NEWS RABBIT CAFE: BRUNEL’S CREATURE COMFORTS
B RU N E L U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
BRUNEL READY FOR ST. MARY’S
FEATURES DEALING WITH ESTATE AGENTS : WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
CULTURE BAFTAS 2014: THE BREAKDOWN
PHOTO CREDIT: CHADLEY LARNELLE PHOTOGRAPHY
George Bowden He’s been in the job less than seven months, yet Cam McKirdy has already proved to be a very different VPSA than students at Brunel have been familiar with. For what he may lack in the stereotypical swagger synonymous with his fellow sports sabbs, he makes up for in his enthusiasm for the clubs and societies he represents full time, “the sheer volume of students and sports at Brunel is great,” Cam says. And it is this variety of clubs and sports
at Brunel that is condensed, once a year, into a day-long competition against St Mary’s University in Twickenham, south west London, and who this year host the event. The West London Varsity is by far the biggest event in Brunel’s sporting calendar, this year the 26th of March, and takes up a considerable amount of Cam’s and the student activities team’s time, energy and resources. “It is such a big event,” he says, “we’re going to have hundreds of supporters and players, and there’s going to be a lot of tweeting and updating by the union team to keep those who stay at Brunel up to date.”
Helping Cam are three full-time staff at the students’ union and an impressive six-figure sports budget. Yet money alone can’t account for Brunel’s clear out-performance of St Mary’s in every Varsity since 2009. And with St Mary’s only having been an official university since January, this year will be Brunel’s first against a fully-fledged institution. Surely it can’t be much fun for them, coming up against the Goliath of sport that is Brunel? “For me it’s the taking part that matters - this isn’t a derby, and we’re very much the stronger side.” To give them their due, St Mary’s has
a third fewer students than Brunel, much less by way of facilities, and its entire students’ union is smaller than the UBS activities department. Despite differing circumstances Cam and his St Mary’s counterpart Pietro Palladino are both new to their roles this year, and they’ve jostled to promote their teams since September. First, St Mary’s withdrew their Basketball second team, providing dubious excuses in the process, and affecting Brunel’s strength – our Basketball second team currently rank 2nd in their BUCS league. Contuined on Page 3...
SPORT GROUP OF DEATH SINKS MEN, BUT WOMEN SAIL THROUGH
WELCOME TO ISSUE 5: FEBRUARY 2014
This Month... 04
Simply put, if you’re a current Brunel student, you can write for Le Nurb. There are a few things to bear in mind:
COUNSELLING SEES 40% RISE IN CLIENTS
SPRING ELECTIONS SPECIAL WHY SHOULD YOU GET INVOLVED?
FEATURES HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR VISITS BRUNEL
ONE WORLD WEEK SPECIAL
YOUR ARTICLE - Your article should be saved as a Word document (.doc or .docx). - Its filename should contain your name, student number, and a suggested headline. - We don’t accept PDF, Works (.wps), OpenOffice (.odt), Pages (.pages) or other formats. - Publisher files (.pub) are particularly horrific, beastly things. Please don’t send any, ever. - It may sound obvious, but please run a spellcheck before you submit your article!
CELEBRATE BRUNEL’S CULTURAL DIVERSITY
YOUR IMAGES 22
CULTURE BAFTAS 2014 BREAKDOWN
SPORT HANDBALL GROUP OF DEATH SINKS MEN, BUT WOMEN SAIL THROUGH
Le Nurb would like to thank the following people for contributing an article to this months issue.
Damyana Bozhinova Joseph Cornforth Robert Pennington Arthe Kandeepan Halimat Shode
Inah Dela Cruz Maddi Black Kirsty Capes Eddie Leggatt Robyn Fitzharris Temmy Odumosu John Toner Lisa ‘Hooch’ Boyles Martin Zaranyika Alex Mitchell George Bowden Adam Philpot Adrian Williams Joshua Barard Mike Read Rebecca Pizzey Ridafatema Hussein Gilbert Lewis Hannah Jones
Antony Smith James Alder Rowan Freewin Christina Wares Gurpreet Sihat Verity Agababian Kieran Persaud Lara Waterfield Molly Lempriere
Lena Mistry Katie Williams Aidan Milan Arsalan Jawad Marie-Teresa Hanna Mehvish Arshad Stacey Lucas Eddie Leggatt Toby Berriman Simran Gill
Molly Lempriere George Bowden Ryan O’Donovan Danielle Austin Samual Garnham Martin Bateman Ryan Stocks Joe Fenton Adam Varvel Alexander Sykes Amelia Blyth-Green Tramika Blackwood Gilbert Lewis Chris Brown
Le Nurb would like to make the following amendments to the January Issue: • Page 26: photographs credited to Steph Dickenson were actually taken by Verity Agababian. • Page 31, the article entitled “TV: The Following” was written by Antony Smith, not Martha Salhotra.
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Friday 28th March 2014.
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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1...
Kirsty Capes Editor 2013/14
Dear Reader, Happy February, Brunelians! This month has been a huge one for Brunel. Students enjoyed a Valentine’s day Global hosted by MTV; and this week we’re seeing the massively diverse community here at Brunel pull together and celebrate culture during One World Week. It’s great to see people experiencing aspects of international culture that they didn’t know existed - all at Brunel. Meanwhile, next month is a busy one too. Spring Elections for the Union’s Student Leadership Team are coming up, and nominations are open right now. Being involved with the Union and the decision-making processes as a representative of the student body is a hugely rewarding experience - and it looks great on your CV. Positions up for grabs for the next academic year include UBS President, and Vice Presidents of academic representation, community welfare and student activities.
“Spring Elections are coming up! Even if you don’t see yourself as a leader, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting involved in the process and voting” Even if you don’t see yourself as a leader, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting involved in the process and voting. Here at Le Nurb we’re all about the student voice being heard. It’s up to you to choose who you want to represent you. Keep up to date with us online to see all the Elections gossip and goings on around campus! And of course, good luck to all of the candidates involved. Next month we can also look forward to another annual West London Varsity against St. Mary’s University. The wealth of talent and sportsmanship here at Brunel has allowed us to never lose a Varsity against St. Mary’s - and that’s not about to change. Turn to our sports pages to read VPSA Cam McKirdy’s thoughts pre-Varsity, and once again remember that Le Nurb will keep you informed in the run-up and on the
day of this important event. Our online content manager, Eddie, has been working hard to get our online presence up and running, and we can now happily reveal that we have a blog: lenurbonline.worpress. com. The blog will publish content that didn’t quite make it into the paper, and we’ll also be liveblogging reports from Elections week and Varsity in March. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook so that you’re getting the best out of your Le Nurb, and as always, don’t forget to submit your stories, ideas, articles and opinions to email@example.com March is going to see the spirit of competition come out of our students in full force. Le Nurb will be there document it all for you. We’ll see you on the other side - and may the odds be ever in your favour!
This left Cam to handle compete through the day as possible. students at Brunel that the West disappointment back in Uxbridge. “Every final year is keen to see out London Varsity might not provide “Losing our basketball second team their time at Brunel by winning at them with the competition it should. match means I’ve got players wanting Varsity. It means a lot to them, so it’s And it’s a concern Cam admits he’s conscious of. “It’s tradition that keeps to play that I’ve got to say no to.” frustrating to see fixtures removed.” Then the Simmies ensured their But it appears the sparring hasn’t quite the West London Varsity alive but traditionally strong performance been limited to teams and fixtures, these problems make me feel we could go elsewhere. in Rugby Union was “Every final year is keen to see out their time at reinforced by a new second team fixture. Brunel by winning at Varsity. It means a lot to them, “I’ve looked at Reading but they already have Could this have turned so it’s frustrating to see fixtures cancelled and a varsity with Oxford the tables for St removed.” Brookes, Imperial is a Mary’s? “Being from possibility,” he says, “but, Twickenham and feeding into that sport in the way they with a literal war of words breaking for now at least, the focus remains do means they have an advantage.” out over a quote Cam provided for a on challenging St Mary’s here in west London.” Much of this has left Brunel sore, and website. The West London Varsity takes place that’s before any games have been played. There’s a sense that St Mary’s McKirdy’s quip about St Mary’s on Wednesday 26th March at St are manoeuvring the fixtures to suit being a “shed that awards degrees” Mary’s University, Twickenham. their abilities. understandably didn’t go down well with Palladino. Surely that made Volunteers are needed to report Has this caused tension between the things pretty awkward? “I think my Varsity live from St Mary’s, so if you’re a big hitter on Twitter or have a two sabbs? “Yes, there’s been tension sense of humour fell on deaf ears.” between us,” Cam says, “but only Yet, while perhaps misjudged, Cam’s sharp voice for Radio Brunel, pop into around the fixtures and me being tongue-in-cheek observation echoes Student Activities on the concourse keen to see as many Brunel teams a growing concern amongst sports to find out how to get involved!
ARC FEBRUARY UPDATES Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and 100,000 would get a debate in parliament.
Monthly payments of Student Loans – Do you want it? NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) with NUS’ full support want to highlight the NASMA e-petition on monthly payments of student finance. One of the findings of NUS Pound In Your Pocket is that students wanted to be paid more frequently than they are now. If they can get to 10,000 signatures this means a response from the
Housing Fayre 2 & Fresh Meet Housing Fayre THURSDAY 13th MARCH 2014 5pm to 7pm: A second chance to speak to our approved letting agents and browse through available properties. Come and see us in the Atrium, Hamilton Building. There are still many properties available so please do not worry if you are still to find a place for next academic year. Alongside the Housing Fayre (2), we will be running a Fresh Meet event- an opportunity to meet new housemates, find someone to complete your household or find households which
are still looking for someone to join them. Like speed-dating but without the dating! We will have nibbles, drinks and candles, to get you in the mood. Come and check it out in the Academy, on 13th of March, between 5pm and 7 pm. NUS and students’ unions win on non-academic debt On 18th of February OFT has confirmed that University’s practice to place an academic sanction on a student who holds a non-academic debt to the university is an unfair term and as such wouldn’t hold up in court. For many years NUS and students’ unions have argued that the use of such sanctions is unfair, and that it breaches contract law. Universities
have the normal means of debt recovery open to any other creditor and preventing progression or graduation serves only to make it more difficult for students to access student support or employment in order to settle their debts. The OFT’s report endorses that view and recommends that universities review their terms and conditions to ensure they are would withstand scrutiny in the courts; it has written to them to outline this view. Colum McGuire, VP Welfare, said: “I’m delighted to see that the OFT has responded to our complaints and confirmed that this practice is incredibly unfair, which is what NUS has been saying all along. This victory would not have been possible without
the support from student officers and advisers in students’ unions across the country. “Universities that prevent students with accommodation arrears or overdue library fines from obtaining their degree, or enrolling in another year of study now need to review their policies and put in place more sensible ways of helping students graduates pay off any debts.” This is absolutely HUGE news, and something that has been on the radar of students’ unions for years – so getting this result today is incredibly pleasing and something that I know will make a huge difference to students in the future.
PHOTO CREDIT: AUTO AND DRIVE
NEWS MAX MOSLEY ATTENDS PRESS REGULATION SEMINAR ON CAMPUS John Toner Max Mosley, former head of the FIA, attended a seminar on post-Leveson inquiry press regulation on campus last month. In 2008, the then president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) - the governing body of Formula 1 motorsport, was embroiled in controversy when the now defunct News of the World Sunday tabloid ran a story accusing him of taking part in a Nazi themed
orgy. Mosley took News Group Newspapers to court that year and won a case for breach of privacy. Since then he has championed the fight for press regulation and took the opportunity to attend the seminar along with Brunel Professors Will Self and Julian Petley as well as Director of Rights Watch UK, Jane Winter. Mosley believes that the press is actively working against the push for regulation. He said, “The latest press tactic is to create their own regulator without
He then added, “Lobbying from the press has eradicated the right to sue for this which is complete discrimination. Despite the steady stream of propaganda against regulation the overwhelming consensus is for a Leveson compliant self-regulator.”
She said: “A culture has developed among the big four newspaper groups in which the right of privacy comes last and the story can be obtained by any means. They’re literally ruining peoples’ lives to make a profit rather than mend their ways.” She added, “At the moment you cannot possibly believe all you read in the papers or be confident that people are not being abused. All I ask from the press is that they behave honestly and clean up their act.”
Jane Winter, herself a victim of phone hacking and a witness at the Leveson inquiry, echoed those sentiments.
Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel, and renowned novelist, and former journalist Will Self felt there
major, significant parts of Lord Leveson’s recommendations. Access to justice is one of the key issues, only 1% or less of the population can afford to sue for breach of privacy.”
were wider issues at play. He told the seminar, “Firstly, in the egregious activities that lead up to Leveson, widespread and systemic corruption between the police and the news media was exposed. It is not just a matter of regulating newspapers but also cutting them off from police corruption. He added, “The extent and reach of the news media have created a reciprocal relationship between politicians and the industry. It has become impossible to tell whether the dog concerned is being wagged by, or is wagging, his tail.”
SCHOOL OF ARTS VETERAN BILL LEAHY TO BE VICE PRINCIPAL Kirsty Capes School of Arts head and veteran Brunel lecturer Bill Leahy will take on a new role in April as Vice Principal Academic in line with parameters set out by the ambitious Transformational Change Project (TXP). While TXP has stirred up concern amongst students in its perceived lack of student consultation, Leahy determines that student involvement with the changes will be paramount, and that his role will be to ascertain that students are not left behind as drastic change finds its way to Brunel. After appearing at Student Assembly as a guest speaker in January, some students still had questions for Mr. Leahy. I put these questions to him: Please outline the responsibilities of the new role. That would take me all day! In brief, it will be my responsibility to ensure the successful development and management of the Colleges that will be formed as part of the Transformational Change Programme. This covers many, many things, but it
is really to ensure that everything that takes place in Colleges – teaching, learning, performance, recruitment, probation and promotion of staff, research, budgets, targets – everything that happens will be my responsibility in the end (along with the Vice Principal (Education and International). At Student Assembly you said, “Student experience is the driving force behind TXP.” Why was it left so late before students were consulted - or even knew about the TXP plans? Well – a student representative was on the Colleges panel from the very first meeting. That person had a view on everything we discussed and was listened to and indeed consulted. No doubt, we could have come out sooner. But we wanted to have something clear to say so that students realised that we had a good plan and we knew what we were doing. What will you do to ensure that students remain involved in the process? As I said to you I am happy to come and talk to students at any time and in any forum. I would really like to
be invited to these various groups/ meetings and just answer questions. I do not want to stand there and give a kind of PR talk – I really want to hear what you have to say and how we can do what is best for everyone. Please could you outline how the Student Welfare Committee will be implemented in the new plans? How will it work? Who will be on the committee? How will student representation fit into the three college structure? This is part of the problem of not being able to communicate things until due process has been completed. We are developing this and all the other committees that will report to Senate. But before I can report anything to you, it has to go through the various Governance structures. So, I can only talk in generalities. But, let me say this: student representation will be increased and it will be a part of every committee in the Colleges that can have a student member or deals with student issues in one way or another. Remember, each College will now have an Associate Dean for Student Welfare, who will ensure that Senior Tutors
in Departments carry out all the necessary student facing activity to do with tutoring and so on. There will also still be a Dean of Students too. I hope the creation of these three Associate Dean posts will show how determined we are to promote the importance of students in everything we do. How will you ensure that the research focus of TXP will not overshadow the academic learning of students? Research is important in itself, to benefit society and so on. It is also of benefit to all Brunel students, as the more successful we are at research, the better our reputation, the higher up the league tables we go, the more valuable the Brunel degree becomes. However, exactly the same is true of teaching and education more generally. It benefits society and it benefits all Brunel students for the same reasons. And, being good at teaching is a moral imperative; it is something we must do. So, we do not have a choice here – we aim to be brilliant at both teaching and research. And We just need to put the right things in place, like in Colleges rewarding brilliant teachers,
appointing senior student welfare people, insisting colleagues are proactive in tutoring their students, we’re ensuring high standards by rewarding good practice. There are so many things to do to improve and we will do them – that is where our energies will be focussed. How are the changes going to affect current academic staff? Well, I would say this: the changes will enable staff to be rewarded more readily for being really good at their job. There will be more opportunities to teach new and innovative things in new and innovative ways. There will be clear expectations for everyone regarding what is good and what is not. There will be clear goals regarding improving teaching, improving tutoring, improving the student experience more generally – so that everyone knows where they stand and what they need to achieve. And, it will be an exciting place to be in the coming years, believe me. There will be so many opportunities and so many new developments that will be positive for staff – and especially for students.
BRUNEL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Brunel PLACED 15TH STUDENTS START ‘BOOK BAZAAR’ IN LIST OF 25 MOST INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Kat Clementine Brunel University has been placed at joint 15th in the Times Higher Education (THE) list of the 25 most international universities in the world.
Mike Read Brunel Business Marketing students, Archit Gupta and Rohan Kapoor, have founded Brunel’s very own online book market. Book Bazaar allows fellow Brunelians an opportunity to sell their second-hand course books as well as picking up their required reading at a low cost. After accessing the website through their quick and easy Facebook login service, users can smoothly browse what’s on offer as well as advertise their own unwanted books. Once a successful match has been
established, users can then organise to meet on campus to complete the exchange.
School, Book Bazaar seems a budding success in the university’s entrepreneurial endeavours.
With over 100 members after their first week online, Book Bazaar is growing fast, with this number continuously and constantly rising. Competition in such an industry is fierce however the team’s market analysis indicates that their service is cheaper, with a user on average, saving up to £60 per annum as opposed to using other pre-owned book services such as Amazon. Better yet, the service is currently completely free for both buyers and sellers. Endorsed by the Brunel Business
Alongside their impressively relentless promotions on campus, the team have big ideas for the future, including the development of an iOS and Android app as well as expanding to other campus-based universities in the coming months. You can access this service at www. bookbazaar.co. uk Also, be sure to like them at www. facebook.com/BookBazaarCo and follow them on Twitter: @ BookBazaarCo
factor is measured by the ratio of international to domestic students.” The news of the rankings came just in time for One World Week, a celebration of the University’s diverse community.
Events Coordinator, Mariana Rocha said, “The result in the Times Brunel came in joint 15th alongside Higher Education ranking highlights the efforts that Maastricht University in the “ The results highlight the Brunel puts into providing the best Netherlands with efforts that Brunel puts for international an International outlook score of into providing the best for students, ensuring that year after year 89.1. international students” we have more and International more students and outlook is one of the core missions used in the Times staff studying and working at Brunel.” Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14 to create global She added, “It’s great to know this university performance tables. It result during the planning of One takes into account staff, students World Week 2014. Once again, the and research. THE states that, “The Union and the University are investing ability of a university to attract a lot in promoting diversity to the undergraduates and postgraduates whole Brunel community and it’s from all over the planet is key to amazing to see the efforts highlighted its success on the world stage: this by this ranking.”
RED BULL: CAN YOU MAKE IT?
Images of Flying Spaghetti Monster Banned by London South Bank University
Gilbert Lewis A humorous poster featuring the satirical deity in Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ fresco promoting the South Bank Atheist Society (SBAS) has been banned by the South Bank Students’ Union as ‘religiously offensive’. The controversial poster in question was put up by students in preparation for an annual ‘Refreshers’ event. However, when they returned the following day the posters and stall had been removed by Union authorities. Initially the secular student society was told that the visibility of Adam’s genitals was the issue. However, when SBAS offered to blur them out, they were told the problem was one of religious offence as it is based on religious art. The iconic internet parody image
Joshua Barard Think you have what it takes to make it from London to Berlin using nothing more than a few cans of Red Bull? Well you’d better get yourself signed up…
Find yourself two team mates and you’ll be in with as much of a chance as anyone else. Oh, and before you think you’ve had the bright idea of just giving your mate a call for a lift, phones are another item on the banned list...
Well no one said it would be easy! Red Bull is at it again with a challenge If you’re still not fazed, I have a feeling you might just that can only be described “On April 4th 100 teams from be the kind of cut out as borderline universities across Europe will be person for such a race. insanity. On April 4th, 100 rounded up on the starting line in This probably will be one teams from London” of the most universities challenging across Europe will be rounded up on the starting weeks of your life, but do bear in mind line in London. Credit Cards, Debit it will also be the best. Cards and cash of any kind are a nono and will be confiscated from all Finally, just top it off, win or lose, the team members and exchanged for week will be rounded up with a party one crate of Red Bull (say hello to your like no other for all competitors at the finish in Berlin. new best friend). You will be expected to use Red Bull as your newfound currency to make it to your destination - and yes, before you ask, it’s a race. What do the winners get? Quite frankly, it’s up to you. Pick any Red Bull event on this planet and you and your team mates will be taken there, all expenses paid. Sound appealing?
