Exeposé Issue 645, 9 November 2015

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Exeter Socialist Students join London march to protest Tory plans to cut grants: Page 3

Society rich list revealed Photo: Gemma Short

Bracton Law with nearly £60k in the bank Body Soc refuse to comment on £27k budget

Sarah Gough & Susannah Keogh Editor & News Editor


FULL budget breakdown of Guildaffiliated societies has been revealed to Exeposé. Bracton Law Society is the richest on campus, according to Guild figures. They currently have a positive balance of £58,396 in their account - more than double the amount of the second richest society. The society has 900 members and a one year membership costing £30, as well

Mental health focus: In the midst of Movember, we explore the stigma behind speaking up Throughout

as an option to spend £45 and £60 for a two-year or three-year membership respectively. Bracton Law also depends on “committee legacy”, whereby a proportion of the balance from previous years is passed on. This is in addition to donations from external sponsors, including over 30 law firms and seven barrister chambers. However, donations BLS receive from sponsorship deals cannot be revealed due to confidentiality agreements. Bracton Law’s substantial budget is spent on large social events, producing three magazines each academic year,

mooting competitions at national and international level as well as numerous volunteering projects locally and abroad. President Leonie Mcquaide said: “Our budget is testament to how active and ambitious Bracton Law are as a society. The BLS focuses on providing members with a holistic experience, enabling them to network with legal professionals, build diverse legal experience and also take part in some of the best opportunities on campus.” Second richest out of Exeter’s 200+ offerings is Body Society (Body Soc), with an overall balance of £27,042. Boasting

Music: Newton Faulkner talks new hair, new album and newfound freedom Page 18

the largest number of members at 1176, a standard one year joining fee costs £20. Regular fitness classes are organised for members, with a significant cost in paying professional instructors. Society members have to pay to attend classes, albeit at a subsidised rate. Despite attempts to contact a representative, Body Soc declined to comment on the justification behind their healthy finances. Dance Society’s budget weighs in at £14,231, ranking them as the third richest society on campus. They have 308 members with a joining fee of £24 and this term also benefited from a Guild Society

Arts & Lit: Outnumbered writer and comedian Andy Hamilton interviewed Page 26

grant of £500. Society Treasurer Merve Mollaahmetoglu told Exeposé: “I think the only reason we have so much money this year is because last year’s committee were strict on expenditures. I’m not surprised due to our high membership figures and all our money is spent on enhancing the experience of our members.” Rounding off the top five are Business and Finance Society and Gilbert & Sullivan coming fourth and fifth with £12,334 and £9,658 respectively. BFS is a 434-member strong society and has a membership fee of £10, while...


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Email: editors@exepose.com Call: (01392) 723513 Editors Print: James Beeson & Sarah Gough Online: Kayley Gilbert & Harry Shepherd Deputy Editors Eamonn Crowe & Josh Mines depeds@exepose.com News Editors Print: Susannah Keogh & Fiona Potigny Online: Elizabeth Menshikova & Elise Metcalf news@exepose.com Comment Editors Print: John Chilvers & Zak Mahinfar Online: Natalie Bartrum & Emily Prescott comment@exepose.com Features Editors Print: Flora Carr & Sophie Harrison Online: Jessica Stanier & Theodore Stone features@exepose.com Lifestyle Editors Print: Joshua Rotchelle & Jack Wardlaw Online: Laurel Bibby & Harriette Casey lifestyle@exepose.com Music Editors Print: James Atherton & Katie Costello Online: Tristan Gatward & Joe Stewart music@exepose.com Screen Editors Print: Akash Beri & Ben Londesbrough Online: Emily Harris & Jack Smith screen@exepose.com Arts & Lit Editors Print: Jeremy Brown & Emily Kerr Online: Lisa Rellstab & Valentina Vacchelli arts@exepose.com Science & Tech Editors Print: Catherine Heffner & Lewis Norman Online: Sally-Ann Dunn & Bry Nickson books@exepose.com Games Print: Jack England & Evan Jones Online: Sam Brewer & Alex Howard games@exepose.com Sport Editors Print: Rob Cross & Emmott Leigh Online: Oli Davis & Tommy John sports@exepose.com Photography Edwin Yeung & Natasa Christofidou photography@exepose.com Copy Editors Esther Docherty, Kate Jones, Giorgi Mamuzelos & William Sandbach

@Exepose facebook.com/exepose issuu.com/exepose Advertising Ross Trant R.Trant@exeter.ac.uk (01392) 722607


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The opinions expressed in Exeposé are not necessarily those of the Exeposé Editors nor the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. While every care is taken to ensure that the information in this publication is correct and accurate, the Publisher can accept no liability for any consequential loss or damage, however caused, arising as a result of using the information printed. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss or damage to artwork or material submitted. The contents of this, unless stated otherwise, are copyright of the Publisher. Reproduction in any form requires the prior consent of the Publisher.



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In brief

University cat gets book deal

The library cat at the University of Edinburgh has become top of the class, with his graduate prospects including a book all about his life. ‘Library Cat: The Observations of a Thinking Cat’ will be published in spring 2016 by the publishers behind children’s classic, ‘The Gruffalo’. Jordan, who is black and white, can often be found on his favourite turquoise seat in the Scottish capital. When not in the library, his home is at the campus’ Catholic chaiplancy, where he has lived since being a kitten. With a Facebook page with over 6,000 ‘likes’ and his own library card, Jordan will soon be able to borrow his own memoir.

‘Hameron’ gets kicked out of Cam Two Cambridge University students were kicked out of a Halloween event on campus for dressing up as Prime Minister David Cameron and a pig. Inspired by recent revelations of David Cameron’s alleged escapades involving a hog’s head in biography ‘Call Me Dave’, the pair enacted sexual scenes throughout the party. The racy role plays proved even too horrifying for the Halloween occasion, however, with the two subsequently urged to leave by a butler, who asked: “Do you think it’s time for you to go?” The student dressed as the Leader of the Conservative Party described himself as “rather shocked” by the incident, adding that “there would have been no problem if we were in Oxford”, Cameron’s alma mater. “It’s a shame that college didn’t appreciate our cutting satire. Perhaps we hit the patriarchy a bit too close to home.”

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Exeposé News

NEWS EDITORS Susannah Keogh Fiona Potigny




University news from beyond Exeter Stories compiled by: Susannah Keogh and Fiona Potigny

Government to let fees increase

Oxford’s oligarch Mugabe graduation donation criticised cap-tastrophe

Under new government plans, the best univeristies in England will be allowed to charge higher fees. The criteria will be determined by student satisfaction, teaching quality and employment outcomes. In the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills green paper, university agencies could be axed and replaced with an Office for Students, whose job would be to rank the universities. Minister for Higher Education Jo Johnson said the plans would help “drive up the quality of teaching for everybody”. However, the move is opposed by the National Union of Students. President Megan Dunn said: “The NUS is adamant the teaching excellence framework should not be linked to an increase in fees. Students should not be treated like consumers.”

Oxford is now £75 million better off, all thanks to a Ukrainian oligarch. One of the biggest donations in the institution’s history, the money is being used to set up the Blavatnik School of Government. Although hailed as a “very generous gift of philanthropy” by David Cameron, the University has come under fire for accepting the offer from owner of Warner Music ‘s Len Blavatnik, due to the businessman’s alleged ties with Vladimir Putin. It is alleged that Mr Blavatnik was involved in the state-sponsored harassment of BP staff. Signatories of an open letter including academics and Russian dissidents have now called upon Oxford to “stop selling its reputation to Putin’s associates.”

Burning through the student loan

Student is victim of Uni students’ twoply toilet troubles quackers prank

It’s a well-known stereotype that students tend to burn through their loans rather quickly, but one Central Saint Martins student has taken the saying rather literally. Mature student Brooke Purvis has announced his plans to set fire to his entire student loan to prove that money “holds absolutely no value whatsoever” as part of his ‘Everything Burns’ project. Burning the cash, therefore, will be a release from “the bondages that society and our own minds have placed upon us all”, he reasoned. Insisting that it wouldn’t be preferable to donate the money to a charitable cause, as some people have suggested, Purvis has since attracted significant criticism, with one Facebook user writing: “He is literally no better than the boys of the Bullingdon club burning 50 quid in front of a homeless man.”

A second-year student at Queens College, Cambridge, has found her every move watched by bloodied and decapitated rubber ducks. In a bizarre tale that has taken place over the past two years, Law student Abbie Coombs habitually found the creepy ducks placed in various places in her room. These included when she came home from the library in the middle of the night to find her room empty, apart from some ducks surrounded by a circle of candles in the middle of her floor. Initiated on Coomb’s second day at the university when she found six ducks in her new home, the prank has become progressively creepier. The duck stalker remains at large.

A senior University of Zimbabwe of�icial has been suspended – all because she gave the wrongsized mortarboard to Robert Mugabe. Assistant registrar Ngaatendwe Takawira, has been accused of breaking labour laws, as the graduation cap provided during ceremonies in 2014 and 2015 was too small for the Zimbabwean president’s head. According to Ms Takawira’s suspension letter, her failure to �ind a cap of an appropriate size caused an “embarrassing situation”, with the ceremony subsequently delayed for 45 minutes while the university attempted to �ind a replacement. The senior staff member denies the University’s allegations of wrongdoing, however, claiming that the hat had “�itted perfectly well” and that Mr Mugabe had no time to try other caps on beforehand.

Students at a Canadian University are outraged after discovering the administration has been using more expensive toilet roll than them. The University President, Provost ,and many of the Vice-Presidents were found to be lucky enough to have the luxury roll after student journalist Laura Woodward spotted two-ply supplies in the caretaker’s cupboard. With the aim of exposing the truth, the third-year student then set about contacting every toilet roll distributor in Toronto, later threatening the universiy administration with a Freedom of Information request. Two years on and one investigation in their student publication The Eyeopener later, Ryerson University’s two-ply truth was finally revealed. Following the revelations University President Michael Forbes publicly admitted that switching the entire university to two-ply is currently “under consideration”.


Exeter students attend National #GrantsNoDebts demo in London James Beeson Editor


TUDENTS from Exeter travelled to London last week, joining thousands of protesters from across the country on 4 November to march against proposed Government cuts to Higher Education. Organised by The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), the demo was planned in protest against recent Government reforms including the replacement of university maintenance grants with loans to be repaid in addition to tuition fees and regular maintenance loans.

Education should be free and accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic background Natasa Christofidou, President of Exeter Socialist Students.

The march was attended by around 15 students from Exeter Socialist Students, who joined a crowd of what was thought to be around two thousand protesters at Malet Street, London. The rally, which was also attended by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell



and supported in a statement by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, then marched by key locations such as Parliament Square and the Home Office holding placards and chanting in support of the Free Education movement. The demonstration was described as largely peaceful. However, national publications reported that 12 protesters were arrested after a clash outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills building in which smoke bombs and eggs were thrown and riot police deployed. There were also reports of ‘kettling’ being used to detain protestors, a claim denied by the Metropolitan Police. A further day of action has been called for 17 November to protest against the treatment of international students, migrants and refugees. Speaking about the march, Natasa Christofidou, President of Exeter Socialist Students, said: “Education should be free and accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic background. However, tuition and maintenance loans are increasingly depriving the most vulnerable students in society. “The demonstration was a great way of collectively protesting against austerity and detrimental governmental policies in aid of creating positive social change and


raising awareness of these issues.” The Students’ Guild holds no official position on free education. Guild President Laura-Jane Tiley said: “The Students’ Guild exists to represent the views of students and we will always support students to have their voices heard about issues surrounding Higher Education.”

We will always support students to have their voices heard about issues surrounding higher education Laura-Jane Tiley, Guild President

The NCAFC is also looking to call a national ballot for strike action through the National Union of Students (NUS) in February of next year. “This will be one of the biggest things the British student movement will ever have pulled off,” a spokesperson for the NCAFC commented. A similar protest organised under the banner of ‘Free education: no fees, no cuts, no debt’ last year was attended by around 10,000 students and made national headlines.

Photo: Gemma Short

Renowned Director for £52 million state-of-the-art Living Systems Institute Rebecca Broad News Team


Photo: NTU Enewsletter

HE University of Exeter’s Living System’s Institute (LSI), a £52 million investment into disease research, has appointed the world-leading geneticist Professor Philip Ingham as its first director. Professor Ingham is known for advancing the use of model organisms such as Drosophila fruit flies and zebrafish as well as extensive ground-breaking research. He co-discovered the Sonic Hedgehog gene, which was named after the popular video game character, so called, as, in flies, the gene can cause embryos to be covered in small spikes. The Sonic Hedgehog protein, abbreviated to ‘SHH’, regulates development in the womb and controls adult stem cell division. This lead to the first drug for nonmelanoma skin cancer. In 2005, Profes-

sor Ingham was awarded the Medal of the Genetics Society of Great Britain in recognition of his outstanding achievements. The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact) Professor Nick Talbot, also a Professor of Genetics, described Professor Ingham as “the perfect fit” due to his “deep commitment to interdisciplinary science”. “The LSI is an exciting venture for us all at Exeter, as it will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of disease in the future,” he added. The LSI will include a range of disciplines from engineering to mathematics in order to holistically address questions involving disease. Discussing his upcoming role, Professor Ingham said: “I am incredibly honoured to have this outstanding opportunity to lead the world-class research that will be undertaken at the Living Systems Institute.

He also described how the LSI “will pioneer some of the most innovative and engaging approaches to understanding diseases and how they can be better diagnosed”. Professor Ingham is currently at Singapore’s Lee Kong Chain School of Medicine, where he is Toh Kian Chui Distinguished Professor and Vice-Dean for Research. He has worked in worldrenowned laboratories including what is now known as Cancer Research UK, and founded the MRC Centre for Developmental & Biomedical Genetics at the University of Sheffield. He continues to hold an Imperial College Professorship and a range of fellowships including of the Royal Society. The state-of-the-art Living Systems Institute building, currently under construction on North Park Road, is scheduled to open next autumn and will house 29 research groups.


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Page 3 for For richer orbudgets poorer: Societies defend yo budgets Society be cray Exeposé? CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE

Fiona Potigny News Editor


STUDENT Idea has called for Exeposé to introduce a ‘page three’ feature to “help boost popularity”. The idea of “introducing a specific page in the student newspaper dedicated to scantily clad models” was created by an anonymous student, who claimed that the feature “would help boost the popularity of the publication as well as promoting a sex-positive feminist attitude that would empower women”. Many students disagree with the proposal, with one student commenting: “there’s nothing empowering about the objectification of women for the male gaze”. At the time of writing, 62 per cent of the votes were ‘strongly disagree’, while 14.4 per cent ‘strongly agree’.

MACE data unavailable Susannah Keogh News Editor


ATA released under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed the University fails to hold records of actions following MACE feedback. “A variety of actions are taken following feedback provided through MACE but these will not be routinely recorded in a way that can be searched to answer this question,” the FOI stated. For the 2013-14 academic year, MACE evaluations were made available to all 19,325 enrolled students and 12,219 responded to at least one MACE evaluation representing a 63.23 per cent student coverage.

Ex-Uni worker sentenced for false benefits Hannah Butler News Team


FORMER University worker claimed nearly £17,000 in benefits to fund her abusive boyfriend’s drug habit, despite earning nearly £28,000 from jobs at Devon Waste Management and the University, Exeter Crown Court heard last week. The 35-year-old has been sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years because of her mental health problems and ordered to repay the falsely claimed benefits at £300 a month.

...G&S has ten members with a fee of £15 to join. Harry Keay, BFS Vice-President said: “I am not surprised as to how much money the society has as it corresponds to the amount of student interest we are lucky to get.” G&S President Katie Lockwood was surprised at their rich list ranking, commenting: “Our society always struggles to make as much money as we spend in the year.” Exeposé has also discovered that eight Guild affiliated societies are currently in deficit, according to the budget breakdown figures. At the time of print these were: Acapella, Armenian Society, Campus Cinema, Women in Business, Exetech, Jewish Society, Malaysian Society and Creative Futures. Popular umbrella society Acapella, which includes groups Bluebelles, The Harmonics, Illuminations, Madrigals, Sweet Nothings, Take Note and SemiToned, are in deficit to the not-so-sweet tune of £2,647. However, they are owed money by the Guild. Acapella Publicity Secretary Alison Sinclair said: “We are operating on what looks like a deficit because we don’t want to forgo opportunities for the society, such as the US tour. Put simply, it’s down to cash flow timing differences, but we aren’t spending beyond our means.” Edward Ng, President of Malaysian society, which is £939 in debt, told Ex-

eposé: “The Guild should not allow us to be in such great debt to begin with so in that sense they should have done a better job. I think the issue sometimes is that the turnover in staff occurs so often that no-one actually knows what is going on.”

Turnover in Guild staff occurs so often that no-one actually knows what is going on Edward Ng, President of Malaysian Society According to Guild policy, once a society goes into deficit, meetings are held to plan a pathway back into positive balances. Occasionally, a society’s debt is authorised when an event or trip justifies the excess expenditure. Out of Exeter’s six political societies, the Conservative Association have the most cash, with £1,846 compared to the UK Independence Society’s budget of just under £40. This term Kung Fu, Dance, AfricanCaribbean Society and Orchestral Society all received the largest Guild grants, at £500 each. £20,000 worth of grant money is available to Guild societies a year. 51 grant applications totalling over £18,000 were submitted in term one, and 27 societies were successful in receiving extra funding. Katie O’Connor, VP Activities, said:

“Societies each take an independent approach to sourcing funding to supplement membership fees. The Students’ Guild encourages societies to seek funding from sources such as sponsorship, Societies Executive grants, the Annual Fund and fundraising, as well as using their membership money. This money is then used to ensure that society members – and committees – are provided with a varied, enjoyable and developmental experience.” Budgets for student groups, such as Raise and Give Society, Exeter Student Volunteers and Xmedia, were also made available to Exeposé. However, as these groups receive funding from the Annual Fund and donate to charitable causes, the data is non-comparable with other societies. For the purposes of transparency, Exeposé’s current budget stands at £2,607.

Exeposé attempted to contact the Athletics Union President, Manager and Press Office but no budget breakdowns for AU clubs could be provided. Further investigation will follow. All figures are accurate at the time of print.


SOCIETY RICH LIST 1. Bracton Law - 58.9k 2. Body Soc - 27k 3. Dance Soc - 14.2k 4. Business & Finance - 12.3k 5. Gilbert & Sullivan - 9.5k 6. Deb Soc - 8.8k 7. Ski Club - 8.5k 8. Expedition Soc - 8.4k 9. Choral Soc - 8.2k 10. Scandic Soc - 7.2k

Social Sciences A very royal ride Festival launches for Apple taxis Izzy Hilliard News Team


TARTING 7 November, the University of Exeter will be taking part in the Festival of Social Science, with academics hosting events in public venues throughout Devon and Cornwall. The nationwide festival will offer a “fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research”. Notable events taking place in Exeter include a discussion about men’s mental health at Tiverton Sports Centre led by Dr Ali Haggett, an opportunity to learn about the historical and social factors which have led to the promotion of equality in mental health care policy. This interactive event will encourage members of the public to openly discuss mental health with the aim of destigmatising the relationship between mental health and

masculinity. In a similar vein, an interactive exhibition on the Devon County Mental Hospital will be held at St Stephen’s Church and led by Dr Nicole Baur. Memories of the hospital from both former patients and members of staff will be presented in audio-visual forms, with actors representing these views in a question and answer session with visitors. In Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Dr Nathan Tamblyn will lead a talk about mindfulness, exploring how the decisions we make affect our life experiences. At Penryn Campus, Dr Joanie Willett invites members of the public to get involved in a workshop promoting participation in town, parish, local and central government. The Festival will conclude on Saturday 14 November.

Photo: Bournmouth University

Photo: Bracton Law Society

Thea Bichard News Team


RINCE Albert II of Monaco called upon the service of Exeter’s Apple Taxi company during a visit to the UK last month. Having travelled from Monaco to London and then on to Exeter, the principality’s embassy called Apple Taxis from London to book the Prince’s journey in one of their 18 ‘executive’ vehicles. His Royal Highness was visiting the area for the formal opening of Plymouth University’s Marine Station on October 29. As an honorary Doctorate of Science holder from the University, where his Monaco Foundation supports research into protecting the environment, he was there to unveil a plaque and officially open the building. In the course of his visit he also toured the University building and spoke to students and staff. During his taxi ride, he shook

drivers’ hands and presented them with ties and pin badges, which General Manager of Apple Taxis, Steve Screech, said that the two drivers were “well thrilled” by. Prince Albert is not the first famous customer for the taxi company, which in the past has driven David Attenborough, Queen’s Bryan May, Rod Stewart and, for his Timepiece DJ set last year, Snoop Dogg, a journey Screech described as “a funny one”. A merger of former Gemini and Capital taxi services, Apple Taxis is the University of Exeter’s preferred taxi supplier, using the company to take its Reed Hall staff home after late shifts, as well as recommending its services to students. Earlier this year, the company launched a mobile application for both Android and iPhone allowing users to order taxis via the app and track the progress of the vehicle.

