ASIAN E R U T N ADVE r tips fo Travel r UoN e the oth nent conti
Are UoN staff left stressed and over-worked by Project Transform?
Interview with [ALT] Gaming Lounge co-founder
An introduction to UoN student band Tusk
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAMâ€™S OFFICIAL STUDENT MAGAZINE
Editorial Ahh, January. For most, the first weeks of a new year are spent trying to fulfil the list of resolutions written optimistically with a belly full of mince pies. For students at UoN, however, being a better person is a little more challenging. I like to think of the last two weeks of January as a sort of survival of the fittest. Who can get to Hallward before 9am to bag a fourth-floor booth with a plug socket? How long can you listen to the banal conversations of those who use the silent section as the new pre-drinks before you start sighing loudly and glaring? When will the cacophony of coughs and sneezes give way to the chatter of students between classes? It’s true: January, for the deadline-weary student, is tough. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Thanks to the hard work of our editors and members, we’re ready to indulge you in your pre-exam travel reveries. Rather be anywhere but in the mile-long queue for coffee in Hallward’s Starbucks? Me too. So, let our exquisitely illustrated cover and its accompanying articles take you away from it all for a while. This time around, we’re delving into the treasures Asia has to offer. Karmen’s walks us through the streets of Seoul, Emily has our back in Beijing, and Rebecca’s “do’s and don’ts in Bali” are enough to have us surfing the web for some lastminute flights – even though we know we’re stuck in rainy Notts for the foreseeable. If you can’t quite hack the travel envy, we’ve got some other goodies to fuel your procrastination. Gaming sits down for a chat with Kon from Nottingham’s very first gaming restaurant (how cool!), our Science team looks at the UoN Master’s students taking Biology research by storm, and Music yet again enchants us with their effortless writing styles and quirky interviews. Perhaps not as dreamy, but equally important, is the News team’s investigation into the consequences of Project Transform. Any new system takes time to adjust to, but I urge the University to listen to its staff and students: we invest enough time, money and energy into this institution to warrant a voice when it comes to times of change. Now I guess I should join the rest of my cohort and actually do a bit of revision, so as a parting message until next time: for those of you with deadlines, good luck!
TAMSIN PARNELL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
1 2 3 4 Current Affairs
Regiments and rowing
Our staff are CLAS The effect Project Transform has really had on us Comment
Let’s get political Why you should be politically engaged Features
No more tears Break-ups at uni aren’t the end of the world
Asian Adventure From Seoul to Beijing Food
The mighty avocado More than just instaworthy Science
Planet Nottingham The long journey of the Whooper Swan Style
What to wear in 2017 We make our New Year’s style predictions Exposure
Nottingham at night
Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat. We interviewed cofounder of [ALT] Gaming Lounge Film & TV
Girl Talk Tracing sexism using the Bechdel test Music
Impact Introduces Talking to Tusk from UoN Arts
Chatsworth’s chatelaines The ladies who ran the estate
In conversation with Heather Stanning
Our staff are CLAS
WORDS BY HANNAH EVES & ELLIE O’DONNELL RESEARCH BY SARAH LINDGÄRDE
We investigate the effect Project Transform has had on staff and students within the School of Culture, Languages and Area Studies It was the groan heard across campus when students returned this September to find the Student Services Centres that have replaced individual subject offices. On the surface of these changes are the traditional University catchphrases promising efficiency and the unsurprising complaints from students worrying about queues when handing in coursework. However, beneath this, administrative staff are facing very real fears about redundancies and increasing stress because of failures of the new system. Project Transform is a global programme designed to transform “the University’s culture, improve its proficiency, evolve its structure and build its capabilities”. The new Student Services Centres are just one of the changes brought in by the programme; it also includes a new Student Services department to oversee and manage the Student Services Centres. Alongside this, the University runs ‘Optimised Administrations and Enquires processes’ which were implemented in September 2015 and involve a new system called PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. A system that, in theory, should save time and keep documentation more organised and in one place. When asked about Project Transform, a spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: “Project Transform began in 2014 as a University-wide programme to update and improve student administration systems and processes, and launch a new central Student Services department. Student Services centres opened at the beginning of term and feedback from students has, so far, been extremely positive”. However, an anonymous staff member revealed that the new system is not as efficient as the University would have you
believe. They criticised the handling of the situation saying that the “timetabling for implementation was completely unrealistic”. “The University is very proud of its image, and under the surface people are really, literally miserable. Admin staff are really miserable and stressed”. In conversation with Impact, the staff member revealed that there was great “uncertainty” leading up to the system’s implementation, causing an emotional strain “because people weren’t sure if they were going to make any job cuts” and were not clear on what their role would become after the system went live. “For a long time, people felt like they were being kind of schmoozed along”, they told Impact. Unison, a trade union that represents many of the administrative workers at the University, reiterated the concerns that staff “have been under enormous pressure as a result of Project Transform”. A spokesperson from the union called on the University to “face up to what is happening to the people who are delivering the services to students” and told us that “it is our perception that the University has not done enough to mitigate the stresses” staff have experienced. Our source further claimed that redundancies and initial system failures meant that departments have also been understaffed, leading to the need to train temporary staff who “have no company loyalty” and leave “if they find something better”. The staff member said that this has left full time staff in their office working “at half strength” because they find themselves “back at square one” as soon as the temporary staff members leave. The University responded to these allegations in a statement issued to Impact.
“In terms of the impact on staff, we know that change is challenging for all involved. Issues have arisen, particularly around IT infrastructure, which have altered the timescales initially set and therefore a phased approach has been implemented. This allows all users to become more familiar with the new system and processes and to iron out as many snags as possible, before operating the system in a live environment. However, a phased approach brings its own set of challenges, particularly to the new Student Services team. We are working with staff to help them through this period. There are a number of activities in place, such as engagement sessions, signposting the University counselling service, and change management workshops, to ensure our colleagues are fully supported”. The redundancies to which our source refers have been a point of contention for staff and students alike. In 2015, the University devised and published the Arts Portfolio Review, which included proposals to cut staff in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The plans included a change to the staffto-student ratio from 1:11 to anything from one staff member to every sixteen to twenty students. Our source assures us that the average ratio at other Russell Group universities comes in at below 1:16, raising concerns about the consequences that fewer staff members teaching larger groups could have on the quality of the teaching students receive. Concerns about the number of staff members losing their jobs led to several protests, organised by undergraduate and postgraduate CLAS students, to stand in solidarity with the staff who had supported them during their time at university. These protests, alongside petitions and letters,
were initially set up by Jake Jones, who created the student pressure group ‘Oppose Project Transform’. Jones revealed to Impact that he, like many students from CLAS, felt he had not been consulted in the changes which were going to affect him whilst at University. He told us: “We spoke with one member of staff who promised to hold sessions for information on Project Transform as well as send out a simplified summary of what would happen. Neither of these promises were met”. However, our official source representing the University of Nottingham argued that: “Each faculty of the University has a large degree of autonomy over its own budget, and a responsibility to balance the books. It is not the case that changes in one faculty are channelled into new courses in another. Proposals for new programmes come up through individual faculties, and not in competition with other faculties”. “More broadly, our University does not exist in a vacuum. It is subject to external pressures – to changes in student preferences, in legislation, in funding, in admissions policy and numerous other factors. We have to adapt, to be flexible, to respond to what students want. Where there are fewer students wanting to study certain languages, for example, we have to be aware of that and plan accordingly. It would be irresponsible for the University to plan its course offering in any other way, or indeed to refuse to respond to those changes at all. It is also worth noting that following the consultation held within CLAS, there were no compulsory redundancies made”. Along with the student run protest groups, there has been increasing concern and frustration amongst students about the centralisation of administration. Amy
Wilcockson, a third-year English student told Impact: “Within the School of English, students were and are worried that they won't be able to hand their work in on time due to the high number of other deadlines on the same day”. If the various student Facebook groups overflowing with angry posts are anything to go by, she is not the only one worried about timetabling issues, submitting coursework and dissertations and the long queues at the Service Centres for module enrolment during the first week of term. The changes brought about by Project Transform came as a shock to most students, despite the fact that the plans have been in the works for around four years. SU President Ismail Sadurdeen revealed that “previous [SU] officers were consulted [as] this project started around 2011/12”. The picture that is emerging of Project Transform is bleak, ranging from a frustrating and confusing situation for students and academic staff to more serious problems for the University’s administrative staff. It begs the question that has been in circulation over the last few years of why certain jobs are facing cuts and budget restrictions while the top jobs at the University have bonuses and our campus seems to be always engaged with a new building project. With administrative staff overworked and departments cut down, maybe it is time we ask what this means for the quality of education and student life at the University of Nottingham and, more importantly, whether the University of Nottingham has failed its staff and students.
Let’s get political
WORDS BY BEN LEWIS IMAGES BY INDIA ROSE MEADE
Three politically engaged students debate whether now, more than ever, it’s time to get into politics
Most of us will be used to the stomach churning, heart-sinking, morning after feeling, with only one thought on our mind: ‘what the hell happened last night?!’ I’m willing to bet that if you experienced this last semester, it was for one of three reasons, post-Crisis, post-Ocean, or post-Trump. You may find some comfort in knowing that 85% of your student peers who went voting in June, are already very familiar with the heavy heart and sense of inevitable doom, you are experiencing right now. I’m sure you’re well aware that finding a student at the University of Nottingham who wanted Trump to win the presidency was harder than finding a booth with a plug socket in Hallward peak exam season. If you are a student that was unhappy with the Brexit or the Presidential result, you are in the overwhelming majority. If you, as a result of this, proceeded to do nothing about it, you are also in the overwhelming majority. Democracy only functions properly when people engage with politics. Abraham Lincoln’s description of government being ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ only works if people are paying attention to what’s going on around them. Ignoring politics won’t stop it affecting you, your
university fees are still £9000 and you still have to pay your taxes. You may feel like you don’t have the power to change things, that you’re an insignificant drop in the vast ocean of the electorate. You yourself may not be able to change the world on your own, but by becoming politically engaged, you might just be able to help turn the tide.
“Democracy only functions properly when people engage with politics” I asked three of the most politically engaged students on campus how they got involve in politics. Adam Thompson, the General Sec of the UoN Labour Society, and Sammy Barry, the President of UoN’s Liberal Youth society, have ended up in different political camps but they had similar paths into politics. Adam told me his political involvement “was a steady thing”. He continues, “when I was at Uni the first time I was generally quite disinterested, and then I trained as a teacher following that. That was in the year that Michael Gove in the coalition
government made a lot of changes to the education system that I and many of my teaching colleagues quite strongly disagreed with”. Adam is a prime example of someone getting involved because he couldn’t take being a passive bystander to the car crash that is politics, anymore. Sometimes it’s not until politics affects you that you realise the need to affect politics. Sammy experienced the same symptoms but from a student’s perspective. She told me, “I was in school when Gove came along. I watched all my teachers striking and I wondered what’s going on, so I looked into it”. Whilst their political paths diverged, their political passions were ignited on the same day. Sammy told me that “leading up to the 2015 election I started to search for what the Lib Dems do, finding out that they’re for mental health awareness, legalisation of drugs and all that fun stuff. I voted for them and the next day waking up to the result was obviously very disheartening for a Lib Dem voter. And that’s when I decided that I’m going to join and I’m going to change that”. Adam remembers his experience of the same, disheartening, morning: “I developed more of an interest, and when it came to the general election in 2015 I woke up [to a Conservative government]. That to me was a
bit devastating and I joined the Labour party. I have gone week by week getting steadily more involved, and now I have made it a big part of my life. One small thing lead to another small thing lead to another, there was no big event that caused me to be politically interested.” Not everyone was disappointed by the 2015 General Election result. Sam Hamilton, President of the Nottingham University Conservative Association, told me that his involvement in politics “was very gradual, it started for me at school studying history, not so much with politics but they kind of intertwine. I found that a huge amount of history seemed to compel me vote for the Conservative party, or at least right wing. I saw the Conservative party as being the only one who understood history”.
“One day we are the generation that will run the world” For many university students, 2016 was a year that would throw up many questions as to the merits of democracy, but it is here
to stay. The point of being a free country is, that there is not one person making all the decisions. It isn’t even just a fraction. It is everyone. And sometimes everyone will not agree with you and your fraction. Does that mean that everyone is wrong? It could but isn’t it still better than knowing that you will never have the chance to prove that you are right? Politics affects the whole world around you, and if you ignore it you’ll get left behind. The beauty of democracy is that everyone can get involved. Get educated, get opinionated, talk about it, discuss and argue ideas. We may still be students, but one day we are the generation that will run the world. And I hope that by that point, we will have done the required reading.
IMAGES BY EMILY CLARKE
In the official launch of our upcoming Challenges online feature, Mary and Holly fly the flag. Would you talk to everyone you meet for a day?
University has always been, at its core, about selfimprovement. But while a lot of this self-improvement focuses on academia leading into careers (the degree itself, work placements and the like), there’s more to life than just that. At university, you can pick up an instrument, start to learn a language, become a student journalist, your choices are endless, but what about the improvement of the isolated self? Two of our own take up our challenges to see if they can ‘better themselves’.
