gair rhydd Monday 24th September 2012 | freeword - Est. 1972 | Issue 983
Alleged doctored images taint University’s research
gair rhydd takes a look at Cardiff University’s fallen applications and the possible implications Full story on p4
New Vice-Chancellor Colin Riordan talks to p8 gair rhydd
On the other hand... Columnist p13
Act One’s King Lear at Edinburgh Fringe p20 Festival
2 / Editor’s Note
gr EDITOR Chris Williams CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan CREATIVE DIRECTOR Luke Slade SUB EDITOR Tom Parry-Jones NEWS Kendal Archer Tom Eden Bethan Jones Anna Hickman OPINION Alice Briggs Nick Evans Alex Greig COLUMNIST Liam McNeilly POLITICS Helen Cox Thom Hollick LISTINGS vacant TAF-OD Tom Lewis SCIENCE Alexey Underwood Rhiannon Davies SOCIETIES Vanessa Platt SPORT Rhys Clayton Viktor Tsvetanov James Shapland
CONTRIBUTORS Amber Bell Lucy Barclay Jack Parker Ellie Woodruff Gareth Dunn Christina Tran Victoria Pease David Mason Sarah Philips Rebecca Gardner Angharad Hywel Felix Brambey Nye Davies Kieran Davey
GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE ARE PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION CARDIFF, PARK ISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS SIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
irstly, I think I need to start this with an apology, not least to Xpress Radio. If you've been contacting information@ xpress.co.uk, you probably won't get an answer. You see, in my brash, rushed position as the deadline was approaching for the Freshers edition, I managed to screw up (more than once, actually, but I'll get to that later). The e-mail address you're looking for is firstname.lastname@example.org. So, for that, I apologise. The next apology is to you guys – the readers. You see, the thing about the first issue is that I didn't have my editorial team with me when I was building the paper and putting pages together. So, a few things slipped through the net, which meant that, frustratingly, there were a few spelling mistakes and typos and design errors. I don't think it caused any major problems, but we try to be as stringent as we can on getting things right. (It's one of the things I'm most passionate about!) But anyway, we'll move on from that as Freshers has begun. On reading this, it'll be at least day four of the club nights and you'll probably be bleary-eyed from the nights and settling into wherever you're living this year. The Union will probably be packed and the fayres will be in full swing. (Always head to the companies fayres, there's so much free stuff!) Up on the fourth floor, we'll be busy preparing the next issue of gair rhydd and Quench, as well as starting the first shows on Xpress Radio, and CUTV should be out and about filming the first week of the year. And, if that wasn't already enough, we'll be preparing ourselves for the first meeting and the first social on October 1st. Join us in Solus for our meeting at 5pm and for the social later in the night. We should (fingers crossed!) have our big surprise of the year ready for you by the next issue of gair rhydd, but, in the meantime, check out the new websites and enjoy the first week of what is shaping up to be an awesome year! Chris Williams Head of Student Media
Monday September 24th 2012 | @mediacsu
World news The Pentagon has claimed that the last of the 33,000 extra troops sent to Afghanistan by President Obama has now left the country, although 68,000 soldiers remain.
Alison Whelan, 51, has been jailed after going on a drunken rampage and stealing the 100-seat Dart Princess ferry in Devon. She staggered aboard the boat, untied the mooring ropes and was heard to shout "I'm Jack Sparrow, I'm a pirate!"
K-pop track Gangnam Style by South Korean artist PSY has gone viral after being shared heavily online by millions, including T-Pain and Katy Perry.
Bullfighting has been declared legal in France, after pleas from animal rights campaigners were rejected by the country's top legal authority, the Constitutional Council.
Protests have continued in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Pakistan in response to an American-made anti-Islam film.
4 / News
University applications fall Anna Hickman News Editor
Applications to Cardiff University are down by 4 per cent this year, reflecting the rise in tuition fees and applicants not achieving their predicted grades. This loss of applicants is considerably higher than the overall loss experienced by other Welsh universities, where applications are down only 2.9 per cent. Cardiff received a total of 30,377 applications this year, as opposed to 31,671 for the 2011/12 intake. However, when compared to the national average, Cardiff has experienced less of a drop in applicants, with universities across the UK seeing a 7.4 per cent reduction. With the average annual fee in 2012/13 estimated at £8,123, such a total could cost institutions more than £700 million in funding over the next three years. Three factors are believed to be behind the shortfall: higher fees deterring students from accepting places; a high number of students deferring entry until next year coupled with a low number that deferred last year; and the lowerthan-expected number of AAB students. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of leading universities, says that the underlying
longer-term trend remains an increase in demand for university places; even these latest figures are higher than the average applications three years ago. She emphasises that ‘despite all the hype, fee reforms are unlikely to cause a long-term decline in applications. In the past, a fall in applications in the first year of higher fees has been followed by increases in subsequent years.’ When asked how the University plans on increasing applications next year, a University spokesperson said that the undergraduate recruitment office had undertaken work to encourage high achieving students to apply to Cardiff. The work will focus on promoting the academic reputation and rigour of the University and each individual school, capital city living and living costs in Cardiff relative to other locations. It will also seek to promote employability, student life experience and the Students’ Union. It includes redesigning the University Prospectus and other publications, as well as overhauling the undergraduate web-pages to include clearer information, and a more intuitive search function. They will also include more media rich content, featuring accommodation videos, student interviews and student lifestyle videos.
University Intake Statistics from 2011/12 Total applications to Cardiff
Total percentage of male applications
Number of international students
FEED YOUR MIND
Collection only Available until 5pm
Drop in Cardiff applicants
Total percentage of female applicants
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Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
Easy Bethan Jones News Editor
The application for the sex establishment licence received numerous objections
Cardiff’s Tiger Tiger has been granted a ‘sex establishment licence’, allowing the venue to host weekly performances by male strippers. The club applied for the licence in July, and saw it approved by Cardiff Council this month. Weekly performances by ‘The Dreamboys’ – a male dance and strip group – will now take place every Saturday in Tiger Tiger’s Club Room. The application for the sex establishment licence received numerous objections from South Wales Police, local councillors and other sexual entertainment venues in the city. Tony Bowley, licencing officer from the South Wales Police said that the new licence would change the nature of Tiger Tiger as a club, and also of Greyfriars Road. There are only four other sex establishment licences in operation in Cardiff – the only four in Wales – and all belong to small venues with a single entrance, and therefore are much more controlled.
Mr Bowley asked Cardiff Council to reject the application for several reasons; in particular the main concern for the Police is the proximity of Tiger Tiger to the New Theatre, which is known as a very family orientated venue. There was also concern surrounding Tiger Tiger’s lack of experience as an operator of a sex licence, especially in terms of whether the audience will be allowed to touch the dancers. It has also been pointed out by Councillor Chris Weaver, a ward member for the Cathays area, that Tiger Tiger is a multi-purpose venue that allows families with children inside before 7pm. The Hilton Hotel made a strong objection to the new licence. Marie Fagan, general manager at the Hilton Cardiff, said there is already an “excessive” amount of activity and “extreme” late night noise on Greyfriars Road. Ms Fagan said the licence would have a detrimental effect on the Hilton and create a further negative impact on the city, which has previously attracted bad publicity because of its active nightlife. Speaking for Tiger Tiger, Andrew Woods said that any licence granted to the venue would be
heavily restricted by conditions set. He stated the performances taking place would be heavily supervised and no full nudity would take place. Cardiff Council approved the application with a number of specific conditions including no physical contact between per-
formers and audience members, no individual dances, no audience participation and no advertising of the weekly Dreamboys performances. No children will be allowed on the premises when the Dreamboys are performing.
Medical research called into question Tom Eden News Editor Cardiff University is formally investigating alleged research misconduct in papers published by Professor Paul Morgan - the Dean of Medicine. Having undertaken a preliminary investigation, the University has confirmed it has found ‘sufficient substance’ in the allegations to investigate further. A spokesperson for the University stressed that the claims of academic misconduct by Professor Morgan, or members of his research team, have not been substantiated at this stage. It is not the first time academic research conducted under Professor Morgan has been thrown under the spotlight. A similar investigation was undertaken last year, which resulted in the retraction of a medical paper. In this separate case, the study had been published in the Journal of Immunology but was found to have contained inappropriately altered images.
He had led the research group, but the investigation concluded that another author, Dr Rossen Donev, now a lecturer at Swansea University, took full responsibility and that ‘the other authors were unaware of and had no part in the manipulation of the images.’
A similar investigation was undertaken last year, which resulted in the retraction of a medical paper Whilst the results of the study remained scientifically reliable, the University’s adherence to good academic practices meant the paper was retracted. This fresh investigation is believed to be looking into at least one paper on cancer research, allegedly produced between 2006 and 2012, with several published papers supposedly containing manipulated images.
Photographs appeared online in July supposedly indicating that images within Professor Morgan’s papers had been artificially manipulated. Published annotated photos, said to be from the research, allegedly showed the duplication of experimental evidence and spliced blotting paper. A spokesperson for the University outlined their approach to the situation, saying: ‘Allegations of misconduct in academic research are extremely rare at Cardiff University. When allegations are made the University takes a highly serious approach in accordance with the University's Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Misconduct in Academic research. The University’s procedure is in line with guidance issued by the UK Research Integrity Office, to which the University subscribes.’ Whilst nothing has been proven at this stage, the accusations of manipulated evidence, if true, would constitute academic misconduct.
6 / News
Cardiff Student Letting wins gold Kendal Archer
News Editor Cardiff Student Letting excelled at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards. The awards are in association with The Sunday Times and the Times this year. Not only were they awarded the ‘Wales Best Single Office,’ but were also shortlisted for ‘Property Management Lettings Agency of the Year 2012’, and ‘Student Lettings Agency of the Year 2012’. This is undoubtedly a huge achievement, and as the UK’s first Student’s Union-owned letting agency, they are setting a precedent for other letting agents. Indeed, over 5,000 offices and agencies were represented this year, but only the best were shortlisted or presented with awards for their efforts. Delighted Manager Eoghan Conway commented, “We are thrilled to have received such a prestigious award and to be shortlisted for two others. The
office staff and Cardiff University Students’ Union are extremely proud to have achieved such recognition for the services they provide to students.” Winning such an award will also prove important in the long run, as it will encourage landlords to use Cardiff Student Letting, providing the agency with more properties, and ultimately allowing more students to use their services. It is clear to see why Cardiff Student Letting did so well in these awards; they know exactly what you are looking for in a student property, are one of the only student letting agencies who do not charge agency fees, and are always friendly and helpful no matter how many house viewing appointments you decide you need to make before finding your perfect house. Cardiff Student Letting can be found on the ground floor at the back of the Stduent's Union, or through the Union website.
