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Societies: Stay ‘travel aware’ as Foreign Office Ambassador P27 >> gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1099 Monday 8th May 2017 The student face of the Skills Development Service Rifhat Qureshi
Credit: Carwyn Williams
Students disrupted due to fire in Main Building fume cupboard Maria Mellor & Toby Holloway
fire in the Main Building of Cardiff University caused disruption to hundreds of students last Tuesday, as they were forced to evacuate the premises. Gathered outside both the front and back of the Main Building, staff and students watched on as two fire engines arrived at the scene to tackle the blaze, which began in a fume cupboard in one of the chemistry labs. A statement from Cardiff University released at 5pm on the day of the fire said: “There has been an isolated fire in a fume cupboard in Cardiff University’s Main Building this afternoon 2 May. All staff and students were evacuated safely and we are in contact with relevant emergency services and Univer-
sity departments. “Main Building will remain inaccessible to staff, students and visitors for the remainder of today, apart from limited access for those that need to collect their belongings.” The statement went on to say: “From tomorrow, 3 May, Main Building, including the Science Library, will be open as usual except for the Chemistry laboratories in rooms 1.85 to 1.89 on the first floor. The refectory (Main Building restaurant) will be closed until further notice. “Local communications to staff and students housed in Main Building will continue from those Schools and departments involved. Please contact your School office (students) or line manager (staff ) if you have any specific queries.” The fire, though an exciting and welcome revision break for many (once it was established that no one was in dan-
ger of course), did cause some significant disruption for some. Patrick Harrison, 22, was on his was to hand in a piece of coursework when he found himself unable to gain entrance to the Main Building. He said: “Well they closed the library for the next couple of days, ASSL is always packed out - I mean where are we going to study? “I’ve got a hand in time in five minutes and the whole building is closed so it’s not looking good.” The initial evacuation affected a number of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Harrison joked: “If I fail my module, someone’s gonna pay.” Students and members of the public gathered to watch the fire service at work. A third year English student said: “It seemed like a big kerfuffle. There were about two or three fire engines there
with a big crane - I thought the whole building was going to burn down!” It has been confirmed that the fire was small and contained, with operations returning to normal the next day with the exception of room closures. One student told Gair Rhydd: “The room closures weren’t that bad as Professor Alleman managed to allow us all to go back in and get our stuff as long as it wasn’t in labs 1.85-1.89 as they’re directly under the fire. However some of the people who weren’t around for the opportunity to go in were stuck after that without their stuff. “ Allegedly one of the staff members had to call a lock smith to get into their house as they had left their keys behind. The university have been applauded by students for their handling of the situation under the circumstances. Reportedly a formal inquiry is being made into the events that lead up to the fire.
he Student Peer Trainers are a familiar face of the Skills Development Service. They provide an invaluable service in delivering workshops and supporting the operational running of the department. We caught up with some of the SPT’s to find out what motivated them to join the team and how it has helped them. Gareth who has been the longest standing Student Peer Trainer explained “The knowledge, skills and experiences I have gained from my time as a SPT are invaluable.” Christian another long standing SPT, commented on his experiences of being a part of the team: “My confidence has come along in leaps and bounds and I’m now completely comfortable speaking and delivering to large groups without giving it a second thought.” Many of our SPTs also took on the role to help them directly with their future plans. Kelcea (Creative Writing MA) wants to become a teacher after graduation and knew it would help her to gain more experience. Similarly, Emilie (final year in Education) joined the team in order to help build and develop her skills. She feels the SPT role has been an ideal job for her as it has allowed her to motivate and inspire others. Alanna (Second Year Physiotherapy) feels that it was the process of being selected and as part of the team that has helped with her confidence. She described being an SPT has helped her because she now feels more confident presenting to a large group of people. On reflection of the role of the SPT, it’s easy to understand why so many students feel this is an ideal job for them. Learning alongside others and serving to deliver the skills and knowledge they have gained is a perfect opportunity for any student who is serious about their future prospects. Over the years, the Skills Development Service has seen such students grow and develop in their confidence and ability. Whilst we are sad to see some of them go, we are also looking forward to the new SPTs that will join us in September 2017 for a new and exciting academic year.
2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice Anwen Williams George Watkins Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Gareth Axenderrie Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Social Media Coordinator Olivia Watts Cartoonist Tom Morris Copy Editors Molly Ambler Phoebe Grinter Conor Holohan Lydia Jackson Olivia Botting Hannah Woodward Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Write to the editor email@example.com 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
How to make a newspaper Some advice from this year’s team to the next
veryone asks me ‘how do you manage running a paper and doing your degree?’ I’m not going to lie, it does take commitment. For the past three years I have been a part of the Gair Rhydd team and kept up decent grades for my course, but I have no doubt in my mind when I say that my time here has been the best three years of my life. I have no doubt that your days in student media will be the best too. With that I thought I would share a few things I have learned about making the paper. Gair Rhydd operates on a weekly schedule running from Monday to Friday. On Monday we discuss ideas, then on Friday it’s sent off to print with a bit of writing and editing in between. It’s your opportunity to write on any topic you like - there’s complete creative freedom. If I ever
have something I’m annoyed about in any given week I’ll go to the comment section and ask if I can write about it. If there’s something about the university that has caught my eye, I’ll be sure to do a write up for news. These opportunities are open to any student, so grab them while you can. A good leader is nothing without a great team. Our new editor-in-chief, Liam Ketcher, was announced last week and soon he’ll be opening up applications for a new team of section editors. To be a section editor, the main thing you need is passion - past experience is not important! Make sure you’re ready to put your all into the role, gather some good ideas and know what you want to get out of it. Even if you’re at the top of your game in student media, you can still learn a thing or two so never get cocky. It might be that someone needs to correct your use of semicolons, or that you need help using the
design software but everyone has to start from somewhere and we’re all here to get experience. The worst thing is when people go back on their word, so you have to make sure you stick to your promises, and be prepared for when others don’t do the same. It sounds pessimistic but I have found that it’s a reality you have to deal with when working with people. Make sure when you set deadlines, you leave enough time for yourself should the worst happen. At the same time, know that we’re all still learning, so if someone isn’t doing things as you would like, don’t be afraid to start a conversation about it, give feedback and stay honest. Never be afraid to ask for help. You won’t look stupid or silly, it’s just human nature. If there’s something you don’t know, it’s better to ask than to guess. Journalism is tricky as it’s a minefield of legal problems. Even in lowly student media there are a
multitude of areas in which you can get into trouble so make sure you do everything by the book and ask when you’re not sure. If you’re not sure who to ask, Elaine is there to help. She’s the best. I couldn’t have done this year without her, as I’m sure countless other editors before me would agree. She’s always up for a chat, whether you want to buy some new software to help with the paper or you’re having trouble with one of your colleagues. Be proud of your work! This is probably the last chance you’re going to have to have this much freedom in creating a paper read by thousands. If we write a good story, it sometimes gets picked up by national news, which is a feat not many people can brag about. It’s not just about skating by to get something to put on your CV, student media is a family. We do our work because we love doing it, and you have to make the most of it while you can.
Campus in Brief
Campus In Brief
HORDES OF JELLYFISH SWAMP WEST WALES COAST Hundreds of jellyfish have reportedly washed up on beaches across the West of Wales. The sea creatures, which are likely to belong to the Barrel species of jellyfish, have appeared in areas including Tenby, Newport, Cardigan, Castlemartin and Saundersfoot. The jellyfish are thought to swarm off the Welsh coast in the summer months and can often wash up on beaches in the area. Locals have taken to social media to share pictures of the phenomenon, with one pembrokshire resident quoted by WalesOnline saying that the creatures looked like aliens. Barrel jellyfish are commonly found in the Atlantic, and are one of the larger species of jellyfish native to the UK. Weighing up to 35kg with a diameter of up to 90cm, it is no wonder that some people have expressed concern about swimming at the affected beaches. Since this species of jellyfish only consume plankton however, their stings are not powerful enough to cause serious harm to humans.
BARREL JELLYFISH CAN WEIGH UP TO 35KG
SURFER SPENDS 32 HOURS ADRIFT OFF SCOTTISH COAST BEFORE RESCUE A surfer who drifted 13 miles away from the Scottish shoreline was rescued last Monday after a gruelling 32 hours at sea. Matthew Bryce, 23, from North Lanarkshire was found by a search and rescue helicopter after failing to return from a surfing trip on Sunday morning. Speaking to the BBC, Matthew said described the wind and tide conditions as ‘relentless’. He made several attempts to paddle back inland, and at one point was just one mile away from the shore before the tide changed and his efforts to make it back to land became ineffective. Matthew said that he owed his life to the Coastguard, the RNLI, the Police and the staff of Ulster Hospital.
International WHATSAPP SUFFERS GLOBAL MELTDOWN
THEIR BODIES ARE MADE UP OF 90% WATER Words and Design by Emily Giblett
Millenials across the globe were sent into meltdown last Wednesday night after WhatsApp’s servers went down for several hours. Problems with the messaging app, which has 1.2billion users worldwide, started to occur at about 8pm GMT. Speaking to the BBC, Dave Anderson, a digital experience expert at Dynatrace, said that it was likely the recent updates caused the problems: ‘WhatsApp send a new version of the app to the stores every few days, and they're likely to be pushing code changes every hour to get ready for that. Each development comes with a risk. It only takes one line of code and the app will fail. Banks might only issue a new version of their apps once a quarter because they can't afford to take that risk. There has since been no comment from the developers of the app on the cause of the outtage.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
DYMA DY GYFLE
• Make a revision timetable.
• Gwnewch amserlen adolygu.
• Have a look at lecture notes or powerpoints.
• Edrychwch ar nodiadau darlith neu sleidiau PowerPoint.
• Your lecturers don’t tell you to do past papers for no reason, they are a vital part of revision and great for practising exam style questions.
• Mae yna reswm pam fod eich darlithwyr yn dweud wrthoch am wneud hen bapurau arholiadau, maent yn rhan hanfodol o adolygu ac yn wych er mwyn ymarfer arddull cwestiynau arholiad.
KEEP IT INTERESTING
BYDDWCH YN GREADIGOL
• Use colour! Put all those highlighters and coloured pens to good use and make your revision beautiful, it’ll make it easier to memorise too.
• Bod yn lliwgar! Defnyddiwch eich pennau lliwgar i harddu’ch adolygu, fe fydd yn haws i chi goﬁo eich gwaith hefyd.
• Include other people, whether it’s course mates, friends or family. Talking through what you’re learning will help you remember it better. • Try recording your revision notes - that way you can listen to it whilst exercising or walking somewhere. • Get some revision cards and make bright and colourful summary notes. • Treat yourself! You need to break up your revision and treat yourself every once in a while, why not go to the cinema or go for a coffee with some friends.
THINGS TO TAKE WITH YOU
• Cynnwys pobl eraill, boed yn ffrindiau cwrs, ffrindiau neu deulu. Mae siarad am beth rydych chi’n dysgu yn eich helpu i chi goﬁo yn well. • Recordio’ch nodiadau adolygu- gallwch wrando arnynt wrth wneud ymarfer corff neu gerdded rhywle. • Defnyddio cardiau adolygu a gwnewch nodiadau lliwgar. • Sbwyliwch eich hun! Mae angen i chi dorri eich adolygu i lawr a sbwylio eich hun weithiau, pam na ewch chi i’r sinema neu fynd am gofﬁ gyda ffrindiau?
PETHAU I FYND GYDA CHI
• Pens, lots and lots of pens. • Highlighters and coloured pens - It will make your revision look oh so pretty, and it’ll help you memorise it better.
• Beiros, a llawer o feiros. • Beiros lliw - Bydd hyn yn harddu eich nodiadau, ac fe fydd yn haws i’w goﬁo.
• Phone charger - All that time tweeting about your exam revision is going to drain your battery.
• Charger ffôn- Bydd yr holl amser yn trydar am adolygu ar gyfer yr arholiadau yn lladd eich batri.
• Extension lead - You’ll be the most popular guy or gal in the library with that bad boy.
• Lîd estyniad - chi fydd y person mwyaf poblogaidd yn y llyfrgell.
• Water - Because revision is thirsty work. • Lots of snacks - Get down to the shops and do a revision food shop. Make sure you get some fruit as well as cookies! • Laptop charger - come on, that’s just common sense. • Headphones - To block out the cries & whimpering of the poor souls around you.
• Dwr- Oherwydd bod adolygu yn waith sychedig. • Digon o ddanteithion - Ewch i’r siop i brynu digon o fwyd ar gyfer yr adolygu. Gwnewch yn siwr bod gennych ffrwythau yn ogystal â’r bisgedi! • Charger cliniadur - mae hynny’n synnwyr cyffredin. • Clustffonau- i ddileu swn crio’r holl fyfyrwyr o’ch amgylch. • Eich nodiadau adolygu - Y peth pwysicaf i’w goﬁo.
• Your revision - Kind of the most important bit to remember.
FOR LOTS MORE REVISION TIPS VISIT
AM FWY O AWGRYMIADAU ADOLYGU EWCH I
Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews firstname.lastname@example.org
£13million for pioneering new UK dementia research centre at Cardiff University
he Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK are investing £250 million in a nationwide initiative to research the causes of dementia and its possible treatments. £13 million of this will be going towards creating a new dementia research centre in Cardiff University’s Hadyn Ellis Building. The Cardiff centre will be one of six UK Dementia Research Institute Centres- all based at UK universities. This investment marks the biggest sum of funding Wales has ever received toward scientific dementia research- with the potential to be granted another £17 million over the coming five years. The centre plans to employ up to 60 researchers by 2022, all contributing to developing treatments and preventative measures focussed on identifying the disease in its early stages. The first research programmes to be carried out at the new centres will involve manipulating the brain’s natural chemical reactions to identify new possible drug test candidates and researching how metabolism, sleep and bacteria in the gut are implicated in the risk of developing dementia. Professor of Neuropsychological Genetics at Cardiff University and Chief Scientific Advisor
to the Welsh Government, Professor Julie Williams, will spearhead the centre. Cardiff University are already leading the way in Alzheimer’s disease research, previously identifying 30 genes that increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The new centre and large cash injection will help build on this research. Data analyst at Cardiff University, Professor Valentina Escott-Price acknowledges that: “To cure, or to fix the problem, there’s a long way to go, but just to modify, to slow down the progression, that we could help with.” Dementia describes symptoms that affect a person’s cognitive ability, most often caused by Alzheimer’s disease. These symptoms worsen over time, in the later stages even having physical effects such as muscle weakness and weight loss. Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown, said; “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and is devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. With no treatments to slow, stop or prevent dementia, the UK DRI could not come at a better time. The institute provides a dynamic, collaborative and fresh approach which will trans-
Pictured: Old lady on a bench Source: Julita BC (via Flickr )
form dementia research and deliver life changing discoveries for people affected by dementia. It’s incredibly exciting to see its first pioneering research programmes take shape across the six centres”.
With NHS Wales estimating that 42,000 people in Wales alone suffer from dementia, the research that will be carried out at Cardiff University could help improve the lives of thousands.
To cure, or to fix the problem, there’s a long way to go but just to modify, to slow down the progression, that we could help with. Professor Valentina EscottPrice, Cardiff University
Champions League Final to use facial regonition software Amber Tatton
This technology in a live operational environment, which will hopefully prove the benefits and the application of such
f you are one of the lucky ones with tickets to the Champions League final on 3rd June at the Principality Stadium, you may notice the new technology brought in by South Wales Police. The Police have been given £177,000 of funding to capture images of people’s faces and check them via a facial recognition software against databases of known criminals. This will be the first pilot scheme in the UK of the technology, which shows the vast security operation in place for the game. Staff at the stadium have had to sign accreditation and security declarations as well having to adhere to the same security check upon entry. There will be four different checks for fans entering the stadium and street closures around the stadium and Cardiff Bay during the build-up festival. This is largely due to the attack on the team buses of Borussia Dortmund, who were targeted on the way
to the quarter final of the Champions League and the attack in Westminster in March. The police forces around the UK have been ramping up their security measures with South Wales Police using new facial recognition to compare against their database of known suspects. On the day of the Final, it is expected that 170,000 fans will be in the city centre but police have been advising those without tickets or reason to visit the city centre to avoid the immediate area. South Wales Police’s senior officer in charge of the event claims it is the first major test of the technology and of its impact on security in the city. Chief superintendent Jon Edwards said “The UEFA Champions League finals in Cardiff give us a unique opportunity to test and prove the concept of this technology in a live operational environment, which will hopefully prove the benefits and the application of such technology across policing”.
