absolutely loved it! Seven of them are males, and they said they thought it was tastier than a takeaway meal.

Move your body. So that is the food making part of the Survival Guide over and done with. Now, what about exercise? I’m not talking about raising your arm to your mouth, with a pint glass in between – although, it does sound

It is important to keep yourself fit and well within your first few weeks of University and avoid the dreaded ‘Fresher’s flu’. You have so much going on which you don’t want to miss out on, so you need a clear head throughout this. Exercise is available in many forms, even if it is just dancing or having a wiggle to your favourite songs in a club. You’d be amazed at how much you move and work out. Walking is also really beneficial within your first few weeks at University, as it’s a time to explore the new surroundings you are living in. Even if it is only a 15 minute walk around town, it all counts. There is also the Crowtree Leisure Centre, which offers varied fitness classes throughout the week. However, the most recent development for Sunderland is the new, Aquatic Centre, which is situated next to the famous, Stadium of Light. You can even hop onto the metro, as there is a stop just outside. The £19.8 million Aquatic Centre, designed by Red Box Architecture incorporates a main pool, diving pool and wellness centre. Why not join with a friend? This will give you extra motivation and a great time to socialise. You got a friend in me. Making brand new friends at University is undoubtedly one of the most exciting things about moving away and creating a new life. There are so many different types of people in the same boat as you, who are all extremely willing to form new bonds. It is a chance to express yourself away from your home life and enjoy University life to the full. Top Tip: When you move into your Halls of Residence, take a box of chocolates, or a bottle of alcohol. Not only will your new housemates be flattered, it’ll also be a talking point and make you easily liked. It’s not fickle, it is just undeniable that everyone loves chocolate!

Talk to Tracy Hello, I’m Tracy Simmons, Student Contact Officer at the Students’ Union (otherwise known as “Talk to Tracy”). It’s part of my job to help to ensure that you have the best time you can at University and that you receive all the help and support you need whilst you’re here. If you’re a new student, starting University is one of the biggest life changes you will probably ever experience. It may be your first time living away from home or you may be returning to study as a mature student. To help you to settle in, you should attend Welcome Week events as this is a great way to meet other students. You should also check out the Fresher’s Fayre on the 1st October, as joining Clubs and Societies is a great way to meet like minded people and get involved in University life. Don’t forget, if you’re unsure about anything or have any problems at all, just get in touch with me. I provide a signposting service and also give support if you are feeling homesick (a very common feeling at this time of year!) or have any concerns about your course. As Student Contact Officer, I am here to help. Telephone: 0191 5153582 Email: Location: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, Wearbank House, St. Peter’s Campus (next door to Campus ) Tuesdays & Thursdays, Students’ Union office, Ground Floor, Edinburgh Building, City Campus

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Sunderland University brings students a brand new American Dream with the revamped Union bar, on the former Manor Quay site. Nicola Bramble takes a peek behind the doors and talks to the man that made it all possible. When Manor Quay closed at the beginning of the summer in 2007, there was an audibly disgruntled sigh issued from Sunderland’s student population. Especially from those based at the St. Peter’s Campus. Admittedly, the floors of the much-loved bar were sticky, the interior design was questionable, and I’m certain there was a definite tilt to the pool tables… Let’s just say it perhaps wasn’t in the best condition (for those of you who understand the delightful Mackem lingo, its ‘Manky Quay’ nickname should be all you need to know). But, whatever it wasn’t, it made up for in popularity and it was the source of some great memories (and after some nights, a distinct lack of memory) for myself, and I’m sure many, many others. So it was with a deflated kind of resignation that one and all had to face the fact there would be no bar at St. Peter’s. Until (inevitably, or there would be no point in this feature) now. Yes, from Freshers’ Week, Manor Quay is throwing its doors open again, as the fullyrefurbished Campus. The new manager, Carlo Citti, a Scottish-based entrepreneur, has already had great success north of the border with bar

Glamour Girl: You’ll catch lots of famous faces in the bumper cars at Campus, including the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe.

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‘Classrooms’, venues ‘Nico’s’ and ‘Europa’ and Glasgow’s own ‘Campus’ which, according to Mr Citti, is famous across Glasgow. The completion of the bar’s extensive refurbishment was bang on time, making Campus Sunderland’s first ‘Frat House’, with an American theme. Students may even be able to join the ‘fraternity’, with hooded tops on offer to members. Mr Citti describes his newest venture as: “A great opportunity to go into partnership with Sunderland’s Students’ Union and one which I’m very excited about.” He continued: “This venue will provide students with something a bit different and I hope it’ll go down well. I really can’t wait for it to open.” At the moment, events are still being planned, but Mr Citti is waiting on several big acts to confirm a showing. He describes them as: “Not just any of your usual student-event celebrities.” He was, however, able to say that he plans to carry over to the Sunderland club the theme nights that have proved to be such a huge hit in Glasgow. These include ‘Hawaiian Nights’ and ‘Student Idol’, as well as live bands. The capacity will stand at 1,200 and Mr Citti hopes to be able to provide a gig venue that rivals those in Newcastle. It would be easy to be cynical and employ the old “We’ve heard it all before…” adage, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the Scotsman’s obvious excitement and, while you might be thinking this will

all cost on the door, he claims: “Prices will be reasonable and we’re always trying to give something back”. By giving back, he means holidays to Hawaii and New York, and a £10,000 prize to the winner of ‘Student Idol’. That’s a lot of give. As if this wasn’t enough (and I can hear student stomachs rumbling already), the new bar is serving food in line with the American theme, such as burgers, pizza, fries and so on (a world away from the undercooked jacket potatoes of the past). The bar will be a top venue for anyone who wants to view televised sporting events, with multiple screens and bar snacks on offer. Greg Du Bois, current President of the Students’ Union at Sunderland, is equally enthused about the new bar opening. He said: “It’s pretty clear that many students were disappointed that Manor Quay closed. “Re-opening it this year will create an enthusiastic response from those students who lost it in their first year, and will create a whole new experience for those who have never been there before.” Greg also said that, although past and present Union members played a big part in the reinstatement of Manor Quay, this really is something the University should take credit for. If all the sparkling promises are kept about what looks to be a fantastic shiny new venue that not just the University, but Sunderland itself can be proud of, then it looks like there’s fun times ahead for Campus at Manor Quay.

Wall-to-Wall Nostalgia: The walls of Campus are covered in terrific retro memorabilia.

Warning signs: There are some laughs to be found from the signs on some of Campus’s walls.

King of the Road: Marilyn’s got the bumper car, Elvis, pictured here in his prime, has this sleek red number.

Dancefloor: Here at DN, the two things we like most are dancing and shiny things.

The pick of the upcoming entertainment @ Campus Thursday 25th – 1980s Roller Disco @ Campus Get your gladrags on for the inaugural Campus Roller Disco. And it’s Eighties themed, so dig out your retro threads and come on down. Rollers are provided.

Wednesday 1st – Lee Ryan Live @ Campus Lee Ryan (him out of Blue, you remember) will be performing live on stage at Campus. Make sure you’re there early to get a good spot amongst the screaming women.

Friday 26th – Band Night @ Campus Live music returns to the old Manor Quay site with a headline set from local boys Hungover Stuntmen along with support from The Flytes, Little Comets and The Elements.

Thursday 2nd – Comedy Hypnotist @ Campus Campus plays host to a show from comedy hypnotist, Alan Bates. Don’t heckle too loud or you might end up on stage with your trousers round your ankles, barking like a dog.

Monday 29th – School Disco Rave Party @ Campus Get your school uniform out for a rave party at Campus. But there’s more! ‘Set You Free’ dance stars N-Trance will be performing live on stage.