For more information and to find out how to submit your application please visit: www.redbullcanyoumakeit.com You can also contact Brunel’s Red Bull Student Brand Manager Joshua Barard directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. ac.uk for advice and application tips.
used on the poster, named ‘Touched by His Noodly Appendage’, features the deity of the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’, more commonly known as Pastafarianism. The parody religion came about following a 2005 letter protesting the addition of intelligent design as an alternative to teaching evolution in Kansas state school science classes. The writer, Bob Henderson, satirised creationist ideas by saying his ideas of a supernatural creator resembling spaghetti and meatballs is just as valid as those of intelligent design. The row at London South Bank University has been joined by the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) who condemned the removal as ‘utterly ridiculous’ and ‘frivolous censorship’.
The president of the South Bank Atheist Society, Cloe Ansari, said: “I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university, I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged.” She also added that during her time at London South Bank she had seen, “religious sensibilities trumping all other rights with no space for argument, challenge or reasoned debate”. The SBAS submitted an official complaint against the action, to which the Students’ Union stated that, “the incident was a result of the interaction of individuals at a student-led event. It does not reflect the policy of the Students’ Union”. They also offered to meet the SBAS to discuss what happened, any concerns they may have and how they can continue to support them and their members.
BRUNEL TO PRODUCE SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY Rebecca Pizzey If you’ve ever wanted to read a writer’s mind, the closest you’ll likely come is by getting your hands on Brunel’s first short fiction anthology, The Voices Inside Our Heads.
The book, due to be published at the end of February this year, will feature over twenty short stories of varying genres, from horror to comedy, all written by the creative genius of the course. Given the lack of a selection process, each member of the modern fiction module was given the chance to have their story published, as well as a select few third years who were not on the module and some second year Creative Writing students.
Collated, edited, and designed by a group of Creative Each student Writing students, “The book will feature over was emailed project leaders twenty short stories of varying by the Jemima Khalli, Romany Stott, genres, from horror to comedy, all e d i t o r i a l with Sophie Jones, written by the creative genius of team details about Emma Jeremy, and Rebecca the course. Every member of the the process what Pizzey decided modern fiction module was given and to take on the the chance to have work included” was required from each tremendous w r i t e r , role after the opportunity was offered to them including their story, a short biography by their tutor and renowned writer, and a photo – all of which will be featured in the book. The response Bernardine Evaristo. received was incredible, with hardly
anyone asking to not be featured. While the purpose of the book is to showcase the talent that Brunel produces, it will also be sent to prospective single or joint honours Creative Writing students with conditional or unconditional offers as a means of presenting them with the fantastic prospects the course offers. Romany, who designed the cover of the anthology on top of fulfilling her editorial role, calls the project an “amazing opportunity,” and says that the final piece is “much better than we could ever have imagined”. Indeed, the 200+ pages looked fantastic onscreen, and we are eagerly anticipating seeing it in book form – as is everyone featured. If you wish to purchase a copy of the anthology for £5, you will have only one chance, as it will be printed only once. For information about how to pay and when you can expect your copy, contact one of the editorial team on Facebook or via email.
Counselling sees 42% rise in clients in past 5 years 387 CLIENTS
G. Bowden & A. Williams Brunel’s counselling service has seen a 42% increase in its number of clients in the last five years, and is now almost double that of a decade ago, according to the service’s annual report. There have been two suicides at Brunel in the past two years, following a period of ten years with none at all.
He said: “If you look at our statistics over the last ten years, the volume of people that we’ve offered counselling to has doubled. “Either there are more problems, or we’ve advertised better, connected better to students, and that they’re more aware of what there is.” The increase in clients comes as the University’s student population has decreased and, in the past few years, has coincided with the rise in tuition fees.
On the impact these changes might Brunel has four suicides per 100,000 have had, Peter said: “The issue of students, compared to the 10-13 the fees rise means that as a student, you won’t in the general “52% of those who attend the get many population. counselling service say their second The Reverend Sally Hitchiner sessions were instrumental in them chances. is the Chaplain continuing their studies at Brunel.” T h a t m i g h t on campus. “If m e a n there is a high chance someone will commit suicide, you’re more vulnerable than you sometimes it is better for them to would’ve been before; there’s more leave their course,” she said. “But for pressure to deliver. other people, their course is the only “This is possibly more evident for international students,, but for home thing keeping them going.” students, too. That has definitely Speaking to Le Nurb, Peter Eldrid, increased since fees changed.” the Deputy Head of the Counselling The service’s innovative approach service, says the exponential rise in to counselling might explain the the number of students attending sustained increase in recent years. sessions is in part due to greater awareness across campus, and the Counselling sessions are now available service itself being more available for outside of office hours, at Brunel’s library, and even on Skype. students and staff at Brunel.
Peter said: “We’re continually trying to find new ways of connecting with students, particularly those who are vulnerable. “We’re an award-winning service for our innovation. I think that one mistake counselling services can make is to sit back and wait for people to come to you. “It’s much better to go out and show people what you’re made of, talk about mental health, and the sort of stresses and strains students and staff might experience.”
period of radical change, not least to how the university is organised. Peter said: “The Transformational Change Project (TXP) is anxiety inducing for everyone.” “We can get into a thing of presuming the worst and predicting the worst rather than recognising that the changes are going to be good for the University and good for everybody.” There are many more females than males attending the service, around 61% to 39% among students, with a bigger difference among staff.
This approach is working. 52% of those who attend the counselling service say their sessions were instrumental in them continuing their studies at Brunel.
The service’s innovative approach might provide a solution to “There are many more females than Campaigns this. Peter said: on campus “Our Skype males attending the service, around h a v e sessions tend 61% to 39% among students, with a a d d re s s e d to attract more t h i s , bigger difference among staff.” men.” including “It’s a way the Well@ of making a free phone call, but Brunel team’s “Let’s Talk About” series, also if you’re living in East London hosting discussions on a range of and struggling to get in, it increases subjects from bipolar disorder to selfpeople’s availability to have a very harm. similar experience that you would The “Eating Disorders” talk fetched have if you were sat here.” about 30 people and “Schizophrenia” “It’s very easy to put off, but if about 20. Some of the attendees something doesn’t feel right, you’re were sufferers, others hoped to find best off nipping it in the bud and we out information for friends and family. try to make it as easy as possible for people to do that.” To make an appointment with a Brunel is considering starting up a counsellor call 01895 265070 or “buddy system” that will match all email brunel-counselling@brunel. first year students with second or ac.uk
The service isn’t limited to students, with staff having been able to use the service since 2010. Peter points out that the types of problems they present are often similar to those experienced by students. He said: “Most often conversations we have are around relationships, not just partners but friends, colleagues and parents. “If you have an issue, and your relationships are good, you have someone to talk to. If they aren’t good, it makes things less likely to work well.” Brunel is also about to embark on a
third years. It is hoped that the oneto-one personal help and advice from more experienced students will have a positive effect on freshers. An informal mental health drop-in is also held in the Meeting House on Tuesday nights from 5pm, where students discuss problems and play board games in a relaxed environment.“There are lot of misconceptions around the term ‘mental health’, said Revd. Hitchiner, who oversees the group. “People sort of know what it is, but don’t make the connection to the specific issues.”
RABBIT CAFÉ: BRUNEL’S CREATURE COMFORT Maddi Black Students and staff alike are hot-footing it to one of Brunel’s most unusual new events – Rabbit Café. The event, which is hosted every week by Brunel’s Chaplaincy Team, enables members of the university to pop in for a cuddle with a rabbit and have a free cup of tea or coffee. Inspired by the infamous ‘cat cafes’ in Japan, Rabbit Café was founded by the university’s Anglican Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser, Reverend Sally Hitchiner, who brings in her own rabbits Poppy and Ziggy each week. The Rabbit Café is thought to be the only one of its kind in the world. Students and staff of all ages and backgrounds attend the
Rabbit Café: there is an emphasis on been amazed by the number of tolerance and acceptance of all those students who believe in what we’re who visit. Although many come along trying to do. It’s incredible that people just for the fun, the café aims to boost are giving up their time every week wellbeing, acting as a stress-reliever to make this free service for the community and providing a relaxing “I’ve been amazed by the number happen.” environment away from the of students who believe in what P s y c h o l o g y Toby pressures of we’re trying to do. It’s incredible student 31, university life. that people are giving up their Berriman, who regularly time every week to make this helps out at the After an initial free service happen” Café, said: “It’s slow start, been wonderful the Café’s to see an popularity has increased dramatically as word has increase in numbers and to see so spread around campus. The event many people benefitting from this now opens its doors to an average of event. I hope that its popularity is 80-100 students and staff on a busy long-lived and that it continues to put week, with new visitors still stumbling a smile on people’s faces.” across it as the term progresses. Reverend Sally Hitchiner said: “I’ve Business and Marketing Management
student Victoria Skottun-Geeves, 21, said: “I went to the Rabbit Café in its first ever week and it was very quiet. Now whenever I go, it is much busier! I love animals and I think the café is a great idea.” Not only are more people attending the event, but students and staff are regularly bringing their own pet rabbits along to the café. There are currently a total of six rabbits who are brought along on a regular basis, with the offer open for more to attend upon request. And it’s not just the humans having all the fun – the rabbits love roaming in the big open space, ducking under the chairs, exploring visitors’ bags and shoes and nibbling on vegetables. The Rabbit Café takes place at The Meeting House every Friday at its new opening hours of 11am to 5pm.
PHOTO CREDIT: LINDA MASON
PHOTO CREDIT: THE ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB
WHAT’S ON: THE ACADEMY Adam Philpot It’s getting to that time of year again: coursework deadlines draw closer and the thought of next term’s exams is beginning to loom. Don’t worry though, we have some great events happening in March so you can chill out, unwind and party!
Tickets £3, let’s support our sports teams.
an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
Warm up those vocal chords for our regular Tuesday night Karaoke! Also, don’t miss our Pancake Day competition - more details to follow soon! We’ll be running our £2 Tuesdays drink offers as normal so make sure you get to Loco’s!
Dominoes will be here hosting a WTF Pizza party on Monday 10th! Head down for a night of 80s, 90 and 00s with free pizza! Tickets £3 in advanced..
March kicks off with Quids In. Expect party anthems, £1 Entry and drinks from £1.50! Let’s keep the weekend alive! Every Saturday from 11pm.
If you are heading out on Wednesday 5th, or just want something a bit different to do head to GAMMA! With ping pong tables and jugs from £7 this is the perfect way to kick start your night.
Head down to Loco’s, get those thinking caps on Sunday 2nd and get that guitar in tune for our pub quiz followed by open mic night, showcasing the best in unsigned Brunel talent.
Hot on the heels of February’s instalment, join the Motus & Oratous team for another night dedicated to all things House. Skinny jeans and snapbacks welcome! Tickets on sale for £3!
Join the WTF team and the Golf Club as they host WTF Army on Monday 3rd! Get the army camo and war paint out! Don’t miss the Exchange in Locos and grab a cheap drink all night!
Friday 7th is none other than Global. With two rooms of music expect everything from Katy Perry to Lethal B. 6pm and birthday guestlists will be available so make sure you keep
Thursday 13th is Throwback Thursday. Jump aboard the soul train as our DJ brings you the best in Soul, Funk, R&B and Disco. Post grads, make the most of the early bird tickets especially for you! Friday 14th sees the start of our St Patrick’s day weekend, featuring cut up DJ A.Skilz in Academy, plus giveaways and prizes! Tickets £4 in advanced. Make sure you check out our Irish themed pub quiz on Sunday 16th followed by live music and open mic night! Join the WTF team to celebrate St Patricks Day on Monday 17th! Come down in green and win some prizes! Maybe you’ll have the luck of the Irish? Tickets £3. London’s calling on Thursday 20th as
our new Indie Night, Locked In, hits academy! Expect nothing but punk, rock, indie and guitar classics. Doors 10pm. Friday 21st is election results night. Get to Academy to see the results of our spring elections, and then party the night away at Global! Make sure to check out Global Warming party in Locos from 8pm. With Varsity only a few days away, come down and party at WTF for our UV Varsity warm-up, hosted by Cheerleading on Monday 24th! Tickets £3 with the Exchange in Locos from 8pm. Tuesday 25th sees Comedy Central and Off The Kerb return with another stellar line-up of comedians! Line up to be released shortly, tickets will be £5. Doors 7pm. Wednesday 26th: Varsity. To celebrate yet another win over St Mary’s, we will be hosting a very special Blue and Yellow GAMMA. Expect ping pong, our best drink deals yet and plenty of
‘Oh West London! ‘ If you like your music turned up to 11, head to Rock Night with the RocSoc on Thursday 27th from 10pm. Only £2 entry. Expect the best in classic rock, heavy metal and punk. Party hard! Friday 28th is our Easter Mega Global! With 3 rooms across both venues, this is not to be missed. Expect great music, sweets, prizes and more! This will sell out so make sure to get your tickets early! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages! We round March off with a WTF Easter special, with free entry. Come down for the best in 80s, 90s and 00s plus free chocolate giveaways! Get to the Exchange in Locos from 8pm and grab a bargain deal on drinks Don’t forget to keep up to date with what’s going on by liking our Facebook page at facebook.com/ ubsnightlife, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@ubsnightlife) and get your tickets and from www. brunelstudents.com/whatson.
THE NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY IS HERE! Martin Zaranyika The National Student Survey is your opportunity, as final year students, to tell the world about your experience at Brunel. Eligible students should be receiving emails from the National Student Survey (Ipsos-MORI) inviting you to participate. Ipsos-MORI controls the selection of eligible students and ensures your individual responses are treated as confidential. Your answers are crucial in convincing future students to choose Brunel and in shaping improvement and consistency throughout the University which will in time ensure and strengthen the value of your degree. The survey takes just 5 minutes to complete and will ask questions
about your course covering teaching standards to administrative support. There is even a question about how satisfied you are with your Students’ Union. There is a sliding scale including five possible answers ranging from Definitely Agree to Definitely Disagree and your responses will be used to give a percentage satisfaction result against each criteria. The University significantly improved its league table standings and satisfaction rate in 2011 and recently has tracked at an overall satisfaction rate of around 87% and we hope that the UBS effort in lobbying the university for continuous improvement will result in this climbing yet again this year. It is vitally important that as much feedback as possible is given if we are to identify trends that will steer us to make change in the future and last
TEAM BRUNEL WIN BIG CLASH GAME SHOW Temmy Odumosu Brunel University’s African and Caribbean Society took part in their first ever Big Clash Game Show on Tuesday the 28th of January. They were up against Westminster University’s African and Caribbean Society, making history as they beat them in every single one of the nine games they played, sending them home empty-handed. Tickets for the event sold out as The Academy, Brunel’s nightclub, was packed with students showing support for their university. Even some of Westminster’s students made their way down to come and enjoy the show. Westminster’s ACS President said: “Thank you to The Big Clash for allowing us to be involved, Props to Brunel ACS and their team. The crowd was lovely too.” The Big Clash, hosted by Pure Yinkz
year we had a 70% completion rate which was amazing. The students union was ranked within the top 10 across the country and had the highest satisfaction score in London for the second year running. We are really keen to encourage all final year students to complete the NSS this year and are delighted to announce that for every student that completes the survey the university will make a donation to RAG, so your 5 minutes of time can make a difference to people’s lives. Please help us to maintain our high standards, help us identify areas that need improvement and to recognise areas of excellence, but more importantly take this last opportunity as an undergraduate to make your voice heard and contribute to the future success of your university.
VOLUNTEERING WEEK 24TH-28TH FEBRUARY Lisa Boyles In collaboration with One World Week 2014, Brunel Volunteers are offering students and staff a week’s worth of one-off volunteering opportunities both on and off campus. Brunel students have contributed thousands of hours volunteering in the local community each year and this month we would like to celebrate this engagement and thank our hard working volunteer. Events include free hugs, assisting Age UK, tidying St John’s Churchyard, a talk on International Volunteering opportunities, fundraising for equipment for a Nepalese school, Bookmarks for a Brunelian. For more information, please like ‘Brunel Volunteering Week 2014 One World Week’ on Facebook or email email@example.com
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL VOLUNTEERS
AHLULBAYT OFFERS ROSES TO BRUNELIANS
and Uncle D is said to be ‘a fun and very crazy game show filled with banter so wild that it will make you smile.’ Both teams competed in games where their eating, general knowledge, dancing, singing, way with words and team work skills were put to the test, all in the name of fun and entertainment. The Founder of The Big Clash, Yinka Adeniyan said: “The Brunel Team had a great connection with the crowd. It was all positive and a joy to witness.” He added: “My favourite part was the Brunel team entrance. The show’s nature encourages banter and it was a great way to kick things off.” Drew’s Cakes was also present selling a range of sweet snacks to satisfy the audience throughout the event. This was the 17th show for The Big Clash so far, the next one will be Sussex University versus Brighton University on Wednesday the 12th of February.
PHOTO CREDIT: STEFANO BONKU PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO CREDIT: AHLULBAYT SOCIETY
Rida Hussein In celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, members of the Brunel Ahlulbayt Society gathered to give out free roses to fellow Brunelians on the 22nd of January 2014. Essentially, the Brunel Ahlulbayt Society was inspired by an event that took place in Kensington High Street where Muslims handed out roses for the Prophet’s birthday. The distribution of roses in Kensington High Street to people of all walks of life proved to be an immense success and as an inspiration the Brunel Ahlulbayt Society, amongst other universities, partook in this campaign.
The aim was to enlighten people about who Prophet Muhammad was, as well as his profound message of love and peace. The gesture of giving out roses not only enabled the receivers to experience the beauty of Islam but it also permitted members of the Ahlulbayt Society to explain the excellent qualities of Prophet Muhammad’s personality.
politeness and kindness. Members took inspiration from this method by distributing roses which were then received by people of all creeds, religions, cultures and ethnicities.
An emblem of love and harmony, the roses brought smiles to the faces of people and a spark to their cold wintry morning which perhaps a creamy latte could not beat!
Similar to the “Who is Hussain” campaign, although a few shied away, many were interested and the campaign received an avalanche of positive feedback.
Members who helped out at this stall in the Atrium imitated Prophet Muhammad’s way of spreading the message of Islam. He did this through his excellent manners of
Members put their best foot forward in making this campaign a very huge success and I would personally like to thank them for their exceptional efforts.
The individual quotes that were tied around each rose contained a universal message to be learnt by humanity.
10 SPRING ELECTIONS SPECIAL
HI THERE We’re the Union we’re here to make your time at brunel the best it can be
IF YOU THINK YOU CAN SHAPE THE WAY WE DO THIS
IN THE SPRING ELECTIONS LEAd YOUR STUDENTS’ UNION. You’ve got from now until March 7th to nominate yourself for any of following the roles in our Spring Elections.
THINKING OF STANDING? There’s loads to gain by standing in the election, whether you win or lose it’s an experience like no other.
something different, learn new things and more about yourself, plus you could get an amazing role at the end of the campaigning week!
Deciding whether or not to run in the election Why should you is ultimately “No experience is required, just stand? Ultimately, a personal you’re standing enthusiasm. Full training and decision and to represent support is given” it is important the views and that you find interests of the out as much as possible about what 14,000+ student population at is involved before you submit your Brunel. With your help, the student nomination. We want to make sure voice will be heard, important issues you really understand the process for will be addressed, and changes can be S t a n d i n g “There’s a lot you can gain from made. in our e l e c t i o n s , the elections process, whether you There’s a lot you and are can gain from the win or not” confident in elections process, making the all-important decision. whether you win or not. Throughout the elections process you’ll learn No experience is required, just valuable skills in campaigning, public enthusiasm, as full training and support speaking, listening to others, project are provided. Running an election planning, leadership and team campaign is a great opportunity to do working.
FULL-TIME STUDENT OFFICERS The following positions are full time, paid student officers who take a year out of their studies (or the year immediately following graduation) to act as the primary representatives of Brunel Students. Whilst each have specific remits, they also (as part of Union Cabinet) oversee the day to day running of Union and work to develop the delivery of our Strategic Plan. The four officers attend University Senate as the student representatives, in addition to the numerous boards and committees within the University decision making structure. These roles also take up a place on Student Assembly, the Student Leadership Team, and the Trustee Board. As you’ll be working with us full time (starting in June), there are certain expectations to being an employee of the Union. You’ll be expected to work a minimum of 35 hours a week to fulfil your role, with the opportunity to work flexibly (provided this includes a core of 10 - 4pm Monday to Friday). The nature of the role will require you to work some evenings and weekends (through prior arrangement). You’ll also be expected to work cooperatively with your fellow officers and Students’ Union employed staff and to attend Students’ Union and University meetings that are relevant to your post. You will receive a salary of £17,503 per year plus £2,166 per annum London weighting, and you’ll be entitled to 25 days holiday plus the University’s closure days (generally around Christmas and Easter). You’ll also sit on our Trustee Board. You’ll also be able to make the most of some fantastic benefits. We give all Full Time Officers free stash, an iPad while they’re with us, discounted Starbucks and guestlist to selected events. You’ll also be encouraged to attend conferences and events across the UK with opportunities to network and meet like minded people from other Universities. We provide plenty of enthusiasm, encouragement, training and support to help you bring your big ideas to life.
