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The independent student newspaper of the University of Sheffield //

Issue 27 // Friday October 22 2010

Off the Shelf Fuse pages 8-9

Coalition abandons undergraduates

Plop Tarts: Student leaves his skid mark Nicole Froio

4Government withdraws from Higher Education funding 4Vice-Chancellor: uncapped fees will create ‘winners and losers’ 4£40,000 debt? “Not terrifying” Helen Lawson and Mikey Smith The cost of undergraduate degrees will be passed on to individual students, under coalition government proposals to remove 80 per cent of state funding from higher education. In an exclusive interview with Forge Press, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Keith Burnett told of his shock at the scale of the cuts proposed in the Browne Review. “This is not some change, or some cut”, he said. “This is a withdrawal of Her Majesty’s government from funding higher education. This is an enormous shift. “If you look at the fees when they came in, they were to do with enhancement. “This is replacement. This is the whole shebang now. This is all of the education gets paid for

University House.

by the fee.” Lord Browne has proposed the removal of the tuition fees cap, likely to mean fees will rise to an average of £7,000 across the UK. The mandatory bursary scheme will also be scrapped. It was also recommended that the currently subsidised student loan interest rate should rise from 1.5 per cent to the government’s cost of borrowing (about 2.2 per cent) plus inflation. Universities will be allowed to set their own tuition fees, creating a free market style system of higher education funding. Professor Burnett and ProVice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning Professor Paul White said that they had been planning for cuts of between 10 and 20 per cent, but had no projections for cuts of this magnitude. Continued on page 4

Keith Burnett: I’m a VC and this wasn’t my idea.




More// inside

Radicalism on campus

Union Council elections

Frocky horrors







Not what it used to be? Features pages 13-15

Who gets the free biscuits this year? Full results inside. News page 3

Our fancy dress suggestions. Lifestyle pages 22-23

25 Travel 28


A student from the University of East London broke into University House after attending Pop Tarts and defecated on the floor. The student had attended Pop Tarts on Saturday October 16 and was highly intoxicated. After leaving the nightclub, he broke into University House with a friend. The London student relieved himself on the floor of the main restaurant area. The two friends then passed out on the floor. Security staff found the two students and threw them out of the building. The University of Sheffield confirmed that “there was an incident” on the premises. A spokesperson said: “The incident was immediately reported and the suspect was promptly removed from the premises by security staff.” Education Officer Joe Oliver said: “The Union expects a strong standard of behaviour from all its students and we expect all students to conform to good behaviour. “It was suggested that we sent an email to all students but I hope this was an isolated incident. “Given the perpetrators were not members of the Union I think this is something for the University to handle.” University House is used for a variety of student services. The offices for Registration, Finance and Student Guidance are located in the building, along with many Eat With Us facilities. Oliver feels the Union should take no further action. He said: “We have no plans to contact the University of East London.”

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010


Graduates found company for intrepid global travellers

Forge Radio duo nominated for awards Nicola Blaney A pair of students from students from the University of Sheffield’s student-run station Forge Radio have been nominated for this year’s Student Radio Awards. Third year Journalism student Sam Moir has been nominated for Best Specialist Show with drum and bass show The Soundclash. Second year Economics and Politics student Dale Wetter is up for Best Male Presenter. Station manager Ross Haymes said the nominations were great news: “We wish Sam and Dale all the very best. We’re so proud of them and we’ll be rooting for them at the ceremony.” Forge Radio faces stiff competition from previous winners, the universities of Nottingham and Leeds. Wetter said he was not worried about the challenge ahead: “Unlike most broadcasters, I don’t have a background in Journalism so I am extra proud of this nomination. “Nottingham and Leeds are both well established stations. “Forge is relatively new, so to be sandwiched between such big stations is giving Forge the recognition it deserves.” Former Forge Radio Station Manager Jan Carr was nominated for Best Female Presenter last year. Radio industry professionals shortlist six individuals across 12 categories, which include Best Station, Best Newcomer, and Best Technical Achievement. Winners then receive gold, silver, or bronze awards. Gold award winners receive prizes including work experience, one-off shows at major networks and equipment for their stations. The judging process will be carried out entirely online for the second year running. The Student Radio Awards were founded in 1995 with the help of BBC Radio 1. Previous award winners include Scott Mills, Greg James, and Alex Zane. The first ceremony was held at the University of London Union, hosted by Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley. The Student Awards Ceremony takes place in London at the indig02 on November 11. Sam Moir is on Forge Radio Tuesday nights 9:30 - 11:00pm, and Dale Wetter is on every Friday afternoon 3:00 - 4:30.

Be Travellers promises stunning trips to unusual destinations including Afghanistan. Photo: betravellers which includes a tour through Griffin, who studied for a PGCE profile: “But during the day it Matt Discombe the ancient Silk Road cities of in Science Education, believes was a really hospitable city, you Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, a that the group-based travelling could tell the people there had Two University of Sheffield month-long trekking tour of experience Be Travellers will gratitude towards travellers. graduates launched a travelling the Wakhan Corridor in north provide is better than travelling “People call Kyrgyzstan ‘the company this year offering trips to eastern Afghanistan and a alone. Switzerland of Central Asia’ for the unusual holiday destinations journey along the two highest He said: “Independent travel is its stunning countryside. of Afghanistan, Pakistan and paved roads in the world through very rewarding, but fraught with “Central Asia is really Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China risks and uncertainties. starting to open up as a tourist Mike Griffin, 25, and Ollie and Pakistan. “Our goal is to keep the spirit destination.” Kilvert, 25, founded Be Travellers, The pair were inspired to set of freedom and discovery in Kilvert and Griffin received a which offers trekking and cultural up Be Travellers after exploring independent travel while removing £250 grant from the University tours of Central Asia. Central Asia during the 2008 the potential problems.” to help set up the company. The company aims to encourage Mongolia Charity Rally, a 8,000 Kilvert and Griffin were They aim to start running tours people to “be travellers, not mile charity drive from Durham caught up in a political coup in in summer 2011. tourists” and offer a group-based to Mongolia. Kyrgyzstan in April 2010 while Kilvert said: “I’d love to give travelling experience. Kilvert, who studied Geography, surveying the country. other intrepid travellers the It will provide an intimate said: “I urge anyone to go to the Eighty-five people died during chance to experience the beauty travelling experience with a region. the overthrow of the government of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan maximum group size of twelve “It’s really diverse, there’s of Kurmanbek Bakiyev. for themselves.” people. lots of culture and a 3000-year Kilvert said that the pair hid For more information visit Be Travellers provides trips history”. in their hotel and kept a low Advertise in Forge Press with The Student Connection 0114 222 8540

Media Hub, Union of Students, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TG 0114 2228646





Josefin Wendel Matthew Burgess Nicole Hernandez Froio Kirsty McEwen

Managing Editor




Helen Lawson

Deputy Editor

Mary Anne Hobbs

WEB EDITOR Mikey Smith Amy Claire Thompson Josefin Wendel

LETTERS Bryony Dent Katie Davies Lucie Boase Harriet Di Francesco Emily Travis Kate Lloyd Victoria Watson

Travel Caroline Vann Jones Jack Burnett Anthony Hart Adam Shergold

Games James Garrett James Wragg


Melissa Gillespie Jeremy Peel Ashley Scrace Alex Sherwood


Arts Lizzie Palmer Jordan Tandy Kristiane Genovese Alexandra Rucki

Forge Press is printed on 100% recycled paper Forge Press is published by the Union of Students. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the University, the Union or the editorial team. In the first instance all complaints should be addressed to the Managing Editor, although a formal procedure exists.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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Ten departments left without Councillors following Union election Record number of voters turn out for Union Council elections Kirsty McEwen and Claire Burke Ten academic departments have been left without councillors to represent them at Union Council following the recent elections. English Language and Linguistics, Human Communication Sciences, Clinical Dentristry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Education, Sociological Studies, Russian and Slavonic Studies, Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages and Linguistics, are all without councillors after noone stood for election. Some departments saw very low turnouts in student voters, with Music and Germanic Studies only receiving 13 votes and Nursing and Midwifery only receiving eight votes in total. Union President Josh Forstenzer said: “There was a change passed by Council this year and there has clearly not been enough interest in those positions. “It’s a balancing act: trying to encourage people to run for election but not forcing them to. “There will be a by-election at some point, and my understanding is that Council gets to call it.” This year saw the highest turnout on record, with 3,742 students voting. This meant that last year’s record turnout was beaten by seven votes. Forstenzer said: “I think it signals that students are more interested in politics than they have been in the past. “There are big changes on the horizon. “This is democracy in action.” The new Biomedical Science Councillor, Mursheed Ali, had twenty votes deducted from his score after he gave his iPad to people so they could vote. Forstenzer said that campaigning is genuinely hard for the candidates: “These are genuine mistakes. “We are in the process of trying to make the system as clear as possible for the people who are running. “It is not a perfect system but we are constantly trying to improve it.”

The representative councillors of LGBT students, black students, taught postgraduates, research postgraduates, mature students, female students, and students with disabilities were left open so students could self define and vote if they felt they belonged in that group. Students’ Union Council is composed of one representative from the 46 academic departments at the University. Council also has eight student group representatives from groups such as LGBT Students

and International Students. The eight Union Officers also sit on Council. Union Council is the highest decision making body of the Students’ Union. Its responsibilities include holding Union Officers accountable, debating Union policy and representing student issues. Anyone can attend Union Council meetings, and students can approach their councillor with issues to be discussed at the Council meetings.

The constitutional review was passed with a majority of 51.5 per cent. The nomination period for students to apply for positions was extended by one day last week as the applications website crashed at midnight the day before the deadline. The online service was down for several hours, causing a major disruption to the nominations process. Rachel Colley, the Activities Officer, denied claims that the deadline had been extended due

to a low number of applications. She said: “This was not the case at all- the nomination period was extended by a day simply because the online nomination shut down at 12 midnight on the last day of applications, and students still had until noon the following day to submit their application forms. “Due to this we needed to extend the period by a day so that all students who had tried to apply could still do so.”

Black Students Barbara Oyoo

International Students Krissy Meyer

LGBT Students Bobby Anderson

Women Students Sarah Charlesworth

“I hope to bring the following strengths: openness, teamwork, communication and confidence. Overcoming problems and making ideas happen is what I do best.”

Postgraduate Taught Students Anjeet Bhattacharjee “I intend to work hard, along with the members of the Union and other councillors, towards providing an enjoyable and fruitful experience for all the postgraduates throughout the year.”

“I stand for celebrating diversity as well as integration of International Students within the Union and University.”

Mature Students Johanna Depass “It is important that we interact and integrate within the wider population of university students without feeling detached.”

“My main policy on council this year will be making sure that the Union’s Gay Friendly policy is renewed.”

”I am dedicated to the cause of achieving gender equality and promoting women’s interests.”

Students With Disabilities George Lindars-Hammond

Postgraduate Research Students Sam Browse

“As a council member I will balance my experience in politics and as a disabled Young person to ensure that absolute equality for all is achieved in Union decision-making.”

“I stand for supporting our multicultural campus – we should celebrate our diverse postgraduate community and oppose all kinds of bigotry.”

Union Council 2010/11: the results in full ACADEMIC COUNCILLORS Aerospace Engineering Fahad Miqtham Animal and Plant Sciences Mat Denton Archaeology Emma Jayne Nagouse Architecture Nam Tran Automatic Control and Systems Engineering Kamil Khan Biblical Studies Ella Kaufman Biomedical Science Mursheed Ali Chemical & Biological Engineering H’Ugo Onuoha Chemistry Emma Johnson Civil and Structural Engineering Fadi Dakkak Computer Science

Matthew McMahon Dentistry No candidates East Asian Studies Mischas Matthews-Hill Education No candidates Economics Jonathan England Electronic and Electrical Engineering Yiwei Yu English Language and Linguistics No candidates English Literature and Theatre Andrea Antoniou French India Woof Germanic Studies Lloyd Falter Geography Kat Dawson Hispanic Studies No candidates History Jon Narcross

Human Communication Sciences No candidates Information Studies Victoria Bagert Institute for Lifelong Learning Elbie Forde Journalism Danny Leitch Landscape Vicky Hindmarch Law Ellie Brown Management School Shima Najdaki Materials Science and Engineering Caroline Norris Mathematics Harry Horton Mechanical Engineering Rob Thornton Modern Languages and Linguistics No candidates

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology No candidates Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Roddy McDermid Music Andy Kirkham Nursing & Midwifery May Connolly Philosophy Chloe Ashley Physics and Astronomy Gary McGuinness Politics Sam Mannion Psychology Roscoe Hastings Russian and Slavonic Studies No candidates ScHARR No candidates Sociological Studies No candidates

Town and Regional Planning Chris Maidment REPRESENTATIVE COUNCILLORS Black Students Barbara Oyoo International Students Krissy Meyer LGBT Students Bobby Anderson Mature Students Johanna Depass Postgraduate Research Students Sam Browse Postgraduate Taught Students Anjeet Bhattacharjee Students With Disabilities George Lindars-Hammond Women Students Sarah Charlesworth

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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Vice Chancellor tells Forge Press: “This is a revolution”

Clegg has ‘betrayed’ students

The Browne Review: what it means

Matt Burgess Helen Lawson and Mikey Smith Continued from front page “We weren’t expecting a withdrawal of the whole shebang”, said Professor Burnett. “No-one expected an 80 per cent change. This is a revolution.” Professor Burnett said he hoped that no departmental closures would be necessary, and that none were planned, but could not rule it out as an option. “We cannot say what we will be doing as a university in two years time,” He said. “I couldn’t say we will not be doing anything in terms of the structure of the University.” Last year Forge Press revealed that the Biblical Studies department was being threatened with closure following budget reductions. The department was given an eleventh hour reprieve after a furious campaign from students. Asked about the prospect of increased student debt, he said: “I don’t think [debts of £40,000 is] terrifying.” However, he said he recognises the need to communicate with prospective students and parents to ensure the University understands their concerns. “Your perception of that, and how you feel is crucial to us”, he said: “If you just start saying ‘Oh yeah, you’re happy, we’ll just start charging fees’, everyone gets the idea that you’re up for it, and actually I’m not.” Professor Burnett said he was concerned about Browne’s recommendation that the cap on fees should be removed entirely, but was not convinced the plans will go ahead. “I think it would be very difficult for the government to pass something which has a completely variable fee,” he said. “I’m personally concerned about that socially in terms of it developing then into a highly marketed educational system across the UK.” “Having such a large variable fee across the system will create winners and losers across the United Kingdom, and I don’t think the consequences socially of that have been worked out.” On Wednesday the Chancellor George Osborne delivered the coalition government’s first comprehensive spending review. In a few thousand

The Chancellor after delivering the Spending Review (Top) Happier times for Cameron and Clegg (Bottom) words, and just over an hour, the the whole of the UK government’s becoming a professional physicist, Chancellor slashed over £80bn perception on public sector cuts writing papers, getting grants, from public spending, saying it and it’s rather strange to me that thinking about things, building was “unavoidable” if the country there’s still very strong support up a career”, and now you’re told was to recover quickly from the for them amongst the public. I “actually that’s something that’s global financial crisis. don’t know why that is. not valued by the state. “We’ve got this bloody great Professor Burnett, a career “I think I’d just be really... railway train coming down the physicist, put himself in the furious.” track in terms of consequence position of academics being Have your say once you’ve made public sector told their funding was being Comment on this issue, send cuts, and then it travels along”, withdrawn. “If I was told midyour views to: said Professor Burnett. career that, “Well, actually you’ve “But we’re not going to change spent all that time, building up to

Local MP Paul Blomfield has criticised Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg saying Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have ‘betrayed’ students by breaking their pledge to oppose a rise in tuition fees. In the build up to May’s General Election all Liberal Democrat MPs signed a pledge to oppose a rise in tuition fees but this has now been retracted by Nick Clegg. In an exclusive interview to Forge Press, Blomfield said: “He [Clegg] has completely betrayed students and he has also betrayed all of those who thought they were voting for him because they thought he represented something new in politics.” “He has been guilty of the most cynical misleading of the electorate over the issue of tuition fees. It’s not just students themselves; when I was out campaigning this was an issue that concerned students, their parents, grandparents, all of whom are now involved with helping people through university.” Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven said: “I do genuinely believe that some people will be angry and some people will feel let down, however we all just need to take a step back just for two or three moments until the government gives its final response.” The Browne Review, an enquiry into Higher Education funding which was published last week, recommended the cap on tuition fees should be removed. If implemented by the Government this would mean universities could set their own levels of tuition fees. Blomfield said: “I was shocked just how far Browne has gone, and how transparently it was not really an independent review, because the recommendations within it tied so clearly into what the government was announcing in the Comprehensive Spending Review in terms of funding.” He believes there is an alternative option to a rise in tuition fees: “If we can build sufficient support within parliament to reject proposals then the government will simply have to cut back to the drawing board. “I’ll be pushing and Labour will be pressing for a graduate tax. It’s something I have supported and argued for five or six years.”

