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gair rhydd

gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1081 Monday 19th September 2016 Also in this issue

Comment: Universities should do more to help with debt P8 >>

‘Overbearing’ new building in development for Park Place

Politics: Could Corbyn actually win the leadership election? P16>>

• Cardiff University plans to demolish three Victorian houses on Park Place to make way for a new ‘Centre for Student Life’ • Building work is planned to start next year with the development being completed in time for September 2019 Maria Mellor

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ardiff University plans to demolish three Victorian houses on Park Place to make way for a new ‘Centre for Student Life’. The university hopes the new building will become the new hub for nonacademic student activity. It will stand in the current location of the 46 Park Place and 47-49 Park Place buildings and will incorporate the current students’ union building, linking it with a pedestrian bridge to connect to Cathays Railway Station. Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor, said: “The Centre for Student Life is a significant investment in our students and their learning experience here in Cardiff.” The multi-million pound project was designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) after a competition was launched to find a team of architects to plan the ‘one-stop shop for students’.

FCBS partner Tom Jarman said: “Situated on Park Place between the Main Building and the Students’ Union, the new facility will provide excellent learning and support environments to students at the University. “The project will also serve to create much improved connections to the Students’ Union and Cathays railway station beyond.” There have been objections to the proposal from people worried it would not suit the aesthetic of the older buildings situated on Park Place. Nerys Lloyd-Pierce chairman of Cardiff Civic Society said: “Aesthetically, the proposed scheme jars with neighbouring buildings due to its size and the fact that it fronts Park Place, rather than being set back from it. “The Cardiff Civic Society has no objection to a new Centre for Student Life in principle, however, the current design is far too overbearing for its location.” Cardiff University said the CSL is designed to enhance students’ experience

and well-being. Professor Riordan said: “Our students rightly expect the very best facilities in every part of their Cardiff education and I am therefore delighted that we have secured designers with a proven track record for this type of high-profile project.” Student opinion is split on the matter. On second year student we spoke to said: “It looks so practical. What it has is what we need.” It is intended that the functionality of the current students’ union building will not be compromised. A university spokesperson said: “The current range of student services will continue to be available and will be undergoing development and improvements over the next few years before the Centre for Student Life opens.” The university does not yet have planning permission for the project. Work to build The Centre for Student Life is scheduled to start in January or February next year to open in September 2019.

Pictured: A view of what the new building might look like (Source: Cardiff University)

Societies: Your guide to the Freshers’ fair P22>>

Taf Od: Pwy yw pwyllgor newydd y Gym Gym?


2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor News Toby Holloway Jamie Smith Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Politics Jamie McKay Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Pakinee Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Tom Morris Want to be an editor? We have editorial vacancies in Taf Od and Advice, and positions as columnist and cartoonist. Email editor@gairrhydd.com if you’re interested. Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 5pm. Proofreading takes place from 5pm on Thursdays in the media office during print weeks. Write to the editor editor@gairrhydd.com Tweet us @gairrhydd At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/complaints Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.

the free word

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange) A lot is different but we’re still here

Maria Mellor

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ere we are again! We’re back with a new academic year and therefore a new editorial team. I have the honour of writing this little section for you, dear reader, to introduce our first issue of this generation of Gair Rhydd. We’re still finding our feet with this online-only issue, so I’ll hope you’ll appreciate us for the good and ignore any possible typos. This wouldn’t be a first editorial without talking about the changes that have happened this year in the union. Returning students may have noticed the fancy new layout to the ground floor and back of the union building. We’ve got a couple of extra retail outlets and places to get food from which will certainly help us on deadline days! I won’t say much about the sheer volume of VKs now available in The Taf but needless to say I plan to try every single flavour. Closer to home there has been a change of hands in student media. I (obviously) am the new editor of Gair Rhydd, there’s George Caulton as my print media partner as the new editor

of Quench. Harry Bligh, James Wilkinson and Angharad Jenkins Wendon are the triple threat of Xpress heads, and Charlie Knights is taking over CUTV. The blackboard wall has been freshly scrubbed ready for the new term and the office has had a change around for CUTV’s freshers’ live broadcast (which you should definitely check out on Youtube). This year with the paper I’m hoping that there’ll be some change to make it even better. You’ll see that below this lovely editorial we have a new weekly feature! Tom Morris has fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a satirical cartoonist. We haven’t had a proper cartoon in this paper since a disastrously controversial depiction of Mohammed that made national news (and also incidently Wikipedia). Rest assured we have learned our lesson and Tom knows to stick to less offensive sources of material. We’re also looking for an additional editor for our Welsh language section, Taf Od. In previous years we Taf Od has been quite small with only one editor in quite an isolating position. I’m hoping to promote Welsh language use both in the paper and on social media.

Talking about social media, our new digital media editor Emily has brought us into the new age with a Gair Rhydd snapchat! Follow us: our username is gairrhyddnews. In news this week we have a story about the plans to build a new Centre for Student Life. It all sounds so useful and practical and big an yet more change for the university. I have a feeling that most of the opposition for the project from students will simply be because people don’t like change. We also have changes to the Bristol tunnel affecting students’ journeys to Cardiff and changes to Cardiff buses. There seems to be a bit of a theme going here, I quite like it. Further on in this issue you’ll find a lot of advice about how to survive at university. Asking around, what most people say is to join in on anything you can; ‘Give it a go’ as they say. We also have stories in politics on whether Trump and Corbyn could win their respective elections, and an interesting feature in science on upcoming science events and research. All in all not bad for a first issue! I may be biased but I think student media is the best thing ever. We’re tech-

nically a group of societies and it doesn’t take much to join. You get so much out of it too: a print copy of an article you wrote to show an employer, or perhaps a clip of you showing your presenting prowess on Xpress or CUTV. If you want to join you can find us at the Volunteering Fair on Monday and the Societies Fair on Wednesday. I’ve personally been involved in all four sections of student media: I was the producer of a show for Xpress, I was columnist for Quench with my (aptly named) monthly, ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ I’ve even been interviewed for CUTV. Student media really got me out of my very quiet shell and here I am now. Could this be you writing in this space in a couple of years? Who knows. Honestly it’s hard to say goodbye to last year’s Gair Rhydd including all the friends I made. I can’t not thank Joe, Carwyn and Anna in particular for all their guidance that made this issue possible. I’m not a person who likes change but it’s time to stop worrying about what might happen and instead embrace it. Maria out.


EDITORIAL 3

Campus in Brief

Maria Mellor

A petition has been launched to rename Cardiff Airport after Princess Diana.

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oald Dahl fever has hit the city in celebration of his 100th birthday last week. Cardiff residents could find moving puppets on the castle wall in the centre of town based on Dahl’s creations. Cardiff University even got involved as the School of Medicine released a video of them recreating George’s marvellous medicine, and Professor Damian Walford Davies from ENCAP published an article about how growing up Welsh moulded Roald Dahl as a writer. Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education visited Cardiff University to deliver her first major speech on higher education since being appointed to the Welsh Government. Speaking at the University’s Business School, the Education Secretary said that now is the time for Welsh universities to reconnect with the communities that surround them. Professor Colin Riordan said: “We are proud of our successes, but we can do more to embrace and appreciate the cultural and social diversity of the communities within which we sit. We are united with government in working beyond the constraints of our own physical and virtual boundaries to support and develop meaningful and sustainable social cohesion.” A petition has been launched to rename Cardiff Airport after Princess Diana, however has faced a series of complaints after locals say it should be named after a Welsh person. A study from Cardiff University has shown that people’s judgement of how drunk they are if affected by how drunk the people around them are. People were more likely to underestimate their own level of drinking, drunkenness and the associated risks when surrounded by others who were intoxicated, but felt more at risk when surrounded by people who were more sober. News of this research arrives just in time for the arrival of freshers’ week.

National

After the news last week of The Great British Bake Off being moved to Channel 4, Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, has offered fans reassurances that the beloved show will have a ‘safe home’ with the broadcaster. Despite the lack of hosting team Mel and Sue, he claims that “the show of soggy bottoms and good crumb will be made by exactly the same team who have always made it.” In more serious matters, Stephen Hawking amongst others has urged Theresa May to launch an inquiry into Jeremy Hunt’s claim that 11,000 patients a year die due to a lack of medics on duty at the weekends. British Medical Journal has rejected this claim. New research has found that if every woman invited for a cervical screening attended an appointment the lives of almost 350 women a year could be saved. At its current rate of attendance, cervical screening saves approximately 1,800 lives every year. MPs have called for a review of family court procedures that ‘allow men to re-traumatise women and children’. Allegedly the procedures involve deep-seated cultural values that prioritise the rights of abusive men over the safety of victims. The number of stun guns seized by UK border patrols has risen by 70% in the past year. Over the 2015/16 financial year 726 of the weapons were confiscated. The guns deliver a powerful electric shock that render the victim incapacitated or can even kill. The guns are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as criminals find it harder to acquire real guns. Those in possession of them face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

International

A report by the World Bank and the UN showed that the number of people displaced by conflict in the world is equivalent to the population of the UK at 65 million. This display aimed to highlight the scale of this international situation and show the amount of civilians impacted by conflict. It is 10 conflicts globally that are the root of the problem and have been responsible for forced displacement for the past 25 years. The Japanese opposition party have just elected the first female leader in its history. In a nation where women are very much underrepresented in politics, Renho Murata is the third woman to attain a high office position. The former news anchor defeated her two rivals for the leadership of the left-of-centre Democratic party last week. The woman in the famous VJ Day ‘Kiss’ photo has died aged 92. Greta Zimmer Friedman died of pneumonia at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Ms Friedman was 21 years old when she was grabbed and kissed by George Mendonsa in New York’s Times Square on 14 August 1945. Although the picture captures the pair in a tight embrace, they did not actually know each other. Donald Trump has released a letter from his doctor stating that while his is considered overweight, he is otherwise in “excellent physical health.” This letter follows his rival Hillary Clinton’s return to the campaign trail after some time off battling pneumonia. Both candidates have faced public scrutiny over transparency about the state of their health.

Pictured: Kirsty Williams speaking at Cardiff University (Source: Cardiff University)

The number of people displaced by conflict in the world is equivalent to the population of the UK at 65 million.


4 NEWS

news

Editors: Toby Holloway Jamie Smith Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews news@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/news

Bristol tunnel closure causes problems for students

Carwyn Williams

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tudents returning to Cardiff are facing travel chaos this month, as the Severn Tunnel closes for a six-week period. The vital rail link between England and Wales has been used for over 130 years, but is now closed so that vital upgrade work can be done to electrify the London-Cardiff main line. The disruption means trains to London are being diverted via Gloucester, adding over half an hour to journey times. Getting to Bristol on the other hand is much more of a hassle, comprising of getting a train to Newport, a bus replacement ser-

vice to Bristol Parkway, and another train to Temple Meads, and could take two hours at peak hours. Eleanor Parkyn, a third year JOMEC student said: “I won’t be able to go home/visit people this term because its made my journey time three hours longer than usual each way but is somehow more expensive.” Anthea Dolman-Gair, senior programme manager for Network Rail Wales, said, “Without a solid six-week closure, it would take engineers a minimum of five years of weekend working to complete the

upgrade, causing significant longterm disruption for passengers and delaying electrification in South Wales.” The upgrade is part of a wider £3 billion project to electrify and modernise the Great Western Rail Line from London Paddington to Swansea. On top of this, international students will benefit from a new railway line connecting Heathrow airport with the Western line at Reading, removing the need to go via London Paddington and saving journey times further. It is hoped

that electrification between Cardiff and London will be complete by March 2019, already two years behind schedule. Alternative travel methods are also an option, with National Express putting extra buses on the route to Bristol. If you really feel like avoiding the stress, Flybe have introduced a new flight from Cardiff to London City Airport, from about £35 each way. The line will reopen on the October 22 if all goes to plan, and open by the time reading week comes around for many students.

Trains to London are being diverted via Gloucester, adding over half an hour to journey times.

Pictured: You could be sitting on this train for longer than you expected (Photographer: Matthew Bailey)

Cardiff University falls in world university rankings Harry Webster

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Goals of reaching the top 100 were not met

ardiff University has dropped in the world university rankings despite aims of breaking into the world’s top 100 universities by 2017. The university has dropped 18 places, from a four year peak of 122 in September of last year, to 140th in this years annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. The drop marks the first time the university has fallen in the QS rankings in the last five years. Despite this blow, Cardiff University has maintained its position in the UK rankings, and its position as the top ranked university in Wales. A representative from the university said, ‘It’s disappointing we have fallen in the QS World University Rankings following recent progress – 2015 marked our highest ranking for five years.’ ‘We have maintained our position of 22nd in the UK and improved our academic reputation to become 19th.

We are also now in the top 100 in the world regarding the proportion of our students who are international.’ The university, which has just revealed plans to develop a new Centre for Student Life, maintains its desire to become one of the world’s top 100 universities by 2017, having achieved the feat as recently in 2007, placing 99th. However, despite the setback, Cardiff University is the only university in Wales to feature in the top 200 and remains the top ranked of all Welsh universities on the list. Among the top universities in Wales, only Swansea featured in the top 400, at 390th, while Aberystwyth featured in the top 500 for the first time. The UKs top representatives in this years rankings were The University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, UCL and Imperial, with Cambridge and Oxford placing 4th and 6th respectively.

Pictured: Better luck next year (Photographer: Walt Jabsco)


NEWS 5

University considering new EU campus after Brexit Toby Holloway

But I think the tuition fees will become different for people in the EU and that is a disadvantage. Tudor Andrei, Romanian student

Toby Holloway

The new services will charge £3 for an adult return ticket, and £2 for passengers under the age of 19.

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ardiff University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan, and other leaders of Cardiff University, have been discussing the possibility of opening a new EU campus, it has been revealed. This potential overseas expansion for Wales’ leading university has come about as a reaction to the Brexit vote on 23rd of June, the result of which has cast doubt on the futures of European students in the UK. Cardiff University is said to be one of a number of institutions in the UK currently considering their options overseas, with high up university officials eager to reassure students and EU members alike, that the result of the referendum is not representative of their attitudes towards Europe. Professor Riordan, quoted by Wales Online, said: “We’re having to look at the world in different ways, which creates all kinds of possibilities. “Overseas campuses have always potentially been in the mix – but we haven’t felt it appropriate until now. “It’s really just a question of keeping your options open and having a look at the possibilities. We’ve got to be absolutely clear what it is we want to achieve.” While Professor Riordan also stressed that talks of an EU campus were “only a question of considering the possibility”, there is a definite concern among EU students over the effects of Brexit on higher education, as well as other areas. Tudor Andrei, a masters student originally from Romania, believes

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that the Brexit vote will have an effect on EU students studying at Cardiff: “Certainly in a way for a non UK resident it was easy to come in through little border control. “But I think the tuition fees will become different for people in the EU and that is a disadvantage”, he said, in an exclusive correspondence with Gair Rhydd, “as the EU people paid the same as brits...others pay much more.” Another European student, Paloma Prieto, from Spain, was also concerned by the result of the EU referendum and its potential to affect her education. Speaking to Wales Online, she said: “I have always thought that my place is in the UK, and living in Wales made me feel happy and sure about that decision. “However, I know that Brexit has changed everything.” She continued: “Although people are still open-minded and polite, I am not sure if I would be able to stay here if the laws change. “I know I was able to study the Masters because the requirements for Europeans were the same as for the British”, she added. “If that changes many Europeans will not have the chance to come here and those institutions will lose part of their identity.” It is clear that there are a number of concerns and widespread uncertainty over the future of higher education for EU and international students following the UK population’s decision to leave the European Union, which have prompted the

discussions for Cardiff University’s possible EU campus. However, it has been continuously stressed by University officials that talks of an overseas development are in their embryonic stages. Speaking to Gair Rhydd, a University spokesperson said: “All options are being considered in the post-referendum

climate and we wouldn’t rule anything out but it’s very much a discussion at this stage”. Whether plans for an EU campus come to fruition or not, it is clear that the future of higher education in the UK, especially for international students, remains opaque and unpredictable.