Pictured: A Champions League ball. Source: Prakash (via Flickr )
September October A T s the sparkly new Gair Rhydd editorial team got to know each other at the beginning of this year, no one could have imagined the fun and laughs that were to be had over the course of the year. As Gaby, Harry and I arrived back from summer ready to do some serious news shit, Cardiff University announced that it was building a Centre for Student Life on Park Place in a multi-million pound development. The proposed plans were met with some abrasion, as many criticised the plans for being “overbearing”, requiring the demolision of three Victorian villas on Park Place. Elsewhere, we reported the launching of a new night bus service for revellers at Cardiff University.
he first month of proper Gair Rhydd issues saw the News Team embark on their first experience of investigative journalism. After obtaining some information on the food hygiene ratings of many restaurants and take away shops in Cardiff, we also conductde a survey asking students a number of takeaway-related questions. Family Fish Bar, on Woodville Road, was revealed as Cardiff University Students’ favourite choice of takeaway to eat at after a night out, despite receiving one of the lowest possible food hygiene ratings. 60.4% of students also reported that a bad food hygiene rating would put them off eating somewhere, with many other of Cardiff ’s favourites receiving worryingly low ratings. In the same issue, we published an article on the Phoenix Project, a scheme run by Cardiff University and NHS Wales that helps train nurses in Namibia. Cardiff University’s Dr Brian Jenkins and Judith Hall delivered lectures and workshops in Namibia between the 24th and 27th of October.
ovember was a huge month for news, worldwide as well as in Cardiff. The election shock of the century saw Donald Trump announced as the next President of the United States, and millions of people all over the world were once again prompted to ask themselves what the fuck is wrong with Americans. The Gair Rhydd News Team approached the news from a variety of perspectives, both locally and from abroad. We watched on in the Taf along with many other Cardiff University students as the results came in, and got the mixed reactions of the early morning viewers. We also got in touch with students studying in the United States, who reported a “sombre” atmosphere on campus following the result. We also spoke to a Mexican-American student currently at Cardiff University. She said she was “emotionally drained” from the news, and admitted that she cried when she heard of Trumps victory, saying: “Now, I don’t want to go back home.”
A YEAR IN GAIR February
ebruary’s news was dominated by the Student’s Union elections, which represented the busiest and most stressful time of the year for our news team. In the weeks leading up to the elections, we attended Candidate Question Times and published manifestoes, then had a crazy week covering the elections themselves. It was paticularly challenging as we were obligated to provide equal coverage to all candidates for all positions, meaning that every single candidate had to be approached (and subsequently chased up) for an interview. Fortunately, we had lots of help from other section editors, especially Adam, Rich and Emily, and some copy editors got their hands dirty as well. The result of a week’s hard work was some excellent coverage and an extremely sexy issue, with some tasty graphics and pictures to boot. Also in the issue, Harry covered Refugee Rythms, a music event put on by Cardiff’s Student Action for Refugees (STAR), to emphasise the “togetherness” of refugees and students. The event included live performances from bands such as Helele and Sounds of Harlowe, and DJ sets from Bump ‘n’ Grind and Blue Honey. Also in the issue was an exclusive interview with Cardiff Anarchist Network leader Tom Fowler, at the annual Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair.
ur last issue in March bore arguably one of the biggest stories of the year, and certainly the most popular on our website, with around 2,500 hits. With the front page adorning photos of the smashed-up trophy being worn as a hat by member of the Swansea University Rugby Team, the revealations sparked outrage among Cardiff University students and fuelled an already bitter rivalry ahead of Welsh Varsity. The historic Varsity Trophy, which had previously been lifted by no other than legendary Wales second row Alun Wyn Jones, was taken on tour to Budapest and destroyed by the Swansea team. This was confirmed by one of the Swansea players, who, when asked if he knew of the whereabouts of the trophy (at the time erported missing), said: “Hahaha not lost, it was destroyed...it’s currently in pieces around Budapest.” Fortunately, the Swansea Rugby Team got their comeuppance when they were beaten at Varsity, who lifted the shiny new trophy and retained the Varsity Shield. Other stories in March’s issues included the announcement that Cardiff University academics had received £165,000 in research grants to develop a material that could help prevent concussion in sports. There was also an article about Cardiff University raking in an outrageous £170,000 in library fines in the year 2015-16.
s preparations for Christmas began to wind up in Cardiff, the news team broke an exclusive story about budget cuts to the School of History, Arcaheology and Religion (SHARE). The budget per student in the school dropped this year, leaving students worried about the futures of their studies. As well as cuts to the amount spent on each student, earlier in the semester it was decided that the postgraduate research expenses fund would also be cut by 100%. After complaints from students and VP Postgraduate Students Alex Kuklenko, the budget was reinstated at 50% with funding from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Also in December, the Gair Rhydd News Team reported on one of the controversies of the year - the arrival of the Cardiff Castle Christmas tree, which turned out to be a humungous 91ft shorter than expected. In one of the statements of the year, a Cardiff Council spokesperson/the next Lee Evans said: “The person who told us the tree was 40m high has since revealed he believes he is 18ft tall.”
fter a lengthy Christmas break, only one issue was released, on the last day of January. After managing to force our lethargic and turkey-filled bodies back to work, we reported on the passing of a motion in the student Senate. The motion resolved to give part time SU officers more powers and added publicity, enhancing their roles in the Students’ Union. It was also raised in the meeting that there is a lack of communication between the full time and part time officers, an issue which is said to have gone on for a number of years. One of the senators and also an unsuccessful candidate for VP Education in the SU elctions, said: “The problem of not having enough support for campaign officers has been a problem for many years now.” Also in January’s issue we had a compelling story from Harry about calls to modernise Wales’ train service, and also an article about a house on Miskin Street which was raided as part of a drug operation.
RHYDD NEWS.. April
ith only one issue published before the Easter holidays, April brought a well-earned rest for the Gair Rhydd team, as the thoughts of Cardiff University students turned to revision, exams and the tantilising prospect of a looming summer. In the news, we reported on the announcement that a new Welsh-speaking union was to be formed within the Cardiff University Students’ Union. The development was the result of months of hard work from Gair Rhydd’s own Taf Od editor and Welsh Language Office Osian Wyn Morgan, alongside SU President Sophie Timbers and other SU officials. At the time, Osian described the formation of the union as “a vital and exciting development for Welsh-speaking students in Cardiff” and a “positive and necessary step.” He went on to add that Welsh-speaking students were “completely isolated from the main Union and the main body of students here at Cardiff.” The new union, which will be known as the UMCC (Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd) will follow in the footsteps of other Welsh universitys, such as Bangor and Aberystwyth, who established Welsh language unions in the 1970s. Elshwhere in the news section, Harry wrote a feature on Cardiff’s preparations for the forthcoming Champions League final.
his will be the last issue that the three of us will be News editors for, and we hope that you thouroughly enjoy it. In the news this week is the fire that broke out in the Main Building, which represented one of the rare occastions at Gair Rhydd in which one of the News Team is called upon to rush to the scene of a story as it breaks. This was all extremely exciting, and I even saw a fire engine! We also have a piece on Cardiff University becoming a UK dementia centre, and an article about the proposed use of facial recognition software on visitors to Cardiff for the Champions League Final in June. The real news of this month, however, was the announcement of Liam Ketcher as the new Editor of Gair Rhydd for the 2017/18 academic year. We reckon Liam will do a fantastic job and wish him the best of luck! There’s plenty of news to look forward to in teh coming few months, and its rather upsetting that we won’t be able to bring it to you. The Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid (barring a dramatic turn around in the second legs of the semi-finals) is sure to be a fantastic occasion, whilst the forthcoming General Election is sure to definitely not be.
o here we are, it’s been a hell of a year and its gone far too quickly. Its always a pleasure to bring the latest scoops and stories to you throughout the course of the year, and we will definitely miss it. There’s a reason that we spend hours and hours each week working our socks off for free, and it’s only partly because it will look so bloody good on our CVs. Everyone on the Gair Rhydd team have been fantastic this year and a pleasure to work with, and we’ll look back on our work over the last nine months with fondness. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Maria, our Editor, who is not only great at her job, but also an excellent person. Also thanks to Elaine, our Student Media Co-ordinator and the various people at Cardiff University and Cardiff SU who work hard to make our jobs easier. Over and out.
Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom email@example.com gairrhydd.com/comment
Is Trump becoming part of the establishment? Pictured: Has Donald Trump’s recent policy shift been influenced by his daughter Ivanka? (Source: Michael Vadon via Flickr)
As Donald Trump’s first 100 days drew to a close, the perception that Trump was following that same path as his predecessor was growing.
hen Donald Trump took office as President of the United States earlier this year, he did so amid the agreement that his election was an earthquake in western politics, and that, for better or for worse, a significant change was on the horizon. During his campaign, Donald Trump stood out for his willingness to make explicit promises to the American people such as the border wall and the repeal of Obamacare. Unlike in the UK, American Presidential candidates don’t produce a manifesto with specific pledges, but Trump actually offered material solutions instead of political slogans. He constantly claimed that he would ‘drain the swamp’ of Washington, which not only referred to an attack on antiAmerican unelected civil servants, but also on those politicians of decades past who had promised so much change and delivered so little. Indeed, this idea perfectly fitted Barack Obama, who, although he was a beacon of hope and change during his early presidency, was himself absorbed into the swamp of reversed promises and compromised principles. As Donald Trump’s first 100 days drew to a close, the perception that Trump was following that same path as his predecessor was growing. Trump’s acts of legislation in the opening weeks of his presidency were,
although controversial, very much in keeping with the ‘America First’ ideology that he had preached during his inaugural address. Indeed, the fact that this was repeated throughout the address is a perfect illumination of how important a nationalist agenda was to Donald Trump. In his first few weeks, he acted to freeze travel from a number of problematic countries identified by President Obama while the security agencies reviewed their system of vetting. This was very much in line with the principle that Trump always promoted, which was to place the safety and wellbeing of the American people above all other considerations. During the campaign he regularly took advantage of Hillary Clinton’s history of involvement in American foreign wars, and he portrayed Clinton as a warmonger. Meanwhile he portrayed himself as the candidate to vote for to avoid needless, neoconservative foreign wars which had, in his view, hurt America morally, politically and financially. In 2013, following the previous alleged chemical attack by the Assad regime, he tweeted, ‘We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO’. He also tweeted ‘What will we get for bombing Syria
besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.’ As of recently, Trump’s commitment to the promises he made to the American electorate has come into question. More specifically, since early April, when Trump, without congressional approval, gave the order for a missile strike against a Syrian government airbase, thought to be the base from which the gas attacks a few days earlier had supposedly been executed. Although the action was not of incredible strategic significance - indeed, the runways were far from unusable and the planes thought to carry deadly chemical weapons were still able to take off from the base afterwards – it was massively symbolic, and represented a night-and-day difference between the President’s actions and his campaign promises. Announcing the strikes whilst speaking more solemnly than usual, Trump was unable to conceal – if he was attempting to – the level of his emotional outrage at the chemical attacks in Syria. ‘Beautiful little babies’ was the phrase he used, and that still stands out. Though his emotional outrage is completely understandable, it called into question the very nature of the Trump presidency. Up until this point, Trump had put America First and was staying true to his campaign
promises. In this way, up until this, his presidency was fairly predictable. At this moment, though, it was demonstrated that the current President is not predictable, and is subject to changing his mind on even his most valued issues. Much of the media’s explanation for this shift in foreign policy ideology has been attributed to the warring ideologies of Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who refined Trump’s ideology during the campaign, and Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Mr Trump, senior advisor to the President, and husband to his daughter, Ivanka. The general view is that this shift in policy on issues such as Syria is a result of Trump taking less advice from Steve Bannon, who would never have advised the strikes, and more advice from Jared Kushner who is closer to Clinton’s style of politics than Trump’s. Kushner, a registered democrat, is much friendlier to globalism than Bannon, and represents a genuine threat to the promises that Trump made to the American people. Reports have also suggested that Ivanka’s emotional reaction to the chemical attacks in Syria had a significantly upsetting effect on her father. If nepotism is to continue to be favoured over Mr Trump’s campaign promises, he will certainly become, by his own definition, part of the swamp he promised to drain.
Beautiful little babies’ was the phrase he used, and that still stands out. Though his emotional outrage is completely understandable, it called into question the very nature of the Trump presidency.
Fines proposed for hate speech on social media Should Facebook and Twitter be fined for not removing undesirable content?
What counts as fake news is dependent on your ideology, your positionality and whether you are the reincarnation of Donald Trump or part of the ‘liberal elite’.
efining exactly what falls within the confines of hate speech has always been a topic which sparks fierce debate. There are those who argue that curtailing free speech is dangerous and something that should be avoided, but when that speech incites hatred and involves illegal content clearly a line has been crossed and measures need to be taken. And this is exactly what the German government are trying to do. They have drafted a law which would see social media sites fined for not removing fake news, hate speech and illegal content. The last two are hard to argue against; speech that incites hatred against anyone should have no place in the 21st century. But what is ‘fake news’? This then brings us into dangerous territory, as who has the right to decide what is fake news and what is not? Whilst it is clear some facts can be proved and disproved, some news -which is often deemed fake- is evidently not. Like Trump saying the BBC, yes the BBC the bastion of our free and open democracy, is “fake news”. Could giving a government the power to diminish the reputation and reliability of certain news agencies turn Germany -and other countries which adopt this policy- into states where they control too much of the media? And surely this, in turn, is limiting free speech.
Pictured: How much responsibility should be placed on social media for what content appears on their sites? (Source: Jason Howie via flickr).
Even though it will ultimately be up to the social media sites to fine such fake content, Germany will surely have a say in what content they wish to see punished and removed. I am not advocating for hate speech or illegal content. I have no objections to these things being outlawed as they are disturbing and, especially with young children on social media, not a side of society we should be portraying. This measure is drastically needed in order to make social media a safer space for all people. In a time of increased marginalisation, especially for
minorities, it is time for social media companies to take action for allowing such content to remain prominent on their sites. This will create a more open and tolerant society. The UK should aim to adopt similar methods in relation to hate speech and illegal content in an attempt to prevent further radicalisation of young people online. This content should not be so easily accessible to children either, with explicit content such as celebrity sex tapes sometimes appearing on social media. However, whether the UK should fine companies for allowing ‘fake news’
is a different matter. Banning it could lead to serious difficulties in the way the free press operates. Certain media outlets would become favoured by the government, and that is not how a free and open democracy works. Doubtless, hate speech and illegal content need exterminating from social media, but curtailing the powers of the media and deeming certain news stories as “fake” is a dangerous path. What counts as fake news is dependent on your ideology, your positionality and whether you are the reincarnation of Donald Trump or part of the ‘liberal elite’.
This measure is drastically needed in order to make social media a safer space for all people.
