F1 2010 Luke Dougherty looks ahead to the Formula 1 season
Diablo is here!
The Demon gets a rebel twin brother
Campaign For Decency Should we repeal the hunting ban? Page 7.
January 26 2010 The Newspaper of the Students of De Montfort University
DMU Rugby tackle Initiation Charges Ian Cockerill Sports Editor
The DMU Mens' Rugby team are to appear in front of a three-man panel after being charged by the Rugby Football Union over an alleged initiation ceremony. The governing body for English rugby alleges that the rugby team were in breach of rule 5.12, with “offences of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or game.” The charges will be heard at the Leicester Marriott Hotel on Monday 25 January. The RFU have bought two charges against the team. The first alleges senior players and officers conducted initiation ceremonies where the players were expected to “appear naked and blindfolded on a playing field in sight of persons in the vicinity and drink a “dirty pint” of milk, containing substances such as sauces and chili powder.” Players were also allegedly asked to “slide along a sheet of plastic greased with foul-smelling substances, eat tins containing dog food, baked beans and spaghetti hoops, and jump into a paddling pool containing liquid including urine.” The RFU bought a second charge upon the team, which alleges that “senior players and officers of the club conducted an initiation ceremony during which new players were placed
in a position whereby they were made to travel back to campus wearing shorts and shoes only.” The charges are in relation to incidents which allegedly took place on 18th November, and DMU were first made aware of the RFU investigation on the 25th November. The Mens firsts are currently top of the BUCS Rugby Union Midlands Conference, division 2A. In a statement to the Demon, Hannah Marshall, communications and marketing manager for BUCS said: “British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) does not condone any
behaviour that damages students' health and wellbeing. “Playing sport at university is a great way to make new and lasting friendships and can add value to the university experience. However, getting involved in sport should never put students in situations where they feel bullied, harassed or intimidated. “Initiation ceremonies are out-dated and it's a shame that a minority of students still encourage this behaviour on campus. BUCS is clear that there is no place for these activities in sport." Vice President of Media and Communications Andy Schooledge
said: "There is a difference between just mucking around and putting people in scenarios they do not want to be in. “Even if it is viewed as people just playing pranks and being silly, there is always the potential for something dangerous or unpleasant to happen, and we need to take all these things seriously to make sure students feel safe and comfortable." On demontfortstudents.com, the DSU website, the initiations policy notes that: “Initiations ceremonies are a tradition of many clubs and societies but should be under taken in a safe environment for all students.” It goes on to say: “Initiation participation is not a prerequisite for selection and inclusion within a club or society.” And “That all members of clubs and societies must show respect towards members of the public and other members of DSU at all times.” The Demon approached the RFU, but they would not comment on this story.
Got an opinion? Let The Demon know what you think. Email your thoughts to aschooledge@dmu. ac.uk or tweet us @thedemonpaper!
News in Brief New Sunday Market At Walkers? Plans for a Sunday market at the Walkers Stadium could threaten the future of the city’s 700-year-old market. After facing months of delays, the proposed market could be built and trading by next month. The city council claims the new venture will bring more shoppers to Leicester whilst the market stallholders fear their sales will fall.
£12m public square for Leicester Cathedral Leicester Cathedral could be facing a £12m overhaul to help the city’s economic regeneration. The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, plans to include a public square to fit 1,500 outside St. Martins and remove gravestones, which will then be replaced by a memorial. City councillors are uncertain as to whether there will be enough money to fund the project.
Campaign against £200m incinerator Campaigners are stepping up their battle to prevent a £200m incinerator complex next to the M1. The scheme, which has been drawn up by Biffa, a waste management firm, claims it will dispose of 300,000 tonnes of waste each year and use heat from the process to power 42,000 homes. County Hall’s development board will decide on the scheme in around 3 months.
2 | Monday 26 January 2010
Huge Earthquake hits Haiti Naomi Marcus and Victoria Coffey visit the deepening situation in earthquake-struck Haiti Leaving the country in devastation, Haiti’s worst earthquake in two decades has left the world looking on in disbelief. The earthquake hit on Tuesday 12th January at 4.53pm, affecting up to three million people in the country. Most damage from the quake could be seen in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Rubble left in the capital showed the true impact of the quake. Schools, hospitals, and offices all fell to pieces from the force, including the Presidential Palace. An estimated 300,000 people have been left homeless and the death toll is feared to rise above 200,000. TV and radio presenter within the capital, Carel Pedre who witnessed the initial devastation first hand said: “I saw a lot of people crying for help, a lot of people without help, people bleeding. Now it’s dark outside, there is no electricity, all the phone networks are down so there is no way that people can get in touch with their family and friends.” Almost a week after the initial damage, those left without food or shelter became desperate in means of survival. With global relief being limited due to the unstable infrastructure of the island, those in need of help are struggling to survive. With the Port-au-Prince airport managing a maximum of four flights per hour, the opportunity for international help is restricted. In addition, relief to the island by sea is impossible as the port is currently inoperative due to the effects of the quake. Relief is being distributed most efficiently by going through the Dominican Republic and further being transported by land. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement responded as soon as possible to those suffering in Haiti. Relief kits have been distributed to 3,500 families; these aid packs include kitchen kits, shelter kits, blankets and containers for storing water. Haitian Red Cross volunteer, Pluviose Louken said: “I had nowhere to go so I came here. My house is gone. My family is ok. I have cousins who were injured but nothing major. Here I can help others who are not as lucky as me.” The Red Cross has also given out more than 220,000 litres of water to around 24,000 people. Many volunteers flown in by the Red Cross are working tirelessly to assist those that need it. A spokeswoman for the UN office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said: “Aid workers are dealing with a disaster like no other in UN
memory because the country has been decapitated.” Although supplies are being delivered to the airport in Port-au-Prince, the support is not being distributed efficiently. Stockpiles have gathered at the runway, as internal aid agencies have no access to the supplies due to the American authorities taking control of the airport. US officials are giving priority to military efforts with the hope of thwarting any violence from desperate locals. This means that aid workers must wait for UN armed guards before leaving the airport to distribute the supplies. French doctors have been flown in to assist some of the worst affected. However, the medical equipment their government provided is not at their disposal due to the heightened security being introduced. Haitian doctors have been forced to perform emergency surgeries at night with no anaesthetics. Their restricted resources leave the only option but to use vodka to sterilise their equipment. As help is limited, those surviving the initial blow of the quake are now faced with the challenge of trying to stay alive. Violence and looting has become rife on the streets of Haiti as people’s desperation for necessities such as food and water increases. American aid efforts have stretched to airdrops being distributed throughout the country however there is a very real concern that this will encourage rioting and hostility as survivors fight for the supplies. Extra American soldiers have been flown in to assist with security to minimise this increasing problem. The country’s own hospitals and medical centres were all either destroyed or damaged in the disaster, initially leaving the injured medically stranded. This called for immediate action to be taken in regards to taking care of the already severely injured. Aid workers quickly established short-term health services to ensure help was immediately on-hand. The temporary hospitals that have been in use so far can only provide a limited amount of help for the ill, many of them suffering serious injuries from the quake. Extreme measures called for more assistance, which has seen five nations providing portable hospitals in the Port-au-Prince area so far. Surgical teams and international field hospitals are helping with the rising number of casualties. Those who have secured a place in the make shift hospitals are still causing concern for aid-workers. The question lies in what will become of them after
"Haiti’s worst earthquake in two decades has left the world looking on in disbelief" leaving the doctor’s care. In particular, children are at risk as many of them have been separated from their families during the quake. It is not known if the majority of the children’s relatives are even alive. Questions have been raised as whether or not adoptive families should be arranged for these children in question. Already, Dutch adoption agencies have visited Haiti to collect 100 Haitian children with plans for them to be adopted by Dutch families. In spite of this, the French authorities are reluctant to do the same as they are focused on providing emergency aid before preparing to transport children. Before the disaster hit, it is estimated that Haiti was home to around 380,000 orphans; it is likely that this number will have vastly increased. Adoption proceedings that were going on previous to the earthquake will most probably now be invalid as
any documents regarding these actions were destroyed in the disaster. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services expressed concerns that any accelerated measures can open the door for fraud, abuse and trafficking. Whilst religious groups in South Florida have offered to airlift hundreds of children into their sizeable Haitian community, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services holds the opinion that immediate focus should be on getting emergency help to the children in Haiti. The Joint Council said: “While both airlifts and new adoptions are based on valid concerns and come from an obviously loving heart, neither option is considered viable by any credible child welfare organisation”. International charity Oxfam, who have assisted in previous natural disasters, said that this had been one of the toughest weeks for their staff to
date. The charity’s base in Haiti was destroyed in the quake, meaning their vital supplies of help were ruined. Oxfam’s country director Yolette Etienne said: “Many of my staff here have lost their homes and some have had family losses. Two Oxfam members of staff were killed when the quake struck and I lost my own mother. But we are still here working. We can help people overcome their desperation.” Whilst generosities from volunteers within Haiti and donations going into the country on a global scale have not gone unnoticed, Haitian citizens are still in need of more organised assistance. Post-disaster recovery requires added structure from the international community as Haitians seek to reconstruct their lives and their country. Any donations towards the Haiti disaster are greatly needed; it is possible to do so through www.oxfam.org.uk or www.donate.ifrc.org.