‘Super’ University Approved Anna Hickman
A proposal to merge three Welsh institutions and leave South Wales with two major universities, including Cardiff University, has thrown the future of Cardiff Metropolitan, formally UWIC, into doubt. The plan, put forward by the Education Minister, Leighton Andrews will see a ‘super’ university of over 40 000 students from Glamorgan University, the University of Wales, Newport and potentially Cardiff Metropolitan, with the aim of rivalling Cardiff University in it’s capabilities to compete on a world stage. However, Cardiff Metropolitan has been particularly opposed to the merge, details of which were unveiled in November last year. It is ranked higher than its potential merger partners in the Good University Guide, is financially sound, and possesses good international relations. The merge has received a positive response from Glamorgan University and the University of Wales, Newport as it is set to give students more opportunities and benefit the economy. It ‘will be designed to remain open for further expansion,’ and aims to ‘avoid institutional competition,’ as well as playing to the strengths of its component parts, according to the Education Minister. Andrew Wilkinson, chair of
the board of governors at the University of Wales, Newport, said: ‘The governors of the University of Wales, Newport welcome this development as both institutions seek to build on their respective strengths to develop a new, entrepreneurial model of higher education across South Wales.’ His counterpart at Glamorgan University, Professor John Andrews said: ‘This is a good time for us to further develop the scale and range of our combined higher education across South Wales to create an institution that can compete not only in the UK but on a global basis. The University of Wales, Newport and Glamorgan provide similar disciplines and serve the same demographic, yet Cardiff Metropolitan has cited that it is concerned that a combined institution of over 40 000 students could impact on provision and that it would be ‘unmanageable.’ Cardiff Metropolitan has also expressed that it will seek legal action if forced to merge. In response, Leighton Andrews has said that he is keen for the merge to be voluntary, but will not hesitate in invoking the Education Reform Act 1988, which can force dissolution of post-1992 institutes. Professor Sir Steve Smith, who compiled the report upon which Leighton Andrews based his decision, stated that Cardiff Metropolitan is ‘dangerously small,’ and could not survive the ‘me-
dium term without merger.’ However, the Chairwoman of governors at Cardiff Metropolitan, Barbara Wilding has said they would be prepared to fight against an enforced merge at the High Court. Moreover, Cardiff Metropolitan has the potential to go private, and thus avoid any public law that requires they agree to the merge. Instead, it would go without the £24m allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, which is around 35% of their total income. It has also emerged that a report advised ministers not to go ahead with the plan over four years ago. The leaked report, complied by a leading academic to investigate the potential for a merge, concluded that a full-scale one was ‘unrealistic at this time.’ Despite concerns that courses, lecturers and assets may be lost in the merge, along with the chance of campus closure, the plan to begin merging Glamorgan University and the University of Wales, Newport could being as early as September next year. The Education Minister hopes that Cardiff Metropolitan will join by 2014, with the projection that all three will be working together by 2015. However, with the threat of legal action from Cardiff Metropolitan, the future of the University and the completion of the merger remain in doubt.
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddnews
Societies Disgraced Cardiff bingestruggle with drinkers caught on camera space and funding Kendal Archer
Bethan Jones News Editor
Despite funding and space issues, the number of societies at Cardiff Students’ Union has now reached approximately 150 - and it is still growing. Funding has become an issue for societies this year, as a massive underspend of £20,000 last year has resulted in the budget being cut this year. Last year, £10,000 was not allocated to any of the existing societies, and another £10,000 was not spent. However, the guild of societies still has a budget of £44,000 this year, though this only includes societies affiliated with the Students’ Union. Space has also become a demanding issue for the Union and current societies. In particular, performance and dance societies want more space than the Union is currently able to provide. Due to this, some of the performance societies have been hiring space outside of the Union. However, an increase in funding for dance and performance societies to support their need for space may have a detrimental effect on the quality of other societies. It also appears that the University has started rejecting societies; over the last two years nine in total have been rejected. Surprisingly, 150 societies is not the maximum allowed for the union, with 15 new societies created over the past two years. It would be possible to have more societies, but it has been argued it would compromise the quality of the current societies. Adam Curtis, Societies Officer at Cardiff University, has said he still wants to increase the number of societies, but with an emphasis on “quality and diversity”. In comparison to other universities, UWE only has 30 societies and 20 associations, but the same number of students as Cardiff University. Swansea University were only allocated a £10,000 budget for their societies in the last academic year. Meanwhile, Manchester University has over 200 societies, which could imply Cardiff’s ever-growing societies would be manageable.
Adam Curtis has said it is important to encourage coursebased societies in light of a recent study, which showed students who are part of a course-based society are less likely to drop out of University. Course-based societies encourage students to be involved in their course and make a lot of friends at university. Curtis believes it is important to empower students to be involved in university societies particularly because of the new £9000 tuition fees. Despite this, the Economic Society has been disaffiliated this year. Also, the English Literature Society have been put on ‘probation’ until further notice on the basis that neither the Chairman nor the Secretary attended any societies meetings in the last academic year. Curtis emphasised that if societies are not active
Ever woken up and not been able to remember what happened the night before? Cardiff binge-drinkers will soon have a solution to this problem. Those who are admitted to hospital on nights out because of the amount of alcohol they have consumed are to be filmed when they enter and leave the hospital, with the aim of reducing binge drinking. Once they have sobered up, they will be given the chance to
watch the videos of themselves. With an incredible 60% of ambulances and A&E beds used for alcohol related incidents each weekend in Cardiff, it is hoped that the shock of seeing themselves when they enter the hospitals will encourage a change in attitude towards binge drinking. Certainly, Conrad Eydmann, Head of Substance Misuse Strategy and Development for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board stated that ‘Our intention is that the vast majority of people will be surprised and hopefully concerned about the state of their
behaviour.’ This is all part of a twelve week trial that will be funded by the Welsh Government, setting them back £85,000. It is to take place from mid-September until the end of January in order to film hospital antics at two of the worst times for alcohol related incidents: Freshers and Christmas festivities. The University has been asked to evaluate the success of the project in the New Year, and if it is thought to be successful then the project could be made permanent.
It is vital to make sure existing societies are not ignored by the creation of new ones throughout the year then they will not be allowed to continue. New societies have to prove they are different to any existing societies. More importantly, it is vital to make sure existing societies are not ignored by the creation of new ones, but ensuring all societies are as good as they can be. The Students’ Union has to make a decision as to whether it would be more beneficial to have fewer, well managed and well funded societies, as oppose to a large number of societies, many of which have a tendency to fail through poor management.
London Met University licence revoked by UKBA Kendal Archer News Editor
A recent decision by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to revoke London Metropolitan University’s licence to teach foreign students has left over 2,000 international students without authorised visas. Cardiff University has called ‘upon the UKBA to allow all current international students at London Metropolitan University to complete their programmes of study at London Metropolitan and be afforded all the usual rights of international students.’ In order to keep its licence to teach international students, a university must monitor the progress of each student by ensuring they regularly attend lectures and complete assignments. They must also ensure that each
of the international students has a competent ability to speak the English language before they are able to give the student a visa to live and study in England. However, the UKBA were concerned that London Metropolitan University was not adhering to these regulations. They found that 20 of the 50 files checked did not show evidence that a good level of English had been tested or attained and 57% of sampled records showed that attendance was not properly monitored, revealing that the University had no way of knowing if students were attending lectures and seminars or not. Yet their action to revoke London Metropolitan University’s license has left thousands of students in limbo, unsure as to whether they will have to leave the University, and even the
country unless they can find an alternative institution to sponsor them. This decision is likely to impact upon the economy, as an estimated £5billion is contributed a year to the UK economy from foreign students. Also, as the Universities’ UK Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge points out, ‘it is damaging to our international reputation.’ Fortunately, a Cardiff University spokesperson has assured Cardiff University students that “the recent action by UK Border Agency (UKBA) against London Metropolitan University will not affect international students who are coming to Cardiff University in September 2012 and will not affect international students currently studying at Cardiff University,” of whom there were 3,108 studying here last year.
8 / News Interview New Vice-Chancellor Colin Riordan talks to gair rhydd, in his first interview with Student Media since joining the university I was the first of all the elected officers to talk to our new VC. It was an odd experience, but I put to him some of the questions that were raised by gair rhydd over the past year and tested him on some of the hot topics gair rhydd reported on over the past year. How is the new house? A house has value which will increase, the building becomes a capital asset. Keeping money in a bank and you can earn very little. Let’s be clear, it’s not money to be spent on salaries – we’re not spending money which would have been spent on something else. It is a domestic space for entertaining – part of the job that University Council wanted me to do. It is very useful, a benefit to the university. What are your priorities this year? Aiming to be a top 100 University in the world; we’ve managed it before, but we need to be consistently in the top 100. Cardiff needs to become a global university and that means more students should be studying, interning or doing placements abroad. It will help make students more employable and research has proven that the experience of working or studying abroad helps people to do better and helps you develop personally.
ing three times more than other students, they should be getting three times more for their money – how will you manage this expectation?
What’s important is that students have a way of making their grievances known and acted on. What do you think of the Students’ Union?
Students need to know that universities are not getting three times more money – students will be responsible for the money which was previously received from the Funding Council. For Welsh students, the Welsh Government will pay the difference.
I understand that there’s a good and close relationship with senior University management and senior Union staff. What we need is good and open channels of communication. We have a joint responsibility to students.
There will be some increases in some subjects for funding. But, for example, science subjects will get less – we won’t end up with more money we’ll probably end up with less. The University won’t necessarily gain an advantage from this.
We [also] need to protect our research excellence. It’s a precious asset.
The next one is student experience: we need to invest in teaching and learning facilities that make people choose Cardiff.
Monday April 23 2012 | freeword – Est. 1972 | Issue 976
He’s not Brinning now
We also need to focus on engaging with Cardiff and Wales. There’s a danger that Cardiff University can seem rather remote and of a perception that Cardiff doesn’t do much for Wales. The perception from some of this year's intake of students could be that, as they’re pay-
gair rhydd Cardiff student forced to withdraw from local election after racist March 12 2012 | freeword – Est. 1972 | Issue 973 Monday comments Henry McMorrow News Editor
A Cardiffates University student University is spending £18,000 on why the gair rhydd investig who was running as a Cardiff Matt Jones News Editor
come as a surprise. Asked whether the University felt this was an appropriate investment to be making in the current climate, a spokesperson said: “Yes. It is a long established University tradition to commission and invest in a portrait of the outgoing ViceChancellor, marking their contribu-
cient History student, said: “I extremely shocked and annoyed can to hear that [the University] afford to spend £18,000 on a vain get self portrait, when I can’t even printed hand-outs from my tutors anymore because of the cut backs Hisin my department [School of I tory, Archaeology and Religion].
continued on page 4...
Above: James Brinning with Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband
tion to the council candidate has recent disalso follows the This Labour is in the that the University beencovery suspended from the party process of purchasing a new house for afor series of Vice-Chancellor, offensive Facethe incoming Riordan. gair rhydd reported bookColin and Twitter comments. in February (Issue 970) on the deci£675,000 facea reported made sion to spend James Brinning which property, buying a new tiouson comments about forkilling serve as both a residence would and a location Riordan Professor Justin Beiber along within-racist for entertaining “national and and ternational sexist remarks, whilst adpartners.” Some students have expressed vocating violence against theDavid frustration at the amount that when especially will cost, paintingand Cameron Nick Clegg on the the consideration taking into socialalso networking sites. In the year wage. Vice-Chancellor’s accounts University 2010-2011, The 19 year old was show running as that Dr Grant was paid £246,000 of contributions for Cardiff council’s Llanishan well as pension meaning that the Univerward,£39,000, where all four seats are £780 roughly sity in total pays him to take day. If the painting hotly percontested andwerewhich the sixteen days then this would equate Dr Grant Labour need reclaim paying to University to theParty to pose for the poraround in order to£12,500 regain control of the trait. Anyear second Shippey, authority lost in 2004. Ryanthey to pay was can’t believe they’re going
Vice-Chancellor he of the University is currently sitting for a £18,000 portrait to his commemorate time at Cardiff. Dr David Grant, who has been Vicewill Chancellor since October 2001, for spend a reported 16 days posing an artist. The painting will mark the end of of his tenure as Vice-Chancellor the University, following his decision to take retirement in August of 2012. It will join the portraits past Vice-Chancellors on the wall the of the Council Chamber in Main Building. Portraits are traditionally taken the of Vice-Chancellors on leaving University as a means of commemorating their incumbency. However, the decision to continue this practhe tice at a time when many of schools at the university are facing serious funding shortages might
him to sit there for his last days at the University, instead of doing something a bit more useful.” Another student, Laurence Assugtill Wright, second year Medic, gested that it was absurd that such a large amount of money was being traspent on keeping up the portrait
this dition at a time of austerity. “In day and age of cameras and Photoshop, do they really need a painter porwhen they can just do a digital trait? But I suppose photography doesn’t lie…” Stuthe A spokesperson from dents’ Union said: “We sympathise bewith our students and we don’t
lieve that this level of investment to follows the University’s mission enhance the student experience. priTherefore this should not be a
ority for the University.” The painting is due to be completed in July.