Challenge #1: No Complaining! Hang me on a crucifix and let me sing ‘Always look on the bright side of life’... Some say the key to being a better person is making the mundane parts of life enjoyable – a.k.a. no complaining! I thought I’d test that theory. After all, how hard could a day without complaining be? Well, it is supposedly in the Brit’s blood, but if I could avoid talking about the weather, queuing, or traffic, maybe I could hold my tongue and make it. On the day of my challenge, the inevitable happened. It rained. Hard. Not anticipating this, I left home without a suitable coat. While I would usually grunt to the first person I see about my soggy clothes and flooded ballet pumps, today I chose to focus on what positives this shower might bring. It hadn’t rained in over a week, and for our campus to stay as beautiful as it is, the plants needed that water. See, rain’s a good thing, right? Feeling proud to have resisted my first would-be moan, I half strutted, half swam to my lecture. But of course, mid-November’s ‘Fresher’s Flu’ meant my lectures were sound tracked with sneezes and sniffs, and many, many
coughs. Usually I would complain to my neighbour in between their sniffles (“I came to unit, not a doctor’s waiting room”). Instead I chose, once again, the more positive outlook. Isn’t it great that students are here, doing their best to learn when they’d rather be in bed? I’m truly blessed to be surrounded by such committed young people. And thus, for the rest of the day, constantly donning my rose-tinted glasses and looking on the bright side, I applied a Buddhist philosophy to my life, pursuing happiness by detaching from negativity. Simply remarking on the up sides and keeping my glass half full (not in the literal way of course, noone enjoys a luke-warm pint), has left me strangely enlightened at the end of a pretty miserable day. We complain to release our frustration, but at times I wonder if complaining actually serves to dampen our mood rather than improve it. A full day of seeing the positive side showed me that facing each day with an optimistic outlook can totally shift the atmosphere. Maybe the key to being a better person really is about changing our attitude – which means self-improvement is possible for anyone. WORDS BY HOLLY JENSON
Challenge #2: Talk to EVERYBODY To a self-identified shy person, like myself, offering my housemate’s friend who is ‘just waiting for them to get ready’, a cuppa is already challenging enough. Talking to everyone I meet, comes close to my worst nightmare. Not without reason, it turns out: people can be remarkably unfriendly. Like any other budgeting student’s, my fridge started to look somewhat sad, so I decided to start my day of greetings by stocking up on items that could sustain me for a week in way, three left over slices of pizza and one ambitious apple, just couldn’t. Off to Lidl I went. This meant walking down Ilkeston Road, which I think it was fair to be nervous about. For people who don’t know the area well, Ilkeston is Derby Road’s sinister older brother, the kind that will stare at you if you’re ‘round your friend’s house but not say a word. It didn’t take longer than this short trip, for me to figure out that saying “hi” takes people too much by surprise to provoke them. The girl I threw an enthusiastic “Morning” at, only stared and muttered something that could pass as “Hi”, a couple steps after I had passed. A couple guys in large coats, hunched up at a bus stop, returned my greeting with nothing short of complete confusion.
You’d think students in Hallward, desperately trying to procrastinate, would be somewhat more perceptive to my new found, chirpy attitude. You would be wrong. Wherever I went, I got the same reactions: confusion and ignorance. It was a bit demoralising. The people I did really enjoy talking to, were the elderly. I got smiles and friendly hellos back from all of them. Given the contrast with students, I started asking myself: is it a generational thing? Were they brought up in a world where it was the norm to greet strangers on the street? Are we an anti-social generation, that is, ironically, too involved with social media? Night time was a different story altogether: we were going to Ocean. I knew this was going to be tricky - trying to speak to anyone in any club is hard enough, but this was Ocean. It was never going to happen. My plan was to talk to people in the queue or at the bar, which I had some limited success with, but as you can imagine, it wasn’t long before I had to give up. So, would I do this challenge again? Probably not. It is way too stressful and from the majority, you get little reward. However, However, we don’t lose anything by performing random acts of kindness and you never know whose day it may secretly brighten up a little. WORDS BY MARY THOMPSON
No more tears
WORDS BY LYDIA ECCLESTON IMAGES BY PIPPA LEICESTER
Lydia tells us why a break up at uni isn’t all that bad
Whether you came to university already loved up, or you met your other half during the chaos of Welcome Week, when you’ve invested so much time of your uni experience into someone else, it can feel like a royal waste of time when it all goes to pieces. It’s common to sit on a bit of a high horse and judge the singletons of Crisis with distaste whilst in a long-term relationship. Poor souls desperately seeking that special someone that you already have. You convince yourself that you’re happier than them, that you don’t need to stay at the club all night, and that you really didn’t want to anyway. When it all goes sour, you realise how wrong you were. University is a notoriously lonely place, full of pressures of independence that can be daunting at the best of times, so the thought of entering back into that world alone, after relying so much on another person can make you cling harder to a relationship that may be wrong for you. Of course, you can only see this in retrospect, after you’ve broken up and survived the crying stage (and the ice-cream coma and drunken denial stages). Then you come to discover that, actually, if there’s a best time for a relationship to end, it’s at uni.
As soon as I moved back into a routine, putting the past behind me became easier than I ever imagined and I learnt that there are huge positives to having uni life to fall back into.
Friends It’s the most accurate cliché in existence that your mates get you through a breakup. Friends become the people you invest your time in, not because you feel obliged to, but because you want to spend time with them. I mean, who needs one special person when you have a group of them providing top quality banter and constant reassurance that you’re the bomb?
Freedom Doing your own thing feels so much better. I’ve rediscovered nights out and, hello, who even knew there were this many hotties at UoN?! But the best thing about nights out as a singleton? The next day you can lie in bed all day and not even feel guilty about your workload because you know you have the whole weekend to yourself to catch up.
Focus Personally, working that bit harder with my new-found determination, and having whole weekends free, meant I went up almost two grade boundaries in just over a month. Something else I found is that when you’re not giving half of your energy to someone else, you can focus on yourself. You don’t second guess yourself or worry about what they think of you. You can do the things you love, start something new, and feel totally happy with yourself. It may seem like an impossible task to let someone go and throw yourself into the world of student life, but uni always has a way of distracting you with the next big adventure. Stop stalking their Insta, put down the Ben & Jerry’s and go and have a boss night with your mates. Trust me, you have enough regrets: go and make
ASIAN ADVENTURE Whether you have a free weekend during your year abroad or you booked a spontaneous last minute deal from EMA to “Anywhere in Asia”, we are here to show you the sights. From a weekend in Seoul to 10 things to remember when travelling to China, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to head to impactnottingham.com for more travel tips to the Asian continent!
SEOUL SURVIVOR: 24 HOURS
WORDS BY KARMEN TRUONG
Karmen walks us through a cultural weekend in Seoul
Seoul, here I am. The hostel’s checked into and with only a couple of days in the city, the first 24 hours are vital for exploration. I’ve visited big capital cities before, but there’s something about Seoul that’s different. An ancient city with a youthful spark, it’s brimming with creativity and spirit. Being located near Hongik University, it’s no surprise that on our first venture out, we encountered a group of buskers playing to a huge crowd of students and tourists alike. The area itself (Hongdae) is known for its arts and music culture, making it a paradise for hipsters everywhere. Far from negative connotations, there’s a quietly cool vibe around the area with aesthetic AF cafes and bars to hang out at, or contemporary urban parks to BYOB and chill, day and night. Dipping our toes into Seoul’s archives, we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace, arriving just in time to view the changing of the Royal Guard. A ceremony to rival Buckingham Palace, it’s a longstanding tradition offering a great chance for us to experience a part of Seoul’s history for ourselves. With a large area to cover, we wasted no time and headed to Geunjeongjeon Hall. It’s a majestic structure for a majestic first impression - quite literally, the king once granted audience to officials here! Delving further, Bukchon Hanok Village provided us with a free means to satisfy our historical curiosity. It’s an area that has
preserved the architecture of houses from the Joseon Dynasty (600 years ago!) , and is still inhabited by locals. The strict noise policy created a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, perfect for exploring. After walking up the main strip of houses, we were rewarded with a stunning view of Seoul from the top. Sleek skyscrapers serve as a modern backdrop to the hanoks’ classic beauty, perfectly encapsulating the veins of tradition pulsing strong in the city. Feeling peckish, we discovered the amazing street-food scene around the University and shopping areas. We grabbed a quick lunch in Myeong-dong as we browsed its many stores and rested our feet at Gwangjang Market, a bustling place full of vendors serving a variety of dishes that can take you from starters, all the way through to dessert. Open until 11pm, we maximised our time (and stomachs) in Seoul by stopping there in the evening for a late night snack. This pretty much summarises my first 24 hours, although there’s so much more I did and didn’t do. There’s a mystery about Seoul that I couldn’t solve in just two days, but I’m determined to return and uncover the secret to it’s charm.
IMPACT WORDS BY EMILY REAY
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Tips and tricks to prepare you for your time in China
We can all conjure up some sort of image of China: we’ve tasted the food, seen pictures of the Wall and read about Mao’s bicycles. Yet nothing can truly prepare you for the tidal wave of culture and diversity that hits, when you arrive. People will stare Westerners are what the Chinese call ‘laowais’, which is an informal term for a foreigner. You’ll probably hear people shout this as you pass by and point you out to others – just remember that it’s friendly and harmless. You can’t just write the name of your hotel down for the taxi driver Giving a Chinese person a destination in our alphabet is like someone asking you how to get to 诺丁汉大学. It’s best to have your destination written in Chinese, although it’s worth learning how to pronounce it too as some taxi drivers can’t read Chinese either. Three magic letters: VPN If you cannot endure life without the likes of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Google, then a VPN will be your
best friend. This hides what you’re doing online and means you can get onto the sites that are blocked by the Chinese government. Just make sure you download and activate it before you hit mainland China. Ordering food will be a hitand-miss process The translations on menus are often wrong (and usually humorous) and the pictures can be deceiving. It’s sometimes best to identify something you like the look of at a nearby table and point at that for the waiter. There are hand signals for numbers 1-10 They don’t just hold the number of fingers up, there are specific hand gestures for each number so that you can communicate with bar staff in a noisy bar. Temperatures are more extreme than you’d expect Everybody talks about China being humid but people often forget that this means it gets incredibly cold as well as incredibly hot. Bubble tea is divine China’s bubble tea is not like the stuff we get here; it’s called
‘naicha’, which means milk tea. They’re incredibly sweet and come in amazing flavours. For the equivalent of 70p, these are the perfect hangover cure. Sleeper trains are a cultural experience you’ll never forget China does have super-swanky, high-speed bullet trains, but if you’re going long-haul you’ll be on a super-old, smelly crawler that’s packed to the brim with people. The nightlife is wild As you might expect, Shanghai has a strong expat nightlife vibe where you can spend a fortune on cocktails and cocaine in rooftop bars. However, there is also the real Chinese night out with dodgy techno music, free bowls of fruit and a game that involves cups and dice and is much less fun than it looks. Pollution is as bad as everyone says People who live in China usually have an app that tells them how bad the pollution is on a particular day; at times, you can barely see 10 metres ahead of you due to smog.
WORDS BY REBECCA CHRISTMAS
DO IT RIGHT The do’s and don’ts of Bali
1. Do climb Mount Batur at sunrise: Getting up at 2am and climbing up the mountain for two hours is completely worth it once the sun comes up.
1. Don’t only eat at restaurants: Bali’s street food is amazing and will only set you back around £1 a meal. Don’t believe the myth that you will get food poisoning!
2. Do visit Gili Trawangan Island: It is only a short boat trip away and is the perfect place to party. Just remember to stay away from the magic mushroom shots!
2. Don’t use local taxis: They will charge a fortune just because you are European and won’t know any better. Download Uber or Bali’s equivalent, Blue Bird.
3. Do explore Ubud: Ubud is my personal favourite because of the beautiful rice fields, Tegenungan waterfall and the Monkey Forest.
3. Don’t be afraid to haggle: If you go to a market in Bali, don’t be scared to haggle the price of items. They have purposely put up the price for you as you aren’t a local.
4. Do rent a scooter: It is the cheapest way to get around, but make sure you practice before driving on busy roads; Balinese drivers are known to be a little reckless!
4. Don’t be deceived by the monkeys: They can be very vicious and will steal your clothes, keys, phone and camera if they can.
5. Do stay in hostels: This is the best way to meet people and make friends who will make your travelling experience so much better.
5. Don’t stay in one place: Even though Bali is a small island, there are so many amazing places to visit. You might want to stay put but believe me, you will find another beautiful stop only a short journey away.