PRESIDENT The President leads on the Union’s engagement with the University, and
external bodies and is often the first contact. They will be expected to be the public voice of Brunel students, and take up their seat on several high level University committees including Senate and University Council. They also chair the Trustee Board and Cabinet. What has been the best thing about being involved in UBS this year? “The best thing for me is how the student leadership has been so committed to their roles and how we have all worked together to fight for Brunel students. As a result of this we have made a real difference to the lives of students.” What is the best thing about your role? “I would have to say the personal development opportunities this role presents. I look back to the start and can honestly say that the pressure, challenges and new experience have added more skills to my portfolio.”
VICE PRESIDENT ACADEMIC REPRESENTATION The Vice President Academic Representation’s main function is to represent the students’ views and needs in regards to the academic delivery of the University. As such they sit on University committees focussed on learning and teaching, academic support, and regulation, and work closely with University staff in the registry, quality assurance and learning support. They also chair the Student Representatives forum and lead on the Student Voice delivery at course, department and school levels. What is the best thing about your role? “The best thing about this role is the fact that you contribute to the single most important reason why students are in Brunel for the first place – getting a degree!! Any change you contribute to and make in this role impacts on the academic experience and to make a positive impact, NOW. That is the best thing about this role.” What were the highlights of the year for you? “There isn’t a day where I can look to and say there wasn’t something in it that stuck in my mind! I would
say everyday you are involved in the UBS as an officer is a highlight; there is a highlight as change is always happening around you. Even if the change is not directly made by you.”
VICE PRESIDENT COMMUNITY WELFARE The Vice President Community Welfare has a wide ranging responsibility to consider the welfare and engagement needs of Brunel students, both on campus and within the local community. They chair our ‘Town and Gown’ meeting - pulling together people such as the University housing, the local police, local council representatives and residents to consider enhancing student integration into Hillingdon, work with Halls committees and working group chairs, and maintain Union’s relationship with residences.
VICE PRESIDENT STUDENT ACTIVITIES The Vice President Student Activities’ primary focus is on Union’s support of extra-curricular activity through Clubs, Societies, and other Union structured opportunities (such as RAG and Student Media). Working with the relevant Standing Committee chairs, they ensure the continued development of Activities provision. They lead on engagement with Brunel Sport and ensure that the joint sports strategy is delivered including chairing the Sports partnership meetings, attending Active Brunel steering group meetings, and being the student (and Union) voice in scholarship, performance sport and facility decision making. What has been the best thing about being involved in UBS this year? “I have seen a huge amount of potential in students this year, students involved in sport who have really “turned up” in terms of engagement within things like student assembly and various committees, and it’s been great to see them fighting for what they want.” What is the best thing about your role? “I get to work with students every day, my job is about fighting for the things that students want, for what I want and wanted before this role.”
SPRING ELECTIONS SPECIAL
STANDING WORKING GROUP CHAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRS Standing Committees are formally defined within the constitution to oversee key areas of delivery within the Union. As such they have elected members from the relevant activity, and work to enhance the experience of members involved. The other members of these Standing Committees are elected in term 3, and are expected to be meet 2 to 4 times per term. These chairs also sit on Student Leadership Team. As a Chair you’ll be a valued member of the Union team, and you’ll be able to make the most of some fantastic benefits. You’ll get free personalised stash, discounted Starbucks and guestlist to selected events. We provide plenty of enthusiasm, encouragement, training and support to help you bring your big ideas to life. We’ll make sure you gain plenty of skills along the way, and your position will be formally recorded on your HEAR.
SPORTS FEDERATION CHAIR Sports Federation governs the delivery of Sports Clubs at Brunel, overseeing the support and guidance of club committees and deciding on overarching policy which affects sport. The chair leads this committee, and is expected to contribute to the engagement with Brunel Sport, including attendance at Sports Partnership meetings, and involvement in Union contribution to Active Brunel. What has been the best thing about being involved in UBS this year? “Being able to have my say over matters and to improve the student experience and to be included in making changes that better enhance the student experience, as I believe that is a vital part of University life. Also being involved in the UBS I have made greater and stronger friendships with numerous people that I did not know last year, it has made me feel like I am a part of something good and makes me feel valued I guess, not sure
that is the right word, but overall it has really opened my eyes to everything that the union does and ways to get involved.” What is the best thing about your role? “Being able to make a change and have a say over something that I feel passionate about. Also working with and meeting new people, my role has enabled me to develop new friendships and yeah it really makes my time and effort worthwhile when someone says something like ‘you did a good job there’ or ‘that’s a great idea’ etc, so the best thing is being able to improve/make change!”
SOCIETIES GUILD CHAIR Societies Guild governs the delivery of all Union societies, overseeing the support and guidance of society committees and deciding on overarching policy which affects societies. The chair leads this committee, considering how the available resources are best utilised to enable society committees to deliver for their members.
RAG CHAIR RAG is the acronym for Raise and Give, and is the organisation within the Union which enables students to fund raise for registered charities, through a variety of activity. The RAG chair leads a committee of volunteer students who organise and oversee these activities, engaging and encouraging students to get involved.
MEDIA CHAIR The Union provides opportunities for students to be involved in all aspects of media production and development - primarily through the publication of Le Nurb (our monthly newspaper), the running of our own radio station here on campus (Radio Brunel) and the productions of Video Brunel. The chair leads a committee of student volunteers who decide on and deliver these activities.
Working groups are informal groups of students who wish to drive particular policy and activity, as agreed at Student Assembly. Each working group has an individual approach to effective delivery, and develops their activity according to the students involved. These chairs also sit on Student Leadership Team. As a Chair you’ll be a valued member of the Union team, and you’ll be able to make the most of some fantastic benefits. You’ll get free personalised stash, discounted Starbucks and guestlist to selected events. We provide plenty of enthusiasm, encouragement, training and support to help you bring your big ideas to life. We’ll make sure you gain plenty of skills along the way, and your position will be formally recorded on your HEAR.
ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY CHAIR The Union is committed to a strong and wide reaching Environmental Strategy, overseen and driven forward by this working group, relating directly to the Green Impact infrastructure. The working group chair works with staff, officers, students and the University to ensure the strategy is developed and followed. What is the best thing about your role? Environmental sustainability is my passion, and this year I really enjoyed working on the topic to increase student engagement and awareness. There is a satisfying feeling of giving back to environment by letting other students know what the issues are. What was the most challenging part of your role? Environment is a really wide topic, it’s a bit challenging to work around all sub-topics such as recycling, switch off, biodiversity and etc.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY CHAIR Equality is a core value of the Union, and we aim to demonstrate this value in everything we do. The Equality and
Diversity Chair works with students committed to diversity and equality to ensure that the policy is current, and that the actions of both the Union and the University reflect the beliefs of our students. In addition, the Equality and Diversity Chair works with independently organised groups of students (eg LGBT, disabled, womens) to celebrate, campaign and defend rights in all arenas and ensure their voice is effectively heard.
What is the best thing about your role? Working with people who inspire me with their continual positive attitudes. Being able to see the difference that can be made to people’s lives and a beautiful side of the Brunel community. We are very lucky to have a campus where so many people genuinely care about each other. Being Equality and Diversity Chair this year has made me appreciate that. What was the most challenging part of your role? There will always be people that disagree with you or feel the need to be negative. Learning to live with this can be hard, but it does make you stronger.
CAMPAIGNS CHAIR The Campaigns Chair engages with students who are keen to drive particular policies and strategies for change, whether within the student population itself, in the University, or in the wider world. Together, the working group will develop activities to positively effect the experience of Brunel students, in direct relation to the policies set. What is the best thing about your role? The best thing about this role is the diversity of it. Campaigns covers a very large area and there are many things you can do within your role. My favourite aspect of Campaigns Chair is organising events, such the Shoebox appeal, Positivity Wall and First Aid training. What has been the best thing about
being involved in UBS this year? Being part of a very proactive team of people who are all passionate about their union and Brunel Students, and being the voice who represents them.
VOLUNTEERING CHAIR The Volunteering Chair will work with students who wish to contribute to activities within the local community, and ensure this experience is positive and worthwhile. Working with the University department ‘Brunel Volunteers’ the chair should consider how to maximise opportunity, and actively encourage students to take this opportunities up. WORLD STUDENTS’ CHAIR Brunel is proud of its hyperdiversity, and celebrates the wealth of nationalities who make up our student (and staff) population. Working with the University department ‘Brunel International’ the World Students Chair will seek to represent international students, ensuring that their experience and needs are considered both within the Union and the University. The World Students Chair is expected to be heavily involved in the Union led One World Week, and contributes the “international view” to all aspects of Union life. What is the best thing about your role? The best thing with my role has by far been meeting new and interesting people. When I first started at Brunel I barely knew anyone and did not think I would be able to meet such a vast array of people. This year the sheer amount of new people I have met has been breathtaking. The lifelong friends I have made this year has to be the best part of my role. What was the most challenging part of your role? Representing people is not easy. Being able to find out what our international students require can be extremely difficult at times. However once the problems are identified, it is extremely rewarding to be able to help the individuals.
PHOTO CREDIT: INNOVATIVEHOME.COM
BENIGHTED BRUNEL Arsalan Jawad One may think that studying in a university would mean being surrounded by intellectual people who are aware of current world events. You may imagine that these people who have worked hard to enter Brunel are not ignorant and for sure look at the bigger picture. However, this is not always true, at least not in Brunel. I have come across the most brilliant people ever in this university. Yet, I have also come across people who look at me with the picture that the media has provided them, when I tell them what country I belong to. Some are excited to meet me and some are even delighted to have come across a person from my country. There are also some people who hear the name
how her question was relevant. Later that day I finally understood what she meant. Yes, yes of course there is violence. I worked at a charity organisation where orphans were provided an environment similar to I don’t blame them. One of the greatest a normal home. Every night before advantages of belonging from where I bed their caretaker handed them belong is the fact that every one of my a Kalashnikov to sleep with. That ethnicity is aware that at least 50% is exactly what of the news is exaggerated. “Happiness can be found , even in the darkest of happened. Because People of my country have become self-aware and times, if one can only remembers to turn on the that is the way my country functions. give great importance to all light” How could it ever be major world happenings. We possible to run an hope that one thing or the other will result in the discovery of I told my group members about an orphanage without violence? a solution for the problems we face orphanage I worked at as a teacher. To judge a person by what the media and alas, all our worries will come to There, orphans were provided with a says or what a country’s government an end. The major media channels in home in the form of a village, where does, is in my opinion the highest our country tell us that times are bad. every “home” has a “mother” who form of illiteracy in the modern In reality, 90% of the country is living takes care of them. It is painful that as world. The issue is that if there are a in peace, whether poor or rich, young soon as I mention that this beautiful thousand good people and only one or old, majority is at peace. For every village is located in my country, a bad person, that one person’s actions evil that exists from where I belong, stunned girl from my group asked me, will always overshadow the nobility of the other thousand people. From there is good that thrives as well. This “No violence, right?” childhood we are told to “never judge is hardly ever brought to the attention At first I just could not understand a book by its cover.” Each chapter of of the world. of my country and immediately get shocked. The brutal and violent image that the media portrays immediately flashes into their mind.
Having said this, I must say that most of the time, I find it almost hilarious when people ask me the most absurd questions about my country. They wonder: Where is it located? Is it even a government? Do we use dollars as a currency? Do I live in straw huts back home? Do I have cars and roads in my hometown? In a classroom activity,
that book will hold a different story and between the lines of each page, the most beautiful quote one can find. Sadly, this is overshadowed by the repulsive image on the cover of this manuscript. But even today, we do judge a book by its cover, literally and metaphorically. I wish I could suggest a cure for this and make people understand that you cannot just judge a person without knowing them. But a person can only learn not to judge others when they have been in an experience where someone has judged them. All I can do is hope that my behaviour does not assure people of the image they have of my country, for I alone know that my people are not all violent. Like the brilliant J.K Rowling onace wrote, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Likewise, good can be found, even in the most evil places, if one only remembers to seek it right.
MALE CELEBRITY WEIGHT LOSS BRUNEL FILM CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA Aidan Milan
Ah, the buzz of awards season, setting the hearts of Hollywood a-flutter with excitement. These are the big leagues.
This is the kind of recognition that some of these professionals have been waiting their whole careers for (here’s hoping, Leo). But for the last few seasons, it seems like everywhere you turn, the buzz is about the hunks that have been drastically changing their bodies so that they can get the creative edge in a biopic, or get the look to play an impoverished prison inmate. Are these body extremes just an example of their dedication to their craft (I mean they don’t just hand awards out to just anybody), or have these stars taken their desire for realism a tad too far?
that going for him. On the subject of being that thin, Leto said “It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think.” But wait, there’s more. To play Mark David Chapman in ‘Chapter 27’, Leto gained a whopping 70lbs. In a televised interview, he explained his weight gain secrets. “I used to take a pint or two of chocolate HaagenDazs and melt it in the microwave, and then I would pour in some olive oil and then get soy sauce …” at which point the audience drowns him out with their groans of disgust. He went on to say that the experience was “totally miserable”; apparently his cholesterol went crazy, and he gave himself gout. Leto even said outright “It’s dumb, don’t ever do it kids.” Don’t worry; most of us don’t like the sound of GOUT. Another actor who recently gained attention for his dietary habits is Australia’s national sweetheart, Hugh Jackman. Whilst he is well known among viewers as Lord Beefcake Von Wolverine, when he played Jean Valjean in the massively successful ‘Les Miserables’, he was positively gaunt. Jackman said in an interview with On The Red Carpet, “Tom (Hooper, Director) did say I want your friends to think you’re sick in real life … I want you to be unrecognisable”. So he lost 20 pounds, recorded his prisoner scenes, and then started
anyone want to try that?
And then there’s Christian Bale; a man whose ability to change his BMI at the drop of a hat could probably count as a super power on its own. If we track the interstellar trajectory of his career back a couple of years, we can observe his infamous part in ‘The Machinist’ in 2004. Most of you know the story. Bale drops down to 121lbs with a diet of coffee, water and a daily apple, but then bulks up by 60lbs in time for shooting Batman Begins. To clarify, he goes from zero to hero in a matter of months. Can this possibly be healthy? We’re betting no. More recently, when asked about his contrasting weight gain for ‘American Hustle,’ Bale said, “Your body really starts to rebel against you.” Well it’s hardly surprising, after some of the stuff he’s put his through. Worryingly, it seems like this professional yo-yo dieting is becoming some sort of grim status symbol for the stars; what with all the attention they get for it, and the critical acclaim that more often than not follows. Does this suggest that talent alone isn’t enough in the business anymore? Is seeing how close you can push your body to breaking point just part of the job now? Awards season this year definitely lends itself to the affirmative.
Take Matthew McConaughey for example: In preparation for filming ‘Dallas Buyers’ Club’, the six foot tall McConaughey dropped to nine and a half stone, but gained critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for his troubles. He’s quoted in The Mirror as saying, “It takes a while for your body to understand that it has to feed off of itself and that you’re not going to give it something else from the outside.” Talk about suffering for your art. And as you already “It takes a while for your body to understand that it has But isn’t the whole idea that their characters are know, he wasn’t to feed off of itself and that you’re not going to give it in pretty bad shape? So the only one in something else from the outside.” maybe it’s not the best ‘Buyers’ Club’ idea to try and achieve who went to the that in real life guys. I know that I, for extreme. gaining 30 pounds to play the one, will not be trying Bale’s coffee mayor in time for filming. Then in and apple’s diet any time soon, but Already quite a trim guy in the first an interview with Katie Couric, he then, I’m not an actor worth millions place, Jared Leto dropped to 114lbs told her about how he did “this crazy of dollars. Leto’s Haagen-Dazs, for his role in the same movie, which thing”, “a bodybuilder trick of not put him in the official ‘Thinner-thandrinking any liquid for ... 36 hours.” He however, does have a certain appeal, if we knock out the microwave and a-Twiglet’ category on the BMI scale. also added a disclaimer; “Do not try keep the soy sauce and olive oil to a The part, however, earned him an this, by the way, I do not recommend minimum. Oscar nomination, so at least he’s got it.” Why in Xavier’s name would
PHOTO CREDIT: PHOTOBLOGGER.COM
Damyana Bozhinova There is hardly anyone who will hear a tune of the opening song of Star Wars or Lion King and not start singing along or have the melody just stuck in their head for hours, days or weeks… Luckily on Brunel’s campus, there are people who already realize that this happens way too often. With great passion and enthusiasm, they founded the Brunel Film Music Choir and Orchestra six months ago. Michael Spence, a third year English Literature and Music student is in charge of the new but successful society. He said that the purpose is to have fun and for students to enjoy themselves no matter if they don’t have real experience in music. The idea became reality in 2012. Michael is grateful to Charlotte and Molly for encouraging him to form the Choir and Orchestra. They began as a group of ten people, who enjoy film and television music, developing their musical talent. The group has grown to be so much more since, because now people from different courses with passion for music are joining. Michael is proud that from the start 2014, Brunel Film Choir and Orchestra is officially occurring in the society list. Having teaching skills and looking forward to doing that someday, Michael gives all his heart in training
PHOTO CREDIT: WORDPRESS.COM
and improving the choir and orchestra. He admits that he can’t imagine not loving all members. He says: “they are fantastic and I always try to give my best, and they sense that and improve and raise the bar of commitment every single time we have rehearsals.” This and the support of his friend Josh who plays the piano and the calmest person ever according to Michael, prevents him from suffering a nervous breakdown before concerts. The Film Choir and Orchestra have performed songs from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, E.T, Star Wars, Titanic, Indiana Jones, The Avengers, West Side story, Rent and many more. Michael’s personal favorites are ‘Hallelujah’ and the song from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (where Aunt Marge floats away). For him, the soundtrack of a movie is what gives a notion of a good film. The music is the tool that can make you happy, sad or scared. Sadly, Michael is a third year student and will leave the Film Choir and Orchestra in the hands of his followers. He encourages students playing instruments or just with a passion for film and music to try it because “it’s a laugh”. If they are uncertain whether or not to join, they can catch Film Choir and Orchestra’s performances this February. The first one is on 19th February at 7.30pm – Howell building free admission. The second one is on 26th February at 7pm - Howell building and it’s only £3 on the UBS website, £4 on the door. There are also going to be future concerts during March and May.
HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR VISITS BRUNEL
PHOTO CREDIT: HEREFORD.COM
Inah Dela Cruz John Dobai, a Holocaust survivor, came to Brunel on the 30th January 2014. The event was organised by the Brunel University History Society (BUHS). BUHS Secretary Freda Tupou said: “In our committee meetings when we plan for our upcoming events, we always look for any key historical events that occur each month. So, when we planned for this event back in November, we knew Holocaust Memorial Day was coming up on the 27th of January. Therefore, as a way to commemorate such an important event, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to invite a Holocaust survivor to talk to BUHS about their experiences.” BUHS President Georgina Hill and PR and RAG Chair Sam Fraser contacted the Holocaust Educational Trust as they help coordinate events all over the country by putting people in touch with survivors, including Mr Dobai. The evening was attended by students and lecturers alike, all eager to find out about Mr Dobai’s experiences during the Holocaust. Dr. Thomas Linehan, who lectures
second year History students on the Holocaust, provided an introduction for the event.
childhood, of the many ways his mother attempted to save his life during the war. She acquired false papers for him and took him to an organisation that helped them find a peasant family for John to live with; however, when John had chicken pox, the peasant mother thought that he had typhoid and sent him back to his mother. This did not stop his mother from saving his life again by putting him in a children’s home. But like the last time, he was sent back again when he turned ill. Despite this, John being sent back was fortunate because two days after, the Nazis took over the home that he was sent to.
Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who provided Jews with passports that were issued by the Swedish Embassy. His father acquired passports for his family and accommodation in a house, also protected by the Swedish Embassy. Fortunately for John Dobai and his family, the Russians got to their protected house before the Nazis did and they escaped persecution.
