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Issue 13 // Friday September 18 2009

The independent student newspaper of the University of Sheffield //

Thought Thief Has he stolen your mind? Features pages 14-15

Staff cuts prompt teaching quality fears 4 Loss of 320 staff after uptake of voluntary redundancy scheme 4 University act to plug £25million budget shortfall over two years Rosie Taylor Hundreds of staff are due to quit the University this autumn, saving the institution £13million but causing concern that the cuts will have a negative impact on teaching. Five per cent of University of Sheffield employees have opted to leave through a Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS) put forward by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Keith Burnett, as a way to “bridge the significant gap between the University’s predicted expenditure and its income.” Professor Burnett expected the University’s earnings to fall £25million short of its outgoings by 2011, and hoped to save £15million through the VSS. But the Sheffield branch of the University and College Union (SUCU) has said that the “sweeping cuts” of 320 staff will affect the quality of teaching. A SUCU spokesman said: “It is foolish to think that this will not have an effect on student learning and teaching. “Sixty-seven out of the 320 people leaving are academic staff but all teaching staff rely heavily on the support team in departments and central services. If – or should I say when – academics are asked to perform more non-teaching duties this can only result in less of their time being available for students. “SUCU are very concerned about how the University plans to cover the resulting gaps in teaching without compromising the quality.” Education Officer, Holly Taylor, has warned that the University cannot use the situation as an excuse for processing students’ work outside the normal timeframe. She said: “The VSS doesn’t mean departments have an excuse for being slow at returning assessment feedback and this is something students should not


Richard Hawley Forge Press speaks to the local legend about his love for the Steel City Fuse pages 4-5


Surviving your freshers’ week

Seven tips to help you make the most of it Lifestyle pages 20-21


City guide

Fuse’s guide to Sheffield’s top venues Fuse pages 8-9

Fewer members of University staff will be coming into work by the end of the semester. Photo: Helen Munro be prepared to tolerate in the Professor Burnett said: “I to help heads of department or coming semester.” recognise that there will be service managers deal with this But she made clear she believed challenges in the short term problem.” students’ education would not as we adapt to the new staffing The staff union has issued suffer as a result of the cuts. levels and to new and more a warning to its members not “There is absolutely no way flexible ways of working.” to “agree to unreasonable and students should be faced with Yet SUCU claim that staff have excessive workloads in order to second rate teaching because of still not been given adequate cope with a situation that the inadequate staffing,” she said. guidance on how to deal with the University has created.” “I have been assured by Paul losses. Some departments will suffer White, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for A SUCU spokesman said: more heavier losses than others Learning and Teaching, that “The University has agreed with and the University is currently each head of department has SUCU that you cannot reduce a working with campus unions to made every effort to ensure the workforce by such a large amount try to identify any particularly loss of staff will not negatively and not affect delivery. hard-hit areas or departments. impact on teaching standards.” “As yet we have not seen any In a message to all staff, evidence of guidance or advice Continued on page 4


Sheffield gangs

Tracking the rise of gang-related crime in Sheffield Features pages 10-11

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Robert Golledge

Deputy 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



Shrimps raise cash for charity

Helen Lawson

Managing Editor


FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

Helen Lawson Natasha Parker Jeremy Peel


Brendan Allitt Mark Clement Melissa Gillespie


Richard Scott Amy Smith


James Wragg Mark Mackay Natasha Maisey Lucie Boase

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

Steve Williams of Sheffield Mind being presented with a cheque by Shrimps members.

A festival organised by the University’s improvised comedy troupe, Shrimps, has raised £2,500 for the mental health charity, Sheffield Mind. Four hundred students enjoyed a range of stand-up, improvisation, sketch and physical comedy, all in aid of mental health awareness, at the Sheffield Comedy Festival in March. A cheque for £2,500 was handed over by the event’s organisers to Steve Williams, clinical director of Sheffield Mind, during the summer vacation. Nick Oram, the festival’s producer, said: “We chose Mind

because we wanted a charity that was relevant to students and one that was dealing with a problem that students were more likely to have to deal with themselves. “We also wanted something that we could attach an awareness campaign alongside which was useful to students.” Comedy greats Stephen Fry and Russell Kane gave backing for the event, which brought together 80 comedy acts from around the country, including the Cambridge footlights, who performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008. “It was great to see so many young comedians come together for such a great cause. All the acts agreed to waive their performance fee, helping to raise



Imogen Fay Child 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.

Advertise in the Forge Press with The Student Connection 0114 222 8540


Student wins Festival needs University to volunteers award your mobile A Politics student from the University of Sheffield has been granted the Round Table Commonwealth Award for Young Scholars. Asa Cusack is one of six UK students to receive £1,000 and a three-week research grant to study the Commonwealth abroad. Asa said: “I’m pleased and surprised to have been chosen out of so many applicants for the award, from universities all over the UK, and from countries all over the Commonwealth. Asa will go to Jamaica to complete his research, which may be published in the Round Table journal. Leanne Rinne

Performing Arts societies are joining forces to put on a charity festival and are appealing for talent to take part. Platform Festival will take place in April but the committee needs writers, directors, producers, actors and backstage crew to volunteer now. Activities Officer Claire Monk said: “This should be a fantastic event, raising the profile of drama at the Students’ Union and give those involved valuable skills and experience.” To submit ideas or get involved e-mail: drama.festival@sheffield. Lauren Merryweather

New mobile technology will enable students and staff at the University to access information including events, maps, timetables and library records while on the move. The University of Sheffield will be the first of a group of universities in the UK to launch the new campusM™ application next month. Students will be able to download the application for free from the University’s online portal and receive the latest news and personalised alerts immediately. Users will also be able to see their library records and look up contacts in the University directory. Leanne Rinne

a brilliant sum for Mind and raise awareness of mental health issues among young people,” said Nick. The University’s Welfare Committee and its student-run listening service, Nightline, also supported the event. Eileen Moore, a mental health trainer at Sheffield Mind, said: “Sheffield Mind is very grateful for the support and was pleased that it was such a successful event. We hope that there will be other positive spin-offs.” She said that the charity, which offers advice, support and counselling for those suffering from mental health difficulties, put the money towards running a crèche.

“The £2,500 will help run the creche facility for six months so that some very vulnerable people who would not otherwise have been able to afford to attend for treatment can use the counselling service,” she said. Another festival is planned for 2010 and organisers promise it will involve an even wider array of young and student comedians. Nick said: “It was such a fantastic event and the 2010 Festival promises to take that to the next level. “The Shrimps are committed to making Sheffield a national hub for student comedy. This Festival is a brilliant opportunity to showcase amazing young talent from across the country.”

New swine flu research Kristi Genovese Sheffield scientists are researching swine flu at the city’s hospitals. A team from the University are testing patients at the Northern General and Sheffield Children’s Hospitals to try to work out who will need treatment in the future. Professor Steve Goodacre, from the School of Health and Related Research, is leading the project and aims to discover if simple tests can predict which patients will need hospitalisation for swine flu. Professor Goodacre, said: “In a serious flu outbreak we will need to quickly and accurately identify which patients need hospital treatment and which can be

safely cared for at home. “This research will help doctors to provide appropriate care at what could be a very busy time for the health service.” Welfare Officer Jennifer Hastings said swine flu should not stop students having fun. She said: “The issue of swine flu is being taken very seriously by both the University and the Union. “We advise students to follow the advice given on the Union website if they are worried about symptoms. “The symptoms of swine flu and the infamous freshers flu can overlap quite a bit. All students should take the necessary precautions and be careful but should not let their fears get in the way of having an amazing freshers week.”

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //


University given the go-ahead for new bar despite complaints Locals and the University finally come to an agreement over the alcohol licence for the Ridge bar at Ranmoor Student Village. Katie-Marie Bailey The controversial alcohol licence for a new University of Sheffield bar has been granted despite heavy opposition from a number of local residents. Objections to the Ridge bar, in the newly built Ranmoor Student Village on Shore Lane, have been put to the University by residents who are concerned about being disturbed. Many have already complained about the noise and behaviour of drunken students returning to the nearby Endcliffe Student Village after nights out. Members of the Riverdale and Endcliffe Action Group (REACT) and residents of Woodlane Flats on Shore Lane voiced their concerns about the Ridge at a meeting with University representatives and the licensing board on September 8. Complaints had also been submitted beforehand by the Broomhill Action and Neighbourhood Group (BANG) and a number of residents from the local area. Dr Lyn Challands, who spoke on behalf of REACT, repeatedly referred to “drunken, screaming, shouting and singing” students who had been at the Edge bar at Endcliffe. She said that opening the Ridge would only add to the problem. Dr Challands also criticised the University’s intention to keep the Ridge open until 1am and said it needed to do more to make students respect local residents. Solicitor for the University of Sheffield, Rachel Scales, said the licence reflected the need for “supply and demand” between students and the University. She said: “Students do want to drink until 1am. If the University did not meet that demand it may result in a further problem with migration into the surrounding area.” Ms Scales also assured the board that the events scheduled to take place at the bar would be for Ranmoor residents and would

The Ridge Bar at the newly built Ranmoor Student Village. not bring an influx of students from the rest of the city. A licence for the bar was granted, allowing opening from 11am until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and lengthening to 1am on Friday and Saturday evenings. As part of the agreement a noise prevention scheme will be introduced and no one will be allowed into the bar in the hour before it is due to close. This condition was put in place in response to a comment made earlier in the meeting by chair Clive Skelton: “We are all about stopping potential problems before they happen.”

The Ridge is also obliged to keep all doors and windows closed while music plays, not to allow students to drink alcohol outside and to display posters on all exits reminding students to leave quietly. Andy Challands, also from REACT, said: “I am very appreciative of the considerate way of which the board listened to our suggestions and took them seriously. “We are particularly pleased with the condition that there will be effective liaison with community groups at least four times a year. “Overall I’d say we are pleased

Photo: Sam Bennett the licence has been granted, we’ve always recognized a need for the students to have a social and recreation centre.” A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield said: “Following extensive discussions with local residents and the city council, we are very pleased that the licence for the Ridge bar has been granted, providing social facilities for students living in the Ranmoor Village. “We are grateful to all the local residents who took the time to submit their feedback on our application and are confident that any concerns have been addressed and resolved.”

Universities to support state school applicants Leanne Rinne The Government is proposing to raise the number of university places given to state school pupils, meaning some universities will place less weight on the traditional A-level entry requirement. Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), is encouraging universities to admit pupils from poorly performing schools with results of up to two grades lower in their A-levels than those from successful schools. According to the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) poll, top universities have admitted to exercising positive discrimination for candidates from state schools who do less well on average at A-level than public-school pupils. The poll found that while

nearly 70 per cent of admissions staff are against structuring their admissions system to favour state school pupils, 10 per cent of admissions staff admitted that they or their institution favour these applicants.

Have your say Comment on this article at Send a letter to Fifty-four per cent of admissions staff think that the Curriculum 2000 reforms, which include the introduction of advanced-subsidiary (AS) qualifications and key skills, are failing to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education. A spokesperson from The

University of Sheffield said: “The University does not differentiate amongst the educational background of its applicants and sees no reason to make a distinction at this moment.” Figures from the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) show that the number of UK-based students from poorer backgrounds entering higher education is gradually increasing. Last year 3,000 more students were accepted into university who had come from a background of unskilled jobs compared to those accepted in 2007. Education Officer Holly Taylor said: “I support the University’s policy. A-levels are A-levels wherever you take them and there are too many variables from school to school and student to student to be able to categorise in such a simplistic way.

“It’s down to individual institutions to uphold a widening participation strategy which reaches out to students who may not otherwise consider going to university. “Sheffield has a strong access agreement which receives a lot of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). “It is vital that they use money effectively to get the message to students that University is a realistic option regardless of socio-economic background.” Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency website show that 85 per cent of first full-time degree entrants into the University of Sheffield were from state schools and colleges between 2006 and 2008 compared with 53 per cent of entrants at the University of Oxford between 2007 and 2008.


International students rate Union highly Rosie Taylor International students have rated the University of Sheffield Union of Students the best in the country, according to the International Students’ Barometer (ISB). The Union was rated top in the UK for international student satisfaction, with 97 per cent of those surveyed very satisfied or satisfied with the service. It was also ranked second overall in the ISB which surveys a number of European universities. The IBS is run by the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate) and measures the opinions of international students about various aspects of university life. Alex Erdlenbruch, Union International Officer, said: “I am very proud of this success and see it as personal motivation to fulfil this role to the best of my ability. “Despite this achievement international students still tend to feel less integrated into the Union in comparison to UK undergraduate students. “It has always been one of our long-term strategies to cater for international students. “We were the first Union in the country to have a full-time sabbatical International Students’ Officer and have had some of the brightest and most passionate students in this position over the last few years. “The International Students’ Committee has been a driving factor in this success and committee members are very happy to see this result as recognition of their time and efforts. I will strive to empower all students to make the most of their time in Sheffield.”

Interest rates affect student loans Rachel Blundy A negative interest rate of -0.4 per cent has been applied by the Government to student loans taken out before 1998. Students who have taken out loans after this date will pay their loans back at an interest rate of 0 per cent. This is a drop from 2.4 per cent last year. NUS Vice President for Higher Education, Aaron Porter, said: “Whilst this is the best deal we could have expected, graduates entering the toughest employment market for decades will doubtless feel a huge sense of injustice in comparison to their pre-1998 counterparts.” A Student Loans Company (SLC) spokesman said: “The decision has been taken because loans are already well subsidised and it would be difficult to justify to taxpayers a situation whereby students take out loans in 2009/10 and their balances are immediately reduced.” The company has reassured students already paying back their loan that their monthly repayments will not change, whatever the rate of interest.