Monday 26 January 2010 | 3
News Students Left With Unhappy New Year Hereward Campbell-Anderson Sub Editor
The state of academia in Britain is about to change for the worse. After over a decade of expansion in education, including higher education, Labour have- inevitably- changed their policy, announcing significant financial cuts for universities. Since 1999 Labour have endeavoured in giving higher education opportunities to 50% of British school-leavers, specifically hoping to give opportunities to those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Although they failed to reach this target, there are now more university students studying in Britain than ever before. 135 million pounds (6.6%) have been cut in the higher education settlement. This cut could have detrimental effects for both students and teachers. For the first time in over a decade the number of new university students in fulltime education is predicted to fall. However, the number of students per class may be greater while the resources available for students could be fewer. Shorter and part-time courses that have less of a financial strain on university budgets are predicted to become more popular. The dependence on the fees of foreign students gives an extra incentive for The Treasury to actively
dissuade British students starting degrees in Britain, as they are responsible for paying both loans and undergraduate fees. Lord Mandelson, announcing the cuts, downplays the effects these cuts will have on universities, arguing that the successful expansion of universities (via extensive economic support) over the last ten years will continue despite cuts in support: "These new constraints are very small in the context of overall university income, and certainly do not reverse a decade of investment in excellence. Universities have never enjoyed such a long and sustained period of public and financial support and more students will be studying next year than ever before in our history.” UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt claimed Peter Mandelson was underrating the impact of the financial cuts: "We face the frightening prospect of universities being forced to close, thousands of staff losing their jobs and much larger class sizes. Unless the government heeds these warnings it will be impossible for the UK to remain a major player in the global knowledge economy." Andy Schooledge, Vice President Media Communications at DeMontfort Students' Union replied to Mandelson’s claims with: “Feeding the deficit needs to come from somewhere. However, cutting from
After the debacle with student loans, two directors of the Student Loans Company have resigned. The firm verified that its heads of customer services and communication technology have left. After recommendations made by Prof Sir Deian Hopkins, the company said it would take “immediate and decisive action”. Hopkins enquiry had examined the delays in payments to students which left universities paying out hundreds of thousands of emergency funding. The report concluded that information and communications technology (ICT) and communication failures lay at the heart of the problems adding that the scanning system of students documents had no adequate backup. Around 95% of phone calls to the loans company went unanswered as well as a lack of information being
distributed to universities and other interested parties. The company has said that it will be strengthening and restructuring its management team, including a new chief operating officer who would be responsible for service delivery and risk management. The company released a statement saying, “achieving the full vision for Student Finance England service was always supposed to be a three-year process and it is clear that there are significant lessons to be learned from the first year of operation”. “We are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure processing and payments are faster next year, so that we can deliver the service that students and their parents have every right to expect”. The idea of setting up a Student Finance England Stakeholder Forum with representatives from the National Union of Students, higher education institutions and UCAS has been welcomed by the company.
Student numbers visa soar after new rules take effect The number of students entering the UK from India and Bangladesh has risen sharply since a new visa system began, the BBC has learned. The UK Border Agency had said it believed the total number of students was “roughly the same” as last year. But a Freedom of Information request has revealed the number of students entering from these countries alone nearly tripled over the summer. The Home Office insists that the figures do not reflect a global trend.
BMI airline set to cut 600 jobs
university funding could result in fewer tutors which would, in turn, decrease contact time with students. This would mean smaller class sizes and effectively diminish the university experience. Cutting money isn’t the answer. Looking at alternative funding models would be a better way to deal with the issue.” One student commented: “I don’t
know what effect this will have on my personal studies as I am a third year but I worry about the opportunities my younger sister might have. With the recession, it’s more tempting than ever to hide in education until the job-market improves, but if universities are going the same way it’s difficult to know what to do.”
Student Loan Company Directors Resign Andy Schooledge Editor-In-Chief
News in Brief
The Midlands-based airline BMI has announced plans to cut around 600 jobs. The plans are part of a restructuring plan involving a reduction in the number of aircraft and the suspension of loss-making routes. The cuts are expected to be made in all areas of the business, the airline said, although compulsory job losses would be avoided wherever possible. BMI blamed the impact of the recession and a downturn in demand for air travel for its decision.
University acceptance falls despite more applicants Highest acceptance of students for UK university courses meant applicants’ chance of a place fell in 2009. An increase of 5.5% saw 481,854 applicants were accepted in 2009, 25,227 more than the previous year. However, the rate of applicants actually accepted overall fell from 78% to 75%.
"We are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure payments are faster next year"
Government borrowing hits new record December hit a new record for UK government borrowing of £15.7bn which was less than analysts expected. It highlights the effects of recession on the UK’s finances which has seen tax revenues hit and extra spending to help revive the economy and on rising benefits.
6 | Monday 26 January 2010
Aren't Our Fees Enough?
Compulsory Civic Service: positive, not punishment?
Alex Ford asks why, after paying our fees, should students Chris Day offers a different opinion on what imposed community service might be expected to perform community service as well? In today's modern society, there are a huge number of paths that students can take to get into university. Though most of the people reading this article (as well as your truly), have thier A-Level grades to thank, there are actually over 30 different ways to rack up UCAS points and claim a place. My point? No matter which path you chose to get into university, it undobtedly required many years of dedicated hard work. Though not enough, it would seem, according to David Lammy, England's Minister for Higher Education, who has recently placed his support behind a government plan that would force every undergraduate student in the uk to serve 100 hours of compulsory community service in recognition of the state's contribution to our education - approximately £8,000. The scheme has been pioneered by UK-based think tank Demos. Dr. Sonia Sodha, who co-authored the plan, said, "A civic corps serving the nation will help local communities, ease the burden on public services and boost young people's employability at a time when recession is biting." Controversially, Demos. have also recommended that the £450 million cost of the scheme should be raised by increasing the interest on syudent loans by 2.5%. Although Mr. Lammy rejected the suggestion that placing a levy on student loans should finance the scheme, he has said, "I have long campaignes for a national civic service and i hope the recommendations from this excellent report find their way into the next Labour manifesto." However, his talk of student's obligation to the nation come laden in hypocrisy as Mr. Lammy, like so many other MPs we are meant to instill our trust in, has found himself caught up in the monumental expenses scandal currently raging. In March 2009, Lammy made a claim for £25,000 on his second, London based, home despite the fact that his primary residence is in Tottenham, a afar cry from the £8000 the state loans us towards our education. "obviously the government has money that they're unwilling to spend on our education. I don't think they
mean for students
can ask us to give them community service until we're more of a priority", comments Katherine Price, an undergraduate student. Let us also not forget that Mr. Lammy, who studied Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Law School, belonged to a generation of students whose education was entirely government funded. Unsurprisingly, the scheme has been met with heated reactions from students and non-students alike. Kate Lewers, a student in her first year studying Dance and Culture Studies, says, "I would much rather do a good deed out of the kndness of my heart, and not be forced into something, as it then becomes a chore and not something that I genuinely want to do." Upon hearing about Mr. Lammy's avoidable expenses claims, Miss Lewers dubbed him, "obnoxious and greedy." Sam Hayes, a first year Classics student at Exeter University, is also disgusted at the proposal, which he says would traet students as "petty criminals" if it got the go ahead. Meanwhile, NUS President Wes Streeting has said, "It is outrageous for David Lammy to back these proposals, which would essentially force studetns to pay to be punished. "Volutary community service of all kinds is a tremendous and socially valuable thing for students and graduates to do, but compulsory community service is a criminal
penalty." Taht being said, are the students most affected by this scheme the ones who already dedicate huge amounts of their free time toward volunterring of their own accord? Our own DSU volunteering society currently has a staggering 945 registered volunteers, all of whom are students. But as it stands, the Demos. proposal does not comment on the circumstances faced by these people, who may well be obliged to complete the compulsory service laid out by the governemnt plan alongside their 'voluntary volunteering'. The country is in turmoil, crippled by the recession. It is clear that the government needs a plan of action - but this is NOT it. Students are not responsible for the dwindling economy, so why should we be forced to help revive it at the expense of our education? It's time MPs started acting like MPs; stop abusing the tax payer, and stop outsourcing the blame that belongs in their own back garden. We are students, not conscripts, and we cannot be summoned at the will of the government to form a "civic corps" or, for that matter, any other false label that dares imply that there is an ounce of justification for this proposterous scheme. I don't pretend to have a miraculous solution for lifting the country out of the financial crisis, but I believe that when the British people can trust their government again, it will bring us one step closer.
It would be a lie if I were to say that the initiatives set out by the Demos, think-tank or the fact that the minister entrusted with the safeguarding of the country’s higher education seems not to have taken in to account the sheer amount of voluntary work that many students take part in, without the need of a government initiative that makes this compulsory; David Lammy’s remarks smack, of a headline grabbing statement of intent than anything else. However, despite the possible motivations of the proposed scheme and the way it may make some students feel regarding their own already not insignificant contributions, I can’t say I think it’s an entirely bad idea either. The idea of a “civic corps” is not a new one, either on the continent, or here; the spectre of national service still lies in living memory, with some still lamenting its loss, Gordon Brown arguing for its voluntary return whilst in opposition and Cameron recently saying that he would like to see young people out with the army, climbing mountains or helping social services in Hackney, according to an article in Prospect magazine (http://tinyurl.com/ yh9uusb). Indeed, the government can already summon us at its will, in the form of jury duty, which sounds far less appealing than voluntary work, unless you’re more than a wee bit warped and are “lucky” enough to get a grisly murder. In Germany as well, the idea already exists in an even more complete form than Lammy proposes here, this one encompassing young people as a whole, albeit only male, in completely compulsory fashion. Wehrpflicht, as they call it over there, originally took the form of military service, but has expanded so that people in their right mind - sorry - objections to that sort of thing can instead take up a place in the ambulance service or, if they have the necessary expertise, even take part in an overseas development project. Wehrpflicht, however is not a service that can be dispensed in a matter of
hours, but instead usually takes the form of nine months continuous work, with only a small salary and travel and other allowances provided. The draft is the subject of some political debate, with some saying it is anachronistic in everything due to its military and male centric foundations and its lessening economic viability, whilst others claim it facilitates a positive process of young people coming into contact with their society and community, and with this the responsibilities that membership of these throw up. I would write more, but the only comprehensive information I can find in English is the Wikipedia article (http://tinyurl.com/yenz2gk), if you know of more please write in. Somewhat outdated concepts of civil responsibility however, do not figure so much in this case; and it’s here where I disagree with the position that the idea of a civic corps of students is an entirely bad thing. For instance, when the think-tank’s Dr Sodha suggested that the community work could “help local communities, ease the burden on public services and boost young people’s employability” I am inclined to agree. Obviously voluntary work benefits the community a huge amount, the benefits reaped form students from this university by the local community pay testament to this; and, as we all know volunteering and other forms of work experience are considered somewhat of a holy grail by employers now-a-days, providing graduates with those much talked about work-place and life skills which would make a prospective candidates CV stand out; surely then the establishment of a countrywide, government run initiative to get students into more of these situations can only help to bejewel the curriculum vitas of students anymore, and perhaps even help us in deciding what we would like to do after our blissful three years have come to an end. NUS president Wes Streeting says that under this initiative, students would “pay to be punished ... compulsory community
Monday 26 January 2010 | 7
Politics service is a criminal penalty”, but surely there would be nothing penal about a scheme where students were given the opportunity to get involved with rewarding activities that could give them valuable transferable skills in a positive environment rife with goodwill for all the world, rather than one characterised chiefly by the fact that you are paying for your wrongs. I don’t see the scheme as a decision to force the blame and burden of the recession on England’s students, but it certainly could be a reaction to the latter. After all the sad truth is that whilst other European countries have reacted to the dour economic climate by pumping money into higher education teaching and research, with Germany and France both spending over €10 billion extra into their respective budgets. It seems that higher education here has been singled out as one of the government’s offerings to the public in hysterical battle between the country’s political parties to determine who can slash the budget the most. Around £915 million is to be slashed from the higher education budget in the next three years, Lord Mandelson recently revealed in his address to the Higher Education funding Council for England (Hefce), with the Times Higher Education supplement reporting that this would amount to £190 less teaching allowance per student, per year for universities, quite a lot of money when you think about how many students DMU has. In the same publication, Paul Marshall, chief executive of the 1994 group, a collection of small, research intensive universities, commented that higher education was the target for “bigger cuts than any other part of the public sector”. These cuts bode darkly for students as well, with Marshall going on to state that this would put an “enormous burden” on Lord Browne, the man chairing the enquiry on whether to remove the cap on tuition fees or not, with the University’s budgets not stretching as far as before. With little likelihood of salvation for universities and students no matter which party is in government (even the liberal Democrats have dropped their proposals for eradicating tuition fees), perhaps one way to gain higher education some favour is to, as Lord Mandelson recommended universities “make a special contribution to meeting economic and social priorities”. Perhaps voluntary work, which could support public sector services equally feeling the pressure (though not quite as much as higher education) of cuts and make a valuable and positive contribution to the community, is not such a bad idea?
