CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY
freeword - EST. 1972
ISSUE 902 SEPTEMBER 28 2009
9 0 0 2 s rd a w A ia d e M t n e d tu S n uardia G r a Ye e th f o r e p a sp w e N t n e Shortlisted for Stud INSIDE: Your new-look Quench brings you the latest FEATURES FASHION INTERVIEWS MUSIC FILM TRAVEL GAY FOOD PHOTOS BOOKS ARTS Exposed: The rogue landlords using internet scams to ...and more!
Safe as houses? get students paying for houses that don’t even exist Emma McFarnon News Editor
Students should be wary of bogus landlords trying to trick them into giving up their bank details to secure properties that do not actually exist, police have warned. The con typically involves advertising “bargain properties” on free listing websites, such as Gumtree. Victims are told by the “landlord” that the property can only be viewed if they give their bank account details, after which their money is then stolen. Detective Sargeant Chris Felton, from the Metropolitan Police’s Fraud Prevention, told the BBC that the property adverts typically have no telephone numbers and provide only
a free email address such as Hotmail or Googlemail. “If you are being asked to send money up front without being certain the property exists, then you need to be very, very careful,” he said. “Think once, think twice, ask some friends, get some advice and if you’re ultimately not happy don’t send any money.” One local student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told of how she was conned by a man claiming to be a letting agent. “My mum owns a four-bedroom student property and we posted an advert on the website, Gumtree. A man named Omar Amin called us and said he would let our property, had a list of students looking for a house and would match our current agency fee. “He was so charming and laid back, and anything odd I put down to
him being relaxed. But he soon started letting me down, arriving late or not turning up to meet me. “One girl was fooled by the advertisement for our house, paid him a deposit, turned up to move in and he didn’t show. She can’t get hold of him now, neither can I. Luckily the only money I lost was the fee to change the locks, but she has no money to place a deposit on another house, no place to stay. I wonder, how many other students have been conned by our property?” The National Union of Students (NUS) has advised students to use their universities for accommodation guidance. Ben Whittaker from the NUS said: “There are plenty of houses out there ... Go to your universities, your students’ unions. Even if they can’t accommodate you they will often point you in the right direction.”
Edward Dolding, Welfare Campaigns and Communications Officer at Cardiff University, said: “There are a number of issues about landlords giving a disproportionate display of what they offer. The private landlords list available through the University offers checked houses, but it’s sometimes used as a front. “Often students will ring the landlords to enquire about the checked property they saw advertised, and landlords will say that specific one isn’t available but some others are. Students need to understand that those other properties haven’t been approved by the University.
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Nominated best magazine at the Guardian Student Media Awards 2009
GOING OUT: GETTING YOU READY
FASHION: THE NEW VINTAGE
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
I fought the law (school) Jamie Thunder News Editor
EDITOR Emma Jones DEPUTY EDITOR Simon Lucey CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan SUB EDITOR Sarah Powell NEWS Ceri Isfryn Gareth Ludkin Emma McFarnon Jamie Thunder FEATURES Daniella Graham Robin Morgan OPINION Oli Franklin Paul Stollery COLUMNISTS Tim Hart Oli Franklin POLITICS Damian Fantato LISTINGS Steve Beynon Ed Bovingdon TAF-OD Nia Gwawr Williams Cynan Llwyd Cadi Mai SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT Amy Hall Priya Raj JOBS &MONEY Katie Greenway SPORT Joe Davies Adam Horne Lucy Morgan Robbie Wells CONTRIBUTORS Laura-Emily Dunn Luke Alexander Snell Jack Jordon Alex Evans Kerry-Lynne Pyke
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A High Court judge has forced Cardiff University to reconsider a student’s claim for extenuating circumstances after he found that the University had acted unfairly in its appeals process. In a written judgement, Mr. Justice Wyn Williams quashed decisions made by the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Committee and Examining Board because two members of staff who had given evidence to the bodies also participated in the decision-making process. The Examining Board must now decide whether to accept Alice Clarke’s argument that her re-sit mark for the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) module Negotiation should not be capped at 50% because of the events leading up to the first assessment. The rejected decisions relate Ms. Clarke’s Negotiation exam, taken in March 2005. Ms. Clarke originally received a mark of 46%, below the pass mark of 50%, but submitted a claim for extenuating circumstances. In her claim she alleged that she had been ‘upset and disturbed’ after speaking to two tutors – Andrew Jerram and Hannah Walsh – just before the exam. All BVC students had been asked to bring their textbooks from a previous exam, Opinion Writing, for inspection as there were concerns that some students had annotated them unfairly. Ms. Clarke had not received the messages asking her to bring the books
and was told she would have to return to her home in Swansea and bring the books in that day, a total journey of at least three hours. Ms. Clarke blamed her result on her stress at this news, and re-sat the Negotiation exam in June. She achieved a mark of 62%, but as it was her second attempt she was only awarded the minimum pass mark of 50%. On the same day as the re-sit the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Committee considered Ms. Clarke’s claim. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Jerram, and Ms. Walsh also took part. It was resolved by the Committee to reject Ms. Clarke’s appeal. The matter went to a re-convened Examining Board, which upheld the Committee’s decision. Both Mr. Jerram and Ms. Walsh provided their version of the facts of Ms. Clarke’s case and were present throughout the meeting. In nullifying the two decisions, Mr. Justice Williams said he regarded it as ‘unfair that Mr. Jerram and Ms. Walsh participated in this decision-making process ... [as] they were providing a version of the relevant facts which were at odds with the Claimant's assertions’. He also noted that it could be considered unfair that Ms. Clarke was not asked to give her representation of the facts at either the Committee or the Board meeting while Mr. Jerram and Ms. Walsh did so at both, but did not reach a concluded view on the issue as the relevant decisions were already being quashed.
Students warned about landlord fraud continued from front page “Remember, don’t give away any bank details, go with an accredited agency, and if in doubt, get advice. There is a service available within the Union called ARC (Advice and Representations Centre) who can help you with any queries you might have.” Students Liaison Officer for Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan universities and for Cardiff Council, Kieran McCann, said: “There is a lot of information available about living away from home in your first year, but education often falls short when students are moving into a privately-owned property.” Kieran advises students to use the unique website www.cardiffdigs. co.uk to find the answer to any housing queries. “It’s a one-stop site for student living. It gives you a list of accredited agents, information about how to secure your property, and even tips for people who are already in their privately-rented houses. “For those already in accommoda-
tion, look under ‘Downloads’ and read the ‘Cardiff Living Brochure’. It’s full of useful advice.” He added: “There are over 110 unaccredited letting agents in Cardiff. This isn’t to say that they are all bad, but you can be anyone to set up a letting agent, without needing any prior knowledge, training or qualifications. You can even have a criminal record. “We hope that by 2011 this will have changed because of the Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme. It recognizes good landlords, and allows tenants to find landlords who offer well-managed accommodation. It aims to ensure that landlords operate in a professional manner. “Under the scheme, Welsh universities including Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan will ensure all their listed landlords have been accredited.” ARC is located on the 3rd floor of the Student’s Union. You can drop in any time between 10am-3pm, or telephone 029 2078 1410. Alternatively, students can visit Cardiff Student Letting on the ground floor of the Union.
Cardiff graduate Alice Clarke took the University to the High Court Mr. Justice Williams made no rul- University offered to Ms. Clarke in ing on the lawfulness of an Examining October 2006. Had Ms. Clarke taken Board decision on a separate module, up the offer in 2006, the hearing in Advanced Criminal Law, as the issue July 2009 would not have been necessary. of marks had already been resolved. "The University will need to give A University spokesperson said: “The University is aware of the judg- careful consideration to the implicament handed down at the Royal Courts tions of the judgement and any changof Justice in London. At this stage, the es to regulations or guidance will reUniversity is considering the implica- quire the appropriate approvals." All barristers must pass the Bar Votions of this judgement in consultation cational Course in order to practice. If with our legal advisers. “It will reconvene the relevant the Examining Board finds in favour Board to re-consider the matter and of Ms. Clarke her mark for Negotiawill look carefully at the membership tion will be 62%, as if she had never of that Board in light of the judge- taken the first exam. This would not change Ms. Clarke’s overall BVC ment. “The University offered to refer grade of ‘competent’ in the course but the matter back to the Extenuating would mean that she could be said to Circumstances Board in 2006 but Ms. have passed all her modules on the Clarke rejected that offer. Effectively, first attempt. Ms. Clarke has now been called to the outcome of these proceedings is that the Court has ordered what the the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn chambers.
Not-so-great expectations Ceri McFarnon News Editor Only 36% of graduates this year expect to get a job for which they are qualified, graduate recruitment agency High Fliers has discovered. Their research involved 16,357 students from 30 UK universities, including Cardiff University. Over half of those questioned felt that prospects for new graduates were “very limited”, while 48% feared that they may be made redundant within a year of starting work. 42% believed that if they did receive a job offer, it would be withdrawn before they started. The poll also revealed that a quarter of final year students planned to pursue further study after graduating, as a result of the current economic situation. Other destinations included media jobs (13.6%), marketing (12.6%) and charity/voluntary work (10.4%). Investment banking, last year’s second most popular choice, tumbled to ninth place in the survey, only considered an option by 9% of those surveyed. This year’s cohort of graduates was the first year to have had top up fees and will leave university with debts
averaging £15,700, up £4,100, 35% more than last year’s average. The mean graduate salary, however, has decreased for the first time in more than 15 years, going down to £22,300- £400 less than last year. Despite this, 97% of final year students said they had enjoyed their time at university and would recommend it to others, while over 90% felt that their university would put them in good standing with employers. Additionally, fewer than 14% said they would not have come to university if they’d known the state of the employment market they would be graduating into. Martin Birchall, Managing Director of High Fliers said that the survey found finalists were “gloomy and frustrated” about employment prospects. “Although many students began their job search earlier than usual and made an more applications to employers, noticeably fewer have been successful in securing a graduate position than last year,” he said. Birchall added: “Having invested an average of £15,000 on their degrees, tens of thousands of finalists are now set to leave university without a job offer and feel they have little prospect of finding work in the immediate future."
NEWS 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION 10 COLUMNIST 13 FEATURES 14 POLITICS 18 LETTERS 19 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23 LISTINGS 24 JOBS & MONEY 26 FIVE MINUTE FUN 27 SPORT 29
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2008
MedClub gets new lease of life Gareth Ludkin News Editor The new and improved MedClub, now called the IV Lounge, has been unveiled at the Heath Park Campus after having hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in it by the University. But not everyone is happy with the changes. Medical students have held two meetings in the past few weeks to debate the future of the recently refurbished MedClub, which has sparked concerns over the limited amount of control and freedom medics can now enjoy at the new bar. Now a coffee lounge, sandwich bar and café, the IV Lounge, which opened on September 14, has been welcomed by the majority of students, however, some medics are worried by the lack of control they have over the use of the building, particularly for medic socials and events, due to the number of restrictions imposed by the University. The MedClub, which is “steeped in tradition” as a legendary night out has seen generations of Cardiff graduates pass through its doors to enjoy many evenings of drunken fun with very limited rules, cheap drinks and the freedom to enjoy themselves as only medics know how. Always cheap, fun and rule-free, MedClub was the place to be on a Wednesday night for all medics. However, it has seen a gradual decline over the years, with the bar suffering increasing losses from all the cheap drink promotions. The once legendary Wednesday nights gradually started to die out as the bar continued to cry out for improvements. MedClub rep Oliver Luton said: “Over the past few years a transformation has been greatly needed to accommodate not only the medical students but all the healthcare professions that reside at the Heath Park Campus.” “There's no one who I’ve spoken to so far who is unhappy with the new changes,” continued Luton. “A lot of students were worried about the amount of control that the students would have over the building but so far everything that we've wanted to do has been easily arranged and has met little to no resistance.” The Union at one point attempted to close the loss-making club, but this angered many medics who had always seen MedClub as their own. Handed over in good faith to the Union as part of the merger in 2004 - which saw the University of Wales College of Medicine merge with the University medics did not want to see their social hub disappear, keen to maintain their sense of tradition and identity at the
Cardiff applicant stabs boyfriend to death Ceri Isfryn News Editor
The recently refurbished IV Lounge; inside and out detached Heath Park Campus. The purpose of the debate on September 3 was to discuss the future of MedClub and the future of the notorious medic socials. The issue of control and responsibility was brought up with many wanting a MedClub committee to be established to help organise social events. Many who attended the debate accepted that their control over the bar had been cut but were keen to maintain some sense of control. As it stands, the University have invested £400,000 in the refurbishment of the IV Lounge, giving them significant control over the running of the club. Some of the changes include more CCTV cameras and less relaxed rules on behaviour at the venue. This is more than was expected by many, who believed that more autonomy would be handed back to the students. Jack Navein, the Healthcare Student Integration Officer commented: “Whilst medical students are upset that they have lost complete control of the bar, they have been very receptive of the IV Lounge, and are aware that much has been gained by the refurbishment.”
Jack was also keen to highlight the advantages of the new common room space, which now includes a box office for all essential Union activities such as booking a house viewing, booking a minibus, or buying tickets for Union events. He continued: “They [medics] are keen to move forward and keep tradition, whilst starting new tradition at the same time. This is reflected by the high activity in MedSoc and by the medical students generally.” Jack also stressed that sports clubs and students will still be using the venue for nights out, despite the new, tighter guidelines they are expected to follow at the venue. A University spokesperson said: “The IV Lounge is part of the transformation of the environment for University students on the Heath Park Campus. It is near the new lecture theatre and the planned new Medical Education Centre. These three new developments represent a considerable investment in creating space and resources for study and relaxation. Far from losing facilities, Cardiff University’s healthcare students will have a much more strongly identifiable 'home area' within the Heath complex.”
While many students would have preferred more control over the running of the club and for it not to be renamed, they also recognise the positive outcomes of the development. Oliver Luton, MedClub representative commented: “MedClub is a tradition and not just a building, socials for sports teams are still to be held there and there is a bar for after hours socialising. As long as we can meet up, socialise and generally have a good time then the idea of MedClub lives on through the IV Lounge, we’ve just given it a lick of paint.” Where the MedClub was once a symbol of resentment, as the “last part of tradition enjoyed under UWCM,” it is clear that most students are looking at the IV Lounge in a generally positive light. It might even improve the satisfaction of medical students at Cardiff, who have rated their course fairly badly in the National Student Satisfaction Survey in recent years. “They [medics] aren't complaining,” says Jack. “The meeting was to discuss the way forward. It was extremely constructive and all the students present contributed extremely well. They were looking forwards as opposed to back, for the first time.”
