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gair rhydd Monday April 22nd 2013 | freeword - Est. 1972 | Issue 1003

D L O S T U O Cardiff Students’ Union refuses to open the Great Hall and release more tickets for the sold out Varsity After Party, leaving hundreds of students disappointed p4 >> Opinion ask: how private are our p10 private lives?

Cardiff University are given £1.2 million to battle cyber-crime p18

In this week’s Team Talk, Sport chat to p30 C-PLAN


2 / Editor’s Note

gr H

A note from the editor (elect)...

News 4–7 Opinion 9–12 Politics 14–15

Science 16–17 Societies 20 Taf-Od 22–23 Puzzles 24 Listings 25 Sport 28–32

EDITOR Chris Williams CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan CREATIVE DIRECTOR Luke Slade SUB-EDITOR Tom Parry-Jones NEWS Kendal Archer Tom Eden Anna Hickman Bethan Jones OPINION Alice Briggs Nick Evans Alex Greig COLUMNIST Katie Bennett-Davies POLITICS Thom Hollick Rachel Lewis SCIENCE Rhiannon Davies Alexey Underwood SOCIETIES Beth Lyons LISTINGS Beth Gregory TAF-OD Tomos Lewis SPORT Ross Martinovic James Shapland

ello and welcome to this week’s paper. Unfortunately, Chris has not been able to be here this week, so I have stepped into his shoes for this issue. I therefore feel under a lot of pressure to make sure this paper is up to its usual high standard with minimal mistakes, although Chris can probably still be blamed for any of these, due to his absence. Speaking of Chris, he deserves huge congratulations for being elected as the Chair of the newly formed Student Publication Association last weekend. Another special mention goes to Michael O’Connell Davidson, next year’s Quench editor, who won the award for Best Feature, for his incredible piece entitled ‘Falling Through the Net’. If you didn’t read it when it came out, then please go onto our newly redesigned student media website ( www.cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk ) and have a read. You will not be disappointed. Unfortunately, Michael was disappointed when I left his trophy and certificate in Southampton for the SPA’s inaugural national conference. Hopefully this paper will go to print without any such mistakes. The national conference - delightfully acronym ‘SPANC’ – was a superb few days. We got to know people from across the UK, from Glasgow to Portsmouth, who are also in the privileged position to be making newspapers and magazines for students.

This is the busiest time of year for most of us, with dissertations, essays and exams draining time and fun like a parasite. Fear not, the Arts and Social Sciences Library is going to be open 24 hours! You can now procrastinate into the early hours in a whole new environment. No longer will you be confined to the Julian Hodge building with the ever-present smell of oriental food from the café. One of our editors described this news as a “game changer.” In his sleep deprived state, caused by dissertation woes, he said, “They have taken the game, ejected the game, taken another game

Want to help make the paper? As we move into the last term with exams, essay deadlines and dissertations, we’ll still be printing gair rhydd and need people to write articles for us! If you’d like to get involved, come to one of our meetings below or send a message to editor@gairrhydd.com.

April 22nd, 5:10pm, SU fourth floor April 29th, 5:10pm, SU fourth floor May 7th, 5:10pm, SU fourth floor May 13th, 5:10pm, SU fourth floor

Proofreaders wanted! Got a keen eye for grammar? Or just enjoy free pizza on Thursday nights?

GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE ARE PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION $"3%*''  1"3, 1-"$&  $"3%*'' $' 2/ t REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST 0''*$&t("*33):%%3&4&37&45)&3*()5 50&%*5"--$0/53*#65*0/4t5)&7*&84 EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE 0'5)&16#-*4)&34t("*33):%%*483*5TEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY

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and replaced the game with this new game. The game has been changed.” This is great news, but thanks to him, I have just lost the game. However, this time of year is also filled with some incredible things. Varsity is just a few days away (come on Cardiff!) and promises to be another fantastic day of sport, culminating at the Millennium Stadium. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Even if you’re not a rugby fan and don’t know how rugby works, the atmosphere of thousands of students packed into the stadium cheering for Cardiff or Swansea is a unique one and quite rightly makes Varsity the highlight of most peoples’ year. One of the biggest events from the last week, was Cardiff students’ overwhelming decision to remain with the NUS. In contrast to Chris, I am thrilled by this decision. As a sabbatical officer next year, I’m scheduled to do several NUS-run training sessions that, speaking to current sabbs, will hugely help both the Union and myself. Furthermore, the representation given on both a national and local level far outweighs what we can do alone. One of the key arguments of the ‘No2NUS’

gair rhydd would like to thank the following for their articles and help in making this issue: Contributors Elouise Hobbs, Georgia Hamer, Bartholomew Archer, Sam Lloyd, Arthur Russell, Max Eshraghi, Meyron Roderick, Lauren Boyd, Ashley Bebbington, Chris McSweeney, Hugo Bristol, James Cheeseman, Rhys Jones,

campaign, was that our elected officers were a better alternative to represent Cardiff students than the NUS. As far as I’m aware, no one from their team asked any of next year’s team their thoughts on this matter. Obviously we will work as hard as we can to listen to, act for and represent students. There can be no doubt about this, but I do not feel our voice will be heard as loudly on a national level if we were to leave the NUS. So Cardiff students, thank you for voting in such high numbers, and guiding the future decision on the NUS in a way that will benefit us all. Before I sign off until next year, there is one final massive apology I would like to issue on behalf of gair rhydd. In our last issue (1002) Taf-od, our Welsh language section, was omitted from the paper. I cannot apologise enough to those who wrote for it last week, and especially to Tom Lewis, the section editor. All the content that was meant to go in last week, is in this paper and, as always, it looks fantastic (and probably reads well too…). I hope you enjoy this week’s paper, including Taf-od, and have a great week. Tom Eden

Angharad Hywel, Sophie Howells, Michael O’Connell-Davidson, John Peterson, Kirtey Verma, Alex Papadovassilakis, Kirsty Hatcher, Brenna McInerney, Rhys Annett, Jacob Dirnhuber Proofreaders Jacob Dirnhuber, Emilia Frasobliwa, Anne Porter, Sum Tze Sum, Michael O’Connell-Davidson


3

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @mediacsu

News in brief

Words by Jacob Dirnhuber

Three dead in Boston terror attack:

A double bombing at the Boston marathon has killed three and injured over 170. Two remotely detonated devices are thought to have caused the devastation. US president Barack Obama has pledged that the perpetrators will “feel the full weight of justice”. Reports suggest that two suspects have been identified but are yet to be arrested or formally charged.

Thatcher’s funeral takes place Thousands of people attended the funeral of former Prime Minister Margret Thatcher, which took place last week. The incumbent Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the event as ‘a fitting tribute’. Four thousand police officers were stationed on duty in anticipation of mass anti-Thatcherite demonstrations, but no arrests were made.

Football fan punches horse:

A 43-year old man has been arrested on public disorder charges after being seen punching a police horse on Sky Sports in the aftermath of the Tyne-Wear derby. Barry Rogerson, from Morpeth, has claimed to be ‘disgusted’ by his actions. The horse, named Bud, was unharmed in the attack.

DPRK threaten LSE students:

Several LSE students who allowed a BBC documentary team to join them on a tour of North Korea claimed to have been threatened by the notoriously secretive government over email. The BBC has been criticised for putting students at risk after dispatching three reporters to join the 8-person tour in order to film an episode of Panorama.

Man survives encounter with ‘huge bell’:

A man in China has narrowly avoided death after what has been described as a ‘huge bell’ fell on him at the Guan Zhong memorial in Eastern China. The two-tonne bronze bell came loose and fell on the man, unnamed, but he miraculously escaped despite being trapped for two hours.

In this week’s issue... Opinion weigh up the pros and cons of goalline technology Science report on Cardiff researchers receiving a £1.2m grant to fight cybercrime p16

p11

Cardiff votes to stay in the NUS p4

Politics examine the changes to benefits in the UK p14

Athletics Club travel to Madrid for halfmarathon p29


4 / News

Students kick-off about Varsity After Party Elouise Hobbs News Writer

Hundreds of students will be left disappointed this year as the Union refuses to open the Great Hall for the Varsity After Party. Varsity is one of the largest sporting events in the University calendar and is the last big party before the onset of exams. Welsh Varsity is one of the oldest and the second largest Varsities in the country, so months of planning go into the event. After the Rugby, everyone looks forward to the Union’s After Party, but this year will be very different. Solus boasts that it is the official After Party for the event, yet for the first time, they will not be opening the Great Hall. This means that many people have been disappointed because they will now have to go elsewhere to celebrate Many students are not annoyed because the Great Hall is closed, but because when tickets initially went on sale there was no indication that a reduction in capacity was likely. As there was no warning, many second and third year students felt no rush to buy tickets and have consequently now missed out. Furthermore, major sports teams such as Basketball and Athletics have not been able to gain tickets for the After Party.

This seems unreasonable; without these sports teams, there would be no Varsity and because they have not been able to get tickets they cannot celebrate in a way which has become tradition. This has led to a suggestion that more tickets should have been put aside for the AU. Through social media, it has become clear that the students are not happy. In 15 hours over 100 people joined a Fa ceb o o k campaign entitled ‘Release more Varsity Lash tickets’, showing that there is demand for more. However, this page was only set up on Tuesday night, a mere eight days before the actual event. The Varsity After Party Facebook page is being used not for promoting the event but as a forum for buying and selling tickets. With some people selling tickets for double their value, it

begs the question how much this event is really worth, with the Great Hall closed it seems the same as any other Wednesday at the Lash. Solus Nightclub have released a statement as to why they are dramatically reducing the capacity for their After Party. It suggests that a review earlier this year showed that if the whole Student Union building was opened there would be a net loss profit. This is due to high production costs and operational issues, having to hire double security to ensure student safety on the night. Solus also argues that when they open up the whole building, many students want to be in Solus anyway so the extra space is wasted. They have assured students that the situation will be reviewed for future events, but reiterated that for this Varsity the tickets are sold out and no more are going to be released. The Union has apologised for any inconvenience or frustration caused and the final message is one of regret. The main problems seem to have arisen from unpredictable buying patterns of the students. This year people are waiting to purchase tickets until closer to the event. On Tuesday 16th, over 50 students brought group tickets but all

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were unable to buy After Party tickets because they had sold out. Harry Newman, the Students’ Union President, has released this statement, stating: “I wish we had planned to open the Great Hall from the start! Tickets were on sale for three months and it wasn’t until just one week

before the event that demand really outstripped supply. The message now is: buy early. The same goes for the Summer Ball. It will sell out!”

Students’ reactions to the sold out Varsity After Party Jack Di Francesco Biology Student 1st year

“I’m upset that the Great Hall won’t be open but I think town will be better anyway as you have more of a choice about where to go.”

Niamh Kelly

Ancient History Student 1st year “Cardiff has one of the best Unions in the country and this is one of the biggest sporting events of the year so it would be nice if everyone could celebrate together.”

Annalise Grieve

Mathematics Student 1st year “As a first year I was really excited about celebrating with my friends at the Union but I’m really disappointed because I couldn’t get tickets.”

Hannah McCann Psychology Student 1st year

“I’m looking forward to town as I think there will be more of an atmosphere with other Universities there and it will also be less cramped as people have more of a selection of place to go to.”

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5

News 4–7

Monday April 22th 2013 | @gairrhyddnews

Cardiff votes Tom Eden News Editor

Cardiff students overwhelmingly voted to remain with the NUS in a referendum last week, but the turnout didn’t reach the threshold required to make the result binding. 1121 voted to stay, with 338 voting against and 12 abstaining over the course of the three days. Because the total number of voters didn’t reach the 2,775 (10 per cent of the student population) required by the union for the motion to be passed it will now be discussed and decided by the Board of Trustees. President Harry Newman, who sits on the Board of Trustees, said of the vote, “Although it’s not binding by our own rules, it gives a really clear steer to the trustee board when they meet to discuss the way forward.” He confirmed that the issue would be discussed at the next meeting on the 18th June.

Although it’s not bninding by our own rules, it gives a really clear steer to the the trustee board when they meet to discuss the way forward

The referendum took place because of a motion submitted to the Ministry of Change saying, ‘We strongly believe that Cardiff University students should have an opportunity to choose whether we affiliate with the National Union of Students (NUS) for the next academic year.’ This motion was passed unanimously and the issue subsequently went to a vote.

of students voted

The arguments from the two sides, comprehensively detailed in last week’s gair rhydd (issue 1002), revolved around the financial and representational merits of the NUS. A debate was held in the Great Hall on Tuesday evening. Jonathan Breeze and Ryan Hunter, two students representing the ‘No2NUS’ campaign in favour of leaving the NUS, argued that the £52,000 affiliation fee was money that could be spent elsewhere in the Union and that the elected officer team could represent students better on both

a local and national level. Samantha Reid, a current postgraduate student, and Ollie Wannell, the VP Education elect represented the Yes2NUS campaign. They suggested that the financial benefits of the NUS – thanks to their buying consortium NUSSL – vastly outweigh the fee for membership. A figure of £130,000 in benefits was quoted by the yes campaign, which includes £40,000 of cost price alcohol given to our union for free. Wannell elicited laughter from those in attendance for his analogy of how the NUS has more to offer than just money, saying, “To say that the benefit of membership to the NUS is a financial one is much like a child saying that the benefit of having parents is pocket money.” Both sides disagreed with the level and quality of representation provided by the NUS. Those opposed to the NUS criticised it for its left-of-centre political leaning, with a party-political agenda. Furthermore, they suggested it dictated to our union, with examples such as the attempt to close our pole dancing society mentioned in the debate. This was refuted, and the members from the yes campaign argued that without the NUS we would be a lone and quiet voice in comparison to the 95 per cent of students represented by the NUS. There is also the issue of the training the NUS provides. This was a point raised by Wannell in his speech, saying, “As VP Education next year, I will need the training and support provided by the NUS.” This directly opposed the point made by the no team that our elected officers were a suitable alternative to the NUS and were able to represent students to the same level as the NUS both locally and nationally. Following the debate between the two sides, Liam Burns and Stephanie Lloyd – the NUS President and NUS Wales President respectively - took to the stage for a question and answer session. Many of the crowd were impressed by their performances, with Edore Evuarhehe commenting that, “Liam Burns and Stepha-

To say that the benefit of membership to the NUS is a financial one is much like a child saying that the benefit of having parents is pocket money

nie Lloyd offered clear and concise arguments for why it is so important for the University to remain in the NUS. They did this while also acknowledging their past failings. To me this showed that the NUS is willing and able to improve itself and it’s support Cardiff students” Harry Newman, speaking to the gair rhydd after the results were announced, paid tribute to all those who took part in the referendum, saying, “I would like to

thank all the students who voted, campaigned and engaged with the democratic process. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Stephanie Lloyd and Liam Burns and their team for giving up their teams for giving up their time to come and campaign so positively to our students.” On the outcome of the vote, he added, “It was the right result and turnout was higher than I had expected at 5% of the student population.”