Students marched to Nick Clegg’s constituency office to tell him that he had abandoned his election promise. It was also proposed that guidance. Liberal Democrats into honouring Rowan Ramsden mandatory bursary scheme The Browne Review is a their pledge and not voting for should be scrapped. response to the increased any increase in tuition fees. The new system, if passed, will demand for university places and “We’re also planning a big The Browne Review has demonstration which will take controversially proposed to not affect current students will government spending cuts. as it will not be introduced until The new system could be place in London on November 10. remove the cap on tuition fees. 2012. pushed through parliament as “This is a fight that can be The Review, launched in Teaching budgets would also be early as Christmas. won. November last year and published University of Sheffield “The Browne Review is not the October 12, is an independent, slashed by about 80 per cent. The proposed interest rate could Students’ Union President, Josh end, it’s just the beginning of a cross-party study on higher mean middle income earners Forstenzer said: “If the Browne long fight around the value of education funding in England. Business Secretary at the might pay more than high income Review is adopted it would be higher education and against any time, Lord Mandelson, promised earners as they will take longer a disaster for young people in increase in tuition fees.” Sheffield and indeed across the Union Officers organised it would result in a “balance of to pay off their debt Graduates will not be required whole country.” an emergency protest in Nick contributions to universities by Finance Officer Tom Hastings Clegg’s constituency on the day taxpayers, students, graduates to start repaying the cost of their degrees until they earn more than called on student support to fight the review was published, and and employers”. the review: “We need students urged Nick Clegg to keep his The removal of the current £21,000 - up from £15,000. The upper threshold required from across campuses in Sheffield promise and vote against the tuition fee cap will allow universities to charge unlimited to receive a maintenance grant to come together to join our rising of fees. In an open letter to students, fees and it is feared that fees will will rise from £50,020 to £60,000, campaign if it’s to be a success. “We want you to sign petitions Clegg said: “I am painfully aware rise far higher than the report’s and all schools will be required to issue individualized careers and lobby your local MP, in of the pledge my colleagues and estimates. particular, pressurizing the I made to you and to voters on

The changes in tuition fees over the years... Rosie Rogers Before 2006 university fees consisted of flat rate payments for all students. Top-up fees were introduced from 2006 to fill the gap caused by the fact that most degrees were more expensive than the original flat rate. They were not fixed and varied on the type of course. Students were able to take maintenance loans, to cover the cost of living, and tuition fee loans. Graduates earning over £15,000 per year were expected to pay back 9% of their monthly earnings.

Interest was low and if the graduate were to stop working, the loan repayments would temporarily pause. The government also introduced maintenance grants for lower income students while universities offered some bursaries. The decision to introduce topup fees met with controversy, with some arguing that students needed to pay for the lifetime gains a degree would afford them and others saying that it would force working-class students to work in term-time. Recently, an increase in demand of university places and the lack of funding have called for a review of Higher Education.

What would change? Today’s system

Browne Review proposals

Cost of Living - The maintenance loan and grant are both dependant on household income. A student with higher household income would receive less maintenance grant but more maintenance loan.

Cost of Living - Everyone will be entitled to a £3,750 maintenance loan regardless of household income. Only the maintenance grant will be assessed on income.

Cost of Tuition - Currently the cap on fees is set at £3,290. This is covered by the current loan scheme.

Cost of Tuition - The cap on university fees will be lifted. Leaving universities to set their own level of fees Universities charging more than £6,000 would be charged an increasing levy on each further £1,000.

Student Finance - All loans and tuition fees are processed through the Student Loans Company

Student Finance - You will now get a loan through the student finance plan, which is simplified compared to the current system.

Repayments - Begins when you are earning £15,000. Debt wiped out after 25 years.

Repayments - Will begin when you are earning £21,000. Debt will be wiped out after 30 years. Reported by Reuben Mckeown

What will an increase in tuition fees mean to you?

Tim Galvin First year Physics “University will not be available to as many people but I think I would still choose a quality over price.”

Louise Hayball Third year Psychology “It will create divisions because some students are going to be able to afford a certain lifestyle at Uni and some other won’t.”

David Mattews First year Medicine “It will affect us significantly, but on the other hand other areas of society may need the money more than we do at the moment.”

Portia Hill First year Psychology “It’s ridiculous, loans don’t cover expenses already, I will have to get more money from my parents.”

Photos: Natasha Hallett tuition fees ahead of the General Election. “Departing from that pledge will be one of the most difficult decisions of my political career. “It means doing something that no one likes to do in politics – acknowledging that the assumptions we made at election time simply don’t work out in practice.” A University of Sheffield spokesperson said: “Despite the challenging times ahead, the University of Sheffield is and will remain committed to delivering a world-class educational environment for the benefit of our students. “Universities and their students play a crucial role in the local and national economy and their success is essential for the whole of the UK.”

Reported by Gabriele Rossi

Andrew Sadler Second year Civil Engineering “It is not going to change that much because you will get the loans for that amount of money anyway.”

Sarah Hall Second year Politics “The changes will lower the standard of teaching and make University into some sort of marketplace.”

Jimmy Stafford First year Japanese “You go to Uni to have a better life, a wealthier life, but those prospects are going to be taken away from you.”

Agata Milewicz First year Dentistry “Not many new students will be able to go to University, the level of education will decrease because of this.”

Thomas Janusz Second year Civil Engineering “It is not a good thing, but it might motivate students to study more to and make their degree more worthwhile.”

Tasha Richards Second year English and Drama “It will limit the amount of students that will be able to study, only certain people will be able to get in and afford it” // FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010



Students quiz Ed Miliband over fees

Comprehensive Spending Review splits local politicians

Photo: The Star

Rachel Blundy Ed Miliband has said that his party will work on “the best alternative” to increasing tuition fees in the aftermath of the Browne report. Speaking to 150 people at a meeting hosted by The Star last Friday October 15, the newly elected leader of the Labour Party said that he did not wholly agree with Lord Browne’s recommendations to lift the cap on university fees. But the Doncaster North MP, who received a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, would not specify his party’s response to the proposals. He said: “I don’t want people being put off going to particular universities because they’re charging more than other universities. “The amount you pay for higher education should in some way be related to your ability to pay. “If you earn more you should contribute more. “You need a sustainable funding base for higher education. We’re working on the best alternative to fees.” Mark Hookham, Westminster reporter for The Star, quizzed Mr. Miliband on his support for a graduate tax. Hookham suggested there were politicians within the Labour Party who were against the tax system proposed by the National Union of Students (NUS), namely shadow chancellor Alan Johnson. But the Labour leader would not reveal any details of conversations between himself and Johnson, joking that Hookham had become a Jeremy Paxman-style host. “I think what we’ve got to do is work out what the best way forward is,” he said. The readers of The Star also quizzed Mr. Miliband on issues ranging from child benefit to the recently cancelled loan to Sheffield-based steel firm Forgemasters, which he said Labour should have defended. The hour-long Q&A session at Ponds Forge International Sports centre marked his first major public debate outside of London since he was elected Labour leader almost four weeks ago.

Protesters outside Sheffield Town Hall campaigning against the spending cuts. sharpening my axe ready for this year for the next four years. Matt Burgess to happen because no politician Despite the cuts, Scriven wants this to happen.” remains positive: “We need to sit Opposing Sheffield political Blomfield, MP for Sheffield down over a four year period now parties have been divided by Central, said: “I think the CSR we have got the numbers and do the Coalition government’s is going to cause a number of this in an informed way.” comprehensive spending review. problems within Sheffield as a “We have all just got to take Liberal Democrat City Council city, economically and in terms a step back and just see in 2006 leader Paul Scriven met the of general provision. did we feel we were on the verge review with caution, whilst “Next to universities one of of the world ending? Labour MP Paul Blomfield the hardest hit areas has been “Because actually that is how attacked the government’s cuts. local government. much money we will be spending The review, announced on “Every country in the world in the public sector after these October 20, will impose large is having to balance its public public sector reductions come. cuts to departmental budgets finances, but different countries “My challenge is be critical with local governments set to be are making different choices. when you need to be critical, it’s cut by 30 per cent. “Right up until the General really important, we are not a In an exclusive interview Election we [Labour] were party of puppets.” with Forge Press Scriven said arguing, don’t cut too deep, don’t Scriven blames the previous council jobs will be lost: “I can’t cut too fast, it risks the recovery Labour government for the scale give a number, it will be in the and causes enormous pain.” of the cuts that are being made. hundreds not in the thousands Chancellor George Osborne He said: “What you have as suggested. announced the local government got to remember is we are in “I have not been in my room the cuts would be 7.1 per cent a this position because we are

Photo: Sheffield Labour Group spending £800 million a week on just paying off the interest on the debt the last Labour government left in the country.” The Comprehensive Spending Review shows average saving in departmental budgets will be lower than the Labour government implied, with cuts of 19% over four years instead of 20% suggested by Labour. Nationwide, public sector job losses have been estimated at 490,000. Blomfield said: “The suggestion from the federation of small businesses is that for every 1000 public sector jobs that are cut 600 private sector jobs will go. “This is going to have an enormous impact on the city. “It’s crucial to point out to people that there is an alternative to what’s being planned.”

Ethiopian Council allots woman faces University deportation property

Man charged after city centre club death

Lucy Horwood

Kirsty McEwen

Kirsty McEwen

Sheffield locals, students, and campaign groups protested outside the Town Hall last week against the deportation of a local woman to Ethopia. Lem Lem Hussein Abdu, 60, faces deportation to Ethiopia despite coming from the state of Eritrea in the north east of Africa. When Abdu left Eritrea she was refused re-entry and has spent the last six years waiting for the U.K Border Agency to accept her claim for asylum in the U.K. Local campaigning groups South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Group and the Northern Refugee Centre, have been supporting Abdu. In July Abdu’s supporters won a court injunction to stop her deportation hours before she was due to board a plane. She was granted temporary admission to stay in the U.K while her case is reviewed.

Sheffield City Council is ‘testdriving’ areas of land around the city to build community allotments, including a proposed site at the Jessop Hospital owned by the University of Sheffield. The Jessop site has been owned by the Univeristy since 2001 and redeveloped the Victorian Wing for the Department of Music. A University spokesperson said: “The University is currently reviewing its master planning and the Jessop East site is a key development site. The site remains the property of the University and we have no plans to dispose of any of it “The Jessop Edwardian Project was halted earlier this year in light of funding announcements and the current economic climate.” A council spokesperson said that the situation had become “rather complicated” and that there were “doubts over it progressing”.

A man has been charged with manslaughter following the death of 31-year-old Nathan Bagley outside DQ nightclub on Fitzwilliam Street early Sunday morning. Adam Stott, aged 27, from Wakefield, was due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday October 20. Mr Bagley, of Brincliffe Edge Road, suffered serious head injuries after an argument in front of the club at 4AM. Fitzwilliam Street was sealed off on Sunday as forensic officers searched the area. Police believe he was confronted by one man, who was with five others, just after he left the club. He died at 12.30PM in the Northern General Hospital. DQ closed on Sunday evening “as a mark of respect”. In a statement, they said: “Our thoughts go to his family and friends.”

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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Local magazine recommends ‘violating a fresher’

Problems at St. George’s flats Matt Burgess

Toast magazine and its ‘arguably misplaced’ humour. Matt Burgess University of Sheffield Students’ Union Officers have condemned a local magazine, saying it reinforces the stereotyping of students. The article ‘The Art of Violating a Fresher’, published in the October issue of Toast magazine, said: “They’re young and probably inexperienced but I bet your bottom dollar they’re VERY willing to learn. “Cut them loose before the loan runs out and they start scrounging off you.” Another article from the issue entitled ‘Cheat’ tells students to “feel less like a proverbial packhorse and more like a sponging, loafing, lazy bastard” by becoming friends with international students. It reads: “Make an Asian friend and swap their superlative maths

skills for some fashion tips. “Let them take you to the casino and in return tell them how to bed slutty girls.” Students’ Union International Officer Mina Kasherova, said: “As a magazine that’s available throughout the city we are concerned that Toast goes against the University and Students’ Union’s efforts to create a sustainable positive relationship with local residents. “It perpetuates the stereotypes of students being reckless with their sexual health, and older people “preying” on naïve firstyear students. “Added to this its crude racial stereotypes do little to promote integration or welcome overseas students who’ve travelled thousands of miles only to be greeted by negative generalizations.” Toast is written by local residents of Sheffield, including

several students and exstudents. Simon McLean from Toast said: “As a magazine distributed across the city we take our responsibility to our readership very seriously and it is never our intention to offend or discriminate against anyone. “We would never set out to portray the city’s student population in a negative light, and we actively acknowledge the positive contribution made by them. “With regard to references to student sexual health, we intended the piece to be a wholly tongue-in-cheek article with (arguably misplaced) humour, as per the regular tone of that particular column. “We obviously wish to promote student sexual health in a positive manner. “The subject of racial stereotyping is something we

take extremely seriously as Toast Magazine is committed to equal opportunities and diversity. “The student guide section of the October issue was handed over to a group of student journalists from Sheffield Hallam University as we actively encourage student input into the magazine. “In retrospect, this segment should have been flagged up in our editorial process, as we do see that the stereotyping is not acceptable. “It is always our intention to entertain - not offend.” Kasherova said: “Their regular ‘stalking column’ is a prime example of the quality of journalism and the values that the magazine stands for. “We hope that the readers and advertisers of Toast look a little bit closer at the questionable values and behaviour that the magazine promotes.”