Exeter academics to boycott Israel EXEPOSÉ

Olly Walrond News Team


GROUP of 14 Exeter academics have joined over 300 of their contemporaries nationwide in calling for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. The pledge, entitled ‘A commitment by UK scholars to the rights of Palestinians’, was published in The Guardian newspaper and criticises Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestinian land” and perceived human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

As academics we have to attain to the highest level of ethics Dr Mohammad Abusara Signatories from universities across the UK pledged to avoid all forms of collaboration with Israeli universities, claiming they are “at the heart of Israel’s violations of international law”. The



academics will still work on an individual basis with their Israeli counterparts however. Lending his support to the pledge, Dr Mohammad Abusara of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences told Exeposé: “As academics we have to attain to the highest level of ethics. The decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions was taken because we deeply feel that it is unethical to collaborate with academic institutions that continuously support the violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.” His sentiments were echoed by Professor of Ancient History Richard Seaford, who said: “Why boycott Israel? Because the victims en masse are asking us to and because the British government, who used force to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, in the case of Israel collaborates diplomatically and commercially with the occupier. The kind of isolation that helped to end Apartheid in South Africa is the only peaceful pressure that the colonisers fear. All this together makes for a unique situation, in which we all have a moral duty to listen to

people whose land is being stolen, whose houses are being demolished, and who are not allowed to use the major roads in their own land.”

cover this themselves. For students unable to make it to the event but who still wish to submit a Christmas shoebox, the RAG Fresher reps will be visiting halls from 9 to 15 November to collect donations and gifts. Gifts can include toys, clothing articles, school supplies and hardwrapped sweets. Shoeboxes cannot contain, however, perishable food, money, chocolate, soaps, liquids, sharp items or ‘war-related objects’. RAG encourages flats, blocks and groups of friends to club together to help spread the cost and workload, as well as to make it a more communal, festive occasion. Small gestures like these shoeboxes mean a lot to disadvantaged children at this time of year, and RAG urges Exeter students to think of those less fortunate than themselves this Christmas. Sarah Turner, the event coordinator, commented: “The Christmas Shoebox event is a simple and fun way to do a great thing. To these children, a small shoebox can have a huge impact. All you need to do is choose how to fill your shoebox and ultimately make a child’s Christmas.”

David Smeeton News Team


We have a moral duty to listen to people whose land is being stolen Professor Richard Seaford

The Students’ Guild strongly values our relationship with the community

The pledge has been criticised by both the British and Israeli governments, with the British ambassador to Israel David Quarrey stating that “the UK government will never allow those who want to boycott Israel to shut down 60 years’ worth of vibrant exchange and partnership”. A spokesman for the University of Exeter told Exeposé: “The academics signed this letter in a personal capacity, and not as part of their respective roles at the University of Exeter. The University does, however, robustly protect and promote academic freedom at all times, no matter how challenging the subject may be.”

Laura -Jane Tiley, Guild President

Photo: The Independent

RAG Christmas Students’ Guild launches project hits Exeter ‘Get Comfortable’ initiative Samuel Fawcett News Team


HIS year marks the 25th anniversary of ‘Operation Christmas Child’, and on the 12 and 13 November the RAG team are giving Exeter students the chance to participate. Operation Christmas Child is a project run by the Samaritans’ Purse organisation, and entails sending shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in developing countries – namely, nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The RAG team are aware that, although many students would like to create a shoebox, they do not have the time to source everything needed to do so. For this reason, they are hosting a ‘Shoebox Party’ at the A&V Hub on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 November from 11am to 6pm on both days. Wrapping paper, gifts and the shoeboxes themselves will be provided. All gifts will be priced between £1 and £3 and students can include as many as they wish. All that RAG ask is that students make a £3 donation to cover the shipping costs, as they do not have the budget to


HE ‘Get Comfortable’ Campaign, launched by the Students’ Guild, will be taking place across campus during the week from 9-13 November and aims to encourage Exeter students to get comfortable talking about their wellbeing and seeking support.

Asking a friend how they are, and really meaning it, can make a world of difference Naomi Armstrong, VP Welfare and Diversity Moving around Streatham and St Luke’s campuses across the week, the campaign aims to ensure as many students as possible get the chance to discover and engage with it. Including a ‘Comfort’ card game (a match-up card activity) for students to play, the stand aims to publicise the variety of support on offer to students. There will also be information on how to support friends and a sofa allowing students to ‘Get Comfortable’ talking about their wellbeing and to chat more generally about how the term is going. VP Welfare and Diversity Naomi

Armstrong commented: “The aim of this week is to encourage students to seek support, no matter how big or small the problem. “Whether that be homesickness, loneliness or feeling down, there are plenty of people to support you. I want to encourage students to talk to their friends about these things. There is a stigma around mental health because people don’t talk about it. Asking a friend how they are, and really meaning it, can make a world of difference.” Students can get involved on Twitter for the chance of a winning an University of Exeter onesie by tweeting a picture of themselves and a friend talking about their wellbeing using the hashtag #getcomfortable.

I’m so glad that these issues are being discussed so openly on campus Final-year student The week also aims to publicise the Wellbeing Information Directory (WID), a student-led project, which will be a one-stop information service on wellbeing designed for Exeter students. It is hoped that the WID will promote access to wellbeing services and encourage

education around mindfulness and the maintenance of good mental health. The resource should also promote the importance of psychological wellbeing through the web page by guiding students towards the correct type of service to suit their needs, as well as encouraging education around mindfulness. Speaking about the ‘Get Comfortable’ initiative, one final-year student commented: “I’m so glad that these issues are going to be discussed so openly on campus. The fact that we don’t tend to speak about mental health is probably one of the biggest causes of stigma so I really appreciate that the Guild is doing this.”

É Find

#GetComfortable on campus:

Monday X-Keys Tuesday The Forum Wednesday INTO Building Thursday The Forum Friday The Sports Park



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Mind over manliness G ETTING something off your chest is one thing, seeking help for a mental health problem is another. Often it’s a terrifying step to take; mental illness in its many forms can be all-consuming and entirely intimidating. Ultimately all forms of self-expression are cathartic: we offload by talking, by writing. This issue we’ve chosen to display the latter, in order to inspire the former. In line with Movember and Mind Your Head Society’s Male Mental Health Month, there seems no better time than now to hone in on what is a very important conversation. Our leading Features piece (pages 12-13) examines the problematic associations masculinity often has with identity. Backed up by our survey of over 300 students, it seems that too often men are dissuaded from opening themselves up to others for fear of being seen as weak. We have dedicated at least one piece in each of our ten sections to a mental health focus. News report on VP Welfare Naomi Armstrong’s ‘Get Comfortable’ campaign, which encourages students to sit down and chat about their concerns (page 5). In Comment, an anonymous student talks, with painful honesty, about how a breakdown of a relationship led them to self-harm (page 9). The world of ‘perfection’ we are confronted with daily on social media is examined in Lifestyle (page 16) while the correlation between musical ability and mental health is discussed by Music over on page 20. Professor Green’s hard-hitting documentary on his dad’s suicide is reviewed in Screen (page 24) and Arts & Lit let their writers’ pick the poems that inspire them when feeling down (page 29). Science & Tech discuss the serious and often understated problems of OCD and schizophrenia on page 30, whilst Games debate whether video gaming is therapeutic or destructive to mental health (page 35). Finally, Sport Editor Rob Cross explores the difficulties faced by athletes in admitting mental illness on page 38. We both have first-hand experiences

of the crippling reality of mental instability. It is an issue that continues to dominate the lives of many. We hope that by drawing attention to the facilities out there, we can go some way to helping others help themselves. *** Our front page News story this week focuses on the finances of Guild-affiliated societies. Bracton Law Society top our very own ‘rich list,’ with just under £60k in their piggy bank, a figure justified comprehensively by their President in a manner befitting of an aspiring lawyer. Although it is inevitable that some societies will have more access to funds than others, it seems unfair that many groups are able to secure lucrative external sponsorship whilst others struggle to make ends meet. The refusal of BodySoc to respond to our questions about their £27k budget also raises the question of whether students are getting adequate value for their membership fees. Are students simply being ripped off? Speaking of being ripped off, students have been protesting in London this week, slating the Tories for their proposed cuts to maintenance grants in Higher Education. The rally received widespread newspaper coverage, with the Exeter Socialist Students’ President featuring on the front page of The Independent. It was worrying, however, that the majority of media outlets focussed on the violent actions of the minority while ignoring the real issues that should be addressed. For a balanced and entirely factual report, see page 3. Elsewhere, we’ve got more high profile interviews in the form of folk singersongwriter Newton Faulkner (page 18) and Outnumbered writer and comedian Andy Hamilton (page 26). Screen debate the success of Spectre on page 23 and Music give their verdict on Catfish and the Bottlemen’s performance at The Great Hall (page 19). Finally, Ubisoft’s latest installment in the Assassins Creed series is put under the spotlight by Online Editor Harry Shepherd for Games (page 34).

Thanks to those who helped proof this issue: Owain Evans, Victoria Gilmore, Kathy Giddins, Regina George, Sam Woolf, Jack Morgan Jones, Fenton Christmas, Emma Prevignono, Georgia Seldis, Carmen Paddock, the Exeposé copy editors and members of the editorial team.

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Exeposé Comment



DEPUTY EDITORS Eamonn Crowe Josh Mines

COMMENT EDITORS John Chilvers Zak Mahinfar

Just not e-Nerf money

Ollie Odell Nerf Society Treasurer


ERF Society is a relatively new society, founded in 2013. We grew to over 100 members in 2014 and we now have over 120. This extremely rapid growth was our first major financial challenge, as suddenly our events were four times as large, dwarfing the scope of our initial start-up funds. However, there were larger financial challenges looming.

We maintain a large stockpile for our members to use freely With just a £5 membership fee, we are easily one of the cheapest Nerf societies around, especially given that we maintain a large stockpile of equipment for our members to use freely, coupled with no fee to attend our weekly events. Because of this low membership fee, we bring in a far smaller revenue than other

societies of similar sizes. Our income from membership fees is quickly whittled down, once the Guild (a charitable organisation, exempt from VAT) has charged us 20 per cent VAT on them. Since the society’s creation, we have had some grants from the Guild. Perhaps the most important grant was at the creation of the society, allowing us to buy a lot of the equipment we needed up front. We also recently had one approved to take our members to Plymouth for what can only be described as the first ever, Nerf Varsity event! Many societies of similar sizes receive less money from grants, however few have the costs that Nerf Society has, with over £1,000 invested in the equipment. These other societies also tend to have higher membership fees, but we feel that low membership fees are really important to students. Despite fairly generous grants, we have had financial issues related to the Guild. In early 2015, over £200 of equipment was stolen (half our assets at the time). We lost many of our most expensive and valued blasters simply due to the

fact that our provided storage space was insecure and this was compounded by a clerical oversight causing a lack of insurance. We found it extremely hard to come back from this major loss that resulted in many cancelled events, which could have so easily have been avoided.

We found it extremely hard to come back from this major loss that resulted in many cancelled events Whilst we understand that many societies (DebSoc, Bracton Law Society etc.) have huge membership with modest joining fees, primarily due to their academic and/or professional relevance, Nerf Society is a growing society that can always use more financial support. We’ve had high start-up costs (which the Guild has helped with) but also high running costs, there will always be damage to the equipment, darts to replace, and new things to buy to make the society more fun for everyone.

Dissertation drama

Cartoon: Emily McIndoe


“Male sufferers often fail to seek help” COMMENT



An anonymous student tells Exeposé Comment of their battle with depression and selfharm following the breakdown of a long term relationship (Trigger warning: graphic content) Anonymous student


UFFERING from a mental health condition is never glamorous or romantic. It is a constant and painful struggle that makes you feel isolated, desperate and vulnerable. In this regard, the impact of gender is impossible to overstate. Male sufferers often fail to seek help for fear of ridicule or intimidation, and often allow their condition to deteriorate to the point where the consequences last a lifetime. My own battle with depression began at the start of this year, after the breakdown of a long term, long-distance relationship. I slipped up and consequently lost the person I was dependent upon, and was sucked into a world of despair. I blamed myself entirely for what had happened, and being unable to see the girl I had hurt so badly only worsened my sense of helplessness. After what seemed like the hundredth futile and tear-ridden phone-call, I turned to self-harm, and began cutting myself using a pair of bathroom scissors.

Men often allow their condition to deteriorate to the point where the consequences are lifelong It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I thought hurting myself would help or change my situation. My anger and self-hatred certainly played a part, as did wanting my now-ex girlfriend to see how

deeply I cared. Cutting was in a way a method of venting my frustrations, and in that sense was cathartic, but it only served to increase my sense of loathing. I found it impossible to be happy, or to focus on anything other than the

isolating myself.

I started to burn myself, and etched the initial of my ex into my arm Being a man, I found it difficult to accept I had a problem. Coming from a patriarchal family with a working class dad, who worked tirelessly to get to the position he is in today, meant I felt my struggles were insignificant. “She’s

distress I felt at throwing away something that meant so much to me. I lashed out at anyone who tried to help me, further

just a girl”, I would tell myself, “pull yourself together – worse things happen in life”.

This dismissal of my own condition meant that I failed to seek proper help or advice, and all the while my mental state continued to worsen. I started to burn myself, and etched the initials of my ex into my arm in an attempt to remind myself of what I had lost. At my worst, I considered suicide, even walking to the station determined to throw myself under a train. In the end, common sense prevailed and I phoned my

mum and told her everything. Despite this, my struggles continued. I felt unable to express my true feelings, and constantly refused to seek professional help. As a privileged heterosexual male, I constantly told myself that I had so much to be thankful for, and that a breakdown of a relationship was

a pathetic excuse for what I was doing. I lied, telling friends the marks on my arm were from a relatives’ overly zealous cat, and that I burnt myself on the cooker. I couldn’t accept that I had a problem, and it was only when my brother discovered me with blood dripping down my arm, in a cowering mess on the bathroom floor, that I finally realised that isolating myself was only exacerbating my condition.

I share this story today to raise awareness and banish the stigma To this day, however, I am yet to see a professional or be diagnosed. I thought I could deal with my problems alone, but it was only with the support of my family and close friends that I was able to take the first steps towards recovery. I still get incredibly upset at times, but am now learning to express my anger in less damaging ways. My scars are beginning fade, but the damage to my psyche feels irreparable. My confidence was shot, and repairing it has taken hard work, constant bouts of self-reassurance and time. I share this story today to raise awareness and hopefully banish some of the stigma surrounding male mental health. Men are just as vulnerable to depression as anybody else, and although painful seeking help is an essential part of the recovery process. I would urge anyone suffering not to shut themselves away, but confide in someone they trust and, if they feel comfortable, get seen by a professional.

Exeter overstretched on wellbeing Lizzy Dobres


OR far too long mental health has been neglected and stigmatised, and more traditional physical illnesses have taken priority. Following the recent fall in funding for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in England by nearly £50 million since 2010, it is now crucial that we raise awareness of mental health issues in campuses across the UK, especially in Exeter. Many institutions, including universities, are severely under-resourced and under-funded in this crucial sector, mak-

ing it essential that increased awareness is prioritised locally. Societies such as Mind Your Head play an important role in making sure the University are consistently aware of the growing array of mental health issues students can suffer from.

Many institutions, including universities, are severely under-resourced The Wellbeing centre at Exeter University provides a large range of services for those suffering from mental health. These range from more traditional therapies such as counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to more al-

ternative and holistic therapies such as stress workshops and Art Therapy. Therefore, even if a student does not qualify for the standard route of help, there are an array of different therapies and treatments available. However, although the University has a large range of resources and services available to students, there is still a long way to go to ensure an efficient and holistic service is fully up and running. Emma Hopkins, President of Mind Your Head Society 2014/15, points out that students with mental health issues, even those that require immediate treatment, can be faced with waiting times of up to five weeks. The high demand for services that

University faces could be significantly improved by the promotion of more alternative services that are not yet widely advertised, including mindfulness courses and anxiety workshops. Raising the awareness of less conventional therapies could allow students who have acute mental health issues to be seen more quickly, and those with less severe problems who do not qualify for the standard route of help to be treated accordingly.

Alternative services are not yet widely advertised Similarly, one of the more general ways to improve mental health awareness

across UK campuses is through increased education, both in schools and universities. Many young people and members of staff, through no fault of their own do not have an extensive knowledge of mental health as it is simply not prioritised in mainstream education. Making mental health education a priority in schools and academic institutions across the UK would work to dispel the myriad of misconceptions surrounding mental health and provide the much-needed support to those afflicted. If you or anyone you know is suffering from the issues discussed in this article I urge you to visit the Exeter Wellbeing website to see the range of resources available to you.



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Protesting: A human right? Neil Cahill

Will Short Guild Trustee


FEW weeks ago me and a couple of friends were discussing human rights in the Ram over a drink or two. I raised the right to protest, to which one of our group piped up to say they didn’t believe it was a ‘proper’ human right and more a luxury afforded to those within society who ‘could control themselves properly’. Now, I would hope that most people will react to reading those words in the same way I did to hearing them. I firstly assumed this member of the group was joking or trying to wind me up. Alas, it soon became clear they were being deadly serious.

That led me to thinking about the right to protest and the general view of it in this country. Now I’m thinking that I was pretty naive to think people would agree with me that the right to protest is not only hugely important, but is actually a vital human right.

Protest is not only hugely important but is a vital human right From our political leaders, remember Boris’ water cannons that were deemed unlawful, to those who are meant to protect our protesters the Metropolitan Police have been in the news numerous times for trying to

pass their bills onto the protests, which would almost certainly stop the protest in its tracks. Others, too seem against the whole idea of protest, you’ll remember famous rent-a-controversy Jeremy Clarkson’s reaction to the public sector strike back in 2011. What shocked me wasn’t the words that came from Clarkson’s mouth (everyone knows the man thrives off creating controversy) but it was much of the online reaction. While there was certainly condemnation of the remarks, many said they agreed with him albeit in weaker terms. While they perhaps did not want the workers to ‘be shot in front of their families’ there was genuine anger that the public sector was able to strike and so disrupt people’s days.

But that was the whole point. In the strike of 2011, and numerous strikes before and after, the aim is to show the general public how important the work the profession that is striking does and to put pressure on its employers to give them a fairer deal.

The majority of protesters want to do so peacefully Surely to make it harder for workers to strike - as the Trade Union Bill will - just puts more power in the hands of employers and will make it even harder for those who struggle to survive on low wages to speak up and feel they can get a fair deal.

However, striking is not the only form of protest. Marches and demonstrations are also forms of protest that often get a lot of media attention and usually not for the best of reasons. You only need think of the student protests of 2010 and the name Charlie Gilmour springs to mind - this is probably where my friend’s assessment that only those who can control themselves properly should be allowed to protest comes from. However, the majority of people who wish to protest want to do so in a peaceful and meaningful manner with the aim of improving their lives or the lives of others. Surely in a society which claims to value freedom of speech and self-improvement so highly, protesting is a dream combination.

Online trolls take over Student Ideas Alisa Valopola Walker


OCIAL justice movements have been on the rise on campus over the last few years. The Feminist and LGBTQ+ societies have gained momentum and the Guild’s new Liberation Campaign Council has expanded the focus of campus activism to black and disabled students as well. And while the majority of students that I’ve met seem to be relatively on board with ending sexism, racism and all the other systems that divide and subjugate, there remains a small minority of people who want to deny the very existence of these structures and shut down the people fighting against them. It all began with a Student Idea that there should be a ‘Men’s Representative’ in the Guild, a suggestion which raised a student concern and proposed a concrete idea of change. I fundamentally disagree with the concept of having a representative for the most represented group in society, but that’s why

there’s an option to Strongly Disagree. And thankfully the majority of students who voted did just that.