k SVC success with Cardiff Jailbrea
VC house costs spiral
Laura Evans News Editor
Matt Jones News Editor Cardiff University’s purchase of a property for the new vice-chancellor has cost almost £100,000 more than previously suggested. The house, situated in the prestigious Queen Anne Square, has been purchased for £765,000, making it £90,000 more expensive than the cost of £675,000 reported in issue 970 of gair rhydd. As previously reported, the house has been bought by the University as a home for new Vice-Chancellor,
Professor Colin Riordan, who takes over from the retiring incumbent Dr. David Grant in September 2012. The University had previously come under criticism for its judgement in spending such a large amount of money on a property, when Professor Riordan will earn around £225,000 per year. In response, a spokesperson had explained that “the University requires a variety of venues for formal and informal events with existing and potential partners. The intended new property, which will
be used by the new Vice-Chancellor as a residence, will also host social events with key University partners.” However, it has now also come to light that in addition to the £765,000 spent on the house, the University will also be paying for a number of developments which will ‘bring the property up to the specification required’. These will include a small extension, a modernisation of the heating and electrical systems, and improved facilities for University guests. The house will also be re-
decorated and refurnished. A spokesperson explained that it is hoped that these redevelopments will make the house ‘suitable to welcome existing and potential partners of a world-leading University’, while helping to establish the house as a long-term asset for the future. The University is currently contracting the jobs, ‘seeking best value in all cases’, so no total cost is immediately available. However, a source in the University has suggested a conservative estimate of
As part of Volunteering Week 2012, SVC joined forces with RAG to host Cardiff University’s first ever Jailbreak. For the week’s grand finale, volunteers had just 48 hours from Friday March 2 to get as far away and from Cardiff Students’ Union a back in time, without spending penny on transport. Wearing fancy dress and Jailbreak 2012 t-shirts, students taking part, had to put their persuasion powers to the test in order to travel posas far away from Cardiff as sible. Within hours of leaving the Union, many Jailbreakers manand aged to make it down South or onto ferries across the channel, but were travelling on pre-arranged donated flights and buses.
£65,000. Asked how students would benefit from the investment in a house for Professor Riordan, a spokesperson said: “The University is in a highly competitive environment for the development of learning and teaching. Development of educational resources can often only be achieved by building relationships with external partners. The University believes this asset will help secure productive partnerships for the benefit of the entire Cardiff community, including students.”
Maggie Gaston, Public Relations : Officer for SVC told gair rhydd “Jailbreak provided an opportunity for volunteers to do something truly different and memorable with their weekends and will hopefully the encourage them to volunteer in future! counted. absolute trian was event The Out of the many teams taking in umph, raising at least £3000 part, some reached countries such for SVC, the sponsorship and donations as France and Germany with projto so that their local community winning team managing to travel ects can continue. We are currently a ski resort in Switzerland. waiting on a final figure. Along the way, students collected It is thought that Jailbreak will donations and sponsorships from become an annual event so we have bystanders and completed chalyear.” next for hopes high in lenges such as standing naked gifront of a landmark, creating a ant conga and riding an animal. to Points and prizes were awarded teams who impressed Headquarand ters by documenting the weird wonderful sites they experienced along the way.
Back in Cardiff, HQ were logging 29 and tracking the progress of all teams and this continued throughout the night. Teams that failed to return diswithin the 48-hour period were not qualified and their points were
Head to page four to find out what the teams got up to ...
The previous VC and gair rhydd had a fractuous relationship over the past year
What do you think of the nightclub in the University?
When students go to university, they come here because they want a degree – we have a responsibility to give them a topquality education, but we have to have expectations of students as well, which is why a Student Charter is such a good idea.
I don’t know – I’ve not been there yet!
Do you mind if students never know who you are?
What was university like for you and how will this affect how you are as VC of Cardiff ?
It’s not like being a headmaster, you have a rather different role. I don’t mind students not knowing who I am and I don’t exist, but if they want to know about me they should be able to know – there shouldn’t be any barrier to that. I think what’s most important is that I work hard with students, staff and for Cardiff University.
I went to Manchester in 1977 and some things don’t change: the lecturers were varying in quality, but I had a wonderful time there. Manchester is a great place to study and I largely had the freedom to study what I wanted to study.
Leonardo da VC
Students need to know that universities are not getting three times more money
I least enjoyed at University when lecturers didn’t seem very committed. In those days, there wasn’t much oversight on what lecturers did. The other thing was a lack of information – not being told what was going on, I really wanted to learn.
I did German so I spent a lot of time in Germany – by the time I graduated, I had studied in three universities [one in England and two in Germany]. I think language is important; going back to this idea of international students, I think all students should have the opportunity to learn language. What did you least enjoy about your own University experience?
What do you think of Dr. David Grant’s portrait, which cost almost £30,000? There needs to be a sense of proportion about these things. If you talk millions of pounds, you can go into the intricacies. The university does, however, need to decide its priorities, being the kind of University it is. Essex started doing photographs instead of portraits, but I’m not about to leave any time soon.
10 / Opinion
On yer bike and leave the car at home Jack Parker
Opinion Writer It seems like every few months train fares are back in the news, regularly being allowed to rise above inflation and they’re set to rise by another 6.2% yet again in January. Despite the government’s pledge to be ‘the greenest yet’, there seems little incentive to using public transport and many students will doubtlessly be considering bringing a car to University. My strong advice is not to bother. There will be some students who live nearby and will be regularly hopping back and forth between their Cardiff home and their parents and I have no doubt that in this and other exceptional cases, cars may be the economical and convenient option. For most of us however, it’s expensive and unnecessary. For those new to Cardiff, you’ll soon find that pretty much everywhere is within walking distance, even from as far as Talybont North - just make sure you have
sturdy shoes! Many students also seem to forget that there are buses going in and out of the city centre regularly, as well as to Cardiff Bay and several train stations. Bike racks are found in most places, as well. The grid of pedestrian areas, traffic lights and one-way streets in central Cardiff also make navigation a nightmare. The council
are also likely to further discourage road driving in the future too, with a new bus station being slowly but surely planned for the city centre and rumours around social media of a potential Cardiff congestion charge. This anti-car ethos means many students who do bring cars leave them abandoned and unused for several weeks in residential ar-
Photographs courtesy of Cardiff Cycle Chic cardiffcyclechic.wordpress.com eas around Cardiff, a habit which get about and still have change frustrates the local community left over. Using public transport immensely. Meanwhile students is less convenient for sure, but are paying tax and insurance for it can work well so long as you plan ahead. Book your train ticka car they’re not using. So if it’s feasible for you, I’d ets home a couple of weeks in suggest selling the car and buy- advance, google and print the bus ing a bike and a railcard instead. times for the routes you’re likely With the savings made on tax, to use and you can save some insurance, petrol and mainte- money, as well as the environnance you can easily afford to ment, in the process.
A miserable git's guide to student life in Cardiff Our Welsh Opinion Editor Nick Evans is disillusioned after three years in Cardiff. But don't take him seriously...
o you’ve done well in your A-levels and have been accepted into Cardiff University. Congratulations are in order. You may have been told that Cardiff is a cosmopolitan city with excellent nightlife, and while this is true, you probably haven’t been informed of the hostile natives and their attitudes to outsiders who disturb the peace they have become accustomed to. You may have heard of a dark and hopeless land known as ‘Merthyr Tydfil’. It may surprise you to learn that Merthyr isn’t actually that far from Cardiff. In fact, Merthyr’s local hard men (a.k.a. Roiders) frequent Cardiff’s nightclubs on the weekend to quaff WKD in vast quantities and flex their machismo in cardigans that are three sizes too small for them. They are fond of brawling and speaking in a bizarre and guttural code. Roiders are most closely likened to the sun; bright orange, and you never stare directly at them. At some point during your time in Cardiff, you will no doubt visit a club called Live Lounge. A great number of anthropological studies have been conducted in Live Lounge and the dancing and mating rituals performed here have been confirmed as being almost identical to those of Celtic Wales. Copious amounts of hallucinogens are ingested, discordant music is played and groups of males will try to rub up against females in an attempt to seduce
them. The likelihood is that, in your second and third years, you will live in the Cathays/Roath area of Cardiff. Some people will tell you that it has a truly communal atmosphere and that you will always see a familiar face. This is a lie. Cathays is a barren place, full of students shuffling home awkwardly in last night’s clothes, smelling of shame. It is littered with takeaways that have received a 'zero' score by the Food Standards Agency, and the pavements are jagged and uneven as the local council are too afraid to send workmen in. Don’t mention sheep to anyone, anywhere, ever. If you are a man, it is worth always keeping a spare tenner in your wallet with which to bribe bouncers. Cardiff’s bouncers are
notoriously easily influenced by the feminine shape, as it is new and exotic to them. Cardiff’s native women still adhere fervently to the ideals of feminine beauty displayed in the paintings of Rubens and Renoir; this is one of the many ways in which Cardiff hasn’t advanced since the 17th century. So there you have it: a brief yet concise and entirely factual account of life in Cardiff. Cardiff is not guaranteed to kill you, but it will almost certainly break you emotionally, if not physically. Keep your head down, keep your heart strong and heed the words of wisdom in this article and you may just get out alive. For those who choose not to listen: be afraid, be very afraid.
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddop
No Big Macs allowed as McDonald’s goes veggie Ellie Woodruff Opinion Writer
Imagine being refused a Big Mac in McDonald’s: never going to happen, right? The infamous 490-calorie sandwich consisting of two beef patties, lettuce, cheese, onion and relish inside a sesame seed bun has been a best seller for the firm since 1967, and now sells at approximately 20 every minute worldwide. However, the Big Mac will be strictly off the menu in McDonald’s first completely vegetarian outlet in Northern India, which is due to open in the middle of next year near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. This brave and controversial decision has sparked debate over the company’s ethos: how can a firm whose best-selling product is a beefburger begin to promote vegetarianism? How successful the vegetarian outlet will be also remains to be
seen, as strict vegetarians may be unwilling to buy from a company that happily sells meat products in its 33,000 other restaurants worldwide.
The Big Mac will be strictly off the menu in McDonald's' first completely vegetarian outlet Rajesh Kumar Maini, a spokesman for McDonald’s in northern India, commented that “there is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants as many Indians are vegetarian.” The McDonald’s’ menu in its other outlets in India is typically already 50% vegetarian, and it is no secret that the firm increasingly adapts its range to local demand. Public health concerns in the UK were responded to when McDonald’s moved to provide salads and healthier options with reduced salt and sugar content.
Set to replace the Big Mac the vegetarian outlet is the McAloo Tikki burger, which uses a spiced potato-based filling, and accounts for 25% of the company’s total sales in the country. McDonald’s is still trying to grow in India where it still has a relatively small presence, and plans to open more restaurants in the country including another vegetarian store in north-western India, near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Kashmir, which is a Hindu pilgrimage site that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
McDonald’s is still trying to grow in India The opening of meat-free McDonald’s restaurants in India is simply an example of a global company taking advantage of a business opportunity and adapting to the specific needs of local
consumers. Its vegetarian options have proved successful in India, where both the country's different religious groups can enjoy the same meatfree dishes. McDonald’s is the second biggest food outlet in the world after Subway, and they have not achieved this status without making some radical decisions. While the customer may not always be right, listening to their
12 / Opinion For & Against
Disabled or just differently abled?
