Summer trends Lifestyle Page 19 The independent student newspaper of the University of Sheffield // www.forgetoday.com
Friday March 6 2009 // Issue 8
Tobin is new President after record voter turnout
Photo: Helen Munro
The new Union Officers celebrate their election success last night in Bar One.
Paul Tobin will be the President of the Union of Students next year after more than 6,000 students voted in a record Officer election turnout last night. The third year Politics and International Relations student was announced as the victor after polling 57 per cent (2,916) of the votes cast. He beat Angharad Evans, who received 1,071 votes, Aqib Jamil (694) and Laurie McCauley (298). A record 6,095 students voted, giving a turnout of 25 per cent from the 24,004 students eligible to vote. This exceeds the previous record of 5,327 from the 2003-04 polls. Alex Pott, Returning Officer and Union Finance Officer, said: “It’s absolutely amazing to have engaged so many people in this year’s Officer elections. “As part of Vision 2012 we hope to increase this year on year, proving that Officers are here to represent students.”
Tobin, 21, is the current Politics Society president and was Politics Councillor on the Students’ Union Council last year. He said: “I can’t even describe how I feel; weeks and weeks of work have paid off. I’m over the moon. “Every single of one of my team has led a fantastic campaign and it’s an exciting time to be at Sheffield. “I want to make sure everyone is welcome at Sheffield and has a chance to flourish here. I want to join in as much as possible – I’ve enjoyed the Union probably more
By Mark Duell
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org Text us on 07765363716 than the University itself, so it’s important to me.” Tobin’s main policy areas include environmentally-friendly plans for the Vision 2012 Union redesign and working with the
city council on recycling. He also wants to avoid costcutting in Union activities, sports and services during the economic downturn, as well as expanding the ‘value’ range in the Union Shop and creating stronger ties with the Careers Department. The former Sports Committee member, whose slogan was ‘Tall Paul - The Sky’s The Limit’, will be pushing for better mental health awareness. He has also pledged to encourage societies to run their own mentoring scheme. English
Holly Taylor stormed into the position of Education Officer with 2,960 votes, fending off rivals Aqeel Adnan (869) and James Williamson (827). Taylor, 21, who is currently chair of the Education Committee, was English Councillor on the Students’ Union Council last year. She said: “Exam feedback is important. In the current economic climate it’s a constant battle to find funding and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”
Continued on page 5
Skream interview, Sheffield’s dub scene, drugs and bass
Visiting the city of tradition and innovation
Winning thousands from a Crookesmoor bedroom
Fuse pages 2-3
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Deputy Editor Managing Editor
Jonathan Caldwell Rob Ellerington Robert Golledge Mark Duell
Students restyle clothes as they take to the charity catwalk
Amy Taylor Charlotte Chelsom-Pill
Kyle Christie Alex Orton
Daniel Baird Kate Dobinson Clare McPartland
Jonathan Caldwell Oliver Hughes Paul Garbett
Bethan Hill Sarah Barns
Alistair White Natasha Hoban
Alice Stride Helen Lawson
Jamie Cusworth Natasha Lewis
Hannah Kirby Laura Carlton
Kate Carson Mark Mackay Kate Mitchell
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Students take to the catwalk in improvised costumes to raise money for charities. By Rachel Blundy Girls from the University of Sheffield strutted down the catwalk in a diverse assortment of garments to help raise awareness of the poverty in Third World countries. The exhibited collections featured home-grown talent from the likes of lingerie brand Kiss Me Deadly, which was developed by University of Sheffield graduates. Other designers featured included Syd & Mallory, Alice Takes a Trip and Bang Bang Vintage. The fashion show, sponsored by Loaf Hairdressing and Benefit cosmetics, was organised in order to raise money for Oxfam. Contributors to the University’s Stiletto magazine were responsible
for restyling a selection of clothes from Oxfam for the show, which they tagged the Epona Fairtrade collection. These clothes were then available to purchase at the end of the night, with all proceeds going straight back to Oxfam. Hairdressers from Loaf, with studios in Broomhill and Woodseats, lent their services for the evening and created an eclectic mix of hairstyles. Leading high street brand Benefit cosmetics was also on hand to give all models a final makeover. A special appearance was made by Hed Kandi’s DJ Corey, who provided the music for the evening’s entertainment. Spectator Gemma Fisher, a second year Law undergraduate
at Sheffield Hallam University, described the evening as “a very different night out.” In particular, she thought it was striking that a significant proportion of the crowd were male, despite both the fashion show and stalls being primarily targeted at women. Jessica Hearne, a third year Bio-Medical Sciences student, said: “The night was awesome. All the models looked very natural and the clothes suited them.” Organisers Lauren Baker, Katie Johnson, Esme Riley, and Union Finance Officer Alex Pott have been in the process of coordinating Sheffield Re-styled since August. Third year Management students Baker and Johnson explained how they decided to
Photo: Helen Munro
stage a charity fashion show because both had organised similar fundraisers whilst studying at college. Baker said: “We thought it would be something a bit different to the usual Union events. “We were trying to promote the idea of vintage and boutique fashion by restyling your wardrobe to create new looks out of used pieces, rather than just popping down to Primark everytime.” Johnson said: “As we are in our final year of university we wanted to do something memorable for charity. “Without the support and funding of the Union we couldn’t have done it. It’s been really fun to organise- a real experience. “There was a lot of responsibility, but it was worth it in the end.”
University opens first Centre for Media Freedom By Fiona White Britain’s first Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) has opened at the University’s Department of Journalism Studies. The centre is made up of journalists, editors, professors and campaigners who aim to expose abuses of media freedom whilst examining standards of independence and integrity in the media. It will host public events and debates to raise awareness of the importance of independent media. Professor Jackie Harrison, Head of the Department of Journalism Studies, will chair the centre. Journalist and campaigner for freedom of the media Jock Gallagher and ex-BBC Journalist
William Horsley will work alongside Professor Harrison. Mr. Horsley will be the International Director of the centre. CFOM was officially launched in London last month during a conference on press and political freedom. The conference, held 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, discussed how free expression has affected past anti-communist revolutions and the recent decline in press and political freedom. Speakers included Jens Reich, former leader of the New Forum pro-democracy movement in East Germany. In his keynote speech, Mr. Reich urged governments to remind Russian leaders about the “broken promises to allow freedom of the media”.
He recalled the murder in 2006 of Anna Politkovskaya, one of more than a dozen investigative journalists killed in Russia since 2000. British playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, patron of CFOM, said at the conference: “Without organisations like CFOM the fallback will always be towards a diminution of freedom in the media and thence to the diminution of freedom in everything else”. CFOM is unique in joining the expertise of a leading British research university with the understanding of experienced journalists and editors. Professor Harrison said it will help build stronger foundations for political and civil freedom around the world. It aims to do this by conducting original research into key issues,
Jackie Harrison. Photo: Sam Bennett
such as improving Freedom of Information rules, the impact of new media technologies and how the media functions in countries where political freedom is restricted. Journalism student Tim Knappett, who has studied a module in Free Speech and Censorship, said: “It is good for self improvement to hear a wide range of views and that underpins democracy. “The media is a tool for free speech and is extremely important in this way.” CFOM Director Jock Gallagher said: “I think the combination of academic rigour and journalistic cutting edge is a very potent mix and that will help provide a new focus and impetus to defend and encourage media freedom and independence.”
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Union nursery could be sold off By Katie-Marie Bailey Controversial plans to sell the jointly owned University and Union Nursery have faced objections from parents who are concerned that the move would result in the nursery losing the qualities that make it “the best nursery in Sheffield.” Union Officers are proposing to sell the nursery to an outside firm because they believe the nursery is no longer serving its purpose as a ‘student parent’ nursery. At present, less than 20 per cent of the current nursery intake is from student parents. The remaining places are filled by parents who work at the University or who live in the surrounding area. However, the plans were strongly criticised by parents at a meeting held on Wednesday, March 4, because they are concerned that there is not a proper consultation period in place for all parties to negotiate the terms of a deal. At present a private business has expressed an interest in wanting to buy the nursery, although exact details cannot be revealed at this stage. If this deal does go ahead it could see the ownership being transferred as early as April or May of this year. Damian Bamforth, who has a two-year-old son at the nursery said: “There seems to be no time for informed debate or discussion. “There has been no say whatsoever from a parent’s point of view and, judging by the council, no view from the students has been heard either.” The nursery, located on Brunswick Street, first opened in 1976 after a campaign for proper childcare services to be provided for student parents was successful. Originally opened and run by the University, the Union of Students bought the nursery in 1979 after the University had faced financial difficulties. At the height of its popularity, 70 per cent of the nursery’s intake was from student parents. However, in recent years the demand from students has declined, and now under 20 per of parents with children at the nursery are students. This has resulted in the Union feeling that the nursery is no longer as central to its core aims. It hopes to sell the nursery as an established business and has put in place steps to make sure the transition is a smooth one. These measures include providing parents with a guarantee on all child places for the remaining time their children
Increase in applicants to Sheffield
By James Morris
nursery is owned by the Union is “amazingly important.” He said: “It is a unique nursery that performs amazingly well. There is such a wonderful mix of kids and the nursery has a lovely culture to it.” If the sale of the nursery does go ahead, Ingold says that it would be “breaking apart a special asset that makes the Union what it is.” Three Welfare Officer candidates who stood in this year’s election sent a letter to the Union Trustee Board expressing concern over the nursery’s sale.
The number of students applying for places at the University of Sheffield has seen a significant rise. Overall, undergraduate applications have risen 9.3 per cent on the figure of last year. Home student undergraduate applications have seen a rise of 7.1 per cent, whilst overseas applications have seen 28 per cent jump. The figures come in the wake of the news that undergraduate applications for UK universities have risen by eight per cent on last year. Other national figures include a 13 per cent rise in applications from over-21s and a 12 per cent increase from EU nationals outside the UK. The total number of students applying for a full-time university course in the UK was 464,167 - an increase of 33,678, or 7.8 per cent compared to last year. Jane Chafer, the University’s Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing, said: “Applications have risen in subjects across the board but of particular note is the rise in the number of applicants to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. “The University appreciates that this is a time of uncertainty but is encouraged by the value prospective students are still placing on Higher Education.” Union Education Officer Rebecca Watson said: “Where the applicant rate has gone up, applications from students from lower socio-economic backgrounds has actually decreased.” She added: “I am certainly keen to lobby the University to work towards increasing the number of applicants from these backgrounds.” Further concerns over the figures have been raised by the comments of England’s Universities Secretary John Denham, who last month warned universities they must stop “overrecruiting”, saying there would be financial penalties if they do so. Nationally, Law is the most popular subject, whilst applications to study Nursing have risen 15 per cent, meaning it is in the top five most popular courses for the first time. Japanese has seen a 29 per cent increase in applications, with other large rises occurring in Economics and Biological Sciences.
the Chinese Students?” The concerns regarding unfair representation were highlighted by the councillor for Mechanical Engineering, Clyde D’Silva. D’Silva represents both Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, which he says are, in effect, two separate departments. D’Silva proposed that the two subjects be given their own councillors to allow for fairer representation on the Union Council and to take the pressure off a single councillor representing such a large department. However, D’Silva was unwilling to support Council moves to introduce these measures across the board.
“The Council is working well right now. It should be up to the department councillor if they feel their department is underrepresented,” he said. Council voted 29-5 in favour of D’Silva’s proposal to split Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. In his concluding remarks, Damian Ronksley noted that “nobody was in favour” of merging smaller departments. He asked Matt Fox to see whether it was feasible for larger departments to be split along course lines. James Williamson, the Modern Languages and Linguistics Councillor, was asked to return to Council with a split proposal.
The nursery has suffered from falling numbers of student and stuff parents using the service and could be sold. expect to be at the nursery, and continued financial support for students who require it, although these subsidies will be directed at the students themselves and not at the nursery. Union Welfare Officer Kathryn Axon said: “I would like to stress that no deal would be agreed until we are happy that the Union, parents, and staff are comfortable with the conditions within the contract, and these are discussions we are now having.” “The trustees of the Union have made clear that any sale
is conditional on maintaining support for student parents and have agreed that the £10,000 that the Union currently puts into the nursery will be secured to support student parents year on year.” Contracts will also be honoured for at least 12 months after a takeover, although no provisions can be made after that time period is up. Chris Ingold, whose wife, Jo, is studying for a PhD in Social Studies, has a one-year-old son at the nursery. He said that the fact that the
Council discuss plans to change representation
By David Thomas Proposals to change the representational makeup of Students’ Union Council have been discussed to make councillors more fairly distributed across departments. Currently the system gives each University department one councillor on the Students’ Union Council, regardless of the size of the department. Fiona Edwards, Union Women’s Officer, said: “The current system is grossly unfair and undemocratic. On a national level it would be like having one MP for London, one for Worcester, and
one for Sheffield.” Edwards was asked to quieten down by Union Council Chair Damian Ronskley after she told Politics Councillor Edward Pinney that he had “no commitment to democracy”. Pinney in return accused Edwards of attempting to “homogenise” students. The proposal to alter the current system was brought to the council by Activities Officer Matt Fox. In an intense and prolonged debate, Biblical Studies Councillor James Gould led the opposition to any plans to merge smaller departments under one councillor. He said: “The current system works really well, so why change?
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org Text us on 07765363716 The best possible solution is to split the big departments, rather than merge the small.” Patrick Ellen, councillor for East Asian Studies, said that the current situation is the least of the council’s problems regarding representation. He said: “For example, who is here representing
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
NEWS UNION ELECTIONS
Election night reactions “It’s a fantastic result - the team is going to be brilliant. Martin Bailey has many good policies.” Alex Pott, Finance Officer “I think Holly Taylor will be absolutely amazing. She’s worked so hard for three years.” Rebecca Watson, Education Officer “It’s been a really good atmosphere, but I think it’s partly a popularity contest.” Katy Bruce, Politics and History “Online voting is definitely a good idea and increased voting, as it’s not out of your way to vote.” Karl Harrison, Biology “The elections are pretty farcical. Communists offer an alternative to apolitical officers.” Laurie McCauley, Sociology “It was a shambles. Paul Tobin can’t base his election on being tall. It’s still a popularity contest.” Steve Thwaites, Criminology “I haven’t heard that much about candidates’ policies so I saw no point in voting.” Catherine Murphy, History “It’s hard for a third year to be interested and I didn’t know about the e-voting beforehand.” Paul Grayson, Law
Amendments to campaigning rules after candidate attacked By Amy Taylor Yesterday’s election results saw the culmination of a turbulent two week election campaign. The concourse returned to its usual bustle as the annual circus of candidates and their supporters packed up their placards and headed to Bar One, where the announcements of results began just before 9.30pm. The lead up to election day saw its fair share of controversy. New Union rules on the posting of flyers were introduced after International Officer candidate Ajay Sharma was attacked on the Concourse in the early hours of Friday, 27 February. The attack, in which he was dealt a blow to the cheek, is not believed to have been the action of students, nor of rival candidates, but highlighted the dangers of late-night activity around the University. The new flyering rules meant that candidates had to remove publicity around the Union before 11pm and were prohibited from replacing it before 6am, to avoid risks to the safety of candidates and their support teams. The campaign of winning Finance candidate Martin Bailey fell victim to vandals early on during the two-week period. Bailey’s posters were found to have daubed with black paint on Thursday, 26 February, shortly before the attack on Sharma. The two incidents are not thought to be related. Education referenda publicity was disallowed after it was discovered that campaigners had stored placards in the offices of Sabbatical Officers. Union policy states that election publicity cannot be stored on Union property, and they were removed by Finance Officer Alex Pott, who was one of the returning officers. This year saw online voting in use for the first time in University of Sheffield elections, with 3,000 electronic votes registered on the first day of voting, and a total of 4,600 overall. After a low turnout in 2008,
Election candidates and their supporters have flooded the concourse during the past two weeks. the introduction of e-voting was enormously successful in lowering apathy and increasing student participation. While motivated campaigners battled with adverse weather conditions - facing both heavy rain and snow on Tuesday, 3 March - online polling accounted for the majority of votes in a record turnout of 6,095 votes.
The proposed sale of the Union nursery was a bone of contention between potential Welfare Officers and Returning Officers. A letter denouncing the Union’s proposal was signed by three of the six Welfare candidates, and discussions were held between candidates and Returning Officers. Alex Pott said that the wellbeing
of the Union staff and the 600 student parents was their main concern. She said: “It is certainly not a decision that we’ve taken lightly. There is no way we would have pushed this through.” Another meeting will be held next week with the Welfare committee to discuss the issue further.
Nestlé boycott stays in place after tight decision By Martha Kelner Nestlé products will not be sold in the Union of Students after voters chose to continue boycotting the confectionery retailer. The decision was very close, with 1,998 students voting in favour of maintaining the boycott against 1,740 who wished to see the return of Nestlé products to the shelves of the Union. University of Sheffield students also said ‘No to Student Debt’ when 3,310 voted to campaign against fees and debts in favour of free education and living grants. Only 518 rejected the ‘No to Student Debt’ policy. A new environmental policy, promising to get more University of Sheffield students involved in the issue of climate change, was also passed. More than three thousand students voted in favour of the strategy, which aims to pressure the University to reduce its environmental footprint and
Students protest on fees. expand in an environmentally friendly fashion, while 235 rejected the new policy. The referendum put forward suggesting Union Officers be
able to stand for election for a second term was rejected by 1,954 students, against the 1,461 who voted in favour of the policy. It was announced on Thursday evening that the Union would remain a member of the National Union of Students. Only 135 students voted to leave the NUS, compared with the 3,375 voters who wanted the Union to remain part of the body. The constitution of the Union of Students was also approved by 1,648 votes to 348. Nestlé have a poor track record with regards to human rights; pressure group Baby Milk Action found them to be the company which most aggressively promotes its baby food and breast milk substitutes in developing countries. Over one million children die each year of illnesses that are linked with not being breastfed, a report by international organisation Save The Children has claimed. The Union has boycotted all
Nestlé products since 2001 when it was decided that it would “have no dealings with, or facilitate the promotion of, Nestlé, on the grounds of unfair exploitation of Third World countries.”
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to email@example.com Text us on 07765363716 A select committee of five people compiled a report last year to reassess this policy, which costs Nestlé £30,000 in profit each year. The committee recommended that the boycott be abandoned. Jessica Haigh, who, along with Lizzie Walsh, fronted the ‘Say No to Nestlé’ campaign, which opposed an end to the boycott, said: “The report that led to the referendum ignores many
of the worst crimes that Nestlé commits, and in this respect it is bias towards their cause. “Nestlé’s negligent actions lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of children every year. “A boycott is the only way to effectively engage with a multinational company. “It helps keep their violations in the public eye and we are absolutely ecstatic that the boycott will continue.” Of the new environmental policy, Erica Halliday, Chair of the Ethical and Environmental Committee said: “This policy is much stronger than the previous one. It ties the Union and Union officers to being more active. “It is inward and outward looking, and involves the Union with the wider community. “It will definitely lead to action such as lobbying the University and the [city] council. “It also recognises the effect climate change has on marginalised groups such as women and the poor.”
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
UNION ELECTIONS NEWS
Jubilant Officer team celebrate
Winning candidates’ manifestos Paul Tobin, President He has said he wants to improve the Union by being an ‘open’ President, making it possible for students to bring forward issues that matter to them. He also wants to support students from the moment they arrive. Holly Taylor, Education Officer She ran for Education Officer promising to campaign for exam feedback, high quality personal tutoring, improved co-ordination across departments for dual degree students, and a full review of higher education funding. Amy Sutherland, Women’s Officer She intends to fight for equal pay rights for men and women, and encourage women to aim high and be ambitious. She plans to provide free personal attack alarms and free chlamydia tests in the Union for all women.
Holly Taylor, who was overwhelmingly chosen as Education Officer, sprays champagne into the crowd after the result. Continued from page 1 The new Sports Officer will be Katherine Rickard, who received 2,416 votes. She beat Stuart Totty (1,314), Sadé Hacking (1,016) and Joseph Philbin (510). Rickard, a Sociological Studies third year, is a member of the Sports Committee and is currently the Women’s Cricket Club Captain. She said: “I put 110 per cent into my campaign. This hard work showed that I was dedicated and hopefully I’ll have a great 2009 to 2010. “I’m looking forward to following on the great job of Ella White and I’ll hopefully make sport even better.” Amy Sutherland was voted in as Women’s Officer with 1,946 votes, beating Gemma Short (1,310) and Madelaine Shapland (1,058). Sutherland, 20, a third year Politics student, has been involved in musical, sport and political societies but not on any Union bodies. She said: “I think I had the policies that the most mainstream students could identify with; perhaps some of the others were more extreme with their policies. “But my competitors have all been brilliant and there was no backstabbing. I look forward to continuing to work with them on the Women’s Committee.” The new Activities Officer will be Claire Monk, who got 2,464 votes and beat James Quinn-Kumar (1,268) and Philip Middleton (1,042). Monk, 22, a Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB) student, has previously worked with Accommodation and Campus Services (ACS) and was involved in the Guild of Change Ringers. She was the MBB Society President last year. She said: “It’s been a lot of work
speaking to individuals and going to lectures. I’m looking forward to just getting involved and introducing the Societies Surgery and the Equalities Officer. “I don’t think it’s an impotent role – all societies I have been involved with I have had influence over and made changes for the better.” Martin Bailey will take up the role of Finance Officer, after he won with 3,001 votes. Jacob Hunt Stewart came second with 1,790 votes, followed by Martyn Brown (720), Marcus Hyett (506), and Christopher Harvey (375). Bailey, 20, is a second year European, International and Comparative Law student. He has previously been a University Theatre Company Treasurer, Law course representative, ACS worker, and member of the Commercial Services Committee. He said: “It means the world. Barack Obama is a great man in his own right, but I’ll just be the best I can be. I think I won through having lots of support, realistic policies and having many friends. Alex Erdlenbruch is the new International Officer after scoring 2,112 votes, beating Al-Hussein Abutaleb (1,372), Nur Ahmad (951), Ajay Sharma (600), and Vijay Krishnan (197). Erdlenbruch, 20, is a third year History and Politics student from Belgium. He is currently European Representative and Vice-Chair of the International Representative Committee. He said: “It’s great to have been campaigning with such wonderful people and I thank them so much. I don’t really know why I won but I had lots of support from my friends – especially including home students as well. “Coming from an EU country, the whole concept of nationality is different for me. The concept
Photo: Helen Munro
Alex Erdlenbruch, International Officer He is hoping to see better international student integration through encouraging them to take part in many of the Union’s activities, as well as seeing home students participate further in international events and initiatives. Katherine Rickard, Sports Officer She plans to promote wider participation in sport for all students. She also intends to host University sport open days, offer trial gym classes and improve access to coaching for all sports clubs. She will also launch a Club Sport newsletter.
Martin Bailey is mobbed after being elected. of racism is alien to me. I think British culture is more than pop quizzes and drinking.” Jennifer Hastings beat off five opponents to become Welfare Officer with 2,109 votes. She came ahead of Helen Green (1,391), Stephen Knight (752), Jamie Wroe (546), Rachel Clarke (485) and Adam Hood (431). Hastings, 21, studies Biomedical Science and has been involved in Dance Soc, as well as being a committee member for the Mental Health Matters society. She said: “I’m feeling really good, really happy and surprised. The other candidates were so strong - but it was really good getting to know everyone at the same time.” Online votes made up 4,600 of the 6,095 cast in total, and the current Union President Dave Hurst was pleased with the
Photo: Adam Harley
success of e-voting, used for the first time this year. He said: “I wouldn’t say online voting devalued the vote at all. I think it should be more about enthusiasm, making someone go down to that voting station and cast that vote. “But if the Union carries on down this line of e-voting the harassment issue is fundamental. If there’s someone leaning over someone’s shoulder there is that element of harassment there. “I voted against the e-vote. But then we had to make sure there were big safeguards on it, as we agreed at Council.” One remaining position on Students’ Union Council was filled last night by Preeya Patel, as Human Communication Sciences Councillor. Additional reporting: André Nunn and Harry Stevens.
Martin Bailey, Finance Officer He wants to push forward with the Union refurbishment, continue to improve the Online Box Office, see better cohesion between prices in various Union and University outlets, and promote more events such as The Exchange. Claire Monk, Activities Officer She plans to bring societies together by promoting collaboration and enabling big events to happen. She is also planning to open a ‘Societies Surgery’, a drop for society members to use for advice and contacts. Jennifer Hastings, Welfare Officer She aims to set up more self-help groups for students worried about their mental health as well as regular campaigns throughout the year on welfare-related issues. She is also promoting ‘Make a student smile’ days. Photos: Adam Harley & Olivia Lightfoot
Cut to Uni drug work ‘unlawful’
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
New University Challenge row
By Rebecca Hill A decision by the NHS spending watchdog to restrict the use of a drug based partly on methods developed by a University of Sheffield professor has been ruled unlawful. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) placed constraints on the use of the drug Protelos as a first-line treatment for the bone disease osteoporosis, based in part on methods by Emeritus Professor John Kanis. NICE recommended the cheaper drug Alendronate, but according to the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) this causes unacceptable side effects for 20 per cent of patients. In this case an alternative drug can be used, but the conditions of patients must worsen significantly to enable them to qualify. Osteoporosis affects three million people in Britain. It occurs when Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is reduced, causing increased fractures. It is responsible for 70,000 hip fractures a year, leading to 13,000 premature deaths. As the Director of the Sheffieldbased World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, Professor Kanis and his group developed FRAX (Fracture Risk Assessment Tool). This takes into account patient case studies, risk factors (such as smoking and arthritis) and BMD of the top of the thigh bone. Professor Kanis agreed to let NICE use FRAX equations in their own models under strict confidentiality agreements. Due to this, pharmaceutical industries had no access to the full model and could not check NICE’s methods. The Alliance for Better Bone Health, NOS and Servier, the company that makes Protelos, appealed the decision. At the hearing, NICE argued they had contacted Kanis but he refused to release the information. He said: “This is not the case the flavour of the communication was that they wanted to ask but didn’t want me to reply”. Professor Kanis called their requests “disingenuous”. Servier said NICE did not try hard enough to contact Kanis, and Mr. Justice Holman agreed, saying they had not taken all reasonable steps to seek permission to make the data available. He added that Professor Kanis was open to discussion about disclosing information to restricted groups on confidential terms, which has been confirmed by Professor Kanis. A hearing within the month will review the appraisals and possibly see NICE having to scrap the current guidelines, which even its own advisors called unethical and unworkable. They recommended GPs use National Osteoporosis Guidelines instead. NOS hope the ruling will help them prove a number of treatment options are cost effective. Professor David Reid, Chair of NOS, said: “Annual treatment has come down to as little as £20 as opposed to the £53 quoted by NICE.” A spokesperson from NICE said it would invite comment on its economic model and reconsider the guidance with an open mind.
The University of Sheffield team for University Challenge in 2008 consisted of Aditya Balachander, Kathryn Swindells, Paul McKay and Phil Smith. By Mark Duell It has been revealed that the University of Sheffield’s conquerors in last year’s BBC2 University Challenge final fielded an ineligible student. Charles Markland, 23, was in the University of Oxford’s Christ Church College team during the competition, but moved to Balliol College during filming. The news comes after Oxford’s Corpus Christi College were stripped of their title win this year over the University of Manchester after it emerged that team member Sam Kay had already graduated and was in a full-time job. Students taking part ‘must be registered at their university or college for the duration of the recording of the series’, according to the show’s rules. Third year students can compete
if they expect to do postgraduate study at the same college or university. But the University of Oxford stated in a press release after last year’s Christ Church win that Markland “was formerly at Christ Church but is now a student of Balliol College”. The early rounds of the BBC quiz are normally filmed over June and July, with the final in November. However, Markland started a Philosophy doctorate at Balliol in October 2007. A BBC spokesman said: “We didn’t know about this at the time which is why we didn’t do anything. “It would be meaningless to trawl back and take action on any discrepancy that came up. “That would be ridiculous and disproportionate.
“We thought it was right in 2009 when someone told us about an important breaking of the rules.” The University of Sheffield team cruised into the 2008 final last year after beating Oxford’s Magdalen College by more than
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org Text us on 07765363716 100 points in the semi-final. The quartet of Paul McKay, Aditya Balachander, Phil Smith, and Kathryn Swindells also put out the University of Central Lancashire, the University of
Edinburgh, and the University of Exeter. They had expertise in the subjects of Architecture, Chemistry, Linguistics, and Law. McKay said: “As far as myself and the rest of the team are concerned, the player fielded by Christ Church, Oxford was eligible to play. “We accept that we were runners-up and are satisfied that the outcome was fair.” No team from the University of Sheffield has ever won University Challenge. The show’s producer Granada, which is owned by ITV, said: “The University Challenge rules state that team members should all be students of the university or college for the duration of the recording of the series. “These issues were not brought to our attention.”