Pictured: The proposed campus would give EU students a chance (Photographer: Rock Cohen)

“One return to Glam, please” New night bus service launched in Cardiff

ardiff-based public transport company Cardiff Bus have announced the launching of two new bus routes, both of which will run throughout the night and into the mornings. Route 18 will link Canton, Ely and Caerau with the city centre, and will run every hour, seven days a week. Another service, Route 38, will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and will connect a number of student residential areas, including City Road, Crwys Road, Whitchurch Road, the Heath, and Talybont residences. The new services will charge £3 for an adult return ticket, and £2 for passengers under the age of 19. A similar scheme was briefly provided in April 2016 when Cardiff ’s Hackney Drivers’ Association went on strike amid controversy surrounding the refusal of some shortdistance fares from the city centre. Hackney Carriages received criticism that some of their drivers were endangering revellers by not accepting short journeys, and an investigation was launched following the sexual assault of a woman who was supposedly forced to walk home

from the city centre alone when a taxi driver refused her fare. A large number of complaints followed, describing similar stories of short-journey refusal, however many cab drivers argued that they were being unfairly treated, and that they only refused passengers who were excessively drunk or abusive. This led to the strike. Preventative action has been taken by Cardiff Council and South Wales Police in an attempt to increase the safety of the Welsh capital at night time, following the series of sexual assaults which occurred last year. The launch of the night bus service by Cardiff Bus could be another step towards helping clubbers get home safely from a night out, however there have been mixed reactions from Cardiff University students over the effectiveness of the scheme. English student James Lloyd, 20, praised the new bus service, stating: “I think it would be an excellent idea. Especially because of incidents that happened last year. It would keep people safe.” Medic Phyllis Bush, also 20, admitted: “£3 is pretty good but a taxi is less

Pictured: Just stick out your wand to call the Knight Bus (Source: ndl642m via Flickr)

than that each to your house, but then if your on your own it’s good.” However there was some skepticism, with Biology student Alex Harkin, 20, saying: “Well with alternatives like uber which can pick you up from wherever, and drop you off wherever, there’s

little incentive to get a bus for the same price if not more. Also, it will drop you off at a bus stop anyway, so there’s still the walk from the bus stop back to a house, which can be potentially dangerous.” The new service will launch on Sunday, September the 18th.


6 COMMENT

comment

Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom comment@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/comment

The French Burkini Ban:

The effects of the criminalisation of clothing

Helena Hanson

As the French police parade around the beaches, vilifying innocent Muslims for abiding by to their faith, it makes the West look just a little…xenophobic.

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ast month, it was reported that a number of beaches in France, in fifteen different towns, banned a particular style of modest swimwear, deeming it “incompatible with the values of France”. This follows the country’s decision in 2010 to ban the Muslim burqa, on the grounds that it did not adhere to the French republic’s idea of ‘women’s dignity’. The new legislation is targeted towards any beachwear that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France is the target of terrorist attacks”. So, ultimately, simplified for you and me, France has banned a wetsuit, because ISIS. Aside from the blatant feminist issue in hand here, perhaps the most concerning part of all of this is that ISIS are probably holding some sort of celebratory dinner, with cocktail sausages and fizzy wine and homemade fireworks, because this whole façade has worked out just spiffingly for them. Absolutely brilliant bloody scenes. Because, as the French police parade around the beaches, vilifying innocent Muslims for abiding by to their faith, it makes the West look just a little…xenophobic. I mean, if anything, France have saved ISIS a job by autonomously suggesting to the whole world, in-

cluding those pesky Islamic radicalists, that they can indeed be considered enemies of Islam that will do whatever necessary to cover up its existence in France. I can’t know for certain, but if I was a radical Islamic extremist, trying to decide whether to sacrifice my life to bomb the fuck out of everything, or not, I am not sure the blatant aggravation and oppression of Muslim women in the West will override my love of Dior and butter croissants. This legislation does not fight terrorism, but rather encourages it, by supporting the extremist ideology that the West is at war with Islam, which, as far as I’m aware, we’re not. Forgetting for a moment the bizarre image of a cluster of Jihad’s dancing a piñata and high fiving at Western stupidity, there is a serious feminist problem. Muslim women are being punished here for something that is absolutely fuck-all to do with them. Now, unless I am mistaken, if you are a female Muslim and you appear within a five meter radius of the M&S Swimwear section and you want a garment that has legs… this does not mean you hang out with Osama on weekends and this also does not make you a potential terrorist, or terrorist sympathiser.

These are just normal women. Ordinary women who are trying to go to the beach with their families, swim, relax, have a good time, whilst embracing whatever aspects of their faith that they chose. God forbid there be young, Western Muslims who will not make a choice between their religion and Western identity. Whilst it would be naïve to suggest that all Muslim women worldwide are free from oppression, the majority of European Muslim women are free to think for themselves. Is it so hard to believe that many would just rather cover up on the beach? Is it that inconceivable to imagine that some women may just WANT to be fully covered? Laurence Rossignol, the French minister for women’s rights, said that the purpose of the burkini and the burqa is to “hide women’s bodies in order to control them” and argues that they are “hostile to women’s emancipation”. It seems she is unable to understand that forcing women NOT to cover up and to show their bodies when they don’t want to, is more hostile to women’s emancipation than a wetsuit with a hood will ever be. But this battle is not just for Muslim women, it’s a fight for women

everywhere who are just tired of being told what we can and cannot wear. In 1907, Annette Kellerman was arrested in Boston for wearing a swimsuit, not entirely unlike the burkini, because it was revealing to levels of atrocity. Over one hundred years on, we could only dream of a world where women do not get sent home from work for not wearing high heels, do not get sent home from school for wearing skirts too short, do not get turned away from clubs for wearing trousers, and do not get arrested for wearing a fullbody swimsuit on the beach. God Damn it, we just can’t fucking win. Wear make up to look ‘put together’ we are told, oh my god not too much make up, Jesus! You’re supposed to look NATURAL. It’s so exhausting. It’s too hard to work out at what height your heels make you ‘slutty’ and at what inch your skirt makes you ‘frigid’, there are real problems in the world that could be being resolved. You know, like actual terrorism. Ultimately, if you still need reassurance that the burkini has absolutely fuck all to do with terrorism… Nigella Lawson owns one, and if Nigella Lawson is going over to the dark side, then there is absolutely no hope for the rest of us.

Pictured: Armed officers enforce burkini ban in Nice (Source: vantagenews. com)

It’s too hard to work out at what height your heels make you ‘slutty’ and at what inch your skirt makes you ‘fridgid’, there are real problems in the world


COMMENT 7

Ryan Coolahan

It has been 3 months since the vote and almost no action has been taken.

Caragh Medlicott

This can all be related back to that tired old societal hypocrisy; we love women to be sexy, but also shame them for being sexual.

Does May actually have a plan for Brexit? I t’s been a tough run for Theresa May since she became Prime Minister. All summer we’ve heard countless times the phrase “Brexit means brexit”, however, are we now seeing a retraction of certain issues for which were campaigned during that vote. Considering the fact that Theresa May, the politician steering the ship of Brexit, is in fact from the Remain camp. In a recent PMQ’s, SNP MP Angus Robertson stated that “all we’ve heard this summer is waffle” on the subject of Brexit. When you think about it, he’s right, very little has been heard on the sort of deal we are going to get or any plans in place to begin the process. It has been three months since the vote and almost no action has been taken. It is in this time that our government should be looking for new possible trade partners and investors to help ease the economic damage of Brexit. Yet we still hear claims to how the government will negotiate terms on Britain retaining access to the single market, yet we also hear statements, one such from Jean Claude Junker saying that there is no picking and choosing which part of the EU you want, you are either in, or out. We’ve heard stories of the EU

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nations preparing for tough negotiations to ensure that Britain gets the worst deal possible, perhaps to dissuade any other potential referendums. The delay of the Hinckley C nuclear power plant in Somerset could possibly show two polarised scenarios, the first showing a confident Britain ready to take on world powers, stepping out the stage confidently and feeling ready to make itself a place in the world. Or, the more likely scenario, a significantly less confident Britain, not wishing to rush in to any deals too soon for fear of being manipulated by stronger world powers, especially considering the amount of money China has invested in the power plant. It is possible that Britain is being shy about stepping out on to the world stage for fear of not liking where it stands. Lastly it can be argued that Britain’s global standing has shrunk due to the Brexit vote, considering that the country voted to leave the most economically and politically integrated body on the planet. Like I have stated, Britain is not sure of its place in the world, are we ready to tackle the world powers such as the U.S and China? Britain still retains some authority by remaining a key member of NATO

“ and whilst still being one of the strongest economies in the world. All we can know for certain is that we have an interesting year ahead, with Britain coming out of its postBrexit shell peeping it’s head in to

the world, the calls for referendums throughout Europe, most notably by far right groups and finally the conclusion of the U.S presidential race in November, deciding the leader of the most powerful country on earth.

Dethroned: was it fair that Zara Holland lost the Miss GB title?

his June a buzz of controversy was caused when Zara Holland – winner of the Miss Great Britain beauty pageant- was stripped of her title. The pageant formally removed her crown following a scene in reality show Love Island which, without any graphic detail, showed Zara having sex with a fellow contestant, Alex. A statement was released on twitter by Miss Great Britain, claiming Zara had her crown removed as ”feedback […] received from pageant insiders and members of the general public is such that we cannot promote Zara as a positive role model.” And it is as this point I would like to call total bullshit. There’s been a lot of debate around whether it was right Zara lost her title, but I’m going to say that there is straight up no good reason for the actions taken by the pageant. Now while there is something to be said about the problematic nature of the beauty pageant industry, that is a conversation I’ll leave for another day. The facts are the Miss Great Britain organisation knew, and had agreed, to Zara being on the show. Their vague and –frankly- slightly pathetic reasoning for de-crowning Zara can be translated simply as an

old fashioned attitude which implies sexual women are somehow morally questionable. What else did she do that would mean she could no longer be upheld as a ‘positive role model’? Perhaps some would argue that it is specifically the fact she had sex on a TV show, but were the organisers really so surprised this happened on a show where the main aim is for the contestants to couple up? It is not as if the scene was in any way explicit, so it can’t be claimed it was to do with that. In sum, their statement is ridiculous and groundless. Really this can all be related back to that tired old societal hypocrisy; we love women to be sexy, but also shame them for being sexual. It seems particularly ironic that it was a beauty pageant which condemned Zara’s action. A beauty pageant which –whatever way you try to spin it- places a lot of emphasis on women’s attractiveness and sexiness (bikini round ring a bell?) It’s fine for Zara to be sexy? Yeah. But to have sex? Nuh uh. What kind of message is that…? The upshot of all this is, there is no reasonable defence for Zara’s loss of title. I certainly haven’t seen much backlash come back to bite the other involved, Alex, it takes two to tango

Pictured: Britain voted to leave, but what next? (Source: Mick Baker via Flickr)

after all. Now maybe that’s because he isn’t Mr Britain (a bodybuilding competition, not a beauty pageant, in case you’re wondering) but then maybe it’s just because he’s a man. And the

same rules don’t apply. It’s been said a million times before but evidently it needs to be said again, it is time we dropped this double standard. Women have sex, and it’s about time we all get over it.

Britain is not sure of its place in the world, are we ready to tackle the world powers such as the U.S and China?

Pictured: Zara’s lost her crown (Source: Carmen Jost via Flickr)


8 COMMENT

Talkin’ about my generation: Why universities should be doing more to help the ‘debt set’ Caragh Medlicott

Why aren’t unis doing more to help students by raising awareness of the dangers of getting a credit card?

Sam Saunders

How are we ever going to achieve a truly equal society if some can’t accept one gay bishop in the Church of England?

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t’s no secret that being a student in 2016 is no cheap deal. The vast majority of undergrads are getting into £9000 of debt a year from tuition fees alone. And that’s before we even consider the cost of living as a student. So when a recent survey by My Credit Monitor revealed that more and more students are getting themselves into debt and messing up their credit rating – before they’ve even left university- I can’t say I was entirely surprised. Student lifestyle is really unlike anything else, we tend to exclusively socialise with fellow students and certainly appreciate a cheap pint more than your average adult. Particularly when first starting uni, it’s easy to get swept up in spontaneous night outs, after lecture pub trips and semi-regular coffee’s to go (to cure the hangover incurred by the first two ventures). It’s not unusual, or unforgivable, that a student’s finances might end up, well, in a bit of a mess. For a lucky few, a quick call home may quickly remedy a messed up

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budget, but for a lot of students this isn’t an option. When your overdraft is extended beyond belief and there’s just those pesky few weeks till the next paycheque/ student finance instalment, a credit card can begin to look like a pretty friendly option. But really, this often has an unhappy ending. Not only does it land many in debt up to their ears – something you really don’t need when looking for a job as a graduate- but it can effect a student’s chances of getting a mortgage, among other things. It is something which can haunt a person, even years down the line. So with this in mind, and the statistics to prove this is a growing problem, why aren’t uni’s doing more to help students by raising awareness of the dangers of getting a credit card? Considering how much money universities are already getting from students- money which is accumulating as debt for most- surely they could do a little something to help. I’m not suggesting anything radical, just a little more promotion of being smart with

finances and more publicity of places students can go to for help and advice when they are struggling. When I looked specifically into what financial advice is offered by Cardiff University I found a few numbers and places students may be able to access. While I have no doubt these are helpful and informative services, the real issue is making sure students are more aware of them and that, the information is readily available. Of course there is an extent to which a student does have to be responsible for their own actions and neither the university nor credit cards can be blamed for the issues of

a reckless few. I also recognise that there are indeed students who may be responsible enough to use a credit card wisely while at university (and actually improve their credit rating in doing so). The main point is that by offering clear and simple financial advice universities can reach students who are struggling and uncertain of how to handle money in times of financial difficulty. So maybe by building a better understanding of credit cards and ratings at uni today’s students can move away from the ‘debt set’ label and work towards more secure futures.

Pictured: Having a credit card can be a risky game (Source: Sean MacEntee via flickr)

Are we really as accepting of LGBT people as we think we are?

he issue of rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender peoples has dominated headlines for certainly as long as I can remember, however, with the legalisation of gay marriage in 2014, I thought that we were finally turning a corner with this issue. I (as I hope we all did) thought that LGBT rights was an issue that still needed resolving, but one that would come to dominate the headlines much less than it has done in recent years. Unfortunately, it was revealed last week that the Anglican Bishop of Grantham is gay and in a committed relationship with another man. Obviously, this was a shock, as it was the first time that a bishop has ‘come out’ as openly homosexual, however, I don’t think it should have been, as the Anglican Church has had to relax its anti-gay stance in recent years. Mostly due to both the legalisation of gay marriage in churches and the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, who has apologised profusely for the injustices suffered by LGBT people throughout history. The Archbishop was also fully aware of the sexuality of Bishop Nich-

olas Chamberlain when he was consecrated and he fully adheres to the bishop’s guidelines, which include remaining celibate and staying unmarried whilst in a same-sex relationship. Mr Chamberlain has also never tried to hide his sexuality in any way, but, that like with many of us he said that ‘it’s [being gay] not the first thing I’d say to anyone.’ I think that this issue highlights a problem in our society, as Gafcon (a group of conservative Anglicans) called Mr Chamberlain’s appointment a ‘major error’. They also stated that there had been an ‘element of secrecy’ around his appointment. This, to me, is a frankly ridiculous stance to take, as nobody in the Church of England would think about screaming from the rooftops that they’d just consecrated a heterosexual bishop, so why should this be any different for a homosexual clergyman? This possibly shows that people are not necessarily as accepting as they think, as when a LGBT person steps forward to do a job that traditionally (and unfairly) always been the preserve of heterosexuals, there’s a massive hoo-hah, despite the advances made in recent years, I mean, how are

we ever going to achieve a truly equal society if some can’t accept one gay bishop in the Church of England? The problem that I have with this whole story is that it seems that, to some Anglicans (albeit Conservative ones), that as soon as someone is revealed to be homosexual, they must automatically be worse in their role than a heterosexual person, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Perhaps Justin Welby summed up

my feelings on this story perfectly when he said: ‘His [Mr Chamberlains] appointment as Bishop of Grantham was made on the basis of his skills and calling to serve the church in the diocese of Lincoln’ and that ‘his sexuality is completely irrelevant to his office.’ So I think that what this news should make us all do is to take a step back from the issue and to consider if it’s all really a fuss over nothing, because I really think it is.