Amber Bell and Lucy Barclay discuss whether the 2012 Palympic Games will have an impact upon the public's perception of the disabled
've never been an avid watcher of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – until this year. True, the fact it was on home turf meant I felt compelled to get involved, and the media frenzy surrounding it definitely worked its magic on me. But throughout it all, there was one advertising slogan that grabbed me: "Meet the Superhumans." The build-up to the Paralympic games was a work of art. The advertising campaign and documentaries about the athletes reminded us that these were not disabled people who wanted our pity; they were humans worthy of our respect. True athletes of superhuman ability showed us that disability doesn't stop you from achieving pure brilliance; it is courage and determination that allows us to reach extraordinary heights. Watching the Games, I soon forgot I was watching athletes with disabilities. Their sheer strength, speed and talent were beyond belief. Tao Zheng, the 100m backstroke swimmer who has no arms beat other swimmers with one or both arms, smashing the world record in the process. Here was a man who proved he could achieve just as much and more than those more technically able than him, regardless of his disability. And is that not the whole message of the Paralympic Games?
That despite disability, these athletes were parallel to those competing in the Olympic Games? Disability doesn't even come into the equation. These are purely amazing, awe-inspiring people. The Paralympic Games has given us just as many household names as the Olympics: David “the Weirwolf” Weir, Ellie Simmonds, Jonnie Peacock, the list goes on. And they are not household names because they are 'fighting against the odds', they're household names because they are sensational athletes. The Games gave Channel 4 their highest viewing figures in over 10 years; therefore, the message of the Paralympic Games will have been driven home through the televisions of the common British household: those with disabilities can achieve as much as anyone else. Disability should not be factored into our perceptions of people; it is our inner strength and character that determines who we are. Some may see it as naivity to believe the Games have changed public perception of disability, but I couldn't disagree more. The Paralympic Games of London 2012 have shown us all that it is time society realised the irony of using the term 'disabled', these athletes have proved they are as able, if not more so, than the average human.
Athletes of superhuman ability showed us that disability doesn't stop you from achieving pure brilliance
do not deny that, in the last two weeks, Paralympians have shown us all what can be achievable in the face of extreme adversity. I do not deny that they have the potential to become heroes and an inspiration to us all. However, as the glamour of the games fades evermore quickly, the long entrenched prejudices and perceptions of the disabled remain. This cannot be altered in just 11 days – fact. One could argue, perhaps callously, that by holding the games at all only serves to widen the gap between the abled and the disabled. Why? We do not see the accomplishments of these Paralympians in terms of just achievement – a fact that, of course, does not hold true for the Olympic Games. We see these athletes as 'amazing' because of their disability – ‘look what he did even though he’s in a wheelchair’. In my mind, this does not alter perceptions, it merely reinforces the idea that these athletes are disabled. To make true leaps towards altering perceptions, we must see people in terms of ability not disability. The Paralympics, while emphasising achievement in the face of adversity, inadvertently emphasises achievement because of adversity.
An unfortunate irony of the London 2012 Paralympics is that London itself is not truly accessible to the disabled. Try being a wheelchair user and attempting to use the Tube for example. This, of course, is one of many, more pressing concerns for disabled people. While I hope it proves to be an inspiration to many, to broadcast 11 days of Paralympic sporting achievement puts the interest of an elite minority above the concerns of the majority. 11 days of sporting achievement does not change the reality for many disabled people. The Paralympics does not articulate the emotional effects of disability in its more negative forms, nor does it articulate the real concerns of many disabled people facing day-today tasks. Disabled people are facing the terrifying prospect of 20% government cuts, should the coalition push ahead with plans to abolish the Independent Living Fund in 2015. With this in mind, I find it hard to believe that becoming a Paralympian is top of the agenda for many. And in that respect, I do not believe the Paralympics ? om will radically imon d.c i pact public perin yd op rrh ceptions of the an gai disabled. ot @ G on i in op
Monday 17th September 2012 | @gairrhyddop
he wait is over. Months of eager anticipation will finally come to an end as MTV’s The Valleys hits our screens this week. South Wales will become the latest area to be mocked at the hands of TV companies as a handful of apparently aspirant teens and 20-somethings move to Cardiff from various regions in the hope of ‘making it’ in the capital. Fantastic. After Essex, Newcastle and West London, the Welsh Valleys aren’t the first region of the UK to have a spurious representation of local culture broadcast to the country in the name of 'celebrity.' Before their associated ‘reality’ shows, the previously mentioned areas were already associated with distorted and simplistic stereotypes, and perhaps ones that are more prevalent than in other areas of the country. Playing on such stereotypes for cheap laughs has been the key to the success of The Only Way Is Essex, Geordie Shore and Made In Chelsea. We can’t expect The Valleys to be much different, can we? As the reality television bandwagon arrives in our region, we’re provided with the premise from MTV UK that this new series will seek to provide a realistic portrayal of life in South Wales. I don’t feel fully qualified to draw conclusions on what a realistic portrayal of South Wales life is,
by Liam McNeilly having only moved here for University. I am, however, quite sure from what I have read, and seen on advertisements, that The Valleys won’t be providing a realistic portrayal of the area I have come to know and understand over the past 12 months. “Smart, funny and authentic” is the official line from the MTV producers, although from what we already know, it seems unlikely to live up to that billing. Criticism has poured in for the show, as many fear that this will shine a negative light on the region and fail to live up to the promise of authenticity and accuracy. It’s really no wonder that there is such a feeling of apprehension, having seen other shows of a similar format. As such, the ‘Valleys are here’ campaign was set up to combat MTV’s presence, aiming to provide onlookers with the balance that the show is unlikely to provide. “This is entertainment at its most outrageous and soupedup, playing on crass and oversimplified stereotypes,” said Ciaran Jones for WalesOnline, having been invited to the preview screening earlier in the month. High-profile figures such as Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for the Rhondda, who called the show "hideously patronising", have also added their condemnation. Before the show has even aired, I can say with relative confidence
Many fear that this will shine a negative light on the region and fail to live up to the promise of authenticity
that it doesn’t pass the authenticity test. I have never been so unlucky as to have my night out in Cardiff city centre hijacked by the Valleys cast and their production team. However, I’m reliably informed by those who have that not only is it generally unpleasant, it also says a lot about the show's production. With crew members directing the cast, and telling them how to behave, it seems very unlikely that this show will present an authentic representation of the cast members, never mind the wider South Wales region. Then there’s the cast itself, many of who aren’t even from the Valleys. Hailing from towns and cities such as Bridgend, Port Talbot and Swansea, it suggests a lazy perception that Wales is all the same: full of declining towns and, as seen littering the advert, sheep. The cast breaking away from their communities to make it in the big city strikes of a show focused solely on entertainment, as opposed to a supposed authentic portrayal. Coming to Cardiff to make it, in a city smaller than Coventry and not much bigger than Stoke, represents the supposed pinnacle of ambition in the Valleys. But many will be able to see that there is far more to South Wales. Towns such as Merthyr Tydfil were once giants of industry and business through the steel trade, while the first ever £1 mil-
lion business contract was signed right here in Cardiff at the Coal Exchange, now a fantastic music and events venue. That reputation has deteriorated over time, epitomised by poet Dylan Thomas, who referred to his hometown of Swansea as the graveyard of ambition. Shows like The Valleys, and those who see it is a mark of aspiration, show an almost acceptance of that phrase, despite the region still offering so much. For example, the lead scientist at CERN, the home of Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider, was born and raised in the Valleys town of Aberdare; Wales’ first billionaire, entrepreneur and Celtic Manor owner Terry Matthews is from the town of Newbridge. People like this evidence what the region still has to offer on an international scale, and that aspirations don’t peak at getting wasted in Glam on a Friday night. So while the show might suggest a region all too ready to fester in mediocrity, it’s not necessarily the case. Whether or not the British public will fall for the warped version of life in South Wales likely to be presented, only time will tell. I’d like to think that many will be able to see past the clichés, stereotypes and one-sided portrayal, but, unfortunately, it’s likely that many won’t.
14/ Politics Spring in bloom: The other side of the Arab revolutionary coin Politics writer Gareth Dunn looks at the unrest in the Islamic world following the release of an inflamatory and blasphemous film depicting the Prophet Muhammad
he right to bear arms; the right to the freedom of speech; the intuitive desire to topple autocratic, oppressive and perverse governments bent on the subjugation and near-destruction of their nations. The United States of America is a nation built and maintained on the principle of protection, in all forms of the word; rights, livelihoods, lives, the list goes on. But when the time comes that the protectors come into direct conflict with the protected, how does or should Lady Liberty react? Restraint? Chastisement? Diplomatic disengagement? The events of September 2012, eleven whole years after the most dramatic and abominable event in relations between West and Middle East this century, heralds a long-awaited change between how not only the United States, but the Western World, engages with the new breed of Middle Eastern governments. Let us view this chain of events beginning at ‘Act One, Scene One’. On the 11th of September, the US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens was killed in a militant attack under the auspices of a religious protest. The object of the Libyans anger was a poorly made, provocative and farcical film, but the idea that that is all there is to it would be grossly misleading. Arab governments new and old, have been halfhearted in their condemnation of the protests, suggesting that the protests are not purely against the film that struck the match-
box. All of this must be viewed against the over-riding context of anti-Western sentiment in the region. Protest against the US itself and her steadfast Middle East ally Israel, may well be the true cause, but it is also an effect of this; anger fuelling anger. The reason such a firestorm
has erupted now is because of the surfacing of the film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’. The very nature of these new national governments, pseudo-Islamist and Islamist sympathetic ushered in with Western democratic values, put them and their citizens on a collision course with the very na-
By the 8th of September, the clip had been dubbed into Arabic, and was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people online. The 14 minute film was first posted online on the 1st of July, but did not gather much attention until it was picked up by various Arab TV stations.
tions that delivered them to power. Only time will tell whether this will cause substantial trade and military difficulties, but it is true that no such obstacles (certain nations notwithstanding) were in place during decades of autocracy. With that in mind, how does
Washington tip-toe her way around this new Middle Eastern crisis? By heavily criticising the new governments, the Obama administration runs the risk of looking like ‘toys-out-of-pram’ after not getting what they want for their substantial input in regime change, and further charges regional tensions. On the other side of the coin however, a less heavy-handed approach makes the United States and the Western World look weak in the face of the defence of the freedom of speech, and in defence of their own international clout. A simple warning may not turbo-charge problems, but it may well undermine US influence in the region for years to come. By leading the ‘Democratic World’, the US has finally fallen victim to her own good intentions, and finds herself in one heck of a catch-22. The answer, quite simply, would be to do nothing, ride the wave of this furore, and wait for it to wash over, as the US have done for the majority of Western-Middle Eastern crises over the past decade, but then Obama runs the risk of looking both weak, but also seeming above the situation. The only outcome this whole episode has served is to show the world that the unadulterated stupidity of a small number of men producing one truly ridiculous film has caused lives to be lost, and for civilisations to so easily, avoidably, but once again stand against each other. On behalf of the insanity of humanity, Mr. President, I apologise.
The biggest incidents occured at the US embassies in Yemen, Egypt and Libya where compounds were breached and flags torn down. On the 11th of September, the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi.
From the 8th to the 12th of September, vigorous protests broke out across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as other Muslim communities across the planet. Fiercest protest was centred around US and Israeli embassies.
By the 12th September YouTube "temporarily restricted access to the film in Libya and Egypt, but by then the protests had already caused considerable devastation.