The NUS aren’t representing the needs of students Maria Mellor
Only the voice of the far-left snowflake is being noticed and the rest have been forgotten or ignored.
he NUS is ‘the national voice of students’ - or so they say on their website. A union is supposed to join people together, to represent a community so that their voice may be heard. It is my opinion that the NUS no longer serves this purpose: only the voice of the far-left snowflake is being noticed and the rest have been forgotten or ignored. Some of the motions they have passed or overhalled have been borderline ridiculous. For example there was the motion for the NUS to condemn ISIS that fell because they were worried that it would be ‘islamophobic’. NUS delegates applauded a student who opposed commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day; they passed a motion meaning that the organisation is against the monarchy and wants a republic. How is any of this relevant or helpful to the student cause? It’s not that I disagree with any of these things, but they take away focus from the actually important key issues: anti-racism, anti-sexism and overall rights for students. In the last nation NUS conference there were dozens upon dozens of motions. It took hours to go through them all. It’s a shame that the actually relevant issues had to be interrupted by such trivia. However the real cherry on top of the NUS cake of ridiculousness
was the news that they want to ban clapping at their events. Apparently clapping excludes deaf people. This rule just adds complication to an already over-distracted organisation. I am fully aware that for the deaf, jazz hands are used as a substitute for clapping but surely you can see people clapping as well as hear it. Maybe they should think about the visually impaired people who will now have no clue as to what’s going on thanks to this stupidity. This clapping ‘issue’ has come up in the past in relation to the NUS they wanted to ban it before because it can be triggering to people with anxiety. By all means, ban whooping and cheering so that things flow more smoothly, but this is a step too far. I really don’t want to be that douche who disagrees with trigger warnings because people ‘need to get used to the real world’ but that’s exactly it! Loud noises are everywhere - a lot of them much worse than clapping! I really do support trigger warnings when it comes to censoring the right things - rape, depression, suicide etc - but if you have a problem with a crowd of people clapping I think you need to spend some time recovering before you think about attending a national conference. The jazz-handed NUS is what is making the news. Not for their fight
Pictured: The NUS aren’t representing the things that really matter to students. (Source: Philippe Leroyer via flickr.)
for students’ rights, not for their protesting and picketing to condemn tuition fee rises, but for their frivolity. For the last general election the NUS organised a series of advertisements attacking the liberal democrats for their ‘broken pledges’ ie. the fact that tuition fees were raised despite them promising otherwise. Surely a vast number of students support the lib-dems? Not to mention the fact that they’re steamrolling over all of the potentially decent policies the lib-dems might have. I see they didn’t do the same for the tories who also had a big part, if not bigger, in
the tuition fee rises. If there’s one thing the NUS should not be, it is politically biased. The money they spent on this campaign could have been spent on so many wonderful things for students if only they had had the creativity to think of something other than posters that say little more than ‘we know how to hold a grudge’. They’re making a whole generation of students look bad - no matter whether you’re part of it or not all students are lumped in with what they do. Their campaigns cover all of us with the same I-need-to-be-mollycoddled umbrella.
The real cherry on top of the NUS cake of ridiculousness was the news that they want to ban clapping at their events.
Should final year students have to look for graduate jobs while they’re still at uni? Caragh Medlicott
Some people fold their underwear and write an itinerary for a trip to town, others are a little more ‘go with the flow’ and ultimately, both are fine.
very student knows the dreaded question. We get it at family parties, social gatherings and sometimes even from complete strangers- “so, what do you want to do after your degree?” Ah, how your heart beats, the sweat collects on your forehead and you have to awkwardly admit, well, you don’t exactly know. The third year of university, is – and I’m just going to come out and say it- an absolute shit-show. As the end of term approaches you’ll become all too familiar with red bull (minus the Jäger), meal-deal dinners and even seeing the occasional person sobbing in the library at 3am. So, should students really have to worry about applying for grad jobs while also putting their blood, sweat and tears into a dissertation? UCAS’s chief-executive Mary Curnock Cook doesn’t think so. Cook has spoken out saying she thinks there is too much emphasis put on students getting graduate jobs straight out of university, and that this pressure can even lead to them making misinformed decisions. When I first read Cook’s com-
ments I wasn’t sure how to feel, on one hand I think she’s right that students shouldn’t have to worry about applying for jobs while at uni, but at the same time is it just an unfortunate reality that in today’s competitive job market, worry is inevitable? I’m an MA student and I remember how just over a year ago my friends were thrown into the chaos and anxiety of job-hunting. Students seems to fall into two categories: 1) those who have applied for a gazillion jobs (with varying levels of success) and 2) those who don’t know what day it is, let alone what career path they want to embark on. However, a year on -and having seen what my varying friends have gone on to do- I’d say the only answer is, it is entirely subjective. Some people fold their underwear and write an itinerary for a trip to town, others are a little more ‘go with the flow’ and ultimately, both are fine. Maybe applying for jobs while at uni will make some students feel better, and if they’re productive and good with time management then why not get in early? Really, I agree with Cook; your degree should come first, and so long
Pictured: Aren’t students under enough pressure without thinking about grad jobs? (Source: Jenn Vargas via flickr.)
as it is a student’s first priority, then that’s all that matters. I have friends who are in grad jobs that they got while still at uni, friends who got grad jobs six months on from finishing uni and friends who don’t have a grad job yet (myself included). There’s nothing wrong with working a “normal” job for a bit to save money or go travelling or just to figure out exactly what it is you
want to do. Everyone is different. Anyone pressuring students or making it seem like their dream job will be snatched from their hands if they don’t have it secured by twenty-one is irresponsible (and probably has some kind of direct investment in such scaremongering.) So, in the words of Louis Armstrong, we have all the time in the world…kind of, anyway.
The political downfall of soundbites
Your degree should come first, and so long as it is a student’s first priority, then that’s all that matters.
Theresa May was asked to stop speaking in slogans
I Louis Mertens
This clearly presents a PR issue for many politicians who view themselves as a brand.
had to think for a moment about what constitutes a ‘sound bite’. Is it only a phrase which is spoken enough and sticks in the mind? Or, is it something that politicians consciously create to help formulate the public image of themselves and the party they represent? I quickly concluded that sound bites aren’t something that politicians have any control over, try as they might. “Strong and stable government” has become a memorable phrase of Theresa May, not because it is so frequently and exclusively used by her but by those mocking her, too. Similarly, Andrew R T Davies also created a soundbite, one that he has tried to undo ever since, born from an unfortunate blunder at the Welsh Conservative Conference in October 2016. “We will make breakfast a success,” is a comical trip up for many, but for the sake of this argument, it goes to show that politicians can’t pick and choose the words that we remember. This clearly presents a PR issue for many politicians who view themselves as a brand. I remember my local MP once told me that after you’re elected to parliament you are given coaching on how to dance around questions and interviews from the media. This is all to aid the brand,
but as Andrew Marr said in his most recent interview with Theresa May, it has the effect of making politicians sound cold and robotic, and I believe probably contributes to a lot of voter apathy. Much of Donald Trump’s success is because he tackles topics head on, he doesn’t hide behind uninspiring slogans or phrasing that leaves questions unanswered. But sound bites aren’t a bad thing in their entirety, rather it is the way they’re employed to avoid questions and remove the accountable from accountability which makes the politicians who use them appear so unfeeling. The most significant and memorable sound bites have long outlived the original interview or speech on the basis that they bear a message that is transferable to other elements of life, and not simply to give a wishy washy answer to an important question. “We will fight them on the beaches,” Churchill’s most memorable quotation embodies an unwavering and shared determination, Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream today,” reminds us that you can work against the status quo to achieve a better society, John F Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon … not because it is easy, but because it is hard,” hails to a fantastically revolu-
tionary period in American history. The point I am trying to make is that politicians should not be asked not to use sound bites. It is their own failings that their soundbites convey such a two-dimensional message and contribute so heavily to an image of
politicians as little more than people who work to line their own pockets. We may only hope that politicians use sound bites more creatively, more inspiringly, to answer some questions and restore their own accountability
Pictured: ‘Strong and stable government’ (Source: youtube)
13 Reasons Why
The gritty Netflix series portrays a realistic depiction of mental health issues Pictured: 13 reasons why has been praised for its realistic portrayal of high school life and bullying. (Source: youtube.)
The show has received high praise for covering these topics that quite frankly, a lot of people choose to tip toe around.
etflix has had a busy few weeks with the release of the controversial series, ‘Dear White People’ and the leak of it’s most popular original, ‘Orange is the New Black’ within the last few days alone. However, the hit series, ’13 Reasons Why,’ based on the novel by author Jay Asher, was released over a month ago and is still causing wide spread debate over social media and by mental health officials. As I’m sure most of you know, the series covers sensitive topics such as bullying, assault, sexuality and suicide. Within the first few minutes of the show you learn that the central female character, Hannah Baker, has committed suicide and due to the difficulties she faced during her time in high school, has left a collection of tapes dedicated to specific individuals in order to help them understand why she chose to end her life. Now the show has raised multiple questions and a second season was confirmed just this week. However, many schools and experts on mental health have urged those who suffer from severe mental health problems or who have been a victim of assault or attempted suicide not to watch the show due to the fact that it may be a trigger for some viewers. At the same time, the show has received high praise for covering these topics that quite frankly, a lot of people choose to tip toe around.
It’s no surprise that bullying and assault are an underlying problem within many educational institutions that faculties often tend to severely neglect or cover up. A survey found that just within the UK alone, 1 in 3 female students have being sexually assaulted over their time in university. However, very few of these cases go reported due to victims having no proof or fear of being accused of false claims. How does this link to 13 Reasons Why? Well, if you’re reading this article I’m going to assume you’ve reached the end of the series and if you’re anything like me, probably binge watched the whole thing in less than 24 hours, so you’ll probably know by now that the main character, Hannah Baker, takes her life after being raped by a fellow student (along with a number of other contributing factors). Unlike other shows that often imply rape or subtly touch on the subject, the producers of 13 Reasons Why, decided it was important that they focus on the matter by showing intense and realistic scenes. Naturally, they also had warnings before each episode stating that the episodes did focus on extremely sensitive topics, despite the fact that when discussing the show with mental health experts pre-release, they were warned not to feature such intense and graphic scenes. Since the release of the show my Facebook and Twitter feed were full
of people with different opinions on whether the show did the right thing or not and whether they successfully portrayed what it was like to be a student in this day and age. The scene that has caused the most controversy is the actual scene in which Hannah’s character commits suicide. This scene in particular is why many mental health experts are urging those who suffer from mental health problems or have their own experience with suicide, should not watch the show. It’s not to say that the scene may be a trigger warning for all people who suffer from problems, however despite this it’s no question that the scene is intense, disturbing and difficult to watch. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death amongst all ages and is often not spoken about in terms of youth culture. Personally, as someone who has diagnosed clinical depression, I feel the show touched on topics that were important and needed to be spoken about. I for one feel that they did a fantastic job in portraying a realistic picture of what it’s like for many college and university students all over the world. Educational institutions work so hard to cover up bullying related suicides or refuse to acknowledge students who often come to them for help in aim of protecting their own image. This underlying problem is something that needs to be focused on
and changed. Within my fresher’s week alone last year, there were 3 reported incidents of rape around the University campus. Although Cardiff University has done a fantastic job in making sure all students feel safe and are willing to talk about this issue, many other universities across the UK are neglecting to do the same. It’s important that as a society we remember that although these problems may not be affecting us directly, they could be affecting your friends or loved ones without you even knowing it. Despite the fact that I can understand why there has been such widespread controversy over the show, it’s also clearly been an eye opener for many people and in particular those of our age who often feel like they need to suppress their issues due to the fear of receiving backlash from society. As I said, the whole series did an outstanding job in portraying several important messages. However, if you do suffer from mental health issues or do not feel comfortable watching such intense scenes, that’s also completely understandable. And also just a reminder that If you suffer from mental health problems of your own or would like to talk to someone about a matter that’s affecting you, the university offers fantastic support at their counseling and wellbeing center on Park Place.
As someone who has diagnosed clinical depression, I feel the show touched on topics that were important and needed to be spoken about.
Prince Philip is actually, sort of, a legend Racist, sexist and rude, but lovable right? ...Right?
By the grace of God alone, the palace has confirmed that the Queen is definitely not dead, and fortunately for the future of mankind, neither is Philip.
ast week, the Queen called her staff from across Britain to an unscheduled, highly unusual meeting at Buckingham Palace. A meeting, which led a number of publications, namely The Sun, to assume that there is no other explanation for the assemblage apart from that Prince Philip must be dead. As such meetings are fairly uncommon, the supposition that it concerned the ill health of Philip, or the Queen, was expected. But, as everybody knows, the Queen, like Mary Berry, does not age, wrinkle or die, it was assumed that it must be Philip, and he must be dead. Unscheduled meeting? Philip is dead! Quiet news day? Philip is dead! Lizzie looking unusually chipper? Philip must be dead! As hundreds of people crossed their fingers and hoped that finally that racist, sexist, 300-year-old arsehole was dead, and as The Sun interns hoped and prayed that their hunch was true to avoid being sent to the chokey in the morning, I was on my knees asking Jesus to spare Philip’s withered soul. The world is not yet tired of his one liners, I pleaded, poor Philip has not yet been appreciated in all his marvellousness. By the grace of God alone, the palace has since confirmed that the Queen is definitely not dead, and fortunately for all of us, and for the future of mankind, neither is Philip. Instead, they have simply announced that Prince Philip will retire from royal duties in autumn, which,
incase you haven’t yet mourned, is a monstrous shame for all of us. I mean, Prince Philip is awful. Not Charles-awful (we know you orchestrated it, Charles) but still pretty damn bad. But he’s also kind of brilliant. Yes, he’s racist, but you know, not bad racist. Nice and traditional racism; just like in the good old days. He’s like your racist uncle at Christmas, but instead of driving a 2001 Renault Megane and working in Ryman’s, he’s sort of really rich and quite important. Fortunately, nobody’s actually listening to him. He once said; “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the bastards murdered half my family,” and also noted that “The Philippines must be half empty, because you’re all here running the NHS.” If that wasn’t enough, he also once told the President of Nigeria (who was dressed in traditional robes) “you look like you’re ready for bed!” He’s also sexist, but in that soi s - g r a nd ad-but-we -le t-h i m- of f, kind of way. He once asked a group of women at the Chadwell Heath Asian Women’s Network “who do you sponge off? and said to Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, when welcoming Benedict XVI to Edinburgh in 2010, “that’s a nice tie ... do you have any knickers in that material?” You’re smiling now aren’t you? Because, somehow, it is hilarious and brilliant. He’s simply a product of his time, but they are seldom seen. Rare
Pictured: “Ah, yes I HAVE got lots of medals, I really have haven’t I?” (Jamie McCafferey via flickr).
creatures of historical interest that we never see because usually they, you know, die before this stage. He’s pretty standard of old men thoughracist, offended by almost everything and really, really upset when TV listings change unexpectedly and when teenagers work in the corner shop. He also once wrote a children’s book about an old man living in a cave and eating underwater haggis and says really posh words like “lordy!” and “tiffin” and “ghastly”. We’ve got to have a little sympathy for Phil, he’s caught in the crossfire of being an incredibly important, and an incredibly useless man. Too old to ever realistically have a meaningful reign, too young to be excused from flower shows and awards
ceremonies, too rich to die, he’s lingering in purgatory. A man who asked Tom Jones “what do you gargle with? Pebbles?” and who asked a 60-year old disabled man in a wheelchair “how many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” A man who literally does not give a shit about anything. Thank you, Philip, for being the physical embodiment of the middle finger, and for being so old, rich and repulsive that you get away with it. Thank you for always saying literally, whatever the fuck you want. Thank you for slowly but surely, single hardly running the royal family into the ground. Long live the prince!
The man who asked Tom Jones “what do you gargle with? Pebbles?”
