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The independent student newspaper of the University of Sheffield //

Issue 14 // Friday October 9 2009

Sarah Millican Fuse pages 8-9

University’s ethics questioned over BAE corruption charges 4 University states allegations will not affect research partnership Amy Taylor

BAE’s relationship with the University has long been a controversial issue.

A Union committee have accused the University of Sheffield of having “blood on its hands” after learning that the University’s partnership with BAE Systems will not be affected by recent allegations of corruption. The defence firm are due to be prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Squad (SFO), following investigations which allege the company used bribery and corruption to win contracts dating back to the early 1970s. The University this week defended its relationship with the controversial arms giant, calling its research programme in the Engineering department as a “major benefit” for students. BAE sponsor a number of the University’s Engineering projects and the University have financial investments in the company. The Union’s Ethical and Environmental Committee (E&E) are calling for the University to sever all ties with BAE. They said: “It’s unfortunately unsurprising that corruption exists within BAE Systems, a company which is part of the global arms trade, and they should definitely face repercussions. “We think that the University should cut its arms trade links altogether, including shares in BAE and the significant sponsorship of the Engineering

department. “We would much rather be part of a university at the forefront of sustainable knowledge than one with blood on its hands.” BAE, Britain’s biggest defence manufacturer, strongly deny allegations that it used bribery and corruption to win weapons contracts in South Africa, Tanzania, Romania and the Czech Republic.


Zimbabwe university crisis

Forge Press investigates how Zimbabwe’s once envied universities have collapsed under Mugabe Features page 17


California dreamin’ A surreal journey of celebs, surfing and abject poverty Travel page 23

Have your say Comment on this article at Send a letter to Despite the SFO’s announcement, the University claimed that the allegations pose no threat to the University’s code of ethics. A University spokesperson said: “We will continue to develop our partnership with BAE in order to position the University of Sheffield as a researchled university in the global environment. “The University is aware of recent allegations made against BAE Systems. However this is an ongoing case that does not directly involve the research partnership the University of Sheffield has with the company.


The best student job in the world?

Would you want to test every one of Sheffield’s takeaways? Comment page 11

Continued on page 4

Biblical Studies department threatened with closure Rachel Blundy The future of the Biblical Studies department is in doubt after University officials decided that it is no longer academically viable for the purposes of undergraduate study. A vote was due to take place this week at the University Senate the decision making body within the University - over whether Biblical Studies, currently the smallest department within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, should remain open. Students were only told of the planned vote after being

informed by Union President Paul Tobin and Education Officer Holly Taylor. The Union opposes the closing of the department and many students are left worried while their department’s future is in limbo. Students protested outside Firth Court on Wednesday and a petition was handed to the Vice Chancellor Keith Burnet at the Senate meeting. Third year Biblical Studies student, Ben Hinks, led the ‘Save BIBS’ protest. He said: “We find it difficult that they seem to have arrived at a final decision without asking us. I heard several rumours

through the Union box office, the Union Sabbatical Officers and the Bishop of Sheffield, but no one told us directly what was happening.” The Sheffield University and College Union (UCU) - the trade union which represents staff at the University - threatened to strike if the University proceeded with the ballot, because they argue that “unilateral” action has been taken without their consultation. As a result the vote was postponed. Sheffield UCU argues that the students and staff of the University of Sheffield, have not been consulted by the University

over the decision to close the department. A spokesman for Sheffield UCU said: “The University of Sheffield is putting its academic reputation on the line if it goes ahead with these plans. “We should be proud to have the only undergraduate Biblical Studies course in the country, not looking to get rid of it. “It will be much harder for Sheffield to attract postgraduates if the undergraduate course in Biblical Studies is axed. This decision is not in the interest of students or the University.” Biblical Studies has only four members of academic staff and

one member of professional support staff remaining after the recent staff cuts. . This year the department only admitted eight undergraduate students. A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield said that the decision to close the department came after a review in March 2009 highlighted a fall in demand for undergraduate places. Any decision to close the department will not take effect until 2013, to allow current students to complete their degrees. Full story on page 3

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Robert Golledge

Deputy Editor

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

Bell ringers celebrate 50 years

Helen Lawson

Managing Editor

Rob Ellerington


Rachel Blundy Leanne Rinne Rosie Taylor


Emily Cresswell


Michael Hunter André Nunn


Lucie Boase Kate Dobinson Paul Garbett


Hannah O’Connell Keri O’Riordan


Sarah Barns


Matthew Duncan Christopher Rogan Ross Turner


Alistair White


Helen Lawson Natasha Parker Jeremy Peel



Brendan Allitt Mark Clement Melissa Gillespie


Richard Scott Amy Smith

Fuse cover

James Wragg

Web Editor Alexandra Rucki Forge Press Media Hub, Union of Students Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TG 0114 2228646

Pictured are Tom Britten and Union Activities Officer Claire Monk celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bell ringing society. Forge Press is part of Forge Media Forge Press is published by the Union of Students. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the University, the Union or the editorial team. In the first instance all complaints should be addressed to the Managing Editor, although a formal procedure exists. Forge Press is printed on 100% recycled paper

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The sound of church bells rang over Sheffield city centre on Sunday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University’s bell ringing society. Eight members of the Sheffield Universities Guild of Change Ringers (SUGCR) society, including five alumni students, gathered at St. Marie’s Cathedral on Sunday to commemorate 50 years. The event also marked the society’s 100th peal- an extended period of bell ringing where the tune constantly changes for approximately three hours. Today the society, founded in

1958, has been running for 51 years and is hoping to expand its membership. All current members of the society are from the University of Sheffield even though SUGCR is joined with Sheffield Hallam University. During term time SUGCR practise on Monday nights at the Cathedral and they ring every Sunday at the evening Cathedral service. There is also an advanced practice session once a month. Sarah Green, Chair of SUGCR and bell ringer of over six years, said: “The ringing that took place on Sunday was very complicated, there were 5,088 changes in total, but everyone was really pleased with how the afternoon went.

“There were a few blistered hands but there were no mistakes throughout the tune which was called the Yorkshire Surprise Major. “We really want to encourage more people to get involved and we are trying to do a mini ringing session on the concourse soon with a small set of bells. “We also have Give it a Go activities so people can come along and see what the society is all about and have a go for themselves.” She added: “The way you can make different pattern sounds from the bells is brilliant and we are constantly challenging ourselves and learning new tunes.”



Military robots take over

Leanne Rinne

Volunteering Students told Chance to communities to switch off win £3,000 A new Sheffield volunteering project is calling all freshers to join their Tapton, Endcliffe, City or Ranmoor community and complete a task in one day to help local people. Tasks include improving allotment facilities in Hagg Hill, running a comedy night for Whirlow Hall Farm and organising activities for a dads event at Park Academy School. To join a community team on Saturday October 24 sign up in the volunteering office in the Union by October 19. Leanne Rinne

Photo: Sarah Green

Students living in University residences are being asked to use energy more efficiently as part of a nationwide Student Switch Off campaign. Prizes will be given to the most energy efficient halls, including Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, NUS Extra cards, tickets to nights out in the Union and energy saving gadgets. At the end of the year, a party will be held for the halls which have proved to be the most energy efficient. Students interested in participating should see www. Natasha Hunter

Sheffield students could win £3,000 by making a video showing how their time at the University has shaped them. The films, with a maximum length of three minutes, must be posted as video responses on the Sheffield Made Us YouTube channel. They will be judged on idea strength, innovation and the amount of views the videos gather. No previous experience of film-making is required and more than one submission can be made. The deadline is October 19. Samuel Valdes Lopez

Ruth Corrigan Professor Noel Sharkey, from the University of Sheffield, has formed a committee which aims to reduce the threat of military robotics. The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) will examine the rapid advances of robotic technology in warfare. Professor Sharkey said: “There has been a massive development of robot technology since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started. At present these have a ‘man in the loop’ which decides on the application of lethal force, using a remote-control. “The US military plans show a strong drive towards reducing the role of the ‘man in the loop’ with an eventual aim to remove

The society is due to ring in six bell towers in the Peak District tomorrow as part of their annual Freshers 2009 Intro Tour. Activities Officer Clare Monk, former chair of SUGCR, said: “It was very hard work on Sunday and I ached by the end of it. “It took lots of concentration and we all felt a great sense of personal achievement by the end of the afternoon. “I have been ringing for 12 years now and I have set up a young ringers club back home in Suffolk. “Students should not stereotype the society, we are not old men with beards - we are best friends.”

him altogether, so that the robot will decide on the killing.” He said one of the main ethical concerns which accompanies the advances in robotics is the fact they cannot discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. “These are not super intelligent terminator-style robots. They are dumb machines that will lack the necessary reasoning and sensing abilities to be able to distinguish innocents from combatants.” “In subcontracting our wars to our robotic creations, we are abdicating moral responsibility, too.” Dr Gordon Johnson of the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command argues that using robotics is a good thing: “They don’t get hungry, afraid or forget their orders. Will they do a better job than humans? Yes.”

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9th 2009 //



Anger at ‘secretive’ move to close Bibs Biblical Studies students furious after not being informed before this week of the University’s proposal to shut down their department Rachel Blundy Biblical Studies students are outraged that the proposal to close their department appears to have been made “behind closed doors”. The plans to close the department were revealed to Biblical Studies students by the Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers on Tuesday afternoon, the day before a vote was to be taken on the department’s future by the University Senate. Student concerns range from the secretive nature of the proposals to fears over teaching quality for those still studying Biblical Studies. Third year Biblical Studies student, Benjamin Hurrell, said: “We’re all disappointed by the University’s desire to close the Biblical Studies department. “My biggest concern has been how the University has gone about it. Firstly, the students have been kept completely in the dark over the matter. “While rumours had been spreading of the fate of the department, to be informed of the closure by the Students’ Union at such a late notice is unacceptable.” Hurrell is concerned the potential closure will affect his academic work. “The University promises that teaching standards will not slip, but many of us have already had our dissertation tutors reassigned - some to staff with no specialist knowledge in the topics,” he said. “It is also hard to believe that when opportunities arise elsewhere for the remaining staff, they will not take them.” Dual honours student Sam Howard added: “It seems as though all the University care about is money. Their priority should be learning and resources, rather than financial profit.” Students gathered to protest against the proposed closure outside Firth Court on Wednesday, where Senate representatives were meeting to discuss the situation. Aaron Fitpatrick, second

Biblical studies students with “Why were we not informed?” banner outside Firth Court. year Politics student, joined the protest. He said: “How can they do this without giving any notice, and behind closed doors? We all pay at least £3,000 per year for tuition alone and we have not been consulted.” Emily Mason and Dave Lews, two second year Biblical Studies and French students, will be studying in France next year. They fear that the department will be unable to provide them with subject specific tutors when they return to write their dissertations in September 2011. Mason said: “We might not get

a choice on what we can write on because there will only be certain tutors left. Especially if we want to study a particular subject at postgraduate level, we will be restricted by what we’ve specialised in as an undergraduate”. Lews added: “The University claims to respect the opinions of staff and students, but in this case they haven’t taken our views into account”. A University spokesman said: “At the University Senate, the Vice-Chancellor personally apologised to students for a

and faculty offices. Waste bins will be emptied every few days or when they are over half full and vacuuming and damp wiping will be carried out every two to three weeks. In a press statement entitled “Clean your own desk and get rid of your bin, says swine flu university”, the UCU criticised the university for prioritising cleaning in areas critical for “income generation” and for suggesting staff should share bins to cut waste. Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary, said: “The health and safety of staff is paramount and I am utterly amazed that the University is prepared to cut back on cleaning when it is under swine flu alert. “The decision speaks volumes about its priorities – clearly profit and image matter more than people’s safety. Staff have the right to be able to work in clean

offices.” A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield said: “Our campus services continue to respond to local requests for additional cleaning in relation to specific needs. “Additional measures required in relation to swine flu are carried out on the advice of occupational health and in full consultation with the relevant expert advisers. “The Sheffield UCU branch wrote to the University regarding concerns relating to changes to cleaning and the matter was subsequently raised with all the campus trade unions at a joint meeting on September 21. “It was agreed with the union that the issue should be discussed further and an urgent meeting should be convened. It was also confirmed that the issue would be brought to the Health and Safety Committee.

Photo: Sam Bennett

lack of consultation which he understood had taken place, and he deferred any decision on the recommendation pending further discussion. “He also welcomed the legitimate concerns of Biblical Studies students, including those who had protested or signed a petition which was presented to Senate by the Education Officer of the Union of Students, Holly Taylor. “He gave assurances that every effort will be made to maintain the high quality of teaching in the Department.”

Union President Paul Tobin has been in talks with students and Sheffield UCU representatives all week to try and save the Biblical Studies department. He said: “The protesting students have done a fantastic job in a very short amount of time. “But we are unhappy with both the suggested closure of such a unique department and the lack of communication from the University to the affected students. “We welcome the University’s apology but we still need detailed information on how it will implement its assurances. “The students are entitled to the high standard of education they have been promised and are paying for and we look forward to discussing these issues with the University in the very near future.” In a letter to the University, Sheffield UCU President Mike Ashman said the staff union was lodging a formal collective dispute. “The dispute relates to the unacceptable way that the review of the Department of Biblical Studies has been conducted by the University. “In contradiction to recognised good practice, and the project terms of reference, trade unions have not been ‘consulted and engaged with as part of the project’.” Since Wednesday, the University has assured students that a new working group, chaired by Professor Paul White, ProVice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, will maintain the high quality of programmes within the department. A University spokesman said: “The protest by the Biblical Studies students was welcomed by Senate and the Vice-Chancellor. It has already resulted in engagement with students and a decision to defer action on the recommendations of the Biblical Studies review group pending further consultation.” The University Senate also agreed that entry into undergraduate programmes should be suspended for one year to enable further consultation.

Staff union officials criticise cuts to cleaning by University Leanne Rinne

The University and College Union (UCU) has accused bosses of putting the health of staff and students at risk by introducing new cleaning measures to cut costs. An email was sent to staff at the University of Sheffield to explain that the “current financial climate” has lead to a review and prioritisation of cleaning operations. It states: “The cleaning of teaching and research areas are critical for the student experience and income generation and cleaning staff are being relocated to these areas where vacancies exist. “Due to the relocation of staff to these priority areas, we have had to introduce some changes elsewhere.” The main changes will affect staff located in administrative

Overflowing bins in University offices. “It is therefore very disappointing that UCU did not follow the normal communication channels and put out a press release using misleading and inflammatory language such as

Photo: Sam Bennett ‘swine flu university’ without giving the University the opportunity to meet with local union representatives to discuss this issue further and respond to any concerns.”