Campaign for Decency Terena Pestell Talks about the anti-hunting movement The Campign for Decency. The Campaign For Decency crosses ALL political parties and levels of society. We are not politically or financially motivated in any way. Our sole aim is the welfare of animals. We support humane methods of pest control and believe strongly in restoring the rights of individuals - but never the right to inflict cruelty and prolonged suffering in the name of sport. The Hunting Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which applies to England and Wales. It outlaws hunting with dogs (particularly fox hunting, but also the hunting of deer, hares, mink and organised hare coursing). The pursuit of foxes with hounds was banned in Scotland two years earlier under legislation of the devolved Scottish Parliament, while it currently remains legal in Northern Ireland. As part of his election campaign Conservative Party leader David Cameron is quoted as saying “We will have a free vote in a new parliament on whether to repeal the hunting ban. My own view is the hunting ban is a bad piece of legislation, it hasn't worked, it has made a mockery of the law, a lot of time was wasted on it, and I think we would
be better off without it”. We say: the only mockery of the law would involve David Cameron repealing a law against cruelty because some of the most powerful people in this country simply refuse to obey it. If the law is not working, it needs to be strengthened and enforced! We need leadership not ringleaders! There is no case for repeal. Since the introduction of the ban, hunt numbers are up all over the country. Drag hunting is legal and an entirely viable and cruelty free alternative. The sense of community, pageantry, heritage, and jobs are all still intact and yet these disgraceful people can’t manage to enjoy themselves unless they are terrifying and killing animals. Some would say that holding a free vote amongst MPs is fair in a democratic society but would we hold a free vote on the return of slavery? Of course not. Why? Sometimes legislation has to take the moral ground and with so many hunters in and funding the Conservative Party, could there be a democratic vote? Probably not. Polls reveal that over 75% of the public do not support a repeal of the hunting act (Mori 2009). We believe this is an accurate reflection of
a society that does not want to see a return to their cruel and barbaric past. Now we need to show MPs that real people are behind these numbers. We need to prove that this issue is NOT: the will of one political party, a class war, town vs. country, or an erosion of human rights. It is simply about whether we as human beings agree or disagree with inflicting prolonged and unnecessary pain and suffering on animals for fun. We ask everyone in the UK who supports the hunting act to add their names to our register and will make every effort to ensure the list has been validated before presenting to existing MPs and those candidates seeking office in the next general election.
Would you like to respond to this article? Email your thoughts to aschooledge@dmu. ac.uk or tweet us @ thedemonpaper
News in Brief Trouble in the ranks for Labour Labour backbenchers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt attempted to hold a coup against Prime Miniser Gordon Brown two weeks ago, using Texts and emails to get in touch with other Labour MPs. Hewitt, who is MP for Leicester West, a constituency which is home to many DMU students, called for a secret ballot in which the party would vote either for or against the PM, but the rebellion was quashed by the cabinet from the rest of the party, non of whom would commit themselves to speaking out against Brown.
Cameron on Teaching Leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron, has launched a pledge that under a Tory government, all graduates must have a degree of 2:2 of above to enter into Teacher training. It would also become easier for individuals who had succeeded in other professions to move on to teaching. The aim is to increase educational performance, and to make teaching the “noble profession”.
The BNP scared of voting interference The BNP are so fearful of interference during the upcoming election that they plan to invoke a 140-year-old law to place their own seals on ballot boxes in their key constituencies. The Ballot Act of 1874 was designed to stop landowners and employers from intimating voters, but BNP leader Nick Griffin feels the need to add the extra precaution in three London areas, including Barking where he will be standing.
Another blow for Obama US president Barack Obama is sticking by his plans for healthcare reform in America, despite becoming increasingly unpopular over the past year. His unpopularity was solidified by the Democrats defeat in the Massachusetts Senate election. The shock defeat has put them in a vulnerable position, as most Republicans will not support a state funded health system. In America, an individuals health care must be paid for by that persons insurance, and without insurance many have fallen in to debt or are unable to access the treatment they require.
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2 | Monday 26 January 2010
In the life of a Traceur
Morton Piercewright tells his tale of a world of Parkour Ima
Parkour, often related to Freerunning, is the physical discipline of overcoming any obstacle by adapting oneself to your environment. Since the broadcast of Channel 4’s “Jump London” and Jump Britain in 2002 and 2004, interest in the sport has exploded, with so-called “Traceurs” appearing worldwide. It has become such a phenomenon that it has been shown in such Hollywood blockbusters such as Casino Royale and Die Hard 4.0, and also the EA game, Mirror’s Edge. This piece, entitled “Inside the Mind of a Traceur” explores the thought processes a traceur goes through whilst running. Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine a storm. This storm is huge, massive, sprawling out across your entire field of vision. It is almost as if you are part of it, floating around as a dark squall in the midst of the gigantic black towers of thunder and rain ahead of you. Every now and then you are blinded by the flashes of lighting inches from your face, the heat of them warming
your entire body with intense energy, but intense fear at the same time. The thunder that follows deafens you slightly, and you must rely on your eyes to comprehend your surroundings once they recover from their blindness. Rain is hitting you hard, droplets of titanic proportions stinging your bare skin and pummelling your clothing as it falls, cursing you for blocking its path. You try to breathe but all you get is a gasp of thin air, as if you have inhaled inside a vacuum. It begins to hail, chunks of ice the size of your fist soaring through the sky towards the ground along with the now insignificant rain. Every time these precipitations even touch you, you imagine a different and increasingly real image of what would happen if you were to fall with them. It gets to the stage that there is nothing else you can think of but your own demise, the worst case scenario, the fall. But something spurs you on, the vision that took you to this place, the knowledge of what will happen if you endure, and the feeling that you stand on the edge of enlightenment. This is my mind. This is how my thinking works just before a jump or a movement, knowing that the slightest twitch of self-doubt or incapability could send me plummeting like one of the mental hailstones, to shatter nonchalantly on the unforgiving ground below. The earth clings to your feet as you run, the gravel lifting in your wake, following you involuntarily, not to join you, but to stop you. With every step you take the feeling of mounting pressure becomes increasingly clear in your mind, every minute detail of every minute muscle movement is as clear as day in that moment. Air rushes past your ears as you move, reducing your hearing to the sounds of your feet slamming against the earth, and the blood rushing in torrents through
Monday 26 January 2010 | 3
your body, pumping like a heavy bass line. Your clothes become unnoticeable, all you have, and all you can notice, is you and your body in this instant. You notice an opportunity, a jump, which happens to be a jump with a gap wider than you’re used to. You begin running a memory slideshow of all the times you have done something like this, and in a split second you know exactly how this will go – but the storm doesn’t let up, in your mind you still see yourself, twisted in a way that only someone without life can be twisted, laying below you. Like sparks, your eyes flicker and flash at the target, as if their power could somehow improve your chances, or make the ledge creep closer to you in some way. You lose focus for a moment, or rather, you begin to notice more, the wind dies down slightly, and you pick up on your surroundings. There is a large array of machinery to your right, and on your left there is some kind of building made of red brick. You smell the stench of the city rising from below; it fills your nostrils and mouth as you gasp those valuable few gasps before you
forces upwards, pivoting from the hip, driving the knee vigorously skyward. The last thing you think of is the feeling of your toes; they lightly graze the ledge as they float away from it. Instinct takes, and you are free to meditate on your current position in the world. It is too late to panic, you have already jumped. The feeling washes over you, you are caught in conflict, you are conforming to the laws of gravity, but at the same time you are also in utter defiance of them. You realise that in this moment you are totally free from every conceivable pitfall of existence. Just to make sure, you tap your feet at the air underneath you, concreting the knowledge that you are definitely not on earth any more. What you are experiencing is like a dream as you float, hundreds of metres in the air. You think that you feel the wind hitting your face, but you are not sure. Fear strangles your heart like ivy wrapped around a sapling, but you break free of it by focusing on the landing spot ahead. Fear to you is like energy, but manifested in a negative way, you channel the terror into your next movements, as fuel for the body
"Fight the urge to flail, do not alter the positioning of your body, and do not scream." blink back into reality. It is cold; the thought of slipping on ice is a constant in the back of your mind. You begin to doubt the grip you feel under your feet. Not long now, you snap, alert instantly. You feel your eyes concentrate on the jump, now they cannot look away; they are the gravity pulling you towards it, insensitive to all other factors. Your body is tired, your muscles are slightly overworked this time, and they seem hot, lactic acid burning away lightly at them like fire at a log. The soles of your feet are tender, blood being forced out of them like air from a balloon each time they grace the ground with an undignified stomp of rubber, flesh, and bone. That old scar on your leg twinges slightly, but you furiously silence it, pain is not something that matters in this moment. The muscles above your knees perform miniscule shudders every time they are required, they are exhausted, but you force them onwards and upwards. There is nothing further from your thoughts than stopping. Your legs prepare themselves instinctively, and from now on, you are no longer in control. You feel your toes curl delicately over the lip of the rooftop and your other foot leave the ground. The dominant leg
it seeks to destroy. The storm inside your mind clears, and all that is left is the deep blue sky spreading out ahead of you, and the sweet taste of the air rushing past you. You stretch your legs out ahead of you. They are now gleaming models of perfection instead of whining dishevelled wrecks of exhaustion. You keep your feet together as the landing rushes up to meet you. It is eager for your arrival. You find solace in the ground beneath your toes, the gravel now congratulating you as you spread the shock of the jump with a roll. You plant your hands ahead of your body on the harsh concrete, and transfer the momentum over your entire body as you roll across your shoulder and back. The tiny chunks of rock bite at the toughened flesh on your palms as you fly out of the roll into another sprint before eventually slowing. Adrenaline floods your body and you are elated, you cannot think of anything negative even if you try. You look back at the jump with both disgust and curiosity, you are both in awe of its wake, but puzzled at your fear of it to begin with. Finally, you come to the realisation of why we do this. Finally, you feel the way I do.