Students must act quickly in job market By Andrew Webster Pro-Vice-Chancellor Paul White has said that Sheffield students need to “act now before it’s too late” if they are to compete in a recruitment market hit by recession. Professor White is spearheading a number of University initiatives that will ensure Sheffield students are better prepared than their competitors when applying for graduate jobs and internships. He said: “There is a reduction in graduate jobs across the board but this is not universal. “We want to ensure that the greatest number of students possible have the greatest number of skills they can use in the labour market.” The Careers Service is running a series of events, starting on Monday, March 23, under the title ‘Graduating in a Recession’. They include seminars on ‘The future of banking and finance’ and
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Paul White. ‘Marketing yourself effectively’. Steve Fish, Director of the Careers Service, said: “The job market will be more competitive so we are encouraging students to make sure they are well prepared to compete.” Another initiative being followed by Professor White is encouraging academic departments to give
students support in identifying the skills they have gained through their course. Professor White said: “Students develop their skills and don’t realise it. “Departments play a major role in drawing out from their students what it is they can use to sell themselves.” A further way students can market their skills better is through completing the Sheffield Graduate Award. Mr. Fish said the award allows students to demonstrate the skills they have developed alongside their academic achievements. The University is also planning an internship programme to give students and graduates paid work experience as a stepping stone into long term employment. The Careers Service has submitted a funding proposal for the scheme and expects to hear back in early April. These actions are in response to a number of surveys that indicate
fewer graduate opportunities this year. A survey by High Fliers, a graduate recruitment research company, showed that a third of employers have reduced their recruitment budgets whilst the number of applicants is increasing. Final year Architecture student Callie Starkey said: “I have put getting a job on hold. Many people have told me to go and get skills in something else before going into architecture.” Laura Skellington, a second year Speech Science student, said: “I’m waiting to see how it goes. There is a lack of funding in the NHS and they need people but are not hiring.” The message from the University is to remain positive. Professor White said that final year students should take guidance on how they can market themselves in a way that maximises the claims they make on their CV, while other undergraduates should get work experience or volunteer.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Jewish Society outrage at ‘dirty tactics’ of anti-Semitic vandal By Leanne Rinne A Jewish display board in the Union Students has been vandalised with ‘Boycott Israeli goods’ stickers in what the Jewish Society is calling an act of “antiSemitism”. Gina Shaw, the Social Secretary for the Jewish Society, found the vandalised display board last week on her way from Bar One. She said: “There was a sticker of the Palestinian flag with ‘Boycott Israeli goods’ written on it. It was stuck inside the board in the centre of our poster, and in the middle of the Star of David. “I’m not sure who did it, but whoever it was needed to be able to ask for keys at The Source to open it. “I personally feel that it was a childish thing to do, but there are others who I imagine would be offended and feel threatened by it. “I would like to see whoever did it punished, as I don’t think it is fair to target certain groups. I also don’t think vandalism is acceptable. The President of the Jewish Society, Michael Goodman, said: “What happened last week was a direct attack on the Jewish students of this University. “Our beliefs are being abused and so are Union procedures because somebody must have pretended to be me to get access. “They have crossed the line by using such dirty tactics. Nothing is pro-Israel on the poster, so we did not deserve or provoke this. “Members of the Jewish Society who have heard about it were, in a way, prepared because of Israel’s controversial invasion of Gaza, but this does not excuse it. “We should be allowed our beliefs, even if the current political situation is tense. “I showed my concern last month
that the Gaza campaign and the anti-Israel policy may make it seem acceptable for students to attack the Jewish Society. “I feel the Union is not doing its best to support the welfare of its Jewish students. “Universities should be the one place where it is safe to express different beliefs, but antiSemitism is on the increase. The question is, what next? Will it be acceptable to spit on Jews and to call them names? “People should remember that war is never a one-way thing; people are dying on both sides.” Last month a group calling themselves ‘Sheffield Students Against Israel’s attack on Gaza’ staged a controversial mock death scene on a large Palestinian flag to highlight the number of Palestinian casualties. Women’s Officer Fiona Edwards, who is a joint organiser of the campaign, said: “I am disgusted to hear that the Jewish Society’s noticeboard has been vandalised. “The campaign is clear that while we are strongly opposed to the Israeli government’s decision to launch a devastating military attack on the people of Gaza; we are also resolutely opposed to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of prejudice and discrimination. “The Union of Students has a clear anti-racism policy, and is strongly opposed to antiSemitism.” Edward’s group has also been petitioning students to sign up to a list of demands they wish to put to the University. This includes a call for the University to issue a statement ‘condemning the disproportionate actions of the Israeli state on the Palestinian people.’ At the time, the Jewish Society expressed concerns about some of the comments and demands being made by the protesters.
Recent Department of Health figures have shown the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made nearly £2.4million from car parking fees last year. Nationwide, more than
£110million was paid in fees in total, with staff paying almost £27million and visitors paying £83million. The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has close tie-ins with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
Jessop Wing is part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Photo: Olivia Lightfoot
Arts Tower bugged for exhibition By Kimberley Long
The Arts Tower has been bugged with audio and visual devices as part of the ‘This Building Leaks’ project. The art exhibition involves video cameras and recording devices being placed around the tower within the School of Architecture. The conversations of passersby are ‘leaked’ out of the building and can be listened to via the project’s website, which has been advertised across campus on the Arts Tower’s windows. By clicking on different parts of the picture of the Arts Tower you can listen into what is happening in various areas of the department. There is also a camera placed inside the paternoster which goes up through each of the floors in the building, and solves the mystery of where it goes after the bottom floor. The project is the brainchild of MArch Architecture students Alastair Parvin, Adam Towle and Lukas Barry. They said that they wanted to create something that would exhibit the building and felt that showing everyday life inside the Arts Tower was the most appropriate way to do it.
Have your say The Jewish Society’s board in the Union. The Union’s Activities Officer Matt Fox also expressed concerns that the protest could upset Jewish students. He said: “The error at The Source, which helped lead to the vandalism, has been identified. In future, staff will be required to check the names of students. “I have apologised to the Social Secretary of the Jewish Society who found it and I have requested CCTV.
Photo: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill
“Unfortunately, the camera did not point directly at the board so nobody can be identified. “I cannot presume that the Palestinian Society is responsible, but I have sent an email to them reiterating that stickers of that nature are not allowed and that behaviour of this kind is unacceptable. “The Union is doing everything it can to ensure the welfare of its students.”
Over £2m for teaching hospitals parking By Polly Hardy
Students and University staff work with the trust throughout their time at University. The trust is made up of five units: Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Jessop Wing, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, Weston Park Hospital and Northern General Hospital. The Children’s Hospital operates within a separate trust. Owing to the nature of the treatment required for patients at Weston Park Hospital, visitors are not currently charged to park at the hospital. But at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Jessop Wing, patients and their friends and family can expect to pay £7.40 if they stay at the hospital for more than four hours. Further out of the city at the Northern General Hospital it costs £3.20 to park a car for longer than four hours. There are currently no parking facilities at the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital. Kevin O’Regan, Hotel Services Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Providing and maintaining car parks is very expensive and like many other NHS hospitals, we have to pay these costs. “If we did not charge for car
parking we would have to take the costs from patient care monies which we don’t consider is the right thing to do. “However, we do make every effort to keep our car parking prices as low as possible for patients and staff and other than inflation we have not increased our charges since 2006. “Patients and staff can also be assured that any income we might receive over and above the cost of providing and maintaining our car parks is reinvested in NHS services here in Sheffield. “The Trust also has an active travel plan whereby we strongly promote and encourage visitors and staff to use other modes of transport to get to and from our hospitals.” Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “If parking charges are damaging patients’ access to services, stopping their friends and relatives from visiting, or impeding staff from doing their job properly, then they’re clearly too high.” The Trust’s website does advertise the charges, and promotes Sheffield’s public transport network to those planning to visit one of the hospitals.
Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to email@example.com Text us on 07765363716 Adam Towle said that the exhibition is a way of celebrating the iconic building and saying goodbye to the School of Architecture’s home before the department moves out during the planned renovations. “We just wanted to show the school and the [Arts] Tower off in an original and unique way,” he said. “This Building Leaks is an exhibition not by Sheffield School of Architecture but of Sheffield School of Architecture. We wanted to present the school in an honest fashion.” Some students have expressed discomfort at the presence of recording devices in the building. Sophie Kennerley, a third year Architecture student, said: “It’s invasive. They didn’t ask us for permission to be here and we don’t have a choice about it”. Prue Chiles, Director of the Bureau of Design Research, said: “We support all actions by students that are creative, productive and enquiring and this project is questioning the way we communicate and impart information. “We have no objection to the recording devices in principal,” she said. Anyone who is unhappy with the devices are invited to email the creators on their website. Meanwhile, plans to refurbish the cladding on the building have been modified after concerns that the original proposals would cause damage to the glass and frames. Recladding will now take place on the upper floors of the building, which will result in the building returning more closely to its original appearance.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Students sleep out for homeless refugees By André Nunn Students spent a night sleeping on the Union concourse last week to raise awareness of homeless refugees in Sheffield. The 11 hour stunt organised by society Student Action For Refugees (STAR) raised £150 on the night for charity. It intended to raise awareness for the plight of the refugees in Sheffield who have had housing and financial problems and found themselves homeless. Despite the cold February weather, the group collected sleeping bags and blankets together and spent from 9pm on Thursday night to 8am on Friday on top of pieces of cardboard on the patch directly beneath the concourse bridge. The idea was to recreate what many refugees in the city are forced to do on a nightly basis. Not far from the sleepout, a fire-thrower performed tricks whilst passers-by were handed leaflets and encouraged to read the displays on the ground beside the volunteers. Lindsay Cundall, of the University’s branch of STAR, said: “We are always meeting asylum seekers who have been left destitute without money or accommodation. “This is because their asylum claim has been refused, often due to little or no legal help or problems in obtaining evidence. “At this point the Government takes away their housing and financial support and they are left homeless with no money and no right to work. They are left in a difficult situation where they cannot stay yet they cannot go.” The sleepout raised money for the Asylum Seeker Support Initiative Short Term (ASSIST) charity who claim that there are more than 1,000 asylum seekers in need of help in Sheffield alone. ASSIST provide them with accommodation and small amounts of money but have been hit hard by the credit crunch.
Student Action For Refugees (STAR) spent a night out on the Union concourse in aid of local homeless refugees across Sheffield. Robert Spooner, Chair of ASSIST, said: “We had about 30 students who slept and four ASSIST people. We raised about £150 from passers-by, mostly between the hours of one and three in the morning, which is a very good amount.
“We had some fire-throwers and some good entertainment getting people singing and enjoying themselves.” STAR is a national University society that tries to raise awareness about refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
Cundall said: “There have recently been independent enquiries into the UK asylum system that has found it to be inefficient and inhumane. “The experience of meeting people in this situation on a daily basis has made us determined to
Photo: Marek Allen
raise awareness about it.” ASSIST supports and raises money for asylum seekers who have been denied refugee status, have fled war, been denied benefits or accommodation from the British government, or have been refused permission to work.
Sheffield students scour saucepans free of charge By Anna Macnaughton This week students have been doing washing up free of charge in student accommodation across Sheffield as part of a local church initiative. Teams of two to four people with their arms full of washing equipment knocked on the doors of student flats and houses and offered to do washing up and cleaning, and will continue to do so over the next week. The students have also given out free ping-pong balls, doughnuts, cakes and hampers. This is a part of Refreshers, an initiative run by Hope City Church in Sheffield, that aims to make student life better and organises various activities to do this. These include not only washing up and housework, but giving out free hot drinks and biscuits every Friday outside Sheffield Hallam Union club nights. Refreshers leader and Hope City Church student pastor Aidan Roberts, a University of Sheffield graduate, said: “We all know what it’s like to be snowed under in work. “If you’ve got to seek out your
favourite mug from a mountain of washing up when you come home it’s not ideal. “We think it’s something students will really appreciate and also it’s an opportunity for us to have fun, wear excessive cleaning gear and meet new people.
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org Text us on 07765363716 “I want to see hundreds of students receiving random acts of kindness from other students and to offer a no obligation opportunity for students to find out more about Christianity. “We’d love it if students have ideas of cool things that we could do. If you need your kitchen cleaned, fancy some pancakes, or the larder’s empty and you could do with a good square meal, then give us a call and we’ll endeavour to send someone round as soon as possible.”
There will be an event in The Common Room, Division street, on Thursday, March 12, when students will be invited to play pool, have a go on an F1 simulator, relax and get to know the Refreshers team. Deborah Bridgman, a first year English Literature student who has been washing up in Endcliffe flats, said: “Most people think it’s kind of weird and don’t understand why we’re doing it. “But it’s good fun, especially when we get to chat to people, though normally I don’t particularly enjoy washing up.” Other events over the two weeks include the Ultimate Housemate Award, taking place today. This aims to find the best housemate in Sheffield and honour them in an award ceremony, including challenges for them to compete in. The Refreshers team hope to make it an annual award. There was also a trip to the Peak District for students and international students, a table tennis tournament in Starbucks and a ‘Speed Mating’ event, helping students to make friends. The Refreshers team can be contacted on 07790 026401 or at email@example.com.
Third year Law student Em Jones cleans a dirty Sheffield student kitchen.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Societies prepare to do battle in Uni’s Got Talent competition
Groups including Dancesport, Belly dancing, Performing arts and The Shrimps are going head to head in Uni’s Got Talent. By Kirsty McEwen Societies and individuals will take to the stage to battle it out for the chance to win a PR contract and a £1,000 cash prize when the regional heat of Uni’s Got Talent arrives at the University of Sheffield later this month. A wide variety of acts will perform at the heat, taking place in the Foundry on Sunday, March 22, in the hope of getting through to the national final. The successful finalist will join entrants from Leeds, Nottingham, Glasgow and Sussex universities who are taking part in the competition. Sarah Merrifield, President of the Performing Arts Society (SUPAS), said that the society
decided to enter following an invitation from the organisers. “We thought that this competition would be a good way of linking University societies together and getting involved with other universities around the country, which can be hard to organise sometimes. “We can also show off the talent in Sheffield. My co-President Rachel Wicks and I are really excited about this. “We’d just like people to come and watch at the night and show their support, maybe get involved with making banners and t-shirts for their favourite acts. “Tickets are on sale at the Union Box Office now. It’ll be a great show.” Fourteen different acts will perform at the evening, offering a
wide variety of entertainment. Improvisational comedy group The Shrimps will perform, as will the Singing Society, the Samba Society, and ‘The Thought Thief’, who can steal people’s thoughts. The Performing Arts Society will perform a selection of songs from stage musicals, including a Hairspray medley and Moulin Rouge. Jennifer Crewdson, a freestyle dancer, said: “I have danced in shows before but not in a competition like this. It will be good to see the different acts.” Belly dancer Stephanie Lynch said: “I’ll be performing my belly dancing act live on stage. It should be a lot of fun.” The eventual winner will receive the money, and also professional PR assistance to help
Photo: Olivia Lightfoot
get their performance out into the entertainment industry. They will be chosen in the finals to be held in the summer at the O2 Indigo in London. A Shrimps spokesperson said: “It should be very exciting and it will be great to be up against a lot of outstanding talent. Our routine will be totally improvised and we’re going to win.” The audience will decide who goes through and there will also be voting on the competition website. The website also has all the videos of every performance that has taken place so far from all the universities that are entering. Kab Nepal, of Dancesport, said: “It should be a fantastic competition for the acts and the audience I’m confident we’ll be in London representing Sheffield.”
Fall in users of minibus By Mina Kasherova The use of the Women’s Safety Bus is in decline, with the number of students using it dropping by 50 per cent in just two years. Figures show that while an average of 199 students were using the service every week during the first semester of 20062007, only 99 did so during the current academic year. While the present bus used is 10 years old, it will be replaced in the near future. Women’s Officer Fiona Edwards said: “The Women’s Safety Bus service began operating in the earlier 1980s. “The bus was started up in response to the heightened levels of awareness around women’s safety that was evoked by the violent crimes against women committed by the Yorkshire Ripper in this region.” Many male students protest the fact that they are not allowed to use the Safety Bus. Edwards, however, is confident that the service should remain available to women only. “When women students face sexist harassment or intimidation on a night out the Women’s Safety Bus provides a safe space for women to get home with peace of mind,” she said. “This is one reason why it is very important that the Women’s Safety Bus continues to provide a safe space for women students. “I would, however, support students’ demands for an additional Safety Bus open to all students.” On the issue of who should be eligible to use the Safety Bus, Nigel Hallam, Director of Operations in the Students’ Union, said: “The Officers are currently developing proposals that might enable a wider use of the minibus. “Historically it has been reserved as the women’s minibus almost exclusively, but this has been student driven.” According to Mr. Hallam, an additional Safety Bus for male students is an issue to be dealt with by the Sabbatical Officers but has not been raised by them so far. The issue of the Union providing transportation for all students will continue to be topical. “We would never be able to fully satisfy a demand for all students to get home as some 7,000 people a week attend ents events and the bars have a capacity of 1,000 people on top of this,” he added.
Essay writers advertising on Sheffield campus By Jennie Hurwood An essay writing company has been found advertising on the University of Sheffield campus. Students passing the Information Commons and Hicks Building last week were given business cards for the essay writing website papers4you.com. Such websites promote themselves as a way for students to make money while acting as a valid resource for others. Liya Wells, from papers4you. com, said: “We receive new papers everyday from students who are struggling to make ends meet. We pay students 50 per cent of the selling price each time the paper is sold.”
The price of pre-written work on papers4you.com starts at £9.99 but exact costs are not listed. Another website, UKEssays.com, charges £2,400 for a first class dissertation ready in five days. Last year it was revealed that 139 papers were bought from UKEssays.com by University of Sheffield students. All such websites feature disclaimers saying that the essays, even those custom-written for the buyer, must not be submitted as the buyer’s own work. The websites explain their role as a learning resource that can help with structuring an effective argument. “By using our services students not only improve their grade for a particular assignment,
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org Text us on 07765363716 but advance their knowledge in a particular subject, learn new things and discover new approaches to solving problems, which essentially helps them to enhance their academic career,” said Ms. Wells. While there is nothing to prevent students submitting their work to these websites, both say that they employ experts in order to provide
the best standard of work. However there is a new website, GradeGuru.com, where students upload and share notes and coursework for free. Those who upload their work to GradeGuru. com are awarded points for the use of the notes, which can be exchanged for cash or vouchers. Students from the University of Durham are currently contributing most to the website. Because the notes are free, there are worries that plagiarism will become easier and more widespread. The founders of GradeGuru.com said: “We stand against plagiarism in all its potential forms but there is no way to control how the notes are used.” Education Officer Rebecca Watson said: “Our University does
not have a widespread problem with essay purchasing. However, with looming deadlines and parttime work, students may view the idea of buying an essay more favourably. “It is important that students are aware of the many forms of plagiarism and the significant consequences.” Work submitted is scanned with ‘TurnItIn’ which detects similarities, and candidates that submit work registering above a certain percentage appear before a disciplinary panel. The minimum punishment for plagiarism at the University is giving the candidate a mark of zero, and in extreme cases such as essay purchasing the student may be permanently expelled.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
City Council forecast creation of another 30,000 jobs in Sheffield by 2020 By Charlotte Chelsom-Pill Plans have been outlined by Sheffield City Council to increase the city’s skills base following news that 30,000 jobs will be created in the city by 2020. The Sheffield City Centre Economic Masterplan was approved by the council last month. It aims to rejuvenate and expand the city centre, creating more than 30,000 new jobs. Of these, 25,000 jobs will primarily be created in officebased positions in the city centre. In response to Sheffield’s Economic Masterplan, plans are due to be unveiled by the council’s cabinet next Wednesday to improve the employability of Sheffield’s workforce. The Skills Strategy aims to increase the skill base of Sheffield’s workers in order to retain talent in the city.
Have your say Comment on this article at Forgetoday.com Send a letter to email@example.com Text us on 07765363716 Tony Tweedy, Head of Skills and Lifelong Learning in the city, said: “Sheffield is at a crucial point in its economic transformation. “To both weather the worst effects of the recession and to prepare for the upturn that will follow, it is vital that the city’s population is properly equipped to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge from a restructured, knowledgebased economy. “A workforce with high-level skills will be essential if the city is to attract inward investment and local businesses are to survive and grow in the global marketplace.” Educational achievement at all major levels in Sheffield is below UK averages for both young people and adults, and the city
is currently behind the national employment average. Iain Smith, of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “We support the Masterplan and the objectives in it. We think it’s important that we close the prosperity gap with the England average, and so creating new jobs is a key part of this.” A spokesperson for Sheffield City Council said: “By 2020 Sheffield will be a city where people will have the right skills to take full advantage of every new economic opportunity and realise their full potential.” Councillor Sylvia Anginotti, cabinet member for employment and enterprise at Sheffield City Council, said: “It’s clear that the whole of the world is seeing the effect of the credit crunch and although Sheffield is in a good position, we are not immune. “I think it’s fair to have an aspiration and ensure that plans are in place ready fro the economic upturn. Realisitically it may be 2025 before this is delivered but the important thing is that we have a vision for the future of Sheffield and are ensuring that we are in the best possible position to take advantage of the economic upturn. “Sheffield’s regeneration will fuel the increase in jobs. We must create the right kind of environment for economic prosperity to grow and flourish. The City Centre Masterplan and Economic Masterplan go hand in hand.” Plans proposed by the Sheffield Economic Masterplan include the redevelopment and expansion of several locations in Sheffield. Two new business districts will be built. One will span St Paul’s Place, Barkers Pool and Moorfoot. The other will be in West Bar, extending the traditional professional and legal quarter. In total, three million square feet of new office floor space will be built over the next 12 years. The Masterplan also seeks to expand residential areas in Castlegate, Victoria Quays, Devonshire Quarter, and St Vincent’s.
St Paul’s Tower will create new office space.
Volunteers run for charities By Liz Moore & Ruth Corrigan Dedicated Sheffield fundraisers are once again hard in training for two annual charity sporting events. The Sheffield Half-Marathon and the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge will be taking place in April and June respectively, and participants will be helping to raise money for over 10 local and national charities. The Sheffield Half-Marathon is set to take place for the 11th consecutive year on Sunday, April 26, at 9.30am. The 13-mile route will start at Don Valley Stadium and then move through Sheffield city centre, along Ecclesall Road and finish back at Don Valley. Participants will help increase awareness for 10 charities, including the self-funded RSPCA Sheffield Animal Centre, whose aim is extend their newly built centre into a veterinary clinic,
memorial garden and exercise yard for the animals. Runners can easily set up their own fundraising page at www. justgiving.com. Last year’s race raised £12,000. Laura Abbott will be running the Sheffield Half-Marathon this year for the first time to raise money for the Animal Centre. She said: “With your help it will allow us to proceed with our plans for the future, ensuring that the animals at the centre get the highest level of care they deserve.” Meanwhile, the 13th annual Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge will see keen volunteers don their walking boots to raise money by undertaking a scenic 25-mile walk. Held on Saturday, June 3, in aid of Heart Research UK, the walk will cover three of the largest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Despite the name, volunteers
are free to walk just one or two of the three peaks should they choose to. The official challenge is to complete the walk within 12 hours, though the charity reminds prospective participants that it is not a race. Heart Research UK leads the way on medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure heart disease, which is Britain’s biggest killer. The charity funds over £3.7million worth of research projects undertaken across the country. Denise Armstrong, Lifestyle Manager for Heart Research UK, said: “Walking regularly is great exercise to keep your heart healthy. “It helps tone your muscles, improves circulation and can make you feel happier and more relaxed.” The walk will begin and end in Horton in Ribblesdale, and consists of a total ascent of over 1,500 metres.
Photo: Olivia Lightfoot
Key developer falls By Robert Golledge A £400million redevelopment of Sheffield’s legal district is at risk after the property development firm behind the project entered administration this week. Castlemore Securities, who were signed up by Sheffield City Council to develop the brownfield site along the riverside, will try to continue working on the project. The project was set to include student and residential flats, restaurants, and a massive tower between Corporation and Bridge Streets and West Bar. Councillor Ian Auckland, cabinet member for sustainable development, said: “It is very disappointing that Castlemore has now been placed into administration as they were committed to producing a very high quality scheme on the West Bar site. “The collapse of the business is a result of the meltdown of the
property market and the lack of lending from banks.” PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton have now been appointed as the firm’s administrators. Mark Batten, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Castlemore Securities is a business with significant property assets and it is currently our intention to continue to trade parts of the business as we seek a buyer. “The administration is a result of the well-documented challenges facing the property market which has lead to the company suffering cash flow difficulties.” The plans were approved by Sheffield City Council last year but were opposed by Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS). HMCS had concerns that the development would mean altering the route prison vans would have to take on transit to the Crown Court.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Have your say
Star letter: Union failure Dear Forge, The complex question ‘does the Union of Students benefit us?’ is near impossible to answer, with everyone having different opinions. I feel a better question is ‘does the Union represent and include us?’ In my opinion it is fundamentally failing to do so. The above may sound like a broad and sweeping statement; however, the more people I talk to, the greater my impression that the Union is an outdated and out of touch organisation, no longer fit to represent us as a student body. These factors have led to the estrangement and apathy of the wider student community. Over the past decade our student population has grown to nearly 25,000 students, with the constitution of this population being vastly altered. This has lead to the small elite who are involved in high level Union activates looking increasingly alienated from the reality of the opinions they represent. After reading the article ‘Our Union must tread
Star letter is sponsored by Your Harley
The winner receives a free meal for two and a Lock-In membership at Your Harley carefully on Gaza issue’, (Forge Press, Issue Seven, p.16), I can’t help but feel that our Union’s wannabe politicians are becoming embroiled in issues outside of their role which serve no direct benefit to the student population as a whole, and run the risk of alienating many. This issue and others, however off-putting they may be to the vast majority
of students, are the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. The Union structure seems to me wholly out of step with modern student life. For example, the role of Women’s Officer seems a throwback, and surely it would be better to have a Gender Equality Officer who could also represent the views of male and transgender students. Of the eight Officers there is no position dedicated to either a holistic inclusively, or promoting and publicising the Union. I feel these two roles are vital in allowing the average student the chance to be informed about, and access, the Union. I feel a reassessment and alteration of the Union’s structure and role is needed, consultation with a wider number of students is the only way for the Union to become a positive representation of the students of Sheffield University. The Union needs to open its arms and embrace all students so that we can arrive at a functioning and beneficial Union for us all. Yours, David Murfin
Write: Forge Press, Union of Students, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TG Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Text: 07765363716 Please include your name, course and year of study
I would like to raise awareness about the motives behind the Give It A Go greyhound ban (Forge Press, Issue Seven, p.7). Firstly I want to clarify the statistics we gave at the Council meeting on greyhound deaths per year, which are far from “incorrect information” as claimed by Owlerton, but come from the organisation Greyhound
Action based on reports from the industry itself and insiders. An estimated 10,000 or more greyhound puppies are killed every year because they are not deemed fit for racing. The industry itself only admits up to 1,000 of these deaths, but the number of dogs re-homed is a tiny proportion of those involved in the industry and the rest ‘disappear’, with obvious implications. We did not launch our campaign in response to the Greyhound Watch report; it was simply
Alice Brown, second year, Architecture
Kiran Collier, third year, Politics
Sophie Duncan, year, English
“It is a good idea so it should be kept, but it should not just be for women only.”
“I feel it should carry on running but should be increased in size and be used by all students.”
“Keep it. I don’t use it but, as captain of women’s football, I encourage freshers to use it if they are on their own.”
included to further strengthen our argument. The decision was passed by Union Councillors and is clearly not taking away students’ freedoms as those who really want to go to the races will go anyway. For those students looking for new experiences through GIAG, there are plenty of exciting, diverse, cruelty-free and cheap opportunities every term. Yours, Erica Halliday, Chair of the Ethical and Environmental Committee
Should the Women’s Minibus be scrapped, or should we save it?
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
The Women’s Minibus is there for women first and foremost
Letting men on will save our ride home from falling numbers of users
By Jo Wendal
By Roz Glynn
A Women’s Minibus which allows men on board will become little more than a glorified taxi service rather than a safety zone for women. Equality is a vital issue, and it is great that our Students’ Union is prioritising it. Their ability to take action is also nice to see. But in this issue I think they are making a mistake by taking it too far. Sheffield is England’s safest city ; or at least that is what the University claims to its prospective students. But crime against students is still disproportionately high compared to other sectors of the population. In a completely equal world men and women would be equally safe - or unsafe - on the streets. In real life, most perpetrators see women as far easier victims than men. Even more importantly, women run a far higher risk of sexual attacks than men. To worsen the situation further, women between 16 and 24 are the most likely to be sexually assaulted. The Women’s Minibus is not just a bus, it’s a safety bus. It enables women to stay around campus into the evening, and enjoy themselves at Union nights, without that gnawing worry of how to get home. There may well be men who worry about getting home on their own, but to nowhere near the same extent as women. It is not just transport service; the Women’s Minibus also offers peace of mind. With a minibus ticket
Naturally, male students seem very open to the prospect of being allowed on the Women’s Minibus (though not because they are currently feeling unsafe getting home after a night out at the Union). On the contrary, most of the guys I have talked to seem to consider it some form of subsidised taxi service. One of my (male) friends felt it would be great
for “nights when you’re feeling lazy”. Not exactly the most noble reason for a cheap lift. The mere potential of the minibus filling up with a bunch of rowdy guys would discourage a lot of women from using it. Allowing men on board would transform the Women’s Minibus from a safety bus into a Unionsubsidised taxi service. And how would the Union deal with any potential space issues? If it is a strict first come, first served basis, it could easily cause a situation where the bus fills up with men, forcing women to walk home alone. But don’t worry; at least the Union gave us a free rape alarm first.
We all know how it is. A group of you have gone for a night out at the Union, quite possibly in ridiculous fancy dress, and you went along with good intentions. You were going to save that last fiver for the taxi home. However, over the course of the night, it’s mysteriously disappeared, no doubt transformed into spirits and a Bar One takeaway. Could it have gone towards the ninth and 10th pints of snakebite, or perhaps fallen out off your toga? These are all possibilities, but it unfortunately means you now can’t get a taxi home, so you’ll have to walk, possibly alone, possibly a long way, and it’s just not safe. In order to overcome problems like this, the Union offers a minibus service back to any house for the tiny fee of one English pound and fifty pence. Yet there are two problems with this: it’s not getting enough business and may not be able to continue; and it is the Women’s Minibus. No men are allowed to use it. So a Union service is unavailable to half its students. It’s not surprising that fewer people are using the facility. To overcome this, it seems only fair the minibus should be unisex. Typically we think women are subject to more danger and discrimination. Statistics released about rape always state
Fiona Edwards, Students’ Union Women’s Officer.
independence in Britain and around the world. UK women earn 17 per cent less than men on average. Being a university graduate doesn’t make you immune from pay discrimination; just three years after graduation women earn on average £1,000 per year less than men. This discrimination means women take on average 16 years to repay their student debt compared to 11 years for men.
One in four women face domestic violence. According to a shocking survey by LondonStudent, one-third of students believe a woman is partly responsible for being raped if she was drunk at the time. One-fifth believe she is partly to blame if she wears revealing clothing. It’s time to challenge these myths. We must also demand the Government dramatically increases support for rape crisis centres and
The bus should stay all female. price of £1.50, taking a taxi is not an alternative for most. Even if money was not an issue, travelling alone at night is hardly ideal.
Women run a far higher risk of sexual attacks than men
Cartoon: Kate Mitchell
women as the victim; the Union has a Women’s Officer; and free personal attack alarms are distributed, but only to women. This makes it sound like men are invincible, but this is simply not the case. There have been an ever increasing number of muggings and violent attacks towards male students recently.
A Union service is not available to half its students By allowing male students to use the Women’s Minibus, these attacks will decrease, and we can ensure that all our students get home safely from the Union. Our priority should be the safety of all our students, and opening up the minbus would be an important step by the Union. There are numerous taxi ranks outside the building, allowing groups of students - both male and female - to travel home. There is also excellent public transport in the proximity of the Union, with the
tram stop less than a minute away, and various bus routes. But for later on in the night, a cheap minibus is one of the few options available. The Women’s Minibus charges little more than these forms of transport. It is a Union run service, so it is trustworthy and reliable. With more customers, the price could even be reduced. However, because it only accommodates women, it is not getting the business it deserves. Therefore, it is evident we should let male students on the Women’s Minibus too. We might end up missing its tranquillity at the end of the night but we can relinquish such peace and quiet in the interests of a safer route home for all. This will keep this excellent Union service running and ensure our male students get home safely too, not just the women.
