Friday 2 March 2018
Forge Press Editorial Team Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Luke Baldwin Managing Editor Freyja Gillard Deputy Editors email@example.com Nick Burke Michael Chilton Web Coordinator Dan Cross Head of News Ben Warner News firstname.lastname@example.org David Anderson Alex Peneva Gethin Morgan Opinion email@example.com James Pendlington Josie Le Vay Features firstname.lastname@example.org Katharine Swindells Megan-Lily McVey Elsa Vulliamy Coffee Break email@example.com Dave Peacock Lifestyle firstname.lastname@example.org Harry Gold Ellie Conlon Head of Sport Adam May
Friday 2 March 2018
s February comes to a close so does what is arguably the Students’ Unions’ biggest event of the year: SU Elections. Let me start by saying a huge congratulation to the all the successful candidates, you’ve got a busy year ahead of you but one that no doubt you will find incredibly rewarding. In the past I’ve been somewhat cynical of those involved in student politics but having a greater role in coverage this year as part of my role as Editor has made me realise that many of my previous misconceptions were unfounded. Whilst I still believe that there are a lot of issues with the process and those who take part in it, talking to the candidates, particularly during the debates, one thing that I can’t deny is just how passionate all the candidates are about the roles and what they represent. So commiserations to all of the candidates who didn’t come out on top in the end, your hard work over the past two weeks is genuinely inspirational and I hope that even more students’ will
engage in SU politics as a result. Speaking of debates, my highlight of election has to be my opportunity to host the two nights and give the candidates a much needed grilling. I had an amazing time, but it also made me really appreciate the opportunities Forge, societies and student politics have given to me and many other students, and I can’t think of many better reason for engaging in your SU. Appearing on camera is one of those things I never thought I’d be in to, but having done it I’m itching for the chance to do it again. But I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of a lot of people, people who unfortunately I was unable to thank on the night due to time constraints and the fact I was very conscious of messing up. So I’ll thank them now instead. Obviously all the tech team who worked behind the scenes to keep things running, managed by our incredibly hard working Producer, Head of News for Radio Nick Cassidy. It’s a thankless but vital job, and the final product is proof that all their work payed off.
As with all of our election coverage, Forge wouldn’t be able to operate without the guidance and support of the SU’s amazing Head of Student Group support, Amy Thornton and of course our own magnificent Managing Editor Freyja GIllard. But my biggest thanks has to go to my darling Deputy Editor Michael Chilton. Not only did he do extensive research and prep for my debates questions, he’s committed to so much over the past few weeks and been a constant source of support for me. His impact really cannot be understated enough and I’m incredibly lucky to have him on my team. Speaking of darling Deputy Editor’s, shout out to my Head of Design Nick Burke who has really outdone himself with our fab Election results pull out. Praise should also go to the incredible editors who we’re up in the Media Hub laying up the paper as results came in, you the real MVPs. But wait, there’s even more praise; well done to everyone from Radio and TV who made these elections extra special with their
Pic of the Press
awesome coverage. Having not worked this closely with the other outlets before, it was great to see just how talented they are and has definitely peaked my interest for the future. Final thanks from me has to go to everyone from my team on Press; it’s been a tiring couple of weeks with some quick turnarounds but each and every one of them has risen to the challenge. I cannot stress enough just how proud I am of them. I know this is a very thank you heavy editorial but they’re all just so great, so stop reading me ramble on and go appreciate the fantastic paper they’ve made!
The Arts Tower is an iconic part of Sheffield’s cityscape, particularly for students who pass the building on a daily basis. This month it was accessorised with a supersized rainbow lanyard in celebration of LGBT+ History Month. Two floors worth of windows were adorned in the colours of a rainbow, which
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of course is representative worldwide of the LGBT+ community. The University of Sheffield was recently named 24th in the Stonewall Top 100 List, which ranks the best employers in the country in terms of LGBT inclusion in the workplace.
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Want to join the team? Fancy yourself a decent writer or presenter? Then why not get involved with Forge Media! No prior experience is needed and anyone can apply. Join the Facebook group “Forge Media Contributors 17/18”for all the lastest articles or to pitch your own ideas. Like our Facebook page for all the latest news, reviews and features as the location of contributor meetings. We also have our AGM coming up so if you want to join the editorial team for 2018/19 check out page 46!
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Friday 2 March 2018
Theresa May announces higher education and funding review Alex Peneva
Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to reform higher education and its funding system in England on Monday 19 February. The Government will be reviewing the university tuition system, which is one of the most expensive in the world. The reform proposals include abolishing tuition fees, cutting
student loan interest rates or having varying tuition fees for different courses. Theresa May said: “We need an educational and training system which is more flexible and more diverse than it is today. One, which enriches the lives of students with knowledge, gives each of them a great start in life and is there for them when they need it.”
The current tuition fees for home and EU students are currently £9,250 and leave graduates with an average student loan debt of over £50,000. Many fail to repay their debts, which results in £8 billion in student loans not being paid back each year. The potential reform also raises questions among students,
£8 billion not repaid each year
university staff and administration. If varying tuition fees are introduced, it is still unclear how the amount students will have to pay for courses will be determined. Varying tuition fees could also deter poorer students from doing the course they want, instead choosing a cheaper one. The University of Sheffield has prepared its statement on the announcement of the review as well. It wants the Government to recognise that “UK universities operate in a competitive global context and are crucial to their local communities.”
Martha Collison, Eleanor
Golton and Kieran Maxwell
University hosts Big Bake competition Alex Peneva
This year saw an slight decrease in 122 total votes compared to the 2017 SU Officer elections
Lilian Jones elected as first female President in four years
ilian Jones has been elected as the new President of the Sheffield Students’ Union. The third-year Politics and Sociology student and Sheffield Labour Students Chair won by almost double those received by runner-up Elliott O’Rourke. Seven candidates ran for the position in total. Lilian will be the fourth consecutive SLS Chair to win the presidency. Lilian said: “I want to thank every single person who voted for me, who got their friends to vote for me, who endorsed me and who appeared in my video. “I also want to thank all the other candidates for raising the bar, they were great competition. “I’m so proud of my politics and to represent a Students’ Union that is politically engaged and I’m so proud
to be the second woman President ever.” The winners for the other officer positions were: Katharine Swindells for Welfare, Roxanne Bechu for International Students’, Mel Kee for SU Development, Cecilia HudsonMolinaro for Activities, Sarah Morse for Sport and Mayeda Tayyab for Women’s. The winner for Education was also meant to be announced, however, had to be delayed after the Returning Officers found out a candidate had breached election regulations. In addition to the Officer Elections, students elected Cate O’Brien and Frankie Boyd as their student Trustees. Incoming President Lilian ran on policies of empowering student renters, improving night time safety and prioritises. Lilian’s policy regarding introducing microwaves to study spaces has come under
scrutiny as many believe this reform to be unrealistic. She wants to reform access to study space in order to make it easier for students to book out rooms, as
23% total voter turnout
well as access empty rooms. On top of that, she says she will put microwaves in all four libraries and the Students’ Union. Access to University is also an important part of her manifesto, and Lilian says that she will create dropin sessions with sixth-formers and
lobby for a change in the admissions systems to make it easier for disadvantaged groups to gain a place at the University. As President it will be Lillian’s responsibility to manage the rest of the Officer team as well as act as a figurehead for the SU, representing the student body on various boards and committees. In relation to the Education role, a statement from the Returning Officers explained: “We had to count the election for Education Officer in a different way than usual. “Due to technical complications we will not be able to complete this count today as we have consequently not been able to verify the result. “The announcement of the Education Officer election is regrettably deferred.” They also said they would make a further announcement once the issue has been resolved. Voting ran from 26 February to 1 March with a final voter turnout was 8,065, a slight decrease from last years turnout of 8,187. The newly elected officers will take up their positions on July 1. Over 2,000 students voted for the SU to remain affiliated with the NUS.
Law student Eleanor Golton has been crowned ‘Student Baker of the Year’ at the recent Big University Bake competition. The competition, judged by the youngest ever contestant on BBC One’s Great British Bake Off Martha Collison, took place at the University of Sheffield in February. Eleanor said: “I didn’t expect to win as the standard of the competition was so high. I am very grateful I got the opportunity to bake, meet Martha and participate in the Q&A session with her.” 29 University of Sheffield students and staff members with a passion for baking entered the competition. Their baked goods were judged by expert chefs and keen bakers, including Collison. Emma Kenny-Levick, Residence Life Coordinator and one of the event organisers, said: “We wanted an event in partnership with Inox, which could involve all students, an activity from which people could learn while taking part in.” Students’ Union President Kieran Maxwell enthused: “It was fantastic to take part in the Big University Bake. It was lovely to see the creativity and hard work of students and staff displayed in some delicious bakes. It was great way to raise funds for the Sheffield Scanner Appeal.” Martha shared her experience from The Great British Bake Off and did a baking demo for the audience. The event also aimed to raise money for the University’s Sheffield Scanner Appeal, which seeks to establish a £2 million facility for research and treatment of serious conditions like cancer, dementia, heart and lung diseases.
It was lovely to see the creativity and hard work of students and staff displayed in some delicious bakes.
Friday 2 March 2018
LGBT+ Committee hold exhibition in Foundry Ewan Somerville
he LGBT+ Students’ Committee has held its largest exhibition in recent memory to celebrate LGBT+ history in Sheffield and beyond. Held in Foundry, last week’s flagship event to mark LGBT+ History Month featured archived cut-outs, artwork and banners from student committees past and present, some dating back to the early 1970s. Hailed by the organisers as a success, there was also a series of four talks in the evening, all recorded by Forge TV, about LGBT+ history focusing on mental health, asylum seekers, literature and Sheffield. It was a fitting location given one of the displays exhibited the original posters of Climax. The LGBT+ monthly club night ran for the last two decades, until it was relaunched in 2017 as Proud. Strikingly, one of the timelines documenting the growth of LGBT+ rights nationally and in Sheffield saw the changing committee campaigns from the early 1970s to present day, such as controversially ‘outing’ Bishops in society and the Never
Going Underground campaign. This was followed by a message for future committees, which included urging “comprehensive records” of activities to be kept for future students to look back on. The message continued: “The history of this committee shows that, when utilised, it has the power to enact real positive change and it is so important to keep this legacy going.”
51 years since homosexuality was legalised in the UK
Ruby Penman, Inclusions Officer on the LGBT+ committee, explained: “Never Going Underground was about Section 28 which was a big deal when it first came in in the 80s, until it was appealed in 2003. It was a law that had no prosecutions but it fostered these ideas and prejudices and just made it harder for the community to be out and about.” Penman added: “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many
people came as we were worried that not many people would show up. There’s been a steady flow of people all day so I think it’s been really good.” These changing campaign themes were shadowed by a timeline of cultural and legal changes for the LGBT+ community, from the 1957 Wolfenden Report through to the first official UK Gay Pride rally in 1972, and the establishing of Stonewall UK in 1989. Visiting students and staff were reminded of the struggle ahead by the fact that only 26 years ago, the World Health Organisation declassified same-sex attraction as a mental illness. Another area was dedicated to trans history, featuring the Transgender Pride Flag and a look at how people think about trans history in non-Western countries. The trans map of trans-friendly businesses in Sheffield, created by the LGBT+ committee in 2015, was also showcased. Marina Georgiou, Secretary of the LGBT+ Students’ Committee, said: “I’m really happy, it’s been a success. Wow.”
Awards galore for Sheffield SU’s International Officer
Sheffield students to face lecturers on BBC game show
Our International Students’ Officer Santhana Gopalakrishnan has been crowned the best in the UK. International Students’ Conference Awards. Santhana won International Student Officer of the Year as well as International Students’ Union of the Year on behalf of Sheffield Students’ Union. Santhana was unable to attend the ceremy herself, meaning the award was collected instead by former Sheffield SU ISO Ana Gabriela Popa. Popa said: “This is an absolute great achievement. Well done, girl! This is testimony to all of your hard work and perseverance. “This is also a testimony of an organisation that cares about international students on multiple levels, from every single staff member. Proud of you and proud of Sheffield SU.” Santhana will remain in office until July. Her successor, Rex Bechu, was announced on March 1 at the Sheffield Students’ Union Officer Elections 2018. For more information on the election results, see our results guide on page seven or check out forgetoda.com/elections.
Students will face off against their lecturers this week as BBC Radio 4 show The 3rd Degree comes to the University of Sheffield. The show, hosted by comedian Steve Punt, has visited 42 universities over seven seasons since it began in 2011. Students have only won on ten occasions. Contestants are asked questions on their specialist subject, as well as general knowledge questions, to see who will come out on top. Sheffield’s staff team is made up of Professor Andy Tyas (Engineering), Miss Christina Abson (Dentistry) and Dr Hugh Willmott (Archaeology). The students are Tom Langshaw (Engineering), Natasha Temperton (Dentistry) and Darius Walker (Archaeology). The show will be hosted in the Drama Studio on Friday 2 March at 6pm and is free to attend. Doors will open from 5.40pm. There will be a Q&A at the end of the show, for students at the University who are hoping to pursue a career in comedy, television or radio, or just have a general interest in media.
Friday 2 March 2018
Students partake in Philosophy in the City project Alex Peneva
There have been multiple rumours of Arctic Monkeys’ gigs in Sheffield since the band were spotted in the city inlate 2016
Applications for potential Arctic Monkeys gigs withdrawn Ben Warner
n application for up to four live music events at Hillsborough Park has been withdrawn, the Council have told VIBE Sheffield. Rumours were abound that the Arctic Monkeys were set to play up to four nights at Hillsborough Park in September, after a company which has put on tours from them in the past made a license application for the park. Twitter user Nick Bax tweeted an image of the notification of the application on Sunday 18 February, hinting that he believed that the
iconic Sheffield band could be lined up. The application said that SJM Concerts Ltd, who’ve put on shows by the band in the past, had asked for a licence to provide live and recorded music on a maximum of four dates in September. VIBE emailed the Licensing Department at Sheffield City Council for more details of the application but were told that it had been withdrawn and as such no details were available. It is unknown why the planned shows have been cancelled, or whether Arctic Monkeys were ever on the cards, but the signs around
Hillsborough Park being removed in the coming days will dampen the
They have their own plans hopes of the Monkeys playing some homecoming gigs. The band have been on hiatus since 2014 but are headlining a number of festivals this summer and are
expected to release their sixth studio album in the coming months. They are appearing at festivals such as TRNSMT this summer, but may not headline any of the largest festivals after the head of Reading and Leeds festival suggested they had other plans. Talking to the BBC, Melvin Benn said when asked if they had been considered as headliners for this year’s event: “Not really. The Arctic Monkeys have headlined Reading and Leeds twice before so they’re an act we’re always talking to. “Was it ever likely for this year? No. They’ve got their own plans.”
University of Sheffield students have taken part in the Philosophy in the City project to teach philosophy across South Yorkshire. The project aims to demonstrate the importance of philosophy in solving problems from everyday life. It is run by student volunteers who go to schools and colleges to encourage pupils to develop their own ideas and critical thinking. Aimee Goldsmith, president of the project and a third year student at the University, said: “Philosophy can be useful. It can make a real difference to people’s lives.” Project paricipants also organise workshops on issues such as empathy, held in homeless shelters, care homes or pubs in the city to make the subject more accessible to the wider community. Marina Georgiou, third year Philosophy student and volunteer for the project, said: “Philosophy in the City should be for people in the city. We aim to get everyone interested to be engaged, despite their background.” The volunteers, participating in the project, want to inspire school and college students to continue their studies into higher education regardless of their background. Philosophy in the City this year has expanded to enable student philosophers to deliver series of talks on philosophical and religious themes in Sheffield Cathedral.
Sheffield musicians to hold event in support of trees Gethin Morgan
The two cheerleading teams came together in a cheer showcase this semester, which highlighted the best performances from both stunt and pom. With a large turnout there were several performances throughout the two halves which were choregraphed for both competitions and for University of Sheffield American Football matches. There were smiles all round with the event being a huge success. The only challenge left was to trek home without slipping on the icy ramp floor.
Photograph by Ingrida Norkute
A selection of Sheffield’s most iconic musicians are coming together in support of tree campaigners in the city. At an upcoming benefit gig, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Nick Banks from Pulp, as well as John McClure from Reverend and the Makers will all provide DJ sets, while the Everly Pregnant Brothers will be performing live. The group have reportedly organised the event of their own accord in support of campaigners. The ‘Get Off Our Tree’ concert aims to raise funds for the Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG). It will take place on Friday 16 March in Sheffield City Hall’s ballroom and starts at 9.30pm. Tickets cost £15, with the option to donate extra. STAG was set up to represent local tree action groups protesting the council-backed ‘Streets Ahead’ scheme. The scheme includes felling huge numbers of trees across Sheffield, which many locals feel is not only unnecessary but wrong.
Friday 2 March 2018
SU marches in solidarity with UCU Ewan Somerville
cenes of defiance, anger and determination erupted across Sheffield City Centre on Wednesday 28 February as hundreds of students and striking lecturers marched in unity against cuts to staff pensions Hailed as brilliant and powerful by the organisers, the march saw several hundreds of students out in force despite the blizzard snow and freezing temperatures. The event began at the Information Commons, before marching past the Diamond, across West Street and along Division Street, congregating outside Sheffield City Hall. A series of speakers rallied to the masses outside City Hall, including a striking lecturer, local Labour politicians and SU President Kieran Maxwell. Speaking to the crowd, Maxwell said: “The University of Sheffield isn’t like other universities – it was founded by the penny donations from the people of Sheffield. It was founded to benefit the people of the city through ground-breaking research and education that is accessible to everyone, no matter where they came from and how far it has fallen. “I say to Sir Keith – you’ve told us before to get on the streets and fight marketization, we’re here – where are you now?” A samba band and flares whipped up a passionate atmosphere, and local businesses workers were seen stood admiring the march whilst others tooted their horns in support.
Sarah Staniland, a lecturer in Chemistry, helped organise the march as Branch Secretary of UCU Sheffield. She told Forge Press: “They’ve both been excellent events, brilliant, and we’ve been really impressed with the turnout for the two of them. I would have been impressed if only 20 people had turned up but we’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people, so really good turnout considering the weather.
Students protested outside the Town Hall (above) and on Division Street (below)
amount per year being cut
“We need to be showing the city and everybody through social media, walking through their streets, whatever way we can, to make sure they’re aware of this issue.” Alex Stevens, an MA student in Speech Therapy, said: “It just sends a message that actually we’re all united to support the lecturers because some of us might be lecturers in the future, and these are people we aspire to be and look up to. I just think we should be here to stand up for each other actually.” One History lecturer on the march told us: “We certainly hope that the negotiations will lead to a good outcome and that our pensions will be saved, so in that sense we would really like to go back to work. But we’ll do this as long as necessary.” The University have been approached for comment.
