INSIDE: Oxjam/ FREE SPEECH/ POKEMON/ ENDER’S GAME/ SYD & MALLORY’S EMPORIUM/ biking/
The independent student newspaper of the University of Sheffield. Est. 1946.
Issue 63 Friday October 25 2013 @ @ForgePress /ForgePress
Sheffield’s spookiest festival Fuse, p. 6-7
Comment argue: Why a sunny beach is bad for your degree, p. 8
GBBO’s Howard about his buns, p. 20
Police patrols increased after Crookes Valley Park ‘incident’
continued on p. 3
Access a ‘pain’ for disabled students
4The Institute for Lifelong Learning’s offices have been inaccessible for students with physical disabilities for more than a year Aidan Phillips Students with physical disabilities have been unable to access the Institute for Lifelong Learning’s (TILL) offices for more than a year after the University moved the department to inaccessible buildings. Since October 2012, the TILL administrative offices have been located at 9 Northumberland Road and 8 Palmerston Road while their previous location, the School of Education opposite the Students’ Union, undergoes refurbishment. Both buildings have steps leading up to the door and steep stairways inside, meaning students in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities are either unable to reach the upper floors or even enter the buildings at all. The University said work is in progress to re-house the department to a building which meets the needs of all its students. But, it has not confirmed how long TILL will have to wait before they’re based in a fully accessible building.
TILL student Kate Birch has Fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which causes widespread pain, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome. Her condition is so severe she has decided to take leave of absence for at least a year because of it. Walking up the stairs causes her pain, putting the women’s toilets in both buildings out of reach as both are located on the second floor, as well as the men’s toilets in the Northumberland Road building. With osteoporosis, post thrombotic syndrome and severe chronic back pain affecting her ability to walk, last year’s mature students councillor Tracey Lee struggles to get up the hill to the buildings and relies on being able to park there. But, there is only one disabled parking space for the Northumberland Building and none at the Palmerston building. Both only have a few parking spaces overall, most of which are taken up by staff. If no spaces are left Tracey has to walk up the hill, something her husband and
last year’s TILL councillor Mick Lee said “takes a lot out of her.” Other students are unable to climb it at all and have to rearrange meetings elsewhere. Mick said the steps at the front of both buildings restrict access for certain students to non-teaching interactions with staff, open days, level three tutorials, being able to hand in assignments outside of lectures and being able to access student computer records. TILL provides part-time courses for mature students which mainly take place after 5pm in buildings across the campus. Tracey said that because of their age, TILL students are more likely to have physical conditions than undergraduates. She said the lack of access “restricts access to staff generally” for anyone who has “difficulty walking up steps or is in a wheelchair. “There are steps at the front and very steep stairs inside. It’s a complete no-go area for some disabled students. “No one has mentioned the issues
personally to me, but I described the building to a couple of students in wheelchairs who hadn’t been there before and they said ‘well that puts that out for me’. “It doesn’t get many students visiting it, even able-bodied students don’t bother going there. It’s completely out of the way, as if TILL’s been pushed into a corner and the rest of the University doesn’t care about it anymore.” She said the decision to hold a recent TILL open day at the offices “prevented any students with physical disabilities from getting into the building. “I was annoyed and asked staff whether we could hold it elsewhere. They said no.” Mick and Tracey said they have raised these issues several times with TILL staff. The staff have looked at options such as having a ramp installed at a side entrance to the Northumberland Road building, yet have been unable to provide full access for students with physical disabilities. continued on p. 3
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Hundreds of students and staff demand free NHS for international students Aidan Phillips More than thousand students and staff have signed campaign letters to the government and foreign embassies opposing plans to charge non-EEA students for access to NHS services. The figures include 901 students from 59 countries and 162 staff, with letters still coming in. Students’ Union officers and student groups will join local MP Paul Blomfield to send the campaign letters on Friday October 23 in a ceremonial post-off. Over the past six weeks letterboxes labelled with “say no to unfair NHS fees” have been situated around the SU, alongside letters addressed either to Home Secretary Theresa May or to foreign embassies which students and staff have been able to sign. The letters state an opposition to the government’s latest plans to charge non-EEA students to access NHS services, most likely through a “health levy” they would have to pay alongside their visa charge. A government consultation earlier this year recommended such a levy should be at least £200. After the proposals were announced in the consultation this summer, international students’ officer Alex Kohnert started an e-petition on the SU website which gained over 1,050 signatures. Following a meeting between Alex, SU president Ally Buckle and Nick Clegg, the SU launched a year-long campaign against the proposals which included allowing students to send letters to the Home Secretary or their foreign embassy as well as emails. On October 10, the introduction of the immigration bill 2013 to parliament confirmed the government’s plans to introduce these charges. Alex Kohnert said the response to the campaign has been “phenomenal.”
Students’ Union sabbatical officers are encouraging students to show solidarity with striking staff by not attending lectures and supporting strikers at picket lines. On Monday October 21 the student executive committee, which includes the eight sabbatical officers, passed a motion in support of the union members striking against pay and conditions on Thursday October 31. Members of UCU, Unite and Unison will be striking next Thursday to negotiate a new pay offer, following a cut of 13 per cent in real terms. A statement from the Students’ Union officers said: “We, the Sheffield Students’ Union sabbatical officers, extend our solidarity to academic and non-academic staff who will be going on strike on the 31st October and throughout the year. “Workers at the University of Sheffield
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Photo: Aidan Phillips
International students officer Alex Kohnert with campaign letters He said: “At a time when students have been bombarded with messages about nights out, arriving at university and a million other things, they have chosen to engage with this important issue. “This is not the end of the campaign. The bill is now at committee stage where it can be substantially altered, and we will be looking to lobby and influence members of that group in collaboration with organisations such as the NUS.” Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield said the bill “builds on prejudice rather than facts.” He said: “The government are talking up concerns about so-called ‘health tourism’ and
then imposing charges on international students, who contribute millions to our economy. “This is dog-whistle politics at its worst, and is the kind of legislation that brings politics into disrepute for the sake of cheap headlines.” The UK Council for International Student Affairs has also attacked the proposals, saying they will lead to a further £1000 on top of the existing application costs for a visa. A statement from the NUS said: “We believe the introduction of healthcare charges of up to £200 per person per year of study is discriminatory, counter-intuitive and impractical.
“We think this gives a message that international students are not welcome in the UK and will mean more students will choose to study elsewhere where government policies and rhetoric increasingly favour them.” The government said the NHS is one of the most generous systems in the world and is also “open to abuse by those intent on cheating the system.” Earlier this summer, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “NHS resources, both financial and clinical, are used to treat and care for people who have no long-term commitment to our country and should contribute towards it.”
SU officers urge students to support staff strikes Lauren Archer
have seen their pay eroded by 13 per cent since 2009: the gender pay gap in higher education is widening, when it should be a thing of the past and the University still does not pay a living wage to its lowest-paid grade of staff. When staff are underpaid and overworked, there is a direct effect on the quality of education that students get – your assessment feedback will be worse, and your tutors and lecturers will be tired and less engaged, with less time for their students. “The decision to strike is therefore not made frivolously, as it obviously puts both staff and students under a lot of stress – staff lose wages, and your contact hours get re-arranged or cancelled. For these reasons, as your sabbatical officers we urge you to channel your irritation and anger not towards the staff on strike, but towards University management – who are part of the national syndicate in charge of
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Education officer Sam Rae, activities officer Alice Lord, development officer Sam Neagus, women’s officer Kat Chapman and SU president Ally Buckle show their support for striking staff setting wages and salaries in higher education, whose failure to create decent working conditions is the cause of the strikes in the first place. “We also want to encourage students not to cross picket lines on the
31st, and to consider not going to their lectures that day. If you want to support striking staff on the day, why not go and say hello to them on the picket line? Halloween costumes are optional but strongly encouraged.”
Photo: Lauren Archer
On Thursday 31 a motion will be debated at the first sitting of Students’ Union council, when councillors will decide whether to push for continued support of striking workers.
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FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
Police prioritise patrols of Crookes Valley Park and Weston Park after ‘incident’ Nicola Moors
Police have increased patrols around Weston Park and Crookes Valley Park after a “20-year-old woman was found in a distressed state” in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The woman was found at 2am by a friend in Weston Park. Following the alleged incident, police taped off a section of Crookes Valley
Park near the University of Sheffield’s geography and planning building, as well as a section of Weston Park to examine the areas. A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire police said that Weston Park and Crookes Valley Park would be a “priority” to be patrolled by the safer neighbourhood team (SNT). Police are examining CCTV to establish exactly
what happened and trace the woman’s movements. Forge Press news editor Camille Brouard was at the scene around 9:45am. She said: “An ambulance left the scene as soon as I arrived. “A triangular shaped area of Crookes Valley Park was taped off, with one police car opposite Weston Park and two officers in sight.” Reports on Twitter told how there were sniffer
dogs and police present at Crookes Valley Park. Sheffield Forum user, Norseman, reported seeing “yellow markers around the bottom entrance of Weston Park in the area around the trees with a police sniffer dog and various police hovering around.” Dominic Johnson, a Journalism Studies student at the University of Sheffield, was at the scene at 3.30pm by which
time the police tape had been removed. Both parks are now re-opened to the public after being closed most of Wednesday. We will be updating this story online as more information becomes available.
A section cordoned off by police tape in Weston Park
Students unable to access buildings for more than a year continued from page 3 Students with disabilities councillor Aleks Loesch said: “When a student cannot access services or a particular building they are at a disadvantage to others. It is unfair, and affects their education and overall university experience. “It is intrinsic to ensure that money is being well-spent at the University for all students, but we must get a good balance between the needs of the many and the few, ensuring that everybody gets the most out of their education and time when here.” TILL director Margaret Hart said: “The University is fully committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have access to our facilities and are comfortable and fully integrated into life at the University. “The Northumberland Road and Palmerston Road buildings are temporary bases for TILL and work is actively in progress to re-house the department in accommodation which meets the needs of all our students. “Teaching is undertaken in venues across the University and staff will always make themselves available to meet with individual students in venues which are accessible.” The University was unable to confirm when the new facilities will be made available. A report published by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers group this month found that access issues are a nationwide problem, with only
half of universities making all their teaching rooms, study rooms and libraries fully accessible for students with mobility difficulties. For students facing ccess issues at any University
building, Tracey said: “I would suggest they make a complaint, or go to the University’s Dyslexia and Disabled Students’ Service (DDSS). They are there to support disabled students. “If they find either of these
daunting, they should contact their Students’ Union councillor who will be able to represent them in this situation.”
Will we make money from the health levy? The government said its plans to charge non-EEA students for NHS access will bring a net benefit of £466m. However, whether the figures work out this way depends on how big a deterrent to students this “health levy” proves to be. We know that more international students equals more money. A study at the University of Sheffield found that international students bring in six times more money to the city than they cost, resulting in a £120m net benefit annually. The report also made clear that the nine per cent of students who stay behind to work in the region will likely contribute skills which benefit the local economy. For all the jobs they take, their overall £120m contribution will create far more. Their contribution to the University’s revenue is also far higher in proportion to their population than for home students. In 2011/12, international students at the University of Sheffield made up over 40 per cent of tuition fee revenue, despite only constituting a quarter of the student population. With their fees now as high as four times the maximum £9,000 for home students, it’s likely this trend has continued since tuition fees were raised. So there are two things the government needs to answer – will their plans lead to less students studying in Britain and, if so, will that decrease be large enough to cancel out the extra money the country makes from the health levy? Whether it’s fair or not is another matter.
Photo: EMASNHSTrust/ Wikimedia Commons A good investment? A company partly owned by the University of Sheffield has reported a pre-tax loss of over a million pounds, yet its investments have increased by £5 million. Fusion IP, which the University has a 24 per cent stake in, recorded losses this year of £1.2 million. The value of its investments, however, has increased by 26 per cent to £25m in value over the last year. The £1.2m loss resulted from lower net gains on investments, a significant decrease from the companies’ reported £500,000 pre-tax profit in the previous year. Tracey Lee outside TILL office
Photo: Aidan Phillips
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Interesting stories from other universities around the country
Our tuition fees should be raised to £16,000 says Oxford vice chancellor Oxford University should be able to charge £16,000 per undergraduate each year according to the University’s vice chancellor. Andrew Hamilton said a university’s charges “should be linked to what it offers. “Like most universities in the country, we have set tuition charges at the maximum £9,000 a year.” He added that the money spent on subsidising education cannot be spent on resources or support for Oxford University. According to their website the University spends over £8 million annually on undergraduate bursaries, in addition to scholarships and bursaries offered by individual colleges.
Estel Farell Roig
Veggie student bites back at piranha that attacked her Vegetarian Lauren Treacy got revenge on the piranha that nearly caused her to lose a finger by cooking and eating it for dinner. The Bangor University student caught the creature in Lake Titicaca on the PeruBolivia border while in South America on a three-month trip teaching English. As the fish was reeled in it almost bit off her finger. Two days later Lauren travelled 18 hours to a hospital where doctors just managed to save the finger. She has been left with a six inch scar and the disappointing “bland” taste of piranha in her mouth.
UCU criticises Durham’s unpaid PhD teaching roles Durham University are embroiled in a row with the University and College Union (UCU) after advertising unpaid teaching roles for PhD students. The roles, within the University’s Theology and Religion department, offer a “voluntary development opportunity for PhD students.” Successful applicants will design and lead a one hour session per week over a four week period. UCU’s regional support official Jon Bryan said: “‘We simply do not accept the defence that teaching for free is a development opportunity - clearly it is not available to people who cannot afford to work for free.”
Photo: Aidan Phillips Students pack an overflowing Coffee Revolution for a debate on one of the most controversial songs of 2013, ‘Blurred Lines’. The proposition, who argued for a Union-wide ban of the song, won the vote.
Students occupy Lib Dem offices
New anti-sexual harassment campaign launched
Student protests took place outside Liberal Democrats’ offices across the country on Friday October 18. The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts protests occurred after the party finalised their decision to back the privatised sale of student loan books. Higher education business secretary Vince Cable, deputy leader Simon Hughes and Liberal Democrat group chair for Birmingham city council John Hemming were all targeted by the protests. National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) protesters left red boxes marked with the words “student debts” outside the door of Vince Cable’s office. The aim of privatising the student loan book is to raise £15 billion from the sale of public assets in order to boost investment. The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts are aiming to make students more aware and to become more active in decisions made about tuition fees and student loans.
