Issue 1454

Page 1

Results are in: NUSU elects it’s 24/25 officer team!

The Courier gives you the full breakdown of election’s night and your new elected team!

After a stressful and busy couple of weeks campaigning, we finally have our 2024/25 team - a brilliant group of students ready to take this university to bigger and better places. But who won? Let’s take a look at how your voting made a difference… Lights were up in Venue for Results Night on the 7th of March 2024. All of our candidates sat waiting anxiously for their results of their incredibly hard work campaigning all over campus –some even grabbed a pint to calm the nerves!

Before we begin, lets recap on how the voting system works – I even have to remind myself sometimes! The Newcastle University Student’s Union (NUSU) uses a single transferable vote system which means that when we all voted, we ranked our top candidates. If your top candidate does not meet the threshold to move to the next round, your vote transfers to your second ranked candidate. Each position all had the option to Re-Open Nominations (RON).

Hosted by our current Union President, Shah Yaseen Ali, the night began, and first we would find out the Liberation Officer and Chair results. Our new Chair of Council will be Seoyeon Choi, who beat competitor Vignesh Venkatraman, 365 votes to 189. The role of Chair of Scrutiny was run by Thomas Adamson, who won this position in a landslide against RON. Next was the Liberation officers. Much like the Chair positions, these roles are voluntary, unpaid positions as part of NUSU. Led by students, they will work with both their colleagues and university to help improve the student

experience. First up was the winner of Ethnic Diversity Officer. Jadenn Sivakumar beat Bee Balfourth 357 votes to 266 for this position – did you see Jadenn campaigning in the dinosaur costume?

Our new Disability Officer will be Rhys Elson, who was the only candidate campaigning for this position gaining 570 votes. Another position with the one candidate was for Marginalised Genders Officer, won by Paulo Crisanti. And finally, a new position to NUSU, introduced by current Welfare and Equality Officer, Lucy Leeds, was the Working Class Students’ Officer. Again, there was only one candidate running for this position, Charlie-Ann Ditchburn, who won with 592 votes. After a little break from the evening’s festivities, it was now time to announce the Sabbatical Officers. These 7 positions are paid jobs as part of NUSU. They will work closely with students, NUSU and the university to bring all three together to create a well-rounded experience for students.

First up was the role for Activities Officer. As our current officer, Alex Theodosiou was unable to attend, this role was presented by Lucy Leeds. As the only candidate, Swati Subramaniam needed to reach the required votes of 539 and smashed that limit, winning with 888 votes! In her acceptance speech she quipped about the “tough competition”!

Next up was Athletic Union Officer, presented by current officer, Kimiko Cheng. After a tough campaign run between candidates Jack Schofield and Alex Duggan, Alex won with 1,126 votes beating Jack’s 648 votes. Alex thanked her campaign’s team along with the Women’s Rugby for all their support. Now it was time for the Student Media Officer (SMO). Announced by our current SMO, and Editor-in-Chief here at The Courier, Gabbi de Boer declared Lucy Bower the winner! The initial required votes threshold was 695 votes, which no candidate reached. As with the voting system, we go to round 2, which means round 1 saw Jess McKeown, Harshvardhan Rathore and RON eliminated. This meant that the

required votes now went down to 594 which Lucy exceeded, with 623 votes, beating Sam Norman’s 566 final votes. Heading to the stage, Lucy thanked the student media team, including her fellow candidates for their support.

“The race for Welfare and Equality Officer saw a uniquely close race, following a RON campaign on social media.”

Next was for the position of Education Officer, presented by current officer, Lulu Cheng. The four candidates for this position were Jasmine Banks, Jonathon Lee, Devika Bhave and Alina Ghazal, none of whom reached the original voting threshold of 834.50.

This meant, much like the campaign for SMO, we go to round 2, which meant Jasmine and Jonathon led the race, now needing to reach 727 votes to win. Jasmine managed to best Jonathon 757 votes to his 697, showing yet again another tight race. An even tighter race was that for PostGraduate Officer, presented by current Officer, Chirag Kumar. Four candidates were running for this position: Saier Huang, Shruti Sharma, Linming Sun, Rev. Deacon Gabra Agziaabhir Jr., and Akash “Sky” Bandal. With the tightest results of the whole elections campaign, there were 4 rounds of elimination before a candidate reached the votes threshold. Finally, Linming Sun won with 737. As she reached the stage, her cheered and applauded in support! The race for Welfare and Equality Officer saw a uniquely close race, following a RON campaign launched on social media. Current officer Lucy

Leeds presented the awards, and after two rounds of voting RON led the race. However, in the final round, Hisham Salamathullah managed to gain the required votes in order to cross the threshold and be elected Welfare and Equality Officer.

Finally, we have the position of Union President, which brought our current President, Yaseen, back to the stage in order to present. Following weeks of passionate campaigning. it was Leo David who beat fellow candidate Atika Bawari with 1138 votes to their 534.

So, there you have it! Your team for the 2024/25 academic year! The elections hosted a variety of passionate candidates all advocating for the student body, and those who were successful now get to go put those plans into place! Anyone wishing to recap results night (or any of the Candidate’s Spotlights) can watch through the NUTV streams available on YouTube.

Issue 1454 Monday 18th March 2024
Est. 1948
Free Image Credit: Laura Linceviciute
The tunnel vision trap: questioning what we see on social media Opinion
Embracing girl failure: the antigirlboss trend
Dune: Part Two - a cinematic experience Film | page 21
| page 8
Relationships | page 11

A note from your Editor...

Whew! What a busy few weeks! With elections all wrapped up and awards season well on it's way, it's full steam ahead to the end of the academic year.

I'm so incredibly pleased to say that Lucy Bower will be following in my footsteps as your next Student Media Officer. Student Elections are really tough - exposing yourself to criticism whilst actively shouting about how great you are and what makes YOU the best fit for the role. It's a vulnerable place to be, especially when the role has a lot of legacy tied to it. Again, I'd like to say an big well done to those who ran, and that I'm so proud of how you carried yourselves throughout

the period despite all the struggles you faced. You ran inspiring campaigns with integrity, and you can hold your heads high.

The Courier also features on 5 (!!) shortlists for the Student Publication Association Awards. This includes Best Science Section, Best Reporter (Sam Norman), Best Sports Reporter (Arthur Ferridge), Best Newcomer (Libby Griffiths), and Best Lifestyle article (Libby Griffiths). NSR has also been shortlisted for 3 Amplify awards from the Student Radio Association, which are Most Resilient Station, Best Fundraising Initiative, and Best Collaboration (Fight Night with NUTV). Seeing our volunteers get the recognition they deserve fills me with so much joy, so fingers crossed that

Inside 18th March 2024

Current Affairs | News

The Curious Case of Kate Middleton

The missing Princess of Wales has caused a stir on social media | Page 5

Life & Style | Lifestyle

Living for the past: why are we so nostalgic?

Why do we long for the lives of our childhood selves? Are we living in our memories? | Page 12

Life & Style | Travel

Iconic women in travel history

Climbing mountains in a man's world, just another day as a woman traveller| Page 16

Culture | Music

Summer festivals: booming or busted?

Nine UK music festivals have been cancelled this summer, is the UK losing its place as the home of live music?| Page 18

Sports| Features

Horner gets out of jail free: what his Red Bull monopoly means for women in Formula One

One of our writers looks at the recent case dominating the F1 scene| Page 30

NBL Report: Newcastle down Bradford Dragons

A report of the first ticketed NBL game of the season| Page 30

Want to get involved?

we get some wins within the coming weeks.

Finally, the Media Awards are now open for nominations! They close on the 24th March, and there are over 20 categories to choose from. Head to the NUSU website to nominate yourselves, and join us for a night of fun and celebration on the 3rd May!

Anyway, that's enough waffling from me- I hope you all enjoy this edition of The Courier!

With faith, trust, and pixie dust - lots of love,

Hi everyone! My name is Gabbi, and I have the absolute pleasure of being your Student media Officer and Editor-In-Chief this year. Over the summer, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes alongside the Editorial team and NUSU to bring you this Freshers’ issue. Not only will you find loads of incredible articles written by our fantastic sub-editors, you’ll also find a one-stop guide to Freshers’ week, including an introduction to the Freshers’ week assistants who have put together an amazing programme of daytime activities for you all.



If you're interested in getting involved in student media, come along to our weekly Student Media Afternoons (SMAs)!

You'll be able to meet the team, hear from our SMO, attend workshops and pick up as many articles as you'd like! We alternate between article SMAs, and Workshops, you'll have the chance to learn new skills and

become an even better writer. Our SMAs are open to all, regardless of previous experience, and we would love to have you.

If you can't make the SMAs, left over articles will be posted to the sections' facebook groups, so keep an eye out!




Gabbi de Boer

Social Media

Heads of Social Media: Paige Rutter and Jess Bradbury /

Current Affairs

Senior editor: Sam Norman


Amana Khan

Izabela Kirschnerova

Tommy Atkinson

Rhys James

Jude Ventress

Campus Comment

Libby Griffiths

Grace Boyle

Mia Dale


Adelaide Dodson

Rosie Brennan

Margaux Martinez


Elisabeth Gores

Matthew Barratt


Senior editor: Arthur Ferridge

Mitchell Hall

Castor Chan

Sophie McMillan

Dan Balliston

Adam Tibke

Deputy Editors

Rachael McCreanor and Ross Bennett /


Heads of Online: Anthony Welsh

Life & Style

Senior editors:

Daisy Harrison

Samantha Seidu


Adriana Newbury

Charlotte Burnley-Hnat

Blind date and Agony Aunt:

Charlotte Lee


Zahra Hanif

Jay Barber

Marina Snyder

Fashion & Beauty

Lana Free Ivy French


Charlie Reid

Ollie Withers

Avika Sharma

Food & Drink

Roseanna Leconte

Anna Nix


Senior editors:

Imogen Smillie

Lucy Bower


Poppy Bedford

Madeha Ali


Ella Townson

Jenica Davis


Jess McKeown

Olivia Carter

Ned Carter-Owen


Adam Lovegrove

James Kellett


Sarah Tunstall

Laura Kasongo


Katie Siddall

Thursday 21st March 1:30pm The Bamburgh, NUSU
Image Credit: Instagram -
Varsity is BACK... 22nd March 2024

2024 budget breakdown: the student impact

Unpacking the spring budget and looking at its effect on the student population.

In a 1789 letter to French physicist Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, following the creation of America’s new constitution, an 83 year old Benjamin Franklin famously remarked, ‘Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’

Nearly 250 years on from America’s revolt over taxes, the British empire is long since dead and Britain has the highest tax burden since the late 40s. While America’s economic growth has been vibrant in recent years; Britain has lagged lethargically in the shadow of her former colony. Tasked with revitalising the British economy, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has presented the spring budget to parliament, with plenty of changes for us to ponder.

Here are the major policy announcements:

• A 2% cut in National Insurance. (Down from 10% to 8% for employee contributions).

• ‘Non-Dom’ tax regime abolished.

(The system which allowed UK residents to pay tax elsewhere, famously used by the PM’s wife).

• £10,000 raise in Child Benefit threshold. (Rising the threshold from £50,000 to 60,000. This change will stop 170,000 households from paying child benefits back, according to the Government.

• The creation of a ‘British ISA’. (Designed to boost investment in UKlisted companies)

• Tax rises on oil and gas producers, as well as vapes and tobacco.

Mr Hunt has certainly been more subtle than his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng. The now infamous ‘mini budget’ was filled with unfunded tax cuts, which instead of inspiring the growth that has been alluding Britain for so long, inspired a major sell-off in the Gilt market, effectively raising interest rates and bringing the pound to an all-time low. Determined to avoid such embarrassment, Hunt has proved himself to be on the more moderate fiscal side of the Tory party. But critics have claimed he has been too timid, or even dishonest with the framing of his budget.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has accused the government of raising the tax burden through fiscal drag (not raising thresholds in line with inflation).

“The government has given with one hand and taken much more with the other,” she stated. BBC presenter Amol Rajan even labelled Hunt the ‘fiscal drag queen’ in a fiery Paxman-style interview

on Radio 4.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), tax as a share of GDP will hit 37.1% by 2028-29, 4% of GDP higher than the pre-pandemic level. This is approaching the post-war highs in the late 1940s, debt to GDP is now over 100% so we can expect this level of tax burden to continue or even rise. While our tax burden is less than many of our European counterparts, it is far more than the US. This leaves the UK in a bizarre midpoint between the

desire for European public services and the dream of a vibrant American private sector.

"Martin Lewis lobbied the government to increase student living loans."

But what is in this Budget for me? For students, not much. In the run-up

to the budget, Martin Lewis lobbied the government to increase student living loans to keep up with inflation. With most living loans not even covering rent, students have been hammered by the cost-of-living crisis. A study from the Russell Group found that ‘1 in 4 students regularly go without food and other necessities because they cannot afford them.’ This budget has failed to address that issue, and with the recent rises in interest rates on student loans (linked to inflation), students can expect to be paying the government a lot of money throughout their lifetimes. For working families, the changes to National insurance and child benefits will undoubtedly be welcomed, but the freezing of the tax thresholds will still be a hard pill to swallow.

The Budget contains numerous other small tweaks but is not the typical budget of a party about to go into an election. The sad reality of public finances is that they are fundamentally political, particularly in an election year. It appears to many that this budget will set up a further set of more radical changes to public finances to bolster a Conservative election campaign. With debt and tax levels higher than ever, along with deteriorating public services and stagnating growth, the Treasury is going to need more imagination than tax changes to turn things around, but then again, to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.

Newcastle City Council to put homeless cuts on hold

Newcastle City Council's plans on reducing spending on homelessness are being paused.

Newcastle City council’s plans to halve the spending on beds in support of the homeless has been paused.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has said that the cuts were removed from the final budget proposals which were published ahead of Newcastle City Council’s next cabinet meeting. This proposal wanted to “invest in a longer-term vision" in order to help the causes of homelessness and reduce a “reliance on temporary accommodation” by working with providers.

"The limited resources need to be focussed on the root causes."

Local authority chiefs have insisted that as they grapple with how to cut spending by another £60 million over the coming three years, the limited resources need to

be focussed on the root causes of rough sleeping, instead of using “what little funding we have to tackle the symptom of a broader issue."

Paul Frew, the Labour councillor, and council’s cabinet member for finance, added that the provision would still be reviewed.

"One of the main providers of temporary accomodation for homeless people encouraged the decision."

From October, the Labour-led authority had suggested reducing the spending on homelessness prevention from £3.3 million to £1.6 million, sparking outcry from housing providers and charities who warned that more people could die on Newcastle’s streets.

Homelessness charity Shelter estimated that 71 homeless people in Newcastle had died between 2017 and 2021.

One of the main providers of temporary accommodation for homeless people, Staff at Changing Lives, encouraged the decision to pause the cuts.

Neil Baird, the charity’s operations director said, “we have worked very closely with the council over the last 50 years to support those worst off in our society and we look forward to continuing to do so in 2024 and beyond.”

Herbie Cooper, from Crisis, added that homeless people in Newcastle would be “breathing a sigh of relief that these devastating proposals have been paused.”

Tracy Guy shared that Shelter’s North East hub was pleased the council had "listened to the concerns raised.”

The council said that it would “carry out a review of the provision to seek best value for the council” but has

not committed to making a specific financial saving.

Mr Frew also said there had been "some fantastic partnership work" in recent years to tackle homelessness but that “we were aware that much of the money being spent in this area was being spent to tackle the symptom of a wider problem, rather than the root cause.” He added that "we still want to review our homelessness provision in

the city and believe the transfer of Your Homes Newcastle presents a real opportunity for the authority.

Frew finally stated that “the move will ensure the authority has control of its housing stock and can integrate housing provision alongside other frontline service."

Image: Source Wikimedia CommonsGeoff Wong

Sub-editors: Amana Khan , Izabela Kirschnerova, Tommy Atkinson, Rhys James and Jude Ventress Monday 18th March 2024 News 3 Im-
Image Source: Rory Arnold / No10 Downing Street on Flickr

New research shows who will be most affected by student loan reforms

Student loan reforms affecting disadvantaged, women and students from the North and Midlands the most.

Research over the student loan reforms has shown who will be most effected by the new policy that came into effect in August 2023, and, no surprise, the disadvantaged, women and students from the North and Midlands that will face the brunt of the changes with Higher earners actually receiving a cut due to a changes in the interest system.

"The loan reforms that came into effect last year moved the salary repayments from £27,000 to £25,000."

The loan reforms that came into effect last year moved the salary of repayments

from £27,000 to £25,000 and the pay back period from 30 to 40 years. These changes will negatively effect all graduates from 2023/2024 when the reform came into effect and it is being called ‘among the most regressive yet’ by Save the Student.

“The reforms will disproportionately affect disadvantaged students, women and students from the North and Midlands.”

These changes will, in practical terms, mean that future graduates will get less in their pay packets and pay more back to the government over a longer amount of time, thoroughly reducing their expendable earnings.

The interest system has also changed for student loans, where previously higher earners would pay more interest, now everyone who takes a loan will take the same amount of interest regardless of how much they earn; this new interest will be based on inflation and how much prices rise.

The Student Loan Reforms that came into effect for this academic year will

disproportionately effect disadvantaged students, women and students from the North and Midlands. This, while suspected when the reforms where introduced, has been confirmed by

a new study that details that low and middle earners will take the brunt of the changes. With Rishi Sunak’s March Budget coming soon and the country paying more tax than they have since

World War II, it's looking unlikely that the reforms will be undone anytime soon.

18,000 students sign petition to have Manchester pro-life society dissolved

Following the controversial pro-life society at Manchester, students are giving impassioned reactions.

On 11th January, the University of Manchester’s Students’ Union officially affiliated its Pro-Life society. This has sparked debate over where the line should be drawn between free speech and the infringements of others’ rights, and the extent to which the University should, or can, intervene or take responsibility.

With only three named committee members (a fourth has now removed themselves from the Instagram post), the society has claimed it is not ‘antiabortion’ but is ‘pro-life’, using the tagline ‘supporting the dignity of every human life’ to promote its message.

"The society has claimed it is not 'anti-abortion' but is 'pro-life'."

On its website, the society states that it wishes to create a ‘pro-life culture on campus’, and claims to consider other threats to life, such as

assisted suicide and deaths associated with poverty.

"The society has sparked outrage nationally, resulting in a petition to the Students' Union."

Unsurprisingly, the society has sparked outrage nationally, resulting in a petition to the University of Manchester Students’ Union to dissolve the society, which has now reached over 18,000 signatures. However, whilst this petition effectively symbolises the widespread opposition to the society and its message, it is likely to lead to no tangible outcome. The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act of 2023 outlines that universities have a responsibility to promote freedom of speech and expression on their campuses, meaning they are legally not able to prohibit a society from affiliating with the student union because of their beliefs.

"Many in opposition to the society believe it will further stigmatise abortion on campus."

A second year linguistics student described feeling as though she was in a ‘Margaret Atwood novel’ when she saw the society had been established, and that she believed the Students’ Union

are ‘directly enabling misogynistic hate speech.’

Many in opposition to the society believe it will further stigmatise abortion on campus, making it more difficult to voice their opinion on the topic, whilst also posing a risk to women’s safety.

The society’s first official meeting was held on the evening of the 1st

March, and a group of around 250 protesters formed outside to exhibit their opposition to the society. Protestors also described their anger at the society having a male president and a male treasurer, despite largely being focused on an issue that largely affects women. 17 of the 23 attendees were male, as seen an Instagram post that has since been deleted, seemingly along

with the society’s whole account.

This poses the question: has the society disbanded, or are they just avoiding the spotlight? They have caused a media controversy, as well as sparking legal questions over freedom of speech, so it will be intriguing to see how this plays out.

5 News 4 Monday 18th March 2024
Sub-Editors: Amana Khan , Izabela Kirschnerova, Tommy Atkinson, Rhys James and Jude Ventress
Image: Source: The Blue Diamond Gallery Image: University of Manchester Student's Union Source: Stephen Richards

Cardiff University rugby team under fire for ‘wife beater’ social

'Wife beater' social theme causes major controversy.

If you’re a university student, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of the reputation that sport socials carry. Last month Cardiff’s Psychology Rugby Club have found themselves embroiled in controversy following a ‘wife beater’ themed social sports night ironically on Valentines Day. The attire for this social entailed white vests and cans of Stella Artois, a stereotype of men who engage in domestic abuse.

funnels, all while holding

"The theme has been criticised for projective a narrative of domestic vioelnce being trivialized."

The Cardiff Tab received videos from an anonymous source that show members of the society were engaging in binge drinking activities, including chugging beers and using

brutal and embarrassing.

In 2021 Edinburgh University’s rugby team faced backlash for encouraging the rubbing of hot sauce on genitals and Durham University’s rugby club urinated on their freshers in the same year. In certain cases, savage initiations have led to tragedy. The University of Gloucestershire rugby club was the host of the death of Sam Potter in 2019. This incident followed on from four hours of extreme binge drinking resulting in Potter falling asleep and dying from alcohol toxicity. In their response, the club states that

Image: Source: Fanny Schertze

Student Council, Vol.5: an AGM and plantbased pledge

Sam Norman - Head of Current Affairs

Hear the events and motions of the recent student council

Obelieved it to be funnier, which prompted someone to report the event. The club has since apologised for the controversial theme and received a ban from the sports night event that the University’s Students Union hosts at the club Y Plas.

"The club has since apologised for the controversial theme."

The curious case of Kate Middleton

The missing Princess of Wales has caused a stir on social media.

The Princess of Wales has been subject to online rumours ever since the announcement of her receiving planned abdominal surgery on the 17th of January. Since then, sightings of the Royal have been few and far between, and Social Media theories have ran rampant ever since, with no sign of them slowing down.

"At a long distance the photos look fine, however on a closer inspection... there are key problems brought up."

This became even stronger after Mother’s Day, when a photo of Kate, and her children George, Charlotte and Louis was posted on Social Media. At a long distance, the photo looks fine, however on a closer inspection done by many individuals on Social Media there are key problems brought up making it appear edited. For example, the cuff around Charlotte’s cardigan was broken, hands also looked odd, which again fed further into the cycle of rumours, before a statement was

released by Kate, also on Mother’s Day. The statement noted that “Like many amateur photographers, I [Kate] do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused”.

Despite this, online rumours have not slowed down and it appears to have raised more questions than it answers.

The Associated Press also made a “Kill Notification”. This is used as an industry term when a retraction needs to be made. Others, including Reuters followed suit, withdrawing the image after a “post-publication review”.

"Online rumours have not slowed down and it appears to have raised more questions than it answers."

Despite all the rumours that have continued, the initial statement from the palace remains in place, that updates would be provided only when there is significant new information to share.

n Thursday 14 March, students gathered in the Bamburgh room for the fifth student council of the academic year. As well as hosting the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the evening saw three constitutional and three ordinary motions.

Union President Shah Yaseen Ali welcomed a busy Bamburgh Room, as the evening began with the AGM. A full Sabbatical Officer team was present, along with Chief Executive Officer of Newcastle University Student's Union (NUSU) Lindsey Lockley. On the front panel, a framed photograph of University Vice-Chancellor Chris Day with the words "Reserved for Chris Day" sat in front of an empty seat.

The AGM witnessed the appointment of trustees, auditors and the approvement of NUSU statutory accounts. Yaseen reflected on the Impact Report, which showcased the Union's successes in the past year. A short video showed some of these successes and statistics collected by the Union, including showing 99% of service users expressing happiness with the Union.

Chair of Council George Wood then took charge, as council officially began. George started with a statement of respect given by NUSU, highlighting the importance of respectful discussion.

The first order of business saw the minutes of the previous meeting passing. A clarification was expressed by a student, who noted the minutes mixing up "possible" and "plausible," to which George noted as the minutes passed.

Following multiple motions receiving feedback from the Steering Committee, Postgraduate Officer Chirag gave a verbal update on the Steering Report. A motion replacing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism with the Jerusalem definition was steered out, and a motion to lobby the University to not engage in research activities that can be used to harm human life was recommended changes. Chirag outlined that these changes occurred following legal advice sought.