I'm a student...
Get me out of here And you thought the Big Brother Housemates were bad! Harriet Jackson Features Editor
Most of us at one point in our lives are bound to have to share a flat or a house with a stranger. This could be when leaving home for the first time and moving in to a shared student apartment or before you can afford to buy a place of your own. At some time or another in modern life this situation has become a rite of passage. When everyone in the flat lives separate lives where do your responsibilities cross? When you spend Sunday afternoons cleaning the house; Saturday mornings checking off the rota of cleaning duties or 10 pm on Tuesday night when it takes the whole flat to find out where that funny smell is coming from? Living in shared dwellings can cause tension when dividing up domestic chores and is often left to one person. So whose responsibility is it to clean the toilet, take out the bins and buy the loo rolls each week? The answer of course is everyone. However, it is not easy to ensure that all housemates get involved with the necessities and this can lead to a volcano of tension ready to erupt at one sink full of dishes too many. My partner in crime and fellow features editor, Amy Seabrook tells of her housemate experience living with a white witch and a borderline alcoholic: "In my first year at university I realised that you have to live with people you wouldn't normally ever associate with. It can be hard trying to find things in common with a person who has a skull next to their bed and someone who wakes you up at the crack of dawn with a bottle of booze in their hand." There are often typical stereotypes of a flatmate…
The Nocturnal –
Is happiest when lying flat on their back. Does not go to sleep until a ridiculous hour in the morning and emerges when everyone else is going to bed. This can be entertaining when the music starts blaring at 3am.
The Hibernator –
Stays in their room and is only seen at meal times but funnily enough is never around when the kitchen needs cleaning. Strange that…
The Obsessive Cleaner – You would be very lucky if you have one of these in your flat as they
Tension builds as the washing up piles high.
often feel it is their responsibility to make sure the place is spick and span leaving the rest of you to put your feet up…just make sure its not on the newly polished coffee table. However, the obsessive cleaner can become a problem when you find your lasagne made the night before thrown out because it wasn’t hygienically wrapped or to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of the hoover outside your bedroom door.
The Mummy’s Boy –
A boy who takes his piles of washing home every term because he can’t work out how to use a washing machine and a tumble dryer. Or the cooker for that matter which explains the pizza boxes piled high in his bin.
The Daddy’s Princess –
Does not believe she was born to clean. Isn’t that what Daddy pays the cleaner for? When asked to take the rubbish out after three months of living there, she looks horrified and needs a map to the wheelie bin. These five descriptions generally sum up the ultimate nightmare housemates but it is surprising how many Hibernators and Princess’s are found in Student Halls of Residence. Flat- sharing is not for the faint hearted. So what are the key areas of the house or flat that are the problem? The communal rooms such as the living room, kitchen and bathroom. A common room is often a room full of people with nothing in common that occasionally reside over dinner or a TV programme however, rarely the cleaning.
It doesn’t matter how friendly and nice your housemates seem when you first meet them something always goes wrong to change your opinion on them. Food gets stolen. Dirty knickers are found on the bathroom floor. Leftover bowls of cereal get flushed down the toilet. The weirdest habits can emerge. From the overzealous use of bleach, obsessions with labelling and dividing food up to hiding the dirty dishes under the bed. Trust me I speak from housemate experience. Of course there are ways to cope with the responsibilities of a shared house and no I don’t mean lock yourself in your room. There is the traditional cleaning rota, which generally makes an appearance at the beginning of a student term only to be ignored and discarded after three weeks. It’s the thought that counts. Or leaving notes threatening to pile the washing up on their bed if it’s not dealt with that day. If this sums up your student living experience then take solace from all the others reading this article that are going through or have gone through the same experience. You are not alone. Generations of students have survived to tell the tale of their housemate horrors. C’est la vie or that’s student life.
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4 | Monday 26 January 2010
Home Sweet Home
Leyanne Goding warns De Montfort students to be wary when house hunting Some of you may have already signed your contracts and chosen your bedrooms, but for most students the search for a good second or third year house is still on. There are plenty of good and bad properties around, and as choosing a house is a new thing for most people, it can be an exciting but daunting process. Unfortunately, students can get carried away and sign for houses without looking closely at what they're really getting for their money. This was what a group of seven students found, when they were looking for a house to move into for their second year. Like most, the main priority was to find accomodation that catered for their needs, such as decent sized bedrooms, a kitchen, living space and a bathroom or two. After looking at a few properties the girls only seemed to find small, cold and pretty grotty places. However, their luck soon changed as they found a property that included everything they were looking for. Being excited and caught up in the moment, they quickly made a decision and signed the contract the following day. When viewing the house the girls did notice it was in need of a few licks of paint, and a good clean, including a few DIY jobs. They assumed that these amendments would be made prior to them moving in, and continued to be excited about the thought of living there next year. Unfortunately, as they were moving into the house over the summer they realised, it was in a worse state
than before. Other than the original problems, carpets were falling apart, holes covered the walls and rubbish bags were kindly left behind in the kitchen by the previous tenants. Following a number of complaints made to the letting agency, Nicholas J. Humphreys, no help or explanation had been given, let alone any word from the landlord. Furthermore, they also had problems with ther boiler as it stopped working...just before winter. The girls had to stump up £800 from their own pockets, as still they heard no word fom the landlord. However, whenever something did go wrong, and the landlord did attempt to do something (after a number of phonecalls to the letting agency of course), he sent round two 'handy men' who scared the girls and made them feel rather uncomfortable in their own home. Because of this the girls stopped complaining and were left living in a cold property. Learning from their experience, the girls worked hard and searched for a decent house the following year, by checking walls, floors and heating wherever they looked. As a result they found accomodation for their third year, which also had just been recently renovated. Their minds were also put as ease as they knew the previous tenant, who offered some sound advice and information on what they house was like to live in. It is important to remember that although a house may look good, and be seen to cater for all your needs, a closer look on details of the property
must be done. Double glazing is a good sign, as it gives better insulation and saves tenants money. Having a thermostat and a boiler in which has time controls will also help, especially if you don't want any hefty bills! Students should also check what supplies are included with the house, such as a washing machine. All student houses will consist of the basics, such as a bed (not necessarily a double), a desk, a chair, a mattress and a wardrobe, but anything else will be a bonus. Security is another factor to be considered, as some houses will have locks on bedroom doors, but if they don't ask the letting agency for it to be arranged and it shouldn't be a problem. If it hasn't been done through a letting agency, let the university SAFE Volunteering scheme know, and they will do any security checks for you. The surrounding security of the house should also be accounted for; this can be done by simply asking current tenants what it is like living in the area and whether they feel safe there. Lucy Jezzrd, from DSU Lettings says: "Most of the time how 'pretty' a house looks, should not be the main priority of students when house hunting. That can ll be changed at a later date with your own personal belongings. Ask to see a copy of the tenancy agreement and if unsure take a copy with you and ask a family member or the university welfare department to look over it. We at DSU Lettings are always there to help too." When looking for a suitable house a good letting agency will be easy to
contact and offer as much information as possible. Always talk to those who are currently living in the property and ask how efficient the landlord or agency are, especially at correcting problems. Remember they were once in your position and will most likely be willing to help. Also, ask questions about the bills and visit other properties in the area to see if you're getting the best deal for your money, prior to signing the final contract. The seventh house you look at could end up being nicer than your first three. Last but not least, the thing to
remember when looking for rented accomodation is that unlike halls of residence, bills, a TV licence and the internet may not be included in the rent. Therefore with the added responsibility, students must be organised and remember when bills need paying. Most agencies will require rent quarterly, so be prepared to be paying a lump sum as soon as your loan comes in. It is also important and fair that everyone living in the house has an equal amount of responsibilities, so that bills and chores are not just left to one person.
Nightmare on Briton Street Laura Crichton reports on her housing horror experiences Moving into a student house can sometimes create problems that are not always anticipated. I experienced this first hand at the start of my second year at university. The letting agency with which we signed the contract for our house became bankrupt and abandoned their property with an abundance of student rent money. My three housemates and I had spent a lot of time before summer 2008 searching for a house that was suited to us, and within close proximity to the campus. We found the seemingly perfect one on Briton
Street near Bede Park, which was made even better by the fact that the letting agency was situated on the same street. We paid a number of visits there with any queries we had about the house, and developed a supposed alliance with the occupiers. After handing over our October rent money however, the company members abandoned their agency without informing anyone as to where they were going. Nobody saw them leave which was surprising when considering the number of their houses were on the same street. Our landlord, came to ours
the evening he discovered they’d disappeared, to deliver the news. He said: ‘It’s a shock when you build up trust with a company and they betray it by stealing student rent money. I lost out on valuable payment which keeps me in my job.’ The police were notified that day but we didn’t hear whether or not they caught the occupiers. We also experienced an act of vandalism not long after this incident. The steel fence running across the wall in our front garden was pulled off late one night, causing the wall to go down with
it. Thankfully our landlord was quick to fix it but it goes to show how vigilant you need to be when moving into a house, as there are sometimes things wrong that aren’t easily foreseeable. Since these experiences we’ve done everything through our landlord and have had no trouble. It was just as much of a shock to him as it was to us when the letting agency stole the rent money. We both put our trust in them to be the mediator with anything to do with the house. The last thing we expected was for them to leave with
no explanation. There are so many letting agencies to choose from when looking for a house that it is a good idea to look around a few to see which is best suited to you. Also seek advice from the places on campus such as the student union and Nicholas Humphreys. They will be able to answer any queries you may have about deciding which agency to go to. Living in a student house is a really enjoyable university experience; it just needs to be accompanied by awareness on all parts to ensure it stays that way.