A group of students and locals have formed a campaign to stamp out sexual harassment in nightclubs, bars and pubs across the city. Members of Sheffield Anti-Sexual Harassment (SASH) are launching a poster campaign to educate people about issues surrounding rape, consent and sexual abuse. They also plan to form relationships with local venues: signing them up to a scheme that involves posters, training bouncers to deal with harassment and making patrons aware that their venue is a ‘zero tolerance’ zone. Venues that sign up to the scheme will be accredited with ‘safe space’ status, meaning that should an incident occur the bouncers can be informed who will deal with the situation accordingly. Jessie Harper, who helps run the campaign, said: “As a group, we are sick of the sheer amount of sexual harassment and assault that occurs in bars and clubs and the way in which these incidents are dealt with. “We aim to push our unions to properly enforce their Zero Tolerance policies, and to start a poster campaign to reinforce
to students what constitutes sexual harassment, what the Zero Tolerance policy is, and the importance of consent. We hope to broaden our campaign out into bars and clubs in the city – to get them to also enforce Zero Tolerance policies and train their bouncers to understand how to deal with incidents of sexual harassment and assault properly. “We hope that this will be a step in the right direction to making Sheffield a safer place to go out in for everyone who lives here.” The campaign is being organised by students from both universities and local colleges, with members of the revolutionary socialists society, women’s committee, Hallam women’s group and Labour students. Women’s officer Kat Chapman said: “I am really excited about the campaign and think it is brilliant idea that I hope to support in every way I can. Sexual Harassment is such a widespread, persistent and so often unrecognised problem that it is so important we have brilliant groups of women and men working against it. “If anyone is in any doubt of how normalised and common harassment is in our society then they should visit www.everydaysexism. com.”
Support grows for Sheffield graduate detained in Russia Lauren Archer Professors are urging students to protest against the arrest of former University of Sheffield student Kieron Bryan, a journalist and filmmaker arrested by the Russian authorities while documenting a Greenpeace protest. Bryan, alongside 29 other activists and journalists, was arrested and originally charged with piracy for being on-board a ship in Russian waters without permission. The piracy charges have since been dropped and all detainees have been charged with criminal hooliganism. The activists were arrested following an incident on September 18 when Greenpeace protestors attempted to climb an offshore oil platform. Journalism lecturer Marie Kinsey sent an email out to the department, urging students to join a “show of solidarity” in
support of Bryan. She said: “As you know, Kieron is a former student in this department and we support the campaign to free him.” The event, a silent protest of journalists, will be held outside the Russian embassy in London on Saturday November 2. More than 1,200 journalists have signed a petition calling for Bryan’s release, including editors of all major publications. Kieron’s brother, Russell, said: “We are specifically looking to rally those who work in the media and care about documenting events, but all Kieron’s supporters are welcome. We plan to present the journalists’ petition to staff at the Russian Embassy.” The new charge of hooliganism carries a maximum penalty of seven years, rather than 15 years for piracy, leading some in the ‘Free Kieron Bryan’ campaign to believe the case is moving in a positive direction.
Photo: John Cobb/Greenpeace
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Balaclava-clad students protest in support of Pussy Riot The branch has labelled the campaign as one of their main priorities. Co-chair for the University of Sheffield Amnesty society Charlotte Witsø said this is something which “should engage students as the two members who are still imprisoned are only 23 and 25 years-old, and thus only a couple of years older than a student.” She said: “The women’s protest performance was legitimate, if offensive and should not be treated as a criminal matter which means that the women should not have been prosecuted. “Last month, Nadezhda went on a hunger strike protesting against what she said were terrible conditions in the prison where she is held. She has resumed her hunger strike after having been in hospital, and therefore we believe this is a very important case.” The group are also hoping to generate publicity for this year’s Human Rights Week from November 4 - 8.
Aidan Phillips A group of students from the Union’s Amnesty International society protested on the concourse on Thursday October 24 to show support for Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk band imprisoned by Russian authorities. Wearing homemade balaclavas with tape over their mouths and ropes tying their hands, students stood on the concourse in front of a banner reading ‘Free Pussy Riot.’ The group aims to gather signatures for Amnesty’s petition in support of the Russian all-girl band, three of whom were sentenced to two years’ in prison in August 2012 following their arrest in March that year for playing a gig in Moscow’s main orthodox cathedral which included antiPutin lyrics. Amnesty International UK said they believe the three women were arrested and then sentenced “purely for peacefully expressing their opinions, an integral part of everyone’s human right to free speech.” The national branch’s blog said: “Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina have been sentenced to two years’ service in a penal colony, after Moscow city court found them guilty of ‘hooliganism on grounds of religious hatred.’ “We believe the three women are victims of a persecution campaign designed by Russian authorities to trample free speech. We will not stop campaigning for Pussy Riot.”
Photo: Aidan Phillips
Protesters outside the Students’ Union
Students design LGBT centre for Sheffield Neelam Tailor Masters students from the University of Sheffield are working with LGBT Sheffield to design a centre for the city’s 50,000 LGBT citizens. As part of the School of Architecture’s nationally acclaimed Live Projects education initiative to improve the quality of life for LGBT people, 13 architecture students are involved in the project. The students are trying to design a scheme that will be tailored to Sheffield’s needs. Their research includes comparing societies which built LGBT spaces around a centralised organisation to those who take a more scattered approach.
Over the next few weeks they will be developing more solid proposals, having kept a comprehensive blog of their progress and development so far. Armand Agraviador, one of the 13 students involved, said: “We are currently trying to sensitively and accurately establish what is lacking and what needs to be ameliorated for people of all ages across the LGBT spectrum in Sheffield.” He said that, together with teaching them valuable lessons, the project is an assessed part of their degrees. Secretary of LGBT Sheffield, councillor Neale Gibson said: “We are using the students because they approached us in the first place and wanted us to use them. We were
delighted to have been asked. “We hope to start an idea that Sheffield, as England’s fourth city, can achieve what it never has before - a centre for the 50,000 LGBT people living and working here.” Director of media and press relations at LGBT Sheffield Nell Stockton said: “These talented and hardworking students will help support future funding bids and planning applications leading to the creation of an LGBT Centre in Sheffield which offers a vibrant, safe and inclusive space to visit and use.” Research has also been conducted about existing gayaffirmative establishments in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.
Union travels back in time for building reopening
SU vending machines sell Nestle products
Universities team up for sociology festival
Stairwells will be blocked and Foundry will be transformed into a turn of the century dance next week as the Students’ Union travels back in time for a historical theatre performance. Sheffield-based theatre company Bare Project will be taking over spaces across the SU on October 24 to perform a series of theatrical shows as part of the official re-opening of the building. Named “a history of new beginnings”, the performances will relive events across the SU’s history, from protests in the 1970s to watchmen in the amphitheatre from the night a brothel on Glossop Road caught fire during World War Two. Activities officer Alice Lord said: “I studied theatre as part of my degree and this type of theatre is a perfect way to bring a simple tour of a space to life.”
Kit Kats, Rowntrees Randoms and Yorkie bars are being sold in a vending machine in the SU’s atrium entrance, despite a ban that’s been in force for 12 years. SU president Ally Buckle said: “The vending machines are stocked by external suppliers, who should be aware of the policy. It would seem in this instance that whoever filled it has forgotten our policy. “The issue is being resolved and the head of retail services has contacted the suppliers to remind them of our policy.” Chair of the ethics and environmental committee Francesca Rolle said they were “very disappointed and shocked to see the products in the vending machine”, and that they would be “bringing it up with the relevant people.”
The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have teamed up again for an annual festival of debates, workshops and discussions on a range of social issues. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) festivals are held in cities across the country and Sheffield is playing host to this year’s biggest. Discussions will focus on issues like the miners’ strike, the Thatcher years and the role of public sector workers in revolutionary politics. Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield, Professor Gill Valentine, said: “The festival is aimed at people of all ages and is a fantastic opportunity...to demonstrate how Social Science has a major influence on everyday issues.” The festival runs November 2 – 9.
Sheffield graduate’s page reaches nearly eight million followers A Sheffield graduate has become an internet sensation as her Facebook page “I Fucking Love Science” has reached nearly eight million followers, growing at a rate of 15,000 a day. Three years after setting up the page during her final year of Biology at the University of Sheffield, Elise Andrew is being invited to science events all over the world, has co-hosted IFLS! Live at the American Museum of Natural History and was recently interviewed by the Guardian. Her YouTube page has also grown to nearly 165,000 subscribers. Elise said the idea came to her back in 2010 while she was working on her dissertation and “procrastinating as much as possible.”
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Sheffield bars granted extended evening hours
Camille Brouard Some licensed drinking establishments in Sheffield have been granted extended opening hours for a one-year trial period. The West One complex, home to Revolution, The Hop, Las Iguanas and Fitzwilliam and West, can now close at 1:30am on Friday and Saturday nights and at 1am from Sundays to Thursdays. West One’s new hours were set into motion after approval by Sheffield Council. Before the recent decision the bars closed at 12:30am. Some city residents protested about the extended opening hours, including Sheffield City Centre’s Residents’ Action Group. Peter Sephton, chairman of the group, told the Star: “We do accept some noise is inevitable, but we do not accept the premise that our city centre has to be turned into a sea of broken glass and vomit, cause work for the police and clean-up contractors, leave our pavements unusable next morning, and keep us awake into the early hours. “Is this the image we want to give to those arriving from out of the city the next day?” Council planning officers recommended refusal for West One’s application after receiving 13 objections
about late night disturbance, although planning committee member Peter Price said those who live in central Sheffield “must expect disruption from the latenight economy.” 10 businesses operating within West One sent letters of support for the extended night hours application. University of Sheffield students are in two minds about the change. Some supported the extended opening hours but others raised concerns about the noise levels. Politics student Simon Renwick said: “It’s like if you’re buying a house near a school, you should know when you buy the place what you’re getting in for, if there’s late night bars where you live.” Renwick’s friend Ben Mackay, a Journalism masters student, disagreed: “The resident may have bought the house or flat a long time ago. People can go to other bars, residents deserve their peace and quiet.” A 19-year-old Biomedical second-year student said “I’m questioning whether or not it would be louder because it’s right next to West Street anyway, people are running up and down there screaming all night so I’m not so sure it’ll make much of a difference.”
Clegg’s in a fowl mood
Vodka Revolution, Sheffield
Sheffield school one of the most endangered buildings in the country Phoebe Gomes A former Sheffield primary school has been named by the Victorian Society as one of 10 most endangered and “at risk” listed buildings in the country. Along with other buildings such as Haggerston Baths in London and Palace Theatre in Plymouth, the former Heeley Bank Primary School in Sheffield is on the Victorian Society’s top ten list of endangered buildings 2013. The Grade II listed building is owned by Sheffield City Council and has been empty since 2008. According to the Victorian Society, whose aim is to encourage the maintenance of historically significant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, the building is for sale but its future still remains uncertain. Heeley Bank School was built in 1880 by architect ER Robinson. The building has suffered water damage after lead had been
Nick Clegg Lauren Archer Animal rights activists are suspected of setting hundreds of game birds free from a country estate used by Nick Clegg. The birds, reared for shooting, flew away from the country estate used by the Sheffield MP and deputy prime minister last week. About 380 birds are thought to have escaped from the Chevening Estate, Kent. The 115-room mansion and 3,000 surrounding acres are part of a £15 million ‘grace and favour’ property, bestowed by the prime minister. The estate has been the home of foreign secretaries for decades, but was recently also made available to Clegg and his family to share with current foreign secretary William Hague. Previous controversy about the estate arose in July when it was found that the deputy prime minister initially refused to pay a four-figure bar tab accumulated at the property.
Food and drink is supplied for professional functions at the estate, but must be paid for at private gatherings. Clegg paid a large portion of the bill after complaints were lodged, with the rest coming from public funds. A Kent Police spokesperson told the Telegraph: “Between Monday, October 7 at 8pm and Tuesday, October 8 at 9pm, the roof of some game pens on property off Chevening Road were damaged allowing birds to escape. “We are not ruling out the possibility of it having been carried out by animal rights activists.”
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Photo: Camille Brouard
stripped off the roof and has been left open to vandals after being vacated. The Victorian Society urges Sheffield City Council to act quickly in maintaining what they consider to be an “at risk” building. They are worried it will be left to rot. The treatment of other listed buildings in Sheffield has also caused controversy. Jessop Women’s Hospital, which was opened in 1878, caused a stir amongst residents when it was announced that its Edwardian Wing was to be demolished to provide the University of Sheffield with a greater floor area. Demolition of the wing began in July 2013 despite the hospital being a Grade II listed building and the amount of resistance from Sheffield residents. Other notable listed University buildings of particular interest include Western Bank Library, the Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the Arts Tower, the second tallest building in the city of Sheffield and the tallest University building in the UK.
Green party opposes University plans for second time in three weeks Aidan Phillips The University of Sheffield has received its second criticism in three weeks from the Sheffield Green party. Both times the local party has said the University’s development plans will lead to an increase in traffic problems. Sheffield Green party members have objected to the University’s plans to develop its unused Tapton halls of residence into flats and housing, saying the surrounding conservation area “deserves a top-notch development” yet the existing plans could resemble “a standard housing estate.” They’ve also said an “increase in traffic near the site could lead to both congestion and road safety problems.” These criticisms come three weeks after the party released a separate statement opposing the University’s joint plans with nearby hospitals to build a multi-storey car park on Glossop Road. They said such a development would “likely increase traffic flow in the surrounding streets and lead to a decrease in overall road safety,
especially for pedestrians and cyclists.” Local Green party spokesperson Jon Ashe said the party doesn’t have a specific agenda against the University. He said: “We don’t have preconceived views about particular developers, and specifically we certainly don’t have negative preconceived views about the University of Sheffield and its planning applications. “As far as I know, there are no other significant University of Sheffield planning applications currently on which we have a view.” Regarding the most recent development, director of estates and facilities at the University Keith Lilley said: “The University has worked with Taylor Wimpey to ensure that the disused site can bring a much needed housing development to the city. “The proposals include fewer apartments and more family houses than the previously approved scheme and traffic volumes will be lower. The development will provide high quality homes which will be attractive to families.”
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
SU criticises Mercury Taxis’ safety video
National News Sweaty feet expose Swansea crook
Screenshot from the video Camille Brouard The University of Sheffield’s Women’s Committee (WomCom) have published a response to a safety video made by Mercury Taxis, which has been cosigned by the Students’ Union’s women’s officer Kat Chapman and education officer Sam Rae. WomCom’s statement said: “We find this video to be extremely problematic. The use of implicit threat of violence against women in order to promote their company and its services is distasteful to say the least. “It plays into an existing culture of ‘victim blaming’. The onus is always on women to
protect themselves from violence and attack, and this wrongly displaces the responsibility for violence onto the victim and away from the perpetrator.” The video was released on August 14 as an advert to promote using taxis at night. It is split into two situations. In the first a woman walks home and it is implied that she is about to be attacked by a stranger, whereas in the second she gets a taxi home. Mercury’s advertising manager Peter Holmes said: “Our video is not just aimed at students but everyone – men and women alike - who potentially may feel the need to use a taxi.” In reply to WomCom’s
Fire safety: top tips Fran Hinton
A Sheffield student had a narrow escape last Wednesday after an overturned candle led to her flat catching fire. The student left a lit candle unattended in her flatmate’s room on Division Street before leaving the flat for a night out. Upon discovering the blaze, she quickly raised the alarm and left the building. Fire services were promptly called and the blaze was extinguished. We’ve devised a list from the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue services to help you identify any potential fire hazards in your accommodation. 1. Invest in a smoke alarm and make sure to check it regularly. 2. Keep clothing away from heating appliances. 3. Never leave lit candles unattended. Keep them away from curtains and furniture and not under a surface, like a shelf. 4. If you smoke, make sure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of properly. Never smoke in bed. 5. Clean your oven often. A build-up of food and grime can be a potential hazard. 6. If you’ve been drinking, avoid using the oven or any appliances when you get home if you can. Half of all deaths in domestic fires occur between 10pm and 8am. 7. Make sure you know all the potential fire exits in your house.
statement, Holmes said: “We feel you are blowing this whole thing out of proportion and oversensationalising the whole story. No one from our company is victim blaming at all and your comments of “the onus is always on women to protect themselves”, surely that should read men and women?. “Surely we both want the same end result here, for people, including students, to remain safe whilst they are in Sheffield at night and at all times.” He has set up a meeting with Chapman and Rae to discuss the issue. He said to them in an e-mail: “We would like to invite you to come along and view our offices, talk to our management
team and staff to see how we operate and run our business.” In their statement WomCom recommended the women’s minibus, a University service which runs seven days a week from the concourse, as an alternative to walking home at night.