A Cardiff University applicant has been charged with stabbing her boyfriend to death at her family home hours after collecting her Alevel results on August 21. Katherine McGrath is rumoured to have been on an all day drinking session to celebrate her exam success before the confrontation with 22-year old Alyn Thomas occurred at her family home in Brackla, Bridgend. Paramedics were called to the scene around 2:30am, but failed to resuscitate the victim. Miss McGrath was immediately arrested for murder after police were called to the scene. The 18-year old Brynteg Comprehensive student is said to have achieved her required grades for university by gaining two B grades and a D, although it is unclear whether she accepted any offers, including any from Cardiff University, after receiving the news. Mr. Thomas, from Cymmer, Neath Port Talbot, was “devoted” to his girlfriend according to a friend of the pair. "Alyn loved Kat to bits and it should have been one of the best days of her life. We don't know what happened, but Alyn is dead,” the friend continued. In a hearing on September 4, which Miss McGrath attended with her parents and brother, a judge at Newport Crown Court granted the teenager bail following a psychiatric assessment. She has been banned from South Wales for the time being and is consequently living at an address in England. Bail conditions include a 7am-7pm curfew, a tag and a complete ban from all pubs and clubs.
The accused, Katherine McGrath
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Erasmus success Gareth Ludkin News Editor Kate Samways, a student at Cardiff University, has been selected by the European Commission to represent the United Kingdom at the forthcoming Erasmus conference, which is to be held this October in Lund, Sweden. Miss Samways - who studies French and Italian at Cardiff - was chosen to represent the UK as part of the European Commission’s celebrations of the two millionth student to have taken part in the Erasmus programme since it begun in 1987. “I was unbelievably chuffed to find out that I had gained this position, Erasmus was such a great experience anyway, so this was more an icing-on-the-cake sort of thing” said Kate of her selection. As the two millionth student representative, Miss Samways will collect a trophy at the gala dinner and will represent both Cardiff University and her country at the conference, alongside 30 other representatives from their participating countries. Kate, who was described as someone that represents “everything that is positive about the Erasmus programme”, made the most out of her
Erasmus experience by integrating fully into her host communities, taking part in their clubs, activities and events. To begin the 2008-09 academic year Kate travelled to Millau, in the South of France, to work as an English Language Assistant at 2isa, an institute for physically disabled adults. Kate threw herself into the local community, joining the local Swimming, Badminton, Salsa and Taekwondo clubs. She also organised a number of social events at the institute. From the South of France Kate moved to Venice, Italy, where she begun her study period. With lectures in Italian Lingustics and Italian sign language, Kate tested both herself and her language skills. Kate even became involved in writing for an internet based, Italian arts magazine and took singing lessons from a professional opera singer. However, the language skills she learnt were just one element of her experience; “I would say that language learning is just one of the many skills you work at while abroad” said Kate, “I thought Erasmus was an amazing experience and would, naturally, thoroughly recommend it to anyone.” Kate relished the challenge of living and working abroad, “I got such
a sense of achievement and independence from making a real life for myself in a place which is so different to my life at home. The sheer fact of knowing you could be plopped in a foreign country and make a life for yourself there is an astounding thing…I would happily do the experience again.” Rose Matthews, the Erasmus co-
ordinator at Cardiff University congratulated Kate on her achievement, “We were delighted to hear that Kate Samways has been chosen to represent the UK for the two millionth Erasmus Student. Kate represents all that is positive about the Erasmus Programme…we congratulate Kate on this wonderful achievement.”
Kate Samways at work during her stay at '2isa'
Cardiff's sweet discovery Emma McFarnon News Editor Roald Dahl’s childhood sweet shop, thought to be the inspiration for some of his greatest books, has been identified as a Chinese takeaway in Cardiff. The Great Wall of China takeaway in Llandaff, Cardiff, has been named as the location of Mrs Pratchett’s Sweet Shop – thought to be the inspiration for Dahl’s classic tales The Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The location was officially recognised with a blue plaque on September 14, the day after what would have been Dahl’s 93rd birthday. The discovery was made by heritage group, The Llandaff Society, after several months of research. Chairman Geoffrey Barton-Greenwood said: “Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff and went to school here. “He and his friends used to call at Mrs Pratchett’s Sweet Shop fascinated by the delights in there. He added: “We think Roald Dahl would have a real laugh about it being a Chinese takeaway now.”
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Recession proof Cardiff hosts Future of Journalism Conference Emma McFarnon News Editor
Extra university places should be funded as a way out of recession and unemployment, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has announced. An annual international report comparing education systems says economies and individuals continue to benefit from higher qualifications. Report author, Andreas Schleicher, said "Countries which want to position themselves for after the economic crisis should create sufficient places in university. "It makes sense to create more places. It means more tax, better health, better participation in society.” The report says that despite the expense of university, higher education is still cost effective. "For a young person today, the best way of investing their money remains in education," said Mr Schleicher. Since the mid-1990s, the proportion of young people going to university in OECD countries has almost doubled. These graduates are likely be wealthier and healthier, and of greater value to their economies.
For the first time, the OECD has tried to quantify the financial advantages and disadvantages of going to university rather than leaving school and entering work. The biggest financial disadvantage is likely to be three years of lost earnings, along with the cost of fees and living expenses for students. However, these are outstripped by higher earning power. Across the OECD, the average financial advantage gained from a degree is worth £113,000 extra in earnings for men and £81,000 for women. This year the tough jobs market has prompted a surge in applications to university in the UK. However, pressures on public spending have limited the expansion of student numbers, leaving an estimated 40,000 wellqualified applicants without places. Incoming president of Universities UK, Steve Smith, said: "It's vital that we continue to invest in our university sector...we know that as the economy continues to shift towards more knowledge-based activities, the UK is going to need more people with higher-level skills. And of course, these same people - and society generally - benefit from the life-enhancing experience of higher education."
Student Loans Company fails to deliver Luke Alexander Snell Reporter This week an estimated 100,000 students will enrol at universities across the UK with their student loans still unconfirmed. Student Finance England has been under fire for its incompetence in managing an unprecedented 17% increase in applications for student loans. Along with an agonising delay for thousands of applicants, the Student Loan Company’s (SLC) helpline collapsed, leaving anxious would-becallers clueless. Online applications were the most problematic. Many students were required to apply multiple times due to the dysfunctional website and documents going missing. First time students, especially those applying from England, have been the worst affected by the delays. This coincides with the centralisation of student finance applications in England for the first time. Responsibility moved this year from 150 Local Education Authorities to Student Finance England, a quango established in 2008. Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish applications have been far more suc-
cessful, their student finance authorities are well established, having been centralised for a number of years. Chief executive of the SLC, Ralph Seymor-Jackson, has issued an “unreserved apology” to those still waiting on their confirmation letters. Seymor-Jackson has insisted that the sheer unexpected volume of applications, totalling over 1 million, is to blame for the disorder surrounding student loans. Student Finance England’s website has been updated with information intended to comfort worried customers, promising that applications made before the June deadline will be paid in full and on time. However, ‘provisional payments’ will only ‘in some cases’ be made to those who applied late. The company’s staff have been guaranteed unlimited overtime and their phone lines have been bolstered by 50% in attempt to tackle the remaining applications and queries. This could well prove little comfort for the thousands of penniless students spending Freshers’ Week alone in their rooms whilst the rest of us are out squandering our loans.
Gareth Ludkin News Editor This month, more than 200 academics descended on Cardiff University to take part in the ‘Future of Journalism’ international Conference. This year’s prestigious event was the second biennial conference to be held at Cardiff University’s school of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, once again bringing together a number of academics, journalists, newspaper executives and media moguls to discuss critical issues in the field of journalism. The event, which was organised by Professor Bob Franklin - a lecturer at Cardiff University and also the founding Editor of the widely regarded Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice journals - engaged delegates
from around the world in frank discussion in a number of seminars across the two days. Topics ranged from the future of journalism training and employment, professional practice, online journalism, citizen journalism and the future prospects for journalists across the world. Professor Bob Franklin stressed the importance of the event as “difficult to overstate”, particularly since the way in which journalists operate has changed so quickly. The event attracted over 300 papers from 47 different countries, with 120 speakers delivering talks and speeches. Opening the Conference, James Curran, Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmith’s College, London delivered a plenary to the delegates. Mr Franklin commented that the event attracted some of the “most dis-
tinguished scholars within the journalism studies field.” Holding the event at Cardiff’s school of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies reflects the prestige of the school and also the valuable contribution it has made to the research field in Journalism and Media studies.
Cardiff's Bute building
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Cardiff Alzheimer's research could help thousands Cardiff University research team voices high hopes having made "unprecedented findings" in Alzheimer's research Ceri Isfryn News Editor
A Cardiff University research team has made “unprecedented findings” which could lead to the prevention of Alzheimer's in thousands of people. Julie Williams, Professor in Neuropsychological Genetics, headed the two-year project, which identified two new genes that are linked to the condition. French scientists, who also discovered a third gene in the process, verified the project’s results. “If we can combat the detrimental effects of these genes, we estimate it could reduce the chances of people developing Alzheimer's by almost 20 per cent,” she claimed. Two of the newly discovered genes, CRU and CR1, have been proven to affect the clearance of amyloid beta peptide – a major cause of the damaging plaques that form in Alzheimer's sufferers’ brains. The other, PICALM, has been proven to deter connections between brain cells, inlcuding those that affect memory. Researches claim that the genes in question are common, with up to 40% of the population said to possess a particular part of one gene. The findings are especially significant as genetics is said to account for 80% of the causes for Alzheimer's development.
Alzheimer's currently affects 700,000 people in the UK, but this figure is expected to soar to over a million by 2025 due to the increasing population. Shockingly, 17,000 of all dementia sufferers are under 65. BUPA’s dementia expert Dr. Graham Stokes has claimed that the charity is treating “more and more younger people with different forms of dementia”. Some clinics have reported treating individuals in their twenties for the crippling disease. When asked how this research will affect students’ generation, Ms. Williams claimed that it is today’s young people who will benefit most from the increased understandings and developments. “Say, as an example, that we are able to identify ten risk factor in an individual which mean that they’re likely to develop Alzheimer's at the age of 70. If we are able to eliminate just two of these factors, the disease is unlikely to develop before the individual is 90.” It is hoped that a genetic screening system can be developed s in order to detect these risk factors. The system would be similar to those currently used to detect vulnerability to various types of cancer and heart disease. A sample of 16,000 people were used during the project, but the Cardiff team now hope to secure £5 mil-
Professor Julie Williams claims the research will benefit students' generation the most lion funding to extend the sample number to 60,000. Scientists hope the larger venture will both discover methods of combating the three new genes and uncover more genes that have similar connections with Alzheimer's. If successful, the researchers hope to conduct similar projects on other
forms of dementia, such as Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Marie Janson, from the Alzheimer's Research Trust, commended the “unprecedented findings” and claimed that the research has opened up “multiple avenues that could lead to the development of new treatments for this devastating disease.”
However, Professor Michael Owen, Director of Cardiff University’s Medical Research Centre, warned that the development of new drugs to combat the genes could take a while yet. He said: “I don’t think that you should expect new treatments to come overnight.”
Class of '05 flying high Jamie Thunder News Editor
2005: Probably a good time to graduate
Over three-quarters of 2005’s university graduates were in full-time work at the end of last year, new figures show. The report, produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), examines the fortunes of 41,395 UK students who graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate course between August 2004 and July 2005. It found that the median – middle – salary for a student working fulltime who graduated from a full-time course was £24,500, while full-time workers who had taken a part-time course earned on average £32,000. 81.1% of students in any sort of employment (or around 72% of the total) were working in ‘graduate occupations’. However, more than 10% said that they had experienced a period of unemployment since graduat-
ing. Leavers with postgraduate qualifications were most likely to be in full time paid work only (including self employed (78.8%)) followed by those with a first degree (75.7%) and leavers with other undergraduate qualifications (71.1%). A higher proportion of male leavers (80.5%) were in full time paid work only (including self employed) than female leavers (73.0%) while female leavers (9.2%) were more likely than male leavers (3.5%) to be in part time paid work only In total, the study found that 76.1% of 2004/5’s students were in full-time work in November 2008, 6.1% were in part-time work only, and 11.4% were taking some form of further study either solely or alongside work. 2.6% were considered unemployed. The report’s findings are available at www.hesa.ac.uk.
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2008
Hitting the high notes CBI wants students to pay more Sarah Powell Reporter The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff is getting a £22.5m makeover to radically improve its facilities. The refurbishment, which is due to be completed in 2011, includes a 450seat concert hall, a 160-seat courtyard theatre, four acting and movement studios, and extended exhibition space. Developers say that the new complex will link with the pre-existing campus, and it will be accessed from a public foyer that provides views of the Grade I-listed Bute Park. Experts hope that the development will help to create a landmark entrance to the capital. The plans have been designed in a bid to further raise the profile of
the world-renowned college, whose alumni boasts a range of famous stars including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon. Managing director of the project, Neal Stephens, said: “The new building will further enhance the college’s reputation as a fantastic destination for students, staff and visitors to enjoy.” It is hoped that the project will be an attraction for new students and artists. Principal Hilary Boulding said: “This new development will allow the college to greatly expand on its range of performances and community activities. We hope that these will act as a magnet to attract the very best students.” Funding for the project has come from a campaign launched by opera singer Bryn Terfel last November.