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009


Student loan difficulties cause chaos Union Welfare Officer criticises Student Finance England as large numbers of Sheffield students struggle to secure funding for this academic year Amy Moody Union Welfare Officer Jennifer Hastings has said Student Finance England should ‘“step up their act” as a large number of students start the year without loan arrangements in place. The problems are being blamed on a rise in last-minute applications and overall applicant numbers being up 18 per cent on the previous year. But Jennifer Hastings has warned that if the difficulties with the loan application process continue it may put people off applying to university in future. She said: “Financial hardship is one of the biggest deterrents in terms of coming to university. “Student Finance England need to step up their act and ensure everyone is getting the financial aid they are entitled to.” Student Finance England runs the Student Loans Company (SLC) on the behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Third year student, Ottilie Marchmont, has struggled to get through to Student Finance England since applying before the summer vacation. She said: “I’m not happy with how Student Finance England have handled the loans situation this year. “I can never get through to them and when I have been able to they’ve said, ‘Our system is down, I can’t access your details’. “This got me very nervous because I sent in my application weeks ago but my internet account said it had not been received and I’ve had no correspondence by post.” She eventually visited her local authority in person to find out what was happening with her application. “I had enough of waiting and went straight to my local education authority office. “They told me that my loan application had been received and was being assessed but it would be late. “It turns out Student Finance

Photo: Sam Bennett

Student Ottlie Marchmont is struggling to get her student loan sorted out for this year. England had not got around to putting me on their online system.” A Student Finance England spokesman said: “More than

700,000 people are scheduled for payment at the start of the university term and we’re putting all of our available resources behind dealing with

the unprecedented level of calls that we are receiving. “We’re processing late applications at a faster rate than any other year and are currently

processing applications received only two weeks ago.” Some students have blamed the problem on the fact that this is the first year applications have gone through a single body, under the new name of Student Finance England, rather than be dealt with by students’ local authorities. A fourth year French student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It has taken six months, sending off five copies of the same form, then three copies of another and at least 10 phone calls to sort out my loan for this year. “My main problem was that my parents’ financial circumstances had changed because of the recession and I wanted to be assessed on their current income, not their previous tax year’s income like normal, but no one at Student Finance England seemed to know what was going on. “I can’t believe I am the only one to have had a change of personal circumstances because of the recession but it certainly felt like they had never dealt with this problem before.” Councillor Paul Scriven, leader of Sheffield City Council, is calling on all student landlords in Sheffield to defer rent payments where tenants have not yet received their student loan cheques. He said: “The failure of the Student Finance Company to process applications on time really is a shambles. “I have written to the two Sheffield universities to ask them if they will defer their rent payments for those affected. I have also written to the largest private providers of student accommodation in the city to ask if they will do the same.” Jennifer Hastings is urging anyone with financial problems this year to seek advice. She said: “I would advise any students who are worried about money issues to pop into the advice centre in the Union and book an appointment with a money adviser.” Students can also e-mail for help.

University tries to allay staff cut fears Work starts November Continued from page 1 Professor Burnett said: “The departures are inevitably spread somewhat unevenly across departments and the University Executive Board (UEB) will be reviewing the impact of the agreed departures on our overall financial position, and considering some limited strategic re-investment.” One of the hardest-hit departments is Biblical Studies, which now has only four academic members of staff remaining, down from seven, and its support staff halved from two personnel to one. A University spokesman said: “The University has carried out a separate review of the Department of Biblical Studies, a process which began well before the VSS and which will go to the University Senate in October.

“In any recommendation for change our commitment to excellence in scholarship and the experience of our students is central.” Holly Taylor said: “Some departments have lost more staff than others and in small departments such as Biblical Studies there are obviously fewer remaining staff to take on the undergraduate teaching. “But the head of Biblical Studies is confident a full programme will be running.” She said that only five modules have had to be dropped across the University due to the cuts, almost all with fewer than 15 students taking them. “Students who are required to take another module are being kept informed by their departments so there is no need for anyone to panic,” she said. But she warned students will

have to have more patience with administrative staff: “Where office staff have been lost students might need to be a bit more patient with the administrative side of things until everyone settles into new roles and processes.” A spokesman for the University said: “Although these are difficult decisions, the University has taken action to ensure the ongoing academic quality and sustainability of the University and, in the longer term, we believe we will find ourselves in a stronger position within a changed economic and political environment. “We are a successful University with world leading research across the full range of disciplines and very positive feedback from our students. Action now will provide financial stability now, and help us ensure vital educational quality for the future.”

Leanne Rinne The £5million makeover set to transform the Union of Students will go ahead as scheduled this November. The rebuild project aims to provide more space and make it

Art: Archial Architects

easier for students to get around. Building work is due to start the third week of November and will continue until August 2010. Union President Paul Tobin said: “Everything is going ahead as planned and the first work will start on the concourse.” Former Finance Officer, Alex Pott, who helped plan the redesign, said: “As the best students’ union in the country we need a better building for our students and activities. Some areas of the Union will be out of use during the works but all services will remain available. Nigel Hallam, Director of Operations at the Union, said: “There is going to be some disruption for 40 weeks while the work is carried out, but at the end we will have a significant improvement. “The renovation will bring the building into the modern world.”

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Sheffield A new spin on Sheffield takeaway boss shot dead A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old man who was shot twice as he delivered a takeaway Georgina Beardmore Investigations continue into the murder of a 23-year-old Sheffield man who was shot dead as he pulled over to deliver a curry in Scraith Wood Drive, Shirecliffe. Safrajur Rahman Jahangir, from the Darnall area of the city, was shot at twice through the driver’s-side window of his Vauxhall Corsa on August 28 at about 10.45pm. Mr Jahangir, who owned the Spice Hut takeaway on Middlewood Road, lost control of his vehicle, which rolled across Herries Road, eventually ending up in bushes at the roadside. Initial attempts to resuscitate him by a bus driver and a paramedic were unsuccessful, and he was declared dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination has shown the cause of death as being “two gunshot wounds to the body”. Police described the incident as “a planned and coordinated assassination” but they do not believe it was gang related. Detective Superintendent Peter McGuiness, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a planned, targeted assassination of Mr Jahangir in that he was lured to a spot and killed quite clinically.” A phone call was made to Mr Jahangir’s takeaway business shortly before the incident and the hit man was lying in wait for him when he arrived to make the delivery. Although police remain unsure

about whether the gunman was acting alone, witnesses have described hearing two gunshots immediately followed by the squeal of tyres, which suggests that a getaway driver may have been involved. Neither the murder weapon nor the getaway car, possibly a red

Have your say Comment on this article at Send a letter to Seat Leon, have been recovered. Three brothers were arrested the next day in connection with Mr Jahangir’s murder. Mohim Khan, aged 36, from Handsworth, and Muhid and Munaim Khan, both from Darnall and aged 33 and 28 respectively, were charged with conspiracy to murder. A fourth Sheffield man, Saul Mohsin, 20, of Emerson Crescent, Parson Cross, was also charged with conspiracy to murder on September 10. A further two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested in connection with the case but were released without charge. Floral tributes have been left at the scene of the incident for the man whose family describe as a “kind and considerate person”. In a statement his family said: “It just doesn’t seem believable that anyone would want to hurt him. Our family is devastated and life will never be the same without him.”

Yorkshire’s very own version of the London Eye in Fargate. Ruby Pope Yorkshire’s own version of the London Eye has arrived in Sheffield this summer in the form of a 355 ton, 60m high wheel. This new tourist attraction, known as The Wheel of Sheffield, is the latest in a series of wheels appearing all over the country this year. It took 12 men 10 days to assemble the €5million structure, which is illuminated by 62,000 lights at night. Sheffield City Council have

reported that more than 20,000 visitors have been for a spin on the wheel since July. It will be operational until the end of the year. Maggie Jones, aged 52, from Rotherham tried out the new attraction after a shopping trip last week. She said: “I just loved it. You can see all the way across the city and it looks so wonderful I’ll definitely be bringing the grandchildren when they come and visit.” An audio commentary points out all the significant landmarks and provides local history as the

Photo: Sam Bennett capsules go through their three rotations. A security worker at the Wheel of Sheffield said: “I have seen celebrities take a spin on the wheel, including Jarvis Cocker, Artic Monkeys. plus cast members of Hollyoaks, Neighbours and Coronation Street.” The Wheel of Sheffield’s opening hours are Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday, 10am to 11pm. Students tickets are £5. A VIP capsule with champagne and a glass floor is available for £70, advanced bookings only.

Planning application for Tesco store in Crookesmoor rejected Victoria Hawkins A Tesco express store to be built between Crookesmoor and Walkley has been refused planning permission by Sheffield City Council after it received almost 2,000 objections to the application. Tesco planned to build on a site which used to be a petrol station at the bottom of Springvale Road. But the council denied the company permission because of fears about the safety of the public because of increased traffic and the movement of service vehicles. They were also concerned that the low number of parking spaces proposed in the application would lead to more on-street parking. Council leader Paul Scriven helped campaign against the application. He said: “It would have created

noise, nuisance and parking problems for local residents which would have been unbearable. “It could also have been a death knell to the local shopping centre.” The decision has pleased many local residents and business owners in the surrounding area. Chris Atkin, landlord of the Closed Shop pub on Commonside, said the site would have been an “inappropriate” location for a Tesco. “The area’s already swamped with traffic. There are schools around, and it would add to that danger. There’s absolutely no need for it,” he said. More than 200 letters objecting to the application were received by the council along with a 1675 name petition, which stated that the Tesco would have a negative impact on local businesses, causing noise and pollution and numerous traffic and parking

The proposed site. Photo: S Findlay problems. Some University of Sheffield students are pleased with the outcome because they feel a Tesco store is not needed. Emmanuelle Chazarin Möy, a

third year Journalism student, said: “I lived on the bottom of Springvale Road last year, and I’m glad the application failed because there’s already so many small supermarkets like Co-op or Nisa which are just three minutes down the road. “There’s absolutely no need for another one.” Five letters supporting the application were received, saying the Tesco would inject life into the Commonside area, provide variety and benefit non-driving residents. Rachel Herborn, a third year Music student, also supported the idea. She said: “It would be a good idea because it would be providing food at very affordable prices for a heavily populated student area, it would be ideal if it was open 24 hours a day.” Some are concerned about what the empty space will be used for

now. Matt Dixon, 32, was involved in a business directly opposite the proposed site for five years. He believes a Tesco would have been a sensible solution. “The site looks like a mess and has been left derelict for many years. The space needs to be used for something,” he said. “A Tesco would cause just as much traffic as any other use of that space. “I think it might have actually helped local businesses as more people would come down there. “It’s a highly populated area, particularly of students who would have used it.” This is the third time Tesco have been refused planning permission for a new Tesco express store at this site. The last two applications were made in 2007. Tesco have told Forge Press they are unlikely to apply again in the future.

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Have your say

‘Hot or not?’ section is not hot Dear Forge, I am writing to discuss with you the ‘Hot or not?’ article in your latest issue (pages 20 and 21, issue 12)). In this section summer workouts are considered to be ‘not hot’. The text associated with the analysis states that women are under ‘huge’ pressure to achieve the ‘perfect bikini body’, but that women shouldn’t undertake gym workouts, instead replace an ice cream for a lower calorie option ‘treat’. This slightly confuses me - is the text trying to say that women shouldn’t feel under pressure to achieve the ‘perfect bikini body’, or is it giving another option to achieve this without having to work out at the gym? I would like to think it is saying women shouldn’t feel under pressure - yes, celebrities are thin and some have the ‘perfect bikini body’, and thanks to many weekly magazines we all know this fact. It must be remembered though that celebrities don’t live like or have the same worries as students, and that they are in the minority. However, if the text is giving an alternative to gym workouts, I would say, given that I have

Star letter is sponsored by Your Harley

The winner receives a free meal for two and a Lock-In membership at Your Harley medical knowledge, that this alternative doesn’t compare in the least to gym workouts. To lose weight you need to expend more calories than you intake, which is more easily achieved with exercise. It is also concluded that topless men are ‘not hot’, the text stating that men have ‘not so toned abs’ and that this is ‘so wrong’. Please explain to me why being proud of your body and being

self confident is ‘so wrong’? Isn’t this a worthy quality to possess? Shouldn’t more people be encouraged to be proud of their bodies? The picture associated with the text shows a ‘muscular’ Daniel Craig from the film Casino Royale. Once again, I am coming back to the point that celebrities are not like students and that they are in the minority. Not everybody can have or wants, Daniel Craig’s body - some things are more important than looks. As an aside, I would also like to point out that his ‘abs’ are not that toned. On viewing an enlarged version of the picture, I can only see a flat stomach, not a six pack which I would consider ‘toned’. To conclude, I believe the ‘Hot or not?’ section is giving out the wrong impression to students concerning body image. I would like to point out that the Union has an eating disorder support group, Biteback, and that they would probably like to have less members. I am not sure whether this section in your newspaper is helping them. Yours, Oliver Hudson Medicine, second year

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.