Friday 3rd – Dirk Benedict @ Campus The Face from the A-Team (yes, we’re really pulling out the stops here) will be appearing at Campus as part of an army theme commando night. Get that face paint on.

Before, during and after: The old ‘Manky Quay’, above left, complete with rusty signs and, above right, the site during the build. But if you want to see the finished product, you had better get your arse down to Campus.

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The driving force behind USSU...

Meet The Exec Jamie Smith introduces you to the University Executive for 2008/2009

Lurking inside the Edinburgh Building at City Campus is a mysterious set of offices where some weird and wonderful things take place, but it is often shrouded in mystery. Luckily for you, dear reader, I am here to expose this exciting place, where veritable miracles happen for you, our students. Welcome to the University of Sunderland Students’ Union. The SU at Sunderland looks after a vast array of things you will need during your studies.They provide student support, act as the link between you lot, the students, and the bigwigs that run the place, give you somewhere to get drunk and meet new friends, and put on events that drag you away

from those horrible essays. Basically, the job of the SU is to make sure students have the best possible university experience. But who are they? Well, the core officers are actually voted for by Sunderland’s students, and are typically alumni (graduates) of the university. You may have an image in your head of some crusty fuddy-duddies deciding what’s best for you, but that’s far from the truth. The SU is a vibrant, friendly space that can deal with any question or problem you may have. So let’s introduce you to some of the people who you may come across, if you cross the SU’s hallowed doorway.

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Meet The Exec Your President for this academic year is Greg Du Bois. Greg is 22 and originally from Newcastle. No, not the one up the road, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Although the term President currently evokes images of a foolish American sat in a big white house, not knowing what on Earth he’s doing, the SU head honcho couldn’t be more different. Greg openly admits that he’s been planning this role for two years, and to say he is organised would be a massive understatement.

President: Greg Du Bois

Following his Media Production TV & Radio degree, Greg decided he wanted to give something back to the University and the SU that had given him such a good experience. Greg describes his job as ‘organisation, in a nutshell’. But, to elaborate, his job is “maintaining the constant running of the SU, supporting staff, the Exec and the students on a day-to-day basis.” Luckily, Greg thrives on stress and working under pressure, something the President’s position totally demands. Whilst he might sound scary, he’s really just passionate about his work, and a Thoroughly Bloody Nice Bloke. Along with Greg, there are seven other members of the Exec.

Vice-President: Stephen Corr

Education and Welfare Officer: Ciara Murphy

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The Vice-President is 21-year-old Mancunian Stephen Corr. Steve is on the Exec off the back of a Psychology degree, and his role, as well as being Greg’s second-in-command, involves looking after all communication in and out of the SU, as well as balancing budgets. Steve’s job is to make sure that students

know what the SU is up to, be it by updating the Union website at, putting together the Student Handbook for the year, or maintaining the output of various Facebook groups. He’s also in charge of the motley crew at Degrees North, so we had better be nice… Steve is keen to point out that the SU is not somewhere you should be wary of. “It’s not a serious place, you shouldn’t be afraid to come in. There’s always someone around to help out.” Steve eventually wants to go into the police, so don’t be nicking any pencils from his office or he’ll be on to you. The other Sabbatical (full-time) members of the Exec are the ‘Officers’ and have specific responsibilities and jazzy titles.They are Gavin Barnes (Sports and Activities Officer), Philippa McDonald (International and Equality/Diversity Officer) and Ciara Murphy (Education and Welfare Officer). Irish-born Ciara came to Sunderland to take a post-graduate diploma in Psychology after studying primary school teaching in her native Emerald Isle. The two parts of her job title offer very different challenges to the 23-year-old, with the education side mainly involving sitting on panels, acting as the voice of the students, and the welfare bit giving her the chance to run various campaigns to raise money for charity. Ciara is your port of call if you are interested in helping with fundraising, have an idea for a charity event, or want a message passed on to the aforementioned University top brass. She is currently coordinating the plans for RAG (Raise and Give) Week at the end of

International Equality and Diversity Officer: Philippa McDonald

Say hello to the University of Sunderland SU Executive – a select group of elites who have passed through our halls and now look to give something back to you and the University by taking on some fancy titles and occasionally doing something with them. February, although events will take place throughout the course of the academic year.

and also publicises and chairs any general meetings the Union may hold.

She will also shortly be trying to persuade the University sports teams to pose for a charity calendar. Ciara agrees with Steve about the approachability of the SU. “We’re real people. What’s the point of having a Union, if you can’t talk to them?”

Northumberland-born Mark was a student rep last year and felt that the representation offered by the SU could be improved. He said: “Representation was good, but had lots of scope for improvement.”

25-year-old Philippa is the most local of the full-time officers, hailing from Newcastle (yes, that one up the road). She also packs my interviewing sheet to the absolute brim; Pip has involved herself in so many different things it’s difficult to pick out the most note-worthy, but scoot back to page 9 to read over some of her work in more detail. If sports are your thing, Gavin Barnes is your man. He looks after the sports teams and clubs representing the University and can always be found rushing about from meeting to venue to match, and even occasionally to his office. But elusive though he is, DN tracked him down for an exclusive profile, which you can find on page 38. As well as the five full-time Officers, there are three non-sabbatical, part-time members of the exec. They are Dan Frost (LGBT Officer), Hannah Hunter-Reid (Societies Officer) and Mark Nailess (Student Representation Officer). Representing the students is one of the main things that any Students’ Union should do, and the task of making sure this is happening correctly falls to Mark. To do this, he chairs the Students’ Council, where students can put forward their views

Many of you will be members of societies, but these things don’t run themselves, that falls at the door of Hannah Hunter-Reid. Hannah, though, is not just concerned with the existing societies; “I look to start up new societies, to better the student experience for everyone at Sunderland.” And with such a vast range of societies available, there is bound to be something to suit your tastes or talent. And if there isn’t, why not start one?

Student Representation Officer: Mark Nailess

Last, but by no means least, is the youngest member of the Exec for 08/09, Dan Frost. He is the LGBT Officer for the Union, and if, like me until about a year into my degree, you haven’t a clue what LGBT stands for, I’ll clear it up for you now. It stands for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender. Dan’s role is to provide support for the LGBT students at the University and to help run the LGBT society, which he hopes will attract even more than the healthy 32 members it did last year. Dan will also be co-ordinating ‘Gay Day’, the second Tuesday of Freshers’ Fortnight. So, there you go. There are the bright faces that will help to shape your student experience for this academic year. It might be a big responsibility, but you can be sure that, when it comes to having a good time, this lot will lead by example.

Sports and Activities Officer: Gavin Barnes

LGBT Officer: Dan Frost

Societies Officer: Hannah HunterReid

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Shady characters: The Automatic chill out after putting together their new album, right.

It’s funny how quickly it can turn for some bands. Anyone who hasn’t heard ‘Monster’ must have spent the last two years in a soundproof box, but, quickly, The Automatic became a byword for joke band. Jamie Smith caught up with Iwan Griffiths, drummer for the Welsh four-piece to see how they’re coping, as they release their second album. Not many bands had more of an eventful start than The Automatic. Formed in their native Wales ten years ago, it took until 2006 to release their debut album, ‘Not Accepted Anywhere’. From that album came the ubiquitous ‘Monster’ and fellow smash hits ‘Raoul’ and ‘Recover’, quickly followed by the trashing of the GMTV studio during a ‘live’ performance and the departure of the charismatic Alex Pennie.

The band’s return was through the rollicking ‘Steve McQueen’, a balls out rocker that does its best to hide the troubles at the heart of the band. The message is clear: The Automatic are a different band now.