Twitter


6 / News

Success for Cardiff at Student Publication Association Anna Hickman News Editor

The Student Publication Association (SPA) has been launched in order to support student publications across the country. Our current Head of Student Media, Christopher Williams, was voted in as Chairperson of the organisation. The decision was made by student journalists from over a dozen universities at a national conference held at Southampton

University, and took place between 11th and 13th April. The conference also saw Cardiff University Student Media’s very own Michael O’Connell Davidson win the award for Best Feature for his article, ‘Slipping Through the Net.’ The conference, which took place at Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU), saw the creation of the SPA in order to offer student journalists the opportunity to discuss the best way to support student publications.

It is hoped it will be considered the print and digital equivalent of other student media associations such as the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) and Student Radio Association (SRA). The event, organised by David Gilani, one of SUSU’s sabbatical officers, hosted workshops on how to overcome the issues faced by independent and student publications, and speeches from human rights journalist Elizabeth Mistry and The National Student founder, James Thornhill. The culmination of the of the weekend saw the first Student Publication Association awards dinner, with over 100 people in attendance. Michael O’Connell Davidson, future Editor of Quench, current Video Games Editor and first year journalism student, won the award for Best Student Feature for his piece entitled ‘Slipping Through the Net.’ He said of the award, 'I'm incredibly humbled to receive this award. I'd like to thank the Student Publication Association and those who organised this year’s conference for their recognition, as well as Quench’ s excellent features team for allowing me the opportunity to write for them. “Cardiff Student Media represents a huge number of very talented students, and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve in the future.”

The weekend also saw the SPA’s first AGM, where the association elected its first executive committee with Cardiff’s Chris Williams elected as chair. Chris said of the conference: “There are so many passionate people from around the country who love getting involved in their publications. It's brilliant to be the chair of an association who will help to facilitate that. “There’s still lots to do to get the SPA off the ground, so the exec will be working tirelessly to make sure that publications get the support and help they need. I can't wait to continue being involved in student journalism for the year ahead!” In recognition of Gilani’s efforts to kick-start the association,

he was unanimously voted in as a life member at the AGM. Speaking of the event, Gilani said: “I'll always be immensely grateful for the dozens of students who took the time, money and effort to come down and make this conference what it was; not to mention the hundreds who submitted awards online.” “Everybody has been so supportive of this idea, and it’s that support which has made me confident that the SPA will continue to grow and thrive, until it can truly support all student publications.” The SPA committee is expected to formalise the association’s structure in the coming months.

some problems regarding the updating of course literature, which started initial confusion over the word length. In response to students questions regarding the word limit, it is thought that different supervisors gave different information. However, on October 11th 2012, the module convenor for the first half of the year, Hugh Compston, sent out an email clearly stating that the maximum word limit was 8,000. All students were therefore informed of the word limit. Despite this, and as a result of poor communication, some students still believe the word limit to be 10,000. The email received on April 15th stated that: “In order to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by this situation the Poli-

tics Department has taken the following decision: As some students have been unambiguously told that the limit is 10,000 words no student will be penalised for going up to that mark. “However, if a student has edited their dissertation to 8,000 words, as the module description requires, the Exam Board will ensure that they are assessed in this context.” This seems like a fair decision, and under the circumstances is probably the best that could have been made. However, as some Politics students have noted, it is the ambiguity surrounding the word limit that now makes satisfactory completion of the module more difficult. As, for students who had been planning for a 10,000 word limit all along, the decision

is a good one. For some students, it is unclear how to proceed if they had not been told that the word limit was 10,000 from the beginning of the year. They also now face the problem of whether to change the length of their essay; it could prove more advantageous to have an extra 2,000 words. Equally, however, choosing to extend the essay would create more work and might not even pay off. Either way, 2,000 words would constitute a significant chunk of the dissertation, accounting for twenty or twenty five per cent. Overall, the problem appears to be lack of communication and a problem with updating course literature. Students have been left in confusion and are worried about this last minute update.

Last minute 2,000 word change for EUROP students Kendal Archer News Editor

With less than a month left until the deadline, EUROP students have been informed that there has been a change to the word limit for their dissertation. An email was sent out on Monday 15th April informing students that dissertations of either 8,000 or 10,000 length will be accepted. The responsibility to inform students was left to Peri Roberts, Chair of the Politics Exam Board 2013. Responsibility also lay with and one of the two module convenors for the dissertation module, in charge of running the module in the second half of the academic year, after returning from sabbatical leave. The second convenor is Hugh Compston, who

was convenor for the term until Christmas. The problem arose as, during the course of the year, different students had been told different information regarding the length of the dissertation from their various dissertation supervisors, of which there are roughly 15 – 20 for the year. In the last academic year, 201112, and in many previous years, the dissertation module had been worth 30 credits, and the word length was 10,000. However, for this academic year, 2012-13, the revised version of the Third Year Politics Module Guide stated that the dissertation would now constitute a 20-credit module and, as such, the word limit would be reduced to 8,000 to reflect this credit reduction. It is thought that there were


News 4–7

Monday March 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddnews

7

Could Twitter cost you your career? News writer Georgia Hamer investigates Last week, Kent’s newly appointed Youth Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) was forced to resign following criticism of messages she posted on Twitter, highlighting the dangers of social networking. Paris Brown, Britain’s first Youth Crime Commissioner, quit just days after her appointment, following the launch of a police inquiry into a string of offensive posts on her Twitter account, which were deemed to be racist and homophobic.

Ill-advised posts may not just risk your career, but can also lead to legal action Similar stories have hit headlines time and time again in recent years, often concerning those in the public eye. Metropolitan Police, Officer Police Sergeant Jeremy Scott, was forced to resign following a tweet concerning the recent death of Margaret Thatcher, in which he stated that he hoped her death was “painful and degrading.” Ill-advised posts may not just risk your career, but can also lead to legal action. Alongside numerous trials concerning online abuse, the case of Paul Chambers demonstrated just how easy it is for posts to be taken out of context, resulting in serious consequences. In 2010, Chambers

landed a criminal record, after he was found guilty of sending a menacing tweet and fined a staggering £1,000. The allegation followed a tweet he made expressing his distress at the closure of Robin Hood airport in South Yorkshire, in which he stated he was going to “blow the airport sky high”, a comment he merely intended as a “silly joke”, which swiftly lead to his arrest. Chambers later appealed against the conviction and eventually won his case after a two year battle. In today’s technology orientated society, we document much of our lives on social media and it can be all too easy to forget how accessible this information is to the public. What is perhaps most alarming about the case concerning youth PCC Paris Brown is the fact the tweets, which were subject to investigation by Kent Police, were written when she was between the age of 14 and 16, a prime example of how your online history can come back to haunt you even years down the line. Ann Barnes, the police and crime commissioner for Kent, admitted the tweets of her Chief Youth Officer had not been previously vetted but was quick to defend her appointment of the role stating: “I think it would have been absolutely impossible to have found a young person who had not made a silly, foolish or even perhaps deeply offensive comment during their short life-

time.” Granted, if we were to look at the social networking pages of students it is likely that a large number of us would be guilty of posts, which in hindsight, could be deemed inappropriate. This begs the question: do we need to be more careful with what we post online?

We document much of our lives on social media and it can be all too easy to forget how accessible this information is to the public

Adam Clymo, a student at Cardiff University, stated: “I do think it’s important to monitor what you’re publishing on the internet, particularly as you begin to enter the workplace. Although, in the case of Paris Brown I feel it was unfair for her to be judged on comments made so far in the past, as these aren’t necessarily true representations of her views. You see these kind of posts online all the time, we’re all young and stupid once but our attitudes change.” Toby Seabright added: “Whether or not it’s a true representation of yourself, employers might assume that things on your social networking still apply many years down the line, and

therefore won’t think twice about employing you.” With an increasing number of employers running mandatory checks of Facebook pages during their recruitment processes, you may wish to reconsider controversial posts or incriminating

Over half of employers are now using Facebook as a tool to judge potential candidates images. Student Rhys Thomas admitted, like many, it was not something he had previously considered, adding: “I’d rather an

employer didn’t check my social networking sites, I doubt it would do much to boost my future career.” Natasha Adams opposed to the use of online sources as a way of vetting potential candidates stating: “What I do outside of work does not necessarily affect my performance at work.” Whether or not it provides a fair representation of people’s ability to work is questionably. Recent reports have shown that over half of employers are now using Facebook as a tool to judge potential candidates, often rejecting those with drunken posts on the grounds that they are more likely to skip work due to a hangover; news which is likely to spell disaster for a great number of students upon graduation.


While you fulfil life’s true potential, we’ll make sure your property does too.

   

          


9

Opinion 9–12

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddop

For & Against

Weigh more, pay more?

Opinion writers John Peterson and Kirtey Verma look at Airbus’ plans to make wider seats and charge more for them, and the implications this could have for the overweight population

S

For

o people will now be able to pay more for wider seats on some aeroplanes. First things first, this is not a ‘pay-as-you-weigh’ scheme, but is based on seat width. This is great news if you want to be able to spread out a little more – I’m certainly looking forward to a bit more room. People of a larger disposition are not so enamoured by this choice, but all in all, I think it’s a good thing. There’s a number of reasons this is the case. One: my friend once suffered an eight-hour journey sandwiched between two overweight gentlemen – his seat width heavily reduced due to the expansion of their waistlines. This will no longer happen, which is nice to know. Everyone will be able to enjoy their journey in comfort, regardless of their weight, in the size of seat they pay for. Furthermore, we are in what I can only think to describe as an obesity epidemic. While the plane seats may not totally alter the state of things, I imagine it will help larger people to realise the fact that they are overweight, and this revelation could well spur them on to get healthy. I have very little sympathy with the extremely overweight, for the sheer knowledge that, as hard as it may be to lose weight, it’s not a definitive state of existence. I feel that anything with the ability to potentially help people to

better health should be given a chance. Another reason this is a good thing: Here is person A. Person A weighs 20 stone and their bag 25kg. Person B weighs 10 stone and their bag 26kg. Because of this extra 1kg on their bag, person B has to pay extra money, even though their total weight is less than person B. This is something which has often confused me. Samoa Air has become the first airline to charge passengers based on their weight, and I agree this is too far, but it is very annoying being told that you have to pay a huge fee because your bag is a mere kilogram heavier than someone else’s, when that person is vastly heavier than yourself. Larger people may complain that this is a tax on the fat, but this is not necessarily the case. This merely gives them the option of being more comfortable. Given that people, big and small, have been complaining for years about the size of seats on aeroplanes, it seems contradictory to complain about seats now getting bigger - and of course the bigger seats are going to cost more - otherwise people would complain that it was unfair that you could end up with a smaller seat for the same price of a more comfortable experience. Finally, not every aeroplane is going to be like this, so if people are averse to it, they still have the option to fly in a regularly proportioned plane. JP

A “

Given that people, big and small, have been complaining for years about the size of seats on aeroplanes, it seems contradictory to complain about seats now getting bigger

Against

slightly turbulent topic, the new scheme to widen some seats being introduced by airlines has, naturally, divided most people. The leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, currently argues that, instead of paying for any seat, you should pay a fixed price depending on the width of your seat. It seems to me that this scheme not only encourages the kind of unfair discrimination that we should be avoiding, it also marks a huge invasion of privacy, as you would be required to put your personal details online when booking as well. Some airlines also think that you should be weighed on scales when you get to the airport as well, almost as if they don’t trust that you’ve supplied the correct details. What if, by the time you’ve reached the airport, you’ve put on a few extra pounds and you suddenly don’t qualify for the smaller seats? After all, the stress of flying, alone, is enough to make you grab that sugary donut. You would be weighed in public and be guided to a larger seat, separated from your family or friends who have booked their tickets with you. Frankly, it’s more than a bit humiliating. Of course, the backlash over this new scheme doesn’t even stop at the suggestion of wider seats. By widening seat size for passengers with a heavier frame, other seats would need to be trimmed down and be given to slimmer passen-

gers and consequently, they would have less room. Anyone who has travelled by plane before knows how uncomfortable it is, even with a regular seat, so to be told that you have less room will definitely not fly. Surely the aim of the airline should be to deliver exceptional customer service in order to increase customer loyalty, therefore increasing profits and the prospect of the customer flying with the airline again? If this were the case, everyone would be a winner. Arguably, there is too much focus on body image in society these days anyway and this suggestion by Airbus is yet another thing that will add to an already image-oriented society. If everything becomes size-oriented, then it doesn’t say much for society or its future. This idea will only succeed in making curvy people and those who are trying to lose weight feel ashamed of their body. If this scheme were to follow through, Airbus would have its pound of flesh at the cost of equality. Nonetheless, if you are an obese passenger and the airline has no place to seat you, then it is a problem and, understandably, you should pay extra. However, should this scheme really extend to people who are just over the weight boundary for a smaller seat? Somehow, I don’t think this scheme will take off in the way airline bosses expect. KV


10 / Opinion

How private are our private lives? The popularity of social media sites has made our online profiles accessible to everyone. Max Eshraghi discusses the implications this can have on our employability

T

he Big Brother society is creeping ever closer. Orwell’s predictions of an overriding authoritarian state have become a more potent reality in the last few years and we are the ones helping it along. Every uploaded photo, every ranting status and every profanity-laden comment is a potentially incriminating piece of evidence to be used by the all-knowing employer. Well, that’s what we’ve been warned, especially those in their final years entering the world of work. All too often employers are scouring social networking sites looking for indications that their prospective employee is unsuitable for the job. But how private should our online lives be? Where should the line be drawn? A survey last year by Harris Interactive found that 37% of employers use social media to vet potential employees while a further 11% said they intend to pre-screen in future. In ten years time there’s no reason to suggest that percentage increases expo-

nentially.