Alex Evans Reporter British students should pay higher fees and see rises in university costs as 'inevitable', according to a report from a group of business leaders. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), one of the UK's largest business lobby organisations, issued a report this week outlining their suggestions for higher education reform, putting forward that tuition fees should increase, fewer grants should be made available and that loan interest should be higher. The report also put forward that the government should lower its higher education application targets from the
Back-lash Jamie Thunder News Editor
SHINY: Artist's impression of the new-look college
Britain tumbles down graduation league table Emma McFarnon News Editor Britain has slipped down the international graduation rate league table from third to 11th place because so few people are graduating from university. In 2000, the UK was near the top of the developed world countries in its percentage of youngsters graduating. But this year it only ranked 11th in the Education at a Glance report, carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD’s report of 30 leading countries shows that whilst Britain’s graduation rate did rise from 37 per cent in 2000 to 39 per cent in 2009, it has been overtaken by other countries such as Sweden and Portugal. In top place was Iceland, where 63 per cent of young people graduate. The report also confirmed that the UK has one of the lowest rates of 15 to 19-year-olds participating in full-time or part-time education, at 71 per cent. Only Mexico and Turkey fared worse than the UK in that category, with 50 per cent and 47 per cent of youngsters in education respectively. Many of Britain’s youths will end up as NEETs (not in education, employment or training), making them
more vulnerable to the effects of the recession. OECD leaders have called on the Government to use the recession as a time to invest more money in education, to help youngsters acquire the necessary skills. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of universities, said: "We are not only behind the US, who spend over twice as much as the UK as a proportion of GDP, but countries closer to home like Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands are investing more than the UK.” OECD's head of analysis, Andreas Schleicher, said: “Countries who want to position themselves ideally for after a crisis, now is a moment to do so.” John Bangs, assistant secretary of the National Union of Teachers, added: “Any Government either now or in the future that considers cutting education spending as a result of the economic crisis will return the UK to the bottom of the table. “It would be insanity bearing in mind the still obvious financial rewards for young people who go into higher education.” Lucy Hodges, writing for The Independent, said: “The brave and clever thing for ministers to do would be to plan for the long-term and to resist the temptation to cut higher education because it is easier politically.”
current 50% of young people, focusing on the 'quality' rather than 'quantity' of graduates. Their recommendations come just one year before the government publishes its review of the current tuition fee system. A rise in fees next year would come just four years after the top-up fee scheme was introduced, allowing universities to charge more than £2,000 more per year in tuition fees. The fear for prospective students is that the interests of big business will be prioritised over the need to keep the costs of higher education down for those from poorer backgrounds. A reduction in the numbers of targeted young people coupled with a rise in costs would almost certainly see those from poorer backgrounds losing out.
Advertising posters for Lash Beach Party at Solus have been taken down from the Students’ Union after a petition condemning them collected more than 200 signatures. The petition, which called on the Union to ‘reject the use of sexist imagery in promoting its events’, was presented to Students’ Union President Ed Carey on Thursday. Students from societies including Socialist Students and Cardiff Feminist Forum created the petition in protest against the poster, which showed a female torso with little covering. They argued that the woman on the poster was depersonalized and objectified, and that she was presented as ‘just a body … here for men’s entertainment’. Societies ranging from Student Action for Refugees to the Islamic Society displayed the petitions at their stalls in the Societies’ Fayre last week. They were also available at the bottom of the Union steps on Park Place.
Ed Carey agreed to remove the posters if the students collected 150 signatures or more. Around 225 had signed the petitions by Thursday, including two Assembly Members. Treasurer of the Socialist Society, Edmund Schluessel, said: "I want to express my gratitude to Feminist Forum for their partnership. I also want to express thanks to Eddy Carey and members of the Students' Union exec who prefer to remain unnamed. "This was not about us being offended, but about respect for students." Ed Carey said: "Just as these students have done, I would encourage every student to take ownership of their Union and to help shape it how they see best. "I would add that this should not serve as a precedent for changing our marketing strategy. Normally we would have resolved this issue at the fortnightly student council meetings, but we are three weeks away from that and I didn’t want such an inconvenience to determine our action here." Posters advertising the Lash Beach Party will now show a beach landscape.
An increased emphasis on businesscentric subjects such as science, technology and maths in higher education was among the less controversial of the report's other suggestions. Wes Streeting, President of the NUS, slammed the proposals in a press release following the CBI's report. “At a time of economic crisis, when many hard working families are struggling to support their offspring through university, I am astonished that the CBI should be making such offensive recommendations,” he said. Mr. Streeting described the CBI as 'fat cats' and criticised their suggestion to lower the target number of applicants. "They are talking about restricting the opportunities of other people’s children rather than their own. This is gross hypocrisy."
Oxford Uni shuns Tories Jamie Thunder News Editor
Oxford University’s Conservative Association has been banned from including the institution in its name after controversy over the hustings for its society elections in June. The group, which is not formally attached to the Conservative Party, will also not be allowed to advertise for new members at the freshers’ fair next month. The university’s proctors imposed the sanctions last month following an investigation of claims of racism at the hustings. Two candidates for the elections allegedly told offensive jokes after a request from an audience member, although the second was reportedly interrupted before the punchline. The two were also members of the Conservative Party, but have since been suspended.
Females are 'perks' of job Jamie Thunder News Editor
VICTORY: Feminist Forum's Alice Hemming removing the poster
The Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University has defended his remark that lecturers should 'look but not touch' if students flirt with them. In a light-hearted article on lust for the Times Higher Education, Dr. Terence Kealey also described attractive female students as 'perks'. He has since said his piece was a 'moral' article on the virtues of selfrestraint. NUS Women's Officer Olivia Bailey said Dr. Kealey's comments showed 'an astounding lack of respect for women'.
08 NEWS You'll never guess what... Ceri Isfryn News Editor
Miracle pussy A cat presumed to have perished in a flat fire in Cincinnati has been discovered alive a month after the incident, under 16ft of debris. Fire fighters were astounded when they spotted aptly named Smoka’s head protruding from the rubble, despite the flat she lived in and the flower shop below being completely destroyed by the blaze and any remains bulldozed. "With those bulldozers, those big bulldozers rolling over the top of that thing day after day, it should not have made it,” said the building’s owner, Dennie Fitzgerald.
Taking the piss
A German court has ordered the rent of a Berlin couple to be reduced by 10% due to noise pollution-caused by their next-door neighbour urinating. Noise pollution experts claimed that due to the thin walls in Peter and Susanna Keller’s flat, the noise in question was "clear, distinct and plainly very irritating". Mr. Keller said that he is “very happy” with the outcome. "It was not just the noise itself that was a problem but the fact that you knew exactly what the source of the noise was in complete detail. "It was terrible to listen to if you heard it just as you were sitting down to your dinner."
gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Big Brother is watching you Turkish women photographed naked in fake reality show Emma McFarnon News Editor Nine young women in search of fame were tricked into entering a fake 'Big Brother' house in Turkey. The women, aged 16 to 24, were conned by an internet advert looking for contestants for a new show called ‘Somebody's Watching You’. The scam was set up by a group of men in Istanbul, who then sold naked images of the women on the internet. The women were confined for two months in a villa in the Beykoz district of Istanbul. They were told they had been selected for the show, and were made to sign a contract that stipulated that if any of the participants left before two months were up, they would have to pay a fine of 50,000 Liras. The young women were also told they would have no contact with the outside world, including their fami-
lies, for the two-month period. Dreaming of becoming television stars, they accepted all the preconditions. The group were at first delighted with the secluded Turkish paradise, complete with swimming pool. But they became suspicious when they were not given any tasks and no one was evicted. They received supplies of food but there were no regular 'Big Brother' updates and no diary room. Police were finally called by anxious parents who realised their daughters were not being screened on any television programme or TV company website. When officers arrived at the villa they could hear the girls calling for help from inside. A Turkish man was arrested at the villa and charged with kidnap and extortion. Detectives are investigating whether videos as well as pictures of the women were sold online.
Off the rails Spaced out Ceri Isfryn News Editor
A drunken teenager has had a lucky escape after a high-speed train hurtled over him whilst he was taking a nap on the track. The 19-year old Parisian, whose name was not released, escaped with only a few grease stains on his jacket and failed to wake up when the Quimper to Paris train sped over him near Saint Nolff in southern Brittany. The teenager had spent the day at the Saint Nolff music festival before deciding to take a mid-night kip. "It was his unconscious state that saved him really, as he lay there com-
Lonely hearts A 107-year old Malaysian woman is on the prowl for her 23rd husband, fearing that her current toy boy is about to leave her for a younger woman. Muhammad Noor Che Musa, is 70 years younger than his bride, Wook Kundor, and is currently receiving treatment for drug addiction at a Kuala Lumpur clinic. Ms. Kundor claims she is “lonely” in her husband’s absence, and is now seeking husband number 23 in case the current one opts not to return. Speaking to The Star newspaper in Malaysia she said: "Lately, there is this kind of insecurity in me. "I realise I am an aged woman and I don’t have the body of a young woman. My intention to re-marry is to fill my forlornness, and nothing more than that."
Emma McFarnon News Editor The wife of Japan’s next Prime Minister has claimed she once rode a UFO and regularly eats the sun. Miyuki Hatoyama described the extraterrestrial experience, which she said took place some 20 years ago, in a book entitled "Very Strange Things I've Encountered". "While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangularshaped UFO and went to Venus. It was a very beautiful place and it was really green," she said. A strong believer in spiritualism, Hatoyama said in a TV interview earlier this year she met actor Tom
Cruise in a previous life. "I have a dream that I still believe will come true, which is to make a film in Hollywood," she told the talk show host. "The lead actor is Tom Cruise, of course. Why? Because I know he was Japanese in a previous life. "I also eat the sun," Hatoyama said, looking up with her eyes closed, raising her arms as if she was tearing pieces off an imaginary sun. "Like this, hum, hum, hum. It gives me enormous energy." Her husband, Yukio Hatoyama, is due to be voted in as premier on September 16 following his party's crushing election victory over the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party. When asked about his reaction to her tale, Miyuki said: "My current husband has a different way of thinking, he would surely say 'Oh, that's great'."
pletely still like a dead body," said a spokesman for the local police, adding that the he slept with only 10cm on each side and 20cm above between the train and himself. The train’s driver spotted a body on the tracks and immediately slammed on the brakes, but was only able to stop a few hundred meters past where the teenager lay. When eventually roused by police and fire fighters, the Frenchman simply raised one finger before rolling over and returning to his nap. He was hospitalised as a precaution, where he is still recovering from his ordeal. "He's not really aware of what happened," said a police spokesman.
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gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Showing compassion to a killer
Releasing 'The Lockerbie Bomber', although difficult was right Oli Franklin Opinion Editor As journalists, we at gair rhydd spend a great deal of our time duty bound to writing from an objective perspective, providing the facts from all sides in order to inform, not influence. However, every now and again we get the chance to sink our teeth into issues that we are most passionate about in an editorial – a chance, even if a slim one, to try and influence or educate the world about something we care about. Now this is something that we are very blessed to be able to do. Every now and then though, an issue arises in which forming your own opinion is difficult. An issue in which your heart is divided, part of you pressing one side, while the other part of you urges you to consider the other. The release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, or ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’, and the ensuing scandal in recent weeks is just one of those subjects. Al Megrahi was released from Scottish prison on August 20th on compassionate grounds. He has, accord-
ing to doctors, less than three months to live, as terminal prostate cancer destroys his body from the inside. Al Megrahi was convicted of murder in 2001, the only criminal convicted in the investigation of ‘The Lockerbie Bombing’; the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21st December 1988, in which 270 people were brutally killed.
It is time that we start to take the higher ground The ensuing scandal in the media has repeatedly made front page headlines in recent weeks, as the world community declared it’s outrage at the Scottish government’s decision, with the final nail being applied by US President Barack Obama, who firmly declared the decision ‘a mistake’ and reportedly brought the issue up directly with PM Gordon Brown. The news particularly enraged the US population, who have gone so far as create ‘Boycott Scotland’ websites. Of the 270 killed, 190 were American. The outrage was made
worse by a seemingly elated reception of Megrahi by Libya on his release, with supporters waving Scottish flags, and Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi’s son meeting him at the airport. The anger shown by opponents to his release is more than justified. When flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, the flaming wreckage plummeted to the ground and killed 11 of the town’s residents, as well as every living soul on the plane. The bomb itself exploded at the nose, separating the fuselage from the cockpit, leaving each to plummet to the ground separately. Many passengers on that plane would have suffered a more than 40 second freefall before the impact detonated the aircraft’s fuel tanks, annihilating everyone inside and devastating the lives of their families and friends. Now that powerful and shocking thought alone more than justifies the anger of the thousands outraged by Megrahi’s release. Indeed, you would be more than justified in condemning it, and I wouldn’t blame you. So you can see the difficulty I face now, in saying this. Scotland were right. Megrahi has always maintained his innocence, and some evidence has been
presented to suggest there may be grounds in these claims – but that is irrelevant. It is entirely beyond my capacity or call of duty to comment on his guilt or innocence.
Only through compassion will our differences with the middle East be reconciled No. Al Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds, and that’s exactly why he should have been released. This is a man who has spent nigh on a decade in prison, and now has weeks to live. And those weeks will be in agonising pain, as he loses control of bodily function, and his system slowly destroys itself. This is a man who will suffer right until the moment his time comes to an end. He should be able to do so in his home country, under the care of those seemingly few who are concerned about him. In a few short months, clocks will strike midnight and this decade will come to an end. A decade that has been characterised by atrocities of terrorism and war; of suffering of all kinds all around the globe. Since 2001, the rift between the West and the Middle East has widened beyond recognition. It has been
the decade of 9/11, of 7/7. of Iraq, Afghanistan, of rendition, water boarding and Guantanamo Bay. As the different religions and politics of the world destroy each other, it is time a little compassion came into play. And that is compassion that comes at the most difficulty, and at the highest price. The pain inflicted by terrorists is immeasurable, and unforgivable. But the anger and waves of retribution that have consumed the minds of the West since 2001 and before have done nothing but exacerbate and multiply tensions all across the world, and bring about more and more suffering among innocent people. As this war torn decade comes to an end, it is time to come to a realisation. It is only through compassion that these differences are ever going to be reconciled. And that compassion comes at the hardest price, and often against our strongest feelings. A compassion that recognises life and humanity even amongst those who do not recognise it in others. To use that age-old adage, it is time that we start to take the higher ground. As any historian or even Shakespearean will tell you, violence only begets more violence. So yes, the Scottish government were right. And as much as the angry, revenge seeking American inside me is clamouring to disagree, I have to bite my tongue and do the right thing. I just hope that pretty soon, we can all start to learn and do the same. It’s the only way that these horrors have any hope of coming to an end.
gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Vladimir Putin and the games he plays freewords Medvedev is still, in theory, the most powerful man in Russia, but everyone knows Putin still pulls the strings Jack Jordon Opinion Writer Vladimir Putin is playing games with us. I’m convinced of it. In a meeting with journalists last Friday, with the kind of nuanced language that Kremlinologists delight in deconstructing, the Russian Prime Minister gave the first hint that he might run for the presidency again: “In 2012 we shall think together and take into account the realities of the time, our personal plans, the political landscape and we will take a decision”.