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddpol
Cabinet reshuffle: A shift to the right? Thom Hollick Politics Editor
September finally brought an end to Parliament’s long summer recess and also meant a new look Cabinet that contained some new faces, who could have wideranging effects in the weeks and months ahead. It’s a favourite hobby of Political Commentators to dismiss reshuffles like this one as completely meaningless, since the bulk of the voting public probably do not know who the old cabinet were, let alone the new ministers who will be replacing them. But as well as this being mildly offensive to the intelligence of the population, it seems just incorrect, as frequently, ministers are shuffled out of office in order to make way for a new policy.
Ministers are shuffled out of office in order to make way for a new policy The prime example from this reshuffle is the removal of Justine Greening as Secretary of State for Transport. She was inside No. 10 for over an hour before she finally came out and announced moodily that she had been appointed as the new International Development Secretary, suggesting she definitely saw it as a demotion. The rumoured reason for her removal was her long-standing opposition to the building of a third runway at Heathrow airport as she is MP for the London Borough of Putney which lies right beneath possible new flight-paths. Her successor is former Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin, who is on record as being “open-minded” about a possible third runway. Unsurprisingly, opponents of a third runway have widely criticized this change, the most highprofile of which was London Mayor Boris Johnson who described Greening as “a first-rate Transport secretary." Elsewhere there were other important changes, including the move of Jeremy Hunt to the role of Health Secretary. The former Culture Secretary replaces Andrew Lansley, who himself replaces Sir George Young as Leader of the House of Commons, but it would be fair to say both men have faced their share of controversy over the last 12 months. While Hunt seems to have survived a potentially fatal series of misadventures over Rupert Murdoch’s failed bid for BskyB and then giving evidence to the phone-hacking inquiry, he also presided over the success of London’s Olympics, and buoyed up by that, he has landed
It was not a good reshuffle for women or ethnic minorities
a job he described as “the biggest privilege of [his] life." On the other hand, Andrew Lansley faced huge problems getting his controversial NHS reforms package through Parliament, and faced strong criticism from health professionals such as the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nurses. He has said that Health was the only government department he was ever interested in, so he will be disappointed by this move. It was not a good reshuffle for women or ethnic minorities (not that there are many choices for David Cameron in the current Conservative Parliamentary party), with Greening and Baroness Warsi being demoted to lower government roles, and Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan and Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman being removed altogether. Despite David Cameron claiming he would like a third of his Cabinet to be women, even after promoting Maria Miller to Culture and Theresa Villiers to Northern Ireland, only four of his 27 strong Cabinet are women. On a side note, seventeen are Oxbridge educated. The reshuffle finally sees the return of a Welsh MP to the role
of Welsh Secretary, with David Jones stepping into the role after a fairly long career in Welsh politics both in Westminster and in Cardiff.
The reshuffle finally sees the return of a Welsh MP to the role of Welsh Secretary The real question we need to ask about this new cabinet is whether or not it signifies a change of direction for the government. All the main players like George Osborne, Theresa May and William Hague are still in position, so that does not suggest any sort of radical departure, but a number of the changes lower down, hint towards a subtle repositioning for the Conservative leadership, perhaps to keep the rank-and-file Tories subdued. The elevation of right-wingers like Owen Paterson (the new Environment secretary), Maria Miller, and above all, of Chris Grayling to the role of Justice Secretary, suggest the age of Ken Clarke’s more Liberal brand of Conservatism may be coming to an end. Clarke was not removed entirely, but kept
on as minister without portfolio, to advise on economic and other matters. The Liberal Democrat side of the government on the other hand announced only minor readjustments amongst its lowerranking ministers. If it fails to assert itself against a Conservative Party drifting rightwards, the party could find itself even more the awkward partner, as Government policy on Europe and Social affairs stray even further from what they would hope. The overall outcome of this reshuffle will probably not be known for some time; all ministers fall into controversial circumstances sooner or later, it just remains to be seen how well the new recruits will cope with such pressures. In terms of a change of policy direction, that too will probably happen incrementally, but David Cameron will no doubt be hoping that this host of fresh faces will be able to revitalize the government with new ideas, perhaps reversing its declining poll ratings. But on the issue of the third runway at least, it looks like a decision will be deferred until some sort of consensus can be reached.
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18 / Science
Does a new Minister mean a new ethos? Christina Tran Science Writer
The 2012 Olympics opening ceremony celebrated the NHS as a subject of national pride; however, concerns over its management and structural reforms are making regular headlines. This is an obvious reflection of Britain's strong emotional attachment to its health service. Our obsession over the state of the NHS has subjected it to endless revolution and change, stirring up both political and social upheaval over the years of its existence. In 2010, former Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley set out proposals for a change in the way our health care would be managed. They received a frosty reception, and were criticised as a perilous shake-up and a conspiracy to privatise this public service.
ance from larger private health companies, confidence in the NHS is waning. Andrew Lansley is accused of taking a leading role in pushing the proposals for drastic NHS reform. A year ago, while he was still in the role, delegates at the Royal College of Nursing Conference spoke out in defiance of the change, with a 98 per cent
waiting lists, emerging scandals reveal the cost of understaffing in hospitals. It is not surprising that Lansley was met by unprecedented unpopularity from groups across the board. There appears to be a significant disconnection between Lansley's vision of a cost-efficient NHS and the reality of a potential healthcare
of business and marketisation at the heart of Lansley's unpopular NHS reforms. To regain even a morsel of public and political support, Jeremy Hunt will need to re-establish morale by collaborating with NHS staff and their unions. This may prove to be hard work for a man who was at the focal point
The Government has insisted that the NHS's annual costs must be lowered to more than 4 per cent
The NHS is the closest thing we have to a national religion The Government has insisted that NHS’s annual costs must be lowered by more than 4 per cent. This task is only manageable by introducing a scheme aimed at creating substantial savings in healthcare. Unfortunately, any cuts made to the system will damage the quality of care. However unpopular the health service becomes, demand for it will never be low. Cutting consultation times may mean patients will come back with more complicated health issues later on. Similarly, a reduction in NHS management could potentially give rise to inefficient organisation of the system at the expense of both patients and workers. With the loss of over 60,000 NHS posts across the UK and concerns that clinical commissioning bodies will seek guid-
whether Hunt appreciates – or agrees with – the fact that the health service is a prized national institution. Fundamental changes are a necessity to transform our NHS into a system that provides high quality care for each individual. It is first and foremost owned by the public it serves and attention must therefore be given to maintain the public service ethos of the NHS.
vote of no confidence against him. At this year's conference, he was questioned on the issues of NHS savings, pensions reform, and the potential closure of A&E and maternity units across the UK. He was removed in the Cabinet reshuffle shortly afterwards. There has been a cut of onethird of all beds in acute and general wards in the last 25 years. Accordingly, patients are being shifted like parcels from ward to ward in the middle of the night to compensate for bed shortages in the face of rising demand. As the NHS struggles with escalating
The number of written complaints received about NHS Service in 2011-2012 (an increase of 8.3% from 2010-2011)
meltdown. Given this context, it is unsurprising that the Cabinet reshuffle saw Lansley sacked and replaced by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. Hunt, however, has not been immune from political scandal himself, having been a key player in public fiascos such as News Corporation’s takeover bid for BSkyB and the Leveson Inquiry. Furthermore, in the interest of a deal worth £650m, Hunt was said to have pushed for a Virgin Care takeover of his constituency's NHS Trust – a push that purely serves to underline the issues
of the Murdoch scandal, and expressed an interest in promoting the private sector via governmental policy, a stance that will be contentious with NHS staff. Hunt has also professed that he will back homeopathy as viable medical treatment and reportedly argued for the removal of the NHS tribute from the Olympic opening ceremony. Firstly, the promotion of homeopathic medicine challenges the concept of evidence-based practice. Also, an objection against the celebration of the NHS at the opening games raises questions over
8,805,067.4 The cost in pounds sterling for all ingredients of prescription medicines in England in 2011
The length in days of the average stay in NHS beds
With modern day demographics revealing an ageing population and rising rates of obesity, Hunt will need to make sure that delivery of care meets the nation's high demands and expectations. He must look at the long-term issues, to create a health care system that is sustainable both financially and administratively. Andrew Lansley recognised the need to converge several secondary care services into fewer, high-class centres. Such changes attempt to strike a balance between the opposing requirements of maintaining an efficient service while pushing for savings. He successfully campaigned to protect the Haslemere hospital and Royal Surrey A&E, local services of his constituency, but the question remains as to whether he can do the same on a national scale. Politician Nigel Lawson once claimed that the NHS "is the closest we have to a national religion". Hunt will have to work to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessor and protect the same institution showcased with great acclaim at this year's Olympic opening ceremony.
The number of admissions to A&E where alcohol was the primary cause of incident
6,700,000 The number of outpatients appointments which were missed in 2010
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddsci
Father’s age linked to risks of autism and schizophrenia Victoria Pease Science Writer
New research published in the journal Nature (August 2012) suggests a link between paternal age and an increased risk of psychological mutations such as autism and schizophrenia to develop in their children. Although the findings deriving from this study are previously known, and hence do not prove that increased paternal age alone imparts the development of a mutation such as autism in a child, it emphasises a contributing risk factor linked to such diseases, and is the largest study providing this form of evidence thus far. deCODE Genetics, the company that ran the study in Reyjavik, Iceland, analyse the human genome to discover genetic risk factors in common diseases that range from cardiovascular disease to cancer. In better understanding the cause of new hereditary mutations, the study compared entire genome sequences of 78 trios of mother, father and child. Analysing the complete genome is integral to finding de novo mutations, i.e. spontaneous muta-
tions that develop during gametogenesis that are not inherited by parent sperm of egg cells. Analysing complete genome sequences singles out new mutations by distinguishing inherited ones from both parental sides, while available family information allows for understanding any environmental effects that may have an effect on the development of brain disorders. To provide effective evidence with a large enough population sample, additional 1,859 Icelanders were involved in the study in the comparison of genome sequences. Furthermore, by narrowing study participants down to the Icelandic population, confounding factors are
4G to be launched in major UK cities before Christmas David Mason Science Writer
Mobile network giant Everything Everywhere, recently rebranded as EE, is launching the UK’s first fourth generation mobile service, 4G. The launch, on Tuesday, September 11, while successful, came amid controversy that independent regulator Ofcom has granted EE an unfair advantage by allowing it to launch the service this early. Sixteen UK cities are to be included in this year's launch, with Cardiff, London, Birmingham and Bristol currently being used to test the service, expected to launch within weeks. EE aims to have achieved 98% UK coverage by 2014, though by this point, they will not be the sole 4G provider. The current third generation mobile service allows users to connect from a range of devices via wireless network from almost anywhere worldwide. It is expected that 4G will greatly extend the possibilities of the service, providing considerably faster download speeds alongside a greater level of connectivity, as
well as a stronger, faster signal to mobile devices, hindered considerably less by location. Initially, few handsets will be able to operate on a 4G signal, but it is expected that fourth generation service will rapidly replace its predecessor. Critics however, warn that very little improvement will be seen once the service becomes widespread and congested. Regardless, the download speed available shows clear progress in the future of mobile broadband. Other devices, such as connectivity adaptors for laptops, are expected to become available throughout 2013 as fourth generation mobile services rise in prominence. Alongside greater connectivity, use of 4G networks is expected to allow newly developing cloud storage technologies to reach wider audiences.
limited. Study results showed that fathers passed on nearly four times as many new mutations as mothers (55 versus 14), with random mutation numbers rising exponentially with age. Narrowing their data down further, researchers at deCODE Genetics found a two mutation per year increase in offspring with each one-year increase in the age of the father. In comparison, the number of mutations passed on by the maternal side was 15 at any age, while a child with a 20-yearold father had an average of 35 mutations passed on and a child of a 40-year-old
father an average of 65 found mutations. For disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, the study emphasises the mother’s age as no contributing risk factor, as it is for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome. Dr. Kari Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE Genetics, says de novo mutations would unsurprisingly play a significant role in brain disorders, as at least 50 percent of active genes play a role in neural development, making it less likely to affect organs that are not as exposed to such. Aside from this fact, the greater amount of random mutations, however, do not result in consequential brain disorders, just as an older paternal age is only one of many contributing factors that may lead to a child being born with autism. Around 20-30 percent of random mutations are thought to account for the case of autism, while the remaining percentage is defined by genetically inherited mutations as well as environmental factors.