Turning drunk patients away isn’t the answer
Doctor’s comments reopen the issue of the NHS treating drunk patients
Nearly 2 million people using A&E services have been drunk patients.
rinking is a common activity enjoyed by a lot of people in the present day. It is especially prevalent among young people across the world. However, drinking has many ill-effects and most of them are in some way or other related to our health. Recently retired surgeon Gautam Das, who has been working with the NHS UK for nearly 26 years, shared his views on drunk patients. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Dr. Das expressed his displeasure towards drunk patients describing them as “wasting precious NHS time”. He said that he felt it was more important to treat individuals coming to the hospital with a heart problem rather than a drunk ‘idiot’ who would drop in after a tussle. This is not the first time that the NHS UK has expressed its displeasure in treating drunk patients. In 2014 Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Edwin Poots proposed charging drunk patients walking
into A&E. According to NHS the attendance of drunk patients, who were either comatose or the ones with injuries on the head, ankle etc., was increasing rapidly increasing causing the health ministry to propose this change. Nearly 2 million people using A&E services have been drunk patients. However, to wave away such patients is not the ideal solution to the problem. According to Jason Sarfo-Annin of NHS UK, the idea of charging drunk patients or to deprive them of treatment because they were less ‘deserving’ was unethical as the individual who is under the influence of alcohol is equally vulnerable as any individual who tried to commit suicide or someone battling a chronic lung disease due to years of smoking. The problem is rooted deeper into the drinking culture of Britain. According to various researchers, drinking in Britain has been on the rise since the end of the Second
Pictured: The number of drunk patients admitted to A&E is on the rise. (Source: Denise Mattox via flickr.)
World War. This culture has passed down through the generations and has now turned into a necessity for British society or any society for that matter. Therefore, in order to reduce the amount of drunk patients, it is vital that the government invest in health campaigns and rehabilitation
to dissuade people from drinking too much and spread awareness on the health implications of excessive drinking. This is the only effective way to combat the rising trend of drunk patients in the UK rather than discriminating and depriving individuals based on their drinking habits.
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Thank you, and goodnight
We’ll weep for the old days; Wednesday night drinking, free bin bags and eating with without a plate and not getting told off.
still remember exactly how I felt, two years ago, as I wobbled into my interview for the columnist position, with then-editor Joseph Atkinson. As I sat down for the first time in the sweaty, stuffy, busy media office, I distinctly remember asking myself what the fuck am I doing here? I was nineteen, writing articles about the psychology behind one night stands and had never had my writing read by anyone other than my teachers and my mum. Two incredibly short, but also painfully long years later, here I am, writing my last ever column, and unsure where to go from here. It’s incredibly sad, and I think all of us that have to leave are doing so with heavy hearts, but also with incredible pride. It hasn’t yet sunk in. We’re so busy, with exams, finals, awards and balls, the final ‘goodbye’ still seems so far off. But, it will come. We will finish our essays, complete our exams and eventually graduate, and with that will come the inevitable identity crisis, when we realise we’ve completed the longest leg of our journey, but still don’t seem to have arrived at a destination. So, where do we go from here? We’re not students anymore; but we’re not yet professionals either. We’re certainly not kids anymore. We cook our own meals, drive our own cars, we buy our own alcohol and even pay our own bills, but we’re not quite adults either. We don’t know how to sign off emails and we still don’t know what council tax is, or the difference between bio and non-bio detergent. So, what are we? Graduates? What
It’s been a blast.
does that mean? I suppose it means we should stop picking up 10ps on the street, and doing laundry in the shower and stealing toilet rolls from restaurants. We’ll have a mountain of debt, yet be expected to now pay the adult price for a cinema ticket and pay full price for a train fare. It’s going to be depressing, probably, for a while. We’ll move back home to discover that our bedroom has become the ‘spare room’ and our parents don’t really love us anymore because we don’t really do anything apart from eat all the food in the fridge and watch repeats of Fresh Meat and Peep Show on television. We’re not making them proud anymore and each time they mention looking for a job we start hysterically wailing and shrieking. They’re holding off retirement to avoid hanging out with us. We’ll weep for the old days; Wednesday night drinking and free bin bags and eating without a plate and not getting told off. We will probably try to come back to Cardiff at some point, to escape from our new-fangled, bleak existence, for a ‘girly weekend’ or a big ‘lad’s night out’. But it will be miserable. We’ll discover that ‘our secret spot’ for cocktails is apparently not so secret, and has been discovered by a group of younger, prettier, skinnier girls and the owner is giving them the ‘special discount’ we thought was reserved just for us. Boys, you’ll visit the union again but will quickly realise that the power to pull literally anybody left you when you graduated from the uni rugby team and you are now noticeably 26 amongst a room of 18 year olds and somebody, at some
point, will probably call you a paedo. We’ll all finally crack when Abdul from Family Fish Bar no longer recognises us, or our order, and we’re being dragged away by the police crying and screaming “YOU KNOW I HAVE A LARGE SAUSAGE AND A SMALL CHIPS ABDUL! IT’S ME! DAMNIT ABDUL IT’S ME!” and we’ll be left wondering if we ever actually existed at all. Although it looks bleak and the future is terrifying, it does, though, also mean that we’ve made it. Ladies, gentlemen, we have arrived. Every lesson, every grade, every learning curve has led us to this moment. We completed primary school to secondary school, to sixth form or college, to university, to graduation. And this is it, the final lap, and sweet, beautiful freedom is within touching distance. For the first time since we were mixing coloured paint and learning our alphabet, the road is not clear ahead. Some of us will travel, some will undertake a masters, and some will go back home and work for their parents. Some of us will be successful immediately, some of us will be successful in ten years, some of us will never quite become who we wanted to be, but for now, for the first time in our lives, the rest is unwritten, and that is terrifying, but refreshing. We’re stood on the edge of the big, scary world, but some advice I was given was to keep your dreams in sight, especially once you graduate. Amongst the overwhelming debt, crippling anxiety and questionable existence you will experience following graduation, it will be easy to forget why we did all of this. Yes, we have £40,000 worth of debt
and probably no job offers on the table, but we will be okay. Beautiful, young, excited freshers, I am green with envy. Enjoy every godforsaken moment damnit, because one day you will be lining up twelve of “the cheapest shots available” with three of the best years of your life ahead of you, and then all before you know it you’ll be sat at your laptop with tears dripping onto your keyboard, saying goodbye to the place, and people, that have become your home over the past three years. Maria, my incredible editor, thank you for letting me do swear words every week and for never, ever telling me my 1000-words-on-literallynothing idea was terrible. Thank you trusting me and giving me absolute free reign every week, you are so wonderful. To everyone on the team last year, and this year, you are beautiful, wondeful, brilliant people. Never ever stop doing BuzzFeed quizzes instead of working, never stop asking inappropriate questions to one another and never, ever stop the puns. To the people that read this column every week, to those people who read it occasionally, and to the person reading it for the first time today; thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It’s been a joy and a pleasure and an experience that made my university experience that much richer. Gair Rhydd will remain close to my heart forever, and to next year’s team, and next year’s columnist, good luck. Absorb, savour and enjoy every single moment of your journey-it’s going to be wonderful. For one last time, Helena Hanson; over and out. X
Pictured: Goodbye beautiful people. (Photographer: woodleywonder works via Flickr).
Beautiful, young, excited freshers, i am green with envy. Enjoy every godforsaken moment, damnit.
Editors: Anwen Williams George Watkins @GairRhyddAdv firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/advice
A guide to revision If you don’t already know how
Pictured: Gross. (Source: Kenny Sarmy via Flickr)
ost of us have done our fair share of exams, and unavoidably, the horrific panic revision in the weeks before. Whether it was 7am in ASSL or 11pm scrambling around my kitchen table ‘organising’ my papers, we all in hindsight could do with some improvements. I am not a trained revision aid professional or even pretending I’m some sort of revision oracle, but a few things did help smooth the process.By far the most critical thing I shouldn’t have done was to write a strict hour-by-
hour revision timetable, this is the WORST. You miss one slot and you feel awful, this moral hit is not only inevitable but overall just damages your selfesteem and motivation. A much better technique is to set a list of weekly goals every Sunday night. Not only does this help you stay on track without too much pressure, writing your goals down makes you accountable to yourself, trust me it works! Eating and exercising! Whether you’re a gym rat or a regular couch potato, eating well (with the
odd chicken cottage of course) and exercising improves body and mind. This helps focus your work in the library, improves your well being and overall boosts exam performance. Plus you don’t look like a deflated bouncy castle by the end of finals! The final tip is start early enough, because we all know too well “I’ll start next week, it’s ages away” does eventually catch up on us when we realise our deadline is tomorrow morning and the textbooks are still in ASSL. Even though a few Mike Ross’s among us commoners might be able to churn
it out in a few days, for the rest of us muggles a good 6/7 weeks is what we need. Sorry to poop the party! Yeah sure you could do it in 5 weeks maybe even less, but the amount of understanding you have wont be the same. Even better, the earlier you start means you can have shorter days, and, maybe even guilt free days off! Of course we all learn differently, but I these tips will help us all in exams and in our lives generally! Exams and revision aren’t fun, but these tips will set you in good stead for the next few months, good luck!
Whether it’s for the first time or for the third
he time has come in the academic year when exam season looms, and following exams, the perhaps even more dreaded, big move out of your accommodation in Cardiff; be that university owned or Private Residences. Wherever you’re moving from, there are a few things you should consider before doing so. When packing up your stuff, the first stage is to know how you will be transporting yourself and stuff. Are you going by car, train or plane? As this will alter the way you pack. If going by car, it’s likely you’ll be packing using boxes. If this is the case, try to distribute the weight evenly across the base of the box, and ensure that the bottom of the box is secured with a strong tape, such as duct tape to stop it from opening unexpectedly. Ideally, try and use double-walled cardboard boxes as these are the
strongest. Alternatively, if you can’t find any, and the boxes feel weak to you, putting a box inside of another to double the strength will also stop the bottom from collapsing. When packing clothes, if you want to use space more effectively, pack socks into shoes to both save space and help them keep their shape. Fold and layer clothes into the suitcase, or alternatively roll them up, and pack the rolled clothes next to each other; if done properly, rolled clothes crease less than folded ones and take up less space. If you’re an international student, or just travelling home by plane but returning to Cardiff in September, something to look into could be selfstorage units. There are a range of storage units in town, which offer different volumes of storage depending on how much you think you’ll need.
Another option is shipping belongings homes instead of packing them, as long as they are not needed urgently. Alternatively, moving out could be an opportunity for a clearance of your stuff. Perhaps there are items you packed at the start of the year and haven’t used once. By packing anything unused in a separate box, and marking it up, you’ll remember not to pack it next year. This will save more space in your room next year, or instead you could donate the stuff to charity shops if you don’t want to take it home with you. As you’re moving out for the summer, make sure to clean out the fridge and freezer thoroughly, as it’s likely you won’t be returning to that property, and it must be left in the condition it was when you moved in. This involves cleaning your room with more than a duster, and check-
ing under your bed for any misplaced socks throughout the year, you never know, you might find a misplaced fiver! As the end of term is often a busy one, make sure to return any books you’ve taken out of the library for revision. If, however, you are taking your own books home, make sure to pack the heavy books at the bottom of your suitcase, to stop your clothes from being creased under their weight. Finally, packing up to go home is something that shouldn’t be put off, as leaving it until the last minute will cause a less than fun experience. Frantic packing will lead to items being forgotten. It would be best to do a little bit over a few days rather than the last day, meaning that you can enjoy your last day in Cardiff before the summer, hassle free!
It would be best to do a little bit over a few days rather than the last day, meaning that you can enjoy your last day in Cardiff.
Summer (not) loving?
Surviving a long-distance relationship
ne issue that so many students face is the problem of attending a different university to their significant other. It really can make or break a relationship, but from experience there are lots of ways to survive it. The first thing I had to learn with my boyfriend being at a university 220 miles away was that you shouldn’t listen to the people who will tell you it won’t work. Friends and family only have your best interests at heart when they say this, but if the relationship is solid then it will last the distance. If the relationship is meant to last then you will find some way to make it work, it sounds cheesy but there’s a few things I can advise you with. The next and most important piece of advice I have is talking to each other as much as you can – phone calls, skype calls, and even voice messages just make it so much easier. Even when I’m busy, I try to send good morning and goodnight text as
well as a few updates throughout the day. Just texting about the weather, sandwich fillings and trivial thoughts enable you to have the closeness. I do think that talking about everything, even the darkest of feelings or the happiest days, in phone calls or video chat actually helps with the honesty and trust in my relationship. Another thing that helps with the distance is surprising the other one with gifts, letters or the smallest of touches. It can only be the smallest thing, and as students we can’t all afford crazy extravagant Instagram worthy bouquets. I once arrived home after an especially bad day to a box of flowers that made my day. Those thoughtful, personal moments feel so special and remind me that I’m in my boyfriend’s mind. It’s also a very traditional thing to get a love letter through the post, and unlike a text it is there to hold when you need help through the hardest days. The final piece of advice is to have
plans in place for when you will next see each other in the future. It might be 6 months from now but it gives you something to look forward to. Counting down gets me through long days of study, exams and work by giving me the security of seeing my boyfriend soon. Without that forward planning it
can cause insecurities and planning issues – through my long-distance relationship I have learnt to be independent and strong but also treasure the moments we have together. Long distance relationships are a real learning curve but worth it, hopefully the distance won’t be forever!
Pictured: Insta love Source: Farid Iqbal Ibrahim via Flickr
Staying motivated in exam season
for one, am guilty for leaving things to the last minute. Especially when it comes to the stress of exam season. However, exercise has been clinically proven to reduce stress and lighten mood when times are tough. Here I have complied a list of tips which have been known to help the helpless i.e. me, all year round. (But especially, when exam time looms …) 1. Get up early, wake yourself up with a coffee or water and hit the gym. Get the hour out of the way and then you can get home and shower ready for your day. I have found this
to not only wake me up, but also level out my sleeping patterns when it comes to falling asleep that night. 2. Alternatively, roll your exercise mat out at home and either work off a YouTube video (there are lots of good personal trainers that upload their sessions online) or compile your own step by step workout. 3. If you do choose to stay at home, I recommend exercising away from your bedroom- It’s just too tempting to get back into bed- especially in the morning. 4. Write out a timetable, or alternatively work your workouts into your
revision schedule. This keeps me on my toes and reminds me that exercising is also part of an everyday routine. 5. Thankfully, exams fall after Easter break, which means the weather here in Cardiff warms up. Take advantage of the heat while it lasts! Walk to the bay, or run around Bute. 6. Work out with friends! Whether this be in your garden, the gym, or the park. Similarly, to studying, you get more done if your peers spur you on. 7. Don’t overexert yourself. That being both study wise and physically. There’s no worse feeling than know-
ing that you’ve over planned, and you’re not going to achieve your goals that day. There’s also no worse feeling, than waking up the next morning after an evening at the gym, and realising you can’t climb up the flight of stairs in the library. 8. Enjoy it. I am not going to pretend exercise is something we look forward to, nor am I going to pretend that is it easy. But if you follow these steps to an organised routine, exercising becomes part of your day to day whilst lightening the load you might otherwise be carrying on your shoulders.
Feeling at a loss for what to do over summer? Sarah Harris
he summer holidays are closer than ever and for most of us lucky souls we have almost 4 months of freedom to look forward to! However, as exciting as the thought of being able to sleep till the late afternoon seems, you and I both know that unless you have a solid routine worked out, you’ll probably be bored of sleeping by the third week and run out of shows to binge watch. Now you’re probably sick of hearing this from your parents or other responsible figures in your life but the summer holidays are the perfect time to maybe get a part-time job and earn a bit of cash, or find an internship that will help you figure out what you want from the future. I know it seems like a bit too much effort and you’d much rather go out with your friends every other night
to get pissed and spend the next day recovering from a hangover but might I suggest not completely destroying your liver within the space of 90 days. If you’re like me and rarely check your university emails right now would be a great time considering most schools are offering highly paid internships over the next few months which not only means money but also gets you a great recommendation from professors if you want to apply for masters or other further studies. If you’d rather not stay in Cardiff and would prefer to go back to your hometown and make your family pay for groceries instead, then something I find handy is giving your CV out to literally (yes, I mean literally) every store, café and whatnot whether they’re hiring or not.