University accused of cleaning messages of support for strike from students
everal students have expressed their anger after contractors were spotted washing away chalk messages and tearing down posters around campus in support of the ongoing UCU strike. Students have been showing their support to members of staff who are striking in protest at proposed changes to pensions. PhD student and former Students’ Union employee Emma Nagouse told Forge Press that she had seen contractors taking down posters in support of the strike, including ones on the Students’ Union building. She said they were taking posters down near the cash machines next to Coffee Revolution, but rather than taking all posters down it was just limited to posters supporting the strike. She also said that she had seen contract staff walking around campus with buckets of water and brushes, cleaning messages of
support off the floor. Emma asserted that they were doing this selectively, removing messages in support of the strike and leaving chalk messages which showed support for candidates for
Students’ Union Officer positions. Emma said: “The solidarity expressed between the students and staff has been huge across the country and it has been particularly strong in Sheffield so it’s disappointing when these messages are removed or censored.” Helen Cameron, who is also a PhD student, tweeted a picture of the steps into Firth Court being cleaned
of messages. When approached by Forge Press for comment, Mark Drury, Head of External Communications at the University of Sheffield, said: “The only posters that have been removed have been ones with offensive messages, that were not fit for staying up. “As for removing the posters outside the Students’ Union, that is nothing to do with the Estates or Security teams, they weren’t instructed to do so. “After I saw the tweets earlier I did specifically check and there was no instruction from me to remove those posters. “As for the chalk messages being removed, that is something we would do normally as part of our efforts to keep the campus clean and tidy. “They weren’t told to selectively target messages about strike action.” Drury also told Forge he would double-check that strike messages hadn’t been specifically targeted and update Forge on the situation. Some felt that the strike materials
were being specifically targeted because posters and messages of support were seemingly being removed when those supporting SU Officer candidates were not. Chris Townsend, chair of The Free University of Sheffield, who has been involved with UCU pickets, said: “It’s disappointing to see our campaign is being targeted. Students wanted to show a solidarity with workers and we should have our freedom to be able to do this.”
It’s disappointing to see. Students wanted to show solidarity with workers
Burnett writes to Universities UK calling for talks Ben Warner
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield Keith Burnett has called for talks between Universities UK and the UCU to resume in order to end the strike. A stand-off between the pair has resulted in the ongoing strike action, which has seen lots of contact hours cancelled. Burnett wrote to Alistair Jarvis of UUK on Friday 23 February, saying: “We understand change is necessary to ensure pensions remain sustainable and affordable, however we have always sought to ensure any changes extend only to what is necessary to achieve this aim. “We remain committed to providing a strong and sustainable pension for staff and believe that negotiations must focus on developing a solution that is mutually acceptable in regards to benefits, affordability and risk. “We urge national representatives on both sides to return to talks.”
OFFICER ELECTIONS 2018
43 CANDIDATES 2 WEEKS 8 WINNERS. RON Once voting has closed, all ‘first preference’ votes are counted (like a standard election). The candidate with the fewest is eliminated, with their votes redistributed on ‘second preference’ basis. A new stage then begins. This carries on, with candidates elminiated and votes redistributed until only one remains!
RON NAME SURNAME
NAME SURNAME NAME SURNAME
Each change in colour on a bar represents a new stage. This way we can see how the voting evolved visually while still seeing the final totals.
OUR N O EUW R NEW
LILIAN JONES CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Create a website for landlord reviews | Improve night-time safety | Reform study space
It is a big role, but I think I’m really ready for it. I’ve worked hard to get here. I don’t feel daunted, I just feel excited RON SHELBY STOREY THEO ROUTH
Your new Students’ Union President is Lilian Jones, who took 1,916 of the first preference votes compared to runner-up Elliott O’Rourke’s 1,038. Lilian’s election marks a success for the #SheShouldRun campaign, launched by outgoing Women’s Officer Celeste Jones to encourage more women to run for the roles of SU President and Development Officer. Before Lilian, only one woman had been elected President in the last 20 years. She said: “The role is about leading the officers and I’m very excited to be working with an all female team. I think it’s fantastic.” Although all the Officers announced at the time of printing are women, due to the Education Officer result bein delayed, Lillian may not necessarily have an all female team. Lilian’s campaign focused on improving student experience across a range of areas. A key policy was a pledge to empower student renters by creating a website for students to review their landlords.
Lilian hopes that holding landlords to account will curb the number of students living in substandard housing because they have fallen victim to rogue or incompetent landlords and letting agents. She has also promised to improve access to study space, along with microwaves in popular areas. She commented: “People should be able to study in rooms that are accessible to them. It’s really important that we cater to all students.” Several points on Lilian’s manifesto targeted student safety at night, with a promise to lobby the council for better street lighting. She said: “The SU and university are a big presence in Sheffield, so it’s something we need to work with the council towards. “I’ll work really hard to make the council aware of how important it is for students to be able to go home safely. I live in Crookes, and sometimes it’s really hard to get home because the streets are so dark.” Her plans also included implementing a shared taxi scheme, as well as making the SU cloakroom cheaper and more accessible. Other manifesto points prioritised student mental health, as Lilian wants to help students engage with available resources. She also plans to use her position to broaden access to higher education, by implementing sixth form drop-in
sessions and reforming admission access for minority groups. Alongside her Politics and Sociology degree, Lilian is currently Co-Chair of Sheffield Labour Students, the SU’s largest political society. In her acceptance speech she commented: “I am so proud to be part of a politically engaged Students’ Union.” Lilian will be the fourth consecutive Co-Chair of the society to be elected SU President. She is also the Fundraising Officer for Bummit Society. Commenting on her new position, Lilian said: “It is a big role, but I think I’m really ready for it. I’ve worked hard to get here. I don’t feel daunted, I just feel excited to start.”
Ficti corempo rumquid qu Figurehead of the Students’ Union | Leads and oversees the work done by the Student Officer Team | Ensures the SU is an effective, responsive and accountable organisation | Chairs Trustee Board, Student Executive Committee and Staff Committee | Sits on University Council and Senate, and other University committees
ANDREW BAKER KERRY MILLER ELLIOTT O’ROURKE LILIAN JONES
CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Encourage societies to support students in addressing personal problems | Promote the participation grant | Greater transparency for charitable spending
Cecilia Hudson-Molinaro is your new Activities Officer, finishing with over 200 more votes than the second runner-up, Hanah Morgan, in the final stage. Reacting to her landslide victory, Cecilia said: “I’m just a bit numb and still in shock. I thought it would be a really close call.” Under the slogan ‘Expand Your Memorabilia: Vote Cecilia’, she ran a distinctive ‘Purple and White’ campaign based around her pledge to organise a Societies Varsity. Cecilia argued that this event would give students with a wide variety of extra-curricular interests the chance to showcase and celebrate their talents, providing them with a similar platform to the current Varsity competition between our university and Sheffield Hallam. Three key themes dominated
Cecilia Hudson Molinaro Cecilia’s manifesto: Integration, Discover, and Giving Back. She has promised to create a #SpeakOut campaign, encouraging students to address personal problems, including issues with mental health, gender and culture. Cecilia explained: “A lot of students are not confident enough to approach services or chat to their mates about mental health problems. I just want to remove that stigma because there are so many great services around the SU.” This campaign would be implemented through open classes and training for society members. Cecilia also prioritised helping students to find new opportunities by expanding the Students’ Union’s existing ‘Give It A Go’ scheme, which provides drop-in sessions for students to try new activities. She wants to make SU activities more accessible by increasing accessible space and making students more aware of the participation grant, a bursary of up to £200 which supports students in financial difficulty who wish to take part in activities and sports. Cecilia’s campaign placed a strong emphasis on supporting the local community, as she wants to promote
ROLE BREAKDOWN Oversees provision of SU activities, societies and volunteering projects | Works to increase student engagement | Ensures students are recognised for achievements beyond their degree programmes
SU charities and volunteering projects including the SU food bank. Speaking to Forge, she explained that this could also lead to more opportunities for students, as making connections with local organisations could provide more spaces for societies to meet. Her manifesto also included a pledge for more transparency in SU charitable spending. When asked what was next on her agenda, she said: “I need to get a house.”
A lot of students are not confident enough to approach services or chat to their mates about mental health problems. I want to remove that stigma.
RON ZUNAIR IMTIAZ INEZ LAU HARRY HATTER
LUKE HAWTIN HANNAH MORGAN CECILIA HUDSON MOLINARO
MEL KEE CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Improve recycling practices around the Union and the city | Support efforts to improve the community | Reduce waste and maintain the Reusable Revolution
I take my cups back up to the bar a lot on nights out
Mel Kee is the new SU Development Officer after beating Andy Tyler by almost 500 votes in the election. Mel ran a campaign based around sustainability at the Students’ Union and the University, complete with the slogan ‘The Kee to Sustainability’. On stage, she said how happy she was to have won, saying: “Thank you. I am obviously very happy to have got the role. I’d personally like to thank Alex, the best campaign manager ever. Couldn’t have done it without you.” “I’d like to thank Meg because you’ve been an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to continue what you’ve done so far.” Among other things, she pledged to continue the Reusable Revolution which has been a success since it was launched by the incumbent Megan McGrath, open a zero-waste shop at the Students’ Union and obtain
a recycling point at the Students’ Union. Under the Alternative Vote system used, she won with 2,187 votes in the third round, ahead of Andy on 1,703. This win maintains the theme from last year, where Megan McGrath also focussed on a theme of sustainability during her campaign for the same position Mel said: “The stand-out was when I decided to take an environmental stance and I’m so happy it’s paid off as it shows everyone cares about what I care about.” However, Mel wants to build on what McGrath did, such as expanding on the zero-waste section of Our Shop, which was introduced this year. In order to help improve recycling efforts, she says she will lobby the Council for a recycling point to be brought into the SU, for items which can’t be recycled roadside. She said: “The main thing I want to do around my recycling policy is improve awareness, as most people aren’t even aware that at your roadside you can only recycle plastic bottles. I want to improve awareness of what can and can’t be recycled.” She also wants the Students’ Union to take an active role in the community,
by supporting those sleeping on the streets and holding regular food bank collections. Mel said that she’d probably be celebrating like all the other candidates, by drinking her bottle of Prosecco with a potential trip down West Street on the cards.
ROLE BREAKDOWN Ficti corempo rumquid quo est pe Support the other officers and manage the team direction | Champion sustainability in the SU, University and beyond | Strategically oversee the financial direction for the SU
RON CHARLIE STEPHEN GEORGIA CLARK EMILY BANKS ANDY TYLER MEL KEE
Earlier today, the Returning Officers were made aware that a candidate, standing in the Education Officer election, had breached election regulations. This led to us needing to count the election for Education Officer in a different way than usual. Due to technical complications we will not be able to complete this count today as Returning Officers have consequently not been able to verify the result. The announcement of the Education Officer election is regrettably deferred. As soon as the issue has been resolved, the Returning Officers will make a further anouncement
RETURNING OFFICER STATEMENT STUDENT TRUSTEES T h i s y e a r ’s S t u d e n t T r u s t e e s a r e C a t e O ’ B r i e n a n d F r a n k i e B o y d . Student Trustees are elected student representatives who sit on the Board of Trustees, the group with ultimate responsibility for everything the Students’ Union does. The positions are voluntary and undertaken by students during their degree Cate and Frankie will join the eight SU Officers, four external trustees and three appointed student trustees on the board. D u r i n g t h e y e a r , t h e y w i l l r e p r e s e n t s t u d e n t i n t e r e s t s i n s h a p i n g t h e S U ’s s t r a t e g i c d i r e c t i o n ; s h a r e responsibility for SU finance and resources; and help to ensure the SU operates well as a charity. C a t e a l r e a d y h a s a y e a r ’s e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e r o l e , a s s h e s e r v e d a s a s t u d e n t t r u s t e e a l o n g s i d e h e r C h e m i s t r y d e g r e e l a s t y e a r. N e w c o m e r F r a n k i e ’s c a m p a i g n h i g h l i g h t e d h e r e x t e n s i v e e x p e r i e n c e a s a W e l f a r e O f f i c e r a t h e r previous Students’ Union and a volunteer council member for the Red Cross. Both candidates expressed their commitment to promoting students’ interests.
RON CHIAN YING XUAN WILL YEADON
T H E TO P T W O C A N D I D AT E S H AV E B E E N E L E CT E D A S S T U D E N T T R U S T E E S
ALEC JOHNS STEPHEN LANGFORD FRANKIE BOYD CATE O’BRIEN
I N T E R N AT I O N A L W I N N E R
Roxanne (REX) Bechu CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Hard-working and will listen to students’ ideas and concerns | Making your uni experience as amazing as possible| Building a more peaceful world through small actions like understanding other people’s cultures and opening international horizons.
I feel really humbled that the students of Sheffield chose me to represent them.
Roxanne (Rex) Bechu has been elected as International Students’ Officer, beating second place Abhinav Kongari to the role after reaching the fourth stage of elimination. Rex is a second year Politics and International Relations student from France. Her friendly manner campaigning on the SU concourse clearly worked well, as she called for “A more inclusive and participatory International Students’ Office. Her philosophy was that building a more peaceful world relies on small actions from everyone, like understanding other people’s cultures and “opening yourself up to international horizons”. As she said following the announcement of her victory, she wanted “not to make my own ideas happen, but to make other
students’ ideas happen.” She claimed that because of the University of Sheffield’s wonderfully diverse nature, it has the potential to achieve so much more, and that with her hard work and communication she could do just that. Her focus was on guaranteeing weekly office hours, increasing integration by introducing mentors, and a large emphasis of her campaign was on supporting underage international students, who she felt had life extremely difficult because of their inability to go out drinking. Following the announcement of her victory, she said: “Thank you. This feels really surreal.” She added that she had loads of people to thank and congratulate, and said: “I’d like to thank my family. My brother Jean is backstage, he came to see me from France so thank you to him and my family.” She also congratulated previous International Officer Santhana and thanked all of the returning officers and all of the voters, but: “especially the ones that voted for me. This campaign has been rendered possible by you. I was really humbled by those numbers.” In an interview with Forge immediately after her win, Rex said:
“I’m very overwhelmed. I really wasn’t expecting to win.” When reminded of the 5,000 plus students she now represents, she admitted that it felt like huge pressure. Her plans were then to celebrate with her brother, who had to cam train back to France. When asked what was the first thing she wanted to implement in her new role, she answered: “What I really want to do next year is not to make my own idea happen but to make students’ ideas happen. This campaign was about asking other people and I feel really humbled that the students of Sheffield chose me to represent them.”
ROLE BREAKDOWN Represent international students within the Students’ Union and the city | Be the representative for the Students’ Union on international issues | Increase the diversity of the student experience in Sheffield
BIKRAMADITYA GHOSH TAWFIK ALHASHEMI ROOPIKA RAVIKANNA TEBBY ‘TE(BEE)’ MARITIM ABHINAV KONGARI ROXANNE (REX) BECHU
C U R R E N T TOTA L VOT E S C A S T T H I S E L E CT I O N .
CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Defend funding for social sport, Give it a Go and Residence Life subsidies | Create a fairer ticket allocation system for popular ROARs | Campaign for departments to provide alternative seminars/labs other than on Wednesdays and more crucially allow students to swap sessions A Star Wars-based campaign proved to be very successful for Sarah Morse, who indeed had the force to be elected as the new Sports Officer in last night’s Student Officer elections. Morse, who is currently the President of Tennis society, has been involved with Intra-Mural, Social and Club sport in her time at Sheffield. She argued while campaigning that those experiences had given her the necessary knowledge, skill-sets and qualities required. She called to break down barriers in order to make sport more accessible for all students. Her specific manifesto may have also played a part in her popularity. Amongst many things she set out to continue #sportforall campaigns, defend funding for social sport, create a fairer allocation for
ROAR tickets, raise mental health awareness and increase the number of classes at S10 gym. She also campaigned for provisions to be put in place to have alternative seminars and labs for students who have timetables that clash with sports on a Wednesday. She wanted to encourage sports trials to take place later in the year, to petition for better subsidised travel to matches and to ensure a smooth transition from Goodwin to Norton Playing Fields. Immediately after her victory, Sarah took to stage and said: “Thank you so much. I really had nothing to prepare to say for this. I’m in shock.” She thanked her campaign manager, Forge and all her rival candidates. She explained how respectful their campaigns had been, and that they even had a group chat. She added: “Special shout out to my mum and dad for coming this evening, even in the snow.” Shortly after, Forge asked how difficult the campaign trail was, she replied: “It was definitely tough. Especially with the weather and the strikes that are going on, but it’s definitely been worth it.” Speaking on some facilities moving from Goodwin to Norton Playing Fields, she said: “I want to make sure there’s a fair and smooth transition for those moving there. I just want to get the ball rolling and make sure that all parties have a fair say.”
She also spoke on mental health in sport: “I think sport is a really important vehicle for people to manage their academic workload. Actually it can be more productive to take some time away and be active in that time.” Finally, she expressed her excitement at the upcoming Varsity, and said as well as her own sport tennis, she was particularly looking forward to the ice hockey.
ROLE BREAKDOWN Sits on the Sport Sheffield Board and cooperates with the University staff responsible for providing sport facilities and opportunities | Responsible for providing sports clubs and opportunities for students, as well as trying to increase overall participation in sport | Acts as an advocate for students taking part in sport at any level
RON SARAH DEWHIRST JEMMA UPTON
HOPE WILLIAMS SASKIA MARRIOTT SARAH MORSE
I think sport is a really important vehicle for people to manage their academic workload
W E L FA R E W I N N E R
katharine swindells CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Reform SU drug policy to focus on safety and education | Provide cheap fruit and vegetable markets in the SU | Later signup dates for student renters.
On an immediate and local level, we can start by providing more information on what mental health resources are available.