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009


Union Women’s Officer hits out at the distribution of FHM on campus The circulation of the magazine at this year’s Fresher’s Fair has been condemned Emily Cresswell Women’s Officer Amy Sutherland has said she is “extremely unhappy” about the distribution of men’s magazine FHM at the Union’s Freshers’ Fair. The University of Sheffield was one of several universities in the UK that agreed to hand out FHM, along with the women’s lifestyle magazine More, from a stall in the Octagon foyer during Freshers’ Fair, with the majority of students being offered both magazines. Sutherland says she would like to see both FHM and More replaced at future events by “publications that are gender neutral and do not have sexual images on the front cover”. She said: “I believe the company involved have made gross assumptions about students’ sexuality and sexual behaviour.” BAM Student Marketing’s decision to supply universities with free copies of FHM to distribute during Freshers’ weeks has also been condemned by NUS Women’s Officer Olivia Bailey. In an open letter to the company Bailey said that she objected to the decisions on the grounds that it “promotes a narrow and exclusive view of women students, and contributes to a culture which values women by what they look like, and not by their character.” She added: “FHM and other lads’ mags normalise and encourage warped views on how women are supposed to look, and on how they are supposed to behave.” She argues that these decisions promote a narrow view of femininity and of masculinity, and are “clearly discriminatory to gay men” as well as women. Libby de Fraine from the Marketing Department at the University of Sheffield said that she was “aware of complaints at other universities” about the distribution of the magazine, but claimed that the distribution at

Sheffield was cleared by Finance Officer Martin Bailey. Bailey said: “I did approve the distribution of FHM at the Freshers Fair after consulting with the rest of the officer teamfive out of eight are female. “No publication was forced upon any student and they are all over 18 and able to make up their own minds about whether or not they wanted to take a magazine that is sold in our own Union Shop. “I think Olivia Bailey herself made gross assumptions about the way the publication would be recieved by the majority of the student body. “If I was asked to approve it again I would seek to gain consultation with a wider range of students and if I still felt it was evident that on the whole students didn’t care then yes, I would approve it.” Both Amy Sutherland and Olivia Bailey have also objected to the Miss University GB 2010 beauty pageant, which is being promoted by BAM Student Marketing. Sutherland said: “A union is not an appropriate venue for a student beauty pageant, it insults the hard academic work that our students do. “For these reasons, myself and the rest of the Officer team made the decision that we will not advertise or host Miss University GB within the Students’ Union.” She added: “By objecting to Miss University GB I am in no way criticising the women who choose to take part in beauty pageants.” Sutherland also highlighted point 2.2 of the Union constitution, which states that: “The Union shall take positive measures to encourage and build a student community which respects and celebrates the diversity of its membership, and seek to create an environment in which individuals and groups of students are free from discrimination, harassment and intimidation on Union premises.”

Amy Sutherland is unhappy about the distribution of FHM.

Photo: Sam Bennett

University will continue to work with BAE despite allegations Continued from page 1 “The University of Sheffield aims for the highest standards in all of its research endeavours and ethics are always at the heart of every research process. All of the University’s research activities across all academic disciplines strictly adhere to the Universal Ethical Code. “The University’s research partnership with BAE Systems is one of several collaborations which result in important local, national and international developments. These industrial partnerships also bring major benefits to students, resulting from these companies sharing their expertise, through placements, industrial lectures and case studies.” BAE Systems have had links with the University of Sheffield for many years. The creation of the BAE Systems Centre for

Research in Active Control in 2007, for which BAE are providing £1.4million, has contributed to the department’s reputation as one of the top research centres in the world. The E&E committee said that students should help decide where funding comes from, suggesting that ethical research alternatives should be investigated. In support of the committee’s position, Union President Paul Tobin said: “The Union’s Arms Trade Policy calls for the University to divest itself of shares in arms companies and this recent news highlights why the Union has such a clear policy.” One fourth year MEng student

in the department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering dismissed claims that the programme is unethical. “It is in everyone’s best interests to keep these links as they allow our degrees to remain competitive and interesting. It confuses me that people who have such a problem with these companies choose to come to this university and then complain about them. “Of course there are ethical considerations but BAE is a big company and the University’s undertaking with them only goes as far as commercial applications and defensive/protective technologies, not offensive weaponry.

“It’s great that we have the chance to work with such large and varied companies whilst undergraduate as it allows us to better our prospects in the job market and allows us to work on real and interesting work.” Despite insistence from both staff and students that the BAE programme is not directly involved in creating weapons, BAE’s involvement in the University has been a subject of controversy for many years. Anti-military campaigners have regularly protested about the University’s financial partnership with BAE and other defence companies. BAE Systems would not comment on its relationship with the University, but a spokesperson for the firm said that they were making a “considerable effort” to resolve the matters under investigation. They said: “BAE Systems has

at all times acted responsibly in its dealings with the SFO, taking into account the interests of its shareholders and employees and the legal advice it has received. “If the director of the SFO obtains the consent that he seeks from the Attorney General and proceedings are commenced, the company will deal with any issues raised in those proceedings at the appropriate time and, if necessary, in court.” With reported sales in 2008 of over £18.5billion, and more than 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems is today the second largest defence company in the world. Similar allegations in 2006 were dropped due to claims that they posed a threat to national security, and the independent Woolf Committee was set up to review BAE’s ethical conduct, which the University referred to in its defence of the company.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //


Activists squat in Uni building Squatters take over former Music building Pisgah House in Broomhill then occupy NHS house on Northumberland Road after eviction

Photo: Michael Smith

The Sheffield Activist social space at Pisgah House Road in Broomhill. Michael Smith Campus security evicted a group of squatters from a University owned building in Broomhill this week, and demanded that they pay over £20,000 in costs. The group had been using Pisgah House, formerly part of the University’s Music department, as a makeshift community centre, offering a space for discussions, workshops and other events. The grade II listed building has been vacant and unused for several years, and the University plan to sell the property. On Tuesday the University posted notices on the site that they were to apply for an eviction order on the grounds that the squatters were trespassing and there was a “real risk of public disturbance and harm being

caused to persons and property”. A hearing was held that afternoon at Sheffield County Court, but was adjourned to allow the group to prepare a defence. In a second hearing on Wednesday morning the judge, Mr Recorder Oldham, ruled that the group were trespassing on the site and ordered them to leave Pisgah House immediately. He also ruled that Joseph Morris and former University of Sheffield student Oliver Sumerling, who volunteered to represent the group in court must pay the University’s legal costs, totalling £20,145. In the five days the centre was open, it hosted a clothes swap, bike maintenance workshops and an open-mic music night. It also hosted meetings of direct action groups, including the Sheffield Activist Network, who occupied

University lecture theatres last year in protest over the conflict in Gaza. A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said, “While the University supports the democratic process and the open discussion of ideas in a legal, non-threatening context, it cannot allow for illegal actions to hamper its ongoing legitimate business or the views of one group to impede the activities of others. We regret the fact that at a time of cost-savings, valuable University funds are required to take legal measures to address such actions.” The group condemned the University’s use of “draconion legislation” to evict them, saying it showed “a distinct lack of forward-thinking and a complete inability to see the inherent value of an autonomous, community-

run social centre”. The squatters left Pisgah House peacefully on Wednesday morning, and immediately occupied a vacant building on Northumberland Road, near the Union building. The second building, a £450,000 house, is owned by Sheffield Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. When asked why the group had not contacted the building’s owners to negotiate for the use of the building, a spokesperson for the group said “Property owners don’t tend to be very reasonable people.” In 2007, local residents successfully opposed a planning application to demolish the Pisgah House site. Had the application succeeded, development company Miller Homes planned to buy the property as a site for 22 new houses.

Occupiers ordered to pay £20,000 legal costs Michael Smith Despite the looming inevitability of the result of Wednesday morning’s hearing, the activists occupying Pisgah House remained in defiant mood in court. Oliver Sumerling defended the group’s actions, describing the Social Centre project as an “explicitly educational initiative”, which ‘directly fits into the University’s remit and is compatible with it’s educational position”. In a last ditch attempt to salvage the project, he pleaded for the court to postpone the possession order so that the group could enter dialogue with the University.

Mr Recorder Oldham, presiding, told the defendants that there was no basis to postpone the order. “While your motives may be entirely honorable, and I don’t necessarily disagree with them, it doesn’t change the position as a matter of law. None of it provides any defence against the possession order”, he said. “The problem here is that everything has been done in the wrong order. Discussion should have taken place before the occupation was entered into.” After Mr Oldham had given his decision in the matter of possession, Miss Holland, representing the University, revealed that they intended to submit a claim for costs totaling £20,145.

She said: “We have been successful. As with any other defendant, they are liable for costs as well. It is black and white, open and shut.”

Have your say Comment on this article at Send a letter to The group initially denied liability for the costs, claiming that they would have left the premises if the University had asked them. However, Mr Oldham reminded them of an email they sent to the University stating: “if you want to get us out

you will have to issue a claim”. Voicing his objection to the amount of costs, Mr Sumerling said: “It seems disproportionate for Sheffield University, a £9m turnover body, to ask for these costs to be paid by two people of limited means”. Speaking outside court, Mr Morris said: “What can the University physically do? Not a great deal. They can keep sending me letters telling me I owe them £10,000, but that’s pretty much all they can do.” A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said, “In addition to providing an eviction order, the Sheffield County Court awarded costs against the occupiers, and the University will be taking steps to recover these.”


Call for tuition fees to rise Michael Smith Students should pay thousands more in tuition fees to help relieve the university funding crisis, says a new report by industry bosses. The controversial statement released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) last week called for universities to bridge their funding gap by increasing tuition fees to £5,000 a year. They also called for increased student loan interest and more stringent means testing for grants, to avoid a decline in teaching quality. The National Union of Students attacked the plans as “offensive”, and warned they would be a step towards universities being reserved for the privileged. Union Finance Officer, Martin Bailey, said: “The Government had an aim to get 50 per cent of 18 to 30 year-olds into higher education and they should be trying to stick to that.” “Having well-educated people in the future may not keep us out of recession, but will help economic growth in the country. “Withdrawing support for students because of their backgrounds doesn’t do any good for society,” he said. The proposals have been put forward as an alternative to staff cuts, which many fear will compromise the quality of teaching at UK universities. CBI director general Richard Lambert says that instead of cutting staff, budgets and student numbers, “savings should come from the student support system.” Bailey said he backed NUS proposals to introduce a “graduate tax” as an alternative method of relieving the funding crisis.

Recession closes ARCUS Mark Duell The University’s Department of Archaeology will lose its commercial consultancy wing as a result of the recession. Archaeological Research & Consultancy at the University of Sheffield (ARCUS) will no longer be part of the University from November. ARCUS offers a range of commercial archaeological and heritage research to clients in both the private and public sectors. A University spokesman said: “Cut backs in the construction industry due to current market conditions mean the University can no longer sustain the Archaeology Department’s consultancy wing. “In the period between now and the end of October, ARCUS staff are prioritising delivery of existing contracts. “There will be minimal impact upon students in the Department of Archaeology as ARCUS was not responsible for delivering teaching and operated as a commercial practice.”

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009


Students angry after nightclub queue fiasco Sheffield Parties have been blamed for excess numbers at Bedlam club night in Sheffield Sarah Whelan Rachel Blundy Sheffield Parties came under fire from clubbers in freshers’ week after an event they organised at Embrace nightclub was heavily overcrowded. Problems occurred after students with prepaid ‘Q-jump’ tickets for the Bedlam night were denied the right to enter ahead of the queue, resulting in many more tickets being sold on the door before ‘Q-jumpers’ reached the entrance. One taxi driver claimed that the queues remained at a standstill for over four hours. During the night, one clubber said: “It could turn dangerous, there’s a lot of drunk, angry people, hardly any police, anything could happen.”

Have your say Comment on this article at Send a letter to Eyewitnesses told Forge Press that many clubbers left almost immediately after getting inside, claiming the crowds on the stairwells were not moving. Hannah Sullivan, third year English Literature student, said: “It was ridiculous, everyone was squashed like sardines in the stairway and a girl in front of me fainted. “I don’t know what the club and its bouncers were thinking when

they let that many people in.” Outside the club a student hoping to get in said: “It’s not fair to the police, this is just greedy, there’s too many people.” At approximately 12.45am, with hundreds still queuing outside, the club announced that no more people were being admitted. This included those who had already paid for their tickets. Bedlam organisers, Sheffield Parties, relocated those with Embrace tickets to Crystal nightclub on Carver Street. Similar levels of overcrowding were also reported there. A spokesperson for Sheffield Parties said: “Those seeking a refund should email info@ Although we do not usually offer refunds, we are willing to work with unhappy customers. The scene at Embrace was a result of everyone turning up at once. “The slow moving queues were affected by the ID, student card and ticket check of clubbers, as well as the wrist banding of everyone entering the club.” In relation to the congestion inside the nightclub, Sheffield Parties suggested that the bouncers usually maintaining movement on the stairs and around the venue were forced outside to help control the queues. A spokesperson for Embrace said: “It was nothing to do with Embrace, it is an issue for Sheffield Parties; all we do is to provide a venue.” The police on the scene declined to comment on the club’s handling of the situation.

Fish at the Broomhill Friery takeaway shop.

Photo: Helen Munro

The best student job in the world? Paid takeaway reviewer wanted Jonathan Burley Billed as ‘the best student job in the word’, a local information service is offering Sheffield students the chance to become the city’s first takeaway ambassador, eating free fast food for a year. The paid role requires the selected individual to taste the many takeaways available in the city and post reviews to the 118menu online site. The free service is looking to become a central hub of fast food information, easily accessible to the most inebriated student after a night out.

Founder Mark Hall started the service in 2008 after being frustrated when he couldn’t locate an open takeaway easily. He said: “With student loan money quickly running out at the start of term, the credit crunch in full swing, and job opportunities being more competitive than ever, being able to get your hands on the food you love without spending a penny is enough to bring a smile to any takeaway lovers’ face. “ I am looking for an individual whose night out isn’t complete without a takeaway on the way home, cooking is not their forte or they simply just love fast food.”

Union Welfare Officer Jennifer Hastings said: “Whilst I appreciate the financial benefits of this scheme, students must be aware of the possible health implications, which I’m sure the majority are. “It is entirely up to the individual if this is a job they wish to apply for, however I do urge students not to base their decision solely on the financial incentive. If people are running low on cash and don’t fancy overindulging on takeaways then head down to the job shop in the union for help finding part time work.” All applications to

Professor unearths stone circle

Booker prize winner

Rachel Blundy

Leanne Rinne

A professor from the University of Sheffield has led a new archaeological dig to uncover a site that may have been part of the Stonehenge complex. The remains of a lost stone circle, were found one mile from Stonehenge, by the River Avon. The new stone circle is 10m (33ft) in diameter and was surrounded by a henge – a ditch with an external bank. Professor Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project, said: “It could be that Bluestonehenge was where the dead began their final journey to Stonehenge. Not many people know that Stonehenge was Britain’s largest burial ground at that time. Maybe the bluestone circle is where people were cremated before their ashes were buried at Stonehenge itself.” Archaeologists are now using radiocarbon dating to try and establish when the two sites were

A graduate from the University of Sheffield has been awarded the Man Booker Prize. Hilary Mantel CBE, who graduated with a degree in Law from the University in 1973, received the £50,000 prize at the London Guildhall on Tuesday. Hilary’s book, Wolf Hall, came top of a shortlist of five other authors to be judged the best novel written in the Commonwealth or Ireland this year. The novel explores both the individual psychology and politics of Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. She said: “When I began the book

The Bluestonehenge excavation site. built. Professor Parker Pearson said: “We’ve been working since 2003 with a theory that it [Stonehenge] was part of a larger complex, linked by the river, for commemorating the dead at the solstices. The new stone circle fits this theory perfectly.”

Dr Josh Pollard, co-director, explained: “This is an incredible discovery. The newly discovered circle and henge should be considered an integral part of Stonehenge rather than a separate monument, and it offers tremendous insight into the history of its famous neighbour.”

I knew I had to do something very difficult, I had to interest the historians, I had to amuse the jaded palate of the critical establishment and most of all I had to capture the imagination of the general reader.” The award comes after a successful literary career for Hilary, including the multi-award winning Fludd; A Place of Greater Safety which was awarded the Sunday Express Book of the Year prize and An Experiment in Love for which she won the Hawthorden prize. Miles Stevenson, of the University Alumni department, Sheffield, said: “We are delighted that she has been awarded the Booker Prize and hope she will be an inspiration to our students pursuing their own literary interests and projects.”