I guarantee you will get at least 5 callbacks and hopefully a job out of it. If you’re still not persuaded to get your lazy ass out of bed over the holidays, then see is at a chance to spend some quality time on the hobbies you neglected over the course of your academic year. Maybe you can perfect your baking skills or work on
getting back to gym. The summer holidays, although as fun as they seem after the excruciating exam season, can slightly drag and leave you bored every other day. So instead of seeing how many times a day you can paint your nails, why not start looking for jobs or internships now? I bet you, it will be well worth it.
Pictured: Summertime Source: A guy taking pictures via Flickr
register to vote
Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol email@example.com gairrhydd.com/politics
Tory tanks on Labour’s front lawn
Roger Scully talks to Gair Rhydd about the upcoming General Election Ben Woodruff
Theresa May’s visit to the Labour-held seats of Newport East and Bridgend so early on in her electoral campaign was a strong signal of intent from the Prime Minister
t is now little more than a month until the 2017 General Election, and in Wales, the political establishment braces itself for what could be the biggest political upheaval in Welsh electoral history. The Labour Party has dominated the political landscape in Wales for nearly a century, winning the largest share of the vote at every UK General Election since 1922. In contrast, the Conservative Party has not won a majority of seats in Wales since the 1850’s. This all stands to change. The findings of the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll show the Conservatives to have a 10 point lead over Labour, with 40% of those surveyed indicating that they would be voting Conservative on the 8th of June. Theresa May’s visit to the Labourheld seats of Newport East and Bridgend so early on in her electoral campaign was a strong signal of intent from the Prime Minister, who will look to capitalise on this shift of support in Wales by converting voters that were once strong Labour supporters, but voted leave in last June’s referendum. She marked the visit with her first political gaffe of the campaign, calling for Britain to “to lead the world in preventing tourism,” a statement which some dubbed a Freudian slip considering May’s unwavering commitment to Brexit. In an interview with Gair Rhydd, Roger Scully, director of Cardiff Uni-
versity’s Wales Governance Centre, said that the PM’s decision to visit Bridgend at this stage “really is putting one’s tanks on Labours front lawn,” but pointed out that Labour in recent years had largely been the architects of their own downfall. “The Labour party seems to be going out of its way to alienate a significant chunk of its support in Wales; a lot of Labour’s traditional support in places like the South West Valleys is perhaps not particularly cosmopolitan or socially progressive, yet has had a long term alignment with the Labour party, and if you were trying to come up with a leader to be unappealing to those voters, Ed Miliband would be a pretty good effort and Jeremy Corbyn would be an even better one.” “Not only this, but they then found themselves on the wrong side of almost all their historic bastions in Wales on the issue of Brexit.” These are issues that have amplified Welsh Labour’s longer term problems; their support has been generally declining for the last 20 years as the industrial trade unions have gradually eroded, which previously had provided the social basis for Labour support in Wales. However, Labour has not been the only party in Wales to experience a decline in support in recent years. Another factor contributing to the recent rise in popularity of the Conservative party is the attrition of the UKIP vote, a phenomenon in Wales that is reflective of trends nationwide. In the 2015 General Election, UKIP made massive
ground in Wales, winning 13.6% of the vote with an increase of 11.2% from 2010. These are votes that the Conservative party will be eager to plunder. The Welsh Political Barometer poll found levels of UKIP voting intention standing at only 6%. Roger Scully again touted shrewd campaigning as one of the significant factors. He said, “the Conservative Party have been very effective in targeting a lot of the former UKIP vote, not just by focusing on Brexit but also through the broad, socially conservative agenda that Theresa May has pushed, targeting their voters whilst UKIP are in some disarray”. He also said, “we need to bear in mind that Wales voted for Leave, and there are a lot of pro-Brexit people out there in Wales, so Theresa May focusing the election around that is proving to be very effective.” Welsh Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are facing an uphill struggle, but it has only been just over two weeks since Theresa May’s announcement calling for a snap election. Having been on the campaign trail recently in Hampshire, Corbyn is yet to turn his attention to Wales, and there is no doubt that he will fight hard to cling on to some of Labours marginal seats and prevent them from falling to the Tories. Some of these constituencies are seats that haven’t been Conservative for a very long time, seats like Newport, Bridgend, Swansea West and Pontypridd are examples of those which will be in
Theresa May’s crosshairs. The other key battlegrounds for Labour will be in their clutch of seats held in the North East, seats like Alyn and Deeside, Wrexham and Delyn, all of which it looks like they could fall to the Conservative on not unimaginable swings. If the Conservatives do win a majority of seats in Wales on June 8th, it will mark a new era of Welsh politics and an end to the one-party dominance that has gripped Wales for nearly a century. This would undoubtedly be consequential, both for Wales and for the UK as a whole, but as we have seen in recent history, nothing can be counted on in politics and whether this conservative domination in Wales actually materialises, remains to be seen.
Crushing defeat for Corbyn on the cards
his General Election is a foregone conclusion. That comes as no surprise to anyone with even the slightest knowledge of British politics. But who is to blame for this? It can’t be the lacklustre Conservative Government, who are gleeful that their return to power is all but assured. No, it is Her Majesty’s Official Opposition who are to blame - and more specifically its nominal leader, Jeremy Corbyn. His unpopularity courtesy of his sublime lack of talent and charisma mean that Labour is likely to face a defeat of historic proportions next month. Yet Corbynistas seek to blame everyone but their idol for the hole Labour is in. He is widely disliked by the public, evidenced by the fact that he has never had an individual positive poll rating since he became leader and his party currently finding itself around twenty points behind in the polls. His supporters’ asinine response is that the polls are
often wrong, but for some unknown reason they are unable to find an example of a party overcoming a twentypoint polling deficit. Strange that. Will Jeremy Corbyn stand down after a crushing defeat on June 8th? It is unlikely. The self-indulgence of the hardleft mean that they’re happy to wallow in opposition as long as they have control of the party and the ability to turn it into a ’social movement’. The thought of a incisive, intelligent moderate replacing Corbyn is too much for them to bear. Their immediate goal is to ram through the so-called ‘McDonnell Amendment’ at Conference in September - this would lower the percentage of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate from 15% to 5%. More evidence (if any were needed) that the strength and feeling of Labour’s parliamentarians is of little concern to them. Even if the Amendment fails (which is likely), the rump of MPs left after the crushing defeat on June 8th will have a
higher percentage of Corbyn supporters than the current crop does. Many of his current supporters in the Parliamentary Labour Party are in safe seats in places like North London whilst those moderate Labour MPs in areas like South Wales and the North of England are much more vulnerable to defeat. A crushing defeat will bring joy to many Corbynistas. Many of them have no real loyalty to Labour, and the moderate wing of the party is hated more than the Tories. Every sane Labour MP that loses their seat will be welcomed by frothing Corbynistas who demand the removal and deselection of “Blairites”, “Zionists” and “Red Tories”. The truth is that no Labour figure has done more to ensure an overwhelming Tory majority and give carte blanch to enact the most right-wing policies in decades than Jeremy Corbyn. There is still a month to go in this election and the heat hasn’t really been turned up on Corbyn. It feels like the
Conservatives are coasting, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be returned with a healthy majority. It would be fair to assume that the tabloids have a few juicy front pages to run on Corbyn’s controversial past, whilst the man himself will do the rest in terms of ensuring Labour is kept on its knees. One of the saddest things is that this Conservative government is eminently beatable. Theresa May is a woeful performer who is being kept away from the public at all costs. She’s in hock to the right-wing of her party on Brexit, with other backwards ideas like Grammar Schools on the verge of a comeback. Despite these deep flaws she looks like a political colossus compared to the hapless Corbyn. The sad truth is that there is no real opposition for people to vote for. The Official Opposition is so mocked and despised by the Great British public that the Prime Minister will be returned into office by default.
Pictured: Theresa May on a good day (Source: Wikimedia)
Mrs May’s fragile majority is under threat as the Crown Prosecution Service investigates allegations of overspending by the Conservative Party
General Election looming large
heresa May’s snap General Election was certainly a shock to the political media at the time of its announcement, but it is unanimously agreed that, if you examine the current political climate, her decision is not all that surprising. The current Prime Minister knows that there are two main talking points surrounding her. The first, is her handling of Brexit. I think it is fair to say, that if Mrs May can honour the will of the people in the Brexit negotiations, no matter the economic outcomes of those negotiations, she will be on the right side of history for acting as a servant to the British people rather than a master. Though she herself was in favour of the European Union during the referendum campaign, the Prime Minister sets an example by acknowledging that democracy is sacred and not poisonous, and seeks to implement the stated will of the British people. The other major talking point when it comes to Mrs May, is the fact that she has not been elected by the British people, as she was crowned leader of the Conservative Party after her only remaining competitor, Andrea Leadsom, dropped out of the race amid media scrutiny over Mrs Leadsom’s unsubstantiated claims to having been investment banker. Due to this series of events, her mandate was constantly challenged, and she regularly faced criticism that she was unelected by the British public. Still, when Theresa May called the snap General Election on the 18th April, the political media were in complete shock. This was not shock because a snap General Election was illogical, but shock because they did not believe that Theresa May had the courage to put her electability to the test. On that day she transitioned from being viewed as a right-place-righ time politician, to a leader confident in her prospects of proving her mandate, and rightly so. A day before
she announced the election, the Conservative Party was polling at 44% to the Labour Party’s 33%, a 9 year low for the Labour Party. With the polling numbers as they were, why would Mrs May not take the opportunity to secure her mandate, strengthen her hand, vindicate her position? The decisive and widely supported leadership of Mrs May is not, however, the only reason that this election is a foregone conclusion. There are other significant scores that will be settled by this snap General Election. To begin with, Mrs May’s fragile majority, which was in fact won by David Cameron, is under threat as the Crown Prosecution Service investigates allegations of overspending by the Conservative Party in as many as 20 seats. If these investigations proved to be fruitful, the Conservatives would face the prospect of as many as 20 by elections, which could put the stale, high-teens majority that David Cameron secured in 2015 art risk during a crucial time for our government. This leads on to another prime strategic explanation for the snap General Election; the United Kingdom Independence Party has been an electoral thorn in the side of the Conservative Party for the best part of a decade now: UKIP secured more votes than the SNP and the Liberal Democrats in 2015 despite gaining only 1 seat when the other two parties retuned a combined totl of 64 MPs between them. Their threat of splitting the right-wing vote in Britain is what forced David Cameron into promising the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union in 2015. South Thanet was one of the seats in which the overspending allegedly took place, the seat in which the then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage was running. Many political pundits are now in agreement that UKIP are now obsolete, as their single issue for existence is no longer an issue – that is, that the
United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Their purpose is served in this sense. Meanwhile, as Theresa May enters the Brexit negotiations presenting a guise of patriotism and respect for the referendum result, many UKIP voters will ‘lend’ their votes to her, out of a desire to ensure the Brexit process is smooth and that the Prime Minister has the strongest possible hand in the negotiations. This means that the election is also a prime time to massively deplete UKIPs share of the national vote, and therefore momentum. This will allow the Conservative Party to finally govern itself again, having been pushed around by the populist pressure of Nigel Farage since before the 2010 election. Despite the claims, this is not a
single issue General Election. As far as I can see, there are two issues at play here. The first question is, regardless of your feelings towards the European Union, do you respect the result of the referendum? The score to be settled is the material proof that the moderate, serious Labour Party needs to prove that Jeremy Corbyn is not electable, and can never lead the Labour Party to a position where it is a party of government. Though they, along with UKIP, are set to lose the most in this election, the ejection of the likes of John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Dianne Abbott will certainly improve Labour’s chances of restoring public confidence and respect in their values and policies again.
Pictured: The palace of Westminster with Elizabeth Tower and Westminster Bridge (source: Wikipedia)
Tory Taffies: Wales is red no more
he pundits are expecting a huge Conservative swing in Wales. It’s not without precedent, argues Tom Morris. On the 24 April, just 6 days after the announcement of the General Election, a very blue headline graced the front of the famously red-topped Western Mail. The story, which also appeared on the sister site Wales Online, predicted a huge swing in favour of the Conservative party in Wales, a traditional Labour stronghold, and was based on research by Cardiff Uni prof and elections expert Roger Scully. If anything, Scully’s original report is more damning than any newspaper article could have been. It’s the lowest in the “democratic era”- since before all men and women over 18 got the vote. His final sentence proclaims Labour’s doom: “We could be just over six weeks from that nearcentury of one-party dominance coming to an abrupt end.”
The Western Mail weren’t the first to land this hot take- the New Statesman wisely observed on 20 April that, after winning in Wales every year since 1922, Labour is heading for a wipe out. There, the Statesman decided that the Welsh political establishment’s fervour for voting remain puts it squarely at odds with the general populace. This may seem shocking to students, living in our cosy Cathays bubble of Facebook “Sassy Socialist Memes” and going to visit Jeremy Corbyn as he greets supporters in Whitchurch. How can the rest of Wales be losing their passion for the Red Flag? Notably, we’re not talking about the Valleys. For Labour to lose seats in the Valleys would be a real shockbut it could happen. ITV Wales journalists commented on rumours that Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood might stand for MP in the Rhondda, where she is current-
ly AM. Ultimately Wood decided against it, but former Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will be standing in Anglesey. Jones said that the Labour Party’s leadership is weak, and Wales would be wise to vote Plaid in order to ensure the best possible deal for Wales after Brexit. The decrepit Valleys were also one of the strongest sites for Vote Leave. In Nelson, Caerphilly, huge red signs still hang, yelling at drivers to take back control. Perhaps the most enticing thing about them is how... red they are. Maybe, after Corbyn’s refusal to take a steady position on the subject, locals thought Leave was the official Labour party position? Meanwhile, what little is left of our Welsh based media is shedding its traditional left wing bent (mostly inherited from Media Wales owners Trinity Mirror) as it heaps more criticism onto Corbyn than ever before. The Western Mail even let Theresa May put her case to the nation in a
column published in the same issue where the front page predicted Labour’s massive losses. Whilst all the polls show Conservative victory to be certain, if there’s anything we’ve learned in the last year it has to be that you can’t trust polls. So whoever you want to vote for, go for it. We might be shocked, we might be glad- but anything is
Pictured: Are the Conservatives getting on top? (photographer: Tim Green)
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Can fasting promote growth of new brain cells?
Young brain cells [might] enhance the ability to form new memories.
midst all the countless dubious benefits regarding fasting, a new research shows that fasting might possibly boost brainpower. The hormone that stimulates appetite, otherwise known as ghrelin
might promote the growth of new brain cells and protect them from aging. This might explain why some feel sharper and mentally faster during a fast. Ghrelin is made by the stomach
after a few hours of fasting or when the stomach becomes empty. This is a widely known mechanism of action and has been accepted by many scientists. However, there is new evidence to suggest that ghrelin can also enhance cognition. In fact, in animal experiments, it is discovered that animals with reduced-calorie diets have better mental abilities. For example, injecting this hormone into mice improves their learning and memory on tests and seems to increase the number of neuronal connections in their brains. Jeffery Davies at Swansea University, UK have found that ghrelin can stimulate brain cells to divide and multiply. After this hormone was added to the mouse brain cells in a petri dish, it switched on the fibroblast growth factor, a gene that is known to trigger neurogenesis. Davies described how this could be ghrelin’s mechanism on the brain and cognition. He says that young brain cells are thought to enhance the ability to form new memories as they are more likely to be activated by new environments and that “these neurons will fire more easily than old neurons, and they set in play a new memory”. This new discovery might have
widespread implications for treating various neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, which is mainly caused by a loss of a type of brain cell. In fact, previous researching, including some by Davies’ team discovered that ghrelin can help protect animals from developing a form of Parkinson’s. In addition, Davies’ team discovered that ghrelin also protects brain cells from dying when they are encouraged to mimic the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s isease. Further, Amanda Hornsby, Davies’ colleague found that there was a decreased level of blood ghrelin in a study of 28 volunteers with with Parkinson’s dementia. It has been known that in humans, a 25 per cent reduction in calories than the daily-recommended amount has several health benefits such as a better control of blood sugar levels. However, it is also known that fasting has controversial effects on cognitive function as some studies suggest that it actually impair people’s mental abilities. It is important to acknowledge that this research is still in its early stages and that the results remains largely inconclusive.