Pictured: Justin Welby, has supported Mr Chamberlain despite negative press (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, via Flickr)


COMMENT 9

What’s in a name?

Lorenzo discusses the cultural implications and origins of names

Lorenzo Migliorato

Once we are sane enough to reckon a name does not describe who a person is, what is our rationale for thinking names can still be judged?

” Sam Saunders

British Olympians recording their most successful overseas Olympics in history and beating China in the medal table, we can say that they well and truly delivered.

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ast week, French journalist Eric Zemmour stirred controversy in his country’s media after he accused former minister Rachida Dati of being “unpatriotic” for naming her seven-year-old daughter ‘Zohra’. Mrs. Dati, currently MEP for Île-de-France, explained she chose the name to honour her late Algerian mother, and called Zemmour – himself of Algerian descent – “pathological”. When taken at face value, it’s difficult to dignify Zemmour’s provocation with a reply, other than ‘a parent can choose whatever name she wants’ (as long as it’s not one to be embarrassed of, obviously). It is however interesting to note how much importance members of society – and before that, humans – give to names. A name in linguistics is a mere ‘indexical’, a label with no intrinsic meaning, only referential. And yet virtually every culture throughout history has given names various degrees of importance. Europeans technically ‘christen’ their newborns. Jews wait some time before announcing their baby’s name, to ward off Death. Native American names are imbued with so much meaning that they are translated fully to English – like the late Chief David Beautiful Bald Eagle, of Dances with Wolves fame. In our reason-dominated society, the weight given to names has shifted underlying motivations, but it far

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from disappeared. It’s a well-known fact that Chinese pupils take up English names when they go study or work abroad – easier to pronounce and more familiar to westerners. Or think of African-American – ‘ghetto’ – names, which began as misspellings of traditional names or adaptation of traditional ones, but were later intentionally used as a symbol of Black solidarity. At first glance, we tend to think that the choice of name is a way of reaffirming ties to one’s original culture. While that’s surely legitimate, we may still be leaving bits of the story out. After all, Mrs. Dati herself said that she chose ‘Zohra’ to honour her mother. When described that way, it’s an act anyone can empathise with, regardless of cultural difference. We can even turn Zemmour’s words on their head, saying that he is the one imposing a situation where an individual’s community – French society – takes precedence over her personal history. Now, I’m hesitant to get myself into the shoes of someone like Mrs. Dati of Algerian and Moroccan descent, and with a Catholic education. Having lived all of my life in Europe, I’ve never experienced cultural inner tension as she possibly has. I can however take a guess at why we think it’s such a big deal that someone’s child was given a name unfamiliar to us. And again, think not just of

French immigrant communities, but also of, for example, African-Americans who go on to study and work in predominantly white environments. Once we are sane enough to reckon a name does not describe who a person is, what is our rationale for thinking names can still be judged? The answer, I think, is almost a platitude: a name is a parent’s choice, and to our eyes, is thus descriptive not only of us, but of our parents’ reasoning as well. We take it as an indicator of the family’s cultural atmosphere, and consequently of what the upbring-

ing of its children was – or will be. Of course, the flaw in such a reckoning is that we imagine that family’s values to be a rigid, solemn system, where ‘light’ choices – like naming your baby after a Bollywood movie star – have no place. All in all, what I would ask Monsieur Zemmour is why he thinks little Zohra can’t choose a nickname to go by in the future. (Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Muhammad Ali). But of course, what should be said first is: if there’s anyone out there who’ll make Zohra feel embarrassed of her name, well, shame on you.

Pictured: Why do we judge people based on their name? (Source: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr)

Olympic feel-good factor could be a danger at Rio

ollowing on from the success of both the Olympics and Paralympics at the London 2012 games, there were high expectations set for both sets of British athletes in Rio De Janeiro. With the British Olympians recording their most successful overseas Olympics in history and beating China in the medal table, we can say that they well and truly delivered. With the Paralympic athletes enjoying a similar level of success so far (five gold medals on the first day) this has already been a summer of sporting prowess for the United Kingdom (as long as we only mention Wales and Northern Ireland at Euro 2016). The Olympics in London showed that the British public are only too willing to embrace a national sporting event and it was amazing to witness the support that followed for the Paralympics later in the summer. We saw the emergence of an Olympic feel-good factor in London, particularly since Team GB performed so well, coming third in the medals table. Something similar has happened in Rio, as Team GB has both replicated their success from London 2012, as well as gaining medals in sports such as gymnastics, trampolining and

swimming in which Britain has not traditionally had a lot of success at the Olympics. Whilst this Olympics was threatened to be overshadowed by the doping scandal that embroiled many athletes, but most prominently the Russian team and led to a large scale athlete banning campaign from the IOC, these games felt no less special than those of four years ago, despite taking place more than 5000 miles away from the previous Olympic Park. If anything, the doping scandals served to highlight the success of British Olympians even more than at London, particularly as all of their fantastic achievements were achieved with little expectation, as the World Championships had not gone very well, especially in the cycling. I think the feel-good factor rises from a sense of achievement after the failures of the past, such as at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, when GB won one gold medal, as well as a large sense of disbelief at the prowess of British athletes on an international stage. In any case, this feeling was incredibly welcome over the summer, as the country struggled to repair itself after the damaging Brexit vote in June.

However, as the Olympics was drawing to a close, rumours of a funding crisis with the Paralympics were rife, as due to economic problems in Brazil, the raiding of Paralympic funds to supplement the Olympic budget and poor ticket sales at both events. Whilst most of these issues were eventually resolved, funding cuts mean that some teams from poorer nations will struggle to get to Rio and some of the venues have had to be closed ahead of schedule, leading to a feeling of an incomplete Paralympics. Nevertheless, the Games have started strongly for Britain and China, and with news breaking that nearly two

million tickets have now been sold for the Paralympics, organisers are hoping that the Paralympics will still be considered a success and that there will not be a repeat of some of the empty venues from the Olympics last month. I sincerely hope that the Games are a success, as they highlight the determination and resilience of disabled athletes that compete at the highest level and show that no matter who you are, achievement at the highest level is within your grasp. Perhaps that’s what the Paralympic and Olympic feel-good factor truly has been for Britain, a feeling of inspiration and that anything is possible.

Pictured: Team GB improved on their medal haul from London 2012 in Rio; (source: Ian Burt via Flickr)


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THE GAIR RHYDD COLUMN 11

No Pressure, Fresher

Who knew alcohol poisoning and crippling debt could be so brilliant? Helena Hanson

You will learn more about life in the first three months of university than you ever have in the past eighteen years of your life.

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elcome, Freshers. This is it: your fresh start, your clean slate, your new chapter in life. As a third year, I finally feel adequately qualified to dispense advice. Based on my own mistakes, my own triumphs and my own illustrious experiences, I have created a plethora of advice I can only wish somebody had given me. You will learn more about life in the first three months of university than you ever have in the past eighteen years of your life. You will quickly realise absolutely everything you learnt during your A Levels is completely fucking useless and you will quickly become crippled by how much it costs to generally survive. You must do your best to eat vegetables and maybe take some vitamins, because it is imperative that you do not become ill. You will never go to the doctor’s, in fact you won’t even know where your doctor’s surgery is. You will research your symptoms, discover that immediate brain surgery is the only way to remove your rapidly evolving tumour, and accept your imminent death. It is essential you take all necessary precautions during Fresher’s week, because Freshers Flu is real, so real, and will dramatically reduce your quality of life. Once infected, you will become a walking germ, snuffling and spluttering your way through lectures and snotting around your new flat. It will last months. Some say it never really goes away. For the rest of your natural life you shall walk the earth with a tickle in the back of your throat that can never truly be soothed and a sniffle in your nose that will never, ever blow out. There will soon come a time during your first year at university that you begin to realise that socially acceptable behaviour no longer applies and conventional good etiquette is no longer necessary. You will realise it is

perfectly admissible to remind Cardiff Met students of their inferior rank in the class system, and any chant that reminds Swansea University students that their parents work for our parents is, in fact, actively encouraged. Pettiness will become a thing of the past. It is acceptable to nag your mates for that £1.70 that you lent them towards their chicken nuggets three Fridays ago. In fact, not only is it acceptable, it is absolutely necessary damnit! You must calculate every penny that you are owed in order to avoid inevitable, certain death. You will nearly die countless times, and this is something you will come to accept but don’t tell your parents this. You will almost die from scurvy from your pot noodle and microwave mash diet, before then reaching near death by starvation. You will nearly be murdered in a thousand questionable taxis, almost run down in a hundred near-fatal road crossings, almost poisoned by a dozen dodgy kebabs and convince yourself you have been spiked and/ or have alcohol poisoning at least fifty times before Christmas. Then, when you lie awake at nine AM, the morning after a long night in the SU, with a churning stomach full of VK’s and cheap shots, a backside threatening to dispense all contents at any moment, and a head full of painful and unthinkable regrets, you will finally ask to die. The SU is a sanctuary. A testosterone-filled, VK spilled, sticky paradise that will make Wednesday and Saturday nights worth being indebted to the government for the rest of your life. You will adventure out to exotic new venues, but the Union will always be your home. You will try a night in Tiger Tiger, and walk away concluding you’d rather spend an evening locked in a room with actual Tigers than the creatures that are inherent in there. You will un-

doubtedly try a night in Walkabout, fist pumping to The Pretenders and acting like you don’t mind stomping through piss with beer in your hair, and if you don’t get thrown out of Live Lounge at least once over the three years, then you, my friend, have failed. Enjoy making new friends. Hang on to those that will let you off the electricity money you owe them, and the ones that run and hide with you when you’ve thrown up on the floor in Glam. Don’t waste time with those who don’t let you have a bit of their dinner and please don’t be that flatmate that everybody hates for throwing up in the sink and never taking the bins out. I am yet to meet anybody that didn’t have some sort of attempt at reinventing themselves the summer before university. We got haircuts, bought new clothes, took up new hobbies, lied about our backgrounds. Don’t worry. There will come a point during the year, probably just after Christmas, where you can stop pretending to your flatmates that you are cool. We soon realised it is absolutely far too exhausting to be somebody else and we put the five pounds back on, grew out our edgy haircuts and admitted we love Antiques Roadshow and dipping toast in mayonnaise. Alas, things are not all gravy. Your new found freedom means that you will have to do boring things like cooking, and washing. If you live in Talybont, you should start asking your parents to re-mortgage their house now, because that little laundry card will suck more money from your bank account than your rent ever will. You will witness scenes that will scar you for the rest of your life. Cathays on bin day bears resemblance to war-torn Baghdad and the odours you will inhale over those 24 hours will be enough to put you off eating indefinitely. You will witness brutal, bloody

battles. Friends will turn to nemeses over the last sweet potato in Lidl and there will come a time when inescapable poverty will turn you to Tesco Value Vodka. You must learn to accept a number of truths. Residents of Talybont Gate will play crochet on their little lawn in the summer, bobbing their heads to the music blaring from their Jaguars and tying their Ralph Lauren V-necks around their shoulders. Just as the inhabitants of Talybont North will discover unbeknown creatures in their bed that even David Attenborough would cringe at the sight of. Talybont South will remain populated by the type of students that have ‘BNOC’ in their Twitter bio, and Talybont Court residents will always be the most miserable because they are the furthest distance from Big Tesco. University is an odyssey, a pilgrimage of mistakes and accidents and occasional, astronomical fuck-ups that eventually teach you how to become a normal, functioning human being. You will try and wash your jeans in the shower to save money at least once, and don’t get me started on the lengths you will go to in order to effectively steal restaurant toilet roll. You will do disgusting things for a free slice of Domino’s pizza, and you will sign your life away so many times in order to get free stuff you must accept your certain descent to hell. Don’t take advantage of your overdraft, never mix beer and cider, try and watch as much international rugby as you can. Use condoms. Learn some Welsh words, call home to talk to your parents not just to ask them for money, and channel your inner Jehovah’s Witness by knocking on as many doors during Freshers as humanely possible. With that, anxious fresher, get ready for the best three years of your life.

Pictured: Cardiff Uni will give you some of the best years of your life (source: marc via flickr)

It is essential you take all necessary precautions during Fresher’s week, because Freshers Flu is real, so real, and will dramatically reduce your quality of life.


12 ADVICE

advice

Editor: George Watkins @GairRhyddAdv advice@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/advice

How to survive freshers’ week

It can be pretty full on but you’ll make it through

George Watkins

There’s a Brica-Brac Sale, a Volunteering Fair from, a trip to Cardiff Bay, a tour of the Cathays campus, a trip to Barry Island, a tour of the union, a big red bus tour of the city, a tour of the city centre, a trip to Ikea...

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o you’ve done it, you’ve made it to university, and you’re in the middle of emptying your boxes in one of the halls of residence or in your new house. Let’s both be honest, you only moved in this early because of Freshers. As soon as you hit results day, all your friends have been banging on about are the in-cred-ible parties they’ve got lined up when they get to university. You’ve been in the Facebook groups for months and watched those reps for various events and clubs try to shaft you for ridiculous amounts of money to get into a party usually including the words ‘the only place to be’, ‘VIP’ or ‘ best night out’ to try to help you become a regular. We’ve all been there. Surprisingly, you don’t actually need alcohol for a good time. The spirit of the whole Freshers week is to meet people and settle in, no matter how cringeworthy that might sound, and if it isn’t your thing to destroy your liver, or even have a bit of time off to stop the alcohol sweats, we’ve got you covered. Freshers for me was pretty rubbish. I left home deep in a rough period of anxiety and depression, so moving away from home was tricky as it was. I didn’t make it to any of the parties, but managed to meet many people and make some friends that I’ve been close with ever since, not to mention being plunged into house parties at my halls. What do other people think? Caragh: I remember being unbe-

lievably nervous for freshers week, i’m a naturally shy person, particularly around large groups of people. In the end i found the majority of people were friendly and happy to chat. I didn’t necessarily love all the club nights at the union but instead made more friends socialising at pre-drinks and during enrolment. Maria: My Freshers’ week was less mad than I expected it to be; I went out maybe every other day even though I’d bought two freshers’ wristbands! I still had fun though. I went for a mix of Union and town nights out which I think was the perfect combo as it helped me get to know Cardiff. If I had one piece of advice it would be that when you go to a club in a group, make sure you have a buddy - one person who knows where you are and that neither of you leave without the other. There’s plenty on offer. Take Monday the 19th of September as an example. There’s a Bric-a-Brac Sale, a Volunteering Fair from, a trip to Cardiff Bay, a tour of the Cathays campus, a trip to Barry Island, a tour of the union, a big red bus tour of the city, a tour of the city centre, a trip to Ikea, another Cathays campus tour, another union tour, another big red bus tour, another city centre tour, a chance to meet other Postgraduate students. a film night and a Krispy Kreme themed social in the Y Plas nightclub inside the union. You really

are spoiled for choice. If you do decide to go to the Freshers parties, then you’re probably going to get caught up in the dilemma of buying a wristband. There’s 15 club nights and the Ball, and buying a wristband will enable you to go to all of these. The reality is that you’ll probably be exhausted by day three, and will probably want to take a bit of a break, but then you’re stuck with having paid up front for all of the events on offer. There will almost definitely be an option to pay on the door, if you feel that parting

with the full £75 package (which does include tickets to the Ball and an NUS subscription) is a bit pricey. Most importantly, don’t take it too seriously. Freshers can be good fun, but it doesn’t need to feel like a life or death situation. If you don’t make best friends for life straight away, you don’t need to worry. It’s a party, but only a tiny part of the whole university experience. Be open to new experiences and try to enjoy it. If it doesn’t go well in your first year, you still have at least two more years to give it a go.