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //


Union hit by three burglaries Welfare Officer Jennifer Hastings advises students to watch their belongings after valuable equipment is stolen


No free tuition promise Nina McArthur

Emily Cresswell Burglars struck the Union of Students building on three occasions during freshers’ week. A camcorder was stolen from the Media Hub on September 26, and an Apple Mac computer was taken when thieves broke into the Marketing Department during the same weekend. This was followed by a third theft from an office in the Finance corridor. South Yorkshire Police currently suspect the thieves to be drug users who are stealing and then selling the equipment in order to fund their addictions. Welfare Officer Jennifer Hastings urges students to be vigilant, but not to worry about the recent thefts. She said: “The Union has an excellent security system and so, as long as students are aware of their surroundings and use basic common sense, I do not feel that they are at any greater risk here than they would be anywhere else.” Hastings said students should take basic precautions to ensure their personal safety. She recommends keeping laptops concealed inside a bag or case, ensuring that zips on bags are kept closed, and not leaving possessions unattended, particularly small and valuable items such as mobile phones. In light of the events, Union staff members have also been reminded of the importance of taking basic security precautions such as locking office doors and windows when the room is not in use and ensuring that personal valuables are kept in a safe place. Staff members have been instructed to be particularly vigilant, and to report any suspicious behaviour within the Union building to the security services or the Union reception. Hastings has advised all students, regardless of whether or not they live close to the Union, “to always be safety conscious” with regard to their homes and personal possessions.

Jennifer Hastings promotes Union safety campaigns. The Union advises that they let in through swipe cardstudents take steps such as operated doors and to be cautious having Yale-type locks fitted, not with regard to anyone who may leaving expensive belongings on be following them. display, and marking possessions Personal safety alarms can with a UV security pen. be obtained free of charge from It also advises students living Jennifer Hastings or Women’s in halls to be wary of whom Officer Amy Sutherland.

Photo: Sam Bennett A smaller, more discrete ‘Charm Alarm’ is also available for 50p. The Union will be running a safety week during week five of the semester, which will feature events intended to promote various aspects of safety.

MP Nick Clegg faces a backlash after announcing he might be forced to axe his pledge to scrap tuition fees in England. At the Liberal Democrat’s annual conference Clegg said: “Ending tuition fees would cost billions of pounds every year. “We need to be certain we can afford it before we make any promises. “But I can make this pledge: at the next election we will have the best, most progressive package for students of any mainstream party.” When tuition fees were raised to £3,000 a year in 2006, the Lib Dems tuition fee proposal was set to completely reverse the situation. The party’s Federal Policy Committee, which has the final say on the party’s programme for the next election, voted earlier this year to keep the £13billion flagship policy. Former Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy, critisised Clegg for proposing to abandon his tuition fee proposal. At the conference an activist told Clegg to “appreciate that the abolition of tuition fees is a lot more than just money.” The Liberal Democrat Society at the University of Sheffield told the Forge Press: “The Liberal Democrats are greatly concerned with the devastation in public finances. “Students should rest assured that the Party remain committed to the principle of up-front free higher education and that this policy would be implemented as soon as the fiscal situation permits.” The University’s student Labour Society said they welcomed the admission by the Liberal Democrats that their stance on higher education was unsustainable and unfunded. A spokesperson said: “We support the NUS stance of calling for a fair system of higher education funding, with a graduate contribution instead of upfront fees, where only those who gain financially from University pay.”

Sheffield students protest at Labour party conference Kirsty McEwen Students and residents from around Sheffield joined national protesters to march on the annual Labour Party conference last week. Around 4,000 people joined the march on September 27, along Brighton’s seafront to protest against education cuts, high unemployment, and the continued war in Afghanistan. Rebecca Bryson, a member of the Sheffield Right to Work campaign and Socialist Worker’s Party, attended the protest. She said: “The day was entirely worth it, everyone was really united despite the fact that they were campaigning for different things. “We were trying to get as many people down there as possible. There were some national trade unions, but also general

campaigns such as Stop the War. There were calls for peace as well as calls for action to save jobs.” Speaking on her own reasons for attending the conference, Bryson said: “I went because I believe in these issues, but there was a huge mix of people, either agreeing with the general aims or going to get specific problems heard. The march began on the Brighton seafront and continued to the Brighton Centre and Hilton Metropole Hotel, where Labour held their conference. Sussex Police later re-directed the protesters onto the beach through fears they would create public disorder, after several flares were set alight. Bryson stated: “We were happy to comply [with the police], but it felt ridiculous marching along the beach through people sitting on deckchairs eating ice creams.”

Ms Bryson, an NHS employee, said that the Right to Work campaign is working nationally to help unite everyone affected by unemployment. She said: “We aim to bring together workers, students, and also the unemployed, to address problems with the current economy.” Sheffield Activist Network, who say they “work towards student and worker empowerment both inside and outside the University” are also reported to have attended the conference, but were unavailable for comment. Shortly after the conference, The Sun newspaper publicly withdrew its support for the Labour government and claimed it would be backing the Conservative party in the next general election, predicted for May 2010. Commenting on The Sun’s

Protesters at Brighton beach. decision, Prime Minister Gordon Brown told BBC1’s Today programme: “In the end we would like the support of every

Photo: Rebecca Bryson newspaper, you’d like to have the support of lots of people that are not giving you support. But it is people that decide elections.”

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009



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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //



First Group bus drivers to strike over pay rise dispute

Man assaulted in student area Leanne Rinne

Photo: Edd Wright

Bus drivers plan to strike this month after First Group bosses refused to increase their pay. Rosie Taylor First Group bus drivers from across South Yorkshire will be striking next week unless the company offers employees a pay rise. Drivers voted five to one for strike action after First Group refused to increase their pay. Unite, the union of First Group workers, have announced that strikes will take place in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster on October 12, 19 and 26.

Further strikes will affect all First bus services in Sheffield on October 15, 16 and 17, but no action will be taken on these days in Rotherham and Doncaster. Unite’s national organiser for transport, Graham Stevenson, said: “Our members up and down the country are simply furious at First’s imposed zero per cent pay freeze and will not accept it. This dispute is set to escalate massively unless First rethinks its position. “This is a company with a record £134million in annual profits but

it refuses a fair pay rise to those who earn this for them. Other companies in the same industry are settling at around 2.5 per cent. “Enough is enough. Bus workers are only asking for a fraction of what the fat cat executives have given themselves so that they can support their families and keep pace with the cost of living.” But First Group claims that Unite is demanding too much and that the recession has affected their ability to increase pay. A First Group spokesman told

Forge Press: “First has made a respectful offer to all its staff across South Yorkshire, but Unite is asking for a high increase on pay. “In the current economic situation it is simple not possible to provide a high pay rise. “We are urging Unite to come back to the table and negotiate. “We are doing all in our power to try to come to an agreement.” Talks were held between First and Unite on Thursday, but negotiations had not finished at the time of going to press.

£600million city centre rebuild put on hold Olivia Morley Plans for a huge development of Sheffield city centre have been postponed due to the recession. Although basic blueprints have been approved for Sheffield’s new retail quarter: ‘Sevenstone’, residents fear that the project may even be abandoned. Detailed plans were originally approved for the first three out of eight parts of the scheme however developers now say that it is impossible for the renovation to go any further unless there is an economic upturn. The £600million project, set to rejuvenate the likes of the Moor, Barker’s Pool and Peace Gardens, aims to attract thousands of newcomers to the city. Supporters of the project fear, however, that if building work is yet to proceed by the end of

2014, planning permission for the development will expire. A spokesperson for Sheffield City Council said: “We are still on track to finish the development. Planning applications have all been submitted. The work has merely been put on hold until there is an upturn in the economy. “The infrastructure is all in place, we are simply waiting until 2010 to re-commence building”. Sheffield City Council also claim that there will be no extra costs accrued as a result of the delay. Any additional expenses will be the responsibility of the construction company in charge of the development; Hammerson. As part of the project, the City Council say that the old Fire Station on Wellington Street will be demolished. Councillor Colin Ross, Cabinet Member for Employment,

Construction site next to the Crucible Theatre. Enterprise and Development at Sheffield City Council said: “This is important news for Sheffield. In fact, here in Sheffield we are continuing big development works in the face of the recession.

Photo: Edd Wright

Work on Tudor Square continues and changing the look of the Moor starts on site next week. We continue to work closely with developer Hammerson to make the Sevenstone scheme a reality.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a man was stabbed in the neck outside the SOYO bar on Rockingham Street, Sheffield. The man was stood outside the bar in a group in the early hours of the morning on Monday September 21 when an unknown male assaulted him and ran off towards West Street. The offender is described as Asian or mixed race, about 20 years of age, 5ft 10ins, of athletic build with shaven hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt with a distinctive sparkly motif on the front. Police would particularly like to speak to a man who was believed to have been kicked out of the bar an hour before the assault took place at 3.10am. Kathryn Axon, a resident who lives near Rockingham Street was told by police to stay inside until the following morning. She said: “I was shocked to leave for work the next morning and find the police letting me out. “But I really don’t think people should be any more worried about their safety in the city centre and should certainly not be put off visiting Soyo bar.” She added: “I feel fine living in Smithfield appartments. “I think these things are rare in Sheffield and I still feel really safe here.” Anyone who saw the incident, or anyone matching this description, should contact Detective Constable John Beal at West Bar Police Station on 01142964163 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Brown attends Blunkett’s wedding Rosie Taylor Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid Sheffield a visit this week when he attended David Blunkett’s wedding in the city centre. Blunkett, who is MP for Sheffield Brightside, married local GP, Dr Margaret Williams, in a ceremony at the Victoria Hall Methodists Church last weekend. The couple got engaged in January and are going to Shropshire for their honeymoon. On the day Blunkett said: “We are very happy that both of us have found love, friendship and contentment. “We are both very lucky to have such wonderful family, friends and acquaintances.” Both Blunkett and Williams have children from previous marriages and are planning on staying in Sheffield. He said: “Given my plans to stand again in the General Election, we will not be uprooting our homes or our routine and Margaret will be continuing her work as a GP in the city.”

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Have your say Wheel is not worth it Dear Forge, The Wheel of Sheffield has been in town for a few weeks now, with lots of exciting coverage in the local press. How many people besides myself were then disappointed to find that a spin on the wheel would cost a whopping £6.50? Even the £5 student fare seems over the odds for what is basically a kiddy ride which would cost half that at a travelling funfair. If the cost had been £2, I would probably have been on it three times by now, but £6.50? One capsule filled with half a dozen people could have a net revenue of £39, and with about 50 capsules on the ride, the ticket office could take almost £2,000 for each turn of the wheel. How many students can spare a fiver for something like this? Your coverage of the wheel’s arrival featured a quote from a staff member and a 52-year-old woman. I’m guessing you couldn’t find any students who’d been on it, and I wouldn’t be surprised. Yours, S. Walker East Asian Studies Third year

Plagiarism not taught Dear Forge, In his article ‘Cash for essays scandal is damaging our integrity’ (page 17, Issue 13), Paul Garbett quotes an Oxford professor who states that “at British schools nowadays, a practice is encouraged of submitting work in class that is more or less cobbled together from the Internet.” I am curious to know in which school the professor observed this, as it certainly isn’t the case in any of the schools in South Yorkshire that I’ve worked in over the past five years. Every English teacher I’ve worked with makes a point of stressing to pupils the importance of writing in their own words; copying and pasting text is as frowned upon in Key Stage Three as it is at university level. Teachers have been known to Google samples of work submitted by Key Stage Three and Four pupils to ascertain whether or not it has been found online, and we make pupils aware of this. We also teach the importance of understanding the subject, something which will never happen if a pupil copies and pastes a text from the Internet. It is also quite easy to spot if a pupil has plagiarised work

Star letter is sponsored by Your Harley

The winner receives a free meal for two and a Lock-In membership at Your Harley as quite often the text includes words the pupil can’t pronounce, never mind understand. The practice of buying or copying university course essays stems from laziness, not from anything encouraged or taught in schools. Yours, Jennifer Peake Associate Union member

Write: Forge Press, Union of Students, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TG Email: Please include your name, course and year of study. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space.

Sheffield guide appreciated

Nightline is here for you

Dear Forge,

Dear Students,

I would like to thank you for the city guide and map featured in Forge Press in the last issue (Fuse, page 7-9, Issue 13), As well as telling me exactly what I wanted to know about the bars and clubs I’ve been told about, it drew my attention to the essentials like the Odeon. Even better, it introduced me to places like the brilliant Graves Gallery, Archipelago Works and Millennium Gallery, which don’t get anywhere near as much publicity. The guide was so informative and the map was very easy to follow. It saved a lot of wandering around trying to figure out where I was meant to be meeting people, This guide has allowed me to have some brilliant days out in Freshers’ Week, as well as brilliant nights out.

Coming to university can be quite an intimidating experience. You’re often moving away from home for the first time, starting a new course and making new friends, and if you ever feel a bit overwhelmed and you need someone to talk to, then Nightline is a service that is here for you. Nightline is a student run listening service available every night of term from 8pm-8am. Trained volunteers will be on hand to listen no matter what your problem and anything you say will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. You don’t need to worry that the person you’re speaking to won’t understand you or is judging you; our volunteers are 100 per cent non-judgemental and they are completely impartial. The telephone number is 0114 2228787, or if you forget, the number is also on the back of your U-card. Alternatively, if you don’t like the idea of speaking to someone over the telephone or you find it too personal, we also offer an email service. The same policies of confidentiality and being nonjudgemental apply and someone will respond to your email within 48 hours. The address is Furthermore, we offer an information service. There are people on hand to answer the phone every night of term and one of our volunteers will do their best to find you the information you need, but sadly we can’t write your essays for you. The information telephone number is 0114 2228788. So remember, Nightline is here for you no matter what your problem.

Yours Zoey Mellor Music First year

Residents complain about Ridge

Right to reject Tesco store

Dear Forge,

Dear Forge,

I am writing in response to André Nunn’s comment article, ‘Council correct to approve Village licence’ (page 8, Issue 13). He says: “The sociable student inside me felt impelled to stand up and point out that the odd lairy fresher and a few pint glasses left by the road isn’t the end of the world. “While at times I nearly sided with the residents, I thought back to times when I’ve been woken in the early hours by someone shouting the words to ‘Sex On Fire’ at the top of their voice and how little I actually cared. Why should residents of a more affluent area be any different?” I’ll explain why it’s different for me, one resident who lives close to the student village: my work frequently means I have to get up at 6 or 6.30 a.m. If I am woken up (and it isn’t just once, it is several times) by a ‘lairy fresher’ yelling and screaming, then I find it very difficult to work the following day. I may live in an ‘affluent area’ but I am not an affluent person. I need to earn my living, and I need to get a decent night’s sleep in order to do this. When I was in my early 20’s, I didn’t care about being woken up in the night. I have been there, I know what it’s like. Now, being woken up two, three, four or more times takes a massive toll. Even more seriously, my husband had a heart attack a few months ago. During his recovery period, he needed to rest, and he needed to be without stress. Strangely, ‘the odd lairy fresher’ and being jerked out

of sleep by screams of ‘Sex on Fire’ just didn’t seem so benign when his blood pressure shot up dangerously high and his life and well-being were put at risk. People who live in this area have young children, have demanding jobs, have health problems - all things that mean broken nights and sleep deprivation cause serious problems. Have some imagination. Don’t make the assumption that everyone is like you and responds, or can respond to antisocial behaviour in the way you do. Drunken, loutish behaviour is not acceptable. Why should university students be any different? Yours, Danuta Reah Local resident

I would like to add my voice to those relieved about the rejection of the planned Tesco store in Crookesmoor. I fail entirely to see what the store could bring to the area that we do not already have. Competition from the store would overwhelm the smaller shops in the area, such as Beanies, which specialises in vegetarian, vegan and organic foods. As a vegan, if this store were to close, myself and many other people who follow specialty diets would find it much more difficult to find the products that we need. The only alternative would be to buy similar products from Tesco, which like all large chain stores would sell a far more limited range of products for a much higher price.

Another store affected would be Nisa, which is a godsend for students looking for alcohol on a budget, and is probably the only store where a person can buy two bottles of wine for £4. And what would we have to gain from the addition of a Tesco?Affordable, convenient own-brand products? We can already buy many of these from Nisa at a much cheaper price, and what we can’t find at Nisa can be easily found in the Co-op. I was pleased to hear that the application had been rejected. While it would have been convenient for some, it would have caused a massive inconvenience for others. Yours, Jessica Freeman Mathematics Second year

Richard Edmondson Economics Second year

Kate Whitehead Psychology Graduate

“I don’t really care. I’m “I don’t really have any “I can see how it could not a fan; I don’t support problems with it.” offend some people. I it or dislike it.” don’t think it’s a good idea.”