IMON PAL RON
Our new Welfare Officer is Katharine Swindells, who received a total of 1,051 first preference votes compared to runner-up Cian O’Herlihy’s 1,020. The vote continued to Stage 6 with Katharine beating Cian by just 57 votes. Speaking to Forge after the result was announced, Katharine said: “I think the Welfare Officer is the most important role. There’s so much that can be done to make the lives of students better. I’m so excited to get going.” The role of Welfare Officer was the most highly contested in this year’s election, with eight candidates campaigning for the position. Katharine’s manifesto focused on addressing the triangle of mental, physical and social wellbeing, with wide-ranging policies spanning these areas. Under the slogan ‘Do the Math:
Vote Kath’, she ran an active campaign involving on-campus and door-to-door discussions along with many student testimonials. Among her ambitions for the role is a pledge to reform SU drug policy, with focus shifted towards education and harm reduction. Katharine explained: “This is one policy I was really excited about. I think the fact is that students are taking drugs, and we need to be realistic about that and focus on welfare and education.” She also wants to reduce pressure on students by lobbying letting agencies to move their signing dates back, allowing renters to make better-informed decisions on their housing. This comes alongside a wider policy to support students in asserting their rights as renters. In a bid to improve students’ physical wellbeing, Katharine has pledged to collaborate with local businesses to hold a cheap fruit and vegetable market on campus, as well as providing affordable healthy meal kits for time-pressed students during the exam period. She has also pledged to make the Sport Sheffield gym more affordable, accessible and safe. Other priorities include improving conditions for students holding part-
time jobs by campaigning for local businesses to act as better employers. Like many of the candidates, Katharine pledged to lobby the University for better mental health provision. She suggested: “On an immediate and local level, we can start by providing more information on what mental health resources are available to students.” Katharine has been considerably involved in student welfare during her studies, serving as Campaigns Officer for the Students’ Union Welfare Committee, a student group that runs events and campaigns to raise awareness of welfare issues. She has also gained extensive campaigning experience as Co-Chair and Inclusions Officer of Sheffield Labour Students, the largest political society in the Students’ Union. She has been a Features Editor for Forge Press since May 2017.
ROLE BREAKDOWN Represents student interests across finance, health, housing and safety issues | Works with the University to improve student wellbeing | Ensures effective support and advice is available to students
VICTORIA WANG (S.H.A.W.) SHAW TUN QI MOLLIE (OMOLARA) BADMOS GRACIE ELIZABETH MARLOW CIAN O’HERLIHY KATHARINE SWINDELLS
TOTA L VOT E S T H I S E L E CT I O N .
CAMPAIGN SUMMARY Reduce the risk of abuse on campus, and help victims deal with it | Ensure safety for students on and around campus Enable the liberation of marginalised groups around the SU | The new Women’s Officer will be Mayeda Tayyab, who beat two other candidates for the role. Mayeda, who also ran last year but lost out to Celeste Jones and finished fifth, got 1,702 votes. This was a much narrower margin of victory than the other races, with secondplace Jessie McGuiness getting 1,577 votes. Following her victory, she said: “I’m so nervous right now. I want to thank the other two candidates. They’re amazing people and I was in that position last year. It was an honour to get to know them and spend time with them. I want to thank my parents, I know they’ll watch this later. Thank you so much for believing in me, I wouldn’t be standing here without you guys.” She added: “I know so many women have been elected tonight but I’m also aware I might be the only BME person elected, so I’m really excited not just to work for women, but all the BME people in Sheffield.” In her role, she wants to provide
M A Y E D A TA Y YA B more support for victims of sexual abuse, as well as campaigning against misconduct between staff and students. The role doesn’t just deal with women, but also the representation and liberation groups, and she wants to tackle hate crime in an attempt to fight back against this. This comes under her umbrella of “campus safety”, which also entails keeping people safe on the streets. Mayeda is the current chair of Women’s Committee, which she lists among her experience for the role, including also being the former International Representative for Mental Health Matters. She wrote in her manifesto during the campaign: “I am running for SU Women’s Officer because I want to make our campus safe, supportive and accessible for all students, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, disability status, nationality or religion.” While she is in the job, Mayeda Tayyab wants the University to join the ‘Why is My Curriculum So White?’ campaign, which is run nationally. She also wants to ensure that health and welfare services are fit for use by students from marginalised, as well as improving the accessibility of campus. Speaking to Forge, she said: “I would hope to see myself completing everything that I’ve promised.” She also encouraged her two rivals to “pull a Mayeda” and run again next
year. She said: “They’re incredible women and I know what they’re feeling because I was in that position last year. Unfortunately there can only be one winner but I’m sure they will go on to do great things.”
ROLE BREAKDOWN Represent women’s and other representation and liberation groups’ interests in the Students’ Union and on a University level | Lead campaigns on issues relevant to women and liberation groups | Try to increase collaboration between groups of underrepresented people
JESSICA MCGUINNESS MAYEDA TAYYAB
I’m also aware I might be the only BME person elected, so I’m really excited not just to work for women, but all the BME people in Sheffield.
RON MELINDA (MEL) ACQUAH
Behind the camera ABI HERBERT
BECKY SLIWA WEBB
WITH THANKS TO in front of the camera
JOSIE LE VAY
MATTHEW HARTILL MICHAEL CHILTON
and thank you to all the candidates!
Friday 2 March 2018
President - Kieran Being President of the Students’ Union is a big responsibility. You’re taking on the task of leading an organisation with 27,000 members, over 500 staff and an £11 million turnover. But nobody is an island. You find yourself in a team of some of the most passionate, dedicated and hard-working people you’ll ever meet. It’s only by working with the rest of the officers that you’ll achieve what you want to achieve and manage to make a difference. Your role is also to support them, and help them realise their full potential. Students’ Unions are built on the premise that we can achieve more by working together; as an officer team, we overcome all of our problems together, and we succeed together. You have to be bold. Students’ Unions are by their very nature political. Never be afraid to stand up for you believe in and what you think is right, even if it means you’re going to have to have some difficult conversations along the way. But don’t forget to stop when you can, take a step back and reflect on how it’s all going. Don’t forget why you ran in the first place, and why the students chose you to represent them. Take the time to listen to your members as often as possible. Be prepared for what you don’t expect. I didn’t anticipate leading the Students’ Union through historic strike action and an HE funding review. It’s how you handle these events which makes the difference. If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to always be kind. Oh, and make sure you’re an expert on Google Calendar, that would also be really handy.
Activities - Tom The role of Activities Officer is amazing and fun as well as incredibly challenging. Unlike most of the other Officer roles, this role is incredibly student facing and doesn’t require you to have a strong relationship with the University, unlike Education for example. What it does require, however, is a strong interpersonal relationship with members of Student Group Support. They are your backbone and saving grace. The role of Activities Officer requires you to be approachable and caring, while also leaving yourself open to criticism, something of which I found incredibly difficult at the start. It is important to remember that every society has their own needs and concerns, and that you should do your best to accommodate them all. Remember that all the committees alone contain over 2,500 students, you will never be able to please everyone, but that doesn’t mean your shouldn’t try. I hope my successor will campaign over important issues that affect the wider community, as well as those which effect all student groups. I urge them to look at the problems our students are facing financially in relation to participating in clubs and societies. I want them to remember that inclusivity and community lie at the heart of this role. Have fun and enjoy.
International - Santhana One of the best parts of my role is you get to meet individuals from different cultures and various walks of life. I’ve met so many inspirational individuals that I wouldn’t have met if I weren’t in this role. I’ve gone from attending University Committee meetings, to attending and speaking at rallies and marches. I’ve achieved most of the goals and objectives I’ve set for myself throughout the year through the help of my team. Collaborating with your teammates go a long way! Celeste and I had a small idea individually, but through combining our work and specialism, we’ve managed to lift our Healthy Relationships Campaign to much higher grounds, securing funding from the university and their support to embed the campaign in their initiatives. Same goes for Reena and I with the Quiet Room. In the pressing times of Brexit and changes in immigration policies, the university and the SU work side by side to improve the lives of international students. The staff members I work with are warm and welcoming, and my ideas and suggestions were well accepted. Working closely with the Student Advice Centre and the University’s International Students Support Team has given me a deeper understanding of an international student’s journey. Not all of us have a smooth sailing journey to get to Sheffield. Be political, because a politically neutral SU is a boring SU. Stand up for what you believe! Most importantly, do ask for help if you’re stuck or overwhelmed. I’m very lucky to have a kind, supportive team, and I’m sure you will too.
A year in retrospect: Development - Megan As this is the first year the Development Officer’s role has officially included ethical and environmental leadership, I really hope the next Development Officer shares my passion for the subject and prioritises it. The students voted it the worldwide issue they felt most passionately about but also the issue they felt least empowered to take action upon so it is key a member of the team continues to bridge this gap.
Our current Officer team look back at their year and offer words of advice to their successors
Sport - Flo
Education - Stuart An activist once told me of a phrase used by socialists in Spain: “one foot in the institutions, a thousand on the streets”. You are now, in some ways, that foot in the institutions. What you have is a huge opportunity to push for change and build power, in the university and beyond, but it’s important to remember the nature of the role you have, and how you relate to the grassroots. Here are three things to remember in your year: 1. Never forget why you’re here and what you’re fighting for. It’s very easy to get sucked in to the daily goings on of sabb life, to take the less risky route, to put off making the difficult case for what you stand for. 2. Stay accountable and connected to activists and students. These are the people who put you where you are, and these are always the people that will force real change. Nonetheless, remember that those dry and tiresome meetings you attend are not at odds with being connected to grassroots activism: they are a concrete place to make arguments and push for change. 3. Always, always, always be kind and honest. Think it possible that you may be mistaken in your beliefs, and that anyone could have something valuable to say. Our fight for a better world is one of winning hearts and minds, and we are far more powerful if win people’s trust and respect.
My role is very outward facing which has its benefits but also challenges. The best part is getting to work so closely with the club captains and Sports committee. This year I have had the pleasure of running 3 very successful campaigns; We Are International, This Girl Can and disability in sport week, launching this under the ‘SportForAll’ name. I have seen the genuine change that campaigns can have and I believe sport is improving and we have made it grow! I have fulfilled all of my manifesto pledges including successfully getting a day pass for the gym. My main hope for the next sports officer is that they will continue to make sports inclusive through the sport for all campaign. In the Prioritise Our Mental Health survey in 2017 93% of students who responded said they felt barriers to engaging in sport, the sports officer needs to be committed to breaking down these barriers. This may be through finances, social aspects, travel and facilities. We need to continue the legacy that as sports clubs we are inclusive and if you come to Sheffield you can get involved and be active, whether you want to join a club or just cycle to uni there is something for all. Most of all have fun with the role and remember you are a part of the best uni family because we are all black and gold.
Women’s - Celeste This role is all about liberation as you represent the views and interests of all self-defining women, whilst also supporting our amazing representative committees. It is so important to support their campaigns, meet with the committees and engage in their student activity. We all need to work together to empower each other and ensure that liberation is truly at the heart of the Students’ Union. A key aspect of this role is to ensure that the University is doing enough to support their students, whether that be ensuring safety on campus or fighting for the rights and representation of LGBT+ students. It is vital that we lobby the University to ensure their policies regarding sexual violence are the best they can be and know that it is okay to challenge high figures within the University on their strategies - this is daunting but also so important to ensuring students are all safe, respected and supported. Finally, enjoy the year ahead - there is no job like this in the world and every single day is different. Make the most of your time and remember to always stand strong, be powerful and always be a formidable woman.
Welfare - Reena First things first, don’t doubt yourself and your abilities. When I won, I still didn’t believe I was the right candidate for the job. It’s taken me such a long time to feel confident in my abilities. Luckily I had a whole team of staff and the other officers to encourage me along. Believe in yourself and be the bold leader you are. This role is very University facing and you’ll really be getting involved in the changing political climate of the University and the UK. There’s a lot of negotiations involved. This means that sometimes you’ll probably feel like you aren’t doing as much as your other officer pals, but trust me - you are. My tip here is to remind yourself that you are doing a lot and that you are doing a good job. Don’t be afraid to get involved with student-led activities. Engage with Forge. I love Forge and have loved working with them. One of my highlights was creating Officer Island Discs and going on Forge Radio. You can still check it out on mixcloud. It’s the most wholesome thing you’ll listen to this week. Just FYI. It’s important to remember that this role can be all consuming and you can’t let it. It’s your job and even though you live and breathe it, it is not your life. I try very hard to demarcate my work life and my personal life. Don’t take it home with you. wing on from that: practice what you preach! Your welfare is number one. Look after yourself. Remember the majority of students are having a good time, because you mostly will be in contact with people who aren’t. One of my favourite things about this role is the officer team. We are friends before we are colleagues. There’s nobody else except the eight of us who understand what we’re going through. These relationship are invaluable. It’s a bizarre and wonderful job, in ways you’ll least expect. If you say “I want to do this”, a team of people will stand up and make it happen. It’s so important that you engage with as many staff as possible, they are your support network. Speaking of the staff, I love them. Janet and Julie are invaluable - not just for their resources but their emotional support. And, of course, Jenny. Jenny Smith. What do I even say about the amazing Jenny Smith? Having Jenny as the Welfare Coordinator and my friend has given me the support that I never even knew that I needed. She provides the emotional support and encouragement that I give to others but can’t seem to give to myself. Her knowledge on politics and policies and her operational input has made everything so much easier. And her meme choices are off the charts - hecking banging. She makes you feel like you’re doing a good job. Basically, I love Jenny and you will to. Lastly and probably most obviously... Remember why you put yourself forward to this. It’s a wonderful job. Enjoy it.
Friday 2 March 2018
Four months on: Is your university sustainable enough? An ‘Ask Your University’ event took place last semester, letting students voice concern the sustainability of Sheffield University. Contributor Laura Turner debates whether or not significant steps have been taken towards sustainability.
Welcome back to Features! Amidst the SU Officer elections buzz, we’re here to offer you some easy reading about some topics that really matter to some of our contributors. This issue we’re talking about the University’s sustainabiliy initiative and whether they’re doing enough to combat our poor rankings. We also have a piece on zoological tourism and who is still creating the
On 30 October, the SU held its first ‘Ask Your University’ event of the academic year, asking if our University is sustainable enough. Students challenged staff on issues such as building and development, curriculum and university strategy and found that the answer seemed to be no we aren’t, but we will be working to combat that. As the most popular ‘Ask your university’ event so far, it’s obvious that students really care about sustainability issues. “It really highlighted to the University how passionate students are about sustainability,” Megan McGrath, the SU Development Officer, remarked. “I think they were probably a bit surprised by how many students came. It made them realise they needed to take action.” So, almost four months on, what’s changed? Our University still has a long way to go to improve our sustainability policies and practices. In the recent Green League Table, which takes in to consideration all aspects of sustainability including carbon emissions, consumption, staffing and more, Sheffield was underwhelming. The University ranked 77th for sustainability out of 154 UK universities (a 2:2 grade overall), and of the 24 Russell Group Universities, we ranked 16th. Improving this will take time, and there has been progress - we are in the process of developing our first sustainability strategy, we have a lovely new Coffee Revs (that was built sustainably) and several successful campaigns relating to sustainability, to start. The event was a “milestone moment of realisation by University staff of how deeply and widely the student body care about the issue of sustainability” according to Tim Allen, the SU Sustainability Coordinator. The Director of Corporate Communications and Human Resources and the University’s new Professional Services Sustainability Lead, Tracy Wray, said: “It was very encouraging to observe the strength of feeling our students have on sustainability issues first hand at the ‘Ask Your University’ event. This is clearly a real priority for our students and we are determined to translate this enthusiasm into action at the University.” Naomi Guo, Chair of the SU Sustainability Committee, explained how “face to face dialogue with staff smoothed the way for further interaction and involvement over the semester, bringing people together working to promote real progress”. The ‘Ask Your University’ event had groups address three key topics, discussing the current situation and steps forward. Over the last few months we’ve seen lots of progress on these issues. Our Strategy Education is one of the issues expected to be included in the upcoming University Sustainability Strategy, which is currently in development. Why do we need a specific strategy? Sustainability
demand for these kinds of practices. If you find yourself interested in writing for our section send an email our way at press. firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to do more? Catch Forge Press’ AGM happening in the coming weeks! Love your Features editors, Elsa, Katharine & Megan
is a big issue, and a strategy will provide long term goals that the University can be held accountable for, past the current rotation of students and staff. Our more sustainable peers, such as the University of Leeds, all have a specific university strategy for sustainable development and practices. The Sustainability Committee has been campaigning and petitioning since last year for the creation of a strategy and appointment of full time staff to develop it. The University has listened, the University Executive Board has approved the Committee’s proposal for a strategy, although it has been revised to exclude the appointment of any staff for a team. In the next few months, the strategy is being written by a Sustainability Steering Group that includes Megan McGrath to represent the student voice. The other members will be Professor Duncan Cameron and Tracy Wray as academic and professional service leads respectively, and Andy Dodman to represent the UEB. The key areas of focus for the strategy are “Quality Education, Climate Action”, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, “Responsible Production and Consumption” and “Affordable and Clean Energy “. The Sustainability Operations Group (which includes Megan McGrath and Naomi Guo) will then decide how these targets can be reached and how changed are to be implemented. The ambitious aim is to have the strategy completed by March. To ensure student involvement, the Sustainability Committee held a workshop this week to consult students and create a advisory manifesto for what students would like to see in the final manifesto, which will be delivered to the steering group by Megan. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for student consultation
The University ranked 77th for sustainability out of 154 UK universities. when the draft of the strategy has been written. A key issue raised across all three of the topics at the initial event, and a key priority for the strategy moving forward, is that of transparency and accountability. We as students have a right to know how our university functions, but finding this information can be difficult. A lack of clarity makes collaboration difficult, and also makes holding those accountable for missed targets much harder. To improve visibility, a small project group has developed the Public Responsibility section of the University website to make it easier to find out what’s going on. However, how do we hold the University accountable?