Pictured: Your average Wednesday night at Y Plas (Source: Y Plas via Facebook)

When you go to a club in a group, make sure you have a buddy - one person who knows where you are and that neither of you leave without the other.


ADVICE 13

There’s support for that

George Watkins

There’s Nightline, which has a fantastic record for guiding students through difficult periods.

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Where to go for help when you need it most

t isn’t easy moving away from home. It probably sounds like a cliché by now to say that you aren’t alone, but here at Cardiff you really don’t have to be. If you’re having a difficult time with mental health, money worries, housing or anything else, there’s support for that. Mental health is supported in various ways here. You can get help with pre-existing conditions or just someone to talk to if you feel stressed, anxious or a bit down. Money troubles? Job worries? Housing issues? The Student Support Centre is invaluable for students in these areas alongside emotional support. Their address is 50 Park Place, and Cardigan House on the Heath campus. Just walk in or look at the intranet to see what’s on offer. They offer counselling services, and a week-daily set of drop-in counselling sessions, lasting around 15 minutes, between 3 and 3:45. Try

to arrive a bit early to guarantee being seen. Then there’s Nightline, which has a fantastic record for guiding students through difficult periods. It’s advertised all around the university, but its number is 02920870555. They’re open every night of term from 8pm to 8am, and are manned by wonderful student volunteers. There’s also Samaritans, which is open 24/7, and can be contacted on 116 123. It’s worth signing up to a GP in Cardiff as soon as you can - you never know when you’re going to need their help. Cathays Surgery on Cathays Terrace and the City Surgery on City Road are both popular options for students, the latter offering walk-in sessions. You can see your GP on any matter from injuries to contraception to mental health problems. There’s help available for you. Don’t keep quiet. Get it off your chest and get supported!

Pictured: The Student Support Centre on Park Place (Photographer: Tom Morris)

A survival guide to university accomodation How to make halls less hellish

George Watkins

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alls are strange. You have decided to move in with a group of strangers into a flat in a new city surrounded by hundreds of people who have decided to do the same.On the one hand you’re surrounded by new people and have an exciting chance to try out some new things (I don’t mean drugs), but on the other you have to totally look after yourself, whilst surviving on high levels of stress, not enough sleep and a constant edginess about whether you remembered to lock the door before your flatmates clingfilm everything you own (I made this mistake a fair few times). So how can you get the best out of this oddly wonderful period

in your life? The first step is to make sure your room is a haven. IKEA is just down the road, and during Freshers the union regularly runs shuttle buses to and from there. A life-saver for my room was to buy two mattress toppers because my bed was awful. I could feel the springs poking into my back, but with that extra support I slept like a baby (when I didn’t get woken up by my Spanish flatmate coming back at 3 am and deciding to tell her life story to her friends in the corridor next to my room).Other great ideas are a tray to store your papers, a stapler and hole-punch (trust me it’s worth it), more than one towel, a super soft throw for

your bed or even a shade for your light if the lightbulb is exposed. What about dealing with a shared living space? Two things I wish I had known were to firstly do your washing up as soon as possible to avoid having to pick your stuff out of a bowlful of greasy pasta water. Also, try to make sure you buy things with decent shelf lives. Don’t do what one of my flatmates did and pack the older stuff to the back of his cupboard and keep buying new food he never ate. Healthy eating is possible, but it’s a matter of personal preference. Flatmates can be the hardest part of living in a lottery like this. You get on with one of them really well,

but they’re friends with another one who you don’t like and they both change when you’re around the two of them. You wish that person would tidy up after themselves etc etc. The only advice I can give is to be assertive and to communicate as much as you can. It gets worse if you don’t be honest about it, but by that I don’t mean kick off and create a new Cold War in the kitchen. At the same time it’s important to not be passive aggressive either. That person doesn’t wash up? Don’t leave their dishes outside their door. It’s not going to end well. The final and most important piece of advice I can give is to enjoy it . It’s weird and can be tricky at times, but it’s also great fun.

Pictured: With a few touches you can make a room your own (Source: University of Exeter)


14 POLITICS

politics Jamie McKay

An array of challenges face the new minority government, from negotiations with the EU to the threat to the livelihoods of Port Talbot workers.

Jamie McKay

France gained international attention in 2010 as they introduced the now infamous ‘Burqa Ban’ which bans the use of full face veils in public spaces.

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Editors: Jamie McKay Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol politics@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/politics

An introduction to Welsh politics

ast February the Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales, celebrated its tenth anniversary. Established in 1999 by the Blair government after numerous campaigns throughout the second half of the twentieth Century, the Assembly has taken control of numerous powers from Westminster over the years. Previously, the government of James Callaghan introduced referenda on devolution and ‘home rule’ for Wales and Scotland. After voters rejected these plans for devolved Parliaments at the polls, these campaigns were set back for almost two decades. By 1997, the next Labour government held new referendums on the subject, these far more successful. As a result the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament were created, with more powers devolved over the years. Currently the Welsh Government has powers over 20 devolved areas, ranging from health, education, the environment, local government and the various matters surrounding the Welsh language. Though Labour’s fortunes in the rest of the United Kingdom have declined since the introduction of devolution the party have maintained power in the National Assembly, leading to several clashes with the Conservative Government in Westminster.

In the previous elections to the Assembly held in May this year Labour went in as the incumbent minority government holding 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd. Having led every Welsh government since the beginning of the devolved Assembly Labour came under criticism for varied perceived failings by their opponents in the Welsh Conservative party and their former coalition partners in Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. In losing one seat, and overall control of the Assembly, Carwyn Jones’ Welsh Labour were forced to negotiate a new coalition. The Liberal Democrats, who lost four of their five seats, were willing to make a deal with former leader and sole remaining Assembly member (AM) Kirsty Williams becoming Cabinet secretary for Education. But the new government did not form without firm opposition. One of the major shocks of this years election was the introduction of the Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who went from having no representation in the Senedd to holding 7 seats after a 12% swing across Wales. The Government of Wales Act 2006 states that the Assembly must elect the first Minister within 28 days of the polling day, but as the AMs gathered an informal arrangement between Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Conservatives and UKIP threatened

the deal made between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. With the unlikely support gained from the Conservatives and the Assembly’s most recent addition in UKIP the nationalist leader Leanne Wood was able to draw level with Jones creating a deadlock with both leaders gained 29 votes for their candidacy. A tied vote for the First Minister was unprecedented in the history of the Assembly and the uncertainty tried the patience of leading figures in Welsh Labour who de-

cried what they saw as the hypocrisy of Wood, who had campaigned on a promise never to make a deal with the Tories or UKIP. Ultimately the deadlock was defeated after days of close negotiations allowing Welsh Labour to continue in forming their minority government. As an array of challenges face the new minority government, from negotiations with the EU to the threat to the livelihoods of Port Talbot workers, it remains to be seen if this thin majority will last.

Pictured: The Senedd - where the assembly lives (Photographer: Matty Ring)

French state secularism causes mass debate

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or decades debates concerning laïcité, the French interpretation of state secularism, have emerged as critics from all sides attack what they see as oversteps in the state (or churches) authority. The French concept of secularism has a long and detailed history but the modern concept of laïcité emerges from the law on the Separation of the Churches and the State passed in 1905. This law was based on three principles; the neutrality of the state, the freedom of religious exercise and public powers related to the Church. Supporters of laïcité argue that the concept does not imply any hostility of the government towards religion but works to protect the government from any interference from religious organisations, and in turn, to protect religious organisations from becoming entangled in any political arguments or controversies. Those critics and detractors of this concept argue that it is nothing more than a poorly disguised form of anti clericalism and, contrary to the principle of freedom of religious exercise, serves to prevent believers from being able to practice their faith. In recent years, the concept of laïcité has come under new criticism as governing politicians invoke it as

debates concerning Islam in Europe intensifies. France gained international attention in 2010 as they introduced the now infamous ‘Burqa Ban’ which bans the use of full face veils in public spaces, though the law provides exceptions if the woman is travelling in a private car or worshipping in a religious place. As Parliament discussed the bill French Muslims such as the Grand Mufti of the Paris Mosque testified that the Niqab was not compulsory within Islam and its use would be inconsistent with the French concept of secularism, though he would prefer to see issue handled “case by case”. Other Muslims in France and elsewhere were not convinced however, and protests were organised across the world as clerics and politicians from Islamic parties from Egypt to Malaysia announced fury at the ban. Amnesty International and other liberal groups criticised what they believed to be an unnecessary intervention on the right to freedom of expression. Other European commentators worried that the then government was attempting to win votes from the far-Right Front National who came close to winning the Presidency in 2002 and have seen another upsurge in support recently.

France was brought before the European Court of Human Rights in 2014 concerning the ban, though it was ultimately upheld as the Court accepted the French governments argument that it was based on “a certain idea of living together”. In recent months similar arguments have emerged as the Mayor of Cannes banned the use of the ‘Burkini’ swimsuits citing a link to terrorism and was followed by Nice and 20 other towns. Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls voiced his support for the ban arguing

that the Burkini is a symbol of a “political project [...] based notably on the enslavement of women”. His comments were ridiculed by commentators in the Anglosphere and France’s highest legislative court overturned the ban in the commune of Villeneuve-Loubet. But with a new Presidential election next year, increasing fears of Islamic extremism and establishment parties of both left and right running in fear of the resurgent Front National. Expect more controversy to surround the French concept of secularism.

Pictured: Basically ‘get rid of secularism’ (Source: European Parliament via Flickr)


POLITICS 15

Junior Doctors v Jeremy Hunt: The war goes on

BMA suspend strike but further industrial action to be taken in the future Felicity Urquhart

Mr Hunt and the Department of Health hope to open a 7-day NHS, though NHS funding has alrwady been cut by 20% this year.

” Gregory Barradale

Looking forward it is difficult to predict. Trump’s Primary succes defied predictions, but it is questionable whether this will carry through to November.

T

his week’s junior doctor strike has been suspended amid concerns over patient safety. The British Medical Association (BMA) have called off the strike, planned for 12-16 September, following fears of senior doctors and citizens about the impact the short-notice industrial action would have on the underfunded and understaffed NHS system. The BMA said:’We have listened to the concerns of working doctors, patient groups and the public.’ ‘Thousands of you have been in touch, your level of anger over the Secretary of State’s imposed contract remains high, but at the same time you want to keep your patients safe during industrial action.’ ‘The BMA is therefore suspending the industrial action planned for the week of 12 September. The remaining programme of industrial action stays in place.’ The strike was planned as part of the ongoing row over junior doctor contracts. Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt has been in negotiations with the BMA since 2015. Whilst Mr Hunt argues that recommendations set out by an independent body in 2015 are needed to improve the NHS system, the BMA state that the terms are ‘unacceptable’.

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Mr Hunt and the Department of Health hope to open a 7-day NHS, though NHS funding has already been cut by 20% this year. The aim to do so by reducing the pay junior doctors receive for working saturdays and night shifts. An agreement between the BMA and the government was made in May 2016, yet junior doctors and medical students overwhelmingly rejected the proposal. They cited a lack of recognition for anti-social working hours, and the long term effects on patient care as a result of the contract terms, as the largest sticking points. New formal negotiations have been entered into, yet little progress has been made. The BMA have also planned a series of industrial action in October, November and December, in an attempt to encourage the government to reconsider their terms. Though these strikes are still due to take place, the BMA have put this week’s strike on hold following senior doctors concerns. The BMA state: ‘Patient safety remains doctors’ primary concern.’ ‘For the first time in this dispute NHS England have told us that a service under such pressure cannot cope with the notice period for industrial ac-

Pictured: Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative Secretary of State for Health

tion given.’ ‘Our hospitals are chronically under staffed. Our NHS is desperately underfunded. We have to listen to our colleagues when they tell us that they need more time to keep patients

safe.’ The dates for the future strikes are: 5, 6 and 7 October (weekend covered) and then 10 – 11 October, 14 – 18 November and 5 – 9 December.

Donald Trump: The Next President?

s September rolls around once again, the end is in sight. The seemingly never ending race for the White House steps up a gear with polling day only two months away. Polls suggest the gap between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is closing, with the Democrat nominee losing a substantial chunk of the lead she has so far enjoyed. A small minority of pollsters grant Trump a narrow advantage. On the campaign trail, Trump has been busy. A fresh strategy appears, as he courts the African-American vote by relaying injustices they are well aware of and asking “What do you have to lose in trying Trump?” As with any of his policy details, he is vague. He promises more jobs, and that “African-American citizens and Latino citizens will have the time of their life!” Meanwhile, there was a trip to Mexico to meet President Enrique Peña Nieto; a publicity stunt that characterises a recent softening of Mr Trump’s rhetoric in some areas. As the two appeared side-by-side at a press conference, he told Mr Peña that “I call you a friend”, a reversal on his previous assertions that Mexico is “not our friend, believe me.” Trump also seems intent on the unilateral decision to make Mexico pay for the wall, despite Mr Peña insisting otherwise on Twitter afterwards. He also criticised Republican Arizona Governor Jeff Flake as

“very weak and ineffective” over his position on immigration. Now on his third campaign chief, Trump’s bid for the White House may lack consistency, but it does not want for publicity. As much as Mr Trump seeks out controversy, Hillary Clinton cannot escape it. Wikileaks have breathed fresh life into the recurring email scandal, which raises doubts over Clinton’s handling of sensitive material. She is also plagued by Donor scandal relating to husband Bill’s Clinton Foundation. To top it all, the Democratic Nominee is hounded by journalists over her apparent reluctance to give a press conference. So what is her strategy? Although her media presence has been understated, Clinton has been hard at work. She managed to fundraise $143m in August, and has been targeting traditionally Republican states, such as Arizona and Utah - perhaps tactics to make Trump waste time and effort on places he need not. Polls suggest 56% of Americans have an unfavourable view of her. In absence of great enthusiasm or trust, Ms Clinton must rely on her long record of committed public service and colossal campaign machine to win over voters. Looking forward, it’s difficult to predict. Trump’s Primary success defied predictions, but it’s questionable whether this will carry through

to November. Polls do suggest that Mr Trump’s fervent anti-immigrant rhetoric is hurting his chances in key areas, although this has softened in recent weeks. A series of three televised debates begin on 26th September. These provide opportunity for Trump, and could pose a challenge for Clinton, who is by her own admission “not a natural politician”. However, Clinton’s army of campaigners dwarfs Trump’s, and may prove crucial in mobilising voters

in marginal battlegrounds such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trump’s offthe-cuff remarks were well suited to winning a primary, but he seems resistant to a –necessarily - more organised approach during this stage of campaigning. And he is now in need of the support of the Republican establishment who he spent so long passionately alienating. Although a Clinton victory looks more likely, Trump’s chances, like what might come out of his mouth next, remain unpredictable.