State school students are just as capable Dear Forge,

Nina McArthur English Language First year

Regarding your news article, ‘University to support state school applicants’ (page 3 Issue 13), while I agree that top universities should be open to more state school pupils, I feel that the solution of ‘placing less weight on the A-Level entry requirement’ rather insulting. As a student from a state school background who earned his place with three As, I resent the Government’s condescending belief that state school students can only get a place at a reputable university if the university’s standards are lowered for them. As Holly Taylor says, “A-Levels are A-Levels wherever you take them,” and worthy students will make the grade wherever they took their earlier education.

“I can see why some people wouldn’t find it appropriate, but it doesn’t bother me personally.”

Yours, Alex Rigby Chemistry Third year

Should FHM be sold in the Union?

James Meyer History Third year

Yours, Nightline

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //



Testing takeaways is probably the best student job in the world

Rating döner kebabs while you study will leave a bitter taste

Jamie Oliver won’t approve, but what’s better than being paid to eat pizzas?

Eating junk food should be a rare treat rather than an everyday experience

Peter Brennan

Emmanuelle Chazarin

You can eat as many takeaways as you can handle for a year and get paid for it. Would I consider applying for this job? Of course I would. Am I crazy? No way. I pride myself on my knowledge of practically every fast food product from nearly all takeaway outlets in Sheffield. My body is not my temple. It’s my waste disposal unit and I feel that fulfils the requirement for this situation. The money is a pretty good incentive as well and I’m sure it would be worth the resultant effects on my body. I don’t have a job at the moment. And while I’m not rummaging down the sides of every sofa, I’m not in the greatest financial situation as a third year. There will be people who say I’m whoring my body out to be abused by the fast food corporate machine but to be honest I’m willing to make that sacrifice. I don’t care if I develop a constant burger stench; there’s always deodorant. If my hair is as greasy as Marlon Brando’s in The Godfather then I won’t need gel anymore. If I develop some sort of health condition as a result of the appalling diet then as a patriot I believe in our health system and if I die then at least I won’t have

The internet has recently brought us yet another verified truth. According to 118menu, the best student job on the market is takeaway tester. Free food in exchange for extra cash? I see the appeal that this would have for students in the first minutes of reading the ad. However, the job offer is assuming that all students are the stereotypical irresponsible fast food and booze-loving kids that have left home for the first time. The truth is most young adults attending higher education expect more from university life than free fatty takeaway on a daily basis. Struggling with pots and pans is part of the student experience, especially in first year. University is intended to be a step towards adult life; when are you going to learn how to feed yourself properly if not now? We’ve got so much time on our hands that experimenting with recipes and original ingredients definitely has an up side. Making crèpes, cous cous, cakes or even just the classical pasta cheese is more of a personal victory than calling the local takeaway when hunger strikes. One of the best parts of university is learning to

Health risk or money-saving expert? died hungry. Then I take a look at the menu of delights and my confidence is reinforced. Burgers, kebabs, pizza… what more could you want?

I don’t care if I develop a constant burger stench Now, I know my job would be to test and rate new products, so it brings with it some responsibility. I’m sure that no reasonable insurance company would even consider covering me in this line of work but no doubt any company willing to advertise for a position such as this is a responsible

Art: Mark Mackay

one. If anyone in this situation is crazy it’s people who don’t see the limitless opportunities of this venture. Sure, I’ll taste the crappy food as well as the good, but it’s my decision whether or not it’s crappy. If I give it the thumbs up, you’ll all be feasting on these new delights. It’s by no means a dead end job either. Look at the potential ladder I can climb: in five years time I could be tasting food for the Queen. Or even have my own TV show: Eating Junk with Peter Brennan. There’ll be a celebrity death match featuring me. I’ll be pitted against the nemesis of takeaways Jamie Oliver and I’ll become Rotherham’s new anti-hero.


live with people who don’t love you by obligation. And what better way to bond with housemates than cooking meals and enjoying them together? Everyone makes an effort and the effort is appreciated by all; even if the sauce lacks flavour and ends up stuck on the bottom of the saucepan rather than on your plate.

Healthy eating is essential for a fit body and mind The newly-elected takeaway tester won’t take any pride in sharing a free portion of sweet and sour chicken with five housemates, will they? The job encourages terrible eating habits, with gross repercussions on the social and health life of the ambassador. I like having a takeaway once in a while, but I wouldn’t want to eat them everyday even if I was paid. This is not because I’m one of those always-on-adiet sorts, but more because I know healthy eating is essential for a fit body and mind. The ad reads: “This is the job for those whose night out isn’t complete without a takeaway on the way home, cooking is not your forte or you simply just love fast food.

“If you’re hungry for success and eager to become a student takeaway ambassador, tell us why you’re right for the job…” To which the perfect applicant would presumably answer: “I’m deeply unhealthy and clinically obese. I want to sit on my fat arse all day and not have to worry about boring activities like cooking. Bring on my free chips and burgers, I’ll get someone to run down the stairs to fetch them.” If they’re not on the large side to begin with, they certainly will be when they give up the job. Either that or dead. Type “best student job” into Google and the results include fundraising, promotional work, clinical trials and events organisation. Not all jobs you may see yourself ultimately having a career in, but they all provide you with some work experience and transferable skills. Takeaway tester, however, won’t ever cut it on your CV.

Forge Press takes its satirical aim




We’re all familiar with queueing to get into a nightclub, but Embrace took it to new levels. The draw of Blazin’ Squad’s dulcet tones and the mass hysteria of freshers’ week combined was clearly too much for some people who risked fainting to get inside. There were some valiant attempts to

There’s nothing worse than scraping crumbs off the toastie machine. Luckily, the righteous brothers at the Christian Union have set up an initiative to save you the hassle. Just text or phone in your favourite filling, and a free snack will wing its way to your door free of charge. It might save some cash, but good luck getting rid of the culinary evangelist.

Darts was well chuffed to pick up a shiny goody bag from one of the Union toilets last week. What wonders could await us inside? Sherbert? Gobstoppers? Maybe even a pot of bubbles? No. Instead, a hometesting chlamydia kit and instructions on how to put a condom on properly. A fitting homage to the 21st century student. Remember to nip the end.

gain entry; but once inside, people angrily left before they had even got up the stairs when nobody could move. But with Kenzie and co performing their chart hits on stage, we can only be surprised that the clamour to get out of the building failed to match the struggle to get inside.

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FHM freebie fallout highlights feminism’s over-sensitive side NUS Officer’s complaints over “sexist” lads mag competition are wide of the mark

Kim Chadwick

The NUS Women’s Officer, Olivia Bailey, has deemed two student marketing promotions to be “sexist, morally and politically wrong”. Bailey argues that handing out free copies of FHM at Freshers’ fairs and advertising the Miss University GB competition at universities across the country are harmful to women. She says that this sort of media will “continue to fuel negative, unrealistic and damaging ideals of what women should look like.” I went to the Freshers Fair on Wednesday where the magazines were being handed out to get the opinion of some of the students taking advantage of the giveaway. I asked both male and female students, obviously not expecting any of the men to be opposed to being given a free copy, and tried to get a fair balance of opinions. Of the students I asked three-quarters of them said they didn’t have a problem with either of the promotions. The quarter that did oppose them raised some fair points about the promotions. One girl said that handing out FHM for free made it seem more acceptable for boys to be reading it, while others simply believed it was derogatory to women.

Editorials Covert closure procedure is a cause of concern Biblical Studies students are totally within their rights to be appalled by the secretive nature with which the University has gone about concocting the closure of their academic department. Why the University failed to consult Biblical Studies students and staff remains a mystery. One can only speculate why they thought this would be acceptable. Whilst it is understandable that the University may want to close a department that is proving unpopular with prospective students and is struggling financially, why would they want to lose world-leading research and internationally renowned academics? If the undergraduate course is scrapped it will only be a matter of time before those academics leave too. The University crest carries the Latin motto: ‘Rerum Cognoscere Causas’, meaning: To Discover the Causes of Things; from Virgil’s Georgics II, 490). If any academic department at this University lives up to that motto, it is surely Biblical Studies. The department is unique and its loss would beg the question ‘who will fill the void?’ The work of the Union Sabbatical Officers in fighting for the students’ interests has been a fine example of student representation and ensuring students’ views and needs are addressed at the highest level. Whilst the department’s closure looks like it could be a done deal, it is essential that the University are pressurised and held to account in providing the academic quality existing students pay for and importantly deserve.

Fat cats need to get real

Two magazines were handed out at the Freshers’ Fair. But no one I asked focused on sex and partial described either of the nudity than More, the two promotions as explicitly are definitely comparable sexist. and it seems unfair to make As well as FHM, More such sweeping claims about magazine was also being FHM and not about More. handed out at the Fair. I I don’t think that FHM asked whether students should be banned from thought the two were student unions. I can comparable since More understand concerns that could be seen as a FHM for the magazine promotes an females, with its regular unrealistic ideal of women features such as the ‘Man but I think that concern Chart’, ‘Man Facts’, and should be taken up with ‘Men Overheard.’ the magazine itself and not Most students agreed the marketing agency. that if FHM was to be Equally I don’t think banned from the fair then advertising Miss University More should be too. While GB in unions is wrong. FHM is arguably more One of the most common

Photo: James Walsh points raised by students I asked was that no one is forcing girls to take part in this competition. It is completely optional and we cannot claim to be exploited by something we can quite easily avoid. The main problem with Bailey’s complaints is her overly harsh wording. The campaigns shouldn’t be described as morally wrong. They’re not designed to intentionally harm anyone or deliberately exploit women. This seems to me to be a case of feminism gone mad.

It comes as no surprise at all to hear the corporate fat cats of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have said fees are too low and that too many students go to university. One suspects that when they say too many school leavers go to university, they don’t mean their own children. Many of the CBI’s elite and 200,000 membership owe their jobs, salaries and lifestyles to opportunities created by a free university education. So what have they got against today’s school leavers, who will most probably face fees in the region of £5,000 in the near future and an obliterated jobs market created by their greed and incompetence? These fat cats should realise that not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouths and that higher education should be accessible for the many and not the few. It is essential to this country’s development and recovery that we have every child reaching their potential and not just those whose parents have a healthy bank balance.

We need fee promise It is worrying to see the Liberal Democrats drop their commitment to scrap university tuition fees if they were elected into government. Whilst they claim it may not be doable in the lifetime of one Parliament they tell us that they would scrap fees in a successive parliament, providing the nation’s finances are in a better state. Why is it that they are flipflopping on the issue? Nick Clegg should decide which side of the fence he is on before students accuse him of possessing a sore bottom and ditch his party at the next election.

Forge Press Editor, Media Hub, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TG,

BAE scandal shows Uni have shaken hands with the devil Paul Garbett It comes as no surprise that the Serious Fraud Office intends to prosecute BAE Systems on corruption charges relating to millions of pounds in bribes paid to win foreign contracts. Tales of bribery and corruption at BAE systems are nothing new. In 2003, The Guardian first reported that BAE had used an undercover slush fund to pay bribes as part of the £43billion al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

If they are convicted of any wrongdoing, then it is time for our Uni to sever all ties with BAE, whose unethical practices are clear for all to see. Former Labour minister Claire Short claims that British aid to fund free primary education in Tanzania could have been used to pay for a military air traffic control system, supplied by BAE. Given the seriousness of the allegations, you could be forgiven for being a tad surprised that the University of Sheffield is a significant shareholder in

BAE Systems. It is appalling that our university continues to be actively involved in the murky business of the arms trade. It is an industry that is happy to grease the palms of foreign governments and enter arms deals with impoverished countries. While there may be some good reasons for the university to want to forge links with BAE Systems, it is still deeply disturbing that British universities like ours are lining their pockets from a company who will gain lucrative contacts in whatever way

possible. University officials may like to downplay the investigations into BAE and their role at the University of Sheffield.

It is time for our Uni to sever all ties with BAE But this saga will rightly place the relationship between major arms

companies and our University back into the spotlight. The University are quick to use their website’s homepage to boast that they are saving lives in Africa through charitable awareness. However, it is unlikely that they will be shouting from the rooftops about their stake in a corporation who are allegedly happy to pay backhanders to dodgy middlemen, hire prostitutes for questionable politicians and export arms to third world countries whose people cannot afford them.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //



Sheffield activists lacking action amid squatting saga Culture of the SAN could be undermined if there are more empty protests Michael Hunter

They’re a busy lot down at the Sheffield Activist Network (SAN). After voicing their complaints among scores of protesters at the Labour Party conference, they could well have wallowed in a job well done after The Sun urged the masses to ditch Brown days later. But SAN, who recruited budding student activists at last month’s Activities Fair, were plotting again this Monday when they met at the Sheffield Squatted Social Centre to discuss opposition to the Uni’s new registrar Philip Harvey. But instead of demoing outside Firth Court on Wednesday, the activists found themselves in court after the University got an injunction to have them removed from the building on Pisgah House Road. So the squatters amicably packed up their manky mattresses on Tuesday night and rolled into their 10.30am hearing at Sheffield County Court. While for their part, the University showed no sign of removing them by force. It was a mini-clash between anti-capitalists and the University which was threatening, remarkably, to end without controversy. That was until a visibly shocked judge read out a request for legal fees

totalling over £20,000. It was an end to a short-lived saga which left neither side covered in glory. For all their efforts, the squatters occupied the building for less than a week in a project that smacked of doing something because it was slightly more interesting than watching Homes Under the Hammer.

My burning question was: “What’s the point?” When I visited, there were two people involved in a useful workshop on bike repairs. Elsewhere though, the squat was a bundle of inactivity. Particularly so in the ineptly and inaptly named “kid’s zone”, which boasted no children and one piano. The haphazard crèche certainly didn’t strike me as an ideal childminding venue, especially with a pig mask hung up in the hallway. My guide told me the room could do with a lick of paint. Presumably he was thinking bright yellow to make it more child-friendly, but if he did have a change of heart a smattering of black would’ve made it instantly

suitable for an exorcist. As we moved towards the stairs it was kindly suggested, minutes before their “public” SAN meeting was about to begin, that press people might not be so welcome. This despite an inclusive “open door” policy which was paradoxically implemented with the aid of 20 locks and bolts on the front door. I left the squat bemused. My burning question was: “What’s the point?” And the answer seemed to be: “There isn’t one, really.” And I was left even further puzzled by the fact that such a sensitive meeting ultimately yielded no action against Harvey. The squatting scheme was launched without the brazen antics to which the SAN has become somewhat synonymous. But, apparently, that’s because it’s wasn’t the SAN who were behind the squatted centre. Oh no. You see, the centre had a non-hierarchical structure, so nobody was behind it. Overall, I found it an underwhelming and un-inspiring p r o j e c t ; especially when you consider the SAN’s track record. Whether or not you agree with the activists’ a g e n d a , their ability to communicate their point effectively can’t be questioned. Their occupation of the Hicks

SAN have voiced opposition to the Uni’s new registrar. lecture theatre was the talk of the Union earlier this year. But activism is a culture which attracts a mixture of incredibly driven and incredibly undecided individuals in unequal measure. Though rather unfairly, it is the strong-willed and opinionated charges are met with most mockery Paul over a frothy coffee. Scriven For me, the passionate protester resonates much more powerfully than the indecisive passenger, of Leader, Sheffield City Council whom there are so many. I suspect it was those passengers who sat twiddling their thumbs It gives me great pleasure in the squat over the past to welcome you back to week rather than hatching Sheffield. It’s important to me that a plan to unsettle our new this is a city where students registrar. feel welcome. Everyone tells me what a great place Sheffield is to live: the friendly atmosphere, the nightlife, the people. I know that a lot of you to claim that the cleaning have had problems with cuts will inevitably lead to your student loans this an increase in the illness. year. That’s why I’ve been It seems yet another case campaigning for student of jumping on a bandwagon landlords to defer the first when it rolled past several rent payment for those weeks ago. whose loans have been Surely it would be more delayed. effective for the people in the UCU to plunge their energies into wiping their desks and setting up bin-shares, rather than expressing outrage at what is essentially a basic money-saving scheme? The thought of a collection of nervous office workers sitting huddled at their desks surrounded I’d like to personally by a forest of files and thank the hundreds of scared to venture across students who turned out an un-vacuumed carpet is to sign our petition at the almost as ridiculous as the Freshers’ Fair. complaints being made.