Students’ drinking habits Evacuation Ceremony ‘healthier than workers’ but after fire at officially student halls opens Union Northerners still drink more Claire McWethy

Lucy Sprague

Dale Griffin

Around eighty students living in Block A of The Anvil, Unite student accommodation, were evacuated last Thursday after a fire broke out in a bedroom. The fire service were called to the student flats on Clough Road, Highfield at 7.07pm after a bin was accidentally set on fire by cigarette ash. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokesman Alex Mills said: “No one was in the bedroom at the time of the incident.” The room was left severely smoke damaged and the carpet around the bin was fire damaged. Unite have a strict non-smoking policy within the accommodation, including private bedrooms. The incident has prompted South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to release a statement urging students to be careful when discarding cigarette ash.

The University of Sheffield officially opened its new Students’ Union on Friday October 8 with a celebration attended by staff, students and alumni. Finance Officer Tom Hastings said: “As well as speeches, videos and presentations, we also had lots of fantastic performances from student societies including Hip-Hop and the Shrimps. “It was an opportunity to say a big thank-you to everyone involved in the building project and to all of our students and staff for sticking with us throughout the changes.” A University of Sheffield spokesperson said: “The refurbishment is a demonstration of the University´s commitment to providing students with the very best facilities, to ensure they have a first-class University experience.”

University students are more responsible drinkers than young workers, according to research by alcohol charity Drinkaware. Nationally, a third (32 per cent) of students aged 18-24 said they stop drinking before reaching their personal limit compared to only 28 per cent of workers the same age. Almost half (48 per cent) of students said they were concerned about the health risks of heavy drinking. Students’ Union Welfare Officer Nikki Bowater said: “Whilst we must continue to promote responsible drinking amongst students, we must also recognise that this is a problem amongst all young people, not just the student culture.” Chief Executive of Drinkaware Chris Sorek said: “Despite the reputation students have of

drinking to excess, being at university shouldn’t be seen as synonymous with being drunk. “We need to challenge this stereotype and combat the acceptability of drunkenness among all young adults, whether they are a student or not.” Over a quarter (28 per cent) of students at universities in the North of England said they had blacked out or lost their memory after drinking too much. Sorek said: “Drinkaware has teamed up with NUS to offer students in the North the facts about alcohol and encourage students to make informed decisions about drinking which we hope will positively impact their future.” Drinkaware and the NUS are working in support of the £100million five-year “Why Let Good Times Go Bad?” campaign to “challenge the social acceptability of drunkenness among young UK adults.”

In Issue 26 of Forge Press, we reported how Emma Crowe and other students at St. George’s flats in the city centre had experienced problems with their heating and hot water. When Crowe moved into her accommodation the bathroom was dirty, the internet socket was broken, and at one point she had no heating for an entire weekend. Since then Crowe, who suffers from a form of M.E, has said that the heating has been off once more. Residents promptly received an email apology and had portable heaters delivered to their rooms by Accommodation and Commercial Services (ACS). They will also each receive £40 off their next rent payment. Crowe said: “ACS say that in order to avoid more problems a valve will be replaced on Wednesday October 13. “The heaters they brought round are really good, so no worries on that front.” Cleaners and maintenance workers have visited Crowe’s accommodation to resolve any further problems. An ACS spokesperson said: “We were disappointed that residents of St George’s have encountered further issues with the heating supply which were caused by problems outside of our control. “We’ve been working with residents to ensure that they are kept up to date and to minimise the inconvenience caused.” The problems were caused by external factors and did not only affect St. George’s flats.

Emergency Browne meeting Rowan Ramsden Around 160 students attended an emergency meeting organised by the University of Sheffield Students’ Union to discuss the Browne Review on October 12. Union President Josh Forstenzer encouraged students to email their local MP and asked them to protest in the National Demo in London on November 10: “I encourage all students to join us in defending the future of Higher Education - to make history.” Finance Officer Tom Hastings said the event was to tell students about the review and the Union’s campaign against higher education cuts and to listen to their views: “We had some fantastic ideas from the floor about what else we could do in our campaign and encouraged those that attended to go out and spread the word. “We even managed to completely fill another coach for the National Demonstration in just five minutes of ticket selling.” Tickets for a coach to the National Demo are available from the Union Box Office for £2.

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Have your say

Church camaraderie can beat any problem Dear Forge, I’m a former resident of St. George’s flats in the City community - the subject of your recent article (‘Filthy and Freezing’, Issue 26) and I have to say that I find the reporting here extremely one sided and not at all a fair reflection of the attitude myself and the residents last year took towards these problems. Firstly, the state of the rooms is somewhat linked to the age of the building’s conversion. The “cracked bedroom window” discussed in your article is in fact likely to belong to a large section of stained glass. As you can imagine, it’s somewhat more difficult to spot defects in a single pane a few inches across than in a large faceless sheet of glass belonging to the cold front of some extremely modern accommodation. What is more, it’s a well known fact that churches are naturally draughty places and one would have to question to wisdom of this sort of choice for someone who is unusually sensitive to cold already. Surely a quick look around the church prior to moving in would have revealed the long, high corridors and ancient windows? Don’t get me wrong, with draughty stained glass also come exposed wooden beams, high ceilings and skylights. There aren’t

Star letter is sponsored by The Wick at Both Ends

The winner receives a free meal for two many other student accommodation buildings with all these features. Your article seems to reveal a long term standoff between Crowe and ACS. My experience with ACS has been that they are often ineffective, but never rude or ignorant. Perhaps the unfriendliness started when the subject of your article first called regarding network connection problems, which are the domain of CiCS and not ACS in the first place. The comment about not being able to speak to a “manager” probably reflects a less hierarchical structure in the accommodation office, which seems fair enough to me. It’s not necessarily a

full scale call centre. I mentioned that this is not the first time these problems have plagued us. Forge Press itself covered a loss of drinking water that went on for several days early last year. The church is an old building set in a difficult location. It was still available for rent in the summer and it would be extremely difficult to attempt to carry out major works to the building’s heat and water supplies. Yes, it is an enormous pain when you lose these basic conveniences, though most residents would not comment: “On an emotional level it has just completely floored me”. They’d talk about the excellent sense of community in the flats, the upbeat attitude of everyone affected equally and the camaraderie in complaining endlessly. Like a power cut or this shared experience brings people together. We also buy thick duvets. I’m not saying that ACS is blameless. The problems have gone on for too long. I’m simply pointing that the normal reaction of a student living in St George’s flats is not so negative or rude. We loved the church, and I for one would put up with any amount of dirty dishes and cold bedrooms to live there again. Yours, Dominic Rout Computer Science

Should universities accept students who resit exams?

Frances Quarcoopome Globalisation Development Fourth Year

Georgina Shaw Philosophy Third Year

Danielle Kemp Physics Third Year

I resat exams but it doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Everybody makes mistakes.

One or two resits are fine, but not if you’ve had to do everything three times.

People can resit things at university, so isn’t a bit contradictory?

Poppy Bowdler Korean Studies First Year

Nigel Mphisa Management FourthYear

Resitting just means you didn’t perform on the day.

It’s fair. They [universities] need the best.

Peter Lim Biomedical Science Second Year . Second chances should be allowed.

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

Review is no laughing matter Dear Forge, After attending the Last Laugh that was given a poor review I feel the need to point out that Chris Ashby somewhat misunderstood the poor comedian he slated. ‘Donny’ was not in fact ever a cruise ship comedian or ever on television in the 80’s. It was in my opinion a quite excellent piece of

character comedy. The awkwardness, or anything “dangerously in the direction of prejudice” was all intended, and in the context of the act worked very well. I can understand that he may not have been to everybody’s taste, but judging him whilst not realising it was an act is an unfair reflection on just how talented he is. The article did however

make for amusing reading, as he was so obviously not a real person I’m amazed anyone didn’t realise. Yours, Ryan Bibby. Computer Science Third Year

Tesco fried chicken is unacceptable in a library Dear Forge, I would like to express my agreement with Tim Rodber’s article on university buildings, in which he suggests that trendy, commercialised spaces such as the Information Commons are unconducive to productivity (“University architecture can’t beat the academics,” Issue 26). I have found that the Western Bank is a much more stimulating environment. It is usually silent, and the arrangement

of bookshelves tends to isolate people from view. Reading and writing require quiet solitude, and the “drone of morons,” which Rodber decries, is absent from the library. I would not necessarily ascribe this to the style of construction, however; I think the difference between the insides of the two buildings is ideological. There is an intimidating, scholarly atmosphere in the Western Bank, whereas the Information Commons feels like a Starbucks. Perhaps the solution

is to impose librarylike conditions on the Information Commons, or at least ban mobile phones and food. Last week there was Tesco fried chicken wrap packaging on my keyboard. Yours, Chris Ashby English Literature

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Debate: Is university accommodation the best option, or should students dare to branch out?

It’s safe and comfortable, so why risk it? Rosie Dean

Nobody wants to deal with a dodgy landlord or a dodgy house as soon as they get to university. Your housing is a vital aspect of university life, socially and academically, so it’s good to get it right. For many people halls are a good solution, especially in first year, if you only want to have a good time and not worry too much. Living in university accommodation ticks all the boxes. It’s the best way to introduce students to a new way of life gently: you’re guaranteed a safe and secure environment, with evening meals if you want them, and a cleaner to save you from hoovering. Private accommodation on the other hand comes with the hassle of bills, maintenance problems and potentially dodgy landlords - sometimes all at the same time! I moved into my first privately rented house this year, and it felt like growing up overnight, compared to the breeze that was my first year in halls. I breezed through last year worrying more about deadlines and getting to lectures on time, rather than paying bills and setting up the internet. Going into private accommodation means that you have to find the location, and if you’re in your first year, you also need to find the friends to

live with before you get to university. This only adds pressure. In halls, if the tap broke, or the toilet stopped flushing, maintenance would be there as soon as possible to help. In a house, if something goes wrong, you’re pretty much stuck. The social life in halls is also of huge appeal. You’re guaranteed to have people the same age, with similar interests, but from several different backgrounds and places, living with you or nearby. If you don’t immediately get on with your flatmates, there will be doubtlessly be someone round the corner, or living above or below, who is into the same music, subject or society as you. Admittedly, I don’t miss the loud music playing until 3am the night before an exam, but it all adds to the fun and adventure of living on a site with 2000 other people for a year.

In halls, parents’ minds are at rest, knowing you’re safe and warm in universityrun accommodation, often with on-site security, maintenance and food.

“University accommodation ticks all the boxes”

Halls create a comfortable, community environment, and help students’ transition to adulthood, while establishing a firm foundation for the rest of their university lives. Believe me, I’ve heard a few horror stories from students living in private accommodation for the first time. I’d advise you to stay in halls as long as possible, and enjoy the easy life while you can.

Photo: Matt Burgess

Intrusive halls are only cradling students Reuben Mckeown

Living in Halls? Kill me now. Could any experience be any more intrusive or annoying? I talked to a few people about what they thought of living in halls, and the words ‘dingy’, ‘noisy’ and ‘overpriced’ kept cropping up. Some people cite the instant social network in halls as the biggest advantage. But essentially you’re just forced to live with a load of random people you might not even like. Instead of joining societies or getting to know their coursemates, a lot of students feel obliged to spend time with the people in their halls just because they live together and expected to do so. They’re friends of convenience, not people you might actually enjoy being with. Also, university accommodation often lack decent social areas, especially if you live in catered halls. This can lead to people spending a lot of time alone in their rooms. People are often reluctant to visit other people’s rooms because they feel like they’re intruding. Private accommodation has a lot of advantages. Firstly, it’s quiet when you need it to be. Trying to work while the guy two doors down is shredding his guitar can make it hard to keep an interest in

the Nietzsche book you’re reading. In halls it never gets quiet until midnight at the earliest. But then you still have the returning clubgoers waking you up at 3am. Some claim private accommodation means fewer social opportunities, but you just have to take the initiative. Join societies or clubs and you will seriously expand your social network more than any halls.

“A bizarre mix of boarding school and flat” If you’re in private accommodation and like the place you live and the people you’re with, you can stay there for the duration of your course. You don’t have to move just because it’s the end of your first

year. A room that doesn’t resemble a cell in Alcatraz is a another big plus. Private landlords also tend to be less restrictive with rules on blutack, so you can express your creativity in all its poster and polaroidbased glory. Not to mention the possibility of a bigger bed. Not having a single bed can be very useful whether you like to spread out when sleeping, avoid spooning with visiting mates or do some late night entertaining. Access to wi-fi is also nice, making your laptop a lot more convenient, without having to struggle not to pull the internet cable out of the wall. When you get down to it, uni accommodation coddles you. Instead of learning how to properly take care of yourself, paying bills and tidying up, you live in a bizarre mix of boarding school and flat.

Young workers love benders more than students Nick Willoughby

The negative reputation of students as drunks is undeserved, as a new poll finds our working peers are more likely to binge drink than students. The Drinkaware poll tells us that workers aged 18-24 are often likely to drink more than students, and behave in a less socially acceptable manner afterwards. The negativity of the

media typically revolves around hedonistic pleasures: we’re lazy, squander our money, and end up having our stomachs pumped after long nights of drinking. But according to the poll, young workers considered it as more acceptable to be hospitalised because of drink, than students did. The poll says that only nine per cent of students drink more than 16 units of alcohol on any given night, as opposed to 12 per cent of young workers. This isn’t to say that students are entirely

innocent: last year, national media focussed on Sheffield after a heavily intoxicated university student urinated on a war memorial, while on a bar crawl. The student claimed he was in such a state that he remembered very little. This could be true, given that 30 per cent of the polled students admitted to having suffered from alcoholinduced memoryloss. But students are not the worst offenders. We just can’t afford to go

on monumental benders, particularly with the threat of increased debt looming over our heads.

Now that Freshers’ Week has passed, most first years have begun to settle in and are forced to face the academic workload. Moderate to excessive drinking is hopefully reserved for special nights, rather than every night. But every student is unique. I’ve met students who are teetotal, and also, by contrast, one who s p e n t £ 4 5 0 during the

first fortnight of university, mainly on alcohol. So, are students irresponsible drinkers? They can be, but so can everyone. At university, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to get drunk with all the promotional fliers that circulate around campus. But to me, the data implies that the binge drinking culture is endemic in young people, and that we should be slower to condemn entire social groups, as people have with students.

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We can’t afford no education 4Browne Review could see students crippled with debt for years after graduating 4Students’ Union estimates fees at £7,000 per year for most courses

high, how many people will actually be able to pay? In light of recent complaints that there aren’t enough working class students in Russell Group universities, it seems especially striking that Browne’s proposals are likely only to exacerbate the existing educational class divide.

Amy Claire Thompson

The only major positive I can see in the Browne Review is that I’ll probably not have to face the consequences. The Browne Review into Higher Education funding, published last week, has recommended that universities be able to set their own fees, with the current cap at £3,290 per year being scrapped. This means that students studying subjects regarded by the Browne Review as “not strategically important”, including practically all arts and humanities subjects, will face fees at unprecedented levels. The plan is for government funding to be lifted from areas unlikely to be beneficial to the economy in the future. Although this focus on national economics is probably a good thing for the government, I wonder what exactly it will mean for students. If faced with a choice between the degree they would really like to study and the degree they can afford, how many are going to go with their passions?