Pictured: You’re hired... possibly? (Photographer: Gage Skidmore)


16 POLITICS

Labour Leadership Election Clouded By Controversy Corbyn expected to win comfortably despite apparent “rigged purge”

Pictured: Left: Challenger, Owen Smith (Source: Wykehamistwikipedian) Right: Corbyn could be out of a job soon... (Source: Garry Knight) Below: YouGov poll results of surveyed 2015 Labour voters

Adam George

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his time next week we will know the winner of the Labour Party leadership election, whether it be the Welsh Owen Smith or the controversial Jeremy Corbyn. The election comes just twelve months after the longstand-

ing MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, was elected as leader of the Labour Party. Corbyn entered last year’s election as the dark horse candidate after he only just managed to obtain enough nominations to get himself on the ballot paper. However, as the campaign progressed, opinion polls showed that Corbyn was actually leading the race. This led to numerous interventions from prominent Labour figures such as Tony Blair, David Miliband and Jack Straw, who suggested that the election of Corbyn would leave the Labour Party unelectable. Despite these interventions, Corbyn won the election by a landslide with 59.5 per cent of the votes giving himself a solid mandate as leader of the party. However, since then it has not been an easy time for the Labour leader with the Parliamentary Labour Party refusing to accept the result which has led to fighting within the party, culminating in a new leadership election. This leadership election was called after a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party arose following criticism of his supposedly half-hearted support for the Remain

campaign in the E.U referendum. After a period of tension surrounding Corbyn’s leadership, the direct trigger to events was the Leave result of the referendum. Hilary Benn, the Shadow Foreign Secretary was sacked by Corbyn on June 25th after Benn expressed no confidence in the leader. Over twenty members of the Shadow Cabinet resigned over the following two days, and on June 28th a no-confidence vote was supported by 172 MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party, against only 40 supporting Corbyn. By the end of June, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith were being touted as potential candidates to contest the leadership. Eagle announced her candidacy on 11 July, with Smith doing likewise on July 13. However, Eagle dropped out of the leadership race on July 19 after receiving less nominations than Owen Smith. The National Executive Committee decided that, as the incumbent, Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot without requiring nominations from Labour MPs. It is fair to say that the campaign has been clouded by controversy from the very beginning. At the start of the campaign the Labour Party

agreed that anybody that had become a party member after January 12 2016 would be ineligible to vote, even if they had paid the full membership fee. It is believed that more than 130,000 people have joined the party since that date, with the majority doing so to support the leader. Since then the controversy has grown with more than 3,000 people being “purged” from the leadership election. These individuals have been barred from voting for Jeremy Corbyn or Owen Smith in the contest, either because their conduct failed to comply with the ‘aims and values’ of Labour or they have previously supported another party. The shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, claimed that these actions were actually “a rigged purge of Corbyn supporters”. Party sources pointed out that the total excluded was equivalent to less than half of one per cent of the 650,000-strong selectorate - and a long way from claims by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell that the election was being skewed by a “rigged purge”. Corbyn supporters may still argue that thousands of people have been denied a chance to vote, without full explanations as to exactly why.

This leadership election was called after a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party arose following criticism of his supposedly half-hearted support for the Remain campaign in the E.U referendum.


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science

SCIENCE 19 Editors: Tanya Harrington Pakinee Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci science@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/science

Welcome back to a new year of science!

Tanya Harrington Pakinee Pooprasert

Cardiff University consistently produces high quality research, many of which have made headlines in major newspapers.

Tanya Harrington

Blood samples were taken from all individuals, and were studied for biomarkers – biological indicators of abnormality or disease – that could potentially predict the future onset of Alzheimer’s.

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elcome (or welcome back) to Cardiff University! Whether you’re a fresher, or a seasoned student coming back after a long summer away, we think that the best way to get you up to speed with all of the most relevant science news is to create a quick list of things that have happened recently, and developments to look forward to in the science sphere. Cardiff University consistently produces high quality research, many of which have made headlines in major newspapers. This year is no different, and the University has been a part of several key pieces of research and academic developments prior to and over the summer, as detailed in this issue. Our researchers have helped lead the way to a potential blood test for Alzheimer’s disease, and perhaps, even the path to a new treatment for cocaine addiction. Two very relevant healthcare problems faced by both physicians and patients alike. Furthermore, our iGEM team, consisting of students now going into their third year, has spent the Summer creating their entry for a global genetic and biological engineering competition, in which they will be the

first Welsh team to compete. The final stage of this competition will take place in Boston in October, so stay tuned for more information about the contents of their entry. On a more general scale, many scientific developments have been occurring globally, which are sure to provide us with more stories to come. For example, following the decision by the UK government to ban all microbeads used in cosmetic and cleaning products by 2017, we may be looking forward to new developments in the science of skincare products, as companies and dermatologists conduct research in attempts to stay ahead of the curve. In America, programmers are currently looking into teaching computers to recognise sarcasm in text, which could lead to huge developments in the field of computer science and artificial intelligence. In addition to these refreshing news headlines, 2016 has been an exciting year for all things involving space. Following the discovery of a new planet in our solar system in January, researchers are conducting further activities in space in the hopes of learning more about the planets that surround us. In

October, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter will land on Mars in the hopes of better understanding and conducting further analysis of the gases that are present in its atmosphere, perhaps even looking for signs of life. Later this year we’ll also hopefully see the Advanced

Virgo Detector begin its search for signs of gravitational waves, a topic in which scientists from Cardiff University have played key roles in. Keep an eye out for articles on these events in the upcoming issues of Gair Rhydd, and have a great year!

Pictured: Exciting times for Cardiff reasearchers (Photographer: Jeremy Segrott)

Cardiff University involved in significant step towards Alzheimer’s blood test

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esearchers at Cardiff University, King’s College London and the University of Oxford have collaborated on a study which acts as a major step towards the development of a blood test to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Paul Morgan, Director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute, described some of the motivations behind this significant research, stating that “Alzheimer’s disease affects around 520,000 people in the UK,” and noting, “it is important that we find new ways to diagnose the disease early, giving us a chance to investigate and instigate new treatments.” The study, funded by The Alzheimer’s Society, involved 292 participants, all of whom showed common signs of early stage memory impairment. Blood samples were taken from all individuals, and were studied for biomarkers – biological indicators of abnormality or disease – that could potentially predict the future onset of Alzheimer’s. In this case, these biomarkers came in the form of the proteins which make up the complement system – a part of the immune system which increases the effectiveness of antibodies and phagocytic cells. Described as a “potent driver of inflammation,” in the study’s

research article published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was theorised that the inflammation caused by the complement system could be linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, with the same kind of inflammation having already been implicated as a cause of brain disease previously. During the study, researchers measured large numbers of these proteins, with the intent to later take more blood samples and re-assess the amount measured as being present. Upon reassessment a year later, a quarter of the participants had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and three of the proteins which had been measured in their blood samples showed a vastly different presence than in the blood of those who had not gone on to develop Alzheimer’s. The research concludes with the notion that it may be possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease early on through measuring the presence of these proteins. Speaking on this, Professor Morgan said: “We hope to build on this in order to develop a simple blood test that can predict the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease in older people with mild, and possibly innocent, memory impairment.” As this study is said to have created a foundation for a larger, ongoing study, involving several UK Univer-

sities and funded by the Wellcome Trust, it is likely that the results of this research will in fact be built upon in order to create a more refined version of the blood test, with the goal of making faster Alzheimer’s diagnoses more accessible to both doctors and

patients. Perhaps, with this new understanding of a potential cause and marker for Alzheimer’s disease, both faster diagnosis and more effective, targeted treatment can be more available to those dealing with the illness than ever before.

Pictured: A blood test is what it takes (Source: National Eye Institute)


20 SCIENCE

Research finds potential treatment for cocaine addiction Pakinee Pooprasert

The experimental therapy involves administering a drug currently used in cancer therapy trials to treat cocaine addiction by inhibiting memories.

Tanya Harrington

Facebook’s internet.org scheme hoped to bring wireless internet and connectivity to areas of Africa using this satellite.

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team of researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a revolutionary new drug treatment that could potentially be used to treat cocaine addiction. Cocaine addiction is a prevalent problem in the UK, and an alarming one; it has been reported that UK has the highest rate of cocaine use among young adults in Europe. Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant and is commonly used as a recreational drug. It causes various physical symptoms, including a fast heart rate, sweating, dilated pupils, and in high doses, can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Even after a short period of use, it can be very addictive, and there is a high risk of dependence. Such reasons shed light upon how this new treatment could be a very important finding, and one that will definitely send out waves of repercussions. The experimental therapy involves administering a drug currently used in cancer therapy trials to treat cocaine addiction by inhibiting memories responsible for cravings. This memory-related pathway, as supported by research, might explain for much of the addictive power of cocaine. Thus, the memories encoding drug-paired rewards might also account for the high rates of relapse.

Professor Riccardo Brambilla from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences described that “We have demonstrated that a single administration of a trial drug from the pharmacompany Pfizer can completely obliterate cocaine associated memories and significantly accelerate the end of drug seeking behaviour in animals. With this drug currently being used in cancer trials, it could be easily repositioned for treatment of cocaine addiction and other drugs of abuse.” Pfizer, an American global pharmaceutical company is among the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies. It has produced many household medications and its drugs have been prescribed by doctors worldwide. Cocaine’s addictive effect partially stems from its actions on the brain’s limbic system, a set of interconnected regions that is involved with pleasure and motivation. When a user uses cocaine, memories of the intense pleasure felt and the things associated with it are newly created. These long lasting memories and drug-associated cues are key to addiction, and explains why recreational drug users become compulsive drug addicts. To prevent relapse and maintain drug abstinence, these pathways may need to be tackled. Dr. Stefania Fasano from Cardiff

University further elaborated how because “drug use [is] recently on the rise, new treatments for breaking addiction are much needed. The availability of a powerful drug from Pfizer, already validated in humans, could speed up the clinical development of our findings.” Since this was an experimental study in mice, conclusions can be

made about cause and effect in this particular species. To fully comprehend the effect of this treatment in people, however, experimental human trials must be conducted. Yet, the results so far have been astonishingly promising, and if the trails prove to be successful, this treatment could potentially be used to combat other types of drug addiction.

the use of other satellites. However, it is likely that, should Facebook wish to continue this endeavour, there will be other companies and satellites available with which to do it – sadly at the detriment of SpaceX and Spacecom. As investigations continue into the exact cause of the explosion, and

as the launch pad is repaired, it can only be hoped that as few as possible other flights into space end up delayed, as they carry expectations and payloads of their own. However, as long as the safety and efficiency of future attempts can be better protected, this could be a necessary price to pay.

Pictured: No more of the white stuff for you (Source: Randy via Flickr)

SpaceX Explosion: What happened and what it means

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n September 1st, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded during preparations for a routine static fire test in the run up to the launch of Spacecom’s Amos-6 communications satellite, which was scheduled to occur only days later. A static fire test involves running the engines of a rocket for several seconds while it is still attached to the ground - in ordinary circumstances, this confirms the safety and efficiency of the rocket and prepares it for its imminent launch – however, on this occasion, SpaceX and Spacecom did not fare so fortunately. During preparations for the static fire test, the Falcon 9 rocket exploded, causing damage to its launch pad and resulting in the loss of the Amos-6 satellite: a payload of around an estimated several hundred million dollars. In response to this, and upon the release of dramatic video footage of the explosion online, many theorised about what could have caused such a large explosion. These theories ranged from ideas such as “a failure with the pad’s fuel handling system,” to notions of aliens or UFOs tampering with the rocket. In the end, SpaceX founder Elon Musk took to twitter to announce that the cause of the explosion “originated around [the] upper stage oxygen

tank.” Whilst perhaps not as dramatic as any oncoming alien invasion, this explosion may still have dire repercussions for SpaceX and Spacecom, particularly with regards to the relationship between the two companies. Amos-6 is the second communications satellite that Spacecom has lost within the last twelve months, after their Amos-5 satellite stopped giving or receiving any communications in late 2015. Because of this, many expectations were riding on the launch of the Amos-6 – with companies such as Facebook planning to use it as a part of its internet. org scheme, and company Xinwei Technology Group planning to buy Spacecom only on the condition that the Amos-6 launched successfully. This loss, combined with the reputational damage to both SpaceX and Spacecom, could place severe strain on their dealings in the future, with reports already surfacing that Spacecom is in search of compensation or perhaps even a free flight from SpaceX in future. The explosion has repercussions on a more down to Earth scale as well. Facebook’s internet.org scheme hoped to bring wireless internet and connectivity to areas of Africa using this satellite, as it has been doing for other developing countries through

Pictured: A beautiful disaster (Photographer: Steve Jurvetson)


SCIENCE 21

New high-tech fabric could add a breath of fresh air to summer days

Lizzie Harrett

While this material may help you keep cool, even the most avantgarde garment wearers could think twice about wearing what is essentially opaque cling film.

Pakinee Pooprasert

This serious disease can affect humans and can potentially cause meningitis, heart failure, and in severe cases, can be fatal.

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lthough the couple of sunfilled days we’ve had this summer are already becoming a distant memory, there’s good news for those who like to plan their wardrobe a few seasons ahead. Researchers from Stanford University have developed a nifty new material that lets you cool down through letting heat escape, instead of trapping it in like traditional fabrics. “It’s a very bold new idea,” says physicist Svetlana Boriskina, who was not involved in the study. She added that the consumer market for this material could be massive, “Every person who wears clothes could be a potential user of this product.” Our skin lets out heat energy in the form of infra-red waves but conventional clothing traps this in between the material and our body, holding in the heat. The team therefore looked at developing clothing that allowed infrared radiation to pass through. The fabric would need to be transparent only to infra-red waves, but would also need to be opaque as otherwise the material would be seethrough, which would somewhat defeat the point of wearing clothes. The research group found one material that met both requirements.

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Nanoporous polythene (NanoPE) is a cling-film-like plastic used in lithium-ion batteries which blocks visible light making it opaque, but also letting infra-red radiation escape. Minute pores dotted across the material block visible light by causing it to scatter. The resulting colour is white. However, infra-red radiation passes straight through because it has a larger wavelength than visible light. They tested the material by placing it on a hot plate that had the same temperature as human skin (33.5 degrees Celsius). NanoPE raised the temperature by just 0.8 degrees whereas conventional cotton caused it to rise by 3.5 degrees. However, aesthetics are of course everything. While this material may help you keep cool, even the most avant-garde garment wearers could think twice about wearing what is essentially opaque cling film. The team therefore improved it’s wearability by coating it with a water-wicking chemical and layering it with cottonmesh. The next step is to make it feel like a more traditional textile when being worn. This fabric may also have an impact beyond just helping people

Pictured: Mmmm, breezy (Photographer: Petra Benste)

avoid over-heating. Those wearing the product may feel less inclined to reach for the air-conditioning switch, helping to save energy. This could be particularly important if the effects of global warming start to encroach upon us.

Looking forward, the leading author of the study Yi Cui hopes this fabric will catch on, “Within five years, I hope someone will start wearing it,” he stated. “And within 10 years, I hope most people will be wearing it.”