The gradual revelation of his political plans has been a striptease since day one I think he just likes the attention, really. The gradual revelation of his political plans has been a striptease from day one – giving a coy smile and flinging another garment into the audience is a favourite trick of his for keeping the West confused. These moments aren’t without significance, though; five years ago he was looking
at retirement in 2008 unless he could get Parliament to grant him a third term, but with occasional constitutional nods and winks since then he’s arranged the possibility of staying in the Kremlin until 2024. President Medvedev, meanwhile, in theory the most powerful man in the country, spends most of his time giving press conferences aimed at convincing the world he’s not just Putin’s butler. In a blog post on the same day as his predecessor’s announcement he gave a long whine about the state of his country’s economy and excessive state influence in everyday life, in what could be read as a reformist’s manifesto for overturning the domesticpolicy failures of the Putin years. He’s also since
mentioned the possibility of running again: “A while ago, I had no intention of running for the presidency, but fate decreed it. So I am not ruling anything out”. ‘Fate’, presumably, is what he likes to call the Prime Minister in their more tender moments together. The trouble is, no one really cares if Medvedev’s serious or not. Posing as the liberal moderniser is a nice ploy
to get the Western press to remember his name, but they can work out that any genuine distance between the Prime Minister and the President would result in Medvedev getting replaced overnight. Domestic opposition to Putin has been surgically removed since 1999, and complaining about rising corruption and promising to diversify the economy won’t reverse that trend. He ends his blog post sounding increasingly desperate: “The future does not belong to them – it belongs to us ... We will overcome the crisis, backwardness and corruption. We will create a new Russia. Go Russia!” Go, Dmitry. Find a real job. As for Putin’s games, it’s anyone’s guess what he’s got planned for us over the next dozen years or so. Anschluss with Venezuela or becoming a Strictly Come Dancing judge are my bets, but he’ll keep his audience guessing for a while yet. He's running this show.
An extremely depressing anniversary Twelve months on, things are still looking rather grim Daniella Graham Features Editor As another academic year begins, another new intake of students arrives in Cardiff to embrace the world of higher education. Since last year’s freshers arrived, the events dominating the headlines have changed dramatically. This time last year the news was focused on the credit crunch, now the news has turned its attention to… oh wait, it’s still the credit crunch. September of last year saw the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of a serious global financial crisis. This year things aren’t a great deal better. Last week the Office for National Statistics announced that unemployment within the UK has reached 2.47 million; its highest level in 14 years. David Cameron, never one to state the obvious, has called this “extremely depressing.” You can’t help but imagine him trying to suppress a smile as he says this. We all know that he is secretly rubbing his hands with glee, happy in the
knowledge that mass unemployment increases his chances of winning the next election and bagging the top political job in the country. Of the 2.47 million people unemployed, 947,000 are aged between 16 and 24. The unemployment rate for this age group is at 19.7%; the highest since records began. If you’re a firstyear, you’re probably hoping that all this recession malarkey is over and done with by the time you graduate. (Although if you’re a first year from England, right now you’re probably just hoping that Student Finance England will get around to giving you your student loan at some point.) If, like me, you’re in the your final year at Cardiff (sentimental reminiscing aside) you’re probably wondering why you’re accumulating thousands of pounds’ worth of debt when you might not even be able to get a job in McDonald’s come the summer. I can’t really offer you much comfort here. Good old Tony Blair thought it would be a great idea to encourage more people to choose higher education instead of going straight into employment after school. Trying to encourage a wider selection of people
to enter university should be applauded, but encouraging everyone to go to university just for the sake of it wasn’t the most well thought-out idea. The money for this had to come from somewhere, so he brought in top-up fees. As universities struggled to cope financially with increasing numbers of students, the government decided to cut the number of university places. Unfortunately, everyone forgot to stop telling people how brilliant university was, so now the number of applications far exceeds the number of university places.
Ignore the depressing headlines, and get on with student life If you get the grades, everyone older than you will say how easy they are and that the A levels you worked so hard for are meaningless. Then you face three years gradually building up a debt of around £15,000, before you
graduate and realise that there are no jobs for you. And to rub salt into the wound, HMV has stopped doing student discount. So what’s a student to do? As I see it, there are two main options. Spend your entire loan (if it has arrived yet) on beer and simply drink until you forget your dire predicament. After all, if you choose to give in to the university stereotype of a drunken layabout you can always just stay unemployed for 25 years and your student debt will be written off. If this option appeals, I wish you and your liver the best of luck. The second option is to ignore the depressing headlines, and get on with making the most of student life. Work to the best of your capabilities to ensure you come out with a half-decent degree. Don’t let the constant news stories about student debt and graduate unemployment get you down. Get involved with student activities, meet some new people and have some fun. That way when you graduate you might not end up with the job you always dreamed of, but you will at least have enjoyed the last three years of your life.
A Freshers' frenzy
Half way through Freshers' fortnight and I find myself running out of steam. And I've only been out two nights out of six - I'm definitely getting to old for all this! This week has seen loads of actio in the Union... I don't even know where to begin. The Socialist and Feminist student groups have successfully petitioned for the Students' Union to remove all advertising for their Freshers' Beach Party, which featured a woman in a bikini. A good couple of hundred students signed the petition which said that the poster was objectifying women, and hey, the Union listened. Power to the people and all that. Putting a bit of a downer on Freshers' week has been the promotions war between the Union's casual staff and external promotions companies, including Rough Hill and Student Cardiff. What started out as some petty competition has turned into a full-blown war. Rough Hill and the like have managed to creep their way onto Cardiff University residences, recruiting first years as reps, flyering in halls and securing a place for their promotional DVD in the official halls welcome packs. One Rough Hill staff member even threatened a member of Welcome Crew with a life ban from any future Rough Hill club nights. Crikey. The people behind Bounce (the infamous Thursday night in Walkabout) have also been allowed to run their own nights in Talybont Social. Now, you may be thinking so what? That this is no big deal. And I would, on the face of it, agree. But the reason for my anger is that, not only are the University welcoming external promoters, but they are so, so reluctant to let the Union's own staff promote Union events at their residences. Cardiff's own Students' Union! I went up to Talybont myself last Saturday and was greeted most unkindly by security, even though I was there, not promoting anything, but merely to welcome the new arrivals into their new home. Honestly, I despair. There's plenty more to be uncovered with this story - make sure you pick up next week's gair rhydd to read the latest. Be sure to check out the photos of the brand spanking new IV Lounge in this edition, the new and improved MedClub up at the Heath Park Campus. It has caused some upset among the older medics, who remember MedClub as a no-holds-barred drinking hole, but I wouldn't complain - it's looking nicer now than it ever did. On a final note, Freshers' has kicked off with a bang, club nights have been rammed every night and Cardiff has managed to hold off the rain for once. Keep enjoying kids!
gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Lib Dems? Waste of space I don’t suppose any of you can tell me anything interesting that happened in Bournemouth last week? No, it’s not the whale that died. Nor is it the Merlin helicopter that landed there. I bet both of those were on the tip of your tongues, weren't they? It was the Liberal Democrats annual party conference. Now fair enough, it has been Freshers’ week and the last thing most have you have been doing is watching the news with an obsessive dedication. That’s why you have people like me to do it for you. If you’re thinking you don’t care about this, you should. For most of us this is the first year where we will be able to vote in a General Election. Thursday May 6 by the way is the date of the election; I’ve been reliably informed. Note it in your diaries. This is where we can make the difference so read the papers, watch the news and determine who you want to vote for in the next few months. That’s the preach over with. Actually, if I’m being honest the party conference nearly passed me by and I’m doing the postgraduate diploma for broadcast journalism. It is my job to read the newspapers and watch the news and it was on the periphery of my media radar. The reason for this is I do not care very much for the Lib Dems, They are a weak echo of the Liberal party of yesteryear. The Liberals sold their soul in 1988 when they
merged with the Social Democrats. I want a proper Liberal party. I might not vote for it but one to be there would be good. One that defends the idea of the supremacy of the individual, whose freedoms are protected by government against government, in a safety-net welfare, not an all encompassing one.
What is the point of Nick Clegg? It is like Abu Hamza having a career in doing shadow puppets What is the point of the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg, for that matter? If anyone can give me a substantial answer to this please get in touch. It is like Abu Hamza having a career doing shadow puppets. There is no need for a third conventional party who scampers around saying “me too”. The old Liberals had a dash of the reckless radicalism to them. Back in the 1970s they dared to speak out on drugs, tax credits and local democracy. They were free spirits devoid of sectional interest and happy to wait for
power in the aftermath of a hung par- ertarian agenda, let alone an anarchist in the political system especially after the expenses scandal so to actually one. liament or electoral reform. If the Lib Dems are to make an im- have solid policies and strategies in Today’s party look like a set of weather vanes shifting their ideals and pact they need to say something dis- which they bring about reforms would policies every time the wind changes. tinctive, against the run of convention attract disillusioned voters who have Vince Cable wants the banks bailed rather than just saying what ever takes lost faith in Labour and the Conservaout by the government, but only sort their fancy from week to week from tives. The issues that will make them of. Paddy Ashdown wants Afghani- the same old hymn sheet. They aren’t stan saved from the Taliban “if it can even an echo of their former selves, true distinctive them are right there. What’s the matter with you Clegg? be done properly”. And Clegg, the they are a waste of space. Start talking about other, more Some would think you’re happy just worst of the lot, calls for tax and further spending in the morning and by liberal issues such as political re- as third best. Please prove us wrong the time he’s had lunch is preaching form and proportional representation. because a Labour or (more likely) a These were arcane and irrelevant but Tory government will be voted in, and about scrimping and saving. One week says he shall take over not any more. People have lost faith does anyone really want that? the Tories, the next he says it will be Labour. He flip flops through life more than a Rah on the way to a 9am lecture. Then there is the issue of the Lib Dems being too conventional. Hands up who can tell the difference between Clegg and David Cameron? Physically and mentally they are nigh on the same person. Clegg opposes ID Cards control orders and detention orders. So too do the Tories. Occasionally there are liberal flashes which manifest themselves in the forms of Clement Freud and Lembit Opik. Unfortunately the former is always babbling on about some celestial catastrophe and the latter is declining. The party is Echo of former greatness: Nick Clegg (right), Vince Cable and the Liberal nowhere on the archetypal Lib- Democrats are failing to live up to their Liberal routes
Tim Well Spent My first two weeks here at Cardiff have been brilliant. I love the city; the nightlife, the people and of course the University all make it a fine place to be. Now it’s time, however, to start the hard bit. Unlike most of you reading this who have six hours of lectures a week, I have at least 35 hours. Okay so I’m a postgrad doing the journalism diploma, I kind of brought this on myself but the days of being a real student are coming to an end and the (not so) long road to professionalism and the real world begins. And you know what? I cannot wait. David Cameron said the other day that we should think less about money and more about quality of
life. Now that’s fine for him, with his big house, extremely healthy bank balance and floppy hair. I am up to my eyeballs in student debt (around £30,000 the last time I checked) so the prospect of having a quiet, relaxing life is a long way off. I couldn’t be happier. I am useless when I have nothing to do. Well, actually, not useless more like a tearaway or a five year old with a adults body. I’m dangerous, it is a known fact that men, when bored can’t last for more than 15 minutes without thinking DIY is a natural, instinctive ability just like mating and eating. Men must never be left at home
e r o m is k r o w : k e e w This fun than fun...
when bored – the whole house will fall down. My two housemates are girls and whenever I have a day off the words that Bobby Brown said to Whitney when they couldn’t pay the dealer go through their heads. Houston we have a fucking problem. There are fleeting moments when I think a day spent lazing around in the garden is great but the truth is I love to work. As well as my course I write this fine column, I work for BBC Devon and Podium. I am a freelance reporter and, when I’m not in the physio’s room, I’m a half decent football referee. Saturday evenings and Sunday
lunchtimes are spent on the phone getting football results in order to write reports for various newspapers. Sure, I could be down the pub or off to watch the Blues or watching TV but have you see X-Factor? If that’s entertainment then I’ve walked into an alternate universe where Victoria Beckham is actually fat and John Prescott has won international slimmer of the year five times in a row. I seriously cannot stand reality TV, I get agitated, even course rows. So for household harmony I am in my room doing what I do. Plus I make some money so I can treat friends and enjoy life when I want to rest. Currently I average a 17 hour day. I love it, the pressure and expecta-
tion. If I didn’t I would fear for my sanity. I’d start tearing the wallpaper down and thinking up new ways of hypnotising a chicken. I enjoy being busy and I’m sure you do too so stick at it. That is unless you’re Gordon Brown. You, sir, are allowed to have as much time to spend with your family, as you like. David Cameron has already said it’s what he wants to do and for my views on Nick Clegg read above. And that, a country with no leader, would improve the quality of lives immeasurably.
gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Living with diabetes gair rhydd finds out how one Cardiff student refuses to let her condition get in the way of university life Kerry-Lynne Pyke Features Writer
When Nina Phillips moved to Cardiff to start her degree, like most Freshers she had already introduced herself to her new flatmates on Facebook. It gave her the perfect chance to get to know them before she moved into halls in Talybont. But it also gave her the opportunity to do something more important – to let them know she had Type 1 diabetes. “Having diabetes never really was an issue,” said the 20-year-old, who is in her third year studying medicine at Cardiff University. “I was in Talybont and before I moved in I found some of the people I was going to be living with on Facebook and I told them I had diabetes.” Nina is speaking out about her experience as Diabetes UK Cymru launches a new handbook for young people with diabetes living in Wales. The booklet, called Making Connections, is packed with practical advice about moving away to university and how to explain the condition to new friends. Nina herself was surprised to be diagnosed with diabetes when she was just 11, on September 10, 2001. “I was going to t h e loo a
lot, especially at night,” she said. “I didn’t really notice that I was drinking more, but looking back I really was. “We thought it was a kidney infection, but when I did a urine sample at the doctors I was told it was diabetes.