Higher education should be free for all

Beating swine flu by sharing office bins André Nunn If complaints are to be believed, bins will be left overflowing, desks splattered with coffee and carpets scattered with mess due to new cleaning cuts enforced by the University. Weeks after announcing they will cut jobs to raise the money needed to help clear the Uni’s debts, they have now decided that encouraging staff to clear up after themselves is the next best step forward. The University and College Union (UCU) have criticised the Uni for plummeting to new lows of cleanliness in the middle of a global pandemic. However, it’s not the

threat of swine flu or the thought of workers hidden in a fortress of unruly piles of paper, but the fact that office workers will be forced to wipe up their own tea spillages, which appears to be the biggest issue. I doubt limiting vacuuming to every two to three weeks will contribute massively to the spread of swine flu, if it is even still considered a major problem in Sheffield. In an email sent to staff, employees were encouraged to clean around their own desks and share bins with

neighbouring colleagues if they got too full. The UCU responded by issuing a press release calling the Uni a ‘swine flu university.’ The Uni has recently announced plans to conduct research into the deadly strain, but I doubt this is what the UCU were referring to. S w i n e flu, while undeniably worrying, has not posed any real threat to healthy people as yet so it strikes me as odd that the UCU has tried

Art: Natasha Maisey

Due to a free education, I could get my degree

I have written to the two universities and the five largest providers of student accommodation in the city to ask that they treat these cases sensitively. Hopefully this will see a response However, if you are having problems with your landlord, I’d like to hear about it. A lot of people have asked me about my stance on tuition fees and I couldn’t be any clearer. I am absolutely and passionately against them. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for a free higher education. I spent my first two years after leaving school digging roads. Due to a free education, I could get my degree. It couldn’t be more important to me that everyone has that opportunity. We don’t yet know whether we can afford to scrap fees in the next Parliament because the nation’s finances are terrible. But I’m as committed to a free university education now as I was when I was president of my student union in Manchester. I will never stop campaigning to make sure that it happens. Feel free to let me know about any issues I can help you with. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and have a great first semester back.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

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Making waves for key brain research

Forge Press speaks to teenage yachtsman Michael Perham and veteran Don McIntyre about their voyage in aid of Sheffield Institute of Neuroscience

Kate Dobinson Streaming red flares danced in the murky grey sky at Gunwharf Quays as the 50ft yacht proudly heralding the return of the youngest person to solo circumnavigate around the world, came into view. Thousands of red cheeked fans cheered, cameras flashed and the flotilla of boats swayed and jostled their greeting on the dark froth of water. At the place where Lord Admiral Nelson had so famously armed the HMS Victory before sailing to Trafalgar, the crowd welcomed the return of Michael Perham, the 17-year-old teenager from Potters Bar, who had spent nine months sailing 30,000 recordbreaking miles across the oceans of the globe. That was over a month ago, and now Perham is partaking in a 4,000 mile re-enactment of the Bounty Boat Expedition, a trip which will mimic the route Captain William Bligh took 221 years ago in 1978 and will raise money for the Sheffield Institute of Neuroscience (SIF). The team of four also includes two sailors who are currently unknown. Led by Don McIntyre, a sailing veteran with over 40 years of experience, he says if you want to be considered you “have to have $20,000, be passionate, and have shown you have your head in the right place.” McIntyre continues: “They have to answer 32 Questions like, ‘do you think you will die on BB and if not why not?” The group will inhabit an eight metre wooden whaler less than half the size of Bligh’s boat in their testing quest of survival. “How to go to the toilet without toilet paper will be one of the first things we learn,” McIntyre says. On the other hand, “trying to get close to what Bligh was thinking” is what McIntyre is looking forward to most. Mental strength, will be essential, but McIntyre is no stranger to that. “1995 was a year of total isolation, living together alone in a box , 8ft by 12ft, chained to rocks in the windiest place on earth, Cape Denison in Antarctica, with my best friend and wife Margie. “We sailed down there in our 60ft yacht and set up the box. We are now considered the world’s first Antarctic colonialists, pretty neat hey.” The hardest part of the

impending expedition will be “the 26 day leg non-stop from Tofoa to Queensland and the Barrier Reef; it will be a serious challenge just staying afloat, which is why I am glad I will have Mike on board,” McIntyre says. Of course it is this display of mental endurance which makes the point of Bounty Boat all the more poignant. Irene Beard, Foundation secretary for the Sheffield Institute says: “This expedition is very special. They are extremely strong and are going through extremely difficult challenges and they will help the weaker people with motor neurone disease”. Motor Neurone disease, (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. Degeneration of motor neurones leads to a weakness and wasting of the muscles, a loss of mobility and speech difficulties.

‘Being alone, there is nobody there to help you’ Mike Perham, sailor Beard explains: “One of our patrons, Stuart Keane, was surfing the net and saw the expedition. We at the Sheffield Institute had just had a great expedition which raised money for the institute by a group trekking to the South Pole last December. “They raised £700,000 and made a huge success of it for us. We got in touch with Don because it was a good succession from this”. “The Institute now has enough money and is just being built now in Sheffield, but we aim to fund a number of research posts at the institute. “The world of neuroscience knows that this is the first institute in the world and American scientists have already applied to come and work here. These are very important scientists. It is exciting”. Perham met McIntyre when he was forced to stop in Australia on his round-the-world journey., the craft whose choice was harder to handle for being an open racing yacht, was Perham’s only companion. Whilst the vessel saw him across five

capes it had to stop unpredictably in Portugal, Gran Canaria and Cape Town too. “During his solo circumnavigation I was following his blog and I am a big supporter of adventure,” McIntyre says. “As it happened I was sponsoring Jessica Watson by getting her a boat and some gear. When Mike had to call into Hobart [where he lives] for rudder repairs, I was on the dock to meet him at 1am in the morning”. “Being alone, there is nobody there to help you”, Perham says. “No physical contact with anyone if you just want a hug. Or staring into someone’s eyes, small things like that I found the hardest”. But Mike’s loneliness was abated when “a short stop turned into living with us for over a month,” says McIntyre. Such pauses meant that Perham finished his voyage in nine months instead of the four previously planned. As a result he was not able to achieve the unassisted sailing record. “It’s not easy but it is part of it, that’s what makes it a challenge. There was times when I questioned why I was doing it. But those times pass and then the next day you might be on the biggest high ever,” says Perham. McIntyre said: “We had plenty of laughs; even got him up to Queensland so the two of us could go sailing with Jessica in her boat. She is now out to try beating Mike’s record and he is helping her with plenty of advice.” Watson, who is now attempting the same record Perham has set himself, has been advised to abort her solo trip after a recent collision with another ship, a mistake that has been speculated to be the result of inexperience over technical failures. McIntyre demonstrates that reports have been arbitrary and incorrect. “I think it was mainly a bad decision. At the end of the day she made a mistake, so did the ship (her AIS was on, seen by the ship many miles out and then the ship appears to have made two significant course corrections) and you learn from that. “Unfortunately there has been a lot of misreporting which doesn‘t help anyone. But even that goes with the territory, if you seek media and sponsors, you have to treat that whole thing as part of the deal. “Anyway, I know her very well; she has more than enough

‘1995 was a year of total isolation, living in a box’ Don McIntyre, veteran sailing experience and all the formal qualifications to attempt this voyage. You learn from your mistakes and move on, that is what she is doing. Having said that, anything can still happen during her voyage, that is the nature of the sea, but she and the boat is

well prepared and I support her 110 per cent”. “I know Mike is very competent and experienced, with a suitably warped humour, so I am not going out there expecting to teach him much about sailing. I think I have seen a bit more of life than him and with no iPods, we will be talking quite a lot, so maybe if I knew I would be able to tell him about the meaning of life but I doubt that will happen either”. The pioneering and relentless pursuit that is at one with, and yet at the same time defies nature, will keep both the Bounty Boat Expedition and The Sheffield Institute of Neuroscience riding the crest of their waves for sure.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //

FORGE PRESS Friday September 19 2008



Zimbabwean students fight for their right to education Forge Press investigates the collapse of the higher education system in Zimbabwe, which has left a generation of young people with nowhere to study.

Paul Garbett September saw thousands of students jamming phone lines, worried that their student loan wouldn’t arrive in time for the start of term, sparking a national outcry and calls for our student finance system to be overhauled Yet over 5,000 miles away in troubled Zimbabwe, the financial problems faced by British students are put into a much wider perspective. While the University of Sheffield’s first year population were worrying if their student loan would stretch to fund a week of freshers week fun, students in Zimbabwe struggle to access clean drinking water.

In August, four students were arrested for attending a university meeting The last academic year in Zimbabwe was in effect cancelled, with a lack of lecturers to teach students and rapid inflation making it near impossible for students to pay rising tuition fees. And those who are brave enough to speak out against the lack of higher education infrastructure face the risk of arrest or torture. The current education situation demonstrates yet another area of sad decline in a country once known as “the breadbasket of Africa”, but where millions of people are now starving.

Student leaders protest against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (pictured bottom left). For many years Zimbabwe’s education system was held up as a shining example of an African success story, with the immaculate grounds of the University of Zimbabwe being the envy of many other African countries. In 1984 Edinburgh University awarded President Robert Mugabe an honorary degree for his services to education. Yet in 2007, Edinburgh took the unprecedented step of revoking Mugabe’s degree, a testament to the downward spiral Zimbabwe’s education system has experienced over recent years. Today, the once envied teaching facilities at the University of Zimbabwe lie in tatters with buildings crumbling and falling down. The university opened its doors to students eight months late this year, with no clean water available until UNICEF drilled 13 water boreholes on campus. “The situation is very fragile” says Mark Deacon from Action for

Southern Africa, a charity which is campaigning for Zimbabwean students. “When students have tried standing up for their rights, quite often they are being received by a hostile police force who have randomly arrested student leaders”, he said. Economic conditions for the average Zimbabwean remain dire. The dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy, introduced in January 2009 as an attempt to kick-start the financial system, has meant that many students cannot afford fees. Inflation reached 281million per cent last year and the Zimbabwean Dollar is practically worthless, leaving students to scrape together US Dollars in a bid to pay higher education fees. Humanities students’ fees now amount to US$404 a year: wildly out of reach in a country where over half the population live on less than US$1 per day. With universities struggling to maintain staff levels due a mass exodus of lecturers to neighbouring countries,

Zimbabwe’s National Union of Students declared 2008 “a non academic year as no meaningful learning took place”. The arrest of student leaders for arranging protests and meetings have also prompted concerns for

Once envied facilities at the University of Zimbabwe now lie in tatters personal safety. The Zimbabwe National Students Union claims that its members have been the victims of violence and torture, because they have spoken out against Mugabe’s government and its lack of provision for education. In August, four students were beaten and arrested while attending a meeting on university issues. Thanks to international

outcry, they were released after two nights in prison, but still face charges under the Criminal Law Act for “participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry”. But while young people in Zimbabwe struggle to gain a degree, students from wealthier backgrounds are escaping the country to attend foreign universities. Robert Mugabe’s own daughter attends the University of Hong Kong, far away from the inadequate higher education system headed by her father. Only time will tell whether the new political agreement will help the students of Zimbabwe, but with an academic system in crisis and the situation becoming increasingly desperate, the decline of this once proud educational nation will consider for sometime. Leaving a generation of talented young people to miss out on further education and an opportunity that so many of us take for granted.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2008



Calling the city to God

Worshippers enjoy freedom to express their Christian belief in whichever way they wish

Lucie Boase “What was that you just said?” “I don’t know, I was speaking in tongues”. And so my curiosity was sparked, by a tea-time exchange with my flatmate in the kitchen of first year halls. Speaking in tongues? I thought that was limited to the Bible, and the events of the Pentecost. Apparently not. Glossolalia, to use the correct terminology, is just one of the slightly extraordinary things I am now aware of actually occurring in real life, along with seeing visions - prophesies - and the healing of physical ailments through prayer.

It made religion - often so seemingly austere - look simple and unpretentious I was invited to attend the Sunday evening service at St. Thomas’ Church Philadelphia, and yes, out of pure, unashamed curiosity, I jumped at the chance. From the outset I must make it clear that I’m hardly the religious novice – I spent the best part of my childhood with confession on a Saturday, church on a Sunday

Art: Lucie Boase

An invitation to attend a service at St. Thomas’ Church Philadelphia provided Forge Press with an invaluable insight into Christian worship and taunts about my huge Catholic family all week round. But like many of my peers, I gave up religion as soon as I could, and since then I’ve occupied the position of hardened, if slightly ill-informed, cynic. I was amazed, then, to discover that strong Christian belief, coupled with an evangelising spirit, is far from dead; in fact, especially in the student population, it’s experiencing a considerable revival. It’s something of a phenomenon, and personally, I’m entirely intrigued. On arrival at the service, we were greeted by the designated ‘welcome team’; people were mingling and chatting, and the band was warming up. Despite my gawping (the dictaphone and notebook hardly helped), I couldn’t have felt more welcome in the huge open-plan hall. The atmosphere was one of almost frenetic excitement - it reminded me of the beginning of a gig. Then we were asked to take our seats, and it all began. The whole event was something so far removed from anything I have ever experienced that I can draw no comparisons. Approximately 60 per cent of the two hour service consisted of singing hymns, for which the

verses were beamed onto an enormous projection screen. I was surprised to recognise only one of the songs as something I’ve heard before in church; the others comprised of simplistic lyrics set to Pop-like melodies, the kind of which I’d more readily expect from Coldplay: “We will meet Him in the air/ And then we will be like Him/ Oh yeah”. Equally stunning was the considerable informality of proceedings. During the service, people casually walked around, chatted, and paid a visit to the coffee machine. I even saw someone at the back taking a phone call. Call me an old traditionalist, but church used to be somewhere you went on Sunday, dressed in your best, for an hour of fire and brimstone from a distant pulpit. You wouldn’t dream of wandering the aisles, far less doing so barefoot. Admittedly, this point of reference of mine comes from the church of my childhood – decidedly ‘high church’, with its attention fixed upon ceremony and ritual. I was brought up to frown upon such expression of religious belief as ‘happy-clappy’. The version of Christianity espoused by large city centre churches like

St. Thomas’s is born out of an amalgamation of Anglican and Baptist beliefs.With its emphasis on extrovert, exhibitionalist worship through movement and song, it makes religion – often seen as being so austere and rigid - seem so simple, so relaxed. It’s hard to isolate the one aspect which surprised me most. Perhaps it was when a family, whose tragic personal circumstances were somewhat sensationally vaunted by the preacher, were welcomed on stage to be prayed for by the congregation. Or maybe when two young men were baptised in a purposebuilt pool at the back of the hall, with a live video link-up relaying events. Or when, towards the end of the service, the leader encouraged people to go forward for healing, asserting that if you had something wrong - for example, a twisted ankle - you could “get some prayer for that”. The attraction of religion in this environment is easy to identify. Churches like St. Thomas’, Philadelphia (nicknamed “Philly”) seem to have hit on a simple, but magical, formula. There’s the friendly, accepting atmosphere; the catchy lyrics and infectious beat of the hymns; the apparently easy absolution; the

free tea and biscuits afterwards. People are encouraged to ‘move into the space around them’; from the dancing and arm-waving, we could have been at Pop Tarts. No wonder, I kept thinking, that students find it so appealing. Perhaps a more useful analogy is a football match, exemplified in everything from the huge crowd (I was told that the eventual congregation - that is, for both Sunday services - reaches 2000), to the call-and-response of the preacher (“Amen?” “Amen.”), to the t-shirted, cheer-leader-esque welcome team.