IMAGE BY RAPHAELA RING
Coffee to sit in A look at two unusual cafés in Notts: drop your take away cup and step away from Starbucks Crocus Café This is certainly a real gem and is located right in the heart of Lenton, so there’s no excuse for any students living here (most of you, right?). This quaint little café is very inviting with its homely decor and delicious food. It is apparently Nottingham’s oldest community café and prides itself on being not-for-profit, meaning that the staff there are all volunteers and the food is incredibly cheap. On my visit, I had a pot of tea and a slice of mango and raspberry cake, which came in at an unbelievable £2.10. This was not only awesome value, but the food was extremely tasty. Crocus Café specialises in serving only vegan and vegetarian dishes, so this place is perfect for all you veggies out there. Another added perk of this café is that any content from the tips jar will go straight towards food for those with no means to pay for it; charity and coffee break in one. If you have enough spare, you can directly sponsor a drink or meal for someone in need. I highly recommend this café, not only for being a great place to eat and drink, but also because its charitable efforts are truly admirable. You can find Crocus Café at 18 Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 2ES.
Kitty Café This café is a bit like marmite: you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. But remember: it is not just about the cats, although they are the main attraction. More than just coffee with cats, the Kitty Café is in fact a rehoming centre, aiming to get all kitties adopted. But in the meantime, cat lovers are invited to play with the endearing felines whilst enjoying good food and drink. They have an amazing selection of coffee and teas, as well as paninis, pizzas, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, toasties and salads. They also offer delicious sweet treats, such as cake and cheesecake. Being a caramel fiend, on my visit I tried the caramel cream black tea along with the caramello cheesecake. Both were gorgeous, fairly priced, and could be protected by a rather lovely cat-proof food cover, if need be. There are some things to remember, though: you need to book in advance, can only stay an hour and have to pay a £5 entrance fee – which goes towards the welfare of the cats. Despite all that, this place is so worth it! You should trust me because I’ve been twice and I’m actually quite allergic to cats (I can’t help myself). You can find Kitty Café on Friar Lane in Nottingham City Centre, not far from the 34 ‘City, Maid Marian Way’ bus stop.
WORDS BY RUTH PENGELLY
The secret ingredient Jake talks us through the many uses of vinegar
White wine vinegar
Red wine vinegar
A lightly flavoured vinegar that isn’t particularly acidic as far as they go. It goes wonderfully in subtly flavoured dressings, especially those that include citric fruit juices or, typically sweet ones, like honey and mustard. It’s also great at bringing out the fresh flavours in summer dishes like arrabiata.
This one is much more acidic in taste than white wine vinegar and also has a certain tart flavour. Red wine vinegar goes well in fruity vinaigrettes and sweet glazes. One thing to note is that the acid in all vinegars tenderises meat, so they’re often a great in marinades, too. Try reducing red wine vinegar, lemon juice and clementine juice with a bit of sugar to make a syrup perfect for dishes involving duck. The sweet and sour sauce cuts through the rich meat of the duck perfectly.
19 WORDS BY JAKE TENN
IMAGES BY INDIA ROSE MEADE
I will admit I am passionate about food, which is why, more of than I would wish, I end up having somewhat pointless discussions about recipes and terminology. But one debate where I will not back down, is the vinegar debate. Vinegar, in all its glorious shapes and forms, is a seasoning; not a condiment, not a sauce but a seasoning. It’s like salt - salt is a seasoning, not because it makes things ‘salty’, but because it enhances and intensifies certain flavours that already exist in a dish. Hence, why you add salt to chocolate dishes, it enhances the… uhh, chocolaty-ness (yeah, that’ll do). Vinegar does the same thing due to its acidity, and the variants mentioned below give nuances to the flavours in some already great dishes. Let’s take a look.
Shaoxing rice wine vinegar Sweeter than most western vinegars besides the obvious one above and is perhaps closer to wine than vinegar. Nevertheless, I’ve included it because it is essential for Far East Asian cooking. It’s often compared to spirits such as whiskey and is quite malty, so works wonders with strong, spicy flavours. This vinegar can really accentuate the yin and yang flavour pairings in Chinese cooking.
This is by far the sweetest option on the list and sometimes is even used in desserts like strawberry tarts. Balsamic vinegar can be used in stews such as Bolognese and can be used to make sweet, sharp glazes for grilled vegetables and meats.
This is very common in Spanish cooking, shockingly... they only invented the stuff. It has a very potent flavour and is good for adding that intangible Spanish vibe to cooking. It’s made from fortified white wine and adds complexity to white wine sauces. Try using this in subtly flavoured meat dishes like sea bass by reducing with chili peppers, garlic, white wine and parsley.
Avocado baby, you’re the good kind of fat
WORDS BY SARVENAZ HOSSEINI IMAGE BY GEMMA BROWN
Ever wondered how that avocado ended up in your insta-worthy salad? Turns out it has a surprisingly exciting past!
Apart from the Instagram worthy pictures of avocados on toast and a general growing obsession with healthy ‘clean’ eating these days, what good does the avocado actually do to our bodies? Why does the avocado evean exist?
Evolutionary ghosts Before the Pleistocene extinction around 13,000 years ago, huge land roaming mammals such as four tusked elephants, armadillos and giant sloths used to feed on avocados. These mammals, also referred to as ‘megafauna’, would swallow avocados whole and egest the seed, plus their very own fertiliser, out the other end. This mutualistic relationship provided megafauna, who sometimes weighed as much as 4 tonnes, with a big boost of energy, while in return, the mammals helped increase avocado tree numbers by spreading avocado seeds. So, you would expect that when the megafauna died out, so would the avocado, right? Somehow, we don’t know how or why, avocados managed to survive. Some have
suggested that jaguars enjoyed them as treats, or rodents transported and buried avocado seeds underground. However, these are just speculations and simply put: we just don’t know why the avocado survived after megafauna went extinct. Which makes the humble avocado a ghost of very extinct, very large, very cool mammals. Nature’s own way of expressing an eulogy. Humans did eventually come along and started to cultivate avocados because, well, avocados. The Aztecs named it after testicles ‘ahuacatl’ because, well, again, avocados. The world production of avocados today is over a million tonnes a year, with Mexico being the avocado’s motherland, giving birth to 28% of the world’s supply.
Healthy bit! LDLs (low-density lipoprotein) deposit cholesterol on the walls of our arteries, contributing towards heart disease, one of the biggest killers of our time.
The humble avocado truly deserves a place in your heart, since its fat is mainly made up of the mono-unsaturated fatty acid ‘oleic acid’. There is countless published literature that shows oleic acid lowers the levels of LDL in the blood, and so actually promotes good heart health. Aside from giving us a healthy heart, avocados are reservoirs of nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E and more. These vitamins are needed for important biological processes, preventing diseases caused by deficiency. Some vitamins are absorbed more efficiently by the body when given alongside a fatty meal, which makes avocadoes perfect for providing your body with vitamins A, E and K. A is good for vision, E is used for repairing damaged cells, and K stops you from bleeding all over the place when you get a small cut.
Rustic Guac recipe: Take 1 clove of garlic, dice it and grind with salt. Take a red chilli and finely slice. Now get half a lemonâ€™s zest and juice, finely chop a small bunch of coriander, then mix it all with the scooped and smashed flesh of an avocado.
Planet Nottingham: The Whooper Swan
WORDS BY GEORGINA BRAY IMAGES COURTESY OF ATTENBOROUGH NATURE RESERVE
Where to find it, how to spot it and why we should treat them well
The new David Attenborough series was unforgettable. From the eagles soaring over some of the highest peaks on earth, to the newly born iguanas fighting for their lives, it had us all on the edges of our sofas, with toes curled into the soles of our feet. Inspired by this television phenomenon that has swept the nation, we decided to undertake something (almost) as grandeur. Today we bring you Planet Nottingham, to highlight the marvellous creatures on our doorstep and around our homes. First on the list, coming from Iceland (the country, not the supermarket) to our very own Attenborough Nature reserve, is the majestic Whooper Swan.
to Britain, remaining there over winter. Once spring arrives, however, they must find their own way in life to start a new family. A tad more impressive than the mute swans’ migration from Wollaton to Uni Park’s lake, isn’t it?
This is not the everyday run-of-the mill swan you see around campus – oh no. The Whooper is a much wilder cousin of the swans we know, distinguished by its larger size, with a wingspan of up to 2.75m, and the distinct yellow on its beak. When the swans aren’t spending their time foraging in lakes, they will look for a partner to stay with for the rest of their lives. Once a tight bond is formed, the male and female honeymoon and start a family in Iceland. The hatched cygnets stay with their parents and fly back
Whooper swan migrations are phenomenal, but unfortunately this long trip doesn’t ensure a safe wintering ground. The Whoopers make the longest sea crossings of any swan species, migrating up to 1400km to Britain each year. This distance is staggering, but what is more incredible, perhaps, is the poor welcome humans give the swans on arrival. In water bodies inhabited by wintering Whoopers, humans litter lead bullets and angler weights. These
“Whooper Swans are tough old birds, deserving nothing short of a warm welcome to Nottingham as winter draws in again this year”
are digested by the swans when they reach down to eat the reeds. Lead is lethal, and because of this, around 100,000 swans and other bird species die from lead ingestion each year in Britain. The birds have a tough time getting across the North Sea for their winter vacation, but it doesn’t seem like humans allow them much of a holiday when they arrive. The life of a Whooper swan is tough. After birth, their young only have five months to grow and prepare themselves for a flight the length of 33 consecutive marathons to a miserable wintering ground. Once mature and partnered to their chosen swan, divorce is no option, so we can only hope for the swan’s sake that their first choice in partner is wiser than most of us humans. By infesting their winter holiday’s feeding grounds with lethal traps, we make these swans’ already difficult life even trickier. But Whooper Swans are tough old birds, deserving nothing short of a warm welcome to Nottingham as winter draws in again this year.
What are you working on?
IMAGES BY MARGARET UTHMAN VIA FLICKR, GEORGIE BRAY, ALEX TRIMBLE
Masters students of UoN: Fighting disease, Climate Change, and Canada Geese Whilst we hear about the ground-breaking scientific discoveries from around the globe, it is easy to miss the exciting research going on right under our noses. Here we introduce a few Masters students from the Life Sciences department who are undertaking some very cool research in their field. From helping to rid the world of parasitic diseases, to the improvement of arranged animal marriages, Nottingham has it covered. Our biologically defined ‘personality’ isn’t related to our Netflix favourites, but actually refers to individual behaviour that is consistent over time and in different contexts. In particular, personality tends to be grouped into ‘bold’ and ‘shy’ personality types. The bold geese tend to take more risks (perhaps run in front of the 34 bus) whereas the shy ones will be more wary of predators. To assess the personality of a goose, I can do various experiments. I might drive a fake fox on a toy car at them and time how long it takes for them to return to food after being scared by this terrifying, remote controlled beast. Sometimes we might try putting a cushion covered in tinsel (a novel object) next to food to see how long it takes for them to approach the food.
Nikki Morton: Hopefully not another wild goose chase As I am your average fourth year Biology student, you would probably expect me to carry out pivotal research curing diseases or fixing the world’s food security problems. Well, you would be wrong. My current project is studying geese personality. Yes, you read right, the personality of Canada Geese.
After that, my job is to become a geese relationship expert by seeing if they choose their mate based on personality type or if they alter their personality to better match their partner (cute, right?!). Although this may all seem a little unnecessary, these results could be applied to captive breeding programmes for other animals. By helping scientists become better animal matchmakers, we can help form happier and more fruitful animal couples all round. Watch out Fred from First Dates or Paddy from Take Me Out, Nikki is the new matchmaker in town!
Alex Lethem: A sting in the tail of sleeping sickness I am curing a disease. Or at least some people are. Sleeping sickness, or trypanosomiasis, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma, putting 70 million people at risk around the world. You may read this and assume that at some point you were a victim of sleeping sickness, whilst your eyes were blearily fixed in a caffeine haze on a Hallward computer in the early hours of the morning. Although a fragmented sleep pattern is one symptom of the disease, you can rest easy knowing that you do not harbour a lifethreatening trypanosome. You are probably suffering from an ill-planned deadline due date instead. The undergraduate project I am involved in, uses trypanosome proteins to help create a vaccine against the disease’s symptoms: fevers, confusion and paralysis to name a few. This task isn’t easy since the devious trypanosome changes its surface proteins and old vaccines rely on these to work. Not to worry though - when creating our vaccines, we’re equally as devious: we use the trypanosome against itself (which should be quite familiar to you after the establishment was used against itself for Brexit and Trump’s election). Our vaccine will use recently discovered unchanging proteins from a pocket hidden at the base of the trypanosome’s tail, outsmarting its system and stopping the evolving parasite in its tracks. The tail base proteins will hopefully elicit a diseasefighting training course for affected people’s
immune systems, making them resistant to trypanosome. Although a viable vaccine is currently a long way off, research at universities like UoN could be well on their way to curing this disease, affecting people worldwide.
Robert Barber: I spy a species This year, I’m working on species distribution modelling. In conservation, we use models to map species on a large scale, matching types of environmental conditions to species found in and around them. From there, we use a species’ distribution based on its environment, to estimate where else we might expect the species and how it would cope with environmental changes. With the looming terror of climate change, this research is really useful in showing us the possible effects on species distributions in the coming years. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, records of species distributions are only where we’ve thought to look, so they aren’t representative of the only places a species exists. This is a problem if the places we’ve searched aren’t good indicators of a species’ distribution at all, but an artefact of biased sampling. It’s much easier to sample near cities and roads, for example, so a species is much more likely to be identified there. We do try to estimate the extend of our bias sampling, but, realistically, this is nothing more than yet another educated guess. For my project, I harbour a large amount of data on the hoverfly distribution in Britain. Using this data, we are trying to draw maps for the hoverfly. We can use these measured
observations as a standard against which to compare the accuracy of different models. Comparing these to measured data, we are hoping to be able to estimate how well the model of distribution performs. This is so important, as without a good way of assessing species distribution models, we don’t know how much we can rely on them to guide conservation. Hopefully this information on hoverflies will be applied to other endangered species distribution models around the world, so we can get a proper idea of how well the models used in conservation, are doing in guiding action.