The Feminist and LGBTQ+ societies have gained momentum However, ideas that have followed it have taken the beliefs behind it and run them into the ground. We’ve seen mocking calls for a page three in Exeposé featuring ‘scantily clad models or students’, as well as ideas to condemn and invalidate the tools and conceptual frameworks of social justice movements. While the guiding principle behind these ideas may be the same as that of the men’s rep (i.e. a denial of systemic oppression), the proposers don’t even care

to package their bigoted opinions in legitimate suggestions for change. The page three idea seems to be a misguided attempt at satirising sex-positive feminism while the condemnation of the

phrase ‘check your privilege’ and statement on the supposed non-existence of patriarchy, if passed, would be completely ineffectual at achieving literally anything. The ludicrousness of these latter ideas is really driven home when you realise the last condemnation the Guild passed was addressed by ISIS in response to concerns about NUS policy. Such suggestions highlight something other than a call for change in the Guild. They highlight the desire, in what I can imagine is a small group of people, to suppress liberation movements that threaten their privilege. Rather than harmless trolls making a public joke, these are targeted

attacks, aimed to ridicule feminist discussions of women’s bodies, the tools through which we seek to understand oppression and the language we use to confront it in everyday speech. These are not ‘Student Ideas’. These are attempts to silence those standing up against the status quo. I don’t think it’s appropriate to encourage people to ‘stop feeding the trolls’; public harassment needs to be acknowledged as such and publically shut down.

This is an attempt to silence those standing up against the status quo In some ways, perhaps the existence of these ‘ideas’ is a testament to the growing influence of social justice movements on campus and across the country. But I think more importantly, they highlight the fear of those still clinging onto age-old ideas about the structure of society, panicking in the face of an ever increasing tide.


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FEATURES The mind can’t ‘man up’ Exeposé Features

FEATURES EDITORS Flora Carr Sophie Harrison



Key Stats In Exeter

Based on a mental health survey conducted by Exeposé


responses to the survey.

34.5% of all students suffer from a mental health condition.

45.9% of males at Exeter University see their gender as a barrier to mental health support.

Across the UK


suicides in 2014 were male.

76% of suicides in the UK that year.


signatures on petition to introduce mental health in the National Curriculum.

90.3% students in the South West think more needs to be done on educating people about mental health.

In light of an Exeposé survey, Eamonn Crowe, Deputy Editor, and Fiona Potigny, News Editor, break the silence on male mental health


T’S a phrase you probably heard last weekend. Painful tackle? Don’t want to down it? Film scene got you emotional? The answer is simple. Just two words to get you back on your feet, suck it up and continue without a word: “man up.” A seemingly harmless phrase, yet for some, the expression’s etymology built upon the caveman-like conception of men as strong, self-sufficient and stoically silent on emotional issues, adds a weight to these words that is too heavy to bear. This is exactly the conclusion that Professor Green reached in his recent documentary Suicide and Me, in which the rapper investigated the possible causes of his father’s sudden suicide, and a perception that translated into 4,623 male suicides in 2014 – 76 per cent of the total that year. Suicide is, in fact, the greatest single killer of males under 45.

The societal pressure to be a ‘lad’ can be very harmful to men With this knowledge, it’s all the more concerning that 45.9 per cent of males at the University of Exeter see their gender as a barrier in seeking mental health help compared to just 6.2 per cent of females. As Mind Your Head society launches their Men’s Mental Health Month this November, Exeposé asks: why is this and what can we do to shatter the stigma here on campus? Silence is insidious; it’s time to start the conversation. If you have experienced mental health problems whilst at university, you are not alone. Our survey of 304 students revealed that 34.5 per cent suffer from a mental health issue. Of these, a quarter had developed their condition since beginning their degree. While academic pressure and “fear of failure” were commonly cited as reasons, even more frequent were references to feelings of “not fitting in with university social groups”, triggered by the emphasis on high-calibre sport and alcohol-fuelled socials. Niall*, a second-year student whose pre-existing depression was aggravated by university life, told Exeposé: “The misconception that these years are the ‘best of your life’ places unnecessary pressure on young people to go out drinking and partying. The fact most socials organised

are ‘go to clubs and get pissed’ alienates a large portion of the student body, who would much rather a quiet meal or a day trip somewhere.” This attitude, in part, he attributes to the prevalence of ‘lad culture’. “The societal pressure to be a ‘lad’ having loads of sex and getting wasted can be very harmful to men, especially when they decline, as they’re seen as ‘no fun’. The amount of times I have specified that I don’t want to drink and have been met with laughter or peer pressure is baffling.” For Josh*, the upheaval of moving to university and being without his “support system” was the trigger of severe social anxiety and paranoia: “I’m very close with my mother and usually talk with her about my problems. Given that she was so far away, I was unable to do that, so I fell back on the masculine idea that I had to take care of myself.” Although the Wellbeing Centre was recommended to him within his first year, it took him a year and a half before seeking help due to a fear of being considered vulnerable – something identified by over one third of the student population as an obstacle to seeking help – and “social stigma” concerns from both peers and family. “My dad wasn’t particularly happy with me having counselling. The idea is that it’s not ‘manly’ to talk about your problems.” Regrettably, such a situation has been replicated countless times nationwide, with six out of ten UK students having witnessed peers with mental health conditions be stigmatised, according to figures released to Exeposé by the Priory Group, the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK. Part of this stigma stems from the common tendency to associate mood disorders with extreme and clichéd representations of mental illness, which can also prove a barrier when seeking help. Shockingly, nearly 70 per

cent of Exeter students felt that they would be dissuaded from doing so for fear that their wellbeing concerns are not ‘bad enough’ to warrant professional help.

Six out of ten UK students have witnessed peers with mental health conditions be stigmatised The perception that mental health operates on a sliding severity scale is entirely fictitious, yet we so routinely fail to recognise that panic attacks, insomnia or academic stress aren’t just part and parcel of university life, but valid mental health concerns. “This is particularly relevant to current research on male suicide, which suggests that men often find it difficult to recognise early symptoms of emotional distress, and commonly wait until crisispoint before seeking help,” observed Dr Alison Haggett, Research Fellow and specialist in the history of mental health and masculinity.

A lack of education on the matter is undeniably part of the reason we often fail to understand mental health, resulting in the perpetuation of worrying misconceptions. As Josh admits: “When I first went to counselling, I didn’t realise that anxiety was actually part





Males generally have no understanding

Anonymous comments from our independent survey I think in particular men are less

of mental illnesses and laugh or joke

Men need to be able to offload on another bloke. I’ve had psychotherapy weekly for the last four years, and my therapist has always been male.

likely to seek help as it is seen as

about them if they do. I have heard

weak/unacceptable for them to

several times men saying that more

show emotion.

girls should develop eating disorders if they are not thin enough.


Where To Go On Campus Student Health Centre

GP service for Exeter students.

01392 676606 AccessAbility

of mental health – I thought it was just an emotion”. Kane*, meanwhile, took three months before visiting the Health Centre, believing that his anxiety, depression and insomnia were simply “exam stress”. No wonder, then, that Priory Group figures showed that 90.3 per cent of students in the South West believe that schools, colleges a n d

universities do not do enough to educate and make students aware. Although PSHE lessons are supposed to cover aspects of wellbeing, there is, alarmingly, no compulsory focus on mental health in the national curriculum. A government petition was recently launched to remedy this apparent and grave flaw, and has since collected over 27,000 signatures at the time of writing – a potential game changer in the national mental health discussion if it can indeed gain the 100,000 signatures necessary for debate within Parliament. Educational progress could also be made in combating the myth that mental health problems tend to be gender specific, and predominantly female. Interestingly, 127 students felt that there were mental health struggles specific to their gender, with nearly one third citing eating disorders as a key issue and many suggesting that it is an exclusively female problem, even though one quarter of eating disorder sufferers in the UK are male - a fact of which charity Men Get Eating Disorders Too aims to make the public aware. Such findings highlight the gaps in our collective knowledge and the destructive stereotypes still to be shattered. The Wellbeing Services team therefore offer an

adapted approach to male sufferers of both complex and common mental health difficulties, and support an increasing number of men who wish to explore their sexual orientation or gender identity, but may have previously been hindered by notions of ‘masculinity’.

Depression never goes away, but we can learn to live with it, if we take steps to heal According to Mark Sawyer, Head of Wellbeing Services, this emotional drawback “may arise from internalised and unhelpful gender expectations that somehow men ‘should’ feel in control of their emotions, or mustn’t acknowledge the strength of their emotional distress...We therefore recognise how crucially important it is to create a non-judgemental and inclusive environment where, together with our service users, we can embrace and celebrate a broad range of ‘masculinities’.” Indeed, this eagerness to challenge stereotypical notions of ‘manliness’ is becoming a national priority. And with good reason too, as such debate, discussion and action helps to combat detrimental societal expectations for all genders, whilst fighting for a world in which it is no longer the case that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a common mental disorder, while male suicide rates are consistently higher, year after year. The progress is already visible. Nationwide, Lynx and Topman have lent their voices to the male suicide p r e -

vention campaign, whilst here on campus, Mind Your Head society saw more male than female speakers for the first time ever at one of their recent ‘Share Your Story’ events. For those not ready to raise their voices, however, other campus initiatives including Voice, the Residence Life team and the Students’ Guild Advice Unit allow students the opportunity to seek help in a more relaxed setting, before considering using the Wellbeing Centre, whose waiting list may prove an issue for struggling students. Above all, whether male or female, students are encouraged to practice ‘self care’. For Kane, the answer was engaging with musical societies and regularly exercising: “I’ve been going to the gym a lot. It’s hard to make myself go, particularly if I’m having a bad day, but the endorphin buzz I get out of it and having something like my health and body entirely under my control, with a goal to reach, has been really good.” Niall, on the other hand, praises the therapeutic nature of meditation: “When I came to university, I found the Exeter Meditation Society and it changed my life. Everyone there had gone through issues like me, and there was absolutely no judgement from anyone. I could be myself, and when you meditate you focus only on the breath. Suddenly, I realised that fighting depression wasn’t the best way to go about things. Instead, I accepted and loved my depression, I forgave it for the pain it caused me. Depression never goes away, but we can learn to live with it, if we take steps to heal.” As Josh concluded, the most important thing to realise is that mental health is not something temporary, simply solved by a quick fix. This, or any apprehensions surrounding emotional ‘weakness’ should not dissuade people from speaking out, however. “I don’t think seeking help was a weakness for me. I think it would have been a weakness if I had continued my self destructive behaviour. Of course we’re all works in progress, but one per cent on improvement is still a great improvement.” Apt words, perhaps, to describe the nationwide issue too. Speech is empowering, not emasculating, and with every word, every gender takes a step forward. The conversation has started, and it’s up to us to continue it. *Names have been changed to protect identities.

Academic support for mental health struggles. www.exeter.ac.uk/wellbeing

Student Voice

. 8am-8pm seven days a week

Mind Your Head The University’s MH Society.

Online Mind Charity Online resources for advice and support, plus fundraising and awareness campaigns. http://www.mind.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation Podcasts to support relaxtion and wellbeing.


Student Minds Advice for living at University and managing mental health. studentminds.org

Off Campus Depression and Anxiety Service (DAS) Offer stress management and self-help courses, using CBT. devonpartnership.nhs.uk/DAS

Devon Samaritans 10:30am - 9:30pm daily.

01392 411711



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Inside the student mind

Sophie Harrison, Features Editor, speaks to Anoushka Bonwick, spokesperson for Student Minds, a national Mental Health charity, about pressures of university life and coping with its challenges


NIVERSITY life presents a unique challenge. The move itself can unsettle even the most assured of individuals. From social and academic pressures, to the responsibilities of independent living, it comes as little surprise that 89 per cent of students are reported to feel more anxious after arrival. Despite this, the system has turned a blind eye. Student Minds is a voice for the unsung student struggle. I caught up with charity spokesperson, Anoushka Bonwick, to discuss the challenges and resolutions for student mental health. Nearly two months into the first term, we start on the topic of those tentative first steps into the University bubble. “It is important to start your degree with an awareness of expectations”. Part of this can involve challenging prior expectations. “Very few people actually experience the ‘best time of their life’”, Bonwick stresses. With the NUS reporting that 50-70 per cent of students are homesick in their first term, it is evident that this sentiment is not uncommon. “The reality is that a lot of people feel very nervous and overwhelmed by the change. It’s so important that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself.” Unwarranted pressure could be a universal title for the student story. It is little wonder that so many of us fall into a trap of crippling self-doubt. Student Minds has responded to this with an array of online resources. “We have a blog, where people can share their stories, in addition to our monthly newsletter Mind Matters. “We also have a dedicated Starting University page, which offers guidance for settling in. Some of the advice is quite simple, but can be overlooked.” Included in this are “having a stash of teabags and biscuits for group situations” – I can personally confirm that Betty Crocker brownies are a hit – and “arranging to walk with people to classes”. In addition, the charity regularly shares wellbeing posts. ‘Overcoming Homesickness’, written by Bonwick’s

Student Minds colleague Rosanna Hardwick, emphasises the value of small details: “make your room a cosy space with photos and fairy lights”, “have a favourite mug” and “do something familiar like watching an old TV series”. Bonwick also stresses the importance of self-care: “you shouldn’t be afraid to take time for yourself”.

Very few people actually experience ‘the best time of their life’ at University Though the website is a valuable resource for any student, Bonwick also wants to address specific mental health support. “If you have a history of mental illness, we recommend researching local support services.” However, with mental health services already pushed to breaking point, this is easier said than done. There is also the issue of the postcode lottery. “The NHS support you receive in certain places is better than others,” Bonwick concedes. This is where the value of community is evident, and why Student Minds has established a strong on-campus presence. “There are currently 36 societies around the UK, which are affiliated to Student Minds. These include campaign groups and peer intervention. We were really delighted to launch the ‘Look After your Mate’ initiative, which will provide student and staff with the tools to support mental health.” This includes a LAYM guide, to be shared on campuses, along with workshops and support groups. Exeter’s own Mind Your Head holds regular Share Your Story nights, bringing students together in a safe and supportive environment. With 326 members, society support is at an all-time-high. Bonwick is keen to recognise the significance of this, which reflects a national picture. “Public imagination is definitely starting to be captured, with mental health given a bigger media profile. Now

we’ve seen Jeremy Corbyn bringing in a mental health minister, which shows that parliament is also responding.” On this note, I express regret that this has not been mirrored in the government itself. “That’s the next step,” Bonwick replies with confidence. I enquire about the legacy of Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP and former Minister of State for Care and Support. “He was very well respected”, Bonwick acknowledges, with the passage of the Care Act and establishment of maximum waiting times – which previously did not exist - among his list of achievements. “It is frustrating that he was coming to the end of his time, just as big changes were being made.” These changes include the 2014 ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which Mr Lamb signed alongside then-deputy PM Nick Clegg. Is the absence of Conservative signatures on the report a concern? “We will definitely be getting in touch with Lamb’s successor,” Bonwick ensures. Alistair Burt is the new minister in question, whose former position in the Foreign Office seems somewhat incompatible with the new role. Bonwick is, nonetheless, “confident he will continue to be a voice for mental health in parliament.” In the face of such optimism, I do feel somewhat defeatist. Though these Westminster voices do have value, while Downing Street remains silent I see little cause for celebration. On a more hopeful note, I suggest that the rise of public interest will eventually incite change. This moves us onto the subject of social media, another area that Bonwick is quick to endorse. “Facebook and Twitter means we are more connected, so we are not as detached from home as previously.” For students who are unsettled, the ability to communicate with family and friends can be a huge comfort. “It also reduces the likelihood of frequent home visits, which can make things harder in the long-run. It is so important that you don’t become isolated at University and always keep talking to people.

Talk: it is the buzzword for any discussion on mental health. Yet for those struggling with a mental illness, that first step can be the most daunting one of all. In many cases, establishing trust takes a great deal of time and perseverance. Thanks to the Internet, communication can now be bridged between postcodes. “Social media opens new possibilities for maintaining contact”, Bonwick affirms. “Looking into ways that you can maintain contact with support back home could help to ease the transition period.” Skype, for example, “allows for sustained contact with an existing therapist”. Given the transitory nature of university life, the value of this support cannot be underestimated. Bonwick confirms this. “There is already difficulty receiving treatment, even when registered permanently to one place. For the migratory student the challenge is even greater. Because waiting lists are often several months long, by that time you may be back at home.” I can personally attest to this, having been offered an initial therapy session the same week I was due to return home for summer.

For those with a mental illness, the first step can be the most daunting On mention of this, Bonwick references a Minds report that 92 per cent of professionals felt treatment was negatively impacted by the migration between postcodes. I feel an unsettling mix of reassurance and dismay. Though there is

É 20 36 92

slight comfort knowing that I am not an “exception to the rule”, the rule itself is deeply troubling. How can it be the norm to wait months for treatment? To be put at the bottom of a new waiting list, because you ran out of time on the first one? In response to these pressing issues, Student Minds launched their Transitions campaign in March 2014. “We needed to look into ways that support can be more consistent for students and not broken up by holidays. We are also calling for a clear way to transfer services, where GPs will know a patient’s history.” While the system is unmistakably flawed, the support offered by individuals cannot be questioned. “There are a lot of really fantastic individuals working to provide the best services to students.” At Mind Your Head’s ‘Share Your Story”’night in October, many students openly endorsed the support of GPs at the Student Health Centre. One area I have been curious to discuss is the removal of the student cap; as of September 2015, Universities are no longer restricted by number of places. Bonwick admits, “right now it is too early to tell [what the impact will be], so we definitely need to keep an eye on how this unfolds as the year progresses. From our conversation, one underlying message is clear: students not only need time to talk, but a secure space from which others can hear and Student Minds are seeking to provide this. Mental health, contrary to NHS lists, will not wait. Looking forward, we can only hope that those in power will finally listen. Until then, it is our voices that must carry the call for change.

Student Mind Matters per cent of students are experiencing a mental health problem at University. Universities across the UK have a society affiliated with Student Minds. per cent of professionals felt treatment was negatively impacted by the migration between postcodes.


NEWS 1-5



MUSIC 18-20

LIFESTYLE Tweets of the week These people are clearly revelling in being back at university and have been utilising their time well so far... Tweet us @ExeposeLStyle Katie @Katie_141 Impressive levels of stupidity, replying to my own text that I sent someone a good three weeks ago... Who needs two people for conversation? Olivia @oliviahammond I’m such a poor excuse for an Exeter student. I can’t even drink a VK without almost dying of heartburn meanwhile people down two at a time Susannah @susannahkeogh Finding a study space on campus must be what it feels like to win the hunger games Pavel @PavelKondov You know you’re not ready for the 8.30 when you put your teabag in the fridge, and your milk in the bin.

Exeter Strikes Yak •

Someone help me die I just reached for my mouse in the library and instead caressed the hand of the stranger sitting next to me You never realise how ugly you really are until you look at yourself in the mirror while you’re getting your hair cut

Sitting in the walk in centre on Sidwell St & the person next to me is swiping yes to everyone on Tinder... Doesn’t take a genius to work that one out

Not wanting to piss anyone in the library off so I’m sat here with a crisp in my mouth waiting for it to dissolve

When she says she likes it rough but you’re already on your final draft

SCREEN 22-24

ARTS & LIT SCI & TECH 26-29 30-32

GAMES 34-36

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |

SPORT 38-40

Exeposé Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE EDITORS Joshua Rotchelle Jack Wardlaw




Who do you think you are?

Jack Wardlaw, Lifestyle Editor, examines social media’s obsession with perfection


HERE is an old Japanese belief that you have three faces: one you show to the world, one you show to your family and one that no one else ever sees. (Yes I did find this on Facebook, but that’s not the point!) We now live in a world where the vast majority of us have an identity that we use in our everyday life, and another idealised one that appears on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest of the popular social media platforms used today. I know for a fact I am one of these people. On Twitter, I make a conscious effort to sound more witty and sarcastic than I would ever be in real life. I agonise over tweets, I draft and re-draft them and wait for the perfect time at which to send them in order to appear like I am naturally intelligent and hilariously funny all the time. On Instagram, I try out every single filter to see which one looks better and I tag all the fashion brands I wear to give off a certain ‘perfected’ image of what my life is like. The reality is that very little of what I post on social media is a truly accurate representation of what my life

is like, and the same is true for the vast majority of users today. The concept of the ‘ideal self’ is already well documented – it is the version of yourself that you feel you should be. I’d argue that it is a natural and inevitable part of social media. We can choose what we put on there, and naturally we want to put up the most flattering versions of ourselves. What we have begun to see in recent years, however, is the immense toll this ‘ideal’ self can take on our mental health, particularly on younger people who have yet to develop a robust sense of identity and individuality.