The soft-rock hymns with their simplistic lyrics puts one in mind of Coldplay Ultimately, it fills a certain niche - our apparent need for a sense of belonging, of sharing a commonality with others, being a part of a group. As I was told by one member of the congregation, “church is family”. Despite my superficial disappointment at failing to witness more glossolalia, I can easily say that it was a memorable experience. I may still be a cynic, but I certainly found the whole thing enlightening – although perhaps not in the way my fellow worshippers might have hoped.

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Lifestyle Four of the best: Comics Steve Hughes

Michael McIntyre Sheffield Arena, Oct 17th-19th. Without a doubt the most talked about comedian of the past year, Micheal McIntyre will run riot in Sheffield. Equipped with a number one selling DVD, numerous TV performances and a hair cut which bounces every time he speaks; McIntyre is not to be missed.

Jimmy Carr Oval Hall, Oct 10-11th. Possibly the most talented comedian on the British circuit at the moment, Jimmy Carr will grace the stages of Sheffield mid-October, promising to delight audiences with his sharp wit and intelligence capable of making even the most cynical of critics cry with laughter.

Toby Foster Memorial Hall, Oct 15th. Probably the funniest Radio DJ in Sheffield, Toby Foster is here for one night only. Learning his trade by starring alongside the likes of Peter Kay and Dave Spikey in the cult TV sitcom Phoenix night’s, Foster’s unique style is one of charm, cheek and utter brilliance.

Simon Amstell Oval Hall, Oct 18th. Simon Amstell will be the funniest curly haired comedian in Sheffield on October 18th. Amstell’s wit and sarcasm will shine through the Oval Hall. For details about how to win tickets for this performance see our pull-out section, Fuse.

Fashion Food & Drink Health & Fitness Technology Sex & Relationships

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

Hero of the fortnight Gok Wan The one and only girl’s best friend is back this week with a new series of How to Look Good Naked.

How you can do shoulder pads Hannah O’Connell & Vicky Shaw No you’re not stuck in an ’80s time warp, enhanced shoulders are very now. You might think this trend should strictly stay on the pages of magazines but in fact we found the high street is brimming with wearable shoulder padded, sequinned and ruffled garments. You can be as subtle or daring as you like and judging by what students are wearing on nights out in Sheffield we are all definitely embracing our shoulders. Embellished shoulders If you’re not hooked yet you could buy a top or dress with sequin-embellished shoulders. Shoulder embellishment is an easier way to follow the trend; this understated detailing draws attention away from areas you might be self conscious about, in the same way a large necklace can. Shoulder embellishment can also work for broader shouldered ladies who may feel shoulder pads don’t flatter their figure. You don’t need to look far to find this trend in the shops. Topshop had loads of dresses and tops with sequinned and studded embellished shoulders like this pink, one-sleeved dress (right, £40). For a more daytime look New Look have introduced a limited edition biker jacket with studded shoulder detail; at £150 it is pricey but there is 20 per cent off for students at the moment. At an £8 steal Primark had a colourfully sequinned grey t-shirt, perfect for those of you who aren’t totally sure about shoulders yet. Ruffles Another easy way to wear the shoulder-inspired look is ruffles. Again there were loads of dresses

and tops on the high street perfect for day-wear and for going out. With ruffles and shoulders both big trends this season you’re on to a winner with a colourful ruffle sleeved top that we found in River Island on “Star Buy” for £17. Sheffield students are also loving this look as demonstrated by the fairly casual but ultra cool ruffled grey dress (below right). Shoulder pads Now on to the most daring shouldered look: the shoulder pad. The concept of shoulder pads might seem scary and ultra dressed up but in fact there were loads of wearable styles around. For instance, Topshop had an understated yet bang-ontrend casual pink jumper for £28. While it may not be as attention grabbing as some pieces it’s a bit more exciting than your average

lecture wear. Another item you can wear day or night is a padded blazer. Skirts, short, jeans or dresses - this goes with them all and gives an edge to a wardrobe staple. Blazers are set to stick around into 2010 so you will definitely get your wear out of it. Looking round the shops it was easy to find loads of shoulder padded styles that had just a small amount of padding enabling you to test out the trend before going all out. The blue sequinned Topshop dress (£45), donned by a student at Space (far right), is a perfect example; the shape of the neck enhances the bigshouldered effect without there being masses of padding. Primark also have a leopard print dress ( r i g h t ) containing a small

shoulder pad; it is the material structure that boosts the impression of an exaggerated shoulder. For £15 you can experiment with this pattern; although it looks garish on the rail, teamed with a studded belt and edgy black shoe boots this is the perfect rock-chick outfit. Now for the most confident fashionistas: the structured shoulder pad. This does look scary and you definitely need to have bags of confidence to pull it off. However, if you do you will look

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

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Gadget of the fortnight

Product of the fortnight

Villain of the fortnight

iTalk £44.88 Don’t take notes just record the lecture straight into your iPod, and listen at your leisure.

CozyFeet Boots £16.95 Fluffy slipper boots with a twist. Just pop in the microwave and they will keep your toes toasty all Winter.

Student Finance England What loan? Where’s my grant?? And why can no-one verify my last name???

Review: The Frog and Parrot Amy Garrot From the outside the Frog and Parrot doesn’t give much away. It looks like your average posh pub, as a fresher I would never have thought to step foot inside. But they do say never judge a book by its cover. The interior looks like something out of Changing Rooms, with velvet flocked wallpaper and extravagant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, along with an eclectic selection of paintings and records on the walls. However, somehow it works and adds character of this age old pub. On the Division Street/ Devonshire Street divide, it prides itself on its connections with Sheffield’s music scene. With Joe Cocker ‘discovered’ at the pub, it seems a pretty safe bet if you’re looking to enjoy some live up and coming local talent. The pub acts as a venue for gigs that are held most weekends and throughout the week. The Frog and Parrot is also ideal

if you’re looking for somewhere to eat out on a budget. Most of the main courses are priced under a fiver and they’re a challenge to finish. The menu contains your standard pub food ranging, from burgers and sandwiches, to the renowned ‘Yorkshire Wrap’. A batter based wrap containing roast beef, most certainly worth a try if you’re having roast dinner withdrawal symptoms. Service was also fantastic, the staff were very friendly and happy to chat - clearly passionate and enthusiastic about the pub. It’s easy to see why it is so busy. A large selection of real ales also brings in a varied crowd; sitting amongst the older generation, regulars, and students adds to the quirkiness and it’s refreshing to get away from totally student venues. If you want a laid back night out and to soak up some of Sheffield’s culture then the Frog and Parrot is just the place to do it. Don’t be intimidated that it’s not your usual pound-a-pint venue, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Trendy but inviting: The Frog and Parrot exterior.

Cheap, Quick and Stylish: Cyber-Fashion

Photo: Paul Hollingsworth

Don’t dispute

Keri O’Riordan The speed and convenience provided by Internet shopping means that it’s here to stay. Many of us are now able to access our high street without ever leaving the comfort of our duvet. However there is also a wide range of other web sites, purely accessible by the Internet which provides cheap and stylish clothing delivered to your door. Also with the Internet providing so much more choice than the high street you’re less likely to run into someone wearing the same outfit as you (and looking much better in it.) Here are some of the lesser known sites around at the moment, so with your loan burning a hole in your pocket it is probably time to get clicking

amazing. If it’s good enough for Kate Moss then it’s good enough for you. This monochrome extreme shouldered dress from River Island (top), £65, is definitely eye catching – even more so with its low back. However, this must be worn with confidence or else you will look like a sheepish Star Trek extra. At first look you might think you could never pull off shoulder pads, but give it a go and you will see that there is something affordable for everyone. This site is easy to navigate and offers next day delivery, perfect when you need the perfect dress in a hurry. In addition the site offers more than just party dresses; you can also find a wide range of garments to suit your needs. However the main selling point of this website is price, the more expensive dresses are still only priced at a very reasonable £25 with most between £12 and £20. So if you simply cannot be seen in the same thing twice but need to budget this could be the site for you. The by-line for this site is feel like a star, and wearing a dress from this site I probably would. There are a lot of sequins and silk, however unlike other websites, shopping on goddiva will not stretch your loan as far as some other sites.

Caption Furthermore the website has wide range of styles which may suit a lot more people then some sites. If you have a bit more money to burn or your looking for something special, is the place to go. Offering something unique while also showcasing some of the best dresses from places such as Lipsy and French Connection, your almost guaranteed to find a showstopper. Asos is hardly a lesser known web site, but you can’t talk about online shopping without mentioning it. Asos has quickly become a serious rival to the high street. Offering unique designs as well as gorgeous dresses from well loved names such as Coast and Karen Millen. The layout allows you to define your searches by criteria such as style, colour and price, which makes finding your ideal dress simple.

Lauren Astbury. In Friends the six of them lived like sardines with no problems; the reality though is pretty different. As fun as sharing can be, it’s inevitable to have clashes and disagreements with people you live with. Here are some tips to avoid any arguments; 1. Compromise You might not all have the same tastes and opinions but it’s important to find a way to compromise. It’s a good idea to all hang out once a week, maybe have a meal together or go clubbing and catch up to avoid drifting apart over petty differences. 2. Finances Another issue is shared finances. Paying the bills isn’t fun, but it needs to be done. You might want to set up a joint account that everyone chips in to but whichever way, make sure to pay the bills on time and discuss it together before tensions mount. 3. Cleaning As a fresher, you’re mainly too drunk or hung-over to notice the mess. A house is often nicer and bigger and butting heads over whose turn it is to clean is going to grate. You could go the traditional route of a cleaning rota, or have a day a week where you all muck in.

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009


Madame Whiplash

Fear of a first year


othing tends to kill the mood faster than a crier, and I’m not talking about the sort of crying that’s happened after someone got their safety words mixed up. I’m talking rather about the kind that comes with an emotional fall out. Now this is a rare event, it had never happened to me, infact I didn’t believe it existed until a friend told me that she was halfway through doing the deed when her partner in crime broke down, admitted he’d just split up with his girlfriend of four years and bolted out of the room so quickly she was pretty sure his underpants were still halfway down his knees. I was never really worried about bringing home a crier, and worse still I didn’t think it would ruin my favourite time of year, freshers’ week. I’m all prepared for an action filled week and after a relatively drunken Saturday night I spot him, little did I know I had clocked my very first crier. He’s broad, tall, and very manly for a boy of just 18. After a brief flirting session we’re quickly back to mine. What follows is standard: kissing followed by the removal of clothes, but as I’m about to move in for the kill, I find my fresher frozen and to my absolute horror, he’s burst into tears. I can’t get my clothes on fast enough. Before a tear has hit my pillow I’ve called a cab. We sat together for an excruciating 10 minutes while we waited for it to arrive. At this point he decides it’s appropriate to tell me how he misses his mum and that this is his first time away from home. Apparently he didn’t expect university life to be so hard core, he made a one night stand sound like an episode of late night Hollyoaks. Needless to say, he put the fear of freshers into me for the rest of the week.

London Fashion Week: The lowdown Kate Warburton You can always rely on London Fashion Week to bring home some of the finest names in the industry and this year was no exception. Celebrating its 25th anniversary our capital saw world renowned designers returning in what can only be described as a triumphant style. Christopher Kane, Matthew Williamson and Luella are amongst the British designers that returned and in turn reminded the world why London has earned its place as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Moving away from the somewhat dark and grungy inspired autumn wardrobe we’ve been working as of late, the Spring/Summer 2010 collections seem to be sporting a lighter colour palette and more delicate fabrics. Leather and denim were replaced with silk and

fine knit, studs and rips were covered with floaty twists and soft detailing. Kane’s gingham chiffon dress was lauded by all who saw it whilst Scottish brand Pringle presented a collection of luxe knitwear notable for its modernity and wear ability. Funky and fun collections from Erdem and Issa bought splashes of colour and vitality to the proceedings whilst still maintaining the prevailing grown up air that the designers opted for. It was in many ways a more refined take on fashion this year and whilst hem lines stayed short and attitudes remained strong, sophistication seemed the key. Meanwhile the front rows were packed with their usual A-listers; Alexa Chung, Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few. What they were wearing is of as much interest as what we can expect in 2010. It was Emma Watson who definitely stole the show when she turned up to the Burberry party in a beautiful gold foil mini dress, complete with statement zip.

To drink or not to drink? Sarah Taylforth

Is this over my average units?

Moderation doesn’t always exist in the mind of a student; but does it really matter? Pain killers and a shower make the 9am lecture bearable and the headache is surely worth it for the upcoming cascade of tagged photos. However, I’m not so sure. During freshers’ week, I was put on antibiotics and couldn’t drink at all. That didn’t mean that I totally missed out because, unlike some, I believe that you can still have a great night without being wasted. It’s not likely students are going to stop drinking but

you might think about how much you are drinking. With two to three units for women recommended per day it’s interesting to think how much more I would have had, if I hadn’t been ill. Before being put on antibiotics I might have thought that I’d have to be highly intoxicated to go out in a pirate costume, but in fact I still did this sober. With 10 times as many people dying each year from alcohol related causes than in road accidents, I might just take heed from my sober freshers’ week. Although, I can’t promise every night is going to be an alcohol-free one.

Photo: Paul Hollingsworth

Society of the fortnight: The flying teapots Emily Williams I attended the Flying Teapots circus society Give-it-a-Go with some trepidation; the quirky name conjuring strange images of what was to follow. However the (thankfully) teapot-free session proved to be really enjoyable with a wide range of circus skills taught in a friendly, informal manner by the experienced members of the society. At first I tried my hand at juggling with soft balls, failing dismally I didn’t try and advance onto juggling with skittles and instead tried my hand at the hula hoop. I learnt how to spin it round my arms, legs and elbows;, then I advanced onto performing sequences with it, which was challenging and really good fun. With the experienced members of the society on-hand to teach beginners how to do loads of different tricks, other people in the session tried poi and diabolo. Poi, which I can describe as (expertly) swinging a ball in an empty stocking, and diabolo where a piece of rope is manipulated to throw up and catch an hourglass sand-timer like object or “diabolo”. With expert help many people in the group had mastered these tricks by the end of the hour long

session, although due to my lack of co-ordination, sadly I was not one of them. The society also offers more daring activities, such as unicycling (they have a unicycle hockey team) as well as performances with fire. This diversity is what makes the society accessible to everybody, no matter whether you have any previous experience or (as in my case) absolutely no hand-eye coordination.

One activity is performing with fire. Moreover, the session leaders were enthusiastic, friendly and extremely supportive of beginners. The society meets 7pm to 9pm every Monday in St Andrew’s Church on Hanover Way; more details can be found via the Union website. I was surprised at how much fun I had, even with my lack of success at some of the activities. With more practise I am hoping that my hula-hooping skills will be amazing and one day someone might even get me on a unicycle. I’d recommend everybody Giveit-a-Go.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

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TRAVEL Foreign Correspondent

Evacuate the dance floor Jo Wendel I’m in a city renowned for its 24-hour nightlife and übercool underground clubs, yet on my first night out I find myself in what seems to be the German equivalent of Embrace. This was not what I signed up for. Endless strings of glitter are flowing down from above the bar. The walls are covered with pictures of glitter and diamonds whilst the ceiling boosts an impressive collection of disco balls. On the other side of the dance floor the balding, middle-aged DJ is rocking in his booth. The crowd is feeling it. The all-tourist crowd I might add. There are more Brits than Germans present. Judging by the outfits and the couple dryhumping in the corner people are looking for a good time. It’s every “Brits on holiday” stereotype condensed into one sweaty, sparkling room. But really I should have seen this coming. If you’re offered a half-price ticket you know it’s a place you don’t want to be. To make things worse all the writing on the ticket was in English, always a bad sign when you’re on the continent. The female depicted on it had such a crazy glow she might well be a Chernobyl survivor. Against our common sense and gut feeling we went anyway and ended up having a not completely awful night. Admittedly it wasn’t the greatest of nights but I’ve got a whole year to make up for it. It reminds me of moving to Sheffield. For a whole day I thought the Moor was the main high street. As I was planning my escape the kind hotel receptionist whipped out a map and told me about Division Street, Fargate and all the joys of West Street. Two years later I know the ins and outs of the city, all my likes and dislikes. Every new corner is no longer a new adventure. It’s just another Gregg’s. If moving to Berlin means risking a few failed nights, so be it. Ignorance is a pretty integral part of adventures.