Lookin’ good, man
WORDS BY ELLIS HARRIS IMAGE BY GEMMA BROWN
Ellis explores the evolution of male beauty
There’s been a shakedown in the beauty industry. Body positive movements have become more vocal than ever before, causing a serious shift in our definition of beauty. Women have been front and centre in this movement, but here we want to focus on men who have firmly set up camp in the beauty industry, redefining what masculinity means to them. 2013 saw a boom in the male beauty industry, with a massive increase in online sales of creams and care products. This increase reflects how the concept of male beauty has changed in recent years, from David Beckham as a metrosexual figurehead in 2002 to what we now perceive to be modern masculinity. It’s no surprise, then, that the male beauty industry’s success doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Metrosexuality was first coined in the mid-nineties by Mark Simpson as a way of describing a man who invests a lot of time, effort and money into his appearance. Mark Simpson used David Beckham as his prime example of the metrosexual man: his hair, his clean-shaven face, his athleticism and his money all defined him as a second version of “Man”. Rather than considering sexuality as a factor - hardly relevant, despite the questionable stereotype of gay men - metrosexuality was seen as the pinnacle of ‘male vanity’.
This view was not without its problems. Despite the rising popularity of the term in the 2000s, the understanding of the metrosexual man seemed to be accompanied by the idea that he was removed from the “ordinary” man. The division between the ‘normal’ man and his wealthy, effeminate counterpart, made beauty seem inaccessible to those who didn’t meet metrosexuality’s high-maintenance expectations. This uncomfortable attitude doesn’t seem to fit in at all with our society’s body positivity movements or rising grooming trends. In recent years, male beauty has expanded into a diverse range of unique looks that everyone can access. The trend of thick facial hair and longer, flowing locks has brought with it a need for perfection. The seemingly effortless look, which requires giving up the habit of shaving, has led to a rise in salon visits and shelves lined with beard maintaining products. Alternatively, hyper-masculinity has dipped a cautious toe into previously unknown waters, with rigorous fitness
regimes and smooth, polished looks. On the other end of the scale, there is the debut of James Charles as CoverGirl’s first cover boy wearing full face makeup. Whilst male makeup isn’t quite so mainstream yet, the way it turns traditional masculinity on its head offers an interesting glimpse of what might come in the future. Whichever way you look at it, male beauty has moved far away from the clear-cut definition of its metrosexual past. The evolving nature of male beauty has made room for a new interpretation of masculinity. The defined features of metrosexuality have been pushed out of the picture by the sheer variety that now constitutes male identities. Beauty, across all genders, has fully embraced looking good and feeling good, and has done so by getting rid of any kind of strict definition.
Buckle up and tie your boots
We make our predictions for 2017â€™s fashion must-haves
29 IMAGES BY PIPPA LEICESTER
Chokers If there’s a trend that is not going away next season, it is everyone’s favourite accessory of the moment: the choker. From sparkly, to ‘grungy’, the nineties necklace is back on the catwalks of Oscar de La Renta and Balmain, and adorning famous necks such as red-carpet regulars Cara Delevingne and Rihanna. Far from just the classic tattoo-choker, the accessory now comes in different sizes, fabrics, textures and colours, making it even easier to match to outfits. This January, ditch the scarves and show off this fashion staple. VICTORIA ARAUJO
Seen on many of the Fall 2016 runways, designers such as Givenchy, Burberry and Gucci have provided a variety of gorgeous, revamped versions of the classic military jacket. Continuing the trend for 2017 collections, the jackets on the runways were further embellished with embroidery, pom-poms, bows and fringing galore. Having been fashion’s muse since the sixties, the military jacket has done it once again and taken over our wardrobes due to its new wear ability and versatility. Marc Jacobs’ Spring ’16 Ready-To-Wear show also featured military-style jackets in a light denim material, proving that the trend can swiftly transition through the seasons in 2017. DAISY GUY
White Lace Textiles For me, the star of the London Fashion Week was Simone Rocha. Her stunning structural dress designs remain delicate in simple white lace fabric, which she described as “wrapping, enveloping, smothering”. In the anticipation of Spring/Summer 2017, I predict evidence of Rocha’s creativity on the high street with elegant white pieces reflecting her Victorian inspiration. With the flattering, high-neckline trend continuing into the new year, it would seem to be a likely adaptation of this, already popular, style.
We saw buckles dominate the AutumnWinter 2016 catwalks, from No. 21’s shoes, to belts from Altuzarra, and little has changed for the upcoming Spring-Summer 2017 season. It’s been awhile since the days of middle school, where we’d synch in our jumper-dresses with a chunky black belt, but as the models sashayed down the SS17 Alberta Ferretti catwalk, it became clear to the world that buckles are back – and they’re here to stay. Start fitting your wardrobe with buckles; buckles on your shoes, buckles on your belts, buckles on your hats – go wild! Maybe even tie your dress with more than one belt if you’re feeling extra sassy and fashion forward.
Whether it’s embroidered, pillar box red PVC or a deep blue velvet, the statement boot will kick your outfit up a notch for the new year. The Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2017 catwalk certainly indicates statement boots will be big this year. The vivid colours and unique textures will give the simplest white t-shirt and jeans outfit a whole new lease of life. You don’t need a whole new wardrobe for the new year, just a pair of eyecatching ankle boots. The ideal accessory for the transitional period between winter and spring.
IMPACT IMAGES BY GEMMA BROWN
Nouveau Vogue DIRECTED BY CLAIRE SEAH
Start the new year with sophisticated simplicity. We collaborate with Keishi Jewellery, a Nottingham independent jewellery boutique, nestled in Cobden Chambers, to bring you this seasonâ€™s most elegant pieces.
All Jewellery provided courtesy of Keishi Jewellery. Find out more at: www. keishijewellery.com
If you would like to become involved with Images email: email@example.com
IMPACT INTERVIEW BY ANTHONY OSMASTON
Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat.
Anthony interviews Kon from [ALT] Gaming Lounge, Nottingham
IMAGES BY RHYS THOMAS
One of the biggest gripes I had growing up as a gamer was the antisociality that it often brought. Although voice communication softwares were (and are) prevalent, I was markedly jealous when my international friends would mention their time gaming at various internet cafés. What options did I have apart from throwing my own LAN parties? Internet cafés were a thing of my dreams. Until I discovered, a few short months ago, the existence of [ALT] Gaming Lounge - this country’s very first gaming restaurant. I spoke with Kon MacFarlane-Hunt, co-owner and cofounder of [ALT] Gaming Lounge, located in Hockley on George Street. SO, TELL ME A BIT ABOUT [ALT] AND WHERE IT ALL STARTED. I own the business with my wife. We’ve been looking to do this for about 5 years. It all started when I used to run my own gaming website, but realised we couldn’t monetise the venture too much. After running the website for 3 years, we decided to shut it down and follow the dream I’d had of running a LAN centre. LAN centres are a bit of a dying breed, and without an extra idea you’re a dead fish in the water. We chose to add a bar and a kitchen to really make our business different and to try and combat this. It says on our door ‘Eat, Drink, Play’ which best sums up [ALT] - we’re a LAN gaming restaurant and bar. IF I WERE INTERESTED IN PLAYING IN THESE LAN SESSIONS, HOW WOULD I GET INVOLVED? We run a few tournaments with GLUE, and also with GAME. Every Monday, we have our ‘Legendary Monday’ - where we just play League of Legends and anyone is free to come down and join in. We then take the 6 best players from these sessions to put forward a team to the bigger events. For those that don’t make the cut, we run in-house tournaments too. A couple of weeks ago, RIOT actually visited us; we’re really starting to get our name known in the industry.
WHAT SORT OF FACILITIES DO YOU HAVE AT [ALT]? We have various areas; for example, a retro area, PC LAN setup and VIVE area. Couple this with a fully functioning restaurant and a fully equipped bar; there is a lot to do for everyone. In the retro area we rotate amongst the older consoles; Dreamcasts, SNES, Xbox, PS2 all with an extensive games library. The restaurant is a little different to normal restaurants. We actively encourage people to cycle around tables; we try to encourage a social environment that is extremely friendly. We’re still new and do not have a fixed menu; we try to listen to the community and come back with the dishes that the gamers want. BEING A COMPLETELY NEW (AND AWESOME) IDEA, WHAT SORT OF PROBLEMS HAVE YOU RUN INTO? Unfortunately, we are still quite small, so we often run into a lot of problems around availability of consoles - especially PCs. We have 6 computers at the moment, and are currently trying to get sponsorships for more, but we always encourage BYOC (bring your own console). It’s not the computers that bring the most problems, however, it’s the VIVE. The controllers aren’t like Wii controllers - we have to allow time for them to charge, meaning that our bookings have to be planned around this. The biggest problem overall is mixing two fields into one. Being a restaurant, a load of problems are brought forward, but being a gaming café, a whole load of separate problems are there. We are a combined business - we run into both of these problems at the same time. Trying to run two industries in one is hugely difficult. We’re doing something that hasn’t been done before, so are constantly learning. WHAT SORT OF DEMOGRAPHIC OF PEOPLE DO YOU SEE HERE? I’d say the key demographic here is 20-35 aged people. We see a lot of students, but
also a lot of people that have recently come out of studying but want a social place to game. Saying that, we are now getting a lot of new bookings - kids parties, stag/hen dos, work dos. The demographic is always changing. DO YOU HAVE ANY IMMEDIATE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? When we sat down and first opened the business, the plan was we’d either franchise it or open another business and leave this one running. We’ve still got to hone down the blueprint for this idea, and that is ultimately the plan, but it 100% depends on how Nottingham goes first. In terms of this store, as we get going, we’ll start increasing capacity of our facilities, but it’ll all be based around what the community wants. Everything has been a learning curve. It started with me loving gaming and wanting to give something back to the community. After 5 months, I hardly have the time for gaming any more - but the satisfaction instead now comes from seeing the look of wonder on the faces of new people as they step through the door. If you could record that moment of awe, it makes all those sleepless nights and not being able to game anymore worthwhile. Gamers, as a community, are some of the friendliest people. We aren’t creating a new community, we are helping the community grow and giving them a place to do what they love. At the end of the day, we are a new business still trying to find our feet. I can’t stress that this is a completely novel business idea nothing like this has been done, and so we have no precedents to follow. *** For new and old students, [ALT] Gaming Lounge seeks to fill the distinct lack of social gaming venues that exist in today’s society. Kon has done a remarkable job with [ALT], and I’d wholly recommend giving the venue a try. Bring your NUS card - they do student discount!
GL HF, GG no RE
WORDS BY ANTHONY OSMASTON IMAGES BY FAE SAPSFORD
Gaming slang has come a long way in the last few years, and is often ridiculously diverse, dependent on the platform it is being used on. For example, RPGs (Role-Playing Games) will have different slang terms to FPSs (First Person Shooters), whilst MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) and fighting games all have their own set of slang. These often come in the form of acronyms, but other times they are simply amalgamations of two already existing words. In general, though, slang is used in two ways: as a way of portraying information quickly, or as a way of expressing your emotions, often to extremes ranging from love to hatred. In terms of information, there are a few generalised terms that are used by most. For example, if I were to say “I’m going to gank him”, it implies that I am going to team up with another person to outnumber an opponent. If I were to DC after the kill, it would mean I had disconnected. This may be caused by a bad connection, but would
result in me being AFK, meaning “away from keyboard” - although also being used to mean just not present in the game at that time. Confusingly, “a ping” is sometimes used in games to mean a position of interest. After the game, GG means Good Game, with the addition of WP if you’re nice or EZ if you’re a BM (bad mannered) nerd. Laughter online comes in many forms. From the fairly standard “lol/ lmao” which we all know and love, to the slightly more niche “pmsl” and “rofl”, barely any of these words will actually ever depict any real laughter. If watching the gamer behind their keyboards, they will actually show no discernable change in character; instead the words are used to express an acknowledgement of humour. Moving up in the excitement channels, LMAO or any capitalised form of the above can signify a slight raise of the cheeks into a smile, or a sharp exhalation of breath through the nose. When it comes to real laughter, gamers find themselves often without
any legible way of expressing this unironically, and would simply revert to phrases like “WTF”, “OMG” or “...”. Hatred online is easy to spot. If somebody uses the caps lock button, you know you’re in for a ride of spite, and, as the online community calls it, flame. Flame lies on a scale from simply nonconstructive statements all the way up to sentences that are hate crimes in their own rights. Flame and rage are two of the oldest tricks in the books for your typical online troll, but are also apparent in games when something goes even the slightest bit wrong. Name calling is prevalent throughout the gaming community, from calling someone bad at the game (noob, scrub, trash, boosted) to stereotyping based on an affiliated group (weaboo for anime lovers, Russian for anyone with a slightly eastern accent). So, there you have it. Most slang is fairly easy to work out, and depends on the attitude of the gamer. In conclusion, GG EZ.