We can choose what we put on social media, and naturally we want to put up the most flattering versions of ourselves Just last week, an Australian teenager hit headlines around the world by re-captioning all her stunning, perfect,

polished Instagram photos with honest statements. Essena O’Neill decided that having over half a million followers wasn’t worth the strain of trying to keep up appearances of having a ‘perfect’ life. She was reportedly being paid around £10,000 per post by marketing teams to promote their brands, but now she is taking a stand against this “contrived perfection”. One shot of her in a bikini was re-captioned with: “and yet another photo taken purely to promote my 16 year old body. This was my whole identity. That was so limiting. Made me incredibly insecure. You have no idea.” It’s not a new idea that these images of perfection are damaging to us, our selfesteem and our relationships, but it is very rare that a supposedly “perfect” person talks about it so honestly and openly. O’Neill has hopefully made a lot of people question their perceptions of perfection, but social media is still a dangerous world. You only have to log onto Yik Yak late at night to see several posts about people struggling with their lives. Actually, the anonymity of Yik Yak has proved to be

very beneficial for them because there is less judgment and more openness when users are anonymous. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the exact opposite. They’re so dependent on defining our identity that the compulsion to present a perfect version of ourselves is overwhelming, but dangerous. Failure to meet this ‘ideal’ standard of ourselves can lead to immense anxiety and depression. Aspiring to be something better than what we are is one thing but doing so at the expense of our well-being just so we can gain followers is a very real danger that we are all teetering on the edge of every time we post something on social media. As with everything, balance is necessary. An awareness of the problem can help us avoid falling into the trap of perfection. Posting a beautifully edited selfie is a great confidence booster, but don’t forget that your friends and family will also equally love seeing a photo of your goofy smile and messy hair. It takes a lot of confidence to look silly, but it’ll win you a lot more likes in the long run.

Don’t go bacon my heart

Hayden Cooper explains why believing in health-scare stories is a mis-steak


ACON will give you cancer. Artificial sugar will give you cancer. Burnt toast will give you cancer. Microwaves will give you cancer. Mobile phones will give you cancer. Existing in this world will give you cancer. I’ve frankly had enough of these health scare articles, going viral and spreading through social circles. “Bacon gives you cancer”, “the black bits in bananas are spiders eggs” and other such trends have become conversation topics across many friendship groups. But honestly, I can’t help finding it all less than academic; “studies” show lots of things, but which studies? Do you know the sample sizes? Do you know the control tests? Do you know anything about it or did you just see it on a BuzzFeed article whilst avoiding an essay you’ve been set? I do not doubt that bacon is bad for us; we have an unhealthy obsession with meat in the West. “It’s not a meal without meat” is a frequent saying, and

heaven knows most meals are just empty carbs with meat on them. It’s simply not healthy, but scare-mongering articles about it won’t change anything. In fact, I’d argue it makes meat eaters more resolute in their diet: eating meat is now an act of resistance against a society that seems to be lead by a P.C., health-crazed bunch of liberals. They say smoking is cool because it’s edgy and dangerous and smokers just don’t care. What this health scare around bacon has done is made bacon the “new cigarette”. Gone are the days of smoking on a motorbike; the James Deans of this generation will be having a bacon sandwich whilst driving a Golf GTI, be-

cause it’s edgy and it’s dangerous. Rebels without a cause eating brown sauce are probably going to shape this generation, and that’s a bit pathetic. I’m fed up of living my life by some rule book sent down from the twin hands of cosmic justice in the eyes of the masses; “the law” and “the scientists”. I’m bored of eating my five a day, my eight glasses of water, my daily zinc intake, my amount of time spent in a certain level of sunlight dressed in a certain way. It’s dull and its soul-crushing and frankly I don’t see the appeal. “A scientist said” is not a reason to live your life a certain way. Read the studies, learn from them, use the data yourself and then decide if you want to live your

life based around your will and wants or based around what someone in a lab coat said in order to make you live a longer but duller life. But my real issue is that the people who trot out these facts often don’t take in a holistic view of our realities. Office jobs are killing us. A sedentary life will do far more to thwart your health than what you eat. The design of our furniture is harming our spines, yet we don’t care. Capitalism is destroying us, but people care more about bacon being harmful than spending cuts forcing people to starve. It’s a shallow kind of morality. We view diets as changing and malleable; we can change what we eat so it’s alright to get involved in a health policy about food. In my opinion, this is completely the wrong perspective. Everything we do is malleable, our government, our furniture, our work ethic, our food. We can and should change it all. Enough with faux food scares, let’s bring about real change.

Watch your back EXEPOSÉ

With passport theft reportedly well on the rise, Alice Lynch warns us on what to look out for in order to keep our info safe


TUDENT loan not quite cutting it? Mum and Dad refusing to fund your VK habit? There is an easy way to make cash that’s been staring you right in the face all summer: passport theft. There are many reasons why passport theft can be extremely profitable. The chip embedded in a passenger’s passport can hold a plethora of extremely personal data, including their name, date and place of birth, address, social security number, height, weight, and eye colour (this can vary based on their country’s specific data). This data chip is more than enough for someone to open a credit card, book a flight or even create a fake identity. Having a clean passport is also handy if you’re trying to get into the US but that little shoplifting episode from sixth form is holding you back. Even if you don’t plan to use it yourself, a stolen passport could fetch you a decent sum of money if you sell it to the right people and getting hold of one is so easy, you’d be a fool to pass up such a money-making opportunity.

help. If you were looking to make a career out of passport theft, here’s some advice you might expect to receive.

The chip embedded in a passenger’s passport can hold a plethora of extremely personal data

Technique #3: The Hug & Mug Time to get your acting skills on. Hang around outside a bar, preferably holding a bottle of spirit and swaying slightly. Maybe throw in some slurred singing for good measure. Pick your victim and go in with a massive hug. They’ll be surprised, but probably humour the drunken stranger then move on. Meanwhile, you’ve pinched their passport mid-hug and made a new friend. Double win. As with all businesses, the location is absolutely key. Certain places are far easier to operate in than others. Spain is the biggest hotspot for stolen British passports, with 37,140 thefts reported between 2008 and 2013. Countries in which passports are the only accepted ID, such as many in Eastern Europe, are also generally good hunting grounds. Picking your targets is also important;

Okay, in all seriousness though; don’t go round stealing passports. It’s not very nice. However, it is a growing problem for British tourists (Spain is notoriously risky). According to the Foreign Office, more than 20,000 British passports were reported lost or stolen last year. Passport theft is a booming industry, and stolen passports are especially useful to human traffickers, drugs smugglers and identity thieves. Losing your passport can completely ruin an otherwise amazing holiday. However, being aware of the various techniques criminals use to con you out of your valuables will indubitably



Technique #1: The Distraction You’ll need to work with a friend for this one. It’s simple: pick your victim, and distract their attention in any way you can. Ask them if they’ve seen your lost dog, pretend to mistake them for a friend, spill water on them, lift up your shirt – whatever works. In the meantime, your friend can simply stroll past and pinch their bag. This comes with the added bonus of getting their wallet and valuables, too. Technique #2: The Bottleneck Pick a busy area, then find your target. Pretend to bump into them, and simply slip your hand into their bag/pocket. Don’t know where their passport is? No problem. Get a friend to cry out that their passport has been stolen. Everyone in the area will automatically reach to check they still have theirs, revealing their location.

aim for the vulnerable, such as those who are blatantly tourists (think backpacks, maps, cringey group t-shirts). Also go for those who look tired or distracted, i.e. looking lost and consulting maps, or on the phone. Sometimes you don’t even need to use the strategies above, as people will simply leave their bags and jackets unattended, or forget to watch them.

Spain is the biggest hotspot for stolen British passports, with 37,140 thefts reported between 2008 and 2013 The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have released an entertaining video detailing how passport thefts operate, which is definitely worth checking out online. In all seriousness though, a stolen passport will not only ruin your holiday and put you out of pocket by a considerable amount, it could also make you a victim of identity theft. If it is possible to leave your passport safe in your accommodation, then do so. If you can’t, there are plenty of precautions you can take to avoid having your well-earned holiday ruined. Keeping up to date with the FCO’s travel updates on Twitter @FCOtravel will give you a heads-up on anything you need to be aware of before you travel. The Know Before You Go website (Google it) has further tips on how to keep your passport safe, as well as information on what the British Embassy can do for you if the worst does happen. Play it safe, however, and hopefully you’ll never need their help! Disclaimer: this author cannot take responsibility for the actions of individuals who choose to follow a life of crime as a result of this article.

Written in the stars Our brand new shiny resident astrologer, Necromantic Nickie has rubbed her crystal ball(s) to predict the future for your month ahead Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21) Financial luck is heading your way. Buy a roll of scratch-cards, go to the bookies and accept the bartender’s challenge to eat all the picked eggs for £20. This is your month, Scorpio. You can do it. But make sure to buy me a drink with your winnings. Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21) The message for this month is to always look for things in unlikely places. The answer you’ve been looking for is going to be at Cheesy Tuesdays. Listen to your heart. Bring a clipboard. Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19) This month, the call of the gym membership will be too strong, and you’ll join the club. However, you will be as out of place as a state-school pupil in Holland Hall. You’ll turn up wearing galaxy-print leggings and feel pretty awkward about it. Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18) Your ambition to be rebellious is admirable, but futile. This month, put away the leather and the aviators and accept where you are in life: Streatham campus. Pisces (Feb 19– Mar 20) That thing you were getting away with? You thought you were out of the woods, but alas! Everyone will notice this month, and your world will crash and burn around you. God speed. Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19) November 25th will be a full moon, and we all know what happens during a full moon. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but campus security will come after you. Stay indoors at all costs. Taurus (Apr 20 – May 20) Be careful when treading the pavement along Sidwell Street. A mysterious stranger outside John Lewis will put a curse on you if you don’t hand over your hard-earned student loan. You won’t listen, and guess what, nothing bad happens.

Photo: viralviralvideos.com


Gemini (May 21 – Jun 20) This month, you’ll bump into

someone from your past. Maybe it’s Joe from the Co-op, who you see once a week. You’ll feel all freaked out and think “My god, that Nickie is psychic,” and I’ll appear behind you and say “I know.” Don’t believe me? Just wait and see. Cancer (Jun 21 – Jul 22) Sometimes, you just don’t feel like downing 13 shots and spending £8 on a ‘woo-woo’ in a tiny, tiny glass. This month, your inner teenager learns how to say “no” – but not before you throw up your guts just once more. Y’know, for old time’s sake. Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 22) You have an itch to get out of Exeter, and the universe wants you to leave as well. The stars have planned it all for you – a whirlwind trip is calling! Pack your bags, you’re going to Barnstaple. Virgo (Aug 23 – Sep 22) The alignment of the planets this month plus the bad weather means you’re going to need an umbrella, a can-do attitude and a chainsaw. Just be careful not to muddle them all up, you could really cause some damage. Libra (Sep 23 – Oct 22) You’re going to get an unexpected text this month. You’ll get excited. It’ll be from an unknown number. You’ll question your validity as a human being, spiral into emotional crisis and go back to your ex.



NEWS 1-5

MUSIC Gig Listings

Monday 9 November Witterquick, Tiny Folds, Airways Cavern, Exeter Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Pavilions, Falmouth Thursday 12 November Martha & Radiator Hospital Cavern, Exeter Friday 13 November Donovon Corn Exchange, Exeter Saturday 14 November Racing Glaciers Cavern, Exeter Monday 16 November Muskets & The New Tusk Cavern, Exeter Thursday 19 November Newton Faulkner The Factory, Barnstable Friday 20 November The 1975 Pavilions, Plymouth Saturday 21 November Tigercub & Youth Man Cavern, Exeter Sunday 22 November U.K. Subs

Exeposé Recommends...


MUSIC 18-20

SCREEN 22-24

ARTS & LIT SCI & TECH 26-29 30-32

GAMES 34-36

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |

SPORT 38-40

Exeposé Music

MUSIC EDITORS James Atherton Katie Costello



Brand Newton music@exepose.com

Sarah Gough, Editor, chats with critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner about his luscious locks, new album and looking pretty


HE wild locks have been tamed!” I exclaim slightly too enthusiastically to Newton Faulkner on first speaking to the man, the musician, the glorious ginger god. Of course, the initial topic of conversation I broach pertains to his sumptuous dreadlocked mane, which has very recently been chopped from bellybutton length to bob. “This is the most I’ve changed in the last 16 years”, Faulkner says proudly, “I feel like I’ve grown up a little bit”.

It is clear that Faulkner is a man who expects a lot from himself and not too much from anyone else In true rebrand style, the new look comes in tandem with a brand new record. Released on the 20th of this month, Human Love is Faulkner’s fifth studio album. Famed for his percussionist guitar prowess and soothing vocals, this latest release feels like a revival of the artist we heard and loved in debut album Hand Built By Robots. A departure from the slightly boring, ballad-heavy Studio Zoo to uplifting, infectious melodies was a conscious decision of his. “I kind of wrote it for festivals”, Faulkner explains, “The main thing I want people to think when they’re listening to it is ‘AH I can’t wait to see this live’.” Not only is Human Love a step up,

it’s a step away from the musician’s previous record label. Released from the shackles of a four-album Sony deal, the 30-year-old talks of gaining, “a huge amount of freedom and validation”, in making this album independently. With the first track fittingly named ‘Get Free’, the Surrey born musician headed to LA with his brother and sister in search of co-writers and collaborators, referring to the entire process as “a clean slate”. The liberation Faulkner feels since the Sony split is palpable. “The last two albums were quite hard work”, he admits, “It was that classic thing of the guy who signed me left and when that happens no-one feels like they have ownership of you as an artist. It’s a hard but very common thing in the industry”. After getting to the stage where he was too tentative to even send demos to Sony for

fear of them being rejected, the newfound lack of censorship has birthed fresh methods of experimentation for the artist. “I was like, let’s do literally whatever we want”, he tells me, before revealing that themed writing weeks led to the creation of an entire rock album. Did any such experimentation make it into the final edit, I ask? He draws attention to a resounding world music influence, with African and Asian rhythms permeating the songs. What’s more, the tenth track ‘Shadow Boxing’ even has an electronica feel – something at “the other end of the spectrum” from where Faulkner’s been in the past courtesy of a certain collab with Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun. D u b step next t h e n ? I joke. “No”, Newton laughs, “there are a distinct lack of wop wops”. Even with a

wop wop deficiency, Faulkner’s level of productivity is impressive. Five albums within the past ten years is a real feat. He’s blogged for The Huffington Post about his dependence on visualisation when co-ordinating a solo arrangement, as well as the undeniable power of a good night’s sleep, but what motivates those nimble fingers of his I wonder (in a non-sexual sense) “I just love what I do, I can’t not do it”, he replies, “it’s not really a question of whether I do it or not or how hard I work, I generally work as hard as I want to. I really love pushing myself. I make no aspect of it easy. I use my entire range every night pretty much. Playing wise I push myself to the absolute limit of what I can do.” Attune to multi-tasking with unbelievable efficiency, this is the first time that Faulkner will not one-manband his tour. Once upon a time, each limb of his seemed to control an instrument, but shock horror, he’s now hired a drummer. It was necessary “to do the album justice”, Faulkner explains with admirable humility. It’s clear that Newton Faulkner is a man that expects a lot from himself and not too much at all from anyone else. His affable modesty is prevalent even in our short chat. Until I eventually talk to his PR Manager to request a few high quality images of the man himself, that is. “PLEASE MAKE ME LOOK PRETTY!” he interrupts out of the blue. With those luscious locks Newton, your wish is my command.

The Winter Tape

Martha & Radiator Hospital @ Cavern, Exeter Thursday 12 November Martha have spent years trying to convince the Grand Rapids rock band Radiator Hospital to come over to the UK, and it’s finally happening in the form of a mammoth co-headline tour. The Exeter show is the second-to-last show of the stretch and promises to be an energetic dance-off full of catchy choruses and fun.

The winter coats are out, you’re closing the window of your stuffy, smelly university room and the trips to Exmouth are dwindling. But hey! You have music! And Exeposé is here to soundtrack your Winter.

‘Baby It’s Cold Outside ’ Frank Loesser - Kathy Giddins ‘Coldest Winter’ - Kanye West - Alex Brammer ‘The Gathering Of The Clouds’ - Anathema - Theodore Stone ‘White Winter Hymnal’ - Fleet Foxes - Matt Carter ‘Misty’ - Kate Bush - Jessica Stanier ‘Cold Cold Man’ - Saint Motel - Benedict Lane ‘The Thaw’ - Biffy Clyro - Rory Marcham ‘Winter Calls’ - The Rifles - Jeremy Brown ‘Winterlong’ - Neil Young - Carmen Paddock

Catfish on campus



Photo credit: Event Exeter

James Beeson, Editor, heads over to Exeter’s very own Great Hall to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen, kicking off their nationwide tour Catfish and the Bottlemen The Great Hall, Exeter 28 October 2015


T is a testament to how far Catfish and the Bottlemen have come as a band that just two years ago the Welsh quartet played at one of Exeter’s smallest venues, The Cavern, to a crowd of barely 50 hardcore fans. Last month saw the band return to the South West, performing to a sold out audience of 30 times that amount, and they don’t disappoint. The atmosphere inside The Great Hall is buzzing ahead of the headline act’s entrance, only buoyed by Alex Turner’s dulcet tones blaring out of the speakers, leading to a large singalong to Arctic Monkey’s ‘Why D’You Only Call Me When You’re High.’ Comparisons with the Sheffield rock n’rollers may be somewhat lazy, but they are also highly accurate. Lead singer Vann McCann may not

quite have the lure and swagger of Turner just yet, but strutting confidently onto the stage dressed all in black, you’d be hard pressed to tell the pair apart from a distance. The band open with their second single ‘Rango’, a slightly odd choice but one that doesn’t appear to bother the exuberant fans down the front. “Abbey she’s got to wait”, whines McCann, “Until she can get you on your own” roar back the adulating crowd. Stepping things up a notch, The Bottlemen launch straight into ‘Pacificer’, a rip roaring indie anthem that sparks a mass mosh-pit and near delirium.

It’s hardly reinventing the wheel, but it’s just so darn catchy you can’t quite help but sing along

ously delighted at the response on what is the first night of a sold out UK tour. The hype surrounding these four young men has at times seemed excessive, but that does little to deter the band’s enthusiasm as they fire off three more tracks in quick succession, culminating in a rousing rendition of ‘26’, a furious paced whirlwind of hormonal passion. The delivery is spot on, with the band having polished and refined their slick brand of indie guitar rock down to a T. Next up is ‘Business’, a familiar tale of teenage lust that lacks lyrical complexity but is ripe for a good old-fashioned sing along. “If you’ve been having doubts at all...” drawls McCann, “Then you can come and mess my bed up”. It’s hardly reinventing the wheel, but it’s just so darn catchy you can’t quite help but sing along. This is swiftly followed by the Llandudnobased band’s hard hitters, ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Homesick’, before they depart the stage, barely 45 minutes after arriving. The crowd bay for more, and are soon

placated by McCann and co. returning to the stage to debut new song ‘7’. McCann stands alone on stage, ditching the guitar, straining his vocal chords to hit the higher notes and make himself heard over a cataclysmic wall of sound from the rest of the band. The set is rounded off with ‘Cocoon’, the unquestionable highlight of debut album The Balcony, and ‘Tyrant’, before the quartet depart the stage with the screams of their fans still echoing throughout the venue. All in all, this was a triumphant performance of a band high off the buzz of success and confident in their ability to woo and command an audience. The lack of new material was somewhat disappointing, and many will argue Catfish lack the depth and complexity to truly battle it out with the best British guitar music has to offer. To those individuals, however, I say: “Get off your high horse and have some fucking fun”. The Bottlemen know they can entertain, and entertain they did. A job well done.

Fightstar smash it in the Lemmy “Hello Exeter!” cries McCann, obvi-

The hardcore veterans’ performance impresses Jordan White, along with their adoring crowd Fightstar The Lemon Grove, Exeter 19 October 2015


ith a career spanning over a decade and a wealthy catalogue of fan loved and critically acclaimed releases, post hardcore quartet, Fightstar, are royally welcomed to Exeter’s Lemon Grove. The crowd is a very specific demographic, the kind of people you’d expect to find at Reading and Leeds Festival. Tshirts of Capture The Crown, Bullet For My Valentine, Black Flag and Metallica are donned showing how Fightstar are one of those bands that can take in fans from across the board. You can smell nostalgia in the air from noughties emo kids now turned estate agents.