Friday 2 March 2018
Wyn Morgan, the Vice Chancellor for Education, explained at the event that the University Council and UEB hold staff accountable, but as students we don’t see this. Having a strategy with clear public targets should improve this process and allow students to apply pressure on the University more easily. “Due to the quick turnover of students in leadership roles, it is difficult for students to know about long term targets and to make progress over time. Having a sustainability strategy would allow for this, and that’s why it’s so important,” explains Christian Unger. This is a key issue for his group, the Carbon Neutral University Network, and the Sustainability Committee moving forward. He also highlighted how important the student voice is in this process, saying, “Students pay to be at this University, so they should have power in influencing its future.” From their responses at the event and since, it appears the staff want this too. Josh Barnes agrees: “We really hope the strategy will be informed by student expertise, particularly [those knowledgeable in] sustainability, of which we have many.” Building up or powering down? One key issue discussed at the ‘Ask your university’ event was that of sustainable development, specifically buildings and the university carbon targets. The University’s failure to meet their carbon reduction targets was a focus for students. The University is not inline to meet its target of 43% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, however, and this is partially due to the development of new buildings like the Diamond. At the event, students asked for
more clarity and transparency on the carbon costs of these projects, including a Freedom of Information request for the Diamond plans. The Carbon Neutral University Network (a group made up of postdocs, staff and students) have been working for over four years to find out more about the University’s emissions. This includes the building and maintenance of University properties, new and old. They have made several FOI requests about emissions, and have been involved in public consultations to ensure the University takes student voices into account. Christian Unger, co-chair of the Network, explained, “We need to present solutions and positive actions as well as campaigning to see change in the University” and the network has proposed several action plans. They are working with the SU and the University to create the strategy, and are hoping that more support from students will help with this. There is hope for the University’s new developments. The SU’s revamp of Coffee Revolution shows that sustainable building is possible – sustainable products, building materials and low energy lights - and the University should take note. Coffee Revolution is also further promoting the SU #reusablerevolution campaign, which involves more packaging-free products in Our Shop, and discounts for using your own containers and flasks at several venues. Outgoing SU Development Officer Megan McGrath, who is responsible for this campaign, has also launched the Campus Cup scheme, where you can ‘borrow’ a reusable cup from the University and SU and return it anywhere across campsus. Procurement is a significant aspect of the University’s carbon footprint
alongside energy use, so sourcing local, sustainable and ethical products is a priority for many students. Furthermore, students have been involved in the planning of the new Social Sciences building, through meetings with estates and management. The building does have some sustainability attributes, like the inclusion of a ground source heat pump and solar panels, but this is alongside a gas generator. The reasoning for the gas generator is that there is government financial incentive offered to pay for its building, as it’s a more sustainable option than others, and only needs to be in use for seven years before it can be powered down. A target for those involved in the discussion is to ensure that it actually is powered down in seven years, through a written agreement. Having a University-wide sustainability brief for new builds could help prioritise these areas in the future. We could also look to Sheffield Hallam University as an example, who use sustainability as a key assessment criterion in preliminary choice of plans for new buildings. What’s happening now? Last week the Sustainability Committee held a student consultation to discuss what we would like to see in the strategy. This, along with student views given online, will be used to create a student manifesto to inform the steer group. Ruby Lee, who is leading the Sustainability Committee’s campaign for the development of the strategy explained the goals for the student manifesto. “It needs to be ambitious to test the steering and implementing groups, so we can hold them accountable on
Sourcing local, sustainable and ethical products is a priority for many students. short term goals and make changes if necessary.” Hopefully, there will be further consultation and student involvement through this process, and potentially an ‘Ask your university’- style event on the proposed strategy. There are many groups promoting sustainability and challenging the university and others to do the same, such as: the Wellbeing Cafe, Vegetarian & Vegan Society, Market Society, Engineers Without Borders, Save Our Sandwiches, Beekeepers Society, People & Planet, the Carbon Neutral University Network. Green Impact and the University Market Society are hosting a NoWaste Market on the 15 March in the SU, with stalls from societies and external vendors. In March, Green Impact will also be holding their audits, where improvement of sustainability practices made this year by different departments and groups is assessed. Our new Sister Cities sustainability project hopes to improve sustainability at our University and McMaster University in Canada through information sharing. What is excellent to see if the number of student groups now working together, aided by the Sustainability Network. For example,
UNICEF society + Vegsoc event are holding a joint event later this term. Want to get involved? Joining Facebook groups and mailing lists will keep you informed about upcoming events. You can also look on the SU website for a list of all the societies and check out that Activities Zone for ideas. Think about taking on a role in a society or group next year, as most AGMs will be coming up soon, or even starting your own if you have a cause! Get to know the incoming SU Development Officer. Also, don’t forget about your course reps! Ask them to lobby on your behalf to embed sustainability, and if you can go along with them to their meetings to help defend the issue. You can have your say on our sustainability strategy by filling out the online consultation form atsurveygizmo.com/s3/4166174/ Sustainability-Consultation. This is a really exciting time for change, our opportunity to shape Sheffield into the sustainable university it should be, one that prepares its graduates for the issues of today and the future. Together, we can make a difference and promote a more sustainable future in our university, the local community and our broader society. The more students involved in the process the better. If you have any suggestions for the strategy, or for how students can act to improve sustainability at the University, email Megan (megan.mcgrath@sheffield. ac.uk) Find out about what the university is doing to improve sustainability practises at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/about/publicresponsibility
Friday 2 March 2018
Zoological While volunteering at a zoo, Darby Knight witnessed the cruel practices that come along with the sale of â€˜uniqueâ€™ animal encounter experiences to wealthy tourists. Relaying his experiences in detail, he discusses why these practices are still allowed, who is behind the demand and what we can do to give these animals better lives.
All photos by D arby Knight
Friday 2 March 2018
acing back and forth in the pen, fourweek-old tiger cub Louie cries out. The keeper assumes he is hungry, however my past work on analysing tiger behaviour tells me otherwise. At this age, adult tigers will do laps around an enclosure before they let their cub leave the den, yet here was a cub all on its own without a protective parent. Volunteering in a zoo in Asia to garner further experience in animal care and husbandry, I was warned of ‘culturally different practises’, but I was truly taken aback by what was going on behind the scenes, particularly in the name of profit. Bears that were too old for safari were shut indoors on concrete, being fed dog food. The declawing of big cats, where the foremost digit bones are surgically removed to prevent injury to visitors, at a great psychological cost to the cats, was routine procedure.
being outlawed in these respective countries. In Asia, there are zoos that target Western markets specifically, with high prices for activities and packages offered that locals cannot afford themselves. The phrase ‘only in Asia’ was used repeatedly by tour guides in the big cat cub play pens, highlighting their appeal to international tourists. Though the absence of local laws and a different way of life may be partially responsible, having done research for the Behaviour and Welfare team at Chester Zoo regarding captive Sumatran tigers I’ve come to understand the intricacies of not just animal behaviour but also the impact of patterns among zoo visitors. It is tourists’ willingness to pay higher prices for these ‘unique’ experiences and photos that is driving the persistence of these zoo practices. Despite the West
The demand for animal encounter experiences doesn’t come from local visitors Whilst the West outlawed activities such as big cat club play dates and elephant riding, these are now unique selling points for zoos in other developing countries frequented by Western tourists. Indeed, just a few days in working with the Cubs Keeping Team (the team responsible for looking after the big cat cubs used for visitor encounters), I noticed that the demand for animal encounter experiences wasn’t coming from local visitors. Many of the guests that came to the zoo came from developed countries including the UK, France, Germany, Australia and the USA, despite such practices
proclaiming a high level of animal welfare, it is their citizens who are encouraging mistreatment elsewhere in the world. Despite the importance of zoos as tourist attractions, most research on zoo visitors and zoo perception is being carried out in Western countries with strict animal welfare laws. Research on zoos in developing countries however, is severely lacking. Whilst some animal welfare issues, like the practices at
SeaWorld, are prevalent in Western media, other zoo practises that could potentially be considered much worse go unreported. What can be found in the literature shows that zoos in Asia are primarily tourist-driven and based around offering the best visitor experience possible, which contrasts with UK zoos that often promote conservation as their driving force. Not only is the profit gained from charging high prices for animal encounter experiences extremely enticing, it is important to note that even the education around animals is in stark contrast. These countries often do not view animal welfare in the same way the West does. Scholars in the UK take a strong interest in natural history, with zoology courses offered at many universities. At an international summer school in Canada, for example, I met a lot of Chinese students, none of whom had ever heard of Zoology, and none knew of anywhere in their country where animal biology, behaviour or ecology was taught. Extensive scientific research into the natural world, and into animals’ ability to feel pain and distress, has led many to the idea that animals are deserving of respect and freedom from pain. However, in some countries animals are seen purely as a commodity. The primary motivation behind all the decisions made at the zoo I volunteered at was not animal welfare, but profit. Albeit, profit required for people’s livelihoods. Another volunteer was so dismayed by the zoo’s condition that they wrote a paper for an
animal welfare group asking for it to be shut down, but this is not the answer. Despite everything I saw there - pregnant elephants being ridden, cat claws being amputated and bears being shut indoors because they were too old to be put on safari - the zoo needs to stay open. People’s livelihoods still depend on its success, and
team was getting Blue the Bengal tiger permanently retired. He used to spend up to eight hours a day chained to a table for photos and was kept in a concrete pen for the rest of his time. Now he is having a new, natural enclosure constructed to live free from unnecessary human interference . A new outdoor bear enclosure is
While some animal welfare issues are prevelant in Western media, other zoo practices go unreported conditions at the zoo are still far better than the alternatives. If this zoo closed, the animals would be sent to worse zoos or even killed. The answer isn’t to clamp down on zoos with poor welfare practises, but to change them and support them in becoming better. The volunteer program I joined wasn’t simply set up for people to gain experience, but to try and change the zoo’s practices and make it a more humane attraction. The volunteer role requires working with the zoo to educate them about how to better take care of resident animals. The first big victory achieved by the volunteer
being constructed for the bears that are too old to be on show in safari. Volunteers are working with the zoo and hopefully leading other zoos to keep up with their competition. Not everyone has the time, money or expertise to volunteer internationally - but the key change that needs to happen is in regards to how tourists spend their money. If you are travelling and thinking of having one of these unique animal encounters, just think about the animal beforehand and the conditions it is under. Research the zoo and decide if it’s one you wish to support. If you go and see a problem - don’t fume in silence, do leave feedback!It does work. The volunteer program I joined was erected following a scathing review from a visiting Belgian couple that really shook the zoo owners and they wanted to change Re-education of tourists is the first step to reduce demand, so educate yourself. Then we can re-educate the zoos and no more cubs like Louie need to be left alone.
Friday 2 March 2018
Bursting the bubble In this series we go beyond the University to speak to Sheffield residents, from outside our uni bubble, to hear their thoughts on the city in the past and the present, and to see what they think about students. Thomas Vigar
Rachael Eyton moved to Sheffield when a school friend came to live here, and suggested she join them. She says “I just fell in love with the city and never left”. That was five years ago now and she has been working at Beanies – a wholefoods shop and greengrocers – for three years. Beanies is a workers cooperative, meaning that there is no hierarchical management structure at the shop, and all eight members have equal partnership in the business. It has been run this way since it first opened in 1986. Rachel loves working at the shop. “It’s really good fun. The best thing is the customers really. We’ve got a lot of regulars and you get to know them and you get to have really great conversations. I’ve learnt a lot about various people”. As a vegan, she is also delighted to work somewhere that only sells vegetarian and vegan food, as it means she is “selling things I believe in and use myself”. She got the job at Beanies after seeing a poster in a café she was working in advertising a position at the shop. “I’d recently gone vegan at the time, and I thought yeah, that fits with what I want to do.” Recently Rachael has seen an increase in student customers, which she believes is down in part to the growing plastic free movement, and a desire to support local businesses. “After lectures have finished, about 5 o’clock, you can’t move for students. It’s rammed, which is great”. She says, “It’s funny how quiet it is when they’ve all gone home”. And in the city as a whole Rachael feels very positively about students: “They’re great yeah, they keep it buzzing…they’re our customers, they’re our neighbours”. Recently she has become concerned about the “uneasy atmosphere” surrounding the debate over the cutting down of trees, saying that it has “created a
bit of tension amongst people in the community”. But Rachael is very pleased with other developments in the city, in particular the increase in the prevalence of veganism. “That aspect of Sheffield has exploded in the last few years. There are so many more vegan restaurants”. What’s her favourite thing about the city? “Not the hills!” she jokes. “There’s always something going on, in terms of events and
activities… I’ve done so many new and different things since being here in Sheffield”. Through her work at Beanies, Rachael has come to be an example of one of the many connections between the city and the university, bringing local produce to the student community.
I just fell in love with the city and never left
- Rachael Eyton, Beanies employee
Friday 2 March 2018
Well, we’re back again with another terrible Opinion section that we have put minimal effort into. We really hate this bloody commitment
and want it to be over. Thankfully people don’t read this section (not even our editorial superiors!) so we can totally get away with it.
James Pendlington & Josie Le Vay
Wow, realistically we can say whatever we want. OK, confession time, we both voted Conservative in 2015. [Ed. - see me]
Music, ha, more like musickeningly political Charlie Heywood-Heath
ednesday night’s BRIT awards saw Stormzy win the ‘best male’ award, but it was his end of show performance which received the most attention. The rapper chose to use his
disgusting. As an artist, on a platform such as the BRITs, to make such suggestions is dangerous. We mustn’t underestimate his influence over the younger generation - especially when there is already a climate of hostility towards those we merely disagree with,
...the event becomes exclusive and artists are forced to subscribe to a dominant way of seeing society performance to criticise Theresa May and her government’s approach to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This begs the question of whether music has become (like all other forms of art) too political? You only have to look to other awards ceremonies to see what happens when you let it become dominated by politics instead of music: the event becomes exclusive and artists are forced to subscribe to a dominant way of seeing society. In this case it’s the enforcement of left-wing politics. Considering how other areas of society have been subjected to this bias (you only have to look at universities), it takes away the enjoyment and celebration that music awards once were. Whilst artists should not be prohibited from using their work to express views, like all other forms of free speech it has to be used carefully. Considering Stormzy’s performance alone, his comments were not only dangerous but unfair. They were unfair on the Prime Minister and they were unfair on the victims of Grenfell. Firstly, Stormzy’s suggestion that the Prime Minister was a “criminal” and should have her “house burned down to feel what it’s like” was
worsened by the Shadow Chancellor previously suggesting that Tory MPs should be scared to be
public and laughing about politicians being lynched. Secondly, Stormzy’s comments simplified an extremely complex issue, especially since they implied no money had gone to Grenfell, something which both Government and the Charity Commission deny. However, they couldn’t defend themselves against this since the BRITs had neither the time nor the ability to properly explore this – and nor should it. It is a music ceremony after all. If Stormzy or other artists want to discuss politics, then go on Question Time. The BRITs is an event for artists who have been awarded for their musical talent, not their views on matters far more complicated than they seem to realise.
The SU’s lost their bottle Ewan Somerville
What’s the point in removing all plain water bottles... and then having every single possible type of flavoured or sparkling water to substitute?
Our SU is currently on the side of the big soft drink corporations who continue to treat our planet with contempt Bottles picture
All single-use plastic bottles must be banned from sale in the SU
t’s a sign of the times when the five trillion pieces of plastic floating around our oceans today is seen as the norm. But what do we expect when the West forces its endless polluting consumption as economic growth on countries worldwide and calls it ‘development’? Coca-Cola branding is seen from the Sahara to the Pacific. But to tackle it, we need bold action from below; action that challenges the reign of multinational soft drink companies. We’re not getting it from the paradoxical Sheffield Students’ Union, so let’s change the game. It was hailed as a major achievement when, based on a majority student vote, the SU banned the sale of plain water single-use plastic bottles back in 2011. Normal water was replaced with ‘freasy’ (free and easy) water taps for refillable bottles. Problem is, the action stopped there. What’s the point in removing all plain water bottles from the SU shop and then having every single possible type of flavoured or sparkling water to substitute? I have never seen so many different plastic bottles in shop of that size in my life. What’s the point in selling soft drinks made by Coca Cola? They sell more than 1.9 billion drinks a day, and have no real targets or commitments to reduce its PET plastic bottle production? Plastic bottles are plastic bottles, end of. Our SU is currently on the side of the big soft drink corporations who continue to treat our planet with contempt. That only plain water has been banned suggests the SU is blaming us as consumers – just like the MNC’s do – for our individual plastic footprints. Instead of taking a stand against companies like Coca Cola, Dr Pepper Snapple and PepsiCo, the SU continues to accept dirty money in the overpriced SU shop from selling these single-use-plastic-packaged drinks. Pledges about banning such plastics have been heard in the SU officer campaign over the last few weeks, but will the next Development Officer take a real stand? It’s a necessary and timely question, because our planet and its most beautiful creatures are struggling for breath as corporations – not individuals – pound it with plastic. Responsibility for the 12 million tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans each year and its role in global warming lies almost entirely with multibillion-pound soft drink companies, their marketing campaigns, and crucially their lobbyists at the heart of governments worldwide. Last year Greenpeace found that the five main soft drinks companies use a combined 3.6 million tonnes of plastic each year, of which an average 6.6% is recycled plastic. This figure excludes the biggest seller, Coca-Cola, which refused to disclose its precise footprint. Over the last decade these companies have generally moved away from selling their drinks in reusable formats, moving to more single-use plastics. Dr Pepper completes no environmental impact assessment when developing new products. So, our new Development Officer must act. All singleuse plastic bottles must be banned from sale in the SU. The next Officer team must then tirelessly lobby senior university managers to ban single-use plastics across the entire university, including all vending machines. Takeaway coffee cup consumption must also be addressed. In short, our SU needs to start having a backbone, and put our planet before profit.
Friday 2 March 2018
Original student content: Trump and guns Ben Warner
very time we hear news of yet another mass shooting in the United States, I wonder how many more times it has to happen before there is serious change across the pond. I respect that it’s a different country, but how people can justify a society where kids aren’t safe at school is a mystery to me.
A rhetoric change needs to take place in the US, and it won’t happen with Trump in the White House 17 people were killed in a sixminute attack at Parkland, 14 of which were teenagers whose parents will never see grow up, because of outdated gun laws. A rhetoric change needs to take place in the US, and it won’t happen with Trump in the White House and a majority of Republicans – many of whom take money from the National Rifle Association – in Congress. It shouldn’t be so simple for people
to get access to weapons which can cause death on such a scale and, as evidenced by many other countries including ours, banning or severely restricting access to guns has proved to be reasonably effective at preventing school shootings, or mass shootings in general.
It’s a soft plan by a President who doesn’t know what he’s doing The solution is not to give more people guns, especially not teachers – many of whom have come out and said they don’t want to be given guns- in an effort to protect their students. Trump’s plan to raise the age at which certain guns can be purchased and ban bump stocks (which increase the speed at which the gun can be fired) also isn’t the solution. I would say those plans don’t go far enough. Raising the age to 21 won’t stop the vast majority of people who would want to carry out these attacks from buying them, and younger people could acquire them illegally. It’s a soft plan by a President who doesn’t know what he’s doing,
who wants to try and improve the Republicans’ chances in this November’s elections. Equally, it’s not just about guns. There were warning signs about what Nikolas Cruz, the shooter, was capable of and was willing to do, and the signs were ignored or not chased up thoroughly enough. This could’ve been prevented in more ways than just getting rid of guns – not that that’s an argument in favour of keeping guns. Guns are one of the last huge issues in American politics, and this is a chance to stop attacks like this once and for all.
Student says what we all think about the SU but don’t say out of fear of being called a Tory Conor Gallogly
t’s all over for another year. Your new SU Officer team has been elected, again with a woefully low turnout. No matter how many posters are plastered around the SU or however many leaflets are handed out, it seems impossible to engage large swathes of the student body that aren’t already within the SU bubble. Regardless of the noble causes or glossy campaigns pursued by SU Officers, the vast majority of the student body are just not engaged with SU politics - and this a problem.