Monday 26 January 2010 | 13
2010 Set To Be A Blood Battle Sam Nicholson reviews some of the up-and-coming rock music we can expect to hear this year. 2010 is set to be a colossal year of music, with new bands and old battling it out for the top spot. It’s anyone’s game. First off the starting blocks is HIM with their latest release “Love In Theory and Practice,” due out February 8th. This album has a lot to live up to after the huge impact 2007’s Venus Doom, made on fans. If the first single from the album “Heartkiller” is anything to go by, HIM are going back to their roots, and what made “Dark Light” a fantastic album. The heavy guitars and crooning Ville Valo vocals are back in force, held up by mythical lyrics and pounding drums. However it seems the goth king could have some challengers to his throne in the form of My Passion. Already named one of Kerrang’s New Star’s of 2010, My Passion have been gaining force, with their electro-tinged, goth rock catching on as they tour alongside Kerrang on the Energy Drink Tour. While actually heavier than HIM, shown through singles like “Crazy Like Me” and “Thanks For Nothing,” this band are going places, with the possibility of a supporting slot for AFI and Lostprophets.
After the success of Download’s Classic Rock Sunday, bands like Iron Maiden are cashing in. With a Sonisphere headliner already planned, and more European dates to be announced, the band are ready to release the follow up to their 2009 Greatest Hits album Somewhere Back In Time. Currently untitled, the band have kept tight lipped. However if their previous effort “A Matter Of Life and Death” is anything to go by, this should be spectacular.” Former teenage angsters Good Charlotte are also ready to release their new album this spring, “Cardiology.” A lot rides on this for the band, as their previous release “Good Morning Revival,” alienated many fans after it took off in an experimental, more dark than punk, direction. Still, Joel & Benji Madden have both made promises that this album has the energy that the first two had. Are they back on the scene with something old, or have they gone in another new direction? Another band to keep your eyes on this year is Croydon based Esoterica. The youthful prog-rockers recently
completed a supporting slot for Marilyn Manson, and are hoping to release a new album off the back of it. Still their back catalogue is impressive. Essential tracks includes “Tomorrow I Won’t Remember.” The band become indefinable in just one genre, switching from pro, to industrial, to electro. Of course one of the most highly anticipated albums of this year is going to be Blink 182’s first album since their reunion in Summer 2009. The band haven’t had a new album since 2001’s “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” so fans are eagerly awaiting the currently untitled follow-up. The spanner in the works, however, is that Tom Delogne is still busy with Angels & Airwaves’ new release “Love” due for release this Valentine’s Day. There is one album that could supersede all these this year, and that is the release of the follow-up to the epic The Black Parade by emo-rockers My Chemical Romance. The band has kept most of the details secretive, but with this fourth album it has been hinted that the band will take another completely new direction, shocking fans with daring moves. Lead singer Gerard Way, said to RockSound that a friend who has heard the promo, no longer wants to hear the bands older stuff. Is it that radical? What do you think your album of the year is going to be? Its sure going to be a blood battle for the top spot.
Ellie Goulding Is A 'Folktonica' Sensation for 2010
Music Editor Laura Westerby looks at a new girl on the block, who's set to make her breakthrough this year. Folks are talking about the hottest new musical talents to breakthrough in 2010. Singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has come from ‘under the sheets’ and onto top position for the BBC Sound of 2010 list, which showcases the best rising musicians for the coming year. Born in Hereford, the 22 year-olds ‘folktronica’ sound mixes a traditional acoustic style with a cutting-edge electronic slant absorbed within a mood of feel-good pop. The Sound of 2010 of list was compiled using tips from 165 key music critics, broadcasters and bloggers. These media moguls picked their favourite three new musicians and those with the most votes made it onto the list.
The top five on the list have only just been revealed, since the long-list of artists was revealed in December. Previous winners include Little Boots, Adele, Mika and Corinne Bailey Rae. Florence and the Machine and La Roux were on the Sound of 2009 list, while Duffy and The Ting Tings featured the previous year. This year, theatrical pop singer Marina and the Diamonds is at number two, followed by Manchester trio Delphic, who mix indie guitars with euphoric electronica. Goulding has also received the Brit Awards' Critics' Choice prize and said she was "absolutely honoured" to be at the top of the Sound of 2010 list. She said: "I didn't expect to get
anywhere a few years ago," she said. "I didn't even expect to have a record deal, let alone be put in such a prestigious thing so I'm very happy. I think the list this year is great and I really believe in a lot of the acts." BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, who has applauded the singer, said: "I think what's exciting about Ellie Goulding is her hybrid of electro, pop, acoustic songwriting, all blended together. It sounds effortless, it sounds timeless and it's exciting. "She's got a beautiful voice, and when you layer that next to the electronic production, it really stands out from the crowd." Ellie Goulding’s new single ‘under the sheets’ is out now, with her album ‘Lights’ due to be released on March 1.
Want to write for the music section? Got some photos from a gig we should see? Email The Demon music team at email@example.com or Tweet us @thedemonpaper
14 | Monday 26 January 2010
Most Pleasing To The Ear Gigs For The Demon Team review some of the latest music to hit the shelves Alexandra Burke – Broken Heels
Avatar – Soundtrack Sam Nicholson
After the astounding success of Avatar at the cinema, it is unsurprising that the soundtrack CD, lives up to its movie credentials. Including not only some of the most beautiful music possibly, but a track from Leona Lewis as well. This album is a gold mine for music fans, movie fans and Avatar groupies alike. Applauds to Leona Lewis for coming back with another beautiful track, which fits seamlessly amongst its instrumental counterparts. Highlights include the opening eerie track “You Don’t Dream In Cryo” and the angry and discordant “Scorched Earth” This album does James Horner proud, and shall stand as one of the greatest soundtracks of the year.
Vampire Weekend – Contra
After her hit single “Bad Boys” Alexandra Burke has returned with another show stomping tune “Broken Heels.” Released on January 18th, this electro track places less emphasis on vocal effects, letting us hear the true Alexandra Burke we remember from 2009’s X Factor. Despite the tedious spoken introduction, this track is extremely catchy and likeable to the ear; making you get up and dance. Admittedly the lyrics leave a lot to be desired, but that can be overlooked once you get into the beat and the tempo quickens. This could be another number one hit for Alexandra Burke, and a promising start to 2010.
Thursday 28th January Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls The Musician £8 adv £10 door www.myspace.com/ theactualmileshunt
Thursday 28th January The Screening + Iglue and Hartley Sumo, Braunstone Gate 7.30pm £8av £10door
Saturday 30th January Kerrang! Relentless Tour 2010 O2 Academy Birmingham £15.33 @ O2 Academy Birmingham
Thursday 4th February
Ellie Goulding – Under the sheets Laura Westerby Music Editor
The lid bursts open with a whirlwind of colour as the air is energetically loaded with a feel good sound of electronic pop for all you girls to dance your socks off too. Ellie Goulding’s ‘Under the sheets’ is uniquely crafted by her rustic voice and a wide-awake sound that’s enhanced by an array of musical treats that add vibrancy to this ‘folktronica’ pop song. Whether you’re on the dance, bedroom of living room floor, you’ll be sure to get yourself in a hyperactive twist listening to this echoey transmission of acoustic brilliance. The slightly reiterated sound that is so regularly heard in pop music means this song will manage to stay lodged in your mind for some time. You may get irritated. For now, dwell in Goulding’s refreshing approach to electronic folk music.
Vampire Weekend could have easily released an LP mimicking the breezy pop of their previous acclaimed album. Instead they’ve produced a whole new set of appropriations that are equally gem like, even if not immediate. The influences here are wide ranging; ‘Horchata’ is a breezy calypso and ‘Cousins’ will be huge at indie clubs for months to come. The title Contra is a reference to the Clash’s fourth studio album ‘Sandinsta’ and it’s difficult to avoid comparisons when they drop ska/reggae into their sound, as with "Diplomat's Son", easily a highlight on an album full of them.
De Montfort Hall £22.50 Doors open at 7pm
Saturday 13th February Formation and the world of drum and bass: 20 years of Formation Records Leicester University 9pm-6am
16 | Monday 26 January 2010
Very Lovely Bones Peter Beck takes a look at Peter Jackson's Sparkling Irish Tale. ‘Lord of the Rings’, New Zealand..... a beard. These three things were all that used to pop into my head when someone mentioned Peter Jackson. I’ll be straight with you, I’ve only seen one of the well regarded director’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies, and I didn’t rate his version of ‘King Kong’. Hence my feelings of guilt when I was fortunate enough to be asked along to a preview of his new film ‘The Lovely Bones’ in Leicester Square. There are plenty of people who worship the man and would have killed for the opportunity. My cousin has even got a tattoo of Jackson on his shoulder. To say he was envious when
finding out I was going to watch the preview, before heading to a press conference at the classy ‘Claridge’s Hotel’, is a slight understatement. On the other hand, my complete ignorance of Jackson’s back catalogue would allow me to judge his latest film on it’s own merits. No hobbit or a giant ape was going to influence me. ‘The Lovely Bones’ is an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel of the same name. Jackson enjoyed reading it so much that he personally purchased the rights to create a version for the big screen. The story is delivered in a similar style to an episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’. The central character, a young girl called Suzie Salmon, keeps the tale moving with her narration from beyond the grave. She describes the days leading up to her brutal murder from a personalized heaven which contains images and objects familiar to her. She watches her family mourn while trying to come to terms with her own death. This isn’t a whodunit. More a vivid exploration of Suzie’s afterlife and its links to the realities of her murderous neighbour Mr Harvey and her grieving family. Without doubt, the movies greatest strength is it’s cast. Established Hollywood names like Mark Wahlberg and Susan Sarandon convincingly combine with the fresh talent of Saoirse Ronan and Reece Ritchie. The inexperienced youngsters must be credited for more than pulling their weight among such world-renowned colleagues. No one typifies this more than Saoirse Ronan. The 15 year old actress’ name may be a challenge to pronounce, but after following her Oscar nominated
performance in ‘Atonement’ with her role as Suzie Salmon, you’ll be hearing it many more times over the years to come. Jackson’s carefully crafted version of heaven is also spectacular. He shares the author’s agnostic views and this is reflected in the film- “I think I believe in the afterlife. That is I think I do, but I don’t worship a god”. The CGI laden environment adds an interesting dimension to the storyline. It has caused controversy in the U.S because of its god-free depiction of heaven, but the surreal world allows the director to flex his creative muscles. Jackson cites his forte as creating scenes of ‘bold escapism’. In choosing to film the novel The Lovely Bones, he certainly plays to this strength. At the press conference I was surprised by Jackson’s honesty; “This project was difficult. The book isn’t structured as a film. Fitting an incredible novel into a two hour movie was always going to be a tough”. These comments expose Jackson’s modest nature rather than any weakness of the film. He effortlessly blends scenes of beautiful landscapes in heaven, with a portrayal of everyday suburban life in the 70’s. Despite Jackson doing a great job with his adaptation work, I can’t help but liken him to the London Symphony Orchestra conductor or the manager of the Brazilian football team. You can’t deny they’re good at what they do, but the people around them make them better. With a strong cast putting in performances like this, Jackson was always on to a winner.