My mum was worried about my control more than I was “I didn’t really understand it but mum burst into tears. “The doctor said ‘I’m pretty sure you have to go into hospital’. “I didn’t go in immediately as we waited for my dad to come home but when I did I was in for five days.” While most people feel shocked to have the condition, Nina did her best to get on with it. Unl i k e most children di-
agnosed with dia-
betes, Nina was able to inject herself with insulin as soon as she was diagnosed. “From day one I have always done my injections,” she said. “The nurses had to teach my mum in case I couldn’t do it at some point. “But I thought ‘It’s me that has to live with it’.” Growing up, diabetes did not make a huge impact on Nina’s life. Her mother would cook low-sugar cakes so she could enjoy the same treats as her older brother and sister. Apart from one bad hypo, when the blood sugar in the body goes to low, six years ago, Nina has successfully managed her diabetes without a problem. So when the time came to move to university, she was as excited as any other student. “I was just really excited,” said Nina, who has four insulin injections every day. “I was used to my diabetes as I had been doing my injections. I was in control of myself so it wasn’t scary. “My mum was worried about my control more than I was.” Once she had moved into halls, Nina made sure she told all her flatmates that she had diabetes. She also registered with a GP in Cardiff as soon as she moved. Her new practice was able to put her in touch with a local diabetes nurse and transfer her diabetes clinic to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. “I pinned a hypo warning signs poster to the flat notice board,” said Nina, who is originally from Bristol. “I also explained that my insulin was in the fridge and asked them not to touch it. “I have to be aware of hypos when coming in from a night out so some of my flatmates say ‘Have you had that extra piece of toast after the alcohol?’. “I always made sure I told my flatmates what I was doing for the next few days so if I wasn’t up by 10am they knew
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabet body is unable es develops if the sulin. It usuallto produce any inthe age of 40 ay develops before nd cannot be p vented. re-
- People w manage thitehcToype 1 diabetes can lin injections, r ndition with insumonitoring, die egular blood sugar t and exercise. - 12,500 people nosed with dia have been diagalone, 10 per c betes in Cardiff Type 1 diabetesent of whom have . - Symptoms of T clude increase ype 1 diabetes intiredness, weig d thirst, extreme sion, genital itcht loss, blurred vithe loo a lot to whing and going to ee (particularly night). at to knock on the door and check I was okay.” “My blood sugar did go up for a while with the stress of exams but it’s been pretty good.” Nina says her good experience of managing her diabetes at university was down to being upfront with people.
From day one I have always done my injections “I would advise any student with diabetes to make sure you do tell people you have it as it’s far easier than having something go wrong,” she said. “People do understand and most people understand what diabetes is.” Diabetes UK Cymru has launched Making Connections to help students like Nina who have moved away from home for the first time. The handbook gives advice to young people with diabetes on
managing the condition when moving to university, going backpacking and at work. Advice for freshers moving to university includes getting a mini fridge for their room to store their insulin. The booklet includes details of financial support available to ensure students have enough money to buy food to manage their diabetes. It also gives advice on driving, alcohol, smoking and eating disorders. Dai Williams, the National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “It is vital that advice and support is there for young people with diabetes as they tackle milestones such as moving away to university. “Making Connections gives practical and simple advice which will make your move to university easier.” For a copy of Making Connections, or for advice on diabetes in general, contact Diabetes UK. Cymru on 029 2066 8276 or email email@example.com.
gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MAY 18 2009
gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Easy tips to beat
Don't let post-freshers' week finance worries get you down. Features Tip 1: Pre Drink
bloody poor, aren’t Students. You’re all so hé. Your loans will ic cl ve si as m u Yo you? by now. You’ve therehave definitely arrived ed it on bottles of Abfore probably squander ly thinking you’ll be solut vodka (ambitious standard...), and good able to keep to that nsumption. luck to you in that co er than you think- you’re But soon enough- soon on finances. You'll be going to be getting lowugh an empty wallet just searching fruitlessly throd gravy (because no-one in a bid to get chips an likes a dry chip). article then you is th ad re ve u’ yo if , er Howev k your lucky stars, bean th d an sy ea ep sle n ca ne else, are going to be cause YOU, unlike everyo u can use the pages yo t, no re u’ yo if nd A . okay under once you’ve lost from this article to sleep everything. prostitution, or selling So if you want to avoid eBay (it just creates on your housemate's laptop , then follow this amazan awkward atmosphere)remy Kyle-approved ading, tried and tested, Je vice.
uraging binge Of course, we're not encoit is advisable t drinking in any way. Bure submitting to be rather 'merry' befo that Tiger Tiger yourselves to the sights has to offer... fire never A cheeky game of ring of the best and/ f in fails to start the night of or worst way.
Tip 2: Plan a food shop
week and do all Plan your meals for the e go, avoiding your food shopping in ontakeaway' scethe 'I'm hungry let's get nario. list, stick to Once you've made your ers screamck it. Ignore those yellow sti not worth it! If ing out bargains - they'ret those impulse you know you can't resis shopping. buys, just stick to online
Tip 3: Condiment thievery We're the first ones to promote theft from major corporations. The next time you're in a Wetherspoon's, get your weekly shop of ketchup, mayonaise... you name it. They even have colouring-in books for kids there. Literally hours of hungover fun for you right there. Just don't get caught. The cranky staff don't really appreciate it.
gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
the Credit Crunch
will show you how to make your loan go that little bit further... Tip 4: Stationery thievery
. This is very I'll let you in on a secret ents. But stasimilar to stealing condim iment to your tionery is the perfect cond desk... maybe? Yeah? ggesting raiding Of course, we're not su t why not go bu Staples in a mass binge, many Swedish as down to Ikea and steal ssible? pencils as is physically po
Tip 5: Spotify
Who buys music nowadays anyway? Stream from Spotify for free! Want to listen to The Cheeky Girl's so back catalogue? Well you can if you wish. nt All you have to endure is the consta itinterruptions from Jonathan et al., inv ing you to buy a monthly pass. Tell him to fuck off and he'll be on his way. Genius.
Tip 6: Swap Shop
dent loan to Instead of giving your stu p and Topman, Philip Green via Topsho ing. try a bit of clothes recyclng event, or Go to a clothes swappi friends. You g organise your own amon ey bring theirs, bring your old clothes, thup with a new you swap so you all end wardrobe. fort for you, If that's a bit too much ef lbany Road A just get yourself down toof charity shops. and check out the array
Tip 7: Cash, not Card Set aside how much you want to spend on a night out, including some taxi money. Don't end up buying drinks on your card. Remember your bank balance remains depleted even after your hangover fades. Plus, you'll probably forget your pin number anyway...
Tip 8: Cheat the Cloakroom
you're cold, but Major budget dilemma: your night out skint. Do you head off onat you don't get without a coat, hoping thfork out for the hypothermia, or do you cloakroom? lution. Get a Features has the perfect sod all of your massive bag, put yours anare the cost friends coats in it, then shcloakroom. If of putting one bag in the even manage to you're bright, you might friends... make a profit out of your
Tip 9: Get a job! It's a simple concept; if you need money, go out and earn some. Take your CV in to all the shops and bars around Cardiff and ask if there is any work available - many shops are already recruiting Christmas temps. If you're worried about committing to regular shifts, sign up to Jobshop. They send regular emails for casual work so you can work as much, or as little as you like.
gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 20099
A Q&A with Sarah Brown We all know Sarah Brown as the wife of PM Gordon Brown. But what else is there to know about her? gair rhydd finds out... Laura Dunn Politics Writer LD: Most people know you as the spouse of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. But can you tell us about your background, and your former career in PR? What interested you in the public relations industry? SB: I have a BSc degree in Psychology from Bristol University and I’d always wanted to study that because what most interests me is people – how we communicate with each other, how we can support each other, how we can collaborate to get good things done. That’s what took me into PR – the chance to help some of the great British museums and art galleries and a range of fascinating charities and social entrepreneurs. They were all doing ground-breaking things, and it was an honour to help them tell other people about the ways they were changing things for the better. LD: As the wife of the PM, what public duties are you expected to perform? SB: Before anything else I always make my family my first priority – making sure that our privacy is protected and our family life is as normal as it can possibly be. Then there is the public side – supporting Gordon in any way I can when he represents the country and celebrates all the amazing things in it. In the last few months I have travelled with him when he spoke to the Royal College of Nurses to thank them for everything they’ve done for our brilliant NHS, and we were really proud to participate in the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics, something we are both passionate about. We’ve a lot of causes close to our hearts, and I’ve been really pleased to be able to continue the tradition, started by Cherie Blair, of having a weekly reception for a different charity to come and make use of the stunning State Rooms at 10 Downing Street (there is a tour on the website to see the rooms for any history fans!) LD: You are heavily involved in charities, particularly those concerned with the wellbeing of women and children. Could you tell me about some of the lesser known charities you are involved with? SB: I have been committed for a long time to a number of charities that benefit women and children’s health in the UK and around the world, but
I also have some other interests and commitments too. I set up my own charity PiggyBankKids to focus on creating new opportunities for vulnerable children and young people in the UK who would otherwise miss out. I am also the Patron of the UK women’s health charity Wellbeing of Women and the international campaign to save the lives of mothers in pregnancy and childbirth – the White Ribbon Alliance. I sit on the international advisory board of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and I am Co-Chair of the Leadership Group on Maternal and Newborn Mortality working with Bience Gawanas, Social Affairs Commissioner of the African Union to support the global Maternal Mortality Campaign to end unnecessary deaths. In addition, I am one of the patrons of the domestic violence charity, Women’s Aid and was instrumental in setting up their corporate development board. I support the brilliant and innovative education charity SHINE Trust as a patron and I am also a very active Patron of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres – these are special places designed by extraordinary architects on the site of hospitals that provide a place to go and get non-clinical advice and support during cancer treatment and for their families. I am a Patron too of the CBI First Women awards that rewards women who have been successful in British manufacturing, services and finance. I would love to see more women in the boardrooms of British companies – only 11% of British FTSE companies have women on the board – even Parliament does a whole lot better than that! Aside from these I support other individual initiatives contributing to a number of magazine and newspaper awards scheme to reward outstanding individuals who make a great contribution to society. I have tried to really focus my attention on a few key areas – women’s issues, children’s rights and health. There are just so many deserving causes out there, it would be easy to do a little bit for many more things, but I hope I make the biggest difference by picking a few areas and giving them my all.
est in maternal and child health issues. A visit I made as a student to India also made a big impression: once you’ve seen firsthand the effects of grinding poverty and its impact on women and their families you can’t ever forget it. My commitment to the Maternal Mortality Campaign has centred round the need to gain greater international recognition and driving political will to prevent over 500,000 mothers dying each year in pregnancy and childbirth. This goes hand in hand with infant survival, better global healthcare, and the courageous drives to eradicate malaria and polio and to tackle the tragedy of HIV/AIDS. I take a strong interest in the Education for All initiative and just what bringing the 75 million children currently without schooling into education would mean. Our shared passion for Africa and development was also one of the things Gordon and I loved most when we first got together – so I’ll always be grateful to Tanzania for the role it has played in the most important bits of my life. LD: The G20 summit in April was a success for all those involved, and particularly memorable as it was the Obama’s first visit to the UK. What were they like, and do you have any special recollections of their visit? SB: I hosted the London G20 spouse programme and invited the G20 spouses to join a number of leading British women for dinner at Downing Street. The guest list included author J K Rowling, White Ribbon Alliance Ambassador Naomi Campbell, Olympic Gold Medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and Welsh actress and scriptwriter Ruth Jones. I hope the connections that all the women formed that evening all provide useful contacts for the future in all kinds of different ways as the G20 spouses expand
LD: What was it like to spend part of your childhood in Tanzania? SB: My childhood memories of beautiful East Africa have had a big impact on my inter-
their roles to help others in their own countries and globally. I also hosted US First Lady Michelle Obama on a visit to the Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in London and was able to share time with her talking about health and wellbeing. It was a great opportunity to continue a new friendship that started when I visited Washington DC shortly after her arrival at the White House.
dence from them round about kicking out time…
LD: It has been extensively publicised that you use the social networking site Twitter. What first attracted you to the site and what do you particularly like about it?
SB: London Fashion Week is my favourite part of the British fashion calendar and holds its own amongst the international fashion buyers and media. We are a fantastic centre of creativity with some of the most exciting established talent now found all over the world and an array of emerging new British talent. Our fashion colleges are extraordinary and among the best in the world (if not the best) and our young graduates ready to work in all parts of the fashion industry and media are going to make enormous waves globally. London Fashion Week showcases much of the best of this talent and this year celebrated its 25th anniversary with the return of Burberry, Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Williamson, Antonio Berardi, and Stella McCartney testing the UK runway with her sportswear alongside London favourites like Erdem, Giles Deacon and Alice Temperley.
SB: A friend introduced me to Twitter when I explained I wanted to find a way to open up the details of what I do without wanting to sign up to a big commitment like writing a regular blog. 140 characters at a time suits me perfectly, and Twitter works for me as a great way of sharing details of campaigns I am working on and providing better transparency about how I spend my days. I’ve met so many great people through it – including some really lovely s t u dents. I seem to get most of my correspon-
LD: Last year you hosted a reception celebrating the British fashion industry. How do you think it rivals the other industries (New York, Paris etc), and what do you think it offers that the others don’t? Who are your favourite designers?
gairrhydd | LETTERS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
the Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com
Performing an illegal operation Robert ---Thank Christ someone finally put the issue into clear and factual presentation. I have been so sick of stories favouring McKinnon’s camp, stories that conveniently left out facts like his refusal of the plea bargain, the sentence he would receive if he was charged under the far lesser charge of Misuse of Computers etc… I WANT to see him extradited just to see justice done, whether he is convicted or acquitted. But to deny extradition and allow him to be tried on a far lesser charge than his offense is a crime in itself! Maybe a child rapist should be charged with using offensive language and be given a week’s community service! There’s your comparison! Wise up you bleeding hearts and let justice run it’s course! Sarah ---I am part of the McKinnon camp and yes thank you for putting it so clearly. But lets just step back for a second. The plea bargain was put forward without a lawyer present and when Gary asked for it to be putting writing they refused ummmm would you accept it? No didn’t think so! Also the so called crime was com-
mitted in 2002 which means it was under the old extradition treaty, so the US apparently takes 2 -3 years to put the case together and then request for extradition once the new law had been put in place (how convenient). Plus the US this year changed the law so that no evidence is required if you hack into a military computer (again how convenient) so where's the fair trial and what's the point of a trial. This case goes a lot deeper than the press are stating. 70 years is the maximum sentence in the US and yes it may be unlikely that he’d receive that, but if extradited it could take up to 2 years before they even get round to starting a trial. Fair I don’t think so when he has had his life on hold for 8 years already waiting! Plus the UK police said at the original arrest that Gary’s crime under UK law would be a maximum sentence of 2/5 years, wouldn’t you fight the extradition treaty if this was happening to you. To be honest what happened to statues of limitation? Just remember Robert, there is a person behind all the press coverage and you may get sick of hearing about it, but a humans life is at stake here, he is not a terrorist (they apparently get lesser sentences and are aloud to go/stay at home) and let’s hope you never find yourself needing support from your countrymen! and with regards to Child Rapist – Grow UP!!!!! Free Gary
It does seem a little bit unfair. The guy is mostly harmless. If we can learn anything it that the US security does sucks if all he was using as a password generator.