37% of employers use social media to vet potential employees while a further 11% said they intend to prescreen in future According to the report, 34% of hiring managers had come across something which caused them not to hire a candidate. This was more often than not a status referencing drug or alcohol use or a provocative photo. Thinking back to my own facebook profile, I can’t count the number of times these have cropped up on my news feed. There have been an increasing number of high profile media cases of dismissals via social network evidence. Kelly Doherty, 26, skipped work only to have her boss see her Facebook pictures, who fired her shortly afterwards. Kimberely Swann, 16, was shown the door after posting that her job at Ivell Marketing & Logis-

tics was ‘boring’ on her Facebook page. Marks & Spencer staff were caught branding customers ‘idiots’ and ‘cheap little b******s’ on Facebook. Last November, British Airways staff caused uproar by calling passengers ‘smelly and annoying’ and Virgin Atlantic sacked 13 crew for describing passengers as ‘chavs’. But it’s not these more extreme examples of clearly NSFW statuses and comments that are worrying. It’s the mundane ones. The everyday complaints that can be made by the smartest students. The BBC quoted recently a seventeen year old boy who didn’t want to be identified who claimed he lost out on a job after joking about a cafe chain on

Twitter. “It’s frustrating I have to be very careful now and can’t always say what I really feel,” he said. This is the real worry. When our thoughts and feelings independent from our work environment undergo forced censorship. Did his thoughts on an unrelated café chain really affect his employability that much? It’s frightening to think employers may think so.

We’re in the 21st century now and our personal life is only as private as the settings we set for them Many of the employers surveyed purportedly used these searches to see if the applicant ‘presents him or herself professionally’. But this seems like an unfair demand when the resource used to judge the applicant is a site designed for your personal rather than professional life. There have also been employers who professed they rejected a candidate based on the

grammar and writing skills of his social network profile. The absurdity of this statement is enough to boycott that employer’s company altogether. If they believe there’s a correlation between grammatical accuracy and social network entries they are totally detached from reality. This is certainly not the place to establish how competently they can deliver an office report. The Recruitment Society and The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has the final word on the matter, delivering a series of useful yet ominous warnings. Monitor what your friends post about you, change your privacy settings and don’t risk your job for the sake of controversy or provocativeness seem to be the overriding messages. Quite a strict set of rules for what is supposed to be your own personal space. But we’re in the 21st century now and our personal life is only as private as the settings we set for them.

The NUS referendum

Head of Student Media Chris Williams looks at the arguments for and against Cardiff remaining in the NUS, and outlines why he thinks we should leave

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few months back, the NUS did something which I don’t think I can ever forgive them for. On two occasions the NUS attacked a student newspaper – be it formally or one or two of their exec – and told them to retract articles and stifle their freedom of speech. The problem with this was firstly, that the NUS was working entirely outside of its remit - at no point could or should the NUS tell a Union what to do – and secondly, the NUS was trying to stifle a fundamental freedom: freedom of speech. In my role as Head of Student Media I have to deal with the idea of freedom of speech every day. It’s something which, as a British citizen, I’m actually very proud of. No newspaper or broadcaster should be subject to arbitrary rules which shut out certain views from a debate just because those views are less than savoury. The NUS think otherwise. Yet, while it may appear that this is the only reason that the gair rhydd editor may hold a

view (and that’s important – the newspaper has not and will not take a stance on this, or any other referenda issue) there are more reasons than just that. Last July I suffered through one day of conference and I swore I’d never go back. Within the first few moments of Steph Lloyd’s speech I swore the word ‘comrade’ would come out. It was militant, as if the student movement had been made illegal – forced to go underground and needed someone to rile up the troops before the coup was made on the Senedd. I’m a politics student and I went into this with an entirely open mind, I had no opinion of

the NUS until my first contact with them at this conference, but I left the room with a group of people whom I saw as entirely out of touch with the average student and, more worryingly, entirely out of touch with Cardiff students. Asking one of the representatives of the NUS what the benefits of the NUS are, it became apparent that the only sensible response I’d get would be about alcohol. In fact, when I asked “what are the main benefits of the NUS?”, I expected to hear a response about representation, changing the student movement for the better or perhaps the benefit of

being part of a larger group of Union’s to get your voice heard. In reality, the reply was simply “NUSSL”. So, we spend £50,000 a year for NUSSL – the buying consortium which is owned by the NUS – and that’s the biggest benefit that our membership fee gives us. Now, I don’t doubt that as a large number of Universities there is buying power. But that sort of buying power will only truly benefit the smaller Unions. We are by no means a small union. We have buying power on our own and without the NUS we aren’t constrained in what we can buy. So, if the only good thing about

the NUS is the buying power on products we sell, I’d rather the freedom to choose what we want to buy from wherever we want to buy it. On top of that, is the simple fact that £50,000 is the first charge the NUS levy on a Union. Each conference we attend costs money on top of the £50,000 affiliation fee, the NUS national conference, for example, cost the Union around £300 each. Here’s another problem: the National Union of Students represents students. That is, they represent all students, not just those who are part of the NUS. So, if the government cave to a demand of the NUS on tuition fees for example then all students will benefit: not just those students whose union’s are affiliated to the NUS. Of course, as I write this article, we are just a few hours into the campaigning for the Yes and No team – the result still hangs in the balance and I just don’t know how it will go – but I severely hope that the No campaign wins. [Ed: They lost...severely.]


Opinion 9–12

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddop

Can buses be cool?

Varsity is coming: prepare yourself

Cardiff raises the age limit on child tickets in an attmept to make buses ‘cool’. Has it worked? Bartholomew “Bazzles” Archer investigates

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he other day I went on a bus. The bus was full of old people and scary-looking people. Basically, the only teeth on the bus were mine. The bus is not the place to be, man. Everyone’s got to go somewhere, but no one likes getting the bus. It’s uncool. Even trains are better for you than buses, and I once saw a man on a train try and start a fight with his own can of Carling. It seems, though, that the government minister people have decided that buses are uncool officially, so what they done is they made bus fares cheaper for us 17-year-olds, to try and get us

to use it. Now fair play, it ain’t a bad move. If I use the bus, it could mean more money for McDonalds, and they’ve got that Monopoly thing going on at the moment, so it means definitely getting rich. Therefore, this policy could make me rich, like. The main problem, though, is that making it cheaper might not make us want to use the buses, it might do the opposite. Since when has anything cheap been cool? Does Barack Obama shop at Matalan? No. He should though, they got some nice things. My point is, I don’t like taking the bus, and I don’t think it being cheaper is going to change that. It’s a shame, though, because I really want to win that Monopoly thing.

11

Sam Lloyd

Opinion Writer Varsity events between local universities occur up and down the country, and there’s a wide consensus of opinion about them. Many appreciate and really get into the sporting side of the day’s events, supporting their university, while others just see it as another excuse for people to binge drink all day, regardless of the sporting competitions. Of course, there are also those who appreciate the drinking.

What must be appreciated about the Welsh Varsity, though, is it’s unrivalled grand scale. There are no other universities that participate in a Varsity event, other than Oxford and Cambridge, who can boast a venue as prestigious as the Millennium Stadium. International rugby players from all over the world, including New Zealand’s Dan Carter, recognise it as probably the best rugby stadium to play in in the world, for its unassailable atmosphere, making it a fine asset to the celebration that

is Welsh Varsity. After all, Varsity is a celebration. It’s an opportunity to indulge in sports that you’re familiar with, and also discover new ones. Last year, I went to watch the Ultimate Frisbee match, which Cardiff played incredibly well in. I had no prior knowledge of the sport beforehand, but I quickly found myself emerged in the spirit of it.

What must be appreciated about the Welsh Varsity, though, is it’s unrivalled grand scale Therefore, regardless of whether the aim is to get drunk throughout the day and become full-on Welsh nutters, I would urge people to explore Varsity, get into the spirit, and really enjoy it. It’s definitely possible, even if you don’t like sport.

Goal-line technology gets green light for Premier League Arthur Russell Opinion Writer

Top flight clubs have voted to introduce goal-line technology into the Premier League from August onwards. The much-debated topic has finally been recognised as a viable option for the footballing elite world. FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently swallowed his pride by committing to using technology at next year’s World Cup Finals, and the Premier League has followed suit. British-based company HawkEye has been chosen to provide the system, a decision that even Jonathan Creek would struggle to find fault in. Hawk-Eye appears flawless in theory, using seven cameras to judge whether or not the ball has crossed the line. The company claim that their system is “millimetre-accurate”, to help prevent both gross injustices from refereeing decisions and other sources disproving their verdicts. Inventor Paul Hawkins believes its influence will not harm the game’s free-flowing nature, saying: “It will not slow the game down – it is not going to become like rugby”, referring to rugby’s stop-start nature. His statement seems plausible, given that the system can provide the information to watch within “under a second”.

While ensuring correct decisions, the replies will add to the already intense drama, just like it does at Wimbledon. Consequently, this could help to preserve the

keep up to speed with everything in a full 90 minutes. Football is already a global business, with a colossal amount of finances invested by clubs and

be dressed accordingly. Given such technology has already been introduced and excelled in other sports, perhaps its introduction into football is long

view of Premier League as one of the most entertaining spectacles in world football. Goal-line technology will surely aid referees, who, let’s be honest, can’t always

fans alike, surely they both deserve a justified decision. The ‘wrong’ result of a decision could have a monumental impact on a club’s finances and thus should

overdue. Goal-line technology is poised to take the game into the 21st century and perhaps just the beginning for technological influence on the beautiful game.

There are reasons as to why football has been so slow in embracing goal-line technology. There is a clear opportunity cost involved – couldn’t the money spent on implementing and maintaining the system be spent on a more widespread cause, such as grassroots football? Some feel the money should be invested into developing greater technology that could help referees with more endemic problems, where there is more ambiguity, such as the offside rule, penalty decisions or diving. Another consideration is the prevalence of such goal-line controversies; how often do they really happen? From a fan’s perspective, if it means I don’t have to helplessly endure the pain of watching incidents such as Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost’ goal against Germany at the 2010 World Cup – and, rather more impartial to me, the denial of a clear Ukrainian goal against my beloved side at Euro 2012 – I’m in favour of using it. Hawk-Eye has revolutionised the way both cricket and tennis are played, albeit limited to elite level. But could it not do the same for football? Goal-line technology could well lay the foundations to help technology further address other disputes in the sport. Its introduction to the Premier League is just a start, there could well be more to come.


12 / Columnist

by Katie Bennett-Davies

Keep calm and love life

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ay is fast approaching. For most of us that means that our exams are drawing near. You might be a first year, or final year, student, but I bet you’re all starting to feel the pressure. In fact, since its deadline season, I’m sure that most of you reading are already on first name terms with stress. This time of year, I often hear friends say that they’ve gone into ‘exam mode’, or ‘dissertation mode’. I take this to mean that they’ve withdraw into a world

of revision, isolation, late nights and generally not looking after themselves. Now, some of us can do this with minimum fallout. I think, however, that for a lot of us this simply isn’t possible. In the past, when I’ve reverted to this hermit like stage, I’ve really suffered. I’ve struggled with mental health issues since I was a teenager and it has run in my family for a few generations. I struggle most around this time of year, when the pressure is on. It’s so tempting to fully consume myself in assessment preparations because we’re under the illusion that working 24/7 is the best way

to get the top grades. I have to remind myself to enjoy life, otherwise I will crash and burn out. It’s a sad truth that one in four of us is probably going to experience mental health problems over the course of our lives. You might have realised that last week was Depression Awareness Week, and I know what you’re thinking, it often seems like every week has some kind of theme attached to it. But if you were in any doubt of the importance of raising awareness of depression, then I hope that statistic strikes it home for you. I don’t think it’s just people

with depression that need to remember to look after themselves and have some fun during this time of year. A lot of people struggle with anxiety and stress even if they don’t usually have problems with their mental health. I’ve seen situations with friends where this has been consuming. Had they remembered to look after themselves, then it would have been a lot less painful. One thing that’s really caught my attention over the last few weeks has been a new Facebook group called ‘Keep Calm and Love Life’. It’s a project started

up specifically for Cardiff University students. The group does a great job of encouraging me to love life and is a regular source of motivation for me when I’m flagging. The group was started up by last year’s honour roll student, Rachel Egan. I was talking to her earlier on in the week and she spoke about it being important to her that the group provides regular affirmation while also providing “links to resources about where to seek help”. Rachel, rather poetically, described the Facebook group as being “a candle in the darkness for a student suffering in silence”. I found that, when I’ve being struggling most with depression, I don’t tell anyone about it. Not even my husband. It’s a mistake I’ve made over, and over, again. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to tell someone about what you’re thinking. When you allow it to fester, the darkness becomes stronger, but by letting other people in you are opening a door and allowing a ray of light to shine through. We’re lucky in this university in that we have some great facilities to help students who are either struggling with their mental health, or with the stress of their course. To use Rachel’s imagery, there’s more than one candle in the darkness. I’ve used the counselling service a number of times while a student. But, in addition to that, we’ve got some great student run societies. I’ve been to events by both the Mental Wealth Society and SRSH. Not only are they both really understanding and supportive, but their events and activities are so much fun. The highlight of my year is always Mental Wealth’s Inner Child day. If you’ve missed it, it’s basically a day when they take over Solus with bouncy castles, sweets, face paints and Sumo Suits. Needless to say, it’s an amazing way to blow off steam and not take yourself so seriously. I guess that if I were to summarise my column this week, it would be to say, look after yourselves, don’t give in to isolation and have some fun.


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14 / Politics Government announces dramatic benefit reforms This month has seen the introduction of some of the Coalition’s biggest reforms to welfare yet. Meryon Roderick discusses these changes, and asks some students what they think

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ast week marked the introduction of dramatic cuts to the UK’s benefits system. Several key reforms were introduced that will all be in place across the country by the end of this year. The first and most far-reaching change is a benefit cap which now limits any childless adult to a maximum claim of £350 a week and any lone parent or couple to £500 regardless of the number of children in their household. The government claims these limitations on benefit claims will save £110m in the financial year 2013/14 and will encourage more people to find work. However, the plans have been criticised by opposition ministers as they claim that regional disparities such as house prices and cost of living have not been taken into account, and large families will be hugely disadvantaged. Households receiving benefits stand to lose £93 a week on average. Around forty thousand in total will be affected, up to 50 per cent of which will be lone parents. This has caused widespread opposition in some areas as protestors led by the group UK Uncut blocked the street outside the North London house of Lord Freud, the welfare minister. Greenwich, a Labour constituency, will be one of the first authorities to impose the new system. They are offering 6 month job placements in the public sector, including recycling and street cleaning in an attempt to

help people currently claiming benefits to gain employment. However, Conservative critics have expressed doubt as to whether these placements will lead to any kind of long term employment, arguing instead that the money should be invested in the private sector to create job opportunities there.