Several questions were raised following the Steering Report, the first questioning the well-being support given to the proposers of the motions, who were given short notice and in a vulnerable position during the month of Ramadan. Chirag responded stating nothing more than what is already in place, and Chief Executive of NUSU Lindsey stepped in to clarify nothing extra was provided, though the point is valid and is something to be looked into in the future.

Another student expressed discontent with the timeframe given, stating a "battle for humanity." The Chair of Council made a point of Order to discuss how since the report, motions have had time adjusted to give time for legal advice with there having been no precedent for a situation as

such before.

Following questions, the Steering Committee was passed with no objections, with the Scrutiny and Disciplinary Report following. President Yaseen gave the State of the Union report, but began by highlighting current events in the University's relationship with Leonardo S.p.A. Yaseen confirmed the Sabbatical Officer team has met with Senior University staff, relaying concerns, to which the University has assured of no investments or current research with Leonardo S.p.A.

Recounting the current work of the Officers, Yaseen stated he has met with a multitude of societies to plan a community fast event. This event is expected to be held on the 20th of March in Venue. Postgraduate officer Chirag has been participating in the PGR subcommittee along with student reps and the senate. Education Officer Lulu has been working with the Student Pantry in the Helix. Welfare Officer Lucy met with police and crime commissioner Kim McGuinness to talk about women's safety in the night-time economy.

Athletic Union Officer Kimiko is supporting handover club planning, as well as working on temporary tattoos for varsity. Activities Officer Alex has helped to plan society awards and graduation balls. Student Media Officer Gabbi has hired and trained five new editors, and two new podcast assistants.

The Officers were then invited for questions, where several students took the opportunity to express concern about the Union's response to the student support for Palestine. A student highlighted the Union statement on Gaza, which read "ongoing events in the Middle East." The student cited the differing attitudes to the Ukrainian conflict despite radically different statistics and asked directly to President Yaseen whether he believed the definition was accurate.

Yaseen responded referring to the officer's meetings with the ViceChancellor, stating they continue to push for recognition of the seriousness of actions occurring.

Student Media Officer Gabbi added the officers continue to ask the same questions, and the most direct answer they received was the university adopted a response to that akin of the government, to which the officer's addressed the contradiction in that but were rebuffed.

Another question from the officer's asked if they were willing to acknowledge the events in Gaza as a plausible genocide. In response, Activities Officer Alex invited NUSU Chief Executive Lindsey to provide guidance. Lindsey referred to the United Nations (UN) ruling as a plausible genocide, and legally NUSU has to work within charity law. She empathised that those deeply affected won't know the ins and outs of charity law but they have to work within in order to not put the trustees and directors at risk.

News 5 Sub-Editors: Amana Khan , Izabela Kirschnerova, Tommy Atkinson, Rhys James and Jude Ventress Monday 18th March 2024
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Read more about the last student council at

The Dissertation Diaries: mastering effective planning and supervision

One of our writers tells us how to effectively plan.

It’s that time of the year. Final year students are in the thick of writing their dissertations. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused at the sheer amount of work that has to be done.

Whilst all of this may feel like a lot (which in fairness, it is), having a solid plan and utilising your supervision time will be the best way to hack at this project. The key to a good dissertation is a good plan. If you’re someone that likes to wing it most of the time (we’ve all been there!), this unfortunately won’t work this time around since a dissertation needs a good amount of detail and analysis that you can’t get off a whim. Having a plan can not only help you brainstorm your ideas, but will also help you to keep in the right amount of detail that can get you the best mark you can.

The first part of the planning process includes setting time work on your dissertation.

“One thing that keeps me motivated is writing down specific things I would like to complete by the end of the week.”

I know that most people will have other modules they are working on, so it is important to divide your time so you can work on other assignments whilst you press on with your dissertation. I personally like to alternate between working on my dissertation and my other modules; this will be dependent on your personal schedule. Regardless of this, I always try to aim to do a bit a day, whether it be reading, research or writing. In the short term, it may feel like you’ve achieved nothing, but in the long term this will definitely help!

When it comes to structuring work, I will always advise to split the dissertation

into sections, then split those sections into sections. For example, if I am working on my methodology, I will work on a specific section within that, and perhaps work on a reading to

Semester scaries: is first the worst and second the best?

Reflecting on the stresses and differences between first and second semesters.

As the excitement of the winter holiday period quickly fades away and we’re all left with months of cold, rainy, weather, it can be a massive wake-up call to realise that second semester isn’t actually as stress free as people suggest. But between the feverish first week of Freshers and the gruelling exam season in January, which semester is arguably the most stressful?

The first semester is a massive slap to the face. You get to university to find that you’ve forgotten how to cook (again), every lecture you have is in a different building and you’ve spent an unspeakable amount of money on cheap Jägerbombs. It’s an exciting semester for about three weeks, until you realise that the essays you’ve been ignoring actually count towards your degree, and maybe you should wash the plates in your room that have been slowly building up over the past month. Then, once you finally feel like you’ve found your footing again after summer, the dreaded Freshers Flu hits and the rest of the semester is spent trying to find cures for coughs, fever and hangovers.

If the first semester

"If the first semester was a riot on the senses, the second semester creeps up on you slowly."

was a riot on the senses, the second semester creeps up on you slowly. The winter break feels so long that you feel like you have more than enough time to revise for those exams until they actually happen and you feel like

go outside less and end up drinking more to pass the time. Mundane tasks such as cooking become unbearable, especially since food shopping means spending more money, and the exhaustion from six months at university turns into more susceptibility to illness. That’s not to mention the run-up to the second set of exams in the Spring.

"Both semesters can be challenging for different reasons."

But all jokes aside, both semesters can be challenging for different reasons and it can be both physically and mentally challenging to keep going when it seems like the stress is too much. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed or relaxed this semester, make sure you’re looking after yourself. Checking in with yourself is imperative to not letting the underlying pressure of academia ruin your semester, and staying on top of work allows you to focus on other things- like checking your bank account and wondering where all your money’s gone. That feeling of disappointment isn’t limited to just one semester!

10,000 word research project is daunting, so breaking everything apart and working on things separately will make the process less intimidating. One thing that keeps me motivated is writing down specific things I would like to complete by the end of the week (such as a plan I want to send to my supervisor, readings, or writing up a paragraph etc). This way, I never lose sight of what I want to achieve. Throughout the process, your supervisor will be a key point of contact, so use this to your advantage! When you come in for a meeting, never show up without something to show or ask. If you have a plan you’ve been working on, notes on readings you would like to discuss, a question to ask etc, bring this to your supervisor so they can give you some guidance. When you enter a session, make sure to take note of any feedback they give or anything that will be helpful to you; your supervisor will be one of your first markers so take their advice if you can (but make sure you use your own judgement as their advice may not be what is best for your project in the long run!).

For some general advice, make sure you take care of your health and wellbeing! Don’t skip meals, take regular breaks and don’t push yourself to the point of burnout.

"Don't skip meals, take regular breaks and don't push yourself to the point of burnout.”

If you are having a hard time, reach out to your personal tutor, wellbeing services or even your supervisor - they are all there to help you! Finally, start on time! If it is taking time for things to pick up the pace, it's not too late to get back in the swing of things. Plan your time, plan your structure, and dissect your work so you can work more effectively.

Whilst this will be a draining experience for most of us, time will fly by so try to enjoy the process and keeping planning! Best of luck to all final years!

Exams vs Essays: which is supreme?

Both essay and exams have pros and cons, but which is ultimately better?

Many of my assessments have been essays, and I’ve learnt over time the best way to plan and write them. As a former politics undergrad, essays did become my least favourite things towards the end. However, would I choose an exam over them? I’m not so sure.

panic until it’s done.

This is the only reason I would side with exams over essays, I did many 48-hour exams and despite them being essay style but in a shorter time frame. I saw myself having less time to procrastinate. I also appreciated the relief of a module being over within 48-hours.

"I found myself writing essays I enjoyed and having so much to talk about."

Depending on the topic, I found myself writing essays I enjoyed and having so much to talk about - the ability to have time to plan it out and fit everything in worked best. The opportunity to have more time to go back over your essay before submitting is better than the tight timeframe of an exam.

For example, with a 48-hour exam, although lecturers advise to spend a few hours on it, I would always find myself thinking about it for the full 48-hours. Often after it was submitted, I would come up with an idea which was much better than what I wrote.

This was the downside I found to a 48-hour exam, there was a lack of time to be able to plan as I felt I needed to get cracking as soon as it was released.

Having no control over what content I would be writing about also did not appeal to me.

I did enjoy the fast pace of an exam, however, essays will always be my go-to.

Campus Comment 6 Monday 18th March 2024 Sub-Editors: Grace Boyle, Libby Griffiths and Mia Dale
Image: Source : Mojca-Peter, Pixabay
Image: Source : Unsplash

Student awards rewarding triumph over hardship now open for nominations

Nominations for the 2024 Student Social Mobility Awards open from 30th January to 22nd March.

The awards raise awareness of issues surrounding social mobility and are a celebration of undergraduate students who overcome challenging barriers to achieve success.

The sixth annual awards ceremony will be held on 18th July 2024 at Mansion House. Winners will be awarded across 18 categories, covering undergraduates, sixth formers, universities, widening participation organisations, and more.

The awards are organised by upReach, an award-winning social

mobility charity driven by a vision of a society in which everybody has an equal opportunity to realise their full career potential, regardless of social background. upReach work in close partnership with leading employers and universities, supporting 3,000 students from across the UK to discover a variety of career options, and develop the vital employability skills, networks and experiences needed to succeed in their chosen career and beyond.

“In 2023, two Newcastle University students were recognised [for two] awards."

In 2023 two Newcastle University students were recognised in both the Government, Politics and Public Sector award and Tech Sector award categories. Newcastle graduate Megan Lambert, who was nominated last year for the Government, Politics and the Public Sector Award commented “When I was told that I had been nominated for a SSMA, I felt incredibly humbled. You

Polishing politics: the student vs the sponge

Setting boudaries when housemates don't like to tidy.

Whether you’re a neat freak like me or a Messy Martha, shared accommodation can be equally the best and worst part of uni life.

It goes without saying that living with your friends is a blessing; from having movie marathons to having someone to cry with when exam season takes its toll on you. But the scary stories you hear of that one second-year housemate everyone has, are enough to put you off the idea altogether, and usually, it all starts with disagreements surrounding the overflowing bin.

So how do you keep on top of cleaning in shared accommodation this spring, without falling out with your housemates?

Well, it goes without saying that a cleaning rota is always a good start. Getting everyone to stick to it though… a different story.

A good incentive to encourage everyone to stick to the rota is the rule that if you don’t complete your chore, you must do something in exchange for the flat. whether this be taking on an extra job the following week or buying everyone a sweet treat. This can also be used for a bin rota.

never do what you do for awards or praise, but to just receive the recognition for years of hard work meant so much to me. I hope these awards will start the conversation with more people and organisations about social mobility. Hopefully this will lead to organisations being more aware and setting it onto their responsible business agenda, so that social mobility is considered at every level of someone's career.”

For the first time ever, students can nominate themselves for one of three undergraduate awards: Academic Success, Champion of Social Mobility, and Sector Awards. Previous winners include students who have excelled against the odds - volunteering for social causes, achieving high grades, or receiving competitive job offers -despite coming from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds.

Representation for students marginalised by socioeconomic factors was addressed in December 2023 when Newcastle University Student Union announced the introduction of a Working Class Liberation Officer role as part of its Student Elections. This role emerged from a unanimous council decision and represents a concerted

effort to amplify the voices of students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, including those in care or estranged from families.

"11.35% of the respondents Representation Survey by NUSU identify as working

11.35% of the respondents in the Student Representation Survey by NUSU identify as working class. This was the third largest category behind marginalised genders and LGBTQ+. HESA Data from 2021 revealed Newcastle University had 8.8% of students being from low participation neighbourhoods, with 22.6% the figure for the North East as a whole - the highest of all English regions. It was also highlighted that the university PARTNERS scheme for supported entry routes into higher education has grown from 2.9% in 2018 through to 5.8%. A 2024 House of Commons research

briefing indicates the North East of England has one of the lowest levels of university participation in the UK. The level of higher education

If you’re a neat freak and you have a friend that is particularly messy, it’s probably not a good idea to live with them, despite how tempting it might be.

“Consider when choosing your future housemates is how compatible your living habits are."

Alternatively, if you really want to live with them, you will have to accept that you’ll probably have to pick up their slack and take on some extra cleaning roles to achieve the level of cleanliness and organisation that you’re accustomed to. It can be hard to do this without growing to resent them, so consider this decision before committing to anything.

As easy as it is to say that everyone should be considerate of their housemates, you can’t expect someone to completely change their living habits just because you prefer a cleaner space. As much as I love all my friends, there are some of them that I simply couldn’t handle living with, and that’s okay.

When you’re living with people 24/7, it’s natural to have small disputes, just like you would do with your family at home.

Remember to respect your housemates’ boundaries and be understanding with the fact that sometimes keeping the kitchen tidy is not a top

Easter break dilemma: to grind or to unwind?

The Easter break is looming, but so are assignments...

As the Easter break approaches, yet another semester is ending, and workloads are ramping up as we get closer to exam and assignment season. But how can we ensure we find the right balance between work & rest during the holidays?

The Easter break couldn't come soon enough! I'm ready for 4 weeks off to mentally recharge, reset my sleep schedule, and spend time with my family and friends from home. Though I know it won't be all fun and games, as I am among the many students with

form of assignments or exam revision, it's not hard to feel overwhelmed or stressed. However, it's important that we strike the right balance between working and relaxing so as not to burn ourselves out too early on. The art of finding the right balance between work and rest lies in personal evaluation. Everyone works in different ways, with some finding it easier to sit down and get work done in allotted time sections, and others working best in short bursts of energy, dispersed between brief breaks. The first step is to figure out your own preferred working style.

The next step is to plan ahead by creating a schedule which outlines any pre-existing plans over Easter, so you can work out which days are best for working. Highlight any deadlines or important dates, and make sure to save time for rest and leisure in between.

It's also important to consider setting specific goals to work towards and

establishing boundaries to maintain a healthy balance throughout the holiday. You could do this by writing a 'Easter To-do' list in your notes app, or by making a mental note of which times in the day are for work and which are for rest. For example, your mornings between 9 am- 12 pm can be dedicated to work or revision, and then the rest of the day is solely for leisure activities. Although finding the right balance is important, it's also crucial to use the Easter break as it's intended, as a time for rest and recuperation. University life can be intense and tiring at times so make the most of your time away by prioritising self-care. Self-care can encompass spending quality time with family and friends, setting aside time to work on personal hobbies/things you enjoy, or simply chilling in front of the TV. Whatever self-care means to you,

Sub-Editors: Grace Boyle, Libby Griffiths and Mia Dale Monday 18th March 2024 Campus Comment 7
Image: Source : David Ludlow

The war in Ukraine: are we becoming numb to conflict?

2 years after the start of the war, has social media desensitised us to conflict?

The 28th of February marked the 2nd anniversary of the Ukraine war, an invasion by Russia that was one of the biggest attacks on a European country since the World War Two. A couple years ago, the media was consumed with shock and horror; images of collapsed towns and suffering citizens took over our feeds, and every news report targeted different angles and coverage of the war. The conflict was at the frontlines of our thoughts, prayers and conversations. In the UK, local people would set up donation pages, humanitarian aid, support for refugees and awareness campaigns through media channels to mobilise this support. Children in school

would have fundraisers, and the hues of blue and yellow held sole significance globally.

The Ukrainian war is, of course, still going on and is just as significant as it was two years ago. Yet the flags that covered buildings, houses, and brandings are no longer in sight. Social media posts have been replaced with coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the war is no longer at the forefront of headlines and social discussions. So, the question is, have we been desensitized?

Studies suggest these past few decades, we have lived in 'generational fear', AKA we are constantly anxious because of how much bad news we are regularly exposed to. We wake up and look at our phones to see posts and reposts about death, genocide, war, crime...the list goes on. We then scroll through TikTok and watch reactions and conversations about these topics.

Next, scroll through Twitter to read the comments and opinions. Then, go back to Instagram to see the many story updates, reels, and news organisation content. At the end of the day, when you look at the media, it's often one bad

thing after another. In times like these, it can sometimes be a struggle to find a bit of hope in humanity and not feel helpless.

sword. It helps raise awareness of crucial topics and is a powerful tool to utilise social change (this cannot be denied after witnessing the results of the

The tunnel vision trap: why we should question what we see on social media

Is it too easy to depend on consumable

social media posts for our daily news content?

It’s fair to say that in the UK, where 98% of adults between 16 and 24 own their very own smartphone, it’s considered common knowledge that our Facebook, X or Instagram feeds aren’t the endless voids of randomised information that we once imagined they were. Most of us have been taught at some point or another that the posts we digest during our daily social media scroll in fact consist of carefully curated content, coded through various algorithms and data systems before being neatly delivered to our screens

"Why do we absorb the news we see without much of a second thought?"

So, if we all know recommendation algorithms shape our social media experience, why do we absorb the news we see without much of a second thought? Today, the sheer volume of information thrown our way, from every TV and radio station to every paper and magazine article, not to mention each university reading and

seminar we take in, leaves us with little time or energy to question how reliable it really is. In the rush to stay up to date, the truth is that we tend to prioritise speed over accuracy when it comes to the information we consume online and overlook the extent to which multifaceted news stories are often condensed into attention-grabbing headlines.

"The superficial nature of social media also leads us further into such a tunnel vision trap."

The superficial nature of social media also leads us further into such a tunnel vision trap. With likes and shares so often serving as measures of credibility, the popularity of content increasingly takes precedence over accuracy. Even more dangerous still is the

algorithm-driven nature of social media, which enables platforms to filter information so that it perfectly aligns with each user’s own beliefs and preconceptions. This personalized curation of news only creates echo chambers that reinforce our existing opinions, limit our exposure to different perspectives and ultimately perpetuate a cycle of confirmation bias. Through social media, we accept and normalise a narrow, isolated view of the world without even realising it and so it’s no surprise that political opinions today are so radically polarised and a cause of increasing cause of conflict and tension.

"Likes of YouTube and TikTok have now become our main sources of news."

So, thanks to the unparalleled accessibility to information that social media provides, the likes of YouTube and TikTok have now understandably become our main sources of news.

With this, however, it’s crucial to remember the need to separate the fact from the fiction and approach these platforms and the information they give us with a highly discerning eye. Social media has the power to entertain and inform us, but only if we question, fact-check, and always seek out alternative perspectives to counteract the inherent pitfalls of these platforms as a news source. Only then can we truly avoid falling prey to the tunnel vision trap of social media that threatens to distort our understanding of the world.

However, its use must be negotiated to find the right balance. Suppose the scales get tipped over, with audiences no longer being informed of worldly events but bombarded with too much information. In that case, these critical topics and events will unfortunately become normalised, whether we want them to or not.

It's no surprise that studies have suggested that we can lose interest or shock to horrific events as a way to psychologically cope. And this indifference can be dangerous. This is not to say audiences lack compassion, but when coverage starts to feel mechanical, we start to forget that these figures and statistics thrown at us do represent real people and real lives.

So, though it's hard, remember: the Ukraine war has not ended. Many wars continue, and unfortunately, many more will likely occur in the future. However, as long as we continue to do what we can, support where we can, and at least continue to attempt to face these conflicts with empathy rather than a rising trend, then there may be hope for us yet.

The Conspiracy of Nalavny's Death

Alexei Navalny, President Putin’s most prominent critic, was found dead in prison on February 16th, 2024.

Navalny was an internationally recognised anti-corruption activist and political opponent of Russian Vladimir Putin, encouraging rebellion throughout the country. He was infamous for investigations into the Russian government, including the viral video about Putin’s one-billiondollar palace on the Black Sea. His undaunted ability to speak truth to power made him a beacon of hope for many Russians living under the regime. Putin has historically responded violently to criticism of his tyranny, mobilizing KGB agents and chemical weapons to silence his opposition. Just last year Yevgeny Prizoghin, who led a mutiny against Moscow using his private army, was mysteriously killed in a plane crash. Still on the minds of the British public, the notorious 2018 Salisbury poisonings, using the nerve agent Novichok, flaunted the dangers of the Russian secret service. Conspicuously, in 2020 Navalny was also poisoned using this same nerve agent. After recovering in Germany, Navalny made the surprising decision to return to Russia, where he was immediately arrested on charges of extremism and conspiracy. His oppositional group, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, had been labelled a radical organisation and was subsequently liquidated. Navalny then spent the next years in ‘Polar Wolf’, a Siberian Penal Colony where he was subjected to hard labour, at least 300

days of solitary confinement and sleep deprivation. At 14.17 February 16th local time, Navalny was reported dead. The guards claim that he took a short walk, where he then collapsed and could not be resuscitated.

Shortly before his arrest, Navalny released a video encouraging his supporters to continue his work “if they kill me”. He clearly expresses fears of assassination. Whilst no statement has been released by the Kremlin claiming responsibility for his death, many are suspicious about the long week it took to release his remains to his mother, and the severe insistence that she sign on death by natural causes for the death certificate.World leaders have since spoken out in support of Navalny, with President Biden stating, “Putin is responsible”, and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron arguing that “there should be consequences”. Whilst Putin is clearly held guilty on the world stage, there will be no consequences for him in his home country.

Navalny’s supporters have attempted to commemorate his legacy with street demonstrations and statues, but this has been met with harsh retaliation by the Russian state police. Flowers have been removed from St Petersburg, statues torn down and supporters arrested across the past week.

Russia is clearly intent on not allowing Navalny martyrdom in his death, and wants him removed permanently as the figurehead of the revolution. Yet his supporters have shown that, in accordance with his wishes, they will not let the loss of their leader stop the movement. Alexei Navalny succeeded in creating something larger than his own life, a force for justice in Russia and a legacy of strength.

Sub-Editors: Adelaide Dodson, Rosie Brennan and Margaux Martinez Monday 18th March 2024 Opinion 8
Image: Flickr, GoToVan
Image: WikimediaCommons_ TodayTesting
Keivill Gratton

Taking ownership of the celebrity climate crisis

Evaluating the criticism celebrities get for their climate impact

In recent weeks Taylor Swift’s use of her private jet has garnered a lot of attention following her attempts to sue 21-year-old student Jack Sweeney for monitoring her flights. This has brought into question the significance of celebrity carbon emissions, and whether they are at the core of our current climate crisis.

Jared Starr of the University of Massachusetts has found that, in 2019, the income streams of the richest 10% of Americans accounted for 40% of total US carbon dioxide emissions.

"Celebritie are among the top polluters and due to their status often face criticism in the press."

This naturally means celebrities are

among the top polluters and due to their status and how easily recognisable they are, they often face criticism in the press.

The use of private jets, in particular, has become a recent focus of reporting, because of the amount of pollution they cause. Elon Musk, for example, despite claiming that he intended to become more environmentally accountable, maintains use of his jet to reach the offices of his various businesses.

The emissions from these flights alone means Musk pollutes 50 tonnes more CO2 a year than the average American

"The proposed bans on the purchasing of petrol car ans gas boilers have been pushed back."

Rishi ranked

If we look at the bigger picture though, systemic issues of ignoring environmental concerns are clear. Rishi

can to reduce their carbon footprint, often at their financial expense, as environmentally conscious options are increasingly hard to afford as the costof-living crisis continues.

What are the Conservative party doing to combat Islamophobia?

Content Warning: Islamophobia

Islamophobia in our government - how are they dealing with it?

Another ugly monster has reared its head in British politics, except it's not exactly new - just our old friend the Tory party, accompanied by a disgusting display of Islamophobia.

But are they condemning this, recognising and rooting out their own party’s prejudices? The short answer is no. And are we surprised? Again, no, not really.

"It seems a split is forming within the Tories."