Media overlooks Muslim issues Dear Forge, I would like to express my disappointment at the short piece published concerning the lack of alcohol at the recent Activities Awards (‘No activity for awards drinkers’, page 12, issue 12). I felt that the author belittled the contribution that such steps have on widening participation. Certainly, in an alcoholic environment, the Islamic Circle would not have been able to collect their two awards. The bar was opened during the interval, at which point most Muslim students exited the hall - a compromise agreed by both parties. However I think this is a good point from which to raise a related, but more profound issue. This is my last of five years at this university; in my view, it seems that your paper has been complicit in turning a blind eye to Muslim student welfare issues and their achievements. The prayer room problems epitomise this. If students in other areas of the Union building faced the same torrid conditions faced by Muslim students on a daily basis in the Union prayer room, I suspect your writers would have something to say about it. To my knowledge however, not

one mention has been made of this in five years. I think that media pressure would have forced previous Sabbatical Officer teams to stop granting Muslim students token gestures to keep us quiet, and to actually take proactive steps to draw a line under the chronic problems. Similarly, the charity contribution during the Islamic Circle’s first ever charity week exceeded £4,000, possibly the highest single weekly contribution from any society this year, but no mention was made of this in Forge Press. However, the £3,000+ achievement of a seasoned RAG team during RAG Week was credited in your paper. It leaves me wondering what criteria you use to establish a story’s newsworthiness. Muslim students are a growing part of this Union, and are engaging more and more in the processes that shape this Union. It is time that Forge Press stopped relegating local Muslim student issues to the back of the agenda and gave them the time and attention they deserve. Yours, Yusuf Ghumra Black Students Councillor

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //

City shootings have little impact on everyday university life



Recent murders show Sheffield’s streets are far from safe

Sheffield students should be thankful they Broomhall is no Baltimore, but Brunswick live in one of the UK’s safest cities shooting highlights the dangers

Mina Kasherova

Michael Hunter

Our University’s trusty website proudly states that Sheffield is one of the safest cities in the country. Now that sounds promising until you read some European Commission statistics, which denounces the UK as the most violent place on the continent with sky-high murders and burglary rates. In that context, Sheffield is safe, and the fact that there were only two shootings in the city over the summer is actually underwhelming and fits the norm. I felt more in danger while shopping in Manchester last month as I received an unprovoked and certainly unexpected kick up my bum. Sheffield has proven much safer at least in that respect. Gang culture and knife crime are always in the news but rarely relevant to everyday university life. Shootings don’t happen on the Union concourse, and postcode gangs have not been recruiting students at Union nights. The new Union search policy that is being introduced this year will stop them even if they try. The truth is that most of us secretly hope a safe city equals a crime-free city. But it definitely doesn’t. Crime is here to stay, although it shouldn’t necessarily include daily

When shadow home secretary Chris Grayling compared Britain’s inner cities to that portrayed in the US TV show The Wire last month, he was roundly hammered by critics. It was the classic, catastrophic case of a senior politician casting themselves as the type of guy you can go down the pub with. Grayling described “urban wars” being fought in Britain’s suburbs – just like those in that hip, HBO cult hit played out on the streets of Baltimore. Not the worst attempt by an MP to show off their “one of the people” credentials. As Tory leader, William Hague claimed he drank 14 pints a day in his teens. After further questioning, Grayling admitted he had only seen “most of the first series” of The Wire, a drama which focuses largely on violent gangland ghettos. Cue number-driven MP-bashing - real life Baltimore had a murder rate of 234 in 2008 whereas Greater Manchester had only 49 murders over the 12 months leading up to March of the same year. But while commentators chatted hysterically about Baltimore, the real debate was lost. Grayling’s forlorn effort to show young voters he can chillax in his down time totally detracted from the

Brunswick Street in Broomhall. student victims. Nevertheless, students do suffer because of crime, and sometimes it can be their own fault. After all, it’s not that hard to rob a drunken semi-clothed girl limping on her own in the middle of the night. Students who wear their beer goggles on nights out usually don’t realise they make for the easiest targets of crime. I think it’s high-time that the Union organises some life skills workshops for students. They could begin with lessons on how to make sure your phone does not get lost or stolen

Photo: James Walsh in a club. Then, a seminar in how not to wander off at night with a complete stranger, followed by a presentation on how to resist the urge of getting into a drunken fight when it seems like the sensible thing to do. Advanced tutorials should also be on offer in keeping your pin number to yourself and on why it is an idea to insure your expensive possessions. Additional classes can be arranged for students who worry that Sheffield is not a safe city. It will advise them to apply common sense.


main point of his keynote speech. That point was that Britain’s streets are not safe. And I agree. Most of Britain’s major cities have problems with serious crime, including Sheffield. How can anyone possibly argue that this city is safe when young people are being gunned down on our very doorsteps? So what if the statistics suggest it’s safer here than in perhaps Nottingham or Manchester?

Gun crime has caused eight deaths in seven years

Pass those statistics on to the families of James Kamara, Safrajur Jahangir, Tarek Chaiboub and Jonathan Matondo and see if they think Sheffield is a safe place to live. The quartet, aged between 16 and 23, all lost their lives to gun crime in Sheffield over the past two years. But the killing of Kamara in early July was the first to send a chill to the heart of our student community. The 22-yearold was shot just a couple of hundred metres away from the Union building on Brunswick Street in Broomhall. It is an area which has had

more than its fair share of problems, with high crime rates and a growing sense of racial tension. Broomhall residents, of whom many are students, will testify to such issues. Kamara was murdered on July 1, a date which marked a moving-in date for a brand new batch of University of Sheffield residents. Quite a welcome to the area – a drive-by shooting which killed one and seriously injured three other young men. For these students awaits a regular walk to lectures past the very spot where Kamara’s blood stained the tarmac two months ago. Sadly, the Broomhall shooting wasn’t an isolated incident or short-term problem in this city. Just weeks after Kamara’s murder, Safrajur Jahangir was shot dead from close range as he drove through Shirecliffe on a Friday evening. Gun crime has caused eight deaths in seven years across Sheffield, and the double summer shooting should serve as a reminder to students that it’s not always safe out there.

Forge Press takes its satirical aim




Thursday Night Comedy launches during freshers’ week, welcoming the best of what Last Laugh Club hasn’t got to offer. Exciting – but spare a thought for those Fuzz Club fanatics left without their weekly indie fix. Cravats will now be used as tea towels, pointy shoes

Freshers’ Mania makes its annual assault on first year students’ overdrafts at the end of Intro Week. For your £14 investment? Two members of boy band 5ive. If that’s not value enough, there are also performances from Chipmunk and Dolly Rockers. Meanwhile, don’t miss out on the bevvie of drinks offers available - £1.50 for a coke and, well, nothing really. Mania indeed…

New international students must be thrilled that the kind souls at Sheffield Wednesday have offered them a free game ticket. The Owls say overseas students can have the free pleasure of watching the match against Preston North End next month. That’s Sheff Wed v Preston on a Tuesday night at the beginning of the British winter. Welcome to Sheffield, huh?

will act as doorstops and braces will be snapped off in frustration. So if you spot a Faris Rotter looking tensely bemused in either Fusion or the Foundry as Inbetweener Simon Bird takes to the stage, kindly direct them the nearest tight jeans outlet in consolation.

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009


Council were correct to approve Ranmoor Village licence bid Nimby residents have little cause for concern over student bar at new accommodation site

Andre Nunn

Ranmoor Village’s brandspanking new bar, The Ridge, finally won its licence to serve alcohol last week, but  not before a series of clashes with nearby residents. The residents of Endcliffe Vale Road and surrounding areas  heavily opposed the idea of yet another noiseand puke-inducing student magnet. At the Sheffield City Council licensing meeting which gave the go-ahead, 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? Using examples from The Edge, which has dogged neighbours of the Endcliffe Village for the last two years, the main concern was the Uni’s apparent failure to discipline students who stagger noisily home after a night out. I’m not sure what the residents want the Uni to do about such outrageous behaviour, unless bounding and gagging students is considered a suitable disciplinary measure in

Editorials Heads should roll after student finance mess Arriving at university can be a stressful and overwhelming experience enough, without the added worries created by Student Finance England (SFE). This shambles of a company have left thousands of students in the dark over their financial situation for the coming year, adding to the pile of concerns in students’ preparation for university. This new company, who are replacing the Local Education Authorities in processing student loans and grants, are the epitome of a beleaguered government coming to the end of its time in power. Students already face the burden of graduating with huge debts and do not need their confidence in the system shattered by clearly incompetent morons in the upper echelons of the Student Loan Company. To blame unprecedented applicants as to why there is an overbearing backlog is a blatant attempt to divert attention from their epic failings to manage important personal information effectively. Why is it that the Prime Minister, Secretary of State Peter Mandelson and Minister for Higher Education David Lammy are so content to mimic the three wise monkeys on the issue? The head of the Student Loans Company, Ralph Seymour-Jackson should do the admirable thing: sort out this complete mess and then resign.

Student benevolence should be celebrated Every year students find themselves in the stocks over relations with the local community. Residents cite loud and irresponsible behaviour, normally as a consequence of alcohol and drugs, at this time of year. But what the residents fail to acknowledge is the fantastic acts of benevolence students make throughout the year. A big pat on the back must go to the University’s improvised comedy troupe, Shrimps. The excellent student comedy festival last year was truly brilliant and the kind donation to Sheffield Mind is an example of what Sheffield students are all about. The continued contribution students make to the Sheffield community should not be overlooked.

Ranmoor bar The Ridge won its licence to serve alcohol. their eyes. for the Uni to control. They also refused to Not that any of that is accept that students who likely to happen anyway. live in Ranmoor Village will How many city centre want to have friends from dwellers will make the trip other areas of Sheffield all the way to Ranmoor to visit. They suggested have an expensive drink that Ranmoor students in The Ridge when they should only be allowed live amongst some of the into The Ridge with “bona cheapest bars Sheffield has fide guests” - girlfriends, to offer? boyfriends and friends. I’m sure that one day, Once you’ve added course after my  studious days mates, freshers’ week and gluttonous nights flings, flatmates of friends, are over,  I’m not going to friends of friends and want my Sunday evenings friends of flatmates, you’ve watching Midsomer got a pretty packed array Murders interrupted by a of “bona fide” guests that bunch of 19-year-olds doing would become impossible the YMCA outside my

Photo: James Walsh

window. But, when I do reach those dizzy heights of maturity, I’d like to think I’ll be the sort of adult who doesn’t begrudge a student a good time if the discomfort to myself is only minimal, remembering my own days as a fun-loving fresher fondly. The residents appeared to be complaining about The Ridge purely because they were aware they had the right to, and had no real cause for concern. For Ranmoor’s sake, I’m glad the licensing board acknowledged this.

Never a better time to join a Union society It’s a new year which means new opportunities for the 25,000 University of Sheffield students. In a time of mass unemployment, especially in the graduate jobs market, there is even more reason why you should join a Union society or sports team. Not only will it make for a varied and rich social life, it will give your employment credentials an extra boost. Forge Media are looking for newshounds, DJs, TV presenters and production staff to join our nationallyrecognised student media. Catch us at Thursday’s Activities Fair or drop us an email at

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

You’re not alone during your first week in Sheffield James Wragg Everyone has a different view of what freshers’ week is about. Some say it’s about getting wasted and blowing huge sums in a grimy nightclub. Others will suggest it’s about seeking notches on the bedpost inbetween a diet of Subways and Pizza Huts. One ex-fresher will even tell you it’s about waking up in Blackpool with no shoes and a pounding head. Whether or not such stories are plausible is

beside the point - they’re telling of the legendary reputation attached to the exploits of freshers’ week.

Freshers’ week isn’t just about alcohol My first day alone saw me waving goodbye with my parents and, with my head still swimming with that first day of school

feeling, being welcomed to my new flat by the resident Geordie nutter. He refused to speak with me until I had swigged a shot. He then persuaded me that discovering our nearest local was much more important than unpacking our bags. The first time I saw him sober was in October. In the evenings I revelled in the unavoidable debauchery, identifying all the numerous nightspots that synched with my music tastes. In the daytime, though, I wandered around Sheffield

with the inescapable sensation that I had never been further from home. Particularly on my first visits to the supermarket. Never before had I realised there was so much choice in the world of toothpaste and washing-up liquid. To combat such homesickness I talked to every student I could find. I walked for hours, all around the city, sharing my feelings with strangers. To my surprise, I found that everyone I talked to felt just as isolated as me. I see some of those people from time to time, as I

cross the Union concourse between lectures, and our eyes occasionally meet. It’s in those moments I catch a tiny ripple of catharsis, a small whisper of “you’re not alone”. Because freshers’ week isn’t just about alcohol or anecdotes – it’s one of the only times in your life where you’re surrounded by people just as nervous and eager to make friends as you are. And that’s why, if you spend the daytime wallowing in an atrocious hangover, you’re completely missing the point.

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //



Money-saving cuts will see our Uni’s standards slip Sheffield’s students will pay the price for £25million budget shortfall Duncan Robinson

On May 5 this year, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) sent this reassuring email to staff: “I want to give you all a commitment that, here at Sheffield, I will be doing my utmost to protect jobs, and avoid redundancies.” Sadly, for the students and employees of the University of Sheffield, it wasn’t the last email the VC sent on the subject. Professor Keith Burnett sent another altogether more miserable email, three months later: “I am writing to let you know the outcome of the University’s recent Voluntary Severance Scheme.” In it, he revealed that 320 staff will be leaving the University, five per cent of the entire staff. That might not sound like a lot, but it will directly affect your education. A five per cent cut in staff means a reduction in the quality of service and teaching. As a result your lectures and seminars could get slightly more populated, computers might take longer to get fixed and the University’s understocked libraries may become disorganised. In other words, your education has been made that little bit worse. Those who defend

the staffing cuts may point out that only 67 of those leaving are “academic/ teaching”, which is just two per cent of the total number of doctors, professors and teachers at the University. They will argue the students’ education is no worse. They are, however, completely wrong – because lecturers can’t lecture without an array of support staff.

Students are paying more and getting less

I remember a lecture in first year that was ruined because the lecturer (a clever bloke, but one who couldn’t change a light bulb) could not get PowerPoint working and no one was available to come and fix it. With fewer support staff, events like this are only likely to become more frequent. Quite simply, with fewer staff the University will be worse. Fewer staff also means fewer quality contact hours.