Women still face inequality in the 21st century On Sunday, March 8, millions of people around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day. This day is an opportunity to examine women’s rights around the world and the challenges ahead for achieving equality in the 21st century. Many people believe women have already achieved equality, yet discrimination continues to adversely affect women’s economic well-being and
campaigns to stop violence against women. Another example of the inequality women still face is in access to abortion. An LSE study found that access to abortion and contraception was more important than any other legislation in achieving equality. Yet women’s access to abortion has also come under attack recently as MPs sought to introduce unfair restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.
Globally almost 70,000 women every year die because they can’t get a safe, legal abortion. Sheffield Union is fortunate to have a Women’s Officer and Committee who campaign against these inequalities, and provide vital support and services for female students. If you’d like to get involved, please contact me, or come along to our events, including our pro-choice fundraiser on Monday, March 9.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
We should be able to choose on Nestlé foods
By Alex Orton The referendum decision to continue the boycott of Nestlé will mean students will still be treated like children. The University of Sheffield is attended by informed and rational people, who are perfectly capable of deciding whether they want to buy products that are sold by companies with questionable ethical records. The Ginsters sandwiches contain battery farmed Danish bacon. Coca Cola causes water supply problems around its bottling plants in Africa before selling the cleaned up water back to the locals at a big mark up. Yet the Union Shop continues to sell their products.
The boycott is costing the Union money rather than stopping Nestlé’s profits “Nestlé have improved significantly over the years,” says the Union’s own 70 page report. “The case against them depends on examples that are borderline and picking them out for a boycott, and not others, is hard to justify,” it goes on to say. The magazine and newspaper selection in the Union Shop includes titles from publishers
with connections to numerous dodgy businesses and nasty dictatorships. Nestlé’s marketing of infant baby formula in poor countries is underhand because their milk is nowhere near as good for children as their mother’s own milk, but there are no regulations in these countries advertising law that makes them admit this. Further to this, the sanitation required to get clean water to add to milk formula is rarely present in these less developed countries, so water borne diseases that don’t get passed on in breast milk infect children. But then again, News Corporation, which owns The Times, The Sun, Sky, and tonnes of other media has done a deal with the Chinese government to censor the news it provides in their country. Covering up political arrests and talking up the regime’s achievements in the world’s largest dictatorship isn’t exactly cuddly. But you can still buy the News of the World in the Union shop. It’s a quality publication, really. And Bar One’s finances would be even deeper in the red if there was a boycott of Sky Sports. “[We recommend that] Students’ Union Council should decide to suspend the policy of having no dealings with Nestlé,” said their own Nestlé Boycott Select
Students don’t need protecting from Nestlé. Committee in March 2008. Instead, the Union should “engage with Nestlé, and other breast-milk substitute manufacturers around the ethical issues that remain,” said the report. If the Union Shop could sell a few tubes of Smarties then they stand a better chance of weathering the economic downturn. It’s not as if Nestlé has been brought to its knees by this boycott; they still sit near the top of the heap of world food suppliers. The phrasing of the referendum
£10k could go down the pan By Michael Hunter The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) committee have proposed that a genderneutral toilet is installed in our Union for the benefit of “people who operate outside the binary system of gender.” After getting my head around the baffling notion of “operating outside a binary system”, I have to admit that this is a problem that has never exactly threatened to keep me awake at night. However, the issue has rumbled on at consecutive Union Council meetings whilst creating division within the LGBT committee. Their Chair, Adam Hood, has now resigned. Now, I am all for striving towards a Union that is a hospitable and accommodating
environment to all who come through its doors - but is all the fuss that has come with this debate really necessary? There’s also the potential cost a staggering £10,000 was the sort of figure being quoted at Union Council. Fortunately, there’s a straightforward solution. The University of Manchester’s Union of Students came up with a cunning plan when the idea of genderneutral toilets was raised at their Council. Women’s toilets became “Toilets”, and men’s became “Toilets with urinals”. The LGBT committee are merely asking for one toilet to
become a unisex facility; £10,000 clearly doesn’t go very far these days. On a personal note, I’m just pleased that the LGBT aren’t proposing we remove the sacred urinal altogether. The day I enter toilets unable to play that game where you try and destroy the little yellow fresheners will, frankly, be a sad one. Also, if Ally McBeal-style toilets were implemented right across the Union, we would have to be coaxed through a new set of social norms. And toilet etiquette is a delicate thing.
was also terrible: “Do you agree that the Union should end its boycott of Nestlé, although not actively promote their products, but engage with Nestlé and other manufacturers on the ethical issues involved in promoting breast-milk substitutes?” “Actively promoting” could mean anything. Will we refuse to stock Yorkies if they’re offering two extra chunks free? Who knows if that’s just a ‘promotion’ or an “active promotion”. The Union should have defined what activities are meant by “engage... on ethical issues.”
Cartoon: Kate Carson This could mean anything from monitoring whether their ethical record is still improving to inviting the chairman round for a cup of tea. During the writing of this article, talk in the Media Hub turned to Nestlé products. This debate left me and the Sport section hungry for Yorkie bars. So we dispatched a Sports Editor to leave the campus to get some Nestlé products. If we’re willing to go to these lengths it shows that the boycott is costing the Union money rather than stopping Nestlé’s profits.
By Amy Taylor My email inbox is constantly full of pleas for research participants. The variety of these research subjects range from the surprising to the truly bizarre. I once completed a survey about depression, despite not being depressed. I don’t think I’d even had a particularly trying day. I was just intrigued by questions like: ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, how sad are you right now?’ and ‘How many times today have you considered suicide?’ I thought that it was a good thing I wasn’t suffering from depression, as the questions wouldn’t have made me feel better. On receiving these emails, I run through a quick elimination process. Research requiring smokers, males or foreign students
can all be deleted immediately. Those requiring me to attend a ‘session’ are next to go, preferring as I do the online questionnaires that can be completed from the comfort of my house. This gets rid of a good 60 per cent of the contenders. The remainder are eliminated on a ‘best freebies’ basis. Money is best, chocolate biscuits and tea a close second. A three course meal or cinema tickets would be preferable, but perhaps that’s aiming a little high. Knowing that I have my own research to carry out in the next few weeks, I am worried that my bad survey karma will come back to haunt me. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to help every worthy research project, no matter how much free tea I’m offered, there is only so much time I can donate.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Editorials E-voting success in record turnout The fact that the election results were decided by the largest voter turnout in the Union’s history is a great testament to the e-voting system, which has made the voting process even more accessible to the electorate. The critics of the scheme must now see that any flaws are negated by the apparent relationship between this new polling method and the collateral upsurge in democratic engagement. Having said that, there must be an easier way to count the votes which are cast online; this year they have been printed out and counted by hand, replacing any potential technical fallibility with
the prospect of human error. Nevertheless, the Union’s decision to support e-voting has without doubt contributed significantly to the swollen number of voters this year, and should continue to do so as the system is refined (and perhaps even expanded into other votes, such as Union Council elections). Many students complain that after the Sabbs are elected they disappear into their offices, never to be seen again. It is now the responsibility of the record number of students that have gone to the polls to hold those that they have elected to account.
Dangerous games The defacement of the Jewish Society’s poster board in the Union should cause widespread consternation, and the person(s) responsible should face a heavy punishment. Bringing world politics into a university or students’ union environment is a very dangerous thing to do. This is especially the case at an institution such as Sheffield, where we are fortunate to have students from such a diverse range of races, religions, and backgrounds. Attacking the Jewish Society
is a blinkered course of action by anti-Israel protestors, and shows a lack of tolerance and understanding. A person’s religious beliefs do not necessarily dictate their opinions or their values; Jewish students do not necessarily agree with military incursions into Gaza in the same way that Labour students are not responsible for the policies of the Government. Bringing world politics into the microcosm of the Union of Students risks causing harmful divisions dictated on the narrow grounds of beliefs alone.
Humbling helpers What an excellent and selfless scheme by the students from Hope City Church, who - amongst many other equally benevolent initiatives - are offering to wash up for students. This is not only a wonderful example of, purely and simply, a nice thing to do for someone else, but is a humbling act: it is being done for no reward or recompense, but out of goodwill alone.
Similar plaudits must go to STAR (Student Action for Refugees) whose recent sleepout highlighted the problem of homelessness amongst refugees. Sleeping under the concourse bridge in February - indeed, at any time of year - is not a pleasant prospect, yet many students braved the elements to raise both awareness and funds for the ASSIST charity.
Big Brother cameras reveal we lead dull life
By Anna Macnaughton My reaction to the new ‘thisbuildingleaks’ project is an overwhelming desire to stage a massive public argument, a spontaneous musical, or perhaps an architecture-themed soap opera. The opportunities seem endless for a Big Brother generation - and yet no interesting characters have emerged. The Union elections could be surpassed by ballots on our fellow students high in the Arts Tower. Tuesday, 5.30pm: In the First Year Architecture studio, a student wheels trolley with an interesting looking box on it. Male students stretch. 5.32 pm: Female student opens the door. It’s almost as good as real life. Thursday, 10.34am: in the MArch Architecture studio, a male student is tired, after a big night last night. Now one can experience fully the numbingly mindless buzz of the Arts Tower in one’s very own home. With Architecture students being in until the early hours, you need never miss the action. Anyone can watch for no discernible reason other than ‘art’, and it’s possible that a student could be unaware of the cameras, leaving questions of privacy unanswered. Of course my own comments in seminars - and indeed in all conversation - never fail to be enlightening, witty, and original. I am nevertheless doubtful that I’d like anyone, anywhere, to hear what I’m saying or to see me struggling to stay awake. The project is an exhibition of the School of Architecture rather
Our landmark has its eye on you. than by the School of Architecture, but one wonders, after even a couple of minutes on the website, why exactly they feel it worth exhibiting. My interest was piqued, once, by a round of applause in the studio, but I could not discern a reason for it from the mush of noise. I eagerly followed a link to ascertain the ‘Upcoming Events’, thinking that perhaps my hopes were about to be realised, but the calendar is blank. The website claims that it is an exhibition without curators
Photo: Helen Munro or selection, but there is still an element of decision and selection. We cannot, after all, see every room, or hear every conversation - it is as selective as any other gallery as the creators chose what in the Arts Tower is worth exhibiting. Here modern surveillance culture is turned to art, and yet surely there is little art in which the idea is more interesting than the content. The ‘thisbuildingleaks’ project is innovative and provocative - it’s just a shame that it’s so boring.
Candidates should not hide their views from us By Kyle Christie A turnout of 6,095 is a greater result than any individual victory for the Union elections. Possibly the largest in the country, the embrace of electronic voting has led to greater engagement and a student population with the ability to make its voice heard in their pyjamas while watching Come Dine With Me. In turn, we have never seen the concourse so plastered with boxes, signs and trampled posters. These elections did have their quirky and darker sides, however. Hustings, as ever, provided light entertainment as a prelude to the week of chaos. From the welfare candidate who wanted to “eliminate stairs” to the inevitable mentioning of the Trident nuclear programme
when talking about education funding, our budding officers were never far away from self-inflicted obscurity. You could barely hear for this year’s buzz words of ‘inclusiveness and accessibility’.
If you run, in effect, on a false platform, then you deserve to lose Laurie McCauley, the Communist candidate for President, gave the oddest and yet perhaps most accurate speech of an otherwise uninspiring bunch that evening. McCauley, between predicting the fall of capitalism (something which would be a disappointment to those using sterling to buy drinks), called out some of those other candidates who were members of political groups and
admonished their dishonesty. He has a point. We had Conservatives, Labour Students, Liberal Democrats and members of the Student Broad Left running, not that you’d know it. You could argue that it wouldn’t affect their policies, but the experience of previous years shows otherwise. Union Council is their arena, and the games are played out there. It’s a tactical contest that extends into the NUS, through deals with factions that have much less power than they believe. Perhaps if - as one of the groups does - you are having secret meetings before Union Council, if you are having ex-sabbaticals who should have moved on long ago campaigning for you and if you run, in effect, on a false platform, then you deserve to lose. Indeed, any candidate who saw the Union as being separated into homogenous groups waiting
to be appealed to through deals or factions doesn’t seem to understand the Union. A presence on the concourse and talking to individual students matters. The Communist candidate at least made clear his position. But, paradoxically, it no doubt contributed to his
defeat (though perhaps his complaint of being asked the same question at a previous year’s hustings suggests that his current tactics are unsuccessful). I’m still not confident that each candidate declaring their positions, and running on a slate for political parties, would be a positive thing for the Union. As these elections have shown, it’s no barrier to turnout. In all, we can be proud of this election. In a contrast to last year, there were few complaints made between the candidates or referenda campaigns. So congratulations, commiserations, and good luck to next year’s officers. With the budget deficit looming, the debate on higher education rearing its head again, and the small matter of running the best Union in the country, they’ve got a lot on their plate.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
A week to sex up the By Keri O’Riordan At the beginning of the 21st century there was an extraordinary crisis in British universities, with a declining number of students opting to take traditional science degrees. Not only did this greatly affect universities, but it also pointed to greater long-term repercussions. Skilled scientists are crucial in order to ensure that the United Kingdom remains competitive in a global economy. In December 2004 the University of Exeter conﬁrmed that it was closing its Chemistry department, and in October 2006 the University of Reading announced that it was closing its Physics department. In fact, since 1996 a total of 26 universities have closed their Chemistry departments. Now, however, there are signs of resurgence, with this year’s intake of Chemistry students at universities in England up 4.4 per cent and Physics numbers up 3.3 per cent from the last academic year. These statistics are promising, but they are only the beginning of a revival for courses that are still vulnerable in terms of applicant numbers and subsequent funding. The average cost to fund a student through any degree discipline is around £21,000, and for a degree such as Physics and Chemistry the overheads are even higher. Not only is a lack of interest and funding in the sciences damaging for future business and higher education institutions, but it is also detrimental to the student population. For example, a Physics or Chemistry graduate can expect to earn 30 per cent more in their lifetime in comparison to somebody who has not gone to university; this, compared to the 16 per cent that those with a degree in
Weston Park Museum is hosting many of the events during National Science Week, which begins today. Linguistics or History could be expected to earn, highlights the potential rewards for students who complete a science degree course. The difference in earnings means that these graduates make a real impact on the economy; a science graduate can expect to spend £40,000 more in taxes throughout their working lifetime. It is therefore in the best interests of the Government to safeguard these departments and courses. Departmental closure means fewer places open for undergraduates, which inevitably leads to the Government losing out on the taxes from these potential high earners.
Exciting competitions and events feature at National Science Week Although it may appear easy to market these courses by offering generous incentives and using techniques to exhibit the advantages of a science degree in terms of future employment, these avenues are limited. The crux of the matter is that the only way to truly inspire students to opt for a degree of this nature is to instil a personal and passionate interest in science from a young age. The problem is not just a British one; the USA has also been affected. Fears for the future of the economy have caused many businesses to take action. However, even this hasn’t been as successful as was ﬁrst hoped. A report in USA Today outlined how worried businesses are about this decline in bachelor degrees awarded in maths and the sciences. A group of 15 high proﬁle business groups decided to work towards doubling the number of science degrees by 2015, although ﬁgures released in 2005 showed that the number of degrees being taken up in these areas had fallen way below target. In November 2007 the UK government pledged £340m to
extend the entitlement of free nursery education from 12.5 hours to 15 hours a week; the idea being that in order to break the cycles of poverty and underachievement it was best to get children into education from an early age to instil a sense of enjoyment in learning. Not only must science lessons give young children a basic scientiﬁc knowledge, but it must be conducive to making these subjects more enjoyable, so that children want to carry on learning when they reach secondary, further and higher education. The Government has already made some move towards doing this. In order to invigorate interest in science, the Government has invested £18million into schools especially for science. This money would go towards giving school children the opportunity to take part in after school science clubs. National Science and Engineering Week begins today, and is described by Managing Director Joanna Rooke as “huge in scale” and the “biggest event of its kind”. Last year there were 3,500 events, at which 1.4 million people attended the celebration of science, engineering and technology. Joanna says that “half of this number were students and young adults”. The event is co-ordinated by the British Science Association, and funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), whom Joanna says have “heavily invested” in the event. “You will not ﬁnd a more costeffective program, in that there is so much going on with so many people taking part.” The DIUS is dedicated to ensuring that people carry on developing skills in order to apply them in creating a dynamic and competitive economy, and so the 10 day event is imperative to “get the public engaged” with its scale and diversity. Exciting competitions and events feature during NSEW (though some have been designed for younger children) and contribute to the atmosphere of energy and
enthusiasm that the science community are insistent will seep into university culture, particularly for prospective students. Joanna pointed out that “it is a preconception that the week is just for children. There are a huge amount of activities which are of interest to young adults and students, some of which are already used in universities. You can even run your own event and put it into the programme”. For example, experimental thought activities have been designed to imbibe an understanding of Darwinian Theory and to challenge the brain to work in a scientiﬁc way. This particular event is signiﬁcant in celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. There is also an ongoing campaign to save the honey bee, which encourages households to plant honey bee friendly plants. The UK’s wild honey bee is disappearing, and last winter alone one in three colonies was destroyed. The website offers a link to receive free seeds, and an information pack which is available to homes and schools. National Science and Engineering Week aims to promote the importance of being familiar with the natural environment and its National Science Week: Pick of the Events ‘The Bedbug: Blood, Sex and Death’ on Sunday, March 8 - 2.00pm, Weston Park Museum ‘Evolution: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?’ on Tuesday, March 10 1.15pm, Weston Park Museum ‘Energy Use and Healthy Living Empowerment’ on Tuesday, March 10 2.30pm, Heeley City Farm ‘Cybermen and Superhumans: Converging Technologies in the 21st Century’ on Tuesday, March 10 - 7.00pm, Richard Roberts Building *‘Sideshow Science’ on Saturday, March 14 - 11.00am, Weston Park Museum
prevalent issues in the community, in the hope that science will become a prominent talking point for both young and old. Many of the events are not just for children and a key message that is essential to the British Science Association’s ideology is that it is never too late to develop an interest in science. Events across Shefﬁeld include a series of lectures, such as ‘The Bedbug: Blood, Sex and Death’, which takes place at Weston Park Museum on Sunday, March 8. This talk aims to look at an insect which may be considered nothing more than a disgusting nuisance and make the subject interesting and accessible for everyone. For example, did you know that this small parasite mates via traumatic inseminations in that the males forcefully pierce females with his genitalia to ejaculate into the body cavity? In fact, even fellow male bedbugs can be victims of this experience, with many bedbugs being found with injuries not atypical of traumatic insemination. Uncovering the more thrilling aspects of scientiﬁc learning encourage those previously indifferent to the subject to take an active interest in science-based study.
A total of 26 universities have closed their Chemistry departments The University’s Richard Roberts Building will be the venue for ‘Cybermen and Superhumans: Converging Technologies in the 21st Century’ on the evening of Tuesday, March 10. The description of this lecture poses a question that no one would have expected from a medical engineering talk, as it asks: “What links model Katie Price, Cybermen, Viagra, King Louie, and the Nazis?” If a cocktail of big breasts, sexual stimulants and historical villains doesn’t put bottoms on seats then it is unlikely that anything will. For the greenest amongst us, a workshop on monitoring your carbon footprint at Heeley City Farm on the second Tuesday of the month should not be missed. This event will reveal how unknowingly wasteful we are, citing the fact that in leaving our microwaves switched on at the mains when inactive, more energy is used in a year than that of all the cooking done within. Events such as these are free and open to everyone, although booking is essential. National Science and Engineering Week will see a great *‘The Evolution of Natural Selection’ on Thursday, March 12 - 6.30pm, Weston Park Museum (£3.00) *‘Every Action Counts’ on Saturday March 14 - 11.00am, Heeley City Farm To book a place at any of the free events, contact the venues directly: University of Shefﬁeld: Phone 0114 222 8893 or email g.street@shefﬁeld.ac.uk Weston Park Museum: Phone 0114 278 2655 or email learning@museumshefﬁeld.org.uk Shefﬁeld Hallam University: Phone 0114 225 4870 or email science-week@shu. ac.uk Heeley City Farm: Phone 0114 249 9459
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
e sciences variety of events nationwide, with the Natural History Museum in London an obvious focal point. They are offering the inventive ‘The Plants That Bite Back’ exhibition on March 8 and 15, alongside many Darwin exhibitions that are an ongoing ﬁxture. In Glasgow there is the inspired play The Angina Monologues, while Derby will be exhibiting the ‘Lab in a Lorry’, although Leicester scoops the prize (so to speak ) with ‘A Rough Guide to Diarrhoea’ on Monday, March 9. These events aim to demonstrate that it is not difﬁcult to show young adults and children that science extends far beyond chemistry equations and dusty textbooks. The fact is that science in reality is far more interesting and far reaching than is often seen in the classrooms that need to be transformed. Many people, when asked to describe their school experiences, recall an entrenched dislike for the sciences. The difﬁculty of the subject and teachers’ attempts to simplify the principles through what sometimes s e e m e d irrelevant and pointless experiments left many young people frustrated. At degree level, the ‘boring basics’ start to take on whole new
complexities. With signs of revival in the sciences in UK education it is an exciting time for all involved. At the end of 2008 the Government proposed £250million to train scientists and engineers, with this investment being used to fund 2,000 PhDs and create 44 training centres. E m p l o y m e n t opportunities are also promising, with engineering vacancies seeing an 8.3 per cent rise over the coming year according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters. National Science and Engineering Week should be viewed as an apt opportunity to celebrate an area of learning that is biting back. With a little help from bedbugs. National Science Week runs from Friday, March 6, to Sunday, March 15.
Cartoon: Mark Mackay
Skream interview / 65daysofstatic / Hush / Killzone 2
Feature Music Screen
Be ready to Skream it all out
Benga (left) and Skream (right) bashing out some tunes.
Friday March 6 2009
Skream has often been hailed as the ‘Prince of Dubstep’ and is one of the most recognised names in his field. He pioneered the rise of this innovative genre with the likes of Benga and Hatcha and it could be said that he somewhat revolutionised the underground music scene. With the release of his infinitely popular record ‘Midnight Request Line’ in 2005, Skream flew into the spotlight and let everyone know that he was one to watch. The latest instalment of his Skreamizm series came out a few months ago and the new album is on its way. With all these achievements under his belt before he’s even reached his mid 20s, what does the future hold for Skream? I was lucky enough to catch up with the accomplished virtuoso to find out more. Skream, you played a big part in the early dubstep movement, but what would you say sets you apart from other dubstep producers? It’s hard for me to say that, but I’d like to hope it’s my versatility. I don’t stick to just one style and hopefully I’ll be remembered for that. Skreamizm Vol 5 came out at the end of last year and has been highly praised by dubstep fans. However a lot of your earlier work was much darker in sound. How did your style evolve into the stuff we hear from you these days? I’ve actually got a load of new material I’m working on which is
really, really dark like the old stuff, very 2005/2006 in style. But it probably just evolved through DJing really; you start wanting to get more hype and get the crowd hype and sometimes dark things aren’t the way to go. Do you think you had to make it more commercial then? No definitely not. I’ve done a few things that are a bit more accessible but I’d never say commercial. It’s fair to say dubstep goes hand in hand with drum and bass and a lot of fans criticise artists like Pendulum for trying to make their music too mainstream. Do you ever worry that dubstep will go that way as it becomes increasingly more popular? Popularity is not a bad thing; it depends on whether what gets pushed to the dubstep crowd is good or not. As long as people keep it real and don’t sell themselves out then it should be cool. So where do you see dubstep progressing in the future? I wouldn’t like to say, because I couldn’t have told you last year where it would be today. I just hope it gets better. I’m still waiting for someone to come through with something ultra-fresh. Dubstep is blowing up in America though, so who knows where that will take it. You are most well known for your partnership with Benga; are there any new collaborations on the cards? I heard rumours of something with Goldie... Working with Goldie is a possibility but nothing is finalised
yet. I’ve just finished some stuff with D Bridge & Instra:Mental, it’s literally one of my favourite things I’ve ever worked on. They’re just amazing, I’ve been listening to the ‘Autonomic Podcast by D Bridge & Instra:Mental’ on repeat. I’ve got a few collaborations coming up in the next album too but I can’t really say too much about them yet.
I don’t stick to one style and hopefully I’ll be remembered for that Your latest track, a remix of La Roux’s ‘In for the Kill’, was leaked before release. How do you feel about stuff like this? Fuck it, it’s had 12,000 plays on MySpace within a week and 30,000 on YouTube and who knows how many people are downloading it. It’s still coming out on vinyl; I don’t know where it’s going to stand on the single though as I’ve done another mix of it which is a rave mix called ‘You Sure That Sounds Like Skream’s Remix?’ I’m really happy with the tune, it’s one of the biggest at the moment. It was Record of the Week on Zane Lowe’s show and Annie Mac has been battering it on Radio One. It’s definitely a good look. It’s different to anything I’ve done recently as well, it’s a song that can get into different places and it can get me into different places too. The fact it was leaked is a pain but it’s inevitable. You can’t get
away from it, you’ve just got to look at the perks.
on pirate radio and that’s what got me going.
You’ve played Tuesday Club a number of times now. What do you think to the drum and bass and dubstep scene in Sheffield and how does it compare to DJing at huge venues for thousands of people? I love it. Tuesday Club is big. They have some quality performers there and it’s always such a crazy night. Obviously it’s great to play big venues but it’s always a good vibe when you’ve got 1,000 people going mental in a students’ union; everyone in Sheffield is up for it. It’s is a good place to party as well, my boy Omar throws some sick parties.
When you first started out you used fairly basic programmes like Fruity Loops to make your beats, but how important is it to spend money on expensive software? I still use it. I bought the latest copy because it’s helped me so much throughout the years that I thought, why not give something back? I have this argument with people all the time about it though; it doesn’t matter if you use Fruity Loops, Cubase, Sonar, or whatever, it’s what you do with it, it’s your tool and you’ve got to use it properly. No-one can take it away from anyone that they use Fruity Loops. I know for a fact that people can make better tracks with Fruity Loops than others can with Logic. It’s not about the programme; it’s about what you do with it and what you’re comfortable with. A lot of people get too hung up on programmes and equipment sometimes, but it all comes down to what you can create at the end of the day.
What kind of places did you go out to when you were growing up then? Croydon. Going to clubs that play shit music, like the Blue Orchid in Croydon which played awful R’n’B and commercial rubbish. But saying that I was going to Forward>> when I was 15 which was when it was all starting; that was the first place my records were played. It was only once a month though so there weren’t many places to go when I was growing up. Did listening to all that kind of commercial music make you want to do something different? No, I always knew I wanted to do something different because I started making tunes when I was 13 or 14 and I hadn’t even started going out at that stage. I was mainly influenced by listening to dark garage and grime
As he continues to churn out epic tunes we can be sure not to have seen the last of Skream; a DJ and producer who has the makings of a legend and is set to be around for a long time to come. Don’t miss the release of ‘In for the Kill’ on Limited Edition White Label; it’s one that every good DJ should have in their vinyl collection. Rosanna Steinberg
Jeremy Peel & Joe Christmas
Summarising the genre of dubstep in itself is problematic as it often crosses over with drum and bass, garage, and fidget house. How has this beast of a genre been defining itself over recent years in Sheffield?
Dubstep is more moody and dark than its dubious counterpart
How has this beast of a genre been defining itself in Sheffield? We’ll undoubtedly be witnessing a re-run this summer of last year’s Outlook Festival, set in sunny Croatia, and the festival launch party in London in the spring promises an astonishing line-up of the movement’s most prominent artists on the scene. The question thus remains as to whether this will turn out to be a passing fad or if it can continue to reinvent itself enough to maintain widespread interest. Until then, the Steel City offers its residents plenty of opportunities to experience the hype and judge for themselves. Melissa Mouthaan
Drum and bass or drug and bass? If you go to a drum and bass night, you will invariably see the staff behind the bar twiddling their thumbs and serving lots of glasses of water to ceaselessly energetic clubbers. Drinks sales plummet at these
events; alcohol is needless when there are other substances to hand. Drugs are a major part of drum and bass culture and that is simply a fact. It is not ideal; there are horror stories floating around about ecstasy taking gone terribly, terribly wrong. In fact, popular DJ Grooverider, considered to be one of the
forefathers of drum and bass, was recently released after being jailed in Dubai for drug possession. It seems that the seedier side of this music culture starts right at the top. Why do people do it then? It’s a tough question. Drum and bass can be incredibly vibrant, but at the same time oppressive and heavy. Slipping a pill can seem like a
good way to get over the latter and simply feel the music pumping. Dancing becomes euphoric, the clubbers become more hyped, and the mood is lifted in a way that simply cannot be done on a few vodka and cokes. It also seems strange that the outrageously excessive consumption of alcohol - which is a drug, lest you forget - is deemed
acceptable, but other highs are not. The image of drum and bass culture is not a good one and it can be dangerous. But perhaps battering your liver with gin on a regular basis is no better. These are tricky concepts to form opinions of; it really depends on your taste in music. Alice Stride
Feature: Drum and bass and drug culture
Friday March 6 2009
With previous week’s Tuesday Club showcasing Kode9 and Plastician in the main room - a space usually begsieged by drum and bass artists - the use of the word ‘awakening’ is somewhat appropriate when speaking of the scene’s increasing popularity. Known as the Union’s notoriously grimier night, the Tuesday Club confirms this reputation by drawing a crowd of students as well as nonstudents into its pounding grip which, if standing too close to the speakers, will make your internal organs vibrate. Often coupled with drum and bass, dubstep as a genre is less aggressive and yet moodier and darker than its dubious counterpart. It is essentially an overriding electronic sound with a sub-bass wobble to it and a slower, drawnout beat. The late bar DQ is home to many of these nights, previously hosting Bass Bar and now introducing nights such as Bigger than Barry. The venue consists of a large downstairs room as well as an upstairs section, with separate paid entrances. You may indeed find yourself right next to electro night Club Pony playing in the other room. It is often open as long as it tickles the owner’s fancy, which could lead to being ousted prematurely, or staying on until the early hours. Ethiocubana, a restaurant by day and venue by night, also puts on nights that stray into any category ranging from hip-hop,
jungle, and breakbeats to, yes, dubstep, an initiative led by local label Bad Taste Records. The Harley also delves into the scene with Room 303, held on every fourth Saturday of the month. The door tax at this place generally does not exceed a very reasonable three gold coins. As for the larger clubs, Detonate at Plug often draws large crowds, and was recently headlined by Skream, one of dubstep’s pioneers, who proceeded to play a soul set, to many a person’s surprise and yet not disappointment. For those of you used to bopping around on a night at Corp whilst attempting not to slip on the beer-sodden floors (I’m sure you know who you are), this particular establishment is also hosting Subtitle on the occasional Thursday night featuring some local Sheffield talent on the scene. What to make of the mania? With the upcoming Valve Soundsystem (on Saturday, March 7) featuring widely acclaimed artists Rusko and Caspa already sold out, as well as the all new Wax:On at the Academy also displaying big names in the genre such as Chase & Status and SouthLondon’s Benga and Hatcha. The genre really is on the rise.