A soft spacey intro track plays for the stars of the night to take centre stage. All at once they crash into ‘Sleep Well Tonight’, a personal favourite of mine from one of their most popular releases; debut album Grand Unification. It isn’t just me who felt that rush, as the crowd pushes, jumps and screams along to a classic and perfect opener. One of the immediate things I notice: the sound is big. It’s heavy, practiced, guttural, powerful and effective. Fightstar continues to smash through their set playing fan favourites such as ‘Paint Your Target’, ‘Palahniuk’s Laughter’ and ‘99’. The whole band plays with overwhelming energy and the crowd reciprocates this enthusiasm even in new singles including ‘Sharp Tongue’ and album title track, ‘Behind The Devil’s Back’. At times the sound could have

been better leveled out; the bass seems much too high in the mix and Alex Westaway’s vocals are sometimes drowned out which is a shame considering his talent. Overall, though the audience seem to love it, with there being chants of the drummer’s name ‘Omar’.

Simpson dominates the venue and jumps down to shout the song at the barrier The band returns to the stage and Charlie talks to the crowd of his gratitude, showing himslef to be a humble and down to Earth man. Simpson dominates the venue and jumps down to shout the song at the bar-

rier, answered by mosh-pits and beaming faces screaming along. Playing ‘Mono’ as their last song is a questionable choice. ‘Deathcar’ would have ended the night more dramatically with it’s sheer brutality. But the crowd seem to love it, with the final bars of the song accompanying the ejection of several crowdsurfers, it is quite a finale.



Hot / Not / Long Shot / Forgot Jim Atherton, Music Editor gives his opinion on what’s hot, what’s not, something that is a bit of a long shot and what has scandalously been forgotten. Hot: ‘Cheknov’s Hangnail’ – Martha Taken off of their new split E.P. with Radiator Hospital, this track, from everyone’s favourite D.I.Y. band, features one of the catchiest hooks of the year complete with rich harmonies and scrappy guitar parts. Not: ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ – Galantis ‘PBJ’ is one of those annoying boom-clap club tunes with a mediocre hook and run-of-themill wonky synths that everyone loves for five minutes but future generations will mock us for. Long Shot: ‘300 Hz’ – The Blue Period This laid-back indie-emo ditty is the stand out track from their debut 2014 E.P. It is a truly beautiful concoction of cello, guitar, drums and keyboard that will have you relaxing in dream land throughout its duration. 10/10 would recommend for working to. Forgot: ‘Cocaine Blues’ – Johnny Cash Since his resurgance in popularity, this song hasn’t been regarded as highly as it should be. ‘Cocaine Blues’ is incredible because of the way that he contrasts beauty and violence. It makes the song entertaining, humourous and engaging on so many levels.

Music & mental health 20


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Theodore Stone, Online Features Editor calls into question the support available to musicians in maintaining a sound state of mind throughout their careers and lives


USIC boosts our cognitive abilities, helps us to relax, stimulates us and makes us feel a plethora of emotions, untouched by other activities. Its applications when it comes to aiding those with mental illnesses are well documented and the library of papers discussing its benefits is vast. However, this does not mean that we should cease looking at the connection between music and mental health once the music stops. Instead, we need to look at the minds of the musicians who write and perform the music that we play in our time of need. Last year, the charity Help Musicians UK conducted a study to figure out just how many musicians suffer from mental health issues, including depression, paranoia and anxiety. 67 per cent of those who replied said that they had suffered from either depression or another psychological problem, 75 per cent said that they had experienced performance anxiety, and 62 per cent said that they had experienced relationship difficulties. The study also found that touring was one of the biggest causes of these problems, with 71 per cent claiming that touring had played a major factor in their issues.

We need to look at the minds of the musicians who write and perform the music that we play in our own times of need A number of musicians have noted that the sharp contrast between the high that comes with a successful show and the low of the anti-climatic aftermath leads to situations that can be near impossible to adjust to. This phenomenon, known as ‘postperformance depression’, or PPD, leads to major shifts in mood and can often lead to a depressive state. The biochemistry of the body becomes distorted, as the sheer amount of hormones released during a performance leads to an irregular distribution within the body, making it almost impossible to revert to a standard norm. This leads to problems with the musician’s private life, and, with many concerts taking place in the evening, a disrupted work schedule, which has linked many musicians to fatigue-re-

lated illnesses.

The problem is made even greater by our tendency to romanticise the deaths of musicians For some musicians, the effects can become too much for them to bear. Earlier this year, After the Burial guitarist Justin Lowe was found dead at the age of just 32. Lowe had recently left the band after suffering from a breakdown that left him paranoid and terrified that his record label was attempting to ruin his life. Scott Stapp, the frontman of Post-Grunge band Creed, suffered from a similar breakdown last year. So what are the problems? Well, one of the biggest issues is that the life of a musician is counterintuitive to the idea of wellbeing. Public perception places drinking and drugs above healthy living and a secure routine, factors which can drastically increase the likelihood of musicians suffering from a mental breakdown. Indeed, whilst the opposition to drug use within the world of popular music has increased over the years, its relationship with affluence and success means that many successful musicians are presented with pills and swills as an easy escape from the pressure. The same applies to alcohol. I highly doubt that there is any need for me to list off the names of all of the artists who have died from drug and alcohol-related causes. Even today, pastoral care for a lot of artists focuses more upon cheap thrills than it does upon actually ensuring their wellbeing.

Secondly, professional help still has some way to go. Depression and bipolar disorder, although many would argue that they have been driving factors behind the creativity of some musicians, have, as expected, hurt far more than they have helped. Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain are some of the most notable musicians to have suffered from either depression or bipolar disorder, with each unable to receive the help that they required.

The problem is made even greater by our tendency to romanticise these deaths. Both frontmen became martyrs to their respective genres, which leads us to mask the tragedy in perceived beauty. The same can be said about Amy Winehouse and Brian Wilson’s breakdown. Our responses towards these events, like they have been towards musician’s deaths via overdoses and alcohol, have been misguidedly paired with reverent praise, not a call to arms. Amy Winehouse’s death was greeted with expressions of “how, sad, a beautiful catalogue with such a tearful ending”, when the response should have been “how awful, what can we do to prevent these things from happening”? Whilst 48 per cent of the musicians surveyed by Help Musicians UK were able to obtain professional help, many found that the professionals they talked to were unable to assist them. It’s no surprise, seeing as how far removed the lives of a psychologist and musicians are.

find it difficult to make ends meet. According to The Working Musicians Report, more than half of the musicians working today earn less than £20,000 a year. As such, the high cost of private treatment can thus lead to either financial problems or an avoidance of treatment, both of which can have detrimental effects on a person’s mental wellbeing. In addition, a lack of treatment makes it even harder for them to secure a stable second job to support their career in the music industry, thus putting them in even greater jeopardy.

A lack of treatment makes it even harder for them to secure a stable second job to support their career in music Nevertheless, the problems are being addressed, albeit slowly. Labour MP Simon Danczuk has long been supportive of increased mental health support for musicians, and with the campaign for mental health to receive the same level of attention as physical health, it is possible that we can finally give these problems the attention that they require. It may be the case that music can save, but we should never forget that it can also scar.


Musician stats


earn less than £20,000 a year

I n deed, half of those who took part in the survey noted that the most successful forms of treatment arrived through private practice as opposed to the NHS, suggesting that it is unable to cope with the unique problems attributed to musicians. This is concerning. Many professional musicians, especially younger ones,


suffer from mental health issues such as depression & anxiety


claim that touring plays a major part in their mental health issues


have said that they have experienced performance based anxiety Source: Help Musicians UK



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Exeposé Screen

SCREEN EDITORS Akash Beri Ben Londesbrough


screen@exepose.com Photo: blogs.indiewire.com

Hollywood: LGBT friendly?

Josh Mines, Deputy Editor, questions LGBT diversity in Hollywood flicks - are they doing enough?


T won’t come as much of a shock to anyone with an interest in film for me to say that the industry, generally speaking, has a problem. It’s a problem rooted in archaic values and borne from old fashioned prejudices that, even in 2015, just doesn’t seem to go away. The problem I’m talking about is, once again, the diversity and range of Hollywood and beyond. Despite this year being the tenth anniversary of the release of the critically-acclaimed gay romance Brokeback Mountain, it seems as though the number and style of LGBT representations on film are still not quite as progressive as we’d like them to be.

Very few gay characters were portrayed as being in a healthy relationship On the surface it’s easy for the casual observer to gloss over the size of this issue. Superficially, the LGBT community has been represented fairly and consistently over the last few years on the big screen. Both Pride, a film that directly deals with the gay rights movement, and The Imitation Game, which features a gay protagonist, were box office successes last year. On top of this, the Toronto Film Festival 2015 also saw an impressive rise in the number of LGBT films that were being screened, over 20, almost twice as many as were included in the 2014 festival’s selection. But when we look at the nu-

merical figures, the actual reality of how far LGBT characters and LGBT concerns are marginalised in Hollywood is pretty astonishing, even today. A study undertaken by the University of Carolina recently examined 700 films made between 2007 and 2014 and found that only 0.4 per cent of the films they looked at included an LGBT main character. As well as this, researchers noted that very few gay characters were portrayed as being in a healthy relationship, but, instead, were the subject of the films usually featured persecution, betrayal or dysfunctional relationships. And for me, this is where the real issue lies. It is not just the numerical point that there aren’t enough movies depicting LGBT characters being made, or enough LGBT actors and directors supported and being praised for their work. The first thing that needs to be altered, before anything else is likely to change, is the way in which these concerns and characters are presented to us in the first place. As useful as a film like Pride is in challenging and highlighting prejudice that still exists in the film industry, it’s still a film that makes the sexuality of the characters the film’s primary focus. By the same token, though a film like Brokeback Mountain does very touchingly and thought-provokingly demonstrate a backlash to the gay relationship at the heart of the film, what this also works to do is turn the film from being a ‘romance’ into a ‘gay romance’. It’s not the characters and their relationships that become

the subject of debate and conversation in the movie, but the trials and tribulations that they have to overcome (or not) because of who they choose to sleep with. To a certain degree, this still pushes a mainly heterosexual audience into thinking of these pictures as being ostensibly ‘gay’ movies. What should be encouraged, and what I’d love to see more of, is for this to not be the focal point of films made about the LGBT community. Why don’t we see many films that show, quite simply, a relationship between two human beings that features love, loss, betrayal and heartbreak, common elements that we seem to take for granted in movies about straight people, elements that are desperately lacking in the majority of LGBT representations on screen?

Maybe straight does not have to be the default option Of course, it would be ignorant to simply ignore the problems that do clearly still exist in the film industry, and indeed the world today, but does this have to overshadow the rest of the film, and the other interesting and touching themes that could also be explored in more detail? Besides this, does sexuality itself even need to always be the focus of every film about LGBT characters that is made? Off the top of my head, I can’t name many action movies that have written in a gay protagonist, for example.

This isn’t to say that there have been no films made recently that have represented an LGBT relationship in a progressive way. The wonderful Blue is the Warmest Colour, for example, is a French film that depicts a teenage girl’s journey into sexual maturity. Though some of the characters struggle with homophobia, and prejudice is mentioned as part of the context of the film, I wouldn’t say it’s a film that gets too bogged down in this detail. What’s so great about Blue is the realism and beauty of how the relationship between the two girls, Adèle and Emma ,blossoms and grows, and the electricity and chemistry of the two actresses we see on screen in the movie. Their burgeoning relationship is the most interesting part of the film, and is rightfully not sidelined or marginalised. Just like a conventional ‘romance’ movie it’s the characters, the way they interact, and the way their relationship changes and progresses, that is what keeps the audience hooked. The problem is that Blue is an exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself. Film is a medium that can and should challenge societal injustice, but sometimes the best course of action isn’t necessarily the obvious, direct one. Let’s have more characters struggling in love, stumbling through life, failing at the challenges they are faced with, disappointing themselves, and generally being lame, but maybe sometimes they don’t have to be straight. Maybe straight doesn’t and shouldn’t always have to be the default option.

LGBT Representation in Major Studio Releases With




Gay Males 65% Bisexuals 30% Lesbian 10% Transgender People 0% CHARACTER DIVERSITY Female




White 68% Asian 14% Black 11% Latino 0% Statistics taken from GLAAD, 2014

Licence to thrill or bore? EXEPOSÉ




Mark Allison and Ben Londesbrough, Screen Editor, give their differing views on Spectre


T first glance, Spectre is a film that appears to herald the return of the classic James Bond adventure; there are improbable villains, elaborate set-pieces, and a somewhat juvenile sense of humour. However, beneath this old-school veneer is an experience very much in keeping with Daniel Craig’s interpretation of Bond. The emotional intensity that marked his three previous films remains at the forefront, as does his essentially human portrayal of the invincible super-spy. Indeed, Spectre’s combination of old and new results in an engaging and fulfilling film, although an inconsistent tone and some narrative issues hold it back from true greatness.

It should be noted that Spectre is an excellent action film Spectre opens in an effective and crowd pleasing fashion; the much missed gun barrel sequence returns to the front of the film, a first for Craig’s Bond, and is quickly followed by an exciting opening in Mexico City. This is the first of many excellently crafted action set-pieces in Spectre, which Mendes executes with greater panache than in 2012’s Skyfall. A fist fight on a train is probably the film’s highlight in this regard, calling back to earlier Bond’s in its simplistic brutality while emphasising the physicality of Craig. This action is counter-balanced by a greater focus on humour than we’ve seen in a James Bond film for at least a decade. The jokes, for the most part, hit the mark and the tone remains broadly grounded, although some disappointing physical comedy intrudes on what should be an exciting car chase through Rome. It’s difficult to find weakness, however, in Spectre’s cast. Daniel Craig provides his most self-assured appearance as Bond, easily moving between cool nonchalance, physical ruthlessness, and emotional vulnerability. Craig’s inquiry into the heart of Bond is complemented by Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, a capable but troubled female lead who would probably benefit from a little more exploration before she inevitably succumbs to Bond’s charms. Christoph Waltz shines as the nefarious and quite psychotic Franz Oberhauser, while the rest of the cast, particularly the MI6 team introduced in Skyfall, give stellar performances, although Rory Kinnear’s Tanner and Monica Belluci’s Lucia Sciarra are given disappointingly little to do for actors of their calibre. Where Spectre does stumble some-

what is in its script. The plot is interesting and provides a surprisingly topical look at the growing role of surveillance technology, while the characters are well defined and there is clear development as the narrative goes on. However, the script often feels like the result of several conflicting views and drafts (there are four writers credited), resulting in a world that, at times, feels needlessly convoluted and conveniently inter-connected. Whilst these issues never dull my enjoyment as the action unfolds, they do leave the impression that the film is lacking the narrative finesse of Fleming’s novels and the best films in the series - perhaps another script draft would have realised the film’s true potential. Technically, however, Spectre is a marvel of blockbuster film making. There is a genuine level of artistry in Mendes’ framing and choreography, particularly in the captivating pre-titles sequence and the stylish chapter in Rome. Stunt work is, in the Bond tradition, the best in the business, with a pleasing reliance on practical effects over computer generated imagery. To rate Spectre against Craig’s previous Bond efforts, let alone the wider Bond canon, is futile at this stage. Rather, it should be noted that Spectre is an excellent action film and an even better James Bond adventure. As expected, buildings are destroyed and cars totalled, but the emotional heart that did so much to separate Craig from his forbears is still there. Perhaps some fresh blood on the writing team wouldn’t go amiss, but Spectre opens up plot threads and characters that have the promise of an interesting future for the franchise. If this proves to be Daniel Craig’s last time in the dinner suit, he may be proud that in four films, his Bond has evolved more as a character than in the twenty previous efforts. Flawed, yes, but anyone looking for an enjoyable two and a half hours, would be foolish to miss Spectre. MARK ALLISON

Spectre Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Cristoph Waltz Director: Sam Mendes 2015, 148 minutes Mark’s rating: Ben’s rating:

Did you know? SPECTRE stands for ‘Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion’


OTHING but disappointment greeted me when I went to see James Bond’s latest outing, Spectre. It was far too long, something that most blockbusters never seem to learn from, and it suffered from poor writing alongside some cringe-inducing dialogue. The critics lauded it, giving it five star reviews, but instead of leaving a sweet martini taste in my mouth, it was rather bitter. The opening sequence is fantastic; set in Mexico City on the Day of The Dead, it combines skilful filmmaking and a great locale, with a really cool action sequence. I mean, a fight inside a helicopter above thousands of people?! It was audacious and comes off very well. From the long opening tracking shot, following Bond manoeuvre through the streets of Mexico City, the entire sequence oozes class. However, the rest of the film fails to follow suit, taking a path downhill. Casino Royale set the bar high for Craig’s incarnation of Bond, which was almost matched by Skyfall (ignoring Quantum of Solace), and whilst Spectre doesn’t reach the lows of Quantum, it is wholeheartedly average. It teeters on the edge of trying to tell a really personal Bond story, somet h i n g emphasised with Dani e l

Craig, and also delivering the ‘classic’ Bond romp. The film can’t decide which it is, and ends up making something not quite as good as either.

It screams laziness, and makes for a heavily flawed, contrived story This unevenness isn’t helped by the shitty plot. If you don’t think into it at all, the plot seems to hold up well, but after some slight consideration, it falls apart. If you haven’t seen it, let me paint a picture: Judi Dench’s recently deceased M sends Bond to chase a man called Sciarro, which leads him to the terrorist organisation Spectre, which just so happens to tie into Bond’s family history. They also try to tie it in with the previous three Bond films stating that the previous villains were working for Spectre, even though it wasn’t mentioned AT ALL in the previous films. Also, how did Cristoph Waltz’s villain know Bond would be on these cases? It screams laziness and makes for a heavily flawed, contrived story. Another quibble is that, much like many trailers these days, the Spectre advertising sort of gave away everything that was going to happen, and we all knew Waltz’s inevitable fate. It was too predictable, which wasn’t helped by the casting choices. The choice to cast Andrew Scott, who played Moriaty in Sherlock (the baddie), revealed that his character would end up being bad. Similarly, the film seemed to rest on Cristoph Waltz’s reputation of being a ‘bit of a psycho’ in his previous films in order to portray to the audience that he is ‘scary and bad’. However, relying on previous performances doesn’t render him the same in this film, which he wasn’t. He wasn’t scary or crazy at all, lacking the maniacal villain tropes that Blofeld needed to have. Also, why cast an actress as capable as Monica Bellucci and then only put her in the film for five minutes? Sacrilege. It’s not all dark clouds however, Daniel Craig is superb as a flawed Bond, as he always is. For me, he is moving towards my definitive Bond. However, the films are not moving in the same direction. They are inconsistent, despite a consistent Bond actor. It is a shame, as Casino Royale was so brilliant, and Skyfall managed to tread the line carefully between the grit and fun. Spectre just doesn’t cut it; it should have hammered home the identity of Bond and perfected the formula for a modern Bond film. BEN LONDESBROUGH

Censorship and cinema 24


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Hannah Ferguson battles with the idea of film censorship and the input of the BBFC


HE release of the latest film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, has sparked up some controversy over its 12A rating. The decision was made to cut several seconds of footage in order to reduce the rating from a 15 to a 12A, which is a much more lucrative certificate. Even the decision to release it at the start of the half-term holidays automatically meant that it was aimed towards families with young children going to see the film together, therefore increasing ticket sales. This begs the question, are studios too focused on profit over content, and do censorship guidelines really protect young people in the way that they should?

Should 12-year-olds be allowed to watch torture scenes? Spectre is almost entirely made up of tense and nerve-wracking scenes that could be considered questionable for a younger audience. Even my 19-year-old friend jumped and grabbed onto my arm every five minutes throughout the film, and the whole audience of adults jumped at several tense moments, leading me to question how a 12-year-old would cope with the intensity of the graphic sequences. Censorship guidelines concerning the content of the type of films that

12-year-olds can watch are controlled by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). According to information provided by them, “At 12A, moderate violence is allowed but it should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood.” In Spectre,, as in all James Bond films, I would argue that there are many scenes that emphasise injuries and violence, as there are fight scenes, explosions and several murders. One scene from Spectre particularly stands out to me as an example of what could be psychologically scarring for young children - one of the villains grabs hold of a man’s head and starts crushing his eyeballs until they are squeezed back into his skull. We can hear his agonised sobs, and this is later described as his spirit leaving his body despite him not having died. I believe that these scenes only conformed to the BBFC guidelines, because they do not show gory details of blood. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are any less scary, as they leave the horror to the imagination of the viewer. Should 12-year-olds be allowed to watch torture scenes simply because the absence of blood and gore adheres to the censorship rules? To defend the decision to decrease Spectre’s rating to 12A, the BBFC stated

on its website: “During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification.

Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission. The company was advised that it was likely to be classified 15 but that their preferred 12A could be obtained by making reductions in a scene of violence and in another scene showing the aftermath of a violent act. When the film was submitted for formal classification, acceptable reductions had been made in both scenes and the film was classified 12A.” The only conceivable reason for the distributor’s desire

to change the classification is to make more money by allowing a larger audience to see the film. It is a perfect example of the money-grabbing schemes of the film industry; they care more about ticket sales and making money than the consequences that the content can have on young minds. Many of the scariest horror films are only rated 12A or 15 simply because they do not show gory or sexual violence, but they can still terrify fully grown adults with their psychologically disturbing themes. For example, The Woman in Black was rated a 12A, a fact that caused great controversy as the tone is extremely bleak and the premise of a ghost manipulating children into harming or killing themselves makes it a potentially disturbing feature for young children. A 15 rating with no cuts was available to the distributors, however they elected to cut The Woman In Black to achieve a 12A. They removed stronger horror from the film, darkened certain shots and reduced some sound effects to lessen the impact of some of the scarier ‘jump’ moments. With these changes the BBFC concluded that viewers aged 12 and above were likely to find the scary moments thrilling rather than upsetting or disturbing. This proves that film studios favour the promise of a larger audience over the content of

the film.

Film studios favour the promise of a larger audience over film content There is also the issue of sex and references to sex. In certificate 15 films, “there can be strong references to sex and sexual behaviour” according to BBFC guidelines. In a society where the age of sexual consent is 16, does it not seem wrong that films with explicit sexual content are readily available to 15-year-olds? We are told constantly that young minds are vulnerable and strongly influenced by what they see in the media, not exempting films. Therefore it surely follows that we should not be allowing young people to be exposed to films that promote inappropriate sexual behaviour. Despite the fact that censorship in the film industry is intended to protect young people from films that include unsuitable themes and scenes, it is entirely subjective and what may not seem inappropriate to an adult could negatively influence a 12-year-old. It all comes down to studios prioritising profits over the content of their films and not thinking about the consequences this can have on young minds.

Professor Green talks suicide Oliver Thompson unpacks the controversial documentary on suicide that has the internet all abuzz Professor Green: Suicide and Me Cast: Stephan Manderson Runtime: 56 mins


APPER Professor Green’s documentary about mental health and suicide is by no means a ‘scientific’ exploration of the epidemic of male suicide in Britain, but it is certainly touching. The documentary follows Stephen Manderson’s (Professor Green’s) journey to discover why his father, with whom he had lost touch committed suicide and perhaps shed light on the overarching problem of male suicide in Britain today. Going into the documentary, I was a little sceptical that the focus on the

problem of male suicide might totally overshadow mental health issues in both genders. However, the effectiveness of the documentary stems from its ability to present cultural stereotypes of masculinity and interrogate them.

Encourages viewers to speak out when they have dark feelings In the documentary, a number of experts assert that it is males’ propensity towards ‘masculinity’ and, by and large, not talking about their emotions that often leads to issues later down the line. We also learn of the systemic issues that suicide causes in families and the ways in which mental health issues are genetically linked. This notion makes the documentary even more effective, as

Manderson worries about the possibility of his future children being born into a family that is proliferated with mental health issues and encourages viewers to speak out when they have dark feelings. Though I am not a fan of Professor Green’s music, I think he made an interesting point of referencing his experiences with mental health and the creative process. These reference points are reminded of a film that negotiates the link between mental health and creativity with fantastic ease: 2014’s Frank. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Frank deals with a mysterious masked singer who creates eclectic, yet beautiful music. Throughout the film, we are given mixed messages as to whether the music that Frank creates is a result of his mental health issues or whether it is to do with ‘raw talent’. The film’s focus is both the romanticisation of mental health, in

its ability to create wonderful art, and the debilitating effects of problems also allows for the film to take a more nuanced position. This position is similar to the way in which Professor Green: Suicide and Me negotiates these issues. Both condemning his father’s actions and realising the pain he was going through, Manderson reveals that these probl e m s a r e neither black nor white.

It is a problem that needs discussion and negotiation in a fruitful way. Suicide is a very serious issue for all genders, and students struggling with mental health can call Voice (the University listening service) on 01392 724000.



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ARTS &LIT Arts Diary Theatre 9-11 Nov Shakespeare Schools Festival Phoenix 12-14 Nov MIxed Up Me Theatre Royal Plymouth

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Exeposé Arts & Lit

ARTS & LIT EDITORS Jeremy Brown Emily Kerr




Comedy’s ‘Andyman Jeremy Brown, Arts & Lit Editor, talks to Andy Hamilton, writer of Outnumbered


I, is that Andy Hamilton?” These are the words that I’ve scrawled at the top of my interview notes: the start of a pre-scripted introduction which I’ve prepared on the presumption that I’ll probably mess it up otherwise. I am, after all, talking to one of the greatest comedy writers in the country, so my nerves are justifiable. When I actually hear the lively “hello” on the other end of the phone, however, the script flies out of the window: only a “hello” from Adele or Lionel Richie would have been more impressive. This is undoubtedly the voice of comedy writer Andy Hamilton, creator of Outnumbered and regular panellist on QI,, and I’m slightly star-struck; when he follows this up by asking, “Is that Jeremy?”, it was all I could do to hold myself together, mumbling an overexcited “Brilliant, yeah!” in response.

The programme was quite happy to celebrate ‘the incompetence of parenthood’

they were always honoured with perfectly-balanced, characterful humour. Hamilton agrees that the kids had a great “naturalness” about them, and I’m reminded of the scene when seven-year-old Karen is told “a woman can be any size or shape she wants”, and replies cooly: “what about a hexagon?” Perhaps that’s why the show burnt out as the children grew up. Now aged 61, Hamilton’s been in the business for years. He tells me he first started writing properly as a member of the Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society, a group which performed sketches “in prisons and old people’s homes”. These days, Hamilton has no need for such a captive audience. He’s been on Have I Got News For You 16 times over the years, making him their most popular guest, and he’s a common sight on QI too. Last year, he even found time to write a blockbuster film, starring national treasures like David

Tennant and Rosamund Pike. So why is such a successful writer suddenly turning to stand-up? This is only his second tour, and its premise seems unique; he’s titled the show ‘Change Management’, after the painfully-euphemistic term for redundancy, and tells me he felt he’d finally reached an age where he can “look at the things that have changed, and maybe think about the future as well”. I ask him whether he’ll be offering guidance, and he laughs, saying that although there might be some smatterings of wisdom “I’m not sure I’d ever take my advice - I’m not qualified in any regard on the advice front”. Having said that, Hamilton’s happy to offer tips to Chelsea manager José Mourinho a few minutes later. He’s a lifetime fan of the club, and even ran away to Stamford Bridge at the age of six (“but it was only

round the corner, it wasn’t like I’d gone on some epic quest!”). I teasingly mention Chelsea’s season so far: does Mourinho need change management? “I think he needs anger management,” he jokes, before seeming to drift into a fantasy world as he quietly says, almost to himself, “but I’m sure he’ll be fine... I’m sure it will all be fine”. Somehow, I’m not convinced.

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Neurotribes, a book about autism, wins Samuel Johnson Prize

Even if you don’t recognise his name, you’ll probably know Hamilton’s greatest success, Outnumbered - a BBC sitcom which focused on a normal, middle-class family, living in London. When I say ‘normal’, I mean slightly dysfunctional; in Hamilton’s own words, the programme was quite happy to celebrate “the incompetence of parenthood”. And it clearly struck a chord with the general public too, with the final series attracting about six million viewers to each episode: no doubt parents who recognised the moody, chaotic, and infuriatingly inquisitive children. These young actors stole the show, thanks partly to their freedom to improvise, so I start by asking Hamilton if he thought that was the key to the show’s success. It’s clearly a question he’s had before, and there’s a polite, almost diplomatic hesitation before he points out that the improvisation was only occasional: “I think it’s probably the observational element that is the heart to it”. He definitely has a point. Mundane, realistic experiences - lost shoes, traffic jams and missing keys - were typical, but

Bill Bailey’s tour van stolen from outside his gig in Liverpool

Just write: write stuff that interests you, don’t try to second-guess anybody

I quickly move on to ask what advice he would give to students who are interested in producing comedy. “Just write: write stuff that interests you, don’t try to second-guess anybody, write what you want to write.” He’s very encouraging about people rejecting scripts, too: “you can’t get around that, that’s what happens, but try not to be disheartened by it. If it’s a thing you really want to do more than anything else, just stick at it.” I’m surprised to hear that Hamilton has also dabbled in acting - he’s the voice of ‘Dr Elephant The Dentist’ in children’s cartoon Peppa Pig (no relation to Percy). Apparently his character’s friendly nature has improved children’s attitudes to visiting the dentist. “I’m bewildered by it,” he admits, “he’s an elephant, so I’d have thought - if anything - people would be disappointed to get there to find the most boring person, without a trunk.” Too soon, the interview is over. I thank him for the “absolute honour” of talking to him (I have a habit of embarrassing myself) and he kindly, inexplicably, thanks me back. It may be a certain demographic that fills most of the seats at the Corn Exchange later this month (I’ll fondly refer to it as a ‘Radio 4 audience’), and stand-up might not be Hamilton’s first love, but there aren’t many comedy writers whose careers have been Catch more prolific - or more impressive - than his. Exeter’s future Andy’s tour at Exeter Corn Exchange comedians should be brawling in the streets for the chance on 18 November to hear just one of his many at 7.30pm words of wisdom.

Behind the looking glass





Emma Bessent takes a trip down the rabbit hole on Alice’s 150th anniversary


N the “golden afternoon” of 4

still so captivated by this ludicrous story

dued, tamed and explained much more

ity of his contemporary chil-

July, 1863, Lewis Carroll com-

of the girl who fell down the rabbit hole?

simply than linguistic schools.

dren’s writers - but a version

posed a nonsense tale to delight Alice

Perhaps the answer lies in its revo-

of reality that was interesting.

Liddell, the daughter of his friend and

lutionary status in the genre of chil-

He sought not to explain the

colleague Henry Liddell, and her two

dren’s literature. The novels are credit-

sisters, Lorina and Edith. It was a de-

ed with the transition of youth literature

lightful day, which they spent rowing

from primarily didactic to the imagina-

along the Isis in Oxford.

tive and surreal, encouraging children

We may consider the depth of the

to stretch their minds rather than create

two tales’ bibliographical aspects sur-

demands, but to intrigue and

interior moral boundaries.

He sought to intrigue, and perhaps even baffle...

world to young people in a manner which would ensure their thoughts and behaviours corresponded



prising, given their classification as ex-

perhaps even baffle them with

The books are based on a dichoto-

amples of “literary nonsense”, but, with

its ludicrous nuances, point-

mous foundation of nonsense and logic,

closer examination, it may be realised

ing out that just because that’s

challenging the reader’s perception of

that the warping of reality into a crea-

the way things are, it doesn’t

Three years later, this spontane-

the normative world about them. One of

tive, rather than educational, format

always mean that’s the way

ously composed fantasy was published

the most interesting aspects of the sto-

makes perfect sense.

they should be. In doing this,

under the title, Alice’s Adventures in

ries is the recurrent theme of language

Carroll’s self-selected editors were

Wonderland. In 1871, it was joined on

as an insufficient tool for communica-

children themselves; George MacDon-

holistic, lateral thought in his

the nation’s bookshelves by the sequel

tion; Liddell, a mathematics lecturer

ald’s sons and daughters and their

readers - young and old

Through the Looking Glass, and What

at Christ Church, Oxford, saw the in-

thrilled reception of Carroll’s ludicrous

alike - creating a genera-

Alice Found There. In the wake of these

consistencies of language - as opposed

tales were highly formative in his deci-

tion of change agents

two novels, a phenomenal tradition

to the clear and set principles of maths

sion to carry Alice forwards to publi-


spread through popular culture which,

and science - as intriguingly flawed. The

cation. His love and genuine respect

passivity, some-

to this day, captivates both adult and

March Hare’s protestations in Chapter

for children as human beings in their

thing that I, and

child audiences alike. Reimaginings and

Seven that “You might just as well say…

own right - rather than the half-formed

millions of his

she wonders if the mysterious magic

interpretations of the text are common,

that ‘I like what I get’ is the same as “I

creatures the rest of Victorian England

other readers, will be eternally grateful

of Wonderland will shrink her down to

such as Tim Burton’s 2010 film, which

get what I like!” This can be read as an

perceived them to be - explains why

for. The truth behind Carroll’s looking

nothing, “going out altogether, like a

grossed over one billion US dollars

inverse relationship; a seemingly con-

Carroll thought it essential not to create

glass is that we are confined only by

candle”. If we reject and fight these lim-

worldwide. Why is it, 150 years after the

tradictory, bewildering set of relations

a version of reality that was palatable

our own limitations, just as Alice her-

publication of the original tale, we’re

which mathematics and logic have sub-

and instructional - unlike the major-

self suggests in the very first chapter

itations, thrust upon us by society, we can only grow in strength and wisdom.

Why are we still so captivated by this ludicrous story?

Poet-tree In honour of our Mental Health focussed issue, we’ve asked our writers for lines from poems that have inspired them, supported them, or explained their innermost thoughts and emotions.

Carroll cultivated independent,

discouraging of her adventures, as

Maya Angelou Robert Frost

“You may shoot me with

“The woods are lovely,

your words,

dark and deep,

You may cut me with your eyes,

But I have promises to keep,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

And miles to go before I sleep,

But still, like air, I’ll rise”

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Laurel Bibby

Philip Larkin “...we should be careful Of each other, we should be kind While there is still time” Jessica Stanier

Carmen Paddock Max Ehrmann


“You are a child of the universe,

Earnest Henley

Dylan Thomas

No less than the trees and the stars,

“It matters not how strait the gate,

“Do not go gentle into that

you have a right to be here.

How charged with punishments

good night.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

the scroll,

Rage, rage against the dying of

no doubt the universe is unfolding

I am the master of my fate:

the light.”

as it should.”

I am the captain of my soul.”

Jeremy Brown

Tessa Boyd

Hayden Cooper

J. R.R. Tolkien “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” Emma Prevignano

Saadi E. E. Cummings “now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened” Anoushka Alexander-Rose

“All human beings are members of one body Created of one essence If one member is afflicted with pain The others cannot remain unmoved You who are without feeling for the suffering of others You do not deserve to be called human” Helena Bennett

A. E. Housman “If death and time are stronger A love may yet be strong; The world will last for longer But this will last for long.” Gareth Roberts

John Donne “Each man’s death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.” Theo Stone



NEWS 1-5


MUSIC 18-20

SCREEN 22-24

ARTS & LIT SCI & TECH 26-29 30-32

GAMES 34-36

SPORT 38-40

Photo: Leopard Films

Sleeping beautifully

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |


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Tash Ebbutt reviews Matthew Bourne’s gothic romance, as it takes Plymouth by storm Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty Theatre Royal Plymouth 17-24 October 2015


NCE upon a time, there lived a disorganised fresher who, whilst sprinting for the train, began to ponder how unacquainted she was with the wonder of dance. As the train doors shut and she collapsed into her seat, the fresher considered what she knew… A supposed Gothic Romance, complimented by the divine Tchaikovsky score, a traditional tale of good versus evil… it could only be the classic that is Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is quite frankly, magnificent With no experience of watching dance, I do not know what to expect as I arrive at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. Initially I feel doubtful however,

by the end of the production, this doubt is eliminated. A heart wrenching, emotional rollercoaster leaving me utterly speechless, Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is quite frankly, magnificent. A world-renowned performance that premiered in Plymouth back in 2012; based upon the remarkable tale that is widely known to all- whether that be from Perrault, the Brothers Grimm or even Walt Disney. Bourne, similarly to his other productions, builds upon the timeless tale of a girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years by adding his own unique, contemporary flair. Within this rendition of Sleeping Beauty, the audience is propelled from 1890 to modern day with magic, fairies and even vampires all making an appearance. The production itself is tactfully split into four parts that follow Sleeping Beauty’s i.e. Aurora’s life. The tale explores two classic themes, love and hate. The love of Aurora (Ashley Shaw) and her childhood sweetheart Leo (Dominic North) - which as a warning is adorable, and the hatred of two dark fairies against the King and QueenCarabosse and her son Caradoc (Adam

ART TO ART This week, we’re featuring the artwork of Katie Hollinshead, a second year Drama student

Maskell). Such contrasts culminate in an intense experience that beautifully encapsulates the perfect concoction of human sentiment. Bourne’s expert choreography further reflects the strength of such emotions, each dancer exhibited a burning passion for their individual roles with every move screaming perfection and every expression fitting aptly into the dynamic score that Tchaikovsky created back in 1890.

Brimming with beautiful aesthetics, the setting and costumes are probably what impressed me most Brimming with beautiful aesthetics, the setting and costumes are probably what impresses me the most about this production. Each set reflects the decadence of the Victorian and Edwardian eras in which Bourne’s story is set and also coincidentally when Tchaikovsky’s ballet was born. A couple of my personal favourite pieces of set design are the pair of stunningly ornate gates from

I am a self-taught artist with a small art business mainly commissioning pet portraits. However, I have completed a variety of works from dogs to cars to people to buildings. My current style is realism but I am keen to try other styles which I look forward to starting after all of my Christmas orders are complete. It’s only recently I have started selling art work. In March this year a flatmate asked me if I would paint a picture of his dog for his mum and although I was unsure of my capability at the time, I agreed. Now, eight months on I’m commissioning many pieces of work in paint, graphite and colour pencil. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities for new work and I’m inspired everyday by other artists, spending hours trawling through Instagram!

which Aurora awaits her love and the naturalistic scenery which adds a mysterious aura to certain scenes. In addition to the both historically accurate and charming set, each expertly crafted costume clearly depicts the characters’ own stance in the battle of good and evil whilst still managing to maintain an alluring, whimsical charm reminiscent of the era itself. The utilisation of colour imagery within such an ensemble further echoes the powerful emotion that potently shines through the dancers every move reflecting the mood conveyed upon the stage. All in all, I cannot emphasise how brilliant this production is. I guess it is true what they say, actions do speak louder than words, both through the speechless rhythm of dance and through this review itself. I could use every word possible and yet it still would not be enough to convey the extraordinary nature of this show. With the production touring around the United Kingdom for the next few months, I highly recommend you pick up tickets… I mean it might be another 100 years before, like Aurora, this masterpiece awakens!

jg10 @will

@laur asuza nne_

Tag your Instagram photos with @exepose_arts_lit for a chance to be featured

Artistic License In honour of NaNoWriMo, we’re launching our ‘NaNoEmoMo (National Novel Emoji month!). Here are some novels summarised in 10 emojis or under... LEWIS NORMAN 50 Shades of Grey EAMONN CROWE The Very Hungry Caterpillar EMILY KERR Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland SARAH GOUGH Lady Chatterley’s Lover





Photo: Bill Cooper

BRB’s Swan Lake was en pointe Emily Harris, Online Screen Editor, has a look at the classic Tchaikovsky ballet Atsuji danced as Prince Siegfried,

mishaps with timing and the ballerinas

and intitally I found him a little lack-

did not consistently move in unison, but

Our prima for the evening was Nao

ing. A slight dancer for a male lead, I

they danced with solid technique which

Sakuma, taking on the roles of Odette

was aching for him to demonstrate the

combined with the set and costuming,

This production of Swan Lake was

and Odile with an experienced and ar-

power and elevation attractive in male

created a magical display. My highlights

performed by the Birmingham Royal

tistic approach. Sakuma is exactly what

ballet. At the arrival of Act II, Atsuji be-

were the cygnets (who thankfully didn’t

Ballet, who have a questionable place

I look for in a ballerina - long limber

gan to deliver the Prince Siegfried the

slip up on the precise timing required

HERE are little girls everywhere

in the current British dance firmament,

legs, extensive lines – she embodied

audience craved, and showcased his

for their intricate footwork) and the

in the audience, with criss-

and for a tirelessly touring company I

the frantic grace of the white swan per-

perfected technique followed by an ex-

charming pieces of character dancing

had mixed expectations.

fectly. Her characterisation proved so

quisite jete sequence in Act III.

in Act III – it’s always nice to see the

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Swan Lake Theatre Royal Plymouth 27-29 October 2015


crossed plaits pinned tightly across their

mantis than The Nutcrackers prima,

dynamic with the elegance of the cho-

but there is something captivating, in-


spiring and I soon realised, timeless, about taking a trip to the ballet.

heads, pink bows peeking from pris-

However, director Peter Wright

powerful that following Act III I had

tine buns and excitedly clutching pro-

certainly delivered with his version of

to double check Sakuma had actually

grammes. This is a vision of every young

the 1895 ballet classic. A ballet so hack-

played the role of Odile as well. A swift

girl in dance class taking their first trip

neyed may prove boring but Wright

personality change to a dark and seduc-

to the ballet, and I am reminded of my

captured the gothic heart of Swan Lake,

tive temptress was flawless, her move-

own first trip as an aspiring ballerina. Of

complete with incredible costumes

ments were strong and exotic as she and

course, this dream was never realised as

and staging. The setting was dark and

Yasuo Atsuji performed their passion-

my arms make me look more praying

foreboding which created a beautiful

ate pas de deux.

pointe shoes come off for a while!