The band hired Yourcodenameis:milo’s Paul Mullen to complete their line up, before recording in LA with Don Gilmore in September last year. Griffiths explains that they intended to record the album all in one go, but that, in the end, the process turned out much the same as when they recorded their debut, with the recording process spread out over a number of months with different producers, including Butch Walker.

The white elephant is present throughout our conversation, alluded to but hardly mentioned by name. The outsider would naturally assume the band would be sick to death of hearing about their ‘Creep’ but the reality is far from it. They take great pride in having written such a big hit and Griffiths claims they still enjoy playing it live, although they “mess around and try and do something different with it.”

Griffiths said: “It took a long time to record, which gave us more chance to try new things, different instruments, different ways of recording. It’s fun to play live, we can properly go for it.” And Griffiths is frank about the change in the band’s dynamic with keyboardist Pennie leaving the band,“Pennie had good ideas, but wasn’t able to say what he meant in musical terms. Paul has amazing ideas. Paul is more musically minded. Pennie was a dominating presence. Now, there’s not just focus on one individual, there’s more focus on the band.”

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But Griffiths claims it wasn’t a conscious decision for the band to abandon their catchy, poppy roots:“There was no definite decision, we just wrote the music. The first album, we were too consciously trying to write a ‘Monster’.”

I bring up the subject of indie’s sudden omnipresence within the industry and the fact that there are dozens of bands making identical music and Griffiths is quick to agree: “The Kooks and One Night Only are the same band to me.” Griffiths also points to the emergence of oodles of Libertines rip-off bands, what he calls ‘Mockney’. But, strangely, he has nothing but praise for a band that has roundly been criticised for wearing their influences far too clearly on their sleeves. “The Enemy are different from that whole thing,” he claims. Obviously not a Jam fan then.

At one point, he also compares his own band to compatriots Manic Street Preachers and, at this point, my colleague in the DN office is struggling to fight fits of laughter. I quickly change the subject to their treatment from the NME, who originally lauded the band and even booked them as headliners on the 2006 Rock ‘n’ Roll Riot tour, but quickly turned on the band, dropping in cheap shots whenever they got the chance. It’s a cheap trick, and one the magazine is guilty of more and more often, lately. “It did at first get the band down, it gets a bit personal. It’s just a bit low. They said that when we die people would cheer. It’s a bit uncalled for. We’re not a Mugabe regime.” Despite all of this, the band are probably best known for destroying the GMTV set, during a mimed performance. Griffiths explains that the band were still feeling it from a long drinking session the night before and had been duped into doing the show, but claims that it wasn’t pre-meditated.“We didn’t go in planning it, but it ended up happening.” The interview ends with Griffiths’ assertion that “this is the album we wanted to write compared with the first album. There were doubts from the first album. This is the sound we wanted.” How the public reacts remains to be seen. The Automatic’s second album ‘This Is A Fix’ is out now on B-Unique Records.

Utopia FM, S u n d e r l a n d ’s student radio station, has hit the airwaves again for its final fling ,before going full time in 2009. But, before the big move, station manager Rory Auskerry is looking forward to the Freshers broadcast that is on air now, and will remain on air for 2 weeks until the 5th October. There will then be another week of broadcast which will only be available from the website, found at Rory, 20, said: “Utopia is unique as it combines elements of community radio into student radio. It is also an opportunity for people in Sunderland to hear the best of the radio talent emerging from the city’s university.

Utopia FM is run by the students, and as they graduate they need more students to come in and take their place. Adem Waterman said: “The station needs new voices to take over when we all sadly graduate so it is extremely important that Freshers get involved. I was really scared to get involved in the station but I found everyone very welcoming and when I needed help in training and developing there was always some there. If it wasn’t for the other DJ’s and presenters I wouldn’t be able to be on air now.”

And Rory echoes Adem’s sentiments: “People who get involved in Freshers often become fully fledged Utopia presenters. We are very keen for people with any interest in Utopia to get in touch, whether it be presenting, reporting, writing, editing or promoting. The main thing to remember is that being involved in Utopia is a lot of fun.” As Utopia gets closer to going full-time emphasis is placed more on the community and news plays a huge part of this. Matt Raisbeck, Utopia’s Head of News, said: “As Utopia FM prepares to become a fulltime community radio station, news takes on even greater value as we are effectively the voice of the community in Sunderland and the surrounding areas. “In our news, we need to make sure we reflect what’s happening in our patch and report the things that are important to our audience.

“The variety of music, presenting styles, features, voices and interaction on the station is what makes Utopia FM a unique and exciting radio station. Freshers are a big part of our target audience. Moving to a new city and starting university can be a daunting process. It is also a lot of fun.”

“I’m also keen to see some original journalism and want us to find as many of our own stories as possible, so we can offer something a little bit different to what other stations are doing.”

The station offers a diverse range of music to suit all tastes. Utopia’s Head of Music, Adem Waterman said: “Like most radio stations, we do have a playlist that sticks to the conventional format of having popular music played during drivetime and the afternoon. We also have a wide range of specialist shows that are based around dance, urban, rock and drum and bass too.”

But, the whole team are keen to stress that people with all kinds of skills can get involved in Utopia. They need people to help with promotion, people to write news bulletins, people to find new music. Basically, if you want to help, there will be something you can do. It’d be silly not to get involved.

Rory Auskerry: Utopia Manager

Rory Auskerry and Adem Waterman were talking to Shaun Wathey.

Presenters’ Choice – Utopia stars point you in the direction of the best shows. Adem Waterman recommends Urban Legends. We have a show called Urban Legendz that plays rap, R’n’B and club music that is fronted by Rob Davies that gets listeners from all over the world. Rob really knows his stuff and is quickly getting recognised in the industry.

Rory Auskerry recommends Drive Time. I won’t be missing any of the shows! Everyone has their own unique way of presenting and every show will be different, but don’t miss our flagship community drive show. It’s on between 5pm and 7pm every weeknight and covers everything that’s going on in the community.

Matt Raisbeck recommends Amy & Jen. Two experienced presenters who have been doing Utopia for a few years. Always a good listen in the afternoon and they have a good rapport with each other. Good banter and music as you make your way home from Uni – well worth tuning in for!

Utopia Timeline – Sunderland University’s radio history, in a nutshell. November 1997: ‘Visions of Utopia’ Arts Fair takes place; the University runs a radio broadcast called Radio Utopia.

2003: Station wins three silver Student Radio Awards. 2004: Followed by a Gold and Silver.

Spring 2007: Utopia’s frequency changes from 102.4 to 87.7FM 2009: Utopia hits the airwaves full time.

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the ultimate A Freshers’ issue wouldn’t be a Freshers’ issue without a definitive guide to the best drinking spots in Sunderland. The Ultimate DN Bar Guide is your handy two-page sample of some of the finest student watering holes in the city, except Campus and Bonded, of course. Compiled by Phil Daley. Disclaimer: Drink responsibly. Although you probably won’t pay any attention to that...

Black Bull A popular bar with students, especially sports teams, The Bull boasts cheap drinks all week long, karaoke and pool tables. It’s a great place to start the night, and where everyone seems to congregate. Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

309 High St West, opposite the Sunderland Empire. 2-4-1 on Trebles, and bottles of Stella £3. Fishbowls £10. Karaoke Wednesdays, or “Happy Mondaze” for even cheaper drinks. Lethal 89% proof Absinthe!