Once again, we’ve seen the same buzzword policies such as free printing, and the vague notion that every candidate will improve mental health
It begs the question why, despite the high-profile nature of the election, do we only see around 25% of the student body turning out to vote? Are the other 75% either not bothering, or more likely, viewing SU politics as irrelevant? I believe the fault falls directly with the officer candidates and their campaigns. Once again, we’ve seen the same buzzword policies such as free printing, and the vague notion that every candidate will improve mental health (mandatory SSRIs for all!) These all come from candidates that appear to be far too similar: all from within the SU echo chamber and all with experience on similar committees or from similar societies. There is the occasional candidate who puts forward an alternative agenda but because there is no real debate such ideas are rarely discussed in a productive manner. The problem with SU politics is that it is not politics, all candidates have similar political views, and all put forward similar policies. In fact, one education candidate put forward the argument during the Education Roundtable that it “should be a left-wing role”. How can SU politics even begin to
represent the wide range of political views that make up the student body when this is the attitude at its heart? One can begin to draw parallels
One can begin to draw parallels to the lack of debate and fresh ideas seen in national politics. to the lack of debate and fresh ideas seen in national politics. Why, when we so often moan about the unrepresentative nature of national politics, do we not do the same for SU politics? The continual low turnout demands radical, but not extreme, candidates with fresh, achievable ideas. If this doesn’t happen, the SU will continue to be a clique bubble that fails to represent the entire student body effectively. Sheffield deserves better.
Literally couldn’t think of a suitable picture for this, so here’s a picture of a cat smoking a cigarette (We’ve checked. It’s not dead and it’s a candy fag) Sombrespit
Friday 2 March 2018
UCU: Unappreciative Cretin Undergraduates Robin Wilde
n the raging debate between those who think the ongoing UCU dispute is the crucible of the revolution, and those who would eBay their lecturer’s possessions to claw back precious fee money. The biggest demographic is probably those who want their Facebook back. Although the ongoing dispute is complex, it seems right that lecturers should be taking action to protect their pensions and those of their colleagues. Having 40% of your retirement income sliced away is a serious financial injury to anyone, and – from a money-grubbing perspective - removes one of the few remaining incentives for the highly educated to enter university teaching rather than disappearing to highly-paid private roles. On the other side, I’d guess that the Venn diagram crossover between those who signed the petition calling for reimbursement, and the people who called their MPs
about KFC being shut is a slightly fuzzy circle. But it’s possible to support our lecturers without harming our own education. While you absolutely should avoid crossing the picket line, or going into University buildings
Having 40% of your retirement income sliced away is a serious financial injury to anyone (including the libraries), on strike days, it isn’t a betrayal of solidarity to work from home. It’s not materially different from doing that reading the department always told you to do, and which you haven’t thought about since Fresher’s Week. After all, you’re supposed to be
doing your degree because you’re vaguely interested in it (or, if you study Dentistry, because you love money) and it seems oddly selfdenying to sit watching Netflix for a month instead – though Universities UK might not be well advised to try this argument. If you want to think about it in brutally pragmatic terms, the extra work your lecturers have to do with you when you fail all your exams because you took three weeks off is probably going to add up to as much as they missed during the strike. There’s lots to get your teeth into about the current dispute, including interesting and infuriating titbits like the Oxbridge colleges counting as a vote apiece against Sheffield’s one. But you don’t need to totally immerse yourself and endanger your learning to show support. Just remember that if you do feel like you’re missing out because of industrial action, you’re probably not the one facing a 40% cut in your pension.
gets political This issue we decided to ask people on Tinder what they think about the ongoing UCU strike. Apparently non-students don’t care!
Hey, how are you doing tonight? I’d summarise my state as unkempt, crying and underwhelmed Or UCU for short On an unrelated note, what’s your unrelated note, what’s your take on the lecturer’s strike?
Fair enough! I didn’t really know there was a lecturers strike tbh as I’m not in uni until September...
Heyy Bienvenue how’re you? I’m ok, I’ll tell you who isn’t ok though The UCU What’s your take on lecturers going on strike?
It’s left you braindead?
(Left to right) Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai
organ Tsvangirai, founding member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), died on February 14th after battling colon cancer and has left a nation in mourning. The MDC is the main opposition party to the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) which has been ruling Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980. After Tsvangirai’s death and the recent coup d’état forcing long-time ZANUPF leader Robert Mugabe to step down, we are entering uncharted political territory. The loss of a founding father has left the MDC deeply divided. Tsvangirai was a unifying factor and a charismatic leader who proved
The Kremlin, Moscow, Harry Wad
that he could carry the opposition to victory as he did in the 2008 election. Following his death, the MDC appointed Nelson Chamisa as Acting President for 12 months, who will also run in the upcoming election against ZANU-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa. The fact that Chamisa was never elected into this position is problematic as it undermines the party’s democratic principles. The appointment is only a quick fix and overshadows the internal power conflict within the MDC. The biggest struggles for democracy in Zimbabwe are widespread intimidation, media propaganda and the alteration of vote results. Even under Tsvangirai, who was arrested several times, MDC members and voters have suffered from prosecution. Even though Mnangagwa claimed the election
would be “free, credible, fair and indisputable”, the ZANU-PF has had a long history of using violence to secure its grip on power and it remains to be seen whether it is set to change this in the future. New administrations are prone to rule by the sword over the pen in Zimbabwe, and it is unlikely that the ZANU-PF will change their long-established authoritarian leadership. With an underlying fear of prosecution and an atmosphere of self-censorship, Mnangagwa is set out to win the election. In the long run the MDC needs to settle its internal disputes and hold on to its core supporters in order to continue Tsvangirai’s movement. For now, it seems that Zimbabwe’s opposition has taken a massive hit and a reelection of a ZANU-PF government is inevitable.
I have no idea what you’re going about lol sorry University lecturers are going on strike due to their pensions being changed
well wouldn’t you be pissed if it was you? I’m always pissed
fair enough haha
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere right!?!
Friday 2 March 2017
Harry Gold and Ellie Conlon
With some of our lecturers striking we all have a bit of spare time on our hands. Admittedly, we probably should be using this time to actually start thinking about dissertation or finally do that further reading weâ€™ve been intending to do since we started university. Alternatively, you could just spend it reading Forge Press? Go on, you know you want to. This week, Lifestyle took a turn in a new direction and delved into the world of science to ask the question weâ€™ve all
been wanting answers to - what does ketamine actually do to your brain? We spoke to Biomedical Science student Jade Le Marquand about party drugs. Turns out nobody knows why people hallucinate when they take ketamine. Come on science, try a bit harder.
What you need to know about your favourite party drugs
Party drugs such as ketamine and cocaine have become increasingly popular among young adults as an alternative to alcohol. All of them share a common effect: altering brain activity to achieve a desired high. But are casual users really aware of their effects?
Friday 2 March 2017
Jade Le Marquand
Ketamine Introduced in the 1960s as a clinical drug to anaesthetise patients, Ketamine acts by blocking ion channels located in neurons known as N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Under normal conditions, a calcium influx would allow information to travel from the brain to a point of interest, allowing motor function. Blocking these channels prevents the user from controlling their body, and will ultimately desensitise them to their surroundings. In small doses, users can still maintain some control over their body, but will experience a loss of sensation. NMDA receptors are thought to be pivotal in the
formation of memories, which explains their ability to have an amnesic effect. Many people report hallucinating when using Ketamine. However, a lot of evidence suggests that rather than creating new hallucinations in the minds of the user, it instead alters the perception of their environment. People often describe their world feeling elongated or ‘wavy’ when they experience the drug, but only under higher doses of ketamine are they able to truly see things that others can’t. Popularised as a party drug in the ’90s, Ketamine, or ‘special K’ as it is sometimes known, is infamous for its ability to induce hallucinogenic states in its users. The fast-acting
drug’s ability to induce a ‘trance-like’ state, coupled with and the relative ease with at which it could be obtained, made it one of the most popular recreational drugs of the time among ravers and remains very popular to this to day. Ketamine is still clinically used today, mainly in veterinary science and paediatrics. Recent evidence suggests that it could even be used as a way to treat depression. Currently it is not available to be prescribed to patients and is still undergoing trials, although somewhat ironically, research does suggest that depression can be caused by chronic overuse of ketamine.
Since cocaine is commonly taken recreationally in areas where there is alcohol readily available, it is somewhat unnerving when you consider that one of the most lethal drug combinations is alcohol and cocaine.
Cocaine Cocaine is an alkaloid isolated from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca plant native to South America. Since its discovery in the 1850s, it has become the second-most used illegal drug in the world - the top spot being taken, of course, by marijuana. Thanks to public recommendations from respected minds of the time – most notably Sigmund Freud – cocaine quickly went from being used medicinally to numb pain to being mass produced for its many perceived benefits. Over time, the negative effects of cocaine became recognised and it was subsequently criminalised. The drug primarily acts on the neurotransmitter dopamine, preventing its synaptic reuptake in order
to prolong its activity. This results in overactivation of reward pathways in the brain, creating the feelings of pleasure and euphoria typically associated with the drug. The same reward pathways are also activated by substances such as nicotine, albeit on a smaller scale, although smokers do experience similar feelings of pleasure and loss of stress upon consumption. The famously addictive nature of cocaine is due to the activation of these pathways, as frequent users tend to crave the euphoric experience again. The withdrawal effects caused by the psychological dependency can include insomnia and reduced muscle coordination. Since cocaine is commonly taken recreationally in areas where there is alcohol readily
available, it is somewhat unnerving when you consider that one of the most lethal drug combinations is alcohol and cocaine. When both alcohol and cocaine coexist in the bloodstream, a new drug, cocaethylene, is formed. This substance stays in the body much longer than either drug otherwise would by themselves, subjecting the body to a prolonged period of stress.
Yorkshire slang: what does it all mean? You’ve been in Sheffield for at least half a year now, so you’ve probably all encountered West Street Live, the best place in Sheffield to cavort with the locals. However, is there anything more difficult than trying to decode Yorkshire slang when you’ve drank an entire bottle of wine at pres, necked three coco milkos and downed a couple of jagerbombs? Is it the thick Yorkshire accent? Is it the dialect? Or have you just drunk one too many Desperados? Let’s be honest it’s probably a combination of all three. But don’t worry, ‘ere’s a guide to get ye’ chattin’ ‘reyt Yorkshire.
Ellie Conlon Ey up This is a phrase most commonly used to say hello. Usually shouted by someone arriving at pre-drinks armed with a four pack of Carlsberg and a shit haircut.
Monkeys. Mardy means bad tempered / whiney. Like that house mate who always moans about you stealing their milk. They’re probably a bit mardy. Either that or you should, you know, stop stealing their milk.
Duck It’s half 4 in the morning, you’re in the middle of West Street and have so many questions. Where did all my mates go? Why did I decide to drink that extra bottle of wine? And why does everyone keep calling me duck? Despite being a seemingly boring animal, duck is actually a Yorkshire term of endearment.
Barmpot Idiot / fool.Yes, this does sound like something your gran would call you after you’ve done something stupid. Pretty funny word though.
Mardy Let’s be honest if you know what this means and you’re not from Yorkshire, you probably owe it to the Arctic
Faffin’ about When your taxi to Corp is one minute away and you’re running around because you can’t remember which
Wag Haven’t turned up for any lectures today? Some would say ‘you’re wagging it’. Classic northern slang. Lovely stuff.
room you left your wallet in - that’s faffin’. It means wasting time and not being focused. Bap / Breadcake / Cob Ah, the classic ‘what do you call a bread roll’ debate that most likely tore your first year flat in half. Here in Yorkshire, if you call a bread roll anything other than a bap or a breadcake, then you’re wrong. (It’s obviously a barmcake). Gi o’er wi’ ye’ sen Is this Scottish? On first impression, this sort of sounds like an angry person making noises. Funnily enough this one can’t be found in the Oxford English dictionary. Turns out it means give over with yourself. Is that even a phrase?
Tea Nope, this is not an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring boiling water over cured leaves. Here in Yorkshire, tea is your evening meal. Dinner A meal eaten in the middle of the day. T’werk The term ‘twerk’ is usually used to refer to those dancing in a sexually promiscuous way by thrusting their hips in a low, squatting manner. Here in Yorkshire, this is used to describe where people go from 9 while 5 every week day. The South Generally used to refer to places located anywhere below Derby.
Friday 2 March 2018
I’m excited to introduce myself as the new Arts Editor! My name is Sophie, I am a second year biology student and a self-confessed arts enthusiast! When I’m not learning about animals and plants, I love to wander around Sheffield’s galleries and museums. Reading is my guilty pleasure, be it classic or contemporary.
I have made it my mission to see as many local theatre productions as possible before my time here ends.
I endeavour to share with you all my favourite arts within the city and will even be reviewing some of the beloved books, productions and exhibitions I think are worth sharing.
explore? Indulge in our latest fortnightly Forge fix below to find out more. Happy reading!
Laura and I have a lot lined up for the next few issues, so make sure you keep exploring this jam-packed section. Most importantly, immerse yourself in the wealth of art and culture Sheffield has to offer. You won’t regret it! Looking for a new book to read? An arts festival to attend? An exhibition to
Changing Lives at Weston Park Museum
Platform Festival is returning to the Students’ Union from 9-11 March, this time in support of Cavendish Cancer Care. With numerous workshops and acts run by societies such as SUPAS, SUTCo and Film Unit, it’s an unmissable experience! •
On Friday evening, why not kick off that weekend feeling by checking out the SUPAS Showcase?
enmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world by various happiness indicators. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, thinks this can be explained by one concept: Hygge. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word that cannot directly be translated into English to convey its original meaning. Wiking describes it as a feeling or an atmosphere of comfort, safety and contentment. You simply know hygge when you feel it. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well captures the reader’s imagination, aided by a range of images and illustrations featuring moments bursting with hygge. Throughout the book, Wiking argues that hygge-living is central to Danish life and a significant step towards achieving happiness. He presents five dimensions of hygge: taste, sound, smell, touch and sight. For each dimension, there is an abundance of hygge to be encountered. Individuality is the beauty of hygge. For a book lover, hygge may be curling up in a cosy chair with a hot drink and a good
Channel your inner zen on Saturday morning and attend yoga, 11am in the Foundry. Fancy yourself as a director? Head down to Sunday’s Film Making Exhibition at 12:00pm in Gallery Room 4.
Check out Platform Performance’s Facebook page for more information on tickets and a timetable of acts.
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking book whilst rain patters on the window. Others may envisage hygge to be more of a social activity. This could be considered a simplistic approach, however this familiar senses framework can be easily recalled and implemented into one’s daily life. Wiking hones in on the drivers of hygge specific to Denmark.
You simply know hygge when you feel it Throughout, there are tips which guide the reader to activities that foster hygge, such as recipes and suggestions of new traditions. Here lies the true magic of this book, taking a complex concept and turning it into an applicable daily practice. At times, Wiking may overemphasise the potential role hygge can play in societies dissimilar to Denmark, a socially and economically developed nation. As much as awareness of hygge is achieved within these pages, actually
practicing it in everyday life may be the real challenge facing those who strive to live well. Nevertheless, Wiking writes with wonder and wit. The book inspires us to make simple lifestyle changes in order to achieve more hygge and potentially more happiness. Without a doubt, hygge is certainly a piece in the complex puzzle of happiness.
heffield: often referred to as a friendly city, surrounded by the serene setting of the Peaks. However, there is something deeper than this amiable reputation. As the Changing Lives exhibition at Weston Park Museum demonstrates, the city has a fierce history of protest. Stepping into the exhibition is an immersion in protest, from portraits of figures involved with ‘Save Sheffield’s Trees’ campaign and handmade cross-stitches of the craftivism movement to inflatable dinosaurs declaring the fight against fossil fuels. The exhibition documents Sheffield’s role in protests over the last 200 years, with the city playing a remarkably large part. The exhibition opens with a timeline illustrating all the protests that have occurred in the city from as early as the 18th century up until last year. Of course, one of the most pivotal and pertinent successes of activism was the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918, which was achieved by the women’s suffrage movement. Evidence of the dedication and laborious work that many women invested into this movement can be found throughout the exhibit. As well as heavily publicised global protests, movements which are more localised to Sheffield are displayed. For instance, the actions of rebellious
ramblers from the early 1900s that secured public access to the city’s surrounding countryside today are highlighted. A large montage of the posters and pictures of the year-long miners’ strike, anti-Conservative representations and a display about the closure of the steel factories complement each other to reveal the city’s historically liberal, left-wing attitude. The black and white evidence of past protests stands in contrast to the colourful displays of more recent
Sheffield has a fierce history of protest movements, including Black Lives Matter and the inevitable anti-Trump banners. In fact, one of the most entertaining (and certainly most colourful) posters of the exhibition compares the US president to a Wotsit. Need any more be said? See the exhibition for free until Saturday 1 July.
Friday 2 March 2018
(Left to right) Simone Saunders, Judy Flynn, Samantha Power and Remmie Milner | Photo by Mark Douet
Chicken Soup Chicken Soup is a ground-breaking new drama following a group of Rotherham women from the Battle of Orgreave through to Brexit. Faith Dunne spoke to the director, Bryony Shanahan, to learn more about their story. It’s a sad state of affairs when a soup kitchen, originally run voluntarily in 1984 to support the mining community of Orgreave, has to reopen as a food bank over 30 years later. Chicken Soup is a play which shows the life of the kitchen through four women who have been working there the whole time. Rather than dwelling on injustices, they are determined to continue to serve the community with their strong spirits and friendship. “When we think of the strike we think of the men, which is obviously really important because they were on the front line, but the women’s movement within the strike was extraordinary and I think everyone agrees that it enabled the strike to continue for as long as it did,”director Bryony Shanahan explains. The stories of the women narrate the miners’ strike in 1984 under the Tories and the Queen’s Jubilee under the New Labour government in 2002, reflecting the sad fact that for many, not much has changed in
Once they were feeding the miners and now they’re feeding the miners’ children.
2016. “Once they were feeding the miners and now they’re feeding the miners’ children,” Shanahan acknowledges. “I suppose the difference in ’84 is that they were choosing that action. Well, I guess it wasn’t really a choice but they were fighting for something, whereas now it’s not part of a strike or a fight, it’s just a situation where we’re not looking after the most vulnerable members of our society.” Realising that the fictional depiction of a soup kitchen in the play could resemble a real food bank, Shanahan, along with the cast, visited the Fir Vale food bank in Sheffield. “It was simultaneously really inspiring and really grim. It was really horrible. It made us remember that these characters are real and the situation that they’re in is real. It’s very much our responsibility to represent a little bit of what is happening not in a noble way but just in an authentic way .” At the end of each performance, volunteers from Fir Vale stand
with buckets to try and raise some funding for the food bank. Chicken Soup also raises awareness of deprivation by giving every audience member a food bank token which allows them to receive a portion of real Chicken Soup. “The experience of queuing up and understanding a little bit of what that’s like will make people slightly more empathetic,” hopes Shanahan. Already members of the audience have been visibly moved by the story that Chicken Soup depicts, as Shanahan explains: “In the public dress rehearsal there was a woman we could instantly see was very moved by things that could very much go over the top of our heads, like the fact that they were living off beans. One of the writers spoke to her in the interval and she said that her dad was at Orgreave and her parents were on the picket lines.” Chicken Soup was the first theatre performance that this woman and her husband had ever attended and, since the show, have got back in contact with Shanahan to let her know that they now hope to watch many more plays. Members of the Fir Vale food bank have also been inspired to take a trip to the theatre to see the play, which is surely an important endorsement for any director. “In a city like Sheffield, which
has such a strong identity, it’s really important that the audience own the show”, she says, which is exactly what they are doing.