Read Jo’s blog and see pictures at

Photo: Natalie Johnson

Situated on Hollywood Hills here stands possibly the most famous sign in the world.

There’s more to California than dreamin’ Surfin’ USA, pina coladas, Rodeo Drive, Pretty Woman, and walking all over Johnny Depp and Marilyn Monroe. Natalie Johnson The plane touched down hard after 11 gruelling hours of films I didn’t want to watch and four equally questionable vacuum packed meals. All I wanted to do was to sleep for an eternity. What I did not want is to find that the first hostel we were staying in was in central West Coast ghetto-ville. Yep that’s right, first stop in glamorous California: Inglewood. This is the neighbouring town of Compton which nurtured the origination of the music genre ‘gangster rap.’ Super. After countless subliminal ‘please don’t shoot us’ messages we embraced the cliché and really started to appreciate how impoverished some parts of the glitzy, glamorous sunshine state actually are. That is the thing about California – you go for the dream, and you see the reality. Homelessness is rife and many people approach you and beg for money which can be really intimidating. Not everyone is rich and famous like in the movies and many are very bitter about all that America is and stands for. “How can they call it a democracy when I can’t even afford healthcare”, said one man, echoing the sentiments of many. ‘California dreamin’ certainly was not. Yet after managing to escape the ghetto relatively unscathed (apart from a bleeding finger but that was my fault) we emerged in a place painfully stark by comparison, surrounded by all that glitters, Hollywood boulevard. The Walk of Fame began almost right outside the hostel and we trod over Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Depp every morning on our way out. They didn’t seem

to mind. We visited the Chinese theatre where the stars’ hands and footprints are pressed into the concrete and their soles belong forever to Mr Grauman. People dressed as film stars surround this area for photo opportunities and many fame hungry musicians press hard to get noticed. Words truly cannot capture the essence of this surreal parallel universe where dog eat dog is just a way of life.

All that glitters certainly isn’t gold Obviously any trip to Hollywood isn’t complete without a tour of the stars homes in Beverley Hills ‘Hellooo there Mr Clooney!’ and a leisurely stroll down everyones favourite street, Rodeo Drive, baby. Beverley Hills is absolutely out of this world and we even saw the Regent Beverley Wiltshire Hotel which featured in Pretty Woman. (I was so excited.) The shopping on Rodeo Drive was surprisingly a tad out of our price range but if you do fancy a bit of retail therapy, shopping in Central LA and around the Hollywood area is phenomenal. Literally an Urban Outfitters a n d American Apparel on every corner. Surfin’ USA was next on

our list so we bussed it to Venice Beach right by Santa Monica for a few days of soaking up the (boiling hot) sun and tried our hand at a spot of surfing which almost ended in disaster due to the height of the waves. Santa Monica pier and the beaches in this area are beautiful, it really is a must-do. What I strongly suggest doing while you are in the area is taking a bus up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu which is just stunning clear blue waters and golden sands. There is even a boat club-esque bar on the pier where numerous Pina Coladas can be enjoyed in the sunset. If you have enough time, the three hour long journey down to San Diego by the Greyhound bus (about $30 for a return trip from LA) is essential. It is just as chic as the heart of LA yet with more of a rustic edge and is also not as hard to get around due to its reduced size. Whatever your tastes, there is something in this magical state to cater to the needs of every traveller, whether you’re roadtripping or bussing it down the coastline. What really enhances the experience however (besides meeting your favourite celeb on Sunset Boulevard) is that you no longer feel fooled into believing it is all like it is in the movies. The bright lights only make the murky depths of Inglewood and Compton even darker. So don’t believe the film producers, in Hollywood all that glitters certainly isn’t gold.

Fact Box: California More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in America. In the late 1850s, Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, served as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America. The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater. The first person to personally receive a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood was actress Joanne Woodward, in 1960. Death Valley is recognised as the hottest, driest place in the United States. It isn’t uncommon for the summer temperatures to reach more than 115F. The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902. One out of every eight US citizens lives in California. California is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product. California produces more than 17million gallons of wine each year. Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no schools, dentists, banks, cash machines or traffic lights. In Pacific Grove there is a law on the book establishing a $500 fine for molesting butterflies.

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009


Coffee Break CROSSWORD



1. Twelve (5) 4. Hoard (5) 7. Unaware (9) 8. Gape (4) 10. Wore away (6) 12. Birds of prey (6) 13. Notion (4) 16. Large spider (9) 18. The lowest point of anything (5) 19. Implied (5)

1. Journal (5) 2. Menagerie (3) 3. World’s longest river (4) 4. Secret or hidden (6) 5. Bustling (7) 6. Abated (5) 9. Placed a bet (7) 11. Thinner (6) 12. Consumed (5) 14. Proficient (5) 15. Female relative (4) 17. Part of a circle (3)

Issue 13 crossword solution: Across: 1. Cabaret, 4. Eerie, 7. Radar, 9. Upright, 10. Inertia, 11. Ruler, 12. Despot, 14. Cleric, 18. Ample, 20. Haggard, 22. Sporran, 23. Crown, 24. Entry, 25. Echidna.

Down: 1. Carried, 2. Badge, 3. Toucan, 4. Error, 5. Regular, 6. Enter, 8. Ratio, 13. Support, 15. Logic, 16. Cadenza, 17. Chance, 18. Aisle, 19. Early, 21. Avoid.

OVERHEARD IN SHEFFIELD In the kitchen, the morning after Population: Housemate: “Oh my god, someone’s taken a picture of a penis with my camera!”

Picture of the fortnight


COMPETITION For all the bookworms out there or anyone interested in finding out more about popular literature, Forge Press are offering a pair of tickets to an Off The Shelf event, hosted at the Union. Off The Shelf is Sheffield’s annual celebration of writing and reading and holds talks, workshops, readings and exhibitions. The events are happening from October 10 to 31 October and three of them are taking place at our very own Students’ Union. Musician Peter Hook of New Order and Joy Division will tell his personal account of the rise and fall of the infamous Hacienda

club in Manchester, followed by a 90 minute DJ set in Fusion. Award-winning novelist Tibor Fischer will read his latest novel ‘Good To Be God’ following a number of nominations and awards for his previous work. Some Girls’ Mothers sees four actresses discussing the mother and daughter relationship and challenges the audience to think about how this relationship effects a woman’s life. To be in the prize draw, just send your name and phone number to features@forgetoday. com, by Tuesday 13 Oct.

Sam Bennett captures Dan Waters of the High Peak Club during a Bouldering trip to Over Owler Tor in Derbyshire. See your pictures here. Email:


We have three pairs of tickets to Shuffle on Saturday October 24 to give away, courtesy of Plug. Popping in for the evening will be dance supremos Utah Saints and Mason, both returning to rock the Shuffle decks. Support on the night comes from Plug resident DJs LJ Freeman and Geoff Ticehurst.

To win a pair of tickets for yourself, just tell us: Who did the vocals for Utah Saints’ single ‘Lost Vagueness’? Email: features@forgetoday. com with your answer and contact number. Good luck!

Walking down West Street: Woman: “I’m too old to steal anymore.” Man: “Stupid pathetic bitch.” In the Media Hub: Boy: “I’d rather have a salad than a blowjob.”

Art: Kate Carson

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

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We should enjoy football’s uniquely controversial nature

Competitive action returns Matt Duncan

Ross Turner Comment It seems that the day will never come when the various controversies of modern football are portrayed in anything approaching a positive light. Why, though, is this the case? It is true that few weeks go by in the football calendar when we are not greeted by stories involving money, scandal or pitch-side bust-ups. However, the result of this is not a bad one; we all now eagerly anticipate the transfer window as much to see how the consequences of all this controversy are realised as to see what changes will take place at our club. Many an old man would gladly harp on for hours about how their beloved game has been damaged by all these distractions from the actual football. But are they right to bemoan the loss of the days when all off-pitch football related stories involved fights between fans rather than the actions of players? Why should we criticise the scandal and gossip that have come to make football all the more exciting and invigorate Monday morning conversations? The modern phenomenon of constant football-related controversy has filled the headline gaps left by the end of the British hooliganism era. What would football be without dramatic transfer sagas and the greediness of contemporary footballers and furious managers losing all reserve in their panning of referees in otherwise tedious press conferences? Perhaps the Football Association has recognised this- surely it would

be easy for them to stamp out the impertinence of footballers with a swift yellow card every time a swear word is uttered. Maybe respect is for rugby and cricket and all other sports which simultaneously lack the passion of the beautiful game and fail to reach anything near its popularity. Football is about saying what you think, insulting people who occupy a higher social echelon than you and changing your allegiances to players as quickly as they change clubs.

Respect should be left to rugby and cricket On paper, a large majority of people would probably rate rugby as a more entertaining game than football. Yet it receives a tiny proportion of the coverage of football. And why? Because until the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal of earlier this year it provided far, far less talking points than football and, outside of the matches themselves, the world of rugby was quite frankly boring. Football’s off-pitch antics don’t just provide great talking points; they contribute to increasing the popularity of the sport itself. It would be hard to find a single person who failed to enjoy the sight of Emmanuel Adebayor racing to the other end of the pitch to confront the fans of his former club Arsenal. Similarly, the excitement surrounding Carlos Tevez’s contentious transfer to West Ham in 2006 and subsequent relegation battle was secretly relished by every follower of football, other than, of course, supporters of Sheffield United, at whose expense West Ham stayed in the Premiership. Of course, a great deal of respect is present in the world

of football, but only to those who earn it. Admiration of Keegan and Shearer in the North-East has reached cult status, and to the fans of Newcastle United it is only what they deserve. The new relationship between Gareth Barry and the fans of Aston Villa, on the other hand, would seem absurd to an outsider of English football. Fans have every right to vent their frustrations on a player, regardless of whether they have been chanting their name on the stands for two years or 20, if and when they deem fit. I do not want to see football lose what it has mastered so perfectly: the ability to make any man, woman or child angry about absolutely anything that they may or may not know anything about. What is more important: the temporarily damaged feelings of a professional footballer or permitting a fan a distraction from the mundanity of their

everyday life and believe that they hold an opinion that truly matters, however arbitrary or controversial or ridiculous it may be? We should celebrate every opportunity that football gives us to bring up some controversial incident and argue over it with our mates. We should also relish it, for there is no other sport in the country that can get people animated in the same way. Football’s internal workings achieve a great balance between the entertainingly arrogant and unconcerned actions of its players and the brilliantly uncouth and unpretentious public views of its fans. The result is pure entertainment, and we can only hope that football’s culture of scandal, controversy and contention will continue to enhance our conversations and give substance to our irrelevant opinions.

Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of fans of his old club, Arsenal.

This fortnight sees the majority of the BUCS leagues get underway with the University sports clubs returning to competitive action. There are also a number of fixtures for our local sports teams including the start of Sheffield Sharks BBL Cup campaign. Here at Uni there are a number of teams to look out for this year. The men’s lacrosse team will be looking to follow up last year’s clean sweep with yet more silverware. The defence of their title begins with the visit of Leeds followed by a trip to Humberside to play Hull. The women’s first team are now the only rugby union team to play at a Premier League level and will be determined not to let this pressure get to them. They open with a potentially tricky trip over the Pennines to face Manchester. The first two big Hallam matches see the two rugby league sides clash at Hillsborough Arena on October 21, a week after our men’s hockey thirds take on their seconds at Abbeydale. In the professional realm, Sheffield Sharks have three league games before going to Worthing to play the Thunder in the first round of the BBL Cup. Sheffield Wednesday return from the international break by hosting both Coventry City and Preston within four days. Brian Laws’ men will be looking for a sense of consistency which has so far been lacking this season if they are to push for a place in the top 10 of the Championship. The team with the most to prove are the Steelers. They currently sit sixth in the Elite League, way off the pace. They will look to take the momentum gained by their HockeyFest victory into games with Coventry and Hull before a double header against second placed Newcastle Vipers.

British Universities & Colleges Sport fixtures WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 15 BADMINTON Lancaster 1st v Men’s 1st Hull 1st v Men’s 2nd Bangor 1st v Women’s 1st

NETBALL Women’s 1st v York St John Northumbria 3rd v Women’s 2nd Leeds Trinity 2nd v Women’s 3rd

TENNIS Durham 2nd v Men’s 1st Men’s 2nd v York St John Women’s 1st v Hallam 1st

BASKETBALL Leeds 1st v Men’s 1st Women’s 1st v Sunderland 1st

VOLLEYBALL Durham 1st v Men’s 1st Women’s 1st v Hull 1st

FENCING Leeds 1st v Men’s 1st FOOTBALL Newcastle 1st v Men’s 1st Men’s 2nd v York St John 2nd Men’s 3rd v Hull 2nd Men’s 4th v Bradford 3rd Leeds 1st v Women’s 1st Women’s 2nd v York St John 2nd HOCKEY Men’s 1st v Durham 2nd Hull 1st v Men’s 2nd Hallam 2nd v Men’s 3rd Men’s 4th v Bradford 1st York St John 1st v Women’s 1st Women’s 2nd v York 1st Leeds 5th v Women’s 3rd LACROSSE Men’s 1st v Leeds 1st York 2nd v Women’s 1st

TABLE TENNIS Men’s 1st v Durham 1st Men’s 2nd v Liverpool 2nd Women’s 1st v Manchester 2nd

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 21 Rugby Union first team. RUGBY UNION Durham 1st v Men’s 1st Teesside 1st v Men’s 2nd Men’s 3rd v Hallam 3rd RUGBY LEAGUE Men’s 1st v Coventry 1st SQUASH Men’s 1st v York 1st Men’s 2nd v Men’s 3rd Women’s 1st v Keele 1st

FOOTBALL Men’s 1st v York 1st Leeds 3rd v Men’s 2nd Leeds Met 4th v Men’s 3rd Hull 4th v Men’s 4th Women’s 1st v York St John 1st Huddersfield 1st v Women’s 2nd GOLF Men’s 1st v Sunderland 1st HOCKEY Liverpool 1st v Men’s 1st Men’s 2nd v Newcastke 3rd Men’s 3rd v Sunderland 1st York 2nd v Men’s 4th Women’s 1st v Newcastle 2nd Women’s 2nd v Northumbria 2nd Women’s 3rd v Hallam 2nd Women’s 4th v Hull 2nd

BADMINTON Men’s 1st v York 1st Men’s 2nd v York St John 1st Women’s 1st v Leeds Met 2nd

RUGBY UNION Men’s 1st v Manchester 2nd Men’s 2nd v Northumbria 2nd York 2nd v Men’s 3rd Manchester 1st v Women’s 1st RUGBY LEAGUE Hallam 1st v Men’s 1st SQUASH Leeds 1st v Men’s 1st Huddersfield 2nd v Men’s 2nd Men’s 3rd v Bradford 2nd Newcastle 1st v Women’s 1st TABLE TENNIS Leeds 1st v Men’s 1st Bradford v Men’s 2nd Durham 2nd v Women’s 1st

BASKETBALL Men’s 1st v Teesside 1st Bradford 1st v Women’s 1st FENCING Men’s 1st v Manchester 1st Bradford 1st v Women’s 1st

NETBALL Leeds Met 3rd v Women’s 1st Women’s 2nd v York 1st Women’s 3rd v Huddersfield 2nd

Lacrosse action.