The Borough A relaxed and friendly pub downstairs and live venue, “The Dark”, upstairs. If you’re after drinking games, The Borough offers “Chase the Tequila Worm” – the winner getting free shots and cheap drinks thereafter. The Brasseye inspired, yet questionably named “Bad Aids Roulette” involves 6 shots. Five nice, one nasty. Think “Deerhunter” with Tabasco. The cocktail bible contains an impressive list of drinks, shots and shooters. Some with a free lollipop! Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

1 Vine Place, just around the corner from Park Lane. Create your own cocktails £3, Jagerbombs £3, Two for £3 on selected drinks. Saturday sees “Ammunition”, Sunderland’s longest running rock night. Buskers’ night on Wednesdays, with free drinks for performers. There is also a Burlesque night on the first Monday of every month. The “Borough Bomb” for £4. If they call Gin ‘Mother’s Ruin’, this is what messed her kids up. The Borough: Pictured left, offers the colourfully titled drinking game, Bad Aids Roulette. Victoria’s: Right, is a stone’s throw away from City Campus, making it great for postlecture drinks.

Victoria’s A contemporary and stylish bar boasting 20+ flavoured vodkas downstairs and the late lounge A-Z cocktail bar upstairs. The best cocktails in Sunderland and the only place that does a proper Mojito. Dirt cheap food for students and 2-4-1 cocktails all day round the corner from the City Campus makes it perfect for after lectures. Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

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Victoria Buildings, 1-6 Low Row, opposite Sunderland Minster. Trebles £3, 2-4-1 cocktails £3.50, flavoured vodka shots £1, Pints and bottles £2 Sun-Thurs “Pointless Mondays” for £1.80 treble vodkas and pints for under a quid on production of a student card. “Flicks@Vics” on Sundays for popcorn and a movie. Don’t finish Freshers’ week without a go on the dentist’s chair!

dn bar guide The Ivy House A favourite with many students,The Ivy has a proper ‘old pub’ feel to it while at the same time looking after its student punters with excellent promotions and entertainment. The new “Cheat Card” gets you 25% off, and with inspired entertainment, there’s always something going on. A great place to watch sport, good DJs and a “reet good craic!” Now with beer garden. Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

Worcester Street, two minutes from Park Lane. Pints £1.90, bottles £1.50, £1.50 party on Thursdays. Tuesday is Wii night, Quiz night on Wednesday (with cash prize) and buskers’ night on Thursday. Obviously the “Cheat Card”, but we just like that the bar follows the curve of the road! Innfusion A busy bar, serving good value drinks at sensible prices. Priding itself on “the art of bartending” with fast, efficient service and presentation paramount... So, basically, they don’t throw the drink at you. Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

18 Park Lane, right by the Metro and bus station. Single spirit & mixer £1.80, doubles £2.30, and trebles £2.80. 2-4-1 on selected bottles Mondays and Wednesdays provide a lively atmosphere with jugs of vodka redbull for £7.85 and pints for £2. “Text Requests” with DJ Nichola Clarkson Mondays and Wednesdays.

Paddy Whacks Probably the busiest pub in town, PaddyWhacks focuses on entertainment. Sunderland’s one and only Irish bar boasts Karaoke on Mondays, buskers on Thursdays and live bands at the weekend. Paddy Whacks is the top seller of Guinness in the North East; the house band even does the Black Stuff’s adverts. There are loads of prizes and giveaways, and with plenty of staff serving at any one time you don’t have to wait long. Where: Prices: When to go: Best bit:

Green Terrace, just down from takeaway heaven Chilino’s. 2-4-1 on selected drinks Sunday-Thursday. 2 large glasses of wine gets you the rest of the bottle free. Any time It’s an Irish pub – with Sunderland’s Irish connections, what more could you want? Aspire Sunderland’s newest and most stylish bar, with lavish leather, lots of comfy seats and the smoking terrace has got a huge screen, so you can watch the match in the rain. There’s an impressive food menu offering something different from the usual burger and chips, and you can get the whole tapas menu for just over a tenner. Where: 34 Low Row, opposite the Minster. Prices: 10% student discount on food and drink. 2-4-1 Cocktails Mon-Wed. When to go: Wednesdays for cheap cocktails, Thursdays for Foster’s and wine for £1.49. Best bit: Great drinks offers, and a classy change from most bars in Sunderland.

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The Best of this Sum

Summer, eh? A well deserved chance to relax after two hefty semesters of learning and writing endless theory based essays. A chance to be outside in the fresh air. A chance to frolic with friends and loved ones. All very well and good if you are living in an aspirational Disney movie, in fact I imagine that if you have wasted your summer this way you are probably bursting into song and dancing round the University right now. The point is, that being outside all summer will doubtlessly make you feel good for a bit but it will ultimately have forced you to miss out on some of the finest media entertainment that the year has to offer. Luckily for you happy, frolicking types, the DN entertainment team have been hard at work sitting in various dark rooms over the past few months to bring you a handy review and recap of some of the summer’s biggest offerings.

Movies Batman:The Dark Knight

The biggest movie of the summer – if not the whole year – is, of course, Batman: The Dark Knight, the second instalment in Christopher Nolan’s murky revamp of the franchise, this time promising a better class of criminal with Heath Ledger’s now infamous portrayal of The Joker and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent. The really clever thing is that the presence of two villains doesn’t clutter the film and the plot is given enough room to breathe, allowing it to be more a multifaceted character study of people pushed to the edge by an illogical force (The Joker, played with utter conviction by Ledger) than just another over-stylised comic book movie. The Dark Knight therefore transforms into a brooding character piece, although it has admittedly suffered from the over-hyping that was inevitable as a result of Ledger’s death. However, it is still an excellent film with some truly excellent performances, although admittedly mainly from the supporting cast: the eponymous rubber-clad hero isn’t actually in it all that much! MG


Charming, mostly silent, comedy about the last inhabitant of Earth. Big-eyed cleaning robot Wall-E has a penchant for shiny objects and an ability to turn himself into a box. He’s just very lonely and can only hang out with his pet cockroach. That all changes when sleek new robot E.V.E lands with a secret mission and leads our hero to the spaceship containing the last lard-arsed human beings. There are slightly glaring eco and health messages embedded in the film but they are fairly easy to ignore if you focus on the cute relationship between Wall-E and E.V.E. Once you switch off that cynical, studenty part of your brain and re-embrace your inner child you’ll enjoy the simple pleasures on display here. Now everyone say “Ahhhhh!” MG

Games Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo’s mascot themed fighter finally hit the UK – a full six months after the rest of the world. The premise of the eagerly-awaited beat-em-up is quite simple: choose any of Nintendo’s most recognised characters (and a few welcome guests, such as Sonic and Solid Snake) and beat the crap out of them until they go flying off the screen. The level of detail is immense, from each character’s appearance and individual moveset to level design, an insane amount of customisation options and unlockables (trophies, stickers, CDs – hundreds of each). It’s also one of the finest multiplayer experiences around and you can play as Sonic and beat up Mario. If that doesn’t manage to convince you of its greatness, then nothing will. MG

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Battlefield : Bad Company

War is hell, so the saying goes.This sentiment, however, is seemingly absent in Battlefield: Bad Company, the latest destruction-heavy first person shooter from Swedish developers, DICE. Rather, the game’s campaign is a light-hearted explosion-fest with a story that ditches the usual patriotism for a quest for lots and lots of gold. In certain areas, BF:BC has in fact struck gold. The destruction elevates this title above the rest of the pack by allowing the player to blow up pretty much anything. This forces the player to think twice about exactly where they hide from the incoming bullets and grenades. Surprisingly tactical, always explosive, and with a ranking system and unlockables to keep you playing, Bad Company is certainly a triumph. JB

mmer’s Entertainment Music (1) Coldplay – Viva la Vida, or Death and All His Friends With a newfound image resurrecting the fashions of the French Revolution and an album title sounding like a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, the fourth studio outing from Chris Martin and company arrived displaying typically grandiose ambition from a band many see as the new U2. However, the people who make this comparison appear equally split between those who think this is a Very Good Thing, and enjoy the epic stadium-rock of both acts, and those who think that the last thing the world needs is another U2.