In the past couple of weeks, the onslaught of Islamophobic comments has been relentless. Most notably, perhaps, Lee Anderson accused the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, for being controlled by Islamists, and then went on to defend his comments, stating that other MPs have agreed with him. Despite Rishi Sunak removing his whip as a consequence, it appears that the Tory party is supporting Anderson over the Prime Minister as a grassroots Tory petition was set up demanding that Anderson’s whip be restored as soon as possible, obviously showing support for his Islamophobic comments. It seems a split is forming

within the Tories: a radicalised right wing intent on an ideology of hate VS those who would rather brush it under the carpet and hope it goes awayboth sides implicit in the continuation of, instead of the stamping-out of, Islamophobia.

Consequences and condemnation appear to be the last thing on the party’s mind when it comes to Islamophobia, but, when it comes to anti-Semitism, it’s a whole different story. If we cast our minds back to the 2019 election, the Tories mercilessly hounded the Labour party for their alleged anti-

Braverman is spewing hateful nonsense, “the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now”, with not a hint of repercussion from the Tories. This disgusting double-standard highlights the existence of a racist, unspoken hierarchy wherein antiSemitism outranks Islamophobia as the worst kind of prejudice. Whilst Labour were falling over themselves in their desperation to disprove the allegations of antisemitism, it appears that the Tories are welcoming Islamophobia into the party with open arms - indeed, the Islamophobes are the ones “in charge now”.

defence, regardless of how many times they have crashed the economy and let the public down in the past couple of years. They are thriving on a prejudice that does not reflect the people of our country, and it is unacceptable.

"A recent survey revealed that 58% of the Tory party believe Islam is a threat to the British way of life."

So, all in all, are the Tories holding

The Prime Minister has certainly been having some moments lately....

The TikTok Transition - 8.5/10

Apologies to anyone who lives in or around Blythe for this one. You've been smacked in the face by the Prime Minister himself. So it's time to slap back. Watching a multi-millionaire trying (and failing) to understand a tiktok trend was utterly painful, but hysterical nonetheless.

Asking a homeless man if he worked in business - 6/10

Imagine giving some poor man his only meal of the day and asking, "Do you work in business?" Truly unimaginable, but our Prime Minister did exactly that. Proof of heartlessness achieved.

Yes, we know. A total *coca cola* addict.

A very awkward moment, for a very awkward man.

'I'm a total coke addict' - 4/10

Proof he does nothing for himself since he apparently can't even pay for his *coke*.

The contactless card - 7/10

The man who used to be in control of the country's finances struggling to use a contactless card tells us everything we need to know about the current state of British politics.

"The man who used to be in control of the country's finances struggling to use a contactless card"

He has friends who are "well, not WORKING class" - 6.5/10

An old video resurfacing of Sunak explaining that he has friends who are aristocrats, friends who are upper class and friends who are working class, before adding that they are, well, not WORKING class because that could be proposterous).

Monday 18th March 2024 Opinion 9 Sub-Editors: Adelaide Dodson, Rosie Brennan and Margaux Martinez
Image: Flickr,
Image: Number 10 on Flickr
Image: Wiki Media, Eva Rindali, Flickr Viktor

On this day: Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space

Leonov was a leading cosmonaut and was twice awarded Russia’s top decoration: Hero of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet cosmonaut free floated in space for a little over 12 minutes straight, and almost didn’t make it back alive to tell the tale.

Initially an illustrator enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Riga, Alexei Leonov joined the Chuguyev Air Force School in Ukraine where, by the late 1950s he had graduated as a qualified parachute instructor, continuing his artistic pursuits in his spare time.

“Leonov, tethered to his spacecraft with a 16ft cable, left his capsule and floated for 12 minutes, a first for mankind"

By March 1960, he was selected for cosmonaut training. At this point in the space race, Russia had exhibited mastery over the US, having put the first satellite, man, woman, and animal into orbit before America. Leonov’s spacewalk was in direct competition to America’s plans to reach the milestone with Astronaut Ed White.

Leonov was eventually selected to fly on the Voskhod 2 mission, a twoperson expedition aimed at getting the first Soviet on the moon ahead of the US during the space race. Alongside fellow Cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev, the Voskhod 2 mission took place on 18 March 1965.

“Voshkod 2 crash-landed in the Seberian forests of the Ural Mountains, only to be found two days later by a search party"

Leonov, tethered to his spacecraft with a 16ft cable, left his capsule and floated for 12 minutes, a first for mankind and a monumental progression in Russia’s space program against the West. It was during this spacewalk where Leonov had a brief stroke with death.

The cosmonaut’s suit ballooned due to an increase in pressure, heavily restricting his movement and preventing him from re-entering the airlock of the spaceship.

Dangerously, he bled the air from his suit, causing him to suffer from a severe case of decompression sickness.

Voskhod 2 crash landed in the Siberian Forests of the Ural Mountains, only to be found two days later by a search party.

Leonov continued his career as a

prominent cosmonaut and was twice awarded Russia’s top decoration: Hero of the Soviet Union.

His passion for artistry came full circle when he created the first artwork in space during the spacewalking mission; a brief but poignant sketch of a sunrise, using a handful of colored pencils. The sketch was exhibited in 2015 at London’s Science Museum.

Alexei Leonov passed away on 11 October 2019, 54 years after the first spacewalk.

Elusive and endangered turtle species Pelochelys Cantorii rediscovered in India

The team are now working to construct a community hatchery with the help of locals.

Female nesting sites and eggs found in flooded nests have revived conservational efforts in an almost forgotten species: Cantor's giant softshell turtle.

The study - published by Oryx via Cambridge University Press - was led by conservationists from the University of Portsmouth and the Zoological Society of London in England. Additionally, the University of Miami, Florida Museum of Natural History, Museum of Zoology at the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research and the Wildlife Institute of India.

"Many expeditions to track down the stealthy turtle and conduct proper research have failed."

Pelochelys cantorii belongs to the family of aquatic, carnivorous turtles known as the Trionychidae. Regarded as vital to the ecosystems of freshwater rivers, the giant softshell turtle is also considered

an upmost priority for conservation.

This is because the turtle is globally endangered and almost evolutionarily extinct due to their eggs and juveniles under being constant predation by an assortment of animals.

In the countries: China, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines, the Cantor softshell turtle is legally protected, and trade of the species is punishable with heavy penalties, fines and even imprisonment.

There is a noticeable lack of contemporary documentation of the turtle. Only a handful of records have been established since the 1970s and this may be both a combination of the dwindling population but also the result of the turtle’s elusive behavior which makes it difficult to locate and accurately observe for prolonged periods of time.

Pelochelys cantorii love water and they spend a lot of time residing at the bottom of rivers, usually submerged in sand which then makes surveying the endangered turtle visually complex.

Sightings have become increasingly rare over the years and, amidst India’s rich biodiversity, many expeditions to track the stealthy turtle species down and conduct proper research have failed. Until recently, the Cantor softshell turtle had faded into relative obscurity.

Researchers decided to take a different approach to tracking the turtle down. Using semi-structured interviews, they investigated the surrounding areas where previously alleged sightings had

taken place and interviewed members of the public as well as setting up a local alert network to alarm the researchers of any possible sightings or valuable information.

"There had been several sigthings of the turtle in 2019, specifically in deep bodies of water during the dry season"

sightings took place in the afternoon hours, when the turtles were always seen in the water.

The 3 new moons of Uranus and Neptune

Satellite S/2023 U1, S/2002 N5 and S/2021 N1 discovered.

Astronomers have found three previously unknown moons in our solar system; two additional moons circling Neptune and one around Uranus, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre have announced. This puts Neptune at a total 16 known moons and Uranus at 28.

The three new moons are the faintest moons ever, found around Neptune and Uranus using groundbased telescopes with special image processing to reveal them.

The new Uranian moon, provisionally named S/2023 U1, is awaiting its official name which will be that of a character from a Shakespeare play, keeping in the nomenclature tradition for Uranian moons.

S/2023 U1 is believed to be the smallest of Uranus’ moons at only 8km wide and takes 680 days to complete an orbit of the planet.

S/2023 U1 was first spotted on the 4th November 2023 by Scott S. Sheppard using the Magellan telescopes at the Carnegie Science’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, with Sheppard making additional observations in the following December.

The Magellan Telescope was

"The moon's orbit of Neptune had been determined usign 2021, 2022 and 2023 observations."

150 interviews took place with an age range of 20 to 89 years old over a 63km stretch of the Chandragiri River, many of the interviewers being farmers who bodies of water during the dry season. Additionally, it was noted that these

There was a lot of contrasting information about nesting periods, but researchers involved concluded the average nesting period to be between January and February. Nests were discovered, some of which were flooded, and the hatchlings were eventually released into the river. The alert network established during the investigation also provided vital insight into priority areas for conservation as well as potential dangers such as illegal sand mining and the construction of nearby damns which may flood these nesting grounds.

This study has been essential for reviving interest in a previously forgotten and ancient animal, but it has also highlighted the efficacy of cultural and local knowledge when independent research and visual documentation

The team of researchers are now working hard to establish a community hatchery with the help of the local public whom they have heavily encouraged to get involved with nest protection programs to conserve the endangered Pelochelys Cantorii population conserve the endangered Pelochelys Cantorii population.

also used by Sheppard to find the brighter of the two Neptunian moons, provisionally named S/2002 N5 is approximately 23km in size and requires 9 years to complete an orbit around Neptune.

This moon’s orbit of Neptune had been determined using 2021, 2022 and 2023 observations, and was traced back to an object observed near Neptune in 2003 but had been lost before it could be confirmed as orbiting the planet according to Sheppard

Sheppard's collaboration with David Tholen of the University of Hawaii, Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University, and Patryk Sofia Lykawa of Kindai University resulted in the finding of the second Neptunian moon.

The moon is now provisionally named S/2021 N1, approximately 14km wide with an orbit completion time of nearly 27 years.

In line with Neptunian moon nomenclature tradition, the two new moons will receive permanent names based on the 50 Nereid Sea goddesses in Greek mythology.

10 Monday 18th March 2024 Science Sub-Editors:
Image: Source: WikiMediaCommons : Shailendra Singh Image: Source : WikiMediaCommons, Post of Albania Image: Source : WikiMediaCommons, Ministry of Communications, USSR

There is no villain in 500 Days of Summer: a deep dive into the anti-rom-com relationship

Just because they love The Smiths doesn't mean that they're your soulmate!

Despite being praised as one of the best rom-coms of the 2000s, 500 Days of Summer affirms that it is not a love story within the first 2 minutes of the screenplay.

This classification only scratches the surface of the debates that the cult classic has prompted since its release in 2009. Directed by Marc Webb, the film chronicles Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) reminiscing on his 500-day casual relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), the new colleague that Tom instantly knows is ‘the one he’s been looking for’, in an attempt to understand where the affair went wrong– and audiences have spent the last 15 years reminiscing on the film in an attempt to understand who was at fault. Was it Tom? Was it Summer?

Spoiler alert: it’s neither of them.

From the get-go, it’s clear that we’re dealing with the downfalls of your typical oppositesattract couple. The pair are characterised by their differences: Tom, a hopeless romantic, clashes with Summer, who deems love a mere fantasy. With the film being portrayed through Tom’s perspective in a non-linear narrative, we see a messy, breathless reflection of the relationship. Tom, left distraught by the breakup, searches for the root of the issue, with scenes using recurring backdrops in a mirror maze of

comparison to survey how the relationship wilts –and with the film being from Tom’s point-of-view, the audience is subconsciously encouraged to villainise Summer.

“ Ultimately, we see ourselves in Tom and champion that one day Summer will realise what is in front of her. ”

She’s the bad guy! She doesn’t know what she wants! She’s leading him on! Summer Finn has since been hailed as one of the most recognisable Manic Pixie Dream Girls in cinema; the romantic love interest with quirky personality traits whose purpose is to teach a man life lessons, all before disappearing after receiving nothing in return (think Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). She’s blunt, spontaneous, a lover of music, and doesn’t take things too seriously, juxtaposing Tom’s diligence when it comes to dissecting her. The audience collectively seethes watching our hero (Tom) fall in love with the monster (Summer) who holds his hand and pretends they’re married in IKEA showrooms whilst still wanting to keep things casual, hindering the happy ending that we all want. Ultimately, we see ourselves in Tom and champion that one day Summer will realise what is in front of her, despite clearly stating that she doesn’t want a serious relationship. As Tom spirals and flits between ‘I hate Summer, I love Summer, I hate Summer, I love Summer’, Summer lives according to the cynical belief that love doesn’t exist, plagued by her parent's divorce.

Spring cleaning: clearing out toxic relationships

Top tips for disposing of the negative and welcoming the positive...

It is that time of year again, folks! If the ‘New Year, New Me’ did not stick, then the season of spring is a terrific opportunity to get back on track with your goals and confront the more difficult aspects of our lives (trust me, you will thank yourself for it).

Whether you have a difficult relationship with a friend or an unhealthy reliance on something in your personal life, I hope this article is an influential starting point for you to get some spring cleaning done.

I would like to preface that before I begin, if you are in a dangerous situation then please seek support through the university or contact the emergency services.

Here are my top tips for disposing of the negative and welcoming the positive!

1. Sit down and be honest about how you are feeling.

How do you feel about yourself in this relationship? Do you feel burnout, anxious or selfconscious in their company? I would recommend writing your thoughts down when you are alone and in a safe space so you can be truthful and regulate your emotions. Acknowledging how you are feeling in a relationship is the start of the healing process.

2. Decide your next steps carefully.

Ending a toxic relationship can be difficult, so you have my sympathies! Whether this is a relationship with a friend or a personal habit like giving up alcohol, it is a challenge to put ourselves first if something else controls us or makes us feel ‘better’. Now you have identified that this is toxic for you, you need to do something about it. Here are a few ways you can end this toxic


• Arrange to meet this person in a public and safe space. Be honest about how you have been feeling and be firm that things are not working out between you. This can be hard but will give you an opportunity to get it done face-to-face!

• Write a letter. This could be to the specific person, or if you are breaking a habit, to yourself. This can make it easier to get everything out in the open and explain yourself.

• Seek professional help. If you feel you need extra support ending this relationship, then asking for help is a route to get there!

3. Fill the void with something new!

Once you have cleared the relationship from your life, refill it with something positive! You could learn something new by investing in yourselfmaybe join a new society at university, interact with a new sport or get into the habit of journalling and daily affirmations.

4. Be kind to yourself.

Remember to be gentle with your emotions and take your time. Terminating a relationship can bring up a range of feelings, but you must remember why you did it. It takes bravery to put yourself first. These things

However, it’s crucial to note that everything we learn about Summer, we learn through Tomwhose recollection of the relationship is clouded by his own lovelorn emotions, making him an unreliable narrator and unfairly portraying Summer to be one-dimensional.

In true rom-com fashion, Tom instantly believes that Summer is 'the one' after she tells him she likes The Smiths. From then on, her existence is anchored by the idealised version of her that Tom has designed in his head according to his romanticism, and falls into the common trap of believing you can change someone's mind when they reject you – essentially spurring him on. As he falls deeper in love with her and soars into the honeymoon phase, the chance of her waking up and confessing her love for him becomes a tormenting desperation – but Summer remains stagnant. Almost as if she warned him from the beginning. However, this doesn’t make Tom a villain. His behaviour is typical of someone going through heartbreak for the first time, with his idealisation of Summer being a mere product of his investment in finding his fairytale romance.

500 Days of Summer is an unflinching portrayal

“Categorising the film as a romcom encourages viewers to assume that there is either a happy ending or somebody to blame.”

of the complexities of two people exploring a relationship, dismantling the cliches and tropes associated with the idealised depiction of

relationships in media. In cinema, audiences tend to automatically position characters in either hero or villain roles, rather than acknowledging that toxic patterns can coexist, which then audiences apply to their own relationships. Categorising the film as a romcom encourages viewers to assume that there is either a happy ending or somebody to blame. Instead, through incredibly creative storytelling and clever writing, the film explores the nuances of navigating a modern relationship, encouraging audiences to acknowledge that sometimes two people just don’t work together. And that’s okay. The ultimate lesson to take away is that a person is not automatically the love of your life if they know the lyrics to There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

Embracing girl failure: the anti-girlboss trend

What it means to be a girlboss, and how we can combat the pressure women face to be perfect.

Although it’s the age-old story, it is important to reiterate how social media continues to perpetuate unrealistic standards that we, as girls, should strive for and a prime example is the term ‘girl-boss’. This term was originally coined to empower women, to pave the way for women in positions such as CEO, or simply to give them more autonomy, but has since been heavily satirised on social media platforms such as Tik Tok.

“These standards are truly exhausting and create a void for unhealthy comparison between women. ”

The term, although mainly used with irony now, continues to idealise an unrealistic lifestyle aimed at women. The girlboss wakes up at 6am, drinks a litre of water from her Stanley Cup to prepare her for her daily Pilates class. This is followed by meditation, a cold shower and her 10-step skincare routine. Of course, her diet is strictly raw vegan. Oh and don’t forget to cut out carbs and processed sugar, your food should be all organic!

In the face of trends such as girlboss

you are bound to feel like a failure. These standards are truly exhausting and create a void for unhealthy comparison between women. Notice how there is no such term as boyboss or manboss? The words 'double standards' come to mind. It’s time to let girls be girls and women be women and embrace girl failure; women shouldn't have to strive for perfection 24/7 in order to be a boss, we should be allowed to have low moments and still be considered boss worthy.

Perhaps you text an ex you probably shouldn’t have after one too many drinks (guilty!!) or maybe all you’ve ate lately is instant noodles and bagels (also guilty…) that is okay! Women are constantly being told to strive for perfection but it is okay to make mistakes. In fact, you are bound to make mistakes and these mistakes allow you to grow and learn.

So embrace rotting in bed for the day and binging your comfort movies or skipping that lecture and getting your favourite cake instead. A lot of the women in my life hold so much empathy and compassion for others very little for themselves. So instead of holding yourself to these unrealistic standards treat yourself with the same kindness and grace you give others. Life is truly about fun, connections and indulgence!

THE COURIER Monday 18th March 2024 Relationships 11 Sub-Editors: Adriana Newbury & Charlotte Burnley-Hnat
credit: Pixabay, Qimono
credit: Pixabay, anncapictures
Image credit: Flickr, Florencia Tomas

Living for the past: why are we so nostalgic?

Sophie Austen

Are we living through our memories?

Many of us find ourselves longing for the past, seeking refuge in childhood memories through the transportive power of nostalgia. Amidst the immense uncertainty of the present moment, there is now a collective impulse to 'live' in the comfort and reliability of the past instead.

In one moment, we may be occupied with s immediately in front of us. In the next, we are transported into a distant memory through a subconscious act of recollection – briefly returning us to our past. A pleasant experience is stored as a memory which we delight in and live in.

One reason for this may be that we often only realise that we will end up missing certain moments after we have neglected to fully appreciate

them. Another reason may be the result of the cognitive bias of 'rosy retrospection'. This psychological theory identifies the trend that humans, over time, tend to recall the past more fondly than the present.

We may live in the past as a way of trying to reconnect with our childhood self – the part of our identity that we feel less connected to as we age. In this way, longing for the past can be understood as mourning for what we fear we have lost or no longer have access

to, whether that be stability or a clear sense of identity. Our personal memories provide us with a sense of continuity – the same conceptualisation of ourselves moving through time. In our turbulent and terrifying contemporary moment, with the shadows of wars and irreversible climate change looming over us, humanity has entered a perpetual condition of feeling 'out

A guide to the ‘Frazzled English Woman’ aesthetic

Jessica Hughes

It's time to embrace those knit-sweaters and a chaotic lifestyle.

Picture Bridget Jones or, in fact, any woman who is a main character in an early 2000s English rom-com.

She's almost always late, has spilt coffee down her blouse and a bag bursting with old receipts and one too many old lip balms. Yet somehow, she has the hottest guy ever (take Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones, for example) swooning over her.

“She's almost always late, has spilt coffee down her blouse and a bag bursting with old receipts.”

The key to achieving this look is to grab the first item of clothing you see and put it on; bonus points if it's creased or crumpled from sitting on your bedroom floor for a week. There are a few staples in a 'Frazzled English Woman's' closet, such as the striped scarfs that clash with your

knitted jumper. These are crucial to achieving the look and facing the cold English winter. Pair that with a midi skirt and mismatched socks (because who has time to pair up their socks?!) But don't worry, these will be covered up with a pair of knee-high boots. (Ps. If you really want to embody Bridget Jones, granny knickers are also essential for optimal comfort).

"There are a few staples in a 'Frazzled English Woman's' closet... crucial to achieving the look."

The 'Frazzled English Woman' is not put together; she's a hot mess, but that's what is so great about her.

Image credit: IMDB

Although chaotic and mismatched, the 'frazzled English woman' has a certain charm, perhaps because it's so relatable. Many recent fashion trends, such as the beloved Y2K, although adored by many, seem unreachable and impracticable to the masses. It is not feasible for most to go into the office sporting low-rise jeans and bedazzled tees, whereas the 'Frazzled English Woman' is much more practical and natural. I think we all have a little bit of 'Frazzled English Woman' inside us. Although spring is fast approaching, the weather remains cold, and it is the perfect time to embrace your Frazzled English Woman.

of time'. Our lives have been branded with a tangible, premature 'expiry date' beyond our control. In these conditions, the past offers comfort in the familiar and the known – usually found in childhood memories – whilst the present remains a state of constant uncertainty and anxiety. The future is not guaranteed, and so the past, through the act of recollection, becomes a place of respite. recollection, becomes a

Journaling: overhyped or actually effective?

Is journaling really the secret to improving mental health?

Journaling. Putting your ideas on paper, your thoughts, your feelings, your goals. Waking up every morning ready to write something, whatever comes to mind. It can be done simply, more complicated… you can write bullet points, add stickers, pictures, write for hours or for a minute. But is it overhyped or effective?

Some believe journaling is a waste of time, that it cannot change you or make you create order in a world of chaos, but is this true? I don't believe it to be. Maybe journaling is not for everyone, some people may need another way of expressing their thoughts, some may not like to do so. But it can be that journaling is for you. Expressing your ideas, thoughts, feelings, goals, fears, is never wrong! And it is what journaling is all about!

“There is no harm in trying, if it's good for you, keep on going!”

It is said to be, for some, a stress management tool and, for others, a source for generating anxiety. The effects of journaling really depend on

the person and the amount of stress you put in yourself in the process of it. So, if you want to start journaling don't put much pressure on yourself and just write! Try it out and think if it is effective or overhyped for you. Trying is the only way to find out if it works or not for you. There is no harm in trying, if it's good for you, keep on going!

For me, journaling is effective, but it is not something I do every day. I don't have a strict schedule for it, and I can forget about it for days. I've always liked to put my thoughts and ideas on paper and this is a great way to do so! I recommend trying, but don't turn it into another great stress in your life, use it to relax, express yourself, and put your thoughts into order!

5 Monday 18th March 2024
12 Sub-Editors: Zahra Hanif, Jay Barber and Marina Snyder THE COURIER
Image credit: Unsplash @Prophsee Journals
Image credit: The Courier Editorial Team and Sophie Austen

Why I'm done taking advice from neurotypical people

When I tell someone I have ADHD, it is not intended as a fun fact or an ice breaker. To quote boygenius, I’m letting you know that is why I am the way I am.

Despite this, neurotypical people still continue to tell me what I can and cannot do and all the changes I need to make to my everyday life that have worked for them. Ultimately, I am the one stuck with my brain – and have been for the past 21 years – so how on earth would you know what is best for me?

Neurotypicals make it seem so easy. They head to the gym at the crack of dawn, get all their chores done before their nine hour shift, and then proceed to go on their third night out in a row. Some days I struggle to even get one thing ticked off my to-do list, days where washing my hair will be the most productive thing I do. Since comparison is the devil, I try not to compare how my days pan out to other people’s, but what can be a lot for me seems to be fine for others. In the fable of the tortoise of the hare, I feel like both the tortoise and the hare. I can get everything I’ve been putting off for weeks completed in one day, racing to the end, but it can also take me a lifetime to reply to an email. Although I often need more time than most, I will nonetheless cross that finish line eventually.