What needs to be stated again and again and again is that students are paying more and getting less. While the University may dismiss criticisms that students are getting a worse deal, the fact of the matter is that there are more students and fewer lecturers. This is hardly a formula which will increase standards. If anything, the University of Sheffield could now spend years treading water as a result of this drastic redundancy measure. But my moralising and whining does not solve the £25m hole in the University’s budget that must be plugged. In total, the Voluntary Severance Scheme has managed to cut £13m from the University’s staffing budget (which is almost enough for an Arts Tower refurbishment). But the University still needs to find £2m more if it is to reach its target of reducing the staff budget by £15m. And if the University continues on its current strategy of handing out huge payoffs, there could be more and more staff snapping at their hands. Such a strategy shows a real dearth of ambition from the University’s leaders. Let’s make no mistake, the University had to act to fix the short-term problem of a budget shortfall during a recession. But, by taking this action, they look set to create a more serious

University of Sheffield students will be worse off for the cutbacks. Art: Natasha Maisey and long-term problem by dragging down the University’s standards. Offering redundancies is not the only possible solution. Oxford and Cambridge rose hundreds of millions of pounds through well-publicised fundraising drives. you could want. But there Meanwhile, without are two things which make Oxbridge glamour, the this year slightly different. University of Alberta in Paul Firstly, the £5million Canada raised around refurbishment of the Union £300m in five years. Yet Tobin building which promises to sorry old Sheffield has transform the area and the put together 320 generous facilities we provide. redundancy packages to There will be some Union President, raise a paltry £15m. disruption, but we’ll the University of Sheffield Rather than ushering keep you up to date as it more staff towards the Hello and welcome to progresses. door, the University needs Sheffield for what promises to set up an effective, well to be an eventful, exciting publicised fundraising and unforgettable year. scheme and put all of our The Students’ Union educations first. is here to support all students during their higher education. We are independent from the University, so we’ll agree on some topics and disagree attentions were focussed on others. Secondly, after three We are here to voice what elsewhere, particularly is best for students and years of trialling top-up with an election looming. But Eccy Road should make your time here as fees, the Government will be welcome this kind of exciting and rewarding as reviewing how universities proposal. After all, the possible. Remember, you are funded again. It may be argued that area will always struggle are a member of the Union to attract top, brand and not just a customer. So students are happy to pay ever-increasing fees, as retailers. It’s hardly you are in charge. We have the best the number of applicants retail therapy having to weave through its busy, union in Britain. Our has steadily increased. bus-soaked carriageway, societies, sports clubs and The reality is that many especially when the more volunteering programmes people feel that having a accommodating trip to are second to none, so make degree is now a minimum the shopping havens of the most of them while you requirement to get a job in later life and so avoiding Meadowhall and the city are here. We provide a great these fees is not an option. centre are within earshot. Whatever your opinion on Now a batch of the city’s entertainment programme out-of-workforce can look with events every night in funding, an increase in fees forward to new jobs at the the Union building. During is unfair to young people AJ Senior complex - namely, the day it’s the best place and we need to make our full-time students looking to meet friends and spend voices heard. So that’s a glimpse of the to bolster their funds with time with food outlets, some convenient part-time shops, welfare advice and year to come. It looks set to more. We have everything be an exciting 12 months. work.

Redevelopment could lead to student jobs Peter Brennan With consumer districts across the country bungling their way through the economic downturn, student-centric Ecclesall Road has strived to buck the gloomy trend. Scattered amid the highrise student properties is a snapshot of suburbia with coffee shops, pubs, hypermarkets and kooky independent boutiques in plentiful supply. It is an attractive proposition for your modern academic dweller – swapping notes over a latté or a beer, before picking up the milk and bread within a stone’s throw. The biggest benefactors

of this bustling beehive, though, have been restaurateurs. No fewer than 14 eateries are listed in the local directory. But this culinary success story could soon be stifled after some local councillors expressed opposition to a new restaurant proposal earlier this month. The area in consideration – a derelict petrol station between Bruce Road and Rosedale Gardens – had long been a blot on its surroundings. Enter the heroes of the piece, Londonbased developers AJ Senior, who plan to raise the location from the ashes and transform it

into a two storey complex fitted with a restaurant, café and shop. Fortunately, six of the nine councillors on Sheffield council’s planning board agreed that it was better to make something of this wasteful eyesore rather than whine about a supposed “saturation” point. Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg (pictured) also voiced concerns. It’s nice to see the Lib Dem leader keeping an eye on the issues affecting his constituents. But I’m sure some of his party’s supporters would prefer if his

Welcome to the UK’s best Students’ Union

We are here to voice what is best for students

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009


Sheffield’s gang scene unmasked After a summer of gangland violence and killings, Forge Press speaks to a former gangster to find out if Sheffield is safe for students

Mark Duell “One of the UK’s safest major cities” is the confident assessment of Sheffield in the University’s prospectus. But a recent surge in gun and knife crime and news of a man being shot metres away from the Students’ Union have prompted fears that the city is not as safe as once thought. While crime figures show Sheffield to be safer than many other university cities, this summer has seen shocking headlines of postcode gang warfare and ‘execution style’ killings. Fears for student safety were heightened after a man was shot dead in July on Brunswick Street, Broomhall, close to the Union of Students and just yards away from the University Nursery. 22-year-old James Kamara was killed and three others were injured following the drive by shooting, in an area well populated by students. Third-year Economics student James Rudolph, 21, moved into a house on Brunswick Street just five doors away from where Kamara was shot. Rudolph had only arrived a few days before the attack happened. His house was placed under police protection after the killing and he had to sign in and out of the property with police every day. Rudolph said: “I came back from Tesco and the street was cornered off by police. I got assurances from my landlord that this incident was a one-off and had never happened before.

“As soon as I’d told my housemate, he said: ‘I’m not living there’ - but he’s calmed down a bit now. “My friends couldn’t believe that I would stay there but I don’t think lightning would strike twice in the same place.” Last month a motorist was shot whilst driving his car in the Parsons Cross area of Sheffield, and he died after swerving and crashing into buses. Just a few days earlier a man was shot in his arm after a 30-man brawl in Nether Edge, although his injuries were not life-threatening.

‘Students have a few hundred pounds on them and things often kicked off’ Tom Rattigan, former gang member Stories like this are likely to worry any student living in Sheffield, even though there will always be guns present in any major city. Two Sheffield gang members each received 21 years in jail at a sentencing in February this year for the murder of their lifetime friend in a nightclub. Danny Hockenhull and Curtis Goring stabbed Brett Blake in Uniq nightclub on Carver Street. The attack followed a series of violent confrontations in Burngreave and

Pitsmoor between members of postcode gang, S3. Teenagers Jonathan Matondo and Tarek Chaiboub, also both murdered in highprofile cases in Sheffield, were friends of Blake and S3 gang members. South Yorkshire Police say the S3 gang was formed when two local families fell out and it now comprises of 25 known members. Its main rivals are the S4 gang, but Blake’s murder came as a result of fighting inside the S3 gang. Tom Rattigan, 18, was a member of the S11 postcode gang in Sharrow for five years. However he gave up the gang life two years ago and is now a youth-worker at St Thomas’ Church Philadelphia in Walkley.

18 2009

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

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FEATURES A timeline of trouble 1. June 7 2008 Carver Street, Sheffield, S1 Brett Blake, 23, is fatally stabbed by fellow S3 members Danny Hockenhull, 24, and Curtis Goring, 27, inside Uniq nightclub. They are both jailed for at least 21 years. The attack is pre-planned in Westways bar on West Street.

Gang-related killing





2. July 11 2008 Spital Street, Burngreave, S3 Tarek Chaiboub, 17, is shot dead outside a barber’s shop by fellow members of the S3 gang. Four people are jailed for a combined 110 years for the murder, one of whom is only 17-years-old himself. 3. July 1 2009 Brunswick Street, Broomhall, S10 James Kamara, 22, is killed in a drive-by shooting near the Union of Students. Kamara and a group of friends are shot at from a vehicle which drives off and is later torched. Five men are charged over the shooting. 4. August 28 2009 Scraith Wood Drive, Shirecliffe, S5 Safrajur Rahman Jahangir, 23, is shot dead at close range in his car whilst driving. Four people are remanded in custody in connection with the murder of Jahangir, who owned the Spice Hut takeaway in Hillsborough.

Map: Google Maps He said: “Five years ago in the poor areas of S11, being in gangs was the only way of being safe. Today people are joining gangs after hearing about them and their respect and reputation.” There are two levels to gang membership in Sheffield: smaller groups in certain areas that build their own internal gangs, and then those who have enough people to take on rival gangs from other postcodes. Four S3 gang members, Michael Chattoo, Nigel Ramsey, Denzil Ramsey and Levan Menzies (pictured opposite, left to right), were jailed for a combined 110 years last month for the killing of Chaiboub, which the court heard

Safety fears were raised after a man was shot dead close to the Students’ Union in July was as a result of Blake’s death. The four men -all under 24 years old- showed no remorse as they were sent down, abusing the police and shouting that the S3 boys were “on holiday”. These words have struck fear into many S3 and S4 citizens. Jacqueline Nicholson, the mother of murdered Blake, spoke of her concerns outside court after the sentencing of his killers in February. She said: “It’s a bad situation it’s tense especially in the evenings when you’re in the house on your own you get a bit scared by cars pulling up and noises.” Rattigan explained that his S11 gang was a strong unit after being formed by a group of pals. He said: “It started off as we were all friends and we knew we were safe around each other. “Sharrow at the time didn’t have any problems with surrounding

areas but at a house party once, some guys came and started causing trouble - and there were some confrontations. It escalated from that and we got more and more noticed.” Sheffield residents live in an exceptionally diverse part of the country; from the affluent region of Broomhill, to the more deprived parts such as Burngreave and Pittsmoor. It is these latter areas where many gangs gain momentum. Gangs sometimes target students by accident; mistaking them for other rival members, but can also see them as targets for easy money. “Broomhall and Sharrow had serious problems with each other and there were a couple of times when we mistook students for other gang members,” Rattigan said. “Students normally have a few hundred pounds between them and things often kicked off because we knew they had money. It’s easy to get hold of money from students. “Around Sharrow I knew people who worked hard for their money , but students were on our turf and kicked their weight around.” However, Tom added that telling students to avoid ‘dodgy’ areas will not necessarily help the situation. “If you tell students to ‘stay out of these areas’ then we are just giving these areas more respect,” he said. It is easy to feel like never leaving the house if you read the

newspaper stories about Sheffield’s ‘gang culture’ and various local murder cases. But students do live in a relatively secure part of the city, and as long as obvious safety reminders are followed - such as staying in groups after dark and avoiding unlit areas - then there is no reason to be afraid. It is, after all, usually common sense that stops people getting into trouble.

‘Around Sharrow students were on our turf and kicked their weight about’ Tom Rattigan, former gang member

Many students do live in a ‘bubble’ where they have no idea of what is going on outside of the campus areas of Sheffield. However, this is no major issue. There are gangs and murderers in this city, but for the most part that is a problem for other areas of Sheffield and has not really filtered into the student zones. So don’t panic - if you are sensible, you should be safe.

Brunswick Street, scene of July’s drive by shooting.

Photo: James Walsh



FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009



Meeting the men who jump across Sheffield’s skyline

Michael Hunter An alternative art form founded in France over 20 years ago is leaping around the fringes of Sheffield’s student suburbs. And given the soaring cost of gym memberships, who can blame anyone for taking up this cheap, new form of exercise? “It’s an excellent way of keeping fit – and it’s free,” Jordan Barrett told me as he hung from scaffolding in Millhouses Park. I first met the 19-year-old a week earlier when I saw him practising jumps with friends on Northumberland Road near Broomhill. Now, I don’t usually approach groups of topless young men throwing themselves around in the street, but I had to know what on earth these guys were doing. “It’s Parkour,” revealed Dave Sedgley, wiping the sweat from his forehead after landing an impressive jump. “Ah,” I said, pleased with myself that I recognised the name. “That’s like free running right?” “No.” Oh. Eight days and three lengthy conversations later, Dave and Jordan managed to spell out the intricate differences between Parkour and free running as they demonstrated their skills at the annual Cliff-Hanger event in Millhouses, south Sheffield. Basically, free runners are show-offs. Of course, there is much more to it. The latter encourages free, yet practical, movement with the aim of body conditioning and self-improvement. Free

Forge Press talks to some of the enthusiasts making Sheffield a hotspot for the athletic art form known as Parkour running, on the other hand, is heavily motivated by aesthetics, incorporating elaborate flips and difficult jumps into a similar mantra. But confusion between the two is forgivable; free running was, after all, created as a spin-off to Parkour following a disagreement between its co-founders, Frenchmen Sébastien Foucan and David Belle (pictured).

‘Most guys are checking out girls when they’re walking down the street, but I’m checking the walls’ Scott McQuade, enthusiast And it was Foucan’s fancy free running which caught the spotlight first in a 2003 Channel 4 documentary, Jump London. Two years later, Foucan returned in Jump Britain; precariously scaling the heights of Edinburgh Castle and the Millennium Stadium amongst other iconic

landmarks. Meanwhile, Parkour pin-up Belle was inspiring budding practitioners – known as traceurs – with a host of online videos depicting his breathtaking moves. Inevitably, with Foucan and Belle strutting their stylish stuff in the mainstream media, the stereotype which was to haunt the discipline from thereon was one of bare-chested exuberance and death-defying stunts. But jumping from a rooftop, hurling yourself through mid-air and clinging your fingernails to the nearest ledge on a daily basis was, and still is, the sort of stuff reserved for the specialists. The reality for curious newcomers here in Sheffield was toddling sheepishly along to Arundel Gate on a drizzly Saturday afternoon for a tentative beginners’ session outside the Odeon cinema. But Parkour has proven popular in South Yorkshire. Now, almost three years on, the weekly sessions which began on the back of the Jump films continue to attract new recruits. Dave was one of the brains behind the Sheffield Parkour meetings. The 27-year-old co-founded the ever-growing Northern Parkour group while studying a degree in Computational Physics in Manchester five years ago. He recalled: “Initially, I was just trying to find out more about it so I went on the internet

and found a lot of websites in French and just the odd one or two in English. Looking over the websites I managed to find some other people who were trying to start off in my area.

I don’t usually approach groups of topless young men, but I had to know what on earth they were doing “I was at university at the time and I managed to get in touch and arrange to meet them that weekend. I went down and just started practising things with them”. Dave returned to Sheffield, in 2006, and set about giving traceurs an environment in which they could learn and develop. “When I started Parkour there were very few people practising around the country, no more than 50 or so, so you pretty much knew everybody else who practised Parkour anyway. “It took off faster in some areas

of the country than others. I had a fairly large hand in creating the Sheffield scene because we organised a beginners’ session which sparked a lot of practitioners taking it up here.” Now Dave is chairman of the British Parkour Association and a full-time Parkour He explained: “There are a lot of people around the country interested in taking part but the difficulty is trying to let them know exactly how that can be done. “We set up the website Northern Parkour to try and show people ways to get in touch with practitioners across the north of England, and that has proved pretty successful. “The early sessions here tended to take place towards the centre of Sheffield; the Odeon cinema and the Sheffield Hallam University buildings just above the station were quite popular meeting points for the first few years. “But once the practice got a bit more established and we got to know the areas around Sheffield a bit better, the practice started moving towards less populated areas, so a lot of the areas around the University of Sheffield buildings in Broomhill are quite popular at the moment.” And with the Peak Distict on its doorstep, Sheffield is even attracting practitioners from outside the city. Twenty-year-old student Scott McQuade came from Leeds to be at the Cliff-Hanger event in July. He said: “The great thing about Parkour is there’s something new everywhere you go. “Most guys spend their time checking out girls when they’re walking down the street, but I’m checking out the walls.”