Love them or loathe them though, there’s something widely appealing about Coldplay, be it the soaring vocals or the singalong choruses, or lyrics which to one set of ears can appear bland and devoid of any real meaning, but to another may signal love, death, or who knows what else.Whatever it is, this record sold, as expected, by the bucketload, and cemented Coldplay’s place as international superstars. AC (2) The Hold Steady – Stay Positive Beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is a seedier, darker, more confused America: an America that foregoes peroxide and jingoism and instead plumps for bar-fights, one night stands and illegal substances. It is an America that lusts after the lost dreams of the 1770s and the 1960s. This is the America of The Hold Steady, and it sounds like Bruce Springsteen pitching up in your local and letting you in on his raucous journeys across Texas, Memphis and wherever else takes your fancy. It’s also rather fantastic, and whilst it may not quite match the heights of previous outing Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady remain one of the rawest, roughest and rudest acts the States has to offer. AC


(3) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes Indie darlings Fleet Foxes have the pop sensibilities of the Beach Boys wrapped up in an exquisite other-worldly enigma. Articulate and whimsical, its heart-warming hooks and multilayered charm was perfect for summer snoozing, but will also warm the cockles of your heart come autumn: if you don’t think Your Protector is one of the most life-affirming things you hear all year, you may be dead. AC


(4) Girl Talk – Feed the Animals You can probably expect Fleet Foxes to turn up on the next Girl Talk LP if Feed the Animals’ inclusion of altpop favourites Of Montreal and Yo La Tengo is anything to go by. The thing is though, this is essentially a hip-hop album. It’s just that it’s a hip-hop album that takes dozens of modern rap samples and then throws them into a metaphorical blender with anything from underground indie to huge-selling chart fodder like Avril Lavigne and Rihanna, via utter cheese (Dexy’s, Salt-n-Pepa, Journey) and absolute legends (Public Enemy, Radiohead, Kraftwerk). A rollercoaster ride through the record collection of a genius, every listen will uncover something new to move you, shock you, or simply make you laugh. AC


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Coming Soon: Bromheads Jacket, left, and Hot Club de Paris are among the names appearing at Independent in the coming months.

By Adam Ferrarri

So, just when you thought the festival season was over and you were able to relax, safe in the knowledge that you’ve spent the mythical British summer watching your musical idols and doing a lot of stuff you probably shouldn’t, along comes the start of the new University term, and with it a chance for more indulging in musical mayhem and, well, doing more stuff you probably shouldn’t. For those of you who are new to Sunderland and the North-East scene, welcome to Wearside; exits are situated to your left, should you need to look elsewhere for a better range of musical talent (which we honestly doubt). Secondly, if you’re after a good, sweaty, but thoroughly memorable gig, chances are Independent will soon become your spiritual home. Having jumped about like a lunatic to the likes of homegrown heroes The Futureheads, up-and-coming locals The Deadwoods and studentdarlings Robots In Disguise, I know that Independent is host to rather a lot of decent gigs! Of course, it’s not just Independent where you can get your live music thrills. Sunderland Uni’s own Bonded Warehouse and Campus will also be bringing gigs to the student population, with performances by The Week That Was, Deltasound and, on November 29, Mackem legends The Arse Klarts will be sharing the Campus stage with Hungover Stuntmen and Underground heroes. That one in particular promises to be totally unmissable.

Courteeners and even Late of the Pier – and they’re up and down the UK like a set of madmen throughout the autumn. They’ll be at Independent on Saturday October 11. Another exciting act coming to a Holmeside bill near you is Martin Stephenson and The Daintees, an acoustic act with hits of jazz and 60s hillbilly tomfoolery, who will provide a mellow evening to underline the eclecticism of Independent (October 4). And on the 21st, Bromheads Jacket, a band that, however many times my mate shoved them in my face, I was reluctant to acknowledge. However, now I know they do exist and their latest British tour will close at Independent, I shall pay them more attention. Emerging from the same Sheffield scene as Arctic Monkeys, they deliver the same type of social-commentary-with-massive-choruses as Alex Turner’s mob. However, it’s not all about the increasingly-tiresome indie scene up here! Independent’s flagship night, Music for Misfits, will play almost anything to get your Saturday going, and over the road there’s anything from jazz to hip-hop from Independent’s mates at The White Room. And of course, there will be a vast variety of club nights to suit anyone’s taste over the river at the old Manor Quay site at Sunderland’s first Frat House, Campus.

For all you newbies, and Sunderland gigging veterans alike, DN has grabbed a sneak-peak at what’s coming up that’s hot in Sunderland.

Slightly further afield in Newcastle (boo, hiss, etc.), there’s also a wide range of pubs, clubs and bars for the discerning music fan to choose from, most notably the nationally renowned Digital. Here you can find drum ‘n’ bass at Turbulence, indie at Stone Love, and the famous Hed Kandi and Wax:On.

Fresh out of the Scouse oven are Hot Club de Paris who, by the looks (and sounds) of things, are due to become fairly massive this year. This liverpudlian trio bear resemblance to the likes of The Wombats, The

There’s also a pantheon of live venues, with two universities, a Carling Academy and the massive Metro Radio Arena, all just a half-hour train ride away. Whatever you’re looking for, the North-East has it covered.

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– WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – WIN – We’re clearing out the office and giving you the chance to pick up some swag, glorious swag! Cast your eyes downwards to see what you can win and how you could win it. Providing your IQ goes into triple digits and your knowledge of absolute twaddle is on a par with that of our team, the questions below shouldn’t be too taxing.

WIN Wodehouse Books

P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and, while he might have died before most of us were born (1975), he is one of the most successful English comic novelists ever and he is well worth a read. We’ve got three of his novels to give away: Cocktail Time, Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen and Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. Wodehouse brought life to bumbling aristocrats and their often far-smarter servants in a highly entertaining series of stories and these three titles would definitely be a good addition to any reader’s collection. To win them, just answer the following easy-peasy question: Hugh Laurie starred alongside Stephen Fry in the Jeeves and Wooster series – no, we don’t remember it either – but which American TV medic does Mr Laurie now play? A) Gregory House B) George Cottage or C) Gary Maisonette, E-mail your answer, along with contact details to the usual address, Competition closes October 31st.

WIN St Etienne’s Greatest Hits

It may be hard for some to believe, but Saint Etienne have been going for 20 years now. As old as some of you, they defined the indie dance movement in the early 1990s and are now releasing their greatest hits album, London Conversations: The Best of Saint Etienne to mark two sensational decades together. One of you lucky lot could win said album, just by answering the following question: St Etienne is a town in which European Country? A) France B) Spain C) Luxemborg. Same address, same closing date as above.The names of those who give correct answers will be stuck in our big blue Ikea bag and the first name drawn wins. The editor’s decision is final. He really means it. Good luck.