Neurodivergent women in particular battle with a lot of stereotypes that are in the

mainstream media. People associate ADHD with hyperactive boys who don’t get good grades in school. But ADHD in women presents very differently to men, leaning towards inattentiveness rather than hyperactivity. It is estimated that 50-75% of the one million women in the UK with ADHD are undiagnosed. Not only do so many women get misdiagnosed or diagnosed extremely late in their life because of these cultural misconceptions, but we mask a lot of the well-known traits. Masking is an act of camouflaging: it is where neurodivergent people hide or subdue their traits to appear more neurotypical, and a lot of the time we don’t even mean to do it. I never understood why I would be so exhausted after social interactions until I learnt about masking; it takes a lot of energy and concentration to be socially present, especially if you are already in an overstimulating situation. When you’ve been masking for so long, you find yourself catering to other people, and people can be surprised when they find out you have ADHD or they seem to forget you do even after telling them. When it comes to my ADHD, I don’t want it to define me because I know I am just as capable as anyone else. Yet I still can’t help but feel like a walking and talking robot who needs to be charged after so long. It is frustrating when neurotypicals misunderstand my neurodivergence and my boundaries as flaws that I can work on. To meet other people’s (neurotypical) standards would mean to mentally run myself into the ground. I know my limitations, despite people who turn a blind eye to them.

Society Spotlight: Dance 'til you drop with Zumba Soc!

Looking for a workout with all the sweat but none of the stress? Zumba Society has you covered.

Newcastle Uni, like most universities, has a prominent sporting culture, that for those who were never athletically gifted, may find it harder to become a part of, with sports teams asking for such a large commitment with intensive, weekly training and competitive trials. It can be

"There's no pressure to get the moves spot on."

overwhelming when it appears like such great community and the promise of regular activity is gatekept behind try-outs. But fear not, there are viable alternatives for those looking to keep active without striving for the BUCS leagues.

The Zumba society offers a fun, new take on dance, with two hour-long sessions a week wherein an instructor leads a high-

paced, dance based routine with loud, Latin music providing excellent vibes and helping to boost both energy and mindset. There’s no pressure to get the moves spot on, just as long as you’re sweating by the end you’re doing something right!

It’s such a fun way to unwind from uni after a working day, with all the classes being conveniently located right on campus. The fact that the classes are guided helps immensely in motivating you to keep going unlike an independent gym session would, not to mention the tens of other Zumba-goers whose presence allows for a warm, community feel when you’re all dancingsometimes, stumbling - together. It’s not like a traditional sport, you can show up on weeks that suit you and you’re simply doing it for yourself, no group work or competing necessary.

I’ve personally been flapping about in classes since September, and while I’m still working on my coordination, I’ve found that it’s benefitted my mental health immensely. As someone who gets anxious in the gym, it’s refreshing to just be able to get lost in a routine pre-selected for you. Not to mention the contagious energy, both from the instructor and your fellow dancers, that’ll leave you

Sub-Editors: Zahra Hanif, Jay Barber and Marina Snyder

Lifestyle 13

Debunking TikTok for it's endless wellness trends

Self-care is simple, don't let influencers convince you otherwise.

To live your best life, have the glow up of the century or to be ‘that’ girl, should you drink lemon chia water in the morning? ‘Drink a sleepy girl mocktail’ with magnesium supplements before bed? Or even detox? If you’re overwhelmed by all the options you see online don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. With so many content creators contradicting each other in an attempt to convince you to buy from their sponsors, it’s no wonder TikTok ‘wellness’ trends can make self-care so confusing.

“Trends can make self-care so confusing.”

So instead, here are three tips to actually start taking better care of yourself:

Stop spending bucket loads of money on self-care products. Although expensive bubble baths can be cute and help you to relax, a normal shower is just as good

at maintaining hygiene.

Stop trying to incorporate every wellness trend under the sun into your routine. At best, this will take hours out of your day, at worst you'll become overwhelmed with the amount of allegedly ‘necessary’ tasks you need to complete to take care of yourself. If even the most basic of tasks seem daunting, jumping straight to various supplements, face masks and skincare will only lead to procrastination. Instead focus on something simple, like drinking more water, and build on from there.Don’t expect yourself to be able to meet every last one of your needs. Selfcare cannot happen in isolation.

Generation Alpha: the kids aren't alright

From iPad babies to Sephora-obsessed pre-teens, how do Gen Alpha differ from previous generations?

Generation alpha, born between 2010 and 2025, are immersed in the digital age from birth. Growing up in a progressively media-driven world, young people are being exposed to technology and social media from a much younger age, which is already having significant mental and physical consequences. The desire to attain unrealistic lifestyles is removing children from the present moment, causing them to skip the fundamental developmental stage of their lives. With social media now reaching younger audiences, 11-year-olds have already adopted a 10-step skincare routine, carefully crafted makeup techniques and excessive self-care practices. Not only is this imprinting on young people’s psyche as they feel the need to have indulgent and excessive lifestyles, the excessive use of beauty products and skincare is damaging to young skin. Anti-ageing products and retinol, for example, are particularly harmful to the skin barrier. The rise of TikTok has been a huge catalyst

for this generation’s affiliation with beauty and indulgence. This social media influence is having both mental and physical effects on young people, particularly the mental torment of constantly desiring more, and striving to attain a certain prescribed lifestyle.

As we have seen the mental health epidemic worsening over recent years, the overwhelming presence of technology, social media, and political instability is most likely only going to perpetuate poor mental health in young people. Younger generations are constantly trying to navigate their own identity, trying to find their place amongst external societal pressures that constantly tell us who we should be and how we should look. However, although mental health continues to deteriorate and support services are seriously underfunded, understanding around mental health is certainly developing and public conversations are becoming increasingly common, so generation alpha may be best at prioritising wellbeing and inclusion.

Political conversations regarding the climate crisis and human rights have certainly made a start in promoting environmental consciousness and inclusivity, therefore we expect generation alpha to continue this progression. The generation are certainly more connected, autonomous, and self-aware, but the influence of social media on young teens is particularly worrying. Young people are being indoctrinated by the media, constantly striving for the desired life and economic status. It seems we are constantly looking outwards and ahead into the future, but why can’t we slow down and turn our attention inwards on our individual lives?

Monday 18th March 2024 THE COURIER
Image credit: Unsplash @ThomasYohei
credit: Unsplash @Reuben Mansell
Image credit: Pixabay @slavoljubovski

Lizzy, stage Medicine2,

Rate the Date

What were your first impressions of Jess?

She was really friendly and I was jealous of how neat her eyeliner was!

What sort of topics did guys talk about? And what did yiu have in common

We both like going out with friends to pubs and bars but neither of us are very into clubbing. We’re both dog people rather than cat people. We both have dogs and siblings so spent a lot of time talking about our families! We also both really enjoy travelling so spoke a lot about our summer plans too.

How did you find Holy Hobo and quiz night?

Having the quiz was also really nice for a first date as it kind of smoothed over any nerves and awkwardness at the beginning. I really enjoyed the film round where we were played clips of famous films and had to identify them, we both had a similar level of knowledge so it was nice to work together.

Do you think you will see each other again?

I think probably just as friends but I’d love to chat to her somewhere a bit quieter to see if we can find that spark.

Rate the Date

What were your first impressions of Lizzy?

She was super friendly, chatty and easy to have a conversation with, which really helped to put me at ease as I was a bit nervous at first!

What sort of topics did guys talk about? And what did you have in common

We both love cooking and baking! I enjoyed discussing all the dishes we've made (and times where it went wrong...) and hearing Lizzy's stories about cooking meals for her flatmates. Like me, Lizzy also seemed like the type who's always down to try new things, which I'm sure will come in handy if we meet up again

Describe your date as a cocktail and why?

Definitely a passion fruit martini; fun and adventurous yet comfortable. Speaking of, I discovered that the Holy Hobo does a great passion fruit martini

Do you think you will see each other again?

Absolutely, if Lizzy is up to it of course!

Jess, stage 3, Computer science

Your dilemma of the week

Flatmate getting on your nerves? Want some advice on how to handle uni life? Our Agony Aunt is here to help!

Dear Agony Aunt, Being at uni has allowed me to explore my relationship life more than I ever could at home, and now I have a boyfriend. I knew I was gay before I went to uni but I didn't come out to my parents, they're not particularly conservative I was just worried they would think of me differently or that I'd disappoint them. I want my boyfriend to visit when I go home over the Easter break. Should I come out to them before they meet him? Or just bring him round and introduce him as my boyfriend?

Dear Reader, I think the best thing you could do is to come out to them before they meet him. While I really hope that your parents are supportive and absolutely lovely about your relationship, there is always a risk of them having a bad reaction. If I was in your boyfriend’s position I personally would not want to be in a place where I was in the middle of a family disagreement, especially if it was my first time meeting them.

Likewise, if you are sure that your parents will be supportive I would wait until you come home to come out; most parents expect that their kids will have more of a love life than they did when they lived at home. Therefore, I would carefully bring up the fact that you’ve found new close friends at uni and possibly a new relationship to gauge a reaction; if it seems positive then I would slip in the part about having a boyfriend and go from there.

From: Your Agony Aunt

Dear Agony Aunt, I’m a fresher currently living in halls. Over the first few weeks me and my flatmates all tried to bond together and even went out for a flat meal numerous times. But now one of our flatmates has not been seen at all for nearly two months. Since Christmas he never cooks when we are cooking, even if we are in the kitchen all day he just won't come in. Sometimes we hear noises at 6 am and assume it must be him walking around or cooking. His food in the fridge also regularly goes untouched and out of date.

We’ve never even seen him unpack shoping. He’s still in the group chat and sees when we make plans to go out. Of course, he's invited, but he never even turns up to pres even though he came out with us in the first few weeks of freshers. How do we encourage him out of hiding and get him to talk to us?

From: A Reader

Dear Reader, It seems to me that you’re doing all the right things to try and get him out of hiding. However, it is a difficult situation if he is ignoring your messages and you don’t see him at all. In the first instance I suggest knocking on his door to see if there's any response as it seems he spends most of his time there. But if there is still no contact I would then go down the slightly unconventional route of popping a note under his door. It may seem a bit abrupt but if he’s not responding to in-person or online then there's no harm in sliding a note asking if he’s okay and that he’s always welcome at pres or other events. Overall, while it is a shame that he doesn’t attend flat stuff and you don’t see him at the end of the day it is his decision. Some people honestly prefer the quiet life and prefer not interacting with that many people. IWWf he’s not causing anyone any harm then you may just have to accept you live with a mystery man.

From: Your Agony Aunt

THE COURIER Blind Date and Agony Aunt Co-Ordinator: Charlotte Lee Monday 18th March 2024

Fashion & Beauty

An introduction to Chioma Nnadi.

The April 2024 issue of British Vogue marks a significant shift in the world of fashion as Chioma Nnadi takes over from Edward Enninful as the new Head of Editorial Content (the position previously considered Editor-InChief).

The role has never seen a black woman in charge before, her predecessor being the first black, gay editorial director, making her a pioneering figure perfectly representing the intersectional and diverse climate we are living in. With an editorial background, previously working for The Evening Standard and the online branch of Vogue USunlike Enninful who came through styling - she brings a critical and innovative eye to the post.

Born in London to a Nigerian father and a SwissGerman mother, and having lived in New York for several years, Nnadi has a diverse cultural experience that Vogue will highly benefit from. The fashion giant has been criticized in recent years for not reflecting the multiplicity of our country and instead displaying a uniformity of models, a lack of racial diversity, and that same absence in the figures of authority within the company. This frankly archaic perspective has caused Vogue to suffer, with many readers finding the magazine stale in the last few years. However, Chioma aims

to continue the changes that Edward began, with a range of bodies, races, and genders shown on those respected glossy pages.

“Chioma aims to continue the changes that Edward began, with a range of bodies, races and genders.”

Speaking on the podcast So… what do you do again? She spoke on her view of sustainable fashion and how her personal taste will influence her governing philosophy for the magazine. How a focus on fashion’s ‘newest thing’ will move to more ‘archival fashion’ and vintage fashion, her regular London haunts being Portobello Road and Rellik. This is a reflection not only of how the vintage fashion market is a far more sustainable enterprise with its circular economy and low-waste output. But also, in the wake of COVID and the cost-ofliving crisis, many find that the pages of Vogue simply do not accommodate the average reader’s budget and how exclusive that can feel. When asked about her spending habits, Chioma disclosed that one of her priorities when buying new is ensuring that whatever brand she is buying from is sustainable, ethical, and created by people who share her values. She also endeavors to discover unknown and up-and-coming designers who may not have reached a global audience yet, using her

tenure at British Vogue to spotlight these smaller names and give them a platform for success. This fresh and dynamic perspective, encapsulating the values of the current moment, has caused excitement from the student body, and many people who said they might not have bought Vogue before will consider reaching for it in the local corner shop. The feeling that she is refreshing the views traditionally held by the magazine to mirror the values and attitudes of Gen-Z and the changemakers of the world who are disrupting the status quo in every area of society, is a very powerful one, igniting enthusiastic hope within readers.

Why wearing makeup at the gym is acceptable and how it can make you more confident.

Ifirmly believe that going to the gym is a 'look good, feel good' type of situation. I appreciate being able to catch a glance of myself in the gym mirror and not looking like I've just died and came back to life... twice. It's almost motivating. Especially with some of the strenuous faces that get pulled towards the last few reps of your set; I hope the concealer and mascara can at least slightly disguise how ridiculous I feel I must look. I understand there's the concern of sweating all your makeup off, but that's nothing the combination of a good primer and setting powder can't fix.

"Because when you feel good about yourself, you won't catch yourself worrying about what oyther people think of you."

Vogue à la mode : Chioma Nnadi as new Chief Editor Will you ever be pretty? Makeup at the gym

Is it worth aiming for the unreachable beauty standards of today if youth and beauty will eventually fade?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and disliked what you saw? Maybe you looked too tall, too short, too small, too big. A recent survey worldwide suggested that people saw themselves as twenty percent less attractive than other people perceived them, and this isn’t helped in the 21st century by the constant stream of flawless, model-esque influencers on our feeds and papered onto billboards. Even celebrities who society deem to be attractive are still insecure about the way they look, or FaceTune their photos, because social media forces us to strive for a certain look that feels impossible.

“In recent years, there has been an uprising of more inclusive maekup and fashion brands.”

However, up until the early 20th century, beauty standards were very different. Society favoured a curvier frame, paler skin and fuller, rounder faces in the 18th and 19th century to show off their wealth - three traits which today's society doesn't consider to be conventionally attractive. Back in Ancient Greece, statues of Aphrodite - the epitome of beauty and elegance - are shown to have back rolls, a soft jawline and a fuller figure. People wished for looks which are now considered to be unappealing online, which begs the question of whether our view of beauty is just as temporary and superficial as the media conveying it.

Similarly in Western cultures Eurocentric features have long since been considered beautiful, while other cultures are dismissed and ignored. Both fashion and makeup are primarily

tailored for Caucasian skin; in recent years, there has been an uprising of more inclusive makeup and fashion brands. But out of an eight billion population, white people only constitute around fifteen percent of the population; by only catering to one group, how much damage is society causing to people who don’t feel represented?

fashionable in modern day society. There will always be something that the media will pick apart, whether it be their appearance, their mannerisms, or even the clothes they wear. If a celebrity is considered to be ‘perfect’, in thirty years time they will age and their popularity will fade.

“It is impossible for anyone to be completely attractive or fashionable in modern day society.”

Sex symbols of the past are often forgotten because they do not follow the current trends of attractiveness, even if back in their prime they were deeply envied. No form of beauty is permanent and varies from person to person, culture to culture, decade to decade.

Perhaps, if we all appreciated ourselves a little more, we could find that beauty in ourselves too.

But when does it cross the line of wearing too much makeup to the gym? To me, the answer is never. If you want to do your RDLs in a full-coverage, matte foundation and fluffy strip lashes, go for it. Do whatever makes you feel most confident. Because when you feel good about yourself, you won't catch yourself worrying about what other people think of you, and you can put that energy into ensuring you have the best workout session of your life. So, to answer the big question, I think that wearing makeup at the gym is absolutely the ultimate pre-workout. It's also just convenient if you have a whole day ahead of you too.

"This, however, is not to say that those who don't wear any makeup at the gym ... should
THE COURIER Sub-Editors: Ivy French & Lana Free Monday 18th March 2024
Image credit: Pixabay @stevepb
Image credit: Vogue, Laura Chouette, Unsplash Image credit: Rafella Mendes Diniz, Unsplash

Iconic women in travel history

Climbing mountains in a man’s world, just another day.

Climbing mountains in a man’s world is something most women do every day in a figurative sense, but these women have taken on the physical challenge to explore new summits and defy society's expectations. With International Women’s Day recently on the 8th of March, celebrating iconic female travellers who have done the remarkable will hopefully inspire you to take on a new adventure.

Junko Tabei was the first woman to summit Mount Everest on May 16, 1975. She defied cultural and sexist ideas of womanhood; in an interview with the Japan Times, she explained her struggle: “Back in 1970s Japan, it was still widely considered that men were the ones to work outside, and women would stay at home." Tabei sadly passed away from cancer in 2016, aged 77, but her legacy of inspiring women to take on an adventure remains.

“I climbed Everest because I wanted to prove girls could do anything."

Japanese patriarchal expectations led her into teaching, having studied English and American literature at Showa Women’s University in Tokyo, but her true passion was mountaineering. In 1962, she joined several men’s mountaineering

groups, where she met her husband, Masanobu Tabei, during an expedition of Mount Tanigawa, a mountain known for its perilous summit. Junko became a pioneer for the inclusion of women’s mountaineering and took a stand in a mandominated arena, she formed the Joshi-Tohan climbing group for women only in 1969. By 1975, the group aspired to take on Everest. They were faced with many challenges surrounding funding, having been repeatedly told that it was not a women’s place. The team members even had to take to their own sewing machines to make critical pieces of gear!

The expedition began with a nearly fatal avalanche on May 4, but determined to continue, Tabei reached the summit on May 16. Since this achievement, Tabei returned to university to take a postgraduate degree in environmental science, advocating for the upkeep of the mountain environment since the commercialisation of climbing Everest. She also set new records, becoming the first woman to climb the highest peaks on seven continents, finishing in 1992.

Though she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, she continued to climb and continue to share her passion. She took a group of young people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster on an expedition to Mount Fuji the year she died. Her amazing legacy has and continues to inspire other women and girls to defy expectations.

"I climbed Everest because I wanted to prove girls could do anything," – Malavath Poorna (TEDx talk).

Malavath Poorna became the youngest girl to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2014, aged just 13. She got the opportunity to learn rock climbing at school. Her first step, which she

Celebrities & Private Jets: A match made in hell

A look at the damage caused to the environment by the celebrity private jet culture.

Surely, one would think that having as many resources as these millionaires (and billionaires) have, they would do everything in their power to offset their carbon emissions and set an example for the rest of us.

The use of private jets has seen an increase by 20% since the pandemic, owing to the fact people tried to avoid crowded spaces. Yet, the pandemic is long gone, and flying private is still a living trend. With most celebrities setting an example of opting for a private jet rather than a commercial flight, more people are prone to aspire to an ideal that is not as idyllic as can seem at first glance.

For example, Taylor Swift has recently been in the news (although when is she not?) for the insane amount of carbon emissions she is feeding into the atmosphere due to her recent world tour. A student, Jack Sweeney, has been tracking her flights and the amount of CO2 she produces on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

An act for which he might get sued by Swift’s team, who are arguing his actions are that of a stalker and he is endangering Swift’s safety.

"Most celebrities still use private jets, producing insane amounts of carbon emissions."

Based on the @SwiftJetNextDay X account, she has produced 19 and 12 tonnes of CO2 emissions in two days – taking a flight from Tennessee to LA and then back the next day. To put these numbers in perspective, if one person recycles

describes as her greatest challenge, was climbing Bhongir Rock in Telangana State. She learned rock climbing training, which she excelled at and became the top of her cohort. Out of the 110 students, twenty were selected for the next stage. She advanced to train in Darjeeling. The advanced basic course took place over twenty days, during which she learned how to climb on snow and ice terrain. She took part in climbing the Ranauk Peak in Darjeeling, a mountain of 17000 feet. Experiencing the snow felt like heaven to Malavath. Out of the twenty selected, nine were selected for the next level of training in Ladakh. They spent fifteen days learning how to adapt to the cold, with temperatures as low as -35 degrees. Two were then selected to scale Mount Everest: Anand Kumar and Malavath Poorna.

After three months of specialist training, she was ready to take on Everest. By April 14th, 2014, she had reached base camp but then heard the news that seventeen Sherpas had died during an avalanche. She was determined to keep going. It took another eight hours to reach camp 1. Each person on the expedition held six cylinders of oxygen, which is equivalent to 24kg. By May 24, they had reached Camp 3, nicknamed the ‘death zone’ due to the high numbers of fatalities due to altitude sickness. She describes being very scared when approaching the summit, as she was surrounded by dead bodies. However, she continued to stay determined, remembering her coach, friends, and parents, as well as being determined to prove that girls can do anything. She reached the top on May 25, 2014, where she placed an Indian flag. Her message is to take the first step, as overcoming the first step is the part that holds the most fear.

In 2013, Raha Moharrak became the youngest Arab and first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest. According to CNN, she said that "convincing them [her family] to let her climb was as great a challenge as the mountain itself!" Her father at first opposed it, holding more conservative views, but she challenged these and went on to climb the mountain, eventually gaining his approval. She was the youngest Saudi to reach the summit, as well as the first Saudi woman. She hopes to challenge perceptions in her own country about women and to ensure she is not the last Saudi woman to conquer Everest. She continues to explore and travel the world, documenting her adventures on Instagram.

I hope these stories inspire you to climb your own mountains too, and celebrate the women in your lives who make that first step a bit easier.

everything they possibly can for one year - which let’s face it, most people still fail to do anywaythey would save 903.5 kg of CO2 emissions. So, Swift has basically discarded someone’s recycling journey for over 30 years in two days.

It is important to note that her team has assured the public that Swift has purchased double the amount of carbon units to compensate for her travel. One carbon unit is an equivalent to one tonne of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere. However, the carbon units purchased, and their value, is often overestimated and since the team failed to disclose what they have actually purchased, it is hard to estimate how well has Swift actually balanced her carbon footprint.

To not sound incredibly biased, Swift is not the only celebrity who contributes more carbon footprint than the average European (a 1,000 times more than the average European in 2022, in fact). Most celebrities still use private jets, instead of flying commercial, and therefore producing insane amounts of carbon emissions.

In 2022, Kylie Jenner has enraged social media users by taking a flight that lasted 17 minutes, a journey which would have taken her 40 minutes by car. 17 minutes of her flight, which equalled to one tonne of CO2 emissions, is more than one person can save by recycling for a whole year. Elon Musk has also been one of the celebrities tracked by Jack Sweeney’s X account. (His original X account @CelebJets has since been suspended by Musk). Musk has recently taken a two and a half hour flight from San Jose, California to Austin, Texas, emitting 13 tons of CO2 emissions according to the @ElonJetNextDay X account.

Of course, each coin has two sides, and one can find celebrities which do sit on the other side, and instead of taking a private jet, they buy a seat on a commercial flight. Some of these celebrities, according to TheThings, are Blake Lively, Paris Hilton and Prince William among others.

One can just hope that the rest of these millionaires will wake up and stop contributing to a serious threat that climate change is. With that said, let’s hope they wake up before it’s too late.

Why Laos should be added to your travel bucket list.

This past year I have spent a lot of time travelling, pretty much anywhere the budget could afford. My best friend and I were lucky enough to be able to travel to Southeast Asia, and one of our favourite destinations was Laos. I would definitely say that it is underrated and if I were you, I would add it to your must-see list ASAP!

Of course, is it quite a bit of a distance from Newcastle, but it is very accessible from surrounding countries and sits in the middle of the typical ‘gap year’ route between Thailand and Vietnam. When we visited, we took a long boat over from the North of Thailand and, despite it being very early morning, still with sleep in our eyes, we were greeted by the kindest people ever and some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen. I for one was blown away by the mountains, especially at sunset, the way they peaked and descended so dramatically, they almost didn’t look real. One of the most surreal experiences of my trip was taking a hot air balloon ride over the mountains at sunset; you’ll feel like you’re in the Wizard of Oz! But there are plenty more things to do there, such as visiting the museums in the capital, walking around the night markets or renting motorbikes to drive up and swim in the waterfalls.