TENNIS Men’s 1st v Northumbria 1st Teesside 1st v Men’s 2nd York 1st v Women’s 1st

LACROSSE Hull 1st v Men’s 1st Women’s 1st v Keele 1st

VOLLEYBALL Men’s 1st v Northumbria 1st Newcastle 1st v Women’s 1st


FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009


Steelers’ poor form continues with another home defeat Elite League Ice Hockey Sheffield Steelers Cardiff Devils

1 2

James Shelton Sheffield Steelers’ disappointing start to the Elite League season continued on Saturday night, when they were beaten 2-1 on home ice by the Cardiff Devils. It was the Steelers fifth defeat in six matches, leaving them just two points away from the foot of the table. In contrast, the victory extends the Devils impressive away form to three victories on the bounce. Despite the Steelers early dominance, it was the Devils who took the lead in the first period when Ben Davies fired past Kevin Reiter in the Steelers goal on 11.24. Sheffield continued to attack with purpose throughout a goalless second period, at the end of which Reiter had to be replaced by Dan Green after a suspected groin injury. However, they didn’t have to wait long before drawing

themselves level early in the third period. Doug Sheppard was the man on target, rifling home through a pack of players on 41.03. With Sheffield looking the more likely to go on and claim victory Cardiff delivered a sucker punch on 54.32, when ex-Steeler Matt Towe scored what proved to be the winning goal. After the match Steelers player Brad Cruikshank was remaining positive despite the defeat. “Some people are going to disagree but I thought we outplayed them for 60 minutes. We had the better scoring chances, we held them to three shots in the second period and we were the better team tonight, but we just didn’t get the bounces and we keep getting injuries. It’s kind of like we knew it was coming after we went so healthy last season and this year we’re getting smoked with the injuries. Hopefully we can get everybody healthy and get back on track. “Everyone’s frustrated. I myself haven’t played the way I should be playing. I worked as hard as I could this week, I worked hard off the ice and I think it carried over tonight. It’s just going to take all

of us doing that and just keep on working hard and things have got to turn around.” There was some positive news

to follow on Sunday though, when the Steelers won the inaugural 20-20 Hockey Fest trophy at the Sheffield Arena.

Sheffield Sharks Worthing Thunder

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Max Glover Sheffield Sharks had a great fortnight as they bounced back from their opening day defeat to grab successive wins against Worthing Thunder and Worcester Wolves. The opening home game of the term against the Thunder saw a buoyant crowd and a vibrant atmosphere at the EIS yet the Sharks seemed somewhat overawed. Player-coach Atiba Lyons

showed a remarkable amount of ill-discipline and was removed from the court early on, only to spend the rest of the game haranguing the match officials. By contrast the Thunder started well. Reggie Bratton, who ended the game as top-scorer with 30 points, was at the centre of much of Worthing’s good work, ably assisted by the giant Bulgarian Petroslav Zefirov. Zefirov adds yet more height to a big and powerful Thunder side. This proved key in the first quarter as the Thunder were able to hammer home an advantage at the rebound whilst many opportunities for the Sharks went begging. As a result the Sharks were not able to get into the lead until well into the third quarter.

Under pressure Steeler’s coach Dave Matsos

The Sharks then demonstrated their strength in depth, with their replacements a level above those of the opposition. Driven on by ex-Thunder point guard, the excellent ‘floor general’ Ryan Patton, they gradually began to overhaul the Thunder. Despite Lyon’s vociferous halftime assertions that his team were not working hard enough defensively, they steadily began to show better defensive aptitude. Mike Cook went about his business quietly and efficiently to finish as the Shark’s top scorer with 28 points, whilst assistant coach Todd Cauthorn showed a great ability to mop up at the breakdown and seize interceptions, allied to an impressive passing range.

The star of the show for the Sharks was the new signing from Newcastle Eagles: 6ft 9ins centre Tafare Toney. Showing poise and resilience in the defense, determination at the rebound and great pace and power on the offense, Toney showed why he may become a crowd favourite with a series of flamboyant layups. He proved to be the only man capable of combating Richards and Zefirov aerially and of capitalising on the Shark’s excellent build up play. The Sharks followed the victory up with a convincing 100– 71 victory away at Worcester. The Steel City men now have a 2-1 record leading into games with Cheshire, London and the Scottish Rocks in the next two weeks.

Rugby league and football finals move to Sheffield Andrew Marsh Sheffield has been chosen to host two of the biggest sports of the BUCS Championships Finals in a move which brings almost the entire competition to the city. Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium will host the football finals while rugby league will be at Don Valley. The BUCS Championship Finals, held in March each year, are the third biggest multisport event in Europe, after the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, and showcase the best in university sport. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to welcome more sports to come to Sheffield. I think the more sports the better in making the city bigger, and hosting them all in Sheffield is welcome,” said Andy Cox, the Club Sport Manager. “There is more opportunity for Sheffield people and students to see student sport and it raises the profile.”

This brings the total number of sports played here to 26. Last year saw 5,500 student athletes compete at 14 venues over five days. “The BUCS Championships has been an extremely successful, multi-sport event in Sheffield for the last two years and we are looking forward to going back to Yorkshire in 2010,” said Jenni Anderson, Head of Communications, Commercial and Marketing at BUCS. This is the last year of the contract in which the finals are to be held in Sheffield but Andy Cox hopes they will remain. “It depends on funding and sponsorship. As a city it’s wonderful. It’s central and we have got all the venues and facilities,” he said. Potential host cities will now tender to hold the event for its next three year contract period which will take in the build up to the London Olympics in 2012. The new host city will be announced by BUCS early next year.

Blades striker imprisoned 21 year old Jordan Robertson, Sheffield United forward has been imprisoned for 32 months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Robertson was changing songs on his MP3 player when he hit another car driven by Omar Mohamed, along the M1 in Leicestershire on Christmas Day 2008. Mr Mohamed died in hospital the following day. Robertson was on loan at Southampton at the time of the crash, and has spent much of his career away from Sheffield United, notably at Torquay Utd and Northampton Town. A spokesman for Sheffield United said the club’s thoughts were with the victim’s family, but it was “too early to say anything else.”

Club Sport’s training day success

Sharks get off the mark with successive wins British Basketball League //

The BUCS football finals will now be held in Sheffield. Photo: Helen Munro

University of Sheffield’s sports teams recently enjoyed a day of team-building and leadership exercises, as well as guides to the administration of the clubs, courtesy of the University’s Club Sport. The event, which took place at Bramall Lane during Intro Week, saw committee members learning how to run sports clubs effectively, with aids to fundraising as well as physical training. Sports Officer Kate Rickard said: “We are trying to create a real community feel around Club Sport.” Club Sport manager Andy Cox added: “We want to get people working together so that we can move forward as a sporting institution.” Last year the University finished 23rd in the Overall BUCS table and have declared that breaking into the top 20 is this year’s aim.

Special day to support Cup Bid Sheffield’s campaign to host World Cup matches in 2018 is to promote a day of mass support for the bid. The Back the Bid Campaign is hoping that October 16 will be an opportunity for the people of Sheffield to endorse the efforts to become a host city. The campaign suggests a number of ways to become involved in supporting Sheffield, by simply donning football strips to work, and schools adopting a non-uniform day. The event will not only be a memorable occasion locally, but will also have an effect during the selection process to find host cities, should England win the bid. People can register any event they are holding on the bid website as well as voting for the Steel City by texting “Sheffield” to 62018. The decision as to where the tornament is held will be made next December.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009 //



Sports Officer Kate Rickard aiming for sporting glory on and off the pitch Andrew Marsh Varsity may be the pinnacle of the year for Cub Sport at the University Sheffield, and it’s certainly not far from the thoughts of new Sports Officer Kate Rickard. “I would like to get my hands on the Varsity crown because it has been a long time coming, but I think for all sports clubs that is what people want.” But has she had dreams of holding the trophy aloft already? “No, not yet. As long as we try our best we possibly can, I’ll be happy. Obviously I’m lying if I say I don’t want to win because as a competitive person I do, naturally, but first and foremost is giving a strong, well thoughtout competition and let the best man or woman win.” In the meantime however, Rickard will have a busy year pushing through the initiatives that got her elected back in March, and she couldn’t wait to begin her new role. “I was so desperate to get on with it but I needed to finish my degree and I had to concentrate on that. “But obviously the time before the summer was quite a good transition period really because I was working alongside Andy Cox, Club Sport Manager and Ella White, the previous Sports Officer. “Because I was looking with that Sports Officer gaze, I think it has helped me a lot coming in to the job in June. I’m learning every day which is a good thing.” While Varsity is on her mind with preparation for the event already underway, Rickard believes it is the proposals on which she was elected that are most important. A key theme that she underlines is a sense of community within University sport. “My three key personal objectives for the year are Club Sport community, sports volunteering,

and community sports. “With a Club Sport community, it is club driven with the aim of uniting the clubs so when people play hockey, cricket, or rugby, or whatever it is, they have the vision that they’re not just playing for their specific club, but they are playing for the bigger thing that is Club Sport. “Sports volunteering I think has been tried before but I have taken it under my wing as a main objective because I think it’s really important and some clubs who have got involved in the past have raved about it.

‘I would really like to get my hands on the Varsity crown’ Kate Rickard, Sports Officer “They have taken it as a real positive step to enhance their club, team spirit and collectivism. “I’ve had so many different clubs coming in and saying we want to go and get involved in local community centres, we want to go and coach in schools. This sort of thing is really great if we’re to be recognised within the University as a driving force. “I don’t want sport to be merely about a kick about or a 2-0 win or whatever, it’s about what it can do for the wider community and for non-sporting students, and the benefits for the students involved. “Community sport is an initiative driven by the Union and USport working together to get students in University accommodation into playing sports. They run a range of events from Fun Time Friday to the newly added Sporty Sundays. “I really have a lot of faith in it and back it a lot because I think students who get involved in the

Photo: Sam Bennett

Sports Officer Kate Rickard. first few weeks of their time at University and have a positive experience of it are more likely to stay engaged and reap the benefits that go alongside sport.” With Uni ranked 23rd in the BUCS rankings, overtaking local

rivals Sheffield Hallam, Rickard has a good base to work from, but she is not going to sit back because of last year’s level of success. “I think it’s really promising. It’s easy to say it’s great, and sing and dance about it, but I think

like with anything there’s stuff that can be improved, stuff that can be worked on, stuff that can potentially change but I think we have the structures and the foundations for a great sports department here.”

University Lacrosse Club hope to replicate their perfect season Chris Rogan

Action from the lacrosse club’s final pre-season friendly.

Photo: Helen Munro

The University of Sheffield’s lacrosse club will perhaps find it slightly more difficult to produce a perfect season this year, after winning every game in 2008/09. After winning their BUCS league, the BUCS Championship Cup, Sheffield can go into the coming season as relative favourites. However, club captain Tom Leahy suggests that the team be a bit more wary this time around. “It’ll be a lot harder this season. Sheffield Hallam have started their own team for 2009/10, and they’ve got a lot of players we used to play with and know well. It should be a cracking Varsity as a result.” “It will be a tough season, but playing it is something we relish as a team.” Durham are another team that need to be watched as potential rivals due to a influx of American students, which has led to an increase in theri available talent pool. Leahy also pointed out that the

current freshers are very hopeful. “There were loads of talented players at the Give it a Go session we held, many of which had never played before, so this is really exciting” The lacrosse club places a big emphasis on player development, unlike some other universities, such as Durham. “Lacrosse as a sport can’t be elitist, because we are so new in Britain and underfunded, we need to encourage new players to join the sport.” The outfit has attracted students to attend University of Sheffield because of its nationwide recognition as the best team of all the British universities. “Recruitment has been phenomenal, especially because we edged out Nottingham last season, our closest rivals.” There is also a large international influence within the team, a number of players having competed for England. This, and the community outlook that the club boasts, such as coaching in local schools, builds on the already excellent reputation of the team.

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Steelers and Sharks news Page 26

Solid start for newly demoted rugby firsts

FORGE PRESS Friday October 9 2009

Sports Officer interview Page 27

Lengthy queues for Intra Mural sign-up

Early queues.

Photo: Edd Wright

Liam Hill

The men’s rugby union first team started with an impressive win against the University of Liverpool.

Men’s Rugby Union firsts University of Sheffield University of Liverpool

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Anthony Hart The University of Sheffield’s men’s rugby union first XV made an impressive start to the season with a comfortable win over their counterparts from the University of Liverpool at the Norton playing fields on Wednesday. Sheffield were looking to avoid a post-relegation hangover after dropping down to the BUCS National Conference 1A last season, and had spent four weeks in intensive pre-season training. Despite this, Liverpool started the slightly better team, having more time in the Sheffield half and almost crossing the whitewash. But that was as good as is got for

Liverpool as the balance of the match shifted. Nobody put points on the board until the 20th minute, when John Barber successfully kicked the opening penalty from 35 yards out, sightly right of centre. Sheffield then scored their first try of the game three minutes before the half-time break, with captain Alex Murphy going over in the far left corner to make it 8-0. However, the tricky conversion sailed wide of the uprights. A missed penalty at the end of the half was a minor blip in an otherwise solid first half. At the start of the second half Liverpool again applied pressure to Sheffield but the home side dealt with it yet again, and after 60 minutes Matt Poulton scored Sheffield’s second penalty to increase the lead to 11 points. As the win became more likely, Olly Arnold intercepted the ball

in the Liverpool half and scored under the posts to make it 16-0 with around five minutes to go. Poulton then added to his earlier penalty by kicking the conversion. The game was won without Sheffield conceding a single point, and whilst the performance had a few minor faults, it was nevertheless an excellent opening to the season against a team that were playing in the top flight two seasons ago. After the match, first team coach Terence McLoughlin was satisfied with the team’s performance. “A win was never in doubt with the quality of play that we saw today, not just from the first XV but from an excellent addition of substitutes,” he said. “A special mention to the freshers who played with the confidence of seasoned

Photo: Helen Munro professionals. Judging by what we have seen today, it should be the start of a strong season for the University’s first team. “The team’s fitness and power couldn’t be matched by a plucky Liverpool first team as our pre-season effort showed. This became more apparent as the Liverpool side tired while we still had gears to move up to.” McLoughlin also had a few words of thanks to the people that had aided the team’s pre-season training. He said: “I would like to thank Mr Andy Cox and the S10 staff for all the support they’ve given recently and it’s often gone unnoticed and unrewarded, but a big thank you to them all.” Sheffield travel to Durham to play their men’s thirds for next weeks match, before hosting the University of Manchester’s men’s seconds on October 21.

Over 400 students queued to sign-up for this year’s intra mural competitions last Friday. Students queued from the early hours to register their teams in the wide variety of sports. These include football, netball, badminton and rugby amongst others. Over the last few years, the day has become an event in itself and this year was no different. The queue began to form at 4am with some students coming straight from nights out to join the growing numbers. The scheme is one of the biggest student sporting events in the country with over 500 teams having signed up by midday on Friday. By 10:30am, the leagues for 11-a-side football had all been filled and a reserve list was being drawn up, meaning that many people had to rethink their choice of sport mid-queue. Despite this, everyone remained upbeat. One of those who had been surprised with the early turnout of people was Ryan Gleeson, a first year Maths student. “It is just too good an opportunity to miss out on, I’d definitely regret it if I didn’t sign up,” he said. The organisation and administration for the leagues, including fixtures and results tables, are provided by uSport, the university’s health and fitness team. But Scott Tyler, the main organiser of the intra-mural sports said that the greatest thing about it all is that “the games are in a way run by the students themselves and are always played in good spirits” However, there was a degree of unhappiness amongst some students. Craig Allison, a third year Town Planning student said: “It is ridiculous that we have to get here so early and queue. “There has to be a better way of doing it, it cannot take that much to put an online system together and open it at 9am on the day. “It is cold, boring and extremely frustrating.” Registration is now complete, and with most of the administration finalised, matches are due to start next week.

issue 14  

student press

issue 14  

student press