Chicken Soup is showing at the Crucible from Friday 2 Saturday 3 March.
Bad Blood Blues Forge Press
Friday 2 March
John Rwoth-Omack is directing Bad Blood Blues at Theatre Delicatessen this weekend, a play exploring the global injustices hidden in our medical research system. Laura Mulvey caught up with John to find out how the production has taken shape. Can you tell us why this production appealed to you as a director? It’s such a rich piece and asks very important questions about whether it’s worth sacrificing our humanity for the sake of medicine. What makes one life more important than another? What gives it more value? Unethical medical trials led by multinational pharmaceutical companies have been going on in developing countries for years, and still happen to this day. The power of the play is through the way it negotiates the complexity of these issues by presenting us with two characters, a researcher and the brother of a trialist who are at opposite ends of the dilemma. I first read Bad Blood Blues about two years ago in my last year of drama school. It hit me straight to the core and moved me so much that I wanted to put the play on immediately. The character of Patrice also really appealed to me as an actor, but just giving the play a platform was more important.
What advice would you give to any of our student readers who aspire to work in theatre? As I am still at a very early stage in my career as a theatre-maker I would probably say “Don’t do it!” The hope is that those students who are passionate, stubborn and hungry enough will ignore me. It’s worth getting used to people telling you that. You need to be hungry enough to pursue a career in theatre, but also get used to being hungry too, at least for a little while. Saying ‘I love it’ is not enough. I would say, take a good look at your options in life, and when you truly decide the only thing you are happy to forge a career in is theatre, go for it, but like in every profession you should only do it if it truly makes you happy. If it ever feels like a chore, it’s time to stop. It’s also important to realise that rejection, disappointment and failure are not deterrents but gifts in this industry; once you realise that, you can develop and forge a career.
The play deals with some difficult themes. What has been the most challenging aspect of bringing it to life so far? The biggest challenge so far is to tell a neutral story that doesn’t give weight or credence to either
character’s stance on the trials. It’s tempting to portray a character as evil or good when they make a despicable decision, so it’s about finding the humanity or even justification in every decision that the character makes. It’s allowing the audience to make the decision for themselves: what would they do in the character’s shoes? If I’ve done my job correctly, the auditorium after the show will feel very conflicted.
The production is set in a country in Africa. How do you see it resonating with a Sheffield audience? I don’t see the issues the play tackle as an ‘African’ problem, they are a human problem. Drugs have to be tested on people, it is something done worldwide. The play focuses on the ethics of medical trials in Africa being run by western pharmaceutical companies. It asks why the ethical maxims are so easily bendable in Africa, especially if the conditions are mainly found in the West. To see this solely as an African problem is misleading. There’s a chain, as new drugs are needed in the West but there are systems that stop researchers from doing everything they want. That means the research is carried out in a third world country for the medicine to be approved and used by people in the West. In a way, we are all part of the problem. Sheffield is a melting pot of people from all over the world. This play is for everyone. It is a global issue.
Could you talk us through your process of seeing a production through from script to fullscale performance? First I read the play and simply loved it, got the urge to stage it, then took the necessary steps to do so. That being said, I had the most help anyone could ask for from the most amazing people in the theatre scene in Sheffield. I met with the team at Theatre Deli, who were kind enough to allow me use their stage. Next was funding. I hunted around for financial support for the project, and yes it is as hard as you would imagine, but Arts Council England were kind enough to trust me with money. Somewhere around the money hunt I started gathering the creative team: the producer, light designer, set/costume designer
etc. This was one of the most crucial parts of the project. I do think I was very lucky to end up with a such a fantastic team of talented individuals who were so easy to work with it. Then came the casting, and I can honestly say I am so blessed by the presence of our actors. Everyday you come across hurdles and obstacles that completely change your outlook and challenge your vision, but that is what makes it so much fun!
Why do you think theatre is a useful medium for exploring political issues?
Theatre is often seen as a mirror to real life. Shakespeare’s Hamlet embodies this beautifully when Hamlet performs The Mousetrap, a play that mimics real life events to draw out his uncle’s guilt. It asks everyone who is watching to make a decision. We are all implicated simply by being in that room, and I think that’s its power. It’s not nearly as passive as TV or film, which I feel often just form a lot background noise. In theatre, you are confronted by these issues head on, with nowhere to hide.
What have you enjoyed most about being involved in this production? I have loved witnessing the transformation from words on a script to a staged play, seeing the ideas I had in my head and notebooks becoming real life images. Every person worked to create this wonderful world, exchanging ideas with designers, working out what works and doesn’t work for the play. I have loved working with the wonderful actors. The most amazing thing is when we have moments of magic, when we as a team ‘get it’, what it all means and what we are doing to the audience.
Catch Bad Blood Blues at Theatre Deli from Friday 2 to Saturday 3 March.
Friday 2 March 2018
Chloe Dervey & Tom Buckland
Hello, hello, hello! We have all sorts of goodies for you guys this issue. Ever wanted to know what we want from the next installment of Kingdom Hearts? No? Well, prepare to know anyway! Or, ever wanted to know some ways to get stuck into the world of Dungeons and Dragons? It’s here! Want to know about a fun new indie game to play? Well you do now, so that’s that. Want a review of a quirky game with symbolism and theming? You did? Oh. That was
After Square Enix and Disney revealed a trailer showcasing tons more features of Kingdom Hearts 3, us at Forge cannot conceal our excitement! We’ve decided to share with you the other things we expect, and also desperately want to see Kingdom Hearts 3 bring! Moana World
The Kingdom Hearts series is known for its inclusion of iconic Disney worlds that Sora and company explore and battle across in their journey. Since the release of previous Kingdom Hearts games, many new Disney films have rolled onto our cinema screens, and a certain few would be fantastic to see represented in-game. We already know a Monsters Inc world and a Tangled world are coming our way, but a Moana world would be simply exceptional. It has all of the ingredients for a seamless combination of Kingdom Hearts’ themes alongside its own storyline. The story of Te Kā would make total sense in the Kingdom Hearts world. The games focus on the heart and what is means to not have one, and similarly the entire plot of the film is based off of Moana restoring the heart to the goddess, Te Fiti. What’s more, exploring the Polynesian islands would provide an incredible environment and level design for developer Square Enix to play with. This is especially true of Lalotai, The Realm of Monsters (where Moana and Maui encounter the iconic Tamatoa, who just wants to be shiny). Finally, c’mon, Maui’s hook would make a fantastic keyblade. As if we needed any more reasons.
As one of the biggest Disney films in recent years (for better or for worse), it’d make absolutely zero sense for Frozen not to be included in Kingdom Hearts III. Not only would Arendelle offer an original level design and an environment we’ve rarely explored in the Kingdom Hearts series, but fighting alongside Elsa with her ice powers or even against a heartless version of Elsa would be exactly what fans want. Personally, I’d take any opportunity I could to beat up the cast of Frozen as compensation for obsessive legions of children killing the film’s novelty for me. Others may only want to simply explore Arendelle. Either way, Elsa’s ice castle would be a fantastic final boss area, too.
More Aqua A central protagonist in essential spin-offs Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth By Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, Aqua made her way into fans’ hearts pretty easily. Disappointingly though, she’s rarely had a starring role in the games she’s featured in, and if she has it’s only been for a brief moment. Hopefully Kingdom Hearts III will remedy this. The game will inevitably be Sora’s story, but it’d be nice for Aqua to truly
have her time to shine after what has until now been a truly heartbreaking story arc. It’s time for Aqua to take center stage in Kingdom Hearts III - it’s not only us at Forge Games who love Aqua: she’s become a fully-fledged fan favourite. Please Square, don’t let the fans down!
An Ending Any person that’s played the Kingdom Hearts games further than just the first, knows that Kingdom Hearts’ plot is a muddy mess of confusion that it feels Square Enix can’t make sense of themselves. Each game answers questions with more questions, and provides us with plot twists that serve only one real purpose and that’s to make the plot even more contrived than before. Any conversation regarding Kingdom Hearts’ plot takes far longer than it should. Some might go their whole lives without understanding what they experienced. Even now, us as editors, don’t fully understand Kingdom Hearts’ story and its characters, and so that leaves us with one prayer that Kingdom Hearts III will finally give us answers to every question we have. It’s been a long run and a long wait for this game, and Square Enix owe it to us to give us a conclusion so we don’t have to sit around anticipating the next game to further complicate things.
Games Editors a surprise. We don’t have a quirky, defiant response to you wanting something we’ve given you. Guess we’ll just sign off here. Enjoy the section.
The Emperor’s New Groove Ok, this one is more of a futile wish than a legitimate prediction. The Emperor’s New Groove sits among several 2D Disney films untouched by the Kingdom Hearts franchise, but III would have been the perfect opportunity to breathe life into this and other buried gems like Treasure Planet and Atlantis. Sadly, it’s starting to look like these worlds are going to be left in the past, since the current line up for III is either Pixar or
post-2011 Disney. Yet hope may not be lost. Kingdom Hearts does like to dabble with humour to balance its emotive themes, and a run in with Kuzko and Yzma would be the perfect kind of hilarious fun to break up the narrative. Sora and company have also been known to change into animal form in previous worlds, and the whole llama situation in Groove would let this trend return. Plus, the palace guards would make a really cool design for the nobodies.
Friday 2 March 2018
ntelligent female protagonist, charming noir vibes, expansive world, full cast voice acting to come and a FREE PLAYABLE TEASER? Why, it’s like this game fell right out of our indie dev dreams. 2018 may well be the year of young detective Jenny LeClue, and Forge Games is ready for her pointand-click-mystery-solving goodness, flashlight in hand. The playable teaser, The Journal of Professor Zazer, is available to download for free at jennyleclue. com. Showcasing some lock picking, sneaking, casual book browsing and clue gathering, the teaser sets the scene for what looks set to be an enticing game. Alongside all this, a choice-based narrative will see Jenny’s story slowly unfold. The puzzle in the teaser is straightforward, requiring the player to browse through a bookshelf to find five missing clues - torn pieces of paper which need to be pieced together. The time you take to solve this puzzle is at your leisure, with fun information you can discover that isn’t integral to the story. This includes information on, Arthurton, a fictional town which is an expansive, world to explore. The demo establishes a quirky tone, despite the absence of voice acting. The player peeps through a window accompanied by thunderous weather and a gentle yet eerie soundtrack; Jenny is unwelcome in this place, but any explanation is buried in the coming chapters, keeping the story ambiguous until release. The teaser shifts quite quickly from cutesy to unnerving (in a “did you just see that?” kind of way), but Jenny’s confident narrative and the game’s humour prevents too much unease. The developers had this to say about
Jenny’s character: ““I’m hoping that people – of all ages and genders – can appreciate and celebrate the idea that interesting, intelligent and engaging protagonists can and should be portrayed by females as much as males. Interesting, intelligent and engaging characters are not gender specific. It’s about the story. The layers of the individual. There have been some great female protagonists as of late in books, games, TV, and film. I think Jenny LeClue is a great addition and helps to better balance representation in the games industry.” Those who love the teaser may be in for a wait, however. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the game will be coming to mobile, Steam and PS4. The PC demo has been available since 2015, but recent media murmurings suggest that development of Episode One (of the soon-to-betriple act) should be wrapping up this year, so get ready to grab your magnifying glass and keep a close watch for any release date announcements. Until any more clues surface regarding the games release though, you can add some mystery to your inbox by subscribing to monthly updates from the small development team, giving you an insight into the processes behind Jenny such as animation and character design.
Tom's Top Tips for D&D
Your beloved Games editor Tom Buckland (that’s me!) has decided to assist, aid and enlighten the readers of Forge Press into the world of Tabletop Gaming. This first edition solely focuses on how to begin playing; after all, the first hurdle to fighting dragons and rolling dice is finding a group to do that with. Here are a few tips to tackle this: 1. Go to your local gaming store
One of the best ways to learn D&D is to experience a session first hand with people who know the rules. Luckily, there are plenty of board game stores and gaming outlets that offer Dungeons & Dragons sessions in Sheffield. Forge recommends the Treehouse Board Gaming Café, who host their own D&D campaign, Solken. It allows people to participate in a shared world and is geared towards D&D newcomers and veterans alike, so it’s an excellent place for people that have no idea what they’re doing to learn from people that have played for quite a while.
Luckily for our students, there is a society that provides you an easy way to get into tabletop gaming in NoDDsoc. Not Only Dungeons and Dragons Society do exactly what their name suggests: D&D and more! Social Sec Rob O’brien told us: “As a society, we’re always open to new members. Roleplayers love getting people involved in their favourite hobby! The best way to get involved with NoDDSoc is around the start of the academic year, when we run a number of taster sessions, each a short, one-shot roleplaying game, all of which are free to attend. You don’t even have to have any equipment to get started; we always have dice available to borrow, and our Library contains many of the popular RPG rulebooks which any of our members can borrow to try.”
This may be one of the easiest methods for some people. The anxiety that can be generated through social situations is something that many can relate to. Website Roll20 has a system that allows people to create and involve themselves in online D&D campaigns. People post their ideas for campaigns and advertise for new members, with many of them advocating newcomers. Some of these campaigns introduce programs like Skype, but others are primarily via text. In this way, there’s a campaign out there for all types of people.
Personally, I’ve only ever played Dungeons and Dragons or Tabletop Gaming with people who were my friends, and the way I managed this was simply to ask! Some of your friends may be more interested than you realise; anyone that enjoys theatre, gaming, or are creatively-inclined are all people who may secretly adore Dungeons and Dragons. They just need you to open their eyes - so go for it!
Roll for initiative: a beginner's guide on how to begin
Friday 2 March 2018
Review Ayo: A Rain Tale
yo: A Rain Tale is a short yet touching sidescrolling platformer developed by Inkline Games, a company devoted to raising awareness of humanitarian struggles through symbolic gameplay. Set in the subSaharan desert region of Africa, the game follows the journey of Ayo, a young girl about to embark on the perilous journey to collect water for her family and community. Equipped with nothing more than an empty water container, Ayo leaves her village with optimism and hope in the face of a daunting task ahead. Ayo begins the game with very basic platforming abilities. The earlier levels will require patience for their simplicity, but they do complement the narrative of the increasingly difficult journey across the desert, which is more pertinent as a whole. Her task soon becomes more dangerous as she comes face to face with the harsh elements and creatures, both natural and surreal, and she overcomes challenges in the unwelcoming sands above and isolating caverns below.
Nicely breaking up the levels are the mischievous Asili Twins; two mythical spirits which appear to encourage Ayo and motivate her. Parting with words of wisdom as Ayo gains new abilities inspired by different animals, such as the classic double-jump gifted to her by the gazelle’s spirit, these charming characters add magic to Ayo’s quest when levels may become pesky to complete or a bit monotonous. This brief
exploration of sub-Saharan myth through the Asili Twins is an enchanting addition, but the structure of progressively gaining abilities ultimately means the game is at its most enjoyable toward the end, where level design is more innovative.
One particularly interesting ability controls the presence of coloured platforms, requiring timing to switch between platforms mid-jump.. It brings an entertaining, quick-paced puzzle element to the gameplay which is unfortunately not utilised from the beginning. Yet what the game lacks in exciting gameplay early on, it largely makes up for with a beautiful
aesthetic. The game is based around one day-to-night cycle, reflecting the daily burden of water fetching for the women and children of sub-Saharan communities. Through this theme, Inkline have created a unique art style without overly complicated graphics. From the vibrant, hot yellows of the lava in the caves to the warm hues of a desert sunset and the cold, harsh colours of the stormy night; Ayo: A Rain Tale really is an artistic achievement and makes moving through levels more enjoyable where the gameplay doesn’t feel as satisfying. The game ends with a stark reminder that Ayo’s task is very much a burdensome and dangerous reality for many deprived communities. A particularly pertinent final level suggests that the role of spirituality, hope and endurance in this game are deeper than expected. It’s fantastic to see developers using games to communicate humanitarian issues in this way. Hopefully future projects from Inkline Games will showcase the aesthetic strength seen in Ayo, and maintain the developer’s ability to deliver a hard hitting message with charm, tact and creativity.
Friday 2 March 2018 facebook.com/ForgePress
Holla, We’ve got some good stuff in Forge Press Screen this week - a stellar review of Cineworld’s ViP experience that borders on straight up advertising, not one but TWO four star reviews, and an absolute damnation of the final entry into the Fifty Shades trilogy. We’ve got a feature about Queer as Folk just a tad too late for LGBT History Month,
but that’s still well worth a read - why wouldn’t it be? And that’s it. That’s my introduction done. Nothing else of note to say. So I’m going to conclude with a few choice quotes from Fifty Shades Of Grey: “I feel the colour in my cheeks rising again. I must be the colour of The Communist Manifesto.” “I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm…! “He steps out of his
Fifty Shades Freed
Meredith Graham and Frankie Gurdon
ifty Shades Freed is not a good film. In fact it’s a pretty atrocious film. Some of you may be reading this review hoping, praying, crossing your fingers that maybe, just maybe, the final cinematic instalment of E. L. James’s ‘hard-hitting’ book trilogy would justify a fraction of the hype it’s been dealt in the past few years. As we watched from our plush reclining seats (see our review of Cineworld’s VIP experience for more on that) we summoned up as much optimism as we could muster for the spectacle we were about to witness. Suffice to say, said optimism dies by the opening titles. Sorry guys. The first thing to note is that nothing happens in this movie. Not even much sex, despite that aspect probably accounting for most ticket sales. Somebody (perhaps trying to ensure that they still had a career at the end of it all) must have decided to trade it in for a serious plotline, but when the source material is
as salaciously clickbait as this, the finished product is left without a leg to stand on. We are big advocates of trashy entertainment, but to qualify as ‘so bad it’s good’, a film cannot afford to be as dull as this one is.
do yourself a favour and avoid this film like the plague The first half of the picture charts the literal ‘honeymoon period’ of the Grey newlyweds. Ana now has a cushy editorial position at a publishing house (in an office adorned with Charlotte Brontë pictures, just in
Converse shoes and reaches down and takes his socks off individually. Christian Grey’s feet - wow - what is it about naked feet?!” And finally: “Now I know what all the fuss is about. Two orgasms - coming apart at the seams, like the spin cycle on a washing machine, wow.” Wow indeed. Enjoy the issue.