The capital of Laos, Vientiane, is situated in the north and, due to its beautiful architecture and museums, is one of the more tourist hot spots of the country, along with Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng because of their busy nightlife and many waterfalls. As you make your way a little further down south you’ll find a small town called Thakhek, which is where you will start the ‘Thakhek loop’, a 5 day motorbike loop around the villages near Thakhek, which I would say is one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had, meeting the most amazing people and seeing the most incredible views. The 4-5 days you spend driving are filled with many stops along the way where you will explore caves on foot and in a

kayak, swim in waterfalls, try some amazing new foods, hike to see the sunset and meet the kindest people, before returning to the town after the most fulfilling trip.

Despite Laos being a land locked country, there is still a place called ‘4000 Islands’, a province found along the Mekong River, just on the boarder of Cambodia. Each island is only accessible by boat and the only ways to get around the island are by bike or motorbike, which gives the whole place such a tranquil atmosphere that just can’t be matched elsewhere.

The food, the accommodation, the transport and even the beer is more than affordable, and with the loveliest people, and the most beautiful landscape ever, I would say that Laos is just one of those places that can’t be missed, it just has everything - I would go back in a heartbeat!

5 Monday 18th March 2024 THE COURIER Travel 16 Sub-Editors: Charlie Reid, Avika Sharma & Ollie Withers
Image credit: @Simon, Pixabay
Underrated faves: Why you should visit Laos
Image credit: Annika Hering, Pixabay

Is red wine the most sophisticated of wines?

Sanskriti Singh Vats

Ever wondered how red wine came upon its sophisticated label and whether or not it is deserved?

Throughout my awareness, red wine has consistently held a reputation for sophistication and classiness. However, what precisely attributes to this perception? Is it merely a misconception, or does red wine genuinely occupy a privileged position among wines?

It's well-established that cultural beliefs or common misconceptions often have roots in history. Considering wine's longstanding status as a favoured beverage across centuries, let's delve into history and explore whether red wine truly deserves its reputation as the pinnacle of sophistication.

Red wine has long been associated with luxury and prestige, and in older times often preferred by the elites and high society. Red wine's higher tannin content contributes to its ability to age gracefully over many years. Along with gaining complexity and depth and becoming prized possessions

among enthusiasts. The correlation between aging potential and value translates into a perception of exclusivity and prestige, making aged red wine an esteemed gift and a symbol of status.

The preference wears influence not only by the inherited qualities of red wine but also by its affinity for pairing with decadent foods such as red meats and aged cheeses. In a historical context where such delicacies were predominantly enjoyed by the wealthy elite, red wine became emblematic of affluence and sophistication.

In contrast, the lower classes faced economic constraints that restricted their access to such indulgences. Their diets typically revolved around staple grains like wheat, barley, and rice, complemented by seasonal vegetables, leafy greens, eggs, and seafood. These ingredients pair seamlessly with white wine, given its versatility and lighter flavor profile. With its higher acidity, white wine adeptly cuts through the richness of egg and seafood enhancing their flavours without overwhelming them. Of course, regional variation play a significant role in these culinary dynamics.

Apart from this there was also a matter of cultural perceptions, in many historic

societies certain food and beverages contained symbolic meaning beyond their nutritional value. Red wine with its bright, rich colour, complex flavours and association with religious rituals and communal gatherings, often held symbolic significance related to abundance, celebration and social status. As such, its consumption by the wealthy elite reinforced perceptions of refinement and

The consumption of red wine became a means of social distinction. The ability to afford and enjoy such indulgences signalled once membership in upper echelons of society and served as a marker of social prestige. Consequently, it was commonly perceived as embodying higher social worth, an emblem of elitism, and However, times have changed drastically! In today's world, the notion of white wine being cheaper is simply not the case. Just imagine—a single bottle of 1811 Chateau d'Yquem can set you back a jaw-dropping £75,000 or more!

It's truly astonishing how the dynamics of wine pricing have evolved over time. Nonetheless, if in modern days white wine's

Student-friendly food bloggers

There is a food blogger for everyone, just waiting for you to get inspired!

I'd argue that one of the most refreshing and unproblematic sides of the internet is the rise in food blogging and content creation we have witnessed in the last decade. Most of our reels or TikTok feeds inundate us with an assault of new recipes or strange but wonderful food combinations at every swipe. The rise in such content magnifies different cuisines and cultures, but simultaneously makes cooking something a little more elaborate super accessible. Plus, who doesn’t just love the secondhand bliss of watching a delicious meal be made or a new restaurant be reviewed, minus the washing up!


Whilst Mob has grown to be a popular platform as opposed to a one man band (Mob was set up by Ben Lebus whilst at

fun for students), it's a staple in the student foodie scene. Mob has recipes for everyone, their veggie and vegan scran is top tier, with recipes like kimchi toast and aubergine poke bowls. They provide low fuss, low cost, but delicious meals to make. The best I have tried is their variety of traybakes, which can be meal prepped for a whole weeks’ worth of meals.

Jeffrey Boadi

For plant based foodies that are big on flavour, this account is a must follow. Jeffrey has a Caribbean focus with his recipes, incorporating ingredients like black beans, plantain, and kale into his bowls and curries. His Instagram informs his viewers on creating healthy and balanced plates for active lifestyles, but he doesn’t remove the joy from his recipes in doing so.

Up Beet Anisha

Here’s another suggestion for those who gravitate towards plant-based eating, but with an Indian twist. Anisha runs her page alongside her studies, and her recipes are just about as comforting and as wholesome as you can get, ranging

from fresh chaats, dals, to kheer for those who fancy something sweet. With cheap but whole ingredients at the heart of her mission, trying a recipe or two out is a great way to stay nourished during term time!

Sophie Wyburd

Nobody does classic comfort better than Sophie. Her page centres around her travels and supper club, aptly interspersed with wonderfully hearty recipes. She shares an abundance of recommendations of where to eat in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and beyond, but some of the highlights from her own repertoire include sausage and courgette rigatoni, ribollita, and burrata on toast. Talk about delicious.

London Bruncher

Foodie Samah Lakha lies behind this exciting and varied account, trying the best of London openings like Padella, Pophams, and Brat, but she also shares the best of her culinary travels. For a bit of escapism, Lakha’s page is for you. With her own recipes, she’s hot on the latest trends, sharing easy ways to make rice rolls, scrambled oats, and sushi sandwiches. Food for the eyes, not just the stomach!

“It was perceived as embodying higher social worth and an emblem of elitism."

sophistication seems to have taken a back seat, it could be attributed to the mass production and utilization of cheaper grape varieties in recent years. Beyond its delightful taste, red wine is often favored for its array of health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, it boasts lipid-regulating and antiinflammatory effects, contributing to overall wellbeing. However, don't overlook the health benefits of white wine! With its low sugar content, it emerges as a great choice for individuals managing diabetes. What's more, its lower calorie count and versatility add to its appeal, embodying a delicate and elegant option for health-conscious consumers.

Remember, at the end of the day, your sophistication level isn't determined by the type of wine you prefer! Too much of it, and you might start feeling more goofy than graceful. It's all about finding your own flavor, whether you're sipping on red, white, or maybe even a cheeky rosé. Sophistication is all in the attitude, not the pour! Cheers!

Milka vs. Tony's

Milka has taken legal action against Tony’s Chocolonely for mimicking its signature purple packaging.

Tony's has launched four new temporary wrappers. Each wrapper was inspired by famous bars such as Milka as well as other famous chocolates like Mars or KitKat as part of a marketing campaign to highlight the prices that farmers receive. It launched four recognizable chocolate bar parodies in Germany, which were inspired by the design of famous chocolate manufacturers.

Reportedly, the campaign was released in Germany and Austria to highlight the use of child labour by big suppliers of the cocoa industry.

Milka manufacturer Mondelez International said the company owned the colour trademark in Europe. So far, the current legal issue is limited only to trademark infringement matters and concerns.

The other chocolate designs included in the campaign belong to trademark brands like KitKat produced by Nestle, Twix by Mars, or Ferrero Rocher produced by Italian Ferrero.

Tony’s Chocolonely centres its business model on paying a fair price to the cocoa farmers. The majority of big chocolate companies don't pay a living income price for all their cocoa, which results in exploitation on cocoa farms. Approximately 1.56 million children are involved in child labour in Ghana and The Ivory Coast.

Following the legal action, the trademarked colour purple in question, a parody of the iconic Milka bar, has been replaced with grey.

THE COURIER Sub-Editors: Roseanna Leconte and Anna Nix Monday 18th March 2024
Food & Drink
Barbora Pacherova Martha Lewis Image credit: Pixabay, pastelila_id Pixabay, sllmnhyt Pixabay, gustavofer74 Image credit: Pixabay, iTzJennifer

GUTS Tour Begins

With the world’s campest opening act, and the energy of a pop star, Olivia Rodrigo takes to the stage on her first ever arena tour! After the success of the singer's first tour for her album SOUR, the GUTS tour is a journey into real fame - with the production value increasing by an insane amount.

February 23rd marked the singer's first show in California. From now until the 14th of August, Olivia will be taking over the world hand in hand with Chappell Roan, The Breeders, Pinkpantheress and Remi Wolf. Her first four shows have showcased the pop star blood that must run through her veins, with astounding visuals on the big screen, incredible outfits (featuring a large amount of glitter) and an outstanding setlist. She’s adopted some incredible support on this tour - featuring Chappell Roan (the world’s newest lesbian pop star) who wows the crowd with hyper pop realness and Pinkpantheress serving handbag looks -she’s accompanied by some of this generation's best. The setlist holds all of her biggest hits, from 'Bad Idea Right?' to 'Deja Vu', and even an unreleased song that fans are Obsessed with. With songs from both SOUR and GUTS, her setlist is perfectly designed to break your heart, break your ex-boyfriends

heart and then stitch them right back up. Bringing back Disney knees in a genius performance of ‘Love is Embarrassing,’ the pop star makes even the goofiest of dances look cool as she performs her wonderfully choreographed show alongside her incredible backup dancers. The spectacle is perfected by her appearance on a floating moon, flying over the audience during a depressing hit from her first album ‘Logical.’ Not only is her tour providing insane amounts of therapy for heartbroken young people, but Olivia has recently announced that part of tour proceeds will go to Fund 4 Good - supporting women education, girls’ education and preventing gender based violence. Rodrigo has wonderfully encapsulated a pop-rock vibe, putting on an incredible show that leaves crowds wanting more - alongside supporting meaningful change.

ImageCredit: IMDb

Summer festivals: Booming or Busted?

One of our writers looks at the cancellation of summer festivals...

Nine UK festivals have been cancelled this summer: Is the UK losing its place as the home of live music?

Get your bucket hats on and your ponchos ready, because UK festival season is approaching. But what is one of UK summer's most highly anticipated parts plummeting? The likes of the cost of living crisis, government cuts and rising ticket prices could see a decrease in the weekend getaway we all know and love.

The known and locally beloved Splendour festival in Nottingham cut ties with the public this year due to a lack of councillor negotiation, which is suspected to be due to lack of funding. For 15 years, Splendour has continued to put Nottingham on the map, with headliners such as Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, Blondie, Madness and Dizzee Rascal. Local festivals are suspected to boost the local economy by vast amounts, such as Sheffields Tramlines festival has been reported as generating 3.8m for the local economy. In times of economic crisis surely these festivals could be a local asset, but initial funding is difficult.

Nass festival in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has also been cancelled for 2024 due to 'funding issues'. However, there is a wider speculation it's plug has been pulled due to increasing safety concerns. There are a number of stories of goers being caught with large amounts of class A drugs. The Home Office is also preventing safe, on-site drug testing as a preventative measure for an 'absteniance only approach', such as in 2024, they put a stop to Parklife festival safely testing drug samples on-site.

Introducing Whitelands

Ithink hearing this album lived changed the trajectory of my life forever.

If you enjoy any music that resembles the shoegaze genre, I've got you covered. Welcome to your new favourite album to drown out all your thoughts to. Incase you're unaware, this is the second album released by the alternative, melancholic rock band, Whitelands. Although the group currently has around 35,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, this is bound to increase rapidly. It is so inspiring to see a band consisting of people of colour, prospering in a genre dominated white men, curating incredible, emotive music that resonates with the heart and soul.

"A beautiful, meditative mesh of sounds to tune out the world to."

In this project, the band explores topics that are dear to the members, such as love and racism. This being very prevalent in songs such as ‘Now Here’s The Weather’ and ‘Born In Understanding’, both consisting of meticulous lyricism. I think my personal favourites from this album must be ‘The Prophet & I’ and ‘How It Feels’. Both songs display Etienne QuarteyPapafio’s great vocal potential, in my opinion.

Jangly tones from a plethora of different guitars, doused in reverb and delay, give these songs such a dreamy base layer, with perfect volume and effect control in the verse and chorus of each song.

Interesting and creative bass lines cut through the songs giving them a groove not often found within this style of music, helping the band to stand out from the crowd in an

increasingly saturated genre. The percussion is also a noteworthy aspect of the band’s personal sound, with thought-provoking flair thrown into the songs through the drum fills, and Jagun Meseorisa’s mellow backing vocals helping to tie the band’s symphonic sound together. Meseorisa’s ability to provide such a strong vocal performance whilst playing the drums live was undeniably impressive to me. QuarteyPapafio’s lead vocals alongside this make for the perfect balance of contrasting vocal tones throughout the album.

"Jangly tones from a plethora of different guitars, doused in reverb and delay."

The best way to describe this project is 8 songs and 33 minutes of a beautiful, meditative mesh of sounds to tune out the world to. I can’t recommend this album to anyone enough.

These tests can prevent users taking more harmful and even death ridden substances. Drug culture is spreading over UK festivals, with a lack of funding, prevention methods can be minimal, increasing the risk especially for younger goers.

"Put a stop to Parklife festival safely testing drug samples onsite."

Economic problems could also be hindering UK festival culture with ticket price increases. In recent years, we've seen a vast increase in ticket prices, making affordability an issue for an experience which should be widely accessiable to all brits. The widely anticipated Reading and Leeds festival has seen a huge increase in ticket prices, with weekend tickets in 2019 being £205pp to 2024 being £350pp. The question of affordability presses, with a cost of living crisis, can we really be affording these prices for a no better experience?

We are seeing the UK's economic issues and cost of living crisis greatly impact the festival and live music scene, yet we cannot be too pessimistic. We're seeing many artists speaking out to prevent closer of independent music venues and there are still 778 UK independent festivals listed.

Sophie Austen
One of our writer's looks at Taylor Swifts new guest on the Era's tour...

Sabrina Carpenter, 24, performed a duet with Taylor Swift, 34, on night one of the Sydney, Australia leg of the Eras Tour. The unique ‘Surprise Song’ segment of the Eras Tour has become a well-loved, highlightmoment of the concert for fans. It usually entails two acoustic performances of any of Swift’s songs that aren’t on the permanent set list — one song performed on guitar and the other on piano. Despite the surprise songs previously being fulllength performances of two songs, recently Swift has been opting to play ‘mash-ups’, making the already suspenseful anticipation of which songs attendees may hear that much more exciting.

On Sydney Night One, Carpenter’s opening act was cut due to delays caused by bad weather. This resulted in Swift bringing out Carpenter on stage later in the show for the Surprise Song set, as she had done before with one of her previous support acts, Gracie Abrams. Sparks flew when the pair performed a medley of ‘White Horse’, from Swift’s album ‘Fearless’, and ‘Coney Island’, from ‘Evermore’. Sharing a clip of the performance on Instagram, Carpenter captioned the post with a sentimental tribute to Swift, referencing an old YouTube video of her cover of ‘White Horse: “9 year old Sabrina singing white horse would never see this shit coming! i love you so so so dearly taylor. always have always

will.” She followed this up with a screenshot of her tweet from 10 August 2009, proving her long-lived support for the fourteen-time Grammy winning singer: “was trying to enter a Taylor Swift karaoke contest to win tickets and a chance to meet her but they said I had to be 13 :("

Long story short, it was definitely an unforgettable night for Sabrina Carpenter and the lucky fans who got to witness this special moment.

18 Music Monday 18th March 2024 THE COURIER
ImageCredit: WikiMedia Commons ImageCredit: Wikimedia Commons ImageCredit: Both IMDb ImageCredit: IMDb
Song of t he Issue: Obsessed By Luna Day Swift and Carpenter Duet
on the Eras Tour
Amy Mescus
Unsplash@ AndreasBrunn
Sub-Editors: Poppy Bedford and Madeha Ali

Dive in to Drive to Survive

As another Formula One winter break enters the calendar, Netflix took to their yearly tradition of releasing a new season of Drive to Survive. The show's most recent season follows aspects of the 2023 Formula One race season. Once again, the reception to the show has been polarizing and so it seems best to give a review of all ten episodes in order to see why the show is so divisive every year.

The divide between viewers usually stems from the shows now recognisable formula: recap clips, pit box insights, and ‘state of the art’ commentary. Unfortunately, those who already did not like the show can expect to hold this position for the time being because Netflix decided to stick with what they know. Viewers were presented with ten episodes that followed the same plot: A teams introduction, their problem at the start of the season, idle chit chat about said problem, and then the Team Principle claiming they can fix it.

While this formula was completely squeezed dry during the season, Will Buxton (the shows patent commentator) made the most of it, claiming “They (Haas) didn’t even bring a knife to a gunfight, they brought a spoon.”

Tsunoda as he tried to get to grips with Formula One. This ultimately ended in disaster as his ‘experience’ could not prepare him. “Three’s a Crowd” sees the fallout of Ricciardo’s Dutch injury. Alpine’s double feature is far lest varied; both “Civil War” and “C’est la Vie” focus on the rivalry between Gasly and Ocon. Mercedes first episode “Leap of Faith” focuses entirely on Lewis’s contract as the season comes to an end. As Mercedes talk about endings, Ferrari’s episode focuses on the beginning of new Team Principle Fred Vassuer as he tries to bring Ferrari back to their glory. The final episode for the two is conjoined, focusing on the rivalry for P2 in the Constructors Championship across Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

If you put the safety net formula to one side, this seemingly puts the spotlight on four teams out of the ten: Alpha Tauri, Alpine, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Each got two episodes dedicated to them this season. The first of the four to see the spotlight was Alpha Tauri. “Fall From Grace” quickly introduces and then says farewell to Ricciardo’s replacement- Nyck de Vries. The rookie was pitted against Alpha Tauri veteran Yuki

The remaining episodes were dedicated to Mclaren, Williams, Aston Martin, and Haas (Williams and Haas sharing an episode). Similarly to Ferrari, Mclaren aimed to recover from the previous season. However, it became clear this would be a struggle as Mclaren struggled to build a strong car until updates were added during the season. Aston Martin opened the season, focusing on Lance Stroll’s recovery after his wrist and foot injury. Ultimately, Stroll makes it back into an F1 car in time for the season to begin. Like the final episode between Mercede and Ferrari, “The Last Chapter” focuses on the rivalry between Williams and Haas, in which Williams come out on top.

Overall, Drive to Survive season six stuck to what it knows: cookie cutter commentary, secondary plot points and drama. However poor the show may be, there is something charming about seeing the same content regurgitated months later, in a slightly less educated format.

Outnumbered: A classic British comfort TV show

The British sitcom that has remained a classic

in every household

In the crazy whirlwind of university life, many students often find themselves seeking familiar home comforts. This desire is completely valid; whether it be a warm homecooked meal, the sound of laughter during movie night or simply the nostalgia of your childhood bedroom. During these bouts of homesickness, the British TV series Outnumbered has become my personal comfort watch. Despite the first season being filmed in 2007, its timeless portrayal of family life has continued to be relatable to viewers years after the show’s release.

The series centres around parents Pete and Sue Brockman who navigate the rollercoaster of parenting their three exuberant children: Jake, Ben and Karen.

Over the course of five seasons, viewers watch the children go from toddlers to young adults, capturing the essence of growing up. The show aims to offer an authentic portrayal of family life by incorporating

semi-improvised dialogue from the children played by Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez. This unique style is a significant aspect of the show’s relatability and is what has captured the hearts of viewers of all ages.

“Viewers watch the children go from toddlers to young adults, capturing the essence of growing up.”

Just like any other family, the Brockman’s life does not come without ups and downs. There are so many iconic episodes that will definitely make you laugh. If you grew up watching Outnumbered, you might remember Ben pretending Pete was kidnapping him. Or maybe fourteen year old Jake coming home with an eighteen year old stripper for a girlfriend. Or perhaps Karen demanding all the floorboards of their house be taken up in order to find her missing hamster. Whether you’re a first time watcher or just fancy a rewatch, Outnumbered is a guaranteed comfort show if you need a reminder of home.

The Jury: Murder Trial Review

One of our writers sums up why you should watch The Jury: Murder


Never has TV been so compulsive, captivating and equally terrifying. The re-enactment of one real-life murder trial, with two separate juries deliberating over the case and some pretty good acting, leads to one thing and one thing only- compulsive viewing. It’s a concept that is so simple, yet so intriguing. All I could think was, why has this not been done before? The added plot twist, which was the secret that both juries didn’t know they were deliberating over the same case, made it even more enthralling.

“The job of the Jury is to decide if it was Manslaughter or Murder? This is the moment where everything changes.”

However, it is equally harrowing. It is sort of like when people say you don’t want to know what is in a Black Pudding or you don’t want to know how Wine Gums are made, equally we don’t always want to know what goes on behind the scenes of a court room. Food references aside, this show forensically (if you pardon the pun) broke down the proceedings that take place in the court room and that’s something we will never unsee.

So, let me set the scene, we meet one or two of the Jurors before the eight-day deliberations start and the facts are laid out. They are quite simple. John

killed his wife Helen after he "just snapped". The job of the Jury is to decide if it was Manslaughter or Murder? This is the moment where everything changes and not just in terms of the reconstruction but also regarding the opinions many will have on the British Legal System.

The facts, the assumptions, the eyewitness testimonies, the character witnesses and John’s body language left the jurors swaying from side to side. It became clear that people’s personal experiences and biases had an impact on their verdicts. It was like a revised version of Twelve Angry Men (just without Queen Jane Fonda’s Dad in every scene).

So, how has this changed the British Legal System forever? Well, it has raised questions surrounding bias and personal experiences. It has questioned whether eyewitness testimonies are just emotional manipulation or actually useful. Finally, it has challenged whether or not the Jury system still fit for use in such a diverse and fractured society. Whether it changes the Legal System or not, this show is made for captivating viewing. Well done Channel 4 (for once.)

Avatar The Last Airbender (2024): Was it really needed?

Sophie Oldroyd

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2024) presents an eight-episode liveaction adaptation of the beloved 2005 Nickelodeon animated series. Set in a world divided among four nations, each associated with an elemental power, the story revolves around Aang, the “Avatar” tasked with mastering all four elements to restore balance. Following his disappearance, the Fire Nation’s conquest for control plunges the world into turmoil, leaving Aang as the last hope for peace. Joined by companions Sokka and Katara, Aang embarks on a journey to master the elements and confront various adversaries, including Zuko, the exiled Prince of the Fire Nation. The first season primarily focuses on waterbending, as the main characters navigate physical and spiritual challenges while evading the relentless pursuit of the Fire Nation.