Same-sex siblings are expected to share a room up to the age of sixteen The second change to be enforced will be the single room subsidy, or the ‘bedroom tax’ as Labour have scathingly branded it. This system is designed to ensure that tenants are living in a house that is suitably sized. This means 14 per cent of housing benefit will be lost by those with one extra room, and 25 per cent lost for two or more. A maximum of two children up to sixteen years of age are expected to share a room if they are the same gender, and up to the age of ten two children of any gender are expected to share a room. This means that a family of two parents and two fifteen year old boys in a three bedroom house would still lose 14% of their housing benefit as the boys would be expected to share. It has emerged that in many areas (particularly in Wales), there are not enough single bedroom houses to accommodate people moving out of ‘oversized’ homes. Despite this, families living in houses that are larger than nec-

essary are expected to downsize to a smaller house to avoid the single room subsidy. Those opposed to the cuts believe this may lead to raised levels of homelessness due to many being unable to pay for their homes with such reduced benefit. Another drastic change to the benefits system is the replacement of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) with PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Disability benefit is one of the larger benefits paid out, with around 3.2 million people currently claiming it. Under the new system up to a fifth of these claimants would be ineligible leading to an expected saving of £2.2 billion by 2015. It is claimed that this is a fairer and easier to understand system but disability groups have condemned PIP as a money saving exercise, as they claim DLA is one of the most accurately administered benefits with a fraud rate estimated at only 0.5 per cent. I interviewed two first year students, Natasha Lampard who has first hand experience of the benefit system, and Arthur Ush-

er whose family do not claim any benefits. When asked who would suffer the most from benefit cuts Natasha suggested that the elderly stand to lose a lot of benefit due to the bedroom tax, and that for families with a child at university it is unclear whether their room counts as spare or not if they occupy it during the holidays. Both agreed that single parents who may not be able to work due to childcare commitments certainly stand to lose out hugely under the new system. Both thought that some of the changes to the benefit system were necessary: Natasha suggested that moving single occupants into smaller homes to make room for families was a necessary move, and Arthur thought that cutting Job Seekers Allowance may encourage people to find work. However both agreed that the bedroom tax seemed poorly thought out and heavily flawed. Natasha argues that more pressure ought to be put on those with higher incomes, such as a tax on second homes. They disagreed about whether the cuts would encourage wo r k .

Arthur suggested that people would be encouraged to work to gain a higher income, though other measures would have to be introduced, such as more jobs and employment programmes. Natasha disagreed, saying that a persons unwillingness to work is more to do with social factors than purely income, and taking more money from people would simply discourage them from trying to contribute more to society. Despite their reservations, both students agreed that the current system is unfair, since many people are able to claim benefit that is unnecessary; Arthur cited the television presenter Philip Schofield’s claiming of child benefit as a prime example. These interviews clearly suggest divided opinions when it comes to many of the key issues surrounding cuts and welfare reform. If you are personally unaffected by these reforms, it is difficult to objectively gauge their effects on society. It is clear though that where our interviewees are in agreement, it highlights some quite important oversights in what many believe are over-generalised and poorly thought out reforms.

Farewell worklessness!

Business secretary raises minimum wage Lauren Boyd Politics Writer

The living wage would make work pay without having to rely on benefits such as Working Tax Credit

Vince Cable has announced a 12p increase in the National Minimum Wage to £6.31. This is a cut in real terms as the increase is significantly below inflation. Young people will be most affected by what is effectively a wage reduction. The Youth Development Rate for 18-20 year olds and the rate for 16-17 year olds have increased by only 1 per cent, to £5.03 and £3.72 respectively. Inflation is approximately 3 times as high, with RPI at 3.2 per cent and CPI at 2.8 per cent. Cable defended the changes, saying: “cuts in real wages depress consumption and demand and thereby cause unemployment”. Although this appears to be an unusual defence for what is, in fact, a cut in real wages, he was defending the increases from

business leaders and those on the right who were in favour of a pay freeze. The changes are a disappointment to advocates of the living wage, which is currently £8.55 in London and £7.45 in the rest of the UK. The living wage is calculated based on the cost of essentials such as food, housing, childcare and transport. The introduction of the living wage would make work pay without people having to rely on in-work benefits such as Working Tax Credit. Currently, 1 in 5 people are not paid enough to live on. In rhetoric at least, the living wage has cross party support. Boris Johnson has required companies to pay the living wage to obtain public contracts with the capital, although ministers from his own party have criticised the scheme for its possible illegality. Similarly, Ed Miliband has pledged to only offer Whitehall

contracts to companies paying at least a living wage. Labour Students have been campaigning for a living wage for all university staff over the past year, and have been successful at Manchester University, Kent and De Montfort. The minimum wage was decided by the Low Pay Commission, taking the struggling economy into consideration and balancing the interests of stakeholders: businesses and trade unions. Although the modest increase in the minimum wage has been regarded as necessary given the economic climate, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Boosting the incomes of the low-paid goes straight into the economy.” This is because low-paid workers spend all their income rather than saving. Intuitively we expect an increase in the minimum wage to stop companies from hiring

thereby increasing unemployment. Economists however have found that an increase in the minimum wage has no significant impact on unemployment. The Centre for Economic Policy Research found that, rather than stopping hiring, businesses make adjustments to compensate by reducing the pay of those on higher income, increasing efficiency and making small price increases. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) found that a living wage would likely only cause a 0.5 per cent increase in unemployment. The US currently has similar levels of unemployment to the UK, with 7.6 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively. Despite this, Obama has pledged a significant minimum wage increase to $9 an hour. Future minimum wage increases in the US will then be linked to inflation.


Politics 14–15

Monday 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddpol Monday April January 28th 2013 | @gairrhyddpol

15

Bankers’ cocaine use caused financial crisis

Ashley Bebbington discusses David Nutt’s controversial hypothesis that excessive cocaine use by London city bankers created risk-taking behaviour that could have caused the crisis

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rofessor David Nutt, a former drugs adviser to the UK government, has attracted further controversy this week by suggesting that bankers taking too much cocaine may have caused the financial crisis. He told the Sunday Times that the drug makes people ‘overconfident’ and its use by bankers encouraged risk-taking behaviour. The Cambridge-educated academic, who was in charge of the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs from 2008-09, claims that cocaine is a perfect fit for the banking “culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more. It is a ‘more’ drug”. As well as the current financial crisis, he also attributes the impact of the drug to the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995. Dr Chris Luke, a specialist at Cork University Hospital, agreed with Professor Nutt stating that widespread cocaine abuse in the City meant bankers “were making insane decisions and thinking they were 110 per cent right … which led to the current chaos”. Whilst Dr Luke says that “selfishness, ignorance and ruthlessness” were major factors in the

risk-taking behaviours exhibited by bankers, he goes on to say that it would be “foolish” to ignore the role of cocaine in the crisis. Ex-banker Geraint Anderson has scathingly attacked the cocaine culture that is rife in the City, saying “only cocaine-ravaged buffoons would actually buy billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities when they were so clearly doomed to explode the minute the property boom stalled”. He also noted that since the financial crisis bankers are becoming afraid to use cocaine, fearing further financial woes, and that the drug’s use has diminished.

Only cocaineravaged buffoons would buy billions of dollars of doomed securities David Nutt, who teaches neuro-psycho-pharmacology at Imperial College London, is in favour of the decriminalisation of a number of drugs, and claims that the illegal status of magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis makes it difficult for scientists to study their beneficial qualities. He believes that psilocybin, the

psychoactive compound present in magic mushrooms, is an effective treatment for depression, but the illegality of the drug has hampered his research. He said: “We have regulations which are 50 years old, have never been reviewed and they are holding us back, they’re stopping us doing the science and I think it’s a disgrace actually”. The Home Office have rubbished his claims saying that there is no evidence that drug regulations are a barrier to research. Nutt is notoriously outspoken on the UK’s current drug policy, and was sacked by the government in 2009 after he made claims that LSD and ecstasy are less harmful than alcohol. He criticised the government for ‘devaluing’ scientific research in favour of ideology when faced with the drugs debate. After his sacking, Professor Nutt founded the Independent ‘Scientific Committee on Drugs’ which aims to carry out scientific investigation on the risks of recreational drugs without political interference. In 2012 he participated in Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial in which a number of participants were given ecstasy live on television as part of an experiment.

Thatcher continues to divide the nation in death Christopher McSweeney Politics Writer

The death of Margaret Thatcher on April 8th triggered possibly the most significant public reaction to the death of a prominent figure since that of Michael Jackson. During Thatcher’s reign as British prime minister from 1979 to 1990, her domestic and economic policies were regarded by some as innovative and triumphant, while to others, particularly those affected by industrial action in the early 80’s, she was seen as a harsh and ruthless leader. The divisiveness of the late Mrs. Thatcher has been reflected emphatically in the public reaction to her passing. The national newspapers, often the agenda setters in UK current affairs, were predominantly pro-Thatcher in their coverage of the former Prime Minister’s passing. On the morning of April 9th, the Daily Mail led with “The Woman Who Saved Britain”. The Express and The Telegraph followed suit – each publishing an all-black commemorative front page. The Guardian and The Independent each opted for a black and white full page image of Mrs. Thatcher: aesthetically sombre in tone, but not without their own balanced headlines – The Guardian headlined with a quote

from the late political commentator Hugo Young; “She became harder than hard.” Perhaps given the impact she had on each area, regional newspapers from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were far less

the Premier League opted not to schedule a minute’s silence on the weekend’s matches, given that fans could not be expected to respect the silence. As well as this, a campaign to get the song “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”

Perhaps the most interesting reaction was that of the Twittersphere. Within minutes of the news being announced, calls were made for apparently tongue-in-cheek (yet probably serious) website IsThatcherDea-

sympathetic to Thatcher’s death. Each newspaper was quick to emphasize the so-called Iron Lady’s social and political divisiveness. In the days that followed, debate between Thatcher’s supporters and dissenters intensified to a fever pitch. Notably,

to #1 on the UK singles chart fell just short, reaching #2. BBC Radio One, amid pressure from the public, senior figures in government, and even the writer of the song himself, decided only to play six seconds of the song on the Sunday chart show, out of respect for the late Mrs. Thatcher.

dYet.co.uk to update their status from “NOT YET” to “YES”. Amid initial celebrations from anti-Thatcherites, prominent liberal and left-wing figures such as Labour MP Tom Watson were quick to urge Thatcher’s dissenters to be respectful of the Thatcher family in mourning. Tweets

from the NUS Conference, which was on-going when the news was announced, claimed that some of the delegates from UK-wide universities burst into spontaneous cheering and applause upon hearing the news. Debates regarding Margaret Thatcher’s legacy are still on-going. The Daily Mail has recently attacked the BBC, claiming its coverage was left-wing and disrespectful, while many dissenters claimed that the coverage was far too commendary. Besides this, while it had almost become cliché that anti-Thatcherites would hold street parties upon the death of Thatcher, the few gatherings that did take place were rather low-key and for the most part, non-violent. This is most likely because even the most die-hard anti-Thatcherite would likely feel uncomfortable dancing on the grave of a deceased elderly person (metaphorically speaking). With Thatcher’s funeral over, and news coverage on the matter beginning to die down, the public reaction to the death has made it emphatically clear that, for better for worse, Britain’s first female Prime Minister changed things, and has left a lasting legacy that the British people will remember for many years to come.


16 / Science

InSight

InSight Botox linked to depression Sophie Howells

Science Writer A recent study carried out by Dr Michael Lewis of Cardiff University's School of Psychology has found that Botox facial treatments may induce depression. A link between facial expressions and mood has been made, indicating that our ability to smile and frown may determine how we feel. The neurotoxic protein, Botulism Toxin A, is used cosmetically in the reduction of facial wrinkles, namely laughter lines, crows feet and frown lines. The drug works by weakening the muscles in the face, limiting facial expressions such as smiling and frowning, which cause wrinkles. Dr Lewis’ study found that in those individuals who had received Botox injections to reduce crow’s feet around the eye area experienced more feelings of depression. However, the opposite has been found in the treatment of frown lines, as individuals who frowned less also appeared to feel less depressed. Dr Lewis explains, "the expressions that we make on our face affects the emotions we feel; we smile because we are happy but smiling also makes us happy. Treatment with drugs like Botox prevents the patient from being able to make a particular expression. For example, those treated for frown lines with Botox are not able to frown as strongly. This interrupts the feedback they would normally get from their face and they feel less sad."

CITER lauds decennary Michael O'ConnellDavidson Science Writer

This month saw the tenth anniversary of Cardiff University’s internationally recognised Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER). Over the years, the institute has developed a national and international reputation for its expertise in various fields. Its achievements include its MSc in Tissue Engineering, which has been taught for the past seven years.

Cardiff cybercrime fighters receive backup Alexey Underwood

Science Editor A team of Cardiff University cybersecurity and cybercrime experts have been awarded a grant of £1.2M by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to further improve their research into online crime fighting and prevention. Cybercrime refers to any criminal activity that takes place on a computer network or the Internet, and includes anything from identity fraud and copyright infringement to gaining unauthorised access to national security documents and disrupting governmental information systems. Cases of more serious actions aimed at promoting extremist political motives or causing widespread damage and terror are sometimes referred to as acts of cyber-terrorism, and have been described by the Obama administration as posing more of a threat to the United States than ‘traditional’ methods of terrorism. The UK National Security Strategy has also categorised cyber attacks, such as large scale hacking, as one of its four Tier One Priority Risks, and it is esti-

mated that at least 20 foreign intelligence services have invested in cyberspace warfare against the UK. The grant comes as national security programs and police forces all over the world are bolstering their cybercrime prevention methods, most recently the Japanese police force, which recruited 140 multilingual computer experts specifically to police the Internet. The EPSRC Consortia for Exploratory Research in Security (CEReS) is aiming to bring together scientists from different

line with the goals of CEReS. The EPSRC’s support for Cardiff’s project, which brings together computer scientists, criminologists, lawyers, psychologists, economists and mathematicians, makes perfect sense. Not only that, but firms such as BT and internet security giant Kaspersky are involved too; unsurprisingly in the case of the latter after its

founder’s abducted son was rescued with the help of cybercrime prevention technology. The products of the collaborative project will benefit businesses of all sizes, organisations with the national infrastructure and governmental programs such as the Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership.