“Shouldn’t university be about studying what you want to?” The review also advocates a greater focus on careers advice for secondary school and sixth form pupils. As a “stand alone” clause, this sounds like a very good thing. But when it’s combined with such a strong economic focus, it makes me wonder how many

“The new system would be verging on absolutely insane”

 students entering higher education in the future will be pushed into ‘government backed’ subjects. Many prospective undergraduates may end up choosing the subjects their careers advisors think they should pick - as well as choosing by which degrees they can actually afford. Shouldn’t university be about studying what you want to, in order to facilitate your future ambitions and to help you grow as a person? Potentially the scariest part of this report for Arts students at Russell Group universities, such as myself, is the suggestion that there

should be no upper limit on fees as this would “distort” the system. Theoretically, then, universities could charge anything at all. The University of Sheffield Students’ Union estimates that students could soon face fees of £7,000. If courses like mine are to receive no government funding under these proposals, there is a good chance that actual fees for my course will be even higher than the estimated £7,000. The review does suggest that the existing student loans system remain moreor-less unchanged, meaning

that fees are still to be paid by the government upfront. But the vastly increased prices mean that students in the future could be literally crippled by debt for a considerable period of their working lives. What this means in reality is that, for example, the medical degree my younger brother wants to take could leave him with over £49,000 of debts for fees alone. When compared to the £10,000 of estimated debts I will have incurred by the end of my degree, it seems the new system will be verging on the absolutely insane.


Picture: Aldo Berrios We can’t forget, either, that fees aren’t the end of it. Students still need to be able to fund their actual living costs during the however many years they spend at university. The system for maintenance loans isn’t set to change too much under the proposals of the Browne Review, with the basic-rate loan being increased only slightly. The raised loan, though, still falls over £400 short of a year’s accommodation fees at Ranmoor Student Village, for example. This is fine if you can afford it. But with potential fees being so ludicrously

However, a few slightly more positive suggestions are made in the report. The review proposes that all new academics with teaching responsibilities should also have teaching qualifications. At least my £7,000 a year would be well spent. But at the moment, I’m paying half of that and still getting lecturers and tutors who actually seem pretty damned good at what they do. To the point, in fact, where I don’t think paying another £3,780 a year to have them qualified would be worth it. All in all, I stand by my opening sentence. I’m thankful beyond belief that I’m here at university now, under the current fees system, because in two years’ time it might all be very different. With the recent publication of the Spending Review, I can see the government’s view: these proposals might help cut the deficit – but at the detriment of future generations.

Have your say:

▪ Comment on this article at ▪ Send a letter to

Forge Press takes its satirical aim

In the name of student modesty Have you ever wondered what happens if the fire alarm goes off while you’re undressing in a shop changing room? Is it a race to get your clothes back on, or do you just swallow your pride and step out starkers in public? Well, the Union’s Our Sheffield shop has all the answers. If the fire alarm sounds, you only have a minute to get out before the shutters

descend. So, unless you have Indiana Jones-esque rolling-under-doors talents, there’s no time for getting dressed. Lucky then that the Union has invested in a “modesty gown”: the lovely, fluffy dressing gown hanging in the changing room. We’re just wondering where they store the snuggley bunny slippers and Mr Cuddles the teddy.

Quote of the fortnight:

“We can’t send a message to all students asking them to please not poo on the floor of University House.” - Education Officer Joe Oliver explaining that the problem of the Phantom Shitter (frontpage) is not for him to solve.

At your service Forge Press was pleased to hear that the Union Officers appreciate this paper and its versatility. Last week they could be seen covering their office floor with the latest issue. While painting the banners for the November 10 national student demonstration against cuts, the Officers didn’t want to risk staining the carpet. Next week: how to turn Forge Press into origami.

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University bullies still The future’s not bright: the future’s true blue haven’t grown up


Tom Geddes Bullies don’t come to university; they work in garages and live at home with their unfortunate parents. This place is about ground-breaking research and inner fulfilment, not wedgies and swirlies. But apparently we’re not all as mature as we may believe. Researchers have found that bullying is rife throughout British universities, even here in Sheffield. And I for one am not surprised. Bullying will always be an issue in all walks of life, even at university. Students, a group once renowned for their individuality and forward thinking, are now being moulded into a single, somewhat dull sect. Those who go against the trend

leave themselves open to ridicule and much worse. These issues aren’t unique to university; they plagued our classrooms and playgrounds for the majority of our early life. But then we had teachers, lunchtime supervisors and parents looking out for us. The bullies and bullied alike had refuges for their issues – universities lack such structured resources. From social exclusion to initiation ceremonies or changing someone’s online profile (also known as ‘fraping’), university provides the perfect landscape for old bullying habits to reignite. New technology means new ways to communicate, and with that new ways to harass. Online bullying is being heavily debated after the suicide of an American college student earlier this month. Tyler Clementi, 18, threw himself off a

bridge after his roommates allegedly streamed a video of Clementi having sex with a man. University is a new, unknown experience for us all – returning to old habits is a way to regain a sense of control over our new surroundings; sadly at the expense of others.

“University provides the perfect landscape for bullying” The rivalry between the two Sheffield universities highlights this. Whilst the songs, chants and general banter is good-natured at heart, there are those on both sides who feel increasingly bullied by it. Universities know of these issues. Here in

In it for the biscuits: Union Council elections Jo Wendel The Students’ Union Council election is yet another example of the disgraceful political apathy of most students. The nomination deadline was extended, but it wasn’t enough. With ten positions lacking nominees, and 11 where only one person is running, it looks like there will be plenty of empty chairs. French councillor nominee India Woof ran with the slogan “The only way is Woof”, and indeed

she was the only one. Unfortunate slogans aside, the lack of candidates has far more serious implications. Union Council is “the highest decision making body of the Union”, effectively the parliament of the Union. Yet most students seem completely indifferent to who represents them. The Union Officers should not have to send out pleading emails to try to fill the spaces. They even resorted to asking societies to send out messages asking members to nominate themselves. In the case of the German Society, it doesn’t seem to

Sheffield we have SSiD and Nightline. They are fantastic services, which every university should have, but they do not solve the problem completely. At school it often took teachers and parents to seek out the victims – that can’t happen at university. Those affected aren’t using these services, often believing their issues to be juvenile and of no interest to the university. Instead of getting help, many hide away – something easily done at university with more than 25,000 students. The nature of university also makes it hard for parents to be of much help. Such is the hype and cost of university today; accepting that things haven’t worked out as were once hoped is a big deal. But some will still be suffering. This is their university experience too, let’s help them enjoy it.

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

Don’t judge a student by his resits Tim Rodber

have helped. The only nominee was pictured wearing neon facepaint, and said he loves “having a good time.” My guess is he has never been to a Union Council meeting before. It makes me wonder: maybe we get the representation we deserve?

Is there anything more revolting than witnessing a pair of ruddy-cheeked Old Etonian school chums revelling in their positions of power on the front benches of parliament? Dave and George, trampling over the poor and the young and the oiks to consign them to misery, as if they were trampling over the playing fields of Eton. What larks! They make cuts from an extremely safe standpoint; after all, the aristocracy won’t be worrying over their rent, or their child’s Educational Maintenance Allowance payments being taken away, or the safety of their jobs. Both of them love to harp on about the mess they inherited from Labour, but last time I checked all that these two monumental chumps inherited was a trust fund and a really strange interpretation of the concept of fairness. “We’re all in this together”, they say. Some of us are more in this than others, mate. Never before in British politics did the decision making come down to a collective musing over: “What would Zac Efron do?” And let’s not get started on our errant Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg, who seems to have thrown every election promise away for the chance of a scratch at the doors of Number 10. You say you feel bad, Nick? Aw, poor thing. Stock up on the Horlicks, there’s a love. Wouldn’t want you having any sleepless nights now, would we? Fears for universities are alarmingly real. At the time of going to print, the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) had been conveniently vague in its plans for Higher Education. The University executive spoke to Forge Press and said that they couldn’t plan for the future until they knew what was actually to come. The Vice-Chancellor said that he didn’t think that a potential £40,000 worth of student debt was that terrifying. But it bloody well is. And now the State looks set to completely withdraw out of university funding. Nice. Here you go kids, we’ve got our free education and our plum jobs, and we’ll just pull the ladder up behind us, if you don’t mind. Academics; those years you’ve put in just for the love of teaching and learning? Yeah, we don’t support you anymore. Arts and Humanities subjects? You must be having a laugh. Oh, you’re not? Well, tough. You’re screwed. What larks, indeed. In France they have rioted over their government’s plans to raise the pensionable age. Here, we express our fury via Twitter updates and Facebook statuses. In Issue 25 of Forge Press, one of our columnists suggested that we should learn to ‘riot like a German’. Perhaps we should turn our eye to our French counterparts, and refuse to take this right royal screwing from the government by lying back and thinking of England.

I am a failure, a hopeless ne’er-do-well who does not deserve to be studying at this university. All because I did resits at A-Level. There are a growing number of courses at highranking universities that are refusing to accept students who have resat. How can this be a fair policy? I suspect they know it is not fair. I suspect, what it comes down to is how popular their course is. I have no problem

with admissions tutors demanding the highest standards, but I think we should be wary of dismissing resit grades outright. Realising how badly I’d done in school was one of the best things that have ever happened to me. The impromptu gap-year I took made me rethink everything. It seems stupid, but the amount I matured in a year was double what I had managed in my time at school. I took resits, and started university with a renewed sense of purpose and desire to learn. If I had gotten slightly higher marks the first time

round and come to Sheffield straight away, I’m not so sure I’d be in the same position. It bugs me that this means good candidates may still miss out on good universities if they haven’t matured by the time of their A-Levels, especially as school year groups encompass such vast age differences. Universities should assess the strengths of each resit candidate to see if they have improved because of it, or are just continuing to do the minimum. I think that if the student gives a compelling case, they should be accepted with resits.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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Rationalising the radical Forge Press takes a look at the latest think tank report into student campaigning, and how the face of radicalism has altered Words: Millie Travis Pictures: Fiestoforo

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //





tanding on the concourse outside the Union building, I imagine what I would hear if I had been standing there 30 years previously. At first I hear cries for gender equality from bold, determined women. These are then accompanied by the chants of leftwing political slogans. A chorus builds with tones of religious freedom, campaigns for gay rights, racial equality, animal welfare, and world peace. Then as I bring my attention back to the present, the campaigning chorus bows out, and the concourse is instead buzzing with club promotion teams with perhaps only the faintest resonance of campaign efforts. This remarked shift in advocacy for change over the past few decades has been investigated in a recent report titled ‘Campus Radicalism’, conducted by Nehal Panchamia for the think tank Counterpoint. The aim of this report is to elucidate the trends and attitudes of student campaigning in today’s world of oxymoronic ‘narratives of the Christmas Day Bomber’ and ‘those of drunken students too lazy and apathetic to ‘engage’, let alone be ‘radical’. It looks at the responses of 71 student members coming from 41 different societies and 21 universities, one of which was the University of Sheffield. The report explains: ‘We do not provide a definitive account of the student experience – rather, we try and capture something altogether more elusive: the temperature of ‘student radicalism’ across the UK; awareness of citizenship amongst young people; and, the role of university today’. Looking at the feedback of its student sample, the report explains that the most popular perception of radicalism lies in method through which it is conducted. It was only a generation ago that students demonstrated outside public buildings, conducted mass sitins and confronted their opposition head on. But according to Counterpoint and Panchamia, campaigning methods are now ‘diplomatic’ and ‘nonaggressive’, including such efforts as ‘cake sales’ and ‘panel discussions’. Panchamia also notes that ‘Facebook and training sessions have replaced occupations and mass sit-ins’. But the shift of ‘radicalism’ seems to not only touch the method of campaigning, but also the aim. “Sheffield used to be very hard left, but it’s a dying culture now”, comments former Students’ Union Activities Officer Claire Monk. This is reflected in polling results published online. In 1997, Labour had a majority in Sheffield Central of 63 per cent, and even though Labour still holds the majority in 2010, this has fallen to 41 per cent. Panchamia offers the explanation that student priorities have changed from ‘the traditional political arena’ to issues of global justice, equality and fairness. She describes the change as ‘conscious’, touching on previous comments on how radicalism is fitted outside the social norm, and

While clubs and societies are student led, they are also ‘highly regulated organisations’

how radicalism regresses as people become increasingly socially aware. The observation continues by extending the report’s search for a definition or perception of what it is to be ‘radical’: “Many [societies] stressed that they could not be ‘radical’ because their work is ‘apolitical’ and ‘impartial’ – thus conceptualising ‘radicalism’ in purely ‘political’ rather than ‘social’ terms”, she says. However, this observation offers nothing new. Radicalism by definition in the dictionary distinguishes it from anything ‘apolitical’ or ‘impartial’. Perhaps the most important aspect to take from this is the perceived link between radicalism and political issues, which suggests that extreme methods acted out in the name of humanitarianism are more readily accepted than those acted in the name of politics. Panchamia in fact goes one step further. She completely disassociates action taken by those groups who ‘seek some form of ‘social transformation’’ from radicalism altogether, and labels them ‘activist’. Yet only a page later the report notes that, actually, ‘some of their targets remain the same’. It notes that the political issues that affected student in the ’60s and ’70s have been inherited by students of today. The link between the differences in aims and yet the similarities in targets is drawn in the progress made by previous generations. For example, feminists have the same target today which they had a generation ago – establishing equality for women. Their aims however have changed – women have gained voting rights, yet equality in pay has yet to be achieved. Whether aims have changed or targets have remained the same, Panchamia claims that students are returning to focus on local issues, or at least global issues at a local scale. This is suggested as being because these issues are seen as ‘more manageable and subject to real intervention’. Issues such as migrant workers and refugees are said to be common objectives around campuses. Student Action for Refugees (STAR) has a number of societies across different universities, including one at Sheffield. The report’s title suggests that part of its focus will be radicalism in relation to religion and politics, particularly regarding radicalism in far right-wing Christians and extremist Muslims. And indeed this is addressed during the report’s introduction, but unfortunately it is only followed up by one paragraph on the relationship between religion and campaigning. The relationship, on the other hand, is a positive one. Religious societies ‘function in a welfareorientated capacity; to offer prayers/ mediation sessions, information about their religion, advice and guidance’. It’s a shame that more was not made to elaborate on the reference to Richard Reid, the Christmas Day Bomber (who is said to have been radicalised whilst studying at University College London) during the introduction and to explore, dispel, or propose perceptions of this form of student radicalism.