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Thought Thief has magic on the brain The University of Sheffield’s very own Derren Brown, Peter Antoniou, speaks to Forge Press about his mind-boggling show, which won him fans and impressed the critics in Edinburgh

‘The Lotto was a great stunt and something I’m always asked to do’ Peter Antoniou, illusionist His show, based upon his trademark blend of psychology, psychic techniques and devious weirdness looks to engage audience members and show them that their minds are there for the taking. Peter said: “It’s an examination of how my mind control powers can be used by different types of


Trick to Try #1 “If you have someone really sceptical and ask them to name any playing card... The 7 of clubs is usually chosen”


After a week in which the Lotto numbers were predicted by Britain’s top illusionist and showman, the University of Sheffield’s very own Derren Brown has been astonishing crowds at the Edinburgh Festival with his mind control techniques. Mind-reader and mental marvel Peter Antoniou is set to hit London’s Leicester Square with his show ‘Thought Thief’ in the coming week and has built a big following around the university over recent years. Antoniou hopes his show will continue to grow with a number of projects lined up over the next 12 months for both TV and Radio. He also hopes to fit a couple of appearances in the Raynor Lounge into his busy schedule.

people. “I look at how criminals could use them, like the Three Card Monte, which is a bit of a street hustle. o “By taking a red k Queen and two black cards, you bet on your e ability to follow where r the Queen is. I look at that and how it can be used to influence people.” He explains how he uses this technique in a different context in his show, navigating participants away from the top prizes. “I try it with a member of the audience, so instead of using cards I just get three envelopes and I let them choose. “In one is a bag of Haribo and the others a car and £500. So I try to influence people in that way. “And then I do some mind reading, and show how you can potentially steal someone’s identity just by looking at them, and be able to read their minds and say things about them.” However, as everyone is different, there is always the risk that some audience members might not fall for his charms and subliminal influences. “With each audience it is slightly different and depending upon how and what I want to do, it works slightly differently. “I usually sit down when writing the show and decide what sort of influence I want to have upon the group and think of ways of doing it.

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Oliver Hughes

“So it might be the posters I have put up around the venue or things I say during the show. It means that when I get someone on stage I can get in their mind quick enough, so they’ll be finding that they’re making the decisions I need them to make.” “With the nature of the stuff that I do there’s about a 10 per cent chance I could be wrong. But I’ve learnt to cover that and distract the audience from the mistakes by making a joke. I can usually recover in other ways too. “And if it is not working with someone then I might dismiss them and bring someone else up that I think will be easier to read. Generally it is about showmanship

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

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Trick to Try #2

‘It is about showmanship, if things go wrong I can cover it with a laugh’

day you’re still talking about him and that can only be good news for him. The more people who know about him, the more who’ll go to his live shows and watch him on television, the bigger he gets. “The first show he did, Russian Roulette, caused such an outcry. Everyone was discussing it but all that does is serves to give him a bigger profile. It was a great and bizarre thing to watch on telly and

Peter Antoniou, illusionist


Trick to Try #3 “If you ask wo name their fa men to card it is almovourite always the Qu st een of Hearts”

Showman, Derren Brown I only wish I’d thought of it first.” Viewers had been left dissatisfied by Brown’s explanation for the Lotto prediction, but that element of doubt provides a perfect opportunity for the whole nation to debate.

‘Anyone could learn, but some have the natural gift for it and learn quicker’ Peter Antoniou, illusionist

“People might be frustrated by that because they were promised it would be explained, but it gives people something to discuss. “People may think it was the 24 people or that he had got fake balls into Camelot; it’s almost like a conspiracy theory - people discussing what they think happened. I think it is quite a nice idea ; with there being so many outrageous theories people can discuss it for ages.” Antoniou is now looking forward to his future shows after impressing in Edinburgh. “I got some really good responses, they all seemed to enjoy it. It is a bit more light hearted than a typical Derren Brown show which is very serious. I like to have a joke and a laugh with the audience and give them a nice time.” Residents at Stephenson Halls will be given an opportunity to see Antoniou’s mind games when he returns to Sheffield, performing at the Endcliffe Lounge on Saturday 26 September.


and if things go wrong I can cover it and make them laugh with something.” The third-year Music student first started dabbling in mind control techniques in high school and despite getting tricks wrong at first, he wasn’t put off and has now developed his ability significantly. “I started messing around with it six or seven years ago and it began with stupid games. So I’d get a red card and a black card, mix them up and ask someone to point to the one they thought was red. I got to the stage where I was able to get them to choose right almost 100% of the time.” “I began to think about why they would do that and look into other mind control techniques. If I could influence thoughts, could I also pick thoughts up from them? “It was just on friends and parents when I started out and I got it wrong so often. It was just an annoying thing for my mates that they had to put up with. “It was such a learning curve; getting them to look at a playing card and then looking at them and trying to get inside their mind and tell them what it was. “So I got it wrong thousands of times before I started getting it right. Since then it’s been getting steadily better.” Antoniou has o been performing professionally k for three years e now and despite r his techniques being difficult to master, he believes anyone can try their hand at it. “I could teach it to anyone, but it’s a bit like playing a musical instrument; anyone could do it, but there are just some people who have a natural gift for it and pick it up really quickly, “I just think I was quite lucky that I had natural aptitude for it and the desire to learn and study it.” His unusual ability however has not gone unnoticed in media circles

“I have been on Kerrang Radio a few times as they were looking for people with unusual abilities and I certainly fit that bill. “I do stuff in studio with the presenters and any guests they may have. “Over the phone is such a different medium as I can’t control who rings in, so I have to make sure it works with pretty much everyone who is listening. That’s quite an interesting challenge for me to see if I can influence on such a mass scale.” Mass scale is exactly how fellow illusionist Derren Brown hopes to influence audiences this week, as he attempts to literally make the whole nation stick to their seats using subliminal messaging techniques. After his Lotto stunt, Antoniou admits his admiration for what he can do. “It is quite a testament to Derren’s showmanship that he’s been on TV for almost a decade really and he’s still going strong and still getting headlines. “It was a great stunt predicting the Lotto. It’s a question I always get asked: ‘What are the lottery numbers going to be?’. It was nice to see him do it.” Critics have seized on Brown’s lack of clear explanation for his Lotto trick, but Antoniou believed it actually boosted his profile. “I think regardless of the criticisms that have gone against him, at the end of the

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“Think of a two digit number with both digits odd numbers between one and fifty... People almost always say 37”


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having performed for the likes of Babyshambles musician Adam Ficek, as well as being invited on Kerrang Radio and promoting the Southern Comfort brand around the Students’ Union.

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //

FORGE PRESS Friday September 19 2008



Cash for essays scandal is damaging our integrity With 26 students disciplined for cheating last year, Forge Press investigates how plagiarism and essay selling websites are ruining our academic reputation

Paul Garbett With websites selling custom written essays for as little as £100 and an online copy and paste culture epidemic among young people, there has never been an easier time to cheat your way through university. During the last academic year, disciplinary action was taken against 26 cheating students at the University of Sheffield, with six expelled and three suspended. But with internet resources and plagiarised essays becoming harder to spot by academics and university systems alike, some experts have predicted that up to 40 per cent of undergraduates commit plagiarism each year. One essay-selling website,, claims to have sold its work to hundreds of students at the University of Sheffield.

Those who use chequebooks instead of notebooks to write essays should be punished The website offers students a custom written answer to their essay question, guaranteeing at least a 2:1 standard and written by a qualified academic. Essays typically cost £70 per 500 words, and even offer a £5,000 guarantee that the work is completely original and free from plagiarism. Despite such websites claiming their work is to be used only as a guideline, there is widespread concern that students are freely submitting paid for essays and committing serious acts of plagiarism. The essay-writing business in Britain is estimated to be worth £200million a year, and its growth has prompted panic within universities and the government, with a number of education summits held to discuss how to combat the booming online market. With no Government regulation, and nothing illegal about the websites, internet entrepreneurs like Barclay Littlewood, the owner of are earning millions of pounds from selling essays to cheating students. Littlewood, aged 30, is believed to be earning around £1.6

Despite the risk of disciplinary action, some students continue to submit other people’s work as their own. million a year from the website, catapulting him into the Sunday Times Rich List. But while continues to stress that they do not encourage users to submit their essays as their own work, few could naïvely believe that students would pay such large amounts for merely a style guide. As a generation of young people who grew up with the internet and are used to systematically copying and pasting material, some would argue that the plagiarism should be accepted as a factor of modern academia as it is impossible to police correctly. But as more people cheat, degrees themselves become devalued and the academic standard of graduates declines. In a country like Britain, world famous for its level of higher education, plagiarism is a major threat to our academic reputation. In 2006, Professor Alan Grafen, Oxford University’s senior proctor and chief disciplinary officer said that plagiarism was ‘rife’ at

Oxford and that it was “essential that any hint of copying or unacknowledged paraphrase is pursued.” He added: “There seems to be two reasons for the prevalence of simple copying. It is indeed very easy with online sources. “A less obvious reason is that at British schools nowadays, a practice is encouraged of submitting work in class that is more or less cobbled together from the internet.” Simon Rhodes from UKessays. com denied that essay selling websites were profiteering from plagiarism and claimed his company provided essays to be used as learning aides only. He said: “We emphasise that this is purely a learning resource and customers should make sure they use it correctly. “We provide custom written essays which demonstrate to students the correct way to write and structure a particular essay. We effectively provide a textbook with a perfect answer.” The University of Sheffield advises students strongly for

getting involved with essayselling websites, and has even taken steps to ban them from attending annual fresher’s fairs. And any students found to have cheated on assessed work will face strong disciplinary action.

Internet entrepreneurs are earning millions from selling essays to cheats A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield said: “The University regards the use of unfair means (for example plagiarism and collusion) as an extremely serious matter and will take disciplinary action against any student found contravening the University’s regulations.

Cartoon: Natasha Maisey “Following disciplinary investigation, penalties may be imposed, ranging from refusal of credit for the assessed work, to expulsion from the University, depending on the nature of the individual case.” Despite the risk of expulsions and suspensions, there are many students who will continue to cheat the system and take the easy way to getting a degree. While it’s easy to point the finger at the individuals and companies pocketing millions from the sale of essays online, it’s worth remembering that they would not have a business if it wasn’t for unscrupulous students buying their way to good marks. What persuades these students to use such unfair and dishonest means in academic work is debatable. But it is vital for the reputation of our university and education system that those who are willing to use chequebooks instead of their notebooks to write essays should be heavily punished to discourage others from taking the easy way out.



FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2008



Overqualified and underpaid: new graduates feel the pinch With graduates facing the worst jobs market in recent history, Forge Press catches up with recent university leavers stuck in the vicious cycle of low-skill work.

Lucie Boase September is here again, and with it the usual hoards of fresh-faced, wide-eyed undergraduates ready to embark on their university careers. They are eager to start the loveworn rite of passage of drinking, partying and, ahem, studying. In short, the world is their oyster. But just three surprisingly short years away is the daunting prospect of life out in the ‘real world’ - the clichéd rote of working and settling down. Finding a good job even in normal economic conditions is challenging. Now, in the ‘current financial climate’ we’re so tired of hearing about, it’s becoming harder than ever. A recent study published by

For every graduate vacancy, employers receive 45 applications the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) illustrates the disturbing impact of the recession on employment, with almost a quarter of graduates still not in full-time work three and a half years after leaving university. Around a fifth (19 per cent) of those working full or part-time are not in graduate professions. I spent a somewhat monotonous summer loading the pot-wash in a well-known pub chain’s kitchen, rubbing shoulders with a motley crew of adolescent boys, overweight middle-aged women and a worryingly large number of obviously over-qualified university graduates. In that one room, the potentially wasted thousands of pounds in student loans, combined with the amount of skills, knowledge and experience in chronic underuse made for a jaw-dropping deficit. It begged the question: is getting a degree still worth it? Having spoken to some of my colleagues about their postuniversity experience, my own easy-breezy mental image of life after graduation took a dramatic reality check. There was Alex, who having graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the University of Plymouth three years ago has worked in the kitchen ever since. Now 25, he sounded dispirited by

the way things had turned out. “I try to keep up my painting” he told me, “but often there isn’t enough time. “I have to work so many hours to afford rent and basic living costs that I find I can’t prioritise art anymore.” When news came that he had secured a position as an art technician at UWIC and would be moving to Cardiff, I couldn’t have been happier for him. But he has had to transfer his current job to another branch there in order to supplement his income. “It’ll be good to be back in the art industry again, but financially I’m constrained from making a bigger commitment to it.” Then there was Aled, who three years after graduating with a History degree from the University of Birmingham has still not been able to break out of the low-end job market. “I can’t say it’s been difficult finding a job since I left uni. But finding one which relates to my degree is a real problem,” he said. He told me that in retrospect, he regretted not making better use of the career services offered by his university. “I don’t think my department stressed to me enough the importance of doing work experience before graduation. “Now I’ve finished, I’ve lost motivation for what I had originally wanted to do – a law conversion course. “I feel I’m trapped in jobs which don’t use any of the skills I gained from university, and in some ways I wish I’d continued on to post-graduate study.” Peter, a barman at the pub, had done a course in the sector supposedly hungry for new graduates: science. Having finished his degree in Chemistry at the University of Bristol two years ago, I was

‘The recession has meant that even if you’re highly qualified, job chances are still slim’ Peter, recent graduate surprised to discover that his only degree-related job so far has been as a science technician, which was apparently short-lived. Now he works full-time, hoping for the right vacancy to pop up. “The problem with my degree is

Some recent graduates feel they’ve poured money down the drain. that it leads to employment in a the recession’s seen a huge very competitive industry. decline in demand. I’m definitely “Originally, this could be considering trying to return to solved by gaining further university,” he said. qualifications; now, however, As a current undergraduate, it’s the lack of vacancies means that hard not to feel dispirited by these even if you’re highly qualified the stories, especially considering chances are still slim. that things could look gloomier if “Before I graduated I believed the recession deepens. that career prospects in my On average, employers are area were strong. However, now receiving 45 applications per

Art: Lucie Boase graduate vacancy, a third more than in 2008. The moral of this sad tale? Try to prepare yourself sufficiently for life post-graduation by identifying your interests and gaining work experience. Many years lie ahead after university is over, and the potwash takes just five minutes to become repetitive.