Books not bombs? zachary esterson ---One wonders as to the mind set of students, so called, who are more concerned as to BAe systems that Israelis almost certainly do not use (most supplies are the other way round) rather than those that most definitely have killed, directly or indirectly, very many more Afghanis or Iraqis. But, I dare say, Cardiff students, or those members of STW or whatever, find European cultural Christians’ killing rather more with BAe systems far less interesting than Israelis Jews’ killing rather less without them, in, arguably, rather more straitened circumstances and with considerably more justification. Oh dear. zachary esterson ---Also, BAe systems has a huge civilian airliner, airfreight and space aspect. Wales has a small but growing aeronautical industry. What do the tech students at Cardiff want? I suspect most protestors came from the
Zachary, you make a mistake in assuming that CSAW’s sole objection to arms manufacturers is that they supply the IDF. Surely if we were a purely antizionist group we would call ourselves CSAZ? The truth is that as a group we condemn Operation Cast Lead, an unjustifiable war against a besieged and impoverished civilian population, fought supposedly as a hideously disproportionate response to homemade rockets with a 0.4% kill rate. As an anti-war group we condemn all wars, but I’m sure you can imagine the problems we would face if we attempted to campaign against all wars simultaneously; you can see for yourself the confusion it caused when we linked together just two issues, namely ethical investment and the Gaza massacre. That said, we are looking to expand our campaign into areas such as the war in Afghanistan, and possibly the human rights situation for refugees in Europe. I spent time this summer working with people who have fled conflicts half a world away and are now being attacked and persecuted by Frontex, the CRS and many other national police forces. This also is a war of oppression, and it is happening right now, on our doorstep. Please don’t make the assumption that I am somehow more interested in Gaza than in Afghanistan.
I met very many Gazans and Afghans this summer, and they are some of the nicest, warmest people I have ever met. I would never preference one ethnic or religious group over another, but that means that when I see an invading army performing what can only be termed a blitzkrieg on a civilian population, I will protest. It makes no difference whether we’re talking about Gaza or Fallujah; 2009 or 2006; the IDF or the US Army. White phosphorous was used. Civilians were massacred. Whole districts of a city were flattened. These acts are worthy of condemnation, and that’s what they got. Furthermore, BAe Systems’ civilian programme can hardly be called ‘huge’. BAe Systems Regional Aircraft, as the programme is called, ceased production after the 9/11 attacks, and now makes losses of £50 million a year. As for Rhys, you may be at war with the Afghan people, but I am not. I (probably unlike you) have met Afghan refugees, most of whom were in their early teens, and the experience did not make me want to get a ‘good return’ on the bombing of their families. There’s only so many times you can listen to a thirteen year old lad telling you that his family ‘is finish’ without feeling sick to your stomach.
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Croeso i Gaerdydd Cynan Dafydd Llwyd Taf-od Editor
'Dwi ddim yn siarad am strydoedd New York, ond dwi'n siarad am strydoedd Caerdydd,' rantia LoCut yn y gan CF5, a dyna be dwi mynd i'w wneud. Dwi ddim yn arbenigwr ar fywyd a hanes ein prifddinas a dwi ond wedi byw yma ers cwta blwyddyn a gallaf feddwl am sawl person sy'n fwy cymwys na mi i ganu clodydd y brifddinas, ond na fe, fe dria'i 'ngore. So, Caerdydd. Be wna i? Traethawd hanesyddol? Dim John Davies ydw i. Gan bo fi'n fyfyriwr, a gan bo chi'n fyfyrwyr, na i neud ryw student tour i chi'r glas fyfyrwyr. Fi wir yn caru Caerdydd. Swnio'n naff, ond mae'n wir. Dwi'n ei garu oherwydd y bobl, o Ninja i barmaids Clwb Ifor. Dwi'n ei garu ohewydd y strydoedd, o Sailsbury Road a'i palmant staen Kebabaidd i Cathedral Road a'i gyfryngis. Dwi'n ei garu oherwydd mae'n wychder pur. Felly, bant a'r cart... Yn gyntaf, Milgi ar City Road. Caffi / Bar ciwt yw Milgi ac mae'n cynrychioli popeth sy'n dda am fywyd – bwyd
(gwych), Celf (diddorol), diodydd (anghygoel) a Cherddoriaeth (ffynclyd). Edrychai Milgi fel 'stafell fyw artist sydd wedi mynd dros ben llestri yn y siop ail-law ore'r bydysawd (sef Jacobs Market sydd ar Heol Penarth gyda llaw). Nid nepell o Milgi mae Albany Road. Yr hyn sy'n creu'r stryd hynod hwn yw'r nifer helaeth o siopau bach bler sydd yno. Cewch yno hefyd nifer fawr o siopau dillad shabby, pawn shops a phethau o gyffelyb anian, ond yr hyn sy'n gwneud Albany Road yn lle gwerth chweil yw'r siopau elusennol a'u casgliadau hynod o vinyls, ornaments dichwaith a dillad o bob cyfnod. Tafliad carreg o labrynthiau concrit y Rhath a'r Waun Ddyfal mae Buffalo Bar yn llechu yng nghornel pella Windsor Place. Mae Buffalo 'fel dod o hyd i cd LCD Soundsystem ynghanol casgliad o gryno-ddisgiau Coldplay'. Mae'r lle yr un mor hudolus a'i coctêls. Yna, os ewch chi i lawr Heol y Frenhines ac i fewn i'r High Street Arcade, cewch yna ddau berl. Siop sy'n gwerthu dillad vintage yw Hobbos – Hen siwmperi Disney...Siacedi Adidas o'r 80au...cardigans odd eich tadaucu'n arfer eu gwisgo a ffrogiau odd ein mammau'n eu gwisgo pan
oedden nhw yn y coleg. Oh, a chredwch neu peidio, ma Noel Fielding o'r Mighty Boosh yn gweithio yno hefyd. New York Deli yw'r bwyty ore yn y byd, no joke. OK, falle bod e'n hynod Americanaidd, ond ma'r bagels a'r hoggies yn arall fydol. Galle chi eistedd yna, neu cael têc – awê ac i chi'r merched sy'n ymddiddori mewn chwarewyr rygbi, mae New York Deli yn hotspot efo Gleision Caerdydd. Ar ddiwrnod braf o hydref neu pan ddeith yr haf unwaith eto, Parc Bute yw'r lle i fod. Tu ol i dyrrau Gothig Fictorianaidd Castell Caerdydd mae'r parc yn for werdd sy'n ymestyn yn ol ar hyd yr afon Taf. Yno cewch wyrddni, blodau, cerrig yr orsedd, harddwch a thawelwch meddwl - lle'n wir i'r 'enaid gael llonydd' yng nghanol cyffro'r ddinas. I orffen, fel pob nos Sadwrn da, gadewch i ni fynd i Clwb Ifor Bach. Hyderaf eich bod yn gyfarwydd a'r Clwb yn barod. Ond nid wy'n ymddiheirio am son amdano. Mecca i ni'r myfyrwyr Cymraeg ydyw. Ond mae'n lot, lot, lot mwy na hynny. Mae'n symbol o Gymreictod y ddi-
nas – ni'r siaradwyr Cymraeg, cerddoriaeth Cymraeg a chynnwrf a hyder y Gymraeg yn y ddinas. Ynghyd a gigs Cymraeg mae Clwb yn gartref i un o nosweithiau drum and bass gorau'r ddinas bob nos Iau. Mae'n sefydliad sy'n ymfalchio yn ein cymreictod ac mae'n sefydliad mae'r ddinas yn ymfalchio ynddi. Yno cewch gymdeithas gynnes, Fosters a Sambuca rhad a llu o fandiau talentog
ynghyd a setiau DJ gan meistri'r disgo Gymraeg, neb llai na Gareth Potter a Ian Cottrell. 'Caerdydd yw fy ninas, fy nheyrnas,' bloeddia MC Sleifar. Wel, erbyn hyn mae ef yn byw yng Nghaernarfon. Ydych chi'n barod i deyrnasu a mwynhau danteithion ein brif ddinas? Rhai enghreifftiau dwi wedi ei rhestri uchod o gyfoeth ein dinas. Ewch allan yna i ddarganfod eich perlau chi. Ein prif ddinas ni yw. Mwynhewch.
gairrhydd | SCIENCE@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23
Exercise happy Priya Raj Science and Environment Editor We’ve all been there: lethargic, moody and generally feeling quite low. As students, we often blame how we feel on the night before, pre-exam stress or even our hormones. A remedy is desperately in want; but how many would consider exercise as their miracle cure? We usually talk about the mind and body as though they are completely separate – but they aren't. The mind can’t function unless your body is working properly; but it also works the other way. The state of your mind affects your body. So if you’re feeling low you often do less and may become less active. This can make you feel even worse and eventually you get caught in a cycle of doing nothing, therefore you do less still and so on. Increasing physical activity levels has been long shown to improve mental health. In 2001, scientists at Nottingham Trent University identified a chemical, phenylethylamine, as possibly having a part to play in the antidepressant effect
of exercise. Phenylethylamine is a naturally produced chemical that has been linked to the regulation of physical energy, mood and attention. An enzyme in the body, monoamine oxidase B, is thought to change the chemical into phenylacetic acid. There is evidence that levels of both substances are low in the biologic a l fluids of depressed patients. The researchers also discovered that levels of this chemical were elevated on average by 77%
after exercise. Thus it has long been known that exercising releases endorphins and these are responsible for the sometimes euphoric sensations described after physical exertion. More recently scientists from Oxford’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that p e r -
forming an activity as part of a group (the example they used was rowing), elevated levels of euphoria amongst individuals. As well as being responsible for such performances in sport, the researchers speculated that this mechanism of endorphin release may also be responsible for the sense of mutual belonging often experienced when laughing or dancing. Carole Seheult o f the British Psychological Society finds t h e results credible stating, “We
know from experience that exercising in groups is good for people at many levels, it’s motivational, it’s social.” It is increasingly thought that exercise may have a role to play in preventing mental decline. The exact reason for the link is unclear but it is thought to be linked to the fact that exercise increases the body’s efficiency at pumping blood around the body as well as the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is greatly improved. If you are active you will probably find it easier to deal with life’s problems and challenges. So - if those problems stop you from regularly exercising, it’s worth remembering that finding time for exercise may well help you to deal with such problems. Exercise can also help you to cope better by improving how you feel about yourself and getting you together with other people. It’s important not to overdo it. Start slowly and remember nobody is perfect. Setbacks happen but tomorrow is another day and short term setbacks don’t matter in the bigger picture of your longerterm goals. And, if you need to, do ask someone else to give you a hand.
Treasury in court over oil and gas bank Amy Hall Science and Environment Editor Three campaign groups have been granted a full hearing against the Treasury over whether it has breached its own policies by not making changes to the lending behaviour of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) since it became 70% owners of the bank.
World Development Movement (WDM), Platform, and People & Planet argue that the Treasury has failed to impose minimal environmental and human rights standards on RBS’s investments and it was ruled last month that they have an arguable case against the Treasury which now faces a court battle in October. The Treasury have drafted in one of the countries top lawyers, James Eadie QC to help them fight the case. The campaigners are seeking a judicial review over the spending behaviour of the bank while under government ownership and have stated that whilst they have no issue with the bailout, they are disappointed that public money is being used for these kinds of projects. RBS, which owns student favourite NatWest, once branded itself the ‘oil and gas bank’ and has a long history of investment in fossil fuel exploration and production.
Since the RBS bail out in October 2008 it has invested £10 billion into fossil fuel projects and companies like Cairn Energy. The money has been used for ‘accelerated drilling’ in arctic Greenland and Tullow Oil, involved in exploration and extraction of oil on the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo and Ugandan border. “Public outcry has forced the government to intervene on the bailed-out banks’ executive pay”, said Deborah Doane, Director of WDM. “We’re absolutely confident that both public outcry and this legal action will force the government to find the political will to influence RBS to stop investing in companies that cause climate damage and human-rights violations.” WDM, Platform and People & Planet are being represented by Leigh Day who specialise in human rights and recently helped win more than £28 million compensation for people in Ivory Coast who were made ill by waste dumped by oil trading firm Trafigura. Rosa Curling is a solicitor from Leigh Day; “The refusal by the Treasury to even consider whether an investment could contribute to climate change or result in human rights abuses is clearly unlawful and completely out of line with the government’s own guidance, policies and targets", she said. The Treasury feels that it is not up to the directors of RBS to allow the
government to use its influence as a shareholder over the policies of the bank. In its 'Grounds of Resistance' it said that this could be seen “to enforce a strategy on the bank for its own policy reasons.”
It also stated that it would be more efficient to use industry wide regulation where banks are “required to follow particular policies, that should be achieved through legally binding and certain regulation, or at least through Codes of Practice”
Judicial reviews into government actions are difficult to win but WDM, Platform and People & Planet have been granted and unprecedented half day in The High Court for the hearing in October.
gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
What YOUR INDEPENDENT (else) GUIDE TO FRESHERS' is on... Monday Tuesday Wednesday
This edition of listings brings you the second week of the biggest freshers' fortnight ever! Acts such as Tinchy Strider, Stereophonics and Band of Skulls are going to keep the mainstrean happy, while the commercial clubs will keep the 'Cardiff Social Elite' propped up in their heals and continue the illusion of success along with their dyed blonde hair and Jack Wills tracksuit bottoms.
The only issue with this week, as all freshers' weeks seem to do, is concentrate on the 'just left home and can do what we want' kids that will inevitably plague the streets like a snot-nosed disease. Therefore, the smaller venues can struggle to compete with the sexselling mega-clubs. However, there is light on the horizon with the ever dependable CYNT and brand spanking new nights such as Save The Rave and the announcement that CLUB NME will be bringing suitably great indie music to the recently coined demographic, 'Cardiff Indie Elite'. Lets hope NME don't like everything just because they are told to. Full details are still to be announced, they seem to be keeping everything hush hush at the time of print, but NME promise to let us all know soon enough. If their choice of band for their first event is anything to go by, the organisers know their music, and know the city.
FUN FACTORY, Solus, Free If you like it alternative, if you like it rocking, and most of all, if you like it loud then there is only one thing for it – and that’s Fun Factory. Comprising a playlist including the likes of System of a Down, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Reel Big Fish and Biffy Clyro.