Alan Turing Monopoly to be released Sarah Phillips Science Writer
A new limited edition of Monopoly has been produced to commemorate the work of Alan Turing. Known as the father of modern computing, Turing played a vital role in cracking the Enigma code as well as other German intelligence for the Allies during the Second World War. Sales of the 1,000 boards will also raise funds for the Bletchley Park heritage site’s reconstruction project. Originally a mathematics lecturer at Cambridge University, Turing took up work at Bletchley Park – the Government Code and Cipher School headquarters – at the outbreak of the war. Most famously, his design for an anti-Enigma 'bombe' led to Turing personally deciphering a form of Enigma that Germany was using in its U-boat attacks. Some historians believe that Bletchley Park’s code-breaking operation shortened the war
by as much as two to four years. Turing believed that he had discovered a code-based tactic to winning a game of Monopoly and he tested his theory on a board drawn up by the William Newman, the son of his mathematician friend Max Newman. Turing lost the game, and the new edition of Monopoly commemorates this moment, while celebrating the life of one of Britain’s wartime heroes. The board replaces the original properties with landmark places of significance in Turing’s life. Other special features include replacing the utilities with the Enigma Machine and Bombe, as well as substituting houses and hotels with huts and blocks (building names on Bletchley Park complex). The limited edition Alan Turing Monopoly board will be released this November in time for Christmas shopping. It will be available from the Bletchley Park shop and includes a novel paper copy of the original design drawn up by William Newman.
20 / Societies
Act One’s King Lear at the Edinburgh Fringe Vanessa Platt Societies Editor
In February this year, the University’s drama society, Act One, gave us their adaption of King Lear, co-directed by Piers Horner and Madison Fowler. It was a dark and savage re-working of Shakespeare’s infamous plot of uncompromising ambition and fierce revenge, set in a seemingly apocalyptic future Britain and retaining the powerful Shakespearean English. (An excellent overview by Katie Brown may be found in gair rhydd’s February 13th issue, no. 969 in the online 2011/12 archives).
Once the run had finished, however, Piers and Madison (Madison, incidentally, is to be credited with the original idea for Lear) found that the cast were not at all keen to relinquish their characters just yet. The actors asked the directors to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. "It was a lovely moment actually," recalls Piers. "One of our original aims as directors was to ensure the actors felt they had ownership of their parts in
the play, and this was clearly the case. It was their excitement that really spurred us to look into it." They managed, through some swift research and use of Madi's contacts, to secure vital sponsorship from the Students' Union, which covered production costs.
The actors asked the directors to take the show to Edinburgh As Piers told gair rhydd, "It’s extremely expensive to put plays on at the Fringe, with nearly all productions making a loss, but the prestige is such that thousands of the best shows from around the world make the trip." A £300 contribution from the Act One coffers later (the Fringe registration fee) and the finances were set, the commitment made. A venue was secured next. "It’s essential to match up the feel of a play to the feel of the venue," Piers commented. "We had to put together a marketing pack for the show and sell it to venues we felt were appropriate for the ‘feel’ of the production. One of our favourites was the prestigious Zoo group of venues. We applied for their 60-seater ‘The Aviary’. 60-seaters are the ‘standard’ size for Fringe venues, so we were very pleased, therefore, to hear back from Zoo offering us their 90-seat ‘The Monkey House’. Needless to say, we accepted!" With marketing now well underway and Twitter followers hitting 600, the arduous practi-
calities of streamlining the production took precedence. Piers reflects on the manic period of activity that was their summer: "There was a lot to learn in a very short space of time. One of the hardest things about a student society taking a show to Edinburgh is that there is very little time to rehearse, with cast and crew focussing on exams, then breaking up for the summer." In this respect, it would appear that the team had some advantage, having already performed Lear – but, as Piers recalls, this would turn out to be "a double-edged sword. New actors were needed, as not every member of the original cast could make the Fringe, and these actors needed to learn roles and develop relationships with the others" – all in a very short space of time. "The entire show also needed amending", continued Piers, "to account for the fact that the staging in The Monkey House is arranged as a thrust configuration, rather than in the traditional face-on style used for the original production." The show then needed to be cut from approximately two hours down to the venue’s specification of 75 minutes, meaning a total overhaul of choreography and music too (an original soundtrack by Glastonbury DJ Nick Cotton). It was indeed no mean undertaking. "We learned this the hard way!’ shared Piers. By the time they were in Edinburgh, however, the only real uncertainty
was the size of the audience – the average Fringe audience size, according to rumour, being two. This they blew, with audiences of between 20 and around 70 on their final night. With three Act One shows at the Fringe this year (Lear, Wuthering Heights and
The Institute), Cardiff University has never been so well represented and a huge congratulations must go to the Lear team, & all the teams from Cardiff University who presented shows in Edinburgh this year.
How to gain by giving back Vanessa Platt
Societies Editor The student-led charity, Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC), is entering another year, and has plans to be even bigger and better than past years, with the help of the students who participate in their projects helping the young, disadvantaged, elderly and vulnerable members of the Cardiff community. There has never been a more pertinent time for students to be engaged in voluntary work as a creative career move. The current deficiency in graduate jobs in the UK has meant that students must think about ways in which they can make themselves stand out, while employers are also looking for these qualities in applicants. Giving some of your time voluntarily – i.e. for no pay – implies
the best kind of commitment and self-motivation, which employers like to see beyond the successful completion of a degree. A survey by Reed Employment revealed that 73% of employers would employ someone with volunteering experience over those without. The Evening Standard, in their Charity Special (May 28th, 2012), highlight the advantages of volunteering, whatever your situation; in economic times that are tough for the majority, the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS) is brushing one million. If done with a genuine will to make a difference, volunteering shows great skills to an employer, such as motivation, time management, good communication skills and the desire for self-development by practicing such skills
through specific voluntary work; for example, an education volunteering project is valuable experience for applying to a PGCE course; a mental health project could be the key to getting experience in a hospital environment; and working with young people would give you a good insight into being a social worker.
My boss admitted my experiences with SVC convinced him to give me a job There is surely nowhere better to begin volunteering than at University, where those working with you are of similar age and situation, and there is the opportunity for real bonds to be forged – bonds of both friendship and
success on the graduate job ladder. Andy Swan, Vice-Chairman of Student Volunteering Cardiff, shares how his volunteering experience had positive repercussions when he applied for work placements: "I was on my placement year last year, and to get my perfect placement had to send off my CV to various extremely busy psychologists. My boss admitted it was my experiences with SVC (Thrive and Park Road) which caught his attention and made him decide to give me a job." SVC offers over 40 different volunteering projects, covering areas as diverse as mental health, learning difficulties, the environment, the elderly, homelessness, young people and education. The time commitment varies depending on which project you choose – some need weekly commitment,
whereas others are fortnightly or monthly. SVC is involved in one off volunteering events too, such as playground makeovers and beach clean days, so everyone should find something suitable to fit into a hectic timetable – and there is always room in any timetable for a bit of fun, so why not find some in volunteering? You may be surprised at just what you get back in return.
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddsoc
Watch out for the Jazz Society Rebecca Gardner Societies Writer
In September 2011, the Big Band Society arrived at the Freshers Fayre equipped with photos from the success of the previous year. The band had achieved a gold award at the regional round of the National Concert Band Festival, before travelling to Glasgow to pick up a national silver award. Although the committee realised the band’s profile had been raised, nothing could have prepared them for what was to come. 109 people signed up! A professional big band requires just 20 members, so the committee knew that, in order to improve performance quality and opportunities, something had to be done. An emergency meeting was called. Through this, the Jazz Society was formed – a committee initiative to reach out to more students, aiming itself not only at those who played jazz, but a variety of students wishing to perform and those who wish to socialise through jazz, keeping up to date with the Cardiff scene. A Jazz Orchestra was created to accommodate all instruments, multiple solo singers and several conductors. Singers also combined, making the Jazz Choir; the Big Band began auditioning for those wanting to tackle more challenging and complicated music; an established Saxophone Ensemble became affiliated to the society for its funding and performance prospects; and members were also encouraged to set up their own small ensembles. Opportunities became endless and the society started to grow. Barriers were broken at the
first social with a Rubik's Cube theme. Freshers were stripping off and swapping clothes in public, while giving a positive response to the society change along the way. Socials then be-
to entice first years, the venue matched the society’s colour theme and provided the perfect arena for a fantastic evening. The Christmas theme proved a hit and the night was great fun for
by giving a modern take on the genre through ‘funk inflicted riot jazz’. The eight-piece band had a fantastic time, especially their DJ scratching tuba player, who proved incredibly memorable!
came jazzier with trips to Café Jazz, where members watched live music, often before venturing into town (a very sophisticated pre-drinks!). Later socials included bowling, ice-skating, more gigs and a three-course Christmas dinner. After many successful socials, the next challenge for the committee was to hold an event for all Jazz Society ensembles. A ‘Jazz Spectacular’ night was planned. Held at Talybont Social Centre
performers and audience alike. A second Jazz Spectacular was held at CF10 before the Easter break. This event included more ensembles on two stages – the audience was spoilt for choice! Global Village is a highlight of the year for most societies, but the Big Band Society had never performed. This had to be rectified, and the Jazz Society entered to perform Bobby Kaner’s Newblood. The performance raised the society’s profile
More opportunities came when the Jazz Society made connections with Dan and Laura Curtis, protectors of the Great American Songbook. This venture began with last year’s President contacting the pair after an appearance on The One Show. Members learnt about the origins of music they love to play and the Big Band was soon invited to perform as part of a 1940s night at Penrhiwceiber Hall. Dan and Laura were so impressed with
the band that they added it to the programme of the Lord Mayor’s Gala Concert at the BBC’s Hoddinott Hall. After wowing the audience, it was discovered that they were the first Big Band to ever perform at this venue! The Cardiff University Big Band went from strength to strength, hosting evenings at Dempsey’s, the Irish bar on Castle Street, which filled the venue and impressed those watching with their professional attitude. Possibly their greatest achievement to date was the trip to Sunderland for the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. Three days, two minibuses, one van, six drivers, 26 musicians and a lot of equipment later, the weekend turned out to be well worth the efforts of those involved. The band performed alongside some of the best Big Bands in Britain and did themselves proud. They left the North with fantastic comments from professional judges, feeling justifiably delighted with their triumph. As the year came to an end, the society held its Annual General Meeting, which included the introduction of two new committee roles: publicity officer and musical coordinator. The new committee was elected and, although the previous officers were sad to leave, they knew the 201213 group would push the society even further. For more information on the Jazz Society, contact Rebecca Gardner at jazzsociety@cardiff. ac.uk or visit cardiffuniversityjazzsociety.co.uk. For more information on the Cardiff University Big Band, visit cardiffuniversitybigband.co.uk.
The Cardiff Earth Spirituality Circle They welcome all who are interested or practicing in paganism, tarot, divination, angelic healing, crystal work and reiki just to name some! They will be holding talks and offering workshops to help members to develop themselves spiritually and to have the opportunity to try new things!