Protestors need to find new ways to campaign vocally without causing disruption. Wes Streeting, former NUS President

The most remarkable observations made in the report are centred on the role of university in campus campaigning, and the conclusion is perhaps not surprising, but certainly thought-provoking. It is noted that while clubs and societies, and for the most part subject based societies, are student led, they are also ‘highly regulated organisations’, a complaint voiced by many a social representative and secretary. The main cause of this is proposed to be financial. As nearly all societies apply and rely on university funding, the society organisers and members must first put forward a firm account of their society’s activity plans and financial forecast to the Students’ Union. This, Panchamia argues, leads to revision, management and often cutting of the original plan. However, the control she refers to goes beyond that of the planning stage. Rules and regulations are put in place to guide clubs and societies in their actions, with ‘direct action being a definite no go area’. To support this claim, Panchamia includes a quote made by former NUS President Wes Streeting: “protestors need to find new ways to campaign vocally without causing disruption”. The contradiction in this statement is clear – the very nature of campaigning is to effect change, therefore to protest without ‘causing disruption’ completely voids the very purpose of campaigning. Room bookings, the displaying of posters and even cake stands are required to obtain permission from the Union, with many being blocked if the purpose is deemed inappropriate by the Union. ‘Thus activities are being blocked even before they have been allowed to start – leaving students with little real agency’. These controls may appear restrictive, but Rachel Colley, incumbent Union Activities Officer makes the point that Union policies are in fact necessary to: “ensure that the correct security measures are taken, and that the speaker will not incite hate or crime, which is against Union constitution”. The conclusion to the report leaves a stark view of the position of the university in the development and interaction of student life. The accusations held by Panchamia against the university as an institution include becoming ‘a commercial provider of education’, and allowing ‘the infantilisation of the university’, in turn leaving students with ‘little agency to do anything with a deep and lasting impact’. The proposals set forward by the Counterpoint report are intriguing, and should give food for thought to students’ unions up and down the country. It is argued that the university degree and experience should be synoptic to a student’s potential. The current system needs to ‘move away from an emphasis on grades and employment’ in order to shift towards a system that it ‘bold enough to deal with risky and controversial issues’ which would broaden and enrich an individual’s horizons.

Many societies stressed that they could not be ‘radical’ because their work is ‘apolitical’ or ‘impartial’

16 //


a very bright idea Meet one of the bright sparks behind Nuru Energy, a social enterprise providing affordable and clean off-grid lighting systems for the world’s poor. Words: Harriet Di Francesco Pictures: Gaurav Malik, Adam Bacher Photography

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //



18 //

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //




ast Africa and India comprise some of the poorest regions in the world. The GDPs of Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania languish away at the bottom of the global league tables, with citizens earning as little as $0.50 per day. Periods of their history have often been far from rosy, too. But while the dark memories are still omnipresent, in a practical sense many are still living in darkness: over 90% of the population have no access to electricity. It’s a situation which entrepreneur Sameer Hajee decided to tackle head-on in 2008 by launching social enterprise Nuru Energy. The organisation, which was formed after winning $200,000 in World Bank Seed Money in a competition called Lighting Africa, seeks to alleviate some of the wider problems related to lack of reliable forms of energy. This is achieved by providing sustainable, eco-friendly lighting and energy services to communities which as yet do not have access to an electricity grid. For the problem of affordable energy is multiplex. Without access to a reliable source of energy, most families in the Third World are forced to use expensive and dangerous fossil fuels such as kerosene and diesel. Deplorable wages barely cover the cost of these ineffective substances, and some households have to spend up to half of their incomes on maintaining energy supplies. Rural customers resort to using candles, kerosene or dry cells, or charging batteries themselves. Sustaining these sources can cost 100 times more than modern fuels and electricity. These methods are unhealthy as well as uneconomical. Burning kerosene indoors can lead to a build up of carbon monoxide, which replaces the oxygen in the air. Inhaling the noxious fumes on a regular basis would be the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. In many cases this leads to lung cancer and eventually death. Two thirds of adult female lung cancer victims are non-smokers. Volatile organic compounds are also known to cause eye, nose, and throat infections, and kidney and liver afflictions. The statistics are nothing short of disturbing. One million people die every year as a result of infections, influenza and pneumonia caused by kerosene exposure, 60% of whom are under the age of 14. Nuru Energy is already making significant headway in altering these statistics, and solving some of the issues relating to a lack of energy in an innovative, environmentally-friendly way. Team member Gaurav Malik, a 22-year-old recent graduate from Delhi, India, is practically evangelical in his passion for the organisation’s work, having worked at Nuru Energy for three months. Now a Research Fellow at Nuru Energy, Malik has served in numerous community projects in the past. Working in orphanages and local government schools, running workshops in English language, and helping with teaching, tutoring and a health and immunization camp; his curriculum vitae boasts a healthy array of on-the-ground experiences. “I’ve always been very passionate about working in the development sector, specifically in rural development”, says Malik. Explaining why he found Nuru Energy particularly appealing, Malik


We were told that pedal power seems a bit archaic. But is anything more archaic than a lack of access to electricity? Gaurav Malik, Research Fellow, Nuru Energy

explains, “it’s a social enterprise that addresses a key social problem”. “I have always had a keen interest in working for organisations that respond to some of the world’s gravest problems. Nuru Energy provides innovative solutions using brilliant delivery models at a grassroots level”. Nuru’s product consists of a palmsized portable light called a POD light. On the face of it, it may look like a very simple solution to an extensive problem, but the pod’s attributes are numerous - it’s more than just one bright idea. The POD is multifunctional: it can be freestanding, strapped around the neck or head or mounted onto walls. If several are connected together, they can be used to form a room light. It’s affordable, too: it can be directly purchased, micro-financed or made available on a rent-to-own basis through local rural entrepreneurs. The product is designed to be durable, using white LED bulbs that never break and never need to be replaced. It’s also customisable - the light includes a three-position switch allowing one or two LEDs to be turned on. Lastly, the POD light is both reliable and efficient. Boasting rechargeable batteries, it can produce up to two weeks of light after just 20 minutes of charging. Most importantly, Nuru Energy provides a solution which isn’t harmful – the POD light doesn’t use any fossil fuels and therefore emits no malignant fumes. The light is recharged off-grid, essentially for free, either using the world’s first commercially available pedal generator or an external solar panel. For those areas which do have access to the electricity grid, the lights can also be recharged by a mains adapter. The pedal generator is one of the most intriguing features of Nuru Energy’s design. As Malik explains, it is Nuru Energy’s pioneering work with pedal power which sets it apart from many other environmentally-friendly energy solutions. “Solar is highly weather-dependant and households will revert back to harmful kerosene use in darkness or during the monsoon or through hazy winters.” But isn’t this method a little primitive? “In a meeting with a potential investor in Mumbai a few weeks ago we were told that pedal power seems a bit archaic”, he says. “But is anything more archaic than a lack of access to electricity?” On winning the United Nations Environmental Programme Saskawa Prize in 2009, Sameer Hajee reiterated: “Our belief is that human power has not been utilized to its full potential. “Human power, harnessed and converted into electricity, is currently powering thousands of lights and mobile phones in the most remote parts of the world that the grid will never touch”. Malik has immense confidence in the Nuru Lighting project and not without reason; the system obviously works. “We’ve managed to design an innovative delivery model - a scalable, replicable and lucrative microfranchise - that puts a local rural entrepreneur in charge of providing and recurrently recharging customer lights. “The project will carry on being a success because human power is limitless, unrelenting and ubiquitous – just like the human spirit”. The figures are equally inspiring. Rural customers around the world will save up to 60% of what they

Clockwise from left: a Rwandan child with burns on over 80% of his body from a kerosene lamp; a rural customer buying the POD lights; a child studies with the help of a Nuru POD.

By 2020, Nuru Energy estimates that it will have saved poor households over one billion US dollars

currently spend on kerosene by using Nuru Light, allowing parents to spend more on the health, education, and nutrition of their children. By 2020, Nuru Energy estimates that it will have saved poor households over one billion US dollars. Additionally, the enterprise expects to have a positive impact on the environment. Kerosene emits nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide, which contribute to acid rain and ozone depletion. By replacing kerosene with an emissions-free lighting system, Nuru Light prevents the release of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases into the atmosphere. Schoolchildren will also reap the benefits. The light will provide them the means to put in the time needed to achieve at least the minimal standards of education. No longer restrained by daylight, they will be able to study and complete schoolwork at their leisure. On a personal level, Malik feels that Nuru Energy has provided him with the perfect opportunity to effectuate his deepest passion - to work for an innovative organisation in the rural sector - and develop his skills. “The type of quick-thinking and problem solving involved when one is working on the ground needs to be learned through experience”, he says. “I’m able to solve problems well in a difficult rural work environment precisely because I have been in this situation before. I think it’s very important that young people who want to work in the international development sector get some handson experience”. Malik does not suggest that this is any easy feat. It takes guts and stamina to withstand the trials and tribulations of Third World societies. “You need to be ready for everything: roughing it out, adapting to changing conditions, sleeping on the floor, working through malaria and cholera epidemics, and tolerating inefficiency and poor human capital support. “All of this means that you probably won’t have a social life or much social interaction for long periods of time. “People who want to pursue such work need to have an in-built lust for adventure and passionately believe in the end goal”. And many do have that passion and determination, as Malik exemplifies. For him, the light at the end of the tunnel is handing over these responsibilities and skills to his peers in developing countries. Currently he is working on setting up an annual scholarship for one student from the Kullu region in North India to attend one of the United World Colleges. He had the fortune to attend the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, and would like others to be able to enjoy the same experience. In the meantime, Malik is eager to continue working with Nuru Energy “until such time as it is well established in India”. “My eventual aim is to start my own social enterprise in India”, he says. “Ideally, I’d like to build youth and community resource centres - spaces for dialogue, technology sharing, social-awareness building and community problem-solving - that are self-sustaining and managed by the youth of impoverished areas”. While the story of Nuru Energy is a resounding success, it’s wise to remember that in the wake of new solutions, brand new challenges invariably arise. But it’s a positive narrative. Each generation consists of more adept and resourceful individuals like Malik, with even more passion and dedication than the last.

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //



Chinese whispers Suffering from culture shock? Enter Yuban, an intercultural programme which seeks to introduce Chinese students into British Culture. Forge Press speaks to the founders.


Words: Beth Main


eaming over cups of tea in a cosy Kelham Island flat, Richard Heathcote and Matilda Zhang chat to me while simultaneously translating dialogues and testing microphone levels. This is a working day that never ends. As they talk me through the logistics, people come and go recording dialogues, helping with translations, or even just hanging out where the action is. It’s clear that this is a personal business run by friends, just having a laugh doing the work that they love and not taking themselves too seriously. Run entirely by students and post-graduates from the University of Sheffield, Yuban is an original business idea straight from our own Steel City. Yuban (trans. language partner) is an online language facility aiming to help Chinese students overcome cultural and linguistic difficulties in order to help them make the most of their time and experience at UK universities. “The idea came from this kid over here” says Heathcote, gesturing to Matilda Zhang. Their friendship, born out of a tandem learning module, showed how much Chinese students can benefit from time spent with their British counterparts and learn from their cultural experiences. Many Chinese students can find their first months here very difficult, and feel frustrated by the culture shock and the language barrier. Often, when reality doesn’t meet

This is a personal business run by friends, just having a laugh doing the work that they love

with their expectations, students can can quickly lose enthusiasm for the experience of studying in the UK. “I thought I’d be fine, because my major is English” says Zhang. “But people talk completely differently from how I thought they should talk”. The trick to overcoming initial fears, she says, is just to meet people and experience British culture. “Everything is different here; the way you study, socialise, even your eating habits”. Chinese students always want to make British friends and improve their English, but as Zhang says, “they may feel scared and so avoid social situations… it’s paradoxical!” Heathcote’s other Chinese colleagues have all had the experience of coming to the UK to study and having to get over that initial daunting hurdle. Their input has made Yuban more user-friendly and removed any cultural boundaries. Boasting over 150 subscribers, its success is evident. Heathcote mapped out his business plan for Yuban in his fourth year, alongside a dissertation and finals, in order to submit it in time to the University of Sheffield’s Business Enterprise Competition. He won second place and a substantial grant from the University to help get the business up and running. The first dialogues were recorded as early as November 2009 in the Union’s recording studio and posted online on Forge Radio. From there, Heathcote built the business out of his flat, attending courses at SENTA (Sheffield Enterprise Agency) run by the


You have to learn to expect the unexpected. Richard Heathcote, founder of Yuban

Chamber of Commerce in Sheffield. Working out all of the financial and legal details and setting up the website were his top priorities. Yuban also managed to secure the UKSE Kickstart Loan Fund, a Black Country-specific grant, which helped towards everything from advertising, leaflets and flyers to hoodies and pens. I asked Richard and Matilda if they considered themselves entrepreneurs. “Yes, I think so”, said Heathcote, sipping his strong cup of tea. “It’s a full time job, and sometimes I have to work insane hours”. Running a business may seem an incredible feat for most of us to imagine but as Heathcote warns, “it’s not as glamorous as anyone would have you believe”. Days have been spent on the phone to different companies and universities chasing people up and even more out in the harsh Sheffield wind handing out flyers and talking to people, spreading the word. Nevertheless, Heathcote insists that it is an exciting experience. “You have to learn to expect the unexpected, and be flexible so that when things don’t work out you can find another solution”. The business definitely practice what they preach – being so flexible that they switch seamlessly between English and Chinese in daily conversation. The website itself features language sections on ‘Real Life’ situations, ‘Grammar Geek’ specials, and ‘In Depth’ lessons for the more fluent students. All of the content is available in both English and Chinese in order to optimise cultural collaboration.

Above: Chinese and British students coming together under the Yuban project.

Everything is different here; the way you study, socialise, even your eating habits. Matilda Zhang, student

Dialogues are accompanied by vocabulary lists and commentaries to further Chinese students knowledge of both the English language and British culture – whether ordering a drink at the pub or helping you to apply for University. Starting a business will never be entirely plain sailing but as Yuban shows, there’s still every reason to try. The job market is infamously far from fruitful at the moment, so as Heathcote notes, it makes more sense to “create your own job”. Certain skills, such as those gained from taking part in enterprise workshops like the ones run by University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE) are particularly attractive to would-be employers. And while its founder’s CVs continue to blossom, the Yuban website is going from strength to strength, with more and more people are now signing up to the website every day. However, Heathcote and Zhang acknowledge that nothing is perfect. The main danger, as Heathcote explains, is that Chinese students would not take the initiative in the first place to use the website. “If Yuban fails, it will be because of the cultural differences in our education systems - Chinese students are less self-directed than British students”, says Heathcote. He hopes that the Yuban courses appeal to students and aid them practically for their education. In the meantime, Heathcote is still eager that people follow his example. “Although starting a business is hard at first, everything quickly becomes simpler and things start dropping into place... just like learning Chinese!”.

22 //


This fortnight on

Fashion Food & Drink Health & Fitness Technology Sex & Relationships

Guide to personalising your accommodation Photo inspiration of the cheapest, craftiest decorations and where to get them.


reebok classics

nike 6.0s Kevin Clarke’s candy coloured skate shoes have really aged well. Their battered texture giving the colours an edge.

FORGE PRESS Friday 0ctober 22 2010

Danny Howlett’s 6.0s with teal and maroon detail have classic street style and grab your attention.

Sebastiane Doumeng’s wild shoes with graffiti text and bonus boombox charm are offset by his tattoo.

anyone? Charlotte Green

Picture: Vicki Watson

Last winter was the coldest in over 30 years. Travel chaos, low grit supplies and horrifically large heating bills hit the UK. There are already fears that this winter may inflict similar, if not worse conditions. For students especially, excessive heating bills are an unwanted expense, so here are some energysaving ways of keeping warm. Obviously, you should ensure that all of your windows and doors – particularly between any unused rooms – are properly closed. Check that they are correctly

We are saying goodbye to the wheel You kept saying that one day you’d ride it and now you’ve run out of time, the Wheel goes on October 31.