The National Security Strategy has also categorised cyber attacks as one of its four Tier One Priority Risks backgrounds in order to take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding cybersecurity. A collaborative cybercrime prevention project initiated between Cardiff University’s Schools of Computer Science and Informatics and Social Sciences fall into

Lethal avian flu in China raises health concerns Rhiannon Davies Science Editor

Fears are rife that another bird flu pandemic may be imminent in China. Nine people have died and more than 20 are seriously ill in the latest outbreak of the virus. This particular version is named H7N9. More worryingly still, it has three of the five mutations known to allow the H5N1 version of the virus to spread between mammals. Such a phenomenon is what allows a bird flu virus to cause mass casualties. Currently, Chinese authorities are attempting to allay concerns.

They are insistent that there is no evidence yet of H7N9 spreading between human beings. Most of the recent pandemics have been the result of a hybrid mammalian and bird flu. This has meant that the subsequent consequences

H7N9 is a pure bird flu virus and hence may be more dangerous than other pandemics were relatively mild as mammalian flu tends to be less severe in humans than bird flu. H7N9 however is a pure bird flu virus and hence may be more dangerous

than other pandemics we have seen before. The deadliest global flu pandemic ever recorded was a pure bird flu virus that could spread between humans. That was in 1918 and scientists are fearful that H7N9 may prove to be its modern equivalent. So far, however, the two known cases of flu caused by the virus have proven to be surprisingly mild. Chinese authorities are trying to establish how many unreported cases there may be of people becoming mildly ill. H5N1 has still not mutated to be able to pass from human to

human. Ron Fuchier, of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has developed a transmissible version of the virus in the lab. This caused him to come under fire from critics who worried that bioterrorists may be able to benefit from his work. His research, however, has illustrated that if H7N9 can bind to mammalian cells, it could adapt even further to mammals, just as Fouchier's primed H5N1 did in his ferret experiments. Fouchier explained that "All pandemic viruses have acquired this [mammalian cell] binding and polymerase activity. The


Science 16–17

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddsci

17

Virginia Tech pioneers hydrogen fuel production method Alexey Underwood

Science Editor A team of researcher at Virginia Tech have successfully produced large qualities of high-quality hydrogen fuel by fermenting xylose sugar with a unique mixture of enzymes not normally encountered in nature. These findings build on prior research into the area, as the fermentation of xylose sugar to biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol has been long been an area of keen interest by biochemical scientists. The new work by Professor Percival Zhang and his team of researchers at Virginia Tech is one of the first to offer a viable method of producing high-purity, fuel-grade hydrogen in bulk. A unique mixture of enzymes and polyphosphate massages enough energy out of the sugar to cause adjacent water molecules to split into hydrogen for harvesting. The methods used gave an efficiency of over one hundred

If the new method spreads, hydrogen fuel could be soon readily on sale

percent; in other words, there was a net gain of energy produced as a result of the process. This is in contrast to the many past attempts by rival scientists to produce hydrogen fuel, who produced very small yields of the fuel and used more energy in the procurement of hydrogen than the fuel could supply, and therefore only served as developmental experimental science with no real-world application.

Sceptics will no doubt recall with horror the Hindenburg disaster of 1937

efits of the zero-emissions fuel as the technology is yet to trickle down. Budget marques such as Hyundai and Toyota have production models ready for the market, but cannot release them to the public until hydrogen fuel becomes more accessible. Sceptics will no doubt recall with horror the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, when the German blimp LZ 129 ‘Hindenburg’ was destroyed in a terrible fire thought to have been caused by a spark in the on-board hydrogen used to provide lift. However, a similar disaster behind the wheel of a car is highly unlikely, as hydrogen fuel is not dissimilar, in terms of danger, to

the conventional fuel we use nowadays. Conditions upon the Hindenburg were exacerbated by the presence of acetate and aluminium powder on-board, explosively flammable substances that worsened the blaze. With the correct storage methods, the fuel should prove to be safe. If Zhang’s new method spreads, hydrogen fuel could

Anything that can run on standard fuel could be modified to utilise hydrogen

be readily on sale within three years. Apart from providing drivers with zero-emissions means to go about their daily business, Zhang’s new technique offers benefits to all strata of technology. Buses, ships, planes, generators and anything else that can run on standard fuel could be modified to utilise hydrogen fuel, bringing about a substantial worldwide decrease in pollution and climate change.

To date, fuel derived through earlier inefficient methods has been used in developmental racing car prototypes such as the BMW H2R and Aston Martin’s recently released Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, as well as experimental aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-155 and Boeing Theator and other prototypical vehicles. However, without the financial backing that these international companies enjoy, the average consumer is yet to reap the ben-

New neuroimaging technique gives scientists additional Clarity Sophie Howells Science Writer

A new neuro-imaging technique has been developed by psychistrist, Karl Deisseroth, and his team at Stanford University, California. The new method, “Clarity” (Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamide-hybridized Rigid Imaging /Immunostaining / In situ hybridization-compatible Tissue-hydrogel) is set to revolutionise the way in which scientists are able to analyse brain tissue as well as that of other organs.  This new method removes the opaque structures within the brain, whilst preserving the brain anatomy for scientists to observe.  The process of Clarity consists of hardening the brain tissue with formaldehyde and stabilis-

This new method removes the opaque structures within the brain

ing the brain structures with an acrylamide hydrogel, which gathers and solidifies in the neuron membranes. Within the hardened gel, remains the neuron structures and networks, DNA and RNA.

Once the tissue is transparent, the inner neural networks can be observed The light-blocking lipid structures from around the neurons are then removed using detergents and a process called ‘electrophoresis’, where a voltage is applied to the gel. These lipids are what previously prevented other techniques from observing the inner regions of the brain, without dissection. Once the tissue is fully transparent, the inner neural networks can be observed using imaging techniques such as Optogenics.  Jeff Lichtman of Harvard University says, “Although the brain

looks like a bucket of wires, as you look at it further it starts having some structure and organisation as if there’s some logic in the way it’s connected.” By observing DNA and RNA structures within clarified brains, scientists believe that this new technique will help uncover possible physical causes of metal disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism, among others. Deisseroth has applied Clarity to an Autistic brain in the hopes that the new technique will provide some new insight in the aetiology of the disorder.  Clarity has so far only been tested on non-living tissue; it is not clear yet what effect replacing cell membranes and lipids would have on a living brain. Perhaps this would be the next step in neuro-imaging.


20 / Societies Cardiff Snowsports represented at BUCS Main Event Hugo Bristol Societies Writer

It has been a brilliant year for Cardiff Snowsports. There has been success on the slopes, a bumper Christmas trip followed by a record breaking trip to Alpe D’Huez. 79 Cardiff students joined forces with 1500 students from around the country to indulge in a week of skiing, sun and some serious après-ski.

This all took place under the supervision of Cardiff Snowsports’s new mascot, Sultan the Tiger, who was the envy of all of the other universities present Main Event is the most important in the student skiing calendar as it gives the competitors the chance to discover the fastest, gnarliest skiers and boarders on the mountain alongside the

chance to gain some vital BUCS points for your university. There is of course all the traditional ski and board races held throughout the week, but there is also Skier X, Boarder X and a range of freestyle events including Big Air, Slopestyle and Shred’n’Butter. There is also the wacky Red Bull 1976 Games which essentially reward the teams that have the most fun, as that is what BUCS Main Event is truly about. This trip was not just for the seasoned racers; there were plenty of first timers as well who took advantage of the glorious sunshine for a full on introduction to skiing that only a university ski trip can offer. Lessons ran in the mornings whilst the afternoons were kept free for some intense aprés. Après was suitably mad, with even the coach drivers getting involved and joining the infamous Cardiff Snowsports chant. For those new to aprés ski it was certainly an eye opener, a chance to bask in the sunshine,

dance on the tables, mingle with the other universities or just enjoy a stein of beer. This all took place under the supervision of Cardiff Snowsport’s new mascot, Sultan the Tiger, who was the envy of all of the other universities present. Those who partied with distinction were rewarded at the end of the week with signed certificates by the great beast himself.

The main event results reflect on an exciting time for Cardiff Snowsports On the slopes the racers put in some impressive individual performances with Tom Bayles notching up second in the Boarder X, third in Individual Duals and fourth in the Snowboard Giant Slalom, a race in which James Colston also finished in the top ten. The skiers also put in some strong performances with Claire Brown placing 13th in Super G,

10th and 12th place finishes for Lucy Tomlinson and Grace McCutchan respectively alongside a 12th place finish for Kirsty Hatcher in the Slalom. One of the most exhilarating events is the team duels, in which the universities best riders go head-to-head in a knockout competition under the floodlights. In sketchy conditions both Cardiff’s Ladies and the Board team were edged out in the semi finals but came home with bronze. The freestyle competitions drew large crowds in the sunshine with both teams giving everything they had. Hugo Peckham and Natasha Ellwood represented Cardiff in an area of the sport that is evolving relentlessly. Unfortunately the freeride competition, in which Cardiff were looking particularly strong, was cancelled due to unsafe conditions off-piste. The Main Event results reflect on an exciting time for Cardiff Snowsports. Needless to say you can’t lock up 1,500 students during a week like this; every night was bigger

and better than the previous. The week kicked off with the Other Tribe playing an amazing set, and finished on a high with Lazy Habits taking the roof off at the awards ceremony through their feel good vibes.

The freeride competition was cancelled due to unsafe conditions off-piste On a side note all members are warmly invited to the committee elections on April 25th at Kama Lounge to cast their vote and have a say in the running of the club next year. There is just one event remaining on the Snowsports calendar in the form of the Kings Finals. This event takes place at the end of April; Cardiff Snowsports intend to end their year with one final flourish.

Maths conference comes to Cardiff

James Cheeseman Societies Writer

A

conference open to all students and staff is being held on Saturday, April 27th at the School of Mathematics. The conference is designed to bring people who have

mathematical elements to their degree (e.g. Computer Science, Engineering, Biology), and those interested in mathematics, together for a day of diverse talks. These talks will include the use of mathematics in video games, the supersonic car Bloodhound SSC and speed cubing. A Q&A Employers panel will also be taking place where delegates can direct questions to the panel

about careers. This is in addition to a variety of networking opportunities that will be available throughout the day . The conference is run by the Institute of Mathematics and is held twice a year. It will be a while before Cardiff University are the hosts again. Registration is particularly affordable as the Maths Society are providing halfprice admission for the first 160

students, with prices starting at a mere £5. With such cheap ticket prices, the conference is a great opportunity to add something unique and highly attractive to your CV. For more information about the conference, or if you are a nonstudent wanting to attend the conference, visit the following web page: http://www.ima.org.uk/con-

ferences/conferences_calendar/ early_career_mathematicians_ conference_spring_2013.cfm For discounted student prices, login to Campus Groups and visit the Maths Society page (http:// groups.cardiffstudents.com/mathsoc), where the the link to the Conference event page can be found on the left hand side.


22 / Taf-Od

Yr iaith Gymraeg in the Union Yn dilyn eu etholiad diweddar i rôl Swyddog Myfyrwyr Cymraeg yr Undeb, Cerith Rhys Jones sy'n trafod dyfodol yr iaith yn yr Undeb a'r Brifysgol

Y

O taf D

n ystod yr wythnos ddarllen cyn y Pasg – pan oedd cyfran uchel o fyfyrwyr Caerdydd adref yn gweithio’n ddyfal* (*neu’n dioddef hangofyrs niferus) – cynhaliwyd etholiadau Undeb y Myfyrwyr. Dyma’r etholiadau a oedd yn penderfynu pwy fydd yn ffurfio’r tîm o bobl a fydd yn arwain yr Undeb o fis Gorffennaf ymlaen. Wrth gwrs, mae’r canlyniadau eisoes yn hysbys a gwyddwn pwy fydd yn gwneud beth. Y fi sydd â’r fraint o fod yn Swyddog Myfyrwyr Cymraeg. Pwrpas y rôl, mae’n debyg, yw cynrychioli myfyrwyr Prifysgol Caerdydd sy’n dod o Gymru, ond rwy’n bwriadu defnyddio fy mlwyddyn yn y swydd i gynrychioli buddiannau Cymry Cymraeg y Brifysgol, a cheisio codi pwysau ar y Brifysgol ac ar yr Undeb i gynyddu a gwella eu darpariaeth i fyfyrwyr trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Ar hyn o bryd, mae’n si r fydd nifer yn cytuno taw darpariaeth docenistaidd iawn sydd. Arwyddion dwyieithog ar hyd y lle, ambell i boster ac e-bost yn y Gymraeg. Da iawn wir. Nid yw’n ddigon. A ninnau’n fyfyrwyr ym mhrifddinas Cymru, a’r iaith Gymraeg yn iaith swyddogol yng Nghymru, dylem fod yn gallu disgwyl darpariaeth lawn a chyfartal yn iaith ein dewis – y Gymraeg. Nid dyna’r sefyllfa ar hyn o bryd a rwy’n bwriadu gweithio’n ddiflino yn ystod y flwyddyn i ddod er mwyn ceisio sicrhau fod pethau’n newid. Nid wyf yn addo y byddaf yn llwyddo – ry’n ni gyd yn gwybod mor anodd yw hi i geisio cael darpariaeth gyfartal yn y Gymraeg. Ond rwyf yn addo y byddaf yn

gwneud fy ngorau glas. Wrth edrych yn ôl ar wythnos yr etholiadau, ag oblygiadau’r canlyniadau i ni Gymry Cymraeg y Brifysgol, darlun cymysglyd iawn sydd. O’r sawl a etholwyd fel Swyddogion Llawn-amser (SLA) neu Ran-amser (SRA), daw 36% o Gymru. Gan gofio bod llai na 30% o holl fyfyrwyr Prifysgol Caerdydd yn dod o Gymru, mae hynny’n addawol! O’r sawl a etholwyd fel SLA neu SRA, mae 21% yn honni eu bod yn medru’r Gymraeg; un ohonynt yn Swyddog Llawn-amser a dau ohonynt (gan gynnwys fi) yn Swyddogion Rhan-amser. Cofier mai canran sylweddol lai na hynny o holl fyfyrwyr y Brifysgol sy’n medru’r Gymraeg, felly oes, mae gennym ni Gymry Cymraeg Prifysgol Caerdydd fwy o gynrychiolaeth na ddylwn ni. Ond wir, a fyddai unrhyw un ohonom yn honni bod mwy o gynrychiolaeth yn Undeb y Myfyrwyr yn golygu unrhyw beth o ran y Gymraeg? Dw i ddim yn credu y byddai unrhyw un ohonom o’r farn fod y ffaith bod 3 o’r Swyddogion newydd yn medru’r Gymraeg yn sicrhau dyfodol da i’r Gymraeg ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd ac Undeb y Myfyrwyr. Sawl un ohonom sydd wedi ceisio cyflwyno gwaith trwy gy-

