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NEWS

Tuesday 20th October

Online Gambling: Far Too Tempting for Students? Sara Merritt News Editor Students are resorting to gambling to pay off university debts and risk ending up in financial crisis - warns charity. Young students, away from home for the first time and alone in their rooms with a laptop, are increasingly being tempted onto betting sites, according to Gamcare. “Many are particularly vulnerable because they possess poor financial skills but try to copy mathematics students whose skills enable them to be more successful”, said Andy McLellan, the organisation’s chief executive. “We are picking up more and more people in these circumstances. They are in debt for the first time and wonder how to get out of it. They see maths

students - who understand the risks - and believe they can do it, too,” he said. The University of Lincoln has expressed concern about students spending their loans gambling online. One maths student told the college’s newspaper, The Linc, he had set up a poker account. “There is skill involved and it is possible to win but I would never be reckless enough to risk large sums of money,” he said, “While the stakes are low it remains fun but the enjoyment goes if things get out of hand.” Gamcare, established in 1997 and partially funded by the gaming industry, published a report on gambling debt this week in conjunction with the Money Advice Trust, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Salvation Army.

It urged that more should be done to “prevent people from gambling excessively” and helps those who get into trouble. It suggested that debts of up to £60,000 “might be common” amongst problem gamblers. Student’s of Leeds Metropolitan University have expressed their worry over this trend: “It’s a stupid risk to take, if money problems are really that bad there is plenty of help out there, go and get it! Although it is an inevitability of student-life, debt can be resolved by other means.” A third year student. Yet there are student’s who have a flutter every now and again: “I’ve played online poker, won some and lost some, but never a lot of money. If you set yourself a limit then it can be just a bit of fun.” According to the Gam-

Preventing Blindness Campaign Launched

Photograph taken from the Rankin collection to highlight the issu of blindness in women

Sara Merritt News Editor

A new beauty campaign launched last week for World Sight Day involving photographer Rankin and make-up artists such as Michelle Campbell, Ayami and Caroline Saulnier. In partnership with the charity Sightsavers, Rankin has created a se-

ries of stunning photographs of models wearing unique and powerful make-up designs, created to highlight the shocking number of women in the world who are blind. There are 45 million blind people in the world and two thirds of these people are female. Rachel Heald of Sightsavers added that 75 per

cent of blindness was curable or preventable. “There are lots of reasons why blindness is more prevalent in women,” she said. “Women live longer, which brings a slight bias. But in the developing world they have less access to eye-care services. Most blindness is caused by cataracts or trachoma, in which the eyelids turn inwards and scratch the eye. One of the reasons we’re doing this campaign with Rankin is that we wanted a more creative way to put across our message.” With operations costing as little as £5 available to restore sight and change the fortunes of the some 20 million women who are needlessly blind, one of the core campaign messages is that the price of a new mascara or lipstick could make the world of difference. Rankin commented: ‘I can’t imagine what it must be like to be blind and I can’t even begin to comprehend the distress it causes. What is most upsetting is that so much is treatable, and people suffer unnecessarily.’ For more information visit www.sightsavers.org/ rankin

bling Commission’s 2007 prevalence survey, 68% of the UK population had gambled within the past

year and problem gambling was estimated to be running at 0.5-0.6% of adults. Hong Kong, the

USA and South Africa all have higher reported rates of problem gambling.

Elderly Care Home Accommodates Freshers

Sara Merritt News Editor

When first year Winchester University students applied for student accommodation, they were expecting brand new halls of residence. But when the freshers discovered their ‘state-of-the-art’ accommodation was in fact a care home for the elderly, they were less than impressed. They had to be accommodated in the Woolverston complex, after demand for student housing soared. Many of them had spent more than a week at a hotel while university bosses tried to find them more permanent lodgings. Cars and vans, heavily weighed down with students’ possessions, cluttered the car park of the former pensioners’ housing block. Undergraduates were busy carrying their belongings between

the front lawn and their new rooms inside. But there was little sign of the one remaining pensioner still living at the 47-bed complex. Two other elderly residents moved out earlier this week. First year student Liam O’Donnell described his first experience of university life as a ‘nightmare’ after moving into the block. The 21 year old, who is studying events management and sports studies, said: “I was only told a week before I arrived in Winchester that we would be put up in a hotel. “It has been an absolute nightmare. The university is a complete shambles and all of the students are really annoyed about this.” University deputy vicechancellor Tommy Geddes said: “This year there has been a record number of students applying to higher education. Many

universities are struggling to meet the high demand for accommodation.” Leeds Metropolitan has also seen record numbers of applications, one tutor commented on the increasing amount of students being allowed to enrol, saying that it was going to become difficult to have detailed discussions in seminars if the group numbers kept rising. Students at Leeds Metropolitan, however, have not had such problems as Winchester University. With the addition of the Carnegie Village and Broadcasting Tower, Leeds Metropolitan has its accommodation needs prioritised. A first year student commented on the quality of the accommodation provided: “I live in Carlton Hill and love it, I’ve had no problems and moving in was made as easy as possible.”


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