Ina Fischer

Freeze your heating Vampire Kiss bills this winter

sealed; use window-caulk or weather stripping. An even cheaper alternative is to insert a towel into any leaks or cracks. Smaller rooms are cheaper to heat and get warm far quicker. Try and spend your time in your house’s smallest room and if possible only heat the room that you are in. A few additions such as a rug or thicker curtains would help to insulate rooms. Maybe even buy a portable heater. Look on eBay and Amazon where you can get one for about £10, and they are cheaper than using the heating. But, don’t leave it on if it’s not needed to prevent wasting energy.

Not only will exercise get you looking better but, you will be more tolerant to the cold. If exercise isn’t your forte try not to be stationary for too long, move around as it keeps your blood circulating. Or why not cook? The heat from cooking will keep your kitchen toasty. The hot food (or drink) will get your insides warm too. Most crucially, dress warmly. Layers are best, but don’t wear your winter coat in the house - you really won’t feel the benefit when you need to go outside. If you are sitting for a long period throw a blanket over yourself. You could invest in an electrical one. Check out Argos; they have a range starting at £10.

Many who pull allnighters in the IC come out looking like zombies and now that Hallowe’en is upon us, that experience may well come in handy. While in yesteryear trick or treating was where it was at, now it’s house parties and drinking. If Twilight has got you loving the ‘cold ones’ then perhaps a Vampire Kiss Martini could be right up your street. You need 1½ oz Vodka, 1½ oz Champagne, ¾ oz Chambord and some red sugar to line the top of the glass. If you need to make that student loan go a bit further, how about Devil’s Punch? The ingredients are 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz orange liquor, 1 oz lemon liquor, 1 oz sour mix and a dash of orange juice. Punch is definitely a great way for a cheaper night if everyone contributes. There are also tons of great nonalcoholic drinks with a devilish twist such as a Bloody Yummy Mary. This needs 2 oz of tomato juice, 1 slice of lemon, 1 sprig of fresh parsley, ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce,

¼ tsp salt, ¼ red pepper (blended), all of which is served on ice. If you’re after something to soak up some of that alcohol then Orange Jelly Pumpkins are a good idea. For this all you need is oranges and jelly. Cut the top of the orange off, put the jelly in and once set cut out the face! Or, you could always go for the old classic, with a bit extra. Nutty Toffee Apples are in keeping with traditional Hallowe’en treats while acting as one of your five-a-day, so no need to feel quite as guilty. Mix golden syrup, butter, water and nuts together and spread onto the apples. Yum.

Whatever your poison of choice, have a good one.

Picture: Kate Lloyd

Leave the naughty nurse costume at home, grab your friends and head out to town because Hallowe’en can be about so much more than just another night of drunken mayhem at the Students’ Union. Here are our top suggestions for an exciting Hallowe’en in Sheffield: As many of you will already know, Fright Night will be back for a funfilled evening in the city centre. Browse the different stalls and booths, strut your stuff on the fancy dress catwalk or munch down on a few eerie-looking snacks whilst watching one of the many performances taking place that night, 3:30pm - 8:30pm in the city centre (all roads will be closed for this event). Entrance is FREE. The folks at Alluring Delights are putting on a special burlesque show entitled “Hallowe’en Thriller”. Whether you’re already a fullfledged fan of burlesque dancing or

just curious, go down to the Library Theatre on Surrey Street at 7:30pm and let yourself be entertained. Tickets are £15 and can be purchased in advance at www.alluringdelights. What better way to spend the night than singing your heart out at a sing-a-long screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Fancy dress is highly recommended if you plan to head down to the Lyceum Theatre at 7:30pm on Sunday. To avoid disappointment buy your £15 tickets in advance at the Sheffield Theatres Box Office (55 Norfolk Street). The Stroke Association is organizing a fire walk for all you daredevils out there. Starting at 5:00pm, participants will engage in a one hour training session with the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s longest fire walk, before taking on the challenge themselves in the middle of Millennium Square.

suTCo perform The History Boys See the University’s theatre group perform Alan Bennett’s famous play between October 27-30.

Fed up of all the Hallowe’en hype? .

To make use of this unique opportunity, simply register online by October 22 ( uk/frightnightfirewalk). Note: you need to raise a minimum of £75 sponsorship for the Stroke Association to take part. There will also be a Hallowe’en special edition of the well-known Steel City Ghost Tours. If you dare, meet at 8:00pm in front of the Sheffield Cathedral. With student discount, the two hour tour will cost you a mere £2. The tours run every week, so if you already have other Hallowe’en plans, just check them out some other time. More info can be found online ( Finally, if nothing else takes your fancy and you’re brave enough, don your finest fancy dress, cook up some spooky snacks, decorate your basement with pumpkins and host a Hallowe’en spook-taculer in the comfort of your very own home.

Fancy dress to impress Photo: Fancie.

Sophie Hart You’ve organised a Hallowe’en party, invited all your friends and got the alcohol in; but wait! You’ve forgotten one vital elementwhat to wear? Yes, this is the one event of the year that we can dress like terrifying psychopaths and knock on people’s doors, so let’s take advantage. First port of call: the fancy dress shops. Party On and Rocky Horrors on Division Street are great for ready to wear costumes and will have everything you need. The downside: you have to queue to get into Party On during the Halloween rush, other people will have the same costume as you and you’ll have to fork out a reasonable wad of cash. If you fancy a cheaper, more original look: create your own. Here are some tips for creating the best Hallowe’en looks; these killer costumes are fun, easy and affordable. Don’t forget your facepaint...


Pair up.

This is a simple outfit, guaranteed to impress friends (unless they are a member of the RSPCA.) Simply pull out a black top and leggings (or trousers) get yourself some cat ears and don a pair of long white socks. Grab half a metre of white material and cut into an oval shape (the indoor market in the city centre sells 1m of cotton material for £2.99, and gives a 10% student discount) and decorate with tyre marks, using black paint or thick pen. Splash with red paint or fake blood, pin to your front with safety pins and you will have become one decidedly squished cat. Hooray.

Too afraid to step out on your own looking grotesque? Rope someone else in! Double acts, like the gothic Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts, show that you have made a real effort, and even better, you can save money on a shared Primark clothes shop. Some other good pairs could include The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack and Sally, zombie Wayne and Garth, or, even scarier, Jedward. Or go in an even bigger group for a massive impact. Whether you and your friends become a group of 20 zombies, vampires or ghosts or you become all the characters from the new Harry Potter - you are sure to get noticed for your efforts.


This fortnight on campus..

Sheffield’s most haunted


Sinead Graham

This fortnight in Sheffield...

This fortnight in the news... Johnny Depp turned up at a 9-yearold fan’s school dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow Reckon he’d turn up in a 21-yearold’s bedroom if we asked nicely?

osiris skaters

Jon Eastwood matches his statement socks to the patriotic shades of his retro shoes - simple but effective. //


Trainers in Sheffield BATHING APES

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

Pictures: Sophie Hart Dead gymnast. A ridiculously easy outfit, just dig out your old ballet leotard (or buy from one of the many charity shops off West Street) and a pair of leggings and legwarmers (Primark). Wrap some toilet paper around your neck and backcomb the hair like crazy. Smear black face paint of eyeshadow under your eyes and buy some white foundation (to give you a deathly complexion (available from Barry M and Rocky Horrors.) It’s a good way to deter people from the gym… Finally, follow this website which shows you how to make realistic, edible fake blood: www.wikihow. com/Make-Fake-Blood

Claire Haines In the run up to October 31 it may feel like everything revolves around Hallowe’en. With shops full of merchandise and people chatting about their plans for the big night, it can be hard to escape from. Luckily for you, if you want to avoid it, the city of Sheffield has much more to offer than just ghost walks and Hallowe’en themed club nights. Here are just a few ideas: Grin up North comedy festival has been in Sheffield throughout October. The final day is on October 30, so check out www. to see if any acts catch your eye If you’re more of a music fan, then local band, Left Ajar (supported by Flight 815, Miseria Lost and Velozity) are playing at Corporation on October 31. It starts at 7pm, costs £5 and you can check them out on www. to see if they’re your thing. For something in the day, why not have a go at the Marrow Fun Run? This is a 5km fun run around Weston Park and Crookes Valley Park. All are welcome and it’s a great way to raise money for a worthy cause. Visit www.anthonynolan. for more information. While you’re in the area, you can also visit Weston Park Museum (Sunday opening times 11am5pm) to see their Food Glorious Food exhibition. October 31 is also significant because it’s your last chance to the ride the Wheel of Sheffield! After being here for over a year, it is soon to go, so have a day out in the city centre and enjoy the incredible views the wheel has to offer. And of course, Bar One hosts the Sunday Social where you can watch sport, play pool, enjoy food and drinks offers. Or why not check out The Last Laugh comedy club in the Raynor Lounge on Sunday night. Or if none of that takes your fancy, then you can always just chill indoors (and hope the trick or treaters don’t come knocking!) Then just go to sleep, ready to wake up to the ‘only 5 days until Bonfire night’ hype...

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010



A NIGHT OUT WITH... Late night DJs

Rachel Earl

President of the Medieval Re-enactment society

Eabha Doherty Before I met Nigel and Tom, late night DJs on Forge Radio, I felt pretty smug with how I had mentally pigeon-holed them. At best I expected the archetypal night owls, buzzed up on energy drinks and frittering playlist sheets into confetti whilst doing laps of the studio. At worst, an Alan Partridgeesque crooner, with a treacle radio voice like Johnson from Peep Show and a playlist so sleazy that even big Bazza White would have to switch over in search of something a bit more edgy. However, the presenters of Sunday night’s The Wind Up were so laid-back, they were practically horizontal. I immediately felt relaxed in their company. No caffeine, no catchphrases; just simple, good and interesting music. I, the highly-strung journalist, was compelled to ditch my awkward note-taking in the irresistibly insouciant atmosphere of the studio. Surprisingly, it was Tom’s first time on Forge Radio. He took to the classically smooth DJ microphone-lean like a duck to water. Nigel, who was coolly only beginning to load the playlist onto the system just as the prior show came to an end, is somewhat of a veteran in the field and is a keen producer of other shows on the station. His expertise was evident as he nonchalantly twiddled and slid various knobs and keys to create the seamless radio sounds I had previously taken for granted. I felt so hip it almost hurt as we played one and a half hours of cool, alternative electro music, before being unceremoniously cut off by Union security staff who wanted to go home at 12:30am. Rock. And. Roll. My co-presenters (despite being handed a set of headphones and offered the chance to talk, I preferred to be the silent third party on this occasion) were two final year students and flatmates who met “through the music” in their first year. This informality transferred into the show, which was a refreshingly unpretentious insight into their love of music and pleasure in sharing it with listeners. Sitting in on the show was a remarkably calming and pleasant experience, as I hoped it would be. It certainly was an ideal way to wind-up the week; I would recommend it to all students as a soothing antidote to loud and often tiring nights out. Perhaps some day I’ll pluck up the courage to speak on air, but until then I will remain a contented listener and loyal supporter of the show. Listen to The Wind Up on Sundays, 11pm-12:30am

years ago there was a bloke clanking around in full plate armour, holding a sword. “I suddenly had a vision of myself as something like Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean!” “We don’t just re-enact Medieval battles. “The two main things we do are weapons training and kit making. “We learn how to use weapons such as swords and do lots of craft activities, like clothes-making, shoemaking and so on.”

Laura Kay Each fortnight Lifestyle speaks to a member of the University of Sheffield’s diverse student body who isn’t quite your stereotypical student. This issue we spoke to Rachel Earl, a third year Maths student, who is president of one of the University’s more obscure societies - Medieval

Rachel in medieval dress Re-enactment. We asked her all about battles, swords and making her own clothes. Here’s what she had to say: “I was enticed by the armour and swords. “I’d never done any kind of reenactment before, but when I turned up to my first Activities Fair two

“We have battles all over the country. “Most re-enactments happen in the summer, when the battles originally took place. “Bosworth, near Leicester, is one of the main ones, and Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, is another.”

“We mainly focus on the end of the Medieval period. “It is roughly the 1400s. In particular, we’ve got close ties with a Sheffield group called the Neville Household, which re-enacts the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 87). “This means that some of us travel to Bosworth each year to re-enact that battle, in which Richard III was


“We make all of our own clothes. “When we’re in the field (re-enacting in public, usually literally in a field) we wear authentic clothing that we make ourselves. “Cotton was only available if you were extremely rich in the 1400s, so we use linen to make underwear, and woven wool or canvas to make outerwear.” “It’s not unusual to find some of the men sewing. “The best thing about the society is the same thing that I’m most proud of: that anybody can get involved with anything. “You’ll often see a group of women sword-fighting while a few men sit and sew shirts on the sofas!” “I’m hoping to set up a calligraphy workshop. “Hopefully that will happen at some point this year. “At the moment, the only things scheduled are our usual practices, which are effectively weekly socials.” The Medieval Re-enactment society meet every Sunday in the Union. Head to Fusion and Foundry from 1-5pm.

RELATIONSHIPS Your turn-offs and turn-ons Vicki Watson and Kate Lloyd As much as we try to pretend to be open-minded individuals who would date anyone; let’s be honest, the majority of us are quite picky when it comes to potential partners. We all seem to have our own types and know what we like. We have specifications about clothes, looks, personalities and interests. Although, of course there will always be the odd few, like a couple of our male interviewees, who will go for ‘anyone with a pulse.’ With this in mind, we decided to leave the Media Hub and ask the good people of Sheffield, what they look for in their other half and what they just won’t stand for.

(From left) Adam Jackson, Matt Horton, Kevin Clarke, Sol Smith, Conor Chan Rhys Owen

common with him but ‘aren’t quite as brash’ as him. Sol rated trust and honesty, saying he wouldn’t ever date a ‘slut’. Conor admits that he ‘is shallow’ and he is a fussy dater. His requirements include; that girls must be able to take a joke, aren’t too high maintenance, aren’t too protective and must give him time to spend alone with his friends. Picky.

Ex-student Rhys thinks that the most attractive trait in a potential partner is a sense of humour and says it is essential. He dislikes people with no manners.

These boys all agreed that looks were important when it comes to finding a partner. But Matt and Adam both said that they like genuine girls who don’t try too hard to impress boys and aren’t ‘tan slaves’. Kevin likes girls who have a lot in

Erin Cosgrave

Helen Campbell

Celina Aggarwal

Jon Eastwood

Erin is a first year student and believes that an ability to make her laugh is always a good thing. She also likes people with nice eyes. However, a big turn-off is a boy who is smaller than her!

Helen is not a fan of people who are show offs and cocky people. She also jokes that any potential partner ‘can’t be prettier than her.’ Helen does, however, love people with a good smile and nice eyes.

Third year maths student Celina says that a potential boyfriend definitely has to have a good taste in music. But you won’t be finding her with any rude or stuck-up people - she finds that a big turn off.

Jon admits he’s a fussy man when it comes to a potential partner. He can’t stand obnoxious or arrogant people. But he likes people who are funny, someone with a likeable personality and looks!