A newly affiliated society this year (so they are small and keen to enlarge!), this group exists to provide support for students of alternative belief systems, and those with an interest in alternative therapies and lifestyles.
22 / Taf-Od
Dydd Llun Medi'r 24ain 2012 | @taf_od
Graddau gwell i dros 2,000 o ddisgyblion, newyddion da? Tomos Lewis Golygydd
Yn dilyn penwythnos o ailraddio papurau arholiad TGAU Saesneg miloedd o fyfyrwyr o Gymru, cyhoeddodd Cydbwyllgor Addysg Cymru (CBAC) wythnos diwethaf fod 2,386 o fyfyrwyr wedi derbyn graddau gwell na y cawsant yn wreiddiol, gyda graddau 1,202 yn codi o radd D i radd C. Daeth y gorchymyn i ailraddio’r papurau gan y Gweinidog Addysg, Leighton Andrews, oedd yn credu bod newid ffiniau’r graddau cyn yr arholiad yn annheg ar y disgyblion. Mae’r penderfyniad i ailraddio’r papurau yn amlwg wedi achosi cryn anghytuno, yn enwedig yn dilyn penderfyniad Ysgrifennydd Addysg San Steffan, Michael Gove i wrthod caniatáu i bapurau myfyrwyr o Loegr cael eu hailraddio. Nid yn unig yw’r penderfyniadau cyferbyniol hyn yn ymddangos i fod yn annheg ar fyfyrwyr, ond maent hefyd yn creu dryswch, oherwydd eu bod yn golygu bod graddau ‘D’ yn Lloegr mewn rhai achlysuron yn gyfatebol i radd ‘C’ yng Nghymru. Mae’n bosib dadlau bod llawer
mwy o broblemau wedi dod yn amlwg o’r sefyllfa hyn, yn ogystal â beth sy’n cael ei drafod yn y cyfryngau yn bresennol. Mor hawdd ag yr oedd ailraddio papurau a chodi graddau rhai o fyfyrwyr, mae’r safon yn amlwg wedi gostwng ers arholiadau TGAU blwyddyn diweddaf, ac nid yw newid ‘D’ i ‘C’ yn profi llawer yn nhermau safon perfformiadau’r myfyrwyr yn gyffredinol. A ddylem ni ddim bod yn galw ar ein myfyrwyr ifanc i anelu at ‘A’, ac nid at ‘C’? Ydym ni’n troi mewn i genedl sydd yn rhy fodlon gyda ‘C’, gyda bod yn ganolig, heb awydd i wthio am y marciau gorau posib? Os felly, ydy’r agwedd hyn hefyd yn cael ei adlewyrchu yn ein cymdeithas?
enghraifft Cymraeg a Saesneg, a ddylem ni ddim gwthio myfyrwyr a disgyblion i gyrraedd safonau uwch o siarad, ysgrifennu a chyfarthrebu, nid yn unig canolbwyntio ar lwyddiant a graddau
myfyrwyr yn dilyn arholiadau. Mae Ysgrifennydd Addysg San Steffan, Michael Gove, yng nghanol cynllunio system newydd o asesu, fydd yn disodli'r TGAU traddodiadol mewn ysgolion yn
Lloegr yn y dyfodol agos. Mae Gove yn honni bydd y cynllun yn helpu codi safonau, yn y gobaith i gystadlu yn rhyngwladol yn nhermau safon addysg. Yn y cynllun hwn, fydd yn effeithio ysgolion yn Lloegr yn unig, bydd pynciau craidd, megis ieithoedd, mathemateg a gwyddoniaeth yn cael eu hasesu trwy gyfrwng newydd - yr ‘English Baccalaureate Certificate’.
graddau 1,202 yn codi o radd D i radd C Er na fydd y system newydd yn effeithio ar fyfyrwyr TGAU yng Nghymru yn uniongyrchol, mae’n fwy na tebyg y bydd newidiadau yn system addysg Lloegr yn gorfodi'r Senedd i daro golwg ar y ffordd mae disgyblion yn cael eu hasesu yng Nghymru. Yn sicr, mae’r digwyddiadau diweddar wedi denu mwy o sylw at y ddadl ynglyn â’r system addysg, a gobeithio y bydd y sylw yn achosi pobl i drafod ag edrych ar ffyrdd i wellhau addysg myfyrwyr y dyfodol.
2,386 o fyfyrwyr wedi derbyn graddau gwell Yn amlwg, does dim siom mewn cael gradd ‘C’ mewn unrhyw bwnc, ond rhaid gofyn pa mor safonol yw Saesneg unigolyn os yw eu marciau ar y ffin rhwng ‘C’ a ‘D’. Mewn pynciau craidd, sy’n holl bwysig ar gyfer dyfodol agos a phell myfyrwyr, er
Gwladgarwch a'r Gemau Olympaidd
Angharad Hywel sy'n trafod effaith y Gemau Olympaidd ar deimladau o wladgarwch yng Nghymru a Prydain
ros yr haf, treuliodd miliynau o bobl ar draws y byd oriau maith yn dilyn hynt a helynt gemau Olympaidd Llundain 2012. Mae’n debyg fod y gemau ymysg y rhai gorau a gynhaliwyd erioed, yn enwedig i dîm Prydain, wrth iddynt gipio 29 medal aur. Lledaenodd ewfforia’r gemau i bob cwr o Brydain gan achosi ymchwydd mewn gwladgarwch Prydeinig. Dyma beth awgrymwyd gan y cyfryngau torfol. Honnwyd gan y BBC a’r papurau newydd cenedlaethol fod Jac yr Undeb yn hedfan yn falch ym mhob twll a chornel o’r ynysoedd hyn. Ond, a oedd hynny’n wir? Dechreuodd y cyffro yn fuan iawn wedi cyhoeddiad y gemau, gan ymchwyddo eleni wrth i’r fflam gael ei chario o ardal i ardal. Croesawyd y ffagl gan luoedd o wladgarwch yn chwifio baneri yn frwdfrydig ym mhob man yr âi. Nid baneri Jac yr Undeb yn unig a chwifiwyd. Roedd Cymru wledig yn fôr o faneri coch, gwyn a gwyrdd yn mynegi balchder
Cymreig am gemau Prydain. Chwyddodd y cyffro yn fwy ac
yn fwy, cyn ffrwydro gyda seremoni agoriadol hynod Brydeinig
ei naws. Parhaodd drwy gydol cyfnod y gemau, ac mae dal i’w deimlo, dros fîs ar ôl i'r gemau Olympaidd ddod i ben. O wrando ar sylwebaeth y BBC, byddai rhywun yn meddwl ein bod ni gyd: Cymry, Albanwyr, Gwyddelod a Saeson, yn un genedl falch yn ymfalchïo yn 'medal haul’ Prydain fel criw o forladron newydd ddarganfod trysor. Roedd y sgriniau mawr, y stampiau arbennig a’r blychau post aur hefyd yn cadarnhau’r llawenydd cenedlaethol. Ond, yn fuan iawn fe gafodd y BBC glamp o row am bwysleisio llwyddiant Prydain yn ormodol a pheidio sôn am hanesion eraill y gemau - na sôn am enillwyr o wledydd eraill chwaith. Ac yn dynn ar sodlau’r BBC, oedd y gwleidyddion hefyd. Llwyddon nhw ddefnyddio’r gemau, ynghyd â’r jiwbilî yn gynharach yr haf, i hysbysebu cryfder undod Prydeinig. Yn wir, gyda’r Alban ar drothwy refferendwm ar annibyniaeth, ni allai ddigwyddiadau’r haf ddod ar adeg gwell i roi bawd yn llygaid Alex Salmond a’i ffrindiau. Do, fe ddaru’r 68 o Gymry a
gystadlodd yn y gemau yn rhagorol. Enillwyd 7 medal, 3 ohonynt yn aur, yn y Gemau Olympaidd, ynghyd a 14 medal yn y Gemau Paralympaidd. Pe byddai Cymru wedi cystadlu fel gwlad annibynnol yn y gemau Olympaidd, byddai wedi dod yn 23 yn nhabl y medalau, rhwng Brasil a De Affrica. Yn ôl rheolau swyddogol y gemau, doedd athletwyr Cymru ddim yn cael chwifio baner y Ddraig Goch. Ond, mi aeth Jade Jones o’r Fflint, yn erbyn y rheolau hyn; dathlodd ennill medal aur yn y Taekwondo gyda’r Ddraig Goch dros ei hysgwyddau. Mi wnaeth y Cymry yn anhygoel, gan godi balchder Cymreig ond ar draul cynyddu gwladgarwch Prydeinig. Er ymdrechion y cyfryngau torfol a’r gwleidyddion i ledaenu’r ymchwydd mewn gwladgarwch Prydeinig ar draws y wlad, ceir yr argraff mai byrhoedlog fydd yr ewfforia hyn. Amser a ddengys. Ond yn wir, nid Jac yr Undeb oedd i’w gweld yn chwifio yng Nghymru wledig dros yr haf, ond baneri coch, gwyn a gwyrdd.
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26 / Puzzles CHALLENGING
word wheel. How many words of three or more letters, each including the letter at the centre of the wheel, can you make from this diagram? We've found 20, including a nine-letter word. Can you do better?
L S U C
XPRESS RADIO .co.uk WIN! 2X TICKETS TO SEE EXAMPLE LIVE AT THE MOTORPOINT ARENA CARDIFF 25TH FEBRUARY To enter, LIKE our facebook page and SHARE our latest photo like: facebook.com/xpressradio
catch xpress live in the kitchen, cardiff uni students' union this wednesday, thursday and friday grab yourself prizes including posters & the latest must have albums courtesy of our friends at 'beggar's group' come and say hello and get involved live on air to join the xpress radio team, or any other cardiff student media group, attend the ďŹ rst media meeting 5pm in solus on 1st october email: email@example.com
Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
Team Europe get set to retain Ryder Cup Tom Parry-Jones Sub-editor
Almost two years ago, South Wales played host to golf’s most prestigious international competition, the Ryder Cup. The three-day contest between the best players from Europe and the United States is played every two years, with the two regions taking turns to entertain the great and the good of golf. With Newport’s Celtic Manor having set the stage for Europe’s one-point win in 2010 – culminating with a thrilling final day when the United States were only just unable to overturn a three-point deficit at the start of the day – the focus now shifts to this year’s competition at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. This picturesque course in the suburbs of Chicago has previously hosted three US Open tournaments, as well as two PGA Championships in 1999 and 2006 – both won by Tiger Woods – but this will be its first Ryder Cup. With three of the top four-
ranked golfers in their ranks, including world number 1 Rory McIlroy, Team Europe will be hoping to win the tournament on American soil for the first time since 2004, when they recorded their greatest margin of victory in Ryder Cup history at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield, Michigan. As well as McIlroy, there are six other Britsw on the European team, including the two most
experienced team members: Lee Westwood (39), making his eighth Ryder Cup appearance, and Paul Lawrie (43), in only his second. Europe’s only Ryder Cup rookie (in comparison to the United States’ four rookies) is the 29-year-old Belgian, Nicolas Colsaerts, who could be one to watch over the course of the competition, having won the
Indifferent start to Champions League Tom Parry-Jones Sub-editor
The English teams in this year’s Champions League got off to a mixed start last week, as Arsenal and Manchester United both recorded wins, while English champions Manchester City lost to Real Madrid and Champions League holders Chelsea drew 2-2 with Juventus. In the biggest game of the opening week, Manchester City travelled to nine-time European champions Real Madrid. Despite taking a 2-1 lead with five minutes to go, City were unable to close
the game out and, following a stunning equaliser from Benzema in the 87th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo – formerly of Manchester United – sent City home with no points. In the other Tuesday game to feature an English side, Olivier Giroud started for Arsenal against his former club, Montpellier, despite having yet to break his duck for the club. True to form, Giroud again failed to score, and it was left to Lukas Podolski and Gervinho to rescue the Gunners after they went behind to a Younès Belhanda penalty. On Wednesday, Manchester
United welcomed a Galatasaray side that seemed a shadow of its formerly terrifying self. Nevertheless, United were only able to scrape a 1-0 win, Michael Carrick scoring in the 7th minute. Nani should have made it two, but his poor penalty continued United’s spot-kick woe for the season to three in a row. Finally, Chelsea squandered a 2-0 lead against a Juventus side that had gone unbeaten in Serie A last season. After an Oscar double for the Blues, Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella scored for the Bianconeri to share the spoils.