frwng y Gymraeg ac wedi wynebu problemau? Fe geisiais i fy hun gyflwyno gwaith y llynedd a’r ateb a gefais oedd rhywbeth tebyg i, ‘Well, yes, I suppose you can. But why do you want to? I’ve never had anyone want to do that before!’ Y canlyniad, wrth gwrs, o ran fy ngwaith i, yw ei fod yn fwy o drafferth nag sydd werth cyflwyno gwaith trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ac o’r herwydd, mae pob darn arall rwyf wedi ei gyflwyno wedi bod yn y Saesneg. Gallwn, gallwn fynnu cyflwyno gwaith yn y Gymraeg fel mater o egwyddor, ond wir, pam yn enw’r Ddaear dylai fod yn rhaid imi wneud unrhyw beth ond oherwydd egwyddor? Pam ddylai fod yn rhaid imi neu unrhyw un ohonoch chi fynd i drafferth ychwanegol ond oherwydd ein bod yn dymuno cyflwyno gwaith ym mhrifysgol prifddinas Cymru trwy gyfrwng iaith swyddogol Cymru? Mae’n wallgof! A sawl un ohonom sydd wedi blino ar dderbyn e-byst uniaith Saesneg wrth Undeb y Myfyrwyr? Dw i wedi hen flino! Eto, darpariaeth docenistaidd – gwneud cyn lleied ag sy’n bosibl – sydd yn yr Undeb. Agwedd debyg i, ‘Give them their bilingual signs and that’ll keep them quiet’, mae’n si r. Sori, na. Dyw e ddim yn ddigon da. Mae Undeb y My-

fyrwyr yn ddarparwr gwasanaethau i ni fel myfyrwyr a rheini’n wasanaethau y mae’r Brifysgol yn eu cefnogi; yn hynny o beth, dylai fod gennym ni yr hawl i’w derbyn trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Os oedd unrhyw un ohonoch chi o gwmpas yng Nghaerdydd yn ystod wythnos yr etholiadau, mae’n si r y cawsoch syndod wrth weld mor Seisnigaidd oedd y broses etholiadol ei hun. O’r maniffestos a’r fideos, i’r taflenni a phosteri etholiadol, i’r digwyddiadau cyhoeddus megis yr hystingiau – braidd unrhyw Gymraeg a brintiwyd neu a glywyd yn ystod yr wythnos lawn. Y peth sy’n codi braw – sy’n godi cyfog! – arna i yw mai dyna oedd yn y canllawiau! Mae'r canllawiau eu hunain yn amodi ar ddu a gwyn bod mwy o Saesneg yn y maniffestos ac ar y taflenni a phosteri nag sydd o Gymraeg. Bron yn anghredadwy, ond yw e? Ond dyna’r gwirionedd. Rhaid newid y sefyllfa annerbyniol hon. Does gan Undeb y Myfyrwyr ddim Cynllun Iaith Gymraeg dan Ddeddf yr Iaith 1993, felly mae’r sefyllfa’n anodd. Anodd hefyd yw’r ffaith nad yw’n glir ar hyn o bryd pryd fydd Safonau’r Gymraeg dan awdurdod Mesur Iaith 2011 yn dod i rym, na chwaith beth fydd y safonau hynny. Rwy’n gobeithio cael cyfarfod gyda Cho-

misiynydd yr Iaith, Meri Huws, i drafod sut gellir gweithredu’r safonau newydd ar undebau myfyrwyr a beth gallwn ni ei wneud nawr er mwyn codi pwysau ar Undeb y Myfyrwyr i wella eu darpariaeth Gymraeg. Dyna’r peth pwysig. Rhaid i ni godi pwysau ar yr Undeb ac ar y Brifysgol i newid eu hagwedd. Dyna fy swydd i o Orffennaf ymlaen, ond dyna hefyd swydd foesol bob un ohonom. Rhaid i ni godi ein llais dros ein hiaith a’n diwylliant – a’n hawliau statudol – achos dw i’n gallu dweud wrthych chi’n gwbl sicr na fydd unrhyw beth yn newid heb law ein bod ni’n gwneud hynny. Dyna sut mae’n gweithio ers talwm o ran y Gymraeg. Dw i’n ffyddiog, gyda’n gwaith ni i gyd dros ein hiaith, mi fydd gan y Gymraeg ddyfodol disglair ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd ac Undeb y Myfyrwyr, ac fe fydd cenedlaethau o’n blaen yn edrych yn ôl ac yn synnu fy mod erioed wedi ysgrifennu’r fath ddarn â hwn ar gyfer Taf-od. Gall unrhyw un sy’n dymuno cysylltu â fi ag unrhyw adborth neu syniadau o ran y Gymraeg anfon ebost at; jonescr9@caerdydd.ac.uk.

Straeon OD o bob rhan o’r byd... Wythnos yma, pencampwriaeth Marblis y byd...

B

u newyddion da iawn i rai ohonnych sy’n cysidro eich hunain yn ‘Chocoholics’ wythnos diwethaf, yn dilyn cyhoeddiad bod gwyddonwyr wedi darganfod ffordd greu siocled sydd ond gyda hanner y braster sydd gan siocled arferol, heb effeithio blas na gwead y siocled. Mae’r technoleg newydd a gafodd ei greu gan wyddonwyr yn galluogi iddynt gyfnewid hanner y braster fuasai yn arferol yn y siocled, am sudd ffrwyth, dwr neu fitamin C. Mae’n debyg fod y technoleg hyn yn gallu cael ei

ddefnyddio i greu pob mathau o siocled. Yn ogystal a gostwng y maint o fraster yn y siocled, mae’n debyg fod yn bosib lleihau lefelau siwgr siocled yn yr un broses. Mewn newyddion arall sy’n gysylltiedig â siocled, yn y Almaen yn ddiweddar, cafodd 5 a hanner o dunelli o ‘Nutella’ ei ddwyn. Mae’n debyg fod gwerth yr hyn a gafodd ei ddwyn oddeutu £13,000. Mae’n debyg fod yr un grwp o ladron wedi dwyn tunelli o ‘energy drinks’ o’r un lleoliad mewn digwyddiad ychydig yn ôl. Os ydych yn dod mewn cysylltiad a’r grwp, busai Taf-od yn yn

hynod falch o jar neu ddau, mae’n nhost i braidd yn sych... Mewn un o ddigwyddiadau mwya’r byd chwaraeon wythnos diwethaf, fe goronwyd tîm o Brydain yn bencampwyr marblis y byd. I ennill y gystadleuaeth, a gynhaliwyd mewn pub yn Craw-

ley, curodd y tîm o dafarn y ‘Black Dog’ dîm o’r Almaen, i gipio’r bencampwriaeth, sy’n dyddio yn ôl i 1588. Gobeithio bod y marblwyr(?) yn ymwybodol bod y wlad i gyd yn ei cymeradwyo. Y cam nesaf - y Gemau Olympaidd?!


Taf-Od 22–23

Dydd Llun Ebrill 22ain 2013 | @taf_od

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Ail-strwythuro amserlen y sianel...eto?! Angharad Hywel Taf-od

Ar y 23ain o fis Ebrill bydd S4C yn gwneud newidiadau mawr i’w amserlen. Mae’n debyg fod amryw o wylwyr wedi gweld yr hysbysebion yn nodi fod newid ar droed. Ond a fydd y newidiadau hyn yn fuddiol i’r sianel, yn enwedig wrth ystyried mai dyma’r ail dro mewn ychydig dros flwyddyn i S4C geisio ail-strwythuro cynnwys y sianel?

Nid yw amserlen y BBC na ITV wedi newid ers blynyddoedd maith Yn syml, newidiadau i amserlen sydd yn cael eu gwneud y tro hwn. Newidiadau megis, symud y ‘Newyddion’ o’i slot arferol am 7:30pm i 9:00pm; amseriad ddylai fod yn fwy hygyrch i wylwyr, ond eto ydy 9:00pm rhy hwyr i rai? Bydd yno hefyd fwletin byr am 7:30pm yn dilyn ‘Heno’. Yn ogystal, ceir newid i amseriad ‘Rownd a Rownd’ o 6:10pm ar ddydd Llun a Mercher i 7:35pm, wrth iddynt geisio apelio fwyfwy at wylwyr hyn. Bydd ‘Sam ar y Sgrin’, sydd yn prysur ddod yn un o ffefrynnau’r sianel, yn cael ei ddarlledu’n gynt am 8:25pm.

Ymgais yw’r newidiadau hyn i apelio fwyfwy at wylwyr hen a newydd a bod yn fwy hygyrch iddynt oll. Mae’n debyg fod pawb yn ymwybodol o drafferthion S4C dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf gydag ariannu’r sianel, ac yn arbennig wrth geisio cadw’r sianel genedlaethol yn berthnasol i wylwyr cyfoes. Ynghyd â’r newidiadau strwythurol hyn, mae amryw o raglenni newydd wedi’u comisiynu gan gynnwys ‘Y Lle Arall: Ochr Un’, rhaglen fydd yn canolbwyntio ar yr SRG, yn ogystal â ‘Corff Cymru’ fydd yn ceisio darganfod unrhyw amrywiadau arbennig i DNA’r Cymry. Bydd yno hefyd atodiad newydd i ‘Pobol y Cwm’ yn cael ei ddarlledu ar y we yn unig; bydd ‘PyC’ yn dilyn hynt a helynt aelodau ifen-

gach cymuned Cwm Deri. Dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf mae S4C wedi ymgeisio fwyfwy i gynnig amrywiaeth o raglenni i’r Cymry. Ond llynedd, yn dilyn gweddnewidiad mawr i raglenni megis ‘Wedi 7’ a ddaeth yn ‘Heno’, ac ychwanegiad ‘Pen8nos’, bu gwrthwynebiad brwd gan nifer o wylwyr selog. Yn wir, roedd yn ymgais arall o nifer gan S4C i geisio ‘symud gyda’r amser’ ac efelychu rhaglenni poblogaidd Saesneg fel ‘The One Show’ oedd hyn. Methaiant fu’r gweddnewidiad hwn, ac yn fuan newidiwyd yn ôl i’r hen strwythur. Mae’n debyg y tro hwn na fydd gymaint o wrthwynebiad gan na fydd newidiadau i gynnwys rhaglenni’r sianel. Nid yw amserlen y BBC na ITV wedi newid ers blynydd-

oedd maith, felly pam fod S4C yn teimlo’n angen i wneud newidiadau o’r fath? Mae’n debyg, na wnaiff nifer sylwi ar yr ailstrwythuro, yn arbennig gyda nifer o wylwyr yn dewis defnydido gwasanaeth Clic yn hytrach na ar

y sianel ei hun. Yn wir, wrth drafod newidiadau hyn, gallaf ond meddwl am yr ymardrodd Sesneg - ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’.

Dim lle i'r Cymry yn Oxbridge Tomos Lewis Golygydd Taf-od

Mae cyn Ysgrifennydd Cymru Paul Murphy wedi rhoi’r bai ar ysgolion ac athrawon Cymru am y nifer isel o ddisgyblion o Gymru sydd wedi mynd yn eu blaenau i astudio yng Nghaergrawnt a Rhydychen. Adroddwyd BBC Cymru wythnos diwethaf fod nifer y myfyrwyr a aeth i un o brifysgolion ‘Oxbridge’ o ysgolion cyfun Cymru wedi gostwng o 96 o fyfyrwyr yn 2008 i 76 yn 2012. Cafodd Paul Murphy, Aelod

Seneddol Torfaen, ei benodi gan Lywodraeth Cymru mis diwethaf i arwain tasglu i geisio hybu mwy o ddisgyblion o ysgolion Cymru i gael llefydd ym mhrifysgolion gorau’r wlad. Ymysg y problemau a dynnodd yr AS sylw tuag at, oedd ei bryderon fod y Fagloriaeth Gymreig yn “rhwystr”. Un o brif bwyntiau Mr Murphy oedd ei bryder bod athrawon nawr gyda diffyg uchelgais a llai o wybodaeth ar sut i gael myfyrwyr i mewn i brifysgolion Rhydychen a Chaergrawnt oherwydd bod llai o’r athrawon wedi bod yn

fyfyrwyr yn Oxbridge eu hunain. Fe ddywedodd Mr Murphy, "rwy'n si r bod llawer o bobl ifanc fyddai'n hoffi mynd yno ond sydd ddim yn gwybod sut i fynd o'i chwmpas hi... Mae'n fater o gael gwared â'r ofn o elitrwydd canfyddedig pan fyddan nhw'n mynd yno... Oni bai ein bod yn rhoi pwysau ar ysgolion a cholegau yng Nghymru i wneud hyn, yna fyddan nhw'n gwneud dim i wella'r sefyllfa." Fe ddywedodd y prifysgolion eu bod wedi bod yn ceisio gweithio i ddenu mwy o fyfyrwyr o Gymru, gan gynnwys cynha-

dledd a gafodd ei gynnal gan y ddwy Brifysgol yn Abertawe fis diwethaf.

Un o brif bwyntiau Mr Murphy oedd ei bryder bod athrawon nawr gyda diffyg uchelgais Cafodd gwerth y Fagloriaeth Gymreig ei gwestiynu hefyd gan Mr Murphy, yn enwedig ei effaith ar siawns myfyrwyr o gael lle yn y pryfysgolion. Mae Rhydychen

a Chaergrawnt fel arfer yn gofyn i fyfyrwyr gael tri lefel A wrth geisio i astudio yn y Prifysgolion, fodd bynnag, gyda’r Fagloriaeth Gymreig, mae llawer o fyfyrwyr 6ed dosbarth yn dewis ond astudio 2 bwnc lefel A. Er y cwyno am y Fagloriaeth, yr hyn a ddywedodd Dr Julia Paolitto o Brifysgol Rhydychen yw yn syml, rheswm mwyaf am y nifer bychain o fyfyrwyr o Gymru sy’n astudio yn Oxbridge yw canlyniadau arholidadau, ac hynny yw’r “rhwystr mwyaf o bosib”.