John Dobai was born in Budapest on the 6th January 1934, a year after Adolf Hitler came into power. John’s parents converted from Judaism to Catholicism in hope that this would save them from persecution. As John was raised as a Catholic, he expressed that he took his religion John said that after the war, they seriously and was unaware of his did not realise the full extent of the Jewish heritage. He was only 9 years horror that the Jewish people faced, old when Hungary was occupied by until his cousin came back from a Germany during World War II and concentration camp, where his aunt recalled a very moving story from his unfortunately perished. During the childhood, when during their summer talk, John reminded holidays, he told a classmate “When I talk to schools, I tell them that unfortunately, anti- his audience that that he was very Semitism is not dead… When I talk to schools, I emphasize the Jews were not the only victims in excited to go the dangers of racial discrimination. There is a minimal the Holocaust. As he back to school, but his classmate chance of it happening, so I ask you, as the next generation, said, the Roma, North Africans, people who replied that he not to stand by.” were physically and would be, but mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s John would not, because he was a “dirty, stinking Jew.” John said that John’s father was sent to a labour Witnesses and freemasons were all this was the first time that someone camp and his aunt and cousin to declared to be enemies of Germany had told him that he was a Jew, and a concentration camp. The labour and the Nazis. because of this, he went home crying camp that John’s father was in was where his mother had to explain to fortunately dissolved and since then, During his speech, John said that he him that he was indeed Jewish and he recounted that his father did gives talks mainly to bear witness not Catholic like he was made to all he could do to save his wife and for people that he lost – two aunts, son. Upon exiting the labour camp, two cousins and two grandfathers. believe since he was born. John shared stories from his John’s father found out about Raoul He explains that the Holocaust was
organised by a country with high standards of culture and education and that it was thought out by the perpetrators as fully justified. John ended the talk by saying: “When I talk to schools, I tell them that unfortunately, anti-Semitism is not dead… When I talk to schools, I emphasize the dangers of racial discrimination. There is a minimal chance of it happening, so I ask you, as the next generation, not to stand by.” John Dobai’s talk was incredibly moving and inspirational. It was a privilege to be a part of his audience as it is a different experience to hear about the horrors of the Holocaust from someone who has experienced it instead of reading about it from a book. Dr Thomas Linehan commented on the event: “This was a terrific event that was very well attended and well organised. Well done to the History Society for organising it. From my point of view, it was a privilege to share a platform with John Dobai. I also learnt much about the truly dreadful Hungarian Holocaust, as did the many of my Holocaust module students in attendance at the talk. Once again, well done to the History Society for putting on this excellent and thought-provoking event.”
DEALING WITH BRUNEL’S MOST HAUNTED ESTATE AGENTS Robert Pennington
PHOTO CREDIT: RIGHTMOVE.COM
Eddie Leggatt As a student looking to solve your second – or third – year housing problems, there are a few things you should be aware of. This may be the first time where it’s truly your responsibility to find a house, find flatmates, and finance it all. It’ll be tough, and it’ll be very different to the tame, organised process of getting a place as a Fresher in University halls. Everyone at University has heard nightmare stories, and I hope that some of these points will help you avoid becoming one of the very few, very unlucky students who experience these. Some Sales Men Will Lie. “But they’re professionals, right? They can’t lie?” You’re right; they should never say anything that is directly untrue. However, they have an obligation to the landlord as much as they do to you, and they will try to show the positive aspects of every property. They don’t want to be left with an empty house on the books, and will try to sell everything. This makes it your responsibility to find out everything that’s wrong – and there will be a lot. When House Hunting, Ensure that you know what everyone’s requirements are. Try not to be the person that misses the viewings – you will end up with the box room. If you like the look of a place, arrange a second viewing, try to make sure everybody in your group has seen it! Unless It’s In Writing, It Doesn’t Exist. Phone calls didn’t happen. That guy in the suit, winking happily and calming all your fears – he didn’t say that. Or he doesn’t have the authority to make that promise. That really nice woman who told you all the problems you spotted would be sorted? Yeah, she’s on leave at the moment, and she may not be coming back. My estate agents have had 17 holidays in the past eight months – in an office of seven people. And it’s always when that person has made a promise which, y’know, the company doesn’t want to keep. So email EVERYTHING. When phone
calls happen, send the person who you talked to an email “in summary” of the conversation. Ideally, CC in the people you will be living with. Communication Is Key. What generally happens is one flatmate will end up the Head Tennant, the person that the estate agents talk to the most. If it’s you, then make sure you pass on everything! And remember, if it isn’t written, it doesn’t exist. Deadlines. When they tell you “This needs to be done, by everyone, on Friday”, what they almost always mean is “We will charge you if it’s not done by Friday.” So seriously, as a group make sure everything is done promptly and properly. Always double check that things have been completed the day before! On the flip side of this, the Estate Agents will be late for absolutely everything. Phone calls will be late or forgotten, people simply won’t arrive, fixes will be delayed – basically, don’t let them charge you, and don’t expect a prompt service. Property Management. Ask the current tenants – ideally out of earshot of the sales team – what “Property Management” is like. Different estate agents may use slightly different department names, but they are all very similar. Once your names are on the contract, you very rarely have to deal with the Sales division, and instead meet a new selection of people from the branch that will liaise with the Landlord for you. Good people at Property Management make all the difference, as it is them that you’ll be calling if anything goes wrong. Finally, above all, remember that you are a client. You are engaging their service, and paying them to do it, and as such they have an obligation to you. These are the views of the journalist and the Union recommends that anyone seeking advice on letting a property off campus take independent advice from the Union Advice and Representation Centre or the University Off campus Accommodation Office. For more information visit www. brunelstudents.com/advice/housing or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently I was made aware of a shocking Daily Telegraph article in which the well reputed publication, in a show of its journalistic integrity, claimed that after a sighting of a ‘ghostly young girl in a hospital gown’ Brunel is now one of the top 10 haunted universities in The UK. The 160 year old newspaper further claimed that “Brunel University has a history of unexplained phenomena”. Something that any student of the institution such as myself can attest to. Spurred on by the curious report and the idea of discovering yet more spookiness, I, Robert Pennington, Economics student turned supernatural expert (I shook Derek Acorah’s hand once) turned budding journalist took it upon myself to investigate this claim further by exploring the campus and acquiring testimonials from students to uncover the mysteries held within its thick concrete walls and towers. Brunel is built on the ruins of an old isolation hospital and situated next to a graveyard and a mortuary so it’s really quite a surprise that there’s been just the one reported sighting, not to mention the bloody nuclear bunker in the middle of campus. Obviously Hillingdon Council take no regard for the ethereal when deciding their planning laws. A chilling prospect indeed. Aggregating reports from students who live on campus we soon discover near definite proof of hauntings and unwanted presences in the halls. There are various claims of food
vanishing into thin air from fridges and cupboards, perhaps taken by some gluttonous ghost. A student told me that one morning they found that their plates and cutlery had been placed into a strange green bin. Another student, a resident of Mill Hall (presumably what must have been a borstal back in the day) informed me that many early mornings wailing sirens can be heard coinciding with sightings of half dead, robe bestrewn ghouls pouring from the entrances. A grim sight indeed. Towards the student union, in the Hamilton Centre, one can find many strange and unexplained goings on. The Union run bar, Loco’s, is said to be frequented by the ghost of a student who met their wit’s end revising for an exam. If one listens closely on a Sunday night, endless inane questions can still be heard droning on and on. A sobering sound indeed.
Opposite one will find ‘Academy’ where loud thumping noises and wails can be heard nearly every night. Yet if you were to walk into this dark room you would find it empty and devoid of life. Its floors covered in a horrible sweet smelling sticky substance, very similar to Loco’s. After having watched Ghostbusters in preparation for my investigation I came to the conclusion it was ectoplasmic residue. Strange times indeed. Ascending the stairs of the building, past the canteen, one can find ‘The Mezz’, the most deserted part of campus. Before starting my quest I looked up the history of the establishment, uncovering that at one point it had in fact been called ‘The Hub’. As the name suggests, it was a
hub of activity and social engagement at the university, now just a shadow of its former glory. Researching further I found stories and rumours of some horrible force that had corrupted the once pleasant pub, leaving the chairs uncomfortable, the drinks weak, the televisions quiet and the food tainted and overpriced by whatever ghoulish, transnational presence that had overcome it. A disheartening thought indeed. There is definitely more out there on campus and beyond. Who knows what unexplained phenomena occur even in Uxbridge town, for example, why a bus that says it’s going to Brunel University would actually take you to Ruislip, but that’s for another day. Before I finish this piece though, I’ve been hearing on the grapevine sightings of undead. These sightings have increased in frequency over the last year. Luckily though, the very same year The Brunel Zombie Society was founded, who have obviously been doing a good job with the undead investigation as more and more of the walking corpses have been reported week in week out. My sources indicate that ZomSoc have their meetings on Mondays at 6pm in the lecture centre, and their members can be spotted with their signature hoodies and assortment of antizombie NERF weaponry. Their leaders informed me there have been various skirmishes with the walking dead on and off campus but the society have come up strong with only minimal losses. If one has any interest with fighting, discussing or just watching hordes of zombies they need only apply. A hopeful vision indeed.
NECK NOMINATIONS WRECK BRUNEL! Eddie Leggatt It’s happened! Hold on to your hats, because students are – Deep breath, gasp – Drinking! This Facebook craze has swept through Brunel like an elderly lady in a supermarket, and students can be seen downing pints of anything they can scramble together. This reporter has seen with his own two eyes a student downing a large, warm, caffeinated beverage before going in for a nine A.M. lecture. The beverage in question may or may not have been alcoholic. It’s madness! Apparently originating in Australia, a country filled with animals so deadly
that draining a pint glass of petrol is considered safer than stepping outside, the idea of a Nek Nomination is to record yourself finishing an alcoholic drink, and then nominating two friends to participate. Of course, this almost immediately became a competition, as you had to one-up the person that nominated you, thus proving that you were bigger, uglier and more adept at... er ... consuming liquid than them. On this note, it has been rumoured that one Mill Hall residing Brunel student has posted a lukewarm pint of Fosters and Vodka to Chernobyl, in an attempted to make it slightly more potent than his flatmate’s Pinot and Pipe Cleaner. Some of the by-products of this trend have been tragic, like a video which recently surfaced of me having two
sips of warm Ribena before spraying it out of my nose with enough force to stain the ceiling. Others have been much more positive, with the idea of a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) nomination attempting to stem the tide of manic Brunelian’s filling their cups substances such as “tap-water” and “Mango Juice”. Whatever your opinion of the craze, I’m sure you’ll agree with this: There are enough low quality, poor audio videos appearing on your news feed, without this trend adding its beer sodden numbers to it. What I want on my news feed is animals in cute poses, so please stop this Nek Nomination insanity, and let me be spammed with dogs caught mid-sneeze!
RLD WEEK O W E ON
Proudly Sponsored by
A CELEBRATION OF BRUNEL’S STRONG COMMUNITY
ONE WORLD WEEK 24TH-28TH FEBRUARY 2014
VIA AIR MAIL
A FULL MINIGUIDE CAN BE VIEWED OR DOWNLOADED ONLINE AT: BRUNELSTUDENTS.COM/ONEWORLDWEEK/MINIGUIDE
TUESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY WORLD GALA PRESENTS A DAY FOR Asia & australia 10.00-16.00 Bishop Green
World Parade Come and join us in the oﬃcial One World Week launch: The World Parade! The Concourse will come alive with music, dance and many other performances.
Sikh Society - Langar Serving food to Brunel students and staﬀ and showcasing Langar (free food) which is served in every Gurdwara across the world for over 500 years.
Outreach Community Project
Basketball Dribble Up Kilimanjaro Help Brunel Basketball dribble the distance it takes to summit Mount Kilimanjaro! All proceeds go to RAG !
Assisting with the ground raising of the allotment in preparation for a new community project.
Italian Language Cafe
Isambard 1st Floor
African Drumming Join us in our celebration of the African culture and take part in this exciting workshop learning one of the most popular forms of music in Africa!
12.00-18.00 The Quad
MONDAY 24TH FEBRUARY WORLD GALA PRESENTS A DAY FOR AFRICA
Have you ever wondered what are the major environmental issues around the globe? Why not visit our environmental stall and ﬁnd out?
Cultural event with food, presentations and activities to take part in.
Oﬀ The Kerb Comedy The return of our new comedy night! Hosted by Ian Smith including Gary Delaney and a very special guest from Live at the Apollo! Tickets £5.
WEDNESDAY 26TH FEBRUARY
THURSDAY 27TH FEBRUARY WORLD GALA PRESENTS A DAY FOR europe
WORLD GALA PRESENTS A DAY FOR
11.00-14.00 The Atrium
Expect Respect Campaign Pit Pals – Jump in a ball pit and make a friend – Expect Respect
12.00-16.00 The Quad
Wheelchair Basketball Get involved and help us raise awareness to disability in sport. Three workshops of wheelchair basketball in association with GB-WBA and Men’s Basketball.
Sign Language Taster Session Experience a taste of using basic Sign Language skills and ﬁngerspelling in just one hour with an experienced Deaf BSL tutor, John Archbold.
One World Week Concert
International Food Fayre It’s back by popular demand, The One World Week Food Fayre! Exhibiting food from around the world, brought to you by your fellow Brunelians.
Brunel Tug of War Come down and get involved in Brunel’s ﬁrst ever tug of war! A tournament and open session for clubs, societies or friends to participate in!
RAG Line Of Coins RAG are back with their line of coins fundraiser, with a european twist! Help RAG make the longest line and learn fun facts about Europe as they go!
Tarot Card Reader
15.00-19.00 The Atrium
13.00-14.00 LC C
11.00-14.00 Sports Hall
11.00-14.00 The Atrium
Brunel Orchestra and Choir Society put on an evening of well known music from ﬁlm and theatre. Tickets £4
Come and explore your fate with our Tarot card Reader!
FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY WORLD GALA PRESENTS A DAY FOR Watch as 200 Expect Respect balloons are released into the sky
World Fayre The World Fayre is a fantastic exhibit of Brunel’s diverse community through an array of exhibitions, stalls, native costumes, freebies, henna, cultural activities.
15.00-18.00 The Atrium
Expect Respect Ballon Release
16.00-20.00 The Atrium
15.00-18.00 The Atrium
14.30-15.00 The Quad
around the world
Manga Caricaturist Come and get a drawing of yourself that you won’t forget for a long time!
Tropical Heatwave Steel Band Come down and party with this band and their Carribean Vibes!
PHOTO CREDIT: TOBY BERRIMAN
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: HOW DISABILITY WAS KEPT IN A BOX Toby Berriman After entering the Science Museum through a security entrance around the back of the building, that left the audience feeling a little like naughty children who had snuck into a cinema without paying, everyone was led up to the IMAX theatre for A Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box. This live show was hosted by Mat Fraser, in collaboration with more organisations than I have space to list here. Mat is an actor, writer, singer, and almost skinhead-punk - “there but for the grace of disability go I”, he commented on his potential
alternate path in life. He was also about these people. Another artefact into the show; when visiting doctors one of the many babies born with on display is a child’s prosthetic they would ask for a “quick feel” of his malformed limbs thanks to the leg, fashioned from an old chair leg bone structure with an excited glint drug thalidomide. He combines by a loving father. “I want to know in their eyes. He took such indignities drama, comedy, music, cabaret, and about the father who made this,” in the way he knows best: “I am an even ‘crip-hop’ in his unique and laments Mat, “I want to know about artist, if you cut me I bleed. Then I challenging show. Presenting objects the son! Did he like it?” This is the turn it into a performance.” This is and photographs collected from “You can’t wake up tomorrow white, or straight, but you could wake various museums, up disabled.” he shows that the history of disabilities presented by hidden history of artefacts that exactly what he has done, showing museums focuses on the disability museums are missing. We are given how people with disabilities are and ignores the personal stories an edited history; individuals are treated as failures of medicine rather that lie behind the objects and reduced to their disability and the than recognised for how they enrich medical treatments rather than being society through their inclusion. One photographs on display. An old black and white photo of a celebrated as people in their own such example is the case of Terry pile of prosthetic limbs is displayed right. As Tony Heaton (of SHAPE) put Wiles who, as a child, was forced into on the huge IMAX screen. They are it: “museums are political, what they a rather terrifying looking mechanical and gas-powered prosthesis. Dubbed all taken from the victims of the Nazi do and display has consequences.” Mat brings his personal experiences over a video of Terry grasping clumsily T4 programme. But we learn nothing
at objects placed in front of him by an enthusiastic assistant, we hear him describing, almost fifty years later, the confusion and distress he remembers feeling at the time. At this moment the message of the show is clearest: People with disabilities like Mat and Terry’s have been forced into conforming to a concept of “normal” image and functionality, but that has never been meant to help those individuals, rather to help the rest of society who aren’t quite sure how to handle them. When asked what one thing he hoped the audience would take away from the show, Mat was quick to answer: “You can’t wake up tomorrow white, or straight, but you could wake up disabled.”
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY CHAIR RESPONDS TO STONEWALL REPORT Kirsty Capes Last month, Le Nurb published a story that detailed a report by the LGB charity Stonewall. The report commented that Brunel University does not, among other things, provide specific career advice for LGB students, implement an anti-homophobic bullying policy or offer student sexual orientation monitoring. Since the publication of the article in Le Nurb, several students have voiced their concerns over the inaccuracies of both the article and the report. Equality and Diversity Chair, Robyn Fitzharris, responded to the report’s claim that Brunel lacks antihomophobic bullying policies by saying, “All types of discrimination are treated equally at Brunel and covered in the University’s Student Equality and Diversity Policy - Dignity at Study Policy soon to be called the Student Anti-Harassment and Bully Policy and Procedure. All cases of homophobia are taken very seriously by the University. It is standard practice to have an overarching policy, as is the case with the Equality Act 2010.” Ms. Fitzharris also commented that Brunel has started a Student Sexual Orientation monitoring scheme this academic year. On career advice for LGB students, she said, “Brunel students are able to access specific LGBT career guides in the Placement and Careers Centre (PCC), which
contain LGBT friendly employees and details of support available. They are either available in the general area (if people don’t want to ask) or by request.” “There is a specific LGBT Peer Support Network, where students can talk to other LGBT students if they are having any issues. This group holds drop in sessions in the Meeting House every month. Contact lgbt.support@brunel. ac.uk for more info. In addition to this, the University will soon publish an LGBT Students Support Handbook which will outline all types of support available to LGBT students and make it clear that all the support services at Brunel (e.g. counselling) are fully trained to deal with LGBT issues.” Stonewall is an LGB charity which is non-inclusive of transgender students. It has come under fire in recent years due to several mis-steps and exclusionary attitudes toward transsexuals. In its anti-homophobia film “Fit”, which discourages homophobic bullying towards children in schools, Stonewall refers to transgender individuals as “trannies”. Robyn Fitzharris maintains that Brunel LGBT is steadfastly opposed to the “trans-exclusionary activities” of Stonewall. If any students wish to further discuss the issues raised by last month’s article, or by the Stonewall report, you can tweet us @le_nurbonline, or contact Robyn Fitzharris at equality. email@example.com
POORER THAN OUR PARENTS: WHY OUR GENERATION IS A VICTIM OF LONDON
PHOTO CREDIT:THE GUARDIAN
Kerri Prince Taking that first step onto the property ladder is a real ambition for many people in our generation but in reality, will it really be achievable any time soon? Housing rents are rising by 10% each year. The average age of a first time buyer is now 38 and the average house price in Hillingdon is £298,172. London is facing a housing crisis and students are bearing the brunt of it. Rogue landlords and rip-off letting agencies seem to be part and parcel of student life these days and so many of us are powerless to do anything to stop them for fear of eviction or lost deposits. I hear far too many horror stories of people about problems with student housing. It seems all of us
have experienced it, or know a friend who has. We all know students aren’t always the perfect neighbours but on the whole most of us are good, and we provide a huge benefit to the local economy. The local Conservative run council wants to bring in restrictions that would make it harder to create more student accommodation. If that happened, availability of student housing would fall, playing into the hands of landlords and allowing them to charge even more.
empty homes back into use, create jobs and apprenticeships in the building industry. It is unsustainable for students to spend so much of their income on rent. Students are suffering as a result of the Tory’s growing Housing Crisis. With rising transport and energy bills contributing to the cost of living crisis, our disposable incomes are being eroded further causing many students to have to work far more than the recommended maximum 15 hours a week in order to live.
Labour has committed to tackling the housing crisis here in Hillingdon and across the whole of London. Locally, Labour has pledged that they will: Build more genuinely affordable homes for London’s growing population, tackle rogue landlords and rip-off letting agencies, bring
The Mayor and the Government need to take action now and build more homes. After a failure on tuition fees, student visas and the planned sell off of student loans; we cannot afford a Government failure on housing, hitting us in the pocket not just now but for the rest of our lives.
HELP FOR HEROES: WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT Simran Gill What is the charity about? Help for Heroes is a UK based military charity which helps support wounded servicemen and women and their families. When was it founded? The charity was founded in 2007 by Bryn and Emma Parry. After a visit to Selly Oak Hospital in 2007, they were moved to ‘do their bit’ for the Armed Forces.