Don't hate the player, hate the game Student gamers give their personal reviews of 2016 games
2016... a polarising year containing must plays of the generation but also disappointments and failures. New consoles were announced, re-releases re-released and some people got really f***ing angry about othersâ€™ points of view. Hereâ€™s what UoN students have to say about it all.
“Pokémon celebrat ed its 20th birthday this year, starting wit releases of the first h regeneration bringing me waves of nosta my first ever game lgia of s. Pokémon GO ca me out in July as a to everyone - it ma shock y not have been mu ch but it’s exactly wh 6 year old me imag at ined. Now Sun and Moon are out, it’s too early for me to judge but this has the po tential to be the be generation yet. Pokém st on aside, it’s been a bad year for AAA games, while Indie games are increasin gly become more fun unique than ever be and fore (see Firewatch an d Planet Coaster as examples).” ointment. huge disapp has been a ar y, ye lle is th Va Stardew “For me, so well with ed ar lv ye vo e th de g ly Startin ve slow seems to ha se d el an ng pe hi yt ho ever crushed gamation of ’s Buy” as an into an amal ke “No Man Ta . es is om pr titles for ed undeliver t anticipated e of the mos of bitter on ak e re pl exam rmanent st pe a ft le , didn’t C P ast the year 2016 on the l mind. At le ca ni nfall cy ta y Ti d field 1 an in my alread note; Battle od), le ib go rr on te g a in finish on ven border (e le ab is ay 2 pl ast Dishonored 2 were at le promise of e th be g, to in y rit d, read and as for w er in my min oomed flow still an unbl .” defecated on N OSMASTO ANTHONY WORDS BY
“As we millennials bec ome the major demographic, the adv ertising industry is increasingly focusing on ways to market pro ducts to us. With the shift to the digital world and emergence of data, ana lytical minds can extrac t information on what we ’ll like and create media around that. ‘Add a noi r art style and an 80s synth-pop soundtrack and they’ll jump on it’.
Which could be somew hat responsible for all the disappointment we have seen in the gaming industry this year. We’ve seen a lot of games wit h interesting premises, gen erating massive hype, only to be then mashe d together by some t-s hirt wearing mammal.” WORDS BY LIAM EV ANS
WORDS BY BENJ
“Increased workload, lack of money and my puny PC specifications put me on the outside looking in when it came to the juiciest cuts of 2016’s gaming meat. As a triple-A game onlooker, I felt there was as much to be jealous about as bullets dodged. Despite being terrible at online FPSs, I longed for the zany cast and objectivebased action of Overwatch. Similarly, it saddened me greatly knowing that by the time I’m able to play Dark Souls III, the game’s online will have gone hollow. Gaming this year for me was largely frequent dips back into games I already played a lot of: Hearthstone and Rocket League. Both served me well with plenty of 2016 updates and more ingenious schemes to try and take my money.” WORDS BY TOM EVANS
(Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)
43 WORDS BY AYŞE CLARKE ILLUSTRATION BY INDIA ROSE MEADE
Ayşe examines some issues with girl gamer stereotypes
What’s the term for a male gamer? Just “gamer”, right? The very fact that separate terms and labels exist for women in the gaming community signifies that they are treated differently, even if only to reference a parody or a meme. It doesn’t help that these memes and terms have derogatory implications; see, for example, ‘Girl Gamer’, which Urban Dictionary’s top definition states is “The chick that goes on voice chat on Halo, Call of Duty etc. to act all ditzy and flirty. She takes slutty pictures with a game controller, but cannot list all the Nintendo consoles in chronological order. In short = FAKE. See also: attention whore”. Let’s break down some of the more common assumptions about us girls who game. WOMEN ARE GAMING TO GET SEXUALISED ATTENTION I’d be willing to bet that this is one giant case of projection, and that the concept is perpetuated because men draw attention to women’s sexuality rather than women doing it themselves. This can make it incredibly difficult for a woman to get past the issue of gender, which needn’t be a factor at all in gaming, and be treated as equals rather than some kind of sexual fantasy. If you need
convincing that the sexualised view of female gamers is out there, start with an image search of ‘girl gamer’ – mine took only 5 images to be practically explicit, even with SafeSearch on. Still not on board? Then look no further than a social service called GameCrush that launched in March 2010. When summarising the site for PC World, Sarah Jacobsson described it as “basically an escort service where guys (‘Players’) can pay girls (‘PlayDates’) to […] play video games with them”. WOMEN FAKE THEIR GAMING PROFICIENCY; THEY DON’T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OR SKILL In environments where this idea circulates, female players wishing to gain even a little acceptance as gamers, allowing them a better chance of playing without harassment, must first prove themselves to a highly sceptical audience. Retired SSB Melee competitor, designer, and gaming community blogger Lilian ‘milktea’ Chen summarises: “The act of hazing all female gamers upon entry is toxic,” and goes on to highlight that this attitude of valuing individuals purely in accordance with their perceived skill level at a video game rather than as people
is harmful to both genders. And anyway, I didn’t notice an entry exam on console history in order to get my certificate as a ‘real gamer’. “The issue lies within the distinct lack of equality between these actions. Are these behaviours something we would subject a male player to?” These wise words from Lilian Chen really cut to the core here. I’m not advocating sexualised views or hazing of male gamers in return, nor am I asking for gamers to sugar coat all their interactions with women, as that entirely defeats the point of gender equality. Instead, I’ll let Platform Nation interviewee Dawn Schlieble explain: “We just wanna be treated as equal…as a gamer. Not a GRRRLgamer or GURLgamer or even Girl Gamer. How about just plain old gamer?”
From the console to the big screen
WORDS BY GEORGIA BUTCHER IMAGES BY FLICKR BYJOSHUA LIVINGSTON
Georgia takes a look at the “Hollywoodization” of games
For decades, our beloved games have been transferred from our preferred gaming platform to the big screen. Yet there are always risks involved in this movie-making process and avid gamers cannot help but have their doubts. Will the movie stick to the lore? Will key aspects be cut or changed? If they’re using the same characters as the game, will they stay true to their original personalities, or will they change them for financial gain?
This fear of ‘Hollywoodization’ is a common one, and is, in many cases, valid. Often filmmakers feel it necessary to cut or change what fans would class as key aspects, to make the film more suitable for the cinema. The newly released Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) for instance was heavily criticised for its focus on individual characters, instead of the lore, making the plot seem rather barren in comparison to the game. This idea of excluding necessary parts of the story is then a frequent fear, with fans of The Last of Us being especially concerned as rumours of a potential movie continue to spread. How can a film of likely only two hours in length, successfully depict a story that requires a minimum of 16 hours of gameplay to complete? Yet arguably, there are some films which have done justice to the games they were based upon. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), for instance, is considered thoroughly enjoyable and is rated highly by fans. This is perhaps because the film is only loosely based on the game, and so removes itself from audience expectations. It would seem that films based on games can only be enjoyed or praised when they acknowledge a separation from the original game. In fact, the Assassin’s Creed (2016) film only takes
concepts from the original franchise (such as the Animus, and the Assassin’s Society) but avoids already established characters. Not only this, but a key point raised by the makers of Warcraft: The Beginning was the desire to create a film accessible to both fans and non-fans of the original game. To achieve this, it is unsurprising that key aspects were changed, or simplified, to avoid confusion amongst novice players, or even those who have not played the game at all. So, before passing judgement on the accuracy of a film, we should consider whether it can be classed as an enjoyable film in its own right. No film is likely to ever be able to include every desired detail. Directors are always going to change certain aspects for their own gain, whether that involves overdramatising a battle-sequence, or inventing a new character to add a new level of conflict; there are always going to be features that we disagree with. Overall, it’s important to treat the film, and the game on which it is based, as separate, and to try to enjoy them without reference to the other, or else we only set ourselves up for disappointment.
FILM & TV
Not ready to hang up the wand Isobel gives us her view on neverending franchises
In the current era of cinema, big franchises mean big money. With the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, the flourishing Star Wars series with its ‘one film a year’ projected output, and the trend of splitting the final book of a series into two films for the cinematic adaptation, at some point you’ve got to wonder – has it more to do with money than storytelling? And is the tidal wave of sequels and spinoffs ever going to stop? As with every big question like this, there are two sides to the story. Arguably, if the fan base is there, filmmakers are just making what the fans want, and that’s good for everyone involved. But on the other hand, you can have too much of a good thing, and if Hollywood doesn’t keep inventing and moving forwards, it will stagnate. First, a look at the positive side. I personally am a massive Harry Potter fan – I grew up with the series, and always looked forward to reading the books and watching the films each time a new instalment came out. So, when I heard that JK Rowling was penning the screenplays of a trilogy of new films, set in 1920s New York and following the adventures of one Newt Scamander, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to dive back into the wizarding world and experience a different country and era of magic. Now, of course, before the first film has even come out, that trilogy has expanded to five movies. The Harry Potter fandom is so sprawling and loyal, it is more than likely that these films will be hugely popular, at
least in original sales, so the fact that the franchise now has films stretching to the year 2024 means that there is plenty to keep us entertained. Similarly, the MCU reportedly has films planned to 2028 and beyond, at a far higher rate of output than Rowling’s wizarding world. Fans of the characters of the Marvel universe will have plenty to keep us busy for the next twelve years at least, with the introduction of new characters such as Captain Marvel, the expansion of stories concerning fan-favourites like Spiderman and Black Panther, and ever-increasing stakes in the massive, all-in group superhero movies such as the Avengers and Infinity War films. But there is also a flip side. Yes, I love the Harry Potter universe and the MCU, but am I slightly concerned that they are plan to dominate the big screens for so long into the future? A little. If all these films can continue to innovate and find new, interesting, dynamic routes to offer us stories, then that will be brilliant. But that’s a lot of stories to tell, and I’m worried some of them are going to be stretched rather thin.
45 WORDS BY ISOBEL SHEENE IMAGE BY INDIA ROSE MEADE
d n u o r a Toying a m e n i with c
FILM & TV
47 WORDS BY SARAH QURAISHI IMAGES BY INDIA ROSE MEADE
Sarah considers animation’s potential to captivate adult viewers The development of animation from its humble origins to the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today, has been a fascinating journey. Animation is an incredible way for audiences to become engrossed in a whole new setting – whether that’s a completely different world, like Zootopia, or merely a different version of reality, like 2008’s Waltz with Bashir. The consistency of animation can be far less jarring than live-action combined with, normally rather ropey, special effects, so it allows the viewer to have a more meaningful experience as they get lost in the story. Despite its potential to captivate adult viewers, after its conception at the start of the 20th century, animation was predominantly directed towards a younger audience. Having been initially used by the likes of J. Stuart Blackton and Émile Cohl for such eclectic genres as crime-drama and even abstract fantasies, the advent of Walt Disney Studios in the 1920s and 30s – and its ensuing commercial success – meant that animation’s potential as a method of storytelling was swept under the kid-friendly, financially-lucrative carpet. This remained the case for the majority of the last century – save for the occasional ‘grown-up’ animations – until the 90s arrived, and animation finally began to shift from a genre aimed at children to a medium employable for all ages. Shows like South Park and The Simpsons helped to introduce the idea that animation could unlock a whole world of storytelling that simply could not be accessed through special effects. In fact, the recent renewal of The Simpsons for 2 more seasons makes it the scripted show with the most episodes ever. Obviously, there is a market for animation that appeals to older audiences. Simpsons aside, arguably the most important event to shape animation into a tool for cinema, rather than specifically a
genre, was the release of Toy Story. The first feature-length, computer-animated film not only helped launch Pixar as one of the most successful studios in the industry, but it also showed that family films could be just that: a movie to be enjoyed by every member of the family. Whether you’re a young child, there for the slapstick comedy of Linguini in Ratatouille, a student awaiting the emotional wallop visà-vis Inside Out, or simply an adult watching the montage at the beginning of Up with bittersweet nostalgia, Pixar demonstrates the endless possibilities that animation can bring. Over the past decade, other studios have finally started to follow suit, with some even using animation to tell stories that could only be appreciated by adults – to name a few, just take a look at Persepolis, Chico and Rita, and Princess Mononoke (from Studio Ghibli, another driving force in the development of animation). Nevertheless, there is still work to be done in bringing animation into the mainstream. 2015’s Anomalisa and 2009’s Mary and Max both discuss disengagement and isolation in older people and so appeal to more mature audiences. Despite their critical success, neither of them managed to recover their budget, and Anomalisa had to use the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to complete its production. This proves that the industry is still a while away from studios actively putting faith and money into projects like these. But with 2016’s Sausage Party (definitely not for children) performing incredibly well at the box office, and Pixar’s recent short-filmfor-grown-ups Borrowed Time, we can only hope that in the near future, animation will finally be used to the best of its ability. And what a mighty ability that is.