The cast delivers commendable performances, but I want to highlight Dallas Liu as Zuko and Gordon Cormier as Aang; despite the shortcomings of the script, they bring a well-deserved appreciation for their portrayals. I would be amiss to not include that Paul Sun-Hyung Lee’s portrayal of Iroh adds a good touch to the series. Visually, the martial art forms of bending are captivatingly depicted, often performed by the actors themselves. The pacing of the story is disrupted by certain exposition choices, which can be observed from the first episode. Initially, the audience watches an action sequence depicting the Fire Nation’s decimation of the Air Nomads. Further into the episode, and an in-universe time skip of one hundred years, we observe Aang being told that this has occurred through Sokka and Katara’s Gran Gran, in a way that I cannot imagine is approved among child welfare social workers. The main characters then visit the site of destruction, and it

is then we see Aang’s reaction. It is convoluted and slows the pace of the showdown. In contrast, the 2005 original series effectively presented this event through only the final event, leaving me puzzled by the rationale behind this altered approach. While I believe it’s unproductive to continuously compare this series to its predecessor, it’s hard to ignore instances where it falls short of capturing the same quality. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) consistently ranks among IMDb’s top ten shows of all time for valid reasons, reasons which have not been replicated. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2024) isn’t a poor show by any means, but it struggles to live up to the standard set by the source material. I have reservations about the premature introduction of key antagonists, a move that may have compromised pacing and character development. However, I remain optimistic that

Sub-Editors: Ella Townson and Jenica Davis Monday 18th March 2024 TV 19 THE COURIER
Image: IMDb Image: IMDb Image: Pixabay Megan Grimston Image: IMDb

Fantastic Face-off: the return of Marvel's first family to the big screen

After several mediocre adaptations of this beloved comic book series, will this iteration be the one to smash the box office and drown in positive reviews?

Marvel brings us yet another remake of the Fantastic franchise. The question is - will it set hearts on fire or will the well-worn story be stretched too thin? Let's take a look at the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot and its star-studded cast.

Blessing our feeds with a 60s style promo post, our four beloved characters Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm, Susan Storm and Reed Richards are reintroduced into the world. But who are filling the roles of the OGs? True film fanatics will be thrilled to see some of today’s best actors taking on the weighty task of bringing the family back to screens. First up is Reed Richards, played by the effervescent Pedro Pascal. With his wicked acting skills most notably portrayed in HBOs Last of Us, the Chilean-American actor sure knows how get an audience hooked. Being the most searched celebrity on the planet, revealed by IMDb, his clear dedication to all of his roles is sure to make us obsessed with the upcoming reboot. Miles Teller gives Mister Fantastic a decent go in 2015, but something wasn’t quite right. Let's hope Pascal will

bring a bit more to the table.

British-born talent Vanessa Kirby is ready to try her hand at being arguably the most powerful member of the team, Susan Storm, in the newest remake. Sue's electric chemistry between her and Reed is sure to rile up the excited fans - it will be interesting to see how Kirby and Pascal recreate this dynamic (if that’s the path director Matt Shakman wants to take…). Kirby's dominance in the entertainment industry, with major roles in Ridley Scott’s Napoleon and the most recent instalment of Mission Impossible, certainly makes her one to watch. I have high hopes for Kirby as Kate Mara’s Sue in 2015 just missed the boat.

The third team member, Ben Grimm, takes on a more traditional representation, going back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s 1961 comic original.

Between Michael Chilkis and Jamie Bell, the character of the Thing has had his ups and downs but overall his character development is what we live for. Ebon Moss-Bachrach adds Grimm to his list of impressive roles along with his part in award-winning The Bear. Acquainted with Marvel's process due to his involvement in The Punisher, Moss-Bachrach is set to do his character justice. With an important hint in the promo depicted by the team’s tough guy, Grimm is seen chillaxing on the sofa with a 1963 issue of Life Magazine, perhaps solidifying the period of time in which the movie is supposedly set.

With the first adaptation being in the noughties, Chris Evans became a major heartthrob, as his arrogant and egotistical Johnny Storm was a literal hot head. Taking on the role of the Human Torch in 2025 is Stranger Things

favourite Joseph Quinn. From the astounding amount of attention he received for his role of rockstar hero Eddie Munson, the casting directors clearly knew how to get people on board despite previous flops. Will the new and improved Johnny make as much of an impact as Evans did? There’s only one way to find out…

original, I can never quite disassociate the primary actors with their roles. 2015’s instalment really messed things up getting a meagre 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Don’t get me wrong, there are many elements that make my skin crawl in the 2005 adaptation; however, showing a dashingly young Chris Evans and gripping picture of the family’s origin story, you can’t go wrong when looking for some superhero entertainment. The sheer talent of the four protagonists said to be stepping in next One thing that does grind my gears is Marvel’s unhealthy addiction to remakes and spin-offs, with superhero movies are developing a bit of a bad rep. However, I hope for Marvel’s sake that they get their act together. Kevin Feige promisingly reported that this adaptation doesn’t focus on the origin story at all, bringing a completely new story into the multiverse. It seems we are in for one hell of a surprise. Mark your calendars for the 25th of July, 2025

Dune: Part Two - a cinematic experience of a generation

Hailed by some as The Two Towers of this generation, audiences return to Arrakis in Dune: Part Two for an epic actionpacked narrative that blends together war, religion and politics. Author Frank Herbert followed up his original novel with Messiah in 1969 to clarify that he was in fact criticising the Chosen One trope and white saviourism. Dune: Part Two goes down an explicitly darker route showing how religion can be weaponised and the danger of charismatic leaders, leaving audiences in no doubt that Paul is not a hero.

Dune: Part Two was two firsts for me in cinema - first double bill and first midnight screening - and it was without a doubt the best film for it. Director Denis Villeneuve had previously said that Part Two isn't a sequel but a direct continuation of the first and watching them back-to-back it flowed really well, picking up not long after the conclusion of the first. However, if you don't re-watch the first or were at all confused by the plot, Princess Irulan's (Florence Pugh) opening monologue gets you back up to speed whilst introducing the previously unseen Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV (Christopher Walken) of House Corrino who had orchestrated House Atreides downfall from the shadows.

Clocking in just under three hours, Villeneuve weaves together many storylines to reunite and acquaint the audience with the different

factions whilst also planting seeds for an inevitable adaptation of Dune: Messiah, the third of his trilogy. As the film is quite dense with characters and storylines, the focus is removed off Paul and the Fremen at the start of the second act to locate friends and foes alike from the Harkonnens to Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin).

Performance-wise everyone is on the top of their game. It's hard to believe that a few months ago Timothée Chalamet was gracing our screens as Willy Wonka. His performance as doomed 'hero' Paul Atreides is his best performance yet as he portrays the inner struggle between embracing and rejecting the Bene-Gesserit-made prophecies. Another standout is Austin Butler who is introduced as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a darker mirror image of Paul. Butler is menacing in the role and any thoughts of him forever being defined as Elvis has slipped away.

The Bene Gesserit are given greater prominence in Part Two with Princess Irulan, Lady Margot Fenrig (Lea Seydoux), Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). The additional focus on the Bene Gesserit grabs the audience's interest for the upcoming Bene Gesserit series on HBO Max titled Dune: The Prophecy will cover the founding of the sisterhood.

Ferguson's performance of Jessica is spine-chilling as we watch her manipulate the Fremen and their beliefs to her and Paul's advantage, showing how religion can be

weaponised and manufactured. Lea Seydoux's role as Lady Margot is brief but she certainly leaves an impact as a seductress and schemer.

Turning to Princess Irulan, Denis Villeneuve made the wise choice to not waste Florence Pugh's talents. In the original Dune novel, Irulan's voice is heard throughout her epigraphs as Paul's biographer and only physically appears as a pawn for a political marriage at the conclusion of the novel though she becomes a prominent character in later novels. The change to Irulan's character is part of a conscious effort to give the female characters, as well as the Fremen, more agency. Over the years there have been many criticisms, some valid and some lacking in media literacy, over Dune. Villeneuve changed several aspects of the original book by cutting out storylines such as mentat Thufir Hawat (Stephen McKinley Henderson), Lady Jessica being framed as the traitor and Paul and Chani's first son. One of the clearest examples of developing the characters further is through Chani (Zendaya). Chani's role in the novels was pretty much relegated to being a love interest and a mother but Part Two depicts a battle-ready woman who is sceptical of the

prophecy and challenges Paul, providing some Fremen resistance to their inevitable role in the Holy War.

Splitting Dune into two parts made complete sense as previous adaptations put a greater emphasis on the downfall of House Atreides then rushed Paul leading the Fremen and waging war against the Harkonnens. There was a time skip of two years in the novel once Paul and Jessica joined the Fremen but the film chose to compress it into less than nine months to put greater pressure on Paul.

This compression meant that the role of Alia Atreides, Paul's younger sister, changed for the film. With Anya Taylor-Joy voicing her in utero and featuring in a split-second vision, I was a little sad to miss one of my favourite moments from the book. However her role in the film intrigues me leaving me wondering what role she will play in Messiah, which let's face it will definitely get adapted now.

Han Zimmer once again stuns with his soundtrack, returning to some themes from Part One while putting a darker spin on the Atreides theme to convey their fall into a darker role in shaping the fate of the universe. Much like the first part, Dune: Part Two is a visual treat though don't expect much colour, it is still mostly set in a desert. If Dune had come out in autumn 2023 as originally slated, Oppenheimer would have had a major contender for their awards sweep this award season. As a fan of the book, Dune: Part Two is an incredible film but I will admit that for some members of the audiences it can be confusing at times with all the terms and prophecies thrown at you. Regardless, critics and audiences alike are loving it and I wholeheartedly give it 5/5 stars.

5 Monday 18th March 2024 THE COURIER Film 20 Sub-Editors: Jessica McKeown, Olivia Carter and Ned Carter-Owen
Image: IMDB Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (stars) and IMDb (Paul)

Perfect Days is a World of Small Beauties

One of our writers gives a compellingly beautiful review for Wim Wenders' Perfect Days

In the fast-paced life of the social media age, it can be easy to forget the small joys in life, but Perfect Days is a heartwarming reminder.

Perfect Days follows Hirayama (Koji Yakusho), a public toilet cleaner in Tokyo whose life is built around his structured routine. He starts every morning by watering his plants and listening to music on his way to work. Despite the repetition of his life, he never seems unfilled and manages to find genuine joy in the world around him.

“In a world of manufactured scarcity and chasing trends, it is Hirayama who is unmoved by the changing tides of culture.”

I knew very little about this film, or even about Toyko, but after watching it I feel like I understand the love that Hirayama, and the director, Wim Wenders, have for the city and its people. This love and care even extends to his work as a public toilet cleaner which I can tell you as someone who used to clean pub toilets, is thankless and often disgusting work. And yet Hirayama takes as much care with this job as you’d expect from a dedicated surgeon, despite comments from his unreliable colleague Takashi (Tokio Emoto) that the toilets will just get dirty again anyway.

But it is this care and focus on the present that

defines Hirayama as a character. The belongings that fill his house and his life are old and worn through love rather than neglect. In a world of manufactured scarcity and chasing trends, it is he as a character who is unmoved by the changing tides of culture. Instead, he rests on the things he appreciates, not because they are popular but because he loves them. Trends come and go, the things that were popular fall out of fashion and then come back like Hirayama’s cassettes and film camera.

" If nothing else, this film is a reminder to water your plants, listen to good music, and breathe."

The soundscape of the film is subtly striking. There is very little verbal dialogue and even less of it is said by Hirayama himself. Instead, the film is filled with the dialogue of the city, the sounds of traffic, trees in the wind, a light switch being turned on. Every morning Hirayama wakes to the same sound of a broom sweeping on the street outside, and every morning he picks a cassette tape from his collection to listen to on his way to work. This use of music is the only distraction from the sounds of the city and the film has a brilliant soundtrack of classic rock like Patti Smith, Van Morrison, and of course, given the title Lou Reed.

It's a testament to Yakusho’s performance as Hirayama that despite very little dialogue or tension he always holds your attention and conveys a sense of kindness even in his silence. This kindness is seen in the care he gives to the world around him and the people in it, as he gives the people around him space, he doesn’t judge them or hold grudges against them, even though sometimes that would

be justifiable. This space allows them to show us that they are more than they first appear, that people are complex and fascinating and ultimately good and kind. Hirayama meets the world with unwavering kindness and although it may sometimes be to his detriment, he never regrets it or stops giving it out. And even when things go wrong he never dwells on it or takes it out on the world because he understands that these things will come and go, “now is now, next time is next time.” Sometimes you have an awful day and feel like it's the end of the world, but the next day the sun is out and everything feels a little bit easier. This film might not be the most exhilarating or heart-pounding event of the year, but not every film needs to be the next big blockbuster and there is value in a small selfcontained film that doesn’t rush you or feel the need to tie everything up too neatly. It allows you to sit and live in this world with the characters up until the final shot. So, if nothing else, this film is a reminder to water your plants, listen to good music, and breathe.

2024 BAFTAs - Familiar winners with surprising appearances

Head of Social Media

Oppenheimer keeps on winning as this writer does a roundup of this years BAFTAs.

Hosted by a sparkling and hilarious David Tennant, the 2024 BAFTA ceremony was packed with British and Hollywood royalty alike as the awards provided a warm-up for the Oscar’s next month.

"This is the first time that legendary director Nolan has won a BAFTA"

Christopher Nolan’s epic Oppenheimer was the big winner of the night, taking home seven prizes, whilst Frankenstein-inspired Poor Things bagged five, and Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest won three. This is the first time that legendary director Nolan has won a BAFTA, despite being Britain’s most successful filmmaker. Cillian Murphy also took home the leading actor BAFTA for his role as the titular character, thanking his Oppenhomies in his speech, whilst Robert Downey Jr collected the trophy for his supporting role as Lewis Strauss. Accepting the award, the Hollywood A-Lister paid tribute to Christopher Nolan saying that “recently that dude suggested I attempt an understated approach as a last-ditch effort to

resurrect my dwindling credibility.”

Emma Stone took home leading actress for her role as Bella Baxter in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, a whimsical adaption of the literary classic Frankenstein, which was met with critical acclaim. Elsewhere, actress Da’vine Joy Randolph won an award for her role as Mary Lamb in Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, joking that it had all been worth it thanks to the good looks of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who had just presented her with the prize. Her win at this year’s BAFTAs likely cements a widely predicted win at the Oscars in March for best supporting actress too.

The show featured two musical performances, one from Hannah Waddingham in the in memoriam segment of the show and the other from Sophie Ellis-Bexter with her hit 'Murder on the Dancefloor'. The song, which was first released in 2001, has recently had a resurgence in the charts thanks to its inclusion in Emerald Fennell’s psychological thriller Saltburn where Barry Keoghan’s Oliver Quick risque dance left little to the imagination. However, the film itself would win no awards that evening, despite receiving five nominations.

"The 2024 BAFTA ceremony was packed with British and Hollywood royalty alike"

Accepting the award for best film not in the English language, The Zone of Interest’s producer James Wilson paid tribute to those currently in zones of conflict, naming Gaza, Yemen, Mariupol and Israel. His statement drew a large round of applause from the audience.

Taking home the prestigious BAFTA Fellow prize, actress Samantha Morton said her win was

Film 21

A fun, cheesy take:Lisa Frankenstein

To the naked eye, Lisa Frankenstein could appear to be a cheesy teen comedy, reminiscent of some of the hilariously bad, direct to streaming flics we have been dealt in recent years, and to some, it will be. The film leans heavily into the 80’s material they’re attempting to parody and pull reference from, with amped up, campy acting and writing to match, and I am sure for some viewers that would be an immediate turn off. But for me, personally, that’s the type of film I’ll almost always unironically enjoy, and in the case of Lisa Frankenstein, it all (to varying degrees) worked well to create a very fun viewing experience.

I should say, whilst cheesy teen comedies, especially ones that add in a murderous twist, are guaranteed to get some level of enjoyment out of me, I was sceptical going into the film and nervous to see how it would play out. Admittedly, some of my reservations came at the knowledge that Cole Sprouse would be playing one of the leads, Lisa’s zombie creation, and this was largely due to the actors seven year stint on the internet’s favourite show to hate, Riverdale. However, I am pleased to say that I think the actors tenure on the CW show aided in the camp and eccentric levels of his performance. The character demands weird movements and facial expressions due to being almost entirely mute for the film, besides grunts and groans, and Sprouse does this brilliantly. He isn’t afraid to lean into the wackiness Diablo Cody, the director, so heavily lays out over the course of the film, and he does an amazing job of making the audience forget about past performances, something difficult for some high profile actors known for specific roles like he is.

“nothing short of a miracle” and dedicated it to “every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn't survive." Mia Mckenna-Bruce won the BAFTA rising star award following a public vote, beating out fellow nominees Ayo Edeberi, Sophie Wilde, Jacob Elordi, and Phoebe Dynevor. Mckenna-Bruce starred in the come-of-age film How To Have Sex and became emotional as she thanked her “beautiful baby boy” and her family. It was a thrill to see Michael J. Fox present the biggest award of the night for best picture. The Back to the Future star, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was 29, received a standing ovation, and makes very few public appearances.

Whilst Cole Sprouse was great in his role, it would be a disservice not to spend time on the standout lead performance of Kathryn Newton as Lisa. I have seen many online discuss how the character of Lisa almost seems tailor made for Newton and I couldn’t agree more, the actress does an exceptional job at delivering the perfect amounts of kookiness that is asked of her and the character. Lisa could have easily become one note at moments if played by someone else, but Kathryn Newton manages to add levels to the character, giving nuance to the weird and wacky themes of the film. It is because of Newton’s performance that the film manages to stay on course, going off the rails when it needs to, whilst still staying controlled because of her and the character of Lisa.

Whilst Cole Sprouse was great in his role, it would be a disservice not to spend time on the standout lead performance of Kathryn Newton as Lisa. I have seen many online discuss how the character of Lisa almost seems tailor made for Newton and I couldn’t agree more, the actress does an exceptional job at delivering the perfect amounts of kookiness that is asked of her and the character. Lisa could have easily become one note at moments if played by someone else, but Kathryn Newton manages to add levels to the character, giving nuance to the weird and wacky themes of the film. It is because of Newton’s performance that the film manages to stay on course, going off the rails when it needs to be whilst still staying controlled because of her and the

Monday 18th March 2024 Sub-Editors: Jessica McKeown, Olivia Carter and Ned Carter-Owen
Image: IMDB
Image: IMDB Image Source: Flickr @Diamond Geezer

Memory Card: Hay Day

To be a farmer in a different world...

Iwas never a big gamer but when it came to losing some of my childhood hours on phone games, I had an alltime favourite which I devoted an insane amount of time to. There was nothing better than transporting myself into the world of Hay Day and becoming a great farmer.

Somehow, this was always a summer game for me. Whenever school bells rang and announced two months of frolicking outside with no

discovered, after years of restarting the game, that I can create an account and save my progress, I was unstoppable.

For those who are hearing of this gem of a game for the first time, the game starts you off with a patch of land to plant corn and a few hens. Through passing new levels, you can buy more farm animals and plant different crops, and then even make pies, bread, or even sweaters out of the wool you get from your sheep. Best part of the whole process, capitalistically, is you get to sell all of your harvest or products in a shop. You can also trade with other players, helping them out with their shipments for which you get extra points which can advance you in reaching higher levels.

“Somehow, this was always a summer game.”

Hands down my favourite part of the game was saving enough money for a dog. They were mostly a decorative feature as compared to pigs or cows they didn’t give meat or milk to reinvest into further production, but they were cute and ran around the whole farm, so money well spent.

Truth be told, even though I haven’t entangled myself into the farmer world for the past few years, the game still occupies space in my phone, saving my progress. Hoping that perhaps one day I might want to, in mind at least, regress back to a 12-year old kid, taking care of farm animals.

Respawn leaks reveal potential Mandalorian game in the works

"This is the way" to find out how it could look...

NOTE - EA has recently cancelled the development of a Respawn Star Wars game.

In recent, almost top-secret news, Respawn Gaming are working on a first-person game based on every nerd’s favourite Dad, The Mandalorian. From the not-sosecret sources at Insider Gaming, the job is currently in the works and with the help of the Disney+ show, there are plenty of ideas flowing through the galaxy.

The main idea is that you will play as a Mandalorian bounty hunter, around the time that the Galactic Empire rules the galaxy. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find and kill bounties for a cash reward. Simple – if Pedro Pascal can do it, then so can you!

“If Pedro Pascal can do it, then so can you!”

One of its main features as a first-person game is its supposed high mobility. The bounty hunters all have jetpacks, and being able to fly through the missions is what the makers are promoting as one of its more desirable features.

Main sources have described the game as “very fast-paced”, perfect for those wanting another take

on another Star Wars game, Jedi Survivor.

Other main features of the game are set to include: health regeneration based on successful kills; a variety of weapons (including wrist rocket and grapple hook); and for the game to be level based and not open world.

By having this linear structure of levels, it allows the players to explore specified planets in the Star Wars universe, possibly with a fixed storyline along the way. Perhaps this means we will see some familiar faces on the adventure, Bo-Katan, Boba Fett? Maybe The Armorer will help make your ‘fancy’ suit? And of course, we would love to see Din Djarin and Grogu help on a mission!

But of course, this is all speculation, as the game is potentially in the works, and probably won’t release for another two years. Until then, let’s hope this not-so-secret source can give fans a little more to get excited about!

Pokemon Legends Z-A: What can we expect?

A new addition has been confirmed for the legendary saga...

Asurprise for the Pokémon community on Pokémon Day, as a new Legends game, following on from the success of Legends: Arceus was announced for release at some point in 2025. Legends: Z-A is set within Lumiose City, the central city of the Kalos region, based on Paris, France. However, beyond the teaser we know scarcely little about the game beyond its vague 2025 release date.

One aspect in the trailer that was pushed quite heavily is the fact that it focuses on an urban redevelopment plan for Lumiose City. The main problem here is we don’t yet know which side of the timeline this lands in. Is this game pre–Pokémon X and Y, or some time afterwards? The futuristic look of the trailer would suggest to me that we are looking after the events of X and Y. Given how Legends: Arceus plays out, set in the past of the Sinnoh region, we could be looking quite a way into the future for this game.

The most recent main series games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet may lend some credence to this, with a lot of themes surrounding the past and future, in particular with the introduction of Paradox Pokémon, taken from the distant future and past. Legends: Arceus may well be that past representation, whilst Legends: Z-A could look more into the future. I do however expect Legends: Z-A to play much differently to Legends: Arceus. Arceus had a very unique goal, in completing the very first Pokédex, in a time where people and Pokémon didn’t really work together, as is seen across the main series. More hints to the

timeframe of Z-A confirm this in the trailer, as there is clearly a lot of interaction between trainers and their Pokémon throughout the trailer. We see Sylveon and Aegislash battling it out and a trainer sat in a café with their Furfrou and Klefki.

“The Z in the game's logo, definitely bares resemblance to the design of Zygarde, so it would be surprising if it doesn't see a major role in the game.”

Of course, the question then turns to the name of the game itself, why Z-A? There are two links here, but firstly it is important to note that Pokémon X and Y were the first main series games to not be followed up with a third version (think Pokémon Emerald for example), or DLC (Sword, Shield, Scarlet and Violet). Pokémon Z has been a long running meme in the community, with Xerneas and Yveltal being the box legendries for their respective games, whilst the third of the trio, Zygarde, was left to just be caught in a cave in the postgame. The Z in the game’s logo, definitely bares resemblance to the design of Zygarde, so it would be surprising if it doesn’t see a major

Pokémon X and Y also have a character you meet through the story called AZ

AZ is the former king of Kalos, using “the ultimate weapon” to end the war in the Kalos region, 3000 years in the past. There is a (so far) unobtainable Pokémon known as AZ’s Floette which relates to this. Lots of Pokémon died, including the Floette, and the ultimate weapon was initially used to revive Floette, before being used to end the war. Seeing this devastation, Floette left, and AZ just continued to wander, looking for it. AZ is someone I expect to play a big part in the story of this new game, potentially as a professor type figure, wanting to see Kalos flourish after the events of X and Y

Nintendo of America also seemed to specify that the story takes place within Lumiose City entirely. This seems to be an odd choice at first glance. But if the redevelopment of the city plans to expand its size, I could see it working out well. But time will tell, as we have quite a long wait ahead of us.


Monday 18th March 2024 THE COURIER Gaming 22 Sub-Editors: James Kellett and
Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: IMDB Image Source: IMDB


Memory Card: Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed (2012)

Sega and Sonic transform their racing universe.