Kode9 and The Space Ape.
Feature: Sheffield’s scene expanding
Not only did dubstep begin as an urban phenomenon but the sound itself is firmly rooted in street mythology. Just as grime took the confidence and ambition of American hip-hop and relocated it to grittier, nastier, and altogether more British sonic territory, early dubstep drew together the jittery beats of two-step garage. It took the reggae riddim bass lines of darkside jungle and the heavy reverb of dub to create a new sound representative of contemporary London. Listen to any Skream track and you’ll hear chest-rumbling bass echoing off crumbling grey walls and synths glistening like knives in dark alleyways; it’s easy to feel the shuffle of disaffected commuters’ feet in the syncopated rhythms that dominate proceedings. Girls Aloud may claim to know
Photo: Ben Taylor
Dubstep drew together the jittery beats of two-step garage
the ‘Sound of the Underground’, but dubstep producers seemed actually to have ventured into the decaying subways and turned the volume up high. That’s not to say dubstep’s appeal and influence hasn’t spread outside the city’s boundaries. Up and down the country, artists, DJs and fans have worked together to establish nights such as BluePrint, Detonate and the massively popular Tuesday Club at our very own Union. One regular explains the allure: “It’s lower-tempo and more moody but that somehow makes it even more euphoric, especially through a 40/50K sound system.” Sam Watts, a first year Engineering student, elaborates: “It’s generally quite expressive and refreshing to have a beat that you can chill out to because you don’t always get that with drum and bass.” Despite such widespread interest, it’s important to note that this is still a genre in its infancy. We can’t help but wonder whether time will show dubstep to be fundamentally limited in its reach. With such a London-centric sound - although emergent scenes across the UK and even California have sprung up in earnest - it is unlikely that any bedroomproducers will be hitting the cover of Rolling Stone or storming the charts with Kanye West any time soon. Then again, artists and critics across the water already seem to view dubstep as a movement with far-reaching potential. In the words of New York producer Joe Nice: “Dubstep is kind of like the word ‘love’. You don’t necessarily know what love is, but you know how you feel when you’re in it”.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the none-morepretentious Mercury Music Awards will be aware of dubstep soundsculptor Will Bevan, better known as Burial. Despite being favourite to win the award, even going so far as forfeiting his anonymity in preparation, it was Elbow who walked away with the gong on that particular evening. Along with this they had the the dubious honour of having One Day Like This soundtrack every English football victory for the next ten years. As a result, the shadowy scene from which Bevan emerged was pushed back to the fringes of public awareness. Although the Mercury loss was a definite blow for those expecting dubstep to finally break into the mainstream properly, it can hardly have been a surprise for Burial and his contemporaries, many of whom have been working away in relative obscurity for years now. Like grime, dubstep is focused around a closely-knit scene of artists and producers brooding away in the recesses of the capital’s suburbs. Leading the way are a handful of key creative figures; though Burial may be the faceless public image of dubstep, there are others not far behind producers such as Skream and Kode9 (who also owns Burial’s home label, Hyperdub) have been instrumental in shaping the genre. As a teenager, Skream (real name Oliver Jones) worked at the garage-stacking Big Apple Record Shop in Croydon. It was here where he met Hatcha and fellow dubstep aficionado Benga. Recognising his
potential, Hatcha began to spin Jones’ dubplates as well as tracks by other prominent artists such as Digital Mystiks on both his Rinse FM radio show and at the newly established Forward>> Club. Gradually, a scene began to form, helped on its way by the likes of Radio One DJ Mary Anne Hobbs. She championed the genre by dedicating whole shows to new mixes, public endorsements by grime-lords Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, and cross-over hits like Benga and Coki’s ‘Night’ and Skream’s ‘Midnight Request Line’; the latter became the genre’s siren call and most recognisable hit.
Feature: What is this genre all about?
The Sheffield dub scene
One step, two step...dubstep?
Feature Music Games Arts Screen
Post-rock, saving the planet, and reindeer mascots Paul Wolinski, guitarist of the hugely popular Sheffield band 65daysofstatic, cuts an unassuming figure in a black beanie and jeans. He is a stark contrast to the epic stage presence that his band are famed for, and is full of surprises. Despite 65days being generally labelled as a post-rock group, Wolinski is keen to challenge this idea. “I wouldn’t say we are post-rock really. There were Slint, Mogwai and Godspeed; they owned everything. We didn’t want to emulate that kind of thing; we came from a much more electronic background before we had the drums – much more dance-orientated”. Despite there being similarities with this type of band (live drummer and no singer) Wolinski is dismissive. “We aren’t trying to follow that thing in front of us. That was the first generation of postrock and they’ve done it.” Enough said. He is polite and softly spoken, but strongly opinionated. The band recently cancelled a gig for political reasons.
We were going on tour, and the amount of fuel we use is obscene
Friday March 6 2009
“It was being funded by British Aerospace and they are the third biggest weapons manufacturer in the world. We couldn’t be associated with that.” The conversation turns to the Media Lounge video for ‘Radio Protector’; something that further exposes the band’s concern for the state of the planet. It was a “strange period”, says Wolinski, as they grew to realise that they were a huge part of the problem. “We were going on tour, and the
that”. He doesn’t believe in bands who say the music is just for them. “That’s not true; if that’s the case you should just play in your bedroom. It’s totally about connecting with the crowd”. But, he doesn’t know exactly where the band are going: “I have no idea. We’re all broke and we’re living off the band which is amazing, but I’d hate to get stuck in that rut when we’re putting out an album every year to be able to tour it and live off it. There’s a lot riding on the next album.”
Sheffield’s really good at not being able to escape the local band thing
Why so serious? 65daysofstatic want to help save the world. amount of fuel we use is obscene that’s great because we have compared to most people.” foundations to build from.” The video was, he states, “a We talk about the devotion of reaction to that. There’s nothing die-hard fans; he tells me about a much we can say except that this website that has cropped up with a huge problem and it’s going to a catalogue of people with 65days kill us all. tattoos. It adds a certain pressure “I would vote for someone to to being in the band. say people can’t go on long haul “It seems like there’s a lot more flights, but if it comes to me, it’s people to let down, because what trickier. I’d love to be able to be bands don’t let people down told I couldn’t fly to Japan to play eventually?” These are wise words; however, a festival because everything has to change. We can’t keep running does what the band bring to the planet this way, but I don’t their fans justify their long-haul travelling? He smiles: “I would know who will tell us to stop”. Despite acknowledging that hope so.” 65days’ carbon footprint must 65days were generating interest, Wolinski is proud that they have have expanded massively following “never been fashionable, or in their recent tour with The Cure. They had a “really good response” NME.” When asked about the from The Cure’s fans, despite the progress of some of his more differences in their music. “The Europe shows were very ‘trendy’ contemporaries, he thinks carefully. “Look at Foals, exciting because they have no all power to them - they’re doing seating and there would always be something experimental that’s loads of avid Cure fans waiting to being embraced as pop-music. run in and get to the front, so there We haven’t rocketed to fame, but would always be a lot of people
watching us. “In America they have those big open-spaced seated areas and you can’t get to the barrier. We’d be playing 20,000 capacity arenas and it would feel quite empty”. Robert Smith is, he enthuses, “amazing; he used to come and watch us at the side of the stage but after three or four songs the audience would stop watching us and be looking at him, so he had to stop doing that”. Did the experience of being part of such a huge and exciting tour make him feel like 65days had made it? “Well,” he laughs, “we’re all completely broke.” Would he rather stay that way and have a good time, or be famous to the point of inhibition? “I don’t think we have to choose to be honest, being the type of band we are”. However, even if global fame is off the cards, he still wants to be the “biggest band in the world”. This, he says, is “necessarily naïve. Every musician should want to do
There is something paradoxical about what he says. He is aware that 65days’ music might not transcend a global market, but is fiercely ambitious. It is these high aspirations that have enabled them to avoid being labelled as a ‘local band’. “Sheffield’s really good at not being able to escape from that local band thing, so we didn’t play as many shows here as we might have done.” This means, though, that when they do come back to their home city, “all our friends come to watch – everyone’s going to be there tonight. Pretty terrifying.” They seem to have a core of fans that come back for more. Wolinski tells me a story about a plastic reindeer that encapsulates this. “It got thrown on stage at a gig in Bristol and we threw it back into the audience, and when we played Bristol a year later it got thrown back again with a note on it. Then it was in a room that get set on fire, but it survived.” Like the plastic mascot that won’t melt, it seems that 65days are planning on being around for a good while yet. “Being in a band it’s the best,” he smiles. Grand. Alice Stride
A beginner’s guide to...
Club review: Suckerpunch @ DQ 20/02/2009
#4: Stax Records
Student-run nights can be pretty hit and miss, often only attracting the same type that organises them. Not Suckerpunch; DQ is teeming with all sorts of people. Hippies with dreadlocks swinging around their shoulders, young professionals looking for a night that offers a little more than cheesy dance tunes, thirtysomething club nuts and, of course, the ubiquitous University crowd, all out for something with a bit of bite to it. In fact, it is nearly sold out. This is the first time the legendary Tuesday Club has joined forces with outside promoters to bring a new night to the masses. It is testament to the universally appealing yet edgy character of Suckerpunch. The night’s credibility lies largely in its ability to take you on something of a clubbing journey, inspiring your feet to move all night. Featuring a range of music genres, including house, breaks and hip-hop, it provides something
The term ‘soul singer’ is used so frequently these days to describe plasticized R’n’B artists that it is easy to forget the true origins of the genre. Soul music originated in the United States over 50 years ago and combined gospel music with rhythm and blues in order to create a new and exciting form of music. One of the leading record labels of this fresh and often controversial genre was Stax Records, founded in the late 1950s in Memphis, Tennessee, by white businessman Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton (Stewart and Axton combined to form Stax) and was eventually owned by former DJ and Stax employee Al Bell. The company initially issued country music records, but switched to soul music, as the demographics of the neighbourhood shifted towards a primarily African-American population. While the label was renowned
for everyone. Sharp, fresh talent from local DJs Mr. Shanks and Timmy Dutch is backed up by the signature sounds of old favourites such as Andy H, Vandal and Jonny Townsend. It’s a stellar line-up that is enhanced with the usage of vibrant visuals, making for a unique experience. The crowd are excitable and dance like mad things all night. The atmosphere starts on a heady high, and eventually ascends to an epic peak, finishing with spectacular drum and bass. Suckerpunch is exhilarating, energising, and could knock other nights to the ground in one fell swoop. Don’t miss the next one. Alice Stride
Stax - a byword for class. for its output of African-American music set against a back-drop of racial discrimination and hardship, Stax featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, such as The House Band, Booker T and the MG’s, which helped to promote soul as an integrating force in a turbulent society. Among the most recognizable names issued by Stax are Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Arthur Conley and Carla Thomas, to name but a few. These are the artists who created the powerful, raw,
distinctive sound of soul, and it is important to remember the roots of this incredible genre. Key dates in the Stax story 1957: Stax is born. 1965: Al Bell hired. 1967: Death of Otis Redding in plane crash. 1975: Stax was unable to meet its financial demand and was closed down. Al Bell was arrested for fraud, but later acquitted. Jess Lacey
Review: Filthy Dukes Nonsense in the Dark
No; musically, Filthy Dukes don’t have a problem. It’s lyrically they fall down, a confidence issue perhaps, as it has not been required of them before. They probably surpass the artists
they are likely to be compared with (Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem et al.) in song construction and their understanding of music, but you have to have killer lyrics, or at least a catchy chorus, if you’re
Marianne Faithfull is the poster-girl for all that was outrageous in the 1960s and ’70s; dalliances with Mick Jagger, drug abuse, and a firm footing in London’s exploding social scene. A notorious and much-lauded artist, she echoes an era of excess and hedonism gone by.Easy Come Easy Go is a nod to her wilder years with the wisdom and showmanship that comes with age. Her voice is rich, dirty, smoky and on some tracks, quite startling. ‘Dear God Please Help Me’ is an exquisite example of this. “I am so tired / Of doing the right thing,” she breathes. It seems like the bittersweet
weight of years gone past is seeping out of this one lyric. The appearance of guest vocalists (notably Jarvis Cocker and Nick Cave) steeps the album with a detached cool that contrasts strongly with its folky, twinkly elements. The harp and glockenspiel on ‘Flandyke Shore’ gives the song a vaguely medieval twist that is then thrust straight back into the 21st century when Faithfull’s husky vocals saunter in. It is, simply, a collection of beautifully-chosen songs that Faithfull has flavoured with her own captivating idiosyncrasies. There is nothing to prove to anyone. She doesn’t need to try and be cool; she’s Marianne Faithfull. Who else could make Dolly Parton’s ‘Down in Dover’ seem sexy? Alice Stride
Review: Polly Scattergood - Polly Scattergood
A cyclone, a tornado, an animal; not bad at singing either. write autobiographical material, clinking pianos. instead preferring sentimentYet it is Case’s reverb-drenched free appropriations of animalistic throaty croon that dominates here; tendencies - the violence of killer the sheer strength of it managing whales on ‘People Got a Lot of to shine through even where she Nerve’ for instance, or her dry exercises careful restraint and address to a lover that “I’m an soars to the high notes, sounding animal / You’re an animal too.” as rich as ever. The sexy menace Unlike previous works in the on ‘Prison Girls’ and ‘Fever’ Case canon, Middle Cyclone is, by showcases her vocals to the full. her own admission, “a bunch of And when you can out-do Paul love songs”. McCartney with an actual frog Curious love songs admittedly, chorus, you know that you have where chilling lyrics wrap yourself a winner. Neko Case’s themselves around warm melodies animal kingdom – a mysterious - often sparse acoustic affairs but world indeed. frequently joined by languorous drumming and an orchestra of Helen Lawson
Candid Coughlan thrives Review: Mary Coughlan - The House of Ill Repute As a divorcee, ex-alcoholic and mother of five, Mary Coughlan has produced work that makes for uncomfortable listening at the best of times. With this release – 13 tracks recorded hot on the heels of the termination of a 13 year relationship – the tone is even darker than usual, covering intensely personal subject matter that veers wildly between the bitter, the wistful and the downright intimidating. ‘Bad’ is a perfectly-pitched ode to impotent rage forged from years of under-appreciation, in which Coughlan laments her time as a token wife and daughter: “Now I collected tokens one by one / ’Til I’ve saved enough to buy a gun.” Like many of these songs, it borders on the terrifying and sometimes feels like being locked in a house with a whiskey-breathed
Mary’s pain brings great songs. widow, but stick around long enough and you’ll be drawn in by her acute and witty observations about life and love. Coughlan’s delivery is weary yet impassioned, lending her ballads real poignancy, and it’s particularly refreshing to hear an Irish singer unafraid to let their accent come through (yes, The Script, we’re looking at you). Musically, the album is a compelling tangle of bar-room pianos, blaring sax and thrashed guitars that recalls the twisted genius of Tom Waits at his peak. Coughlan is usually pigeon-
holed by confused journalists as a jazz artist, but the reality is far different; whilst the swirling woodwind accompaniments and brush-stroked cymbals do borrow from the swing band kings of the ’30s, Coughlan’s style falls much more comfortably into a long tradition of Irish blues singers. It’s certainly no real stretch to imagine her plying her trade in smoke-filled bars and pubs in her native Galway (and one might suspect she could down pints with the best of them). Although you’d be forgiven for being put off by Mary Coughlan’s admittedly heavy source material and occasional use of innuendo too sickening to print, you’d also be missing out on one of the more frank and powerful releases in recent memory. Like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours before it, The House of Ill Repute is a great album wrought from personal turmoil and lost love. Jeremy Peel
Inventive Polly shuns the radio.
Despite a glittering array of collaborators (members of Calexico and The Sadies, M.Ward et al), this is very much Neko Case’s record. Striking out for yet another solo trip, the sometime member of The New Pornographers aligns herself with the power of the natural world to produce songs that are sometimes terrifying, sometimes murderous, but always compelling. The dark ambience of her country-noir music lends a sinister aura to proceedings. On ‘This Tornado Loves You’ Case assumes the role of a 65 mile wide phenomenon hellbent on destruction, relishing her supremacy over those on the ground and surveying her work: “Their broken necks will line the ditch until we stop it.” To cast an eye over the track listing reveals the continuation of Case’s famed reluctance to
Friday March 6 2009
How many singer-songwriters can you think of whose first song on their first album is a haunting seven minute account of their own emotional instability? The answer is probably along the lines of ‘not many’. Polly Scattergood, only 21, breaks such convention. Opener ‘I Hate The Way’ is genuinely disturbing - not bad for a song written on a toy keyboard. It is no doubt Polly Scattergood will be one of the braver pop albums to be released this year. There is no obvious radio-friendly hit single, which is refreshing and why Scattergood is a musical talent to be celebrated. For an album simply built around piano, light guitars and synths, Polly Scattergood has a surprising amount of depth. It is a record you could live in for weeks and still be surprised at the stirring nature of these songs. The likes of ‘Untitled 27’, with its brilliant piano medley, portray a raw account of genuine heartbreak. ‘Unforgiving Arms’,
meanwhile, achieves the feat of being a sad song which bounces along to a happy tune. The more upbeat moments can be found with the likes of ‘Other Too Endless’ and ‘Please Don’t Touch’. However, these lighter songs are few and far between, and if you listen to the album too regularly, there is a good chance the dark aura of her songs will have a negative effect on your own mindset. Nonetheless, put the negativity aside and it is clear Scattergood has written an elaborate pop album bursting with innovation and ambition.
Review: Neko Case Middle Cyclone
Brave in its depth
Simply does it The beast within Review: Marianne Faithfull - Easy Come Easy Go
with a host of interesting pitterpattering loops of electro noises. Other than perhaps ‘Cul-De-Sac’ and ‘Don’t Fall Softly’, it doesn’t overtly reference the ’80s and is packed with pop hooks.
The weekly trip to The Body Shop always ended in a fight.
Bored of ’80s musical pastiche yet? Feel the world is saturated with electro-indie bands? Think that a huge carbon footprint could be avoided if they all just turned off their fucking synths and Macs? Bad timing, then, for Filthy Dukes’ debut album, which, broadly speaking, satisfies the above sentiments. However it’s more accomplished than that; Filthy Dukes aren’t just jumping on a bandwagon. Far from it. They are responsible for the Kill ’Em All club night, which helped many a current band find their footing, and encountered some peer pressure to record when their remixes garnered a great deal of interest. And their DJ heritage is clear. The album is skillfully produced, rich, and dense instrumentally,
trying to make a bona fide dance floor filler. Their first single, ‘Tupac Robot Club Rock’, which features on the album, is a bit of a tongue-twizzler, particularly when sung at the pace guest artists Plastic Little do it. And though it is perhaps sparser, Hot Chip’s ‘Ready For The Floor’ has the words AND the music to get people moving and, perhaps more importantly, remembering. There are plenty of very clever, snappy pop songs here though. ‘What Happens Next’ utilises childish, shouty vocals similar to Justice’s ‘D.A.N.C.E’, minus the jovial fun and juxtaposed with crass, razor-sharp adrenaline fuelled sounds, and ‘You Better Stop’ has the stuttering buildit-up-then-rip-down style of a Chemical Brothers ‘Electronic Battle Weapon’ song. But while this electrical storm of a debut might have the thunder, it still seems to be missing the lightning.
Musically deft, lyrically dumb
Feature Music Games Arts Screen
Emmy’s wry girliness is great Live: Emmy the Great @ Plug 19/02/2009 Emma-Lee Moss is a charming stage presence. She strides out in front of the crowd in an unassuming manner, cup of tea in hand, and picks up her guitar. She is a joy to watch; she plays deftly and with great wit, combining quirky observations with upbeat melodies and strong riffs. Her lyrics are both sugary and disarmingly honest: “The sun was in my eyes and my ice-cream lost its flavour/ You were flicking through the pages of pornographic papers.” She juxtaposes sex and love and all things deep and meaningful with neat idiosyncrasies and a good dose of sarcasm. Her voice is both soft and strong, ringing out through Plug and silencing any noisy onlookers. She holds the audience without seeming to try; a major part of her appeal.
This is encapsulated by her apologising for her appearance. “I’m sorry about my hair,” she says, “I don’t know what’s wrong with it today.” Nothing, but it’s endearing nonetheless. It is this innate appeal - a kind of wry girliness - that makes her songs (which do sometimes sound fairly similar) still listenable. There is a sense of autobiography running through her work that could make the listener uncomfortable; like some kind of of snoop reading her diary. But her openness makes you care, and want to listen on. Perhaps this is detrimental to the universality of her work; it is so deeply personal that it can be hard to relate to. There are other flaws too; ‘First Love’, despite its brave concept (alluding to Leonard Cohen and then using the chorus of ‘Hallelujah’ for her own purposes) seems contrived. Again, the injection of random swear words in some songs has the same effect – like she’s thrown them in to seem grown-up.
Unpretentious and sweet; Moss’s set works a charm. But her voice is pure and lovely, the band play beautifully, and any criticism seems a bit mean. Her audience adore her; ‘We Almost Had A Baby’ is met with massive
Bright & quirky
Live: Pharaohs @ the Raynor Lounge 24/02/2009
Live: Esser @ the Arena 23/02/2009
Tutankha-music; playing like an Egyptian. received warmly by the small, but dedicated, audience. There is no denying that Pharaohs are a good band, and a fun band at that, but they offer nothing new to those of us that have witnessed the evolution of the pop-punk genre over the past 10 years. Blending angular guitar riffs and hammering drum beats, Pharaohs’ set would sit comfortably alongside At The Drive In, Enter Shikari and New Found Glory.
Photo: Helen Munro
It may not have been their most successful or awe-inspiring set ever, but these boys from Kent certainly showed the sparse Sheffield crowd that they have a lot to give. Their constant energy and desire to impress is evident, and with an ongoing tour and an album on the way, it seems unlikely that they will be playing to crowds this small for much longer. Natasha Parker
Feral four piece, wild sound Live: Wild Beasts @ The Harley 25/02/2009 Wild Beasts exist in their own world; all mesmerising guitars, funky cowbell-aided drumming, topped off by the brilliant singing styles of singer Hayden and bass player Tom Fleming. Both seem to have decided that
high-pitched is the way forward and they share around the duty of adding almost ethereal vocals to the already pretty special backing. When the two properly combine harmonically - such as on the apt final song ‘Cheerio Chaps, Cheerio Goodbye’ - the effect is in equal parts beautiful and baffling. Their closest modern contemporaries are Foals, both
Friday March 6 2009
Photo: Helen Munro
you want and need to hear more. There is more to this petite songstress than meets the critical eye. Alice Stride
Almost hiero-terrific Energetic four-piece Pharaohs treated the stage as a confessional. Having admitted to their neartragic financial situation (which means they have only recorded one song to date), they swiftly brushed this worry aside with a wave of generosity by offering a free demo to anyone who wanted one. It initially seemed that an excitable atmosphere was something Pharaohs could only dream of, as the feeling that we had stumbled into the bleak rehearsal space of a high school band lingered. What the set gained in intimacy and character it lacked in sound quality. Despite this, and other technical problems, Pharaohs made their short set worthwhile; keeping the static clan of fans happy, their toes tapping enthusiastically in the shadow of a half drunk cider and black. The South East-based band treated the crowd to an array of tracks including ‘Squashed Against the Wall’ and ‘Traffic’ which were
cheering and any negative thoughts about it are washed away with the crowd’s rapture. Emmy quietly reels you in, and when she’s finished you realise
The beautiful and baffling Wild Beasts.
Photo: Adam Harley
in the use of taut instrumental breakdowns and in the odd coordinated body convulsions which accompany each ramping up of tension. Foals could never hope to reach the inventiveness on show here though, with Hayden and Tom constantly swapping instruments and changing musical shapes. They aren’t as dancable though, with only the staccato bass of ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’ able to shake any of the crowd into moving their feet. A shortcoming maybe, but highlights such as ‘Please Sir’, which begins sounding like music written for a carousel, before getting a large section of the crowd singing the ridiculous chorus line - “Take these chips with cheese/As an offering of peace” - make it quite special indeed. Rowan Brunswick
He may be suffering from a serious case of the sniffles but tonight nothing seems able to stop London’s latest craze Ben Esser from delivering his mix of funky odd pop. The ex-Ladyfuzz drummer puts his all into getting the somewhat stationary crowd (awaiting Kaiser Chiefs) into some form of motion, but only manages to muster a mass outburst of foot tapping rather than the joyous upsurge his performance deserves. However this seems unable to stop Esser from energetically delivering his music, as he smoothly slides around the stage, genuinely enjoying having the chance to perform his music to such a big audience. There’s a strong focus on live performance from tonight’s set, with songs such as his previous single ‘Satisfied’ being altered to incorporate brief outbursts of percussive madness, giving
Esser the chance to join in and showcase his drumming talents through the medium of the floor tom. Doing this helps to reflect the ethos of his music, as latest single ‘Work It Out’ and previous releases have all included several remixes by various artists which help to open up his music and stop it from appearing too set in one particular interpretation. Esser’s real strength, however, lies in his fresh outlook on pop music. As he ends the night with the vibrant, electro-funk romp that is ‘Headlock’, it’s clear that he’s more involved with his music than your average pop singersongwriter. When you look past the quirks of his persona, his fashion sense and his hairstyle, there’s still substance left to his performance and music, which is something that so many current pop artists seem to lack. It leaves us wanting more from an artist whose mission is to bring credibility back to pop music. Ross Haymes
Can’t get it up Live: Rise Against @ the Academy 28/02/2009 Chicago punk rockers Rise Against pride themselves on being more than just another band. Their recent tour is staged as if it is somehow going to change the political landscape, recruiting masses of students and workers for a global revolution. Unfortunately, neither their music nor their politics are good enough to achieve world domination. Lead singer Tim McIlrath certainly possesses a great stage presence, and provided more than competent vocals, but his political laments left a sour taste in the mouth. The group’s set consisted of about 15 fast-paced tunes, all of which became blurred into one huge noise as the guitarists linked one song to the next. Only a few tracks actually stood out; the band’s second highest charting single ‘Ready to Fall’
displayed the best of McIlrath’s voice, in which he expresses “Every action has a reaction / We have one planet, one chance.” Hardly the words of a genius, but the crowd loved it nonetheless. ‘Collapse (Post-Amerika)’ was a strong track from the band’s latest album Appeal to Reason. But it simply was not enough to redeem after so many successively bland songs. The crowd only appeared mildly impressed at times, whilst a minority of angst-ridden teenagers went ballistic in the moshpit, giving the sense that Rise Against’s dedicated fans were more attracted to the anger of McIlrath’s shrieking voice than the poignancy of his lyrics. The acoustic encore was refreshing to hear, however, it was all a case of too little, too late. If a band fails to thrill in the opening 20 minutes of their set, then it’s always going to be an uphill struggle to regain attention. Rachel Blundy
Review: Killzone 2
Machinima review: The Leet World
Added to this is a well crafted script with some genuinely catchy lines and the fact loose ends are tied up instead of ‘leaving it to the viewer’s imagination.’ Sure some may think the voice acting can be over the top, but for a project that is just a pastime of the creators this is well worth ten minutes of your life. So instead of sitting in your room all day studying, why not take a break to catch up on all episodes of The Leet World? Find them at www.smoothfewfilms.com. Sam Robinson
Dull racer fails to impress Review: Race Pro
Good bunch of old classics Review: SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection Rose-tinted glasses at the ready, veterans; SEGA have brought a sizeable portion of their back catalogue to current-gen systems in the form of yet another exciting retro compilation. Though the amount of games on offer here is impressive, it should be said that the quality of the offerings is fairly varied. Predictably, Sonic features liberally, and, with the exception of the questionable Sonic 3D Blast, supplies the fast-paced gameplay fans have come to expect. There’s a range of ‘hardcore’ side-scrolling action games, from the difficult and captivating, like Shinobi III, to the difficult and awkward, like the Golden Axe trilogy. Puzzle games haven’t been neglected, either, thanks to the likes of the historic Columns, and more obscure Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. The glut of role-playing games on offer as well greatly lengthen the collection’s lifespan. While some, like Phantasy Star II, may require just a little too much level-grinding for some of today’s players, other exemplary RPGs like Phantasy Star IV and the first two Shining Force games are easy to get into - just steer clear of boring, uninspired effort Phantasy Star III whatever you do. And there’s always the selection
of very-slightly-rubbish-butsomehow -strangely -addictive oddities, such as fantasy-themed top-down shooter Gain Ground and unforgiving roguelike (randomised dungeon crawler) Fatal Labyrinth. The collection comes with some pretty neat unlockables, as well. Master System games, like the first Phantasy Star, as well as arcade games like Space Harrier and Zaxxon, certainly help add a little extra substance to the compilation. The collection’s big draw, of course, is the fact that they’ve upgraded these games to high-definition. That’s right; every game in the collection comes with a ‘smoothing’ function, seemingly to make them acceptable in the present day. In reality, it’s probably a good thing that the smoothing is optional, as in the vast majority of cases it just makes the game incredibly unattractive. Then again, the people who are likely to buy a retro collection in the first place will most probably actually like the classic graphics – and the smoothed-over 16-bit graphics are a poor bid to win over people used to detailed high-definition 3D. All in all, the good games in here far outweigh the bad, and even though they could have easily fitted a few more onto the disc, when you consider the cost of buying all the cartridges, or even just buying them individually on the Wii’s Virtual Console, it’s definitely good value for money. Mike Bentley
congratulations over the car radio system. And you may unlock more, similarly dull races, often on exactly the same tracks. Occasionally there’s an achievement. So to put it simply, it’s best to avoid this game. Maybe try picking up something more fun like Burnout Paradise or Race Driver: GRID, or at the very least save some money. Race Pro just doesn’t deserve your attention.