Pictured: Can fasting help unlock our brain’s capabilities? (Photographer: Rev 314159)
3-D bio printing of cartilage: a success story Kat Pooprasert
With further development, this research might be able to help target osteoarthritis and many other conditions.
ecently, a team of researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, was able to successfully generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The team was also able to influence the cells to multiple and differentiate into chondrocytes (cartilage cells). This research project was part of a collaboration with researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology and the orthopedics researchers team from Kungsbacka. The research involved the use of cartilage cells obtained from patients who underwent knee surgery
and these cells were then induced to revert back into ‘pluripotent’ stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells are stem cells that can develop into various types of cells. These stem cells were then expanded and placed into a medium composed of nanofibrillated cellulose and then printed into a structure suing a 3D bio printer. After printing, the stem cells were then treated with growth factors that caused tem to differentiate and form cartilage tissue. This is the result of three long years of hard work and is a great feat. Stina Simonsson, Associate Profes-
sor of Cell Biology and the lead of the research team described that “in nature, the differentiation of stem cells into cartilage is a simple process, but it’s much more complicated to accomplish in a test tube. We’re the first to succeed with it, and we did so without any animal testing whatsoever”. The hardest process of the research was to find a procedure so that the cells would survive printing, multiply and differentiate into cartilage cells. “We investigated various methods and combined different growth
factors. Each individual stem cell is encased in nanocellulose, which allows it to survive the process of being printed into a 3D structure. We also harvested mediums from other cells that contain the signals that stem cells use to communicate with each other so called conditioned medium. In layman’s terms, our theory is that we managed to trick the cells into thinking that they aren’t alone,” Stina Simonsson further expalined. One of the most important insight learned from this research was a large amount of live stem cells was needed. In addition, the cartilage formed by the 3D bio printer was extremely similar to real human cartilage and experienced surgeons saw no difference between the two. For example, similar to normal cartilage, the labgrown material contains Type II collagen , and under the microscope the cells appear to be perfectly formed. This breakthrough study has serious implications in the healthcare field, and can be used to treat common conditions such as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition where joint cartilage degenerates and can be life debilitating. With further development, this research might be able to help target this common, and many other degenerative conditions.
Pictured: Microstructure of a cartilage research (Photographer: Ed Uthman).
Trump lifts regulations on Arctic drilling Maria Collins
President Trump signed an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
e previously claimed he was actually an ‘environmentalist,’ but it was simply just way ‘out of control.’ So once again, not only has Donald Trump contra-
dicted himself with another one of his ‘false truths,’ but he has also recklessly decided to damage our ecosystem in order to supposedly ‘create thousands of jobs.’
President Trump signed an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, reversing what his processor Barack Obama had previously prohibited. In his announcement of the executive order, Trump claimed that the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production, and now he feels it right to ‘implement’ an America-First offshore energy strategy. This will direct a ‘review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration.’ Which when translated in terms of ‘Trump politics,’ is to irresponsibly damage the environment; all for the purpose of what Trump predicts will work out in ‘billions of dollars of wealth.’ But there is a potential fold within this executive order, as it is debatable how much income might be generated from this executive order. More specifically, despite Trump’s assertion that the nation needs to wean itself of foreign oil, U.S. oil imports have declined in recent years as domestic production boomed, mainly through improved drilling techniques that opened up production in areas once out of reach. Having said this, it is unlikely that this executive will reach its goals (or try to) anytime soon, as environmental groups have already said they will challenge Mr Trump, as they
The discovery has been met with widespread enthusiasm from the scientific community.
Pictured: Donald Trump’s new policies can have widespread implications on the environment. (Photographer: Michael Vadon)
DNA from extinct humans found in caves
have questioned his Trump’s authority to reverse Obama’s withdrawal of certain areas in the Arctic or Atlantic to drilling, a question that will likely be decided in the courts. In addition to requiring a new fiveyear drilling plan, it also requires Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to review previous presidents’ designations of marine national monuments and sanctuaries. Environmental groups such as Oceana and The Center for Biological Diversity, are already preparing for the fight to come, noting how opening up vast areas to drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming; with both groups promising to take Trump to court. But for the man in question himself, this is arguably just another day in the office, as Mr Trump has faced many criticisms for the executive orders he has already signed so far. Such as with the US travel ban affecting certain Muslim countries like Syria and Iran, which at the moment has temporally been suspended by the federal government, much to Trump’s anguish. So it’s pretty fair to say his first 100 days in office certainly haven’t exactly gone off without a hitch, and now he could potentially start the next 100 off a years long review and a legal battle; which unfortunately will probably be one of many more controversial legal battles to come.
t’s safe to say that wherever there is a body there will always be DNA, but new research suggests that wherever there is DNA there may not necessarily be a body. In a collaborative effort led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, DNA from extinct humans was found in sediments in caves, despite the lack of actual skeletal remains. The results, published in Science, offer hope for the future of DNA sampling, as the remains of ancient humans are
often rarely found, so researchers are optimistic that this will encourage a new wave of study into collecting samples from sites where only artefacts remain, in the hope that it will shed light on the ancient inhabitants of our planet. The discovery has been met with widespread enthusiasm from the scientific community, with Antonio Rosas, a scientist at Spain’s Natural Science Museum, stating that “This work represents an enormous scientific breakthrough”
and that “we can now tell which species of hominid occupied a cave and on which particular stratigraphic level, even when no bone or skeletal remains are present.” Svante Pääbo, director of the Evolutionary Genetics department at the Max Planck Institute, said that “This shows that DNA analyses of sediments are a very useful archaeological procedure, which may become routine in the future.” Seven dig sites were involved in the project, spanning all across Europe, col-
lecting samples that span from a mere 14,000 years to an incredible 550,000 years ago. These samples were then taken back to the lab where scientists fished out genetic material from mitochondria to eventually identify DNA from 12 mammalian species including the extinct woolly mammoth, cave bear and woolly rhinoceros. As incredible as this discovery was, the project was centred primarily on discovering human DNA in particular, which proved hard considering the abundance of both extinct and present animal DNA in the extracts. The researchers then changed their technique to specifically target human DNA and finally retrieved DNA from Neanderthals in samples from 4 sites, and also Denisovan DNA from a site in Russia. Researchers hope that new discoveries such as this will help to expand current knowledge about the genome, i.e. the genetic structure, of our ancient ancestors. Ultimately this archaeological breakthrough has been heralded as a massive success, and will undoubtedly usher in a new age in DNA collection at sites across the world. It will lead to an exponential growth in our understanding of evolution and how our ancient ancestors lived, and this method of sampling can be used in other areas of science too. Scientists are hoping that this technique will become routine in future archaeological projects, and it will only be a matter of time before we see the effects of this new age of archaeology.
Pictured: Batman didn’t invent living in a cave (Photographer: Kcakduman on flickr).
Let’s debate about love, baby The “addiction” controversy
Pictured: It’s in the air. (Photographer: Steve Snodgrass).
One thing is certain: the debate needs to continue about the Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
he power of love is a curious thing. We sob when we are trying to deal with an Achy Breaky Heart, we get invigorated when we are trying to find Somebody to Love and we are ecstatic when we find out She Loves You. Some might say that we are Addicted to Love. Okay, I’ll stop with the song titles now (I won’t really) but I encourage the reader to think up more whilst reading this article. Can the power of love be a damaging thing more than a curious thing? Controversial discussion points have recently cropped up with regards to being addicted to love. Considering that addictions are usually associated to drugs like alcohol and cocaine the idea of having this with the concept of love can be seen, at its best, a false equivalency and, at its worst, an unhelpful and dangerous comparison. With regards to recent developments on love’s addictive grasp, a recent study was published that has definitively expanded the scientific and moral arguments surrounding love. From recent research by Oxford University’s Brain Earp (based at Oxford University’s Centre of Neuroethics) and the rest of the research team has suggested that there are two types of love addiction. These two types of love addiction contrast as one is proposed to be “more severe’ than the other. Earp and his team of love took a grand total of 64 studies that looked into the nature of love and its addictive ways. The team have published
their review findings in the journal ‘Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology’ of this year. Their studies were taken between the large gap of time between 1956 and 2016. So how is this love and its addictive disposition actually considered? Anders Sandberg, from the same institution as Brain Earp, has stated that when the desire of loving is not wanted by the individual (and leads to objectionably bad scenarios such as abuse). The reviewers concluded that when people are desperate to dance with somebody who loves them (and get back into a relationship essentially) they have what is being dubbed as a ‘narrow’ form of love addiction. This form of addiction, the authors state, is the dangerous form of love addiction. They discuss and use previously researched models, by other academics, on how addiction to drugs occurs and apply it here about the love drug. They compare their findings to a largely accepted model of addiction which states that addiction occurs when the consumption of the drug leads to the brain (and the person) exhibiting unusual patterns of behaviour. These types of abnormalities are said to not exist in other brains that are ‘non-addicted’. A common and a popular interpretation of this concept, with experts, is that the drugs somehow ‘co-opt’ the neurotransmitters in our brains. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that do the absolutely essential job of transmitting signals, which therefore communicates in-
formation, from a neuron (a nerve cell) to another ‘target’ cell such as a nerve, muscle or gland cell. It’s a way that the body communicates with itself essentially. These messages, when ‘co-opted’ will reward the person when an activity is done. The more ‘natural’ actions such as food, that feeling of wrapping up warm in your duvet and love itself become dwarfed by the reward mechanism for the drug taking. Interestingly, this model has the conclusion that love can never be truly addictive due to the unnatural abnormalities that addictive drug use is shown to give to brains. This therefore means that the trait is something peculiar to drug addicts and not commonly seen with all people who may outwardly show ‘addiction’ to food or love which is never on the same level mechanically as the drug addiction scenario. Contrasting this, there have also been comparisons made between binge eating and drug use which also adds another potential mechanism to the narrow love addiction form. The idea suggests that the overconsumption of food, for example, can lead to an abnormally high ‘natural reward’ systems developing in where similar mechanisms that are present with drug addiction can be seen. Thus, the researchers at Oxford focused in on using these established thoughts to justify their conclusions using their data. The team found evidence of what is dubbed ‘broad’ love addiction as well. The broad level of
addiction is that which still exceeds ‘normal levels of love’ but has ‘controllable symptoms’. The division between broad and narrow love addiction has been met with some resistance. Lucy Brown, based in the Einstein College of Medicine in New York, was one of the first people to suggest that love is an addictive substance. Brown made the case that love being addictive came about millions of years ago, via evolution, as a survival mechanism between couples. Brown is a firm critic of Earp’s review paper and has their stance that there is a broad type of love that can be dealt with if ‘broken’ via usual methods of counselling, anti-depressants or even just time. Perhaps the most controversial point with the review study is the consideration of treating the ‘narrow’ addiction with methods similar to how we treat drug addiction now. Earp and the team’s review paper, in its very nature, needs to be taken seriously as it is an ethical conundrum that many of us can relate to. If someone has the symptoms of addiction but can overcome them with time, doesn’t this provide a way for the person to understand and interpret their emotions rather than dismissing the ‘abnormalities’ in the brain during love addiction.Although, would it actually be helpful and only be used on the devastated; giving individuals a new lease of life in some cases? One thing is certain: the debate needs to continue about the Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
This is one more step towards another milestone in space discovery.
Saturn puts a ring on it for NASA
n a new age of space exploration, fascination seems to be centred almost entirely on inevitable manned missions to our closest planetary neighbour, Mars. Amidst this adoration it may be easy to forget that there lies a probe hundreds of thousands of miles away in deep space, orbiting the second-largest planet of our solar system, Saturn, in ambitious manoeuvres that leave NASA optimistic that we will soon receive ultra-high definition pictures of the planet. The Cassini spacecraft is currently sending back data after launching itself between Saturn’s rings and its surface at a rocketing 70,000mph, an immensely dangerous speed for a relatively fragile craft. Since the spacecraft was travelling at such a fast speed, the radio dish was commanded to point forward to act as a shield against debris, since even the tiniest of ice or rock would severely damage the craft. A result of this though is that there could be no communication between the craft and NASA, hence why there has been huge relief at the fact that communication was re-established on Thursday, marking Cassini’s first successful dive. The dive is the first of 22 dives in total over the next five months, and has been called the “grand finale” by those at NASA, since after these dives the spacecraft will dump itself into Saturn’s atmosphere for a final time. Cassini does not have enough fuel in its tanks to carry on for much longer, so
Pictured: The view of Earth from Saturn (Photographer: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre)
the next dive is planned for Tuesday as the craft’s final mission continues. NASA has promised pictures of the planet in unparalleled resolution, hoping that it will unlock secrets into the secrets of the planet, in particular its rings, and its history over its multi-billion year life. Athena Coustenis from the Paris Observatory in Meudon, France, said that “We’re expecting to get the composition, structure and dynamics of the atmosphere, and fantastic information about the rings”, because if they can determine
the mass of the rings it will help them determine the age of the rings, a question which was troubled scientists for decades. The general theory is that as Cassini flies through the space between the rings and the planet, the craft will be able to observe the gravitational field in which its flying through, which will then in turn allow scientists to determine the rings’ age. The more massive the rings are the older they will be, and so those at NASA are optimistic that this will determine whether they
are perhaps as old as the planet itself, or maybe relatively young and thus a result of a comet that flew too close to Saturn and fragmented. Whatever the answer may be, it is once again an exciting prospect in what seems to be a resurgence in space exploration. With an increasing number of moons showing potential to harbour life, and with manned missions to Mars inevitable, this is one more step towards another milestone in space discovery; the secret of Saturn’s rings.
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societies Tom Morris
Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/societies
Societies Year in Review
he Societies Ball bears down upon us. The Media Ball beckons after that. These events are followed by the scariest event of all: the graduation ceremonies. It’s been a hell of a final year, here are some moments that stand out for me: All of election week was a whirlwind for me as I made my VP Societies run, but probably the stand out visit on the campaign trail for
me was visiting Student Action for Refugees, STAR. I’ll admit I’ve not been the biggest goody two-shoes during my time at Cardiff, with my only volunteering being with Quench and Gair Rhydd. But seeing the effort people put in first hand, down at such a lovely venue, really won me round to their cause. As always, the Film Society’s 48 Hour Film Challenge was awesome; a tiring but rewarding week-
end of filming, directing, editing, and making new friends. I would also have to give mention to the Freshers Fairs. I attended the Volunteering, AU, and both Societies Fairs. They were amazing! There’s an electricity in the air, fervour in the attendees as they whizz from stall to stall, wide eyed enthusiasm from all the new committee members, all of which combined leaves me unable to stop for
the whole event. That might have been the stupid amounts of sugar from free sweets, though. Big thanks to Milly for working so hard this year, as well as Give it a Go’s team, especially jess Blackman, and all those in volunteering. I wish Lamorna and next year’s GR Societies editors the best of luck, and hope you enjoy it like I have. I hope that next year’s sabb team continue to support Gair Rhydd.