Computer Problems? That’s one hangover you don’t need! SmartFixIT provide on campus Computer Support and Repairs to students and staff at De Montfort University. Open Monday to Friday, the SmartFixIT service centre is located on the rst oor of De Montfort Students’ Union.
10 | Monday 26 January 2010
Home Sweet Home? Megan Hill explains the problems of trying to find privately rented accomodation It’s that time of year again and no I am not talking about cream eggs being back in the shops, but the decision for many students, where am I going to live next October and who with? After being thrown into the deep end as a fresher, moving away from home and living with people you’ve never met before and maybe didn’t even like. The second and third year can be an exciting experience, as students can finally move in with who they choose, but beware, problems may arise. The rush to find a secure and preferably cheap accommodation can lead people too unknowingly, pressuring friends that make snap decisions about where to live. Without realistically, considering whether everyone can afford the rent each month, and that is all before picking bedrooms. Whether the choice is halls of residents or student housing, students need to make sure that any conflicting issues are ironed out prior to signing any contact. Otherwise, if the friendship breaks and you want to live elsewhere the deposit to the house maybe lost. Student housing is not the best option for everyone, if only two-three
people want to live together, roping in people you define as ‘acquaintances’ to make the numbers up could lead to a number of problems. Such as those who have no qualms about pulling out at the last minute, arguments over the location of the house and disputes over who will be managing the bills. If all goes well in securing the house, living with people who are yet to have a secure foundation of friendship, can make the accommodation away from home and unwelcoming place, especially with cleaning and noise issues. Personally, the experience of finding a second year accommodation took me on a frustrating journey. Firstly, finding a house which wasn’t crumbling down or wouldn’t need a jet washer just to get it to a basic standard of cleanliness took some time. Once the house was found two out of my five future housemates decided to leave university without warning. Luckily nothing had been signed and I happily moved into halls of residences where I have remained through my third year as well. Moving into student housing may seem to be all doom and gloom with the amount of issues that could arise, but it doesn’t have to be. Along with
every negative story there is a positive one, with many friends moving in together, paying bills, discussing issues with the landlord and delegating chores has so far all ran smoothly, resulting in a happy home. If you are short on numbers and didn’t feel claustrophobic in your first year in a halls bedroom, halls of residents may be the right option. There are no responsibilities on your behalf, to fill any extra rooms in the flat. Although spare rooms are likely to be filled with new people and as a result there is a possibility of sharing a bathroom with strangers. Although to put a positive spin on it, new friends can be made. Nevertheless, remember to air any problems of kitchen and bathroom cleanliness, noise and privacy rather than letting the issues build up, causing hostility in the flat. Living with friends can be a fantastic experience, independence grows and people learn to adapt to how
others, apart from your family, live. Whether students decide to rent a house of remain in student halls, sharing chores, being considerate of the other flat/house mates and making your space
more homely will make a happier atmosphere, a true home away from home.
Having rented houses for the past two years, Sarah Taylor explains what to look out for. The most obvious – make sure you can afford it. The rent may look cheap when you’ve got a huge wad of cash sitting in your account, but remember about water, gas, electric and Internet bills. If in serious doubt, there are some houses that offer everything or most things included in the price. Be cautious choosing roommates people you don’t know very well can turn out to be problematic with the rent, messy, and loud. Living with people from your course is great because you’ll be altogether when you need to do your work, but bear in mind you’ll see them all day every day! Make sure you are in walking distance of things - there’s little point finding a beautiful house if it’s a half hour walk away from university or town. Stick to the well-known student areas (it’ll be safer to get back to after a night out) but bear in mind that it may get quite loud at night. In Leicester few streets will offer free parking so remember that having a bike is a perfect solution if you’re a bit of a
journey away. Look around. This sounds obvious, but a lot of students choose their houses after looking at them on the Internet or making quick decisions in a lettings agency. This is important so that you can see if anything’s wrong with the house that you need to get fixed when you move. Important points are boilers, central heating and lighting fixtures. Ask about locks. A lot of landlords won’t provide keys for your separate doors so you may have to fit your own or call a locksmith in (which will set you back about £100). Check that your house is furnished and what will come with it or you may walk in to your room when term starts to find… Nothing. A typical room will consist of a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside table, computer desk and possibly a bookshelf. Remember the bathrooms - if you live with more than four people you’ll need more than one (which 4+ houses should have). Check to see if there’s a radiator in it (if
not it will get very cold, damp and mouldy) and check the bath to check it doesn’t leak. Look for power points - when you move your stuff in, check where the plugs are - there’s no point placing your computer desk by the window if there’s only one point on the opposite side of the room. Most rooms have 2 power points but if you’ve only got one then make use of extension leads (but be careful not to trip over the wires or overload it with lots of plugs). Read your contracts very carefully and make sure you will all be able to make the rent payments or you will come across legal troubles before too long. Make sure you keep a copy if things go awry and make a note of all the deposits you pay. Keep everything in the same place (with a spare key in case you lose yours on a drunken night out) so it’s all easy to find. Bedrooms - a lot of student houses have front doors that open onto the bedroom - something you may not like when the postman comes or if people knock on the front door. Try to find a house
with a living room at the front and remember that there’s bound to be one bedroom on the bottom floor (make sure you keep a lock on the
door and the windows closed). If all else fails, a helpful sign on the front door will instruct people not to use it.
12 | Monday 26 January 2010
The DSU SECS Clinic Speaks The SECS Clinic provides friendly supportive advice whether you require relationship guidance or just have questions about your sexual health. The Clinic is a non judgemental service which is ran by students to allow for a comfortable environment to put your worries at ease. The clinic is open during university term time which is open every Thursday from 10am -12pm that is for appointments only these can be booked by emailing secsclinic@dmu. ac.uk. There is also a drop in clinic on Thursday from 1pm-3pm. The clinic can provide you with, Free Condoms (20 per month) Free Pregnancy Testing Free Chlamydia Testing
Sexual health information including STI information Relationship support
A choices nurse is also available during term time from 12.30-2.30 on a Thursday who is based in the first aid room in the Students Union. A choices nurse can provide you with contraception, emergency contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infection testing, HIV testing, pregnancy testing. As well as support for any students aged 25 and under with no appointment required. To keep up to date with the events ran by the DSU SECS Clinic check out the Facebook Group.
Myth and Fact! Dental Dams The two are apparently separate.
Myth: Condoms hurt and are uncomfortable Fact: Condoms are 98% effective when use correctly and they are available in different shapes and sizes. Why don’t you come in the SECS Clinic and see which ones are best for you! Myth: Condoms are boring and take the fun out of sex Fact: There are a range of textures, flavours and lubricants designed to maximise stimulation and increase pleasure. Have fun trying out a number of varieties and discovering which one suit you and your partner. Myth: I've only had one partner so I don’t need any protection Fact: Do you really know how many people your partner has been with? Using a condom takes out the risk but not the fun. There are other methods of contraception but condoms are the only ones to prevent STI’s Myth: Condoms are a waste of money, and don't really do a good job protecting Fact: SECS Clinic provides twenty free condoms per month and each condom can hold 14 pints of water so if it breaks then you are doing something wrong. They provide you with effective protection from STI's and unwanted pregnancies. Myth: Unprotected sex is healthier Fact: Catching a sexually transmitted infection and becoming pregnant
when not ready doesn't really sound to healthy does it? Lubricants are not only to stop friction, but also to be fun. However, using the correct products is vital and some of the most commonly thought of lubricants can actually damage the condom and effect the protection it gives. These are generally oil based products such as Vaseline, chocolate body paint, lip gloss, baby oil, body lotions and creams, butter and whipped cream! Luckily, Durex and K-Y along with other manufacturers such as Boots and Superdrug offer a wide range of products that are flavoured, offer a warm or tingly sensation and even designed to be used as part of a sexy massage. These products are usually non-greasy, odourless and won't damage your condom – making your sex life interesting without having to explain to your flatmates why you smell of salad cream after last night's session! Teamed with you choice of a condom, lubricants can be found in bottles or smaller purse or wallet sized sachets so when you’re on a night out they are easy to carry around; giving you maximum protection and maximum pleasure.
Further links for Condom advice www.durex.com http://www.choices-leics.org.uk/ http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/ Contraception/Pages/condoms.aspx http://www.avert.org/condom.htm
Many or most of us have come across oral sex. Things like dams are there to offer protection for men and women during oral sex. They help to protect you from getting STI’s during oral sex (they are not 100% effective). They are often used by lesbian women and men to stop the exchanging of bodily fluids.
5 Top Tips for using Dental Dams: 1. When removing a dam from the packet, be careful not to tear the packet with any jewellery that you may be wearing. 2. Always use plenty of water based lubricant, for a more pleasant experience, place the dam over the vaginal or anal areas before having oral sex. Only lick one side of the dam. 3. Make sure you use a new dam when going from vaginal to anal, and from person to person, to ensure that you are not coming in contact with the bodily fluids and lower the risk of STI’s.
4. When you have finished with the dam, make sure you dispose of it in a bin, and do not flush it down the toilet. 5. To make them more fun you can always try hands-free methods of using dams, so use your imagination and give it a try but avoid sharp objects as you don’t want to damage the dam.
The DSU SECS Clinic is open every Thursday in the Welfare & Education Centre on the First Floor of The Campus Centre, 10pm-12pm & 1pm-3pm.
Monday 26 January 2010 | 13
House Hunting Made Easy It’s that time of the year when all students’ thoughts turn to a new house for next year. Nervous about finding somewhere to live? Worried that you’ll make a mistake you’ll regret? Don’t worry – follow the steps below and they will lead you to a stress free housing situation! Your aim should be a property in good repair, with the correct safety checks in place, from a landlord who will fix repairs quickly and will not try to keep your deposit unfairly. How to achieve this? Read on... Take your time Do not panic when looking for accommodation. Think about what sort of property you want (halls or a house) and who you want to live with carefully. Don’t rush into taking the first house you see; see several places so you can choose what would be best for you. Lots of students start looking for somewhere to live in January particularly those looking to live in halls or in large groups. There is no need to panic and rush into something you will regret later. There will be properties available up to Easter and beyond. Signing up early for a property means there is more time for problems to arise. For example, you may decide not to return to DMU, you may be forced to take an interruption or you may no longer want to live with the people you have signed up with. If any of these are the case, it will be very difficult to get out of the contract and you will have to pay for the accommodation even if you’re not living there.