Girl talk Tracing sexism in films since the 1930s using the Bechdel test
Throughout cinematic history, women have been portrayed in various ways, but all too often simply as the damsel in distress or filler character for a male centric storyline. With the release of Ghostbusters (2016) came talk of a development in the representation of the female lead. So we ask - what, if anything, has changed over the last 80 years? Starting with Gone With the Wind (1939) and ending with Ghostbusters (2016), we use the Bechdel Test to see how women in cinema have evolved (or not) throughout time. The Bechdel Test is a popular measurement used to rate sexism in a work of fiction. Three main criteria determine whether a film or novel has what it takes to pass: there must be at least two women in it; they must talk to one another; and the conversation must be about something besides men.
WORDS BY CATHY COOPER IMAGES BY PIPPA LEICESTER
Surprisingly some of the more stereotypical â€˜romanticâ€™ movies such as Gone with the Wind and Grease both pass the Bechdel test with flying colours. Others such as Cleopatra, named after its leading lady, fail due to their lack of female conversation about anything other than men. Even modern classics such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire fail to surpass that, apparently high, hurdle. A brief look at the evolution of women in the film industry sadly shows that there are still too many examples of hugely popular and iconic blockbusters that invest little to no effort in their female characters. Not all is bad though, The Hunger Games and Ghostbusters are both examples of recent films that brought named women and their non-romantic conversations to our screens. Hurray.
FILM & TV
Ghostbusters (2016) Gravity (2013) The Hunger Games (2012) She’s the Man (2006) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) Mean Girls (2003) Spirited Away (2001) Fight Club (1999) Good Will Hunting (1997) Forrest Gump (1994) Home Alone (1990) The Little Mermaid (1989) Grease (1978) Cleaopatra (1963) Ben Hur (1959) Casablanca (1942) Gone with the Wind (1939) Source: www.bechdel-test.silk.co
1 2 3
“Has at least two women in it” “Who talk to each other”
“About something besides a man”
IMPACT WORDS BY MADDY HAY ILLUSTRATIONS BY PIPPA LEICESTER PHOTO COURTESY CARRY ON PRESS
The nut inside Maddy talks chocolates and music ethics with Hooton Tennis Club
If you went to a northern comprehensive* (come on UoN, I know there must be a few of you somewhere), the conversation I had with this Wirral four-piece might feel somewhat familiar. Sarcasm flowed in a near-constant stream. Each new question brought layers upon layers of reflections, piss-takes and laughter (disclaimer: the laughter was mostly at each other’s jokes rather than at mine). Hooton Tennis Club’s (HTC) most recent album is a treat. Big Box of Chocolates demonstrates this group’s (self-coined) brand of ‘Ellesmere Port Rock ‘n’ Mersey Roll’ to perfection. We caught up with Callum, Ryan, Harry and James on the Nottingham leg of their European tour to discuss the big three: Quality Streets, Kit Kat Chunkys and the ethics of independence in music.
“If you knew anything about music, you wouldn’t have written it” HTC aren’t shy about their relatively limited knowledge of music theory. Bassist Callum recalls making their debut, Highest Point in Cliff Town, with Bill Ryder-Jones (virtuoso former member of The Coral): “I remember him saying that there was this part in a song where, if you knew anything about music, you wouldn’t have written it”. Happily, Ryder-Jones allowed the imperfections to remain – an approach which gave the debut an appropriately adolescent quality. The making of their second LP was a slightly different experience. Big Box of Chocolates was produced by Edwin Collins, former Orange Juice frontman and all-round pop genius. “He’d say ‘play this note instead of that one’”, explains drummer Harry. Where once there were rough edges, we now find a more refined collection of tracks, which combine groovy guitar-pop with HTC’s signature witty, observational lyrics.
Despite how they present themselves, when it comes to their vocation, this group couldn’t be described as flippant or unthinking. The question of “selling out” within the music industry – and indeed the notion that it is an “industry” – is one that vexes many working musicians, present company included. HTC signed to renowned independent label Heavenly Recordings a couple of years ago. “We’re not a major signing, really”, they reflect. “If it had been any other label, we’d have thought about it more. With Heavenly, we just said ‘yes’ straight away”. I ask whether they think the independence factor is important. Callum is unequivocal. “I don’t think a major [label] is something I’d be comfortable with”. What’s the difference between a major label and one like Heavenly? “There’s no suit and tie, there’s no ‘you need to make these sales figures’. It’s more about trusting in the art”. This sentiment extends beyond record labels. In view of recent uproar over the closing of numerous independent music venues, HTC are keen to note the benefits of such places. “You can go to so many O2 Academies and stuff, see the inside of those places, and every one is like a carbon copy of the last”. Ryan (singer and guitarist) makes a good point. There’s something a little bit creepy about the marriage of music and money. Housing live music in corporate-owned, identikit venues seems contradictory. How can creativity thrive in somewhere so fundamentally unoriginal? The
group cite an independent venue in Hull as one of the great antidotes to the growing cohort of commerciallysponsored ‘non-places’. “The Adelphi is this crazy, cool place, with weird shit on the walls. It’s an end of terrace house and this guy’s just built a back room into a gig venue. It’s unbelievably cool”. This is clearly a recurrent topic for the boys: Callum launches into what feels like a welltrodden analogy. “It’s like Travelodge. We stay there because we can get four in a room for dead cheap, but you know when
you get in, ‘oh right, there’s the painting on the wall that’s exactly the same’. I guess to have that all the time - with anything - would be horrible”. Ryan sums it up: “It would be pointless, wouldn’t it?”.
“You can go to so many O2 Academies and stuff […] everyone is like a carbon copy of the last” Eager to offset the serious nature of the conversation, the group quickly swerve into a careful analysis of Quality Streets. Ryan explains the name choice for their latest album, Big Box of Chocolates. “It’s a mixed bag of … stuff”. I wonder if he’s seen Forrest Gump. “There’s a green triangle, then there’s a coffee one that you might not like. A toffee coin that takes you ages to get through it, and then you go ‘actually, I really like that’”. They’re on a roll: “The Purple One… it looks normal, but then you’ve got a little nut inside”, inserts Callum. That’s my favourite one, I tell him. “Which [track from the album] is that one?”, he asks the group. After a short pause, Ryan replies, “that’s ‘O Man [Won’t You Melt Me]’”. There’s a murmur of agreement. Hooton Tennis Club must know their stuff because that’s my favourite from the new album too. And so, it goes on. As I take my leave, a small debate ensues over who has stolen the last Kit Kat Chunky. However, amongst the chocolate chatter is a grounded set of musical ethics which make for a promising future. I’ll summarise my conversation with Hooton Tennis Club with a quote from Ryan: it was a mixed bag of… stuff. Chocolate and ethics make a pretty great mix, though. *OK, I accept that people like this may also exist south of Sheffield. It’s possible that my journalistic detachment has been slightly clouded by the fact that Hooton Tennis Club have heard of my birth-town.
ILLUSTRATION BY FAE SAPSFORD
Calling all bewildered UoN music fans! Now is the time you find your true calling, be it Gospel or Jazz, Wind Orchestra or Indie mixtapes. Freshers’ week? What a phoney. Everyone knows it pales in comparison to the glorious RE-freshers’ week. Well, in terms of finding your dream music society, anyway. Here’s our pick of the best:
DanceSoc Do you love to dance or want to learn? Then come along to lessons with the award-winning NUDance! With lessons run by professional teachers including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Commercial and Street for only £3 for members, it is an opportunity for dancers that cannot be missed. All dance abilities are welcome. Each year we compete at Loughborough and Manchester dance competitions so come along and practice! ABIGAIL REES For more information on joining DanceSoc, email: sudancesoc@ nottingham.ac.uk
High Society HighSoc is an alternative-indie music society. This term is very wide; the taste of our members is an amalgamation of pretty much anything you could shoehorn into the “alternative” bracket. We host Mixtape Swaps at Lee Rosy’s in Hockley, where members either burn a personal playlist onto a CD or write out their songs on paper for sharing and swapping. This is a fantastic opportunity to find new music and enthuse about your favourite artists with likeminded people. You’ll also never have to worry about having to go a gig on your own again!
We often go to Hockney, an intimate club night at Bodega with HighSoc member DJs. Expect to wake up the next morning with everything you own covered in glitter. HighSoc members also get entry for £1 as opposed to £5.
members enjoy a 10% discount at Notts stores including Plates Records and Forever Records. Also, to make sure you’re kitted out in the freshest wavey garms, we have a 15% discount at Wild Clothing, a vintage clothing store.
Highsoc organises small gigs which are usually hosted at DIY venue JT Soar, a converted potato warehouse. Other socials include album listening parties and various Notts music nights, like Pressure Tuesdays at Rescue Rooms.
Don’t worry if you’ve yet to come to our socials, we’re always happy to see new faces!
Being a student with a vinyl obsession is tough, but HighSoc
SARAH JENKINS For more information on joining Highsoc, email: highsoc10@gmail. com
Revival Gospel Choir
Blowsoc has nine ensembles, offering opportunities for all woodwind, brass, percussion and string bass musicians. A very active society, we put on 15 hours of rehearsals every week. For many of our members, Blowsoc can become a large part of university life. Our two auditioned ensembles are (the professionally conducted) Wind Orchestra and the popular Moonlighters Big Band. The 80-member strong Concert Band and contest-winning Brass Band are our two largest ensembles. In addition, we have five other nonauditioned small ensembles, which focus on fun and developmental repertoire.
Revival Gospel Choir is a nonauditioned group, for anyone who loves to sing, meet new people or just try something new! We are regularly involved with charity events, competitions, workshops, socials, concerts and we even embark on an overseas tour! RGC meet every Monday evening on University Park. As a choir, we tend to be very relaxed and informal. It’s not a problem if you can’t read sheet music: we go through everything and the musical directors are always happy to help out with any struggles. We primarily sing gospel music, but you can also expect to hear modern pop, jazz, soul and more!
We put on regular concerts throughout the year, including a Lunchtime Concert Series. We also pride ourselves in having a very active social calendar topped off with an annual European tour; this year we are extremely excited to be going to Amsterdam.
All seven of our non-auditioned ensembles can be joined at any point in the year, just turn up to a rehearsal whenever you feel like it!
Do you like hip hop? Stupid question, of course you do. Then why haven’t you joined HipHopSoc? Whether you want to debate about it, learn how to create it or dance to it, we’re here to help. For just £3, you’ll be able to vibe with like-minded people, learn about culture, make some friends and even pick up a few skills: we run regular workshops in music production, DJing, dancing and more. In the words of MC Shia LaBeouf, JUST DO IT!
LUCY CLAGUE For more information on joining Blowsoc, email: blowsoc@gmail. com
For more information on joining RGC, email: lpyejc@nottingham. ac.uk
Hip Hop Society
JOSHUA OGUNMOKUN For more information on joining Hip Hop Society, email: hipnottise@ gmail.com
BandSoc BandSoc is the UoN’s casual music performance society. If you are interested in forming a band and performing live, then we’re the society for you. We work as an open platform for building your own band, and provide a well-equipped practise room at a competitive rate. BandSoc also offers various services and social events throughout the year, including a Yellow Pages of members and various gigs, culminating at the end of the year in a Battle of the Bands, with the final held at Rock City. The regular socials are known as Jam Nights. As the name suggests, they are really just an evening of jamming around with other musicians, playing covers or improvising. They can be a lot of fun and are a very chilled way to get to know other members of the society. The committee usually set the bar low, opening the night with an unprepared and cringe-worthy mashup such as Wonder Sandman/ Enter Wall (a mashup of the notorious ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Enter Sandman)’. There’s no seriousness here and egoism is discouraged; it’s a night of loud, abrasive silliness to which everyone of any level of musical ability is welcome - which I guess is BandSoc’s USP. JACOB BANKS For more information on joining BandSoc, email: uonbandsoc@ gmail.com
IMPACT WORDS BY JACOB BANKS IMAGE BY RHYS THOMAS
Stringing your guitar A guide to Nottsâ€™ music shops
Moving to university can be scary for the budding musician. You’re throwing them into a brave new world of strangers, unfamiliar venues and no existing rapport with the local scene. Perhaps even scarier is the question “what if my instrument needs work?”. Never fear; here’s the quintessential guide to Nottingham’s must-visit music shops in the city.
The Musicroom Tucked away on the top floor of Victoria Centre, The Musicroom boasts an excellent selection of strings, keyboards, woodwind, and even a little brass; with a decent choice of guitars, basses, acoustics, amps and drum accessories, it is small but well stocked. It also sells a range of sheet music, including ABRSM grade books. A little pricier than The Music Inn, and with no in-house tech, The Musicroom is included on the list for its selection of classical instruments, tuition books and sheet music. This is the place for valve oil, resin and new reeds, as well as a good selection of novelty items, perfect for gifting fellow musicians. Everything comes with a 10% student discount.