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Lifestyle Four of the best: pub quiz Keri O’Riordan

The Nottingham House, Whitham Rd. This quiz is free to enter and takes place every Sunday. With the questions ranging in difficulty it’s doubtful you won’t know any of the answers, and the winning team gets a gallon of bear. It’s therefore awarded: (6/10)

Fashion Food & Drink Health & Fitness Technology Sex & Relationships

The Closed Shop, Commonside. A popular free quiz, which has a range of questions as well as a picture round. It takes place every Thursday and Sunday, first prize is a measly £10 Beer tokens, but the atmosphere is friendly and laid back and so makes for a good evening, scoring it: (9/10)

Keri O’Riordan

1.Go on a bar crawl If you’re a fresher then bar crawls will be the staple night out of your social life for the next couple of weeks. Go on your department bar crawl as well as your Hall’s. The photos of you and your new friends in matching t-shirts and face paint will be priceless in the coming years, and it’s a good way to meet a lot of people in a relaxed environment. Also if you’re a returning student it’s probably important to reacquaint yourself with West Street, whether you create your own bar crawl, or go with a society. It’s a bit nostalgic to go and relive the times when you first came to Sheffield. 2.Join a society University is the ideal time to take up something new, whether you’re a fresher or a third year. There is no reason why you cannot try a new sport of activity. Not only does this give you an opportunity to meet new people, but it also gives you a good outlet outside of your academic work.

Make the most of freshers’ week Bar One, Western Bank. The Bar One quiz is free, every Sunday from 8.00pm there is a mixture of picture questions. The prize is a gallon of beer, which is given to you in the form of tokens that you can take away and use at a later date. It scores: (7/10)

Hero of the fortnight Arlene Phillips Fighting back against ageism to become judge ofthe UK version of ‘So you think you can dance’

Seven tips to survive seven days of freshers’ Freshers’ week is a important week for every student. For first years it’s a chance to get to know people and find friends, as well as a period of self discovery. For returning students it’s a chance to have a good time before the stresses and strains of academic work take over.

The Hadfield. Barber Rd. This quiz takes place every Thursday from 9.00pm and is free entry. The prize is an impressive £100, if you get every question correct. However, they will make you work for your £100 and the questions are the most difficult of any pub quiz. Therefore it earns: (7/10)

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

Also an extracurricular activity will also look good on your CV, which as boring as it sounds, is as good a reason as any. 3.Go to the Freshers’ Fair It’s a good opportunity to get some free stuff which may or may not be useful (though I’m still using the wooden spatula I got from the fair

two years ago). There is no use trying to shield the truth, although you imagine that your loan, will last you forever, it really does not go that far, so do not turn your nose up at free stuff. 4.Invest in a 16-25 railcard The train isn’t the cheapest way to travel, however we all know that the coach gets tiresome. So with some forward planning and a railcard it’s possible to travel very cheaply. You’ll find in your university years you’ll be travelling around the country more than a jumpy nomad. As well as visiting your own home, you’ll surely have friends at other universities that you should visit in order to get a taste of other cities. Also a rail card is ideal during the holidays when you want to visit your university friends who may have scattered to different areas of the country. 5.Get a student Bank account Student bank accounts cater to your needs a lot better than any other account your bank can offer. Incentives such as interest free overdrafts and rail cards are offered to lure you in. It’s important to remember a few things when looking for a good account. A large overdraft might seem like a good reason to get an account but try to look at how the overdraft works when you’re no longer a student, does it charge you interest straight away or does it give you a few years to work it down? Also, as tempting as this seems, do not get several student accounts and therefore several student overdrafts, I have one friend who’s just run down her third overdraft and now she’s not even allowed a debit card, reckless spending will catch up with you. Finally, it’s also important to reassess which bank suits you best. Many banks count on you opening an account with them while you’re a student and then just never leaving, you wouldn’t wear a shoe that doesn’t fit so don’t make the same mistake in your choice of bank. 6.Decorate communal spaces

Communal spaces will be important over the next couple of months; it’s where some of your most longer lasting relationships will be formed, and the starting point for a lot of good nights out so treat it with the respect it deserves. Hang up pictures, and display your random souvenirs collected on nights out.

Make it somewhere people want to be, this will create a friendlier atmosphere in your halls/house as it makes it easier for people to sit together rather than camped out in their bedrooms on the internet. 7.Get acquainted Union



I’m not just boasting when I say Sheffield has the Best Union in the country, it’s a fact; we got a prize

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

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Gadget of the fortnight

Product of the fortnight

Villain of the fortnight

iPhone 3G Never be weighed down by your iPod, phone and camera again, with the iPhone you have all in one.

Dior Show Mascara £18.50 Long Lasting Mascara giving you full bodied lashes which offers the perfect base to your eye make-up.

Kanye West Storming the stage at the VMA’s and ruining Taylor Swift’s big moment.

Lifestyle Review: Hollister Hannah O’Connell You may not have heard of Hollister yet, but it is set to hit the UK by storm. The new store opened in Meadowhall just a few weeks ago and Sheffield shoppers are donning the American brand clothes for all they’re worth. Hollister arrived in the UK late last year and set up its flagship store in London; since then stores have sprung up all around the UK. Walking along the upper floor of Meadowhall the store immediately catches your eye; this does not look like your average shop – it looks like a beach hut. The Californian style beach hut, accompanied with huge chandelier, immediately separates “bettys” and “dudes”. I head off into the “bettys” section and with the dark wood fittings and dim lighting am instantly reminded of an Abercrombie and Fitch shop; unsurprising as Hollister is its sister brand. The clothes are also very similar

to those found in Abercrombie and Fitch: extremely cool, laid-back and ideal for casual wear. However, I am pleased to see that it is a little cheaper than A&F. I carry on through the shop, which is much larger than it appears from its beach hut demeanour, and am inundated with t-shirts and shirts in every imaginable colour and style. There are a wide range of jeans, scarves, jogging pants and jackets - all of which scream relaxed, beautiful, Californian college students. Nevertheless, I cannot help loving everything. I walk past the huge TV’s playing scenes of crashing waves and enter the men’s section, where the same theme of casual but stylish is continued with logo t-shirts and hoody’s dominating the section. This shop is definitely the epitome of casual wear. Although slightly more than what you would normally spend on an outfit for lectures, it is worth a look. I’ll definitely be going back when my loan has arrived.

The beach hut entrance instantly catches your eye. Photo: Hannah O’Connell

Fifteen minute food fix for a fiver: spicy vegetable stir-fry

How to food shop

Photos: Helen Munro, Adam Dobson, and Tom Walker

Vicky Shaw

and everything. So as well as getting to know the city of Sheffield make sure you hit the Union. It’s the only Union in the country that puts on six consecutive club nights, and the diversity of each night means there is something for everyone. Start off in Bar One, which is supposedly the longest bar in the country, or sample an interval cocktail, and then without having to step into the cold and pay for a taxi just go straight to the Fusion and Foundry to see the rest of your night off.

Eggs are a good basic food item to have in your fridge. They’re cheap, quick to cook and come with a relatively long shelflife. Not only can you have them as part of your bacon and egg sandwich, but also as part of your evening meal. With six grams of protein per egg, giving us 12 percent of our recommended daily allowance, they are an important element in your diet. Try making your vegetable stirfry more interesting by throwing an egg into the mix. Just follow these quick and easy steps. You will need: One egg Noodles Oil Two teaspoons (tsp) of red Thai curry paste Pre-prepared stir-fry vegetables If you have oil and Thai curry paste as a cupboard staple, the remaining low-cost ingredients make this meal a steal. 1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain the noodles, rinse in cold water, and then drain again. 2. Beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. 3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or a wok and add in the beaten egg mix, cook for about three minutes. Keep stirring the egg as it cooks so that is forms lumps. Then transfer the egg to a plate and set aside.

Cheap, cheerful and easy to make. 4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and cook the stir-fry vegetables according to the packet instructions. Half way through add the noodles and continue to cook. 5. Add the curry paste, cooked egg and four tablespoon of cold water. Continually stir in the noodles, egg and curry paste with the vegetables over a high heat until they are well mixed. 6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Photo: Hannah O’Connell 7. Serve with soy sauce and enjoy. Steven Green, third year Psychology, tried this recipe out for himself. He said “When I first looked at the recipe I thought the egg would be a bit weird but it actually worked really well. “I love spicy food and the red Thai paste definitely gives it a kick. It was also pretty cheap to make and I was full up after it.” Give it a try and see for yourself.

The market is a must for students. You might be shopping alone for the first time, or you might have just wasted loads of money last year, either way take on board some of these tips and your loan will last longer. 1. Plan your meals: This way you can buy in what you need and you won’t throw things away that you didn’t get round to using. Better still, you won’t have to rack your brains each tea time for ideas. 2. Shop around: It might be more convenient to go a few metres down the road to the nearest convenience store but they are generally more expensive than larger supermarkets, even if they are the same company. It’s often cheaper at larger supermarkets so go with flatmates and split the cost of a taxi back or collectively order online with your flatmates and split the cost of delivery. 3. Buy in some basics: Tinned tomatoes, beans, pasta, salt, pepper are all student essentials. Have some basics in so you can always throw something together and don’t waste money on a takeaway. 4. Go to market: Castle Market is a great place to get fruit and veg, meat, spices... you name it. Admittedly, it is a trek back, but definitely worth a visit.

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2008


Monsieur Derriére

Three’s a crowd


t was the bank holiday weekend and, in desperate need of a night out and a change of scenery, we decided we would venture to Manchester. We all knew it was going to be a messy night. My friends and I started early. Drinking beers on the train journey, it was not long before we were all very merry. We headed into town eager to begin our night, and that is when I noticed my Mr Right. The man I had always carried a torch for and I knew already where the night was heading. Cut to a few hours later with the vodka flowing and Mr Right and I are well on our way to a night of passion. I would say it was romantic, but when you’re missing your shirt and the dance floor is spinning then romance takes a back seat to drunken lust. The next few hours disappeared into a drunken haze, however I was aware that suddenly it was no longer just me and Mr Right. My evening now involved another lovely man, and soon our night was moving from a club to a much more private hotel room. Waking up the next morning with Mr Right on one side, but Mr Who-the-hell on the other was not the way I wanted to start the morning with my ideal man. The memories of last night activities were still fresh in my head, I feared all was doomed. However, things seemed to be on the up when Mr Who-the-hell took off leaving just me and Mr Right hand in hand enjoying each other’s company, needless to say I was in bliss. Cut to two weeks later though and Mr Right and I still haven’t gone on our date, apparently he is busy, and I’m starting to think he’s not the sort to settle down for quiet nights in. Nonetheless we all have to look to the future and with freshers’ week on the horizon I’m sure I won’t be on my own for long.

Autumn/ Winter makeup and beauty Hannah O’Connell There are some makeup and beauty trends this Autumn/ Winter that you will definitely want to follow. Ranging from subtle to daring, there is something for every personality and occasion. Firstly, the eyes this season are big and bold. Taking an influence from the ’80s, the eyes that you will want to recreate take the colour right under the brow and out toward the temple. As for the colour, anything goes. If you’re daring go for brights, more reserved ladies should stick to neutral browns and golds. This season spiky lashes are in. This dramatic look is probably best saved for the evening, rather than part of your everyday make-up. Layer your mascara as usual and then pinch lashes together with your finger. Again, taking inspiration from the ’80s, lips are also bold this

Autumn. Bright reds and pinks are the colours that have been sported on the catwalks, for all skin tones. The darker your skin, the brighter and more daring you can be. Paler girls are best sticking to a bright gloss or getting a colour matched professionally at a makeup counter. Nails this season are dark: purple, grey and black. Remember to apply basecoat and topcoat to avoid the discolouration of nails and for a lasting finish. You will be pleased to know that the hair accessory of the moment is still the headband. Black and simple creates an elegant look, whilst colourful and flowery bands are more fun and quirky. There are literally hundreds in the shops and they can recreate a whole outfit on a budget. Pick and choose between these favourite AutumnWinter looks and you’ll be bang on trend through to the New Year.

Is it really swine flu? Laura Kay

Art: Mark Mackay

There’s the mandatory chesty coughs and sore throats that go around in fresher’s week but these symptoms can also signal swine flu. When deciding which you might have, ask yourself firstly, is your new hedonistic lifestyle the reason for you feeling so rough? For instance, have you drank any non-alcoholic fluids in the past 24 hours? Then ask yourself how long have you been feeling ill for? If the answer to this is that it has been a slow burning feeling of intense rubbishness that you and all your

flatmates have, then perhaps you should ring the doctors; do not go into Uni spreading piggy germs! However, if it disappears after a few hours – after bacon and coffee- it is probably not swine flu. The final question is, do you have early seminars to go to? If you do, then assume swine flu, stay inside and spread panic via a social networking site. Of course Swine Flu is serious, but it can be so easily confused with obligatory ‘fresher’s flu’. These serious, medical questions are designed to differentiate between them.