What’s on your mind?
£2,000-a-night judges’ lodges face cuts review Ghaniya Bi After costing the taxpayer £2,032 a night, Sheffield Judges’ Lodgings are being reviewed in the next wave of Government cuts. The review of judges’ lodgings comes three years after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced plans to cut Britain’s £2 billion annual legal aid bill by £350 million a year. The changes came into effect on April 1 2013. According to the BBC, legal aid “helps with the costs of legal advice for people who cannot afford it.” “It funds solicitors and agencies to advise people on their legal problems, such as eviction, debt and family breakdown and, if necessary, represent people in court.” Whirlow Court, capable of accommodating up to three visiting judges, is one of 32 judges’ lodgings across the country which cost the government £5 million a year. The Grade-II listed building originally served as the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Sheffield before being converted in lodgings for travelling judges. Sheffield city council cabinet member for finance Bryan Lodge said: “The review of judges’ lodging is a step in the right direction but why haven’t the Government looked at spending like this before?” According to the MoJ, the 32 publicly-funded lodgings used
Chickens finally cross road safely
Comment on this article online: www.forgetoday.com
A burglar from South Wales was arrested after being given away by his sweaty feet. David Wilks, 33, was caught after a small piece of his shoelace was found at a young student’s house where he stole a 42-inch television. The grey shoelace contained sweat from his foot and this enabled Police to access his DNA and convict the thief. The victim, a young female student from Swansea, has since been left “frightened to stay alone in her own home” following the attack, according to Judge Paul Thomas of Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.
by judges employ a total of 61 members of staff including; 12 butlers, 10 chefs and five housekeepers. Some additional perks include wine cellars and sporting facilities. The MoJ has recently confirmed that the Sky subscription at 11 residences will be cancelled, saving £10,000 in total. When speaking of these buildings, a retired High Court Judge said: “It is all about striking the right balance. It is important to bring costs down but we also need to ensure judges are away from all the other participants in trials. “Judges can often be away for six months – so some degree of comfort is required.” Barrister and former Labour MP Bob Marshall Andrews acknowledged the great expense of these premises. “I think there is an argument for looking at some of the most expensive properties and asking if this is the most appropriate way of proceeding. You have to ask the value for money.” Lodgings in Liverpool, Leeds, Cardiff and Winchester all cost taxpayers over £300,000 a year to maintain and run. Cuts already made by the MoJ also include reducing the number of quangos by a third in addition to downsizing other bodies; this has been estimated to reduce costs by £27 million. A further estimated £41 million is to be saved by 2015 through relocating positions out of the capital.
It may not provide an answer to the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road, but it will hopefully ensure they safely get to the other side. A company has started providing pet chickens with high visibility fluorescent bibs. The bibs, which come in yellow and pink and cost £12 each, are designed to protect chickens from motorists when roaming the streets in the autumn evenings. The “health and safety gillets” are fully adjustable to ensure comfort and contain an inner bodywarmer, lined with NASA approved insulation.
Lauren Archer Pharmacy recommends music for pain relief LloydsPharmacy are selling music as pain relief after commissioning a study which concluded music makes four in 10 people with persistent pain feel better. The study found pop music to be the most effective for 21 per cent of the 1,500, classical for 17 per cent and rock or indie music for 16 per cent. The 16 to 24 age group feel the biggest pain relief impact from music with 66 per cent saying it helped them manage pain. A research assistant professor at the University of Utah Pain Management centre, David Bradshaw, said: “People in pain should try to find some activity to get fully engaged in.” LloydsPharmacy will pilot the selling of music in selected shops across the UK.
Fri day O c to ber 21 2013 F O RG E P RESS
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Ciaran Davis The announcement that the Guardian will publish more Wikileaks documents will inspire predictable debates of freedom vs. security across the world. Although these documents highlight the growing need to challenge our unsettling security state, I am more disconcerted by the complicity between Wikileaks and the Russian government. When Wikileaks came into prominence in 2010, it represented a new chapter in journalism, highlighting the corruption of political elites around the world. Russia was not exempt from Wikileaks’ fierce gaze. Diplomatic cables showed American ambassadors labelling Russia a ‘mafia state’ and further documents were leaked demonstrating the enormous wealth that Putin had accumulated through illicit means. In 2010, Wikileaks, lived up to it’s Twitter slogan - “We open governments.” It published documents irrespective of their point of origin. However, while fleeing the legal questioning which awaits him in Sweden, the head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, increasingly flirted with states who were against U.S interests. In 2012, after securing asylum within the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange began broadcasting on the Kremlin funded ‘Russian Today’. Does this complicity mean that Wikileaks are less likely to publish
documents critical of their new surrogate? It was hardly surprising that after leaking the NSA files, Edward Snowden, found refuge in Russia. Snowden was working independently from Wikileaks although they helped him procure asylum in Moscow. Admittedly, he turned to Russia because there was nowhere else for him to hide. However, his asylum raises fundamental questions about the unsettling nature of Russia’s foreign policy. The Snowden affair represents a propaganda coup for Putin as it enables him to counter claims that he quells dissent at home. He can portray himself as a champion of free speech by providing the world’s leading whistleblower with a home. It is unlikely that Snowden will release any more documents: however Wikileaks continues to leak information that regularly embarrasses the west. The organisation is entangled in Russia’s business and they may be unwilling and unable to focus the same scrutiny on Putin’s ‘mafia state’ in the future. The ideological shift of Wikileaks mirrors the changes that have afflicted ‘new left’ politics. Gone are the days where people treated oppression with equanimity; it used to be irrelevant whether the aggressor was western. Instead, in today’s world, leading ‘leftist’ individuals such as Assange and his good friend Noam Chomsky represent American colonialism as the epitome of
Artwork: Will Ross evil in the world. Witness the shameful demonstrations from the Stop the War coalition. They were silent while Bashar al-Assad bludgeoned his people and only took to the streets when the possibility of western intervention was put forward. The moral dissonance within parts of left wing politics must remain in the forefront of our minds as we read the secrets Wikileaks uncovers. We must recognise what Wikileaks has become: an anti-American attack dog, afraid to bite the totalitarian hand that feeds it.
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Study abroad: just a year-long holiday? Rosanna Austin Last year saw record numbers of students opting to study in Europe on the Erasmus scheme, with more than 14,500 UK students taking part. Thousands more chose to take advantage of a year abroad. With the job market looking tougher to break into than ever, and competition getting fiercer, is it in your favour to do part of your degree abroad? As two of my flatmates jetted off to Australia and Hong Kong at the beginning of last year, I must
admit I didn’t really envy them.
“I’m not so sure that studying abroad guarantees boosting your job prospects” Of course, once they started uploading endless photos to Facebook of paradise beaches, waterfalls and whatever other amazing things they saw, it was hard to stop myself from wondering why on earth I was still trudging around Crookes. But I think for me, studying abroad would have hindered rather than
helped. Those on my course that did go abroad had to cram in a lot of work before they went and now have to catch up on the skills they missed. My friends who went to Australia had the time of their lives - they describe the experience as ‘the year-long holiday’ but equally they admit that they have dropped back in their studies, getting lower marks than they did in first year. So all sunbathing and surfing aside, when it comes to the quality of your degree,
I’m not so sure that studying abroad guarantees boosting your job prospects. And what about the cost? I have to admit, when my friend was applying for Australia, the requirement of having thousands in the bank already was a bit of a turn-off. Of course that’s not always the case as Erasmus schemes actually pay you to be there, but with flights to and from the country; visa costs and money for living whilst you’re there, it can
get very expensive. I think it depends on the type of study and your own situation which determines how much can be gained from studying abroad. If you go to a country where you can pick up some of the language, you can gain all kinds of life skills and qualities. In countries like Australia or America, where the language and much of the culture is similar to that of the UK, I don’t know if the benefits are the same. The benefits to be had from staying at your own university should not be overlooked. Artwork: Holly Gurling
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob er 21 2013
Oliver Saunders and Joe Brennan debate government plans by the royal charter to implement greater intervention in the press Oliver Saunders However benign a royal charter may seem, however apolitical, the fact is that it would mark the first foray into press regulation for over 300 years. A free press, independent from the state and governed exclusively by the rule of law and mutual, voluntary agreement, means a free society. The charter claims to be voluntary and independent, but may be amended by Parliament. The justification for infringement of press independence is to protect the public from violations of their privacy, as in the case of phone hacking. However, phone hacking is illegal. More than 60 journalists have been arrested and the two most prominent, Rebekah Brookes and Andy Coulson, are on trial this week. Far from necessitating further legislation, the arrests suggest the existing system works. Those who argue in favour of statutebacked press regulation have either vested interests or little knowledge of the facts. The political class still hasn’t forgiven the press for unearthing abuses of the expenses system, and while the ‘hackedoff ’ have genuine grievances, they are matters for the criminal justice system. As others have argued, notably Fraser Nelson of the Spectator and Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian, if politicians gain control over the press, it is not likely that this power will be used solely in the defence of innocent members of the public. Instead, it will be used as leverage against unflattering stories and to prevent stories, such as the Guardian’s leak of NSA/GCHQ surveillance files, that are damaging to the state. Indeed, the issue of state intrusion, which it turns out may be far more pervasive than tabloid phone hacking, illustrates perfectly the imperative for a fearless press willing to pry where our leaders want privacy. Although widely condemned from
both sides of the Atlantic, the Guardian’s investigation has prompted US authorities to hint at an inspection into their spy network. Moreover, the move to penalise the printed press seems ludicrously outdated in an era in which anyone can become a publisher (you probably are every day on Facebook.)
The media is moving online, and regulation of the printed press may set a dark precedent. It is conceivable that, sometime in the future having pacified the papers, the state will wish to extend its grasp to the greatest gift to free communication in history - the internet. The royal charter is fickle, punitive and hopelessly naïve, yet nonetheless poses a grave threat to one of the most fundamental foundations of a free society.
Joe Brennan I support press regulation. Not because I hate freedom of the press, not because I want to silence certain
voices in the media, and certainly not because I have a particular fondness for Hugh Grant. The reason I support press regulation is simple: I want the press to be held truly accountable when they become a harmful influence. On page 1781, in the final volume of his report, Lord Leveson “set out a vision of a voluntary, independent, self-organised regulatory system that would provide independence from the [newspaper] industry, coupled with powers to handle complaints.” The final draft of the royal charter on
self-regulation of the press was published this month. It proposes the formation of a recognition board, which determines whether regulating bodies should be recognised in British law. The document contains a list of those who will be ineligible to stand on this board. It includes: “a relevant publisher involved in the publication of news in the United Kingdom” and “a serving or former member of the Houses of Parliament.” So the idea that soon Britain will be an island where the government are free from the criticism of the press sounds a little far-fetched. Furthermore, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has been shown to be an ineffective means of self-regulation in the newspaper industry. A tabloid journalist who was being secretly filmed for the 2009 documentary, Starsuckers, equated punishment from the PCC to “a slap on the wrist.” Surely newspapers should be given harsher punishments for breaking rules, and potentially ruining some peoples’ lives? With new rules on regulation, breaches of ethical codes could cost the culprits up to £1 million, and teach them that they can no longer get away with it. Stricter regulation of the press is not concerned with silencing voices of dissent, but rather protecting the well-being of those who come under press scrutiny. You may scoff at this and say it will only serve to protect celebrities, but it has been shown multiple times that ordinary people have also been treated inhumanely by the press. For example, in 2010 Christopher Jefferies was a victim of such media vilification. Many papers strongly suggested Jefferies involvment in the murder of Joanne Yeates with little real evidence, tarnishing his name and career. Terrible twists of fortune could land any of us in a similar position to Mr. Jefferies and I certainly don’t want to be turned into a media scapegoat for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Our house, in the middle of mainstream Sabina Wantoch There is something infectious spreading through our clubs. It is dark, monotonous and shuffles slowly in circles haloed by its Nike snapback; house music. The current house revival has spread like wildfire, bringing with it a whole new image and social scene. But how many of the converted are actually in it for the music as well as the image? It seems that many people are jumping on the bandwagon just
for the sake of it, corrupting the passionate altruism that raving was once about, with a new vanity and pretension. It’s pretty clear to me that the people who have the most fun are those who don’t care about what they look like whilst they’re having it. But step inside the modern house rave and chances are you’ll catch the stench of more Saint Laurent than sweat. Once surrounded by a sea of beanies and Aztec patterns it’s easy to feel excluded, but it is hard to deny the love going round at any rave – and house is no exception.
Whether it’s what it represents, or it’s the music itself, at least some of these devout followers are genuinely in love with what is happening, and I guess that can’t be faulted. Although part of me wants to dismiss the scene as hipster pretence, another part recognises something at the heart of it, which is all too familiar in British culture: escapism. The house revival echoes this in mainstream form. Amongst the image-conscious atmosphere, the euphoria is still there, transforming our ‘edgy’ poser from arrogant to just
another innocent, chasing the non-conformist dream. Maybe the scene has grown so rapidly because it offers the mainstream a chance of moving away from overplayed, chart-friendly pop to underground raves. If only this revolution could have sparked from a more lively genre, with the more down-toearth, inclusive atmosphere of so many other types of electronic music (happy hardcore may not offer anything superior musically, but it definitely doesn’t care what anyone thinks.) There is just something that
makes me cringe about seeing two hours’ worth of make up sweated off at a rave and I’m sure the culprits would cringe too if only they knew any different. There seems to be some inherent contradiction in the notion of escaping whilst still trying to satisfy the paradigm of those around you. If you throw a default hipster into a filthy free party I’m sure they would embrace it and without any image to chase, they might just realise the epitome of escapist culture.
Fri day O c to ber 25 2013 F O RG E P RESS
Paxman, politics and personal safety Welcome to another issue of Forge Press. After the alleged incident in Weston Park and Crookes Valley Park earlier this week, I think it’s a good time to remind everyone of the women’s minibus. This is a service run by the Students’ Union to ensure that women can get home safely, whether you’ve been studying hard in the IC, finished a late meeting in the Union or heading home after a night out. The service runs seven nights a week from the Students’ Union plaza from 9.30pm until the early hours and drops you off directly at your door for just £1.50. For this low price, how can you refuse? Personally, I feel this is a service that is forgotten and underused - it’s easy to forget that there’s a safer way to get home when you’re tempted to walk back from West Street, for example, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Being the editor of Forge Press, and having to fit my degree around the newspaper (quite clearly my priorities are in order here), I find myself often being in the Union until fairly late at night. The women’s minibus is an invaluable service helping me to get home safely and saving my parents from a couple more grey hairs at home. I urge women to think about how they get home: save £1.50 in your purse or bag, just in case you ever get stuck without a taxi fare. For those of you who are on social media, you may have seen an interview between Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand for Newsnight doing the rounds.