One third of dogs found to have ticks Scientists urge people to be aware of risks

he largest survey of ticks in dogs showed that almost a third of dogs checked at random across UK carried ticks. The study was carried out by Bristol University and involved almost 15,000 dogs from across the UK. It was launched in April 2015 and the researchers asked participating vets to examine dogs in their practice for each week and complete a questionnaire related to the species, life-cycle stage, sex and location of origin and whether it was carrying any pathogens. Researchers found that the risk of an animal picking up a tick is as great in urban areas as in rural ones. Additionally, while ticks were present across the UK, the highest risk areas were Scotland, East Anglia and the South West. One of the main repercussions for this shocking finding is that ticks can carry a range of diseases, including Lyme disease and a type of parasite discovered to be potentially fatal to dogs. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. This serious disease can affect humans and can potentially cause meningitis, heart failure, and in severe cases, can be fatal. The researchers described that “what we are primarily concerned about is the disease that ticks carry. In the UK, we have relatively low rates of the prevalence of these

pathogens at the moment and, in contrast, in continental Europe they have much higher rates of disease. As there seems to be a rise in tick numbers, we need to be concerned and be aware of the potential for increasing problems.” Ticks do not jump or fly, but rather, climb onto clothes if a person brushes against something that the tick is holding on to. Ticks can be found in woods, urban parks, heathland, fields and gardens. According to Public Health England, it is estimated that tere are 2000 to 3000 new confirmed cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year, but not all cases are confirmed by laboratory testing. About 15% of cases are found in people who have returned from abroad. One of the initial symptoms of the infection is a red circular rash around the bite, that looks like a bulls eye rash. However, this is not always present and cannot be relied upon as a warning sign. Moreover, victims can develop flu-like symptoms and muscle and joint pain. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, can cause serious health problems. It can, as previously mentioned, affect the nervous system, causing meningitis, or can cause heart failure. Despite this disturbing finding, the threat of Lyme disease in the UK is fortunately still thought to be small compared to other countries; some 3

Pictured: Even dogs as cute as this are at risk of developing ticks! (Photographer: Uditha Wickramanayaka)

per cent of ticks carry the bacteria. But, due to the high number of ticks across the country and potential health consequences of Lyme dis-

ease, scientists are urging people to be aware of the risk and avoid being bitten.is needed to address the problem,” concludes Makary.


22 SOCIETIES

societies Milly Dyer VP Societies

Tom Morris

Grace Hewlett

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@GairRhyddSoc societies@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/societies

Milly’s Introduction

i everyone, I’m Milly, your Vice President Societies at the Students’ Union. My job is to support you as students to join and run Societies and Student-Led Services. There are 200 Societies affiliated to the Guild of Societies. Your first chance to meet all of these Societies is on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd September between 10am – 5pm in the Great Hall & Y Stwidio. There will be a different selection of Societies represented on each day so don’t only turn up to one day or you’ll miss out! Joining a Society in my first year was

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Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris

one of the best decisions I made and I would highly recommend that you get involved as soon as you can. With so many groups for you to join there is bound to be something here for you – and if there isn’t we can support you in starting a brand new Society. There is no limit to how much you can get involved with either! Big events to look forward to throughout the year include the Winter Showcase, Cardiff Fringe Festival and Go Global. These events are all there to display the amazing achievements of our many Societies, especially those

that are performances, artistic, activity and international based. Another highlight of the year is the Societies Ball which celebrates and awards the amazing things that have happened throughout the year thanks to the hard work of our Societies. If you want any more information about Societies then the Activities Department in the Students’ Union can be found on the 3rd floor. Otherwise. contact me at the following. Email: VPsocieties@cardiff.ac.uk Twitter: @VPSocietiesCSU

Make the most of the Societies Fairs

he freshers’ fairs this year are spread over two days, the 21st and 22nd September. Whether you’re a first year or any student looking to make this university year the most exciting yet, there’s nowhere better to start. Societies can be roughly divided into two types, activities and course based. Course based societies are centred around certain academic schools and are a good way to get connections with older students who may have some advice for freshers, as well as socialising with your peers outside of lectures. Other societies range from those that are mainly just fun, finding people with a similar background (or not!) to volunteering or learning new skills. If you don’t know already, the societies fairs are a chance to meet members of the committee for certain societies (that is, the students who run them, usually as a passion project) and ask what it’s all about. You can sign up to mailing lists and you can pay your membership fees- but

there’s no obligation to do so. The first day features several course-based societies including journalism, history and maths. Freshers will also be able to connect with people from various regions of the world, from as close to Ireland with the Irish society to as far-flung as the Japanese society. It’s also a good chance to get involved with student media, as Gair Rhydd, Quench, CUTV and Xpress will all be present. Whilst the societies fair isn’t the place to join a sports club (that’s on Tuesday 20th, be sure to visit that as well!) you can choose a fun society such as Airsoft or Chess for that competitive camaraderie many crave. On the Thursday, there’s a completely different set of societies for you to get involved with, and all of the students union officers (from disability to LGBT) will also be around to answer any questions that may be worrying freshers. The geekiest and muscially minded of us will have lots to choose from on Thursday as well, with clubs in-

cluding Anime, Sci Fi and Wildlife all in attendance. For budding musicians and dancers you’ll have opportunities to meet groups such as Belly Dancing, the Purcell Singers and the Windband. There’s yet more course societies, from archaeology and chemistry to pharmacy and optometry. If you

ardiff University Music Society is back, and this time we’re bigger and better than ever before. We here at Music Society HQ have got big plans for an epic year of events, concerts, competitions and general greatness. Kicking off with our traditional White T-Shirt Social on the first Tuesday of freshers’ week, all through the year to the Annual Ball this Spring, you’ll never be short of something amazing to get involved with this year at MuSocand you don’t have to be a Music student to join either! The committee this year have a specific goal: to make the Music Society the best it can be for members, which is why this year we are put-

ting our heads together to come up with the best ideas for the society. 2016-17 will see the return of MuSoc Sport and Open Mic night, as well as continuing with the success stories of recent years such as the Soloist Competition. We’re bringing in some new ideas as well, from the Grade 1-athon to the Mums and Dads scheme, and of course a multitude of socials. With all this, we’ve got something you’re sure to enjoy; whether you’re into honing your art, meeting likeminded people or just having a laugh. By joining MuSoc, you have access to join any of our respected ensembles. From the auditioned, awardwinning Wind Orchestra to the formidable Palestrina Singers, we’ve got

you covered no matter what you play or sing. We’re holding a mini Music Freshers Fair for our ensembles and affiliated societies this Freshers Week to showcase what we have on offer, so make sure to come and take a look on Wednesday 21st September! In case you missed the launch of our brand new website earlier this month, you can go and check it out at www.musicsocietycardiff.com. Here you can find out about everything we do, and learn more about us as a society. If you have any questions, you can submit them through the site, email us directly at musicsociety@cardiff. ac.uk, or tweet us at @MuSocCdf. Speaking of social media, we’ve also

fancy flying the red flag you can meet up with the Labour Students and Socialist Students. If you prefer to see good done in the world without the politics, consider volunteering, with groups including Sexpression, Nightline and Coppafeel all around to get you doing good deeds.

Pictured: The Red Cross group at a previous Fair

Music Society to stage flash mob “ C started up a brand new Instagram account, @musicsocietycardiff, where we post information and fun pictures, and you can also add us on Snapchat at musoccardiff to get all the updates. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page, and once you’ve joined as a member of Music Society you will be added to our freshers and members page! Lastly, make sure to save the date for Saturday 24th September! To finish off an amazing Freshers Week we’re planning a monumental Flash Mob to take place in Cardiff. This is a Give it a Go event so you can join up on the SU website! Add us on social media for updates on the Flash Mob (and more) closer to the date.

Make sure to save the date for Saturday 24th September!


SOCIETIES 23

Osian Wyn Morgan

Kelly Marlow

Pictured: Pandas, chips and resuscitation, a recipe for a wild weekend

Successful Welsh for All expands A “ t the National Eisteddfod last year, Cardiff University’s ‘Welsh for All’ scheme was launched by First Minister Carwyn Jones with the intention of providing free Welsh Lessons for students at Cardiff University. Twelve months later, it was announced that the provision of free Welsh lessons will be expanding as a result of the success of the programme in the last academic year. Over 200 students took advantage of the Welsh for All programme during its first year. Courses were offered at beginners level but as the scheme begins its second year this October, it will provide courses at different levels - foundation, intermediate, and advanced courses - in addition to the beginners course. These courses will be provided as an intensive course, or as a nine-week

C

course, which will run alongside the students’ University Course. So why learn Welsh? Whether you’ve lived in Wales all your life or have recently moved to Wales for University, you will soon come to realise that Cardiff, as the capital city of Wales, has a lively and exciting Welsh speaking community. With roughly 11% of Cardiff ’s population speaking Welsh fluently, you will soon become familiar with the beautiful Language. Through hearing Welsh spoken on the streets, or by reading the bilingual road signs, the Welsh language will certainly be a part of your university experience in Cardiff. So why not learn a bit of Welsh – one of the oldest languages in Europe – and take part in the vibrant Welsh speaking community here in Wales? Learning any language is a great experience and develops your aca-

demic and personal skills as well as your interest in a particular language and culture. Even though Welsh might not be as widely spoken as Mandarin, French or Spanish, learning some Welsh provides you with the opportunity to communicate bilingually with over half a million people here in Wales. Learning some Welsh will also look fantastic on a CV. Employers in Wales are eager to employ graduates who are able to communicate bilingually, so having the opportunity to develop your Welsh language skills whilst at Cardiff University will allow you to enhance your employability prospects, particularly if you choose to live and work in Wales after you graduate. You’ll also be able to read the Taf-Od section of Gair Rhydd and reach 100 per cent completion of the newspaper.

In addition to the benefits of learning Welsh, taking part in the Welsh for All scheme is a brilliant way to meet new people and to get to know people from all over the world who share the ambition of learning the language. As well as the weekly lessons, the Welsh for All scheme arranges activities and socials for it’s learners to practice speaking Welsh outside the classroom, which is a great opportunity to make new friends and to talk to fluent Welsh speakers in their mother tongue. So if you’ve never said a word of ‘Cymraeg’ before, or if you’re hoping to improve your understanding of the Welsh language and develop your existing skills, why not join the Welsh for All scheme this October. If you have any queries or questions, feel free to contact Nia Thomas at welshforall@cf.ac.uk

The Welsh language will certainly be a part of your university experience in Cardiff.

Cardiff Volunteering: First residential training weekend

ardiff Volunteering welcomed its new Lead Volunteers with its first ever residential training on the weekend of 9th to 11th of September and it was a resounding success! 17 new Lead Volunteers and 4 staff members made their way to Amelia Trust Farm in Barry on the Friday evening to settle into their dorm rooms and start their first training session. Over the weekend the lead volunteers gained a Certificate of Professional Development In Leadership In Volunteering which was ran in conjunction with the Students’ Union Skills Development Service department. This certificate included sessions in; Speaking & Presenting, Leadership Styles, Leadership In Difficult Situations, Problem Solving and Motivation.

In addition to this certificate the lead volunteers also attended sessions in first aid and risk assessment, the latter of which sent them around the farm to assess possible risks (left in place by the trainer). A few got a bit lost in the woods along the way, but thankfully found their way back! On the Saturday night they all enjoyed a short trip to Barry Island where they ate chips while watching the sun set over the sea and had some fun in the amusement arcades. Lots of keyrings were won, to the delight of the staff members who won them! On returning to the farm a game of Articulate was enjoyed by all and competitive natures began to show. It all came down to a final question where one of the lead volunteering teams and a team of 3 staff members and 1 Lead Volunteer were neck and

neck. Staff members came off as the winners, although in slightly dubious circumstances, it must be said. On Sunday the day was topped off with an awards ceremony with awards for; Most Helpful Lead Volunteer, Most Welcoming Lead Volunteer, 5 Star Traveller (they were super prepared for the trip), Most Competitive Award and “I can’t believe you said that” Award. Awards went to (in correct order) Alastair, Joanna, Lorna, Marium and Emma! After the awards ceremony everyone piled into the minibus and headed back to the SU and eventually home. It was exhausting, but fun and very much worth it and the lead volunteers put a lot of effort into the weekend. Cardiff Volunteering are still looking for more Lead Volunteers for

the 2016-17 academic year and full training will be provided. Lead Volunteers are students who undertake the additional responsibility of coordinating a group of volunteers on their project. Naturally, the role varies from project to project: some adopt an administrative role and others actively lead sessions with volunteers and beneficiaries. You’ll get so much out of this role, as well as helping others you’ll gain valuable skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork and more as well as meeting new people and being able to evidence your experience on your CV. For more information Please visit our webpages to find out more. We’re also looking for volunteers, so check out our projects!

Staff members came off as the winners.


24 TAF-OD

taf-od

Golygydd: Osian Wyn Morgan @Taf_od tafod@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/tafod

Llwyddiant ysgubol i Cymraeg i Bawb Yn y llun: Carwyn Jones yn lawnsio Cymraeg i Bawb, 2015 (Tarddiad: BBC Cymru Fyw)

Osian Wyn Morgan

Mae cynnydd Cymraeg i bawb wedi bod yn rhagorol Angharad Naylor

Esyllt Lewis

Y

n ystod yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol y llynedd, lansiwyd y cynllun ‘Cymraeg i Bawb’ gan y Prif Weinidog Carwyn Jones, gyda’r bwriad o gynnig gwersi Cymraeg am ddim i fyfyrwyr Prifysgol Caerdydd. Flwyddyn yn ddiweddarach, cyhoeddwyd y byddai darpariaeth Cymraeg i Bawb yn ehangu, o ganlyniad i lwyddiant anhygoel y cynllun yn ystod y flwyddyn academaidd ddiwethaf. Mae’r cynllun wedi bod yn llwyddiant ysgubol, a chymerodd dros 200 o fyfyrwyr ran yn y cynllun yn 2015/16. Cydnabuwyd llwyddiant y cynllun mewn digwyddiad arbennig yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Y Fenni eleni. Yn ystod y digwyddiad, dangoswyd clipiau fideo o rai o’r myfyrwyr yn sôn am eu profiadau. Yn ogystal, roedd criw o

fyfyrwyr Cymraeg i Bawb yn bresennol yn yr Eisteddfod a chawsant gyfle gwych i brofi eu heisteddfod gyntaf. Dywedodd Dr Angharad Naylor, Rheolwr Cymraeg i Bawb: “Mae cynnydd Cymraeg i Bawb wedi bod yn rhagorol. Mae’n wych gweld myfyrwyr mor frwdfrydig eisiau dysgu Cymraeg a datblygu eu gwybodaeth am yr iaith a’u hymwybyddiaeth o ddiwylliant Cymru.” Fe nododd hefyd, “Mae’n wych gweld myfyrwyr mor frwdfrydig eisiau dysgu Cymraeg a datblygu eu gwybodaeth am yr iaith a’u hymwybyddiaeth o ddiwylliant Cymru.” Yn ystod blwyddyn gyntaf cynllun Cymraeg i Bawb, cynigiwyd gwersi i ddechreuwyr yn unig ond o fis Hydref eleni, fe fydd y ddarpariaeth yn ehangu a bydd modd i fyfyrwyr ddi-

lyn cyrsiau ar wahanol lefelau - sylfaen, canolradd ac uwch yn ogystal â’r cyrsiau i ddechreuwyr. Bydd y cyrsiau ar gael naill ai fel cwrs dwys neu fel cyrsiau naw wythnos, a fydd yn rhedeg ochr yn ochr â chyrsiau prifysgol y myfyrwyr. Yn ogystal â chynnig gwersi yn y dosbarth i’r myfyrwyr, trefnir digwyddiadau a gweithgareddau cymdeithasol hefyd er mwyn rhoi cyfle i’r myfyrwyr ymarfer eu Cymraeg y tu allan i’r ystafell ddosbarth. Trefnwyd i griw o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg i Bawb fynychu Gorymdaith Gŵyl Ddewi eleni er mwyn rhoi cyfle iddynt glywed y Gymraeg o’u hamgylch yn y gymuned. Mae’r brifysgol hefyd yn cynnig cyfleoedd i siaradwyr rhugl a myfyrwyr sydd wedi ennill cymwysterau

iaith gyntaf yn y Gymraeg ddatblygu eu sgiliau iaith. Mae modd i’r myfyrwyr hyn gwblhau Tystysgrif Sgiliau Iaith y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Mae’r Dystysgrif Sgiliau Iaith yn gyfle gwych i ennill tystysgrif sy’n profi fod gennych sgiliau yn yr Iaith Gymraeg. Mae’r dystysgrif yn brawf ar bapur bod gennych sgiliau llafar ac ysgrifenedig yn y Gymraeg, a’ch bod yn gallu cyfathrebu yn hyderus a phroffesiynol yn yr iaith. Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau am Cymraeg i Bawb, cysylltwch â Nia Thomas drwy e-bostio cymraegibawb@cf.ac.uk. Am ragor o wybodaeth am y Dystysgrif Sgiliau Iaith cysylltwch ag Elliw Iwan drwy e-bostio IwanEH@ cardiff.ac.uk