Spotlight: The Wet Dippers Tom Morris
These newcomers are making a splash!
t’s the club they’re all talking about. Every month, a group of brave students head out to the lush (but also freezing) rivers of the Brecon Beacons to go for a dip! I spoke to Social Secretary Jonny Foulkes to learn more. Jonny told me that the original members were doing fitness circuits at Bute Park last year when it occurred to them to “finish it with a dip in the Taf.” That’s the river, not the pub. They kept it up, with a Facebook group forming and a trip to Brecon being arranged- dipping in the Taf is not ideal. Current president Dave Penney soon suggested establishing an official Guild-affiliated society and by the start of this year they were ready to jump right in. It grew from there, with people from all walks of uni life joining in. Girls and boys alike join- although I did wonder what some might have to say about the occasional naked dip. Jonny says they don’t encourage it and would mostly prefer people to
keep their pants on- it’s about getting outdoors, not getting it out. They are however hoping to put together a naked calendar to raise some moneythey usually raise money for charity at their events anyway. The society is hoping to win something at the Societies Ball, and in my opinion they’ve got a great idea which seems to be executed well- so why shouldn’t they be rewarded? By the time this edition of gair rhydd hits the streets, we’ll know all about it. So why join? Jonny argues that it’s a great way to get out of the city and see “some of the incredible scenery that the countryside around us has to offer.” You might be doused in freezing water, but it can be fun, and you do it with a load of happy, beautiful young people. Unlike most wild swimming clubs, it’s non competitive and just for fun. What’s more, membership is actually free so all you’ll have to do is fork in for petrol money and maybe grab some pub grub afterwards! The
society plans to do plenty more trips to keep people nice and chilly during exam season, and is considering running some special events, including a trip to Scotland, during the summer holidays. They’re looking into more joint socials and members of Hiking have already started coming along to their trips; the Wet Dippers are the one to watch for 2017.
Pictured: Wild swimming makes for great photo opportunities.
A great way to get out of the city and see some of the incredible countryside.
Bizarre but laugh out loud comedy.
Act One Review Round-Up
his play by Act One has to be one of the most dynamic performance I’ve witnessed. It could make you laugh, gasp and even shed a tear. Like a metaphorical aftertaste, it really made you think and question yourself when the play had ended. It starts strangely. We’re introduced to scared-looking Lisa, in a strange place. It turns out to be her apartment, but the audience know it’s not cosy. The set design and lighting were really good, very simplistic as always but it was easy to distinguish between different environments and some very small details, like the CDs hung up in decoration gave the stage an eery feel, I felt a hint of ‘The Mighty Boosh’ in the set and lighting design (a compliment). The first scene can only be described as bonkers. Characters are comical and controversial, from ‘Insecurity guards’ (This was an excellent pun), to a ‘scapegoat’ who attempts to rape our main character (I did find this rather distasteful). The lost property office was bizarre but hilarious. The second scene is a country mile away from the humour and absurdity of the first. Curtains open to a hospital bed setting, Lisa is the patient and we soon find out she is and has been suffering with some kind of mental health disorder and that Dissocia is a made up place in her imagination. We are never
told explicitly what her condition is but we get the impression it is serious and affects others around her. I thought that perhaps the characters in ‘Dissocia’ may have been based on the numerous hospital staff that we see treating her and giving her medicine, I’m not sure if this was deliberate because of course the Act One cast played numerous characters in all their plays, but if so, its a very subtly and clever ploy. I am a huge fan of comedy, especially the slapstick and silly stuff. I found myself laughing so much at the first scene (especially the lost property office with Elis Williams playing such a funny character). This meant the second scene, with it being such a long way from the first, made me initially very confused and I didn’t really appreciate the tone. When the play ended, I looked back and realised that actually the contrast between the first and second plays paints a powerful picture of the intense struggle Lisa faces and the severity of this type of illness has on people. I must say this play has stuck with me, hats off to the Director, Han and your wonderful cast. I have seen such powerful and diverse performances come from this society and I can’t wait to see what the future has to offer. With thanks to James Cole-Ezen.
efore attending this show (which was hugely anticipated by my friends and I, who know a few of the participants), I had to take the time out to do some research on the story itself, which is clearly a niche piece of work even amongst literature and theatre lovers. Playhouse Creatures, for those who aren’t aware, is a production written by April de Angelis in 1993. It is set in 17th century London, postRestoration, in the world of the theatre where, for the first time, women are permitted to perform on stage. This performance was produced by Jemima Kelleher and directed by Poppy Charlton; both of whom I must give special credit to, as the direction, use of the stage space and intelligent cast selections provided a production which was very faithful to the original concept. I could tell before I even set foot in the venue to watch this play that the content would be raising awareness to the constant battle that many women face today in these industries, and Act One gave an extremely valiant and understanding performance and captured the roles in this era perfectly. The play itself is a comedic drama, and began with loveable character Doll knitting and telling the audience about how the Playhouse the show is set in used to be a bear-baiting pit. The play within a play aspect made me,
as a member of the audience, feel instantly very attached to the characters and connected with the realness of the storyline. After this brief prologue, our other main characters are introduced respectively; Mrs. Betterton, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Farley and Young Nell, the latter of which acts as the heroine in our story and providing a canvas for an archetypical rags to riches character progression. Each character was portrayed beautifully by the Act One cast in a multitude of ways. The humour in certain scenes such as Mrs. Betterton teaching Young Nell about vocabulary, Young Nell’s dance scene, and many of Doll’s one-liners regarding the men in the audience were met with a deserved giggle and applause. However, some extremely sinister topics (such as Mrs Farley’s failed backstreet abortion and the blame of Mrs Marshall of witchcraft) were covered too, respectfully and perceptively. I was left feeling strange, as I sympathised for characters I found brash at first, and vice versa. It is clear that the students involved in this performance are dedicated and devoted to the show, and this was evident through the confidence and enthusiasm that shone through the actors. An overall extremely enjoyable play, with a poignant message and a fantastic realism.
Vacancy at the Foreign Office...
Rachael Harper is a fourth-year French and Italian student who spent the last year on a year abroad studying in Nantes, before working in Florence.
his year, I am working as the Cardiff Student Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). My role is to raise awareness of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s ‘Travel Aware’ campaign; a campaign aimed at making sure students are prepared for safe travel abroad. With the help of the student societies and year abroad department, I do a variety of things on the Cardiff University campus to provide key travel advice and resources to young people, in a fun and interesting way. From handing out free travel leaflets and goodie bags, giving talks to societies and individuals planning trips, writing and publishing travel-related articles, as well as running stalls and events, my aim is to ensure that students know all
the ins and outs of staying safe abroad before they go. I decided to apply for the role last year after receiving an email from the Cardiff Modern Languages Department – it seemed like a good fit due to my keen interest in languages, foreign affairs and travelling. After being offered the position, I was invited to a training day at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, along with 30 other lucky ambassadors. If you ever you have the chance to go, it’s a must. The building is breathtakingly beautiful! After a busy and engaging day of interacting with journalists and travel and FCO advisers, the ambassadors all made their way back to their various different universities from across the country, ready to promote the same “Travel Aware” message. What makes this job so enjoyable is that it isn’t your average brand ambassador role of selling something to students, it’s about providing people with useful
and important guidance and best of all, it’s free! Knowing that you’re making a difference and ultimately making other students’ time abroad a more enjoyable experience, like it was for me, is a great feeling. Maybe you’re planning a holiday this summer with your friends? Have you thought about the local laws and regulations of the country you’re going to? Were you aware that in some parts of Spain it is illegal to wear a bikini/ swimming shorts in the street, or that swearing in public can result in a fine in some parts of Australia? Are you clear on what insurance is necessary, what a European Health Insurance Card is and which vaccinations you might need? Is your passport valid and are you aware of pickpockets? Do you need a visa? What’s the weather like? Simply not getting clued up by researching these kinds of things before jetting off can often mean that students are more likely to get into trouble when abroad. This is the message that I try to
get across campus, along with directing people towards the FCO’s foreign travel advice and Travel Aware website, meaning that travellers can easily find out all the specific and relevant information they need. I am thoroughly enjoying working as an FCO Ambassador this year, alongside my degree. It has allowed me to meet and interact with so many different people, as well as giving me the opportunity to work alongside the government. Next year, however, I will have graduated, meaning that this role will be handed over to a new Student Brand Ambassador. If you feel that you’re good with words, have a passion for travel and are social media savvy, then this might be the job for you! Recruitment is now open to those wishing to apply- feel free to email me at HarperR2@cardiff.ac.uk for further information.
I sympathised for characters I found brash at first.
Students are more likely to get into trouble abroad.
Follow @FCOTravel on Facebook and Twitter for all travel updates.
Pictured: Moon Lake, South Tufa. Credit: pachecophotography on Flickr.
taf-od Osian Wyn Morgan a Liam Ketcher
Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od email@example.com gairrhydd.com/tafod
Neges gan y Golygyddion
ae diwedd y flwyddyn academaidd yn prysur agosáu, gan olygu mai hwn yw’r rhifyn olaf o’r Gair Rhydd y flwyddyn hon, a’r rhifyn olaf o’r Taf-Od i ni fel golygyddion eleni. Mae’r flwyddyn ddiwethaf wedi gwibio heibio, ac rydym wedi llwyr fwynhau ein profiad fel golygyddion. Rydym wedi dysgu llawer am newyddiadura ac am ysgrifennu dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, a bydd y sgiliau yr ydym wedi eu datblygu, a’r profiadau yr ydym wedi eu derbyn yn werthfawr iawn i ni yn y dyfodol. Rydym yn falch iawn o beth yr ydym wedi ei gyflawni fel golygyddion. Y flwyddyn hon roedd rhifyn o’r Taf-Od ym mhob rhifyn o’r Gair Rhydd, ac rydym wedi derbyn nifer uchel iawn o gyfranogwyr. Yn ogystal, hanner ffordd
drwy’r flwyddyn gwnaethon ni ail-lansio ‘Dysgu’r Gymraeg gyda’r Taf-Od, a mae gweld brwdfrydedd ein cyd-olygyddion yn y Gair Rhydd i’r adran wedi bod yn galonogol iawn! Er yr ydym wedi mwynhau’r gwaith, rhaid cyfaddef ei fod wedi bod yn waith caled ar adegau, gan geisio cydbwyso nosweithiau hwyr yn swyddfa Cyfryngau’r Myfyrwyr yn ysgrifennu a golygu erthyglau, gyda’n gwaith coleg. Fodd bynnag, cafodd y gwaith yna ei hwyluso o ganlyniad i ymroddiad ein cyfranogwyr. Rydym wedi bod yn ffodus fod nifer o siaradwyr Cymraeg wedi cyfrannu eu hamser i ysgrifennu erthyglau i’r Taf-Od, gyda rhai yn gwneud mwy nag unwaith yn ystod y flwyddyn. Yn anffodus, gallwn ni
ddim enwi pawb sydd wedi cyfrannu, ond hoffwn ddiolch o waelod ein calonnau i bawb a gyfrannodd erthygl yn ystod y flwyddyn – rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn! Hoffwn hefyd ddiolch i’n cydolygyddion yn y Gair Rhydd o’r adrannau eraill. Ar ôl treulio oriau yn eu plith yn gweithio, rydym wedi dod i’w nabod yn dda, ac wedi mwynhau eu cyfeillgarwch yn arw. Pan ymgeision ni i fod yn olygyddion i’r Taf-Od, doeddwn ni ddim wedi ystyried y byddai’n ffordd i gyfarfod pobl o gefndiroedd amrywiol, a gwneud ffrindiau newydd, ond mewn gwirionedd, dod i’w nabod nhw oedd un o’n hoff bethau am olygu’r Taf-Od! Diolch yn fawr iawn hefyd i olygydd y Gair Rhydd, Maria, am ei chefnogaeth dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Er nad yw hi’n gallu
deall ein herthyglau (gan gynnwys yr erthygl hon yn diolch iddi!), mae hi wedi bod yn gefnogol iawn, a wastad yn barod i helpu gydag unrhyw broblemau sydd gennym! Hoffwn ddymuno pob lwc i holl olygyddion ac is-olygyddion y Gair Rhydd yn y dyfodol, a gobeithiwn nawn ni gadw mewn cysylltiad! Ac yn olaf, diolch yn fawr i chi’r darllenwyr! Ambell waith rydym wedi derbyn negeseuon gan ddarllenwyr yn dweud eu bod wedi mwynhau un o’n herthyglau – ac rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn am hynny! Rydym wir yn gobeithio eich bod wedi mwynhau darllen y TafOd eleni – ar eich cyfer chi yr ydym yn ysgrifennu! Pob lwc i chi gyd gyda’ch arholiadau, a gobeithiwn gewch chi hâf wrth eich bodd! Hwyl am y tro!
Hoffwn ddiolch o waelod ein calonnau i bawb a gyfrannodd erthygl yn ystod y flwyddyn – rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn!
Yr Etholiad Sydyn yng Nghymru: Pa bleidiau sy’n arwain? Yn y llun: Ardal bleidleiso yn ystod yr etholiadau (Tarddiad: Wikimedia Commons o Google Images)
ydag etholiadau lleol wedi gorffen ar ganlyniadau yn bellach wedi eu dadlennu, mae’r pleidiau gwleidyddol yma yng Nghymru yn awr yn paratoi tuag at yr ‘etholiad sydyn’ a fydd yn digwydd ar 8fed o Fehefin. Prif nod dros gael etholiad sydyn, ydy cynlluniau’r llywodraeth ar gyfer Brexit. Ers y refferendwm gwreiddiol yn ôl yn fis Mehefin 2016, mae Brexit wedi bod yn bwnc canolog yn holl drafodaethau a digwyddiadau gwleidyddol y wlad. Ond beth olygir etholiad sydyn i ni yma yng Nghymru. Yn ôl y pôlau piniwn, mae’r Torïaid ymhell ar y blaen yng Nghymru. Ac mae arolwg gan y Sunday Times yn awgrymu bod y Torïaid yw’r blaid gryfaf yng Nghymru ar hyn o bryd. Mae’r canlyniadau yn rhoi’r prif bleidiau yma
yng Nghymru yn y canrannau yma, sef y Torïaid gyda 45%, y blaid Lafur gyda 25%, Plaid Cymru 6%, y Democrataidd Rhyddfrydol 4% ac UKIP ar 1%. Wedyn mae’r ffigyrau yn parhau i godi wrth ystyried y nifer a fydd yn pleidleisio. Mae hyn yn rhoi’r Torïaid yn bell yn y blaen gyda 56%. Yn amlwg mae’r sefyllfa yn wahanol yn yr Alban gan fod plaid Theresa May yn dod yn ail i blaid Nicola Sturgeon yr SNP. Er bod yr ystadegau yn dangos bwlch mawr, credaf fod yma yng Nghymru ydy’r ras agosaf yn ystod yr etholiad sydyn ym mis Mehefin. Mae pleidiau Jeremy Corbyn (Llafur) a Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) dal i frwydro’n gryf dros seddu yng Nghymru. Daeth Jeremy Corbyn yma i Gaerdydd pythefnos yn ôl i geisio cadw ei sedd yma yn y Brifddinas. Dadlau Jo Stevens,
llefarydd Llafur ar Gymru, bod y syniad na all ei phlaid hi ennill etholiad cyffredinol heb gymorth pleidiau eraill yn “nonsens llwyr”. Ond ar y llaw arall mae Mike Payne, Cadeirydd Llafur Cymru yn dadlau bod Carwyn Jones yn derbyn mwy o ymddiriedaeth yng Nghymru nag arweinydd y blaid Jeremy Corbyn, fe all hyn gael effaith mawr ar ganlyniadau’r etholiad gan fod Mr Corbyn wedi derbyn llawer o farnau yn y gorffennol. Mae Leanne Wood ar y llaw arall yn arweinydd cryf sydd am wthio i Gymru gael ei gynnwys yn y farchnad sengl ar ôl i Brydain gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd. Maent hyn yn hanfodol yn ôl arweinydd y blaid, er mwyn diogelu swyddi yma yng Nghymru, a rhoi’r hawl i bobl i symud. Dywedodd: ““Byddai gadael y Farchnad Sengl yn ddinistriol iawn i Gymru ac yn rhoi swyddi mewn perygl, gallai Cymru
ddilyn esiampl Norwy, sydd o fewn y Farchnad Sengl ond y tu allan i’r Undeb Ewropeaidd.” Yn sicr, mae’n gwbl bosib cael trefniant o’r fath i Gymru. “Felly does dim rheswm pam na ddylai trefniant o’r fath fod yn bosibl ar gyfer Cymru hefyd.” Dywedodd y Prif Weinidog Theresa May ei bod hi am wrthod cymryd rhan mewn unrhyw dadlau sydd am gael eu darlledu ar y teledu. Mae hyn wedi cychwyn dadl rhwng arweinyddion y pleidiau eraill i barhau gyda’r dadleuon ar y teledu, ac mae ITV wedi cadarnhau y bydda nhw’n darlledu dadl rhwng arweinyddion pob plaid gyda neu heb Theresa May. Er pleidleisiodd Cymru, i adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, mae’n siŵr dyma’r bleidlais bwysicaf yn ddiweddar i’r Cymry ac yn sicr i’r DU.