Nicola Moors - Forge Press editor
Paxman heavily questions Brand about how he has the authority to edit a political magazine when Brand himself has never voted in the elections. Cue a very “cross” Brand eloquently expressing his view that the workingclass are “disillusioned” with the political elite because politicians are ignoring the “economic disparity” of the working-class. He says that his lack of voting isn’t due to a lack of apathy but instead due to “absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion to the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.” I think that Brand has expressed the feelings of many people in England, in a very succint 10 minutes. who feel that their views have been ignored by the government. If Russell Brand was to run as prime minister, I would sure as hell vote for him. In this fortnight’s issue, Comment talks about a topic that is extremely important to the rest of us - whether we know it or not - press regulation. Check out the debate on page 9. Features have ventured into the world of sport for their article on downhill biking possibly the fastest sport that the University takes part in. Read all about it on pages 1415.
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Forge Press takes its satirical aim
Idiotic minister of the fortnight So the policy of driving vans around with billboards telling immigrants to ‘go home’ has been labelled a ‘blunt instrument’ by home secretary, Theresa May. She insisted the policy was a success despite it being believed that only one person agreed to ‘go home’ - and that was the result of reading about it in the Guardian. Perhaps a more subtle tool would be to post plane tickets through the letter box? Despite even the voice of UKIP joining the cocophony of discerning moderates, May insists that there were “some returns” on the experiment. Perhaps a bit like claiming that the Battle of the Somme gave the troops a chance to get some fresh air. Or claiming that the Corp quadvods are good for you because they give your liver a nice workout.
-Lauren Archer, Forge Press news editor
Cat app of the fortnight
We’re back with more cat-related iPhone apps, hooray. The Human to Cat translator allows users to ‘communicate’ with their feline friends with a state of the art precision. Purrfect for one of those crazy cat lady days. Not quite as good as Cat Paint but not downloading it would be a cat-astrophe.
Website of the fortnight http://bit.ly/GWrRuE Old people wearing vegetation. A collection of ‘artistic’ pictures depicting, you guessed it, old people draped in various forms of vegetation. We decided to emmulate such a specatacle. See below Hannah, Lifestyle editor.
Student advice of the fortnight According to the esteemed intellectual powerhouse that is randomfunfacts.com, an apple is more efficient than caffeine at waking you up in the morning. Hmmm...
Best local news of the fortnight "HUNT FOR LOCAL POO THIEF" (source: the Brighton Argus). I bet it was Pootin.
Quote of the fortnight: “Burn all the men” email@example.com
Want to make your opinion heard? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your name, course and year of study. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space.
Your comments on www.forgetoday.com to: Mercury Taxis launch safety awareness video for students How much did Mercury pay for this excellently placed piece of victim-blaming, fearbased advertising? Leon
Your comments on www.forgetoday.com to: It’s just a catchy song, have another drink How on earth can you try and deconstruct and defend the lyrics without mentioning those that are the most contentious and those that people have the most problem with? By failing to do so you completely miss the point of the backlash against the song. The problem is not that “domesticate you”, “blurred lines” and “you the hottest bitch in this place” are degrading and objectifying to women. While I personally believe that these lyrics are degrading and objectifying, they are no worse than other songs as you rightly point out. The problem is that the refrain “I know you want it” is an excuse often used by rapists to excuse and vindicate their actions. This is not a hidden message of sexual abuse; it is openly regurgitating lines used by the abusers. You may not find this offensive’ but for victims of sexual abuse who have had these words drunkenly sung to them on a night out it can be very distressing. So no, I don’t think we do have more important issues to worry about than the wellbeing of victims of sexual abuse. Simon
Your comments on www.forgetoday.com to: A £15bn hit? There’s a glaring error in this article’s headline statistic: the £15bn estimate is a dubious one from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (hardly an impartial figure) and is not just hospital admissions and rehabilitation but also the costs of crime – costs that would be enormously reduced by the control and regulation of psychoactive drugs. Furthermore, despite concern about legal highs, the actual cost impact on the NHS of illegal drugs is almost entirely heroin and crack cocaine (both far less, however, than alcohol and tobacco), not recreational drugs - an incredibly important distinction that this article fails to consider. The concern that legalisation may encourage people to try recreational substances is a valid one, however whether it would make much of a difference where it matters – the drugs of addiction – is debatable. The fact is that people become and remain addicted to these drugs whether or not they are legal. The solution is support and treatment, not criminalisation - as has been demonstrated in Portugal, where control and regulation of these substances has shown enormous health and social benefits for those living with addiction. We don’t treat alcohol addicts as criminals: the fact that we treat drug addicts as criminals is a clumsy, primitive and enormously damaging political artefact. Control and regulation would allow psychoactive drugs to be quality controlled, further reducing harm caused. Dispensed from a trusted source in a safe way with ample information about the dangers and risks, deaths such as those cited from legal highs and other recreational drugs could be avoided. Furthermore, the drugs could be taxed, which would help to offset health costs. Finally, can authors engaging in this debate please start to differentiate between the vast array of substances they continue to simply label ‘drugs’? Clearly, heroin needs to be dealt with in a different way to cannabis. Broadly brush-stroking a whole host of wildly different substances as ‘drugs’ and ‘bad’ simply perpetuates the taboo, preventing considered and forward-thinking discussion of how best to improve the relationship between our society and psychoactive drugs and reduce the harm they cause. Rich Brown
Friday O c to ber 25 2013 FOR GE PR E S S
Sheffield SU Highlights Friday 25 October Thursday 7 November
SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER
THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER
Sunday Screaming Ghostbusters
Catch the ghoulish classic for free 20:00, Interval, Free
WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER
The ULTIMATE student Halloween Party 23:00-3:00, Sheffield SU Multi-venue event, £5 adv
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER
GIAG: Thriller Dance Class
16:00-17:00, Studio, £3.30
18:00 til’ late, meet at Activities & Sports Zone, £8 (minimum sponsorship £25) from www.sheffieldrag.com
Learn Michael Jackson's trademark moves
WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER
The 13-mile star-lit fundraising ramble in the Peaks!
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER
Off The Shelf - Project Sunshine
Smart Move Housing Fair
19:30, The Auditorium, £6.50
11:00-15:00, Gallery, Free
Tony Ryan & Steve McKevitt talk about harnessing the sun
THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER
Lemon Fresh Murder Mystery Solve a murder committed in your SU!
15:00-17:00, Meet at Amphitheatre outside SU building, £3.50
Help and advice on finding student accommodation for next year
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER
Leo Houlding: From Amazon to Antarctica
Leo speaks about his climbing adventures 19:30, Foundry, £8
Wed 6th-Fri 8th Nov SU Concourse /Plaza
FRIDAY 25th OCT TO FRIDAY 1st NOVEMBER A whole week dedicated to the scariest time of the year!
Fri day O c to ber 25 2013 F O RG E P RESS
With free magazines on the rise, itâ€™s hard to know which ones are worth the read. But alongside the pages of adverts and celebrity gossip is Now Then, a free magazine which supports art, trade and literature across the city. Rachel Ronald speaks to the editor.
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
Now Then: a cultural guide to the city
ecently an increasing number of free magazines are sprouting up in big cities, and even small towns, across the UK. Many of them, despite the fact that you don’t have to pay, are still hardly worth picking up. But not all free magazines are like the muddy and neglected ones you find on the floor of the tram. Celebrating its fifth birthday in April this year, Now Then is a free local monthly magazine which aims to provide a platform for independent art, poetry and literature, as well as supporting local trade. With a readership of 30,000 to 40,000 people, it is distributed in over 1,000 locations in Sheffield and North Derbyshire. Many people living in Sheffield, even locals, may not have noticed the fact that apart from being the greenest city, it is also an arts hub where a myriad of artistic people, ranging from painters, craftspeople, writers, poets and musicians, work. Now Then exists to support and promote their work to the wider public, providing them with the amount of coverage they deserve. “When it comes to creative endeavours, Sheffield is a very humble, insular city,” says editor Sam Walby, who was involved with Forge Press in the days before he started Now Then. “Most artists are happy to get their heads down and work on developing their craft, but if we can reflect at least a fraction of their output then we’re on track.” Indeed, the magazine acts as a stepping stone and is a great platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their work to a broader audience. Five years ago, Now Then was a monochrome publication which, according to Sam, resembled an “anarchist newsletter,” pertaining faithfully to political ‘zine’ culture.
The team started to uncover their own style after 18 months of trying and experimenting, and now boasts a colourful unique publication which can catch the eye of any passer-by. As well as their fantastic editorial and management team, the success that Now Then has enjoyed so far is also down to their parent organisation Opus. Opus Independents Limited, by which the magazine was founded, dedicates itself to “promoting local art, music and trade in the Steel City and beyond.” It also runs several other ventures like Word Life (poetry and spoken word events), Opus Distribution (flyer and poster distribution) and Opus Presents (live music). Without a price tag, popular free local magazines in the Steel City appear to run well as essential guides to local entertainment, food and drink, shops and nightlife. They highlight the best of living in the city, targeting urban fun seekers, be them born and bred in Sheffield or having adopted the city as a home. Now Then is not the only free local magazine available in the city. Toast and Exposed are two other successful examples which distribute themselves locally. With it’s striking artwork and distinctive front covers, however, Now Then stands out from its fellows as one of the most impressive magazines available. To keep people’s attention, the team work hard on publishing something distinctive from one month to the next. Every issue is based on a different featured artist, who can be local, national and sometimes even from overseas. The work displayed varies massively, ranging from sophisticated graphics to contemporary drawings, thoughtful
It isn’t exactly a money spinner, but we know it has real value
photography and even intricate sculptures more recently. As a result, the cost of producing the mag is naturally high, so the number of copies has to be limited. Aspiring to support the economy of the Steel City, each issue of Now Then is supported only by adverts from independent local traders, charities, community groups and local government. One important objective of the fiveyear-old magazine is to promote what is worthwhile and beneficial to the local community. Swayed away from the norm, the team have been following a strict page ratio of a maximum of one third for adverts, one third for articles and one third for artwork. In other words, as you flick through the mag, you won’t be faced with the gatefold adverts of hair products or the full page adverts of luxury goods that you can easily find in other free local magazine. “Integrity is central to everything we do,” Sam expresses with dignity, “we would never take money from a large corporate or chain.” It does not take much effort to imagine the hardship in sustaining the magazine in this economic climate, especially with a noble page ratio. Although they were losing quite a lot of money at the early stage, the team strongly believed that “the foundations of the project would be flawed if [they] compromised on [their] basic principles”. Just as starting a career or business in any other field, perseverance and great faith in oneself are crucial to launching something like Now Then. “The mag is a real labour of love,” says Sam “It isn’t exactly a money spinner, but we know it
has real value so that’s what drives us on a day-to-day basis.” Even though it is an uphill struggle to get financial support, the team are dedicated to what they do and it doesn’t look as though they will be compromising on their noble beliefs any time soon. Other than featuring art pieces, poetry and short stories published in the magazine, there is another key element that makes it stand out from its counterparts. Now Then adopts a policy of citizen journalism, which means almost all articles, reviews and interviews are written by people who come from the local community, rather than professional journalists. As a local magazine, it has always valued voices from the community. Instead of selecting topics and ideas for local writers every month, Sam chooses to leave the decision to their discretion, claiming that “it is all about representing local opinions and discussion.” This time last year, Now Then extended their love of arts beyond Sheffield to Manchester. The Manchester edition “shares the ethos” of the Sheffield edition, and is currently published every two months. Over the year, the newly established edition has become increasingly popular, and the editor claims that it will likely be printed monthly next year. Once again, it all depends on funding. Though becoming a financially viable media may be a long way down the track, the team sincerely hope that “the fundamentals [of Now Then] are still in place and always will be.” To feel the real value of art in Sheffield, pick up Now Then in a local café or bar in and around the city. The next issue is out in the first week of November.
Integrity is central to everything we do. We would never take money from a large corporate or chain
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Fri day O c to ber 25 2013 F O RG E P RESS
Down the seven hills T
here’s a reason Sheffield has the nickname ‘city of the seven hills’. For most students, getting to and from university every day involves a decent amount of exercise. To some, this may seem a nightmare. To others, these hills resemble the cornerstone of a breath-taking sporting event. Downhill racing is an extreme sport which is growing rapidly in popularity, particularly in South Yorkshire. As the name suggests, it involves riding mountain bikes downhill. But naturally, this description doesn’t do the sport justice. Downhill racing requires a huge amount of skill and involves an element of danger, making it an awe-inspiring activity to spectate, let alone participate in. Dave Camus, captain of the University of Sheffield cycling club, explains why the sport is so special: “Downhill racing is arguably the fastest and highest risk sport the University competes in. “The aim is to complete a downhill off-road course on specific mountain bikes as fast as possible whilst having to negotiate obstacles such as jumps, drops, rocks and roots.” Essentially, downhill racing is a time trial event in which competitors race against the clock to complete the course, similar to downhill skiing and the BMX events we saw at the Olympic Games in London in 2012. “Here in the UK, the tracks are usually three to five minutes long and therefore it requires a lot of effort and focus to complete them without crashing or making mistakes. “It’s a fantastic sport just due to the adrenaline rush of going so fast between tight gaps in trees, and generally being on the edge of control, pushing your skills and bravery to the limit.” The University of Sheffield cycling club has approximately 75 members, with about 15 involved in
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downhill on a regular basis. “We compete in Bucs at a high standard and usually finish as a team in the top 10 universities in the country, with individuals making a top 20 position out of 400 riders,” says Dave. “We also compete in local and national events, with podium finishes becoming a regular occurrence.” Sheffield has a unique relationship with downhill, not only because it provides the 45 degree canvas on which the riders express themselves – the Peak District, Wharncliffe and Grenoside are popular locations for downhill racing – but the city has also produced legends of the sport. Steve Peat is one of them, having won the UCI DH World Championships in 2009, amongst countless other personal honours. The nine-time national champion continues to fly the flag for Great Britain, establishing himself as one of the most successful and charismatic riders around, and he’s clearly well respected at the University. “Peaty is definitely an icon in Sheffield, especially being a World Champion,” says Dave Camus. Despite his international success, Peat has remained involved in the Sheffield riding scene. He holds an annual charity race, ‘Peaty’s Steel City Downhill’, in Grenoside woods, which many students and locals participate in. “It’s a fantastic event with an unreal atmosphere. I managed to get on the podium last year so I actually got to meet the legend himself,” Duncan Philpott, who graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2013, now works as a freelance photographer with a focus on downhill racing. Much like Dave, Duncan has nothing but praise for Peat, whom he often works alongside:
“He is ultimately the legend of the sport. Nobody would dispute that. “He is the one guy that no one says a bad word about. He’s hugely loved all over the scene, it’s ridiculous. “Guys come up to him with his face tattooed on their arm. Everything about Steve is legendary and it’s amazing that he’s here in Sheffield.” Since Duncan now gets to travel around the world to photograph downhill racing, he only occasionally still gets on the bike himself. “I participated in the Bucs Student Championships for downhill for three years but I’m not cut out for racing. I’m used to being on the other side of the tape taking photos. One year I crashed first corner in front of everyone.” He explains the laid-back nature of the sport, and how it has the unique ability to help release your inner child. “Downhill is very much something people do with any bike they like in the woods. Sliding, slipping around, having fun with your mates, getting an adrenaline buzz, it’s awesome.” Is downhill a better sport to capture through a lens than, say, football or rugby? “Totally,” is Duncan’s assured reply. “Photographing it, you get to visit all these incredible alpine locations. You’re always in the mountains. Every track is different and unique, visually it’s very appealing and what the guys are doing on the bikes is quite frankly death-defying. “We had an event called Red Bull Rampage last night. It’s essentially ‘downhill with tricks’, so it’s not timed against the clock. Last night the world’s biggest backflip on two wheels went down.” Duncan firmly believes the success of Chris Hoy, Bradley
Wiggins and Chris Froome in other forms of cycling has helped raise the profile hugely. “We noticed a huge leap after Wiggins won the tour and had so much success at the Olympics. This year it’s just built and built and it’s been really good. “The UK is disproportionately wellrepresented in the top 30 in downhill,” says Duncan. “We’re really successful at a competitive level, for example we’ve got the dominant female rider at the moment in Rachel Atherton. “She won the World Cup and the World Championships this year and she’s looking at going into track in the winter because she’s that much of an athlete that she’s physically fit enough to go straight into something like track cycling which obviously takes so much training,” Duncan says. Downhill racing seems to be very much on an upward curve and Dave is confident that the trend will continue in the near future. In terms of a global scale, downhill is still a niche sport, but with the rise of BMX in the Olympics and downhill events being promoted across the world by Red Bull, it’s definitely a sport to keep an eye on in the coming years. Jessica Ennis-Hill has stolen the headlines and our hearts in the last 18 months, but clearly Sheffield is producing outstanding athletes in cycling as well. We can surely take a great sense of pride from the success of Steve Peat and the University. Hopefully this is just the beginning.