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS
Who do they help? Help for Heroes supports veterans and our current servicemen and women who have been wounded, injured, or become sick as a result of serving their country. They also offer additional support to their families and dependents in order to help them adapt to any new challenges they face. They provide full support to servicemen and women and veterans from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal
Air Force. What do they do to help? As well as offering individual support, Help for Heroes runs five Recovery Centres across the UK; Tedworth House in Wiltshire, Phoenix House in North Yorkshire, Chavasse VC House in Essex, Plymouth Naval Service Centre in Devon and the Mark Wright GC House in Edinburgh. In addition, the charity has also opened The Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex at Headley Court. “The Recovery Centres are there to inspire, enable and support our wounded, injured and sick, and their families, for the rest of their lives.” (Help for Heroes website). Help for Heroes is also the founder partner for the Battle Back programme. This is where Adaptive Adventure Training and Sports Rehabilitation are used to help seriously wounded Service personnel gain independence and confidence in not only themselves but also in what they can achieve. Moreover, Help for Heroes has the
Fisher House facility to provide support for the families of service personnel recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. “The project is a proud partnership between Help for Heroes, the Fisher House Foundation and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity. This is the first time in history that military charities from the US and UK have worked in partnership with each other.” (Help for Heroes website). How can we help? The public can help support the charity by fundraising and volunteering in the various charity events to be held throughout the year. For more information please visit the Help for Heroes website, www. helpforheroes.org.uk and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. You can also watch inspirational videos on their YouTube homepage. Let’s give back to those that have given everything.
THE DECLINE OF EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE FAMILY James Alder The Simpsons are no doubt the most famous family on TV and in fact the world. With the show recently being renewed for a 26th season, they are definitely the longest-running TV family as well. But there has been a lot of criticism towards the quality of the show recently, particularly towards how it has diminished over the years. Having a childhood that revolved around the show, it pains me to say that I agree with this for many different reasons. The first issue is down to how long the show has been around. The writers have milked every single story idea they can; they have completely run out of ideas. You name it, The Simpsons have done it. Older episodes had plotlines that were intelligent, took a comedic take on serious life issues and nearly always had a heart-wrenching moment towards the end. An example would be the episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish, where Homer finds he only has 24 hours to live after eating a poisonous fish. He then sets out to complete his ‘bucket list’ which is where the episode has its funny moments, but the ending where he says his final goodbyes to his family and listens to Larry King read the Bible whilst watching the sunset is in my opinion one of the most emotional scenes in a cartoon. But now the episodes are rushed and seem to try to fit in as many jokes as possible without any emotional stance. This is something other popular shows such as American Dad and Family Guy can do successfully as the gags are so outrageous and cross so many lines that it overshadows the need
for actual emotions, but due to The Simpsons’ age demographic this is something they cannot do. Generally, there are two types of cartoons. Those aimed at children and those aimed at adults, such as the Seth MacFarlane shows. The Simpsons is probably one of the only cartoons that is smack-bang in the middle, and this is one of their downfalls. It is rare to find a show that can entertain a wide-range of ages. The Simpsons used to be one of these rarities, the best example being The Simpsons Movie (which in my opinion, was their peak) where they had enough colour and action to keep younger children entertained but with enough innuendos and subtle jokes to keep the adult’s attention. But now the line has been blurred and episodes are not smart enough for adults, yet the jokes are too mature for children to understand. Older episodes, especially those focused towards the younger characters, had moral lessons which were aimed at the younger audience, but now through age it has lost this and just tries to get the general cheap laugh. So why is it that the show has lasted so long? How come there is a theory that if you haven’t voiced a character on The Simpsons then you’re not famous? It’s because it is such a big franchise. The Simpsons have licenced everything you can think of. Just by looking in my loft I would find biscuit tins, figurines, comic books, toothbrushes, playing cards, board games, video games, clothes, slippers, dressing gowns, bottle openers and magnets all with The Simpsons on them. Even the signature beer Duff has been brewed in some countries. Whereas creator Matt Groening’s other show Futurama stayed alive through becoming a cult TV show, The Simpsons has survived because
of the money it brings in - no doubt the heads of FOX network don’t care about the quality of the episodes anymore, but instead think about what new pair of Simpsons lingerie they can bring out. The Simpsons Movie grossed over $527 million, and with Lego now on the bandwagon, bringing out sets later this year based on the show, there just seems to be no end. On top of all this, the show is aired at times when there is nothing else on. If I’m bored and The Simpsons is on I tune in. I don’t necessarily enjoy the experience but it’s something to do. As a previously avid fan of the show, it’s surprising and saddening that I, like so many others, have fallen into the mind-set that The Simpsons is a last resort for TV viewing. I think the problem is that the show has become a parody of itself. Whereas early episodes would have strong character-based storylines it has slowly warped into a show that is focused on celebrity cameos, pop culture references and a cram-itall-in attitude towards punch- lines. Whereas the show first started out by proving that cartoon characters don’t have to be caricatures of real life, creating a massive cartoon cast who we all fell in love with, it has now turned these same characters into caricatures of themselves, each with their own catchphrases and traits which have been milked into exhaustion. Perhaps I’m being too critical. For a programme to last as long as The Simpsons has there has to be some quality and attraction, and the show and its characters have topped many lists and won numerous awards. I just think it’s had its time and it should quit while it’s ahead. Perhaps with a feature-length send-off episode, before the whole thing just becomes one massive D’oh moment.
SOCIAL MEDIA - ARE WE ADDICTED? Katie Williams On 4th February 2014, Facebook turned 10 years old. It’s hard to believe that the famous social networking site has reached its double digits, and it sparked a question for me. I couldn’t help but wonder how these kind of sites have changed our generation, and those to come. In the years leading up to my teens, my best form of entertainment was
staying at a friend’s, sport at school around 20% of Twitter users in the or even video games. But nowadays whole world are from the UK, so can it seems all that has changed with we question if social networking sites the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, are ruining our lives? A survey run by Vine, and everything similar. The age The Telegraph showed that children in our of children owning s m a r t p h o n e s “Around 33.3 million people are g e n e r a t i o n seems to be getting using Facebook in this country, would prefer to explore ever lower and world it’s growing to be and around 20% of Twitter users the our main form of in the whole world are from the v i r t u a l l y communication. UK, so can we question if social rather than actually Now around 33.3 networks are runing our lives?” travel. So after million people are using Facebook in this country, and some research I found five shocking
facts about social networking which may make people rethink how they choose to spend their free time… 1) 25% of Smartphone users cannot recall when their mobile was not next to them. 2) In the UK, the average amount of time spent on Facebook each hour is 13 minutes. That works out to be around 5 hours twenty minutes every day. 3) Over 5 million Facebook users are under the age of 10. This is a shocking fact, and even more scary to think that children so young can get access to the service so easily.
4) Our attention span has dropped 40% since 2000, largely to do with the internet and social media 5) Morethan 30,000,000,000 pieces of social media content (messages, links, news, blog posts, notes, and photos) are being shared each month. These are a drop in an ocean of shocking and disturbing statistics about social media which could be the proof that we need to change how active we are online before it becomes our only way of communication.
WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS: ONE
LIFE’S THE LIMIT Marie T. Hanna
Lena Mistry I took your car to the river I left you behind with her, while the sun was drooping I crushed my knees to my chest I had finally left you behind but my heart was frozen in place. I slept beside the river with a smile on my face tomorrow you will find me tomorrow maybe if tomorrow even comes, I can already feel your long fingers tapping to the beat of my heart upon my open lips, tomorrow if tomorrow even comes you will say nothing but hold me as I slip beneath the river sinking away from you.
WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS: TWO It was like this One minute I was flying Then I was flying through something I did not understand My bones shivered I choked I looked up into your eyes all it was was just a shake of your head with your hair swaying over your shoulders your hair which I played with every time I kissed you or while I nuzzled my face in the curve of your neck, but then I leaned forwards and clenched those swinging strands and pulled you to me, I let you breathe the pain that was stabbing into me I was crying Cheater Cheater How could you do this to me? I was no longer flying but I floated and was swept away from you my heart ballooned I looked down from my seat on the sun at you and him just mud spots on the earth. I am sitting here, watching.
I’m dying. There’s not much time left. My speech has gone and I’m lying in a bed at the hospice. I’m edging closer with every breath I take. It’s close to eight o’clock and in a few hours all that will remain of me will be a wooden trunk of memories. My name is Andy Woods and I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last September. Oli was six months old when I experienced the first symptom. I was carrying him and we were at the zoo, pointing at the large gorilla and her baby eating a banana. It was within seconds that my right foot began slapping against the ground, and I had to hand him over to Evie. At first, it felt strange and thought maybe it was my shoes, but gradually I came to realise that it was happening with all my footwear, and more often. Within a month, my feet, ankles and knees lost any capability of movement and I was no longer able to walk, but instead became bound to a wheelchair. Within the next year, the muscles in my arms gave way, soon after, my shoulders and then my neck. I became incapable of cuddling my own wife or playing with my son. The worst part of all of this was when Evie put Oli in my lap while sitting in my usual armchair. I could feel his little chubby fingers tracing over my hand that Evie had placed around him, but I couldn’t reciprocate that same action back. I’ll try and describe what it felt like. It feels like that numb feeling you get after sleeping on your arms for hours, and having an itch on your body but being unable to scratch it. This is what MND does to your muscles, it weakens them whilst your senses are still alive and kicking. But I was grateful for being alive, for being able to spend one more day with my loved ones around me. It didn’t take much time to realise that before long I would be gone, and so, I decided to
build a montage. It was when it became difficult to breathe for myself that I realised I had to preserve some part of my character for my son, for when he was old enough to discover what his father used to be like in the good old days. As I was physically constricted and held down by the machine that breathed life into me, Evie was sent to search the attic for the old leather trunk that I bought when diagnosed. I supervised her whilst she placed pieces of my life into the trunk that would later form my identity; there was Ted, who was passed down from my father for my first birthday present. Evie had always questioned why I called him that when he was obviously a dog with four legs. Next to go in was the last of the aftershave that I had used for over ten years, the one that snapped up Evie’s attention when we had first made love, but there was only an eighth of it left as it had been discontinued. Then there was my dark brown leather jacket bought from the black market in Mexico when we went travelling and always worn when we were invited to parties. The next item was the most embarrassing. It was a CD of the song I had been singing in the pub on the night Evie walked in. I was too busy mocking one of the boys for being too much of a wimp to ask the girl that he’d been moaning about for months out. I accidentally knocked her drink at the bar whilst imitating Chris’ hilarious panic when he saw the girl he constantly daydreamed about. Instead, I became the laughing stock when rendered speechless for the first time in my life after turning around to apologise. It had taken a few minutes for me to get myself together before offering to buy her another drink, and we just hit it off from there. Besides the recording of that song, my wedding suit and tie were the next to be put in as I could never have the heart to leave them behind. They are a reminder of the biggest and best commitment I ever made in my life.
Amongst the variety of other objects that we added as the days went on, there were three items that meant the most. The first was an old photo album, with all of the photos I gathered in my life time: Our university times, that embarrassing photo of me in my Mohawk and spots during my pudgy adolescent days, our honeymoon pictures when we used to just lounge about under the Jamaican sun drinking cocktails, Evie holding Oli as a baby, and me with my overly tight neon Lycra in those fitness fanatic days. There were also ones of me as a baby, a toddler, a husband and a father, and with my family. The second were a bunch of letters I’d written to Oli before I lost the use of my hands, explaining to Oli the chunks of my life and memorable moments with him. Some were to guide him through difficult times, others recommending films he should watch, or books to read, or even what to do when he has girl issues. One even warned him to make sure he would be safe when it came to a girl that he falls in love with, and another congratulating him when he gets married and reminding him that I’m still here for him. When I lost the use of my hands, and was no longer able to write, Evie took up the job, I would talk and she would write word for word. Evie and I had a spoken agreement with the hospice that when I would lose my speech, it would be then that I would no longer want the machine to breathe for me, but we always pushed that thought to the back of our minds and carried on. Things gradually became difficult as the days went by. I could no longer swallow anything without choking, besides the few teaspoons of custard or mashed potato drowned in gravy. The world around me moved on but I was stuck, unable to follow it. Oli was growing. His mass of floppy caramel hair falling over his large chocolate brown eyes as he often wriggled from his mother’s arms and made his way to my feet, trying to crawl up them too. I often watched his chubby, exposed legs
FOR GRANDMA FINE Joseph Corforth Months ago I never thought I would be Telling this poem and attending your funeral And meeting the rabbi at the synagogue And saying your prayers to send you to Heaven You were always full of life and joy Gave me spirit, inspiration and happiness You always told me your late husband was a great man And you gave his first name as my middle name You said that I looked like him Even when I painted a bad painting You still hung it up, framed, on your wall You always supported me no matter
what I wanted to do You always had my happiness in your best interests I used to love Fridays when you picked me up from school And buy me comics from the goody shop and then made me dinner I may have never openly told you that I loved you But I’ve said it with the tears I cried by your hospital bedside Whether I asked for it or not, you always spoiled me Ensuring that I would be happy and that I would get by You taught me to keep faith when things looked tough And gave me a new way of seeing through my eyes On a holiday in Poland, you said to look at those around And look at their similarities rather than their differences You once spoke to my brother in a
dream and said I am ready. This is my time I am sorry that you cannot read this poem I am sorry I could never achieve something truly great I am sorry I could never bring round a nice girl like you wanted I am sorry you could not be at my graduation I am sorry that I wasn’t man enough to stay in your ward The thought of losing you is too hard to handle I remember when I used to be reluctant to kiss you But just this once, I’ve decided to kiss you on the cheek There will be many challenges I will have to face in life But none will be greater than saying goodbye To you for the very last time
dangled happily from his seat as Evie tried to feed him, but he gave her grief, just like I did. Their loud laughs and giggles often echoed when Evie and Oli played with each other in the next room. I felt the darkness as winter began to push autumn out of the way, their leaves gradually being buried under a blanket of snow. On Christmas Day I smelt that wonderful turkey, wondering if this would be the last time. It was on that day that I asked my wife to put in some of the presents that Oli would need later on in life. A camera to take pictures of some of the stilted memorable moments of his life that he could later look at when he was older, a Christmas jumper to remember me by, and a photo album that I commanded he’d fill his life with, reassured that Oliver would live his life to the best of his ability without me. It was on Boxing Day that we wrote my last letter. There was one more thing to say to Oli and I knew it would be the last time I would see that old leather trunk, my life packed into it. Halfway through that letter my voice became croaky and moments later I was no longer able to speak. I felt exhausted and knew that my time was coming fairly soon. I felt the inevitable coming closer that I was prepared for, and days went by as usual, my health deteriorating with each moment that passed by, but spurred in the hope of a new year. It is now eleven forty-five on the thirty-first of December. My heart is giving way. I’m struggling for the last time in my difficult, fun, bitter-sweet thirty years. I don’t want to walk away, but I have to. Life is full of choices but this is one I cannot make. The last thing I see is Evie and her tears. Her face twists in pain and recognition as my eyelids become heavy. I hear her recalling the last sentence I said to her before I lost my voice. I have to leave you now. It’s my time. Do not cry or be angry. Dry those tears and smile, because I have lived my life and now it is time for you to live yours.
OUR FINEST WORKS Arthe Kandeepan I am a pure and pristine canvas, awaiting to be caressed and lovingly developed. I know no difference between the kaleidoscope of colours. I drip tears of Azure, Maroon, Lilac and Amber, not knowing what to make of it all. These hues are wiped and blended into my skin, They say these tears will make me… You impress me with expectations, I am the innocent product of another’s emotions. I stare out whilst the world looks in, cooing, oohing and aahing. I never asked to be created and until my time comes, I lie under your loving admiration. You extend a stroke, stand back And cry, “oh perfection!”
PHOTO CREDIT: BAFTA/ MARK HOBERMAN
BAFTAS 2014 Kieran Persaud Sunday the 16th of February was a special day, it was warm, the tubes were (mostly) working and The Royal Opera house in Covent Garden played host to an army of celebrities and journalists from the UK and America alike. It was, of course, BAFTA night, which meant that Hollywood’s finest and some people from the BBC got together to hear what the British Academy of Film and TV thought about this year’s biggest films. Mostly, the Academy thought that Gravity was great and the main
guy from 12 Years A Slave (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was really very good.
Gravity dominated the night winning 6 BAFTAS (Best British Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Visual effects, Best original music and Best sound) with no other film coming even close to that. Thankfully though we didn’t have to watch the “British Academy of really talking up Alphonso Curaón show” since Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave took both Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor’s chillingly powerful performance as Solomon Northrup, the free man who is abducted and enslaved (for 12 Years, who would guess), and Best Picture.
It’s odd to see two different films winning best director and best picture but this year it’s easy to see why; It took an awful lot of hard work and brilliant directing to make Gravity into the reasonably entertaining film it is today, what with a 4 year wait for technology to catch up with the script and the 12 minute single shot sequences that are described as more like a dance than a film but 12 Years A Slave’s raw brilliance and heart wrenching truthfulness make it, for me, a much better film. Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine whilst Jennifer Lawrence won best supporting actress. Jen was too busy out shooting to attend the ceremony but Ms Blanchett’s beautiful
tribute to the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman was both touching and a really cleverway of not thanking director Woody Allen, who is currently caught up in a child abuse scandal
awards went to American Hustle (original) and heartwarming British tale Philomena (adapted) whilst Disney’s Frozen won Best Animated Film.
Best supporting actor this year went to deserving newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who played pirate captain Muse opposite Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, the real life story of Richard Phillips, a cargo ship captain who was kidnapped by Somali pirates in 2009. Abdi’s win put him past Hollywood heavyweights Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon and Michael Fassbendertruly a shocking win which had Hanks tearing up at seeing his co-star accepting Captain Phillips’ only award on the night. The best screenplay
Of course though, the true winner of any BAFTAS ceremony was Stephen Fry - whose witty, light hearted and seemingly effortless hosting had even the most stonefaced celebs cracking up. With the BAFTAS out of the way the film world’s eyes are now firmly fixated on the looming Oscars, coming on the 2nd of March and marking the end of awards season so we can get back to explosions and Transformers films as we build up to this year’s summer hits.
TV: BROOKLYN NINE NINE FILM: FROZEN Antony Smith If you are a fan of 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation check out what’s going down at the 99th precinct... Regular cast member of Saturday Night Live and a third of the Lonely Island comedy hip hop trio, Andy Samberg stars as farcically rebellious Detective Jake Peralta in this irreverent take on the cop show genre. Already winning Golden Globes for ‘Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy’ and ‘Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy’ for Samberg, the show has been extended for a 22 episode season. USA Today also underscored further celebrations by securing the coveted post-Super Bowl timing slot helping to boost viewing figures. Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the quirky ensemble of misfits working for the New York City Police Department in - you guessed it - the borough of Brooklyn. The series begins with the precinct being appointed a new commanding officer Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher, notably starting his acting career playing the recurring role of a detective in TV movies of Kojak). The clashes between Holt and Peralta concerning appropriate behaviour of law and order in the workplace offer amusing contrasts. Despite Peralta’s
pranks and childish propensity to create havoc at the police station, he proves to be very astute and quick witted and not only with his puns. This may also be due to his romanticized concept of being a detective from the shows the programme parodies, together with delusions of grandeur by liking himself to a fictional hero befitting that of a Die Hard or Lethal Weapon calibre. The supporting cast complement each other well, each having a distinct character. Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) is a strong, street-smart detective, feared for her bluntness and occasional eruptions of anger; and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) is serious and tightly wound, eager to succeed and please the new Captain and reject Peralta’s sexual advances (including an on-going bet involving each other’s annual arrest record). Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) an underdog, self-proclaimed food connoisseur, is teased for his clumsiness and infatuation with Diaz; and Detective Sergeant Terrence Jeffords (Terry Crews) is an overanxious, bodybuilder, previously nicknamed the ‘Ebony Falcon’ before being remanded to desk duty following a nervous breakdown in the field once becoming a father of two (aptly named Cagney and Lacey). The station’s Administrator Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) rounds up the team as an autonomous, pathologically sarcastic and conceited,
yet tolerated Oracle of the office. Each approximately 22 minute long episode is quick and punchy with the sketch show humour and is shot in a similar style to Parks and Recreation, both created by Daniel J. Goor. However, there is a pleasant balance to the whimsical caricatures with touching moments, Diaz’s tough demeanour intermittently softening towards Santiago when they are partnered and with Boyle after he inadvertently saves her life, and the bourgeoning father-son relationship between Peralta and the Captain (who is openly gay as well as being indecipherably stoic to his inquisitive squad). Overall, I give the show 5 out of 5 stars. It doesn’t quite rival Parks and Recreation in terms of sitcom success at this moment in time and it will take a lot to overpower the awesomeness of Leslie Knope. Best part? Several laughs emerged from Peralta’s swagger being undermined by Holt’s matter-of-factness:
Christina Wares Brilliant, humorous and heart-warming! Frozen, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, is Disney’s new winter warmer, jam-packed with songs, romance and cheers alongside adorable friendly snowmen, reindeer and some curious moving rocks! (I won’t spoil what these really are). Based on Christian Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’, Frozen follows the lives of Elsa, gifted with magical powers of ice, coldness and all things winter, and Elsa’s sister Anna, a normal wholesome young lady who aspires to a more understated lifestyle. The film follows Anna’s quest with the handsome Kristoff to find her sister and stop an eternal winter, both ensuing Elsa’s coronation and her parent’s deaths. Idina Menzel, well known for her appearance in
‘Wicked The Musical’, voices Elsa, with parallels easily being drawn between her character here, and her role as the wicked witch. However, unlike the witch, Elsa is just scared and misunderstood. Anna, voiced by Gossip Girl’s Kristen Bell, is Elsa’s antithesis, symbolically with white hair as opposed to her sister’s being grey-streaked and brown. Most interestingly, Disney almost selfmocks its own storylines, whilst princesses fall in love and marry within a day, Anna’s fast paced wish to marry the suspiciously misleading Prince Hans is delayed by Elsa’s refusal of blessing. Overall, Frozen is a film full of great plot twists and romance amongst a feel good vibe, charming you into its magic and fun loving characters. Still in cinemas and with its DVD release due for March, it’s an ideal watch for taking your mind away from the cruel winter.