He sought to intrigue and even baffle children with ludicrous nuances The rest of the company executed the performance well. There were many

Wright and the Birmingham Royal Ballet delivered an evening of pure class and magic, capturing the admiration of all aspiring dancers in the audience and the regret of those who have praying mantis arms.


NEWS 1-5



MUSIC 18-20

SCREEN 22-24

ARTS & LIT SCI & TECH 26-29 30-32

SCIENCE& TECH Becky B’s science for students

This week, Rebecca Broad gives you three natural ways to fight mental health issues - with a little help from science. Nature and mental health affect everyone on this planet every second of every day. So they’re pretty important, as are the interactions between them. According to an Exeter University study, moving to a green urban area beats winning the lottery for length of positive impact! Here are three scientifically proven ways to use nature for our wellbeing:



Students blame deadlines and tests as the biggest causes of mental illness (NUS survey). In order to stay healthy you need to do stuff other than study. Research shows that “blue” space i.e. water can be an even more effective way of reaping nature’s benefits. Frolic along Dawlish beach or pedal boat around the quay.



One in five students experience mental health issues and over a quarter blame that on the pressure to “fit in” (NUS survey). Triple whammy: make friends and get the benefits of nature and exercise (endorphin rush!) by getting involved with groups like Out of Doors Society or ESV’s Environmental Project.


Study break

Walking in nature boosted memory and attention, up to 20 per cent, in a Michigan study. So don your trainers and take a stroll round Reed Hall gardens, one of the many parks round Exeter, or St Michael’s church (five minute walk from the high street) to catch a glimpse of the fastest animal in the world: the peregrine falcon.

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |

SPORT 38-40

Exeposé Science & Tech

SCI & TECH EDITORS Catherine Heffner Lewis Norman




Myths of the mind Jessica Hughes challenges our assumptions regarding schizophrenia and OCD


N a society where mental health is stigmatised, people who have not experienced or learnt about any mental illnesses themselves are likely to be unaware of the true facts about mental illness (and ironically this increases stigma). So here is your first lesson about a couple of mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is commonly thought of as a ‘split personality’ – this is wrong. It is now more likely to be thought of as ‘split from reality’ as sufferers often experience hallucinations and believe them to be real. Psychologists currently argue that there are different types of schizophrenia (disorganised, paranoid and schizophreniform disorder) but as a whole, it is characterised as various combinations of psychotic symptoms, e.g. delusions. Other symptoms of schizophrenia may be disorganised speech, social withdrawal and emotional disturbances. Schizophrenia is a very complex mental health disorder, and as such is difficult to explain and difficult to diagnose. Clinicians follow the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in order to diagnose mental health problems and so this sets out the criteria for what schizophrenia is. The onset of schizophrenia tends to occur in late adolescence or young adulthood. As with most mental health illnesses, no one cause is suggested for schizophrenia. Instead, it depends on the particular person and may also be an interaction of factors (this isn’t the most satisfying answer I know, but it is the result of people being so diverse and mental illnesses having so many different variations). So what are the causes? Genetic factors have long been considered a possible cause as studies on twins tends to show that the concordance rates (the likelihood both individuals will have the same characteristic) are higher for identical (or MZ) twins

than non-identical twins (DZ), with the concordance rates at 48 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. However studies such as these do not recognise that the environmental influences are likely to be shared between the participants (as well as their genes).

Schizophrenia is thought of as a ‘split from reality’ as sufferers often experience hallucinations There are other biological theories that include the dopamine hypothesis which suggested that people with schizophrenia have an excess of dopamine resulting in hallucinations and other symptoms typical of the disorder. There is also a compelling argument for the importance of environmental factors such as family interaction. Expressed emotion is at the heart of a considerable body of research and suggests that patients with families with high expressed emotion (hostility, high criticism or overprotectiveness) are more likely to relapse (48 per cent compared to 21 per cent in low expressed emotion settings). It is now generally accepted that there is a diathesis-stress model in play, i.e. that some people are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia but that their environment is likely to bring this out. Schizophrenia is often treated with medication (typically anti-psychotics), talking therapies and a wide range of support from the patient’s friends and family. Another often misunderstood mental illness is OCD. Programmes such as ‘Obsessive Compulsive Cleaning’ and a general lack of societal knowledge or acceptance of disorders means that this disorder tends to be underestimated – you hear people on a day to day basis

say “my OCD is going mad because my room is messy”, but this demeans the very difficult and challenging thoughts of someone suffering from OCD. OCD is an anxiety disorder and those with it tend to experience obsessive or compulsive thoughts that are linked to a serious threat. The obsessions or compulsions are unwanted, intrusive cognitive thoughts that are repetitive. For example, some patients with OCD will believe that if they do not lock their door 17 times before they leave, a family member will die, for example. Obviously these thoughts are extremely distressing and although the patient will often recognise that their thoughts are not rational, they will be unable to ignore or dismiss them. We may all have the occasional intrusive thought that is unwanted, but patients with OCD have more of them, more frequently and the thoughts are associated with higher levels of discomfort. The compulsions are the thoughts that encourage a particular behaviour which reduces anxiety. It is thought that patients with OCD attempt to suppress the obsessional thoughts, and in doing so make the thought more intrusive and salient (as with the suppression of thoughts in the general population). This results in a vicious cycle. Treatment for OCD involves exposing the patient to the situation that increases their anxiety while preventing their typical compulsive response (which may be very scary for patients who believe that if they don’t complete

the compulsive behaviour there will be disasterous consequences). Currently, 1.2 per cent of the population are suffering with OCD and 220,000 people in the UK are suffering with schizophrenia – let’s acknowledge these illnesses as real and tough, and start providing help, instead of stigmatising patients.

Debunking mental health myths MISCONCEPTION Schizophrenia is more common in men than women.

Photo: thestudentchannel

GAMES 34-36

TRUTH Schizophrenia is equally as likely in both genders but onsets tend to be four to five years earlier in men.

MISCONCEPTION OCD is about needing to clean all the time due to a fear of germs.

TRUTH Patients with OCD may have compulsions that result in any behaviour; fear of contamination is a common one.

Dementia dissected



Catherine Heffner, Science & Tech Editor, discusses the latest Alzheimer’s research


ANKING in the top ten highest mortality rates in upper income countries, killing more people than prostate and breast cancer combined, with no prevention, cure or way of slowing the symptoms, dementia has affected the lives of millions. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently 850,000 patients in the UK alone. With an ageing population, this figure is only set to increase, with an expected one million sufferers in the UK by 2025. It’s a cruel disease. Symptoms progress through total memory loss, personality changes and lack of ability to care f o r

oneself independently. Ultimately, it is fatal. So why exactly is it taking so long to find any kind of cure for such a heartbreaking and widespread disease? Here are some of the headaches of dementia research facing scientists at the moment: Difficulties in diagnosis ‘Dementia’ is the umbrella term for a range of disorders. It can be caused by a variety of damaging effects on the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and prion infections. Alzheimer’s is by far the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 50 - 80 per cent of cases. Rarer kinds include CJD which is caused by infectious particles called prions and fronto-temporal dementia which initially affects personality and behaviour more dramatically than memory. However, all of these causes amount to a pretty similar disease presentation, with the main symptom being memory loss. For Alzheimer’s specifically, we lack any biomarkers for the disease. Biomarkers are molecules or biological elements that can be detected and used to attribute the presence of a disease. With so many different types of dementia and a lack of these biomarkers, it’s therefore often difficult to define the underlying cause of an individual’s sepcific illness and to progress with treatment. Often it takes years to come to a definitive diagnosis, which is not only frustrating but also damaging to the disease progression which worsens with age. We don’t fully understand the disease mechanism At a cellular level, the disease has a few hallmarks. Notably, there are two kinds of protein accumulations known as ‘amyloid plaques’ and ‘tau tangles’ which have been associated with Alzheimer’s.

While amyloid-beta is seen accumulating in plaques outside neurons, and tau accumulating as tangles inside neurons, both proteins are thought to build up in the diseased brain and prevent the neurons from firing, therefore preventing a signal from being transmitted. Since the neurons can’t communicate any more, the cells die and the brain tissue shrinks dramatically. Great. We’ve got an identifiable cellular defect for the disease.

Current drugs on the market still only work to slow the disease progression for six to twelve months However, not all dementia patients will show these protein accumulations at autopsy. Likewise, some people who do have these protein accumulations never actually ever show any symptoms of dementia. So whether we’re looking at a cause or an effect, it’s hard to say. The underlying mechanism of the disease is still yet to be determined. Current drugs don’t work Currently, the primary prescribed medication for Alzheimer’s disease is a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. In dementia, there is often a dramatic loss in neurons that use a chemical called acetylcholine. This neuronal loss can be prevented by increasing the level of acetylcholine available. Cholinesterase inhibitors work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, thus increasing it’s concentration. The action of these drugs has been shown to slow or stabilise the progression of the disease in some patients. Similarly, other drugs are available which work on other chemical messengers, such as memantine which works on glutamate rather than acetylcholine. But whilst these are the most effective drugs we have on the market, they still only work to improve symptoms for six to 12 months. Even then the efficacy of these treatments varies from individual

to individual, and while patients are trying out all these drugs, they can often show really negative side effects and their symptoms may even deteriorate. Patients are often also prescribed antipsychotics for managing symptoms of psychosis that present with the dementia, however these offer little benefit and often shorten life expectancy. Although these drugs have been shown to have a positive effect in many Alzheimer’s patients, we are still lacking effective treatment for other kinds of dementia such as vascular dementia. With still more bad news on the finding drugs front, we’re lacking enough people for clinical trials. Seeing as we don’t have any defined biomarkers, and diagnosis in itself is difficult anyway, drug researchers struggle to find participants to take part in clinical trials of new drugs. No clinical trials, no new drugs. Sometimes, science is difficult. As a patient or a carer it can be incredibly frustrating to see a lack of options for treatment.

The British government has pledged to more than double Alzheimer’s research funding from £66 million per year Thankfully, attention to dementia research has increased hugely over the last few years. The British government recently pledged to more than double funding in Alzheimer’s research from £26 million in 2009/10 to £66 million in 2014/15. We’ve even been turning our attention to it here at the University of Exeter. This year we opened a Doctoral Training Centre with £5 million worth of funding and eight PhD students to work on the disease specifically. The project aims to bring together psychologists, geneticists, mathematicians, cell biologists and neuroscientists to look into how dysfunctional brain networks present in dementia form. So hang tight, a cure is coming. For now, we just might have to figure out some of the mysteries of the brain before we can get there.

Dementia data


million pounds is spent per year on dementia research in the UK alone (enough to pay for the average energy bill of every household in the country).


per cent of UK dementia sufferers receive a diagnosis, the rest never know. It is thought that there are 416,000 people living with dementia in England who haven’t been diagnosed.


per cent of people living in care homes suffer from dementia or severe memory loss. In 2011, a whopping 291,000 individuals were living in residences such as these.


times more public money is given to cancer research than to Alzheimer’s research in the UK. In 2011, Alzheimer’s Research UK received £6,282,153 in voluntary donations.



Biweekly Breakthroughs by Joshua Rotchelle ...But an itch ain’t one Clinicians from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia have figured out which nerve cells in mice are responsible for ensuring that ‘itchy’ sensations on the skin are ignored by the body. The cells spark hopes for tracing the pathway of itchy sensations through the body, which may lead to being able to block itches in human bodies with treatment. While evolutionarily important for humans – itches help signal diseasecarrying parasites, which the body can then scratch away – some unfortunate souls are afflicted with permanent itchiness, which currently has no cure.

Imma wirin’ mah lazer! A team of engineers at our neighbouring hall of education, the University of Bristol, have developed something straight out of science fiction: a ‘tractor beam’ with the ability to grab, hold and move small objects... without even touching them. Utilising ‘holograms’ made out of ultrasound waves, the beam is capable of manipulating pea-sized objects from about a foot away, with potential applications in the development of remote surgical instruments. An estimated time until the invention of a device equivalent in ability to Half-Life 2’s tractor beam has not been released.

Such science. Wow.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have (after over a decade of research) concocted a form of gene therapy which acts as a cure for muscular dystrophy in dogs. Primarily affecting young boys (a quarter of a million in the US alone), MD consists of growing muscle weakness, and eventually the death of musclue tissue altogether, leaving areas of the body immobile. Dogs treated with the therapy achieved total recovery, and a human clinical trials are expected to begin in the next few years.



NEWS 1-5


MUSIC 18-20

SCREEN 22-24

ARTS & LIT SCI & TECH 26-29 30-32

GAMES 34-36

SPORT 38-40

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |


The rise of the rational robots Isabel Neelands ponders whether we have anything to fear with the rise of artificial intelligence


RTIFICIAL Intelligence is as dangerous as NUCLEAR WEAPONS: AI pioneer warns smart computers could doom mankind.” “Are the robots about to rise?” “It’s too late to give machines ethics – they’re already beyond our control”. Above are but a select few from the countless headlines that have been strewn across our national media in the last weeks regarding Artificial Intelligence. Concerns about Artificial Intelligence – particularly the fear of the rise of an almighty ‘autonomous’ machine – have been whispering around for a while, predominantly in science fiction novels, such as Sawyer’s Wake, Watch & Wonder trilogy which envisions newly conscious, super intelligent machines cooperating with humans. However, recently a far greater cry for public concern has been brought to our attention through the views of influential figures.

For example, the great physicist Stephen Hawking believes “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”. Musk, founder of Tesia Motors and Space X, seems to agree by voicing that Artificial Intelligence is probably “our biggest existential threat”. He even went as far as, in an almost medieval fashion, likening

advancements in the field to “summoning the demon”. The public’s attention has been poignant, and is reflected in the success of Channel 4’s Humans – the British channel’s most successful drama in 20

years. The programme is set in a parallel present, in a world in which we increasingly rely on robots. Interestingly, they are marketed as high tech-luxury house appliances. Human’s depiction of Artificial Intelligence has sparked many debates on the topic – particularly on how it could threaten mankind. Sam Vincent – one of the

issues. Can you imagine a world in which we are as reliant on our ‘household robot’ as we are with our smart phones, never leaving it out of sight? What happens if these robots override their systems? It is the unpredictability of the future that is perhaps the most frightening.

show’s m a i n writers – points out that society’s increasingly dependent and emotional relationship with technology makes audiences very receptive to the

As one might describe civil engineering as the art of building bridges, rather than the art of building bridges which don’t fall down, one might describe artificial intelligence in a similar light, suggests leading academic Professor Russel of Berkeley University. For Russel, the

Hawking believes “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”

advancement of Artificial Intelligence is inevitable. Although not all consequences are predictable, we must be prudent and ensure that it is developed in a way in which we can somehow ensure its safety and thereby guarantee the safety of humankind. A positive outcome of the developments in artificial technology has been the ability to ‘make better drugs’ – cutting cancer drug development costs in half. The co-founder of Berg – a company that’s pairing Artificial Intelligence with medical research to create more precise treatments – Niven R. Naraine believes that “precision medicine is going to be the future” and that “Artificial Intelligence and the next generation of biology will allow us to participate in our own health”. Whether the positives will outweigh the potential threats to the human race remains to be seen.

Morocco’s solarpower stardom

Sarah Gough, Editor, shines a light on Morocco’s new energy plans for a solar power plant in the desert


S our hours of sunlight dwindle and we prepare for cold (and deadline) induced hibernation, Morocco goes and makes us jealous. Not only are they still basking in post-20 degree temperatures, they’re also destined to become the world’s first solar superpower this month. Not cool, Morocco, not cool. Well, it’s metaphorically cool, I suppose. The first stage of their massive solar panel farm Noor 1 – Arabic for ‘Light 1’ - launches this November. One small step for man, one huge step for climate change solutions. According to Guardian reports, four linked solar mega-plants, based in the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, will work alongside hydro and wind

to provide nearly half of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2020. Previously host to so-called “Ouallywood” productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, The Living Daylights and Game of Thrones, Ouarzazate will soon move from simply appearing on screens to powering them. Europe might get to import a bit of the action too, if we get distracted from cuddling coal that is. Receiving around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year – that’s double the UK’s allotted tanning time - the solar mega-complex includes 800 rows of 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors. Sparkling with a sass that only comes with success, these mirrors then play host

to a plethora of photovoltaics – the process where light excites electrons to generate an electromotive force - and electric currents are produced in abundance.

The solar mega-plants will provide nearly half of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2020 Noor 1 is new, but the undeniable solar supremacy of the desert is not. We’ve known for decades that, apart from the whole lack of water thing, the sandy ex-

panse is largely the source of all our solutions. Whilst we were still fannying around with fossil fuels, back in 1986 German particle physicist Gerhard Knies calculated that the world’s deserts receive enough energy in a few hours to provide for humanity’s power needs for a whole year. You go, Gerhard. The problem previously has only been in determining how such a vast amount of energy can be transferred to nearby towns and cities. Now Noor 1 knows - great, let’s throw a techno party. While Morocco’s renewables power ahead, where does this leave the UK on the solar spectrum? Well, panel use has definitely been pushed in recent years. In 2012, the government said that four

million homes across the UK will be powered by the sun by 2020, representing 22,000-megawatts of installed solar power capacity. Our largest solar farm is the 48-megawatt Southwick Estate site, finished in March of this year. However, 2014 figures state that solar power still only accounts for 1.2 per cent of the UK’s total energy consumption. If we are David, Morocco is Goliath. It is by no means a fair fight - proximity to the equator cannot be manipulated by our determination. Nonetheless, it is certain that Morocco’s 500-megawatt solar project dwarves our own efforts. If only we all had one of those desert things, said the student writing an essay in three jumpers.


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GAMES 34-35

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |

SPORT 38-40

Exeposé Games

GAMES EDITORS Jack England Evan Jones

VICTORIA BOS Yoshi! Just so I could ride on his back up Forum hill every day. JEREMY BROWN Cortana, obviously. Except she’s powered by Bing. RYAN RACE Navi, so I could have someone to remind me to listen when I’m falling asleep in lectures... THEODORE STONE GLaDOS in potato form. Because that would be tubular.

Free Game of the Week

Princess Nom Nom Princess Nom Nom is an interesting little game designed during a 48 hour game jam. Princess Nom Nom could really go for a snack, but her royal butt is too tired to move. Food catering is a servant’s duty anyway... Scan the QR code to download your free copy



Photo: Time

The Orange Box

Which gaming sidekicks would make a great companion at university?


Diving into Syndicate

Harry Shepherd, Online Editor, answers London’s calling Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Ubisoft Montreal PC, PS4, Xbox One Out now


T’S about as inevitable as yet another rainy British summer time, but sin’s Creed has once again returned to our gaming monitors. However, please stifle those yawns a moment for I’m happy to report that this one’s actually quite good! Your latest Assassin’s adventure sees Evie and Jacob Frye, some of the most personable and interesting protagonists seen in the series this side of Ezio Auditore, and their self-styled gang called the Rooks. You follow their attempts to reclaim Victorian London from those pesky Templars, who are lead by chief nasty Crawford Starrick. Also lending a hand are a surprisingly large cast of historical characters such as Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale and Alexander Graham Bell sending you on an array of irreverent jobs. These are quite fun and lighten the tone for what has mostly been a serious series, but none of these historical celebs get much of a chance to shine in their own right. The two siblings play off of each other nicely in both gameplay and story terms. Evie’s play style is more stealthfocused as she stresses the need for the two to recover the next piece of Eden, whilst Jacob is more confrontational and brash as he prizes knocking as many Templar blocks off as he can. Not exactly revolutionary in its depiction of gender roles then, but at least Syndicate does well to avoid the wider Animus, Abstergo and Apple of Eden guff. Mostly.

Syndicate’s most important triumphs are, admittedly, borrowed from other games, but they remain a big part of why the latest instalment is so successful. Horse-drawn carriages can be hijacked a la Grand Theft Auto in much wider street design reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Knight. Caped crusader comparisons don’t end there though; melee combat

On the other hand, not everything has seen an update as the controls will still endlessly infuriate. Too many actions are mapped to too few button inputs, meaning that if you’re stuck in a tight space and being pursued by enemy gangsters, it’s pretty much down to pot luck whether you successfully escape through a door or end up crashing into everything and embar-

has seen an Arkham-esque update and

rassingly circling the room like a headless

detail Ubisoft have packed into London, it’s easily the most dynamic environment ever seen in the series.