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
Words: Thomas Pyman Photography: Tom Richards
Fri day O c to ber 25 2013 F O RG E P RESS
The power of appearance Patrick Oâ€™Connell explores how politicians harness the publicâ€™s guilty pleasure - the celebrity
Artwork: Philip Cohn
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
alf a decade ago in the United States, two politicians were getting ready for the first ever televised debate in politics history. The Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, was to face the Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy, in a battle to become America’s 35th president. It was to spark a new era in politics. On screen, Kennedy’s appearance was that of a polished, youthful man, and behind the scenes backing him, a beautiful wife and two young children. In fact, Kennedy was the youngest president to be inaugurated since Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. He arrived on screen with a glamour so far unheard of in government. Nixon, on the other hand, had injured his knee two weeks previous to the debate. He had lost weight, was pale and refused any stage makeup for the broadcast. The results from the debate were mixed. Kennedy was victorious, though the margin by which he won, standing at 0.1 per cent of the popular vote, could hardly be considered a landslide. The results of the debate still cause disputes today. It is often claimed that the majority of viewers for the television broadcast supported Kennedy, whereas those who listened on the radio believed Nixon to have won. This notion is thought to have existed largely due to Kennedy’s flawless appearance. This was a radical contrast to the portrayal of other politicians of the era. The public seemed to now be merely looking, and not listening. Behind the slick, sophisticated image was a slick and sophisticated PR campaign, with Kennedy at its centre. Images used in his presidential campaign focused heavily on his youth, as well as his sporty nature. He was set up to be the antiNixon. Well-publicised photographs of Kennedy, in his garden playing American football with his family, sought not only to promote his athletic image, but also to disguise the fact that he had Addison’s disease as well as severe and chronic back pain. At one time, he saw three doctors for his conditions. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, overseen by his Machiavellian father, one-time Ambassador to the United Kingdom, sought to present him as a fresh alternative to his opponents. Tapping into this ideology of the American constituents, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ to JFK as he celebrated his 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden in 1962. The media’s response was closer to the reporting of movie stars than politicians. The Camelot era (the emphasis on Kennedy’s glamour and appeal in the media) of Kennedy’s presidency was cut short in 1963 when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the position of president. The three years of Kennedy’s time as president are now remembered as a time of incomplete dreams and unfulfilled plans, though his image remains forever. Following his death, Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline said: “There’ll be great presidents again, but there’ll never be another Camelot again.”
British politicians have been suggestively guilty of harnessing this public interest too. More recently, the Blair years saw Noel Gallagher grinning amicably alongside the prime minister at an official reception at number 10 in 1997. Also, during the 2010 general elections, Gary Barlow backed David Cameron, further merging pop culture and politics. Kennedy had redefined politics for a modern era. The emphasis was now on appearance as well as his philosophies.
The public seem to now be merely looking, and not listening
Today this legacy lingers on. Last year, journalist John Humphrys, during an interview with Labour leader Ed Miliband, asked whether Miliband believed himself to be “handicapped” by appearance. He continued, adding that Miliband’s struggle to mobilise on-the-fence voters may be due to “the way you perform, the way you appear.” Of course, attempts at portraying a new image do not always go to plan. When David Cameron became leader of the Conservative party in 2005, he promptly cycled to work the next day, though his stunt did not have quite the desired effect. It transpired that whilst he had cycled to his office, he had a Lexus drive simultaneously to his workplace to drop off his briefcases. Though evidently Cameron’s faux pas did not have too much of a negative impact on his career; he became prime minister in 2010, though failed to win a majority government for the Conservative Party. Nevertheless, he became the youngest prime minister in 198 years. A former Old Etonian and Oxford graduate, as well as a member of the notoriously hedonistic Bullingdon Club, Cameron has managed to craft his image into a middle-class “everyman”. Meanwhile, whilst poll ratings indicate Labour is ahead of the Conservatives, the same cannot be said for Ed Miliband. Ipsos MORI polls, a market research organisation, last month indicated that Miliband’s approval ratings have been plummeting. 60 per cent consider themselves dissatisfied with the Labour leader. Only one in five believe that Miliband has a lot of personality, approximately half the number of those who think that Cameron has personality. Of course, one man seems to have
miraculously managed to transcend the usual limits of popularity accustomed to politicians, though he is not even an MP. Boris Johnson, equipped with his buffoonish persona, has overseen PR disasters that would sound the death knell for most other politicians’ careers. He has fallen in rivers, gotten stuck on zip-wires and has been photographed yawning his way through various conferences and meetings. In fact, Boris Johnson’s clownish antics seem to endear people to him further. His calamities are his hook for the public. The same cannot be said for other politicians. Last year’s Olympics gave a massive boost to Boris Johnson’s approval ratings as London Mayor. It certainly did not give a boost to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s ratings; when George Osborne presented a medal at the Paralympics, all that was heard was the deafening sound of boos erupting from the 80,000 capacity stadium.
The world of fashion, much like the world of politics, also appears to be image-obsessed
Whilst the careful crafting of appearances and persona to win over the electorate is an ongoing venture, there is no sure-fire way to create a popular image. Instead, it is an enigmatic and hard to define group of traits that all politicians seek to exude. Nevertheless, the debate surrounding appearances moves far beyond the world of politics and into almost every public sphere. This month another long-standing debate has re-emerged; 38-year-old Kate Winslet appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine. Although this in itself is hardly
controversial, the cover portrait of Winslet has drawn particular criticism for its use of airbrushing, leading the Guardian to describe the actress as looking “like a CGI version of herself.” The world of fashion, much like the world of politics, also appears to be imageobsessed. This week’s incident follows a string of similar criticisms. British Vogue’s ironically titled ‘Ageless Issue’, featuring Helena Bonham Carter, 47, was also criticised for its excessive digital retouching. However, the issue surrounding these debates cuts much deeper than magazine covers. With regards to looks and appearance, people in the public eye seem expected to conform in a certain manner, and their failure to do so is often met with shock. The editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, has enjoyed an immensely successful career at the helm of Britain’s most respected fashion magazine, though her appointment in 1992 raised eyebrows at the time; the New York Times made a note that she could “become better acquainted with a hairbrush”. Shulman has herself laughed off any criticisms of her appearance; though she has noted that not many people “expect” her to be the editor of Vogue, with one newspaper describing her as a “chain-smoking 50-year-old Toyota-driving divorcee”. Whilst many celebrities and politicians attempt to create a new image or persona to increase their popularity, it seems that in truth, the general public also has expectations of how people should perform, behave and look. Perhaps now the issue at heart is not that those in the public domain seem desperate to fit into a certain ideal, but that we, the general public, want them to. It’s hard to tell if this will ever change. But currently, the motto for politicians and celebrities is quite simple; keep up appearances.
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WHAT NOT TO MISS THIS FORTNIGHT
By Lauren Bhaduri
e Market llous Vintag Mary’s Marve
Saturday October 26 at St. Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane: 10am- 4pm. Tickets: £1 entry
Sunday October 27 in Sheffield city centre: 3.30pm8.30pm. Tickets: free.
This hidden gem is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Sheffield’s bigger vintage markets. Still by no means small, Mary’s Marvellous Market offers over 40 stalls and stands, mainly selling jewellery, local arts and crafts. In addition, the market has a café serving homemade food, the perfect thing to hit the spot after a hard day shopping. The fair is a brilliant way of supporting local sellers and stall holders, and the community as a whole too.
Fright Night, Britain’s biggest halloween carnival, can be found right here in Sheffield. The event is considered somewhat of a Sheffield institution and is definitely not one to be missed. Fright Night has something for everyone, from a fancy dress catwalk, voodoo jazz band, funfair and food stalls to shopping trolley zombie grannies. This is one of the best Halloween nights in the country, boasting an attendance of at least 40,000 people. The fact that roads will be closed kind of tells you this is a big deal.
Wednesday October 30 in Channing Hall, Surrey Street: starts at 7pm. Tickets: £5, £3 for concessions
Thursday November 7 at the Riverside pub: 7pm10.30pm. Tickets: £4 on the door
At first glance, it appears that our society is more open-minded and tolerant than at any time in our history. However, does this ideal hold up under further probing? Come along to this discussion and hear different interpretations of tolerance over history and analyses of what this actually means. Guest speakers include Professors Frank Füredi, Angie Hobbs and Anthony Milton. This talk is one of the last events of the literary Off the Shelf festival. Check out last issue’s Fuse for more information.
This evening will be great for those of you that love comedy and have already seen all the usual nights put on by the Students’ Union and venues around the city. Not your average comedy night, the Alternative Comedy Cabinet advertises itself as an “arty, bohemian, urban, culturally sensitive, rural, self-aware, postmodern, absurdist kaleidoscope of human wonderment.” Whatever interpretation you take from this, the night is guaranteed to be a comedy experience like no other.
Tolerating Intoleran ce: a disc ussion
Five uni essentials for the bonfire
NET COMDEY CABI ALTERNATIVE
by Ellie McCaldin With the autumnal rains well and truly here, this fornight we decided to take a look at the most innovative brollies from across the globe. A quick bit of research left us very unsatisfied with our substandard brollies. The best we found included the tandem umbrella, invented by Jasmine Raznahan, with seperate handles conjoined to a single canopy for couples with a height difference. We also love designer Joonsoo Kim’s cloud umbrella which unfolds into the shape of a cumulus cloud. Our favourite, however, is the waterpistol umbrella. Invented by Alex Woolley, the spine of the umbrella acts as a funnel which channels rainwater down into a plastic water gun handle. What better way to cheer yourself up on a rainy day than prowling around squirting unsuspecting passers by? Alternatively save it until you get home and use on your flatmates- instant bad mood cure.
Grow your own: indoor herb garden By Tamsin Wade
by Victoria Beardwood 1. Un grand dictionnaire As young, naïve freshers, many of us rocked up with giant dictionaries containing various languages to aid our studies. If only we’d realised that paper is now obsolete and the likes of WordReference, oxforddictionaries.com and Urban Dictionary reign supreme. Knowing this, we could have saved a lot of money and had more space for the important things like clothes and Nutella. 2. Ineffective earplugs My mother assured me that earplugs would be a student essential, but after several nights of terrible sleep I came to the conclusion that they are the most useless things known to man. They don’t block out anything, especially not the dulcet tones of your flat mate getting it on in the next room. Opt instead for headphones playing soothing music the next time you’re trying to get a decent night’s kip, and throw those waxy little pests on the bonfire. 3. Skyscraper heels Girls, this one’s for you. You know those six-inch heels you brought with you to uni, thinking they’d make your legs resemble those of a supermodel? Burn them all. You can’t tackle Sheffield’s many hills with those attached to your feet. Plus, they inhibit your night out stamina. You may think flats will cramp your style but better that than foot cramps when you’re pulling some epic shapes.
4. Any old iron We all start out with good intentions of crease-free clothes, but when our social lives kick in and work gets hard, personal grooming gets thrown out the window. Hanging clothes up when wet is a great way to let possible creases fall out naturally, and giving dry ones a quick once over with some straighteners is also a handy tip
Image: Alex Woolley
Interest in self-sufficiency and ‘grow your own’ is growing rapidly (excuse the pun). This, coupled with the introduction of the Green Grant in Sheffield, under which educational institutions are given grants to promote sustainable cooking and growing, means now is the time for green-fingered students to allow their inner gardener to flourish.
And what better way than an indoor, student-friendly herb garden? Growingyour-own doesn’t have to be a daunting task involving hours of work and staying in to talk to your plants. It is also a much cheaper, healthier, more environmentally friendly option than buying heavily packaged, chemical-covered, overpriced veg in the supermarket. Plus, your pasta and ketchup when you’ve run out of money at the end of term will taste that little bit better with a sprinkling of basil.
So with that in mind, here is a step-by-step guide to growing herbs in the comfort of your disgusting student house that can be applied to thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and parsley to name a few.
Step 1: You will need some small plant pots, but be aware they need to fit on a sunny windowsill with some space in between - plants don’t like being crowded. You will also need some potting compost (high-quality, peat-free if possible) which you can buy online from supermarkets or specialist gardening shops. Another necessity for your shopping list a packet of dried seeds of your chosen herb. These are stocked in most organic veg shops in Sheffield, or can be bought online. Step 2: The pots should be filled with compost, leaving about an inch and a half of space at the top. Place the seeds in the middle and cover again with about another centimetre of compost. Some seeds may not grow, so it’s always worth planting a few extra, five or six to a pot, in case some don’t germinate. Place on a sunny windowsill somewhere not too cold. Step 3: Water the seeds so that the compost is damp but not saturated. It might be an idea to place the pots in another shallow container to prevent
water leaking onto your windowsill. The plants should then be watered daily or every two days, depending on how damp the soil is when you check it.