Peralta: “It’s like in chess. Sometimes to win you have to sacrifice your king.” Holt: That’s exactly how you lose. Peralta: You always underestimate me. Holt: No, I estimate you correctly. I really think you need to learn to play chess. .
PHOTO CREDIT: 2014 DISNEY
TV: AMERICAN HORROR STORY FILM: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Antony Smith “Don’t make me drop a house on you...” The third instalment of the phenomenal horror anthology series borne from the twisted and sardonic minds of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (of Glee and Nip/Tuck fame) has come to an end. But how does it compare to its predecessors Murder House and Asylum? First, let’s sum up Coven before it is dissected like a frog... The wondrously wicked Jessica Lange stars as Fiona Goode; the Supreme witch of the surviving coven. She returns with a host of familiar American Horror Story cast members in brand new roles: Sarah Paulson, Taissa Farmiga, Lily Rabe, Jamie Brewer, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare and Evan Peters. As well as newcomers: Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. Not to mention a recurring cameo (complete with the vocal stylings) of former Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks. This time around the show is set in New Orleans at Miss Robichaux’s Academy run by Fiona’s estranged daughter Cordelia Foxx (Paulson). The Academy is a boarding school for girls dedicated to those who possess magical powers and
bewitching skills passed down through their mystical lineage. However, the remaining descendants of the original Salem sorcerers consist of very few: Zoe Benson (Farmiga), Madison Montgomery (Roberts), Nan (Brewer), Queenie (Sidibe), and refugee necromancer Misty Day (Rabe), each exhibiting various abilities they are trained to hone and enhance. When Fiona arrives with her own cutthroat agenda to retain her rule from being bestowed upon the next in line for the supremacy, she does more than cast a few malicious spells against those within the coven. Fiona’s desire for eternal youth and a cure for her terminal cancer draw her into dangerous negotiations with the coven’s Voodoo adversary Marie Laveau (Bassett), creating tensions as she harbours an immortally cursed enemy of the Voodoo tribe Delphine LaLaurie (Bates) in a hope to get what she wants. With further threats from a clan of witch hunters, the coven must fight for their survival and discover the identity of the new Supreme to ensure they do not die out once and for all. I thoroughly enjoyed the original format and style of each season of FX’s American Horror Story. Jessica Lange’s unfalteringly outstanding performances each time are the highlight of the series, including how magnificent she looks at aged 64, soon
to be 65! The intricate backstories of the key characters and flashbacks to the past give the show a strong foundation to keep the audience enamoured. The production value is also distinctly high and the grotesque scenes (namely the repeated eye mutilation) even shock someone as desensitised as myself. As a cinephile (in particular horror) I appreciated the range of classic and modern horror film scores being reused in the American Horror Story soundtracks, such as: Insidious, Dracula, Psycho, What Lies Beneath and Carrie. However, Coven didn’t include this and I felt like it was missing a lot of the dark humour and wit, especially the absurdly comical political incorrectness, from the previous seasons that Lange’s characters often brazenly spouted. Evan Peters’ and Kathy Bates’ characters ended up being rather pointless after seeming to be quite promising earlier on. The final few episodes felt as if they were rushed, especially the ‘Seven Wonders’ test. Whereas, in Asylum, the story was conveyed as a well-paced and nicely climaxed saga. I still watched Coven with a great deal of passion and I am eager for more to come as, according to International Business Times, the next season is rumoured to be set during the 1950s ‘Red Scare’... in a circus. I, for one, cannot wait to see this!
Kieran Persaud You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hates the incredible acting talent of serial hit machine Tom Hanks. From Forrest Gump to Philadephia, the man oozes success (not forgetting the cinematic flop that was Angels and Demons of course). It seems as though that Mr. Hanks and Bourne series director Paul Greengrass are onto another hit with Captain Phillips, the story of a Somali pirate attack on a cargo ship based - loosely- on the true story of Richard Phillips, the captain of the first US ship to be commandeered in 200 years back in 2009. As a film Captain Phillips is truly gripping, the tension runs so high I’m fairly certain that it made it out to space at one point. Greengrass has a real talent for making you feel like you are amidst the action in this film. With much of the plot taking place in a small life boat, he really puts across the feeling of claustrophobia and frustration that every character is feeling. One of the real strengths of Captain Phillips is its ability to showcase the moral ambiguity that is rife in the real world situation of Somali Pirates. Instead of painting the Somalis as evil murderers and plunderers, they are brilliantly portrayed as scared, angry and out of their depth, and are forced
into piracy by unnamed ‘bosses’. This incredible portrayal of the Somalis as men to be pitied as well as feared is no doubt due to the incredible work of Barkhad Abdi (in the running for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar) who plays Muse, the head of the band of pirates that attacks Captain Phillips’ ship. It’s hard to express just how incredible this first timer’s depiction of Muse is, though that isn’t to say that his pirate crew wasn’t also brilliant in their own way. Though Tom Hank’s interpretation of the real Captain Phillips is (according to his former crew) nothing like the captain of the real ship, who was described as ‘arrogant,’ the character he plays is a truly noble man who you can’t help but fall in love with. Although you’ve already read this review and it’s too late for you, take a friend who doesn’t know that it’s a real story and watch them squirm in their seats as the Captain and his crew narrowly escape death at every turn. Tom Hanks displays some outstanding acting talent towards the end of this film that reminds you just why he is such a celebrated and loved star, a performance well worth seeing and truly deserving of the Oscar he has been nominated for this year. If you only do one thing this month, make it watching Captain Phillips, you won’t want to miss it. ‘
FILM: 12 YEARS A SLAVE Verity Agababian This year’s biggest historical drama film 12 Years a Slave has broken records all around the world, Rolling Stone has called it ‘a blistering, brilliant, straight-up classic.’ Directed by Steve McQueen and written by John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave explores the real life of Soloman Northup, a free born African-American man sold to slavery. Soloman Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the film, was kidnapped by slave-traders in 1841, and this film follows his heartbreaking battle for the freedom he once knew. Northup worked as a skilled carpenter and violinist in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he lived with his wife, Anne Northup (Kelsey Scott), and his two children. After he is approached by two American men (Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam), Northup is offered a two-week job as a violinist, which interests him greatly. The two men drug Northup and he wakes up, kidnapped and smothered in metal chains, ready to be sold into slavery.
COPYRIGHT SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT
ARTS@ARTAUD Rowan Frewin Arts@Artaud is always an excellent showcase of the artistic talent at Brunel, and the penultimate show of this academic year was no exception to this. This month’s show presented its audience with a great array of talent, from film trailers to book readings, and was a fantastically fun night. The evening was opened and closed by Mars Bras, the five piece band who won this year’s Brunel Battle of the Bands. On their Facebook page the group describe themselves as a ‘Marvellous musical mash-up of funk, ska and rock.’ The audience certainly loved them, as they closed the evening with wonderful energy which left the crowd dancing and singing along. In between Mars Bras’ performances we saw a wonderful range of acts including poetry by Matthius, which was touchingly personal and confessional, and Sophie Gavdin, who used some very clever rhyming to explore political issues. As well as this we have a reading from Carolyn Chun’s new novel Nobody Will Bury Us If We Die Here, which is available on Amazon, and the film trailer to the adaptation of Matt
Thorne’s novel 8 Minutes Idle, which is in cinemas now. For me, the highlights of the evening were Brunel Salsa Society, Gellanna and Martin. Brunel Salsa was an energy-filled act which saw multiple dancers of all levels doing a four minute improvisation – it was evident that everyone dancing loved it, especially the head of the Society, Ben, who brought buckets of energy and entertainment to the stage. In contrast, Gellana and Martin gave a perfectly haunting performance with their semiimprovisational combination of piano and poetry. Gellana’s powerful use of spoken-word commanded the absolute attention of the audience, and certainly left me hanging on her every syllable. The whole evening had a fun and relaxed atmosphere, the interval providing cheap drinks, music and a chance for the audience to say what they thought on the comment board. The presentation of acts by Celia Linnett throughout the evening provided a thoroughly entertaining segue between them. As a whole, Arts@Artaud is a brilliant way for students to present their talents. The final Arts@Artaud of this year will be on Wednesday the 5th of March, so if you are interested in arts, performance and cheap alcohol you should definitely come along.
He is then shipped to New Orleans where he adopts the name “Platt”, and begins working as a slave. Northup comes across several callous men on his journey, including the cold-hearted slave trader Theophilus Freeman (Paul
Giamatti), and works for William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), and then the nefarious Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Northup comes across a woman named Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) who is a fellow slave working for Edwin Epps. Epps beats his slaves by lashing them and forces them to work in terrible conditions. He also sexually abuses Patsey. In one scene, described by many as the most brutal scene in the film, Epps ties Patsey to a tree and forces Northup to lash her ‘until meat and blood flow equally,’ all because of Patsey’s attractive features and the burning jealousy of Epps’ wife, Mary (Sarah Paulson). Other actors featured in this film include Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye and Garrett Dillahunt. 12 Years a Slave is currently nominated for 9 Oscars. The film won the Golden Globe for ‘Best Motion Picture’ and, in total, has won 109 awards. As of February 10, 2014, this must-see film earned itself a worldwide gross of $108,621,576 at the box office. The film has received mostly positive reviews, with a 5 star rating from The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Evening Standard, to name a few. The New York Post accurately described this classic film as ‘unforgettable.’
COMEDY CENTRAL COMES TO BRUNEL Antony Smith Tuesday the 21st of January (shortly after 7pm GMT) marked the arrival of Off The Kerb Comedy’s Comedy Central evening of sidesplitting entertainment. I am not one that often enjoys going to the Academy due to the anticlimactic feeling I always end up experiencing, forcing myself to soak up the misspent alcohol with an 18 inch mass of New Moon Pizza on the way home. However, since returning to Brunel after the festive season, the New Year has brought about a couple of fun themed events that don’t involve dancing like an obnoxious imbecile as a bizarre mating ritual: the competitively addictive ‘Gamma’ Beer Pong (not to be confused with the controversial NekNomination madness sweeping throughout Halls) and stand-up comedy performances in our own version of Live at the Apollo. The starring acts included Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan, an improv comedy troupe The Noise Next Door and “Devon’s answer to Frank Sinatra” (as proclaimed on his CV) Charlie Barker, also acting as the host. Initially, the reception to Charlie Barker’s warm-up banter to engage
with the audience got off to a rocky start. There was an awkward atmosphere from indifferent Brunelians who, despite flocking to the venue in hordes, did not appear to be familiar with repartee or personality (much like the staff behind the bar at the Academy and Loco’s).
prudish, but her overuse of strong language and frank punch-lines seemed to be the basis of the humour. Unfortunately, her delivery was not that funny. However, she was a hit; generating a hysterical reaction from practically everyone else around me. Different strokes for different folks.
Thankfully, the crowd loosened up and the ability to laugh at oneself replaced the aggressively defensive retorts to appreciate the colourful Barker wit. This also helped in forming an understandably mutual aversion to the guy in the front row being loud, interrupting, playing dumb and thinking he was a comedian himself. Sadly, there is always one. And the professionally talented jesters handled him well, especially the charming Katherine Ryan. A schadenfreude bonus for the evening.
The show stealer of the night came from the remarkably unique and creative quintuple ‘The Noise Next Door’. Their inventive deployment of improvised songs, skits and audience interaction had the whole room cocka-hoop. The boys’ animated and energetic execution of an alternative approach to comedy was a refreshing marvel to behold. I recommend you find out where they are playing in the near future from their website: ‘thenoisenextdoor.co.uk’.
I was lucky enough to have seen Ryan perform at the Hammersmith Apollo a few months prior so I knew what to expect. Her material ranges from current events and anecdotes about her ex-husband and child that are told in a sweet, inoffensive accent to unexpected, well timed profanities for added shock value. Her impression of Beyoncé shaking her booty while queuing in the Post Office is a hilarious signature part of her routine. There was another unadvertised act by an up-and-coming comedienne, Sarah Callaghan. Not to sound
So, help make Comedy Central a popular occasion to frequent during term time. And it makes perfect sense as Brunel is home to the international Centre for Comedy Studies Research (CCSR). Comedy Central is scheduled to take place on the last Tuesday of every month. The next event is on Tuesday 25th February. Same time (7pm-midnight), same place (the Academy). Tickets are just £5 and can be purchased in advance via ‘brunelstudents.com’. Sound good? YES! But be prepared to laugh as if it were NOS... Ba-doom-tss
THEATRE: MOJO Lara Waterfield Those of you who were lucky enough to see Jez Butterworth’s critically acclaimed play Mojo, in the heart of the West End, will know that it returned to the stage with gusto. It was first performed in 1995 at the Royal Court Theatre to rave reviews and five major awards, an especially remarkable achievement for Butterworth’s debut play. He followed this debut with further successes including his most loved play, Jerusalem (2009). Mojo, with its stunning cast of well-known and superbly talented actors (Brendan Coyle, Rupert Grint, Tom Rhys Harris, Daniel Mays, Colin Morgan and Ben Whishaw) opened with high expectations and didn’t disappoint. A dark comedy centred on a seedy night club in 1950s Soho. It depicts the harsh reality of young people becoming trapped in a gang culture but with comic twists. The heart of the play surrounds five workers in the club and their dilemma after the violent death of their boss, Ezra, by a local gangster and businessman. Under lockdown and waiting for a possible attack, their thoughts turn to who should take
authority. A power struggle emerges between Ezra’s psychotic son, Baby; Micky, Ezra’s right hand man; and hot shot wannabe Skinny. The audience has the uncomfortable task as the action unfolds to distinguish between comedy and poignancy, especially in the final scene. The all-male script is a brave and controversial choice by Butterworth but successes in providing an insight into male relationships without the added interference of female romantic sub-plots. All the actors are outstanding, delivering the intense performance required for this dramatic play. The two most notable performances are from Daniel Mays and Rupert Grint, with their comic double act, as Sydney Potts and Sweets. Their comic timing and interplay lightens the mood throughout and provides some of the funniest and most memorable moments. Deservedly, Grint has been nominated as best newcomer in the ‘What’s on Stage Awards 2014’. The award nominations speak for themselves and Mojo is one that’s not to be missed. PHOTO CREDIT: LARA WATERFIELD
THEATRE: SHAMLET THEATRE: THE DROWNED MAN Rowan Frewin This February Brunel Drama society had its audience in stitches with its witty modernisation of one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays, Hamlet. The play, named Shamlet, followed the story of the angsty hipster Hamlet who, in between playing Candy Crush and writing poetry, tries to win the affections of the sarcastic Ophelia and avenge his father’s death – mainly to stop his father’s Ghost moaning. Drama Soc did an excellent job on all fronts with this production combining a minimalist set, clever lighting, a hilarious script and excellent acting in order to bring a well-crafted and comical performance. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the spectacular elevator music between scenes. It was perfection. Callum Fuller made a brilliant Hamlet, shifting faultlessly between pretentious narcissism to petulant sulking, to crawling across the stage in a Gollum-esque manner. Alongside Hamlet was an array of excellently modernised characters, of who my personal favourites were Hamlet’s Uncle, King Claudius (Sam Gibbons), a seamless combination of Lord Flashheart and the IT crowd’s Douglas Renholm; and Horatio (Vivienne Burgess), brought to the modern day as Hamlet’s bored therapist, who was simply excellent. Central to the brilliance of the playwas the wonderfully witty script, used
to carefully construct a series of wonderfully clever scenes. The scene in particular which has the audience failing to contain their laughter was the bedroom scene, so often used in literary criticism as an example of Freud’s Oedipus complex. This adaptation put a wonderful spin on this, placing a Sigmund Freud (Kieran Persaud) to the side, providing psychoanalysis to the audience as a giggling Gertrude (Becky Collins) swigged wine and revealed to Hamlet her new ‘Freudian slip’ while a mumbling Polonius (Joseph Cornforth) hid behind a painted bush. Another absolute gem of a scene was Hamlet’s famous ‘Play within a play’ which here is shown as Hamlet’s ‘Masterpiece’, where we saw Hamlet playing all the main roles. Surrounded by a cast of shrubbery, in a play about himself – Callum did an exquisite job of acting at acting badly. Another wonderful inclusion in the script was continuous nerdy references, with recurring nods to Star Wars, along with mentions of the Lion King, Game of Thrones, Skyrim and Pokémon - there was a particular glee to be found in noticing the references, and they always got the audience laughing. Overall, this play was great fun, and demonstrated the talent to be found within Brunel Drama Society, not only of the actors but of all the writers, the director George Coates, and the production team. As Hamlet would put it, it was “Wicked cool”.
Toby Berriman It’s a play...of sorts. Around the side of Paddington Station, on the side of St. Mary’s Hospital, there is a big metal door that looks like an old fire station. On the other side of that door is something quite unexpected. Punchdrunk and National Theatre have taken over four floors of the building to present their unique show The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable. The building has been made to resemble a movie studio and surroundings, complete with ‘set locations;’ chalets, a woodchip campsite with full sized caravans you can look around, a sandy beach and lots more. The characters in the two simultaneous stories are also actors who have scenes to act out, and thus the lines between reality and fiction, both yours and theirs, begin to fracture. By the end of the show the audience is left unsure just how much of what they have seen resides in one layer or another, and this adds wonderfully to the surreal, slightly disturbing experience. On arrival at the location, the audience members were each given blank looking masks, and instructed to stay silent until the end of the production. We were ushered into a cargo lift by one of the actors, who energetically welcomed us to the Temple Pictures studios and proceeded to describe some of the ‘cast’ to us. The lift stopped, the doors opened, we stepped out. Suddenly the lift doors
slammed shut behind us and the lift departed, leaving the four of us - who had stepped out alone in a dark and foggy corridor - with no idea what we were supposed to be doing. An ambient noise that echoed through me added significantly to the creepy factor. Before I knew it I found myself alone, edging nervously along towards some light I saw further ahead. I soon found my first room, what appeared very similar to the reception of a hotel.
The level of detail in the decoration was astounding. Postcards full of text on the back lay in the pigeonholes, packages, books of notes of various sorts, a guestbook, and lots more. The audience is free to pick up and look at any of the props, and in some cases doing so is actually the key to understanding the story. Soon I was exploring lots of rooms, even behind doors that I had assumed I wasn’t supposed to enter I found unique and wonderful spaces. One room was filled with lines of dead sunflowers and carried a strong scent, a ‘prosthetics room’ had rubber faces adorning the walls, a sound lab had old and complex looking machinery all around, and so my exploration continued until I bumped into one of the actors. The actors move from space to space across the four floors, acting their scenes brilliantly whilst being chased by a crowd of ghoulish silent audience members all in white masks. I won’t go into the story other than to say it involves romance, affairs, secrets, and murder. The acting is very light on dialogue, and involves
a surprising amount of dance to portray what is happening. The dancing moves around and interacts with the space beautifully, including one section where two people dance over, around, and through a car. Meanwhile the ambient noise, lights, and music respond perfectly to the events unfolding in front of us. At one dramatic moment we found ourselves enveloped in darkness with only simulated moonlight shining on the two actors in front of us as they stood atop a sand dune. There is an insane amount to see at the show, but never fear, there is a chance for a break too. At any point you can wander into the bar, take off your mask, and enjoy a drink whilst enjoying some live music such as one of the female characters singing a beautiful lounge jazz set. But if you are like me you will soon be itching to get back out there for fear of missing anything. If you go, by all means go with friends (you will be dying to talk to someone about it when you get out) but abandon them at the door. With up to 600 audience members walking around at any one time, you’ll never be able to keep track of them anyway, and this really is something you need to be free to walk around at will. A Drowned Man is a really unique and amazing show that leaves you wanting to turn around and go straight back in to find all the things you missed the first time around. I cannot recommend it enough! There are still some tickets available, so grab yours now!
THE SHORT LIFE OF FLAPPY BIRD top of the screen!