Cineworld ViP Experience Meredith Graham and Frankie Gurdon
What happened to all the damn BDSM?
case you forgot she likes books). Ana and Christian embark on a flashy honeymoon around Europe, racking up the film’s production costs with every sports car and clichéd landmark they visit. This franchise isn’t grey anymore, it’s positively rose-tinted. It’s around the halfway mark that the ‘plot’ (we use the word loosely) kicks in: the not-so-subtly-named franchise baddie Jack Hyde is back and seeking vengeance against the Greys for getting him locked up. The couple brood under a waterfall shower head, Ana has an ominous dream sequence in Versailles, there’s a big showdown, and finally the credits roll. Unless you were a fan of the first two films (and kudos to you people for getting more out of the series than we did) do yourself a favour and avoid this one like the plague. It started out as weak Twilight fanfiction, and all the budget and pretty actors in the world can’t transform it into something of substance. Disappointingly vanilla.
icture this: freshly prepared local dishes, unlimited refills on all your favourite cinema snacks, and a team of staff on hand to cater to your every need. This is a level of luxury that penniless students are rarely afforded, but last week we were lucky enough to sample Cineworld’s exciting ViP film experience and all it had to offer. Upon arrival we were invited to wait in a private seating area complete with red velvet ropes, until it was time to go into the VIP lounge. At the door, we were met by a cheerful employee who took us on a guided tour of the facilities available to us. However, we were so overwhelmed by the mountain of free food in front of us that we barely took in what she was saying. Along with all the traditional fare you would expect to see at your average box office (popcorn, hot dogs, nachos) we were invited to help ourselves to an extensive buffet. The food on offer ranged from pizza to mac and cheese to Thai vegetable soup and crusty bread. Naturally we piled our plates high, like any sensible twenty-something would, before sampling the wide array of hot and soft drinks on offer. We were particularly fascinated by the flavoured syrup feature, transforming standard Pepsi (other brands are available) with options including vanilla, lime and cherry.
Alcoholic drinks were made available from the bar, though this was the one aspect of the experience that cost an additional charge. There was never a time when the hot plates were empty, with the staff constantly on the lookout for anything that needed replenishing. As we devoured our body weight in pizza and potatoes we were able to admire the assortment of film posters and memorabilia from the comfort of spacious tables and chairs. We even had access to a private bathroom, complete with pot pourri. At last we managed to drag ourselves into one of the two private screens as the adverts started rolling. The mourning period was short however, as we sat down in the spacious Lazy Boy reclining seats and lined up our assortment of snacks on the spinning table before us. The comfort was temporarily interrupted when a chair malfunction caused it to (for lack of a better term) eat one of us, approximately ten minutes into the film. But this was easily laughed off given how pleasant the rest of the night had been. Overall, we cannot fault our experience of the Cineworld VIP package. We were well looked after throughout the evening and would recommend the experience to anyone who, for just shy of £30, wants a substantial and memorable upgrade to the traditional cinema experience.
Review Gethin Morgan
Friday 2 March 2018
lack Panther is entry number 18 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also the first time the lead in an MCU film has not been a white man. The social and cultural significance of this makes the film politically important. Thankfully, director Ryan Coogler does this landmark occasion justice with an energetic and incredibly stylish piece of cinema. Following the death of his father, Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his homeland of Wakanda to be crowned king. His reign is soon shaken by the return of an old enemy, and with him a new and dangerous foe in the shape of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
Black Panther The world building is magical. Wakanda is an African country which, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, has the most advanced technology on the planet. This concept gives Coogler a blank canvas to work with, and he paints a wonderful picture. The detail in costume, set design and CGI is remarkable. It’s fascinating to see how cultural traditions remain, even influencing technology, whether it’s the clothing, music, or the use of Zulu-style battle techniques . With a multitude of characters that have more to them than just a narrative purpose, this is a true ensemble piece. Boseman helms the cast sturdily as the titular Black Panther. The honourable T’Challa is filled with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, but is
becoming stale, but with Thor: Ragnarok and now Black Panther, the evidence suggests that these films are only becoming more stylish, original and individual. With supercool mythology, a dazzling world and a remarkable cast (it’s so good to see Andy Serkis’ face for once), Black Panther is a fine addition to Marvel’s cinematic collection.
totally driven by a sense of purpose (a recurring theme in the movie). He nails the character - but it’s Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger who really steals the show. The MCU always struggles to provide interesting villains (looking at you, Malekith the Accursed). Killmonger is an exception here, and might even challenge Loki as the best we’ve seen so far. Jordan, working with Coogler for a third time, brings huge depth to the role. His motives and beliefs are not only understandable, but socially relevant too. Fuelled by rage and a sense of injustice, he has been pushed into extremism. This makes him dangerous, but deep down you can tell he’s just a little boy furious with the world.
The MCU has also traditionally floundered when it comes to developing female characters, and that’s another wrong Black Panther aims to right.The women are all terrifically fleshed out, with their own motivations, ideals and traits, and genuinely important roles within the story. From General Okoye (Danai Gurira) and her unwavering loyalty to the crown, to T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri, playful and inquisitive as the Q to Black Panther’s Bond. The musical accompaniment is a delight. Kendrick Lamar’s hip hop beats are fused with traditional African tribal music and even the occasional flourish of Marvel fanfare. Together they combine to create a striking sound that’s rich in culture. Many claim that the MCU is
displayed, ranging from attempted escape to acceptance of death. The film is not just about war, it also tackles life and human relationships. It depicts how those on the front lines suffer from homesickness, hope for return, while inevitably marching closer and closer to death. Viewers identify with certain characters along the way, something the movie does extremely well. The personalities of the main characters succeed in conveying a pained comradery in frightening conditions. Unfortunately, the suspense doesn’t last the runtime. The audience is made to feel like they are waiting for action, but when it finally comes the sequences are hectic and confusing. They do however represent the unnecessary and grim slaughter which killed millions over the course of World War One. Luckily, the character work is strong enough to prevent this being a debilitating flaw. Despite being a modern remake,
ur Showroom Spotlight series reviews low budget and arthouse films currently playing at Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema. March, 1918. A group of British soldiers are preparing for an imminent German attack in the trenches of Northern France. Among them is Raleigh, a young man fresh out of training who begs his general for a chance on the front lines. Soon after joining C Company (led by his old friend Captain Stanhope), he discovers the true and ugly face of war. Originally based on the R.C. Sherriff’s play, Journey’s End does not depict excessive violence and explosions but instead captures the anticipation and aftermath of battle. For much of the movie the action is enclosed in the dugout, giving it a claustrophobic feeling. A variety of reactions to the German threat are
Journey’s End is truthful and remains rooted in reality. It is not a glossy experience, with trench warfare accurately represented as dirty and unnerving. The soldiers experience difficulties with depression and anxiety which are well portrayed. Overall, it is well worth watching - as long as any comparisons with Saving Private Ryan are left at the door.
The film is not just about war, it also tackles life and human relationships.
Friday 2 March 2018
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Friday 2 March 2018
Two decades later, the revolutionary drama series is just as relevant as it ever was. By Jay Jackson
ueer as Folk, the breakthrough gay drama series, exploded onto British TV screens on Channel 4 in February 1999 - at the most definitely post-watershed time of 10:30pm. Funny, sexy and properly queer. Written by Russell T Davies, its hedonistic portrayal of fin de siècle Manchester and the legendary Canal St. takes you on a journey through the good, the bad and the heartbreak – and that’s just the first episode. Some of the most controversial, but memorable, parts of the show were the sex scenes causing outrage amongst closeted moral conservatives They leave just enough to the imagination and provide one of the most iconic moments of LGBT+ television history in which, one of the three protagonists (the alpha-gay sex machine) Stuart, gives a young Charlie Hunnam (playing 15, yes, 15-year old, Nathan) a lesson in the art of rimming. Gay sex was clearly still taboo at the time and
there’s an incredibly revealing insight into the contemporaneous perception of the show, in the form of a grainy T4 interview that can be found on YouTube. A fresh faced Dermot O’Leary and co-host Margherita Taylor interview Charlie Hunnam and Craig Kelly (who plays the third protagonist, Vince) during the course of which they chat about the sex scenes, which the hosts describe as “Wow…woah”. n Taylor follows up asking Hunnam “weren’t you mortified?” at the prospect of filming the sex scenes. It’s a testament to how far we’ve come in less than two decades, the idea that a question like this could be asked now, is completely and utterly inconceivable.
people tuned in to the first episode
standout aspect of the series are the minor characters. Each of the three main characters has a cadre of associated minor characters, key to their development throughout the series. The best Vince’s mother Hazel. Played by Denise Black, Hazel is the show’s maternal figure who manages to effortlessly transgress between various different roles. Not only does she provide moral support for characters, she’s wise, observant and goes out on Canal Street just as much as her son. She’s the mum everyone wants and hopes they can to be. It’s a testament to the script writing that she’s roundly loved both by the characters and viewers alike.
Other minor characters of note are Rosaline (a co-worker of Vince’s who, unaware of his sexuality, falls for him), Romy (a friend of the group and mother of Stuart’s child) and Donna (Nathan’s best friend). Nathan labels her as “a member of the fascist heterosexual orthodoxy, who doesn’t understand what it’s like to be persecuted”, to which she promptly reminds him that she’s both black and a girl. Brilliant.
It’s brilliantly written, perfectly casted and has a fantastically fun soundtrack packed with Disco-house ABBA remixes.
ts portrayal of life as a gay man is overly dramatic, slightly stereotypical and perhaps even plain superficial at times, but that’s the whole point. The show’s no-fucksgiven approach to homosexuality is refreshing and uplifting. It’s complex too, with Stuart’s ruthless promiscuity sat at odds with the cozy acceptable face of homosexuality prevalent at the time, when the age of consent for homosexuals wasn’t yet equal with that of heterosexuals. Queer As Folk is an iconic piece of gay television. It’s brilliantly written, perfectly casted and has a fantastically fun soundtrack packed with Discohouse ABBA remixes. It’s still relevant today and explores issues within the gay community that are important to many.
The show manages to avoid one of the cardinal sins that a lot of ‘nearly good’ TV falls victim to: it didn’t run for too long. With just one series, and then a follow up two-part special the next year, it leaves you yearning for more. Queer as Folk is more than worthy of the thirteenth-place it occupies on The Guardian’s Top 100 best ever TV dramas.
Friday 2 February 2018
Ben Kempton | Music Editor
In this issue we have a massive interview with rising UK Hip-Hop star Rejjie Snow. As a huge fan myself, I had a bit of a fan boy moment interviewing him. It didn’t help that my intervieiwng skills were resticted by my inability to say no to going out. £2.50 triple vodka cokes from Tiger Works are always felt in the morning. However, the interview still went smoothly and he was a really cool guy! We also have more
interviews in this issue where Shaun Perryment interviewed US rockband Lower Than Atlantis. Being a huge cynic of The Reading and Leeds lineup myself, it was interesting to see how a rock band viewed it. Give it a read. Lauren Davidson does a Q&A with DJ Teffler and we have a review of the Front Bottoms from Rory Mellon, who I’ve heard is a super fan and may even have a tattoo of the band...no bias from Forge though! In further music news, the Brits happened. It was a big night
for Stormzy who picked up best male arist and smashed his live performance, aiming his aggresive display at the government’s reaction to Grenfell. Dua Lipa has proved she is a force to be reckoned with picking up best female artist and standing up for women all around the world. A fitting touch considering what is happening elsewhere in the world of media. Ed Sheeran was the real loser, missing out on all the major awards. Ha. Time for someone else to take over Ed.
Editors’ Picks. Album.
Dear Annie by Rejjie Snow Not only is Rejjie a really sound guy, as seen on the the next page, but he also knows how to create an album! ‘Dear Annie’ came out earlier this month and is a genre-spanning contemporary exhibiton of mordern British Hip Hop. A genre which has been at risk of extinction until the recent upheaval of the likes of Rejjie and Loyle Carner. If you’re unsure on whether you’ll like this album or not, give ‘Egyptian Luvr’ a try and let Snow’s smooth Irish tones take you away.
The Front Bottoms O2 Academy Rory Mellon
n the surface it almost seems anticlimactic when The Front Bottoms finally take to the stage of the O2 Academy. There’s no curtain drop or explosion of sound and pyrotechnics. Instead, Brian Sella and Mat Uychich, along with four touring bandmates, simply walk onto the stage in semi darkness. It’s an entrance lacking dramatic flair, but the thunderous applause and deafening cheers from the crowd make it instantly clear that this band doesn’t need cheap tricks to get their audience hooked. With four studio albums under their belt, TFB have an expansive catalogue to draw
from. In fact, the issue for them is what to take out of their set rather than what to include, such is the wealth of fan favourites released by the Jersey-based duo. The 2,000-strong crowd was treated to nearly two dozen songs ranging from classics such as ‘Flashlight’, ‘Twin Size Mattress’ and ‘Twelve Feet Deep’ to several track off their latest release Going Grey, including ‘Peace Sign’ and ‘You Used to Say’. Support came earlier in the night from the eccentric Brick and Mortar and the underappreciated Smith Street Band. Though the former relies on gimmicky props and costumes a tad too much, while the latter are is likely to see their status grow in the
‘Trigger Bang’ by Lily Allen, Giggs It’s always a beautiful moment when an unlikely duo come together in harmony. Giggs starts this track off with his smooth, husky tagline grime sound and then Lily Allen’s similarly distincitve London tones come through and the two capital city artists show exactly what London has to offer. It’s got an infectious pop sound but also a quirky Grime feel. Two worlds combining with a bang.
Q&A with... DJ Teffler
coming months, and with good reason. The Front Bottoms put on a lean show. Remarkably little time is dedicated to on stage banter or distracting video packages on large screens; instead, the music takes priority, which is exactly how the fans want it. Lead singer Brian Sella puts his all into every song, bouncing along with the crowd to ‘Vacation Town’ and almost screaming the final verse of ‘Swimming Pool’ in a spine-tingling moment. It’s a testament to his commitment to his craft and appreciation of the fans that he puts so much effort into every show. Even being signed to major label Fuelled
by Ramen and playing shows all over the UK to thousands of people, TFB still give off that ‘hidden gem’ vibe. Perhaps it’s how humble Brian Sella comes across, remarking “we’re called The Front Bottoms” as if the whole room isn’t there to see them, or maybe it’s because the whole band play like it’s their first and last show, even though they’ve played hundreds over the last decade. As the final chords of ‘Ocean’ strike, there’s a lingering sense of deflation in the air. Not because the show has been disappointing - quite the opposite - but because each member of the crowd are desperate to hear one more song.
hen did you start DJing? Can you recall any specific moment which made you think “this is what I want to do as a career”? I officially started DJing in 2010. The moment I saw how my music was affecting and changing people's lives, I knew it was my calling. I saw people coming to my events leaving happier than they arrived with smiles on their faces. Fans started contacting me with stories of how in their dark times, my music helped elevate their mood and keep going. I knew this was how I could inspire goodness in the world. I knew I had to make music. Who would you say are your biggest musical influences? Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Timbaland, Michael Jackson, Max Martin, Diplo and Calvin Harris. Which of your tracks was your favourite to produce and why? Ariana Grande - Problems (Remix). It was my very first remix production and it laid the foundation for a lot of my future productions. The reaction from my fans was also amazing! Do you have any upcoming plans to tour? I am doing some shows in the United States this autumn and I plan to come to Europe in the summer. Have you found social media to be a useful outlet in getting your music out to an American/international fanbase? Through social media I have been able to connect with so many fans around the world. I have found it useful in helping me reach people that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to reach traditionally. And finally, what’s your favourite thing about DJ’ing? Being able to read the crowd, being able to influence peoples’ emotions and being able to make memorable experiences for people through music.
Friday 2 March 2018
Ben Kempton chats with...
22-year-old rising Irish hip hop star Rejjie Snow released his first EP Rejovich in 2012, and has since produced music alongside the likes of Loyle Carner, Kaytranda and Joey Bada$$. With a list of EPs and singles in his discography, Snow felt like it was time to go all the way and release a full album. After releasing the highly anticipated Dear Annie this month, Snow agreed to have a chat with Forge so we could get to know more about the “Rejjie swag”. swag”. to Lucifer and she represented lots of this album I was listening to lots of How do you think the reaction to the different things including love. That Jazz, City Jazz and Pop music. I feel album has been so far? came from when I was a kid and my like you get hints of that throughout sister had this Annie doll that used the record. It’s been good. I don’t really check to really scare me. I took the same too much online, just hear it from imagery and put it to the album. Would you consider yourself a hip family and friends. I’m just happy hop artist? that it’s finally out there and people Is that who we can see in the album can listen to me more. I try to avoid artwork? I’ve found. I prefer it to be relaxed The stuff I do is what makes me get in I came up through Hip Hop so I’m online reaction, otherwise I’ll just go because I’m not really an energetic the studio and talk about it. obviously always going to have crazy and just want to beat up some Yeah definitely. It’s a nice image person. I’m just real chilled so I want respect for that, but in terms of the people. I guess that sounds bad, but but also really weird. I think it’s to take a chilled approach to my The album delves through different music I’m trying to make I wouldn’t it’s just better for my brain to just the perfect picture to represent music. That’s just the Rejjie swag, musical genres. Is that your own just limit myself to Hip Hop. That stay away from that and just enjoy everything. you know. music taste being displayed? would be silly. I’m trying to sing the moment. more and play more instruments so I Your musical sound seems to have You’ve got a lot of different feelings Growing up I listened to everything just have to be patient until then and How did you come up with the name really mellowed with this album. Do going on in your lyrics. What in your from 50 Cent to whatever was on the get better I guess. of the album? you think this reflects where you’re life inspires those words? radio. With my Dad being African at in life? I heard lots of Nigerian music, and “It came to me about five years ago. Everything. Relationships, then as I got older I discovered all Annie became a fictional character It’s the sound I make and the tone friendships, just life in general, man. kinds of indie Hip Hop. While making
That’s just the Rejjie swag you know.