World Match Play Championship and finished joint-seventh at the Open Championship earlier this year. There is plenty of experience in the American team, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods all having made at least seven appearances at the Ryder Cup. However, there are also plenty of unknown quantities, with Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb
Simpson and Brandt Snedeker all making their debuts at Medinah. Both teams are full of quality, but judging by the world rankings of each player, and given the advantage of playing on a home course, the upper-hand may just be with the United States this year.
England kick off World T20 defence
Tom Parry-Jones Sub-editor
Coming off the back of a mediocre summer against South Africa, the England cricket team began their defence of the ICC World Twenty20 title last week with group matches against Afghanistan and India. As reigning champions and leaders in the ICC T20I Championship rankings, England were widely expected to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the competition, which is being held in Sri Lanka, and looked in good shape with warm-up wins over Australia and Pakistan. With Kevin Pietersen in inter-
national exile, England will be relying on their youthful opening pair of wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales to pile on the runs. Youth is prevalent throughout the side, and captain Stuart Broad (26) will look to spinner Graeme Swann (33) for experience and vital wickets. Although England sit atop the T20 world rankings, hosts Sri Lanka were widely considered to be the pre-tournament favourites, and they will be hoping that the inventive batting of Tillakaratne Dilshan and iconic bowling of Lasith Malinga will provide the impetus for them to claim their first world title since they hosted the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy.
30 / Sport
Hillsborough: a hidden tragedy Felix Bramley Sport Writer
On April 15th, 1989, Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield hosted an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The match is remembered as one of the greatest tragedies in footballing history, with a death toll of 96. The Leppings Lane Stand allocated to Liverpool was hugely overcrowded. This, combined with an insufficient number of turnstiles and inadequate policing, spelled disaster. When the overcrowding reached tipping point, people were forced forward against the metal fencing that surrounded the pitch to prevent invasions. This meant that there was no escape and those unable to climb the fence were brutally crushed and trampled.
This meant that there was no escape and those unable to climb the fence were brutally crushed and trampled Initial reactions to Hillsborough failed to acknowledge the most palpable cause: inadequate policing. Instead, statements were released blaming Liverpool fans for hooliganism, claiming that malicious violence caused the disaster. Even at the time, police failed to see the problem and prevented ambulances from entering the stadium; over 40 ambulances arrived, yet only one was let in. Further, police prevented people from leaving the stadium to access the ambulances. Among all of the tragedy, this, unbelievably,
was to prevent clashes between the Liverpool fans wishing to escape and the Nottingham Forest fans situated on the side of the ground nearest the ambulances. The Hillsborough disaster has re-entered the public domain as the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel were released last week. The report found that based on post mortem examinations, had the emergency services' reactions and co-ordination been improved, up to 41 of the deceased may have survived. In
Initial reactions to Hillsborough failed to acknowledge the most palpable cause: inadequate policing
addition, it found that no Liverpool fans were responsible in any way for the disaster, and that the main cause of the disaster was a "lack of police control". This report draws a line under the disaster, restoring the respect of Liverpool Football Club through unveiling the truth. The tragedy will never be forgotten, but at least now it will be remembered correctly.
OBITUARY On September 15th, 2012, Ulster Rugby lost one of its greatest young talents, as Nevin Spence tragically died in a farming accident alongside his father Noel (52) and his brother Graham (30). As well as rugby, Spence also had great talent in association football, in which he was capped by Northern Ireland at U16 level. Ultimately, though, rugby won his heart, and he joined Ballynahinch RFC, where he was part of their 2008/09 season, in which they famously won the quadruple. During his time with Ballynahinch, Spence won 11 caps for Ireland U20s, scoring four tries. He was awarded his first Ulster cap against the Ospreys in April 2010. His first full season at senior level was 2010/11, when he made his Heineken Cup debut against Biarritz. That season, he gained international ‘A’ grade honours when he was called up to the Irish Wolfhounds squad for matches against Scotland ‘A’ and England Saxons. In 2011, he was named Young Player of the Year at the Irish Rugby Football Union Players’ Association Awards. While he only made 18 appearances for Ulster last season due to injury, he continued his progress in the Ireland jersey, playing against the Barbarians last May. The death of somebody so talented and so young has come as a shock to everyone across the game. Nevin Spence will be greatly missed by his family, friends, team-mates, and everyone who knew him.
Nye Davies Sport Writer
World Cup mascot revealed Kieran Davey Sport Writer
With just two years to go until World Cup fever hits the samba nation, FIFA have announced their new mascot for the upcoming tournament in Brazil. The mascot, a yet-to-be-named armadillo, was unveiled on Sunday during a national television show, with the assistance of former Seleção favourite Ronaldo. The three-banded armadillo, an endangered species in Brazil, was selected by members of FIFA, including Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, who said that the mascot was chosen to communicate "the importance of the environment and ecology". FIFA have also given the Bra-
The three-banded armadillo, an endangered species in Brazil, was selected by members of FIFA, who said the the mascot was chosen to communicate "the importance of the environment and ecology"
zilian FA until November to choose the mascot's name from three possible options: Amijubi, Fuleco and Zuzeco. "The mascot will play a key ambassadorial role in the next two years," said Ronaldo. "I'm sure he will inspire many young football fans in Brazil and all over the world with the great passion which he has for the sport and for his country." The FIFA World Cup has a colourful and varied history of mascots, from Willie, the pioneering lion in
England's victorious 1966 campaign, to South Africa 2010's leopard, Zakumi, who appeared in the green and yellow colours of his country. It remains to be seen whether Brazil's new hero can have the same impact on the global stage as those before it.
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Monday September 24th 2012 | @gairrhyddsport
This summer, three Cardiff Students helped contribute to the best Olympic Games ever. Here are their stories…
Steph “Birdy” Bird As it turned 4am, I expect many of you were fast asleep (or just finishing your kebab after a night in town), enjoying your wellearned summer break. However, I found myself wrapped up in a regal purple and poppy red uniform, umbrella in hand, making my way to the Olympic Park as one of the 70,000 Games MakThis summer, I took part in the Paralympics as a Wayfinding Team Member at the North Greenwich Arena, better known as the O2. This meant I became one of the thousands of people wearing the crazy uniform and the big pink finger, smiling through the rain and revelling in the sun. When I turned up for my first shift, I was unsure as to what my duties would be, but I was instantly welcomed into the group and taken under the wing of an Olympics veteran, Anu. Having worked at the North Greenwich Arena during the Olympics, she was completely in the know and made me feel right at home. As the first spectators trickled in, she was a bouncing, shouting beacon of joy and it was so infectious I found myself joining in,
ers. With my initial application and interview a distant memory, I was ready to put all my training into practice. My role with Event Services Games Mobility was to ensure that every spectator, regardless of their disability, could enjoy the Games. This involved driving a golf buggy, manning
the shuttle stops, free loaning of mobility equipment and helping push wheelchairs. I even helped several athletes, including ParalympicsGB's Martine Wright and French silver-medallist Stéphane Houdet. The atmosphere inside the Olympic Park was electric from start to finish and each day brought something new; whether it was seeing Boris Johnson, becoming an ‘unofficial’ photographer, having a near-collision with
Paralympic Games, which is why I urge those who have never volunteered to do so. My summer may have been crammed with 12-hour shifts, early mornings, late nights, downpours, sunshine, achy feet and too many stories that I couldn’t possibly list, but would I do it all again? In a heartbeat.
a completely family-friendly affair. There was no comparison between this and a Premiership football game. And I've seen the abuse my English friends have had after a Wales v England rugby match; it's vitriolic. No, this was something completely unique. Naturally, the highlights were the two Team GB matches. Selling out the Millennium Stadium is something the Welsh FA could
only dream about. What's more, the Welsh players contributed hugely. Joe Allen played beautifully, Neil Taylor increased his reputation, and Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy both got on the scoresheet. Anyone who visited the capital during these brilliant few weeks will leave with nothing but good words to say about Cardiff. We did ourselves proud.
Jo Redman dancing for the public and chanting directions. From then on, I knew I’d made the right choice in volunteering, meeting more likeminded people and some amazing spectators, including the occasional Paralympic athlete coming to support their country. My shifts became a blur of pictures with the public and pink fingered high-fives. As the week went on, I began to converse more with the spectators and realised just how appreciated I was, continually thanked for my contribution, even receiving the occasional badge and spare icecream when the sun decided to come out.
But I think the best bit for me, as a Londoner born and bred, was travelling to and from my shifts in my uniform. From door to door, all I received was welcoming smiles and friendly chatter. The Olympics and Paralympics truly transformed London for one unforgettable summer. I’m now planning to get involved with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the next Olympics in Rio! I would recommend it to anyone, paid or unpaid, it’s a brilliant experience and you make some true friends.
players childishly refusing to sing the anthem, the public loved it. I spoke to numerous locals during my shifts, as well as people from all over Britain, and no one had a bad word to say about it. The first game day, played out in blazing sunshine, had an atmosphere that I’d only experienced previously at the Cardiff Half Marathon. The best element for me was, indeed, the atmosphere. It was
What an honour it was to help Cardiff host part of the football at London 2012. People forget that the very first Olympic event was in the Millennium Stadium. Just like our Games Maker colleagues, we'd had our training
a ketchup stand or escorting Sue Barker across the park. The best experience of it all was not meeting the well-known athletes, the free trip up the orbit or even being in the Olympic Park. No, it was being able to be part of something truly magical that put beaming smiles on people’s faces across the world and showed how wonderful Great Britain is. I got to meet many inspirational people over both Olympic and
days, we'd been kitted out in very flattering pink and purple tops, and we were ready to go. To my mind, Wales embraced the Team GB football idea brilliantly. Despite the posturing from the Welsh FA, and the Welsh
Cardiff Uni student helps Paralympics GB claim bronze Viktor Tsvetanov Sport Editor
In the midst of the London Paralympics and just a few weeks before the start of the 2012/13 academic year, Cardiff University student Jenny McLoughlin, joined by Bethany Woodward, Katrina Hart and another Welsh athlete, Olivia Breen, finished third in the T35-38 4x100m relay behind Russia and China. Despite the amazing performance of the British athletes, McLoughlin and the rest of the team faced an anxious wait to see if they were disqualified.
“I think I went a bit too early," McLoughlin said. “I tried to slow down a bit, but I really thought I was out of the box at the end." Eventually, the British team could sit back in relief as they were confirmed as bronze medallists, while Australia and Germany were disqualified. This meant that Wales kept up their record of winning a medal on every day of the Games. “I didn’t know, but then Olivia ran over and said we got bronze. I was so relieved. I thought I had messed up, but I hadn’t,” McLoughlin explained. London 2012 was not the
first Olympics for 20-year-old McLoughlin, who was born in Stockport. At Beijing 2008, she took part in both the 100m and 200m sprints in the T37 class. Along with her sports engagements, in 2010, McLoughlin, who now lives in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, completed her Alevels, which allowed her to take up a degree at Cardiff University.
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Published on Sep 23, 2012