Iolo Iolo Iolo: Ail-lansiad Cymdeithas Iolo

A

r ôl saib o ychydig flynyddoedd, cafodd Cymdeithas Iolo ei ailsefydlu y llynedd gan rhai o fyfyrwyr Ysgol y Gymraeg. Prif fwriad y gymdeithas yw dod ag unrhyw un sydd â diddordeb mewn digwyddiadau Cymraeg a Chymreig at ei gilydd, i gymryd mantais o ddiwylliant Cymraeg ffyniannus Caerdydd. Bydd croeso cynnes i bawb yng ngweithgareddau Cymdeithas Iolo, gan gynnwys myfyrwyr Ysgol y Gymraeg, myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith, a dysgwyr. Un o’r prif resymau dros ailsefydlu Cymdeithas Iolo oedd i greu cyfleoedd i ddysgwyr ymarfer eu Cymraeg yn gymdeithasol gyda siaradwyr rhugl, a sicrhau fod pawb sydd â diddordeb yn yr heniaith yn teimlo fel eu bod yn perthyn i’r gymuned Gymraeg cyfoethog sydd

ohoni yn y brifddinas. Bydd amryw o weithgareddau a digwyddiadau gwahanol yn cael eu trefnu gan Gymdeithas Iolo eleni, gyda’r nod o sicrhau fod rhywbeth at ddant pawb yn cael ei drefnu. Bydd y gymdeithas yn trefnu tripiau i weld yr amryw ddramâu a nosweithiau gomedi Cymraeg a gynhelir yng Nghaerdydd. Yn ogystal, fydd y gymdeithas yn bwriadu manteisio ar y sîn cerddoriaeth Cymraeg byrlymus yn y brifddinas. Caiff gigs Cymraeg eu cynnal yn fisol yng Nghlwb Ifor Bach, a chynhelir ambell gig Gymraeg ym mar Gwdihŵ hefyd. Yn ogystal, bydd ambell gig yn cael ei gynnal yn yr Hen Lyfrgell hefyd. Mae digon o gyfleoedd, felly, i siaradwyr a dysgwyr Cymraeg gael gwrando ar rhai o fandiau gorau’r sîn cerddoriaeth

Cymraeg, a bwriada Gymdeithas Iolo hyrwyddo a manteisio ar hyn. Bydd y gymdeithas yn cynnal nosweithiau cymdeithasol o fewn yr adran rhwng myfyrwyr iaith gyntaf ac ail iaith a myfyrwyr ‘Cymraeg i bawb’. Mae’n debyg mai un o brif ddigwyddiadau blynyddol Cymdeithas Iolo yw’r ‘Stomp’ farddonol. Cynhelir y stomp rhwng myfyrwyr Cymraeg y Brifysgol, a darlithwyr yr Ysgol y Gymraeg. Mae llawer o hwyl a sbri i’w gael yn y stomp, a fydd yn cael ei gynnal yn yr Hen Lyfrgell eleni ar ddydd Llun y 10fed o Hydref. Y stompfeistri fydd Dr Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, sy’n ddarlithydd yn Ysgol y Gymraeg yng Nghaerdydd, a’r bardd Gruffudd Owen. Bydd mwy o wybodaeth am y stomp yn cael ei roi yma,

yn y Gair Rhydd, ac ar dudalen ‘Facebook’ Cymdeithas Iolo yn yr wythnosau nesaf. Yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf, bydd Cymdeithas Iolo yn chwilio am fyfyrwyr Cymraeg brwdfrydig a hoffa fod yn rhan o bwyllgor Cymdeithas Iolo. Bydd y pwyllgor yn gyfrifol am drefnu digwyddiadau a gweithgareddau i aelodau Cymdeithas Iolo, a sicrhau fod y gymdeithas yn un prysur, ffyniannus ac yn un y gall myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd ymfalchïo ynddo. Bwriad hyn oll yw cyfoethogi’r profiad o fod yn fyfyriwr sy’n medru’r Gymraeg yng Nghaerdydd, a chwrdd â phobl sy’n angerddol am y Gymraeg o bob cefndir a phob cwr o Gymru, i fwynhau amrywiaeth ein heniaith.

Prif fwriad y gymdeithas yw dod ag unrhyw un sydd â diddordeb mewn digwyddiadau Cymraeg a Chymreig at ei gilydd


TAF-OD 25

Cyfarfod â phwyllgor y Gym Gym Yn y llun: Pwyllgor y Gym Gym. Chwith i’r dde; Elen Davies, Rhian Floyd, Caeo Harri Hughes. Eirian Jones. (Tarddiad: Eirian Jones)

Liam Ketcher

U

nwaith eto eleni fydd yna griw newydd o fyfyrwyr yn rhedeg prif gymdeithas Gymraeg y Brifysgol – y Gym Gym. Ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn academaidd ddiwethaf etholwyd pedwar aelod o’r Gym Gym i ffurfio’r pwyllgor a fydd yn gyfrifol am y gymdeithas eleni. I atgoffa’r myfyrwyr presennol, ac i’w cyflwyno i fyfyrwyr y glas eleni, dyma gyfle i aelodau’r pwyllgor gyflwyno eu hunain, ac i ni gael gweld beth yw eu hamcanion ar gyfer y flwyddyn sydd i ddod. Caeo Harri Hughes – Y Llywydd

Mewn dinas aml-ieithyddol, byddai’n rhwydd iawn i’r Gymraeg golli’i hunaniaeth, ond os ymunwch gyda’r Gym Gym bydd y Gymraeg ond trip, gweithgaredd neu crôl i ffwrdd Rhian Floyd

“Harri ydw i, a dwi wedi cael y fraint o fod yn llywydd y Gym Gym am y flwyddyn sydd i ddod. Mae’r Gym Gym yn gymdeithas sy’n cynnal eu holl ddigwyddiadau’n gwbl Gymraeg, ac yn rhoi cyfle i holl fyfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd gymdeithasu. Dwi’n astudio Peirianneg Electroneg a Thrydanol, sydd bach yn wahanol i weddill y pwyllgor. Roedd fy mlwyddyn gyntaf efo’r Gym Gym yn un cofiadwy iawn (a rhai nosweithiau dwi ddim yn cofio!). Dwi di gael gymaint o hwyl wrth fynd i Ddulyn, cael cystadlu’n y ‘Steddfod Rynggolegol, a mwynhau wythnos gyfan o ddigwyddiadau’r Gym Gym ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn. Felly dwi’n edrych ymlaen at gael eich cynrychioli ymysg holl bethau Cymraeg y Brifysgol.” Elen Davies – Yr Is-lywydd “Helo! Elen ydw i, myfyrwraig ail flwyddyn Cymraeg a Newyddiaduraeth ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd! Fel islywydd , fy ngobaith yw parhau i godi statws ac ymwybyddiaeth y Gym Gym gan ddenu fwyfwy o aelodau i ymaelodi ac i fwynhau byw bob dydd yn y Gymraeg! Byddaf hefyd heb syndod yn cadw trefn ar y bechgyn! (Yn enwedig Eirian Jones!) Mae’r flwyddyn ‘ma yn barod yn argoeli i fod yn un da! Rŷn ni fel pwyllgor yn awyddus iawn i drefnu llwyth o weithgareddau sy’n addas ar gyfer pawb! Ein nod ni yw gwireddu eich gofynion chi! Os ydych chi’n

mwynhau’r ‘steddfod, chwaraeon, crôls, gwisg ffansi, teithiau dirgel a thripiau rygbi - ymaelodwch! Y Gym Gym oedd y gymdeithas fwyaf hwyl a chartrefol ddes i ar ei thraws yn fy mlwyddyn gyntaf, roedd yn gyfle gwych i gwrdd â myfyrwyr Cymraeg y brifysgol...mae pawb, i ddweud y lleiaf, yn hollol nyts!”

Eisteddfod Rhyngolegol. Yn ogystal, cymera’r Gym Gym ran mewn digwyddiadau chwaraeon, megis pêl droed, rygbi a phêl rhwyd. Rwy’n edrych ymlaen at gyflawni fy swydd fel ysgrifennydd y Gym Gym eleni.”

Rhian Floyd – Y Trysorydd

Pa effaith gafodd y Gym Gym arnat yn dy flwyddyn gyntaf? “Mi wnaeth y Gym Gym wneud i mi deimlo’n gartrefol yng Nghaerdydd, cefais fy rhoi mewn fflat di-Gymraeg, efo pobl doeddwn i ddim yn dod ymlaen efo’n dda iawn, felly roedd cael cyfarfod â phobl Cymraeg a gwneud ffrindiau yn wych, a wnaeth i mi setlo i mewn i’r ddinas. Ac y mwyaf o ddigwyddiadau’r Gym Gym yr oeddwn i’n mynd iddynt, yn enwedig y tripiau, y mwyaf yr oeddwn i’n mwynhau yng Nghaerdydd.”

“Helo bois! Rhian ydw i ac rwy’n astudio’r Gymraeg ac Iaith Saesneg yng Nghaerdydd a fi fydd Trysorydd y Gym Gym am y flwyddyn nesa’ ond fi’n addo bydd eich arian mewn dwylo diogel os wnewch chi ymaelodi, ac rwy’n awgrymu’n gryf y dylech wneud! Pam? Wel... Mewn dinas amlieithyddol, byddai’n rhwydd iawn i’r Gymraeg golli’i hunaniaeth, ond os ymunwch â’r Gym Gym bydd y Gymraeg ond trip, gweithgaredd neu crôl i ffwrdd! Pan yn meddwl am y Gym Gym, y gair cyntaf sy’n dod i’m meddwl i yw ‘joio’ - boed yn y ‘Steddfod Rhyngolegol, ar grôl yng nghanol Caerdydd neu’n mynd i wylio sioe - mae rhywbeth i bawb i’w fwynhau. Felly eleni, rydym yn bwriadu parhau â’r holl sbort gaethon ni yn ein blwyddyn gyntaf a rhannu’r profiadau hynny â phawb arall yn enwedig myfyrwyr y glas (dydyn ni ddim yn ddylanwad gwael, addo!) Mae llwyth o syniadau gennym ar y gweill ar eich cyfer welwn ni chi ‘na!” Eirian Jones – Yr Ysgrifennydd “Cyn dod i’r brifysgol, dim ond llond llaw o bobl yr oeddwn i wir yn eu hadnabod. Roedd ymuno a’r Gym Gym yn ddewis hollbwysig wrth alluogi i mi gyfathrebu a dod i adnabod y Cymry Cymraeg sydd yn byw yn y ddinas. Rhoddodd y crôl cyntaf, sef Crôl Teulu (sydd yn noswaith hynod o drwm) gyfle i’r flwyddyn gyntaf i gymysgu gyda’r aelodau hŷn. Ond mae’r Gym Gym yn cynnig mwy na nosweithiau allan, gan roi cyfle i’r aelodau fynychu digwyddiadau diwylliannol megis y Ddawns, a’r

Cefais gyfle i holi’r llywydd ymhellach am ei amcanion a’i rôl yn y pwyllgor.

Beth wyt ti’n edrych ymlaen at fwyaf wrth ddechrau dy gyfnod fel llywydd y Gym Gym? Yr hyn dwi’n edrych ymlaen at fwyaf yw cael croesawu criw newydd o fyfyrwyr i mewn i’r Gym Gym, a chael trefnu nosweithiau i’w cofio (neu beidio!) efo’r tri arall ar y pwyllgor. Mae’n rôl bwysig gan nad oes gan Gaerdydd undeb myfyrwyr Cymraeg - felly’r Gym Gym yn unig sy’n rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr gymdeithasu’n y Gymraeg. Sut yw’r Gym Gym yn helpu i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg fyw drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yng Nghaerdydd? Mae’r Gym Gym yn cynnal nosweithiau cymdeithasol sy’n denu criw mawr o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg at ei gilydd i’r un lle. Mae hyn yn caniatáu i bawb gymdeithasu a mwynhau (ychydig yn ormod weithiau!) yn y Gymraeg yng Nghaerdydd. Wyt ti’n bwriadu atynnu aelodau sydd yn dysgu’r Gymraeg i’r Gym Gym eleni? ‘Da ni wastad yn annog myfyrwyr sy’n dysgu Cymraeg i ymaelodi efo’r Gym Gym, mae’n gyfle gwych i ymarfer eich Cymraeg, ac yn gyfle i gymde-

ithasu efo pobl fel y chi. Sut fyddi di’n mynd ati i gydweithio gyda Swyddog y Gymraeg, i gynyddu ar gryfder y Gymraeg yn y Brifysgol? Fel sydd wedi bod o’r blaen fydd yna ymgyrch i geisio cael swyddog cyflogedig llawn amser ar gyfer y Gymraeg yn yr undeb, a cheisio sefydlu ‘Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd’ neu ‘UMCC’. Yn ogystal â gwneud yn siŵr fod y Gymraeg yn cael lle priodol o fewn y Brifysgol. Oes gennyt neges i’r myfyrwyr Cymraeg sy’n ymuno â’r brifysgol eleni? Fy neges i fyfyrwyr newydd, a dysgwyr, yw i ddod i ddigwyddiad cyntaf ‘Gym Gymaidd’ y flwyddyn, sef y “Crôl Teulu”. Mae’n noson y mae’r holl aelodau wedi bod yn disgwyl amdani drwy’r flwyddyn, ac am reswm da. Mae’n noson lle mae’r myfyrwyr newydd yn cael cymdeithasu a phobl sy’n hollol newydd i chi, ond fydd ddim erbyn diwedd y noson!

Boed yn ddysgwr neu’n rhugl yn y Gymraeg rydym ni fel Gym Gym yn eich croesawu gyda beichiau agored Pwyllgor y Gym Gym

Beth fydd aelodau’r Gym Gym yn gallu disgwyl o’r pwyllgor newydd? Mwy o crôls, mwy o hwyl, a mwy o ddifaru’r diwrnod wedyn! Da ni’n griw bach da sy’n edrych ymlaen at ein blwyddyn wrth y llyw, wrth drefnu tripiau, nosweithiau di-alcohol a chrôls ar hyd y brifddinas. Mae’n rhaid i mi ddweud fy mod yn edrych ymlaen yn arw at y flwyddyn gyffrous sydd i ddod gyda’r criw arbennig yma yn rhedeg pethau. Dyma’r brif neges gan y pwyllgor eleni: “Boed yn ddysgwr neu’n rhugl yn y Gymraeg, rydym ni fel Gym Gym yn eich croesawu gyda breichiau agored! Dewch i ymaelodi neu am sgwrs yn Ffair y Glas - Cewch chi ddim eich siomi!” Gallech ymaelodi å’r Gym Gym yn Ffair y Glas eleni ar Ddydd Iau yr 22ain o Fedi. Yn ogystal, dilynwch y Gym Gym ar Trydar ac ‘Instagram’, a hoffwch dudalen ‘Facebook’ y Gym Gym.