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //



Top Hallowe’en haunts

In a quandary over where to celebrate Hallowe’en this year? Spare cash? We have a couple of suggestions Amy Whitehead, an English Language and Literature student, explains why spending Hallowe’en in our very own capital will not leave you disappointed

With Hallowe’en now being up there with some of the years biggest events, why not go all-out this October and head down to London for the ultimate Hallowe’en experience? With a large and diverse selection of eerie events, performances and activities taking place across the city, you won’t regret making the trip. London is a city rich in history and heritage, providing the perfect spooky atmosphere for a thrilling weekend. A great place to start is at the London Bridge Experience, exploring the extensive network of damp, dark tunnels that run under the city. Follow this up by taking in the Phobophobia Hallowe’en Show, also situated at the London Bridge Experience, where you will be forced to confront some of your worst fears from the classic creepy clown to spiders and snakes in abundance. If it’s the supernatural that intrigues you, then the London Ghost Festival is definitely a must.

Running from October 22 through ‘til October 31, the festival is spread out across the city and includes stop offs at supposedly haunted locations, including the Old Operating Theatre in Southwark and the famous London Dungeons, where you will have the chance to partake in an eerie Victorian-style ghost watch.

Confront some of your worst fears

After all those scares you might be starting to get a little peckish and luckily help is at hand at the Eat Your Heart Out cake shop in the basement of the Maiden store on Shoreditch High Street.

Not for the easily offended, this is a bakery with a difference as it claims to be the very first in the world to cater only to the over 18s. With delicacies such as road kill sweets and cakes resembling human hearts, it’ll be a hard one to resist. You can even sample cat food cookies if the mood takes you. Make the most of this unique dining experience though as it is open for three days only from October 29 until October 31. So from the kooky to the spooky, there is no doubt that a London Hallowe’en has something for everyone. Amy Larkin, who studies Law with Spanish, suggests a long distance alternative

Wandering around Prague’s dark and narrow streets, it’s not hard to see why this mysterious city is considered one of the best places around to spend Hallowe’en in. With its ancient buildings and cobbled alleyways, it conceals many historical horrors, including mass executions and murderous thieves. Prague is often hailed as the most haunted city in Europe and has become a very popular destination for celebrating Hallowe’en, partly due to the large American ex-pat community. The city’s Old Town Square is arguably the highlight of the celebrations, with the imposing and eerie gothic Týn church as the centrepiece. The carved pumpkin processions and crowds dressed in their best costumes make for an unbeatable atmosphere. Then

there’s the haunting Old Jewish Cemetery, the resting place of over two hundred thousand souls, which becomes very popular on Halloween. For more organised frights, you can go to the Blaq Mummy Halloween Concert, now in its fourteenth year. This legendary event offers some great Hallowe’en treats, including blood shots, zombie beer and a masked monster theme. Although still a fairly new celebration for the city, there are some unique traditions here including the practice of each member of the family putting a chair by the fireplace, symbolising a place for each person’s spirit to rest on the night. Prague successfully mixes all things creepy with its great party atmosphere and excellent nightlife.

Tried and tested: ISIC There is a well established stereotype that poor students spend their days eating value range beans trying to ward off extra student debt. When travelling, similar principles usually apply, you still have a budget to stick too and despite indulging in once in a lifetime opportunities, the less cash splurged the better. After spending a fantastic month inter-railing around Europe this summer, I fully experienced how useful possessing a student card

can be. Unfortunately, my University student card was only accepted in a few places with most student friendly places requiring an international student identity card (ISIC). This was a particular worry for us when we saw on a hostel confirmation slip that without an ISIC we would be charged an extra fee per person, per night. Considering that admission to European attractions such as museums can cost as little as half

the standard adult price for students it is definitely worth paying the £12.99 for an NUS ISIC Extra travel card. Available from STA Travel on Devonshire Street, the card offers extensive discounts exclusive to NUS members both in the UK and abroad. The ISIC is available to all full time students and for those looking for an even bigger bargain, the standard ISIC can be purchased for £9 and still offers a large range of discounts. The

NUS ISIC Extra boasts a generous period of validity between August 5 and August 31 the following year and the standard ISIC gives an impressive span from September through to December the following year. STA travel claim that on average students with an NUS Extra card will save a chunky £519 a year, or however that much amounts to in euros, rupees, forints... Victoria Browne

Foreign Correspondent Thomas Wood The most exotic place for studying history in Sheffield is probably the mysterious vaults of Western Bank Library where you carefully venture several levels underground and encounter not a soul. In Singapore it’s slightly different: as part of one of my classes I have to do a presentation about a temple, which is a fairly straightforward task as you have plenty to choose from. This is the kind of advantage I have gained from studying history in Singapore. You can go out and see the history that you are studying and better relate it to what you learn in class. Visiting a temple is not just about going around and looking at various paintings, offerings and statues and trying to work out what they mean. Temples are very much shaped by the people who worship in them and after visiting a few temples I’ve found that you always end up meeting interesting people who want to tell you more about their temple and its significance.

Culture can often feel sidelined

Looking round these places is exploring a world and culture far removed from my own which is what makes it so interesting. Many of the temples, especially those located away from the major tourist areas, have a real sense of local community and are a key focal point and meeting place for people who live nearby, especially around festival times. In a society that has seen so many rapid changes, especially in terms of modernisation and economic growth, temples have managed to remain a part of Singaporean life, even though it has not always been easy. In a country where culture can often feel sidelined for the primacy of economic growth, visiting temples gives you a sense of Singaporean heartlands culture at its best and is a nice antidote to the fast-paced, competitive and materialistic lifestyle that can seem to consume Singapore at first glance.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010


Coffee Break overheard in sheffield


In the living room: Girl: “Were the power rangers real people?” Early hours of the morning in Ranmoor village: Drunk Girl: “Which flat is ours?” Kebab shop in Broomhill: Boy 1: “I’m pretty sure I love kebabs more than my girlfriend. They don’t moan about my drinking, make me tidy my room or spend hours moaning about friends.” Boy 2: “You realise she’s sitting over there. Comparing her to some stodgy meat might not be the best idea...” Boy 1: “Yeah but she can’t hear.” (Girlfriend walks out of the shop with friends in a strop.) Boy 2: “Err, I think she can...”

In an Endcliffe village kitchen: Friend 1: “The essential mixed vegetables from Spar are good for only a pound but they are mostly carrots.” Friend 2: “I’d prefer it if they had more peas.” Friend 1: “I’ll be sure to let Spar know...”


A Fresher’s first attempt at washing up leaves much to be desired...

Photo: James Parsons

Anagrams Rearrange the letters to reveal spooky Hallowe’en related words... 1. Back Talc 2. Virgin Camp Punk 3. Babble Gin Pop 4. Terror Act Kit 9. TOFFEE APPLES

6. Itch Wick Wed


5. Douse Neat Huh


7. Shook Got Spy


8. Ramp Ive


9. Aloft Fees Pep


10. Sand Fry Sec


mOST POPULAR web CONTENT 1: Students march to remind Clegg of fees pledge 2: Filthy and Freezing 3: Wednesday given second winding up order 4: Interview: Tinie Tempah 5: Soldiers sexual exploits published in Slag Mag 6: Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 7: The long road to University registration 8: Appy Feet: Meadowhall’s foot-loving fish SUDAN SWEDEN SYRIA THAILAND TIBET TUNISIA TURKEY


9: The University is watching you 10: Council publishes review into student voting chaos Visit to keep up to date with all aspects of Forge Media, from articles and podcasts to blogs and video content.

28 // FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010


Scrutineering Jack Burnett

Get used to dodgy owners? We’ve seen it all before At long last, Sheffield Wednesday fans will, if recent reports are to be believed, soon delight in the fruition of a takeover of their club by a Middle-Eastern consortium. Although the Owls’ new owners are unlikely to embark upon a Sheikh Mansour-style spending orgy, the grumbles of discontent on the matter of foreign ownership of English football clubs have once again become audible, if not from Wednesdayites or Manchester City fans. The ever-engrossing and at times comical developments at Liverpool over the last couple of weeks brought to the fore a question that has permanently nestled in the back of all fans’ minds ever since Mr. Abramovich steered his yacht to these shores: are multi-millionaire foreign owners good for the game we all love and cherish? There is, of course, a simple answer in many cases. Owners like Malcolm Glazer, at Manchester United, and the partnership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, formerly at Liverpool, are indisputably bad; parasites that suck their clubs dry, all the while adding only debt to the ‘franchise’ they have acquired through leveraged buyouts. But what of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour? Unburdened by demands for profit maximisation, they’ve treated their clubs as playthings. Success follows for Chelsea and Manchester City while Bolton and Stoke look on from afar wondering when it’ll be their turn to play with the rich kid’s new toys. Wholly unfair, but it’s entertaining, isn’t it? Thus fans of the clubs left unpicked by the Sheikhs and oil field owners yearn for the simplicity of a bygone era; back when clubs were owned by families with local roots, when half-time entertainment involved

BUCS Fixtures Badminton Men’s 1A Firsts v Leeds Met seconds Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Hillsborough Leisure Centre

only a meat pie at best, and when ‘banter’ was a term used to describe such acts as Neil Ruddock snapping both of Andy Cole’s legs in half. This is where the dangers of rose-tinted glasses become apparent. First of all, we have to remember that it’s not only clueless foreign owners like

Hicks and Gillett who’ve irked fans with their prioritisation of personal gain. Though Alan Sugar’s ownership of Spurs during the 1990s was not of the same destructive nature as that of the Americans, his purely businessman-like approach to running the club frustrated supporters.

To those who claim that foreign investors have no ability to understand how clubs here should be run - and that British owners do - we need only to point to Newcastle United’s ‘nonalcoholic’ beer-chugging owner Mike Ashley. And to those who question the financial logic of investment from overseas, we



Rugby Union

Men’s 2B Firsts v Leeds Met seconds Wednesday October 27, 16:00, Goodwin

Men’s 1A Firsts v Liverpool John Moores firsts Wednesday October 27, 15:30, Goodwin

Men’s 2B Seconds v Hull firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Norton


Men’s 5B Fourths v Sunderland firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Goodwin

Women’s PN Firsts v Northumbria firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Norton

Women’s 2B Firsts v Newcastle seconds Wednesday October 27, 15:30, Goodwin


Football Women’s 2B Firsts v Sunderland firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Norton

Women’s 3B Seconds v Leeds fourths Wednesday October 27, 12:30, Goodwin

Women’s 3B Seconds v Huddersfield firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Norton

Women’s 5B Thirds v Teesside firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Goodwin

Women’s 1B Firsts v Bradford firsts Wednesday October 27, 13:30, Goodwin

Women’s 2B Firsts v Hallam firsts Wednesday October 27, 18:30, Goodwin

Squash Men’s 2B Firsts v Hallam firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Fulwood Squash Club

need only to look to ex-Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale’s book, United We Fall, a more appropriate title for which would be How to Ruin a Football Club for Dummies. Even before the Sky TV boom and the birth of the moneymaking machine that is the Premier League, manager-owner disputes and fans calling for board resignations were hardly a rarity. Take Brian Clough at Derby. Difficult to work with he may have been (to say the least), but Clough was ultimately pushed out of the club by owners he claimed didn’t understand football. Sound familiar? Of course, people like Hicks and Glazer should never have been given the opportunity to take control of historic institutions within the game. But at the very least, we need to accept the reality that there are few alternatives to current models of ownership. The idea of fan ownership has been greeted with enthusiasm by the majority of fans, but it seems unlikely to take off in the Premier League for the foreseeable future despite a successful precedent being set in Germany, where fans are required to be the majority shareholder. Share Liverpool FC, the group of fans who attempted to buy Liverpool before Hicks and Gillett stepped in, had to lower the amount of money they asked fans to invest in their scheme after failing to get anywhere near enough fans to say they’d be willing to contribute. Once we’ve accepted the situation we find ourselves in, we have to stop pretending that everything was so much better back in the day. In any case, if things continue as they are, we’ll end up with 20 clubs being owned by multi-billionaires. What could be fairer than that? Women’s 1A Firsts v Leeds seconds Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Fulwood Squash Club

Table Tennis Men’s 1A Firsts v Manchester Firsts Wednesday October 27, 14:00, Goodwin

Tennis Women’s 2B Firsts v Newcastle seconds Wednesday October 27, 12:00, Goodwin

Golf 2B Firsts v Northumbria thirds Wednesday October 20, 10:30, Hillsborough Golf Club

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

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Positives at last for Wednesday

Robert Dowd came close for Steelers Photos: Steelers Official

Steelers suffer second loss to Braehead Ice Hockey Elite League Sheffield Steelers Braehead Clan

0 4

Rob Cox Anxiety concerning the Steelers’ recent form was intensified further as they suffered their second loss of the Elite League season to newcomers Braehead Clan. Fans attending the match on Saturday, October 16, saw four goals hit the back of the Steelers’ net, whilst the Scottish visitors were able to record a hard-fought clean-sheet. Problems off the ice are mounting as well. Captain Jonathan Phillips added his name to the growing list of injuries following a nasty collision with the post during the second period. On Saturday’s evidence the Steelers squad is already overstretched, so a potential two month lay-off for Phillips could not have come at a

worse time. The Steelers started slowly and were unable to string together any significant number of passes. In contrast the Clan were impressive and thoroughly deserved their eighth minute lead courtesy of a slick move finished at close range by Ryan Campbell. Within six minutes of the second period the Clan had doubled their lead. Adam Walker’s longrange effort somehow crept past a bewildered Ervins Mustukovs, the shot appearing to take a rather fortunate deflection. In response, the Steelers showed glimpses of brilliance but were unable to apply any sustained high-quality pressure. Robert Dowd twice darted past several players in the second period but both times had his shot saved by the visitor’s goalkeeper J. F. Perras. Perras was to frustrate the Steelers throughout the period saving the Steeler’s sixteen shots, the Clan offering just four of their own. The third period offered an incredibly similar pattern to the

second. Once again the Steelers were able to conjure up sixteen shots, yet it was the Clan who were able to extend their lead completely against the run of play. In the eleventh minute Bobby Chaumont tapped-in to make it 3-0 and then in the final minute of the game Brendan Cook put the puck into an empty net as the Steelers pushed strenuously for a late consolation goal. The Steelers may feel hard done by with a 4-0 scoreline but having allowed the Clan to

settle early and take the lead, the visitors deserve credit for some exceptional defending. Although the Clan’s man-of-thematch award going to goalkeeper Perras may suggest the Steelers deserved some reward for their shot dominance, in truth their inconsistency and often sloppy build-up play meant a comeback was never really likely. The Steelers will hope to return to winning ways in their next league game at sixth-placed Cardiff Devils on October 24.

Upturn in fortunes for Sheffield United Football Pulasta Dhar and Adam Shergold Sheffield United kick-started their season by taking four points from six in the Championship this week. The Blades battled back twice to salvage a 3-3 draw with Lancashire rivals Burnley on Saturday and followed up this well-deserved point with a 1-0 away success at Hull City. Winger Mark Yeates was outstanding in both matches, scoring in the fourth minute of stoppage time at Bramall Lane and netting a brilliant solo goal at the KC Stadium.