Step 4: You can buy plant food online or, for a cheap alternative, you can soak nettles in water and use this nettle tea once a fortnight (one part nettle tea to nine parts water). Your plants should germinate in nine to 21 days, depending on the individual herbs, and you can harvest leaves as soon as they grow, snip off the tips of the plant and wash before using. Herbs will grow back so plants should last a long time as long as you remember to keep watering and feeding them.
When you’ve mastered herbs, there are all sorts of other plants that can be grown indoors; from flowers and plants to chilies and cucumbers, you can turn your student house into a garden of Eden. Just try not to spill any beer on them.
5. Unused instruments Remember that guitar you brought with you to impress your new flat mates with the chords to ‘Time of your Life’, or that glockenspiel you thought would make an excellent addition to the uni orchestra? They’re still under your bed. The time has come to give up your dream of becoming the next Laura Marling and put your unused instruments to better use. Plus, most instruments from the string section would make excellent kindling.
Artwork: Angharad Kolator Baldwin
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
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On a shoestring: Skopje
Sleep equation: X + Y= zZZZZZZ By Niki Kesharaju
By Martina Dainlaite Budapest and Prague are both great easterly tourist destinations, but Skopje is for travellers who are aware that places worthwhile visiting can get a bit dirty, smoky and dysfunctional at times. I’ll admit, initially, the only reason I booked a trip to this Eastern European capital was because the tickets were cheap. I didn’t even know that it was in Macedonia, but spending a long weekend there made me want to recommend it to anyone who would listen. One of the first things to note is that a large bottle of whatever colour wine you fancy will only set you back a couple of pounds which was exactly what I needed after writing my dissertation. As hard as it is to stay sober in a country with such a great quality-price ratio of booze, there are also things to be seen.
T- Tiredness. Calculate this by working out the number of hours since your last full night of sleep. Then add on any hours of physical exercise you’ve done and subtract the number of hours you may have spent napping. Bt – Bedtime is calculated by taking your bedtime that night and dividing it by your normal bedtime.
C – Comfort. Rate your pillow, bedding and mattress from one (very uncomfortable) to five (very comfortable). Add these values together and then subtract nine. Ha – This stands for average hours awake. This is how long you spend awake on an average day. This value is 16 hours for most people.
S – Rate the sounds in your room, except white noise or any other sleep inducing sounds, from 1 (very soft sounds) to five (loud, erratic and disturbing sounds).
L – The light in your room includes any natural light, LEDs or illuminated artefacts. Rate this from 0.1 (very soft light) to two (very bright blue spectrum light). H – Heat. Work out the difference in Celsius between your room and 16 degrees. Divide this by 10. D – Rate your duvet from zero (compensates perfectly for room temperature) to three (does not compensate well and leaves you too hot or too cold). St. Panteilemon monastery in Ohrid Photos: Martina Dainlaite Probably the most exhilarating cultural experience I had in Skopje was getting lost in the old bazaar, which is the largest one in Europe. Narrow streets lined with all sorts of shops selling anything from pirated CDs, faucets and cherries, to heaps of spices, are great to get lost in for a couple of hours. Don’t bother pulling out your map: just relax and let the audio-visual sensory overload run its course. Within a couple of minutes it became apparent just how friendly Macedonians are. When I got caught in an unlikely torrential downpour in the bazaar, a shopkeeper invited me inside, pointed to a chair and said: “For woman.” He made his son fetch me an espresso from a nearby cafe whilst he tried to make small talk in a mixture of six languages. He did all of this clearly realising that a young backpacker like me would never be interested in buying the gold jewellery he had for sale. Eventually, I found my way out of the bazaar and gave central Skopje a well worth walkthrough. It is a place where immaculate new buildings and bridges, built as part of a beautification project, Skopje 2014, contrast sharply with rubbish, beggars, and old Soviet architecture. A horse drawn wagon driving alongside a sleek new car is the norm, as are monuments of behemoth proportions. The Warrior on a Horse, for example, is a 25-metre high sculpture surrounded by dancing fountains and lamp posts that play classical music. Although not necessarily to everyone’s liking, this jaw-dropping historical kitsch is one of a kind. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned project, many of the museums are closed. However there is always the bus to Matka Canyon for a daytrip, a hike to the secluded St. Nicholas monastery, or paragliding off Vodno hill. Macedonia has other cities worth a visit outside of Skopje. Exploring the oldest European Lake Ohrid, and its adjoining Unesco old town, was one of my most memorable experiences. Also beautiful are the many vineyards in the central Vardar river valley, only a short drive from Skopje. I visited a winery, Popova Kula, where I sampled some of the great wines exclusive to Macedonia and ate trout caught in a nearby stream. Such a day trip would set you back no more than £40, including a rental car, and even less if you take a few people along. Macedonia is one of the cheapest countries to travel around in Europe. You could easily get a hostel bed, have dinner and a few pints, all for a tenner. Throw in a culturally shocking setting, inspiring landscapes, nights out dancing to Balkan beats, and you‘ve got yourself a perfect long weekend getaway.
Researchers from the University of Manchester, in association with the Fine Bedding Company, have devised (a somewhat bizzare) equation to calculate the quality of your sleep. The equation not only takes into account how long you sleep for, but also other peculiar variables like comfort of the pillow and duvet appropriateness.
I decided to put this to the test for one of my own night’s sleep using the given equation: Sleep quality=[(TxBt)+C]/[Ha+S+L+(HxD)]
I’d been up since 7am on the Wednesday and went to bed at 1am on Thursday morning. I also skipped the gym and had no naps, so my ‘T’ value was eighteen. My normal bedtime is 12am so my ‘Bt’ value was 0.0833. For comfort, I rate my pillow a 3, my bedding a 4 and mattress a three. My ‘C’ value is one. My ‘Ha’ is 16. I sleep in a relatively quiet room, so a perfect one for ‘S’. Thin curtains means lots of natural light, I rate it a 0.5. My room is normally freezing, so I’ll estimate it at about 12 degrees making my ‘H’ value 0.4. My duvet is perfect at keeping me warm despite the chill in my room, I rate ‘D’ a zero. Drum roll for my result. I got 0.1428...
I’d like to think my sleep was a lot better than the result I got. My verdict on this sleep equation is that it all seems a bit over calculated. The equation doesn’t take into account when you wake up the following day and it seems to pull a lot of numbers out of the air, like subtracting nine from the comfort value of your pillow, mattress and bedding. Speaking of which, rating the comfort of an inanimate object doesn’t seem accurate at all. However, maybe those with a bit more time on their hands could calculate the recipe for a perfect night’s sleep. If you manage it send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wagamama’s winter menu By Isabel Dobinson With award winning restaurants in 17 different countries, Wagamama is rapidly becoming the world’s hot pick for Japanese and pan-Asian cuisine. Whether it’s their detoxing fresh juices, generous bowls of noodle ramen soups or, my personal favourite, the chicken katsu curry, this is the place to experience unique food, packed with flavour in a cool and trendy environment. The new Wagamama winter menu is packed with mouth-wateringly slow cooked dishes with spicy and flavoursome kicks. Starting off the new additions is the pulled pork gyoza side dish. The five dumplings are great for sharing (or not) and are served with a dip of spiced black vinegar and ginger sauce, giving the dish the perfect kick. The wok-fried greens consisting of stir-fried crunchy broccoli and pak choi, generously coated in garlic and soy sauce, is perhaps the healthier option: however is equally tasty. Though certainly colourful, the new beetroot, carrot and orange juice is an acquired taste, but great if you want a refreshing drink on the side. Alternatively, try the green tea infused iki beer, which is incredibly light and refreshing. The mahi mahi curry, which has a great kick of ginger and lemongrass, plus a Photos: Isabel Dobinson
hint of nutmeg, is the restaurant’s new succulent fish dish. Served with sweet potato and peppers, it is the predicted ‘it’ main of the season. If you fancy a less spicy meal then I’d recommend the kare lomen. Served either with prawns or chicken, it is a creamy coconut soup accompanied with ramen noodles, cucumber, bean sprouts and sprinkle of coriander. For the vegetarians out there, there is the mushroom noodle ramen, which is packed with more than five types of exotic mushrooms, plus an additional helping of tofu. However, my favourite main on the new menu is the grilled duck ramen. This too is a noodle based vegetable broth, but with generous amounts of succulent crispy duck and a hint of chilli. What’s a better end to the night than a hot festive dessert to get you into the winter spirit? The half moon pancakes, oozing with a sweet date and orange jam like sauce, was the highlight of my Wagamama experience. This is topped off with a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream, which as my friend described, is “Christmas in food form.” Wagamama’s winter menu is certainly a winner in my books. If you’re looking for authentic Japanese food with a modern twist to brighten your winter evening, then look no further.
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Q & A: Howard Middleton After saying goodbye to the Great British Bake Off this week, Lifestyle editor Hannah McCulloch speaks to Howard Middleton about student baking, illicit ingredients and being part of the bakers’ dozen. How did you find the Bake Off experience as a whole? Fantastic, it really was the experience of a lifetime. It’s not just about the competition and learning new skills, it’s been the awesome support from the public. Who knew that would happen? I’m humbled and overwhelmed; absolutely blown away. Was it stressful baking in that environment, having to do something that is usually quite relaxed in such a competitive way? Far more stressful than I ever imagined. I’m not a natural speedy baker. Baking against the clock is so different to baking at home and knowing that everything you do is being filmed adds to the stress. You can get away with silly mistakes when nobody’s watching but you can’t do that on national TV.
Which was your favourite recipe you used this series? I think my favourite recipe was probably the tea flavoured biscuit tower, shaped like a Japanese pagoda - I’m convinced it saved me from going home that week. At home, friends thought my hemp and date loaf was delicious but the tent does strange things to your bake and maybe it affected Paul and Mary too. Where do you get your inspiration from? I like to play around with unusual ingredients and different flavour combinations but I also try to bring some humour and cheekiness into my baking. I get inspired by all sorts of things - art, design, even your baking mistakes can trigger off an idea.
Are Paul and Mary the same on screen as they are off? I expected Paul to be critical so it’s a pleasant surprise when he says
something nice. Mary can be both sweet and steely.
Does Paul really have such blue eyes or are they contacts? They looked real to me, but maybe I was a little overawed. Did you get on well with the other contestants? Absolutely. You are all sharing this amazing experience so it’s almost impossible not to form attachments. Even though it is a competition, we all want each other to do the best we can, so we advise and support, both inside the tent and outside. I’ve met the most wonderful friends in our group of bakers. I’m so lucky to have had the chance to be part of that bakers’ dozen.
Can we ask about the Custardgate incident? When Deborah stole your custard, did you consider calling the police? Poor Deborah - she was mortified by that. It was stressful for both of us, but how can you get annoyed if someone makes a genuine mistake? And when Sue elbowed your buns, did you feel targeted? That was so funny. When Sue lifted the tea towel and showed me the squashed muffin, I half thought I’d leaned on it myself. It was a bit of a relief when Sue confessed. But drama and controversy did seem to be stalking me.
When you went out of GBBO social media went a bit crazy. How did it feel to be trending on Twitter? I’d never considered being on Twitter before Bake Off.: I was a Twitter newbie. It was crazy and wonderful to see the support from people. I felt truly humbled. I just wish everyone could experience the positive side of Twitter.
Do you have a favourite place to go for cakes or baked goods in Sheffield? There are some fantastic cake and bake places in Sheffield, but my kitchen isn’t a bad place either.
What sort of baking did you do as a student? I learned that you can give a lot of pleasure by being considerate. A simple Victoria sponge still makes a great birthday cake - it’s the thought that counts. I shared a flat with some students from Malaysia and from that I discovered some amazing flavour combinations and ingredients. Being a student is a wonderful opportunity to mix with people and absorb new culinary experiences.
Do you have a particular recipe you would recommend to students with limited kitchen cupboards and purses? Try something uncomplicated like a soda bread or a citrus and almond cake - very simple but still impressive. If you’re stuck, feel free to get in touch.
What next? Do you have plans to take over the big bad baking world? Perhaps mass produce the hemp bread? Who knows what will come next? Being on the Great British Bake Off was fantastic - I went in pushing the boundaries and challenging the norm. And I still want to do that.
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Spotlight on: Syd & Mallory’s Emporium By Alice Burrow
Kirsteen Hardie and Lucy Jo Newell, the designers behind Sheffield favourite Syd & Mallory, have landed on Devonshire Street. Their wonderful sunshine yellow shop front, created by Sheffield artist Tom Newell, is a welcome addition to the street’s current array of book shops, vintage boutiques and artsy curiosity shops. The Chesterfield duo are already firmly established on the Sheffield scene, having sold their signature appliquéd clothing and handpicked vintage pieces at the Forum for many years previously. The old book binders shop had been barely touched for nearly 40 years but has undergone a dramatic
transformation in recent months into Sheffield’s newest and most exciting emporium. The business was born seven years ago when Kirsteen began producing screen-printed bags, using the skills she had aquired from her degree in Surface Pattern. Pairing up with Lucy a few years later, the girls have taken Syd & Mallory from strength to strength. Appliquéd motifs, such as daisies, aliens, and bananas, are a Syd & Mallory signature look. The black ‘skull tits’ jumper was a particular favourite of mine that I stumbled upon while browsing. Kirsteen and Lucy also handpick vintage items to accompany their main collections. These garments have obviously been carefully curated and do not look out of place alongside Sid & Mallory’s original stock. At the moment, the 90s is getting a look in with velvet dresses and beautifully clumpy shoes. An amazing pair of Kickers kick-hi’s caught my eyes but sadly they were a bit on the small side. Relocating into their own building has brought considerably more space, and more exciting opportunities for Syd & Mallory as a brand. Kirsteen told me that it felt like they could finally put their own stamp on it after being restricted for space in their old boutique. Their menswear has extended and occupies the front half of the upstairs while the back half plays host to a lovely little tearoom. The carefully selected décor makes you feel like you’re being welcomed into their home for a
cuppa – a far nicer experience than any chain coffee shop can offer. The Emporium also serves as an exciting opportunity for local artists to exhibit their work and allows customers to support this thriving Sheffield art scene. You can find Syd & Mallory clothing a lot further away than Devonshire Street. Not only is is the brand stocked online on the ASOS Marketplace, the girls also sell wholesale to shops and boutiques as far flung as Los Angeles. If you are on Devonshire Street it is well worth popping into Syd & Mallory’s Emporium for some tea, homemade cake, and some of the best clothing that Sheffield’s independent scene has to offer.
Photos: Alice Burrow
The health benefits of singledom By Georgina Charlton
A recent study at Penn State College of Medicine and Brigham Young University in the U.S. has uncovered that cancer sufferers who were married had a 14 per cent lower risk of death. Whilst this is wonderful for those with a spouse, it’s sadly not that promising for the singletons amongst us. As the poster girl for the single life, I often cite the health benefits of being unattached as my main reason for staying that way. Ahem. So where on this endless list of partnerless positives do we start? 1. Food When a meal has been lovingly made for you by you, why share it with someone else? Normally my meals resemble a sharing platter and in these cold months this is completely justifiable:
Image: Relaxing Music
extra insulation in winter is always welcome. I can safely say my stomach is much merrier due to the fact that I gobble it all down myself. Also there are definitely twice the amount of vitamins in twice the amount of food, so, I am twice as healthy.