Mi wnaeth y Gym Gym wneud i mi deimlo’n gartrefol yng Nghaerdydd Caeo Harri Hughes


26 SPORT

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Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport sport@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/sport

Olympic success for Welsh athletes

Rich Jones

Great Britain’s stunning 67-medal haul included ten medals won by Welsh competitors, outdoing the seven medals won at London 2012.

Rhys Thomas Cardiff Blues

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Wales had a big part in Team GB’s triumph

t has certainly been a summer of success for Welsh sport – capped off by a record-breaking medal haul at Rio 2016. Just weeks after the Wales football team captured the hearts of the nation, the country’s top athletes travelled to Brazil and enjoyed their best Olympic Games ever. Great Britain’s stunning 67-medal haul included ten medals won by Welsh competitors, outdoing the seven medals won at London 2012. Four of those were gold, with two Cardiff-born cyclists amongst those to achieve the ultimate prize within their sport. It was the remarkable success of the Great Britain track cycling team which perhaps garnered the most public attention during these games. Every single member of the squad who competed left with a medal of some kind, with three Welsh cyclists involved in their success. Elinor Barker was part of the Women’s Team Pursuit team who took gold. She joined Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Katie Archibald and Ciara Horne in the side which defeated the United States in a world record time in the final to claim victory. Owain Doull also won Team Pursuit gold with the men’s team alongside Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy as they also set a world record to triumph over Australia in a dramatic deciding race. Individually, Becky James claimed two silver medals to cap off a remarkable journey for the 24-year-old from Abergavenny. She finished second in the Women’s Sprint and the Women’s Keirin as the Great Britain team enjoyed an unbelievable few days in the velodrome. Just 18 months ago James was on the verge of quitting the sport after an injury nightmare, but her mighty comeback was completed by a stellar

performance. The other two gold medals from Welsh competitors came in Taekwondo and Sailing, as Jade Jones and Hannah Mills left Brazil triumphant. Flintshire-based Jones retained the crown she won in London 2012 by beating Spaniard Eva Calvo Gomez 16-7 in their gold medal bout. Mills, meanwhile, partnered Saskia Clarke to the Women’s 470 dinghy triumph in resounding fashion .They were always the front-runners and had effectively secured victory with one day remaining, but they still faced an agonising wait to confirm their gold after bad weather delayed proceedings. Also on the water, Wrexham’s Victoria Thornley won silver in the Women’s Double Sculls alongside Katherine Granger. One of the major success stories of the Rio 2016 games was the introduction of Rugby Sevens to the event. The sport seemed to reach a whole new audience with its high-profile inclusion in the Olympics for the first time. Great Britain stormed into the Grand Final courtesy of a dramatic semi-final success over New Zealand. They were thrashed by a rampant Fiji side in the final but still earned a well-deserved silver medal. Welsh players James Davies and Sam Cross were both involved. Davies, the brother of Welsh international centre Jonathan, plays flanker for the Scarlets. Cross, meanwhile, is a former Sport and Exercise Science student at Cardiff Metropolitan Univeristy and now plays as a flanker for Newport RFC. In the pool, Swansea-based Jazz Carlin made headlines with two hard-fought silver medals in the Women’s 800m Freestyle and Women’s 400m Freestyle. Although born in Swindon, the like-

able Carlin has Welsh parents and represents Wales whilst training in Swansea. Unfortunately fellow swimmer Chloe Tutton was unable to claim a medal, falling agonisingly short in the 200m Breaststroke. The talented 20-year-old, who hails from Rhondda but is now based in Cardifff Bay, was just 0.06 seconds off third place. Her disappointment was made more frustrating by controversial Russian Yulia Efimova taking second. Efimova has previously served a 16-month ban for doping, and after another positive test earlier this year she was controversially given a late reprieve to allow her participation. Although it was a summer of over-

riding success for Welsh athletes, Tutton was not the only competitor to come up just short in their quest for a medal. Boxer Joe Cordina travelled to Brazil with high hopes of challenging for a medal in the Men’s light 60kg category, yet he was beaten 2-0 by Uzbekistan’s Hurshid Tojibaev in the last 16. Popular cyclist Geraint Thomas also experienced cruel misfortune. He suffered a heavy crash in the Men’s Road Race as he finished 11th, with his injury hampering him as he finished 9th in the Road Race. It was nonetheless a tremendous summer for Great Britain at Rio 2016, and the Welsh athletes involved more than played their part in a recordbreaking Olympic Games.

For any team the new season always comes with fresh hopes and dreams for what lies ahead, and Cardiff Blues are no different. They started their journey back in August with the first of their warm-up matches at Newport against local rivals Dragons - going down to a 38-28 defeat. To the Blues’ defence, a second string side was selected and they were well-beaten before a Steven Shingler inspired mini-comeback made the final score much more respectable. English Premiership new boys Bristol visited the Arms Park the week after, and it was new recruit Shingler

who impressed again with Cardiff defeating their West Country rivals (who featured former Cardiff Blue, Wales and Lions international Gavin Henson) by a single point, 25-24. It was clearly a mixed preseason, however in general the results don’t matter - the performances do. In that sense August was promising, but also showed how crucial squad depth is with a subpar performance from the reserves against Dragons. The Edinburgh match which kicked off the season proper was hopefully a better indicator of things to come, with the Scottish side finishing on

virtually the same number of points in the league table last season now being blown away 34-16 by the Blues. A 23-24 victory away at Munster last Friday was yet another statement of intent, the Blues only winning one of the last eleven games against the Irish side. Wing Tom James impressed with his powerful, purposeful running and a brace of tries. Qualifying for the Champions Cup is certainly on the cards, and a push for the PRO12 play-offs won’t be out of the question if this winning form is kept up over the next few weeks and months.

There is more competition for places this season due to a spate of new signings (as well as development of junior players) over the summer. Gareth Anscombe versus Steve Shingler at outside-half, Lloyd Willians versus Tomos Williams at scrum-half, George Earle versus Jarrad Hoeata in the second-row and many more besides. During international periods, the Blues will have Josh Navidi and Ellis Jenkins to call on at open-side flanker when Wales skipper Sam Warburton is away - two better understudies you will not find in this league.

Pictured: Women’s team pursuit with Welsh Elinor Barker (Source: British Cycling)


SPORT 27

Can Wales be genuine world beaters?

After their European Championship success, can Wales shock the world?

Joe Fletcher

They have been placed in a group with Ireland and Austria, who both also made it to Euro 2016, whilst Serbia and Georgia are no pushovers.

Rich Jones

After a tricky start to the season, he hit top form as the season progressed.

Shaun Davey Cardiff City Columnist

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here is very little left to say about the Welsh national team at Euro 2016. They had a fantastic tournament, surpassing expectations; finishing top of their group - drubbing Russia 3-0 to do so - and reached the semi-final stages. But can they become genuine world beaters? A team feared by many and a side that is not only difficult to beat, but a side who can go on and finish games off? In reaching the semi-finals Wales had to overcome a Belgium side who, at the time of the Championships, were ranked the world number one team. And in that historic 3-1 win, Wales more than proved they were not just a “one man team”. Hal Robson-Kruyff (formerly Robson-Kanu) introduced himself to the footballing world: the West-Brom player’s body fleetingly playing host to the spirit of the Dutch legend Johan, perhaps? The only downside was the rather limp semi-final defeat to a very-beatable Portugal team - although one which, granted, did win the tournament. Possibly I had, before then, failed to appreciate Aaron Ramsey’s value to the Wales

team - anyway, they lacked either urgency or confidence (or both) and failed to craft a decent opportunity. Oh yeah, and didn’t the Stereophonics once sing “as long as we beat the English, we don’t care”. So in a similar vein - being English - I shouldn’t care that we were humiliated by Iceland, because we beat the Welsh, right?... right? But that’s just me clutching desperately at straws I’m English and bitter as a pint of John Smith’s. Wales were fantastic, and by reaching the semi-finals of a major tournament achieved something England have failed to do for two decades. Nevertheless, qualification for the 2018 World Cup will be tricky for Wales. They have been placed in a group with Ireland and Austria, who both also made it to Euro 2016, whilst Serbia and Georgia are no pushovers. Only one team qualifies automatically (second place faces the playoffs) so someone will miss out. Austria play attractive football, and have a better squad than Wales - players include Marko Arnautović, Bayern’s David Alaba and Julian Baumgartlinger of Bayer Leverkusen. However, in Gareth Bale, Wales have a trump card - a truly

world class footballer and by far the best player in Group D. It’s a cliché, but he truly can win a game from nothing and is committed to playing for his country in a way Giggs never was. In fact, two years ago to the day of writing this article, it was Bale’s late free-kick which earned his country a laboured (but essential) Euro qualifying

win over part-timers Andorra. The team has come a long way since then, and are a solid, tough-to-beat unit who work hard for each-other. But Bale is the spark redefining the Dragons as winners rather than just capable-competitors. He is the razor sharp tip to an otherwise sturdy, well-crafted sword, and is surely pivotal to Welsh hopes of making it to Russia.

Pictured: They could have a shot (Photographer: Jon Candy)

Van der Gugten loving life at Glamorgan

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lamorgan new boy Timm van der Gugten is delighted to be having an instant impact at The SSE SWALEC. The 25-year-old seamer is enjoying his first season in County cricket after being snapped up by the Welsh side over the winter. The Dutch international, who has also played Grade cricket in Australia for New South Wales, Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes, penned a three-year deal with Glamorgan back in February. After a tricky start to the season, he hit top form as the season progressed and has repaid the faith shown by head coach Robert Croft to become one of their key bowlers. With the season drawing to a close, Van der Gugten has taken 73 wickets across all three formats, including four five-wicket hauls in the County Championship and a crucial 19 wickets at an average of just 14.11 in the Natwest T20 Blast He concedes he has found the sheer volume of cricket a challenge – but he is thrilled to be successfully adapting to the

demands of the county cricket schedule. “I’m loving it here at Glamorgan,” said van der Gugten. “I’ve said it before but it’s a lot of cricket which I’m not used to, but it’s definitely a good difference. “It’s just the volume of cricket which is the big challenge really, and the chopping and changing between formats is very new to me as well. Playing lots of cricket and playing for Glamorgan in front of a great crowd is unreal and I’m enjoying every minute of it. “It’s going not too bad. It was a bit of a rough start, but a few things have fallen into place and I’ve been on the lucky end in a few games where I’ve got a couple of wickets. “I think we’ve all played really well as a team which is a bonus, and I’m just pleased things are going well. It’s been a good challenge, so hopefully I can keep improving.” Van der Gugten, who was brought up in Australia, has also revealed how he is enjoying living in the Welsh capital. “I’m loving Cardiff as a city,” he stated. “It’s a great place, especially recently when

we’ve had some nice weather thrown at us for a change! “There’s a great buzz around the place, especially with the way Wales were doing in the European Championship as well.” The arrival of van der Gugten has certainly bolstered the bowling options on offer for head coach Croft. He is one of a number of players who have broken into the new-look Glamorgan side and made an instant impact. Their talented young side has reached the quarter-finals of

the Natwest T20 Blast - and he believes the positive signs shown in 2016 could be the start of something special for the club. He commented: “I think we’ve got a few young guys coming through, and if we can gradually introduce them into the first team we can get a good core group who can potentially stick together for years to come. There have been a lot of positive signs for us this season, and if things keep going as they are then Glamorgan will be as strong as ever.”

Cardiff City head coach Paul Trollope stated before the international break that he was “not feeling any pressure” from the Bluebirds stuttering start to their Football League Championship campaign. The newly appointed Head Coach, only took over from ex-boss Russell Slade at the start of summer and promised fans that a push for promotion was his sole aim for this forthcoming season. A mixed bag of results and two disappointing home defeats mean that

Cardiff currently languish in 17th (correct at the time of writing) with five points on the board. The combination of a solitary victory and a dismal League Cup exit at the hands of Bristol Rovers has left fans quivering with despair. The deadline day capture of Rickie Lambert from West Brom does offer fans some sort of solace. Though, that came at a price with star man and club captain, David Marshall, departing to Hull City for £5m. Another significant loss was the de-

parture of Fabio to Middlesbrough, the versatile Brazilian defender leaving to join the Premier League new boys at the Riverside. Cardiff fans can draw another positive from the window slamming shut with City securing the services of midfield enforcer and Iceland’s Euros’ hero Aaron Gunnarrson. His performances at the Championships could have easily resulted in him bagging himself a move away from the Welsh capital. It is vital that the club and Trollope,

can now work together on and off the field; so that the team can now gain some momentum during the gruelling Autumn and Winter schedule. Fans have been left disappointed over the coming years and although the Play-Offs should be the ambition; the constant reshape and rebuild job at the Cardiff City Stadium offers cause for concern for many. But just what this season may hold for the Bluebirds can only be judged in what happens over the coming months before Christmas.

Pictured: The boy’s going places (Source: T7c via Flickr)


sport

Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport sport@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/sport

Also this week

Cardiff City: Rebuild in store for stuttering Bluebirds P27>>

World stars set for inaugural Champions League showdown

Cardiff Blues: Blistering start for revamped Blues P26>>

Cardiff will be hosting the Champions League of Darts this week James Lloyd

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ardiff’s Motorpoint Arena is ready to host the inaugural Champions League of Darts over the weekend of the 24th/25th September. The PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) announced the competition earlier in the year and will see the world’s top eight players battle it out for the top prize. The players will be split into two groups of four for the opening three sessions, with the top two players from each group following the round-robin phase then progressing to the semi-finals and final. Players at the tournament include: Michael van Gerwen, Robert Thornton, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith and James Wade. The opening session in the afternoon of Saturday September 24th will include the high-profile meeting between world number one Michael van Gerwen and reigning World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton. The Scot defeated van Gerwen in the final of last year’s World Grand

Prix with a thrilling 5-4 Sets victory, with both aiming to begin the group stage in Cardiff with a win later this month. That clash in Dublin was van Gerwen’s last defeat in a major ranking final, with the Dutchman having since won the European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championship Finals, UK Open and World Matchplay as well as the 2016 Premier League and two World Series events. “I can’t complain with how everything is going at the moment - I’m playing well and enjoying what I do, and I think that’s really important,” said van Gerwen. “To be back on the BBC is phenomenal for every one of us. You want to perform, and I think with the groups makes it good for the people at home because it’s going to be quick games.” Darts has become a popular spectator sport in recent years with the World Championships in December/January at the Alexandra Palace, proving a sought after event. And with the success of the Premier League - a UK tour based event - the sport has spread it’s fan base across the breadths of Britain.

The Motorpoint Arena itself has been a past success for hosting darts with the Premier League’s Judegement Day hosted at the arena based in the City centre in March, earlier this year. 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor will meet Peter Wright, the former World Championship finalist, in the other Group A contest on the opening afternoon. World Champion Gary Anderson then takes on former World Youth Champion Michael Smith in their Group B opener, with two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis taking on multiple major winner James Wade. Saturday’s evening session will then see the winning players in each group face off as the losing players also meet, before the final group games are played on Sunday afternoon. The top two players in each group will then progress to play in the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening. Students can attend the event with a special offer from the organisers. For just £5 Cardiff-based students can watch the afternoon sessions over the weekend by quoting “STUDENTSCARDIFF” when purchasing their tickets.

Pictured: Watch it live at the Motorpoint arena (Source: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

How Wales helped Team GB in the Olympics P26>>

Van der Gugten delighted to be having an instant impact P27>>

Gair Rhydd 1081 - 19th September 2016  

Editor: Maria Mellor editor@gairrhydd.com

Gair Rhydd 1081 - 19th September 2016  

Editor: Maria Mellor editor@gairrhydd.com

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