Kieran Persaud Dong Nguyen, the Vietnamese developer behind the explosive viral hit ‘Flappy Bird’ has mysteriously decided to remove ‘Flappy Bird’ from both the apple and android app stores. Ngyuyen hasn’t revealed exactly why he has taken his gaming hit down, but has expressly denied accusations of legal disputes being the cause. It seems his reasoning is on ethical grounds, his recent tweet exclaiming his creation an “addictive game”. Despite this, Ngyuyen continues to develop apps, these still being available in the App Store. Whilst these still being considerably high-earning, ‘Flappy Bird’, on the other hand, was at its peak bringing in $50,000 a day in ad revenue - just from that little banner advert at the
Following the fall of ‘Flappy Bird’, a very opportunistic gap appeared in the market, with over 200 App Store copycats on offer within days of ‘Flappy Bird’s viral explosion, including ‘Farty Bird’ and ‘Flappy Penguin’. However the game’s unexplained popularity got more interesting when, upon the removal from the App Store, devices with the game installed, began to appear on eBay at extortionate prices with some sellers asking for as much as £1,300. ‘Flappy Bird’s sharp rise and fall is a testament to the insanity of the App Store: a place where nobody knows where the next viral hit is coming from with every developer wanting to be the next big thing. However, for one man, it seems like the money and fame just wasn’t worth it.
BOOK: FAT CHANCER Gurpreet Sihat With my stomach in my throat, and my entire body shaking as though someone had thrown me in a bucket of ice, I walked into the Moorgate’s Waterstones. It was Thursday, January 30th 2014 and this was the day that I not only attended my first ever book launch, for a man releasing his first novel (a situation I dream to be in within the next few years myself) but the day that I see one of my childhood heroes. I was so excited, so nervous, that I ended up being 45 minutes early to the event. I couldn’t bring myself to explore the bookshop (although I can’t imagine a better pastime for such an occasion) so I just stood, shuffling from one foot to another, my coat draped over my arm, my hand shaking as it clutched tightly onto my camera phone waiting to snap a photo. I watched as the table at the front, full barely an hour ago of the book that was about to be launched, empty and glancing over my shoulder every few minutes, I witnessed the downstairs floor of Waterstones fill with what seemed to be other writers, publishers and loved ones of the author. Without warning, the room fell silent. Everyone began to gather around. There they were, walking down the stairs: Richard Old, the author, wearing a lovely navy suit, his tie slightly lopsided; and his guest reader, a man whose upper pockets on his leather jacket were unevenly zipped, whose left jeans leg was stuck slightly in his boot (something that would usually flair up my OCD), and whose glasses and notes were at the ready. Richard Old’s guest was a man who is considered to be one of England’s most versatile and successful actors, appearing in some of the biggest films
and television series of all time. A man who made dying in films fashionable. This was a man who I had admired since I first saw him in 1994: Sean Bean. Richard opened with a heartwarming speech: he politely thanked everyone for coming, giving special thanks to a certain few; he expressed his sadness about those who had tragically passed away whilst he wrote the book; and then he introduced his guest speaker who began to read. Drawing on three decades of working in the financial world in London, Richard’s novel is the tale of corruption, greed and class in a place where money not only makes him enemies but is waiting for a chance to destroy him. After the reading we were given the chance to get our copies of the book signed by both Richard and Sean. Full of nerves once again, I shuffled into the queue and patiently waited my turn. It was then that I could hear my late uncle’s voice in my head, telling me off as usual: “Get in there and take a photograph!” I could hear him yell. So I turned around to a wonderful lady taking a photograph on her iPad and asked her if she would be so kind to do the same for me. She gladly took my iPhone from me and snapped away as I said my hellos to Richard and posed with my childhood hero, still shaking as I stood there with my arm around him and his around me. It was nearly impossible to hold in my excitement and keep a professional attitude until I left the shop. It felt like my inner child had found a trampoline that was more than just bouncy! My childhood hero. Sean Bean. Now all I need to do is hunt down Guy Pearce and persuade him to release a novel!
PHOTO CREDIT: TOBY BERRIMAN
ALAN DAVIES LIVE AT THE PHOENIX Toby Berriman Comedian Alan Davies may be best known as the quiet floppy-haired one on QI who acts dumb but actually seems to know more answers than anyone. In all honesty, that’s mostly where I knew him from, so the ranting, obscenity-flinging comedian in front of me was a bit of a surprise, but certainly not a bad one! In the one-hour gig at The Phoenix in Cavendish Square, an intimate
space backlit by a neon sign boasting the venue’s name, Alan Davies was practicing and developing material for his upcoming feature show. This meant that sometimes he didn’t quite hit the bullseye in terms of material and timing, but these weak points were few and far between.
The real highlight was Alan’s witty acknowledgement of the venue’s prominent sign; “Why is there a sign here? WE KNOW WHERE WE ARE!” Whilst a small venue, Alan Davies clearly displays his talent and brings great promise for the full upcoming show!
Encompassing a ‘middle-aged’ approach, the main topics spanned fatherhood, from reminiscing about his childhood and his relationship with his father to his own disgruntled paternal experiences with his beautiful, yet infuriating, children.
how the TV show can keep above of it all, but it does in exceptional ways. So come on people! Join the millions of people who have been sucked into this fantastic series. Go on, give it a go!
THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD James Alder At a staggering 1,004 feet, The Shard has dominated the City of London’s skyline since its completion in November 2012, and since February of last year the public has been able to ascend up to the 68th and 72nd floor out of the total 87 to take a look at, well, the view. The initial thing you notice when stepping out onto the 68th floor is how high you actually are. As someone who has no problem with heights it was a surprise to find my legs shaking and my stomach left with an uneasy feeling. However, once you take a look at the breathtaking surroundings all these feelings of vertigo disappear. Situated near London Bridge you find yourself right at the heart of the city, a 360° view offering a spectacle of pretty much the whole of the capital. It’s absolutely beautiful. Being up high was so calming, almost like I’d been plucked out of the city’s hustle and bustle. Pleasant background music accompanied the views, adding to the otherworldly tranquillity. After the elation of being
so high, going back down made it quite stressful to be immersed back into the street level antics. Floor 68 is based on the inside with interactive telescopes that cleverly point out different landmarks as well as accounting some brief information. Floor 72, on the other hand, is known as ‘Out in the Elements’. Consisting of open-air corners, the platform creates the illusion that you’re part of the sky. The air felt so fresh and healthy compared to London’s smog that it felt like everyday worries and fears dissipated whilst you looked down upon the city. Thinking of going? Personally, I would say sunset is the best time to go. For you romantics out there, watching the sun go down is an emotive experience and as, one by one, the other city that never sleeps come alive making London’s whole appearance change right before your eyes. Admittedly, £30 a ticket is quite steep, but I still highly suggest this great opportunity. Such an amazing experience gives you a completely different outlook of London itself. Tickets are available from http:// www.theviewfromtheshard.com/en/
LONDON FASHION WEEK Molly Lempriere Twice every year London hosts one of the big four fashion weeks in the world. Renowned for its creativity and its variety, it attracts people from all over the globe. This year London Fashion Week began on the 14th of February and lasted till Tuesday the 18th, and consisted of over 5000 people attending the 60 official catwalk shows, as well as 45 off schedule shows, and 30 salon shows. In particular the event is known to showcase British Designers, including Paul Smith (with his ‘trousers galore’), House of Holland, and Central Saint Martin’s MA. British style is often categorised as quirky, more so than that you might see in Milan or Paris’s fashion week, as it takes more influence from street style, and that’s what was expected to be seen over the few days. During the week, the new designs for Autumn and Winter 2014 were presented, early as it seems to be thinking about winter again for most of us, the fashion community leave lots of time for planning ahead.
Throughout the week an estimated £100m was spent on orders alone, with people fighting over the best pieces from the ready-to-wear collections in order to prepare their wardrobes. Along with the actual buyers of the creations that were strutted down the catwalk were the cream of press and media: fashion magazines, along with bloggers and papers packing in to catch a glimpse of the up and coming trends that will start to filter from these shows into high street fashion from this week onwards These collections vary from hats, such as Emma Yeo, to scarfs and hats by Electronic Sheep, to the ready-towear collections of Atsushi Nakashima and Burberry Prorsum. This is possibly the most exciting week of the year for the fashion community. Many waited with baited breath to see what the wealth of British talent has come up with this year. Pick up next month’s Le Nurb to see a comprehensive guide to the LFW shows.
PHOTO CREDIT: ON WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
PHOTO CREDIT: GILBERT LEWIS
HANDBALL GROUP OF DEATH SINKS MEN, BUT WOMEN SAIL THROUGH Gilbert Lewis On the 15th and 16th of February Brunel Handball took three teams to SportHouse, Barking hoping to qualify from the London Regional Championships to the National Championships next month. Brunel were the only team from London to enter three teams into this year’s competition, featuring a qualifying round for the first time, meaning over 30 players made the journey across London. The men’s second team and women’s team, both formed this year, were appearing in what was their first major competition and were hoping to perform well. While the first team, although more experienced, faced an especially difficult task to qualify, having been drawn to play the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers from the National Championships the previous year, illustrating the strength of the London teams. The top three of each group would qualify automatically with two play-off spots available in the men’s
competition and one in the women’s. The Saturday began with the second team losing 11-5 to a strong Southampton team, however considering the BUHC team consisted of players who had started playing this year it was a promising start. The men’s first team were next to play, against 2013 National Championship runners-up Essex, however despite a tremendous performance the final score was 8-7 to the opposition. The first win of the day came for the women against a Southampton team who had been expected to perform well. With BUHC Women having only formed this year, and appearing in their first major competition, they had aimed to win at least one game to qualify for the play-off. The 20 minute match began evenly before in the final few minutes Brunel pulled away to record a crucial 11-7 victory. The men’s misery continued however, with the second team losing 17-2 to runaway group leaders Cambridge followed by a disappointing 4-1 loss to Bournemouth, with the team tiring and struggling to compete both in attack and defence. The first team suffered another loss 13-7 to current
London League leaders and eventual group winners Imperial. The women also finished the day on the losing side, with undefeated group winners AECC beating them 16-4. However by the end of day one, all teams still had the qualification within reach. The second day started with the men’s first team losing to 2013 4th placed AECC 12-7, in a game where a few too many 2-minute suspensions meant AECC built a lead that Brunel couldn’t claim back. The women however, playing Imperial, scored a goal in the last 30 seconds of the game to claim a 9-8 victory. This, coupled with Southampton losing to AECC meant the girls had qualified for the National Championships with one game to spare. The men’s second team had a more difficult task, and with an early 7-3 loss to the well-established Kent team meant they could no longer reach the National Championships. They went into their final game with nothing to lose, finishing how they started with an 11-5 loss to automatic qualifiers Brighton, with Alex Herbert earning praise from all sides with 4 goals from left-wing. Despite losing all their games the team had
improved significantly compared to the performances seen last year and with many of the players looking to move up into the first team in the coming months it provided valuable match experience. The men’s first team needed to win at least one of their remaining two games. However, a 7-6 loss against automatic qualifiers Royal Holloway, who just three weeks previously had beaten then 30-16 in the league, meant they needed a result from their final game against UCL. Brunel stormed into an early lead, however in what seems to be becoming increasingly common in games recently, a serious injury, this time a dislocated knee for centre Dries Van Bever, naturally killed off the momentum Brunel had built up. UCL dragged themselves back into the game and saw out a final barrage of attacks to record a 6-5 victory and put Brunel out of the running for qualification to Nationals. UCL and Essex went on to qualify by recording landslide victories in their play-offs against Kent and Bournemouth. This only added salt to the wounds having lost by one goal three times over the weekend, but illustrated again that
BUHC men can compete against the best, with a team of mostly new British players, a rarity in University handball. The draw for the groups, however, must be questioned as to why five teams, who all placed top20 in the country last year, were made to play each other in the qualifying round. Sam Crocker, captain of the first team, said: “We’re absolutely gutted not to make it to the National Championships. But having played the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best teams in the country I could not be prouder of the boys, I guess it just wasn’t our day.” The Brunel Women had a far happier weekend and although finishing with an 11-4 loss against UCL, which included a straight red card for vice-captain Jo Gregory-Brough, they surprised even themselves by qualifying automatically in third place. This means that next month they will travel back to SportHouse to compete against the other top 15 teams in the country. Even before they’ve started, as they are guaranteed at least 16th place, it will be the best ever performance by a Brunel Handball team.
BASKETBALL CAUSES UPSET
BRUNEL UNIVERSITY TO WELCOME HALF MARATHON Martin Bateman
PHOTO CREDIT: TAKE THAT PHOTO
Ryan Stocks As the pregame warm-ups were coming to an end, I noticed the majority of the crowd was watching New Bucks 1sts warm up. This year they linked up with the British Basketball League (best league in the UK for basketball) outfit Surrey United, offering scholarships to players if they came and studied at their university. Five players came including their captain and GB U21 guard. Our first game away at their place resulted in a 28 point thrashing, and many people expected something similar this game. Coming into the game, Brunel 2nds were without a doubt the underdogs, but for what New Bucks had in talent, we made up for in effort and determination. We were always trailing, with 3 players on the bench due to foul trouble early on, but 4th year Tom Solley kept the team within touching distance, scoring 20 points.
Down by 8 with 4:30 left, Coach Noel Kinrade made some changes, which resulted in the team scoring 6 quick unanswered points. 2nd year Brien Mehmet then forced the turnover and foul with a minute to go, scoring a free-throw, putting us down by 1 with 6 seconds left. After a quick timeout going through the next play, we inbounded the ball, ready to get the final shot. We missed. With two seconds left we got the offensive rebound and the ball found its way to fresher Jordan Penny, who shot quickly, with the buzzer going off just after he released it. You often hear about these kinds of endings but it never actually happens to you, it always happens to someone else. Always on the Internet, never in real life. He scored. And with that the crowd ran onto the court to celebrate with us. It’s something that will live on in Brunel Basketball history forever. Meanwhile, Brunel recently completed a 71-63 victory of Portsmouth University Men’s seconds in their South Eastern 3A fixture.
Brunel University, home of top sporting achievement, is to stage the IBB Hillingdon Half marathon on the 23rd March 2014. The 13.1 mile race will bring together up to 1000 athletes from all spectrums of ability with varying goals in a celebration of running over the testing half marathon distance. The race will start on campus before heading out on 2 laps of a predominately flat route taking in Cowley, Yiewsley, Stockley, Hillingdon and Uxbridge before the finish back on campus where all sorts of goodies a t-shirt and a shiny medal will await the finishers. For those aiming toward the front of the race there are generous winners, age group and team prizes plus anyone born in or that has lived in Middlesex for the last 9 months can challenge for the Middlesex County Half Marathon titles for men and women. The race is just three weeks before the London Marathon, so ideal preparation for those in the final stages of their training schedule. The race is being organised by ActiveTrainingWorld (ATW) and James Shipley of ATW said: “I think it’s great news that Hillingdon is getting a massparticipation event. Nothing has been in place like it for the last 10 years.” “Hillingdon has been a positive place for long-distance running, the original
Olympic Marathon ran through the area and the current UK five-mile record was also run in the borough.” The IBB Hillingdon Half Marathon might produce a notable time, but could also produce a lot of money for national and borough charities – plus the usual fancy-dress participants. ATW have selected 6 local charities that they encourage the competitors to run in aid of. They are Age UK Hillingdon, Dash, Brompton & Harefield Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Harlington Hospice, Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, Hillingdon Carers and Panathlon Challenge. ATW will be allocating a third of any profits of the race to a local good cause. IBB Solicitors from Uxbridge are the title sponsors for the race which is a very positive association. Partner at IBB Solicitors Malcolm Underhill said: “We as West London’s leading law firm are delighted to be part of this significant event taking place on our doorstep. To know that our sponsorship will play a key part in making this event happen in our local community is fantastic. We are confident that it will be a successful event and would like to wish everyone taking part all the best for the race.” ATW has also teamed up with Yelling Performance, a company owned by Olympian Liz Yelling and her husband, Martin, to offer training plans for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners. The race is also being supported by Gluco Energy, Nestle,
Lotus Wellbeing and Runnersworld sports stores. ATW have worked closely with the Brunel Sports department in bringing the race back to Hillingdon and are very grateful for their organisation and support and to Brunel University in general for allowing use of the campus and facilities. Places in the event are filling very quickly with over two thirds of the entrants coming from the local area. You can enter the race now atwww. hillingdonhalf.co.uk. Entry costs £20 for club affiliated runners and £22 for non-affiliates. There are also opportunities for people to get involved that don’t want to or can’t run 13.1 miles. ATW are looking for “RaceMakers” to make the race safe and enjoyable. RaceMaker roles include course marshals with or without first aid skills, water station assistants, car parking control, start/finish assistants, course set up and entertainment. ATW have been working with Brunel Volunteers on this project and have kindly listed this opportunity on their website www.brunelvolunteers.com. This is a great way to be part of a positive event and give to the local community and all RaceMakers will be rewarded for their vital role. To register and find out more please visit www.hillingdonhalf.co.uk/racemaker. html Come on, get involved and be part of a top event on your doorstep.
BRUNEL NETBALL ROUND-UP
BRUNEL CROSS-COUNTRY SEE RESULT IN STIRLING Adam Varvel Brunel’s cross-country team recently travelled to Stirling in Scotland to take on 48 institutions in the BUCS Championship.
Championships success in Belgrade, Sport Scholar Jessica Andrews spearheaded the campaign with a respectable 4th position in her debut BUCS competition.
Cross-country captain Melissa Courtney - who is currently in the top five in the UK Senior Women’s ranking With a record turnout of Brunelians, for the indoor 1500-metres - finished the men’s long race was first up, in 8th position on this occasion. which saw Matt Bergin come in 24th Katie Allen completed the women’s triumvirate finishing position after falling on the start line in “Next year the club will bid in 47th, with the muddy conditions. to push on from these great team placing 4th overall. James Laing results!” followed closely The weekend in 41st, with Nyle Clinton just behind in 52nd. Nathan saw a record amount of Brunelians Ditton completed the line-up in the attend the hotly contested BUCS scoring team, completing the course Championship, which is a credit to in 102nd position. The Brunel quartet the team itself. Next year the club will bid to push on from these great finished in 7th team position overall. In the women’s race, fresh from results and get even closer to the top her European Cross-Country 3 institutions.
PHOTO CREDIT: TALLISA HAYNES
T. Blackwood It hasn’t been an easy year for Brunel Netball. The beginning of the season started out looking very promising as the turnout at trials left us with a large club full of good strong teams. Then disaster seemed to strike in every way possible; injuries and placement made it impossible for all teams to be filled when there were matches and other circumstances meant that matches had to be postponed. Having found new, reliable and experienced coaches, we were hopeful for a strong season but this didn’t seem to be the
case and was even being shown in our results. Not all teams were producing winning results which continued to increase the frustration and tension between the teams. Recently however, things have started to take a turn for the better. Teams have been winning more of their games - with the 1st taking on Leeds and 3rds taking on Portsmouth 1st in the quarterfinals of their Cup. The morale within the club has increased with teams wining more of their matches and working for each other, which has shown on and off the court. Outside of training and games, we are a family. The strength and chemistry is even stronger off of the court (as cheesy as this may sound). No doubt
you will have seen us in our costumes for a themed social or just seen our girls making a mess of themselves on a Liquid Wednesday. Either way, I’m sure you know who we are and what being a part of BUNC means to us. We are only set to get bigger, better and stronger. The upcoming weeks will show off even more of our charity skills whilst getting people involved with us during One World Week, finishing our season with winning match results, and even bigger and crazier socials. Being involved in Brunel Netball has made the university experience even better for all of our girls and we would encourage as many girls to get involved as possible.
KUNG FU: WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
VICTORY FOR BRUNEL HOCKEY AT ST. MARY’S A. Blyth-Green Brunel Ladies 1st XI team was away at varsity rivals St. Mary’s University, Twickenham on the 5th of February. Both teams knew this match was to be pretty intense due to the two teams previous meet in the cup earlier in the season. St. Mary’s were forced to concede the result to Brunel due to issues involving qualified umpires.