Finding a property The standard of service and care you get will be different depending on the individual lettings agency or landlord you decide to sign with. Look around several providers and compare them. Ask around your friends – who do they rent from? Are they happy with their provider? The Students’ Union has its own lettings agency DSU Lettings (www. dsulettings.com) which you can rent a private property from. The agency does not charge any admin fees unlike other agencies and the properties are regularly inspected for their quality.
Examine the house closely Make sure that the property meets all your requirements. Consider who will be living there and think about all of the group’s needs. Many landlords will agree to provide more furniture or to decorate the property before you move in – ask and see what you can negotiate. If you have agreed anything extra, get this written into the contract before you sign. Use the WEC checklist (collectable from our reception or on the Students’ Union website) when you are viewing properties to ensure that you do not miss anything. Do not be afraid to ask to view the property several times to make sure this is definitely the house you want. Speak to the current tenants – what’s their opinion of the landlord and would they rent from them again?
Take time to read the contract and get it checked
Always ask to take any contract you are being asked to sign away to read through. You should be allowed to have at least 24 hours to examine the agreement and if an agent or landlord will not allow you to do this, think twice about agreeing to the property. Never allow yourself to be pressured into agreeing there and then. If possible, bring the contract in to be checked by one of our advisers in the Centre before signing. You need to understand exactly what you are agreeing to – remember by signing, you are agreeing to a legal contract and it will be virtually impossible to change your mind later. Never agree to a contract if you are unsure. Be sure you are happy before you agree.
Do you know what you are agreeing to? Most tenancy agreements will be for a fixed term. This means that you will not be able to leave the agreement unless there is a clause which allows you to give notice (this is rare) or the owner/agent agrees to release you or you find a replacement tenant for your room. Unless one of these points apply you will still remain liable for the rent even if you leave the property. However, if the owner/agent fundamentally breaches the tenancy, for example, by letting the property fall into disrepair, you may be able to leave early without paying further rent. Get advice before doing this. Joint agreements Most tenancies will be joint agreements where one contract is signed by the whole group. The law views the tenants in a joint tenancy as one legal person and this means that
all tenants are responsible to pay all of the rent. If one of your group doesn’t pay, you are liable for their share as well as yours and you could be chased by the landlord for this. With individual contracts the situation is reversed. You will only be liable for your own rent but the landlord has the right to fill a vacant room without having to get your permission. This is because your tenancy will be for your individual room and not the whole house unlike a joint tenancy.
Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS) places an obligation on landlords to protect tenants’ deposits with one of three government backed schemes. The TDPS offers greater protection to tenants and allows disputes to be dealt with by the schemes much more quickly and cheaply. Landlords or agents need to provide tenants with details as to how the deposit has been protected within 14 days of the deposit being paid. Landlords can be taken to the County Court by you if you have not received this information or the deposit has not been protected and a court can order a landlord to pay three times the amount of deposit to you for nonprotection. Landlords will need to provide justification to the scheme if they want to keep tenants’ deposits at the end of the tenancy but it will still be important to make sure that you create and keep safe evidence of the condition of the property. Make sure you carry out an inventory when moving in and out and take pictures of the property so that you have proof
of its condition.
Moving in When the time comes to move in, check with the landlord that everything is ok with the property a few days before you are to return and if you haven’t already done so, sort out collecting the keys. Notify the gas/electricity/telephone/ water authorities that you are the new occupants in the property and open your own accounts. If the last tenants didn’t pay the bills when they left, you may get lumbered with their bills without your own accounts. One person should not make themselves liable for all the bills Obtain a Council Tax exemption certificate from the Academic Registry and deliver it to the Leicester City Council offices. Keep a copy of this before submitting it to the Council. Immediately inform your landlord of any disrepair by telephone and follow this up in writing keeping a copy of the letter. Hopefully if you have followed this advice you should have ended up with a great house for the year. Sit back and relax! Advice is always available from the Welfare & Education Centre in the Students’ Union.. Come and see us on the 1st Floor of the Campus Centre Building.
Monday to Wednesday: 9.30am – 3.45pm Thursday: 9.30-6.30 (Term time only) or Thursday: 9.30-3.45 (Vacation) Friday: 1.00pm – 3.45pm Call in or telephone (0116) 257 6307 www.demontfortstudents.com
14 | Monday 26 January 2010
Cheerleader Success in Leeds The uni cheerleaders headed up north, and walked away with honours in a keenly contested competition. Harriet Jackson reports. The DMU Saints ended last term in triumph as they walked away from yet another competition with a host of trophies including two first places and a very respectable fourth place after only narrowly missing third place by a margin of 2.5 points. On the 13th December over 60 cheerleaders boarded a coach to Leeds to take part in their first competition of the year. The competition was hosted by ICC (International Cheerleading Coalition) well known for expecting a high level of expertise in cheer routines. As DMU Saints enter their fourth competing year at De Montfort University they have stepped up their game tremendously by competing with two cheer squads and a dance group. Head Cheerleader Amme Hayter said, “We’ve had 30 freshers join us to make up another squad, most having never done cheerleading before. It is amazing how quickly they have mastered their routines and are ready to compete.” To get the ball rolling, last term both squads recieved new uniforms and learnt new routines in anticipation for the competition in Leeds. The day of the competition started well. Everyone managed to get up in time for the very early journey to Leeds. The competition took place inside Leeds University’s sports hall and, although it was one
of the smallest competitions The Saints have ever taken part in, it was still important for them to do their best and aim for first place. As, what seemed like, hundreds of cheerleaders piling off coaches, the atmosphere grew in to a nervous but excited mood. The Saints had been working hard to learn and perfect their new routines spending their Sunday afternoons, Monday and Tuesday evenings, training in a new stateof-the-art gym with specialist safety mats to practice stunting and tumbling. Coach Ellen Gyapong commented: “We are really thankful for having a safe place to practice stunting, last year we had nowhere to train properly.” The Leeds competition was off to a flying start as the DMU Saints were the first to step on the mat with the dance group performing a hip hop dance to a mix of popular songs such as: Lose Control by Missy Elliot, Boom Boom Pow by the Black eyed peas and Party like it’s 1999 by Prince. Led by talented choreographer, Claire Highton Barge, the group went on to claim a fantastic first place. Claire said: “I am ecstatic with our placing; the dance couldn’t have gone any better.” Next to the floor were the other categories of dance and then the cheerleaders. Starting with Level 1 teams through to Level 3. DMU Saints Level 2 squad took to the floor after lunch with a brilliant
routine that consisted of basket tosses, tumbling and libs. The team performed the routine to near perfection and their hard work paid off as they too were also placed first. Despite two of the cheerleaders being injured during the routine, they bravely continued and smiled their big cheer smiles. Coach, Ellen said: “This is the first time any of Level 2 have ever competed in a cheerleading competition and they came first so it’s a huge achievement.” Level 3 stepped on to the mat just half an hour after Level 2’s performance, opening their sequence with a huge basket toss and a fast paced and complicated routine which included courageous stunting such as extended libs with skills and tumbling. Unfortunately Level 3 started with an unfair disadvantage as their precious minutes on the practice mat prior to the performance were stolen; the team competing before couldn’t perform as one of their team had fallen during practice and broken her ankle. Therefore, DMU Saints lost their practice time and took the other team’s time slot. They came a respectable fourth place and were pleased with the results under the circumstances. Ellen reported: “These are the hardest routines we have ever performed and I am thrilled with the results, we have done really well at this competition. I am really proud and pleased with everyone.
The hard work has paid off.” After the competition, ICC put on a cheer camp, open to all the cheerleaders who had taken part in the competition. They were able to learn and practice how to tumble, jump and stunt. All taught by professional ICC coaches. It lasted for three hours and gave the squads invaluable advice to use at their next competitions. With another two trophies tucked under their belts, at this rate the Student Union will have to invest in another trophy cabinet
dedicated to the cheerleaders. Chair, Amme concluded: “The Saints have come along way over the past five years and I have a feeling this year is going to be our best yet as everyone has trained so hard and is really dedicated to the team.” Many thanks to the supporters who came and helped DMU Saints cheer their way to victory. Both the routines are going through some minor adjustments ready for the squads to perform at their next competition in February.
Moore, to prepare the teams for Varsity in March. DMU won last year against Leicester University and have high hopes for all three teams this year. DMU’s 1st team are still doing well in the cup and all three teams are currently mid table in the BUC’s league. The last four games of the season are crucial for the girls to ensure they stay at the top, so everyone is working hard at training twice a week. The teams are certainly on track for varsity, and have a number of other events to look forward to over the next few weeks. Some of their old players who graduated last year will be returning for a weekend, to play a few games against the current teams. Soar Point is the new sponsor of
DMU Netball, following the closure of The Quay in December. They have offered the team, as well as other DMU sports team’s breakfast on the morning of Varsity, to show a united front of the Athletics Union. Chairman, Katie Parkinson said: “DMU Netball grew from strength to strength last term, having had a good intake of fresher’s, with a lot more of them making the first team than usual. Thanks to our new coach, Lynn Moore, we have managed to pick up new tactics and play better as teams with some good wins behind us. All three teams are mid table and hopefully if we continue to develop and improve as we did towards the end of last term we should have our sights on top of the table finishes and
definitely defeat Leicester University at Varsity.” The 1st and 3rd team have matches
at home this week, and everyone is welcome to go and show support at the John Sandford Sports Centre.