2. Alcohol Unlike food, this is a slightly more questionable aspect. On the one hand you drink less because you’re not sat in front of the TV every night, cuddled up with your partner, glass of vino in hand. However, there are those that become more susceptible to going out binging at the weekends, or in my case mid-week, drinking a sickening mixture of liquors. Any benefits reaped from aforementioned alcohol abstinance quickly evaportate. So I’m on the fence on that one I’m afraid. 3. Me time All those lost hours of spending time with your other half
can now be channelled into you. What am I going to do this evening? Well, I’m going to paint my nails, pluck my eyebrows, indulge in a face mask and moisturise head to toe. Detox done. All the above are definetely far too time consuming to partake in when in a relationship where someone else demands a portion of your precious day. Not to mention all those extra hours you can spend exercising and engaging in your favourite past times; if honing and toning’s not your thing then perhaps tinkling the ivories or taking up knitting can while away the hours in front of the TV.
4. Not having to share saliva What about all the kissing and caressing? In this current contagious climate, it’s a recipe for disaster. A whole lab full of germs and you are exchanging them with another person. Ew. Glandular fever and the common cold are easily spread when engaging in a game of tonsil tennis and what with the changing of the seasons underway, illnesses are rife. So, why take chances? 5. Feeling fresh-faced Ladies, hear me out, wearing make-up can be a time consuming nightmare especially when in a rush or you just can’t be bothered.
Surely being single and having no other half to impress gives your skin a well-earned rest as well as giving you that extra 15 minutes in bed in the morning. Bliss. This brings me on to by far the greatest health benefit of all 6. Sleep A singleton can sleep right through the night, every night. No snoring other half growling in your ear. No sudden realisations that the person next to you has cocooned themselves in the duvet leaving you cold and coverless for the remainder of the night. And of course the real reason couples get less sleep.
Joking aside, one of the frankest answers I recieved, when pondering the health benefits, was the “self confidence in spending time alone and being okay with that”. Too many times you hear of people in unhappy and dead-end relationships. For many being in a relationship is better than being out of one, irrespective of its quality. So, perhaps the healthiest part of being single is that – a healthy and positive view of yourself. And that is something that comes from you and you alone.
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COFFEE BREAK TWEETS OF THE FORTNIGHT
The Southern Cassowary is a large black flightless bird closely related to the emu and the ostrich, and can be found in tropical rainforests across the world. They stand about two metres tall, weigh about 60 kilograms and can run at speeds of 30 miles per hour: bad news for anybody unfortunate enough to encounter one in the wild, as they are extremely territorial and can be very aggressive. There have been over 200 recorded cassowary victims to date. Luckily they are incredibly shy birds, and people are only in any real danger from those used to human contact. Find more from Jeff S. PhotoArt at: http://bit.ly/1cOq8Go
Photograph of the fortnight: Close up with a cassowary
Photo: Jeff S. PhotoArt/Flickr
Witch you were here Are you looking for a job this Halloween? Are you able to scare children without feeling guilty, make up a spell on the spot and cackle menacingly with the finest? You might be in luck. Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset are holding auditions to find the new witch of Wookey Hole, after the current witch handed in her notice after two years on the job. Open to male, female or transgender witches, the unusual position pays £50,000 a year and at the last audition attracted thousands of witch-wannabes. Duties include appearing in publicity photos and making public appearances in the caves to entertain visitors. Sunny van der Pas, the current witch who will be helping to choose her replacement, said of the position: “It is a fantastic job but any performer will agree that it
is difficult to play the same role for two years. I think it would be ideal for someone who has been to drama school or for an older person, who wants to have a regular role they can get their teeth into. “You have to like children, be able to cackle convincingly and enjoy dressing up and being really close to the public. You have to like living in a cave and be able to perform a few spells.” Applicants are expected to come dressed as witches to the auditions and will have one minute to impress their judges with their witchy routines. The use of pyrotechnics is strictly forbidden. If you think you’re terrifying enough for the role, have a spare cauldron lying around or a few chin warts that you could put to good use, then get applying.
Word of the fortnight Frisson, noun: 1. A sudden brief moment of intense excitement or fear. 2. A physical shiver or shudder in reaction to an emotional trigger such as music, speech or memory.
ow.. n k u o dy
The name Imogen may have resulted from a misprint in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. It has been suggested that Shakespeare meant to use the name of Innogen, a figure in British legend, as he also used this name for a minor character in Much Ado About Nothing.
Infants under the age of nine months do not understand object permanence - the fact that objects exist even when not being observed. When you hide your face when playing peek-a-boo with an infant, they genuinely believe that you have disappeared.
Not just a coffee shop Viral marketing reached a new high last fortnight with an incredible display of telekinetic power in a New York coffee shop. A man gets up to leave and accidentally spills coffee onto a young woman’s laptop. He apologises but she flies into a rage and begins to shout at him. None of the customers around them who are awkwardly trying to ignore the argument are ready for what happens next. The woman makes as if to push the man away from her, and sends him flying up to be pinned against the wall with nothing more than a simple hand gesture. Shocked at what she just did, she releases him and begins to scream; tables and chairs are flung violently backwards and pictures and books hurtle off the shelves. Terrified customers flee the coffee shop while others cower in fear at the unbelievable sequence of events unfolding before them. Unbelievable is the right word to describe it. Although it looks scarily real, this hidden camera prank is just that: an elaborately rigged coffee shop with actors spread liberally among the customers. The books
and pictures are spring-loaded and the tables and chairs sit on metal tracks in the floor. The back wall of the shop is fake, specially constructed for the prank. Technicians behind it activate everything via remote control, and if you look closely you can see the wire that pulls the stuntman up the wall. This brilliant prank was the brainchild of Thinkmodo, a viral video marketing agency based in New York. If you’ve been reading this article and thinking that it sounds like a scene out of Carrie, five points to you: the whole scene was in fact viral marketing aimed at generating hype for the
upcoming Carrie film remake. For those of you not in the know: Stephen King’s Carrie tells the story of a girl who discovers her telekinetic powers and uses them to wreak revenge upon her high school bullies, ultimately destroying her entire town. Read that and now tell yourself you wouldn’t have run screaming out of that coffee shop too. Watch the video now at: http:// bit.ly/1hx8LaR
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Puzzle Page: sudokus Medium
1 6 9
3 1 7
Quotes of the fortnight
Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.
Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.
J. K. Rowling
1. Young goose (7) 8. Species of tree comprising the genus Ulmus (3,4) 9. Gold or silver in the form of bars or ingots (7) 10. Very stupid (7) 11. Receives money for labour or services (5) 13. Two days before the day after today (9) 15. Person forcibly enrolled in the armed forces (9) 18. Frame holding an artist’s unfinished work (5) 21. Corpse (7) 22. A particular version of a published text (7) 23. Small egg-shaped wind instrument (7) 24. Most expensive property on the Monopoly board (7)
1. Triangular upper part of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof (5) 2. Of the sun (5) 3. Unique to an individual (13) 4. Extraordinarily clever person (6) 5. The ability to use both right and left hands with equal skill (13) 6. Reduced to shreds (6) 7. Great! (slang) (6) 12. Australian slang for ‘afternoon’ (4) 14. Raise the stakes, put more at risk - ‘up the ____’(4) 15. Protective covering (6) 16. Typical (6) 17. Length of a trouser leg running from the crotch to the bottom of the leg (6) 19. Hindu deity (5) 20. Of the moon (5)
Dingbats are visual word puzzles from which you must identify a well-known phrase or saying. 1.
Find the answers to this fortnight’s puzzles online at: www.forgetoday.com/category/coffee-break
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FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
Matchdebating Does English rugby still need the salary cap?
Rugby’s development Salary cap keeps the sport grounded is being held-up Matthew Smith It is unarguable that the number one sport in this country is football. It is the most popular, most moneyed, most watched. However, the question over the identity of our number two sport is much less clear cut. Generally, it should be seen as a three way battle – between cricket, tennis, and rugby union. In my opinion, the nation’s second sport is the latter of the three. In terms of media coverage on a national and international level, the number of people who play it in this country at all levels, and the interest from abroad, rugby is streets ahead. Combined with the fact that it is bloomin’ good fun to watch and to play.
“If salary caps are not removed, teams will stay in a rut” However, rugby union in this country continues to feel like a second-class sport when compared to football. The wellmannered cousin with dirt on its face and patches on its clothes. This is because the cold hard cash that runs through the veins of the sport with the round ball is conspicuous by its absence in the land of chasing eggs, with the RFU enforcing rigorous salary caps on the clubs in the English Premiership.
As such, many of England’s most notable names are jumping ship, with Jonny Wilkinson at the head of the queue, escaping Newcastle Falcons for the sun, sea and salary of Toulon. The salary cap was
introduced in the late 1990s. Since then, England have gone from the world’s rugby union superpower, culminating in that drop-goal to win the 2003 World Cup, to an also-ran in the race for the title. They were nowhere near in 2011, and risk slipping to the same level of expectation as the England football team by 2015. True, in World Cup years teams get a bonus in order to help bolster their squads, but the best players in the world don’t come for an occasional payoff, they go where the best rugby is to be found. Hence the vast majority of the Super 14 would wipe the floor with the Premiership. The RFU is starting to relax its rules, allowing one player per club to break the salary cap. Like the MLS. No one has ever believed that the MLS is a credible world power in football. Much more credible is the relaxing of caps for academy players. These caps should be abolished in all forms, especially for home-grown talent; there is no better incentive for a team to produce superb young blood than telling them they can shower as much money on them as
they are able to. The RFU has a single duty to the clubs, supporters and players of rugby union in England – to make the rugby that we see the best it can possibly be. In order to manage that, the best players should want to come here, stay here and play here. If
Simon Shaw Salary caps in sport have always been a controversial subject over the years, and with the rapid rise in popularity of rugby in recent years, it has seen huge amounts of money being injected into the game by the media and other speculative investors. Giving Aviva Premiership clubs the freedom to splash the cash may attract more world class players to England’s top flight league; but this has
salary caps are not removed, teams will stay in a rut, supporters will stay at home waiting for the occasional decent game to appear on their TV, and the world’s notable players, both from here and elsewhere, will not play in the Premiership. Which means we can forget a 2003 repeat any time soon. Jonny Wilkinson left Newcastle Falcons for big spending Toulon
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implications which could threaten the future development of the England game. Currently in England the salary cap sits at £4.26m for the 2013/14 season, with the top 14 league in France giving clubs £7m to spend on players. While some may argue that this is attracting more world-class players to the French league, which it undoubtedly is, it is at the expense of the English and, particularly, Welsh club sides, whose top players have followed the Euro to the lucrative French League. If the Aviva Premiership were to adopt a higher salary cap or have no cap at all, it would severely impact the opportunities for home-grown players.
“What rugby needs is a level and sustainable playing field” This argument shares similarity with the debate in the English Premier League, where two-thirds of the players have come from overseas and consequently has negatively impacted our national team through limited opportunities for home-grown players to participate at the highest level in club competitions. It is true that gaps created by the defection of top players to the French League has given opportunities to young English players such as Christian Wade, Marland Yarde and Billy Twelvetrees, as the lower salary cap is forcing clubs to develop home-grown
talent as opposed to buying expensive players from abroad. While many spectators would like to see more world-class players make the switch to the Aviva Premiership, many English fans would also like to see these exciting young English prospects given a chance to compete at the highest level. With the strength of Stuart Lancaster’s latest England squad, it truly reflects the positive impact the salary cap is having on the development of the national team. London Wasps’ recent avoidance of administration is a stark reminder of the dangers of increasing the salary cap. The former kings of Europe are losing £2 million a year and came very close to going out of business towards the end of last season. Only four out of the 12 teams in the Aviva Premiership are profitable. In a testing economic climate, increasing or removing salary caps could, in the long term, be disastrous. What rugby needs is a level and sustainable financial playing field, where clubs live within their means. Without this, the grassroots of the game will be starved of the oxygen needed to survive in an increasingly competitive professional era. I don’t believe that most rugby fans want to see a two-tier structure, as is the case with football, with a small elite of clubs dominating the sport at the expense of the glorious tradition of the game.
Forge Sport editor Jack Taylor chooses his heroes and villains of the week Andros Townsend
The Spurs winger announced his arrival to the international scene with a stunning debut, establishing himself as England’s main attacking threat.
CSKA Moscow Fans
The PSG striker scored four goals on Wednesday night including one strike reportedly clocked at 93 mph.
Yaya Toure called for UEFA to ban the fans from the ground in future matches after monkey chants were aimed at the Manchester City midfielder.
The England Rugby League Second Row was thrown out of the World Cup squad this week when he missed a morning swim after late night drinking.
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Sports personality of the week Forge Sport editor Jack Taylor met Darts president George Francis for an interview
When did you first start playing darts and how did you get involved in the society? I started playing when I was about 14 years old, I found it a really fun sport to watch on TV, so I thought I’d give it a try. When I came to Sheffield, the darts team was still fairly small (only about six players), but in my fresher’s year it expanded to around 20. From there, I found I really enjoyed the social aspect of the team as well as just throwing darts, and how well everyone in the team got on, so I decided to get involved with the committee. In the last few years we’ve grown even bigger, and this year we moved into Bar One and nearly doubled our membership!
“We make sure we enjoy ourselves and have a laugh as well as play some great darts”
How did the team get on last season and what are your aims for this season? Not very well, unfortunately. We qualified the University plate, which is the second tier of competition, and came agonisingly close to winning, only losing our last game 7-6 and with other results going against us, we just missed out. We’ve had some really good players join the team this year so we’re a lot more hopeful for some silverware. Unlike some universities who I won’t mention, we make sure we enjoy ourselves and have a laugh as well as play some great darts.
The university doesn’t class darts as a sport, do you want to be a recognised sport and if so why do you believe darts is a sport? We’ve tried to be recognised as a sport by the university, but it would require a national effort from all the University darts teams, and many seem to be ambivalent towards the idea. However, Hallam have just created a team so we’re hopeful for Varsity in the future – it’s become a staple of many other varsities, and Nottingham had over 1000 people attend to watch last year. Darts was recognised as a sport by Sport England in 2005, and like any other sport, requires a manner of physical exertion and skill. Why do you feel there’s been an increase and what new members have brought to the society? Darts is such an easy game to play, you don’t have to be athletic, you don’t have to be a raging alcoholic and we certainly don’t care how good you are – all you have to do is turn up, throw a few darts and hopefully have a laugh.
will obviously be stronger this year. Also I’d really like to thank the staff and managers of Bar One for being so helpful. After our last home at Stephenson Hall closed down, we really paniked, but they all put a lot of effort in to accommodate us and make sure we had all the facilities we needed.