THE GUNS (LP LAUNCH), Clwb Ifor Bach, £5 Playing high energy, full throttle rock, these boys waste no time in turning the tempo up another gear, these guys certainly know how to make music. Apparently they have learned how to make CDs too, as Clwb hosts the launch of their new LP. Check it out and see if you can grab a copy while you're there.
BAND OF SKULLS, 10 Feet Tall, £5 Band of Skulls bless Cardiff with their presence in the middle of a massive UK tour. A great band featuring two singers and as close to perfect song-writing as you can get. CLUB NME will be there to announce even more details of the upcoming club night in Cardiff (see below). Support from local heroes Muscle Club and Blue Wall.
LOVELIKEFIRE, 10 Feet Tall, £6 LoveLikeFire is the brainchild of Las Vegas born, San Francisco based, Ann Yu. Yu spent most of her youth in frustration, with her parents refusing to let her listen to contemporary music of any description.
CHIC BEAT, Revolution, £4 Chic Beat is back and it's the place to party underground style. WIth the coolest crowds and club bangers this place is all about the music. Expect a fusion of pounding beats, high-energy dancing and an electric atmosphere as the DJ spins tunes guaranteed to get your body moving.
CLUB NME One of the biggest and best indie club nights has finally arrived in Cardiff. Details are vague as yet, however, we can assume the music will be indie/electro orientated and is going to be a must for anybody interested in good music and dancing. Get down to the Band of Skulls gig at 10 Feet Tall to find out more!
HAMMERTIME, Barfly, £3 Yes Folks! 90's night is here at Barfly! So dust off your inlines and skate your way down to Barfly where we'll be mixing it up across 2 rooms with the very best in cheesy pop anthems. You won't be able to touch this with MC Hammer.
SAVE THE RAVE, Soda Bar, Price TBA The newest mid week house night brings the ZOO RAVE to Soda Bar on Mill lane. Expect two rooms of house music and Cardiff's most secret and secluded roof terrace. Get your raving gear on and get saving! This place is normally an exclusive members club so be careful as drink prices may be high...
VODKA ISLAND, Tiger Tiger, £4 I guess I have to include one of the most popular nights out for those who like spending their time reading Gossip Girl and trying to claw their way up the self-created 'Cardiff Social Elite'... what a joke. In their words, " Don your bikinis and shorts for guaranteed shenanigans as the foam and music pump all night!" Have fun... THE MISSION DISTRICT, Barfly, £5 Canadian synth-pop influenced by '80s Brit bands such as The Cure, Tears For Fears and Talk Talk sway their way into the newly refurbished Barfly. At only £5 this is a great gig to get down to!
COMEDY CLUB, CF10 Comedy Club selects the finest young talent on the comedy circuit and brings them directly to your union for a stupidly cheap ticket price. See the next big thing before they start charging too much to see them in venue where you can’t even see their face. The intimate atmosphere of CF10 is perfect for this hilarious night. Combined with the cheapest drinks you’ll find in Cardiff, there is no reason not to smile.
LASH, Solus, £3 Another year, another re-brand for the Wednesdays at Solus. As well as chart and cheese, expect games on the stage so filthy that the changing room showers don’t stand a chance. Make sure you don’t miss what could be the best team bonding session of the week.
Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents.com ◆ Med Club, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ◆ Clwb Ifor Bach ros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 www.clubmetropolitan.com ◆ Dempseys, Castle Street 02920 252024 ◆ Move, 7 Mill Lane 02920 225592 ◆ Jazz, 21 St. Mary Street 02920 387026 www.cafejazzcardiff.com ◆ The Riverbank Hotel, Despenser Street www.riverbankjazz.co.uk ◆ St. David’s Hall, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org.uk ◆ The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ◆ The Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ◆ The Millennium Stadium Can’t miss it. www.millenniumstadium.com ◆ Tiger Tiger
gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
TINCHY STRYDER, Cardiff Students' Union, £11+ Tinchy Stryder is a British grime music artist of Ghanian origin. He had his first UK number one in the Singles Chart with the aptly named and suitably catchy song “Number 1”, (a collaboration with N-Dubz) that charted on 26 April 2009. Check him out out the Union.
BOOMBOX, Solus, £3 Boombox promises you THE Friday night to fulfil all your musical needs with a selection of the finest new electro, electro pop, wonky pop, classic pop tunes and brand new finds. Expect to dance in a neon playground to the likes of La Roux, Passion Pit, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Friendly Fires, Girls Aloud and Simian Mobile Disco. Say yes to dancing, yes to Fridays @ Solus, yes to Boombox.
BEDLAM 3, Cardiff Students' Union, £17 The hugely renouned super-sonic night hits Cardiff for the third time. This has always sold out due to the monumental lineups. This time is no different, catch tickets for this if you can - it's going to be another massive night in the Union. Quite pricey, but you just got your loans in...
MATTIE SAFER (The Rapture) DJ Set, 10 Feet Tall, £3 Know best for his work with The Rapture on singles like “House of Jealous Lovers,” “Sister Saviour,” “Whoo! Alright, Yeah—Uh Huh” “No Sex for Ben” and "Pieces of the People We Love’’, Mattie Safer has been a unique force in modern music with his fellow DFA labelmates. SWN presents ZU, Clwb Ifor Bach, £6.50 Passionate Italian soul band whose roots are embedded in improvisation. Meandering through free jazz, Zu play explosive sets using live drumming, sax and bass. CYNT, Clwb Ifor Bach, £3 After the huge success of last week's SMD party, CYNT is back in its regualr home of Clwb. If you enjoyed the fresher-tastic scene at the SU last week, make sure to check out the more intimate setting of one of the oldest (but still great) independent clubs in town. And, silly cheap at £3 before 11pm.
InME, TJ's, £9 InME have been about for a long time, so chances are, if you wanted to see them, you would have done by now. But for just £9 (+ bf) they are still an outfit worthy of your attention. TJ's is down in Newport so you'll have to plan ahead, but it will be a stomping night. GENERAL FIASCO, Barfly, £6 Three-piece from South Derry. The band have already had major festival slots and tons of major interest, making them a virtually unstoppable force in indie rock. 'General Fiasco are up there in the rankings already. Only bullets will stop them now' CARDIFF UNIVERSITY HEALTHCARE FRESHERS' BALL, Holland House Hotel, £30 WHIPSOC, MedSoc and BACCUP present their annual Freshers' ball. Price includes three course dinner, wine, entertainment from Broadway Dance Society, Cardiff University Big Band, a DJ and photographer and a free after party at Bar Cuba. Starts at 7pm. Tickets available from Students' Union box office.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB, Clwb Ifor Bach, £8.50 At last! There is something for the indie kids to do on Saturday! The hugely popular guitar driven sensation of the year stops off in Cardiff for a shin-dig. These guys rocked at Offset and are sre to do the same here. Tickets are cheap for this band, let's hope the public like them as much as the media do... COME PLAY, Cardiff Students' Union, £3.50 It’s Saturday night and that only means one thing – it's time for Come Play. Come Play is the biggest student party held on a Saturday night and is well renowned for big tunes, funny moments and bumping into everyone you know. With a range of music from chart, dance and pop, the Come Play DJs cater for all tastes.
4th October ALL TIME LOW, Cardiff Students' Union, £10.50 Is American punk-pop from Alex (lead vocals & guitar), Rian (drums), Jack (guitar & vocals) and Zack (bass & vocals) what the 14 year olds are after? SJM thinks so. So that must be true. If Bowling For Soup rock your metiphorical boat, then get down to All Time Low and mosh your face off. FLOOD OF RED, Barfly, £6 Glaswegian six-piece Flood of Red are emo, screamo post-hardcore rockers whose energy and emotion is accompanied by hints of classic metal heard in their bass and percussion parts. Their experiments with synthesizers and electronic effects give them a modern edge suited to their age but doesn't infringe upon the fact that this is classic emo rock. BILLY WALTON, Cardiff The Globe, £8 Guitar power trio from Torquay led by Billy who made his name playing guitar for the like of Bruce Springsteen, Gary US Bonds, Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys.
STEREOPHONICS, The Castle, Returns Only The Welsh wonders are back in town! One of the biggest bands to come from Wales have a sell-out gig in the castle. An epic venue for a truly massive band. Tickets are pretty much all gone so if you haven't got yours, you'll be just looking, and not buying...
(The Welsh Club), 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ◆ Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 www.barflyclub.com/cardiff ◆ MetIncognito, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Liquid, St. Mary Street 02920645464 ◆ The Philharmonic, 76-77 St. Mary Street 02920 230678 ◆ Café The Hayes 02920 878444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ◆ Wales Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk ◆ The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay 0870 2415093 www.glee.co.uk ◆ Greyfriar's Road 02920 391944 www.tigertiger.co.uk ◆ Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192 ◆
26 JOBS & MONEY
gairrhydd | JOBS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
Pupillage: worth it? Jobs in the legal sector are well-respected and, usually, well-paid. But the road that leads there is long, and expensive. Is it worth it? Katie Greenway Jobs and Money Editor As law graduates we are nudged into one of two directions; to become a barrister or a solicitor. To become a barrister, according to the Bar Council, you need to get a minimum of a 2:2, complete the BVC and do a pupillage, and then, voila, you’re a barrister. If only it was that simple. I can almost guarantee that you will not find a more complex archaic profession in your worldly travels. I am going to share with you the obstacle race that is the path to pupillage. There are hundreds, probably thousands of blogs of law students and barristers that describe their struggle and their experiences. According to those precious few that have made it to the Bar, you need at minimum: three A’s at A Level, a 2:1 law degree or equivalent and three
work experience placements in a Barristers Chambers. And that’s just ticking boxes; you now need to somehow stand out in a crowd of 3000 applicants fighting for a place on one of the mere 500 pupillages offered. Before you can start the Bar Vocational Course (BVC), the one year post graduate course that gives you the essential skills to practice at the Bar, you need to join an Inn of Court. There are four Inns of Court; Lincoln’s Inn, Greys Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. These Inns will in the future provide you advocacy training as well as potentially grant you scholarships if you fit the criteria. Joining an Inn costs between £85 and £100. Once you have been accepted by your chosen Inn, you need to apply for the BVC. To send off applications to the course providers you need to pay a fee of £40. Therefore if you do not get accepted on the BVC you will have spent £140 in vain. The course is run in 8 institutions
across England and Wales and it costs between £9500 and £14,500, this often does not include your literature packs, your Bar Council registration fees or your living and accommodation costs. For non-law graduates the law conversion route will additionally costs between £6650 and £7950. In 2006, 3227 people applied for the BVC, in the same year only 598 got pupillage. Are these really odds that you want to take when choosing a career? In the pursuit of a pupillage you will have spent a minimum of £15,000. Natwest PLC offer a loan tailored for the BVC and its fixed rate is roughly 9%. I was advised to repay over 10 years. My total loan repayment was roughly £30,000. You might ask why anyone would even consider pursuing this
profession. The profession is purposefully limited to new comers to keep it as small and as privileged as possible, therefore I think the law blogs are used as propaganda tools to convince students who appear ‘inferior’ to not bother pursuing the Bar even though they may make great advocates. But it is a very lucrative job that allows you to be a part of a privileged and historic profession a s well as to provide justice. For this reason, I have decided to pursue a pupillage. Will it be worth it?
That remains to be seen.
FIVE MINUTE FUN 27
gairrhydd | FMF@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
6. Wearing away (7) 7. Ancient upright stone (5) 9. Auditory (4) 10. Characterized by order and planning (10) 11. Soak (8) 13. Get (6) 15. Decorative case (4) 17. Injure (5) 18. For a bird or a hamster (4) 19. Coercion (6) 20. Maternal or paternal (8) 23. Administration (10) 26. Henhouse (4) 27. Model (5) 28. Set apart from others (7)
1. Definitive (10) 2. Feast or celebration (6) 3. Matures (4) 4. Space rock (8) 5. Stiff hair (4) 6. Superfluous (5) 8. Enduring (7) 12. Provide (5) 14. A skilled worker (10) 16. A destructive sea wave (7) 17. From the west (8) 21. An allotted portion (6) 22. Came to (5) 24. Ends a prayer (4) 25. Radiate (4)
! N I W
Tickets to the Block Party: the ultimate freshers' festival.
10,000 students, 15 arenas, various locations across Birmingham.
Just answer this simple question: What is the new name of Friday nights at the Union? Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
THE WORD ON...
...THE PREMIER LEAGUE CONSPIRACY Robbie Wells Sports Editor There’s no question about it, sport is becoming a Shakespearean farce. A cursory glance at the rest of the pages in this section demonstrates this point entirely. Talk is not of great sporting achievements, but rather the corruption and deception behind the scenes. Rugby has been dominated by a joke shop accessory, F1 has had more than its share of controversy but Renault is leading the race at the moment and athletics has had the bizarre case of a woman accused of being a man. Analysis is what makes sport the fun that it is, but over analysis seems to be tearing it apart from within. Never before has there been so much pressure on athletes to perform and win. Unfortunately, as football fans of English teams are fast finding out, too much success can make you a very big target for authorities desperate for an even playing field. And by providing at least one team in every Champions League final since 2005, the Premier League could not be a better place for the big wigs to make an example.
restricted an appeal. Had common sense prevailed, or if the stubbornness of football’s governing bodies towards English clubs subsided, then a replay of Fletcher clearly winning the ball from Cesc Fabregas in the box would have been watched and the decision rectified. But alas, there are crazy rules in place for a reason, so let us dismiss the end of last season as mere history. The new season is young, but there has already been plenty of time for controversy. The latest piece of ridiculous interfering from UEFA came in the aftermath of a game between Arsenal and Celtic, whereby the referee failed to recognise a dive by Eduardo, who was adjudged to have simulated a fall to affect the referee’s decision of a penalty. When a referee makes a poor decision, generally it gets discussed by all and sundry, one team complains to the cameras after the game while Arsene Wenger claims to have seen nothing and in the case of a blatant red card offence, authorities will step in after the game and dish out any punishments that should have been dealt with. At this point it is important to clarify that diving is a yellow card offence. Deciding that because the man in black did not
There's an itchy trigger finger aimed at the Premier League Conspiracy theories against English football began to circulate when Stevie Wonder was commissioned to referee Chelsea’s semi final of the Champions League against Barcelona as penalty after penalty was dismissed to set up the eventual champions’ passage through to the final. In that final, Barcelona faced a Manchester United midfield without the integral Darren Fletcher, due to the red tape that
KAKUTA: Contract breach
EDUARDO: Diving his way to a penalty and a two game ban penalise him at the time, Eduardo should be handed a two match ban is atrocious. Under appeal, this decision has been rescinded, but the fact that during the same night of football, there were another two incidents in other matches with players being correctly carded for simulation highlights how outrageous UEFA’s initial decision of a two match ban was. And Eduardo now has to cope with some very unwanted attention. Not only is he on referee’s radars now, he is also public enemy number two, behind El Hadji Diouf, with every fan in the country. And why? Because the referee was incompetent. It’s not that this foul play should be overlooked, but the timing and ridiculous way that UEFA pounced on an offence that was not clear cut as it needed to be indicates an itchy trigger finger aimed squarely at the Premier League. Which is why when FIFA declared that by inducing a player, Gael Kakuta, to breach his contract, Chelsea should
be punished by not being able to sign any players until 2011, no one was really too surprised. Never mind that every club who has the ability to do so does.