The results, which have lifted United to 17th in the table, eased the pressure on manager Gary Speed. Before Tuesday night, they had not won since beating Portsmouth 1-0 at Bramall Lane in mid-September. Yeates struck in the 53rd minute to sink goal-shy Hull in a match which rarely inspired. Jamie Ward, a substitute, came close to doubling the advantage but his shot was parried away by Hull goalkeeper Matt Duke. Speed told the official Sheffield United website: “We were excellent defensively in the first-half but poor in possession and I don’t really know why we sometimes seem to lack a bit of self-confidence. “There should have been positives to be taken from last

Saturday’s fightback – you can’t knock off in this division because you get caught out. “There were words at the interval, we were much better on the ball and could have had more goals, although beforehand I would have taken a 1-0 win.” The dull contest stood in stark contrast to Saturday’s six-goal thriller, in which United twice came from behind. After a goalless first period, in which Andre Bikey and Chris Iwelumo squandered two giltedged opportunities for Burnley, the game exploded into life after the break. Dean Marney met Chris Eagles’ inch-perfect cross to put Burnley in front before Eagles, who had an outstanding game, doubled the lead from the penalty spot

after Johnny Ertl dragged down Tyrone Mears. But Mears turned from hero to zero shortly afterwards, gifting possession to Daniel Bogdanovic, who coolly finished to halve the deficit. Substitute Matthew Lowton drew the Blades level with five minutes left, but there looked to be a sting in the tail when Jay Rodriguez restored Burnley’s lead in the 90th minute. However, Yeates cut inside from the right flank to blast home an unlikely equaliser in the dying moments, to the delight of the home supporters. United travel to local rivals Doncaster Rovers on Saturday teatime (live on BBC Two), with Coventry City next up at the Lane on October 30th.

After a winless September, things are definitely looking up for Sheffield Wednesday as they attempt to make a quick return to the Championship. Saturday’s 2-0 win at Yeovil Town, secured courtesy of Jermaine Johnson’s screamer and a Tommy Miller penalty, was their third successive league win and took them to fourth in the League One standings, a point behind Bournemouth, whom they play this weekend. The Owls are entering a defining point in their season, with a possible run of four home fixtures across three competitions after next weekend’s visit to Charlton Athletic. They face Huddersfield Town and Rochdale in the league, Hartlepool United in the quarterfinals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and will be hoping for a home tie in Sunday’s FA Cup first round draw. The return of Johnson, who came off the bench to make his first appearance since damaging his knee during pre-season, gives Alan Irvine a welcome selection dilemma ahead of the forthcoming run of fixtures. The manager will be without Jon Otsemobor, however, after the right-back was dismissed for a rash challenge on Nathan Smith in the dying moments at Huish Park. Off the field, a takeover by a Middle East consortium led by former manager Chris Turner grows ever nearer. An advance cash injection of £2 million, believed to be from the consortium, was pledged last week and will help stave off a winding-up order scheduled for November 17. Meanwhile, the club have approached the European Union to help finance a proposed £22 million redevelopment of Hillsborough. The maximum grant possible is £9.8 million, which would be spent on improving community and learning facilities in the west and north stands. Hillsborough has been chosen as a potential venue should England be chosen to host the 2018 World Cup. A second phase of the development, affecting the Kop and the west stand, would increase capacity from 39,000 to 44,000.

Sheffield FC aim to make history Sheffield FC will be aiming to break new ground this Saturday by reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their 153-year history. The world’s oldest club host Tipton Town in the fourth qualifying round, having already overcome Colne, Woodley Sports, Northwich Victoria and Frickley Athletic to reach this stage. Sheffield are currently 19th in Evo-Stik Division One South, with just one win from six matches, though they have as many as five games in hand on the teams around them because of their cup run. Tipton are second in the Midland Football Alliance Division One, having lost just one match this season. Sheffield were eliminated from the FA Trophy in midweek, going down 3-1 at Evo-Stik Premier Chasetown in a First Qualifying Round replay. Adam Shergold

30 // FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010


Volleyball slip to defeat against Bradford Men’s Volleyball

The University of Sheffield’s men’s volleyball firsts suffered a home defeat to Bradford in their first home match of the season. The home side made a perfect start, easily winning the first set. The quality of the Sheffield serve was crucial, exposing Bradfordian disorganisation to take an early lead. The tables turned in the second set though, as the sun shone through the Goodwin Sports Hall, making it difficult for Sheffield’s players to see properly, and therefore struggling to return the Bradford strikes. In the end, however, the side from West Yorkshire levelled things up. The match was now at a crucial point, and the third set was closely fought. A few changes were made tactically, and both sides fought toe to toe, but Bradford’s defence was the slightly more resolute. That proved to be the difference as Bradford took control of the match with a two sets to one lead. It went from bad to worse at the start of the fourth. Sheffield fell behind quickly, but levelled it twice thanks to the powerful serve of Paul Cave, making his debut for the University volleyball team. The final stages of the set were very tight, with Sheffield battling to stay in the match. They eventually succumbed to a fourth set defeat by 25 points to 23, and gave Bradford the win in four sets. After the match captain Ben Baldwin praised the Sheffield first years, of which many were playing their first game. He said, “The effort put in was well over 110% and I’m certain as the season goes on they will get more rewards.” Anthony Hart

Basketball players throw away lead Women’s Basketball Danny Berry captained a band of nearly women in the first team’s season debut against Bradford. The score stood at 63-64 in Bradford’s favour at the final whistle, despite Sheffield being ahead by ten points at the end of the third period and dominating for the vast majority of the game. Berry’s team got off to a slow start, with the first half of the first period looking like it might be a humiliating defeat on home soil. But with the substitution of Sheffield’s Ellen Cellyn came some much needed points and a lead, giving the Sheffield team confidence to make the shots they were hesitant to make when coming from behind. Sheffield exuded confidence throughout the second and third periods, despite a few clashes with Bradford’s number 4 who even sent Berry crashing to the floor during her attempts at three-pointers, something no Sheffield player was committed to work into their game. The last period was when Sheffield’s game unravelled. Bradford scored point after point, much to the dismay of Berry’s team. Verity Sleeman

Stunning start for lacrosse

One of the many goals scored by Sheffield Photo: George Garantziotis

Men’s Lacrosse Firsts BUCS League 1A University of Sheffield Manchester Met. Firsts

26 0

Adam Shergold Sheffield’s crusade to reach their “rightful place” in the BUCS Premier League started in sensational style, as Manchester Met were demolished 26-0 on Wednesday afternoon. Mike Armstrong, with seven goals, and George Bailey, with six, were the outstanding performers as Sheffield ran amok, their free-flowing brand of lacrosse causing constant problems for an underwhelming visiting side. Johnny Goodfellow (5), Tom Bailey (2), Richard Everby (2), Chris Leeming (2), Josiah Turner and Jack Stubbs were also on the

Action from Uni’s match against Bradford Photos: Belinda Alexander

scoresheet and by the second-half it had become a case of which players hadn’t grabbed a goal. When captain and goalkeeper Tom Little stormed forward in search of glory in the fourth quarter, Manchester’s humiliation was complete. “We need to get promoted this season because the Premier League is our rightful place,” said Little afterwards. “To be honest, today was pretty boring. We were disappointed about the lack of challenge but think there might be a few more games like this.” Sheffield were denied promotion last year after losing on head-tohead records when three teams finished on level points. Manchester Met were the team who entered the promotion playoff, where they lost to Sheffield Hallam, but they were a pale shadow of last season’s successful side here.

Arriving a matter of minutes before the scheduled start time, the odds were already stacked against a visiting team obviously blooding a number of freshers. Sheffield showed them no mercy, scoring through Tom Bailey after barely 30 seconds and not looking back. The opening quarter was one-way traffic as the hosts ripped through their opponent’s defence at will and further goals from Armstrong and George Bailey established a fourgoal lead after just five minutes. With Manchester struggling to retain possession, never mind craft any chances of their own, Sheffield were nine goals up at the turnaround, with Goodfellow (2), Everby and Leeming effectively settling the contest. The second quarter continued the theme, as a flurry of goals inside the first five minutes from Goodfellow and George Bailey took the score to 13-0.

The showboating could commence and Armstrong netted with a cheeky finish, before Leeming and George Bailey piled on more misery shortly before half-time. Sheffield slowed down their assault in the second-half but Little continued to play the role of spectator as his teammates breezed through the Manchester rearguard time after time. Armstrong scored a hat-trick in the third quarter, with both Baileys also netting. Manchester finally mustered a shot on target in the final quarter but Little was untroubled. Five further goals underlined the home team’s dominance, a highlight being when Stubbs came off the bench to score with his first touch. The team will be hoping to take the momentum from this game when they travel to Lancaster University on Wednesday.

FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010 //

5 star Uni trounce St John’s Women’s Hockey Firsts BUCS League 2B University of Sheffield York St. John Firsts

5 0

Jack Burnett Uni got off to a flying start to the women’s hockey season, putting a thoroughly outclassed York St. John side to the sword. The victory comes as a boost to the Firsts who last season narrowly missed out on promotion, with rivals Hallam instead snatching the division title. Within minutes of the start, St. John found themselves a goal down when Katie O’Sullivan pounced to open the scoring. O’Sullivan added her second shortly afterwards, capitalising on St. John’s failure to deal with a short corner and forcing the ball in after the keeper had blocked an initial shot. Uni threatened to run riot in the early phase of the game, by far and away enjoying the majority of possession. St. John were clearly rattled by the early pressure, misplacing several simple passes and quickly tiring as they chased shadows. Trying in vain to find a third goal that would surely put the result beyond doubt before half time, Uni came close again through Cerys Bate after she had freed herself of her marker before

shooting narrowly wide. Sensing an onslaught, St. John packed the midfield and the game consequently became a scrappy affair before the first half was brought to a close with Uni two up. The second half began in much the same way as the first had ended, with Uni patiently probing an increasingly resolute St. John defence but to no avail, despite a succession of short corners and blocks from the opposition keeper. Holly Baldwin eventually managed to grab the elusive third goal when she showed composure to finish after a first shot was saved, as Uni’s patient build-up play at last began to pay dividends. Rachel Sharp was twice denied by good saves before she netted Uni’s fourth with a sublime effort, drawing out the keeper before neatly taking it round her and slotting into the empty net. Baldwin completed the rout in the closing minutes, ending a decent move with a delicate flick that put the finishing gloss on a quality Uni performance. Uni’s captain Heather Shillitoe was pleased with the emphatic nature of her side’s victory: “It’s obviously a really good start to the season. I thought we put in a really good performance. We all have hopes of winning the league as well as the cup this season, so that was a brilliant start.”



Uni, in white, pile on the pressure Photo: Marek Allen

Seconds start with easy win

Uni’s players were first to the ball throughout Photos: Marek Allen

Men’s Hockey Seconds BUCS League 2B University of Sheffield Durham Fourths

3 0

Dave Cooper After the Thirds’ thrilling comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against Newcastle Seconds, the University of Sheffield men’s hockey Seconds got their season off to a fine start with a convincing victory over Durham Fourths at Goodwin.

Sheffield never looked like losing their first game in BUCS Northern Conference 2B after promotion last season, scoring in the first ten minutes and then sealing victory with two second half goals. After the cagey opening minutes Sheffield’s Tom Phillips broke through the Durham defence before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball home. Sheffield controlled the remainder of the first half, with Phillips and Christopher Swales dominating the centre of the field, leaving Durham to hit long balls down the flanks in an attempt

to bring their forwards into the game. Sheffield started the second half as they finished the first, with captain Ross Barrable going close before putting his team 2-0 up with a reverse stick finish. Sheffield’s sturdy defence was only troubled twice, keeper Lewis Bartlett saving at the Durham captain’s feet one-on-one, before making a superb dive to his right to tip the ball wide from a penalty corner. Sheffield put the game beyond doubt five minutes before time, with Phillips doing well down the right before crossing for Javier

Serrano to slide in and finish. Sheffield were in control for the entire match, using substitutes cleverly throughout, as well as making the most of their stranglehold on possession to work some great combinations down the flanks. Dan Molloy added variety to Sheffield’s forward line, combining well with Barrable several times, and Richard West on the left wing had the best of his opponent for most of the game, going past him several times. Afterwards Barrable said he was very pleased with his side’s performance.

“The defence was very solid and the midfield worked hard to keep the game under our control,” he said. “After going into half time with a 1-0 lead we didn’t think we would lose, and we went in hard and strong at the start of the second half to make sure of that. “Some of the positional play was excellent, and I’m confident for the rest of the season.” Sheffield face two away games next, playing Durham Thirds followed a week later by a cup match against Newcastle thirds, before facing York firsts at Goodwin on November 10.



FORGE PRESS Friday October 22 2010

Local sport round-up Page 29

BUCS Wednesday Pages 30-31

Football firsts hold off UCLan comeback for first BUCS win Men’s Football Firsts BUCS League 2B University of Sheffield UCLan Firsts

4 2

Ollie Moody The men’s first team got their season off to the perfect start, with a 4-2 win over UCLan proving they can still compete following last season’s promotion. Sammy Pekun scored early on, and further goals from midfielders Josh Sherry-Brennan and Sean Rushton gave Sheffield a commanding half-time lead. The points were in doubt when UCLan hit a quick double after the break, but a stunning freekick from Sherry-Brennan put his team back in control and they held on impressively. An explosive start to the match saw UCLan hit the post as early as the second minute, with goalkeeper Richard Woolley getting just enough on the ball. It was a missed chance and Sheffield were ruthless in response. From their next attack they forced a decent stop from the UCLan ‘keeper, who touched the ball round for a corner. It was curled in to striker Pekun, who made no mistake from close range. The new season was only three minutes old and Sheffield were already ahead. After UCLan had appeals for a penalty turned down in the 20th minute, Sheffield were again quick to punish their opponents. Will Doyle’s initial effort was saved, but the ball fell invitingly for Sherry-Brennan, who was rewarded for following the attack up with the second goal of the match. UCLan had largely been kept out of the game until a good chance at the back post was miscued in the 25th minute. They followed that up with a couple of half-chances, but were wasteful and Woolley had no saves of note

Football returned to Norton on Wednesday, with four wins out of four for our teams Photos: George Garantziotis

to make. Sheffield should have made it three on the half-hour mark after a rapid counter-attack, but despite outnumbering their opponents, the move broke down. They were not so generous next time: Pekun played an excellent through-ball to Rushton, and the left-winger lifted the ball over the ‘keeper to give Sheffield what looked like an unassailable lead going into half-time. However, UCLan started the second half with a point to prove and scored in the 50th minute. If that didn’t get the nerves jangling, their second goal being smashed into the top corner of Woolley’s net two minutes later certainly did. With the pressure suddenly on, Sheffield were given a freekick despite claims that the foul was actually inside the area. It didn’t matter. Sherry-Brennan stepped up and smashed the ball over the wall and past the ‘keeper to complete an incredible nine minutes following the restart. After that, the result never looked in doubt, with Sheffield controlling their opponents and creating the better chances. Doyle completed a frustrating afternoon in front of goal when he shot wide having been set up by Pekun with ten minutes to go, but the points were already safe. Coach Peter Cooper was quick to praise his players, saying: “They’re a good set of lads. I’m lucky because most of them played last year.” Captain Grant Ashby praised his team’s quality. “When we make a sub, you don’t feel like there are any weak links,” said the defender. It could be another month before the firsts play at Norton again, with three consecutive league and cup fixtures coming up, starting with a visit to Nottingham Trent next week. In the day’s other football fixtures, the men’s Seconds and Fourths both recorded 3-0 wins against York St. John, while the Thirds beat Leeds University Fourths 4-2.

FORGE PRESS Issue 27  

The University of Sheffield's independent student newspaper