I'r rhai ohonoch oedd yn meddwl i'ch hunain "Lle oedd Taf-Od wythnos diwethaf ?" Mae'n rhaid i mi ofyn am eich maddeuant, er bod cynnwys yn barod i fynd, yn dilyn nifer o wallau (Dim gennai yn bersonol...), roedd Taf-Od ddim yn y papur pan gafodd ei yrru i brint. Felly'r erthyglau sy'n Taf-Od wythnos yma yw'r rhai oedd fod yma wythnos diwethaf. Wps.


24 / Puzzles

sudoku

kakuro

Each Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached Fill in the grid so that each run of squares adds up to the total in the More Intermediate Puzzles by KrazyDad, logically. Enter numbers into the blankSudoku spaces so that each Book box3 above or to the left. Use only numbers 1–9 and never use a number row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. more than once per run (a number may recur in the same row, in a

Sudoku #1 Easy

7

separate run).

1 3 4 1 6 5 2 1 4 8 9

2 5 9 8 6 8 5 4 7 1 8 2

This will be a memorable month -- no matter how hard you try to forget it.

7

7

More Easy Sudoku Puzzles by KrazyDad, Book 8 © 2012 KrazyDad.com

Sudoku #1 Intermediate

Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9. If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork.

9 8 1 7 6 8 3 1 4 7 5 8 8 2 7 5 7 2 4 4 6 2 1 5 4 9 6 7 7 6 5 3 7 9 8

Need a little help? The hints page shows a logical order to solve the puzzle. Steve has been put in charge of half-time entertainment Use it to identify the next square you should solve. Or use the answers page if you really get stuck. for this year's Varsity rugby match. He has a dragon, a When the wind is great, bow before it; when the wind is heavy, yield to it.

Last week's solution: Each row describes the row above, so the next row in the sequence will read: 1113213211 (one 1, one 3, two 1s, three 2s, one 1).

© 2012 KrazyDad.com

swan and some ‘bread of heaven’. Steve needs to transport all three to the Millennium Stadium. The only problem is that Steve's milk float can only handle himself and one other animal/item; if Steve leaves the dragon alone with the swan, the dragon will eat the swan; and if the swan is alone with the bread, the swan will eat it. How can Steve safely ensure the weirdest half-time show ever?


Listings

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @mediacsu

25

MUSIC

Minus The Bear Wednesday 24th April at Clwb Ifor Bach, 7.30pm, tickets £11 We Are The In Crowd Thursday 25th April at Solus, 7pm, Tickets, £16.50 The Correspondants Thursday 25th April at 10 feet tall, 8-m, Tickets £10 Signature Presents: Eton Messy Thursday 25th April at Buffalo, 10pm, Tickets £5 Bedlam and Aparture presents: Sub Focus Friday 26th April at Solus, 9pm, Tickets £16.50

THEATRE

The Great Gatsby Tuesday 23rd - Saturday 27th April at the New Theatre, Tickets from £8 Ghost until Saturday 27th April at the Millenium Centre, Tickets from £17

CLUBS

Listen Up! Wednesday 24th April at Clwb Ifor Bach, 10.30pm - 4am, Tickets £3. Comeplay Saturday 27th April at Solus, 10pm - 3am, Tickets £5

ART & CULTURE

SPORT

Life Drawing Class tuesday 23rd April at 10 feet tall, 6pm Kisomba African Tango Class Tuesday 23rd April at 10 feet tall, 8pm.

Welsh Varsity 2013 at themillenium stadium, 7pm, Tickets and a T-Shirt £15


26 / Sport

Piste-off Bath silenced by Cardiff Sport writers Alex Papadovassilakis and Kirsty Hatcher reviews a successful week for Cardiff Snowsports in the French Alps

G

one are the days when the Cardiff University Snowsports team watched on helplessly as other better-equipped and more focused teams denied them a potential avalanche of medals. The annual British University Snowsports Championships (BUSC) held in Alpe D’Huez last month saw the third successive year of unprecedented success for a club now only partially hindered by gratuitous alcohol consumption.

The annual British University Snowsports Championships (BUSC) held in Alpe D’Huez saw the third successive year of great success for Cardiff Having taken the Ladies’ team slalom silver in 2011 and finished third in 2012, the impressive combination of race captain Kirsty Hatcher, Grace McCutchan, Claire Brown and Anita Zycka managed to reclaim their bronze medals. This was despite falling victim to some dubious seeding, which saw a notably below-par Durham reach an anti-climactic final and

claim secnd place. Cardiff’s reigning Western and UK snowboarding champions were eager to compete at a national level, despite the absence of their talisman and captain Tom Parr, who was sidelined with illness. After a tense third-place playoff, President Tom Bayles, Hugo Bristol, James Colston and Berkshire prodigy Alex Grinsted were celebrating a thoroughly deserved third place. Individually, Tom Bayles picked up not only an outstanding fourth place in the snowboard giant slalom, but narrowly missed out on gold in the Boarder Cross, being forced to settle for ‘slopey’ seconds! The Civil Engineering student also secured some valuable BUCS points for the club and university. Bayles said: “The results have been just great. To take three medals in one year is possibly one of my greatest achievements and I’ll definitely have trouble topping it in the future”. James Colston also secured an excellent seventh place in the snowboard giant slalom and Lucy Tomlinson finished 10th in the female Skier Cross. A special mention must also go to the tenacious freestyle captain Alex Papadovassilakis, who finished 47th in the Skier Cross in a very strong field. A total of 78 Cardiff students made the trip to the Alps and those who didn’t formally compete certainly made their presence felt on the après-ski scene.

The afternoons saw an outstanding display of the group unity and amicability that sets the Cardiff Snowsports society apart from the rest! The results capped a momentous year for a club which, faced with limited funding due to a reputation for intoxication and

debauchery, has consistently expanded and improved in the competitive arena. Over the past two semesters, the club has celebrated numerous victories across the UK. In November and February, Sarah Hoefflin cemented her position as university freestyle skiing’s first lady, back-flipping her way to first place in the finals of the British Dry Slope and Indoor Championships in Edinburgh and Leeds. The infamous snowboard team managed to round off their year with impressive second- and third-place finishes overall in the Western finals of the ‘Kings’ league competition, and third place at the British Indoor Regional Championships. Even more impressive was the girls’ domination in the ladies’ competition, where they secured first and second place overall. The club will be hoping for similar success for all six teams at the national finals later this month! However, the club’s scope stretches significantly further than it’s racing team’s exploits. In December, 360 students embarked on the annual Snowsports Christmas trip to Val-D’Isère, in the idyllic French Alps, for a sun and snow-filled week. First-year Geology student Alice Crookenden described the events to gair rhydd: “It was a magical way to end a great first

term at Cardiff. I’ve made so many friends for life, and it was like doing my gap year all over again! I can’t wait to go again next year.” Every November, a 40-strong group of Snowsports competitors and supporters journey North for the relentless British University Dry Slope Championship weekender in bonny Edinburgh.

The club will be hoping for similar success for all six teams at the national finals later this month This event sees 2,000 UK students from 70 different universities invade the Scottish capital for four days of racing and freestyle competitions, as well as bigname DJs and headline acts such as Danny Byrd and Shy FX. All this and more will be on offer to students next year. Beginners are always more than welcome to join the society. If you want to find out more information about the Snowsports Club’s trips or their sizable socials, check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cardiff.snowsports


Sport 26–32

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddsport

27

Cardiff run riot in Madrid Dr Roberts passes Rhys Annett Sport Writer

Cardiff University Athletics and Cross-Country Club embarked on its first tour last week, returning with an array of success including personal bests and an age group winner. CUAC’s first tour took 23 athletes, both long-distance and sprinters, to Madrid to compete in the city’s Half Marathon and 5km road race.

ners experienced their debut Half Marathons in Madrid, with Cardiff’s first female runner, Mai Worthington, across the line finishing in 1:50:17. She was followed by successive debutants, Gemma Mayled and Laura Howells, finishing within four minutes of each other either side of the twohour mark. CUAC’s male debut runner Peter Hart ran an impressive 1:27:28, despite still recovering from injury. However, the most notable

shaving three minutes off his previous time. Lee Tredwell also ran an impressive personal best of 1:34:44. CUAC’s veteran runner Alex Ulyet finished the Half Marathon in a remarkable 2:06:23, despite claims throughout the race that he could no longer feel his legs. On completing the 13.1 miles, he had this to say: “It was more painful than being stuck between the rocks in 127 Hours and coincidentally took about the same time.” Following Sunday’s strenuous activities, CUAC took the evening off from the usual training routine to indulge in some team bonding and casual drinks.

23 athletes went to Madrid to compete in the city’s Half Marathon and 5km road race

Setting off first were Nick Marsh and Ben Slack competing in the 5km road race. Marsh, who is a regular sprinter, and Slack, who arrived to the meeting in a cape and a pair of superman shoes, both completed the 5km in just over 23 minutes and within 20 seconds of one another. In the Half Marathon, all starters were able to finish inside 2 hours and 20 minutes, with sprinters Jack Button and Jess Alfert crossing the line in 2:13:02 and 2:13:09 respectively. Many of CUAC’s long-distance run-

debut runner was Dan Nash, winning in his age group. Despite not having competed at this distance before, Nash clocked a time of 1:11:13 to win the under-20 age group by over two-and-a-half minutes and achieve 30th place in the overall race. This result sees Nash topping the UK’s under-20 half marathon rankings; a considerable achievement for a debut run. Other CUAC members enjoyed success as they achieved personal bests. First of these was Antonio Cirillo, running 1:23:05,

medical exams Tom Parry-Jones Sub-editor

Two Grand Slams and a Six Nations title for Wales, two caps for the British and Irish Lions, and now a degree in Medicine from Cardiff University – eight years of education in the Welsh capital have come to an end for Wales centre Jamie Roberts with the announcement that he is now a qualified medical doctor. Roberts’ graduation comes a month shy of his departure from the Cardiff Blues, with a move to France imminent – reportedly to Racing Metro in Paris. In the meantime, he has two games left for the Welsh region, against their West Wales rivals, the Scarlets, and league leaders Ulster. Talking about his latest achievement, Roberts said he

was “looking forward especially to a few lie-ins after lots of early mornings in the library before and after training. It’s been tough but it’s been worth every second to achieve one of my main goals in life. “My nickname amongst team mates has, for some time, been ‘Doc’ and I’ve always felt like a little bit of a fraud. It’s nice that I’ll finally be able to call myself a doctor,” he said. Before joining the Blues, Roberts played regularly for the Cardiff University Rugby Club, and although he did not play in the match, he was selected in the squad for the 2007 Varsity Match. Since then, he has acted as Cardiff’s representative at Varsity events, last year turning out with Swansea alumnus Alun Wyn Jones to promote the event.

This proved to be an issue for future social secretary Dan Mitchell, who was unfortunately inhibited quickly by the evening’s excitement and forced to return at 11:30pm for recovery. However, while the inexperience of the future social secretary was telling, it was plain to see that trip organiser and current social secretary Rhys Annett was on top form, crawling into bed in the early hours with James Thompson and Laura Howells, despite a crippling injury sustained during the run. CUAC would like to thank Rhys for such a memorable and well-organised tour. It truly was a fantastic weekend and we can only hope that future tours can live up to it.

Taekwon-Do Club crowned champions Brenna McInerney Sport Writer

Ending last year’s competitive season with an impressive haul of 104 medals and a ranking of second in the university championships, the Cardiff University Taekwon-Do Club had a lot to live up to this year. After gaining 41 golds in total last season, maintaining Cardiff’s reputation as one of the best university squads in Britain has been a challenge the club has taken very seriously. Coached by Dean Matthews, the team have impressed at this season’s tournaments, so far earning 81 medals in six national events, with another two major competitions lined up for the summer. Recently, Cardiff took a squad of 12 students to Leeds for the annual International Taekwon-Do

Foundation (ITF) British University Open, which brings together some of the top university squads to compete for the golds in sparring, patterns and destruction. Led by club president Jonathan Beer, the team included senior grades as well as a few of the club’s newest members, who would be undertaking their competitive debut. Nerves were running high as the squad prepared to put up a good fight and maintain their outstanding record for another year. The day was a success, with Cardiff winning a total of 14 golds, 10 silvers and five bronzes. Most notably, Oli Mather picked up four golds, winning all of his categories. In addition, Tom Harris and Jonathan Beer each took three golds, with Jonathan breaking three boards with one technique to take the gold

in destruction. Cardiff’s domination at the tournament led to the club finishing first in the league table and winning the title of ITF British University Champions for 2013. The squad’s overall performance has demonstrated Cardiff’s growing talent, but the upcoming clash at Varsity has helped to inspire the club to keep focused and push on with their training. Cardiff seek to take another victory and retain their undefeated Varsity title, despite key members being away at the European Championships in Slovenia. Swansea have shown good form earlier in the year, promising an intense and exciting encounter for the Taekwon-Do clubs. Cardiff will face Swansea as part of the Varsity Shield and will compete at the Welsh Institute of Sport.


28 / Sport

Focus

Team Talk: C-PLAN C-PLAN captain Mark Tagliaferri describes his side’s debut season to Ross Martinovic

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f one was asked to name the form team heading into the final stages of this year’s IMG competition, it would be difficult to look past C-PLAN. The IMG newcomers are on an impressive six-match winning streak that has seen them rocket to the top of the third division, in which they were placed following a tough qualifying group containing Premiership outfits Psycho Athletico, EarthSoc and Roath Park Rangers. Their skipper, Mark Tagliaferri, tells gair rhydd how his team have found the IMG experience. So, who are C-PLAN? Who is your squad made up of, and how have you enjoyed IMG? We are a team mainly comprised of Geography and City and Regional Planning students, with a few players from other courses such as Business, Economics and Law, as well as having a mong geologist. We are all second-year students as well. We have all found the IMG experience very enjoyable. You’re fighting hard at the top of the Third Division in your very first season as a team and your results have been excellent in Phase 2. Are you pleased with how the season is going so far? Couldn’t be happier! Bit disappointed with our first loss of the second phase, but all the results after that have been very promising. We hope to keep our strong form up until the end of the season.

Joshan Singh and pacey, flying fullback Mark Tagliaferri, not to mention some strong performances from the rest of the defence. There have been performances of a high standard in both phases from Meaney and Brown, the midfield combination of Singh and Phillips has been a sight to behold, as well as our clinical forwards Beckett, Dafydd and Martin. How would you describe the C-PLAN style of play? We’ve had a lot of teams referring to themselves as Stoke City, so someone needs to redeem the competition!