Money and dominance is really getting up the nose of the authorities Never mind that AC Milan stole £50million Chelsea transfer target Pato from Brazilian club Internacional in similar circumstances. Never mind that European football is littered with teenagers from South America, who we have to believe are so motivated by everything else but money to move their families to another continent. Money and dominance is really getting up the nose of both FIFA and
UEFA. And, actually, as a fan of football, it gets up my nose. Seventeen seasons of the Premier League has seen only four clubs as champions; two of them clearly bought the league, one has accumulated a wealth and dominance above any other and Arsenal have bought young teenagers from abroad. Of these methods, the notion of a strong scouting system, low expenditure and good training for young players is commendable. The blind ignorance of FIFA is that they think that this is going to improve the state of the game, but the fact is that only the teams with the backing power to pay the asking prices for these players will be able to buy them. It means we’re left with even more of a chasm between the business teams and the football clubs. Gael Kakuta to Manchester City for £50million in 2011, then?
gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
It's a bloody disgrace! Lucy Morgan Sports Editor
Sport has been through a tumultuous time in these past few weeks with tales of cheating and coverups appearing at an alarming frequency and, despite its widely respected reputation, rugby has failed to escape this summer of sporting scandals.
It is vital that action is now taken to ensure that the good name of the sport is restored
The abuse of recreational drugs by a number of Bath players hit the headlines early on but it was the uncovering of the shocking events at Harlequins during their Heineken Cup
Quarter-Final defeat to Leinster which has dominated the back pages, giving the historically well-respected sport an unwelcome reputation. In a number of revelations uncovered over the past month surrounding the ‘Bloodgate’ affair, what seems most shocking is not just the fact that such lying and cheating could take place but that one man, head coach Dean Richards, could have such moral control over his club. Tom Williams, the player at the centre of the scandal, has spoken of the climate of fear Richards brought to the club. According to Williams, Richards set the moral tone and you did what he said, or suffered the consequences. Whatever happened to the rugby clubs of old where core values were based on discipline, control and mutual respect? Admittedly there are a number of clubs where rugby continues to flourish on these principles but with the amount of negative press rugby has received concerning the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal, it is vital that action is now taken to ensure that the good name of the sport is restored. The introduction of the voluntary
code of practice– allowing opposition doctors to check players coming off the field with blood injuries– is a positive step in the right direction and will hopefully ensure that the use of blood capsules and the subsequent faking of injuries is now most definitely a thing of the past. The best way forward now is to follow the example of the RFU and draw a line under the events at
Harlequins. Punishments have been dealt and there surely is nothing to be gained from dragging out the affair any longer? With the start of the new season under way we can only hope that rugby continues to make the headlines but, this time, for all the right reasons.
ways into a prime piece of Singapore real estate. This caused a safety car, and through a series of yawntastic Formula One events, allowed team mate Fernando Alonso to win the Singapore Grand Prix. Now, it seems he was not exaggerating. At first, having read the statement released when he was kicked out of the team, and his statement to the FIA, I thought he was just a
whinging pseudo child with a grudge. But the resignation of his old boss Flavio Briatore, one of the sport’s great characters (think Jose Mourinho crossed with Hugh Hefner), and director of engineering Pat Symonds has shown that perhaps Renault are in deeper water than we thought. They could be banned from the championship - which is more serious than a slap with a wet fish, for sure.
The only issue is, the interesting bit is done. Now we have months of boring legal crap, while Flav and Pat ride into a big golden sunset with a big leaving bonus, like Butch Crashidy and the Singapore Kid. Yawn. And where does that leave QPR, eh?
Formula One, at the best of times, is a soap opera of prima donnas, lawyers and soft bottomed wonder boys. It is no surprise that for a long time a television series was mooted- not about racing, but about politics. My God, this year has been declared a ‘great year’ by the Formula One community. It has not been. What an interminably dull sport this is. And yet…what drama! In football, if someone is sacked, they take up a contract with a lower league side. In Formula One, they tell the world they were told to crash. And they shout that news from the proverbial rooftop. Nelson Piquet- once one of the sport’s greatest names, then a byword for sporting failure on a supremely mediocre scale, thanks to Nelson Piquet Jr. Now, it is a name forever linked with the most spectacular sporting downfall since Dean Richards was caught (cue obvious pun) red handed. For those who don’t know, Piquet claims he was asked to deliberately, “Cause a safety car,” and then did so by turning off the safety on his common sense and taking his, “Fragile and emotional state of mind,” side-
1. In 2006 the discovery of a major match fixing scandal led to Juventus being relegated to Serie B and a number of other teams being deducted points. Shamed: Tom Williams banned for four months
Flav'll fix it Jake Yorath Sports Writer
Renault's scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix puts Flavio Briatore and Renault at No.2.
3. After winning gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Spanish paralympic basketball team were stripped of their medals when it was discovered 10 out of the 12 members were not disabled.
Harlequins’ fake blood scam in last season’s Heineken Cup quarter-final, ultimately earned the club a hefty fine and Dean Richards, a three-year ban.
Piquet: Lucky for him, Renault are sponsered by ING insurance
In 1994 Tonya Harding hired a hitman to batter the kneecaps of rival ice skater Nancy Kerrigan before going on to win the US National Championships.
gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009
IMG: THE BIG KICK OFF
Adam Horne is here to tell you everything you need to know about IMG. And if you've no idea what IMG even means, read on to find out... Adam Horne Sports Editor The IMG season once again returns to Cardiff! And throughout the year this section will be your first port of call for all things IMG; news, results, fixtures, match reports and interviews. Many of you will already be attuned to our coverage of IMG, something which I have been disappointed with in the past; slow table updates and poor images were too familiar and led to the often overlooked IMG section feeling a lot like the left out older sibling, whilst the
younger sibling, BUCS, was spoilt, and given precedent over IMG. This is all set to change this year as we strive to improve the paper once again to cater for all your needs, and we want you to help us achieve that. If you have any ideas on how to improve the IMG section this year then feel free to email us using the email address at the bottom of this page; any feedback would be much appreciated. But down to business. I realise many of you reading will no doubt be very lost and confused freshers, with your mind still wondering how to even pronounce the name of this paper, (GIRE REETH), so this one's
for you. This week, as IMG has not kicked off yet, we thought we would try to give you an idea of what exactly IMG is, how you can get involved and what you can expect. IMG stands for ‘Inter-Mural Games’ however if you're anything like me you still wont have a clue what that means. Put simply, sport at university is split two ways - BUCS and IMG. BUCS demands more commitment, more time, more money, and a higher level of playing ability. So if you think you're good enough to compete at the highest level, and can handle missing lectures every Wednesday then certainly give BUCS some consideration.
Football is without a doubt the biggest IMG sport at the university with 32 teams participating yearly over 4 divisions.
Unfortunately, and to the annoyance of many of you die hard rugby fans IMG rugby is currently non contact due to lack of Professional referees. However the Athletic Union president has assured me he is working like a dog to overcome this problem and hopes to find a solution by the turn of the new year.
Registration: Will cost £200
per team. This covers pitch hire and maintenance, referee courses and pays towards an end of year awards night for all teams. Registration will be online from 9am Wednesday 30th September. Be warned, it's on a first come first serve basis so act quickly if you intend to start your own team this year.
When: Matches will be played
weekly every Wednesday or Saturday on a rotational basis, kick off at around 2:30pm. Fixtures will be released beforehand so teams know exactly when and where they will be playing.
Where: This year IMG will be
spread over Cardiff, played at either Pontcanna fields behind Talybont, Blackweir fields next to Pontcanna, or Roath park. Teams will not be playing in the same place each week.
I have played both BUCS and IMG and both are equally good for different reasons. IMG requires less commitment and less money. If you’re interested in playing sport for leisure, making new mates, and experiencing some fun-filled socials along the way, then IMG is definitely for you. If you are interested in picking up an IMG sport, read on to find out how. For those of you still feeling unfulfilled and clueless about IMG after reading this, then I have failed miserably and will soon be replaced. No doubt you will be able to gain more information about IMG if you head on down to the IMG welcome back fayre being held in the union on
Future sports Unfortunately the university currently only offers the four IMG sports explained here. However the Athletic Union is constantly striving to improve and expand IMG year on year. With continued support from the student body it is likely that IMG could soon expand to sports like cricket and hockey should the demand be there. For those of you who may wish to find out more about future sports in IMG head up to the Athletic Union office on the 3rd floor of the Student Union.
Registration: As of yet touch
Netball Registration: Will cost £100
per team. This covers the cost of pitch hire, as well as team practice allocation times for all teams and a first aid course for players. Please be aware that there will be an additional cost of £2 per person per match this year. Registration will be online from 9am Wednesday 30th September.
When: Matches are played on either Wednesdays or Saturdays on a rotational basis. Where: Matches taking place
on Wednesdays are played on the outdoor pitch next to Talybont sports centre. Saturday matches take place on the indoor courts inside the Talybont sports centre.
rugby registration fees have not been set. However you can be assured they wont set you back too much. Registration will be online from 9am Wednesday 30th September.
When: Matches are played on Sundays. There is full First aid on hand for those of you with weak bones. Where: Matches are played on the rugby pitches at Pontcanna, Behind Talybont student village.
October 7 where you speak to team captains and sign up to teams if you wish. Until then, feel free to check out the IMG pages at www.cardiffstudents.com/activities/ sport/img. Alternatively, if you see yourself as a young budding sports journalist of the future, and would be interested in working with gair rhydd sport as a controbutor or sports reporter then email us at email@example.com and get on board! If you play IMG, and have any suggestions about possible improvements to this section then please do email us at the above address with your ideas.
In addition to 11-a-side the university also offer 7-a-side football on a weekly basis.
No doubt the majority of students reading will be keeping one eye on their ever shrinking bank balance this year, so may be feeling slightly put off by the registration fees required for IMG sports. However if you are keen to take up a sport, IMG is a lot cheaper than BUCS and registration fees are per team not per person, so it's not as bad as it sounds. For football, refereeing courses are included in registration fees and first aid courses are provided for netball at no extra cost. Fees will also contribute towards end ofw year Awards nights for each sport. Be aware that registration fees do not cover the cost of team kits and training equipment however many of the university's educational departments, and local businesses are always willing to offer sponsorship and support to IMG teams if needed.
Registration: Will cost £100
per team, plus an additional £2 per person per match in order to cover pitch hire. Registration will be online from 9am Wednesday 30th September.
When: Matches are played on either Wednesdays or Saturdays on a rotational basis. Where: Matches are played on the university’s state of the art artificial pitch located at Talybont student village.
INSIDE: The return of IMG, 'Bloodgate', Flavio's Grand Prix fix and The Word On... The Premier League Conspiracy
Cardiff student nominated for BUCS Sportsman of the Year Final year Maths student shortlisted for prestigious award for his achievements in swimming and water polo Joe Davies Sports Editor Having spearheaded Cardiff University’s Water polo and swimming success over the last four years, earlier this month Daniel Luxton, a final year Mathematics student, was named on the shortlist of three for the prestigious BUCS Sportsman of the Year. Unfortunately, in this contest, Dan lost out. Not something he’s been particularly used to of late. In his four years in the Swimming and Water polo club, Dan has shown
total dedication as a player and as coach to both the men’s and women’s teams, with no financial reward. In doing so, the club has become Cardiff University’s most successful, with the men’s and women’s teams both qualifying for the BUCS finals again in Sheffield last year. Dan was the top scorer at the finals, named ‘player of the tournament’ and played every minute of every match. At the Celtic Nations tournament, where Dan captained the Welsh Universities team, Dan won Gold and Silver in the 50m and 100m breaststroke respectively, once again becoming the events top scorer. In between all his
rigorous training programme and competing, Dan still managed to find the time to coach the women’s water polo team up to and throughout the event. Outside of the BUCS sporting world, Dan plays for the Welsh Wanderers water polo team in the British League, in which he has recently become the third highest goal scorer after another successful season. On the international stage, Dan continues to impress representing Wales while being invited to play for Great Britain. With the Olympic games less than three years away, it is disappointing for Dan, as he enters his final year
at university, that funding levels have been reduced for water polo, making the challenge of getting into the Olympic squad in London 2012 all the more difficult. Head of Sport and Exercise Stuart Vanstone commented “Daniel has been a huge asset to Sport at Cardiff University…just being named on the short list for such a prestigious award is an achievement when you consider nominations were welcomed from all 143 BUCS registered institutions. “The key to succeeding as an elite athlete in University is to find the right balance and level of commitment between academic studies and training/competing in the chosen sport. Daniel has managed to do this successfully whilst continuing to represent the University in BUCS and as such we’d like to congratulate him on another great year”. Losing out to Calum Robb of Heriot Watt University, who became BUCS Sportsman of the Year at the Keele University-hosted event earlier this month, was a disappointment. All the signs, however, are pointing to a bright future for Cardiff University’s Daniel Luxton. LUXTON: Powering Cardiff ahead in the pool GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION CARDIFF, PARK PLACE, CARDIFF CF10 3QN n REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST OFFICE n GAIR RHYDD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS n THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS nGAIR RHYDD IS WRITTEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITYn SI LUCEY IN BLUE MAN GROUP AND DR MANHATTAN EAR SEX SCANDAL n THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY JAKE YORATH ARE NOT THOSE OF JOE 'ANYONE WANT TO TALK ABOUT FORMULA 1' DAVIES n LUCY MORGAN "DON'T MAKE FUN OF ME ON THE BLUE BAR" n JAMIE THUNDER WOULD LET DERREN BROWN STICK HIM TO THE SOFA ANY DAY OF THE WEEK n EXTRA! SI LUCEY FOUND DRY HUMPING LAPTOP AT DAWN n
gair rhydd - Issue 902