It’s pretty much pot luck whether you escape through a door or end up crashing into everything title, all the extra side quests you’ll be doing to compliment the main narrative feels necessary. With each gang leader defeated, weapon upgrades successfully crafted and section of London liberated, you’ll be increasing the Rooks’ sphere of influence and their chances in the fight against the Templars, encouraging you to explore every nook and cranny of Assassin’s Creed: is the type of game that categorically proves why developers shouldn’t release games annually. Franchises need time to rectify series mistakes and recognise what rival games are doing more successSyndicate irons out a significant number of traditional missteps but loyal fans will dwindle as they feel burnt out by a yearly release. Which is an incredible shame. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate isn’t just the finest title in the series to date, it’s one of the best games of

Plugging in to mental health EXEPOSÉ




Exeposé Games debates the effects of video games on a person’s mental health


YEAR ago, I discovered a video game that had very little gameplay, no guns, no explosions and no dismembered limbs. All it consisted of were words on a page and options to choose from that would lead you to the next page, like one of those old ‘choose your own adventure’ books. It was an involving story that shed new light on the personal implications of an important topic. The game certainly had its flaws but it was powerful and moving, showing the potential of representation within this medium. It was called Depression Quest. Mental illness has, until recently, been an issue that hasn’t been dealt with to a particularly high standard within video games, but lately we have seen a shift in the way in which mental health is handled. Games like Depression Quest us into the minds of people with these illnesses, opening pathways for compassion and understanding. Representation is an important ideal within any kind of storytelling. The interactive nature of games truly lets players inhabit a different person’s mind. By taking on these problems, these games can have large ramifications for how we view and talk about mental illness in society at large. Helping people feel that they are not alone through these characters and stories is also incredibly useful. Other games like platformer that deals with social-anxiety, or Spec Ops: The Line tually has a compelling story with themes of PTSD and personality disorders, offer more recent examples of this kind of rep-


Some therapists even use video games to

INCE the 70s and 80s, video

video games.

These problems are often embedded in those that are addicted to gaming at a young age

But this is not enough to prove that there are direct links between gaming and aggressive behaviour. The American Psychological Association reviewed hundreds of studies and papers published between 2005 and 2013 and concluded that while there was “no single risk factor to blame for aggression”, “violent video games did contribute a big part”. The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behaviour, aggres-

being discussed at the top levels of gov-

Research shows that video games can still inflict mental and psychological damage upon us

Mental illness has, until recently, been an issue that hasn’t been dealt with to a particularly high standard Video games can even help people with mental illnesses to cope with their problems. There are countless examples of people with social anxiety or depression who have found solace in online communities through MMOs like of Warcraft.. Many would argue that virtual interaction cannot replace faceto-face communication for people with these illnesses. While this may be true, we shouldn’t ignore the benefits of being able to meet, interact and form real-life relationships with others in an environment in which people feel safe. Video games can also simply help us take our minds off our problems and relieve stress. This is probably true for all people but for those with a mental illness this is especially true, perhaps even vital.

It therefore leads some people to think that violence is okay and, in fact, the sexual exploits witnessed in the game are ‘the norm’. The documentary then further explores a court case between Sam Houser, President of Rockstar Games, and Jack Thompson, an American activist, whereby a legal tussle creates bad as well as emphasising some of the mental health issues surrounding the game. Perhaps this 90-minute film gives us an insight to just how disturbing video games can become, all for the purpose of sales and

when they are feeling angry or need to

Some therapists even use video games to help children with depression or ADHD

fictional, this emphasizes the psychological issues many gamers might face today - the inability to divide the gaming world

eral sales records since 2001.


es there can be for



game world. Yet, the mental ef-

people with mental illnesses. The fact is, video games aren’t

and sexual violence

tary, “


logical damage upon us. With increasingly younger children being allowed to play these sorts of games, whether it be by their older siblings or lenient parents, there is no doubt that the violence, sex, full frontal nudity, drug dealing and torture within these games is likely to be destructive towards their mental health. Here’s the bottom line: if you are willing to spend the majority of time closed off, planted in front of a screen killing people, creating cities, playing virtual sports and improving your fighting skills in your ‘imaginary world’, then you’re more than likely facing social phobias which then lead to bigger issues like that Therefore, the question lies not in whether there are links between games and mental health, but in the time we should spend playing, or rather limit ourselves from playing, these games if we are



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SPORT 38-40

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |


The pen is mightier than the Ashbringer

Joshua Rotchelle, Lifestyle Editor, argues that imagination is better than PlayStation


HE term RPG (Role Playing Game) is thrown around a lot these days. It’s common to see such vague buzzword concoctions as ‘action-adventure gameplay with RPG elements’ or ‘story-driven, player-choice based RPG dynamic’. However, in a time before this one, there was quite a different beast of RPG that dominated the genre: the pen-and-paper roleplaying game.

Sporting such cutting-edge technology as the human imagination and sets of dice, these games followed physical rulebooks and consisted mostly of narration. Sitting around the table with your friends, copious amounts of beer and finger food, you’d all be running your game’s graphics with the power of your mind. If you declared that you wanted to hit a

rolls and get an outcome, summarised by the leader of the game (often known as the “Storyteller” or “Dungeon Master”). The end result would sound something like “Sarah lashes forward with her axe, its bronze cleaving the goblin skull cleanly in two”. A lot of people think this sounds kinda lame. And that’s okay, the public at large is wrong about a lot of things (see “bants” being a thing for details). But when the chips are down, the pen-andpaper RPG goes far beyond the video game in even gamer has around four buttons to attack with. I have any move I can possibly think of. Tap the solar plexus with my axe handle, sweep his leg, and curbstomp his skull as he falls?

goblin with an axe, you’d make a few dice


“Sarah lashes forward with her axe, its bronze cleaving the goblin skull cleanly in two”

And by the Nine, it looks sexier too. You can throw as many 4k textures as you want at my eyeballs, but when the mind’s eye takes in the swooping columns and blazing flames and oozing blood and guts of the fortress which ‘Delilah McDeadMeat’ is walking into, there’s just no contest. The pen-and-paper imagination walks it like Nicki Minaj in a

sider. Even the most ambitious of today’s RPG video games can only offer as many choices as the developers think of. With pen-and-paper however, it’s down to you: what can you, the player, come up with? Any out-of-the-box solution you dream up is fair game. For example, Fallout 3 has you either nuking the settlement of Megaton or defusing the boomer instead. But in a tabletop RPG, if you’ve got the brains (and balls), you could concoct a scheme wherein you keep the bomb armed, get it out of Megaton, take it all the way to Tenpenny and blow the latter up with your nuclear payload. Go for it, I’ve done it myself.

Sure, it’s nerdy as hell. You’re sitting around a table, effectively playing an imaginary game with friends, and in a lot of games you’ll also find yourself spending literal days poring over excel spreadsheets, rulebooks and dice calculations. Maybe that’s too heavyweight for today’s cute #geekchic tumblr collections. But who cares? It’s a ridiculous amount of fun.

Even the most ambitious of today’s RPG video games can only offer so many choices And that’s the tabletop RPG in a nutshell. It’s ultra-nerdy, and requires a lot more investment than just pushing buttons on a pad. But by the same token, you get so, so much more out of it in return, and because of that, no matter how far the world of video games ventures, no matter how many textures it crams into a VR headset, the pen-and-paper RPG will always be able to do more.








Across 1

Pay (4)


Turn evil (anagram) - hostile (as 9 is said

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SCP 3334 Research Technician (Penryn) Closing Date: 10 November SBP 3335 Graphic Designer Closing Date: 11 November

ANSWERS: 24 Even. Down: 2 Adieu, 3 Examining, 4 Video, 5 Rosette, 6 Lax, 7 Nest egg, 11 Workplace, 13 Antique, 14 Giddy-up, 18 Women, 19 Unite, 21 Ill.


Across: 1 Wage, 4 Virulent, 8 Wizard, 9 Sexism, 10 Cut it out, 11 Week, 12 Saying, 15 Enrage, 16 Stag, 17 Downpour, 20 Equity, 22 Meanie, 23 Well up in,

Exeter’s outlook for the week ahead

Mon 9th

High Low



Tues 10th Wed 11th Thur 12th


13 °C


11 °C

14°C 8°C

Fri 13th


9 °C

Part-time Internship Vacancies:

Sat 14th


10 °C

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To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to all of life’s problems. Homer Simpson

Cartoon by Katie Learmont

SBP 3336 Social Media Coordinator Closing Date: 11 November SBP 3337 Researcher and Data Analyst Closing Date: 11 November SCP 3349 Student Information Assistant (SID) Closing Date: 26 November Careers Fair: The annual Law Careers Fair is on Wednesday 18th November in the Great Hall and Sanctuary, Streatham Campus, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm. Don’t miss your chance to interact with over 70 of the country’s top recruiters in law and legal services and discuss training contracts and vacation schemes. The fair is sponsored by Michelmores and open to all students. www.exeter.ac.uk/lawfair


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Mental health: Tackling the stigma

GAMES 34-36

SPORT 38-40

9 NOVEMBER 2015 |


Photo: Manchester Evening News

Rob Cross, Sport Editor, asks whether athletes are receiving adequate support for mental health issues


HE facts are startling. A quarter of people will experience mental illness in their lifetime. Around the world, mental health in sport is an issue that has been swept under the carpet. Although there are signs of improvement in the UK, the progress has been slow, and those involved with MIND believe that the support for athletes is nowhere near adequate. Ambassador Clarke Carlisle travelled to Germany after footballer Robert Enke’s suicide in 2009 and was impressed by the measures that they had taken. Every professional club has access to psychiatric treatment and there’s a 24-hour hotline for players. In the UK, it was only in 2012 that the PFA Player Welfare Department was created, but its impact has already been telling. In 2014, 143 clients engaged with the service, of which 38 per cent were current players. Currently, however, we are only reacting to our


MIND, the mental health charity is founded

own tragedies, rather than anticipating issues and emulating the work of other countries, such as Germany. The tragic death of Gary Speed sparked a huge reaction in the sporting world. Five footballers stepped forward and specifically requested help as a result, whilst earlier this year Nick Clegg proposed a charter committing to removing the stigma and prejudice around mental health from the pitch to the playground. Further afield, star American footballer Brandon Marshall is an ambassador for advocating mental health issues. Having publicised his illness in 2011, he highlights the difficulty for people accepting that they have an issue: “In sports there’s a lot of people out there suffering and they don’t even know it. That’s because they can’t identify with mental illness.” This is a universal issue. When elite athletes experience physical injury, they


Footballer Alan Davies commits suicide

have a team of medical professionals ready to analyse and help ensure a swift recovery. The same help is not as readily available for mental issues. Because the symptoms are much harder to identify, mental health illnesses in sport and other walks of life are often overlooked. Gary Speed’s sister talked about her regret at not asking her brother if he was okay: “He hid it from us, because people who are suffering from depression are not only fighting the illness but they are fighting the stigma that goes with it.” Until now, there have been a number of large misconceptions about athletes and mental health. Many assume that mental health issues in athletes are rare, as they are often perceived to be extremely physically healthy individuals. Top elite athletes are commonly idealised by the media, often subjected to a large fan base, and portrayed as having fantastic lives. This media influence has, in many


Frank Bruno sectioned under Mental Health

cases, led to the perception that athletes are immune to such problems. Recently ex-footballers Matthew Etherington and Michael Chopra opened up about their struggles with gambling – another problem to which athletes are susceptible.

Mental health has a stigma that is tied into weakness...the antithesis of what athletes want to portray Dr. Thelma Dye Holmes So why are athletes particularly vulnerable to mental health issues? Emma Vickers reminds us that the stress and pressures of competing on a daily or weekly basis is a key factor which may leave the athlete with the potential to


Gary Speed commits suicide

develop feelings of depression or anxiety. Injuries, disagreements with coaches, competition, or match failures and retirement are all potential factors in the development of mental health issues. Vickers draws attention to potential ‘hidden’ head injuries from contact sports; injuries which could leave athletes with a predisposition to developing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea that seeking help for mental health problems makes the athlete appear ‘weak’ needs to be addressed from both a general media perspective and from the perspective of the athlete themselves. It is an issue which needs incredible bravery to be resolved, and if both sides co-operate, we will hopefully be able to move towards a resolution. Visit www.mind.org.uk or www. sportinmind.org for more information.


Mental Health charter signed

EUMHC batter Oxford



Basketball 1s beaten MEN’S BASKETBALL

Rob Cross Sport Editor Exeter 1s UWE

80 82


Selected results from BUCS matches played on 4 November Men’s 2s Plymouth

6 2

Men’s 3s Southampton Solent

6 2

Basketball Men’s 1s UWE


80 82

Men’s 3s Southampton

1 0

Women’s 2s Bath

6 3


The intensity of the final quarter was at fever pitch as each side struggled for an advantage Halfway through the second quarter, it seemed as if Exeter were fighting their way back into the match, Anton and Tom Riley working hard to reduce the deficit. UWE quelled this small comeback by scoring a number of quick baskets, but Exeter pulled it back to 3327 when Jamal Shaw landed two penalties. However, Exeter did not manage to make further inroads, as the end of the second quarter ended at 41-36 in the visitors’ favour. The third quarter started with promise and scores from Marsh and Werthauner began to turn the tide in the hosts’ favour. With a few minutes left in the quarter, Exeter had managed to advance to a 51-50 lead. More baskets from the Exeter players gave them 11 more points nearing the end of the third quarter, but UWE kept in touch at 62-58. The intensity of the final quarter was at fever pitch as each side struggled for an advantage. Exeter managed to claw a 72-70 lead, largely thanks to baskets from David Nash, but both sides were exchanging the lead. With four minutes remaining, Exeter had taken a 79-75 lead. However a UWE three-pointer made it 79-78. Exeter were unable to mantain the advantage, overtaken at the death to lose 82-80.

The best of BUCS


XETER fell to a narrow two point defeat as they were pipped 82-80 by UWE. The start of the match was even, although UWE were more keen to take their long-range basket opportunities and raced into a 13-6 lead halfway in the first quarter. The highlight of Exeter’s opening few minutes were two or three remarkable three-point finishes by Joel De Lara-Bond. Despite this flurry, however, UWE managed to maintain their grip over the match and took a scoreline of 21-12 into the break, Henry Austin managing some light-hearted relief by hurling a wildly speculative effort wide with seconds left in the quarter.


Men’s 1s Oxford

5 0

Men’s 4s Southampton

3 1

Men’s 6s Southampton

2 0

Women’s 4s Women’s 3s

2 0


Women’s 3s UWE


34 1

Women’s 3s Bath

45 32

Women’s 4s Southampton Solent

32 27

>> Jack Simmons celebrates an Exeter goal. Photo: Mia Brown

MEN’S HOCKEY Emmott Leigh Sport Editor Exeter 1s Oxford


5 0

ESPITE a quiet first half, Exeter’s 1s went home happy after a straightforward 5-0 victory over Oxford. The game started with both defences at the top of their game and after ten minutes there had not been a shot on target. Despite that, it was Exeter who were getting the better of the opportunities. Exeter did manage to force the ball through the defence before the first 20 minutes were up, but the Oxford keeper saved easily. Soon afterwards, another chance was foiled by Oxford’s defender, who charged down the cross.

Tom Watson was nearly found with a through ball but it eluded his lunge, before a lovely cross was whipped in, evading all of the sticks in the middle, and Ben Francis could only blaze over from close range. Oxford were doing a fine job of closing off all the available openings, but moments after another fine interception, the ball was scooped in by Conor Caplan to put Exeter 1-0 up just ahead of half time.

Exeter were firmly on top, but thus far the finishing had been lower than their usual high standards The second half began with more of the same - Exeter soon won themselves a penalty corner after a foul stopped an

impressive run by Jack Simmons. Francis soon fed him again for a shot, but it was blocked well by the goalkeeper. Exeter were firmly on top, but thus far the finishing had been lower than their usual high standards. Mark Loughrey, however, then slammed home from close range to make it 2-0 to the Green Army. Although Oxford then obtained a penalty corner, a smart save from goalkeeper Jack Bannister saw Exeter then score from their own penalty corner via Noah Sharples. The floodgates were beginning to open, and Francis capitalised by scoring a fourth. As the game petered out towards the end, and Oxford managed a missed penalty corner, Captain Ed Fleet rounded off a fine move to score with the final touch of the match. Poised at the top of BUCS ‘Premier A’, next week’s encounter against Bath may be crucial in Exeter’s quest for the title.

Rugby Union Men’s 1s Hartpury

30 13

Men’s 2s UWE

39 22

Men’s 3s Gloucestershire

29 23

Men’s 4s Bath

6 5

Men’s 6s Men’s 5s

24 19


Men’s 4s Winchester

12 0



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9 NOVEMBER 2015 |

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Exeposé Sport

SPORT EDITORS Rob Cross Emmott Leigh




EURFC 1s dash past Hartpury

>> Sam Waltier bursts through to touch down for Exeter’s first try. Photo: Mike Powell

MEN’S RUGBY UNION Oli Davis Online Sport Editor Exeter 1s Hartpury College


30 13

N an autumnal day at ‘Fortress Topsham’, the EURFC 1s ran out the bookie’s favourites in a scrappy and set-piece orientated affair against Hartpury College. Led out by captain Sam Skinner, the 1s were backed by a vibrant crowd in a West Country derby against historically strong opponents. Fly-half James Doe set the tempo early on with a lovely, measured kick into the corner to put the visitors under pressure from the offset. However, in what was to be a problem for the hosts all afternoon, the set piece was unable to provide a solid foundation from which the backs could work their

In this issue of Exeposé Sport...

magic. Nonetheless, when given opportunities, the backs were certainly looking the more incisive of the two teams. Inside centre Pete Laverick glided past three would-be Hartpury defenders and provided Doe with the first pointscoring opportunity of the match after Hartpury went off their feet at the ensuing ruck. Doe, ever-reliable with the boot, pushed Exeter out to an early 3-0 lead in the sixth minute. The next 15 minutes saw Hartpury pressure the Exeter half. The hosts were typically ferocious in defence, with hooker Paul Davis and Skinner leading the charge. Despite flanker Harry Ledger putting in a substantial hit on the opposition centre, Hartpury won a penalty from the resulting scrum and tied the game up after 24 minutes. Despite the deadlock, Exeter were looking the more exciting of the two teams and perhaps deserved more from their work in the Hartpury half.

Is there enough support for mental health in sport? Page 38

Full back Gavin Parker glided effortlessly through the visitors’ defence only for his chip ahead to be slightly too heavy whilst tighthead prop Jack Owlett was in customary form, bouncing off defenders with ease.

His offload to scrum half Sam Waltier was perfect and he was sent under the posts Again the hosts pounded away at the Hartpury defensive line after Davis ripped the ball in the tackle. Good handling and threatening running was, unfortunately, to no avail as Hartpury’s openside won a turnover after an Exeter runner went alone into the tackle. With the clock approaching half time, Hartpury struck with their first

real foray into Exeter’s 22. Repeated penalties at the scrum saw loosehead prop George Beale sin-binned, much to the disgust of the home support. Off the back of a rolling maul, Hartpury’s outside centre dotted down under the posts, taking a 10-3 lead into half time. After some early second-half momentum for Hartpury, Captain Skinner swung the momentum back in the hosts’ favour. Following strong phase play from the Exeter backs, the Chiefs starlet broke down the blindside, beating two defenders in the process and powering his way over the Hartpury winger. His offload to scrum half Sam Waltier was perfect and he was sent under the posts. With the game tied at ten-apiece with 30 minutes left to play, Hartpury nudged ahead with a penalty in front of the Exeter posts. Doe responded in admirable fashion, slotting a difficult kick from the right touchline after the 1s won a penalty at a scrum.

Hockey thrash Oxford to extend BUCS lead Page 39

With the contest nicely poised for a tense finale, another Doe penalty gave Exeter the lead before an overwhelming maul saw replacement hooker Mike Perks go over. Doe converted and the hosts were now well in the ascendancy. Realising the need to attack from deep, Hartpury began to fling the ball out wide. However, a loose ball saw wing Alex Brown have an easy run-in under the post with 30 seconds left on the clock. The final score was convincing, 3013 in favour of the hosts. This game was a fierce contest and will stand Exeter in good stead going forwards. Their backs were utterly dominant against a strong Hartpury defence and it was impressive how many times they got over the gain line. While set-pieces were not up to their usual standard, it was admirable how they weathered the storm. Currently perched atop their BUCS table, the 1s will no doubt be confident that they can go on to win the league.

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