Mario Kart has always been my favourite racing game series. But I do hold a soft spot for a blue hedgehog in one of the first games I got for the Wii U. Transformed follows on from Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing with crazier tracks, drivers new and old, and the addition of boat and plane sections to spice up the levels.

“The transformation mechanics help to make tracks feel so much more dynamic.”

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed also included a far wider variety of game levels. The original had several based off Sonic, but then had some tracks from Samba de Amigo, Super Monkey Ball, Billy Hatcher, Jet Set Radio and Curien Mansion. Transformed gives new tracks to all of these series, but

also highlighting some of Sega’s older, and perhaps more forgotten like NiGHTS, After Burner and Golden Axe.

The transformation mechanics help to make tracks feel so much more dynamic, something Nintendo has begun to experiment with tracks in Mario Kart Tour, with the routes taken each lap changing. Rogue’s Landing, a track based on Skies of Arcadia, follows a town in lap 1, before it gets attacked during lap 2, and forces you to fly during the final lap. The storytelling behind some of the levels is just magnificent. In fact, the developers were asked to show tracks they created to the original developers of the games the tracks were based on, to ensure they were as faithful as possible. Every single level feels truly fantastic and different to the last.

I returned to the game over the last few weeks while writing this article, and the expert difficulty is truly brutal, particularly due to the tight and twisty nature of most of the tracks beyond Ocean View, the first track of the game. This is by no means a bad thing, the fact that there’s so little room for error makes the races exciting. Race of Ages, the final new track in the game is the best example. It is extremely tough, one requires a supreme amount of concentration to dodge fast moving items from opponents and deal with the track’s twisting layout getting more difficult as the laps go by.

“This is by no means a bad thing, the fact that there's little room for error makes the races exciting.”

Whilst it is exclusive to the mission mode (World Tour), Transformed does contain possibly one of

my favourite racing game modes of all time, being the Battle Races. Racing against opponents around the track, firing items to take health off them, first to the finish line or last player standing wins. I just wish it was something you could pick up at any time, without having to start one of the missions. There are also a few notable omissions from the character roster. Despite getting tracks, both Billy Hatcher and Zobio (Curien Mansion) didn’t make the cut, which is just baffling, instead NASCAR and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick made it in through a collaboration with Hot Wheels.

Transformed continues to be one of several games I consistently come back to, despite the fact the Wii U online support coming to an end in April 2024, I will consistently look back

Choose your style: Exploring the world of Indie Gaming

Multiple Writers

Some indie gems that all gamers should give a go...

Alto's Adventure, by Team Alto

One aspect of video games often overlooked, is the presence of mobile gaming. It is not often I will be sat in my living room and opt to whip out my phone with the aim being to decompress through mobile

the game is a simple concept, players can perform tricks and combos, grind on village rooftops and bunting, wingsuit through the skies, all whilst simultaneously gliding through a snow filled mountainous wonderland. The feature that sets apart Alto’s Adventure is the art design, although the shapes used are simple, the colour palette provides and eye catching yet calming gameplay experience.

guide and his son. The mystery leads him to explore the darkest corners of the forest, a walkie talkie serving as his only means of human interaction. Despite its small production team, Firewatch is an incredibly well-rounded game. The story is interesting, well-paced, and offers the player meaningful choices. The art style and pastel colour palette combine to create a deeply immersive atmosphere, with award-winning voice acting and sound design to match.

Campo Santo have gone dormant since being bought out by Valve Corporation in 2018.

Firewatch, by Campo Santo


As far as indie game developers go, there is no greater one hit wonder than Campo Santo, the Bellevue-based studio responsible for Firewatch. Set in a remote corner of Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest, Firewatch follows the story of Henry, a summer watchman who finds himself caught in the middle of a decades old mystery concerning a disappeared

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Celeste, by Maddy Makes Games

- Adam Lovegrove, Gaming Sub-Editor

I first picked up this pixel platformer during 2020’s COVID lockdown, and was completely blown away by the end of my first playthrough. You take control of Madeline, a young woman coping with anxiety and depression who sets out to climb a mountain in an attempt

to overcome her problems. Her journey is broken up into seven chapters, each with their own unique environment and gimmicks that put your precise-platforming skills to the test. The game’s controls are incredibly simple – giving you only a jump, dash and climb – but its levels manage to squeeze every bit of potential out of it, pushing you to your absolute limit with increasingly hard puzzles to solve and chasms to clear. Lena Raine’s sweeping soundtrack acts as the ice-cream scoop on top of this sweet strawberry pie, masterfully mixing pianos and synthesisers to match the mood of every second of your journey.

Image Source: IMDb

Monday 18th March 2024 23 THE COURIER
Sub-Editors: James Kellett and Adam Lovegrove
Images Sources: IMDB
Image Source: Flickr @Gaspar Mendoza


Arts Funding Chronicles: It's about Tyne

The ACE chronicles continue as Birmingham city council cut 100% of their Arts funding.

The Arts sector is currently facing a drastic and devastating shift, which we hope not to be the dark foreshadowing it's seeming to be. Less than two weeks since our Head of Culture’s article on ACE was published, Birmingham City Council announced a shocking 100% cut to their Arts funding, claiming the need to save £300 million worth of budget over the next two years.

Redistributing the budget is one thing, but taking it away entirely is a fatal blow that Birmingham’s cultural sector may not be able to revive from. Home to many major organisations, such as Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Ballet, this decision will not be

outrage. Comedian Joe Lycett called the cuts “a short-termist national disgrace” and he certainly wasn’t joking there.

“The city's central figures have already expressed their outrage.”

It begs the question – Why are the Arts always first to face the chopping board? As a poet myself, it’s disconcerting and pretty soul-crushing to hear news like this. The council’s plans are reminiscent of that wonderful government poster which circulated the internet during 2020 – the one with the ballerina who’s ‘next job could be in cyber’. Artists have enough imposter syndrome as it is simply trying to make a name for themselves, never mind being told to ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’ for society’s betterment. The question surrounding how important the Arts are has always confused me; to deny self-expression is to deny the self. I guess that’s how capitalism works. Yet, the elites harbour first-edition novels and rare paintings so fervently - it can’t be so meaningless then, right?

“The North East isn't afraid to invest in us, even if it is a tentative investment.”

Art is cultural capital. A free visit to the art gallery connects us on a level entirely different to a textbook and watching a play can make dull, inaccessible Shakespeare, light-up on

stage. Our sector is first to face the government’s chopping board because they think we will dieout silently. I mean, that’s kind of ironic. They’ve clearly never met a musical-theatre nerd. Their ear-drums would remember if they had. The North of Tyne Combined Authority does the opposite, spring-boarding the Arts with their ‘Culture and Creative Investment Programme.’ The programme is open to creative freelancers and businesses in North Tyneside, Northumberland and Newcastle. In partnership with Creative UK, NTCA look to the Arts as a significant economic sector in the post-Covid world and to widen the national creative market. Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO and Founder of Creative UK, aims to “grow the enormous creatives the respect they deserve, the North East isn’t afraid to invest

doesn’t amount to £300 million, but that’s only the beginning and is a gain rather than a loss. I find the ‘potential’ Caroline Norbury speaks of every-day in the North’s living, breathing poetry community and, as sub-editor, I’m amazed at the talent our university itself has to offer for us to showcase every week in The Courier alone. Dear artists, we love you.

Women’s History Month: Remembering North-East photographer Tish Murtha

Sophie Jarvis

In light of Women's History Month, we take a look at the late North-East photographer Tish Murtha.

In a time where the working class were attacked at the hands of Thatcher; the resourcefulness, humanity, and community captured in Tish Murtha’s photography was a voice for the North East marginalised communities.

Born in 1956 in South Shields, documentary photographer Tish Murtha’s artistic vision was shaped by her own experience of a workingclass childhood. The third of ten children, she was raised in poverty and worked odd jobs after leaving school at 16, before studying in Newport on a grant. Following graduation, she returned to Elswick - where she had spent her childhood - saw her reflection in the people around her, and began to document the social disparities in 1980s Tyneside. She worked informally and building close bonds with subjects. We see an insider’s perspective of black-and-white imagery surrounding the human consequences of political policies in the form of youth culture and families against a backdrop of disparaged inner-city neighbourhoods— spotlighting the hardships of Newcastle’s deindustrialisation as well as challenging stereotypes of poverty and unemployment. In a male-dominated field of documentary photography, Murtha’s authentic portfolio broke down representation barriers— both with in her own representation of being a female photographer contending

with the gender imbalance in the arts, and the representation of the marginalised classes; successfully capturing the cultural vibrancy and resilience of Northerners bearing the brunt of Thatcherite economic restructuring. With photographs of couples embracing and children playing against backdrops of burnt cars and broken furniture, Murtha’s juxtaposition of subject matter underlined the resilience of the working class in an era remembered by individualism and the demolishment of the welfare state. The social commentaries stamping Murtha’s art promote photography being a tool for activism by addressing systemic issues and social injustices, aswell as emphasising the poignancy of capturing personal experiences and encouraging diversity within the arts.

“Murtha's juxtaposition of subject matter underlined the resililence of the working class.”

Murtha’s photography is a historical record into the human impact of political policies in British history and an emotional insight into the struggles faced by the Northern working class communities. It also survives as a reminder for the current issues that continue to persist within society and the role that documentary photography can play in the name of raising awareness. The cultural heritage and the personal

connection between the people of Newcastle and Tish Murtha establishes an authentic depth to the photography which outreaches to the audience and underlines the human connection behind

and in front of the camera; sparked by Murtha’s sense of responsibility of portraying the people she identified with, and as. Tish Murtha’s recognition has been primarily posthumous, yet the celebrations of her work are universal and well-deserved.

“Her work lives as a lasting imprint of a working class woman who lived and died in poverty.”

Returning to Elswick after working in London to singlehandedly raise her daughter, Murtha passed suddenly in 2013 and saved the lives of 8 individuals from being an organ donor. Her work lives as a lasting imprint of a working class woman who lived and died in poverty— at its heart, the images tough surface glow with joy, Murtha capturing the victims of disadvantage not feeling the disadvantage. Capturing the strength in

18th March 2024 THE COURIER
Arts 24
Image: Source Tish Murtha from Flickr


this could end at any second. a breath of dust could sweep you upclaim your veins and unwind them

'til you've unbound to infinity. even, a tiny bird could pick at your skin -

tough as it's become, mistake it for a willow tree and get its teeth stuck, and take you apart as meticulously as you were made up.

even in a minute, we won't have

this moment back you've got work tomorrow and i need to put away my drying, it shows in your eyes and my lack of prying. there's no bind but here. each photograph is fleeting but here in these words i make you my own. and until i get your proportions down, i'll keep making like Frankenstein, laying down the bones til i electrify your clone.

What's gannin' on...

20-30 MAR.

20 - Open Mic Night @Station East

22 - DIY Ceilidh @ The Lubberfiend

24 - Art Club @Star & Shadow

27 - Edward Scissorhands starts @ Theatre Royal

30 - Newcastle Puppetry Festival @ Northern Stage

All the gear and no idea? Getting started with photography

Wojciech Cajdler

Wojciech gives us a run down on how to get into the world of photography, with or without a fancy camera.

Photography is slowly becoming a more popular hobby, with film photography exploding in recent years. But many are unsure of how and where to start, being bombarded with different cameras and lenses to get. The list of accessories that you must have to be a photographer seems to be never ending. After taking photos for almost 10 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t actually need much to get started. All you need is a camera, any that can take photos will do, be it an old film, a borrowed digital camera from a friend or just your phone. I’d recommend an old digital camera that allows you to control all the settings (aperture, ISO and shutter speed) and a 50mm lens, but any lens will do when starting out. I myself started out by borrowing my Dad’s old digital camera with the basic kit lens. The next step I would recommend is to learn the very basics of photography. Watching a short video on the internet about light and composition, what the settings on your camera do, will give you a foundation from which to build and develop. These videos can also be a great source of inspiration - I have found many photos that I wanted to emulate and by trying to do so, honed my skill. After getting a camera and the basics

nailed, I would suggest simply going out and taking pictures. As with anything, practising the skill over and over again will help you slowly develop a better understanding of how light can affect your photos, what settings to use to achieve your desired look and how to best compose the scene. Quantity is more important than quality at this stage. For this reason, I would recommend a digital camera over a film camera as it is much easier and quicker to see the photo you took and see what works and adjust. Going out for photo walks is a great way to motivate yourself to take photos. These can be done by yourself or in a small group. I found these incredible for meeting other photographers and helping answer any photography questions I have.

The Newcastle Photography Society hosts these kinds of events and it’s always a great atmosphere. Everyone is always happy to answer any queries you may have about your photos. Going on these walks is one of the reasons I enjoy photography. You can rediscover the areas around you that you otherwise wouldn’t have had reason to. Walking around and taking the time to absorb your surroundings, observing potential subjects and trying to frame them with your camera is a great way to learn. It’s also a way of documenting and capturing a specific point in life. In a world that's changing so rapidly, photography gives you an anchor to look back on and notice life, which can otherwise pass us by.

1-6 APR.

1 - The Cooking Pot (Open Mic)

@Baba Yagas Whitley Bay

2 - Speed Dreamers @ The NewBridge Project

6 - Friend (The One With Gunther) @ Northern Stage

Ed Gamble 'Hot Diggity' Tour

@ Tyne Theatre & Opera House

8-10 APR.

8 - Red Squirrel Press Launch @Lit & Phil

9 - Yellow Lines Poetry @The Ticket Office

Who is Big Brother? Orwell talk @ Lit & Phil

10 - Sketch Slap by SoreSlap @ Alphabetti

11-13 APR.

11- Ten Thousand Tons of Moonlight by Feng Ling productions work in progress @ Dance City North East Showaoke @ Alphabetti

11-13 - 'Limelight', 'The 39 Steps' @ Theatre Royal

13 - ArtMix Spring Showcase @ Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Sub-Editors: Sarah Tunstall and Laura Kasongo Monday 18th March 2024 25 Arts THE COURIER
by Pixabay
Image Credit: Wojciech Cajdler
Feathers by Pixabay



1. Surname of the leader of the Labour party (7)

2. European peninsula of eleven countries (7)

4. The biggest Newcastle university library (8)

5. The device which you use to click on a computer screen (5)

7. Interstellar doctor (5)

8. The OED’s definition: “a substance that is present in small amounts in another substance” (8)

13. Partly, as a prefix (4)

15. Author of the original 40-across answer (5,5)

16. As the saying goes: “___ with envy” (5)

17. ____ Scott was cast in ‘All of us are strangers’ (6)

18. All of something (8)

19. Serpentine language or a type of software (6)

20. Work/Grind (6)

22. Biden’s office (4)

24. Controversial former US president (5)

26. Go-to frozen dinner (5)

30. The job title of Houdini (8)

32. Sandy 2021 release, with it’s prequel released in 2024 (4)

33. Smaller starter house plant (9)

34. Maths’s building on campus (8)

38. Timothée Chalamet children’s film (5)

39. An annoying email (4)

41. The cousin of Alpaca’s (5)

43. Cashless deal; or what you used to do with Match Attax (4)

47. “This is an across clue,” for one (3)


3. Region bordering the black sea (6)

6. Eternal ____, album released March 2024 (8)

9. Fancy sock design (6)

10. A synonym for sad (4)

11. Smile from ear to ear (4)

12. Best Actress winner at the Oscars 2024 (4,5)

14. Economic downturn (9)

17. Christian Bale’s 2000 movie (8,6)

21. Like sweets that aren’t sweets; or a type of shot (4)

23. Newest eyebrow trend (9)

25. One of three (7)

27. Professional social media (8)

28. Charm, charisma; or what Ross Bennett has (4)

29. What you count (6)

31. UK chocolate brand (7)

34. Mr. Speaker (5)

35. Ponytail alternative (3)

36. ‘Normal’ shape, in statistics (4,5)

37. Surname of the singer of ‘I’m Just Ken’ (7)

39. The noun of what you make when you put a filling between bread (8)

40. Modern TV series adaptation of a 19th century detective (8)

42. To quote Hagrid; “non-magic folk” (6)

44. ___ into the background (5)

45. Big test (4)

46. Sound a cat makes (4)

47. City of Angels (1,1)

48. The upcoming holiday, typically advertised with a bunny (6)

49. Cheekily look (4)

Monday 18th March 2024 Puzzles Puzzles Master: Katie Siddall 26 THE COURIER











BONUS: What is the theme of this word search?

THE COURIER Puzzles Puzzles Master: Katie Siddall 27 Monday 18th March 2024 Crossword
Word Search
Word Ladders Issue 1453 Answers

Red Bull starts 2024 with another win Olympic Village

The 3rd of May saw the beginning of the brand new Formula One season, beginning in Bahrain as per tradition. The weekend began and finished a day earlier than its usual Sunday slot, with the Grand Prix taking place on Saturday. Even after a non-stop winter break, there was some familiarity going into Bahrain. Team civil wars, Mercedes car troubles, and of course Red Bull victories. Needless to say, Formula One is back to do what it does best: entertain.

The opening press conference for 2024 consisted of Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, and Carlos Sainz (among others). Naturally, the first conference after the winter break is full of questions about how the drivers feel the team has prepared in comparison to last year and, more than most this year, questions about the winter break. Norris claimed he was confident that they had improved from last year, feeling that the car is a much more successful challenger than 2023. However, he still feels unsure as to where McLaren stand in comparison to Aston Martin. Similarly, Albon explained he feels the positions across the teams have not changed much, stating "there is no P10 team" but that Red Bull are still safely ahead.

Questions about the winter break were directed at none other than Hamilton and Sainz. Hamilton expressed that

the news of his move has not put the team off, leaving them motivated, and focused to perfect the car across the season. Sainz, being hounded about his status next year, expressed he does not know where he'll end up in 2025, but that he has every intention of giving his all during 2024 for Maranello.

“Sainz has every intention of giving his all during 2024 for Maranello.”

While some take pre-season testing as truth, Free Practice is usually a better indication of the car's ability, although still not as reliable as the Grand Prix. The first practice was the most unnatural as V-CARB saw themselves in P1 with Daniel Ricciardo followed by both McLaren's. Ricciardo drove 23 laps of the Bahrain circuit setting the fastest time of the session with 1:32:869. The first session had Mercedes fans worried, the P7 and P9 reflective of the positions they found themselves in during 2023. Trouble in paradise found its way into the Red Bull garage as reigning champion Max Verstappen reported "Everything is f***king miles off! The car is literally jumping" during FP1, being pulled into the garage to deal with downshifts and upshifts. The second practice session was much more reflective of Mercedes' former glory with a P1 and P2 finish both with times of 1:30s.

FP3 was the most mixed session with no pattern within the rankings. Sainz took first, with Verstappen third and Hamilton twelfth. As qualifying began, P20 and P19 were locked in with both Alpines. Logan Sargeant was the only Williams driver to not make it to Q2, securing P18. Q1 also saw the end of the brand new Stake F1 Kick Sauber, with both drivers taking P16 and P17, bringing the session to an end. Q2 solidified the places of the usual midfielders, Hulkenberg and Hamilton narrowly making Q3. Finally, Q3 reflected the 2023 season well, Verstappen naturally secured P1, putting him in a spot he knows well. Q3 also saw George Russell, future first driver of Mercedes, ahead of teammate Hamilton, securing P3. The first 57 laps of 2024 were, for the most part, quiet. Max took the lead firmly by Turn 1, coming home to win and begin defending his championship with a comfortable twenty-second lead. Russell

for the Mercedes team with significant reports of overheating from Russell: "We had massive engine overheating and the battery wasn't working properly... We had to turn the power down." and a broken seat for Lewis. While it seemed pretty civil across the grid, all was not pleasant for the RB team, with claims of immaturity coming from Ricciardo towards teammate Yuki Tsunoda. With the first race of the season over, it leaves lots of room to predict how the rest of the 23 races across the calendar will turn out. After Red Bull secured a 1/2 finish this weekend, viewers everywhere are expressing their annoyance at another Red Bulldominated season. It seems that Mercedes have begun leaving room for George to take the lead on securing P2 in the constructor's championship for them this year. Viewers can only hope that with the calendar being the longest it ever has been this year, there will be plenty of chances for other victories

Olympic climbing faces 2024 format refresh following Tokyo teething pains

Olympic history in sport climbing will be made yet again this summer.

After criticism of the format used at Tokyo 2020, which combined all three disciplines into one event, Paris will split the competition up into two categories: bouldering and lead combined, and speed climbing on its own. Does this separation of the specialties allow athletes to better target their training, or are bouldering and lead still too different to be grouped?

“Are bouldering and lead still too different to be grouped?”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games introduced an array of new sports and events to the competition, with sport climbing being one of them. Competitors took part in a climber’s triathlon of sorts, participating in three different disciplines. These included speed, in which competitors race to the top of the wall; lead, where the goal is to climb as high as possible on belay within the time limit; and bouldering, in which climbers would attempt to complete as many 'problems' as possible on a very challenging wall in the fewest


While some viewers were simply satisfied with the variety that sport climbing brought to the Olympics, many took issue with the format of the competition as the disciplines are vastly different from one another. Speed requires climbers to be as quick and agile as possible, lead is all about controlled and calculated movements over long periods of time, and attempts in bouldering are far more intense due to the exceedingly challenging moves. The training is different, the mentality is different, and the ideal physiques are different. Everything is different.

“The training is different, the mentality is different, and the ideal physiques are different. Everything is different."

Paris has tried to accommodate these criticisms by dividing the sport into two events, with speed being separated as it is by far the most different of the three. While this is a definite improvement on the format, it still feels as though bouldering and lead should be divided too. Bouldering features far more focus on explosive power, as climbers are allowed multiple attempts within 4 minutes, whereas lead is all about the endurance of the athletes across a sustained 6-minute climb.

The changes will see the number of sport climbing gold medals awarded rise from two to four. Sport climbing is likely seen as a demonstrative sport in

the eyes of the International Olympic Committee, which is presumably part of the reason bouldering and lead have still not been split up, as they will not want to award the sport so many medals. Separating speed is definitely a step in the right direction, but hopefully, there will still be some significant backlash at this new format, and 2028 can see the three categories rightfully regarded as their own events.

With the Paris Olympics edging closer, sustainability seems to be the aim of the game with the return of the cardboard mattresses from Tokyo, which assemble in less than 12 minutes with no nails, screws, or glue, and the buildings themselves being made of wood with special engineering designed to maximise airflow, allowing the building to be up to 6 degrees lower than outside.

"The village has plans to be converted into a new neighbourhood once the games have finished.”

The Olympic Village is being built across three cities: SaintDenis, Saint Ouen, and Île Saint-Denis, and will house 22,250 athletes throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games. Furthermore, the village has plans to be converted into a new neighbourhood once the games have finished, complete with 2,500 new homes, 1 student residence, 1 hotel, a 3-hectare landscaped park, about 7 hectares of gardens and parks, 120,000 sqm of offices and city services and 3,200 sqm of neighbourhood shops. However, with the increasing temperatures of European summers, especially in cities, it is yet to be seen whether these buildings will be able to comfortably accommodate all the athletes; It is also unclear how France plans to market the new ‘neighbourhood’

Sport 29 THE COURIER Monday 18th March 2024 Sub-Editors: Mitchell Hall, Castor Chan, Dan Balliston, Sophie McMillan and Adam Tibke
being built without AC
Poppy Bedford - Music Sub-Editor Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Christophe Badoux) Image Credit: Pixabay (randomwinner) Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Henning Schlottmann, Paris 2024)

Pogba faces 4 year ban for doping

The verdict will likely mark the end of his playing career.

World Cup winner and former Manchester United midfielder

Paul Pogba has been handed a four-year ban from professional football after testing positive for the banned substance DHEA in August 2023. The fouryear sanction is in line with the standard length given by the World Anti-Doping Code and means the once-rising star will have to wait until 2027 to step onto the pitch again.

Paul Pogba left his home country of France at the age of 16 to join Manchester United’s illustrious Carrington Academy. He remained here for three years and then moved to Italian giants Juventus on a free transfer in the summer of 2012. It was in Turin where Pogba shone as a young talent, collating an impressive highlight reel, and winning the Scudetto in all four years he was at the club. His performances at Juventus led him to return to Manchester United for a then-world record fee of £90 million.