Friday 2 March 2018
How was it working with Kaytranda? Yeah he’s sick. We’ve never worked in a studio together it’s mostly just been over email. We came together through the internet, followed each other on Twitter and I just slid into his DMs. He was cool to work with. He just sent beats through all the time. I would just normally pick one and make some good shit. I loved his album last year so much as well. You have a lot of features on your album. Lots of which are relatively unknown. How do you find these guys and what makes you want to work with them? I am just always checking out music from everybody and I’m always on the internet so if I like someone’s music I just hit them up. I’m never really trying to work with people because it’s more organic [by
I try to avoid online reaction, otherwise I’ll just go crazy and just want to beat up some people. yourself]. I kind of struggle working with people because it’s just like battle of the minds. But they were all cool to work with. Dublin isn’t exactly well known for its music scene. Where did your music inspiration come from and
did it make it more difficult to get recognised as an artist? I never really tried to get recognised. I just made stuff in my bedroom and put it on the internet. My music passion has always been inside me since I was young. I did a lot of Stage
School stuff as a kid so I was always dancing and singing. I saw somewhere that you were nearly a Football player? Is that true? For real. I had a trial at Arsenal. I just didn’t have the commitment or the discipline to be a professional. But I am an Arsenal fan. It’s hard being an Arsenal fan. It’s frustrating man. You’ve got an incredibly unique sense of fashion. How did you get into that? Through my Mam. She’s super into fashion so she always put me on to cool people and always dressed me cool – for the most part anyway. She’s my main inspiration. Also living in the city you have to look cool, you know how it is. Do you think you’re a part of a new
wave of Hip Hop alongside the likes of Loyle Carner and Subculture Sage? Nah. Definitely not. Listen, I like all their music but we’re definitely not on the same wave. I totally understand because I’ve got a sogn with Loyle, but I just do my own thing. Big respect for him though, he’s killing it man. He saved UK Hip Hop. How you feeling for the new tour? I’m just going to rock out and give the vibes. It’s going to be way more of an experience than other shows because we’ve got props and stage outfits. It’s going to be good. Obviously with the last couple of dates you get tired because it’s so repetitive but I just appreciate people coming out to watch me so I’ll always bring my A-game.
Friday 2 February 2018
Interview with Dec from...
Lower Than Atlantis Shaun Perryment
Quick fire questions:
Are you excited to get back on tour?
everywhere is good for their own reasons.
Yeah I can’t wait. We’ve just been writing stuff recently, so it will be sick to get back on the road! My favourite part is probably the shows, the rest of the day you just spend filling your time with whatever you have to do. That’s why we are there, for the show. It’s a reward at the end of the day.
From your most recent record Safe In Sound, what’s your favourite song to play live?
What would you say your least favourite part of tour is? After the show. It’s coming down from what hopefully would have been a sick show. You don’t really know what to do with yourself. Best city to play in? London is obviously always a good show, but we aren’t actually playing London on this tour. We are doing Watford though, which is kind of the band’s home town. Birmingham is pretty good too;
Definitely ‘Had Enough’, because we’ve been opening with that since it came out. It’s a sick song to start a set with. It probably won’t be starting the set on the upcoming tour because we like to switch the set list up. If we get bored with the set list, I think it shows when we play. For the first time ever we are making a conscious effort to play something from every album, just to make sure its balanced really. Are you pleased to have Milk Teeth and Boston Manor joining you on tour? Did the band have influence over who you wanted to bring on tour with you? Yeah definitely. We just wanted a couple of UK bands that were of
a similar ilk. Sometimes we go a bit weird with supports if we pick them ourselves, so that doesn’t always work as well. But I think these two are in a similar situation to what we were five years ago, so it’s cool to bring out some new, fresh-faced rock bands from the UK. Have you been in the studio recently? We aren’t working on a new album yet because it’s way too soon for that, but we’ve been in the LTA studio working on a new track, which will probably be out at some point before the tour, if not during it. Will we be seeing you on the festival scene this summer? We are doing one that I know of, but I can’t say yet. Then there will be some across Europe, maybe not so much in the UK, we don’t do too many in the UK these
days, we just do few good ones. We’d rather play the rock festivals because we know the show is going to be good and that’s where our main fans are, but I don’t really know yet to be honest. What are your thoughts on the current Reading and Leeds line up? I saw so many people kicking off about it. It’s not that rock music isn’t at the forefront of UK popular culture, it’s more that there’s no newer bands pushing through that are capable of doing what the artists who headline the stage can do. That gives us more fuel to be one of the bands that are pushing through. Going back to the actual line up, I think it’s sick. I saw Kendrick Lamar at the O2 the other day and I think it’s cool to mix it up a bit, and the fact that people are talking about it means they must have done something good.
If you could work with any artist in the future who would it be? That’s a hard one. Maybe someone to help us produce an album who could give a different angle to LTA, like Tom Delong. That’d be a weird one, a weird production vibe, but then with a pop structure I think it’d be cool.
North or South? You can’t quick fire that, my girlfriend is from the North! I’m going to say North, because I reckon shows are probably better up North. Beer or cider? Beer, definitely. Arctic Monkeys or Pulp? Arctic Monkeys. Vinyl or streaming? I’m going to go for streaming, because that’s what I do every day. Live or studio? At the moment, I’d say studio. What will you be asking for in your rider on tour? Health food and whisky, which I used to hate and I like it now - but no Jack Daniels!
Wednesday 7 February 2018
Another month, and another issue of Forge Press to signify its arrival. Some might associate March with it being the first month of Spring, a time of year when animals start to wake up from hibernation, or simply a period in which we see signs that show us that we are finally escaping the misery of Winter. But March is also home to Women’s History Month, a celebration intended to recognise
Women’s History Month 2 3 4 5
7 8 9
3. First name in 1970s women’s tennis (6). 4. A member of the Conservative Party who did absolutely nothing for women (8). 5. Poet Angelou (4). 7. A liberal proessive American author, journalist, feminist, and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton (9). 8. Barbara Streishand, Helen Hunt, or Madonna (4). 9. Chemist who discovered radium with her husband (5,5).
ed around Miss America (4). who famously declared
der women' are not women. ury women's rights advocate
4). 8 U.S. Women's Open winner ___
Across: 3. First name in 1970's women's tennis (6). 4. A member of the Conservative Party who 5.
e in 1970's women's gymnastics
an to ﬂy across the Atlantic (6). enhower's state of birth (4).
did nothing for women (8). Poet Angelou (4).
A liberal progressive American author, journalist, feminist, and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton (9). Barbara Streishand, Helen Hunt, or Madonna (4).
Chemist who discovered radium with her husband (10).
11. Former First Lady (7). 13. Wuthering Heights Novelist Bronte (5).
15. Cotton gin inventor Whitney (3). 16. Olympic Gold medal winner Lipinski (4).
Build your own custom worksheet at education.com/worksheet-generator
DOWN: 3. Evonne (6). 4. Thatcher (8). 5. Maya (4). 7. NaomiWolf (9). 8. Star (4). 9. MarieCurie (10). 11. Eleanor (7). 13. Emily (5). 15. Eli (3). 16. Tara (4). ACROSS:
yright 2018 Education.com
1. Band draped around Miss America (4). 2.Famous feminist who has come under criticism for her views on trangender women (8,5). 6. 19th century women’s rights advocate Lucretia (4). 8. Golf’s 1998 U.S. Women’s Open winner, _ Pak (4). 10. First name in 1970s women’s gymnastics (4). 12. First woman to fly across the Atlantic (6). 14. Mamie Eisenhower’s state of birth (4).
1. Sash (4). 2. GermaineGreer (13). 6. Mott (4). 8. Seri (4). 10. Olga (4). 12. Amelia (6). 14. Iowa (4).
demonstrated unimaginable perseverance in the face of endless challenges. And what better way to celebrate the tremendous struggle, experiences, and achievements of women across the world and throughout history than to engage in a ‘Women’s History Month’ crossword puzzle!
Sudoku Puzzles! ACROSS
the contributions made by women to events in history and contemporary society. In a world in which patriarchy still looms large, where cases of sexual assault are omnipresent, and unequal pay is ubiquitous, the need for such an event is undoubtedly necessary. Whether fighting for the right to vote, pushing for equal pay, or simply demanding a destruction of harmful gender stereotypes, women have throughout history
Friday 2 March 2018
“Forge is a great community and an amazing team to work with. To be able to see big projects you’ve worked on come to frition is one of the most satisfying thing. Personally I find that making videos is a great way to communicate which is something I’ve struggled with in the past, so TV is a great way to help people to see the world through your perspective” Ed Ireland-Jones Forge TV Station Manager
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Friday 2 March 2018
England’s Ashes aftermath Matt Rennie analyses the factors behind England’s recent failure to secure the Ashes.
nother Ashes trip to Australia, another humiliating defeat. Luckily for England it was only a 4-0 defeat this time around. Bar the mesmerising 2010/11 series, the Barmy Army and Co. have experienced English cricket woe for nye on 30 years. The way England batted was naïve, the bowling was substandard and aged, and the attitude of the players was uninspiring. Many pundits raised this in the post-ashes analysis, and the stark reality is that the Ashes performance is only the start of the decline of English test cricket performances. Before the series begun, questions were thrown about surrounding the English bowling attack. Australia had a youthful express pace attack led by Mitchell Starc, backed up with a rejuvenated off-spinner in Nathan Lyon. England, meanwhile, had an aged, medium pace attack, backed up by further medium pace and a part time off-spinner in Moeen Ali. The pundits and fans were worried, and they were proven correct. As much as they are cherished, both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad proved on this trip they are not the force they once were. They simply did not offer what their Aussie counterparts could. Chris Woakes had an extremely disappointing tour that was not helped by the injury lay off he had over the English summer. Two summers ago, he was bowling at 90 mph, but he languished back to his old medium pace bowling and was batted around the park. Perhaps the worst of the senior
bowlers however was Moeen Ali. Instead of fronting the English spin attack Ali’s performance became so dreadful that Joe Root turned to Dawid Malan’s part-time leg spin in the fourth test and picked another
It will worsen even more into the abyss and dark times lay ahead spinner in Mason Crane in the fifth test. It was diabolical to say the least. Jake Ball, Barring some bright displays from Craig Overton, the simple matter of fact was that the English bowling attack was just not good enough. The batting, as aforementioned, was naïve to say the least. Whereas the Australian batsmen savoured the challenge, their English counterparts dwindled. The senior men (bar Alastair Cook’s 244 not out in Melbourne) did not rise up to the occasion. Joe Root was consistent in making pretty fifties – they won’t win you an ashes series – and Dawid Malan was fantastic in his efforts. Three batsmen that have been singled out are Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Moeen Ali. The need for Stoneman to put bat on ball every time was self-implosive. The basic
England’s Ashes performance crumbled under the pressure
nature of a batsmen who opens the innings in test matches is to ensure stability and this was something which Stoneman couldn’t provide. The lack of patience allowed the Australian bowlers to have their tails wagging from the outset. James Vince’s dismissals were quite simply comical. Near enough every time Vince got out it was caught behind trying to play a glamorous cover drive. By the time of the fifth test, they became predictable and even laughable. Again, the same thing can be said for Moeen Ali. He is a sensational international cricketer,
but this winter he performed like a village cricketer. His bowling has already been talked about, his batting at times was unwatchable to the extent that by the fourth test he had given up. He was outdone by the short ball and the spin; he simply couldn’t cope. For the England fans, it must have been desperate to see such a star fall from grace. It was reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy. After this disaster of a trip, the ECB need to have a long hard look at themselves. From a commercial aspect, it may be all rosy winning home series consistently, but this is in
danger too. The one-day international mentality that has been installed into the test team is suicidal and as the red ball game starts to dwindle, so too will the performances and the traditional game of cricket. Will this have changed in four years’ time for the next Ashes series in Australia? Probably not. As all efforts are concentrated into winning the World Cup in 2019, England’s test performances will worsen even more into the abyss and the Barmy Army and Co. need to be prepared for the dark times that lay ahead.
Sheffield Sharks target Cup success in Glasgow Josh Taylor
heffield Sharks are gearing up for a trip to Glasgow for the 2018 British Basketball Trophy final. The Sharks bested the Worcester Wolves in the semi-finals with an 86-86 tie away from home and a 75-66 victory at EIS to send them through to the March 4th match-up. It ended a tough run of five games in ten days for the Sharks, but it means they will play Leicester Riders in the final at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. This follows a solid run in the competition for the Sharks as they beat Manchester Magic and last year’s runners-up Newcastle Eagles on the way to the final. The last time Atiba Lyons’ side met the Riders in the BBL Trophy final back in 2013 it was the Sharks who came out on top 71-69 in a close game. However the team from Leicester
will be looking to win the competition for the third straight year, after victories over the Newcastle Eagles and the Plymouth Raiders brought them back to back titles. This will also mark the fourth consecutive time that the Riders have appeared in the final, with the first being a 96-90 loss against the Eagles back in the 2014/15 season. They progressed to the final after coasting through the earlier rounds, which saw them put up 104 points in a blowout against Leeds Force in round one and an 81-73 victory over Loughborough Student Riders in round two. The Riders then pushed the London Lions aside in the semi-finals, winning 81-90 and 92-65 to cap off an excellent cup run. Sheffield Sharks captain Mike Tuck had this to say on reaching the final: “It’s a huge achievement for the club. The last time we were in a final was 2013 and we won it, so yeah it’s a big
achievement. It was a hard road to get there, especially against Worcester in the two-legged semi-final.” Both teams took part in a dress rehearsal for the final last Saturday and it was the Leicester Riders who claimed a 75-66 win over the Sheffield Sharks. The final will be played this Sunday at Glasgow Arena at 3:30pm.
It’s a big achievement but it was a hard road to get there
Friday 2 March 2018
Head of Sport
Welcome to this issue of Forge Press. There’s plenty that’s gone on in Sheffield this week. Firstly, though, my praise goes towards all those who helped cover BUCS Nationals last week. The coverage was top-class and all of us here at Forge Sport appreciate people giving up their weekend. Last week was Disability in Sport Week, and outgoing Sports Officer, Flo Brookes, gives us the lowdown of how the week was received. Schemes such as these are so important to help make
sport inclusive and ensure everyone feels comfortable and that they can get involved if they want to. It makes for a healthier place to be and means everyone feels valued. Also in this issue we have an inside report on Social Sports and what taking part in such activities is like, which makes for an interesting read. Josh Taylor previews the Sheffield Sharks’ cup final in Glasgow this Sunday (March 4). Our best wishes go to them and we hope they bring the BBL trophy home! March 4 is also another important day as Sheffield
Eagles return to the city following their four-year exile. They’ve been forced to play in a variety of different stadiums, most recently in Wakefield, but the rugby-league side will be looking to make the perfect start at the Olympic Legacy Park, which is just next to Sheffield Arena, when they host London Broncos. The stadium isn’t completely the finished article yet, with more work being undertaken until at least next year. Thanks for reading, and take care!
Unis making sport accessible Flo Brookes
Carys O’Shea, 21, civil and structural engineering student alongisde Arywan Bassi, 22, a final year law student
Sport goes social to improve wellbeing Ewan Somerville
ental health support has been a staple feature of many an SU officer campaign recently and it is easy to pledge narrow solutions. The University Counselling Service, the SAMHS triage system and personal tutors are often mentioned in this discussion. Forge Sport is exploring a different route to mental wellbeing: through sport. A cornerstone of the University for four years, the Social Sport programme has gone from strength to strength in offering affordable, fun and friendly activities. As Social Sport Officer and founder Martin Cook highlights: “the programme overcomes any potential barriers such as memberships, long term commitment and the fear of not being good enough.” Women’s Boxing Fitness is just one of the 57 different sessions on offer throughout the week, ranging from wheelchair basketball to sabrelite fencing. Free to Residence Life
members (£2 for everyone else), in SLF women combine punching techniques with strength and cardio exercises, such as AB Circuits. Amy Le and Ike Olagunju, first year Computer Science students, went along for the first time last week, attracted by the fun, friendly and flexible atmosphere. As Olagunju put it: “It’s good to
Cost of some Residence Life activities
go and do sport together in a group, and it’s free. The gym at Goodwin is too expensive for me, and when you add up all the other stuff as well for societies it all adds up. “It’s also less intimidating. I was part of the Girls Rugby but it was really intense and I just didn’t want
to be competitive in the sport” Arywan Bassi, a final year Law student and coach, said: “I think it’s so unique, and it’s the best thing for stress. I go running, I go to the gym and I don’t get anything that’s the same for stress.” Fellow coach Carys O’Shea added: “A run’s not the same as a punch.” Social squash, held on Mondays and Wednesday afternoons at Goodwin Sports Centre, is another popular session at £2 for 80 minutes. Researcher Kheerrul Fizal Zaidil, who attends most weeks, said: “I think I’ve fallen in love with squash – I’m addicted. It builds my confidence and I get to build different types of strengths.” Women’s Football is also a popular and pioneering fixture in the weekly Social Sport calendar. Coach Beth Knight, a third-year Chemistry student, was delighted at the girls being really involved and engaged: “They always just play with a smile on their face so it’s very rewarding.” Olivia O’Callaghan, a thirdyear Biology student, loves the
opportunity to play on a Friday afternoon and added: “It makes me feel a lot better. It’s really inclusive because I feel like in some of the sport teams it can seem more cliquey, but everyone’s so friendly here it’s really nice. “Especially because there aren’t many lectures on at the moment, it gets you outside instead of sat studying at home all day.” Social Sports Officer Cook is keen to emphasise the evident benefits of Social Sport for mental health. He commented: “Studies have shown Sport to be an excellent tool for tackling mental health. It can be a great stress relief, improve health and meet new people and Social Sport helps to tick all these boxes. “University can be busy and stressful and therefore it is very important for students to have some form of release and our activities can be a great way to maintain and improve mental health and wellbeing.”
Sheffield Students’ Union Sports Officer and Sports Committee joined forces with Hallam from 19 to 26 February to run a joint Disability in Sport Week. There are 2,362 registered disabled students at the University of Sheffield and there can be many barriers to accessing sporting opportunities for some of these students. This is the first time a sports campaign has been run with specific focus on students with visible and invisible disabilities and it was a successful week. The Sports Committees worked closely with Disabled Students’ Committee and the elected Disability Representative at Hallam to create a range of free and accessible activities. The events across the week aimed to break down the barriers regarding disability and sport at our universities and raise awareness of how much work still needs to be done to make sport on our campuses inclusive and more accessible. The officers worked to raise the profile of disabilityfocused sports and provide accessible sessions for students with disabilities while hearing from leading athletes and professionals in the sector. These included Katie Holt, a GB para track cyclist who also studies at Hallam, and the Disability Snowsports UK CEO who spoke about the the incredible work they are doing. Workshops where over 30 Sports Club Committee members came to hear advice from Nottingham University’s Disability Sports Officer, Hannah Weber, were also put on as part of the week, along with Committee members from their Equestrian Club, who run accessible riding sessions. Students’ Union Sports Officer Flo Brookes said: “The atmosphere was great at all the events as everyone was really open to giving things a go. Hannah Weber said “the most important thing is to not be afraid to ask people with disabilities what would help them. There is no one size fits all, it’s about being adaptive and flexible when running clubs and that way you can include the biggest range of people and accommodate to their abilities. “We want to thank all the students and committees that got involved in these joint campaigns and showing that sport is for all at Sheffield universities.”
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