Friday March 6 2009
The gaming market is currently a very busy place, with big budget releases coming thick and fast. However, Race Pro is the only realistic racing game to have come out in ages, and could have given fans of realistic racing on 360 and PS3 a distraction from Forza 2 and waiting for Gran Turismo 5 respectively. Sadly, it fails on multiple levels. First, the good. Race Pro comes complete with a large choice of licensed cars, all of which have quite nice sound effects. Erm… the first race features all Mini Coopers and you can imagine it’s a traditional English affair. That’s about it. Now the bad. There is an abundance of bad in this game,
from the lacklustre graphics to the unresponsive driving controls, but the main problem is an overwhelming lack of personality. Most racing games have a unique element to their gameplay or design to try and convince people to part with their money, but Race Pro just doesn’t bother. Everything on offer here has been done before, and done better. The gameplay faults extend beyond mere driving mechanics though. The AI racers seem to be on predetermined driving routes, and don’t take too kindly to contact. So much as nudging another car sends you into a wild spin or just slows you down, and either way the computer car carries on like nothing has happened. For a game which advertises realism, this is a very poor effort. Assuming that you manage to win a race though, your reward is a monotonous little message of
in a neat way: it requires you to hold the pad steady or the aim will shake about. The Sixaxis is used in other ways throughout the game also (when planting an explosive charge for example), but in the end it just feels like these are gimmicky addons and don’t really add much to the gameplay. Killzone 2 is a conventional shooter and as such has its share of problems. The only things unconventional about it are the incredible visuals. But these days it takes more than jaw-dropping graphics to join the ranks of the shoot-em-up elite. It looks like Halo, Gears and CoD are still looking for their fourth team member.
A good series is hard to come by on any format. Some lost the plot with Lost after the pilot episode; apparently polar bears living on a tropical island are confusing. One machinima series that stands out of the crowd - for me at least - would have to be The Leet World. The concept is simple. Four terrorists and four counter terrorists are part of a reality TV show living in a house (in game map cs_militia).
As with any reality show there’s a mix of gaming stereotypes from the frat bro to the noob without a microphone. Currently it’s in second series covering a variety of different stories including hax addictions, killer siblings and backstabbings; the staple of any reality show. What makes this stand out from other pieces of machinima and other TV series is that it is well made. The series has a direction instead of being overfilled with gaming clichés, excessive use of pwn and - the Marmite of gaming - Halo.
As with the original Killzone, the Helghast are the real stars of this game. But, unlike the original game, they actually act like soldiers. They take cover, they fire over the top of this cover without exposing themselves, they flank you, they retreat to safer positions when you storm at them. In short, the artificial intelligence is, for once, intelligent. Unfortunately, not even this can save the game from being what it is. And that is: average. The controls feel clunky and the movement is sluggish. You can sprint by holding down the left joystick but you can’t turn fast enough to make good use of this move. Aiming is particularly unpleasant. Except when you use the sniper rifle which uses the Sixaxis sensors
Leet World, yeah
Now you’re on the offensive, but sadly it’s too much like the original.
It’s not a Halo killer. There. That’s what you’re reading this to find out, right? It doesn’t beat Halo. It doesn’t beat Gears of War. It certainly doesn’t beat Call of Duty 4. Oh, it takes a fair stab at it, let that be said. But it doesn’t pull it off, I’m afraid. OK, so the plot. Well, it’s a sequel. Not one of those clever sequels that creates a completely different story. It just recycles the first story by putting it in reverse. In the original your homeworld is being invaded by the nasty Helghast. They are humans who colonised another world and have since evolved to cope with the harshness of their new environment (they put on gas masks and went bald). In Killzone 2 it’s your turn to go on the offensive, invading the Helghan home planet with your elite squad of soldiers. You are called Alpha team. The land of the Helghast is beautifully realised. Guerrilla Games studios have been under intense pressure to release a title that lives up to the stunning visuals of the 2005 trailer they showed at E3. They have delivered on this promise at least. Dust swirls about flying ships and flags flap realistically in the fierce Helghan wind. Details like this and touches like motion blur and film grain add to the general polish of the game’s graphical excellence.
The camera jerks wildly, the plot is contrived and the cast appears largely wooden. No this isn’t the latest summer blockbuster, the writer is in fact probably only just out of his tweens and the cast is made up of characters from a videogame. This is machinima, a fusion of the words machine and cinema, a popular form of expression for anyone with too much time on their hands. The concept is to create a video using a computer game; there are few titles that are untouched by this craze. In the beginning this was a bunch of Quake videos which allowed players to showcase their fragging skills (and accurately portray how little social life they have in the process) or speedrun videos which show gamers finishing platformers in less time than it takes to say: “It’s a me, Mario!”. The popularity of this early machinima led to the coining of the phrase itself with the advent of machinima.com, a Mecca for those involved in the medium. Machinima can be more complex, with the most popular genre portrayed by far being comedy; Rooster Teeth Productions’ series Red vs. Blue, a comedy set in and made via the game Halo: Combat Evolved represents one of the successful examples. Viewers could not get enough of the lives of red and blue soldiers in a box canyon which they have little or no reason to fight over. So much so that in 2004 the Wall Street Journal estimated its weekly viewership at almost
a million users. This success led to Rooster Teeth now being in close contact with Microsoft and the developers of Halo, Bungie Studios, a relationship that even effected the development of Halo 2 and 3 so that they were made with machinima in mind, with Halo 3 boasting a feature for players to record, save and share online matches. Many are of the quality originally mentioned in this article; however, there is the odd diamond among the rough. One cannot deny that the accessibility and simplicity of producing machinima is attractive and certainly has given power to the people. Machinima has now also had mainstream success with BBC show Time Commanders which used the Rome: Total War engine, as well as the Emmy Award winning South Park episode ‘Make love not Warcraft’. One cannot help but be optimistic for machinima to be an avenue for gamer culture to enter the mainstream in the future - even if some of it is a bit rubbish.
Machiwhat? Great visuals but nothing special
the footage of recent conflicts such as in Iraq to mind. We were suddenly made to realise how our thirst for ‘the truth’ has such a strong and damaging effect on the civilians involved in the disputes we are so desperate to resolve. The challenging script - with only two characters, very little action and a large amount of heavy dialogue - allowed the actors to excel in making the text lively and believable. The character of Andrei highlighted the intrusion and distress of western journalism on a society already in turmoil. Dean Anthony Meehan portrayed a man extremely hostile towards journalists and strangers, initially seeming cold and unfriendly. However, as the play progressed, the actor subtly revealed elements of his character’s personal life, allowing us to sympathise with Andrei’s shocking story of a journalist who found him injured, but chose to attempt an interview with him rather than help.
Moving indictment of a thirst for truth
Little action and heavy dialogue allowed the two actors to excel
Meehan and Stride as Andrei and Sophie, and war-torn Bosnia.
Review: suTCo - Not Spain Deeply moving and extremely insightful, this successful production of Sanger’s Not Spain
Photos: Krissy Meyer; Getty Images
portrayed the hardships of war, and western cultures’ perceptions (or misconceptions) of it. Set in a fictional region but heavily based on the events in the Balkans in the 1990s, this play was flexible, showing relevance to many contemporary issues.
The director’s choice of focusing heavily on western journalists in foreign countries - through the repeated sound and lighting effects of flashing cameras - was effective in putting the audience through the discomfort of this ordeal as it immediately brought
Meehan showed us how the character had to face his life bravely with no time for self-pity. Andrei is dishonest and secretive throughout the play, but the actor skilfully revealed this to be a harsh result of war. We do not dislike him; we understand his motives, for survival and for his family. This dishonesty does, however, cause us to feel great sympathy for Sophie, the ignorant journalist who believes her writing will be able to change and help the lives of the people around her. Alice Stride’s ambitious and
headstrong portrayal allowed moments of anguish to seep through the surface, showing the audience the view they themselves may have felt. This suddenly seems childish and fanciful when put in the context of Andrei’s life. Clearly out of her depth, frequently hurt and confused by Andrei’s dishonesty, Stride showed a character we can all relate to, thus reconsidering our own preconceptions. Staged ‘in-the-round’, the production had a sense throughout of isolation, claustrophobic surroundings (mainly due to the cluttered set) and constant surveillance, three themes that proved to be vital to the text. However, there were a few problems which hindered a very strong performance; the clutter seemed excessive, restricting the actors, as well as the characters they were playing. There were also some issues with the direction as the actors did not pay equal attention to each area of the audience, causing some to miss very strong moments. The effects of the cameras and the bomb attack were very impressive and chilling, the intense noise moving through the auditorium leaving the audience in astonishment. Unfortunately the length of these effects was a little gratuitous, dragging out to lose the impact of shock. Despite these problems, the entire cast and crew are to be applauded for their great achievement with the difficult script. The intriguing characters, the presence of war and devastation and the focus of western journalism and different perceptions of conflict made a highly enjoyable and hard-hitting piece. Emily Hansed
A picture of you? Not really Striped Pyjamas changed my life
Friday March 6 2009
Review: A Picture of You? @ Graves Gallery
The Graves Gallery’s new exhibition claims to explore British identity in the age of Facebook and the individual. On entering the gallery the room looks sparse and, although when studied in more detail some exhibits are thought-provoking, the collection does not live up to its description, focusing on nationhood rather than an age of individually created identity. The exhibits range from the spectacular to the bizarre; ‘The Horse Impressionists’, a video piece by Lucy Gunning, shows various women performing horse noises and their understandably awkward smiles afterwards. This seems a tenuous link to the theme; although their ability to imitate equine creatures is quite uncanny, not even the focus on their body language suggests an insight into their identity. The piece featured on the exhibition’s publicity is the most poignant, arresting, and
A reflection of you? refreshingly colourful: a large model of the postage stamp head of the Queen created from plastic beads, fake flowers, plastic toys and other disposable consumer
items. The piece is clever; at first glance the colours seem grand, beautiful and perhaps even costly, but upon closer inspection what we see is the remnant of a consumer culture coming together with the traditional image of royalty to create a disturbing image of British identity. Geographic location and its influence upon identity is explored perhaps most widely in the exhibition; Layla Curtis’s skewed maps of the British isles and Mariele Neudecker’s personalised maps - created by asking a variety of people to draw a world map from memory - are vaguely interesting. The exhibition also has an interactive section, inviting visitors to list what forms their identity and adding their answers to an electronic word cloud, or putting them on the wall. This, perhaps, is the most active engagement with the theme of identity. Overall the exhibition is stimulating, but does not seem to explore identity at great depth; it merely hints towards it with a strange assortment of pieces. Anna Macnaughton
Testimonial Never has the train journey from London to Sheffield gone so fast. Never have I been so oblivious to the screaming children or over-loud phone conversations around me. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a book you simply cannot put down. Literally. You do not even really put it down when you finish it, but around two days later. It haunts you. One of the most interesting things about this novel is the perspective from which it is written. I have read many pieces of Holocaust literature, but all of them have been from the perspective of a Holocaust victim. Bruno lives on the other side of the fence. This position, teamed with the naïvete and innocence of youth, means the book gives a remarkably unbiased account of such a horrific event. It is Bruno’s fate that haunted me, though, and this is because Bruno was such a relatable
child. It is a true crossover novel; the child reader will see the sibling rivalry and the unfair treatment he too suffers from, while the adult will see memories of their own youth or characteristics Bruno shares with their own children or siblings. This book is capable of touching anyone. Frederica Dixon
‘Everyone has masks; mine are just more obvious’
Mark Mackay: Illustrator
approach to artistry that gives away the very minimum of detail. As Mark’s work-in-progress images testify, it eradicates the woollier, free-flowing sketch-work with which he starts, to present a highly refined, polished image to the public. I can’t help feeling that this rather echoes his self-control, and insistence on anonymity. When I tentatively suggest this observation, Mark betrays amusement and, surprisingly, something that seems to approach relief. He declines to argue against the point. “I suppose I am creating a persona,” he admits. “Everyone has masks; mine are just more obvious than others.” Encouraged, I ask whether he ever feels any inclination to be more expressive in his work. “I do have a sketchpad full of doodles and drafts that’ll never see the light of day,” he responds. “When I’m drawing on my own, and don’t have to show my work to anyone, it’s less polished – much more free-flowing. I work from imagination; I’m not constrained by reality.” As is so often the case, I
begin to suspect that Mark’s standoffishness has much to do with self-doubt, although he rather jokily insists it’s self-deprecation. “I feel my illustrations for the paper lack in personality. Kate [Carson, another contributor]’s have much more. I tend to value the technical over the emotional. “My style in the paper is more regimented: more powerful, almost fascist. I often put too much thought into it, spend too much time on one line when it’s the overall picture than matters. I overanalyse my work; there’s a certain aesthetic there. It’s polished – although it’s not a skill I’d say I’ve perfected.” There’s that ‘deprecation’ again. Although still reticent, Mark seems far more comfortable speaking about his achievements now, although I’m acutely aware that we appear to be focusing on his dissatisfaction with them. “No, I’m never really pleased with my work,” Mark tells me. “But I don’t think anybody is.” Perhaps that may come down to its guardedness. “Perhaps,” Mark concedes. ‘I suppose there
Fear and pity; pity and fear
The Robin Man (Philip Edwards 1907 - 2007) by Sarah Thomasin
Interview: Hannah Kirby
Though he was never anything but ancient To my young eyes, He had been, once, joint youngest. I thought that his old bones had always creaked As, every day, across the lawn he hobbled To catch the sun. Slowly, his large and wrinkled hand unfolded Revealing crumbs of lurid orange cheese And smiling, silently, he’d hold it out. And birds would come. I thought that he was magic; A cunning man, with powers To bend the whole of nature to his will. His eyes, though, danced and sparkled like a child’s To see his robins. I longed to know the secret; Vainly chased after rabbits, grabbed at frogs Which, panicking, slipped wetly from my hands As he, old wizard, charmed the birds and foxes By being still. His wisdom was: he spread his hands wide open And when the life he held wanted to leave him, He let it fly.
Mickey’s development. The concept of opposition that the play depends upon was delivered largely by a setting that aptly presented both unity and division. The two brothers’ houses were based on either side of the stage with the majority of the action played out in the centre, allowing for authentic Scouse accents and ‘Everton’ football graffiti to function as contrast alongside the Lyons’ wealth, and their extravagant home. The high, black windows of the background scenery enabled the narrator to haunt the backdrop as the ever present ghost, intermittently emerging to remind the women that “the Devil has got your number”, with a vocal range and powerful presence to easily convey the sense of disturbance. I left the Lyceum feeling both saddened and uplifted. Blood Brothers makes you laugh, cry, and wish for more; in my eyes, it was almost entirely faultless. I cannot wait to experience it on tour once again.
I’ll start showing them, but I’m not sure where I’d go after uni, or if there’d be any platform for them.” Seizing my moment I suggest this page, but Mark declined the offer.
Friday March 6 2009
Blood Brothers carries you on a turbulent emotional journey towards a stunning climatic twist of tragic fate. It tells of twin brothers separated at birth and the desperate attempts of the mothers to keep them apart, for fear of foretold dire consequences. It delivers on every level as a poignant and endearing portrayal of both destructive relationships and also dysfunctional families, set to appropriate musical numbers. Bill Kenwright’s production is perfectly cast. Maureen Nolan seemed almost destined to be Mrs. Johnstone, effortlessly making us believe her every word as she stepped from the shadows of her sisters as predecessors to make the role her own. She allowed us to both pity and judge her for her actions, and her vocals and passionate delivery carried the final scene, bringing a tear to the eye of many of the audience.
The ability of the two male leads to portray characters growing from boyhood to their late twenties on stage was quite astounding. Sean Jones’ Mickey in particular was both a child whose endearing games we wished to join, and a violent adult whose presence we grew to fear. He was utterly convincing at every stage of
is a part of me that does want to get the imaginative stuff out in the open, but I’d be worried about how people might perceive it. “I’d need more confidence in them, to let people see the private sketches. Hopefully in the future
Review: Blood Brothers @ The Lyceum
Mark’s mask – which, in its literal form, always hides his face in his profile photographs and selfportraits – figuratively hardly slips during our discussion. The first impression I get, as we begin to talk, is of a chap guarding himself rather too closely, and this impression extends to his ‘art’. “I don’t see myself as an artist,” Mark tells me, “but as a professional illustrator”. A Journalism student, Mark regularly illustrates for Fuse and Forge Press, and seems to find the structure of working to a brief reassuring. Although his talent is undeniable, he seems to have had trouble conforming to artistic expectations. “I’ve been drawing forever,” he says, “up to A Level, but Art was the lowest mark I got. I suppose I just lost enthusiasm; I always left everything to the last minute. ‘Fine Art’ didn’t feel relevant to my style.” This style, as readers may have recognized in Mark’s regular contributions to the paper, owes more to graphic novels and comic books. “The people by whom I’m influenced tend to be graphic artists: Frank Quitely (who illustrates All Star Superman) and, to a lesser extent, Sin City’s Frank Miller. It’s delicate, stripped back”; a minimalist, utilitarian
Feature Music Games Arts Screen
Stop, look & listen Feature: Hush In this depraved and licentious age of sexual deviance and Jodie Marsh, it can be difficult to know which way to look when in search of a bit of moral guidance. Some folk might find themselves leaning towards their Good Book of choice; others might take advice from a wise elder. A horror film is perhaps one of the least expected sources for a morality fix. However, Colin Pons, co-producer of Hush, an energetic thriller-chiller filmed and set in Sheffield, claims this movie subverts the rules and does just that, reminding us all about wholesome crusty roll and broth values: “The tagline that we’ve got is ‘How far would you go for the one that you love?’ and I suppose it is that kind of fear that you have of really being pushed to the edge of all of your abilities in order to protect something that you really love. “So if you sit there and think about it now: I’ve got your baby sister and I’m going to do something terrible, what would you do to actually protect that person?
Zakes gets a glimpse of a woman chained up and bloody “So although it is a thriller a lot of it is about good values as well, about how far you’d actually go to protect the things that you really care about.” Hush begins with textbook drudgery. Protagonist Zakes (William Ash) has a job putting up posters in service station toilets and is midway through a shift on the A1. His girlfriend Beth (Christine Bottomley) is asleep in the passenger seat. After missing a turning and cutting up a white truck, an angry cat and mouse chase ensues and Zakes gets a glimpse of a woman chained up and bloody in the back of the truck. After he does little to try and help the distressed captive that he has seen, his girlfriend accuses him of cowardice and they argue at a service station. Then she goes missing. As Colin explains, Zakes’ inaction after witnessing such a horrifying sight is one of the main
Zakes (William Ash) has to go through torment and torture to try and save the girl he loves. plot thrusts. “Part of it is about the walk-onby society because when the young couple first see somebody in the back of the van that they think is bound up, the bloke decides to carry on with his journey and not do anything about it. “We have a society at the moment, if you’re walking down the street on a Friday night when people have been drinking a bit and somebody falls over and they’re bleeding, what do you do? Do you stop and offer them help or pretend you haven’t seen it? “It stems from those tiny decisions that we make every day and in this particular instance it becomes, for Zakes, a huge decision and his girlfriend, Beth, is put in danger. It’s a very moral story.” Hush is a collaboration between Colin’s horror film production company, Fear Factory, and
Friday March 6 2009
2 for 1 offer
Like the sound of Hush? Then we have a very special offer for you, courtesy of our friends at the Showroom Cinema. C u t out this coupon, take it a l o n g to the Showroom on any Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday between Friday, March 13, the day the film is released, and Thursday, March 26, and you can have two student tickets for the price of
one. That’s two tickets for £4.30 for an evening viewing or £3.70 for a matinee showing, for those a little too scared to see it after dark. A couple of rules you must observe though: this offer is subject to availability, is only valid for the dates specified, and is only redeemable with this voucher and valid NUS cards for you and whichever friend you choose to take along with you.
Sheffield based Warp X, who specialise in making genre films with a twist. On a relatively low budget of a million pounds, it is easy to see from the intense trailer that the crew were not setting themselves an easy task.
What do you do? Stop and help or pretend you haven’t seen it? “It was a fantastic challenge,” Colin confessed to me. “Because it’s a very, very ambitious project. We spent four weeks shooting nights in a British summer so it was raining all the time and to get that screen quality is a big ask. “I think perhaps less ambitious people would have thrown their
hands up and said you couldn’t do it but through all of us working at the peak of our abilities, through the director (Mark Tonderai) being very dedicated and very lateral in his ways of thinking about things, what you actually get is a film that really does sizzle with that energy on the screen. “The performance that Will gives as Zakes is absolutely fantastic; all the cast are very much geed up for it because it’s that type of film. If we were making a sedate film about old folks in a home perhaps you wouldn’t try and do it that way but we were making a film about an adrenaline fuelled chase up the M1 so...” The locality of the setting means that Sheffield residents may well be entitled to a little added terror as they drive home from the Showroom and Colin says that the production team were keen to use realism as a scare tactic.
“I think a lot of it is, ‘Oh shit, this could happen to me.’ I always like films where it’s a bad day that gets worse for the key cast and, poor old Will, he’s just trying to get home. “He’s been on a long shift, he’s got two more service stations to go and then he sees this. He decides to do nothing about it and what happens? His day goes apeshit. And I won’t give anything away but he ends up having to put himself through quite a lot of psychological and physical endeavour and torture. He really has to try hard to save the girl that he loves. It costs him dearly.” And that isn’t all. Pons also reveals to me that lead actor, Will Ash, is “pretty damn sexy.” Temptation and moral lessons? Throw in a serpent and you’ve got yourself a Sheffield epic. Natasha Lewis
Let there be fright Lost Film: Dark City (1998) Dark City is an intelligent thriller which combines classic film noir with twisted sci-fi to create a film which deserves to be remembered. I’ll admit that the only reason I first watched this film was because of the presence of Richard O’Brien, but its intriguing plot and creepy atmosphere drew me in immediately. Rufus Sewell plays the fantastic part of John Murdoch, a man who wakes up in a hotel room with no memory and a dead woman on the floor. John is then attacked by the Strangers; menacing beings who are not quite human. The viewer is then taken
through a strange series of events, including an appearance from John Bluthal (otherwise known as Frank from The Vicar of Dibley) in a gruff, gravelly-voiced role that will leave you doubting the reliability of your own retinas. Paranoia, double-dealing and mysteriously changing objects follow, as a sinister conspiracy is revealed, leading to a brilliantly innovative twist.
Paranoia and double-dealing follow as a sinister conspiracy unfolds There is so much that makes this film worth seeing. It is notorious in that many fans
advise that it be watched on mute until Kiefer Sutherland (playing a wonderfully nervy, duplicitous role) first appears, as the production company felt that the twist was too complex and insisted that it be made clearer earlier in the film. It is visually stunning, particularly in a huge-scale scene in which the entire city transforms; and in the blurred, jerky flashback scenes, which are fantastically unnerving. And Richard O’Brien did not disappoint me as Mr. Hand, one of the more sinister of the Strangers. Dark City is an amazingly original, inventive film, full of intrigue and excitement, and which should be far better-known than it is. Emily Cresswell
Review: The International
but he is not a perfect action hero. He can be thwarted, as happens in the first few scenes, by the wingmirror of a lorry of all things. Such an imperfect character is likeable, believable (most of the time), and one which could easily be developed in future adventures.
Games Arts Screen
Unable to face his family, he leaves the house with suit and briefcase A job interview in which Ryuhei is coerced into karaoke singing for an appointment is darkly humorous but tragic. It is an intimate, at times claustrophobic, portrait of a family drifting apart through
lack of communication, and the depictions of the neglected mother and rebellious younger son are engaging and elegantly delivered. The older son’s story, the most politically charged of the four, sees him enlist in the American army, engaging with Japan’s relationship with America and the country’s own foreign policy. There are often moments of tension, and Kurosawa’s view of modern Japan is a bleak one. The film is downbeat until the very end, when hope of a new start for the family is offered. Whilst this positive ending may offer some relief, it does not fit well with the tone of the film, and is a weakness in Tokyo Sonata. Despite this, Kurosawa’s venture into the realm of family drama is a well-judged and thought provoking piece of film-making. Chris Gallagher
DVD Review: Choke
Ryuhei consoles himself with a credit crunch brunch.
While the combination of these different plot threads may sound confusing, they are presented in a coherent manner which also avoids over-simplifying them. The anecdotal style of the narrative supports this by separating out these elements
In that role, Rockwell performs well, managing to inject his character with pathos and likeability, rather than the bitter arrogance a less balanced portrayal may have created. All of the cast impress, with the only weak link being Anjelica Huston, who creates an effective ailing mother for Vincent but unfortunately does not convince as both a loving mother and conartist in the flashbacks. Further to this, the film is marred slightly by a number of flaws which are hard to ignore. While it is admirable that such a faithful adaptation of the book has been attempted, it unfortunately leads to the film becoming overstuffed with ideas. With less screen time and consideration given to the more complicated sub-plots, Victor’s choices often seemed forced by the movement of the plot rather than by his own consideration. By linking this film so closely to Fight Club, the makers run the risk of comparison between the two, and unfortunately for them Choke is the inferior film. On the other hand, maybe it is better to have a film with too many ideas rather than none at all, and with such punchy story-telling the overall effect is a satisfying experience. Matt Smith
He intentionally chokes on his food and awaits rescue from the rich
By linking this film with Fight Club the makers run the risk of comparison
Friday March 6 2009
Being the second film based on a novel by Fight Club writer Chuck Palahniuk should give this film a real sense of pedigree. Its makers certainly thought so, and based on the success of Fight Club, had optioned this novel before it was even published. Director Clark Gregg is clearly not ashamed of that heritage and from the opening narration the film feels like a stylistic brother to the earlier film. The plot follows a few months in the life of Vincent (Sam Rockwell), who works a dead end job at a historical re-enactment museum, and spends his evenings either at Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings or breaking the sobriety agreement of his membership. Vincent also has to pay care home fees for his mother who is slowly succumbing to dementia. Unable to afford those fees, he creates an elaborate con routine to acquire the money. Dining at expensive restaurants, he fakes choking upon his food and waits for one of the rich clientèle to rescue him. Afterwards he relies upon their continuing kindness and tells them various tales appealing to them for financial aid.
and making sure each one is given enough time to be explicit. The film also manages to overcome the less attractive aspects of Victor’s character by incorporating a series of flashbacks to explain what has led Victor to his current situation.
Tokyo Sonata marks the start of a season of ‘Reality Fiction’ at the Showroom Cinema; a programme of six Japanese films, past and present, which are inspired by real-life events. Kurosawa has been previously best-known to Western audiences for Cure and Kairo (Pulse), both critically acclaimed existential horror films. Tokyo Sonata is a completely new direction for the director, but this family drama is a successful experiment. Husband and father-of-two Ryuhei Sasaki is fired from his comfortable corporate job to be replaced by a cheaper Chinese workforce. Unable to face his family, he leaves the house with suit and
briefcase each morning for the job centre, collecting midday handouts for the unemployed. There is a particular poignancy to the shots of the dispossessed worker queuing outside the job centre, scenes which have become increasingly familiar in the deteriorating economic climate between filming and release.
popular enemy. A review, however, is no place to examine the intricacies of such a dangerous banking system, but to offer judgement on the film itself. To that end, let’s hope the probable sequel will be just as enjoyable. Ashley Scrace
Man on a mission: Clive Owen gives Daniel Craig a run for his money in the steely glare department.
Turning Japanese Review: Tokyo Sonata
Naomi Watts gives a great performance as the intellectually hardened sidekick who will stop at nothing to get to the truth. Again, the plausibility of the plot may be called into question though. It seems that in the current climate ‘evil’ bankers are an overly easy target and an undoubtedly
We generally like to think of a banker as someone respectable; someone suited, booted, and intelligent, but with the ability to make money and, as the economy currently shows, even screw up. The bankers in The International are made of far greater material. They apparently make minimal errors, all drive black Audis, and are willing to kill if something does not go their way. Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is an agent for Interpol who, for years prior to the beginning of the film, has been trying to bring down a Luxembourg-based banking organisation, the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC), which has participated in illegal arms trading, warfare and murder. Following the death of his partner in Berlin, Salinger becomes determined to unravel the mysteries of the bank and their baffling interests in defence weaponry. Salinger is joined in his fight for truth by Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), a successful district attorney from New York who, for patchy reasons, shares Salinger’s ambitions in destroying the bank. But the head of the bank, Wilhelm Wexler (Armin MullerStahl), is wary of Salinger and does all he can to stop him infiltrating the bank and exposing its illicit
ambitions. Ultimately, the relatively straightforward story - no matter how plausible - takes the characters to some stunning locations: Berlin, Milan and Istanbul to name a few. How does the story link with such diverse locations? It doesn’t matter; so long as everything looks pretty, who really cares? Why the massive climactic gun-fight in the Guggenheim in New York? Come prepared to leave plausibility at the door because it’s stunningly tense. And why do all the enemies wear similar uniforms? Well, noone wants to think of them as having lives and loving families when they’re blatantly only there to get shot. The film is simple and doesn’t make any real effort to subvert the norm so well parodied in the Austin Powers series, yet it is not quite so linear as one might assume. There is a far greater issue underneath all the jet-setting action from hard-man Owen and feisty blonde Watts. Director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) is not only concerned with creating a competent thriller, but he also addresses the banking system and how companies of such financial muscle can transcend national borders in terms of their power and influence, and how the consequences of such attributes can also send shockwaves throughout the world. Clive Owen does play a rather aggressive agent who could give James Bond a run for his money,
Badass bankers beware
Friday March 6 - Thursday March 19 2009
The Dodgems @ Plug; 7pm; £5
Imelda May @ Plug; 7pm; £10 The Irish singer with a ’50s flair saw her public awareness soar after an appearance on Jools Holland’s TV show. Her rockability and blues sound has many admirers and her album, Love Tattoo, has gone gold in her native country.
Pandapop: Little Glitches + The Muscle Club + The Crookes @ The Stock Room; 8pm; £3 Three bands, one Welsh and the rest from the city, free cakes, sweets and mix CDs, and Pandapop DJs to follow. What else are you going to do on a Sunday night?
Give It A Go: Quick Read @ The Dales; 5pm; £1.50 The Between the Pages Book Club are hosting something of a taster session. Join them to read a Franz Kafka short story then discuss with the rest of the group afterwards.
Tuesday Club: Goth-Trad @ Fusion & Foundry; 10.30pm; £4adv
Crystal Antlers @ The Harley; 8pm; £4adv Crystal Antlers are out on a relentless touring schedule. They’re from Long Beach, California; Pitchfork loved their EP; and their percussionist is called Sexual Chocolate. If that’s not enough to get you out, nothing will be.