Any potential stars in your team? Who have been your standouts? Cultured midfield playmaker

The defensive skills of Oscar Pistorious’ lawyers, the midfielders with the work rate of beavers and the finishing of an emperor penguin. We tend to use set pieces to our advantage, with long throw-ins and corners working particularly well due to the aerial threats we can put in the box. We are quite a physical team and have enjoyed putting in some hard tackles. I don’t think I could name a team who we play similar football to, in all honesty. Who have been your toughest opponents? In the first phase, we found teams difficult to break down,

in particular Roath Park Rangers. However, after playing more and more football as a team, we started to improve and are now pulling some quality results out of the bag. In the second phase, we haven’t really had any tough games. We feel we were very unlucky to have lost the first game of the phase. Do you have much of a social scene? What do you get up to on a typical Wednesday night? Every now and again, we will meet up for a few drinks. Retro on Wednesday is popular with the team due to it being so cheap! But we do also meet at The Lash

at the Union as well, and go for the odd pint or curry. Where are you looking at finishing this season? Are you confident that you can win the league with JOMEC and Time Team hot on your heels? Please, no, my heart! We should win this league comfortably. The league is in our hands and we have some easy games approaching, so, hopefully, we won’t upset the apple cart and throw away the league. We feel winning the league in our very first season would be a great achievement and a great benchmark for next year.

Division Two Premiership

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Division One

7

7

0

0

16

21

1

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

1

C-PLAN AFC

7

6

0

1

14

18

1st XI

6

4

0

2

7

12

2

JOMEC FC

6

4

1

1

8

13

1

CARBS FC

2

Roath Park Rangers

7

4

0

3

6

12

2

Cardiff Mets

4

4

0

0

6

12

3

Time Team

5

4

0

1

5

12

3

Law A

4

3

0

1

4

9

3

Inter Menan

4

3

1

0

4

10

4

Engin Auto FC

7

3

2

2

5

11

4

Psycho Athletico

6

3

0

3

2

9

4

Engin Loco FC

6

3

1

2

2

10

5

Chemistry FC

5

2

1

2

1

7

5

SOCSI

6

3

0

3

-2

6

5

AFC Dentistry

6

3

0

3

6

9

6

OPSOC

7

2

1

4

-4

7

6

Momed AFC

7

2

0

5

3

6

6

CHAOS FC

5

2

1

2

-3

7

7

Gym Gym

6

2

0

4

-5

6

7

Pharm AC

6

2

0

4

-12

6

7

Cardiff Uni IMG 1st

6

2

0

4

-2

6

8

Law B

4

1

2

1

0

5

8

EarthSoc

3

1

0

2

-1

3

8

History AFC

4

0

1

3

-6

1

9

Computer Science FC

5

1

1

3

-3

4

9

FC Euros

6

1

0

5

-16

3

9

Cardiff Uni IMG 2nd

5

0

0

5

-14

0

10

Too Big To Fail

6

0

0

6

-21

0


29

Sport 27–32

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddsport

The Tip-Off: JOMEC In this week's Tip-Off, James Shapland speaks to JOMEC Netball captain Dotty Baker

A

s the only surviving member of last season’s JOMEC squad, Dotty Baker was left with the daunting task of creating a competitive side from scratch. Finishing in second position in Group C is an excellent return for the JOMEC netball girls. Dotty speaks to gair rhydd about her season as captain. So, the season has finished with JOMEC in second position in Group C. Are you happy with the progress you have made? We have managed to win pretty much every game apart from one (I think) so we’ve become a much stronger team over the past semester. We are delighted with the league position we’ve achieved and hopefully this can be built on going into next season. Have there been many changes in the squad from last year? Lost many key players ahead of this season? I was the only player remaining from last season, which was quite scary as I had a lot of work to do to build a team. So, it’s a whole new side this season but luckily we’ve all got on really well this year.

be leaving the team to Hannah Wright and Tasha Smith, who have shown dedication and skill throughout the whole season.

How has the new team shaped up? Who have been the standout performers this year? Any girls catching the eye? The whole team have really stepped up this season and we have notched up some really pleasing results. Livi Azadegan is our top scorer, Carys Bowden is our strongest centre and Jo Faulkner has been our mostimproved player. I am happy to

Where do you think your strengths lie? Any particular positions where you have been consistently strong? Our training sessions this season have really focused on gelling the team together, talking to each other on the field and improving our team work.

Division One

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Pts

1

ENCAP A

5

5

0

0

15

2

CARBS A

5

5

0

0

15

Is there much interest in IMG netball within the JOMEC school? Is it easy to recruit at the start of the season? I don’t actually study Journalism, so initially it was quite difficult to recruit, especially from within the school. However. after a few girls decided to join the team, they told a few friends who came along to training. What’s the social scene like for JOMEC netball? What do you get up to on a typical night

Division Two

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W

D

L

Pts

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ENCAP B

5

4

0

1

12

2

SOCSI A

6

4

0

2

12

out? We always start at Varsity in Roath, and usually head on to The Lash. We always have a great laugh and get on really well! Who have been your toughest opponents this year? Have you had any strongly fought battles? SOCSI B were our toughest opponents this year. They are a great team and work really well together, and we played them very early on in the season.

Division Three

P

W

D

L

Pts

1

SOCSI B

5

5

0

0

15

2

JOMEC

6

5

0

1

15

We have had quite positive feedback regarding the running and organisation of IMG this year? How have you found it and is there anything you would look to improve? It’s been OK, the umpires are great and friendly. I think that a bit more guidance as to the setting-up of a team at the beginning of the year would have been helpful. As a new captain and the only surviving member of JOMEC from last season, I felt pretty lost when I started!

Division Four

P

W

D

L

Pts

1

Cardiff Dental

6

5

0

1

15

2

Cardiff Medics B

4

3

0

1

9

3

Law A

6

4

0

2

12

3

Pharmacy A

5

3

1

1

10

3

OPSOC

6

3

0

3

9

3

HistorySoc

6

3

0

3

9

4

Cardiff Uni A

6

3

0

3

9

4

Cardiff Uni B

5

3

0

2

9

4

Chemistry

6

2

1

3

7

4

Bioscience

5

2

1

2

7

5

Law B

6

2

0

4

6

5

Engin Auto

6

2

0

4

6

5

Psychology B

6

2

0

4

6

5

EUROS

6

2

0

4

6

6

Psychology A

6

1

0

5

3

6

Cardiff Medics A

3

1

0

2

3

6

CARBS B

6

2

0

4

6

6

Pharmacy B

5

2

0

3

6

7

Engin Loco

6

0

0

6

0

7

EarthSoc

6

0

1

5

1

7

URNU

5

0

1

4

1

7

Gym Gym

4

0

1

3

1


30 / Sport

Varsity 2013 Fixtures Sport

Venue

Sailing Cardiff Bay Golf Vale of Glamorgan Taekwon-do WIS Dojo Ultimate Frisbee Pontcanna – Pitch 4 Badminton WIS Jubilee Hall Netball WIS Main Hall Men’s Football WIS Main Pitch Tennis Lawn Tennis Club Men’s Lacrosse Pontcanna – Pitch 3 American Football Pontcanna – Pitch 4 Women’s Rugby Pontcanna – Pitch 1 IMG Football Pontcanna – Pitch 2 Men’s Fencing WIS Upper Hall Women’s Fencing WIS Upper Hall Women’s Basketball WIS Main Hall Men’s Squash WIS Squash Courts Women’s Squash WIS Squash Courts Men’s Volleyball WIS Jubilee Hall Women’s Volleyball WIS Jubilee Hall Women’s Hockey WIS Hockey Astro Freshers’ Rugby Pontcanna – Pitch 1 Women’s Football Pontcanna – Pitch 2 Women’s Lacrosse Pontcanna – Pitch 3 Men’s Basketball WIS Main Hall Men’s Hockey WIS Hockey Astro Men’s Rugby Millennium Stadium

Time

10:00am 11:00am 11:00am 11:00am 11:30am 11:30am 12:00pm 12:00pm 12:30pm 12:30pm 1:00pm 1:00pm 1:30pm 1:30pm 1:30pm 1:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 2:30pm 2:30pm 2:30pm 2:30pm 2:30pm 3:00pm 4:00pm 7:30pm


Sport 26–32

Monday April 22nd 2013 | @gairrhyddsport

31

Varsity 2013 Preview Experience can see us through – Fowler Sport writer Jacob Dirnhuber talks to Cardiff Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler ahead of this week’s Varsity grudge match

W

ith the biggest game of the year fast approaching, Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler took the time to speak to gair rhydd in a recent interview. Results have been disappointing this season, with Cardiff registering only 14 points over their 10 league games, seven short of their total from last year, when they finished third. Having won only three times in BUCS Premier League South A season, they find themselves above only Glamorgan in the table, 13 points behind Varsity rivals Swansea. Despite this, Fowler believes that his squad has the experience to ensure that recent form has no effect on the fixture. “The potential starting XV will be alright. Most of them are playing Premiership rugby, a few have played regional rugby and a few have tasted international rugby as well, so I don’t think that [concerns about recent form] will be an issue. “With any Varsity, it’s ultimately a case of who manages the nerves best, and, like any cup game, it’s really about who per-

forms better on the day. “Form goes out the window for games like this.” When quizzed about Cardiff’s growing injury list, Fowler was optimistic that the majority of his squad would be fit to play on Wednesday. “There’s only one definitely out – Rhys Luckwell. He would have started on the blindside, but he broke his collarbone on Sunday in training. Luckily for us, back row is one of the areas where we’ve got great strength in depth. “We can’t really name a side yet, but we’re well covered.” The 2012–13 season has presented with a number of difficulties for Cardiff, the most problematic of which has been the squad’s difficulty in balancing Cardiff rugby with other commitments. “We’ve done everything we can do in terms of getting ready. It’s been really difficult this year because of the large amount of inclement weather, not just the university games have been knocked back and had to be rearranged, but so have a lot of club games in Wales. “The amount of players playing external rugby and managing their time in terms of ensuring

that they’ve got enough time to do that, play for the university, study and play in the Varsity has been a real challenge this year. “I’d say that about 90% of our team play external rugby as well as playing for the university. “Obviously, a number of these guys get paid to play external rugby, so that will take precedence. It’s been quite hard to manage that. I’ve been very mindful that, as a university, the academic side has to come first. “Telling a player to play four times a week - twice for his club and twice for the university - in the knowledge that they need study time is difficult. “We always have to take the moral high ground as a university club”. Held in the world-famous, 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium, the Varsity game is famous for a boisterous atmosphere, something that Fowler is fully appreciative of. “We’re expecting a carnival atmosphere, the one thing that sets Varsity apart from any other rugby match I’ve played in or coached in is the atmosphere. Having the roof shut, the noise bounces back of it and straight back down. It’ll be a great occasion.”

Adam and Sion ready to seize their chance Rugby players Adam Field and Sion Jones speak to Sport editor Ross Martinovic about their three-year journey to Varsity

T

he past few years have been quite a whirlwind for Sion Jones and Adam Field. Having commenced their Cardiff University careers in 2010, the pair swiftly joined the University’s famed rugby club. Both impressed sufficiently in early training sessions to enjoy tastes of 1st XV action in their first year, helping Martyn Fowler’s side gain promotion into BUCS Premier League South A, before they were selected for the 2011 Freshers’ Varsity match against arch rivals Swansea. In front of a raucous crowd at Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff recovered from a 13–3 deficit on the hour to snatch a draw, with Adam’s stunning 40-metre solo try, which he describes as “one of the best tries of my life”, sparking the

revival. The home side went on to lose in a drop-kick competition, but it is an experience that both discuss with fond memories. “I was originally involved in the main Varsity squad as a fresher but didn’t make the cut,” Sion, a Human Geography and Planning student, recalls. “I remember feeling very disappointed about the whole thing. Mark Schropfer did a good job of keeping me in a positive mindframe and assured me that my opportunity would come eventually. “I was then made available to play in the Freshers’ Varsity along with Adam Field. It was a great pleasure to play alongside people who I shared my first year of university with and I really enjoyed the experience. “I remember the atmosphere down at Pontcanna was electric,

with Cardiff and Swansea students cheering on their respective teams on the sidelines.”

Injuries and unavailability have struck Cardiff ahead of Varsity Sion and Adam recovered strongly from the disappointment of missing out on selection for the main Varsity match, in which Cardiff were comprehensively defeated 18–28, and featured prominently in the University’s first season back in Premier South A. Cardiff finished third, ranking them as the top Welsh university above Cardiff Metropolitan and Swansea, before brushing the latter aside 33–13 to claim 2012 Var-

sity Cup. Adam and Sion unfortunately missed out on selection again, but a string of notable performances throughout the season saw Adam become one of Fowler’s first signings as Cardiff RFC’s director of rugby last summer, while Sion was rewarded with a Wales Students call-up. And their time appears to have come at last with both poised for selection in Fowler’s squad for Wednesday’s showpiece event at the Millennium Stadium. Injuries and unavailability have struck Cardiff ahead of the match, with skipper Ross Wardle and vice-captain Rhys Luckwell both ruled out, and Marine Geography student Adam predicted a much closer affair on this occasion. “I think it will be a lot closer this year,” the centre said. “It’s a big loss in physicality

with Ross and Rhys not playing. Rhys is also a real leader and has been a key figure throughout the whole year. “He has never missed training and games even when he was injured so we’re gutted for him.” Sion added: “Many of the boys who were in last year’s team have graduated. “Boys such as Jake CooperWoolley, Ross Grimstone, Craig Lodge and Jordan Wood really helped our pack dominate all facets of play, which gave our backs the platform to run the ball. “This year, it’s going to be a lot tougher, but I am still confident that our forwards can really challenge Swansea up front. “We still have a back line that can do damage – we just need to stay calm, not let the pressure get to us and be clinical on the day.”


Snow joke! Cardiff Snowsports impress in Alpe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Huez << page 26

cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk /gairrhydd

Sport Monday April 22nd 2013 | Issue 1003

Taekwon-Do top of tree

Cardiff University Taekwon-Do Club have gone from strength to strength this year, culminating in lifting the ITF British University Championship in Leeds recently. Brenna McInerney reports on the success on page 27.

Fowler hopeful of Varsity glory << page 31

The Tip-Off: JOMEC Netball << page 29


gair rhydd - Issue 1003