Society of the fortnight: Film Unit Katy Mack Have you ever noticed the film posters dotted around the union, and thought, “I wish I’d seen that film”, but never known why they are being advertised? The committee behind the posters is Film Unit: we are Sheffield University’s longest running student society, celebrating 60 years of screening your favourite films in the union. We run as a committee this means that 25 or so of us (including chair and vice-chair, to treasurer, secretary, projectionist and publicity teams, programme design and webmaster) meet every week to run the cinema in The Union auditorium. Each person, or team, is responsible for promoting the chosen films, ranging from old favourites and recent blockbusters to foreign and arthouse, managing the auditorium or working the projector during the films. Each term, we hand out lists of potential films to our audiences, whose choices inform us when we make the film selections for the following term. This selection is sent off to our film reel distributors, before programmes and publicity start putting the choices into print. Our choices try to represent all types of students’ tastes, as

well as introducing less wellknown films: for example, this following term we’ve selected recent successes like Bruno and Inglorious Basterds (shown on Fridays and Saturdays) classics including American Psycho and Four Weddings and a Funeral (on Sundays) and foreign releases such as Broken Embraces and The Class (on Wednesdays). And all for between £1.80 and £2 per ticket.

Watch films for as little as £1.80 This year our programme also includes film collaborations and charity showings, sponsored by other student societies. Additionally, we work with the Source and local youth groups, screening Saturday matinees of films such as Ice Age III. Last year we won Working Committee of the Year, and hope that our continued love of film, will ensure we win the title for the second time. If you are interested in film and would like to get involved and help the committee then e-mail, You can also check listings on the Sheffield Union web page.

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

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TRAVEL Foreign Correspondant

Tales of a German escort (or almost) Jo Wendel After two years studying at the University of Sheffield, I’m going on my year abroad to Berlin. I’ll be studying at a university there, but I’ve had enough of student accommodation, so I wanted to share a flat with some Germans instead. Shared, privately rented flats (so called “WGs”) are very common in Germany, and there are plenty of websites for people looking for both flats and flat mates. My ad, which I posted on a well-known and respectable WG website, basically went along the lines of this: “Hi, my name is Jo, I’m from Sweden but I live in England now. I like cooking, writing and sewing. Here is a picture of me. Have you got a room free?” Maybe the real ad was a bit more elaborate than that (and in German), but you get the moral of it: I’m nice and I’ll cook for you, pretty please let me move in. It only took a few hours before I got my first reply, and I was over-joyous. Finally, my accommodation worries would come to an end. Unfortunately the reply was of a slightly different nature than expected. “Wenn Du Interesse an einem Job im Escortbereich hast, würde ich mich über eine Nachricht von Dir freuen.” In English: “If you are interested in a job in the escort business, I would love to hear from you.” With my multilingual background and Scandinavian looks I would be perfect for their international clientele. The first job I’m ever headhunted for, and it’s as a prossie. Awesome. Fair enough, prostitution is actually legal in Germany, and many escorts are students who are using the extra cash to fund their studies. So I still can’t decide whether or not to be offended by the offer. They are basically saying many men would pay to sleep with me (feels good), but also that my body is an emotionless commodity to be sold to the highest bidder (feels bad). I think I’d rather work at the supermarket check-outs yet another year. Anna at Mr Pink was understandably disappointed.

Read Jo’s blog and see pictures at www. blog

Infectiously laid back and cheap; take a trip to Thailand Thai whiskey, Buddhist temples, bamboo tattooists, masseuses and numerous angry stray dogs.

Michael Hunter Standing motionless outside a Buddhist temple in a dusty, vacated landscape as a pack of disgruntled dogs bark viciously at you is hardly the picture-postcard holiday scenario. Quite frankly, it was terrifying. But thankfully, avoiding aggressive – and sometimes rabid – strays is one of the few complexities to daily life in Thailand. Away from the brashness of Bangkok, it is a contagiously carefree country whose seemingly ever-happy inhabitants help to create an infectiously laid-back atmosphere. Masseuses and bamboo tattooists line most streets into the early hours offering cheap rates and good humour to all passers-by, particularly foreignlooking ladies and gents. I was in Kanchanaburi, a twohour bus ride from the capital and home to the River Kwai, when a couple of wrong turns led me to the gnarly jaws of Lassie’s unloved pals. I did manage to survive with my limbs intact.

Leaping drunkenly over flaming ropes However, it was not the most fashionable escape, having broken into something of a schoolgirl skip as amused locals watched on. Deadly dogs aside, Kanchanaburi is a tranquil riverside retreat drenched in thought-provoking historical sites. The Bridge on the River Kwai is the most obvious tourist pull but its grim story is told elsewhere; inside the Death Railway Museum and the poignant war cemetery onto which it faces. The touching tributes to the thousands of Allied Forces servicemen who died building the Thailand-Burma railway as POWs in World War II lay just a short bike ride away from the bridge made famous by the 1957 Oscar-winning film. While this somewhat peaceful town is far from partycentric – most bars shut at midnight – there are a number of guesthouses overlooking the river that are popular weekend hang-outs among Western students based in Thailand.

And even on quiet, midweek nights a middle-aged lady wearing a cowboy hat kindly serves a selection of Thai whiskeys from her roadside shack. Aptly nicknamed the ‘The 10 Baht Whiskey Bar’, a large spirit and mixer will set you back the equivalent of a mere 18p. It is in the south of the country, though, on the white-beached islands and coastlines where backpackers get their major dose of booze-fuelled fun. Ko Phangan, located off the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, rightly holds the mantle of one of Southeast Asia’s party havens with its once-a-month Full Moon Party. Although you needn’t worry if you miss it – half-moon and quarter-moon celebrations ensure the opportunity to scold yourself leaping drunkenly over flaming skipping ropes is never too far away. For those who prefer a more modest evening out, the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phi-Phi offer similar antics only without the vomit-stained sand. The latter is probably the most attractive resort in the predominantly sun-soaked south – heavy flash rainfall is common between May and October – despite being one of the worst-hit by the 2004 Tsunami. Phi-Phi’s winding narrow streets littered with bars, restaurants and tour operators attract backpackers and families alike. With clear-blue waters surrounding the island, it is home to a thriving scuba-diving industry while a host of boating trips are available. One of the best full-day excursions includes monkey feeding, snorkelling and a visit to the location where Danny Boyle’s 2000 drama The Beach was filmed. The tour concludes with sipping Chang Beer in full view of the stunning sunset, and the chance to jump off a 15-metre-high cliff is an optional extra. Believe me, it looks a lot higher when you’re up there. The resorts can,

Inside one of the magnificent Buddhist temples. understandably, be a little too touristic for more seasoned travellers and it is in the north of Thailand – with its booming trekking industry – where the adventurers get their kicks. In Chiang Mai, there are a range of treks to choose from lasting anywhere between a day and a week while travel agents also provide connections to neighbouring Burma and Laos.

Disgruntled dogs bark viciously at you For a real taste of the jungle experience, opt for at least a two-day excursion and take the opportunity to stay overnight with one of the Karen hill tribes. Elephant rides, bamboo rafting and hours of tough mountaineering are all part of the standard two-day package, costing a little over 1,500 Baht (approximately £30). Busy, polluted capital Bangkok is largely unavoidable if travelling around Thailand by bus or flying out of the country. Most backpackers head for the Khao San Road which is swamped with a hive of market-seller activity which tends to test the patience after a couple of days. Three nights is long enough to tick Bangkok’s boxes. After all, offers of ping-pong shows or amorous advances from ladies with Adam’s apples can get somewhat tiresome – unless you like that sort of thing, of course.

Photo: Michael Hunter

Top Thai tips Tuk-tuks – Be wary of dishonest tuk-tuk drivers, particularly in Bangkok. Some will promise to take you around the city on their threewheeled taxis for next to nothing, but won’t mention frequent stops at jewellers and tailors. SangSom – Over 70million litres of this brand of rum are sold in Thailand every year, though you won’t even need one to feel its effects. The common method of consumption is via a bucket and straw, after mixing it with cola and Red Bull. (It doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds.) Ladyboys – Inevitably, there are plenty of them around. Luckily, some of them helpfully have a gruff voice, size 12 feet and/or a bulge in their crotch. But worryingly, many have loyalty cards at the surgery – so single fellas, be on your guard. Muay Thai – Thai boxing is a noble art and there are professional bouts scheduled at least twice a week at Bangkok’s two main stadiums. But why merely watch when you can get in the ring yourself? At Ko Phi-Phi’s Reggae Bar, they have a full-sized ring into which they invite tipsy customers to challenge one another for the reward of a free drink. Connect Four – Nintendo Wiis and Xbox 360s have been rather slow in piercing the Thai gaming market, so in most bars and restaurants you can be expect to be playing childhood-evoking games such as Connect Four and Jenga. And if you’re playing against a Thai, don’t expect to win too many games.

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009


Coffee Break CROSSWORD

Across 1. Floorshow (7) 4. Spooky (5) 7. Detection device (5) 9. Vertical (7) 10. Inactivity (7) 11. Measuring implement (5) 12. Dictator (6) 14. Ecclesiastic (6) 18. Copious (5) 20. Drawn (7) 22. Pouch worn with a kilt (7) 23. Diadem (5) 24. Admittance (5) 25. Spiny anteater (7)



Down 1. Transported (7) 2. Emblem (5) 3. Tropical bird (6) 4. Mistake (5) 5. Dependable follower (7) 6. Go in (5) 8. Magnitude relation (5) 13. Reinforcement (7) 15. Reasoned judgment (5) 16. Musical passage (7) 17. Opportunity (6) 18. Part of a church (5) 19. Ahead of time (5) 21. Obviate (5)

To help battle the winter blues and keep the summer vibe alive, The Big Reunion Festival and Forge Press are giving one lucky person the chance to win a double Day Pass to one of the three Big Reunion weekends. Held across three weekends from November 20 to December, Skegness, Lincolnshire will host the UK’s biggest indoor winter music festival. Over two nights, leading promoters from the dance, urban and indie scene, and over 60 live acts will converge to make this the most talked about event this winter. Headline acts include Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, Tinchy Stryder, Hedkandi, Cream Classics, Godskitchen and more.

OVERHEARD IN SHEFFIELD Walking down Fargate:

Over lunch:

Man: “I miss that git like my nan misses cancer.”

Girl: Seriously, the sex was awful. He had no idea what he was doing, and neither did I, so he spent the first six months just jizzing on my tits.

In Bar One, interrupting a quiet pint: Unnamed chair of a Union working committee: “Remember children, Hitler was a great man.”

In the Co-op, looking at a shelf of eggs: Boy: I once asked my boss if we could heat up a box of eggs and eventually hatch chickens. He looked at me like I was thick.

Filling six arenas with a mix of music, over 15,000 clubbers will experience three non-stop back-toback weekends. For more information, including the full line-up and ticket bookings, visit www. To be in the prize draw, just send your name and phone number to features@, before Saturday, September 26.

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009

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Long summer of sporting scandals leave bloody taste


Wednesday chairman reveals plans Chris Rogan

Matt Duncan Comment Am I the only person who has spent this summer wondering if sport has any integrity left? For years we have known, and been reminded regularly by the media, that football had lost all sense of morality. Players are paid too much, dive too much and moan too much whilst the fans are all hooligans that want nothing more than to smash a bottle over another man’s head. At least we had good old rugby to fall back on.

Maybe the threat of defeat is enough to turn formerly good people into cheats

respected figures in the sport. He played for England, the Lions and was voted World Player of the Year in 1991. He has since cultured a reputation as one of the best coaches in the world, winning the Premiership title for five years in a row at Leicester. However, he still felt the need to cheat when faced with the possibility of defeat. Maybe people who are so used to winning simply can not face losing. Maybe the spectre of defeat is one which they have banished so successfully the mere threat of its return is enough to turn formerly good people into cheats. The reason is irrelevant though. People will always cheat in sport. They cheated even in t h e age of the amateur gentlemen, so with the money involved now, we really have very little chance of stopping those who want t o

But this summer has seen that taken away from us as well. The “Bloodgate” scandal has shattered the reputation that rugby had as the moral antidote to football’s excesses. The sad episode of the man who faked an injury will forever go down as one of sports most shameful. Perhaps the most shocking revelation was the level of complicity within the higher echelons of the Harlequins management, most notably Dean Richards. Here is a man who until this summer was one of the most

cheat. However, we can uncover them and we can punish them. Richards has rightly been banned from coaching for three years. Others involved in the incident have also been banned from competing. The rugby authorities have sent out a message: those who cheat will be harshly punished.

In the same way that people will always cheat, people will also always make mistakes Horse racing has sent a very different message. This summer saw the much publicised return of jockey Kieran Fallon from his second drugs related ban. How can the Jockey Club think that it is right to allow a man who has defrauded their sport twice to continue to ride? At the other end of the punishment scale, Sheffield United’s goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has been handed a nine month ban from football because he took too much of an over-thecounter medicine that contained a banned substance. The FA has acknowledged that this was an honest mistake and that there was no attempt to cheat and yet Kenny has been told he is unable to play until April next year. Whilst I wholeheartedly endorse any attempt to punish drugs cheats, we need to be careful. In the same way that people will always cheat, people will also always make mistakes. The most unbelievable scandal

Nelson Piquet and Flavio Briatore. award of the summer goes to the Renault Formula 1 team. The team will not contest charges of deliberately causing a crash involving their driver Nelson Piquet Jr. that allowed his teammate Fernando Alonso to win last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. Any crash is a potentially life threatening event, regardless of the safety procedures and technology. For a man to potentially risk his life or serious injury to unlawfully aid his team heralds a horrific new dawn in professional sport. Despite all this bad news I can not end my first column of the year on such a negative note. Last month saw University of Sheffield graduate Jessica Ennis become the world heptathlon champion at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin. Jessica’s performance was outstanding. The victory has seen her plastered all over the papers and our television screens as well as being touted as a front runner for this year’s sports personality award which will be held at the Sheffield Arena in December. Congratulations to her and let’s hope that this year brings more good from sport and less scandal.