PLUS: Win some of our old tat! Send us a joke, make us laugh and we’ll send you something we found lying around the office. Jokes to:

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From Wearside Kris Allan reveals all about his stint at a summer camp in the US

After weighing up the pros and cons of a summer in Sunderland I decided my time would be better spent in a sunnier climate. That said, I jumped on a plane and set off for the United States of America. A kind company that I found on the internet said they could send me across the pond for the whole summer. All I had to do was pay a few hundred quid and baby-sit 2 dozen 11 year-olds. Easy. Or so I thought. I joined a summer camp program because I thought I would be sent to a sunnier country, I’d meet new people, I’d do new things and I’d get paid for the privilege. What a job that would be. And for the most I was right. I did not however, factor in my intolerance for anyone under the age of 18, let alone 13. I write this from a porch looking over the American countryside and a lake adjoining the Hudson River so the beauty of my surroundings is unquestionable. I am of a similar distance to New York City as Sunderland is from Leeds. The temperature is 32 degrees Celsius and this is one of the cooler days of the summer. I’ve met people from 5 different continents and 12 different countries (skinny dipped with 4 of those countries) and gotten on well with all of them. I’ve learnt how to build camp fires, play Lacrosse, table tennis, American football and baseball all to a competent level. All

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these things have made this summer one of the best and most memorable of my life. Most of these experiences, or at least the more memorable ones, don’t involve the children that I’m charged with counselling. But because the best of times working in a camp are not necessarily spent with the children does not mean that the kids won’t have a part to play in shaping your experience. Camp is a huge business in America with over 1,000,000 children carted off to camp at an expense of around $10,000,000. The kids have no understanding of the monetary value of their experience but the camps certainly do. My job, as told and taught to me by my camp director, is to give the kids the summer of their life. What the counsellor too often hears is that they must do this, but not to the expense of having the summer of THEIR life. The average day at camp varies from camp to camp and I can only speak for the camp I work for. Work starts at 8am when a camp bugle goes off over a speaker system. You will eat breakfast at 8:45am, before spending an hour cleaning your bunk. Next is two hour periods of activities, usually sports followed by an hours rest. At 1pm lunch is served (I’ll talk about the food later), followed closely by another two hours of activities and an hour

to Stateside of swimming in the lake. Dinner is at 6pm and evening activity at 7pm brings a close to the work day at 9pm. Every four days a counsellor is assigned night duty while the other counsellors journey out in a staff van to get over the days toils. Somewhere in this medley of clock watching, eating and running to make activities, you are afforded the opportunity to really bond with the kids. Kids are split into divisions dependant on their age and a group of counsellors are assigned to each division for the summer. Counsellors live in the bunks with their divisions with little to no privacy. This makes for as many intense situations as it does endearing moments. Because you have the title of counsellor, you are, to these children, a role model irrespective of whether they are nine (the youngest) or 16 -years-old (the oldest). My highlight of the summer was when one of my 11 year-olds took me to the tennis courts and corrected what has been a shoddy serve for 12 years into a decent serve in about an hour. The kind of thing that will stick with you for the rest of your life can be given to you during a rest hour on some idle Monday. This is the kind of moment that you don’t get from

spending your summer sleeping ‘til noon, working a shitty evening bar job and drinking the rest of the day dry. The experiences gained on a camp program are unique and can occur at times and with people that you least expect. An environment like camp may not change your life to the deep and meaningful extent that travelling the world would. But it will give you a perspective of how much you have in life how much you can gain and how much friends, either here at camp or at home, mean to you. A place that brings together youth, world cultures and experiences to be shared by all that wanted them is a rare thing, but can be found at camp. On a less profound note a major drawback is that, over the last 2 months, I have forked out more for Lynx deodorant than I ever have before.This is because 11-year-old boys believe the adverts as much as 23-year-old men and these kids outnumber me 26-1. So, as my summer draws to a close and I am forced to reflect on my time at camp and look forward to returning to Sunderland. I do look forward to Uni again but I will miss camp. I look forward to lying in but I’ll miss the bugles. I look forward to TV (we have none) but I’ll miss not needing TV. I look forward to the nights out but I’ll miss the nights in. I look forward to drinking with my old friends but I’ll miss drinking with my new ones. I’ll even miss the kids. Just nine more months ’til I do it again. The food was horrible. Bring a packed lunch.

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Money, Money, Money...Money! Most students pay no attention to their ever-dwindling bank balance, but, money can be saved and earned simply by picking the correct bank. Jamie Smith tells us more about interest, overdrafts and other guff. As a student, one of the most important places in your life will be your bank. Whether it is constant trips to cash machines for beer money, begging for extensions to overdrafts, paying your rent or cashing cheques from The Bank of Mum and Dad, you’ll certainly be spending a lot of time with those lovely orange lady cashiers. Interest-free No doubt you already have a bank account, but upgrading to a student account can earn you lots of nice benefits. The most important of these is an interest-free overdraft. This means that the bank will lend you money without charging you for

the privilege. This is unlike some accounts, where banks will make you pay a fee for dipping into your overdraft. The figure you are looking for here is 0%. Overdrafts are, however, only for emergencies. You’ll be getting into enough debt without racking up money owed to the bank. And, at some point, they will want their cash back. But it’s important that the money is there, in case your car stops going or you need a holiday to the Maldives, or some other essentials. Free Stuff You don’t get anything in this life for free and you must make sure you get the whole package that suits your needs, rather than going for one that offers you a free haircut

or a nice bag or some sweets or whatever. Natwest, for example, offer a free student railcard for five years. But if Daddy is going to come and get you every time you need your washing doing for you, there’s no point in you having a railcard. The people in the know recommend Halifax. Yep, them with the annoying adverts with employees singing. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll avoid them like the plague on sheer principle, but they offer by far the biggest interest free overdrafts. Which may contradict what I’ve said about overdrafts, but why would you take my advice? As soon as that loan clears, you’re going to hit the shops anyway. That money will have burned a hole in your pocket, so you’ll need some new jeans for starters…

At-A-Glance Guide to Saving Money So, now you’ve got your bank account sorted, your loan is either resting safely in your account (not in a Father Ted way) or is on the way, and you’re starting to write your shopping list for a trip to The Bridges. STOP! I’m here to spoil your spending fun with some homely, annoyingly useful, honest advice. First up, let’s get something straight. You are going to be in plenty of debt when you graduate. Unless you have a grossly rich relative that’s backing you financially, in which case everyone will probably hate you for being so spoilt. It’s true. Sorry. Everyone out there is trying to get you to part with your cash, so keep your wits about you.

Someone, somewhere, at some point, came up with the concept of FREE. Yep, your eyes just lit up, didn’t they? Mine too. The word triggers something in the student brain, and for good reason. Free is good. Free costs nothing. What could be better than free? And you’ll find that, as soon as you become a student, people are suddenly falling over themselves to give you stuff for nothing. The internet is a glorious haven for grabbing yourself free goodies. Keep an eye on and www.studentbeans. com. Happy bargainhunting.

One of the most often-heard tips is a deceptively simple one: don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll end up buying things you fancy, rather than what you really need, and might even forget what you originally went out for. Next, flaunt your student ID. Many places will offer some sort of student discount, but if you don’t see any posters saying they do, why not ask? Have some courage and put on your sweetest smile.You never know, it might save you a few quid and even get you the number of that sexy shop assistant you’ve had your eye on. Shop around.Trekking around a few shops after seeing the thing you want might just mean you spot it on sale somewhere, which could save you a fortune if you develop a taste for mink fur or something equally daft and distasteful.