Fuzz Club: Playdoe @ Fusion & Foundry; 10.30pm; £4adv This is the sound of electronic hip-hop from South Africa. Playdoe are two guys who make loud, brash electroclash which is fit to keep the kids moving up, down, and all around.
Why The Whales Came @ Lyceum; 7pm; £9 £15
Charged @ DQ; 10:30pm; £3 Dance to house music into the early hours of Monday morning and let the weekend last a little bit longer. Funk Junkies host and provide all the tunes.
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex @ SU Auditorium; 7:30pm; £1.80
Arts-Science Encounter: How To Be Creative @ Showroom; 7pm; free The first in a series of talks bringing together researchers from across the University and recognised people from the worlds of arts and science. This week is an exploration into what generates creativity.
Most people know of The Dodgems for one thing: former member Nick O’Malley left to replace Andy Nicholson in Arctic Monkeys. But the Sheffield four piece do have their own local following and can rock for themselves. Offbeat - The Cure special @ Raynor Lounge; 9pm; £3 The long-standing specialist indie night narrows in playlist a little bit further with an evening focused on Robert Smith et al. One for all you Lovecats out there.
DVD release: Generation Kill; £39.99
Electric Six @ O2 Academy; 7pm; £10 From the team behind the critically acclaimed series The Wire comes another HBO television miniseries based on the book by Rolling Stone journalist Evan Wright that chronicles first hand the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Last chance to see this play about the childhood mysteries and adventures of Gracie and her friend Daniel, set on the Isles of Scilly.
Music from Japanese dubstep/electronica producer Goth-Trad. His live sets incorporate samplers, keyboards, and even self-made instruments. In the UK, fans include Mary Anne Hobbs, Digital Mystykz and Kode9, who describes Goth-Trad as a “one-man army”.
Urban Mandala @ Access Space; 11am 7pm; free
Oxjam @ The Redhouse; 7:30pm; £3 “Make music - raise money - end poverty.” That’s not a bad policy and for your three English pounds you get to see four bands. Not a lot to complain about really.
The story of Ulrike Meinhof, a left-wing journalist, and Andreas Baader, a gang leader, who, between them, founded the West German group the Red Army Faction, or the Baader-Meinhof Group.
Give It A Go: Life Drawing @ Octagon Meeting Room 1; 6pm; £4 Workshop suitable for all abilities run by the Life Drawing Society. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Game release: Empire: Total War Special Forces Edition; £44.99; PC This is the first game in the Total War franchise with 3D naval combat, allowing gamers to take control of whole fleets or single ships.
Mike Howe has manipulated photos of Sheffield’s urban environment into intriguing textures and designs using the circular forms of manalas.
Film Release: Watchmen @ Odeon & Cineworld; £4.60 - £5.10 The cult graphic tale, set in an alternative ’80s where Cold War tensions are still paramount, has finally made it to screen with the makers of 300 at the helm.
Sofire Rosa’s Evening of Burlesque @ Raynor Lounge; 7:30pm; £4.50adv Kiss Me Deadly lingerie and The Bellydance Society are putting on the University’s first ever burlesque night. Expect them to entertain and tease with 1940s Hollywood style.
The Detroit band, made famous with the singles ‘Danger! High Voltage’ and ‘Gay Bar’, have managed to forge a career with their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Support comes from Tragedy, an all metal tribute to the Bee Gees.
Nigel Mphisa @ Bungalows and Bears; 8pm; free Enjoy some chilled out electro, dub, liquid drum & bass, and leftfield hip-hop as Nigel Mphisa & Colv The Read guest this week with their drum machine.
Red Light Company @ Leadmill; 7pm; £6 A mish-mash of musicians from across the globe who had to overcome immigration officers to come together as a band. They’re out on tour with a debut album and have support from Grammatics.
Howling Bells @ Plug; 7pm; £8adv
Cherry Red Alldayer @ The Redhouse; 4pm; £3 A fundraiser in aid of Sheffield children’s hospital. With music from Gareth Hope, Gi Gi, Jonathan Payne, Slowburn, Ben Lloyd, Marc Miranda Kitchen Band, James Cutts, and Bob George Saull.
University Challenge auditions @ SU Auditorium; 5pm; free Think you’re as talented as Trimble? Well prove it then. Auditions are open to anyone but a high IQ helps.
Tuesday Club @ Fusion & Foundry; 10.30pm; £4adv Acts for the night have yet to be confirmed, but with Tuesday Club you can always expect the best in hip-hop, dubstep and drum and bass.
The Rumble Strips @ Plug; 7:30pm; £8
Fuzz Club: Art Brut @ Fusion & Foundry; 10pm; £5adv The birthday of Fuzz couldn’t be celebrated without this band. They have played so many times, even the band have lost count. Barringtone (Barry Dobbin of Clor’s new band) offer support.
Cuba Libre @ Fusion & Foundry; 11pm; £9adv Stanton Warriors go head-to-head with Plump DJs in the main room. If that isn’t enough, the Cuban Brothers are on in Fusion. That’s a monster line up for a massive night out. Club Pony @ DQ; 10pm; £5adv
Having played the infamous club night as DJs, Filthy Dukes are back as a live band to rock the Club Pony dance floor with tracks from their forthcoming album. Residents Run Hide Survive will be on hand to polish the night off.
The lofty, charming sounds of the Australian band can be heard from Plug. Having been away for a considerable amount of time, they are back with a new album, Radio Wars. The Rifles @ Leadmill; 7pm; £12 A rescheduled gig from November when they had to cancel due to illness. If you already have a ticket from last year, head on down as it’s still valid. And if you don’t, there are still some available; only if you like The Rifles of course. Top Gun @ Showroom; 4pm; £3.70 An ’80s action and buddy movie classic about comradeship and tragedy with Tom Cruise. But more importantly, it’s about fighter jets, volleyball, and suggestions of homoerotica.
Stand By Me @ SU Auditorium; 7:30pm; £1.80
Navvy @ The Harley; 8pm; free Boy-girl garage-rock from Sheffield’s very best ’70s throwbacks. Plus some weird and wonderful noise-making from labelmates Gyratory System, a solo set from James Goldthorpe from Smokers Die Younger, and Pygmy Globetrotters. Run Hide Survive’s Disco Distraction @ Bungalows and Bears; 8pm; free
The coming of age film in which a young River Phoenix launched his short-lived career. Sheffield Student Comedy Festival @ Union; £6 (£10 for weekend ticket) The last day of the festival, which started on Friday. Showcasing the best in student comedy and performance whilst raising money for Sheffield Mind, it’s well worth checking out at least one night of the event.
Mike and Luke Runhide indulges themselves (and hopefully some other people) by playing disco, krautrock, rare pop, electro funk and lazer soul, probably whilst eating pies. It’s a lot.
Hush @ Showroom; 8:25pm; £3 Their first headline tour since 2007, the boys are out hoping to promote their second album, a follow-up to the rather lovely Girls and Weather.
A British horror film from local producers Warp and the Fear Factory. Zakes and Beth are on their way home when a sudden glimpse into the back of a lorry reveals something shocking. When Beth disappears, Zakes has to track down the lorry in a thrilling game of cat and mouse. Shizzle @ The Harley; 10pm; free Thae Harley have a late license on a Tuesday and the residents will be spinning some hip-hop, so why not use it as a pre- and/or post-bar for Tuesday Club?
Waltz With Bashir @ SU Auditorium; 7:30pm; £1.80 Missed out on the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film despite being the favourite. Harrowing, stylish and sophisticated, this is unlike any other documentary or animation. A Picture of You? Identity in Contemporary British Art @ Graves Gallery; 10am-5pm; free The first in a series of exhibitions devoted to the exploration of identity and nationality through British art, with works from leading British artists including Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing and Mona Hatoum.
Rob Brydon @ City Hall; 7:30pm; £18.50
The Welsh comic has become an hugely intergral part of British comedy over the last few years. Marion & Geoff, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and Gavin & Stacy are just some of his credits, and now he’s showing off some brand new standup comedy. Yo Majesty @ Leadmill; 7pm; £7.50adv US female hip-hop duo, signed to Domino Records, are in the country with their “punkfunk-crunk rap”.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Any gambling habit, like constructing a house of cards, is accompanied by frustration and fragility.
Photo: Daniel Baird
Crookesmoor Royale By Paul Garbett Think of professional gambling and the mind conjures images of cigar smoking high rollers wearing pinstripe suits in luxurious Las Vegas casinos. So I was perhaps a little surprised when I met the second year French and Spanish student Ben Martin in the more humble surroundings of a Crookesmoor student house. Two years ago Ben began playing poker with friends and struggled to understand the rules. Now, at just 20, he has won tens of thousands of pounds and recently qualified for the Irish Open event in Dublin. The Open will be his first professional televised tournament, with a prize fund of three million euros.
Internet gambling has produced thousands of bedroom professionals Ben explained to me how he first got involved in the world of poker. “Two years ago over the summer I was bored and just started messing around with poker and playing with my friends a bit. “In the middle of one hand I suddenly realised I had no clue what I was doing, so I decided to go on the internet and read up on the game. There’s loads of literature online, and I started playing the free games, then eventually decided to make a deposit. “When I first started playing for money, I was doing the classic win some, lose some routine for a couple of months. Then I had a month off playing and on my first day back I won £2,000.
“After the two grand win, I played full-time for a couple of months and saved up a lot of money for uni. And I think that’s when I started to take poker more seriously.” Ben has certainly taken his poker more seriously after his first big win. In his first two months playing full-time he won £7,000, and he has continued to win big during his spare time at University. He won £8,000 in one week alone this term. “It’s a surreal experience when you win,” he said. “Although winning large amounts feels great, you also become desensitised towards money. “I think you have to in order to become good at poker. If you’re getting too worried about the money and not concentrating on the game then you’re not going to perform. “You need to be able to throw £300 onto the table for a bluff without thinking that you’re throwing away an insane amount of cash. You have to try to forget about the amounts and just focus on the cards, the chips and the players.” Ben is not alone in the world of poker. The arrival of internet gambling has produced thousands of jeans-wearing bedroom professionals who are now trying to make a living online. Last year, University of Sheffield student David Burn dropped out of his course in order to play in multi-million pound television events, and Ben has certainly considered quitting university to focus on poker. He told me: “It’s very tempting to quit university and play full time, entering the big tournaments around the world. “The problem is that playing
poker professionally is not really all that fun, and unless you are making significantly more money than you would in a job then it’s really not worth it because of the stress involved. “Playing for eight hours and losing a grand is such an awful feeling, particularly if you’ve got bills to pay.
If I don’t concentrate then I can end up gambling rather than playing “But I think that I’ll give it a go after I’ve graduated for a few years, and hopefully save up enough money to do something else.” Ben is a self-taught poker player and uses mathematical calculations along with an aggressive style to win big. When playing full-time, he has eight hour sessions online and has become so skilled at the internet game that he can play up to 15 hands simultaneously on the same computer. He said: “I first just started playing one hand then increased it to two or three at time and just increased my game speed up to playing 15 hands a time. “There are some people who play 25 hands at time. When I go to the casino I get really bored, because you’re only playing one game at a time and I’m used to seeing 15 hands of cards at once. “I normally put up $50 to $100 per table, which means I’m playing at least $750 at a time. But it’s very rare that I’d lose all those chips immediately so you know that you’re going to get some of your money back.” Staking over £500 on a game of poker would be tense for even
the most steel nerved of players, yet Ben came across as someone who can remain cool under the pressure of the game. However, he admits that he has to avoid casino games like blackjack and roulette to ensure he doesn’t lose control to gambling. He said: “I stay clear of the pit games completely because I have got a big gambling streak in me and it wouldn’t be clever to get involved. “Equally, if I’m not concentrating on poker I can end up gambling rather than playing and I can tell the difference in my performance. “The day I lost several thousands I could tell that I was losing control and being stupid. It can become very dangerous if you can’t control yourself and carry on chasing the lost money. “That’s the main reason people who could be really good poker players end up losing money over the long run, because they can’t keep a level head.” Most parents would be horrified and concerned to hear their son was gambling thousands of pounds, and I was interested to know how Ben’s mum and dad react to his unusual income. “I gloss over the details” he said. “They know that I gamble but not the exact specifics. I tend to scale down the amounts I’ve won or lost as they’d probably be worried if they knew the full truth. “But they both trust me and know that it’s something which I’m good at.” Having earned enough money from the game to pay off his student loans, Ben is undoubtedly a success story. However, he believes his winnings are down to lucky timing rather than skill itself. He said: “I could pay off my
student debts now from poker, which is a really nice feeling and I feel really lucky to have found poker. Around the time I started playing there was a massive boom in the game and there was lots of money to be made if you were at a decent level.” While Ben is one of the game’s winners, it’s hard not to think about the losers of online gambling. The rise of online gambling has seen an increase in the number of gambling addicts, and the 20year-old agrees that online poker is not the most ethical way of funding your degree. He said “There is something inherently greedy about trying to take someone else’s money, even though that isn’t at the front of my mind when I’m playing. “Gambling isn’t a particularly ethical way to make money and I do like to donate some of my winnings to charity which eases my conscience a little.
With any form of gambling there is a risk of losing serious money “I don’t feel too bad about it because most people are just having their fun and playing for entertainment, as they would if they were spending the money playing blackjack or roulette.” With any form of gambling there is a risk of losing serious money, as Ben knows very well from his own experiences on the tables. Whilst he has won large amounts through poker, it hasn’t always been plain sailing. He said: “In a day I once lost £3,000 which wasn’t so fun. You can’t quite describe the feeling when you lose so much money.”
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Is a good childhood Children of today should be happy with their lot By Tessa Norman The Good Childhood Inquiry has concluded that the excessive individualism and selﬁshness of adults is damaging the wellbeing of the nation’s children. This has raised concerns about the effects on children which stem from problems such as divorce, the breakdown of family values, and media pressures. Although I do not deny that today’s children are forced to mature faster due to sexualisation pressures, increased awareness of dangers and the rise of celebrity culture (in comparison to when I was growing up), I disagree that this is the ﬁrst and only age which is problematic for children. It is easy to look back nostalgically at the past, but it is not true that childhood has always been idyllic until recent years.
It is completely unfair to blame working mothers for children’s problems A century ago, children were forced to grow up quickly as many had to work from their early teenage years, and a lot of the difﬁculties facing today’s children were present a decade ago. For instance, divorce (one of the major targets of the inquiry as the cause of children’s unhappiness), is nothing new. The difference between now and 10 years ago is that today we are beginning to analyse the effects of divorce. This will be beneﬁcial for children because it will help us to ﬁnd ways to counter its negative effects for future generations. I also disagree with the causes it blames for children’s problems, in particular the inﬂuence of working mothers. The report targets women’s increasing economic independence, citing the large increase over the last 25 years in women with babies who do paid work (25 per cent of mothers w i t h children between nine and 12 months do some p a i d work,
compared to 75 per cent now). It claims that this contributes to the rise in family break-ups, and means that children are effectively “parented” by a stranger. I think it is completely unfair to blame working mothers for all of children’s problems – don’t women have the same right as men to pursue a fulﬁlling career? Obviously this should be balanced with their children’s needs and happiness, but for many women the decision to work is not a choice but an economic necessity – they cannot afford to do otherwise. Good quality childcare is often a better alternative for children to being looked after by a mother who is unhappy staying at home or struggling ﬁnancially. Many concerns about children’s welfare centre on their inability to relate to one another in a caring, benevolent way; social networking web-sites are being blamed for preventing the development of quality, real-life relationships. Schools are already addressing these problems by running social groups for children who have difﬁculty interacting with their peers, and introducing topics to the curriculum such as how to talk about emotions and how to get along with others. I believe that children who attend play groups after school because their mothers work or they come from a single parent family are less likely to need such guidance, because they develop sharing and co-operative skills from interacting with other children. Children from two-parent families, on the other hand, may show more evidence of the selﬁshness the inquiry deplores, as they are more likely to have been indulged.
The difﬁculties facing today’s children were present a decade ago The report not only raises concerns about children’s inability to develop relationships with each other, but also suggests that today’s children are growing up faster than previous generations; it cites reasons such as ‘commercial pressures’ towards premature sexualisation, unprincipled advertising, mobile phones and the internet. The report points out that the average age people lost their virginity in 1998 was 16, compared to 21 in the 1950s. Whilst I concede that children do seem to be maturing faster, many of the causes are merely due to technological advances. Although some may think it inappropriate for children to have mobile phones, they actually protect their safety by allowing their parents to know their whereabouts and contact them if necessary. Furthermore, the ‘premature sexualisation’ of children is partly caused by biological factors; children (especially girls) are gradually entering puberty earlier, which again we cannot blame on the selﬁshness of adults.
Do the mollycoddled kids of today really have it so bad? Even if their conduct does have a degree of inﬂuence, merely using the parent as a scapegoat is not going to help improve a child’s happiness. The best way to move forward is to accept that some things, such as biological and technological changes, are outside of our control, and to work out ways in which these developments can be used to improve children’s welfare. The growing inﬂuence of television and the internet may have its negative effects; for example, that children are not
shielded from a knowledge of the adult world. However, I believe this can be a positive thing – if children are more aware of issues like sex, they will be more likely to discuss it in sex education and with their parents without embarrassment.
Children can no longer be shielded from life’s dangers This will help to eradicate the ignorance of our generation which
Cartoon: Kate Carson has led to problems such as high teenage pregnancy rates; problems which the Good Childhood Inquiry inaccurately blames on the inﬂuence of television and the internet. This principle applies to issues other than sex too; the major difference between today’s generation of children and our own is that children can no longer be shielded from life’s dangers, and whilst this loss of innocence may be sad, it is necessary if children are to be aware of and vigilant against the dangers of the modern world.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
a long lost ideal?
School pressure can ruin the lives of young people By Clare McPartland The kids of today may not care for my sympathy, but they have it. In bucket loads. The results of the Good Childhood Inquiry are unnerving. Whilst I believe some of the claims they make may be slightly over the top, a lot of the statistics tell a frightening story. For example, one in 10 children between the age of ﬁve and 16 are suffering from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and anorexia. Statistics like this must not be ignored. The cause must be identiﬁed and tackled – and the fact this inquiry has been published is the ﬁrst positive step. Whilst reading the report, I started to think about how different life is for children these days. They are incredibly lucky in that they are being brought up in a world that’s had fantastic technological advances in the last 20 years. A recent trip to my primary school showed the loss of the dusty single prehistoric Apple computer, its only capability in my heyday being the programme Turtle.
58 per cent of 14-16 year olds worry about exams. Is this right? However, this had been replaced with rows of new computers. Flashy interactive white-boards stood proudly where old squeaky blackboards cowered, and lunches were no longer paid for with coins, but with swipe cards. Every learning facility seemed shiny and new and highly impressive. Yet this is where the positive change ended. Outside especially, I thought Childhood should be an anxiety-free time where young people are free to have fun. there were changes being made for If they fall over, they cry for ﬁve time for kids these days. They are of people wearing hoodies have the worst. Gone was the playground where I spent so many lunch hours minutes, brush themselves off and growing up in a very scary world. purely evil intentions, regardless hanging upside down from the continue. That’s just how you learn There is the ongoing threat of of the fact we live in a country that monkey bars, because according to not to attempt walking on your terrorism, and the increasing levels requires warm clothing around 364 the head teacher it had “signiﬁcant hands or to jump out of trees from of knife and street crime which days of the year. dizzy heights. contribute to parent’s ‘wrap them Many young people living in risk of injury”. The poor blighters even have to in cotton wool’ mentality. cities now feel that they must carry In its place, wooden benches Okay, so the charming image of a knife for protection. On no level allow pupils to have ‘quiet time’ sit an exam every year to monitor whilst they eat their fruit dispensed their progress. The survey found children ﬁlling the streets pushing am I condoning or supporting this from the ‘healthy choices’ vending 58 per cent of 14-16 year olds worry hoops with sticks was long gone extreme behaviour but I have to about exams. when I was a kid, but I was always admit that it is hardly surprising machine. One 14-year-old girl even said: allowed to walk to the local shop or as the media pelts society with The hopscotch had been brutally scrubbed off the tarmac, children “I know six people that self harm go to the playground unsupervised information about how dangerous playing leapfrog are told to stop, because of all the pressure at – armed with the advice to ‘Stop, the outside world is. It would be very easy to say that and the huge oak trees under which school.” Is this right? Should we be Look, and Listen’ at road sides and we used to forage for conkers have testing our children from the age of to never talk to or accept sweets the Good Childhood Inquiry is simply pointing ﬁngers of blame now been deemed out of bounds. ﬁve, causing them unknown levels from strangers. for statistics that tell a disturbing Conkers is too dangerous a sport of stress? I did experience have experience We assume all groups of story about today’s childhood. But for children. they’re not. It didn’t stop there. School trips of the survey’s theory - that schools I have only looked at a few barely ever occur now, the lyrics to are more concerned about grades people wearing hoodies scenarios and aspects of a child’s nursery rhymes have been changed and reputation and their position have evil intentions life, and have made assumptions as as to no longer offend anyone (cue: in the league tables - during my school years. Admittedly I did grow up in a to how they may inﬂuence a child. I Baa baa rainbow sheep). One of my courses at safe rural village, and yes perhaps could be wrong, but I could just be Photos can no longer be taken A Level politely asked a little more care should be taken onto something. of nativities and school plays those whom they believed in large towns and cities. But if And so could this report. It looks unless every single parent gives were not capable of we’re pumping our children full at a wide variety of problems their full consent. achieving a B or of worry, assuming that murders, children face, and the results I may be taking this a above to leave. paedophiles and robbers lurk at these problems are having on their little to heart and I know B u t every street corner, we’re going to wellbeing. the cliché of a perfect s c h o o l i n g have a bunch of quivering wrecks It may be difﬁcult for some childhood is often far isn’t the only by the time they’re 18. parents to swallow their pride and from reality, but it’s a factor that I Even the kids that do escape admit that their attitude to life simple fact that children think is making their homes for a little fresh air face may be having a negative effect on love to run around and go c h i l d h o o d problems. There’s the demonisation their children. a little bit doolally every tricky of youth – we assume all groups It may not be nice to know that Conkers: a threat to child welfare? a now and then.
Cartoon: Kate Carson because both parents are working children aren’t getting the attention they need. Clearly this is something that is an increasing necessity in today’s economy, but the report doesn’t dismiss this fact, it simply examines the effect its having.
A child with a conduct disorder costs the taxpayer £70,000 It also provides solutions, for example when examining mental health in the UK: “relieving this suffering would probably pay for itself. A child with a conduct disorder costs the taxpayer £70,000 in crime, social care and remedial costs by the time they are 28 compared to £7,000 for a child with no such problems.” There may be particularly distressing comments made, like the one that an 11-year-old girl shares: “I sometimes feel that no one wants me or likes me”. However, insightful comments at the other end of the scale are made: “Young people don’t respect authority.” They’ve taken the time to sit and let us know how they feel – shouldn’t we swallow our pride and take notice?
FORGE PRESS Friday February 20 2009
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Election gimmicks are provocative garb By Caroline Vann Jones In the past two weeks you’ve probably accumulated enough paper to build your own rainforest. During this year’s election campaign, we were expected to digest masses of information and understand the policies of the numerous candidates hoping to be elected into the various officer positions. The individual drives of propaganda are so well planned and the collective time and effort put into the cause immeasurable, but I can’t help wondering if it is enough? Every year the elections are followed by the figures revealing that the students who actually used their right to vote were in a tiny minority. The student population at the University of Sheffield may be 24,000 strong, but the voting population is always significantly smaller, usually with only a couple of thousand people turning up to the polling stations. It certainly seems like a depressing state of affairs when you look at these findings. Is it simply that the rumours are true about lazy students and we just can’t be bothered to drag ourselves to one of the many polling stations around campus? Or, even worse, is it because a majority just don’t really care?
Students who actually use their right to vote are in a tiny minority When you do sit back to reflect upon what these elections mean to the candidates running in them and how hard they try to encourage their peers to be enthusiastic about their campaigns, it could seem a little embarrassing that we can’t fill out one little polling slip in return. However, I really think that we need to look a little deeper into this lack of voting will. It can’t be true that such a consistently low turnout to vote is just because, as a student population, we are all too self-involved. I voted last year because I have always firmly believed that our right to vote is one that we should respect. However, since I filled out the electoral form that day, I have had to question the decision I made – the one that at the time, I was so sure was right. I interrogated my friends when they bypassed the ballot box and demanded to know why. Did they not care about the elections? Were they not bothered about the fate of their Students’ Union? But the response I got was unanimous – of course they cared just as much as I did, but why should they vote in an election that they, until about 10 days beforehand, knew nothing about? This generally does seem to be where the problem lies. Yes, I voted, but why did I vote the way I did? Until then I knew little
Colourful campaign banners strung in the trees beside the University concourse. But are they worth it? more about the Officer positions than what I had been told in a brief introductory meeting during Freshers’ Week some six months earlier. Even during the elections, I knew why the candidates wanted their various positions but not exactly what those positions were and what they were going to do for me as a student at this University. In the end I voted for a Presidential candidate just on the grounds that they had taken a minute to beg for my vote as I ate dinner at the Edge. To be honest, I’m not even sure what they said; I was too wrapped up in what to have on my jacket potato. But that was last year. Twelve months on, how are students feeling about 2009 and the elections that are apparently so integral to our Students’ Union? Juliet McCullion, a second year English and Drama student, says:
“All these people who are trying to get me to vote for them are just strangers. “Throughout the year you don’t hear what’s going on in the Union or what the Officers are doing, then suddenly, at election time, we’re expected to take an interest.” And this is not just a problem at the University of Sheffield. Unions all over the country have reported the same pattern that has established itself in the electorate and a general disinterest in student politics. Last year, the University of York finally had a record turnout to vote, but why was this? Did the students suddenly want to take an interest or were they now informed of what their Union Officers could do for them? Well, no. The reason the students turned out in the thousands to vote was because a ‘pirate’ was running for President.
Mad Cap’n Tom’s main policy to replace all the bridges throughout the York campus with planks won him 3,000 votes, and a campaign that he admitted had begun as a joke ended up winning him a presidency.
Tom’s policy to replace all the bridges in York campus with planks won him votes This result sparked heated debates and divided the university. Some people vehemently believed that he should be overthrown, but even bigger petitions to get him to stay were circulated. Katie Saunders, a third year History of Art student at York and holds a seat on their Union Board says: “Initially some students were arguing that Tom should not have won his presidency simply because he had a good gimmick. “They believed that it was unfair
on the other candidates, who were actually serious about improving the Union, that somebody who was treating the whole thing as a joke was elected. “But a year on, it’s safe to say that Tom has been one of the best presidents York has had, and maybe if a gimmick is what is took to get students interested, that wasn’t such a bad thing.” So should we be enticed by this bread and butter politics that we have witnessed on the concourse over the last 14 days? Can the future greats of Sheffield’s Union of Students be found hiding just behind those papier mâché piggy banks and oversized packets of Jacobs Cream Crackers? If that’s what it takes to get students attention and encourage them to vote, then perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to criticise. What is clear, though, is that, individual policies and strategies aside, we need to be kept informed. As students, we care, but it’s hard to maintain an interest in something that you know virtually nothing about. Greg Amann, a second year History student says: “Once elected you’re not kept up-to-date with what Officers do or what they are aiming to achieve. “Nothing seems to get relayed back to students which downplays the importance of these positions and this doesn’t give much of an incentive to vote next time round.” We can’t completely disregard the fact that some of us actually aren’t interested in student politics. Perhaps things would be different if our national politics were inspirational, and the politicians that always promise us change would finally deliver. British politicians flaunt their policies and assure us that they will make our country better, but once elected, things go quiet and (funnily enough) we don’t hear so much about the progress made on fulfilling these ambitions. If we had an Obama style figurehead, could things be very different? The election alone has shown that each individual vote has the power to change politics. A few years ago, Americans would not have been able to imagine having a black President, but Obama has proven that radical change is indeed within our grasp. It’s fair to suppose that student elections in America will now have voters turning up in their thousands. They have seen firsthand the importance of voting and, for the first time in years, young people in America really do care about politics. Every year we have a vote, so does this mean every year we will waste it? The time has come to be pro-active, do our own research and use that as a basis to understand our Union Officer candidates and their policies. If we continue to hide behind this fear of the unknown we could be missing out on the exciting political figures who could and will transform our Union.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Origami, feathers and orange: what you’ll be wearing this summer By Kimberley Long
Hot or not?
Copious levels of air kisses are standard. Frantic Blackberry emailing that’s made all the more difﬁcult by perfectly manicured talons could be heard at every show. And a ubiquitous Emma Watson, who had clearly left her school uniform precisely folded away at Hogwarts, snuggled neatly into her front row seat. All this and more was to be seen across the fashion capitals of the world as the Spring/Summer 2009 collections were debuted. Sneaking in somewhere behind the schmoozing and stargazing, though, were the looks that are to shape your wardrobe for the coming months were on show. Here we take a look at three key trends that will soon have you feeling weak at the knees. Asymmetry was the order of the day as the kings of couture Gucci, Versace and Valentino all sent their girls down the runway. Calvin Klein’s dove-grey satin shift with origami folds that stopped just above the knee made a demure and elegant shape as it trailed down the catwalk. Gucci laid on the drama, accessorising theirs with huge jewels at the shoulder. This brought a modern slant to their ankle length one-sleeved
gown suitable for a modern day goddess. Meanwhile over at the show of Alice Temperley, lengths were micro-mini and cuts were loose. But yards of material piled high up on the shoulder of her cream coloured d r e s s created a romantic cascade of pretty femininity. This look is made for statement dresses. W h a t with grad balls fast approaching and the dilemma over what to wear creeping into the minds of many, this trend could be ideal. Make a break from the foolproof strapless s a t i n dresses that have b e c o m e a mainstay of balls for the unimaginative everywhere. Try something elegant yet sexy, revealing in a way but still perfectly formal. And be the undoubted envy of spaghetti strap wearers. Fringing has been around for a little while now, but watch out as it comes into its
Celebrity craft making Paris Hilton is apparently “ecstatic” about needlework and making her own clothes. Sure you are dear, just like I enjoy visiting the Queen and holidaying on the moon. Verdict: Not
own this season. This is a trend that is easy to make as subtle or extreme as you dare to go. Don’t limit yourself to thinking in terms of leather tassels and cowboys; a variety of materials can be used to create movement. Jil Sander pushed the look to the edge with strings of shoulderto-knee fringing on a sheer black evening dress. Stunning to look at as it sways with your every movement, the practicality of something like this could be debatable. But maybe that just doesn’t matter when you look that elegant. Beaded ﬂapper dresses are also on trend, with row upon row of beads shimmering from modernist party dresses. Feathers are also being used too for unusual layering. Louis Vuitton have sewed hundreds of bright yellow ostrich feathers onto an otherwise unassuming short sleeved top which makes a bold statement, but leaves your dignity intact. But if none of that sounds appealing to you, fringing can be embraced through accessories. Christian Louboutin has platform calf-length boots this season with rows of suede fringes that cover the leg, and you can dance merrily away with every step you take in the warm spring air. Bags with foot long fringes dangling from the edges and even long beaded necklaces were out in abundance, and mean that it is impossible not to ﬁnd something to suit your personal taste. But one thing that pulled all the collections together for this summer was a pallet of vivid colour. This is not a look for shrinking violets. Solid blocks of acid brights in Day-Glo pink, orange and yellow were seen in the shows of new designers, right through to the faithful older houses of Dior and Valentino. Orange seemed to be the colour that cropped up the most frequently.