Once we realised that a lot of our members hadn’t played a lot of darts before but really enjoyed the social aspects and how easy it is, it became a lot easier to sell to people, and moving to Bar One this year has really helped people find us. Doubling the membership has definitely caused the committee a lot of stress! It’s also improved the social aspect as there are a whole new group of people getting to know one another. Also, some people are just natural darts players, and even if they’re novices they will develop really quickly into great players, so the team
Darts players having nicknames is famous. What is your nickname and where did it come from? I’m ‘Homewrecker’, the reason being a mixture of my notoriety for being clumsy and breaking things whilst drunk, and also for my prowess (or lack thereof!) with the opposite sex.
“ As a sport that is fairly alcoholcentred, Darts socials are always going to be pretty chaotic” What is the best nickname in the society and how did it come about? I think the majority are unrepeatable for the paper! I was always a big fan of Phil ‘Free Mandela’ Roughsedge, because we still don’t know where it came from or why he wanted to be called that. Dave ‘The Elephant Man’ Slattery, based solely on his looks, was especially harsh. Most of our nicknames come from stupid things done on our
President peppers in the treble twenties
Photo: Jack Taylor
nights out, but we also have some cracking puns and some plain weird ones. There’s a lot of time spent by the older members trying to come up with original and unique names. Chris ‘The Sports Centre’ Goodwin and Matt ‘180 Shades of’ Gray were some other fun ones. What are nights out like with the darts team? Are there any darting drinking games you can describe? As a sport that is fairly alcoholcentred, Darts socials are always going to be pretty chaotic! We actually want it written in the societies’ constitution that we’re not allowed to hold our socials at Roar, we think it’s rubbish! Corporation or Pop Tarts suits the society a lot better as there always seems to be more hilarious stories and better music. As we’re just about small enough we usually do our predrinks in someone’s house which really helps people to get to know one another better, but sadly means by the time we get to going out our memories have become quite blurry! Last year we even managed to get our Christmas social filmed by Corp TV. There is a darts version of arrogance which is fun, but I’ve been very inebriated whilst playing it so the rules elude me. What is your most memorable moment as a darts player at university? For the President, I had a fairly terrible record playing in a university shirt; either the nerves or the alcohol would always get to me, so winning my first game was both really great and also a massive relief. Also, seeing 20 extremely drunk darts players piling into my flat in Ranmoor after a match a few years ago, and the chaos that ensued will always stay with me.
Clough named as new Blades’ boss Football Sky Bet League One Phil Hammond Sheffield United have appointed ex-Derby manager Nigel Clough as their new manager on a twoand-a-half year deal. Clough, 47, takes over at Bramall Lane following David Weir’s dismissal earlier this month and becomes the Blades’ eighth permanent manager in just over six seasons. Speaking at his official unveiling Clough said: “I am very proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to manage here, I was disappointed with how it ended at Derby but now we have to put that behind us. “I will try and build a team and squad capable of getting promotion. We are not miracle workers, it takes time to mould and recruit a team. “I am looking forward to seeing the squad at close quarters, I
think things are slowly turning round. To be realistic, let’s get out of the bottom four and then get a squad together that can challenge.” Clough enjoyed a playing career that spanned 24 years and saw him achieve 14 England caps, representing Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Manchester City before becoming player-manager at Burton Albion where he guided them to the football league. He was appointed manager of Derby County in 2009 - the club his father Brian famously managed - finishing 14th, 19th, 12th and 10th in his four seasons at the helm before being sacked earlier this month. Kevin McCabe, co-chairman of Sheffield United, said: “Nigel has a fantastic reputation for his abilities. What’s he done at Derby County has been admired by me as they’ve had similar problems to ourselves with having to get huge wage bills down and at the same time blending youth
development into creating first team football of an exciting and successful nature. “We’re in a position in the league which we didn’t expect at the start, but Nigel is here to take the reins with a look towards getting this club back to the Premier League within a sensible period of time. “Capturing Nigel is a huge coup for us.” Both McCabe and director Selahattin Baki acknowledged the role of Chris Morgan as interim manager, describing his contributions as “first class” and providing a solid base from which Nigel Clough can begin his management at Bramall Lane. Clough’s first game in charge will be this Saturday’s home clash to Crewe where the Blades will be looking to secure their third win of the campaign and drag themselves out of the League One relegation zone. New era for the Blades of Bramall Lane
Photo: Blades Sports Photography
FO R GE PRESS Fr i d ay O c tob e r 25 2013
Undefeated at home after comeback win Men’s rugby union BUCS Northern 2B
University of Sheffield 2s University of York 2s
Simon Watters Sheffield 2nd XV returned to winning ways at Norton on Wednesday following an entertaining 37-26 win over York 2nd XV. On a surprisingly dry afternoon, Sheffield started strongly, but a flurry of knockons in the first 10 minutes slowed momentum. In the early stages York made ground well with the wind at their backs but the Sheffield scrum was dominant and the lineout solid. The Black and Gold Army opened the scoring after 25 minutes with a penalty from centre Rich Knowles. This was followed by an uncoverted try for York against the run of play soon after. Another York try soon followed, this time the conversion was good. 12-3 to York, lapses in concentration the telling factor on both occasions. Tired of being on the back foot, Sheffield replied two minutes later with winger Harry Crook going over in the corner, narrowing the score to 12-8. Another try was added almost immediately, Rich Knowles reading a pass to perfection,
intercepting and running 80 metres to score under the posts. After converting his own kick, the half time score read 15-12 to Sheffield, a sloppy first half but a deserved lead. Sheffield began the second half as they had started the first; a blistering run from captain Ben Thompson created space for Knowles to score his second try in what was a magnificent performance from the centre. Ten minutes later fullback Sam Tipper capped a great performance with a superb try, converted by Knowles, the score now 27-12 to the hosts. A deliberate knock on from Sheffield’s number 8 Miles Warriner resulted in a sin binning with twenty minutes to play. This allowed York back into the game, who quickly hit back with a try from their tighthead prop under the posts. From this point on, Sheffield began to dominate and an outrageous drop goal from the boot of Cameron Corcoran with 10 minutes to go made it 30-19 . A late tackle on scrum half Jamie Glydon resulted a rather spicy last ten minutes, yet the hosts continued their assault, with inside centre Chris Lambert going over, Corcoran with the extras. York replied with a try in the last minute of the game but it was too little too late.
Tense table tennis triumph Men’s table tennis BUCS Northern 1A
Sheffield Hallam 1s University of Sheffield 1s Philip Carpenter
Mike Fraser in full concentration
Photo: Philip Carpenter
Volleyball 1s show potential despite loss Men’s volleyball BUCS Northern 1A University of Sheffield 1s Durham University 1s
Robert Milne University of Sheffield men’s Volleyball firsts fell 0-3 to a dominant Durham University team in their second game of the season despite a spirited effort. Durham’s superior organisation on the court was too much for the hustle of Sheffield’s men. The American led Durham side came out firing in the match and they clearly had the physical advantage over Sheffield, with their height a major asset. Sheffield suffered from miscommunication in the first set and throughout the game, with multiple balls being allowed to drop in the middle of the court unreturned. Despite some highly contested rallies in the first set, each team was damaged by their serves, Sheffield specifically, although by no means were Sheffield pushovers in the encounter. The first set got away from them following two consecutive Durham aces. The late Durham burst led to them taking the first set 21-25. Short bursts of quality from both teams became a centrepiece of the contest. Durham’s 10 point stint, which put them up 8-18 in the second, ultimately won them the set. It appeared to damage
Sheffield’s confidence as they began to struggle to set up spikes and were beaten at the net. Sheffield did show some fight to make their way back into the second set, but fell 16-25. The home team displayed some quality and passion in the third set. Yet, there was still a need for more power on the serve but blocking had improved and they matched Durham all the way. They perhaps deserved to win the third with the hustle displayed. The defence was visibly improving as the match went on and playmaking ability was shining through in Sheffield’s sequences. Despite this improvement they were still unable to resist Durham University who took the set and match with a 22-25 and 0-3 victory respectively. The team suffered a tough loss at the hands of Northumbria University in their season debut 3-0 but were looking to bounce back against a tough Durham University team, who finished 3rd in Northern 1A last season and turned over Leeds Metropolitan 3-0 in their first game of the season. Despite being unable to find consistent form against Durham there were definite signs of quality in the Sheffield ranks, untapped potential. If patches of success are turned into confident play throughout the game they will have a great chance of getting a positive result against Lancaster University in their next fixture.
In a quiet corner of the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield Uni’s table tennis men’s 1st team continued their winning start to the season with a stunning victory over local rivals Hallam. It had looked that Uni would race to an easy victory when the scores stood at 8-4, but an impressive Hallam team fought back in the fourth round, almost pushing it to a tie-breaker in the final doubles match. That fate was averted by a late win for James Atkins that had the spectators on tenterhooks right to the last, giving Uni a comfortable 9-7 win to take into the doubles. In need of a consolation prize, Hallam took the doubles match 1-3 to settle the scores at 9-8, giving Uni a strong position at the head of the league they won last year. The team will be looking to extend this lead when they take on next week’s challengers and closest competitors Manchester Uni 1st. Flamboyant play from the whole team provided great entertainment all afternoon, with Biao, known as the “great wall of China” Yang showing a talent that was truly compelling to watch. The whole team faced a stiff challenge in UK Paralympian Ashley Facey-Thompson who provided his team with half their points, but Mike Fraser’s speed and ability was undeniable and the dogged determination of George Cox gave Uni the edge that earned them the deserved victory.
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NuhiuYang Biao celebrates gets into after thegiving swingWednesday of things the lead
Photo: Photo: Sheffield PhilipWednesday Carpenter
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Late tries end rugby league hopes
the home side just couldn’t get a foothold in proceedings and Hallam made them pay for their errors as Ben Swift bustled his University of Sheffield 1s 22 way over the try line to make it Sheffield Hallam 1s 40 0-14. The Black and Gold side finally got points on the board Jack Taylor 25 minutes in as a passing move A late surge from Sheffield created a one on one for Richard Hallam crushed University of Veazey whose powerhouse Sheffield’s hopes in their BUCS frame brushed the tackle aside Northern 1A, derby at Norton. and finished well near the corner University of Sheffield started flag to make it 4-14. slowly and Hallam took an early However Hallam’s 14 point lead when Jimmy Rourke went lead soon returned as Tom over in the corner after a slick Betteridge finished off a slick passing move to take a 0-4 lead. move to give Hallam a 4-18 lead Despite missing the at half time. conversion in windy conditions, A half time team talk from Hallam soon doubled their lead returning captain Danny after a lack of concentration Johnson gave Uni of the allowed Hallam to begin their incentive to get back into the set of six from five yards away game and a 50 yard try by Sam from the try line and they took Wilson was exactly what the their chance with aplomb as Joe doctor ordered. Wilson ran past Smith went over with ease. Jack 3 defenders before brushing Mitchell converted to make it aside the Hallam full back to 0-10. finish under the post for the Despite good running from perfect try. Sam Wilson and some strategic Liam Grimmett then powered kicking from Richard Veazey over for the University of
Men’s rugby league BUCS Northern 1A
Sheffield as they cut the deficit to 2 points as Veazey converted both Wilson and Grimmett’s tries to make it 16-18 At this stage it looked as if the next team to score would win the game but alas it was to be Hallam who would have the late surge and pull away. First Tom Betteridge broke clear and ran 30 yards to score under the posts to allow Jack Mitchell and easy conversion. Jordan Parry then finished off a fine Hallam move which started well inside their own half to make it 16-30. Nic Pluskota did give University of Sheffield hope when he went in under the posts to cut the lead to 8 points but Hallam still had time for two more late tries as University of Sheffield’s lack of match fitness began to tell. Tom Betteridge finished off his hat trick showing great pace to run away from the University of Sheffield defence and then Parry got his brace with some strong running and finishing, giving them a 22-40 victory.
Fri day O c to ber 25 2013 F O RG E P RESS
Nigel Clough unveiled: More inside
Three late goals gives first win of the season Men’s football BUCS Northern 1A
University of Sheffield 1s University of Leeds 1s
Dominic Smith Three goals in the last 10 minutes saw Sheffield run out comfortable 4-0 winners against the University of Leeds and pick up their first three points of the new campaign. After gaining promotion last season by dropping just two points at home, Sheffield went into the game with confidence despite suffering a 3-1 defeat at Manchester last week. But the home side were noticeably relieved when midfielder Tom Bland smashed home an 82nd minute penalty to put them 2-0 up after a disjointed game, hindered by some questionable refereeing decisions. With the play stretched and
Leeds deflated, the tireless Tam Kitgrave twice broke in behind Leeds’ defence to add another two late goals. Having won the earlier penalty through sheer force of will after chasing down what seemed a lost cause, it was the least his endeavour deserved. In truth, it was the piece of play that epitomised Sheffield’s performance. After dominating the first 15 minutes, Sheffield had to work hard to keep Leeds’ pacey front three at bay, who constantly threatened to break in behind the Sheffield defence. The teams had seemed destined to go into half-time at a stalemate, before Sheffield took the lead on 40 minutes. A whipped corner from the impressive Eric Wedge Bull landed perfectly on the forehead of centre back Patrick Howard who made no mistake from five yards out. Leeds enjoyed their best spell early in the second half, when Sheffield tucked their wingers
The University of Sheffield put four goals past Leeds
Kitgrave and James Shields back into midfield to protect their lead, leaving striker Josh Thompson isolated. But Sheffield defended resolutely and restricted Leeds to only half chances. The game grew increasingly fraught as Leeds searched for an equaliser, and much of their ire was directed at the referee. His display was best described as inconsistent, after bringing the play back for seemingly minor infringements but taking no action after several crunching challenges. The angrier the Leeds players became, the less effective their attacks seemed to be. Sending their vocal centre back Jason Pilkington further forward left gaping holes which Kitgrave gleefully exploited in the closing stages. Without ever really dominating, Sheffield gained a handsome victory through their doggedness and determination. Going into next week’s home game against
Liverpool John Moores, they will feel confident they can make their mark at a higher level. Centre back Kristian Johnson said: “After a hard fought battle, it’s really pleasing to come away with this emphatic win.”
Six goal thriller sees two wins from two Women’s hockey BUCS Northern 2B
Leeds Metropolitan 2s University of Sheffield 1s
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The University of Sheffield women’s hockey 1s claimed their second successive win of the new season with a victory over Leeds Metropolitan 2s. The game did not start the way the Sheffield had hoped as they found it difficult to adapt to Leeds Met’s pitch, however Sheffield soon got their mindset in the right place. After 15 minutes of solid attacking, the opposition conceded a short corner. Stepping up to the plate, Alice Williams dragged the ball out to the top of the D for Rachel Clarke to trap and Sarah Bazley-Harrison to smack the ball into the bottom left corner making the score 1-0. Straight from pushback Sheffield used their speed to their advantage by ploughing straight into the D and allowing Rosie Christiansen to score; 2-0. Leeds became frustrated and began slapping the ball towards Sheffield’s defending D. Luckily a strong defence from Amy Brook and goalkeeper Alice Mellar kept them from scoring. The final goal of the first period came from Rachel Drohan just before the halftime whistle to increase the lead to 3-0. The second half was much tougher than the first, but Emily Anderson still managed to put a goal away. Leeds responded well, scoring two good goals in quick succession but Sheffield managed to hang on to their lead before the final whistle blew.