Torïaid yw’r blaid gryfaf yng Nghymru ar hyn o bryd.
TAF-OD 29 Dysgu’r Gymraeg gyda’r Taf-Od
Learn Welsh with the Taf-Od
Ffrainc = France Frynk
Sbaen = Spain Sbine
Groeg = Greece Groig
Seland Newydd = New Zeland Zeh-land Neh-with
Yr Almaen = Germany Er Almine
Y Swistir = Switzerland Er Swis-tir
Tsieina = China Chain-ah
Yr Ariannin = Argentina Er Arian-in
Byddwch yn rhan o’ch papur newydd myfyrwyr Swyddi golygyddol yn Gair Rhydd 2017/18 ar gael ym mhob adran E-bostiwch firstname.lastname@example.org am ragor o wybodaeth
Yr Eidal = Italy Er Aey-dal
Across the white line: Wales legend Stephen Jones talks about his transition to coaching Pictured: Stephen Jones at the Principality Stadium towards the end of his playing career (via Flickr).
I’m excited and honoured to go with Wales, and for me, it’s just an opportunity to learn and get better. Stephen Jones
” Gareth Axenderrie Cardiff Blues Columnist
ith 110 caps and 970 points in Test rugby, there can be little doubt that Stephen Jones ranks amongst Wales’ greatest ever players. But the former British and Irish Lions’ fly-half is now carving out a much different role within the game. Since calling time on his playing career in 2013, Jones has been rapidly rising through the coaching ranks. After spending two years working under the guidance of Dai Young at Wasps as attack coach, he has been working his magic with the Scarlets as their backs coach for the last two seasons. The 39-year-old appears to have made a seamless transition to life on the other side of the touchline, already working his way into the Wales coaching setup. He will be involved with the national side for the first time during their Summer Tour of the Pacific Islands, which gets underway in against Tonga on June 17. Jones admits it is an honour to be back on Wales’ duty just six years after playing his last game for his country. And he has opened up about the transition process during the early stages of his coaching career. “I am very much looking forward to it,” said Jones. “I’m excited and honoured to go with Wales, and for me, it’s just an opportunity to learn and get better. “As a coach, you always want to evolve
n all honesty, the Blues have underperformed since they last won silverware in 2010. Anybody associated with the club will agree that for a side based in Wales’ capital city, performances have left a lot to be desired. Unfortunately, despite a very optimistic start to the season, this campaign has been more of the same, as opposed to a revolutionary jump in the right direction. Danny Wilson has instilled a sense of identity to the region. The notorious slow start, that has plagued them for multiple seasons, was done away with as the Blues recorded four straight wins
and improve, that’s how I see it. I’m very fortunate I work with great people with the Scarlets, and I’ve got a great boss in Wayne (Pivac) who helps develop us all. “I’m very grateful to the people I work with, you look at the players and coaching staff who are all ambitious and want to do well. “The first year of coaching is always the hardest in terms of that transition (from a senior player to a coach). “When you’re a player, that working week is completely different. Your goal is to play well on a Saturday, that’s your job, whereas as a coach it’s all about preparation. “You’ve got to understand your playing group, understand the different learning types and make sure you’re research is good and you present well to the guys. “It’s about looking at the tools you’ve got with your players and what approach is the best for the personnel that you’ve got.” There is sure to be plenty of intense debate surrounding the personnel who travel to the Pacific Islands. With the biggest stars of Welsh rugby in New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions, the tour will undoubtedly be viewed as a chance for interim coach Robin McBryde to bring some fresh blood onto the international scene. But Jones insists he is not concerned with squad selection and will simply work hard to bring the best out of the players at their
disposal. He commented: “It’ll be down to Robin the sort of squad he chooses, and then whatever players we’ve got to work with it’s down to us as coaches to get the best out of them. “My focus is to just do my best to assist Robin over the summer and hopefully help make it a successful tour for Wales.” It is widely believed that Jones’ presence will help Wales in their bid to adopt a more expansive brand of rugby in the back line. The creativity and attacking flair of the Scarlets this season has earned Jones a wealth of plaudits. Yet whilst many may point to his recent experience as a player as a reason for his success, he admits he can already see the game evolving at a rapid pace in comparison to his playing days. “At the end of the day we have to evolve,” he stated. “The game evolves all the time, and we have to get better. “The game has evolved, just looking at the statistical point of view you can see that. The time the ball is in play has increased, so that means the boys are getting more touches on the ball and have to be fitter. You need to play a more energy-efficient style of rugby as well because of that. “Law changes as well, they also have a big effect so it has changed already since when I was playing a few years ago.” Jones certainly appears to have adjusted well to the evolution of the game in terms of
his coaching philosophy. An exciting stable of backs at the Scarlets have shone on numerous occasions this season to secure a place in the Guinness Pro12 play-offs. And he says he has been delighted to see them overcome an initial “bedding in period” to fulfil their potential as the season progressed. He added: “A lot of people would obviously have got excited by the personnel, but it takes a while to galvanise a group. “If you’re looking at that group, Scotty (Williams) played 60 minutes of rugby for us the year before, Liam (Williams) was a game and a half. “Jon (Davies) was coming back in, we were playing Patch (Rhys Patchell) at 10 when he played a lot of the year before at 15, and Johnny (McNicholl) was obviously coming in and adjusting from ITM and Super Rugby. “There was always going to be a huge bedding in period which I feel we’re through now. We are making progress and that’s the positive side. “The group are good, ambitious and they drive each other in the back line which is what it’s all about, raising standards. “If I was a supporter, looking at those names I would be very excited. It’s important to be scoring tries, getting bonus points and we’re fully aware of how valuable they are.”
during September. New additions such as Nick Williams, Willis Halaholo and Steven Shingler seemed to boost ambitions, with some dreaming of a top four finish. That optimism began to wane as Christmas drew closer however, and with Welsh derby defeats to Ospreys and Scarlets coupled with poor returns on the road, realisation was dawning that the lofty heights of playoffs were a little way off yet. The region’s crunch period came during the Six Nations period. They were going well in Europe with five wins from six earning a Quarter-Final place, and
they weren’t too far off the Champions Cup qualification places in the league. However, losses to Connacht and Munster at the Arms Park were major failings of the squad’s strength in depth at a critical period when all sides are tested; the Blues simply failed to stand up under the pressure and scrutiny. There was still Europe, an away quarter final at Gloucester recharging Blue hearts with optimism of a major English scalp. They led going into half time, but suffered their own April Fool’s Day calamity thereafter as Gloucester wiped the floor with them in the second period.
As the season drew to a close, solace was found at Judgement Day. An annihilation of the Ospreys was not something anybody saw coming, but it was possibly the finest Welsh regional performance of the season. Had the Blues performed at that level more often, they would have undoubtedly challenged for a play-off spot. Instead, they languish in seventh place, with a tough Champions Cup play-off to come. There have been positives, but it’s just not been consistent enough. Consistency is key if any dreams of summiting the welsh and PRO12 throne are to be realised next season.
You’ve got to understand your playing group, understand the different learning types and make sure you’re research is good and you present well to the guys. Stephen Jones
Successful weekend for Athletics club Megan McBrien
n May Bank Holiday weekend Cardiff University Athletics Club took a team of 20 to compete at Bedford International Stadium for three days of track and field. Saturday saw Elliott Hardee and Freek Van Arkel running well in the 1500m heats. Felicity Bee had a frustrating time in the javelin, narrowly missing out in a place in the final. James Griffiths cruised through his 100m heat to win in 10.85s. Richard Webb and Mike Gaunt had good runs in the steeplechase but unfortunately missed out on places in the final. Track captain Marcus BayonaMartinez and Lizzie Harris breezed through their 400m heats to the semi-finals. Ashley Jones had a good run in both the 400m and the 200m whilst Tom Baird looked strong in
his 800m, showing promising signs for the Northern Ireland Championship in a few weeks’ time. On Sunday, we had Sophie Hay in the 100m hurdles, managing to make it through to the semi-final despite a -4 headwind and heavy rain! Eleni Zembashi easily made it through her discus heats to make it to the final, finishing seventh and bagging some all-important BUCS points. Monday was a day of finals, first up was Ellis in the 5000m finishing just outside 16 minutes. Georgia Pickles and Sarah McKeever battled hard against the wind in the pole vault final. Sarah continued her good form from the indoor season to finish 2nd! CUAC president, Megan McBrien had a good run in her 5km grabbing a PB. Abigail cruised through her 1500m heats and semi-
Pictured: CUAC at Bedford on Bank Holiday weekend (via Megan McBrien)
finals on the Saturday and Sunday to book her place in the final, where she had a gutsy run narrowly missing out on a medal to finish in 5th with an impressive time of 4.31. It was a fantastic weekend of per-
formances with everyone looking forward to the rest of the outdoor season. CUAC train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm from the back of Cardiff University Students’ Union.
Cardiff Devils nominated for top award
he Alliance of European Hockey Clubs announced the nominations for the 2017 Fenix Outdoor European Hockey Awards last week. Cardiff Devils have been nominated for the prestigious ‘Club of the Year’ award. The winners will be announced in Prague on June 13, 2017. The Devils enjoyed a record-breaking season by picking up their first national title in 20 years. They followed this with a Challenge Cup title to complete a domestic double for the club. The Devils also have advanced to the Champions Hockey League for the first time in the competition’s history. They will hope to do well in Europe’s top club competition which begins in late August and ends in February 2018. The Devils face stiff competition in the ‘Club of the Year’ category with the other
four teams all boasting equally impressive records to the Devils. Frölunda Hockey Club from Gothenburg in Sweden will put up a good case to win the title as they completed a difficult treble. The Swedes picked up the domestic Swedish Hockey League in 2016 and have now won back to back Champions Hockey League titles. SC Bern hailing from Switzerland have also been given the nod for the prize as they managed to finish top of their league, going from 8th to 1st overall from last season. They also have the best attendance across Europe for the 16th straight year. Tappara Tampere from Finland won their regular season and the final title in a dominate season which saw them nominated also. Completing the shortlist are Vienna
Pictured: Cardiff Devils in action (Via Flickr).
Capitals from Austria, they cruised to their national title and went on a 12-0 in the playoffs. Nominations were decided by a group of hockey experts from different coun-
tries across Europe. The Devils will hope to complete their fantastic year with the prestigious crown come June 18, but regardless of if they win it has certainly been a year to savour.
Ladies’ football comeback to snatch promotion Rich Jones
Philip Marsh Cardiff City Columnist
ardiff University Ladies’ Football snatched their second straight promotion with a dramatic comeback against Portsmouth in their BUCS Division 1 Play-Off Final. Cardiff suffered a 3-1 defeat in the first leg on the South Coast last month and appeared set to miss out on the chance to reach the Premier Division. But they pulled off a stunning 4-0 win in the second leg at Llanrum-
eil Warnock is a miracle man. Not quite Michael Flynn wizardry but still fairly credible! The Bluebirds were hovering in the Championship relegation zone when the bubbly Yorkshireman took over at the helm. The 70-year-old masterly steered the tattered ship to safety in an impressive turnaround in the Welsh capital as they gear up for a crack at chasing promotion next season. Albeit, Cardiff have a long way to go to catch up to those in the top six, but the blueprint and the talent is
ney last Wednesday to spark jubilant scenes and cap off a magnificent season. It has been quite a journey for the club, who have now jumped from Division Two to the top tier within the space of two seasons. They will now get the chance to test themselves against the likes of Bath, Chichester, St Mary’s and local rivals Cardiff Met in the Premier South when next season gets underway.
certainly there. Kenneth Zohore is a new man since Warnock’s arrival, banging in the goals for fun in the second half of the year. Skipper Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba have the potential to be a solid centre-defensive partnership with the experienced wall comprising of Icelandic warrior Aron Gunnarrson and Mr Reliable Peter Whittingham tidily sitting in front of them. Warnock has repeatedly hinted that he has next season on his mind, but what sort of masterplan has he go in his experienced head? Vincent Tan needs to give him a
Pictured: Cardiff University Ladies’ Football team after their play-off success (via Twitter).
healthy transfer budget for starters which seems increasingly likely. Allan McGregor seems settled between the sticks with Jazz Richards and Joel Bennett also comfortable in their wing-back roles. Warnock needs an established 9 to push Zohore, someone with a bit of Championship pedigree and knowhow. Kyle Lafferty seems an obvious option given his contract at Norwich City runs out at the end of the season. But with the Northern Irishman, it is a case if he can match his international form in the English second tier.
Hearts star Callum Paterson has been in the news with a possible moved to Cardiff with Warnock an admirer of the defender. One thing is for certain, though. Whoever Warnock decides to buy or bring up from the academy, you can be sure the wily, old fox will get the best out of them. Zohore has the potential to bang in 20 plus goals in a whole campaign but he will require a creative attacking midfield tucked in behind. Cardiff fans should be excited by next season, it could be very, very special.
Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Gareth Axenderrie @GairRhyddSport email@example.com gairrhydd.com/sport
Also this week
Rugby: Stephen Jones discusses transition to coaching P30>>
England international Sam Underhill set to leave Cardiff University Rich Jones
ngland international Sam Underhill has revealed he is set to leave Cardiff University. The highly-rated back row, who has earned a call-up to Eddie Jones’ side for England’s summer tour of Argentina, has spent the last two years studying Economics at the University. He has balanced his time as a student with his professional rugby career with the Ospreys, where he has further enhanced his reputation as one of the sport’s brightest young talents. But after sealing a big money move to English Premiership side Bath ahead of next season, he will now be attempting to gain a transfer to Bath University. Despite cutting short his stay in the Welsh capital, Underhill has nothing but praise for the help he has received from Cardiff University since his enrolment in 2015. He has revealed how he struggled to balance his workload with his rug-
by commitments but received plenty of support from staff to enable him to reduce his studies to a part-time basis. Said Underhill: “I’ve been busy trying to sort out the logistics of the move next year, but Uni has been going quite well this year. “The University themselves have been really helpful with working a little bit around lectures and access to content and stuff. “They’ve been quite understanding with the situation I’m in with my rugby, and I’m very grateful for everything they’ve done for me the last couple of years. “It is difficult to manage the balance, and I think the main thing is it comes down to organisation and finding something which works for you. “It hasn’t worked for me in some ways because I started studying parttime, but I think the game now is probably at the point where it’s hard to balance full-time rugby with fulltime education. “It’s just about finding what works for you, but I’d definitely recommend and be an advocate of studying
in some degree. “Just from a logistical point of view I’ll be moving to Bath University, I’ve been in talks with them to try and sort that out. If not then I’ll do some sort of Open University studying, but the plan at the moment is to transfer to Bath University for the next academic year. “The Ospreys has been a great place to play, and Uni life has been really good for me down in Cardiff. “It’s given me a good balance between rugby and studying, it’s given me something outside of rugby and I think it’s been a good move. “Obviously with the move to Bath next year it just wasn’t going to be possible to keep studying at Cardiff, but I’ve really enjoyed my time down here.” Underhill’s recent England call-up makes him the latest international rugby player to study at Cardiff University. Wales legend Jamie Roberts graduated with a medicine degree in 2013 after studying in the city for eight years whilst young Wales winger Hallam Amos is a current medicine student after enrolling in 2013.
Pictured: Sam Underhill in action for Ospreys (Photograph via Huw Evans Agency)
Athletics: Cardif University Athletics Club in Bank Holiday action P31>>
Ice Hockey: Cardiff Devils nominated for top award P31>>
Columns: Blues & City round-up as season draws to a close P30-31>>