PMT Dave Mann Music Despite being located on Mansfield Road, some way out from the City Centre, one glance into this acoustic guitar specialist’s window should be enough to excite any budding songwriters. DMM specialises in top end instruments such as Taylors, Martins and Gibson, as well as a plethora of lesserknown brands. The instruments here, new or preowned, will leave your bank account looking somewhat devastated. However, the brilliant in-house guitar technician is the real reason DMM is worth the trip. Fair prices, quotes in advance and a quick turnaround if your acoustic guitar, bass or ukulele ever need a job doing.
Nottingham’s newest – and best named - music shop, PMT (Professional Music Technology) is right near Pryzm. PMT offers a vast selection of well-known instruments: acoustics, electrics, basses, keyboards, synthesisers, and amps of all kinds. They also boast a whole floor of drums and cymbals, microphones and PAs. Somewhat disappointingly, they do not have an inhouse tech, and their accessories selection is somewhat lacking. Don’t expect to come here for new pick-ups, or pedals that aren’t made by Boss. It is the scale of the place that is exciting, with their very own ‘Wall of Paul’ (Les Pauls) from floor to ceiling, measuring a minimum of 7 guitars high, and 10 across.
The Music Inn Windblowers Windblowers, as the name suggests, specialises in brass and woodwind. This is the place to go for a new mouthpiece, new valves, a mute or any kind of reed imaginable, or to get your instrument serviced. The shop on Canning Circus stocks a great selection of new and used instruments in all keys, at all prices, and has a library’s worth of sheet music, and a full repair and restoration service. Perhaps one of the biggest selling points is that it’s signed up to the ‘Take It Away’ scheme, which means 18-25 year olds can apply for a £2,000 loan to pay back over 9 months in order to take home a new wind instrument.
The Music Inn is a hidden gem in Canning Circus with perhaps the best service in Nottingham. Though small in comparison to PMT’s behemoth, TMI has a great selection of affordable new and used instruments by lesser-known brands, as well as Gibsons and Fenders (+ 10% BandSoc discount). Their shelves are filled with all kinds of bits and bobs, essential for any gigging musician: hi-hat clutch bust anyone? Here’s the place to buy a replacement - this extends to strings, pickups, the works. They have a full selection of amps, acoustics, drums and PAs and an interesting selection of effects. Fundamental to the place is Dan, the in-house tech, who can fix up anything until it seems brand new.
Nottingham City Guitars A crucial place of interest for the guitar and bass enthusiast, Nottingham City Guitars (located deep in The Lace Market, Hockley) is a brilliant vintage and pre-owned boutique – if you’re looking for a specific year of instrument, then go no further. They’re both fairly priced and luxurious, and the smell of aged nitrocellulose has a wonderful heady aroma. Once purchased, guitars come with a full set-up. NCG also offers a wide selection of pickups for pimping your existing guitar. Plus, if you’re someone who enjoys the road-worn look, they will even professionally relic it for you.
IMPACT INTERVIEW BY RUFUS SPIVEY GREEN IMAGE BY JONJO ROONEY
Let us introduce you to an Alt-Rock band, formed of 5 UoN drop-outs, who “thrill crowds and disappoint their parents”
Pithy, but perhaps not entirely accurate: their parents have been just as impressed by the rise of Tusk, the Nottinghambased collective (whose Facebook page features the above description), as the rest of us. Unlike many other aspiring young musicians, this following isn’t restricted to their admiring family and friends. During my conversation with three of their number - Ned Jones, Sebastian “Seb” Doyle and Jamie Irving - it strikes me just how many of the right people they’ve managed to impress at the right time, from local music venues and promoters all the way up to nationally renowned talent scouts and record executives. Encouragingly, the challenge to improve and accomplish greater things clearly motivates them. “We definitely appreciate constructive criticism, as it’s way more useful to us than our friends just telling us how great we are,” says Jamie, the bass guitarist. “Performing arts is an incredibly competitive industry: loads of less fortunate bands have reached our level and hit a ceiling because they didn’t have the know-how to improve. Luckily, we have friends and other people we trust, who we can run our work past and get honest feedback on whether it works”.
“You can easily overthink it and choose something that’s trying too hard to be funny or ironic” Tusk’s origins can be traced back to long evenings on Uni Park in first year. Seb and Alex Perry, both now the group’s guitarists, spent most of their time playing and making music together and it wasn’t long before they realised that they wanted to form a band. They found three more members who shared their interests and social connections, and the rest is history. The band’s name, as Jamie admits, was chosen for no particular reason: “You can easily
overthink it and choose something that’s trying too hard to be funny or ironic, so it’s better to just have something that sounds interesting”. With the line-up finalised and first year drawing to a close, they began to write their first songs and play them for friends. They soon moved onto studio recording, with their first completed track, ‘Dull Ache’, uploaded to Soundcloud in early 2016. The song won them attention from a number of Nottingham’s local promoters; performances at various local venues, including the popular Bodega, soon followed. They tell me more nationally influential label scouts have since asked about them; with the exception of Jack, all have now suspended their academic studies. As Jamie admits, “you can’t afford to let these opportunities slip by. We agreed we’d be in the best position to take advantage of the attention we were getting, if we could primarily focus on the band and getting our voices heard”. Their performance at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival, on the BBC Introducing stage, marked a point of great significance in their careers. Keen to attract the attention of Dean Jackson, the massively influential radio presenter with a great track record in spotting talent, they uploaded a recording of ‘Dull Ache’ to the BBC’s website (which the band strongly recommends new acts to try). After the first attempt garnered no response, they submitted a second recording of the track, and were asked to an audition. However, they were unsure if they’d done enough to impress at the time. “The Reading and Leeds festival performance came at a really important time for us”, Seb tells me. “We’d been working on new material for a lot of the summer, but we felt a bit stuck in a rut - the opportunities we wanted to progress our profile weren’t coming. It’d been some time since our BBC audition and we’d heard no response, so we assumed we hadn’t done enough to impress them this time and weren’t sure what was next for us.
“Then all of a sudden, I get a call from Alex, who tells me we’ve got big news, “so, we’re playing Reading and Leeds”. It was such a shock; I didn’t know what to say for a few moments. The promotion Dean Jackson gave us in the lead up on his show was brilliant, he’s a truly special guy”.
“It was like we’d reached a major milestone but now we’ve actually done it, it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore” The performance itself, in front of an audience of technically several hundred but also the thousands of other festival-goers moving between stages, was a moment of great satisfaction, even if, as Ned describes, it took a while to sink in. “Beforehand we were all pretty nervous, and some of the more surreal stuff - like seeing yourself on giant screens for the first time - took time to adjust to, but once we started playing, the nerves fell away. We actually felt surprisingly deflated after we’d finished. It was like we’d reached a major milestone but now we’ve actually done it, it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. Hopefully that bodes well for the future and our next milestones”. If their current progress is anything to go by, we can expect to hear much more from Tusk in the future. Who knows? Maybe their fear of disappointing their parents will cease, too. “When our parents came to see us after the show, I finally decided to tell my mum that I was dropping out of my course. Rather Britishly, I’d been putting it off, but I didn’t think she’d be able to judge me too harshly now of all times!” We don’t think so, either.
Just a rant about covers really
WORDS BY JOSHUA OGUNMOKUN
Disclaimer: there’s a significant risk of this turning into a Conor Maynard hate piece. That said, I’m gonna tell you about my hatred for covers
To me, covers add nothing to music. I don’t care how badly you can cover ‘One Dance’. I don’t really want to hear you sing Bruno Mars '24K Magic’, either. I’d much rather watch the music video on VEVO, because Bruno Mars has a much cooler band with a much cooler routine than you have. I love listening to new, original music because I get to experience lyrics, melodies and stories that I may have not heard before. Covers go against all of this. Another thing that grinds my gears, are the covers you are forced to sift through when a song is released on one exclusive platform (for example Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’). Desperately searching for that one song you heard on the radio and only finding crappy covers on Youtube is beyond frustrating. It’s not all doom and gloom. I do occasionally appreciate a good cover, maybe to showcase a favourite song, or to show off your ability. However, 9/10 times, a cover is a poorly thought out, knee-jerk reaction to the mass-popularity of a song. Which brings me to another reason why I hate covers: they go up way too fast. No one cares about the words they’re singing. This is clear from the flood of Frank Ocean covers that hit the internet mere moments
after Blond(e) was released. Frank is one of the deepest lyricists in the mainstream music industry. I doubt you understood the profound meaning of the lyrics to ‘Ivy’ in the space of six hours but, hey, you had a guitar, you knew four chords and you just had to share your version of one of my favourite songs because... reasons. I feel like my hate for covers is directly related to my love for new music. Individuals’ stories are interesting to me. Hearing about Wretch 32’s run-ins with the law on his latest album Growing Over Life or listening to how Shakka deals with a break up on ‘Say Nada’ is what fascinates me. Seeing someone shoehorn themselves into Shakka’s personal story, is not. I just need a bit more originality. Now, I’m not saying stop making covers altogether. They’re a great way to build up your profile as an artist: people may not necessarily want to hear an original song from you just yet (apart from your friends and family of course). That being said, after a while *cough* Conor Maynard *cough* you should certainly be able to survive off the strength of your own material. If not, maybe music isn’t for you. Rant over.
Culture on campus
WORDS BY ELLEN SMITHIES
An insight into our University’s arts centres
On a budget but love the theatre? Love art but miss having London’s plentiful museums in the vicinity? Don’t fret! As a student at UoN, you have a bountiful selection of creative spaces dotted across University Park. Hidden away by Highfields Park, is Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and placed quite surreptitiously on Cherry Tree Hill is the Nottingham New Theatre. Both are hugely important places for creative expression, for students and the general public alike. Nottingham Lakeside Arts is perhaps the lesser-known of the two and is home to the theatre, gallery and other spaces, including the Djanogly Gallery, where renowned installation artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva recently held her first UK solo exhibition. The gallery space has hosted famous artists such as Justin Mortimer and Richard Hamilton, and will soon play host to Victor Pasmore. The theatre space at NLA hosts a huge variety of shows and performances all year round, from children’s shows to brutally honest performances and comedies. Lakeside has something for everyone, no matter your age, background, or taste. NLA has a huge range of opportunities available for students, as well as numerous benefits for students on campus, including internships, work placements, volunteering and performance roles. They also provide discounted tickets for shows and talks to students and societies. NLA run multiple modules for the Nottingham Advantage Award, and also helped orchestrate the Tri-Campus Arts project, developed in partnership with the UoN China and Malaysia campuses, which involves intense drama and music workshops, masterclasses and performance programmes.
Placed more centrally on campus, Nottingham New Theatre is the only entirely student-run theatre in England. NNT stages an in-house production every week of term as well as several fringe shows. The theatre have received several awards from the National Student Drama Festival, and the seventeen-strong committee runs all aspects of the theatre on a day-to-day and longterm basis. The current season of shows at NNT tackles some pretty heavy topics, such as sexuality, identity and illness, as well as classics like Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. NNT also has a lot to offer students, from discounted tickets to actually getting involved with the production of shows. Students from all across the University can get involved with the theatre, and can develop a whole host of transferable skills, regardless of whether they want to go into the performance industry or not. Opportunities range from publicity to set design, costume and makeup. NNT also offers you the chance to write, act, do sound design or stage manage a production. The annual general meeting is the perfect place to get involved with the committee itself. With alumni including theatre director Michael Longhurst and award-winning actress Ruth Wilson, it’s clear that being a part of the NNT can be the starting point of an illustrious career. Whether you’re more interested in stage shows, art exhibitions, or just getting some volunteering experience, NLA and NNT could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Chatsworth’s chatelaines We take a peek at the women behind the magnificent estate of Chatsworth
Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is an impressive estate steeped in history, which belongs to the Cavendish family, one of the most esteemed and historically significant aristocratic families in England. This family has been associated with everything from scientific breakthroughs and political scandal, to art, gardening, and literature. The Cavendish family is no stranger to Nottingham, with Welbeck Abbey housing members of the famous nobles, and the University of Nottingham’s Manuscript & Special Collections holding a number of their significant documents. As the seat of the Duke of Devonshire since 1694, and, prior to that, the seat of the Earl of Devonshire, Chatsworth has been home to four Earls and twelve Dukes. But who were the women by their side, running this huge estate and transforming it into the wonder it is today?
Bess of Hardwick (c. 1527 – 1608) It all began with a powerful, charismatic, and sagacious Tudor woman. Truly the matriarch of the Cavendish family, Bess of Hardwick had four husbands and eight children, six of which survived infancy. She was married at the tender age of fifteen to thirteen-year-old Robert Barlow, the heir to a humble nearby estate. Bess’ first husband died only two years later, and it is within these formative years that Bess’ strong, financially-minded
character displayed itself, as she managed to secure an annual widower’s payment of £30, despite the marriage having never been consummated. A widow at seventeen, Bess was hardy and determined to improve her fortunes. In 1549, she married the rising star Sir William Cavendish, over twenty-one years her senior, and gained her first title. This match catapulted Bess into the world of royalty and aristocracy, feeding into her ambition. It was William who purchased Chatsworth, and from that day forth, Bess was passionate about building up and improving the estate. Cleverly, she ensured that the property was in both her and her husband’s name, which meant that his death in 1557 did not affect her ownership of the land. Bess then hastily married the wealthy Sir William St Loe, whose money she employed to further improve Chatsworth. Bess’ final marriage was to George Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury, which made her a Countess. With the Earl being entrusted with the ward of Mary, Queen of Scots, Chatsworth became at this time both prison and home. When Bess’ last marriage soured amidst her assertions to Queen Elizabeth that the Earl was engaging in an affair with the former Scottish Queen, the couple separated. Bess, however, was resolute
when it came to maintaining her beloved Chatsworth. Talbot’s attempts to claim the estate were denied in a lengthy legal battle that was resolved in 1587 and left Bess to enjoy the Chatsworth that she had created.