The price tag that Pogba carried, paired with a string of underwhelming performances, brought strong criticism from fans and pundits alike. Domestic silverware did not hide from him during his time in England; earning a Europa League, an FA Cup, and a League Cup medal.

"The last five years have not satisfied me."

On the international stage, Pogba shook hands with paradise. A 4-2 win over Croatia included a quintessential outside-of-the-box goal for the Frenchman which brought the World Cup trophy back to France for the first time since 1998.

Fast-forward to 2022 and Pogba returned to Juventus on a free transfer. Many felt like six-prime seasons of Pogba’s career had gone to waste with himself stating: “The last five years have not satisfied me.”

Italy’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal accepted the order to deliver the ban on March 1st 2024, backdating the duration to when the drug test was failed - August of the year prior. The headline news came as a shock to fans across the globe. Pogba was quick to make a statement on the matter; saying he is, “sad, shocked, and heartbroken.” He has since announced that he will be launching an appeal on the decision.

Undoubtedly a world-class player on his day, the punishment puts a severe dampener on any talk of Pogba being an all-time great. The 2013 Golden Boy will be 34 years old by the time the ban is lifted which begs the question as to whether this will be the final nail in the coffin of a legendary career that could have been.

Sainz blitzes Bahrain after Ferrari snub new contract

Noella Fernandez Perez
The Spaniard has proven his worth as he begins to look for a 2025 drive.

After celebrating his first podium of the season in the Bahrain GP, many fans are stipulating whether Ferrari has made a good decision in replacing Carlos at the end of the season.

He showed dominance during the whole race, while his teammate, Charles Leclerc, reported problems with the car during the race.

In his post-race interviews, Sainz’s statements were positive. He was surprised at how well the car performed during the race, as he could battle with two of the fastest cars on the grid, Sergio Perez's Red Bull and George Russell's Mercedes.

The Spaniard didn’t have the perfect start to the season, qualifying 4th on Friday, but he battled his way through to earn the last spot on the podium. This has caused fans to reconsider whether Ferrari has made a good decision in not offering Sainz another contract.

The start of the F1 pre-season started strong as Ferrari announced that Lewis Hamilton would be taking Carlos’ seat at the end of the year. This news came as a surprise to everyone as the 7-time world champion was supposed to renew his contract with his current team, AMG Mercedes Petronas, at the end of this year.

Some fans think that Carlos was not being treated fairly in Ferrari as he was always considered the second driver in the team, which caused him to always help his teammate.

This was the first race of what is thought to be an exciting season, but could this be Sainz’s revenge era?


fans walk to SJP in dementia fundraiser

Jack Evans

Most football fans normally opt for a train or coach to go to away games, something that most Wolverhampton Wanderers fans did when travelling to Newcastle for a Premier League clash on March 2. However, two of their fans decided to take a slightly different mode of transportation: walking.

- Head of Specialist Programming, NSR following the walk’s conclusion, Manny said that it was to help the families and friends that care for patients, as well as patients themselves. This wasn’t the first time Manny had fundraised in such a way. Last season he walked 120 miles from Molineux to Stamford Bridge ahead of Wolves’ game away at Chelsea. He also cycled over 100 miles to Anfield in 2019 to for Wolves’ away match at Liverpool. Manny shows no signs of stopping either, aiming to complete his fourth London marathon this April.

Manny Singh Kang, alongside his son Jeevan, walked from Molineux, the home of Wolves, all the way to St James, a journey of almost 200 miles that took four and a half days.

The pair stopped in Stoke, Huddersfield and Durham en route, before reaching the Sir Bobby Robson statue outside of St James’ on Saturday morning.

Once there, the pair were embraced by a crowd of people before posing for pictures both inside and outside the ground, including one of Manny with Wolves manager Gary O’Neil.

Manny and his son have done this walk to raise money for Dementia UK, a charity they’ve raised £30,000 for in the last six months. This goes alongside a total of £300,000 raised since 2018.

When speaking to reporters

Horner gets out of jail free: What his Red Bull monopoly means for women in Formula One

Content Warning: Sexual Assault

The world of motorsport is dominated by males and has been since its creation. This is no different for Formula One, with only five female drivers having competed in Formula One since its creation in 1950. As of 2024, the last woman to take a successful race start was Lella Lombardi in 1976.

As the modern world has begun to move away from the traditional sexism of Lombardi's time, a handful of females have made their way into the paddock, not as drivers, but as engineers, commentators, journalists or strategists. This includes the 75 women who work across the the Red Bull Racing team, making up only 6% of their staff. Due to the women across Formula One and an increase of female audiences, it should be expected that the attitude towards women across the grid is one of respect, inclusion, and upmost safety. While at one point it was possible to argue this was improving, it is no longer possible to say that is true.

Let's talk about Christian Horner. On Tuesday 6th February 2024, reports emerged that Christian Horner, team principal and CEO of Red Bull Racing, was under investigation after complaints of sexual harassment were made by a female employee of the team. It was to be expected that Horner would be questioned and investigated by an external barrister for up to three weeks before a decision was made.

Despite the endless evidence supporting the allegations, Horner's allegations were dismissed. He was cleared, free to carry on as the man at the top. Why?

A month later, the female complainant was suspended. This was after Horner attempted to pay the woman off with

£650,000, the behaviour of an 'innocent' man and team. To Christian Horner and his team at Red Bull, sexual harassment and assault is worth exactly £650,000. Naturally, Horner has made clear his wish to "move onwards... and focus on what is going on on track," because fast cars have always trumped women's right to safety.

To most women, the feeling that overcomes each and every one of us at the news of the colleagues suspension is unequivocal: a solidarity of anger, disappointment, disgust and for female audiences of the sport attending Grand Prix's, unwavering fear. The reaction from Horner and his team has presented a message of disrespect for women's safety. Why should any woman feel safe at future Grands Prix after this? With the colleague's suspension, all hope of a community in Formula One full of inclusion, courage, awareness, and belief has slipped away.

Repeated complaints of "why didn't she speak up sooner?" or "why do women never tell the police?" now have room to breathe. After finally building up the bravery to speak up, she lost her job. Christian Horner kept his. After working alongside the man who harassed and assaulted her, she stepped forward and lost it all. Her act of bravery should be taken as an inspiration to women both in and out of the motorsport community.

So often do women hear of men complaining of their silence but then continuously make efforts to build an echo chamber where no one else is listening. This goes for the rest of the entire Formula One grid. Due to the highly publicised nature of the situation, everyone that has ties to the sport and to Horner have received questions from the media about their opinion.

To Sergio Perez, Horner is a saint who has done no wrong: "Horner has my backing... I don't get into politics." What they do care about are the "noise and

distractions," as Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris put it, taking away from their on-track performance. These are people who are put on pedestals by people across the globe who have turned their backs on women everywhere.

In 2024, I'm sure most women did not expect to have to express that sexual assault is not a distraction nor is it noise. If you choose to label it as such in order to avoid the conversation, you are siding against the safety and respect of women.

drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, James Vowles, and Zak Brown have shown unwavering support for women throughout this all, calling for immediate change. Fans on social media have swarmed to condemn Horner and his supporters, with one writing "In a world full of the Formula One grid, be James Vowles." While it is always comforting to know women are not alone in this world, it has to be argued that there is a better argument to shout. In a world full of harassers, be better. Do better. Women do not cause sexual harassment,

To women in the motorsport community and everywhere else: we hear you. We believe you. You are not on your own. You are brave and an inspiration. To men: do better, be better. Respect is not hard, you are just cowardly. To everyone: support Formula One Academy. Listen, trust,

To anyone who felt uncomfortable reading this: this is your wakeup call too.

5 Monday 18th March 2024 Sport 30 Sub-Editors: Mitchell
Hall, Castor Chan, Dan
and Adam
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Xavi Yuahanda) Image: X (@pedalsingh)
Image: Wikimedia

NBL Report: Newcastle down Bradford Dragons

Fans filled out the sports hall for the first ticketed NBL game of the season.

Spirits were high in the sports hall as Newcastle prepared to face the Bradford Dragons. The sold-out event had chairs packed and horns sounding as mascot, Percy the Lion, ran around pulling cheers from the crowd.

Tip-off saw Newcastle take possession, but it would be Bradford who drew first blood, scoring a three-pointer just 13 seconds later. A shaky start meant that Newcastle were nine down within four minutes, however, a timeout called by Coach Mark Elderkin bolstered the team to finish off the quarter 28-29.

The second quarter carried more momentum, as Newcastle tightened up their defense to force more layups from Bradford, which was rewarded by defensive rebounds that minimised the Dragons' scoring chances. A particularly thrilling moment came in this quarter when this season's BUCS Premier North MVP Logan Rooney stole the ball to lead a breakaway down the court. The dunk drew whoops from the fans; Newcastle visibly perked up as team morale strengthened. The

halftime buzzer sounded with 52 - 48 on the board.

Music was pumped through the hall as players rested and coaches reviewed their strategies. Some fans were invited to give free throws a go, and the atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation. The fifteen minutes soon wrapped up, and both teams took to the court with fresh determination for the second half.

“The ball was in Newcastle's court as they led the charge in the last portion of the game.”

Bradford clearly had a pep talk as their third-quarter showing was much better than twenty minutes prior. They put eight more points on the board than they did last quarter, a challenge that narrowed Newcastle's lead back down to one point. Those ten minutes left the board on 76 - 75: it was anyone's game. The ball was in Newcastle's court as they led the charge in the last portion of the game. First basket was a beautiful three-pointer sunk by Josh Moore, who would end the game as Newcastle's top scorer of the day. The Dragons would respond with a seven-point streak, but Newcastle confidently took the lead back throughout the match, shutting down Bradford's attacks again and

“The game was crucial to remain in the fight for fourth in the league.”

again. Percy the Lion got involved, gesturing for the fans to cheer and even doing the wave during free throws. The final buzzer sounded with the score at 97 - 90, a decisive victory over the Dragons, who lost their spark.

Sunday's game was a crucial one to

win, not only as a home win to boost morale but also to remain in the fight for fourth in the league. As of writing, Newcastle sit fifth on the table, tied at 26 points with third and fourth (Hemel Storm and Reading Rockets respectively). Coach Elderkin noted, “It was amazing to see such a huge turnout to support us for the big game vs Bradford. A slow start to the game but we quickly turned it around. Exciting for the fans as it went down to the wire but we held our nerve at the end when it mattered most.”

Soaps, socials, and scraps: inside the lives of Steve Catchpole and Bryan Johnson

The names Steve Catchpole and Bryan Johnson have a special place in the hearts of any Newcastle University student to have set foot on an intramural pitch. With 42 years of officiating experience between them, the pair have become icons of Newcastle’s sporting community, keeping student athletes in line with a no-nonsense approach and a good sense of humour. With an eye to celebrating the pairs’ legacy, Steve and Johnson sat down with The Courier over a Wetherspoons latte to talk over their intramural careers, the off-pitch scandals, appearing on Vera, and plans for a testimonial match.

Steve’s legacy amongst Newcastle students can be quite neatly summed up in his most recent mention in The Courier, which came eight years ago in the “Intramural Insight” column as manager Jim Stacey wrote that at the culmination of his seven-a-side career he “simply [hopes] to shake the hand of… Steve Catchpole, [who is] integral to intramural football at Newcastle.”

The line is a clear marker of the unlikely relationship which has developed between referee and player, a union which tends to bring far more animosity than attachment.

Since taking charge of his first IM match on a frosty Benton morning in 1993, Steve has touched the lives of countless students, forming connections both on and off the pitch.

In his career, which has now

spanned four decades, Steve has watched the intramural system balloon from one division of 14 teams to the six division, thousand player organization we know today. Over the years, he has been consistently impressed by the level and character of players involved, also enjoying watching players grow personally from first year to final.

“Steve has watched the intramural pyramid balloon from 14 teams to the 48 we have today."

“You see lads come in as Freshers, as kids, and by the time they’re leaving they’re men,” he said. “They improve year on year, and by the time they leave you get some quite good footballers.

We love to see the old boys back too, that’s

absolutely great.”

His forgiving style of refereeing can be easily explained by his formative experiences with football, which came fighting his way around the country following Newcastle United and playing as a striker for a Sunday league side managed by Kenny Wharton, who recorded 290 league appearances as a left back for Newcastle United.

Bryan Johnson, the Abbott to Steve’s Costello, had a comparable start, playing at county level alongside Peter Beardsley, who scored 121 goals for Newcastle United, and now lining up with Chris Waddle, another Magpie great, in a walking football team, where the pair have achieved European glory at an annual tournament in Mallorca.

Despite always appearing aloof behind his whistle, Steve has something of a penchant for the dramatic. In 2011, he caused a minor scandal after being

officiating the match in which the team secured the Division One championship, a fiasco he has cutely dubbed “Champagne-gate.” His relationship with the club clearly didn’t take much of a hit, though, as he later presented awards at their end of year social.

“That love of drama shows through in Johnson's refereeing style."

That love of the dramatic has also manifested in an off pitch acting career, a passtime shared by Johnson. Their TV resumes are impressive, with Johnson having featured as an extra on Vera and in a Ladbrokes advert, while Steve has been seen on Byker Grove, Spender, and The Bill.

The love of drama certainly shows through in Johnson’s often unconventional refereeing style.

“I’m a thespian,” he claims. “We’re doing theatre on the football pitch. My hero is Mike Dean, so I like to get a bit of a laugh out of it. We love when supporters are there and you can get them involved.”

Where Johnson claims to be an actor, Steve maintains that he’s “just an attention seeker,” but agrees that the intramural game is at its best when it focuses less on the competition and more on entertainment factor.

“I take my football seriously, but you have to have a bit of a laugh with it,” he says. “We may not always make the right decision, but at least you know it’ll always be an honest one."



W2 V Leeds 2 (A) 53-72

M3 V Leeds Beck 1 (H) 68-72


M1 V York 1 (H) 32-2

M1 V Sheffield 2 (H) 13-9

W1 V Durham 1 (A) 3-21

W1 V Manchester 1 (A) 10-16

W2 V Sheffield 2 (H) 13-9


O1 V Sheffield 1 (A) 17-8


V York 1 (H) 1-5


M1 V Liverpool JM 1 (H) 3-0


O1 V Nottingham 1 (H) 26-62


Barca-Law-Na clinched the Wednesday Div1 football title this week after Medics failed to beat FC Civille, putting them out of contention with two matches to spare. Barca's Saturday side is currently tied on 24 points with Medics 1s, though the latter have a game in hand.

In Wednesday Div2 football, Ladzio are pushing for the title with a three point lead over Futsal Nassr, who have two games in hand. On Saturday Ladzio are similarly close, two points off top spot with three matches left. Interstella and Cruyff Turner Court are vying for promotion from Wednesday Div3 with Boca Seniors close behind, while on Saturday, NUAS and Jin Dynasty are fighting to be promoted alonside Fruit Loops, who have secured the title. Medics rugby also secured silverware this week, beating Armstrong, Cheeky Ladies, and league-winning Law Blacks to win the Championship. Agrics 1s edged out Engines 1s to claim the plate.

Sub-Editors: Mitchell Hall, Castor Chan, Dan Balliston, Sophie McMillan and Adam Tibke Monday 18th March 2024 Sport 31 BUCS RESULTS
W2 V Durham 1 (A) 8-0 W3 V Manc Met 2 (H) 6-2
W2 V Sheff Hall 2 (H) 2-2 M3 V Northumbria 6 (A) 1-0 FUTSAL M1 V Derby 1 (A) 7-1 W1 V Nottingham 1 (A) 2-0 HOCKEY M2 V York 1 (H) 3-2 M3 V Hull 1 (A) 2-2 W3 V Sheff Hall (H) 0-1 W4 V Leeds 4 (A) 0-3
M2 V Northumbria 1 (A) 11-2 W2 V York
2 V Leeds Beck 1 (H) 1.5-4.5
UNION M2 V St Andrews 1 (A) 18-29 W2 V Edge Hill 1 (H) 0-72 M3 V Leeds 2 (A) 28-26 M4 V York 1 (H) 24-8
M3 V Leeds Beck
1-4 TABLE TENNIS W2 V Lancaster
5-0 M4 V Hull
1 (A)
1 (H)
1 (A)
1 (A)
M2 V Durham
6-0 W3
4 (A)
Image credit: Castor Chan Image credit: Steve Catchpole

BUCS Big Weekend: Boat Club cruise BUCS Head as Team Newcastle medal at Nationals

Team Newcastle did battle home and away across rowing, climbing, swimming, and more.


The tranquil waters of the River Tyne bore witness to an awe-inspiring spectacle as university crews from far and wide convened for the highly anticipated BUCS 4s & 8s Head 2024. Beyond showcasing the raw talent and skill of university rowers, this annual event provided a glimpse into the evolving trends and fierce rivalries shaping the landscape of university rowing in the new year.

Newcastle University, as the gracious host, wasted no time in asserting their dominance on the water. With a seamless blend of sheer power and precision, Newcastle’s crews clinched victories in five out of six of the men’s sweep events on Saturday. Of particular note was the intermediate eight, which not only secured triumph but also set a benchmark by setting the third fastest time of the day, overshadowing offerings from formidable rivals such as Edinburgh and Imperial.

Yet, amidst Newcastle’s dominant showing, Durham University emerged as a formidable adversary in the championship eights. Led by Caspar Gray, Durham’s crew surged to a resounding 5.6-second victory over their blue-starred opponents, solidifying their status as the crew to reckon with in the competition.

However, it was Reading University that truly stole the spotlight with its sculling prowess. Exuding finesse,and precision, Reading’s crews dominated across all sculling categories, clinching victories in the championship, intermediate, and lightweight quads. Their performances not only set strong times but also left their competitors in awe of their technical mastery.

The excitement continued into

Sunday’s beginner race, where ageold rivalries were reignited, and new contenders emerged. In a gripping showdown, Exeter and Surrey, known for their storied competition, engaged in a titanic battle for supremacy.

Exeter’s eight delivered a standout performance, surging ahead of Surrey by an insurmountable five-second margin. However, Surrey retaliated in the second division, clinching victory in the coxed four, while Exeter emerged triumphant in the quad event. This seesaw battle between the two universities laid the groundwork for an enthralling season ahead, as each team strives for dominance on the water.

“Despite Newcastle’s dominance, Durham again emerged as rivals.”

As the curtain came down the weekend’s events, it became apparent that significant challenges await Newcastle’s southern rivals. With prestigious competitions like HoRR and BUCS Regatta looming on the horizon, teams from the south will have to rise to the occasion and match the standard set by their northern counterparts. The gauntlet has been thrown, setting the stage for an unforgettable season filled with thrills, spills, and moments of triumph on the water.

Beyond the realm of competition, events like the BUCS 4s & 8s Head serve as catalysts for camaraderie and sportsmanship within the university rowing community. Athletes converge to celebrate their shared passion for the sport, forging bonds that extend far beyond the confines of the water.

The BUCS 4s & 8s Head 2024 provided a tantalizing glimpse into the future of university rowing, with dominant performances, fierce rivalries, and exhilarating races setting the stage for a season filled with unforgettable moments. As teams across the nation gear up for their pursuit of glory, one thing remains certain: the spirit of competition and camaraderie will continue to flourish in the sacred waters of university rowing.

BUCS Nationals

While the Newcastle Boat Club cleaned house on the River Tyne, legions of Newcastle’s athletes made the pilgrimage southward to Sheffield to tackle BUCS Nationals, a three-day festival of student sport featuring competition in athletics, badminton, climbing, fencing, karate, and swimming, all with prized BUCS points up for grabs.

Newcastle University was represented in every category contested and brought a range of spoils back up north, with the points won helping to cement our place in overall BUCS standings. Team Newcastle currently sits comfortably in sixth place with 3115 points, 414 points adrift of fifth-placed University of Edinburgh and 65 points clear of Nottingham Trent, who sit seventh.

Kicking off the weekends’ festivities was fencing. Already enjoying a successful season, the Blades improved their fortunes once again, taking nine competitors to Sheffield. It was the women who produced the team’s best results, with Erin Pedler finishing 5th in the women’s epee standings. It was Ellen Robbins Wilkinson who secured Newcastle’s first medal of the weekend, though, finishing tied for third in the sabre category to secure a bronze medal.

Enjoying similar success was karate, where Ho Lam Tsang brought home another bronze medal in Novice Kata.

The team failed to replicate her success, though, finishing with just four points, enough to match Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath in a four way tie for 23rd place.

Athletics improved slightly on that record, appearing in four finals to finish 26th place overall, winning eight BUCS points. Charlotte Earl finished 10th in the triple jump with a score of

11.19m, and was followed by an eighthplace finish from Jacqueline Penn in the 3000m event, clocking a seasonbest time of 10:02.46. Aidan O’Brien finished seventh in the 800m (2:03.01), before Etienne Maughan recorded the team’s best result of the weekend, finishing fourth in the 60m hurdles with a personal best time of 8.36s.

Newcastle’s best results of the weekend came in climbing, as Louise Flockhart claimed the women’s gold medal, beating out contenders from Sheffield, Stirling, and Strathclyde. Team Newcastle finished third overall in both the men’s and women’s standings, charting 10 BUCS points each.

Speaking after the event, Athletic Union Officer Kimiko Cheng said that “I feel very lucky to be part of a team that is so supportive of each other and to have witnessed firsthand some medal winning performances. Everyone who took part should be so proud of themselves.”

These results will embolden Team Newcastle as it prepares for Varsity, the annual tournament to decide which school is superior: Newcastle or Northumbria. The 2024 edition will consist of 72 events in total, most of which will take place on March 22.

This was the 11th year of BUCS nationals in Sheffield. In years past, the event has showcased judo, tenpin bowling and trampolining, but now the headliners are swimming, athletics, badminton and climbing with support from karate and fencing. This year the event attracted over 4200 competitors.

I had the pleasure of attending BUCS nationals this year as a volunteer swimming official, one of over 200 volunteers over the weekend.

Volunteering has been a great opportunity to reconnect with a sport I dedicated most of my childhood to. Many other volunteers I have met often feel compelled to give back to a sport which has brought them so much joy, and they want to make that possible for other swimmers at a grassroots level.

But BUCS Nationals isn’t about opportunity, it’s about performance. Being a swimming official that weekend was a particularly exciting one, coming the weekend after World Aquatics Championships. This meant that Nationals hosted a handful of newly crowned world champions.

I had front row seats to the action, which unfortunately meant I was first to get soaked by the dives. While Newcastle’s swimming programme may not be elite, we still put out some stellar swims. As an official I have to remain unbiased, but watching our mixed medley team in the heats had me gripping the plastic underside of my seat. The starter gave the team a good lead in backstroke and the breaststroker held the position well. We lost our lead in the third leg with butterfly being a challenging stroke, especially at a distance of 100 metres. The anchor took over in third place and eventually picked off second place while steadily gaining on first place. Edge Hill kept cheering on their swimmer desperately but it was all in vain as Newcastle won the heat by 0.76s.

Away from the pool, I caught action across all sports, and learned a lot about the other sports over the weekend. Did you know that the noise they make during karate is called a kiai, and to ‘flash’ a climb means to complete the climb in one try?

Badminton and karate brought supporters all the way from Newcastle demonstrating the strongest team spirit! I’ll definitely volunteer again at future BUCS nationals and I’d recommend everyone finding a sport they want to be involved with!

Wolves fans walk to Newcastle to support dementia research
Formula One gets back underway in Bahrain Verstappen makes a fast start... Catch
The pair have raised £30,000 for dementia research
Sub-Editors: Mitchell Hall, Castor Chan, Dan Balliston , Sophie McMillan and Adam Tibke Monday 18th March 2024
Sport 32
View from the AU
up on the climbing controversy
Image: Instagram @newcastlerowing Image: Lydia Bond Paris Olympics under fire after rules tweaks INSIDE SPORT THIS WEEK Image Credit: Wikimedia (Henning Schlottmann) Image: X (@pedalsingh) Image Credit: Pixabay (randomwinner)
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