PHOTO CREDIT: ZOE GILLESPIE
Samuel Garnham Just over a term into our fifth year as a club at Brunel University and with our new members having successfully graded in December, we thought it was time to share with you a members thoughts into what Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan Kung Fu is about, and what this member has discovered since joining us in September. “With the first day of the Chinese New Year drawing closer I thought I’d take the opportunity to go into a little detail about my experiences with Kung Fu so far, as well as mention its mentality and why it’s perfect for anyone. That’s right, anyone. It’s been nearly five months since I started training in Nam Pai Chuan, or North-South fist. At the time I decided that I wanted to start looking after my health and measurably increasing my fitness levels, which were incredibly poor to say the least. I briefly thought about joining the gym but I didn’t want to invest in a membership that quite frankly was going to go to waste. I also considered running or cycling, but again, having to invest in comfortable shoes or a bike when you’re a 3rd year student on the dregs of your loan is a mountain to climb, in itself. It just wasn’t happening. When a friend of mine mentioned attending a free Kung Fu class my first response was one of bewilderment. Me? Training in Kung Fu? I’d never been mugged (and still haven’t to this day, touch wood) I was a big guy. Granted I was an unfit guy, but I was definitely not the optimum target for a mugging. I had always thought martial arts were cool, especially in movies, but the thought of training in one was alien to me. It was however, free and it required no special clothing, heck shoes weren’t even necessary so I gave it a shot. Since then I haven’t missed a single session, for sickness or otherwise. One of the reasons why Nam Pai Chuan is so engaging is that you’re exercising with purpose and context. None of the moves are overly flashy or acrobatic and all follow a logical progression. Each sequence of punches, kicks and locks are all grounded in getting the maximum amount of efficiency from the action being performed. Each movement
learned is precise and simple. Simplicity, however, doesn’t mean easy. Often I leave a session with more soreness in my brain than in my limbs. Concentrating and visualising the correct sequence of movements can frequently be more challenging than getting my body to do it in the first place! When given the option between focusing on my body’s movements to execute a technique with efficiency, or running on a treadmill, the decision is clear. That isn’t to say that Kung Fu neglects the body in place of the mind. Typically the beginning of a training session consists of squats, pressups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, sprinting and a variety of other exercises. Occasionally we’ll focus on a particular group of muscles, for instance on days when we focus on the abdomen we’ll do single leg raises, crunches, double leg raises and sit-ups, while arm days include standard press-ups, knuckle press-ups and clapping press-ups. Training using bodyweight techniques means that aside from the occasional hand mitt or punching bag exercise there is no need for any equipment apart from your body. This is what Kung Fu advocates, training the body, enabling you to defend yourself. In addition to turning the body into a weapon via empty hand forms Nam Pai Chuan also trains students in the art of weapon forms. The first form that students are introduced to is the Bo staff – a six foot long staff. We train in this as it improves focus, energy and co-ordination. Eventually, as seniority grows students are able to train in several advanced weapon forms. These range from the halberd, broadsword, spear, butterfly knife and three section staff. Obviously carrying around weapons outside of class would at best get you some strange looks and at worst a visit to the local police station, so we leave the weapons behind in class, but what we don’t leave is the balance and focus we develop via training with them. We also take opportunities to draw our training inwards through Chi Gung, a system of Chinese breathing exercises. These are performed both moving and stationary. Chi Gung is used to reduce stress and improve concentration. They also involve the manipulation of Chi, an internal force that can be channelled into a part of the body or into a particular movement.
As you can see there is a lot going on under the surface when it comes to Nam Pai Chuan, too much to mention here in this brief article. In Nam Pai Chuan we train the Mind, through the engaging simplicity of the techniques, the Body via a variety of body weight techniques and the Spirit, through application of Chi Gung breathing exercises. This, in essence are “the three pearls” - your mind, body and spirit. The experiences that grow from training through these three facets increase not only fitness, flexibility and focus, but self-confidence. Training in Kung Fu doesn’t just have to be about what happens within the sessions, often there are social events going on that all members are welcome to. Just last week I attended the opening of Master Lai’s training centre, there were a lot of people attending from various centres around London. We also participate in things that are less oriented around Kung Fu, such as enjoying a film at the cinema, or going out for food together. As our particular training centre is located on Brunel campus, we also have a responsibility to the university, which often takes on the form of charity events for Brunel Rag. The last of which was an all day punch-a-thon where our members struck a punch bag for eight hours straight! We welcome anybody to join in, often running give it a go sessions – where we introduce newcomers to the fundamentals of a proper stance, as well as some simple kicking and punching sequences. All that is required that students train with determination and drive. The students at Nam Pai Chuan come from a variety of backgrounds and anybody is welcome, whether you’re a veteran of martial arts or a newbie (like me). You’ll never be forced to do everything all at once, but you’ll always be encouraged to give it a go. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort into practise, both in and out of the sessions then you’ll immediately begin seeing improvements and begin achieving your potential. Just last week I managed to touch my toes without bending my knees for the first time in years! Ultimately, Nam Pai Chuan is just as much about adopting a personal philosophy of self improvement as it is training and provides skills and outlooks that are applicable and valuable in life.”
After losing the toss, the match began. With the miserable wind and rain battling Brunel’s faces, you would have thought the advantage was St. Mary’s, but it wasn’t. Both teams were eager to throw themselves into the game with strong attacks from both sides. Unfortunately a counter attack from St. Mary’s only meant one thing, a goal to them. Despite Brunel’s defense trying hard to keep the ball out, a frenzied scrap in the D confirmed their lead. 1-0 St. Mary’s. Shouts from the sideline only meant one thing, Brunel’s 1st XI coach, Shay O’Connel had arrived. Shay brought along committed players Frankie Scott, and Becka O’Connor who in the morning had been on a placement. With the players frantically getting changed, Brunel now had two subs allowing players to have a few minutes rest on the side line, regaining their energy, and listening to Shay’s encouraging words. Brunel was back in the game with a goal from Hannah Jones. Much like St. Mary’s goal, it was a fight to put
the ball behind the line with many players all trying to hit it clear. But no, Hannah persisted and away it went. With a new wave of determination, both teams upped their game. There were excellent, accurate passes from both teams, and some great skills being shown. With Brunel’s defense playing a strong game, they were able to keep goals away, but with every ball that got past them, Dannii Rowe, Brunel’s goalkeeper was able to make some cracking saves. Brunel got ahead with another goal from Rebekah Andrews. Hannah passed the ball to Rebekah, and with her strong hit, it could not be stopped, resulting in a deflection off one of the defenders. 2-1 Brunel. The last few minutes were intense. With both teams multiple times getting into the oppositions D everyone was feeling the pressure, yet the hockey standard never ceased. Everybody was shouting, elbows were flying in all directions, it was turning very aggressive through sheer determination to win, however the final whistle blew. VICTORY for Brunel! Woman of the match went to Hannah Jones through her persistent commitment to the ball and showing some great hockey. All players had a great game and congratulation on their win was awarded with some lovely words from their coach Shay. The next time the two sides meet will be at the annual varsity game in March, where St. Mary’s will surely seek revenge against this league defeat.
BRUNEL SHORTLISTED AS RUGBY WORLD CUP TRAINING BASE hosting international teams having recently been the official training Ryan O’Donovan camp venue for the Korean Olympic team and Canadian Paralympic team Brunel has been confirmed during the London 2012 Olympic and on the approved list of team training Paralympic games. bases for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Brunel also hope that their upcoming investment in a new floodlit rugby England 2015 requires 50 bases for pitch on the Sports Park will help their the tournament and these training chances of being chosen as a training bases will be confirmed “It builds on the legacy base. mid-2014 after team Director of Sport, Paul visits and selections of our London 2012 Dimmock, told Le have been completed. training camps and Nurb, “It is fantastic Although on the news that Brunel our longstanding approved list, Brunel is has been confirmed relationships with not guaranteed to host on the shortlist for world class sport teams but will be used Rugby World Cup to provide nations with 2015 Team Bases. programs” their Team Base option. “It builds on the Team bases must include an indoor legacy of our London 2012 training and outdoor training facility, a gym, camps and our longstanding an indoor swimming pool and a hotel. relationships with world class sports All these facilities must meet programmes.” international team standards and He added, “This, coupled with our must be located close to one another. investment in rugby facilities this year, Brunel is able to offer sports facilities, will provide a boost to the University’s hotel accommodation, catering and Rugby Performance Programme, meeting venues all thanks to its which aims to re-establish Brunel Commercial Services Directorate. as one of the UK’s premier rugby The university has a track record of universities.”
WAS SACKING BRUNEL CROWNED 2014 KEVIN PIETERSEN INTER-VARSITY CHAMPIONS A MISTAKE? Ryan O’Donovan
wThe sacking at first to appear to be without any real reason, but the ECB Chris Brown said they could not confirm why as there were certain legal issues Kevin Pietersen in one preventing the reasons coming out. word- destructive. The now former But on Sunday the ECB revealed England batsman was destructive on that Pietersen’s position became the field, with his unique ability to untenable as a result of a loss of trust make even very good bowling attacks and as England wanted to invest in look ordinary at best. His series Alastair Cook’s captaincy Pietersen clinching innings against Australia could not be trusted to be part of that at the Oval in the final test of the future. The statement read “The ECB 2005 Ashes springs to mind, where recognises the significant contribution the likes of Warne and McGrath went Kevin has made to England teams over around the south London ground. At the last decade. He has played some such inexperience at Test cricket level of the finest innings ever produced by a star was born, Pietersen top scored an England batsman,” the statement in this series with 473 runs and he read. “However, the England team was part of the England set up for the needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia. To do that we must invest next nine years. in our captain Alastair Cook and we Pietersen of course had a big ego, must support him in creating a culture which gave him the confidence to play in which we can be confident he will on the field with freedom however have the full support of all players, off of the field this “The English team need with everyone pulling in the same direction hindered Pietersen, to rebuild after the and able to trust each and his destructive style gradually started whitewash in Australia” other. It is for those reasons that we have to destroy the dressing room as well as the bowlers over time. decided to move on without Kevin England had a chance to remove Pietersen. Pietersen from the set up in 2012 during the series with South Africa, but A poll taken by Sky revealed that 88% new captain Cook pushed hard for his of viewers believed that it is wrong reintegration to the side; as he was too to get rid of Pietersen. And a 73% good to let go. But now quite ironically vote on the Telegraph Sport website Cook is the one giving the South revealed that readers were unhappy African born batsmen his marching for the reasons for Pietersen’s sacking. orders, but what has changed? Well Clearly an unwelcome decision and after the 5-0 mauling at the hands of perhaps the wrong decision as many Australia this winter, it was clear that people love watching mavericks like England had to make changes now Pietersen play. Pietersen’s undoubted qualities were reflected by the and start building for the future. The England and Wales Cricket Board £880,000 the Delhi Daredevils have (ECB) and Alastair Cook came to the paid for the South African batsman, decision that Pietersen would be the most for any oversees batsman in sacked as an England batsman and this year’s IPL auction. would not be able to play for his Pietersen still has much to offer adopted country again. A decision cricket clearly and England, at the which was described by Aussie leg age of 33 he could of given England spinner Shane Warne as a ‘disgrace’. many more memorable innings, and However this decision is strange in many batsman in the latter years of that, without Pietersen England’s side the careers score a large chunk of their is devoid of any real X-Factor with runs. England’s top run scorer in test the bat at least. Pietersen was able to cricket Graham Gooch scored 5000 provide impetus to the batting - he test runs after the age of 33, showing scored his runs at an impressive 61.8 just how much Pietersen could offer if strike rate, where others around him he was given the chance. But as Cook would struggle to score at 50 runs decided to get rid of the swashbuckling per 100 balls. He could take the game batsmen and ultimately will be judged to the opposition and away from the by this decision to put team unity opposition and England are a better ahead of individual brilliance. Giving the Essex batsmen one chance to side with Pietersen in it. get it right after the feeble and weak The meeting between Alastair Cook, defeat against the Aussies, and maybe Paul Dowton and limited overs Cook rushed his decision somewhat coach and former team mate of and could have given more time to Pietersen Ashley Giles on Tuesday dwell on the decision but Cook has 4th February ultimately decided gambled on unity and time will tell if the fate of Pietersen. The three first it was the right decision. revealed that Pietersen would not be part of the limited overs series against Pietersen has been and gone, and West Indies in the Caribbean, and will become a T20 globetrotter, then the World T20 Tournament in smashing many quick fire 30’s and Bangladesh, and then the surprising the occasional century. But he will be news that Pietersen would no longer membered as a true maverick of the be an England batsman followed, game, and his ego which defined his which Pietersen described as ‘so sad’ batting and ultimately cost him his test career. on his Twitter account.
metres and claiming victory in the long jump with a jump of 5.52 metres.
The men’s team, led by captain Mark Cryer, finished 46 points ahead of Loughborough, posting the largest margin in the history of the event. Both women’s and men’s teams were victorious, beating Loughborough, Bath, Birmingham and Cardiff Met at the Lee Valley Stadium in North London.
Meanwhile, teammate Becky Owen also contested seven events and amassed a total of 21 points singlehandedly. Elsewhere, Sport Scholar Shanice Harrison eased to victory in ‘A’ 60-metre dash, posting a time of 7.81 seconds while Clieo Stephenson took a debut win in the ‘B’ string with a time of 7.61 seconds. Thrower and Sports Science student Emma Kirk-Odunubi won the ‘B’ string shot put with a personal best of 11.48 metres and finished second overall behind Rowland.
GB heptathlete and Sport Scholar Jo Rowland was the athlete of the meeting, winning twice and coming second in four of her seven events. Rowland’s highlights included winning the shot put with a score of 12.85
In the men’s events, multi-eventer David Hall also had a debut to remember, storming to victory in the 200 metes with a personal best of 22.17 seconds. He also came second in the ‘B’ string
Brunel were victorious at the 2014 Inter-Varsity Challenge with the men’s track team making competition history in the process.
high jump thanks to a jump of 1.88 metres. And his day was not finished there as he anchored the Brunel 4 x 200-metre relay team to a secondplaced finish. Elsewhere, fellow debutant Alex Wort claimed victory in the 60-metre hurdles thanks to a time of 8.45 seconds, while teammate Thomas Howlett won the ‘B’ string race in a time of 8.73 seconds. Howlett also finished second in the ‘A’ string high jump, posting a jump of 1.88 metres. Meanwhile, Lewis Guest returned to the team and took the triple jump by a large margin with 13.57 metres, while Ti Ojuyah won the ‘B’ string shot put with 12.67 metres. And Alex Bell recorded a personal best of 49.47 seconds in the 400 metres, coming second.
PHOTO CREDIT: ADAM VARVEL
SUPERBOWL FEVER HITS BRUNEL Molly Lempriere On the 2nd of February, the Denver Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks in the much anticipated finale of the NFL year, with the Seahawks obliterating their opponents and securing their first ever Super Bowl win. Hundreds of people packed into Locos and Academy for the game, staking out seats hours before, with many taking part in the quiz and enjoying the American themed menu while they waited. The game was broadcast from the MetLife Stadium just outside of New York, in New Jersey, and is the first Super Bowl hosted by New York. In the US it is a huge event with 100’s of millions of people tuning in to watch the game in the U.S, with 30 second adverts costing $4 million alone!! American football is a game made up of two teams fighting to outscore the other team. This can be done by scoring a touchdown, a field goal or the very rare event of a safety worth 2 points (and the way this year’s Super
Bowl started). The matches consist of four quarters of fifteen minutes of game time, although due to the nature of the game they tend to go on for much longer than just an hour. Players in America start at school, with High Schools and Universities taking it very seriously, many having almost professional standard pitches, and we’ve all seen the social effect of being a star-player in every American Teen movie ever. Recently the first ever British based player, Menelik Watson, was drafted to the Oakland Raiders in the Second Round as an Offensive Lineman, and 2012 Olympian Lawrence Okoye signed to the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free-agent. Its popularity is growing, as the fantastic turn out to Locos shows, with around 250 people in Locos, and a further 150 in Academy. Organiser Adam Philpot said ‘I think there is a growing interest in oversees sport, especially American football. This has obviously been helped and spearheaded by the Brunel Burners American football team, but there is also a growing interest in other sports’. The Burners were certainly a noticeable presence in Academy,
where the atmosphere was certainly more intense as it was the place the die-hard fans gathered that night. Many people who are less interested in the sport went though, and you can’t help wondering whether people will use any sporting event as an excuse for a night out, with many also going for the other aspects of the show though as well. It‘s not just the sport that draws people but also the half-time show, this year performed by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers (who worked surprisingly well together) Adam says ‘On the other hand you get those that are there for the spectacle and the atmosphere. And then you have those who get taken along by a friend and are exposed to the sport for the first time’. And what a spectacle it is! Its undeniable the Super Bowl has a big following, even here at Brunel and continues to grow. It attracts both Football fans, players and total novices, and all in all, the Loco’s is a great way to get into it. Meanwhile, the Brunel Burners qualified for the post season play-offs for the first time in their history thanks to a 36-12 victory over Westminster on 16th February.
THIS MONTH... HANDBALL
B RU N E L U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
GROUP OF DEATH SINKS MEN, BUT WOMEN SAIL THROUGH
BRUNEL FUTSAL MAKE IT TO PLAY-OFFS 28
BRUNEL BASKETBALL CAUSE UPSET IN LEAGUE
PHOTO CREDIT: ELLIOTT CAMPBLETON
Alexander Sykes Could we do it again? After having our most successful season ever, winning the south east BUCS premier league, this was our season to dominate. With our core group of players staying on and a large influx of top quality freshers, it certainly felt like we could. We have done it! Two years in a row, crowned champions before our last league game had even kicked off. All the players have worked extremely hard for this, and special thanks must go to our great coach, Janio Cruz, who has been a huge influence on us over the past two seasons. Our league season finished with the following stats: P8, W7, D1, L0, with a massive goal difference of +43. An extremely impressive season. The season kicked off against the newly promoted University of Hertfordshire. They included some strong, well-drilled players. From the first whistle Brunel dominated, keeping the ball with ease and creating many chances. So it was no surprise when the poacher, Bradley Johnson, poked the ball over the goalkeeper into the net to give us our first goal of the season. This goal inspired the team for the rest of the game, allowing us to finish with an incredible 11-1 victory.
We then travelled away to Brighton, the team tipped to be fighting for first place alongside us. Our first choice goalkeeper was unavailable, so it was a first team debut for the ever improving Reza. The game started very evenly, with two quality teams being able to keep the ball and create chances. However with the score at 2-2, Reza was forced off with an injury, and with no substitute goalkeeper, Matteo Cangelosi stepped in to take his place. Moving into the second half, Brunel quickly went 5-2 down, however Janio soon switched to fly goalkeeper, something the Brighton players couldn’t handle, and with 2 minutes to go Brunel pulled level. The final score finished 5-5. We were then back at our home court, Brunel’s sport centre. The opposition was an organised Middlesex team. However, yet again the everimproving Brunel started the game very strongly, opening the scoring from a tactically perfect training ground free kick routine, confusing the opposition. From here on, in it was only really one way traffic, an extremely positive performance, and thankfully Matteo didn’t have to go in goal again. Brunel were eventual winners 15-3, with Adi scoring 8. Essex was the next visitor, an extremely friendly and exciting team. The other team in our group who try to play nice and complete futsal. They fought very hard, and pressured us from the start, however the eventual
quality of Brunel paid off, with us coming out as 6-3 winners. Next was the return fixture away at Hertfordshire. What can we say about their court and facilities? Many words come to mind, however this may not get printed if I say them. The court was about the size of my car, and the goals were the wrong size, shape and they were plastic. There’s nothing like a good start to the day eh? The true futsal team were the better team and won the game 8-5. Time for our home fixture again the mighty Brighton. We wanted to show them just how good we were, this time involving a goalkeeper. This was by far Brunel’s best performance of the season. The game started very evenly with Brighton going 2-1 up, and they nearly made it 3 but for the save of the season by Alex Sykes tipping the ball onto the cross bar from point blank range. This kick started Brunel’s fight back and at half time the game was Brunel 3-2 Brighton. The second half was all Brunel, some quality futsal played and goals scored. Brighton had no answer and Brunel won a convincing 9-3. It is safe to say our start away to Middlesex didn’t go as planned. We found ourselves 3-0 down within the first 2 minutes. This for sure wasn’t us at our best. With a massive improvement and some interesting goalkeeping by their number 1 we did eventually get back level. This killed off the energy of the other team
allowing us to play like we knew we could. After a much better second half where we even got to practice fly keeper, we came away with a 10-5 victory to seal the title. We finished the league season with a trip to Essex. Again they fought very hard, with a big desire to make an upset, and they would have done if Brunel were slightly off their game. The game would have been great to watch for the neutrals, with the final score a well fought 7-3 victory to Brunel. Top Goal scorers: 1. Pedro Bernardini – 17 2. Adi Ponexha - 12 3. Furmaan Khan - 9 This was our league season over, and what a good campaign it was. However, the job is now only half done. The playoffs which include the best 16 teams in the country will soon be underway. With Brunel seeded 1st, we get a home draw against the 16th seed. Brunel need to make amends for only reaching this far last season. This is our season, and our players have the desire and determination to ensure that it happens. This season we also introduced a second team for the first time. They were competing in Division 1 of the south east BUCS futsal league. They played admirably throughout, winning half of their games. Special thanks go to their coach, Fabio Lima, and captain, Dario Zavagnov.
THEIR MEMBERS TELL YOU WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
BRUNEL CROWNED INTERVARSITY CHAMPIONS 2014
"Brunel Ready for St. Mary's" - This issue includes a bumper Sports section and Spring Elections & One World Week special features.