Starbucks instant coffee Not only content with taking over every high street in the land, the coffee giant is preparing to take over our cupboards with the release of its new instant range. Verdict: Hot
Men in Ugg boots The damn things are hideous anyway and have now been spotted ruining the feet of Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and even Jason Donovan. Please remove immediately. Verdict: Not
John Galliano took co-ordination to the max when he combined his orange with pink. The rufﬂed hot pink jacket was matched with sky high heels with a multitude of straps, while the orange mini was complemented by his model’s matching wig. Orange was also married happily with vivid purple at Luella. New boy designer Josh Goot blocked unthinkable colour combinations in a dress with green shoulders, orange mid-section, and ankle length pink skirt. The 29-year-old Australian used the bold blocks of colour in light-weight jersey dresses, perfect for the spring weather and fantastically on trend. Designs this strong are sure to see him become a recognised name in the future. If you’re not brave enough to clash your hues, take a tip from Lanvin. They ticked off two trends when they dressed Lily Donaldson in asymmetric canary yellow, with a pared down dark skirt. The result is still stunning, and a little less of a visual headache. With this trend it seems that the colours themselves don’t seem to matter too much, just as long as you keep them in large, deﬁned chunks. Subtle ﬂesh tones in shoes compliment this well. Most designers seemed to favour muted pinks and metallics to work with this look. Just make sure they boost your height by another ﬁve inches. Regardless of what outﬁt you decide on the message about footwear is still clear; the bigger the heel, the better. Trying to keep your feet petite and lady-like is not the way for this season. Heavy platforms, frills and embellishments, and even sculptured stiletto heels - as championed by Basso & Brooke and Dior - are what your feet are crying out for. So this all just leaves me wondering: how much of this can I afford with my student loan?
Rihanna After allegedly being beaten up by her musician boyfriend Chris Brown, the ‘Umbrella’ singer has bravely walked away from the abuse and dumped him. Verdict: Hot
Fringing and colour are set to be big
The Colour blocking trend at Richard
Beneﬁt make-up The package alone is enough to make you think you need every product it offers if only to spice up your dressing table. The highlighter, High Beam, is the best there is. Verdict: Hot
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
How to create the Cath Kidston look
I lent my friend a tenner. I know it’s not much, but money is pretty tight at the moment. Thing is, she’s a bit funny about this kind of thing so I’m scared to ask for it back! What should I do? Issues like this shouldn’t be awkward between friends. By the sounds of it, she’d be the ﬁrst to ask you if the roles were reversed. It is your money after all and you were kind enough to lend it to her in the ﬁrst place. She can’t begrudge you for needing it back.
By Hannah Seaman
Cartoon: Kate Carson
Cath Kidston is the darling of the design world with her nostalgic interior chic and ﬂoral patterns which grace millions of homes worldwide. After 15 years in business she has become a cult success, despite originally going against the minimalist fashions of the early 1990s. The furore all began in 1993 when Kidston opened a shop in Holland Park, London, where she sold vintage fabrics, wallpapers and brightly coloured junk furniture. Gradually she began to create her own prints and products which centred on ﬂorals, stars and polka dots. Since then the company has opened 26 shops throughout the UK which sell an array of homeware, women’s fashion and children’s fashion, and over the years, Kidston has worked alongside numerous companies designing one-off products. These have included designing tents with Millets, Nokia mobiles with Carphone Warehouse and, most recently, collectible ecofriendly shopping bags with Tesco. Kidston’s inspiration came from her childhood upbringing in rural Hampshire where she lived in a traditional English country house, and this is clearly evident when entering one of her stores. A riot of patterns, ponies, rabbits and roses adorn everything from teapots and deck chairs to notebooks and book bags. And this welcome transportation back to the good life leaves even the most undomesticated student enthused and with the motivation to improve their somewhat lacklustre home. So why not get in touch with your creative side and attempt some of your own home craft projects. The Kidston look is an easy one to recreate and doesn’t have to be
Aunt Agony Advises
My iPod is too bulky to take jogging. Can you suggest a cheap alternative that I can take on my morning run? The Reddmango Angora MR118 mp3 player is available from Argos for only £9.79. It may only have 1GB memory but that holds over 300 tracks which should be plenty to tide you over on your run. Alternatively you can also upgrade the 2GB version for just £5 extra.
That famous Cath Kidston fabric. expensive if you shop around for materials. Alternatively, for those that are more artistically challenged, there are plenty of high street stores that have cottoned on to Kidston’s success and that sell their own vintage ranges. Why not try and re-create the Kidston look with a cutesy pencil case to cheer up those nine o’clock lectures? To make it, simply follow the step-by -step instructions below. 1.Find a small piece of suitable material. 2.Cut a 3½ -by-18-inch rectangle
Photo: Hannah Seaman from it and fold up the bottom six inches. 3.To sew, use a needle and cotton. Or if you are using a thicker material, such as felt, try embroidery thread and a needle with a large eye. 4.Stitch up the sides with a running stitch. 5.Pass the needle up from back to front. 6.Finish with a knot in the back. 7.Fold over the ﬂap and add a button. 8.Finally, snip a buttonhole. For further information and ideas visit: www.cathkidston.co.uk.
I haven’t got any more money left to spend on cosmetics this month but I desperately need a good exfoliator – any suggestions? The likelihood is that you have some olive or vegetable oil lying around the house. Put a small amount in a bowl and add some table salt crystals. Stir brieﬂy and you’ll have a really effective, moisturising exfoliator in no time. Get in touch and hopefully Aunt Agony can help you with any problems you may be having. Email problems to press. email@example.com.
Lifestyle Review: Moor fashion show By Tessa Norman
Confessions of a Shopaholic Just what we need in the time of ﬁnancial crisis, a ﬁlm about a women spiralling into debt for the sake of a designer handbag. Good timing. Verdict: Not
The Moor Shefﬁeld Valentines Fashion Show is held annually in aid of the Weston Park Cancer Appeal. Weston Park Hospital is one of only three cancer hospitals in the country, and every penny raised from the evening went directly to the charity. There were some great perks, such as chocolates, champagne, roses and goody bags. Even better, we were surrounded by attractive men. The Rotherham Titans rugby team performed on-stage, while Shefﬁeld United football players and uniformed policemen mingled with the audience. But the main focus of the evening was of course the fashion being modelled on-stage. The show featured collections from Debenhams, Melody, Yes Orange and Hillsborough College. The models were non-professional and made up of a refreshing mixture of different sizes and ages. The clothes themselves reﬂected
this variety – Melody catered to younger trends, whilst the collections from Debenhams and Yes Orange were aimed towards the more mature woman. Although the formal two-pieces weren’t really my cup of tea, Debenhams had some lovely long dresses, implying that last year’s maxi is set to make a comeback in 2009. Melody’s clothing was deﬁnitely my favourite, and was just the kind of thing I’d love to wear on a night out. It featured a lot of the current trends, such as wet-look leggings, body con dresses, and scandalously high hem lines. The bright shades of fuschia and blue really stood out. I loved the Hillsborough College collection too, as it made a really interesting and quirky contrast. I was a big fan of their over-thetop ﬂirty layered skirts, which will be perfect for spring once the weather warms up a little. Overall, there was a great, feelgood atmosphere, and interludes from the Hype Dancing Company and the Rotherham Titans made the evening really entertaining.
One of the quirkier creations from the show.
Photo: Natalie McKay
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Love in the time of chlamydia
Too red cheeked to get checked? Not practising safe sex dramatically increases the risk of catching an STI.
When trying to organise a night out over the Valentines weekend last month, I realised that all of my close friends had suddenly found themselves in a relationship. I wondered when this had happened. It seemed one week I was enjoying being young, free and single with a large group of friends all in the same position, then the next the only person up for being young, free and single was me. I started to wonder. Maybe my flings and one-night romances should be set aside for something, dare I say, a bit more permanent? I’d once flirted with the idea of having a boyfriend; a few months ago, I started seeing someone, and he seemed keen to make it official after only a few days. It was then I knew he never really wanted me to be his girlfriend, he just wanted someone to be his girlfriend. I decided that I’d rather be single forever then just be in a relationship for the sake of it. The fear of having to sit with only myself for company was too much, so I decided to make a phone call to someone who would be willing to see me at short notice on Valentines. His name was Seb. However the next day I felt even worse. I hadn’t called Seb because I wanted to spend time with him, I called him because I was lonely on Valentines. There was nothing else for it; I deleted his number. I’d broken my own rule. It wasn’t a relationship for a relationship’s sake, but the truth is he could have been anyone. I called him because I knew he’d see me, and that’s not fair on anyone.
By V Shaw and H O’Connell You might think that you know everything there is to know about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but from a small survey we carried out, people were even aware of the symptoms for the commonest infections. To test how STI aware a small sample of students were, we asked them to play our STI-pairs game. Sounds simple: match a common STI to its symptoms. What’s so hard about that? According to our survey it appears that it’s not as easy as you might have thought. Considering one in 10 of us has chlamydia it’s shocking that only 20 per cent of the students we asked knew the symptoms for it. Think you can do better? Match these common STIs to one of their symptoms: A. Chlamydia B. Gonorrhoea C. Genital herpes 1. Flu like symptoms and fleshy growths. 2. Unusual yellow/green discharge. 3. Virtually silent symptoms; may be painful when urinating. Answers: A-3 B-2 C-1 Did you get them all right? What about a quick reminder of the main symptoms and some useful facts. Let’s start with the most common STI: chlamydia. It can be contracted through vaginal, anal or oral sex and can spread to other parts of the body such as the eyes and throat. As you know (from the pairing game you just did), chlamydia
can be virtually symptomless but dauntingly it can lead to male and female infertility if left untreated. So get tested because it’s cured simply with antibiotics. Gonorrhoea has some more obvious symptoms, including pain whilst urinating and irritation or discharge from the anus. This STI infects the urethra, cervix, rectum and throat and can be contracted through vaginal, anal and oral sex - but also can sometimes be spread by close physical contact. As with chlamydia, gonorrhoea can be completely cured with the use of antibiotics – but if left untreated it can also lead to infertility. Unlike chlamydia and gonorrhoea, which are caused by bacteria, genital herpes is caused by a virus and so cannot be cured. Flu-like symptoms, pains in the lower back or groin and small blisters in the genital region are the symptoms of this infection; again, skin-to-skin contact can be enough to catch it. Some people only get the symptoms once, while others may have several episodes which are usually milder and clear up more quickly. So, you know the symptoms and we’re sure you know to always use a condom, but what should you do if you haven’t? Firstly, if you’re female and are worried about pregnancy then get to the Hallamshire Hospital GUM (Genito Urinary Medicine) clinic or a pharmacy as soon as possible. Then, even if you have no symptoms, if you’ve had unprotected sex you need to get yourself checked. This might seem scary and you could be embarrassed, but the reality of carrying an STI or
passing one on is much worse. Besides, the doctors and nurses have seen it all before. To make your experience of an STI test less scary we got accounts from three students who had firsthand experience of it themselves; two had been to the GUM clinic and the third had carried out a DIY chlamydia test. Student One “I’d been putting off booking the appointment for a few weeks but when I finally did I got one for the next day. “When I arrived the smiley receptionist handed me a simple questionnaire, which I filled in whilst sitting in the female-only waiting area and then I went straight in to talk to a doctor. “She asked me why I wanted to get tested and questions about my recent sexual history. “Then came the scary part. “She asked me to take off my knickers and sit on the chair. “It was a bit embarrassing to sit with my legs apart in stirrups but she made me feel calm. “She then inserted a speculum so she could take a swab to send off and test. “And then it was over. I even got some free condoms.”
STIs: The Facts - Ten times as many people have chlamydia today compared with 10 years ago. - One in four people under 21 think you can’t catch an infection from oral sex, but most sexual infections can be transferred this way. - If you have unprotected sex just once with someone who is infected, your chances of contracting gonorrhoea are 50:50.
Student Two “It’s all too easy to forget to use a condom, and when I realised I’d had unprotected sex with several girls I knew I should go and get tested. “At the clinic I filled out a questionnaire and then spoke to a doctor. “I told her about my recent sexual history and was glad she didn’t judge me at all but advised that I should have a full STIcheck, including a blood sample to test for HIV and syphilis. “I was embarrassed when she looked at my penis to see if everything was OK but luckily it seemed alright and I only had to give a urine sample and wasn’t swabbed. I’m still waiting for my results.” Student Three “I was in The Gallery in the Union and they were offering free chlamydia tests. All I had to do was wee in the pot. “I filled in my details on the envelope provided and handed it back. “They text me after two weeks to say I was clear. Even though it would have been unlikely for me to have chlamydia as I’m very careful, I was glad to know to put my mind at rest.” Doesn’t sound that bad does it? If you need to get tested, here are some useful contacts: Hallamshire Hospital GUM clinic - 01142766928 Sexplored drop in service – Wednesdays 12-2pm, The Gallery (Level 4 of the Union) University Health Service 0114 222 2100 For more information and other clinics near to you go to www. condomessentialwear.co.uk.
Win hi-tech snow gear Whether you’re riding the slopes or just chilling out in town, the lifestyle and snow clothing specialist Surfanic offers a stylish yet functional range of cool clothing and accessories. A recent event at SnoZone in Castleford was well populated by Sheffield’s snow bunny students. For those of you who love your tunes, check out Surfanic’s latest gadget gear. The Royal iPod jacket features an integrated iPod system which
connects to your player and allows you to fast forward, rewind and pause your tunes using the flexible soft-switch control on the sleeve. It also has a mobile phone pocket and a detachable hood. Snowboarders will appreciate the built in goggle pocket, goggle wipe, storm flap and ski pass holder. Available in black or mocha for men and hot pink or green for women, the jacket is waterproof
and windproof with a Micro Fleece lining and is priced at £120. The iPod bag is a versatile backpack featuring an integrated easy reach remote iPod control panel on the strap. There’s also loads of storage space and a pocket for your mobile phone. Boarders among you will also love the board carrying system; ideal for those backcountry hikes, it’s priced at £50. For details of your nearest
stockist visit www.surfanic.com. Surfanic are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a prize of an iPod jacket and bag, as featured in this article. Two runners up can win an iPod bag each. To enter just answer the following question: What colours does the Royal iPod jacket come in? Email your name and answer to: press. firstname.lastname@example.org.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
The real TV junkies By Danielle Appleton Television is a big part of American life; in fact I think it’s safe to say that every student in my dorm has a television in their room. Without buying any sort of satellite, cable or freeview boxes, we have 150 channels to choose from. It may seem like England is overrun with X Factor and Dancing on Ice style shows, but America is in a different league when it comes to reality television. You can see grandparents picking dates for their daughters, girlfriends following their partners with hidden cameras, people swapping children, and hundreds of talent shows attempting to find the best singer, dancer, acrobat... As my experience of American television has so far only succeeded in rotting my brain, I avoid turning on the TV as much as I can. However, this term has seen two of the biggest events in the American calendar being broadcast on TV: the highly-hyped Superbowl, and the Oscars.
American television has so far succeeded in rotting my brain
I’m sure many of you crammed into Bar One for the Superbowl, and saw the tension-filled game. However, watching it in America gave me the added privilege of seeing the adverts that were shown during the breaks. As the Superbowl is undoubtedly the biggest television audience of the year, the channel sells 30 second advertising slots for millions of dollars each. The companies that purchase these precious minutes create one-off, spectacular adverts to make sure they catch attention, and often create controversy. A memorable one was filled with some interesting passionate displays of affection between supermodels and vegetables. I made a date with my television once again for the Academy Awards. My halls had arranged an Oscars party and encouraged everyone to dress formally. There were competitions for who gave the best speeches and free food was provided all night. I wasn’t interested in winning the contests; I was smug enough that the British films, actors and actresses swept the board this year.
A view across Edinburgh showing the castle, which is built on the remains of an extinct volcano.
A forgotten city remembered By Jasmine Coleman As the snowdrops slowly lift their heads and the sun creeps once again over the beautiful bleakness of Scotland’s capital, the appearance of spring serves as a reminder of why Edinburgh has been, and still is, the source of much creative inspiration and activity over centuries. The present site of Edinburgh, set alongside a wide estuary leading to the North Sea in the East of Scotland, has been inhabited since hunters and fishermen gathered the rich pickings from the marshland and the sea over seven millennia ago. During times of tribal warfare, the three volcanic hills served as vital strategic points. These lookouts still dominate the skyline of the city today; most
notable are Arthur’s Seat, an isolated mound of rocky Scotland watching over the day-to-day urban life, and Castle rock, the location of Edinburgh Castle and bastion of numerous Scottish Kings for centuries. Edinburgh’s particular history is clear as you wander through its Old Town, where grey stone tenement buildings tower over the cobbled streets and winding alleyways.
Thieves and murderers used the darkness to hide their sinister deeds Until a few hundred years ago, the lack of sanitation - and as a result the flowing sewage in the streets - meant that social class was indicated by which floor of the tenement you inhabited.
City spotlight: Paris By Rachel Ingram Dubbed the most romantic city in the world and Europe’s fashion capital, the city of Paris is a favourite city destination of fashionistas and lovers alike. The city seems to be awash with magnificently dressed women and designer shops, and honeymooners dominate as they browse the sights or wine and dine their lover in the city’s most luxurious restaurants. However, it is the architecture that makes this city so special. The beautiful white Basilica of Sacré-Coeur and the contrasting gothic cathedral of Notre Dame are popular sights which are rich in history. There are also many museums to visit, such as the Musée du
Louvre - home of the Mona Lisa - which has a magnificent glass pyramid entrance. A trip to Paris would not be complete without a visit to two of the city’s most famous landmarks; the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. For 12 euros you can climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and at night there is the legendary light show; a spectacle which tourists love
The Musée du Louvre in Paris.
but locals find monotonous and tacky. For something a bit different, the Latin Quarter on the bank of the River Seine is the centre of education in the city. It is home to the city’s university, numerous schools, and a multitude of museums, such as the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. There are many grand hotels to choose from, but staying in the bustling centre of Paris can be very expensive. For a cheaper option, areas such as the quaint Mairie d’Issy, a 20 minute tram journey from the centre, are full of character. Staying away from the centre offers visitors an opportunity to experience real Parisian culture and view the locals in their natural habitat.
Artisans and struggling writers tended to live high up in the eves of the building, whereas middle class families would take up the higher floors. The stench of the streets was reserved for the poor, who crowded in their tens into the ground floor flats. When the city could not rise upwards any further, town planners turned downwards, building a massive series of vaults and chambers underground. An underworld developed as the poor were forced to live amongst the thieves and murderers who stalked the subterranean chambers, using the darkness to hide their sinister deeds. Folk tales and urban legends rose from this underworld alongside the evocative atmosphere of the dark, dank alleyways above ground, and the city began to inspire many more stories which in turn established a strong literary and publishing tradition in Edinburgh. Today, Edinburgh is a great dichotomy of tradition and innovation, making it a hub of culture and artistic production. This year, Edinburgh was awarded the prize as the first UNESCO City of Literature. Every August, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock from around the world to the city to experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All kinds of performances and entertainments are showcased, packed into every open space at every time of day and night. Last year saw 31,000 official performances of 2,050 shows in 250 official venues as worldrenowned orchestras and artists performing classic opera, plays and symphonies were juxtaposed with little-known comedians, singers, actors and performers of any persuasion you can imagine. Throughout the rest of the year,
the vibrancy of the city continues as Edinburgh’s many galleries and theatres bring big and small names to an eager public. The festivities go on as thousands of revellers gather in the streets on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the dying year and welcome the start of the next as part of the Hogmanay celebrations.
Fringe Festival street performers. These celebrations make for both intoxicating viewing and fascinating participation as the Scottish spirit invades all. Finally, don’t let the McDonalds on the corner fool you. Despite the usual signs of globalisation and the presumed image of Britain, Edinburgh is a hive of timehonoured culture and character. Among the concerts halls and busy streets, you will find the pubs in which to sample traditional pints of ale and watch local folk musicians. Equipped with fiddles, pipes, a cello, harp and accordion, it is often these musicians that really evoke the history and identity of Edinburgh.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
PUZZLES & HUMOUR
Coffee Break It’s your starter for ten By Kate Dobinson My brain is frightfully puny and minute. The speed at which neologisms and tautologies fire out from a realm which is supposed to positively represent my 20 years, but simply has not, is just one of the reasons to explain why I would make an atrocious candidate for this year’s University Challenge. How is such a proliferation of facts attained? Presenter Jeremy Paxman praised last year’s champion and team captain, Gail Trimble, as maintaining “an intellectual blitzkrieg”. My brain is not so swift, nor so dexterous as to be likened to a military offensive. At best I could achieve something similar to the team from Keele University who proved surprisingly adept at identifying The Wombles. Jeremy Paxman is renowned for his impatient manner and cutting remarks which scream to hopeful students that they are not worth their salt. Squirm in the seat stuff. If they don’t know ‘simple’ things like the exact composition of a 16th century castle brick then how would I fare? I feel for the fighters who encounter such diatribe. Paxman’s invective has included: “Come on - you should
be conferring, not staring blankly at one another!” My personal favourite, though I’m sure the contestant under fire would not have shared my enthusiasm, was: “I think you need to find somewhere quiet to curl up and die”. Unfortunately, it is not only intellect which is under scrutiny. In 1970, a Mrs. Westgate from Southampton complained to listings magazine TV Times about the Cambridge team on UC: “I missed the introduction and could not be sure whether I was looking at boys and girls - or girls and boys. How nicely masculine the other team looked though”. Whilst the gender appearance of a team may be difficult to ascertain from year to year, its antithesis would ring true: that being clever is appealing and alluring, fascinating even. As Gail would blushingly tell you, Nuts magazine asked her to pose ‘tastefully’ for their cover. Obviously, she declined this impediment to her academic career and principle. I think she hid the disdain well on a
BBC news interview. Initially, when Bamber Gascoigne was the question master he asked the kind of questions which I may have stood a chance at guessing: “If A stands for Artichoke, B for Because, C for Curriculum, and D for Do, what might E be for?”. After a few seconds of blank looks, one contestant tentatively guessed: “Elephant?”. She got it right, because any answer beginning with E would have continued the sequence. In 1996, one of the questions was: “Thuma, Towcher,
OVERHEARD IN SHEFFIELD Long-man, Lech-man and Littleman are Old and Middle English names for which parts of the human body?” One of the Cambridge contestants answered “penis” (the correct answer was fingers), to which Paxman responded: “You’re a medical student - how many penises did they teach you we have nowadays?!” I wish I was a whiz kid and got told off on University Challenge by Jeremy Paxman. Sadly, I resign myself to a diet of fish oil and encyclopedias instead. Auditions for University Challenge are being held in the Student auditorium on Monday, March 16, at 5pm.
In the Information Commons Girl (Charlotte): Bloody fat arse has the iPhone. Boy: Charlotte fat arse has a fat arse. In the S10 gym Boy lifting weights: Lift big, eat big, be big. Lift big, eat big, be big. Girl: Can you increase the size of your penis by lifting weights?
CROSSWORD Across 1. Oily or greasy (9) 5. Bet (5) 7. Young eel (5) 9. Land measure (4) 10. Sultry (6) 12. Dairy product (6) 13. Hex (4) 15. Crowd scene actor (5) 16. Hidden drawback (5) 18. Accumulated Down 1. Cutting tool (3) 2. Remedy (4) 3. Wildcat (6) 4. Contradiction(7) 6. Clothing (7) 8. Findings of jury (7) 9. Times long past (7) 11. Attack (6) 14. Dull pain (4) 17. Concealed (3) Last issue’s crossword solutions: Across: 1. Aardvark 8. Usual 9. Areas 10. Used 11. Closer13. Tailor 15. Open 18. Olive 19. Idiom 20. Glossary Down: 2. Tumultuous 3. Acute 4. Icing 5. Dill 6. Arable 7. Bias 12. Keeps 14. Prior 16. Gastronome
Up the wall.
Cartoon: Kate Mitchell
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
We should keep technology out of sport and back the man in black By Jonathan Caldwell Few subjects have been so controversial in the world of sport in recent years as the role which technology should play in decision making. Referees and umpires are so frequently the subject of vilification and mockery from spectators and fans as a result of questionable decisions, and many such critics feel that the quality of technology available should lead to the implementation of devices such as video referees, goal line sensors and Hawk-Eye in the nottoo-distant future.
Any attempt to remove human error from sport officiating is impossible The controversy has surfaced again this week following the introduction of a referral system for England’s cricket tour of the West Indies, which allows batsman to challenge the umpire when they are given out and bowlers to refer a decision following an unsuccessful appeal. The use of the television umpire has been widely criticised due to the slow speed of decision making and a lack of conclusive results; precisely the problems it was introduced to eradicate. Ultimately, the problem with any plan which attempts to remove human error from sports officiating is that it is impossible; referring video evidence to a another human being watching in the stands does not remove human error; nor does it allow a comprehensive and definitive result, as this week’s events in Barbados have shown. One cannot expect referees not to make mistakes in the same way one cannot expect faultless perfection from sports people day-in, day-out. If our sporting heroes didn’t make mistakes then surely there would be no need for officials at all? It is football which has been
most reluctant to implement any form of technology into decision making, the game which imposes the closest and most damning scrutiny on its referees. If cricket’s example is anything to go by then the introduction of video technology will provide no relief for under-fire officials.
Football fans simply have to accept that referees will make mistakes Football fans simply have to accept that referees will make mistakes, in the same way that goalkeepers will drop crosses and strikers will miss simple chances. Fans are entitled to voice their unhappiness at the performance of the referee, but it is crucial that the referee retains authority
and the respect of the players at all times. This respect would be entirely undermined by the presence of technology. Already fans are subjected to the rants of so-called ‘experts’ such as Sky Sports’ Andy Gray, who do their utmost to criticise the every action of referees. Football thrives on the opportunity for fans to spend hours debating the performance of players, the tactical decisions of managers, and the decisions of officials. What is not acceptable is the incessant focus placed upon the officials by the likes of Gray, himself no doubt bitter due to his modest playing ability, when their time would be far better spent analysing the performance of the over-rated and over-paid ‘stars’ whom the dedicated fans pay extortionate sums of money to watch.
Technology would further damage the authority of referees.
University Dancesport team take honours at national competition By Jonathan Caldwell A team from the University of Sheffield’s Dancesport Society has been honoured at a national competition in Blackpool. The A team won first place in the Ballroom and Latin category at the Inter Varsity Dance Competition on Saturday, February 28. The event saw 125 teams from all over the country competing in two leagues. This year’s competition was the largest ever, and was the first to include over 1,000 dancers. The Sheffield A team took first place in Division Two while the B team finished 24th, a magnificent effort having only been formed in October 2008. Team captain Helen Thomas said: “We weren’t expecting to do so well. “That was the fourth time we have competed nationally and we have never done so well.”
COMMENT & NEWS SPORT
BUCS tables Badminton - Northern Conference Men’s 3B W D L P 0 1 7 Leeds Met 2nd........................ 8 1 4 3 Sheffield 2nd........................... 8 2 3 3 Hallam 2nd.............................. 8 3 2 3 Durham 2nd............................ 8 4 2 2 York 2nd................................... 8 8 0 0 Teesside 1st............................ 8
Pts 22 12 12 11 8 0
Football - Northern Conference Men’s 3B W D P 0 5 Newcastle 1st......................... 6 2 3 7 Leeds Met 2nd........................ 3 2 Durham 2nd............................ 8 4 1 Northumbria 2nd.................... 6 1 2 Sheffield 2nd........................... 8 2 1 5 Leeds Met 3rd.........................
L 1 2 3 1 5 2
Pts 15 11 9 7 7 5
Football - Northern Conference Men’s 4D W D P 0 4 TASC 1st.................................... 6 2 3 Leeds Met 4th........................... 6 2 3 Sheffield 3rd............................. 7 1 3 Hull 2nd..................................... 6 0 3 Hallam 3rd.................................6 1 0 Teesside 2nd............................. 7
L 2 1 2 2 3 6
Pts 12 11 11 10 9 1
Football - Northern Conference Men’s 5D W D P 1 5 Hallam 4th............................... 6 1 3 TASC 2nd................................. 6 0 3 York St John 3rd...................... 5 1 3 Sheffield 4th........................... 7 0 1 Leeds 4th................................. 4 1 0 Hull 3rd.................................... 4
L 0 2 4 1 5 3
Pts 16 10 9 7 6 1
Football - Northern Conference Women’s 4B W D L P 0 0 4 Leeds Met 3rd......................... 4 2 0 2 Sheffield 2nd........................... 4 2 0 1 York St John 2nd..................... 3 1 0 2 Huddersfield 1st...................... 3 2 0 0 Hull 2nd................................... 2 2 0 0 Bradford 1st............................. 2
Pts 12 6 6 3 0 0
Hockey - Northern Conference Men’s 3B W D P 1 5 Durham 4th............................. 7 3 3 Leeds 3rd................................. 7 0 3 Sheffield 2nd........................... 7 2 2 6 Newcastle 2nd......................... 1 2 Hull 1st..................................... 7 1 1 Newcastle 3rd.......................... 6
Pts 16 12 9 8 7 4
L 1 1 4 2 4 4
Hockey - Northern Conference Men’s 4B W D P 1 6 Newcastle 4th.......................... 8 4 3 Hallam 2nd.............................. 7 2 3 8 Teesside 1st............................ 2 3 Leeds 4th................................. 7 2 1 Sheffield 3rd........................... 8 1 1 Sunderland 1st........................ 8
L 1 0 3 2 5 6
Pts 19 13 11 11 5 4
Hockey - Northern Conference Men’s 5B W D P 2 5 Leeds Met 2nd........................ 8 0 5 Northumbria 2nd..................... 6 0 4 Sheffield 4th........................... 8 1 3 8 Hallam 3rd............................... 0 2 York 2nd................................... 7 1 1 Sheffield 5th........................... 7
L 1 1 4 4 5 5
Pts 17 15 12 10 6 4
Hockey - Northern Conference Women’s 3B W D P 2 6 Durham 3rd............................. 8 3 4 Northumbria 2nd..................... 8 0 4 Newcastle 3rd.......................... 7 2 2 Sheffield 2nd........................... 7 1 1 8 Hull 1st..................................... 2 0 Leeds 3rd................................. 6
L 0 1 3 3 6 4
Pts 20 15 12 8 4 2
Hockey - Northern Conference Women’s 6B W D P 0 4 Leeds 5th................................. 4 0 4 York 2nd................................... 5 0 2 Leeds Met 4th......................... 4 0 2 Hull 2nd................................... 4 0 2 3 Bradford 1st............................. 0 0 Sheffield 5th........................... 4 0 0 York St John 2nd..................... 4
L 0 1 2 2 1 4 4
Pts 15 12 6 6 3 0 0
Netball - Northern Conference Women’s 3B W D P 1 4 Leeds 3rd................................. 8 0 4 6 Leeds Met 3rd......................... 0 4 Hull 1st..................................... 7 0 3 Hallam 2nd.............................. 6 0 3 Newcastle 2nd......................... 8 1 2 7 Sheffield 2nd...........................