“This expansive and breath-taking estate is brought to life by the stories of the people who lived there”
ARTS Georgiana Cavendish (1757 – 1806) Popularised to the cinema-going public in the film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley, Georgiana Cavendish is another of Chatsworth’s notable woman. A series of miscarriages, accompanied by the emotional absence of her husband, William Cavendish, and the various affairs they both pursued, compounded her unhappiness. Despite this, Georgiana was admired in high society as a fashionable and charismatic woman who entertained an impressive circle of friends. She is the best equivalent of a modern-day celebrity, with French diplomat Louis Duttons stating: “When she appeared, every eye was turned towards her; when absent, she was the subject of universal conversation”. However, it is the extremes to which Georgiana took her revelry and playfulness that exposed her psychological weaknesses, as she relied heavily on drink and gambling. During this period, Chatsworth was the epitome of the frivolous beau monde household. What makes Georgiana a figure of further intrigue, was her involvement in the politics of the day. She petitioned and encouraged voters to support the Whig party, but this led to a vicious attack from the press, whereby she was accused of exchanging kisses for votes, which extensively damaged her reputation. Most famously, it is the Duchess’s relationship with Lady Elizabeth Foster that has been the cause of much speculation.
Assumed lovers, Foster lived in a triad with the Duchess and her husband at Chatsworth, becoming the Duke’s mistress and providing him with two children. Georgiana additionally had an affair with a politician, becoming pregnant, which led to the Duke exiling her to Naples where she lived with Lady Elizabeth. Walking the halls of Chatsworth even now, the portraits of Georgiana still hang upon the walls and captivate audiences. She inhabited Chatsworth as any fashionable socialite would and, for her, it was a home for friends, gatherings, and parties.
“When she appeared, every eye was turned towards her; when absent, she was the subject of universal conversation” Deborah Cavendish (1920 – 2014) The youngest of the famous Mitford sisters, a minor gentry family, Deborah Cavendish was concerned with the restoration and improvement of Chatsworth, and dedicated much of her time to the promotion of the estate. Despite her sisters, who were renowned for their polarised political divisions, between fascism and socialism, Deborah remained relatively
61 WORDS BY KAYLEIGH FLETCHER IMAGES BY CHATSWORTH HOUSE TRUST & FAE SAPSFORD
absent from politics, until announcing her support of the Social Democratic Party alongside her husband. Chatsworth was truly the Duchess’s lifework, but she will also be remembered for her extraordinary youth. As a young debutante, she danced with John F. Kennedy and within months had tea with Hitler. Her sister Unity was very fond of Hitler and this affection seemed to have been returned. It is acknowledged that the Chatsworth seen and loved today would not be what it is without the arduous work of Deborah, who also commended her staff and their hard work. It is undoubtable that this expansive and breath-taking estate is brought to life by the stories of the people who lived there. By offering a spotlight on the women at the side of the most powerful aristocrats in England, it is evident how crucial these women are to our understanding of Chatsworth House today. It is not just the seat of a Dukedom, but the artwork, creation, and legacy of a line of powerful women.
ARTS WORDS BY LIZZIE ROBINSON IMAGE BY VIRGINIA MOORE
d s o p i n’t lie H Lizzie talks about shaking her hips with UoN Belly Dance Society
Before I started to shake my hips, my knowledge of belly dance was confined to Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ and Bollywood. I wasn’t all wrong: this does partially sum up my first belly dance show, along with a, thankfully off-stage, wardrobe malfunction. Yet there is so much more to belly dance than this. Renowned as a diverse and unique way of dancing, belly dance offers quirky moves from snake arms to shimmies, and of course the classic hip drop. More than anything it is just incredibly fun. I bought my hip scarf and joined the society at the beginning of second year, despite the fact that I had no
previous dance experience (‘Baywatch’ in Ocean hardly counts). I really just wanted to try something new and fun and, boy, did I choose the right thing. I’ve been attached to my beloved hip scarf for over a year now and I love it more than I could have imagined. Do I think dance is an art? Definitely. Try to move your body to the rhythm of music whilst looking energetic, wrapped in wonderfully vibrant and glamorous costumes and tell me you aren’t making art. The attire is designed to capture and exaggerate every single movement of the hips and chest, and create a light show out of dance. After all, the tell-tale jingling of a belly dancer is unmistakable. Belly dancing isn’t simply limited to Bollywood style or traditional music, but is perfectly suited to modern Western music, due to its fast-paced energetic beat. An often overlooked, but key feature of a properly executed belly dance are the knees. They play an important role in getting the shimmies and hip drops down to an art; so remember: it isn’t all about the belly, but ‘knee dance’ doesn’t sound half as sexy. My favourite thing about belly dancing, apart from the stunning costumes, is the fact that so much of it, is about the overall effect you create when dancing, rather than precise movements, which aren’t my speciality. Everyone has their own way of dancing and this really shows through during performances. It’s crazy, fun and energetic, and the little bit of exercise that goes along with it doesn’t hurt either. There you have it, everything you could need to know about the art of belly dance - it’s so much more than the name suggests.
Headed for glory
WORDS BY FREDDIE STUART IMAGE BY OLIVIA VILLARREAL
Freddie talks to UoN Squash President Lea Van Der Zwalmen about their continued BUCS success
What a year it has been for the University of Nottingham’s sport societies. With an outstanding fourth place finish in the overall 2015-16 BUCS rankings and more student sports societies to its name than any other UK university, Nottingham is now the place to be when it comes to sport. The epitome of this success is the University’s Squash Club, which has quickly established itself as the dominant student club in the country in its sport. With six men’s teams and five women’s teams of 5 players each competing in BUCS, Nottingham has rarely been stronger on the squash court. Last season Nottingham took the Squash BUCS League by storm, finishing top with an impressive 367 points. A result made all the sweeter considering our dominance over local rivals Nottingham Trent, who ended the season 25th with a total of 70 points. To find out more about Nottingham’s burgeoning Squash club, I spoke to
the President of the Squash Club, Lea Van Der Zwalmen. When asked about the success of last year, Lea told us, “We managed to beat our rivals, Trent, Birmingham and Bristol. We only lost once, against Birmingham in the group stage which, I think, is a remarkable achievement. This year we’re looking to beat the BUCS score of last year, and win both the men’s and women’s Championships”. Our Squash teams have already begun to succeed under the guidance of Head Coach Rich O’Connor, President Lea and her team. Once again, they are top of the rankings, and looking forward to another impressive season. So, what does Lea think has been her season highlight so far? “I was directly involved in our first Premier League weekend with the Women’s 1st team. That was exceptional because there were fifteen matches played in total and we only dropped one game. Head Coach Rich O’Connor said he’d never seen that
before in 5 years at the University. He’d never seen a stronger women’s team and that reflects our strong position at the moment”. These fantastic performances from both the men’s and women’s teams put the UoN Squash team in a great position looking towards Varsity 2017 at the end of the sporting calendar. Squash Varsity has recently been a fixture in which the Green and Gold have prospered, so I asked Lea if Squash was looking forward to the event. “Definitely!”, she responded, “Varsity is a big event for us and for many players it’s the highlight of the season. We’ll definitely put our A team out, and hopefully playing on the home court at the David Ross Sports Village, we’ll have the massive advantage of the crowd being on our side, and that’ll help us win again!”
IMPACT WORDS BY JOE TANNER & CLIFTON TEO
’ n i t o o h S e m so
IMAGES BY OLIVIA VILLARREAL
l l a bb N o at U
We caught up with the UoN Men’s Basketball Club at their Friday training on Jubilee Campus
While the rest of UoN’s students strawpeado their VKs in Ocean, our Basketball Club sacrifice their Friday nights as part of their intense four-session weekly training programme. The team clearly mean business this season. UoNBC is one of the University’s fastestgrowing sports clubs, boasting over 100 members playing in one of the five competitive squads and a massive IMS (Inter-Mural Sport) programme. During the 2015-2016 campaign, the Basketball Club was a top 15 ranked team in BUCS. They reached the quarterfinals of the BUCS Trophy Competition and quarterfinals of the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup. If that wasn’t enough, they also received nominations for the UoN Sporting Experience Award, UoN Team of the Year, and UoN Participation Club of the Year. At the time of writing, the BUCS sides’ first and fourth teams are placing second in their leagues and the seconds and thirds near the bottom of their divisions. First team player James Wilson told us: “It was a mixed start for us at the beginning of the season, with two wins and two defeats. We know what to do to improve upon our recent results”.
He continued, “There are very fine margins in terms of ability throughout all of our teams. It’s very realistic to make a prediction that every team can win their league. In the firsts, we’ve got a core group of players that have been together throughout University and a fantastic coach, so we’ve just got to go out and perform”.
”Varsity is our starting point of the season where we’ll be looking to claim back the Varsity crown this year” Boasting a coaching staff with links to the English National league, the Club seems to be in safe hands. The coaches are heavily committed to fostering a successful team of student athletes. Some of the Club’s former players have gone on to play in domestic leagues and some have even taken up roles in the NBA office. UoNBC also looks to nurture and develop players of all levels of ability. With two
squads in the IMS league, some members have the opportunity to represent the Club against other societies and clubs every weekend. This runs alongside one of the University’s best-received Engage sessions, welcoming many non-club members from the student population to participate in weekly social basketball. One of the biggest highlights on the UoNBC calendar is the annual Varsity match against Nottingham Trent University, held at the Motorpoint Arena. This truly spectacular event is watched by over 5,000 people and is the largest university basketball event outside of the US. The tremendous atmosphere at the Arena has to be seen to be believed. Regarding Varsity this year, first team player James Wilson said, “We have our Varsity training camp; we come in during Easter and focus on Varsity and the season ahead. Varsity is our starting point of the season where we’ll be looking to claim back the Varsity crown this year”. We are keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping for what looks like a promising Varsity prospect for the UoNBC.
Regiments and rowing
WORDS BY JOE TANNER
We caught up with two-time Olympic Gold medallist Heather Stanning during her visit to the David Ross Sports Village
At 31, Heather Stanning MBE has had a remarkable sporting career. The Olympic rower won gold medals in the women’s coxless pairs at Rio 2016 and London 2012, as well as multiple victories in the World Rowing Cup and World Rowing Championships over the years, and a myriad of other major triumphs. Not stopping here, the world number one rower is also a Royal Artillery Officer in the British Army. We spoke to Stanning after her talk at the David Ross Sports Village, in which she discussed her parallel experiences in Rio and in Helmand Province. What made you want to strive for success in the army and in your Olympic career for such a long time? I’m very much about using the experience of others to achieve goals; that’s something you get to learn in both sport and the military. When it comes down to a rowing race, it’s only me and my rowing partner in the boat so only you can influence what happens and that’s quite a powerful and motivating feeling. You studied at the University of Bath where they have world class facilities. How much of an aid was it for your sporting career to have such facilities, like we now have here at the David Ross Sports Village? It was huge because when I came to University I’d played a lot sport at school but I’d never had a gym membership or really
had experience of using such facilities, so it really opened my eyes. I have friends that really regretted not being involved in sports teams at university and sport is a massive part of the university experience so these facilities are certainly here to be made the most of. For me at the University of Bath, everything was there on my doorstep and I’d have been stupid not to use any of it. But I’ve got friends who went to universities where the facilities weren’t as impressive and fell out of routines of regular sport and exercise, so students need to make the most of it. The University of Nottingham’s Boat Club won Varsity last year, had high finishes in the BUCS Regatta and finished third at the University games in Croatia during the summer. As an Olympic Rower, what would your tips be to continue the success? It’s fantastic what the team achieved last year. In terms of ways to build on the success, it’s all about enjoying what you’re doing and working hard, which will breed success over time, as it has done for the British Rowing Squad for the past 20 years. It’s about getting the novices to enjoy their rowing experience and creating a winning formula that will last.
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Just d oing our b it for the enviro nmen t!
At Impact, we ask the hard-hitting questions: 1
13 14 15
Across 4. Sports Village 5. Student housing area 6. Chinese campus 9. Wooden building on Jubilee 11. Iconic building featured in the logo of UoN 14. SU bar 16. Oceanâ€™s owner 17. .... and gold 18. Nottingham Ice Hockey team
Down 1. Cinema offering ÂŁ4.50 student tickets 2. The biggest sporting event between Trent and UoN 3. Art Centre on Uni Park 7. Donated the land for Uni Park to the University 8. Swinging your shirts above your head in Ocean 10. Meeting point in Market Square 12. The biggest burger at the SU bar 13. Campus with a farm 15. SU shop in Portland 19. Arts and Social Science library