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If you drink as much as we do at DN, your student loan will be pushed to the limits. Matthew Briggs looks at part-time ways of pulling more pennies together. Getting your first real job is part of student life. Yes, you may have delivered newspapers for the kindly old man who runs your local corner shop, on wages similar to those dished out in Burmese sweatshops, but it’s not a real job, is it? You never had to deal with the glare of an unsatisfied customer or the verbal abuse dished out by a manager who didn’t rate your shelf stacking abilities. Sadly, being a student doesn’t really give you much chance of glamorous employment. You’ll be starting at the bottom of the ladder, without any real scope for improvement. Yes, you may get better at your job, but, unless you want to jack in your studies and make a go of it full-time, you’re stuck earning minimum wage. Still, it’s a rite of passage; a necessity if you want to avoid raised eyebrows and difficult questions about your lack of experience when you go for your first post-University interview, out in the big, bad world. With this rite of passage comes the difficult act of juggling studying with earning cash. However, the argument that you earn money for working, but not for studying, only holds water if you want to be stuck in your mind-numbing, menial

job forever. If you want anything better, you’ll politely decline mountains of extra shifts, especially around exam time. So, what options are there for those of us who fancy that little bit of extra cash to keep us in alcohol, CDs, DVDs and the very occasional textbook? One of the most popular choices for students in dire need of money is bar work. Sunderland has a plethora of thirsty residents that need the ‘occasional’ bevvy, so clubs and pubs can never have too many people behind the bar dishing out the refreshments. Doxford International Business Park is also a massive local employer, especially since it is home to well over a dozen companies, including T-Mobile, Northern Rock and EDF Energy. The vast majority of work at Doxford is based around call-centres, which means your evenings will be filled either with calls to people who resent trying to be sold a new phone or customers ringing you in the hope you can reassure them their newly nationalised bank still has their savings safely hidden away (somewhere). But what if you don’t fancy getting an ear bashing from drunken idiots who aren’t satisfied with the amount of time it takes for you to get them their bottle of

VHF, or Mrs. Hudson from Houghton for disturbing her during Coronation Street? It should be no surprise to anyone with two fully functioning eyes that Sunderland city centre is littered with shops, many of which need students to serve on the tills, stack shelves or lie to customers about all manner of things. For those of you who like to stand around doing nothing much at all, apart from smiling at the odd customer and folding socks, The Bridges Shopping Centre’s many ubiquitous clothing stores, such as Next, Republic, USC and H&M, will be your best bet, or you could try one of the city’s retail parks, such as those in Hylton or Trimdon Street, teeming with stores you may usually overlook. Of course, those aren’t the only options; you may be lucky enough to find a small, independent music store and be able to live your Empire Record fantasies, while earning a working wage. The world of work isn’t perfect for anyone, especially if you’re a student, but it’s a necessary evil. Go in, do your job and moan to your heart’s content about it, but remember it’s only for three years. After that you’ll have a career, which will no doubt be followed by a house, family and real responsibilities. You’ll really have something to moan about then!

So how much are jobs at Uni worth?

Jobs: If you’re as scared of job centres as most people, recruitment agencies are a good option.

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These bins below are just some of the recycling receptacles found around the Uni campuses. They’re just one of the ways you can help protect the environment at Sunderland, and here, Charlotte Foster explains some of the other ways you can chip in to the eco effort in our very own Green Guide.


Most students are unaware of the pioneering work that is done by staff to encourage the growth of the University’s green credentials, because ‘eco bling’ (wind turbines, solar panels etc.) is nowhere to be seen. Instead, they opt for more efficient and realistic measures. Sunderland University clocked in at number 35 in the Green League Table 2008 and continuing developments are leading to a well-deserved higher position.

“It’s important for the University to be green, because it’s more or less ethical now for any business to address environmental and sustainability issues. We need to be responsible for our actions and take measures,” said Environmental Co-ordinator, Claire Charles. She drops her paper teacup into the recycling bin, before introducing me to key staff members. The University’s car parks and transport issues have come a long way since 2005, when parking was pretty disastrous. Security Manager, Graeme Robinson, explains, “Since then we’ve introduced initiatives to reduce non-essential car use, like additional secure cycle storage facilities, car share bays, a lift share scheme and we’ve severely increased the quality of the campus bus service.” Because of these improvements, the University is currently being assessed by the Local Education Authority for a Gold Travel Plan Award. There are two free bus services provided to students and staff, which run all day.They are the Campus Circular and the Express. The University is also continuing to subsidise the £40 a year metro deal, which is exceptional when considering Graeme’s well revised fact, “If you were going to get the metro every day, five days a week, from Brockley Whins return, 225 days of the year, it’d cost you £700.” Alternatively, students can use the existing cycle path, which connects St. Peter’s, to the City Campus. There are plans to extend this route to the new site, CitySpace, which in itself is aimed at enhancing the green experience and has commenced by re-using 96% of the old site materials.

And now a word from the good people at USSU... The Union’s website has evolved over the summer. Along with a new design, we have been working closely with our website partners, OnCampus, to provide a much more interactive experience at Each year, students are becoming more immersed in the new digital features which “web 2.0” sites are offering and this year, the Union wants to try and win back some of those precious online minutes from its members. The website will still have all the latest news, advice, information and entertainment from the Union, but also our new ‘Campus Network’.This is a student only social network (so you will need your e-mail address to get in there) which will provide all Students, Clubs, Societies and Groups at Sunderland with a new online home. in association with 34 DN

n Guide Project Manager, Martin Shaw and Energy Manager, Paul Elliott sit side-by-side to outline plans: “We’re inputting rainwater harvesting, which will be used for toilet flushing, lighting controls, 20% better insulation and a geothermal heating system.”

After a successful Murray Library pilot study of the new hand dryer, Dyson air blade, it has also been decided that they will be included in plans. The idea might not blow you away, but they do use 80% less energy than a normal hand dryer. With more efficient and sustainable sources, dramatic financial savings can be made, which can then be filtered back into teaching and learning. “Hopefully, it’ll be used as a national example of good practice,” said an optimistic Claire. Asides from CitySpace, there are ongoing developments in the already existing sites, including halls of residence. The Accommodation Manager, Helen Robson, spearheads the importance of environmental and economic efficiency within the halls, “Part of my role is to educate students on how to live in a community, which is why the environmental side is important – because we should all be doing it.” This year, the halls’ new laundry system is being adjusted so that students are able to select a green 30 degree wash. The hot wash will still be available, but will subsequently be more expensive. Green changes are constantly examined, but can go unnoticed by students, even if they’re sitting on them, literally. Did you know that the chairs in the Murray Library Café are made from recycled margarine tubs? One thing that is obvious, however, is the rapid spread of Fairtrade products, thanks to Catering Manager, Sharon Olver. Because the University and the City has Fairtrade status and responsibility, the catering is committed to organisations such as One Water, where a percentage of profits are donated to building water systems in Africa and they’re also committed to North East Community Forests (NECF) through the sale of jute bags which are completely eco friendly. Even café staff uniforms are made from Fairtrade cotton! “We are really trying to push the environmental agenda and we just want some reciprocation from the students. It has got to be a two-way thing,” said Claire, sitting with an agreeable Helen Robson.

If you want to compliment the University’s efforts then take note of these money saving green tips: Use the free services •

Take advantage of the University’s free bus service. It encourages responsible fuel consumption and reduces emissions.

Be efficient •

Print work on both sides of A4 and recycle any unwanted work in the facilities provided in the libraries. The University facilities also cater for cardboard, cans, mixed paper and batteries.

Save enough dirty dishes to justify filling a sink.

Always use a 40-30 degree wash.

Boil the minimum water necessary when cooking or making hot drinks.

If you’re cold put a jumper on.

Switch off •

Switch lights off when leaving a room. It’s a myth that leaving fluorescent lights on is cheaper.

If you’re not going to use your computer for more than fifteen minutes, then switch it off. Screen savers prevent damage to the screen’s tube, it does not save energy.

Think about food •

Think about what you’re buying and when you’re going to use it. “If supermarkets have a ‘3 for 2’ sale then share it with someone else you live with to avoid wastage,” suggested Claire.

Buy fresh food from local shops to avoid unnecessary packaging and save money.

Re-use carrier bags.

Useful links

Among the new features at are: Join sports teams and societies online & pay for subscriptions An Interactive What’s On guide & ticket sales Make friends at Sunderland and catch up with friends at other universities or colleges throughout the UK Find out about special events or even create and plan your own Categorise your friends and contacts so you can organise group works online Use the forums to support – or vent your frustration about – what’s happening on campus

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The Bonded We’ve shown you Campus and a selection of bars from the city centre, but the SU has another ace up its sleeve, Bonded Warehouse. Adam Chapman explains.