DMU Netball hope for a winning start to the decade A new year means more hard work for the Netball team, as they aim for success. Amy Seabrook reports. A new year, new term, and new victory’s for DMU Netball as they set their sights on winning! After their success last year, the team are currently preparing for a number of important league and cup games taking place throughout the next few months, which start again this week. Extra training and fitness sessions have been planned with coach, Lynn
Monday 26 January 2010 | 15
Formula One steps up a gear Formula One is entering an exciting era. The Demon gets ready for the 2010 F1 season. Luke Dougherty
January 2010, a new year, a new decade, and a new season for Formula One. As we move into 2010 and wave goodbye to the ‘Noughties’, it’s finally time to start looking towards the future, a not so distant future, March 14th to be precise, the day 26 cars will line up on the grid in the Manama desert for the Bahrain grand prix, the first race of the new Formula One season. With millions of fans watching around the world, here’s hoping that this new season gives as much controversy and excitement as 2009; a season full of drama and romance that you just couldn’t make up. The big story of last season was undoubtedly the Jenson Button saga. He and his Brawn team created something that can only be described as a fairytale. This time last year Button and the employees of the Honda team were left heading into the new year unemployed, leaving Jenson and team mate Rubens Barrichello without race seats. Honda Racing announced that they would be pulling out of motor sport as result of the current economic crisis, leaving the Brackley based outfit stranded, desperately searching for a buyer before the start of the season. Who would have thought that 10 months later Button would be crossing the line at the Brazilian GP to be crowned world champion? After winning 6 out of the first 7 races, the season went on to become one of the most competitive and enjoyable seasons in recent years, with 6 drivers
standing on the top step of the podium, we saw a championship that could have been won by any number of drivers. This is a far cry from a not so distant past in which Ferrari spent 5 seasons dominating proceedings and rapidly turning the sport into a procession that ultimately turned fans away. So after such an entertaining season, will 2010 be average in comparison? Hardly. With the winter being this eventful, drivers moving around the paddock, teams coming and going, and a rumour making headlines that a certain Michael Schumacher was ready for a sensational return to the sport, all the signs point to another memorable season. First speculated after the final race of the season by BBC pundit Eddie Jordan, it took until Christmas before it was confirmed that the seven times world champion would be returning to the sport to drive for the rebranded Mercedes Grand Prix team, linking up again with Ross Brawn, who he worked with during his two championships at Benetton, and the five consecutive titles with Ferrari. With all the hype being on Schumacher’s return, we almost forgot the story of Jenson Button’s switch to McLaren, to form an all-English line up with Lewis Hamilton. The move raised a few eyebrows down the paddock, as Button will be leaving the team who he won both drivers and constructors titles with. After turning down an improved contract offer from Ross Brawns team, Button deciding that McLaren would offer him the best opportunity to retain his title, with McLaren having a strong end to last season, contrasting to his Brawn's dip in competitiveness. Button strongly denies the move was made on financial grounds, where he has signed a contract offering double the wage he was receiving while with Brawn. He will have his work cut out to beat Hamilton, who likewise will finally have a teammate to push him all the way. Hamilton will also have a former seven times world champion standing in his way next season. The return of Michael Schumacher will set up an eagerly anticipated battle with the Brit, who became F1's youngest world champion in 2008, and has often stated that his one regret was that he never got to race against Schumacher. Now, with Schumacher in a Mercedes, Hamilton can fulfill his ambition. Pitting together the most
successful driver of all time against one of the most gifted and fastest young drivers currently on the grid. We shall hopefully see a fascinating battle between these two drivers, two of the favourites tipped for the title. But who else is in the frame? For the first time in years we have more than two clear contenders, including Fernando Alonso, the double world champion, winning the 2005 and 2006 titles with Renault, who he spent one controversial and ultimately unsuccessful season in 2007 as Hamilton’s team mate at McLaren, the Spaniard, will be behind the wheel of a very competitive Ferrari next season, as the teams main driver, the 29 year old has 21 race wins under his belt and will be looking to add to that next season. The young German Sebastian Vettel, hailed the next Michael Schumacher, finished second in the championship last season, establishing himself as a driver to be respected. The 22 year old became the youngest ever winner of a race two seasons ago, and went on to win four more races last season, a quick driver who’s chances next season will depend on how competitive his Red Bull car will be. Felipe Massa, who will be returning this season after suffering a career threatening head injury at the Hungarian Grand Prix last season, will be hoping to carry on where he left off and challenge for race wins. Last but by no means least, Jenson Button, the current world champion, linking up with McLaren. The Englishman will be looking for equal status with Hamilton at McLaren, will be hoping he made the right choice by moving teams and will be looking to become the first British driver to retain his world title. It will be interesting to see how competitive each driver will be, although at this stage it would be unwise to predict a winner. One thing we can be sure of, the new season is set to be one of the best seasons we’ve seen in years, with the likes of Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Button all driving for top competitive teams, we can be sure that all five of these drivers will be winning races this season and all stand a strong chance of taking the title. It’s highly likely that we will see a long competitive battle that goes right down to the wire. The question on everyone’s lips will be, ‘who will the next world champion be?’ With a grid this competitive no one can be sure. But the one thing that we can be sure of, is the real winners next season will undoubtedly be the fans.
16 | Monday 26 January 2010
DMU Badminton crash in Notts
Liam Davis reports on Badminton's struggle against the UK Universities finest in Nottingham The end of November saw DMU Badminton enter the British University and College Sports Individuals Open 2009 at the University of Nottingham. This national tournament saw the best players in the country compete for glory in Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles alongside the Mixed Doubles crown all sponsored by Badminton England and Ashaway. The DMU Squad of Luc Horrex, Tom Verow, Tim Rolfe, Jonathan Lau, Lucy King and Alison Woodhouse went into the tournament with high spirits and in hope of causing an upset along the way. Beside the obvious attraction of seeing some of the best badminton players in the UK, DMU morale was boosted by the arrival of DMU graduate and former chairman Pak Hou Cheung, who is now studying an MA at Aston and played still sporting a DMU team kit! Spirits were slightly damaged when, in the first game of the day at 9am, Luc Horrex was drawn against Nico Ruponen of Loughborough University who was the tournament’s 3rd seed. Not only a part of Loughborough’s 1st Team, Nico could also boast being a part of the
Swedish International Team and is likely to appear in the London 2012 Olympics. So when Luc Horrex went down 21-8, 21-2 there was little surprise. “I was delighted to take 10 points from an international player, it was a fantastic experience”, Luc commented before finishing, “although in the second set he really turned his performance up a notch, as though he was keen to get off the court and into the second round.” So before most of the team was out of bed Luc Horrex had been eliminated and would have to wait until the next day for the start of the Doubles. Sadly DMU’s luck didn’t change as harsh draws saw Tim Rolfe and Tom Verow eliminated in the first round losing 2-1 after romping to a 1-0 lead whilst Luc partnered by Jonathan Lau went out in straight sets. They were followed quickly by Allison and Lucy who struggled against a top pair. Although early eliminations for the team may suggest that the tournament was a failure, the experience was vital. Tom Verow, DMU Badminton Chairman, said that “although we didn’t progress to the later stages, the chance to play against top players was incredible, whilst we also got a chance
to watch some of the players who in a few years will be participating in and potentially winning international tournaments. “We shouldn’t forget that many of the players who reached the final stages of the event are being effectively paid to play for certain universities and are training twice a day with the best coaches in Britain’ December saw the club open its doors to all of its members to participate in a ‘handicapped tournament’ which saw the stronger players receive points handicaps. This meant that the more social players from the Monday club nights could participate and compete against the 1st and 2nd team players. Special mention to Alan Birchall who put in a good performance having only picked up the sport in September along with other relative newcomers to the sport in Phil Ward and Sophie Jupp. Men’s Singles was won by Anik Ruparelia who also saw victory in Doubles with partner Alex Cox. The Badminton squad is now focusing on completing the season and climbing higher up the league tables whilst keeping one eye on the end of season clash with the University of Leicester at Varsity.
Murray odds-on for a slam as 2010 Tennis begins Andy Murray is looking good for his first slam in 2010. The Demon looks at his chances. Matthew Stott
Andy Murray is looking to win his first tennis major, and the first Grand Slam of the decade, as the ball gets rolling, or rather bouncing, at the 98th edition of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park this month. Prolific American inventor Thomas Alva Edison once said: “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety nine per cent perspiration.” If this maxim is manifested anywhere around Camp Murray in Miami, then surely the electrifying spry Scot must sense that 2010 is the year he finally sweats his way to previously undiscovered glory. Yet after the unassuming and subtle disappointing exploits of 2009, where upon he was unable to procure
his maiden Grand Slam triumph as widely conjectured, he discretely recognises he must discover that extra percentage, that evaded piece of savvy nylon string that needs to be attached to his HEAD endorsed racket if he is to usurp the blue and yellow of Federer and replace it with the blue and white of the Saint Andrew Cross at the summit of the mount. As all Murray fans are conversant with, his boundless energy and sheer enthusiasm can only be paralleled by the gumption of former number one Nadal. His almost unbreakable defence can also only be rivalled by the superb Spaniard, and yet perhaps this magnificent asset prevents him from winning the fourteen day marathon. Yes, the 22-year-old has acquired 14 career titles and £6 million in a glittering and still growing career that include multiple wins over Federer and Nadal, but his critics believe his passive strategy from the back of the court and a severe lack of attacking play at the net unnecessary drains him of vital energy required for the ‘business-end’ of the mission.
“I practice playing at the net a lot and have done for the last few years, it is more understanding when to come to the net and making sure you pick the right moments to come forward. "It's very difficult now, because guys pass so well, move so well and hit the ball so hard that you really have to pick the right moments. That is a tactical thing I have had to work on with my coach and hopefully it will pay off." At the time of writing, the tournament is yet to start, but most bookmakers are offering ante-post odds of around 11/2 for Murray to wrestle this certain jewel of Rafael Nadal’s crown at the hard court event. This evaluation represents his recent decline in the official ATP rankings, of which he is expected be graded at fifth place (his first time out of the top four since August 2008), allowing last year’s surprise US Open winner, Argentine Juan Del Potro, to leap-frog him. It may take a while, however. Bookmakers have Murray at oddson (8/13) not to become the first person since Fred Perry in 1936 to
win a Grand Slam this season, but the Irish firm are insisting upon a 1/2 shot of the former 2008 US Open Finalist to reach his second final at any of the four tournaments this term. Nonetheless, Murray remains adamant that he does not have to win a Slam to be considered a great player. “That's what I want to do (win a grand slam). But this is one of, if not the toughest, era tennis. You can play great and not win right now because of how good the other players are. "I've been working really hard for the last two or three years physically to make sure that I am strong enough. Tennis-wise, I just need to play my best at the slams. Last year I thought did well, but a few things I could have done a bit better. "If I feel good going into the tournaments, especially on the hard courts and the grass, I have got a pretty good chance of beating any of the guys and winning the tournament, so I believe I can do well this year. “I'll try my best to win a grand slam, that's my goal, but I still think you can be successful in tennis even if
you don't win one. Having said that, I would be disappointed if I didn't.” And if Murray wishes to be remembered in 2010, a year cramming the TV schedule with sporting excellence, then he certainly will have to achieve Grand Slam glory.