L 3 2 3 3 5 4
Pts 12 12 12 9 9 7
Netball - Northern Conference Women’s 8B W D P 1 5 Sheffield 3rd........................... 5 0 6 Hull 3rd.................................... 7 1 4 6 TASC 3rd.................................. 0 3 Teesside 4th............................ 6 2 2 TASC 4th.................................. 6 0 1 Bradford 2nd........................... 7 0 1 5 Hull 4th.................................... 0 1 York St John 5th...................... 4
L 0 1 2 3 4 6 4 3
Pts 18 18 15 9 9 3 0 -3
Rugby Union - Premier Men’s North B W P Loughborough 2nd.................. 14 11 10 14 Nottingham Trent 1st.............. Worcester 1st.......................... 14 8 Newcastle 2nd......................... 14 7 Manchester 1st....................... 14 6 Birmingham 1st....................... 14 5 Sheffield 1st............................ 14 4 Hallam 1st............................... 14 3
L 2 3 5 6 5 7 8 9
Pts 34 30 24 22 20 15 12 9
Rugby Union - Northern Conference Men’s 2B W D L P 0 York 1st.................................... 10 10 0 3 0 6 Northumbria 3rd..................... 9 4 0 5 9 Leeds 2nd................................ 4 0 5 Teesside 1st............................ 9 3 0 3 Newcastle 3rd.......................... 6 6 0 3 Hull 1st..................................... 9 6 0 2 8 Sheffield 2nd........................... 8 0 0 Huddersfield 1st...................... 8
Pts 27 21 15 15 12 9 6 -3
Rugby Union - Northern Conference Men’s 3B W D L P 2 0 5 Newcastle 4th.......................... 7 2 0 6 Northumbria 4th..................... 8 1 0 5 Leeds Met 3rd......................... 6 2 3 3 Sheffield 3rd........................... 8 4 2 3 York St John 1st....................... 9 6 1 Hallam 2nd.............................. 10 3 3 0 3 York 2nd................................... 6 8 0 0 Bradford 1st............................. 8
Pts 21 21 15 12 11 10 6 -6
Squash - Northern Conference Men’s 3B W D P 0 6 Sheffield 2nd........................... 6 0 5 Leeds Met 3rd......................... 6 0 4 Huddersfield 1st...................... 7 0 2 5 Sheffield 3rd........................... 0 2 Bradford 1st............................. 5 0 2 Hallam 2nd.............................. 6 0 2 Huddersfield 2nd..................... 6 0 0 Bradford 2nd........................... 5
L 0 1 3 3 3 4 4 5
Pts 18 15 12 6 6 6 6 0
Tennis - Northern Conference Men’s 4B W D P 0 5 York 2nd................................... 6 0 4 Sheffield 2nd........................... 5 0 3 Hull 2nd................................... 5 0 2 Teesside 1st............................ 3 0 2 York St John 1st....................... 5 0 1 Sunderland 2nd....................... 5 0 0 Teesside 2nd........................... 3 0 0 York St John 2nd..................... 2
L 1 1 2 1 1 3 4 2
Pts 15 12 12 9 6 6 -3 -6
Volleyball - Northern Conference Men’s 3A W P 4 Leeds Met 2nd.................................. 5 3 Teesside 1st.......................................3 1 York St John 1st.................................5 2 Bradford 1st.......................................4 0 Sheffield 2nd.....................................3
L 1 0 4 2 3
Pts 15 9 3 3 0
Volleyball - Northern Conference Women’s 2B W L P 0 6 Leeds Met 1st....................................6 2 4 Sheffield 2nd.....................................6 4 2 York 1st.............................................. 6 4 1 Hallam 1st......................................... 5 4 1 5 Bradford 1st.......................................
Pts 18 12 6 3 3
Sheffield ready for BUCS challenge By Paul Garbett
The Sheffield competitors display their trophy after the Blackpool event. Kabir Nepal, the society President, was understandably proud of the success. He said: “That was our sixth competition so far this season, and overall we’ve done well.
“We did well in our home competition and we’ve go two more competitions this year, in Manchester and Leeds, so hopefully we can carry on our success.”
The University of Sheffield teams are eagerly awaiting the start of the BUCS Championships, having qualified for the finals of eight events. Sheffield will be hopeful of success in next Saturday’s climbing event, having won the championships for the past two years. The men’s lacrosse squad plan to continue their unbeaten run this season and lift the BUCS crown on Thursday, March 12, at Mount Saint Mary’s School. Table tennis duo Lisa Radford and Dominika Kolarova have also qualified for the women’s
D 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0
table tennis event and will look to build on their impressive display against Southampton, when they play their semi final on Friday, March 13. There are also chances of medals in the martial arts events, with Sheffield students having qualified for the judo and karate competitions, which begin at Ice Sheffield on Saturday, March 14. Elsewhere, the University of Sheffield will compete in the korfball and ultimate frisbee finals, while students will also aim to win medals in next weekend’s athletics finals at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. A full list of fixtures can be found at bucs.org.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Daley keeping his cool as the media heat rises
Tom Daley recently recorded a lifetime best score at the British Championships in Sheffield. By Paul Garbett Diving head first off a 10 metre platform must be a nervous experience at the best of times, even without the added pressure of TV cameras and newspaper photographers watching your every move. For 14-year-old diving superstar Tom Daley, its all in a day’s work. Having been catapulted into the limelight thanks to the Beijing Olympics, Daley has become a household name. As Britain’s youngest Olympian, his story captured the nation and, despite some disappointment with only a seventh placed finish in Beijing, his face has become an icon of Britain’s 2012 hopes.
Daley was oblivious of the television film crew as he sat listening to his iPod “As every competition takes place, I know we are getting closer to 2012 and when I’m round the country competing you can feel the excitement and build up. Its something everyone is talking about,” he said. “2012 has always been my aim, and I know I’ve got to work hard and learn some more dives, but I’m very pleased how everything is going.” It’s easy to see why Daley would be pleased with his current
progress. At last month’s British Championships in Sheffield, Daley dominated the men’s event. The Plymouth teenager scored a personal best total of 517.55 in the final, a massive 133 points ahead of his nearest rival. A score like that in the 2008 Olympic final would have secured Daley a fourth place finish, and it is a clear indication that he is one of Team GB’s golden prospects. Yet the teenager is philosophical about his chances of winning a medal at the World Championships this summer in Rome. He said: “I’m not going there expecting anything again, it’s a long way off and my main focus is the London Olympics. But, if all goes well, you never know what can happen.” Equally impressive as his diving improvement is Daley’s maturity. It’s easy to forget that he is just 14 years old after watching him stroll through a series of press and television interviews at Ponds Forge like a seasoned pro. At the British Championships, Daley looked the only person in the arena who didn’t feel the pressure of the dozens of clicking cameras as he stepped up to the high board to execute a series of breathtaking dives. Daley was oblivious of the television film crew there to make a documentary about him, as he sat at poolside listening to his iPod and coolly waiting for his time on the platform. “There’s definitely more pressure on me going into competitions
than before the Olympics as people know my name and come to see me dive,” he said.
If we want to have a chance of medals then we need better facilities “I just try to concentrate on my diving and don’t let myself focus on the crowds and the cameras. The experience of Beijing has helped me gain confidence and I know I have to keep focused to pull off my best dives.” Daley’s personality and performance has brought diving into the public’s attention and he hopes that he can raise the profile of the sport amongst young people. He said: “I really hope that I can do my best to help get more people involved in diving and if people see me dive and want to do the same then great. “It’s a shame that more young people aren’t getting into the sport because everyone enjoys getting into the water and having a go at diving when they are on holiday”. Daley believes that a lack of facilities is hampering diving in the UK and preventing more youngsters like himself being identified as potential medal winners. He said: “It’s very true that there aren’t enough diving facilities in the UK. If you live in Birmingham and want to get involved in diving,
then you can’t because there isn’t a pool with proper facilities. “We’ve only got 10 swimming pools in the UK with 10 metre platform diving boards, and where I train at Plymouth is the oldest. “In fact the facilities are so old that we have to use squash courts to do dry training. If we want to have more chance of winning medals then I think we need better facilities.”
Daley’s next major event will be the UK leg of the FINA World Diving Series which takes place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on the weekend of April 18-19. The event will see Olympic gold medallists descend on Sheffield and will give Daley a great chance to test his Olympic potential. He said: “Its going to be great to be competing against the best again, especially here in Britain.”
Win tickets to see Tom Daley in action Tickets for April’s FINA World Diving Series went on sale last week, and we’ve got four pairs to give away. The two day event will see the best divers in the world arrive in Sheffield, including Olympic gold medallist Chen Ruolin and Team GB star Tom Daley. Passes are now on sale at swmming.org with day tickets priced at £10 and weekend passes available for £15, To win a pair of tickets simply answer the following question and email your answer to press. email@example.com before Friday, March 20. How old is Tom Daley? a) 14 years old b) 15 years old c) 16 years old
Daley will be diving in Sheffield.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Sheffield overpowered by highflying Nottingham Trent
Women await cup final
Photo: Helen Munro Women’s football Sheffield 3 Nottingham Trent 1
By Chris Rogan
Photo: Helen Munro
Sheffield were comfortably beaten by a superior Nottingham Trent side. By Rob O’Connor Men’s rugby union Sheffield 10 Nottingham Trent 25 Sheffield’s first XV slumped to a tame 25-10 defeat to Nottingham Trent in a match which never threatened to develop as a spectacle. The narrow score line was scarcely a reflection of the gulf between the sides as Sheffield struggled throughout to turn their tireless work rate into points. They were on the back foot early on as a shoddy attempted clearance from Matt Poulten presented the visitors with a 10-3
lead after the sides had exchanged penalties. This lapse in concentration was to set the tone for the performance as poor handling stifled any early efforts to threaten. The game progressed as a midfield scrap, although it was symptomatic of Sheffield’s performance that when they were pegged back into their own 22 they failed to recover. This was emphasised as they fell 17-3 behind after failing to withstand a spell of pressure from the visitors. The scenario was repeated minutes later when a neat kick caught the home side on the break to send Sheffield in at half time
looking a beaten side and with a 25-3 deficit to address. The second half looked to have brought a change of fortune with a penetrating burst from Alex Murphy representing Sheffield’s first significant threat. It was to be a false dawn, however, as Sheffield failed to evolve as an attacking force and were limited to prolonged spells of possession with little reward. The frailties of Uni’s game were re-emphasised by the ease with which Trent were allowed to break from their own 22 to threaten the home side’s try-line, with a series of missed tackles exposing the lack of organisation and leadership among their ranks.
Captain Rob Grocock attributed the mediocrity of the display to the limited resources available to his squad, citing poor facilities as the crux of the side’s struggle this season. Sheffield’s major failing on the day was an inability to capitalise on the few opportunities they carved out, with a succession of dropped passes preventing them from posing a genuine threat. Failure to utilise the pace of William Berry on the wing was equally antagonistic to their cause. That James Caddy was finally able to turn some prolonged possession into a well worked late try only partially masked the ineptitude of Sheffield’s performance.
Rugby league through to cup semi-final
The team celebrate their cup success. By Toby Yates Men’s rugby league Liverpool 16 Sheffield 19 A hard fought extra-time victory made the difference for the University of Sheffield’s Rugby League side as they scraped past Liverpool to book a place in the semi-finals of the BUCS Shield. Having made the journey across the Pennines, Sheffield took to the pitch enthusiastically and full
of confidence after their success in the previous round over Warwick by 54 points to 12. Sheffield started the brighter, taking the game to Liverpool. The first break of the game came from a quick series of rolling plays and quick passes that allowed John Donnelly to crash over to give the visitors the early advantage. Not allowing a missed conversion to dampen the side’s spirits, Sheffield’s forwards intensified their attack, with Leon Pybus and Toby Yates taking in crash balls and making plenty
of yards, setting the platform for Dan Gray to lay on a charging Alex Buckman who broke through the Liverpool defence to stretch the ball over the line. Gray added the conversion. But then Sheffield’s defence seemed to go to sleep as straight from the restart a lucky bounce and a little wind assistance allowed Liverpool in to score almost immediately. Then came a blow to Sheffield’s team when top try scorer Matt Steel made a last ditch try-saving tackle but dislocated his shoulder, in the process ending his match. Following the injury, Sheffield again looked threatening in attack, but just before the halftime break, it was Liverpool who broke free and took the game to ten apiece going into the interval. Sheffield’s defence held strong after the restart with big tackles coming from Doug Moss and Dave Collins to keep Liverpool’s attackers at bay, and at the other end two drop goal attempts from the away side drifted agonisingly wide of the posts. As the match went unbearably into extra time it was Sheffield
who were first to break the deadlock, after Gray showed his experience to cut a brilliant line and crash over, before then adding the conversion. Dave Casey then broke away to make a drop goal from 45 yard sout, but confusion in the Sheffield defence gave Liverpool hope of snatching victory with a well constructed try and conversion. However, that was all the hosts could muster as their indiscipline caused them to give away a penalty which was duly converted, securing Sheffield a place in the semi-finals. Captain Mike McGrath was understandably delighted with the result. He said: “I’m really proud of the players’ performances. “It was a really tough game between two equally matched sides and the performance in extra time showed the fitness training is paying off. “In recent years we have been on the receiving end of narrow losses in close matches and I think the win was testament to the commitment of all the players and strength in depth we have in the squad this year.”
Sheffield Women beat tabletopping University of Sunderland Firsts to reach the final of the Northern Conference Cup with an impressive performance at Norton Playing Fields. In a match that was possibly predicted to be in Sunderland’s favour, Sheffield produced an excellent tactical game of football with an impressive defensive display in conditions less than conducive to attractive football. Within three minutes Sheffield striker Melissa Hallmark was through on goal only to blaze the ball over the bar, but her next effort, coming after a costly Sunderland defensive error, hit the back of the net in a calm and classy finish that went in off the post in the fifth minute. Despite the goal, both sides seemed quite tentative in the early stages, with both making mistakes and squandering possession. After some uninspiring midfield exchanges, the home side eventually cemented their lead with a second goal at the half-hour mark, with an excellent through ball from central midfielder Kathryn Adie to forward Sarah Bailey who neatly rounded the keeper and slotted home. Sunderland hit back within minutes, with Sarah Carling lashing in a superb volley taken on the turn which caught Sheffield goalkeeper Yaz Dogan off guard. The midfield battle continued towards half-time, but Sheffield gained another goal when Katherine Chappell struck a shot from just outside the box that took a heavy deflection to wrongfoot the Sunderland goalkeeper in the 44th minute. After the break, the nitty-gritty play that had characterised the first half remained with Sheffield adopting a more defensive stance, but Sunderland failed to make an impact against a splendid Sheffield midfield and back line. Speaking after the game, Uni skipper Natalie Froggatt said: “I’m very impressed with the way we played today, and I think that if we can reproduce this level of performance, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to win the final.” It was not a pretty display of football, but a performance that suggests that Sheffield are strong contenders for the cup. Sheffield will now face Cumbria in the Northern Conference Cup final on Wednesday, March 25.
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
Triumphant Shefﬁeld regain title By Robert Golledge Ice hockey Uni 3 Hallam 4 (after sudden death overtime) A near capacity crowd saw a sensational hour of ice hockey at Ice Shefﬁeld as a gallant Uni team fought back from 2-0 down only to lose in a period of sudden death overtime after a 3-3 tie. Whilst Uni have never lost the Winter Varsity trophy, they have never won the ice hockey, with Hallam claiming victory in the last ﬁve ﬁxtures. Hallam lined up without Oliver Barron, Lloyd Gibson and Nick Manning, who were with Team GB at the World Student Games in Harbin, China. Uni’s Stuart Brittle was also on international duty with the GB squad. The game started with a ﬂurry of Hallam attacks. In the ﬁrst ﬁve minutes Uni goaltender James Zeller had to pull off no less than six saves to prevent his side succumbing to an early thrashing. Matt Jeffcock and Tom Larcombe were creating problem after problem for the Uni defence, with Larcombe working the ﬂanks and Jeffcock looking dangerous when given the faintest scent of the goal. Despite Hallam’s dominance they couldn’t break the Uni defence to claim an early lead. For Uni, Eric Lee Cheong and Andy Terentjev always looked threatening on the counter. Hallam continued to threaten the Uni goal but a gutsy Zeller prevented them from opening the scoring. With ﬁve minutes until the end of the ﬁrst period all the Hallam pressure ﬁnally paid off. Tom Larcombe rounded his defender and guided the puck to Chris Bryniarski who neatly tapped home the opening goal. Hallam’s dominance continued, with Jeffcock and Bryniarski repeatedly either striking wide or calling Zeller into action. Hallam should have made it 2-0 with a minute to go but Stephen Carr’s sliced shot missed an open net. The second period started off as a rather dull affair. Neither side dominated and the tempo was that more suited to a training match than the biggest game of the calendar. Eventually Hallam picked up the pace. Ben Duffy, Larcombe, Jeffcock and Bryniarski were all denied by Zeller, who was performing miracles in the Uni goal. Zeller then made an unbelievable double save, ﬁrst a ﬁerce shot by Jeffcock and then the follow up by Larcombe. Somehow whilst on the ﬂoor from Jeffcock’s shot Zeller managed to pick himself up to prevent Larcombe from two yards, and the crowd were starting to wonder why he hadn’t been on the plane to China. Uni were then struck a cruel blow as they conceded a controversial goal. After Jeffcock’s shot was saved by Zeller, Bryniarski tapped in the rebound. Zeller thought he’d cleared the puck off the line and protested to the match ofﬁcials. Uni responded with a positive attitude. Uni lecturer Mike Szollosy hit the post and Terentjev caused concern at the back for Hallam with long, jinking runs into the opposition’s half. Only poor ﬁnishing and saves from Hallam captain Andy Bagshaw saw the period ﬁnish 2-0 to Hallam. An invigorated Uni team emerged from the tunnel for the
A thrilling game at Ice Shefﬁeld saw Hallam overcome the spirited Uni team, although only after sudden death overtime. Uni had looked poised to take victory ﬁnal period. Uni captain Tom Ray opened his side’s account taking an opportunist strike early on after the puck whizzed around from behind the Hallam goal and fell into his path. Uni for the ﬁrst time in the game started a period of dominance. Pocket rocket Terentjev caused carnage in the Hallam half. He tied two Hallam defenders in knots before passing control to Lee Cheong who set up Jack Ware for the equaliser. The surprise turnaround was completed three minutes later. Terentjev was becoming the thorn in Hallam’s side, and with another jink into the Hallam end he perplexed Bagshaw and set up Lee Cheong to put Uni into an unthinkable lead with 12 minutes left on the clock. With ﬁve minutes to go Uni’s Luke Summers was binned and Hallam took advantage of the extra man. Bryniarski got away from his marker and scored to Zeller’s left, completing his hat-trick and sparing Hallam’s blushes.
With 20 seconds left on the clock Terentjev found himself one-onone with Bagshaw but the shot was straight at the Hallam tender. The game went into sudden death overtime, and Hallam took control from the off. Larcombe hit the bar, and when the puck was played in the Uni end and found itself out wide on the left ﬂank, Hallam’s Ben Davies rocketed into the net for a stunning strike worthy of winning an outstanding game. Tom Ray, Shefﬁeld captain, said: “It was a great game to play in and a great spectacle for all the fans. After the second period when we were 2-0 down I didn’t have to say much to the team. All I said was ‘look at the score, do something about it’. I think everyone can be proud of how they played today, it was a close call.” Scott Parkin, Hallam assistant captain, said: “It was the closest ever game between the sides and was very exciting to play in. To be honest it was too close for my liking. “It was great fun to see all the banners and to hear the crowd.”
Ben Kolb in action on the slopes.
Photo: Marek Allen
FORGE PRESS Friday March 6 2009
despite hockey loss
Netball win boosts Uni Varsity hopes
The netball ﬁrst team won comfortably. By Laura O’Meara Netball ﬁrsts Uni 49 Northumbria 20
when they took a 3-2 lead in the ﬁnal quarter, having been 2-0 down.
Photo: Olivia Lightfoot
Easy win for ‘excellent’ Uni By Oliver Hughes Skiing and snowboarding Uni 5 Hallam 1 Shefﬁeld’s success on the slopes again proved to be the deciding factor in this year’s Winter Varsity as they reafﬁrmed their dominance over a disappointing Hallam side, winning by ﬁve points to one at Shefﬁeld Ski Village. Having been whitewashed in last year’s event it was expected that Hallam would have been desperate for revenge, but despite improving by a single point they will no doubt feel humbled by a devastating Shefﬁeld display. Shefﬁeld kicked off the rout with the freestyle skiers, consisting of Laurie Anthony, Andrew Burton, Alan McDonald and Si Bainbridge, beating Hallam’s Alex Anthony,
Joe Mac and Rodrey Evans by 54 points to 50. Hallam pulled a point back in the big air ski with a score of 2417, before Shefﬁeld snowboard freestylers Paul Smart, Ben Kolb, Polly Baker, Robin Grant and Dan Sadler restored the natural order, easing to a 48-43 triumph. Hallam then fell even further behind as they lost out in both skiing and snowboard slalom by several lengths. Shefﬁeld then concluded the trouncing with a 15-11 success in the big air board event. Paul Smart was then awarded best boarder, with Hallam’s Andy Funnel taking best skier. Snowboard captain Ben Marshall was delighted with the way his team performed, but was disappointed that Hallam hadn’t progressed as much as they should have from last year’s event.
“We did really well. Dan (Sadler) had not made ﬁnals before so we are really happy about that. “I thought Hallam would step things up a lot more from last year because they were pretty promising to be honest, but they haven’t really changed much. They’re still trying tricks they can’t land,” he said. Ski captain Si Bainbridge was highly complimentary to many of his team-mates and was understandably happy with the result. He said: “The performance was excellent. Laurie (Anthony) always skis well and we also had Richard Coupe, who was Hallam captain last year, and Si Watson who were both the fastest racers. “It was a pity we didn’t win all the events, but we had a go. We were fairly conﬁdent going into the event but Hallam’s freestyle skiers were very good.”
Shefﬁeld’s netball team received a much needed morale boost in the lead up to their Varsity showdown with Hallam as they stormed to victory over Northumbria in Wednesday’s match at Goodwin Sports Centre. The team came from behind to take what became an easy victory over a Northumbria side that had little to offer against a well organised and composed Shefﬁeld side. Club captain Jessica Harvey revealed the club had had a shaky couple of weeks and that victory came as a welcome relief to team members. “Due to some shake ups in the club and retrials last Monday we needed a moral boost. “The team began a little shakily with Northumbria starting strongly but by the end of the ﬁrst quarter we took control from four down and from there on we didn’t look back. “We are hoping to draw from this win, build on our ﬁtness and therefore approach Varsity with our heads up looking to challenge the trophy.” It was a poor start from the home team who saw themselves fall behind immediately as Northumbria capitalised on having won the toss. The away team took the ﬁrst centre and raced into an early lead, which was followed in quick succession by three unanswered points. Northumbria’s solid start did not last long as Shefﬁeld moved up a gear, intercepting passes and breaking away to make the score level at 4-4. Shefﬁeld built on this, and when they took the lead after a rebound from a missed penalty pass they never looked back. By the end of the ﬁrst quarter the home side had opened up a four point gap and went into the break leading 12-8. The second quarter saw Uni carry on where they left off. Attacking duo Jessica Harvey and Rebecca
Photo: Adam Harley Hollow rarely missed a shot, allowing the home team to build up a 13 point lead over the visitors. Determined defensive work from Jenny Paris and Natalie Morris, who have not played many games together, meant Northumbria rarely got a look in, and only managed to add four points to their score by half time. In the third quarter the focus of the Uni team was unwavering and Northumbria had no response. Shefﬁeld won rebounds, intercepted passes and were a constant threat when they went forward, whereas the away team seemed to have left their luck at home as they missed shots and conceded penalties. Shefﬁeld went into the ﬁnal quarter leading 37-16 and were in complete control. Northumbria never gave up but their effort did not get them anywhere as they continued to miss shots and allow Shefﬁeld to steal the ball and surge forward and put more points on the board. As the umpire blew the whistle for full-time a delighted Shefﬁeld team celebrated a massive 49-20 victory, whilst the Northumbria captain was not so happy. Lauren Mcgurk, whose team had travelled through snow to get to the match, said: “The game didn’t go how we wanted it to. We thought it would be a lot closer than that; we only lost by three or four last time.” The Shefﬁeld captain was in much happier spirits. Harvey said: “Focus was crucial in this game because we wanted to show what we were capable of and I think the girls really rose to the challenge.” Shefﬁeld have had a disappointing season, loitering in fourth place out of six in Northern Conference 2B, but this crucial conﬁdence boost ahead of the Varsity showdown could be the vital catalyst the team needs to gain a win. Their cross-city rivals have also been struggling this campaign. Hallam’s ﬁght to stave off relegation from the Northern Conference’s top division looks futile after defeat in all nine league ﬁxtures. The game will likely be a tight affair, with both sides hopeful of securing a much coveted Varsity victory.
SPORT Rickard elected Sports Officer
Tom Daley interview Page 32
Winter Varsity Pages 34-35
Forceful Uni breeze past weak Leeds Met
Photo: Adam Harley By Oliver Hughes Kate Rickard was last night voted next year’s Sports Officer after defeating her nearest rival Stuart Totty by a colossal 1,102 votes. The third year Sociology student has been Women’s Cricket club captain throughout the past year and an active member of the current Sports Committee. Her plans for the next year include recognising and reinforcing University sporting success, promoting the benefits of sport and exercise, promoting wider participation for all, and strengthening links between the University’s sporting community. After the nerve-racking announcement live in Bar One, she was obviously overwhelmed with her victory. She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon and can’t say enough how happy I am. “We worked really hard and had a fantastic campaign team who backed me 110 per cent; they’ve just been amazing.” Rickard was also highly complimentary to outgoing Sports Officer Ella White, whose tenure this year has seen the University retain of the Winter Varsity trophy and high expectations of securing the main Varsity trophy at the beginning of April. Rickard said: “I’m really keen on following on from the fantastic work of Ella White and including my own policies and making it even better. “I’m really committed to my four main areas and hopefully work hard to achieve them all. “I want to positively promote the benefits of sport and get everyone involved regardless of ability, disability, gender and ethnicity. I really want to make sure everyone feels included in sport.” Present Sports Officer Ella White believes Rickard will do a great job. She said: “I think it was a really hard-fought victory this year. There was a really high calibre of candidates so I am really pleased for Kate. “She was on the Sports Committee with me and from what she’s done on there so far highlights that she’s a brilliant candidate for the job and that she’s got the skills to do a really great job as Sports Officer.”
Ryeoil Kim shields a challenge from a Leeds Met defender as Sheffield cruise to victory. By Pete Ford Men’s football Uni firsts 2 Leeds Met seconds 0 A highly polished and efficient performance which saw Uni’s first team run out comfortable winners for the third time this season against an under-par Leeds Met side. In breezy conditions the hosts enjoyed the perfect start. With less than a minute on the clock Sean Rushton broke down the left wing and delivered a deep cross which was met firmly by Ryeoil Kim, the ball nestling in the bottom corner. Sheffield kept the pressure on throughout the early stages with Rushton looking lively on the left wing and the strike force of Oliver Wayne and Cameron Gray
causing Leeds’ defence plenty of trouble with intelligent runs in behind. Wayne went close to doubling Sheffield’s advantage after 10 minutes, putting his free header wide from eight yards. The visitors had a torrid first half as Sheffield’s midfield dominated proceedings, and anything which did break through was comfortably dealt with by the centre-back pairing of Tom Macleod and David Venn. The chances for Sheffield just kept coming as Dan Quinn had a shot cleared off the line after neat first touch passing had cut through the Leeds defence, and minutes the hosts later should have had a penalty. Wayne was brought down by a tackle which was both high and dangerous, but no decision was given. Half-time could not come quickly enough for Leeds, who
looked increasingly frustrated at proceedings whilst Sheffield were left wondering how the score remained at just 1-0. An unexpected snowstorm accompanied the start of the second half, and it seemed to suit Leeds who came out firing, instantly pressing Sheffield back deep into their own half and forcing early defensive errors. Despite their early dominance Leeds still could not force an opening, and as the second half went on and the snow subsided, the home side began to ease their way back into the match. Rushton blazed over from 12 yards before a deep corner was not dealt with and Matthew Amukapemu was left with a simple header at the far post with twenty minutes to go. It was a sucker punch for a Leeds team who showed endeavour and enthusiasm, if a lack of cutting
Photo: Helen Munro edge in front of goal. Sheffield seemed content to settle at 2-0 and sat back in the final stages, happy to allow Leeds to have possession in their own half. Despite this Sheffield still had the better chances in the last 10 minutes. Gray was inches away from Rushton’s left-wing cross, whilst Amukapemu forced his way into the area and drew a good save from the Leeds’s keeper. A 3-0 score line would not have been flattering for a side who dominated for large parts of the game, and left the Sheffield goalkeeper with very little to do except try to stay warm. Captain Tom Macleod claimed the performance was Sheffield’s “best of the year” and kept them in the hunt for the league title in which they lie just behind bitter rivals Hallam with just three games to go.
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