The Bonded: A place to buy milk, beans, pot noodles and bread. Oh yeah, they sell beer too. Which is useful. Everybody needs a decent local. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came (the brilliance of daytime satellite television means I’m confident that reference to 80s sitcom classic Cheers won’t go unnoticed.)

its big sister, Campus, and not only provide you with a meeting point to get you in the party mood beforehand, but yet more free (a favourite word of ours here at DN) buses to shuttle the hordes of probably already quite-inebriated students off over the river to St. Peter’s.

And the Union has its very own local: very, very local if you live in Panns Bank or Scotia Quay, and almost as handy for everybody else, with regular buses from The Precinct and Clanny House.

Add in the cheap beer (it is a Students’ Union bar, after all), and the fact there won’t be any drunken old men slobbering and ranting about ‘tax-dodgers’ and ‘The University of Life’ like there probably is in your local back home, and you’re definitely onto a winner at Bonded.

Located on the north quay of the Wear on Low Street, the Bonded Warehouse is a Union-run watering-hole for all your student needs, and incorporates the Bonded Shop, an adjacent mini-supermarket selling your necessary student fare: food, toiletries, more alcohol, and the always-popular University of Sunderland hoodie. There’s also a paypoint to start paying off those burgeoning debts. Bonded has everything you’d expect from a decent pub: beer, a friendly atmosphere and large screen TVs to watch Sunderland’s inevitable romp to the league title. Ideal for meeting fellow new students, warming up for a night at Campus, or simply kicking back and relaxing, Bonded will soon become your second home. Opening from 5pm during the week and midday on a weekend, Bonded also sells snacks, should you grow tired of Smart Price noodles, and has a drinks licence until one o’clock in the morning. The Warehouse will also sell tickets for the Union’s big events at

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It isn’t all just aimless drinking though. Your ever-helpful Union is forever organising entertainment to prise you away from the textbooks, from quiz nights to Guitar Hero competitions, and the venue plays hosts to gigs from anyone from local bands to American comedy stars. September 29 sees the arrival of Nice Peter, a Chicago based comedy singer-songwriter who’s already a fan of Sunderland, and Bonded, having played here before. He says: “I’ve made quite a few friends in Sunderland.” Peter feels his humour can often work better in front of a British audience, saying: “There’s something about the people that I think is better. They just have a special sense of humour. They’re more interested in trying to get the joke. American audiences are lazy.”

d Warehouse Coming up at The Bonded

Bonded Warehouse is the host venue to a wide variety of events. Here’s a selection of what will be taking place there over the Freshers period*. Monday 22nd – Meet The Exec The student Exec will be around to answer any questions you might have for them. DN Editor Jamie Smith might even be around so you can point out all his idiotiic typo’s.

Thursday 2nd – International Food Night Come down to Bonded and sample the foody delights of another culture. You can’t have pot noodle on toast every night now, can you?

Tuesday 23rd – Curry & Quiz Everyone loves a pub quiz. And everyone loves curry. And at this one you can get both. There’s sure to be a surprise at the first Pub Quiz of the year.

Sunday 5th – Music Quiz Bonded’s quizzes are the stuff of legend. Get yourself down for the chance to reign supreme over your peers by showing off your excellent knowledge of the ABBA back catalogue.

Thursday 25th – 80s Karaoke Get yourself ready for the roller disco at Campus with an 80s themed pre-party at Bonded, including everybody’s favourite drunken staple – karaoke. Friday 26th – Comedy Film Night Everyone knows the cinema is ludicrously expensive these days, so get yourself down to Bonded for cheap drinks and even cheaper laughs. Tuesday 30th – LGBT Event As part of the Rainbow celebration for the second Tuesday of the Freshers’ programme, Bonded will be playing host to all sorts of LGBT fun and frolics. *Events subject to change.

He’s therefore looking forward to autumn’s UK tour, although he’s glad to be spending more time here in the north than on his previous visits: “London, I don’t care for. I think I’m avoiding it this time. I always spend all my money and get a parking ticket. And the people in Essex were terrible.” The gig will also be one of the last times you’ll be able to see him perform his George Bush material, and he admits that November’s US election and the subsequent removal of the two-term tosspot, will be bittersweet for many American comedians, for whom Dubya has been a comedy goldmine. Peter says: “It’s kind of a shame, but I’m ready for it to be done. It’s more important to have a good President than for me to be able to write songs.” And if you’re suitably impressed by Peter’s Bonded performance, you can catch him again at Campus in November, which will also host a comeback gig by Sunderland icons, and, bizarrely, friends of the Illinoisan Nice Peter, the Arse Klarts. There’ll also be entertainment coming up at Bonded from hotlytipped local acts the Spheres and Seven Heroes, and many more to be announced, as the academic year gets into full swing. Whatever you’re after, you’ll find it at some point at Bonded Warehouse, whether its good craic and the chance to unwind, or the chance to throw out some shapes to a variety of DJs and bands, surrounded by your fellow freshers and those of us who should know better by now.

Nice Peter: It took us half an hour to dial America. True story.

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Gavin Barnes USSU Sports & Activities Officer David Allison talks to the biggest name in University and SU sport – or at least the man who makes all the decisions. As you will have read earlier in the mag, the new Sports and Activities Officer for this year is Gavin Barnes, and the 25-year-old believes that the experience will stand him in good stead for the future. Gavin, who studied Sports and Exercise Development at Sunderland, and now coaches at the University, said:“I thought this position would be a great starting block within sports development as a career and would help give me an insight into sports management.” Sport is obviously Gavin’s passion, and his role is an organisational one. The East-Anglian born student is sure to be kept busy, as the position involves being responsible for a large number of the Students’ Union’s teams and clubs. Gavin previously worked as a nightclub manager for a year before coming to Sunderland and also played football at academy level for Norwich and Bury Town and he explains his role as:“I oversee pretty much every aspect of sports and society life here at Sunderland, from large clubs and societies, such as men’s football or the Islamic Society, right down to a whole range of minority sports.

and also the big (and possibly world famous?) Sports tour! He is also pleased to be working for the Students’ Union, which in his own personal opinion ‘is here to provide the student with the best possible experience of life whilst at university.’ Gavin, who also represented Suffolk and Essex at cricket, says that as part of the Executive Committee he has had a great time, but when asked if he could elaborate on what exactly they’ve got up to thus far, he said: “I doubt many of them can be published in DN. Woody will know what I mean!” He has also taken the opportunity to let all students know that he is happy to answer any questions relating to sport, clubs and societies within the University.

“One of my main responsibilities is to organise BUCS events. BUCS is the British Universities and College Sports competition, and many of our teams compete in BUCS-affiliated leagues on a Wednesday afternoon, culminating in various cup competitions towards the end of the season.

Gavin, who works as a coach volunteer for the Second Chance programme at the University said: “Students can contact me about almost anything, from becoming a new member of a club or society, right down to letting them know where the best watering hole is in Sunderland – Campus!”

“I organise numerous trips away to competitions or conferences for many of the clubs and societies, the annual Sports and Activities Ball

And of course Gavin will be charged with organising this year’s Varsity competition in March, with the pressure on after Sunderland’s victory last year. Varsity is the annual event between Sunderland and Teesside universities and it is the most prestigious event in the sports calendar. “We play a numerous amount of sports, from football to cheerleading, and each team or individual who wins a point gets a point for their university. At the end, everyone gets together and the scores are totted up and last year we were declared winners by 18-10.”

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DN Freshers 08  
DN Freshers 08  

The USSU magazine's first issue for the academic year 08/09.