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford has outlined new plans to put Hillsborough on the map, but not just in football. Strafford hopes to involve the whole of the local community, including students, with initiatives to rebuild the Owls as a centre of education, healthcare, social inclusion, research programmes and crime prevention. “Sheffield Wednesday has not historically embraced the vision that it had a responsibility to,” said Strafford. These far reaching and idealistic aims will hope to affect all aspects of the city of Sheffield; something he has longed for since he became chairman of the club in January of this year. Strafford seemed to be aggrieved at the fact that theory is rife, but action is lacking. This is something he wanted to correct, starting with a redevelopment of Hillsborough and notably the Leppings Lane end, which is largely unchanged since the 1989 disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed. “Although nothing will ever put right what 96 families went through that day, we can turn it around in a massively positive way by creating a fitting memorial in the way of a new stand, with a distinct focus on community.” Strafford also believes that his plans will have a positive effect on the World Cup bid for 2018/2022. “With these initiatives, England can stand above the others, with a community atmosphere being the magic ingredient. “If it’s about money, then England can’t win.” The ambitions are certainly altruistic, a welcome change to the perceived view of football clubs. By promoting enterprise, and collaboration between all the sporting institutions of Sheffield, there is a distinct possibility that positive change can happen in the Steel City.

Looking forward to another year of top sporting action in the Steel City Ross Turner We’re back in Sheffield, back at University and back in the Media Hub aiming to bring you some great sports coverage over the next eight months. We will keep you up to date with all the news from the various University teams as they aim for yet more success in the BUCS competitions. We will follow those student athletes who represent their region or even their country at national and international events, and bring you the best of the professional sport that is constantly happening across the city. In terms of University sport, we will be looking ahead to find out if the men’s lacrosse team can emulate last year’s perfect season. The women’s table tennis team will be hoping to do the same after winning their league last year, as well as the women’s cricket team and men’s fencing firsts. After a poor campaign last year

in which they were relegated, the men’s rugby firsts will be aiming for a quick promotion. Their dedication to this is underlined by the four weeks of pre-season training currently ongoing. This season promises to be a big one in terms of sport in Sheffield. This year could see the Varsity ice hockey game staged at the Sheffield Arena after a Steelers match making it the biggest student ice hockey game the country has ever seen. As well as this the BUCS football championships will be staged in Sheffield at Bramall lane. The Lane will also be the centre of a fresh promotion campaign by Sheffield United, while Sheffield Wednesday will also be trying to improve on last year’s mid table finish. And of course, December will see the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards coming to the city with Sheffield’s own Jessica Ennis as one of the favourites to win. We are constantly on the look out for students to help get these

articles written, and we will always need writers to cover matches, usually on a Wednesday afternoon. We have a track record of getting interviews with some of the world’s top sporting stars, from Usain Bolt to Ben Ainslie, and all of these assignments are given to students who are willing to write for the sports section of Forge Press. As well as the usual fortnightly issues of the paper we would like to point you in the direction of our website, sport, for more blogs and web exclusive articles. Also look out for the weekly sports bulletin on Forge T.V., which can be found on, and look out for the Sports Desk on Forge Radio.

To get involved with Forge Sport, e-mail sport@forgetoday. com, or visit us at the Activities Fair

The men’s Lacrosse team in action last year.

Photo: Helen Munro

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FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009


Sheffield cup bid in safe hands with Banks

Gordon Banks (centre), pictured with Howard Wilkinson (left) and Brian Deane (right) during the FA’s visit to Sheffield.

Robert Golledge Experience and football history are the two main factors behind Sheffield’s bid to be a candidate city for the 2018/2022 World Cup according to English goalkeeping legend, Gordon Banks. Banks, who was revealed as the Sheffield bid’s ambassador earlier this month, spoke of his admiration for his hometown city and claimed Sheffield was ready to play its part in the world’s largest single sporting event. A transformed city compared to the one he was born in, the 71-year-old reminisced about his childhood days in the Steel City. “It’s a totally different city today compared to the one I grew up in. “When I was younger all the steel works were pumping smoke out and all the buildings were black. “If the wind was blowing in the wrong direction where I lived in Tinsley, you couldn’t see where you were going. “I remember my mum having to wipe the soot off of the inside window seals everyday where we were all covered in smoke. “But it’s made fantastic progress

and changed drastically. “It’s got everything I believe people need: for visitors and for those living in the city.” In choosing the potential host cities, one of the major dilemmas for the Football Association is dealing with regional rivalries. In Sheffield’s case the main opposition is from Yorkshire neighbours Leeds. Sheffield has previously held games in both the 1966 World Cup and 1996 European Championships with Sheffield Wednesday’s 39,000 seater Hillsborough stadium the venue of choice. The city is also the home to the world’s oldest football team, Sheffield FC, as well as Sandygate Road, the world’s oldest football ground and home of Hallam FC. For Banks, all this football heritage and experience of hosting big events is vital to the city’s bid. “The FA know us because they’ve had quarter-finals here and know the situation. You need the experience of running the events and have the facilities. “Sheffield played its part in 1966 and it would be a shame if Sheffield didn’t get it this time around.

“Sepp Blater (FIFA President) was also in the city a couple of years ago for the 150th anniversary of Sheffield FC. “In all honestly we should get it.”

‘Sheffield played its part in 1966 and it would be a shame to miss out this time’ Gordon Banks, legend Commenting on the current crop of English goalkeepers, Banks expressed his concern at a notable lack of world class keepers. He said: “If he had played last season I would have said Ben Foster had a great chance of being England’s number one, providing he was playing consistently and playing well. But I’m not sure he has the experience now for the World Cup; it may be too much

for him. “If he is playing for Man United on a regular basis he can become a very good goalkeeper. “I don’t think that David James and Scott Carson are good enough, but that is my opinion. Saying that, the ball is far more difficult to handle because it’s far lighter and moves all over the place.” In a career spanning 20 years, Banks’ record didn’t get off to the best of starts with Romarsh Welfare of the Yorkshire League. He recalls: “It was one to forget. There was two trial games; we lost the first 3-2 and then against Stocksbridge Works, we lost 12-2. “I walked into the dressing room at full time and I felt sick. I put my head in my hands and it fell on the floor. I’d let in 15 goals in two games. I couldn’t believe it. “Fortunately the other team I was playing with were keen to have me back and then along came Chesterfield.” After one season of first team football for Chesterfield in the Third Divison North, Banks was snapped up by First Division Leicester City before later moving to Stoke City. For 10 years he was indisputably the world’s best goalkeeper, coining the pun on the common English idiom: “As

Photo: Sam Bennett

safe as the Banks of England”, a saying which would carry different connotations today. Four years after beating West Germany 4-2 at Wembley, Banks would guarantee his place in the history books for eternity. In the 1970 World Cup, Brazilian Jairzinho attacked down the right flank, taking on English left back Terry Cooper and delivered an inch perfect cross for Pele. Pele met the cross with speed and power with his head, yet to the amazement of the players and the spectators, Banks had managed to fling himself across the goal to save low at the his bottom right hand corner. The save would later be described as the “best ever”. It’s a feat that Banks reckons any goalkeeper would be able to achieve. “There’s always a chance of making fantastic saves and David James is that type of keeper. “He will make a wonderful save and then suddenly come running out and you wonder where he is going. But he could make a save just like I did in the 70s.” Banks, in his own words, “has never forgotten his roots” and the city’s bid organisers hope that the bid will be safe in his hands.

FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //



Clubs to benefit from ticket deal

Photo: Ross Turner

Hillsborough stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday. Ross Turner The University of Sheffield has signed new deals with Sheffield’s sporting institutions that will raise money for the University’s sports clubs. The agreement involves discounted tickets to home matches for University students and staff. The deals are extremely important for University sport because for every ticket that is sold, £1 goes to support the University’s sports clubs.

Andy Cox, the Club Sport Manager, said: “This is a deal that benefits both the students directly and University sport in general. The money coming back into club sport will be vital in buying equipment and organising sports events. “It will enable us to maintain the University’s status as a real force in student sport, and help to popularise the sports that are less well known as others.” It is estimated that the added revenue will raise up to £5,000 for the benefit of the University’s sports clubs.

It is the fourth year that student discounts have been offered by Sheffield United and the second by Sheffield Wednesday, although this year promises the best deals yet. It has expanded upon those set out last year, with Sheffield United offering more discounted matches this season, currently six over the season, at £5 a ticket. Sheffield Wednesday are offering all tickets for home games at the discounted price of £5 from October 17, with the exception of the derby game and the fixture against Newcastle United. With both teams expecting to

put up a challenge for promotion, United having actually reached the playoffs last year, this represents an exciting and unique opportunity for football fans. Sheffield Steelers, Sheffield’s successful ice hockey team who last year won the Elite League, are also offering home game tickets for £5 from the October 3, presenting another opportunity to see one of Sheffield’s finest sporting teams in action. Andy Cox emphasised the need for greater co-operation between the sports clubs. “If we are to keep progressing in university sport

Uni beat Hallam in rankings Chris Rogan The University of Sheffield can be happy to see that their position in the British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league table for 2008/09 is unchanged from the previous season. Uni have maintained a position of 23rd, meaning that a hardfought season has paid off in terms of league places. Uni will be especially elated to see that bitter local rivals Sheffield Hallam dropped 10 places to 30th, seven behind the University of Sheffield. Hallam, considered more as a sports university than their local counterparts, are the recipients of greater funding for their sports teams than the University of Sheffield. The results of the BUCS league therefore are both surprising and satisfying for Sheffield. The table is a culmination of all university sports registered with BUCS, and although Sheffield’s total points is far-flung from the top 10, the efforts of the sports

teams this year has clearly been well-rewarded. The system takes into account the progress of most sports at all levels in the University, meaning that nearly every result over the season is crucial to the final standings. Loughborough, Bath and Leeds Met Carnegie took the first three places, all well ahead of Sheffield by more than 2,000 points, but Sheffield were closer than ever to breaking into the top 20, finishing 125 points off this target. Kate Rickard, the Union Sports Officer said: “It’s brilliant that we could finish in a better position than Hallam. “They are much better funded than us, by about £100,000 a year and the result just shows how dedicated the teams at Sheffield are. “Hopefully this year we can go a step further and enter the top 20.” BUCS have also celebrated a new three year partnership with professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers this September.

The new deal will hope to build on PwC’s commitment to student sports under the premise that passion about sport is intrinsically linked to employability. “With intense competition for jobs, it is now even more important to understand and value the skills that students can develop within their university experience,” said Ed Smith, chair of BUCS. “At BUCS we know that students who play sport and help others to play sport develop skills that are used in their communities and careers long after they graduate. “With PwC’s experience and expertise we believe we will help our student athletes compete - not just in sport - but in their future employment searches.” The company hopes to host a series of events that will promote the programme of “Skills through Sport,” an initiative that will hope to bring out the professionalism and teamwork that are found on the pitch, and show to students how these are incredibly desirable properties to prospective employers.

then the clubs will need to work together and help each other out. “This is the third year we have held a club training day at Bramall Lane and we hope to continue our policy of club co-operation and maintaining a professional approach to club sport. “Under the supervision of new Union Sports Officer Kate Rickard, I’m sure we can look forward to a great year for student sport in Sheffield.” Tickets for these events can be bought at the Union Box Office with the possession of a valid UCard.

BUCS Final Table 2



Rank Institution London Met 21 Imperial College 22


Leeds Met



























Nottingham Trent












St. Andrews



















































Brunel W. London









UWE Bristol








Rank Institution Loughborough 1

Total pts. 5512

Total pts. 1151 1062


FORGE PRESS Friday September 18 2009 //


Gordon Banks interview Page 26

Sports deals for students Page 27

A grand homecoming for city’s golden girl Ennis

World heptathalon champion Jessica Ennis at her graduation. (Inset) On the way to winning in Berlin. Nima Green Hundreds of people came out to show their support for new heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis and to welcome her back to her home city. The event earlier this month, held in the Peace Gardens, was to celebrate her spectacular win at the World Championships in Berlin this summer. University of Sheffield Psychology graduate Ennis won Britain’s first ever heptathlon gold medal with a personal best of 6,731 points, beating her nearest rival, Germany’s Jennifer Oeser,

by 238 points. The 23-year-old led from the start, winning three out of the first four events, and ended with her winning her heat of the 800m to finally seal a dramatic victory. Her success and the clear joy of becoming world champion are made even sweeter due to last year’s disappointment when a stress fracture to her right ankle became a potentially career ending injury, and forced her to pull out of the Beijing Olympics. Even earlier this year, she suffered a string of further unfortunate injuries. Yet despite all odds she has triumphed and in the process become an inspiration

for young people and aspiring athletes across the country, particularly in Sheffield. At the ceremony, when asked how it felt to be a source of such encouragement and motivation for young people in her city, she said: “It feels great. I’ve got a lot from studying and training in Sheffield. It feels really nice.” As well as being born in Sheffield, Ennis also trains in the city. Whilst at university, she trained six days a week and participated in competitions whilst completing her degree. “The Psychology department was really supportive of me. It was especially hard in the third

year, but I’m really glad I did it.” Diana Radford, head of Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield City Council, echoed the popular sentiment that Ennis’ win will prove to have a significant impact on athletics and encourage a greater involvement in sport. “I think Jessica has singlehandedly turned sport around in Sheffield and the way it is seen by both young and old,” she said. She went on to talk about Activity Sheffield, a councilrun sports initiative which, to celebrate Ennis’ homecoming ran a series of heptathlon-based sports activities for younger children throughout the day.

Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Graham Oxley congratulated the athlete, hailing her as “a great credit to the city,” and spoke of the letter from Gordon Brown the Prime Minister which praised Ennis’ “courage and determination that will inspire others to greater success.” Ennis herself seemed surprised at the enthused volume of the crowd on the rain soaked afternoon, as she proudly showed off her gold medal. “Thank you all for turning up,” she said. “Your support has meant so much to me. Hopefully I can continue to win more gold medals and do Sheffield proud.”

Forge Press Issue 13  
Forge Press Issue 13  

Issue 13 of student news